posted on 13-Oct-2001 4:53:37 AM by Breathless
Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz
Rating: PG 13 to NC 17 (maybe)
Disclaimer: Jason Katims keeps pissing me off. Can somebody fire that guy?

Author Note: I thought there were a lot of questionable (read that stupid) things in "Busted" so here is how I think the 3rd season of Roswell could have started, if the guy that wrote it had used his brain. It's funny how getting pissed at Jason Katims gets my creative juices flowing! Anyway, no insult intended. (Okay, I just spit my diet coke out when I wrote that. The guy deserves to get insulted. If he ever fixes Roswell, I'll eat my words.)

The following prologue starts exactly where Busted started, it's just my version of the opening scene . . .

Echoes of Tomorrow


“Are you ready?” Max breathed out and then his lips covered hers again. She felt so good, straddled across his lap, and she was making it hard to think about anything but her.

“I think so,” Liz mumbled against his lips. Her hands were buried in his hair and she had to force herself to back away.

“Are you sure you’re ready for this?” He asked again, staring up into her eyes. “I don’t want you to do it if you’re not sure you’re ready.”

“I’m sure Max,” she said breathing hard. “We have to do this. Together.”

“Let’s go over it once more.”

“We go inside,” Liz said, sliding off his lap and settling onto the front seat next to Max. She turned to look at the convenience store and continued, “I’ll flirt with the clerk while you go to the restroom. You use your powers to break through to the basement and find the ship.”

“Good. I’ll need about five minutes, so just keep him talking.”

“What if he doesn’t pay any attention to me?” Liz worried aloud.

“Not pay attention to you?” Max arched his eyebrows. “Are you crazy? Look at the way you look! That . . .” and his eyes dropped to her chest, “that top, and the way your stomach shows, and – and, God Liz! He’d have to be dead not to pay attention to you.”

She blushed at the way his eyes were roaming over her and then she got worried again. “What if he’s gay?”

Max stared at Liz for a moment and then said, “Damn. I hadn’t thought about that.”

“Well maybe we better think about it!”

“If you had powers,” Max joked, “ you could go down to the ship and I could flirt with him.”

“Very funny!” Liz rolled her eyes and hit Max on the arm.

“Let’s just hope he’s not gay,” Max laughed and pulled Liz into his arms again.

“So you’ll gain access to the basement through the bathroom and test the ship,” Liz said staring down into his eyes. “What if the clerk asks what’s taking you so long?”

“Tell him I have a stomach ache or the flu or something,” Max grinned. “That should keep him far, far away.”

“Okay, I’m ready,” Liz smiled and then they met for one last lingering kiss before climbing out of the car. Liz adjusted her clothes, tugging the top down slightly to expose a little more cleavage, and she could hear Max’s audible sigh.

They entered the store with their heads down and Max used his powers to disable the closed circuit cameras. There was a secret government storage facility below the store, and they didn’t need their images recorded. Max nodded at her, step one accomplished, and Liz sauntered her way over to the counter smiling at the young male clerk. He gave her an appreciative look up and down, and Liz heard Max whisper, “See? What I’d tell ya?”

As they neared, Max raised his voice and asked, “Hey, you got a restroom here?”

“Yeah, in back,” the clerk said. He barely looked in Max’s direction, focusing solely on Liz and her tough girl image. She leaned against the counter, striking up a conversation and making sure the clerk was getting an eyeful and Max raised his eyebrows at how well she was playing her role. He turned toward the restroom when all hell broke loose.

Two men in ski masks entered the store and demanded everyone down on the floor. Max grabbed Liz, shielding her from the robbers and the clerk reached for something under the counter. He came up with a gun, his hands shaking in fright, and the taller of the two thieves reacted swiftly. He lunged at the frightened clerk, knocking him to the ground and flinging the handgun aside. It clattered to the floor and the thief leveled his gun at the back of the clerk’s head.

Max watched the events unfolding, saw the thief’s finger start to squeeze the trigger and he threw out his hand to stop the slaughter. The thief was knocked backwards by a bolt of light, striking his companion and they both tumbled to the floor.

With a frightened “What the fuck was that?”, the two would-be thieves scrambled to their feet and disappeared through the front doors.

“Shit,” Max mumbled under his breath. Now what were they gonna do? The clerk saw everything. Shit and double shit. “God damn-it!”

Liz, with her heart racing in her chest, scrambled across the floor and picked up the clerk’s gun. With shaking hands, she pointed it at the clerk and said, “Don’t move.”

“Liz! What are you doing?” Max hissed.

“Max,” she whispered back. “This might be your only chance. It’s now or never. You have to see what’s down there. I’ll keep him out of the way.” Her eyes were frightened, but determined.

“Liz, I can’t let you-”

“Max, I said go! NOW! We don’t have much time.”

Max backed away from her, staring at the way she was holding the gun in her trembling hands. Their simple plan was turning into a nightmare. No one was supposed to get hurt. No one was supposed to be put in any danger.

“Go Max! Hurry!”

He turned and ran to the back of the store and used his powers to cut through the wall. A hidden staircase was revealed, and he hastily descended to the basement below, and to a sight he thought he’d never see.

“Oh God, oh God, oh God,” Liz kept mumbling under her breath. What was she doing? She’d reacted without thinking and now here she was holding a gun in her hand and pointing it at that poor guy on the floor. He started to raise his head and she shouted, “Don’t move!”

A high pitched wail reached her ears and she looked toward the windows. In the distance she could see flashing lights and she shouted to Max, “We have to leave NOW! Let’s go, let’s go!”

Max reappeared at the top of the stairs and sealed the wall closed again. They ran for the door, jumped into the car and amid squealing tires and clouds of dust, they tried to make their escape, but fate was not working in their favor tonight. No, forces were conspiring against them, and amid flashing lights and sirens, their flight came to an abrupt end. Max found himself face down on the ground, looking down the barrel of a gun, with the words “You’re under arrest,” ringing in his ears.

[ edited 22time(s), last at 28-Dec-2001 2:13:42 AM ]
posted on 13-Oct-2001 5:18:00 AM by Breathless
Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Still Max and Liz
Rating: See above

Disclaimer: See that above too

Echoes of Tomorrow

Part 1

Liz turned another page in her Economy Today textbook but the charts and graphs weren’t what she was really seeing. The only sounds that disturbed her thoughts were the quiet rustling of books shuffling, pens or pencils scratching on paper, chairs scraping across the floor and an occasional whispered conversation in the quiet of the school library.

She lifted her eyes from the page of her book and stared off in the distance while she absently tapped the end of her pen against the blank sheet of lined paper in her notebook. She found it hard to concentrate on her studies and her thoughts drifted, the way she seemed to do a lot lately. So much had happened over the last few months and memories resurfaced, some so painful they still brought tears to her eyes, even after all this time . . .


She heard Maria cry out from the kitchen and then she came running towards her. “What?” She wrapped her arms around Maria’s trembling body and said, “What’s wrong? What?”

She noticed the Sheriff standing in the open doorway and she could tell something horrible had happened. She felt her world collapsing as he said, “There’s been an accident . . . Alex is dead.”

* * *

“It wasn’t an accident. He was murdered.”

“Murdered?” Kyle said staring at Liz in disbelief.

“Would you listen to yourself?” Max said, unwilling to believe it. “Who could possibly want to murder Alex?”

“I don’t know yet. Maybe someone with a grudge against him. Or maybe an alien.”

“That is not what happened here,” Max said angrily.

“Would you maybe just think about it, for a minute? If there is anything that any of us have learned over the last year and a half is that nothing is ever as it seems.”

“What is that?” Isabel shouted as she rose to her feet. “That’s not evidence. There’s no proof that we had anything to do with it!”

“Keep your voices down, for God’s sake,” Tess hissed.

“You can not deny the fact that a key member of this conspiracy just died under very mysterious circumstances.”

“I’m with Liz,” Kyle said in support. “There’s something not right about this.”

“It was a traffic accident,” Max insisted. “There’s nothing other worldly about that.”

“What possible reason would an alien have to kill Alex?” asked Michael.

“Isabel for one. We know that there is an alien that wants to bring Isabel back to your world-”

“No!” Isabel shouted.

“If Kivar discovered that you and Alex-”

“No! No! You’re just making this up!”

“You don’t know what the hell you are talking about,” Max fumed as he towered over Liz. “You don’t know anything about Kivar, or our world.”

You don’t want to think that Alex was killed by an alien because then that would mean YOU are responsible.”

“Let’s go,” Max said to the others, while staring with hostility at Liz.

* * *

“What the hell were you and Sean Deluca doing here last night?” Max said as he came up beside Liz in the hallway.

“Max, not now. I have to find a place that'll scan this.”

“Why? Who were you just talking to?”

“The Swedish embassy in Washington.”

“This has to stop. I will consider the possibility that Alex was killed by an alien if you consider the possibility that he killed himself.”

“No, he didn't!”

“And what if he did?” Max angrily grabbed her arm and pulled her to a stop. “Then you are doing nothing but raising people's suspicions about us. You have nothing to lose here, and we have everything to lose.”

“Let go of me.”

* * *

“Liz, there's something I need to tell you. It's about Tess and me . . .”

“You're together now, I know.”

“It's more than that. Our relationship is, uh . . . we spent the night together.”


“Liz . . . Tess is pregnant.”

* * *

“If Leanna was innocent, then who killed Alex?” Max asked.

“I don't know.”

“You must have some idea who it could've been!”

“Whoever did it set up an innocent girl. We have to start from the beginning. We have to find him or her before they kill someone else.”

“I can't do that. I don't have time.” He was reluctant to say it out loud.

“What are you talking about?”

“Tess' child, our child-”

“Yeah, well that's your personal life.”

“It can't survive here, he's dying . . . We're leaving.”


“We're going back.”

“Back?” She pointed upwards and his silence was her answer. “When is this happening?”

“Tomorrow, just after dawn.”

“You can't leave before this is resolved.”

"The way the Granilith works . . .”

“I don't really want to hear about how the damn-”

“I know you don't-”

“You can't just leave us with a killer out there.”

“I don't have a choice!”

“Not anymore, but you did and then you got Tess pregnant!”

“I know you're upset.”

“I-I trusted you, I gave you everything. I jumped off bridges for you, I broke laws for you, I risked getting shot for you. I trusted you! And you go off- God, with Tess- God, I saved myself for you!”

“Saved yourself? You slept with Kyle!” he shouted and as he said it, he knew it wasn’t true.

“Take me home.”

* * *

“I always thought when we graduated I would give you my ring. It looks like I won't graduate, so, this is something from where I'll be.” He handed her the pendant, the one with the swirling symbol from his home.

“I can't believe that this is what I have of you. I can't believe that after everything . . .”

“Liz, you never slept with Kyle, did you?” He watched her shake her head no and then he said with a tremor in his voice, “I wish, I wish this all could have been different. I wish that so much.” He kissed her suddenly, he couldn’t help himself.

“I guess that . . . this is our goodbye.” A tear spilled down her cheek and she said, “Just tell me one thing do you love her?”

“Not like I love you.”

* * *

“Max stop! It was Tess. Tess killed Alex. She mindwarped Alex and sent him to Las Cruces to decode the book, but he broke out of the mindwarp and she killed him.”

“It's true,” Kyle said to back her up. “I was there, I witnessed it.”

“Why didn't you ever say anything?” Max asked in shock.

“Because she mindwarped me!”

* * *

“I've been really wrong about a lot. But I was right about one thing: To get you into my life, to be around you, to love you.”

* * *

“Earth to Liz!” Kyle waved his hand in front of her face and he watched as her eyes refocused.

“Kyle!” Liz said too loudly and she cringed as the librarian admonished her with a stern glare.

“Hey,” he said and pulled out the chair next to her and turned it around backwards. He sat down facing her with his arms folded over the backrest and he noticed the paper in front of her filled with squirrelly lines and doodles. “You’re not into Econ either huh?”

“What?” Liz asked and then looked down at the paper in front of her. She hadn’t realized she’d been scribbling randomly while she was lost in her daydreams.

“Econ just sucks,” Kyle said with disdain. “I hate that class. And Mr. Murphy is an idiot.”

“You think all your teachers are idiots, Kyle,” Liz said with a laugh. She covered her mouth with her hand when Mrs. Whitecliff glared at her again.

“No I don’t,” Kyle responded and then he smiled. “I think the new English teacher is hot!”

“You mean Ms. Brooks?” Liz asked and raised her eyebrows at the smirk on his face.

“Yeah! Christina,” he said as he drawled out her name and shook his hand like it was on fire. Liz rolled her eyes at his antics and he laughed lightly. “Anyway, when are we gonna get together to go over that assignment for Journalism?”

“What about tonight, at the Crashdown?” Liz suggested.

“Are you working?”

“Yeah, but I get off at 7:00. You could just meet me then. It should be a slow night, and we can just take over one of the booths.”

“Okay, I’ll see you then,” Kyle said as he rose to his feet. Liz watched him as he sauntered out of the library and then she saw him do a double take as the new English teacher walked by.

Shaking her head again, she turned back to the book in front of her, but it wasn’t long before her eyes lost focus once again and memories flooded over her once again . . .

Breaking this into 2 posts. Be right back

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 14-Oct-2001 5:21:28 AM ]
posted on 13-Oct-2001 5:19:32 AM by Breathless
Part 1 continued . . .

“Liz . . .”

“Max. What are you doing here?” He had startled her and she’d almost dropped her pen. She closed her journal and set it on the table next to her, and placed the pen beside it. He was hovering at the top of her ladder, waiting nervously for an indication that it was okay for him to be here.

“Is this a bad time?” he asked. His eyes had that pleading look to them, like he was silently begging her to let him stay for awhile.

“It’s late, Max. My parents wouldn’t be happy if they saw you here this late.” She saw the disappointment in his eyes and she couldn’t help the tug at her heart. After waging an internal battle, she said, “You can’t stay long.”

A look of relief washed over his face and he climbed over the balcony wall. He stood there awkwardly for a minute and shoved his hands in the front pockets of his jeans. She noticed that he had changed his clothes from what he was wearing earlier today. His black shirt had been replaced by an olive green t-shirt and his dark jeans were crisp and clean. His hair still looked a little damp, like he had just stepped out of the shower a few minutes ago. He looked at her like he wasn’t sure what he wanted to say to her.

“It’s been a long day Max-”

“Liz,” he blurted out and pulled his hands out of his pockets as he stepped closer to her. “I’m sorry Liz. You’ll never know how truly sorry I am for what’s happened between us. I never meant to hurt you.”

She could hear the catch in his voice, and she felt that sinking feeling in her stomach as she relived the pain of the last day. His goodbye in the jeep last night, his final kiss, his confession that he’d been with Tess, that he’d . . . that she was . . .pregnant.

“Liz,” he pleaded as she turned away from him. “Can you look at me? Can we talk about this?”

“Max,” Liz whispered and then tiredly covered her face with her hands. She’d been so relieved this morning when she reached him in time to tell him what she knew. That Tess had killed Alex and then the truth had come out, that Tess was really taking them back to their home so that they could face execution at the hands of his enemies. Afterwards, everything had started catching up with her. The emotions, the betrayal, the hurt, the pain. Max Evans had broken her heart. He’d ripped it out and walked all over it, and here he was, telling her he was sorry.

“Liz, I didn’t know . . . I thought that you had moved on, and that you wanted me to do the same. I lost my way Liz. I lost . . . I lost my faith in us, and I shouldn’t have. I’ll never forgive myself for that-”

“Max, please . . .” Liz whispered, trying to hold back the tears.

“I never stopped lov-”

“I can’t do this right now-” and she burst into tears. Her shoulders were shaking and her legs felt like they were going to collapse. She heard him take a step closer to her and she moved away from him so he couldn’t touch her. Without looking at him, she said, “I’m tired Max. I think you should go.”

He hung his head and his voice was thick with disappointment as he said, “Okay.” His shoulders were slumped as he turned back toward the ladder and he knew things could never be the same between them again. He had hurt her too deeply. The one thing that he had never wanted to do, the thing that had kept him away from her for so long, was the fear of hurting her, and in the end that’s just what he had done. His hand reached for the top rung of the ladder and he froze in place as he heard her say his name.

“Max . . .”

He slowly turned around to look at her, and it broke his heart to see her tear streaked face. Her arms were folded over her chest, like she was cold and then a trembling hand tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. She brushed a freshly spilled tear off her cheek and her mouth was quivering as she asked, “Did you really fall in love with her?”

He swallowed hard past the lump in his throat and he felt his own eyes filling with moisture. He knew he had to tell her the truth, that he could never lie to her if he wanted any chance with her again. “I-”he started to answer, and then he had to clear his throat before he could tell her what he had to say. “I have memories of Zan loving Ava, in another life. But I’ve only been in love once. With you.”

Liz burst into tears again and her hands quickly covered her face to block out the sound. Max took a step toward her but she hurried through her window and closed it quickly. He watched her cross her bedroom and enter her bathroom and then close the door behind her. He could hear the sound of her crying drifting to him on the night air and a tear spilled down his own cheek, followed by another, and then another as he blindly turned away.

* * * * *

The bells above the Crashdown doors chimed and Liz looked up to see Max walking hesitantly toward his favorite booth. An uncertain smile crossed his face as their eyes met and she could see the way his leg bounced nervously up and down as he slid into the booth. He’d been giving her the distance that she’d said she needed, but it was killing him inside not being near her.

“Prince Charming’s here to see you,” Maria nudged Liz as she walked by with a plate of Saturn Rings.

“Not funny, Maria,” Liz said deadly serious.

“Liz, you know he loves you. Tess is gone. It’s over. It’s in the past. Let it go. You know you won’t be happy until you’re back together. You love him Liz.”

“Sometimes love isn’t enough,” Liz said softly.

“Liz, you two are soul-”

“Don’t even say it!” Liz quickly cut Maria off. Maria gave her a ‘you know it’s true’ look and Liz shot back, “How would you feel if Michael had gotten Courtney pregnant? Or what if that scare with Isabel had been real? Would you so easily forget and forgive?”

“Liz . . .” Maria said, suddenly at a loss for words.

“Believe me, it’s a lot easier to say it, than to do it. I’ve been trying, but it’s so hard . . .”

Maria could hear the quiver in her best friends voice and she laid her hand gently on Liz’s arm. “Just talk to him. Maybe you’ll never be . . . maybe you can at least be friends.” Liz dropped her eyes to her order pad and Maria put her finger under her chin and lifted her face up. Their eyes met again and Maria said, “Just talk to him. That’s all.”

Liz hesitated and then Maria could see her relent. Liz glanced once more in his direction and said, “I’ll go take his order.”

Maria watched her life long friend cross the room and her heart cried for the two of them. Max looked so nervous and unsure and he was hurting just as much as Liz was. He’d been stupid and foolish, and they were both suffering because of it. As Liz neared his booth, Maria watched their interaction and absently ate her customers order.

“Hey,” Liz said as she came to a stop next to his table.

“Hey,” Max smiled up at her and willed his heart to stop racing in his chest. It didn’t work.

An uncomfortable silence stretched between them, and then they both said at the same time, “How’ve you been?”

They both laughed nervously and then Max said, “You go first.”

“I’m fine,” Liz answered and her eyes darted from her order pad to his face and then to the napkin dispenser and then focused on his hand resting on the table. “Busy,” she said, looking up at his eyes again. “Tourist season.”

“Yeah,” Max nodded, and swallowed hard. “The UFO Center has been a mad house. The Crash Festival is coming up, you know . . . really busy . . .”and his voice trailed off. He couldn’t take his eyes off her face, until she looked directly at him and then he had to look away. He could still see so much hurt in her eyes.

“Do you want something to eat?” Liz asked and he looked up at her again.

“Just a cherry coke,” Max answered.

“Are you sure?” Liz asked. “I can’t tempt you with a Mercury Burger, heavy on the Tabasco sauce?”

“I’m not really hungry,” he said offhandedly and then dropped his eyes as he added, “I haven’t had much of an appetite lately.”

“Max? Are you okay?” she said worriedly. Without conscious thought she slid into the booth across from him. She’d noticed how thin he’d become and he looked a little rough around the edges. There were shadows under his eyes and his skin had a pallor about it.

“I’m fine, I mean . . . you know, I’m fine.” He stumbled over his words because he really wasn’t fine. He wasn’t fine at all. Her hand reached out and covered his and he blurted out, “I miss you.”

“Max-” Liz said softly and pulled her hand back.

“I’m sorry,” he said hastily. He watched her fold her hands into her lap and his voice dropped, “I shouldn’t have said that. Maybe . . . maybe I should go. I’m really sorry.”

He started to rise from the table and Liz stopped him with a hand on his arm. “Wait. I’ll go get your drink.” He sat back down and she hurried to the fountain. She poured his cherry coke in a cup and added a liberal dose of Tabasco sauce and then applied a lid. Grabbing a straw, she turned back toward him and saw that he was standing next to the table.

“Here you go,” she said holding it out to him.

“Thanks.” He took it from her hand and he reluctantly turned to leave. As he neared the front doors he heard the sound of her voice right behind him and he stopped in his tracks.


He turned around slowly and she was just a few feet away from him. She was holding her order pad in one hand and her pencil in the other and her large chocolate eyes were looking up at him. The moment stretched between them and his heart ached for what they once had. He ached to touch her, to hold her hand they way he used to, to feel that spark at the moment his lips met hers. He couldn’t stop thinking of her, or dreaming of her. He couldn’t stop loving her.

“I miss you too, Max.”

She held his gaze for a moment and then she turned away. He watched her as she walked toward the door at the back of the café, watched how Maria went to her side with a concerned look on her face, watched how Liz shook her off and pulled the antenna headband out of her hair and let it fall to the floor. Maria stared back at him with a look that said, ‘What did you do to her?’ and then followed Liz into the back.

Max stood there not knowing what to do or how to feel. She said she missed him, but what did that mean? He missed her and she missed him, and that should make him happy, but when Maria had pushed through the door to follow her, he could hear her in the back room crying. He slowly walked across the café and he came to a stop at the door. He looked through the diamond shaped window, saw Maria consoling a sobbing Liz and when their eyes met, Maria slowly shook her head no. Not now. Leave her alone for now. His eyes dropped and he turned away, heavy of heart for what he had put Liz through. He set the cup of cherry coke down on the counter and quietly left the Crashdown.

* * * * *

“Hi,” Max said softly next to her ear and Liz jumped, startled out of her memories.

“Hi,” she answered and closed her eyes as he nuzzled her ear. She breathed in deeply, taking in his rich scent and then she opened her eyes as he pulled slightly away from her. He straddled the chair that Kyle had vacated a few minutes ago, and then took her hand in his. “What are you doing?”

“Homework assignment,” she answered. “You know, homework? You remember what that is?”

He rose from the chair and he put his lips close to her cheek again and said, “Come with me.”

“Max, what?” His hand covered hers and he started to pull her to her feet. “Max, no!” she protested. “I have all this homework to do!”

He looked down into her eyes and he said, “Screw homework.”

Liz watched him as he closed her book and gathered her belongings together. His eyes scanned the room and she frowned at him, wondering what he was looking for. Satisfied by whatever he had seen, or not seen, he shoved her things in her backpack and pulled her to her feet. “Come on.”

“Max,” Liz protested. “Where are we going?”

His eyes searched her face and then settled intently on her eyes, and he asked, “Do you trust me?”

She looked up at him and she could tell he needed an honest answer. Looking into his eyes she answered without hesitation, “Yes.”

He smiled then and he grabbed her backpack with one hand, and took her hand in the other. He let his fingers entwine with hers and then he kissed her lightly on the forehead. He looked down at her once more and then he was pulling her out of the library.

His grip on her hand was tight as they moved through the hallway, and soon she had to almost run to keep up with his long strides. He kept looking around him, like he was looking for something or someone, something that she’d noticed he did a lot of lately. His hand tightened even more and he was almost running down the hall now. They rounded a corner and then suddenly Max opened a door and pulled her inside quickly. She looked around the room while Max checked the hallway to see if they had been noticed, and then closed the door.

“Max,” Liz said as he turned to look at her. “The eraser room?”

He dropped her backpack on the floor and swept her into his arms. His lips hungrily attacked hers and his arms clutched her soft body tightly against him. In his haste to consume her lips they stumbled against the wall and the shelving unit and then he leaned her against the table in the middle of the room. He had one hand buried in her hair, and he held on to her so that she couldn’t get away.

“Max . . .” she finally was able to breathe out as his lips moved to her chin and then down along her throat. The little white buttons down the front of her red sweater popped open of their own volition, one after another, and his lips moved lower, down the valley between her breasts. His hand slid up her ribs, under her sweater until he encountered the lacy material of her bra.

“Max . . .” she moaned this time.

“Do you want me to stop?” he asked breathlessly. He had lifted his head from the heated skin between her breasts and his burning eyes were staring down into hers. “I’ll stop if you want me to.”

She looked up at him, knowing that he was telling her the truth. If she said yes, he would stop, and he would help her straighten her clothes and there would be no repercussions. She’d asked him to stop before when she felt things were moving too fast, and he’d complied, yielding to her wishes. She stared up at his hungry eyes and after a brief hesitation, she said, “No. I don’t want you to stop.”

He stared at her lips and then at her eyes and then at her lips before his mouth swooped down to capture hers again. His hand slid over her bra and her breast filled his palm, with her erect nipple pressed firmly against his skin through the lacy fabric. His body was leaning against hers, feeling her inner heat, and his erection hadn’t gone unnoticed. “Max . . .” she said again as he made the trek down her throat once more.

She could feel his sensual lips move down between her breasts, and then his fingers pulled her bra strap down her shoulder. He lifted his face from her heated skin while his fingers peeled her sweater away from her left side. Her skin was creamy, pale, in stark contrast to the black lace of her bra. As her lungs filled with air, her chest rose and then fell and Max was mesmerized by it. His fingers traced along the skin at the upper edge of her bra, skin that was soft and silky and smooth. His hand covered her, letting the fullness of her breast fill his palm, separated only by the lace. He didn’t want that separation. He wanted to touch her skin. He wanted to taste her sweet flesh. But the haunting question remained. Would she allow them to become what in his heart he knew they could be?

He felt her fingers rake through his hair, pulling him back down to her lips and he eagerly accepted her invitation. He kissed her hard, both of them lost in their passion and his fingers slipped under the black lace. He pulled the stretchy material aside and then cupped her breast, feeling her hard nipple pressing against his palm. She moaned as he touched her, a moan that made his heart race faster and it encouraged him to keep going. His hand massaged her breast and his thumb stimulated her nipple, teasing it to a rigid peak. He wanted to taste her now. He wanted to take that sweet nipple and suck on it. He wanted Liz to want it too.

“Max,” she mumbled against his mouth. She wanted him so badly. There was no reason to deny it. He was firmly entrenched between her thighs and she could feel his aroused manhood pressed firmly against her. Unable to contain it, she moaned again. “Max . . .”

“What the hell is going on in here?” a voice boomed as the eraser room suddenly filled with light.

posted on 13-Oct-2001 1:49:54 PM by Breathless
Just testing to see if this works
posted on 19-Oct-2001 12:05:07 AM by Breathless
Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz
Rating and Disclaimer: See page 1

Echoes of Tomorrow

Part 2

The clock on the wall loudly clicked off the passing seconds, accentuating the silence in the room. She could hear the sound of Max’s footfalls as he paced back and forth behind her and she rubbed her hand worriedly over her face, feeling the stress mounting. Voices drifted through the closed door on their left. Raised voices. Angry voices.

“-his fault-”

“wait just one damn minute-”

“-that hoodlum-”

“-your daughter wasn’t exactly fighting him off, now was she?”

“Please, can we keep this civil-”

“-what kind of son are you raising-”

“she’s not exactly innocent here-”

“What’s that suppose to mean?”

“People, people, please-”

“Oh shut up! That bastard out there-”

Max walked up behind the chair Liz was sitting in and gently touched her on the shoulder. She looked up into his worried eyes and she lifted her hand to cover his. She tilted her head sideways until her cheek was resting against the warm flesh on the back of his hand and she felt him squat down behind her. She turned in the chair so she could look at him and he gently tucked an errant strand of hair behind her ear.

“I’m sorry, Liz. I didn’t mean for this to happen.”

“I know.” They both looked toward the Principle’s door as the voices raised again, and then she felt Max’s fingers stroke across her cheek.

“Your Dad doesn’t sound too happy,” Max said as their eyes met again.

“No, he doesn’t.”

“What do you think he’ll do?”

“I have a good idea,” Liz said knowingly.

“I love you, Liz.” His hand gently caressed the skin on her face and he leaned forward to touch his forehead to hers. “No matter what. You know that, right?”

“I know-”

Max and Liz both jumped apart as the door to the Principle’s office was wrenched open and an angry Jeff Parker stormed out. His face was livid and he glared at Max as he drew near. “We’re going home,” he said to Liz, trying to control his anger. “You’ve been suspended for two days. Get your stuff. We’re leaving.”

“Mr. Park-” Max started to apologize and was cut off.

“YOU,” Jeff shouted and pointed his finger in Max’s face. “I told you before to stay away from my daughter! I don’t want you anywhere around her. You got that?”


“Don’t come around the Crashdown. Don’t come around my home,” Jeff seethed. “Don’t come near my family.”


“Mr. Parker-”

“Leave it alone, Max,” Philip Evans warned. “Let’s just go home and we’ll talk about this later.”

Max looked down at his father’s hand on his arm and he angrily wrenched it free, “I don’t live there anymore, remember? You kicked me out!”

“What the hell happened to you?” Jeff asked as he looked Max up and down. “A year ago you were a nice kid, and now . . . You get my daughter arrested. You get her suspended from school. Are you on drugs? Is that why you’ve changed so much? Look at you. You look like a drug addict, walking the streets looking for your next fix-”

“Dad, please!”

“I’m warning you Max. Stay away from Liz.” He looked at Max with disgust and then pushed Liz toward the hallway. She grabbed her backpack quickly and looked at Max, seeing the same distress reflected in his eyes that she was feeling. Her father guided her from the room and Max felt depression descend upon him as she disappeared from sight.

* * * * *

Liz stared out the window as her father drove in silence to the Crashdown. The only time she’d ever seen him this angry before was that night in Utah, when she got arrested. With Max. He had every right to be upset with her, with Max, with both of them. She wasn’t her father’s innocent little girl anymore, and Max had a lot to do with that. When you give up everything you ever wanted to try to save the world, you tended to grow up fast.

Her thoughts drifted once again as the houses passed by, houses that held no significance for her, no connection, no meaning. The landscape she barely even recognized as memories returned . . .

“Here Liz,” Michael said as he finished packaging a ‘to go’ order. “I have a delivery for you.”

“Where to?” she asked absently. Maria usually did the deliveries, but she was running late and she hadn’t shown up yet.

“Across the street,” Michael answered and waited for her reaction. It was swift.

“No,” she shook her head. “No no. Someone else has to take it. I can’t go over there.”

“You’re the only one, Liz,” Michael insisted. “Maria’s not here yet and Agnes is out sick, not that she’d have done it anyway, but whatever.” He looked at her and shrugged his shoulders and said, “Sorry.” He wasn’t sorry though. Not one little bit.

“You take it Michael,” Liz pleaded. “I’ll cover the kitchen while you run it over to him.”

“Sorry, no can do. I’m not leaving the paying customers at the mercy of your cooking. You might be about the smartest person I know, but you can’t cook Liz.”

“Michael, I can’t . . .”

“Just take it over to him, Liz,” Michael insisted. “You’ll be there and back in five minutes. Maybe less. Hell, he’s probably so busy over there you won’t even have to talk to him.”

She closed her eyes and drew a deep breath, steeling herself for a face to face encounter with Max. God, it still hurt so much to see him. To run into him on the street or in a store, or to watch him from the safety of the Crashdown as he came and went across the street at the UFO Center.

“It’s getting cold, Liz.”

She refocused and took the bag that he was holding out to her and took another deep breath. She set her shoulders determinedly and turned to leave the Crashdown, on her way to face Max for the first time in more days than she wanted to remember.

“Hey!” Michael called out as she opened the front doors. She looked back at him expectantly and he said, “Make sure he gives you a big tip.”

“Sure, Michael.” She might have rolled her eyes or come back with a witty remark in another time, but those days were far behind her. She was living in the here and now, and nothing seemed very funny anymore.

Michael watched her cross the street with her head hung low and he said softly, “You can come out now.” Maria joined him and they both watched Liz get swallowed up by the gaping maw of the UFO Center.

“Do you think it will work?” Maria asked.

“It better work,” Michael answered, and he draped his arm over Maria’s shoulder affectionately. “If they don’t work things out pretty soon, they’re both gonna die of broken hearts.”

* * * * **

Max was trying to stay focused on counting the inventory in the back room but the numbers would keep slipping away and then he’d have to start counting all over again. It was just so hard to concentrate sometimes, when all he could think about was Liz. Something had happened to her last fall, something that he’d probably never know since she wouldn’t talk to him anymore. She’d pretended to sleep with Kyle, which she hadn’t, in order to push him to be with Tess, which he did, and in the process everyone’s lives got fucked up royal. Royal, what a joke, he thought and raked his fingers through his unkempt hair. The Royal Four. The Royal Fuck-Ups was more like it. Jesus, it was a nightmare. A God damn living nightmare. He just wanted things to be the way they used to be.

He heard a knock on the door and his attention was distracted from the inventory and he lost count again. “Shit,” he mumbled under his breath and then he called out, “Wha da ya want?”

The knock came again and he swore under his breath once again. He threw the alien head keychains back in the box and he grumbled as he made his way to the door, “I can’t get a God damn thing done if I keep getting interrupted all the time.”

He yanked the door open with a harsh “What-” and then he clamped his mouth shut. His heart was suddenly pounding in his throat and he let out a strangled, “Liz . . .”

“They – they told me you were here,” Liz stammered and pointed back in the direction she’d just come from. “I – I brought your lunch . . .”

“My lunch?” Max asked. He finally took his eyes off her face and noticed she was holding out a brown paper bag to him. Why was she bringing him lunch? He hadn’t ordered anything.

“Yeah, Michael had me bring it over.”

“Michael . . .”

“Yeah, well, he couldn’t bring it because, well, whatever, anyway . . .” She was flustered seeing him again, and she couldn’t get anything to come out right. “It comes to $6.42.”

“$6.42 . . .” Max repeated. It was slowly dawning on him what was going on. Was Maria trying to play matchmaker? Trying to throw them together to re-ignite the sparks that used to be there? Had he told Maria lately how much he loved her? If this was her idea then he was going to give her one big kiss if it worked.

“Yeah, $6.42.”

He arched his eyebrows, realizing he couldn’t just stand here staring at her and he reached into his back pocket to retrieve his wallet. He flipped it open and Liz glanced at it as he pawed through it. He pulled out three singles and then shoved them back in. That wasn’t enough.

He was about to suggest they go upstairs so he could get some money out of his desk when she said, “You still have that picture . . . of us.”

He looked down at his wallet and saw what she was looking at. Right there, the first thing you could see when his wallet was open was the picture he had of the two of them, taken in the spring of tenth grade, when everything had been good between them. In the picture they were smiling. They were happy. They were in love.

“I never took it out,” he said and her eyes rose to meet his. He couldn’t take it out. To take it out would have meant giving her up, and he could never do that. Even now, when he had no hope at all, he couldn’t part with it. Sometimes, he felt as if it was all he had left of her.

“Oh.” She couldn’t think of anything else to say.

“Um . . . I’ve got money up in the office,” he said and he put his wallet away. He started to walk in that direction and she hung back, not sure if she should follow. He stopped and the smile that he showed her had a painful edge to it, knowing everything they had lost. He gave his head a nod toward the stairs and he said softly, “Come on.”

She hesitated and he thought she was going to decline and then he could see her change her mind. The toe of her shoe kind of kicked at the ground like she wasn’t sure if she wanted to take that first step and then she walked along next to him as he lead the way.

“Here,” she said, holding the bag out to him.

“Thanks,” Max said as he took it from her and he said, “I wonder what Michael made for me?”

“What do you mean?” Liz asked with a slight frown.

“I mean . . .” Oh shit! He’d almost blown it! Should he go along with the subterfuge, or should he be completely honest with her. Was even a little white lie too much? It wasn’t a lie meant to cover up something hurtful or wrong, just a little white lie by friends that meant well. “Look Liz, I didn’t really-”

“You didn’t order the lunch, did you?” Liz said and he could see her bite down on her lower lip. She had a habit of doing that, especially when she was upset or nervous.

“No, I didn’t,” he answered. Was she going to leave now, because it had all been a setup? Was she going to walk out of his life again and he’d have to just stand here and watch her do it?

“It must have been Maria’s idea,” Liz said and she tucked her hair behind her ear.

“It sounds like a Maria idea,” and he grinned when she flashed a quick smile.

“So . . .” she said feeling awkward.

“We could turn the tables on them, to get back at them,” Max suggested. His pulse started to race as he formulated a plan and he wondered if she would go along with it. No, she’d never go for it. It was a stupid idea. He should have kept his mouth shut-

“What do you mean?” she asked and he thought she sounded interested.

“I could walk you out to the street in front of the UFO Center and I could take you in my arms and kiss you passionately and you could pretend for a minute that you were kissing me back, cuz you just know they’re going to be watching through the window. And they’ll be eating it up, thinking their little ploy worked and so proud of themselves and then you could pull away and, and slap my face or something, and then you could storm into the Crashdown.” She didn’t say anything, just stared up at him with her big dark eyes and he finished lamely, “And then maybe they wouldn’t try a dumb stunt like this again.”

He held his breath waiting for her answer and as the seconds ticked by he knew how stupid he had been. “I know, I know, dumb ide-”

“Okay,” she said quietly and Max couldn’t believe what he’d heard.

“Okay?” It came out more as a squeak instead of a word, but Liz was nodding her head and he knew he must have heard her right.

“We could try something like that,” Liz said and gave him a hesitant smile. “We can’t let them get away with trying to manipulate us.”

“Right,” Max nodded. “Right. God knows what they’d try next, you know?”

“Right,” Liz agreed. “That’s right.”

They reached the office and Max set the bag down in the middle of the desk, walked around it and opened the middle drawer. He took out an envelope from inside and opened it, taking out a $20 bill. “I don’t have anything smaller.”

Liz patted the pockets of her uniform, but she didn’t have any money on her. She looked up as Max came up beside her and he held the twenty out for her to take. “I can give the change to Michael after I go back, and he can give it to you later,” Liz suggested.

“That’s okay. You keep the change.” They stared at each other for a minute and then Liz took the twenty out of his hand. She started to turn, to leave and Max said hastily, “You can’t go yet. You need to help me eat this lunch and then we need to make Michael and Maria suffer.”

“Well . . .”

“Please, don’t go yet . . .”

“Okay,” she said softly.

Max ushered her into a chair in front of his desk and he went around to the other side. He pulled up his chair and opened up the bag, taking out the mysterious contents. A smile crossed his face when he saw two sandwiches inside and an order of fries big enough for them both. “The turkey must be for you, and the ham and cheese for me.”

“Those two,” Liz said shaking her head as she took the offered sandwich and made some space on the edge of his desk. She moved a nameplate and then she noticed what it said. ‘Max Evans, Manager’.

“What’s this?” she asked in surprise.

“Nothing, really,” Max answered.

“It says ‘Manager’. That’s not nothing.”

“Acting Manager,” Max corrected her. He saw her eyebrow arch upwards and he elaborated, “Brody went back to England for the summer. His mother died and he had to settle her estate, you know, stuff like that. He left me in charge while he’s gone. No big deal. It’s just temporary.”

“That’s really good Max, that he trusted you with that kind of responsibility.” She could see that her praise had touched him and she wasn’t sure what to feel about that. “Congratulations.”


* * * * *

“Is she still over there? Is she still over there?” Maria asked excitedly.

“Yes,” Michael answered for the umpteenth time.

They were staring through the Crashdown windows and everything was quiet at the UFO Center across the street. “I just know this is gonna work!” Maria jumped up and down, barely able to contain her enthusiasm.

“Quiet, here they come.”

“What are they doing? What are they doing?”

“Why don’t you just look!”

“I AM looking!”

* * * * *

“Can you see them?” Liz asked and stopped near the edge of the sidewalk.

“Yeah, they’re both there. Maria’s bouncing all over Michael.” Max came to a stop a couple of feet from Liz and he couldn’t help feeling nervous.

“So . . .”

“Well, if we want this to work, I have to make it look real,” Max said and he stepped closer to her. His hands were sweating and his heart was pounding and he was sure she was just going to turn and walk away. “It can’t be just a . . .”

“quick kiss,” she finished for him. “I know. It has to be . . .”


“I understand,” Liz said and Max moved even closer.

His hand rose up to touch her cheek and he brushed her hair back from her face. He willed his hand not to shake, not to give himself away, not to show her how much he wanted this to be real. It was just an act, a ploy, to make Michael and Maria back off. When it was over, everyone would understand that Liz didn’t want him anymore, and he would go back into his office, and die a thousand deaths.

He leaned closer, hesitated, and then his lips were touching hers. She was doing her part, making it look real as she kissed him back and her arms went around his shoulders. His fingers threaded through her hair and he held the back of her head while he crushed his lips to hers. They stood in the middle of the sidewalk, passionately kissing, holding each other tightly and then all too soon he reluctantly pulled away.

And now the moment was upon them, when his fantasy would come to an end, and she’d walk away and he would have to let her go. It took him a moment to find his voice, and when he finally found the will to speak, he said, “You’re suppose to slap me now . . . to show them . . . how much you hate me, so they’ll leave us alone.”

He couldn’t take his eyes off her beautiful face and then he felt her hand lift from his shoulder. He knew that it was coming and he braced himself for the impact, knowing the hurt wasn’t going to be physical. He closed his eyes, not wanting to see the look on her face when she unleashed her well deserved wrath.

He hadn’t realized he was holding his breath until her hand caressed his cheek and the air rushed right out of him. His eyes popped open in surprise and he looked down at her, certain he had to be dreaming.

“I enjoyed lunch, Max,” she said so softly it was barely more than a whisper.

He felt her thumb brush lightly over his lower lip and she stepped away and hurried across the street. He stood there for long minutes afterwards, just thinking about how she had felt in his arms, how her lips had tasted, how she had touched his cheek so tenderly. A small smile graced his face as he realized they had just taken a first step on the long road to reconciliation, but at least it was a step.

* * * * *

The vibration of the car was soothing and Liz was glad her father had remained silent throughout the long ride home. She knew there would be angry voices later, shouting and probably a fair amount of crying on her part, but for now everything was quiet.

Her thoughts still dwelled on that day back at the end of June, the day that Max had opened up without even realizing it, and showed her what his life had been like for the last year. When his lips had touched hers it had all come flooding into her, and she’d nearly drowned under the weight of it.

Elizabeth Parker wasn’t the only one who had suffered a broken heart.

TBC . . .

Look for Part 3 next week, maybe on Monday

posted on 23-Oct-2001 2:08:36 AM by Breathless
Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz
Rating: Will range from PG 13 to NC 17. You never know when that NC 17 mood will strike, so be prepared.

Author Note: Carol000, look for Dying Embers on the repost board. If you can't find it, e-mail me.

Thanks to everyone for all the feedback. Roswell leaves me with such mixed feelings now. *Sigh*

Echoes of Tomorrow

Part 3

Liz listened carefully to the sounds of the house as she lay on her bed staring up at the ceiling. Her parents had gone to bed half an hour ago and now all she could hear was the occasional creaking of the floor or the walls as the house settled. The clock on her nightstand ticked off the seconds and when the hands pointed straight up, midnight, she picked up the phone. His voice sounded in her ear even before she heard it ring on the other end.


“Hi, Max.” She turned over on her side and reached her hand out to touch the photograph on her nightstand. His photograph. Her fingertip touched his smiling lips and for the first time in hours she felt herself begin to relax. His voice had a way of doing that to her.


She could actually hear the smile in his voice. That gentle smile of his, the one she hadn’t seen much of in the last year. She brought his picture closer to her and curled up around it.

“I miss you,” Max said softly. “I wish I could be there right now.”

“Me too,” Liz sighed.

“Was it bad?” he asked.


“Are they really angry?”


“They’re not gonna let me see you, are they?”

“No. Maybe. I don’t know.” Liz said, expressing her turmoil.

“Liz?” he said wistfully.


“Run away with me. Let’s just leave-”

“Max, we can’t do that.”

“Yes we can, Liz. Just you and me. We’ll go where no one knows us, where no one knows about my past, or expects anything from us in the future. We can just be us, together, the way we want it to be. The world’s out there, and we can get lost in it. No one will ever find us. We could get a little place out on some sandy beach by the ocean, with no neighbors for miles. We could watch the sunset on the horizon every night, and then-”

“Max, we can’t run away from who we are.”

“I know,” he said disappointedly. “But it’s a good dream, isn’t it?”

“It’s a beautiful dream, Max.”

“I have to see you.”


“Tomorrow’s so far away.”

“Not if you go to sleep. It will be here before you know it.”

“How are you gonna get away from your parents?” Max asked anxiously.

“I’ll figure out a way. In the mean time, you should get some rest. I promise, I will see you tomorrow.”

“Okay. Goodnight, Liz,’ Max said and he couldn’t hide the note of melancholy in his tone.


Max heard the click as she hung up the phone and the line went dead in his hand. He held it for a moment, listening to the silence as he lay on the couch in Michael’s apartment. He could hear activity coming from outside, people coming and going from their apartments even at this late hour of the night, but he paid them no attention.

Only two things filled his thoughts tonight. The first was what had consumed his thoughts from his earliest memories. The girl with the face that had captured his heart the first time he ever saw her. The girl with the most beautiful smile he had ever seen. The girl with the silkiest hair he had ever touched. The girl that he loved beyond reason. It was thoughts of Liz that kept him sane.

The second was the dreams. The nightmares that would send him to the very edge and leave him tottering on the precipice. What would come tonight? The torture or the terror? The pain or the panic? The nightmares or the visions that would tear him out of a peaceful sleep, and send him straight to hell?

* * * * *

Liz turned over once again and finally gave up the fight. Sleep was not going to come easily tonight. Her room was illuminated by a ray of moonlight that spilled across her bedroom floor and she pulled her covers aside and padded over to the window. The world outside was quiet at this late hour of the night and it gave Liz time to think, and remember . . .

She walked along the edge of the park and she couldn’t help noticing the young and even not so young lovers that walked hand in hand along the paths or sat on the park benches enjoying a warm summer evening. In another time, she’d been one of them, living in the moment and loving Max. Before everything had gone bad.

Avoiding the sights around her, she kept her eyes focused on the ground as she put one foot in front of the other, trying not to think, trying not to feel, trying to just blend into the background. A familiar presence entered her sphere and she knew he was near even before she saw him. He was ambling slowly along the edge of the pond with his hands in his pockets and her footsteps faltered and she paused next to a large oak tree.

He stooped down and picked up a small stone and Liz watched Max as he pitched it into the water. He watched it as it skipped across the surface and then his head drooped and his hands went back into his pockets. He looked like he was concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other as he walked in her direction and she was contemplating whether she should stand her ground or flee when he looked up and their eyes met.

His footsteps faltered and he came to a sudden stop not twenty feet from her. Even in the dark she could see the myriad of emotions that crossed his face, emotions that he just couldn’t hide. Elation just to see her, indecision on how he should react, fear that she would turn away from him and walk into the night. When she didn’t move, he took a tentative step toward her, and then another.

“Hi Liz,” Max said with an uncertain smile on his face. Her hands were hanging loosely at her sides and he noticed her fingers fidgeting in a nervous kind of way.

“Hi Max.”

“I – I tried to call you,” Max said and his eyes dropped self-consciously, “but I kept getting your answering machine.”

“I know,” Liz answered and when he looked up in surprise she added, “Caller ID.”

“Oh,” he nodded his head. When he had called her and hung up without leaving a message, he hadn’t thought of that. His small smile was self mocking as he uttered, “Stupid me.”

Her mouth opened like she was going to say something, and then she closed it and she looked around the park at the benches and the grass and the trees and the people, anywhere but at him. He knew he should probably just say goodnight and leave her alone, but there was so much he wanted to say to her.

Tentatively, he said, “I haven’t seen you since . . . since the other day, you know, when we . . .”

“-had lunch,” Liz finished for him.

“Yeah,” Max nodded.

“I went to Albuquerque for a few days. Family stuff. You know, my Aunt-”

“Your Aunt lives there,” Max said at the same time and smiled uneasily. “I remember.”

They fell quiet and Max could feel the charged air all around them. A thousand things were going through his head, things he wanted to say and questions he wanted to ask and when she moved like she was going to turn away from him he blurted out, “Liz, will you talk to me? Please?”

She looked up at him and said, “What do you want to talk about?” as she turned to walk along the path. He fell into step beside her, remembering a time when he used to hold her hand on a night like this, with the stars shinning brightly above them and the moon lighting their way.

“I-”he started to say and then stopped in mid thought. What exactly did he want to talk about? Where should he start? So much had happened between them, so many things had torn them apart, maybe he should go back to when it all started.

Stealing a glance in her direction, he asked the question he had been wondering for over a year. “Did you go to Florida last summer because you didn’t want to be around me anymore? Because you wanted to end things between us and you thought leaving was the best way to do it?”

“No,” Liz answered softly and she winced at the desolate tone of his voice. “I went to Florida so that I could get the strength to let you go.” She glanced at him quickly and then wished that she hadn’t. His eyes were like the windows to his soul, and a tortured soul it was. “I needed time to learn how to live without you.”

“Why? Because you thought I belonged with Tess?”

“Yes,” she nodded. “I thought I was just in the way of what you were meant to be, of who I thought you were meant to be with.”

“But I loved you, Liz. You meant everything to me.” You still do, he thought but he kept that to himself.

“That’s why I left, Max. So that you could have time to find out what you really wanted. I thought with me here, near you all the time, you wouldn’t be able to look at it clearly, and I thought you needed time to think.” Her voice dropped lower and she added, “I know I did.”

“So when you came back last fall, you decided it would be better for us to just forget about what we had, how we felt about each other. I mean, I understand, you know, that you just wanted a normal life. With a normal guy and a normal future. It was selfish of me to want you to give up everything to be with me. I know that now.”


“I even understand now why you felt you had to stage that scene with Kyle. I wouldn’t leave you alone and I didn’t respect your feelings and just because I’m in love with you doesn’t give me the right to expect you to love me back.” He suddenly realized he said that in the present tense and he hurried on to try to cover it. “I was wrong Liz. I was wrong to try to pressure you to be with me. I should have looked at it from your point of view. If I had backed off, maybe we could have still been friends, and things would have turned out different.”

“Max . . .” she said and covered her eyes with her hand.

Max could see that she was upset and he guided her toward a park bench by the water’s edge. “Sit down, Liz. Please? I’ve upset you and I didn’t mean to. I’m sorry. I just wanted you to know that I understand why you felt you had to-”

“No Max! You don’t understand anything at all!” Liz cried out and Max stared at her in shock. He hadn’t expected this kind of reaction at all. He’d been trying to soothe things over with her, not make them worse. She sat down hard on the park bench and covered her face with both hands and Max was at a complete loss for words as he listened to her cry.

“Liz . . . I didn’t mean to . . .”

“I didn’t want to do it, Max,” Liz cried through her hands. This had been building up for months and when the floodgates opened the words came out in a rush. “I didn’t want to hurt you. I told you to find another way, that I couldn’t do it, but you said I had to. I had to . . .”

“Liz, what are you talking about?” Max asked with concern. He’d never seen her this upset before. She always took things in stride. It was one of the things he loved about her. The day he’d told her the truth about what he really was, that day in the band room at school, he had half expected her to run screaming out of the room, but no, not Liz Parker. Sure, she'd left the room in shock, but how many others would have been so calm? Now she was so upset she couldn’t even talk. “Liz? What did I say?”

She couldn’t keep the secret anymore, and did it really matter anyway? She looked up into his confused eyes and she added to it when she said, “I did what I did because I was told that it had to be that way. I had to make you stop loving me so that you would accept Tess. I wasn’t given a choice.”

“Who said that?” Max asked. “Nasedo? Why would you listen to him? We know he wasn’t trust-”

“No!” Liz blurted out and he could feel her frustration. “It wasn’t Nasedo!”

“Liz, I don’t understand. Who made you-”

“You did!” Liz cried. “You did. You told me it was the only way. You told me you had to be with Tess, and the only way to make that happen was to make you stop loving me. So I made you think I spent the night with Kyle, so you’d let go and you’d be with Tess, the way you were supposed to be. At least that’s what you thought. You seemed so sure. I - I never thought it would end up this way. I almost got you killed!” She collapsed against him, exhausted by the emotions that engulfed her.

He felt her shaking against him and his arms automatically went around her to try to comfort her. He didn’t understand a thing that she’d said, which was shocking in and of itself. She usually always made perfectly logical sense. She had a scientific mind, which was another thing he loved about her, but right now her words made no sense at all. He cupped his hands around her face and lifted her away from his chest so that he could see her and as their eyes met a series of images flashed across his mind. In a moment of weakness she had opened up completely and in a split second Max finally understood why Liz had done what she did. He had literally given her no choice.

“Oh my God, Liz!”

* * * * *

Max lay on his back on Michael’s couch, where he’d spent every night since returning from Utah, except the nights he’d slept in his car. And just like all those other nights, his sleep wasn’t peaceful. His restless legs kicked at the blanket and his hands tried to ward off the monsters that were only in his mind. His eyes darted back and forth beneath his lids and his nightmares once again sucked him in . . .

“This is interesting,” Pierce said as he observed Max. “You’re obviously not from this world, your DNA proves it, yet . . .”

Max watched Pierce like the caged animal that he was, waiting for a chance to make his move. It might not be today, or even tomorrow, but soon, Pierce would make a mistake and Max would have to be ready. He might only get one chance.

“Your blood cells aren’t human. When we look at your tissue samples under a microscope, they’re completely alien, but on the outside and the inside your body structure appears human. One heart, a pair of lungs, digestive and reproductive systems intact. I wonder if you can reproduce with a human, or will your cell structure prevent it? Maybe I should have the boys round up that cute little brunette you’re so taken with, and do a little bit of experimenting. What do you think, Max? Are you up for it? What’s her name again?”

Pierce hovered around him, speaking softly, but the underlying tone was menacing. Max closed his eyes at the mention of Liz, and he pulled at the shackles that bound his wrists. He’d been strapped to this chair for hours and his body was sore and tired, but his physical pain was nothing compared to the panic that seized him at the thought of what they might do to Liz.

“Liz, isn’t that it? Liz Parker,” Pierce said ominously. “Tell me Max, just how close have you and Liz been? You’ve got all the proper equipment and if you act the way most human teenage boys do, I imagine you’ve put that equipment to the test. Yes, I think we need to have a little look at Liz Parker, to see what kind of impact you’ve had on her.”

“No,” Max pleaded. “Leave Liz alone.”

“I think there’s many things we can learn from her,” Pierce said as he stared down at Max, watching his reaction. “How many of your secrets have you told her? If you won’t tell me what I want to know, then maybe I can drag it out of her, one painful secret at a time.” He clicked the device in his hand and the TV in the corner came on. Max focused his eyes on the screen and to his horror he saw Liz strapped to a table, struggling as they fitted the electrical harness around her head. The same torture device they’d used on him earlier that had left him wishing they would just show him mercy and let him die.

“NOOOOOOO!” Max shouted and tried to break through his restraints. “STOP! SHE CAN’T TELL YOU ANYTHING!”

“THEN TELL ME WHAT I WANT TO KNOW!” Pierce shouted back.

“I don’t know anything,” Max cried softly.

Pierce’s features darkened and he walked over to the intercom on the wall. He punched the button hard and he glared at Max as he barked out his order. “Kill the girl.”

“NOOOOOOOOO!” Max screamed as he bolted out of his dream. His heart was pounding in his chest and it took him a moment to realize he was in Michael’s apartment and not still locked up in that government torture chamber. He ran a trembling hand through his hair and then he heard the door to Michael’s bedroom open.

“You okay Max?” Michael asked as he rubbed the sleep from his eyes.

“Yeah,” Max said shakily. “Sorry.”

One look at him and Michael knew Max wasn’t okay. He hadn’t been okay for a long time. He’d lost too much weight and the dark circles under his eyes attested to the fact that he wasn’t sleeping at night. The nightmares were turning into almost a nightly occurrence but Max wouldn’t talk about them.

“You sure?” Michael pressed.

“I’m fine Michael,” Max said, trying to end the discussion. “I’m sorry I woke you up.”

“Maybe it’d help if you talked about it,” Michael suggested. He was worried that if something didn’t improve soon, things were going to spiral out of control. He’d talked to Isabel and she didn’t know how to help him either. Maybe tomorrow he’d talk to Liz. If anyone could help Max, it would be her.

“There’s nothing to talk about Michael. Go back to sleep. I’ll be fine.”


“Goodnight, Michael.”

With a sigh, Michael closed the bedroom door and made his way back to the bed. He slid in between the sheets and Maria curled up against him as he settled down beside her.

“Another nightmare?” she asked.

“Yeah. They’re getting worse.” He wrapped his arm around Maria and pulled her close, seeking the comfort that her presence always gave him. He stared up at the ceiling and said quietly, “I’m worried about him.”

“Maybe I should tell Liz,” Maria offered. “Maybe she can get him to open up.”

“No.” Michael said, shaking his head. “I’ll talk to her, tomorrow at work. I think you’re right though. I think Liz is the only one that can help him.”

* * * * *

Max sat on the couch with his elbows on his knees and his head in his hands, willing his heartrate to slow. At least it’d just been the dream of Pierce this time. He could deal with the memories of what Pierce had done to him. He’d survived the torture and he knew all the images that he’d seen had been fabrications, created to make him believe something that wasn’t real. They’d never really hurt Liz like they tried to make him think. It was all just a manipulation, to try to gain information from him that he didn’t even have.

Max rubbed his trembling hands over his face and called himself lucky. Sometimes the dreams could be so much worse.

* * * * *

Liz came awake with a start and she looked around her room with a sense of alarm. Something was wrong. The house was quiet and she knew it wasn’t a noise that had brought her out of her sleep. She glanced at the clock on her nightstand and noticed the familiar time. 2:27. Why did she always wake up around this time in the morning, with such a sense of dread?

She pulled her covers aside and sat up, throwing her legs over the side of the bed. She sat with her elbows on her knees and rubbed the sleep out of her eyes with the palms of her hands, and then she looked at the picture of Max on her nightstand. She didn’t know how she knew it, but Max needed her. She reached for the phone and then paused as she suddenly changed her mind. Rising to her feet, she moved about her room, slipping on her jeans and then a shirt and a pair of shoes.

Moving toward her window, she had only one thought on her mind. Max needed her, and she had to go to him.

TBC . . .

posted on 27-Oct-2001 2:58:39 AM by Breathless
Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz
Rating: R

Author Note: Thanks for all the great feedback. For those of you enjoying season 3, I'm glad you like it. For those of you having a hard time, join the crowd. I just wish they could make it so I cared about Max again. *sigh*

Echoes of Tomorrow

Part 4

Max sat in the near dark, illuminated only by the glow from the television screen as he flipped from one station to the next. The blanket he had used earlier in the night was bunched at the end of the couch and the pillow was now supporting his remote control entrusted hand. His bare feet were propped up on the coffee table and partially blocking his view, but there wasn’t really anything worth watching on this late at night, so what the hell did it matter?

He’d hit the mute button on the remote when he’d first turned the TV on, out of deference to Michael and Maria sleeping in the next room, so when he heard the sound of a soft knock on the front door it resonated clearly in the quiet room.

“What the hell?” Max mumbled and then looked around the room for a clock. He knew it was still hours before dawn, so who the hell would be knocking on the door in the middle of the night? Maybe one of the neighbors was having a problem or got locked out of their apartment or something. He dropped the remote onto the pillow and with a sigh, he rose from the couch and crossed the room to the front door.

He rubbed one hand across his tired face while his other hand reached for the doorknob and he opened the door carefully to see who was outside. His eyes squinted as the harsh light spilled in from the hallway and at first he didn’t see anyone. He opened the door a little wider and then a lot more when he took in the sight of Liz standing there, staring up at him.

“Liz! What are you doing here?” he said in shock.

“Are you okay Max?” Liz asked worriedly. His hair was disheveled and even though he was standing mostly in the shadows, she could still see the dark circles under his eyes.

“I’m fine,” he answered and scratched the back of his head. “What . . . Why-”

“Are you sure everything’s okay?” she asked insistently. She rushed into the apartment and threw her arms around him, relieved that everything seemed to be fine and her apprehension was unfounded.

“Yeah, I’m sure. What’s going on? Are you alright?” She seemed upset or on edge and she’d never shown up at his place in the middle of the night like this before. She was hugging him tightly and his arms surrounded her, concerned over why she had come here, but glad that she did. He’d wanted to see her so badly, and here she was.

“I woke up and I got the feeling something was wrong,” Liz said against his chest. Her eyes were closed and she could hear the sound of his heart beating in a steady rhythm. “It felt like you needed me or something.”

Max stared down at her, not sure how to respond to that. Of course he needed her. The only time he ever felt even close to normal was when he was with her. The rest of the time he was just barely holding on. “Other than my usual insomnia,” Max said with his lips against the top of her head, “I’m fine.”

“You still can’t sleep?” she asked and her eyes finally adjusted to the dark room. She’d been so worried about him when he answered the door that she hadn’t even noticed what he was wearing. Now she did. She took a step back from him and the changing images on the television screen reflected the flickering light onto his skin. Lots of skin. Mostly skin.

Her eyes dropped from his face, down to his chest and then all the way down, past his stomach and down his thighs, all the way to his toes. She knew she shouldn’t stare at him like that but she couldn’t help it. It wasn’t every day that she saw Max standing around in only a pair of boxers. It was a good thing they were loose fitting and didn’t show anything. Wait. Better take that last thought back.

“Not really,” he answered offhandedly and then he noticed her eyes sweep over him. He suddenly realized he was standing there in only his underwear and he muttered, “Oh shit,” under his breath. He hastened over to the couch and he looked around, trying to remember where he’d dropped his pants. He finally saw them peeking out from under the blanket and he grabbed them quickly. With his back to Liz, he slipped one leg and then the other into his jeans and pulled them up.

“Sorry,” he said self-consciously as he fastened the zipper and turned back to face her.

“That’s okay,” Liz said and gave him an embarrassed smile. She wasn’t sure why she was embarrassed though. She’d felt his erection pressing against her through his pants before. The next logical step would be for her to see him in his underwear, and then after that without his underwear. Someday. Maybe. When they were ready. When she was ready.

“You couldn’t sleep either?” Max asked and he flipped his head trying to get his hair out of his eyes. He’d let it kind of go lately and it had gotten pretty long. Maybe he should think about getting a haircut. Why was he thinking about getting a haircut when it was almost three in the morning and Liz Parker was standing in his apartment? Okay, it wasn’t his apartment. But it was the apartment he was living in, so it kind of made it his apartment. He was paying part of the rent while he stayed here so technically it should be considered his apartment too. Why was he spending all this time thinking about hair and apartments?

Maybe because if he allowed himself to think about what he really wanted to think about, he would have already taken Liz in his arms and carried her over to the couch and he would have done to her what he’d wanted to do to her for as long as he could remember. But he knew she wasn’t ready for that. Not even close.

As hot and heavy as things had gotten in the eraser room yesterday, there was a line that Liz wouldn’t cross . . . couldn’t cross. Not yet. There would always be the knowledge between them that she had waited for him, but he hadn’t waited for her. It was a painful knowledge. One they lived with everyday.

“I woke up and I just got this feeling that you needed me,” Liz said in answer to his question. “So I came over. Since everything’s fine, I suppose I should go back home, before my parents get up in the middle of the night to do a room check on me.”

She started to move toward the door and Max blurted out, “Liz! Don’t go yet.” She stopped in mid stride and then she lifted her eyes to meet his. “You came all this way, you might as well stay for a little bit.” He could see her wavering between leaving and staying, and he added softly, “Please?”

“I guess I could stay for a little while,” she offered.

He didn’t want to be alone, and the look on her face told him she didn’t either. He gave her a small smile of relief that she wasn’t going to run off in the dead of night, and he held out his hand to her. She slipped her hand into his and he drew her over to the couch. He sat down first and then he tugged on her hand to bring her down to the cushion next to him.

“So, is this where you sleep?” Liz asked, noting the pillow and the blanket.

“Yeah,” Max answered. “It’s not the Ritz, but it’s a roof over my head.”

“Max, when are you going to work things out with your parents? Your Mom misses you.”

“How do you know that?” Max asked. He hadn’t talked to his mother in so long. Not since his father threw him out. He missed her too. He missed all of them. He missed his old life.

“Isabel told me,” Liz admitted.

“I just can’t go home right now,” Max answered and he couldn’t even explain it. He just didn’t feel like he belonged there now. He didn’t know why. There were a lot of things he didn’t understand about himself right now.

Liz nodded and she kept her eyes on her hands in her lap. She needed to stare at her hands, because if she didn’t, then she’d end up looking at his chest. And since his chest was naked at this particular moment, that would lead her mind into places she didn’t want to go right now. The flickering light of the TV caught her attention and she noticed he had been watching MTV.

“Oh, I like this song,” she said, trying to distract herself from carnal thoughts. “Can you turn the sound up?”

“Can’t,” Max shook his head. “Michael and Maria are sleeping, well, you know, in the bedroom. The walls in this apartment aren’t very sound proof.”

“Maria’s here?” Liz asked in surprise. Max nodded and then an unbidden thought entered her mind. “Where you here when they . . .?”

It took him a minute to figure out what she meant and when he did he hastily said, “Oh, God, no! The only thing I heard going on in this apartment was Michael’s snoring.”

“Well that’s good,” Liz said in relief. Her eyes were fixated on his lips, wishing he’d kiss her, and at the same time wishing he wouldn’t. Every time they got close, she couldn’t help think about Tess, and how he had kissed her, and made love to her, and . . . and . . .

“Liz?” Max asked worriedly. Her body language had suddenly changed and he could feel her closing herself off and he had a pretty good idea why. He was going to spend the rest of his life regretting the poor decisions he’d made during the last year. Desperate to get her thoughts away from the dark place she had gone, he suddenly remembered the little trick he’d used these past nights when he couldn’t sleep. “Oh! I have to show you this! It’s really cool.”

“What?” Liz asked, eager for the distraction.

He held his hands cupped in front of them and a shimmering wall rose up around them. It encompassed just the space between the TV and the couch, eliminating the need for them to be quiet. It created their own pocket of space where they could be as quiet or as noisy as they wanted to be. He picked up the remote that he had abandoned earlier and hit the mute button and the area around them filled with sound.

“Max, when did you learn to do that?” Liz asked in wonder. They were inside a bubble of shimmering air and everything had a bluish tint to it now. The TV and the walls, the couch, their faces, his skin, all that skin . . .

“A while ago.” Since he couldn’t sleep much anymore this little trick had come in handy. He could listen to music or watch TV without worrying about disturbing Michael. “It doesn’t take much-” he started to say and then he felt her hand on his chest. Her touch was like a bolt of energy coursing through his body and suddenly he couldn’t speak.

Her hand roamed over his chest, touching his warm skin, feeling his hard muscles. Her eyes rose up to meet his, taking her time to admire his chest and his shoulders, his throat and his chin and his lips, and then finally up to see his hungry eyes. She could see him holding back, letting her control the moment, letting her decide what she did want, and what she didn’t. What she was ready for, and what she wasn’t. Her eyes focused on his lips and as he moved his mouth to say her name, she rushed at him.

“Li-” he had started to say and then it was like an explosion between them. She was pressed against him with her lips crushing his and he hungrily kissed her back. Her tongue swept over his lower lip and darted inside his mouth before withdrawing. He pushed her backwards until her back was against the cushions of the couch and he was swept away with his desire for her. His weight pressed down on her, pinning her beneath him and his hand caressed her throat as he poured his emotions into the kiss.

Her hands roamed over his shoulders and then her fingers dug into the warm skin on his back. She felt him shift position, lifting his body off her and she held him tighter, not wanting him to get away. The fingers of one hand moved up the back of his neck and into his hair and she kissed him harder, pulling him back down to her.

Her body felt so small beneath him and he tried to take his weight off her but he felt her pull him back down. His passion was raging, spurred on by her responsiveness and he drove his tongue into her mouth. His hand was against her throat and he could feel the way her pulse raced wildly beneath her skin. His hand moved lower until it brushed over her breast and it took him a moment to realize that underneath her shirt, she wasn’t wearing a bra.

He tore his lips away from hers and his eyes darted between her eyes and the spot where his hand was cupping her breast. They were both breathing heavily from their passionate kisses and her chest rose and fell rapidly beneath his hand. He remembered what she had felt like in his hand yesterday in the eraser room and he wanted to feel that again. He needed to touch her again.

His hand moved quickly to the lower hem of her shirt and he tugged the material up until she was fully exposed. Her nipples were hard and erect in the center of her soft, round breasts and the sight of her nearly took his breath away. Her skin was creamy and smooth, except those rose colored peaks that jutted up toward him and made his pulse beat faster.

With a near frantic haste, his mouth swooped down and sucked one of those rosy peaks in, pulling and tugging at it while he listened to the sound of her moans ringing in his ears. Overwhelmed by his craving for her, he sucked hard on one nipple while his hand massaged her other breast, stroking over that nipple with his thumb to stimulate it even more. Her back was arching up toward his mouth, encouraging him on and he switched to the other side because he just had to taste that one too.

He let his hand drop down from her breast and he caressed the silky skin over her ribs and then her flat stomach and then he moved over her hip until he cupped her bottom. He leaned his aroused body against hers, pressing against her so hard that there was no space between them.

His raging erection was almost painfully constricted by his jeans and his fingers tore at the button and lowered his zipper in one fluid motion. With an inaudible sigh, he felt the constriction ease and then he was reaching for her jeans, her zipper, frantically trying to work the top button free while he still sucked and pulled at her breasts. The button on her pants finally popped open and his hand slipped down the front of her jeans.

As his fingers slid beneath her panties, his mouth released her nipple and moved upwards, up her throat, over her chin and then reclaimed her mouth. Her nipples pressed into his chest now and he nipped and pulled at her lower lip as he kissed her and his sexual excitement grew. He pushed his hand lower, feeling her skin give way to a patch of curly hair and his fingers furrowed through it, moving closer to the heat at the core of her body.

“Wait,” she said against his mouth and her body suddenly stiffened. “Wait,” she cried and he felt her hands pushing against his shoulders and her body squirming under his weight.

“Wait?” Max said breathlessly as he pulled his lips away from hers. “Liz?” He could see the uncertainty on her face, hear the touch of panic in her voice and he pulled his hand out of her pants.

“I’m sorry, I can’t – I’m not, I’m sorry,” Liz apologized and raked a trembling hand through her hair. Things had gotten out of control and she wasn’t ready for this yet. She needed more time. Her voice started to tremble as she said, “I’m sorry Max.”

Even through his passion filled haze he could see that things had gone too far, too fast and he had made a promise that he would never push her into something she wasn’t ready for. Rebuilding her trust in him had been a slow process and he wasn’t about to blow it now. “It’s okay,” he whispered and kissed her gently on the forehead. He tugged her shirt down to cover her and he smoothed out the wrinkles. “It’s okay. If you want me to stop, I’ll stop.”

“Max,” she said guiltily and he thought she was about to cry. She had scooted into the corner of the couch and her legs were pulled up to her chest.

He moved to a sitting position beside her and took her hand in his, squeezing it gently before bringing it to his lips for a gentle kiss. His left hand rose to her face and brushed back her hair and he said, “Liz, I love you. I want to be with you, tonight and every night for the rest of my life, but only if that’s what you want too. I don’t want you to ever feel you have to do something you don’t really want to do, or you’re not ready for. You’ve already sacrificed enough because of me to last a lifetime. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to make love to you, right here, right now, but the important thing is that you’re not ready and that’s okay. Someday, I hope you will be, and until then, I’ll wait and take lots of cold showers.” He smiled at her and when she gave a small laughed at his last comment, his smile turned into a grin.

Liz’s anxiety faded as she looked into his smiling face and she threw her arms around his shoulders. She was relieved that he was giving her time, but as she hugged him her smile slowly faded. She knew he loved her, but that hadn’t been enough before. Despite his protestations that Tess meant nothing to him, in the end he’d taken her as his lover. And now they had a child, a son, that bound them together forever. There was no way she could compete with that.

Liz knew that she would always be on the outside. She was human, and Max wasn’t. She was a virgin, and Max wasn’t. She was just a small town girl, with nothing special about her, and common was another thing that Max wasn’t. She was going to spend the rest of her life on Planet Earth . . . and Max wasn’t.

One day, Max was going home, and this fantasy would come to an end. Until then, was living in the here and now enough? She’d given her heart to Max Evans once before and it had ended up broken into a million pieces. Could she afford to give it to him again, knowing that the next time he was forced to decide between her and his alien side, the choice wouldn’t be her?

The choices that he made had been clear. He chose Tess as his first lover. He chose to leave Earth with Tess, knowing that he would never see Liz again. He chose to save the life of his son, instead of protecting her life from a murderer. The pattern was set and she knew where she stood. No matter how much he professed to love her, his alien side would always take precedence in everything in his life. And she had no place in that world that made up his alien side. All he really had to offer her was another broken heart, waiting to happen.

Was the time in between enough? Sure, there would be good times between the heartache in the past and the next one waiting to happen, but sadly, she could see the next one looming already. He was consumed by his quest to save his son, the son that couldn’t survive here on Earth. That told her one thing. When his quest reached fruition, he would have a choice. She knew his choice wouldn’t be her. He would return home to raise his son, and she would be left behind, alone once again. But she loved him, and sometimes the moments in between were all you ever had.

Max could sense the turmoil inside her and he pulled her away from him, cupping her face with his hands. “Hey, are we okay?”

She looked into his questioning eyes and she slowly nodded her head. She loved him so much, and she wanted their time together to be good, special, because when he was gone all she would have left would be her memories.

“We’re okay,” she said and she could see the relieved look that transformed his features. He kissed her, just a quick kiss to tell her everything was fine, and then he had to kiss her again because she tasted so good the first time. He let that kiss last a little longer, and when he pulled away he sighed with that little boy look on his face that she loved so much. She couldn’t help glance down because, after all, his chest was still naked and then she noticed his pants were unzipped.

Max noticed the way her cheeks flushed when she looked down and he followed the direction of her gaze. His erection was still evident and even though he was covered by his boxers, the outline was pretty clear. He felt his own blush rising in reaction to hers and he had to lift his hips slightly so that he could re-zip and button up. He had to do a little readjustment because that constriction was back again and when he sat back down he wrapped his arm around Liz and said, “Come here.”

She curled into his side, resting her head on his shoulder and said, “I should go home soon.”

“I’ll give you a ride. I’m not gonna let you walk home alone at this time of night.” He brushed his thumb over her cheek and he kissed her on the forehead and then they both turned their attention to the changing images on the television screen. He wasn’t really watching though. He was aching inside from the knowledge that Liz still couldn’t give her heart to him. That’s why she had asked him to stop. Because Liz Parker would only make love to the man who had won her heart and soul completely, and considering what had happened between them, he didn’t qualify. Not yet. But someday, he vowed, he would win her back.

TBC . . .

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 27-Oct-2001 3:34:17 AM ]
posted on 27-Oct-2001 4:52:21 AM by Breathless
Live, I understand what you are saying, but just know this . . .

Sometimes the full story takes a while to come out, and sometimes the truth is buried below the surface . . .

posted on 29-Oct-2001 5:24:02 AM by Breathless
Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz
Rating: PG 13 to ??? NC 17 (maybe)

Author Note: I got flamed the other day for expressing my displeasure of the current state of Roswell. For those of you who enjoy it, more power to ya. For those of you just barely hanging on, I hear ya. Here is my "wanna be" attempt to make sense of the world of Roswell . . .

Echoes of Tomorrow

Part 5

“Michael! Michael! You have to wake up!” Maria was standing beside the bed and shaking his shoulder but he just kept mumbling in his sleep. “Michael! Wake up!” In exasperation, she pulled the sheet and the blanket down to his waist and thumped him hard, right in the middle of his chest.

The air rushed out of his lungs with a loud “ouff” and he was suddenly wide awake. He sat up rubbing his chest and bellowed, “What the hell did you do that for?”

“Quiet!” Maria hissed, with her finger in front of her mouth.

“Quiet?” he huffed in disbelief. He’d been having a great dream, where Maria was the perfect girlfriend and refilled his drink when he held it out, without him having to say a word. Where she made him elaborate dinners every night and it was always waiting on the table for him when he got home from work. A dream where she never, ever, opened her mouth. So how did she wake him up? By trying to punch his lights out and telling him to shut up!

“Shhhhhhhh,” she said and then she was pulling on his arm. “You’ve got to see this! Come on! Will you move your butt?”

“See what?” Michael frowned and stumbled out of bed. It was a good thing he loved her, otherwise he might have to kill her.

“Just come on,” she whispered and took his hand. “And be quiet!”

“Mari-” he started to say, and when she glared at him, he shut up.

She tiptoed out of the bedroom and Michael followed along behind her, noticing the time on the clock on the nightstand. It was barely past five o’clock in the morning. What the hell was she doing up so early? And why the hell had she got him up so early?

He noticed the TV was still on in the living room and figured Max must have eventually fallen back to sleep while he was watching MTV. A Metallica video was on, and he paused to watch, until Maria gave him that look again and got his butt in gear. As they neared the back of the couch she got all giggly, and then he saw why.

Max was face down on the couch wearing only a pair of dark denim jeans, and sleeping like a baby. His mouth was slightly open and his hair was hanging down in his eyes and for the first time in ages, Michael thought his face looked peaceful. Of course, maybe that had to do with the pillow he was resting on, because his pillow just happened to be one Liz Parker.

Liz was sound asleep, lying on her back with her face pointing toward the back of the couch. Her hair partially covered her face and draped around her shoulders. Max’s head was resting right in the center of her chest and Michael could only see a portion of his right arm. His hand and his wrist and part of his forearm had disappeared under her shirt, and Michael didn’t want to think about what he might be holding on to.

Liz’s arms were holding onto Max even in sleep, and the fingers of her left hand were threaded through his hair. Their legs were tangled all together and Michael fleetingly wondered if Liz had ever been a gymnast.

“Don’t they look so cute together?” Maria whispered excitedly.

“What the hell is she doing here?” Michael whispered back.

“What difference does it make why she’s here? The important thing is she is here!” Maria was so excited she could barely contain herself. “And by the look on his face, she must have made him really, really happy last night! Look at him. He’s almost glowing! Michael, do you think they . . .”

“Do I think they what?”

“Geez Michael, don’t be dense! Do you think they did it last night?”

“Wha-” Michael almost shouted and Maria covered his mouth with her hand.


“They better not have had sex on my couch,” Michael whispered harshly. He turned his head to one side, and then the other, trying to figure out how they could get in that position. Liz must be really flexible. Max too. He watched Maria pull a feather out of the pillow that was at the foot of the couch and then his eyes narrowed when she covered her mouth to keep from laughing at whatever trick she had up her sleeve. What was she gonna do?

He didn’t have long to wait. Maria leaned over the back of the couch and stifling a giggle, she drew the tip of the feather along Max’s nose. He didn’t react at first and Maria did it again, this time tracing the feather from the bridge of his nose, down over the tip, tickling his upper lip and then his lower lip and all the way down to his chin.

His nose wrinkled and his tongue darted out from between his lips and then he settled down again. She was trying not to crack up and she took the feather and tickled the tip of his nose again. He made a groaning sound in his throat and then he rubbed his nose into Liz’s chest. Her back arched slightly at the sudden movement, and then they both quieted back down.

“Maria, let them sleep,” Michael said with a wide grin.

“No, Liz better get her butt home before her dad finds out she snuck out,” Maria whispered. “Alien powers or not, Max is a dead man if Jeff Parker finds out Liz spent the night with him.” She took the feather this time and circled Max’s outer ear with it. His hand tried to lift up to brush away the offending object that was tickling his ear, but it was trapped under Liz’s shirt. Maria saw his eyelids start to flutter and she dropped the feather and grabbing Michael’s arm, they ran back toward the bedroom. She closed the door as quietly as she could in her haste and then they tumbled onto the bed.

“Maria, you’re so bad,” Michael growled.

“I’m so bad I’m good!” Maria giggled and then his mouth was on hers and he finally got her to stop talking.

On the couch, Max was slowly becoming aware of his surroundings. His face was pressed into something soft, something that smelled really good, something that was rising and falling in a steady rhythm. His eyes popped open and the first thing he saw was the color green. T-shirt green. Not the blue of the pillowcase he woke up to every morning.

Not wanting to wake up from what was obviously the best dream he’d ever had, he closed his eyes and breathed in the sweet perfume that was Liz’s scent. He became aware of his hand touching soft, warm flesh covering delicate ribs, next to a breast rising unfettered below the green t-shirt. No bra. In his dream Liz was lying beneath him, braless, with only a thin green shirt blocking him from touching the nipple that he had seen poking against the cotton material. Why weren’t his dreams always this good?

Liz stretched and her fingers pulled his hair while at the same time she arched her back and pressed her breast against his face. She mumbled “Max” as she shifted position and her leg lifted to wrap around his hip. His eyes popped open again at the feel of her fingers in his hair and her breast smothering his nose and her legs clenched around his hips and with a sudden inhalation of breath he realized this was no dream. His head rose slowly, letting his eyes drink in the sight of her lying under him and feeling the way their bodies seemed to fit together like two interlocking pieces of a puzzle. Her eyes slowly fluttered open and when she saw his face a dreamy smile curved her lips.

“Max . . .” she mumbled happily and then her eyes closed. She liked waking up to visions of Max in her bed. Bare chested Max, strong shouldered Max, hard as a rock Max, such pleasant thoughts to start the day. She rocked her hips against that rod of hot masculinity poking against her and her smile widened. Oh yes, her imagination could be so vivid in the morning.

“Good morning,” Max said softly.

“Good mor-” she started to answer and then her eyes flew open wide. “Max!” Her eyes flew around the room, taking in her surroundings and then she tried to extricate herself from him. “Oh my God, Max! We fell asleep!”

“I noticed that,” Max said with a wide grin.

“What time is it?” she asked in a panic.

“I have no idea,” he answered and he really didn’t care. All he cared about was the feel of Liz beneath him, and the smell of Liz in the air around him and the way her body moved against him.

“Max! I have to get home before my parents find out I’m not there!”

Suddenly all the ramifications hit him and her panic spilled into him. His hormone riddled body was slower to respond and he sat up, taking her with him. Her legs were still wrapped around him and he couldn’t contain the groan that escaped from him when she sat on his lap. She squirmed to disentangle herself from him and it made him groan ever louder.

Good God, he thought to himself. Don’t move like that, Liz! He couldn’t be responsible for his actions if she was going to move like that.

“My Dad’s gonna kill you if he finds out I spent the night here!”

The image of her father loomed in front of his face and he bolted to his feet, taking Liz with him. “Holy shit! I have to get you home!”

They stared at each other, Liz with her arms holding him around his bare shoulders and her legs wrapped tightly around his hips, Max with one arm around her waist and the other cupping her bottom, and even with the threat of imminent death, they couldn’t contain themselves. Their mouths crashed together in an explosion of sexually charged energy, like fireworks on the fourth of July.

His legs got weak at the feel of her body crushed against his and he sank back down to the couch. They attacked each other’s lips with gusto, hands touching cheeks and throats and skin on fire and then he leaned her sideways onto the cushions of the couch.

“Max,” she mumbled against his lips. “Max, I have to go . . .”

“I know,” he said breathlessly and his lips kissed a trail down her chin and then her throat. God she felt so good. Just a few more minutes. What would a few more minutes hurt?

She could feel him pressing her down into the cushions of the couch and God he felt so good. Maybe she should give in to her desires and the hell with caution. Their passion was spiraling out of control and then the sound of Maria’s voice brought them crashing back to earth.

“Hey Romeo! You better get Juliet back up onto her balcony before her Daddy runs you through with a sword.”

Max and Liz broke apart with a start and looked up to see Maria hovering over them. She had an impish smile on her face and it warmed her heart to see her two best friends finally back in each other’s arms, right where they belonged.

* * * * *

The jarring tones of insistent wailing brought Jeff Parker out of a deep sleep and his hand snaked out to turn the alarm clock off. He opened one eye and peeked at it and then pulled the covers aside and sat on the edge of the bed. He rubbed his hands over his face and then stretched and rose slowly to his feet. He got up every morning at 5:45 to get the restaurant ready for the breakfast crowd.

He slipped on a clean pair of pants and made the trek down the hall to the kitchen to get a pot of coffee started so he could wake up. He’d had a restless night, worried about Liz. He only wanted the best for his little girl, and Max Evans was not his idea of a good influence. He had been, once. There’d been a time when Jeff thought Max was a fine young man, quiet, polite, the kind of boy that treated a girl special, but something had happened to him and now he was just bad news.

Jeff passed by Liz’s bedroom door and he paused. He felt bad about the argument they’d had yesterday, but he was only trying to protect her. He knew that ordering Max to stay away from the Crashdown, and demanding Liz stop seeing him was hard on her, but it was for her own good. Max was headed in a downward spiral and he didn’t want Liz anywhere near him when he hit bottom.

He rapped lightly against the wood with his knuckles and then put his hand on the knob and slowly pushed the door open. He knew she’d still be asleep, but he just wanted to take a look at her. He used to sit and watch her sleep when she was a little girl and he had that urge again, just to look down at her innocent face. She was such a beautiful child, young woman actually, and he just wanted her to be safe. He quietly crossed her bedroom floor and the light that spilled in from the hallway pushed back the shadows to reveal an empty bed.

“Lizzy?” Jeff said as he looked around the room. With a frown on his face, he moved across the floor to stand beside her bathroom door. “Liz?” he said a little louder and lifted his hand, knocking lightly to see if she was inside. The door was unlatched and it creaked open revealing a dark and empty interior. His ire was starting to rise as he checked the one other place he though she might be. Marching to her bedroom window, he wrenched it open, but her balcony was also deserted. Liz wasn’t there.

Jeff left her room quickly and made a cursory look through the rest of the apartment, but she was nowhere to be found. Livid with anger, he stormed back into his bedroom and roused Nancy from a deep sleep.

“What’s wrong?” Nancy blurted out at the abrupt awakening. She brushed her hair out of her face and tried to focus on her husband’s features. He didn’t get angry very often, but when he did, it wasn’t a pretty sight.

“Your daughter,” Jeff seethed. “Her room’s empty. She’s not here.”

“What are you talking about?” Nancy said trying to grasp what he was saying.

“Liz is gone. Her bed is empty.”

“Where could she be?” Nancy asked and pulled the covers aside.

“I think we both know where she is,” Jeff said gruffly. “And who she’s with.”

* * * * *

“I better . . . go . . .” Liz mumbled against his lips, “before . . . I get caught. My Dad . . . will be up any . . . minute.”

“Okay,” Max mumbled back and kissed her hard one more time. He didn’t want to let her go, but they needed to play things cool until things settled down. The last thing they needed was to piss her parents off any more than they already were after yesterday’s disaster at school.

She reluctantly pulled away from him and her hand reached for the ladder that would lead her to her balcony and her bedroom. He took a step back to let her go and he watched her as she turned away. Her hand closed over the first rung and then reached for the next and then his hand was on her arm, pulling her back to him and crushing his lips to hers.

“Max-” she said as he kissed her breathless.

His arms were holding her tightly, not wanting to let her go. He’d parked the car down the block so it couldn’t be seen and he considered just taking her and running away right now, heading west, letting the sun chase them.

“We’re gonna get in so much trouble,” she said and Max touched his forehead to hers.

He stared into her big beautiful eyes and then taking her hand in his, he said, “Come with me . . .”

* * * * *

Jeff finished buttoning his shirt hastily and grabbed his keys off the dresser. He’d be damned if he was going to let Liz ruin her life because of that Max Evans. He’d pack her back off to Vermont to get her away from him if he had to.

Nancy came out of the bathroom pulling a sweatshirt over her head and she asked, “Where are you going?”

“I’m going to get Liz and drag her back here,” Jeff said angrily.

“And where are you going to look for her?” Nancy asked, trying to get him to think instead of just react.

“Max has been staying at Michael’s apartment ever since that fiasco in Utah. That’s where I’ll start. If Max is there, I’m sure that’s where Liz is too. If he’s not, then Michael probably knows where to track him down.”

“Jeff-” Nancy said but he was already striding down the hall headed downstairs.

Jeff took the stairs two at a time and strode quickly down the hallway headed toward the back door. It should only take a few minutes to get to Michael’s apartment. He knew the address from the boy’s employment records and while he’d never been there, it wouldn’t take long to find it. He’d break down the damn door if he had to to get Liz away from-

“Hi Dad,” Liz said nonchalantly as she came out of the laundry room.

“Liz!” Jeff sputtered, stopping dead in his tracks. She was wearing her usual bedtime attire, a tank top and a pair of flannel bottoms. She had teddy bear slippers on her feet and she was holding her Crashdown uniform draped across her arm. “What are you doing down here?”

“I came down to get my uniform. Since I don’t have school today, I figured I’d help out with the breakfast crowd. I might as well be productive, and not just sit around the house all day. Is anything wrong?”

“No . . . No, nothing’s wrong.”

“Were . . . were you looking for me or something?”

“No, not at all. I just . . . it’s time to get the restaurant ready to open.” Jeff thought he was doing a pretty good job of covering up.

“Right,” Liz nodded. She started to walk past him and then frowned up at his face. “Have you had your morning cup of coffee yet?”

“No, not yet,” Jeff admitted.

“Oh,” Liz smiled. “So that’s your problem. You better go back upstairs and get one because you know you can’t function until after your first cup of coffee!”

“You’re right,” Jeff relaxed enough to smile. “You gonna come join me?”

“I’ll be up in a minute.”

Max listened intently from the inside of the laundry room. He could hear her father’s footsteps fade into the distance and then he heard the stairs creak as he climbed to the apartment upstairs. He leaned his back against the wall and sighed in relief that they hadn’t been caught. It had been a close call. If they hadn’t seen the apartment lights from the alleyway, her father would have caught them sneaking into the back of the Crashdown. As it was, they’d just barely made it inside before they heard the apartment door open and Jeff Parker’s heavy tread on the stairs.

They had darted into the laundry room and Max had had to turn his back while Liz stripped out of her clothes and slipped into pajamas that were luckily in a basket from the previous days laundry. Max had peeked a couple of times, he couldn’t help it, and he’d seen Liz pull her t-shirt over her head, seen the delicate shape of her back, seen the side of her breast when her arms rose in the air. He’d looked away quickly, but he sure liked what he saw. Then he’d looked again when he heard her zipper being pulled down and he stared at her while she slipped out of her jeans. Her panties were light blue and hugged her hips and were awfully see-through and he would have loved to watch them join her jeans on the floor, but he forced himself to look away. Now was not the time.

Liz slipped back into the laundry room and Max drew her into his arms. “Is he gone?”

“Yes,” she nodded, “but not for long. You have to go, Max.”

“I know,” he said regretfully. “Am I gonna see you later?”

“I don’t know. I’ll try. Maybe I can get Maria to cover for me.”

“I hope so. I’m gonna miss you.” His lips descended to hers, sucking them both back into that sexually charged atmosphere that had nearly been their undoing a few minutes ago. They clung to each other, desperately wanting to be together and knowing they couldn’t be, at least not right now. The kiss ended with a promise of more to come, and Liz walked Max to the back door.

He kissed her one last time and then Liz watched him as he disappeared down the alley. She wondered how long she would be able to keep him this time, before she’d lose him once again.

TBC . . .

Next part might be ready on Thursday.

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 29-Oct-2001 5:55:49 AM ]
posted on 2-Nov-2001 1:20:39 AM by Breathless
Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz
Rating: PG13 to NC 17?
Disclaimer: Its all been said before

Author Note: To all of you asking about Captive Hearts, sorry I haven't post lately. A new part will come soon.

Echoes of Tomorrow

Part 6

Max jumped into the front seat of the Chevelle, fished the keys out of his pocket and slammed them into the ignition. The engine purred to life and with a smile on his face, he put the car in gear and pulled away from the curb. He felt good. No, make that great. Better than he had in weeks.

He’d awakened this morning feeling rested, instead of dragging himself off the couch like he usually did. He felt re-energized instead of tired, excited instead of depressed, and it suddenly dawned on him that he was famished. His appetite had disappeared over the summer, and it showed. It was hard to make yourself eat when nothing tasted good and you didn’t give a shit about anything.

But this morning, everything seemed so much brighter. He’d gotten more sleep than usual last night. True, he had suffered another nightmare, but staying awake for the rest of the night was his usual pattern, and this time he’d slept gloriously until almost dawn. And then he’d woken up to the most beautiful sight in the world. Liz Parker’s beautiful face.

He drove into the new day with the dawn breaking around him and hope swelling in his heart. Hope for a day filled with happiness instead of bitter despair, hope for a tomorrow that he could look forward to instead of dread, hope for a future full of love instead of loneliness. He’d seen the look in Liz’s eyes this morning, the look that said maybe she was finally putting the past behind her and moving into the future, a future that included him.

He hoped that he was right, that Liz was ready to give her heart to him again. It was all he needed to make life worthwhile again.

* * * * *

Liz busied herself around the Crashdown, delivering breakfast to hungry patrons and refilling one coffee cup after another. The work wasn’t hard and soon her mind was drifting away from the job at hand and remembering a time not so long ago . . .

Max stood in front of the cash register and watched Liz ring up his order. He nervously toyed with the money in his hand and waited for her to tell him the total amount, and avoided saying to her what he really wanted to say.

“It comes to $5.35,” Liz said as the numbers showed in the register display.

Max counted out the bills onto the countertop and then reached in the front pocket of his jeans for the change. He counted out a quarter and a nickel and five pennies into the palm of her hand and Liz couldn’t help but smile inwardly at his attention to detail.

Her hand folded around the coins and picked the bills up off the counter and after securing the money in the register, she tore off the sales receipt and held it out to him. “Do you need this?”

He shook his head no, and then he watched her hand crumple the slip of paper and she turned to throw it in the wastebasket. He didn’t move from his spot and when she looked up at him expectantly he blurted out, “Will you go out with me on Friday night?”

“What?” Liz said in surprise.

“There’s a new movie in town, and I thought we could go see it . . . together, if you wanted to, if you weren’t doing anything else, and maybe . . . maybe we could get something to eat first, if you’re hungry . . . like at Senior Chows or something . . .”

“Are you asking me out on a date?” Liz asked with arched eyebrows.

“No!” Max said hastily and then he added, “Yes.” When her eyes dropped from his he said quietly, “I’d really like to see you, Liz.”

After a pause while she thought about it, she asked, “What movie?”

“I don’t know. Some dumb movie.”

“You want to go to a dumb movie?” Liz asked.

“No,” Max answered and his hand reached out to touch hers, “I just want to see you.”

“Max . . . we can’t-”

“I know it can never be like it used to be Liz. But maybe we can start over, and see where it goes . . . give it a chance . . .”

“I don’t know, Max. So much has happened . . .”

“I know, Liz, and if it takes the rest of my life, I want to make it up to you . . .”

“Why?” Liz asked, looking down at her hands.

“Because you mean everything to me.”

* * * * *

Liz drew her brush through her hair and wondered why she was doing this. Max Evans had broken her heart and left it in a million pieces. Why was she letting him have another chance at destroying her all over again? She looked at her reflection in the mirror but the image that she saw there wasn’t her own. The girl that looked back at her was a sad reflection of what she used to be.

A knock startled her out of her revelry and her mother poked her head into the room. “Liz, honey, Max is downstairs.”

“Okay, thanks,” Liz said and set the brush on her dresser.

“Don’t you look pretty,” Nancy said as she stepped closer. “All dressed in pink. You always were so pretty in pink.”

“Thanks, Mom,” Liz said and dropped her head with a blush rising in her cheeks.

“Liz,” Nancy said and her tone was suddenly more serious. “Are you sure you want to do this?”


“Honey, I’m just thinking about you. I don’t know what happened between you two, but I know he hurt you. Badly. I see it in your eyes every time you look at him, every time you think of him. I don’t want you to get hurt again.”

“It was a two way street, Mom. He wasn’t the only one to blame.” She wasn’t trying to make excuses. Her actions had set in motion a series of events that had changed the world, and all their lives. “I better go save Max before Dad starts giving him the third degree.”

Liz turned with a stack of dirty dishes in her hands and bumped square into a hard chest, clad in an expensive dark blue suit. The dishes clattered and crumbs and bits of food spilled from the plates onto the material.

“I am so sorry,” Liz apologized profusely. She struggled to right the dishes while her eyes rose from a now dirty suit coat, up to a strong chin, a set of full lips, a chiseled nose and then to a set of piercing blue eyes. “I didn’t see you. I’m so sorry. I’ve made a mess of your jacket. I am so, so sorry.”

The man brushed at the crumbs that covered his chest and Liz quickly set the dishes down on an empty table. Grabbing a napkin, she dipped it in a fresh cup of water and dabbed at an oily stain on his lapel. “I can’t believe I did this,” Liz stammered.

“It’s okay,” the young man said in a soft voice and Liz looked up to see a twinkle in his eye. “Accidents happen. That’s what makes us human.”

“We’ll pay however much it costs to have your suit cleaned,” Liz assured him. He nodded his head in agreement and Liz took a moment to look at him closely. He was medium height, not too tall, not too short. His features were rugged and very handsome, and his full head of blonde hair was neatly trimmed. His blue eyes were quite mesmerizing and she couldn’t seem to tear her gaze away from him.

“It’s not that bad,” he said and touched her hand lightly to stop her incessant fingers from fluttered over his chest. “Really, it’s okay.”

“Just send us the bill,” Liz said and pulled her hands back to her sides. “We’ll pay for everything, Mr. . . ?”

“Kingston. Jared Kingston.”

“Well, just send us the bill Mr. Kingston,” Liz said and stepped away from him.

He nodded his head and made his way to the exit and Liz noticed the way he walked with an air of confidence and self-assurance. Shaking her head at her clumsiness, Liz picked up the dirty dishes and took them to the kitchen.

Jared Kingston exited the Crashdown with a satisfied smile on his face and turned to the right, strolling down the main street of Roswell. His hand casually brushed over the front of his jacket, and the subtle stains from his encounter with Liz Parker disappeared from sight.

* * * * *

“Mom!” Liz called out from the doorway of her bedroom and followed the sound of her answering voice into the hallway bathroom. She was in cleaning mode, wearing an old sweatshirt and jeans and her hair up in a ponytail while she scrubbed the sink and the faucet. “I’m out of shampoo and my hairspray’s almost gone. Do I have permission to go to the drugstore?” It really sucked being on restriction.

Nancy eyed her daughter up and down and responded with an accusatory, “Liz . . .”

“It’s a trip to the drug store Mom. I’m not going to rob it.”

“That is not funny, Liz,” Nancy said harshly.

“Come on, Mom. It was all just a big mistake.”

“A big mistake that’s going to keep you from going to Harvard,” Nancy shot back.

“Mom, let’s be realistic,” Liz said and leaned against the bathroom door jam. “I was never going to go to Harvard. It was a nice dream, but dreams don’t always turn out the way you want them to. My grades weren’t good enough after . . .” and then her voice trailed off.

“Alex,” Nancy finished for her. She saw the pain flash over her daughter’s face and felt a tug at her own heart. She knew Liz was still struggling with his death, even after all these months. She could see it in her eyes every time she saw his picture or something reminded her of him. “Liz-”

“It’s just a trip to the drugstore, Mom. I won’t get into any trouble, and I’ll be back before you know it.”

“Okay,” Nancy relented, “but you better be home before your father gets back from Hondo.”

“Thanks,” Liz smiled and disappeared from sight. Nancy stared at the empty doorway and then shook her head and went back to cleaning the sink.

* * * * *

Liz circled around the block and made her way to the back delivery entrance of the UFO Center. As her hand reached for the handle, the door was wrenched open and Max reached out and grabbed her. He pulled her into the shadows inside the doorway and he hungrily assaulted her mouth. He pressed her hard against the wall with his hands cupping her face and she threaded her fingers through his hair, holding him tight as they kissed passionately.

His mouth moved from her lips to her throat and she arched toward him, baring the tender skin there to give him better access. His lips, his tongue, his teeth grazed her throat and she said breathlessly, “I can’t stay. I’m suppose to be at the drugstore, and my dad’s due home soon. I can’t let him see me here.”

His lips kissed a trail up to her mouth again and he mumbled, “We could go in the storage room. No one will see us there.” He pulled back from her and he stared into her eyes, gauging her reaction. They would have some privacy in the storage room. Lots of privacy.

She stared at the hungry look in his eyes and she was tempted, oh so tempted, but then she slowly shook her head. “Probably not a good idea right now,” she said huskily. “If I’m gone too long, there’ll be hell to pay.”

“You’re right,” Max said and kissed her hard again. His tongue swept over her lower lip and then darted inside her mouth before easing back from her. “You want company?” he asked as he rested his forehead against hers.

“Company? You mean at the store?” Liz asked. He nodded and a smile broke over her face. “You want to go to the store with me?”

“Sure,” he smiled back. “I’d rather be there with you, than here without you.”

* * * * *

“Maybe this wasn’t a good idea,” Liz said as they entered the store. “What if someone sees us together, and tells my parents?”

“I already told you how to get around that,” Max said into her ear.

“How?” she asked with a shiver going up her spine. When he breathed on her skin like that she couldn’t think straight.

“Run away with me,” he whispered.


“I know, but if you change your mind, I can be ready to leave in five minutes.” He looked around quickly and then kissed her gently before saying, “I’ll be back in a minute.”

Liz watched him head in one direction and she picked up a basket and went in the other, headed for the hair care section. She found the aisle quickly and made her selection and then rounding a corner, she ran into a solid wall of chest.

“I’m so sorry-” she started to say and then her hand flew to her mouth. Holy Crap! She was frozen in place, staring at first the expensive blue suit, and then the chiseled features and the blonde hair and the shocking blue eyes.

“We have to stop meeting like this,” Jared Kingston said, looking down at the dark haired young woman. His smile was endearing and Liz felt completely off kilter looking up into his charming face.

“I’m sorry!” Liz said feeling flustered.

“I’m the one that should apologize,” he said soothingly. “It was my fault this time. I wasn’t watching where I was going.”

“Mr. Kingston-”

“If we’re going to keep running into each other like this Liz,” he said in velvety rich tones, “the least you can do is call me Jared.”

Liz stared up into his hypnotizing eyes and it took a moment for what he said to sink in. She tilted her head slightly to the side and said, “How do you know my name?”

“Your uniform,” the answer rolled off his tongue. “This morning. Your name tag said ‘Liz’ so I assumed that meant you. It is Liz, right?” She nodded her head and he smiled down at her. “Nice to meet you again, Liz.”

* * * * *

Max picked up another greeting card and opened it, this time smiling at the simple but accurate sentiment written inside. He nodded his head and touched his finger to the red roses on the front of the card, changing them to white, and selected a matching envelope before making his way to the front checkouts. After making his purchase, he tucked it into the inside pocket of his jacket and went in search of Liz.

It took him a minute to find her, and when he did, she wasn’t alone. She was talking to a man Max judged to be in his early twenties, someone he had never seen before. As Max neared, their eyes meet briefly when the stranger glanced his way, and then he stepped away from Liz and out of Max’s line of sight. Liz stood unmoving, and Max touched her on the elbow as he reached her side.

Her eyes seemed slightly glazed and he asked, “Are you okay?”

Liz was startled at the sudden contact, and her eyes refocused on Max. “What? I’m fine. Why?”

“Who was that?” Max asked.

“Who was what?” she frowned.

“That guy you were just talking to?”

“That guy?” Liz repeated. “Just a Crashdown customer,” Liz said with a shrug. “I spilled breakfast on him this morning.”

“Oh,” Max said and then his eyes narrowed when Liz turned to watch Blondie as he left the store. He didn’t like the way she looked at him, and he felt an uncomfortable feeling in the pit of his stomach. “Do you know him?”

Liz shook her head absently and answered, “No. Not really.” She turned to Max and with a smile she asked, “Are you ready to go? I need to pay for this and get home.”

“Yeah, I’m ready.” They walked toward the front of the store and Max could see her turn to look out the front windows as if she was looking for something. Someone. That grumbling in his stomach turned into a full out thunderous roar.

* * * * *

Liz moaned sensually in her sleep as her eyes darted back and forth beneath her lids. Her dream was vivid, a nighttime reminder of the passions of the day, and a portent of what might someday come, if she ever allowed it. For in her dreams, broken hearts never existed and his love for her was never doubted . . .

“Liz, are you there?”

“Hi,” she said with a smile, looking down at him on the street below. “What are you doing here?”

“Can I come up?”

“Sure.” He materialized beside her, because after all this was a dream, and the little boy look on his face made her stomach twist and turn with expectation as she gazed into his eyes. “That was fast.”

“There’s no time to waste,” Max said in that honey voice of his and his hand cupped her cheek. His eyes focused on her lips and he slowly inched closer and closer to her.

“I thought you said there’s no time to waste,” Liz teased and watched his eyes soften in merriment.

“Some things need to be savored. You need to be savored. Every single inch of you.” His lips closed over hers and he poured his heart into her. His hand threaded into her hair and he pulled her into a tight embrace, kissing her, loving her, just the way she always wanted him to. His kisses were intensely passionate, a lifetimes worth of love touching her very soul.

“I love you,” Max whispered as he moved to nuzzle her ear. “I’ve always loved you. I always will.”

“I love you,” she smiled into his shinning eyes. He took her hand in his and drew her toward her bedroom window, climbed through, and then swept her into his arms when she followed him inside. He crossed the room to the side of her bed and then he set her feet on the floor. Her heart was racing as he looked into her eyes with that smoldering passion that bubbled just below the surface, and then it erupted in a blaze of intense desire. Their mouths crashed together, their hands clutched at each other, their eyes closed as their passion soared. She felt him ease her down to the bed and she let him, finally ready to give herself completely to the man she loved.

He kissed her deeply showing her his deepest desires and then he lifted his head to look down at her. She opened her eyes, and the smile on her face suddenly disappeared. Her eyes widened as dark hair turned to the color of sunshine and amber eyes took on the color of the bright blue sky.

The face of Jared Kingston stared down at her and said, “Liz, you taste so sweet.”

TBC . . . Probably next Thursday??

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 2-Nov-2001 1:42:45 AM ]
posted on 8-Nov-2001 2:44:15 AM by Breathless
Adding a bump of my own so I can find it tomorrow when I post the next part.

You all have interesting thoughts. Is Jared Kingston just another alien? Is he Kivar? Is he a shapeshifter? Is he Tess' brother? Or could he be the son of a king? We shall see! (One of these days)
posted on 8-Nov-2001 7:16:32 PM by Breathless
Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz

Author Note: I don't usually post this early, but what the hey! I'm home early, so why not! Hope you all enjoy! Thanks for all the wonderful feedback! Your questions will be answered . . . eventually!

Echoes of Tomorrow

Part 7

Max sat on the couch with a book in his lap, trying to concentrate on the sentence he was reading, but the words all blended together. He couldn’t get this afternoon out of his mind, and the more he thought about it, the more worried he became. Liz had seemed lost in thought when they left the drugstore, and she’d barely spoken a word on the walk back to the UFO Center. He’d tried to convince her to stay for a few more minutes, but she’d said she had to get back home.

And then when he had kissed her goodbye, that’s when he knew something was wrong. For just the briefest of moments, Max had gotten a flash of who she was really thinking of, and it hadn’t been him. His eyes weren’t blue.

The sound of the phone ringing startled him out of his thoughts, and he reached for it quickly so as not to wake Michael. “Hello?” he said softly.

“Hi,” Liz said in his ear.

“Hi. Are you okay?” Max asked. He thought she sounded a little stressed, like something was bothering her.

“I’m fine. I just miss you.” She couldn’t get the dream out of her head. Why had Max transformed into the image of a customer from the restaurant? Jared. Jared Kingston. So maybe he did have an amazing smile, and eyes that could look right through her. But still, why would she be thinking about him kissing her? And why had she liked it?

“I miss you too.” He debated whether to tell her the news he had found out today, and then he decided he had to, even though he would have preferred to do it in person. He wouldn’t get a chance to see her in the morning, so he didn’t really have a choice. “Liz? I have to go to Texas tomorrow.”

“Texas? Why?”

“I found out some more information about Atherton after I saw you today. Another place where he lived. There might be records stored there that will help me.”

“Oh,” Liz said and closed her eyes. Help him. Help him find a way to save his son. Tess’ son.

“It’ll probably take all day.” He listened to the silence on the other end of the line and after a minute he said, “You still there?”

“Yeah, yeah I’m here.” After another pause he heard her say, “Where at in Texas?”

“A place called Sweetwater, just west of Abilene. The records say Atherton lived there from 1950 to 1955, before he moved to Marathon. There’s a deed on the property still listed in his name. The property taxes have been paid out of a trust for all these years, so if he had anything stored there it might still be intact.”

“Oh.” After an uncomfortable silence, she said, “I’m sorry I can’t go with you this time, Max. My parents . . .”

“I understand. It’s okay.” He knew this was difficult on her.

“Good luck.”

“Thanks.” It was always uncomfortable between them when they talked about his son. The wounds were still so painful.

“When do you leave?”

“First thing in the morning. I might have to stay overnight, I mean if I find anything worth investigating.”

“Oh,” she said again.

Max could feel the tension coming through the phone line and he wondered what had happened between this morning and tonight. She’d been so open with him earlier in the day, and now she seemed so closed off. “Liz-”

“Maybe it’s for the best,” Liz said so softly Max wasn’t sure he had heard her right.

“For the best?” he questioned.

“Maybe some time apart would be good right now.”

What? His mind was screaming at him. What was she saying? She wanted time apart? This morning he’d been so sure things were finally working out between them, and now she wanted time apart? What had changed between this morning and now? “You want time apart?”

“Just for awhile, ‘til my parents cool off. If they find out I’ve been sneaking around to see you, the shit will hit the fan. I heard my dad talking to my mom about sending me to Vermont.”

“I don’t want you to leave,” Max said in a rush.

She didn’t want him to leave either, but when did that matter? She didn’t want him to go to Texas to search for clues about his son, because when he found them, he would be that much closer to the day he would leave her forever. She knew he had to go, and it was selfish for her to not want him to, but she couldn’t help how she felt. Each step closer to his son was a step farther away from her.

Trying to shake off her growing sense of the inevitable, she said, “I don’t want to go to Vermont either. That’s why we need to take things slow right now, until my dad calms down. He’s just really pissed at you right now, and we can’t afford to do anything that will make it even worse.”

“I know you’re right, but-”

“We can talk, after you get back.”

“Okay,” Max said, feeling sick to his stomach.

“Goodnight Max. Have a safe trip. I hope you find all the answers you’re looking for.”

“Goodnight Liz.” He heard the click of the phone disconnecting and he sat staring off into space for several minutes, replaying the conversation in his mind. What was going on?

* * * * *

Max looked around carefully, his eyes sweeping down the alley, checking windows, doorways, anywhere prying eyes might be observing him. He saw nothing suspicious and he reached for the ladder to take him up to her balcony. He climbed swiftly and when he reached the top he swung his legs over the wall as quickly and as quietly as possible. He made his way slowly over to her window and paused there, just watching Liz, with no intention of waking her. He would be leaving soon, and he just wanted to see her once more before he left.

After his phone conversation with Liz earlier, he had found sleep impossible. He had tossed and turned and eventually given up even trying. He was disturbed by the sudden remoteness he felt coming from her and threatened by the possibility she was pulling away from him. She was all that really mattered to him, and the thought of losing her terrified him. He’d lost her once before, he didn’t know if he’d survive losing her a second time.

She’d been supportive of his search for his son, helping him in any way that she could, even to the point of risking her own welfare. It made him love her all the more, the way she set her own feelings aside to help him. Someday, when this search came to fruition and his son was safe from whatever danger he faced, he would then be able to devote himself to Liz, the way he couldn’t right now.

“Please,” Max whispered as he stared through the window at Liz’s peaceful face. “Don’t give up on me yet.”

* * * * *

He could hear a voice, off in the distance, and movement caught his eye. A figure, small, darting in and out of the shadows. He tried to move, to chase after him, but his feet were rooted to the ground. A voice, now from behind him, whispered in his ear, and he whirled around, seeing nothing.

“Where are you?” Max took a step in one direction, and then another, indecisive which way to go. “I can’t see you.”

A shadow moved on the right and he whirled in that direction, but again nothing was there. A sound began to fill the air, starting softly like a humming in the background, and then rising in tone and pitch until his ears were ready to explode. His hands rose to cover his ears, trying to block out the sound, and then it was suddenly gone, cut off in mid scream.

The silence was as overwhelming as the noise had been, and Max swallowed in apprehension. Fear was thick in the air, of what he didn’t know, but he could feel it, taste it, sense it all around him.

“Help me.”

The words were whispered in his ear, the voice of a child crying for help. Max whirled around once more and there, floating in the air, a face, wavering and indistinct. Dark hair, dark eyes, pale skin, young . . . so young. A small hand with small fingers reached out, stretching toward him and the mouth opened to repeat, “Help me . . .”

“How!” Max cried out. “How!” Max stepped forward and the image dissipated, like smoke in the air. “How can I help you? How can I find you?”

Max turned in a circle, seeing nothing but dark shadows now, and then a chill went down his spine as a child’s voice echoed around him.

“If you let him win, I’ll never be . . .”

“Max. Max, wake up. Max.” Liz hovered over Max, cupping his face with her hands. “Max! Wake up!”

She had been pulled from sleep a few minutes ago by a sound coming from beyond her window. With her heart pounding in her chest, she had pulled her covers aside and cautiously trekked across her room. At first she hadn’t seen anything, and then the outline of a familiar shape drew her attention. He was leaning against the outer brick wall of her bedroom, curled into a tight ball, and the noise that had disturbed her was coming from deep in his throat. A soft wailing, a whimper of distress had called to her and she rushed to his side.

“Max!” she whispered harshly and shook his shoulders. “Max wake up!”

His eyes popped open and Liz fell backwards in shock. She scooted away from him in fear and her heart, racing in her chest a few minutes ago, suddenly now felt like it wasn’t beating at all. Her back came into contact with one of the chairs on her rooftop, halting her retreat and then he opened his mouth and spoke in a desolate whisper.

"Liz . . .”

She stared at his face, his eyes, eyes that were solid black. They were like the void of space, a black nothingness, alien eyes staring at her from a human face.

“Liz . . .” he whispered again, and she moved towards him.

“What’s wrong? Tell me what’s wrong,” she said fearfully as she neared him. At the sound of her voice, Max reached out his hand to her and she took it in hers. She knelt in front of him, lifting a trembling hand to his cheek and said, “How can I help you?”

His eyes looked toward the sound of her voice and he reached his hand up to feel her face. He could see nothing in the darkness and he jumped with a start when her fingers touched his skin.

“It’s okay, it’s just me,” Liz said reassuringly and helped him to a sitting position. He was trembling, from stress or fear, she didn’t know. Maybe both. Not knowing how to help him, she wrapped her arms around him and cradled his head against her chest. “Max, do you know what’s happening to you?”

“No,” he said in dismay. “No.” His hand was clutching the back of her top, holding on for dear life, and his voice trembled as he said, “It was . . . I got another . . . vision.”

“Of . . .” Liz said, holding him tightly.

“Yes.” His voice cracked as he said, “He’s in trouble.”

“Max . . .” Her fingers threaded through his hair and she lifted his head away from her chest. She looked down into the dark pools of blackness that were his eyes, felt herself falling into their impenetrable depths and floating in the void. They looked at each other for several moments, unmoving, as if time had been suspended, and then her head snapped backwards and her eyes rolled up, under her lids.

“Liz!” Max said in shock as his vision cleared. She slumped against him and he could see the whites of eyes before her head fell forward limply. He lifted her chin and brushed the hair out of her face, and felt a rush of relief as her eyelids fluttered and opened.

Her chocolate colored eyes focused on his and she asked, “Are you okay, Max?”

“Are you?” he answered her question with a question.

“I think so.”

“Me too.” He buried his hand in her hair and pulled her close to him, wondering what had just happened. It had felt like she had reached inside of him and pulled him back from wherever he’d gone. They were both trembling from the experience and they clung to each other in silence until their racing hearts began to slow.

“Are you sure you’re okay?” Max asked gently as he held her out at arms length.

She nodded her head uncertainly at first and then with more assurance. “Yes. I’m fine. But what about you? What happened to you? Your eyes were . . . Max, what happened when you had the vision?”

“I don’t know,” Max answered uneasily. “It was a dream, I think. Or maybe not. I don’t know. It’s hard to explain. It’s like I was here, but somewhere else at the same time. Everything was black, shadows . . . an empty place, full of nothing . . . except him.”

“Him . . .” Liz said softly and she could see the guilty look cross over his face. “What did he look like?” she asked. A part of her didn’t want to know and another part of her wanted to share every aspect of his life, including the parts that belonged to Tess, as painful as they were.

“What did he look like?” Max repeated hesitantly. She nodded and he thought about how to answer her. The boy that he saw had such a familiar face, the dark hair, the dark eyes, the shape of his chin, his mouth. He must have been projecting the image that he wanted to see, for the boy in his vision looked like the son of the woman he only wished was his mother. The boy in the vision looked like Liz.

Max swallowed hard and then said, “He looked . . . human.

TBC . . .

Look for part 8 next Thursday . . .

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 8-Nov-2001 7:55:00 PM ]
posted on 29-Nov-2001 1:07:57 AM by Breathless
Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz

Is everything working again?? I've missed posting things here!
I will post part 8 in two sections because of board restrictions on page length.

Echoes of Tomorrow

Part 8

Liz helped a trembling Max through her bedroom window and over to her bed. The vision that he’d had had left him weak, sapping his energy and leaving him struggling to understand what he saw. He leaned heavily against her with his arm around her shoulders and hers around his back to help support him. She helped him to the edge of her bed and as he sat down he dropped his head into his hands.

“Tell me what you saw,” Liz said as she knelt in front of him. She pulled his hands away from his face and she met his tortured gaze and said, “Tell me how it felt.”

He looked down into her sympathetic eyes and felt the weight of two worlds pressing in on him. This was the world he wanted to be in. Right here was where he wanted to spend his life, with her. But the other world was calling him. It was a force he couldn’t deny. His son needed him, and he would have to do everything in his power to help him.

“Tell me what the vision was like, Max,” Liz urged again.

“Everything was dark. Murky. It felt like . . . being nowhere. Like it was . . . empty. And then I heard his voice, asking for help. Crying for help. And then . . . and then . . .”

“And then what, Max?” Liz asked, griping his hands tighter.

“And then he said, ‘If you let him win, I’ll never be.’ I don’t know what that meant. I don’t know what any of it meant. It just left me feeling . . .” his voice trailed off while he tried to comprehend exactly what he was feeling. Her eyes were locked on to his, waiting for him to finish his thought, and he said, “It felt like I was losing everything. Him,” he said shaking his head and then looking around him, “. . . this.” He focused his eyes on Liz and said, “You.” In the vision, it felt like he was losing her too.

“Oh Max,” Liz said softly and moved to sit beside him on the bed. “We’ll find your son, Max. You won’t lose him. You won’t lose me either. I’ll be with you every step of the way, maybe not physically, but in my mind and in my heart. We’ll get through this, Max. Together.”

“I don’t deserve you Liz,” Max said softly. His somber eyes met hers and he said, “I don’t deserve you at all.”

She drew him into her arms and they clung together, two souls trying to come to terms with the mistakes they’d made in their lives, and the consequences of what they had done.

* * * * *

For the second morning in a row, Max awoke with his arms wrapped around the girl he loved. His eyes slowly opened and in the dark he could feel her body curled up next to his and hear the sound of her breathing in the air. It was a sound that made him smile. Her head was resting on his chest this time and his right arm was around her shoulders. His hand was holding hers against his heart and she had one leg entwined with his. They were fully dressed, Liz in her pajamas and Max in his t-shirt and jeans.

When Liz had invited him into her bed, the only clothing he had removed had been his jacket and his shoes. She hadn’t invited him for anything more than the comfort of sleep, and a glorious sleep it had been. Just as on the previous morning, he had slept soundly with her at his side, with no dreams to haunt him. Three hours with her snuggled peacefully next to him was enough to re-energize him and chase away all the demons in his mind. He felt her stir against him and he looked down to see her eyes flutter and open.

“Morning,” he whispered with a smile on his face. He wished he could wake up this way every morning.

“Good morning,” she smiled back.

It was still dark out and Liz raised her head to look at the clock on her nightstand. 5:20. It was still early, but her father would be up shortly, and Max couldn’t be here then. As innocent as their night together had been, her father would never accept it.

“You have to go soon,” Liz said regretfully.

“I know,” Max said gazing at her radiant face. There’d be hell to pay if her father found him here, in her bed. “Liz, I have to ask you something.”

“What?” she said innocently.

He stroked his fingers through her hair as he tried to formulate what he wanted to say. He had to be careful, tread softly, because he wasn’t sure how she would react to the question. “You didn’t really mean it last night when you said we should stay apart for a while, did you?”

“I did last night when we were talking on the phone,” Liz answered truthfully. “But when I look into your eyes, I know I never want to be without you. We just have to be careful right now. If my father finds out I’m still seeing you . . .”

“I don’t want to lose you Liz. I get so scared when I think about a life without you in it. I need you Liz. I love you.”

“And I love you,” Liz said as she stroked her fingers through his hair. He shifted position and before she knew what was happening, she found herself lying on top of him. Her body stretched out over his, chest against chest, stomach touching stomach, hips locked together. His eyes traveled over her face, lingering on her mouth and then they slowly came together in a tender kiss.

The seconds ticked by too fast with time working against them. Max rolled Liz onto her back, his hand buried in her hair, deepening the kiss as he pressed her down into the sheets. This was where he wanted to be every minute of every day, holding her, kissing her, loving her.

Her loving him back.

It was her love that grounded him, anchoring him to this world, this life. Without her he was nothing. He kissed her hungrily, and she kissed him back with her tongue sweeping over his lips. Their bodies moved together, responding with building sexual need, both of them ready to take the next step. Her legs parted and his thighs settled between them, moving against her in a timeless human rhythm.

He waited for her signals, letting her dictate the moment, letting her decide where this would lead. He knew where he wanted it to go, but it was all up to her now. He felt her hands move from his shoulders down his back. He felt her fingers lift his shirt and then her hands were sliding over the heated skin of his lower back. She began to tug his shirt upward and he pulled his lips away from hers as she wrenched the shirt over his head.

He drew in a ragged breath and then swallowed hard as he stared down into her amorous eyes. He could see no doubt there now, no hesitation, and he hungrily attacked her lips again. Her fingers were sliding under the waistband of his jeans, digging into the skin of his butt, pressing him harder against her as she lifted her hips up to him. She suddenly stiffened underneath him and Max tore his lips away from her, looking worriedly down into her eyes.

“What?” he said breathlessly. “What’s wrong?”

“Did you hear that?” she said apprehensively.

“Hear what?” All he could hear was the roaring of his blood as it raced through his veins.

The sound of a high pitch wail reached her ears once again and her eyes flew to the clock on her nightstand. The numbers, big and bold and blue screamed out at her and she pushed at Max as she scrambled out from under him. “Oh God Max! It’s 5:45! That was my dad’s alarm. He’s awake!”

“Oh shit!” Max jumped away from her and then bolted to his feet, looking around frantically for his shirt. Where’d it go? Where’d it go? It was still dark in the room and he was afraid to turn on a light for fear her father would see it under the door. His eyes swept around the bed and then the floor and finally he saw it. He grabbed it quickly and pulled it over his head and then turned to look for his shoes.

“Here,” Liz whispered as she shoved his shoes into his chest. He took them from her and sat on the edge of the bed to put them on. Liz sat close to him while he tied first one, and then the other, and then he felt her hands pulling at his shirt, trying to lift it up and over his head once again.

“What are you doing?” he said starting to panic. Why was she pulling his shirt off? Her dad was coming!

“Your shirt’s on backwards, silly,” Liz laughed softly.

“Oh,” he sighed and let her take care of him. She pulled his shirt off, turned it the right way and then helped him put it on again. “Thanks,” he said with a grin on his face and then they heard a sound out in the hallway. The creaking of the floorboards. The sound of a footstep.

“Go! Go! Go!” Liz whispered and pushed Max toward the window.

They raced across the room and then Max had to run back to retrieve his jacket from the foot of her bed. She raised the window and Max swept her into his arms one last time, kissing her passionately before letting her go and climbing out. He turned back for one more kiss, and then whispered, “I’ll be back as soon as I can. I’ll let Michael know what I’m doing and he can tell you. I promise, I won’t be gone long.”

“Be careful, Max.” She cupped his face with her hands and kissed him once more and then let him go. “Good luck.”

Their fingers held on, reluctant to let go, and then they parted, Max backing toward the balcony and Liz watching him go. He swung his leg over the ladder and with one final look in her direction, he descended to the street below. She stared at the empty space for a moment, and then she slowly lowered her window and returned to her empty bed.

* * * * *

Liz bustled around the Crashdown, throwing herself into the work while she served out the second day of her suspension from school. She didn’t like to be idle, because then she would have too much time to think, and right now she didn’t want to think. Max had left this morning on his quest to find his son, and if he found the answers this time, would that mean he’d be leaving soon? Would he find the way home to save his child from whatever peril he faced, and then would he stay there, on that far away shore? Was it only a matter of time now before he walked away and never looked back?

“Why the sad face?” Maria asked and Liz nearly jumped out of her skin.

“Maria! You scared me!”

“So answer the question,” Maria insisted.

“Aren’t you suppose to be in school?” Liz asked.

“Don’t answer a question with another question. Why the sad face?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t have a sad face. I’m just busy.”

“Hey Babe, you’re talking to me. I’m the one that can read you like a book, remember? Those puppy dog eyes of yours don’t hide anything. Come on now, spill.”

“Max left this morning, you know, to look for information to help him find . . . you know who.”

“Oh, gotcha. Now I understand the long face.” She watched Liz as her friend tried to concentrate on refilling coffee cups and glasses of water and then added, “Liz, you know I love Max like a brother, and I hate to even say this but . . .”

“But what, Maria?” Liz frowned. “What are you talking about?”

“Maybe Max isn’t good for you, Liz.” She saw the way Liz threw a startled look in her direction and she rushed on. “It’s always what Max wants, Max needs, but look at what he’s doing to you-”

“Maria, I thought you were the one that was always telling me to talk to him, work it out. You’re the one that kept trying to set us up so we’d get back together. Now you think I should break up with him?”

“Liz, the guy got you arrested. He got you, YOU – Elizabeth Parker, suspended from school! He’s changed, Liz. Maybe not for the better.”

“Now you sound like my parents,” Liz sighed.

“Maybe they’re right, Liz. Look at what he’s doing now. He’s off on this stupid search of his, as if that’s all that matters. Maybe you need someone who will put you on the top of the list for a change.”

“Maria,” Liz said softly. “I love him.”

* * * * *

Part 8 is continued in the next post . . .
posted on 29-Nov-2001 1:09:56 AM by Breathless
Echoes of Tomorrow

Part 8 continued

Liz curled up on her bed and stared at the phone, willing it to ring even though she knew that it wouldn’t. Max couldn’t call her. If he did, her parents would find out and there’d be hell to pay. She wondered if he was still in Texas, or was he back in Roswell already? Had his trip met with any success, or had it been another dead end? Was he making plans to leave the planet right now? Was he already gone?

Alone on her bed, her thoughts drifted, memories resurfacing of a time not so long ago . . .

“Are you busy?” she asked from behind him and she watched him spin around in surprise. He was wearing his little UFO Center vest over a black t-shirt and black jeans and as appealing as he looked she couldn’t help noticing the dark circles under his eyes. They hadn’t been there before.

“No,” Max answered quickly. “I’m not busy.” He set down the paintbrush he had been using to touch up one of the alien mannequins and picked up a rag to wipe his hands. “How are you? Are you okay?”

“Yeah, yeah, I’m fine,” Liz said and she concentrated on the dead alien on the autopsy table. Her eyes slowly rose to meet his and she asked, “Are you okay? I mean I haven’t talked to you since . . .”

“Since I ruined our date the other night,” Max finished for her.

“Max, that’s not what I-”

“I know. I’ve been trying to get up the nerve to come see you. I wanted to thank you for dragging my ass out of the water and getting me back to Michael’s. I was pretty out of it.”

“Yeah, you were. I was worried about you.”

“I’m alright.”

“Are you sure?” Liz asked, still worried about him. He didn’t look good. His face looked haggard, like he wasn’t sleeping well and he looked like he was carrying the weight of the world around on his shoulders.

“Yeah, I’m sure,” Max lied. In truth, he was a wreck, but he didn’t want Liz to know that. Not only had he ruined their first date, now he was getting visions from his son, something that would only serve to drive the wedge further between them. It had been easier to let go when he thought there was nothing he could do about his son. He’d be born on another planet, one he had no way of getting to, and he’d reconciled to that fact, until the vision had assailed him. Now his son was crying out for his help, and there was no way he could ignore that.

“Good,” Liz said and nodded. “Good.” She avoided looking at him for a minute and then she said as she started to back away, “Well, I just wanted to come by and see if you were alright.”

“Liz! Wait! Can you wait a minute?” Max blurted out. She stopped in mid flight and he tried to gather his thoughts quickly. “It doesn’t change how I feel, Liz. I still – I want to be with you, Liz. I want us to be close, like we used to be. Is there any chance, Liz? Do we have any chance at all?”

“I don’t know, Max. I need time to think about it.”

“I’ll give you all the time you need, Liz,” Max said fervently. “I’ll give you all the time in the world.”

* * * * *

Max huddled under the covers of the thin blanket in the cheap motel he had found on Highway 20, just out of Sweetwater. His search hadn’t divulged the clues he was hoping for, but he had found an assortment of interesting correspondence and he’d boxed everything up to transport it back to Roswell. Maybe once Liz looked at it, she’d be able to help decipher it. Her intelligence and nimble mind had pulled them through in more than one ticklish situation, and he was sure this would be no exception. She was something special, unique, and he wasn’t about to ever forget that.

Tomorrow he’d be back in Roswell, back with Liz, and maybe he’d be able to get rid of this feeling of impending doom that hovered around him. He lost his way sometimes, when she wasn’t with him, and as much as he hated to admit it, his judgment couldn’t always be trusted. He’d screwed up, literally, without her at his side to guide him and he wasn’t ever going to forget that either.

As he sorted through the box he came across a photograph of the pendant they had found in Marathon almost two years ago. He stared at it closely, remembering the night he had given it to Liz, when he thought he would be leaving her forever. That had been one of the worst moments of his life, telling her goodbye. He set the photograph down and his thoughts drifted to the first time he had seen the pendant again, after the night he gave it to Liz . . .

He lifted his hand and knocked on the hardwood door and nervously waited. Liz had agreed to try again, to go on a second date and he prayed to God nothing would go wrong this time. He heard footsteps coming from inside the apartment and then the door was opening.

“Hello Max,” Nancy said and looked him up and down. He was dressed neatly in black slacks and a burgundy shirt, but there was something about him now that was different. A darker edge maybe.

“Hello Mrs. Parker. Is Liz ready?”

“I’ll go get her.”

She opened the door wider and Max stepped inside the apartment while she headed down the hallway to go get Liz. His eyes wandered around the living room while he waited and then they settled on a collection of photographs on a nearby wall. He stepped closer, drawn to the various images of Liz, taken over her lifetime. Liz as a baby, held in her mother’s arms. A little girl with a wide grin and missing her two front teeth. Liz in pigtails. Liz in braids. Liz dressed up like an elf for a school play. In some of the pictures she looked familiar, some were from before he knew her, all of them precious moments of her past. In most of them she was smiling, something he didn’t see her do very often anymore. That was something he planned on changing.

Footsteps drew his attention away from the photographs and there she was, coming down the hallway toward him with a tentative smile on her face. She looked unsure, like she had doubts whether she wanted to do this and it made his stomach twist in a knot. She was beautiful, dressed in a snug black skirt with strappy sandals on her feet. She wore a black tank top with a sheer print blouse over the top and Max was taken by surprise when he saw the pendant he had given her dangling around her neck. She had worn it for him.

“Hi Max,” she said softly.

“Hi,” he replied with an awkward smile of his own. In his peripheral vision he could see her mother hovering in the hallway and eager to be alone with Liz, he said, “Are you ready to go?”

“Yeah,” she nodded and turning back toward her mother she said, “We won’t be late.”

They left the apartment, descended the stairs and made their way out the back exit of the Crashdown. Max opened the door for her and let her go through first and then he followed behind her. They fell in step together, walking in the warmth of a pleasant summer evening and Max ached to take her hand in his.

“So where are we going?” Liz asked and looked up at him.

“They’re having a performance in the park tonight. I thought you might like to go. I’ve got a blanket and a picnic basket in the car. We could sit on the grass, and watch the performance . . . and talk.”

“Do you know what play it is?” she asked.

“Shakespeare,” he answered. Their arms brushed together as they walked and Max felt electrified every time it happened. To feel her skin brushing against his was intoxicating to him. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” he said in answer to her question. Dream, he thought, sneaking a look in her direction. His dream was to have Liz Parker fall in love with him again.

“I think I’d like that,” Liz answered as they walked along. She looked up at him with a serious look on her face and said, “You won’t be stripping in the park, will you? Like you did at the lake?”

He arched his eyebrows and stared at her for a minute, surprised that she had said that, and then he saw the humor twinkling in her eyes. A smile was spreading across her face and he said, “No. No streaking in the park. Unless you want me to,” Max smiled back at her. He reached for her hand then, and wrapped his fingers around hers and said, “I’ll do anything you want me to. Anything.”

Max remembered what it had felt like that night, to hold her hand, to sit with her on the grass, to feel her rest her head against his shoulder, to drape his arm around her when the sun went down and pretend she was his girl again.

The evening had been a success, with no intrusions, no visions, no alien weirdness to mar their time together. Max had walked her home early, just like her parents had wanted him to, and when he came to her back door Max had taken her hands in his and thanked her for going out with him and making it such a wonderful night. He’d kissed her then, taking a chance that she wouldn’t rebuff him, and he’d sighed inwardly when he felt her kiss him back.

He had still felt the hesitation in her though. The way she kept a part of herself sealed off from him, unwilling to risk her heart again. He had left her that night encouraged that she was at least willing to try to rebuild their relationship, and discouraged at the same time that she was holding so much of herself back.

Even now, he was still working at winning her heart. He was anxious to get back home tomorrow and see her again, and show her just how much she meant to him.

* * * * *

Jared Kingston sat at the table in the kitchen of the small furnished apartment he had rented, sorting through the collection of photographs spread out before him. He separated one from the others and picked it up so he could examine it closely. She was laughing in this one and it made him smile until he remembered why he was here.

He set that photo down and picked up another, and he smiled at it appreciatively. Even though she was stripping on the dock, there was an air of innocence about her, a playfulness, while at the same time a smoldering sexuality. He could understand it now, why Max Evans had fallen in love with her. It was a good thing his mother wasn’t around to hear him say something like that.

Another photo drew his attention and he slid that one across the table to him. His smile faded and disappeared as he stared at the two figures, standing outside the Crashdown, locked in a passionate embrace. It was really a shame that it had to come to this, Jared thought as he stared at the images in the photograph. When he’d come back, he thought it would be so simple to do what he had to do, but that had been before he saw her, before he talked to her. She wasn’t the evil person that he had been led to believe. But it didn’t change anything. He really had no choice in what he had to do. No, it was because of Max Evans that Liz Parker had to die.

Back with part 9 in a minute . . .

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 29-Nov-2001 1:50:35 AM ]
posted on 29-Nov-2001 1:13:00 AM by Breathless
Echoes of Tomorrow

Part 9

Liz kept one eye on the door and one eye on the water glass she was refilling, anxiously watching for Maria to arrive. It was Saturday morning and the breakfast crowd was in full swing and Maria was running late. A motorcycle roared by on the street and Liz raced to the front windows to see if it was them. Relief swept over her as she saw the familiar teal and silver uniform and Maria removed the helmet from her head and gave it to Michael before climbing off the bike.

He wrapped his arm affectionately around Maria’s waist and pulled her close for a kiss before revving the engine and pulling back into traffic. Maria watched him go and then she turned to head to the Crashdown and the start of her morning shift. A huge grin spread over her face at the sight of Liz with her nose pressed against the window, waiting for her to get her butt inside.

Liz rushed to the door as Maria neared and pounced on her as soon as she was inside. “Did he call Michael last night? Is he home yet?”

“Wow, girl! Good morning to you too! I’m glad you’re so excited to see me!” Maria teased.

“Sorry Maria,” Liz said contritely and drew her friend into the café. “Now tell me, did he call?”

“Did who call?” Maria teased, drawing out the agony.

“Mari-” Liz started to cry foul.

“Oh, you mean Prince Charming?” They walked through the door into the back of the restaurant and Maria went to her locker to put her things away. “Let me see,” Maria looked heavenward and tapped her fingers against her cheek. “Did any alien kings deem to grace us with something as mundane as a telephone call?”

“Maria, please!” Liz pouted.

“Yes,” Maria finally relented, grinning from ear to ear. She cupped Liz’s cheeks between her hands and said, “Loverboy called and he’s suitably missing you.”

“He is?” Liz beamed.

“Of course he is! The whole conversation was ‘Where’s Liz?’, ‘What’s Liz doing?’, ‘What did Liz have to say today?’, ‘Did Liz ask about me?’.”

“Really?” Liz sighed.

“Yes,” Maria nodded. “Now Liz, you can use this to your advantage, you know.”

“What are you talking about?” Liz eyed Maria suspiciously. Maria was concocting some kind of plan and that was never a good thing.

“Well, if Max is gonna go gallivanting all over the country at the drop of a hat,” Maria said as they pushed through the door into the café again, “maybe you should give him a reason to want to stay home and take care of what he’s got right here.”

Liz stared at Maria, shocked at what she was suggesting. Maria knew she and Max hadn’t been intimate yet, and Liz couldn’t believe she was suggesting that she sleep with Max, just to keep him at home. She wasn’t about to use sex as a tool to manipulate him. “Maria, I can’t – I can’t do that.”

“Of course you can. Everybody does it.”

“Maria, I can’t believe you’re even suggesting this. When Max and I make love for the first time, it won’t be so that I can gain some kind of control over him. After the way Tess used him, I would never -”

“Whoa, girlfriend!” Maria interrupted with her hands in the air. “I wasn’t talking about SEX!”

“You weren’t?” Liz asked.

“Hell, no!” Maria shook her head.

“Then what are you talking about?” Liz asked at a total loss of where this conversation was going.

“Jealousy of course!” She put her hands on Liz’s shoulders and stared into her eyes and said, “You should make him jealous. You should make him so jealous that he’ll never want to leave you alone again.”

“No, Maria, that is just . . . no, no, no . . . I couldn’t do that to him. That is just like a really, really bad idea,” Liz said shaking her head back and forth.

“You should think about it Liz. If Max thinks he has some competition for your affections, I bet he won’t let you out of his sight.

“No Maria, I don’t want-”

“Good morning, Liz,” a resonant voice startled both girls. Maria looked up to see a handsome blonde in his early twenties with an athletic build and expensive clothes and the bluest damn eyes she had ever seen, except maybe if you counted Tess. But Tess was a lying, murdering bitch, so Maria didn’t count her. She stared at him, noticing the way he stared at Liz, and Maria’s eyes began to pop out of her head.

“Hi,” Liz smiled back, not sure if she should call him Mr. Kingston, or simply Jared. She didn’t want to sound too stuffy or too informal, so she just stuck with the ‘hi’. He acknowledged both girls and then took a seat in one of the booths. The fact that it was Max’s usual booth wasn’t lost on Liz, or Maria either, for that matter. He settled in the seat and pulled The Wallstreet Journal out from under his arm and began to read.

Maria took Liz by the arm and pulled her into the back of the café and as soon as the door closed, she pounced. “Okay Missy, who is that gorgeous hunk of man, and why have I never seen him before? Was he hitting on you? Tell me he wasn’t hitting on you! Oh my God, Liz! He was hitting on you!”

“No he wasn’t!”

“Oh yes he was!”

“Maria, all he said was ‘hi’. How can someone hit on you if all you say is ‘hi’?

“It’s all in the eyes, Babe, and his eyes were looking at you like he was ordering you for breakfast.”

“Maria, don’t be silly. I have to go out and see want he wants,” Liz said turning back toward the café.

“He wants you,” Maria replied but Liz had already walked through the door.

“Hi,” Liz said as she neared the booth and Jared looked up from the paper. His blue eyes sucked her in and her voice sounded a little fuzzy as she asked, “What can I get you?”

“Coffee,” Jared answered, “black.” He glanced over at the trays on the bar and added, “I’ll have a bagel too, with cream cheese.”

“One coffee and bagel, coming right up,” Liz smiled and headed toward the counter.

Maria had been hovering by the door, watching the exchange between the two, and as soon as Liz walked away, she hurried over. Jared looked at her questioningly as she neared, and then she let him have it.

“Who are you?”

“My name is Jared,” he said, somewhat put off by her abruptness. “Jared Kingston.”

“Are you married?” Maria asked.

“No,” Jared frowned. Why was she asking a question like that?

“Do you have any kids?” she eyed him closely.

“No,” he said, shaking his head. What was with this girl?

“Do you have a girlfriend?” Maria asked, and then amended that to say, “Do you have any pregnant girlfriends?”

“No! No girlfriends, pregnant or otherwise. What’s this all about?”

“How old are you?” Maria demanded.

“Twenty one, as if that’s any business of yours.”

“Oh, it’s my business, Buddy! Just you remember that!”

“Maria, what are you doing?” Liz asked as she brought his coffee to the table.

“Going to the kitchen,” Maria said brightly. “See ya later!”

Jared watched her fly through the back door and he turned back to Liz and asked, “Is she always like that?”

“Pretty much,” Liz laughed.

“Wow. My head’s still spinning.”

“That’s Maria,” she laughed again. “I’ll go get your bagel.”

“Hey, Liz,” Jared called out and she turned back to look at him. His eyes locked onto hers and he said, “You have a beautiful smile.” He watched a blush rise in her cheeks and then her eyes darted around as if to see if anyone else had noticed what he said.

“Thank you,” she said shyly and she turned away from him to get his bagel. Maria was watching her through the pass-through to the kitchen and when their eyes met, Liz could see what Maria was thinking. She shook her head almost imperceptibly, mouthing the words ‘No way!’ while Maria smirked back at her.

* * * * *

Max finished packing the boxes from the search of Atherton’s residence in the trunk of his car and closed it with a resounding thud. He fished his keys out of his pants pocket and slid behind the wheel, anxious to get back to Roswell. Nightmares had once again invaded his dreams and he’d awakened in a cold sweat. Afterwards, he hadn’t been able to go back to sleep. He’d decided to read through some of Atherton’s correspondence and he’d stumbled across something very interesting. He couldn’t wait to get back to Roswell and share it with Liz.

Back with more of part 9 in a minute . . .

posted on 29-Nov-2001 1:14:35 AM by Breathless
Echoes of Tomorrow

Part 9 continued

Liz straightened her uniform as she walked down the stairs, headed back toward the café. She’d run upstairs during her afternoon break to check her answering machine, hoping Max had left a message, but knowing that he hadn’t. According to Maria, he should be home sometime late this afternoon or early this evening and she kept watching the clock, willing the time to move faster.

She straightened her headband and headed for the door into the café, and came to a sudden stop at the sound of voices coming from the kitchen. With a frown, she walked in that direction. She poked her head inside and saw her father in an animated discussion with one Jared Kingston, standing in the middle of the Crashdown kitchen.

The movement caught her father’s attention and he looked at her with a wide grin. “Liz, come here. I want you to meet someone. This is Jared Kingston. Jared, this is my daughter Liz.”

“I’ve had the pleasure of meeting her already,” Jared smiled.

“Do you two know each other?” Liz asked in surprise.

“I went to college with Jared’s father,” Jeff informed Liz. “We lost touch over the years, but we both went into the restaurant business and Jared here is following in his father’s footsteps. He’s actually in town checking out the old Smith Building. He’s thinking about renovating it, and opening a club there. God knows, Roswell could use some nightlife around here.”

“A club, huh?” Liz said appraisingly. She could tell that her father was quite taken with Jared.

“Yes,” Jared smiled. “Drinking, dancing, decibel level off the scale. Sound interesting?”

“I’m not 21,” Liz replied.

“Oh, there’s always ways around that, especially when you know the owner,” Jared said smugly.

“Better not let the Liquor Control Board hear you say that!” Jeff warned lightheartedly, and slapped him on the back.

“I better get back to work,” Liz said and turned back toward the café. She frowned slightly, a little put off by her father’s behavior. He was acting like he’d known Jared for years, instead of just meeting him for the first time. What was up with that?

* * * * *

Liz stared at her mother, completely disgruntled by what she had just heard. She couldn’t believe that her parents were going to do this to her. Max was coming home tonight and they were insisting that she go out to dinner with them, ruining any chance she might have had of seeing him, or sneaking off with him. It just wasn’t fair!

“Come on, Mom,” Liz whined. “I’ve been up since the crack of dawn and I’m tired. I don’t want to get all dressed up to go out to dinner. I just want a nice quiet evening, curled up with a good book or something.” Or curled up with Max, she thought to herself.

“Liz, your father is expecting you to join us,” Nancy scolded. “It will only be a couple of hours and I don’t think that’s asking too much to keep him happy. I don’t want to discuss this any further. Now go get dressed so that we don’t miss our reservation.”

Knowing that further objections weren’t going to get her out of this, Liz sagged in defeat and shuffled down the hall, dragging her feet as she went. She slammed her bedroom door, not caring if her parents heard her, and threw herself on her bed. She pulled her pillow close, hugging it to her chest and breathed deeply. It smelled of Max, a remnant of the night before last, when he’d slept in her bed. She closed her eyes, remembering the way it felt to be in his arms and how perfect it was to start the day waking up beside him.

A tapping came from her window and she turned swiftly with a huge smile breaking over her face when she saw him. Max was standing at the window, staring in at her with an intense look in his eyes, and she bolted off of her bed and flew to the window with her heart rate soaring. He was home, safe and sound from his trip.

He raised the window and he scrambled through, drawing her into his arms as soon as his feet hit the floor. They stared into each other’s eyes for a moment and no words were necessary between them. They could each see what the other was feeling. The joy at being together again, the desire to never be apart, the love they felt. Their lips came together and they kissed, a kiss full of promises.

“Hi,” Max said breathlessly when the kiss ended. His forehead was resting against hers and he was holding her tightly in his arms. “I missed you.”

“I missed you too,” Liz whispered and they kissed again.

“Can you get away?” he asked and his voice sounded husky. “Can you meet me at Michael’s?” He wanted her so badly. He wanted to love her, and be loved by her. He wanted to kiss her and never stop. He wanted her to be his forever.

“I – I,” she stared up at him and saw his eyes start to frown with concern. “I can’t Max.”

“What’s wrong?” he asked and his stomach began to twist in a knot. He could feel bad news coming.

“I have to go out to dinner with my parents,” she said and her eyes looked away from his.

“Dinner?” Max asked. “You have to go out to dinner?”

“Yes,” she nodded and lowered her gaze. “In fact, we’re leaving soon. I’ll have to get dressed in a minute.”

He placed his finger under her chin and lifted her face up. When their eyes made contact, he asked with confusion, “You have to get dressed?” She was nicely dressed now, wearing black slacks and blue v-neck sweater. Why would she need to change out of this just to go out to dinner? Her eyes darted over to her closet and Max turned in that direction, noticing the red dress hanging there for the first time. So it was a fancy dinner. At a fancy restaurant. One she had to get dressed up for.

“Oh,” he said, and looked back at her.

“I tried to get out of it, but they’re making me go.”

“Just you and your parents?” Max asked.

She released his hands and turned from him, headed to her closet to retrieve her dress. “Yeah, just us.” Her hand reached for the hanger and lifted it off the hook, and laid the dress across her arm as she walked back in his direction. “I tried to get out of it, but my dad is making a point of keeping me on a short leash. Everything they do, I have to do.” She came to a stop in front of him, looking up at him, wishing things didn’t have to be this way.

“Liz-” Max started to say and then was startled by a loud knock on her door and they both jumped.

“Liz? Are you ready?” Her dad shouted through the door. The knob started to turn and his voice sounded less muffled as the door inched open, “It’s time to leave-”

“Dad!” Liz shouted in a panic. Pushing Max toward her bathroom, she yelled, “Don’t come in here! I’m naked!”

“Oh, sorry!” Jeff apologized and hastily closed the door. “How much longer?”

“I’ll be ready in a few minutes,” she yelled and looked at Max with relief at the sound of her father’s retreating footsteps. “That was a close call. Where are you parked?” she asked Max in a whisper.

“Down the street,” he answered softly so that his voice wouldn’t carry.

“You stay here until we’re gone,” Liz suggested. “I don’t want my dad to see you sneaking out.”

“Okay,” Max replied and watched her as she scrambled around the room, retrieving shoes and stockings and a slip from her lingerie drawer. She pushed past him, pulling her sweater over her head and ushered him out of the bathroom so she could change.

She had left the door open a crack and he could hear her rustling around on the other side, and his imagination went into overdrive. He could picture her dropping her sweater on the floor, and then wiggling out of her pants, and then-

“When did you get back?” she asked, poking her head out the bathroom door.

He could see her bare shoulder, and the way her hair fell to the side as she looked up at him, and he wanted to reach out and grab her and pull her into his arms and-


“What?” he said, startled back to reality. “When did I get back? Just a few minutes ago. I came straight here.”

“Oh,” Liz smiled, feeling butterflies in her stomach. He’d come straight to see her.

Her head disappeared back inside the bathroom and through the crack in the door he could see a sliver of her reflection in the bathroom mirror. Her back was to the mirror and he could see the creamy color of her skin, the delicate curve of her naked back and then her arms rose above her head and her slip floated down around her. Max looked away then, with the heat of desire rising in his cheeks, and he tried not to think about what he couldn’t stop thinking about. God, he wanted her.

The bathroom door opened a few minutes later and his breath caught in his throat at the sight of her. She had her hair piled on top of her head, with little wispy strands falling around her throat. Her lips were red, matching the color of her dress, and what a dress it was. Thin spaghetti straps held up a plunging neckline and the material clung to her body, accentuating her every curve. All he could do was stare at her, with his mouth hanging open.

She walked up to him, turned around and said, “Will you zip me up?”

“Sure,” he managed to squeak out and she waited patiently while he tried to get his hand to move. He took a deep breath and inched his hand toward where her zipper started, low, below the small of her back, down by the curve of her butt. His hand reached forward and he couldn’t help it, couldn’t stop himself as his fingers slid between her dress and her slip, curving around her hip and sliding to a stop with his hand spread over her belly. He pulled her roughly back against him, her back to his front, and then he leaned down to taste the tender skin on her throat.

“Max . . .” she murmured, with the heat of desire rising in her as well. His hand rose up to her ribs and hovered just below the swell of her breast. She could feel his erection pressing against her, hot and rigid and she felt her knees getting weak. “Max, I – I have to go,” she said throatily.

“You’re so beautiful,” he whispered heatedly. His mouth covered her throat, sucking on that delicate skin, and his hand rose higher, cupping her breast. Her nipple hardened, pressing against his palm and he could feel her rapid heartbeat.

“Max . . .” she murmured dreamily, fighting the urge to whirl around, rip his clothes off and push him down onto her bed. Using the last ounce of her willpower, she pushed away from him and his hand slid out from inside her dress. “Max, I really have to go.”

He stared at her with his chest heaving and his body craving more. He fought to regain control of his desires, and he huskily said, “I know. I know you have to go.” She started to back away from him with her eyes locked on to his and then he called out, “Wait!”

She stopped and he crossed over to her, placing his palm against her throat. “I got a little carried away,” he said with colors ablaze in his cheeks. Her eyes looked at him questioningly and he added, “Hickey. Wouldn’t want your dad to see that.”

“No, that wouldn’t be good,” Liz said, feeling his heated skin on hers. He lifted his palm and checked to make sure her skin was clear, and then he placed his hands on her shoulders and turned her around. He reached for her zipper, pulled it slowly upwards and when it reached the top of her dress, he rested his hand against the delicate skin between her shoulder blades. It glowed as his skin touched hers and then he turned her back to face him.

“I really have to go,” Liz said sensually, “before my dad comes back.” Max stared down at her, sensing that the last thing that she really wanted to do was go to dinner with her parents.

“Are you sure?” he asked as he drew her into his arms again. “Are you sure I can’t convince you to forget all this, and run away with me?”

“I’d love to run away with you, Max, but tonight I have to have dinner with my parents and pretend to like it,” Liz told him. Smiling, she said, “Maybe tomorrow we can go on the lamb.”

“Liz Parker,” Max said with a smile as he walked her to her door, “sometimes I think your name should be Ma. As in Ma Parker. You seem all too comfortable in this bad girl image you’ve been showing lately. I never would have believed it unless I had seen it with my own eyes.”

“You just bring out the best side in me Max,” Liz teased. “And I think its Ma Barker, not Parker.” She turned more serious and said, “I really have to go, Max. I’m sorry. You know I’d rather be with you, but they won’t let me out of it. Come hell or high water, I have to go to this dinner tonight.”

“I know,” Max answered and he couldn’t keep his lips off of hers. “Try to call me. Tonight. At Michael’s.” His hand dropped over the swell of her backside and he cupped her butt, forcefully dragging her toward him so that their bodies were snugly fitting together.

“I’ll - I’ll try to let you know when I’m free,” she promised, reluctantly pushing away from him.

Max stood back, watching Liz as she opened the door and stepped out into the hallway. A panic attack almost seized him as she disappeared and he wondered what was wrong with him. What the hell could go wrong if she was only going out to dinner with her parents?

Back with Part 10 in a minute . . .

posted on 29-Nov-2001 1:17:23 AM by Breathless
Echoes of Tomorrow

Part 10

Jared Kingston watched from the shadows as the Parkers entered the restaurant and his eyebrows rose appreciatively at the sight of Liz in her blood red dress. She really was quite stunning with her dark hair piled on top of her head and her enticing body and her shapely legs. There was something very soft and feminine about her, and despite everything, he found himself attracted to her. He knew that was wrong, that he was here to do one thing and one thing only, and the attraction unsettled him.

He’d been raised on the stories of how Liz Parker had wantonly chased after his father, turning him away from his mother, making him turn his back on his own son. His mother had told him how Liz had destroyed his parent’s marriage, using sex to manipulate his father. Jared had been told that Liz had beguiled him so, that he chose to stay here on Earth with her, rather than return to his home world with his wife and his son. Jared had grown up hating the woman that had kept him from ever knowing his father.

Surprisingly, Jared had been oddly unaffected the first time he saw his father. It had been that night during the summer, out at the lake, shortly after he arrived and the big idiot had almost drowned himself. He’d had some kind of fit out in the water and Liz had jumped in and pulled his ass to shore. The one thing that struck him about that night was that they didn’t seem to act like lovers. That had confused him. They acted like two people taking small steps to try to build a relationship.

None of that mattered, though. He’d come back for a purpose, a purpose that he intended to fulfill. With a measured pace he made his way toward the restaurant, and another encounter with Liz Parker.

* * * * *

Max set the boxes down in Michael’s living room and Michael lifted the lid on the one closest to him. “What is all this, Maxwell?”

“Most of it’s nothing, but I thought you might like to look through it too. You might see something I missed. This is what I found interesting, though,” Max answered as he sat on the couch and pulled one of the boxes toward him. He opened the lid and lifted a photograph up for Michael to see.

“What? What’s so interesting about this?” Michael said, staring at the photo.

“Look,” Max said, pointing at one of the soldiers in the foreground. It was a photograph showing a group of military personnel, standing in front of a sign of Fort Bliss. It looked old, and the uniforms were reminiscent of the 1940’s or 50’s.

“Look at wha-” Michael started to say, and then he noticed it. His mouth dropped open and he turned to look at Max.

“I think I found my donor.” His eyes returned to the photo and Max stared at the man that looked like an exact duplicate of him.

* * * * *

Jared nonchalantly opened the doors to the restaurant and stepped inside, waiting patiently for one of the Parkers to notice him. It didn’t take long.

“Jared, is that you?” Jeff asked and Jared turned in his direction.

“Jeff! Fancy meeting you here!” He smiled one of his infectious grins and Jeff stepped over to shake his hand.

“Are you meeting someone here?” Jeff asked as he drew the young man over to his family.

“No,” Jared answered. “I’m just looking for a good meal.” His eyes were drawn to Liz and he decided those words could be interpreted two different ways. He was hungry, after all, and Liz did look good enough to eat.

“Why don’t you join us?” Jeff offered. “You don’t eat alone in a place like this, do you?”

“Why thank you Jeff,” Jared smiled. “Why would I want to be alone when I can share a meal with such fantastic company?”

* * * * *

“So you think this was your human donor?” Maria asked, staring at the picture.

“It’s gotta be,” Max answered. “He doesn’t just look similar to me, he looks exactly like me.”

“Yeah,” Maria agreed. “You don’t see a set of ears like that too often.”

“What’s wrong with my ears?” Max frowned.

“Nothing,” Maria bit her lip trying not to laugh. “They’re adorable. Liz says so all the time.”

“She does?” Max smiled.

Maria rolled her eyes at the sappy look on his face and when Michael nudged her with his foot she refocused on the photograph. “So now what?” she asked.

“Well, the name on his uniform is Jack T Perkins. I had Brody’s laptop with me and I did an internet search.” His eyes clouded over and he dropped his head, rubbing his forehead with his hand.

“What? What’s the matter, Max?” Maria asked softly.

“It’s just . . .” he started and then his sad eyes met hers. “It took me hours to come up with anything, and it just made me think of Alex. He probably could have found in five minutes what took me three hours to find. I miss him, you know?”

“Yeah,” Maria said and hugged Max around the shoulders. “I know. We all miss him.”

* * * * *

“Can I get you anything to drink? Something from the bar perhaps?” the waitress asked and her eyes swept around the table.

“I’ll have a glass of white wine,” Nancy said and then added, “Chardonnay.”

“I’ll have a Seven and Seven,” Jeff told the waitress.

“Scotch, on the rocks,” Jared said.

“Cherry Coke,” Liz said and leaned her cheek on her hand. This was going to be a long night.

* * * * *

“So you found this Jack Perkins listed as living in a retirement home in Las Cruces,” Maria said. “Now what?”

“Well, I’ve got to go talk to him,” Max said matter-of-factly. “See if he can remember anything about being abducted. I’m gonna ask Liz to come with me. She’s the one that understands this scientific stuff, cloning and stuff like that. I wouldn’t know what questions to ask.”

“And how are you going to do that?” Maria frowned. “Her father’s not going to let her leave town with you.”

“That’s where you come in Maria,” Max smiled and gave her a buddy hug.

* * * * *

“So my dad decided to do the whole karaoke thing, ‘cause everyone was doing it,” Jared laughed. “Then one night, these two guys take the stage and they start singing really, and I do mean really, badly. But the crowd was polite and having a lot of fun, so they kept singing. Then after about an hour, someone came in the bar and took one look at who was on stage and started screaming! It turns out one of the guys was the lead singer from Foo Fighters and none of the idiots in the bar knew it, even though he was singing his own songs! It was hysterical.”

“Nothing like that ever happens around here,” Liz lamented. She was sipping on her nearly empty Coke and Jared raised his hand, snapping his fingers to get the attention of their waitress.

“That’s the fun of living in LA,” Jared smiled. The waitress neared and Jared said, “Can we get some drink refills here? A Cherry Coke for the pretty lady here, and Nancy? Jeff? Anything for you?”

“No, I’m fine,” Nancy smiled.

Jeff held his hand up, shaking it left and right and said, “I’m driving. Nothing for me.”

“That’ll be all,” Jared said, dismissing the waitress. He polished off his own drink and then pushed it aside.

“My friend Maria sings really well,” Liz said and then she laughed. “You met Maria, this morning, in the Crashdown. I think she was drilling you with twenty questions!”

“Yeah, what was up with that?” Jared raised his eyebrows.

“That’s just Maria, getting to know ya,” Liz replied. “Anyway, we used to do karaoke on Wednesday nights. She is sooo good. Maybe she can sing in your new club.”

“If your voice is as pretty as your smile,” Jared winked at her, “then I’d love to hear you sing.”

“Me?” Liz pointed at herself. “No. No no. You wouldn’t want to hear me!”

* * * * *

“So I’ll go over to tell Liz the plan when she gets back from dinner,” Max said enthusiastically. “We’ll leave first thing tomorrow morning, when her parents think she’s going to Albuquerque with you and your mother. Hopefully we’ll be back before anyone is the wiser. Maria, you can run interference for her and everything should work out fine.”

“Max,” Maria said and she scratched the back of her head. “I hate to tell you this, but . . . you know, most of the time your plans kinda suck.”

“Maria,” Max said, squeezing her shoulder. “What could go wrong?”

* * * * *

“Damnit!” Jeff swore as he looked down at the front tire of his car. It was flat as a pancake, as was the rear tire and the tires on the other side. Someone had let the air out of his tires while they were inside enjoying a wonderful meal. “I’m going to go inside and call Triple A. What a way to ruin a night.”

“Dad!” Liz called out as he turned to walk into the restaurant. “How long is this gonna take?” She was never going to get a chance to see Max at this rate.

“I’m sorry Lizzie. This could take awhile.”

“Damnit,” Liz echoed her father’s earlier words.

“Liz,” Jared offered, “I could give you a ride home. You too Nancy. I could give you all a ride home if you want to wait and deal with this tomorrow, Jeff.”

“Nah,” Jeff answered. “I want to take care of this tonight.”

“Thanks for the offer, Jared,” Nancy added, “but I think I’ll stay here with Jeff and keep him company.” She eyed her daughter, knowing what a long day it had been for her already and said, “But it’d be great if you wouldn’t mind giving Liz a ride. She’s tired and anxious to get home.”

“You wouldn’t mind?” Liz asked hopefully. “It’s not out of your way?”

“Not at all,” Jared beamed. “Come on. I’ll get you home safe and sound.”

Back with more of Part 10 in a minute . . .
posted on 29-Nov-2001 1:19:38 AM by Breathless
Echoes of Tomorrow

Part 10 continued

Max drove down the back alley behind the Crashdown and he noticed everything still looked dark in the apartment upstairs. It looked like Liz wasn’t home from dinner yet. He sped up, drove around the block and parked on a side street that he was sure wouldn’t be seen by Jeff Parker. He exited the car and made his way back down the alleyway, hoping Liz would be home soon.

* * * * *

“Just drive around the back and drop me there,” Liz told Jared. “I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this.”

“No problem,” he replied. No problem what-so-ever. He hadn’t flattened Jeff’s tires for nothing. His plan was working well so far. He was worming his way into their lives, and even though he could have come in quickly, done his job and got it over with, it was more fun this way. Besides, he was having a good time getting to know Liz Parker. His mother would shit a brick if she knew, but he didn’t need to worry too much about that.

He pulled his car to a stop near the back door to the Crashdown, and he turned to look at Liz. “I had a really good time at dinner. I think it had to do with the company.”

Was he coming on to her, she wondered? He was twenty-one, and she’d just barely turned eighteen. She was still in high school and he’d already earned a college degree. Besides, it didn’t matter. She was in love with Max. So why did she feel so strange, every time she was near him like this?

“I had a good time too,” Liz said politely. “Dinner was great, and I am so tired, I think I’m just going to run upstairs and-”

“You’ve got something, there . . .” Jared said leaning close to her and touching her cheek with his finger. “Hold still and I’ll get it . . .”

Max watched from the shadows and felt his guts being wrenched out of him. Liz, his Liz, was in a car with that guy, the one he had seen her talking to in the drug store. Why was she in his car? The slow realization hit him that she was on a date with this guy. Christ almighty, she was on a fucking date! What the fuck was going on? She said she was going to dinner with her parents, but obviously that wasn’t the truth. Jesus, the truth was staring him right in the face.

Blondie leaned forward and Max felt his world falling apart as he saw him caress Liz’s cheek and then he was kissing her. Jesus, it looked like he was kissing her! But the worse part was that it looked like she was kissing him back. Max backed away, hiding in the shadows, wanting to die.

* * * * *

“What is it?” Liz asked.

“Nothing,” Jared replied and leaned back from her. “It must have just been a shadow.”

“I’ve got to go,” Liz said, gathering her things. “Thank you for the ride.”

“Glad I could help.”

She climbed from his car and rushed to the back door of the Crashdown, glancing at Jared as he drove away. Her hand closed over the keys in her purse, shoved them into the lock in the door and she rushed inside, racing upstairs so that she could give Max a call before her parents got home.

* * * * *

Max stumbled back to his car, wondering how she could do that to him. They’d gotten so close, and then here she was, going around behind his back, seeing another guy. How could she do that? She had told him that she loved him. He’d been sure that she meant it. How could things have changed so quickly?

He stopped in his tracks and tried to look at this rationally. Okay, he’d seen her in the drugstore with Blondie, and there’d definitely been something going on there. Now tonight, she’d said she was going to dinner with her parents and here she was with Blondie again. He had two options here. Jump to a conclusion and run away, or face it head on and confront her with it. He’d done too much running in the past. That wasn’t an option anymore. Turning from his car, Max made his way to her ladder and rose quickly, ready to face the consequences, no matter how painful they were.

* * * * *

Liz rushed into her room and over to her bed, quickly sitting on the edge and picking up the phone to call Max. Her finger stretched out toward the number 5, and then she heard a tapping on her window. Her head snapped in that direction and there he was, Max, standing at her window, looking anxious to see her. She raced over to him and threw open the lock, before tearing open the window.

“Max,” she said excitedly. “I was just calling you.” She noticed then the strange look on his face and her smile slowly faded. “What’s the matter?”

Max climbed through her window and stood with his back to her, trying to gather his thoughts. There was no denying what he had seen, what he had felt. Something was up. There was some kind of strange connection between Liz and Blondie, and Max didn’t like it at all.

“So what’s his name?” Max asked in a low voice, still not looking at her.

“His name?” Liz repeated, at a complete loss.

“The guy you went out with tonight?”

“The guy I . . .?” Liz repeated, dismayed by the tension in the air. Tension that was radiating from him, directed toward her. It suddenly dawned on her that he must have seen Jared drive her home and she said, “Are you talking-”

“I’m talking about the guy you got all dressed up for, the guy you went out to dinner with,” Max said as he turned to stare at her. His eyes were hooded, hiding his emotions, but his voice had a harsh edge to it. “I’m talking about the guy with the blonde hair I saw you with not five minutes ago.” The guy that he knew she’d been thinking about a lot lately, he thought, but he didn’t say that part aloud.

“Max, what’s this all about?” Liz asked in confusion.

“You tell me,” he said with his hands clenched at his sides.

“There’s nothing-”

“Nothing to tell?” he spit back. “You have nothing to tell me when you go out on a - on a date, dressed like that? What’s going on with you, Liz? I thought that we, I thought . . .”

He turned away from her, but not before she could see the hurt in his eyes. She walked up behind him saying, “Max, I don’t know what you think-” and as she touched his arm, he jerked it away.

“I saw you,” Max said flatly. “I saw you kissing him down in the car.” His heart was pounding wildly in his chest and he didn’t notice the shocked look that crossed her face. “What was next, Liz? Were you going to invite him up to your room? If I’d been here a half hour later, would I have come up that ladder and seen you in bed with him, like I saw you with Kyle?”

Liz stepped away from Max, feeling his words like a physical blow. What was he saying? Why was he saying it? Stunned, she said, “I told you about Kyle. You know why I did what I did.”

The pain in her voice broke through his anger and he hastily said, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to say that. It’s just that-”

“For your information,” Liz said stonily, “he was at the same restaurant as us, and when the tires went flat on my dad’s car, he offered me a ride home. I was so happy because it meant I could get home and call you.”

“Liz, I’m sorry-”

“I wasn’t kissing him in the car,” she said with controlled anger. “No, that’s the type of thing you do, Max. You’re the one that takes me on a date, to the prom no less, and then spends the night kissing someone else.”

“Look, Liz. I don’t want to rehash the past-” Max started to say but she cut him off.

“Maybe that’s just what we should do, Max,” Liz said icily. “We haven’t really talked about it at all, now have we? We’ve just buried it, so now maybe it’s time to dig it up.”

“Liz, I don’t want to fight with you. I just want to know what’s going on.”

“Well, it sounds like you’re accusing me of, of . . . God!” Her voice was rising steadily as her anger grew. “You’re accusing me of almost falling into bed with another guy, but correct me if I’m wrong here, because I could have sworn that I – I’m the only virgin in this room!”

“Liz,” Max said painfully, “don’t-”

“I didn’t pledge my undying love to you and then run off and fuck somebody else, now did I?”


“No. No. Who was it that did that?” Liz seethed with anger. “Oh, I remember now. That would be you. I sacrificed everything for you and . . . and . . .” The tears were starting to fill her eyes now and her voice began to tremble.

“Liz,” Max said gently, feeling the guilt weigh heavily on him. “We weren’t together then. We-”

“We were ‘On a break’,” Liz said sarcastically. “I guess those times you told me that I was ‘the only one’, that only applied when nobody better was around for you to try out.”

“Liz, that’s not-” he stuttered, “I told you-”

“Yeah, what did you tell me, Max, that night out on the dock? Let’s see, I think you said, ‘You were attracted to someone that was like you, and you had to find out about it.’”

“Liz, I said-”

“Well, guess what Max?” Liz said staring coldly at him. “You might be over it, but I’m not.”

“It’s in the past, Liz,” Max said stepping closer to her and she backed away. “Can’t we leave it there? I’ve been trying to make that up to you.”

“Oh? By coming here tonight and accusing me of being with another guy?” Liz spit the words at him “Is it only King Max that gets to try out all the dishes before deciding which one he wants?”

“Liz, please. It’s not like that. I’m sorry if I jumped to the wrong conclusion. I . . . I was just-”

“Maybe you were right, Max,” Liz said so calmly it sent a shiver of dread down his spine. “Just like you said you had to find out what it was like to be with one of your own kind, maybe I do too.”

“Liz, what are you saying? You can’t – you don’t mean . . .”

“I’m human Max,” Liz said, turning away from him. “Maybe I need to find out what that’s like before I can really know what I want.”

“Don’t say that,” Max begged. He stepped closer to her and saw the way her back stiffened as he drew near.

“We both know that if – if Tess hadn’t been betraying you, you’d still be with her now,” Liz said softly, with her head hung low. “You chose her over me.”

“No, Liz,” Max hovered behind her, afraid to touch her. “That’s not how I felt. I never wanted to be with her. It just – it just all got so messed up.”

“All I am is your consolation prize, because you’re stuck here with no way home,” Liz said, finally turning around to look at him. A tear overflowed her eye and spilled down her cheek as she said, “That’s all I’ll ever be.”

“No, Liz. That’s not true,” he said, with his heart aching. “This is what I want, to be here, with you. It’s what I always wanted. I thought it was what you wanted too.”

“I need time to think,” she said, dropping her head and turning away again. “I need to decide what’s best for me. I can’t keep pretending that you’re always going to be here, because you won’t.”

“I told you before, Liz. I’m not leaving you,” Max swallowed hard, past the lump in his throat. “I’m never leaving you. Just the thought of being without you . . . Liz, you know how much I love you.”

Her eyes rose to meet his and she said, “But as soon as you find the ship, you’ll be gone.”

He stared at her, with his mouth open and his words stuck in his throat. It was true. As soon as he found a way, he would leave, to save his son. But he thought she understood that. He’d felt an immediate bond with him, that night at the lake when he’d received the vision for the first time. During the vision, his connection to his son had been so strong, just like his connection to Liz, and he knew there was no way he could ignore his plea for help.

“I – I thought you understood why I have to do this,” Max said haltingly.

“I do, Max. I understand completely,” Liz said sadly. “It’s what you need to do. And now I need to figure out what I need to do.”


“I think you should go home now, Max. I just need to be alone for awhile.”

“Liz,” he said, taking a step toward her, but she turned away, closing herself off from him. His shoulders sagged, and he cursed himself for acting so stupidly. If he hadn’t come up here accusing her of something she didn’t do, there wouldn’t be this rift between them right now. He made his way toward her window, willing to give her the space she asked for, and then he paused, with his hand on the windowsill. “I’ll give you all the time that you need, but just know this. You mean everything to me, Liz. I’m not giving up on us. I made that mistake once before, I’ll never do it again.”

Liz watched him as he made his way silently across her balcony. He paused at the top of her ladder, and their eyes met, and even through her tears she could see the pain etched in his eyes. He held her gaze, not for the first time wishing everything could be different, and then she turned away from him, disappearing from sight.

* * * * *

Jared watched from the shadows, unconcerned about being seen. A little manipulation here, a little mindwarp there, it was all so simple. His mother had taught him well. Now with a wedge driven between them, he could go about weaving his brand of magic. Liz was vulnerable now, and Max Evans was on the sidelines, unlikely to come riding to her rescue like a knight in shinning armor.

Everything was falling into place . . .

I'll try to post the next part this weekend. I might even have a new Captive Hearts on Sunday!
posted on 3-Dec-2001 3:02:56 AM by Breathless
Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz (do I write anything else?)
Rating: No nookie tonight
Disclaimer: I don't smoke crack

Author Note: Okay, first off, I was suppose to update Captive Hearts tonight, but it's still in my head instead of in my computer. I hate it when that happens. Sorry. I know you all are waiting. Super sorry.

Now to answer a couple of questions . . .
Snowdove30 You asked if Jared mindwarped Jeff Parker. Kinda looks that way, doesn't it? Jared is just making himself right at home, isn't he?

SciFiNut111 You asked if Jared sensed that Max was watching him and Liz in the car and was Max mindwarped into thinking Jared and Liz were kissing. WatcherTara, you asked this too, and wondered if it was the line of sight that made it look that way. Definitely, bad boy Jared was aware of Max and he made sure Max saw what he wanted him to see. Remember, Max thought it looked like Liz was kissing Jared back. That's what upset him the most, that Liz would kiss him back.

Michelle Your speculation is pretty good.

Pussycat Purr for me some more! Glad to see you here!

WatcherTara You wondered how much of the argument between Max and Liz did Jared hear, and did it make him question any of his assumptions. Just keep reading! In a minute, you'll learn how much he heard, but you'll have to stick around for awhile to find out how he reacts to what he heard. BYW, have you deflated anything lately? I mean besides Max? *big* That puppy went down so fast, my head is still spinning!

Several of you have wondered how Jared can be 21, yet be the son of Max and the blonde bitch, um, I mean Tess. You'll get the answer to that sooner or later! *happy*

I read alot of responses that you were glad Liz laid in to Max, and said all the things she did. I must say, when I wrote it, it was quite cleansing. I wish the show had done something similiar, but that's never gonna happen. *sad*

So, anyway, on with the story . . .

Echoes of Tomorrow

Part 11

Max made his way to his car, struggling to comprehend everything she had said. He thought Liz had forgiven him, for Tess, for his actions, for the pain he had caused her, but now he knew she had only buried it beneath the surface. He’d known he had hurt her, but he never realized just how deep that hurt went. Even now, she felt that she was second best, a ‘consolation prize’ as she put it.

Couldn’t she tell what she was to him? What she was always going to be to him? She wasn’t just his first love, she was his only love, the only one that would ever be able to make his heart sing. He was alive when he was with her. Without her, he was barely breathing.

Did she really mean what she said? Did she really want to be with a normal guy, like the one that brought her home tonight? Could he stand back and watch her be with someone else? But isn’t that what he had done to her? She was right. He had kissed Tess, and right in front of her eyes, no less. He’d not only kissed her, he’d gotten her pregnant. How could he ever expect Liz to really forgive him for that? How could he have been so stupid in the first place?

Max slid behind the wheel of his car and wondered what to do next. Liz wanted time to think, and he was going to give her all the time she needed. If it meant standing in the background and watching her be with someone else, then that’s what he’d do. He could only pray that she would eventually realize what they could be together, and she’d find her way back to him. He could make her dreams come true, if she gave him a chance. Maybe if she –

It hit him then, a searing vision that made his head feel like it was about to explode. His mind filled with the cries of a child, the image of those hauntingly dark eyes staring into his, begging him for help. He shuddered under the assault and his eyes rolled up into his head. His head fell backwards coming to rest on the back of the seat and he stared unseeing up toward the night sky. The whites of his eyes turned to black and all he could see was the fleeting image of his son, rocking back and forth in the darkness, reaching out his small hand, lifting his head and looking at him with such foreboding eyes, pleading for Max to rescue him, begging for his help before it was too late.

His haunting words stayed with Max long after the vision faded and his sight returned to normal. He covered his face with his hands, trying to comprehend what he had seen and heard. He wasn’t sure why the child in the vision appeared to be so old. He was easily 6 or 7, maybe even 8, yet his son should only be a few months old. But there was no doubt in his mind that it was his son. Was time different there? Had he really aged that fast, or was it just the perceptions of the vision? He didn’t understand what the visions were telling him, or what they really meant, he only knew he had to do something, before it was too late.

With a trembling hand, he slipped the keys into the ignition and the engine came purring to life. He looked back toward the Crashdown, knowing that Liz didn’t want him near right now, that she needed space. He couldn’t go to her about his son, it would be like pouring salt in an open wound. He’d go alone, and maybe he’d find some answers to this nightmare, and he’d have time to think about how to fix things with Liz. He put the car in gear and headed out of town, headed for Las Cruces and an encounter with his human past.

As the miles passed by and Roswell fell behind him, the child’s voice that he’d heard in his vision kept echoing through his brain, repeating over and over those six little words. Words that were so familiar. Words that held such meaning. Words that sent a shiver of fear down his spine with the enormity of what they meant. The child’s voice, so haunting and clear, echoing over and over . . .

“My life is in your hands.”

* * * * *

Liz sat on the edge of her bed with her head in her hands, wondering what had just happened. Everything was falling apart. This morning she’d been so sure about her and Max, and what she wanted. Now, it felt like they had no future at all anymore. The pain of the past year, the emotional torment and anguish closed in on her and Liz stretched out on her bed, crying over a future that she was never going to have.

* * * * *

Jared stood against the wall listening to the sounds of her crying from inside her room. After a time she quieted and he ventured out of the shadows. He stepped closer to her window and his eyes were drawn to her sleeping form on the bed. She had cried herself to sleep.

He stared at her for a few minutes, watching the way the light fell across her distressed face. Questions were going through his mind, questions about what he had heard her say. So much of it contradicted the things he’d heard from his mother.

How could Liz have seduced his father the way he’d been raised to believe if she was still a virgin? Why had Liz made it sound like his mother had come between her and Max, instead of it being the other way around? Why did Liz call herself a consolation prize when his father had abandoned him and his mother, so he could stay with her?

Why had Liz called his mother a betrayer?

And why was Max looking for a ship? For what? To go where? There were so many questions, and not enough time to find out the answers. He had a job to do, didn’t he? Nothing could sway him from it, could it? She was the enemy . . . wasn’t she?

He disengaged the lock on her window and climbed inside, silently making his way to her bedside. She looked so troubled in her sleep and he found himself wanting to take her in his arms and hold her and soothe her . . . and . . .

No! Those thoughts were bad. His human side was bad. His mother had taught him to fight it, suppress it, control it. Human emotion was weak. Antarian was strong. He was strong. He was meant to rule the world. He was destined to be King of the Universe.

And it was because of her he was denied his rightful heritage.

A cool breeze blew in from the window and Liz stirred on the bed with a whimper audible in her throat. He raised his hand toward her and her blanket lifted and draped over her body. He felt the need to keep her warm, and then he took a step back, retreating toward the window.

In her sleep she whimpered again and then her lips parted and in a tone full of hopelessness and despair, she whispered, “Max . . .”

His eyes turned cold once more, pushing his humanity into the back recesses, burying it where it belonged. He was here to do a job, and nothing could sway him from that.

Perhaps tomorrow he would make his move . . .

* * * * *

Max walked through the main entrance to the Desert Sun Nursing Home and made his way to the nurses station. He waited patiently to be noticed by the nurse behind the counter and then finally, tired of being ignored, he cleared his throat and said, “Excuse me? Can you tell me where-”

“Visiting hours don’t start until 10:00,” the nurse said curtly without taking her eyes off the chart she was writing in.

Max glanced at his watch, irritated that it was only 8:30 and he’d have to wait. He had slept fitfully in his car once he reached Las Cruces and he was stiff and sore and tired and depressed and a nurse with a bad attitude was the last thing he wanted to deal with right now. “Could you tell me what room Jack-”

“As I said,” she interrupted and looked up from the chart she was making notes in. She almost dropped her pen and with a surprised tone she said, “Oh.”

“I’m looking for Jack Perkins. Can you tell me what room he is in?” Max asked, wondering why she was looking at him that way.

“I’m sorry,” she apologized and asked, “And you are . . .?”

“Max Ev-” he began and quickly amended it to, “Perkins. Max Perkins.”

“We didn’t realize Mr. Perkins had any family,” the nurse said as she rose to her feet. “No one has been to visit in . . . well, I can’t remember him having any family visitors before. Are you his grandson?”

“Grandson,” Max repeated and then nodded. “Yes. Yes, I’m his grandson.” He was curious as to why she would make that assumption, but it seemed a good cover for him to use.

“The family resemblance is amazing,” the nurse said, smiling for the first time. “He has a picture on his wall, you know, one taken, oh, years ago. I bet if you put on a uniform, you’d be the spitting image of him.”

“Really?” Max said trying to hide his keen interest. A good feeling was starting to overtake his sour mood. Maybe something positive was going to finally happen.

“Yes,” she said frowning at him slightly. “Hasn’t anyone ever mentioned how much you look like him?”

“I’ve never met my grandfather,” Max said cautiously.

“Oh,” the nurse said and Max noticed how her voice took on a somber tone.

“What?” he asked, feeling his good mood evaporate.

“You’ve never met him?” she asked and Max didn’t like the look in her eyes. “Never?”

“No,” he said, shaking his head. “This will be the first time.”

“Oh,” she said again and Max cringed when he heard that word out of her mouth again. The way she said it wasn’t encouraging.

“Is something wrong?” he asked apprehensively.

“Why don’t you come with me, and we can have a little talk,” the nurse suggested and Max felt his hope all but disappear.

* * * * *

Liz woke early, groggy and tired from a night of little sleep. Her fight with Max replayed over and over in her mind, and she regretted many of the things she had said. Looking back on it now, it was as if every insecurity she had ever felt had come pouring out of her last night.

She’d blasted him with her fears, and how could she have expected him to react other than the way he did? She’d driven him away with her accusations and she had no idea how to make things right between them. She jumped as her alarm clock sounded and she switched it off, not even wanting to face the day. Everything seemed hopeless now.

Pulling her covers aside, Liz climbed from bed and began to dress, even though she preferred to stay in bed and sleep the day away. For if she slept, she might dream, and if she dreamed, she might be able to take back everything she’d said to Max and start anew, in a world where she’d never broken his heart and he’d never broken hers.

* * * * *

“Talk about what?” Max asked the nurse. He didn’t like the look in her eyes.

“I’m sorry to tell you this,” she said and her tone was quite sincere. “Your grandfather suffered a stroke a few months back. A severe stroke,” she added.

“What do you mean?” Max asked, knowing full well what she meant.

She stared at him sympathetically and said, “I’m afraid the stroke did quite a bit of damage. He’s in a vegetative state.”

“You mean . . .?” Max said disappointedly.

“He won’t know you. He won’t see you. He won’t hear you,” the nurse said, shaking her head slightly. “In fact, he won’t even know that you’re in the room.”

* * * * *

Liz made her way downstairs and into the café, listening to the hustle and bustle of the Sunday morning breakfast crowd. Maybe all this activity around her could help keep her thoughts off of Max, she thought fleetingly, and then she looked through the front windows at the UFO Center across the street. Maybe not.

She poured herself a cup of coffee and sat on a stool at the counter, staring out the window and wondering what to do next. Did she want to see Max? Did she want to try to talk things through with him or just wait, and give it more time? She saw him pull up to the curb across the street and she stood up, watching him get out of his car, obviously on his way to work.

She walked over to the front doors with her eyes glued to Max and then he turned around and his eyes locked onto hers. She could see the heartache on his face and then he turned away with his head hung low and his shoulders sagging, and he disappeared into the UFO Center.

Liz took a quick look around the café and then remembered that her father had left early this morning to go to Carlsbad. Her mother was still upstairs, and if she slipped out for just a few minutes, she’d never know. She could go talk to Max, try to clear the air, at least try to make the effort. If they didn’t talk, there was no hope that they could ever work this out. She opened the front door to the Crashdown and stepped out onto the sidewalk, intent on seeing Max.

“Liz!” came a voice on her left and she turned with a start. Jared was hurrying in her direction with a smile on his face and she darted a look toward the UFO Center to see if Max was watching.

“Liz, do you have a minute?” Jared asked. “There’s something I want to show you.”

“Show me?” Liz questioned.

“Yeah, I need your opinion on something.” He placed his hand on her arm and guided her to his car saying, “It won’t take long.”

“O - Okay,” she said hesitantly and felt herself pulled helplessly along. Passing the lamppost she paused, looking across at the UFO Center once more but Max wasn’t anywhere in sight. Maybe later, she thought as Jared pulled her to his car. She and Max could always talk later.

Maria rounded the corner and nearly stopped dead in her tracks. Liz and Max were standing in front of the Crashdown, together, for all the world to see. What if her father or mother saw them together? Her father would blow a fuse! What were they thinking?

Max had clearly told her the plan was for her to meet Liz at the Crashdown, and then he would be waiting over on Second Street. That way her parents would think Liz was going to spend the day with her and her mother in Albuquerque. So why was he changing the plan now? And why didn’t he let her know he was changing the stupid plan? This was exactly what she meant when she told him his plans always sucked! She saw Max open the door to the Chevelle and Liz climbed inside and Maria ran toward them.

“Hey, guys! Wait! Max! Liz!” Maria hurried toward them and then came to a sudden stop when Max looked at her with that half smile of his and gave her a little wink. He slid in behind the steering wheel and pulled away from the curb before Maria had a chance to say anything. She stood with her hands on her hips, frowning as they drove away, and swearing the next time Max mentioned the word ‘plan’, she was going to tell him where he could shove it.

Jared glanced in the rear view mirror as he drove down the street, pleased by the look on Maria’s face. So far, so good.

“So where are we going?” Liz asked feeling vaguely apprehensive. Something didn’t seem right.

“You’ll see,” Jared answered with a smile that made a shiver of dread go through her body.

TBC . . .

If all goes well, I should post the next part by Wednesday, maybe even before. I rather fancy part 12, and I'm anxious for you to read it. *wink* No, it's not nookie! *sad*

[ edited 2 time(s), last at 3-Dec-2001 3:56:42 AM ]
posted on 5-Dec-2001 3:55:12 AM by Breathless
Double Post

Go to page 14 to read Part 12

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 5-Dec-2001 4:00:59 AM ]
posted on 5-Dec-2001 3:55:42 AM by Breathless
Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz

Note: I was going to wait and post this tomorrow night because it's so late now, but what the hey. Who needs sleep? I watched the rebroadcast of the Pilot and now I am missing that old Max so much it hurts.

I had mentioned in my last post how much I liked this next part. I hope you don't have any trouble following along with Max's one sided conversation in the beginning. It helps if you saw season 1.

Echoes of Tomorrow
Part 12

Max sat in a chair in the corner of the room, staring at the unmoving figure on the bed. Nurses came and went throughout the morning, poking and prodding and checking this and that, all the while Max waited and watched and wondered what to do next.

The few pictures that adorned the walls and the dresser showed a vibrant young man, full of life and energy as he smiled for the camera. The Jack Perkins on the bed just a few feet away was only a shell of what that young man used to be. He lay there, unmoving, with feeding tubes down his nose to keep him alive and IV bags attached to his arm to keep him hydrated.

Max rose to his feet and wandered around the room, waiting for a chance to be alone with Jack Perkins, a chance to try to make a connection to the man who years ago looked just like him, who probably once spoke just like him, the man he shared his DNA with. He paused as he passed by the window and stared out at the familiar desert landscape, thinking about the things Liz had said last night, the way she had looked, the way he had made her cry . . . again.

“I saved her life, that day at the Crashdown,” Max said softly to an old man that couldn’t hear. “I saved her life, and ruined it at the same time. But what could I do? I loved her so much, she was the whole world to me, and I couldn’t . . . I couldn’t stand by and watch her die. So I healed her.” Max turned to focus his gaze on the unmoving man on the bed. “Why is it you always hurt the ones you love?”

* * * * *

“. . . So I was a nervous wreck, and I just stood outside the Crashdown for the longest time,” Max smiled, remembering how his stomach had been so tied up in knots. He wandered around the room as he spoke, touching things as he went. The dresser, the chair, the bedspread, an unresponsive hand. “I finally just took a deep breath and opened the door and there she was, kneeling on the floor. She’d spilled a bowl of strawberries and she looked so beautiful, it stopped me in my tracks. I’d made such a fool of myself, the night I got drunk, and I knew I’d hurt her again when I walked away from her that night and all I wanted to do was make things right between us again. I knelt down beside her and helped her pick up the strawberries, and then our hands touched . . .”

* * * * *

“. . . I wish . . . you don’t know how much I wish we’d never heard the beeping. If – if we had made love that night, if we’d never found the orb, it would have changed everything. We would have been together and Tess would have never been able to come between us . . .”

* * * * *

“. . . so we ran and we ran and then we came across this old junked van and we hid there for the night. I finally had the courage to tell her I loved her, and then . . . when she said it back, when she told me she loved me, it made all the pain go away. We held each other all night and I thought everything was going to be okay. I mean, I knew we weren’t safe, with the FBI looking for me, but we were together. We could face anything if we were together.”

Max stood by the window and touched his hand to his chest. “The things . . . what they did to me . . . I healed the scars on the outside, but on the inside . . . I can’t heal the scars on the inside . . .”

* * * * *

“. . . I moved Tess aside and I went to Liz. I told her it didn’t matter. I told her . . . I told her she meant everything to me, but she still walked away. I’ll never forget the way she looked. So lost, so alone, so . . . hurt. I understand why she left, but it still hurt so much. If she’d only stayed . . .”

* * * * *

“. . . I was so nervous when I walked across her balcony. I checked to see if my clothes looked okay and I ran my hand through my hair and I took the tickets out of my back pocket. I was so sure I was breaking down her defenses, and that night she was gonna be mine again. I could feel it. And then . . . and then . . I looked through her window . . . and she wasn’t alone . . .”

* * * * *

“. . . I didn’t feel like myself anymore. The further apart Liz and I became, the more alien I felt. Tess was trying to help me remember that past life, and I wanted to know. I wanted to try to understand what I was, who I used to be. Who I was now. The more I was around Tess, the less human I felt. It was like my mind wasn’t working right. Maybe it was Tess. She can make you see things that aren’t real, feel things that aren’t true. She was the last person I should have trusted, but everything was falling apart. Everything . . .”

* * * * *

Max sat at the side of the bed with his elbows propped on the mattress and his hands covering his face. “So that’s my miserable existence. Aren’t you glad you were involved in bringing my sorry ass to life?”

He took a deep breath and lowered his hands from his face, looking at the shell of a man lying on the bed. This was the first time he’d ever really spilled his guts, laying everything out there, telling every intimate detail of his life, and of course it was to a man couldn’t hear. A man who couldn’t judge him. A man who couldn’t see him for what he really was.

He had grown up wanting to be human and knowing that he wasn’t. He had wanted it all his life, to just be normal. And then for a while, for a short period of time, it didn’t matter. Liz Parker knew what he was and she didn’t care, and all things were right in the world. And then in his infinite stupidity, he’d ruined it all.

As afternoon turned to evening, activity quieted down and Max brought his chair closer to the bed. He took the old man’s hand in his, a hand that was wrinkled and scared by life, but still a hand that looked exactly like his own. The shape and length of the fingers, the fingernails, the tiny red birthmark on the palm of his left hand below his thumb. Age couldn’t hide the truth. Max Evans and Jack Perkins had the same DNA.

Max looked at the face of the man, old and wrinkled and framed by white hair. His mouth drooped on one side, evidence of the stroke that had left him comatose. Looking at him in the dim light of the room, Max knew there was nothing he could do for this man. What was happening to him was the natural progression of life, and all the healing powers in the world couldn’t change it.

“I’m sorry, but visiting hours ended an hour ago,” a nurse said softly from the doorway.

Max jerked his head in that direction, startled by the sudden intrusion. “Oh, I didn’t realize it was so late.”

“Why don’t I just close the door,” she said with a smile. “I won’t tell anyone you’re here, if you don’t tell anyone I let you stay. Deal?”

“Deal,” Max smiled back. “Thank you.” She nodded her head and pulled the door closed and for the first time since he arrived that morning, Max and Jack Perkins were finally alone.

With one hand holding the old man’s, Max placed his other hand at Jack Perkins’ temple and closed his eyes, concentrating on forming a connection. He knew it was a long shot, that the amount of damage caused by the stroke was too severe, but he had to give it a try. Maybe there was some small part of the man that he used to be, locked away inside someplace.

He breathed deeply, with his eyes closed, concentrating hard but getting nothing. Maybe he was just too tired, Max thought wearily as he opened his tired eyes. He had slept so poorly the night before, maybe if he just closed his eyes for a few minutes, then he’d be able to try again after some much needed rest.

He’d passed a cheap motel on his way to the nursing home this morning. Maybe he’d just spend the night there and then come back tomorrow, and try to make the connection once again. If he got a decent night’s sleep, he’d be fresh in the morning and could start again. He yawned and closed his eyes, thinking he’d rest his head here on the edge of the mattress for just a minute and then he’d go. The blanket felt soft against his cheek and the old man’s warm hand in his was soothing and it wasn’t long before sleep overcame him. And with sleep came the dreams . . .

He opened the door a crack, looking to the left and then the right and seeing that the coast was clear, he ducked into the hallway. He made his way cautiously and quietly, trying not to let his footsteps give away his presence and then he reached the last door on the right. He laid his hand on the wood surface and smiled, sensing that she was alone inside. Glancing cautiously up and down the hallway one more time, he turned the knob slowly and quietly snuck inside.

He could see her sitting on a chair in front of a mirror and when she saw him she turned around with a shocked look on her face. He was stunned momentarily by how beautiful she looked and he just stared at her, unable to take his eyes off of her.

“Max, what are you doing in here?” Liz whispered and her hand fluttered over the cleavage that her dress displayed.

“I wanted to see you, before everything gets crazy. This might be the last time we can see each other alone for hours.”

“But Max, you’re not supposed to see me,” she said, rising to her feet. Her dress rustled as she walked toward him and his eyes wandered over her appreciatively. As she neared, she reached out with her glove covered hand and touched him on the chest. “It’s bad luck, you know?”

“No, I won’t allow us to have any bad luck,” he said drawing her into his arms. His hand moved up the back of her neck and he leaned down to kiss her, with desire burning in his eyes.

“Max, you’re going to mess up my hair!” Liz scolded and tried to push him away. She laughed throatily as he held her even tighter.

“Your hair is always beautiful, even when it’s messy. Especially when it’s messy because of me,” he smiled devilishly. His heart rate was starting to escalate and he was having a hard time keeping his breathing at an even pace. His eyes dropped from hers, staring at her luscious lips and he leaned down to kiss her.

“Max! You’re going to ruin my make-up!” Liz laughed.

“You’re beautiful without make-up,” he said huskily and then his lips were on hers, and they were swept away with their passion for one another. He crushed her body to his and he felt her hands thread through his hair, holding him as tightly as he was holding her.

It didn’t take long for their passion to escalate out of control as their bodies began to heat up. His lips moved down along the curve of her chin, and then down her throat and on to the enticing cleavage that was displayed above the white lace of her gown.

“Max,” Liz breathed out, gasping with building sexual excitement. “We don’t have time.”

“Sure we do,” Max murmured as his tongue darted out to taste her tender flesh.

“Max,” Liz scolded, lifting his face away from her breast. “The ceremony is in less than an hour.”

“That’s okay,” Max said heatedly and chased after her lips again.

“No Max,” Liz laughed between his kisses. “You’re not listening to me. The wedding, OUR wedding, is in less than an hour. We really don’t have time!”

“Oh,” Max leaned away from her, smiling that little boy smile of his. “We could make them wait,” he suggested. She stared at him with raised eyebrows and he said impishly, “I guess not, huh?”

“You’ll just have to wait, like all good bridegrooms,” and Liz laughed at his suddenly pouty face. He sighed audibly and was about to sweep her back into his arms when the door flew open and Maria burst into the room. His eyes grew large as he watched her barreling at him like a freight train out of control.

“Hey Buster, what do you think you’re doing in here?” she demanded. She took Max by the arm, drug him across the room and unceremoniously pushed him out into the hallway.

He bumped into Michael who was trying to pretend that this psycho Maria wasn’t really his girlfriend, lover and future wife, and he nonchalantly said to Max, “Hey, how’s it going?”

“Fine,” Max nodded and straightened his jacket, trying to pretend that Maria hadn’t just kicked his ass out the door.

Liz watched him as he turned to saunter off down the hall, looking dressed to the nines in his black tux with a white rose boutonniere in the lapel, and his hair pushed back from his face. Michael walked at his side, with his hands in the pockets of his matching black tux, looking relaxed and confident and totally bored.

When he reached his room, Max turned to stare back at Liz who was watching him from the other end of the hall. He’d never seen her look more beautiful, standing there with her hair piled on her head, and a blush in her cheeks, wearing a white satin gown covered in lace. In a few minutes she was going to be his wife, and all things were right in the world.

The dream shifted and changed, the way dreams tend to do, and the hallway he was standing in disappeared, replaced by an unfamiliar bedroom. There was a sense of panic in the air and it took him a moment to figure out why. His eyes swept around the room and then nearly popped out of his head at the sight before him.

Liz was on the bed, covered in sweat, with Maria and Isabel hovering around her. Maria had a damp cloth pressed against her forehead and Isabel was holding onto Liz’s wrist and looking at her watch. “Her pulse is strong, steady,” Isabel said as she released her hand. She checked the monitor that was set up beside the bed and she warned, “Here comes another one.”

“Here we go again,” Liz managed to say and then she took a deep breath and started breathing in a most unusual way.

“Get your butt over here, Mister,” scolded Maria and Max rushed forward with the bowl of ice chips he had been sent to retrieve.

“What do I do with this?” he asked in a panic.

“Well nothing right now,” Maria admonished. “She needs that after the contraction, not during it!”

“Okay, deep cleansing breath, Liz,” Isabel instructed. “That’s it. That’s it. Good. That one’s over.”

Liz flopped backwards, and she closed her eyes, trying to rest between contractions. Max could see the beads of perspiration on her forehead, the tired look on her face, the way she seemed to be trying to gather her strength for the next assault.

“How’s she doing?” Max asked worriedly. “Is she okay? Is the baby okay?”

“They’re both doing great,” Isabel smiled at her brother.

“Sure, that’s what you say,” Liz shot back. “You’re not the one trying to push a bowling ball out of your body. Max,” she said, focusing on her husband. “If you ever touch me again, you’re dead!”

“Here comes another one, Liz,” Isabel cautioned and Liz reached out her hand to Max. He scrambled onto the bed next to her, taking her hand and letting her squeeze as hard as she needed. He counted out her breathing with her, just the way they had practiced and then the contraction passed and she relaxed.

“Do you want some ice now?” Max asked gently. Her mouth was dry from the breathing exercises and Liz nodded gratefully. He scooped a piece onto her tongue and he moved into position behind her so that he could help with the next contraction. He watched as Isabel drew the sheet aside and placed her hands on Liz’s lower abdomen. She closed her eyes as she concentrated hard and then a smile touched her face.

Opening her eyes, she beamed first at Max and then Liz and said, “You’re fully dilated. On the next contraction you can start pushing.”

“Pushing?” Max said, showing his nervousness.

“Yes, dear brother,” Isabel razzed. “Push. You didn’t think that baby was going to stay in there forever, did you?”

“No, but . . .”

“No buts, Max,” Isabel said, checking the monitor. “Here we go again . . .”

Liz took a deep breath and as the contraction built in intensity, she leaned forward and pushed with all she had. She held onto Max’s hand, nearly breaking his fingers with the intensity of her hold, and Max counted the seconds as they passed by. The contraction passed and Liz collapsed back onto him, the pillar of her strength.

It was strange the way his wife’s body was exposed to anyone who happened to be in the room, and no one seemed to care, least of all Liz. She’d never been anything even remotely close to an exhibitionist, thank God, but squeezing a ten pound baby out from between your legs tended to make normal modesty disappear. But, Max decided, if Michael or Kyle wanted to come in here and take a look at the show, they were sadly mistaken. They could just wait out in the other room, like everyone else.

“Good, Liz! Good! The head’s crowning.” Isabel encouraged.

The contraction passed and Liz collapsed backward toward Max. She closed her eyes, trying to rest between contractions, even if it would be only for a minute or two. Her hand squeezed his and he held on to her with unbounded love in his heart.

“Maria, take his place,” Isabel instructed and Maria pulled Max away from Liz and slid into the spot he had occupied.

“What?” Max asked, sounding like he was being punished, and he didn’t know what for.

Isabel looked up at him with a smile lighting her face and said, “It’s time for you to deliver you son!”

“Me?” Max said in shock. He’d just assumed Isabel would do it. He couldn’t do it! No! No, no, no! He didn’t know nothing about birthing no babies! Hell, no! He looked around the room, wondering what the fastest escape would be.

“Yes, you!” Isabel admonished. “Here comes another one Liz. A few more good pushes and it will all be over. Max, get your ass over here!”

Max hastened to the foot of the bed, just as the contraction took hold and Maria helped Liz as she leaned forward, bearing down with all her might. Max moved into position between her legs, and in utter amazement, he watched as a small head pushed forward, trying to escape from his mothers womb.

The contraction passed and Liz fell back against Maria, panting and sweating with her efforts. Her respite was short as another contraction followed and she leaned forward again, anxious for this little guy to pop into the world.

Max rested his hands on her stomach, not sure if it would help, but he knew touching her helped soothe his nerves. She pushed hard and this time not only the head emerged, but the shoulders as well. They rotated, just the way he’d read about it in the books and seen it in the films and Max knew this torment was almost over. One more good push . . .

He rubbed his wife’s lower abdomen, trying to ease her pain as the next contraction hit and then the baby’s head was crowning again and then the shoulders and it wasn’t long before a small quivering body slid out of his mother, into Max’s waiting hands. Isabel suctioned out his nose and his throat and Max focused on the new life he was holding in his hands. He was grinning from ear to ear, looking down at the squirming pink little body. Two arms, two legs, ten fingers, ten toes, his mother’s eyes, his father’s ears, a full head of dark hair. His son had been born.

Alex Parker Evans had arrived in the world.

The dream changed again, and Max found himself standing on a sidewalk. It was a beautiful spring day, not too hot and with just a hint of a breeze in the air, and birds were chirping in the nearby trees. Something slid into his hand, something small and warm and special and he looked down into the eyes of a small boy who was holding on to his hand.

“I’m ready now,” he said in a small voice. He was looking up at Max with such innocence on his face, and faith and trust . . . and love. Max knelt down beside him and adjusted the strap on his helmet and then lifted him up to the seat of the bike.

“You can do it champ,” Max said encouragingly. He gave the boy’s shoulders a good squeeze and then gave the bike a push, running along beside it for a few steps while Alex wobbled back and forth.

“Don’t let go Dad!” Alex shouted.

“You’re doing great, son!” Max beamed. He slowed and came to a stop as Alex gained control of the bike and then Liz was at his side, watching with pride at their son’s accomplishment. He drew her into his arms and she leaned her back against his chest as they watched Alex gain momentum. His hand moved over the fullness of her belly, sensing his daughter floating in her mother’s womb and he felt a rush of total contentment. His life was everything he had ever hoped it would be.

The skies darkened and Max looked up to see a cloud pass over the sun. The gentle breeze quickened and the smell of rain was suddenly in the air. He turned back to Liz but she wasn’t there, and the air felt empty now. He looked to Alex, peddling away from him, and he slowly faded from view. The air filled with the high pitched sounds of children’s laughter, which faded to nothing, replaced by the crackle of dead leaves blowing down the sidewalk.

The skies darkened further and the landscape changed, and Max found himself walking in the dark over a manicured lawn. He held a single long stem white rose in his hand, and his head was bowed while he tried not to think of what might have been. He paused as he neared his destination, and he fought to keep his chin from quivering. He swallowed past the lump in his throat and his eyes blinked as they filled, blurring his vision.

Feeling the pain stabbing at his heart, he moved forward in the dark. He knelt down on the carpet of grass, not caring that the dew was soaking through his knees. He laid the rose at the base of the headstone and then his grief overcame him and the tears flowed freely down his face. His hand reached out to touch the letters carved in the granite and a beam of moonlight cut through the darkness to illuminate it.

Elizabeth Parker
1983 – 2001
Beloved Daughter
At Peace in God’s hands

Max shouted as he bolted out of his dream with his hands shaking and a sense of panic overtaking him. At first he didn’t know where he was and then the indistinct form on the bed came into focus. Icy beads of cold sweat had sprung up on his brow and his stomach felt like it was turning inside out.

The dream, no, not a dream his mind admitted, the vision was still vivid in his mind. He could feel every single emotion that he’d experienced in the vision, as if it had been real, as if it had really happened, and a part of him knew that it had . . . or would.

He flashed back to the night in front if the hotel in Vegas, when he’d had a vision while he was waiting for a cab to take him to the airport. A vision of him with Liz, newly married and so happy. He’d later learned it was a vision of what might have been, had been in another timeline, but had been forever taken from him. That timeline never happened for him. No, he’d destroyed that future during one night of stupidity in an observatory in the desert.

This vision, the one he’d had tonight had shown him two possible futures. Only one was going to come true. One was the epitome of every dream he’d ever had. It was a perfect life, with Liz as his wife, a son, a daughter soon to be born, the perfect little house where they loved and they laughed and they lived life to the fullest. The second was his ultimate nightmare, a life without Liz. A world without her smile, without her laughter, without her. With a certainty he knew that it would be his actions that determined which future came true.

Light spilled into the room as the door was flung open and a nurse said forcefully, “What’s wrong?”

A light was switched on and Max had to blink back at the sudden glare. She rushed over to the side of the bed to check on her patient and Max took a step back.

“No, he’s fine. I mean, he’s the same as he was,” Max stuttered. “It was just me. I – I had a dream. I mean, oh God, I have to go.” He rushed from the room and the nurse followed him, watching him as he flew through the doors, out into the night.

TBC . . .

Hopefully, I'll be back Thursday or Friday with part 13

[ edited 2 time(s), last at 5-Dec-2001 4:34:20 AM ]
posted on 8-Dec-2001 4:21:29 AM by Breathless
Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz

Author note: I've come to the conclusion that fanfic is so much better than the real show. Don't you guys think so? I mean, Max is a prick in fanfic only if you want him to be (which most of us don't). Fanfic can actually give us back season 1 Max, and what an exciting thought that is. It will never happen on the show, but it can happen here.

Now, on with the story . . .

Echoes of Tomorrow

Part 13

Max raced for his car, jumping into the front seat and not even bothering to open the door. He jammed the key in the ignition, almost panicking in his need to get back home quickly. The engine roared to life and he slammed the car into reverse, kicking up gravel and dirt as his tires spun. He slammed on the brake suddenly and he skidded to a halt as his mind finally comprehended the full truth.

His son had been calling him for months now, reaching across space and pleading for Max to save his life. Now the full ramification hit him and left him struggling to breathe. It wasn’t just space that separated him from his son, but time itself. For the boy in the visions that he had been seeing for so long now, the boy with the dark brown hair and the oh so familiar dark brown eyes, the boy that he had connected to so strongly from the very first vision, finally had a name.

Alex Parker Evans.

A boy who wasn’t born yet, and if Max didn’t get back to Roswell in time, a boy that would never be conceived.

Max slammed his foot down on the accelerator and the car fishtailed as it sped across the parking lot. Once the car reached the pavement the tires took hold and he shot forward, gaining speed as he floored it. Max drove down Highway 70 with the speedometer pushing 100 miles per hour. The wind tousled his hair and whipped around his face, but he barely noticed it. His thoughts were solely on Liz, and whatever danger it was that threatened to take her from him.

The vision had listed her death as happening sometime this year. 2001 was almost over, so that meant sometime in the next few weeks, Liz was going to die unless he stopped it. He pressed even harder on the accelerator, knowing somehow that Liz didn’t have weeks. No, somehow he knew that the events were unfolding right now, and if he didn’t act swiftly, Liz would be forever taken from him, and his son would never be. The future that he had seen, a future that he shared with Liz, would die along with her.

Max reached into his pocket, feeling for his cell phone and felt his panic rise when he couldn’t find it. He checked his other pockets and it wasn’t there either and he swore under his breath. He checked the seat next to him and then the floorboards of the car but he couldn’t see it there either. In desperation he slid his hand between the seats and breathed a sigh of relief when he found it. He pulled it free and turned it on, thanking God it was fully charged.

He dialed the familiar number, not caring if her parents were checking her incoming calls. As the phone began to ring he prayed aloud, “Pick up, Liz. Come on, come on, pick up the phone.” His hand was still trembling, and it only got worse as the phone rang with no answer. He glanced at the clock on the dashboard of his car and was shocked by the time. Where was she? It was after two o’clock in the morning and tomorrow was a school day. Why wasn’t she answering? “Come on, Liz. Pick up the phone.”

“Hi,” Max heard in his ear and his heart skipped a beat in sudden relief.

“Liz-” he started to say and then her voice cut him off.

“I’m sorry I missed your call. After the tone, leave your name and I’ll call you right back.”

Dread surged though him again and after he heard the beep in his ear, he shouted, “LIZ? ARE YOU THERE? LIZ! LIZ! CAN YOU HEAR ME? LIZZZZ!” God, why wasn’t she answering? She should be sleeping, right there, in her bed, right next to the phone. “Oh God, Liz,” he said in an agonized whisper. “Why aren’t you there?”

* * * * *

Maria watched an angry Jeff Parker as he paced back and forth, wearing a rut in the carpet. Her mother sat in the chair across from her with her hand over her face and Nancy Parker sat stiffly next to her with her head on her hand.

“I’m gonna kill him the next time I see him,” Jeff vowed as he paced. “I’m gonna put my hands around that scrawny neck of his and squeeze the life right out of him.”

“Jeff, don’t,” Nancy sighed in frustration.

“You don’t think I will?” Jeff stopped and glared at his wife. “If he’s hurt one hair in her head, I swear to God-”

“Jeff, please! This isn’t helping.” Nancy glanced at her watch again and then her eyes locked on Maria and she said, “When were they supposed to be back?”

Maria looked at Michael and he squeezed her hand supportively. The Parkers had shown up at his apartment hours ago, with Maria and Amy DeLuca in tow, demanding to see Max, who of course wasn’t here.

“They were supposed to be back around 7:00 o’clock, 8:00 at the latest,” Maria answered.

“And why were they going to Albuquerque?” Nancy asked again.

“I already told you-” Maria said defensively and then sighed dejectedly at the harsh look she got from her mother. “They were going to Albuquerque so Liz could work on a school project at the main library there,” Maria repeated the cover story, and then she added, “Max wanted to take her so they could spend some time together, since you won’t let them.” Amy glared at her and Maria fell silent.

Jeff began his pacing again, and his ranting, and Maria tried to tune him out. He wasn’t the only one angry at Max. So was she. What the hell was wrong with him? How did he think she was going to be able to cover for Liz when he kept her out all night? Was he just stupid? Well he must be, to pull a stupid stunt like this. If Jeff Parker didn’t strangle his neck when they got back, then she certainly would.

She felt a vibration in her pocket and she tried to keep her features neutral as she shifted position. She rose to her feet and said, “I’m, uh, I’m just gonna go to the bathroom.” She tried not to run across the room in her haste and as soon as she reached the bathroom she whipped the door closed and pulled the phone out of her pocket. It was a good thing she’d turned the ringer off earlier in the evening.

She turned the faucet on to cover the sound of her voice and she hissed, “This better be you, and you better have a good excuse because you are just dead meat if you don’t.”

“Maria,” Max said worriedly. “Do you-”

“Max, where the hell are you? The shit has hit the fan here. I just can’t believe you. You have done some pretty stupid things but this has got to-”

“Maria,” Max interrupted. “What are you talking about? Do you know where Li-”

“What am I talking about?” Maria said dumb-founded. “You go off like this, gone all hours of the night and you wonder what I’m talking abou-”

“Maria, will you just shut up and listen to me?” Max yelled.

Maria pulled the phone away from her ear and looked at it, and then put it back and said, “What?”

“Maria, do you know where Liz is? I tried to reach her at home but there was no answer. I need to talk to her right now.”

“WHAT?” Maria said again, this time in surprise instead of anger.

“LIZ!” Max yelled in frustration. Sometimes talking to Maria was like maneuvering through an obstacle course. “DO YOU KNOW WHERE LIZ IS?”

“Isn’t she with you?” Maria said weakly.

“With me?” Max said and felt his stomach clench tighter. “Liz isn’t with me. I haven’t seen her since last night.”

“No,” Maria said shaking her head. “I saw you. This morning. Both of you. In front of the Crashdown.”

Oh God, Max thought and closed his eyes briefly. This can’t be happening. “Maria, I left Roswell last night to go to Las Cruces. I wasn’t there this morning.”

“Yes you were,” she insisted. “You met Liz in front of the Crashdown and the two of you got in your car and drove away.” She paused and then she added, “You winked at me.”

“Maria,” Max said with dread. “When have I ever winked at you?” He heard silence on the other end and after a minute he wondered if they had gotten disconnected. “Maria?”

“If that wasn’t you,” she said fearfully, “then who’s car did I see Liz get into this morning, and who was driving it?”

Max felt a chill shaking him to his very soul as he whispered, “I don’t know.”

* * * * *

Max pulled up in front of Michael’s apartment and he sat there for agonizing minutes, contemplating what his next move should be. Spying their Volvo parked just a few spaces away, he knew the Parkers were still here, even though it was closer to dawn than it was to midnight.

He’d run from conflict in the past, avoided it at all cost really, no matter who got hurt because of it. Keeping his secrets had always taken precedence over anything else. Keeping Isabel and Michael safe, as well as himself, had always been the first priority. They were aliens living in a world that was unaccepting of anything different, and in order to survive they had faded into the background, hiding from the world.

That wasn’t an option now. Liz was in trouble and it would take all of them working together to save her. If that meant a confrontation with Jeff Parker, and by the looks of it an encounter with Liz’s father seemed unavoidable, then that’s what he would have to do.

Max gathered his resolve together and climbed from his car, hastening his way to Michael’s apartment. He could hear voices coming from inside as he neared the door and he steeled himself for an unpleasant scene. Jeff Parker had every right to be angry, and Max could only pray that he could put that anger aside before Liz was the one to pay the ultimate price.

Without bothering to knock, Max closed his hand over the doorknob and opened the door, stepping into a war zone.

“What I’m trying to explain to you-” Michael was attempting to control his anger and doing a pretty good job of it.

“I don’t want to hear anymore of your crap,” Jeff cut him off. “If he’s not here in the next twenty minutes, I’m going to the sheriff’s office and reporting a crime.”

Max could see the tension in the two men who were standing toe to toe. To his surprise, Michael was the more composed of the two. Michael had been surprising him a lot lately, and other than that stealing the Snapple fiasco, most of the surprises had all been good.

Liz’s father, on the other hand had regressed. He’d always considered Jeff Parker to be a laid back type of guy and easy to get along with. But that had been before Max broke his daughter’s heart. He was in overprotective mode now, and Max couldn’t blame him at all. He understood now what it felt like to have a child in danger.

“Max!” Maria said in relief and all eyes turned in his direction as he closed the door behind him. Amy and Nancy looked exhausted. Maria looked tired but relieved. Michael looked pissed. If looks could kill, Max decided, Jeff Parker must be a mass murderer.

The older man bore down on the younger, and Max absorbed his wrath without retaliation. After all, everything he was saying was true.

“I trusted you with my daughter,” Jeff hissed and cut the distance between them with his quick strides. “Where is she? What the hell did you do to her?” He reached Max and grabbed a fistful of t-shirt, lifting him nearly off the floor. He could hear his shirt tear, but it didn’t matter. Jeff had every right to be angry.

“Mr. Par-”

“All I want to hear out of your mouth is where my daughter is,” Jeff spit the words in Max’s face. “After I get her back safely, I don’t want to ever see your face or hear your voice again. You got that?” Jeff hissed.


“I said, ‘HAVE. YOU. GOT. THAT?’

“Yes!” Max blurted out.

“Now where is she?” Jeff hissed.

“I don’t know where she is,” Max said truthfully.

“That’s it,” Jeff raged and slammed Max back against the door. Both hands grabbed a fistful of t-shirt and Max felt his back slam against the door again. He saw Michael lift his hand aggressively and Max shook him off, warning him to let it go. Jeff put his face inches from Max and he said in a fury, “What the fuck have you done with my daughter?”

“I don’t know where Liz is,” Max said trying to maintain control of his emotions. He looked Jeff straight in the eye and said, “But if we don’t work together to find her, she’s gonna die.”

Jeff blinked as those awful words got through to him. He released his hold on Max and the younger man slumped downward. Jeff stepped back and Max grabbed his throat, massaging the skin that Jeff had had his hand around. Jeff looked back at Nancy with frightened eyes and then back at Max, saying, “What?”

“Someone has Liz, I don’t know who,” Max said evenly so that Jeff would understand the gravity of the situation. “It’s up to us, working together, to find the answers and get her back, before it’s too late.”

“Why?” Nancy cried as she rose to her feet and everyone turned to look at her. Her hand rose to her throat and she cried out, “Why would someone want to hurt my baby girl?”

“I don’t know who’s doing this,” Max answered her, “but we don’t have a lot of time-”

“No,” Jeff said shaking his head. “It was you. You were the last person seen with her, yesterday morning, right outside the Crashdown. YOU did something to her,” Jeff said, pointing forcefully at Max.

“At 8:30 yesterday morning I was in Las Cruces. I was there all day,” Max said, meeting Jeff’s cold stare. “I have the phone number if you want to call them and verify it. Whoever took Liz made it look like me, but it wasn’t.” Jeff shook his head like he was going to object and Max cut him of, saying, “I told you before, I love your daughter. I would never do anything intentionally to harm her. But someone with a grudge against me would, and if we don’t work together in this, we’re all going to lose her.”

“Give me one reason why I shouldn’t call the sheriff’s office right now,” Jeff said, still not believing Max.

“Do you really want Sheriff Hanson leading the investigation?” Max asked and watched Jeff as his head slowly began to shake back and forth.

“Hell no,” Jeff answered.

“Then you’re gonna have to trust me,” Max laid his cards on the table. “If we’re gonna get Liz back, it starts right here, with us.”

* * * * *

Liz turned over restlessly in her sleep. She was dreaming, having a nightmare really, one that she really wanted to wake up from. This wasn’t the type of dream she liked to have. It ranked right up there with dreams of Max with Tess and the resulting offspring of that union. There must be something better she could dream of.

Take, for instance, the ropes that were binding her hands. If she had to be tied up in her dreams, why couldn’t it be silk scarves instead of ropes? Silk scarves would feel better. She could dream of Max, tying her to a bed with silk scarves. That was kind of kinky, but it was much better to dream about Max and scarves and sex, than the current dream she was having. No, the current dream wasn’t a good dream at all.

Then there was the bed. Why couldn’t the bed in her dream be a soft bed, with sweet smelling silk sheets? She could have a whole silk theme to her dream. Silk sheets, silk scarves, Max’s silky skin. Yes, that would be a much better dream. She could dream of lying with Max on soft silk sheets, feeling his warm silky skin pressed against hers and her fingers in his silky dark hair. Yes, that would be a good dream. She didn’t like this bad dream, with the hard bed and the rough, sweat stained sheets.

Maybe she should wake up now. A couple mornings this week she’d awakened to the best sight she could ever imagine. With Max’s arms wrapped around her, with his face nuzzled against her, with his body telling hers just how much they belonged together.

The very air around her had been filled with his rich scent. It was quite a way to wake up in the morning. It was something she could get used to. Yes, the vibration of his heart beating next to hers, the feel if his breath gently blowing against her skin, the even tempo of the rise and fall of his chest. Yes, she could get used to starting every morning that way.

Maybe she should wake up now and this bad dream would go away. She could wake up in her own bed, in her own room, in the safety of Max’s arms wrapped protectively around her. Yes, she should wake up now, and everything would be right in the world again.

Her eyes slowly fluttered open and reality slammed into her. It wasn’t a bad dream after all. The ropes on her hands. The smell of stained sheets. The hard, lumpy bed. No, what she thought was only a bad dream was actually a living nightmare.

TBC . . .

Look for the next part Monday night

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 8-Dec-2001 4:25:06 AM ]
posted on 11-Dec-2001 1:07:30 AM by Breathless
Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz

Note: I'm starting to panic! Christmas is almost here and I haven't done any shopping! I've got to stop hanging around on the internet and get my butt to the mall!

Remember, this story went in a different direction after Busted. Isabel didn't get married to Jesse or anyone else, and Max never went to Hollywood, nor did he meet a second shapeshifter (Kal).

Echoes of Tomorrow

Part 14

Jim Valenti sat in a chair in Michael’s apartment watching Max as he paced back and forth. Glancing down at his notes, he recounted what he had been told. “Liz was last seen getting in a car in front of the Crashdown yesterday morning around 8:00 am. Maria saw her talking to someone that looked like Max, and they got in a car that looked like Max’s car. They drove away and nobody has seen her since.”

“That about sums it up,” Max said dejectedly. So little to go on. Where was he supposed to even start?

“It sounds like one of those shape-” Jim started to say and then his eyes darted around the room before lowering his voice. Amy had lost her battle to stay awake and was currently slumped against the armrest of the chair, sound asleep. Jeff and Nancy, looking haggard and worn were in the kitchen brewing another pot of coffee. Maria sat on the couch with her head resting on Michael’s shoulder, and as Max walked behind her in his endless pacing, her hand reached out to squeeze his supportively. Kyle, who had decided to come along after Jim got the call from Max, was standing at the window, looking out at the rising sun.

Jim shifted forward and in a low voice said, “It sounds like one of those shapeshifters, like that Nasedo fella.” He concentrated his attention on Max and added, “Like that time he impersonated you and took Liz, when you got caught by Pierce.”

“It’s possible I guess,” Max whispered. “I don’t know of any other shapeshifters, but there could be.”

“How else could Maria have seen you, if you were in Las Cruces?” Jim asked. “He looked just like you. He was driving a car that looked just like yours.”

“But why?” Michael asked. “Why would a shapeshifter come to Roswell and take Liz? Why not me, or Max or Isabel? What earthly reason would there be for him to take Liz?”

“To get back at me?” Max questioned. “To hurt me by hurting Liz?”

“Maybe to control you, Max,” Maria suggested. “Maybe to get you to do something in exchange for Liz’s safe return.”

“But wouldn’t we have heard-” Michael started to say and then Kyle spoke, drawing everyone’s attention.

“Maybe it wasn’t a shapeshifter.” He said quietly and then turned from the window to see their questioning eyes. “There’s another possibility.”

“What else could it have been?” Maria asked. “Someone changed his shape to look like Max-”

“And the car too,” Kyle interrupted. “Can a shapeshifter change inanimate objects? I don’t know this alien shit like you guys do, but I do know another alien power that can make you see things that aren’t true.”

“You mean a mindwarp,” Max voiced everyone’s thoughts. “You mean Tess.”

“Tess,” Kyle agreed, “or someone like her. Someone that has the same powers that she has.”

“Another alien?” Maria said aloud. “Has anyone noticed anyone unusual-”

“Maria,” Max said taking her hand and pulling her to her feet. “I want you to show me exactly where you saw Liz yesterday morning. The exact spot.” Turning to Kyle, he asked, “Can you go get Isabel, and meet us at the Crashdown?”

“Sure,” Kyle nodded and watched them rush from the room, Max dragging Maria with Michael and his father right behind. In a flash the Parkers raced out the door in hot pursuit. Amy still sat in the chair sleeping peacefully and blissfully unaware.

* * * * *

Maria stood in front of the Crashdown and tried to remember what she had seen yesterday morning. Liz had been standing on the sidewalk in front of the Crashdown and Max, or someone making her think it was Max, had stood right next to her. He’d put his hand on her arm and led her to the car and then they drove away.

“It was right here, Max,” Maria shrugged. “You and Liz, I mean, Liz and someone that looked like you were standing here talking and then you got in your car and drove away.”

“Do you remember if Liz touched anything?” Max asked. “Before she got in the car, did she touch anything or lean against anything?”

“No, I don’t think so,” she shook her head and noticed the crestfallen look on his face. “Wait, I remember before she got in the car she stopped and looked at the UFO Center. I thought it was funny because, I mean, she was with you, so why was she looking over there with such a sad look on her face? When she stopped, it was right there next to that lamppost. I think she might have brushed her hand over it, and then you pulled her into the car.”

“This one?” Max asked, rushing over to the one she had indicated.

“Yes,” she nodded. “She stood right here and stared across the street.”

Max put his hands on the post and closed his eyes, opening his mind to a flash, an image, anything that might have been imprinted here when she paused and touched the pole. Perhaps, if she had been thinking of him, if her emotions had been strong, the residual energy of it could still be here. He took deep breaths and closed out all the sounds around him and he moved his hands around the pole, searching for the place her hands might have touched.

Jeff Parker burst through the Crashdown doors and immediately came to a stop, staring at Max holding on to a lamppost with Maria hovering nearby. Nancy came up behind Jeff and they both stared at the boy uncomprehendingly. What the hell he was doing?

Sensing nothing, Max felt his frustration rising and he willed himself to calm down. He’d never be able to get a flash if he didn’t relax. With his eyes closed, he breathed deeply and let his mind blank out. Moving his hands over the pole slowly a sudden image assailed him.

Liz, looking at the UFO Center with a heavy heart, wishing things could be different. Liz, with a longing deep in her heart for things to be the way they used to be. Liz, turning as a hand closed over her arm and she was led to an unfamiliar car. Liz, looking up into a pair of piercing blue eyes.

“It’s him!” Max exclaimed, coming out of the vision. “My God, it’s him.”

“Who?” Michael and Maria asked at the same time.

“What’s going on here?” Jeff frowned.

“God!” Max cried, raking trembling hands through his hair. “I knew something wasn’t right about him! God, I probably played right into his hands. How could I be so stupid? He probably set that whole scene up the night before last, making me think Liz was kissing him when she really wasn’t.”

“Max, who are you talking about?” Maria insisted. “What did you see?”

“I saw the guy that took Liz. He’s about my height, blonde hair, blue eyes-”

“Early twenties? Expensive clothes?” Maria added.

“Yes! Have you seen him? Do you know who he is?” Max asked desperately.

“Yes I’ve seen him. And I’ve seen the way he looks at Liz. I thought he had the hots for her. I thought he might be good for her, you know, give you some competition so you’d quit treating her like shit. So you’d stop racing all over the country trying to find a way to leave the planet. Are you telling me he’s an alien?”

“What did she just say?” Jeff said in shock.

“Yes,” Max seethed, pacing back and forth in front of the Crashdown and trying to figure out what to do.

“What are you talking about?” Jeff looked around like they had all gone crazy. “Who are you talking about? Have you all lost your minds?”

Michael looked from Max and Maria to Jeff Parker, uncertain what to do. Maria had already let the cat out of the bag with her alien comment and Max was acting like Jeff and Nancy weren’t even there. Things were spinning out of control.

“Why does he want Liz?” Maria asked fearfully. “What’s he gonna do to her?”

Max stopped his pacing and met her fearful look with one of his own and said, “He wants her dead, and I think I know why.”

“That’s it,” Jeff rushed at Max. His face was livid and what Max had just said had sent him over the edge. In a rage he grabbed Max by the collar and lifted him up until their noses where only inches apart. “Where is my daughter. What do you know that you aren’t telling me?”

“Mr. Parker, STOP!” Maria cried.

Max struggled, trying to break free and Jeff tightened his hold even more. Max lifted his hand in a defensive gesture with his palm starting to glow and Michael rushed forward, pushing the two men apart and placing himself between them. “This isn’t helping. I think you both want the same thing. Liz back safe and sound, right? Beating the crap out of each other isn’t gonna get her back.”

The two men looked at each other wearily, and then Maria diverted their attention. “Mr. Parker, tell us what you know about Jared Kingston. Liz told me you know him.”

“No,” Jeff shook his head, keeping his eye on Max while answering Maria. “I know his father. I went to college with him. We were in the same graduating class.”

“Are you sure?” she asked. “What’s his first name?”

“You mean Jared’s father’s first name? What kind of question is that? What does this have to do with Liz?”

“What’s his first name?” Maria insisted.

“Je-” Jeff started to say and then frowned. “I think it was . . . John? Or Jim?” Looking perplexed, he tapped his fingers against his thigh in agitation. “What difference does it make?”

“Can you go find out?” Maria asked. “Can you look him up? If Jared is involved in this, you might have to call his dad.”

“Yeah, sure,” Jeff said uncertainly. Turning toward the Crashdown he mumbled, “I’ll be right back.”

As soon as Jeff and Nancy were gone, Maria turned back to Max and said harshly, “What do you mean he wants Liz dead?”

“I got anoth-” Max began, just as Kyle pulled his car up to the curb and he and Isabel hurried to join the group on the sidewalk.

“What’s going on Max?” Isabel asked worriedly.

“Liz is gone. She’s been taken.” Max raked his trembling hand through his hair and started pacing back and forth again. “I’ve been having these visions for months now, since the summer, of my son . . . needing me . . . in trouble . . . asking me to help him. But . . . I just assumed it was . . . I thought it had to be . . . I never dreamed it could have been . . .”

“Max?” Maria tried to bring his attention back.

“My son . . . has been reaching out to me all this time . . .”

“Yes, we know Max,” Maria said in exasperation. “You’ve been on this quest to rescue your little mistake from your walk on the alien side, and now look what’s happened-”

“Maria, you don’t understand-”

“You’ve basically ignored Liz while you chase off after a son who isn’t even on this planet,” Maria let her anger out. “You go off on all these wild goose chases while Liz sits home alone, waiting for you. And now, because you haven’t been there for her, some alien freakiness is threatening her-”

“Don’t you think I know that!” Max shouted with his guilt showing through. “Don’t you think I know what she’s sacrificed because of me? I know that I’ve hurt her. I know that I haven’t been there for her. I know -” he had to choke back a sob before he continued in a fearful tone, “I know she’s in trouble because of me. I – I didn’t keep her safe, like I promised I would. And now, because of how I’ve treated her, I’m . . . we’re . . . we might lose her.”

Maria looked at the depth of pain in his eyes and her heart went out to him. And then he opened his mouth and pissed her off again.

“Maria, you don’t know what it’s been like. The visions . . . I couldn’t just ignore them. From the very first one, I made this, this connection to him, and my son-”

“YOUR SON! YOUR SON!” Maria screamed. “I am so sick of hearing about your son! I wish he never existed! If it wasn’t for your son-”

“It’s Liz’s son too,” Max said quietly.

“What?” Maria finally spit out after a stunned silence.

“You want to explain that Maxwell?” Michael asked.

“He sent me another vision while I was in Las Cruces,” Max tried to make them understand something he wasn’t even sure he understood. “All this time I’ve felt such a strong connection to him, this overwhelming need to reach him, to save him, from what I didn’t know. I just assumed it was my child, with Tess,” Max darted his guilty eyes toward Maria and then continued. “But that’s not who he is. Somehow, some way, I’ve been getting visions from the future, from a son who hasn’t even been conceived yet, and who never will be if we don’t get to Liz in time.”

“Visions from the future?” Michael said skeptically.

“Is that so hard to imagine, Michael?” Max asked. “I came back from the future using the Granilith. I had a vision of the future when we were in Vegas, a future that Liz and I would have had if that future alter ego of mine hadn’t made Liz change everything. When I was in Las Cruces, our son sent me a vision of what my life will be like, with Liz. I saw our wedding day. I saw Liz give birth to him. I delivered him, with Isabel and Maria helping. We named him Alex. Alex Parker Evans. I saw him growing up, riding a bicycle on his own for the very first time.”

Max rubbed his hands over his face, remembering the rest of the vision. Lifting his eyes to the group again, he continued, “Then he also showed me another possible future, the one that will happen if I don’t stop it. He showed me a graveyard and grave. The headstone said Liz Parker, and the date . . . the date . . . if we don’t get to her in time, Liz has only a few days, maybe only a few hours to live.”

Stunned silence descended on the group again as they took it all in. Could it really be true or was it all a figment of Max’s imagination? Could a child reach back into the past and try to change the outcome of the future? The sound of the bell above the Crashdown door rang out to break the silence and they all looked up to see the disconcerted face of Jeff Parker.

“I just checked through all my college records,” Jeff said shaking his head, showing his confusion. “There is no record of any Kingston attending school when I did. No John, no Jim, no Kingstons listed at all. How could that be? How could I remember him if he never existed?”

The five on the sidewalk exchanged knowing looks. They’d been here before. Jeff Parker had been mindwarped into remembering a man that didn’t exist, to give a cover story to an alien so he could get close to his target.

“Max?” Maria said as things started to click in her mind. “Do you think . . . could the name . . . Max, do you think the name Kingston means something?”

“What do you mean-” and then it started to fall into place for him. The blonde hair, the blue eyes, the ability to mind warp. The name. Was the answer to who Jared Kingston was all in the name? Kingston. King’s son. Son of a King? Meeting Maria’s intense gaze, he said, “God no. No, it can’t be. . .”

TBC . . .

Next update, Thursday or Friday, unless I'm out shopping . . .

posted on 14-Dec-2001 2:15:45 AM by Breathless
Author: Debbi Breathless
Category: Max and Liz

Note: The weather is really crappy here with the rain pouring down and the wind howling through the trees so I better post this really fast before I lose my power again.

I am posting this in two posts because of board restrictions.

Echoes of Tomorrow
Part 15

Max led the group to Liz’s bedroom, Maria on his heels, followed by Michael, Isabel and Kyle. Jim Valenti tried to distract an obviously disoriented Jeff, who was breaking out of the mindwarp Jared had placed on him. He was confused and muddled, and Nancy helped lead him to the couch in the living room.

In the bedroom, all eyes were on Max as he tried to sort things through. Looking at Maria, he said, “Do you really think this Jared Kingston might be Tess’ son? My . . . son? How could that be? He’s older than I am. I – I don’t feel any connection to him. Not at all.” Turning his eyes to Isabel, he said, “Wouldn’t I feel something?”

“Maybe not,” Isabel said uncertainly.

“It doesn’t seem right that I wouldn’t feel something. He was only a few feet away from me when I saw him in the store with Liz. In the visions I had of Alex, I felt connected to him right away, and those were only visions. I knew right away, without any doubt in my mind, that he was my son.” Shaking his head, he said, “No. There must be some other explanation for who he is. The name must be just that, only a name.”

“So now what, Max?” Isabel asked. “Why are we up here?”

“I want you to try to dreamwalk Liz,” Max told her. He took out his wallet and removed a photo of Liz, one that he had been carrying for nearly two years. “We don’t really have any idea where he might have taken her. If you can dreamwalk her, get into her mind, maybe she can give us some idea of where she is. Here,” he held out the photo.

Isabel took it from his hand and sat on the edge of Liz’s bed. She looked up at all the faces staring at her, knowing they were all counting on her. Feeling the weight of the responsibility, she turned her eyes on the photo again and touched her finger to the surface. Closing her eyes, she tried to reach out her mind.

Max turned to the window, looking out on the balcony he was so familiar with. He had sat there with Liz more times than he could count, talking and watching the stars . . . and loving each other. So much had happened between them, right here on this balcony. He had kissed her for the first time, right there beyond the window. Just days later, he had broken her heart for the first time, telling her he needed to take a step back.

He had come here over and over, seeking her out when he was troubled, when he needed to talk, when he needed a friend, and she was always there for him. Always. Even the night when he’d climbed that ladder and found her in bed with Kyle, it had been for him. She had always sacrificed her own happiness, for him. And how had he repaid her for her sacrifices? He’d turned his back on her. He hadn’t believed her or trusted her when he should have. He hadn’t had faith in her.

He felt a wave of dizziness wash over him and he leaned forward, putting the palms of his hands on the windowsill to support himself. The world started to spin and then turn dark as his sight faded. He could feel himself falling, falling, spiraling downward, the air rushing past him as he fell into the void . . .

Max could see nothing in the darkness, just the swirling mist. There was movement, just beyond his field of vision, and he pushed himself to his feet, to be ready for whatever was coming toward him. The ground beneath him was hard, like cement, but not cement. The air around him was hushed, like it was waiting for something, and then he heard the noise. The soft, steady sound of footsteps, heading his way. He jumped as a hand touched his arm, a small hand that he’d touched before.

“Dad,” Alex smiled, looking up at Max.

“Alex?” Max stared down at him. “Are you Alex? Are you my son?”

“I will be, if . . .”

“If what?” Max knelt down in front of the boy and placed his hands on his small shoulders. He could see him so clearly, even in the dark. His straight dark hair, with the bangs falling over his forehead. His dark eyes, so large and expressive. “If what, Alex? If what?”

“You know Dad,” Alex stared back at him.

Max swallowed hard and nodded his head. He did know. Alex’s existence depended on one thing, on his ability to find Liz and save her from Jared Kingston. Rising to his feet and looking around the darkness he asked, “Where are we?”

“We’re in the in-between,” Alex answered, watching his father.

“The-” Max said uncomprehending.

“Limbo,” Alex explained. “I’m neither living, nor dead. I’m in the in-between.”

“Because the future is not set?” Max asked shakily.

“Yes. There’s still time . . .”

“How much time?” Max asked desperately. “What do I have to do? Tell me, so I don’t make a mistake. So I don’t . . .” kill everything I love, he finished in his mind.

“You’ll make your choices, as you must do, and we’ll either live with them, or die by them,” Alex said cryptically.

“I’m afraid,” Max’s voice quivered in turmoil. “I’ve made so many mistakes and if I make the wrong choice this time . . .”

“Trust your heart,” Alex said, slipping his small hand into his father’s much larger one. “That’s what Mom tells you whenever you’re not sure about something. She says your heart will show you the way.”

“Alex,” Max said, kneeling down in front of him again. His hands held onto the boy’s shoulders, not wanting to ever let him go, and he said, “Your Mom sure is smart.”

“I know that, Dad!” Alex smiled, looking at him as if he had just said the most obvious thing in the world.

Max pulled the boy into his arms and hugged him fiercely, praying that this time his choices would be the right ones. He felt so real, so solid and the knowledge that one mistake could cost him his life, his existence, was almost more than Max could take. The responsibility was overwhelming.

“Alex,” Max held the boy out at arms length. He had so many questions to ask. “Do you know how it’s possible for me to see you like this? To talk to you? Do you know what’s going to happen to your mother? And when? Do you know where I can find her?”

“You look so funny Dad,” Alex smiled and his small hand ruffled through the hair above Max’s ear. “You don’t have any gray hair. I’ve never seen you without gray hair before.”

“Alex, please . . .”

“Mom is special,” Alex said.

“I know she is. That’s why I need your help, to keep her safe, so I don’t lose her, or you.”

“No, Dad. Mom is special, in her insides.”

“In her insides?”

“Yeah,” Alex nodded. “You changed her when you healed her. Made her better in her insides. In her DMA.”

Max frowned, and then his eyes widened in understanding. “You mean in her DNA?”

“Yeah that’s it,” Alex smiled. He knocked the palm of his hand against his forehead and said, “I always get that wrong. In her DNA. I don’t know that stuff very good yet. Mom just started teaching me.”

“Your Mom’s teaching you Biology? Already?” Max asked incredulously. The boy couldn’t be older than six or seven.

“Yes,” he answered matter-of-factly.

“And you’re special too, on the inside, just like your Mom,” Max said, starting to get a picture in his mind.

Nodding, Alex said in a small voice, “That’s why he went back . . . to make sure I don’t get born.”

“Went back . . . you mean . . . someone came back through time? From your time to mine?” Max watched Alex nod his head again. “How Alex? How is that possible?”

“The Granilith,” Alex said in that matter-of-fact tone again. “Mom said you know all about the Granilith.”

“I do,” Max nodded. “Maybe not all about it, but I know what it is.”

“I use the Granilith to talk to you from the in-between.”

“The Granilith?” Max asked in surprise.

“Uh huh,” Alex nodded. “When he went back, the Granilith opened a doorway.” Alex saw the perplexed look on Max’s face and he smiled as he said, “It’s okay Dad, Mom understands this stuff. When the doorway opened, that’s when I first tried to talk to you.”

“You’ve been here, in the in-between all this time?” Max was appalled. It was months ago that he received the first vision.

Alex nodded, looking at Max with his big dark eyes. “It took me a long time to figure out how to actually talk to you, instead of just sending you pictures in your head.” His eyes became haunted and his voice took on a forlorn tone as he said, “Daddy . . . I don’t like it here. I miss Mommy.”

“I’ll fix it son,” Max pledged and pulled Alex into his arms. “I promise, I’ll make everything right.”

“I believe in you Dad,” Alex said, hugging his father tightly. “Mom says if you listen to what your heart is telling you, you’ll make the right choices. Listen to your human side and just follow your heart . . .”

Max struggled up from the void, and as his vision cleared, he opened his eyes to a mass of concerned faces. They were all hovering over him, staring down at him, and he realized he was lying on the floor.

“What happened?” he asked.

“You tell us,” Michael demanded, holding his hand out to help Max to his feet..

“I had another vision,” Max stated simply. “I think I understand now.”

“Well, maybe you could fill the rest of us in,” Maria said sarcastically.

“Jared Kingston came back through time to prevent Liz from having a child. My child. He’s a threat to them so they want to kill Liz, so that he’ll never be born.”

Back in a minute with the rest of part 15 . .

posted on 14-Dec-2001 2:18:47 AM by Breathless
Echoes of Tomorrow

Part 15 (con't)

Liz opened her eyes, trying not to move a muscle or make a sound that might let him know she was awake. She could hear him shuffling around, occasionally voicing something under his breath that she couldn’t quite hear. The sounds of his footsteps drew near and she closed her eyes, feigning sleep. He stopped next to the bed and time dragged on, soundlessly, endlessly, and she wondered if he had silently moved away and she just hadn’t heard it. Her body was tense with the need to move but she didn’t want to give herself away. If he thought she was still asleep, maybe he’d leave her alone.

The bed suddenly shifted as his knee hit the bedspread and Liz jumped involuntarily. He leaned over her with his face just inches from hers and he smiled in an unsettling sort of way.

“You can’t fool me,” Jared said ominously with his hot breath hitting her in the face. “I knew the moment you woke up.”

“Who are you?” Liz tried to control the tremor in her voice. “Why are you doing this to me? What did I ever do to you?”

“Everything,” Jared answered. He lifted his hand and traced a finger down her nose, over her lips and then dropped it to her throat.

“Please . . . don’t . . .”

“Haven’t you guessed who I am?” Jared arched his eyebrows. “My mother told me so much about you, I felt I knew you before we ever met. Of course, my mother didn’t like you, so based on what she told me I was expecting you to be quite a bitch.”

“Please, I don’t understand.” She thought if she kept him talking, maybe it would distract him, maybe keep him from touching her the way he was touching her right now. “Why are you doing this?”

“Let’s see,” Jared said thoughtfully. “You took my father away from me. You took the crown away from me. How’s that for starters?”

“How could I take anything away from you?” Liz tried to keep the tremor out of her voice. “I don’t even know you.”

“Are you sure about that?” Jared asked. He saw the light dawning in her eyes and his lips curved into a smile. “See, I knew you’d figure it out.”

Her eyes had grown wide as a possibility crept into her mind. The blue eyes, the blonde hair, the slight crease in his chin, the distinctive curve of his jaw. No, it couldn’t be, could it? That would be impossible . . . wouldn’t it?

His hands moved down her arms until he reached her wrists and then he said, “You don’t need these anymore.”

Liz watched him as he removed the ropes and then lifted her hands to kiss the burns on her wrists. He winked at her and then waved his hand over her wrists and the rope burns disappeared. He moved lower on the bed, letting his hands trail down her legs and then he removed the ropes from her ankles. Smiling at her he asked, “Is that better now?”

“Yes,” she said weakly, drawing her legs up to her chest and trying to shrink away from him. Knowing her best chance of getting out of this was to find out everything she could, she pushed her fear aside and asked, “You haven’t told me why I’m here. What do you want with me?”

“Why Liz Parker, I came back in time to kill you.”

* * * * *

“Alex said I changed Liz’s DNA somehow when I healed her,” Max explained to the others.

“Great!” Kyle blurted out. “Great. Does that mean you changed me too?”

“I don’t know, Kyle, but I don’t think so, at least not the way I changed Liz.” Max looked at all the faces staring at him and continued. “When I healed Liz, we had this . . . connection. When she looked into my eyes, the connection went so . . . deep. I healed Kyle, those kids in the hospital, my mom when she broke her foot when I was 12, but I never felt that connection when I healed everyone else. Only with Liz.”

“And so you’re saying,” Maria said, “when you healed Liz, you not only healed her, you actually changed her. Does that mean she’s not . . . human anymore?”

“Yes . . . no,” Max faltered. “I don’t know. I think-”

A searing jolt of pain flashed through his head and an image appeared in his mind. He sucked his breath in, overwhelmed by the sights and emotions he was suddenly flooded with. Liz was in trouble. Oh God. He could see what she was seeing, feel what she was feeling, and Max was overwhelmed. His face turned white as he felt Liz’s terror.

“Oh My God,” he cried out as the vision cleared.

“Max! What is it Max?” Isabel cried, watching her brother rocking back and forth, holding his head in his hands.

All he could do was shudder as he felt her fear.

* * * * *

“Kill me?” Liz whispered in shock. Fear was threatening to overwhelm her and she struggled to appear calm. She didn’t want him to see how scared she really was. She saw him lifting his hand up to her face and she held her ground unflinching as he touched her. “Why? Why me?”

“Relax,” he soothed, stroking the back of his fingers over her cheek. He leaned down, as if he was going to kiss her, and she turned her head away. Letting the insult go, he rose to his feet and moved back to the table, sorting through the contents there. Picking something up, he looked at it closely and said, “I think this one is my favorite.”

She watched him as he walked back to her, holding something in his hand. He turned it toward her as he neared and she saw a photograph of herself. In it she was standing on her balcony, looking up at the stars with a pensive look on her face. It was a recent photo and her blood ran cold, knowing no one had taken her picture like that.

“Where did you get that?”

“Every time I look at this I wonder what you were thinking about, looking up at the stars like that. Were you thinking of me?”

“You’ve been watching me.” He turned his cold blue eyes on her and she said, “Why? Why me? What do you want?”

“Why you? Oh that’s simple.” He sat on the bed next to her again, and he brushed his fingers over her cheek. “Can’t you guess?”

“It’s because of Max, isn’t it? You’re using me to get to Max.” This was one of her worse nightmares, that his enemies would somehow use her to manipulate Max.

“Oh, I don’t care about Max,” he said without hesitation. “You’re the key Liz.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she cowered back away from him.

“You see, it’s you Liz,” Jared said, toying with her long strands of hair. “Max has always known that. He was drawn to you.” Leaning closer he added, “Like father, like son.”

Shuddering, she closed her eyes so she wouldn’t have to see the look in his and she asked, “Why? Why do you want to kill me? I’m nothing.”

“Liz,” Jared laughed. “You really have no idea, do you? You’re so different than I imagined.”

“You didn’t answer my question,” Liz countered.

“And what was the question?” Jared feigned ignorance.

“Why do you want to kill me?” Liz repeated.

“I lost everything because of you, Liz Parker,” Jared answered. “I lost my father. I lost my right to the throne. I lost everything.”

“You said that before, but I don’t understand. I don’t understand what I did that made you lose everything. You’re talking about things that happened on a world I had nothing to do with.”

“You had everything to do with it,” Jared insisted. “Or rather, your son does.”

“My son?” Liz said incredulously. “I don’t have a son!”

“No,” Jared agreed. “Not yet. That’s the whole idea. My job was to kill you to prevent your son from ever being born. You see, I couldn’t have him claim the throne over me, now could I? I’m older. I’m Zan’s first born, the crown should fall to me-”

“Zan doesn’t exist.”

“Zan, Max,” Jared shrugged. “It doesn’t matter. It’s still his royal blood. Max has the royal seal in his head to prove it.”

“So you’re going to kill me so I don’t give birth to a son that will challenge your right to the throne. What’s the point of that? Max will just find someone else, have a son and you’ll still be in the same boat. What does killing me prove?”

“See, that’s where you’re wrong. It’s not Max’s blood that makes your son special. It’s yours. So, I came back to kill you so that you never had a chance to have that son. But that was before I met you. I know now that there is another way.”

“What way?” Liz knew as long as she could keep him talking, he couldn’t follow through with whatever horrible thing he had planned.

“I’m gonna keep you,” Jared smiled at her and Liz felt a shiver stab through her body. “In fact, I’m gonna take you back with me. The Granilith isn’t far from here. You rest now, and I’ll get every thing ready.” He rose from the bed and went to the table, tossing pictures back into a box and sealing it closed. “By this time tomorrow, we’ll be back in my time, and Max Evans won’t be able to touch us. With your genes and mine, we’ll be the ones that create the miracle child.” Under his breath so that she couldn’t hear, he said, “And Alex Parker Evans will live only in my memory.”

The next should be posted on Sunday or Monday . . .

posted on 18-Dec-2001 2:46:08 AM by Breathless
Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz
Rating: PG 13 to NC 17

Thanks guys for the wonderful feedback. For everyone asking about Captive Hearts, I hope you noticed I did post a new part. Everybody happy now? It made me happy to start writing it again.

I'm going to try to answer some feedback here . . .

Snowdove30, you asked if Jared is King Zan's son or Max's son. They're one and the same. Jared called him Zan because people on Antar believe Max is Zan. WayLiz, you also asked if Jared is Kyles or Kivars. For all of you that have questioned if Jared is really Max's son, this part should make it perfectly clear.

dreamer at heart, thank you for the compliment! It makes me happy to be writing about Ellie again. I think she is what makes Captive Hearts special.

BLS40, you think this story is building to a great finale?? I don't know how great it will be, but we are getting close to the end. Part 20 is the last part to this story, and if everything goes right, I plan to finish posting before the end of the year.

RosewellLady, your heart can't take it? Don't have a heart attack on me! Don't tell anyone, but I think I fit the criteria for an ORB too, if it's what I think it is. Where the hell did I put my high blood pressue medicine??? No, really, that's not a joke! I forgot to take my pill today! Did I forget to take it yesterday? Oh Lordy, I can't remember shit . . .

kittens, I don't think I understood your question.
You said: But did Alex exist in the original timeline? I'm guessing not. Then that also leaves the question of why Tess and Max had to have a child together, if M/L's is the important one.
My answer: Yes, Alex existed in the original timeline, and Jared is attempting to change that. He wants to make sure Alex never does exist. When Jared crossed back through time, Alex got stuck in the in-between while events play out in the past. He will either live, or cease to exist based on what happens to Liz. If Liz dies, or is taken by Jared into the future, Alex will never be conceived. As to why Tess and Max had to have a child together, you mean on the show or in this fic? To me, there is NO reason why Tess and Max HAD to have a child together, other than Jason Katims wanted to ruin Max and Liz. The whole Max/Tess/Baby storyline made no sense to me. I'm just writing this fic based on the information presented at the start of season 3, and then running with it my way.

I better stop now before I start ranting on why I think Jason Katims ruined Roswell. On with the story . . .

Echoes of Tomorrow
Part 16

Liz watched Jared as he moved around the room. What he said had terrified her. What was worse? Dying at Jared’s hand now, or having him take her into the future, away from Max and her parents and Maria and everything that she loved? This was crazy. He was crazy.

As if he read her thoughts, he looked up and his eyes locked onto hers. He walked over to the bed and hovered over her, with his crystal blue eyes staring down at her. “It’s almost time.”

“Time for what?” Liz asked in a small voice.

“To leave this hell hole and come back with me.”

“No . . .”

“No? No isn’t an option,” Jared shook his head. He sat down on the bed next to her and took her hand in his. “It’s really for the best. You’ll see. Besides,” he said rising to his feet, “you really don’t have a choice.” He lifted his hand and a blue shimmering light flowed from his palm. A wall rose between Jared and Liz and wrapped around the bed, sealing Liz inside.

“I’ll always have a choice,” Liz said defiantly.

Jared gave her a mirthless laugh and shook his head. “My mother did say you were head-strong, and stubborn, and obstinate. You were the hardest one to control. I guess maybe she was right about that. Probably the only thing she was right about in her whole short little pathetic life.”

“Tess is . . .” Liz said in shock.

“Dead?” Jared’s eyes gleamed. “Oh yes,” and then his eyes clouded over and he looked off in the distance. “They said I shouldn’t have done that. That it was wrong. But it didn’t seem like it at the time.” Liz’s eyes grew wide as she realized what he meant. Jared had killed Tess. He’d killed his own mother. “That doesn’t matter now,” Jared refocused on Liz. “I control the Granilith now. Once I get you home, I can send my people back to change anything I want them too. It’s just a matter of time before this planet is subjugated, and bows down to me.” Smiling, he added, “To us. You stay here and relax. I’m going to go to the Granilith and program it for our return. I’ll be back soon.”

Liz shuddered as she watched him leave. She had to get out of here. She had to stop him from using the Granilith. As he disappeared, she lifted her hand to touch the energy field that surrounded her. It felt tingly and spongy and she could feel the vibration go up her arm, but she couldn’t push her hand through it. As she pushed against it, it repelled her with equal strength. She was trapped.

She stood on the bed and threw her shoulder against the barrier and the rebound sent her flying backward. That wasn’t gonna work. She worked her hands along the barrier, testing it high and low, looking for a weak spot but finding none. Dejected, she sat cross-legged on the bed with her elbows on her knees and her chin propped on her hands.

What could she do? Shouting was useless. She was in the basement of the Smith Building. An abandoned building, empty and alone, with no one near to hear her scream. But she had to do something. Jared would be back soon and one way or the other, her life would be as good as over. Rocking back and forth, she tried to think of an alternative.

Her movements stilled as a thought entered her mind. She’d done it once before, could she do it again? It’d been nearly a year, and she still wasn’t convinced that it had been her in the first place. What if it had just been Isabel, channeling her power through Liz? But she had found herself on the streets of New York while her body was still in Roswell, and Max had seen her, and moved to safety. Could she do it again? Could she project her mind out of her body, and find Max and tell him where she was?

Closing her eyes and concentrating, she tried to remember what she had done before and how it had felt, and tried to make it happen again.

* * * * *

Max watched Isabel, sitting on the bed and holding Liz's photograph in her hand. He could see the strain on her face as she tried to contact Liz and when her eyes opened he knew she was unsuccessful.

“Try again,” Max pleaded.

“It’s no use, Max,” Isabel shook her head. “I can’t dreamwalk her when she’s awake.”

“You did me, when I was in the White Room,” Max reminded her.

“That was different Max. You were drugged. It made it easier for me to enter your mind.”

“But Iz-”

His voice was cut off as a shape began to form beyond Isabel’s shoulder. It was indistinct at first and as Max stared, it began to take solid form. In shock, he looked at the familiar face and said, “Liz?”

Everyone in the room turned to look at where Max was staring, but all they could see was dark shadows in the corner. They looked back at Max and his face was lit with an inner light as he continued to stare at the wall.

“Liz? Is that you?” He could see her clearer now, and he strained to hear as her lips moved. Her arms were outstretched and she was saying something, trying to tell him something. Shaking his head in frustration, he said, “I can’t hear you, Liz. Where are you?”

He rushed around the bed to where she was standing and tried to touch her but his hand went right through her. Her image looked solid, but his hand touched only air. She lifted her hand to touch his face but he felt nothing, no contact at all. He could see the tears shimmering in her eyes as she tried to get him to understand what she was trying to say.

“Liz, where are you?” he begged.

Helpless he watched her close her eyes in concentration and just as her imaged began to fade he heard her soft whisper in his mind. “Smith Building . . .”

“Smith Building?” Max repeated to the empty air. Her image was gone now and he turned to the others, saying the name again. “Smith Building? Do you guys know a Smith Building?”

“Yes,” came the deep voice from the doorway. Max snapped his head in that direction and his eyes met Jeff Parker’s. “It’s an old abandoned building over by the industrial area. It hasn’t been used in years. That’s why Jared said he was in town. He was thinking about turning it into a club.”

“Show us where it is!” Max demanded.

“Is that where he took Liz?” Jeff asked with haunted eyes.

“Yes,” Max nodded.

Jeff didn’t ask Max how he knew that. The scene he had just witnessed, with Max talking to thin air and saying Liz’s name, they could talk about that later. For now, it didn’t matter how Max was able to find out his daughter’s location. All that mattered was reaching her before something bad happened to her.

“Let’s go,” he said urgently and turning quickly, he ran for the stairs, with Max on his heels.

* * * * *

Liz slowly opened her eyes, blinking at the blue radiance of the energy field that surrounded her. Lifting her head, she realized she must have passed out, probably from the strain of trying to contact Max. Her mind felt muddled and she shook herself, trying to regain her senses. Had Max seen her when she projected her mind? She had seen him clearly, standing in her room and hovering over his sister. Michael and Maria and even Kyle stood behind him, all of them watching Isabel, and she wondered what they were doing.

Max had shifted his gaze, staring right at her and she’d known he had seen her. She tried to talk to him, to tell him where she was, but he couldn’t hear her, just like in New York. She had thrown all her energy into a last ditch effort to tell him where she was, and then she had blacked out.

Looking around the room, she wondered how long she had been unconscious. Was it only a minute or two, or had it been longer than that? Would Jared be back any second now? Most important of all, had Max understood what she was trying to tell him? Would he make it here in time before Jared returned and took her away?

A sound penetrated her thoughts and her eyes turned hopeful. She could hear footsteps, running fast, and she watched the doorway, hoping against hope. She could see a shadow on the wall now and the figure paused, looking around, and then she heard his voice.


“MAX!” she shouted, rising to her feet and pressing her hands against the energy field. “MAX! IN HERE!”

He burst into the room and skidded to a halt with a look of both relief and astonishment on his face. He held her eyes for a moment and then his gaze traveled over the energy field. Rushing forward, he placed his hands on the barrier and looked in at her.

“Liz? Are you alright? Did he hurt you?”

“I’m fine Max, now that you’re here,” she sighed in relief. Her hand pressed against her side of the barrier, trying to touch him. “Can you get me out of here?”

“Stand back,” he warned and then he held his hands out, focusing on the shield. She could see his palms glowing and then the air crackled as the barrier dissipated. He held his arms up to her and he swept her off the bed and into a tight hug. His lips found hers and they kissed deeply, and then Max closed his hand over hers and pulled her toward the door. “We have to get out of here.”

“Did you hear me Max?” she asked as they ran from the room, moving hurriedly through the basement.

“What?” he frowned, glancing back at her.

“Did you hear me this time?” she repeated. “Is that how you knew I was here?”

“Yeah,” he nodded and slowed their pace, cautiously looking around corners. “Come on,” he said, pulling her along.

“Max,” she whispered. “It was Jared Kingston. He’s your-”

“I know,” he replied. He paused at the end of a hallway and drew her close, looking down into her eyes. “I know who he is. The important thing is that you’re safe now.” His eyes traveled over her face and he leaned down, kissing her again, before breaking it off and saying, “Let’s get out of here.”

“Are you here alone? Where’s everyone else?” Liz whispered but he didn’t answer as they picked up the pace, running again.

* * * * *

Max skidded to a stop in front of the Smith Building and jumped from his car, racing for the main entrance. He halted at the doors, testing to see if they were locked, while he waited impatiently for the others to catch up to him.

“Michael, Isabel, you come with me,” Max said as the group assembled. “Kyle, go around to the back and keep an eye on things there, make sure no one gets out that way. Mr. Parker, you stay here with Maria and watch the front.”

“No, no way,” he said emphatically. “That’s my daughter in there. I’m going in.”

“Please, Mr. Par-” he started to say, concerned that he had heard and seen too much already. “Jeff, you should stay here and guard the front.”

“No,” he insisted.

There wasn’t time to argue and Max gave up trying. What difference did it make to keep his secret if he lost Liz in the process? Turning to the former sheriff, he asked, “Jim, you wouldn’t happen to have your gun on you?”

Jim pulled back the front of his jacket and reached inside, removing the pistol from his shoulder holster. “After your call this morning, I decided the old adage, ‘Don’t leave home without it’ applied.”

“Good thinking,” Max nervously smiled and then turned serious again. His eyes darted to Jeff and he said to Jim, “You two stick together.”

Jim nodded in understanding, and pointed his pistol in the air, cupped between his hands while Max turned the doorknob. They rushed into the dimly lit building with Max leading the way.

* * * * *

“This way,” Max said, pulling Liz along. Their footsteps echoed in the empty basement and it was almost impossible to see in the dark gloom.

“But I think the stairs are that way,” Liz pointed to her left. “I don’t know where this way goes.”

“I do,” he smiled when she turned her head away from him. He clenched her hand tighter with his fingers entwined with hers and he hurried the pace. “It’s not very far now.”

“What’s not very far?”

* * * * *

Max had to fight off the urge to rush through the building. He needed to be careful. Cautious. Liz’s life depended on it. They spread out and silently checked the rooms on the first floor. Max moved carefully from room to room in the empty building, finding nothing but dust and cobwebs and the stench of age.

Opening another door, he stepped into another vision . . .

“Dad!” Alex tugged at his arm.

Max blinked at the sudden change. One second he was in an old decrepit office building, the next he was in the in-between, with Alex trying to get his attention. He knelt down, focusing on the boy, sensing his turmoil. “What is it Alex? What’s wrong?”

“There’s things you need to know,” Alex clutched at his father’s arms. “It’s important you understand.”

“What Alex? Tell me.”

“You shouldn’t have mated with another hybrid.”

Max stared at his son, feeling his stomach clench tightly. That was the last thing he had expected the boy to say. Not knowing how to respond, he stumbled over his words. “I . . . I know that . . . it was wrong-”

“No Dad, listen. The Gandarium allowed human DNA and Antarian essence to merge, to create a hybrid. That’s how they made you.”

“I know that, Alex.”

“What you don’t know, what no one knew at the time, was that the cloning process wasn’t stable in subsequent generations.”

“Subsequent generations?”

“Hybrid/hybrid offspring were born defective. The genetic coding degraded.”

“But you . . .” Max was nearly speechless. He looked Alex up and down, seeing how perfect he was. There was no evidence of defective genes. On the contrary, listening to his son, he was starting to think the boy’s intelligence was off the scale.

“No, hybrid/human offspring are fine. It only happens when both parents are hybrids.”

“What happens, Alex? What kind of defect?”

“It affects the brain, the thought processes. The scientists have tried, but they can’t fix it.”

“They can’t . . . do you understand all this?” Max asked.

“No, not all of it. Not yet. But Mom did.”

“So a child born of two hybrids is defective. Mentally . . .”

“Unstable. Yes,” Alex nodded.

“Why are you telling me this? Is it because . . .?” His words trailed off as Alex nodded his head. “Are you saying that Jared Kingston is mentally imbalanced?”

“Dad, your other son is insane. They had to lock him away, so he couldn’t keep hurting people.”

Max saw the vision waver as he reeled from that revelation. Jared Kingston was insane . . . and he had Liz. Max started to rise to his feet and two small hands grabbed at him.

“Dad, wait!”

“I have to save your mother,” he tried to pull away from the boy. “There’s not much time.”

“Dad,” Alex held on to his father. “There’s one more thing you need to know. There’s only one way to destroy the Granilith.”

“The Granilith?” Max repeated, surprised by such a sudden change of subject. Why would Alex want to tell him how to destroy the Granilith?

“When it’s at full power, just before it transports, if you destroy the crystal that powers it, a chain reaction will take place, and the Granilith will be destroyed.”

Max stared at his son, wondering why his face suddenly looked so sad. “Alex?”

The boy threw his arms around his father in a fierce hug and Max was sure he could hear a tremor in his voice as he whispered, “I love you, Dad.” Max lifted his hand to the back of Alex’s head, suddenly feeling terribly afraid. “Remember about the Granilith,” Alex whispered . . .

Max snapped out of the vision and felt his legs collapsing under him. Panic swelled in him, brought on by the intense emotions he had felt from his son, and he had to fight to control it. He had to find Liz, and he had to find her now. God, she was being held by a mad man.

TBC . . .

I will try to post the next part Wednesday or Thursday

[ edited 2 time(s), last at 18-Dec-2001 3:03:51 AM ]
posted on 20-Dec-2001 12:43:04 AM by Breathless
Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz

Rating: PG 13 to NC 17

I'm too tired to post author notes, but I wanted to get this out tonight. CEO, you asked if I'll keep writing after Roswell gets cancelled. The answer is . . . I don't know. I have Captive Hearts I'm still working on, and two other stories that I haven't started to post anywhere yet.

On with the story . . .

Echoes of Tomorrow
Part 17

Max worked his way quickly through the remaining rooms and then met up with the others near the elevators. “Anything?” he asked, even though he could tell the answer just by looking at their faces. They all shook their heads, and he pointed to the stairwell.

“Jim, Jeff, you go up to the second floor,” Max ordered. Looking at Isabel and Michael, he said, “We’ll go down and check the basement.”

“Wait a minute,” Jeff grabbed the front of Max’s leather jacket. “Who died and made you boss? You’re just some punk ass kid that can’t even rob a convenience store without getting arrested. Who do you think you are, ordering us around? The sheriff here should be in charge of getting Liz out of here safely.”

“Okay,” Max said slowly, knowing the last thing they needed right now was a power struggle. He looked at Jim and nodded almost imperceptibly.

“Alright Jeff,” Jim said, assuming an authoritative tone. “You and I will go up and check out the second floor. Max, you, Isabel and Michael, go down and check the basement.”

“Yes sir,” Max opened the door to the stairs and watched them make their way upward. As soon as they were out of hearing he turned back to Michael and Isabel and said, “She’s downstairs.”

“How do you know that Max?” Isabel asked.

“Don’t ask me how, but I can feel her down there. Like a . . . like a sixth sense or something. I knew it as soon as I got near the door.” It was like his mind was homing in on her. He’d never felt anything like it before, but he knew without a doubt that she was down there, somewhere.

Creeping down the stairs, Max led the way. The basement was dark and gloomy and quiet as a graveyard. When he reached the bottom step, he looked left and then right, and then his eyes were drawn back to the left. She was that way. He could feel her.

“Isabel,” he whispered, pointing to the right. “You go that way. “Michael, you come with me.”

Isabel moved off as instructed and Michael fell in beside Max, silently making their way into the basement. Their eyes adjusted to the gloom and in the distance Max was just able to make out a sound. Something was familiar about it and as he moved deeper into the basement his eyes grew large as he realized what it was.

* * * * *

“Max . . .” Frightened, Liz stared up at the Granilith, watching the pulsating colors.

“Amazing, isn’t it?” he said, staring up at the imposing structure. “You can feel the power emanating from it. It’s almost time.”

“Max, why are we here?” She felt his hand tighten on hers and she tugged at him, urging him to leave. “Max, let’s get out of here.”

His eyes turned from the Granilith and locked on to hers, sending a chill up her spine. With a sardonic smile, he said, “What’s the rush?”

Liz stepped backwards, trying to pull her had free, but his grip was too strong. Her eyes grew wide with fear, realizing the awful truth. “You’re not Max.”

“No, I’m not,” his smile widened and for just a moment, his eyes flashed blue. She took another step backwards, desperate to get away from him, and whispered, “Let me go.”

“Now why would I want to do that?” he replied.

“Please . . .” she begged.

The roar of the Granilith reached a crescendo and Jared said, “It’s time.”

Liz felt the jolt as he yanked her arm, pulling her back to him. He wrapped an arm around her, holding her securely, and then his hand reached out to touch the Granilith.

“No! NO!” Her scream was drowned out by the roar of the machine and Liz could feel the air around her crackling with energy. The hair on her arms stood up on end and her skin began to tingle like pins and needles. “No . . .”

“LIZ!” Max shouted and she turned to see him standing in the doorway.

“MAX!” she shouted back, reaching for him with her free hand.

Horrorstruck, he stood frozen in place. Liz struggled with his doppelganger, his mirror image right down to the tear in his t-shirt just barely visible below the collar of his leather jacket.

“Liz,” he whispered, torn by what he should do. If he made the wrong move, she would be dead.

“Max,” she cried softly, “don’t let him take me.”

“Take . . .” he repeated softly, and then he understood. Jared was going to take her not only through space, but through time as well. The Granilith would take her into the future, wiping out the life he would have shared with her. Alex would cease to exist. His daughter would never be born. He was about to lose everything he loved the most dear. With a strangled cry, he charged across the room.

He grabbed onto Liz’s outstretched hand with his left, while lifting his right hand and sending a bolt of energy towards his double. Jared was forced to release Liz to deflect the attack and Max pushed her away. She stumbled and Michael gathered her up, holding her protectively while the images of two Max’s grappled in the middle of the room. Michael stood by helplessly, not knowing who was who.

They broke apart and one Max threw a look at Michael and said, “Get Liz out of here.”

Guessing this was the real Max, Michael raised his hand to attack the other, just as that Max cried out, “No, Michael, don’t! It’s me!”

“Wait!” Liz shouted, and knocked Michael’s hand aside.

“Liz, please,” the Max on the left stared at her protectively. “Go, get out of here.”

“Liz,” the other Max said, “let Michael take you out of here. I’ll come find you when it’s safe.”

She looked at the two Max’s, and then took a step closer. They both looked the same. Their clothes, their hair, the shape of their face, their skin. Her eyes locked on the Max on the left, reading the hidden light in his honey colored eyes and then she turned to the Max on the right, looking deeply in his eyes and said, “Your mindwarps not as good as you think it is, Jared.”

“Liz, it’s me! Max! Don’t let him fool you,” pointing at the other Max.

“No, you’re the one that can’t fool me,” Liz said confidently. “You’re not Max.”

“No,” his eyes narrowed and the air shimmered around him. The blonde hair and blue eyes reasserted themselves as he dropped the mindwarp and Jared Kingston was once more at her side. His arms wrapped around her tightly and he pulled her to the Granilith.

“NO!” the real Max cried out. He couldn’t attack Jared because Liz was in the way, and he couldn’t pull Liz free because Jared had his hand around her throat with his palm glowing blue.

“Stay away,” Jared warned menacingly.

“Don’t!” Max held his hands up in defeat and stepped backwards. “Don’t hurt her.”

“Oh, how touching,” Jared smirked. “Now you’re concerned about her. You know what? You don’t deserve her.”

“You’re right,” Max nodded, trying to keep him talking. “I don’t deserve her. But . . . I think she should decide -”

“She’s mine now Dad,” he said, the last word dripping with scorn.

“Look Jared . . . it’s Jared right? Let’s talk about this . . .”

“Nothing to talk about Dad. You had your chance and you blew it. I’ve seen the way you treat her. I’ll never treat her that way. She’s coming with me. I’ll be King of it all. Antar. Earth. The whole fucking Universe is mine. With the Granilith, I can control everything, and with Liz as my Queen-”

“Jared, let’s talk,” Max tried to sound calm. “You’re my . . . I don’t know anything about you. I want to get to know you. Just let Liz go, and we can go somewhere, just you and me.”

“I always wondered what it would feel like to actually meet you. I thought I’d hate you, but surprisingly, I feel nothing at all,” Jared said emotionlessly. “You mean nothing to me.”

Jared’s hand touched the glass surface of the Granilith and Max lunged for them. His hands fell on empty air and horrified, he saw Liz materialize inside the belly of the machine, with Jared still holding on to her. She pushed against him hard and his head bounced off the glass like surface. He went down hard, stunned by the impact.

“NO!” Max cried out at seeing Liz trapped inside the Granilith. He lifted his hand up to Liz, and she pressed her hand back against his through the glass, so close yet so far away. He could see her eyes filling with tears and as one spilled over, Max watched it trickle down her cheek.

“Don’t let him take me, Max,” she cried through the glass. “Don’t let him leave with the Granilith.”

“Liz, I can’t stop it. Once you’re inside, the only way to stop the countdown is to destroy the Granilith. It – it would kill you Liz.” He wanted to reach his hand through the glass and pull her out, but his powers wouldn’t work on whatever material it was made of.

Liz stared at him and he could see the conviction on her face as she said, “Then do it, Max.”

What? His mind was reeling. She wanted him to destroy the Granilith, which would destroy her in the process? “No . . . no, I can’t.”

“Yes you can,” she choked back a sob. “Max, listen to me. If they get the Granilith back, they can keep coming into the past to change the future into what they want it to be.” She looked toward Jared and then turned back to Max, trying to keep her voice steady. “You can’t . . . you can’t let them have the Granilith. You have to stop it now. You don’t understand what will happen-”

“No, Liz. I can’t sacrifice you-”

Liz saw Jared shake his head as he tried to regain his senses. “Max, I’m sorry, I know he’s your son, but . . . something’s not right about him. If he gets the Granilith back to his time, it won’t stop. It will never stop.”

“Liz . . . I can’t,” Max cried, staring up into her eyes.

“Max, I’m telling you, you have to do this. The future of my world depends on it.” She watched him shaking his head back and forth, refusing to do what she knew he had to. What she said next was like a knife through his heart. “One day not so long ago, you said you’d do anything for me. Do you remember?”

He remembered the night last summer, walking to the park to watch a play, and how he had said those very words. ‘I’ll do anything you want me to. Anything.’ How could he ever have known it would mean this? “I remember, but-”

“Max, you have two choices. You stand back and watch me go into the future, with him and the life he’s going to subject me to, or end it now, and I can die knowing everyone I love is safe.”

“Liz, don’t ask me to do this -”

“It’s my last wish, Max. Don’t let them get the Granilith back. Don’t let them destroy my world the way they destroyed yours.”

“But Liz, someday . . . if the Granilith takes you into the future, someday we’ll be together again. I’ll find you. I’ll get you back.”

“Max, this isn’t about you, or me. This is about what’s best for everyone. My life isn’t worth the end of the world. Max,” she choked back a sob, “you have to do this.”

“No, Liz . . . I can’t . . .”

“If you truly love me, you’ll do what I ask,” she said through the clear material that separated them. “The life that he’s taking me to is no life at all. Max, it’s time for you to do the right thing. When you’re talking about the fate of the world, what you and I want is unimportant.”

“Move back, away from the glass,” Max insisted. “Michael can blast through and we’ll get you out of there.”

“You know that won’t work, Max,” Liz shook her head sadly. “You know how to destroy the Granilith. I can see it in your eyes. And getting me out safely isn’t part of the bargain, is it?”

“Liz, I can’t live without you . . .”

“You have to do this, Max. There’s too much at stake,” Liz bit back her tears. Jared regained his senses and rose to his feet, towering over her. Her eyes pleaded with Max as she whispered, “You can’t let him win.”

“No . . .” Max staggered backwards, shaking his head. “No . . .” but he knew he had to. It was the last thing she would ever ask of him. She leaned her forehead against the glass and he rushed forward to follow suit, barely able to see her though his tears.

“I love you, Max,” she whispered. “Don’t forget me.”

“I’ll love you until the day I die, Liz. Only you.”

She smiled through her tears, and with her last resolve, she said, “Goodbye.”

Max staggered back from the hated machine, the alien technology that had destroyed his life. No good had come from this nightmare invention, where men from the future could come back in time to destroy the lives of those he loved. He knew what he had to do, and he would do it because she begged him to, and in the process he would lose everything he loved.

Max slowly lifted his hand, wondering if this was why Alex had told him about the Granilith. The words ‘I love you, Dad’ rang in his ears over and over. Is that why he had held him so tightly? Had Alex been telling him goodbye too? Alex had told him before to follow his heart and his heart was telling him not to do this. But Alex had also given him the information necessary to know how to destroy the Granilith, as if he was supposed to do it.

Her words echoing in his mind were all he could hold on to and gave him the courage to do what he had to do. Tears streamed down his face as he held his hand out, pointed toward the control panel where the crystal glowed. He could see Jared pounding on the glass, trying to stop him and his eyes returned to Liz, silently begging her forgiveness as he sent a bolt of energy into the Granilith.

TBC . . .

I will try to update on Friday night, maybe Saturday, depends on how shopping goes!

[ edited 3 time(s), last at 20-Dec-2001 1:06:52 AM ]
posted on 22-Dec-2001 2:50:16 AM by Breathless
Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz
Rating: PG 13 to NC 17

Note: Well, it seems that part 17 upset a few of you. Poor Liz, sacrificing herself yet again to save the world. Will Max learn anything by her selfless acts?

I want to thank everyone for your kind comments on this story and the way I have written it. I like to make your heart pound once and awhile! And I do love to leave you hanging on a cliff! That way you have to come back to see what happens next!

And so, are you ready to find out Liz's fate? On with the story . . .

Echoes of Tomorrow
Part 18

Max watched the sparks erupt under the onslaught of his attack on the Granilith. Michael watched him as he sent bolt after bolt of disruptive energy against the crystal that powered the machine. Max tried to block out the sound of Liz’s scream and in his mind all he could see was the vision he had had of Liz’s grave and the headstone with her name so stark and unforgiving. His worst possible nightmare was coming true. Liz was not only going to be taken from him, but he was the one responsible for her death.

The room filled with the smell of smoke and electrical discharge and the sparks were nearly blinding. Explosions shook the room, knocking Max and Michael off their feet and when the sounds faded, all that remained was a smoldering ruin. The glass had melted and remolded around the base of the machine, barely even resembling the formerly impressive Granilith.

Max stumbled forward, feeling numb, and as the smoke began to clear, his breath left his lungs in a rush. If he could get to her quickly . . .

Her final words were the only reason he had been able to do what she said he had to do. He held on to the hope that it hadn’t just been a coincidence, that they meant what he thought they meant, and it wasn’t just fate stabbing him in the heart one last time. He could remember the vision so clearly, see Alex’s small hand, hear his voice so hauntingly, saying, “If you let him win, I’ll never be . . .”

And Liz had said the same thing, looking down at him through the Granilith. “You can’t let him win.” His heart told him that it meant something. He couldn’t take it if he was wrong. Please God, don’t let him be wrong.

“Liz!” he cried when the smoke cleared enough for him to see her crumpled body lying on the floor, with Jared’s not far away, almost as if the Granilith had spit them out just moments before it was destroyed. Max rushed to Liz, falling to his knees and lifting her into his arms. He felt quickly for a pulse and just as he knew and feared, there was none.

He assessed her quickly, searching for her injuries and then he laid her back down on the hard floor. He straddled her chest with his legs and his hands cupped the sides of her head with his thumbs at her temples. He leaned forward, touching her forehead with his and he closed his eyes and concentrated harder than he had ever concentrated in his life.

His mind reached out to hers, searching for a spark of life he prayed still existed. He cast his mind far and wide, calling to her, screaming for her, and then he saw the light. Her silhouette was framed by a blinding light and he could see her moving toward it.

His mind cried out for her and she paused, slowly turning his way. He could see the indecision on her face, torn between this world and the next and he prayed that her choice would be him. He saw her look back toward the light and he flashed an image to her, of a boy on a bike, of a baby in her arms, of a bouquet of white roses on her wedding day.

He saw her hesitate once again, and then his mind was inside hers, his thoughts walking through her memories as her life flowed back into her body. His hands breathed new life into her and he stayed connected to her for long minutes while his energy worked to heal the damage to her body.

Drained, he collapsed, unable to do any more. “Liz? Liz?” he cried softly as he moved to her side. He lifted her into his arms, stroking his fingers through her hair, barely having enough energy left to even lift his own hand. His cheeks were wet with his tears and they continued to fall as he whispered, “Liz . . . come back to me Liz. Wake up. Please wake up.”

He rocked her back and forth with his cheek pressed against hers, whispering to her over and over. He refused to accept a life without her in it. He refused to give up on the glimpse of what their future could be. She had sacrificed so much for him, because of him, and as unworthy as he was of her, he would spend the rest of his life dedicated to her.

“Liz . . . please wake up.” His shoulders were shaking as he cried and then he stiffened as he felt her hand touch his arm. He lifted his face from hers, staring down at her, praying that it hadn’t just been his imagination. Her eyelids fluttered and her hand once again touched his arm as her eyes opened and she looked up at him. “Oh God Liz!” Her eyes focused on his and he saw that spark of life in her. “Thank you God. Thank you.”

“Max . . .” she sighed and closed her eyes, feeling tired but at home in his arms.

Michael watched them as they clung to each other, Max with his arms holding her tightly and Liz with her hand buried in his hair. He entered the room and made his way over to the prone body of Jared Kingston. He knelt down and placed his fingers on his throat, checking for a pulse.

The movement drew Max’s attention and he lifted his head to watched Michael. He knew he should feel something for this man that he had given life to, but he felt no connection to him at all. He was a bad seed, a life that was ill-conceived and never meant to be. There was nothing Max could do for him. He had been doomed from the moment his life began. Finding no pulse, Michael shook his head and Max looked down at Jared’s still form, feeling nothing except relief that Liz was alive.

“Liz!” Jeff cried out from the doorway. He rushed over to her and when he saw her shaky smile he knew she was alright. Looking at Max, and then Michael, his eyes drifted to what was left of the Granilith and asked, “What happened here? What is that thing?”

Michael rose to his feet and said, “Nothing. Nothing but an old heap of metal.”

Max stood up slowly and drew Liz to her feet. They stood looking deeply into each other’s eyes without saying a word and then they silently turned and left the room. Jeff Parker stood looking perplexed, with the body of Jared Kingston at his feet and a smoldering ruin behind him.

* * * * *

Max walked Liz through the basement and when they reached the stairs they sat down side by side. He could hear Jim Valenti talking in the background with Michael about how they should report the death of one Jared Kingston, but he didn’t pay close attention. He could find out the details later. For now, all he was concerned about was Liz.

“How are you feeling?” he asked, speaking gently. He was touching her face with his hand, cupping her cheek, unwilling to let her go. He needed to touch her, to know that she was whole, and safe and alive.

“I’m okay,” she looked at him tiredly and covered his hand with hers. “Are you alright? You look-”

“Tired,” he answered for her. It had taken all his energy to heal her and his body needed sleep to recover.

“I just want to go home,” she said softly.

“Me too,” meaning he wanted to go wherever she was. As long as he was near her, that’s where he belonged.

“Max . . . your son . . .” she said haltingly. “Is he . . .?” and she felt a wave of despair as he slowly nodded his head. “Oh Max, I’m so sorry,” she began to cry softly. “I’m so sorry.”

“Liz, don’t cry,” Max tried to soothe her. He cradled her head to his chest and he murmured, “Please don’t cry.” When he’d seen the two bodies on the floor, Liz and Jared, to him there had never been a choice to decide which one he would heal. He had no regrets.

Her face pressed into his chest and he rested his cheek against the top of her head. After several minutes of just holding each other he lifted her chin and his voice broke the silence. “How did you know it was me? I mean, in the other room, when Jared looked like me, how could you tell the difference?”

“He didn’t know you like I do,” Liz answered. “I know every line, every curve, every square inch of your face. He recreated your image perfectly, right down to this little freckle on your upper lip,” and her finger gently touched him there.

“Then how?” Max asked, unable to take his eyes off her. His hand closed around hers and he lovingly kissed her palm.

“It was your eyes.” Liz raised her hand and gently brushed her fingers over his face. “You haven’t looked at me that way in a long time. A long, long time. But when I saw it, there was no doubt in my mind. Jared couldn’t fake the look I saw in your eyes.”

“Liz,” Max buried his hand in her hair and clutched her tightly to him. “I’m so sorry for everything I’ve put you through. For the way I’ve treated you. I’m so sorry. I don’t know why you didn’t give up on me a long time ago.”

“I love you, Max,” she said, as if that was all the explanation that was necessary.

“I thought I lost you, Liz,” Max said huskily with his forehead touching hers. “I did what you asked me to do, but it killed me inside. I only -”

“Shhhh,” Liz silenced him with a touch of her fingertips to his lips. At the time, trapped inside the Granilith with Jared, she had known it was the only way, almost as if there was a voice inside her head telling her what had to be done. “Max, destroying the Granilith was more important than me-”

“No,” Max shook his head. “Nothing is more important than you. Nothing.” He nuzzled at her, seeking out her lips and then he saw the questioning looked in her eyes. “What?”

“There’s something I don’t understand,” she said, and she couldn’t quite meet his eyes.

“What?” Max repeated gently, lifting her chin until she met his gaze.

“Your visions. You were so connected to your son in your visions. But . . . but it was like he didn’t . . . like you and he never-”

“Liz,” Max interrupted and cupped her face with both his hands. “It wasn’t Jared Kingston that I saw in the visions.”

Her eyes frowned, not understanding what he meant. “If it wasn’t your son, then who was it? Who . . .?”

Max smiled and stroked his fingers through her hair while he thought about how much he wanted to tell her. “Oh, the visions were from my son,” he nodded, “but just not from Jared.” Seeing her confusion he kissed her forehead and then met her eyes again and said, “The visions came from our son, Liz. When Jared came back in time through the Granilith, he opened a portal that our son used to talk to me.”

“Our son?” Liz arched her eyebrows, not sure she was following him.

“Come on, Liz,” Max stood up and drew her to her feet. He wrapped his arm around her shoulder and said, “Let me take you home. I’ve got a lot of things to tell you.”

* * * * *

Max walked Liz up the stairs to her apartment, holding her tightly as she leaned against him. At the door he held his hand over the lock but his powers had been depleted and nothing happened.

“Sorry,” he said self-consciously. “I guess you have to open it the human way.”

Liz fished her key out of her pocket and they made their way to her room. He walked her over to the bed and eased her down, sitting next to her, never taking his arms away from her. She looked up at him with her expressive eyes looking so tired and his protectiveness kicked in.

“You should sleep. You’ve been through a lot,” he said, gently pulling away from her.

“No,” she shook her head and held him firmly. “I want to know what you meant, when you said your visions were from ‘our son’.”

Max saw the determined look in her eyes and he knew she wouldn’t wait for an explanation. He decided to give her the short answer, and later they could discuss it more, after they got the rest they both desperately needed.

“When Jared came back through time using the Granilith, a doorway . . . a portal of some sort opened, and our son was able to manipulate it so that he could talk to me. At first it was only images, like in a dream, but later he was able to pull me in and I could talk to him. Liz, you have no idea how special he is. He’s . . . amazing.

“He is?” Liz smiled, still in awe that someday she and Max would have a child.

“Oh God, Liz. He takes after you. He’s so smart. I felt like an idiot just talking to him,” Max laughed in self-mockery. “He was only six or seven and you were already teaching him all about biology and DNA and cloning, stuff that’s all over my head!”

“I was? I did? I mean, I will?” Liz wasn’t feeling too smart at the moment as she stumbled over her words.

Max nodded, smiling at the look on her face. Turning serious, his eyes fell away from hers, unable to meet her gaze as he said, “He told me it was wrong for me . . . and Tess . . . for Tess and I . . . to . . .” He took a deep breath, feeling how Liz had stiffened at the mention of Tess’ name, and he barreled on. “He told me hybrids are not suppose to reproduce. I mean, two hybrids. Together. The genes are bad. Human-hybrid offspring are fine,” Max hastened to say, finally looking at Liz. “It’s just . . .”

“Hybrid-hybrid,” Liz voiced.

“Yeah. Hybrid-hybrid is not . . . good. Jared was damned before he was ever born.” He knew the reminder of his relationship with Tess was painful, but he wanted her to understand about Jared and why he was the way he was. There was nothing he could do to help the boy that Tess had given birth to. He had been genetically doomed from the start. Neither medical science nor healing touch could change that.

“I’m sorry, Max,” Liz said heartfelt.

Max looked into her eyes, amazed at the compassion he saw there. His betrayal with Tess, and the result of that betrayal was like a dagger in her heart every time it was mentioned, but here she was, lamenting what she viewed as his loss. How could he have ever, for a single solitary second, have doubted her love for him?

“Tess brought out the worst part of me, in every aspect. You, Liz,” Max brushed her hair back from her face. “You bring out everything good in me. But . . . I’ll never be good enough for you Liz. Never.”

“Do you love me, Max?” Liz asked with her eyes locked on his.

“God yes, Liz!” Max swore emphatically. “I love you so much I can’t think straight!”

“Then that’s good enough for me,” Liz smiled. “So tell me Max, tell me about our son.”

“We’re going to name him Alex. Alex Parker Evans,” Max beamed proudly, “and he’s the most wonderful child that will ever be born. He’s special Liz, just like you.”

“Alex?” Liz said with tears in her eyes. “We’ll name our son Alex?”

“Yes,” Max answered her, blinking back his own tears. “And if Alex was still here, he’d be so proud of his namesake. He’s amazing Liz,” Max said again, still overcome that something so wonderful could come from him. “And it’s all because of you.”

“Because of us,” Liz corrected him. He wiped away the tear that spilled down her cheek and then it dawned on him just how tired she really looked.

“I should go,” he said, rising to his feet. “You need to rest.”

“Stay with me Max,” she said, grabbing his hand. “I don’t want to be alone.”

He looked down at her, knowing that he could never refuse her anything she asked for. She’d sacrificed enough for a lifetime already. He would do anything for her to make her happy. She stretched out on the bed and he let her pull him down to join her. He spooned up against her back, and as she held his hand against her chest, comforted by his presence, her breathing began to slow. He felt his own eyelids getting heavy, his energy had been depleted when he’d healed her, when he brought her back from the light, and he felt like he could sleep for days. A part of his mind knew there would be hell to pay when Jeff Parker got home and found them sleeping in her bed together, but at that moment he was too tired to care.

Before she fell asleep she turned to him and asked, “How did you find me so fast? Did you see me? Could you hear me when I tried, I don’t know what to call it, when I tried to project myself?”

“Isabel was trying to dreamwalk you,” he spoke softly into her ear. “But it wasn’t working, probably because you were awake. I wanted her to keep trying, because we didn’t know where to look for you, and then I saw you take form in the corner of your room, just like that time I saw you in New York. You were talking but I couldn’t hear you, and then just as your image faded, I heard you say ‘Smith Building’ in my mind. No one else could see you or hear you.”

“No one else?”

“No. Once I got there, I could feel you. I knew you were near, and I just felt drawn to you. Somehow I just knew what direction you were in, like I was homing in on you. I don’t know how.” He fell silent for a minute and then he said, “Liz?”


“I changed you when I healed you.”

“I know.”

“Does it upset you? That you’re . . . different now?”

“No,” she answered without hesitation and he felt like an immense weight had lifted from him. “In fact, I’m glad.”

“You’re glad?” he asked in surprise.

“It makes me feel closer to you,” Liz smiled. He kissed her then and a few minutes later she was sound asleep. He followed her shortly afterwards and he slept till nearly dawn.

* * * * *

Max woke slowly, with a great sense of peace all around him. He was snuggled close to Liz and listening to the sound of her sleeping in his arms, it felt like the most natural thing in the world. His thoughts returned to the conversation they’d had just before they fell asleep. How much had he changed her? Was there more she could do besides projecting her image across distances? Were there things he could teach her to do? Alien powers she could learn? What was it that Nasedo had said, about their powers being human, albeit highly advanced human abilities? Maybe Liz had the ability inside her the whole time, and his healing just brought it to the surface.

He stroked his fingers through her hair as he thought about the possibilities. That future version of himself had warned Liz they needed a fourth to complete their unit. Could Liz be that fourth? Could he and Liz and Michael and Isabel become that four square that would make the difference between a future and the end of the world?

His hand moved gently over her shoulder, feeling how relaxed she was and then he noticed something strange. As his hand neared the back of her neck, he could see something under her shirt. It came and went, something glowing when his hand was near, and then fading away as he moved his hand toward her arm.

Raising up on his elbow, he slipped his finger under the collar of her shirt and inched it downward. He definitely could see something glowing on her back, but the collar didn’t have enough give. Checking to see if she was still asleep, he lifted the bottom hem of her shirt, up past her bra and above her shoulder blades. As his hand reached to touch the skin on her back, he sucked in his breath at what he saw.

There, in the center of her back, above her bra and between her shoulder blades, an Antarian symbol glowed brightly. When he moved his hand away, it faded and disappeared. When he moved his hand back, it glowed brightly. The symbol, two lines swirling together, was the same symbol they had found on the orb out in the desert. It was the same as the symbol on the pendant they had found at Atherton’s. Somehow he knew it was the symbol of his Royal House, and for whatever reason, Liz now carried his mark. Was this what had led him to her in the Smith Building and made it so easy to find her? Had he homed in on the mark and it led him right to her?

Tugging her shirt down and smoothing it back into place, his mind filled with questions. Hopefully, he and Liz would have a lifetime together to find the answers.

TBC . . .

The final two parts will be posted next week.

[ edited 2 time(s), last at 22-Dec-2001 3:22:04 AM ]
posted on 27-Dec-2001 2:18:17 AM by Breathless
Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz
Rating: PG 13 to NC 17

Author Note: Well we're winding down to the end here as this story comes to a close. Some things will not be answered for you, like how Valenti deals with Jared's body or the glowing mark on Liz's back. Those things, and others, I have left open should I decide to follow this up with a sequel as I have been asked by several people to do. I take that as high praise indeed, yet it surprises me. The Max in this story is not the unsullied Max that so many of us want him to be. It makes me feel good to know that some of you still want to see a continuation of this story even with this tainted (but redeemable) Max. I guess it will all depend on how the new year rolls around, and how much interest there is for more.

I am posting this is two sections due to board restrictions . . .

Echoes of Tomorrow
Part 19

Max hovered in the doorway to his sister’s room, watching her as she finished applying the color to her toenails. Sensing a presence, she looked up and smiled. Capping the lid to the fingernail polish and setting it on her nightstand, she asked, “What’s up?”

Moving hesitantly into her room, he came over and sat tentatively on the edge of her bed. “Iz, I . . .”

“What is it Max?” she asked with concern. Hadn’t they been through enough lately? Was there something else going on that she didn’t know about?

“Isabel, I have a favor I need to ask of you,” his eyes dropped away from hers, knowing that what he wanted her to do was asking a lot.

“What Max? What favor?”

“I need your help.” He met her eyes again and then he rose to his feet, pacing back and forth across her room as the words poured out of his mouth. “Liz and I . . . I want . . . we want . . . you know how much I love her, but . . . I’ve been holding back a part of myself from her for months now because . . . there were things inside me I didn’t want her to see. I haven’t opened up to her because I didn’t want to hurt her. Back before I knew what they really were, I didn’t want to let her see the visions I was getting of our son, be – because at the time, I thought it would only remind her of . . . of me and Tess. So I’ve kept myself closed off from her, and I don’t want to do that anymore.”

His pacing took him past the window and he paused, looking outside while Isabel waited for him to continue. “When Liz and I are together, when we kiss, we share a connection . . . deep inside. Our thoughts, our emotions . . . it’s like we blend together. But for months now I’ve blocked it, so she can’t see me, or the things that I’ve done.” He turned back to Isabel and she saw the longing in his eyes. “I want that connection with Liz again. I need it. But I need your help.”

“My help?” Isabel said in surprise. “How can I help?”

“I don’t want Liz to ever see a flash of me . . . and Tess.” He stared at her to see if she understood what he meant.

“You mean . . . you with Tess,” Isabel clarified and Max nodded. “Okay, I can understand that, but what does this have to do with me?”

Locking his eyes on hers, he said, “I want you to remove the memory from my mind.”

“What?” Isabel cried out in astonishment. “You’re joking, right?”

“No, Iz, I’m not joking.” He came over to the bed and sat next to her, pleading with her to understand. “I know it’s asking a lot of you Isabel. This isn’t easy for me either. You’re my sister, and, and it’s not the kind of memory I want you to see, but you’re the only one that can do this. Michael doesn’t have the ability, and there’s no one else. Please, Isabel, can you do this for me?”

“But what do you want me to do?” she asked, realizing how important this was to him.

“I want you to connect to my mind, go in and find the memory of the night I spent with Tess, and take it out. It’s the only way. I want to forget it ever happened.”

“But it did happen, Max.”

“It was a mistake,” he said, shaking his head. “An awful mistake. When I go to Liz, I want to be able to give myself to her completely, not just a part of me. I don’t want to keep blocking my mind from her. You can understand that, can’t you Isabel? Can you do this for me?”

“Max, I’ve never tried to do something like this. What if . . . what if I screw it up? What if I take out the wrong memories?”

“I’m willing to take the risk. Please Isabel . . . will you help me?”

“But what if I make you forget who you are? Or what you are?” Isabel worried. “Or what if I make you forget you’re in love with Liz?”

“Nothing could ever make me forget how much I love Liz,” Max smiled.

“I guess you’re right about that,” Isabel smiled back. Turning serious again, she asked, “How do you want to do this?”

Max took her hands in his, squeezing them encouragingly, and then took a deep breath. “I’ll concentrate on the memory so it won’t be hard for you to find. You connect to my mind, find it, and take it out.”

“Just like that, huh?” she said nervously.

“Just like that,” Max smiled encouragingly. “I have faith in you Isabel. You can do this.”

“Okay little brother. Hey, maybe while I’m in there, I’ll take out the memory of that day when I was 12 and you walked in on me when I was in the shower.”

“Please!” Max laughed. “I won’t miss that memory at all! Why don’t you add that time you made me play dress-up when we were 8, and you made me try on all mom’s makeup and put on one of her dresses.”

“On no,” Isabel laughed. “I want you to remember that forever!”

After their laughter quieted down, Max squeezed her hands again and said, “Thanks Isabel. You’ll never know how much this means to me.”

Isabel nodded and she squeezed his hands back, ready to try. They closed their eyes and opened their minds, making a connection with each other that they hadn’t tried in a long time. They used to do this when they were young, when they felt like they were all alone in the world. As they grew older, they had grown apart, with secrets that they no longer wanted to share with each other.

Isabel breathed deeply, letting her mind blend with his. Images flashed before her, unfolding rapidly, a series of memories of his life. Wandering in the desert, chasing birds in the park, climbing from a school bus, making symbols in the sand on a beach, watching Liz Parker laugh in the hallway, hovering over a blood splattered waitress in a uniform, raising his finger in the air in the band room, a kiss on a balcony, a night in the desert, a kiss in the rain, looking through the glass in a mirror maze, a white room, a kiss on a bridge, a night in a van, a Mariachi band and a bouquet of white roses, a shattering image through a bedroom window, twirling his bride in a vision in Las Vegas, a kiss at a prom, the blood of a dead friend on his hands, a funeral. The images slowed and Isabel saw Max standing outside an observatory, staring at the sky, feeling hopeless and lost.

He felt the tug in his mind as Isabel locked onto the memory and the images rushed forward again, a blur of what he had done. As the next morning dawned, the images slowed once again, and the memory of waking up on a cold, hard floor played out in their minds. Max felt another tug as Isabel seized the end of the memory string and then his mind blanked out.

* * * * *

“Max! Max, are you okay?” The sound of Isabel’s worried voice penetrated the darkness, pulling him back to the surface. He felt her hand slap his cheek again and his eyes blinked open. “Max! Thank God! Are you okay? Talk to me,” she demanded.

“Isabel,” he blinked again, surprised to find himself flat on his back on her bed. Sitting up, he rubbed his stinging cheek and asked, “What happened? Why’d you slap me?”

Ignoring his questions, she asked, “What’s you name?”

“Max,” he answered. “Max Evans.”

“Where do you live?”

“Roswell, New Mexico.” Teasingly he added, “Planet Earth.”

“What year is it?” she asked, starting to relax.

“2001.” He paused and then added, “A Space Odyssey.”

“Why did you say that?” she frowned, getting worried again.

“Because it goes together,” he quipped. “2001, A Space Odyssey.”

“Oh. Don’t try to be cute,” and she drilled him with one of her patented looks. Concerned, her eyes softened and she asked, “Did it work? Can you still remember . . .”

His eyes narrowed as he looked at her and said, “I still remember . . . you smearing red lipstick on my lips and purple eye shadow on my eyelids. And oh my God, the dress you made me wear! I can’t believe how bossy you were!”

“Max!” she laughed and pushed his shoulder. She raked her fingers through her hair in relief and then asked, “What about . . .?”

Max concentrated and he slowly rose to his feet. “I remember driving out into the desert and then the lights of the observatory drew me to it. I remember getting out of the jeep and standing there, looking up at the stars. Then . . . then . . .” A smile began to spread over his face and he met his sister’s gaze. “The next thing I remember is walking into school and seeing Tess and not wanting to touch her. It worked Isabel!” He pulled her to her feet and wrapped her in a bear hug and shouted, “It worked!”

He raced for the door and Isabel stopped him with a shout. “Max!”

He turned with his hand on the doorframe and an inquisitive look on his face. “What?”

“Where are you going? I thought Mom said you were moving back home.”

“I am,” he smiled. “I have to go to Michael’s and pack my stuff.”

“Oh really?” She arched her eyebrows and said, “We didn’t really think you had any ‘stuff’ since you’ve been wearing the same green shirt and dark jeans everyday for weeks now.”

“Funny, Isabel,” Max said sarcastically. “I have other clothes.”

“Try wearing ‘em sometime.”

Rolling his eyes, he smiled as he shook his head and he disappeared into the hallway. For the first time in a long time, Isabel felt like her brother was back, instead of a stranger that she barely knew.

* * * * *

“Mom, Dad, I’m going over to see Max.” Liz stood just inside the doorway, watching her parents sitting at the table in the kitchen of their apartment. She could see the disapproving set of her father’s jaw, and her mother’s look toward him, warning him to be still.

“When will you be back?” Nancy asked.

“I’m not sure,” Liz answered. “He’s moving back home, and I told him I’d give him a hand.”

“Really?” Jeff asked, interested.

“Really. He’s been trying to work out the problems he’s been having with his parents and things have been going really good.”

“Well that’s really good, Liz,” Nancy said, trying to be positive.

“Really good,” Jeff mimicked.

“Good . . . so . . . I shouldn’t be late,” Liz said, turning to leave.

“Lizzie?” Jeff called to her.

“Yeah Dad?” she met his gaze.

“We still need to talk, Liz. About Jared Kingston, and what he did to you, and the strange things that happened that day.”

“We will, Dad, we will.” Liz promised. “Just . . . not yet. I’m not ready to talk about it yet.”

“We need to talk . . . about . . . Max too.”

“No, Dad,” Liz leveled her gaze at him. “Max is not up for discussion. Max and I are together and there’s nothing you can do to change that. Nothing. You need to accept that. Don’t put me in a position to choose between the two of you, because I can guarantee you won’t like what I decide.”


“Why don’t you run along honey,” Nancy said, reaching out to take her husband’s hand in hers.

“I won’t be late,” Liz promised and left hurriedly.

Back with the rest of part 19 in the next post . . .

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 27-Dec-2001 2:26:40 AM ]
posted on 27-Dec-2001 2:20:15 AM by Breathless
Part 19 continued . . .

Liz knocked on Michael’s door, knowing what to expect. She could picture Max on the other side in his t-shirt and dark jeans and sporting a five o’clock shadow. Hearing footsteps coming near, she smiled as the door opened.

“Oh!” she exclaimed.

“What?” Max frowned, surprised by such a greeting. She was staring at him with wide eyes.

“Ummm, well . . . you . . . changed!” she exclaimed. He didn’t look like she expected after all.

“I changed?” Max questioned, watching Liz as she walked into Michael’s apartment. She slipped out of her leather jacket and draped it over the back of a nearby chair.

“Yeah, your, uh . . . clothes.” Liz looked him up and down, approving of his faded blue jeans and his white button front shirt. “I didn’t know you had a change of clothes. For weeks I’ve only seen you in a brown or a green t-shirt.”

“Why is everyone attacking me about my clothes?” Max asked the heavens.

“Maybe because the clothes you were wearing before were drab, but what you’re wearing now makes you attack worthy!” Liz laughed.

“Oh yeah?” Max said, sounding feisty. He pulled her into his arms and gave her his most seductive look. “You don’t look so bad yourself,” he added, letting his eyes drift over her. Her red shirt showed off her curves and her black pants hugged her hips.

“Why thank you,” Liz purred and couldn’t keep her hands from roaming over his smooth cheek. He’d shaved too.

“You know,” Max brushed a strand of hair back from her face. “I was wearing a green shirt on the day I healed you. The first time.”

“I know,” Liz nodded. “Olive green. Incredibly . . . sexy . . . olive . . . green . . .”

“And I was wearing a green t-shirt the other day, when I healed you again,” Max reminded her.

“You know, maybe if you don’t wear green shirts anymore, then just maybe I won’t keep dying,” she smiled.

“But what if you keep dying, and I’m not wearing a green shirt? Maybe it’s the green shirt that gives me the power to heal you.” She started laughing and pressed her face against his chest and Max tightened his arms around her. It felt so good to hear her laugh.

“You’re not superman, Max. It’s not the clothes that make you special.” She looked up at him and raised her hand to brush through his hair. “When did you get a haircut?”

“This afternoon,” he smiled and then asked uncertainly, “Do you like it?”

“You look . . . different.” It was quite short now. No bangs and it kind of stuck up in the front a little. Maybe the change in hairstyle signified a new start. A new beginning. “It looks good, Max,” she smiled. “Really good.”

“Good,” Max mumbled as he leaned down to take her lips because he couldn’t not kiss her. He was gentle with her at first, small kisses that slowly built in intensity. His pulse began to quicken and he forced himself to break off the kiss, not wanting things to get out of hand. He took a step back and cleared his throat before saying, “I – I better finish packing.”

Liz stared at him feeling stunned. During the kiss, she’d gotten a flash. It was the first time in months that she’d gotten a flash from him, but this wasn’t just a quick one. No, this flash was a series of images of every kiss they’d ever shared, and all the emotions that went with them. Some were sweet, some were sensual, some were desperate, some were filled with despair. She’d felt his pain when she kissed him in the cave and then walked away from him, fleeing into the desert. She’d felt his confusion when he kissed her in Whittaker’s office, when her words said one thing but her mind said something else. She’d felt his nervousness when he kissed her on her balcony for the very first time, when he hadn’t been sure she would kiss him back. And she’d felt his overpowering desire when he’d kissed her, right here in Michael’s apartment, before Maria walked in and interrupted them, on the same night they found the orb.

“What?” Max asked with a nervous smile. “Why are you looking at me like that?”

Without a word, Liz closed the distance between them and her hands flanked his head, pulling him down into a heated kiss. She attacked him, exuding raw sexual desire and the shock of it caused him to pull his lips away.

“Wow! Where did that come from?” Struggling to take a breath, he joked, “Maybe I should get a haircut and change my clothes more often!”

“Max?” she said, with her eyes traveling over his face.

“Yeah?” holding his breath.

“I don’t want to talk.” He’d changed over the last few days and the flash she’d received was proof of that. It felt like he was back, the Max she had fallen in love with so long ago. Just the way he looked at her was making her knees weak. His rich masculine scent was making her heart beat rapidly in her chest.

Her eyes were focused in his lips now and as he moved closer to her he said huskily, “Me either.”

Their lips crashed together, her heated kiss causing a fire inside of him. He wasn’t sure what he had done to cause her to react this way, but whatever it was, he was sure glad he did it. Her tongue touched his lips, darted into his mouth and he opened up to her, in more ways than one. His desire flowed into her mind as his lips crushed against her mouth, with his tongue dueling with hers and his love spilling into her.

His need was equaled by her own and she pressed her body flat against his, standing on her tip toes to reach his mouth better. She couldn’t get enough of him. Her hands were on the collar of his shirt, pulling him closer to her and then he felt her fingers on his buttons. He felt the give as the top button unfastened, and then the next one and the next one.

“Liz . . .” he mumbled between heated kisses and his hand closed over hers. Did she want what he thought she wanted? Was she ready for-

“Take this off,” she demanded huskily, pulling her hand away from his and pushing his shirt off his shoulders.

“Liz?” he looked at her questioningly, trying to remember how to breathe.

“Take it off, Max.” Her eyes bore into his, nearly black with desire and he tore his shirt off, feeling the buttons at his cuffs pop off in his haste. He swallowed hard, watching the way she looked at him, and then he sucked in his breath when she touched his bare chest. The feel of her hands on his skin was electrifying and he grabbed her, pulling her body against his, his mouth claiming hers, his hands slipping underneath the back of her shirt.

Her skin felt hot to the touch and the fire within him began to rage out of control. His hands rose up her back, under her shirt, feeling the smooth texture of her skin. His heartbeat was racing, pounding through his veins and his kisses took on a new urgency. To have her in his arms like this, kissing her, touching her, loving her, was everything he ever wanted. He let one hand move down her back, dropping over the curve of her butt, and then he was pressing her hard against him.

She felt his lips move from hers, dropping down below her chin and her head fell back, exposing her throat to him. His lips were hot on her skin and everywhere he touched she came alive with sensation. Her hands glided over the rippling muscles in his back, touching that naked flesh and then she let one hand drop down to his butt, pressing him hard against her. She could feel the bulge swelling against his jeans and as he kissed a trail down her throat she sighed, “Max . . .”

“Take this off,” he said heatedly, his turn to tug at her shirt. He pulled the red cloth up and over her head, nearly ripping it from her body in his haste to see more of her. He threw it aside and his eyes swept over her, loving every square inch of her that he could see. Her skin was a rich tone, still showing a trace of a summer tan. Her bra was white and lacy and showed just enough to make his blood boil. “Liz . . .”

They flew at each other again, his lips covering hers, her hands touching him everywhere and his arms pulling her close. His large hands swept up her back and he fumbled at the clasp of her bra, not sure how to make those damn things work. He continued to kiss her, tugging on her lower lip like he was trying to devour her and he finally had to use his powers to make the hooks of her bra come apart. Almost magically, the straps dropped from her shoulders and then it fell away from her body and his hands could move over her back unencumbered. Her bra joined the growing pile of clothing on the floor and her skin touched his skin, her soft breasts pressed against his hard chest, and Max had never felt anything more wonderful in all his life. He would revise that thought in a minute.

He had to break off the kiss because he just had to look at her. He couldn’t just feel the soft mounds of her breasts touching him. He couldn’t be satisfied with just the sensation of her hard nipples poking into his flesh. He had to see her. He pulled his lips away from hers and he tried to breathe, letting his eyes move from her face, down past her throat and on to her chest.

‘Beautiful’, was his first thought as his eyes roamed over her. Her breasts were flawless globes of perfection capped off by pert little rosy peaks. Looking at her, he knew he needed to see her and touch her. He had touched her, even tasted her before, but this time there was just something different about it. Something different about her. Maybe it was the way her eyes looked at him with no evidence of reservation, or the way her skin caused little points of fire wherever she touched him. Whatever it was, he didn’t want it to ever end.

His hand rose up her rib cage and he hesitated for just a moment in sweet anticipation before he lifted it up to cup her breast. He could hear the sigh deep in her throat as he caressed her and once again he got that sensation that he must have died and gone to heaven. This was better than any dream he had ever had, the culmination of uncounted wishes under the stars.

Once again he kissed her, his mouth ravaging hers, but he knew there were other things just waiting for him to kiss. His lips moved down her throat and this time he didn’t stop there. His lips moved lower, on down past the v at the base of her throat and then he dropped down to his knees, kneeling in front of her. His lips kissed a trail down the valley between her breasts and then he moved to the right. His mouth closed over a hardened nipple and his whole body responded with a surge of hunger the likes he had never felt before.

Her hand threaded through the hair on the back of his head and she leaned into him, sighing as his lips tugged at her nipple and his tongue swirled around it and his teeth nibbled at her. He could hear her moans of pleasure as his tongue flicked at her rosy peak and then his lips tore from that nipple and sought out the other, giving it its due. Liz felt the fire building inside her as he sucked on one breast with his mouth and he caressed the other with his hand and she moaned softly with growing desire. She could feel his hand roaming over her naked back while his mouth ravaged her front and Max wasn’t the only one thinking that this was the closest thing to heaven.

His large hands moved down her delicate back, settling on her hips and he released his mouth from her breast. He looked up at her with questioning eyes, still not convinced that she wanted the same thing he did. As if to answer his question, her hands moved from the back of his head where they had been firmly entrenched in his hair, to cup his cheeks while her eyes smiled down at his. He smiled back at her with that shy air about him that she remembered so well, and then her hands went to the waistband of her pants. He watched her as her fingers expertly unfastened the button and then she slowly began to lower the zipper.

The movement was all the impetus that he needed. He quickly moved his hands from her hips to the waistband of her jeans, and as the zipper lowered he began to tug her pants downward. He was almost frantic in his efforts to free her from her jeans and as they pooled around her ankles, Max helped her lift first one leg, then the other, to shed the garment.

His eyes swept over her then, starting at her feet and slowly rising up her legs, his sight lingering at where her feminine center was still covered by a not so modest triangle of lace, and then he continued to look upward, over her breasts and her highly aroused nipples and then on up to her face. She stood in front of him wearing only a tiny scrap of lace, and Max knew he had never seen a more beautiful sight.

His hands slowly moved up her silky legs, gliding from her ankles, up along her outer thighs and finally coming to rest on her hips. The questioning look was still in his eyes, as if he expected her to change her mind at any moment or come to her senses and realized he wasn’t who she wanted. Even after all they had been through together, he still could barely believe she was here. With him. Like this.

With her hands cupping the sides of his face, Liz leaned down and kissed him on the lips. It was soft at first, tentative even as they stepped into a new phase of their relationship, but their desire for each other soon took precedence over everything else. While they kissed, Max hooked his fingers under the elastic of her panties and tugged downwards until the lacy material joined her pants on the floor.

His hands once more roamed up her legs, gliding over her smooth flesh until he reached her hips. She straightened up, breaking off the kiss, and Max let his eyes wander over her delicious body. Her hands rested on his shoulders while he moved his hands around to cup the soft cheeks of her butt. He leaned closer to her, touching his lips to first one hip and then the other and then the skin in between, just above a triangle of dark curls.

The scent of her sex filled his lungs and made him tremble with desire. He held on to her, just breathing her in, and then he slowly moved up her body again. His lips kissed her belly and her ribs and then her chest and her throat and he chased down her lips as he stood once more, while Liz reached for the button of his jeans. His kisses became more urgent as she fumbled to release it and her fingers brushed over his erection. The button finally unfastened and Liz pulled at the zipper, feeling the bulge on the other side as the zipper lowered. As his jeans sagged against his hips she let her fingers stroke him through his boxers.

“Liz . . .” he couldn’t contain his desire for her. She’d never really touched him before. Not like this. They had fumbled blindly in the back seat of his jeep before, but even that had always seemed to be interrupted. Even a trip to the make-out capital of Roswell, Buckley Point, had been marred by Topolsky showing up and ruining everything. But now, with her small hand rubbing up the length of his extremely aroused member, his need for her raged. “Liz . . .”

Spurred on by the heat with which he spoke her name, Liz pushed his jeans down his hips with some generous help from him. He kicked his pants off and then they stared at each other, with his hands hovering at the waistband of his boxers. His erection was abundantly evident and he couldn’t help wondering if she would find him lacking. Though he was cloned from a human and his outward appearance gave credence to that, he really wasn’t human. Would he be good enough for her?

Liz dropped her eyes from his, looking downward as she helped him shed his boxers. Her eyes grew wide, darkening with desire, and he couldn’t help but feel a surge of confidence after seeing the look on her face. She was admiring a part of his body that he was quite familiar with, but she had never seen before. She reached out to touch him, her small hand dwarfed by the size of his erect manhood, and she softly said, “Max . . .”

Max crushed her to him, with one arm pinning her to his chest and the other hand cupping her naked ass, drawing her to him with his erection pressing firmly into her belly.

“Max . . .” she mumbled heatedly and his manhood swelled even more against the softness of her skin. His lips attacked hers as his want for her raged out of control, matched only by her want for him. His mouth ravaged hers, unable to get enough of the taste of her and then he leaned her backwards and lowered her to the couch. His lips assaulted her as his body pressed her down into the cushions and then he was kissing her throat and her chest and she drew in a heated breath as his mouth closed over her nipple again. A fire was burning between her legs and with each tug of his lips it heightened the intensity. His erection was pressing hotly against her thigh and she reached for him, wanting to touch him again. His mouth froze on her breast as her fingers closed around him and she could feel his sudden inhalation of breath. She’d never felt anything so hard, yet so soft at the same time. His skin was velvety soft, yet under the surface was like a staff of granite. He rested his forehead in the valley between her breasts, hardly able to breathe while her fingers explored him.

Suddenly their passion was interrupted by the sound of a key turning in the lock and familiar voices filled the air. The door began to swing open with Maria asking Michael, “Are we gonna go to that movie, or are we gonna sit around on the couch all night watching naked bodies on T . . . V . . .?”

Maria’s voice faded away as she and Michael stood frozen in the doorway of his apartment. It wasn’t the TV they were looking at.

Look for the conclusion late tomorrow night

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 27-Dec-2001 2:21:45 AM ]
posted on 28-Dec-2001 2:07:17 AM by Breathless
Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz
Rating: NC 17

Author Note: I always get so sad when I bring a fic to a close, but all thing must end, right? I really appreciate all the fantastic feedback you all have given me over the course of this story. Knowing that I have given you something that you have enjoyed reading makes it all worth while. I don't know if I have it in me for a sequel, but after a breather, let's see what happens. I don't know if I'm ready to say goodbye to little Alex yet.

Once again, due to length part 20 will be posted in two parts. I hope you enjoy the conclusion . . .

Echoes of Tomorrow
Part 20

Max lifted up from Liz and he looked over the back of the couch toward the door, his startled eyes meeting Michael and Maria’s surprised faces. Their surprise soon turned to shock as they registered his state of undress and the fact that he wasn’t alone. His rumpled hair and swollen lips attested to that.

“What the hell-” Michael began to say as Max raised his hand and the door flew closed in their faces. Michael and Maria stared at each other and he frowned, reaching for the doorknob again. Max focused on the lock and the chain, trying to bar them entrance and he looked down at Liz, wondering if it would be enough to keep them out.

“He’s locking me out?” Michael stared at the door in disbelief. “He’s locking me out of my own apartment? I don’t think so-”

“Michael, let’s go,” Maria pulled on his arm. Ignoring her, he held his hand in front of the door and the chain disengaged and he reached for the doorknob.

Inside the apartment, Max watched the chain slide out of the slot and saw the handle turning and he lifted his hand again, this time making the doorknob disappear.

“What the hell,” Michael muttered again as his hand closed over empty air where the doorknob used to be. Only the smooth, unbroken surface of the wood remained.

“Michael, let’s go,” Maria insisted, “before he makes the door disappear next!”

Michael resisted Maria’s attempts to drag him away, glaring back at the door. “Rules Maxwell!” he shouted. “We’re gonna make some rules! Number one is NO SEX ON MY COUCH!”

“Michael!” Maria jabbed his arm. “Where are they supposed to go!”

“I don’t care. I just don’t want them having sex on my couch.” She stared at him like he was talking Antarian and he blurted out, “I have to sit on that couch! I watch hockey from that couch!”

“Michael, in case you forgot, we’ve had sex on that couch.”


“And Max sleeps there every night.”

“So,” he repeated. “What’s your point?”

Maria sighed in exasperation and rolled her eyes. She grabbed him by the arm and in no uncertain terms, she said loudly, “We’re going to see a movie. A long movie, so we’ll be gone a long time. We’ll be back later. Much later. Hours later. Did you hear that Michael?” she yelled at the door, making it sound like she was talking to him when she was really giving a message to the two inside. “We’ll be gone for hours.”

“Thank you Maria,” Liz’s muffled voice drifted through the thin door.

Maria pulled Michael off to the movies while Max stared down at Liz’s flushed cheeks. With an apologetic smile and wondering if the mood was broken, he said, “I didn’t want our first time to be on Michael’s dirty old couch anyway.”

“You didn’t?” Liz arched her eyebrows. He was still lying on top of her naked body with his erection still firmly poking against her thigh.

“Well, this is not the way I always pictured it, you know?” he gazed down at her with that shy look she knew so well.

She arched her eyebrows even more and asked, “And how did you always picture it?”

“More like this,” Max smiled proudly, looking more confident. He waved his hand over the couch and suddenly they were lying on a soft bed, with ivory colored silk sheets. With a snap of his fingers, white roses filled the room. Candles added a flickering glow and off in the distance Liz could hear the sound of waves gently crashing against the shore.

“Is this better?” he asked as he leaned down and nuzzled his lips near her ear.

“Much,” Liz said in awe, feeling the air rush out of her lungs as his hand rose up her ribs and covered her breast. Her hand stroked up his arm and then she buried her fingers in his hair while his lips moved to claim hers again. She pulled him close and his body once more leaned over hers. His kisses started slow and built in intensity and he let his leg slide between her knees.

She lifted her leg and draped it over the top of his, feeling the hard muscles of his thigh between hers. His hand slid away from her breast and moved slowly over her ribs and her stomach and then over the curve of her hip. He moved on to cup the soft cheek of her butt and he pulled her to him while he leaned more of his weight onto her. His desire for her was spinning out of control and he wanted to spread her legs and plunge into her. He wanted to take her hard and fast. He ached to be inside her but he wanted to do this the right way, for her. His thigh moved upwards and came into contact with the heat at the apex of her legs and his breath caught at the wetness he encountered there.

He could smell her sex and knew she was aroused, but the evidence of it was nearly heart stopping. He pulled his leg back and his hand moved forward to replace it, moving over her hip and through her patch of dark curls, and then on to his destination. His fingers slipped between her legs and his eyes flickered closed as he absorbed the sensations of touching her moist heat.

Liz held her breath as he explored her, sliding his fingers between her lips and causing a fire to burn in her lower region. His fingers inched along her folds, stimulating her everywhere he touched. Her hips rocked toward his hand silently telling him where she wanted him to be and his finger slipped inside her.

‘God!’, his mind cried in bliss as his finger moved deeper. This really must be heaven.

His kisses became more heated as his hand caressed her intimately, stroking her until she was quivering. His mouth slowly found its way back to her nipple and the combined stimulation was almost too much for her. She could feel his manhood throbbing against her thigh and she reached for him again, feeling the moisture that was seeping from the head of his shaft and she gasped, “Max . . .”

“Careful,” he warned, releasing her heat and covering her hand with his. Breathing heavily against her ear he huskily admitted, “You touch me like that and it’ll be over before it starts.”

She looked up into his smoldering eyes and with a moan escaping from deep in her throat, her hands flew to the sides of his face and she pulled him to her, kissing him hard. Her need for him was spiraling out of control and she plunged her tongue into his mouth in mimicry of what she wanted him to do to her body. He rolled on top of her and her legs parted while their kisses bordered on frantic. Max settled between her legs with his erection pressing against her wet heat and their bodies rocking together, and he fought the primal urge to plunge into her deep and hard and claim her as his.

A groan rumbled deep in his throat and tearing his mouth away from hers he scrambled off of her, leaning over the edge of the bed and looking for his pants. He spied the faded blue jeans a few feet away and he held out his hand. The garment slid across the floor and he grabbed it, searching for the back pocket and the wallet he had there. He pulled it free and Liz watched him as he opened it and reached inside. He pulled out a small packet and then he tossed his pants and his wallet back to the floor. Returning to Liz, the look on her face stopped him in his tracks.

“What?” he asked worriedly. “What’s wrong?”

Looking from the packet in his hand up to his face, she said hesitantly, “I have to ask you something.”

The seriousness of her tone gave him pause and he sat next to her, feeling apprehensive as she averted her eyes. The entire air in the room had changed, and he wondered what he had done wrong. His fingertips touched under her chin and lifted her face until her eyes were once more looking at his and he asked, “What? You can ask me anything.”

Meeting his gaze she said, “I know you’ve carried a condom around for a long time. Ever since . . . well, for a long time,” she repeated.

“Yeah,” he replied with an uncertain smile that quickly disappeared. He’d been carrying one ever since that time they went out to the desert together, the night they found the orb.

“Well . . .” she hesitated again and then he felt the blood drain from his face when she finally asked the question. “Why didn’t you use it the night you spent with Tess?”

An uncomfortable silence fell between them and Max looked away, feeling the guilt of what he had done. Swallowing past a suddenly dry throat, he answered, “I don’t know.” His eyes rose to meet hers and he said in a small voice, “I don’t remember.”

“Oh,” Liz dropped her eyes.

“No, I mean . . .” He sighed, knowing she thought he was trying to avoid answering her question. “What I mean is, I don’t remember anything that happened between me and – and Tess. Nothing. That night is a total blank.”

She stared at him, knowing that couldn’t possibly be true. Last summer when they’d stood in front of the UFO Center and kissed while Michael and Maria watched from the Crashdown, she’d received a flash from him, the only one she’d gotten in all these months, until today. In the flash she’d seen a myriad of images and one of them was his memory of that night, and the emotions he had felt. She’d seen the way he’d looked into those blue eyes and wished they were brown. She’d felt the way he closed his eyes and tried to pretend short blonde hair was really long and dark and silky. She’d heard how at the moment of his climax the name he cried was Liz, not Tess. She’d seen the tears that filled his eyes later and coursed down his cheeks when he realized what he had done.

“Oh,” she said again, knowing he just didn’t want to talk to her about it. She shouldn’t have asked.

“It’s true,” he said, sensing that she doubted him. He brushed his fingers through her hair and he admitted something he never planned to tell her. “I – I had Isabel remove the memory from my mind.”

“You . . .” Shocked, Liz openly stared at him, speechless. Finally, she sputtered out, “Why?”

He turned away from her, sitting with his legs over the side of the bed and his hand rubbed over his face. “I . . . I didn’t want you to ever see it, and I knew I could never open up to you, I could never really let you in if I thought there was even the smallest possibility that you could see what I did. I knew that it would hurt you, and I’ve hurt you so much already, I just . . .”

Liz sat up, pressing her body against his back and her hands slid under his arms and around to his chest. She kissed his shoulder and then she said tenderly, “You did it for me?”

“Yes,” he looked at her sideways and smiled at the way her chin rested on his shoulder. “And for me too.”

“For you too?” she looked surprised. He nodded and then the light of understanding entered her eyes. In a sultry yet teasing tone she said, “Because you . . . you only want to remember my hand touching you here?”

Max looked down as she touched the inside of his naked thigh. He nodded and her hand moved up his leg and she said, “Or here?” He nodded again and his lips parted as her hand moved even higher.

“And you don’t want to remember anyone else touching you here?” she asked and her hand brushed over his balls and then closed around his softening member.

“Definitely,” his breath caught in his throat, “definitely not there.” He leaned toward her to kiss her and he turned rigid in her hand.

“So you don’t remember anyone else doing this?” she asked, stroking her hand up his amazing length. Just touching him made the heat at her core flame higher.

“No,” he sighed heavily into her ear. His shaft swelled even more as he breathed in her heady scent.

“Or this?” she teased as her hand stroked downward.

“No,” he groaned. He turned his body to face her and he chased her back down to the bed. Her hair spread out over the silky sheets and he stretched out beside her, entwining his legs between hers. His hand touched her flat stomach and moved up her ribs and then he caressed her breast lovingly. He felt her nipple hardening against his palm and he leaned over, wanting to kiss her there. His tongue circled around the erect peak and then his lips covered her, tugging at her nipple and then smiling at the mewing sounds she made in her throat.

He lifted his head from her and stared at that circle of dark color in the midst of her creamy flesh and then he slowly made is way back to her lips. Her arms surrounded him as she kissed him back with renewed passion. She moaned against his lips as his hand found its way to her breast and his thumb stroked over her nipple, and then she felt his knee slide between her thighs. She opened up to him completely, without hesitation at all, and she suddenly got another flash.

“What was that?” she sighed, startled but welcoming the return of the flashes. She felt closest to him when he opened up to her and she shared his thoughts and feelings.

“What?” he asked breathlessly, feeling her heat against his thigh and her sweet breath on his cheek. He kissed her again and she had to push him away so she could speak.

“I just saw . . . I saw me, in a white dress . . . brushing my hair and then you came in the room . . . wearing a . . .”

“tux,” he finished for her, kissing her again. “That was on our wedding day. You’re going to be such a beautiful bride.”

“Our wedding day? Max-”

He cut her off by covering her lips with his and then he smiled and said, “God I love you, but lets stop talking.”

“But Max-” she looked up at him and then he touched his fingertips to her lips.

“We can talk later,” he repeated huskily. His lips attacked hers again and she laughed as he rolled onto his back and pulled her on top of him with her body stretched out over his. With his hands on her back and his erection pressing into her belly, he said, “I just don’t want to talk right now.” He lifted his hand to the back of her head and brought her down to him, kissing her like he had never kissed her before.

“Max?” she said when their heated kiss broke so that they could both breathe. “If you don’t want me to talk,” she kissed his lips, “I can’t think of a better way to tell me . . .”

Back with the rest in a second . . .

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 28-Dec-2001 2:16:42 AM ]
posted on 28-Dec-2001 2:10:40 AM by Breathless
Echoes of Tomorrow
Part 20 con't

They kissed passionately, both craving the same thing. One hand stayed threaded through her hair as their kiss became heated and his other hand moved down over the curve of her butt, pressing her against him. With a groan of protest from him, she pushed her hands against his naked chest and she sat up, staring down at him. His skin looked golden in the light and his oversized erection jutted up hard and proud from a patch of dark curly hair. She could have stared at him forever, but she forced herself to tear her eyes away and looked around the bed for the condom.

He had dropped it earlier after retrieving it from his wallet and when she finally found it she grabbed it and tore the package open. She held it out to him and he took it, looking at it like he thought this moment would never actually happen. The way he looked at her was a combination of his intense love for her, plus his passion, topped off by his nervousness. Maybe he wasn’t a virgin in body anymore, but in his mind he was just as innocent as she was.

“Are you sure about this Liz? We don’t have to do this now, I mean . . . if you want to wait . . . or something,” Max said uncertainly as he stared up into her eyes. His natural inclination was to deny himself what he wanted the most, and as was always the case, Liz was what he wanted. He didn’t move, afraid to break the moment and Liz, always the more sexually aggressive of the two, took matters into her own hands.

Her thighs were straddling his thighs and her hand closed over his erection, stimulating him as her fingers stroked up and down his length. “Do you want to wait, Max?”

“No,” he groaned out and let his eyes drop down to look at what her hand was doing to him. Licking his lips, he croaked, “God no, I don’t want to wait. I’ve been dreaming about this forever.”

Smiling, she took the condom from him and after a quick assessment, she positioned it the proper way and his hand joined hers as they rolled it into place. They stared at each other for a moment, her looking down at him and him looking up at her, and then he reasserted himself and flipped her over onto her back.

Her response was to spread her legs beneath him. She opened herself up to him, and all his fantasies came to life as his erection began to inch along her folds. He was trying to take it easy, to give her a chance to get used to what he felt like before he rammed his length into her, but his body didn’t want to wait. He craved to slide into her now. The head of his shaft pressed into the center of her essence and Max knew there was no turning back for them now.

“Liz . . .” he breathed out, feeling the ecstasy as he slipped inside her walls. With his cock sliding into her and her hands on his ass, this was the most erotic sensation that he had ever felt. The pressure she exerted on him urged him deeper and he complied, penetrating further into her wet core. The sensation was like nothing he had ever felt before with her tight walls surrounding him. He drew back, nearly pulling free of her and then he surged forward, sliding into her again.

“God, Liz . . .” he murmured lowering his face to nuzzled the crook of her neck. His hips pulled back and he surged forward again, this time deep enough to feel her barrier and he hesitated, knowing that this would hurt her and not wanting to cause her any pain. He lifted his face from her throat and looked into her eyes, surprised by the passion that he saw there, passion that was directed at him.

He was breathing heavy. She was breathing heavy. They both wanted the same thing.

He pulled back, with the head of his swollen member hovering just inside her entrance and as his lips crashed down on hers, their bodies crashed together. He drove through her barrier, she raced up to meet him, and their connection opened as the two finally becoming one. He buried himself deep inside her. She cried out against his lips as they merged, both of them feeling the pleasure and the pain through the connection that they shared.

He paused, buried to the hilt inside her, feeling the brief pain that flared in her. His hand slid between their bodies coming to rest low on her belly and he sent his healing energy into her. The pain faded away and he whispered with his cheek against hers, “Is that better?”

In silent answer, her fingers threaded through his hair and she turned her head to claim his lips again. Her legs lifted to wrap around his hips and he slid even deeper into her. He slowly pulled back and then plunged into her again, feeling her tight walls enveloping his thick sex. They soon set a steady rhythm with his rod penetrating her body and her hips lifting up to take him in. His sex filled her inner spaces and her body wrapped around him like a glove. Through their connection he could sense her building sexual excitement, he could feel the tension growing in the center of her body and he ground against her with each deep thrust. Their bodies moved in sweet cadence and their sweat began to mingle, trickling down their sides unnoticed as their movements took on a growing urgency.

Their hungry kisses were broken only by the need to occasionally breathe and then they would rush back together, unable to get enough of the other’s taste. Their bodies pounded together in a quickening crescendo with her breasts crushed by his hard chest muscles and her nipples points of fire burning into his flesh. Her nails raked across his back and his butt, sending shivers of sexual excitement up his spine. Their bellies slapped together with each forceful thrust of his into her body. His movements quickened, taking on a faster tempo as they raced toward completion.

Gone were the long deep strokes, replaced by escalating thrusts marked by the grinding together of their two sexes. He could sense what she needed to take her over the edge and he lifted his lips from hers. His hands reached for her hips, changing his angle of penetration just slightly and he drove into her sweet spot. Through their connection he could sense what felt best to her and she was aware of how close his body was to release. She arched up with a heightened sexual response and the moans deep in her throat grew to a fevered pitch. She slammed her hips up to meet his downward thrusts and Max watched her face as he drove her into a shattering climax.

Her body rose off the bed, spasm after spasm of orgasmic pleasure coursing through her, spreading out from her core along all her nerve endings. He continued his rhythmic assault and her orgasm kept cuming and cuming, drenching him with her juices. Her cries filled the air with his name repeated in litany and still her body reacted as he drilled against her sweet spot. She arched high with unequaled sexual bliss and her inner walls constricted around his member, squeezing him rhythmically until his cries joined hers. His cum shot from him with unequaled force, roaring up his length and bursting from him in pulse after pulse of blinding pleasure. Never had he remotely imagined it would be like this.

It wasn’t just his orgasm he was feeling, but hers as well and he knew she was experiencing the same shared sensations. Their climax raged on with both of them seeing the sun and the moon and the stars all wrapped up together. The sensations swept through their bodies in one wave after another, his balls tightening, her breasts tingling, her inner walls throbbing, his cock pulsating until the last of his seed spurted from him and he collapsed onto her, exhausted from the intensity of their joining.

“Oh my God, Liz!” Max cried breathlessly against her throat. He’d never felt anything like that before. Not during endless showers when his hand stroked his hardened flesh while picturing Liz in his mind. Not night after night where his load spilled onto his sheets while dreaming of Liz. Not time after time when he pretended his hand was really hers, while he relieved his sexual tension. No, he’d never felt anything like this before.

Liz was on sensory overload, overwhelmed by the magnitude of what she’d felt. Is this why that future version of Max had called it ‘cementing’? Surely, this had to be different than the norm. She wasn’t sure where she stopped and he started, but rather, it was as if they had become one body, one soul. She was now a part of him, he was part of her, neither one would ever be alone again.

She’d experienced orgasm before, in the privacy of her room with Max on her mind, but nothing had ever felt like this, and her body showed no signs of coming down from the incredible high anytime soon. All her nerve endings were alive with heightened pleasure, still burning with the climactic fire Max caused in her. Was this what Madam Vivian meant when she said she wouldn’t be left wanting? Holy God! No wonder she and Max had become inseparable in that other timeline. This was nothing short of . . . amazing.

Still buried to the hilt inside her, with her walls twitching and trembling and keeping him hard, Max leaned his weight on his quivering arms and stared down into her blissful face. “God Liz! Are you okay?”

She nodded, unable to quite catch her breath yet, and looked up into his smoldering eyes. He was trying to draw air into his lungs too and their hearts were beating wildly in their chests. Relief softened his features and his concern for her well being made her swell with love for him. Finding her voice, she smiled, “I’ve never been better.”

“I – God Liz – I never dreamed it could be like this. You . . . we . . . are you sure you’re alright?”

“Oh yes,” still smiling. He moved to lift his weight off her and her arms tightened around him. “No. Don’t go. Stay right here, just like this.”

“I don’t want to crush you,” he said with his eyes sweeping over her face. He shifted his weight to his elbows and he brushed her damp hair away from her face. Her cheeks were still flushed from their passion and he finally let a smile cross his lips. “God, I love you.”

“That’s good,” Liz couldn’t stop smiling. “Because I’m not going to ever let you go. Never.”

Max looked down at her with love in his eyes and said, “That’s good, because I don’t want you to ever let me go. I want to spend my life with you Liz. Every minute of every day, you and me, just like this.”

“Just like this?” Liz teased and her eyes glanced around, reminding him of where they were. “Michael might object if we spend the rest of our lives right here in this bed, making love every hour of every day. But it does sound like a good plan.”

“A very good plan,” his eyes twinkled. “It might be the first good plan I’ve ever had.”

“Oh, Max . . .” she sighed. “I love you so much.”

“You mean everything to me, Liz. Everything. You’re the center of my world. Without you, I’m nothing.”

“Max,” she let her hand drift along the curve of his lower back and reminded him of his importance. “You’re the King of another world.”

Smiling down at her, he kissed her lightly on the nose and said, “You be King. You’ll be better at it than I will. I’ll be your Consort, and my job will be to keep you satisfied.”

“And a very good job you do,” Liz laughed, well aware of his state of arousal. Turning serious, she assured him, “You’re going to be just fine. Listen to your heart, Max, and you’ll make the right choices. Just follow what your heart tells you is right.”

Max felt his heart go thud in his chest. Was he hearing right? Did she just say what he thought she said? He was openly staring at her with wonder in his eyes and his heart was swelling with happiness.

“What?” Liz asked, creasing her brow as she looked at him. “Why are you looking at me that way?”

The words Alex had said in his vision rang clearly in Max’s head as he stared down at the woman he loved. ‘Mom says if you listen to what your heart is telling you, you’ll make the right choices. Listen to your human side and just follow your heart.’ Listening to her say those very words now was like a prophecy being fulfilled.

“I love you Liz,” Max said and his eyes were misting over. “I just want you to know that.” His life was on the right path and the choices he had made were going to give him the future he so desperately wanted. It hadn’t been an easy road, and he’d fallen along the way, but she’d been there to help him up and together they could face anything.

Liz stared up at the man she loved more than anything else in the world. She didn’t know what their future would hold but she had no doubt that they would face it together. Seeing the love shining in his eyes, she knew nothing would ever come between them again. She also knew there would be hard times ahead and life would not be easy. How could it be easy when you were bonded to an alien king whose enemies wanted to kill him and destroy your world?

There were sacrifices they would have to make, sacrifices that would shape their lives. They wouldn’t get married at 19 in a chapel in Las Vegas. She was never going to be head of Molecular Biology at Harvard. They wouldn’t have children until they were older, for she refused to bring an innocent child into this life until they knew the end of the world had been averted. There were still battles to be fought and obstacles to overcome, but they were together, and nothing could ever tear them apart.

Her pulse quickened, spurred on by the reawakening of a love she thought she’d lost and the prospects of a life she thought she’d never get to live. His hand brushed against her cheek so gently, so lovingly, and the feel of his heart beating against hers, their bodies still joined together, filled her with eternal love.

“Max,” she whispered, staring into his love filled eyes. “Take me to the stars again . . .”


Max stood on the sidewalk smiling contentedly and feeling the warmth of the sun on his face. The storms of the previous day had moved through, cleansing the air, and the blue skies heralded a beautiful spring day to come. The nearby trees were full of pink cherry blossoms and birdsong filled the air.

The street echoed with the sound of children’s laughter and dogs barking in the distance, all normal everyday sounds. But today wasn’t a normal day. No, today was special.

Today was the day Alex took his first wobbling ride on a bicycle, all by himself. Max watched him as he peddled down the sidewalk and his heart swelled with pride and love.

“He’s growing up fast,” Liz said coming up behind Max and gliding her hand around his waist. “It seems like just last week he was learning to crawl. Now he’s learning how to ride a bike. Before we know it, he’ll be driving a car.”

“And scoping out the girls,” Max grinned. He lifted his arm and drew Liz around to stand in front of him, happily folding his arms around her as she leaned back against his chest. His hands gently caressed the swell of her belly, sensing the precious life that floated within, just waiting for her time to enter the world.

“Here he comes,” Liz watched Alex turn in a wide arc, wobbling mightily and then regaining control of the bike. His little legs pumped up and down and a grin spread across his face from one precious ear to the other.

“Mom!” he shouted. “Look at me, Mom! Dad taught me how to ride all by my self!”

“You’re doing great, Alex!” Liz called out to her son. “I’m so proud of you!” Her hand squeezed her husband’s, sensing his joy at Alex’s accomplishment. He peddled up beside them, coming to a wobbly stop and Liz noticed Max’s subtle hand movement as he inconspicuously helped to steady the bike so Alex wouldn’t fall. Alien powers sure came in handy.

“Look at you!” Liz beamed.

“I did it Mom!” Alex told her excitedly.

“You certainly did,” she agreed and ruffled his dark hair. “Are you ready to go study now?”

“Aw, Mom,” Alex whined.

“He was cooped up all day yesterday because of the rain, Mom,” Max chimed in, siding with his son. Tightening his arm around Liz and smiling at Alex, he added, “Besides, he got a double dose of Physics yesterday because of it. Today he should get a double dose of playtime, right Champ?”

Alex looked at his dad in adoration and then turned his big eyes to his mother. “Please . . .”

“Okay,” Liz relented. “Go have fun.”

“Thanks Dad!” Alex grinned and started to peddle off.

“Thanks ‘Dad’?” Liz scowled up at Max who was grinning just like his son. “I thought I was the one who just said he could play. How come you get all the credit?”

“You know the old saying, ‘Mom’s are all work and Dad’s are all play’!” Max laughed at her scrunched up nose and he cowered back as she elbowed him in the ribs.

“Your son is just like you,” Liz admonished and then her eyes softened. She ran her fingers through the gray hair at his temples and smiled adoringly at him as she said, “That must be why I love you both so much.”

Max wrapped his arms around his wife again, silently thanking God for the life he’d been allowed to live. The war they’d fought against Kivar had been hard, and there were times when he wasn’t sure if they were going to make it. The memory of the visions he had received over that fateful summer and fall over twenty years ago were sometimes all that had kept him going. Now, watching Alex peddling down the street, he knew the past was finally behind them and they were free to enjoy life to the fullest.

A large van rounded the corner and slowly made its way down the street and Alex came to a sudden stop by the side of the road. He watched it as it passed by, reading the words Southwest Van Lines emblazed on the side. It pulled to a stop across the street from his own home, a silver car pulled into the driveway, and Alex raced back to where his parents stood watching the new arrivals.

He jumped from his bike with a practiced ease, because that’s how Alex was. He learned quickly. Max and Liz had found that out early on, and nothing much surprised them anymore when it came to their son. That is, until now, when he opened his mouth and said the most astonishing thing.

“She’s here.” His face was radiant, displaying his internal joy and then he said, “I knew she was coming.”

He ran up on the slope of the lawn and picked a lone dandelion, holding it by the stem with one hand and cupping it with the other. His hand glowed with an inner light and the yellow weed turned into a rose. The center was a soft yellow and the outer edges blended into pink. He held it in his hand reverently as he stepped into the street, checking both ways for traffic.

Max looked at Liz with arched eyebrows and Liz looked at Max with a knowing smile, and they both turned to watch Alex as he approached their new neighbor’s car.

The back door opened and Alex smiled as a young girl slid out and stood before him, eye to eye. Her eyes were like honey, light brown with flecks of gold and her light brown hair curled loosely around her face and down the middle of her back.

“Hi,” Alex said, not even noticing her parents as they climbed from the car. “I’m Alex. Alex Evans.”

“Hi,” she said smiling shyly. “I’m Amanda, but everyone calls me Amy.”

“This is for you,” Alex handed her the rose and a blush rose up in his cheeks as she brought it to her nose and breathed deeply.

“Thank you,” she smiled and Alex dipped his head and bit his lower lip and then stole another look at her through his long lashes.

Across the street, watching with keen interest, Liz said aloud, “Peace.”

“Peace?” Max asked, glancing down at her.

Liz looked up at him and nodded, and then turned her attention back across the street. “The name of the rose Alex gave her. It’s call Peace.”

“Do you think it means something?” Max asked, tightening his arms around her and turning his eyes back to his son across the street.

“Doesn’t it always mean something where Alex is concerned.” Liz replied. Taking her husband’s hand in hers, she said, “Come on. Let’s go meet our new neighbors. If I know my Evans boys like I think I do, I have a feeling we’re going to get to know them very well.”

The End