Diamond Destiny
M/L w/ some M/M & A/I no tess!!
AU early 1900's I guess
Rating: PG for now R later
Disclaimer: I don't own anything, except what is given to Elizabeth
Summary: Liz is born an orphan and adopted by the Parkers. Something is given to her that is very important to shaping her future.
Notes: Flashback, Dream

*~* Chapter 10 *~*

Liz awoke surprisingly early, considering she got almost no sleep the night before. She had too many things to think about to sleep anyway. She was so confused about everything.
First, there was the mystery with her ring. Before she climbed into bed last night she took off the necklace too look at her ring. She experimented with wearing on her finger and to her surprise it fit. Now the ring finger of her right hand would permanently be adorned with the precious ring. But what had the spell meant? It was obvious her ring was supposed to help her find her soul mate, but how? He would bear her mark. 'What is he going to have my name tattooed across his forehead?' She smiled despite herself. If only someone could help me, even just listen and be there for me. Then it came to her, the next time Liz met Alex she would visit Jessica. Mrs. Whitman would help her she knew it.
And then there was Max. Where had he come from? Liz realized that despite the closeness she felt towards Max, in reality, she knew almost nothing about him. 'Well he is beautiful, I know that. And he's kind, and gentle, and those eyes… But none of that is going to help me find him again. I need expert help on this one.' She sighed, 'Maria will just have to do I guess.'
In her room, Maria was having her own guy problems. 'It's just Michael,' she thought. 'Then why can't you stop thinking about him?' No matter how much she tried, Maria couldn't silence that little voice. As if he knew she was thinking about him, Michael chose that moment to stroll in.
"Hey! What are you doing here?" Michael noticed how Maria's green eyes glowed with annoyance, and something else he couldn't quite place. Her voice kept getting louder by the second. "I'm not even dressed yet! And where were you raised, a barn?" "Maria." "Don't you knock before you enter someone's room?" "Maria?" "Especially when you come into a girl's room! Why I ought to…" "Maria!" "What?" "Calm down, your mother sent me in to make sure you guys were awake. Obviously you are, so I'm going to go now." Michael then turned leaving the room and closing the door behind him. Maria sighed unhappily. 'What is with me? He didn't do anything to me. I could have talked to him, but no I have to scream at him instead. Now he probably hates me, this is going to be a great summer.'
Michael stood outside of Liz's door debating if he should go in or not. He didn't think it was a big deal when Mrs. Parker asked him to go make sure the girls were awake. Oh how wrong he was. 'Maybe I should just skip it, I mean she couldn't be sleeping now. Maria yelled loud enough to wake up the whole damn town and Liz was just in the next room.' If that's what it was like dealing with Maria, what would Liz do to him? He summoned up all of his courage and raised his hand to knock before he entered. (He had learned that much at least.) But before he got the chance the door swung open and there stood Liz with a shocked look on her face.
"Michael… hi," she smiled. "Hey Liz, uh… your mom sent me to make sure you were awake, and you are so I think I'm just going to…" Liz wasn't sure exactly what he was saying to her. She was too busy rationalizing, 'I'm confused about a guy. And here, right in front of me I have a guy. He should be able to help me find out about Max. Plus, I'd like to get to know Michael, he looks like he could use a friend.' "No wait Michael, don't go." 'Uh-oh. Is she going to yell at me like Maria did? Maybe I should just run for it. No that won't work.' He reluctantly turned to face Liz once again, "Yeah?" "I have… well a job for you… sort of." 'This can't be good.' "What kind of job?" "Come on. We can talk in my room." Michael closed his eyes and took his first step into the unknown; ready to face whatever horrible task Liz undoubtedly had in store for him.
Across the hall Mrs. Parker also closed her eyes. Her headaches had been getting worse lately, and the conversation she was having wasn't helping at all. "I'm sick and tired of all these kids Nancy! We were supposed to send Maria to boarding school when she was six, we planned it before she was even born. But then you made us take Liz in, so we didn't have enough money to send them both. Now we do, we have more than enough. We can send them away and we won't have to deal with them anymore. We could focus on us again." "But Jeff, the girls are getting older now. They can be on their own more, you'll see. Mr. Parker raised his voice, "This is not up for discussion Nancy! I already enrolled them in The Surico Academy for Girls. They have to take their placement tests day after tomorrow and they'll be out of our house by the end of the week. No sense in drawing things out." He started to leave, when he turned slightly at the door. "You can tell the girls that their leaving in a few days… and do it when I'm not around." Mrs. Parker would have pressed the issue if her head wasn't pounding so much. Her last thought before the pain took over once again was, 'What am I going to tell those poor girls?'

*~* Chapter 11 *~*

'I'm with a girl, in her room, alone… this is not good. Not good at all.' Michael didn't feel right about this whole situation. 'Liz having a job for me? Why me? Why not Maria? She doesn't even know me.' "Listen Liz, uh… I uh… I think we're supposed to get down to breakfast soon, so why don't we get this over with. What kind of job do you need me to do?" Liz grinned at Michael's blatant awkwardness with the situation. "It's really no big deal." 'Oh here we go,' Michael thought. "I was just wondering if you knew a kid named Max?" "Max? No I don't know anyone named Max, why?" "Just wondering, well then I have a job for you, find out who he is, where he lives, stuff like that." "You got a last name?" Liz bit her lip regretfully, "No I don't." "I'll see what I can do." Michael had been known to do a little bit of detective work in his days, this would be fun. Upon hearing Michael's agreement Liz couldn't help but squeal with joy. "Oh I knew you would help me! With you working on it I know I'll find him again! Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you!" She ran over to him, throwing her arms around his neck, and gave him a kiss on the cheek. That was way too much for Michael's 11 year-old mind to handle, he muttered his good-byes and ran out of the room. Liz was still so excited she didn't even notice how he reacted to her show of affection. She spun around one last time and collapsed on her bed, "I'll be able to see him again."
Neither Maria nor Liz could sit still during breakfast. Liz had told Maria all about her late night visitor just before they came down and they were both very excited. Michael was glad he had something to do now, something to work on. Mrs. Parker was quite through out the meal, but no one noticed for they were all too wrapped up in their own lives to detect the disturbance.
Michael was deep in thought as he walked about the gardens. He had no idea how he was going to find this Max. But he would try, Michael made it a habit never to do anything half way; and this would be no different. As he turned a corner he saw a boy about his age standing slightly hunched over, with his back to Michael. 'There is no one else living here except for Maria, Liz and me. Then who is this? He shouldn't be here that's for sure.' Where Michael came from, strangers meant one thing, trouble. 'He could hurt someone, he could hurt Liz or Maria.' With that last thought Michael ran full speed at the figure, easily knocking him to the ground. "Hey! What the…" This boy was taller than Michael but obviously much less experienced when it came to fighting so the stranger was easily pinned with in minutes. He got in one good punch before he asked questions. "Don't try and beg for me to let you go or anything, cause its not going to happen. Who are you? Why are you here? And don't lie, I know when people are lying to me." "I was just here to see Maria…" Just the mention of Maria's name and Michael's anger tripled. It surprised him that he would get so fired up over some girl, but he couldn't help it. "How dare you break into here! What do you want to do with Maria? Well it doesn't matter, cause when I'm done with you you'll be lucky if you can walk let alone…" "MICHAEL, NO, STOP IT!!!!" two voices rang out simultaneously. Michael looked up and grimaced at what he saw. 'Now what did I do wrong?' he thought. Alex looked up as well, but sighed with relief. 'Finally, a rescue.' Liz and Maria walked out to the garden to meet Alex; he had told them he had something important to tell them. As they neared the garden they were shocked out of their chitchat. There on the ground was a scared out of his mind Alex with a furious Michael on top. The girls didn't even look at each other, both running and screaming the same thing. "MICHAEL, NO, STOP IT!!!!" Maria reached the boys first and ripped Michael off of Alex so fast he didn't even have time to stop her. But that wasn't the part that shocked Michael, to his surprise Maria got him off of Alex, but then starting beating him up.
Liz was so concerned to see if Alex was ok, she didn't even notice what was going on with Maria and Michael, at first that is. Once Alex assured her that he would be fine, she realized that Maria wasn't standing next to her anymore. Turning, Liz wasn't too surprised by what she saw; she was surprised that Maria was still winning though. Well, when that girl was angry there was no telling what she could do. "Maria! Maria, get off of him! I think he's had enough! Please don't hurt him!" Maria continued as though Liz hadn't said a word. Fighting was one thing Liz had no patience for; it never solved anything in her eyes. She knew where Maria was coming from, seeing someone threatening to beat up Alex had made her so scared. It was easy to see how Maria had gotten out of hand. Soon Liz couldn't take it any more though and decided to take matters into her own hands. She grabbed Maria's shoulders and started to pull her off of Michael. Maria's green eyes flashed with anger, but softened the minute they met Liz's compassionate gaze. Michael was shot one more angry glare, before Maria started to get off him.
The silence between the children was deafening. No one knew what to say after what had happened. Although Liz was shy, she always tried to fix things whenever she could. So she broke the silence linking them, "So Michael, I guess you met Alex."

*~* Chapter 12 *~*

"Alex? This is the Alex you guys have been talking about?" Michael exclaimed as realization dawned on him. "Yeah, the one and only. Who did you think was standing there? Or do you just attack anyone who stands too close to you… I bet that's it." Michael could tell Maria was still mad. Liz tried her best to help Michael, "It was an honest mistake Maria, plus I bet he has a really good reason as to why he did what he did." But she had to admit; she too wanted to know his reason. "Well I do have a good reason, I wouldn't have done it if I didn't have a good reason." "Enlighten us, because as I am the one who got beat up, I think I should know," Alex said the best he could considering his face was starting to hurt already. "Well all I was trying to do was protect you guys." Maria didn't even try to stifle her laugh. "Protect us??" * laugh * "From…." *gasp of air* "Alex!!!" * roar of laughter * Maria then fell on the ground laughing while a seemingly annoyed Michael looked on. The truth was Michael wasn't annoyed. He was so relieved that this Alex person wasn't anyone bad and he wouldn't hurt his girls. But no one could tell he was feeling that way, except maybe Liz.
"Alright Maria that's enough. Michael didn't know Alex, and he was just trying to protec… look after us I mean." Maria's laugher died down only when she heard her mother calling her and Liz. "Ok fine, I'm sorry Michael. Come on Liz, lets go see what mom wants." "Yeah, we'll see you guys later." "Now Michael, don't do any "protecting" while we're gone!" Of course Maria just had to make one more comment before she ran to catch up with Liz. "You guys are coming back right?" Alex called, Michael just grumbled. Liz turned and nodded, then continued running. After all that had happened, Alex still didn't forget why he was here; he needed to talk to Maria and Liz as soon as possible.
Mrs. Parker paced the length of the living room. She had just called the girls in; she had to tell them the news now. As much as she wanted to give them one last day they had to start packing; this was all happening so quickly. She heard their voices as they entered the house. "Well I guess it was kind of sweet of Michael to do, but it was Alex. Alex would never hurt anyone." Mrs. Parker looked at her two girls. They were standing in front of her, talking as if they had not a care in the world. If only they knew the world they knew was going to be taken away from them so quickly.
"Girls. Will you sit with me please? I have something to talk to both of you about." Maria smiled, "Sure, what do you want to talk about?" Nancy Parker took a deep breath, as if it would give her the strength she needed to break her daughter's hearts. "Maria Rose… Elizabeth Vanessa…" Liz and Maria exchanged quick glances, she was using their full names, this couldn't be good. Liz smiled as best she could and urged her mother on, "Whatever it is mom, we're listening." That's what broke her. The sound of her daughter being her understanding self, when all she was going to receive in return was hurt. Tears began to slowly fall, "Oh my girls! I don't want you to go! But I don't know what to do about it!" She turned away from her daughters, as if she was ashamed. Now Maria was really confused, and she was not the type to just stand around while things were happening. "Mom…Mom. You have to tell us what's bothering you. We can't help if we have no idea what your talking about." Gathering her strength, she turned back to Liz and Maria. It was now or never.
Her mother's fake smile didn't fool Maria for a second. "Now girls your father… your father… and I, well we decided that it would best for the both of you, if you went away to school. It was always a plan for you two, and now we have enough money so that you can go."
'She can't be serious.' "But we'll go away to school next year right? Not this year, its too close to the beginning of the school year." Liz processed what Maria had just said. "She's right, isn't she mom?" "We want you girls to be able to benefit from this school as soon as possible. It's really a great experience. This is the best school in the country and the sooner you start there the better educated you'll be. If we could have started you last year we would have but…" "When are we leaving?" Maria raised her voice considerably in the quite living room. "We wanted you girls to start this wonderful…" It was Liz's quite voice that stopped Nancy Parker once again in mid-sentence. "When are we being sent away?" She didn't even try to make her voice sound cheerful anymore, "Day after tomorrow."

*~* Chapter 13 *~*

Numb. That was the only way to describe how she felt the moment her mother had confirmed her worst thoughts, they were leaving very soon. Walking out of the house her legs had no feeling to them. But her stomach was just the opposite; it felt as if a huge pit had gathered there. Even now, outside the immense house, she could hear Maria yelling and crying. Tears wouldn't come for Liz. She was leaving her home, her parents and her friends, the people she knew loved her. All to go to a place where she knew no one and no one knew her, where she couldn't be herself. It was her worst nightmare coming true. All her life she had hid who she really was from everyone so that she could stay here. It seemed her efforts were in vain, now she was being sent away nonetheless.
Alex saw Liz coming towards him just after he heard Maria's angered ranting getting louder as she too exited the house. Liz silently headed for the garden maze while Maria walked towards the woods mumbling to herself. Michael exchanged a look with Alex and each boy took off in separate directions to go speak to separate girls. Both having no clue what was going on, but willing to do anything to help their friends. Alex thought he knew what was going on, but he wasn't sure. Well there was only one way to find out.
"Maria! Maria!" Michael's calls just made her run faster. Finally both children were running at the same pace. Michael glanced over a Maria and saw that she was crying, but didn't show any indication that she was going to slow down anytime soon. So Michael handled the situation the only way he knew how, and it was exactly what Maria needed.
He sped up to pass Maria; this caused her to strive to meet Michael's pace. Maria ran faster than she had ever ran in her eleven years, and it was freeing. This feeling that running with Michael was giving her, this feeling that she wasn't alone and out of control, it was just what she desired at the moment. She stopped crying and gave Michael a run for his money. Soon, they both collapsed in the grass spent. After catching their breaths, Michael broke the silence. "So, what's the matter?" He never was a man to beat around the bush. "I don't want to talk about it." Maria turned and faced away from Michael. "I know that feeling. I hate talking about what's bothering me. But if it will help any I promise not to tell anyone, or laugh at you or anything like that. I know we didn't get off on the right foot, but I don't want you to hate me. You can trust me." That little speech even amazed Michael, Maria was blown away. She didn't know Michael could even say more than two words at a time, let alone all that. It was enough to make her turn back around. This was all new to Maria, besides Alex and her sister, she never told people her true feelings.
Alex walked after Liz, deciding to catch up with her before he started talking to her. With the long strides his substantial height allowed; it didn't take long for him to get within arms length of her. But the second his fingertips brushed her shoulder, Liz sprinted away. She was heading towards the garden that her bedroom window overlooked. Alex would catch her if it was the last thing he did.
Bounding over bushes, and dodging statues; Alex ran as fast as he could towards Liz's garden. Alex's efforts were in vain, for when he reached the garden the only thing that greeted him was silence. He frantically looked around, 'I was sure this was where she was heading. Where could she be?' A faint cry from the other side of the garden promptly grabbed his attention as if it were a thunderous scream. He followed the crying until it lead him to the side of the garden that was right across was Liz's balcony. "Liz?" he called. As he turned the corner he found her.
Liz didn't even realize Alex had been following her until he grabbed her shoulder. She didn't want to be the one to have to tell him that she was leaving him, so she ran as fast as she could. Her destination was unknown at first, she then found herself at the same spot she danced with Max. 'I'll never be able to see him again. I'll never be able to see anyone again.' With that last thought she collapsed on the floor, tears running down her face and her breaths coming in tortured gasps. It was like that that Alex found her.
Seeing Liz crumbled like that, it was as if someone had punched him in the stomach, hard. He knelt down beside her and easily lifter her small body into his lap. Liz clung to him as if her life depended on it and continued to cry. Alex did all he could to try to calm her down, with soothing words in her ears and small kisses on her hair. After a little while Liz finally started to calm down. Now only having occasional bursts of tears and hiccup. Sniffling, she finally looked up at Alex. He smiled the best smile he could muster, "Want to tell me what's wrong now?"

TBC Sorry I haven't posted in a while. I would have posted sooner, but something is wrong w/ my aol reading java scripts and its anoying. But neway, I'll have the next part up as soon as I can. Please leave fb I really appriciate it. Thanx a bunch. *happy*