posted on 16-Jul-2002 2:59:56 AM by Lelea
Title: Fail Safe
Author: Lelea email IHATEDESTINY⊕aol.com
Category: M/L but I should warn you I heavily favor Liz
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Suing would be pointless
Rating: Up to Nc-17
Summery: This story takes place after Ask Not from season two. So Nasedo is dead, the Skins have been mentioned but not seen, none of the couples are together. The orb is not just a communication device it is aware and has a mission of it’s own.
Author’s note: Any songs or movies mentioned not only aren’t mine, but also please cut me a break on release dates. I don’t want to get too bogged down in research and technical details plus sometimes I just ignore silly things like release dates if it works for me! Also as to influences and inspiration that contribute to this story, I read a lot of fan fic, read a ton of books, see a bunch of movies. I would never knowingly steal ideas or parts of any of these things…however all these things influence my thinking. If I pull anything from a book, movie, or anything else not mine I will note that in the part it appears.

Prologue


September 2000

In the darkness of the Pod Chamber the orb suddenly pulsed with a bright blue light. The echo of the Kings declaration brought the orb to awareness. “ I don’t care about my Destiny or my planet or anything else. All I care about is you. So just know this, I’m coming for you Liz.” The time had come for the process that had been started to be completed.


Chapter One


Some dormant primal instinct was stirring to life inside her. His fingers trailed a path down her hip as his lips opened on her throat sucking lightly. She could feel the waves of heat rising inside her as…. her alarm clock went off sending Liz jolting to wakefulness. She groaned and turned off her alarm. Swinging her legs over the side of her bed she sat there a minute as her foggy mind struggled to clear itself. She raised a shaky hand to push the hair off of her flushed face. She sighed as she started to get ready for school.

Liz hurried through her morning routine and grabbed her book bag on the way out the door. She reached the front door of the CrashDown just as Maria pulled up.

“ Morning sunshine” Maria chirped as Liz slammed the car door.

“ Morning Maria.” Liz replied as she stared out the side window and tried to prepare herself for the day. Well really to see Max. Be strong Liz. You can do this. I have a new attitude. She coached herself as she listened with half an ear as Maria babbled on about Michael and how he was so about to cave.

“ He’s mine Liz. I almost have him. When we were closing last night he couldn’t take his eyes off me. I think I would have had him last night if that slut Courtney hadn’t stayed and butted in.” Maria fumed. “ I swear that girl has no shame. I don’t know who is worse her or Tess. I think we need to call a pest removal service.”

“ Maria! Really Tess isn’t that bad.” Liz paused “ Well anyway I don’t think anything will get rid of Tess at this point. Her and Max belong together remember?”

“Please don’t even get me started on that! That destiny crap is just that crap. I mean can you even see Isabel and Michael together? That would be an odd couple! Besides they don’t seem to be very interested in pairing up.”

“I guess.” Liz sighed and glanced back out the window as they pulled into the school parking lot. Maria drove up and down the lot looking for a parking spot. She spotted one row over and made her way over and just as she was about to pull in Tess’s SUV roared in and stole the spot.

“Can you believe that! This is like a metaphor for this girl’s life!” Maria ranted as she rolled down the window.

“ Come on Maria. Let’s just find another spot. I really don’t want to start out the day fighting with Tess. Besides I see a closer spot in the next row.” Liz pointed out.

“Fine but I still say pest removal is the way to go.” Maria stated as she whipped into the parking spot.


[ edited 97time(s), last at 17-Feb-2003 6:48:24 AM ]
posted on 16-Jul-2002 3:01:42 AM by Lelea
Chapter Two


As Liz rounded the corner to her locker she slammed into Max as he was coming around the corner with Michael. As he reached out and steadied her a flash of heat rushed through her abdomen. Liz gasps and quickly backed away.

“Liz are you alright?” Max asked as his eyes searched her face. She seemed tired and a little pale.

“Oh yeah I’m really sorry for almost knocking you off your feet like that. I’m still not quite awake I guess.” Liz apologized with a small smile not meeting his eyes.

“I doubt you have to run into him to knock him off his feet.” Michael stated with a smirk.

“Michael! I’m sorry I didn’t see you.” Liz replied quickly.

“Yeah I got that. I’m easy to over look. At least when Max is around. Come on Maxwell we gotta get to class.” Michael replied as he pushed past Liz roughly and continued down the hall with Max trailing after him slowly.

“Nice to see you too Michael. I’ll have to remember to tell Maria you like it rough.” Liz called after him with a smirk and turned to continue down the hall.

“What was that?” Michael asked as he stared after Liz’s retreating back in shock. “Did she really just SMIRK at me?”

“Yeah she did and I have no idea what that was.” Max responded also staring after Liz with a smile. “Come on let’s go. We need to take advantage of your sudden urge to be on time for class.” Michael followed still grumbling to himself.

The day passed quickly and lunch found Liz in the library trying to complete her project for Creative Writing. She had to work right after school at the Congresswoman’s office so she really needed to get a jump on things. Plus she wanted to put some distance between herself and the group. She just had no place in the group anymore. After all she was human what did she know about alien issues? Nesado had pointed that out often enough. Stop lying to yourself a small voice whispered in the back of her mind. All right she also just couldn’t stand Tess and didn’t want to watch as her and Max got closer. She couldn’t help it. She tried not to say anything but she didn’t trust her. Lost in her thoughts Liz didn’t notice Alex approach.

Alex knowing Liz wouldn’t be eating lunch with the group had decided to track her down. Since Liz had spent the summer away they hadn’t had much of a chance to talk. He missed her. As he moved through the library he spotted Liz in the back corner. Making his way over he studied her on the way. Her brow was furrowed as she chewed on the end of her pen. She didn’t look like she was working on the assignment in front of her.

“Hey Liz. Not eating today?” Alex asked as he slid into the seat across from her.

Liz looked up and noticed Alex seated across from her. “Hi Alex when did you get here?” Liz asked slightly embarrassed.

“Just got here actually. I missed you Liz. We haven’t really talked since you got back. How is the new job going?” Alex inquired noting her distracted air.

“The job is great. I can’t even tell you how much I love wearing real cloths at work. Plus it doesn’t hurt that this will look great on my collage applications.” Liz replied with a smile. “So Alex how are things with you? Busy with the Whits?”

“No way are you shifting the conversation on to me. Nice try. Look Liz I know something is going on with you. You’re avoiding Max. Which seems to include the rest of us.” Alex stated and watched her reaction closely.

“I’m sorry Alex. Really I’m not trying to avoid you. I just..Max is…” Liz struggled to explain “ I’m trying to do the right thing here. I don’t mean to shut you out.”

“ I know you are Liz. Just please talk to me. All of us have been impacted with this destiny news. Not many people would understand what you’re going through you know. Besides I have earned the title of honorary girlfriend so feel free to take advantage of that.” Alex grinned.

“You’re right. You might just be the absolute right person to talk to.” Liz set down the pen she had been playing with and leaned closer to Alex. “Last night Max stopped me as I was coming home from work and in the middle of the CrashDown told me that he was not going to move on and he didn’t care about his destiny and that he was coming for me. I don’t know what to do Alex.”

“Wow. Do you turn every guy you date into a stalker or what?” Liz reached over and smacked him. “Ouch sorry! Okay well I can tell you the man isn’t kidding. I mean I was here all summer and I saw the guy. He was miserable. Destiny or not Tess doesn't stand a chance. I mean look Liz the guy has loved you since the third grade. I really don’t think a summer away and a message from Mom are going to change that do you?” Alex asked.

“Alex he’s got a purpose. One I don’t fit into. I’m just trying to make this whole thing easier. They were sent here together, that means something.” Liz replied softly.

“Did you ever think that maybe it means something that he has loved YOU since the first time he saw you? I mean look I admit they were sent together and yes I think it means something but it doesn’t mean they have to be together as a couple right? They are a unit and family. But Liz he loves you. I really don’t see that changing. I know you still love him and I don’t see that changing either.” Alex looked around quickly and continued. “Just think about it okay?”

“I have been thinking about it. I thought about it all summer. It’s not just Tess. I mean it’s more than that. He has a whole planet of people who are counting on him. I’m just Liz Parker of Roswell New Mexico what do I know about anything. All I’ve managed to do is get him captured by the FBI. I’m a weakness Alex. Max can’t have any of those if he hopes to stay alive when his enemies come.” Liz ducked her head then looked back up at Alex and tucked her hair behind her ear. “More than anything I want him to live. I love him Alex.”

“I know you do Liz. But you’re wrong about a few things there. YOU didn’t get him captured. Nasedo is the one who set that in motion. Also I don’t think Max would think you are a weakness. You have an amazing mind and truly exceptional planning skills. I have never seen such detailed pie charts.” Alex joked as Liz rolled her eyes.

“I’m serious Alex! It’s Max’s feelings for me that get him into trouble. You don’t understand. Look my getting shot brought Max and the others out into the open. The Sheriff started asking questions and the FBI came to town. Then Max got captured. You don’t know what they did to him Alex. Pierce used Max’s feelings for me to get information out of him. I saw what happened to him in some flashes and now he’s saying he doesn’t care about his people. It’s not right Alex. When Max and I are together it’s like all the other things fade away you know?” Liz looked away for a minute and then said “I don’t want to see him get hurt and I don’t want to be the reason why he fails. Do you really think I’m wrong?”

Alex thought about that for a few minutes and then said, “I don’t know Liz. I see what your saying but how do think Max is doing now? Is it any better? I think that maybe he needs you Liz. You’re only looking at the negative things that have happened. You brought a lot of positive things into his life. He has more people he can count on, you guys found the orbs, which brought more information about who they are, and you make him happy. That counts for something too. I don’t mean to be like Maria and try to push you back together if that’s not what you want. I just want to make sure you know what you’re doing and I want you to know you can come and talk to me about things if you need to.”

“Thanks Alex. I know I can come to you and that works both ways ya know.” Liz replied as the bell rang. Liz started gathering up stuff. “Now let’s go I think the wonderful world of science is calling!”

posted on 16-Jul-2002 5:11:12 PM by Lelea
Chapter Three

After work Liz made her way home thinking about her conversation with Alex. She didn’t know what to think anymore. She thought about her first sight of Max after she got home from Florida. He had looked so happy to see her. Her heart had leaped in her chest as she looked into his eyes. After everything that had happened he still looked so happy to see her. Liz sighed and quickened her pace. She didn’t want to hurt him she just wanted to do what was right for everyone. She thought she had worked all that out over the summer now here she was just as confused as when she had left. She had to be strong, resolved, sure of her decision. And she wasn’t. Okay let’s make a list of all the reasons to stay away from Max.

Liz reached home and changed into her running cloths. She had taken up running over the summer thinking it would be a good idea after all the running she had done last spring. Plus it helped her to sort out her thoughts. As she left her room on the way out the door her Mom stopped her.

“Liz it’s getting kind of late isn’t it? I don’t think it’s safe for you to run this late alone.” Nancy Parker worried.

“Mom it’s not that late. I’ll be fine. I won’t be long okay?” Liz replied as she continued to the door. “Besides I have my cell phone just in case.” Not waiting for a response she left the apartment.

Liz went out the back and stretched for a minute before setting out. She set a steady pace and went back to making her mental list not completely aware of her surroundings. The figure that had followed her home noted the direction she took off in.

Okay the first reason for staying away from Max would have to be the message about his destiny. Really it all stemmed from there. He had a destiny that was important and huge in the scope of things. One she didn’t have a part in.

The second reason would be that Max was a King of an entire planet. Which meant his life wasn’t really his own. He needed people around him that were an asset to him. Like Tess. Not small town human girls from New Mexico with no powers. Girls who can’t protect themselves against the enemy much less protect him.

Also when they were together they were so focused on each other. Max had said it best when they were together he lost his balance.

Next on the list would be that no matter what Alex said she was a weakness. Max’s enemies could use her against Max in any number of ways. Max, usually so cautious, seemed to forget everything when she was at stake. The best example of that was when Nasedo had kidnapped her. That wasn’t the only example she could go on…. Pierce using threats to get Max to give the location of the orb or when she had dinner with the Hardings or the first example the shooting. Max just rushed in to protect her with out thinking of himself or the others. She just couldn’t handle it if something happened to him because of her.

The next thing that came into Liz’s mind was just a feeling she got from Max. Nothing really solid but still there. Max seemed to be not very accepting of his alien side and all the things that came with it. He needed to understand and accept himself completely. His powers were just the start of his alien side she knew. The more time that pasted the more Max learned. From all the flashes she had received from Max she knew of his longing to be a normal teenager. Max wasn’t a normal teenager and never would be. Maybe he needed someone like himself to truly understand and help him accept all of the parts of himself. Which led her to her last reason.

What if Max discovered that he did want Tess? He was already connected to her. They were alike and were made to be together. He had kissed her and received flashes. He had said that what he felt for Tess wasn’t JUST attraction. Which meant to her that he was attracted to her but something more- something deeper was there as well. That maybe what Max felt for her/Liz was just attraction and would pass. That maybe Max was clinging to her and his feelings for her out of that desire to be normal or to not be controlled by a destiny set for him before he was “born”. Maybe if she stayed with him he would never really give Tess a chance. This is the reason she didn’t ever voice out loud. The reason she kept secret and tried to hide even from herself.

As she finished her mental list she realized that she was now at a full out sprint. Liz slowed her pace and looked around. She saw Summerhaven Park just ahead and decided to cut through it to reach home. She slowed to a walk to cool down and as she neared the bandstand in the center of the park she heard a rustling sound. Glancing around she didn’t see anyone so she continued on.

As the rear of the UFO Center came into view she saw a man leaning against the wall at the start of the alley. As she approached he looked up. Liz had never seen the man before.
He was very tall with wide shoulders powerful. Liz’s first thought was that he looked like Lenny Kravitz until she got close enough to see his eyes. He had the most beautiful eyes she had ever seen. Very light gray with thick dark lashes framing them. He seemed calm and confident he stared directly into her eyes. She trusted him instantly.

The man straightened and pushed away from the wall as she drew closer. To Liz’s surprise she felt no fear or urge to panic. He seemed to study her intently taking her measure. His face remained expressionless. Liz stopped a few feet from him trying to keep her face blank just waiting. A few moments passed in silence.

Finally the stranger spoke. “You really shouldn’t run so late at night with no protection. There are people out there who would take advantage of that.” He paused and than said “You made pretty good time. You’ve been training.”

“I wouldn’t say I’ve been training just trying to stay in shape. I like running at night it’s quiet but I’ll keep your advice in mind.” Liz held his gaze for a moment. “Do you always give advice to people you don’t know?”

“Not usually no. My name is Ash. I have been sent to help you.” He drew slightly closer as he spoke.

“Well Ash I think you have me confused with someone else. Who are you exactly?” Liz asked her tone even.

“There has been no mistake, Liz Parker. It is you I have been sent for. The others have their own path. It is my job to help you with yours.” Ash stated firmly.

Liz’s eyes widened at his statement and before she could question him further the back door of the UFO Center crashed open and Max stepped out carrying a trash bag. Max looked up and saw Liz standing very close to a man Max didn’t recognize.

“Liz? Are you alright?” Max questioned in concern. He dropped the bag and took a step closer wanting his hands free in case he needed to defend Liz. He glanced from the stranger to Liz. To his eyes she glowed. Apparently she had been jogging. Her face was still flushed and her cloths and hair looked damp with sweat. She had never looked better to Max. He would never give her up. He couldn’t. He needed her desperately. If he had learned anything over the summer it was that.

“I’m fine. Everything’s fine, Max. I would like you to meet Ash.” Liz gestured to the man next to her. “ Ash, this is Max.” Liz glanced at Max then returned her eyes to Ash.

“Nice to meet you Max.” Ash said keeping his eyes on Liz and his voice smooth like velvet.

Max’s eyes narrowed as he noticed Ash never looking away from Liz. He glanced back to Liz and found her staring back at Ash intently. “I haven’t seen you around town before. Just passing through?” Max questioned bluntly.

Ash turned his eyes to Max and smiled slowly. “No I just moved here. I’m sure we will be running into each other.” Ash turned to Liz and said “Liz, I hope to will able to make it to the studio for your first self defense class tomorrow. What time is good for you?”

“Oh ah around 3? Is that okay?” Liz asked slightly flustered. She went along with Ash knowing she could trust him…. she felt it. Besides she wanted to talk with him alone.

“That is perfect I will meet you at the CrashDown.” Ash stated then turned to Max. “I’ll be seeing you again I’m sure Max.” And with that he turned and walked away.

“Liz who was that?” Max asked quietly. “I mean you know we have to be careful. Our enemies are still out there.”

“Max really. He is my self-defense instructor and I am careful. There is no reason to think your enemies would come after me. After all we’re not together any more. It wouldn’t really do them any good now would it?” Liz replied.

“There is every reason to be careful. I care about you Liz. I don’t want anything to happen to you.” Max walked closer and ran his hands down her arms. “Please be careful. I know we’re not together but I want to change that.”

As Liz looked into Max’s eyes she could see his longing for her. She could feel his need swamping her becoming her own. His hands moved back up her arms and her mind clouded the heat built inside her. Her own body was betraying her.

Max watched as her eyes darkened heated. He moved closer his body just barely touching hers. He bent down and lightly ran his lips over hers. Not quite a kiss just a soft brush of lips. Her hands slid up to clutch at his vest as he ran his tongue slowly over her bottom lip asking for more. She sighed in acceptance and opened her lips for him. He settled his mouth firmly against hers then rubbed his lips against hers slowly. Her lips felt soft like satin. His tongue swept into her mouth and moved along hers. She curled her tongue around his and sucked softly. Max groaned and moved his hands to her hips to pull her closer. Her arms wrapped around his neck and her hands moved into his hair.

She was lost. The power built so fast there was no room for thought. He held her so tightly and it felt so right. He was so gentle. She could feel his control in his movements. She needed more than he was giving her. She moved up on her toes sliding her body up his. She gently pulled her mouth from his and nipped lightly at his upper lip. She ran her mouth over his throat kissing and sucking lightly knowing the effect she was having on him.

The blood thundered through his veins and he pulled her to him tighter pushing the thick ridge of his erection into the softness of her belly. He felt the convulsive movement of her hips arching into him. His control snapped and he pulled her mouth back to his and kissed her deeply. He groaned deep in his throat the sound vibrating in Liz’s mouth as she rubbed against him.

Gradually they became aware of a noise intruding into the sensual haze that enveloped them. Liz gradually pulled away and reached for her cell phone. “Hello?” Liz asked as she moved a few steps away from Max turning slightly away. “Mom I’m fine. I just ran into Max and…”

Max tried to bring himself back under control as Liz talked to her mother. He couldn’t believe they had gotten so far out of control so fast…in an alley. He prayed this didn’t screw up his chances with Liz.

Liz finished her conversation and turned back to find Max running a hand through his hair looking at the ground. “Max I’m sorry I have to go. That was my Mom. She’s worried because I’ve been gone so long.” Liz walked back over to him and put a hand on his arm.

Max looked up to meet her eyes. Her face was flushed and her lips were still swollen. She was so beautiful. “I understand. It’s getting late.”

“Max I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to… I just….” Liz started in confusion.

“Liz it’s okay. Really. I don’t expect anything from you. Just please don’t shut me out. I love you, Liz. Just give me a chance.” Max replied quietly. He looked her right in the eyes trying to tell her with out words everything that was in his heart.

“Max, I’m not trying to hurt you or to lead you on. I just want to be sure that we do the right thing. Not just for us but everyone.” She lightly bit her bottom lip and continued “I don’t think you’ve really given your destiny a chance. Do you remember last year when you said you knew we didn’t belong together? Well you were right Max. We don’t. I should have listened to you then. I’m sorry I have to go.” Tears shimmered in her eyes as she turned away. Max moved quickly to stop her.

“Liz I was wrong last year. We do belong together. I know it. I feel it when we’re together. You can’t lie. I know you feel it too. I’m not going to push you but I’m not going away either. I love you Liz Parker. You not Tess not anyone else. Just you. I can wait until you know too.” Max released his hold on her arm and stepped back. Liz quickly turned away and ran.

The watcher slipped farther back into the shadows. Interesting this situation needed a closer eye.


[ edited 2 time(s), last at 5-Sep-2002 5:45:30 PM ]
posted on 16-Jul-2002 6:56:55 PM by Lelea
Thank you guys so much for the feedback~This is my first fic so I am doubley thankful.

frenchkiss70~I love Alex too and thought he was always a good person to pay attention to.*happy* I missed him greatly in the last season.

Just becuase this is my first fic doesn't mean you can't give me an honest opinion. I love questions and arguments. So feel free to say whatever. You can also email me if you want whatever works.
posted on 17-Jul-2002 2:06:28 AM by Lelea
Thanks again you guys *happy* I thought I would pop back in to answer your feedback as much as I can.

Eccentric One~You're a pretty good guesser.

ChrissyP47~Ash has some answers but I'm not saying he has them all. After all he says he's there for Liz not the podsters. And hopefully if I do my job a whole lot is happening.

Moonlit Jade~Love your name BTW...You'll be seeing a lot of Ash in the furture.

Thank you guys for all the nice comments from everyone. I have written through part 12 I think so you should see posts pretty often. I should warn you that Liz is one confused person so bare with her please*big*

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 17-Jul-2002 5:48:34 AM ]
posted on 17-Jul-2002 3:19:45 PM by Lelea
Chapter Four


Liz closed the door to her bedroom and walked into the bathroom leaving a trail of cloths behind her. She turned on the shower adjusted the temperature and stepped inside. She swore she could see steam rising from her body. She leaned against the tile wall and let the cool water flow over her as her mind went over the events in the alley.

How did he do that? It took him all of 2 minutes to make her forget all the reasons why they didn’t belong together. She was so weak. Every time she came with in 10 feet of him she totally lost her mind. She adjusted the temperature of the water and finished her shower. She needed to talk to Maria. She toweled off and quickly left the bathroom making her way to the phone. She dialed quickly and waited for Maria to pick up. As the phone rang she quickly threw on a tank top and boxers.

“FYI it’s midnight Liz.” Maria said.

“Oh god Maria I really need to talk to you. I really screwed up.” Liz replied in desperation.

“Liz what’s wrong? What happened?” Maria asked in concern.

“Maria I’m so confused. I don’t know what to do. I need you to listen and promise me not to tell anyone. Especially Max. Promise?” Liz asked.

“Promise. I swear I won’t tell anyone. Liz what happened?” Maria asked again.

“I went for a run to try to think. I was reminding myself of all the reasons why Max and I don’t belong together.” Liz started.

Maria interrupted saying “Reasons which I am dying to hear by the way.”

“Reasons I will tell you later. I promise. So I run into Max on my way home behind the UFO Center. We start to talk and before I know it we’re…well…kissing and…” Liz broke off to flustered to continue.

“Wait a minute you didn’t… You know…did you?” Maria asked in shock.

“We didn’t have sex but…it was.” Liz sighed and said, “ My Mom called my cell phone looking for me.” Liz finished a little sheepishly.

Maria sputtered in shock then said “Liz I don’t even know what to say here. What happened after your Mom called? What were you two talking about?”

“We were talking about me being careful. Max wasn’t really happy to see me jogging at night. You know the whole unknown enemies thing. I tried to tell him that since we aren’t together there is no threat to me and that I am careful. That opened the door for him to remind me that he wants to get back together then he touched me.” Liz got up and started pacing.

“Okay he touched you. Then?” Maria prompted.

“Maria, I just lost my mind. I don’t know what happened. I looked at him and he kissed me. I can’t even explain what I felt. The closest I can come is it was like when we found the orb. Not the exact same but close…stronger. If my Mom hadn’t called..” Liz paused and continued pacing, “I don’t think it was the same for Max.”

“What do you mean?” Maria questioned.

“He seemed pretty in control until…” Liz stopped.

“Until what?” Maria asked thinking NOW we’re getting somewhere!

“Umm well I kinda pushed him a little bit.” Liz sank down onto her bed. “I umm I started kissing his neck. I could tell he was holding back so I tested his control a little. The point is that last year neither one of us had a whole lot of control.” Liz fell silent thinking.

“Okay so what’s different about this time? Let’s think about this. Last year you guys were in a relationship and while making out you got visions from inside Max’s head and he got flashes or visions from yours. The flashes you received lead you to the first orb. While you both were receiving the flashes you were both drawn to each other right?” Maria asked and waited for Liz to respond.

“Yes, we were drawn to each other but it was more than that. Once we got close to each other we felt a pull to touch and once we touched it was like we couldn’t stop. I could still think but it was like my thoughts about stopping were over ridden. I don’t know if I over rode them because I wanted to or what. Plus I was getting fevers and rashes and glowing where Max touched me and let’s not forget the glowing hickey.” Liz stopped her mind whirling.

“I can’t say if I glowed and I don’t have any hickeys but I might have had a fever. I’ll have to watch and see. But Maria what if the visions or flashes weren’t from Max?” Liz asked quietly.

“What do you mean? Who else could they be from?” Maria asked.

“I don’t know who they could be from but…the last flash…it was of something being buried but the angle I was seeing it from was as if I was the object being buried. That would be the orb. So how could Max have that memory? Nesado is the one who buried the orb right? Max and the others were still in their pods. So how could he have watched the stars as they flew through space or seen the crash from inside the ship? Which are the other flashes.” Liz got up and went to get her journal.

“Liz I’m starting to freak out a little here! OMG! If those freaky visions weren’t from Max…where is my cypress oil?!” Maria rambled.

“Maria! It’s okay calm down. I wasn’t hurt and it was like a year ago. Let’s not jump to any conclusions okay. Let me think about this and we’ll talk about it again tomorrow okay?” Liz said journal in hand.

“Okay. We’ll talk about that again tomorrow. Just tell me how you left things with Max.” Maria said trying to calm down.

“I said I was sorry. I told him wasn’t trying to hurt him but I didn’t think we belonged together. He umm said he disagreed and we sort of left it there.” Liz finished weakly.

“No way Liz Parker! Spill.” Maria demanded firmly.

“Okay! He said he wouldn’t push me but he wasn’t giving up. That he knew we belonged together because he felt it. Then I left. Well more like I ran. Satisfied?” Liz asked.

“Yeah I am. So what’s the plan for tomorrow. I mean today?” Maria asked glancing at the clock.

“Avoid Max at all costs and think about what we talked about I guess. Can you ask Max or Michael about who actually buried the orb? With out telling them why. I really don’t want to talk about this unless we know something solid. They have a lot to think about right now anyway.” Liz asked then yawned.

“Yeah I’ll ask. I’m sure I can think of something. I promise I won’t say anything.” Maria replied.

“Thanks Ria. Pick me up for school?” Liz asked with a smile.

“Of course. Night.” Maria said still a little worried.

“Okay see in the morning.” Liz said absently and hung up.


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 5-Sep-2002 5:49:25 PM ]
posted on 17-Jul-2002 11:27:44 PM by Lelea
Thank you WayLiz.....Liz is at least collecting a lot of pieces to the puzzle we'll have to see what she does with them*happy*
posted on 18-Jul-2002 5:53:07 PM by Lelea
Chapter Five


Liz woke in the morning with a vague memory of her dreams. She dreamed of frantic heat and skin. Something was disturbing about her dreams but the more she tried to concentrate on the dreams the foggier they became. Giving up Liz got ready for school and gathered up her books and the notes she had made after talking to Maria. She rushed down the stairs and out the front door of the CrashDown. With in a few minutes she saw the Jetta pull up. She got in and turned to face Maria.

“Okay I thought about what we talked about last night and I went through my journal. I discovered something. I think. First let’s look at the flashes. I didn’t have any last night but our discussion got me thinking so I went back to my journal because I wrote down a pretty detailed account of them. Max got a flash from me when he healed me. I felt something but didn’t see a flash until he reversed the connection and then it was images of Max and Isabel when they were just out of the pods and him watching me..personal stuff. The most important thing was I could feel his emotions during those flashes. When we found the orb the only people I saw were military in the flashes and no emotions about what I was seeing. It wasn’t at all personal feeling. It was more like when I got flashes from Nesado.” Liz stopped and waited for Maria’s reaction.

“Wait a minute. You got flashes from Nesado? When was this?” Maria asked in confusion.

“When he kidnapped me. I got flashes from him twice when he kissed me.” Liz answered and waited knowing what was coming.

“HE KISSED YOU? Liz! Why am I just hearing about this now?” Maria ranted.

“Well I guess you could say I kissed him. I thought he was Max. The flashes I got were all black and white. They were scary. That’s how I knew he wasn’t Max. When I saw inside Max he was so full of emotion and it was in color. Seeing inside Nesado was not at all the same. He scared me. It was like he was wrong inside…scary evil maybe.” Liz felt cold just remembering. “He didn’t seem to know I saw anything. He did see something in my face I think. He taunted me about the first kiss after Max called. I asked why he needed to look like Max and he said that I wouldn’t have been that friendly to Mr. Harding. I didn’t tell you because after that everything was so crazy you know?”

“Yeah I remember. So how were the flashes similar?” Maria asked.

“Well the orb flashes were in color but there were no real emotions. The flashes from Nesado were in black and white and there were no emotions to speak of. The scenes I saw were scary like dead people and empty landscape. I just felt cold. The thing that was the same was the non personal feel to both.” Liz explained. As they neared the school Liz felt her nerves kick into high gear. “Let’s finish talking about this in Homeroom okay?”

“Yeah okay. Let’s go over the plan for today. I will covertly ask after the orb. What are you gonna do?” Maria inquired as she parked the car.

“Avoid being too close to Max. I may need some help with that. After last night Max might try to…” Liz trailed off staring into space.

“Got it. You did give him a reason to renew the chase didn’t you? Not that he needed a reason. Well I’ll do my best to help. Now let’s go.” Maria urged Liz out of the car.

Liz and Maria made their way into the school and to Liz’s locker trying to keep an eye out for Max. They reached Liz’s locker without an alien sighting of any kind. Liz opened her locker and quickly gathered the things she needed and put away some of her books that she didn’t need till later. She slammed her locker closed and turned to Maria.

“Done. Let’s hit your locker and then on to Homeroom.” Liz said trying to set a new record for traveling the hallway. She practically dragged Maria down the hall.

“Liz slow down! Try to relax a little. You’re going to have to stop running at some point. Here’s my locker. Just hang on a sec.” Maria opened her locker as Liz fidgeted next to her. All the sudden Liz let out a gasp and stiffened next to her. Maria turned and looked around. Max was coming down the hall headed right to Liz with an intense almost avid look on his face. His eyes never left Liz. Ohh this should be interesting Maria thought to herself.

Liz could feel him getting closer. She knew she was in trouble. Big trouble. As he got closer she started to feel warm. Max reached Liz deliberately invading her personal space so she had to look up at him. Neither of them said a word.

“So good morning Max.” Maria said and waited. Receiving no answer she continued. “Well we should really be getting to Homeroom so…” Maria trailed off seeing that both of them were totally not hearing her. She turned to close her locker and turned back looking at the couple standing there silent. Liz was staring up at Max with an absorbed expression on her flushed face. Yeah the plan really seemed to be working Maria thought to herself. Just as she was about to break it up Isabel and Tess joined her.

“Morning all.” Isabel said as she came to a stop next to Maria. She looked back and forth between Max and Liz. Tess remained quiet.

“Morning” Maria answered still looking at Liz.

“What’s going on here?” Tess asked after a slight pause. Max and Liz seemed not to hear her at all.

“I have no idea.” Maria replied. Just then Liz gave a small gasp and swayed on her feet. Max reached out and grabbed her by the arms. As his hands touched the bare skin on her arms there was a small flash of blue light. Max started to pull her closer but her hands came up and rested on his chest stopping him.

“That’s enough of that!” Maria grabbed Liz and tugged pulling her away from a dazed Max. “Come on let’s go.” Maria pulled Liz down the hall toward Homeroom.

“Max! Are you alright?” Isabel asked stepping closer.

“Yeah I’m fine.” Max replied slowly confused.

“Max, what was that? The flash of light? We can’t be using our powers like that…so out in the open.” Tess asked studying Max’s confused expression.

“Light? What light?” Max asked.

“When you touched Liz there was this flash of blue light. So what is going on with you and Liz? Things looked pretty intense when we walked up.” Isabel inquired. She glanced at Tess then back to Max. She tried to nudge the conversation away from the use of powers. She didn’t think Max had used his powers. It didn’t have the same feel to it. She shot Max a warning look.

“I didn’t mean to use my powers…sorry. I really have to get to Homeroom so I’ll see you later.” Max said trying to get away so he could think. He started off down the hall.

“Well Tess I guess we’ll catch up with you at lunch. See ya.” Isabel said quickly and followed Max. She had Homeroom with Max and Tess luckily did not. She caught up to Max as they were entering the classroom. They slid into their seats at the back of the room.

“Alright Max I want to know what’s going on with you and Liz and you are going to tell me now.” Isabel commanded firmly.

“I’m not really sure anymore Isabel. All I know is I need her.” Max looked Isabel in the eyes and continued. “Last night I promised her I wouldn’t push her but this morning when I saw her…I had to go to her. I had to.” Max sighed and looked down. “What if I scared her or pushed her away?”

“Tell me what happened last night and we’ll go from there.” Isabel said wanting to help. Max looked so upset she knew he was trying to get Liz back but she hadn’t seen him this openly upset before.

“Last night at the UFO Center I went outside to toss out some trash and I ran into Liz with some guy. After he left I told Liz she should be careful. Not be out so late alone with everything that’s going on. She said she wasn’t in any danger because why would anyone want her since we aren’t together anymore. I told her I wanted her back and I loved her. Things got a little out of control.” Max stopped and glanced at Isabel.

“Out of control how? Did you guys get into a fight or something?” Isabel asked confused.

“No. Umm I kissed her. Things got a little heated but Liz’s Mom called her cell phone looking for her. Then Liz started saying she was sorry that she didn’t mean to lead me on and we didn’t belong together. I couldn’t just let her say that and leave. She didn’t understand. So I told her that I knew she belonged with me and I would wait until she knew it too. That I wouldn’t push her but I wouldn’t go away either.” Max finished and waited for Isabel’s reaction.

“So she responded to you? When you kissed her?” Isabel asked wanting to be clear.

“Yeah she did. She seemed really okay with it until we were interrupted.” Max clarified.

“Hmm well we know she didn’t break up with you because she doesn’t love you. I know she does. You would have to be blind not to see it. It’s that whole destiny thing. Max are you really really sure that Liz is the one? You did kiss Tess last spring.” Isabel asked looking him in the eye. She wanted to be sure.

“Yes Izzy I’m sure. I spent time with Tess this summer getting to know her. I don’t love her. The way I felt with Tess last spring…it was just wrong. It upset me. I can’t really describe it. I have loved Liz every day since the third grade. That has never changed. With Liz it just feels right. Just being with Liz feels right. When I’m with her I want to be a better man not because she wants me to be but because she knows I can be. Does that make sense?” Max asked with a small smile.

“I think so. I can’t say I totally understand you and Liz. But I don’t need to. I just want you to be happy Max. If you need any help or someone to talk to let me know.” Isabel reassured him. “Now let’s talk about this morning. Max this morning was strange. You and Liz were in your own world. Then there was the flash of light.” Isabel stopped and looked at Max trying to see what he was thinking.

“It wasn’t me. I didn’t use my powers. I can’t explain what happened because I don’t know. I needed to get to Liz then I felt..something. Something happened with Liz. I don’t know what. I’m worried for her. That guy last night Ash what if he did something to her. What if he is one of the skins?” Max started to get more worked up as his mind raced.

“Let’s just slow down and talk about this. What did Liz say about Ash?” Isabel asked trying to get Max to calm down and focus.

“She said he was her self-defense instructor and that he was new in town. That’s about it.” Max answered.

“Well let’s not jump to conclusions. We’ll keep an eye on this Ash and make sure nothing happens to Liz. Don’t start acting like Michael acting before you think. That’s the last thing we need right now.” Isabel glanced at Max and saw him nod in agreement. She decided not to mention this to Michael. Max and Michael were barely speaking as it was and this wouldn’t help.


[ edited 2 time(s), last at 18-Jul-2002 7:28:56 PM ]
posted on 18-Jul-2002 8:45:48 PM by Lelea
Just nudging.....man this board moves fast!
posted on 19-Jul-2002 1:00:43 AM by Lelea
Thank you guys! The next part will be posted tomorrow...whoops! Later today. I promise and so far I haven't lied to you *wink*
posted on 19-Jul-2002 4:58:26 PM by Lelea
Chapter Six



Maria slid into her seat next to Liz in Homeroom glancing over at her as she did. She looked like she was in a daze. “Liz! Liz look at me.” Maria whispered as the bell rang. “Come on Liz I’m freaking out here! There isn’t enough cypress oil in the world for this!”

“I’m okay Ria. Really I just…” Liz tried to reassure her but was having a difficult time. She felt like she was on fire she could feel the sweat bead on her forehead. “Maria? What am I going to do?” Liz whispered miserable.

“Liz you look really hot. I guess that answers the fever question huh? Okay we need to regroup the plan needs to be adjusted. I’m going to watch you like a hawk until I can find Alex or Kyle. We need help here.” Maria continued to ramble laying out plans. Liz could feel someone watching her so she looked around the room and found herself meeting the gaze of Courtney the new waitress at the CrashDown and Maria’s rival. Liz pushed her hair out of her face and casually looked away. Only to meet the curious and slightly hostile eyes of Tess. Great that’s just lovely Liz grumbled to herself. I’m not in the building for an hour and everyone’s staring at me.

“Maria just relax okay? We have the attention of both Tess and Courtney let’s try to look sane alright?” Liz said trying to snap Maria out of it.

“I’m as calm and sane as I’m going to get at this point Liz. What the hell was that in the hall? I mean I’ve seen you and Max do the soulmate stare before but that was a trance Liz not a stare. You were in Florida over the summer right? Not at a Max cult getting brainwashed?” Maria said speaking so fast Liz had trouble keeping up.

“Breath Maria.” Liz said in a steady voice.

“Liz! I want an answer. This is starting to scare me.” Maria said her voice wavering.

When Liz spoke her voice was low. “I don’t know what happened Maria. I could feel him getting closer. Something just started to build in me the closer he came. I just…I wanted to touch him.” Liz finished on a whisper. “When he looks at me like that I can’t even think. I’m sick! What am I going to do? You have to stop him from looking at me!” Liz whispered desperately.

“Liz reality check here! He has been staring at you since he hatched. I don’t think an invasion of little green men could stop that now. We need a miracle at this point.” Maria replied. “We just have to do the best we can until we can figure this out. But no more light shows in public.”

“Ria I’m trying I really am. If I can just stay away from him I’ll be okay.” Liz repeated to build her confidence.

Maria watched Liz’s routine of self-delusion knowing she needed it to get through today. I have to get some help here. Maria thought to herself. Max is never going to stay away. As it is we’re going to have to sprint out here if we’re going to miss him. Maria sighed already tired.


As the bell rang signaling the end of Homeroom Maria and Liz rose in unison and made tracks for the door. Liz practically pushed Kyle’s friend Pauly into a wall frantic to miss Max. They burst out of the door and quickly moved down the hall. Maria kept her eyes open hoping to spot reinforcements as they went. Maria spotted Kyle just turning the corner headed their way.

“Kyle!” Maria shouted. “Kyle I need you!” Maria yelled turning heads all over the hall.

Maria and Liz made their way over to Kyle and pulled him slightly out of the crush of traffic. “Kyle you have got to help me out here.” Maria begged.

“What’s going on? What’s wrong?” Kyle asked puzzled.

“Kyle we need to ask you a favor but we need to keep it quiet. I know you live with Tess now but..” Maria started.

“Got it. Don’t tell anyone. So what do you need?” Kyle asked.

“Kyle I need you to help me.” Liz said. “I’m having some problems with Max and I want to avoid him but…” Liz trailed off trying to think of how to explain this.

“She needs a bodyguard.” Maria stated bluntly. “She has no self control and Max doesn’t want to be avoided.”

“Ok. Well that doesn’t sound too hard. Why do I think I’m missing something?” Kyle asked.

“Well we don’t have time for the long version at the moment. I can get Liz to first and second hour but can you walk her from second to third and fourth? I’ll find Alex to help with the rest.” Maria asked with fingers crossed.

“Sure no problem. Walking around beautiful women is never a bad thing. Liz, I’ll meet you after second hour.” Kyle said with a grin.

“Thanks Kyle. You’re a life saver.” Liz replied with a bright smile.

“No time to chat I see Max headed this way. Come on Liz we gotta go.” Maria cut in pulling Liz down the hall.

Kyle watched the two girls jog off and turned to see Max making his way swiftly down the hall clearly frustrated. As Kyle watched Tess tried to stop Max but he didn’t even slow down. This is gonna be fun. Kyle thought with a smile.


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 19-Jul-2002 5:00:33 PM ]
posted on 20-Jul-2002 3:41:50 PM by Lelea
Chapter Seven


The rest of the day past in a blur for Liz being escorted from class to class by her human friends. Max tried to get close to her several times but he soon discovered the humans should all have been on the track team. Liz had skipped fifth hour as she shared that class with Max and was his lab partner. By the end of the day both of them were tired and a little out of sorts. Liz was wondering why she was avoiding him anyway. They were bound to run into each other at some point and this morning could have been a fluke. The bell rang signaling the end of the school day and Liz sighed in relief. Liz gathered her books under the watchful eye of several people. Alex waited to walk her to her locker. Isabel watched in concern knowing Max was probably already at her locker. Finally Tess watched wondering what the hell was going on since everyone was acting so strange but no one was talking.

“Okay Alex I’m ready. You don’t have to go with me I’ll be fine.” Liz said as they walked to the door.

“Maria would kill me. Besides I was hoping to catch a ride with you guys to the CrashDown. I have a craving for a orange soda on the rocks after today.” Alex replied with a grin.

Liz smiled in reply as they made their way down the hall toward her locker. Liz was already thinking about meeting Ash and what new things would be revealed. She reached her locker and gathered the books she needed to take home. As she finished and turned around she saw Maria and Kyle approaching.

“Hey babe ready to go?” Maria asked as she walked up.

“Yeah I’m ready. Alex wants a ride to the Crash is that alright?” Liz asked for Alex.

“Sure thing let’s go.” Maria started out with Kyle and Alex right behind her. Liz trailed behind a few steps and as she walked passed the last classroom a hand reached out and pulled her inside.

Liz turned to see Max sealing the door shut. “Umm Max what are you doing?” Liz asked shocked.

“I needed to talk to you. Look I don’t know what happened this morning but I just needed to make sure your okay and that I didn’t scare you or anything.” Max said as he walked closer.

“Oh yeah I’m fine and no you didn’t scare me.” Liz answered as she slowly backed up.

“Really? Because you seem a little uneasy around me.” Max said with a slight smile as he continued to walk closer. She was already starting to feel a little warm. She continued to back up until she found herself pressed against the wall.

“No I’m good” Liz answered absently. She glanced up and into Max’s eyes quickly looking away. “Look Max I don’t know what happened this morning either but…we can’t keep drawing attention. It’s too dangerous.” By this time Max was very close. Vaguely Liz could hear pounding on the door and Maria calling to her.

“I know. I don’t want to put you in any danger but..” Max trailed off as he reached over and tucked her hair behind her ear just needing to touch her.

Liz looked into his eyes as his fingers slid threw her hair. Her skin heated and her thoughts faded as the need to give him whatever he desired stirred inside her. She struggled not to reach out and touch him her hands fisting at her sides. Something was happening inside her. She could feel all this energy swirling around inside her building growing.

Max couldn’t not touch her. Even after telling himself all day he only wanted to make sure she was okay he knew he was lying to himself. Every time he saw her he had trouble remembering his promise not to push her. He moved closer to her only leaving about an inch of space between them. Leaning down close to her ear he murmured “Liz, please don’t avoid me. I know I promised to wait for you and I will. Just let me…” Max trailed off as he breathed in her scent and lost his concentration. He ran his lips down her neck knowing how much she loved it just needing to touch her.

Liz could feel the heat soar and the energy build. She started to feel dizzy. She knew that if she touched him she would forget her resolve to stay away from him. Stay strong! Please hurry Ria, she thought desperate. “Max please stop. I have thought about this and I have a list of all the reasons why we can’t be together. It’s a long list. OH GOD! Max!” Liz cried as Max sucked strongly on the side of her neck marking her.

Meanwhile in the hall Maria gave up on anyone answering the door. She turned to Tess who was standing behind Isabel who continued to call for Max to open the door. “Tess please go find Michael. Tell him we need him.” She turned to Alex not waiting to see if Tess would do as she asked. “Alex see if you can go around and get in the outside window.” Alex nodded and took off.

“Isabel we have to get in there. Any ideas?” Maria asked sharing a glance with Kyle.

“I’ve tried to unseal the door but I can’t. Maybe Michael can. I don’t know.” Isabel paused then said, “He won’t hurt her. He loves her.”

“Isabel something is going on with Liz. I can’t explain it right now and I’m not even sure what is happening but being around Max right now isn’t good for her. We have to get in there so start thinking.” Maria replied firmly. Kyle started hitting the door with his shoulder hoping to force it open. Maria turned to see Michael rushing down the hall toward them with Tess struggling to keep up.

Inside the classroom Liz was trying to maintain her control as Max ran his tongue along her collarbone. She could feel a confusing mix of emotion and energy boiling inside her. She pressed her hands firmly against the wall her breath coming in gasps. “Please Max. Please stop! I can’t..” She stopped her throat closing as tears came to her eyes. She could feel the heat inside her rising and she struggled to control it.

Max felt a sudden rise in Liz’s body temperature and he pulled back concerned. Her face was flushed and sheened with sweat. He could see tears trembling on her lashes. “Liz what’s wrong?” he asked frantic.

Before Liz could answer the door crashed open and the group from the hall rushed in Michael in the lead. “Maxwell what the hell do you think your doing?” Michael yelled. Max ignored him as he waited for Liz to answer him.

Kyle pushed passed Michael and strode over to Max seething with anger as he looked at the state Liz was in. “Evans if you don’t let her go I’m going to knock your teeth down your throat.” He shoved Max away from Liz and caught her as she started to slide to the floor. “What the hell did you do to her?” Kyle demanded.

Michael grabbed a hold of Max as he started to move back toward Liz. Isabel hurried over to Max and placed her hand on his chest to hold him in place. “Max please. Just stay back for a minute okay?” Isabel asked.

“Let me go! I need to see what’s wrong with Liz.” Max said trying to pull away from Michael.

“Max you stay right there!” Maria said firmly as she moved between Max and Liz. “You’re only going to make this worse. Why do you think she was avoiding you all day? Don’t you remember when you found that damn orb? All the weird things that happened to Liz? Please just stop Liz is upset enough.”

Liz leaned against the wall trying to remain upright but she was so hot she thought she might pass out. “Kyle please help me. I’m so hot I can’t…” Liz trailed off as the room went black.

“Shit!” Kyle exclaimed as Liz fainted. He gathered her up into his arms and moved toward the door. He pushed past Tess on his way to the door Maria on his heels.

Michael kept a hold on Max’s arm. “Look Max just relax for a second okay? Tell me what happened.”

“Let go of my arm. I won’t go anywhere okay…just let go. Isabel will you go and see how Liz is doing please?” Max asked feeling guilty as Michael released him. Isabel nodded and followed Maria out the door.

Kyle strode down the hall clutching Liz to his chest not caring about all the attention he was drawing from the remaining students in the hall. He could feel the heat pouring off of Liz and he was worried. He spotted the girl’s bathroom ahead and headed right for it. He juggled Liz and pulled open the door and walked right in. Four girls standing at the mirror stopped mid conversation as he walked in carrying Liz. He paid them no attention at all as he went to the farthest sink and set Liz on the edge of the sink and leaned her against the wall. Maria and Isabel rushed over. “Maria hold her up for a minute.” Kyle commanded and Maria complied with out question. Kyle stripped off his T-shirt and moved to the next sink over and wet it down with cold water. “Okay let me have her.” Maria moved out of the way and Kyle held onto her as he put the shirt to her forehead and trailed it down her face. He moved her hair out of the way and held the shirt to the back of her neck. After a minute Liz stirred and opened her eyes.

“Kyle? What..?” Liz asked slightly confused.

“It’s alright Liz you just got a little overheated and passed out.” Isabel said calmly. She glanced at Maria then turned to their audience. “Can you please excuse us? Our friend isn’t feeling well. I’m sure you understand. Thanks.” Isabel watched as the four girls filed out of the bathroom whispering.

“Liz are you alright? What happened?” Maria asked worried and needing reassurance.

“I’m okay. Just a little too warm. Is Max okay?” Liz asked biting her bottom lip.

“He is until I see him. Now tell us what happened.” Kyle said still trying to cool Liz off.

“I don’t know what happened. Max was just talking to me..” Liz stopped as Maria’s brow arched in disbelief. “Alright he started asking if I was okay after this morning and then he started kissing me and then I could feel something happening. I got so hot and I could feel something building inside me energy and emotions all this “stuff” and I couldn’t control it. I tried to tell Max to stop but I couldn’t seem to say anything. I just started crying. Max must be so worried. I have to see him and explain, just let him see I’m okay.” Liz finished visibly upset.

“I don’t think that’s such a good idea Liz. I mean we don’t know what’s going on. Every time you two are near each other something strange happens. I don’t want anything to happen to you Liz and I know Max doesn’t either. You really scared me.” Maria said trying to be logical.

“Liz you have your cell phone right?” Isabel waited for her to check the pocket of her low slung cargo pants and nod. “Okay I’ll go tell Max your okay and give him my cell phone and you can call him and tell him for yourself that you’re okay alright?” Isabel waited for Liz to nod then left to find her brother.

“Listen guys I met this guy that I think can help. His name is Ash and I’m supposed to meet him at the CrashDown at 3. I trust him and I need to find out what’s happening to me. I think he might know. Things are happening so fast and I don’t have time to explain how I know I can trust him. Can you just trust me?” Liz supplied the information in a rush.

“No way Liz. You’re not in any kind of shape to be meeting anyone especially alone. I have to work or I would stay with you. You have no idea who this guy could be. When did you meet him? Why do you think he would know anything? He could be a skin. No way.” Maria objected immediately.

“Maria…” Liz started but was cut off by Kyle.

“Liz I’ll go with you. I can see that you need answers so I’ll go with you to meet this guy.” Kyle offered. “Now you better call Max and get that over with or we’ll never get out of here.”

posted on 21-Jul-2002 3:11:21 AM by Lelea
Chapter Eight



Down the hall Isabel walked into an argument in progress between Michael and Max. Isabel looked and found Tess standing off to the side watching Max with an oddly intent stare and Alex trying to referee. As soon as Max saw her walk in he broke off the argument.

“How is Liz?” Max asked quickly.

“She’s okay. She just got overheated we think. She doesn’t really know what happened. Here take my phone she’s going to call you to tell you she’s fine.” Isabel said and handed Max her phone.

“Why didn’t she come back with you? Where is she?” Max asked rapidly. He ran a hand through his hair in agitation.

Isabel smiled and with out glancing at Tess edited her answer. “Maria wouldn’t allow her to come back here. She’s still with Kyle and Maria in the bathroom. Max, don’t worry she’s fine they’re taking great care of her.”

“Wait a minute Kyle is in the girls bathroom with them?” Michael said with a smirk.

“Shut up Michael. Yes, Kyle is in the bathroom with them. It was a bit of an emergency. He was really great. Besides I’m sure he’ll get hassled enough tomorrow when the whole school is talking about him running into the girls bathroom carrying Liz and then ripping off his shirt.” Isabel said with a grin. She looked over at Alex and gave him a smile and said, “Alex she really is okay. I promise.”

“Thanks Isabel.” Alex said with a smile. “If you don’t mind I’ll just go check on them and let you take over the alien Smackdown. The girls room right down the hall?” Alex asked and after Isabel’s nod he gathered up Liz’s book bag and left.

The phone in Max’s hand rang and before the first ring was over he answered. “Liz?” The three other occupants of the room listened to his side of the conversation as he paced back and forth across the room.

“You’re sure your okay?” Max asked still worried.

“Max I’ll be fine. I just got too hot. Don’t worry about me okay?” Liz paused then said, “Listen Max I’m so sorry about this. I know I scared you. I can’t come and see you Maria is running late for work and she’s fussing a little about this. I promised I would go and rest so..” She trailed off hating to lie but knowing he would oppose the plan if she told him. She was just too tired to argue about it.

“Liz, you don’t have anything to be sorry about this is all my fault. I should have stopped when you asked me to. I don’t..” He stopped as Liz cut him off.

“Max, stop it right now this wasn’t your fault either. You didn’t hurt me.” Max could hear Kyle in the background saying he bet the impressive hickey on her neck would hurt soon. “Shut up Kyle! Sorry, look it’s fine I’m fine so I’ll just see you tomorrow alright?” Liz asked as the group made their way to the Jetta.

“Liz please. We need to talk about this and try to figure out what’s happening. I promise I won’t touch you at all. I meant what I said. I love you and I WILL wait until you know it too. So don’t avoid me thinking I’m going to push you. I don’t know what happened. I’m so sorry, Liz.” The unguarded emotion in his voice brought tears to her eyes she blinked sending tears trailing down her cheeks. She took a deep breath.

“Max, just stop. I know you wouldn’t break your word to me or hurt me. I won’t avoid you but this is happening when we’re together. I’m tired Max. Please let me think and we’ll talk about it tomorrow. If anything happens I’ll call you, okay?” Liz paused. “Max listen it wasn’t just you I was there too so don’t feel guilty about this okay? Promise me.”

“Okay I promise. Rest and we’ll talk tomorrow. If anything happens call me. Bye.” Max waited for her good bye and then handed the phone to Isabel. He continued to pace as his mind raced.

Isabel watched him for a minute and then asked “Max? Are you okay?”

Max stopped and turned to look at the three of them. “No I’m not. I have to figure out what’s happening here. I can’t let anything happen to Liz. I can’t. Look at this.” Max said as he walked over to the wall where Liz had been leaning. He pointed to two burn marks on the wall in the shape of small hands. “Isabel what did Liz say about what happened?”

Isabel stared at the wall in shock. “She said she didn’t really know what happened. That you kissed her and she could feel something build inside her…like energy or emotions, is what she said. She started feeling hot and couldn’t control it. Max, Maria mentioned what happened when you found the orb. Did anything like this happen then?” Isabel asked her mind racing.

“Wait, what about the orb? What happened when you found the orb and what does that have to do with Liz?” Tess asked suddenly very interested in the conversation.

“Look we can’t have this conversation here. I have to work anyway can this wait till tonight?” Michael broke in reminding them all of where they were.

“Your right Michael. We can’t talk about this here. Let’s go.” Max paused and waved his hand over the two burn marks on the wall removing them. The four of them quickly made their way to the jeep. Max tossed Isabel the keys and slid into the passenger seat leaving Michael and Tess the back seat. Isabel started the vehicle and headed toward the CrashDown. All of them seemed lost in their own thoughts.

posted on 22-Jul-2002 12:49:36 AM by Lelea
Chapter Nine



At the CrashDown the four humans walked in. Maria went to the back to change for work. Alex went to the counter to wait for his orange soda on the rocks. He had agreed to stay with Maria while Liz and Kyle met Ash. Kyle kept a close eye on Liz concerned for her. She had seemed a little shaky in the car.

Liz spotted Ash sitting in a booth and walked over with Kyle trailing after her. She slid into the opposite side of the booth Kyle sitting down next to her. “Hi Ash I’m sorry I’m late. This is Kyle a close friend of mine. Kyle this is Ash.”

“Glad to meet you Kyle.” Ash said softly as the two men shook hands. Kyle just nodded.

Maria came back out holding a T-shirt and made her way over to the booth. “Here Kyle take this and put it on before Mr. P sees you. It’s Michael’s so I apologize in advance.” She said wrinkling her nose. She turned to Ash and introduced herself. “Hi I’m Maria you must be Ash. Listen Ash, if anything happens to my Lizzie I am going to hunt you down and hurt you okay? I just want that right out in the open. Okay then I better go get to work.” Maria turned on her heels and went back through the doors to the back.

Kyle stood up and pulled on the shirt Maria had provided and muttered “She wasn’t kidding man this thing stinks.”

“Sorry about that. Maria is my best friend and she’s a little worried about me.” Liz said to Ash in apology.

“I understand. She has reason to worry. If there wasn’t a reason to be concerned I wouldn’t be here in this way.” Ash stated his voice low.

“What do you mean? I really don’t understand why anyone would bother with me. I’m no one important.” Liz said waiting to see how Ash would reply.

“On the contrary you are very important to a large number of people. Why don’t we get to the point? The first signal the oracle sent was last February the second signal was sent in May. These two signals are drawing a lot of attention to this area…to you.” Ash stated with a direct manner.

“Oracle? What is the oracle and what does it do?” Liz asked interested.

“The oracle is a set of two devices that were sent with the son and daughter of the Queen of my people. They were to help with the mission the four were sent here on. They are metal looking with a symbol on the top the object is shaped like a smooth stone. Sound familiar?” Ash inquired.

“Who are you? Why are you talking to me? I have nothing to do with any mission. My parents own this café and I was born right here in Roswell. I don’t understand why you seem to think I’m so important.”

“I’m impressed. I’ve been watching you for awhile before our meeting yesterday and I was impressed before we met. You ask very good questions with out giving away very much information in return. Alright let me try this another way. Zan or Max as you know him was sent here for his own protection however the signals have already drawn his enemies to this area. He is vulnerable at this time. You are vulnerable. He has chosen you to join with yet the process is not complete which leaves you both in a very awkward position. I am here to guide you…help you in any way I can.” Ash stopped and waited for her reaction. He watched the emotions flash across her eyes.

“No I don’t believe you. If this were true you would go to Max.” Liz stated.

“I am not here to guide Max. I am here to guide you. That is my job. I was called here by the oracle and told to find you. You are the most vulnerable and must be protected and shown how to protect yourself. This is a dangerous time for you…made more so by the presence of the enemy. You must be feeling the joining process.” Ash stopped seeing Kyle shift in his seat.

“What would she be feeling? And what is this “joining process”?” Kyle asked leaning forward. Before Ash could answer the front door opened and all four of the aliens walked in. Liz slid down in her seat slightly. Kyle straightened preparing to ward off Max and the others.

“Maybe we should discuss this elsewhere?” Ash asked noticing the reactions of both Liz and Kyle.

“Yeah I think that’s a good idea.” Liz replied looking very uncomfortable.

Max spotted Liz as he came through the door. Without hesitation he made his way across the room to her table with the others following. He needed to apologize in person for his behavior earlier. Kyle was seated next to Liz protectively. Max felt a twinge of jealousy but pushed it back.

“Not feeling as tired now Liz?” Michael asked sarcastically.

“Michael stop it.” Max warned. “Hello again Ash. I forgot you were meeting Liz here.”

“Max nice to see you again. We were just leaving. I’m going to show Liz and Kyle the studio since Liz is not feeling up to starting classes today.” Ash replied smoothly.

“Really? Liz, can I talk to you for a second?” Max asked turning to look at Liz.

“Sorry Evans but you don’t have the best track record on “talking” to Liz. I do have to get home some time tonight and I want to return Liz home in one piece. Besides after your last “talk” with Liz I would like to get her home early. Now you’ll have to excuse us.” Kyle said standing and placing himself between Max and Liz. Allowing Liz to slide out of the booth.

“Max if anything happens I’ll call you.” Liz said softly careful not to look into his eyes. “I won’t be gone long.” Liz moved toward the door with Ash following.

“Evans, I’ll look after her. Just give her some space right now alright?” Kyle said seeing how worried Max was. He waited for Max to nod then turned to follow Liz.

“Now that was a stellar example of leadership. Liz once again walks all over you. Nice really nice. She knows something Max. She has information we need and you just let her walk out of here with someone we don’t know. What are you thinking or ARE you thinking?” Michael said furious.

“What would you like me to do Michael? Tie her up and force her to talk? Start an argument in the middle of the café? You tell me!” Max round on Michael quickly fed up with his attitude. “What information does she have that concerns you in any way?”

“Stop both of you. Michael go to work we’ll talk about this later in private. Max let’s go sit down.” Isabel broke in before things could get out of hand. Michael stormed into the back the door swinging wildly. Tess touched Max’s arm leading him to their regular booth.

“Max what do you think Liz is doing? Does she know something?” Tess asked watching Max’s expression carefully.

“I don’t know. Maybe. I trust Liz. If she does know something she’ll tell us when she’s sure.” Max replied.

“Max are you positive? I mean she did break up with you and then leave for the summer. No offense meant but I think we need to look at her possible motives.” Tess said with a sincere expression.

“I know Liz. Besides whatever is going on now is happening to Liz not the rest of us. I can understand her not wanting to get into a group discussion about this right now.” Max replied remembering the scene Michael and Isabel had set in Michael’s apartment before they found the orb. He sighed and wondered if anything that happened would ever be private between Liz and him.

Isabel watched Tess closely seeing her mouth tighten briefly at Max’s reply. If anyone knows something she’s not telling I would bet it’s you Isabel thought to herself. “Let’s not get carried away. I may not always be Liz’s biggest fan but I trust her. Besides she’s usually the one to figure things out. So let’s just calm down and focus. Tess what did Nesado tell you about the orbs?” Isabel asked her pointedly with a pleasant smile.

“He didn’t really say anything at all about the orbs. Just what he said at the pod chamber. In fact he didn’t even know if they survived the crash. He seemed more concerned about the book.” Tess replied with a causal shrug.

“Hmm well it just seems interesting to me that as soon as Max and LIZ found the first orb you show up like the next day. Odd isn’t it?” Isabel asked with an innocent smile.

“Really? How did you find the orb anyway? I don’t think I ever heard that story.” Tess asked trying to direct the conversation away from herself and what she might know.

“Really? That’s odd.” Isabel replied. “Well I think it’s time to check in at home Max. We’ll see you at Michael’s later Tess.” Isabel stood and started for the door smiling to herself.

posted on 22-Jul-2002 1:52:28 AM by Lelea
Oh come on you guys! Tess hasn't really done anything yet....that we can prove anyway. Plus I wanna have a little fun with her *big*
posted on 22-Jul-2002 5:13:46 PM by Lelea
Cinder.....hmmm you brought up a couple of really good points. The joining is tied to Max but as for the other....you'll have to wait and see. I strongly believe in human strength *happy* Besides the podsters are squabbling like small children at this point.*tongue*
posted on 22-Jul-2002 7:29:08 PM by Lelea
Chapter Ten


Ash showed them into his studio apartment. Liz looked around at the mostly empty space. It had a very small kitchen space with a counter separating it from the rest of the apartment. The rest of the apartment seemed to be a big open space with only one couch pushed against the far wall.

“Gee Ash I have to say I love what you’ve done with the place. Very homey.” Kyle said looking around.

“Kyle please. Can we just get on with it? I really am tired. This is like the day that never ends.” Liz said settling on one end of the couch.

“Okay let’s get back to it. Ash, what is the joining and what would happen to Liz before and after this joining thing?" Kyle asked sitting down next to Liz. Ash sat on the floor facing both of them.

“The joining is a very rare bonding between mates.” Ash started.

“Excuse me?” Liz sputtered in surprise.

“Liz! I never knew. I mean Max said he looked into your soul but I had no idea he meant…” Kyle said pretending shock.

“Oh my god! We never…I didn’t…Tess is..” Liz started to panic. “I can’t talk about this!”

“Liz calm down! I’m sorry I was just teasing.” Kyle apologized quickly seeing how worked up she was getting.

“Liz I never meant to upset you. Please accept my apologies. I think I need to explain. I do not wish to make you uncomfortable.” Ash paused trying to think of how to explain with out upsetting Liz even more.

“Ash listen I can’t do this. You’ve made a terrible mistake. Tess is Max’s mate or wife. Whatever you want to call it. I’ve accepted that and I’m sure Max will to. So you really need to be having this talk with her.” Liz said rising from the couch and moving toward the door.

“There has been no mistake. Please let me explain. I think I need to start with what I know of the oracle and the mission to Earth.” Ash said quickly hoping Liz would stay and listen. He watched as Liz wavered for a moment and then took her seat.

“I was not part of the original mission. I was sent several years later but as I understand it the four were sent here for a number of reasons. Earth was chosen for several reasons, it is a hostile environment for our enemies but isn’t harmful to our species. Humans are close enough to our own make up and have gifts that compliment our own. This planet is far enough away to hide on and not routinely watched. So the four were mixed with your species making them a blend of both and sent here to grow and learn to use their combined powers. Because they realized that the four of them would be different from their former selves and there was no way to know what would happen once here they tried to set up a system to help. Max and his sister, Isabel I believe, were the primary concern but Michael and Tess were sent as well. The four had been paired in the past life and were close. The oracle was made with one tied to Max the other to Isabel. The oracle was instilled with the main points of the mission and sent to monitor the primary two. Protectors and teachers were chosen and sent to be in direct contact with the group to see to their safety and growth in their knowledge and gifts.” Ash paused and looked to Liz and Kyle.

“What are the main points of the mission?” Kyle asked curious.

“First was protection which was left to the two protectors that were chosen. Growth in both knowledge and their gifts was left to the teachers with the help of the destiny book and the healing stones. Finally the continuation of the species.” Ash answered with a glance at Liz.

“I see. That’s why there were four of them sent right? To continue the species?” Liz asked trying to understand this new information in context with what she knew.

“Yes and no. If they did pair up that would be fine but the option was left open for them to choose a human. Remember they are part human and that is for a reason. The combining of power and gifts was only one of those reasons. Look at it this way. The Queen knew that anything could happen in the time they were on Earth. Our planet could be destroyed or Max and the others might never be able to return so we needed to leave as many options as possible open to the four of them and give them as many tools for survival as possible.” Ash said trying to make things simple and clear. He knew this was a lot of information to take in at one time.

“This brings us to the joining. The joining is more than sex, more then marriage. It is finding the one that completes you, makes you whole. It is very rare and special it is also natural for our species. Max would have felt drawn to you when he first saw you. Recognizing your energy or soul as matching his.” Ash said slowly trying to read the thoughts he could see racing across her face. “The oracle would know of this and at a certain point would trigger things in you to help this develop. Because you are human you would not feel things as Max did so the oracle would need to intervene. Did something like this happen?” Ash asked carefully.

“Maybe I don’t know. In February we started to feel drawn to each other. That’s not quite right. I needed to be near him, with him. When we kissed we started having flashes. Max’s were memories and stuff from me. Mine were of stars and flying through space and the crash. I got a glowing hickey and then a rash and started to have fevers. The flashes got more detailed. I saw an object being buried by the old radio tower. Max and I went and dug up the orb when we found it the symbol on the top sent out this intense blue light. After that Tess came to town and Nesado.” Liz paused seeing Ash looking like he had a question.

“After you found the orb the symptoms stopped?” Ash asked.

“Yeah they did. Tess came and Max had dreams about her. He started to have fantasies about her and kissed her. I saw them. Michael and Isabel had dreams about each other also. We found out Tess was one of them and Nesado was the shapeshifter they had been looking for. Tess was telling them that they were made to be together, her and Max and Michael with Isabel. Things started to happen really fast after that. The FBI was in town and Nesado kidnapped me and drew the FBI to a carnival outside of town.” Liz stopped and bit her lip feeling uncomfortable and realized she was starting to ramble.

“This Nesado took you? What did he do to you?” Ash asked seeing her fidget.

“Umm yeah he took me. He came into the CrashDown looking like Max. So I went with him. I found out he wasn’t Max when I kissed him. I got flashes from him and they weren’t anything like Max. He was so different inside he scared me he didn’t seem to feel anything. Plus then he blew up a gas station and pulled a dead FBI agent from the trunk and left him by the side of the road. He said I was a hostage that he was going to use me to help draw the FBI to the carnival and kill them. If needed he could let them take me to escape. But Max followed us. Nesado told him to leave but Max wouldn’t leave without me. Nesado got me out and the FBI took Max.” Liz answered.

“Did Nesado know you found the orb with Max?” Ash asked quietly.

“I don’t know. It’s possible why?” Liz asked.

“If he knew about how you found the orb he would know Max was bonding with you. He would know that if allowed to happen naturally you would be Max’s lifebonded mate. Tess didn’t grow up with the others?” Ash asked trying to put the pieces together.

“No, I guess she came out of the pods later then the others. Nesado was there and he raised her. When he came to town he brought Tess.” Liz answered with what information she had.

“You said Nesado scared you. How do you feel about Tess?” Ash asked becoming more worried as he listened.

“I don’t like her. She’s different from the others.” Liz thought about it for a minute ignoring Kyle’s smirk. “The way she acted when she came to town is part of it. She wasn’t honest about who she was. Her power is something called mindwarping and she used it to make Max and the others see the things she wanted them to. She messed with their heads instead of telling them who she and Nesado are. She seems cold and not really human.” Liz said trying to explain.

“Liz I hate to tell you this but Michael and Isabel are hardly overflowing with warmth.” Kyle reminded her.

“It’s different Kyle. Isabel can be really nice and she loves Max and Michael. Her whole Ice Princess routine is because she’s scared of letting people get close to her. Michael isn’t cold. He has so much emotion teeming around under the surface he scares me sometimes. I don’t understand him but he isn’t at all cold. Tess was raised by Nesado maybe that’s the difference I don’t know. I know she doesn’t think highly of humans that’s very clear. I don’t trust her.” Liz finished not being able to explain it better than that. She tried to answer Ash honestly but not be unfair to Tess either.

“What did Nesado tell Max and the others about himself?” Ash asked his fear continuing to grow as he listened.

“Umm he said he was their protector and he was captured after the crash but escaped. He killed people over the years to keep Max and the others safe and to keep humans from knowing about them. He found Tess and raised her taught her about her gifts but didn’t share a lot of other information with her. He taught her that Max and the others were her family and that Max would love her. He wasn’t happy about Alex and Maria and I being close to Max, Michael, and Isabel. He disbanded the Special Unit of the FBI that was hunting them. He dated my boss the congresswomen when she was protesting the disablement of the Special Unit to get more information I guess. He wasn’t really forth coming with information generally. He seemed disdainful of Max, Michael, and Isabel. He wasn’t very helpful and didn’t keep in touch when he was in Washington. Then he got killed and said that the skins their enemies were in town right before he died. They tried to bring him back but I guess the damage was too severe.” Liz tried to remember anything else that would help but couldn’t remember anything else. “I might be forgetting some things and I wasn’t around this summer so there could be things I don’t know. Max would be the best person to talk to. You really should talk to Max and the others about what you know.”

“Yes, I will talk with them but my first priority is you and your safety.” Ash responded. He was more concerned then ever after everything he had heard.

“Is Liz in some kind of danger? You seem to be focused on the protection part of that statement.” Kyle spoke up worried.

“Yes Liz is in danger. That is why I am here. Like I said before the process of the joining is not finished. Something interfered with the process. Max is incomplete and you, Liz, are also. The oracle or orb as you call it is trying to ensure that you are bonded. You have been having symptoms again correct?” Ash asked softly.

“I have been getting fevers but it’s not the same as last time.” Liz answered carefully.

“No I would imagine it’s worse. Liz, what is keeping you from him?” Ash asked trying to understand.

“It’s more than one thing. The message they heard from their Mother is one reason. It said they were supposed to pair up just like Tess had said. Why would it say that if they had options?” Liz asked pointedly.

“You mean the message that sent the second signal in May?” Ash paused and Liz nodded. “It said nothing about who they were to be with in this life only the last. It gave them an idea of the mission. It was just a brief message. If I remember correctly the important part was “learn to use your skills, your knowledge, your leadership to combat the enemy so that you can come back and free us.” It was just to give them an idea of the purpose behind why they were sent.” Ash said appalled that it had been taken in any other way.

“It’s not the only reason. Tess has gifts that would be helpful to Max and she is much more able to help him than I am. He puts himself at risk to save me and he is going to get hurt. He’s going to get hurt because I’m a liability. I’m also afraid that he would put me before his duty to his people.” The more Liz talked the closer to tears she became. She cursed herself for being so emotional. What was wrong with her?

“Liz I think you need to slow down okay? No one is blaming you for anything. I know your trying to do what’s right. Come here.” Kyle said seeing how upset Liz was getting he pulled her close and glared at Ash over the top of Liz’s head. “I think it’s time for us to leave. Liz had a rough day today and needs some rest.”

“Okay we can stop for today. I just need to say one last thing. Be very careful. The skins are here. They likely have been here for some time and if that is true they know about you. Go with your instincts. Also, you are wrong about your being a liability but we can discuss that another time.” Ash turned to Kyle. “Keep an eye open alright? Be careful who you trust.”

posted on 22-Jul-2002 7:31:51 PM by Lelea
Wayliz you are too funny! Michael is a bit of an ass huh? Well he gets his in future so don't you worry. Thanks for the feed back everyone! Hold onto your patience with Liz okay? You'll need it.
posted on 22-Jul-2002 11:57:40 PM by Lelea
::looking around fearfully:: Now guys I did say things would work out in time didn't I? Liz is just a little hard headed at times. I'll talk to her.....promise.

Thanks for reading!*big*
posted on 23-Jul-2002 2:28:46 AM by Lelea
Chapter Eleven
***I should note in this part I was watching Mallrats while I was writing it and one line although a little changed was something that made me laugh in the movie and I couldn’t resist….see if you can pick out the line***



When Liz and Kyle arrived back at the CrashDown it was to find the café empty of customers unless you counted Tess and Alex. There also seemed to be raised voices coming from the backroom and loud banging noises coming from the kitchen. Liz and Kyle went to the counter and sat down with Alex.

“Hey Alex. How long have they been going at it?” Liz asked with a sigh.

“This time? Only a few minutes.” Alex replied with a smile.

As he was about to ask about what happened with Ash Maria came flying into the dinning room. To say she looked pissed would be understating the matter. Michael followed a few steps behind her.

“Michael just stop it! I’m sick of this shitty mood you’re in. If you were female I’d say you had PMS! What is your problem?” Maria asked coming behind the counter where Alex, Liz, and Kyle are sitting and refilled Alex’s drink.

“My problem is you! You and your friends poking your nose in business that doesn’t concern you. Always around and in my face.” Michael yelled frustrated.

“I think it’s something else. Let me just say, Michael, that sexual frustration is not a good look on you!” Maria had had it with him. He had been a jerk for hours now…enough was enough. She decided to come out swinging this time.

“WHAT!! I am not frustrated!” Michael said his face darkening with rage.

“Then what is it? The aliens forget to remove your anal probe? What?” Maria asked turning to face Michael head on. She was so angry she didn’t even notice Kyle laughing and the shocked looks from Alex and Liz.

“I’ve had it with you!” Michael started only to be cut off by Maria.

“Actually no you haven’t and if you don’t grow up you never will!” Maria said poking him in the chest with her finger. “May I suggest you try one of several sluts with questionable taste and no morals?”

“What?! Quit trying to divert my attention! You and your interfering friends need to stay out of our business! We have important things to accomplish and don’t need you and your friends interfering and distracting us from more important things. This isn’t an episode of 90210. Got it?!” Michael yelled rudely.

“OH I got it. You people are in big trouble if that’s your attitude. You’re a bunch of mental giants alright! You can’t even grasp the concept of good hygiene and she is more bust than brains! Don’t come crying to me the next time you need help!” Maria ranted as she gestured between Michael and Tess.

“Maria just ignore him okay? Don’t get all worked up over this.” Alex tried to break in.

“Alex just stay out of this! I’m sick of his attitude and lack of manners.” Maria said furious. She turned back to Michael eyes flaming. “Michael, I put up with your moods and bad manners when we were dating but if you think for one minute I’m going to suffer through anymore of your shit and not say anything now that we’re broken up you’re in for some serious fucking disappointment.”

“MY attitude you seem to be sporting one of your own!” Michael said loudly.

“YOU! Off my planet! I’m done with you!” Maria yelled pushing past him and storming into the bathroom.

“Nice job Michael, really smooth. I take it you weren’t a diplomat.” Kyle said laughing. “By the way she has a point on the hygiene thing you really should wash your cloths once in a while. Just a tip.” Kyle took off his borrowed shirt and handed it back to Michael while grinning. Michael snatched the T-shirt out of his hands and stormed into the backroom.

“I think I’ll go and check on Maria.” Liz said quietly slipping off her stool and heading for the bathroom.

Tess watched her go then turned her attention to Kyle. She got up and made her way over and sat in the seat right next to him. “Reconciliation in the works?” Tess asked with an arched brow and a nod toward where Liz had disappeared.

“What? Oh I see you mean with Liz?” Kyle asked.

“Yeah with you and Liz. I mean your spending a lot of time together and your playing her hero and all.” Tess said with a sly tone to her voice.

“I should be so lucky but no we are not getting back together. We’re spending time together because we’re friends and friends help each other out and tend to spend time together. I realize you’re new to the human race and all, but I would suggest not taking tips from Guerin he seems to be having some difficulties.” Kyle replied trying to keep a neutral expression.

“Thanks for the tip I’ll keep it in mind. So who should I take tips from? Liz maybe?” Tess asked.

“That would be an improvement, yeah. Liz knows how to be a great friend and a really good person. Besides she seems to be able to manage Max easily enough. I’m sure she’d be happy to help you out.” Kyle delivered the jab with a straight face. Alex took a sip of his drink to hide his smile.

“Thanks for the help Kyle but I think I’ll muddle along on my own. I’m not bucking for sainthood.” Tess replied with a smile.

“I never said Liz was a saint did I? I’m sure Max wouldn’t say that either. I’ve never heard of a saint getting detention for getting caught in the eraser room. It’s possible I guess but unlikely.” Kyle glanced quickly at Alex then focused back on Tess. “Listen Tess, I know you expected things to be different then what they are when you came to Roswell but they aren’t. Really they aren’t that bad…after all you get to live with me right?” Kyle finished with a big grin.

“Yeah I get to live with you. Just what I always dreamed of.” Tess said with a smirk.

“Hey just don’t get any ideas. I’ve seen you checking out my manly chest but I’m a sensitive guy. You have to want more than my admittedly superb body.” Kyle teased as he flexed. Tess just rolled her eyes.

“I better go check on Michael. We have a meeting we have to go to.” Tess said and made her way to the backroom.

“So how did it go with Ash?” Alex asked when Tess was out of the room.

“I think we need to keep an eye on Liz. Ash said Liz is in danger, he thinks the skins are in town and might know about Liz. I’ll give you a ride home and tell you what happened.” Kyle nodded toward the backroom reminding Alex they weren’t alone.

“Thanks, that would be great. I just need to say bye to the girls.” Alex replied wanting to get Kyle’s viewpoint on the situation. Liz tended to tone things down so no one would worry about her.

When the girls came back out a few minuets later Alex and Kyle said their good-byes and left. Liz started helping Maria close the café. Michael and Tess left to make the meeting so as they worked Liz told Maria about what Ash had said. Maria listened silently picking up on Liz’s confusion her own fears for Liz growing.

“I don’t know what to do anymore Maria.” Liz finished with a sigh of defeat.

“I’ve got an idea. Why don’t I call my Mom and tell her I’m staying with you tonight? Then we can talk and eat some ice cream, try to sort out a few things?” Maria asked with a light tone.

“That would be great. While you call I’ll go tell my parents and get the ice cream. Meet you back here in like 10 minutes.” Liz said over her shoulder already headed upstairs.

Seated at the counter a few minutes later each had a bowl of ice cream in front of them. Maria was just wondering how to break the silence when Liz did it for her.

“So what’s going on with Michael? Or should I even ask?” Liz questioned looking at Maria with a smile.

“He makes me crazy Liz. It’s like I resolve to stay calm and not get upset and then he just does something so stupid. I wonder if he really is that stupid or if he does it on purpose just to push me.” Maria shook her head and then continued. “I know him and Max are fighting all the time and he’s pushing himself really hard but more than half his problems are his own fault. He is completely unreasonable.” Maria finished and took a bite of her ice cream.

“You’re right he is difficult. I think it’s just a matter of who’s more stubborn you or Michael. I know you can wear him down.” Liz grinned and said, “Besides if he fights with you maybe he’ll be worn out by the time he gets to the rest of us so really your doing a public service.”

Maria laughed at that and pointed her spoon at Liz. “Don’t think for a second your going to distract me. I have no doubts that Michael will come around. It’s you I want to talk about now. So spill. What is the deal with you? I mean I know your stubborn but you’ve reached a whole new level here Lizzie. Tell me again why you and Max can’t be together and none of that destiny stuff alright?” Maria turned on her stool and watched Liz play with her ice cream for a minute head bent to hide her expression. “I know you’ve ticked off a list in your head so let’s hear it.”

“Okay remember last year when Max and I first got together and Tess came to town?” Liz asked not raising her head.

“Of course I remember.” Maria answered slowly.

“I knew something was going on with Max even before he kissed Tess. I just didn’t want to know. When Max tried to explain what happened he said he wasn’t just attracted to her that it was something more.” Liz paused and looked Maria right in the eye. “That’s what he said. I’ve been thinking about that and the message and everything that happened. I know Max cares about me. I don’t need him to tell me that but what if he could have something more with Tess?”

“Cares about you…Liz are you crazy? That boy LOVES you. He spent all summer telling me how much he loves you.” Maria stopped not knowing what to say. Liz had obviously lost her mind. Max have something more with Tess? Liz needed help. Maria shook her head.

“Just listen to me okay? I know Max thinks he loves me but..” Liz was cut off quickly by Maria.

“Thinks he loves you? Liz what are you talking about? How did this happen? I KNEW you shouldn’t go away for the summer! Okay you listen to me for a second. I’m going to ask you some questions and I only want one word answers okay? Now has Max told you he loves you?” Maria asked.

“Yes but..” Liz started but was cut off again by Maria.

“One word answers Liz. Did Max say he wants you back?” Maria continued in a firm voice.

“Yes” Liz answered realizing she was going to have to play along for a while.

“When?” Maria asked.

“Yesterday” Liz replied.

“Did he ever say he loved Tess?” Maria asked.

“No” Liz said.

“Who gave you the hickey you are currently sporting?” Maria asked.

“Max” Liz answered.

“Who couldn’t keep her lips off of one Max Evans last night in an alley?” Maria continued.

Liz squirmed a little before saying “Me”.

“So where is the confusion coming from Liz? It seems pretty clear to me. You are crazy in love with Max and he is crazy in love with you. Why are you making things so hard?” Maria asked really wanting to hear her answer.

“I’m not trying to make things hard. Just listen to me okay no interrupting.” Liz stopped and waited for Maria to nod in agreement then continued. “I think that Max is uncomfortable with his alien side and he wants to be a normal teenager. He already said he doesn’t care about his people and planet. If I stayed with him he could pretend he was normal. His enemies could come and he wouldn’t be ready or he might throw it all away for me again. Like he has done every time he’s saved me. He can’t do that, his life isn’t totally his own he has responsibilities. Tess could help him become the leader he needs to be. She isn’t a liability like I am just holding him back from what he needs to do. If he isn’t so focused on me he might let things with Tess develop and realize he really does love her.” Liz finished and waited for Maria to say something.

Maria stared at Liz for a few minutes not saying anything. Sensing that what she said wasn’t everything but trying to focus on the garbage that Liz had said. “Liz where is this coming from? I don’t think for a second that you would let Max just pretend to be a normal teenager. As for Tess, she can still help him. He will never love her Liz. It doesn’t matter if you’re together or not. He is still thinking about you and still loves you together or not. Think about it for a second, when the shooting happened you weren’t together. You really weren’t even friends. He still risked it all to save you he still loved you. You can’t stop him from trying to protect you it’s part of who he is.”

“Maria, I just want to be sure I’m doing the right thing for the right reasons. I feel like I can’t even trust myself anymore. I decide it’s better to stay away from Max and the whole situation and then what am I doing? I’m kissing him. I don’t even feel like me anymore. I just want Max to be safe.” Liz tried to explain what she was feeling but found it almost impossible.

“Maybe you just need to strip it back to the basics. This whole thing is confusing I know but in the end it’s you and it’s Max. Now why wouldn’t Max be safe if he was with you?” Maria asked curious.

“Last spring Tess used her powers on him to get him to be with her. I think she would hurt people to get what she wants. She might not even be the only one. How would people feel about Max their king with a human? I’m afraid for him.” Liz stopped and looked at Maria.

“The life Max was born into is dangerous Liz. You can’t change that. Don’t you think he deserves to be happy too? Besides the orb or oracle doesn’t seem to think this is a problem. Liz you’ve got people here to help you and Max so don’t take this all on yourself.” Maria finished and yawned. “I think I need to go to sleep so let’s clean up.”

posted on 23-Jul-2002 7:38:10 PM by Lelea
Hey everyone ::waves:: Most of you seem to want Liz to go to Max....well it'll happen but.....Liz is strong willed and she's set on her list so we'll have to see how it goes.

SarahWhitman~You brought up some great stuff in your FB and since I love discussions I thought I would answer some the best that I can and not give it all away. I can't comment on how long Ash has been watching we'll have to see about that. As for no one listening to Liz...yeah to a point your right. Max is Maria's girlfriend now and they had the whole summer to bond so she does have some split loyalties going on. Ash will listen it's his job but he is tied to Max also so...

Now the orb/oracle well Isabel hasn't been effected at all up to this point. She isn't at the same point in her development as Max. Max found the one for him and he is ready for the next step. Isabel is still struggling with who she is and letting people close....all that stuff so she is not ready and the orb knows it so no meddling in Isabel's life.

Now Michael. Well in relation to the orb/oracle Michael isn't a primary focus. Not unless Isabel were to choose him. As for his dome visions...not orb related. He still has all of his own powers and repressed memories and he is important just not to the orb.

Lastly Liz's choice in the matter. Well she's making a choice at the moment*happy* but your right the orb didn't take her choices into consideration. The orb cares about Max and Max chose Liz. But if Liz were not the right one for him would he have been drawn to her? I don't think so. They are soulmates. The orb waited for them to work it out themselves ever since the first push (Sexual Healing) but they haven't so now it means business. You'll see why the orb is being so pushy later. So I guess Liz has a choice and she doesn't*big*.
posted on 24-Jul-2002 1:55:18 AM by Lelea
Chapter Twelve


Later that night with Maria asleep beside her Liz started to dream. She was walking down a long dark tunnel. The walls felt like stone and were cold and damp to the touch. She knew she was being chased. She couldn’t let them find her. She quietly continued deeper into the tunnel knowing no one could help her. She was very afraid and struggled to control her panic she knew what would likely happen to her if she was caught. Moving silently she reached a doorway that was set back into the stone. Light was spilling into the corridor she peeked around the corner into the room. An older man in a lab coat was talking to Congresswomen Whitaker. “Vanessa this is unacceptable! The Summit is in two weeks time is running out. I will not allow these talking monkeys to win. So go and do your job!” He screamed. Afraid Liz crept past the doorway and continued down the tunnel…it seemed like it would never end. As she walked she realized she felt different heavy awkward. Knowing she couldn’t stop she hurried as fast as she could hoping to see an end to the tunnel. Up ahead the tunnel seemed to branch out into two different corridors as she approached she saw Tess leaning against the wall to one of the corridors. She heard a voice behind her “Such a pretty prize…two for the price of one.” She turned quickly and saw the man who had been talking to Whitaker. As he reached for her she screamed and threw up her arm a wall of shimmering blue appeared between them. She started to feel this wave of intense heat crash over her and her head started to pound. She looked around panicked she couldn’t see anything there was only heat.

Liz woke to Maria shaking her shoulder and calling her name. “Liz oh my god are you okay?” Maria asked frantic she had been trying to wake her for at least 10 minutes.

“I think so just hot. What happened?” Liz asked groggy.

“You woke me up you were whimpering in your sleep and you were so hot I tried to wake you but I couldn’t. Liz your hands were glowing.” Maria replied trying not to panic.

Liz shifted so she was sitting up against the headboard. Her head felt fuzzy and she was so hot she was sweating. She looked at her hands but they seemed fine now. “It’s okay. I’m okay. I just had a nightmare that’s all.” Liz said trying to reassure Maria. She looked over at the clock and saw it was still early. “Listen I’m gonna go and take a quick shower that way we don’t have to fight for the bathroom later.” Liz got out of bed and went into the bathroom shutting the door.

Maria was not at all reassured. Something was really wrong the sounds Liz had been making in her sleep were painful to listen to and the heat rolling off of her was not normal. I’m not even going think about the glowing hands Maria thought to herself. Knowing she wasn’t going to be able to go back to sleep she got up and turned on the radio keeping the volume low. She thought about everything that Liz had said last night about Ash and Max. Something was still bugging Liz her best friend radar was sending her warning signals like crazy. She vowed to pry it out of her this morning before school.

Liz came out of the bathroom feeling much better the cold shower had been just what she needed. She went to her dresser and picked up her brush and started to run it through her wet hair. She glanced into the mirror and saw Maria sitting on the bed watching her. “What? What’s wrong?” Liz asked worried she was glowing or something.

“Liz you’re holding something back. I thought about what you said last night and there is a reason you said that Max cared about you and he thinks he loves you. I want you to tell me.” Maria said not pulling any punches.

Liz sighed and set down her brush. She went and sat in the chair by her desk fiddling with the belt of her robe. “Okay but just think about what I say before you say anything okay?” She waited for Maria to nod in agreement before she continued. “This summer I thought about Max a lot. All the time really and I started to wonder why would Max have watched me all those years and be so set on being with me now? I mean I’m nothing special I’m not ugly or anything but I’m not exactly fantasy material either. Then I thought that maybe he has this picture in his mind of who I am. So I thought about all the flashes I got from Max about me and I think maybe Max loves that picture he has of me and what if that’s not who I am really? How do I know that he loves ME not the idea of me that he’s had for all these years? It felt so awful last year when Tess came and Max just started to feel all these things for her. Being with me wasn’t enough then why would it be now?” Liz stopped for a second and then continued. “I’m not saying I’m not pretty enough or smart enough or whatever for someone to love me. All I’m saying is that maybe there’s a reason for why I wasn’t enough for Max then like maybe he sensed I wasn’t who he thought I was and Tess’s alien side called to him and that’s why. Like he wasn’t meant to be with me. So I thought if I stayed away and concentrated on being the person I want to be it would all work out one way or the other and now I’m so confused. Nothing is working out.” Liz finished hoping she had made sense. She really didn’t think that she was less then Tess exactly just different more ordinary.

Maria just stared at Liz for a few minutes shocked. Okay DeLuca one thing at a time. “Liz you are a beautiful person inside and out. Think about this for a second okay? You dated Kyle one of the most popular people in school, Max was mooning over you for years and can’t seem to keep his hands off of you, over a hundred guys called you trying to get you to go out with them during that blind date contest. You have nothing to worry about there.” Liz started shaking her head.

“Ria, please! You can’t use that blind date thing. Those guys were desperate and possibly crazy. Did you listen to those messages? I already covered the Max thing.” Liz waved a dismissive hand to that argument.

“Okay, I’ll prove it to you. Today I pick the outfit you wear to school and we’ll see what happens. On to my next point, as to whether or not Max really loves you or this image of you. Well you have to listen to your heart on that one. You believed he loved you last year. I think your letting your head confuse things. When you’re with Max and he’s looking at you and touching you what do you feel then? That’s what you need to ask yourself. As for what happened with Tess last year..Liz she screwed with his head! I mean come on! She used the alien voodoo on him. He wouldn’t still be telling you that he loves you and wants you back if Tess were a factor. Plus the orb or oracle is pushing this joining bonding thingy so apparently it thinks you are the one for Max. I don’t think the orb is going to give up either. Liz stop thinking about things so much. I know you want Max to be safe and you want to do the right thing but all you’re doing is confusing things even more. Max is a big boy and can take care of himself. Instead of thinking of all the reasons why you need to stay away from him think of the reasons to be with him.” Maria couldn’t believe how stubborn Liz was being.

“Now as for not being fantasy material let me at your closet!” Maria said with excitement. Liz rolled her eyes and smiled as Maria threw open her closet door and started rummaging around inside.

“Okay I’ll think about what you said. Maybe you’re right and I’m just over thinking this. I don’t have to work today so I was thinking about talking to Max and the others about everything and maybe bring Ash. Can you be there or are you working?” Liz asked as she watched Maria tear through her cloths.

“Um Michael and I are both off tonight. I’m not sure if Max is working or not but tonight sounds good to me. Ah ha! I have the perfect thing for you to wear! Before you say anything no it’s not trashy. How are you going to get in touch with Ash?” Maria asked as she started looking for shoes to go with the outfit she had picked out.

“Oh, he gave me his cell phone number. As soon as I talk to Max and get the okay I’ll call him.” Liz said. She wanted Ash to talk with the others as soon as she could arrange it.

“Kay I have your outfit all laid out for you while you get dressed I’ll take a shower. Oh and Liz? Wear some matching panties…just in case.” Maria said as she closed the bathroom door.

posted on 24-Jul-2002 5:59:23 PM by Lelea
Chapter Thirteen


As Liz and Maria made their way down the hall they could hear people start to whisper as they passed. Liz already the main topic of conversation after the bathroom incident with Kyle the day before had just added to it with wearing Maria’s outfit. Maria had picked out a white halter-top that tied in the back and stopped above her belly button and an ultra low slung black skirt that left a large expanse of her abdomen bare. The skirt hugged her hips and thighs falling to her ankles with a slit up the side to her knees. Maria couldn’t be happier at all the attention Liz was receiving after all she was trying to prove a point. They stopped at Liz’s locker first in no hurry as they were earlier than normal.

“See Liz I told you the outfit would grab attention.” Maria said smugly.

“Maria I really don’t think it’s the outfit. I think it’s the thing from yesterday with Kyle.” Liz replied trying to reason with her.

Before Maria could reply Pam Troy walked up and stopped next to Liz making a point of eyeing her outfit. “So Lizzie I heard you and Kyle made a scene yesterday. Anything you would like to share?” Pam asked snidely.

“Not really Pam. You’re looking lovely today. Bold use of color…very striking.” Liz said in an insincere tone of voice.

“Why thank you Liz. You obviously believe in the less is more theory of dress.” Pam said pointedly.

“Listen tramp we don’t have time for this so peddle your services elsewhere.” Maria said rudely. “Your time would be better spent in the library trying to get online fashion advice. Now move along.” Pam’s face became a very unflattering shade of red and she turned and walked away without a word. “Maybe I need to include her in my pest removal call.” Maria said with distaste. Liz tried to control her laughter at Maria’s statements.

“Ladies! Good morning you are both looking lovely. So Liz..” Malamud oozed as he tried to angle his body between Liz and Maria. He felt a hand clamp over his shoulder stopping him in place. He turned to find Kyle glaring at him. “Hey Kyle! How’s it going?”

“Listen Malamud I don’t know who let you off your leash but you need to run along and not bother civilized people. Got me?” Kyle said coldly. He’d heard enough locker room talk from this guy to know he didn’t want him anywhere near Liz or Maria.

“Sorry man I didn’t mean to cut into your action. I’ll just move on.” Malamud replied cursing his luck he wanted a run at Liz before her friends surrounded her. God she was looking hot. He moved off reluctantly.

“Liz are you trying to drive Evans out of his mind or what?” Kyle asked Liz as he got a good look at what she was wearing.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about Kyle. I’m just trying to stay cool today.” Liz said with an innocent smile. “Here let me help you. You missed a button.” Liz reached out and re buttoned his shirt for him quickly her fingers brushing his bare skin in the process. “There that’s much better.”

“Uhhh thanks. I think I’m gonna go…yeah. See ya.” Kyle said and fled.

“Liz! You are sooo bad!” Maria said laughing a little shocked.

“I couldn’t help it and he did miss a button.” Liz smiled her eyes shining with amusement. “Besides Kyle needs to be shaken up every once in a while. I’m done here so let’s go on to your locker.” Liz said as she slammed her locker shut. As they made their way down the hall several guys paused to say hi. Liz stood by waiting for Maria to get her stuff just chatting and sharing gossip feeling pretty light hearted considering. She didn’t really notice Max approach as she laughed with Maria.

Max had, for once, been the one pushing Isabel to hurry. He wanted to get to school early enough to see Liz before class started. He knew from the meeting last night that she gotten back to the CrashDown okay. Michael had at least told him that much before the meeting dissolved into arguing again with nothing getting accomplished. Lost in thought Max headed to Maria’s locker knowing Liz would be there. As he turned the corner he heard her laughing. He looked up searching the crowded hallway for her and stopped dead when he saw her. Her back was turned to him and all he could see was the fall of her hair and skin…lots of skin until his eyes reached her skirt. NO TOUCHING. He reminded himself firmly as he made his way over to her. He was still several steps behind her when she suddenly spoke without turning.

“Good morning Max.” Liz said and then glanced over her shoulder smiling.

“Morning Liz…Maria.” Max answered as he moved to stand next to Maria. “No touching.” He muttered to himself under his breath.

“What was that Max?” Maria teased having heard exactly what he said.

“Nothing! Umm Liz you look good today. I mean you look like you feel good today.” Max said struggling to sound normal. Oh god! Just shut up! He watched as she started talking to him but he didn’t hear a thing she was saying. Time slowed down as he stared at her mouth in a daze as she spoke. He bet she felt soft and..

“Yeah I feel okay thanks for asking.” Liz replied with a smile. “Listen I was wondering if you were working tonight? I thought all of us might get together tonight and talk about all the stuff that’s been going on.” Liz waited for Max to say something. “Max? Are you okay?”

Maria jabbed her elbow into Max’s side jerking him out of his daze. “Huh? Oh umm sorry! I just remembered I umm forgot my...homework in the jeep. I gotta go get it.” Max turned and rushed down the hallway.

Maria started laughing so hard she thought she was going to start crying. “Liz! That’s the second guy to run away from you this morning! You sure are having an impact!” Maria sputtered between breaths. Liz just rolled her eyes at Maria as Alex walked up.

“I was going to ask what was wrong with Max. He just about ran me over but now I see what the problem is. Liz you are looking stunning today.” Alex stated and then whistled.

“Thank you Alex but I think you’re a little biased. It’s just me although maybe a little more naked then usual thanks to Maria. Nothing to get all worked up about. My Mom said I looked cute.” Liz said and wrinkled her nose. “Alex are you free tonight?” Liz asked changing the subject.

“Yeah no plans why?” Alex asked curious.

“I was thinking that after what Ash said last night maybe we should introduce him to the others. He could tell them things about their past.” Liz said being careful about what she said in public. “I was trying to tell Max but he left.”

“I think that sounds great. I would like to meet Ash myself. Kyle told me about what he said. It sounds like we need to be prepared. Just let me know the time and I’m there.” Alex responded thinking of all the questions he wanted to ask. If one of his girls was in danger he was going to find out everything he could. Alien enemies or no they were going to have to go through Alexander Charles Whitman first. “I can talk to Max. Maybe he’ll stay put for me. Besides I’ll see him anyway in class.”

“Thanks Alex. I think maybe after yesterday he’s a little uncomfortable around me.” Liz said grateful Alex would smooth things over for her.

“Uncomfortable that’s a good word Liz.” Maria said with a grin.

“Ria! Stop it. Not everything is about sex.” Liz said shaking her head hoping Michael broke soon it would take up more of Maria’s attention.

“You can’t prove that by you and Max. That argument might carry more weight if you weren’t standing there with a hickey.” Maria smirked. Liz flashed her a warning look. “Okay! Moving on, let’s get to class I have to finish up some work for second hour.”


Sliding into their seats Maria immediately pulled out her unfinished assignment and got to work. Liz sat daydreaming absently twirling her hair around her finger waiting for class to start. A few minutes later Ms. Hardy walked in with a new student. “Class? May I please have everyone’s attention? We have a new student joining us today. His name is Nick Crawford and he’s a transfer from Copper Summit Arizona. Let’s all try to make him feel welcome. Nick, you can take the empty desk over by Liz Parker.” Ms. Hardy said pointing to the desk behind Liz.

Liz had watched Nick as Ms. Hardy had introduced him and noticed his eyes seemed to linger on Courtney. Until Ms. Hardy had pointed to the desk behind her that was then he looked at her and smiled. As he walked toward her Liz looked him over. He was not quite as tall as Michael but he looked taller than Max. He had a wide shouldered build and looked like he might play sports…he was big..bulky. He had dark brown hair almost black and dark piercing eyes. He was attractive enough she supposed. She didn’t realize she had been staring until Maria whispered her name. She broke eye contact and looked down at her desk. Nick slide into the seat behind her and said “Hi I’m Nick…you must be Liz?” and stuck out his hand. Liz turned slightly toward him.

“Yeah, I’m Liz and this is my friend Maria.” Liz replied as she reached out and shook his hand looking into his eyes. As soon as she touched him she felt sick. Her stomach rolled and clenched painfully. She quickly released his hand and broke eye contact.

“So Nick what brings you to Roswell?” Maria asked noticing Liz had gone pale.

“My Father moved us here. He’s looking at buying that closed down base for his company.” Nick replied casually while watching Liz closely.

“Really? Eagle Rock? Wow, what kind of company does your Father work for?” Maria asked not liking the way he was staring at Liz.

“Yeah Eagle Rock. I don’t know the details but my Father does research for the government. Copper Summit is really small so he had to go looking for real estate elsewhere. Congresswoman Whitaker is actually the one who suggested Eagle Rock. The base was empty so here we are.” Nick finished with a smile and glanced at Maria. Liz took the opportunity to turn back to the front of the room. She noticed Courtney looking at her with an odd expression on her face and she quickly looked down allowing her hair to shield her face.

For the rest of class Liz was careful to stay facing the front not even glancing at Maria. Nick studied Liz’s back and planned with a half smile on his face. He was 90% certain she was the one. When the bell rang Liz was ready and bolted out of her seat not even waiting for Maria. As she brushed past Pauly he said “ Whoa Parker where’s the fire? This is the second time you’ve pushed me around.”

“I’m sorry Pauly. I didn’t mean to be rude just don’t want to be late.” Liz said glancing back to see Nick making his way over.

“No problem. Can I walk you to class? I can cut a pretty good path through the hall for you.” He said with a smile turning on the charm.

Liz seeing Nick drawing closer turned back to Pauly and flashed him a brilliant smile. “That would be great!” Liz said.

Pauly couldn’t believe his luck. Liz had stopped talking to him after the incident last year with Max Evans. Now she actually looked happy to be walked to class. He started off down the hall with Liz close by his side. "So how’s the paper coming for Creative Writing?” Pauly asked thinking of the only other class they shared and knowing how smart she was he figured that was a safe conversation.

“Oh umm I started it but I haven’t gotten that far on it yet. What about you?” Liz asked glancing up at him.

Damn she was pretty. He could understand why Kyle had been so crazy about her last year. “Haven’t even started I keep meaning to but you know how that goes.” Pauly answered and pulled her a little closer as some freshmen rushed passed almost knocking into her. “Hey pal watch where you’re going!” Pauly said gruffly to the passing student. “Sorry Liz.” He said softly.

“Thanks. I guess I’m not the only one to smash into people. No harm done.” Liz said flashing him another smile.

“Listen if you have time later this week could you look over my paper?” Pauly asked trying to think of anything to say to maybe hook up with her later on.

“Yeah sure just call me when you’re ready. If I can I’ll take a look.” Liz said thinking he was actually pretty nice and she had been rude to him.

“Great! Can you give me your number? I really need to keep my grades up you know to stay on the team.” Pauly asked with a big smile as they reached her classroom.

“Sure…umm do you have a piece of paper?” Liz asked seeing Isabel coming down the hall.

“Here just write it on my arm I don’t have any paper on me right now.” He said sticking his arm out.

“Okay.” Liz said tucking her hair behind her ear as she took hold of his arm to steady it as she wrote her number down carefully just above his wrist. As she finished Isabel reached them.

“Great! Thanks Liz, I’ll talk to you later.” Pauly flashed her a smile and headed off down the hall giving Isabel a quick wave.

“Hey Isabel.” Liz greeted Isabel.

“Hey Liz. What’s with Pauly? He looked awfully happy.” Isabel asked and waited to see how Liz reacted.

“Oh he just walked me to class I was trying to get away from the new guy.” Liz said wrinkling her nose in disgust. “Plus he wanted me to look over an assignment we have for Creative Writing.” Liz replied.

Isabel wondered if she was always this clueless. “Yeah, I’m sure that’s why he was so happy. So who’s this new guy?”

“Nick “something” he just moved here from Arizona.” Liz answered not sure why she had had the reaction to him she did so she kept quiet.

“Oh I see. Well I saw Alex and he said you wanted to have a meeting tonight but didn’t say why. So I thought I would ask.” Isabel said seeing what had to be the new guy coming down the hall. “Is that Nick?” Isabel asked curious about Liz’s negative reaction to him…he looked pretty good to her.

“Umm yeah it is.” Liz answered after looking then paused. “Are you staying here for lunch today? Maybe we could talk about the meeting then.” Not wanting to say anything that someone, like Nick, might overhear.

“Hi Liz! We meet again.” Nick said as he walked up. “I guess we have another class together.” He said with a smile.

Liz moved to make sure she wouldn’t accidentally touch him. “Yeah I guess we do.” She replied with a weak smile and a noticeable lack of enthusiasm.

Isabel was surprised by Liz’s behavior she couldn’t remember Liz ever being so deliberately rude. She turned to look at Nick and saw him staring at Liz intently not in the least put off by her behavior. “Well hello you must be Nick. I’m Isabel a friend of Liz’s.” Isabel introduced herself with her Sunshine Committee smile, after all everyone needs a little sunshine she thought to herself with an internal eye roll.

“Yeah I’m Nick. Nice to meet you. Well I better get into class. Maybe we’ll be sitting together again this hour Liz.” Nick said.

“Yeah maybe.” Liz answered with a sick looking smile. With a nod to Isabel Nick turned and walked into class.

“Liz? Are you alright?” Isabel asked puzzled by the scene she just witnessed.

“Yeah I’m fine. I just don’t like that guy. He…I don’t really know how to explain it. He makes me feel sick…like physically sick.” Liz answered knowing she sounded silly. “Never mind, I better get into class I’ll see you at lunch.” Liz turned and walked into class leaving Isabel staring after her.


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 7-Nov-2002 4:46:04 AM ]
posted on 25-Jul-2002 9:05:49 PM by Lelea
Chapter Fourteen

fail_safe


Lunchtime finally arrived and Max couldn’t be more ready. He had never been in a fight at school before, he hadn’t even fought back when Pauly and friends had attacked him last year, but today he had come close. Twice. If one more guy said a lurid remark about Liz he was gonna knock him out. He couldn’t believe all the crazy stories that were going around about her. There were some very sick people going to this school. So it was a very irritated Max Evans that sat at the group’s regular table in the quad. He waited impatiently for Liz to arrive. Isabel, Alex, and Tess were already seated when he got there and Michael arrived shortly afterwards. Everyone picked up on his mood if not the cause for it and remained quiet. Maria, lunch in hand, made her way over to the group and sat down next to Alex.

“Hey everyone. Anyone seen Liz?” Maria asked wondering what was keeping her friend since Liz’s class was much closer to the quad than hers.

“No not yet.” Alex answered stealing a chip from Maria’s lunch.

“I haven’t seen her since she bolted out of class this morning. With Pauly.” Maria smirked to herself thinking she had proved her point on how attractive Liz was. Even Liz would have to admit it.

“What?” Max asked stiffly.

“Relax I ran into Liz right afterwards. He just walked her to class. She was trying to get away from that new guy Nick.” Isabel said trying to sooth Max. “Speaking of the new guy…Maria did you think anything was odd with Nick?” Isabel asked thinking of the scene she had witnessed between Liz and Nick this morning.

“Now that you mention it yeah. He displayed an odd interest in Liz this morning when they met. I didn’t like the way he was looking at her.” Maria answered thinking about how Nick had seemed to stare at Liz’s back all threw class with that creepy smile on his face.

“With what she’s wearing today it would be strange if he didn’t stare at her. He was sitting right behind her.” Tess says sarcastically.

“No there was something odd about it. He was studying Liz not leering. He didn’t even look at me when Liz introduced us. When they shook hands Liz dropped his hand like it was on fire and turned pale. She didn’t talk at all after that just bolted when the bell rang.” Maria said thinking back to this morning.

“Yeah when I met up with her in the hall she said she didn’t like him. That he made her feel physically ill. When he walked up she was actually rude to him but it was like he didn’t notice or something.” Isabel said thinking how strange all this was…he wasn’t ugly or anything.

“Liz said he made her feel sick?” Alex asked concerned thinking about what Ash had told Liz and Kyle.

“Yeah she did. It was weird.” Isabel answered as she spotted Liz walking into the quad. She frowned as she saw Nick trailing after her. “See for yourselves there’s Liz and Nick now.” Isabel said pointing them out.

Max had spotted Liz right away and noticed the unhappy look on her face. He quickly got up and started making his way over to her. He saw Nick reach out and grab Liz by the arm stopping her. Liz turned to Nick and peeled his hand off her arm in disgust. As Max drew closer he was able to hear their conversation.

“Don’t touch me.” Liz said coldly. “I don’t like you Nick. I don’t want to be your friend so why don’t you go find someone who does?”

“Come on Liz. Don’t be that way. I think we’ll make great friends.” Nick replied with a grin and reached out and ran two fingers down her arm. Max watched as Liz’s hands curled into fists at her side.

“I think she made it pretty clear she has no interest in you. If you touch her again we’re going to have a problem.” Max stated clearly as he walked up behind Liz and wrapped one arm around her waist pulling her back against his body.

“Well you know how some girls say things that they don’t really mean. I think little Liz here is one of those girls.” Nick said eyeing Max.

“I don’t really care what you think. I’m telling you to stay away from Liz. That should be pretty clear and I mean what I say.” Max said firmly as his splayed fingers stroked the bare skin of Liz’s abdomen absently. Liz instinctively molded herself back into Max with a sigh.

“We’ll have to see if you have the moves to keep her.” Nick replied eyeing the couple’s body language closely.

“Problem here?” Kyle asked casually as he walked up having seen the altercation from the line in front of the pop machine and noticed it drawing the attention of the surrounding students.

“No, no problem. Just clearing a few things up for Nick. He seemed to be having a problem hearing.” Max said his eyes never leaving Nick’s.

“Come let’s go eat.” Liz said glancing at Kyle. “Hey did you get me one?” Liz asked pointing to Kyle’s Coke totally ignoring Nick.

“Nope. I didn’t know you wanted one Parker. Come on I’ll buy you one.” Kyle said. “Max you want something too?”

“Yeah a Cherry Coke would great. Thanks Kyle.” Max replied still watching Nick. Liz turned and ran her finger just above the top of his pants to draw his attention.

When Max glanced down at her Liz said. “Just go sit down Max. Kyle and I will be right there. Okay?” She was a little worried never having seen Max be so confrontational before. Seeing the worry on her face he smiled and stroked her hair.

“Go on with Kyle. I’ll be fine.” Max said love welling up in his chest as he looked at her.

“Okay.” Liz said relieved and without even glancing at Nick walked off with Kyle.

Nick had watched all of this fury welling up inside him. He reminded himself to stay cool this wasn’t the time to show all his cards. He would take care of that bitch later who did she think she was anyway? Ignoring him. She was just a stupid talking monkey. He turned his attention back to Zan. Shit, Max not Zan he reminded himself firmly. “Does she always listen to instructions that well? Just asking for future reference.”

“Listen I know it’s your first day here but I think I need to warn you the impression you’re making is not a good one. If this continues you’re going to find yourself in trouble. Clear?” Max asked his voice ice cold.

“Absolutely.” Nick answered with a mocking grin.

Max turned and walked back to the table wondering who let all the freaks out today. He sat down at the table and found everyone staring at him. “What?” He asked confused.

“What do you mean what? Max what do you think you’re doing? We can’t attract attention. You know that. Just add Liz into it and you rush right into the spot light.” Michael responded disgusted.

“Michael stop it! What would you have him do? Wait until that guy hurt her? What is the matter with you?” Isabel asked shocked.

“What does Liz expect dressed like that? He can’t go rushing to her rescue every time some guy hits on her.” Michael said derisively.

“Hey! I picked out that outfit you jerk!” Maria piped up outraged.

“Michael that guy had no right to touch her. I won’t ever stand by while someone does that. I don’t care what she’s wearing or not wearing. She told him she wasn’t interested that should have been the end of it. It better be the end of it now or I’ll have to put an end to it.” Max said leaving no room for argument.

“What does that mean you’ll have to put an end to it?” Michael asked dropping his sandwich and staring at Max.

“It means if he becomes a bigger problem then he already is I’ll have to do whatever is necessary to take care of the problem. I will not allow someone to hurt Liz. That’s unacceptable. I really don’t care if you have a problem with that Michael. If it were Isabel or Maria or Tess would you still have a problem with this?” Max asked his eyes steady on Michael’s. He wouldn’t be pushed on this and he wasn’t about to back down.

“What are you saying Max?” Michael asked his tone quiet but his eyes seething.

“I’m just wondering if your problem is with Liz or me. Ever since May you’ve had a problem. I would like to know what it is. Because we need to resolve it whatever it is. I’m tired of fighting with you Michael.” Max said evenly. The rest of the table was utterly silent everyone waiting to hear what Michael would say. Just then Liz and Kyle walked up and sat down. Liz sensing the tension looked back and forth between Max and Michael.

“Here’s your Cherry Coke Max.” Liz said softly setting it down in front of him. She could feel her stomach knot knowing she was somehow the cause of the latest fight between Max and Michael. She nervously fiddled with her own Diet Coke when no one spoke.

Kyle had also noticed the stand off between the two aliens and a glance at Alex who nodded toward Liz told him the reason. Looking over at Liz he noticed her hand go to her stomach and saw the queasy look pass over her face. He wasn’t about to let these two idiots upset Liz she had been through enough in the last couple of days. “So Liz what did you do while you were away over the summer?” Kyle asked lightly.

“Umm well I was visiting my Aunt in Florida so I went to the beach a lot. She also signed us up for belly dancing lessons for exercise. She thought it would be fun.” Liz answered thankful for Kyle trying to ease the tension at the table.

“Belly dancing huh? An excellent idea!” Kyle said with enthusiasm and a big grin. “So was it fun? And when can I see this new talent?” Max’s attention was immediately drawn away from Michael and focused on the conversation.

“Yeah it was fun but how do you know I’m any good at it Kyle? You may not want to see.” Liz teased suddenly feeling better knowing Kyle was trying his best to lighten her mood.

“I know you’re good I don’t even need to see you to know that, Liz. We dated remember?" Kyle said deliberately trying to yank Max’s chain. Buddhism didn’t say he couldn’t have a little fun. He glanced at Max and saw his eyes narrow and his grin widened with pleasure.

“I remember.” Liz said with a smile. “Maybe we can go to the party I heard about this Friday. What do think Ria?” Liz asked turning to Maria.

“I’m always up for a party. Besides I’ve seen you two together and belly dancing can only improve what I’ve seen.” Maria said catching onto Kyle’s game and deciding to play along. She stole a glance at Max and saw his eyes go wide in shock as he remembered Maria’s tendency to interrupt. “Alex what do you think?”

“Count me in. But this time can we try not to get arrested? Or at least if we do get arrested I want to actually have some fun to account for my arrest. Liz that means you and Kyle need to behave and not put on too good of a show.” Alex warned with an inner smile. He saw the curious looks on Tess and Isabel’s faces.

“Okay I promise I’ll wait until you get drunk or have sex after that all bets are off.” Liz teased in return remembering Alex’s speech the last and only time they were in jail. Isabel’s mouth dropped open in shock and Max felt his blood start to heat. Tess and Michael looked on in surprise.

“Excellent! Sounds like we have a plan. So ladies wear something skimpy…Liz I expect a belly-revealing outfit appropriate for the occasion.” Kyle said deciding to take his chances with one last hard shove to Max.

“Okay I’m sure I can come up with something.” Liz replied not noticing Max’s face getting red. “But I expect the same consideration. No cowpoke gear Kyle. A nice pair of pants and a button down shirt…buttoned correctly or I’ll have to dress you myself.” Liz said with a teasing smile.

“Deal! Here Liz eat this. I know how much you like them.” Kyle said as he handed her a banana from his lunch his eyes dancing with mischief.

“Thanks.” Liz replied taking the fruit she started to eat.

Tess glanced at Max and saw his eyes glaze over anger forgotten as Liz ate. A glance at Kyle showed him just as interested. Tess rolled her eyes in disgust as Maria smirked gleefully. “So about the meeting tonight?” Tess said sharply trying to draw the attention away from Liz.

Seeing Liz had her mouth full Alex stepped in. “Yeah is everyone free tonight? We have something’s we needed to talk about.”

“Yeah what’s this meeting about anyway? I don’t want to give up my night off if it’s going to be like last night.” Michael stated bluntly trying not to watch Liz or glance at Maria he figured he was in enough trouble as it was.

“Liz wants to talk about what’s been happening and some information that came up.” Maria replied vaguely after all they were in public. “So is everyone free?” She asked glancing at Max only to find he hadn’t heard a word. He was totally focused on Liz who was oblivious to his attention. She caught Isabel’s eye and gestured to Max. Isabel gave Max a hard jab in the ribs to draw his attention.

“Max are you working tonight?” Isabel asked knowing she needed to repeat the question.

“No I’m not working why?” Max asked absently his eyes drawn back to Liz.

“Well I guess that settles it we’re having a meeting. Liz can you call and make the arrangements and let us know the time and place?” Maria asked quickly.

“Sure I’ll let everyone know for sure by the end of classes. I’m thinking the meeting will be at about four so plan to tell your parents your eating out. I’d like to get home kind of early.” Liz said taking a sip of her beverage. Seeing that lunch was almost over she gathered up her trash. “I guess we can meet after school by the jeep is that alright?” Everyone agreed. “Okay I guess I’ll head out see you guys after school.” Liz said getting up and starting for the nearest trash can. Max quickly followed.

“I’ll walk with you since we’re going to the same class anyway.” Max said trying to sound causal.

“Sure. What was the deal with you and Michael anyway? I hope I’m not causing you problems.” Liz asked glancing over at Max. She tossed out her trash and waited for Max to respond.

“No it’s just stuff that’s been going on since last May you know? No big deal.” Max answered easily. As they started to walk away Liz in the lead neither noticed Nick sticking his foot out as Donald a shy freshman passed by. Donald tripped sending his large cup of Sprite flying. With a little alien help from Nick the Sprite hit Liz right in the chest transforming her white halter top into a garment better suited to a wet T-shirt contest. Liz gasp and froze horrified. Max was moving before the cup even hit the ground. He spun her around and pulled her tight into his chest shielding her from all other eyes. “It’s okay. Just…unbutton my shirt okay? No one can see anything.” Max said softly to reassure her.

Donald froze his mouth hanging open and was certain he was about to die. He had witnessed the incident earlier between Max and Nick over Liz and was sure Max was going to kill him. “I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean…I’m” he stuttered.

Liz face flaming in embarrassment started to slowly unbutton Max’s shirt. She glanced up at Max and found him looking down at her reassuringly. Neither of them even glanced at Donald or noticed the whole quad staring at them. The last button slipped from its hole and the front of Max’s shirt parted to reveal his smooth lightly tanned chest. Liz reached up and started slowly sliding the shirt down his arms trailing her fingers along his skin and pressing closer to him as she did. When the shirt reached his elbows she let go and placed her hands flat on his stomach feeling the muscles in his abdomen jump at her touch all the while never breaking eye contact. Max caught the shirt as it slid free of his hands and wrapped it around her. She slipped her arms in and pulled the shirt closed in the front buttoning most of the buttons before looking back up at Max. He reached over and pulled her hair free of the collar and smiled gently. “See? No problem.” He said then turned to glare at Donald who was still sputtering apologies. Liz quickly stepped between them and turned to Donald the poor guy was red as a beet and scared spitless.

“I don’t know what happened! I’m so s-s-sorry!” Donald said seeing Max’s glare focused on him.

Liz felt bad for the guy so she walked closer and noticed Nick seated just behind the kid a malicious look on his face. She turned her attention back to Donald. “It’s fine. I’m fine really so let’s just forget it. This wasn’t your fault.” She said and smiled. “I don’t think we’ve actually met before I’m Liz and this is Max.” Liz said smoothly and put her hand out Donald shook her hand gently relief and gratitude flooding him.

“I’m Donald. Thank you for being so good about this..I really am sorry.” Donald said calming down and smiling back at Liz.

“No harm done. I’m sure I’ll see you around Donald it was nice meeting you. Now I really need to go and change.” Liz smiled again and turned back to Max to see him still glaring at Donald. She walked over and rested her hand on his chest drawing his attention back to her. “Umm Max I’m a little wet and sticky..can you drive me home to change?” Liz asked with a slow smile.

Max felt his pants grow at least two sizes too small at her words. Seeing her smile like that her eyes twinkling he forgot all about Donald. “Yeah let’s go.” He said grabbing her hand and pulling her toward the parking lot.


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 26-Jul-2002 1:48:01 AM ]
posted on 25-Jul-2002 9:14:04 PM by Lelea
First huge thanks to ChrissyP47 for the wonderful banner. If I knew how to put in my posts I would.....I did save it onto my computer.....I love it thanks so much!

Now about Nick. He is Nicholas....same guy a skin....uh huh. So is Whitaker and Courtney just like the show. What is not like the show is how easy they are to kill and they were just a little stupid I thought. Plus who's afraid of a little kid? Unless we are talking Children of the Corn....that's a whole other story.*big* So I hope that helps.
posted on 26-Jul-2002 3:27:36 PM by Lelea
Chapter Fifteen

fail_safe

They drove to the CrashDown in complete silence. Max reminded himself firmly that he HAD to stay in control. He was not going to push her into anything there was no way he would chance loosing her. His mind drifted back to the brief look he had gotten of Liz in her wet halter-top it had confirmed she wasn’t wearing a bra. Max felt his body harden painfully. He could still feel the soft touch of her hands on his bare skin. Mud he thought desperately trying to pull his mind from where it had wandered.

Liz was thinking that maybe the recent events were just a fluke. After all she felt fine now. No fever or uncontrolled need to touch Max or anything, so far so good.

They reached the CrashDown and Max parked down the block a little not wanting her parents to see them. They climbed up the ladder to her balcony quickly and made their way into her room. Liz walked to the bedroom door and closed it firmly. Turning back to Max she noticed he seemed nervous.

“Max it’s okay no ones home. Today is the day my Dad goes to Hondo for supplies and my Mom goes on a bunch of errands so we’re safe. Can you just…turn around for a second?” Liz asked quietly as she kicked off her shoes.

“Yeah sure.” Max answered immediately turning his back and looking out onto her balcony. He could hear the rustling sounds of her cloths hitting the floor and he prayed for control.

“Max?” Liz asked softly as she tossed his shirt on the bed and turned back to the mirror.

Max turned around when she called him and froze. She was standing in front of her mirror nude from the waist up. Oh god! Liz was…he could see…she was beautiful. His eyes met hers in the mirror.

Liz saw him turn around and watched as his eyes widened in shock and he froze in place. The question she had been about to ask flew right out of her mind as she watched his eyes light up from within and meet hers in the mirror. She didn’t move just watched him look at her. She didn’t feel embarrassed at all she felt safe and cherished. In his eyes she saw raw hunger interlaced with iron control. She thought that now might be the perfect time to listen to Maria and just go with it and not think so much. She wanted him to touch her. SHE wanted it not the orb or for any other reason than to feel him and be close to him. “Max? Can you..come closer?” She asked turning to face him.

“Liz I don’t think…I can and not touch you. I promised that I would give you time and..” Max started to explain but stopped as Liz walked closer stopping in front of him.

“I want you to touch me. Please?” Liz said looking into his eyes.

With gentle hands he pulled her closer until their bare skin met. He heard her sigh and her arms wrapped around his waist. He just held her and stroked her hair letting her take the lead. Her hands traced the muscles of his back and she bent her head forward to rest on his chest. “Max?” she asked softly.

“Hmmm?” He answered not wanting to move.

“When you look at me what do you see?” Liz asked so softly that he could barely hear her.

“I see everything. Everything I could ever hope for.” He answered slowly.

Liz was startled by his answer. She pulled back and looked into his eyes and knew…he meant everything he said. The truth of his statement was there for her to see. She pulled his head down and softly kissed him. His hands slid to her back to hold her closer as she deepened the kiss slowly. She ran her tongue along his bottom lip then nibbled on it just tasting him. She felt him shudder against her and she pulled back slowly. She took his hand and led him over to her bed and pushed him lightly so he was sitting on the edge. She slid to her knees in front of him and gently removed his shoes but left his socks on. She rose to her feet and looked into his eyes.

“Max can you just lay down? I want to just lay down with you. Is that okay?” She asked quietly. Without saying anything Max moved over and lay down and held his hand out to her. She glanced down at her skirt, which was sticky from the pop that had dripped onto it, and quickly removed it letting it pool at her feet. She took Max’s hand and slipped into bed beside him cuddling close. Max wrapped his arm around her and closed his eyes just holding her feeling a little of the weight that had been resting on his chest since she had walked away from him in May lift. He could feel the warmth of her bare skin along his side and the brush of each breath on his chest. His body stirred but he ignored it feeling at peace for the first time in a long time. He absently stroked her bare back trying not to think about the fact that all she had on was a pair of black panties.

“Liz?” He asked softly.

“Hmm?” she replied lazily.

“Why didn’t you let me talk with that kid Donald?” Max asked with a smile.

“Because you weren’t going to talk to him and what happened wasn’t his fault. Didn’t you notice who was sitting behind him?” Liz answered with a slow smile.

“Hmm no who?” Max asked hearing the smile in her voice.

“Nick. I think he tripped Donald. Or maybe it was just an accident. Either way the poor guy was sorry. Plus if Donald hadn’t tripped we wouldn’t be here now would we?” Liz asked coming up onto her elbow and looking Max in the face.

“You’re right. I should thank him huh?” Max replied eyes twinkling.

“Oh I think you’re going to thank him alright.” Liz said as she bent down and kissed him deeply her tongue pushing it’s way into his mouth.

Max groaned and pulled her over him lacing the fingers of one hand with hers and sliding the other into her hair holding her to him. He groaned again at the feel of her bare breasts against his chest slightly sticky and clinging to his skin. He took control of the kiss quickly nibbling at her lips then moving on to her neck. He heard her moan softly as he sucked lightly then moved on to the shell of her ear. He breathed deeply loving her scent. He could feel his control slip slightly as she moved against him brushing against his straining erection. He froze panting struggling for control.

Liz pulled back afraid she had hurt him. Looking at his face she could see she hadn’t. She straddled him and slowly rose above him watching as his pupils dilated and his breathing quickened. He eyes traveled to her breasts and his hands rested on her hips holding her in place just looking at her for a moment. Unable to stop himself his hands moved slowly up to cup her breasts reverently. He then moved his thumbs rubbing over her nipples gently circling them.

“Oh god MAX!” Liz cried her body bowing in pleasure rubbing down on him hard. He rolled her under him trapping her with his weight holding her still. Needing to taste her he captured her mouth and moved his tongue deep inside her mouth touching her own tongue in hungry demand. Greedy he moved to her throat sucking and biting his way to the curve of her shoulder where he bit down wanting to mark her as his. “Oh god YES! MAX!” Liz cried loudly. His mouth trailed down licking at her gently tasting a mix of the remaining sweetness of the soda and her. She twisted under him franticly her breath coming in choppy pants. As his mouth closed over her breast she stilled. His tongue circled her nipple carefully learning her. Her hands slid into his hair holding him close. He sucked slowly then moved to her other breast.

Max thought for sure he was going to burst into flames. He never dreamed it would be like this. He was trying desperately to hang onto the last shred of his self-control but the scent of her skin was seeping into him and undermining his resolve. He wanted to spread her legs and taste her. He wondered if the enticing scent of her would be more intense there…he needed to know. He released her breast from his mouth and pulled back panting letting her hands fall back onto the bed. He moved lower one hand trailing down her hip and the outside of her thigh. He looked into her eyes and hooked his thumbs in the sides of her panties pulling them down slightly. He watched her eyes widen betraying her innocence. It made him want her more. It made him want to possess her and protect her. He slowly slid her panties down then off holding her eyes with his. He crawled up easing his way between her thighs.

“Do you trust me?” He asked softly still looking into her eyes.

“Yes.” She whispered a little afraid.

He smiled at her slowly and bent his head kissing her just below her navel. His hand moved between her legs and stroked her outer folds softly. Liz gasp sharply and moved under him restless. He stilled her movement and bent his head licking her soft folds gently apart. He heard Liz make small desperate mewling sounds and she bent her legs at the knee digging her heels into the bed. His tongue traced her slowly careful not to rush. He inhaled deeply and decided he never wanted to move again. She was perfect.

Liz gripped the covers on her bed tightly certain she was going to die. Her body was tightening in places she hadn’t even known she had. Max gripped her hips and pulled her closer. He looked up and said “Liz? I need you to look at me.” She looked down at him and felt her breath catch as he lowered his mouth back to her holding her eyes as he sucked on her outer folds flicking them with his tongue. She panted struggling to hold his stare. He sucked at her clitoris deeply then licked it until she writhed and screamed her eyes slipping closed. He groaned and drank from her until she called for him. “Max…please. I need you.” He crawled up to her taking her into his arms and rolling them so she was once again curled against him laying half on him and half on the bed her head tucked into his throat. He stroked her back soothingly feeling a strong sense of satisfaction and rightness.

“You know I think I really like that guy Donald.” Max said seriously.

“Hmmm I bet. Are you going to give him a big kiss when you see him? You might scare him.” Liz teased her muscles feeling like melted wax.

“Nope. No kiss those are yours but I may be tempted to thank him for making one of my best fantasies come true. Of course now that I think about it he already got a thank you.” Max answered with a smile.

“What do you mean?” Liz asked lightly tracing circles on his chest.

“Well he got to see a wet might as well be naked you.” Max replied with a grin. Then yelped as Liz brutally twisted his nipple.

“Watch yourself Max…you could get hurt.” Liz said lazily.

“I never knew you could be this violent Liz.” Max said rubbing his abused chest.

“Well now you know.” Liz said with a smile and turned her head running her lips over his neck to his ear and nipped quickly hearing his soft moan of enjoyment. Taking her time she scooted down and ran her lips softly down his neck to where his shoulder started and sucked softly feeling his heartbeat quicken she sucked harder marking him hearing his deep groan of pleasure rumble in his chest. She settled back down onto his chest content.


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 26-Jul-2002 3:29:06 PM ]
posted on 27-Jul-2002 11:35:05 PM by Lelea
Chapter Sixteen

fail_safe

Sometime later Liz stirred from her spot on Max’s chest. “Max?” She said softly.

“Hmmm?” Max answered slowly stroking her arm.

“I need to talk to you.” Liz said a little nervous.

“Okay, what about?” Max asked.

“Well it’s about the meeting today and what’s been going on lately.” Liz answered slowly.

“What meeting?” Max asked confused.

“Max! The meeting we are all having today. We discussed it at lunch.” Liz said rising to look into his face.

“Oh. Okay what did you need to tell me.” Max said not remembering any talk about a meeting but then he had been distracted.

“Do you promise not to get mad at me?” Liz asked watching his expression closely and biting her lip.

“Liz I think you could do just about anything you wanted to right now and I wouldn’t get mad.” Max said with a smile trying to ease the worried look off of her face.

Liz smiled back at him and said, “I’ll have to remember that. Ok well Ash…umm..he’s…an alien.” Liz said quickly then bit her lower lip again waiting to see Max’s reaction.

“Ash is an alien. What does this have to do with the meeting?” Max asked trying to stay calm.

“Well I was going to bring Ash to the meeting and introduce him to everyone and let him tell you the stuff he knows about you guys and what’s been happening to me.” Liz said relieved that Max didn’t seem mad.

“He knows what’s been happening to you? What did he say?” Max asked seeing Liz relax he moved onto his side pulling her down with him so they were lying facing each other. Not satisfied that she was close enough he scooted closer and pulled her leg over him needing to feel her weight.

“Yeah, he knows what’s going on.” Liz said distracted by the feel of his pants under her bare leg and Max’s hand stroking her ass softly. “Umm okay I’ll tell you what I know and then tonight you can ask more questions okay?”

“Okay.” Max said then listened as Liz told him everything that had happened. When she had finished he lay there thinking for a moment. “So the orb is trying to force a bonding between us?” Max asked looking into her eyes to see her reaction.

“That’s what Ash says.” Liz answered.

“You don’t believe him?” Max questioned not allowing her to side step the issue.

“I don’t know. Can we leave this part alone for a second?” Liz asked not looking at him.

“No I don’t think we can Liz. I need to know what you’re thinking about us.” Max said sensing her rioting emotions he pulled her closer and kissed her forehead gently.

“I’m afraid Max.” Liz said wrapping her arm around his back.

“Tell me what you’re afraid of. I need to know what you’re thinking and how you feel about this.” Max said and waited to hear her answer.

“I’m afraid of a lot of things. That you would focus on me and neglect your duty to your people or that you won’t be ready when your enemies come. They could use me to hurt you. What would you’re people think about their king with a human? I’m scared about what Tess would do.” Liz paused and said, “Max, Tess might be better for you in the long run. I just want what’s best for you. I love you, Max. I don’t want to see you hurt or..” Liz trailed off.

“I don’t care what anybody thinks. I care about you. Liz you ARE what’s best for me. I need you. I can’t do all this alone. I tried this summer but my heart wasn’t in it. It was with you. To do all the things I need to do I need to feel whole and I don’t if you’re not with me. Liz you are the best part of me.” Max said trying to make her understand.

“After what happened with Tess last year when she came to town…what makes me enough now? You had feelings for her Max. You were dating me but you had feelings for her and you kissed her.” Liz said pulling away from him.

“Liz the feelings I had for Tess weren’t anywhere close to what I have for you. Those feelings scared me they made me feel confused and afraid like I wasn’t ME anymore. Don’t ever think you weren’t enough for me. Liz you are so much better than I deserve. Whatever Tess was to me is in the past a past dead life. Liz you’re my future and my life now.” Max said looking her in the eye and willing her to see the truth of what he said.

Looking into his eyes seeing the intensity of his belief in what he said she felt something relax inside her. Maybe this would work out after all. “Max promise me something?” Liz asked quietly.

“Anything.” Max replied immediately.

“Promise me that you will do what you need to do to be the leader you were born to be.” Liz said.

“I promise.” Max answered.

“Okay.” She said as she moved closer settling back against him.

“So we’re…okay?” Max asked softly.

“Yeah we’re okay. Let’s just try to do this and see what happens.” Liz answered kissing his neck.

“I think I really love that kid Donald.” Max said as he rolled her back under him. Liz laughed and kissed him deeply feeling happier than she had in a long time. She groaned as his hands started to wander and pulled back.

“Max, the meeting.” She said reminding him they couldn’t get carried away.

“What meeting?” Max asked trailing his fingers over her chest.

“Max! I have to call Ash. Oh god! Max look at the time! We have to go.” Liz cried after seeing the clock. She wiggled around trying to reach the phone.

“Do that again.” He said not really listening to what she was saying. Liz stopped and looked back over her shoulder at Max. He seemed totally absorbed looking at her back his hands sliding around to her belly holding her in place.

“Max what are you doing? We have to meet the others. We’re supposed to be meeting at the Jeep that isn’t there anymore…at school remember?” Liz asked slightly breathless.

“I’m looking at your sparkles.” Max replied inching his hand lower.

“My…sparkles?” Liz said forgetting about getting up.

“Umm hmm. When we were in grade school I was sure you were either an angel or fairy. Because you had sparkles.” Max answered leaning forward and kissing her shoulder his hand moving between her legs.

“What…what are sparkles? Oh Maax.” Liz moaned settling back against him allowing him to urge her legs apart.

“Your sparkles are these beauty marks. See?” Max said showing her the marks he was referring to on her arm. His other hand busy elsewhere.

“Those are…moles or…freckles or…something.” Liz said starting to pant moving her hips in time with his hand making sure to rub back against his erection. He groaned and pulled her closer.

“No they’re sparkles.” Max said resolute. He bent his head kissing her shoulder as her hand moved around and unzipped his pants.

“Max, help me. Your belt.” Liz panted grinding back into him.

Max hurriedly unbuckled his belt and unbuttoned the top button of his pants. Groaning as Liz reached inside freeing him from his confinement. Her hand stroked him lightly then she ground her ass back against him and continued in time with the hand stroking between her legs.

“Liz! Oh shit!” Max groaned feeling her warm soft skin rubbing against his dick.

“Max! Don’t stop!” Liz panted needing something..almost there..suddenly she felt a burst of energy inside her and a sharp pain from her shoulder blade. She cried out as colors burst behind her closed eye lids the pain completely forgotten.

Feeling her shudder against him and cry out he lost it. He pulled her close feeling a tingling start at the base of his neck and rocket threw him. A harsh cry tore out of him as he bucked against her cumming violently.

He lay against her trembling and sweating unable to speak. Some time later he moved away from her getting up and walking into her bathroom. Liz lay there limp to relaxed to move. Max walked back in pants in place and a warm wash cloth in hand. He tenderly cleaned his semen off of her back and disappeared back into the bathroom. Liz sighed and again glanced at the clock. They were going to be late. She smiled and swung her legs over the side of the bed and reached for the phone and dialed.

“Hello.”

“Ash? It’s Liz.” Liz said glancing over her shoulder as Max walked in.

“Hello Liz. What is it that you need?” Ash inquired smoothly.

“I talked to Max and we were hoping we could meet with you today. The whole group of us so we could talk. About four? Is that alright?” Liz asked.

“Of course. Do you want to come here or do you wish to meet elsewhere?” Ash asked.

“Your place is fine. Do you like pizza?” Liz asked with a smile.

“Yes pizza is fine. So I’ll see you at four then?” Ash asked.

“Yeah see you then.” Liz said with a glance at Max.

“Ok good bye.” Ash said and hung up.

Liz hung up the phone and walked over to Max kissing him lightly. “I’m going to take a really fast shower and then we need to go and get the others. We’re going to be really late.” She said with a smile eyes twinkling.

“It was worth it. Besides they better start getting used to it. I think we’re going to end up being late a lot.” Max replied wiggling his eyebrows and grinning. She laughed and walked into the bathroom amazed at how at ease she felt with Max how right it seemed being with him.


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 27-Jul-2002 11:38:24 PM ]
posted on 29-Jul-2002 3:48:57 AM by Lelea
I just wanted to pop in and thank everyone for reading and answer somethings that came up in feedback. BTW I also needed a break from writting the longest chapter ever or so it seems...the meeting with Ash so this is my break*happy*

JaneLane, roswellluver, tamira thank you so much for reading and your support!

Eccentric One~ Hmmm the sparkles....well I'm going to plead ignorance on that*tongue* It wasn't planned it kinda wrote itself in there...Max just instisted so I went with it. As for the joining...a few things need to happen before that will be complete but yes they are closer more so by the conversation they had then anything else.

ChrissyP47~ Thank you so much I love reading all your feedback. That is exactly how I wanted this chapter to read so it's great to see it came off...opps! Well you get the idea*happy*

ConsultantTam~As far as anyone knows Nascedo is dead....dust on the floor of the pod chamber. *bounce* We'll see what Tess thinks....

Cinder~Max and Liz are getting closer all the time. *big* Thanks so much for your feedback.

Wayliz~Don't give Max too much credit...he was a little dazed so he WAS pretty easy going huh?*tongue*

jassybee~First....Welcome!*happy* So glad you are enjoying this so far. I wanted to answer some of your questions. Ash is going to explain a lot in about 2 chapters so hang on.....but the orbs. The orb that Max and Liz found is tied to him....made to monitor him. The other that the FBI had is tied to Isabel as she is the princess. The message that happened in Destiny was from both orbs activated together and no the message wasn't Wrong....the way they looked at it was not totally correct partly due to Tess and Nesado but not a mindwarp in any way. Tess will become clearer as time goes by...there is nothing we can pin on her at this point. So hang on and hopefully things will clear up....and you can always ask questions if I can I will answer. Thanks again.
posted on 29-Jul-2002 6:00:27 PM by Lelea
Chapter Seventeen
fail_safe

After classes let out each member of the group made their way to the parking lot looking for the Jeep. Only to find no jeep there apparently Max and Liz never made it back to school. So they stood waiting by the Jetta.

“Figures. They call a meeting and set the meeting place and it and they aren’t here.” Michael grumbled still pissed off after his fight with Max at lunch.

“Michael what is your problem? Max is right this has got to stop.” Isabel asked tired of staying silent on the feud going on between Max and Michael. It had never been this bad ever.

“My problem? My problem is Max is thinking with his dick. He isn’t focused on what is really important here.” Michael said crudely.

“Michael! That is so disgusting.” Isabel cried shocked.

“Isabel maybe he’s right. I mean Max doesn’t seem to care what’s going on here. Our enemies could march into town and he wouldn’t even notice unless they stepped between him and Liz.” Tess said sarcastically.

“You’re just pissed it’s not you he’s after. You had the whole summer to sink your claws into him Tess. If you can’t pull it off in three months without Liz here you might as well forget it.” Maria said with a big smile. “Besides Max is thinking about things. God knows I listened to this whole long spiel on JFK and leadership. Plus what’s going on is with Liz.”

“Maria’s right. That’s why we’re having the meeting in the first place.” Alex said.

“If this is a meeting to talk about Liz forget it. I have better things to do.” Michael stated.

“Like what? Scratching your ass and watching TV?” Maria said rudely.

“That would be better than listening to your lips flap endlessly and talking about Liz.” Michael said quickly.

“You do have an awfully big ass to scratch.” Kyle remarked with a grin.

“Stop it! All of you.” Isabel said rolling her eyes. “Maria can you call Liz and see where they are?”

“Sure, I’m a little worried anyway after what happened yesterday.” Maria replied taking out her phone and dialing. She listened to the phone ring and was about to hang up when the phone was answered.

“Hello?” Liz answered.

“Liz, where are you? Is everything ok?” Maria asked.

“Yeah Ria everything’s fine we’re on our way now. We’re meeting Ash at his place at four. I’ll talk to you when we get there ok?” Liz said sounding a little out of breath.

“Ok. See ya in a few.” Maria said and then hung up a thoughtful look on her face.

“What did she say?” Tess asked when Maria didn’t say anything.

“She said they’re on the way.” Maria answered.

“Is everything set for the meeting?” Alex asked seeing the look on Maria’s face.

“Yeah everything is set.” Maria said slowly. She walked slightly away from the group to sit on the hood of the Jetta. She really didn’t want to be around Michael right then. She was afraid she was going to wring his neck like a chicken. She sighed and tuned out the conversation going on behind her.

Alex walked over with Kyle following. “Maria is everything ok?” Alex asked softly concerned.

“I’m just worried. I stayed with Liz last night and she had a nightmare. Her hands glowed, Alex. I saw them.” Maria said looking down at her hands. “Then that thing this morning with Nick…it was weird.”

“We need to bring this up in front of Ash. Maybe he’ll know what the deal is.” Kyle said thinking that this alien shit was way too freaky.

“Kyle you met Ash what do you think about him? Did he seem to be on the level?” Maria asked interested in Kyle’s impression.

“Yeah he seemed okay to me. Something about what Liz was saying to him bothered him I could tell but he didn’t really go into it.” Kyle paused thinking. “Liz was really emotional and I think he didn’t want to upset her. The questions he asked were about Tess and that Nesado guy.” Kyle said glancing over at Tess.

“I knew it. She’s the alien version of Satan. Liz isn’t wrong about stuff like this.” Maria mumbled to herself.

“What did Liz say about Tess?” Kyle asked.

“That she was afraid of her. Well that’s not exactly what she said. It was more like she thought Tess would hurt someone to get what she wanted. I know you guys think that Liz is just jealous of her because of Max but that’s not it. Liz doesn’t really hate anyone. Well except Pam Troy and I KNOW she’s Satan’s spawn with bad fashion sense. The point is, Liz is careful about what she says she tries to be fair and she isn’t usually wrong about people.” Maria said stopping hearing the raised voices of the aliens. She glanced over and saw Michael and Isabel toe to toe in a heated argument. She rolled her eyes and tuned them out knowing that whatever was coming out of Michael’s mouth was not something she wanted to hear. Just then she heard Michael’s voice raised in anger.

“No. I’m tired of this. I have watched Max do nothing all summer. He needs to get his mind out from between Liz’s legs and start leading us like he’s supposed to. I’m tired of watching him ignore his duties to chase after a piece of ass.” Michael said seething.

Maria’s head whipped around just in time to see Isabel’s hand crack sharply across Michael’s face. Maria’s mouth dropped open in shock at the look of fury on Isabel’s face.

“I will not listen to this another minute! You have no right to talk about Liz like that I don’t care if you like her or not. She has done nothing but help us even I can see that. He loves her Michael. Get used to it! I have never been ashamed of you until now. That you could even insult them like this is unbelievable and completely unacceptable. If you ever say this in front of Max he will kill you. I trust Max and I’ll support his choices. He has always done right by us Michael and I won’t listen to you shit all over him like this. If you don’t want to be here just go!” Isabel yelled and stalked away toward the school. Tess just stood there shocked.

Maria walked over to Michael and looked at the red handprint forming on the right side of his face. “Did you just call my best friend a piece of ass Michael?” Maria asked calmly. She waited as Michael met her eyes with defiance and nodded. Maria slapped him hard on the other side of his face. “If you ever say that again you won’t have to wait for Max to kill you!” Maria screamed loudly. Alex rushed over and grabbed Maria who was still shouting and dragged her towards the school. Kyle walked over and looked at Michael silently for moment.

“You just don’t learn do you? Did you really expect to get away with a comment like that? I’ve seen Maria get worked up before but that was…wow. I think they could both kick your ass so I’d watch my mouth if I were you. Next time you say something like that I’ll hold you down and let both Maria and Isabel kick the shit out of you…I promise.” Kyle said with a steely-eyed look and walked after the rest of the group leaving Michael and Tess standing there in the parking lot alone.




After her shower Liz had tried to dress quickly but Max had insisted on “helping” her. So they were now running even more late but Liz was so happy she didn’t even care. She knew that they were going to get serious flak from their friends but she hadn’t been able to scold Max for his behavior. He was more carefree and happy then she had ever seen him. Maria had called right as they were climbing down the ladder to the street so she had urged Max to hurry. As they drove the route back to the school she had felt the love she had tried to ignore for so long well up inside her. She knew that she loved him fiercely but the depth of the love inside her left her breathless in wonder.

Max had no idea what he had done to deserve Liz but whatever it was he would do it again. Today was the best day of his life. He and Liz were back together and this time he wasn’t ever letting her go. He had no idea how he was going to be able to keep his hands off her and he didn’t even want to try Liz didn’t seem to mind. He couldn’t stop the huge happy smile from spreading across his face. He didn’t want to ever leave her room and join the world but he needed to keep her safe, which meant talking to Ash. So he did it. He couldn’t loose her he had discovered over the summer he could barely breathe without her.

They arrived at the school to find the parking lot empty except for the Jetta and Kyle’s Mustang so Max drove up to the main entrance to the school and cut the engine. He got out and walked over to Liz’s side of the vehicle and helped her out pulling her close as her feet touched the ground. Not being able to resist he kissed her softly and nuzzled her ear. When he lifted his head it was to find most of the group standing by the entrance doors to the building.

“Hey.” Max said in greeting not letting go of Liz who leaned her head against his chest.

“Hi Max. Are you ready to go?” Isabel asked trying to pull off a breezy tone. Max’s eyes narrowed and he looked at the group trying to discover the reason for Isabel’s tone after living with her his whole life he knew that tone. Not seeing Michael or Tess and seeing that everyone was trying to avoid eye contact his suspicions rose.

“Where are Michael and Tess?” He asked feeling Liz try to pull back he tightened his arms slightly and she settled back against him with a sigh.

“I don’t know.” Isabel said frost creeping into her tone.

“What happened?” Max asked but no one responded. Liz zeroed in on Maria.

“Maria? What happened?” Liz asked firmly.

“Michael was being an asshole so we left and I guess he and Tess took off.” Maria said with a shrug. Liz turned to Kyle.

“Kyle?” She asked.

“He mouthed off, managed to piss off both Isabel and Maria, got slapped twice, and we left them standing in the parking lot.” Kyle said shortly.

“Oookay.” Liz said slowly.

“Max just forget them and let’s move on. So you and Liz are back together huh?” Isabel asked trying to turn the conversation away from the missing group members.

“Yeah, we are. We have a lot to tell you Isabel. Maria, Kyle, and Alex already know so can you ride with us? We have a little time before the meeting and I’d like to fill you in.” He waited for Isabel to agree then turned to the rest of them. “We’ll meet you at Ash’s okay? It’ll be a long meeting I’m sure so you need to let your parents know you’ll be out for awhile. We’re going to try to find Michael and Tess before the meeting and fill in Isabel on the way.” He noticed the uncomfortable shuffle at the mention of Michael and Tess but ignored it. After they all agreed on the plan they split up.

Isabel climbed into the back of the Jeep and pulled her hair back into a ponytail still seething over Michael. She had never been so mad at him but his disrespectful remarks had pushed her over the edge and she had no intention of saying she was sorry. She wasn’t sorry. She stayed quite as they drove toward the Valenti’s house looking for Tess. She could see Max practically glowing with happiness as Liz teased him. She knew she had been right to support Max and this just proved it to her. Not seeing Tess’s SUV parked out front they continued on to Michael’s place. When they reached his apartment Max parked then leaned over and kissed Liz quickly and jumped out and disappeared up the walk to Michael’s apartment. Liz turned to look at Isabel.

“The fight was about me wasn’t it? I mean me being with Max.” Liz asked making it sound more like a statement.

“The fight was about a lot of things. Mostly it was about Michael himself. Look, Michael and Max are…at odds right now. Worse than I’ve ever seen and I don’t really know why. Michael fights him on everything. It doesn’t seem to matter what it is.” Isabel paused. “Liz I just wanted to say I’m happy for you both. Anything that makes Max this happy is cool with me. I know he loves you and he was a miserable wreak without you.” Isabel finished with a big smile. Liz laughed in surprised enjoyment.

“So he kept telling me.” Liz smiled warmly at Isabel. “He kinda wore me down I guess. Thank you for everything I know how much you love Max and I know how important your support is to him. It means a lot to me that you’re okay with this.” Liz paused for a few seconds. “Max found Michael so I better fill you in on what the meeting is about.”

“How do you know Max found Michael?” Isabel asked puzzled. She watched a startled expression cross Liz’s face.

“Oh umm well he’s been gone awhile so he must have found him. Anyway let me fill you in on Ash.” Liz told Isabel what she knew as Isabel listened with growing amazement.


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 29-Jul-2002 6:38:35 PM ]
posted on 30-Jul-2002 6:39:37 PM by Lelea
Chapter Eighteen

fail_safe

Liz sighed in relief as they parked in front of Ash’s place. The ride here had been downright frosty. Isabel and Michael hadn’t said a word and refused to even look at each other. Max hadn’t said much when he returned with Michael. They had searched for Tess but hadn’t found her anywhere so giving up they had driven on to Ash’s place.

The four of them made their way up the stairs to Ash’s loft and knocked on the door, which was opened quickly by Maria who shot a glare at Michael as he passed. Looking around Liz saw that Ash had made some changes since the last time she had been here. There was a coffee table in front of the couch that Alex was currently sitting on. Also there was a huge pile of pillows of all shapes, sizes, and colors in front of the table with three beanbag chairs on the edge of the pile of pillows. Kyle sat in one of the beanbag chairs looking very comfortable. Ash was in the kitchen judging by the rustling sounds she heard.

“Hey Liz! Look what Ash bought. Cool huh?” Kyle called.

“Yeah. Ash it looks really nice.” Liz said touched that Ash had thought about their comfort..Nesado wouldn’t have given it a thought.

“Thank you. Please sit. It will be comfortable enough?” Ash asked from the kitchen.

“Oh yeah. Kyle’s already made himself at home.” Liz called back. Isabel made her way over to the couch and sat next to Alex. Michael took one of the beanbag chairs and Maria slid down onto the pillows as far from Michael as she could get. Max pulled Liz to the remaining beanbag and sat down settling Liz between his legs her back resting on his chest head tucked under his chin. He pulled her shirt up slightly so he could touch her bare skin and brushed a kiss across her hair.

Ash walked in studying the group as he sat on the floor facing the group. He noted Liz and Max’s closeness with pleasure. Liz quickly introduced everyone so Ash would know who was who in case he didn’t already.

“Tess couldn’t make it?” Ash asked right away.

“Umm we couldn’t find her. We’ll bring her next time.” Liz answered. “I tried to fill them in on what you told us and I think they have some questions. Is that alright?”

“Of course. Afterwards I have some questions as well. Please ask.” Ash said nodding to the group.

“First I hate to be rude but I need you to prove who you are. I need to know I can trust you.” Max said firmly.

“Of course.” Ash said then stood and shapeshifted into Jeff Parker. The group gasp in surprise and Ash returned to his normal form. He then showed the group the tattoo on his shoulder blade that glowed faintly with a blue light. It was the symbol on the orb. “This symbol indicates that my purpose or job is to aid the oracle in whatever way is called for it has been so for generations in my family.” Ash stated sitting back down.

“Okay. Thank you.” Max said reassured that his feeling about Ash was correct. He had to be sure if he was going to trust him to care for Liz. Ash nodded in answer.

“Liz says you weren’t part of the original mission. So how and when did you get here?” Michael asked eager to hear everything.

“When we didn’t receive the signal telling us you had arrived safely we immediately began preparing another mission to search for and assist your group. Unfortunately it took time to organize and it also drew the attention of Kivar who had taken your throne. He had learned of the first mission and started preparing one of his own to eliminate you. We arrived on this planet several years after your arrival in 1949. Kivar’s people the skins as you call them arrived in 1950. It took them longer to prepare, as this planet is hostile to their species.

We didn’t know what had gone wrong with your group and detected no beacon from your pods or the oracle to help us locate you so we split up and started searching the planet for you, as did the skins when they arrived. We had the advantage of knowing your original course so a larger number of us stayed in the southwestern United States searching. The two signals in February and then in May from the oracle or orb as you call it focused everyone on this area.” Ash finished and watched as the group processed this information.

“How many of you are there?” Max asked.

“The second mission had 100 of us. I do not know how many skins were sent I would guess many.” Ash answered looking at Max.

“So if there are 100 of you where are they?” Michael asked.

“Over the years our numbers have been reduced slightly as the skins killed some of us off during our search. We are now about 86 or so. We are spread out over several states. A large influx of people to this area would have been noticed so there are only 4 of us in the area and aware of who you are and where you are.” Ash answered tone smooth and even.

“So if you found us in May why are we just meeting you now? And why are only 4 of you aware of who we are and where we are?” Michael asked suspicious.

“I came immediately in May after the second signal being the closest one to the area. I only told the 3 I trust absolutely and asked for assistance, as I had to follow Liz when she left. The other 3 have been watching the rest of you. I recently assigned one to Tess leaving the other two to watch you three.” Ash answered.

“Wait! You followed Liz to Florida? Why?” Michael asked sounding puzzled.

“She is Max’s mate. The oracle had already started the joining. It is my job to guide and protect her. I had to follow her.” Ash replied looking back at Michael steadily. Liz squirmed a little feeling the eyes of the group on her. Max ran a soothing hand down her arm then laced their fingers together.

“Ash what is this joining process exactly?” Isabel asked interested.

“Normally it is a natural process our species goes through on the rare occasion they meet their bonded or the one that calls to their essence. They are drawn together and their bodies tune to each other and they mate. Due to Liz being human and Max being a hybrid things are not quite as simple. The orb had to intervene. Sensing that Max was ready and had found his mate the orb called to him pushing him to act on his urge to be with Liz. The orb then connected to Liz through Max and caused her to feel the pull to be with him and sent her pictures of it’s location. The orb also started tuning their bodies to each other but the process was interrupted somehow.” Ash said carefully.

“How? How was the process interrupted?” Max asked.

“I do not know. I suspect it was Nesado or possibly Tess.” Ash said watching Max closely. He saw Max’s face tighten and he pulled Liz closer.

“But you don’t know that. It could have been something else. Maybe Liz isn’t Max’s correct mate.” Michael said.

“Liz is the one. There has been no mistake there.” Ash said firmly glancing over at Michael.

“Why would Nesado or Tess care enough to interfere?” Michael scoffed.

“Power I would think and a political agenda. I can not say at this time.” Ash answered

“You said before that Liz is in danger. Can you tell us more about that?” Max asked ignoring Michael.

“Like I said the joining is not complete this is a problem in a number of ways. First you Max will be distracted and more aggressive than normal less in control as time goes on. This could effect your powers if it goes on too long. Liz has been changed enough to make her clear to your enemies. They will focus on her and try to eliminate her as if the process is completed you will be more powerful and likely have heirs plus this would weaken you. Liz also has no understanding of how to use her own born gifts much less any she will share with you. So in effect it is like someone has turned a spot light on her and she has no idea how to protect herself.” Ash said wanting to make the danger clear. He watched the group closely and saw the fearful looks on all but Michael’s face. He studied Michael carefully trying to read him but his face was carefully blank.

“You said I have born gifts…what does that mean?” Liz asked quietly.

“Most humans have gifts of some sort locked inside them to some degree. However few are able to access them fully. They can be many things seeing the future or past, moving things with the mind, astral projection, reading or connecting with people and those are just a few. I sense in you powerful gifts but I can’t tell you what they are until we work together on them.” Ash said in reply to Liz’s question still looking at Michael.

Maria was still dwelling on the earlier part of the conversation. She was scared for Liz and wanted to make sure Ash knew all of the weird things that were happening to her.

“Ash, can we go back to what’s happening to Liz for a minute?” Maria asked. Michael rolled his eyes in disgust.

“Of course. What is it that you want to talk about?” Ash asked.

“Well Liz has been having fevers so high she passed out, glowing hands, Max touched her and there was a flash of light, she touched the new guys hand and felt sick. I mean weird stuff has been happening. I want to be sure she’s going to be okay.”

“When did her hands glow?” Max asked concerned this was the first time he was hearing about this.

“Last night she was sleeping and had a nightmare and her hands glowed. I saw them.” Maria answered.

“The glowing hands could be her powers emerging or she could be tapping into Max’s powers. The fevers are caused by the orb. At first the fevers would be mild signaling the orbs interference and the tuning process. The symptoms would get stronger the longer she fights the process or the longer it takes to complete the process. The flash of light..that could be the orb working to overcome whatever is interfering in the process or it could be Liz’s own powers reacting to the orb. We need to start training right away that will help with all of these symptoms.


I need to hear about this new person and exactly what has happened with him.” Ash said and looking back and forth from Maria to Max who had tensed at the mention of Nick.

“Well we were in class and the teacher introduced the new guy as Nick Crawford from Copper Summit in Arizona. He sat behind Liz and shook her hand Liz turned pale and dropped his hand. I questioned him a little. He said his Dad worked for a company who did government research and was trying to buy Eagle Rock. That’s about all I remember but Max tell him about the scene at lunch.” Maria said spilling everything she knew. Ash glanced at Liz and saw that she seemed to not be paying attention.

“Nick was hassling Liz grabbing her. She told him she didn’t like him and he continued to hassle her. I told him to leave her alone making it very clear. That’s about it.” Max said and glanced down at Liz.

“Liz?” Ash asked touching her foot to draw her attention. He waited for her to meet his eyes. “I need you to tell me everything about this Nick.”

“Umm when I met him and shook his hand I felt sick. I tried to stay away from him but he was in almost every class of mine and he just didn’t take a hint so I started being rude and he still kept trying to touch me somehow. I didn’t want him following me to lunch so I ducked into the bathroom but he was there when I came out. I finally told him I didn’t like him and to go away. Then Max came and told him to leave me alone he got really mean..nasty about it. That’s about it I think.” Liz said her eyes going back to Max feeling warmer as time went by.

“This is very important. Don’t ever be alone with him. Try to stay away from him as much as you can and do not allow him to touch you. It is very possible that he is a skin. I will look into him and send someone to Copper Summit right away.” Ash said alarmed. Things were happening much faster than he would like. They weren’t ready.

“What can you tell us about the skins?” Michael asked tired of talking about Liz.

“Earth’s atmosphere is hostile to their natural form so they designed a husk to protect them. The husk is a parasitic lifeform technology genetically manipulated to resemble the human form. The husk lives for about 50 years then they must replace it with a new husk. We have been unable to locate where they are growing their new husks so far. The time for the Harvest is approaching where they will replace their dying husks. You were sent to the desert because the climate here is more abusive to their natural form as well their husk especially now when their husks are dying. The husk is very good protection and makes them very hard to kill acting as light armor. The best chance to kill them is the eyes they are the weakest. So always aim for the head.” Ash said coldly.

“Why would Liz feel sick when she touched Nick? How does that make him a skin?” Michael asked.

“Every lifeform has a bio signature one of the skins strongest powers is to be able to read that signature. This is how they will know a human from a hybrid or a shapeshifter. This is how they will know Liz. There are many ways to get a read on a lifeform smell, feeling the electrical current emitted by the life form, sensing emotion the list goes on. This is likely a gift of Liz’s heightened now due to her change. Being able to read a being. Like I said I will need to work with her to know more this is just an educated guess at this point.” Ash said glancing over at Liz.

“If Nick is a skin why would he want to touch Liz like that? Why risk exposing himself?” Isabel asked.

“He would want to determine if Liz is Max’s mate and he would know by coming into physical contact with her. He would feel the changes of the tuning process. By touching her he will know this and if he has long enough he can tell how far the process has progressed. There are a lot of unknowns here due to the fact that Max is a hybrid and Liz is human, a joining has never happened like this before.” Ash explained.



“Why don’t we stop for awhile and order the pizza?” Ash asked.

“That sounds great. I am getting hungry.” Maria said feeling a little overloaded.Isabel got up and followed Maria over to the kitchen counter discussing what to order on the pizza and how much pizza to order. Hearing food mentioned Alex and Kyle followed with Michael trailing behind them.

Ash turned to Max and noted the worried look on his face and how his hands stroked Liz in a soothing rhythm. “I need to talk with you about the others.” Ash said quietly.

“Okay. What do you need to know?” Max asked trying to stay focused on Ash as Liz shifted in his arms.

“Michael and Tess…have they been acting any different? Do you trust them?” Ash asked not knowing how to broach the subject.

“Tess I have reservations about. Michael I trust completely.” Max paused. “Michael and I have been having problems lately but I trust him.” Max said. Ash nodded slowly.

“I have seen the tension and discord in the four of you. The three watching you reported it to me over the summer as well. The reason I ask is that I have a suspicion that not all of us that were killed were killed by skins. It was suggested that your group had a traitor among you. I think that is the case. I suspect that the one you call Nesado was the traitor and as I understand it Tess was raised by him correct?” Ash asked.

“Yes, Isabel, Michael, and I broke free of the pods sooner than she did and left. When Nesado arrived there was only Tess so he took her and raised her.” Max said thoughtfully. “Why did you ask about Michael?”

“A change in his behavior was noted and he spent a lot of time alone with Tess over the summer working on his gifts. She could be trying to cause a rift in the group. I also watched his reaction to our conversation and found it troubling. Especially in relation to Liz.” Ash said plainly. Max nodded and paused thinking about that for a moment. Liz sifted in Max’s arms feeling horrible about being the cause of tension between the two.

“It’s possible I guess. He’s had a rough time over the last year. He wanted to find out about our past…more so than Isabel or I did. The message last spring combined with what Nesado and Tess told us gave him some of the answers he was looking for I think. He was unhappy with me that I didn’t embrace the message with the same excitement he did or take some kind of immediate action. He doesn’t handle frustration well.” Max finished with a small smile. Ash nodded thinking about that. “Do you think she used her powers on him..mindwarped him?” Max asked.

“That isn’t the only possibility. She could just be talking to him planting the seeds of discord. Seeming to help him and give him the answers he has been searching for.” Ash said slowly. Max nodded agreeing that was possible.

“While we eat can you and the others tell me what has happened until now? I need to know how we got here then we can decide how to proceed.” Ash asked needing as much background information as possible.

“Yeah sure. We’ll start from the beginning.” Max said.

“Thank you that would be most helpful.” Ash replied.

The girls phoned in the pizza order and as they waited the group started telling Ash their story starting from when they emerged from the pods. Ash listened carefully asking a question if he needed clarification on something. He was pleased at their instinctive strategy to blend in but disturbed by their lack of knowledge about themselves. The pizza arrived and as they ate gathered around the coffee table they continued to fill Ash in. He questioned Liz about the time she spent with Nesado and Tess. When he learned she had eaten dinner with them he made her go over every detail about what had happened. He questioned Isabel about what she knew about Tess’s powers. He listened intently to Max’s edited tale of his capture by the FBI and how he was rescued. He realized with amazement that the powers they had didn’t always match up to what they were in their last life.

Finally they had told him everything they could think of. Liz was starting to feel a little tired and wondered if the room was getting warmer. Looking around no one else looked bothered so she shrugged it off yawned and tried to concentrate.

“We have a lot of information to cover and I know you all have questions however we can’t possibly cover it all tonight. Based on what I have learned I will call in some more help and set up sessions to work with you all. However I need Liz to start immediately and she will need a partner to work with, it can not be a hybrid.” Ash paused and drew Liz’s attention by again touching her foot.

“Liz? Do you trust Kyle enough to have him be your partner?” Ash asked. “You need to be able to connect with him and be comfortable with him and he with you. It will be very personal.”

“Yes. I trust him.” Liz said without pause looking at Ash directly. Ash turned to Kyle.

“Kyle, what about you? Do you trust Liz enough to do this? Are you willing to do this?” Ash asked.

“Yeah, I trust her. I want to help her if I can.” Kyle said amazed that Liz could trust him that much without having to think about it.

“Why did you choose Kyle?” Max asked curious.

“You healed both Kyle and Liz changing them to a degree. This likely gave them easier access to their own gifts. Plus Kyle’s closest tie to the group is Liz. Alex and Maria have other ties to the group that could become stronger than their tie to her. If anything were to ever happen to me Liz will need someone to protect her someone that she is very comfortable with and trusts completely. Think of it like this Michael is your second…Kyle would be similar for Liz. Her welfare would come before anyone else’s to him.” Ash explained. Max nodded slowly feeling better about it. For all their past rivalry over Liz he did think Kyle was concerned with her safety. Besides he trusted Liz.

posted on 31-Jul-2002 2:01:04 PM by Lelea
Chapter Nineteen

fail_safe

Meanwhile outside of town Tess waited impatiently. Inwardly she was fuming. Things were not going at all according to plan. Why did that stupid bastard have to die? He was the one who was supposed to deal with these shedding morons. Tess thought in disgust. Nesado dying was only one of her problems. Liz was becoming a bigger problem with every day that past. She just didn’t get it. How could Max find that underdeveloped little human more attractive then her? It made no sense at all. Just then Tess saw headlights approaching. Finally. She waited as the vehicle pulled up and Nick got out slowly.

“What was the idea behind today’s little stunt?” Tess demanded furious. Didn’t this idiot understand anything?

“That bitch deserved it. What’s the problem?” Nick asked unconcerned with Tess’s rage.

“The problem you idiot is that Max and Liz never returned to school. All you did was give them an afternoon to get closer. That is not what we need to be doing right now.” Tess explained as if talking to a dimwitted child.

“Listen Kivar could care less who Zan screws. You or her it makes no matter. We just want the heir that results. Besides you don’t have a chance he has already chosen.” Nick said with a smile knowing she would be pissed.

“If Max actually joins with her you can forget getting anywhere near her. The only advantage we have is keeping them weak. You need to concentrate on Michael. I have worked on him all summer pumping up his ego and feeding him misinformation always backing his stupid ideas to take action. This is the perfect time send him Courtney. He is fighting with everyone at this point a little stroking from Courtney should do the trick.” Tess said with a sneer.

“What about Vilandra?” Nick asked.

“Forget it. Her and Max are much closer in this life. She is totally behind him.” Tess said thinking of the fight that afternoon. “Also don’t come on so strong with Liz. They took a little too much notice of you today.”

“So what are we going to do about Liz?” Nick asked wondering what Tess had in mind.

“There’s going to be a party on Friday. Maybe Liz can have an accident. I’ll let you know let me give it some thought.” Tess said thinking. “I just need to see the damage from today and get the details on this party and I’ll let you know.”

“Fine. Now have you found the Granilith? The Summit is drawing closer Tess.” Nick pointed out.

“I know that! No I haven’t found it yet. None of them know where it is or that it even exists. I still have time.” Tess snapped.

“Could you try not to be such a bitch? Maybe that’s your problem with Max. Did you ever think of that?” Nick asked sick of her attitude.

“I’ll make you a deal. I’ll try being nicer if you try being smarter.” Tess replied coldly.

“You better hope you pull this off. No one is going to keep you around for your personality.” Nick warned. “Uzizen is getting tired of your excuses. Find the Granilith. If you don’t we’re going to play and I don’t think you’re going to like the games I have in mind.” Nick finished with a cold grin.

“I wouldn’t worry so much about me you need to keep your mind on the prize. If we fail I won’t be the only one in trouble. Kivar was already very unhappy with you so keep your threats to yourself.” Tess said. “Bye now.” Tess said giving him a mocking wave as she got in her SUV.

“Bitch.” Nick muttered watching her taillights fade.




As the meeting continued Liz felt her attention drift. Looking at Michael she sensed a lot of hostility coming from him and had no idea why. She understood that he was difficult but this seemed excessive. She knew he didn’t hate her if he did he wouldn’t have been so nice to her last year when Max was taken. She suddenly wondered if he was angry because he now had no valid reason to keep pushing Maria away. Pondering that for a few minutes she thought that idea might have some merit but wasn’t the whole problem. By now he must realize that Maria was in this whether he was with her or not. Plus she had seen him glancing at Maria while they ate. She wished him luck because whatever he had done Maria was really pissed off about it. She had a pretty good idea that whatever he had done related directly to her. Maria was feeling especially protective of her right now and wouldn’t take that kindly. Plus Kyle wouldn’t have been so pissed which was why she didn’t push to find out what had happened because if it was that bad Max wouldn’t be able to let it go. She tuned back into the meeting as Ash started to explain a little about their past lives.

“I don’t claim to know everything I wasn’t part of the inner court or privy to any secretes but I will tell you what I know. In our solar system there are five planets that rule the system each with it’s own ruling family they form a V shape that is also the royal seal of our planet Antar. Think of Antar as the United States of our system we didn’t rule the system but we had many treaties and allies our suggestions were taken seriously. On our planet the leader, either the king or the queen, wasn’t chosen by birth order or gender but by who was born with the seal. The Granilith imparted the seal to the one best suited to rule. So even though Vilandra or Isabel was born first it was Zan or Max who had the seal. In rare cases the seal was passed outside of the royal family in cases of death until the next generation was able to rule but as I said that was rare.

The Granilith is something I can not explain adequately. It is not alive in the same sense we are but it is aware. It is extremely powerful and was sent with you to keep it safe from Kivar. The oracle or orbs were made with crystals from the Granilith and although separate from it are also linked. It is the Granilith that my family served originally. It is not known where the Granilith came from that knowledge is lost somewhere in our history it has been so long. This is the main reason Antar was so strong. The other planets feared its power. It is worshipped in some areas of our planet and its power unquestioned.

Kivar who was the leader of the rebellion that took your lives envied that power and used his deceit to gain support. Some of Zan’s actions were not popular ones and this was used to build the rebellion. Kivar was originally a trusted advisor to Zan but broke away and turned his species against us using lies. Zan was negotiating new trade treaties with the other planets. Our planet was a large exporter of technology and natural resources. Zan wanted a more unified system and to gain this was willing to set in place a trade treaty guaranteeing pricing on all needed resources which would cut into the profits of Kivar’s species or so he said. He spread lies that Zan planned to take over all these industries and make them government run. He told many lies that were believed and gained large amounts of support on Antar as well as several other planets in the system who were not open to a unified system.

Civil War soon erupted on our planet and Rath or Michael Zan’s second in command lead our armies against Kivar. Rath was intensely loyal to the royal family and an excellent warrior. When the tide of the war turned against Kivar he called on Vilandra claiming to want peace. She set up a meeting with Zan and Rath. Kivar had been close to Vilandra when he was Zan’s advisor and at one time it was thought they might marry so she believed him when he said he wanted to work toward peace. He came to the meeting and with help from inside the palace he was able to bring in a number of his elite warriors. He slaughtered all of you including Ava Zan’s bride and took over the throne. Your Mother the former Queen was away at the time and escaped, all forces still loyal to the Royal family brought her your bodies and what resources they could. Which is how you came to be here. Now not only our planet is wracked with war but the entire system.” Ash finished the history lesson and waited for any questions.

“So I caused our deaths?” Isabel asked horrified.

“No. You were lied to and betrayed. You were trying to help Zan bring peace to our planet. Many breaches of security happened to allow what occurred. You were in no way responsible.” Ash said firmly. Isabel nodded and stayed quiet trying to absorb the massive amounts of information they had been given.

“You called Ava my bride not my Queen why is that?” Max asked

“Ava had no real power in the government. She was married to you that was all. Much like the first lady is to your president. Your Mother was ruling Queen for many years before you took the throne while your father was not a ruling king he did not have the seal.” Ash said trying to explain.

“I don’t mean to overload you but there is one more thing I want to discuss. When you where first sent here to Earth this planet was for the most part left alone. That is no longer the case. Once it was discovered that you were sent here that changed. Plus with our system at war resources grow scarce and when the other ruling families become aware of the fact that Kivar does not hold the Granilith and it is here on Earth things will change again. You will no longer be able to hide. They will find you. We need to prepare for that time. I fear that time is drawing near, as does the Granilith. It has sensed increased activity here on Earth. Right now both sides prefer to act covertly keeping our presence here a secret but soon that won’t be true. Kivar hates our species he envies our powers. From what I have seen humans will not fair well either. They are considered by most to be dispensable and an underdeveloped species unable to use their own gifts. They will not hesitate to tear this planet apart for they want. So don’t get too comfortable hiding you will need to take action to survive.” Ash hoped he had made his thoughts clear. He didn’t want them to think Earth would be safe from the conflict raging in their home system.

“I will call in more help and we will start to prepare. We must proceed carefully. Right now the priority is Liz. She must be kept safe. I can not stress this enough.” Ash finished and noticed the angry expression cross Michael’s face.

“Why is she so important? I don’t understand why a human is the top priory. I know she is Max’s mate or whatever but so what? Just because she’s screwing Max doesn’t make her important.” Michael said not caring about all the glares cast his way. He really wanted an answer. Max’s face darkened in anger at Michael’s comments and the flash of hurt he felt from Liz at Michael’s words but Liz calmly laced their fingers together and flashed him a small smile and shook her head trying to head off trouble. “I mean shouldn’t we be more worried about gaining the skills to fight them?”

“I don’t think you understand. Without Liz Max will not be strong enough even if he were to survive her death. Bonded mates rarely survive the death of their mate. They share energy, powers, and their essence…all that they are. It is crippling to loose that. Not to mention that if Kivar were to capture Liz and she were carrying the heir he would have solidified his base of power. The people would follow him as he would have the heir who carries the royal seal given by the Granilith and Liz would carry a seal of her own.” Ash said worried about Michael’s attitude.

“What seal? How could she have a seal she’s not an alien? You said Tess was just Max’s wife not powerful in the government.” Michael said triumphant he had tripped Ash up.

“Ava was not bonded to Zan. The Granilith did not give her a seal, as it did not believe her to be suited. She was not suited to have any power as she was not Zan’s match in strength or will. Liz is a different story. She will have a seal that shows her as being Max’s bonded and equal approved as such by the Granilith. It would mean that if Max were to die and Liz survived that she would carry the royal seal until the heir were to come into power.

It means that Liz is important not only for Max’s well being or as a mate. She has strength and gifts to contribute human or not. You will not disrespect her. Everyone that is here has something to give no matter how small that will help you and add to your combined strength and therefore they all deserve respect. It is not becoming of a warrior to discount people that are aiding you. Learning to fight is important yes but so are other things.” Ash said disapproval clear in his tone. He turned to Liz and noticed her flushed face and tired eyes.

“We need to stop for tonight. I will make the arrangements we discussed. Liz and Kyle can you start your training tomorrow? Ash asked.

“Umm I have to work until 7PM but after that I can.” Liz said feeling really sleepy and hot.

“Yeah I can be here. 7 is good.” Kyle said.

“Excellent. I will see you both at 7 tomorrow then we will work for a couple of hours.” Ash said and turned to the rest of the group. “I can’t give you orders only recommend a course of action. I suggest you all resolve your differences it will be important to work together. Also I would like to not tell Tess what was discussed at this point. I want to check a few things out first if that is okay. I don’t want the skins to learn of my presence and the fact that I am working with Liz. So for right now Liz and Kyle are just taking a self-defense class from me. Is that alright?” Ash said watching Michael closely. Everyone nodded seeing the wisdom in that.

“Why are you so eager to keep Tess in the dark?” Michael asked suspicious of Ash.

“I want to be sure of whose side she is on.” Ash answered looking Michael right in the face. “Did you not wonder about her when she first came? She was not exactly up front with you in the beginning. I just want to make sure she has no other surprises hidden from you.”

“Ok. I can understand that.” Michael said grudgingly. So with that the meeting broke up everyone making their way to their vehicles.

“Liz I’m going to drive Isabel and Michael home then I’ll come by alright?” Max said softly pulling her into a hug.

“Okay I’ll ride home with Maria and see you later.” Liz said and pulled his head down for a quick kiss smiling at his groan as she pulled away. “Later Max.” Liz said with a grin and walked over to Maria. Max waited for them to drive off before he walked to the Jeep and got in. Isabel and Michael were already waiting. Max turned to Michael.

“I’m gonna drive Izzy home and then we’re gonna talk Michael.” Max said firmly as he started the Jeep.


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 31-Jul-2002 2:09:11 PM ]
posted on 1-Aug-2002 1:14:47 PM by Lelea
Chapter Twenty
fail_safe

Maria was bursting with curiosity. She could barely wait to start pumping Liz for information about what had happened with Max. She waited until Liz shut the door to the Jetta then pounced.

“So. Tell me what’s going on with Max.” Maria said excited.

“We’re back together.” Liz said with a grin knowing that wasn’t what Maria meant.

“LIZ! I know that! I want the details. Spill them now and I won’t hurt you.” Maria teased.

“Well I want to know about Michael.” Liz countered quickly.

“Forget Michael. I have. I was so wrong about him. I have no idea what his problem is but I guarantee you it’s a hard to pronounce mental disorder. Besides it’s not my problem.” Maria dismissed Michael with a wave of the hand. “Now back to you.” Maria smirked.

“Ok well…umm he rounded third.” Liz said in a rush trying not to smile.

“HE WHAT? So you didn’t…” Maria stuttered.

“Nope. But he runs the bases pretty good so far.” Liz said with a big smile.

“He put the moves on you? I can’t believe he put the moves on you. He ran like a rabbit this morning.” Maria said after a moment of shocked silence.

“Oh no. Max didn’t put the moves on me. I just took off my cloths and asked him to touch me.” Liz said then started laughing at the look on Maria’s face. “Maybe we shouldn’t talk about this while you’re driving I want to live for a little while longer.” Liz said after Maria swerved violently.

“LIZ! You really just stripped?” Maria asked.

“No..Well yes but I was changing cloths. He just looked at the wrong time. Then I just couldn’t help myself the look on his face…I’m not sorry either. I just decided to take your advice and stop thinking so much. I love him and I’m tired of trying to fight that it’s exhausting. I didn’t really plan it, it just felt right.” Liz said not able to adequately explain.

“I bet he doesn’t think he looked at the wrong time.” Maria teased happy for Liz.

“No I don’t think he does.” Liz said feeling relaxed and happy.

“So what about Tess?” Maria asked wondering what the plan was in regards to her.

“I don’t know. She’s going to be really mad but I don’t care. We’ll just have to see I guess. It’s not like we can hide the fact that we’re together as soon as she sees us she’s gonna know.” Liz said not really too worried about it.

“True. Max’s silly grin would be a dead give away. I’m so happy for you Liz. This is so great. Now Friday I can find the perfect man for me and everything will be just stellar.” Maria said with a smile.

“Uh huh.” Liz said sounding slightly doubtful. Maria pulled up to the CrashDown and turned to Liz.

“You’ll see. We’re gonna have so much fun.” Maria gushed.





Max pulled up to Michael’s apartment and turned off the engine. He got out and followed Michael without saying a word. Once inside his apartment Max turned to look at Michael trying to figure out how to handle this.

“Michael can I trust you?” Max asked looking Michael in the face.

“What do you mean?” Michael asked confused.

“I need to know if I can trust you. We’ve been fighting for months now Michael and it has to stop. I can’t let you treat Liz like you did at the meeting. It hurts her when you talk about her like that.” Max paused allowing Michael time to say something. “Michael you basically called Liz a whore. You do see that right?”

“I didn’t call her a whore. I just don’t think She’s the main thing to worry about.” Michael said stubbornly.

“Michael you said you didn’t see why “screwing” me made her important. That is calling her a whore. I won’t tolerate it. Don’t treat her like shit because we’re not getting along. Look things are changing fast now Michael and we need to stick together if we’re going to make it. I need to know where you stand. Right now I don’t trust you around Liz. I don’t feel like I know you anymore.” Max said.

“So you trust Kyle around her and he’s felt her up but me you don’t? I’m not the one that tried to nail her last year.” Michael said getting angry. Max felt the rage sweep through him so quickly it made him dizzy. He stepped forward and punched Michael in the face putting his body into it breaking his nose with a popping sound blood spraying the front of Michael’s shirt. Michael held a hand to his face and looked at Max his eyes seething with shocked hurt and anger.

“I warned you Michael. You ever say anything like that again and you’re on your own. I love you like a brother but this I won’t tolerate.” Max said his voice shaking with anger. He took a deep breath and tried again. “You just don’t get it Michael. I love her she’s my family, my future. I can’t let anything jeopardize that, I won’t. I need her Michael.” Max said trying one more time to make Michael understand.

“You’d do that? Turn your back on me?” Michael asked his voice quiet.

“Yes I would. I don’t want to but I would. This isn’t a matter of you just insulting her it’s more than that. It’s your whole attitude. Liz has done so much for us Michael; all of us and you just act like she’s dirt. Like she’s expandable. It’s not just Liz either it’s all of the humans use them until you don’t need them anymore then discard and hurt them. That’s what your attitude says to me and it’s wrong. It makes me think I can’t trust you not to hurt Liz or let someone else hurt her. Really think about this Michael. Take a look at what you’ve been doing and saying to all of them. The stakes are rising here and I need to be absolutely certain that I can trust the people around me.” Max explained. Michael took off his T-shirt and held it to his nose trying to stop the bleeding.

“Did Liz say she thinks I would hurt her?” Michael asked surprised.

“No. Liz would never say that. In fact she doesn’t know we’re having this talk if she did she would be upset. Look just think about what I’ve said. I want to work this out Michael. I’m sorry if I’ve upset you or not handled things like you think I should have. All I can say is I do what I think is right what I can live with. If you have suggestions tell me. All of this is new for all of us and we’re all trying to do the best that we can. Now I’ve gotta go, think about what you want to do and we’ll talk later.” Max said slowly. “Do you want me to fix that?” He asked pointing to Michael’s nose. When Michael nodded he quickly healed him and walked toward the door.

“Max?” Max stopped and turned back to Michael. “I’m sorry about what I said about Liz. I didn’t mean it.” Michael said looking Max in the eye. Max nodded and left.


Max arrived at Liz’s his emotions still a confused mess after his fight with Michael. He sat in the Jeep trying to gain control not wanting Liz to see how upset he was. He thought back to the quick flash of pain he had felt from Liz at the meeting from Michael’s thoughtless remarks. He couldn’t stand to feel her hurt like that. He sighed and made his way to Liz.

As he approached the window to her room he could hear music playing softly. He climbed inside and stopped smiling at the sight in front of him. Liz lay sprawled across the bed completely naked her pajamas still clutched in her hand asleep feet hanging off the side of the bed. He walked to her bedroom door and sealed it quickly and turned off the lights and music. He stripped down to his boxers and removed the pajamas from Liz’s hand tossing them aside. He picked her up positioning her on the bed and slipping in behind her.

“Max?” Liz murmured softly still half asleep.

“Shh go back to sleep.” Max whispered.

“Stay with me?” Liz asked turning over.

“Of course.” Max answered pulling her closer to him. She settled against him her head tucked into the curve of his neck her hand on his chest. He stroked her hair softly slowly relaxing.

“Don’t be so mad at Michael. He’s your family not the enemy. He’ll come around. You shouldn’t hit him it might remind him of Hank.” Liz muttered stroking his chest. Then sighed slipping back into sleep leaving an astonished Max wide-awake and staring into the darkness.




Liz woke just as the sun was slowly rising. She stretched feeling safe and warm. She heard a sleepy protest from beside her and Max tightened the arm he had thrown across her middle. She was mildly surprised to wake up in bed with Max naked. Well she was naked she looked over at Max and saw he was wearing boxers…boxers with a very large tent in the front. She lay there for a moment bursting with happiness. Then unable to help herself she stroked a finger across his brow and trailed it down the side of his face. Max muttered in his sleep and his hand roamed down to her hip pulling on it gently. She rolled onto her side facing him throwing her leg over his. He groaned and pulled her lower body closer to him. She decided it was time to wake him up so she leaned in and started kissing and sucking on his neck her hand slipping into his boxers to gently stroke over his ass.

“Max it’s time to wake up and play with me.” Liz whispered in his ear. Max opened his eyes slowly his erection already painful. “Maaax wake up and play with me.” Liz teased moving her hips slowly against him. Max flipped her onto her back so fast she squeaked in surprise. He grinned down at her wide-awake.

“Now how can I deny you when you asked so nicely?” Max said in return bending his head and nuzzling her ear.

“You can’t.” Liz said with a big smile. He pulled back and raised his eyebrow. Liz looked up at him with an innocent look on her face. “Oh come on Max you know you want to play.” She rubbed her breasts against his chest with a pretext of shifting position slightly. He groaned and kissed her parting her lips with his tongue. He pulled back after a few minutes panting and moved lower trailing his lips down her throat across her chest and down to the underside of her breast. He nuzzled her breast and smiled at her in drawn breath and restless movement.

“You wouldn’t be trying to tease me would you?” Max asked then took her nipple into his mouth. She moaned in reply. “That’s what I thought.” Max said satisfied and with a smirk rolled off of her.

“Really? What do you think about this?” Liz asked and slipped her small hand into his boxers and stroked his straining penis with one finger smiling as it jumped at her touch.

“Liz!” He groaned helplessly.

“That’s what I thought.” Liz whispered then kissed him deeply wrapping her hand around him and started to stroke him the movement of his hips helping her. She pulled back and looked down into his face as her hand continued to move on him. His eyes were closed and his lips were wet from their kisses and he was beautiful. She grinned feeling a little bit wicked and revealing in the power that she seemed to have over him. She eased her way down his body then whipped his boxers off tossing them aside and before he could move she licked his erection from base to tip then sat back smiling. His eyes popped open and he looked down seeing Liz sitting back on her heels eyes dancing and a huge smile on her beautiful face.

“Liz please?” He panted not really sure what he was asking for. He watched her grin widen slightly.

“Please what Max? Please you?” Liz asked still feeling playful.

“Oh god yes.” Max groaned completely mindless and at her mercy.

“Okay since you asked so nicely.” She settled herself beside him held him and took him into her mouth sucking softly.

His eyes rolled back into his head at the first touch of her mouth. The pleasure slammed into him so hard he couldn’t breathe. She curled her tongue around him and pulled back dragging her tongue up his shaft. She would have been nervous never having done this before if Max hadn’t gasped her name his hips jerking in pleasure. She developed a slow rhythm careful not to hurt him slowly getting used to him and what pleased him. She paused lips wrapped around the head of his penis she swirled her tongue around him and sucked a little harder then before.

“Ohh Liz yes!” Max cried head thrown back. Liz pulled back and looked up at him letting her hand continue to work him slowly.

“Max? Look at me.” She waited until his eyes met hers. “I want you to watch me okay?” She asked softly knowing what it had done to her when Max had asked her to do the same thing. She waited for him to nod then bent back down to him giving him one slow lick before taking him in her mouth. She immediately went to a faster rhythm knowing he wouldn’t last much longer. After a few moments she felt him stiffen and groan deep in his throat. She took as much of him in her mouth as she could and sucked. With a sharp gasp he came and she swallowed everything he gave her. Then gently released him and moved up to curl her body into his side.

“Liz..I’m sorry.” Max said softly feeling ashamed about his lack of control. Puzzled Liz rose and looked into his face.

“For what Max?” She asked.

“For not being able to stop before..” Liz cut him off quickly.

“Max that was the whole point. I didn’t want you to stop.” Liz said looking into his eyes. “Now stop feeling guilty or I won’t play with you anymore.” She said a smile spreading across her face as she teased him. He smiled back feeling a wave of relief rush threw him.

“Ok.” He said and pulled her down kissing her deeply and threading his fingers into her hair. God he loved her hair. She pulled back panting softly hearing a knock on her door.

“Liz? Are you up?” her Mom called.

“Yeah Mom! I’m up.” Liz called back her eyes dancing at Max’s horrified expression.

“Ok honey. You better hurry if you want to eat before Maria gets here.” Nancy called back.

“It’s okay I got up early and already ate.” Liz called back her grin growing larger as Max’s eyes widened in shock. She had to smother her laughter with her hand as Max’s ears turned bright red and he scrambled out of her bed. She watched still giggling as he pulled on his pants sans boxers and searched for his shirt. Finding it he tugged it on and made for the window. “Um Max..did you forget something?” She called quietly. He turned back and remembered her door. He walked over to the door and unsealed it quickly and turned back to Liz. “Thanks but that wasn’t what I meant. Come here.” He walked over to the bed and Liz pulled him down and gave him a big kiss. She pulled back eyes still dancing at his flustered appearance. “See ya at school.” She said with a teasing smile.

posted on 2-Aug-2002 6:51:45 PM by Lelea
Chapter Twenty One

fail_safe

Liz bounced out of the Jetta feeling energized and extremely happy. She wondered if Max had recovered from this morning yet and grinned to herself.

“What are you so happy about this morning? Max?” Maria asked with a smile.

“Yeah.” Liz replied shooting Maria a happy smile as they walked toward the school. Looking around she didn’t see the Jeep and guessed Max must be running late. So chatting happily Liz and Maria made their way to their lockers. As Liz shuffled through her locker Maria started planning for Friday’s party. Liz glanced down the hall and froze. There was Michael…and Courtney. Courtney had her hands in Michael’s hair and was kissing him. Horrified she glanced at Maria and relaxed seeing that she hadn’t noticed them.

“Maria why don’t you go on to your locker and I’ll meet you there? I’ve got something I have to do really quick.” Liz said with a bright smile feeling white-hot anger rush through her.

“Ok Chica, but hurry. I don’t want to be late.” Maria said and turned walking off down the hall away from Michael.

Liz slammed her locker shut and stormed down the hall. Walking up to the still kissing couple she grabbed Michael by the ear and gave a sharp tug. He yelped loudly in pain and grabbed Liz by the wrist.

“Shut up Michael!” Liz said furious. She turned to Courtney and smiled her teeth clenched. “Excuse us please.” And with that she started pulling Michael down the hall by his ear ignoring the stares they were receiving. She opened the door to the janitors closet and shoved Michael in closing the door behind her. She never noticed Nick watching them from down the hall.

“Liz..If this is about yesterday I’m sorry about what I said.” Michael started only to be cut off by Liz.

“Shut the fuck up Michael. I couldn’t care less about what you said about me. Right now I’m trying really hard to tell myself that you’re not too stupid to live.” Liz said never having been so angry in her life. Michael just stood there in shock. “What is wrong with you? Do you not have any feelings what so ever? Maria was standing not 20 FEET from you Michael! If you want to date someone else that’s fine but there are better ways to break it to Maria then letting her see that. She may not show it but she cares about you for whatever unknown reason. I will not let you hurt her like this. Thank GOD I saw you first! I have no idea what your problem is but you need to get a handle on things Michael and start acting like you have a brain. You can’t keep hurting people like this. I know you’ve had a tough time but there is a point where that’s just not enough to explain why you’re such an asshole. You’re treating everyone like crap! Max has had a tough time too he was tortured by the FBI. But did you cut him a break? NO! All you did was give him shit. Maria loves you and what do you do? You dump her with some lame ass story and treat her like shit. This was the last straw! You stay away from Maria until you can act like you come from a civilized species and so help me god if you hurt Max I will kill you!” Liz finished glaring at Michael. He was really glad she didn’t have a weapon right then cause he wasn’t certain she wouldn’t use it. He held up his hands in surrender.

“I don’t want to date Courtney, I swear. Look she kissed me! I didn’t seek her out. She’s been all over me for some reason I think there’s something strange about her. I was just going along to try to find out what’s up.” Michael said trying to defend himself.

“That is one of the stupidest things I have ever heard. Even if there is something going on with Courtney you need to start thinking about how your actions affect other people. You’re not alone Michael. We’re a group and the rest of us have feelings. Feelings you need to start thinking about.” Liz said feeling slightly dizzy but she ignored it figuring it was a result of getting so angry she felt like her head was going to explode she was so hot.

“You’re right, Liz. I’m sorry. I didn’t think..I was wrong.” Michael apologized realizing he had really fucked up. He hadn’t really thought about things that way before. He hadn’t really thought at all he admitted to himself. “ I really do care about Maria.”

“Don’t do this again. Maria is special and I won’t stand by and watch anyone hurt her for any reason. She may act tough but she’s not. Her feelings get hurt really easy.” Liz said and pinned him with a look that said she meant business. “If you really do care about her I suggest that you start acting like it. You have a lot to make up for here Michael.”

“Got it.” Michael said in return. Liz nodded and turned to the door. A wave of dizziness crashed over her and she swayed slightly feeling a slight pain in her shoulder.

“Liz? Are you okay?” Michael asked worried. Max is gonna kick my ass if anything happens to her Michael thought scared.

“I’m fine I just need to find Max.” Liz answered feeling an overwhelming need to just see him. Michael walked up behind her and touched her arm shocked to feel how warm she was.

“Come on let’s go. He’s probably waiting for you by Maria’s locker.” Michael took her hand and opened the door pulling her along behind him. He made his way down the hall quickly people parting in front of him easily. Glancing back to check on Liz he slowed seeing she was struggling to keep up. They turned the corner and spotted most of the group in front of Maria’s locker only Alex and Kyle were missing. Michael slowed and allowed Liz to catch up and walk beside him.

Max looked up and saw Liz immediately and knew something was wrong. First of all she was holding hands with Michael and looked a little dazed. Glancing over at Michael he could see a warning in his gaze, which then slid to Tess.

“I found Liz wandering the halls looking for you Maxwell.” Michael said his tone even. Michael let go of Liz’s hand and stepped aside keeping an eye on Tess.

“Thanks Michael.” Max pulled Liz close and kissed her softly in greeting. Looking into her eyes he ran his hands down her arms and noted the warmth coming off of her. Concerned he pulled her closer. “Are you okay Liz?”

“Yeah I’m fine. Just tired all the sudden.” She said and settled against him feeling better immediately. Tess frowned at the level of comfort they displayed with each other cursing Nick silently. She watched them closely as the conversation continued.

“Did you get enough sleep? Did you eat breakfast this morning? Liz you know it’s the most important meal of the day you shouldn’t skip it.” Maria said quickly. Liz bit her lip to keep from smiling used to Maria’s lectures and Max froze afraid Maria knew and was teasing him. Liz rubbed his chest soothingly feeling him tense. Isabel smirked knowing Max hadn’t come home the night before and guessing by the state he did come home in that Liz hadn’t had all that much sleep.

“I’m fine Maria. I got plenty of sleep and yes I know how important breakfast is. I’m really okay.” Liz answered with a straight face. Maria was unconvinced knowing Liz really hadn’t answered her question.

“Liz you’re already small you can’t afford to skip meals.” Maria said digging in her locker for a snack to give her.

“Maria! I said I was fine. What are you going to do hold me down and make me eat?” Liz asked. Hearing a choking sound she pinched Max quickly and flashed Maria an innocent smile. Maria’s eyes narrowed and she looked from Liz to Max whose ears were a suspicious shade of red.

“Riiight. Well here eat this.” Maria said slapping a granola bar into her hand. “Say good-bye to Max and let’s go. We have class.”

“Okay.” Liz said wanting to kiss him anyway she turned to Max. “Bye Max.” Liz said and looked up at him from beneath her lashes biting her lip and letting it slide out from between her teeth slowly. Max groaned and sank his hand into her hair pulling her mouth to his. He nibbled gently on her bottom lip and eased her lips apart with his tongue and twinned it with hers. He rubbed his tongue along hers feeling her hands creep under his shirt and glide along his ribs caressing him. He pulled back and rested his forehead against hers breathing deeply for a moment. Leaning closer he whispered “Bye…I’ll meet you after second hour.” Then nipped her earlobe and stepped back. Liz smiled and turned to Maria.

“Ok ready. Let’s get to class.” Liz said and glanced at Tess who looked very unhappy. The group broke up slowly Liz and Maria with Tess trailing behind them headed off down the hall toward their class. Michael followed Max and Isabel.

“Max? I think I should tell you something,” Michael said thinking about the look on Tess’s face as she watched Max and Liz.

“What?” Max asked still thinking about Liz and hoping she would be okay. Isabel listened silently still angry with Michael.

“This morning Liz saw me kissing Courtney and bitched me out in the janitors closet. As she was leaving she got dizzy and when I touched her she was pretty hot. She said she needed to find you. So I brought her to you and watched Tess. Max there’s something there. Something off somehow. Courtney is all over me..it’s not normal. Tess seemed surprised to see me with Liz and there was something in her eyes I didn’t like.” Michael stopped. There was nothing concrete to tell Max just a feeling he got. It was telling him trouble was close.

“Michael we need to be really careful. We don’t really know Tess. I mean she just showed up and we found out she was one of us but that doesn’t mean she cares about us or that she’s on our side. Now…you kissed Courtney?” Max asked surprised.

“Yeah listen just let that go I already got a ration of shit about it. Liz almost ripped my ear off and then cussed me out.” Michael said shortly.

“Wait Liz swore at you?” Isabel cut in.

“Yeah she told me to shut the fuck up then processed to bitch me out.” Michael answered.

“Liz? What did you do kiss Courtney in front of Maria or something?” Isabel asked half kidding. Michael remained silent. “You idiot!”

“Look Maria didn’t see alright. Liz already chewed my ass so back off. The point is why is Courtney chasing me so hard?” Michael asked.

“True. It’s not like you have a pleasant personality and look totally hot.” Isabel said thinking. “What do we know about Courtney anyway not much and she did show up after the message.” Isabel said looking at Max.

“Okay we’ll check her out. Michael please don’t do anything stupid. Be careful around Courtney and we’ll check her out together.” Max said and waited for Michael and Isabel’s agreement, which he quickly got. “We need to keep an eye on Liz and try not to leave her alone. I’ll talk to Ash also and see what he says. Until then we need to be careful.”

“Okay see ya at lunch.” Michael said and jogged off down the hall as the late bell rang.


Lunch came quickly and Liz gathered up her stuff and headed for the door wondering who was meeting her this time. One of the group had walked Liz to every class not letting her out of their sight. Stepping out into the hall she was happy to see Max leaning against the lockers waiting for her. She walked over to him and gave him a warm smile and slipped her hand into his.

“It’s nice to have such a hot bodyguard. I think I’m liking all the special attention.” Liz teased lightly as they made their way to the quad.

“Well I can’t say I have any complaints either. It’s nice to guard such a hot body.” Max answered eyes twinkling. “Are you feeling ok? Michael told me a little about this morning.”

“Yeah I’m fine. I thought about it and I think that it gets worse if I’m too emotional or fight my feelings. I was so angry with Michael this morning that I think that made it worse or something I don’t know. I’m fine now so don’t worry.” Liz said as they left the building.

“Liz how did you know last night that I had fought with Michael?” Max asked curious.

“I don’t really know. I just felt it. Just like I knew when you found Michael at his apartment yesterday. I just knew. Are you freaked out about it?” Liz asked carefully.

“No I’m not. I’ll just have to try really hard if I’m trying to hide something from you.” Max said with a smile as they moved through the lunch line.

“Yeah I guess you will.” Liz said wrinkling her nose and shaking her head at the sandwich Max was holding out to her.

“Having pity on me okay? What about this one?” Max asked picking a different sandwich and offering it to her. When she shook her head at that one too he put it back. Liz leaned in close and ran her hand up his thigh dangerously close to other body parts. Max stilled and pulled her closer.

“I think I like this better.” Liz said softly and reached over and grabbed a small salad but didn’t move away.

“You’re not being nice and playing fair.” Max whispered into her hair.

“I’m being very nice. I’m just not being as nice as I was this morning. Besides I have to keep you interested otherwise you might get bored.” Liz answered. Max tilted her face up and looked into her eyes seeing shadows flickering in their depths.

“Liz you couldn’t bore me if you tried. I have sat in the CrashDown for countless hours watching you. The more I watch you the more interested I get. Now do you want to tell me what’s wrong?” Max asked not caring that the other students had to walk around them.

“I don’t know. I just feel strange. Off I guess. I was so happy this morning and then I saw Michael. My emotions seem to be so out of control.” She rested her head on his chest and spoke her voice slightly muffled. “Oh god I’m turning into Maria.” She groaned. Max laughed and pulled her closer.

“It’s understandable Liz with everything that’s going on. Come on let’s go eat Maria will kill me if you waste away. Just remember I love you and you can tell me anything. It doesn’t burden me Liz. Nothing is more important to me then you are.” Max said and then brushed his lips over hers lightly. She smile slightly her eyes moist and nodded. They gathered up their choices for lunch and made their way over to pay.

Nick and Tess had both been watching the couple from their spots in the quad. Nick saw the physical closeness of the two and wondered if they were fucking yet. If not they would be soon he would have to tell Uzizen to have her watched closely. Tess decided this had gone far enough. Liz had to go.

posted on 3-Aug-2002 9:52:07 PM by Lelea
Chapter Twenty Two

fail_safe

They made their way over to the group’s table and saw everyone else was already there. Kyle and Maria each shoved over to make room and Max and Liz slid into the vacant spot sitting close together. Max was feeling a little worried. He sensed that something was wrong Liz was never this emotional. He was convinced that she would tell him what was wrong when she was ready. He coaxed her to eat gently, touching her often.

Tess felt the rage inside her grow as she watched this DISPLAY. Her feelings mattered not at all. They hadn’t even had the courtesy to tell her they were back together! She was so lost in her angry thoughts she missed Isabel’s question to her.

“Tess!” Isabel exclaimed loudly. She waited for Tess to pull her attention away from Liz to re-ask her question. “Where were you last night? We drove all over looking for you after you and Michael split.”

“Oh I went for a drive out in the desert to think. Did I miss anything important? How did the meeting go?” Tess asked keeping a slightly curious expression on her face.

“Really? Where out to the pod chamber?” Isabel asked ignoring her questions.

“No. Just around nowhere in particular. So did you have a meeting?” Tess asked taking a bite of her Tabasco laden apple slices.

“Yeah we got together. We missed you Tess.” Kyle said with a big grin.

“So what did you guys talk about?” Tess asked.

“Well mostly Max and Michael fought like usual. Max and Liz told us that they’ve worked things out.” Isabel said smoothly.

“Don’t forget the pizza.” Alex said with a glance over at Liz who seemed to be mostly picking at her food. As he watched Max leaned over and whispered something in her ear that made her smile and she took a bite of her salad.

“Sounds productive.” Tess said shortly. These people weren’t even a challenge they had no clue. Max was so busy chasing Liz he couldn’t be bothered with things like training and gaining the knowledge needed. Isabel was too worried about shopping and which older man she could play with for awhile. Michael..he was even dumber this time around and more out of control. “So what is the deal with the party on Friday?” Tess asked.

“It’s not exactly a party. It’s more like a rave. It’s just outside of Picacho on the Tinnie side on 380 west. Some abandoned warehouse. They had to start having them outside of Roswell because the Sheriff kept finding us. He even arrested Alex and Liz last time.” Maria said trying to keep the conversation going.

“Really? That I would’ve liked to have seen that. Did you enjoy your stay in jail Liz?” Tess asked wondering if Liz would even hear her.

“I was only there for a few hours but really it wasn’t too bad. Alex was more upset about it than I was. It turned out ok and Alex made some new friends.” Liz said with a smile and a quick glance over at Alex. He grinned back and winked.

“Liz don’t short change yourself. Mark Esquivies certainly felt friendly toward you.” Alex said wiggling his eyebrows. Liz just rolled her eyes.

“Well this time no one is getting arrested and I’m going to have a much better time.” Maria said with a glare in Michael’s direction. “So I figured that Kyle and Max can drive since the Jetta will be with my Mom. Is that okay with you both? We need to leave around 9 or so.” Maria said in full out planning mode.

“Yeah no problem. I can drive.” Kyle said.

“Max? What about you?” Maria asked with a raised eyebrow when Max didn’t respond.

“Huh? Oh yeah I can drive. No problem.” Max answered pulling his attention away from Liz.

“Excellent.” Maria said thinking she was going to have to try to get Liz to go shopping maybe Isabel could come also they needed new outfits.

“Hey Liz? Do you want me to meet you at the Congresswoman’s office tonight? I’ll walk with you to class.” Kyle asked Liz wanting to make sure she wasn’t going to walk there alone.

“Class what class?” Tess asked confused.

“Oh I talked Kyle into taking a self defense class with me. I needed a partner and Kyle agreed. I’m still trying to get Alex to agree to go with Maria but he says he’s not athletic.” Liz answered with a small smile trying her hardest to be pleasant.

“If it’s not dodge ball I’m not interested.” Alex replied quickly.

“Oh come on Alex! It’ll be fun. Please? You know I’ll wear you down so you might as well give in now.” Maria wheedled.

“I’ll think about it. That’s all I’ll promise.” Alex said in reply. Knowing as soon as Ash set it up he would be there.

“Yeah Kyle just meet me at work that’s fine.” Liz said in answer to Kyle’s earlier question.

“Max are you okay with Kyle spending so much time with Liz? Why didn’t you take the class with her?” Tess asked surprised Max was okay with this. It didn’t seem that he wanted to let Liz out of his sight much less have her spending time with her ex boyfriend.

“Why wouldn’t I be okay with it? Kyle and Liz are friends and have been for years. I think it’s great. Everyone should take a class like that if they can.” Max said looking around the table. Then turned his attention back to Liz.

“Great. Liz can learn to really kicking my ass and teach Maria to help.” Michael muttered to himself. Isabel who overheard him smiled to herself.

“Well I think Liz and I are going to head out we’ll see you after school.” Max said. They both gathered their things and left.

“Think they’ll make it to class?” Alex asked.

“Liz’s next class is Chemistry she’ll make it. She loves that class she won’t miss two days in a row.” Maria said.

“I’ll bet no one sees them till after school.” Michael said in return.

“How much?” Kyle asked interested.

“Stop it! Both of you we are not betting on our friends.” Isabel said firmly. Missing Michael’s hand raising and flashing all five fingers to Kyle and Kyle’s nod of acceptance. The bet was on.



Inside the eraser room Liz sat against the back wall on Max’s lap. They sat silently not really needing to talk just wanting to spend some time together. Max played with Liz’s fingers marveling at how small they were. She had beautiful hands with long thin fingers small but strong. He thought her hands were a good indicator of her as a person. Sometimes it struck him how small she really was and he worried about hurting her.

Liz sat just happy to be close to him. She remembered over the summer lying in bed some nights just aching to be held by him. No matter what was happening in her life from the death of her Grandmother to being chased by the FBI just being held by Max seemed to lessen the pain or fear that she was feeling. She snuggled closer reminding herself that she was really here with him and that it was really okay to be together. Sometimes she still couldn’t believe it everything was happening so fast.

“Max how do you feel about all this? I mean really feel.” Liz asked quietly.

“I know you might not believe this but I couldn’t be happier about it. All I’m worried about is you that nothing happens to hurt you. I worry about these fevers you’re having and that someone might hurt you. But in the end as selfish as this may sound I’m happy. All I ever wanted was to be with you and now someone is telling us it’s okay. That it’s more than okay. How can I be anything other than happy about that? Whatever changes we go through I’m okay with it as long as you’re not hurt.” Max answered.

“Really? What if you’re stuck with me for the rest of your life? What if I become a mindreader?” Liz asked and looked up at him.

“Yes really. I hate to tell you this Liz but you’re already stuck with me for the rest of your life. I’ll be a fat bald wrinkled old hybrid and you’ll still be stuck with me reading all my indecent thoughts about you.” Max said with a smile.

“Okay. I think I can handle that.” Liz said earnestly.

“How do you feel about it?” Max asked.

“I’m okay with it. Max I love you and I want to be with you. A few fevers aren’t going to change my mind. I know its dangerous but I always knew that and it doesn’t change how I feel. I know it will never be normal and I love that.” Liz answered him truthfully. Max nodded and bent closer kissing her for the first time since they entered the eraser room. “Now I hate to remind you of this but we have to get to class we already missed yesterday. Plus we’re going to be late.”

“Okay let’s go.” Max waited for Liz to stand and followed her up and taking her hand they made they’re way to class.



The rest of the school day passed quickly and Max dropped Liz off at Whitaker’s office and made his way to the CrashDown. Isabel was already there and Michael had to work so he was there as well. Max joined Isabel in their regular booth.

“Is she here?” Max asked Isabel.

“Oh yeah she’s here alright. I think Michael’s right she is totally after him.” Isabel answered. “So what’s the plan?”

“I want to follow her and see where she lives and get her work schedule for the rest of this week and next. When we can we’ll go look around her place and see if we find anything unusual. I also want to see who visits her and who she talks to.” Max said having thought about this a lot.

“Good thing we’re known to always hang out here. Sounds like we’ll be spending a lot of time eating CrashDown food.” Isabel answered.

“Do you think Alex would like to help out with Courtney?” Max asked.

“You know he loves that spy stuff I’m sure he would.” Isabel replied. “What about Ash are you going to tell him about her?”

“Yeah I will I just want to see how things go. Right now he doesn’t have a lot of help and he needs to focus on Liz.” Max said also having thought about Ash.

“Speaking of Liz how is she?” Isabel asked concerned she could tell Max was worried about her.

“She’s great. She seems to be handling things really well. A little nervous about tonight but since Kyle will be there I think she feels better about it.” Max answered slowly.

“Are you really okay with Kyle being so close to Liz?” Isabel asked knowing how jealous Max had been when they were dating.

“Yeah I’m okay. I mean I trust Liz and she trusts Kyle. It helps that we’re getting so close too. Liz is really amazing. The way she looks at things and how she sees so much. I think she has an amazing ability to really see people and know if she can trust them. I’m not saying I won’t get a little jealous in the future but Kyle’s a good guy and I think he’ll look out for Liz.” Max said feeling confidant in Liz’s feelings for him.

“Good. Are you going to be staying with Liz again tonight?” Isabel asked wondering if she needed to cover for him again.

“No she made me promise to go home. She said she needs a little alone girl time whatever that is.” Max sighed in confused disappointment. Isabel nodded in understanding. “What exactly is alone girl time?”

“Max that is a mystery I won’t share with you. I’m sure she just needs to relax and rest up. Besides if you stay over every night the Parker’s will catch you and I’m sure you don’t want to get in trouble right now.” Isabel answered with a smile.

“Yeah you’re right the last thing we need right now is trouble with the parents.” Max agreed still a little unhappy about a night away from Liz. He watched as Courtney stopped by the pick up window her body language telling him she was flirting with Michael. As he watched Michael slammed his hand on the pick up bell and yelled order up. Shaking his head he turned back to Isabel. “It was incredible to me that Michael got Maria. I mean look at him. He doesn’t exactly ooze charm around women.” Both of them turned to watch as Michael again slammed his hand down on the bell yelling even louder basically in Courtney’s face. Both of them burst out laughing.



As Liz worked that afternoon she thought about all the things they had learned over the last few days. It was amazing all the information they had learned in less then a week. Dealing with Ash only emphasized her misgivings about Tess and Nesado. They hadn’t parted with information freely which was a direct contrast to Ash. Everything Tess had offered was aimed at Max and promoting her own agenda. Now that she had pretty much resolved her own fears about being with Max she could admit she would have been crushed if he had listened to her and chosen Tess. She was just so..vile. Liz tried really hard to find the good in someone but she had yet to find anything redeeming in Tess. There was always an unpleasant undercurrent to everything Tess did. Just being around her was difficult. At lunch it was almost impossible to eat when Tess was there. Something inside her just revolted. Just then Whitaker popped out of her office.

“Parker, I just wanted to tell you what a great job you’ve been doing. I know I haven’t really been around much lately but I can see you don’t need much direction.” Vanessa said studying Liz closely.

“Thank you. I appreciate the compliment.” Liz said and smiled.

“If you ever need any time off just let me know. I don’t want you to fall behind in school. Plus you’re young and deserve some time to have fun.” Vanessa said trying to display a friendly attitude.

“Thank you. I may need to take you up on that during mid terms.” Liz said and glanced at the clock. “Oh I’ve got to go change. My friend will be here any minute to get me!” Liz grabbed her bag from under her desk and rushed into the bathroom. Whitaker took the opportunity to look through Liz’s desk not finding anything of interest she walked back into her office only to stroll back out when Liz reappeared dressed in a sports bra and a pair of shorts. Liz’s back was turned as she set the phones to get picked up by the answering service for the evening. Vanessa examined her back closely and thought she saw a faint darkening on her left shoulder blade. She was the one and the time was fast approaching.

posted on 5-Aug-2002 1:52:44 AM by Lelea
Thank you guys so much for all the replies and bumps. I had a family thing to go to today soooo the next part isn't done. But I am working on it....it is an important part to me and I want it to be just right so as soon as I am okay with it it will be up. I'm thinking at the lastest by this evening.

I know all of you want to lynch Tess....I understand that. I also know some of you may have questions about Liz's reactions to Tess and Nick but no reaction to Whitaker. All will be answered in time.

Next part....Liz and Kyle at Ash's.
posted on 5-Aug-2002 9:57:39 PM by Lelea
Chapter Twenty Three

fail_safe


Liz and Kyle made to Ash’s place both ready to begin their training. They had talked and joked on their walk over and both were feeling really at ease with each other. Ash greeted them both warmly. He had set up two of the larger pillows facing each other and a third a bit to the side in the center of the room.

“We will start out working on three separate things that all will relate to each other in the end. Being able to connect to each other, meditation, and finally self-defense. Liz from what you have said you are able to form a connection to Max correct?”

“Yeah but I’ve never tried to do that with anyone else.” Liz answered.

“That is fine. You have received what you call flashes of images and emotions from others yes?” Ash asked.

“Umm yeah.” Liz answered slowly.

“Ok let’s try. Sit down on the pillows facing each other. Kyle, try to let your mind drift and look into her eyes. Liz focus on making contact while you touch him.” Ash watched as they sat and followed his directions. Liz took Kyle’s hands and concentrated. Nothing. Kept trying..Nothing.

Liz moved closer and put her hands on each side of Kyle’s face like Max had done to her when he reversed the connection that first time. She concentrated on memories of Kyle and her feelings about him. Still nothing.

“Liz? How did you make the connection to Nesado?” Ash asked softly.

“Umm I kissed him. That’s how I’ve always been able to form a connection on my own.” Liz answered looking down.

“You kissed Mr. Harding? Are you serious?” Kyle asked in horror.

“He shapeshifted to look like Max. Kissing him was how I knew he wasn’t.” Liz answered. “Believe me it wasn’t pleasant.”

“Try the way you know.” Ash said with a slight shrug. Liz looked from him to Kyle who seemed even more surprised then she did.

“Okay. Kyle are you okay with this?” Liz asked softly looking him in the eye.

“Sure. Yeah I’m okay.” Kyle said amazed Liz would be all right with it. “Max isn’t gonna like…blast me is he?”

“I promise I’ll protect you.” Liz said with a big grin. “Besides this won’t be anything we haven’t done before. Now pucker up and try not to think.” Liz said her smile growing and her eyes glowing with suppressed laughter.

“The thinking thing won’t be a problem.” Kyle muttered.

Liz leaned in and placed her hands on the sides of his face and gently pressed her lips to his. She slowly deepened the kiss as she held onto her feelings for Kyle and memories of him over the years she had known him. Suddenly she felt the connection snap into place. She felt like she was surrounded by Kyle.

Memories flashed across her minds eye of Kyle growing up. Time spent fishing with his Dad and his pride in catching his first fish. His confusion and pain when his Mother left. His anger with his Father over his increasing obsession with Max Evans during the camping trip last year. She saw flashes of time spent with her and how he felt about her.

He really cared about her. Loved her, it was different from the love she felt from Max softer somehow not as focused. He felt accepted by her and felt like he could be himself with her. He wanted to find a place that he fit with people that needed him and accepted him. A family. She saw vague fantasies that she tried to skim over. She felt his hurt over their breakup and his acceptance of her feelings for Max.

Liz pulled back and broke the connection. She stayed silent looking into Kyle’s eyes trying to process the things she had seen and felt. She saw the nervousness in his eyes grow.

“So when I dropped my ring in Max’s Jeep you thought I was doing what?” Liz asked with a raised eyebrow wanting to put Kyle at ease through joking around.

“Um yeah well…what can I say. You ducked down and it just looked like..well never mind.” Kyle said and grinned back at her.

“Uh huh.” Liz said and turned to Ash. “Well it worked I saw things and felt the connection form.”

“Good. Kyle what about you? Did you feel anything from Liz?” Ash asked.

“I felt something but I didn’t see anything. It was like I could feel a flutter or presence in my mind. It was very faint.” Kyle said still a little uneasy about what Liz might have seen.

“Okay good. This is a good start. Try it again but this time try to project things to Kyle instead of draw things out.” Ash instructed. He wanted them to slowly strengthen their bond. The stronger it was the better they would be able to fight together.

Liz nodded and turned back to Kyle. She took several deep breaths then leaned in and kissed him. The connection was made almost immediately she could feel it humming between them. Instead of sending images she tried to draw Kyle along their link and into her mind.

Kyle could feel the fluttering in his head again then he felt a tugging. Trusting Liz he didn’t resist he let Liz do whatever she needed to. Suddenly he felt Liz. Heard her talking to him telling him he had found the place where he belonged. That she loved him and accepted him that he was her family. He didn’t just hear her he felt the truth in her words she surrounded him with love and warmth and the strength that was so much a part of her.

Images started flashing past accompanied by Liz’s feels during those events. He saw the shooting in the CrashDown, he watched as she tried to convince him to stay away from Tess and her fear for him, he watched as he got shot and Liz’s horror that he might be dying. He also saw moments of her with Max. He watched as Liz rode beside him in the Jeep feeling happier than she ever had. He saw their first kiss and the rightness of it the power. He saw them jump off a bridge and felt Liz’s determination and fear for Max. He watched as she held Max as he slept in some abandoned bus crying over what had been done to him but even as she cried she tried to give him comfort by stroking his hair as he slept. He had never dreamed there was anything like what Liz felt for Max.

The connection ended and left him gasping at the amount of things he had seen and felt. He looked into Liz’s eyes and saw trust and warmth reflected back at him. He realized that Liz had tried to direct the last connection. That she had seen what he needed when she connected to him and opened herself up to give it to him without words. Liz reached over and hugged him quickly and got up stretching.

“Kyle did the connection work?” Ash asked already knowing the answer by his face.

“Yeah it worked. It was amazing. I could hear her, see things, and feel her. I can’t even describe it.” Kyle said looking at Ash in wonder.

“When you say you heard her what do you mean?” Ash asked curious.

“She talked to me. It was like she was talking to me out loud but I could also feel what she was saying.” Kyle answered. Ash turned to Liz in surprise.

“Do you talk to Max also? What exactly did you do?” Ash asked.

“Um no I’ve never talked to Max. I’ve never really tried to do what I did with Kyle. I thought it might make Kyle more comfortable to see me. So I pulled him along our link and into me. So he could know me. He was worried about what I saw when I connected to him and how I felt about it so I just wanted him to see.” Liz answered wondering if she had done something wrong. She glanced over to Kyle and saw him smile at her in reassurance.

“How did you know Kyle was concerned about what you might have seen?” Ash asked carefully.

“Um I just knew. Kyle’s not really comfortable with expressing himself to that level. I knew he would be worried.” Liz said slowly confused.


“Have you felt things like that before? Or known things without knowing how you knew them?” Ash asked.

“Um yeah. I knew Max had punched Michael and was still angry with him last night. I knew Max had found Michael when we were looking for him before the meeting yesterday. Sometimes I just know things it doesn’t mean anything. I just pay attention that’s all.” Liz answered looking at the floor. Ash let that go seeing she was a little uncomfortable.

“Did you try to control what Kyle saw during the connection?” Ash asked

“Um yeah I did. Some other things may have leaked a little but I tried to show Kyle what he needed to see. I tried to show him the things that answered his worries so he would see it was okay.” Liz answered watching Ash.

“Liz that is amazing. It takes great strength and control to do that. This was an excellent start. We will work on this more in future sessions. Each time you try to connect to Kyle it should be easier and stronger. We will also work on Kyle being able to form a connection on his own. Now I want to talk a little about Meditation.

I want you to try to meditate once every day. The reason for this is many fold. It will help you to increase self-awareness, manage pain, help relieve stress, and it tones the mind. Using your gifts takes focus and control you need to have a strong mind to be successful. Have either of you done this before?” Ash asked looking between them.

“I have. I tried it this summer when I found Buddhism.” Kyle answered. Liz just shook her head no.

“Okay we will start slowly. There are so many ways to meditate I couldn’t possibly cover them all so I want you to read this book and try a few of the methods talked about. We will be trying yoga together soon as I have found that to be helpful. Next session we will try two of the methods you have chosen.” Ash finished and handed them each The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Meditation. Liz suppressed a smile when Ash gave them the book and took it.

“Now let’s move on to the actual self defense training. Liz what I want to cover first are the ways to break someone’s hold on you.” As Ash talked he gathered up their pillows and tossed them back into the pile. “If someone grabs you from behind the knee joint is a very good place to kick them. Bending back the fingers is also effective. Let’s try. Kyle grab Liz from behind.”

Ash continued to work with them positioning Liz correctly and showing her various ways to break Kyle’s grip on her. He was impressed with her concentration and the effort she put into the training. They went through how to break Kyle’s hold from the front, behind, and being grabbed by the wrists. He was pleased with the results. He was hoping that due to her size and innocent appearance an attacker would be surprised by her abilities.

He watched as Kyle stepped up in front of her and grabbed her wrists in a double wrist hold. Liz flung one arm up and the other out to the side taking Kyle’s arms with her and she stepped forward at the same time. She moved her right leg behind his and she effectively tripped him breaking his hold.

“Wonderful. That was good. Remember do not hesitate. Continuous action is imperative to success. I think we will stop for today.” Ash said noticing Liz rolling her shoulders slowly. Kyle walked up and started massaging them trying to help. “I wanted to tell you I have contacted the others and sent one of us to Copper Summit. He should report back soon. The person sent to watch Tess has reported some disturbing information. He hasn’t caught her in the act of betrayal but strongly suspects it. There have been times when he has been unable to follow her without being spotted. I have called in 15 more people. I would like to place some in the school we are just thinking about the best way to do that. Soon it will be impossible to take the steps needed and remain hidden.” Ash paused seeing Liz wanted to say something.

“Ash there’s this girl that showed up over the summer her name is Courtney Banks. She’s really been after Michael and he thinks there’s something strange about her. Max is watching her now with Isabel. I thought you might like to know about her.” Liz said wanting to keep Ash informed.

“I will have someone look into her and speak with Max. Kyle what is it?” Ashes asked seeing a strange expression cross his face.

“I thought I saw something on Liz’s shoulder. At first it looked like maybe it was a bruise but I swear I just saw a blue shimmer of something.” Kyle said slowly looking at Liz’s left shoulder blade. Liz turned her head trying to see what Kyle was talking about.

“Where? Show me.” Ash asked hurrying over and Kyle pointed out the area. Ash waved his hand over the area and a shimmering blue light flickered across Liz’s skin almost in a design. Ash’s eyes widened.

“What? What is it?” Kyle asked. Liz turned and saw the look on Ash’s face.

“Ash?” Liz asked softly. Ash looked into her eyes and saw she was scared by his reaction.

“It’s okay just a surprise. It is your seal trying to show itself that is all. It means that the joining is fast approaching. I should have told you about it but I thought we had more time. You and Max weren’t as close at the start of the week. As you and Max resolve things between you and grow closer the oracle starts giving you your seal. Right now it is just a shadow. When you are joined it will show fully.” Ash explained.

“You mean have sex right?” Liz asked plainly. Kyle’s eyes widened and he looked from Liz to Ash.

“Yes. That is part of it. You have to be able to open all of yourself to him as he does to you. As I said before to be joined is to share everything that makes you what you are.” Ash said slowly not wanting to tell her everything now. Liz nodded.

“Great this is wonderful. How am I going to explain how I got branded by Max to my parents? This seal is it going to show all the time? Is it going to glow? How am I going to hide this?” Liz said pacing back and forth. “So everyone is just going to know the second Max and I have sex? Is nothing private?” Liz said her voice going up as she got more pissed the more she thought about this. “So what is the orb going to do? Flash a message across the sky telling every alien on Earth that Max got laid? Is that what your leading up to?” Kyle watched in amazement as Liz turned on Ash hands on her hips eyes shooting angry sparks. Ash could see he had seriously angered her. Helplessly he struggled to think of what to say to calm her. “Well? Hello Ash I’m waiting for an answer here.”

“There will be no message in the sky.” Ash started only to stop seeing her eyes narrow in warning. Kyle muffled a snicker, which died when Liz’s eyes turned to his glaring at him not at all amused.

“I don’t find this funny. This is a private thing and I don’t want everything to be group information. I don’t want to be branded..call it a seal but that doesn’t change what it really is. I’m not hearing that Max is getting a new visible “seal”. This is bullshit!” Liz said furious. “I am not a cow!”

Kyle looked at Ash and saw he looked confused and helpless. Turning his eyes back to Liz he could see this was going to get ugly. “Liz no one thinks you’re a cow. Let’s let Ash explain a little more okay?” Kyle said calmly trying to help Ash out. Liz turned to him and he saw with a sinking feeling she didn’t appear reassured.

“Kyle don’t try to handle me. This is serious. I am being told that I will have a visible seal saying Max and I are lovers. How do you think my Dad is going to like that? I won’t be able to wear certain cloths anymore. I am not property! No! I don’t want this. This seal thing I won’t do. I’m sorry but your alien male chauvinism is not acceptable.” Liz ranted feeling trapped and scared. She wondered what else he hadn’t told her. Her fear grew and the need to get out of there pressed in on her. She didn’t want to hear anymore. Liz took off toward the door.

“Liz wait!” Ash called but Liz didn’t even slow down. She burst out the door and down the steps gaining speed. Ash turned to Kyle hoping for a little help.

“That went well don’t you think Ash?” Kyle said not really knowing what to say. He stopped when he saw the miserable look on Ash’s face. “Welcome to Earth and the women’s movement. Look Ash, Liz is right about a couple of things. If her Dad sees that he will flip. I mean her Dad is a good guy but Liz is his daughter you know? Tattoos aren’t in his plan for her I’m sure. That’s not even bringing her Mom into it. Her Mom wigged out about Liz being caught in the eraser room with Max last year. Plus Liz is a private person about stuff like that. She wants it to be special and not a group thing. Besides all of that you triggered every feminist instinct in her. In short you blew it buddy.”



Max and Isabel were still sitting in the CrashDown when Liz burst in the front door. Max and Isabel took one look at her face and knew something had really upset her. Max started to get up to go to her. Liz saw him and her eyes widened and she pointed a finger at him forcefully.

“You stop right there! Don’t even come any closer to me.” Liz said loudly and rushed past him. They heard her feet pounding on the stairs and the door to her apartment slam shut behind her. All the customers in the silent café looked at Max who looked shocked and confused.

“So you were saying how well Liz was doing?” Isabel asked Max drawing his attention.

posted on 6-Aug-2002 8:59:57 PM by Lelea
Again thanks for the FeedBack even if you didn't like the last part.

To Jbehrbabe, neo, and BLS40.....I understand you guys are upset about the Liz/Kyle kiss. If you can't get past it then this isn't the fic for you. I am hoping that you will read the next part before you make up your mind there. I am also sorry you are upset and confused that Liz's emotions are not clear cut and she is not always perfect but in this fic she's not. Liz forgave Max his mistakes starting from his kiss with Tess in season one so Max can do a little forgiving of his own I think. But again maybe this just isn't the story for you and I can certainly understand that I stop reading fics sometimes too. I hope you give the next part a shot and please give me some FB and let me know what you thought. If you stop reading thanks for giving it a chance.*happy*
posted on 6-Aug-2002 9:03:49 PM by Lelea
Chapter Twenty Four

fail_safe

Liz shut the door to her room and rushed over to the window locking it firmly and shutting the curtains. She grabbed her cordless phone and locked herself in the bathroom. Sitting on the edge of the tub she tried to calm down. She wasn’t upset about Max or having sex with Max. It was that stupid seal. Seal my ass Liz thought. It was a brand and she didn’t want it. Ava hadn’t had one. At first that sounded like a good thing but now when she realized it would physically show she changed her mind. Max’s royal seal didn’t show why did this one have to? The answer to her was clear. It was a brand..she wondered if it said “now property of Max Evans”. She blew out an angry breath and jumped when she heard a knocking on her window. She ignored it and then the phone rang looking at the caller ID she saw it was Max. She ignored that too and started running a bath.



Max had left the café glaring at Isabel on the way out. He climbed the ladder to Liz’s balcony and stared at her window. She had drawn the curtains..not good. He walked closer and tugged on her window and found it was locked so he knocked knowing she wouldn’t answer. Digging his cell phone out of his pocket he called her and got her machine. He sat beside her window wondering what had happened. He quickly dialed Ash’s number and sighed in relief when Ash answered.

“Hello.” Ash said.

“Ash it’s Max. What happened to Liz?” Max asked getting right to the point.

“I upset her. I apologize I don’t understand what I said.” Ash stopped and Max could hear talking in the background then Kyle’s voice came on.

“Max? It’s Kyle listen Liz got pissed because she’s getting the seal. She went off about it being a brand and how she’s not a cow. What happened when she came home?” Kyle asked.

“She told me to stay away from her and ran upstairs now her window is locked and she won’t pick up the phone. What’s the deal with the seal?” Max asked.

“When you guys have sex she is going to get a full out visible seal telling everyone that you guys are joined and she’s pissed. That seal will tell everyone that you’ve had sex and she’s upset that nothing is private and that she gets branded but you don’t. The seal is going to be on her left shoulder blade and she’s mad because she’s going to have to wear cloths that cover it because her parents will freak. Plus Ash said you’re going to have sex soon and I think that kinda pissed her off too.” Kyle told him in a rush. Max could hear someone climbing the ladder to the balcony and saw Isabel’s head pop over the railing.

“Why does he think we’re going to have sex soon?” Max asked and watched Isabel’s eyes widen.

“Cause Liz is already showing a shadow of the seal. Listen we’re on our way over so I’ll talk to you then.” Kyle said and hung up. Max sat there for a moment thinking.

“Max? What’s going on?” Isabel asked.

“Liz is upset because the seal is a real visible seal on her left shoulder blade.” Max said slowly. “Ash also said that she will get the seal when we have sex. Which he apparently said we would be doing soon.”

“Oh. Well I can see that being upsetting.” Isabel said she could see the wheels turning in Max’s head.

“Ash is on the way so let’s just wait.” Max said not moving form his spot by the window. Isabel nodded and sat down on one of Liz’s lawn chairs.


Liz sank into the bath and lay back still trying to calm down. The phone rang again and she checked the caller ID and answered.

“What Kyle?” Liz asked her tone agitated.

“You know Max is out on your balcony right?” Kyle asked.

“Yeah I know. I’m not letting him in. I don’t want to talk to him right now.” Liz said stubbornly.

“Liz this isn’t his fault. Cut the guy a break huh?” Kyle asked he thought he could actually hear her digging in her heels over the phone.

“I know it’s not his fault. But you know what Kyle? I’m not feeling like cutting him a break right now. Is anyone cutting me a break? No they are trying to BRAND me! No one asked me if it was okay.” Liz said yelling into the phone.

“Damn Liz! Try not to damage my hearing ok?” Kyle replied.

“Kyle I’m tired and I want to be left alone. So tell everyone the cow is tired and in the barn for the evening all right?” Liz said and forcefully pushed the end button. Sinking further into the tub she fumed.


Max could hear her angry voice through the window and winced. Isabel watched him wondering how he was going to resolve this. She turned her head hearing someone on the ladder and watched as first Kyle and then Ash climbed up.

“Well Liz is really pissed. I’m starting to think she should have been a red head. She just hung up on me.” Kyle said waving his phone. He walked over and sat down on lounge chair. Ash stayed by the railing.

“Tell me again what happened.” Max said carefully.

“Ok I saw like a shimmering thing on her shoulder and showed Ash who said it was her seal. That when you and Liz have sex the seal will show fully. Liz got pissed and said that it was a private thing and she didn’t want it to be a group discussion. That it wasn’t a seal it was a brand and she didn’t hear about you getting a brand. Then she said something about the orb flashing a message across the sky telling all the aliens on Earth that you got laid to which Ash politely assured her there was no message going to be broadcast. That’s when she lost it. She was upset asking how she was supposed to hide the seal and her parents finding out and then she just kinda left.” Kyle said trying to tell Max the basics. “Oh and when I talked to her on the phone she said she knows you’re out here and she doesn’t want to talk to you she said to say the cow is in the barn for the night. I mentioned this not being your fault, which she said she knew that but didn’t feel like cutting you a break cause no one was cutting her one. That no one had asked her whether she wanted a seal. That’s about it I think.” Kyle finished. Max turned to Ash.

“Is this seal always visible and is it there forever?” Max asked.

“Yes it is forever and it is always visible but it doesn’t always glow. Much of the time it will appear to be a tattoo. I am sorry I had no idea she would react this way. On our planet many people have marks or seals. I have one that I showed to you.” Ash said feeling horrible about the trouble he had caused and was afraid to tell Liz anything more about the Joining.

“Why is my seal not visible and hers is?” Max asked.

“Your seal was programmed into your brain. Hers is given by the oracle.” Ash said slowly.

“What about the we are going to have sex soon part?” Max asked.

“I said that the Joining was close because her seal is already a shadow under her skin.” Ash said in answer.

“How does that mean we are going to have sex soon?” Max asked.

“You have already started down that road or the seal wouldn’t show. Plus the oracle will take action to assure the Joining soon.” Ash said softly.

“What do you mean? How will it take action?” Max asked worried.

“The oracle is already influencing you both. The NEED you both feel to be close and touch. It will get much worse as will her other symptoms. If she continues to fight those feelings it will over ride her own wishes and take over. It is like a fail safe feature. The oracle will make sure you are Joined.” Ash answered seeing the horrified looks on all their faces he looked to the ground.

“You mean that Liz has no choice?” Isabel whispered appalled.

“She has already chosen.” Ash said softly.

“Why is she more affected than I am?” Max asked not wanting to argue the choice point. It wouldn’t make any difference.

“She was fighting those feelings and urges and you were not. You always wanted her. Plus she is human the oracle has to tamper more to complete the Joining.” Ash explained. The group stayed silent. Suddenly loud angry music could be heard from Liz’s room. Max picked up his phone and dialed.

“Hello?” Maria asked.

“Maria I need some help here. Liz got upset and won’t talk to me. She won’t answer the phone when I call and her window’s locked.” Max said hoping she would help him.

“Is that music I hear? What is she listening to?” Maria asked.

“Umm yeah it’s music. Hang on.” He paused and listened for a moment. “It’s Nine Inch Nails I think the song is “piggy”.” Max cringed as he said it. First a cow and now a pig he thought. Shit I’m toast.

“Oh Max what did you do? She’s really pissed.” Maria asked. Liz never played “The Downward Spiral” unless she was really ticked off.

“It’s not really me. It’s that she found out the seal actually shows. She said it she didn’t want to be branded. Look Maria I need to talk to her it’s important. Please?” Max asked.

“Okay I’ll call her. Hang on.” Maria said then hung up. A second later the music was turned down and they could hear Liz on the phone.

“Listen guys I need to talk to Liz alone okay? Isabel cover for me just in case I don’t know how long this gonna take. I’m just going to sit here until Liz talks to me.” Max said leaning back against the wall by the window.


Liz talked to Maria for a few minutes. In which Maria reminded her that she loved Max and they were in this together. The final push had been Maria telling Liz that Max would most likely wait out on the balcony all night if she didn’t talk to him. She sighed and lay back on the bed. She did love Max. She knew there was more to this than just the seal which was bad enough to her. She got up and pulled open the curtains and unlocked the window pulling it up. She leaned out and found Max right outside the window.

“Come on in.” Liz said and disappeared back inside. Max crawled in after her and sat on the bed facing her.

“Liz I’m sorry. I know that you’re upset about this and I don’t blame you.” Max said.

“Max its not you. You know I love you its just I know there’s more to this then what Ash has told us.” Liz paused and looked down. “I don’t want to have the seal. I really don’t Max.”

“I know. Liz I have to tell you something that you’re not going to like.” Max said slowly.

“Ok. I have something to tell you too. You first.” Liz said softly. Max told her what Ash had said holding nothing back. At the end Liz just nodded and Max waited for her to say something. “So this is going to happen whether I want it to or not.” A few more minutes past. “I kissed Kyle. Twice.” It took a few minutes for that to register.

“What?” Max asked startled.

“I kissed Kyle. Ash wanted us to connect but I couldn’t. So Ash told me to form the connection how I had in the past and that’s by kissing. So I kissed him and it worked.” Liz said with no emotion displayed at all. Max just sat there not saying anything at all. Liz lay back and pulled her robe tighter around her. Max crawled up and lay beside her still not saying anything. What was he supposed to say? Max lay there thinking he knew he needed to be careful Liz was already very upset and he didn’t want to do anything to make this situation worse.

“Can you show me what you did?” Max asked softly after a long pause.

“I can try. Because it’s you it may be a little different but I’ll try. Sit facing me okay?” Liz asked. Max did as she asked then she leaned forward and kissed him like she had Kyle. The connection was immediate and strong. She again tried to pull him into her as she had with Kyle earlier. She could feel it working so she tried to direct the connection and show him what had happened with Kyle. She pulled back slowly looking into his eyes trying to see what he thought.

Max thought about what she had shown him and the things she probably hadn’t meant to show him. He knew Liz was an amazing person so it didn’t surprise him that she would open up to that level with Kyle when she knew that’s what he needed to feel like he belonged. She really did love Kyle just as much as Alex or Maria. He was pleased that she had shown Kyle a little about her feelings for him as well. He found that faded his own jealous feelings and insecurities more than he thought it would. He still felt a twinge but he could handle it.

He had also felt clearly her jumbled emotions about the seal and the Joining. It was an undecipherable mass of shifting feelings. He needed a little time to think about that and knew she did as well.

“It’s okay Liz. I’m not mad. Thank you for showing me. I think Ash was right Kyle is the best one to work with.” Max said softly settling back down next to her. Liz stretched out as well.

“That’s it? How can you not be mad?” Liz asked surprised.

“Liz I know you loved me. I feel it. You just showed me how you feel about Kyle and I know it’s not the same. I understand why you did what you did but even more I trust your judgement.” Max stopped and looked over at Liz.

“Thank you. I’m glad you’re not upset with me. I want you to know that I wouldn’t have kissed Kyle if I thought that he wanted me back or it would cause confusion. I never intended to not tell you and if you’re not comfortable with it I won’t do it. I don’t think it will always be that way anyway I just have to get better at forming the connection.” Liz said wondering if she had as much faith in herself as Max did.

“About the Joining. I’m so sorry Liz.” Max said softly.

“I know you are Max but that doesn’t change anything does it? I don’t blame you for this. I really don’t know how I feel about it. I love you I really do and I want to have sex at some point but..there are some things here that I don’t like and I don’t agree with. I don’t want this special private thing to become public knowledge. I don't want to discuss our sex life in a group meeting. I really don’t want this seal. For one thing it’s like someone is painting a target on me because if they don’t know who I am now they will when I have the seal. Then it’ll be open season on Liz Parker and at that point Max the secret will come out. There will be no way to hide anymore our parents will find out it’ll be just a matter of time. Michael and the rest of you will have one more reason to blame me for your secrete getting out. Who knows who will find out?” Liz stopped and turned away from Max.

“Liz I understand all that I do.” Max started but was cut off by Liz.

“No you don’t Max. You don’t understand all of it. It’s different for you. You’re a guy Michael will slap you on the back and offer congratulations and ask how it was. Somewhere inside you you’re happy about all of this. The seal and the Joining and it being a done deal. Don’t lie because I feel it.” Liz said not turning around.

“I am happy about some of it. I can promise you that we will not be discussing it at a group meeting. I won’t discuss it with Michael either. If you want me to I will get a tattoo matching the seal that you’ll have. Liz I love you and I want you to be happy and I’ll do whatever I can to make that happen. I’m so sorry that it’s like this for you. I wanted this to be perfect for you and I know you’re scared and angry and that’s not what I wanted.” Max finished not knowing what to say to make everything okay. He didn’t think there was anything that would make this okay.

“You promise? We will not be discussing it?” Liz asked.

“I promise. Liz no one is going to blame you for our secrete getting out either we all know it’s only a matter of time. As soon as the danger out weighs the benefits it’s not a secrete worth keeping.” Max said trying to take away her fears.

“Logic doesn’t have much to do with Michael sometimes Max. I’m not worried about being hurt or anything like that because with or without a seal that’s true. It’s not just our parents that will find out Max it’s the whole town. The government will likely find out also. How are any of us going to be safe at that point?” Liz stopped and lay there thinking.

“We’ll deal with it. We’re not totally alone anymore Liz. There are 86 shapeshifters out there to help.” He said thoughtfully.

“Max I just wonder what else they aren’t telling us.” Liz said.

“Yeah I wonder about that too. But I don’t think I can handle everything at once either we just have to go with our instincts and trust Ash.” He saw Liz nod. Her mind drifted back to a previous point in the conversation.

“I want you to be happy too Max. I mean I know it’s not just me in this relationship. I don’t think this is your fault and I know you don’t want it to be this way either. I just freaked out about that seal. I don’t even really think it’s the seal. Do you realize it’s only been four full days since you said you were coming for me? All this stuff is happening so fast that I can’t even keep up. Everything just feels like it’s spinning out of control and I have no say in anything anymore. I’m sorry I yelled at you.” Liz said feeling bad about how she reacted. Max turned her around to look at him.

“Liz this is a lot for all of us to handle. You’re taking it better than Michael is and you’re dealing with more. So don’t apologize. I’m the lucky one. I get pretty much everything I dreamed of since I first saw you.” Max said trying to reassure her.

“I don’t know if that’s true Max. You have so much faith in me and I don’t know that I deserve that much. I’m not handling this as well as I thought I was. I don’t want to disappoint you or make you unhappy.” Liz said feeling overwhelmed.

“You deserve all of the faith I have in you. Liz, we will hurt each other that’s life. All we can do is try to do the best we can not to and work through it when we do. Neither one of us is perfect and I do understand that. I didn’t take any of this personally you can’t help how you feel and I understand that. Just like I can’t help how I feel about it. I’m selfishly pleased that you will carry a seal. It’s not just the sex that causes the seal Liz it’s your strength and will, all the things I admire about you. The seal will prove you are the right one for me and that you’re an amazing person in your own right and you’re my other half. So don’t feel bad about this okay?” Max asked hoping he hadn’t said the wrong thing bringing up the seal again.

“Okay I’ll try. Now I’m really tired so you need to go home before my parents get home from the movie. It’s almost 11.” Liz said just wanting to go to sleep and forget all this for a little while.

“Okay. I’ll see you at school.” Max said giving her a quick kiss on the forehead and going out the window. He hoped things would be okay.

posted on 9-Aug-2002 12:48:59 AM by Lelea
Chapter Twenty Five

fail_safe

Liz woke in the morning and got ready for school. She was running late not because she had woken up late but because she wasn’t all that eager to start the day. She grabbed two muffins on her way out the door and got in the Jetta silently as Maria was already waiting for her. She handed one muffin to Maria and started eating her own. Maria cast an assessing glance over at Liz trying to gauge her mood.

“So do you want to talk about what happened last night?” Maria asked carefully.

“I guess so. I need a girl’s point of view.” Liz explained what had happened carefully and by the time she had finished they were sitting in the parking lot at school. Maria sat thoughtfully for a few minutes.

“So basically you’re going to have a visible sometimes glowing seal and have sex with Max whether you want to or not.” Maria said wanting to make sure she had her facts straight.

“Yep.” Liz said in return.

“Oh.” Maria said seeing the problem.

“Maria it’s not that I don’t want to ever have sex with Max but it’s only been four days. Plus the idea that these things are being decided for me bothers me. I see Max’s point on the seal not being all bad I do but I don’t know if he sees mine. Once I have that seal his enemies are going to take direct action. They’ll almost have to if they want to stop Max. They may decide it’s worth the risk of exposure to get rid of me. If they do the secrete of “aliens among us” could become public knowledge. Plus Ash will insist on taking more open measures to protect me which will out the secrete to our parents at the very least.” Liz said trying to think things through as they talked.

“Why do you think they’ll take action?” Maria asked.

“Max will be more powerful after that but he will need some time to learn how to use that power and I definitely need training time. They would have to be stupid to give us that time. Plus if Tess is working against Max I doubt she will keep hiding it at that point.” Liz explained and watched Maria nod in understanding.

“I see your point. So tell me your plan.” Maria said.

“I don’t really have one. If I did would it even matter? The orb is gonna do what it wants anyway. I’m just trying to get to a place where I’m okay with it.” Liz said still feeling conflicted.

“So how do you feel about Max?” Maria asked wondering if she was still pissed.

“I’m trying really hard to separate Max from what’s happening with the orb. After all he has no more choice in things than I do. I’m not mad at him or anything but at the same time I’m leery of being too close to him. What if that speeds things up? He was so great last night though. In short I’m confused. What do you think?” Liz asked wanting Maria’s opinion.

“I think I can see why you’re upset. You like to be in control of your life and now this orb is rushing you into something and taking that control away from you. I can see your point about the seal but I see Max’s point as well but I guess it doesn’t matter since it is going to happen. All we can do is try to be ready. Liz I’m totally here for you. If you need to freak out or talk or whatever just let me know and I’m there. I think you’re doing the best you can just keep talking to Max and you guys will be fine.” Maria said feeling bad for both Max and Liz.

“Thanks Ria. I guess it could be a lot worse at least I love Max and want to be with him. I’m going to work from that angle and try to forget this stupid orb. I swear if I ever get another vision about an alien artifact I’m going to leave it where ever it is.” Liz said and got out of the Jetta with Maria behind her.

“I hear ya sister.” Maria replied hoping Liz would be able to work through this. She knew if it were her in this mess she would be squirming like a fish on a hook trying to get away.


The school day past quickly. Liz stayed busy trying to catch up on the schoolwork she had let slide over the last four days. Max thought they could both use a little time to think things through so he stayed away. After classes let out Maria dragged Liz shopping. Liz wasn’t really in the mood to go out but Maria was not to be denied. They were going to the rave and they were going to have fun. So Liz tried to go with the flow that seemed to be the way of things lately. In the car on the way home Liz’s phone rang.

“Hello.” Liz answered.

“Liz? This is Ash. I’m calling to make sure you’re okay and ask what your plans are for the evening?” Ash asked.

“I’m fine. The plan is we are all going to a party. Max and Kyle are driving. I think we’re leaving at 9 or so.” Liz said.

“Are you sure that’s wise? We don’t know who the enemy is at this point.” Ash asked concerned.

“I don’t know if it’s wise or not but we can’t just stay inside all the time. Don’t worry Max will be there.” Liz answered.

“Where is this party? I will come with a few others.” Ash said already thinking about who to call in to help.

“I’ll give you to Maria. She knows where we’re going.” Liz handed off the phone not really listening to Maria’s side of the call. She started to get that panicked feeling but fought it back. Everything would be fine. They were just going out to have a little fun no big deal. Max would be there.

“Here babe. All set.” Maria said handing the phone back to Liz. She glanced over at Liz and noticed her flushed face and quickened breathing. “Liz? Are you okay?”

“I’ll be fine. Just give me a minute.” Liz answered fighting back the need to see Max to have him tell her everything would be fine. She concentrated on her breathing and focused only on that not letting everything overwhelm her. Gradually she felt better. Maria kept an eye on her worried. After a couple of minutes Liz turned to her and smiled.

“See? I’m okay. I can deal with this.” Liz said in to reassure both Maria and herself.

“Great. Now we go to your house and get ready to get our groove on!” Maria said excited.



“MAX!” Isabel shouted.

“What?” Max asked coming into the doorway to Isabel’s room.

“You put the cloths in the dryer! I told you not to put my top in the dryer. Look at it! It shrank not even our powers can help with this! Now what am I going to wear?” Isabel ranted waving a now child size shirt at Max.

“Looks about the size of all your other shirts to me. I don’t see the problem.” Max said and ducked as Isabel chucked a shoe at him.

“Not funny Max. Now I have to create a whole new ensemble.” Isabel said ducking back into her closet. “You might as well talk to me while I work magic. What ever happened with Liz?” Max made his way over and sat on the edge of the bed.

“We talked about what was bothering her. She’s unhappy about a few things but she’s not mad at me.” Max said.

“I would think she would be unhappy. Did you tell her what Ash said?” Isabel asked curious.

“Yeah I told her.” Max said.

“Well? What did she say?” Isabel said still buried inside her closet.

“She said she didn’t want the seal. That it would eventually out the secrete and we would have one more reason to blame her for that. She said she didn’t want our sex life to be a group discussion topic, which I promised it wouldn’t be. She said she felt that everything was happening so fast and she has no control over her own life. She said I was happy about the seal and the joining and it being a done deal. I think that’s the gist of it.” Max said.

“Is she right? Are you happy about this?” Isabel asked poking her head out to see his face.

“Yeah she is.” Max said softly.

“Wow. What exactly are you happy about?” Isabel asked interested.

“All of it really. I’m glad she’s going to have a seal. I’m happy she will have something saying she’s mine. That we belong together. I’m happy about the Joining and that I know it will happen.” Max said not looking at Isabel.

“Max you do realize how that sounds don’t you? I mean as a female I find that disturbing. It sounds like you’re happy about all the things Liz is unhappy about.” Isabel said very shocked by what Max had said.

“I know it sounds that way but I think Liz is more upset about not having any control over it. It’s not that I want to rush her into anything but now I know it will happen at some point. That part is nice. The seal, part of that is purely selfish I know that. I like knowing she will wear visible proof of what she is to me. Part of it is also that this tells everyone how truly wonderful she is in her own right. Isabel even with all the trouble this will cause I wouldn’t change the fact that she will get a seal or that we will complete the Joining. I would like all this to happen in her time when she’s ready but I don’t have that choice either from the way it sounds.” Max said really he was amazed that Liz wasn’t mad at him.

“Where did I go wrong raising you? Here I was thinking I did pretty good you were a pretty sensitive guy and now look.” Isabel said. “I would expect this from Michael not from you.”

“I know. I don’t know what happened. I admit to feeling possessive and a lot of other things not deemed politically correct toward Liz but I think I manage it pretty well. The thing that matters more to me then any thing is that nothing happens to Liz. She doesn’t get hurt or she isn’t unhappy so maybe you didn’t do too bad after all.” Max said and smiled.

“Yeah maybe. You know that you don’t need this Joining thing to be sure you reach a higher level with Liz don’t you? She loves you Max. Really that’s all you need. If you ask me this Joining process is just confusing things.” Isabel said going back to trying to find a new outfit to wear.

“Yeah maybe. I can’t wait to see her. I think going out tonight is a really good idea. We can just have fun and relax a little. Well I’m going to go call her and see what she’s doing. We’re going to be late aren’t we?” Max asked seeing that Isabel was no closer to a choice now than she had been at the start of the conversation.

“Yes and it’s totally your fault.” Isabel replied. Max sighed and left.




“Liz what is it about Prince? You have like this closet fetish. Does Max know?” Maria asked looking through all the Prince CD’s Liz had stashed away.

“No I don’t think he does know. What’s wrong with Prince? I like some older music Maria. I have varied taste in music.” Liz said in return as she tried to clean up the mess Maria had made with all the new cloths they had bought.

“Nothings wrong with it I guess. I don’t really understand the whole name to a symbol thing and he seems a little weird but hey whatever works for you.” Maria said watching Liz pick up all the scattered tags and cloths.

“The name thing is a dispute with his label and I don’t care if he is strange I love him. You wouldn’t even believe all the wonderful songs he has written for other people. Besides how can I not like the guy who sings “Gett Off”?” Liz said with a big grin.

“I knew I shouldn’t let you watch MTV! That was like ages ago Liz.” Maria said.

“He’s got other good songs that are more recent. Just because he doesn’t get airplay anymore doesn’t mean I can’t like him. Any guy that can play that many instruments, write all his own stuff, sing it, produce it, and dance is okay by me.” Liz said. “Besides if I didn’t watch MTV or VH1 I probably wouldn’t have learned to dance.”

“Yeah I guess so. Prince makes more sense to me now. You do have that sex type of style to your dancing.” Maria said thinking Max was in for a little shock.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Liz denied surprised.

“It’s the way you move Liz. It’s not bad relax. You know you really need to loosen up.” Maria noted with a smile. Just then the phone rang Maria picked it up seeing that Liz had her hands full.

“Hello?” Maria answered.

“Maria? It’s Max. Is Liz around?” Max asked.

“Yeah hang on.” Maria said. “Liz it’s Max.” Maria said holding the phone out. Liz finished putting Maria’s cloths in a pile and took the phone.

“Hi. What’s up?” Liz asked.

“I just wanted to talk to you. How are you doing?” Max asked.

“I’m fine. Poor but fine.” Liz answered.

“Listen about tonight, Isabel is running behind so we’re going to be a little late. Why don’t you and Maria ride with Kyle? We’ll take Michael. I know Maria wants to get there as soon as she can.” Max asked.

“Sure that’s fine. Ash is going anyway so it’ll be fine. I think he’s bringing some people with him to keep an eye on everyone. I’ll just see you there then.” Liz said slightly disappointed.

“Okay. I’ll see ya later bye.” Max said and hung up. Liz hung up and dialed Kyle.

“Hello?” Tess answered.

“Hi Tess. Its Liz is Kyle there?” Liz asked and smiled at the face Maria made.

“Yeah hang on.” Tess answered. Liz could hear her yell for Kyle in the background.

“Liz? What’s up?” Kyle asked.

“Can you pick up Maria and I? Max is running late.” Liz asked.

“Yeah no problem. It might be a little tight I’m taking Tess and Alex but you guys are little so no sweat. Pick you up at the Crash?” Kyle asked.

“Yeah and thanks Kyle.” Liz said smiling.

“Sure. I’ll see you in a bit then.”

“Yep. See ya.” Liz answered then hung up. She turned back to Maria. “We’re riding with Kyle, Tess, and Alex. We better hurry too you know Kyle has a thing about being on time.” Liz said.

“It won’t kill him to wait. We need to get you into the right frame of mind. Is that what you’re wearing?” Maria asked looking at Liz’s baby tee and low slung cargo pants.

“Yeah what’s wrong with it?” Liz asked.

“Oh no babe. That just won’t do. Here wear these.” Maria said tossing Liz a pair of jeans that only came up to the top of her hipbones and flared at the bottom. Maria went through Liz’s closet and found a black form fitting cropped tank and tossed it to her. Liz changed without argument and Maria nodded her approval. They quickly finished getting ready. They heard a knock at the door just as they finished. Liz answered her door to find Kyle and Alex on the other side.

“Hey you guys about ready? Nice. Definitely belly revealing. I approve.” Kyle said with a smile.

“Yeah we’re ready I guess. You guys look nice.” Liz said in response looking them both over. She glanced over to Maria who, dressed in a colorful halter-top and tight hip huggers, was ready to have a great time. “Come on Ria let’s go. You’re the one who wanted to go so quit stalling.”

“Right let’s go. Kyle you’ve got to do something with Liz. She’s in a mood.” Maria said as she brushed past taking Alex’s arm.

“I’ve got just the thing in the car.” Kyle said so with a good-bye to Liz’s folks, who were happily on their way to a convention, they all made their way to the car.

“Where’s Tess?” Maria asked seeing the car empty.

“Over there on her cell.” Alex said pointing just down the street. Tess gestured that she would be off in a minute.

“Here Liz drink some of this.” Kyle said holding out a flask. “It’ll get you in a party mood.”

“I don’t know if that’s such a good idea.” Alex said worried about how drinking might effect Liz’s symptoms.

“I’m not an alien Alex. It’s fine.” Liz said and took the flask and drank. Maria watched as she took another long drink.

“Take it easy Liz. You didn’t eat any dinner.” Maria said thinking Max might be in for a bigger surprise then she thought. Liz waved her off and took a third drink then handed the flask to Maria who also drank some.



Meanwhile Tess was finishing up her phone call. “We’re leaving now. Is everything set?” Tess asked quietly.

“Yeah everything’s ready. You sure this is a good idea?” Nick asked.

“If you can get this right it is. Look Max is running late so she’ll be there without him for awhile. Remember we have to get this right so no playing around.” Tess said.

“Got it. Later.” Nick said and hung up. Tess made her way back down to Kyle’s car and got in the vacant front seat.


Michael climbed in Max’s window and frowned. “I thought we were going out.” He said and looked at Max stretched out on his bed.

“We are but Isabel’s not ready yet.” Max said looking over and seeing what Michael had on he shook his head. “Isabel isn’t gonna let you go in that T-shirt. Look in my closet and find something else.” We’re never gonna get there Max thought to himself.



“Kyle! I love this song turn it up.” Liz called from the back seat. Kyle reached over and turned up the volume. “Fly Away” by Lenny Kravitz boomed out of the speakers. He glanced in the rearview mirror to see Liz and Maria singing along. He smiled even Alex seemed relaxed and happy. Tonight was gonna be great.

posted on 10-Aug-2002 1:17:14 AM by Lelea
fail_safe


Chapter Twenty Six



As they drove Liz’s mood improved by leaps and bounds. Even Tess seemed unusually cheerful. Alex shook his head at the girls antics they really couldn’t handle their liquor. Liz was chattering away when she wasn’t singing along with the radio and Maria was talking and laughing twice as much as normal. He was feeling pretty good himself Liz had given him her puppy dog eyes and talked him into drinking with her reminding him he was suppose to have fun this time in case they got arrested. Luckily Kyle had planned ahead and had plenty to go around.

“Okay so let’s all get to know each other shall we? We each get to ask the group one question to which everyone answers and we can each ask one personal question to anyone we choose. Agreed?” Maria asked.

“Only if you guys except Tess of course drink after every question you’re asked.” Kyle said upping the stakes a little. Everyone agreed.

“Okay I’ll ask the first group question. If you had to pick a famous person to sleep with who would you pick? I would pick Johnny Depp.” Maria asked.

“I think I would pick Freddie Prinze Jr.” Tess answered.

“Good choice..Alex?” Maria asked taking her drink.

“Reese Whitherspoon.” Alex answered immediately and took the flask from Maria and drank.

“Excellent choice. Mine would be Eliza Dushku.” Kyle answered with a grin. “Liz?”

“Umm Keanu Reeves if we’re talking his Matrix look I guess wait..no I’ll stick with him.” Liz replied. Just as she was about to take a drink her cell phone rang. Kyle turned down the volume on the radio slightly and Liz answered.

“Hello?”

“Liz? It’s me listen we still haven’t left yet. Isabel is throwing a fit about what Michael’s wearing so I think we’ll be awhile.” Max said thinking she sounded awfully cheerful.

“That’s okay we’re having fun. Alex stop it’s not your turn!” Liz said slapping Alex’s hand away from the flask. “Sorry Max. Try to hurry okay? I miss you.”

“Yeah I miss you to. What’s going on there? You sound a little strange.” Max asked puzzled.

“Oh we’re picking which famous person we would sleep with. I picked Keanu Reeves who would you pick?” Liz asked.

“WHAT?” Max asked sitting up.

“Max you heard me. Pick!” Liz said laughing. Maria mumbled in the background. “We want to know Michael and Isabel’s choices as well. Alex picked Reese Witherspoon, Kyle picked Eliza Dushku, Tess picked Freddie Prinze Jr., and Maria picked Johnny Depp. So who do you guys pick?”

“Umm Salma Hayek I guess. Hang on.” Max took the phone away from his ear and asked Michael and Isabel their choices. “Michael chose Angelina Jolie and Isabel chose Benjamin Bratt.” Max relayed with a smile as he walked back to his room.

“Good choices. Now hurry up before I get lonely and be prepared I wanna dance. Kyle said he would dance with me till you got there but I want you so hurry.” Liz commanded.

“Okay listen can you hand the phone to Tess for a minute?” Max asked.

“Yeah hang on. Alex! Stop it I said. You’re turning into a greedy bastard. Tess Max wants you….on the phone oops.” Liz said laughing and making a face at Maria as she handed Tess the phone. Max listened to the conversation with amazement. He could hear Maria and Alex laughing in the background.

“Hey Max. What’s up?” Tess asked.

“Are they all drunk? Please tell me at least Kyle isn’t.” Max asked.

“Kyle’s fine but the rest of them are trashed. I don’t know what they’re drinking but they sure are rowdy. Are you going to be long?” Tess asked sweetly. Max could hear Liz in the background telling Maria she fought dirty and was also a greedy bastard.

“Not if I can help it. Can you keep an eye on them for me please? I’ll owe you one.” Max asked.

“Absolutely Max no problem. Hurry up though okay?” Tess said with a smile.

“Yeah I will. Hand the phone back to Liz a minute will ya?” Max asked.

“Sure hang on. Liz Max wants to talk to you.” Tess said and handed her back the phone.

“Liz?” Max asked.

“Yeah it’s me.” Liz said giving up on trying to get the flask back.

“Be careful okay Liz? Make sure to stay with the group no wandering off okay? Promise me.” Max asked.

“If I promise what are you gonna give me?” Liz said with a big smile. Maria’s eyebrow rose shamelessly listening in.

“Anything you want. Now promise.” Max said.

“Anything? What are you wearing?” Liz asked.

“Jeans and a black button down shirt.” Max answered.

“No boxers? Which black shirt? The tight one? Wear the tight one.” Liz asked winking at Maria.

“Okay I’ll change and yes. Now promise.” Max said thinking Liz was going to be a hand full.

“Okay I promise. But I think I’m hungry Max so you better bring me something to eat…I gotta go bye.” Liz said hanging up grinning. Liz turned back to Maria giggling.


Max got up and in record time changed his cloths into Liz’s request. He pounded on Isabel’s bedroom door. “Isabel you have 5 minutes if you’re not in the Jeep I’m leaving without you!” He yelled and raced out the door Michael following behind him.


“Ok next question!” Alex yelled. “If you had to kill someone how would you do it? I think I would run them over with my car. Kyle?” Alex asked taking a drink from the flask.

“Shoot them I guess. Maria?” Kyle asked.

“It depends on who it is and why I wanted to kill them. I think hitting them over the head with something heavy. Tess?” Maria asked taking the flask from Alex and drinking. The question had been decided on to see what Tess would say.

“Umm I don’t know mindwarp them to death?” Tess said laughing. “No I got it I would mindwarp them into thinking they were on fire then they would probably kill themselves doing something stupid. Liz?” Tess asked sweetly.

“Umm yeah. I would stab them.” Liz said trying not to find Tess’s answer disturbing she really wished they hadn’t asked that question. She took the flask and drank. “Ok next question. What have you always wanted but never had? For me it would be a pet. Maria?”

“Oh tough question. I would say a recording contract. Alex?” Maria answered taking a drink and passing the flask to Alex.

“Umm one brilliant idea. Kyle?” Alex said taking a drink and waiting for Kyle’s answer.

“Hmm inner peace. Tess?” Kyle said with a smirk.

“The ability to go home.” Tess replied.

“Okay next question. What is your favorite body part? Mine is eyes. Tess?” Kyle asked.

“Hmmm arms I guess. Liz?” Tess asked.

“Mouth. Maria?” Liz asked feeling a little warm. “Kyle can you turn up the air a little?” Kyle reached over and turned up the air to its coolest setting.

“Hands. Alex?” Maria asked handing the flask to Alex.

“Hair. Tess it’s your turn to ask a group question.” Alex said curious to see what she would ask.

“Ok what’s the worst thing that ever happened to you? Mine would be coming out of the pods last. Liz?” Tess asked turning around to look at her.

“Umm getting shot. Maria?” Liz said. She decided not to have anymore to drink Tess was really starting to creep her out.

“Getting kidnapped by one Michael Guerin and ending up in that awful motel room. Alex?” Maria said thinking that that was the start of all her problems with Michael. If not for that she never would have kissed him.

“Umm I don’t know. Going to jail I guess. Kyle?” Alex asked.

“My Mom leaving. Any takers on asking an individual question?” Kyle asked.

“Yeah I’ll ask a question. Liz how exactly did you mesmerize Max anyway? Was it by taking off your cloths for him or did you have to do more?” Tess asked allowing a touch of her hostility to show.

“Hey!” Maria yelled getting pissed. Liz reached over and touched her arm stopping her.

“It’s okay I’ll answer. No Tess it wasn’t either of those things. I really don’t know how I did it but I can tell you how I didn’t. I didn’t kiss his ass hoping to make a love connection like you seem to try to do. You just come off as fake which is never attractive.” Liz answered her tone even allowing some of her own hostility to show. Kyle prayed they got there soon he didn’t want to have to break up a fight. Alex and Maria both smiled finding Liz’s answer pretty funny. Tess fumed who did that bitch think she was talking to?

“Ok I think that’s it for the questions. Let’s all have fun tonight no fighting.” Kyle said turning up the radio to discourage talking. Oh Buddha help me here he thought to himself.


Max drove faster then normal trying to make up for lost time. He wanted to reach Liz as soon as possible. A niggling trickle of uneasiness was working its down his spine. What was he thinking? Liz and Tess in the same car? That was asking for trouble.

“So what was the deal with that question about who we would pick to sleep with?” Michael asked leaning up between the front seats.

“I don’t know. They’re drinking and asking each other strange questions. From the sounds of it they are already feeling pretty good.” Max answered.

“This I have to see. Liz and Maria drunk.” Isabel said with a smile.

“Alex too. He sounded like he was enjoying himself.” Max said glancing over at Isabel.

“Really? Hmm interesting.” Isabel answered.



Kyle prayed someone would just shoot him and put him out of his misery. Maria couldn’t remember how to get there now and Tess had been trying to draw Liz into a fight ever since Liz pissed her off. Thankfully Liz had pretty much ignored her.

“Kyle pull over.” Liz said from the back seat feeling closed in and a little sick.

“Now? What’s wrong?” Kyle asked glancing in the rearview mirror.

“Yes now pull over.” Liz said feeling hot and she thought that if she had to listen to Tess say one more thing to her she was going to lung over the seat and choke her. Kyle pulled over to the side of the road and let Liz out. He followed her to the rear of the car.

“What’s wrong Liz?” Kyle asked.

“I just need a minute.” Liz said trying to focus on the wide-open space and the absence of Tess’s voice. “Just go back in the car I’ll be there in a second. I’ll call Max he’ll remember how to get there okay?”

“Yeah thanks. Otherwise we might never find it.” Kyle said and got back in the car. Liz took out her phone and dialed.

“Hello?” Isabel answered.

“Hi Isabel its Liz can I talk to Max for a second?” Liz asked.

“Umm sure hang on.” Isabel said and handed the phone over to Max.

“Liz what’s wrong?” Max asked.

“Um nothing Maria forgot how to get there and I just needed to talk to you.” Liz said feeling a little better. She looked up at the stars.

“What happened?” Max asked knowing something was bothering her.

“Tess happened. She really can wreck a good time. Don’t worry about it. Where are you anyway?” Liz asked.

“We’re half way to Picacho so not too far. Look up. See all those stars?” Max asked.

“Yeah I do.” Liz said smiling faintly.

“I see the same ones so we’re not that far apart. I’ll be there before you know it. Don’t let Tess ruin your night okay? I have a promise to you to keep.” Max said with a grin.

“Oh yeah you do don’t you? Okay I feel better already. Listen can you stay with me tonight? My parents left to go to a convention and they’ll be gone so..” Liz trailed off with a smile. She realized that she didn’t care anymore what happened with that stupid orb she just wanted to be with Max. She wasn’t confused anymore. Who cared about the timing and who had control she loved him and that was what mattered. Maybe this is what Topolsky had meant by taking life as it comes. Sometimes maybe the best things came when you didn’t plan for them to.

“Yeah I’ll stay. I love you Liz.” Max said smiling.

“I love you more.” Liz teased. “Thanks Max you always make me feel better. Now you better get here so I can make you feel better.”

“God Liz you’re going to kill me.” Max said happily.

“I think you can handle it. I love you see you when you get here. Now I’m going to hand you off to Kyle so you can tell him where he’s going.” Liz said walking over and handing the phone to Kyle her good mood firmly back in place.

posted on 11-Aug-2002 4:16:50 PM by Lelea
Chapter Twenty Seven

**Tess has a potty mouth in this part so be warned**
fail_safe

They finally arrived at the rave more than ready to get out of the car. Liz and Maria rushed ahead ready to dance. They could hear the loud music pouring out of the run down warehouse. Kyle and Alex quickly followed not wanting the girls to go off alone. Tess hung back slightly still pissed off. That stupid cunt was ruining everything. First she had the NERVE to insult her then caused them to run even more behind. The things she had to deal with. Honestly it was amazing that she was able to make anything turn out right under these conditions.

“So who’s in charge of the music tonight Ria?” Liz asked.

“Zeus and we really need to say hi at some point tonight.” Maria said already looking for a hot guy to dance with. Michael Guerin would be history after tonight.

“Oh I love Zeus! We will definitely say hi. Come on guys try to keep up alright?” Liz called back to Alex and Kyle laughing. Zeus was a friend from school who was actually Ron but he thought Zeus sounded better. She was happy to hear he was DJing because he played a weird mix of music that was always danceable. She looked around the packed interior and could feel the energy in the atmosphere. It was so dark she could hardly see but she didn’t care it was great. Turning to Alex she grabbed his hand and pulled him toward the dancing throng of people. Lollipop Porn by Crazy Town was screaming out of the speakers and she wanted to dance. Alex followed and Liz started dancing dragging Alex with her thinking that Alex was really feeling loose and dancing much better than usual.

Maria started out dancing with Kyle but soon spotted a much better prospect for the evening and away she went. Kyle danced closer to Alex and Liz determined to keep an eye on her. He smiled as he watched them. Liz was already creating a stir and he really hoped that Max showed up soon. Alex was doing pretty good himself and caught the eye of a little red head who soon worked her way over and successfully separated him from Liz. Liz smiled and gave him a thumbs up and Kyle worked his way over quickly filling in for Alex.

Along the wall Tess watched resentfully. She looked around and saw Nick over by the make shift bar someone had set up. She worked her way over and casually slid up to him. She touched his back lightly drawing his attention.

“Are you ready?” Tess asked softly near his ear.

“I was ready forty minutes ago of course you weren’t here.” He said with a smirk.

“Well I am now. Liz is out dancing. Max isn’t too far behind us I don’t think so try to do this fast. How many others did you bring with you?” Tess asked curious.

“About 10. Should be no problem. I already found a junky that’s so stoned he won’t be hard to influence. Catch ya later.” Nick said and walked away looking for his chosen puppet.


Liz was having a great time. Kyle was an excellent dancer and had no trouble keeping up. They moved together well which she already knew having already discovered his dancing abilities during a party when they were dating. Plus he easily fended off the advances of other males trying to approach her, which meant she could relax and have a good time.


Max couldn’t wait to see Liz. He cursed himself for staying away from her all day then sending her with Kyle. He pressed his foot down harder on the accelerator needing to get to Liz NOW.


Liz stayed within view of the door hoping to see Max as he came in. She laughed as she saw the red head Alex was dancing with reach over and grab his ass. Alex jumped about a foot then pulled the girl closer whispering in her ear. She looked around for Maria but didn’t see her. Push It by Garbage came on and Liz closed her eyes and let the music take over. Someone bumped into her hard throwing her into Kyle roughly. Kyle caught her easily and swung her around away from whoever it was that had slammed into her. She spotted Maria over by the wall in conversation with an extremely attractive guy. Needing to use the bathroom anyway she decided to make her way over and check this guy out. She leaned over and whispered in Kyle’s ear her intention and at his nod moved away. She slipped easily between people years of waitressing having given her that skill and quickly lost Kyle who was trying to follow her.

Another pair of eyes easily tracked Liz’s movements. The little brunette was one hot number and he intended to have her. He watched as she walked up to a slightly taller blonde girl and the guy that was with her. He watched as she talked to them a few minutes and then moved away. He quickly eased away from the wall in pursuit not allowing the seemingly rocking floor to hinder him.


Liz made her way to the bathroom happy to hear they were actually working. She suddenly found her way blocked and looking up she saw it was Ash. She smiled at him brightly happy to see he had made it. Ash leaned down close to her ear.

“Where is Max?” Ash asked. He had spotted Liz and Kyle as they came in with Maria and Alex but he had not seen Max or the others.

“He got delayed. He’s on his way. Listen I have to visit the restroom so I’ll catch you on the way out okay?” Liz answered needing to find the bathroom ASAP. Ash nodded and spotted one of his people and gestured in Liz’s direction. With a quick nod the man followed her quickly. Ash saw Kyle looking around franticly and made his way over. He tapped Kyle on the shoulder.

“She’s okay. One of my people is following her.” Ash said when Kyle turned to him. Kyle nodded relieved. She moved pretty damn fast in this crowd and he was happy to see he had help keeping an eye on her. He noticed a tall thin guy trying to make his way through the crowd. Man that guy looks wasted Kyle thought to himself with a shake of his head as the guy stumbled toward the restrooms.


Liz found the bathroom easily and luckily the line wasn’t too long. Before too much time had past Liz was making her way back out toward where she had left Ash. She suddenly found her way blocked by a man she had never seen before.

“Excuse me.” Liz said politely trying to move around him. He moved with her stopping her escape.

“Hey you wanna dance?” The guy asked grinning down at her.

“No thanks. I’m not interested.” Liz said trying to get around him.

“How do you know if you won’t even give me a chance?” The guy persisted. Liz could see that the man was drunk or stoned she wasn’t sure which and didn’t care. The other people in the hallway paid no attention to them at all moving around them easily.

“I know because I have a boyfriend. Now please just leave me alone.” Liz said getting pissed.

“He isn’t too interested if he just leaves you alone like this. Come on one dance.” The guy said reaching out for her arm. Liz moved back away from him.

“Hey! I think I heard her say she wasn’t into you. Move along asshole.” Kyle said from behind him. He had come looking for Liz to see what was taking so long and was pissed to find her being hassled by some drunken idiot.

“Hey no harm no foul.” The guy answered hands raised and backed off. Liz walked up and took hold of Kyle’s hand allowing him to lead her away.

“You okay?” Kyle asked bending down close to her ear. Liz nodded and smiled.

“Yeah I’m fine. Thanks for the rescue. For a minute I thought I was going to have actually use some of the moves Ash taught me.” Liz answered.

“The only moves we want to see you use tonight are the ones you learned over the summer.” Kyle said with a grin.

“Well we better find Zeus then so I can request a song huh?” Liz said with answering smile. Kyle nodded and together they made their way over to the DJ area. Ash watched closely keeping them in his line of sight.

“Zeus! How are you?” Liz asked as he glanced up breaking into a big goofy grin.

“Liz Parker! I’m great but you’re looking even better. I thought you dumped that clown.” Zeus said with a wide smile jerking his thumb over to Kyle.

“She did. I’m just forcing her to be my friend. Great tunes Zeus.” Kyle said with a smirk. Liz laughed.

“Hey Zeus can you play something for me? Kyle wants to dance.” Liz asked.

“Always just name it. It wouldn’t be a party if you weren’t dancing.” Zeus said with a smile.

“Thanks. Can you play Prodigy “Smack my bitch up” not the remix but the standard version? I have to show this boy how to move.” Liz teased. Zeus nodded and after calling a thank you Liz and Kyle made their way back to where they could see the door and started dancing waiting for Zeus to put on their request. Maria danced over with her partner Darin wanting to keep Liz in sight. Alex was a little way over to the left still dancing with red head and looking like he was having a great time.

As the first strains of the song came on Liz grinned over at Maria who winked back. Liz started to move with beat Kyle following along easily. Maria eased Darin off the floor wanting to watch. Tess watched closely from her place beside the door then frowned as she saw Max, Michael and Isabel walk in. Liz and Kyle moved together easily not noticing the rest of the group’s arrival. The other dancers had moved back slightly giving them more space.

Max’s eyes easily found Liz and he stopped his eyes widening as he watched Liz dance. Isabel who almost plowed into his back looked to see what had grabbed his attention and stopped in shock. She had no idea Liz could dance like that. Tess and Maria made their way over Darin following after Maria.

“Looks like Liz is really having a good time.” Tess said snidely trying to cause trouble. Max didn’t take his eyes off of Liz and even Michael had stopped and was staring.

“Liz can really move. Hang on she’s gonna show Kyle what she learned in that belly dancing class.” Maria said smirking at the look on Max’s face. About three minutes into the song the tone changed slightly and a female’s voice took over..Liz easily changed her moves her hips rotating and Kyle stepped back to give her room. Arms raised Liz’s hips kept perfect time with the beat and you could clearly see the muscles of her abdomen moving under her skin. Max felt a sharp stab of lust work threw him and he wondered absently if she was gonna cause a riot. After about a minute the song resumed its previous beat and Kyle again moved closer and quickly fended off two guys who were trying to dance closer. After the song ended Liz looked around trying to find Maria and her eyes fell on Max. Her face lit up and a big smile spread over her face she quickly moved off the dance floor and walked up.

“You finally made it!” Liz said and looked up into his eyes. Seeing the heat seething in his gaze she stopped wondering if he was angry. She was quickly put at ease as he pulled her to him and he leaned down and kissed her. She opened for him immediately and moaned softly. He pulled back and smiled down at her then glanced over to Kyle.

“Hey Kyle. Thanks for keeping an eye on her.” He said and smiled at Kyle as Liz settled against his side. “Sorry it took us so long.”

“Glad you finally made it now you can be the one fending everyone off. I’m tired.” Kyle joked. Max smiled in reply.

“Hey who is this?” Michael asked rudely catching sight of Darin.

“Sorry this is Darin. Come on Darin let’s dance.” Maria said and tugged him back into the dancing mass of people.

“Who the hell is he?” Michael asked looking to Liz. Liz suppressed her smile.

“He is a sophomore at Las Cruces University here visiting his cousin. He seems really nice. Don’t worry Michael I reminded Maria not to take off with him.” Liz said watching the frown spread over Michael’s face. Her eyes danced gleefully as Michael started pushing his way through the crowd.

“You are really going to cause trouble tonight aren’t you?” Max asked against her ear.

“I hope so.” Liz answered with a smile. “Ohh I love this song come dance with me Max.” Liz said pulling Max away easily as 6 Underground by the Sneaker Pimps came on. She smoothly moved into his arms moving with him easily. She sighed happily as Max pulled her closer and nuzzled her ear.



“So where’s Alex?” Isabel asked Kyle.

“He got nabbed by a little red headed girl and was happily being groped. There he is.” Kyle said pointing over to Alex who was swaying arms wrapped around his dance partner. He did indeed look pretty happy. Isabel frowned slightly then shrugged turning back to Kyle.

“Let’s dance Kyle.” Isabel said and with a quick wave to Tess off they went.

Tess was left fuming. She watched as Max caressed Liz’s bare lower back and whispered in her ear. She felt an intense wave of hatred wash over her. It seemed Liz could do no wrong. She could act like a complete whore in public and Max only wanted her more. It was sickening. She stomped away intent on finding Nick and kicking his ass into gear.


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 11-Aug-2002 4:19:55 PM ]
posted on 12-Aug-2002 10:08:59 PM by Lelea
Just a note to say the next part is coming.*happy*It's long and took me places I hadn't planned on so you'll see it late tonight or early Tues.

Thanks to roswelllover, Lindsy, mrsjbehr,clueless, SarahWhitman,dreamforever88, destinyros2005, behrstars, maxs silverhandprint for all the bumps and comments it makes my day!

mpls muse~Glad you like the Tattoo idea we'll see what happens*happy*

JaneLane~Thank you so much for all your bumps and yes Liz did sober up a little. I've always found dancing to do that....plus Tess would sober anyone up ....or maybe cause them to drink more hmm.

Sylia37~I always thought it was silly for Max to be jealous of Kyle because how can he not see that Liz loves him? He has gotten flashes after all and Liz has proven how far she will go for him.

ChrissyP47~I hope some of your questions about the seal have been answered along with why Liz was so concerned about it. Thanks for all of your comments I love reading them.

Snowdove30~I'm happy you can see Liz's side on this whole thing. I know some haven't. Thank you so much for reading.*happy*

sweetygurl~Thank you for the bumps and I never thought Tess saw things clearly including herself. After all in her mind I would imagine she just doesn't get why Max doesn't fall all over her. In other words we all have our own version of reality Tess's is just a little farther out there than most *big*

Sputnik1812~ Welcome! Thank you for your feedback.

Dreamy~We'll have to wait to see when the seal glows. Ash at this point is a little afraid to say much more on the seal due to Liz's last reaction so we'll have to watch it play out.

imthecopilot~Prince well what can I say? My fetish isn't at all hidden. The first time I saw him in concert I was hooked. I had to cut that part off and I have no idea how Prince leaked into my story but there you have it!

Wayliz & AshleyBehr666~ You guys pop up on both boards! I always look to see which one you leave FB on. Thank you both for your FB I love to read it. Wayliz~ Liz is trying to get over it and for the most part has...she decided Max was more important then anything else and is going for it. Tess always made ME want to ralph so I can't imagine being trapped in a car with her. Kyle's great isn't he? Love him. AsheleyBehr666~Kyle is cutie isn't he? *tongue* Yeah I never understood Liz not having a little more sex appeal on the show even good girls can have a little fun sometimes.*big*

Jassybee~I liked leaving Tess out so I'm glad you enjoyed it. Sometimes that's worse than saying anything to her at all. She is getting pretty upset about it so we'll see what she does.

icequeenfan~Well let's see I love Alex. I do like Isabel and you'll see a lot of her. But I'm not so great at writing Alex so we'll see. But it's a good sign the red head doen't have a name*wink*

roswellLady~ Thank you for the compliment on the dance sections. I myself don't dance well and found it a challenge so I'm glad it was passable.

narly21~ Tess always rains on the parade doesn't she? A killjoy for sure.

Pathos~Wow I couldn't believe it when I saw you left me FB. I love your stories! I agree it is a lot for Liz to take in in a short amount of time. Plus that interfering orb is messing with Liz so I think she's doing pretty good so far.

ItsLikeChemical~I can't thank you enough for your support. It meant a lot to me. Thanks again.

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 12-Aug-2002 10:13:33 PM ]
posted on 13-Aug-2002 12:38:12 AM by Lelea
Chapter Twenty Eight

fail_safe


Michael pushed his way roughly through the crowd searching for Maria. When he did see her he stopped dead at the sight. She was dancing so close to Darin that in the swaying mass of people Michael had a hard time seeing where she ended and he began. As he watched Darin leaned down and said something that made her laugh and she ran her hand down his arm. Seeing red Michael stormed over and pulled Maria away from him.

“What do you think you’re doing?” Michael growled.

“Dancing Michael. Get a clue.” Maria said yanking her arm out of his grasp.

“Come on let’s go.” Michael replied reaching for her. Maria slapped his hand away.

“I suggest you go find another piece of ass to chase Michael because this one isn’t interested anymore.” Maria said furious. Michael’s eyes narrowed as he felt his anger ratchet up a notch.

“So what? You want him now?” Michael asked jerking his thumb at Darin.

“It’s none of your business what I do or who I do it with. Why do you even care enough to ask? After all I, along with every other human female on the planet, am just a distraction from what’s really important. So go waste someone else’s time. I want someone who thinks I’m important and who cares about me.” Maria said and turned away. Michael grabbed her hand and without a word pulled her through the crowd and out the door. He turned to her and without a word kissed her softly holding her still as she tried to pull away. He didn’t try to deepen the kiss he just slowly rubbed his lips over hers. He pulled back and looked into her eyes seeing the confusion swirling in her gaze.

“I’m sorry Maria. You are important. You do matter to me.” Michael said seeing what a big mistake he had made and how much he had hurt Maria. He blew out a frustrated breath and tried to search for the words to fix this mess that he had made.

“That’s nice Michael but I don’t believe you. You can’t just say I’m sorry and have it fix 3 months worth of actions. It doesn’t work that way. I realize you’ve had a rough time I do and I cut you a lot of slack but this past week I started to see that I was wasting compassion on someone who has no desire to be human. The way you have acted Michael is beyond my abilities to describe. You’re selfish and rude and I have no intention of putting up with it. We are all part of this secrete now so it’s not just your life that’s effected. I will not allow you to treat me like what I have to say doesn’t matter. That I don’t matter.” Maria finished and pushed past him. Michael reached out and stopped her by grabbing her hand.

“Wait a second. I know I’ve been an asshole but I’m asking for a chance to make this up to you. Please? I want to be with you just let me show you that I can do better than this.” Michael said softly and ran his thumb over the back of her hand. “You won’t be sorry I promise.”

Maria felt herself weaken and cursed whatever character flaw makes her so susceptible to Michael. She turned back to find him looking at her waiting for her answer. “I will hurt you badly if you do this again Michael. Cause if I’m gonna be sorry you better believe you will be too.” She said and watched as a smile spread over his face.

“Got it.” He said and pulled her into a hug.





Back inside a remix of Janet Jackson’s IF came on and Liz smiled. She pulled Max closer and moved with the music rubbing against him as she danced. She reveled in the feel of being so close to him and feeling him move with her. Looking up into his eyes she didn’t try to hide the feelings rolling inside her. Max caught his breath at the heat in Liz’s eyes and knew he had to get them off of this dance floor or he was going to do something that would really draw attention. Taking her hand he pulled her toward the hallway he could see leading away from the crowd. So absorbed in getting away from the crowd he failed to notice several people noting their departure.

Coming to the end of the hall he looked in both directions and seeing some traffic to the right he went left finally drawing to a stop further down the hall and pulled Liz to him as he leaned against the wall. They could faintly hear the music from the main room making its way to them but it seemed so far away. Liz didn’t wait to see what he was going to do. She needed to feel him now. She pulled him down to her and kissed him deeply her hands moving up under his shirt to trace his ribs lightly.

Max sank one hand into her hair and the other moved to the swell of her ass dragging her closer to him. Dimly he realized that they were both loosing all control of the situation but that thought drifted away as Liz started to unbutton his shirt.

Liz spread his shirt wide open and pressed her body close moaning at the contact feeling her bare abdomen rub against him as she stretched up on tip toes. She ran her mouth down his neck and licked at a drop of sweat. Dimly she heard his groan but paid no attention lost to the taste of him. Following the curve of his neck and shoulder she found the sensitive cord that ran between them and bit down lightly not hearing his deep groan her hands moving to unbuckle his belt. She carefully unbuttoned then unzipped him and pushed her hand into his pants pleased to find nothing hindering her from grasping him firmly.

Max pressed back into the wall as Liz wrapped her hand around him and gently started a slow rhythm. He felt her body slide down his her mouth trailing a path down his chest. Her tongue traced the ridges his ribs made and Max made a harsh sound in his throat. As her mouth glided over his abdomen he tensed the muscles jumping under her mouth and he heard her moan softly in response. Realizing her intent he stopped her turning her face up to look at him.

“Liz that’s not..you don’t..” Max said stumbling over his words not wanting her to feel that this is what he had intended when he dragged her down here. He could barely think and found it impossible to get the words out. Liz just looked at him and he saw her eyes had widened the black pupils expanding so only a thin ring of brown remained. Her lips were swollen and slightly parted and he could feel her breath brushing over his abdomen with each of her panting breaths. His hand fisted tightly at his side as lust well up inside him threatening to drown him.

“Please Max? I need you please?” Liz asked softly feeling her need for him coil and twist inside her. She could dimly feel a burning sensation in her shoulder but couldn’t focus enough to even wonder about it. Max dropped the hand holding her and pressed both of his hands flat against the wall. Seeing that Liz continued to slide to her knees pushing his pants out of her way and took him into her mouth quickly not wanting to give him time to think. She ran her tongue over him and licked away the liquid gathered at the head of his penis. She wasted no time and quickly built a steady rhythm sucking on him lightly with each withdrawal. She moaned needing more of him and her nails sank into his thigh. Max came hard and Liz swallowed eagerly and pulled back licking her lips lightly. Max slid down the wall his legs unable to hold him up. He pulled her mouth to his kissing her deeply and sucking on her lower lip. Liz crawled onto his lap and straddled him burying her face in his neck as he ran his hands over her back as his breathing gradually returned to normal. Running his hand over her shoulder blade he felt a pulsing heat pouring off her shoulder. He shifted to look at her shoulder pulling back her top to see a shimmer of blue light pulsing slowly. He ran his hand over it and watched as the light flared briefly the pattern almost clear. He pulled her top back over it and leaned his head back against the wall.

“Liz?” Max asked softly. She didn’t respond. “Liz? Are you okay?” Max asked when she didn’t answer. She nodded briefly not saying anything. He felt a splash of wetness hit his neck and pulled her back so he could see her face. He saw tears welling in her eyes and felt like the biggest creep in the world. “Liz what’s wrong?”

“I don’t know.” Liz whispered and wiped at her face. Her breath shuddered as she exhaled and she started crying harder. Max could feel the panic welling up inside him he couldn’t stand it when she cried.

“Liz please tell me what’s wrong.” Max said and tucked her hair behind her ear.

“I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I need to go to the bathroom.” Liz said crying harder her breath hitching. Her emotions rolled inside her crazily sending more tears running down her face. She could feel the heat rolling through her as she struggled to get her emotions under control.

Max pulled her closer and buried her face back in his neck he kissed her shoulder feeling helpless. He pulled her shirt aside and saw the light from the seal was indeed still there. He bent and kissed her bare skin softly and felt a quick flash of her teeming uncontrolled emotions. He stroked her hair and whispered to her about how much he loved her and needed her. He spoke softly telling her stories he remembered from the years watching her. He kept talking until her tears slowly came to a stop. She pulled back and looked into his face embarrassed.

“Max I’m so sorry I don’t know what happened. First I attack you and then cry all over you.” Liz said getting off of him. Her control still fragile. “I’m sorry. I guess I don’t handle my liquor well huh?”

“Liz you have nothing to be sorry for. This is really my fault I’m the one that pulled you down here. I just needed to be alone with you. I missed you so much.” Max said kissing her forehead. He buttoned up his shirt and fastened his pants. He looked at Liz and saw her jeans were all dirty and her top was bunched up so he straightened her cloths and ran his hand over her pants removing most of the dirt. He took her hand and they started back walking slowly.

Ash who was leaning against the wall making sure that no one interrupted the couple heard their approach and blended back into the shadows of a nearby door way. He watched as Max leaned down and whispered into Liz’s ear and she nodded and made her way to the bathroom. Max leaned against the wall waiting for her. As Ash thought about making his presence known he saw a short blonde walk up to him…Tess.


“Max I need to talk to you.” Tess said trying to draw Max away from Liz.

“Sure what’s up?” Max said looking past her to see if Liz was coming.

“I saw Nick following Isabel. Now I can’t find her. Max we need to go and look for her.” Tess said her tone radiating concern. Max immediately felt alarmed but he didn’t want to leave Liz. When he hesitated Tess felt her anger grow. “Max I’m sure Liz can find her way back just fine with out you! Isabel needs us!”

“Okay let’s go.” Max said with one last glance down the hall.


Ash motioned to one of his men signaling for him to stay put and followed Max.




Liz splashed cold water on her face trying to wash off the evidence of her emotional outburst. She still felt shaky and confused about her own behavior. She couldn’t even believe the way she had acted and was somewhat ashamed of herself. The worst part was she could still feel that strong desire to go to Max. It didn’t seem to matter that they were in public. Max must think she was a total slut Liz thought to herself upset. Realizing she had been in the bathroom a long time she decided she better go find Max. As she started toward the door Liz felt slightly light headed. Next time she swore she was going to listen to Maria about drinking on an empty stomach. As she left the restroom she turned in the direction where she thought the dance floor was. She soon realized she had taken a wrong turn when she realized she didn’t see anyone around and the music wasn’t getting any louder. Turning back she made her way back along the hallway. Suddenly she stopped feeling her stomach clench she bent over placing her hand against her bare abdomen. She reached out and pressed her other hand against the wall to maintain her balance as she waited for the sensation to pass. She breathed deeply as the room heated. Suddenly she saw a pair of dirty ragged shoes in front of her. Looking up she saw a tall thin guy with longer hair and glittering eyes that were watching her carefully. He seemed to weave slightly as he stood watching her. Feeling uneasy and realizing she was alone with him she cursed herself silently.

“Umm hi. The bathrooms and dance floor are back that way.” Liz said pointing in the direction she had been walking. “I got a little turned around on the way out myself.” Liz said with a slight smile. The man said nothing just watched her and eased closer. Liz’s sense of danger roared louder as she straightened and moved to the balls of her feet suddenly feeling extremely clear headed. Just as she was about to make a run for it she heard a rustling sound a little further down the hall and Pauly came into view. A wave of relief broke over her as he made his way closer. Pauly had seen Liz start out walking the wrong way and thought she looked upset or sick so he had followed her leaving his date who was in the bathroom.

“Liz are you alright?” Pauly asked seeing Liz’s expression. “I thought I saw you come down this way and I didn’t want you to get lost.” He moved closer uneasy as the man with Liz didn’t react at all.

“Umm I think I could use a little help actually.” Liz said turning her attention back to the man in front of her. He didn’t even seem to be aware that they weren’t alone any longer.

As she tried to ease past him he reached out and grabbed a hold of her arm tightly stopping her. Liz reacted swiftly stamping down on his instep and pulling her arm out of his grasp as his grip loosened. As she tried to continue past him he again stopped her blocking her with his body and grabbing at her shirt. Liz kicked him hard right below the kneecap just as Ash had instructed her by that time Pauly reached him and quickly pulled him away from her tearing her shirt in the process. He landed two swift punches to the strangers mid section and shoved him to the ground. As the guy made one more grab for her Liz panicked and kicked him hard in the face beyond the point of caring what damage she inflicted she wanted away from him NOW. Pauly grabbed her hand and pulled her quickly back down the hall and glancing over his shoulder was freaked to see the guy trying to crawl after them his eyes still focused on Liz.

“Come on Liz we better hurry.” Pauly said wanting to get back to where there were people. Neither of the two noticed a man slip out of the shadows and walk quietly down the hall and place his glowing hand on the stranger’s forehead removing the threat.



Out by the bar Nick suddenly started. Looking for Tess he spotted her over by the DJ. He swiftly made his way over and grabbed her arm roughly.

“You said there was no one with Power to protect her! You said you took care of Zan.” Nick said giving her a shake. He could feel the headache start from the destruction of his puppet.

“There isn’t. Max is searching for Isabel see he’s right over there with Michael.” Tess answered pointing.

“You’re wrong. Someone just killed my human puppet using powers. I felt it.” Nick said scanning the crowd as he spoke.

“That’s not possible. You must be mistaken.” Tess replied.

“No I’m not. They might not be with her but someone is. This means we have to take more direct action Tess. So you better be prepared to help when the time comes. You can warp Zan can’t you?” Nick asked.

“Of course I can. How do you think I got him away from Liz in the first place? What are you going to do?” Tess asked.

“Send some of my people to take care of it. It’ll just take a little while so I’ll need you to distract Zan when I’m ready. I doubt he will let Liz stray away from him this evening for a second time.” Nick said with a smirk. He was willing to risk a small number of his people and if it worked great if not he would have to wait till after the Joining. He had no qualms at all about risking Tess. He needed to expose his enemy. Someone was helping them and he wanted to see who it was.



Kyle spotted Pauly tugging Liz behind him and made his way over. As he got closer he saw that Liz was pale and shaking clutching Pauly’s hand tightly her shirt ripped on one side. Pauly kept looking behind them as he pushed through the crowd.

“Liz what happened?” Kyle asked as he reached them.

“Man, some freak just attacked Liz. He was all messed up on something.” Pauly answered letting go of Liz’s hand grateful to see Kyle.

Kyle pulled Liz closer and looked her over for damage. “Liz are you alright?” Kyle asked taking in her ripped shirt and the darkening bruises on her arm.

“Yeah I’m okay. Pauly got there just as he was grabbing me.” Liz answered shaken and wondering where Max was. She turned to Pauly. “Thank you so much Pauly for following me. I don’t know what I would have done without your help.” Liz said giving him a grateful smile.

“Sure Liz no problem. You didn’t do too badly yourself.” Pauly said.

“Thanks man. Really I appreciate it. I owe you one.” Kyle said and wrapped his arm around Liz pulling her closer.

“Sure. I’ll catch you guys later okay? I need to get back to my date.” Pauly said seeing his date waving him over. He moved away swiftly swallowed by the crowd.

Kyle led Liz over by the door where he could see Ash standing. Ash looked up at their approach.

“What happened?” Ash asked.

“Ash this guy attacked me. I got turned around coming out of the bathroom. It was so weird the guy never said a word he didn’t make any noise at all even when I kicked..kicked him in the face.” Liz said stumbling over her words slightly.

“Wait here. Don’t go anywhere.” Ash said and left. He needed to check in with the man he had left to look out for Liz. He had wanted to keep Tess in sight to see what she was doing.

Kyle cursed himself for not watching her better. He bent closer to her. “Are you really okay? He didn’t hurt you at all?” Kyle asked concerned. Liz shook her head.

“Pauly got there right as the guy was about to grab me. There was something wrong with him Kyle. It was like he was totally out of it. Thank god Pauly got there. I wouldn’t have gotten away otherwise.” Liz said in reply. Looking past Kyle she saw Tess watching her intently. She looked away not wanting Tess to come over. “I’m okay.” She looked around for Max. “Kyle where is Max? He was waiting for me outside the bathroom and when I came out he was gone.”

“I don’t know. I saw him right before you got back he said he was looking for Isabel. That’s why I went looking for you. He said Nick was here and that he couldn’t find Isabel. Maria and Alex are helping them look for her.” Kyle said still worried about Liz. She was trembling and kept pressing her hand to her stomach. “Liz are you sick?”

“Kyle we need to find everyone and go. I’m not feeling well. It’s so hot in here and I need to go home.” Liz said looking around. She felt like they were being watched and her already rioting emotions kicked up a notch.

posted on 13-Aug-2002 7:13:01 PM by Lelea
Dreamy did you read my story outline?? LOL I love it. That's exactly what's gonna happen kind of. In a way.
posted on 14-Aug-2002 5:00:00 PM by Lelea
Chapter Twenty Nine

fail_safe


After Ash checked in and discovered the threat had been eliminated he made his way back to where he had left Liz and Kyle. Walking up he grew even more concerned as he looked at Liz. She was sweating and leaning heavily on Kyle hand pressed to her stomach.

“Liz? How long have you been sick?” Ash asked and glanced at Kyle who was supporting most of her weight.

“Umm awhile. Since before I was attacked. Listen I think we need to get the others and leave. Something’s wrong with this whole thing. Max wouldn’t just leave me like that and now Kyle says that Max is looking for Isabel and Nick is here. We need to go.” Liz said fighting the nausea rolling through her. She was afraid something had happened to Max and wanted to find him now.

“You’re right we do need to leave. That wasn’t just a random attack on you. That was an attack by the skins using a human agent. When we leave we go without Tess.” Ash said moving closer and gently turning Liz so he could see her shoulder. He could see the light from her seal coming through the cloth of her shirt. He needed to get her out of here now. “Lets go now. I will send you with some of my people.”

“No. I’m not going anywhere without Max.” Liz said and seeing that Ash was about to protest continued. “I’m not going without him. So let’s find him and then we can go. I don’t want to waste anymore time.” Liz said standing straighter and brushing her hair back from her face. Ash nodded and motioned to one of his people who started over immediately.

“We’re just leaving Tess here?” Kyle asked.

“Yes. She has friends who can see to her needs. I will not bring her with us. She is the one who lured Max away. She is the enemy.” Ash said plainly. Liz nodded in understanding and seeing Liz’s acceptance Kyle agreed as well.

“This is Uziel. You can trust him.” Ash watched as Liz and Kyle nodded. He turned to Uziel “We need to leave here now. All except Tess must be located and protected. Tess is a mindwarper so be on your guard. The skins are here and have already made an attempt on Liz. I will go with Liz you need to take Kyle and look for the others. Make no contact with the rest of our people. Understood?” At Uziel’s quick nod he turned to back to Liz. “Let’s go.”


Michael was getting a bad feeling about this. He and Max had agreed to split up and locate Isabel. After only 5 minutes of searching he had easily found her talking with a couple of girls from school. When he had approached her she seemed puzzled by his concern. So now with Isabel and Maria in tow he was trying to find the rest of the group. Looking around he spotted Kyle pushing through the crowd and made to intercept him.

“Kyle!” Michael shouted and waved his arm. Kyle started over with another man trailing behind him.

“Listen guys we’re leaving. Liz was attacked and Ash wants us to leave now. This is Uziel by the way.” Kyle said pointing to the man behind him. The best way to describe him would be to say he was average. Average height, neither short nor tall, brown hair, nothing to make him stand out. He smiled briefly and continued to scan the crowd. He wasn’t happy that they were so out in the open. This situation was a nightmare to try and manage.

“What do you mean Liz was attacked? Is she alright?” Maria asked alarmed.

“She’s okay. Listen we can discuss this later. Do any of you know where Alex and Max are? We need to go.” Kyle asked cutting off their questions.

“No we haven’t seen them since we split up.” Michael answered.

“We need to pull back to the door. Ash will locate them. We can’t all keep looking.” Uziel said firmly.

“Okay let’s go.” Isabel said and started toward the door. She saw the logic of Uziel’s suggestion and wanted to forestall any protests. The rest of the group trailed after her Michael and Uziel watching the crowd for any signs of trouble.


Ash and Liz made their way through the crowd easily keeping toward the outside walls. Liz was trying her best to push aside her discomfort and focus on finding the missing members of the group. Ash kept his arm around her both to support her and keep the seal hidden. Catching sight of Alex up ahead Liz started in that direction only to be pulled to a stop by Ash. She looked up at him in question.

“Tess is there. Stay close to me. Do not leave my side not even to go to Max. Alright?” Ash asked wanting to make sure Liz was protected. Liz nodded in agreement and they started forward. Now that Ash had mentioned her Liz easily spotted Tess standing with her back to them.

“Alex there you are I’ve been looking for you.” Liz said walking up casually. Tess turned and seeing Ash her eyes narrowed.

“Liz! What happened to you?” Alex asked seeing Liz.

“Oh I had a little trouble but I’m fine. Pauly saved the day actually. Where’s Max?” Liz asked. Ash kept his eyes trained on Tess.

“He’s checking the parking lot for Isabel. He thought she might have gone out to the car or something. He sent me to find the rest of you and we’re supposed to meet up by the DJ.” Alex said noticing Ash staring at Tess he didn’t ask any more questions.

“Well I thought I saw Maria over by the hallway to the bathroom. Why don’t we go and look? Tess we’ll meet you by the DJ okay?” Liz said and without waiting for a response pulled Alex away Ash following keeping Liz close shielding her small frame as much as he could.


“What’s going on?” Alex asked as they pushed through the crowd headed toward the door.

“We’re leaving and ditching Tess.” Liz said and took deep breaths as she kept moving. They reached the door and found everyone except Max. “Ash do you think Max could be outside?” Liz asked getting frustrated.

“No I would have seen him.” Ash answered then turned to Uziel giving instructions on getting to the cars.

Liz looked around and through the crowd spotted Max. Feeling a wave of relief she started to turn to Ash when she saw Tess. Tess looked to Max then turned to Liz with a raised eyebrow and a smirk. Recognizing a challenge when she saw one Liz could feel her anger and determination solidify inside her. Flipping Tess the finger she took off weaving through crowd trying to reach Max first. Tess stood shocked for a moment at Liz’s gesture and then took off toward the target.

Liz reached Max and pulled on his arm. “Max we have to go. We have Isabel let’s go.” Liz said in a rush. Max seemed dazed and slow to react. Liz looked and seeing Tess almost reaching them she pulled Max down and kissed him biting his lip lightly and pulled back. “Let’s go Max.” Liz said firmly. Max nodded and they started out only to be cut off by Tess.

“You didn’t think you were leaving without me did you? Max you can’t leave me stranded here.” Tess said her tone hurt but her eyes steely.

“The hell we can’t. Max come on.” Liz said pulling Max closer and trying to walk around Tess. Tess reached out and touched Max on the arm and he stopped. Liz turned and saw Tess close her eyes her face scrunching in concentration. Hell no Liz thought and curled her hand into a fist. Thumb on the outside she reminded herself and swung. Her fist connected with Tess’s eye snapping her head back. Not waiting Liz grabbed Max and dragged him away.

Nick who was standing against the wall watching laughed softly. He almost liked that human he thought. Too bad he had to try and kill her. He made his way to Tess who was standing hand pressed to her eye. “That’s one hell of a black eye you’ve got there.” He said smirking.

“Shut up Nick! I don’t see you doing anything. Fucking bitch almost blinded me!” Tess shrieked.

“As I remember it you said you could handle it. Zan would be no problem and Liz was only a human.” He reminded her. “Luckily I’ve got it covered. My people are ready.”


Liz pulled Max along her fist throbbing with pain. She wondered briefly if she was turning into a violent person. Reaching the group she met Ash’s angry eyes straight on.

“I found him. Now let’s go.” Liz said. Ash turned to Max and looked him over.

“You need to connect with him. We need him clear headed.” Ash said and turned to Uziel. “Be ready. As soon as this is done we go to the cars. We will be out in the open so watch yourself. I will take Liz and Max in the Land Rover. Split the others between their cars and take them to my place for the night.” Uziel nodded in understanding.

Liz pulled Max to her and kissed him connecting easily. She pushed through the hazy fog over his thoughts and sent him images of what had happened and tried to send him her determination and will to get out of this in one piece. She felt Max respond and gloried in the flood of strength and love he sent her. Before things could get out of control she pulled back trying to ignore the need coiling inside her. She turned to Ash and waited silently. Ash turned back to them having sorted out who was going in whose car.

“Ok Max you need to keep Liz close in front of you. I will go first Liz will follow me and you will bring up the rear. Do not let anyone separate you. Ready?” He asked and both of them nodded. He looked at Uziel. “ After we go wait till we pass the first row of cars and follow quickly.” Uziel nodded and looked to make sure the rest of them were grouped as to what car they were going in. Kyle had Isabel and Alex with him and Michael and Maria were taking the Jeep. Seeing that they were ready he turned to see Ash, Liz, and Max already moving.

Ash moved quickly holding one of Liz’s hands tightly Max followed Liz closely one hand on her shoulder. They easily reached the first row of cars seeing nothing out of the ordinary. Ash’s eyes moved quickly taking in any movement ahead of them. As they reached the next row he spotted a group of men surrounding a pick up truck. Tensing he pulled Liz closer keeping her body behind his. As they approached the group of men turned and blocked their path Ash counted 6 men. Silently they struck throwing rapid blasts of energy at them and moving to try and flank them in the narrow space between the rows. Ash reacted immediately and pulled Liz back to the nearest car while directing his own energy blasts in return fire. Max threw up his shield protecting Liz and himself while allowing Ash to continue to attack. Ash disposed of 2 of the 6 quickly with carefully placed shots to the head. Seeing Max shielding he left them and rounded the car moving quickly and blasted one of the skins trying to creep behind them. The 3 remaining skins pulled back to the cover of the opposite row. Meanwhile an alarm started screaming from inside the warehouse sending the people inside fleeing. People poured out into the parking lot in a confused mass.

Cursing Ash realized he had been separated from Max and Liz in the ensuing rush of people.



Kyle followed Uziel trying to keep his eyes open. He glanced over and saw Ash leading Max and Liz and watched as all hell broke loose. Uziel also saw the attack start and turned to the group and ordered them to separate. Uziel stayed with Kyle’s group while Michel and Maria slipped away headed for the Jeep. Uziel moved lightly between the cars scanning their route. He watched as 2 skins slipped out in front of them their hands already glowing with energy. He swiftly blasted one and kept advancing. He stepped over the fallen skin and took aim at the last effectively releasing him from this earth. Hearing a sizzling blast from behind him he turned to find Isabel had blasted the skin he had stepped over as it tried to take aim at her. The flakes of it’s skin danced around her floating on the slight breeze as the alarm from the warehouse started blaring. Wasting no time he continued to the Mustang. He directed Alex and Isabel into the back with Kyle driving. Kyle pulled out of the parking lot with a screech of tires.


Michael and Maria were almost to the Jeep when they saw two people step out in front of them one of which was Courtney. Michael skidded to a stop clutching Maria’s hand tightly.

“Hey Courtney. I didn’t know you were here.” Michael said trying to play it off.

“Shut up…General.” The second skin sneered mockingly. He raised his hand to blast them but Courtney beat him to it killing him before he knew what was happening. Michael’s hand went up and he fired wildly missing Courtney and hitting the car behind her.

“Hey relax Mikey G. In case you missed it I just saved you. Now let’s go.” Courtney said and moved off in the direction of the Jeep. With a glance at Maria he followed hand at the ready. The alarm in the warehouse cut through the night with a piercing scream.

posted on 15-Aug-2002 10:17:46 PM by Lelea
Chapter Thirty
fail_safe

“Michael you can’t possibly be serious. She’s a skin. What are we going to do with her? Isabel will freak if she sheds all over the Jeep.” Maria asked loudly over the sound of the alarm blaring and the people fleeing.

“We can’t leave her here. Besides I have a few questions for her.” Michael said glancing over at Courtney who was leaning against the Jeep.

“It would be a really good idea to talk about this while we’re moving.” Courtney pointed out casually eyeing Michael.

“Fine get in the Jeep. Maria let’s go.” Michael said walking over and getting in the drivers side. Maria grumbled to herself but got in the passenger seat.

“So what’s your deal?” Maria asked Courtney bluntly as Michael maneuvered them out of the parking lot.

“I’m just protecting our rightful leader. That’s all. Not all of us support Kivar.” Courtney answered.

“So you saved Michael to help Max?” Maria asked curious.

“No. Zan was a self-centered thief. If Rath had been in charge our system wouldn’t be at war right now.” Courtney said hotly.

“So the Granilith just gave Zan the royal seal for the hell of it? Deluded much?” Maria shot back. Maria flopped back in her seat getting worked up at this latest development. The very last thing she wanted to do was spend the evening in the company of another alien slut…they just got rid of the last one. She needed to ask Ash about alien pest removal was there a spray or something for this?

“Quiet both of you. I need to pay attention here. In case you’ve both forgotten there are people trying to kill us.” Michael said. He glanced in the rear view mirror but with all the traffic from the fleeing people it was hard to tell if they were being followed or not.

“Michael we need to meet up with the rest of my group. We can’t go back to Roswell. Nick will find us if we do.” Courtney said.

“No forget that. We are going to do exactly what we agreed on which is going to meet up with our friends. If you want out feel free to jump.” Maria said adamantly.

“Since when are you giving the orders?” Courtney asked getting pissed.

“Stop. I’m driving and I am driving into Roswell. Discussion over.” Michael said firmly. What the hell did I do to earn karma like this? Michael thought feeling a headache pressing against the backs of his eyes.




As soon as the alarm had started screaming Max had pulled Liz to her feet dropping his shield. The swarm of people flooding into the parking lot had separated them from Ash and looking around he could see one of the skins trying to reach them through the crowd.

“Where is Ash parked?” Max asked Liz.

“I don’t know. All I know is he said it was a Land Rover.” Liz answered feeling her stomach twist.

“Shit! We can’t stay here…Come on let’s go.” Max said and started moving with the crush of traffic holding Liz’s hand and pulling her with him. Liz stumbled after him trying to keep up with his longer strides. Suddenly someone grabbed her from behind and she was torn out of Max’s grasp a hand clamped tightly over her mouth. She felt a bolt of terror jolt threw her and her stomach rolled. She struggled franticly but was unable to break free. She was dragged behind a van and pinned face first against the rear door bent forward slightly where the bumper cut into her thighs.

Max turned as soon as he lost his grip on Liz but was unable to see her in the crowd. He tried to push back in the direction he had come from but the crush of people kept pushing him forward. As soon as he found a space between two cars he darted in and made his way to the next row and started back.



“Are you sure this is the one? She’s kind of small.” Liz heard a man’s voice ask from behind her. She tried to push herself away from the van but at her first movement the hand behind her neck pushed harder holding her in place.

“I’m pretty sure. Let’s see then.” A second voice said and a hand grabbed the left side of her shirt and ripped it off exposing her back. The hand then past over her left shoulder and Liz felt a crackling heat pass over her shoulder blade.

“Oh yeah she’s the one. Okay let’s do this.” The first voice said and she was spun around and slammed back against the van hard knocking the breath from her. Her vision swam for a moment before it cleared showing two men that looked to be in their twenties. One was blonde and the other appeared Hispanic. The blonde placed his glowing hand on her now exposed chest burning her skin instantly. Liz screamed loudly in pain and kicked out striking his inner thigh. The second man stepped close to her right side holding her in place with an arm across her mid section and used his leg to hold down her legs to prevent her from kicking out again. As the hand continued to burn into her flesh Liz worked her hand free and drove her thumb hard into the blonde man’s eye. He screamed and pulled back his eye a ruined mess of tissue and leaking a nasty smelling fluid. Liz turned her head and bit the Hispanic man’s nose hard only releasing him when he started shoving her away. Taking advantage of their surprise and pain she dropped to the ground and squirmed underneath the van as fast as she could ignoring the gravel biting into her skin.


Max was past panic as he pushed his way through the crowd trying to find Liz. He heard a loud scream from his left and knew it was her. He started shoving people out of his way as he rushed in the direction the scream had come from. He rounded the side of a blue van and saw two men one holding his nose and the other his eye. As soon as they saw him they started raising their hands, which were starting to glow. Max reacted swiftly his rage sweeping threw him and pouring out of his raised hand striking the blonde man first slamming his body backward onto the ground before it quickly turned to dust and flakes of skin. He rounded on the second immediately aiming for his head but missed as the man turned swiftly and bolted.

He looked around and saw Liz’s torn shirt on the ground. He picked it up and received a vivid flash of Liz’s fear and pain as she was slammed into the van. Gasping he dropped the shirt. “LIZ!” He bellowed frantic to find her.



Ash heard Max shout and dropped the injured skin he was wrestling with. He raced in the direction of Max’s voice roughly shoving people out of his way.


Liz stopped moving hearing Max call for her. She rolled onto her side under a pick up truck two places over from the van. “Max?” She called struggling to wiggle out from under the truck. Before she was more than half way out Max was on his knees helping her. He pulled her to him running his hands over her bruised and torn skin tears running down his face. When he saw the burned handprint on her chest bloody and scrapped from crawling on the ground he felt a wave of rage sweep through him unlike anything he had ever felt before. Liz gently wiped away his tears and brushed her lips over his trying to calm him. He turned hearing footsteps pounding toward them. He raised his hand and pulled Liz closer as Ash raced around the front of the truck skidding to a stop.

Ash took in the scene at a glance. Liz sat in Max’s lap topless, scraped bloody, bruised, with a handprint burned into her chest. Max had his hand out rage flashing in his eyes. Ash held his hands up in a submissive gesture and waited for Max to lower his hand.

“Max. It’s okay now.” Liz said softly and ran her hand over his outstretched arm lowering it. “But I think I need your shirt again.” Liz said when he looked at her trying not to show how much pain she was in. “Ash can you help me up?” Liz said reaching up for his hand.

Ash rushed up and grabbed her outstretched hand gently helping her to stand. Max unbuttoned his shirt and wrapped it around her buttoning the two buttons between her breasts and then he picked her up and turned to Ash.

“Let’s go.” Max said shortly clutching Liz tightly to his chest. Ash nodded and started toward the Land Rover silent his eyes scanning the area for trouble.


Kyle drove like a bat out of hell passing anyone in his way. Isabel sat utterly silent in the back seat Alex watching her in concern. Uziel kept watch out of the rear windows for any approaching vehicles.

“Isabel? Are you okay?” Alex asked softly his eyes filled with compassion.

“I’ll be fine. I’ve just never actually killed anyone before. I can deal with it.” Isabel said her voice expressionless face turned to the window.

“Uziel are you sure Ash can get Max and Liz out of there? I mean they are the main targets.” Kyle asked worried.

“I’m sure they will be fine. Ash is very good.” Uziel answered keeping his response brief.

“Isabel do you still have your phone?” Kyle asked unconvinced. Isabel dug around for the small bag she had been carrying and pulled out her phone.

“Yeah I’ve got it.” She answered.

“Okay we wait 20 minutes to give everyone time to get out and on the road then we call Maria’s phone and then Liz’s. I just want to be sure everyone got out.” Kyle said not appeased by Uziel’s answer. Everyone nodded in agreement.


Ash opened the rear door of the Land Rover and watched as Max gently placed Liz inside. He moved to the driver’s side and got in starting the vehicle as Max climbed in back with Liz. He pulled out into the throng of vehicles trying to get out of the parking lot and looked in the rear view mirror and saw flames flicking in the windows of the warehouse. He looked around and pulled out of traffic driving over the dirt and brush trying to reach the road.

“Hang on.” He called back to the couple in the back seat as they bumped over the rough ground. He hit the ditch and kept going the vehicle jumping up onto the road. He hit the accelerator hard passing vehicles with ease.

Max sat in the back seat holding Liz to him tightly. He kissed the top of her head then pulled back.

“Liz can I try to heal you now? Please?” Max asked softly not able to stand it any longer. Liz glanced up and nodded then reached up and unbuttoned the two buttons holding Max’s shirt together. She pulled the edges of the shirt apart baring her battered chest wincing in pain as she moved. Max looked deeply into her eyes and placed his hand over her burn and allowed himself to flow into the connection. He felt her waves of pain buffet him fiercely trying to demand his attention. He pushed past the pain and focused on her body itself healing her burn first from the inside. Images flashed through his mind swiftly. He made no attempt to capture them just allowed them to slip past as he healed her his focus absolute.

Ash glanced into the backseat and saw Max bent over Liz his hand glowing gently on her chest. He turned back to the road deeply disturbed by how successful the skins had been. He needed to re work the plan to provide better protection. They must not be allowed to get this close again. His failure had been costly.

Max sat back with a gasp drained. Liz blinked sleepily exhausted from everything that had occurred. She moved to kiss Max sweetly thanking him. She pulled back and lightly ran her fingers through his hair smoothing it gently. He settled back against the door and pulled her to lie against his chest arms wrapped tightly around her. She yawned and snuggled back into him too tired to even think.

“Go ahead and sleep Liz. I’ve got you.” Max murmured to her gently burying his nose in her hair breathing her scent in to reassure himself that she was safe. She sighed and slipped into sleep. Max rested his head against the seat keeping watch over her. The flashes of what she had been through vivid in his mind.



“Okay I think it’s been 20 minutes. Call Maria.” Kyle said unable to wait any longer.

“Alright. Isabel can I have the phone?” Alex asked. Isabel nodded and handed it over. Alex dialed and listened to Maria’s phone ringing.

“Hello?” Maria answered sounded irritated.

“Hey its Alex we’re just calling to make sure you two are okay.” Alex replied.

“Try three. We seem to have picked up a skin and are taking her home like a stray puppy.” Maria said venom in her tone. Ut oh Alex thought.

“What? You’re taking a skin home?” Alex asked confused and the rest of the occupants in the Mustang snapped to attention.

“Courtney to be precise. Yes.” Maria said.

“Oh. I see. Why?” Alex asked in return.

“Because she’s a Michael worshipper. Lord knows Michael needs his “ego” stroked its so fragile and all.” Maria said and Alex could hear Michael protesting in the background. He started to answer when Michael’s voice replaced Maria’s.

“Alex? Listen Courtney helped us out and I think that maybe she can answer some questions so we’re bringing her. Have you talked to Max?” Michael asked.

“No we called you guys first. They’re next.” Alex said smiling as he heard the sound of bickering coming over the phone. Michael had to be having an enjoyable ride Alex thought with a smile.

“Okay listen let me know if you can’t reach them okay? I gotta go.” Michael hung up without another word. Alex turned to the people waiting patiently for an update and filled them in quickly. They all agreed they would deal with Courtney when they reached Ash’s. Alex dialed Liz’s phone and listened as it rang and rang no one picking up.


In the parking lot of the burning warehouse Liz’s phone rang and went unanswered.


In the Mustang an argument raged. After trying several times to reach Max and Liz all but Uziel wanted to turn back. Isabel was now almost hysterical shouting that they had to go and find Max. Alex had tried to calm her and be the voice of reason but Isabel was not responding to reason at this point panic having seized her and a hundred different scenarios played out in her mind. Uziel had repeated his orders, which were that they were to go directly to Ash’s place and wait. Kyle looked around and seeing traffic was clear executed U-turn tires screeching.

“Listen no disrespect meant but we’re not going all the way to Roswell to wait and have them not show up. I’m going back to that gas station we past and we’ll wait there and see if we see them coming by. If they don’t come by in a half-hour we go back. Fair enough compromise?” Kyle asked. Uziel agreed reluctantly. “Alex call Michael and tell him what we’re doing.” Kyle said. Alex made the call and Michael agreed to meet them.


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 15-Aug-2002 10:19:07 PM ]
posted on 16-Aug-2002 3:43:22 AM by Lelea
Hey everyone. Hope you liked the action in the last couple of parts...I actually found it very hard to write and I hope you weren't too grossed out *happy* At least Tess is exposed.

ChrissyP47~Kyle and company are a little bit over eager. We'll have to see what happens. Yeah Liz had a rough night. So far anyway.

BLS40~So happy to see you. I agree the kissing as a way to connect to people would not be all that efferctive with strangers. Liz can't kiss everyone. She will get better as time goes on. Max was unhappy about what happened at first but seeing it through Liz's eyes he found he wasn't as upset anymore. After all he can feel how much Liz loves HIM so Kyle isn't that big of a deal anymore. Hope you enjoy the chapters you haven't read yet and I can't wait to read your FB! It let's me know if I'm straying off course or not getting the point across as I wanted to. Thank you so much!

AngelDreamer86~Thank you so much! I'm so happy you're enjoying the story so far.


Thanks to everyone for your FB.

[ edited 2 time(s), last at 16-Aug-2002 3:49:04 AM ]
posted on 19-Aug-2002 5:22:26 PM by Lelea
Chapter Thirty One
**This part goes out to AshleyBehr666...hope you had a good time while you were away.....Also special thanks to Dreamy who has made the mistake of being a beta for me.**

fail_safe

Sitting in the parking lot Uziel kept watch. His eyes scanned all passing traffic and he kept watch for any approaching people. Glancing over at the two parked vehicles, he shook his head taking in the group standing around.

Alex had pulled Maria away from Courtney a few minutes earlier after she had lunged at the girl claiming to want to see what she looked like underneath her false skin. He was now listening to her rant and nodding in the correct spots. He was praying Liz showed up soon she was much better at dealing with Maria in this mood then he was.

Michael was trying to comfort Isabel after she had broken down crying. She looked lost and he knew she desperately needed to be reassured that Max was all right. Even with them being at odds he tried to help as much as he was able…she was like his sister and he hated to see her upset. He looked like a deer trapped in the headlights of a fast approaching truck. He wished Max were here. He always knew what to say but he did the best he could by taking off his outer shirt and wiping the tears off of Isabel’s face reassuring her Max would be there soon. His headache screaming louder behind his eyes.

Kyle kept watch over Courtney while he phoned his Dad to let him know what had happened and that Tess was no longer welcome in their home. The Sheriff quizzed him on what had occurred and Kyle told him what he knew. They hung up agreeing to meet up at Ash’s apartment later. He sighed and glanced at his watch then turned to keep his eyes on the road looking for a Land Rover to drive past.


Ash drove watching the scenery pass by and taking note of any vehicles they passed. He glanced into the rear view mirror and no cars were visible. The silence inside the car was total, broken occasionally when Liz shifted position in her sleep. As they came up to a gas station on the right, Ash swore he saw both the Max’s Jeep and Kyle’s Mustang parked facing the road. He slowed and sure enough spotted the entire group of them standing around the vehicles creating quite a scene. He slowed and pulled into the parking lot stopping next to Kyle’s car and got out scowling at Uziel as he walked over.

“I do not remember saying to meet in this parking lot.” Ash stated and waited for someone to explain the change in plans.

“We couldn’t reach Max or Liz on their cell phone and we got worried so we waited to see if you guys got out alright.” Alex spoke up.

“Who is that?” Ash asked pointing to Courtney. Michael walked over quickly.

“Ash that’s Courtney. She killed the other skin that was trying to kill us and she says she’s with a faction that doesn’t support Kivar. I thought we could ask her some questions and she might have some useful information she could share.” Michael said quickly.

“May I point out what wonderful targets you all make standing out here drawing attention to yourselves. Not only did you bring one of the enemy with you but you are presenting the rest of them with the perfect opportunity to kill you as a group. Uziel explain to me how this happened.” Ash demanded coldly.


Max listened as the voices outside the vehicle grew louder. He could hear Michael’s voice rising in anger and felt his own anger grow. Looking down at Liz as she moved restlessly in her sleep, he knew he had to stop the argument raging outside quickly or it would wake her. He was still shaken by almost loosing her and intended to make looking out for her his top priority. He gently moved her onto the seat slipping out from underneath her. He adjusted his shirt to cover her more completely and brushed the hair off of her face. As he opened the door preparing to get out, he heard her call to him.

“Max? Please don’t leave me.” Liz said her voice husky with sleep. He turned back and kissed her forehead.

“I’ll be right back. We just stopped at a gas station and I’m going to go get you a water okay?” Max said softly. He watched Liz nod slowly her eyes drifting shut. He exited the Land Rover and shut the door quietly. He walked over to the group trying to get a handle on his anger.

“SHUT UP all of you.” Max said loudly. Everyone turned to him in surprise. Looking at him it was clear that things had not gone well. He was shirtless and disheveled, tear tracks had cut through the dirt and grime on his face. He looked wrung out. “Just stop. Liz has been through enough tonight and I won’t have you waking her with your stupid arguments. Do as Ash says and go back to his apartment. We’ll meet tomorrow to discuss things and make the decisions needed then. I’m taking Liz home to rest everything else can wait.” Max said firmly.

“Is she okay?” Maria asked softly worried. Before he could answer the rear door to the Land Rover opened and Liz stumbled out catching herself on the door, briefly showing part of a glowing silver handprint, still half asleep. Max turned and hurried back to her slipping his arms around her.

“Liz you need to rest.” Max said anxiously.

“I’m okay. Maria will worry if she doesn’t see me.” Liz said and yawned.

“You’re not okay. Your body is exhausted please lie back down. I’ll take care of this.” Max said even as he pulled her closer supporting most of her weight.

“Max please. Just for a minute?” Liz asked slipping her left arm around him and holding onto his belt loops. Max nodded reluctantly.

“Kyle will you please go buy Liz a water? I would but..” Max said gesturing to his shirtless state.

“Sure. I’ll be right back.” Kyle said jogging off.

“I’m surprised to see you Liz.” Courtney said eyeing Liz and Max carefully. She was surprised by Max’s clearly deep feelings for the small girl. “You look a little stressed.”

“I’m sure you are surprised. I wouldn’t worry too much about me its your own skin I’d be worrying about if I were you.” Liz said pointedly. Max turned his gaze on Courtney and eyed her coldly.

“You make one move in Liz’s direction and I’ll kill you.” Max said clearly. Courtney turned to look at Max in surprise and after a moment nodded in understanding.

“Max don’t you think you’re being a little touchy? Courtney helped us out.” Michael said.

“No I don’t think I’m being touchy at all. Liz almost died tonight. I don’t trust her and I want the consequences of any actions on her part to be clear. This isn’t a game Michael. If you trust the wrong person someone is likely to die.” Max said firmly. Kyle chose that moment to make his presence known walking up and handing Liz her water.

“Thank you Kyle.” Liz said with a smile. Max took it from her opened it and handed it back.

“Sure Liz. I think its time to head out. The rest of this can be sorted out later.” Kyle said seeing how tired Liz was and Ash had made a good point about standing out in the open.

“We’ll meet tomorrow. Listen to Uziel and Ash they know what they’re doing okay?” Max said and waited for everyone’s agreement before taking Liz back to the Land Rover and settling her inside. The group broke up and quickly got back on the road.



Back on the road Max absently played with strands of Liz’s hair trying not to think. Looking down into her face, he was happy to see that she had fallen back asleep. He gently took the bottle of water from her hand and put it aside. It would be a long time before he was over the sight of her burned and bruised. He wondered what was going to happen now. It seemed impossible to contain the secret any longer at this point. Who knows who had seen them using their powers in public? Plus the open attack on Liz upped the stakes, he wouldn’t chance loosing her.

“Ash? What happens now?” Max asked softly. “Do you have enough people close enough to help?”

“I think so. We have some hard decisions to make at this point. We need to see what the fall out is going to be from tonight.” Ash said and wondered if he should warn Max about the measures the oracle was very likely to take. Looking back at him, he decided not to say anything. Max looked exhausted and he had no desire to stir up anymore trouble. The rest of the ride past with both men lost in their own thoughts.


Arriving at Liz’s Max was thankful that her parents were out of town. He carried Liz up to her room and set her down gently on the bed. Turning to Ash he motioned him out into the living room.

“I’m going to stay here with Liz tonight but I’m a little concerned about the others. I don’t trust Courtney and I don’t want her to have the chance to cause any trouble.” Max said quietly.

“Don’t worry I already arranged for four more guards. They will keep the others safe. I also arranged for three plus myself to stand watch around the café. Get some rest and we will talk tomorrow.” Ash said and left. Max closed the door to the apartment and locked it. He walked into the kitchen and got a glass of water and stood in the kitchen drinking it. He made one more check of the door and windows making sure they were locked then made his way to Liz’s room.

Opening her door he panicked briefly seeing she wasn’t in bed until he heard the sound of the shower running. He walked over to the window and shut and sealed it and did the same with the door. He sat on the edge of her bed and took off his shoes and socks then walked to the closed bathroom door. He knocked and waited for her to answer. Worried when he didn’t hear any response, he opened the door and walked in.

“Liz?” He called softly not wanting to startle her. Getting concerned when she didn’t say anything he poked his head around the shower curtain. Liz sat huddled in the corner of the tub knees pulled up to her chest head resting on her bent knees.

He stripped his cloths off quickly and stepped into the shower. Liz looked up when his body blocked the spray from the showerhead. Seeing the fragile look in her eyes his heart clenched.

“Scoot up.” Max said softly and when Liz complied he slipped behind her pulling her close. She settled back against his chest resting her head on his shoulder. They didn’t speak at all. Max picked up her bath sponge and the soap and slowly started washing her.

She relaxed back into him and sighed. She allowed him to sooth her and gradually she felt her muscles loosen and her eyelids started to droop. She felt safe and like the world outside of the stream filled bathroom didn’t exist. She turned her head and nuzzled his neck lightly her eyelids sliding closed.

Max reached up and grabbed the shampoo. As he started to wash her hair he thought about all the times he had dreamed about her hair. It was so soft and silky. He had never dreamed he would actually be here like this. As he lifted her to her feet she mumbled a sleepy protest. He smiled and moved her into the stream of water tilting her head back to rise the shampoo out of her hair. He rubbed some conditioner through her hair and leaned her against the tiled wall.

“Stay here for a few minutes. Okay?” Max asked. Liz nodded and blinked at him trying to keep her eyes opened. Max quickly washed himself and shampooed his hair in record time. He tugged Liz back under the water and rinsed her hair fascinated as it slid through his fingers. Finally he forced himself to turn off the water and lifted Liz out of the tub and thoroughly dried her off. By the time he had dried her hair she was asleep against him. He carried her into her room and laid her down under her blankets. He finished up in the bathroom and turned off the light as he came in then slipped into bed beside her. As soon as he settled in Liz rolled over and curled up along his body sighing in pleasure. He fell asleep listening to the comforting sound of her breathing.


Liz’s dreams were explosions of sound and restless color. Fear flowed through her veins as people’s skin slid off of them with liquid ease. She was searching for something and couldn’t find it in the masses of people shoving at her. Her dream shifted and she saw a glowing symbol pulsing with heat and a bright blue light. As she watched she realized the pulsing was echoed in her own body. Her heartbeat matched the pulsing symbol and her blood flowed in time with it. She couldn’t take her eyes from it. It drew her like the moon did the tides and she was so tired of fighting.


Max’s dreams were dark and empty. He looked around and was completely alone. A chill swept through him as he realized Liz was gone. He started searching for her but in the darkness he couldn’t see. Finally after what seemed like hours he saw a pulsing blue light. He walked toward it then broke into a run. As he drew closer he felt the chill leave him and Liz’s warm arms wrapped around him bringing him home.


Max jerked awake to find Liz wrapped around him holding him tightly. His hands ran over her in relief as he struggled to wake up. Liz mumbled in her sleep and shifted closer sliding her leg between his. His thoughts foggy he let his hands trace over her hip and pull her to him. Not able to get her close enough he moved restless. He slid his arm underneath her and pulled her fully on top of him needing to feel her weight and solid presence to reassure him. He slid back into sleep with her draped limply over him.


Liz woke up slowly to find her face buried in Max’s neck. She lay where she was not feeling the need to move just yet. She loved the way he smelled warm and masculine. She bit her lip feeling a sliver of heat start inside her. She tried to ease off of him but he groaned in protest and his hands moved to her back holding her in place. Giving up she sank back down and nibbled his neck earning a soft moan in response. She continued to kiss his neck the sliver of heat growing inside her. She smiled against him as she felt his body respond to her.

Max woke to the feel of Liz’s teeth nibbling on his shoulder. He was painfully aroused already and the feel of her tongue soothing him washed away any ability to think. The feel of her lithe form sliding over him drove an almost violent need through him so fast it stole his breathe. He rolled her under him easily. He didn’t notice the flare of heat and light from her shoulder as his hand passed over it.

Liz didn’t even notice the change in position. Her mouth trailed a path to his mouth slowly, enjoying the journey. When their lips met Max took control his kiss hard and urgent. Liz yielded immediately his forcefulness exciting her. All reason forgotten she opened to him.

Max settled over her sliding between her legs and resting his weight on his elbows. Max felt a driving urgency to have her. He pushed himself closer rubbing his straining erection between her wet folds. Liz whimpered into his mouth squirming hungrily under him aching needing him closer. Max pulled away from her mouth his chest heaving, he tried to think but Liz’s hips rolled under him sliding over his straining flesh and he was lost. He guided himself between her slick folds slowly rubbing against her. Liz shuddered under him opening wider. He positioned himself at her opening and pushed. Liz stilled frozen by the enormous pressure of him pushing into her. Her mind focused on the thick shaft forcing it’s way deeper into her body with each small thrust of his hips. He grunted as he worked his way into her his body taunt and straining.

Liz had thought he would simply slip into her but it didn’t work that way at all despite her arousal and wetness. He rocked his hips back and forth forcing his way deeper into her with every motion. Her body resisted the pain worse than she had been expecting. Sharp cries of distress broke from her as he pushed deeper and she dug her nails into his back as tears slid into her hair. He pushed harder and her flesh gave under him stretching around his thick length as he surged deep inside her. Liz cried out sharply in pain and bit his shoulder hard. Max stilled his hand sinking into her hair holding her head to him as he struggled to give her time to adjust to him.

Max panted fighting the force driving him to just complete this. He pulled back looking into Liz’s face and seeing her tears he was devastated. He bent his head and kissed her gently rubbing his lips against hers feeling her breathe shudder out of her. His lips slid away from her mouth and followed her tears nuzzling her hair and whispering into her ear trying to comfort her. Liz pulled him closer relaxing under him slowly. Her breathing calmed and became deeper as she softened under him.

With amazement she realized this was Max deep inside her. She could feel him pulsing inside her and every shift of his body she could feel inside. His hands ran over her lightly stroking her and she shifted under him causing him to gasp and freeze on top of her. Her inner muscles tightened around him holding him in her. Max groaned loudly his control threatening to slip once again at the feel of her growing even tighter around him.

“Max it’s okay. I’m okay.” Liz whispered to him seeing the tortured look on his face. Still he didn’t move and Liz realized she would have to show him. She slowly moved her hips seeing if it would hurt and feeling only minor discomfort she continued. She wrapped her arms around him one hand going into his hair pulling his head back down to her. As soon as he was close enough she kissed him deeply sliding her tongue into his mouth and stroking him. Max’s control shattered and he started thrusting into her carefully afraid to hurt her ignoring the need trying to force him to finish it.

Max adjusted his position moving deeply into her and rubbing hard against her clitoris causing Liz to moan and her hips to rock against him as he continued to thrust. Lightning was building inside her and startled, Liz tried to escape the building intensity, bucking under him. He rode her harder thrusting deeply touching places inside her that had her clinging to him and crying out in pleasure so strong she couldn’t stop herself. The sensation burst inside her burning through her. She cried out and arched under him, shuddering as her hips undulated working herself on his invading shaft.

Feeling the clasp of her body tightening around him he drove into her harder straining. He felt a firestorm explode inside him and with a harsh cry he came violently pounding into her and flooding her with semen. They both felt a wave of energy wash into them connecting them. Their souls merged and rolled inside them both and they could feel every hidden corner of themselves open up to each other. Exhausted and astonished he collapsed on top of her panting. As soon as he could move he rolled off of her worried he would smother her. Long minutes past as they tried to recover. Max was the first to speak.

“Liz I’m so sorry. I hurt you and..” Max said only to be cut off.

“Max stop. Yes it hurt but I hear it’s supposed to. It’s normal. I’m better than fine and it was more than perfect.” Liz said wanting to reassure him. Her hand moved to stroke his chest and her eyelids started to droop she yawned and moved closer wrapping herself around him. “I love you Max. Everything’s beautiful with you. I wouldn’t change anything.” Max turned his head and kissed the top of her head.

“I love you so much Liz.” He sighed into her hair. He settled back and listened to her breathing even out as she sank into sleep. Glancing down he saw on her shoulder, blazing brightly and absolutely clear, her seal.

posted on 22-Aug-2002 12:45:45 AM by Lelea
Chapter Thirty Two
** Thanks to Clueless for all the bumps **

fail_safe


Liz woke slowly the afternoon sun shining brightly into her room. She stirred and winced as sore muscles protested the movement. Glancing over her shoulder she saw Max sprawled out on his back still deeply asleep. Moving slowly she eased off of the bed and threw on a pair of loose shorts and a tank top and padded on bare feet to the bathroom. She stared in the mirror while brushing her teeth thinking she looked different somehow. Studying her reflection closely she couldn’t pick out what was different. Her eyes narrowed and she spit out the toothpaste in her mouth and turned slightly looking at her shoulder. She studied the seal closely. It wasn’t like anything she had seen before. It was round and about 2 inches in diameter inside were several symbols she had never seen before interlinked with the orb symbol in an intricate design. After looking at it for several minutes she turned back and washed her face carefully then wandered into the kitchen grabbing a peach and making her way back to her balcony trying to ignore the discomfort she was feeling.

She sat down on her lounge chair and ate her peach thinking about last night. The attack had scared her more than she would admit to out loud. At the time she hadn’t had time to think she had just reacted but afterwards she had realized how lucky she had been to survive. She clearly recalled the burning pain she had felt as the skin used his powers on her. Pushing those thoughts away she thought about Tess. One good thing about last night was the unveiling of Tess as the enemy. Liz thought about the effect she had on Max and wondered of there was anything they could do about it. She would have to talk to Ash about it she decided. Her thoughts drifted to Max.

She wondered how he was going to feel about things when he woke up. She chewed nervously on her bottom lip as she went through all the possibilities. Her own feelings spanned a wide range of emotions. She knew that the orb had meddled to some degree, she had a vague memory of her dream that told her that. After thinking about that for a few minutes she shrugged it off. After all it was done now and she wasn’t at all sorry. She realized she felt shy and nervous and wondered why. She knew Max loved her and she knew she loved him just as much but knowing that didn’t erase those feelings. Before she could examine them too closely she felt him wake up.

Her eyes widened as she felt the first rush of his emotions wash through her. Her own nervousness increased as she felt his panic and guilt. Her stomach suddenly felt queasy and she wished she hadn’t eaten that peach. She listened to the rustling sounds coming from her room and heard him climbing out onto her balcony.

As Max walked across her balcony he could feel her nervousness increase. When he finally reached her he saw she was chewing her lip. He knelt down and when she met his eyes he smiled at her. She responded with a cautious smile in return.

“Liz? Are you okay?” Max asked softly.

“Oh yeah I’m fine…good. You?” Liz asked trying to control her own emotions enough to read his. He didn’t answer just bent forward and kissed her. He soothed her bottom lip with his tongue then sucked on it lightly before pulling back to look into her eyes.

“I’m better now.” Max said softly.

“Are you sorry about last night?” Liz asked quietly.

“No are you?” Max asked watching her face.

“No I’m not but I can feel you Max and you feel guilty.” Liz said softly. Max sighed and looked away wondering how to explain this.

“Liz I feel bad about not making sure you didn’t feel awkward and uncomfortable this morning. I can also tell you’re in pain. I’m not taking very good care of you. I promised myself I’d look out for you and I haven’t done a very good job. Last night was every dream I ever had come true and I didn’t tell you that. You are so perfect and I love you so much don’t ever think I would regret being with you.” Max said looking her in the eye. He could feel her relief even before she smiled.

“Max you take excellent care of me. You don’t hear me complaining do you?” Liz asked.

“No but I think you don’t complain very often. I want you to make demands on me and tell me when you need something. I want to give you everything you give me.” Max said earnestly.

“You do. I feel loved and that’s what I really need.” Liz said and pulled him closer kissing him lightly running her hands up his chest feeling the warmth of his skin under her palms. Max pulled back and ran his hand under her top placing his hand over the silver handprint already on her chest and with no effort at all formed a connection. He quickly healed all her aches and pains feeling renewed guilt for being the one to cause them in the first place. Liz sent him a flash of all the other things he was responsible for causing as well and he pulled back panting guilt forgotten.

“About making demands I think I’d like to make one now.” Liz said with a slow smile.

She rose to her feet and pulled Max with her leading him back into her room. She reached over and unfastened the pants he had thrown on earlier and pushed them off. Max stepped out of them quickly and pulled her closer. He kissed her deeply while he pushed her shorts off her hips. Breaking the kiss he quickly removed her tank top and ran his hands down her back loving the feel of her soft skin under his hands. He bent down and trailed a series of biting kisses down her neck as he gripped her hips pulling her closer groaning as the naked skin of her belly cradled his straining erection.

Liz wrapped her arms around his waist and tilted her head to give him better access to her. Her eyes closed as a wave of yearning rushed through her as he sucked on her neck in just the right place.

“Harder Max. Yes!” Liz panted as he sucked harder and drew his tongue down her throat.

Max pulled back and lifted her onto the bed laying her down and crawling in next to her. He brought his mouth back to hers giving her long drugging kisses that made her ache for him. His hands roamed over her skin wanting to memorize the feel of her. She was so small and delicate he worried he would hurt her so he kept his touch light, caressing her gently worshipping her body. She moved restlessly under his hands and reached out sinking her fingers into the soft hair at the nape of his neck holding him close. Unable to stand it any longer she pulled her mouth from his.

She moved to lean over him. Her mouth moved over him languidly, stopping occasionally to taste him. She traced a slow path down his chest to his abdomen stopping there to nuzzle his belly button. She continued down his hip her hair trailing over him softly. Max panted and wondered if she was trying to drive him insane. He sank his hand into her hair and tried to lead her back to his mouth but she resisted and whispered no. Throwing his head back he groaned loudly as she nipped his thigh lightly before moving inward. As she took him in her mouth she felt his hand tighten it’s hold on her hair and heard his harsh gasp. Her own excitement increased as she felt the frantic desire rush through him. Within seconds she found herself lying under him.

“God Liz I can’t. I need..” Max panted as he moved over her. Liz kissed him and opened her legs wider needing him inside her. Max looked into her eyes and ran his hand down her chest over her abdomen and down between her legs. He watched her eyes darken as he stroked her.

“Max please. I need you inside me.” Liz said unable to stand it another second. Her hands pulled at him trying to bring him closer. With a deep groan he positioned himself and pushed into her deeply feeling her stretch tightly around him. She cried out as her body struggled to accommodate his, the feeling almost painful in its intensity. He moved with restrained thrusts at first not wanting to hurt her, she was so small.

Liz moaned under him and tilted her hips to take him deeper. He thrust a little faster and she could feel the thick ridge of his penis head moving inside her and her muscles clamped down franticly around him. She cried out and tried to move under him but he gripped her hips tightly in his hands as he thrust harder. She strained against him helplessly.

“Max please..please..let me.” Liz cried as her hands tugged at him drawing his mouth to hers forcing him to release his hold on her, bringing his weight down onto her. She kissed him deeply and her hips easily caught his rhythm driving him deeper and urging him into a faster pace. She pulled her mouth from his panting, feeling her breasts slide easily over his sweat soaked chest. Her need was now almost frantic and this just wasn’t enough.

“Max…I need..all of you please!” Liz cried.

With that Max lost any remaining ounce of control and drew back pulling her legs up over his shoulders gripped her hips and drove into her as hard and fast as he could. With each thrust of him into her the tension inside her increased until she came hard sobbing and crying out. She felt him stiffen on top of her and his body shuddered. She moaned feeling the intense wave of pleasure flowing from him, her body tightened around him rhythmically milking his. He allowed her legs to slide off his shoulders and he collapsed forward pinning her under his weight. As soon as he was able he kissed her slowly exploring her mouth speaking to her without words. He pulled back slowly looking into her eyes, which were smiling into his.

“Was that demanding enough?” Liz asked softly feeling utterly content.

“Yeah please feel free to make demands at anytime.” Max answered with a smile. Liz made a small hum in answer and stroked his back loving his weight on her. She lightly kissed his shoulder and sighed in contentment. Her eyes drifted closed and she sank into sleep.

Max looked down and stroked her damp hair off of her face. He rolled to her side and pulled her closer watching her sleep for awhile before drifting off himself. Sometime later the ringing of the phone woke him. He reached across Liz and answered.

“Hello?”

“It’s almost five Max. Why aren’t you guys here?” Maria asked. She shot a nasty glare across the room to Courtney who was rubbing her hand on Michael’s chest.

“Umm Max?” Liz said her voice husky with sleep. She cuddled closer her hand running over his abdomen causing his breath to catch.

“Shh it’s okay its just Maria.” Max murmured feeling his heart twist with love. He turned back to the phone. “We’ll be there. Liz is still sleeping.”

“Uh huh. Well wake her up. If I have to stay here much longer I’m going to hurt someone.” Maria said.

“Kay.” Max answered distracted by Liz’s mouth trailing over his neck. She sucked lightly on his ear nibbling her way around the outer shell. He tightened his grip on phone forgetting what he was supposed to say.

“Let me put this another way. If you’re not here soon I’m coming over there.” Maria said having heard Liz and able to guess from Max’s tone he wasn’t listening. Hmm wonder what’s going on over there Maria thought with a smirk.

“Let me have the phone Max.” Liz said softly seeing his attention was not on Maria. He handed her the phone and pulled her onto his lap so she was straddling him. “Ria? Give us a half-hour and come over. We can get something to..yeah umm something to eat. Just knock when you get here okay?” Liz said trying to sound normal as Max kissed his way down her neck. She ran her fingers into his hair pulling him closer.

“Okay. Sounds good.” Maria said her smirk growing then paused as she heard a gasp from Liz. She chuckled and before she could say anything else Liz came back on the line.

“I gotta go. Bye.” Liz said in a rush and dropped the phone to the floor. She moaned as Max’s mouth tugged at her breast. “Max we have to get ready. Maria’s always on time.” Liz said breathless. Max’s hands caressed her back as he sucked at the underside of her breast. Liz leaned back placing her hands on his thighs and arching her back forgetting about Maria and everything else. Max took full advantage, gripping her hips and pulling her closer loving the feel of her skin gliding over him. “God Max!” Liz cried sharply. Suddenly frantic she positioned herself and sank down on him taking him deep inside her.

“Shit! Liz.” Max groaned in surprised pleasure. His hands moved to her hips helping her to move on him. He looked up and saw the absorbed expression on her face and how her breasts moved in time with her movements and thought he would remember this moment forever, no one else could ever be this perfect. Her movements picked up speed and she leaned even farther back and moaned as he pushed deeper. Within minutes she cried out and convulsed over him and with a few hard thrusts Max joined her with a harsh shout. Over their panting breaths they both heard Maria’s voice.

“So I take it I should start the 30 minutes from now? I mean you do remember we’re all coming over.” Liz’s eyes widened and she scrambled for the phone. Max sat frozen in shock still trying to catch his breath.

“Maria? Oh my god! What?” Liz said into the phone.

“Next time actually hang up first. I don’t want to actually SEE it so I thought I should wait and remind you to expect company.” Maria said trying not to laugh. Alex gave her a questioning look to which Maria shook her head not wanting to explain.

“Okay. Yeah we’ll be ready.” Liz said mortified.

“Ya know if the whole scientist thing doesn’t work out you could always do phone sex. Just a suggestion. Say hi to Max for me see ya soon.” Maria said and hung up grinning and wishing she could see Liz’s face.

Liz hung up the phone and buried her face in her hands wondering if she would ever be able to face Maria again. Max moved up behind her and rubbed her back.

“Maria says hi.” Liz said without removing her hands. Max’s face flamed red but he leaned forward and kissed her shoulder lightly.

“Come on let’s go shower and get dressed before they all get here.” Max said gently. Liz nodded and he took her hand and led her into the bathroom. They showered quickly and Liz brushed her teeth again then handed her toothbrush to Max. With her hair still wet she tried to pick out what to wear. She chose a pair of low ridding cut off denim shorts and a red baby tee. She just finished dressing when Max walked out of the bathroom. She watched him dress and realized he needed a shirt. She went into her parent’s room and grabbed one of her Dad’s and brought it back to him. He kissed her lightly in thanks and put it on.

Liz tossed the blankets off of the bed and gathered up the sheets and pillowcases and ran out to put them in the washer. Max padded out of her room in his bare feet and went into the kitchen. He got a drink as he waited for everyone to arrive. Liz rushed back in and he snagged her as she walked by. She went into his arms naturally and wrapped her arms around his neck as his slid around her waist stroking the bare skin between her shorts and her tee. He kissed her nibbling at her bottom lip and she deepened the kiss thinking she could kiss him for hours. They broke apart hearing a knock at the door. Max went to answer the door as Liz went to close her bedroom door.

posted on 24-Aug-2002 7:38:25 AM by Lelea
Chapter Thirty Three
**Okay let me say before you read this..it's not that bad. It'll work out. Have a little faith.

fail_safe

Liz walked back into the living room to find everyone taking a seat except for Maria who was nowhere in sight. Alex walked up and gave Liz a hug happy to see that she appeared to be fine. Liz hugged him back tightly and pulled back smiling.

“So where’s Maria?” Liz asked trying to be casual.

“Oh she said she would place the order downstairs for everyone. You look good Liz. Max does good work.” Alex said in reference to Max’s healing powers. Liz flushed slightly and smiled.

“Yeah he does.” Liz said softly. Liz glanced over to find Max talking with Ash but his eyes were on her. She smiled at him her eyes soft. He smiled back, feeling a rush of tenderness and love flow from her through him causing his smile to widen.

Kyle walked up and swooped Liz into a bear hug lifting her feet from the floor. “Parker you scared the crap out of me. I can’t loose my training partner we haven’t even learned anything yet.” Kyle teased relieved to see her looking so good.

“Don’t worry Kyle I think I’ll be around awhile yet. No worries.” Liz said with a big grin. She gave him a quick hug in return and laughed when she saw his shirt. “Kyle I swear you should just stick to T-shirts you can’t even dress yourself.” Liz said pointing to his misbuttoned shirt. She reached out and quickly re buttoned it shaking her head.

“Hey you wouldn’t be getting fresh would you Parker?” Kyle asked the devil dancing in his eyes.

“Kyle I know it’s been a long time for you but “fresh” would be unbuttoning the shirt as in undressing you. Not trying to dress you correctly.” Liz explained suppressing her smile knowing he was teasing her. “You apparently need a date very badly.” She said and ran laughing as he lunged for her. She dodged Alex and took a running jump into Max’s arms. He caught her easily smiling at her giggling.

“Hand her over Evans. She has to pay the price for dogging my dating skills.” Kyle said grinning. “I think she needs to be taught a lesson. Maybe washing her mouth out with soap at the kitchen sink will take care of that mouth. Come on Evans.” Kyle wheedled grinning.

“Nope sorry. I can’t allow that. I like her mouth just like it is. Besides she’s usually right.” Max said with a shrug holding Liz with no effort. Liz stuck her tongue out at Kyle and smiled.

“Evens you are so whipped. She totally has you snowed.” Kyle said shaking his mockingly.

“He was whipped before they ever went out on their first date what are you talking about? This isn’t news.” Michael said from the couch where he was sitting with Courtney.

“Michael..your own dating skills could use improvement. So you’re really not the best judge of this. Hello Courtney so nice to see you again.” Liz said pointedly.

“Liz.” Courtney said in return scooting closer to Michael. Liz raised her eyebrow and looked at Michael pinning him in place. He glanced at Courtney and looked back at Liz and sighed.

“So got anything to drink? I suddenly need a beverage.” Michael said rising from the couch and disappearing into the kitchen. Max chuckled and let Liz slid down his body to the floor.

“Not bad. You’re going to have to teach me that trick.” Max muttered into her ear. She smiled and kissed him lightly.

“Hey now none of that. You’re gonna make the rest of us jealous getting all lovey dovey.” Kyle said amused. It was obvious that they were both totally gone on each other Kyle thought pleased.

“Give them a break Kyle. Besides Liz is right you really can’t dress yourself.” Isabel spoke up from the armchair she was sitting in. Kyle rolled his eyes and surrendered sitting down at the opposite end of the couch from Courtney. Ash smiled at the group’s interaction. Happy that they could relieve some of the tension they had been feeling.

Liz heard a knock at the door and went to answer it. Pulling open the door she found Maria balancing a tray of drinks.

“Here let me help you with that.” Liz said softly not looking Maria in the face. She took the tray from Maria than walked into the kitchen and set it on the kitchen table. Turning back Liz rubbed her hands down the sides of her hips nervously.

“Liz I’m so happy for you. Really and I didn’t say anything so don’t worry okay?” Maria said seeing how uneasy Liz was. She reached over and hugged her tightly.

“Thanks Ria.” Liz said pulling back and smiling.

“So can I see it? The seal I mean.” Maria asked curious to see what it looked like.

“Yeah sure.” Liz said and turned. Maria pulled back her shirt and looked at the seal in amazement.

“So how do you feel about all this? Now that you have the seal and everything.” Maria asked studying the intricate design.

“I’m okay. Still can’t say I’m jumping for joy over the seal but I can deal with it. I’m really happy and I wouldn’t change anything so it all worked out.” Liz said and turned back to Maria. “So how are you? I see you haven’t killed anyone yet so that’s good.”

“Yeah well I can’t say I haven’t been tempted. I’ve decided that I’m just going to wait and see. Michael asked for another chance and now I’m going to see what he does with it. So we’ll see.” Maria said with a smile. Liz nodded.

“Good plan. We should go and check on the food.” Liz said and together they made their way to the door. Liz and Maria carried up the food and passed it around.

The mood of the group was relaxed as they ate a silent agreement among them to discuss things afterwards. Courtney remained silent while she watched the group dynamics carefully. Isabel remained aloof only chiming in occasionally. Alex joked and clowned around with Kyle while keeping an eye on Isabel. Michael sat next to Maria glancing at her often and bickering over what she had ordered for him and anything else he could think of. Ash kept his attention on Max and Liz not talking much but seemingly aware of everything going on. Courtney also watched the couple. They seemed very comfortable together. Liz talked and laughed with the group easily as she rested against Max’s chest. Max seemed relaxed and happy. He touched her frequently and smiled when she looked at him, which was often. Liz picked at her food and removed most of the toppings from her burger handing them off to Max. Finally she set her food aside and leaned back. Max frowned and slid his hand around to her stomach stroking her skin lightly as he coaxed her to eat his fries. After eating a few to make him happy she shook her head and wrinkled her nose. He leaned in and whispered in her ear then got up went into the kitchen bringing her back a peach. She smiled and kissed him taking the fruit and eating it. Finally everyone finished eating and they got down to business.

“Okay Courtney tell us what you know.” Max said firmly. Michael leaned forward anxious to hear what she had to say.

“Kivar sent about 300 of us here to Earth. We had multiple missions. One of which was to find you but Kivar didn’t think that was enough so some of us learned the culture and infiltrated the power structures of this planet. We work in the government and law enforcement fields as well as big business and many others as well. He knew the Granilith had been sent here and wanted to be in a position to find it and acquire it. This planet has many uses and Kivar plans to maximize all of them. A small group of us don’t believe in Kivar’s mission. We tried to place ourselves in key positions so we would know if you were located or if the Granilith was found.”

“Who are the skins in Roswell?” Michael asked.

“Nick of course and Liz’s boss the Congresswomen also the replacement guidance counselor Ms. Blackwell. Those are the long-term placements besides myself. Tess is working with them.” Courtney answered.

“What was Tess’s purpose?” Max asked.

“Your former protector made a deal with Kivar. Tess was to get close to you and when the Granilith was found her job was to get pregnant with Max’s child and deliver you home for execution. Needless to say she wasn’t happy to see Liz.” Courtney stated with a smirk. “She feed you all information to help her plan along as much as possible all the while keeping your enemy informed. That’s why there aren’t more of us here.”

“What was your job?” Alex asked curious.

“To get close to you and keep tabs on you by working here. Nick thought I might be able to get close to Michael since we knew each other before.” Courtney said and glanced at Michael.

“How did we know each other?” Michael asked interested.

“We were lovers. You broke it off when you agreed to marry Vilandra.” Courtney answered looking Michael in the eye.

“Lovely.” Maria grumbled under her breath. Michael glanced at her quickly but didn’t say anything.

“What now? Now that Tess has no chance of completing her part of the deal.” Max asked moving on. Michael gave him a grateful look.

“We have suspected that Tess wasn’t going to be your choice for awhile now. That is why Nick came. Tess wanted to kill Liz and step into her place. Nick went along because it would weaken you.” Courtney said watching Liz as she spoke. “Whitaker has been keeping an eye on Liz and reporting back on her findings. She relayed the seals shadow on Liz and that’s why action was taken now. Although at a guess I’d say the seal is no longer a shadow. Care to show us your shoulder Liz?”

“We’re not asking for your insights into our lives. So zip it and move on.” Maria said glaring at Courtney. After flashing Maria a look in return she shrugged.

“I don’t know what he plans to do now. He didn’t seem really worried either way. He has other things to be concerned about. Our Harvest is coming and there is to be a Summit of the five planets here on Earth soon as well. Plus Uzizen is getting ready to begin the breeding program.” Courtney said.

“Uzizen is here?” Ash asked sharply.

“Yes. He’s in charge everyone reports to him. Nick angered Kivar and was demoted.” Courtney answered him. Ash cursed under his breath.

“This breeding program..what do you know about it?” Ash asked.

“Not a whole lot. That’s Uzizen’s project. He’s trying to alter our husks to produce them faster and create offspring that don’t need them anymore. Why do you think females were sent as well as males? So he would have the materials to work with. He’s working out of Eagle Rock to be closer so he can oversee things here.” Courtney said watching Ash carefully. “Listen if I can contact my group I may be able to find out more. Two of us work for Uzizen in the labs.”

“Why are you telling us this?” Max asked.

“Like I said I don’t support Kivar. My group supports Michael. He was always fair in his deals with the other planets and more moderate politically. If he had been ruler we would have had the golden age our planet was on the verge of.” Courtney said defiantly.

“Listen I’m not running for office. Max is the one chosen to rule and I stand by that. So just forget about it.” Michael said harshly. “Help us or don’t but understand that Max is the one chosen by the Granilith and he carries the royal seal. I have no interest in changing that.”

“Why were Nick and Uzizen chosen to be sent?” Ash asked after a pause.

“Nick was chosen because he screwed up his orders. He was to kill Rath, Zan, and Ava not Vilandra. Kivar was furious that he had disobeyed him and killed her too. Nick never could control his temper and he really seems to dislike women. Vilandra made him angry by fighting him and standing with Zan and so he killed her. He also allowed your bodies to be stolen which started this whole mission. Uzizen volunteered and was put in charge. He loves his work and is good at it. He wanted to study a new planet and find ways of controlling it. Plus he would have first crack at the Granilith when it was found.” Courtney replied taking note of Isabel’s relieved reaction.

“If Nesado was working with you guys why was he killed?” Kyle asked still wondering about that detail.

“Uzizen ordered it. He wasn’t of use anymore and Uzizen was angry over some of his actions. He was supposed to have allowed Liz to be captured by the FBI as well as Max. Uzizen wanted her, instead Nesado helped her escape. Also he wasn’t able to convince Max to follow his “destiny” and be with Tess. Whitaker also reported that he had an odd interest in Liz that she was uncomfortable with. She had spotted him climbing down from Liz’s balcony more than once and confronted him about it. He said he was just making sure she was staying away from Max. Whitaker didn’t believe him and reported his behavior to Uzizen who decided that Tess was enough and had Whitaker kill him.” Courtney replied again watching Liz.

“What do you mean he was climbing down from my balcony? When?” Liz asked alarmed.

“I don’t know exactly. All I know is it was at night and you were supposedly home that’s why Whitaker was concerned. He had no reason to be there.” Courtney said in return and watched as Max linked his fingers with Liz’s.

“Okay so what now? How are we going to handle this?” Isabel asked quietly. Ash pulled out his cell phone and called down to Uziel asking him to come up.

“Courtney Uziel is coming to take you back to my apartment. If we have anymore questions we’ll call for you. We need to make some decisions.” Ash said firmly. He then turned to Kyle. “Why don’t you call your father and get an update on the warehouse investigation?” Kyle nodded and made his way to the phone. “Liz how long are your parents gone for?”

“They’ll be back Monday afternoon.” Liz answered.

“Maria, Alex, Isabel, and Max you guys might want to call your parents and let them know you will be staying with friends again tonight before it gets too late.” Ash said. The group nodded and dispersed with cell phones to make the phone calls needed. Uziel came and Ash instructed him to keep watch over Courtney at his place and also send people to Michael’s place to make it as secure as possible. He wanted men posted at Michael’s place, his apartment, and the CrashDown at all times until instructed differently. Uziel nodded and left with Courtney in tow. The group reconvened and Ash asked Kyle to start.

“Well it looks like we’re in the clear for the warehouse deal. People reported seeing fireworks in the parking lot before the fire and while they were leaving. So that’s being investigated as the cause for the fire. No one was able to describe who was setting off fireworks, which is being explained by the fact that it was dark and most of them were trashed. So all’s good there. Tess hasn’t shown up back at the house either.” Kyle reported. Ash nodded relieved.

“Okay that’s good. We have some choices this way. Well we know that the skins know about all of you. We also know who the big players are. What needs to happen now is a lot of training. Liz and Kyle I need to work with you daily from now on. Max I have someone lined up to work with you individually as well as often as you can manage. Isabel and Michael you two will work together and can set up your schedule with your instructor who will be here Tuesday. Maria and Alex I have Uziel lined up to teach you self defense and weapons training starting as soon as you are both ready.

Now about Copper Summit my people have confirmed Courtney’s information from earlier today. The husks are there. Two days ago however some of them were sent in a semi truck to Eagle Rock and unloaded. Most are still in Copper Summit. A team has been picked to destroy those husks left in Copper Summit as soon as a plan can be formed. Max we can go over that information when it is available.

My people also tracked Tess after we left the warehouse. She was followed to Eagle Rock in the company of the skins that were not killed at the warehouse. She has not left since. Now we need to decide how you want to handle this.” Ash finished looking around at the group.

“I would like for things to remain as normal as possible for as long as possible. So if we can find a way I would like us to continue going to school and training in the evening.” Max said thinking out loud.

“I’m not certain that’s a good idea. I can’t protect you there. Plus at night you are all spread out and it is almost impossible to protect you with out alerting your parents.” Ash said in reply.

“Wait a second. We can assume Tess and Nick won’t be showing up at school. Plus Courtney won’t be in school either. If we can take care of Ms. Blackwell you could replace all of them with shapeshifters right?” Liz asked Ash. “Nick is in all but one of my classes and that’s gym but Courtney’s in that class with me. Plus it’s still early in the year and Ms. Blackwell’s replacement could adjust schedules to provide the most protection for everyone.”

“Good point. Ash could that work?” Max asked. Ash pulled out his phone and called Uziel asking him to find out from Courtney where Ms. Blackwell was then to send someone to remove her.

“Yes. If we can remove the councilor that could work. Now about your jobs, with the exception of Liz all of you can be covered. Liz you need to quit as soon as possible.” Ash said turning to Liz.

“No. Whitaker has no idea we know about her. This is the perfect opportunity to get some information. I don’t want to quit.” Liz said firmly.

“Liz I can not get anyone close enough to that office to adequately protect you.” Ash argued.

“We can’t just throw away this chance to learn more. I’ve been there for weeks as it is she won’t have any idea I know who she really is. Plus what reason can I give and be believed? This is a great job no one in their right mind would quit she’ll know something’s up.” Liz argued right back.

“Liz you can’t go back there. It’s not safe.” Max said.

“Nothing has changed. I’m just as safe as I was before. Besides if I think I’m in danger I promise to quit.” Liz said trying to comprise. She moved away from Max so she could see his expression.

“Everything has changed.” Max said firmly. The rest of the group sat quietly watching Max and Liz square off. Maria and Alex recognized the stubborn look on Liz’s face and knew Max was in for an argument. Isabel realized immediately what Max’s comment actually revealed. Michael thought Liz had a point. Kyle sat back to enjoy the show.

“No it hasn’t. Not anything that effects this. I am still capable of making up my own mind. I have no desire to put myself in danger but I really think that this could be worth the risk. I’ll be careful.” Liz said her tone even she really wanted Max to see her point of view.

“Nothing is worth this risk Liz. No. You’re going to quit.” Max said flatly.

“You’ve decided? So I have no say? This is my job we’re talking about Max. Don’t act like I have no reason for wanting to talk about this.” Liz said trying to remain calm. She understood he was afraid for her but she couldn’t let him just take over. They had to be able to at least talk about things and come to an agreement.

“There’s nothing to talk about. You can’t change my mind it’s not safe.” Max said wondering why she didn’t see the danger.

“The hell there isn’t! If I want to talk about it I’m going to talk about it. Whitaker won’t chance outing herself after all she will be the only skin left close to us. Just give me two days then I’ll quit. I promise.” Liz said still trying to compromise but getting angry at his controlling attitude.

“No Liz. I can’t allow you to go back there.” Max said. Maria cringed knowing Liz was going to be pissed.

“You can’t allow it? I see.” Liz said getting really mad. “I think that I can do whatever I decide to do. I’m willing to talk about it but you can’t just tell me what to do. What makes you think you can make all my choices for me? In case you misunderstood me I wasn’t asking for your permission. Believe it or not Max I’m not an idiot nor do I have a death wish.”

“Really? Because it doesn’t look that way to me. You’re deliberately putting yourself at risk. You’re asking me to stand by while you take an enormous risk with your life and I won’t do that. You know what can happen. What if Whitaker does what that skin did to you? She could burn a handprint into you just as easily but this time you might not get away or I might not be there in time to heal you.” Max said frustrated.

“I’m asking you to trust me Max. Yes I know what can happen I was there remember? I’m asking you to have faith in me. I’m asking you to at least be willing to talk to me about this without handing me orders.” Liz said evenly.

“Liz this isn’t about having trust in you or faith in you. You have the seal now that adds to the danger. They tried to kill you when it was just a possibility. I can’t let you do this.” Max said the memory of Friday vivid in his mind.

“Wait she has the seal? You guys had sex?” Michael cut in. Liz shot Max a killing look and got up.

“You know what? I’m tired you all need to leave. I’m not discussing this anymore tonight.” Liz said and turned and left. The group heard Liz’s bedroom door close quietly.

Max realized that he had in effect announced to the room that he and Liz had had sex. In a group meeting. Which he had promised not to do. Fuck he thought to himself. They all heard loud music start playing from Liz’s room and after a moment they all recognized Just A Girl from No Doubt. Maria raised her eyebrow at Max. Oh fuck he thought again.

posted on 25-Aug-2002 6:54:45 PM by Lelea
Chapter Thirty Four

fail_safe



Max sat on Michael’s couch absolutely miserable. He sighed and lay back ignoring the rest of the rooms occupants. He could feel Liz’s anger and hurt moving through him as a low steady simmer of emotion. Hours later and she was still upset. He thought back to the direct aftermath of his outburst of foot in mouth disease. Liz had kicked them all out refusing to even talk to Max. When he had tried to go into her room to talk to her she had pushed him back into the hall and slammed the door in his face. As he reached for the handle a second time Liz had yelled “Don’t even think about it! I suggest you go find somewhere to sleep because you’re not staying here.” Kyle had laughed out loud at that.

Max sighed again and tried to send Liz an apology of sorts through the connection they shared. He sent his feelings of regret and love. He felt an immediate increase in Liz’s anger then started as Liz slammed her mind shut to him. He groaned in increased misery. He felt someone sit down next to him and opened his eyes to see Isabel.

“Want to talk about it?” Isabel asked gently. She didn’t want to intrude but wanted to offer to help by listening.

“I really messed up. Liz is still angry and now she shut me out.” Max said misery in his tone. “I broke a promise I made to her.”

“Yeah you did really screw up. Max you can’t act that way with her. I know it’s your natural tendency to take charge but you have to curb that. You’re not her King, she’s with you because she loves you. You need to listen and talk things out. What promise did you break?” Isabel asked talking softly so the rest of the group wouldn’t hear them.

“I promised not to discuss the seal and our sex life with the group. Liz wanted it to stay private and not be a topic at our meeting. I can’t believe I did that. I can’t believe I brought up the seal. She just wasn’t listening and I had to make her understand.” Max said.

“Max she was listening she just didn’t agree with you. I don’t think you were listening. She asked to talk to you about it and you blew her off by giving her orders. Did you really think that would work?” Isabel asked. Max sighed and thought about that.

“I just can’t loose her or let anything happen to her. You didn’t see her Isabel. You didn’t see what they did to her.” Max said looking over at Isabel.

“Max I know you don’t want to loose her but you need to talk to her about it. I’m sure she understands that.” Isabel said feeling bad for Max. She patted his hand and got up leaving him with his thoughts.

Max reached out for Liz again and this time she let him in. Her anger and hurt were now threaded with disappointment, confusion, and even now love. Max felt like complete scum. He wondered how he was going to make up for this. He was concentrating on Liz so hard he almost didn’t realize that Michael was sitting next to him.

“So Maxwell...how was it?” Michael asked with a smirk.

“What?” Max asked amazed at Michael.

“Come on. You know the sex. How was it?” Michael asked curious.

“Michael no. I’m not doing this. You’ll just have to find out on your own.” Max said flatly.

“Who are you going to talk to if not to me?” Michael asked.

“Liz.” Max said firmly. “Back off Michael. I’m not talking about this.”

“That bad huh? Yeah well that doesn’t surprise me. Liz doesn’t seem the type.” Michael mused out loud. Max looked over at him and wondered if he was stupid or just trying to piss him off. Which ever it was Max wasn’t going to listen to anymore. He got up and walked out with out saying another word. Maria watched him go then rounded on Michael.

“What did you say?” Maria accused.

“Nothing! Why is it always my fault? He’s high strung. Must be upset about the bad sex.” Michael said in his own defense.

“What? Is that what you said? Michael you are so stupid!” Maria said horrified.

“Hey it’s not my fault.” Michael said irritated.

“Are you serious? You really said that? What’s wrong with you?” Kyle asked shocked.

“What do you mean? It’s not my fault Liz isn’t the type.” Michael said.

“WHAT? Are you crazy? Listen that’s not possible Liz is the type trust me. I’ve kissed her. Anyone that kisses that great is the type. You’re damn lucky Evans didn’t kick your ass.” Kyle said wondering if the aliens forgot to add a brain for Michael when they made him. Maybe the real alien mission should be to find Oz.

“You’re just trying to defend the fact that you dated her. You kinda have to say that.” Michael said with a smirk.

“I don’t have to defend anything. I’m a teller of truth. She’s hot. Just because we’re not dating anymore doesn’t mean I’m crazy or blind. I would suggest that you not talk about this with him again. Show some sympathy. He just had what I’m sure he’s been dreaming of forever and then messes it up and gets tossed out on his ear. I feel for the guy. Plus he’ll kick your ass. Liz is special and she wants things to be private. Max I’m sure feels the same so get your head out of your ass.” Kyle said effectively closing the conversation.



Max wandered outside with no clear destination in mind. He thought about what Isabel had said and had to concede that she had a point. He hadn’t let Liz talk. He could have at least listened to her reasons and they could have discussed it before he reacted. He cringed every time he remembered the look Liz shot him after his seal announcement. Looking up from the pavement Max saw the CrashDown up ahead. He thought about it then made his way to her balcony. As he climbed he heard a noise and climbed faster. Peeking his head over the railing he saw Liz sitting in her lounge chair wiping her eyes. Before he could say anything she spoke.

“Don’t you listen at all Max? I asked you to leave. I don’t want you here.” Liz said not looking up.

“Liz please can we just talk about this?” Max pleaded.

“Now you want to talk huh? Why? Why now and not when I tried to talk to you earlier? Well guess what? I don’t feel like talking right now. So just leave. I need time to think about this. I don’t want to say things I can’t take back.” Liz said her tone flat.

“Liz I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to say anything about the seal. I was angry and I didn’t think.” Max said staying on the ladder not making any move to invade her space. Liz sighed and looked at him a minute before saying anything.

“I know you didn’t mean to. I also know you’re afraid for me but Max none of that excuses what happened. None of that changes the fact that you broke your promise to me. A promise that meant a lot to me. You know how I feel about the seal and everything. You didn’t listen to me at all and treated me like you had the right to order me around. You did all of this in front of our friends. This seal doesn’t mean you own me Max.” Liz paused. “So did Michael ask you about it?” Liz asked softly. Max stood there and didn’t answer. Liz nodded. “So what did you say?”

“Nothing I didn’t say anything.” Max said turning to sit on the edge of her balcony.

“Uh huh. How did that work?” Liz asked. Max didn’t say anything. “Yeah that’s what I thought. See now something that was supposed to be special is being talked about like it’s just another fuck. Thanks Max. Now I’d like to be alone for awhile if it’s not too much to ask. We can talk more tomorrow.” Liz said and looked away.

“Liz I love you and it was special. Everything is special with you. I can’t tell you how sorry I am. I know I was wrong. I know I messed up. Can’t we talk about this and work it out?” Max said feeling a twisting fear start in his belly and squeeze his lungs.

“I know you love me. I love you too. I know how you feel about what happened. That wasn’t what I’m upset about. I have to look these people in the face everyday Max. It matters to me what they think. Having my sex life be the topic of their conversations is like turning something beautiful into a sleazy porno. You just don’t seem to understand and I can’t explain it to you. Yes we can talk about this tomorrow when I’m not as upset about it. Don’t push me Max just please give me some time here. We’ll work this out just not right now. I’m not saying I don’t want to be with you and I’m not saying I won’t forgive you. I’m saying I need time.” Liz said carefully.

“Okay. I’ll call you tomorrow.” Max said and climbed down her ladder headed to Michael’s.


When Max arrived back at Michael’s he found Alex sacked out on the floor asleep, Isabel on the couch, and Michael no where in sight neither was Kyle. Maria sat waiting for him at the counter.

“So I take it your talk with Liz didn’t go very well.” Maria said softly so as not to wake the others. Max walked up and sat down.

“No it didn’t. Where’s Michael and Kyle?” Max asked.

“Kyle went home and Michael’s in bed.” Maria said and looked at Max for a few minutes. “Do you want to talk about this? Ask me some questions maybe?” Maria asked.

“I don’t know what to do. How to make this right. I’ve never seen Liz this upset at me before.” Max said desperately wanting to fix this.

“Okay. Tell me what happened what did she say?” Maria asked. Max told her the highlights of their conversation and waited as she thought about it.

“Did she ever really talk to you about when you guys found the orb? I mean about how she felt about the scene Michael and Isabel set?” Maria asked.

“Not really I know she wasn’t happy. She said something about them cheering me on.” Max said wondering where she was going with this.

“Yeah. It really bothered her that they were urging you to basically use her for information. She knew you cared about her but after the orb was found things kind of cooled off and then Tess came and well it gave the impression that to some degree what happened was about the orb and not your feelings for her. Now here it is again the orb pushing her into this seal and meddling in things. Michael being how he is right now isn’t helping either. She needs to feel like she has choices Max and the way you’re acting isn’t helping. She needs to feel like a partner not a subject or a possession.

Look I know you didn’t mean to blurt stuff out like that but you can’t do that. Liz takes promises very seriously. Did she ever tell you that I threatened to go to the Sheriff if she didn’t tell me what was up after the shooting?” Maria asked.

“No she didn’t.” Max said.

“Yeah and even then she didn’t tell me. It wasn’t until I said I would tell him you were in the café and had walked up to her plus showed her the order book with her blood on it that she told me. Because she had promised you she wouldn’t. So when you make a promise to her you better keep it or have a damn good reason for breaking it.” Maria said and paused. “Plus add sex into it and she really has strong feelings about it. She doesn’t give out a lot of details even to me. Most of the stuff I know I badger out of her.

She’ll forgive you don’t worry just learn from this and don’t do it again. She loves you Max. If she didn’t she wouldn’t be this upset.” Maria said hoping she had explained this right. She gave Max a smile and went into Michael’s room shutting the door quietly. Max sat thinking about what Maria said till morning.


Ash sat outside the café keeping watch. He thought about last night and was amazed that such a seemly small, controlled, human girl could wield such power over his King. Her bursts of emotion where as wondrous as they were confusing. He smiled thinking back on Max’s dejected appearance as he left. Ash’s phone rang breaking the silence.

“Yes?” Ash answered.

“I finished my check of Whitaker’s office. There is a drop ceiling that with a little re enforcement could work.”

“Excellent. Make this work. Liz will be back at work on Monday I’m sure. We need to be prepared and ready. Her protection is vital. Don’t make any mistakes.” Ash said firmly.

“Understood. I will not fail she will be protected.” Ash hung up pleased. He refused to fail this was too important.

Time past as Ash thought about the expanding mission. His main priority remained the same. He couldn’t allow the other details no matter how important to distract him from his duty. Liz had power and ability but he needed to teach her control and give her the tools to survive in the worst case scenario of Max's death. His phone rang again as the sun broke free and morning banished night.

“Hello?” Ash answered.

“Ash it’s Max. I need you to help me with something. I need a seal or a tattoo of the seal to match Liz’s.” Max said.

“Why?” Ash asked surprised. He had never heard of such a request.

“Because I want one. Can you do it?” Max asked.

“Yes I can.” Ash said.

“Good where are you I’ll come to you.” Max said.

“I am at the CrashDown. I’ll meet you out front.” Ash answered. Behold the power of one small girl he thought with a smile as he hung up.



A half-hour later Max sat in the café, while Maria and Michael worked, waiting for Liz to agree to see him. He knew she wasn’t awake yet he could feel the silence as she slept. He thought back to what Ash had told him while giving him his own seal. Adjustments had been made and marginal protection added for Liz while she was at work. He hoped that this would work. He felt the moment Liz woke up the silence inside him broken by the steady flow of her. Moments later his cell phone rang.

“Liz?” Max answered before the first ring had died.

“Yeah it’s me. Listen why don’t I meet you for breakfast?” Liz said and felt a flood of relief from Max.

“Come down whenever you’re ready. I’ll be here.” Max said.

“You’re already here?” Liz asked surprised and glanced at the clock. “It’s so early.”

“Yeah I’ve been here since it opened.” Max said in reply.

“Oh. Okay well I’ll just get ready and come down then. See you in a few.” Liz said and hung up.


Liz slid into the booth across from Max and carefully arranged the silverware before looking up at him. “Okay um I thought about things and I forgive you. I’m sorry I couldn’t talk to you last night. I didn’t do it to make you feel bad. I just needed time to calm down so I could talk to you about it without getting too angry. Max I love you and I don’t want to say things in anger to hurt you. Can you understand that?” Liz asked softly.

“Yes I can. Believe me I’ve learned about saying things you can’t take back. Listen, I just want to say this won’t happen again. I let my fear and frustration rule me and I broke a promise to you. I don’t ever want to do that again. You are the most important person in my life and I don’t ever want to break the promises I make to you of all people. I also want to apologize for not listening to you. I love you so much and all I could think of was Whitaker hurting you. I shouldn’t have acted like that especially in front of our friends. I know you’re smart and resourceful and I do have faith in you. You have helped me so many times and I want you to be able to talk to me about everything. I want to be able to resolve our disagreements.” Max said and reached out to touch her hand. Liz interlaced their fingers smoothly and Max felt the fear constricting his insides loosen.

“Can we talk about Whitaker now?” Liz asked with a small smile.

“Yeah we can. I spoke with Ash and he sent someone into her offices and they found a way to watch over you. So whatever you want to do is fine. There’s still a risk but it should be minimal. I can deal with it and I do trust you to know if it’s not safe. That doesn’t mean I won’t worry so can we agree that you will get walked to and from work and call once while at work?” Max said watching to see her reaction.

“Okay. I swear that I will be careful and I will quit if I think it’s necessary. Thank you for compromising I know you’re still worried and this means a lot to me.” Liz said earnestly. Max nodded in reply and squeezed her fingers lightly.

“About Michael and all that...I want you to know that they all know how much I love you. Michael will learn for himself how special it can be. Well either he will or Maria will kill him. So don’t feel awkward or embarrassed. No one looks down on you for anything. I know I probably don’t completely understand but I would never talk about you like you were slut and I wouldn’t allow anyone else to either. Liz you’re going to be my wife and the mother of my children everyone knows that and I have nothing but respect for you.” Max said hoping to express his own feelings and relieve some of the hurt he knew he had caused. As he looked at her he saw her eyes tear and worried he had fucked up badly, until she smiled. It was the most beautiful smile he had ever seen and the love and joy he felt flow through him matched the sheer beauty of that smile. “Come here.” He said softly needing to be closer to her. She slid out of her side of the booth and into his. He pulled her close and kissed the top of her head breathing in her scent and sending her his overwhelming feelings of fierce love, joy, and relief.

posted on 28-Aug-2002 7:28:41 PM by Lelea
Chapter Thirty Five
fail_safe

In the CrashDown Max and Liz sat talking about everything and nothing not noticing the hours pass. It was a nice relief to act like a normal couple and just talk and be together. Maria came and sat with them on her last break.

“So any plans for today?” Maria asked.

“Not really just waiting to see if the Blackwell situation is resolved so we can go back to school. We should probably lay low today. Ash wants to wait until Monday to start all training he needs to sort a few things out.” Max said pulling his gaze away from Liz.

“I know! Why don’t we rent some movies and watch them at your house Max? That way your parents will know you’re still alive.” Liz said and looked at both of them for a reaction. Max and Maria agreed and they started planning the snacks needed. Liz took Max’s cell phone and called Kyle.

“Hello” Kyle said around a yawn.

“Kyle’s it’s past noon wake up.” Liz said smiling.

“Parker? Why are you bugging me? Isn’t Evans enough for you to torture?” Kyle said amused.

“I’m always on the look out for a new victim. Now get up. We all decided we want to watch movies over at Max’s.” Liz replied.

“I get to pick the movie.” Kyle said quickly.

“You can pick one of the movies if you meet us at the video store.” Liz bargained.

“Deal see ya in ten minutes.” Kyle said and hung up. Liz hung up and turned back to Max sliding the phone back into his pocket.

“Kyle is meeting us at the video store so we better motor. See you at Max’s Ria.” Liz said sliding out of the booth and pulling Max with her.

“Liz I heard you promise Kyle a movie pick! You know what type of movies he chooses.” Maria accused pointing a finger at a retreating Liz. Liz just smiled and waved.


Sitting in the parking lot waiting for Kyle had quickly turned into something else. The top was still on the Jeep from Friday, which gave them the illusion of some privacy. Max had meant to only kiss her lightly. He hadn’t realized exactly how much he had missed touching her until their lips met. He coaxed Liz sideways in her seat and kissed her deeply going up in flames as her tongue rubbed along his. He ran his hand up her skirt stroking her thigh as they continued to kiss until the blaring of a car horn had Liz pulling away. Max groaned and sat back in his seat as Liz smiled and waved at Kyle.

“Why did you want to invite everyone to watch movies again?” Max asked panting.

“Because that way I can just be with you and it won’t be about sex. We have a whole group of chaperons.” Liz teased with a huge grin her eyes twinkling. “I have to make you work for it right?”

“I swear I’ll work really hard.” Max coaxed his eyes molten with heat and a smile on his lips.

“Nice try…maybe later.” Liz said and with a grin hopped out. Max leaned back in the seat as he watched Kyle and Liz stroll into store. As soon as he could walk he joined them. As he walked up behind them he had to smile at the argument raging between the two.

“Kyle if you don’t put that movie back I’m going to hurt you.” Liz said and hit him with the movie in her hand.

“This is a fine movie and you said I got to pick.” Kyle argued back.

“I am not watching Showgirls..forget it. Before you even ask no porn either. Max’s parents will be home and I won’t watch that stuff.” Liz said plucking Showgirls out of Kyle’s hand and putting it back.

“You are really a disappointment to me Parker. I’ll have you know porn can be very educational.” Kyle said seriously.

“Kyle I’m sorry you feel you need the help but get it on your own time.” Liz retorted and dodged the video Kyle tried to hit her with.

“That was low Parker. That hurts.” Kyle said pitifully trying to make her feel bad.

“I’m sure it does but we are not watching that trash. So pick something else.” Liz said not at all moved. Kyle spotted Max and started appealing to him.

“Evans! You agree with me right?” Kyle said reaching again for Showgirls. Liz rapped his knuckles sharply with the movie she was holding.

“What did I say?” Liz asked. “Keep it up and you’re going to loose that hand then where will you be? Max doesn’t need the help so forget it.”

“Kyle I gotta go with Liz on this. Sorry man.” Max said with a grin walking up behind Liz and sliding his arm around her waist.

“Yeah I bet you do. Okay then I’ll just look over here.” Kyle said walking into the Horror section. “Alright! Here’s a good one. C.H.U.D.” Kyle says holding up the box.

“What does that stand for?” Max asked curious.

“Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers. This movie is a classic.” Kyle said enthusiastically.

“Kyle you already made me watch that movie.” Liz whined.

“You didn’t watch it we were..Oh um never mind. Any way this is so rewatchable.” Kyle said flashing a grin.

“Umm right. You are absolutely right totally rewatchable. Okay next movie.” Liz said quickly while moving away from Max down the aisle. “Max do you think Michael would like The Big Hit or The Replacement Killers better?” Liz asked to move the conversation along.

“Either is fine.” Max said moving in closer to Liz. “So how hard did Kyle have to work?” Max teased nuzzling her ear.

“Very very hard.” Liz replied. “Now pick.” Liz held up both movies. Max moved in behind her and pulled her close nestling his lap into her ass firmly.

“This hard?” Max asked in her ear.

“Harder. Now which one.” Liz said and bit her lip to keep from smiling. She could tell he was teasing because she couldn’t feel any jealousy or anger coming from him at all. She moved against him slightly and almost laughed when she heard his breath catch.

“Did you guys pick another movie yet?” Kyle called from two aisles over.

“No Max seems to be having a problem.” Liz said in return moving away slightly. “Max you’re just making this hard on yourself.” Liz said and smothered a laugh. “Now choose.”

“Okay The Big Hit.” Max said absently as an idea popped into his mind. Smiling wickedly he sent her a rush of lust mixed with love and desperate need. He watched as she froze in place just ahead of him and his smile grew. She glanced back at him over her shoulder her eyes dark and her eyebrow arched. Thinking he needed to be taught a lesson she waited for him to walk by. He had a smug smile on his face as he passed. Liz reached out and lightly touched his arm. As she touched him she focused and tried to send him a vivid flash of them having sex in the shower complete with sound effects. She smirked as he tripped and fell over his own feet.

“Need some help Max?” Liz asked sweetly putting on her most innocent face.

“NO! I’m fine!” Max said sitting up. His ears a lovely shade of red.

“Okay I’ll just go and help Kyle choose the last movie then.” Liz said stepping around him and walking away. Max got up and watched her smiling.




Liz sighed as she snuggled closer to Max on the couch. The curtains were closed and the room was dim except for the TV screen where the first movie played. Mrs. Evans had made them all popcorn and Alex had arrived with assorted other snacks. Michael and Maria were curled up on the love seat and Kyle stretched out on the floor. Isabel was sitting in the chair with Alex on the floor in front of her with his back against the chair.

Liz’s attention drifted from the screen as Max moved her hair and started kissing her neck. She relaxed against him tilting her head to give him better access. Liz quickly forgot all about the movie as she felt Max’s teeth scrape across her skin. Max reached up to the back of the couch and dragged the blanket down over them. He nibbled on her ear then sucked on her earlobe softly running his tongue along the edge of it. Liz moved against him unconsciously and Max wrapped his arm around her pulling her tightly to his body. He pressed his erection into her firmly and bit back a moan as she deliberately rubbed against it. He realized things were heating up and the last thing he wanted was for them to get caught and embarrass Liz so he eased some space between their bodies and settled them both comfortably and tried to refocus on the movie.

Liz had lost all interest in the movie and wondered why she had thought this was a good idea in the first place. Oh yeah she had wanted to spend time with Max just being together relaxing and having fun with their friends. She looked around the room smiling as she saw that Isabel was playing with Alex’s hair. She wondered if that was an Evans trait because Max seemed to have the same obsession. Kyle seemed totally absorbed in the movie he had even forgotten his popcorn, which sat beside him uneaten. Maria and Michael were so not watching the movie Liz saw with a grin. She realized with a yawn that she felt a little sleepy. She hadn’t slept much the night before after the fight with Max and had woken up early. Glancing back at Max she saw his eyes drifting shut as well. With a small smile she relaxed into sleep with the sounds of the movie as background noise.

Diane wondered if the kids were going to stay for dinner. She was happy that they all felt comfortable spending the day here. It was nice to be able to get to know her children’s friends she thought to herself as she made her way to the living room. She stopped in the doorway looking at the group spread out in the front of the TV. Kyle and Michael were on the floor sitting way to close to the screen totally into the movie currently playing. Maria was curled up asleep on the loveseat her hand under her cheek. Isabel was sitting the armchair with Alex leaning against her legs they too seemed interested in the screen. A glance at the couch showed Max and Liz curled around each other sound asleep.

Diane stood rooted to the spot in shock. Not so much that they were obviously back together but because of the intimacy it displayed. Liz was draped over Max’s chest her head rested against his neck her nose nuzzled under his chin. Her partially visible hand tucked under his shirt pushing it up slightly to expose his abdomen. The blanket was draped over her waist trailing down onto the floor and one of Max’s hands rested on her bare thigh pulling it across his body. His other hand was tangled in her hair. As she watched Liz shifted in her sleep and Max’s brow furrowed and his hands tightened holding her in place. Liz settled back with a sigh her hand stroking his abdomen lightly. Diane backed carefully out of the room all thoughts of dinner forgotten.


Liz woke to the sound of gunfire coming from the TV. She sat up quickly realizing where Max’s hands were traveling. Max muttered in his sleep and shifted pushing Liz to the floor with a thump. She shot Alex a glare as he snickered. With a grimace she stood up rubbing her sore butt and left the room headed to the bathroom.

She shut the door and walked to the sink. She turned on the water and cupped her hands bring the water up to her face. She tried to shake off the clinging fingers of sleep. Suddenly the door opened behind her and Max slipped in shutting the door behind him and locking it. Liz stood too surprised to react. Max walked up behind her slowly and shut off the water. She turned and he cupped his hands on both sides of her face pulling her into a deep kiss without paying any attention to the water still on her face.

He sucked at her bottom lip requesting entrance to her mouth, which Liz granted. He groaned in pleasure as she sucked lightly at his tongue. He pushed her back against the bathroom counter and without breaking their kiss his hands slid under her skirt and pushed her panties down. He wrapped the material of her skirt around his hand and lifted her onto the counter then pulled back panting. His eyes blazed as he looked at her.

“Max we can’t do this here.” Liz said breathlessly.

“What?” Max asked absently as he pushed her legs apart and stepped between them. Liz leaned back on her hands as his hands trailed up her bare legs.

“Max your Mother. We have to stop.” Liz said unconvincingly.

Max didn’t say anything he didn’t seem to hear her. He just pulled her to the edge of the counter and sank to his knees. Liz gasp sharply as his fingers stroked her and he kissed the inside of her thigh. He pulled back and looked into her eyes as he licked his fingers. She moaned softly and squirmed on the counter. He smiled and leaned forward his tongue parting her folds easily. Liz bit down hard on her lower lip trying to stay quiet. He lightly bit then sucked at her softly and she bucked against him panting. He pulled back and stood up looking down into her face.

“Do you still want to stop?” He asked softly.

“Nooo. Please Max.” Liz moaned beyond thinking about anything other then him. Max moved quickly opening his pants and shoving them down he couldn’t wait any longer. He watched her face as he sank into her watching as her eyes dilated in pleasure.

He grabbed her hips firmly holding her in place as he thrust into her hard and fast. She bit her lip hard enough to taste blood trying to stay quiet. Max groaned as he pushed deeper amazed at how tightly her body held his. Liz leaned back onto her elbows her head resting against the mirror as she pulled her legs back and gripped his sides with her knees allowing him even deeper. She struggled to remain silent as he thrust himself into her with sharp heavy thrusts. She savored the fierce hunger she felt from him and the roughness of his movements.

Max could feel her climax approaching in the tightening of her legs and the stunned pleasure building higher in her eyes. He pulled her farther off the counter wrapping his left arm around her hips holding her. Seeing the panicked look in her eyes and correctly guessing the reason he covered her mouth with his right hand smothering her moans as he drove into her harder. She arched under him and shattered her body clamping down on his ruthlessly. Max bit back his own groan as he spilled himself inside her. He removed his hand from her mouth and kissed her as he pulled out setting her on her feet.

Liz pulled back panting and gripped the edge of the counter to help her remain upright as her mind gradually cleared. So much for a whole group of chaperons she thought to herself dazed. She straightened her cloths as much as she could and stepped back into her panties pulling them up over her still wobbly legs. Max hastily righted his own clothing and washed his hands and face trying to cool down.

“We better get back out there before we’re missed.” Liz said softly running her fingers through her hair trying to straighten it. Max leaned past her and waved his hand over the mirror removing the smudges then he turned to her skirt and removed the wrinkles.

“You okay? I didn’t hurt you?” Max asked looking into her eyes.

“No you didn’t I’m great.” Liz answered with a small smile. She kissed him lightly and opened the door and with a quick glance into the hall walked out of the bathroom and started down the hall. Max followed her and pulled her to a stop before she could enter the living room.

“Liz wait a second. I don’t want you to think that this is all about sex. I was just dreaming about that flash you sent me and I woke up to see you leaving.” Max started trying to explain. Liz stopped him by placing her finger over his lips.

“Max if I really didn’t want to I wouldn’t have. How can you not know how great that was?” Liz teased. He pulled her close and kissed her rubbing his hands up her sides.

She wrapped her arms around his neck letting her fingers play with the hair at the nape of his neck as the kiss deepened. Max ran his tongue over her sore lip and sucked on it gently.


“Hey.” Alex said as they broke apart both turning to face him. Alex pulled Liz away giving her a little push into the living room. “Liz Maria was looking for you.” He waited until Liz was gone before continuing. “Max we need to talk about what happens to people that mess with my girls. See even though I like you I feel the need to inform you that if you hurt Liz in any way I’m going to have to protest very strongly. You understand right?” Alex said evenly looking Max in the eyes.

“Absolutely Alex. You don’t have to worry.” Max said with a serious expression and a nod. Alex nodded in return then smiled.

“Good. Now no more co-ed bathroom trips. Parents tend not to like them and some of us actually need to use the bathroom for its intended purpose.” Alex said clapping his hand on Max’s back before walking into the living room leaving Max staring after him.



Ash reviewed all the information he had received through out the day trying to organize his thoughts. Blackwell the skin had been replaced with Blackwell the shapeshifter who was now at the school pulling all the necessary schedules so they could be re worked to provide the best protection. Whitaker’s office was ready for Liz to return to work. The ceiling was re enforced to allow for one of his men to watch over her. Some of the extra men had arrived and now everyone had a constant shadow and all the residences were covered. How they were going to hide the surveillance was another matter entirely. It was only a matter of time before one of the parents noticed but that was a problem for later. Tess and the other skins were still holed up at Eagle Rock, which was also under surveillance. Since they knew from Courtney that the Harvest wasn’t until October he wasn’t too worried about taking immediate action. He wanted to get things under control here first. A few things were still worrying him.

His communications with the Granilith were telling him that the danger to Liz was increasing. Activity around Roswell was increasing at a rate he was concerned about. Why had Uzizen moved so close? It didn’t seem prudent to be so near unless he was missing something. He was also greatly concerned with Uzizen’s interest in Liz. What had Nesado been doing on Liz’s balcony? None of this made sense and that worried him most of all. It meant he was missing something very important.

Michael was still a concern to him as well. His behavior seemed erratic and at times out of control. The last thing the group needed was dissention in the ranks. Michael was a wild card that needed close attention.

He wondered how much they should trust Courtney. He had not detected any deception on her part and all her information checked out. However he still had misgivings. She was a wedge just waiting for the opportunity to drive itself between Michael and the rest of the group, which was exactly what they didn’t need especially with Michael’s already erratic behavior. However if he could find out what Uzizen was up to the risk could be worth it.

The more he thought about what Courtney had said the more concerned he became. The very idea of skins placed in the government heightened his sense of danger. It made some things a little clearer. It explained why a Congresswomen would move her offices to Roswell. It explained the FBI’s actions last year. What a great way to get them all to trust Nesado and Tess. It would also confirm Max’s status and who was important to him. It drew them out and forced them to act showing their abilities and loyalties. Ash was glad the Sheriff knew about them it made things much easier. He had discussed the situation with him at length and made him aware of the presence of his men. They now not only had an official way to keep an eye out for any government activity they could also hide a lot of their own mistakes. Such as the open use of powers Friday night.

He re focused his attention on Liz. He needed to find a way to keep Liz in contact at all times in case of an unforeseen event separating her from the rest of the group. He reached for his phone and dialed.

“Hello”

“Ozeal I need you to do something for me. I need a cell phone for Liz equipped with a tracker. As seamless as you can make it. I don’t want it discovered if someone were to look for it. Can you do this?” Ash asked.

“Sure. I’ll start on it now. Will you be wanting others as well? I could make one for each of them.” Ozeal replied.

“That would be good. I need Liz’s right away. Also a pentagram for her as well in case of attack. If you think of anything else let me know.” Ash said. He had absolute faith in Ozeal technical abilities.

“Got it. I’ll call when it’s done.” Ozeal said excited about the possibilities his mind already racing.

posted on 29-Aug-2002 6:34:16 PM by Lelea
Chapter Thirty Six
fail_safe

Liz sat bent over her desk finishing the last of her homework. After a few minutes she sighed finally done. She sat back and thought about the afternoon. After they finished watching the movies Mrs. Evans had invited everyone to stay for dinner. They had all declined stating a need to finish up their class work to be ready for the new week. Kyle had driven Alex home and Maria had taken her and Michael. She had spent a quiet evening at home alone cleaning the apartment and doing her homework.

Liz got up and turned up the radio while she started getting ready for bed. She went through her routine then checked all the doors and windows. She slipped between her sheets and realized she was lonely without Max here. She turned over disgusted with herself. They had only slept together for one night so really she shouldn’t miss him after all she had spent more nights alone then she had with him. Telling herself that didn’t help. She lay there sleepless with the lights out listening to the radio play softly.


Max lay in the dark thinking about the strange dinner he had spent with his family. His Dad was the same as always but his Mom had been acting odd all through out dinner even Isabel had noticed. He sighed and thought about how closely she had watched him as she asked him all kinds of questions. When had he and Liz started dating again? What had he done all weekend? The questions had seemed never ending. He would have thought he was just being paranoid except for the look on Isabel’s face. The most surprising part had happened as he was finishing his history assignment. His Mom had come in and closed the door sitting down on his bed.

“Max can I talk to you for a minute?” Diane asked seriously.

“Sure Mom. What’s up?” Max asked turning to face her.

“Max I know you don’t always feel like you can talk to me but I want you to know that whatever happens you can always come to me and I’ll try my best to help you. You can always talk to me and I’ll try to understand and help. You’re my son Max and I love you.” Diane said watching as his eyes became evasive.

“I know that Mom.” Max said softly.

“I just wanted to tell you that Liz is always welcome here. I think she’s a very nice girl and I know you care for her a great deal. I’m glad you both straightened out whatever was wrong between you. You seem much happier lately.” Diane said seeing the surprise flash across his face briefly.

“Thanks Mom. That means a lot to me.” Max said.

“I know you’re growing up and you’re not my little boy any more. I also know your Father and I raised a good man so I’m not worried about you. I know you’ll be okay and I know Liz must be very special.” Diane said getting a little misty.

“Thank you for saying that. Liz is very special I’ve always known that. I appreciate the faith you have in me.” Max said slightly confused as to the reason for this conversation. Diane nodded and got up coming over to hug him briefly and then left closing his door behind her.

He shrugged the incident aside thinking his Mom must be in a sentimental mood or something. His thoughts turned back to where they usually were..Liz. He took a couple of deep breaths and focused. He followed the faint feel of her that always seemed to reside inside him now. He traced the path of her and felt the sudden rush of her flow through him. He sat up quickly and grabbed his pants pulling them on and snagged a T-shirt on the way to his window. He quickly climbed out and made his way quietly along the side of his house to the street where he started off in the direction of the CrashDown. He reached the ladder to her balcony and climbed it. As he approached her window he heard music playing softly. He crouched down and looked in her window seeing her laying curled up into a ball in bed. He swiftly used his powers to unlock her window and eased it open. Liz looked up and smiled as he climbed in.

“Max what are you doing here?” Liz asked sitting up as he tossed his shirt onto her desk chair.

“You were lonely and couldn’t sleep so I thought I would come by and keep you company.” Max answered as he stepped out of his pants. He started to climb into her bed when she stopped him.

“Wait! Loose the boxers.” Liz said a slow smile spreading across her face.

“I thought you said I had to work for it.” Max teased as he pushed his boxers off.

“Yeah you will. Come here.” Liz answered as she pulled off her tank top and tossed it to the floor. Max didn’t need to be told twice he pulled back her covers and climbed in next her.

Liz pulled him closer and kissed him sliding her mouth over his tasting him. Max groaned deep in his throat and ran his hands over her touching her everywhere he could reach. He pushed at her pajama bottoms and she raised her hips helping him. He followed them down her body trailing hot wet kisses as he went. He was determined to make this time last. He wanted to memorize how she felt and tasted everywhere. He started with her foot placing a kiss on the arch of her small pretty foot. He sucked lightly on the outside of her ankle running his tongue over her skin. He nibbled on her calf causing her to catch her breath. His hands stroked her legs and pulled them apart as he nibbled up her thigh. He settled his body between her legs as he turned to run his tongue along her other thigh taking pleasure from her soft low moan. When he reached the cord on her inner thigh that connected it to her body he sucked on it scraping his teeth along it taking his time ignoring her calling out to him. Finally he allowed his lips to travel higher skimming her belly sending the muscles twitching underneath him. He traced each of her ribs carefully with his tongue until he reached her breast. He nuzzled the underside of her breast then planted a sucking kiss there taking his time marking her with his mouth listening to her cry out for him loudly. Moving to her other breast he licked her pebbled nipple quickly and smiled against her as her fingers sank into his hair pulling him close. He was happy to comply with her unspoken request taking as much of her breast as he could into his mouth and sucking deeply. Her fingers clenched in his hair and a whimper escaped her lips as he used his tongue to rub her nipple against the roof of his mouth. He released her gently and moved on to her neck. He knew how sensitive her neck was so he took his time there nibbling and sucking allowing her cries to guide him. As he sucked deeply on the spot a little under and behind her ear her hips moved restlessly under him. He moved his hand between her legs and trailed his fingers over her parting her wet folds. Liz bucked under him crying out sharply. He pulled back panting and looked down into her face.

“Please Max! Please I need you.” Liz said utterly mindless.

“Shh it’s okay.” Max muttered softly as he stroked her.

“NO! I can’t! Please now!” Liz cried. Max could feel his control slip at her cries and he slid down her body slowly. “No Max please. I can’t!” Liz said while trying to pull him back up to her.

“Yes you can.” Max said and settled himself back between her legs and leaning forward he tasted her. Liz made a mewling cry and Max sighed in pleasure. He licked her softly moving his hands to hold her still. He sucked at her folds before moving on to the swollen bud at the top of her sex. He licked it once gently and Liz’s body jerked under him. He smiled and sucked pulling it into his mouth and groaned in pleasure as Liz cried out loudly and came. Gradually he pulled back slightly, kissing her thigh before crawling back up her limp body. He rested his weight on his elbows and kissed her chin lightly.

Liz opened her eyes and looked into his warm gaze and smiled before pulling him down and kissing him deeply. She sucked at his upper lip then ran her tongue over it. She ran her hands over his back pulling more of his weight onto her. She ran her nails lightly over his sides as she rocked her hips rubbing her wet folds over his straining flesh. She heard him let out a choked moan as she moved against him slowly.

Suddenly slow just wasn’t possible anymore. Max positioned himself between her legs looking into her eyes as she spread her legs wider for him. He drove into her groaning loudly at the feel of her stretching tightly around him. He fought for control feeling her delicate form pinned under him. Beads of sweat popped out on his forehead as he struggled to regain some mental clarity holding his body rigid over hers. Liz watched him battling himself and not wanting him to stop she tilted her hips taking him deeper. She heard his breath rush out of him but he made no other movement. Frustrated she nipped his shoulder.

“Max! Please!” She yelled and with a groan he pulled back and drove back into her hard. “Yes! Max!”

With that every sane thought fled his mind. Instead his mind filled with primitive possessive needs. He drove into her aggressively pushing deep and taking pleasure in her cries and her hands gliding over him. Even her teeth sinking into his shoulder sent a stab of pleasure through him and he hammered into her faster. His hands moved under her tilting her hips and holding her there as he pushed every inch of himself into her reaching the end of her body with every stroke. The pleasure was so intense it was painful and she came violently her inner muscles tighting around him rhythmically. He rode her right through it hammering into her as fast as possible.

Suddenly they both felt a door open deep inside them and a rush of power moved between them swiftly followed by the joining of their sprits forming into one solid essence. It rolled through their bodies like a warm tangible whirlwind touching against places inside them they had no idea existed. Unnoticed to the two of them both seals burned brightly for a moment before subsiding. Across the street Ash straightened feeling the Granilith surge with power.


Liz felt his flesh swell inside her growing larger as he continued to thrust inside her. A wave of sensation broke over her and she strained against him needing him fully inside her. She dimly heard him cry out as her body tightened around his brutally and moaned in pleasure as she felt the hot wetness of his seed filling her. A sense of utter peace and rightness filled her as she sank into darkness.

Max lay on Liz exhausted and barely able to breath let alone move. As his senses slowly returned he realized she was lying too still underneath him, he could barely feel her breathing. Alarmed he pulled back and looked down into her damp flushed face. Just as he started to panic she opened her eyes and smiled.

“Told you I’d make you work hard.” Liz said her voice still husky. She watched the relief on his face as it was chased away by tenderness and joy.

“Yeah you did. You almost killed me but it was worth it.” Max said as he rolled onto his side and gathered her close.

“I miss you already.” Liz sighed as she snuggled closer.

“How can you miss me? I’m right here.” Max asked amused.

“No you’re right there and I’m over here. Two different places. When you’re inside me we’re in one place and I’m not lonely anymore because I can feel you the same way I feel myself.” Liz said and yawned. Max leaned forward and kissed her forehead understanding what she meant. He looked down and saw she was already asleep. He reached over and re set her alarm carefully then joined her in sleep.


Liz woke to the sound of her alarm. She smiled as Max shifted next to her and turned it off quickly then turned back to her trailing his hands over her slowly.

“Max you’re going to spoil me.” Liz cautioned as she turned to face him.

“I hope so. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do.” Max muttered as he kissed her neck.

“Hmmm. I love you so much Max.” Liz whispered as she snuggled closer. Max pulled back hearing a weepy note in her voice.

“Liz? What is it?” Max asked pulling her close.

“Nothing. It’s nothing. I’m just so happy and I love you so much.” Liz said softly feeling like her body was too small to contain all the emotions inside her.

“I love you too.” Max said in return and reached for the connection without thought. He gasp as he felt the sheer magnitude of her feelings flood him. He brought his lips to hers brushing slowly across her mouth as he allowed himself to fully experience the depth of her emotion.

An undetermined amount of time later Max stirred and reluctantly sat up. He swung his legs over the side of her bed and looked back at her. Her hair spilled over the bed a soft tangle of warm silk. The light from her window spilled across her bare skin and seemed to shimmer around her. The seal was plainly visible on her left shoulder blade the design complicated and beautiful just as she was. He didn’t want to leave her. He wanted to always be here with her like this.

Liz stirred and turned searching for him. She saw him sitting on the edge of the bed searching her floor for his boxers. Her eye caught a flash of something on his back and she sat up and moved closer to get a better look. There on his left shoulder in the exact same spot as her own was a seal.

“Max?” Liz asked as she trailed her fingertips over his seal watching the swirl of the color shifting under her touch.

“You like it? It’s not one of a kind but it’s very special.” Max said softly feeling the warmth of her fingers trailing over him.

“I love it but why did you do this Max? I wouldn’t have asked you to.” Liz asked curious.

“I know you wouldn’t have. I WANT to belong to you Liz. That’s what I’ve always wanted. It was my choice. I never wanted to be a King so the royal seal doesn’t really have any deep meaning to me. This seal means everything to me and tells everyone who I am and what matters to me. You matter I love you Liz. You owned the best parts of me long before I ever got this seal now it’s just official.” Max said and turned to look at her. Liz wiped at her tears and leaned forward kissing him slowly trying to show him how much he meant to her.

“It’s beautiful Max. This makes my seal so much more special. I love it.” Liz said softly against his mouth. “How did I get this lucky?”

“It isn’t luck Liz. It was meant to be this way. There is no one anywhere in the universe more perfect for me then you are. Whatever happened in my past life was worth it because it brought me here to you.” Max said convinced as he always had been of the truth in those words.

“Max I want you to know that whatever happens in the future whatever struggles we have to go through it will be worth it. This one perfect moment makes all the fighting worth it for me. I never ever dreamed I could be this happy or love someone this much. I love you Max every part of you and I’ll never leave you. Even if I’m not physically here I’ll be inside you and you’ll feel me in this seal like I feel you in mine.” Liz said and kissed him stroking his back willing him to feel how much he meant to her. Finally she pulled back and looked at the clock. “Max you better go. Your parents will be up soon.” She reminded him reluctantly.

“Yeah. Now I wish we weren’t going back to school. I want to stay here with you all day.” Max grumbled causing Liz to smile. She wisely didn’t remind him that it had been his idea to go back.

“You’ll see me soon at school. Maybe if you work at it you can convince me to visit the eraser room.” Liz teased as she lay back down.

“Hmm that might make it worth going back to school. You’ve got a deal.” Max said brightening slightly at the thought. He pulled on his pants giving up on his boxers and then reached for his shirt. Pulling it on he turned back to Liz on the bed. He grinned catching sight of several hickeys on various parts of her body. He debated on healing them and decided not to thinking he could convince her to let him do that later in the eraser room. He walked over to her and kissed her goodbye softly still reluctant to leave her. She gave him a little push toward her window.

“Max if you get caught your parents will call my parents. My Mom will freak and imagine all the things you might have done to me over the weekend and they will never go out of town again.” Liz said with a big smile.

“Hey what about all the things you could have been doing to me?” Max asked as he raised her window.

“Me? I don’t think so. Is that going to be your defense? You’re going to try to tell my Dad that I corrupted you? That I forced you to have hot sweaty sex with me for hours on end? I’m sure he’ll believe you.” Liz said smirking.

“He should. You’re a maniac.” Max said grinning over his shoulder as he ducked out the window smiling as he heard her laughing.

posted on 29-Aug-2002 7:36:37 PM by Lelea
I thought I would leave a little note to respond to some FB and such. One other thing I would like to mention is to restate that I own none of the movies or songs mentioned. I also wanted to say the nookie I write in is influenced by two of my fav. authors Linda Howard and Laurell K. Hamilton. I have however stopped reading them for the duration of this fic to try to not pull too closely from them. After I re read the cementing scene I wrote I was uncomfortable with some of the wording. I felt it pulled to strongly from a Linda Howard book I had just read so I am not reading anymore while writing this. Which is tough....man I love her books. *tongue*

Okay I would like to thank everyone who leaves FB and I say in advace I'm sorry if I don't name you...all the sudden there are so many of you. I LOVE IT!*bounce* Thanks to minime4bj, BLS40, sylvia37, Lissa, behrstars, RoswellLady, PrettyPrettyPrincess, Pathos, Cinder, AshleyBehr666, DayDreamBeliever, Eternal_Dreamer, Sputnik1812, roswellluver, frenchkiss70, JaneLane, Natevens, mrsjbehr, narly21, sweetygurl, shadow.

wild_child_uk~Thanks for being my #500!

Sarah Whitmen~Michael does need a clue I agree. He's a little cranky right now and is feeling a little under the weather which is causing him to act like an ass. I hope you're not as angry at Max anymore. Although I have to say I loved your FB on the fight*happy*

Tabasco Liz~We may have to wait awhile to see what Nasedo was up to and we may never really know the whole truth since he isn't here to tell us anymore. As for Mrs E. hope this last chapter answers some of your questions about her reaction you'll see more of her later.

Wayliz~ Glad you enjoyed Alex's talk. He stayed wisely silent until then but he has to look out for his girls. Max's powers....well he is gaining a stronger connection to Liz which will grow as time goes on and he starts training shortly so we'll see more soon.

Jbehrbabe~Mrs. Evans isn't by any means slow when it comes to seeing strong feelings in Max. He hides so much from her and stays a touch reserved that it wasn't too hard to notice a change in that pattern with Liz. Hey BTW when are you going to update Straight or Curved?? I miss that fic.*happy*

brianna~Hi! Yeah....Max was a little bold. He claims its Liz's influence but I don't know if I agree.

SciFiNut111~I think they are both in for a lesson on how dumb their parents aren't....they've gotten away with a lot until now.

Eccentric One~ Glad you liked Max's seal I hope the location and Liz's reaction didn't disappoint you!

1 Tiger Lily~Michael will become clearer in time. He is a jerk but sometimes he just doesn't know any better. Maria is going to work on him.

Victoriaplum~Girl your FB made me laugh! I went right back to working on the fic too so it worked.*big*

jassybee~The Isabel and Alex hair thing was just for you...hope that holds you over for awhile.

Sablaine~Your FB was amazing. Very insightful. The oracle isn't done with Liz yet. She is a little willful at times which the orb overlooks to a point. If it goes too far and endangers the mission or her own welfare it steps in....the same for Max. Anymore I can't comment on...I don't want to spoil you.

Also a special thanks to Dreamy aka Laura. Hope the move went well and can't wait to talk to you again.*big*
posted on 2-Sep-2002 9:04:19 PM by Lelea
Chapter Thirty Seven
**Thanks clueless for all the bumps**

fail_safe



Liz took the stairs two at a time. She raced through the café running late and knowing Maria must be waiting. After Max had left she had dozed back off forgetting to reset her alarm. Reaching the front doors to the café she saw Maria waiting impatiently. She climbed in quickly and threw her backpack to the floor turning to Maria with a ready apology.

“Sorry I’m late I overslept.” Liz said waiting for the lecture that was sure to follow. Maria looked her over and grinned.

“I bet you did.” Maria said grinning wider at Liz’s confused look. “Did you not look in a mirror this morning? It’s clear someone got freaky last night.”

“What?” Liz asked pulling down the visor and looking in the mirror, “Oh my god!” Liz said loudly seeing several hickeys on her neck and one visible on her chest.

“Lucky for you your parents aren’t home.” Maria said amused. She watched Liz run her fingers over the skin on her neck. Suddenly her fingertips glowed dimly leaving unblemished skin in their wake. Liz trailed her fingers over the mark on her chest removing that mark as well. “Liz! How did you do that?” Maria asked amazed.

“I don’t really know.” Liz said dazed. She stared in amazement at her reflection. “It must be the seal. Ash said I might be able to share some powers with Max. I guess he was right.”

“Well that certainly comes in handy.” Maria said starting the Jetta and pulling into traffic. Thinking she must be getting immune to the increasing amount of alien related shocks in her life. “What’s the plan today?” Maria asked.

“We go to class like normal and the new and improved Ms. Blackwell is going to call us all down to her office to double check our revised schedules. We will then go to our new classes I guess. I have to work this afternoon and after work Kyle and I go to Ash’s to train. Uziel will want to set up a schedule with you and Alex also.” Liz answered with the information she knew.

“Do you know who took Tess, Nick, and Courtney’s places?” Maria asked curious.

“Not really. I know Uziel and Ash were going to assume two of the spots but that still leaves two open spots and I don’t know who is who yet. I guess we’ll see when we get called to the office.” Liz replied as they pulled into the school parking lot. They both got out of the car and made their way into the school and to Liz’s locker. Max was already waiting at her locker and smiled at their approach.

“I don’t have to wonder why you’re so happy this morning.” Maria said as they walked up. Max blushed slightly and glanced at Liz. “Oh she didn’t tell me. You left plenty of evidence behind until Liz did a little hocus pocus on it anyway.” Max looked Liz over and noticed immediately what Maria was referring to.

“Liz? What did you do?” Max asked surprised.

“Well I got rid of them. I couldn’t walk around like that!” Liz said casually.

“How did you get rid of them?” Max asked slowly.

“The same way you would I imagine. Seal remember?” Liz asked raising her eyebrow at him sensing his disappointment.

“Oh yeah. I was planning on taking care of it.” Max said smiling.

“Uh huh. Like in the eraser room maybe?” Liz asked smiling in return.

“Yeah.” Max said pulling her closer and wrapping an arm around her waist. He brushed a kiss over the top of her head and released her.

“Liz I’ll met you at my locker okay?” Maria said since they were already running late. Liz nodded and Maria took off down the hall. Liz turned and put her books away smiling as Max eased closer.

“Need something Max?” Liz asked playfully.

“Yeah actually now that you mention it you didn’t say good morning to me.” Max said into her ear. Liz closed her locker and turned in Max’s arms.

“My mistake.” Liz said and met him half way kissing him slowly. “Morning Max.” Liz said and smiled as he bent down to kiss her again. She broke away hearing a few catcalls and flushed slightly in embarrassment. Max didn’t pay any attention to his fellow classmates just took her hand and interlaced their fingers. She reached up and wiped off some of her lip-gloss that had rubbed off onto his lower lip.

After that the morning past quickly for Liz. They were all called to the office and confirmed their schedules with only two changes made to the schedules laid out by Ash. Ash had taken over Courtney’s form and Uziel took over Tess’s. They were introduced to Ozeal who had taken over for Ms. Blackwell and Uryan who had assumed Nick’s form. They all dispersed headed to their classes.



Max changed for gym not really paying attention to anyone around him. He turned with his shirt in hand and sat down on the bench to put on his shoes.

“Hey Max. Looks like you had a good time this weekend. I saw you at the rave with Liz. She wild or what? She can really move.” Tyler asked breaking into Max’s thoughts. He frowned over at Tyler wondering what he was getting at.

“What?” Max asked as he pulled on his shoe.

“It’s always the quiet one’s. Biter huh? Liz was looking way hot..you’re a lucky guy.” Tyler said smirking. Kyle had been listening to the conversation and tensed at Tyler’s comment. Max looked pissed. Kyle eased closer and saw Michael doing the same.

“Listen I don’t appreciate this conversation. So let’s just say it’s over now.” Max said eyeing Tyler carefully.

“Come on Max. Share with the group. Did you get to her first or did Kyle have that pleasure?” Tyler asked rudely surprised and a little pleased that he was obviously getting under Max’s skin.

“Maybe you didn’t understand me the first time so I’ll slow it down for you. I am not discussing Liz with you or anyone else. Stay away from Liz and I don’t want to hear you talking any trash about her either. You need to grow up and learn some respect maybe then you would have better luck with a higher class of girl then you’re used to.” Max said and stood pushing past Tyler roughly and banging through the doors to the gym shirt still in hand.

“Listen prick I hear shit like that again I’m going to kick the living shit out of you. Got me?” Kyle asked shoving Tyler back a pace furious.

“What’s your problem Valenti?” Tyler asked gruffly.

“My problem is that a shit for brains punk was just insulting a very good friend of mine. I better not hear Liz’s name even pass your lips or I’m going to take that problem out on your ass.” Kyle said ignoring the rest of the locker rooms occupants. Tyler held up his hands in surrender and Kyle turned and followed Max with Michael and Nick/Uryan trailing after him.

Kyle walked up to Max and folded his arms over his chest. “Evans you realize what just happened right?”

“What are you talking about Kyle?” Max asked not in the mood for his shit.

“Because you didn’t take care of that set of teeth marks combined with your little love fest this morning in the hall which gave those teeth an owner every guy in that locker room is now looking at Liz in a whole new way. It won’t stop here either. So you better be prepared. That’s what I’m talking about.” Kyle said watching Max and nodding when he saw him get the point he was trying to make. He turned to Michael who looked confused. “See Guerin let me help you out a little. See the bite marks on Max’s shoulder confirmed to the entire locker room what I was trying to explain you the other night, which is exactly what “type” Liz actually is. Now interest has been peaked. Interest in Liz.” Kyle said and watched as Michael’s eyes flicked from him to Max.

“Maxwell you are so dead.” Michael said bluntly then smiled.

“Why can’t we just remove these marks?” Nick/Uryan asked confused.

“Because too many people have seen them.” Max said over the sinking feeling in his stomach. “Shit. Liz is going to be so pissed at me.” Max said fighting back a panicky feeling.

“Well you could always blame it on her. After all she’s the one that bit you.” Michael said shrugging.

“That doesn’t help Michael.” Max said shortly.

“How could you let her bit you anyway? Didn’t it hurt?” Michael asked.

“No it didn’t hurt. Michael you just wait. We’ll see what you let Maria do.” Max said in reply as the class started.




Liz’s brow furrowed as she felt something like fear coming from Max. She concentrated reaching for him. Blocking out her droning math teacher she followed the trail of energy that linked her to Max. She focused on him and could feel that he wasn’t hurt. She pushed harder trying to sense what caused his rush of emotion. Courtney/Ash who sat behind her watched as her seal flared briefly and kicked her chair jerking her to awareness. Liz sat a smile pulling at her lips as she thought about what she had learned. It wasn’t funny really but she wasn’t in the mood to get upset over it.



After class the group met in the quad for lunch. Max sat fidgeting as he waited for Liz. He spotted her as soon as she cleared the doors and frowned as two guys from his gym class moved to intercept her and Courtney/Ash as they walked across the quad. As he watched Liz paused briefly said something and continued flashing him a smile as she approached.

“Can you believe those guys?” Liz asked as she settled at the table next to Max. “As if.” Liz said shaking her head.

“What did they say?” Max asked.

“The tall one asked me to blow him.” Liz said and watched as Maria spit out her soda. Michael’s eyes rounded comically. Isabel stopped mid chew. The whole table went silent.

“What?” Max asked in horror.

“Yep. I told him not even if it was candy coated. Jerk.” Liz said pulling out her lunch. “Crap. I forgot my pop.” Liz said and got up quickly leaving the table in stunned silence. Max turned to Ash who nodded.

“Yes she really did say that.” Ash replied. Kyle started laughing. Alex turned and started searching the crowd frowning when he couldn’t locate the two assholes who needed a few things explained to them. Liz walked up and handed Maria some napkins and sat down sipping her Diet Coke calmly.

“So Kyle you’re going to pick me up from work right?” Liz asked glancing over at Kyle.

“Yeah 8 right?” Kyle said grinning. Liz nodded as took a bite of her sandwich. “I’ll be there.”

“I have to be back home tonight at about 9:30 or so. Otherwise my parents will worry.” Liz said and rubbed Max’s thigh trying to calm him. The rest of lunch past swiftly with Liz guiding the conversation. Finally the group split up headed to class. Max walked with Liz to their next class. He suddenly pulled her to a stop and stared down at their clasp hands.

“Liz I just need to tell you..” Max started and stumbled to a stop as Liz tipped his face up to look into his eyes.

“About the trouble you had in gym? Yeah I know. I’m sorry Max. Listen don’t worry about it okay? Michael is actually right it is my fault.” Liz said and watched the shock spread across his face. “Max I could feel you get upset. So I peeked.”

“You’re not mad?” Max asked just to be sure.

“No I’m not. How can I be mad at you for something I did? I just have to remember not to bite you next time.” Liz said looking away.

“No. I’ll just make sure to get rid of it next time.” Max corrected. He watched Liz quirk an eyebrow at him in question. “I like it when you do that. So I don’t want you to stop.” Max said softly and smiled as she blushed. He kissed her lightly and they continued on to class.




By the end of the day Liz’s patience was at an all time low. She never would have believed the sheer amount of immature, crass, downright stupid boys before today. She sighed at least no one else had grabbed her ass after Ash punched the last guy Liz thought. She couldn’t believe how bold the guy had been. She had been walking to the front to talk with Ms. Kattler about her paper as she passed by the guy’s hand snaked out and grabbed her. “Courtney” had reacted swiftly socking the guy in the face. At least Ms. Kattler had understood and the guy had been removed from class. Max was going to have a fit Liz thought slightly depressed. Maria and Kyle were in that class with her and one of them was sure to tell him if he hadn’t heard already.

She rounded the corner to her locker with a silent Ash trailing behind her only to come to a stop as she saw Pam Troy plastered against Max. Her temper spiked as she took in the scene in front of her. Walking up silently she was able to catch part of the conversation.

“No Pam I don’t think so. I’m with Liz.” Max said firmly.

“Well just let me know when you get tired of playing with that underdeveloped child. You need to move on to a fully grown woman. I’d be happy to show you the difference.” Pam said running her finger nail up his chest.

“Pam.” Liz said and tapped her on the shoulder. Pam turned around her smile growing.

“Liz. Busy day?” Pam asked snidely.

“Not nearly as busy as most of yours. I limit myself to one person not dozens. Let’s cut the crap I’m really not in the mood for it. I don’t like you Pam I never have. I think you’re cheap and have no class what so ever. I also think you have very little in the intelligence department so I’ll keep this simple. The only one who is going to be on Max is me so you need to amuse yourself elsewhere. Bye now.” Liz said beyond done with this.

“I think Max is a big boy and can make up his own mind.” Pam said angry with the snickers she could hear from passing students.

“Fine with me. Could you move your “fully” grown ass so I can get to my locker? Thanks.” Liz said opening her locker and shoving her books in as Pam turned back to Max.

“So Max what do you say?” Pam asked sure he would choose her. After all who wouldn’t.

“I say the same thing I’ve always said. Liz is the one for me. Your wasting your time here Pam. I won’t ever get tired of Liz.” Max said wanting Pam to just disappear.

“You just haven’t dated anyone else. Liz is like a training bike that you learn on then move on to the adult version.” Pam said and smiled. Ash who was standing two lockers over was astonished at this creature’s lack of observational skills and forward behavior.

“Pam I tried not to be rude but I can see my effort is wasted. Liz is absolutely beautiful. I am totally in love with her and you need to leave now.” Max said clearly irritated. He moved around Pam who was rooted to the spot and took Liz’s backpack for her and tucked her hair behind her ear. “Ready?”

“Yeah. Let’s go.” Liz said and smiled as he pulled her close and guided her toward the parking lot. Ash followed silently wondering if every day was this eventful.

posted on 3-Sep-2002 3:00:02 PM by Lelea
Chapter Thirty Eight

fail_safe


Max dropped Liz off at work and Ash moved up into the front seat. Max stayed silent driving toward Ash’s apartment with out a word. Ash reflected on his first day of high school as well as his first day as a woman. He didn’t like either. He couldn’t wait to shapeshift.

“Is school always like that?” Ash asked his voice laced with disgust.

“How do you mean?” Max asked.

“The students paying little attention to their instructors. They are so undisciplined and rude. One of them grabbed the Queen’s buttocks. I had to punch him. It isn’t just the males either. That Pam person was just as bad. This can not be allowed to continue.” Ash stated disgusted.

“Wait someone grabbed Liz? When was this?” Max asked glancing at Ash his fingers tightening on the steering wheel.

“In our Creative Writing class. Thankfully the teacher found his behavior inappropriate as well. He was removed. If this continues I will need more help. Why did you want to go back to that place?” Ash asked trying to understand.

“No it’s not always as bad as today. Right now I’m wondering why I wanted to go back too believe me. Try to keep the violence to a minimum. You’re lucky you’re currently a girl otherwise you would have been in trouble for punching that guy.” Max sighed tired. “It’s just I forgot to heal a mark Liz left on me and now everyone’s hitting on her. You know because it makes it look like Liz is more available I guess. Pam is just Pam.”

“Speaking of marks Liz’s seal glowed today. She was accessing her powers or yours. That means she is getting stronger.” Ash said as they pulled up in front of his place. They got out and waited until they were inside to continue.

“Yeah Liz felt when I got upset today and reached for me to find out why. She also healed a little.” Max said sinking down onto the couch.

“The healing is your power and being able to reach for you and connect without touching you is an improvement in her own power. That is very good.” Ash said thoughtfully. He got up and shifted back to his regular form with a sigh of relief.

“Where’s Courtney?” Max asked curious.

“She is staying outside of town with some of my men. I let her have closely supervised access to a computer to reach her contacts. We’ll see what happens there.” Ash said. Max nodded slowly. “I also will let her work her shifts at the CrashDown. If she needs to meet any of her group it is best that it’s there since we are already watching.”

“Who’s watching Liz at work?” Max asked.

“Guziel he is the best at working in close quarters. She is as safe as we can make it under these conditions.” Ash said.

“Did you check out the quarry? I think it should be a pretty good place to train. We would be able to see anyone coming.” Max said.

“Yes you are right it is suitable. Uryan will be there at five to work with you. If it is not activity based training we will also use the pod chamber. It is well protected. Uriron will be here tomorrow to work with Isabel and Michael. We will all be very busy for awhile.” Ash said then paused. “I would like to take a trip out to the pod chamber with you and Liz. Isabel is welcome also. This weekend maybe if you all have time.”

“Of course. We’ll make sure to make the time. Thank you Ash for all your help. Any help or suggestions you have please let us know. I know Liz and I are thankful for your help.” Max said and stood. “I better get going I have to pick up Isabel then meet Uryan so I better go. See ya tomorrow.” Max said and smiled as Ash frowned at the reminder of another school day to come.



Liz worked with attention to detail. The pace was busy as it usually was on a Monday. The phones rang non-stop till seven. Liz had added a black sweater to her outfit to try to hide the seal in case of any glowing so she felt fairly comfortable. She slipped into the Congresswoman’s office to leave her all the message slips she had written and her re typed agenda for the following day. Looking around she noticed one of the drawers behind her desk ajar. She quietly made her way over and pulled the drawer fully open. It was full of CD’s she flipped through the first few quickly and found one labeled “Parker Liz, Date: Sep 6-19”. She took the disk and tucked it into the back of her waistband and slid the drawer almost closed again and rounded the desk just as Whitaker came out of her private bathroom.

“Liz? What did you need?” Whitaker asked her eyes moving from Liz to the partly open drawer.

“Oh I just left your messages on your desk and your agenda for tomorrow. Just let me know if you need anything changed and I’ll redo it.” Liz said smoothly.

“Thanks Parker. I’ll let you know.” Vanessa said and smiled Liz nodded and left the room closing the door carefully behind her. She slipped the CD into her bag and got back to work. The rest of her shift past and before she knew it Kyle walked in.

“Hey Kyle! Just let me finish up really quick.” Liz said and switched over the phones and knocked softly on Whitaker’s door.

“Come in” Vanessa called from inside. Liz poked her head in.

“Just wanted to let you know it’s eight and I’m on my way out.” Liz said and smiled.

“Okay you have a good night Parker.” Vanessa said and smiled in return.

“Okay Kyle let’s go.” Liz said grabbing her backpack and scanning the area to make sure she got everything. Satisfied she moved to the door and locked it as they left.

“So how did it go?” Kyle asked when they got in his car.

“Good. Same as always. I did flinch a CD. It has my name on it so I thought we should see what that was. Otherwise totally normal.” Liz said.

“Great. So I heard about Pam Troy.” Kyle said with a smile. “You’re really getting mouthy. I like it!”

“I know. I was just so fed up after putting up with everything all day. That was just the last straw. I mean it was either get upset or handle it. Max would feel really bad if I got upset so I tried to deal with it.” Liz said and glanced over at Kyle. He nodded.

“Yeah I see what you mean. I think you did pretty good. You got your point across that’s for sure. It’ll die down soon and everyone will move on.” Kyle said as they pulled up to Ash’s apartment. “Ready to kick some ass?” Kyle asked as they walked up the steps.

“Nope I’m ready to kick your ass.” Liz said with a big smile. Kyle groaned and knocked on Ash’s door.

“Just remember I haven’t done anything to you. So any hostility you’re feeling need not be channeled in my direction.” Kyle said.

“I’ll try to remember that.” Liz said as Ash opened the door. They walked in and Liz went to change quickly emerging in her work out attire. Ash had them stretch carefully and ran them threw all the things they had worked on the last time.

“Liz remember constant motion. Your best advantage is speed and surprise. We’re also going to work on stamina. Both of you take these.” He said handing them both jump ropes. “I want you to jump rope for 15 minutes then we will continue.”

Liz stepped back away from Kyle and turned to Ash. “Can you turn on the radio? It’s easier if I have a rhythm.” Liz asked.

“Of course.” Ash moved and flipped on the radio and both Liz and Kyle started jumping rope. After they finished Ash quickly showed Liz how to break someone’s hold if they grabbed her by the hair. They worked on that for a while and moved on to strangle holds. Finally Ash motioned them to stop.

“Good. Now I want to move on to meditation. You will both benefit from finding your inner stillness. If you work from there instead of panic or fear you will have better results. Please make yourselves comfortable. Good posture is important to good breathing so sit up straight. Excellent now I want you to relax and let yourself drift just observe the thoughts floating through your mind. I want you to witness how your mind works don’t judge just observe. I will stop you when it is time.” Ash said and looked at the clock. Five minutes later he spoke. “Okay. That is enough. Now try to read the book I gave you and practice meditation everyday by yourself. It takes time so be patient.” Ash said. “Okay we have just enough time for a run. So let’s go.” Kyle groaned but stood up and Liz followed without complaint. Forty minutes later they arrived back at Ash’s apartment after a fast paced run. Kyle got a drink as Liz rounded up her stuff.

“Ash I wanted to give you this. I found it in one of Whitaker’s drawers that she normally has locked.” Liz said handing him the CD. Ash looked it over.

“I will take a look thank you. Now go and get some sleep. I will see you tomorrow.” Ash said.

“Yeah and Ash? Don’t forget to do your homework.” Liz said with a smile as Ash grimaced. With a wave Liz walked out with Kyle close on her heels.

“That little green man kicked my ass. Buddha save me I’m tired.” Kyle said as they got in the car.

“Yeah he’s pretty in shape. I can’t wait to go to bed.” Liz said as Kyle pulled up in front of the café. Liz pulled on her sweater to hide the seal from her parents and got out. “See ya tomorrow Kyle. Thanks for everything.” Liz said and at Kyle’s wave she shut the door and walked into the café. She made her way up to the apartment.

“Mom? Dad? I’m home!” She called as she shut the door and made her way to her room. She stopped as she saw her Mom waiting for her sitting on her bed. She set her backpack down carefully trying to think of what she had done that her Mom could have found out about.

“Liz we need to talk.” Nancy Parker said trying to remain calm.

“Sure.” Liz said and sat down in her desk chair.

“Today when I got home I decided to do the laundry so I came in here to get your towels, sheets, and any dirty cloths in your hamper. I found these.” Nancy said carefully lifting two pairs of Max’s boxers up. Liz’s mind raced to come up with an explanation. “Liz please don’t lie to me. I know these aren’t yours for one thing they are way too big for you.” Nancy said as she watched her daughter carefully.

“Okay I won’t lie. They’re Max’s.” Liz said pushing away the squirming feeling in her stomach and waited. She saw the surprise register on her Mother’s face. This was the day from hell Liz thought to herself..this was just the cherry on top. “You said I didn’t have to lie to you about this so I won’t. I love him and I waited until I was ready.” Liz said meeting her Mother’s eyes.

“Liz I know you think that you love him but a lot can change in the next few years.” Nancy said worried. She looked at her daughter and really realized how much she had grown up over the summer. The last time they had started this conversation Liz had claimed she couldn’t talk about this and now she was able to be honest and seemed so sure.

“Mom do you think I’m a good judge of character? That I’m a good person?” Liz asked softly.

“Of course I do honey.” Nancy answered right away.

“Then you have to know that Max is a good person. You had to know this day would come. It was always going to be Max. I love him. I’ve loved him for so long this isn’t something I did lightly. He didn’t pressure me or talk me into it. He loves me and would never do that. I know him. He’s the best person inside. I wish you could see that like I do.” Liz said watching her Mother carefully. Nancy sat looking at her daughter wondering what to say. Coming to a decision finally she nodded slowly.

“Well then I guess I better get to know him. Just tell him to take all of his cloths home with him. I didn’t tell your Father it’s different for fathers and daughters. I’ll let you decide how to handle him.” Nancy said feeling scared for her and proud of her all at the same time. “Liz you are being careful right?”

“Yeah Mom you made sure of that last year.” Liz said reminding her of how she had taken her to the doctor after she had stayed out with Max all night. Nancy nodded and got to her feet. Liz stood also and hugged her Mom quickly.

“Okay. Well I’ll let you get your homework done. Um I did wash them by the way.” Nancy said and pointed to the boxers lying on her bed.

“Thanks Mom. It means so much to me that you aren’t mad at me or disappointed in me.” Liz said as her Mom walked toward the door.

“I’m not mad. Worried and sad that your growing up so fast but not mad. I’m not disappointed either you were honest with me and I know that was hard for you. I love you Liz. I want us to be close and for that to happen sometimes I know it’ll be hard. Trust works both ways and I want you to trust me to be able to come to me with things even if they are hard for me to hear. I will always love you Liz no matter what. Okay?” Nancy asked. She waited for Liz’s nod and left closing the door behind her.


Liz sank onto her bed and stared at the ceiling. She felt totally drained. She glanced at the clock and forced herself to get up. She pulled out her homework and started working pushing all other thoughts aside. Sometime later there was a knock at her door.

“Come in.” Liz called as she finished up and closing her book she turned to find her Dad smiling at her.

“How’s my girl? Did you have fun this weekend?” Jeff Parker asked.

“Yeah I did. We all went out to a party on Friday and watched movies at Max’s house on Sunday.” Liz said and smiled. “What about you guys?”

“Oh you know how those conventions are. I did take your Mom out to a nice dinner and we spent some time at the pool so it wasn’t all work. I’m glad you had fun honey. I just wanted to stop in and see you before you went to bed.” Jeff said and then placed a kiss on his little girl’s head. He moved to the door and glanced back as something she said registered. “Are you seeing that Evans boy again?”

“Um yeah we’re dating. He’s a really good person.” Liz said and smiled.

“Okay. Well goodnight sweety don’t stay up too late you look tired.” Jeff said and left closing the door softly.

Liz put her things away and put Max’s boxers in her backpack glad her Dad hadn’t noticed them. She striped off her cloths and tossed them in the hamper and turned on her shower. She finished quickly but stood under the warm water for a long time trying to relax. Finally fatigue drove her out and she toweled off quickly and grabbed her robe putting it on quickly. She sat on the edge of her bed and set her alarm for the next day. As she lay down the phone rang.

“Hello” Liz answered.

“You sound tired. You okay?” Max asked.

“I think I’ll survive although it was a close call tonight.” Liz answered with a small sigh.

“What happened?” Max asked.

“Well Ash is like the alien energizer bunny on speed. Then my Mom was waiting for me when I got home. She found your boxers and washed them for you. I’m supposed to tell you to take all your cloths with you.” Liz said.

“WHAT??” Max yelled as he sat up in bed. “Oh shit!” He started to panic. Her Dad was going to kill him!

“It’s okay. Everything’s fine we talked about it and she said she’d like to get to know you. She didn’t tell my Dad.” Liz said and yawned.

“Are you sure? I mean I don’t want your Mom to be upset with you.” Max asked still worried.

“No she’s not. I was surprised too. I think she was just so happy I didn’t lie about it. I told her I loved you and I waited until I was ready. Really I think it’ll be okay. I’ll bring your boxers back to you tomorrow before my Dad sees them.” Liz said softly.

“Okay. I can see why you’re so tired after a day like this was. I’m so sorry Liz.” Max said softly and paused. “I heard about that guy grabbing you in English today.”

“Yeah that was something. Ash moved so fast I couldn’t believe it. I don’t think anyone will try that again.” Liz said remembering the look of shock on everyone’s face.

“I hope not. Ash was not happy. I’m surprised he had the energy to give you guys a work out he looked exhausted when I left him at his place.” Max said as he stretched out on his bed.

“Hmm. I bet. He certainly recovered quickly.” Liz said and yawned again. “I miss you.” Liz sighed and turned over.

“You know that phrase has a whole new meaning for me now.” Max said with a smile remembering the last time she said that to him. “Believe me I think I miss you more.”

“We could argue that I think. I don’t work on Wednesday what about you?” Liz asked.

“I work until close which is nine but I could meet you after.” Max said hoping she agreed.

“Deal. Now I better get some sleep I’ll see you at school.” Liz said feeling her eyes growing heavy.

“Okay. I love you Liz.” Max said hearing the drowsy tone in her voice. He wished he could see her right then. He loved watching her sleep it made him feel peaceful.

“Hmm I love you to. Don’t worry about things Max it’ll all work out.” Liz said.

“Okay. I’ll see you tomorrow. Bye.” Max said and waited for her bye before he hung up. He hoped tomorrow was better.

posted on 4-Sep-2002 4:19:50 PM by Lelea
Chapter Thirty Nine

fail_safe

Uzizen sat at his desk reviewing the latest lab reports. He frowned at the results. Things were not progressing as quickly as he would like. The new generation skins were growing at a faster rate soon they would be ready to field test. The breeding program was another story. Things there were not nearly as successful. The embryos were unstable and expired before they reached maturity. Not even a poding process had helped stabilize them. He frowned lost in thought. Nick knocked on the door breaking into his thoughts.

“Enter.” Uzizen called. He watched with a cold stare as Nick and Tess both filed in. “Why are you disturbing me?”

“I just received word that the Royals were back in school today. Apparently shapeshifters replaced Tess, Courtney, Blackwell, and myself.” Nick said watching Uzizen closely.

“Liz Parker was in school as well?” Uzizen asked his tone giving nothing away.

“Yes she was. Courtney’s replacement stuck close to her. Rumor has it that the Joining is now complete.” Nick replied.

“I don’t deal in rumor. It is a lesson you would do well to learn.” Uzizen said coldly. Nick remained silent and Tess tried to remain as invisible as possible.

“What would you like us to do now?” Nick asked keeping his tone bland.

“I have something in mind for the two of you. I need to take a new direction in my breeding program and you and Tess seem to be the perfect solutions to my problem. Since you seem to be useless otherwise.” Uzizen said and smiled. “I will see you both in the lab tomorrow morning. For now you are dismissed you are not to leave this base.” Nick nodded and left with a very pale Tess trailing after him.

Uzizen sat at his desk for a long time thinking about Nick’s report. He reached for the phone and dialed. The phone was answered after only two rings.

“Hello?” Vanessa Whitaker said smoothly.

“Vanessa did Liz Parker show up for work today?” Uzizen asked.

“Yes she did. Why?” Vanessa asked curious.

“You are our only direct link to her now. All the others have been replaced with shapeshifters. I need you to find out everything you can. I want to know if she has the seal. I want to know everything about her. Don’t screw up.” Uzizen said firmly.

“I understand.” Whitaker replied.

“Watch her carefully I need to know the moment it is confirmed that she carries a child.” Uzizen said.

“You will know as soon as I do. Is our own program not going well?” Whitaker asked interested.

“Not well enough. She may be the key I am looking for. In any case she is a valuable prize. I look forward to meeting her.” Uzizen said thoughtfully. He hung up without another word already lost in his own thoughts.



The next day passed with no major incidents much to everyone’s relief. Alex was keeping his ears open and got into several “discussions” with his classmates when he heard Liz mentioned. He wasn’t about to sit back and allow some of the talk to go unchallenged. Isabel watched Max with concern she knew he was still upset about yesterday. She got into several verbal sparring matches of her own. Everyone was careful not to say anything in front of Kyle. The way he lit into Pam Troy after school yesterday as well as Tyler in the locker room had people steering clear of him. Maria stuck close to Liz lending very visible support. Michael wisely kept his mouth shut just watching although curiously enough several people developed a very irritating rash after coming into contact with him.

After school Liz went on to work, Kyle to football practice, Maria and Alex went for their first training session with Uziel, Uriron arrived and met Michael and Isabel and started their training as well.

Max trained with Uryan and called Liz once at work to check on her. Relieved to hear she seemed fine he turned his attention to finishing up his schoolwork. He wanted to surprise Liz by meeting her at the CrashDown after her training session with Ash. After he finished his last assignment he took a quick shower and headed to the CrashDown. Walking in he was surprised to see his Mom sitting with Ms. Parker having coffee. He debated on what he should do pausing briefly before starting forward.

Nancy saw Max come in and pause. She watched with interest to see what he would do. She smiled as she saw him head toward them.

Max stopped at the table next to his Mother. “Hi Mom.” Max said clearly.

“Hi honey. I bumped into Nancy earlier and stopped by to have some pie and coffee. What are you up to?” Diane asked.

“Umm just waiting for Liz. Hi Ms. Parker.” Max said turning to Liz’s Mom and meeting her eyes.

“Hi Max. You’re welcome to join us while you wait if you like.” Nancy said impressed so far.

“Thank you I’d like that.” Max said and sat down. He tried to control his nervousness. He really wanted Liz’s Mom to like him.

“So how is school going Max?” Nancy asked.

“Pretty good so far. I switched some of my classes around a little and it’s working out better.” Max replied.

“Yeah Liz said she made some schedule changes too. Do you two have many classes together this semester?” Nancy asked.

“Just one. We’re lab partners in Advanced Bio.” Max answered relaxing a little.

“Nancy I swear both of my kids are so busy I almost never get to see them. That’s why I was so happy they all came over on Sunday. It’s nice to know who your kids friends are don’t you think?” Diane asked.

“Yes it is. We’ve been pretty luck since the kids tend to hang out here so much. If not for that we would never see Liz either.” Nancy replied she watched as Max straightened and turned to the door. A couple of seconds later Liz walked in and Max lit up. Liz’s eyes met his and a smile spread across her face. She walked over and stopped next to Max’s chair her hand resting on his shoulder.

“Hi Mom. Ms. Evans.” Liz greeted smoothly. She turned to Max. “I didn’t know you were going to be here.” Liz said with a happy smile.

“Yeah I wanted to surprise you.” Max said.

“Liz where are you just getting back from?” Nancy asked seeing her in her workout cloths.

“Oh um Kyle and I went for a run. We’ve been trying to do that pretty regular. He usually meets me after work.” Liz said pulling her eyes off of Max. She sat in the chair next to him and dropped her backpack on the floor.

“That’s great. Now I don’t have to worry so much about you running after dark if you’re not by yourself.” Nancy said relieved.

Max and Liz talked with their Mothers for a few more minutes before excusing themselves. Diane turned to Nancy and saw her melancholy expression.

“They’re growing up fast aren’t they?” Diane asked.

“Yes they are. I suppose I should have been prepared we did see this coming since last year when we were called to the school but it still took me by surprise.” Nancy said softly. Diane nodded in understanding.

“We should plan a dinner at my house. It would be nice to get to know each other better.” Diane said and waited for Nancy’s reaction.

“I’d like that. I know Liz is crazy about Max. She has nothing but good things to say about him. I’d like to be able to get to know him better. Jeff will need some time to ease into things as well and it would help to get to know everyone in a causal setting.” Nancy said. Diane nodded thinking of Phillip she hadn’t mentioned her suspicions to him. Looking at Nancy she knew they weren’t really just suspicions.

“Wonderful talk to Jeff and let me know when you can all make it. Liz seems like such a nice girl I would like to get to know her better. Max has had a crush on her for years Isabel used to tease him something awful.” Diane said smiling at the memory. Nancy agreed and the conversation moved on.


Liz pulled Max into her room and pushed him up against the closed door kissing him wildly. She dropped everything she was holding and wrapped her arms around him pulling him close. She pulled back panting lightly a few minutes later and smiled into the darkness.

“Hi.” Liz whispered.

“Hi.” Max said in return and pulled her mouth back to his. Suddenly a thought occurred to him. “Where’s your Dad?” he asked looking down into her face.

“I don’t know. Why?” Liz asked.

“Well I want to live.” Max said slowly watching Liz smile.

“Oh yeah that. He’s not up here or he would have called out when we walked in the front door. Plus we’re not going to do anything crazy. Just kiss a little.” Liz said biting her lip to hold back her smile as she slid her hands under his shirt and stroked his bare skin.

“Uh huh. Why do I feel scared then?” Max asked unconvinced.

“Cause you’re a wussy. I’m not the one that barged into the bathroom to have a quickie with a parent in the house. So I think you need to relax a little Max.” She said her grin breaking free as she teased him.

“Wussy? You’ve been hanging around Kyle way too much.” Max said with a smile turning them so Liz was against the door. “I think you’re challenging my manhood.”

“I wouldn’t say that..I can feel that and it seems to be working just fine. I’m just saying for one so bold in his own house you sure do seem tense over a little kissing.” Liz said and smirked.

“Hmmm maybe your right. I’ll try to loosen up a little.” Max said pushing her back into the door and kissing her deeply. He felt her sigh in pleasure and sink into the kiss her fingers trailing up his ribs. A few minutes later he pulled back and looked down into her face. “Is that what you had in mind?”

“Uh huh. That was it exactly.” Liz said and ducked under his arm and flipped on the lights. “Okay I’m good thanks for stopping by.” Liz said her back turned to him. She walked across the room shrugging out of her sweater and letting it drop to the floor. Now wearing only her spandex tank top and shorts she kept her movements casual as she reached for the edge of her top pulling it up. Max stood there for a second in surprise before making his way across the room to her. He pulled her around and barely registered her smile before his mouth captured hers.

Liz stretched her body up along his trusting him to hold her up as she pushed his shirt up slightly so their bare abdomens could touch. Max groaned the sound barely audible as their skin touched. Suddenly living didn’t seem as important as it had a few moments ago. Liz pulled her mouth from his and allowed her lips to brush across him as she followed a path to his ear.

“I love you Max.” She whispered by his ear all the teasing gone from her voice then nipped his ear lobe lightly. He sank a hand into her hair and pulled her mouth back to his pouring every bit of his love into that kiss. They pulled back as they heard the door to the apartment slam shut. They glanced at each other quickly and moved apart. “Don’t worry Max. I’ll protect you.” Liz said with a grin moving to sit at her desk. Max moved up behind her chair and when the knock at her door came Liz called out with no hesitation. “Come in.”

Jeff Parker had raced up the stairs as soon as he realized Nancy was still in the café. He trusted Liz but he knew how boys thought and he didn’t really know Max. Knocking on her door first he was prepared to burst in if she didn’t answer right away. As soon as Liz answered he pushed the door open to see them at her computer. Liz smiled brightly at him and he felt himself relax. “Hi honey is everything okay?” He asked glancing at Max.

“Yeah everything’s fine I just have to show Max something on the computer is that okay?” Liz asked eyes wide and if Max didn’t know better he would totally fall for her innocent appearance…it was something to keep in mind since he was sure his own daughter was going to look exactly like her some day.

“Yeah that’s fine. Did you eat dinner? I can bring you both something if you’re hungry.” Jeff said reassured everything was fine and smiled at Max. Max smiled cautiously in return.

“That’s okay Daddy I’ll be out in a minute and I’ll just eat in the café.” Liz said casually.

“Okay honey I’ll see you down there then.” Jeff said and left. Liz waited a few minutes before spinning her chair to face Max.

“See? My Dad likes you.” Liz said.

“Uh huh. That won’t stop him from killing me Liz.” Max said in return.

“Oh Max stop it! My Dad is totally cool. He would never hurt anyone.” Liz scoffed at the very idea.

“If he for one second suspected we were having sex in any way shape or form I wouldn’t live another day. I know it as fact.” Max said absolutely convinced.

“Hmmm we’ll see. Eventually he will figure it out.” Liz said and smiled slightly as Max’s face paled.

“I hope not until we’re married. Then maybe I’ll live.” Max said.

“Max I promise I won’t let my Dad hurt you. Besides you can always use your shield or try to tell him I corrupted you. That might work.” Liz said and giggled as he shot her a look. “Come on let’s go eat. I’m hungry.” Liz said and grabbed a loose T-shirt pulling it on as they walked out.

They sat in Max’s usual booth and ordered. Nancy and Diane both watched as they talked and laughed. Nancy actually felt better as she watched them. Anyone with eyes could see Max was crazy about Liz. It calmed some of her fears. Diane smiled as she watched her normally reserved son with Liz. None of those reservations were present with her.

Isabel and Michael walked in followed by Alex and Maria. Liz got up and moved behind the counter getting everyone a drink and Max followed to help her. In their absence the others took over the table so after passing everyone their drinks Max pulled a chair up to the end of the booth and Liz sat on his lap. Their food arrived and the rest of them placed their orders.

Both Mother’s observed the group as they clowned around. Nancy smiled as Maria reached over and smacked Michael on the back of the head without even stopping her conversation with Alex who sat across the table. Diane was surprised to see Isabel talking to Max and Liz and waving her hands around as she talked her expression open and happy. Alex reached over and snagged a Saturn ring off of Liz’s plate smiling and giving Isabel a peck on the cheek when she turned and glared at him for reaching across her. All the while Max and Liz were casually affectionate and very aware of each other.

Jeff sat down with Nancy and Diane and seeing where their attention was he turned to watch the group as well. He smiled thinking they all looked so happy and carefree. Nancy glanced over at Jeff and saw him frown. Looking back at the kid’s table she saw Liz stroking the back of Max’s neck. She reached over and stopped Jeff as he moved to get up.

“Jeff let them be. They’re just having fun.” Nancy said lightly.

“I was just going to get Lizzie a chair.” Jeff said looking over at his wife.

“If she wanted a chair she would get one now relax everything’s fine. Diane wants to have us all over some time for dinner. When would you like to go?” Nancy asked steering his mind onto other topics. Diane smiled and joined the conversation. Jeff relaxed into the conversation slowly knowing Nancy was right. He liked the kids hanging out here. It kept him feeling young and in touch with his daughters friends. They were all good kids he had nothing to worry about.

posted on 5-Sep-2002 6:47:47 AM by Lelea
Chapter Forty

fail_safe

The next few days past swiftly. Consumed with training, school, and work they all stayed very busy. By the time Saturday rolled around Max was desperate to spend time alone with Liz. He had to work a short shift and Liz had a training session with Ash and Kyle. Then they were supposed to meet up with Isabel and Ash at the pod chamber. Max had finished his homework between working on it last night and early this morning. He wanted to spend as much time with Liz as possible. Glancing at the clock he was relieved to see it was time to go pick her up. He made his way to the office and hung up his vest and waved goodbye to Brody on his way out carrying the cooler he had brought into work with him. He made a quick stop at the Jeep to place the cooler inside then headed toward the café.

He jogged across the street and walked into the café scanning the crowd for Liz. He spotted her quickly she was sitting at the counter talking to Kyle. He started over smiling when she turned and spotted him. She was beautiful. Her hair was still damp from her recent shower and she was dressed in low hip hugger jeans and a black baby tee with the CrashDown logo in lime green writing on the front. Reminding himself they were in public he settled for just brushing his lips over hers.

“Hi.” Max said into her hair.

“Hi yourself. Ready?” Liz asked with a smile.

“Yeah if you are. Hey Kyle.” Max said.

“Hey. I’ll catch you guys later I have to get ready for my date.” Kyle said wiggling his eyebrows and grinning like a mad man.

“Kyle have fun. I’ll see ya tomorrow morning.” Liz said with a smile. Kyle nodded in reply and took off. “So are we picking up Isabel?”

“Nope she’s riding with Ash. Come on let’s go.” Max said tugging on her hand. Liz slid off of her stool and followed Max out the door.

“So what are your plans for me Max Evans?” Liz asked as she climbed into the Jeep.

“What makes you think I have a plan?” Max asked with grin.

“Well let’s see. The blanket in the back might have given me a hint. Maybe it was the cooler. Or wait I know it was the pillow!” Liz said giggling.

“I’m offended. I can see where your thoughts are headed and I’m shocked. All of that stuff has a good reason for being there. Now let’s meet Ash and get that over with so I can show you what my plans are.” Max said smiling. Liz moved closer as they drove out of town. Leaning over she spoke into his ear.

“Are you sure you don’t want to hear my thoughts Max?” Liz asked playing with his fingers, which were resting on the gearshift.

“Liz I really don’t know if I could handle that right now.” Max said carefully sensing Liz was prepared to play.

“Okay then I’ll tell you about the really odd dream I had last night.” Liz said in a serious tone of voice.

“What happened?” Max asked reacting to her tone he shifted mental gears. He didn’t see the faint smile pass over her lips or the gleam in her eye.

“Well I was working in the CrashDown. You know the uniform and apron the antenna? Yeah the works so anyway I went to take table fours order and the bell over the door rang and you walked in. At least it looked like you.” Liz said and was having a hard time not smiling as he shifted in his seat. Max cleared his throat feeling nervious..this sounded familiar.

“Uh huh so what’s odd about that? I’m in the café all the time.” Max said and tugged at the collar of his T-shirt. Man this desert was hot.

“I’m getting to the odd part. So you walk over to me and rip open the snaps on my uniform. You don’t even say anything. All the people in the café like disappear and you just bend me over the table and…” Liz stopped as Max started choking. She reached over and pounded on his back smirking.

“So I still don’t see what’s so odd.” Max wheezed. “You had like a sex dream.”

“The odd thing was that never in all my fantasies have I ever been in that uniform. Or completely naked under that uniform. Or wearing antenna on my head.” Liz said her eyes dancing. “Wonder where that all came from?”

“They aren’t real antenna.” Max mumbled.

“Uh huh. It’s how they bounce isn’t it? Max I never would have guessed. Imagine my surprise when I woke up.” Liz said her feet on the dash.

“I ah I guess you were a little surprised. I mean to learn that you were so imaginative.” Max said keeping his eyes on the road.

“That wasn’t the surprising part.” Liz said pushing her hair behind her ear as she glanced in the mirror on her side of the Jeep checking the road behind them.

“It wasn’t? What was?” Max asked god he was hot. His ears were on fire. Could alien human hybrids self-combust?

“No the surprising part was that it made me think about what you said. You know about my Dad killing you if he found out we were having sex.” Liz paused and waited for his nod. She wondered if she could be this..mean...oh yeah she could. “Well considering how I felt when I woke up I decided you were right. We shouldn’t have sex anymore until we’re married.” Liz said completely serious in tone and expression as she sat up and checked her seat belt. Max slammed on the brakes coming to a stop in the middle of the road. He turned to face her as the Jeep stalled. She glanced around and didn’t see anyone anywhere in sight.

“WHAT?” Max said in horror. “What..Where..I said..” He stopped and took a deep breath. “Okay. Um how did you come to that?” Max asked and waited listening intently for her answer.

“Well see you said if my Dad found out he would kill you right?” She looked over at Max and he nodded holding eye contact. “Well I love you and I’d like for you to live for a long time and I think you were right. So since all I wanted to do when I woke up was to strip you naked and fuck you senseless I knew my Dad would find out and kill you.” Liz said and smiled sweetly. Max sat there not even blinking.

Suddenly he was a blur of motion ripping her seatbelt off and climbing over the gearshift. He reached beside her seat and pulled the handle to lower the seat back and Liz fell back with a thump. He tore his shirt over his head and tossed it out of the Jeep. Liz watched him with wide eyes as he frantically opened his jeans and pushed them down. He grabbed the pillow from the backseat and lifted her hips and shoved it underneath her and before she knew it she was reclining in the front seat nude.

Liz gasp as he pushed her legs apart and thrust into her deeply without saying a word she was instantly lost. Max groaned loudly as she opened her legs wider allowing him full access. He leaned down and took her breast into his mouth as he continued to thrust into her.

“Oh..Max...yes!” Liz screamed loudly. He released her breast and pulled back far enough to look into her face. He felt a burst of very male satisfaction at the expression on her face. Wanting to hear her scream again he thrust harder and watched her eyes glaze over.

“Don’t stop! Harder...Max!”

“Fuck!” Max groaned feeling light headed and shaky with delight as he pounded into her. He didn’t notice as he bumped the gearshift popping it out of gear. As his movements quickened and became more forceful the Jeep gradually started to move.

Liz screamed as she came working her hips against him as her body tightened around him like a fist. Max reared back as he struggled to push deeper his left hand gripping the roll bar. A harsh guttural sound rumbled out of his chest as his semen jetted into her filling her with his warmth. His head came to rest on her chest as she opened her eyes and watched the clouds move overhead. Hmm the clouds were moving fast. Moving..Shit!

“Max! The emergency brake. I can’t reach it.” Liz cried squirming under him as she tried to reach the brake.

“Brake?” Max said still dazed and panting.

“The Jeep’s rolling! Max grab the brake!” Liz said and felt a slight bump as they rolled over something. Max sat up so fast he banged his ass on the dash. He scrambled for the emergency brake tossing her shirt aside and yanked on it hard. They jerked to a stop and Max looked around suddenly remembering where they were…or had been. Which was the middle of the road.

They were now about 40 feet from the road in the desert. He looked around and prayed the area stayed deserted because he could see pieces of clothing on the road. He glared down at Liz silently accusing her. She looked up at him with her most innocent face.

“What? Was it something I said?” Liz asked and watched his mouth drop open.

“Liz I swear you are evil. How did I not know that?” Max asked as he climbed over to his own seat while struggling to pull his pants up.

“Me? I didn’t do anything. You’re the one who scaled the gearshift and and..” Liz said waving her arms. His eyes fastened on her chest.

“Oh god Liz please. Have some pity on me here.” Max said yanking his gaze away from her as his body stirred. “Please get dressed.”

“Well you know I would expect someone tossed most of my cloths onto the road.” Liz said as she pulled her shirt over her head.

“Ok hang on.” Max said as he started the Jeep. He grinned. “You know your mind is a scary thing Liz.”

“What? Hey it was YOUR dream. YOU projected that dream to me. I just kinda told you about it.” Liz said and grinned as she put the seat back into its normal position.

“Uh huh. Used it to break me you mean.” Max said in reply as he stopped the Jeep.

“Well yeah.” Liz said her grin growing. “And you loved it.” Max got out and picked up her shoes walked a little farther and grabbed her jeans. Looking around he spotted her panties hanging from a piece of brush and retrieved those too. He walked over to her side of the Jeep and handed the pile to her.

“Yeah I did. That was amazing.” Max said and kissed her sucking on her bottom lip. “I love you scary mind and all.” He said with a happy smile and walked around the Jeep as Liz got dressed. He stopped and picked up his shirt and tugged it on.

“Good. Now I’m ready to go meet Ash.” Liz said snapping her seat belt back in place. “Do I look normal?” Liz asked.

“You look very beautiful.” Max said flashing her his most charming smile and pulling away.

“No I mean do I look like I just had you on me?” Liz asked still feeling like torturing him just a little bit. It was so fun.

“Liz.” Max groaned. “No you look a little hot maybe. Grab a drink from the cooler and hand me one will you?”

“Sure.” Liz said and unbuckled her belt and turned to the backseat. Not able to reach it she got up on her knees and turned completely around leaning over. Max glanced at her and grinned as he saw the dirt on her pants he waved his hand and got rid of it. He better check her over when they got out he thought.

They finally arrived at the pod chamber and parked next to Ash’s SUV. Liz hopped out and waited for Max to walk around the Jeep. He came to a stop in front of her.

“Okay just let me look you over real quick.” Max said and made a spinning motion. Liz turned around slowly and Max nodded satisfied. “Okay let’s go.” He said and grabbed her hand. They reached the door and Max opened and stepped inside pulling Liz with him.

“It’s about time!” Isabel said and got up.

“Sorry it’s my fault I wasn’t ready on time.” Liz said looking around. Something felt different.

Ash watched them both carefully. Liz seemed to sense something she kept looking around finally walking away from Max to wander around the chamber. Max didn’t seem affected. He stood and waited looking to Ash and waiting for him to begin.

“I brought you here to show you the Granilith. I know where it is because I can feel it. It’s like a hum or vibration inside me. You need to know where it is with the Summit coming as Courtney said. Tess will no longer be able to access this chamber I made sure of that.” Ash said carefully watching they’re faces.

“Why didn’t you include Michael?” Max asked.

“I’m not sure really. I don’t completely trust him. He seems…uncontrolled. It’s just a feeling I get. The Granilith is powerful and needs to be protected. Its location needs to be known to as few people as possible. It was sent with you and Isabel. You are both tied to it, as is Liz now. I thought it was important for you to see it and know where it is.” Ash said slowly.

“Okay. Where is it?” Isabel asked looking around.

“Behind the pods in a separate chamber.” Ash said and pointed next where Liz was already standing. Isabel walked up and bent down. Max moved up beside her. Isabel pushed through and straightened on the other side. Max scrambled in after her. Ash watched Liz as she stood for a moment seemingly lost in thought. After a glance at Ash she followed Max.

Inside they all stared at the Granilith in amazement. Liz studied it closely. She walked around the edge of the room looking at the large cone shaped device. Colors swirled inside in a seemingly random pattern and a low humming sound could be heard. She didn’t see any seams or anything. It sat on a base that was lit from within its shape similar to a pyramid. Just the tips of the two objects touched. She moved a little closer wanting to know if it was warm or cool to the touch.

Max stared at the thing that held so much power over so many people. It looked sort of plain actually. Almost black in color it seemed dull not shiny like a metal or glass would be. The sheer size of was impressive and he wondered how it stayed on its base like it did.

Isabel glanced at Max then moved forward drawn by something that called to her. It teased her senses and stayed just out of her reach. She watched the colors move beneath the suface..more like hints of color. She saw Liz walk closer and she moved slightly closer as well.

Liz reached out drawn by the sense of motion and energy she could feel. As her fingers touched the surface she felt a warm rush of concentrated power wash over her. She thought she could feel it talking to her but she couldn’t understand what it was saying.

Isabel watched Liz’s face as her fingers slide over the surface of the Granilith. She seemed entranced by it. Curious Isabel reached out to touch it as well. Her senses flared to life as her fingers came into contact with its smooth surface. Pictures flashed across her mind so fast they didn’t register. She felt a sense of peace and recognition flow over her like a puzzle piece long missing had slipped into place.

Max snapped to attention when he realized both Liz and Isabel were touching the Granilith. He moved closer glancing at Ash as he did. Ash remained against the wall just observing. Max moved to Liz’s side and placed his hand next to hers. Suddenly color exploded inside the Granilith and a low murmur of voices came to his ears. He strained to hear what was being said but there were so many of them all talking over each other. The thing that was absolutely clear was Liz. It was more intense then any flash he had ever received from her. It wasn’t just her feelings about one moment or one thing it was everything all at once. It wasn’t overwhelming it was comforting. It was like being able to crawl inside her and sit there listening to her and feeling her surround him. He could stay here forever.

Liz shuddered lightly as she felt Max join her. The voice she had been listening to suddenly became his voice. She listened as it whispered to her telling her pieces about what was to come. She knew it wasn’t really Max talking to her it didn’t FEEL like he did but the sound of his voice soothed her as it swam in and out of her range of hearing. Suddenly she was so tired she didn’t want to stop listening it was so important but the longer she listened the less she understood. Finally she pulled away and sank to the floor.

Isabel opened her eyes and stepped away trying to grasp onto the figments of the things she had seen. She shook her head as they floated out of reach. Her mind cleared and she saw Liz slumped on the floor. Alarmed she made her way across the room to her.

Max broke contact and moved in behind Liz sinking down onto the floor. He pulled her back into his body feeling her exhaustion beating at him like a living thing.

“Liz are you okay?” Max asked as Isabel sat on the floor at their side and Ash moved closer to stay in range of their voices.

“I’m fine just tired. It spoke to me Max. It told me about the Harvest. It said..we need to act soon very soon or it will be too late. The new skins are growing.” Liz said trailing off. “It said the Summit will be in New York City. Someone will come for you.” Liz tried to remember everything it said and her brow furrowed in concentration. “Something’s wrong with Michael. Physically wrong he’s been getting headaches and they’re getting worse. Tess did something to him. Not a mindwarp more like…enhanced the things in him that she could use and it..unbalanced his alien and human sides. The parts of him she increased caused others to weaken and now it’s functioning like an illness his body is turning on itself.” Liz stopped her breathing increasing. She could feel something she was missing something more important then the rest of it she reached for it desperately pouring all her energy into finding it and found only blackness and fear.

Max sat holding her fear pressing in on him. He looked to Ash and saw his astonished expression. “Liz stop. Look at me Liz please.” Max said he was afraid she was going to pass out. She didn’t respond. “Isabel can you help me? Try to get her to focus on you.” Max said he could feel her skin growing colder and he was really afraid.

Isabel could hear the edge of panic in Max’s voice and moved to help immediately. She moved in front of Liz and took her hands in both of hers. She focused on Liz and looked into her eyes and was pulled into a blackness that had weight. She struggled to adjust and proceeded as if this were a Dreamwalk. She moved forward and pressed through the blackness with determined strides. She heard a shuffling sound and moved in that direction.

“Liz?” Isabel called.

“Isabel?” Liz said softly.

“Yes. You need to come back with me now.” Isabel said in a soothing tone.

“I need to stay here and wait. I need to remember it’s important.” Liz said in return.

“Your tired Liz you will remember after you rest. Come back with me now Max needs you.” Isabel said.

“But..someone wants to take something. Something from me or maybe from Max..I can’t remember! I think they want to hurt him. I need to know and keep him safe.” Liz said feeling muddled.

“It’s okay. You will.” Isabel said and reached out and touched her still not able to see her. But she held on and pulled breaking the connection. She came back to awareness and found Ash huddled over her anxiously. Liz opened her eyes and yawned.

“God Liz! Are you okay?” Max asked pulling her around so he could see her face.

“I’m so tired. I just need to rest a minute.” Liz said and closed her eyes. Max picked her up and moved into the outer chamber where it seemed to be warmer. Ash followed on his heels with Isabel close behind.

“Isabel can you go down to the Jeep and bring me the blanket from the back?” Max asked still holding Liz firmly.

“I’ll be right back.” Isabel said and left. Max turned to Ash pissed off.

“What the hell just happened? Why didn’t you warn us?” Max asked his tone low and thick with anger.

“I did not know that would happen. I swear the Granilith would never harm her. You each saw what your gifts allow you to see. She learned of the future that is all. That must be her gift. It can be tiring to expend so much energy at first. She will be alright I swear it.” Ash said trying to reassure him but also alarmed and trying to hide that from him.

Max nodded briefly he wouldn’t be happy until he was sure she was fine. “Get Michael here. I want him here and the healing stones. I need to see what’s wrong with him.” Max said his tone abrupt. Ash nodded and moved outside to make some calls. Isabel walked in carrying the cooler, blanket and the pillow. She set the cooler down and spread the blanket out and set the pillow on top of it. She waved her hand over both removing the dirt. Max set Liz down gently and sat next her waiting for her to wake up.

posted on 5-Sep-2002 5:09:45 PM by Lelea
Ok I just wanted to pop back in and talk about Uzizen for a second. When you picture him think Christopher Walken in The Prophecy. When I was trying to think of what I wanted to do with the Skins I was watching that movie and thought hmmm he looks scary...gross..wonderful! Plus he made me laugh so that's where Uzizen came from...plus all the names (except Ash) came from The Prophecy as well.....angel names. Some of the phrases Uzizen will use like "talking monkeys" and such come from there. So again I don't own The Prophecy or Christopher Walken (although I think he rocks).

Now for all you dupe fans.....Sorry no dupes here. I don't like them. Another example to me of not using a plot line to it's advantage. I thought about reworking them and in the end said no.

About what was done to Michael. Wouldn't it be easier to use someones flaws against them instead of creating something and planting it in their mind? The flaw is already there and if you could just...increase it...that might be easier. Michael is bundle of agression and anger already....hmmm. Max could be handled the same way. Say take his protective instincts for .....Isabel and use that to get him away from Liz. You're using something already present....conserving energy. Tess is a conservationist.

So hope this helps a little *happy* and again thanks for reading!
posted on 6-Sep-2002 9:01:09 PM by Lelea
Chapter Forty One
**May I say I'm sorry in advance. I don't like how some of this came out but I've played with until I just can't anymore so I give up**

fail_safe

Isabel silently watched Max pace and wondered if he was going to start blasting things or wear a hole in the floor. She had never in this life seen him like this. As she watched he went and crouched down next to Liz for the tenth time and scanned her for injuries. Even though he hadn’t found any the previous nine times. Ash had made the mistake of trying to reassure Max that she was unharmed after the second scan but Max had flashed him a look so cold he stopped in mid sentence. Isabel had remained in the background quiet just watching. She knew he wouldn’t calm down until Liz woke up and told him herself that she was fine. It wasn’t helping matters that Michael hadn’t arrived yet either.

Max used his powers to scan Liz again. He needed to be sure she wasn’t hurt somehow and he had missed it. He had found to his surprise that she didn’t need to be awake anymore for him to be able to connect with her. All he could feel from her was exhaustion no other problems at all.

He sat next to her and brushed her hair off her face and trailed a finger down her cheek. She looked so small and fragile but she wasn’t really. In a lot of ways he thought she was stronger than he was. She never seemed to reach her limit she always found some hidden corner of will and strength when she needed it. When he had been a stumbling tortured wreck after his escape from the white room it was Liz who took charge of him and ran dragging him with her when he could barely walk. She had picked him up every time he had fallen and forced him to keep going. It was Liz who comforted him and calmed him lulling him into sleep in that bus.

He was terrified of failing her. Of loosing her or missing some danger to her that caused her harm. It was Liz herself that usually calmed those fears. She made a point to take time every day to show him how she felt about him no matter how busy they both were. She opened her soul to him so easily showing him his own strength. He looked at her now and felt a niggling persistent fear for her safety grow in him and KNEW it wasn’t unfounded. That knowledge pulsed inside him in time with his own heartbeat. He took a deep breath and moved to the door hearing an approaching vehicle. He watched as Uziel and Michael made their way up the path.

“What’s this all about Max?” Michael asked rubbing his forehead already irritated.

“Did you bring the healing stones with you?” Max asked his tone impatient. That alone caused Michael to pause. He couldn’t remember Max ever sounding like that before.

“Yeah they’re in my pockets. What’s going on?” Michael asked as they moved into the chamber. Uziel stayed outside keeping watch with Ash. Michael spotted Liz right away and grew alarmed. “What happened? Is Liz..? Is she okay?” Michael asked.

“Yeah she’s going to be fine. We were working on our powers and Liz found hers and overtaxed herself. She’s just resting. Michael I need to check you over. I think that maybe Tess did something to you. Liz saw something. She said you’re getting headaches. Is that true?” Max asked trying to slow down and take this slowly.

“It’s just stress Maxwell. Nothing to worry about. Tess didn’t do anything.” Michael said dismissing Max’s concerns out of hand. Please like that barely five foot blonde GIRL could have done something to him and him not know. Yeah right.

“Still I’d like to check. Just to be sure. It’ll make Liz and Isabel feel better.” Max said. Isabel moved from her place along the wall coming to a stop next to Michael and putting a hand on his arm.

“Michael please? I would really feel better.” Isabel said softly and was surprised when his eyes flashed in anger.

“You don’t believe me! You don’t trust me that’s the problem here. Well I’m tired of it! You’re always waiting for me to screw up so you can fix it. Well not this time! Fuck both of you! You’re always ganging up on me. Well I’m not going to let you make me feel inferior any more.” Michael ranted feeling a bomb explode behind his eyes and he staggered in pain and blind rage.

Max looked from Michael to Liz lying there so vulnerable and without another word took action. He couldn’t allow the possibility of Liz being hurt or Michael causing himself anymore damage. He raised his hand and flung Michael to the ground knocking the breath from him. “Isabel get the stones from his pockets.” Max said calmly holding Michael in place. Isabel moved to obey instantly. Max spotted movement at the door. “Stay outside and close the door.” Max commanded and Uziel complied leaving Max and Isabel alone with Michael. While Liz lay on the other side of the chamber she hadn’t even stirred.

“Max don’t we need the help?” Isabel asked over Michael’s shouts. She stood holding the healing stones in her hands.

“No I can’t watch everyone. I need to concentrate and I can’t if I leave Liz vulnerable to them.” Max said shortly.

“Max I thought you trusted them?” Isabel asked confused.

“Isabel I did…I do…but after today with the Granilith I can’t take any chances with Liz. Just trust me okay?” Max asked not taking his eyes off of Michael who struggled against his hold unable to access his own powers.

“Okay. What do you need me to do?” Isabel asked.

“I need you to hold him in place. Can you do that?” Max asked glancing at her while letting his power flow out of him in a smooth stream pinning Michael in place despite his frantic struggles. Isabel nodded and set the stones down in a pile at Max’s feet.

She closed her eyes and raised her arm. She felt her energy pool faster stronger than before. She released it in a controlled stream imagining a blanket holding Michael firmly keeping him safe.

Max eased off as he felt Isabel’s energy combine with his own. The transition was smooth almost effortless as if they had worked together many times. He bent and grabbed the stones and placed them around Michael in a circle. He wasn’t sure he would need them but he figured it couldn’t hurt. He moved to Michael’s side and took a deep calming breath before lifting his hand and slowly moving it over his body scanning for the source of the problem. He found it easily and was horrified at the extent of the damage he sensed.

Weakened blood vessels and swelling brain tissue. While other sections of his brain were riddled with pockets of dying tissue. Max pushed deeper trying to “see” what the cause was and was able to sense that his cells were unstable like the very fabric of his cells were weakening and it seemed to be spreading slowly. Max quickly moved to correct the most extensive damage sensing it was intentional. Tess had started the process months ago and let it fester slowly controlling its growth. Using the paranoia and aggression it generated to her advantage. She took Michael’s natural battle tendencies and feed them while weakening his control and reasoning abilities.

This was more extensive damage then he had ever dealt with before and he started to feel the strain as he slowly poured his energy into Michael’s weakened tissue restoring it carefully not wanting to miss anything.

Isabel opened her eyes when Michael stopped fighting her and halted the flow of her power. She saw Max hunched over Michael the strain visible on his face sweat was beading on his brow. As she watched trying to figure out how she could help she notice a glow coming from under Max’s shirt from his left shoulder blade. Isabel then heard a rustling sound and saw Liz stirring. As she rolled over Isabel saw a similar glow on her shoulder. Her seal Isabel thought understanding.

Liz pulled herself to awareness knowing Max needed her. She could feel the seal pulsing with heat. Fighting the exhaustion threatening to pull her back into sleep she rolled over and crawled over to where Max was busy healing Michael. She knew the less distance that was between them the less energy it would take to help. She moved behind Max and wrapped her arms around his waist laying her cheek over the seal. She sank into the connection easily.

Isabel watched as Liz’s seal flared with light then settled into a steady glow. She moved closer wondering of she could lend Max energy as well. She knelt down next to Max and placed her hand over his where it rested on Michael’s chest.

She was jerked into a connection and could feel Michael’s rolling emotions and set about soothing them. She couldn’t heal like Max did, not to the degree he did, but she could feel how Tess had twisted Michael’s fears. What ever she had done to him physically had increased Michael’s paranoid fears, which Tess had then worked on fine-tuning. Isabel’s strongest powers dealt with the mind and the subconscious. She could feel that Tess had verbally feed his fears while pushing a connection with him causing him to open to her trust her words and believe her. She used a form of conditioning after that to re enforce her hold cutting normal blood flow interfering with basic human body function in a way that wasn’t natural and caused his body to react. As Max worked on the physical Isabel concentrated on undoing Tess’s physiological damage. She tried to show Michael the truth about how everyone saw him not the twisted version Tess had lead him to believe.

Max finished his work but held the connection open sensing Isabel was not finished. He could feel Liz anchoring him firmly holding him to his body holding him with her presence lessening his strain.

Michael could feel himself returning to some level of awareness. He could feel Isabel sending him flashes of various scenes from their past showing him the love she had for him and the strength she saw in him. How she depended on him to balance Max. He felt Max’s solid steady presence as well mixed with soothing warmth that was new. He felt Max’s pride in him for overcoming the obstacles he had faced and the feelings of family he had for him.

Michael could feel something else. Something different from either Isabel or Max. He reached for it instinctively trying to figure out what he was sensing. He felt the rush of warmth and trust and just knew who it was. He knew because he could feel her ties to Max how they seemed to blend together then separate before coming together again.

Slowly Max broke the connection and he and Isabel sat back waiting. Michael opened his eyes and for the first time in a long time was pain free and clear headed. He sat up slowly and turned to look at his audience.

“Thanks Maxwell. You do good work. My headache is totally gone. You’re better then Excedrin.” Michael said not knowing what to say. He knew he owed him an apology for the way he had acted but the words stuck in his throat. “Listen I’m sorry about what I said before.”

“Sure Michael just forget it.” Max said with a smile and moved to hold Liz considering the matter closed.

Isabel reached over and hugged Michael lightly feeling relief that he would be okay. “I’m glad you’re okay Michael. We need you here to stir things up.” Isabel said softly trying to hold back her tears. Michael hugged her quickly in return.

“Why don’t you take him and show him the Granilith Isabel?” Max said wanting to be alone with Liz for a moment. Also no matter what Ash said he trusted Michael. He knew Michael could be counted on and didn’t want there to be secrets between him and his second in command. He knew Michael from years of being bonded by friendship and trust. Isabel nodded and her and Michael disappeared into the other chamber.

Max carried Liz over to the blanket and lay down with her pulling her so she was resting against his side. “Are you sure you’re okay? Maybe I should check just to be sure.”

“Max you already have. Several times relax I’m fine. I won’t break Max I promise.” Liz said smiling at his over protectiveness.

“I know you won’t. I just worry about you. Liz promise me something?” Max asked as he played with her fingers.

“What?” Liz asked.

“Promise me you’ll look after yourself. Before you say you do just listen. Liz you’re going to wear yourself out. You’re training everyday for at least two hours, you’re jogging with Kyle every day, you’re working four or five days a week, and with school you’re not getting enough sleep. You’ve lost weight. I worry about you.” Max said and waited for her answer.

“Okay. I’ll cut back on work and only work three days. I’ll tell Ash I need a day off every week from training. How’s that?” Liz asked and waited.

“Better but you need to eat more.” Max grumbled wishing she would just quit that job.

“Are you saying you’re not attracted to me now? I’m scrawny?” Liz said teasing him.

“I’m saying that your pants are going to fall right off you soon. I’m saying that you’re doing to much and not taking care of yourself.” Max said in return not allowing her to tease her way out of it.

“Okay I promise. Now take a nap with me.” Liz said giving in. Satisfied Max kissed the top of her head and pulled her closer allowing his own eyes to close.


Isabel and Michael finally left the Granilith after Isabel had filled Michael in on most of what had happened. They found Max and Liz asleep on the blanket oblivious to the rest of the world. They left the pod chamber and found Ash and Uziel waiting outside.

“Everything is fine?” Ash asked quietly. He knew Max was upset with him about what happened earlier.

“Yeah. Michael’s fine and Max and Liz are sleeping. I think we should all just let them rest and head back into town.” Isabel said.

“You go ahead I will stay here and watch over them.” Ash said feeling he had fallen short in his duties. After a short discussion the rest of them left leaving Ash alone with his thoughts.



Later Max woke to find Liz already up and munching on an apple from the cooler. She smiled as she watched him wake up.

“Looks like I wasn’t the only tired one.” Liz said.

“I guess. How long have you been up?” Max asked rubbing his eyes.

“Not long. It’s six o’clock and I was hungry so I started without you. I already ate a sandwich before you ask and this is desert.” Liz said waving the apple. Max moved closer and grabbed a sandwich for himself and a water and sat there thinking while he ate.

“How do you think the Granilith knew about Michael?” Max asked wondering if Liz had any idea.

“I think maybe from Isabel. They’ve been working together a lot. I’m not really sure. It was sort of like listening to a radio that was fading in and out. I could feel things sometimes too but it wasn’t really clear.” Liz said giving it some thought.

“What did you feel?” Max asked.

“I felt a sense of urgency about Michael like we needed to do something right now. The voice was pretty detailed when it came to him. The Harvest is important but I felt like we needed to firm up the plan and put it into action more than take action right this second. The Summit..I don’t know. It wasn’t clear. I felt fear and purpose but I’m not sure what that means. The rest is a jumble. Something big is coming Max. I don’t know what but it’s there.” Liz said looking over at him.

“Yeah I felt that too. Be careful okay Liz? I mean extra careful. Training is good and everything but it won’t help if you’re too worn out to use it.” Max said looking back at her.

“I already promised. I’ll cut back a little.” Liz said playing with her apple.

“Liz I know you. You’re pushing yourself. You don’t have to do this alone that’s all I’m saying. Now come here.” Max coaxed with a half smile. Liz glanced up at him and smiled.

“I think I know that look.” Liz said moving closer. Max reached out and pulled her closer nuzzling her ear. She relaxed into his embrace content.

“I think you’re right. Come and lay down with me.” Max said kissing her. She nodded and they moved back to the blanket. Max leaned over her kissing her not feeling the need to hurry. He wanted to be close to her and take this slowly. He needed to feel her.

Liz kissed him back every movement purposeful and slow enough to savor every touch. There was no need to rush because nothing existed outside of this chamber. His hands slid over her and she wanted to feel his skin against hers. She pulled back and tugged at his shirt. Max removed it and kissed her again as her fingers moved over his warm flesh learning every muscle and every inch of him. Time pasted with no notice as they slowly explored each other learning what pleased them most. Gradually they removed pieces of clothing and moved on to new territory. Max became fascinated with her back. The supple curves the flair of her hips the way her hair fell over her shoulders. He moved his hands over her bottom and down her thighs amazed that her skin was so soft and smooth. He trailed his mouth over her lightly tasting her breathing her in.

Liz rolled over and pushed at his shoulders deciding he had played enough and it was her turn. She followed him over watching his eyes darken as her hair fell over him sliding over his skin. She kissed him tasting him slowly taking her time with his mouth. There was no hurry no frantic rush she wanted to feel everything. Eventually she moved down his chest trailing her nails over him lightly listening to the pleased humming noise he made. She brushed her fingers through his hair moving the damp strands off of his forehead before moving on. She loved his stomach she trailed her fingers over it stroking him wondering at the details. His skin was so soft in some places and so textured in others the contrast was beautiful. She ran the tip of her finger over his erection and listened as his breath caught and his flesh responded to her caress. She trailed her finger lower amazed at the soft fullness underneath. She could study him learn him for hours and never grow bored.

Max sucked air in through his teeth as she explored him. It was torture but wonderful. He wanted it to stop and go on forever. Just the expressions that crossed her face as she touched him were amazing. He watched as her eyes followed her fingers path and the way she caught her lip between her teeth. The slow smile that spread across her lips as she watched him react to her. She bent down and trailed her soft lips over him and he was sure he was going to die.

“Liz! Please I can’t.” Max moaned. She stopped and looked up at him her eyes dark and shining.

“Yes you can Max. You will lay there and let me do whatever I want for as long as I want to.” Liz said totally serious. His eyes widened at her words.

“Liz please. You’re killing me here.” Max said barely able to get the words out.

“No I’m not. I’ll play fair.” Liz said and bent back down to him watching as her nails scraped lightly down his thigh. She kissed his hip and ran her lips over his abdomen letting her hair slide over his lap. She felt him tense under her. “Relax. I’m going to be here awhile Max.” She whispered still in no hurry.

Max wondered where his control was when he really needed it. He stomach was jumping under her lips and Liz seemed content to slowly torture him to death.

Liz bent her head and licked the head of his penis watching Max carefully as she did. She didn’t think he was going to make it. He was tense and his face was flushed he was starting to sweat and she hadn’t even started yet. She debated her options and decided to take pity on him. She pulled back and looked at him.

“What do you want me to do Max? Tell me and I’ll do it.” Liz said watching his eyes burn as they looked at her.

“Liz please let me make love to you. Please?” Max asked.

“You will later but right now I need an answer. You need to tell me what you need.” Liz said and waited. Max could barely think let alone speak but he knew she would wait until he said something.

“I need to be inside you.” Max said and started to move but she put a hand on his chest holding him in place.

“Where do you want to be Max? Between my legs? In my mouth? What do you want Max?” Liz asked watching him.

“Take me between your legs and let me in.” Max said gasping for breath. Liz immediately moved over him and positioned him sinking down onto him in one smooth stroke while opening her inner most self to him. Max felt her everywhere and groaned in pleasure.

Liz picked up a slow rhythm sliding over him gracefully. She soon moved faster bringing him deeper. He resided inside her and she could feel what he needed and moved to comply automatically. She wrapped him in love and strength trying to burn away the worry and fear she could feel inside him.

Max touched her running his hands over her body forgetting everything but her. He pulled her down to his mouth kissing her deeply feeling her own excitement soar. He grabbed her hips and helped her move pushing deeper feeling her tighten and loose her rhythm as she shuddered over him. He held her mouth to his as spilled himself inside her. Some time later she stirred on his chest.

“We better get back soon.” Liz said lazily.

“Okay.” Max said not moving. They lay there for awhile longer.

“Will you come over and sleep with me tonight?” Liz asked quietly.

“Yeah of course I will.” Max said relieved. He stroked her back idly. “You hungry again yet?” Max asked.

“Not really. You?” Liz asked.

“Yeah I am. What did you eat today?” Max asked.

“Um the sandwich, apple, toast.” Liz answered absently as she felt his hand stroke lower.

“That’s not enough Liz. It’s almost nine. You didn’t eat all of the apple or the sandwich. Come on we’re going to eat.” Max said firmly rolling over so she was on her back and got up. They both dressed and Max packed everything up. He decided to leave the healing stones there. No one was likely to find them here. Max opened the door and found Ash sitting there waiting he sighed and handed him the cooler.

“Come on Ash. We’re going to eat. How do you feel about Mexican?” Max asked and heard Liz chuckle behind him.

posted on 8-Sep-2002 4:50:39 AM by Lelea
Chapter Forty Two

fail_safe

They had settled on Senor Chows. Liz ordered the Sweet and Sour Tortillas Max and Ash had the Kung Pau Burritos. Ash was relieved to see Liz looking fully recovered from her earlier exhaustion.

“You are feeling better Liz?” Ash asked.

“Yeah I’m fine Max just worries.” Liz said and when Max rested his hand on her thigh she glanced over and sighed. “Ash I need to cut back a day on the training I think. It’s just with school and work and everything it’s kind of wearing me out a little.” Liz said sticking to the promise she had made to Max. Ash nodded.

“That is fine. You’re health is important. From now on we will not work on Sundays then you can have a whole day off from work, training, and school. Will that be alright?” Ash asked.

“Yeah that’s good. Thanks Ash.” Liz said and took a sip of her iced tea.

“About this afternoon. I did know that it was possible the Granilith would bring out your gifts but I did not know it would have the effect it did. It would never harm you that I do know. I apologize for not saying something in advance.” Ash said sincerely. He knew his actions had shaken Max’s faith in him. He also felt guilty because he was holding back information. He wasn’t doing it to be malicious he just thought it better to wait and deal with one thing at a time. There was no sense in worrying about things that couldn’t be changed.

“I know you wouldn’t let anything harm me Ash. I’m fine really so let’s just forget it okay?” Liz said softly. Max stayed silent and Ash nodded. Liz turned to Max and raised her eyebrow at him knowing he had no intention of forgetting it. She could practically hear his thoughts. “Max?”

“It’s just that my idea of harm and Ash’s or the Granilith’s may be different.” Max said slowly. “Plus although I understand not telling us everything all at once this was different. I’m not angry about just learning where the Granilith is but I am upset about not being told about what could happen until after it happened. I also think you KNEW that something would happen, you may not have known exactly what but you were waiting for it to happen.” Max said looking right at Ash and daring him to deny it.

“Yes I knew something would happen. I didn’t know what it would be. I am sorry I didn’t say anything before hand. If I had known the effect it would have on Liz I would have spoken up sooner. I truly would not want any level of harm to come to Liz or the rest of you.” Ash said meaning every word he spoke but also squirming inside. He carefully avoided saying he wouldn’t do it again walking a very thin line between being truthful and being deceptive.

Max watched him carefully but Ash’s face remained blank reminding him momentarily of Nesado. He felt Liz lay her hand on his thigh again silently coaxing him to accept the implied apology. Max nodded slowly looked around for anyone nearby and finally spoke. “Alright but Ash keep in mind Liz is human. Things may effect her differently. I know you can’t always anticipate what her reaction will be. I don’t expect that. Just keep it in mind in the future.” Max said and waited for Ash to nod in understanding.

They didn’t have the chance to discuss things further because at that point their food was delivered. Max covertly watched Liz to make sure she ate. Ash was lost in thought and ate absently. Liz could feel Max watching her and made sure to eat as much as she could. She wanted to do what she could to ease Max’s worries, she didn’t want to add to them. When everyone had basically finished their meal Max picked up the conversation.

“Ash tomorrow can we get together at your place and discuss the plan for the Harvest and whatever else might come up? It’s been awhile since we’ve had a group meeting.” Max said.

“Of course. We need to discuss today and see where we are.” Ash said and paused. “I have something for you Liz. A new phone. You need to keep it with you at all times. In case something happens I will be able to find you. Everyone will get one tomorrow but I want you to have yours now.” Ash said pulling out a cell phone and handing it to her.

“Thank you Ash. I’ll make sure I always have it.” Liz said touched by his thoughtfulness.

“Okay I’ll call everyone and see when we can meet and let you know. I’m going to stay with Liz tonight so if you need to take a break that’s fine I’ll be there.” Max said as he looked around the room. He tensed noticing Tyler across the room with Pam’s friend Heather, watching them. He really didn’t like that guy.

“Okay just let me know when to expect you.” Ash said and noticed Max’s scowl. Glancing around the room he spotted the reason. He motioned to the waitress trying to hurry the bill along.

Liz moved closer to Max interlacing their fingers drawing his attention away from the other table. He looked down at her and smiled when he saw her watching him. The waitress delivered the bill, which Ash took care of, and they left the restaurant quickly. They said their good-byes and Max and Liz made their way toward the CrashDown.

They strolled down the street holding hands not talking. When they reached the rear entrance to her apartment they stopped and turned to each other silently. Liz went up on her toes to kiss him slowly. He wrapped his arms around her pulling her closer to support her weight. They pulled apart slowly and Liz licked her bottom lip savoring the taste of him.

“You better go home for awhile. Just come back when you can I’ll leave the window open.” Liz said softly.

“Okay. I’ll be back soon.” Max said and kissed her again then watched her until she was safely inside.



Liz walked into the apartment to find her Mom and Dad on the couch watching a movie. She shut the door and locked it then went to greet her parents.

“Hi what are you guys watching?” Liz asked softly.

“Hi honey. Just watching The English Patient. Want to join us?” Jeff asked.

“Um no that movie makes me cry so I’ll pass.” Liz said with a smile.

“What did you do all day?” Nancy asked curious.

“I went out with Kyle this morning running then Max picked me up and we went to meet Isabel and Michael by the quarry. Max took me to dinner at Senor Chows and that’s about it.” Liz said with a smile.

“Sounds like a nice relaxing day.” Nancy said keeping her voice light. She glanced over and saw Liz holding a new cell phone. “Where did you get that?”

“Oh I lost my other one so Max got me this one.” Liz said holding up the phone for her Mom to see.

“It’s nice. That was very sweet of him.” Nancy said with a smile.

“Yeah. Well I’m going to take a bath see you guys in the morning.” Liz said and kissed both parents on the cheek.

“Okay goodnight honey.” Jeff called and turned to his wife. “What do you think of Max anyway?” Jeff asked curious.

“He seems nice. I think Liz has made up her mind.” Nancy said carefully.

“What do you mean made up her mind?” Jeff asked puzzled.

“Jeff you know how Liz is as well as I do. Once she’s sure about something that’s it. She loves him I think.” Nancy said trying to prepare him.

“I don’t think…but..really?” Jeff asked thinking Liz was too young. Still a baby really. How had this happened and him not notice?

“Yes really. It’s okay she’s just growing up that’s all. It’ll be fine. He really does seem like a nice boy so let’s just get to know him and give him a chance okay?” Nancy said gently.

“Okay. It’s just she’s so young to be getting so serious.” Jeff said worried. Nancy sighed thinking he had no idea just how serious.

“Liz has her own mind you know that and she has always followed her own plan. She talked early walked early and this seems to be following the same pattern. She’ll be fine. We raised a very smart wonderful person. So try not worry about this too much okay?” Nancy said trying to ease her husband’s mind although she herself was worried.

“You’re right Liz will be okay. She always was special.” Jeff said giving his wife a smile and wrapping his arm around her.



Liz walked in her room and shut the door locking it quickly. She turned on the light and set her new phone on the nightstand. She picked up the cordless phone to call Kyle first to let him know about their suddenly cancelled training session. She knew he was probably still out but figured she could leave a message. She listened to the phone ring and waited for the machine to pick up.

“Hello” Kyle answered out of breath.

“Kyle! I didn’t think you would be there!” Liz said in surprise.

“Then why’d you call?” Kyle asked amused.

“I wanted to tell you that training is cancelled tomorrow and sometime tomorrow we’re having a meeting at Ash’s. Uh Kyle? Yeah I really don’t want to hear that.” Liz said smiling as a very feminine sounding moan came over the line.

“Oh Max not there huh?” Kyle asked smirking and moving out of range of his frisky date.

“Shut up Kyle.” Liz said with a grin. Kyle was becoming one of her best friends. She could talk to him as easily as Maria. “I’ll let you get back to…um whatever.”

“So you gonna call me and let me know what time?” Kyle asked in no hurry to get off the phone.

“Yeah or you can call me. I got a new phone. Want the number?” Liz asked picking up her phone.

“Yeah give me your new number. Wait let me get a pen.” Kyle said ignoring his date who was protesting his taking another girl’s number while out with her. “Ok shoot.” Liz gave him her number wincing at the increasingly loud female voice on the other end of the line. Kyle turned to the girl and took the phone away from his ear. “Quiet! I can’t hear! As soon as I finish up here I’m taking you home.”

“Kyle? I’m sorry for ruining your date.” Liz said feeling bad.

“No sweat I’d rather talk to you anyway. Let’s you know how this date is going.” Kyle grumbled into the phone. “I’m better off with my hand then dealing with this.”

“KYLE! Don’t be rude. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.” Liz said shaking her head.

“Sure leave me now. Desert me in my time of need.” Kyle said grinning.

“I don’t think I can help you with this Kyle. Be tough. I’ll have Max heal any bruises tomorrow. Bye.” Liz said and with a grin hung up over the sound of Kyle’s protests.

Next she called Maria’s cell phone wanting to see if she was with Michael. She listened to it ring still shaking her head over Kyle.

“Hello” Maria answered.

“Ria where are you?” Liz asked.

“Home why?” Maria answered.

“Why don’t you go find Michael? I think he might need someone to talk to.” Liz said.

“What happened? Is he okay?” Maria asked her mind racing.

“Yeah he’s fine now. He was sick. Tess screwed with him but Max and Isabel took care of it. Just go and sit with him. See if he wants to talk or anything.” Liz said soothing her.

“Yeah okay thanks Liz for calling me. I know he wouldn’t have.” Maria said knowing Liz would tell her if Michael weren’t really okay.

“Sure. Also there’s going to be a meeting tomorrow at Ash’s tell Michael and let Max know what time is good okay? Oh and I got a new phone do you want the number?” Liz asked.

“Shoot babe.” Maria said and took down her number swiftly. “Okay got it. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.” Liz hung up and got up unlocking her window and raising it a little. She decided to call Alex in the morning.

Feeling the gritty she went into the bathroom and started running a bath. She looked through her bath products and chose her new Euro Spice bath salts. She walked into her room while the tub filled and turned on her CD player and put in Surfacing by Sarah McLachlan. She moved back into the bathroom lighting her candles and removing her dirty cloths and placing them in her hamper. She shut the door half way and turned out the lights leaving candlelight alone to light the room. Shutting off the water she got into the tub and with a sigh sank under the water wetting her hair. She sat up and moved to lean against the back of the tub and closed her eyes allowing her mind to drift.

She smiled as her mind drifted to Max. He was so beautiful and made her feel so cared for and loved. She wanted to make sure he felt the same feeling of completeness that she felt. She had never wanted to give so much of herself to anyone before. She would do anything for him. Slowly her breathing deepened as she relaxed.

She drifted somewhere between waking and sleep. Her mind floated in the hazy realms that lie between the them. Images came to her of blood and fear. She was alone and hunted running from him desperately. A noise snapped her to full alertness.

Max pushed open the door to her bathroom and heard the splash of water against the side of the tub. He caught his breath as he saw Liz looking at him from the tub. She smiled when she saw him instantly feeling safe.

“Well come on in. Talk to me.” Liz said reaching for her bath sponge. Max walked in shutting the door and knelt down by the tub.

“Water warm enough?” Max asked dipping his finger in.

“Starting to cool but still okay.” Liz said sliding down to rewet her hair. Max waved his hand over the water heating it back to the right temperature not taking his eyes off of her. “Thanks you’re very handy to have around.” Liz said and smiled.

“You’re welcome. Maybe I can give you a hand with something else.” Max said reaching into the tub and plucking up her bath sponge.

“Maybe. You are the reason I’m dirty in the first place.” Liz said giving him a cheeky smile.

“Anytime I’m always happy to help.” Max said bopping her on the nose with the sponge.

“What about you? Did you take a shower when you got home?” Liz asked softly.

“No I didn’t have time. I did grab a change of cloths.” Max said.

“Well it’s your lucky day then. Here right in front of you is a nice warm bath just for you. You do have to share though..that’s not a problem right?” Liz asked looking him in the eye.

“No I love sharing.” Max said leaning forward and kissing her lightly and dropping the sponge back into the tub. He pulled back and looked into her eyes.

“Well what are you waiting for?” Liz whispered watching his eyes warm as he smiled. Max stood up and started removing his cloths while she watched him. His eyes never left hers. As he made the first move toward her she spoke. “You might want to make sure you keep track of those boxers.” Liz said with a giggle. He rolled his eyes and turned back folding his cloths carefully and placing them in a neat pile on the edge of the sink.

Liz moved up allowing Max to get in behind her. She picked up the sponge and her wild clove bath gel and scooted up starting at Max’s feet. She washed his legs and turned so she was facing him. Taking her time she washed his hands and up his arms moving on to his shoulders. She looked into his eyes as she carefully washed his chest moving lower over his abdomen. At the water level she stopped and flashing him a look from under her lashes she crawled up and washed his neck and behind his ears. Leaning closer she brushed her lips over his chin and along his jaw before pulling back and looking into his eyes. Max slid his hand around her neck and pulled slowly to his mouth. He kissed her so gently she got tears in her eyes. She pulled back slowly and blinked away her tears.

“I need to do your back. Scoot up and I’ll slide in behind you.” Liz said softly.

“Liz you don’t have to..” Max started.

“Max you always take care of me. I just want to make you feel like I do….cared for and loved more than anything else in the world.” Liz said softly. Max scooted up and as Liz moved in behind him he spoke.

“Liz you already do make me feel that way.” Max said his voice low and full of emotion.

“Good then I’m doing something right.” Liz answered as she washed his back. “Okay I’m done now lean your head back.” Max did as she requested and Liz wet his hair by squeezing the sponge over it. She shampooed his hair slowly allowing her nails to scrub his scalp gently as Max sighed in contentment. Liz moved to sit on the edge of the tub.

“Okay Max lean back and wash the soap out.” Liz said and watched him. Max sat up and picked up the sponge from where she had placed it on the edge of the tub next to her.

“Stay right there it’s my turn.” Max said mesmerized by the water glistening on her skin. His body tightened as he looked at her, wanting her as he always did. He rinsed the sponge out and added more bath gel. Reaching around her he started with her back slowly rubbing the sponge over her skin in small circles. She watched him as he washed her. Seeing the attention he paid to the smallest detail and the heat building in his eyes as he looked at her. She loved the way he looked at her.

Max moved from her back to her legs slowly washing every inch and finally reaching her toes. He looked up at her feeling the hunger inside him grow stronger. He held her eyes as he washed her chest and neck taking extra time to be sure he didn’t miss anything. Her eyes were black with arousal but still she didn’t move she let him set the pace. He took her hands in his one at a time washing each finger all the way up her arms. Finally he got to the place he wanted to take special care with. He moved her legs apart slowly holding her eyes with his giving her plenty of time to stop him. All he saw in her eyes was trust and love no fear no nervousness. He washed her inner thighs slowly before moving on to her belly and finally to her silken curls. He moved lower gently washing her then dropped the sponge into the water. He was panting lightly as he slide his fingers over her folds enraptured with her response. Her hands fisted on the edge of the tub and eyes grew heavy lidded as she continued to watch him and a soft breathy moan left her slightly parted lips. Unable to stop himself he kissed her pulling her off the edge of the tub and into the water. He moaned into her mouth as her soapy skin slide over his. Hers legs wrapped around him tightly as he followed into the water pushing her body down into the water.

“Liz I can’t wait we have to get out of this tub or I’m going to drowned us.” Max said against her ear as his erection pushed between her legs.

“The beds too far. I can’t…just…do it.” Liz said brokenly as she arched under him trying to push him inside her.

Max pulled back and stood up pulling her with him. He stepped from the tub and grabbed the towel hanging near by and spread it out on the floor he lifted Liz out of the tub and placed her on the towel. He moved over her quickly and pushed into her slowly, sighing in relief.

Liz moaned softly as he framed her face with his hands and kissed her as he thrust slowly into her. He moved purposefully, slowly, pushing as deeply into her as possible. After long minutes Liz started moving her hips faster needing more. Max pulled back and grabbed her hips holding them still as he continued his slow movements. He leaned down and kissed her neck lapping at her skin lightly before sucking hard with a fast deep stroke into her. Liz tightened around him muffling her cries against her hand as she came.

He didn’t pause but gradually moved faster slowly building up to a faster pace. Finally he released her hips allowing her more freedom of movement as he slid his hand into her wet hair holding her mouth to his as he kissed her deeply. They moved together as if of one mind. Max felt his muscles coiling and his movements became urgent as he drove into her. He groaned into her mouth as colors exploded behind his eyelids and he felt her shudder under him, her hips undulating under him as her body tightened around him milking him fiercely. He collapsed over her his face resting in the curve of her neck and shoulder their wet skin clinging together.

Many minutes later he pushed off of her sitting up and looking down at her. Her eyes slowly opened and looked into his.

“Looks like we need another bath.” Max said grinning. He watched a slow content smile spread over her face.

“Yeah looks like it. Too bad I can’t move.” Liz said lazily.

“Come on. I’ll help you.” Max said.

“Uh huh you helped me into this condition.” Liz said and groaned as he lifted her up. Max stepped back into the tub and shut the curtain and started draining the water out of the tub.

They quickly finished their shower delayed slightly with a few kisses and roaming hands. Liz retrieved new towels from under the sink and they toweled off and Max dried their hair easily. Liz slipped into bed and reached over turning off the radio as Max sealed the door not wanting to be surprised by her Dad killing him in his sleep. He moved into the bed next to her and sighed as she snuggled closer. His last thought before sleep claimed him was that life couldn’t get much more perfect then it was right now.


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 8-Sep-2002 2:52:43 PM ]
posted on 9-Sep-2002 2:17:30 AM by Lelea
Hi! *happy* Thank you all for the wonderful feed back. I am addicted and it helps me so much. I often go back to parts I am currently writing to add or make things a little more clear based on your questions so it really does help me get the parts out faster.

Some of you have asked some interesting questions and I thought I would write a little note about some of it.

Liz's dreams or visions. She had them at the very start of this story and things will get clearer as we go along. So don't worry on that score although there is always the question of whether she will know in time to do any good. It is not Max she is dreaming about chasing her. When she says "he" or "him" its knowledge that she has in the dream. Sometimes in dreams you know something and don't really know how you know it.

Ash IS hiding something and whether its good or bad depends on how you look at it. BUT he has told them what the mission is and that is part of it. He doesn't tell them now because Liz and Max both have been so emotional that he doesn't want to open a can of worms until he has to.The seal incident is very fresh in his mind. He is there to do a job and he does intend to do it the best he can.

Shapeshifters and emotions. Well they have spent a long time on this planet with humans trying to blend in. Things are bound to rub off on them....plus I like them this way. But as Ash has demonstrated before some emotional reactions surprise them and confuse them. Remember they aren't human.....the most important thing to them is to do their duty. It overrides the feelings of the people involved. Ash may feel bad about some things and conflicted but he has a job to do.

I know things are really going good for Max and Liz at the moment. Enjoy it because things like that never really last do they? I'm trying to be really nice now so you don't hate me too much later....so don't say I didn't warn you. The thing I can promise is that it IS a Max and Liz story so they don't end up with other people and their feelings about each other don't really change. Hope this helps.
posted on 9-Sep-2002 11:03:31 PM by Lelea
Chapter Forty Three

fail_safe

It was now Thursday and Liz sat alone on her balcony unable to sleep. A feeling of unease had grown within her in the three weeks since the meeting, disturbing her sleep and driving her to DO something. Liz sighed softly and thought about the events of the last three weeks.

The meeting had been interesting in more than one way. The most startling change had been with Michael and Maria. Their relationship had progressed onto a seemingly stable plateau. They both looked more at ease with each other as if they had reached an understanding. Liz was really happy for Maria and hoped things continued to go well for them.

They had discussed the details of what had occurred at the pod chamber each sharing their own version and seeing that they were all slightly different. They had spent the most time discussing what Liz had learned about Michael, the Harvest, and the Summit. Which had lead to Max and Isabel explaining what they had discovered while healing Michael. Maria had leaned on Michael resting her head on his shoulder throughout the retelling lending Michael support.

Ash had explained what the Granilith had most likely done. He explained it as if the Granilith were an amplifier or catalyst. It didn’t create gifts or powers it brought them to the surface and made them easier to access. It could also lend power to someone connected with it.

Ash believed one of Liz’s gifts was to see future events and that the Granilith had directed that gift to show her things that were likely to happen. Ash also explained that Liz and Max’s connection continued to strengthen aided by the Granilith. That connection was important to be able to share powers and energy between them. Meaning Max would be able to sense future events to some degree while Liz might be able to access his shield or healing abilities. The Joining was created to make the bonded couple stronger as one unit. There were downsides however. Should something happen to Max or Liz the other would feel it. It was rare for one to survive the death of the other this was possible but only if they were able to block each other. Shut the door that had been opened inside them and sometimes even then they didn’t survive the ensuing emptiness that would create.

Ash explained that he planned to work with Liz and Max on being able to close that door and manage for periods of time with out the connection. The goal was for one of them to survive in case of the death of the other. They had both agreed to start that training as soon as possible.

They had moved on to Courtney and what she had been able to find out from her people. Uzizen was having some success with the new skins he was creating and planned to test them soon. The breeding program was not fairing as well but Uzizen had recently changed direction. He had tried modifying the skins DNA to create the first several rounds of embryos but they proved unstable and didn’t survive. He was now using Tess to attempt to create a new group of embryos hoping they would survive and prove more stable. They had already harvested some of her eggs.

Ash had also revealed what was on the CD that Liz had taken. It contained all of Liz’s phone conversations at work from September 6th through the 19th. Guziel, the shapeshifter watching Liz at work, had stayed and searched Whitaker’s office carefully after that discovery and found a number of things. Whitaker had Liz’s FBI file and the information it contained she had also obtained Liz’s medical records. This last discovery was what prompted Max to put his foot down and Liz had agreed to quit. Ash had suggested letting Guziel work in her place and after a short discussion that was agreed to.

The plan for the destruction of the Harvest was taking up a lot of Max and Michael’s time this week. Liz hadn’t really seen Max since Sunday except at school. Liz had tried to go about her routine but as the week progressed her dreams turned to nightmares that made her jumpy and out of sorts. She had asked Ash to have his men take pictures of the skins entering and leaving the base, something was nagging at her and she thought that if she had a visual prompt it might become clear. She felt a driving need to be ready that time was growing short and they had little time left to prepare. Out from under the watchful eye of Max she had started pushing herself even harder than before listening to that inner voice that was urging her on. Kyle had been a willing partner at first but now even he was getting worried about her.

Liz spent her days at school busy completing all her assignments. She pushed herself through lunch and any break that became available. She knew her parents were worried about her relationship with Max and if her grades slipped they would start to question her. The good thing was that her normally quick mind seemed even more able to focus and retain information. She was careful to sit with the group at lunch while studying and eat so Max didn’t worry. It was often her only meal of the day, as she wasn’t taking the time to eat.

After school she trained with Ash and Kyle. Max had joined her in training two days a week working on being able to close off from each other. Max surprisingly seemed to have the hardest time. Liz could block him for short periods fairly easily. She had not been able to last more then 10 minutes however. The emptiness inside her had been consuming and she started to panic at the 10-minute mark. Max struggled to even block her completely. He still allowed leaks and was never completely closed to her. Ash was growing concerned by their lack of progress.

Liz had conned Kyle into increasing their runs and doing yoga with her every evening. He had agreed knowing she would do it without him anyway and at least he could keep an eye on her. She was also meditating daily which she had found she could use to control her emotions. She used it often to relieve her stress and even out her emotions so Max didn’t sense anything amiss.

She knew he would be really upset with her if he knew how hard she was pushing herself but she had tried to talk to him about feeling the lack of time and need to be ready but he insisted that she slow down. No amount of discussion on her part had changed that. So after the first week she had given up and just made sure he didn’t find out.

She had also talked the Sheriff into showing her how to shoot a gun. She had gone out with him and Kyle four times now and was doing pretty good. Kyle had been impressed. She had asked Ash to get her the handgun the Sheriff had recommended. She was doing any and everything trying to be ready but still that voice kept nagging.

She had now talked Kyle into going with her to the pod chamber. Max had to work tomorrow night and something was telling her to see if the Granilith could help her see the things that remained out of her reach. She had asked Max to take her but he had said no that it was too dangerous. So she had begged and pleaded until Kyle caved. She didn’t want to go alone just in case.

Liz shook off her thoughts got up and climbed back into her room. The nights were getting colder as October was drawing to a close. Suddenly her stomach growled breaking the silence and she realized just how hungry she was. She quietly opened her door and made her way to the refrigerator. Looking inside nothing appealed. Suddenly she knew what she wanted so she detoured back into her room and grabbed her package of Sour Patch Kids and her cell phone and went downstairs.


She put together all the ingredients for a vanilla shake and then emptied the package of sour candy into the mix added a little grapefruit juice and blended them together. She sat at the counter swinging her feet as she drank her shake. Her cell phone rang and startled she jumped before reaching for her phone.

“Hello?” Liz answered.

“What are you doing?” Max asked rubbing his eyes and looking at the clock. It was one in the morning.

“Eating. What are you doing?” Liz said with a smile.

“Liz why aren’t you asleep?” Max asked and rubbed his stomach as he sat up. He had been sound asleep but something had woken him and he knew it revolved around Liz. He knew she had been having trouble sleeping. She had told him about her dreams and he was worried about her not getting enough rest.

“I couldn’t sleep. I got hungry so I fixed a shake.” Liz said carefully.

“Okay. I’ll be there in a few minutes.” Max said already reaching for his pants.

“Max! I’m fine. Really go back to sleep.” Liz said unconsciously blocking him.

“I’m already up and half way out the window. See you in a minute.” Max said and hung up. He knew something was going on. He could feel it and the second she blocked him knew he needed to see her.

Finally reaching the CrashDown he saw her sitting at the counter. He opened the door with his powers and stepped in re locking the door after himself. She looked up and smiled turning to face him. He tried to control his worry as he looked at her. He could see she was tired even though she tried to hide it behind her smile. He walked up and kissed her. Tasting something odd he pulled back and looked into her glass.

“What is that?” He asked slightly disgusted.

“My shake. I put some candy in it.” Liz said taking another sip.

“It’s gross Liz. What’s in that thing?” Max asked watching her.

“It is not! You should talk about things being gross. Have you watched what you eat?” Liz asked teasing.

“Yeah but..never mind.” Max said deciding to let it drop. At least she was eating. He moved to sit next to her and turned watching her for a moment. “So what are you going to do tomorrow night?” Max asked curious.

“Umm Kyle and I are going to hang out I guess. Maria has plans with Michael and Alex is rehearsing with his band. Isabel has a date so that leaves Kyle.” Liz said lightly and looked over at Max.

“Sounds good. I’ll try and call you on my break tomorrow.” Max said watching her finish her shake. “Maybe you should take it easy. Like go to a movie or something relaxing.” Max said thinking she looked beat.

“Yeah I’m sure we will. Max don’t worry about me okay I’m fine. Never felt better.” Liz lied.

“Yeah I can see that. Why don’t we meet upstairs? I’ll lay down with you for awhile.” Max suggested. He knew she wasn’t fine but he also knew she wasn’t going to talk about it.

“Okay. I’ll just clean this up and be right there.” Liz said with a smile. Max nodded and left through the back door. Liz started cleaning up when she remembered that she had left her new rowing machine out. She hurried up the stairs and into her room to find Max staring at the rowing machine frowning. Liz bit her lip and waited.

“Liz? When did you get this?” Max asked slowly.

“Umm a little while ago.” Liz said and went to sit down on the bed.

“Uh huh.” Max said not buying it. He walked over and sat next to her on the bed and decided he needed to see if she had lost more weight. He had been so busy he hadn’t really been alone with her that much. Before the meeting is the last time he had seen her unclothed. He could feel his worry increase.

“I’m not working anymore so I have more time.” Liz said trying to head off the conversation. She looked over at him and knew he wasn’t buying it.

“Come on let’s go to bed.” Max said and went and turned out the lights. He shed his pants and shoes and climbed in next to her moving close. Liz slowly relaxed and sighed as his hand pushed up her sweatshirt.

He moved to lean over her and looked down at her bare skin pushing her sweat pants down slightly as well. He inspected her closely and wasn’t happy to confirm what he had suspected.

“Liz?” Max asked slowly.

“Hmmm?” Liz responded.

“No more rowing machine. I mean it.” Max said.

“What?” Liz said startled.

“I’m serious. This is crazy. Why are you using that thing anyway?” Max asked getting upset. Liz looked up at him and felt guilty.

“Okay. I’ll stop. You can even take it with you if you don’t believe me. I just…Max you don’t understand. I can feel it. We need to be ready and that feeling is telling me to do whatever I can to get ready. I’m sorry I know I’m worrying you but I swear I’m being careful. I’m just tired because I’m having trouble sleeping that’s all.” Liz said meeting his eyes.

“The dreams are getting worse?” Max asked searching her eyes for the truth.

“Yeah. I know I’ve almost got it. I asked Ash to have them take pictures at the base. I know if I see him I will remember.” Liz said looking back at him. He sighed and flopped down onto his back.

“Liz you can’t drive yourself crazy like this. We’ll find out who you’re seeing. Just wait for Ash to get the pictures and see if that works. Sometimes there’s nothing you can do but wait.” Max said he felt her nod against his chest. He stroked her hair and rubbed her back until he gradually felt her relax and fall asleep. He pulled away and looked down at her sleeping face. Michael was going to have to handle Copper Summit. He needed to stay here.

Something was telling him he needed to pay more attention to what was going on. He decided to talk to Ash tomorrow and find out if he knew what was going on with Liz. He slipped out of bed and checked her alarm. He frowned when he saw it was set for 4:30 am. He reset it for six and picked up his pants pulling them on followed by his shoes. Studying her rowing machine he waved a hand over it making it lighter and easier to carry. He left taking the rowing machine with him.

Liz woke to the sound of her alarm. Rolling over she noticed two things. Max was gone and he had reset her alarm. She smiled and looked at the floor. Yep the rowing machine was gone. She sighed and got up. She started getting ready and decided he was right. After the pod chamber tonight she would really make an effort to slow down.

She picked out her outfit carefully. She chose her sheer white button down shirt with a white cropped tank underneath and her red plaid pleated mini skirt. She added her favorite black chunky shoes with black knee-highs and a short black sweater. The skirt was riding really low hanging on her hips and she realized she had lost a little bit of weight, not as much as Max made it seem like but enough that she noticed. She ran her hand over her exposed mid rift and carefully examined her reflection. No she wasn’t too skinny not yet but she needed to watch it.

Grabbing her stuff she left to met Maria. As she exited the café Maria pulled up and Liz got in. Maria raised her eyebrow and looked Liz over.

“Feeling frisky this morning?” Maria asked.

“Nooo Maria. It’s my new plan.” Liz said with a smile.

“Which is?” Maria asked interested.

“Well Max is on hyper alert worrying about me so I thought I’d give him something else to think about that’s all.” Liz said grinning.

“Girl you are so bad.” Maria said laughing.

“Hey Maria stop at the mini mart will you?” Liz asked riffling through her backpack for her money.

“Sure whatcha need?” Maria asked.

“Umm I want some sour apple suckers.” Liz said absently. Maria stopped and followed Liz into the store thinking a watermelon Blow Pop didn’t sound bad. She watched as Liz grabbed a handful of suckers and couple bags of those Sour Patch Kids.

“Babe? What’s with this new obsession?” Maria asked curious.

“Nothing I just ran out of snacks.” Liz said as she plopped her purchases down on the counter.

“Okay then.” Maria said and paid for her own stuff. “Let’s go before we’re late.”

They got back in the car and Liz popped one of the suckers in her mouth shoving the rest into her bag. She sighed in contentment thinking she felt pretty rested. She listened to Maria talk about Michael and smiled at how happy Maria sounded. Michael seemed to be really trying to make this work. They parked and got out walking into the school talking and laughing. Liz bumped into someone and dropped her bag. Looking up she saw Donald and smiled.

“Hi Donald sorry about crashing into you. How are you?” Liz asked as she picked up her bag. Donald stared for a second then hearing the girl next to Liz muffling a laugh he blushed.

“Sorry it was my fault. Umm I’m doing good.” Donald answered nervously. He watched as Liz smiled.

“Glad to hear it. It was nice to see you again.” Liz said sincerely.

“Come on Liz we’re going to be late.” Maria said amused. Liz nodded and started forward.

“I’ll see you later Donald. Bye.” Liz said as she walked away and put her sucker back in her mouth. Donald smiled and gave a little wave and Liz waved back.

“I think he’s got a little crush on you.” Maria teased as they continued down the hall. Liz rolled her eyes.

“You always think that. He’s just shy. Be nice.” Liz warned hoping Maria didn’t embarrass Donald.

“I’m always nice Lizzy.” Maria said as they reached Liz’s locker. At the look Liz gave her she amended that comment. “Well most of the time anyway.”

“Yeah just try to make this one of those times. Max already scared Donald silly over the spilled drink thing.” Liz said as she got her stuff and shut her locker.

“Okay no teasing Donald.” Maria said as they headed off to her locker. Liz smiled at her gratefully and shifted her backpack to her other shoulder. They reached Maria’s locker and Liz stood waiting for her to finish spinning her sucker in her mouth lost in thought.

Max made his way down the hall and spotted Maria at her locker and started over, looking for Liz. When he saw her he felt his stomach rumble slightly. She was gorgeous. He walked up his planned speech on taking it easy totally forgotten.

Liz smiled as Max kissed her on the top of the head. She pulled the sucker out of her mouth. “Morning Max.” Liz said leaning against the locker behind her.

“Morning.” Max said and leaned in kissing her slowly. He pulled back and looked at the sucker in her hand. “Breakfast?” He asked.

“Uh huh.” Liz said and grinned at his expression. “Hey I have to put up with Tabasco so you can deal with sour.” Liz said knowing what he was thinking. “Besides I didn’t ask you to kiss me.” Liz said with a smirk.

“Yes you did. When you put on that outfit you asked me to kiss you.” Max said grinning. He handed her the bag he was holding slowly.

“What’s this?” Liz asked puzzled.

“Breakfast. A Granny Smith apple and a bagel.” Max said with a smile. Liz brushed her lips over his lightly.

“Thanks.” Liz said softly.

“Hey I’m still here. No hello for me?” Maria teased and squealed as Michael wrapped his arm around from behind and lifted her off her feet.

“Hi.” Michael said with a grin setting her back down. Maria turned and smiled giving him a quick kiss.

“Hi to you to Spaceboy.” Maria replied. She glanced at her watch and turned to Max and Liz. She smiled thinking Liz’s plan was working like a charm. Max was playing with the ends of Liz’s shirt letting his fingers brush her bare skin. Liz glanced over and winked at Maria smiling. Maria chuckled softly. “Well we better get to class. Michael needs all the mental help he can get. Come on Liz.” Maria said referring to the fact that she and Liz now shared first hour with Michael for Psychology.

“Okay. Just a sec.” Liz answered. She turned to Max and kissed him lightly. “Maybe you can convince me to meet you in the eraser room for sixth hour.” Liz said by his ear.

“It’s a date.” Max said quickly and pulled back lacing their fingers together as they followed Maria and Michael. “Eat the bagel and apple okay?” Max asked as walked.

“I will. See ya at lunch.” Liz said and broke off headed to her class. Max stared after her watching the movement of her hips as she walked away. Sixth hour couldn’t get here fast enough.

posted on 10-Sep-2002 5:14:37 PM by Lelea
Chapter Forty Four
fail_safe

As Max changed for gym an idea occurred to him. He turned to look at Kyle his eyes narrowed. If anyone would know what was going on with Liz, he would. Kyle spent more time with her then anyone. They trained together and hung out more and more often. Maria was wrapped up with Michael and Alex had a gig with his band coming up plus training. He had been so busy with work and trying to keep up with what was happening on the alien front he really hadn’t had time to spend with Liz for the last three weeks. Three weeks…He hadn’t realized it had been that long.

“Hey Kyle?” Max asked pulling on his shoes.

“Yeah Evans what’s up?” Kyle asked as he pulled on his shirt.

“I need to talk to about Liz.” Max said and watched as Kyle froze with his shirt half on. He recovered quickly and glanced at Max and looked away slamming his locker shut.

“What about her?” Kyle asked guardedly.

“I’m worried about her. She’s lost weight and isn’t sleeping well. Is she pushing herself too hard?” Max asked watching Kyle closely.

“Listen it’s not my place to tell you about your girlfriend. Maybe you need to be paying more attention or you could try talking to her about it.” Kyle said weighing his options.

“You’re right I do need to pay attention. I have tried to talk to Liz but she’s not telling me anything.” Max replied seeing that Kyle was debating what to say.

“Let’s just say I’m getting tired trying to keep up. I have never been in better shape in my life. I’m running, training, doing yoga, meditating my ass off and that doesn’t include schoolwork.” Kyle said shooting Max a pointed look.

“Shit. I was afraid of that.” Max said and stood up. He and Kyle walked out of the locker room and stood in the gym waiting for class to begin.

“Did you know she talked to my Dad and he’s teaching her to shoot? I think Ash is even getting her a gun I’m not sure.” Kyle said watching Max’s eyes widen in surprise. “Guess not. She’s a pretty good shot.”

“I think that Liz and I are going to be having a talk today.” Max said realizing how much Liz had actually been up to.

“Do you think Ash is right about the Granilith not hurting her?” Kyle asked thinking about tonight.

“Why? Oh no she didn’t….she did. She talked you into going with her? Kyle no. That’s really not a good idea. She passed out last time. I know she probably said “fell asleep” but that’s not what happened.” Max said running his hand through his hair. Liz was a menace.

“Okay. We’ll do something else but you need to get her promise that she won’t go alone. She keeps her promises just be careful with her wording.” Kyle said warning Max.

“What do you mean?” Max asked.

“Well she promised she wouldn’t work more than three days a week and she would take off Sunday’s from training right?” Kyle asked.

“Yeah and she broke that promise.” Max said.

“No she didn’t. She’s not working at all now and she has told me that she can’t train on Sunday. She can spend a day “relaxing” by doing yoga and picking up a new “hobby” by learning to target shoot. See what I’m saying?” Kyle said smiling at Max’s frustrated look.

“That’s still breaking the reason behind the promise which was for her to take it easy and cut back a little.” Max said thinking she was a lot more devious than he had ever imagined. Damn those innocent eyes.

“The letter of the promise is intact. Plus she tried to tell you that she was feeling that she “needed” to get ready. When she thinks she needs to do something it’s hard to rein her in believe me I’ve learned that over the last three weeks.” Kyle said thinking he better get with the program or Liz was going to be running rings around him. Actually she already was Kyle thought laughing to himself.



Liz made her way out to the quad for lunch feeling a little uneasy. Max had been really angry earlier and she suspected it was at her. The good thing was he had successfully blocked her out after that. If you could call that a good thing. Damn Liz thought as she caught sight of Max striding toward her. Busted…he was pissed.

“Liz. I think we need to talk.” Max said holding her elbow and propelling her inside and down the hall.

“About what?” Liz asked trying to sound as innocent as possible.

“About your new hobbies and that scary mind of yours.” Max said as he shut the door to the eraser room and sealed it.

“What new hobbies?” Liz asked with a sinking feeling.

“Target shooting, yoga, running take your pick.” Max said turning to her and looking her in the eye.

“Oh those hobbies. The running isn’t new really.” Liz said and watched as his face flushed and his breathing picked up. Gee he really looks angry Liz thought idly…god he’s hot.

“Liz you are a menace to my sanity. You know exactly what I’m talking about so cut the shit.” Max said as he moved closer.

“Really? Why don’t you tell me?” Liz said and watched his fists clench. Oh yeah he’s really pissed Liz thought and felt a smile hover around the corners of her mouth. She slipped her sweater off and set it next to her on the unused table she was leaning on.

“You promised me you would slow down. Instead you take on more. You somehow con Kyle into helping you. You hide all of this from me.” Max started listing off all the things she had done. He got more worked up as he thought about it. Looking at her she looked AMUSED. He felt his blood start to boil.

“I promised I would only work three days and I wouldn’t train on Sundays and I haven’t.” Liz said watching him as he started to sweat. She didn’t think he had ever been this angry at her before. It was kind of exciting she thought as she unbuttoned the first few buttons on her shirt. He followed her movements and his eyes narrowed. “I quit working all together and I didn’t con anyone. I asked.”

“That’s splitting hairs Liz.” Max said shaking his head. He hardly knew what he was saying he was so mad. She looked so good in that outfit. He moved a little closer boxing her in against the table. She looked up at him calmly totally in control. “You know what I was asking you to do and you agreed.”

“Max I thought I already told you. You have to tell me what you want or I can’t do it.” Liz said with the slightest of smirks passing over her lips. Her eyes looked up at him calmly shining brightly. “Tell me what you want and I’ll do it. I promise.” Liz said and watched his eyes dilate. Yep pretty hot she thought briefly.

Max lost it. He felt a surge of lust slam through him and all reason was lost. He didn’t remember what they were talking about. He reached out and grabbed her spinning her around and trapping her against the table. He slid his hands under her skirt and ripped her panties off dropping them to the floor. Liz gasp and briefly wondered if maybe she hadn’t pushed him too far.

“Umm Max? I really don’t think this is the best idea.” Liz said faintly as Max’s hand slid between her legs.

“Don’t make any noise.” Max said trying to control his breathing as he found her already wet for him.

“Is this what you really want?” Liz asked looking over her shoulder at him.

“Yes.” Max said and kissed her. She opened for him instantly and kissed him back. She had missed him so much the last three weeks. She pulled back and looked into his eyes as she turned around.

“Okay.” Liz said and reached for his belt unbuckling it and undoing his pants. She pushed them off his hips and turned back around placing her hands on the table in front of her.

Max pushed her skirt up and moved in close behind her and used his feet to push hers apart. She complied with his unspoken direction and her teeth tugged at her bottom lip as his body covered hers. She bit back a moan as he pushed into her filling her in one heavy thrust. He pushed harder pounding into her faster. Liz leaned forward feeling one of his hands sliding under her shirt to cup her breast. She struggled to stay silent as his pace quickened and she moved to meet his thrusts totally lost in the moment. The kids passing by talking and the fight they had been having totally forgotten.

The pleasure was so intense her whole body throbbed. Max buried his face in her neck clenching his teeth to hold back any groans. She felt so good and so tight he never wanted this to end. He felt her shatter under him and he struggled to breathe as the heat gathered and with one last deep thrust he emptied himself into her. He struggled to remain standing as he waited for his heartbeat to slow. Eventually he pulled back and pulled up his pants and picked up her panties. Liz turned around and a faint smile played across her mouth.

“Still mad?” Liz asked eyes sparkling and feeling a little smug.

“No. I’m not mad but I am going to ask you to do something for me.” Max said and using his powers he fixed her panties and handed them back. “Promise me that you won’t go to the pod chamber without me and that you will stop doing this to yourself. All of it, at the rate you’re going you don’t need an enemy to attack you or hurt you, you’re doing it for them.” Max said looking her in the eye. “This is serious Liz. I love you and I can’t stand seeing you run yourself into the ground. I won’t tolerate it, just like you wouldn’t if it were me.”

“Okay I promise. Kyle and I will go to the movies tonight and I’ll stay away from the Granilith unless you’re with me or know about me going there. I will slow down and make sure I relax in a totally useless way for at least one hour everyday.” Liz said meaning it.

“Two hours and you eat two full meals and a simple breakfast everyday.” Max said feeling better.

“Deal.” Liz said and kissed him lightly. She pulled back and looked into his eyes and realized how much she had scared him with her actions and hurt him by hiding things from him. “Max I’m sorry. I know I was wrong and the last thing I want to do is hurt you. I love you so much.” Liz said knowing everything the fight, his anger, his lost control all showed how much he cared. How much she mattered to him and that because she loved him in return she had a responsibility to think of him when making choices.

“Good. Now let’s see if we can grab something to eat before Bio.” Max said and checked his cloths carefully as Liz finished dressing. He checked her over and satisfied he took her hand and unsealed the door. Opening it they walked out headed for the quad. Max quickly grabbed two sandwiches and a pear and paid for them. They made their way to the table where everyone else was finished eating and sat down.

“If corn oil is made from corn and vegetable oil is made from vegetables…what is baby oil made from?” Kyle asked idly. Liz looked at him and started laughing as Maria threw her last chip at him. Ash/Courtney stared at him confused.

“Kyle you are always the one to ask the big questions aren’t you?” Isabel asked calmly.

“Hey someone has to ponder the mysteries of life.” Kyle said with a shrug and a grin.

“I’ve got a better question. If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?” Alex asked and yelped as Isabel pinched him. “Easy there warrior princess.”

Ash looked around the table wondering if he would ever really understand these people. He smiled to himself as Maria hit Michael on the forehead with her sucker, which set off another round of bickering. Isabel appeared at first indifferent to what was going on around the table but he saw she kept a close eye on everyone automatically handing Alex the last of her chips before he could reach for them. His eyes fell on Liz and his focus sharpened. She was taking a bite of her sandwich and eating it then taking a Sour Patch Kid and sucking the sour crystals off of it then discarding it. He watched this process continue and then glanced at Max who was talking to Uryan and saw he hadn’t noticed. He realized he needed to make some changes.



The bell for sixth hour rang and the halls quieted. Neither of the people occupying the eraser room noticed as they continued to kiss. Liz pulled him closer pressing her body into his. The kiss broke off slowly.

“I missed this.” Liz whispered quietly.

“Hmmm me too. Don’t let me get distracted like that again for so long.” Max mumbled as he kissed her neck. Liz’s breath caught in her chest and she moved against him pushing closer.

“I won’t.” Liz answered. “God Max.” Liz said as he sucked lightly. Max smiled against her skin at her response.

“How did I not do this for three weeks?” Max asked still finding that hard to believe. He had been busy but still it seemed impossible.

“Hmmm you got bored with me. Needed a little time away.” Liz said ending in a gasp as his teeth caught her earlobe. Max pulled back and looked into her eyes and started laughing. “What?” Liz asked raising her eyebrow in inquiry.

“Liz you are a lot of things but boring will never be one of them. I think I just must have lost my mind.” Max said and pulled her closer and sighed as her arms wrapped around him. “Liz I’m not going to Copper Summit next week.” Max said as he held her tight.

“What? Why not?” Liz asked knowing that he had been planning to go to help with the destruction of the skins and meet more of Ash’s men. He wanted to start taking a more active role. She pulled back enough to look into his face.

“I think Michael can handle it and it might be good for him. It’ll show I trust him and believe he can handle it.” Max said. All that was true it just wasn’t the main reason.

“Max if you’re staying because of me…because you’re worried about me don’t. Because I’ll be fine. I fully intend on living up to the promise I made and it would upset me if I thought I was holding you back.” Liz said searching his eyes.

“Liz you’re not holding me back. I just don’t want to leave the rest of you here with the base full of skins, while both Michael and I are in another state. That’s all. I know you’ll keep your word.” Max said looking back at her.

“Okay. It’s you’re decision and I know you’ll make the right one.” Liz said with a relieved smile.

“Yeah I will don’t worry.” Max said and smiled. He was making the right choice. Liz was always the right choice.


After school Liz went home and changed into her workout cloths and Kyle picked her up. They drove to Ash’s apartment silent. As they climbed the stairs Liz glanced back at Kyle.

“It was you wasn’t it? Max asked you about me.” Liz asked softly.

“Yeah it was me. I told him because I was worried about you. You weren’t listening to me and I thought Evans might be able to get you to listen.” Kyle said truthfully.

“I agreed to slow down. I still want to run but every other day and on the opposite days we can do yoga but only for an hour. I promised not to be crazy about it and I have to relax for two hours everyday. Oh and eat full meals.” Liz said seeing the worry in Kyle’s eyes.

“Okay I’m with ya. Let’s just make sure to not over do it that’s all. So what are we doing tonight?” Kyle asked as they reached Ash’s door.

“Something easy like a movie. Is that okay? It won’t ruin you’re stud reputation to be seen with me?” Liz teased as she knocked.

“Oh no not at all.” Kyle said with grin. They turned to the door as Ash opened it. “Hey Ash what’s on the agenda for today?” Kyle asked.

“We are going to take it easier today. I think you both have the physical training down pretty well. I would like to focus more on the other aspects now. We will meditate and then Liz I want you to work on connecting to Kyle. You have gotten a lot better but it is always good to improve.” Ash said and watched them both nod. He watched Liz sniff and look around.

“Ash what did you cook? It smells good.” Liz asked suddenly feeling hungry.

“Would you like to try some? We can eat first if you like.” Ash said watching her closely.

“Yeah thanks. I’m a little hungry.” Liz said and went to stand by the counter that separated the kitchen from the rest of the room.

“I can always eat.” Kyle said to encourage Liz.

Ash went into the kitchen and took out two plates handing one to Kyle and one to Liz. He rummaged around in a drawer and handed them forks and leaned against the counter as he watched them eat.

“Ash this chicken is really good.” Liz said eating happily.

“Thank you.” Ash said.

“Yeah not bad Ash. Thanks.” Kyle said as he finished his and waited for Liz. He watched her munch on a piece of broccoli and saw Ash watching closely as well. He turned back to Liz and studied her plate. “Is that lemons in there Ash?” Kyle asked seeing what looked like pretty big pieces of it along with little pieces of the peel.

“Yes. Lemon chicken.” Ash replied not going into detail. Kyle knew his hadn’t had that in it. He looked at Liz and decided not to say anymore…lemons were good for you right? Finally Liz ate all she could and set her still partially full plate down on the counter.

“Thank you Ash that was really good. Now I’m really full.” Liz said smiling. Ash nodded and gathered up their plates setting them in the sink for later.

“Okay let’s begin.” Ash said and all during training he worried.

posted on 11-Sep-2002 12:40:34 AM by Lelea
You guys are so funny. Really. Sorry my authors note scared you guys I meant to help. Thanks for the FB

sylvia37....I don't want you to get upset. BUT let's talk about your story a sec...hmmm? Where is Max? What has he done?? Yep. *wink*
posted on 11-Sep-2002 2:06:48 PM by Lelea
Okay I see you guys pretty much all think Liz is pregant. Well I'm not going to tell you one way or the other....we'll just let that play out. However if you read Liz and Nancy's little talk again I think that answers the question of protection. Nancy was concerned once before about Liz having sex so she took her to the doctor and Liz is on birth control. So Liz really does believe she is being careful.

The question of what the Granilith wants was answered too by Ash. So we'll just have to see what happens.*big*
posted on 11-Sep-2002 7:23:58 PM by Lelea
Chapter Forty Five.
fail_safe

After their training session with Ash, Kyle dropped her off at home so she could change. They had agreed to meet back up in a few hours. Liz made her way upstairs and showered then worked on her homework a little. Looking at the clock she saw Kyle would be picking her up soon. She finished getting ready and went downstairs to wait. She smiled as Kyle walked in and met him half way.

“Looking good Parker. Let’s go I don’t want to miss the previews.” Kyle said as she walked up.

“Lead on.” Liz said and followed him out. They walked to the theater talking and laughing. Kyle was always fun to goof around with. They stood in line and bought their tickets. Kyle insisted on popcorn so they stood in line again and Liz ended up with a Dr. Pepper. After they were seated Liz turned to Kyle grinning.

“So you never said who it was you had that date with a couple weeks ago.” Liz teased.

“Yeah I know. Look you’ve been pestering me for weeks just let it go. It was a mistake and isn’t one I’ll repeat.” Kyle said squirming.

“Come on Kyle. How bad can it be? Please?” Liz coaxed giving him her pleading look. She pestered him simply because he was so closed mouth about it. It made her curious.

“Fine if I tell you, you’ll let it go?” Kyle asked looking her in the eye.

“Yeah. I will. Now come on, tell me.” Liz said grinning. Kyle looked around and seeing people in most of the seats around them he leaned in and got close to her ear.

“It was Holly. Okay now let it go.” Kyle said looking around to see if anyone had heard him. Liz’s eyes rounded.

“No! Shut up you did not go out with her!” Liz said and then she wrinkled her nose. “Kyle! You brought her to your house? You are way more desperate than I thought.” Liz said horrified. Holly Spencer was Pam Troy’s best friend. She was known for her more acrobatic tendencies…well known.

“Shhh. I told you now leave it alone.” Kyle said sliding down in his seat.

“Kyle I am appalled truly. You have sunk to a new low at this point. All your other girlfriends were really nice. Vicky was pretty and nice whatever happened with her?” Liz asked curious.

“She dumped me because she said I was in love with you.” Kyle said and smirked. Liz’s eyes widened and her mouth fell open in surprise. “Remember I was in stalker mode then. The last straw was that rave when I interrupted you and Evans. She was pretty nice about it actually.”

“Kyle I’m sorry I had no idea. The point is you can do better, much better then Holly. She really isn’t a nice person.” Liz said softly.

“Yeah I got that part. She almost burst my eardrums. By the way she thinks I’m in love with you too. So don’t be surprised when that rumor goes around, she was pissed. What was the big deal anyway?” Kyle said remembering her red faced shrieking. Man had that girl been a mistake.

“Maybe it was when you said you would rather use your hand. She might….just guessing here…have taken offence.” Liz said shaking her head then sipped her drink.


Tyler and Heather sat two rows back watching Kyle and Liz. Tyler wondered if Evans had any idea that Kyle was whispering in Liz’s ear tonight. They looked pretty damn cozy to him. He wondered if she was doing them both. The theater lights dimmed and the previews started.


Max worked on straightening the souvenir section a couple of tourists had shopped earlier. He smiled as he thought about Liz. Some of the worry that had been plaguing him had lifted with the agreement they had reached. Max had already talked to Michael about Copper Summit and they had agreed it was a good idea for Max to stay and watch over everyone else here.

Needing to feel her he paused and reached for her following the trail of her essence. He smiled as he got a read on her emotions, she was happy and having a good time. Pleased he continued working thinking he would either call or stop by on his way home.


Part way into the movie Liz started feeling sleepy. She yawned and took a drink of her pop trying to stay awake. Finally she slid farther down in her chair resting her head on the back of the seat. Gradually she drifted off to sleep.


Hearing Liz sigh Kyle glanced over and saw she was sleeping. He shook his head and returned his attention to the screen. A little later Liz shifted and her head rested against his arm. Kyle didn’t want to wake her so he let her be.


Heather nudged Tyler and pointed to Kyle. Liz’s head was barely visible but definitely resting on Kyle. He smirked. No wonder Kyle got so pissed. He was doing her. He couldn’t wait for school on Monday.


Ash sat at the back of the theater carefully watching the crowd. Several more of his men were positioned throughout the theater. He was taking no chances. He was going to do everything in his power to keep her safe.



The movie ended and Kyle woke Liz gently shaking her shoulder. She blinked in confusion a couple of times and smiled.

“Sorry I fell asleep.” Liz said sitting up and stretching.

“No problem. You didn’t miss much.” Kyle said and looked around. Seeing Isabel on the other side of the theater with her date he nudged Liz. When she looked at him he nodded toward Isabel. “What’s the deal with her and Whitman?”

“To be honest Kyle I have no idea. Alex is crazy about her but she seems to have stuck him in the friends only box.” Liz paused then continued. “Then she’ll do something that makes you wonder. I don’t know.”

“Yeah she’s a puzzle. Alex picked a tough nut to crack.” Kyle said thinking there was a challenge and then there was a beating. Isabel had beating written all over her. He stood and he and Liz started up the aisle.

“Kyle I would suggest that you pray to Buddha that Maria doesn’t find out about Holly. If she does you’re her next project.” Liz warned grinning at Kyle’s horrified look.

“She has Michael. Why would she need another project? He’ll take a lifetime to straighten out.” Kyle asked a feeling of dread growing in his stomach.

“Michael is currently doing pretty good. She’ll want a new challenge soon. Finding you a girlfriend would be a challenge she would love to take on.” Liz said and chuckled when Kyle shuddered. They made their way down the street and Liz stopped in front of the UFO Center. She debated stopping in but she didn’t want to get Max in trouble with Brody so she turned and met Kyle at the curb. When traffic cleared they walked across the street to the CrashDown. They came to a stop in front of the café.

“So I’ll pick you up at noon. I’m glad Ash switched training to later. I’m looking forward to sleeping in.” Kyle said.

“Yeah so am I. You have a game tomorrow don’t you?” Liz asked.

“Um yeah an evening game. No sweat. See ya tomorrow.” Kyle said.

“Okay. See you then. Thanks for going out with me tonight.” Liz said and smiled.

“Anytime.” Kyle said as he walked to his car. Flashing her a grin he drove off. Liz made her way upstairs and said goodnight to her parents. Seeing it wasn’t that late she grabbed her journal and a blanket and went out to her balcony. Settling down in her lounge chair she opened her journal and started to write. Soon the pen slipped out of her hand as sleep dragged her under.



Max climbed the ladder to Liz’s balcony quickly. It was actually really late. He had gone home after work and tried to call but Liz hadn’t answered. He reached the top of the ladder and smiled. Liz was in her lounge chair fast asleep. He moved closer and kissed her forehead. She wrinkled her nose but didn’t wake.

He took her journal from her lax hand and set it aside. He brushed back her hair and his fingers lingered on the strands. Thinking it was getting to cold outside for her to stay here he bent close to her ear.

“Liz wake up.” Max said and lightly kissed her. Her eyes opened slowly.

“Hmmm much better.” Liz said her voice husky with sleep.

“Better than what?” Max asked feeling his body tighten.

“I like how you wake me much better then Kyle. He shakes me.” Liz said still half asleep.

“Fell asleep in the movie huh?” Max asked a small smile hovering over his mouth.

“Yeah. I fell asleep on him. Poor Kyle. I wasn’t very good company.” Liz said and yawned.

“I’m sure he didn’t mind. Now let’s go in it’s cold out here.” Max said and helped her up. Liz scooped up her journal and Max grabbed the blanket and they climbed into her room. Max shut the window and turned to find Liz stretching again. He watched her thinking how good it made him feel to know she was happy and safe. That she had people who loved her and would look after her. Even though Kyle annoyed him and was at times obnoxious he was a really good friend to Liz and would look out for her. Liz turned to him and smiled.

“So what are you doing here?” Liz asked.

“I tried to call and you didn’t answer and I decided I wanted to see you.” Max said watching her put her journal away.

“It’s late Max. You should be sleeping.” Liz said moving closer.

“Yeah I should.” Max said as he pulled her close and pulled off her shirt. He ran his hand over her bare skin looking at her. “So want to sleep with me?” Max asked and shot her a heated look.

“Hmmm I already have. Or did you forget already?” Liz teased as he nuzzled her neck.

“I haven’t forgotten a thing.” Max said as he worked off her pants.

“I used to be such a good girl. Now look at me.” Liz sighed as Max ran his lips over her chest.

“Believe me you’re good.” Max said with grin. Liz giggled and slapped him lightly on the shoulder.

“That is so not what I meant.” Liz said with a smile. She pushed her fingers into his hair and looked at him for a moment. “Let’s go to bed.” Liz said softly already wanting him. She stepped back and walked to her door locking it and turned out the lights. She climbed into bed and watched as he finished undressing and lay down beside her.

Max leaned over her and ran his hand over her skin. He opened to her wanting to feel her and know she wanted this too. The soft warm rush of her amazed him. He felt in her an aching need for him. He responded instantly by taking her hand and leading it down his body and wrapping her fingers around his straining shaft. He wrapped his hand around hers and started moving their hands together over his flesh.

“This is what you do to me Liz. Always. You always have. I will always want you…need you.” Max said looking into her eyes and watching them darken and heat. “This isn’t wrong or bad. I love you…all of you. I can’t even tell you how good it makes me feel to know that you want me just as much. How it feels to know that you love me, there just aren’t any words to describe that to you.”

“Max please.” Liz whispered and felt her need for him grow so big so fast she couldn’t think.

“What Liz? Tell me.” Max asked as he nibbled on her ear as their hands continued to move on him.

“I need you. Please now.” Liz whispered feeling frantic.

“Shhh it’s okay.” Max said and released her hand needing to touch her. He moved his hand down her body. “Open your legs for me.”

Liz responded to his request and opened her legs wide and moaned so softly it was barely audible as his fingers touched her. He stroked her slowly watching as her eyes slipped closed and her teeth started tugging at her lip. Her hips moved against his hand and he caught his breath. She was so beautiful.

“Max please. I need to feel you. Please Max come inside me.” Liz said softly tugging at his arm trying to pull him closer. Max moved over her instantly. As he thrust into her he heard her sob in relief.

As he moved in her he opened their connection and pushed himself through her. She moaned as she felt his soul push into her as if it had solid physical weight. It rolled inside her as Max thrust harder into her. She came hard working her hips under him as she opened to him allowing him to see all of her.

Max wasn’t really aware of his body as he lost himself in the wonder of her soul. He had never felt as complete as he did right then. She was so open and so pure. He crashed back into his own body feeling her teeth sinking into his shoulder. He grunted as he hammered into her hard feeling her tighten around him. He strained to meld their bodies as tightly together as their souls and felt his climax bearing down on him.

Liz felt him swell inside her and bit him harder as her own body tightened around him. She felt him give one last deep thrust and clamped her teeth down to hold back her cries as she felt him spill himself inside her. He sank down onto her his weight heavy and comforting. She licked the mark she left on his shoulder and sighed holding him close. She drifted for awhile feeling content and peaceful. Finally Max rolled off of her and she moved closer trying to stay close to the heat of his body.

“I love you Liz.” Max said as he rolled onto his side and cradled her body close to his.

“I know you do. I love you too. It’s almost scary how much.” Liz whispered back.

“Hmm I wish we didn’t have to leave this room sometimes. All the rest of it outside this room is clutter.” Max said hand on her belly stroking her absently.

“Not all of it. There are our families and our friends they’re important. But I see your point. I wish we had more time like this but we don’t. So let’s just make this time worth it.” Liz said and pulled him down for a kiss.

“It’s because of me that this is so complicated. I wish I were totally human. Just some guy who had an amazing girlfriend and a regular life.” Max said as he stroked her soft skin.

“Don’t say that Max. I love who you are. It’s because of who you are that I can feel you. I love that and I wouldn’t change anything. Imagine not being able to really connect like we do, know each other in the way we do. I love being able to reach out to you from where ever I am and feel you. I can handle everything else because I love you so much. It’s our life now not just yours and I love our life.” Liz said seriously.

“You’re right. I can’t imagine not feeling you inside me.” Max said thoughtfully then smiled. “I love our life too.” Max said and kissed her. He couldn’t imagine loosing her she was so much a part of him.

They drifted off to sleep slowly, wrapped around each other. No nightmares disturbed them as the stars grew fainter and the sun rose.

Liz woke up to the sound of her alarm. She turned it off and snuggled closer to Max content. Suddenly she bolted upright and looked at the clock.

“Max! You have to wake up.” Liz said shaking him. “Max!”

“What? What’s wrong?” Max asked groggy and slow to wake.

“It’s 10:30! Wake up. You need to go home. You already missed training.” Liz said and watched as his eyes flew open.

“Shit!” Max said flying out of bed and throwing on his cloths. Already his mind was working on coming up with a story for his parents. He turned back to Liz and stopped.

She was sitting in the bed blankets around her waist. Her hair was sleep tossed and she looked so sexy. Dropping his shoes he climbed back onto the bed pushing her back into the pillows.

“Max? What are you doing?” Liz asked looking up at him.

“Saying good morning.” Max said as he kissed her neck. He heard Liz give a little hum of pleasure. He kissed her mouth slowly loving the slide of her tongue along his. He pulled back slowly and looked at her his eyes shining with happiness.

“I love how you say good morning” Liz whispered running a finger down the side of his face. “Will I see you later?”

“Yeah I’ll call you.” Max said and sat on the edge of her bed to put on his shoes. With quick kiss to her forehead he left.

Liz got ready slowly and made her way downstairs. She put her breakfast order in and sat at the counter. Maria wandered over.

“Was that a very disheveled Max I saw taking off down the street a little while ago?” Maria asked quirking an eyebrow at Liz.

“Probably.” Liz answered with a smile.

“Hmmm. Can I ask you a question?” Maria asked suddenly serious.

“Of course. What’s up?” Liz asked looking at Maria’s nervous movements.

“Did it hurt? You know the first time?” Maria asked and glanced up at Liz.

“Yeah it did. It hurt a lot actually.” Liz said slowly and watched as Maria nodded. “Are you close to that with Michael?”

“Let’s just say it’s come up. I haven’t decided yet.” Maria said.

“Be sure Maria. Really sure. If you are it’ll be okay.” Liz said carefully. She knew what a big step that would be for Maria. She remembered how freaked out Maria had been last year when she caught her and Max on Michael’s couch. For all of Maria’s openness and free-spirited attitude on other subjects that didn’t extend to sex. Maria was a lot more conventional on that issue then even she was.

“How did you know? That you were ready.” Maria asked curious.

“It just felt right. You know that voice in your head that cautions you sometimes? Tells you to be careful?” Liz asked.

“Yeah.” Maria answered.

“Well that voice was quiet. It wasn’t telling me to wait or to be careful. I knew Max loved me and that I loved him just as much. It just felt right.” Liz said with a shrug and smiled. “You’ll know Maria.” Maria smiled and nodded.

“Order up!” Michael yelled slamming his hand down on the bell. Maria rolled her eyes and went back to work.

posted on 14-Sep-2002 12:16:08 AM by Lelea
Chapter Forty Six
fail_safe

Max dug around in his closet looking for something respectable to wear. Liz and her parents had been invited over for dinner tonight. Her parents had had to cancel due to Nancy catching the flu and Jeff had to stay at the café because of a call in. Diane had insisted that Liz still attend so he was going to go pick her up shortly.

He sighed thinking his Mother had worse timing than Maria. Michael was due to leave later tonight to go to Copper Summit to destroy the Harvest. Besides that he knew Liz was upset about what happened at school today. A whole new batch of rumors were making the rounds. The group had closed ranks immediately but Liz had still taken the brunt of the backlash.

She had tried not to let it get to her though. She said that everyone who was really important to her knew the truth and that’s all that mattered. If they weren’t connected as closely as they were he would never be able to tell that she was upset.

He sighed as he chose a pair of khakis and a button down shirt. He went to take a shower his thoughts weighing heavily on him.



Liz sat on her balcony wondering if she was going to make it through this dinner. Today had been brutal already and it seemed she had more of the same to look forward to in the coming days. She knew she shouldn’t let it get to her. It was just a bunch of small-minded people who were bored and looking for a new piece of gossip to break the monotony but it still hurt.

As soon as she had walked into school this morning she knew something was going on. People were looking at her and whispering. It was Amanda Lourdes who had filled Liz in on what was going on.

“Liz! I need to talk to you.” Amanda said rushing down the hallway. Liz had stopped along with Ash/Courtney to wait for Amanda to catch up.

“Sure what’s up?” Liz asked curious. She and Amanda had been friends but after her alien encounter in sophomore year they had drifted to more like casual acquaintances.

“I just wanted to tell you what Tyler, Heather, and Holly are saying about you. Tyler and Heather are telling everyone that Friday night you went to the movies with Kyle and you two were getting hot and heavy in the theater. Holly chimed in by telling everyone that while she was on a date with Kyle you called him and told him to come over cause Max wasn’t there so Kyle ditched her to go over to your house.” Amanda said feeling bad for Liz. She didn’t believe a word of it and wondered how anyone else could either. It was plain to see Liz was wild about Max Evans.

“Kyle and I are friends and I did call him and I did go to the movies with him but that’s all it was. Anything else is sheer fiction. Thanks for telling me Amanda now I at least know why everyone is staring at me.” Liz said not really worried about it. The whole thing was just stupid.

But as the day went on it just got worse. It seemed this latest round of rumors combined with the earlier stories about her and Max was enough to get the whole school talking. The nasty comments spoken deliberately loud enough for her to overhear and the stares had gotten more and more obvious as the day passed. Max tried to help by meeting her after every class and being openly affectionate and supportive. He had also made a point to talk to Kyle openly to try to quell the rumors but that only seemed to add to them. Now she was involved in a threesome with both of them. It was ridiculous.

Liz felt the headache she had been fighting since lunch launch an all out assault behind her eyes. The last thing she felt like doing was going to a tension filled dinner with Max’s parents who were going to examine every word and gesture. The very thought of food revolted her at this point. Liz glanced at her watch and sighed. She better start getting ready.



Max picked Liz up and with a wave to her Dad they left. They got into the Jeep and pulled out into traffic. Max glanced at Liz.

“Liz are you okay?” Max asked concerned.

“Yeah I’m fine. Are you okay? I know you’re worried about Michael. Is everything all set?” Liz asked turning to watch Max as he drove.

“Michael is ready. Ash is confident that everything will go like clockwork. Michael is bringing Courtney hoping to save her skin and those of her group. Ash’s men are ready and have been watching the area so everything is as ready as we can make it.” Max said glancing over and reaching for her hand. She laced her fingers with his and sighed. She could handle this. They could handle this.

“Good. I know Ash said his team was trained for this so I think it’ll be okay. Now if we can make it through dinner we’ll be alright.” Liz said with a smile.

“Liz I don’t want to hide anything so don’t feel like you have to be careful. I don’t think I can hide how I feel about you. My Mom already really likes you so there’s no reason to be nervous. Just be yourself and they’ll love you.” Max said smiling.

“Okay. Just don’t follow me into the bathroom and we should be good.” Liz teased. Max laughed.

“I promise.” Max said as he pulled into his driveway and cut the engine. He leaned over and kissed her softly. They got out and walked up to the door to find Phillip Evans already standing in the doorway. He stared at Liz as the couple walked up. She felt her nerves increase as she looked at Max’s Dad.

“Liz it’s so nice to see you again. Glad you could make it to dinner.” Mr. Evans said pleasantly.

“Thank you for inviting me.” Liz said and felt her stomach roll as he touched her shoulder lightly as he walked past.

“Liz hello. How is Nancy?” Diane Evans asked from the doorway to the kitchen.

“Hi Ms. Evans. Um she’s doing better…resting.” Liz said smiling warmly at Diane.

“I hope she’s better soon. We’ll have to re schedule when she’s feeling better. Come and have a seat at the table dinners ready. Max go get your sister.” Diane said bustling back into the kitchen. With an uneasy glance at Phillip Liz walked into the kitchen.

“Is there anything I can do to help?” Liz asked Diane, watching her toss the salad.

“Why don’t you just take the rolls in and go have a seat?” Diane said smiling at Liz. She was such a nice girl. Liz walked over and picked up the basket full of rolls and turned to head into the dining room. Her stomach rolled as she passed the doorway where Phillip was standing.

“Need any help honey?” He asked his eyes following Liz as she disappeared into the dining room.

“No I’m all set just go have a seat.” Diane said and shot her husband a smile. Phillip smiled back and walked into the dining room and sat at the head of the table. Max had taken the seat next to Liz and Isabel sat across the table. Diane came in and set the salad down and looked over the table carefully before sitting. “Liz I asked Max what you wanted to drink and he said lemonade is that alright dear?” Diane asked.

“Yes Ms. Evans that’s fine.” Liz said smiling.

“Good well let’s dig in.” Diane said and watched as everyone helped themselves. “Liz I heard you were working for Congresswomen Whitaker. How do you like it?”

“I like it a lot actually. Different from waitressing that’s for sure. It’ll look good on my college applications to so that’s a bonus.” Liz said carefully and glanced at Max.

“Where are you planning on going to school Liz?” Phillip asked and took a bite of his roll.

“My first choice is Harvard. I haven’t really decided on my backups yet.” Liz said trying to keep her tone even.

“That’s wonderful Liz. What do you want to study?” Diane asked curious.

“Micro Biology. I’ve always loved science.” Liz said and took a bite of her salad and forced herself to shallow it.

“Now I know why Max has always studied so hard for his science classes.” Diane teased. Max smiled and glanced at Liz.

“Well I can’t let my lab partner think I’m a burden. She might get another partner.” Max said grinning. Liz smiled and ate a piece of roast.

“Liz I heard you were arrested last year is that true?” Phillip asked his tone pleasant. Max and Isabel froze. Diane looked at her husband puzzled. Liz swallowed her food and turned to look at Max’s Father.

“Um yes the Sheriff arrested me for getting caught holding some alcohol. Some boys had handed me and my friend Alex their liquor at a party but it was all straightened out in the end so no harm done.” Liz said evenly. Max smiled at her reassuringly and turned to study his Fathers face confused by his behavior.

“I see. We didn’t see you around this summer. What did you do all summer?” Phillip asked and took a drink of his water.

“I went to visit my Aunt in Florida for the summer. I hadn’t seen her in a couple of years so when she invited me I accepted.” Liz said feeling more and more uncomfortable. There was an undercurrent of tension coming from Mr. Evans that was making her very uneasy.

“That’s nice. I knew I hadn’t seen you around here. Who was the girl over all the time….Tess wasn’t it?” Phillip asked with a half smile.

“Yeah it was my friend Tess.” Isabel said stepping in wondering what was going on. Max was staring at his Father his face set and angry. Liz looked at her plate and forced herself to take another bite of food trying to ignore the rolling of her stomach. Diane glanced at Max and took control of the conversation for the rest of the meal. Isabel helped trying to put Liz at ease. Max barely spoke. Liz made an effort to join in at first but the way Mr. Evans continued to stare at her was making her feel nauseous. Finally unable to stand it she excused herself from the table and went to the bathroom.

She closed the bathroom door and went to the sink. She rinsed her hands and splashed cold water on her face trying to control her growing feeling of nausea. She didn’t hear the door open then close quietly.

She turned and dried her face and gasp as she saw Mr. Evans standing in the bathroom staring at her. She backed up against the counter as her stomach twisted violently.

“Hello Liz.” Phillip said calmly.

“What..what are you doing in here?” Liz asked.

“I need to see if that movie is right. Are Earth girls easy Liz?” Mr. Evans said as he grabbed her pulling her toward him. Liz looked up fear knotting her insides. “Let’s get a look at that seal shall we?” He said. Liz started fighting him as she reached inside herself and called to Max and Kyle loudly.



Max jerked upright and stood causing Isabel and Diane to look at him as his chair hit the floor with a thud. He ran out of the room without a word.

“Liz!” Max called as he reached the bathroom door. He tried to turn the knob found it locked and used his powers to try to open it and was unable to. Isabel and Diane rounded the corner quickly coming to a halt at Max’s look of panic. “Isabel call Ash NOW!” Max yelled at his sister. Isabel’s eyes widened and she raced for the phone.

“Max? What’s going on?” Diane asked as Max started hitting the door with his shoulder afraid to blast through it in case Liz was standing on the other side.



Liz fought desperately trying to get away. “Phillip” had his hand over her mouth as he tried to subdue her. Liz realized she wasn’t going to be able to get away from him this way. He was too strong. She stilled and reached inside her like Ash had instructed. She felt her energy pool quickly and she grabbed the arm he was using to clamp his hand over her mouth. She released her energy in a hot panicked rush and mentally reached for more feeling her seal start to pulse. “Phillip” screamed loudly and released her.

Liz turned backing as far away as the bathroom would allow. She looked at the thing standing in front of her. The skin was running off of his hand and part of his arm dripping onto the tile floor as he continued to scream so loudly Liz couldn’t hear anything else.

She rushed to the bathroom door and tried to open it. She looked down and saw the melted lock. Turning she looked around the bathroom and spotted the window. She kicked out trying to shove the screaming thing farther away from her and climbed onto the toilet and opened the window. She pushed the screen out before “Phillip” grabbed her and wrestled her off the toilet. Throwing her to the floor he placed his foot on her chest holding her in place. Liz reached over and grabbed his other leg and used all her strength to try to pull it out from under him. She couldn’t even budge him one handed. She grabbed the ankle of the foot crushing her into the floor and slipped her hands under his pant leg till she reached bare skin.

She could vaguely hear Max shouting and banging against the door but she blocked all that out. She ignored the increasing pressure from the Skins foot as he tried to crush her chest. She closed her eyes and again reached for her energy and pushed feeling it leave her hand burning her as it rushed out and into the bare flesh under her hand. She held on as he tried to get away trying to cause as much damage as possible. She opened her eyes as she felt his skin dripping down onto her hand and arm oozing slowly across her chest. It felt like hot jelly. She pulled back and shoved sending him crashing into the wall then scrambled into the space between the toilet and the tub.

“Fucking bitch!” the Skin screamed in agony and hatred. This new skin was a piece of shit! He knew he was as good as dead but was intent on taking this piece of human shit with him. Who cared what Uzizen’s orders had been at this point. He reached in and started dragging Liz out by the hair with his ruined hand. His other hand began to glow brightly.

Liz screamed as he pulled her out and threw up her hand a shield pouring from her outstretched fingers. It sliced through the Skins arm that was still holding her by the hair sending a splash of hot fluid down onto Liz. The Skin screamed in searing pain as his arm was severed below the elbow. He stumbled back shrieking and holding his leaking stump.

Liz scooted back away from the severed arm and into the small space he had dragged her from and reached for Max.


Max was cursing the solid wood door as he heard Liz start screaming on the other side of the door. He could feel his seal pulsing and sending white-hot shards of pain through his shoulder he paid no attention and rammed into the door harder. Suddenly he stilled as he felt her reaching for him. He blocked out everything else and grabbed for her. He felt her slide into him and tried to remain calm as he felt her fear and pain. He felt her gather some of his power to her. He heard her whispering to him softly.

He stepped back and raised his arm and blasted through the wood of the door sending wood shards into the bathroom. He immediately braced his feet and sent another blast into the head of the screaming skin and watched in horror as it splashed over the bathroom. The rest of the body toppled to the floor. He scrambled into the room hearing Liz whimpering.

“Liz!” Max said sinking to the floor and reaching out to pull her to him. She cried out in pain as he pulled and he released her immediately.

She slowly eased her way out as they heard tires squeal out front then the Evans front door crashed open. Kyle rushed into the house and down the hall knowing where Liz was.

Kyle brushed pasted Isabel and Ms. Evans and skidded to a stop as he got a look at the bathroom. Chunks of flesh and an odd jelly like substance was slashed across the room and lying on its side was a headless body. The floor looked slick with a mix of clear fluid and a blood like substance. Kyle paid no attention and entered the room.

Liz was laying on her side her legs still tangled in the space she had been occupying. Her breathing was rapid and uneven. She looked up at Kyle but was unable to speak over the pain in her chest, she could feel shards of bone rub against each other with every breath. Gore covered her arms and chest and her hair was wet with fluid. Max was trying to help her move out into the open. Kyle moved to help him untangling her legs and lifting her as Max eased her closer to him.

“Liz?” Max asked as her eyes fluttered closed and she went limp.

“I think she passed out.” Kyle said as Ash filled the doorway towering over them.

posted on 16-Sep-2002 4:18:12 PM by Lelea
Chapter Forty Seven
**Sorry I meant to have this out sooner but....well even I deserve a break on my birthday so here it is**

fail_safe


Kyle watched as Max pulled up Liz’s shirt and placed his hand on her bare skin. Max didn’t seem to be aware of the commotion happening around him as his hand began to glow. Ash was demanding answers and Ms. Evans was almost hysterical. Isabel was doing her best to calm her and assure her it wasn’t Phillip Evans but there was a body on the bathroom floor after all. A body that had looked and sounded like Phillip Evans.

Kyle had never been this afraid in his life. Liz looked bad. Really bad and that scared him. He couldn’t loose Liz….they couldn’t loose her. He hoped Evans was as good as he thought he was. He watched as sweat broke out on Max’s forehead and lines of strain began to show. Was it supposed to take this long? Is this what it had looked like when Max had healed him? Finally Max sat back panting. Liz lay there unmoving except for the rise and fall of her chest as she breathed.

“Is she going to be okay?” Kyle asked glancing between Max and Liz.

“I think so.” Max said not looking up.

“What do you mean you think so?” Kyle asked feeling panic flutter to life inside him.

“I healed every injury I could find but…something. Something feels different. I don’t know what. It’s not an injury though. Maybe its because she has more of her own powers now or has access to mine or the seal I don’t know. It could be just that she used so much power and channeled power from me and the Granilith both. I know the Granilith changed her somehow opened her to her gifts it could be that. It could be a lot of things but it’s not an injury that needs to be healed so I think she will be fine. She’s exhausted but she’ll be okay after she rests.” Max said slowly but Kyle could see the worry wasn’t leaving his face. Max glanced up and looked at Kyle and Kyle could see the fear and rage swirling in his eyes.

“Listen I’ll call my Dad and have him come and help us out.” Kyle said wanting to help. Max nodded and turned to Ash who was bent over the body studying it closely.

“Ash we need to start searching for my Father. Check the house, the yard, the cars, his office, and he went on a business trip to Clovis also so there’s a lot of ground to cover and we need to start now.” Max said his voice firm. He ruthlessly controlled his emotions and sorted out the actions needed to start resolving this situation.

“I have already called for help. Liz will be alright?” Ash asked worry chewing at his insides.

“Yes, she will. If she isn’t, Eagle Rock will be leveled by morning.” Max said with certainty then turned to his Mother and Isabel.

“Isabel I need you to call Michael, Maria, and Alex and get them here now. We don’t know who anyone really is at this point.” Max said giving her a pointed look. Isabel nodded and left making her way to the phone. Max turned to his Mom and looked into her confused tear-filled eyes.

“Max what is this? Your Father…?” Diane started and broke off as a sob choked off her words. Max walked over to her and moved her down the hall away from the bathroom.

“Mom I know you’re scared and upset but that wasn’t Dad. I have to take care of Liz right now but I will explain this to you as soon as I can. The Sheriff is on his way and Ash is a friend who is also here to help so just trust me for a little while longer and Isabel and I will explain this okay?” Max asked carefully thinking of only one thing at a time. It was all about priorities he reminded himself firmly. Diane worked to bring herself under control and nodded brokenly.

“Okay. I better go and get ready to let the Sheriff in.” Diane said and wiped at her tears. Max hugged her briefly.

“Thank you Mom.” Max said not knowing what else to say to her at this point. Diane patted his arm and moved off down the hall.

Max turned and made his way back to Liz who was lying exactly as he had left her. He scooped her up and carried her into the other bathroom and set her carefully on the bathroom rug. He strode into his room and collected a change of cloths for himself and a T-shirt and boxers for Liz carrying them back into the bathroom with him. He striped Liz’s cloths off quickly and carried the pile into the hall. He spotted Kyle at the end of the hall.

“Kyle can you wash these please? Liz can’t go home in different cloths.” Max asked then seeing the puzzled look on Kyle’s face he explained further. “I know I could just use my powers but I think it will make Liz feel better if she knows they’re clean. You know smell like fabric softener and all that…it’s a comfort thing.” Max explained.

“Yeah sure I’ll take care of it.” Kyle said accepting the pile from him and moving off down the hall. Max turned and walked back into the bathroom shutting the door and removing his own clothing. He turned on the water and adjusted the temperature. He picked Liz up and carried her into the shower. He washed her carefully not wanting her to find any reminder of what had happened on her skin. The memories would be bad enough.

He turned off the shower and dried them both off and dressed her carefully feeling her start to stir. He quickly finished dressing himself then carried her into the living room and set her down on the couch. He hovered carefully brushing the hair from her face and holding her hand as he waited for her to wake. He could hear the Sheriff and Ash talking in the kitchen but he didn’t move.

Liz opened her eyes and blinked in confusion. The first thing she saw was Max’s worried face. Then she remembered what had happened and bolted upright.

“It’s okay Liz. He’s gone. You’re safe.” Max said and moved closer wrapping his arms around her. She buried her face in his neck as she tried to catch up mentally. After a moment she pulled back, and looked into Max’s eyes.

“I’m so sorry Max. Are you okay?” Liz asked softly feeling a blankness to him that worried her. She knew this was exactly what he had always feared. His family being hurt.

“I’ll be fine. I have to go and try to explain this to my Mother. Ash is searching for my father now. Will you be okay for a few minutes?” Max asked feeling a little disconnected from what was happening around him.

“Yeah I’ll be fine. Kyle will stay with me. Go talk to your Mother. I’ll be here when you’re done.” Liz said catching sight of Kyle hovering in the doorway. She looked back at Max and tilted his face up so he was looking into her eyes. “Max this wasn’t your fault. None of this was. Thank you for saving me. Now go and take care of your Mother she needs you. I love you.” Liz said watching the emotions flicker in his eyes. She leaned forward and kissed him slowly then sat back. Max got up and kissed the top of her head then left to find Isabel and his mother. Kyle walked in and sat down in the chair across from her.

“You sure you’re okay?” Kyle asked worried.

“Yeah just a little tired and shaken up. I’ll be fine.” Liz said trying to reassure him. She kept her connection to Max open so she could feel if he needed her. She didn’t push she just resided like a shadow on the edge of his mind letting him feel her presence but not taking his attention from where it needed to be.

“Good. By the way nice panties.” Kyle said with a grin. Trying to make her smile.

“Glad you liked them they’re new. I don’t think you saw those when you looked through all my underwear last time.” Liz said smiling slightly as she reminded him of the night of her blind date. Kyle grinned wider.

“Well everyone’s gotta have a hobby. Looking through your panties is mine.” Kyle said wiggling his eyebrows. Liz smiled and rolled her eyes. They heard a car pull up out front and several seconds later Michael burst in followed by Maria and Alex.

“Where’s Max?” Michael asked.

“He’s talking to his Mother with Isabel. Trying to explain the headless corpse in the bathroom that was posing as his Father. Ash and Valenti are searching for Mr. Evans now.” Liz answered evenly.

“Liz oh my god are you okay?” Maria asked rushing over to her.

“Yeah Max fixed me up. I’ll be fine.” Liz said and glanced over at Alex. “Listen Michael. You have to go to Copper Summit tonight. There isn’t anymore time to waste. We can’t allow them to harvest their new husks. We have a chance here to gain the upper hand and we need to use it.”

“Liz I really don’t think that’s possible now.” Maria said stunned that Liz was even suggesting it.

“Yes it is. Michael can go with Ash’s team and be back before they even know what hit them. They won’t be expecting any action on our part right now. We have a real chance here. Michael you know I’m right.” Liz said looking at him.

“She’s right. I think we need to stick to the plan.” Alex said carefully. “Max and the rest of us can handle things here.” Michael stayed silent for a moment and then nodded.

“Alright I’ll talk to Max, but first I need to talk to Ash.” Michael said shortly and spotted Ash in the kitchen talking to Valenti. He strode into the kitchen to find out the latest news. Liz sat back and glanced over at Kyle. Her gaze landed on his shoes.

They were coated with blood and fluid. Dried pieces of…gore were stuck to the tops of them. Her stomach heaved violently as flashes of what had happened in the bathroom crossed her mind. “Oh god.” Liz moaned and bolted up and out of the room hand clamped over her mouth. She barely made it to the toilet before she started vomiting. She heard Maria and Kyle arguing about getting Max outside the door. The bathroom door opened and Alex walked in closing it behind him. She was so sick she couldn’t even look up as he walked toward her.

Alex got a wash cloth and ran cold water over it then knelt down behind Liz. He didn’t say anything he just waited. Finally Liz rested her head on her arm and took deep even breaths trying not to picture anything that had happened in that other bathroom. Alex pulled her hair away from her face and neck and rested the cold cloth against the back of her neck.

“Thanks Alex. I just saw Kyle’s shoes and…it was awful Alex. I have never seen anything like it and I hope I never do again. The things I did..” Liz said feeling her stomach churn.

“Liz what ever you did was what you had to do. You want me to get Max?” Alex asked concerned about her. She looked pale and miserable.

“I’m fine. Max has enough to worry about right now.” Liz said. They both looked up as Ash entered carrying a mug of something.

“Liz drink this it should settle your stomach.” Ash said studying her closely as he approached. Liz took the mug and looked at the contents.

“What is it?” Liz asked.

“Tea. Drink it slowly it will help.” Ash said. Liz took a cautious sip and then another.

“Thanks Ash.” Liz said and moved to stand. Alex helped her and Liz had to make a grab for the boxers as they tried to slide off. “Alex can you ask Kyle to ditch his shoes please?” Liz asked taking the cloth from her neck and setting it on the sink.

“Sure. Come out when you’re ready.” Alex said and left the room.

“Liz you should rest. What you did was very draining.” Ash said worried. “When you are ready I need to know what exactly happened. When Max is able to be there as well.”

“I’ll be out in a sec I just need to clean up.” Liz said softly. “Someone is going to take care of the mess in the bathroom?” Liz asked not wanting Mrs. Evans to have to see it again.

“Already handled. They’re working on it now.” Ash said and walked to the door. “I’m glad you are alright.” Ash said and left shutting the door behind him.



Max had left Liz and found Isabel and his mother sitting on his parents’ bed. Isabel was holding their mother’s hand and she looked scared and lost. He wondered what he could say to explain this. Max walked into the room and sat on the bed next to his mom. He was so tired and the effort of staying in control was almost more then he could manage. He closed his eyes for a moment trying to gather the strength to get through this. He found Liz. He could feel her carefully staying in the background but he could feel her love and support and it was enough.

“Mom this is going to be really hard to hear and it’s a lot of information. So I’m going to tell you the basics and then later we can fill in the rest. Remember last year when we had that kitchen fire and you started asking questions about the things you had seen? The fire and the bird when I was little?” Max asked trying to see if his mother was really able to hear this now. He watched her carefully as she nodded.

“I remember Max.” Diane said trying to focus only on what Max was saying and not on the rest of what she had seen.

“Well you were right I can do things. Special things like heal and blast through doors and other things as well. I can do those things because I’m an alien and so is Isabel. When you and Dad found us in the desert we had just left our incubation pods. That’s why we couldn’t speak and why we were out there alone. Michael is an alien as well and was there but was too afraid to come with us. Our ship was the UFO that crashed in 1947. The people on our ship hid our pods before they were captured. We are actually human alien hybrids so we are a mix of both. We were made in a lab out of who we were before we died on our planet and human DNA.” Max said and waited glancing at Isabel. He could see the hope and fear in her eyes. This was the moment she had been fighting him for and now that it was here she was afraid.

“I don’t know what to say Max. I know you’re different I’ve seen enough to know that but..” Diane stopped and looked at her children. She could see their fear clearly. She thought about all the little things over the years that proved who these two people were inside. “How did you find all of this out? I mean how do you know this is true?”

“That’s a long story but we’ve always known we were different. The things we could do…we just knew. The other stuff we just found out in the last year really. Now other aliens are finding us and we’re learning more. Some are friends and some aren’t. Ash is from our planet; he’s here to help us. The person that looked like Dad wasn’t him. He is what we call a Skin. That’s our enemy and they wear a husk that they can make to look like someone else. They can’t survive here without it.” Max answered watching his Mother carefully. He didn’t know if she believed him or not.

“Why are these Skins after you? Why are they after Liz? Is she…does she…?” Diane stumbled over her words.

“Liz is human and yes she knows what I am. The Skins are after us because in our last life I was the king of our planet and Isabel was the princess. Michael was my second in command and Tess was my bride. The Skins leader Kivar killed all of us and took over our planet. Our mother had us basically cloned and sent here to keep us safe. Tess has betrayed us and is working with the Skins now…she made a deal with them. They are after Liz because she’s my true soulmate. I love her and am going to marry her. She carries a seal that proves she is my soulmate it’s like a tattoo on her shoulder and I have a matching one on mine. That’s why he wanted to kill her.” Max said and felt the guilt swamp him briefly. Suddenly Liz’s presence rushed through him showing him what he was to her lending him her strength.

“Max how can you expect me to believe all of this?” Diane asked not sure what to think at this point. Max took off his shirt and turned showing her his seal. He reached for Liz and felt the energy binding them. He heard his mother gasp in the stillness of the room as his seal started to glow. He turned and put on his shirt and sat back down.

“Mom we didn’t tell you because I thought you would be safer and I was afraid. I was wrong. Whatever has happened to Dad is my fault. We should have told you.” Max said looking at his hands. He felt Liz trying to sooth him wrapping him in her love. He looked up as his mother put her hand over his.

“Max this isn’t your fault. Even if we had known this still could have happened. I love you both very much. You are my children it never mattered to me where you came from. We’ll get through this together. That’s what families do.” Diane said feeling a sense of resolve. Her kids needed her. They needed to be reassured that she loved them and that nothing would change that. She had to hold it together…hold her family together. She was very afraid that Phillip was never coming home. That something terrible had happened to him but she couldn’t let that fear overwhelm her. She needed to be strong if the worst happened she could grieve then.

posted on 17-Sep-2002 8:24:31 PM by Lelea
Ok. ::waves hello:: Just popping by and I wanted to thank everyone for some interesting feedback. I see some new names and that makes me happy so thanks.

I see a liitle bit of interest in what Max saw when he healed Liz. Since I'm not going to touch on that in the story again I thought I would clarify a tiny bit. Max didn't see another injury. Liz just felt different from the last time he healed her. Her energy felt different. So it's not a injury or a illness type of thing. Max isn't blowing it off exactly he noticed it but doesn't know what it is and it's not hurting Liz and he has a lot going on at the moment. So it's just been set aside. He is thinking about what it could be he gave Kyle a list of guesses as to what it could be. The Granilith is top on his list. He isn't going to Ash because he doesn't fully trust him after what happened on the visit to the Granilith and he isn't ready to deal with this issue. He has put it on the bottom of the priority list for the moment.

Once again let me say that no matter what there will be a fairly happy ending. This story started out simple and has morphed into a more complex tale then I imagined. I hope everyone enjoys it. Remember the pairing is M/L. I won't forget that I promise. Even though I love Kyle madly. *tongue*

See you all soon....the next part is about half done and now I have my beta back to keep me in line so things should pick up. Thanks again*happy*
posted on 18-Sep-2002 10:27:18 PM by Lelea
Chapter Forty Eight

fail_safe

Liz lay propped up in bed. Maria was asleep on her right and Kyle lay on her left dozing. She hadn't wanted to leave Max but she knew they had to appear normal. Her parents were expecting her home and there was no way to explain her absence on a Monday night. Max had been upset and afraid to allow her out of his sight. Liz had reminded him that Maria and Kyle were both going to stay with her and Ash would be on her balcony. He was needed at home. Isabel and his mother needed him. Finally after a breath stealing hug and a soft kiss, he had walked her to Kyle's car.

Max had then pulled Kyle aside and made him promise he wouldn't leave Liz alone. Not even alone with Maria even though Ash would be within shouting distance. He made Kyle promise to stay in the room with her. He made this request for several reasons. One, he was afraid that it was possible that the Skins had replaced another parent or someone else close to them. Two, he knew Liz trusted Kyle and that fact in turn caused him to trust Kyle. He wanted people they both trusted around her right now. He also thought that if Liz were able to fall asleep it was very likely that she would have nightmares. She would need someone there to watch out for her, and if it couldn't be him, Kyle was a good choice. Max knew that Liz felt safe with Kyle and that alone made him a good choice.

Liz sighed and turned over. Kyle and Maria had climbed up the ladder so her parents wouldn't know they were there. Ash had followed Liz to her door and waited for her to enter the apartment before he made his way onto her balcony. Maria had fallen asleep her cell phone still clutched in her hand. Michael had promised to call her as soon as they were on the way back to let her know he was all right. Liz was finding it impossible to turn off her mind and get the rest her body was screaming for.

She felt guilty. Looking back on the evening, she should have known that the thing posing as Mr. Evans wasn't Max's father. He had felt wrong from the start but it was Max's DAD. She had shrugged it off as nerves or her imagination. She had never dreamed that a Skin would try to infiltrate their families. All her warning signals had been screaming at her and she had ignored them all. How stupid could she possibly be?

Liz rolled over and looked at Maria and felt a fresh wave of guilt. She had been the one to convince Max to stick to the plan. What if something happened and Michael got hurt? She would never forgive herself. She was listening to the voice telling her to hurry. Time was running out and action was called for. If they waited too long, their best chance would be lost. She really hoped that she wasn't making another mistake.

"Liz stop. I can hear your brain working overtime and it's keeping me awake," Kyle said softly. He had been watching her toss and turn unable to sleep.

"I'm sorry Kyle. I can't seem to turn off my thoughts long enough to relax," Liz said turning to look at him. Here she was in bed sandwiched between Maria and Kyle. Who would have thought?

"Listen, you need to sleep. You look like shit," Kyle said smiling into her eyes. He watched her lower lip pooch out in a pout.

"Thanks Kyle, I love you too," Liz said glaring at him.

"Okay fine, you want me to lie? I'll lie. You are the most beautiful girl I have ever seen in sweats and those bags under your eyes really bring out the deep brown in your blood shot eyes. Hey! No hitting," Kyle said grinning as Liz punched him lightly on the arm.

"I have a lot on my mind and you're not helping." Liz said raising an eyebrow at him. Kyle grinned knowing she wasn't thinking about this evening if she was bickering with him.

"Let's not get mean. You'll hurt my feelings," Kyle said his lips twitching as Liz rolled her eyes and sighed. "Okay, if you want, I can bore you to sleep."

"Kyle, you aren't boring. I'm sorry. I don't mean to be a bitch," Liz said feeling bad. She sighed and twirled a strand of her hair around her finger.

"Liz, you're not a bitch. You are lying there feeling guilty. You're probably feeling guilty about everything from having mean thoughts about Holly to not thanking Max's mom for a lovely dinner. Just stop. Go to sleep. We have school in the morning," Kyle said softly seeing the exhaustion in Liz's eyes.

"I can't. I shouldn't have left Max," Liz said feeling her eyes fill with tears. Kyle saw her lip tremble before she stilled it with her teeth. Crap. He was so not good with crying women.

"Liz, you were right. There was no way we could have gotten away with you being gone on Monday night and I don't think Evans is in any shape to have the 'Hi, I'm an alien.' talk with your parents. He just went through that with his mother so lets give him a few days before he has to deal with it again," Kyle said trying to head off an emotional outburst.

"I know but…he's so upset and I just left him. We don't even know what happened to his dad. Michael is confronting the enemy and Max has all this pressure on him and I just left him. What kind of person am I?" Liz asked tears running down into her hair.

Shit! Kyle thought to himself. "You are the best person I know Liz. You're a great friend and you always look at the real person not just the image people show you. You're smart and beautiful. You are the least selfish person I know. You're clear headed in a crisis and so strong it's incredible. Max loves you and he wouldn't want this. So just stop okay? If Max even gets a hint that you're getting this upset, he'll come over and then I'm not living up to my promise to look out for you," Kyle babbled trying to stop her tears.

"Thanks Kyle, but you're wrong about a few things. I'm not strong at all. I'm scared and weak. I try to be strong for Max but…I keep getting hurt and causing Max more problems and worry. I'm not even in control of myself. I have never been so emotional and this isn't the time for it. We all have so much going on. I haven't really talked to Alex in weeks. I talk Max into sending Maria's boyfriend into the first major confrontation without any help. I worry Max to the point where he watches everything I eat. I leave him alone while his father is missing and he is left to handle Isabel and his mother alone not to mention deal with Ash and the rest of it. I'm a terrible person," Liz said her tears coming faster.

Fuck! Kyle thought getting desperate. "No that's not true. You're not a terrible person and you didn't leave Max alone. He has Isabel and his mother to share things with and he still has you. I know you have that connection alien voodoo thing going on so he isn't alone. It's also not your fault you got hurt. Liz, Skins have tried to kill you and that's not your fault. I swear between you and Evans the amount of guilt is just crazy. As for not being a good friend, Liz, you're one of my best friends and I know if I need you all I have to do is ask or come and talk to you and I'm sure Alex knows that also. Finally, Michael does have help. He isn't going alone, Ash's men are trained to handle this. You just helped Max make a choice that needed to be made. So, before you come up with a thousand more things to feel guilty about, can we go to sleep?" Kyle asked studying her face in the dim light.

"Kyle sometimes being a good friend is not waiting until you're told. It's asking and taking the time to notice. We're more than friends all of us. We've all become a family bound around a secret and a held together through trust and caring for each other. I have a responsibility to be better than this…to do better than this. Max can't do it all by himself. I can't afford to be wrong. Max trusts me and he listens to me and I can't be a burden. I love him Kyle. I don't want to be just another problem he has to solve or some helpless thing that he has to protect and watch over," Liz said trying to make him understand. She wiped at her cheeks and felt a wave of bone deep exhaustion break over her.

"Liz everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. Not everyone can be physically strong or have powers. You have a lot of strengths. You're smart and able to think of a plan quickly. You have inner strength that is invaluable to Max. You've been attacked twice and kept your head and fought hard enough to live. Max wouldn't like to hear you talking like this. He doesn't think you're a burden. Trust me I'm a guy and I know. You just need to have faith in yourself as much faith as you have in Max. Liz, you're putting too much pressure on yourself. There's a lot going on right now. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone, even you and even Max. If you don't lighten up, you're going to make yourself sick. That would really upset Max not to mention everyone else. So please try to sleep. You need the rest. All this will still be there tomorrow." Kyle said starting to worry about all the strain Liz had been under lately. Liz was a classic overachiever and he didn't want her to burn herself out.

"You're right. I'll try. I'm sorry just kick me when I get like this," Liz said rolling her eyes. Kyle was good for her. He had the amazing ability to make her see things a different way and lighten her mood even at the worst of times. That was one of his strengths.

"No problem. Now, this conversation never happened. I have a policy against these weepy meaningful talks so just go to sleep," Kyle said smiling. Liz smiled and nodded. She moved around trying to get comfortable and closed her eyes. Kyle lay beside her watching her. He could see her expression wasn't restful or peaceful. Finally, Liz opened her eyes and looked into his.

"Kyle can you…just hold my hand? When I close my eyes I see that Skin and I don't feel safe," Liz whispered feeling ashamed of herself. She needed to be stronger but she just didn't have the energy tonight.

"Of course I will. Here give me your hand and relax. No one will hurt you I promise. Ash would fry their ass and I would peel the husk right off them. I swear," Kyle said and crossed his heart. Liz reached out and offered her hand and Kyle took it carefully. He watched as Liz closed her eyes and eventually drifted off to sleep. He stayed awake for a long time holding Liz's hand.


Liz woke up to the sound of Maria's cell phone ringing. She opened her eyes and realized that not only was she still holding Kyle's hand but Maria had shoved her over and she could barely move. She saw Kyle's eyes open and a sleepy grin spread over his face.

"I must be dreaming because this would never happen in real life," Kyle said looking at Liz trapped under Maria's body. Liz was pinned between him and Maria. He smiled wider as Liz's eyes narrowed. "I mean some guys would pay a lot of money to be where I am right now. Max and Michael just for starters. This is a great start to the day." Kyle said as Maria's phone continued to ring.

"If you're done with your fantasy could you please roll Maria over? Someone needs to get her phone," Liz said glaring at Kyle.

"Please don't move. Allow me to get the phone," Kyle said repressing his laughter as he reached over Liz and Maria and searched for the still ringing phone. He picked it up and answered. "Hello?"

"Kyle? Where's Maria?" Michael asked gruffly.

"She's pinning Liz to the bed at the moment. I wish I had a camera," Kyle said watching Liz try to wiggle out from under Maria.

"What? Never mind just tell Maria I'm on my way home and I'm fine. I'll call her back later." Michael said and hung up. He wished Kyle had a camera too. I always miss the good stuff Michael thought with a shake of his head.

Kyle hung up and set the phone on the nightstand. "Michael's fine; now let's all go back to sleep," Kyle's grin widened at Liz's furious stare.

"Kyle, if you don't help me, I'm going to hurt you really badly. Now get your ass in gear and roll her over or wake her up!" Liz said as she glared at Kyle. He was such a guy sometimes.

"Do you happen to have a video camera? I would really like to record the moment," Kyle said and watched Liz's eyes spark.

"Kyle, I'm going to kill you." Liz said between clenched teeth. Maria shifted slightly and Liz used the movement to roll herself free. "Here we are in a crisis situation and you're caught up in some perverted fantasy" Liz ranted in a whisper.

"Hey, ya gotta get your joy where you can." Kyle said and shrugged.

Liz spun on her heels and marched into the bathroom closing the door behind her.


Things at the Evans house had been busy late into the night. Valenti had filed a missing person's report on Phillip and started contacting nearby police agencies and hospitals to see if anyone fitting his description had been found. So far nothing. Max had gone over the plans for the Harvest with Michael. They had agreed to stay in touch by cell phone so Max would know immediately if something had gone wrong. Alex had stayed with Isabel lending her support as she tried to Dreamwalk her father. She hadn't been able to reach him, which didn't mean much because she had always had a tougher time Dreamwalking Phillip. Uziel was heading the search team and had stayed in close contact updating Max throughout the night. So far the house, the yard, the cars, and the office had all been searched and nothing had turned up. They were now searching the road on the way to Clovis.

Diane had stayed in the background watching her kids. For the first time she was seeing her kids lives. She was wondering how she hadn't seen any of this before now. They were so organized and in control. She was feeling overwhelmed, scared, and lost in this life that her children seemed to live in. Worry for Phillip had become a solid mass inside her. Finally exhausted, she had fallen asleep in the living room chair.

Max had spent a considerable amount of time worried about Liz. He reached for her on a regular basis needing the reassurance that she was all right. He knew she was having a hard time sleeping. He felt the exact moment she finally drifted off. He brooded about his inability to keep her safe. She could have died in that bathroom while he had been right on the other side of the door. It seemed he was unable to keep anyone in his life safe.

Max was jarred out of sleep by the insistent ringing of his cell phone. "Hello"

"We're on our way home." Michael said still keyed up from the events in Copper Summit.

"Everything okay?" Max asked.

"We lost Courtney. Some guy named Greer found us while we were trying to find the husks we wanted to save. He almost got me but Courtney saw him and took the hit. Everything else went smooth. Cooper Summit is dust." Michael said.

"I'm sorry Michael but I'm glad you're okay. Anyone else hurt?" Max asked.

"No the charges were set and as soon as I got out they blew them. No problems." Michael said wishing it were always so easy.

"Good. No change here. Did you call Maria?" Max asked reminding Michael of his promise.

"Oh yeah, I did. She was asleep I guess. Kyle answered her phone so I gave him a message and said I'd call back." Michael said leaving out the rest of the conversation.

"Good. Just call before she hits school. Listen, I've gotta go. I have to get ready for school." Max said rubbing his eyes. He was beyond tired.

"Max, why don't you just stay home?" Michael asked.

"Everything needs to appear normal. I want to play our cards as carefully as possible. We need to be seen as following the routine. It might delay things and give us time to get ready for what's coming," Max said tiredly. He had no idea if this was the right thing to do but it was second nature by now to try to appear normal.

"Okay. I'll catch you later." Michael said and hung up.



Max, Isabel, and Alex entered the school and made their way to meet everyone else at Maria's locker. Max watched the other students as they talked and goofed around thinking how different today felt then every other day before it. He wondered if he would ever feel normal again. Nothing really seemed real. He watched everything move around him but inside there was just stillness.

posted on 20-Sep-2002 10:37:05 PM by Lelea
Chapter Forty Nine
fail_safe

Max watched the scenery pass by as Valenti drove. His father had been found. A passing motorist on highway 60 west of Clovis had seen him lying by the side of the road. He had been badly beaten and left with no ID. Phillip had been admitted to the area hospital and identified by Valenti’s description.

The Sheriff was now driving Max, Isabel, and Diane to the hospital. Uziel had been sent ahead to watch over Phillip until they arrived. Driving two cars behind them were two of Ash’s men. They were trying to take every precaution they could.

They arrived at the hospital and spoke with the doctor. Phillip had been badly beaten. His left arm was broken, his face bruised and swollen, one eye was swollen shut, he had a slight concussion from several blows to the head, and the most interesting thing was the silver handprint on his chest. None of his injuries were life threatening. After thanking the doctor they made their way to his room. As soon as they opened the door and Phillip saw Max he started yelling.

“You get away from my wife!” Phillip yelled pointing at Max.

“Phillip! What are you talking about?” Diane asked shocked.

“He’s not human! He’s evil! He did this to me! Diane get away from him,” Phillip screamed getting more and more agitated.

Max felt like someone had punched him hard in the chest. His father was screaming and calling him a monster…inhuman. He couldn’t breath. Isabel glanced at Diane and moved to Max’s side taking his hand. She knew this was exactly what Max had always feared and she tried to show him her support. Whatever happened she was sticking with Max. Diane saw the color drain from her son’s face as Phillip continued to scream. She didn’t know what had happened to Phillip but she knew Max had nothing to do with it. She would have known that even if she hadn’t seen “Phillip” trying to kill Liz Parker in her bathroom.

“Phillip! Stop it! Our son did not do this. You know that. We raised him,” Diane said feeling a sinking sensation in her stomach. This was bad.

“That thing is not our son! I don’t know what he is! Diane please listen to me,” Phillip said feeling panic rising inside him. He saw flashes of Max standing over him, his hand glowing as he reached toward his chest..burning pain.

“Mom? We’re going to wait outside,” Isabel said already pulled Max toward the door. Max followed unresisting. Diane nodded and turned back to Phillip.

Isabel pulled Max into the hall and led him to the waiting room. Valenti looked up as they entered and seeing the look on Isabel’s face he made his way over.

“What happened?” Jim asked.

“He said Max wasn’t human and that he is the one who did that to him.” Isabel said glancing around the waiting room.

“I’ll go and talk to him. Stay here,” Jim said and walked away.

Isabel turned back to Max and sat down beside him. “Max he didn’t mean it. He’s just confused,” Isabel said not really believing what she was saying. Max turned to look at her his eyes full of devastation and pain.

“He meant it. He meant every word,” Max said and paused. “Isabel I think he did see me. Or someone that looked exactly like me.”

“A Skin?” Isabel asked fearfully.

“Maybe. Isabel, we are in real trouble here. Dad isn’t kidding. He believes what he’s saying and who knows who he’s going to tell.” Max said quietly. He didn’t know what to do. His whole world was crumbling under his feet faster than he could fix it. Before Isabel could respond Max’s phone rang. “Hello?”

“Max? What happened? What’s wrong?” Liz asked keeping her voice calm and even.

“My Dad said that I’m not human and I am the one who attacked him.” Max said and ran a hand through his hair.

“Max I’m coming. We’re already in the car. Listen to me…I know you. I know what kind of person you are and I love you. I love that person. Your mom loves you. Isabel loves you. You’re dad has been through a terrible ordeal. He doesn’t know what to believe right now. This will all work out in time. Wait for me okay? We’ll be there soon.” Liz said reaching through their connection and soothing him as she spoke.

“Okay. I’ll see you when you get here. Be careful. Kyle and Ash are with you right?” Max asked feeling the pain inside him lighten as she wrapped herself around him. It really felt like she was there holding him.

“Yes they’re both here. We’re all coming. I love you Max. Call me if you need me.” Liz said.

“I will. I love you too. More than anything.” Max said grateful for her support and love. They said their good-byes and Max hung up.


In the car Liz leaned between the seats. “We have to hurry. Max needs help. His father says it was Max that attacked him. He’s also saying that Max isn’t human.”

“Oh shit!” Kyle said glancing away from the road.

Ash pulled out his phone and dialed Uziel.


Max sat in the waiting room in a fog. Life seemed to be moving so fast all around him. His head was spinning and he couldn’t seem to get his brain into gear. He knew he needed to think. To figure out what to do but everything was just moving so fast and nothing seemed to have any color. It made it easier to think it wasn’t real. His dad really hadn’t called him a monster. Liz really hadn’t almost died. His father wasn’t really a threat.

Time past in a haze that Max paid little attention to. Suddenly the door to the waiting room crashed open and Liz rushed in. Her eyes caught Max’s and suddenly Max felt the world snap into sharp focus and flood with vivid color. Liz walked over and sat on his lap wrapping her arms around him tightly. He rested his forehead against hers and sighed. They didn’t speak she just sat and let him touch her..hold her close while she played with the buttons on his shirt.

Isabel walked out to find the rest of the group standing in the hall. She looked at this group of mismatched people all there to help and burst into tears. Alex moved to her side and held her while she cried. The rest of them stood and waited silently. Finally, Isabel looked up and wiped her eyes.

“I’m sorry. It’s been a long day.” Isabel said.

“Don’t apologize we all understand.” Maria said still a little surprised at the thawing of the Ice Queen right in front of her eyes.

“Max is really upset. Dad said some really horrible things to him,” Isabel said looking at Michael. “We need to find somewhere to stay. We can’t stay there. Dad is really upset it’ll take some time I think,” Isabel said wondering if even time could help this.

“I will take care if it. Don’t worry about details. That’s my job. Let’s just take things slowly,” Ash said worriedly.

“No, I don’t want you to leave,” Diane said walking up and overhearing the conversation. “You’re my children. I love you. Your home is with me.”

Max had seen his mother walk up and he and Liz had heard the last of the conversation. “Mom we don’t want to cause trouble between you and Dad. I don’t want you to choose between Dad or us. We can leave for awhile.”

“Max, this isn’t a matter of choosing between you and your father. It’s a matter of what’s right. You’re both my kids. You belong at home and that’s the end of it. Phillip will come around he just needs some time to think that’s all. We’ll give him a few days and then we’ll talk to him.” Diane said sadness welling up inside her at the pain she knew the kids were feeling. She had a better understanding of why Max and Isabel had kept who they are a secret. She could see the mistrust in Max’s eyes and her heart ached a little more.

“Mom are you sure that’s a good idea? Where’s Dad going to stay?” Isabel asked softly. She really wanted to go home with her mom but she didn’t want to cause problems either. The way her Dad had looked at Max and screamed was fresh in her mind.

“He’ll be okay. I’m not saying this is going to be easy but we’re a family and Phillip will realize that too,” Diane said firmly.

“Mom I think it would be better for everyone if we stayed somewhere else for awhile. It would be safer. I’ll have someone watch out for you. Take Dad home and Isabel and I will come by in a couple of days.” Max said carefully. After a little arguing it was settled.


Liz sat between Max’s legs on the floor of Ash’s apartment munching on salt and vinegar potato chips. Max held her close as they waited for everyone to get settled so the Sheriff could tell them Phillip’s story. Maria hung up the phone after ordering their pizza and went to sit with Michael. Finally everyone was settled.

“Okay here’s the deal. On Monday afternoon Phillip left the Clovis office to make it home in time for the dinner with Liz. He said Max was waiting for him at his car. When Phillip got close Max raised his arm and he was flung against the car. Max then proceeded to beat him and shove him in the trunk. He said Max then started punching him in the face until he was unconscious. When Phillip came to he was lying on the side of the road with Max crouched down next to him. He said Max’s face shifted for a second his features running before solidifying into Max’s face once more. Then Max pressed a glowing hand to his chest burning the silver handprint into his skin and Phillip passed out when he woke up he was in the hospital.” Jim said editing the story to only provide the essential information. He didn’t think Max and Isabel needed to hear every detail of their father’s torture.

“That would be a shapeshifter not a Skin right Ash?” Michael asked.

“Correct. The silver handprint is our kind the Skins just burn the flesh. Plus the shifting of facial features..that would have been deliberate. He wanted to make Phillip aware of your alien status and use it to frighten him.” Ash said having his suspicions on a traitor now confirmed.

“Tess. This was Tess.” Max said softly.

“You don’t know that Max.” Isabel said.

“She would know what this would do to us. She knows us Isabel.” Max said looking over at his sister.

“Ash do you have any idea who could be working with the Skins?” Michael asked looking at Ash.

“No I don’t. This is why I only called in three others at the beginning. I have long suspected there was a traitor among us but I have never been able to find out who it was.” Ash said looking between Max and Michael.

“Ash we have serious problems here. Now we can’t trust anybody. How are we going to trust the people you assign to protect us? They could be anyone really.” Alex said really worried. How was he to know who he was really talking to if they could shapeshift?

“Certain things can not be faked. All of the various seals can not be duplicated. Liz, Max, and I all have one so you will always know us. We will need to devise a system to be sure of who we are talking to.” Ash said thoughtfully.

“That’s not our only problem. Who has Dad told about what happened? The police are going to want to talk to him and the doctor was interested in the handprint.” Isabel said wondering how they were going to get out of this.

“He hasn’t talked to anyone yet. I got him to agree to edit his story for the police. I explained what everyone thinks of UFO nuts and stories of aliens. He agreed to say he didn’t remember much and it might have had something to do with one of his cases. There isn’t much to do about the handprint but it’ll be gone soon anyway.” Jim said shrugging.

“This can all wait a day. I think we need to get something to eat then get some sleep before we make any major decisions.” Liz said knowing how drained Max was.

“I vote for that. We can skip school tomorrow and meet here.” Kyle said happily.

“I second that motion. All in favor,” Michael said immediately and raised his hand. The rest of them raised their hands. It was decided that they would all meet at Ash’s instead of school even the Sheriff could see the need for a day spent planning.

The pizza arrived and everyone ate. Conversation was minimal everyone was lost in their own thoughts. Isabel was thinking about the disaster that was currently her family. It made sense that Tess was involved in what had happened. She knew how much family meant to Isabel and how Max opposed telling their parents their secret. That bitch Isabel thought miserable. Michael was watching Max. He looked like shit. Kyle was joking around with Alex telling him he had now been in bed with both his girls. Alex was laughing and bickering back while keeping his eye on Maria. Maria was afraid. Things were getting out of hand and showed no signs of slowing down anytime soon. She had been awake last night while Liz and Kyle talked. She had realized just how much all of this was wearing on Liz as she listened. Liz had always been the calm stable one and seeing her so emotional and upset had been very disturbing.

After they were done eating the others started picking up. Liz dragged Max into the bathroom wanting to talk to him alone. “Come stay with me tonight,” Liz said moving closer to him in the small space.

“Okay,” Max said pulling her closer and breathing in her scent. He leaned down and kissed her, tugging softly on her lower lip. He was able to let go of everything else and just focus on Liz.

They continued to kiss slowly each wanting to seep into the other and forget for awhile. Liz stretched pushing against him as she slid further up his body. She played with his tongue loving the feel of him. She hummed softly in enjoyment as he deepened the kiss while playing with her hair. They were interrupted by a knock on the door.

“Max I thought we talked about these bathroom visits.” Alex called through the door smiling when he heard Max groan.

“Yeah…we’ll be right out.” Max called his voice slightly muffled.

“I’ll be here.” Alex answered happily leaning against the wall. A few minutes later the door opened and Liz walked out first quirking an eyebrow at Alex. Alex’s smile didn’t falter a bit. Max followed meeting Alex’s eyes and coming to a stop.

“Alex sorry about holding up the bathroom.” Max said his expression innocent.

“Yeah I bet.” Alex said smiling slightly and he walked into the bathroom and shut the door. They looked a little more relaxed he thought with a smile.

posted on 21-Sep-2002 9:47:35 PM by Lelea
Chapter Fifty

fail_safe

Max climbed up to Liz’s balcony a duffel bag slung over his shoulder. He couldn’t wait to see Liz even though it had only been an hour since he had seen her at Ash’s. He approached her window and opened it being careful not to make much noise. He swung into her room and stopped. Liz was already in bed her skin glowing in the soft light.

“Aren’t your parents going to check on you? I mean it’s kind of early to go to bed.” Max said softly his eyes not leaving hers as he dropped his duffel bag to the floor.

“They think I’m getting sick since I told them I was tired and going to bed early so they won’t bother me.” Liz said looking at him and thinking he looked like he hadn’t slept in days. “Come to bed Max.”

Max peeled off his cloths and slipped into the bed next to her. Liz curled around him and sighed. They stayed quiet content to just be together. Liz stroked his chest hoping to sooth him into sleep. Many minutes later she gave up and turned so she could see his face.

“Max what are you doing? You need to get some sleep,” Liz said softly.

“Just thinking,” Max said looking down at her.

“No. No more thinking just relax and rest,” Liz said.

“It’s not that easy. There’s a lot to think about. My father, the Skins, Tess..” Max started only to be cut off.

“No thinking about Tess here,” Liz said leveling him with a stern glance. “This room remains Tess free please.”

“Okay. No Tess but there’s still..” Max said and trailed off as Liz straddled him and sat looking down into his eyes.

“I can see I’m going to have to take drastic action.” Liz said and leaned forward running her lips down his neck. She lightly nipped his shoulder and ran her tongue along his collarbone smiling as his breath caught in his throat. “What are you thinking about now?” Liz whispered.

“Wh-what?” Max asked his hands moving to the bare skin of her back between her tank top and her sweats.

“That’s what I thought. See wasn’t that easy? No thinking.” Liz said and nibbled his ear. She propped herself up on her elbow and looked into his eyes. “Everything will be there tomorrow and we’ll figure it out then. So tonight just forget all of that and just relax.”

“Okay. I’ll try.” Max said tucking her hair behind her ear.

“There is no try.” Liz whispered trailing a fingertip over his eyebrow.

“Yes Yoda.” Max said smiling as she rolled her eyes and smiled.

“Now let’s go to sleep.” Liz said rolling off of him and snuggling into the covers. A few minutes later she turned over to find Max staring at the ceiling. “Okay I can see this isn’t working so it’s time to try something else.” Liz decided and started peeling off her pajamas.

“What are doing Liz?” Max asked watching her puzzled.

“I’m going to wear you out.” Liz said as she crawled onto him and kissed him softly. Pulling back she shoved the blankets to the foot of the bed and slipped her hand under the waistband of his boxers. Max’s eyes widened at her sudden action and he gasp as her hand wrapped around him.

“Liz! Oh god.” Max gasp.

Liz clamped her hand over his mouth and looked into his eyes. “You have to be quiet my parents are still up. If you can’t I’ll stop.” Liz said and removed her hand.

“I’ll be quiet.” Max whispered using his hands to try and position her over his shaft.

Liz shook her head. “You’re going to have work for it Max.” Liz said scooting down to sit on his thighs.

“Liz please just let me..” Max trailed off and his eyes slipped closed as she leaned forward and her breasts pressed into his abdomen as she licked his skin lightly.

“I’ll let you do a lot of things. It’ll just take some effort.” Liz whispered sitting back up and moved to the side as she tugged on his boxers. He raised his hips letting her slip them off smoothly.

“You aren’t being very nice. I’ve had a rough day.” Max said smiling slightly as Liz raised her eyebrow at him.

“Max I don’t think you’ll find anyone who will be this nice to you.” Liz said and bent to lick his penis lightly. She pulled back smirking at his response. “I think that was nonverbal agreement.”

“No it wasn’t. That was nonverbal begging.” Max answered starting to sweat.

“You’re going to have beg harder.” Liz said as she slid down into a more comfortable position. She took a strand of her hair and ran it down his thigh.

“Liz..please.” Max panted watching her closely.

“What are you thinking about?” Liz asked as trailed the strand of hair over his shaft.

“Wha-what?” Max gasp as her hair stroked over him.

“Are you thinking about today?” Liz asked softly as she ran the piece of her hair over his abdomen.

“Today?” Max asked confused most of his attention on what she was doing.

Liz smiled at his confusion and trailed the strand of hair over his inner thigh. “Are you thinking about yesterday?”

“Oh god Liz!” Max moaned as her hair trailed over his erection.

Liz pulled back and looked at him waiting for his eyes to focus on her. “That wasn’t quiet. You have to be quiet remember?”

“I will I swear.” Max said half certain he wasn’t going to live through what ever Liz was going to do anyway.

“Okay but next time I stop.” Liz warned before taking him in her mouth. Max clenched his teeth tightly as she took more of him. His hands fisted in the sheet as she sucked lightly then used her tongue. Liz circled his shaft with her soft tongue as she pulled back then took him slowly back in. She watched his expression carefully to gauge what he was enjoying most. Long minutes later he pulled her from him unable to take anymore.

He pushed her onto her back and pulled her legs apart sinking into her heat with a soft groan. Liz moved her mouth next to his ear. “You didn’t work very hard for this,” Liz said breathlessly as he started moving inside her.

“Next time I will,” Max promised thrusting into her deeply. Liz moved in counter point needing him deeper. She arched under him and let her eyes slip closed as she lost herself in the feel of him. She pressed her face into his neck as he adjusted his position to drive into her deeper. She felt her body gather itself coiling tighter and bit her lip as Max’s movements became more forceful and disjointed.

“Please Max…please I need..to feel you come,” Liz moaned and heard him groan. He shuddered as he drove into her once then again. Liz ground her hips against him and choked off a cry as she joined him in the heat consuming them both.

Long minutes later Max rolled to the side and looked at the ceiling trying to get himself together enough to be able to breath normally let alone think.

“So are you tired yet?” Liz asked laughter lacing her voice.

“No not yet.” Max said glancing over at her. “It was a nice try though.”

“Well you were kinda supposed to put a little effort into it. You’re getting lazy,” Liz teased then tried to wiggle away as he grabbed for her. She made it half off the bed before he caught her pinning her in place.

“Lazy huh?” Max asked as he reached under her to cup her breast.

“Yeah I mean really you just kinda laid there and then it was basically over,” Liz said ignoring his growl. “Now I know what all the girls complain about,” Liz said biting the inside of her cheek as his hand stroked her. “Maybe you should try some yoga it might help your stamina.” Liz continued placing her hands on the floor to hold herself up.

“Liz I think you need to exercise a little caution here. You aren’t in the best position to tease me.” Max said feeling his body stir as he kept her pinned in place.

“Who’s teasing? Maybe you need to talk with Uryan. He might be able to recommend a training program to help you out a little,” Liz said goading him. She caught her breath as he shifted slightly pushing her thighs apart and settling between them. He released her breast and moved to stroke her thigh.

“Liz I think you need to be quiet now,” Max said a smile pulling at the corners of his mouth.

“It’s nothing to be embarrassed about I hear a lot of guys have performance problems,” Liz said looking over her shoulder to see Max’s eyes narrow.

“Performance problems?” Max asked in an even tone.

“Well maybe that’s not the term I’m looking for. You would have to perform to have a problem. Since I did all the work I don’t think that’s right,” Liz said suppressing a smile at his outraged expression.

“Really? That’s an interesting piece of fiction you’re spinning,” Max said running his hand over her ass and down her thigh careful to keep her pinned under him.

“I know you have a lot on your mind and that effects things sometimes.” Liz said trying to ignore the feel of his hands on her skin.

“The only I have on my mind is teaching you a lesson.” Max said absently as he used his fingers to stroke between her legs.

“I love to learn.” Liz gasp as he pulled her fully onto the bed and covered her with his body. He pushed into her slowly taking pleasure in her barely audible moan. Once fully imbedded inside her he restrained himself from thrusting into her. Instead he barley moved, just slowly stroking her inside, rubbing inside her just enough. When she tried to move under him he tamed her movements holding her still by flattening out over her back. She pressed her face into the bed as he continued his slow rubbing against her.

“I think you need to learn just how lazy I can be.” Max whispered softly as he felt her quiver underneath him.

“Max please.” Liz moaned.

“See I can do this for hours. It’s not much effort at all really,” Max murmured against her ear smiling as she tried again to move. “No just lay still. Relax.”

“Max!” Liz said softly struggling to force him to move. The slow rubbing of his cock inside her was torture. She strained just short of climax but not able to reach it with the slow lazy slide of him.

“Hmmm?” Max asked his mouth against her shoulder.

“Please Max. Show me,” Liz panted ready to beg if needed.

“Show you what?” Max asked dragging her arms above her head so she couldn’t use them for leverage. He continued his slow movements uninterrupted.

“Show me how hard you can work,” Liz said trying to move her arms and sobbing in frustration when he held her still.

“Right now I’m showing you my stamina. Now be quiet I’m concentrating here,” Max whispered.

“Please Max. I need you. Please.” Liz said as she concentrated on tighting her inner muscles around him. With a harsh sound in his throat Max drew back and thrust into her hard and felt her shudder under him as she came. He kept his thrusts slow and steady determined to make this last. The slide of their sweat damp skin was exquisite torture.

Liz felt the heat rebuild in her almost instantly as Max continued to thrust into her slow and deep. She pushed back against him finding his rhythm and matching it. She laced their fingers together and held on as he moved in her. She felt her insides clench as he moved faster pushing into her harder and moaned as he nuzzled the hair by her ear. She listened to his panting breaths and suddenly she was so close. “Max please…harder….I need you faster.” Liz breathed as her body took over all her thoughts.

Max felt like he was about to go up in flames and he had never wanted that more. He drove into her as fast and hard as he could loosing his rhythm as he shoved himself into her. He felt her fingers tighten around his as she whimpered and came. Her body tightened and clasp his as tightly as her fingers gripped his. Suddenly the flames consumed him as he buried himself inside her. He collapsed and rolled them onto their sides as he struggled to breathe. He was never moving again.

“Tired now?” Liz asked panting softly.

“Yeah. I don’t think I could move if I had to.” Max said drowsy, stroking her belly softly as his breath evened out.

“Good. Let’s go to sleep.” Liz said stretching against him then snuggling close. She sighed as he kissed her temple.

“I love you Liz. Even when you make me work for it,” Max said smiling against her neck.

“I love you too. Even when you don’t work for it.” Liz said softly feeling sleep stealing over her. She struggled against it wanting to make sure Max fell asleep first. She laced her fingers with his where they rested against her belly and sighed feeling at peace.

Max pulled her closer as he drifted toward sleep. He realized that really even with everything that had happened he was lucky. He had never thought in all his dreams growing up that anyone could love him as much as he knew Liz did. So even if things didn’t work out with his father he still had more than he had dared to hope for. He sank into sleep feeling warm and at home.

posted on 24-Sep-2002 9:10:26 PM by Lelea
Chapter Fifty One
fail_safe

Liz woke up slowly as Max trailed kisses down her neck and across her shoulder. She stretched feeling well rested and content. “What are you doing awake?” Liz asked softly turning to look at him. He looked relaxed and still a little sleepy.

“You woke me up,” Max said his voice teasing. He loved looking at her when she had just woken up. She seemed to be illuminated from within glowing warmly in the early morning light.

“How did I wake you up?” Liz asked puzzled as his fingers stroked her arm.

He took her hand and wrapped her fingers around his straining flesh. “You’re breathing,” Max answered with a grin as Liz rolled her eyes.

“You know I was teasing right? I mean about the performance thing last night.” Liz asked just to make sure.

“Uh huh,” Max said distracted by her fingers tracing his length.

“Okay,” Liz said also distracted. She ran her fingers over him lightly amazed at the building heat that she always felt when she was near him. She looked into his eyes and watched them darken and burn. She felt the familiar liquid heat pooling in her abdomen.

Max watched her face loving the expression she had on her face. It was a mix of heated want and absolute contentment that came from being exactly where she wanted to be. “Okay,” Max repeated.

“Have I ever told you how much I love this?” Liz asked looking into his eyes. “I mean I love the connection we have and all that but this…I love this too,” Liz said softly as she ran the tip of her finger over the moist head of his penis. “I love feeling you move inside me. You’re really good,” Liz said with a big grin.

“You’re just trying to stroke my ego now,” Max said a smile playing over his mouth.

“I don’t think this is your ego….maybe I’m wrong,” Liz said wrapping her fingers around him. “I am totally serious. I really love having sex with you. You have the best hands but I think I love your mouth the most,” Liz said in an almost dreamy voice.

“What prompted this?” Max asked curious. He tried to ignore what her hands were doing to him. He thought this might be an important conversation to pay attention to.

“Hmm I don’t know. I can’t let you think I love you only for your mind,” Liz said looking up at him through her lashes.

“Liz?” Max questioned confused.

“I think it’s only fair to tell you. I know you how much you want me and that you love what I do to you. I just want you to know the same that’s all,” Liz said seriously carefully not looking at him.

He tipped her chin up so he could look into her eyes. “If this is about last night..Liz I’m not upset with you. Last night I didn’t think about any of our problems, not even my Dad. I’m not upset by the power I know you have over me. It’s natural, that’s what happens when you love someone,” Max said while looking her in the eye.

“I didn’t think you were mad at me. I just want you to know that I want you just as much as you want me. I love this part of our relationship too. I don’t just tease you into sex because I think you need a distraction. I don’t have sex with you just because you want to. I want it too. All the other things have a part in it sometimes but I’m always having sex because I want you.” Liz said seriously. She held his eyes as she stroked him softly, just a barely there brush of her hand. “Everything I do is because I want to and it pleases me as much as it does you.”

Max felt his vision swim as a heated wave of love and lust broke over him. “Liz you’re driving me crazy…I can’t…think anymore,” Max said brokenly. He bent down and kissed her glorying in her instant response. He ran his hands over her warm skin as he opened the connection to her completely.

Liz smiled as she felt him. Connecting with him was so different from anyone else. He had a flavor as well as a feel that was so uniquely Max. She opened to him and wondered at the beauty that was his soul. She pushed him over onto his back and straddled him.

Max watched the expressions flickering across her face as she took him inside. He moved with her needing her more as he watched her face. He pulled her down to his mouth and kissed her letting his hunger bleed into his kiss. They moved slowly not wanting to part.

Liz’s breath hitched as Max trailed his hand over her chest. Her movements sped up and she leaned back to take him deeper. Max’s hands gripped her hips and he reached for her through their connection. He was swamped by her raw hunger for him. He thrust into her harder and lost his sense of self as they merged and were consumed. Liz collapsed over Max’s chest completely limp and unable to move. Max stroked her damp hair off her face and they both slipped into sleep.


They woke to the sound of her alarm. Liz reached over and turned off the alarm and smiled down into Max’s eyes. “Ready to take a shower?” Liz asked looking into his sleepy gaze.

“I’m always ready to shower with you,” Max said grinning.

“Okay let’s go,” Liz said and rolled off of him. She got to her feet and padded to the bathroom on bare feet.

Max watched her walk away entranced with the way she moved. She looked over her shoulder as she reached the bathroom door and raised her eyebrow at him. Max rolled out of bed and followed her into the bathroom and shut the door. He joined Liz in the shower pulling the curtain closed. “I think today is going to be a better day,” Max said as he washed her back.

“I hope so. We have a lot to talk about,” Liz said closing her eyes and leaning back against him.

“Yeah we do. I hope Isabel’s okay. I’ll have to talk to her today,” Max said as he moved on to wash her arms.

“Yeah you do need to talk to her. We also need to get you guys settled in somewhere. Staying with Ash is okay for a couple of nights but I think we need to look at other options,” Liz said the wheels already turning. She really didn’t see this working out in a couple of days to the point where Max and Isabel would move back in with their parents.

“Yeah I guess we need to think about it. I think Ash’s would be fine though,” Max said rinsing the bath sponge and handing it to her.

Liz took the sponge and applied some bath gel. “Max he doesn’t have any furniture. Where are you and Isabel going to sleep? There aren’t any rooms or beds to sleep in. Isabel doesn’t seem like the roughing it type,” Liz pointed out.

“Hmm yeah that’s true. I’ll see what Isabel thinks. I don’t want to be to far away from you though,” Max said as Liz washed his chest.

“I’ll be fine but we should talk about protecting everyone. Now that we know a shapeshifter is working with the Skins that is going to be an issue,” Liz said moving behind him to reach his back.

“Are you hungry? Maybe we can meet downstairs and eat breakfast together,” Max said as his stomach growled. Liz’s hands slipped around to his stomach, which pressed her against his back. “Or maybe we could just take a nap.”

“I think breakfast sounds good and your stomach agrees,” Liz said amused. She moved under the spray and re wet her hair then started shampooing her hair.

“You sure I can’t change your mind?” Max asked watching the water run off her skin.

“Yeah you could. Of course if I don’t show my face outside this room soon my dad might get curious. If you don’t mind I don’t,” Liz teased then rinsed her hair.

“Well now that you mention it I am pretty hungry,” Max said and pulled her close. With a grin he grabbed her ass and kissed her neck.

“Max!” Liz cried and pushed him away laughing.

Max wiggled his brows and picked up her shampoo. “I think the special will do nicely,” Max said and quickly washed and rinsed his hair and turned off the water.

They finished getting ready and Max climbed down her ladder carrying his duffel bag. They met up in the café a couple minutes later and ate a fast breakfast. They made it to Ash’s just as Maria pulled up with Michael. They all made their way up to the door and knocked. Ash answered and they walked in to find the rest of the group already there. Max made his way over to Isabel and sat next to her on the couch.

“Are you okay?” Max asked thinking Isabel looked tired.

“Yeah I’m okay. I talked to Mom this morning. Dad had a rough night at home last night. I promised we would call her later,” Isabel said picking at a thread on her skirt.

“Okay. Listen I think we need to think about finding a place to stay that’s more permanent. Maybe if Michael and I combined our incomes we could all get an apartment together. Think about it okay? I don’t think we’ll be going back to the parents real soon,” Max said carefully. He watched Isabel’s face carefully. He could see that she was more upset than she was letting on.

“That sounds like a good idea. Look Max, this is a terrible situation but I want you to know I can handle it. You’re my family and I love you. We’re in this together. Really I’ll be fine. Mom is being great so this isn’t as bad as it could be,” Isabel said still playing with the thread on her skirt as she glanced up at Max.

“Thanks Isabel. I’m glad I have you. You’re a great sister. I really think it’ll be okay. We just have to stick together and not let any of this break us that’s all. We have a lot of help and you’re right Mom is great. I don’t want you to think that I’m not going to talk to Dad. I just think he needs a couple of days before we go through the whole story with him. We have a lot on our plate right now but I want you to come and talk to me if you need to. I’m never to busy for you Isabel okay?” Max asked wanting to make sure Isabel knew that his relationship with Liz didn’t mean he wouldn’t be there if she needed him.

Isabel looked at him and smiled. “I know that Max. You’ve always been there for me. I’m not jealous of Liz. I’m just glad you have somebody who loves you like she does. Giving Dad a couple of days is a good idea then we’ll go and talk to him together. I’m not going allow Tess to fuck up my life. So don’t worry I know we’ll get through this. I won’t accept anything less,” Isabel said with steel in her voice.

Max smiled in relief. “Okay…well I’m going to get a drink. You want anything?” Max asked.

“No I’m fine thanks. Go hover over Liz,” Isabel said with a smile. Max laughed and went into the kitchen leaving Isabel to her thoughts.


While Max was talking to Isabel Liz went to talk to Kyle and Alex. “Kyle is your dad going to be here?” Liz asked curious.

“He’ll be here later. He called the school for me and said he would bring lunch by. He had a few things to take care of at the station. Gee Liz Max looks….relaxed. What did you do to him?” Kyle said smirking.

“Me?” Liz asked pointing at herself with an innocent expression. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. He just got a full nights sleep,” Liz said raising her eyebrow daring Kyle to say different.

“Well they should bottle you as a sleep aid,” Kyle said with an equally innocent expression.

“Okay enough. I hear all the bickering I can stand from Michael and Maria,” Alex cut in.

“Sorry Alex. How’s Isabel?” Liz asked turning to Alex and watching his face carefully.

“I don’t really know how she is. She didn’t sleep much last night and she called her mom first thing this morning. I think she’s worried but nothing she can’t handle,” Alex said and avoided Liz’s gaze.

“Well it makes sense to be worried. We all should be,” Liz said softly. Just then Ash and Uziel entered the apartment. Ash spotted Liz and made his way over.

“Liz how are you feeling?” Ash asked thinking Liz looked much better today.

“Good, I feel really good actually. What did you find out about the Skin from the bathroom?” Liz asked curious.

“We assume that the husk was one of the new experimental versions. It wasn’t adequately bonded to actual being underneath. The closest thing to a Skin with out the husk on this planet would be an amphibian. Their actual skin is not suited to this dry climate. The new husk had weak spots. We haven’t finished studying it but in the end I don’t think it will matter since they will doubtlessly be changing the husk.” Ash said as Max made his way over.

“Are we ready to get started?” Max asked slipping an arm around Liz’s waist.

“Yeah I think we’re ready,” Liz said. Everyone got settled and Michael was the first to speak.

“I want to know how the Skins were able to pull off impersonating one of our family. How did they know that Liz was coming to dinner and Mr. Evans would be in Clovis? I mean Tess has been gone for weeks.” Michael asked.

“That’s a good point. How would they have known that? Plus how did they pull off the other stuff? Like speech patterns and stuff like that? No one noticed anything ahead of time.” Maria pointed out.

“I am having the house checked for listening devices. I think that we are likely to find some. That is the only way Uziel and I can come up with to explain it.” Ash said sharing a look with Uziel.

“That makes sense I guess.” Alex said thoughtfully.

“How are we going to keep this from happening again?” Isabel interjected.

“Well I’ll be paying more attention from now on. I felt something wrong about him but I discounted it. I won’t do that again,” Liz said still feeling guilty about that.

“We could ask each other questions only we would know,” Maria suggested.

“That would work for us but not for Ash’s men,” Kyle pointed out.

“Plus we can’t go around asking strange questions of the parents. They'll start wondering what’s going on,” Michael said.

“There really isn’t anyway to be sure of everyone. Someone isn’t who we think they are and until we figure out who that is we have a problem,” Max said.

“Max is right. We are developing a device that will be able to detect a Skin but that doesn’t solve the problem of the shapeshifter that is working with them. What I can do is use only people I trust close to you and use the other’s for anything else that might come up,” Ash said not at all happy about the situation they were in. They talked about that a little more and found no real solutions.

“Ash I think Isabel and I need to look for a place to live. I was thinking maybe um Michael you might want to combine incomes and get a bigger place,” Max said looking at Michael to gauge his reaction.

Michael kept his face neutral as he thought it over. “Yeah I can do that.” Michael said and yawned.

“We will help you. There is no need to worry about money. It is a good idea to have all three of you together,” Ash said liking that idea very much.

“Ash if you don’t mind where do you get all your money? I mean you don’t work,” Liz asked curious.

“Some of us have worked when needed. We have “invented” things on occasion and then bought stock in the companies we shared the technology with. We always find a way to make money,” Ash said being deliberately vague. Not all the methods they used to make money were legal.

“Oh insider trading. Great,” Liz muttered under her breath and let the subject drop.


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 24-Sep-2002 9:12:03 PM ]
posted on 26-Sep-2002 6:35:00 AM by Lelea
Chapter Fifty Two
**The kiss discussed in this chapter took place in junior high school and was best discribed by Maria as no big deal. It was a dare. So don't read anything into it. I hope this clears up any confusion dealing with Alex also**

fail_safe


Ash sent Uziel out to search for an apartment with three bedrooms that was secure enough to make their job easier. He pondered the agreement that had been worked out this morning. The three hybrids had given up all but one protector. Maria, Alex, and Kyle all had one protector around the clock. Liz had two. Every residence had one team of shapeshifters assigned to watch it. The members of each team would be broken up the members changed every two days so the same people weren’t together for long stretches of time. Everyone agreed that no one went anywhere alone.

Ash had given Liz the gun she had requested. The Sheriff had taken care of the paperwork to register it and give her a concealed weapons permit. Max had not been really happy about the gun but Liz had pulled him into the bathroom to discuss it and a few minutes later he had stopped protesting.

Liz had fought to still attend school. Since no one was prepared to tell all the parents the truth just yet it was agreed that they would attend school for as long as possible. Ash had agreed because they weren’t anymore vulnerable there than anywhere else. Plus it was already November and there wasn’t much time left in this semester.

It was also decided after a phone call to Diane Evans that Max and Isabel would talk to Phillip Evans alone. They would go over to their parents after school tomorrow. Ash wasn’t sure that was the best idea. He thought maybe a buffer would be a good idea but he had been over ruled.

The same team that had taken care of the Harvest was now watching Eagle Rock. They were looking for weak spots preparing for an assault on the base. They had instructions to kill Tess on sight.

Ash watched the others as they sat around eating lunch. Michael seemed totally absorbed in his meal not paying much attention to the rest of the room. Maria sat with Kyle where they were grumbling about their parents dating. They both looked so disgusted that Ash had to smile. Isabel and Max were talking softly while they ate. Ash was pleased to see Isabel looked less tense. Max seemed to be back in control. Even while talking with Isabel he kept tabs on Liz. Liz sat with Alex who seemed to be out of sorts.

Ash watched Liz thoughtfully. She was doing more talking then eating. Her hands were gesturing as she spoke and whatever she was saying drew a smile out of Alex. He was amazed at her ability to put all the bad things that happened behind her. He was pleased that she seemed relaxed and rested. Ash worried about her health and well fare. He had noted her change in diet and tried to provide a hint of sour to most of the things he gave her. He was pleased to see her appetite pick up slightly with the addition.

Ash wondered if now wasn’t the time to speak with her and tell her more. He hesitated every time the thought surfaced. The very last thing he wanted to do was bring to the surface more issues that would upset her. He reasoned that he needed to be 100% certain before he brought it up. She was dealing with so much already and a small delay didn’t seem to be a bad thing.



Liz was wondering about what was bothering Alex. He seemed distracted and not his normal self. “Alex talk to me. What’s bothering you?” Liz asked quietly.

“Nothing really important Liz. It’s just stuff don’t worry about it,” Alex said brushing her concern aside.

“Alex it’s not nothing. It just has to bother you to be important. You reminded me once awhile ago that you were there for me to talk to and now it’s my turn to do the same,” Liz said watching him carefully.

“Okay let me ask you this….if it weren’t for Max would all this be worth it? Keeping the secret, the danger, the fear..would it be worth it?” Alex asked sitting back and looking into Liz’s eyes.

Liz sat for a moment quietly thinking. “I can’t really answer that honestly. I can’t imagine my life without Max but if I had to guess I would say that yes I would think it was worth it. When all this first started I didn’t know I would end up with Max and I still got involved,” Liz said wondering if maybe Alex wanted out. She could certainly understand the desire.

“Okay that’s fair I guess,” Alex said thoughtfully.

“Is that what this is about? You’re wondering if maybe you want out?” Liz asked no censure in her voice just interest.

“I’m just tired of being in limbo I guess. Isabel doesn’t love me. I know you can’t choose who you love and I don’t blame her. I’m just a little down about it. I’ll get over it,” Alex said looking down at his hands.

“Alex all it takes is one moment for your whole life to change. Trust me I know. If Max hadn’t healed me I never would have become close to him,” Liz said feeling really bad for Alex.

“Liz you always lusted after Max,” Alex said with a slight smile.

“I did not!” Liz denied hotly.

“You did. I remember you and Maria talking about Max’s silent brooding and how “cute” he was,” Alex said reminding her of a long ago conversation from junior high school.

“Well yeah I thought he was hot. He is but that doesn’t mean we would have gotten together,” Liz pointed out.

“Liz get real. The guy watched you for years. He could have supported your families business on how often he ate there,” Alex said disagreeing with her.

“He never would have said anything let alone asked me out. I don’t even think he loved me yet. All of that changed in one moment. I’m telling you Alex that one moment changed everything. That moment allowed both of us to see each other in a way we hadn’t been able to before. That was all it took. You’ll have your moment too and it’ll be really special because you’re really special. It may not be with Isabel and it may not even be soon but it’ll be worth the wait,” Liz said absolutely sure of what she was saying. Alex was the best and he would find someone who could appreciate all that he offered.

“You really think so?” Alex asked wanting to believe her.

“I really do. I think everyone gets at least one moment like that in their life,” Liz said softly. She paused wondering if she should just stay quiet but in the end she decided to continue. “Alex, I love you like family and if you want out I can understand that. I want you to do what’s best for you. Don’t think about Maria or me. We can make our own choices and find our own way. Do what’s right for you. If you stay it needs to be because that’s what’s right for you.”

“Liz I would never leave you and Maria. You know that,” Alex said hurt.

“Alex I’m not saying that you would if you thought we needed you. I’m saying that you need to set that aside to come to the decision that's right for you. Maria and I will be fine no matter what you decide,” Liz said trying to reassure him. She wanted him to have the chance to do what was right for him. “We’ll always be friends Alex no matter what you do.”

“What are you guys talking about?” Maria asked plopping down next to Liz and looking between her and Alex.

“Just giving Alex my theories on love that’s all,” Liz said with a smile.

“So now you’re a love doctor Liz?” Kyle asked joining them on the floor.

“Hey I just work with what I’m given,” Liz said laughing.

“That’s actually pretty accurate,” Maria said thinking of talk she had had with Liz recently. “Alex who taught you how to French kiss before your big date with Amanda?”

“Liz did,” Alex said amused by the turn in the conversation.

“You’re shitting me!” Kyle said surprised. Maria and Alex both shook their heads. Kyle turned to Liz who shrugged.

“Alex asked me to,” Liz said not seeing the big deal. It was ages ago anyway.

“Wow Liz. Is there anyone in the group you haven’t kissed?” Kyle teased.

“Yeah there is…Michael and Isabel,” Liz answered with a shrug.

“Wait a minute. You’ve kissed Maria?” Kyle asked faintly shocked.

“Ahh yeah forever ago. Listen Kyle I don’t want to talk about this,” Liz said not wanting to encourage anymore odd fantasies.

“You can not leave it there. Come on Liz share,” Kyle said intrigued.

Liz sighed and glanced over at Max. He was still absorbed in his conversation with Isabel. “It’s not a big deal and there’s really nothing to tell,” Liz said stubbornly.

“Maria care to enlighten me?” Kyle asked giving up on Liz.

“Well Liz learned to kiss before either Alex or myself so we asked her to show us. She showed Alex and Alex tried to show me but I didn’t think he knew what he was doing so I asked Liz to show me. I had to beg for a full day and cry before she caved. It was so not a big deal. It was like two seconds and she only did it because I double dared her and even then she was reluctant I think it was the tears that finally did the trick. Really Kyle get your mind out of the gutter,” Maria said in answer.

“So who was better?” Kyle asked Maria.

“Liz was,” Maria said and squealed as Alex hit her on the arm. “I’m sure you’re good now Alex. Liz just had more practice at the time.”

“Practice with who?” Kyle asked interested.

“None of your business,” Liz said quickly and shot Maria a look. Maria made a zipping motion across her mouth.

“Come on how bad can it be?” Kyle asked curious.

“You don’t know him and it’s not important,” Liz said wondering how she had gotten into this mess. Oh yeah Maria. First for opening her mouth today and second for allowing her to guilt her into doing it in the first place.

“Well we all might need to send him a thank you card for teaching you a talent you shared with us all,” Kyle said and ducked as Liz swung a pillow at his head. He sat back up grinning and was surprised by her second swing that clipped him on the right side of the head.

“He said I was a natural talent so no need to send a card,” Liz said laughing at the surprise on Kyle’s face. She would have to remember to tease Kyle more often it was awfully fun.


The meeting had broken up with Max, Michael, and Isabel going with Uziel to look at two furnished apartments. Maria had to work the closing shift at the CrashDown and Alex decided to study in the café. Kyle went to the school with his father to drop out of football by his own choice. Things were heating up to a point that football was an unwanted intrusion into his life. Liz had objected but Kyle held firm. Liz found herself getting tired and decided to study in her room. Ash sat on her balcony watching over her.

Hour’s later Liz looked up and rubbed the bridge of her nose. Darkness had fallen long ago and Liz was exhausted but all of her schoolwork was complete. A glance out the window showed Ash in the same spot she had left him in. Feeling tired but not ready to go to bed until Max called Liz crawled out the window and went to sit on the lounge chair facing Ash.

“Ash I realized that with all the time we have spent together I really don’t know that much about you. Do you mind if I ask you some questions?” Liz asked wanting to learn more about him.

“No I don’t mind. What would you like to know?” Ash asked surprised she was interested in knowing more about him.

“Why did you come on this mission? Where you chosen or did you volunteer?” Liz asked curious.

“I volunteered. My family was killed in the conflict raging on my world. My job, which was to serve the Granilith, was obsolete with it not on the planet any longer. I wanted to see a new world,” Ash said with a shrug.

“Were you put in charge of the mission?” Liz asked.

“No. The leader of the mission was killed about twenty years ago. We all had areas of expertise. For some it was military training for me it was my connection to the Granilith and ability to people in their gifts. I have some military experience but not as much as others,” Ash said with a hint of sadness.

“I’m sorry. It sounds like you were close to him,” Liz said.

“Yes I was. Uziel and I grew up with him,” Ash said.

“Ash what made you say that your job was to guide me? I’m sure that wasn’t why you were sent here. I mean they would have no idea Max would find someone to Join with here right?” Liz asked.

“You are right we didn’t know Max would find you. My mission was changed by the Granilith, that is my first responsibility,” Ash said unsure of how to explain his connection to the Granilith.

“How does it communicate with you?” Liz asked interested.

“It is difficult to explain. It’s not exactly a voice in my head and I don’t get visions. It’s more like the will of the Granilith seeps into me and makes itself known to me. I can’t really explain it better than that,” Ash said unable to find the words to make it any clearer.

Liz was quiet for a few minutes turning to look at the sky. “What was your planet like? Was it beautiful?” Liz asked without looking away from the sky.

“It used to be. When I left it was ravaged and war torn. Earth is by far more beautiful than the planet I left. In my youth Antar was the jewel of the system but now it is a gutted wreck. At least it was when I left it and I doubt it is any better now. We have two major continents with vast oceans between. That is how two separate species developed…us and the Skins. The closest I can liken the Skins land to would be rainforest. Ours was more varied with mountains and plains filled with all sorts of vegetation. It was very beautiful,” Ash said with reverence clear in his tone.

“You must miss it,” Liz said hearing the longing in his voice.

“I miss what is no longer there. Antar will never be what it once was. Those of us still loyal to the throne are fighting for the chance at restoring peace. We are fighting to give our planet a chance,” Ash said voicing long held thoughts. “I came to this planet wanting to see what else there might be. I had no idea what I would find when I got here. I have not been disappointed by what I have found. Others I know do not have the same view but then everyone isn’t open to change.”

“Well Nesado seemed very disappointed. He was so cold and mocking. Not at all like you which is actually what made me so curious. Did everyone sent volunteer?” Liz asked wondering why someone like Nesado would be chosen.

“No not everyone volunteered. A lot of the militarily trained were ordered to go. Also most of the first mission were chosen by the project leaders. They were supposed to be the best and the brightest,” Ash said his disbelief plain in his voice.

“That could promote a little anger. Being forced to leave everything you’ve ever known,” Liz said understanding a little better. Before she could continue the conversation her phone started to ring. “I better get that it’s probably Max. I really enjoyed talking to you Ash. Thank you what you said helps me understand a little better,” Liz said with a smile at Ash before she slipped inside closing the window after her.


She snatched her phone off the nightstand and fell back on her bed as she answered. “Hello?”

“Hey it’s me. I think we agreed on a place,” Max said.

“Where are you?” Liz asked rolling onto her side.

“Oh we’re at Michael’s,” Max said smiling.

“Okay, so tell me about the apartment,” Liz said and yawned.

“Well it’s nothing special really plain but totally suitable. The bedrooms are decent sized and there are two bathrooms which with Isabel is a must,” Max said leaning back on Michael’s couch.

“It sounds perfect. Did you guys take it?” Liz asked.

“Yeah we move in this weekend,” Max said watching Isabel nag Michael. This was going to be wonderful now Isabel had a new live in brother to nag and fuss over. Life was looking up. “Isabel is already whipping Michael into shape,” Max said a trace of laughter evident in his voice.

Liz smiled imagining how Isabel was “whipping” him into shape. “Sounds like she’ll have her hands full.”

“Looks like it. So what are you doing?” Max asked hearing the smile in her voice.

“I just finished my assignments and talked to Ash for a while. I was waiting until you called before going to bed,” Liz said yawning.

“Well I’ll let you go to bed. You sound really tired. I just wanted to talk to you for a minute,” Max said.

“Okay I’ll see you at school. I love you Max,” Liz said softly.

“Love you too. Night Liz,” Max said and after her goodnight he hung up. He turned to find Isabel calling Michael a pig. He smiled at the long-suffering look on Michael’s face. He better get used to it.

posted on 27-Sep-2002 7:31:47 PM by Lelea
You guys are so great! Thanks for your feed back as always. I totally don't mind you bugging me for more bug away please. I am writing the next chapter but am finding it difficult for whatever reason. So it may be a couple of days....sorry.

I totally wasn't expecting the interest in Liz's kissing partner. I wasn't planning on taking that any farther but now I think I just might change my mind. We'll see if I can work it in at some point.

I know there are a lot of questions left open right now. Some of them will be worked out in time and some may be left unanswered so let me know what questions are bugging you guys the most. Besides Liz that is.....that one will be answered just not right away.

So we are now in the month of November which loosely following the show as this story does tells us that the Summit is coming over Thanksgiving. Just wanted to give you a frame of referance and a little view of the timeline.

Thanks for reading and please ask any questions you have I tailor the story around them....the whole Liz/Alex talk was there because you wondered about Alex and what was up with him.

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 27-Sep-2002 10:37:57 PM ]
posted on 29-Sep-2002 11:26:24 PM by Lelea
Chapter Fifty Three

fail_safe




Max glanced over at Isabel sitting in the passenger seat. She looked as tense as he felt. He pulled into the driveway of his parents' house and turned off the engine. He and Isabel sat in silence a moment before making their way to the door, staring at it a second before knocking. Diane Evans opened the door after the second knock. Max paused a second to close off the connection he had to Liz. He felt that door click shut inside him and there was nothing inside but his own anxiety. He didn’t want to have Liz inside his head while talking to his father. He already had to deal with Isabel and his mother and didn’t want his attention divided anymore that it already was.

"Mom, what are you doing here? I thought we agreed Isabel and I were talking to Dad alone," Max asked watching her closely.

"We did. You're father is in his office. I'll be in the kitchen," Diane said in answer. She didn't want to leave her children totally alone. She had already told Phillip everything she knew and what had happened at the dinner and he still wasn't moved into adjusting his position. She really didn't understand it. He had lived with Max and Isabel just as she had so why couldn't he see what she saw?

"Okay. Thanks Mom. I just think it would be better if we spoke to him alone," Max said carefully. He knew his mom would get upset if things went poorly. He had enough pressure trying to protect Isabel he didn't want to add his mother also.

"I'll wait in the kitchen; just come and see me before you go," Diane said worried.

"We will," Isabel said trying to put her at ease.

Max and Isabel excused themselves and went down the hall to the room their father had converted into his home office. They stopped in front of the closed door and looked at each other. In that one look they each saw each other's fears and nervousness. With a slight grimace, Max raised his arm and knocked on the door.

"Come in," Phillip called. Isabel opened the door and stepped inside with Max close on her heels. Max closed the door behind him and took a seat next to Isabel in the two chairs facing his father's desk. Max studied his father's face but could fine no clue as to what he was thinking.

"Isabel and I wanted to come by and see how you're doing. I know you probably have a lot of questions," Max said and paused.

"See how I'm doing? Is that why you're here? To play the concerned children?" Phillip asked coldly. He stared at the children he had watched grow up trying to see beneath the mask they lived behind. No matter what Diane wanted to believe, he had seen the monstrous cold that glided beneath the surface of another alien wearing his son's face. He had no desire to make another costly mistake. One that could cost him the only thing he had left..his wife.

"Daddy..we're sorry about what happened," Isabel said trying to divert the attention from Max. He didn't think she had attacked him after all so maybe it would be easier to talk to her. She couldn't believe her father would turn them away. He was always the one who took them to see Santa and the Easter Bunny every year when they were little. He played basketball with them in the driveway and called her his little princess.

"I'm not your father. I don't even know you…either of you. You lived in my house and ate my food lying to me with every breath you both took. Now all you have to say is you're sorry?" Phillip asked looking between the two of them. Isabel's eyes welled up with tears and Max stiffened in his chair.

"How can you say that? You've lived with us for over 10 years," Isabel said quietly. She wondered briefly if this was another Skin masquerading as her father, but deep down she knew it wasn't. The pain welling inside her at his cold fury was crippling.

"You both played your parts beautifully I'll admit, but you can stop now. I want you to stay away from Diane. I don't want her to get hurt. From what I understand, that seems like a common occurrence around you two. You're both my financial responsibility until you turn eighteen and I intend to honor that commitment. So find an apartment and I'll pay the rent and give you both a monthly allowance to pay for utilities and food," Phillip said and saw Max narrow his eyes.

"That's not necessary. I can support my sister," Max said keeping his voice even. He ignored his own disillusionment and pain and tried to protect Isabel by staying strong. He needed to get her out of here. Glancing at her he could see she was trying to hold in her sobs and her hands were shaking.

"Wait. Is that it? I mean you don't have any questions for us? You don't care about what's going on?" Isabel asked her voice trembling, feeling a little shell-shocked. She really hadn't expected a reaction this terrible.

"Diane already told me the story you told her. I think that's enough to know you don't belong here. I don't want Diane hurt. Look I'm not going to tell anyone okay? I'm not going to turn you in unless I find out you've committed a crime. Since the Sheriff seems to already be in on all this, I don't think it would do any good to turn you in anyway," Phillip said leaning back in his chair. Isabel just sat there dazed while Max seemed to study him.

"You're right, we don't belong here. Come on Isabel let's go," Max said rising from his chair and taking Isabel's arm helping her up.

"It's not that I don't believe the story. I do believe it. It's just.." Phillip said feeling the sudden need to explain.

Max cut him off with a wave of his hand and a sharp look. "I understand. You're not interested in us now that we don't fit the mold of the perfect children. We're too much trouble and we're different than who you thought we were. Well, so are you. Come Isabel," Max said leading her to the door. He guided her out the door and down the hall. He turned to look at her and saw the tears rolling down her face. "Isabel, why don't you go wait in the car? I'll go talk to Mom and be right out?" Max said and Isabel nodded silently and left. Max turned and went into the kitchen.

Diane took one look at the closed off expression on Max's face and his rigid posture and knew things hadn't gone well. "Max? Where's Isabel?" Diane asked setting down the dishtowel and walking toward him.

"Isabel went out to the car. I just wanted to let you know we found an apartment and we're moving in with Michael this weekend. Until then, we're staying with Ash. You have all our numbers and when we get a phone at the apartment, I'll let you know. We'll stop by to pick up our clothes Saturday," Max said stiffly.

"What happened Max?" Diane asked as she reached him.

"He doesn't want you to get hurt. We think it might be better to be on our own," Max said feeling numb inside. This is what he had always expected to happen.

"Max look at me please," Diane said and waited for him to meet her eyes. "I love you and Isabel very much. I want the chance to really get to know you. I don't know what Phillip said, but he doesn't speak for me. Please Max, don't shut me out!"

Max heard the tremble in her voice and looked at the women who had always been his mother. "Don't worry Mom. We'll stay in touch. Coming home just isn't an option right now. You'll always be our mother and we both love you very much. I better go. We'll see you on Saturday, okay?" Max asked needing to go to Isabel.

"Okay. Tell Isabel I'll call her later," Diane said touched that Max cared enough…trusted her enough to try and reassure her. She hugged Max tightly and watched him walk out. She stalked down the hall to her husband's office and walked in. "What did you say to them?" Diane demanded firmly.

"Look Diane, just stay away from them. I'm not going to turn them in, but they can't stay here. It's not safe," Phillip said looking up at his furious wife.

"I will not. They are my children. I'm ashamed of you. Our children need us. They need us more now then they have since we found them. They are the same kids we raised, I don't care what you say. They've always been special kids, Phillip. I've told you that for years but that doesn't make them any less ours. You need to deal with your fear," Diane said pointing at his chest.

"It's not fear; it's common sense," Phillip replied defensively.

"No, it's fear. I don't know whether it's fear of the kids themselves or fear of aliens in general, but it is fear. I can see why this is scary, but that's no excuse for turning on your children. Max is a good person. He's so caring and gentle. You should have seen him with Liz. He loves her so much. Isabel is so protective of Max and a wonderful person in her own right. She is such a good daughter. She needs to know we love her. They both do. There's nothing in either of them to be afraid of," Diane said not understanding what was going on with Phillip.

"They don't belong here. Diane you have to understand that this is serious. Whoever these other people are they're dangerous and we're not equipped to deal with this," Phillip said trying to reason with Diane.

"They do belong here. They're our family. When you're raising children, you aren't always equipped to deal with everything that comes up. When that happens, you get help. You don't abandon your children!" Diane stated and left slamming the door behind her.



Isabel sat in the passenger seat as Max drove to Michael's. She tried to stop crying but something inside her felt broken. One of the people she had truly believed loved her unconditionally had proven that he didn't. She had really believed in the strength of family. She had believed her father when he had said he would always love her. If her parents couldn't love her, how could anyone else? How could she let anyone else in now? She didn't trust her own judgement after this. She had believed him. She had begged Max on more than one occasion to let their parents in. Now she could understand why Max had said no. Before she had at least had her dreams that one day her parents would really know her and love her anyway, now she had nothing.


Max focused on driving to Michael's and keeping himself closed off. If he could just get them to Michael's then he would be able to help Isabel. He tried to block out her broken sobs. He knew that out of the two of them this was more devastating for her. She had always been the one with the dreams of a close happy family with parents that loved them. He had always been the skeptic, wanting to believe, but some small part him had never been able to.

He parked in front of Michael's apartment and turned off the engine. He left the Jeep and went over to help Isabel out. When she looked at him her eyes swimming with pain and tears, he could feel the anger start inside him. It was almost a relief to be able to push aside his pain and latch onto the small flicker of anger and feed it.

"Isabel I'm so sorry about…" Max sighed and glanced away. He turned back to her putting aside his own feelings. "You will always have Mom and me. A lot of people love you for exactly who you are. Michael, Liz, and Alex all know you for who you are and love you..care about you. Even Maria and Kyle think of you as family. So don't think that you're alone or don't have a family who loves you….we're your family and we love you. We'll always be there for you," Max said fiercely wanting her to see this wasn't the worst thing in the world. That one person's view wasn't always the truth.

"I know. I just..I never imagined that he would…it hurts," Isabel said brokenly.

"I know it does," Max agreed. "Come on let's go in."



Liz sat in Ash's apartment trying to concentrate. Max had shut her out. She had felt the absence of him and fought off the rising well of panic as the minutes ticked away. The more time that passed the more agitated she became. He had never shut her out for this long before.

"Liz? Are you okay?" Kyle asked worried. He could see something was wrong. Liz was flushed and sweating in the coolness of the loft. Ash had instructed them to meditate first and then Liz was supposed to practice her powers. Looking at her now he didn't think that was going to be possible.

Liz turned her head to look at Kyle. "He shut me out. I can't feel him," Liz said in answer.

"Liz just try to relax. I'm sure he's fine just don't panic," Kyle said scooting closer to her. "Take my hands. Let's work on connecting. Focus on me."

Liz took a deep breath and looked into Kyle's eyes. She tried to focus on him but the growing feeling of being truly alone fed the panic building inside her. She pushed her hair back and wiped her sweaty palms on her jean clad thighs. She held out her hands and Kyle gripped them lightly.

Kyle looked into Liz's eyes and was pulled into a giant void. His breath came faster as panic skittered across his mind. He reached out into the void searching for Liz and found nothing. Just as panic overwhelmed him he felt himself jerked back to reality. Looking around and saw Ash had physically shoved him away from Liz.

Ash was now kneeling in front of Liz. "Liz look at me. You must control your panic and fear. Max is fine. You would know if he weren't. You must learn to be able to relax and accept the connection being closed. Please try," Ash said his worry growing as her distressed worsened. He turned to Kyle. "Bring me the phone," Ash demanded curtly.

Kyle got up quickly and grabbed the first phone he saw and handed it to Ash. "Is she okay?" Kyle asked worried, as Liz still hadn't spoken. She sat looking at Ash while taking deep slow breaths.

Ash didn't answer just took the phone and turned his attention back to Liz. "Try calling Max. You'll see; he is okay," Ash said using the most calming voice possible.

Liz accepted the phone and dialed. She fought to remain calm. She berated herself for her weakness as she listened to Max's phone ring.

"Hello?" Max answered annoyed at the intrusion.

"Max? Are you alright?" Liz forced out.

"I can't talk right now," Max said impatient to get off the phone.

"Okay, but can you just open the connection a little?" Liz asked needing to feel him. Her panic had lessened but hadn't disappeared.

"I can't deal with you right now, Liz. I have a lot going on and I can't deal with you too," Max said feeling overwhelmed.

"I don't want you to deal with me. I just need to know you're okay. I won't push, I just need to feel you," Liz said trying not to be hurt by his response.

"I'm telling you I'm fine. Look I need some time here…some space to deal with some family things. I can't handle this right now," Max said looking over at Isabel.

"Max please let me in. I want to help you. Just let me in please," Liz said softly. She felt her chest constrict and closed her eyes focusing on her breathing. She wondered how bad the talk with his father had gone to cause this kind of reaction in him.

"I have to go. I'll talk to you later," Max said and hung up.

Liz hung up the phone and opened her eyes to find Ash and Kyle both looking at her in concern. "Things didn't go well with his dad," Liz said trying to get a grip on the emptiness inside her.

Kyle watched her carefully seeing what she was trying to hide. "That prick!" Kyle thought savagely as he saw the hurt and misery in Liz's eyes. He went to sit beside her on the floor and pulled her close letting her lean against his side.

Ash also watched her. He could see by her flushed face and uneven breathing that Max hadn't opened the connection as she had asked him to. He was worried she was going to have a full panic attack if he didn’t do something quickly. “Liz please don’t upset yourself like this. It’s not good for you. Max is fine this isn’t forever,” Ash said his voice calm and deep.

“I know,” Liz said in return. She didn’t mention that it wasn’t comforting that Max had done this on purpose.

“Liz don’t get all worked up. Think about it like this….you can have Evans at your mercy. You know he can’t live with out you,” Kyle said.

“I don’t want him at my mercy Kyle,” Liz said pulling her knees up to her chest and wrapping her arms around them. She was miserably hot and a headache was starting behind her eyes from straining to break through to Max.

“Well I’d like to have him at mine,” Kyle grumbled under his breath taking comfort from the image of kicking the shit out of Max. He looked around and saw Ash making something in the kitchen so he turned his attention back to Liz. “Alright I’ll just keep talking and you can just ignore me. Hmmm what should I talk about? How about I tell you stories? Okay, you just relax and I’ll tell you stories.”

“I’m listening,” Liz said softly. She appreciated Kyle trying to distract her. She focused her attention on Kyle and the sound of his voice.

“Remember that time when I saved you from drowning at the pool?” Kyle asked smiling.

“No. That never happened,” Liz denied.

“Yes it did. You and Maria came to the pool and that fat red headed boy was bugging you and wouldn’t leave you alone. That obnoxious little porker tried to show off his diving skills but instead he belly flopped. The wave that kid caused hit you right in the face remember?” Kyle asked.

“Oh yeah I remember that. You dove in and shoved that perverted little creep to stop him from untying my suit while I was choking,” Liz said remembering how sweet Kyle had been. That was really the thing that had convinced her to go out with him.

“So see I saved you from a fate even worse then drowning,” Kyle said grinning. “Now don’t interrupt my story I get to tell it how I want,” Kyle stated in a mock serious tone.

Liz reached out and rested her hand on his arm. “Thanks Kyle. You’re the best and you can tell me the stories any way you want to,” Liz said with a soft smile.

Ash came in and handed Liz a mug filled with fragrant tea. “Here drink this. It will help,” Ash said softly. He was really worried about Liz. He could see the strain this was causing. Her eyes were clouded and her face was tense.

Liz took the tea and drank it slowly. “Thanks Ash. It’s good…lemon huh?” Liz asked trying to reassure Ash. He looked so worried. The warmth spread throughout her abdomen and she sighed and leaned back.

“Yes it has lemon in it. It will help you relax,” Ash said sitting across from her.

“Okay now back to my story. So after saving you from a fate worse then death and dispatching the blubbery beast with hands like an octopus you saw my manly muscles and couldn’t resist my charm and wit,” Kyle continued with his story and Ash listened and watched.

Liz listened to Kyle continue with his tall tale and smiled. He really was a great guy. She didn’t really notice as her mind grew hazy and sleep crept up on her. The last thing she did before falling into darkness was reach one more time for Max only to find him locked away from her.

posted on 1-Oct-2002 9:17:16 PM by Lelea
Chapter Fifty Four

fail_safe


Tess paced the length of the lab. She stopped in front of the wall filled with glass cases holding the next generation of Skins. Uzizen had them growing in a bio-organic environment. Tess stared into the nearest case thinking that they almost looked like plants until you saw the movement of new life through the semitransparent membrane. They didn’t resemble her pod but they served a similar function. Every one of them were filled with what could be called her children.

As she stood there staring at a new generation Nick walked up behind her. He stood watching her trying to puzzle out what she was thinking. In the weeks that had passed since they had met he had discovered she was a multi faceted person. He still wasn’t sure what he thought of her but he now knew not to under estimate her. She was a lot more than she appeared to be on the surface. He bet Max and the rest of them were thinking the same thing about now.

With out turning Tess spoke. “What is it?”

“I just came by to say it looks like your idea worked pretty well. It seems the Evans children are moving out. At least it looks that way since they left their parents house with Isabel in tears,” Nick said smirking.

“Is that it?” Tess asked.

“Yeah that’s it,” Nick said puzzled by her lack of reaction.

“Then leave,” Tess said coolly.

“What is your problem bitch?” Nick asked getting pissed.

“My problem is that I am a prisoner here. My problem is that I was not destined to be a brood mare for your species,” Tess said with no infliction to her voice.

“What’s the difference Tess? You were willing to whore around when it was Zan,” Nick asked not seeing the problem.

“The difference is that with Max I would have one child. One child the normal way not be poked and prodded having my eggs harvested in a lab. The difference is the amount of pain and trouble it causes me,” Tess said turning her eyes flashing with rage. “It matters very much actually.”

“Well it wasn’t my idea and it’s over now anyway,” Nick said with a shrug.

“It’s never going to be over. If this works we will have numerous reminders,” Tess said gesturing to the containers on the wall. “Max is going to pay for this. I intend to make sure of it.”

“I don’t see what the big deal is. Selling yourself one way is just the same as another,” Nick said and watched her eyes flash with fury.

“No it isn’t. I was destined to give birth to the heir to the throne of Antar not breed a bunch of things in a glass case growing like some kind of Chia pet. There is no power in being a brood mare. If that stupid fuck Max had just followed the plan everything would be fine. I would have my rightful place. Instead I’m stuck here and I intend to make sure someone pays for that,” Tess said with a hard edge to her voice.

“Well we’ll have to work on that. Now about your other problem…maybe I can help you out,” Nick said with a slow grin spreading over his face as he eyed her chest. A fuck was a fuck after all.

Tess looked him up and down her brain processing the offer at lightning speed. Uzizen was furious about the loss of the Harvest and the failure of the new husks. She was stuck hiding from his sight for fear of his wrath. This might be a way to improve her station. She allowed her lips to tilt upward as her own brand of a grin formed on her face.



Kyle sat in the darkness watching Liz sleep. Her sleep was restless and troubled even with the tea Ash had used to force her into that state. He moved closer and touched her forehead lightly. It was damp and overly warm to the touch but better than it had been.

Kyle’s thoughts turned to Max Evans. Otherwise known to one Kyle Valenti as Cocksucking Bastard. The longer Kyle watched Liz the more pissed off he got. He understood that Max was having a bad time but that didn’t excuse what he had done. Max knew what happened every time they had closed their connection for longer then twenty minutes. Bastard! Kyle fumed taking a deep breath through his nose.


Liz was dreaming fitfully. She knew she was dreaming but that didn’t seem to make any difference. The air was hot and damp…it smelled like earth. She was hiding in the dark. She was being hunted and was very afraid. Not so much for herself…she felt dead inside anyway but it was important to hang on. She had promised. Liz leaned against the wall of her hiding place as a sharp radiating pain cut across her back and made its way across her abdomen. She panted and pushed away from the wall and started running as fast as she was allowed. The dream shifted and Liz found herself alone and empty. Her chest was so tight she couldn’t breath and a dull constant pain was throbbing in her chest. She prayed to die.


Liz woke crying out in pain and terror. Kyle rushed to her side and gripped her arms talking to her softly waiting for her to realize where she was. Slowly her eyes focused on Kyle’s face she lay back panting feeling the void inside herself keenly. “Kyle please don’t be angry. Max is under a lot of pressure right now and he doesn’t mean to hurt me,” Liz said softly sensing Kyle’s emotions easily.

“Yeah well aren’t we all in our own way. The fact still remains he is hurting you. How can you just except this?” Kyle asked frustrated.

“I didn’t say I would except it with a smile. I’m just not angry. Don’t think that he’s not hurting Kyle because he is,” Liz said still feeling groggy. “Where’s Ash?”

“He said he had to go out. He’ll be back soon,” Kyle said still thinking Liz let Max off too easy.

“What was in that tea?” Liz asked unable to shake the foggy feeling in her head. She shifted on the pillows slightly trying to ignore how stuffy the room was and how hot she felt.

“He didn’t tell me. He only said you would sleep for awhile. I’ll go get you some water just relax for a second,” Kyle answered as he rose and headed for the kitchen.

Liz lay there in the dark and thought about exactly what Max had said. She had told Kyle the truth, she wasn’t mad at Max exactly. She had failed to mention that she was deeply hurt and wondered how strong this relationship really was. She of all people understood the need for personal space. She was an only child who had grown up comfortable with spending time by herself. She had handled the sense of never being alone anymore pretty well she thought. Max had a tendency to hover and be over protective but she had dealt with that and it had never bothered her to the extent that she blocked him out or felt smothered. Instead it was Max who pulled away from her. Maybe it was time to take a step back of her own and think about things. She didn’t want to be this clingy needy person who couldn’t function on her own. Maybe Max had actually done her a favor because she didn’t like what she was feeling right now at all and it scared her. What was she becoming in the midst of all of this?

Liz sighed and tried to ignore her rolling emotions, which seemed to be rolling in tune with her stomach. Some time apart might be the exact thing that they both needed to get a handle on themselves and what was happening around them.


Ash stepped from his vehicle and made his way up to Michael’s apartment. Once he reached the door he paused for a moment trying to calm himself. His protective instinct for Liz had churned into anger. This couldn’t be allowed to continue. He wouldn’t allow it even if he had to defy his King. He pounded on the door to the apartment and waited. The door was flung open by Michael and without a word Ash pushed into the apartment.

“Gee Ash it’s nice to see you too,” Michael grumbled as he closed the door.

Ash didn’t even spare him a glance as he took in the room. Isabel sat huddled on the worn couch with Max sitting beside her mumbling to her softly. The room was lit only by the TV’s flickering light. “Michael will you please take Isabel into the other room? I need to talk with Max,” Ash stated firmly.

Isabel rose from her spot on the couch after a look at Ash’s face. She silently left the room and curled up on Michael’s bed. Michael paused as he looked from Ash to Max but quickly decided that Isabel had the right idea and followed Isabel into the bedroom and shut the door. As soon as the door clicked shut Ash turned to Max and studied him for a moment in silence. Max looked stiff and tense. He held himself so rigidly that Ash briefly thought of the movie The Wizard of Oz and the rusted Tin Man.

“I think that there is something you don’t understand so I am here to explain it to you. You are bonded to Liz. It is a mistake to shut her out in this manner. It can cause harm to her and even to you if you continue on this course. Neither of you have learned to control your connection enough to allow for the extended loss of it,” Ash said trying to hold back his personal feelings on the subject.

“I didn’t ask for your thoughts on the subject Ash,” Max said not looking away from the TV screen. He really wasn’t paying full attention to what Ash was saying. His focus was on maintaining the icy feeling inside himself. It was easier this way, being disconnected.

“I don’t give a rat’s ass what you asked for. You are behaving like a spoiled toddler thinking only of yourself and your needs. You chose to bond with her now you have a duty,” Ash said harshly walking over and turning off the TV. With a wave of his hand the lights in the room turned on. “That duty doesn’t stop when things get hard.”

Max looked up at him feeling a mix of icy anger and guilt building inside him. “I just need to get a handle on this. Why is that a crime? I don’t want to hurt her and the way I feel right now I’m afraid I would.”

“This is the last time I will tell you this. You are physically harming Liz with the path that you are taking. You don’t have to keep the connection wide open all the time however closing it completely for an extended length of time is dangerous. Listen to me or not as you choose but the Granilith will take action if this continues,” Ash warned.

“Always using the Granilith to keep us in line. Must be nice to have the power,” Max said bitterly. He had no power over anything least of all his own emotions. The world had changed and he was lost in this new place.

Ash felt his hands ball into fists at his side. The image of Liz huddled on the floor with her knees drawn up to her chest absolutely miserable flashed through his mind. “If I had any power at all I would release Liz from her bond to you. But I don’t have that power. You had choices and you made them. You could have told your parents years ago and they might have taken it better when it didn’t involve torture and pain. You let Tess in even though you didn’t trust her. You chose Liz and pursued her even after she asked you not to. Those are choices that you made of your own free will. They have led you here and now you have to deal with the results of those choices. So stop fucking around and deal with it,” Ash roared pissed beyond measure. He spun on his heels and left slamming the door behind him.


Max sat where Ash had left him glancing up when Michael sat beside him. Michael reached for the remote and turned the TV back on without speaking. Max went back to his thoughts. Despite what Ash thought he really didn’t want to hurt Liz. He just didn’t want her rushing to his rescue and trying to comfort him. He really just wanted to be alone for awhile. He felt angry and like his emotions where spinning out of control. The last thing he wanted was to pull her into this mess and hurt her further. It was only a couple of days ago that she had almost been killed and he knew she had been tired and under a lot of strain since then. She was always his strength and the one he leaned on..at what point did the weight he put on her become too much?

“Maxwell quit being an ass and listen to Ash. I know how tempting it is to close off but it’s to late for that. For you it always was,” Michael said not taking his eyes from the TV.

“Michael you don’t understand,” Max said thinking there was no way to explain his reasoning…he wasn’t even sure he understood it.

“No, I don’t but in this case I don’t need to. Did you really hear what Ash said? You’re hurting Liz. You not a Skin or Tess but you. That’s all that needs to be said isn’t it?” Michael asked gruffly. He would never understand Max, he made things so difficult and complicated. He knew Max had taken a hard hit today and it had clearly knocked him for a loop.

Max leaned back and closed his eyes. He opened himself to Liz and for one heart stopping moment he felt her fully before she closed the connection to what felt like the size of a pinprick. He could only feel the barest brush of her against his mind. When he reached for her she was like mist sliding through his fingers. In that moment where he had been able to feel her he knew how much pain he had caused her.


“I am such an idiot,” Max said his tone flat.

“Yeah you are. So is Liz pissed?” Michael asked.

“No it’s worse than that,” Max said and reached for his phone.

“How can it be worse than that?” Michael asked. The worst thing that could happen to him was Maria on a rampage.

“I really hurt her,” Max said as he dialed. He listened to the phone ring. After five rings the phone was answered.

“Hello.” Kyle said his tone less then friendly.

“I need to talk to Liz,” Max said wincing slightly.

“You need? Well that makes it important then. I mean if you need it then we are all happy to jump right up and accommodate you,” Kyle said harshly.

“Kyle, just put Liz on the phone,” Max said his tone even.

“Well you know I would if she were able to come to the phone but she’s in the bathroom at the moment. Would you like to leave a message?” Kyle asked his smart-ass tone firmly in place.

“I’ll wait,” Max said. He leaned back and listened, waiting patiently. He heard Kyle knock and call to Liz that he was on the phone and a second later Kyle came back on.

“She can’t talk now, Max. She’ll call you back,” Kyle said and hung up.

Max looked at the phone in his hand and debated on waiting for her to call or going over there.



Kyle hung up the phone and pounded on the bathroom door. “Liz if you don’t open this door I’m going to break it down,” Kyle said meaning every last word.

“Kyle I..” Liz started then stopped as another wave of sickness rolled over her.

Kyle slammed his shoulder into the door and staggered as the lock gave and the door popped open. He found Liz retching into the toilet. Being very familiar with the position himself, he wet a wash cloth and slid to the floor behind her. He scooped her hair up in one hand holding it away from her face. With the other hand he ran the cold wash cloth across her neck and the sides of her face. After a few minutes Liz sagged back against Kyle’s chest.

Liz took the wash cloth from Kyle’s hand and wiped her mouth. “I’m sorry. I feel better,” Liz said softly. The sharp blast of emotions from Max when he had opened the connection had sent her already upset stomach into overload.

Kyle looked at the top of her head and was unconvinced. He wondered what exactly what Ash had put in that tea. “It’s okay. Ready to get up?” Kyle asked tucking her hair behind her ear. Liz nodded against his chest. He wrapped his arm around her waist and lifted her with him as he rose to his feet. Liz allowed him to lead her back to the couch.

“Kyle, you are way to good to me. You don’t have to do this…you know take care of me all the time,” Liz said embarrassed. Thank you just didn’t really cover it.

“Liz it would be impossible to be too good to you. That’s your problem. You think you’re not special and you are. You have a lot of people who would do a lot for you and you are worth it. You would do it for us and we know it,” Kyle said getting pissed that she put so little worth on what she gave to everyone else. Cocksucking Bastard’s fault along with a few other things he was sure.

Liz smiled at him and watched as he went and got her another glass of water. She took it from him and sipped at it slowly. “Kyle I want you to know that I know I owe you big and if you ever need my help you have it. You’re such a great person and I’m grateful we’re friends and that I have you in my life. Since I know you don’t like the mushy stuff I’ll leave it there. Now, how badly did you mangle Max?” Liz asked with a smile.

“Not too bad. Are you sure you’re alright?” Kyle asked.

“Yeah I think so. I hope I’m not getting the flu.” Liz said thinking about how sick her mom had been.

“It could be whatever Ash used to knock you out. He was worried you were going to have a panic attack. He said it was a mild natural herb to relax you and allow you to sleep but maybe it upset your stomach,” Kyle said scowling. The door opening interrupted them and Ash walked in.

“Liz you are okay?” Ash asked noting Kyle’s scowl.

“I think so yes,” Liz said glancing at Kyle.

“No she’s not. What was in that tea? Liz just got sick,” Kyle stated.

“It was just a mild herb. I am so sorry Liz. I didn’t mean to harm you in anyway. I just wanted to help you,” Ash said appalled.

“Ash, I’m fine really. Thank you for helping me. The tea really did work just like you said it would. Relaxed me right into sleep,” Liz said smiling. She felt Max reach for her and lost her smile. She wasn’t ready to let him in fully. Now she needed some space. Just as she finished that thought her phone rang. She sighed and glanced at Kyle.

Liz reached over and picked up her phone. “Hi Max.”

“Hi. Are you alright?” Max asked carefully.

“I’m fine. I’m guessing things didn’t go well with your father. How is Isabel?” Liz asked and took another sip of her water.

“She’s pretty upset. I’m sorry about how I acted earlier. I didn’t mean to hurt you. I just..” Max said and trailed off.

“I know you didn’t. You were upset about your dad…I think you had a good point actually. A lot has happened this week and I think we could both use a little space,” Liz said evenly.

“Liz..no I didn’t…you are mad aren’t you?” Max asked.

“No I’m not mad. I’m just giving you what you asked me for. You said you needed some time and space to deal with your family. I thought about it and I could use some time too,” Liz said and watched Kyle hide a smile behind his hand. Liz raised her eyebrow at him in warning.

“Liz please. Please don’t do this. I’m sorry. I closed the connection because I knew you would get upset when things didn’t go well. I thought I should handle it alone. Please don’t shut me out.” Max said desperate.

“Hmmm you’re asking ME not to shut you out?” Liz paused briefly. “I didn’t say anything about shutting you out. The connection will stay just as it is. We’re just going to take a week to think about things. I think it’s a great idea,” Liz said twirling a strand of her hair around her finger.

“A week? I really don’t think I need any time. That was a mistake. I wasn’t thinking clearly. I’m so sorry,” Max said realizing she was serious.

“Well I do. Max just calm down it’s only a week. Don’t be sorry for needing space. The last thing I want to do is smother you or be something you feel you HAVE to deal with. So I guess what I’m really saying is we need to take a step back. You know time to re-evaluate things. You are willing to give me some time if I need it aren’t you?” Liz asked narrowing her eyes at Kyle who was not even bothering to hide his grin anymore.

“Umm yeah okay. A week?” Max asked again, cursing his own stupidity. Liz had him neatly backed into a corner and he didn’t see a good way out of it.

“Yep a week starting now. Thanks Max. This means a lot to me,” Liz said.

“Okay but can I call you? I mean I still want to talk to you. We don’t have to be completely cut off from each other right?” Max asked hopefully.

“Yeah you can call me. It’s not like you won’t see me at all. We’ll see each other at school. This isn’t a punishment Max. I just think we need a little space that’s all. Or I should say I need space. You need to be there for Isabel and your mom so this works for everyone. Listen, Kyle needs to get home and he’s my ride so I have to go. Love you Max see you at school,” Liz said and took another sip of water.

“I love you too. See you tomorrow,” Max said sounding less than happy.

Liz hung up the phone and looked up at both Kyle and Ash. “What?” Liz asked when neither said anything.

“Nothing. I didn’t say a word,” Kyle said smiling.

“Time to think is always good,” Ash replied his tone mild.

posted on 2-Oct-2002 1:46:34 AM by Lelea
Wow*big* This really set off a lot of different emotions. Okay let me say a couple of things.

1) Max DID know what closing the connection does to Liz. Several chapters back it was mentioned that they were training on being able to close that connection and that Liz had problems with the connection staying closed.

2) Liz is not punishing Max by not seeing him for a week. She doesn't think he deserves any punishment. She knows he is having a hard time and thinks he really DOES want to have sometime without having to worry about her and thinks it will be good for her too. She is leaving their connection slightly open so she will know if he needs her and they will still see each other at school and talk on the phone every night.

3) When she was reaching for him...trying to connect with him it was partly to ease her own mind and partly because she knew he might need support after seeing his father. When they spoke on the phone she asked him to open the connection to ease her problems not to demand attention. She also wanted to help him if she could.

4) What's wrong with her.....okay part of the problem is that she and Max aren't ready (trained and practiced) yet to be able to completely close it for long periods of time. She runs a fever, gets headaches from continuing to reach for him, she also gets very emotional. Eventually she has a panic attack. As to whether or not she's pregnant....do you really want me to tell you? *happy*

Thanks as always for the FB I thrive on it! I can't say how happy I am that all you guys are so into the story. Hello to all the new names...people that I'm seeing and I hope you continue reading.

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 2-Oct-2002 4:27:14 AM ]
posted on 4-Oct-2002 8:44:51 PM by Lelea
Chapter Fifty Five
**Okay well I'm not really happy with this chapter but oh well...it answers one of your burning questions so I'll post it**

fail_safe

Liz got ready for bed on Friday thinking back on the day. Isabel had been in true Ice Princess mode. She had barely spoken all day and when she did say something the chill was biting. Michael had remained fairly silent as well but not for the same reasons. He seemed more watchful then angry. Alex had been noticeable in his absence. He had tried to offer what friendship and comfort he could but after being rebuffed had chosen to stay away. Maria had been the only one truly vocal through out the day. Her running monologue had filled the silence. Kyle had spent the day hanging around his jock buddies whenever free time allowed. She and Max had circled each other warily. The tension was plain to everyone. Finally Max had pulled her aside after fifth hour.

After closing the door to the eraser room he turned and leaned against it. “Liz, I know what I did wasn’t right. I know I hurt you and I’m sorry,” Max said looking her in the eye.

“I know. I’m not angry. I know you were hurting and I also know you don’t mean to hurt me. Yes it hurt but I understand,” Liz said in return.

“Then why are you doing this?” Max asked.

“I’m doing this because I want us to work out. I want us to stay together because of us not the Granilith. I don’t want to be forced to stay with you because of a bond. I want to stay because I love you and we both work at this relationship. Don’t you want to KNOW that we would still be together even if we weren’t bonded to each other?” Liz asked looking intently into his eyes.

“Yes of course I do but I don’t see how this is going to help either of us know that,” Max said walking closer.

“Last night made me think about a couple of things. I realized how dependent I am on you and that scares me. I don’t want to loose myself in this. I need to be able to function on my own and so do you. It seemed pretty easy for you to shut me out and that made me wonder how strong we are as a couple and as individuals.

Max, I really don’t see this as a punishment. I’m not doing this to get back at you for anything. I know you have a lot going on and I don’t want to be in the way. Isabel needs your support right now and so does your mother. I’ll be here when you need me. I know I left you after that message last year but I’m not going to do that again. I’m not leaving you. I’m giving us both the time we need right now. When you want to talk to me all you have to do is call or come and see me. I would never send you away you know that,” Liz said looking up at him.

“Liz, you’re not in the way. I am so sorry I made it seem that way. I was stupid. I need you just as much as you need me,” Max said watching the shadows in her eyes.

“Do you? I’m not so sure of that. I’m also not so sure it’s a good thing…how much I need you. That’s the point,” Liz said softly.

“You are so important to me and I was so stupid for allowing myself to forget that. Even for a short while,” Max said and placed his hands on her hips tugging her a little closer. He bent to nuzzle her neck softly.

Liz tilted her head allowing him better access. “I don’t doubt that I’m important to you. You know Max, it’s okay that other things come first sometimes. Sometimes they’re important enough that they need to come first. I want us to be strong enough to make it through all that,” Liz said gently pushing him away.

Max pulled back and looked into her face studying it closely. “Are you sure you’re not mad?” Max asked again.

“I’m sure. Even if I was mad I would forgive you or get over it or whatever. I hope you know that. Max, I love you. People who love each other hurt each other sometimes and they forgive each other remember?” Liz asked.

“I remember. Okay so what exactly does this “time apart” initial?” Max asked rubbing his hands along her hips.

“Just what it says. Last year we became friends before we dated and we can keep that part. We just aren’t going to go out or anything. You’re going to be busy moving and spending time with your family anyway,” Liz said moving away from him.

“Okay,” Max said and paused. “Can we just open the connection completely once before we do this?” He wanted to be sure she was all right and that she really wasn’t mad.

Liz hesitated briefly then nodded in agreement. Max walked closer and stopped in front of her. She stared up at him calmly waiting. He bent closer leaning in to kiss her but her hands pressed against his chest stopping him. “I don’t think this is would be a good start to taking a break. So let’s do this a different way,” Liz said and took his hand. She closed her eyes, missing his disappointed expression, and opened the connection between them fully.

Max found his disappointment fading as Liz opened to him. He felt the hot rush of her pushing through him. He felt a lot of things but anger wasn’t among them. The sheer amount of emotion was humbling. He saw flashes of what it had been like to have their connection closed and felt her fear and confusion. Running through everything eclipsing everything else was her love for him.

Liz slowly closed the connection until all she felt from him was a shadow of his presence. She opened her eyes and dropped his hand and waited.

“Liz why didn’t you tell me? I didn’t know it got that bad. I am so sorry Liz,” Max said.

“You know what happens when the connection is closed. You’ve been there. This was just a little worse because it was for longer this time. I didn’t tell you because I don’t want you to be guilty. I didn’t want to hear you say you’re sorry. It’s done now let’s move past it okay?” Liz replied and looked away. She was so tired of guilt. She didn’t want him to feel guilty…it was pointless.

“Okay. We better get to class,” Max said and abruptly as that the conversation was over.

Liz had spent the evening alone in her room. She finished all her homework for Monday, took a long bath, and wrote in her journal. Now as she lay in bed she fought the urge to reach for him. She sighed and turned over. This just drove home to her that she was right to think she needed a break. She hoped that Max was okay. Eventually, a long time later, she fell into sleep despite her churning thoughts. Her mind continued to work even in sleep not allowing the rest she was seeking.



Saturday dawned and Liz woke slowly. Yawning she got out of bed and started getting ready. Before leaving her room she stuck her head out the window and told Ash she was headed to the café. He nodded and headed for the ladder.

Walking into the café she was surprised to see Phillip Evans sitting in one of the booths alone eating breakfast. She paused thinking for a moment then made her way over. She stopped at the end of the booth. “Mr. Evans? Do you mind if I sit with you?” Liz asked quietly.

Phillip looked up at Liz for a second. “No, go ahead and have a seat,” He said gesturing to the empty side of the booth.

“Thanks. I’m surprised to see you here. You don’t eat here much,” Liz remarked as she slid into the empty seat.

“Yeah well things at home….have been better,” Phillip said looking at the small girl across from him.

“Um yeah I guess so. Listen um if you have any questions maybe I can answer some of them. I’ve been in a similar situation a couple of times so maybe I can help,” Liz offered. Mr. Evans looked years older than the last time she had seen him but the bruises on his face were fading.

“I heard about the attack in the bathroom,” Phillip said then paused. “You said a couple of times?”

“Yeah, a shapeshifter came in looking like Max so I left with him. He had killed a FBI agent and he dumped him on the side of the road and blew up a gas station. He took me to a carnival outside of town and wanted to use me to draw out more agents then let them take me while he got away. So I know how weird that is,” Liz said playing with the silverware.

“Why do you stay? Why do you involve yourself in all these dangerous situations?” Phillip asked very interested in her answer.

“At first it was because Max saved me and put himself and the others at risk. I wanted to help them. Gradually Maria, Alex, the Sheriff, and Kyle got brought into it,” Liz said softly very aware of being in public.

“So now why do you stay?” Phillip questioned.

“Max and I…um I love him. We’re bond to each other now,” Liz said nervous about his reaction to that little announcement.

“What do you mean you’re bond to him?” Phillip asked curious.

“Um yeah well that’s a long story actually,” Liz said and smiled. Here she was nervous about talking to Max’s dad. How normal.

“Well I’ve got time. Diane is spending the day with the kids,” Phillip said interested.

“Okay, well let me order breakfast and we can talk about it,” Liz said and got up to place her own order. Liz figured that since Agnes was working she could die of old age before she got any service. She wanted to help Max and maybe it would be easier for Mr. Evans to talk to her since he didn’t really know her.



Ash pushed open the door to his apartment and stepped aside to let Liz and Phillip Evans pass. Liz had pointed out that they couldn’t sit in the café all day so Ash volunteered his apartment.

Liz went over to one of the beanbag chairs and sat down. She watched as Mr. Evans took a seat on the couch facing her. “So where were we?” Liz asked.

“You just finished telling me about the Granilith giving you a seal to prove the bond you have with Max is real,” Phillip said. He had listened with rapt attention to her story. He was seeing his son in a whole new light through her stories.

“Oh yeah. Do you want to see it?” Liz asked. She wanted him to believe her. She was finding him to be willing to listen and not mean at all. But he wasn’t her father so maybe that made it easier to listen.

“Sure if you’re willing to show me,” Phillip said leaning forward.

Ash came to stand next to the couch. This would settle things once and for all. He would be 100% certain if her seal had changed.

Liz got up and moved closer turning so her back was facing them and lifted her sweater over her head. Her seal was plainly visible after she moved the strap of her tank top. “Ash make it light up,” Liz said looking over her shoulder.

Ash moved closer and ran his hand over her seal. It flared brightly and…there was no mistaking it. He was now certain. Her seal was different. This changed everything and presented a whole new set of problems. There had never been a pregnancy like this before.


Phillip stared at the seal in fascination. He looked from the seal to Liz’s face. She was so young. “That’s amazing,” He remarked his voice expressing more than his words.

Liz turned and pulled her sweater back on and sank back into her beanbag chair. “That wasn’t really my first thought but it fits,” Liz said smiling.

“Will you tell me the whole story? I would be interested to hear it from your point of view. Oh and please call me Phillip..Mr. Evans doesn’t seem right anymore,” Phillip said smiling back at her.

So Liz told him the story from the day of the shooting until the present. He asked questions when he needed to but mostly he just listened and watched the expressions that crossed her face. He found he could tell a lot about the things she might not be saying just from looking at her face. He could see why Max was so crazy about her. He found he was learning more about his children in this one afternoon than he had from living with them for years. The strange thing was what he learned was that they weren’t all that different from the kids he had thought he knew. They had different abilities but the core of them was the same in the stories she told. Max was still serious most of the time with hints of a teasing nature peaking out every once in a while. Isabel was still a warm person with those she cared about but found it easy to hold the rest of the world at a distance. So many things made sense now really.

Liz found it easier to talk to him as time past. He asked intelligent questions and listened avidly. She wondered if this would help him understand Max and Isabel better. She watched him as she talked and he didn’t seem cold. He seemed to become more involved in the story as she talked. As she told the more frightening parts of the story she saw his fear flicker across his face. She wondered at that. If he showed such depth of emotion to her how had the split between him and his family ever happened?

“Liz, how do you know it’s really Max when you see him?” Phillip asked.

“At first it was difficult. I didn’t know it wasn’t Max that I left with that time. Now it’s easy. Ever since I got the seal I can feel him. I would know it wasn’t him right away. Now when that Skin was pretending to be you it was different. I think that if you really pay attention you’ll know. There were things we should have paid attention to but we didn’t. Now we all pay more attention and ask more questions but we can still make mistakes. We all know that and we just do the best we can,” Liz said glancing at Ash then looking back to Phillip.

“This doesn’t bother you? All the stuff you’ve been through it doesn’t get to you?” Phillip asked interested in her answer. She seemed so young and innocent looking but she had seen so much. Things he couldn’t imagine had already happened to this girl in front of him and his own children.

“Of course it bothers me but I love him and all of the rest of it comes with him. We all try to be as careful as we can and believe me Max worries enough for everyone. Plus we have Ash and the rest of them to help us now. I just try to focus more on the good things and when the bad stuff happens we deal with it the best we can. I’m not alone in dealing with it either. We all do our best to help each other out. It’s nice having so many people that you can count on,” Liz said seriously.

Phillip thought about what she said and realized how much sense it made. He thought his son was pretty smart to have chosen so well. Liz seemed remarkably stable and was clearly very intelligent and caring.

“Max and I haven’t really talked about what happened between you but I know they were both very upset about it. Isabel wanted to tell you last year but Max…he was afraid to. He didn’t want you to get hurt and he thought if you didn't know you would be safer. He was very upset about what happened and felt very guilty. I know it’s not my place to tell you what to do but please think about things. I would hate to see something happen and you guys never having the chance to work this out,” Liz said carefully.

Phillip nodded thinking about what he had said to them. He had a lot of thinking to do. “What about your parents? Do they know anything about this?”

“No they don’t. I’ll have to tell them at some point I guess but now isn’t really the time. Max is already upset and stressed out. My dad isn’t even really used to Max and I dating yet. I’m afraid they would try to keep us apart and I can’t allow that. It’s too late for that,” Liz answered.

Phillip could see the worry on her face when thinking about her parent’s reaction. He could understand that after all his reaction hadn’t been good. He could see just what his would have been if Isabel was human and told him she was dating an alien. “Yes I can see why you would worry but I would suggest telling them soon. Before they find out in a less pleasant way,” Phillip suggested.


[ edited 2 time(s), last at 5-Oct-2002 1:15:23 AM ]
posted on 6-Oct-2002 11:49:15 AM by Lelea
Chapter Fifty Six

fail_safe


As the week continued Max found himself getting restless. They were all moved into the new apartment and Isabel and their Mom had already started discussing painting and decorating options. Michael and Isabel fought about the littlest things. Misplaced items, drinking from the carton, the TV….it seemed that they both looked for things to fight about. Isabel had declared it was her duty to mold Michael into a civilized person.

Max moved his weights into the new apartment and spent a lot of time in his room lifting weights. Being away from Liz seemed to get harder instead of easier. He talked to her on the phone most nights but it wasn’t the same. He saw her at school but she had started to spend more time away from the group usually with Kyle and of course Ash stuck to her like glue.

In fact everyone seemed to be going their own way. Alex spent time with Liz but never with the whole group. Maria and Michael were never very far apart and spent more and more time alone together. Isabel spent all her time with either their mom or him. He went back to his long held habit of watching Liz. She got more beautiful with everyday that went by.

On the phone they talked about everything. She told him about the time she had spent with his dad and what they talked about. He told her all about how it was to live with Michael and Isabel under the same roof. She talked about the future and a thousand other things. All that just made him miss her more. He had tried to lure her into the eraser room on several occasions but she held firm.


Liz found that while she did miss Max she could function without him. She stayed busy and with finals coming up soon and papers due she put a lot of effort into her studies. She continued training with Kyle. Ash was stressing the need to work on her shielding abilities. She held to her physical training also with Ash keeping a close eye on her. She also enjoyed talking to Max on the phone. She thought that they were learning more about each other with every conversation. She missed him the most at night when she was lying in bed and had time to think but the hazy presence of him at the back of her mind comforted her. She knew the connection, as slight as it was, would tell her if he really needed her and that calmed her fears.

Pauly had finally broken down and asked for her help. If he didn’t do well on their final paper in English he was going to fail. Liz agreed to help him Thursday evening in the CrashDown.

When Thursday evening came around Liz was feeling unexpectedly moody. She gathered up her stuff and made her way down to the café. She set up in the back corner booth. Ash had been hassling her about her caffeine intake so she got a large glass of cranberry juice and settled down to wait for Pauly.


Maria watched Liz get settled and could tell from her face she was on the verge of crankiness. A glance at the counter showed Alex hunched over his third orange soda and Kyle sat next to him eating a burger. She went back to waiting on the other customers and chatting with Michael through the pick up window.

Pauly arrived and Maria watched he sat down with Liz. They got right to work and Maria was happy to see Liz smiling easily. Before she could head over Isabel walked in her face frozen. Isabel made her way to a table and sat posture rigidly correct. Maria made her way over to Isabel’s table determined to find out what was going on.

“Isabel what can I get for you?” Maria asked studying her closely. Dealing with Michael had given her an edge in seeing behind the masks people wear. Isabel’s was showing cracks at the edges.

“Whatever the soup of the day is and a cherry Coke,” Isabel said her voice cool.

Maria nodded and went to put in the order. She brought back the Coke and set it in front of Isabel then sat down across from her. “So what has you in your protective ice?”

“Excuse me?” Isabel asked her voice frosty.

“I’m asking you what happened. Before you say nothing I’m warning you now I am prepared to wait you out. I will wear you down so just give it up,” Maria said and watched Isabel’s eyes flare for an instant before she shrugged.

“My dad stopped by. He apologized and tried to explain his reaction and what happened,” Isabel said with a detached air.

“Well that’s good. It’s a step in the right direction at least,” Maria said not seeing the problem. That sounded like good news to her.

“Yeah well that’s a matter of opinion,” Isabel said. She had no intention of making the same mistake again. She had trusted and believed her father once but no more.

“Isabel you need to bend a little. I mean your dad had a really rough time and you know we can’t all respond the way you want us to. It seems to me that he wants to make it up to you and would like to have you in his life. That’s nothing to sneeze at,” Maria said carefully.

“Well I don’t see it that way. I know what happened to him was bad but he threw us out. You didn’t hear what he said,” Isabel replied.

“I know people say a lot of things that they regret later. I also know what it’s like to be abandoned by your dad. Mine left and never looked back. He never called. He didn’t want me in his life so I think you’re pretty lucky. Isabel, people make mistakes and your secret isn’t a small thing. The fact that your dad wants to make a relationship work with you is a good thing. Just think about it before you toss that back in his face,” Maria said and got up. “You can never have too many people care about you and you guys don’t exactly make it easy sometimes.”

Isabel looked up at Maria thoughtfully for a moment. “I’ll think about it,” Isabel said her attitude softening. Maria turned to go. “Maria?” Maria turned back. “Thanks.”

Maria smiled and went over to Liz’s table.

“Pauly! Stop you are such a liar,” Liz said laughing at Pauly’s clowning around.

“Okay okay. Hey Maria!” Pauly said smiling up at her.

“Hey. So how goes the paper?” Maria asked smiling slightly.

“Great. Liz just ripped apart all my hard work. There’s more red pen marks on it then typed words,” Pauly said while smiling.

“You asked for my help. I can’t help it that you so desperately need it,” Liz teased. Pauly made a face at her then turned back to Maria.

“You guys need anything?” Maria asked amused.

“I’m all set,” Liz said turning back to Pauly’s paper.

“Just a refill,” Pauly said and handed his glass to Maria with a wink and a smile.

“Be right back,” Maria said taking the glass and leaving.

“So Liz…how’ve you been?” Pauly asked. He had of course heard all the variations of the rumors going around and wondered how Liz was taking it.

“Good,” Liz said and glanced up. “Oh you mean all the gossip? I’m over it. People are going to say whatever they choose. I can’t stop that but I don’t have to buy in and take it seriously.”

“That’s true enough. It’s crap anyway everyone knows that,” Pauly said and looked over at Kyle.

“Well thanks. So, I hear you and Vicky are a item,” Liz said smiling slightly.

Pauly turned back to look at her and smiled back. “Yeah we’re dating,” He said truthfully.

“She’s nice. You guys make a great couple,” Liz replied and got back to work.



Outside Max looked in the window of the CrashDown. He felt a tightening in his gut as he watched Liz laugh at something Pauly said. He really didn’t like Pauly. He tried to beat back his stupid jealousy. He knew she wouldn’t cheat on him no matter what Pauly said or did. He knew it was stupid but that didn’t change how he felt. He pushed open the doors to the café and went and sat by Alex.

Alex looked up and noticed the tight look on Max’s face. “Hey,” Alex said and waited.

“Hey Alex,” Max said. They sat in silence for a few moments. “So.”

“So,” Alex said.

“You two need help,” Kyle said from Alex’s other side.

“Shut up Kyle,” Alex said without heat.

“Just an observation. Alex you look like a kicked puppy and Max well you look a little frustrated,” Kyle said with a grin.

“Shut up Kyle,” Max said frowning.

“I am not a kicked puppy!” Alex said getting mad.

“Well you whimper like one,” Kyle observed.

Isabel walked up and stopped behind Alex. “What are you guys talking about?” Isabel asked curious.

“Nothing that would hold any interest for you. Isn’t there some older guy around for you to play with?” Alex asked turning to face her.

“What are you so pissed off about?” Isabel asked surprised.

“I’m just wondering why I’m being graced with your presence,” Alex replied looking into her surprised face.

“Looks like the puppy grew teeth,” Kyle remarked and moved away. Max took one look at Isabel’s face and followed. “So Evans enjoying your week of freedom?” Kyle asked shooting him a look.

“No,” Max said shortly.

“Jeez everyone around here is testy today,” Kyle remarked glancing back to where Alex and Isabel were still arguing.

Max looked over at Liz and she smiled at him before turning back to Pauly. “What’s he doing here anyway?” Max asked.

Kyle followed Max’s gaze to Liz. “He needed some help with his English,” Kyle said and looked back at Max to see him frowning. “Max don’t screw up. You seem to be in a crappy mood so why don’t you head home?” Kyle asked.

“I’m fine. I just want to talk to Liz for a minute,” Max said turning his attention back to Liz.

“Listen she’s a little testy today too so this may not be the best idea,” Kyle warned. Liz had been moody all day her emotions changing at the drop of a dime…he should know. Liz had ripped his face off when he suggested they cut their run short because she seemed tired then had gotten teary as she apologized for being such a bitch.

“It’s fine Kyle. Relax,” Max said and watched as Liz got and headed to the bathroom. He slapped Kyle on the back and followed her.

Kyle watched him go and shook his head. “It’s your funeral.”


“Liz! Wait can I talk to you a second?” Max asked catching her before she reached the bathroom.

“Sure what’s up?” Liz asked and allowed him to pull her into the backroom.

“Nothing I just….what’s with Pauly?” Max asked swiftly changing topics.

“What do you mean? I’m helping him with a paper,” Liz answered puzzled.

“Yeah sure. He really needs your help. Liz, he’s hitting on you,” Max said exasperated.

Liz’s eyes narrowed. “Yes really. He’s failing English and asked for my help. Since he helped me the night of the rave I felt like it would be nice to return the favor. He was not hitting on me he’s dating Vicky. Even if he were to hit on me I can take care of myself. I don’t need you lurking around and checking up on me,” Liz said getting annoyed.

“I’m not checking up on you. I came by to see you,” Max defended.

“Okay you’ve seen me. Now I have to go to the bathroom,” Liz said starting by him.

Max reached out and stopped her with a hand on her arm. “Liz, please don’t be angry. I’m sorry. I just missed you.”

Liz turned on him swiftly. “Max what is it really?”

“I just don’t like that guy. I don’t want you hanging around with him. How do you even know it’s really Pauly? How do you know he’s dating Vicky? He could just be saying that to lull you into a false sense of safety,” Max said completely serious.

“What are you talking about? Max really. You act like he’s a serial killer or something. I know he was an asshole when he beat you up but he really helped me out. I know he’s dating Vicky because it’s all over school plus he told me. Not everyone wants to date me. You’re just being silly now. Ash is sitting with Uziel in one of the booths. Really everyone is here so I don’t think Pauly will get away with anything,” Liz said poking holes in his statement.

“He didn’t beat me up. Anyway I’m not saying he wants to date you just….you know,” Max said trailing off as her eyes flashed.

“Oh I see, he just wants in my pants is what you’re saying,” Liz said and folded her arms across her chest. Her body language clearly gave warning of her growing irritation.

“Well..yeah…maybe,” Max said missing the visual warning.

“The only one around here who seems to have that problem is you and you can just forget it!” Liz said stabbing him in the chest with her finger.

“Liz, you know that’s not true!” Max said and rubbed his chest where she had poked him.

“I thought I did. Let me remind you that sex takes two people. So apparently you think I’m going to suddenly have an urge to have sex with Pauly? Or is it that I’m so helpless and stupid that I’m easy to seduce?” Liz asked anger humming through her veins.

“That’s not what I meant,” Max said trying to backtrack.

“You know what Max? I don’t think you know what you meant. Now I’m going to the bathroom before I get really pissed off,” Liz said and spun on her heels pushing through the doors and into the café.

Max stood there berating himself. If he could, he would kick his own ass right about now. Hearing a soft chuckle he turned to find Michael smirking in the doorway to the kitchen.

“Real smooth Max. That was the finest example of shooting yourself in the foot I have ever seen,” Michael said amused.

“I’m glad I can provide you with entertainment. It’s what I live for,” Max said sarcastically.

“It was entertaining for me. Hope you have a good relationship with your hand because Liz seemed really pissed,” Michael said as he turned and walked back into the kitchen.

Max sighed and walked back into the café and sat across from Kyle. “I should have listened to you,” Max said and watched Liz walk back in. She shot him a chilly look before sitting back down.

“Yeah I can see that,” Kyle said not missing the look Liz had given him. “What’d you say?”

“I kinda said that Pauly was trying to score,” Max mumbled leaning back in his seat. He looked over and saw Isabel and Alex talking softly at the counter.

“That wasn’t really smart,” Kyle observed. “Even if it were true, which it isn’t, Liz wouldn’t go for it anyway so Pauly would just be wasting his time.”

“I never said I was always smart now did I?” Max replied.

“No I guess you didn’t,” Kyle agreed with a slow smile. “You better get your head together. I know you’re nuts about Liz and you’re protective and all that but you need to remember something. A lot of people like Liz. She’s nice to people when she doesn’t have to be. She’s a good person, which tends to draw people to her so you need to get a handle on any jealous tendencies. If you don’t she’s going to think you don’t trust her and that’s sure to cause you trouble.”

“Yeah I noticed,” Max said warily. “I’m an idiot there’s no denying that.”

“Well I guess you’re lucky Liz is forgiving then aren’t you?” Kyle asked. He had watched Max throughout the week and noticed his pinning. He had wondered if Max was going to play it smart or screw up. Well he had his answer. Not to say he would do any better. He vividly remembered his own bad behavior at the end of his relationship with Liz. It was comforting in a way that Max wasn’t doing much better….of course Liz hadn’t dumped Max.

“Yeah I’m lucky for more than that,” Max said turning as Maria chucked the pick up bell at Michael. He felt a smile spread over his face…at least Michael was providing his own entertainment for everyone.


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 6-Oct-2002 11:56:39 AM ]
posted on 8-Oct-2002 5:53:28 AM by Lelea
Hey everyone..::waves:: I'm finding the feedback interesting. I wanted to pop in and say a couple of things.

Ash is never going to tell them. They are going to find out by themselves. As for why Liz isn't already thinking along those lines......well she thinks they are being careful......she is on the pill. Also they've been pretty busy with a lot going on so she hasn't been paying attention. To her mind it wasn't a possible outcome.

As for who's right and who's wrong in my mind they are both wrong and they are both making mistakes. Max was a jerk and needs to learn not to do things for Liz's own good and shutting her out like that was just mean. Liz needs to find her stride and keep it.....you can't always think a break is going to solve everything. That was my take on this little problem....as for the last little spat....I would have gotten pissy with Max and I am not pregnant! *big* Oh well.

So the week of seperation is over and it was pretty painless. They agreed to take a break last Thursday on the phone and it's Thursday again when Liz helps Pauly....that was the point to Max's visit that he never got around to. He was going to point that out.

You guys are going to hate me by the time this is over. I am warning you now so it won't be a total surprise. The happy ending is a long way off but it's there......if you do not like painful angsty stories you might want to bow out now. I am taking on a bodyguard so any of you that plan on taking a hit out on me will have a challenge. Okay it is Summit time very shortly. We are fast approaching Thanksgiving. BTW I in no way mean this authors note to scare you I just don't want to be accused of not warning you that things will get rough. Keep in mind I did say that Max and Liz's feelings for each other never change.....so that's good right? *happy*
posted on 8-Oct-2002 8:01:28 PM by Lelea
Chapter Fifty Seven
**There is an author's note on page 48 if you're interested**
fail_safe

Liz got ready for bed still feeling out of sorts from the argument with Max. What exactly had he meant? That every guy who talked to her just wanted to screw her? That he didn’t trust her? Liz blew out an annoyed breath as she dropped the last of her cloths on the floor. Did he think she couldn’t be friends with people outside the group? Liz tapped her brush against her thigh. As she started to brush her hair she tried to reason herself out of her mood. She knew Max loved her. He had proven more than once that he trusted her so really she was just making a big deal out of nothing. She had been doing that a lot today.

All day she had felt off. Almost like she didn’t fit into her own skin correctly. She was edgy and tired all at the same time. In the last several days the sense of something about to happen had grown inside her prompting her to bug Ash about their training and bitch at Kyle when he wanted to cut their run short. She was snappish and moody and there didn’t seem to be anything she could do about it, which only made her more upset. She hated acting this way…feeling so out of control.

Liz’s thoughts turned to Ash as she slipped into bed. He had been unusually quiet and seemed to have a lot on his mind lately. When she had asked him if anything was wrong she could have sworn he looked scared or guilty for an instant before denying that there was a problem. She had let it go figuring he would share whatever it was when he was ready but that didn’t stop her from wondering about it. She rolled over and snuggled under her blankets feeling drowsy.



Max stared at the ceiling unable to sleep. After coming back to the apartment Isabel had told Max about their fathers visit and what he had said. They had discussed it and then headed to bed. Honestly Max didn’t know how he felt about it. He knew it should bother him or something but he found it really didn’t hold his attention.

He felt a pull…like he needed to be with Liz. He knew she was still pissed and she might very well rip his dick off if he got within range but he needed to be close to her. He rationalized that the full weeklong break could be considered over now. It was last Thursday night that they had made that agreement on the phone. With that thought he got out of bed and pulled on his jeans grabbed his jacket and headed out.

As he climbed up to Liz’s balcony he saw Ash’s head poke over the side of her balcony. He reached the top and climbed over the railing.

“Everything okay?” Max asked.

“Yes, everything is good. I’ll go down into the alley and watch,” Ash said shortly and left.

Hearing the light tapping of Ash’s feet on the rungs of the ladder he turned and moved to Liz’s window. He slipped inside and closed it behind him. Walking to the bed he shed his cloths on the way and slipped into bed tugging gently on the covers to pry some away from Liz. He moved closer wrapping himself around Liz’s body holding her to him. He felt a sense of rightness as Liz moved closer settling against him in her sleep. He breathed in the scent of her hair and relaxed. Until that moment he hadn’t realized how tense he had been. Muscles that had pulled tight in their time apart loosened and his eyelids began to droop. He smiled slightly as Liz muttered in her sleep. That smile soon slipped from his face as she rolled over and pushed one of her legs between his as she moved closer.

His body reacted violently to the brush of hers and he took a deep breath. Wide-awake Max started to sweat as Liz’s fingers moved restlessly against his chest and her sleepy mutterings grew louder. He smiled as he picked out a couple of her words…she was dreaming about blueberry waffles. He bent and nuzzled her neck thinking she was the sweetest thing he had ever seen.

“Max?” Liz mumbled her voice husky with sleep.

“Um hmm go back to sleep,” Max whispered.

“Umkay…so tired,” Liz sighed hovering between sleeping and waking.

Max stroked her back softly hoping to sooth her into sleep. He found himself soothed by her warm breath against his throat and weight of her arm draped over his waist. He drifted into sleep vowing to keep his priorities straight. This week apart had shifted all his other problems to the background reminding him that without Liz he lost the best part of his life and his life became just a series of problems.



Liz woke reluctantly feeling the soft glide of hands over her bare skin. Before she was fully awake her body was shifting automatically to accommodate those hands. Her breath hitched as his fingers slipped between her legs. Her eyes popped open and she saw immediately that Max was still asleep. She trapped his roving hand and tugged it away from her. Max grumbled and tightened his arm around her holding her to him. Liz relaxed back against him yawning.

Liz turned over and studied Max’s face. He looked so relaxed and peaceful in a way he never was when awake. She trailed a fingertip across his face watching his lashes try to rise then settle back against his cheeks. She felt a swell of love build inside her so large she felt sure it would burst out of her in glorious colors. She leaned forward and brushed her lips across his then settled back against him. There was still time before she had to get up she thought and promptly fell back into sleep.


Max frowned as he woke to the sound of Liz’s alarm clock. He turned it off and moved to lean over Liz. He brushed her hair aside and watched as her lips turned up in a slight smile.

“Um Pauly?” Liz asked deliberately. She wanted to see what he would say. Plus she was still slightly annoyed about last night.

“No,” Max answered.

Liz opened her eyes to see Max smiling down at her. “What are you smiling about? You like me mistaking you for Pauly?” Liz asked feeling her annoyance drift away.

“You would never mistake me for Pauly. Liz, I was just being a stupid jealous idiot. I know you love me,” Max said grinning.

“Hmm is this the part where you try to get into my pants?” Liz asked her lips twitching.

“I hate to point this out but you’re not wearing any pants,” Max said running his hand over her bare hip.

“That would be a time saver except for the fact that we have to get ready for school,” Liz said watching his face.

“Okay but first let me say that I love you. I don’t want us to be apart anymore. I need you always to keep me grounded,” Max said softly.

“Okay. Do you work tonight?” Liz asked as she tossed aside the covers.

“No not tonight. I work the opening shift tomorrow. Do you want to do something tonight?” Max asked watching as she sat up and swung her feet to the floor.

“Yeah I would like to spend some time with you if that’s okay,” Liz teased as she got up and started to the bathroom. She paused feeling a little light headed.

“That’s better then okay. We can do whatever you want,” Max saw her hesitate and reach out to steady herself. “You okay?”

“Yeah, I just need something to eat I guess,” Liz said and looked over her shoulder smiling.

“Blueberry waffles maybe?” Max inquired with a grin.

“Oh yeah! That sounds really good,” Liz said and walked into the bathroom.

Max trailed after her watching her get ready for her shower. He loved watching her move. She was so fluid in her movements it didn’t seem to matter what she was doing. “I’ll go change and meet you in the café for breakfast.”

Liz turned on the water and adjusted the temperature. She turned to face him. “That would be great but can you kiss me good morning first?”

“Yeah I can do that,” Max said softly. He walked over and bent his head nibbling lightly at her lips. Liz wrapped her arms around his neck and caught his lower lip between her teeth. She sucked his lip lightly and then released it slowly. He deepened their kiss gradually as steam filled the room. He pulled back and looked into her dark eyes. “You sure you’re alright?”

“Yeah, I am. I’ll be better when I have those waffles,” Liz answered and took a step back.

“Okay then I better hurry up. See you downstairs,” Max said and left.


Liz hurried through her routine wanting to have time to eat without rushing. She grabbed her books and made her way down stairs. Max was already sitting at the counter with Isabel and Michael. He smiled when he saw her push through the doors.

“I already ordered your waffles,” Max said as she sat down.

“Thanks,” Liz looked over at Isabel and Michael who were arguing. “What’s up with them?” Liz asked.

“Isabel’s pissed because Michael used all the hot water this morning. She said she’s never seen a guy take a longer shower with nothing to show for it. Which just started Michael on a whole list of Isabel’s deficiencies. This is nothing you get used to it,” Max said and took a drink of his orange juice.

Liz glanced over to see Ash in his Courtney form walk in and take a seat. “How are things with your dad?” Liz asked turning her attention back to Max.

“He came over last night I guess and talked to Isabel. He said he’s sorry and would like to work things out. Isabel isn’t sure she wants to though,” Max said and looked over at Liz.

“What about you?” Liz asked. She watched her mom go to the pickup window and grab three plates.

“I’m not sure. It doesn’t hurt to try I guess. I know things won’t ever be the way they were but maybe there could be something just as good. I’ll have to think about it and see what he has in mind,” Max said and smiled up at Mrs. Parker as she delivered breakfast.

Nancy smiled back at Max then turned to Liz. “Yours will be right up honey. What do you want to drink?” Nancy asked Liz.

“Umm grapefruit juice. Thanks Mom.” Liz said and her mom moved off to get her juice. Liz turned back to Max wrinkling her nose at the smell of the Tabasco sauce he was pouring on his food. “Sounds like you’re willing to give it a try. I liked your dad. He might surprise you.”

“Yeah he might. So what do you want to do tonight?” Max asked.

“Um I don’t know I haven’t really thought about it. I’d like to see your apartment. Maybe we can rent a movie or something,” Liz said.

Nancy swung by and set Liz’s juice and waffles down in front of her. “What kind of syrup do you want?” Nancy asked Liz.

“None this is good. Thanks Mom,” Liz said and Nancy moved to refill a customer’s coffee.


“You sure you don’t want any syrup?” Max asked as he watched Liz eat the waffles plain.

“Yeah I’m sure,” Liz said sure she couldn’t stomach anything that sweet. Besides if she had syrup she wouldn’t be able to taste the blueberries.

“Kay. I’ll ask what Isabel’s plans are tonight. I know Michael has to work,” Max said thoughtfully. He hoped Isabel wouldn’t be home it would be nice to have the apartment and Liz all to himself.


“We can always play it by ear. It would be nice to have a couple hours alone. Maybe we could go out to the pod chamber and visit the Granilith if Isabel’s home,” Liz said thoughtfully. They hadn’t visited the Granilith in ages.

Max frowned at the thought of going out to the pod chamber. He still remembered what happened the last time and he didn’t want Liz touching the Granilith again any time soon if ever. “I’m sure I can think of something,” Max said. Surely Isabel had to shop for something. He would even pay her to go shopping tonight.

Liz finished her first waffle and picked at the second. Looking at the clock she saw it was almost time to go. She pushed her plate away and concentrated on her juice. She heard the door to the café bang open and turned to see Brody hurry in. Liz watched Brody look around and zero in on Max. Liz nudged Max in the side. “I think Brody’s looking for you.”

Max turned to find Brody already coming to a stop in front of him. “Hey Brody. What’s up?” Max asked.

“No not Brody….Larek. I am borrowing Brody’s body. He won’t remember this. Zan I was sent to tell you of a Summit and ask you to attend,” Larek said studying Max closely.

Max flagged Ash then turned his attention back to….Larek? “Who are you exactly?” Max asked thinking there goes my quiet night alone with Liz. Ash walked up and positioned himself next to Liz.

“I am Larek. We grew up together and our families were close. I was sent to inform you of the Summit that will take place in New York City next week and ask you to attend,” Larek stated studying the group in front of him closely.

Max looked glanced over to Michael and Isabel and saw they had stopped talking and were focused on what was happening. “I’m Max now. This is Isabel, Michael, Ash, and Liz,” Max said pointing out each person as he said their name. He didn’t expand on who everyone actually was. “How did you know where to find me?”

“The signal that was sent last May your time told us where you were. It took me time to find a good candidate and then prepare the human body to receive my essence. Then I had to move my vessel here and find you. All this took time. I didn’t need to make direct contact until now. Kivar has called a Summit and chosen the place. All five planets will have representatives at this Summit. An emissary will need to be sent to confirm that you carry the Royal Seal if you agree to attend,” Larek explained watching curious as Max glanced at Liz.

Ash was dismayed by the idea of Max being so far away right now. It was not an option for Liz to attend. It was too dangerous. “What is the agenda for this Summit?” Ash asked.

“Kivar has an offer he would like to present hoping to restore peace to the system. He has not said more than that,” Larek answered.

“Listen Larek we really can’t talk here and we all have somewhere to be shortly. Is there anyway we could talk later in a more private location?” Max asked.

“Of course. Would this evening be alright?” Larek asked.

“Yes that would be good. We can meet at my apartment.” Max said and gave swift directions.

They settled on a time and with a nod Larek left to return Brody to where he had been when he assumed control.

“Okay looks like we’re having a meeting tonight,” Max said grimly. A million questions racing through his mind.

posted on 10-Oct-2002 5:29:56 PM by Lelea
Chapter Fifty Eight

fail_safe

The group met that evening at Max, Michael, and Isabel’s apartment. Michael had switched shifts with Jose so he could attend without calling in sick. He was geared up and ready to go. Finally some real progress on the alien front. He was itching to see what new information could be learned from this Summit or whatever it was.

Isabel was also cautiously interested. Frankly she thought they had enough going on right now without adding more but how often would an opportunity like this present itself?

Max was less then thrilled for several reasons. He felt ill equipped to handle an intergalactic meeting of planetary leaders. He didn’t know the politics involved or the past history of his own planet well enough to make a good showing and he knew it. This could all be a ruse to feel them out on how much knowledge they actually had. He was also not happy about the location of the Summit. New York was a long way from Roswell in more then just miles. He also wasn’t sure of who they could trust in their own ranks nevermind adding a bunch of new players to the already confused mess. To him this was just another problem added to the already large stack.

Max looked across the room his gaze searching out Liz. He felt a gnawing persistent feeling of unease. Like there was something undone….it was making him edgy and unwilling to leave Liz for long. He relaxed slightly as Liz’s eyes met his and she smiled the smile she saved only for him. He tried to let that reassure him. She was fine and he had no reason to think otherwise but that nagging feeling wouldn’t leave him.

Ash sat quietly in the corner armchair alert and watchful. Worry was his constant companion but he held his silence. This Summit spoke of nothing good to his mind. The timing couldn’t be worse and he doubted that was by accident. He was hoping to discourage Max attending but strongly suspected he would fail. The natural process must be allowed to progress unhindered but he was very fearful about it’s outcome. He knew Liz had to be at least two months along if not three by the change in the seal. It was hard to say for sure, as there had never been a pregnancy between a hybrid and a human before. He was unclear about the length of the pregnancy as well as what symptoms Liz would experience. He was studying up on both human and antarian pregnancies hoping to gain knowledge but he was very afraid it wouldn’t be enough. Liz was stubborn and surprisingly head strong and that wasn’t helping matters any. He wished she would just slow down long enough to listen to what her body was trying to tell her. He had tried to guide her to more mental aspects of training encouraging meditation knowing that if she would really tune into the stillness inside herself she would sense her child. Instead Liz seemed obsessed with the more strenuous aspects of training which didn’t allow for the life inside her to make itself known. He watched her with worried eyes and could do nothing but wait.

Liz could tell Max was worried his face was tight and the slight furrow creasing his brow told her that even without the connection they shared. She could guess at some of the reasons why he was so keyed up. His alien side was slapping him in the face with this invitation to the Summit and she knew he was worried about measuring up to the faith of an entire planet. She wanted to reassure him as much as she was able that he was more than capable of living up to his responsibilities. She knew words weren’t enough and all she could do was send him a solid stream of her faith in him and just be there as reinforcement. Waiting for Larek to show she pushed aside her own feelings and focused totally on Max.

They all went to find a seat. Max had wanted everyone there well before Larek was due to arrive to discuss things in advance. Once everyone was seated Max took a moment to look around the room and try to get a handle on what everyone might be thinking. Kyle looked slightly bored. Maria was alert and held Michael’s hand tightly in her own. Alex sat on the edge of Isabel’s chair and calmly waited. Michael was leaning slightly forward ready to begin. Isabel seemed almost indifferent until you looked at her eyes. Liz was calmly looking back at him waiting for him to start. Ash was hard to read. His posture was relaxed but his eyes were alert.

“I wanted us to talk about this before Larek arrived to come to some sort of agreement on what to tell him. Ash do you know anything about Larek?” Max asked.

“Not a lot. Larek’s family was the ruling family of their planet, which had very close ties to Antar. I know he visited often. Their planet struggled to remain neutral in the conflict that was raging in the system. I do not know what has occurred since I left. I would be hesitant to trust him fully,” Ash said carefully.

“That’s probably why they sent him to inform us of the Summit. He has past ties to us and remains neutral,” Isabel said softly.

“Let’s get as much information out of him as we can,” Michael chimed in.

“I don’t know if that’s a good idea. Every question you ask reveals information about you and what you may not know. Plus there is no way to know if he tells the truth. You can’t believe everything everyone tells you,” Ash replied.

“Ash is right. We need to be very careful with the information we hand out. Ash, what about this emissary? Will he be able to tell by the Royal Seal the Joining is complete?” Max asked.

“No he will not. The Royal Seal is separate and only shows you are the true King. He will determine only that you carry the Royal Seal. That is standard procedure at meetings of this type so everyone is aware that they are dealing with the true King. It is the only way since it is easy for some of us to shift into any shape needed. It is likely that they will know the process has started by the signal like I did but more than that I can’t say,” Ash answered.

“Okay. Well I guess we need to know where we stand. Who thinks we should go to this Summit?” Max asked.

“I do. This is a great chance to learn more,” Michael said.

“I do too. We should at least hear what Kivar’s offer is,” Isabel said backing up Michael.

“I don’t know this could cause a lot of trouble too. We don’t know enough,” Alex said worried.

“I think taking the risk might be worth it. We have never learned anything without a risk of some kind and we can minimize the risk here,” Liz said carefully.

“I agree with Liz. I mean whoever goes wouldn’t be going alone right?” Maria said.

“I don’t really have an opinion,” Kyle said remaining neutral.

“Ash? What do you think?” Max asked.

“I think it is a very big risk in many ways. Kivar had never been willing to offer any compromise to reach peace before now. My guess would be that is not his true purpose. Every person there will have their own agenda and will try to use you to their own ends. I don’t know enough of the political side of things to teach you enough to be useful all our information is many years out of date. This could cause more harm then good. You must realize that you all can not go. It simply wouldn’t be safe or wise. Liz especially must not go. It isn’t safe to have both the seal bearers attend, which will split you up and divide you by a lot of miles,” Ash said pointing out some of the dangers.

Max nodded thoughtfully. “All of those are good points. Let’s wait to hear what Larek says and we’ll go from there,” Max said. He was inclined to listen to Ash and not go. If he did that would he be listening to his own fears and not be doing what was right for an entire planet?

A knock sounded at the door and Michael rose to answer it. They all rearranged their seating to match what they had agreed on. Max, Isabel, and Michael would sit on the couch facing Larek with everyone else spread out around the room. Ash would stay in his corner within view of both Max and Larek.

Michael walked back into the living room leading Larek who trailed after him.

“Please take a seat,” Max offered gesturing to chair opposite the couch.

“Thank you,” Larek said and took his seat while looking around the room. He had noticed on his way into the apartment several men watching the building. They seemed to be more prepared then he was led to believe.

“You have already met some of us but let me re-introduce everyone. This is my sister Isabel and next to her is Michael. Ash is over in the corner there with Liz next to him. Kyle and Alex and Maria round out the group,” Max said pointing out each person as he named them. He watched Larek nod to each person in turn. “Alright you mentioned the Summit this morning but I feel I need to ask the purpose for this Summit. It seems strange that Kivar would suddenly want to discuss a peace agreement.”

“Yes it has caught us all off guard. I’m sure there is more to it then that but that is all we have been told. Do you by chance have something he may want? He has gone to considerable effort to plan the Summit on Earth so you could attend which would lead me to believe he has a very good reason for wanting you there,” Larek said watching Max carefully.

“I have no idea what that could be,” Max replied without expression.

Larek stayed silent for a moment. “Well in any case I’m sure we will all find out what he really wants at the Summit. We have all learned that you have found someone here to Join with. What happened to Ava?”

“Tess is no longer a factor. She is with the Skins I assume,” Max answered and watched as Larek’s eyes widened.

“What?” Larek asked surprised.

“She betrayed her people and is no longer a part of my family,” Max watched Larek absorb that bit of news. “What makes you ask about the Joining?”

“We all received the beacon telling of the start of the Joining. I was curious and it is always something to celebrate. It strengthens your power.” Larek said still mulling over the betrayal.

“Finding your soulmate is always something to celebrate,” Max agreed. “About the Summit…how can we be sure that it isn’t an ambush set to draw us in for Kivar to kill us?”

“The Summit itself is a safe zone. No one starts an attack there that has always been agreed upon. Otherwise no leader would attend. The city itself is another matter before and after the Summit. You may bring as many people as you see fit to protect and serve you,” Larek answered taking note of the subject change but rolling with it.

“When is it set to start and how long does it last?” Max asked.

“It is set to start on Tuesday and runs through Friday. It takes considerable amounts of energy to hold these bodies so we meet for up to five hours then leave our bodies in a resting state,” Larek supplied. He studied the body language of the group closely. Michael was a barely contained bundle of energy his leg in constant motion showing his impatience more clearly then words ever could. Isabel listened with an air of detachment deferring to Max easily. The rest of the group listened with no one really standing out…with one exception. The girl…Liz listened intently watching him carefully. Her attention never wavered and although she never once glanced at Max he would bet she was the one. Searching his host’s memories he clued into any memories of Max and sifted through them carefully. There…yes…she had to be the one.

“When do you need an answer on whether I will attend?” Max asked.

“Tomorrow I’m afraid. It will take time to notify everyone and arrange for an emissary to perform the verification,” Larek answered.

“Alright I will let you know in the morning I have to work at the UFO Center at nine anyway. I’ll see you there and give you our answer,” Max said rising.

“I will see you then,” Larek answered and rose as well. He shook Max’s hand when it was offered. “It was nice to meet all of you,” Larek said to the group at large then followed Max to the door and left. The meeting had been an interesting one.

Max returned to the living room to find everyone waiting for him in silence. “Well what do you all think?”

“I still say we go.” Michael said immediately.

“I don’t trust him. He seemed awfully interested in Tess,” Alex mused.

Kyle nodded an agreement at that statement. “Yeah he did and he was paying a lot of attention to Liz. I don’t like it,” Kyle said.

“Come on he has to know who I am everyone else does,” Liz pointed out. “It’s not like it’s a secret at this point. Besides I don’t see what other option we really have but to go and see what happens.” Liz turned to Max. “Max you’re the King you carry the seal and with that comes a duty. Even if Kivar is using a peace agreement to get you there for some other reason you have a duty to at least hear him out. How would it look to all the other representatives if you didn’t even show up? We just have to plan this out and take the least amount of risks possible.”

“I don’t know Liz. I don’t like the idea of being split up like that,” Max said. It just felt wrong to him.

“Max, you promised me that you wouldn’t let me interfere with your duties as King. This is exactly what I meant by me holding you back,” Liz said distressed that leaving her was the reason he was thinking about not attending. “You promised me that you would do what you needed to do to be the leader you were meant to be. This Summit is important Max. You can’t let your personal feelings keep you from attending,” Liz said feeling herself getting more upset as she realized that she was the ONLY reason he didn’t want to go. She could feel it.

Max could see this was going badly. He didn’t want to break another promise to her but it felt wrong to leave her in a way he couldn’t really explain. He sighed in defeat. “Isabel what do you think?”

“Max, I think Liz is right. What choice do we really have? This is the first time we have ever had the opportunity to effect things Max. We are being asked to attend with all the other leaders of the systems planets. This is a chance to get a look into the situation and be seen as equals. I don’t see any choice here,” Isabel said carefully. She could tell he really didn’t like the idea but she didn’t think he was looking at it in the right light.


“Alright let’s come up with a plan then,” Max said giving in. He could see the point they were making but he didn’t have to like it.

“I think we need to talk about who’s going and who’s staying,” Isabel said.

“It would be best if Max and Michael were the only ones to go. I will sent some men with you of course but Isabel and Liz should stay here,” Ash said trying to minimize the risks.

“I agree. The fewer of us that go the better,” Max said quickly. Isabel opened her mouth to argue but Max shook his head and shot her a look.

“Okay so how many men and which ones exactly are you going to take?” Liz asked.

“I think five combat trained men are enough. I don’t want to give away too much about how much help we actually have. I also want Eagle Rock covered in our absence. What do you think Ash?” Max asked and glanced at Michael including him in the decision.

“I would think that is fine but I will make sure two of those five are also versed in remaining undetected. That way three will be in plain sight and two will remain detached and watch from a distance,” Ash said thoughtfully.

“Like snipers. I like it,” Michael said with a small smile. “Maybe we need to think about hitting the base while we’re away. I doubt they would be expecting that.”

“Maybe. Ash I need a report on what that team thinks about the idea. Also I would think that someone from that base will be at the Summit I would like to know who before I walk in the room.” Max said. He was struck by a sudden thought. “Ash we need a fall back plan for the ones that stay here and extra security for Liz. It would be a good time for them to make an attempt on her. We need to think of the best way to keep everyone together as much as possible limiting the areas that need to be guarded. I think we should also agree on a place to meet in case something happens.”

“That is a good idea. Let me talk with the team and get ideas. We can talk tomorrow and have more information,” Ash said.

The meeting broke up soon after with everyone agreeing to meet tomorrow to discuss things further and solidify their plans.

posted on 11-Oct-2002 6:45:00 PM by Lelea
Chapter Fifty Nine
**Just wanted to clear up the connection issue. When Max re opened the connection it stayed open...even during the week long break. It just wasn't wide open. Liz kept it slightly open so she would know if Max needed her. She is not a fan of closing the connection completely. She has only really done it for practice or by accident....never for long periods of time. Only Max has done that. Okay then on with it...
fail_safe

After the meeting Max shut himself in his room and lay down on his bed thinking. He felt he needed to really take a hard look at what was happening before events just swept him along.

He really did see the reasons for going to the Summit. Putting his people’s needs above his own was the true mark of a good leader. Even though he knew peace wasn’t really the purpose for this meeting it offered an opportunity that wasn’t likely to present itself again. He would get a glimpse of all the players and possibly be able to get a feel for what was really happening in the warring system. There was an outside chance to gain allies as well.

This also showed a hint of a weakening in Kivar’s rule. There was a reason for wanting him there and any cards that were shown could only help later. Thinking about what Kivar could want from him brought up several possibilities. The Granilith being at the top of that list. Kivar knew he had it but it was doubtful that the rest of the planets were aware of that. If that card were laid on the table it could go a lot of different ways. The other planets might shift alliances or decide to take it by force. The possibilities were endless really. The one sure thing was he wasn’t going to hand the Granilith over no matter what the offer was.

Another reason for the Summit could simply be to separate him from Liz and take one last shot at removing her as a threat. Max considered that from every angle and the reasoning was sound. If he were on the other side of the country there was no way he could make it back in time to assist her should something happen. Killing her or capturing her both had advantages and that would be the perfect time to accomplish either goal. Max tried to reason through the automatic fear that thought inspired in him. He knew Liz better then anyone and he believed in her. She was strong, frighteningly smart at times, had an amazing survival instinct, her powers were increasing with every confrontation and she wasn’t going to be alone without help. He couldn’t always have her by his side. There would be times it would necessary that they be separated. They just had to make it as safe as possible for both of them.

He thought long and hard on the vague feelings that had been plaguing him lately. He couldn’t be sure what was causing them. It could be his natural protective instincts for Liz. Trouble had been hanging over them all like a shadow lately and that tended to make him jumpy and more protective then usual. It could be his own insecurities that were causing them too. He wanted to tie her to him so tightly that she could never be taken from him. Even after the seal and everything else he still had persistent nightmares of her leaving him or being taken from him in some way. The week they had spent apart had strengthened those insecurities.

Max searched deep inside himself looking for the answer, searching every hidden corner of himself hoping to set his mind at rest. He knew he was selfish when it came to Liz. He had acted badly on more than one occasion in the past when it came to her. He allowed his own selfish needs to override what might be best for her and he didn’t want this to be one of those times. While the week apart had highlighted his fears it had also steeled his resolve to be better then he thought he could be. Liz deserved his best and he intended to give it to her. He never wanted to fail her or disappoint her again. The last thing he ever wanted was for her to doubt the wisdom of being bound to him. He never wanted her to be sorry about making a life with him. To do that he needed to support her choices and believe in her. He loved her strength and independence and didn’t want to fight against those same traits. Liz was an amazing person and he wanted to encourage that, helping her to reach her potential not fight against it to make her dependant on him so she would never leave. He loved her more everyday as he watched her change and grow. While he knew she wasn’t perfect he also knew she was perfect for him and always would be.

All of those thoughts led him to believe going to the Summit was the best choice that was available to him. He just had to make sure to plan things out to provide the most protection for everyone. His natural first impulse was always the needs of him and his family over everything else but in this case he needed to start thinking in larger terms. Some things were inevitable and needed to be played out to the best of your abilities. He decided that this was one of those times and he had a whole group of people, each with their own strengths, to help him.


Liz went home and spent some time with her parents, watching a movie and talking, before heading to bed. After she got ready for bed she looked out her window at Ash for few moments before coming to a decision. She walked over to the window and raised it quietly.

“Ash? Can I talk to you for a few minutes?” Liz asked softly.

Ash turned to look at Liz who was leaning out the window slightly. “Of course. Would you like me to come in? It is rather cold out here,” Ash responded.

“Yeah come on in,” Liz answered ducking back inside and going to sit on her bed.

Ash climbed in and closed the window. Turning he made his way to her desk chair and sat down. “What is troubling you?”

“I wanted to talk to you about how I’ve been feeling. Maybe you’ll have some ideas that might help me,” Liz said looking at her hands missing the surprised expression that crossed his face.

“Of course I will help if I can,” Ash answered cautiously.

“I know you said my gift was seeing or sensing things that might happen but how do I tell the difference between something that is real and something that is just my imagination?” Liz asked looking up.

“The best advice I can give you is that you need to find that place inside yourself that is silent and full of peace. In that place when you are able to center yourself you will know. There will be no mistakes and no guessing you will know it to be true,” Ash said hoping that finally Liz would listen. “May I ask why you are inquiring about this? Is something bothering you?”

“Um yeah..well I think so. When I touched the Granilith that time I saw things about the Summit. Someone coming for Max and I saw him traveling to the Summit but not much more then that. Lately I’ve been feeling that drive to be ready. Something inside me is telling me that we all need to be ready but I can’t get more than that. Now I don’t know if I’m just imagining it or what. What if I’m missing something like really important? Something that would help Max?” Liz asked sharing her biggest fear. That she would fail Max.

“This feeling what is it telling you? When you sit quietly what is it urging you to do?” Ash asked curious.

“To train. It’s telling me to train and learn more. That something big is coming and if we’re not ready something horrible is going to happen,” Liz said realizing it was a mix of what she was feeling and what she was dreaming. “It started before the Harvest and seemed to relax after that but the last two days I’ve really felt it again. What good is this gift if I can’t really get any more than that? I mean, it could be anything.”

“Liz you are very new to your gifts and all gifts take time to control and grow into. I know you want to do something to force a clearer picture but what you need to understand is sometimes the best thing you can do is nothing at all. All this frantic activity is hindering you not helping. It’s just noise. Think of it this way….what happens when Michael is really upset or angry? Does he have control over his gift?” Ash asked trying his hardest to get Liz to understand what he was saying.

“No, he doesn’t. He blows up like everything,” Liz answered with a smile. “Okay so what you’re saying is I need to relax and center myself first then I might see things more clearly.”

“Yes that is exactly what I am saying. To control your gift you need to listen and be in tune with yourself. Max is a part of that because he is a part of you. The connection you share is part of everything you do….everything you are. When you have doubts about yourself or him it effects the balance you both have. The same is true for him. It clouds and confuses things, your gifts included. This is life and life is ever changing which leads to doubts and problems sometimes. The best thing you can learn is to be able to find your stillness and let that help you keep your perception clear and not clouded by fear or panic. That is why I try to get you to meditate and do yoga both are tools to help you find that stillness,” Ash explained watching her face closely.

Liz thought about what he had said and it made sense. “Okay I’ll work on it more. I know I loose sight of that sometimes with everything that’s going on it’s easy to get lost in the details,” Liz said thoughtfully.

“Yes it is. What are your plans for tomorrow,” Ash asked.

“Um I’ve got target shooting with the Sheriff in the morning and then the meeting in the afternoon. I wanted to spend time with Max before he leaves Monday evening,” Liz paused wondering if she had missed anything. “I think that’s it. But we need to think of some way to get around the parents this week. It’s a holiday so it’s harder to get them to agree to let us spend the night elsewhere you know? The Evans are not a problem but that leaves Maria’s mom, the Whitman’s, and my parents. We need to come up with something to get us all together for a whole week. That’s not going to be easy. I was thinking that spending the week at the Evans house would be best. It would be the easiest to guard and they know what’s going on so we wouldn’t have to hide anything. The other choice is the Sheriff’s house. It’s farther away from everything but it’s not as big. Plus it’s more open which makes it harder to hide any activity outside the house. What do you think?” Liz asked rapidly.

Ash blinked at the quick change in subject and the information provided. “The Evans house would be best I agree. I was thinking that someone could call and ask Mrs. DeLuca and your parents to help with a food drive and dinner for the less fortunate at the community center. That would keep them busy most of the week. The Evans could offer to put up the kids and cook a Thanksgiving dinner for everyone. The Whitman’s have won a cruise. Alex entered them in a contest as a surprise and it leaves on Monday. One more at the Evans house would be no problem so he can join you there. How is that?” Ash asked.

“Pretty good. But my parents might protest me staying at Max’s. My dad mainly…so we need to think of how to avoid that. They don’t know that Max and Isabel moved out,” Liz said thinking out loud. “Maybe Max and Michael need to really be out of town for something. Maybe Michael received a letter notifying him of a relative’s search for him? So they’re going to meet this person at their invitation. Max went with Michael to help him out with the driving and expenses. Max’s parents could back up that story.”

“That might work I guess. We can only try,” Ash pointed out.

“I’ll call over to Max’s parents and find out if they’re willing to have a whole house full of guests then if they agree I’ll talk to Max,” Liz said feeling a little more relieved now that a basic preliminary plan had been started.

“I better leave you to your calls. I need to check in with a few people myself,” Ash said rising.

“Ash? Thanks for your help. Can we maybe work together on Monday before we see Max and Michael off?” Liz asked not wanting him to think she hadn’t listened to him. She had and intended to work on his suggestions by herself too.

“That would be good. If you need me I will be on the balcony,” Ash said and left feeling hopeful.

Liz picked up the phone and dialed the Evans house. As she waited for the phone to be answered she tried to sort out her jumbled thoughts.

“Hello,” Diane said.

“Mrs. Evans hi this Liz. I have something I need to ask you about do you have a minute?” Liz asked.

“Of course I do ask away,” Diane said warmly.

“Would you mind having a house full of people next week?” Liz asked.

“Oh no that would be nice. I wasn’t looking forward to the house being empty over the holiday. I can’t speak for Phillip of course,” Diane said her tone loosing its warmth at the end.

“Is Mr. Evans home? I actually need to speak with him anyway. It would be easier to explain this once,” Liz said. She was sorry to hear more evidence of the problems in that household.

“I’ll go and ask him to pick up the extension. Hang on,” Diane said.

As Liz waited for someone to come back on the line an idea occurred to her.

“Liz? What did you need?” Phillip asked.

“Hi Mr. Evans. Actually I was wondering if you would mind having a house full of people next week?” Liz asked.

“Please Phillip remember? No I don’t mind. Why?” Phillip asked intrigued.

“Phillip right I forgot. Is Mrs. Evans back on?” Liz asked.

“Yes I’m here. Phillip has us on speaker phone,” Diane said surprised at the warmth in the greeting between the Phillip and Liz. She hadn’t known they knew each other.

Liz explained the situation giving them all the details she knew. She explained the cover stories and reason for picking their house. She also told them she hadn’t talked to Max yet she just wanted to know if it was doable.

After a pause Phillip answered. “Liz that’s fine. Yes, we would be happy to help. Let us know what Max says and we’ll take it from there. I would be happy to reassure your father if you need me to,” Phillip offered.

Diane glanced at her husband in surprise at his easy offer of help. She had been sure he would say no. “I can talk to Amy and your mother if that would help. Please tell Max and Isabel we would love to help,” Diane said already thinking of all the recipes she could try out. She would have to go shopping.

“Thank you both. This will help so much. I’ll talk to him and let you know tomorrow. Speaking of tomorrow…Phillip are you busy?” Liz asked smiling.

“No why?” Phillip asked curious.

“Well I have training with the Sheriff in the morning and thought you might like to come. He’s teaching me to shoot. He’s known about us for awhile and can answer some questions for you from an adult point of view…plus you can always practice with us if you like,” Liz said. She thought having another man to talk to would be helpful for him. She also thought learning to defend himself might reduce his feelings of helplessness. She knew it had that effect on her.

Phillip was both surprised and pleased. “I would like that, Liz. Thank you for asking me. What time?” Phillip asked.

“Um the Sheriff said about ten. He’s picking me up. We’ll just swing by and get you. I think Kyle will there too. Does that sound good?” Liz asked pleased.

“Yeah that’s fine. I’ll see you then,” Phillip said and after they said their good-byes he hung up and turned to find Diane watching him.

“Phillip, I’m so happy you’re trying to work this out. That makes me feel so much better,” Diane said relieved.

“I intend to give it my best,” Phillip said then paused. “Liz told me the whole story and it’s really amazing. It helped me see things I never gave much thought to before. She spent most of the day telling about the last year and a half. I almost couldn’t believe it but she proved it.”

“I never got the whole story. Why don’t you come and tell me about it,” Diane said. Whatever Liz had said she was grateful for it. She was finally seeing the man she had married. Maybe this would work out after all.

posted on 11-Oct-2002 10:25:34 PM by Lelea
Wow.....Max having sex with Tess?*sad* Oh no not in this fic. I can set your mind at rest on that score. The only sex Max and Liz will be having in this fic is with each other. Even though I do love Kyle dearly. So no worries there. I would sooner gnaw off my own hands than write that sex scene. All the angst in this fic will come from other things. So I hope that is good news.

Did I just leave an author's note that was GOOD news? I think I did *tongue* That must be a first!

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 11-Oct-2002 10:27:52 PM ]
posted on 12-Oct-2002 10:26:09 PM by Lelea
Chapter Sixty

fail_safe

As Liz got ready the next morning she thought about her conversation with Max the night before. She had told him about her idea on keeping the remaining group together and about the call to his parents. She detailed the plan she and Ash had discussed and he had agreed to try it. They discussed the Summit a little but didn’t dwell on it. Liz asked Max to push back the meeting to after closing at the CrashDown so they would all have time to pull together the details then they could discuss refining the plan where it was needed. They had ended the call with her requesting Max keep Sunday open so they could spend some time together before he left.

Liz started a mental list of the details that needed to be taken care of. Isabel was the queen of charity work so she was placing the bug in the ear of the Community Centers staff on how great it would be to pull in local businesses to help with the food drive and holiday dinner. After all Amy DeLuca made the best pies and The CrashDown already made a Thanksgiving special so it made sense to get them involved. Alex was informing his parents of the cruise they had won and Ash was making the arrangements so that was taken care of. First thing this morning Michael had gone to see Jeff Parker to request a week off to go visit a relative that had contacted Social Services looking for him so that part of the story was planted. Ash was busy getting together the best possible group to accompany Max and Michael to New York and was also arranging the travel details like flights, hotel reservations, and car service once in the city. He was also pulling together reports from the team covering the base and Guziel who was still posing as Liz while working for Whitaker. So all the wheels were in motion but there were still a thousand little details to take care of.

Liz finished dressing and grabbed her book bag. She placed her gun inside and zipped it shut swinging it over her shoulder and bounced down the stairs to the café. Things were going smoothly so far and it was a relief to have a plan. As she passed her father’s office she could hear him on the phone with someone from the Community Center. Her smile grew happy things were falling into place.

She took a seat at the counter and waited as Maria finished her rounds topping off the customer’s coffee cups. Finally Maria came to a stop in front of her with a roll of her eyes.

“I swear Space Boy is a hazard to my health. He totally almost blew it with your dad. Lucky I was there to keep him on track. Anyway, he got the time off and your dad bought the relative thing so that’s cool. My mom is like psyched to be spreading the love this holiday season to we’re good there too. She’s shopping for pie ingredients as we speak,” Maria said rapidly.

“Good morning to you too Maria,” Liz said with a grin.

“Oh! Sorry, I’m just..you know…so what would like for breakfast?” Maria asked pulling herself together.

Liz laughed softly at this typical Maria display. “Um just a large juice cranberry if we have it and a bagel.”

“Got it. Be back in a sec,” Maria said and took off. She was a bundle of nervous energy today. Which was probably a good thing because she hadn’t had much sleep the night before.

Liz watched Maria recognizing the signs of an approaching meltdown. She glanced through the pick up window catching a glimpse of Michael who appeared tense as well.

“Okay here’s your juice and bagel,” Maria said as she set them down in front of Liz.

“Ria, it’s going to be fine. You know that right? Everything is coming together. We have a whole week together. We’ll be okay,” Liz said softly.

“You really believe that Lizzy?” Maria asked not even denying the reason for her nerves.

“Yes, I really believe it. Even if something happens we’ll have each other so we’ll make it, right?” Liz asked.

“Right. You’re right,” Maria said feeling some of her tension ease. Liz was right they would handle it as a group like they did everything else. “So what are you packing for our week in seclusion?”

“Hmm I haven’t gotten that far. We’ll need supplies huh? We better..” Liz started only to be cut off by Maria.

“…make a list,” Maria said smiling.

“Right. Planning is everything,” Liz agreed grinning back. Loving the truly special friendship that allowed them to know each other so well. She needed to spend more time appreciating it.

“Maria! This isn’t your break time! Orders are piling up here,” Michael called. He ignored the glare Maria shot his way. If he slaved over the hot grill to make it the least she could do was deliver it hot. How hard was that anyway?

Maria grumbled to herself as she moved away from the counter. Really some people were just so rude.

Liz ate in silence thinking that Maria had a point. They better plan on bringing some things to keep everyone busy. There were really going to be a ton of people in that house for a week…eight people at least. The last thing they needed was to be at each other’s throats. There was just so much to do.

Glancing at her watch she saw it was almost ten. Finishing up quickly she grabbed her bag and made her way back to her dad’s office. Reaching the door she knocked softly.

“Come in,” Jeff called.

Liz opened the door and stuck her head in. “Hi Daddy. I just wanted to tell you I’m taking off. The Sheriff’s here,” Liz said.

Jeff looked up from his desk and leaned back in his chair. “Okay honey. Listen I need to ask a favor,” Jeff said. Damn that Agnes anyway. He had no idea why he didn’t fire her.

“Sure Dad. What is it?” Liz asked.

“Agnes called in for the closing shift and I don’t have anyone to call in for her. I already have to ask Maria if she’ll work a double because of Jenny’s boy being sick. Can you help out your old man?” Jeff asked.

“Yeah I can. No problem is five okay to start?” Liz asked.

“That’s great honey, thank you. I got sucked into this food drive thing and committed to providing a Thanksgiving dinner at the Community Center so I have to make a supply run and ….well you get the idea. Thanks for helping me out,” Jeff said. Liz was such a source of pride. No complaining, always willing to help out when needed. How many fathers of teenagers could say the same about their kids?

“Okay I’ll be here. See ya later Dad,” Liz said.

“Bye honey. Be careful okay? I don’t see why you want to learn to target shoot anyway,” Jeff said. That seemed like an odd hobby for her to pick up.

“I’ll be careful. I agreed to learn because Kyle agreed to learn yoga with me so it’s like a trade off. Besides it is kinda fun,” Liz said smiling. She watched her dad nod accepting that explanation. “Okay I gotta run.”

Liz ducked out of her dad’s office and headed out to the front doors. So far so good everything was moving right along. As she reached the front the Sheriff’s SUV pulled up. Liz hopped in the back and shut the door.

“Hey guys. I hope you don’t mind but I invited Max’s dad to join us. I told him we’d swing by and pick him up. Is that okay?” Liz asked.

“Sure that’s a great idea actually. Is he coping okay?” Jim asked interested. He eased into traffic and headed toward the Evan’s house.

“He’s doing better. I thought he might like another adult to talk to who’s known for awhile. He knows the whole story so there’s nothing to hide anymore and it might help him to ask questions. I didn't know what else to try,” Liz replied.

“Well it can’t hurt. It’s better to be informed at least he won’t be taken by surprise again,” Jim answered.

“Did you remember your gun?” Kyle asked Liz.

“Um yeah it’s in my bag. Unloaded of course,” Liz said so he didn’t think it was just rattling around in there loaded.

Kyle grinned over the seat at her. “Well you need to start carrying it. It won’t do you any good at home all the time. What’s the plan for the week? Any thing worked out yet?” Kyle asked knowing Liz had probably already taken steps in starting a plan.

“Yeah actually. Hang on,” Liz said as they pulled into the Evans driveway. She got out and ran up to the door and rang the bell. Mrs. Evans answered the door smiling.

“Hi Liz. Phillip will be right down. Did you have a chance to talk to Max?” Diane asked stepping back to allow Liz to enter the house. Liz stepped into the hallway and shut the door.

“Um yeah he agrees so we’re all set for staying here. Mrs. DeLuca and my dad agreed to the food drive. Could you maybe call Mrs. DeLuca and the Whitman’s and offer to let Maria and Alex stay the week?” Liz asked.

“Sure I’ll do that right away. This is so wonderful! A full house. I can’t thank you enough Liz for thinking of us. I miss having the kids home so much and this will make it much easier,” Diane said getting excited. She had already pulled out her recipe box looking for ideas.

“Thank you for letting us stay. It’ll be safer for everyone this way,” Liz said just as Phillip came into the hall.

“Ready?” Phillip asked.

“Ready,” Liz confirmed smiling at him in greeting.

“I’ll be home later call me if you need me,” Phillip said to Diane patting the pocket of his jacket to make sure he had his cell phone.

“Have fun,” Diane said leaning over and giving him a quick kiss goodbye.

Liz and Phillip made their way to the SUV and hopped in. Kyle had moved to the back to allow Mr. Evans to sit in the front.

“Phillip…glad you could join us,” Jim said as he backed out of the driveway.

“I’m glad Liz thought of inviting me. So did Max agree to you all staying with us?” Phillip asked turning in his seat to glance at Liz.

“Yeah he did. He was really happy about it actually. Could you call my dad and offer to let me stay the week? He agreed to the food drive and Michael already asked for the week off due to a relative contacting him and wanting to meet him so that part is taken care of. He won’t be surprised when you mention Max going with him. He knows Michael doesn’t have a car or anything,” Liz said.

“Sure, I’ll call as soon as we get back,” Phillip promised.

“So what is the whole plan so far?” Jim asked.

Liz explained what had been decided on so far and what had already been accomplished. She told him about the meeting to firm everything up after the café closed. Phillip listened in amazement as Liz ticked off all the things that already been decided since last night. These kids worked fast. Jim listened and nodded. He was pleased with what he heard and offered to help in anyway he could.

By the time Liz had finished they arrived at the quarry where Jim had already set up bales of straw and human shaped targets along with some cans and such. They all piled out of the SUV and Liz started setting up. Phillip watched in surprise as Liz pulled a handgun out of her book bag and loaded it smoothly setting a spare cartridge on a rock by her feet. He hadn’t realized she owned a gun.


The hours past quickly with Liz and Kyle falling into a smooth routine while Phillip and Jim watched from a short distance away. Phillip asked questions and Jim answered them filling him in on what he had seen. Jim made sure to express his impressions of all the kids and how truly special they all were. Phillip asked for advice on what steps he could take to protect Diane and himself. Jim made what recommendations he could and offered to help him with getting a gun and all the paperwork involved. Jim retrieved a spare handgun from his SUV and showed Phillip how to use it properly.

Phillip came home feeling better about things in general. He was impressed with what all the kids had endured and the measures they took to live in the world that had been forced on them. Liz and Kyle both seemed serious about their safety but were still able to goof around and have fun when possible. He was looking forward to the coming week viewing as both an opportunity to repair his relationship with Isabel and get a more complete view of the group as a whole.


Liz arrived home and grabbed a quick bite to eat and then moved to get ready for her first shift in the café in ages. She showered and put on her usual light touches of make up. Pulling out her uniform she grinned as she remembered a certain dream one Max Evans had sent her. Thoughtfully she finished getting ready and antenna in hand made her way downstairs.

The café was already packed and Maria looked like she wanted to murder someone so Liz swung right into the thick of things. She found it easy to slide right back into the routine and she and Maria worked together smoothly. Hours later it finally started to slow down and Liz sent Maria on a badly needed break. Hearing the door chime she glanced over and was less then thrilled to see Tyler enter the café with two of his friends and take a seat in her section. Putting off going over as long as possible she made the rounds of all Maria’s customers then finally stopped at Tyler’s table.

“You know Liz your services could use improvement. We’ve been here forever,” Tyler piped up. Then slyly added an additional comment. “Is Evans in the backroom requiring a little attention or something?”

“Sorry for the wait. What can I get you to drink?” Liz asked ignoring his other comments. She took their drink orders and filled them quickly. As she passed out their drinks she ignored the boys stares. “Okay are you guys ready to order?”

“Um what’s the special?” Tyler asked with a smirk. His two companions chuckled briefly.

With an internal eye roll Liz rattled off the specials and noticed Maria come back on the floor with relief. “So do you need a few minutes to decide?” Liz asked the table at large.

“No I think we’re ready. Guys?” Tyler asked.

Liz took down their orders and left. Maria caught her at the pick up widow.

“Those guys hassling you?” Maria asked eyeing the table full of laughing boys with disgust.

“Tyler’s just being his normal charming self,” Liz answered as she stuck the order up for Jose. She turned to Maria and wrinkled her nose. “I hope they don’t hang out all night.”

“Yeah so do I,” Maria mumbled thinking she should call in back up. Just in case. She was so not in the mood for this.

Another jingle of the bell on the door brought in Pauly and Vicky. Pauly sent a little wave in their direction and found a seat. Liz smiled and made her way over. “Hey guys. What can I get you to drink?” Liz asked with a friendly smile.

“I’ll have a Coke,” Pauly answered and glanced over at Vicky.

“Oh I’ll have a chocolate shake,” Vicky replied and sent Liz a friendly smile.

“I didn’t think you worked here anymore Liz,” Pauly said in puzzlement.

“Yeah I don’t really but someone called in so I agreed to fill in,” Liz answered as a loud round of laughter came from Tyler’s booth. She rolled her eyes slightly then smiled at the annoyed look on Pauly’s face. “I’ll go get your drinks.”

Liz went and checked her other tables then filled their drink order and delivered it. “Can I get you anything else?” Liz asked tapping her pen against her order pad.

“Yeah I’d like a Will Smith burger,” Pauly answered.

“I’ll just have an order of fries,” Vicky said. “If I’m gonna be bad I might as well go all out.”

“I can agree with that,” Liz said chuckling in amusement. “It should be ready in a few,” Liz added and moved away.

Things picked up and Liz was swamped delivering orders and handing out checks. She had no time to linger as she delivered orders to Tyler’s table and Pauly’s. A glance at her watch showed it was nearing closing time. Swinging behind the counter she stopped to take a sip of her Sprite.

“Drinking on the job now Liz?” Kyle teased.

Liz swung around to see Isabel and Kyle taking a seat at the counter. “Yeah I’ve found it helps me get through the day,” Liz replied.

“I can see why,” Isabel said with a glance at Tyler’s table.

“Hmmm.” Liz said in agreement. “You guys are here early.”

“Um yeah I was in the neighborhood,” Kyle said failing to mention Maria’s phone call.

“I had to get out of the apartment before I killed Michael,” Isabel said truthfully. She had gotten so angry with him for putting his dirty shoes on the kitchen table that she had zapped him on the ass burning a hole right through his pants then threatened to kill him if he did it again.

“Well make yourselves at home. I’m going to try to get rid of Tyler,” Liz said. With their bill in hand she approached their booth.

“Looks like Isabel is stealing your guy,” Tyler said smirking.

“I think incest is more your style Tyler. Here’s your bill,” Liz said sweetly and left as Pauly and Vicky laughed in the next booth.

Maria grinned as Liz walked up. “Finally. Liz really no one says you have to put up with crap like that all night,” Maria remarked.

“Usually it’s not worth the effort to respond. Now though I just want them to leave,” Liz explained. It was almost time for everyone to start arriving for the meeting and the last thing she wanted was for Tyler and his idiot friends to still be here. “Maria can you cover me for a couple of minutes? I need to run upstairs for a second.”

“Sure Lizzy no sweat,” Maria replied.

Liz took off up the stairs. She had a surprise to arrange.

posted on 14-Oct-2002 2:35:29 PM by Lelea
Chapter Sixty One
**jassifras I just wanted to let you know I left a little author's note about your question on page 51...just in case you didn't see it.

fail_safe

Liz walked back downstairs feeling a bit smug. Max wasn’t gonna know what hit him. She couldn’t wait to see her plan come together. But first they had a meeting to get through. She pushed her way into the dining room and saw Kyle had pulled up a chair and was laughing with Pauly about something. Vicky had a brilliant smile shining on her face as she listened to the two guys clown around. Liz had to agree one of Kyle’s most attractive traits was his sense of humor. Isabel and Alex were talking in a booth. Their heads were bent so close together that they almost touched over the table and Isabel was idly playing with Alex’s slim fingers. Maria was up on a chair playing with the radio that was on a shelf behind the counter. She was so absorbed in her task she failed to realize she was giving Michael a really good view. He was seated right behind her at the counter his eyes trained right on her a half smile on his face. Ash and Uziel were sitting at the corner table up by the windows talking earnestly. Otherwise the café was empty.

Liz walked over to the pick up window and peeked through to see Jose cleaning the grill. “Jose, you can take off if you want to. We’ll finish up.”

Jose looked up and wiped his arm across his forehead before answering. “You sure? I can stay if you need me to. This place is a wreck,” Jose said. He had missed working with Liz. She was always fun and really easy to get along with.

“Yeah, I’m sure. I know you’ll be working a lot next week for Michael so it’s no problem really,” Liz answered.

“You don’t have to tell me twice. Thanks Liz. It was nice to have you back for a night,” Jose said as he pulled off his apron.

“Well thanks. Now get out of here before I come to my senses,” Liz teased. She made a shooing motion and turned back to the dining room.

“Hey chica are you too tired to dance?” Maria asked looking over her shoulder. Liz looked like she was in one of her rare wickedly playful moods and it was best to take advantage of the opportunity to have a little fun. Lord knew a tension breaker would be welcome.

“Actually I’m not tired at all,” Liz answered with a smile. She could feel her good mood increase and sense of playfulness take over.

“That’s what I was hoping you would say and I’ve got just the song for the occasion,” Maria said and “Supersoulfighter” by Lenny Kravitz began to play.

Liz’s smile widened. “That is the perfect song. Get down here Ria,” Liz commanded and moved to the spot Maria had already cleared of tables. On the way she grabbed Kyle who rose without complaint.

Maria hopped off her chair and joined them. The song was just too perfect. It had a playful beat and the lyrics actually fit quite nicely if she did say so herself.

Vicky turned in her seat to watch smiling. They all seemed so close and comfortable with each other. She felt almost privileged to see them relaxed and having such easy fun. They were a slightly secretive group that didn’t often mix with anyone outside their circle. They were all pretty friendly, well except for that Michael guy, but it stopped there.

Vicky chuckled as Alex joined them doing what almost looked like the funky chicken. Maria had backed away from him afraid of being clobbered by his flying elbows. Both her and Isabel were laughing in delight at Alex’s antics. Kyle and Liz moved together in unison. Vicky studied them closely watching their fluid graceful moves that were so in sync it screamed of a certain level of intimacy between them. A movement by the doors caught her attention and she glanced over to see Max Evans walk in. He stopped just inside the door his eyes locked on Liz. She was surprised by the expression that crossed his face. It was heated and possessive speaking loudly of his hunger, it fairly screamed sex. She never would have imagined such a normally contained controlled guy would have an expression that was so clearly out of control cross his face.

Max felt a flaming fist of lust slam into him as he caught sight of Liz. He breathed deeply trying to gain a little control. Wasn’t it supposed to get easier to control himself around Liz now that they were intimate? Before that it was difficult to keep himself in check as his mind whispered the possibilities and urged him to test the boundaries between them. Now it should be easier. He knew what she felt like…looked and sounded like. He could walk over and kiss her and she would let him. She allowed him to touch her now. Wasn’t that supposed to make it easier? Less demanding and crippling in it’s force?

Vicky looked back at Liz as the song ended to see her laughing and giving Kyle a quick hug. As she watched Liz moved away from Kyle and without looking toward the door reached up and adjusted her antenna sending them bouncing merrily on top of her head. A slow smug smile spread across her face and she spoke without turning.

“So Max, do you still like me now that I’m back in uniform?” Liz asked biting her lip to keep from laughing. Even with the connection being only slightly open she was getting enough to know what he was feeling and like had nothing to do with it.

Max moved quickly drawn to her side like a magnet. He bent and kissed her one hand sinking into the long strands of her hair. He deepened the kiss without regard for their audience.

Vicky’s mouth dropped open slightly at the heated public display.

“Well I’d say that settles that question,” Pauly muttered softly.

Vicky glanced over at him to see his eyes dancing with suppressed laughter. “What question is that?”

“Several actually. I would say that yes he still likes her even with antenna on her head. I would also say that kiss settles any question of who Liz is really dating. Max doesn’t look like he wants to share. But come to think of it I never really believed the rumors anyway,” Pauly said and picked up their bill. “Ready?”

“Yeah I’m ready,” Vicky said and smiled. She had been worried at first that Pauly wanted to go out with Liz. She had no desire to date another guy that would really rather be with Liz Parker….or anyone else for that matter.


Liz pulled back slowly hating to end their kiss but knowing they had a meeting to get through. If things heated up any more she would be tempted to drag him into the storage room. “I’ll take that as a yes,” Liz said breathlessly.

“Are you trying to torture me?” Max asked between panting breaths.

“Nope, that’s just a side benefit. I actually worked a shift for my dad. But if you hang around and help me close after the meeting I’ll give you a surprise. Deal?” Liz asked.

“Deal. Do we really have to have a meeting? I mean it seems like a pointless delay,” Max teased.

“I think that there’s a room full of people who would disagree,” Liz answered grinning.

Max sighed with regret. “Okay then let’s hurry this up,” Max said taking her hand. He led her over the counter and they waited for Maria to finish locking the door behind Pauly and Vicky.

They all arranged themselves around several tables that had been pulled together.

“Okay let’s start with what we’ve accomplished so far,” Max said.

They covered the details that had been completed thoroughly. Alex, Maria, and Liz were all set for a weeklong stay with the Evans. Amy, Nancy, and Jeff would all be having dinner over there for Thanksgiving as well.

The travel arrangements for Max, Michael, and the team chosen to accompany them had been handled. The team included Uziel, who would be in command of the team working with Max and Michael, and Uryan, who had been training Max in his gifts. Max, Michael, Uziel, and Uryan would fly out together as one group with the rest of the team in a second group traveling separately. The hope was that the actual number of people helping Max and who they were would remain semi-hidden for the length of the Summit.

Ash and Uziel had hand picked the team for their bodyguard and combat skills. Ash had sent Uziel whom he trusted absolutely charging him with Max’s safety. The traitor in the ranks had still not been flushed out so it was possible that it was someone being sent to the Summit.

There were only three people Ash had total faith in….Uziel, Uriron, and Ozeal. Uriron and Ozeal were needed to stay with Liz in Roswell.

The next thing to be discussed was how to remain in contact while separated. Alex reminded the group of the Skin/government connection and the risk of using regular phone lines. Ash agreed that the safest thing to use were the phones that had been provided by Ozeal. It was agreed that both Max and Michael would phone Liz and Maria’s phones nightly. If they failed to reach them for any reason, the Roswell group was to leave and go to the agreed upon place to meet up with them….in Cedar Rapids Iowa. The place was chosen because no one in Roswell had any ties to it at all. However, Ash and Uziel did. They had kept a small house there. Isabel would Dreamwalk as a secondary means of contact as she had never tried to contact someone that far away before. She would try it the first night of their arrival to see if it was possible.

Liz reminded everyone staying in Roswell to bring some entertainment with them to the Evan’s. They wouldn’t be going out much if at all. The whole point was to reduce the risks. Isabel informed them that she had spoken with her mother and tried to curb her more creative recipes claiming they had various allergies.

Lastly they discussed Eagle Rock. The team stationed there would report directly to Max once it was determined who was leaving from the base to attend the Summit. It had been suggested to wait until just after everyone returned then take action. The only exception to that would be if things started to go bad for the Roswell group and a distraction was needed to get them out of town. Ash would contact the team should that be needed. The team was ready whichever way it turned out. They would cause as much damage as possible then move to provide protection.

The meeting broke up soon after. Michael and Maria stayed to help clean up until the only thing left to do was sweep and mop the dining room. Liz assured them she and Max could take it from there. Finally alone Liz put the next phase of her surprise into action.

Max was busy mopping the floor as Liz walked to the front windows and took a deep breath. She reached inside herself and lightly touched the front window forming a picture in her mind of mirrored glass holding that firmly as she eased a gentle stream of energy outward. Opening her eyes she smiled at the results…perfect.

Liz made her way over to the table in the center of the room brushing past Max as she went. Feeling his eyes on her she put a little bounce in her step and grinned as her antenna bobbed with every step. She picked up the cleaning cloth she had left there and proceeded to start wiping down the table.

Looking over her shoulder at him she found him watching her with a glazed look. “So are you ready for your surprise?” Liz asked her voice slightly husky.

Max felt his fingers go slack and the mop fell from his lax hands. “Yeah but…what about…?” Max said trying to hang on to his last shred of reason.

“The windows are mirrored and the doors are all locked. The door to the apartment is sealed. It’s your fantasy Max…with a small twist…all you have to do is go with it,” Liz said and tossed the cloth toward the counter. She turned to face him and leaned back against the table waiting.

Max stepped over the mop moving swiftly. He came to a stop in front of her feeling light headed. He leaned closer and nuzzled her ear then sucked likely on her earlobe. “God Liz I love you so much,” Max whispered. He trailed his lips down her neck but stopped as her hand pushed against his chest.

Liz smiled at his puzzled look and raised her hands to unbutton his shirt. “Do you remember when you touched me and left glowing trails on my skin?” Liz asked as her fingers made quick work of his buttons.

“Yeah I remember,” Max said watching her eyes as she pushed his shirt off his shoulders.

“Well I made a map using the same idea. It’s really more like a combination of a guided tour with helpful hints,” Liz said softly taking his hand and leading it to her neck. As his hands passed over her throat a glowing silver arrow appeared which led him over by her ear where there was an outline of what looked like lips.

As he moved his hand lower he watched another arrow appear leading him downward. He looked into her eyes and she raised her eyebrow. “Liz, how did you do this?” Max asked amazed.

“I used my finger of course,” Liz teased. “I just thought about you and traced what I wanted you to see. It only works for you because my energy calls to yours. See I have been listening to Ash during training. I’m just applying what I’ve learned like the good student I am. It’s the same principle as the glowing handprint to open the pod chamber.”

Mesmerized Max continued touching her not really hearing her explanation. Reaching the edge of her uniform he pulled sharply watching in satisfaction as the snaps holding it closed popped open to her waist were her apron was. He groaned as her uniform parted to reveal only bare skin. Reaching behind her he untied her apron letting it fall to the floor. With one more tug the remaining snaps parted.

Liz watched as his eyes flared with heat. He lifted her easily and placed her on the table while stepping between her knees. Liz leaned back onto her elbows and widened her legs giving him more room.

As Max moved closer he pulled her to the edge of the table and leaned over her placing his lips over the glowing lip symbol on her neck listening to her gasp as he sucked lightly on her skin. He had always been good at reading maps. He followed the trail she had painted for him running his mouth down her neck to her shoulder where he saw the word nip. She cried out softly as he followed her helpful hint.

“Oh god Max..yES…” Liz cried. This was the best idea she had ever had.

Max continued along the glowing trail around to the slope of her breast, his tongue lapping gently at her skin, to the glowing heart on her chest where he placed an open mouth kiss. He groaned as her fingers tunneled into his hair pulling him closer. He lost himself in the feel of her. Time ceased to have any meaning as he just loved her.

Liz moaned as Max moved on, his teeth scraping across her nipple lightly before taking her in his mouth. She bit back the urge to scream as he took his time.

Max released her and ran his hand down her abdomen watching as his path glowed brightly. He paused looking down at his living breathing fantasy. He wanted to remember this forever.

“Max…please…Max.” Liz begged. She caught her breath at the reverent look on his face. She felt loved and absolutely cherished. She pulled his face up to hers and kissed him pouring all of herself into that one kiss. Unable to stand it another second she opened herself to him needing to feel him fully and give him everything.

Max pulled backing gasping at the feel of her. Her hands moved to unbuckle his belt. His eyes never left hers as she unzipped his pants. He placed his hand over hers stopping her as she reached to undo the button. He wanted to finish his guided tour all the way to the end. He moved back to where he had left off trailing his lips over her ribs one by one before nipping lightly just above her hip right where the map told him to. He nuzzled her navel then rubbed his cheek against her belly smiling as her back arched under him in response. Placing small kisses around her belly button he then ran his tongue down to the end…which was the word NOW on her lower abdomen.

“Now what?” Max asked his voice rumbling against her.

“Now this is your fantasy so you tell me,” Liz answered looking down at him.

“I can do better then telling you.” Max said then nipped at her inner thigh.

Liz made a whimpering sound as his tongue parted her folds then traced each one so softly that if she hadn’t felt his breath she would have thought it was a dream. His groan of pleasure had her twisting under him and she raised her arms over her head to clutch the edge of the table, needing a solid anchor.

Max ran his hand over her belly soothingly as he lapped at her softly. He could feel her more clearly then he ever had before. The tighting of her muscles, her frantic breaths, the way her soul called to his. He marveled at the burning brightness of her as she cried out under him, her body bowing and shivering. He moved up her body to kiss her deeply enjoying her. Finally he pulled back to look into her eyes and watch as she slowly came back to herself.

“God Max I think you almost killed me,” Liz said her voice filled with satisfaction.

“Hmmm I liked my surprise. Thank you,” Max said sincerely.

Liz pushed lightly on his chest and sat up quickly undoing the button on his pants. “I don’t think you should be thanking me yet,” Liz whispered.

“Well I don’t think I’ll be able to speak later so I thought I better do it now,” Max replied and sucked in a breath as her fingers traced the edge of his boxers.

Liz smiled at his words and lightly trailed her nails across the path her fingers had just traced. “Max you are so welcome…really my pleasure,” Liz answered and eased just one finger under the elastic band of his boxers. “Have I ever told you how much I hate your boxers?” Liz said and leaned forward kissing his shoulder.

“What?” Max asked slightly muddled and having difficulty focusing on her words.

“Well if I haven’t I am now. I don’t think you should wear them any more….they’re just in my way,” Liz said and lightly bit him.

As easy as that Max lost his mind. He pulled her off the table in one swift movement. He spun her around taking control, pushed past endurance by her teasing. He shoved his pants and boxers down and moved up behind her pinning her against the table. He moved her uniform to the side and slid one arm around her cupping her breast in his hand as he positioned himself. He pushed into her forcefully and without pause found the rhythm his body demanded.

Liz bent forward under the weight of his body and reached through their connection to stroke against him…blending into him fully for one perfect moment.

Max groaned and grabbed her hips in his hands and rose to stand upright as he thrust himself into her sharply. As he looked down at her a small part of him wondered if he was being to rough and another part of him captured the moment. This was his fantasy right down to the antenna and yet at the same time it was more.

Liz felt Max’s worry even before he started to slow and gentle his movements. She reached through their bond and soothed him without thought. “Max please…don’t…Oh Max please don’t stop!” Liz cried in protest.

His hands tightened on her hips as he drove into her roughly taking her at her word. All thought lost as instinct took over urging him to fuse their bodies tightly together.

Liz felt the change in him and moaned feeling her body tighten in response. Every stroke of him inside her winding her body tighter building the heat higher until she shattered.

Max groaned feeling her body clamping down on his. Two more hard thrusts and he joined her, instinct forcing him to release himself in her flooding her with semen and something more. Both seals flared brightly in response before settling into a gentle glow.

posted on 15-Oct-2002 8:14:55 PM by Lelea
Chapter Sixty Two
**Okay are your seat belts fastened and all tray tables fastened in the upright locked position? Here we go**

fail_safe


Liz woke the next day with reluctance. Last night she had been so full of energy but today was a different story all together. She knew she had been up late but still she didn’t want to sleep the whole day away. She got up slowly and forced herself to get ready. She wanted to look good today so she took her time picking out her cloths. She decided on a pair of jeans that she hadn’t worn in awhile. They were slim fitting and flared at the bottom perfect for wearing with her leather boots and red sweater. Pulling up her jeans she frowned as she tried to zip them closed. She tugged harder but the zipper just wouldn’t budge. Aggravated she removed them and tossed the jeans to the back of her closet and pulled out another pair that were looser and finished dressing. Looking in the mirror she frowned unhappy with her appearance but there wasn’t time to change again. Giving up she headed out.

She met Max in the café and they headed out for a relaxing day of just being normal. As normal as they could be having four of Ash’s men trailing them. They strolled around the mall getting ideas for Christmas. They shopped all afternoon not really buying much but finding the normalcy soothing. They ate dinner at a nice Italian restaurant close to the mall then headed back to Max’s apartment. Max unlocked the door and they both entered paying more attention to each other then their surroundings. It was Michael’s voice that snapped them into awareness.

“Ahh…yeah..Maria.” Michael groaned loudly from his postion on the couch.

Max and Liz both froze in place rooted to the floor in shock. They shared a quick glance then retreated closing the door silently behind them.

“What now?” Max asked.

“You could call and let Michael know we’re coming back here or we could go to the movies or something. It’s up to you,” Liz said softly.

Max looked at her for a moment thinking. He really didn’t want to see a movie and besides Liz looked really tired. He pulled the phone out of his pocket and dialed. The conversation with Michael was brief and to the point. “We’ll give them fifteen minutes,” Max said leading her back to the Jeep.

They sat listening to the radio not talking just waiting. Finally they made their way back to the apartment and opened the door. Max stuck his head in and not hearing anything he took Liz’s hand and guided her inside shutting the door. He led her down the hall to his room. They shut the door behind them and Max turned on the radio for background noise. They curled up on the bed and Max stroked her hair silently. Time passed as they each drew comfort from each other’s presence.

“Liz this week be extra careful alright? Take care of yourself,” Max said worried. The closer the time came to leave for New York the more nervous he became.

“I will. Max it’s less than a week and I promise to be careful,” Liz replied.

“Listen to me for a second. You are the most important person in the world to me. Your welfare means more to me then my own so swear you’ll be extra careful. I don’t think I could handle it if anything happened to you,” Max said intently. He really didn’t think she paid enough attention to her own needs and safety.

Liz rolled over turning to face him. “I swear. Max really, you need to focus on keeping yourself safe. Ash is very serious about my safety you know that. I’ll be as safe as I always am it’s you I’m worried about. We don’t know anything about these aliens that are going to be at the Summit.”

“I promise I’ll be careful. Nothing is going to keep me away from you I promise. I swore to myself never to break another promise to you so it’s settled,” Max said pulling her closer.

“Okay,” Liz said simply.

“Just okay? That’s it?” Max asked confused by her response.

“Uh huh that’s it. I believe you,” Liz said and ran her finger across his bottom lip. “Max, I don’t have anymore doubts. This is exactly how it’s supposed to be and I trust that. I have to believe everything will work out because I was meant to be with you and something worked hard at putting us together. Out of all the planets and all the towns on this planet you came here. You waited for exactly the right time to be born and you found me. I can’t believe that was all an accident and a million things could have gone wrong but they didn’t. We are made for each other and I believe in that.”

Max didn’t say anything he just looked into her eyes seeing her unwavering belief shining back at him. He took her hand and kissed her palm then held it to his cheek before sliding it around to the back of his neck. He leaned in and kissed her. It was a feather light sweet kiss that melted her insides. As he continued to gently caress her lips he reached through their connection and stroked against her softly. He wanted to show her without words…with more than words how precious she was to him.

Liz smiled against his mouth feeling everything he trying to tell her. She deepened their kiss slowly while playing with the hair at the nape of his neck. When he pulled back she smiled up at him wanting to give him the best memories she could before he had to leave for the week. She would rather he remembered her smiling then crying.

“I don’t want to do this. This was a mistake,” Max blurted out suddenly.

“No it wasn’t. Don’t do this okay? I’ll be waiting for you when you come home. Now show me how much you’re going to miss me,” Liz said tugging lightly on his neck.

“Liz, I can’t,” Max whispered feeling bad for his outburst. He didn’t want her to feel guilty.

“Why?” Liz asked confused.

“I don’t want to think about leaving. This past summer when you were away was the worst time of my life and I can’t even express how miserable I was. I just want to be with you. I don’t want to think about leaving even for a week,” Max explained.

“Maybe I can help you out with that,” Liz said as she leaned in and started kissing his neck. She took her time kissing her way down his neck as she slid her hand under his shirt.

Max groaned softly as her lips dragged down his skin. She nipped him lightly then licked the spot gently. He gave in and pulled her closer all thoughts of the coming week forgotten.

They made love slowly shedding cloths a piece at a time to gradually reveal themselves. They took the time to notice all the small things that are normally missed in the rush. The slide of skin against skin, the changing textures, the fluid movement of muscle under flesh. They both tried to stretch out their joining for as long as possible so maybe they would never really be separate again. As the end neared wispy tendrils of silvery blue light glowed under their skin bathing the darkened bedroom in a soft light. No fear intruded on their minds, it was just exactly how it should be. In that last final moment the seals joined them, combining their energies and essence to strengthen their bond just the way it was intended.


A long time later Liz stirred from her light doze and glanced at the clock. It was getting late she had to start thinking about going home. She looked over at Max and smiled he looked rumpled and totally sexy. She reluctantly dressed and leaned over Max waking him with a kiss.

“Hmm what are you doing?” Max asked seeing she was fully clothed.

“I have to go it’s late. Don’t get up Ash will drive me home okay?” Liz answered.

“Will I see you tomorrow?” Max asked.

“Of course. I’m working with Ash and Kyle in the morning but after that we’ll come over to see you off. You still have to pack anyway right?” Liz asked.

“Um yeah. Okay I’ll see you then,” Max said and pulled her down for a last kiss.




Monday dawned clear and cloudless which Liz would normally think was the start to a wonderful day. Today however was not going to be wonderful at all. Besides Max’s impending departure Liz was grumpy and the day was just getting started. Trying to shake off her bad mood she had a quiet breakfast in the apartment before getting ready to meet Ash and Kyle. Staring in her full-length mirror made her even more grumpy. If she wasn’t mistaken she had the start, however small, of a belly. That was it from now on she was in charge of her eating habits and training this was totally out of hand. Bullshit was she going to allow herself to get fat. No more allowing anyone to talk her into eating if she didn’t want to. Dressing in fit of anger Liz mentally went over everything she had been eating banning items from future consumption as she did.

She met Kyle out front and one look at her face had Kyle staying quiet on the drive over. They arrived at Ash’s and Kyle parked and turned off the engine wincing as Liz slammed the door after she got out. This didn’t bode well for inner serenity Kyle mused as he climbed the stairs to the Ash’s loft.

Liz greeted Ash quickly and listened to his instructions on relaxing and centering herself as she took a seat on the floor. She felt Max reach for her sensing her bad mood and sent him nonverbal reassurance in response.

Making a serious effort to gain a handle on her rolling emotions she took a few deep breaths and blocked out everything but the memory of Max holding her as they slept. A sudden image of Max’s hand covering a flabby potbelly intruded causing her irritation to spike briefly. She reminded herself one thing at a time and now was suppose to be time for inner stillness or some shit like that. Blowing out an annoyed breath she refocused herself determined to not let a stupid bad mood interfere with achieving her goal.

Ash sat silently watching the expressions cross Liz’s face. She seemed to be struggling to clear her mind. Her face clearly showed the texture of the thoughts passing through her mind and they weren’t good. A glance at Kyle showed him to be having more success. He briefly thought of the human expression keeping your fingers crossed, where did that ever come from and how would that help he wondered. Shrugging mentally he hoped this would work….maybe not today but soon. Surely she would know soon. The fetus would have to be developed enough to reach for her soon surely. The same string of worries paraded through his head. What if the fetus wasn’t developing like an antarian at all? How would he know if something wasn’t right? How could he gauge what should and shouldn’t happen? What if something happened to Liz or the child?

Liz sat silent as the minutes passed and slowly managed to work past her mood. It felt almost as if she just floated above all the worries and thoughts that plagued her normal state. She focused inward as Ash had told her paying attention to her body and what it might be saying. Her shoulders ached slightly with the release of her tension and stress. A sense of peace filled her briefly before she felt a weak fluttering sensation….almost as if she had a small butterfly trapped inside her abdomen. Confused she focused on that feeling and without thought used her energy to try and figure out what it was. She felt something brush against her mind and automatically opened to it. A warm rush of sensation passed through her…not really thoughts..more like feelings. Hunger, warmth, a sense of safety.

Startled Liz snapped back into awareness her mind racing. She moved to get up falling over in her haste and landing with a thump that had Kyle’s eyes popping open. Liz looked at Ash and KNEW he knew….that he HAD known and said nothing. It all showed on his face in that instant.

“Liz are you alright?” Kyle asked slightly scared. He was having trouble deciphering the expression on her face. It was shocked, scared, and something else all at once.

“No, I’m not! This can’t…I can’t…” Liz stuttered. Her mind automatically started attempting to make lists desperately trying to reason this out. When WAS her last period…oh my GOD! Was it September or August? But she was on the PILL! How had this happened?

“Liz? You’re starting to freak me out here!” Kyle exclaimed crawling over to her where she lay sprawled on the floor.

“No this can’t be right! I was careful! How did this happen?” Liz yelled feeling a rising sense of panic.

“I explained to you what the Oracles mission was. You know the Oracle takes the action necessary to accomplish that goal,” Ash answered softly.

“Fuck you Ash! You can’t just take over! Oh my god! Max is going to FREAK OUT!” Liz screamed as all her earlier anger boiled back to the surface multiplied by a thousand at Ash’s stupid response.

“What? What’s wrong?” Kyle asked scared as he watched Liz wig out.

“Oh my GOD! How am I going to tell him this?” Liz said suddenly near tears. Her eyes widened in panic as she felt Max reach out to her. Without thinking she slammed the connection closed in an automatic response to her building panic.

“TELL HIM WHAT?” Kyle yelled.

“That I’m pregnant,” Liz whispered and looked up to see the impact of that statement cross his face.

“Oh SHIT! What?” Kyle asked paling.

Liz didn’t answer as her cell phone started to ring. She looked at it for a moment before moving to answer. She struggled to control herself just long enough to reassure Max then she could figure out what to do. “Hello?” Liz answered.

“Liz? What’s wrong? Where are you?” Max asked.

“Nothing’s wrong. I’m at Ash’s you know training,” Liz answered shooting Kyle a warning look.

“You were angry Liz really angry and you closed our connection. Something’s wrong,” Max responded.

“It’s nothing I’m fine we’re just…um training and…you startled me,” Liz answered feeling a bubble of panic try to climb up her throat.

“What are you practicing?” Max asked curious. He wasn’t sure whether to believe her or not.

“Meditation. Kyle just made me a little angry before we got started but I’m fine now. I closed the connection because I can’t concentrate with distractions. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you,” Liz answered miserable.

“Oh okay. Well you’re still coming to see me off right?” Max asked satisfied with her answer.

“Yeah of course I am. We all are. Listen I better go but I’ll see you in a few okay?” Liz asked.

“Okay, love you,” Max said.

“I love you too,” Liz said and hung up, promptly bursting into tears. She turned to Ash pointing her finger at him. “How long have you known? Why didn’t you SAY anything?”

“I didn’t know for sure until you showed Phillip Evans your seal. The seal showed the change. I have suspected for awhile now. I didn’t tell you because it’s important for the development of the fetus that connection to you be made naturally. I tried to guide you and help you discover it naturally,” Ash said worried. She was so upset her breath was hitching as she cried. Her emotions were changing so fast he couldn’t get a handle on them and he worried about her being so upset in her condition.

“That’s not good enough Ash. Not this time! You constantly do this. Mentioning something one time when we first meet isn’t the same as explaining something. You didn’t say the GODDAMN orb was going to render birth control ineffective. You never said it wanted an heir NOW! You deliberately let us believe things that weren’t true,” Liz yelled feed up with his lame ass excuses.

Kyle watched this scene play out still too shocked to say or do anything to help. He had never seen Liz even close to this angry or upset. She rose and was advancing on Ash her eyes blazing with fury.

Liz was so angry her vision darkened around the edges and she started poking Ash in the chest with every point she made. “You can’t keep holding stuff back like this. This isn’t a small thing….it’s huge. Do you have any idea what this means? My parents are going to go nuclear. My dad just might kill Max, alien king or no. Max is going to freak out. He worries about everything anyway and this will send him into a fit. I can’t even imagine how everyone else is going to take this. I’m SEVENTEEN! Here on Earth that is not the right time to be having children which is why I used BIRTH CONTROL that the FUCKING ORB rendered USELESS! You can’t hide behind your stupid excuses this time. You and that ORACLE have turned me into an after school special! Another teenage mother!”

“Liz I don’t think you qualify for an after school special. I mean, I have never seen one where the father is an alien,” Kyle broke in then quickly shut up as Liz sent him a death look.

“Better yet! A tabloid headline. I can see it now a picture of me and my baby sandwiched in between big foot and a 2000 pound man,” Liz said knowing she wasn’t making any sense. She moved away from Ash a ways and closed her eyes while taking a deep breath trying to calm down.

“I can always pod the fetus if it is easier,” Ash offered hoping to assist. He realized he had made a mistake when her eyes snapped open with a horrified expression on her face.

“You are not taking my baby! I won’t allow it. I don’t care what you and that Oracle say you can’t have my baby!” Liz yelled fear flooding her. She realized in an instant that she didn’t REALLY know Ash. His whole purpose could be to take their baby. He could have lied about everything.

Ash moved toward her wanting to correct his error in judgement. He realized the enormity of his mistake when Liz shielded herself swiftly at his approach.

“Stay away from me!” Liz yelled sending a steady stream of energy into the shield that she had wrapped around her body.

Kyle had watched the escalating disaster with wide eyes but when Liz tossed up a shield that hugged her body like a second skin he sprang into action. He pushed Ash away from Liz and planted himself in front of her. “I think you need to move back. Just give her some room,” Kyle said having no intention of allowing Ash any closer.

“I would never harm her or the child. I apologize for my error in judgement I only offered what is standard on my planet. I meant no harm,” Ash said backing away slowly. He felt stunned and confused at the turns this day had taken.

“All the same just stay away from her,” Kyle said firmly. He turned to Liz and approached her slowly. “Liz let’s all just calm down here okay? No one is going to take your baby I’ll die first so just drop the shield all right?”

Liz glanced at Ash who was now a good distance away looking befuddled about what had happened. She tapered off the stream of energy and dropped the shield. “Let’s be clear about this. My baby is staying right where she is until the day she’s born and that’s that. She will NOT be put in a pod. Are we all clear on this?” Liz demanded. Kyle nodded in understanding.

“Yes, we are clear. I am truly sorry. I only wanted to help. Females on my planet never carry their children to term, as it is inconvenient to do so,” Ash answered.

“Sorry or not I don’t trust you. I can’t afford to. You’ve lied by omission since the beginning. You hid things from Max and I and that makes it impossible to trust you,” Liz stated clearly. She wasn’t moved by Ash’s wince at her words. The stakes had risen and now she had a child to think about as well as Max. She felt herself move into a state of total alertness where her mind was brutally clear and sharp.

“I have no excuse I am truly sorry. I am bound by my bond to the Granilith; it’s my duty to follow the path that is chosen. I never wished to do any harm. It is important for the baby to begin to develop properly. It is dangerous to interfere with that development. The baby needs to make itself known by forming a connection with its mother. That starts the true growth of the child physically, mentally, and in their gifts. A fetus can not be poded until it enters this stage. If I told you that you were pregnant that disrupts that process you may have tried to connect with your child before now. I am only following the process set by my people,” Ash said trying to explain.

“I’m not your people. I’m human and so is Max in part, which changes things. Besides that how can I believe you? Why should I trust you?” Liz asked.

“I will connect with you or with Kyle if you think that’s safer. I am not lying,” Ash said and waited for her answer.

posted on 16-Oct-2002 2:51:53 PM by Lelea
Chapter Sixty Three

fail_safe


Liz studied Ash carefully. He looked sincere but did that mean anything? He could shift shapes what was creating a facial expression compared to that? There was no way in hell she would connect with him. She had no idea what he could do once she allowed him into her head. It seemed possible that he could hurt the baby or monkey with her mind enough to let him take the baby from her. She wouldn’t ask Kyle to do that either. A mind was a private fragile thing and she didn’t want Kyle hurt in any way.

“I don’t see what good that would do. How do we know you can’t hide things? We don’t. I won’t take that risk and I can’t ask Kyle to do that either.” Liz said.

“Liz, I’ll do it. You don’t have to ask because I’m offering. I may not know if he’s hiding something but I’ll get a feel for him. The kind of person he is,” Kyle offered. His job was to watch out for Liz and he had taken that job willingly. Liz now expanded to the life she was carrying and he felt no hesitation in making the offer.

“Alright Kyle come here and let’s do this,” Ash said. He realized he might have damaged his relationship with Liz beyond repair. He would do whatever was needed to begin to repair it.

“Kyle, you don’t have to do this,” Liz protested as Kyle moved forward.

Kyle turned to face her so she could look into his eyes as he responded. “Liz, Max is leaving in less then a half hour. We need to know what’s happening here. If Ash is on the level we need to know. We already have a whole lot of enemies and I really don’t want to throw away help if we don’t have to. So let’s just do this and then we can make a more informed choice,” Kyle said trying to be reasonable.

Liz nodded seeing the point but she was still worried. She watched as Kyle moved in front of Ash and they proceeded to connect. She waited watching them carefully ready to step in if she thought it was needed. Finally Kyle stirred and moved away.

“As far as I can tell he’s telling the truth. I didn’t feel any malice or hostility so I don’t think he means us harm,” Kyle said. He was pretty confident of that conclusion.

“Ok, I have to try to think here,” Liz muttered and started pacing. There was next to no time to make a choice and Liz felt the overwhelming pressure of her enormous responsibility weighting on her shoulders.

She struggled to get her mind past the shock of her discovery and back into gear. She paced faster thinking hard. Her gut was telling her Ash wouldn’t hurt her. Her mind argued that he had lied and withheld information on more than one occasion and then she thought of what Max had said. That Ash’s idea of harm might not be the same as his own. It was easy to forget that Ash was an alien in a way that Max wasn’t. He had grown up on a different planet with a different culture and set of beliefs. He blended so well here that she tended to forget that most of the time until something like this came up. Coming to a fast decision she went with her instinct. She would trust Ash with conditions. She would be asking a lot more questions from now on.

Now the big decision…what to do about Max. If she told him now he wouldn’t go to the Summit. She had no doubts at all about that. Nothing she said at that point would make a difference.

“Ash, is a few days going to make any difference in terms of Max? Will it harm the baby if he’s not here?” Liz asked.

“No it won’t. The baby needs you. Your bond with Max is between you and him; the baby is separate from that. I am not in favor of Max going because it puts added stress and worry on you. It is also dangerous. If something were to happen to him the risk is there that we would loose not only Max but you and the child as well. As I said before, bonded mates seldom survive the death of their partner. Max’s job is to support and help you. He can not connect to the child until it is born,” Ash said holding nothing back. He watched as Liz nodded and resumed pacing.

Liz tried to think about this rationally. The Summit was important and they had all agreed to take the risk it posed. If she told Max about the baby he wouldn’t go and nothing anyone said would change his mind. He would only be gone four days. Four days wasn’t that long and she could find out more about what to expect and tell him when he got back. This one meeting could turn the tide of the conflict that they were already involved in.

On the other hand she really wanted him here right now. She was afraid and wanted him to tell her things would be okay. She longed to be selfish and just tell him and let Max decide what to do. She didn’t like hiding things from him even for a few days. She had already lied to him on the phone but this was more than that. It was a planned act to withhold important information from him.

But Ash had been willing to allow him to leave knowing she was pregnant. It was only four days. She could handle it for four days and it wasn’t like Max hadn’t held things back from her before so he would understand.

Kyle watched Liz try to pace her way to China. He didn’t think there was a good choice here to make. Whatever she decided there was going to be backlash. If she told Max about the baby he wouldn’t leave. Michael was bound to throw a fit and the blame throwing would be fast and furious with everyone choosing a side. If she didn’t tell him he would go but if something went wrong Liz would have a hard time getting over her guilt. Then again maybe nothing had really changed. Nothing was true today that hadn’t been true yesterday it was only their view of the situation that had changed. Kyle thought hard on the possibilities. There was a risk to Liz no matter what happened. Max could just as easily be hurt or killed here; the Skins were already very present in town. Maybe Liz being pregnant was a good thing in that if something did happen to Max the baby might be enough to make Liz fight to live even if Max didn’t. Whatever Liz decided to do he was behind her 100%. Liz was family and it was his job to look out for her. He would do whatever he could to help her.

“Ash, who have you talked to about this? Did you tell anyone that I’m pregnant?” Liz asked.

“I told no one. They are wondering I am sure as the Joining is complete but no one knows for sure,” Ash answered. He watched her nod and continue pacing. He would follow whatever choice was made. He could supply the information but he couldn’t make their choices for them. Once a path was set he had no choice but to follow it, the Granilith had made itself clear on that point. He was to guide and aid them in whatever way he could but they were Royalty and they had to make the decisions.

Liz glanced at her watch and saw time was up. “We have to go,” Liz said still no closer to a decision.

“How do you want to handle this?” Kyle asked softly.

“I don’t know. No one says anything to anyone until I talk to Max. Let’s just go and I’ll think on the way,” Liz said and grabbed her jacket and bag.

They all silently made their way to their car. Ash climbed into the back of Kyle’s Mustang without comment. Liz sat in the front lost in thought. Kyle drove to Max’s apartment feeling the tension acutely.



Max stood out front with group loading the Land Rover with the luggage. He had a sick feeling in the pit of his stomach. He had spent all morning convincing himself of the rightness of attending the Summit. His own personal feelings aside it was the right thing to do. He was determined not to put Liz in a position where she felt bad or like she was a hindrance to him. He knew the risks and he had made his own choice.

He was becoming increasingly nervous about leaving Liz. He knew there was more to Liz closing their connection then she was telling him. He had a hard time picturing Kyle being able to make Liz that angry either. Liz reopening their connection hadn’t helped as much as he thought it would. He could feel her churning emotions even though he couldn’t read what they were exactly. He sighed as he thought about it. There really wasn’t any choice he was leaving in fifteen minutes. He flagged Isabel down and motioned for her to follow him a small distance from the others.

“Isabel, I need you to watch out for Liz while I’m gone. I know Ash will also but it’s you I trust completely. I need the peace of mind in knowing she’ll have you looking out for her like you do for me,” Max said watching his sister’s face.

Isabel felt her eyes tear up at Max’s faith in her. “Of course I will Max. She’s family. Now take care of yourself okay?” Isabel said. She had never been away from Max like this before and she was so worried about him. The least she could do after persuading Max to go was to watch out for Liz.

“I will. I love you Iz. Don’t give Dad a hard time okay? Just give him a chance,” Max said pulling her into a hug.

Isabel nodded and hugged him back tightly pushing aside her second thoughts.


Liz had no idea what to do. She could feel a full on panic attack approaching at warp speed. Instinctively she reached for Max opening their connection. She breathed a sigh of relief at being able to feel him. She tried to calm down and come to some sort of decision. She had no desire to shut Max out or lie to him but she was afraid. She knew he loved her and would never leave her but what if he got upset? No, he loved her and she knew that he would love their child. It wasn’t in him not to. What if it was a mistake not going to this Summit? What if it was a mistake to go? The questions multiplied with no answers in sight. Liz felt her stomach roll and sweat break out on her forehead. Oh god I can’t get sick now! She swallowed against her nausea and drew in a shaky breath as they pulled into the parking lot.

As Kyle parked she looked around at the assembled group. Maria and Michael were kissing as Michael leaned against the SUV. Isabel and Max were talking a little apart from the group. Alex was chatting with Uziel who was standing by the driver’s door. Liz sat looking at them feeling totally incapable of getting out of the car much less making what was possibly the most important choice of her life.

Kyle turned to look at Liz and saw she looked pale and was shaking slightly as she sat huddled in the passenger seat. “Liz, whatever happens I’m with you okay? Max is a lucky guy he got the best girl ever and this just makes him even more lucky,” Kyle said trying his best to make this as okay as he could. He was very afraid she was going make herself sick. He pulled her close and Liz buried her face in his shoulder as he hugged her.

Liz hugged Kyle back and let his shirt soak up her tears for a minute before she pulled back and flipped down the visor. Looking into the vanity mirror she wiped her face and made what repairs she could. Finally she took a deep breath and got out.

Kyle trailed after her as they walked across the parking lot. He watched Liz rub her palms down the sides of her jeans as they reached the group.

“Liz hey! They’re ready to go we where just waiting for you,” Alex said smiling at her brightly.

“That’s…good. I just…I have to talk to Max for a second,” Liz said and moved toward Max.

As she approached Max turned and smiled at her. She gave him a shaky smile in return coming to a stop in front of him.

Isabel glanced between them. “I’ll just go say goodbye to Michael,” Isabel said and moved away.

Max studied Liz for a moment becoming more convinced that something was going on. She wasn’t meeting his eyes and it looked like she had been crying. “Liz?” Max asked softly.

Liz looked up into his eyes and was helpless to control the tears that flooded hers. She stepped forward into his arms and wrapped arms around him tightly not saying anything.

Max’s forehead wrinkled in concern but he held his silence just stroking her hair gently. They stayed that way for long moments until Michael interrupted.

“Come on Max let’s go! We don’t want to miss our flight. Liz will be here when you get back,” Michael yelled impatiently. He grunted as Maria’s elbow jabbed him in the side.

Max didn’t acknowledge him at all. “Liz what is it? What’s wrong?” Max asked pulling back to look into her eyes.

Liz froze still unsure of the right thing to do. “I just…Um..” Liz said feeling her throat close tightly forcing her to a stop.

Max thought that maybe she was having second thoughts about him leaving. He could feel her fear and concern clearly. “Liz don’t worry about me okay? I’ll be back before you know it,” Max said and tucked her hair behind her ear.

“COME ON MAXWELL! Move your ass!” Michael shouted feed up. The last thing he wanted was to watch a prolonged Max and Liz love fest.

“Shut the fuck up Michael,” Kyle said getting pissed.

“What the hell? We’re going to miss the plane and you’re yelling at me?” Michael replied. What the fuck?

Liz wiped her cheeks and forged ahead. “Max, I have something to tell you….” Liz started.

“Maxwell, I’m not letting you screw up our chance to learn more just because Liz has a case of separation anxiety. Now LET”S GO!” Michael yelled. What was it with these two anyway?

“Michael, one more word and I’m going to kill you,” Kyle said shoving him. Fucking asshole.

Liz looked back at the group and saw Kyle and Michael squaring off. “Max, when you come back we need to talk. Just go and take care of yourself okay?” Liz said looking into Max’s eyes.

“Okay. I’ll call you,” Max said then hesitated. “Liz, if you need me to come home just call me. I’ll be on the next plane,” Max said serious. He would talk to her on the phone tonight and maybe she would tell him whatever she wanted to tell him. A glance at Michael showed him looking ready to blast Kyle.

“Okay. I love you Max,” Liz said and leaned up to kiss him lightly.

“I love you too. Talk to you tonight,” Max said and kissed her forehead lightly before jogging down to Michael and pulling him away from Kyle.

Liz stood where he had left her watching as they all piled in the SUV. She watched as they pulled out and gave a wobbly smile as Max waved. Her choice had been made. She looked at Ash who was standing by the Mustang watching her. All her anger drained away and she was left feeling lost and confused and not a little scared.

Kyle walked up taking in her fragile appearance and the lost look in her eyes and held out his hand. He couldn’t just let her stand there like this.

Liz took his hand; he was the one person she didn’t have to pretend with now. “Kyle, I need to go to the book store. I think I better start reading up on babies,” Liz said softly.

“Let’s go then,” Kyle said and tugged on her hand pulling her with him as he turned and walked back to the group.

“Okay let the party begin,” Maria said trying to shake off her own sadness at Michael being gone.

“We should go over to my parents. They’re expecting us,” Isabel said looking at Liz. She looked wrecked.

“I’m ready my stuff is in the Jetta. It’s amazing there was any room left with all the stuff Maria packed in there,” Alex said smiling at Maria.

“You guys go ahead. I um have a couple things I need to do first,” Liz said not looking up.

“We’ll meet you there. We have to go pick up her stuff and then we’ll head over,” Kyle said heading off any protest.


In the car Liz remained utterly silent. Kyle glanced over at her every few minutes. “So you’re having a girl?” Kyle finally asked to break the silence.

Liz snapped out of her daze at Kyle’s question. She thought about that brief contact for the first time since it happened. “Yeah. I guess so,” Liz said softly. Acknowledging that made her daughter real…not just a baby but a little girl who was part of her and Max. She sent a real smile in Kyle’s direction. The first smile all day that reached her eyes. Because despite her fear and all the problems they faced she wanted to meet that little girl.

posted on 17-Oct-2002 2:15:25 PM by Lelea
Chapter Sixty Four

fail_safe


As the week gradually past Isabel watched Liz with increasing attention. At first she had shrugged off Liz’s obvious distress as being worried about Max and missing him but as more time past she grew more concerned. Things had started to go wrong right from the start. A sever weather system had forced Max’s plane to land in Pittsburgh where it was grounded overnight and it wasn’t until late Tuesday that he even reached New York. That threw off the plans revolving around the Summit, as an emissary had to be rescheduled. Liz seemed to take that in stride and Max’s phone calls seem