posted on 25-Jul-2002 9:24:31 PM by LilyFrancesca
Title: Never Meant to Be?
Author : Krys
Disclimer: Don't own them, wish I did. No infring. intended.
Cat. : M/L CC
Rating : PG-13
Summary : This story takes place after the events of S1 and S2 but is believed to be only a coma induced dream of Liz's. Please tell me what you think, 'kay? Thanks! *big*


PART ONE

“Liz, Liz honey, can you hear me?”

Liz slowly came out of the darkness. She thought she heard her mother calling her name.

“Mo...Mom is that you?” she croaked. Licking her lips she tried again, “Mom, are you there?”

Nancy Parker jumped up from her chair. “Liz, oh Liz, your finally awake!” Taking her daughters hand, she rested it against her cheek.

The door opened then and Jeff Parker came into the room. Seeing his wife crying over their daughter, he feared the worst. “Nanc is she, is she,” he stuttered.

“Jeff! Go get the doctor. She’s awake, she’s awake!”

A few minutes later, the doctor took Liz’s parents aside. “She seems to be coming around nicely. She does keep asking about someone named Max and if he’s been to see her.”

The Parkers looked at each other and shrugged. The only people to visit Liz were her boyfriend Kyle and her two best friends Maria and Alex. They didn’t think Liz knew anyone named Max.

“Well,” the doctor said thoughtfully. “There have been instances where coma patients have awoke and told about dreams they would have sworn were real. This is where Max could be coming from. Let’s give here some time to get use to the idea that she was in a coma for the last six weeks.”

###

Maria poked her head around the door to Liz’s room to see if she was awake. She saw her best friend gazing out the window twirling a piece of her hair. Knocking lightly, she walked all the way into the room

“Liz?” she asked as she approached the bed. Maria wasn’t sure what to expect from her. The day before she had come by after school, like she had been doing since Liz went into the hospital and saw the Parkers talking to the doctor. Mrs. Parker had been crying and
Maria had felt her heart sink.

Walking over to them, Nancy suddenly turned and saw Maria. “She’s awake, Maria!” she exclaimed.

Maria ran into Nancy’s outstretched arms and gave her a big hug. Mrs. Parker explained that Liz was a bit confused right now, but she should make a complete recovery.

Maria had been so relived. After watching over her friend for the last six weeks, she was starting to give up hope. Now it seamed a miracle that Liz was conscious and no serious damage had been done.

Liz turned and looked at her best friend. The first thought thru her mind was, Why did Maria cut her hair so short again? She could wait for it to grow back.

“Hi Maria, she replied, “Are you here by yourself?”

‘Yeah, Alex had to do something after school but he wanted me to tell you that he would be by as soon as he could.”

Liz’s mind never made it past the name Alex. She stared at Maria in disbelief. Why would Maria say that Alex would be coming to see her when he had been dead for
months?

###



Liz could believe what she was hearing “What about Max?” she asked. “Why hasn’t he come to see me yet?”

Maria gave Liz a puzzled glance. Since she woke up yesterday, Liz kept asking for someone named Max. Mrs. Parked had asked Maria who this ‘Max’ was but she didn’t have a clue.

“Liz, did they tell about what happened?” she asked warily.

Liz rolled her eyes in disgust. She replied, “Yeah, they told me that I was shot and that I’ve been in a coma for the last six weeks.” Sitting up she demanded, “Now I want you to tell me what really happened.”

Pulling up a chair, Maria sat slowly. Mrs. Parked had told her about the doctor’s theory and how Liz didn’t believe what she had been told. “What do you think happened, Liz?”

“Maria, come on, you were there. I was shot by some maniac and would have died, if Max hadn’t healed me. He saved my life!”

“Max who?”

“Max Evans. You know, tall, dark, not of this world.”

Maria sat back with a sigh. She knew who Max Evans was. He was at the Crashdown the day of the shooting, him and his neanderthal friend Michael Gurien. If she
remembered right, Max and Michael beat feet as soon as the coast was clear.

“Liz, Max was there but as soon as those jerks left, he and his friend ran out. He never came near you.” Maria thought for a second and asked, “What do you mean he healed you?”

Luckily, Liz didn’t have to answer. Her door opened and in walked Alex. Tears welled up in Liz’s eyes and spilled down her cheeks. Alex came over to her and gave Maria a quick glance. Seeing her shrug, he bent and gave Liz a tight hug.

If this is a dream, don’t ever let me wake up, she thought. She couldn’t believe that he was really here. Pulling back, she looked into his beloved face and couldn’t help but smile at his perplexed expression.

Giving him one more quick squeeze, she finally let him go. “I’m so glad to see you feeling better, “ he said.

Liz gazed up at him in wonder. She hadn’t realized how much she missed his voice and his honest face. “I’m fine Alex, really. But if your here then maybe it was dream.”

[ edited 23time(s), last at 24-Aug-2002 12:58:47 PM ]
posted on 26-Jul-2002 8:46:36 AM by LilyFrancesca
Thanx for the feed back! An now part 2..........

Later that night, Liz was again looking out her window at the night sky. She was trying to make sense of everything that happened. She was thrilled to have Alex back, but she knew that her had died.

What about Max? How was she suppose to live without him? He was the first thing she thought about in the morning and the last before she fell asleep at night. Her whole world revolved around him. How could she go back to a time when he wasn’t a part of her life.


Kyle was another problem. He had showed up a few minutes after Alex with a bouquet of flowers and a loving smile on his face. She remembered the way he kept trying to get Alex off the bed so he could be closer to her. Every time Alex went to get up, Liz grabbed his hand and made him stay.

Eventually her mom sent them home so Liz could get some rest. Well she wasn’t tired and she was sick of being in bed. She knew that it would take a few days to get her body up to speed so she could go home, but for now she was restless.

She wanted to see Max and hold him in her arms. She wanted to feel his lips crush hers and have his hands run thru her hair. Just knowing that he was hers, and hers alone, used to make her feel safe. Now she felt like she was adrift in her own life.

Liz repressed the urge to call him, then thought, If I know his number, maybe it wasn’t a dream! Picking up the receiver, she dialed the number she new by heart.

“Hello?” said the husky voice on the on the end. “Hello, is anyone there?”

Slamming down the phone, Liz tried to catch her breathe. Hearing his voice was enough to send her heart racing. It’s the same number! How is it possible that I know it? Maybe there’s hope, yet!

###


Two days later, Liz was allowed to go home. When she walked into her room, she stopped dead. All the mementos of her time with Max were gone. In the frame next to her bed was a picture of her and Kyle, not the one of her and Max.

Slumping onto the bed, Liz hung her head in defeat. No matter how much she hoped coming home would make her feel better, it didn’t. Her room is exactly like it was the day of the shooting.

Abruptly, she remembered her journal. After it went missing, began hiding it and never told anyone where..... Getting up, she moved her makeup table away from the wall. When her grandmother gave it to her she told Liz about the secret drawer that could only
be opened by pushing on three knots at the same time.

Putting her fingers on the correct spots, she pushed lightly and was rewarded by a small click when the catch let loose. Taking a deep breath, she slid the drawer all the way open and saw that the drawer was empty. Getting up, she went to her nightstand and opened
the draw. Her journal was laying on top of some papers. Picking it up, she flipped to the last blank page............


###



“Maria, do you think Liz is okay?” asked Kyle. They were sitting at the counter of the Crashdown sharing plate of fries. “I mean, I know she is physically okay, but what
about...?”

“Mentally?” supplied Maria. She picked up a fry and examined it. “To tell you the truth, I don’t know. Some of the stuff she was saying at the hospital was a bit weird,”

“Yeah. Why did she think Alex was dead? And why didn’t she want me to get close to her. I’m not sure if she didn’t want me near her or she didn’t want to let Alex out of her sight.”

“Did her mom tell you about what the doctor said?’ at his nod she went on, “That could be what’s happening to Liz.”

“Maybe, but I’m not so sure. I was hoping to see her today, but she was sleeping when I went up .” he said glumly. He was getting the distinct feeling that Liz wasn’t interested in him anymore.

“We should give her some more time to get adjust to being home.”

Your probably right,” he said standing up. “Well I off to add more fame to the Valenti name.”

“Don’t get yourself killed, “ she laughed. “I saw some of you competition, and well lets just say that I’ve seen more compassion in a pit bull.”


posted on 27-Jul-2002 8:53:12 PM by LilyFrancesca
PART THREE

Maria finished up her shift and went up to see how Liz was doing. She quietly opened the door and looked to see if she was sleeping. The bed was rumpled, but empty. She saw Liz sitting outside, so she climbed out the window and sat down across from her.

Liz looked up and Maria saw she had been crying. Looking back down at her lap, Liz handed her the journal.

Maria took and looked at the opened page. It was empty. Flipping back one page, she noted the date, the day of the shooting.

“Liz..” she began.

“No! Don’t say anything. I have to face the truth. Me and Max, you and Michael, Alex and Isabel, we were all a dream,” she cried.

“Ah Liz, I’m so sorry.... Wait, did you say me and
Michael? Not that brute Michael Gurien?”

At Liz’s nod, Maria burst out laughing. When she finally caught her breath she apologized, “Sorry, sorry, I’m better now. Michael Gurien, huh? Well it sounds more
like a nightmare than a dream. And Alex with the original Ice Queen? Whoa! Maybe in his dreams.”

“Maria, it was so real. I can’t even begin to tell you how real it felt. Six weeks might have passed here, but there it was close to two years.”

“Wow, two years?” looking up she tapped her chin with her finger, “ Do you have the answers to next weeks English test?”

“Maria! I’m serious. After Max saved me, our lives weren’t the same.”

“You never did tell me how Max saved you, Liz”

“Well, “ Liz replied smiling. She remembered the way Maria reacted the last time she told her and decided to be vague. “All he did was place his hand over the gunshot wound and slowed down the bleeding until the paramedics came."

“That’s exactly what that customer did for you. He said that we had to put pressure on it to stem the flow of blood. What we didn’t know is that the bullet had passed thru you and you were bleeding out your back.”

Realizing Maria was reliving that day in her mind, Liz hurriedly said, “Yeah, that’s probably where I got the idea. You did say that Max was at the Crashdown that day. Maybe I substituted him for the other guy."

But Liz new the truth. The bullet has lodged next to her liver and she would had died if Max hadn’t dissolved it and repaired her damaged flesh.

###

Maria was busting a table a few days later when Liz entered the restaurant, She was wearing her uniform and had just place her antenna on her head.

“What do you think your doing, missy?” Maria asked raising on eyebrow.

“Getting ready for my shift,” Liz replied with a smirk

I thought you were suppose to be resting.”

“I was, but if I stayed in my room for one more minute, my head would have imploded. Dad finally agreed to let me come down and help for a while. If I get tired, I’ll go back up and rest, I promise,” she said raising her right hand.

Maria was skeptical, but she understood how Liz felt. If she had her mother hovering over her every minute, she would lose it, too.


Going behind the counter, Liz began re-filling sugar jars. The bells on the front door rang and she looked up. In walked Isabel Evens in all her frozen glory. Liz had to stop herself from calling out to her. If things were back to they way they were before, Isabel didn’t know she even existed.

Grabbing a pad, Liz walked over to where Isabel had sat. “Hi, can I get you something," she asked.

Brushing her long blond hair over her left shoulder, Isabel looked up at Liz. Every time she saw those stupid uniforms, she wanted to vomit. “No, I’m just meeting someone here.”

“Oh, okay, “ Liz replied. “I’ll just leave a few menus for when your friend gets here.”

By the time Liz had finished speaking, Isabel had dismissed her from her mind, She was pissed that Max had asked her to meet him here, of all places. She hated having to look at all the absurd alien crap surrounding her.

Liz went back behind the counter and proceeded to make a cherry coke. “Did she actually order something?’ Maria asked coming out of the kitchen.

“What? Uh, no," Liz said looking down at the soda in her hand. “But I know she likes cherry coke.”

Maria gave Liz a strange look. How did she know what Isabel Evans liked to drink? She never came in there with her friends, only with her brother and Michael Gurien.

Before she could remark on it, the front door opened again. Liz turned around and froze. Max had just walked in. Liz couldn’t take her eyes off him. He was exactly like she remembered, tall strong and unbelievably handsome. Here was here only reason for living.

Blinking, Liz noticed who’s hand Max was holding. “Tess,” she hissed and the glass she was holding smashed to the floor.

Turning around at the sound of braking glass, Max took in the scene behind him. A waitress had ducked down behind the counter to pick up the mess, while Maria DeLuca looked at her strangely.

Dismissing the incident, he slid into the booth across from his sister. He let go of Tess’ hand at Isabel’s stare, still wondering why she had taken it in the first place.

“Hi Iz, thanks for meeting us,” he said with a grin.

“Why in the world did you pick here to meet? This place gives me the creeps, “ she asked with a shutter.

Max just chuckled, he knew how Isabel disliked coming in here. He turned to Tess and replied, “I wasn’t the one who wanted to talk.”



[ edited 1 time(s), last at 28-Jul-2002 12:15:58 PM ]
posted on 28-Jul-2002 12:25:11 PM by LilyFrancesca
PART FOUR


“Oh my God, “ exclaimed Liz. She bent over and started to pick up the pieces of broken glass. “I didn’t expect to see Tess so soon.”

Squatting down next to her, Maria sopped up the soda with a towel. “Are you okay, Babe?” she asked

“Maria, when did Tess come to town?”

“You mean that girl with Max Evans?”

“Yeah, Tess Harding. Did she move to Roswell while I was in the hospital?”

“She transferred about a month ago. How’d you know her name?”

Looking directly into her friends eyes she whispered, “There is a lot I know about Tess. The worst of it is that she is pure evil.”


“I wanted to talk to you about leaving,” began Tess. “I think we should get out of here before the sheriff starts asking questions again.”

“How many times do I have to tell you, were not leaving. This is the only home we’ve ever known,” Max said angrily.

"Well, it’s apparently not a safe one,” Tess shot back. “I almost didn’t convince the deputy about Frankie.”

“Do you think the sheriff suspects anything?’ Isabel asked, looking over her shoulder.

Tess knew about Isabel’s deep running fear of being caught by the government. If this could get the girl on her side, she would play up the danger.

“Is, the sheriff is not watching us,” Max said trying alleviate her fears. “ Michael was able to convince Deputy Gordon that Frankie attacked Tess without provocation. Luckily, he saw the whole thing.” Michael had told him the real story, but Is didn’t’t need to hear it right now. It was still something he wanted to talk to Tess about.

“What we have to do is act like the normal kids we are. He has nothing to question anyone about, we’re safe.”

Max gave Tess a warning glance, so she shrugged her shoulders, and let the subject drop. She would go after Michael and get him on her side before trying to convince these two to go along with her plan. There was still plenty of time to win them over.
###


“Alex, I think that there might be something to Liz’s dream,” Maria said over the phone. “I mean, how do you explain her knowing about that Harding chick?”

Alex took a sip of his coke and replied, “I think your jumping to conclusions, Maria. Maybe we talked about Tess while Liz was in the coma. She could have pick up
on her then.”

“How did she know it was her when she walked into the cafe? She also knows where Tess lives, explain that. Alex, you weren’t there. The look on her face when she
told me that Tess was evil, was chilling, it freaked me out.”

“Why don’t we take her out tomorrow,” he suggested. “We could help her get things straight in her head and I bet she needs to get away from her parents for awhile.”

“Good idea, I call her.” she agreed. “Do you think we should ask Kyle to come? Liz has been blowing him off since she got home.”

“Do your really want to spend the night with Kyle?” he asked sarcastically. At Maria’s snort, he laughed, “I didn’t think so. He’s a big boy, he’ll get over it.”


###

The three friends were walking down the street the next night, when Liz pointed to a nearby bench. After taking a seat, she turned to them and said, “Guys, I appreciate
what your trying to do and I love you for it, but it won’t change the way I feel.

“A month and a half may have passed for you, but over eighteen months has passed for me. I’m not the same person I was before I got shot.”

“Liz, Maria and I aren’t the same either. Knowing that we almost lost you, made us look at life differently,” Alex replied with a lopsided grin.

“God, seeing you lying there, not moving was, terrifying,” exclaimed Maria. “Believe it or not, all I could think about was myself.”

“Big surprise there,” mumbled Alex.

Maria reached around Liz and smacked him. “Shut up, computer boy,” she teased. “What I meant was, I kept thinking ‘how was I to go on without you?’ You’ve been my best friend since kindergarten. We have so much more to do in out lives before we can call it quits. I was even mad at you for just lying there and not fighting to come out of the coma.”

“It wasn’t that I wanted to be there and not here,” Liz tried to explain, “ it was that I didn’t know there wasn’t here. My life and yours too, went on. I had Max and you guys had Michael and Isabel. I won’t say that everything was total bliss, but to be loved the way Max loved me, made everything worthwhile.”

“Isabel? Isabel Evans?!’ Alex exclaimed . “Me with the original Ice Queen?”

“Yeah, and Maria was with Michael Gurien,” laughed Liz. She knew how much it grossed Maria out when she said that.

“Ugh! Liz how many times have I asked you not to say that. I really would like to keep my dinner where it is, thank you very much,” Maria replied putting a hand over her stomach.

“Liz, what happened to make you wake up,” Alex asked, getting serious again. This was the one question that kept bothering him.
Should I tell them the whole truth? Liz thought. They think that I’m crazy now, what will they think when I go talking about aliens?

Looking up at the starlit sky she decided that they were her friends and they deserved the truth. “Can you come over tomorrow night?” With their agreement, she continued, “I want to tell you everything from the beginning, but it will take a while and this isn’t the place to do it.”

###


On the way back to the Crashdown, Alex and Liz were talking when Alex saw Michael and Tess sitting at a coffee shop down the way. Before Liz saw them, he pointed out a new bass in a window across the street. Pulling her toward it, he avoided what might have been a touchy situation.

“So what do you want?” Michael ask gruffly to the girl sitting across from him . He was pissed that she had come to the trailer he shared with his foster father. Thank God Hank hadn’t been home at the time.

“I wanted to know what you were still doing in this crappie town?” she asked before taking a sip of her coffee.

“What do you care? You come strolling into town and act like we’ve been buddies for years. How do I know your even on the right side?” he demanded.

“What side should I be on?” she asked. “I’m just as scared of the government finding out who I am, like the rest of you.”

“Really? Then why did you go broadcasting your powers for everyone to see? Good thing for you, I recognized what was going on and was able to come up with a story
for the cops.”

“I panicked. I didn’t think Frankie would take things so far. I was the one who thought of hitting him with the board. I would be surprised if her remembers his own
name.”

“Even so, you need to be more careful. Since the crash, the people in this town will try to connect any thing weird with aliens. We don’t need the FBI sniffing around.
Your not the only one who has something to lose.”

Bastard, she thought but said, “That’s why I wanted to talk to you.” She had steered this conversation perfectly. She knew that of the three, Michael was the most eager to leave. All he needed was a push in the right direction.

“I think we need to get Max and Isabel and get out of here. That way, if anyone does come sniffing around, there won’t be anything or anyone to find.”

She could see Michael debating with himself. He was torn between getting away from a horrible home life and the fear of the unknown. He wouldn’t leave without Max
and Isabel, though, he relied on them more than he knew.
Getting up she said, “I think we should go and try to find some answers. Sitting around here hasn’t brought you any so far.”

Michael watched her leave. She was right about finding the answers they needed, but for some reason he knew that leaving Roswell right now wouldn’t supply them.



posted on 29-Jul-2002 12:23:19 PM by LilyFrancesca
Part Five



Maria and Alex were waiting for Liz out on the balcony. They knew that she felt very strongly about what happened to her and they had decided to listen to the whole story before coming to any conclusions. They owed her that much, anyway.

Liz climbed thru the window and put the tray she was carrying down on the table between the chairs. She knew that her story would take a while and she wanted to bring up refreshment now so she wouldn’t be interrupted later.

Sitting down she let out a sigh. She had been going over this in her mind since last night and she had decided to tell them as much and as little as she could. If they asked her questions outright, she wouldn’t lie to them, but she was going to condense as much as
she could.

“I know you think I’ve lost my mind,” She began. Holding up her hand to stall their denials, “If I was in your place, I might react the same way. What I’m about to say might make you think I really have gone over the deep end, but here me out.

With their agreement, she told them what had happened after she got shot. She told them how Max had healed her and how he asked her not to tell anyone what had happened. She explained, with a red face, why Max had risked exposing himself to save her and of his long held love for her.

She went on to tell them what Max, Isabel and Michael were and where they had come from. She briefly told about some of the experiences and danger they all faced by knowing what they were, but in the end it didn’t matter, they shared a bond with these other worldly people and their love was returned.

Maria asked how Tess came into the picture and Liz reluctantly told them that she was also an alien, part of the Royal four sent to earth from Antar, and was Max’s wife in their past life. Explaining how she betrayed them was difficult. She told how Tess tricked Max into sleeping with her and how she got pregnant as part of a plan to bring them back into the hand s of their enemies. It failed and she went off without the rest, to face Kivar,
carrying Max’s son.

With those word, Liz had to take a brake. She still felt Max’s betrayal and every time he had mentioned finding his son, the knife in her heart would twist deeper and deeper.

After a few moments, she answered the question Alex had put to her last night, what happened to make her wake up? Facing the whole issue that Max had a child with someone else, she remembers wishing that things could go back to the way things were before he came into her life. Apparently, she got her wish.

Liz sat back when she was finished, waiting for the questions she new would come.

"Okaaaaaay,” drawled Maria. “So your telling us that these people are...Aliens?” At Liz’s nod she continued, “And we all become involved with them? Why? Do we just go around and play house with these, with these.....?”

“You couldn’t say alien in my dream either,” Liz laughed. “You wanted us to call them Czechoslovakians.”

“Czechoslovakians?” asked Alex. Turning to Maria he asked, “Didn’t we study for a test in History while at the hospital? We were talking about the breakup of the Soviet Union.”

“Yeah, I flunked it with flying colors, “ she replied glumly.

“See Liz, you were taking things you heard in the real world and placing them in your dream,” he explained, glad to have something finally make sense.

“Well, that doesn’t explain how she new about that Harding, chick,” defend Maria.

“I take it you don’t like Tess very much, Maria?” Liz asked innocently.

“You got it, babe. She’s been falling over any guy that has given her a second look and when one of them decided to take her up on her offer, she bashed him over the head.

Don’t get me wrong, Frankie probably pushed her too hard, but he is still in the hospital with a concussion.”

“Okay, you know things about Tess, but what else?” Alex asked, deciding to be the skeptic is this little Q & A session. “What, if anything, will lead us to believe any of this could be true.”

“I can only tell you things to look out for.” Liz replied. She could see Alex’s mind trying to work things out rationally. “Like Tobasco Sauce.”

“What about Tobasco?” Maria asked.

“The four of them have this need to put it on everything. I’ve seen them pour it in soda and onto ice cream.”

“Gross!” shuttered Maria. “It must be soo nasty to kiss them.”

Alex rolled his eyes. Leave it to Maria to think of that! “You said that they have special powers, what kind and for what use?”

“Max, well he can heal almost anything if caught in time,” she said and told them about him healing those kids with cancer in Phoenix. “Michael tends to blow things up, mostly. He was a warrior in his past life and Max’s second in command. Isabel can connect with
people through dreams. All she has to do is focus on a picture of the person she is trying to observe, and then she can enter their dreams. Finally, Tess’ claim to fame is mind warping, I guess you could call it. She can make you see or do things without you knowing it. She is the reason you died, Alex.”

“What did the little wench do?” demanded Maria.

She described how they had found out that Tess had been using Alex to decrypt a book for her and in turn she blew out his mind with her powers. To cover it up, she made his death look a suicide and had put a huge gash in the relationship of the six of them, but at the end, when the truth was revealed, it kept Max, Michael and Isabel here on Earth. Liz still hated Tess for doing that to her friend, even with him sitting in front of her.

They sat in silence for a few minutes until Alex asked, “Is there anything else we can look out for?”

“They try to keep things low key. Max broke a long held promise, by saving my life. Isabel and Michael were pretty mad at him for braking it, but I thank God that he did. Having Max love me, changed my life for the better.” Well, almost.

Alex left shortly after she had finished . He said he needed some time to think things through and he would see them at school tomorrow. When he was gone Liz turned to Maria and asked, “Do you think I’ve lost it?’

“No sweetie, you haven’t lost it, you never had it to begin with,” tease Maria. She ducked the pillow Liz threw at her and went on to say, “I believe you. What your telling me, is a little out there, though.

“Don’t get me wrong, we do live in Roswell, New Mexico, alien capital of the world, so it’s not the weirdest thing I’ve ever heard. It’s just, I’m not sure what to believe. If all you say is true and it happened, there where does that leave us? Do we really exist or are we some figments of someone’s imagination?”

“Good questions, I wish I new the answers, I’m just as confused as you are.”

Standing up, Maria bent and gave Liz a hug. “I’m going to take Alex’s advice and think things over . I just hope I don’t run into the Royal Four, as you call them, on the way home, I might freak or something.”

“I know what you mean, look how I reacted when I saw Max on Friday. I start back to school tomorrow and he is in some of my classes. I don’t know how to behave around him, we shared so much in my dream.”

“You’ll be fine,” Maria assured her. “Just act like he's an alien, or something.”
posted on 30-Jul-2002 12:48:34 PM by LilyFrancesca
Hi everyone! Here is a longer part than usual, I hope you like it.

PART SIX

How am I suppose to ignore Max Evens when everywhere I turn, he’s there, Liz thought dejectedly. It was only third period and she must have seen Max five times already. If she didn’t know better, she would think he was watching her. She was also getting tired of
people asking how she was feeling. The next person to ask is going to get a slap!

“Liz, are you okay?” Kyle whispered in her ear. She jumped, and in doing so, smacked him in the forehead with the back of hers. “Ow, what ya do that for, “ he yelped.

Turning around she apologized, “Oh Kyle, I’m so sorry. You scared me!”

“Well , if you returned some of my phone calls, you would have remembered what my voice sounded like,” he grumbled, rubbing his head.

“I uhm, well that is,” Liz stuttered. “It’s just that I need to get things straight in my head and all. I wasn’t doing it to hurt you or anything.”

“I know that. I’m glad your feeling better,” he said and put his arms around her.

Liz stood stiffly in his embrace. Looking over Kyle’s shoulder see saw Max watching them from the end of the hall. She felt her face redden and she push Kyle away.

Kyle stepped back and held up his hands. “Okay, okay, we’ll take it slow for a while. I think we need to get re-aquatinted before moving on.”

“Kyle, about us, “ she began but was cut off when the bell rang.

Quickly kissing her cheek, he said backing away from her, “I got to get to class. Coach said if I was late for another one, he’d bench me for this week’s game. I’ll call you after practice,” and off he ran.

Sighing, Liz took out what she need for the next few classes, from her locker, and headed in the opposite direction. Bio was next and she was dreading it. This was the first of three class she shared with Max and she wasn’t sure how she was going to make it through them intact.

Last night she had the most erotic dream about him and with every glance she had of him today, brought it to mind. The only way she was able to get back to sleep last night was to take a cold shower.

Walking into the Bio lab she took a seat a one of the lab stations. While she was recovering, she had been able to catch up on most of her school work. The lab
experiments were the only thing she was behind on and she planned to do as many as she could today. Luckily, there was a substitute , so the class was scheduled as a free study.

Taking out her notes and opening her book Liz tried to immerse herself in the work. It only lasted a few minutes, when suddenly she felt him walk in the room and her concentration was shattered. There was no need to see if he was there, the connection was
that strong. Maybe Max has been feeling this too. It would explain why he’s been following me around all morning.

Taking a deep breath, she tried to get control of her feelings. Tucking her hair back behind her ears, she refocused on the experiment before her. She was just finishing up her last diagram when she heard, “Hi Liz.”

Spinning around she sucked in her breath. Standing behind her was Max, tall, beautiful Max. He was wearing that small smile he only gave her and her legs turned to jelly. Putting her hand on the table, she stabilized herself. She looked up into his deep brown eyes and felt her self drift away. Across her mind, she saw every kiss they shared and felt every caress. I took every ounce of will, not to throw herself into his arms. Her fingers
itched to run thru his sable colored hair and feel his body press against hers. She had seen him many times today ,but being this close, almost stopped her heart.

Max looked down at Liz Parker with amazement. He had been there the day she was shot and had tried to go to her, but Michael held him back. In his moment of hesitation, that other guy got to her first and started first aid.

If it hadn’t been for his friend, he might have exposed their secret to the world, right then and there. His ears were still ringing from the lecture Is had given him, when Michael told her what happened. She had asked him why he would put them at risk, and all he could do was say, it was Liz Parker. She demanded to know what the hell that meant and all he did was smile. He was lucky she didn’t punch him too hard or his arm would still be black and blue.

Fortunately, Liz survived the gun shot, with a little help. What no one knew was that he had snuck into the hospital after hours, when her parents had gone to get some coffee, and helped with the blood loss and some of the tissue damage. He couldn’t risk healing her fully, but he did enough to get her out of danger. The coma wasn’t something he had counted on and he was unable to sneak back in, without help, and he already knew how
the others felt about him trying to help in the first place.

“Uh, hi Max.” Liz replied when she could get her brain functioning again. She could feel the blush rising on her cheeks so she quickly turned back to her work.

“Is there anything I can help you with?” he asked softly. “We had a few labs while you were out.”

Not looking up she stammered, “No, no that’s okay, Max.”

“Well, if you get stuck, I be over by the window.”

Nodding, she didn’t trust herself to speak. When he had moved away, she released the breath she didn’t know she held. Blinking her eyes, she held back the tears. Oh Max, how am I going to pretend I don’t love you. Every time I see you , I want you to pull me into your arms and crush your mouth to mine. This is going to be the longest day of my life.

Sighing, she gave herself a shake and turned her thoughts back to her experiments.


###


“Is it me, or had today been dragging?” Maria asked. The three of them were having lunch at there usual table in the quad. Alex was working on some music and grunted his response.

Liz was resting her chin in her hands. Somehow, she made it thru Bio and English and was happy that she only had one more class with Max in it, today. “I’m with you. I thought the days were dragging when I was stuck at home.”

Maria was about to reply, when Michael, Max and Isabel walk outside. She gave Liz a nudge and pointed with her eyes, in their direction. Liz sat up and tried not to stare. Even thought she knew she need to stay away from Max, she couldn’t help looking at him. Her heart ached to call him over and sit with them.

Sensing she was near, Max looked around for Liz. He saw her sitting with her friends across the way and their eyes locked. Today had been agonizing for him. When he saw Kyle hugging Liz, earlier, he almost lost it. He knew, thru the connection he had made when he healed her, that things were not serious between her and Kyle. Liz liked going out with the star of the football team, but it was beginning to get old. Why she was letting him paw her in public, he didn’t know.

“Max? Yo Max?” Michael called. Waving a hand in front of his friend’s face, he finally got Max’s attention.

“What? Oh, you were saying, Michael.” Max replied, refocusing on the conversation they were having.

“I think we should try dialing Tess back a bit. She had the nerve to come to my house this weekend, and kept harping about leaving.”

“Yeah, she talked to us about it too.” Isabel said sitting down at an empty table. She looked over her shoulder to where Max had been staring and saw Liz. I should have guessed. Max didn’t know it, but she was aware of his crush on Liz. Why he would go for some nobody, was beyond her, but oh well. They had other things to worry about.

“You know, maybe she is right. Staying here hasn’t gotten us any answers to where we come from,” Michael continued. He grabbed one of Max’s Twinkes and poured some Tobasco sauce on it. Taking a bite, he grinned in satisfaction.

“Michael, you know that now is not the time to leave. We need to finish school, then we can set out to find answers. Don’t you think our families would come looking for us?” Max reasoned. He wasn’t sure if he believed it or was just making excuses because he didn’t want to know where they came from.

“Speak for your self. The only reason Hank keeps me around is for the monthly check.”

Isabel gave Michael a sympathizing look. She knew how much he hated living with Hank and he was stuck there until he turned eighteen. She tried to have him talk to her father about getting away from him, but Michael told her to keep her nose in her own business. “I think Tess is trying to get away from her father. She told me that he is cold and bosses her around all the time,” she put in. She wasn’t overly fond of Tess, but she did feel a little sorry for her.

“Isn’t that too bad,” Michael spat. “We all have our crosses to bear. “

“Okay, okay I’ll have a talk with her.” Max said, tired of talking about Tess. He still wasn’t sue he could trust her. It was just a little to convenient , they way she showed up and made Michael aware of her powers. Something didn’t sit right with him about the whole situation.


“Breathe Liz, breathe,” Maria said shaking her friend.

Liz let go of Max’s gaze and looked at her friend. “I’m fine, Maria. “

Maria looked skeptical and said, “Thank God there isn’t anything flammable in the quad, or we might have been in some serious trouble. The heat between you two could scald a cat.”

“It was really weird, I couldn’t look away. God, what am I going to do?”

“You could transfer to Alaska,” Alex piped in. The looks that the girls gave him, made him bury his nose back in his song book.

“Great, look who’s coming this way,’ Maria said with a groan. “Sorry to bail on you kid, but I think if I have to hear another football story, I might have to haul off and slap him. See ya.”

Alex also saw Kyle approaching and gathered up his things. “I have to agree, it was a long six weeks.”

“Scared them off, huh?” Kyle asked sitting down next to Liz. “This worked out great. I had been trying to get you alone for a while now.”

“Hi Kyle. I didn’t think I would see you until after school.” Liz said not knowing what to say. She didn’t have the same feelings for Kyle as she did before she was hurt and she knew she had to tell him, but she didn’t want to hurt him.

“Well, I should be with the team, but I, uh, need to talk to you.”

“Kyle, I need to talk to you too. The reason I haven’t call you back is...” She began when he abruptly cut her off.

“Liz, I know you have been avoiding me and I understand why,” he said running his hand thru his hair. He hated that he had to do this to her so soon after getting out of the hospital, but he couldn’t change the way he felt. “I know that I haven’t been the greatest
boyfriend, and I know that your parents must have told you that I wasn’t at the hospital everyday. The thing is, I knew things weren’t going to work with us before you got hurt. I just didn’t know how to tell you and then you got shot and things got scary.”

“Kyle, wait a minute, slow down,” she said placing her hand on his arm. Her heart was beating a mile a minute. Is he trying to break up with me? she thought in jubilation. “Are you telling me that you want to break up?”

“Liz, I’m so sorry to throw this at you, with you just coming back to school and everything, but I need to focus on football and well, your kind of a distraction I don’t need right now.”

Liz tried to hold back her giggle, but it slipped from her mouth. Seeing Kyle’s confused expression, she burst out laughing. She had been so worried about hurting him, she never thought that he might want to break up with her. She was so relived, she hugged him.

“Liz, I don’t think there is anything to be laughing about,” he said over her shoulder. He had figured that if he told Liz that he didn’t want to date her, out here in the open, she might not cause a scene and now she was laughing at him!

“Kyle, I’m not laughing at that,” she said pulling back from him. “It’s that, I knew we weren’t right for each other and I didn’t know how to tell you. With everything that has happened, I wasn’t sure how you were going to take it.”

“You want to break up with me, “ he said, astonished. That had never crossed his mind.

“Now that we understand each other, it will be okay, don’t you think?”

“If you say so.” Getting up, he asked, “So your really okay about this?”

“I’ll be fine. You go win some more glory for West Roswell High.”

Shaking his head in wonder, he walked away from her. Across the quad, Max had watched the whole exchange with a sinking heart. Seeing Liz laughing and hugging Kyle, he thought he had read her wrong. Maybe she liked being the star athlete’s girlfriend and that she really loved Kyle. If that was so, what the hell was he going to do.


###


“So he wanted to break up with you?” Maria laughed after Liz told her what happened after she left this afternoon.

“Yup, he tried to let me down easy and I laughed in his face. Poor Kyle, he thought he was doing right by me and I go and crack up on him.” The girls were sitting in Maria’sroom. Liz was painting her toe nails a bright pick while Maria was looking thru some CDs.

“Oooo now I wished I had stayed. I would have love to see his face.”

“Well, I’m glad that it is finally over. I now can try and figure out if what I believe about Max and the others is true.”

“Is that something you really want to know? If it is such a big secret, don’t you think they might try and stop anyone from finding out?”

“I have to know, Maria. If it isn’t well, I haven’t hurt anyone, but if it’s true, Max must be having a hard time dealing with it. I know that it was a heavy burden for him, to be in charge and all.”

“He was the king, huh? God, I can’t even begin to imagine what I would do if I had some special powers. I know a few people I would like to zap, given the chance.”

“It bothered him, knowing that he was responsible for three other people. He took it seriously and it got to him sometimes.”

“Do you hear yourself. You talk like these things have already happened. Liz, were not sure they are what you say they are. Let’s find out if your right before getting all weepy eyed, okay?”

Liz stuck her tongue out at her. She knew that Max needed her, now she had to convince him of that.




[ edited 1 time(s), last at 30-Jul-2002 12:49:06 PM ]
posted on 31-Jul-2002 10:36:43 AM by LilyFrancesca
PART SIX


“Maria, where are we going?” asked Liz. After school let out, Maria had told her to be ready to go out a seven, she would be picking her up.

“It’s a surprise, “ Maria replied with a grin. She looked over at her friend and laughed. “Liz, if you keep scowling like that , your going to get wrinkles before your time.”

“You could stop that from happening if you would just tell me where we are going!”

“Okay, okay!” she said giving in. “You know how my mother is into the New Age thing? Well, she found out about this lady who claims she can reset a person’s life tract. You know, put them back on the right path.”

“Come on, Maria! You really don’t believe in that stuff, do you?”

“Not too much, but hey, you never know and I thought you could use a little distraction.”

She’s right, I have been a little out of focus, lately, Liz thought. I need to take my mind of the whole Max situation. “Sure, why not!” she exclaimed getting into a new frame of mind.

“That’s the spirit. Madame Vivian here we come!”

They drove for few minutes when a motorcycle came up behind them. “Check out the easy rider,” Maria said looking in the rear-view mirror. “He’s right on my ass.”

Looking out the back window, Liz could see that this guy wanted to get by in a hurry. “Let him go by, before he does something stupid.”

Maria stuck her arm out the window and waved him by. After he had passed, a coyote darts out of the scrub right in front of him. Swerving sharply, the bike and it’s rider crash to their side and slide across the pavement into a ditch.

Maria slams on the brakes and the Jetta comes to a halt. “O my God, Liz did you see that!” she screams

Liz was already on her way down the hill and didn’t answer. When she got to the bottom, she stopped dead. Lying at her feet was Michael Gurien and he was moaning in pain. She knelt next to him and asked, “Michael, Michael can you hear me?”

Maria came skidding down the incline and exclaimed, “O M G did you see his leg?”

Liz looked to where Maria was pointing and grimaced. Michael’s leg was bent the wrong way and there was a shiny , blood covered bone sticking thru his jeans.

“We have to call and ambulance and get him some help.”

Liz agreed until she thought, But what if he is really an alien? But what if he’s not and we wait to long to get him help? she debated with herself. If we don’t get him any kind of help, he’s going bleed to death.

Not wanting to take the chance that she was right, she said to Maria, “You have to go get Max. He’s the only one who can help Michael.”

“Liz are you crazy? He needs to get to the hospital, like right now.”

“Maria,” she said standing and pulling her a few steps back, “you have to trust me on this. We need Max right now!”

“Max, get Max,” Michael whispered. The girls turned and saw Michael pleading with them thru pain filled eyes.

“Maria please,” begged Liz. Michael just proved what she thought was true. “you need to get him.”

“And where am I suppose to find him?” She asked getting really freaked.

Liz thought for a second and remembered that he now would be working at the UFO Museum. “He’s at work, the UFO Center.”

Looking back at Michael, she made up her mind, “I hope your right about this, God I hope your right” she said and hurried up the hill to her car.

Liz turned back to Michael, knowing that once Maria set her mind on something, nothing was going to change it. She knelt back down and said, “Don’t worry Michael, she’ll bring him back and you’ll be okay. Max will take care of everything.”

Michael looked up at Liz in distrust. Even through the pain he knew that it was impossible for Liz to know about him or Max, but somehow she did. Before he could
ponder it fully, the pain intensified and he blacked out.

Maria didn’t remember much of the drive back to Roswell. All she could think of was getting to Max in time and hoping Liz was right. She screeched to a halt in front of the UFO Center and threw open her door. Jumping out, she ran into the museum and called out, “Max! Max are you here?!”

Max was dusting the alien autopsy display, when he heard his named being shouted from the front entrance. “Max where the hell are you!” he heard and turned cold.

Running to the stairs he looked up and saw Maria DeLuca standing there. Something has happened to Liz, was his first thought but then he wondered, If that was true, why would Maria come looking for him. Oh no, it’s got to be Isabel or Michael!

Maria spied Max coming toward her and she exclaimed in relief, “Thank God your here! You got to come with me, Max. Michael’s had an accident.”

“Michael? Where?” he yelped, dashing up the stair.

Grabbing his arm, she explained while pulling him out the door. “He dumped his bike trying to miss a coyote out on route 252 and bust up his leg pretty bad. Liz sent me to get you. She said you were the only one who could help him.”

“How would Liz know....”

“Listen,” she screamed, “we don’t have time for this, get in the dam car!”

Max had just got his door closed when Maria took off. Not wanting to distract her while she drove, he kept silent. He still didn’t know how Liz new to send Maria for him, but if Michael was as bad as they said, it was a good thing she did.



Liz looked at her watch for the hundredth time. She knew that it would take about ten minutes for Maria to get back to town. She prayed that Max was working and Maria didn’t have to search for him. If he was there, it should be another five to ten minutes before they could make it back here.

Since Michael passed out, she tried to make him more comfortable. She had taken her coat off and laid it over him. She knew that if she tried to move him, she might do more damage than good. He had begun to shake and she knew that he was going into shock. Looking at her watch she prayed harder.

“How did you know to get Max?” a voice said, starling her. She looked down and saw that Michael was staring up at her .

“It’s a long story and I think we should wait until you feeling better before I tell you,” she said evasively. She knew how pissed Michael was when he found out that Max had told her their secret and she knew he wouldn’t take it better this time ‘round. He had more things to worry about at the moment.

“Who do you work for?” he asked trying to sit up.

“No! don’t move. You don’t know if you hurt you back when you were thrown from the motorcycle. You need to stay still until Max gets here.”

“You didn’t answer my question. How did you know to get Max?”

“Listen, your in no position to be asking questions. Just lie still and wait for Max.”

“She might not be able to find him in time, and you know it. I want some answers and I want them now,” he demanded but then started to cough. Liz saw blood run from the corner of his mouth and gasped. He must have punctured a lung. That could mean he has broken ribs to go along with his leg. Oh Max where are you!



“Are you sure you know where they are?” Max asked watching the sun slip behind the mountains.

“Yeah, it was near mile marker number 69. We should be almost there,” Maria replied angrily. She was getting scarred that she might have driven right passed the ditch and not realized it.

“There!” Max said pointing to the skid marks on the road. Maria pulled over and cut the engine. Max got out and called Michael’s name.

“We’re down here,” Liz called starting to cry. She had been so afraid that they wouldn’t get here in time.

Max came running down the hill towards them. He could see that Michael was not doing to good. Kneeling next to him he asked, “How ya doing, Michael?”

“What do you think? It hurts like hell!” he snapped. He was never so glad to see Max in his whole life.

“Take it easy, I fix you up in no time,” He replied. He was about to place his hand on Michael’s chest, when Michael grabbed his hand.

“Not in front of them.” he whispered.

“Michael, I don’t think we have a choice. When your up and walking around in a few minutes, they are going to wonder what happened. I think Liz might already know, how I’m not sure, but she did send Maria to come get me. If they had called an ambulance, we would be in serious trouble.”

“I know, but make them go back to the car. The less they know the better.”

Okay,” turning his head he said, “I’ll take it from here, why don’t you to go and wait by the car?”

“Max, do you need me to help or something?” Liz asked taking step toward them.

“No, just go wait by the car, I’ll be fine.”

Liz locked her gaze with Max’s and saw him pleading with her to do as he asked. She grabbed Maria’s hand and dragged her up the hill behind her. For once, Maria had nothing to say and followed like a lost lamb.

When the girls were out of sight, Max opened Michael’s coat and placed his hand on his chest. Taking a deep breath, he dove into Michael’s energy flow and looked around. He knew that Michael’s normal aura was a brick red, so he looked for drastic changes in color, to tell him where the problems were. He followed the flow to his lungs and saw that one of his ribs had punctured it. Focusing on making it whole he watched as the bone backed out of the hole it made and saw the lung repairing itself. He next focused on repairing the shattered rib. When that was done, he followed the flow to his leg and repaired the damage. Taking one last look around, he saw that luckily, nothing else was hurt. Grabbing onto his own energy flow, he jumped back into his body.

“Do you hurt anywhere else?” he asked releasing the breath he had taken.

Sitting up, Michael rubbed the back of his head. “Naw, I think you got everything.”

“It was a good thing the girls saw you take that spill. If it wasn’t for them, you might be dead right now.”

“I guess your right, but that doesn’t explain how Liz knew to get you and not an ambulance.”

“I know. What are we going to tell them?”

“You got me. Is there any way we can erase this from their memories?” Michael asked hopefully. He new the answer, but you never knew what Max might come up with in a pinch.

“You know we can’t do that. Maybe Tess could, but she’s not here. I think we need to tell them the truth. Liz knows part of it anyway.”

“Isabel isn’t going to like this. She’ll understand why we had to do it, but she’s still going to freak.”

“That’s the understatement of the year,” mumbled

###
Liz was leaning against the car trying to catch her breath while Maria sat on the hood in a daze. Neither girl was sure they really wanted to know what was going on behind them in the ditch.

Suddenly Maria slid down and said, “Let’s go! Let’s get out here now, before they come back.”

“Maria, we can’t abandon them miles from town,” Liz replied, understanding how she felt.

“I don’t care, I can’t take this. I thought I could handle it, when you told us about your dream, but now that it’s real, I can’t, Liz. I want to get away from them NOW.”

Walking over to her friend, Liz grabbed her by the shoulders. “Maria, it’s okay. They won’t hurt us, trust me.”

“How--how do you know? Your relying on a dream you had while in a coma. You don’t know anything about these....these I can’t even bring myself to say the word.”

“You are going to have to trust me. They are just as scared of having us know what they are as we are of knowing. Please,” she implored, “you know I wouldn’t do anything to hurt you.” God, tell me I’m right about this!

Liz heard Maria gasp and knew that they were no longer alone. She slowly turned and saw Max helping Michael up onto the road, and felt a calmness settle over her. Never taking her eyes off Max, she asked, “Michael, are you okay?”

“Yeah, I’ll be fine,” he replied. He still wished none of this had happened, but it did and he now needed to do a little damage control. “You two are going to keep your mouths shut about this, right?”

“Who the hell would believe us if we did?” barked Maria. Here they were risking their lives to save his, and he talks to them like this!

“Good we understand each other.”

“So much for gratitude. If it wasn’t for us, you would be still down in that ditch. You should be thanking us for helping, you ungrateful idiot.”

Max put his hand on Michael’s arm to stop his reply. Things were getting out of control and he need some answers before they could move on. “Leave it alone, Michael.” he said softly. He knew how Maria got when she was riled up. Now was not the time for a shouting match.

Liz was watching the exchange with a slight smile. She was use to listening to the two of them fight and this was mild compared to what she had seen. Some things never change, she thought. There I go again, thinking in the past tense. Here they don’t even like each other, never mind being in love.

Max saw the smile on Liz’s face and couldn’t help the matching one on his. Michael had definitely found a match in Maria and he knew it. No wonder he so defensive. “Liz, can I talk to you a second?” he asked.

With a nod, she walked to the back of the Jetta where the air wasn’t so electrified and leaned against the trunk. Max joined her, but his mouth suddenly went dry. For years he had dreamed how he would tell Liz about who and what he was and now he had the chance and his mind was a total blank.

Liz could feel Max’s fear and she readily understood it. For the last ten years he and Isabel and Michael had lived in fear that someone would find out their secret and expose them. Now out of no where, some one knew and he was unsure of their reaction. “Max, you don’t have to worry about Maria and me, we won’t say a word to anyone.” she said trying to reassure him.

“I didn’t think I would,” he said his voice husky.

Liz felt a shiver go up her spine. Could this be really happening, again? “I bet your wondering how I know about ,” she waved her hand, “all this.”

“The thought did cross my mind.”

“I know your not going to believe this, but I had a dream about it.”

Max was caught of guard by that. He had thought maybe one of them had slipped and Liz saw something she shouldn’t have. “A dream?”

“While I was in the coma. In my dream, you healed the gunshot wound and saved my life. After that, you and I got..... close.”

“So, when you saw that it was Michael who was hurt, you took a chance that your dream might be true?”

“I, um, ah,” she stuttered, not knowing what to say. How could she explain that her heart knew it was the right thing to do.

“No, that’s okay. You did the right thing. If he went to the hospital, we would have been unveiled. You saved all of our lives, thank you”

Liz looked into his eyes and felt herself falling into them. Even without touching, she could feel his fear of exposure and his uncertainty of her reaction to what he was. She knew that he was scared she would reject him because of what he was and for the threats he could place in her life.

Placing her hand tentatively on his arm, she willed him to know how she felt when she said, “Max, I don’t care what you are. I knew that you would never intentionally hurt me or my friends. I believe that a person should be judged by their actions and not what they think they are.”

Max looked at Liz in shock. In his wildest dreams, he never expected Liz Parker would not only except what he was, but she knew that he wouldn’t hurt her. He couldn’t believe it!

“Max? Max are you okay?” she asked with some trepidation. Her heart knew how he felt, but her head had some doubts.

“Yeah, I’m great.” he replied giving her that smile. Liz’s heart started beating faster and a blush rose to her cheeks.

“Liz,” Maria called braking the spell, “can we get out of here?”

Max looked over his left shoulder at Maria and saw that her and Michael were still staring daggers at each other. Turning back to Liz he said, “We better break them up before they start up again.”

Liz agreed, but before Max could turn away she said, “I know you still have questions and if you want, you could call me or come over and we can discuss it.”

“Okay. I’ll call you after I get Michael home.”

She smiled and went over to Maria. “Ready?” she asked.

“Its about time,” she whispered back. “He kept staring at me, it gave me the creeps.”

“Do you guys need a ride?” Liz asked looking toward Michael’s bike. He walked over to it and waved his hand above it. “No, we’re all set.”

Getting into the car, Liz looked back at Max and smiled. She new she had some explaining to do, but she was looking forward to it. Any time spent with Max was
defiantly worth it.

“So much for Madame Vivian” Maria sighed.

“Look at the bright side, I’m not losing my mind.” answered Liz.

“Maybe not, but I’m not too sure about me.” and they drove away.

posted on 1-Aug-2002 8:59:42 AM by LilyFrancesca
PART SEVEN


“So your telling me, she had a dream?” Isabel asked in disbelief. When Max had called her and told her to meet him and Michael at home, she had been frightened. After hearing what took place out on the highway, she was blown away.

“I don’t know all the details, but yeah, she did.” Max replied a bit sheepishly.

“What are you not telling me, Max?” Is always knew when he was holding something back.

Running his hand thru his hair, he confessed, “It might be true. I know you didn’t want me to help her but, later on that night, I went to the hospital. I didn’t do anything big, but I gave her recovery a slight push.”

“A push? Max what the hell were you thinking? We had a deal, tell no one” Isabel’s voice rose higher and higher with each word.

“ I never said a word too her, I just laid my hands on her wound.” he said defensively.

“That could be the reason she dreamed about us.” Michael put in.

“See, even Michael agrees with me. Max, you have put us in danger. Liz is bad enough, but now that Maria DeLuca knows and what about Alex Whitman. The three of them are joined at the hip. Your desire to help Liz Parker has jeopardized our freedom.”

“Is, calm down.” he said placing his hand on her arm. He knew she was scared, but he knew things would be okay. “Liz and the others won’t say anything. Like Maria said, ‘who would believe us if we did’, and she’s right. They know what would happen to them if they started talking about aliens. They wouldn’t risk becoming out-casts.”

Throwing her hands in the air she said in exasperation, “You better hope so. You got us into this, Max and you damn well better make sure it doesn’t get out of control.”

“I have a thought,” Michael inserted. “Why not have Tess mind warp them or what ever you call that thing she does. Then we won’t have anything to worry about.” . He had been thinking about this, since the accident.

“No!” shouted Max. “You will not even suggest it to Tess. I still don’t trust her and I don’t want her screwing with peoples minds.”

“It is a good idea,” Isabel said thoughtfully. “It would solve all our problems.”

“Is, would you want someone to mess around with your brain?”

“I guess not, but this is important . It could be life or death for us.”

“Let me talk to Liz and find out how much she knows before we do anything rash. After that, we can decide what our options are.”

Isabel gave her brother a doubtful look, but nodded her head. In the mean time, she would take a walk through the three humans dreams and see what she could see.


###

Lying down on her bed, Isabel place her hand on the yearbook photo of Liz . Looking at the time, she figured that little miss perfect would be tucked away for the night. Letting her mind drift, Isabel watched as she flew over Roswell, to the apartment above the Crashdown Cafe'.

Liz was wandering thru a house of mirrors, looking for Max. She knew that he was in danger and she had to find him. Suddenly, she saw him thru a glass wall. She placed her hand on it and he did the same. Behind him, two men in dark suits came up and grabbed him. Screaming, Liz tried to brake the glass with her bare hands.

“Leave him alone!” she screamed. “He’s not who you want. Tess, Tess is the one you want!”

At the sound of her name, Tess appeared. “You have know idea the kind of danger you’ve placed him in. If it wasn’t for you, he would love me!”

“He could never love you the way he loves me,” she spat back. “You only want him so you can kill him. I will never let you have him.”

Tess reached out to slap Liz, when a green glow surrounded her. Laughing at the stunned expression on her face, Liz asked, “Is there a problem, Tess? Apparently, your not the only one with powers, now. Take your sorry ass back to Kivar, where you belong.”

“He might not love me, you bitch, but I am the one carrying his child! That’s something you can never take away from me.”

“Nooooooooooooooooo!”



Isabel watched, enthralled. She never thought that Liz could act this way. In all the time she knew her, Liz was the peacemaker, not this she-cat, in front of her.


Tess disappeared as quickly as she had come, and Liz was now laying on her bed, crying. In her hand was a picture of Alex, and she knew that no matter what she did, he was never coming back. “Oh Alex! If it wasn’t for me, you would still be alive. I wish Max never saved me. If I knew that knowing him would lead to your death, I would have never, never have loved him. I think the only one who misses you more than me, is Isabel, but she won’t talk to me about it.”


Looking up, Liz saw Isabel there. “What are you doing here?”



Not knowing what to do, Isabel began backing out of the room. She had never had anyone recognize her during one of her walks. She turned to go when she heard Liz pleading with her.

“Isabel, please don’t go. You have to understand, I never asked to fall in love with your brother. We had no control over it, it was meant to be, I know that now. Please, don’t go too hard on him, this time. He would never do anything to put you or Michael in harms
way.”



Turning to look at Liz, Isabel felt close to tears. She could feel the regret radiating from Liz. All her doubts about her, vanished. Isabel had been in many dreams and this was the first time she knew what she was seeing, was not the wish of the dreamed, but the truth.
Smiling, she nodded her head and brought herself back to her room.


Opening her eyes, she let out a sigh. Liz wasn’t the threat she had thought. In fact, she loved her brother more that he secretly loved her, if that was possible. She could only hope that this wasn’t the beginning of the end. What was that thing with Alex? she thought. He was not someone she was friends with, so why would she morn him more than one of his best friends? Maybe a quick visit, to see what was going on behind the silly mask that he showed the world, would reveal some surprises.


###

Liz was sitting on her bed with the phone in her lap. It’s ringing, brought her out of the dream. “Hello?” she asked groggily.

“Liz, it’s Max.”

“Max?”

“Are you okay?” he asked with concern.

“No, I mean, yes, I’m fine,” she replied rubbing her eyes. She remembered Isabel and asked, “Did you tell your sister about what happened?”

“Yeah. She was upset, but she is happy that Michael is okay,” he said, understating her reaction.

“What you mean is, that she is pissed and blames everything on me.”

“How....?”

“Let’s just say, I remember how she took it the last time.”

“About that, how did you know to get me, today? I know you said it was a dream, but...” he trailed off.

Before I answer, could you tell me something, first?” She had a thought on the way back home and she wanted to know if her hunch was right.

“Sure, what is it?”

“I know you didn’t come near me at the Crashdown, but did you come see me in the hospital?”

“I, uh, ya I did. I snuck in later that night while your parents were getting something to eat. How’d you know?”

“I knew it!” she exclaimed. “That would explain the connection we share. When you healed me, my subconscious had to come up with a way to explain it, hence my dream. I’m not crazy.”

“Liz, some of your dream is true,” he said hesitantly. He hated to burst her bubble.

Smiling, Liz could hear the fear in his voice. He was waiting for her to reject him because what he was. “If you think for one instant, that I am repelled by what you are, your sadly mistaken. I spent 18 months with you and there is nothing you could tell me that would make me turn from you.” So there, she thought. Talk yourself out of that!


Max was taken aback. Liz had just told him that she would never be frightened by who and what he was and he didn’t know what to say. He had lived in fear for so many years and now having some one beside Michael and Isabel to confide in, was glorious.

Before he could respond, she asked, “Max, could you come over? My parents are gone to visit my Grandmother and won’t be back until tomorrow. There is so much I want to tell you and I want to see your face when I do.”

Looking at his watch, he saw that it was a few minutes before ten. “Okay. I’ll be over in a few.”

“Great. Come around back and climb up the ladder. I’ll be waiting for you,” she said and hung up the phone. Jumping off the bed, she rushed to the mirror and tried to fix her rumpled hair. Letting out a laugh, she thought, It doesn’t matter. He’s seen me in a hospital gown, for goodness sake.


###

Max grabbed his coat and walked downstairs. His parents weren’t home from the office yet, so he grabbed his keys and went out to the jeep. Jumping in, he started it up and drove away. A few seconds later, a small silver car pulled out behind him.


It took a few minutes to get to the Crashdown. He parked in the ally and walked over to the ladder. Taking a deep breath, he climbed to the top. She was waiting for him, with a warm smile and a calming presence. He jumped down from the wall and walked toward her.

Liz couldn’t help herself, and threw herself into his arms. He was surprised, but somehow, it felt right. She was the perfect height for him to rest his chin in the crown of
her head and her cheek felt warm against his chest.

They stood like that for a few minutes before coming apart. She led him over to one of the chairs and they sat.

Unknowingly, they were being watched by a pair of raged filled eyes. Tess had followed Max, wondering where he would be going, this time of night. When he pulled behind the cafe, she knew he was going to meet her.

She had climbed silently up behind him and had seen the tramp throw herself into his arms. Why he let her get away with it, she couldn’t fathom. When she had taken his hand last week, he thought she was too forward, and now this slut was hanging all over him. Afraid she would do something rash, she climbed back down and went to the car.

Tess looked up at the sky and realized, that if she didn’t hurry, she would be late. Getting in, she vowed to get even with that bitch on the balcony, one way or the other.

###

Max stared into Liz’s eyes for what felt like years. The love that shone there, was overwhelming. He reached out and placed his hand on her cheek.


Liz leaned into his caress and smiled. Suddenly, flashed pasted through her mind: Max watching her at work and at school. She could feel his terror when she was shot
and his relief when he had healed her. What surprised her the most was the rage he had when he saw her and Kyle together.

She moved his hand and broke contact. Placing his hand in hers, she sent her love back along their bond. She smiled slightly at the surprised expression that came to his face. She knew how he felt, the first time she had the flashed, she had been blown away. She squeezed his hand in reassurance.

Max was unprepared for the blunt emotion that came to him from Liz. He was relieved to know that he had been correct about Liz’ feelings for Kyle, in fact, they had broken up! He saw a glimpse of what she had gone thru during her dream and came to understand how she could accept him for what he was. They had shared so much and had been the sole support for each other, they were like one spirit with two bodies.

“Soul mates, my Grandmother would call us,” she said braking the silence.

“How could that be possible?” he asked, unbelieving. “We aren’t even the same species.”

“Since when had the universe made sense?” she laughed. “In theory, humans shouldn’t even exist, the dinosaurs should be ruling the earth. I believe that cetain things happen for a reason and we have to make the most of what we are given.”

“If that’s true, than it’s destiny that we are together,” he said with a grin.

“Please!” she exclaimed, “don’t use that word. Some of the most miserable times of my life came from hearing that word. I said that we need to make use of what we have, not sit back and let some all knowing, all seeing entity decide my life.”

Max could see the spark of defiance in her eyes and believed her. She wasn’t the type of person to sit back and let others direct her future. She was going to grab on with both hands and decide where she was going in life.

“Okay, not destiny, but very good luck,” he laughed.

She joined him and replied, “I can live with luck. I have to say, having you in my life has been nothing but lucky.”

He sobered and asked, “Liz, tell me what happened to you in the coma. I have a feeling you might know more about us, than we do.”

“A lot of my story might be just that, a story, something my subconscious made up, “ she said, regretfully. All she knew for certain was that Max and the others weren’t local and he could heal with a touch.

“Let me be the judge of that,” he said reassuringly. “Start at the beginning.”

So Liz repeated her tale. She gave him a more detailed version than the one she gave Alex and Maria. He stopped her a few time to clarify one thing or another, then let her continue. She was totally exhausted by the time she was finished.

“Do you think you could remember where the pd chamber is located?” he asked after a few minutes. If the place really existed, it would prove to him that some of her story could be true.

“Yeah, I don’t think I could ever forget. It was the place where I first lost you and where in the end I got you back,” she replied, with a tired smile.

He returned it. She had left nothing out, and his and Tess’ betrayal was still a deep wound on her soul. He never thought of having a child, but it warmed his heart to know that it was at least possible.

“Do you think Tess could be plotting against you?” she asked, sitting up suddenly. She would not give Tess a chance to get her hooks into him, this time.

“I’m not sure. Ever since she came into town, I felt that she had some kind of agenda,” he said, looking down at hi hands. “We never let anyone in before, and she is kind of forcing the issue of her relationship with us. Also, she keeps saying we need to leave, so we can find out where we come from.”

“Well, if Nesadeo is here with her, she know already. She might have been brought up with the full knowledge of her heritage and he could have been teaching her how to use her powers to their full strength. Be careful around her.”

“You could be right. Isabel had been to her house, but hasn’t met her family. I’ll tell her to be more careful.”

“What are you going to tell the others?” she asked softly. Before, they had been forced to work together, to protect them from the sheriff, and had become friends. Now she wasn’t sure how they were suppose to react around one another..

“I have to tell them the truth. It’s their lives, too,” he said adamantly. “Michael has been searching for answers his whole life and now I might have some, hopefully, to give him. Knowing him, he will come here and demand that you take him there.”

“That’s what I’m afraid of. It took him a long time to trust me and things were very uncomfortable for a while,” she replied shaking her head. She didn’t look forward to going thru that again. “And Maria. She was the best thing to ever happen to him. She was the reason he was staying here when he had a chance of returning home. Will that never happen, now?”

“I’m not sure. Thing have changed. I didn’t heal you publicly, so there are no unanswered questions for the sheriff to ask. That means no Agent To..Top”

“Topolsky,” she supplied.

“Thank you. NO Agent Topolsky and no FBI.”

“Your right! Alex won’t be killed and Tess won’t get pregnant,” She exclaimed, then put her hand over her mouth. Maybe Max would develop feelings for her now, know what she was in their past life. Liz hadn’t spent time with him, like before, and he may have the same sort of attraction to her.

“Liz,” he said, taking her hand, “we have a chance to do things differently. We are going to have to take things a step at a time. The possibilities are endless. The only thing that is consistent with your dream is the way we feel about each other. Only this time, I don’t have to steal you away from Kyle.”

Liz placed her hand over his and said,” Your right, again. Everything is different, and we are safe. Besides, the beginning is always the best part.”

He gazed deeply into her eyes and had to agree. The beginning was always the best part.



posted on 2-Aug-2002 12:54:55 PM by LilyFrancesca
PART EIGHT

“If I have to hear one more thing about Max, I’m going to strangle something,” Maria said helplessly to Alex.

“She can’t be that bad,” he replied, but at her look, he grimaced . “Okay, maybe your right, it is getting a little thick.”

They were sitting in a booth at the back of the cafe. It was close to closing and Liz was taking care of the last table. She delivered their meals and came back to sit with them.

“I haven’t had a chance to talk to the both of you, together, for days,” she said taking off her headband and placing it on the table.

“Sorry,” Alex said, “the band has been working on some new music.”

“That’s okay, at least you have a life,” Maria said grumpily. “Unlike some people at this table.”

“That’s not rue,” Liz retorted. “You have a life.”

“I wasn’t talking about me,” she laughed and threw a crumpled up napkin at her. “Lately, the only extra curricular activity you’ve had is Max, Max, Max.”

“I guess I’ve been a little pre-occupied lately, but he is so.....”

“Stop! Not another word,” Maria cried, placing her hands over her ears. “I will no tlet you spew on and on about....Hi Max.”

Liz turned and he was there. “Hi Max,” she said wistfully.

“Give me a break,” Maria mumbled to her self, getting up. The front door opened and Michael walked in. “Great, another one.”

Michael could feel Maria’s resentment from the doorway. To drive her crazy, he called, “Hi Maria! Could you get me and my buddy Max, two cherry cokes?”

Maria went behind the counter and started banging things in frustration.

Michael slid in next to Alex and said, “Hey.”

“Hey, yourself,” he answered, grimacing as Maria threw something large into the sink with a crash. “I would ease up on her if I were you.”

Liz looked away from Max and agreed, “You haven’t seen her get really mad, yet. If she does, run for cover.”

“Her?” he asked in disbelief. “What could she do to me?”

“Liz is right,” Alex said. “Maria can get down right nasty, when she wants to.”

“I’ll believe it when I see it,” he said confidently. What could the little blonde do to him?

Walking back to the table, Maria set a glass in front of Max and said, “Here you go, Max.” Placing the other one, oh so carefully, in front of Michael, she said sweetly, “And one for you, sir. Enjoy.”

Looking at the glass skeptically, he reach over and grabbed the Tobasco sauce. Giving it a quick shake, he poured a healthy dollop into the soda. When he was done, he handed it to Max, who did the same.

Alex watched the exchange in fascination. After seeing Michael stir the mixture, he got slightly green and had to suppress a shutter.

Michael waited for Max to take a sip, before starting in on his. With the first mouthful, he knew something was very wrong. Spitting it back into the glass, he saw the
suds that had come to the surface. Turning to Maria, he growled.

“Is there something the wrong with the your drink, sir?” she asked innocently.

Not saying a word, he stood and slowly walked toward her. Seeing what he intended, she yelped and ran into the kitchen.

He went to follow her, when she stuck her head out of the pass-thru and said, “Stay right there. You can’t come back here, employees only.”

Ignoring her, he put his hand on the door. “She’s right. Insurance reasons, you understand,” Liz called.

Michael glared at her, then turned back to the girl hiding in the kitchen. “You have to come out of there sometime, and when you do, I’ll be waiting,” he said , then stormed out of the restaurant.

Alex watched the whole episode with a grin, Turning to Max, he said, “You can’t say we didn’t warn him, and this is only the beginning. If he keeps it up, he is in for a
rude awakening.”

###


Wishing Max a goodnight, Liz closed and locked the front doors. “Okay, Maria,” she called, “It’s safe to come out now.”

Maria came out of the kitchen and took a quick look around. Laughing she said, “Did you get a look at his face? It was classic.”

“It was pretty funny, but I don’t think it helped my cause of winning him over.”

“Who needs him! We have gotten along fine this long without him,” she said self-righteously.

“I know, but it is better to have him with you, than against you, take my word on it.”

Peeking thru the blinds Maria asked, “Do you think he could really be waiting out there for me to go home?”

“I asked Alex and Max to keep a look out when they left. They said they would call if they see any sign of him,” reassured Liz. Maria wouldn’t admit it out loud, but she was worried about him. “If he is, you can stay over. We have the morning shift tomorrow, anyway.”

“About that,” she said, turning to look at her, “you know that I don’t begin to function before eleven on a weekend.”

“Sorry, I promised Max that I would show him and the others where the pod chamber was. Do you want to come along?”

“Not on your life, sister. Knowing what they are, is one thing, but rubbing elbows with them on a regular basis, is another. I know quite enough about them already, thank you very much.” She looked outside one more time and decided not to take any chances. She would stay the night, that way it would give Michael a chance to cool his heels.



###

Liz finished up her shift and ran upstairs to change. Max said that he would be there at eleven thirty and she wanted to freshen up before he arrived.

Maria went onto the Ladies room and changed. She was going to hang around until she was certain that Michael had left with the others, before venturing home. There
was no reason to take unnecessary chances.

As she walked back into the restaurant, she was unaware that Isabel and Michael had come in and were sitting in the same booth as last night. “I don’t understand why your insisting on dragging her along,” complained Michael. He was tried and cranky after staking out Maria’s car for most of the night, with no results. She had spent the night andit occurred to him around two that she might be frightened of him after all. That made him quite happy.

“You told me that you wanted to keep an eye on her, and if she is with us, you can keep both of them all over her,” Isabel replied. She had a feeling that Maria would help center Michael on the here and now and not always looking toward the future. Life was short and you had to make use of every minute, not waste it waiting for your real life to begin.

Max has relayed Liz’s story to them and Isabel was intrigued by the whole thing. After sharing her dream, she knew that Liz believed everything she had seen, and Isabel was inclined to agree. How it was possible that she knew things, she wasn’t sure, but if any of it was true, it was more than they had found out in the last ten years.

At first, she had been terrified to have the humans know their secret, but now she was beginning to like the idea that she could be herself around someone other than her
brother and Michael. Trying to be the perfect human was a never ending job and just the thought of being able to be plain old Isabel was appealing.

“She’s not going to like it,” he said breaking into her thoughts. “Look, there she is,” he said pointing to the girl cautiously peering out the front window.

“She doesn’t know were here,” he said, gleefully.

“All the better, let’s go,” Isabel replied and stood.

The two walked up behind Maria and each grabbed one of her arms. “Hi Maria,” Isabel said cheerfully. “I’m so glad to have run into you. Can we talk outside? Great!”

Maria had been startled when she felt someone grab her arms and seeing who it was, she was stunned. When Isabel started chatting with her like a long lost friend, she got worried. Feeling herself being escorted outside, she got scared, really scared.

Michael and Isabel practically dragged her to the waiting jeep and planted her in the back seat with themselves to either side. Looking first a Michael, she decided to pose her question to someone with a brain, she turned to Isabel and demanded, “What the hell do you think your doing?”

“We thought you could come on this little expedition with us,” she explained.

With her eyes wide, she asked, “Who are we, Louis and Clark? No way, Chicky. I’ve had enough of you people to last me a life time. I’m out of here.”

She tried to stand, but two pairs of hands pushed her back into the seat. “If you don’t get your hands off me, I’m going to scream bloody murder,” she said coldly.

Michael’s bad feeling about this the whole situation went from bad to worse . He should have never let Isabel talk him into this, “Fine, go.....”

“Maria,” Liz called walking up to the car. “I thought you didn’t want to come with us?’

Not giving her a chance to speak, Isabel replied, “She had a change of heart. She really wants to see where we came from.”

Liz realized what Isabel was up to and smiled. Maybe they would become friends after all. She climbed into the front seat and said, “Okay Max, it looks like were ready to go.”

Max got in and looked at his sister in the mirror. ‘Let’s get out of here,’ she mouthed at him. She had explained what she was going to do, to him this morning, but
he was unsure it was a good idea. He had hoped that Maria would be gone by the time they arrived, but he hoped in vain.

Sensing that Liz was okay with it, he started the Jeep and drove off. Maria was resigned to the fact she did not have a choice, so she sat there in silence, glaring at the back of Liz’s head. She could have made them let her go, but she didn’t. When they got to where they were going, Liz was going to get a piece of her mind.

The rest of them were quiet also. They knew that they were heading toward something that would change their lives forever. Liz told Max where he needed to go and
he turned and after about a half hour of driving in the desert they came upon a small range of hills. Pointing to and outcropping, he drove as close as he could and stopped the car.

Looking up, he felt his hands get sweaty and he wasn’t sure he wanted to know the truth. Liz placed her hand on his thigh and he turned to look at her.

“It’s okay, Max. We need to know one way or the other.”

He smiled and nodded. With her by his side, he could face anything.

They all got out and Maria broke free from her body guards and went up to Liz. “If I find out you had anything to do with this,” she warned.

“I was just as surprised as you,” she admitted

“You could have made them let me go.”

“I know, but I thought I might need you, in case, in case.”

“Okay. I got your back.”

“Which way?” Michael asked, getting impatient.

Liz grabbed Maria’s hand for support and said,” This way.”

She walked up to a ledge and pointed to a flat spot on the surface. “You have to place your hand there and it opens the door.”

Taking a deep breath, Max did as she said. Nothing happened. Then a glowing silver hand print appeared and with it a deep rumbling sound.

Slowly a piece of the rock face slid to one side, revealing the opening to a tunnel. Sucking his head, Max walked thru the opening into the darkness. he took a few steps and waited for the others. Isabel and Michael came up beside him and the three of them
walked in together.

Rounding a curve, they came into the main chamber. Before them were four small pods with dried membranes hanging form the sides. Michael walked over to one of
them and reached out to touch it.

“I think I remember this palace,” Isabel said softly. She went over to what she knew was her pod and stared at it, then spun suddenly. “I remember wanting , no having to break out of there. I wasn’t sure where I had to go, but I knew I couldn’t stay in here anymore.”

Me too,” said Max. “It was like something was telling me to get out, somehow.” Turning to look at his sister, he smiled. “That’s when I saw you and I knew that I would
never be alone again.”

“I remember being scared, even though I didn’t know the word at the time,” Michael said. “I couldn’t see anything but the starlight, so I went toward it.”

Maria could picture the frightened little boy Michael had been and withoutthinking, she went over to him and put her hand on his shoulder.

He was startled and he was going to shrug it off, but if felt so good, he left it there.

“We saw Michael outside, but he wouldn’t let us come near him,” Isabel continued. “I knew that you were following us, and I prayed, for him to catch up with us.”

“That’s when the Evans found us and took us in,” Max finished. He had wanted to tell those nice people to go and get the one that was hiding, but he had no idea howand they had left him behind. Michael was found the next day and put in foster care.

Coming back to himself, Michael stepped away from Maria and said, “Ancient history.” He looked at Liz and asked, “Where is this great machine you talked about?”

Liz knelt and pushed her way thru one of the pods. She stood on the other side and looked up at the Granolith. Max came behind her and when he stood he placed his armaround her waist and asked, “Is this it?”

“Yes, this is the Granolith. Using a crystal rod and the book, you all can go home.”

The group stood for a few minutes lost in their own thoughts. Liz was thrilled to have found this out for them, but it also meant that Max could leave her at any time. She removed his hand and went back outside.

He went to go after her, but Maria stopped him saying, “I’ll go. She needs a few minutes to deal. I’ll make sure she’s okay.”

“Maxwell, do you know what this mean,” exclaimed Michael. He walked around the room, trailing his fingers along the wall. “We can go home.”

“Home to what?” cried Isabel. “To a planet wracked by war and ruled by somemaniac who has killed us once, already.”

“You don’t know that. It is out home, where we really belong.”

“We belong here. Here where they sent us. Here where we have a life and families.”

“Enough,” Max said softly. “We don’t have to make any decisions right now.”

“Max is right,” agreed his sister. “We have to take things slowly.”

Michael was going to object, but realized now was not the time for a fight. “Okay.Let’s try and find out if any more of Liz’s story is true.”

###

Liz was sitting on the edge of a crevice staring out into the desert, when Maria found her. She had her arms wrapped around herself and had been crying. Sitting next to her, Maria put her arms around her and asked, “Is there anything I can do?”

Liz wrapped her arms around her friend and placed her head on her shoulder. “Can you turn back the hands of time?”

“Sorry, I may be adored by millions, but that is one thing even I can’t do,” she said, hoping to make her smile.

It did, but it was a bitter one. “I knew what this could mean, but I.... I guess I was hoping that, oh what does it matter?” she cried, frustrated. “ I know Max and if he is nothing else, he is responsible. He will think that he needs to save his home world, no
matter what.”

“Liz. We don’t know if that part of your story is even true. He could be here because his planet was dying and his parents were trying to save his life. God, there could be a hundred reasons for them to be on Earth. You can’t give up hope, not now. You have found the other half of your soul.”

Liz pulled away and looked at her in surprise. “Why did you say that?”

“A blind man could see the way you are together. I know I was teasing you aboutit, but it was only because I have never seen anything like what is between you two. It’sscary to know that two people could be so in love, in such a short time.”

“I love him so much, but I can’t stand in his way. I know that he is the King and I know that he will go and have to leave me behind.”

“Why would I leave you behind?”

“You wouldn’t have a choice,” she replied not turning to look at him. “I might not be able to survive on your planet,”

Maria got up and walked over to where the others were standing. She gave Michael a glance, but he wouldn’t look at her. Isabel surprised her by grabbing her hand
and giving it a squeeze.

“We’ll figure something out. Now that I’ve found you, I will not let you go,” he declared, squatting down next to her.

“Max. Please don’t make promises you might not be able to keep. Have you forgotten about Tess?”

“What about her? She has nothing to do with us.”

Standing, she stated, “She had everything to do with us. She is not the harmless girl you think she is. I don’t know what she plotting, but you can bet, we will not come out of it intact. I should have stayed away from you. I knew what would happen, but I let my heart have it’s way. I can’t go thru this again. I’m stopping it before we go any farther.”

She walked passed him and down toward the truck. Maria caught up with her and they walked the rest of the way holding each others hand.

Max walked up to Michael and his sister and said, “Let’s go. I don’t think we’ll find out any more today.”

Maria and Liz were sitting in the back seat when the others came up. Isabel got into the back with them, while Max and Michael got in front. With one last look at Liz in the mirror, he started up the Jeep and head back to town.

posted on 3-Aug-2002 9:05:19 AM by LilyFrancesca
PART NINE

Liz heard a knock on her window, and looked up. Seeing Alex, she got up and opened the window for him. “What are you doing here?” she asked.

Climbing thru, he took a seat on the bench. “Maria told me what happened today and I wanted to make sure you were okay.”

“I’m fine,” she lied. Her heart was raw and bleeding, but she knew raging about it, would do no good.

“Liar. I have known you far too long for you to start lying to me. Now, tell UncleAlex your problems and I will try to make them disappear.” he said, using his sad puppy face.

“Your crazy, you know that.” she laughed.

“Flattery will get you nowhere,” he said batting his eyelashes. “Let me help you. Even if it’s for a shoulder to cry on. I don’t mind getting wet.”

She smiled and patted the bed next to her. He joined her there and she said, “I don’t know what I would do without you,” and she hugged him.



“I guess Maria told you how I turned away from Max?” He nodded and she went on, “I know that things between us won’t work. He had another life and he has
responsibilities to keep, pertaining to it. I will only keep him from his duty.”

“Did you ever thing that the only way he could fulfill his obligations, was with you by his side? Maybe he needs you to give him a different perspective to help him
solve the problems he will face.”

“How could that be? We’re not even the same species.”

“He’s half human,” he reminded her.

“But.”

“But nothing. His people went to an awful lot of trouble to engineer him to lookand act like us. Don’t you think they might have wanted him to make alliances with us?
That he needed us to face his future?”

She thought about his questions and said, “You’ve thought a lot about this,haven’t you?”

“I kept wondering why they would go thru all this trouble if they didn’t have to,” he said biting the inside of his cheek. “All they had to do was clone their old bodies and
send them here, where they could shape shift into any likeness they wanted. There has to be a reason why they are the way they are.”

“I don’t know, I guess you could be right. But that doesn’t help me. I am willing to help Max and the others, to do what they must, but I can’t let him love me.”

“You can’t stop him from loving you. He’s loved you from the first moment he saw you, you told me so. Your rejection might force him to do something that might
jeopardize them all.”

“Why me?” she wailed. “Why must I make the decisions? I never asked him to love me. I never asked for anything. Why should this be laid at my feet? I’m just a sixteen year old girl from a small town. I shouldn’t be forced to make choices that could effect
the fate of a another world.”

“He’s not asking you to do anything, but to love him. And you do. Remember what you told me, about how his betrayal with Tess ripped your heart out and you felt
dead inside. You have what many people would kill to get, a second chance to makethings right. I can’t tell you that you’ll wind up happily ever after, but if you don’t try,you’ll never know. Don’t deprive yourself because of what might happen. It’s not fair to
either of you.”

“How come some girl hasn’t sweep you away, yet?”

“I guess, she hasn’t come to realize that I’m here for the taking.”

“I hope she finds you quick. All this wisdom is a shame to waste.”

“Me too. It’s so lonely at the top!”

###


“Did you want me to talk to her?” Isabel asked her brother. They were sitting at the kitchen table having breakfast. She could tell the he had been up all night, by the bagsunder his eyes.

“Would it do any good?” he asked, defeated. He knew how Liz felt, and if he didhave to return home and leave her behind, it would be better if she wasn’t involved with
him.

“You tell me. You’re the one who loves her. Is she worth fighting for?”

“Yes, but I don’t want to hurt her. I care too much for her to do that.”

Isabel didn’t understand her brother. He had found what she had been dreamingfor her whole life, someone to accept him and love him despite what he was, and he wasgoing to let it slip thru his fingers.

Seeing that she would get nowhere with him in this mood, she stood and put her dishes in the sink. If he wouldn’t do anything, she would. Grabbing the keys, she took one more look at him and shook her head. Love can really stink sometimes.
###

Maria was surprised to see Isabel on her front porch. “Can I come in,” she asked. Stepping back, she let her in and pointed to one of the chairs in the living room.

“What are you doing here?” Maria asked still a little freaked about yesterday.

“First I wanted to apologize about abducting you, yesterday.”

“Okay,” Maria smiled at her choice of words.

“I also wanted to talk to you about Liz.”

“If you came here to tell me she needs to stay away from Max, your talking to the wrong person,” she said going on the defensive.

“Wait!” she said putting up her hand. “I wanted to ask you how we could get them back together. Max is miserable and I think Liz is too. Anyone with a brain could see they need to be together.”

Maria was relieved. She had been wracking her brain on how to get the two of them to at least talk. Here was her answer. “What do you have in mind?”


###


“You want me to do what?” shouted Michael. “You’ve had some crazy plans in the past, but this is going to far.”

Isabel looked at the others gathered at the cafe and smiled. She knew that they would all have to work together to get Max and Liz reunited. “It is only for a little while.”

“Am I that disgusting to you, that you couldn’t stand to around me for a few days?” Maria asked, insulted. She would do anything for Liz, but even she had her limits.

“I wouldn’t answer that,” Alex whispered to Michael. He on the other hand was looking forward to spending time with Isabel. The more the better.

“Liz said that we all became friends and we helped Max make the decisions he need to make, and I think we need to do that here,” Isabel stated. “It should only take a few days at the most.”

“I think we should find out if Liz is right about the whole king and his royal court
thing, before we try to play matchmaker. If she’s not, then they don’t need to be together,” Michael demanded.

“How do we go about that, spaceboy?” Maria asked sarcastically. She had justabout enough of his holier-than-thou attitude.

“Leave that to me.” he replied and left. Isabel watched him get on his bike and roar down the street. She knew Michael would hate this, but what else could they do?
###

Michael drove to the park and wasn’t surprised to see Tess walking down by the pond. He pulled up and said, “Get on, we need to talk.”

Tess smiled and took the helmet he held out to her. Slipping it over her head, she got on the bike and placed her hands around his waist. Now here is a body I could grow to appreciate, she thought, feeling the rock hard stomach thru his shirt. This could be more fun than I imagined.

Michael drove them to the old rock quarry outside of town. He stopped the motorcycle and put down the kick stand. Tess slipped off the back and took off her
helmet. Shaking out her hair, she waited for him to speak first.

“I want to know what you know about where we come from,” he said bluntly.

“What do you mean?” she asked.

“Cut the crap. You know more than your telling, and your going to tell me all of it, now.”

Tess looked up at him and tried to decide if she should do ask he asked. It wouldbe better to have an accomplice to help with her plan, but she wasn’t sure she could trusthim. Well, if he gives me any trouble, I’ll fry his brain.
“What do you want to know?”

I knew it! he thought. “Who sent us here and why?”

“My father told me that we were part of the ruling family on Antar. That’s the name of the planet we’re from, by the way. We were killed by an usurper to the throne,
and loyal followers had our essences mixed with human DNA and sent us here to hide us from him.”

“How did they get the material they needed?”

“Oh, we have been abducting people from this planet for years, to use as slaves. They thought that this would be the last place for Kivar to find us, so here we are,” she
said smugly. She still thought that these humans were only good to be slaves.

“Your father told you this? How did he know?”

“He wasn’t my real father. He was a guardian sent to watch out for us until we could return. Unfortunately, he was detained after the crash and by the time he got to the chamber, I was the only one left inside. He did try to locate the rest of you, but he had tostay hidden, and when he couldn’t find you, he took me and left.”

Michael was taken aback. Liz was right. Now he had to figure out if she was right about Tess also. “So where is your father now”

“He was killed trying to protect me from a renegade branch of our people. Somehow, they found out that we are here and they are trying to locate us and destroy
us,” she said, smiling inside. He wasn’t any smarter in this life, than he was in the past. If he believed this, he was hers.

“Do you know where the pod chamber is?” he asked, hoping she didn’t. He didn’t want her to go there and find out that they knew more than she thought.

“No,” she said regretfully. “I got, that is, he died before he had the chance to show me where it was. But he did tell me where to find the book.”

“The book?”

Damn, she thought. Me and my big mouth. “Uh, yeah. He told me about this book he had hidden, that could help me get home if something happened to him. I’ve been waiting to retrieve it, until you all agreed to get out of this flea bitten town”

That’s must be the book we need to work the Granolith, he thought ecstatically. Now, to get her to tell him where to find it. “Well, maybe we could go get it and find out where this chamber is located,” he cajoled, steeping closer to her. He reached out and brushed away a stray lock of her hair.

Gotcha! “Why don’t you get the others and we can get it together,” she suggested.

“Max is moping over Liz and Isabel is being Isabel. If we could show them what we found, they would have to go along with us.”

Liz! I knew that witch would rear her ugly head. Maybe this jerk is right. If we could give Max proof, and he would follow me like the fool he is. “Let me think about it,
okay?” she asked sweetly. Putting her arms around his neck, she went up on her toes and kissed the side of his mouth.

Smiling, he kissed her full on the mouth. Boy, is she in for a surprise, he thought,deepening the kiss.

Tess held back her revulsion and let him paw her. In the end, he’ll be on theground at her feet, begging forgiveness at treating her like a piece of meat. She was going to enjoy killing him, slowly.

###

After dropping Tess off, Michael raced over to Max’s house. He knocked at the front door, for once and was greeted by Mrs. Evans. “Michael! Thanks for using the front door for a change,” she said with a smile. She had a soft spot for this young man and wanted to help him, but her children told her that he would resent anything he considered pity.

“Uh, yeah, no problem. Is Max home?” he asked, embarrassed.

“Yes, he’s up in his room. Do you know what’s bothering him? He’s beenmoodier than usual, today,” she asked with concern.

“I think it has something to do with a girl,” he said hoping to get away from her. He knew she meant well, but she could be smothering at time.

“Oh, is that all? Well boys will be boys.”

“Sure. See ya, Mz. Evans,” he replied and walked past her and up the stairs.

Without knocking, he walked into Max’s room and saw him staring out the window. Sitting on his bed, Michael reached out and tapped him on the shoulder. “Hey, Maxwell.”

Max jumped and turned his head. “Hi, I didn’t hear you come in,” he said when he saw who it was. He wasn’t in the mood for Michael right now. “What do you want?”

“Is that the way to treat a guy who had good news?”

“What news?” he asked half-heartedly. He had tried to get Liz out of his mind all morning, but it wasn’t working. Maybe Michael could distract him for a time.

“I talked to Tess and she confirmed Liz’s story about us being from Antar and part of the royal family.” he beamed.

“What!?”

“Liz was right, we were sent here to hide from our enemies. She was right about that Nesadeo guy and about the book, too.”

“Wait a minute. You talked to Tess? Did you tell her anything?”

“What, do you think I’m stupid?” he asked, getting mad. Max wasn’t the only one who could come up with a plan.

“No, never that. What did she say?,” he asked, hoping Michael had done the rightthing.

“When she approached me two weeks ago, about leaving, I thought she knew more than she was telling, so when we decided to find out about Liz’s story, I confronted her. She told me basically what Liz said and she knows where to find the book.”

“Liz said she was the one who took me to where Nesadeo had hidden it,” he saidthoughtfully. “Did she tell you where to find it?”

“No, she wanted to think about it, but I have her eating out the palm of my hand. She’s got the hots for me.”

Max smiled. Liz would like to hear that. Let’s hope Tess isn’t trying to set us up.

“What do you plan to do?”

Michael was glad that Max finally believe that he could do something on his own, without taking it to committee. “I told her to get a hold of me, when she was ready. If she leads us to the book, we might have a chance to go home.”

Home, Max sighed, but to what?
###

Maria was waiting to ambush Michael the next day at school. She was leaning against the wall watching the doors, sniffing cedar oil, wanting to remain calm before sheconfronted him. When he didn’t answer her yesterday, she kept wondering what he truly thought about her. Not that his opinion matters, she thought flippantly. It’s only Michael, after all.

Michael pushed thru the door without a care in the world. He was pleased that he had been able to get some information without help from the others. He was getting sick of having the humans hanging around him so much. It definitely was better when it was just the three of them.

He walked past Maria without seeing her and that was all it took to ignite her anger. She came up behind him and pushed him into an unoccupied classroom. Slamming the door, she glared at him.

“Perfect,” he groaned, seeing who it was, “what do you want?”

Taking another long look at him, she took three steps forward, so she was face to face with him. Well, face to chest, anyway. Licking her lips, she was about to blast into him when he impulsively bent his head and kissed her. Her hands went to push him away, but they ended up wrapped around his neck, pulling him closer.

After a long, wet kiss, Michael wrenched out of her grasp and backed away, to lean on a desk. “What’d you do that for?” he asked, bewildered.

“Me? Your the one who started it!” she squawked.

“You pushed me in here.”

“So, your the one who kissed me.”

He wiped his face with his hand and looked up at the ceiling. He was the one whokissed her, but why? She was a silly little human and should be beneath him. Somehowthe thought of having Maria beneath him, made him breath harder. “Fine. What do ya want”

He whole rehearsed speech went flying out the window. She could see that the kiss effected him just as much as it did her. “I think we need to talk about what just
happened. Apparently, things between us just changed.”

“What do you mean? It was only a kiss.”


“Only a kiss? It happens to be the best......” she trailed off. What am I saying! shethought. A slow smile blossomed on his face, and she knew she made a big mistake, hewas never going to let her live it down. “You know what, your right. It was only a kiss,and a mediocre one at that. Just forget it, okay?”

“If you say so,” he replied smugly.

“Oh you!” she spun on her heel and stormed out of the room. Things had not turned out as she had planned, and now he thought she liked the way he kissed. Why do
things like this always happen to me?

Michael watched her leave and couldn’t help laughing to himself. Maybe having this particular human around, wouldn’t be so bad.

posted on 3-Aug-2002 11:33:53 PM by LilyFrancesca
PART TEN

“You kissed him?” Liz asked amused. She had hoped something like this would happen between them, but not this fast.

“No, he kissed me,” she reiterated. “He was the one who started it. I just wanted to talk.”

“If I know you,” Alex said grinning, “you pushed him in there to give him a piece of your mind.”

“Why?” Liz asked, not knowing what Michael did to get her dander up.

“He didn’t answer a question I asked him and I was upset,” she tried to explain.

“What question?”

“It doesn’t matter,” she said exasperated. How was she to explain the reason for the four of them meeting yesterday. Alex came to he rescue.

“We ran into him at the mall and you know how the two of them get, within tenfeet of each other,” he said laughing.

Liz knew they were evading her question, so she let it drop. She was glad that the attraction between Maria and Michael existed here. They were good for each other,whether they liked it or not. “Did you like it?”

“It was okay, I guess,” Maria replied, her face getting red.

“It looks to me, you liked it more than that,” teased Alex. Maria didn’t get flustered very often, and he was going to take advantage of the situation.

“I wouldn’t talk,” she snapped. “I saw the way you were hanging on every word Isabel was saying.”

“Isabel? Wait, I’m confused,” Liz said, looking back and forth between the two of them. “When did you see Isabel?”

Alex looked at Maria and realized it was pointless to lie to Liz. She always had a way of finding out. “Isabel, Maria, Michael and I meet yesterday for coffee.”

“Oh really? What for?” Liz asked intrigued. There’s a story here.

“Isabel came to my house and wanted to know if I knew of a way to get you and Max talking again,” blurted Maria. She hoped that Isabel would forgive her.

“She was worried about him and she asked Michael and I, to act like the four of uswere becoming closer,” Alex put in. He didn’t want Liz to only be mad at Maria. “So
you and Max would have to spend time together.”

“I appreciate what you guys are doing, but remember, I’ve been thru this before. It didn’t work then, it won’t work now.”

“You and Max were together at the end,” Maria prodded.

“After a lot of pain and suffering. I refuse to do it again.” she argued.

“Things will be different this time. For-warned is for-armed,” Alex saidmatter-of-factly, echoing their earlier conversation.

“Liz, I can’t stand seeing you like this. You have the chance for happiness, don’tblow it,” Maria snapped.

“Can we please stop talking about this? I’ve made up my mind and that’s final. You can tell Isabel that the jig is up and to leave it alone.” she said and got up from her
seat. “I’m going upstairs and taking a long hot shower and climbing into bed. Goodnight.”

Maria watched her leave and asked, “What are we suppose to do now?”


###

Liz tossed and turned in bed for more than an hour before giving up on sleep. Her mind wouldn’t stop thinking about Max and the kind of future she would face without him in it. It was something she couldn’t visualize. Rolling out of bed, she went out onto the balcony. Re-adjusting her telescope, she tried to imagine what life on another planet would be like.

“It truly is beautiful, isn’t it?” asked a voice behind her.

“She turned and smiled at her father. It had been he, who first got her interestedin the night sky. “It never ceases to amaze me,” she answered.

He climbed out and came to stand next to her. “Can’t sleep?”

“Nope. My mind wouldn’t stop running in circles long enough to rest.”

“Do you want to talk about it?”

“Not really,” she apologized.

He knew how much she cherished her privacy, so he didn’t push her. All he said was, “Well, if there is anything I can do, let me know.”

“I will Dad, thanks.” She gave him a hug and rested her head against his arm.

“Dad, do you believe that there could be life on another planet?”

“I’m not sure. To quote someone, ‘If not, it would be an awful waste of space’,and I agree. All I know, it keep the people coming here, and that’s good for business,” he
grinned.

“Forever the businessman,” she laughed.

“Hey, it pays the bills.” Giving her one last squeeze, he said, “Don’t stay out here all night, you’ve got school tomorrow.”

“Yes, Warden. I’ll just be a few more minutes.” She watched him go back in and close her door behind him.

Taking one more look thru her telescope, she let out a sigh. She knew the answer to her question, and the knowledge was a heavy burden to bear.

###

“Have you talked to Max?” Maria asked Liz, as they walked out of school.

“Is there a reason I should.” Liz said, tiredly. She had been avoiding him all day,and was exhausted.

“I thought he might have wanted to be the one to tell you.’

“Tell me what?”

Maria looked at her with concern. She had never seen Liz so down. “Isabel told Alex that Michael confirmed that they were from Antar and that they really are royalty.”

“How did Michael find out?”

“Tess.”

“Tess?” she asked, astonished.

“Apparently, she had approached Michael about leaving town, and he had a feeling that she knew more than she was saying, so he went and confronted her.”

“By himself? Is he crazy? I told Max that she was dangerous.”

“Well, you know how Michael is,” Maria said, shaking her head. She wasn’t surewhat her feeling were for him, but she didn’t want him to get hurt. “He is suppose to meet
with her tonight, to find out if she will show him where the book is.”

“No, we can’t let him, she has to be up to something.” Liz exclaimed,passionately. “ I have to talk to Max and have him convince Michael to stay away fromher,” She was not going to let Tess hurt her friends a second time.

Maria and Liz ran across the parking lot and caught the bus just as the doors wereclosing, They hadn’t seen the person walking behind them, listening to their
conversation. Tess watched the two girls get on the bus with a sneer. ‘So, Liz has warned them about me, has she,” the girl thought, amused. She looked at her watch and smiled. ‘Only a few hours before I meet that ignoramus, Michael, and he will be mine. Let’s see
what they make of that!’


###

Liz walked into the UFO Center and went down the stairs. Max’s mom had told her, when she called looking for him, that he was at work. She only had a few minutesbefore her shift started, so she came over to warn him again, about Tess.

At the bottom of the stairs, she looked around briefly at the displays. Unexpectedly, she had a flashback of Max being held at gun point by Brody and then of him healing a dying Kyle. Shaking her head, she looked up and he was standing across from her.

Max was thrilled to see Liz. She had rebuffed every attempt he had made to talkto her today, and he understood the reason for it. Something important must have happened for her to seek him out. “Liz, is something wrong?” he asked coming closer.

“No, nothing immediate,” she replied. Her brain might believe that being apart from him, was the right thing to do, but her heart begged to differ.

He smiled, “That’s good.”

“I, uhm, wanted to ask you to have Michael be careful, when he meets with Tess. She can’t be trusted.”

“I agree.”

She continued on, not hearing him, “She might be different here, but she did hold back what she knew about your origins.”

“I know.”

“Don’t turn your back on her, she is dangerous.....”

“Liz!”

She stopped and focused her attention back on him, “What?”

“I said, I agree with you and I’ve told Michael all of these things,” he said softly.

“Oh, I guess I wanted to make sure you heard me out. I never thought you wouldagree with me.”

“I know you don’t trust Tess, but she might have some of the answers we need,” he said diplomatically. “He knows what she is capable of and he told me that he would becareful, so you don’t have to worry.”

Wanna bet? she thought cynically. “Okay, well that’s all I wanted to say,” she told him, turning to go back up the stairs. “I have to get to work. Bye, Max.”

He restrained himself from saying more than, “Thanks, Liz.”

She turned, smiled and left. As the door closed behind her, he felt despair flow back into him. Would there ever be a time when the two of them could be what he had
always hoped for?

###

Michael took a last look around before he entered the park. He wasn’t pleased that Max had insisted the rest of them hide out and wait for Tess to bring him to
where the book was hidden. He knew he could handle anything she could throw at him, and Max was being too cautious.

He walked thru the archway and saw that she was already waiting for him on the bench by the pond. He walked over to her and sat. Isabel had tried to give
him some pointers on how to act around her, so to make her more pliable to his suggestions, but he had laughed. He told her that the girl was putty in his handsand she would do what ever he told her.

Tess smiled when he sat next to her. She had feared that he might not meet her after hearing Liz talk about warning Max, but here he was. Turning to look at him, she asked, “So your going to finally trust me?”

“I wouldn’t say that,” he replied. “I’m going to wait until you shown me what you promised. Then we can go and tell the others about everything.”

“You didn’t tell them about what I told you?”

“I figured they are on a need to know basis,” he bragged.

She knew he was lying, but didn’t comment. If he wanted to pretend hehad the upper hand, she would let him. His cockiness would work for her. “If you say so,” she said demurely. Getting up, she held out her hand to him.

Taking it, he rose and they walked out the way he had come. It was hardfor him not to look where the others had strategically placed themselves, to watch every entrance to the park.

They walked passed the car Alex was hiding in, slumped in the shadows, and he had to try to keep a straight face. He was starting to like the guy, and found they shared the same strange sense of humor. That Maria girl was growing on him too. He had liked the way she came and tried to comfort him back in the chamber, it was a new feeling, not pity, but concern.

After the two walked by his hiding spot, Alex called Isabel. “Did you seethem?” he whispered. “They are walking south down Dune.”

“I saw them. It looks like they are heading for the library. I’ll get Max tofollow more closely,” she replied. Alex had delighted her when he volunteered to
help tonight. “See you soon.”

“Okay, bye.”

Isabel ended the call and punched in Max’s number. “They are headingtoward the library,” she said when he answered. “Can you see them yet?”

“Yes,” he replied. “I’m on it.”

Tess allowed Michael to hold onto her arm as they walked down the street. She looked over her shoulder and thought she saw someone dart down an alley,
but Michael drew her attention back to him.

“Where are we going?” he asked.

“It’s not much farther,” she responded. She couldn’t wait till they wereinside, so she could take control of him. His brutish ways were wearing on her
nerves.

Max held his breath, after jumping in between two buildings. Peekingaround the corner, he saw that Tess was facing forward once more. Telling his heart to slow down, he came out onto the sidewalk and tried to keep to the shadows. The pair turned the corner and he ran up and peered around it to keep them in sight.

Isabel had been right, they were heading for the library. He waited for them to go around back, then ran across the quad. He leaned up against the wall and looked into the window above him. As luck would have it, he saw Tess climb up on a stool and take something from the wall. He returned to the corner and waited for them to emerge.

“So, what is in this?” Michael asked, holding up the book she had handed him. The symbols on the cover seemed familiar, but he couldn’t place where hehad seen them before.

“According to Nesadeo, it’s the instructions to run the machine that can send us back home.” she explained. Taking a quick glance around, she grabbed onto his arms and turned him to face her. He looked bewildered, but she shut her eyes and concentrated. She willed him to defer to her judgment in all things and not to question her, even if he didn’t understand her instructions. With a smile, she opened her eyes and looked at him.

Michael was surprised when she pulled him around to face her, and was about to demand what she was up to, when he saw her close her eyes. A warning bell went of in his head, and Liz’s description of how she used her powers, came to mind. He felt a slight pressure behind his eyes and he tried to fight it off. He could hear her command clearly, but he was able to keep his true self curled into a tight ball in the back of his mind. When she was finished, he saw her smile and open her eyes.

He knew what she expected and he gave it to her, hoping she would believe she had succeeded. “What do you want me to do?”

Drop dead, she thought wickedly. “Go home and wait for me to contactyou with our next move. I’ll let you know when I want you to tell the others about
this,” she said, taking the book from his hand. There was no way she was going to let this fall into the wrong hands.

“If that’s what you want,” he said, trying to sound calm. He didn’t want torelinquish the book.

“Run along, I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Trying not to growl in frustration, he walked away. She watched him long
enough to be sure that he was doing as he was told, then went to where she had
parked the car. She glanced up at the night sky and saw, if she didn’t hurry, she was going to be late. Staring the engine, she drove out of town, heading for the desert.

###

Max waited for Michael in the alley. When he walked by, alone, he came up behind him. “What happened?” he asked softly.

Michael jumped and spun around. “Maxwell, a little warning next time,”he exclaimed. “Are you trying to get yourself killed?”

“I’ll take my chances. Did you find anything out?”

Michael started walking again and replied, “She got the book, but took itback. She tried to mind warp me, Max. If it wasn’t for Liz’s heads up, I wouldhave fallen under her spell.”

Max gaped at his friend in shock. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah, it was weird. I could hear her in my mind, but I was able to, resist somehow. Good thing, too, she wanted me to do what ever she told me to do. I
had the book in my hand, but she took it back and if I wanted her to think she was in control, I had to let her have it.”

“That’s all right. As long as your fine.”

They came up on Isabel, Maria and Alex sitting in his car, waiting for them. Getting in the back with Maria, Alex drove off down the street. Michael filled them in on what happened and Maria shuttered in fear. Seeing her reaction, he put his arm around her and pulled her to him. She laid her head on his chest and relaxed.

“Where to now?” Alex asked.

“Home. We need some time to think this through.” Max said, taking charge. He fell into the role of leader easily and realized that he had been doing it for most of his life anyway, so it shouldn’t have come as such a shock. He hoped that he wouldn’t lead them to their deaths.



posted on 5-Aug-2002 8:20:56 AM by LilyFrancesca
Heyla everyone! Sorry about not posting this weekend, but crazy things were happening! Here is the next part, hope you like it. Krys



PART TEN

Alex dropped off Maria first, then the guys at Max’s jeep. He looked to see if Isabel was going to go with them, but she stayed in the car. Max looked in her window and gave her a wink. He would see her at home, later.

“Did you want to go straight home,” he asked shyly. Now that he was alone with her, he was staring to loose his nerve.

“Can we drive around for a while?” she asked.

“What ever M’lady would like,” he replied and put the car in drive. Unsure where to go, he headed out into the desert. There was a place he liked to go, to get away
and think. He thought she might like to see it.


Isabel stole a glance at the guy next to her and actually had to hide her blush. He was the first boy she had ever felt flustered around. Normally, she was calm, cool
and collected with guys, but Alex was different. He had her heart beating fast and her palms sweaty. If she didn’t watch out, she could loose her heart to him.

Alex drove for a while, then pulled into a rest stop overlooking a dry lake bed. He turned to her and said, “The view is better if we get out.”

She nodded and they went and sat on the hood. After
getting comfortable, Isabel gazed out at the landscape. Her in-drawn breath made him smile; he had the same reaction the first time he was brought here. The night
sky seemed to go on forever before reaching the horizon and you could seethousands upon thousands of stars.

“God Alex, it’s beautiful,” she whispered.

“Yes, but it doesn’t compare to you,” he said, taking her hand in his.

Looking down at their entwined fingers, she felt her eyes well up with tears. One slipped down her cheek and landed on the back of his hand.

Peering into her moonlit face, he asked sweetly, “Isabel, what’s wrong? If I’m moving too fast.....”

“No, that’s not it,” she said quickly. “Glaciers move faster than you do.”

“Then, what is it?”

“I.....I’ve never shown anyone my true self before, except to my brother and Michael, and I’m not sure how to behave. I’ve been playing a part for so long, it’s hard for me to know the difference, anymore.”

He could tell there was something she was holding back and asked, “And?’

“And,” she echoed, “I’m not sure your going to like the real me. I’m not the girl you see every day. I’m scared and unconfident, and so afraid that you’ll hate me.”

“Hate you?” he asked appalled. There would never come a day when he could feel anything but love for this remarkable being. “Isabel, I didn’t fall in love with the
Ice Queen. I fell in love with the woman hiding behind the masquerade. The one who gives up her time to help those in need. The person who spends the weekend
at the local retirement home just talking to the folks who have no one else in their lives. She is the one I love. Everything is just icing on the cake.”

Isabel couldn’t help but believe what she saw revealed on his face. He was the only person she had ever met to love her, and not what he could get from being
with her. Leaning forward, she gently placed her mouth against his, and was pleased when he put his free hand into her hair and held her while he deepened the kiss.

Below them, on the lake bed, a car was speeding along into the night. If they had bothered to look, they might have recognized the car as belonging to Tess, but
they were pleasantly preoccupied at the moment.

###

Tess was filled with trepidation. Racing across the sand, she hoped to make it to the coordinates a few minutes before the scheduled meeting. The crystals would
only function during the new moon, when there was the least amount of interference, and she wanted to get her report in order before confronting Kivar.

Slowing down, she looked up and saw the flying ‘V’ directly above her. Stopping the car, she got out and popped the latch for the trunk. She folded back the rug and pulled the pouch out from under underneath the spare.

Walking around to the front of the car, she took out what looked to be an ordinary compact. Flipping it open, she charged the crystals with the headlights and tapped
out the required code. Placing it on the hood, she stood back and tried to get her thoughts in order.

Sooner than she expected, a figure appeared hovering over the device. “What do you have to report?” asked a gruff voice in the cool night air.

“Bad news, I’m afraid,” she replied.

“What do you mean?’

“Everything has gone to hell. Things have not turned out as you promised.”

“Explain.”

“To begin with, the two jerks you sent to kill the Parker girl, failed. She was only wounded. Fortunately, your secondary plant, reached her before Zan was able to
heal her.”

“So?”

“So, I have found out that he made contact with her while she was in the hospital. Because of that, she dreamed what you told me was the most likely future path they would take.

“She knows who and what we are and where we came from. She has gotten the three fools believing that I am not to be trusted and in doing so, they are pulling away from me.

“You said that you would pave the way for me to entrap them and return home. Everything is ruined and it is all because of her!”

“The Farseers told me that Liz Parker was the catalyst for our downfall, but I didn’t take them seriously. My mistake.”

Tess stared at the glowing figure in astonishment. When Kivar’s minions had approached her 10 months ago, she wasn’t even aware of this set of royals. Her
and Nesadeo were well informed about the rejects in New York, but the three in New Mexico came as a surprise to her.

Nesadeo had led her to believe that she was the only survivor of this set, but now she knew differently. He really did arrive to late to collect all of them, so had to
settle with just her.

His lies were his downfall. She had no reservations what so ever about killing him, when she was instructed that he was no longer needed. He had been a shitty father, anyway.

Kivar had sent the crystals to her and told her all about the life she had led as the queen. She came to realize that this planet was nothing more than a breeding farm
for slaves and she wanted her former life back, no matter what the cost.

He told her of his plan, but it required having the king and his family returned, before he could bring peace to their world. Since the re-incarnates had been sent
to Earth, many things had taken place.

Kivar had crushed a rebellion and had conquered one of the out lying planets. Much to his delight, he had found a race of people who claimed to be able to see into the future.

These Farseers had told him that his reign was contingent on him bringing back the Royal Four and using them as figureheads for the planet. Only he would know
that they were nothing but puppets, while he ruled behind the scenes.

Of course, there was a problem. The future in not definite and there are different paths that it can take. The ‘Seers explained to him what they believed would
come to pass, if nothing changed.

They predicted that the king would return with a human mate, and together, they would unite the Antarians with the human slaves and retake the planet, killing him
during the process.

To prevent that, he must remove the object of the king’s affection, ensuring that the king would accept his former queen. With her removed, the way would be
clear for Tess to make Max fall in love with her and return him along with his sister and his second in command to Antar.

So Tess had returned to Roswell and found out who this earthling was and reported it back to Kivar. He was to get rid of her and Tess was to fill the void in Max’s life. It didn’t go as planned.

“You said, she knew about their origins? How is that possible?” he demanded, bringing her out of her thoughts.

“She said she had a dream about us. From everything I have found out, it has all been true. What are we going to do?”

“Isn’t it obvious.” he asked sarcastically. “You must kill her.”

“The damage had already been done. Killing her is useless.”

“Why do you think you were chosen for this mission? You are the only one who has the power to make them forget. When you are ready, contact me and I will
make the preparations for your return.” He was about to break contact, when a thought occurred to him. “If this human is to be believed, she might have the
location of the Granalith. Pry it out of her, before her death. We need to have the machine back.”

With those final word, the figure winked out. Closing the case, Tess slipped it back into the bag and replaced it in it’s hiding spot. Slamming the trunk, she
began plotting how she would rip the information from Liz’s mind, before killing her. With Michael in her power, she would have no trouble getting what she needed and getting off this hell-hole, the sooner the better.

###

The sun was breaking the horizon, when Liz woke with a start. She had been dreaming of something frightening, but couldn’t recall what it was. Looking at the time, she laid back with a sigh. She had a hour before she needed to get up and get ready for school.

She wasn’t looking forward to going. Things have been tense between herself, Maria and Alex, since she decided to stay away from Max. She didn’t begrudge
her friends from helping the others, but she was on the outside looking in and it was her own fault. She knew that if she was around Max, she would cave and get
closer to him, and that couldn’t happen.

Alex had made some good points about that, but she had been down that road before and she didn’t like the results. Her heart would always belong to Max
Evans, nothing could change that, but now she would be safe from the pain and betrayal that would come from her sharing her life with him.

Keep telling yourself that, she thought mockingly, you might start believing it. Laughing ruefully, she pulled the covers over her head and groaned. She was
hurting Max and she knew it. She had never considered herself as selfish, but here she was, thinking only of herself. Max needed her and she could only think of
how it was going to affect her, and not how he was feeling.

Jumping out of bed, she decided that she was not going to let what might happen rule her life. She was going to be happy, if it killed her. She owed Max nothing
less than everything she could give him. That’s what love was, giving until there was nothing left and expecting nothing in return.

Smiling, she grabbed clean towels out of the linen closet and went to take a shower. Hold on to you hat Max, I’m coming to get you!

###


Max woke with a frown. His life had never been perfect, but lately it had been going from bad to worse. Last night’s revelations about Tess had sunk him to an
all time low. Liz had warned him that she was no good, but he tried to believe the best in people. Having her try to take control of his best friend, made he furious.
He had always felt responsible for Michael and having someone threaten him sent his hackles rising. No one was going to hurt him or his sister while he was around,
former wife or not.

He heard the door open across the hall and waited for the inevitable knock. When it happened he called,” Come on in.”

Isabel opened the door and closed it quietly behind her. She always knew when he woke and they had, since childhood, talked before starting the new day. Most
times, it was about mundane things, but recently, it was the only chance they had to confer about the whole ‘humans knowing our secret’ situation.

Taking a seat on his desk chair and began, “What are we going to do about Tess?”

“I’m not sure,” he replied. After returning home last night, he wracked his brain trying to figure out what do about her.

“I think we should get rid of her,” she suggested. If Tess tried to get control of her mind, Isabel wasn’t going to be held responsible for her reaction.

“How do you suggest we do that?”

“I don’t know. Alex and I talked about it for a while last night but came up empty.”

“Was that all you and Alex did last night?” he teased. He was glad to see her feel something for a guy, for a change. Alex was a good person and would treat his
sister the way she deserved.

“That’s none of your business. I never asked you what you did with Liz.....” she stopped when she realized what she said. “Max, I’m sorry.....”

“That’s okay, Iz. She’s made her decision, and there is nothing I can do about it,” he remorsefully said.

“You can talk to her, make her see that you belong together.”

“No, I’m not going to force her to do something she doesn’t want. I’ll be fine.”

Isabel was dubious of the last part, but decided that she was going to help him, whether he wanted it or not. Alex had told her about his conversation with Liz and she felt as he did, Liz could be brought to her senses with a little push in the right direction.

Rising she said, “Well if you have any ideas, Alex and I are meeting at the Crashdown after school.”

“I thought you didn’t like going there?”

“It’s grown on me.” she replied haughtily. “Besides, Michael told me he was going to see if they needed any help and I want to see Maria’s reaction when she
finds out he can now go in the kitchen after her.”

Max laughed as he imagined Maria’s outrage at him working there. It should prove an amusing distraction. He hoped Liz would find it as funny as they did.


posted on 6-Aug-2002 8:17:58 AM by LilyFrancesca
PART ELEVEN


“So, what’s the plan,” Maria asked, leaning against the locker next to Liz’s. Liz had called her and asked her to help in getting Max back.

“I’m not sure,” she said indecisively. “I could go and throw my self at his feet and beg forgiveness.”

“Too degrading. You need to be cool about this.”

“Cool? I have to prove that I’m not going to pull back from him again.” She had a horrible thought and asked,” What if he doesn’t want me back?”

“Don’t be ridicules. That would never cross his mind.” Maria reassured her. “There is no way Max would send you packing, you belong together.”

“I hurt him, Maria. You didn’t here the hateful things I said. I can’t believe I’m such an idiot.!”

“What did you do now?” Alex asked coming up to them. He took another bite of his Pop Tart and chewed noisily.

Moaning, Liz stuck her head in her locker.

“She wants Max back and doesn’t believe that he will take her.” Maria supplied.

“Are you kidding?” he asked.

Liz groaned again and Maria replied, “No, she’s finally come to her senses and is afraid he will turn her away.”

“Well, if what Isabel told me is true, he would take you back in heart beat, if not quicker.”

Pulling her head out, Liz turned to her friend and asked, “Isabel, huh?”

He blushed and replied, “I took her to the Black Crow turn off.”

“Wow,” Liz replied. Alex must be hooked, to bring her there. It was the place his Mom took him, when she and his father were having trouble, and she need to get
away from him for a while. It still was a special place for them.

“We’re taking things a step at a time.”

“That great, but what are we going to do about her and Max?”

“Nothing,” Liz said, closing her locker. “I’ll talk to him and then go from there.”

“Are you sure?” Maria asked.

“Yes. If he wants me, he wants me. If not, I’ll find the closest cliff and see if I can fly.”

Alex and Maria looked at each other and shrugged. She would have to faced this her way and take the consequences. She was in for a big surprise.



###


Liz wasn’t quite sure what she was going to say to Max when she saw him, but here she was, waiting for him next to the door of the Bio lab, hoping he would at
least let her say she was sorry.

Hearing his voice, she looked down the hall and sucked in her breath. Max and Tess were coming toward her and their heads were bent close to one another. Tess
let out a trilling laugh at something Max said and Liz suddenly felt faint.

‘It’s happening again,’ she wailed inside her mind. ‘I let Tess have him again’

As if hearing her thoughts, Tess looked up and saw Liz. Giving her a triumphant smile, Tess threaded her arm thru Max’s.

Max was startled at Tess’ sudden possession of his arm and looked around to see the reason for it. The stricken look on Liz’s face made his heart contract. Then he
thought, ‘Why should I care? She’s the one who wanted it this way.’

Liz saw the resolve on his face and knew she was too late, Tess had staked claim on Max once again, and she was out of luck. Defeated before she could begin, she
turned from them, walking down the hall and out the door. There was no way she would sit and endure Tess’ smug smiles thru-out class, it would be unbearable.

Max was surprised to see Liz leave the building, it was unlike her to miss class. He was about to follow, when Tess asked, “Max, could you help me with my
experiments? It seems out lab partners aren’t coming today.”

He looked down at the petite blond and was shocked to see she was still there. When Liz was near, no other girl existed for him. Taking another glance at the door Liz exited, her replied, “Sure, no problem.”

Flipping her hair over her shoulder, Tess grinned maliciously. ‘Take that, bitch!’ she thought.


Max sat next to Tess and tried to concentrate on class, but it was no use. His mind kept seeing the hurt look in Liz’s eyes and he didn’t understand why he should care. *That’s not true and you know it,* his conscious said. *You could have made her talk to you instead of sitting back and letting her slip away.*

‘Shut up,’ he thought. ‘There was nothing I could say to make her change her mind.’

*I guess you’ll never know,* it argued.

He pondered that for a minute, then replied, ‘Wanna bet?’

Grabbing his things from the table, he stuffed them into his bag and walked up to the teacher. After gaining permission to use the restroom, he ran down the hall
and out the door.

He had a hunch he knew where Liz would be and as he walked closer to the football field, he could ‘feel’ the despair coming thru their bond. Earlier, he
realized, he must have been blocking it, so as not to feel her rejection of him. Now he knew that he had made a mistake by not following her sooner.

He rounded the end of the bleachers and found her sitting on a stack of grass seed bags. Her head was laying on the backpack in her lap and she was sobbing.

He dropped his bag and collected her into his embrace. Nuzzling her neck, he begged, “Forgive me, I’m sorry, so sorry.”

Liz was shocked to feel his arms closing around her, she hadn’t felt him coming. Pulling back, she placed her hands on either side of his face and stared into his
guilt ridden eyes.

“Shhhhh, no, no,” she whispered. “I’m the one to blame. I’ve been so blind.”

Pulling his head down, she kissed him without reservation. She felt his denial, then his relief. The love he sent along the bond frightened her, it was so fierce.

Opening herself to him, she allowed him full access to her heart and soul, praying he would see that she had been lying to them both about being apart. They were
meant to be and ‘no one’ was going to get between them, no matter what.

If they only had hours to be together, it would be enough. She would take everything he could give and cherish every second.

Max released her mouth and looked into her beloved face. Her smile was like the sun coming out from behind a cloud, he was blinded by the love and acceptance
he saw shining there. “I will never let you do this to us again,” he vowed. “You are the other half of me. Without you, I’m nothing.”

Liz couldn’t speak, so she just nodded and placed her head against his chest. Words were not necessary between them now. ‘Always and forever,’ she agreed
silently. ‘Always and forever.’


###

Tess angrily watched Max leave and knew where he was heading. She had enjoyed the pain Liz experienced at seeing her and Max together. Running into him had been chance, but if it hurt Liz, she was thrilled about it happening.

Holding back a scream of frustration, she slowly closed the book in front of her. Getting upset here, wouldn’t help, but oh when she finally had a chance to vent
her anger on Liz. she would be sure to savior every last moment. it couldn’t come soon enough for her.


###


“How long are we suppose to watch this?” Isabel asked, distastefully.

Maria looked at the couple across the table from them and replied, “We were trying to get them back together.”

Michael snickered and said loudly, “Get a room.”

Liz blushed prettily and turned to look at their unwitting audience. “Sorry,” she beamed.

Michael groaned and said to Alex, “Your her friend, can’t you make her stop?”

Alex grinned, not at all phased by the sickly sweet twosome. He had never seen Liz soo happy and who was he to spoil it for her. “I guess were going to have to
live with it,” he replied, winking at Isabel.

She blew the bangs out of her eyes and shook her head in resignation.

It had been three days since Michael’s meeting with Tess and they had been walking on eggshells waiting for her to make her next move. Liz had been upset
that she hadn’t been included in the stake out, but she had been working and there wasn’t much she could have done anyway. Her description of the mind warp had
saved Michael and that was the biggest help of all.

They were sitting at a table in the quad having lunch. A group of girls walked by and a few eyebrows were raised at the odd group. Isabel gave them and icy stare
and they moved along quickly. She had taken some flack from her friends about Alex and the girls, but she didn’t care. Those girls were more acquaintances, than friends and with these five people, she didn’t have to pretend to be something she wasn’t.

Maria turned to look at her and asked, “Have you spoke to the evil one, lately?”

“No,” she replied. “I saw her this morning, but she seemed to pre-occupied to notice me.”

“Can you blame her?” asked Michael. “With those two all lovey-dovey,” he pointed to Liz and Max, “She hasn’t had a chance to implement her plans.”

“And what do you know about her plans?” Maria asked turning her gaze on him.

He visibly flinched when it fell on him. Maria had been trying to start something with him since the ‘kissing incident’, but so far, he hadn’t risen to the bait.

“All I’m saying is, if she is following along the same line as in Liz’s dream, Max should be in her sights and Liz is blocking the view,” he rationalized.

Max placed his arm around Liz and stated, “That means she might try to get her out of the way. Has she made contact with you?”

“No, but I think she will soon. With her thinking that I’m in her power, we might be able to know what she is planning before hand, and do something about it.”

Liz didn’t want to ponder what could be rattling around in Tess’ head. Nothing she would do, could surprise her, but she would do anything in her power to protect Max and the others.

“Tell us again what you did to keep her from taking control?” Max asked for the twentieth time.

Michael heaved a sigh and told him once again. “I saw her close her eyes and felt pressure building behind my eyes, so I imagined myself curled up into a protective
ball and ignored her voice in my mind.

“I could understand her clearly, but it was like hearing a far off echo, and it couldn’t breach my defenses.”

Max nodded and looked out over the quad. Knowing this would let them avert Tess from taking a hold of one of them like she had Alex in Liz’s dream. “I hope that little trick will work for everybody.”

Liz sat up straighter, remembering something. “There was a way to tell if you had been warped,” she said.

The others looked at her expectantly and she told them about Kyle’s and Alex’s excessive tapping. “Your not aware your doing it, so we have to keep an eye on
each other.”

“The best thing we can do is keep away from her,” suggested Maria.

“Unfortunately, she only needs a line of sight,” Liz explained. “She did say it was easier if she was in contact with the person, so let’s hope she’s lazy.”

“Great, now I’m going to have to keep looking over my shoulder,” mumbled Maria.

Michael bent down and whispered in her ear, “I’ll keep you safe.”

She looked up at him and thought, ‘I wish this guy would stop sending conflicting signals. He wants to protect me, but keeps his distance at the same time. Men!’

Isabel grabbed Alex’s hand and gave it a squeeze. She would not allow Tess to hurt him now that she had finally found him.

Alex squeezed back and gave her an understanding smile. He suddenly felt that with his guardian angel at his side, he could face a hundred Tess’ and win. It was
a pleasant thought.

###

“I still can’t believe that your father hired him,” complained Maria to her friend.

“I know, but Dad said something about second chances and told me to put him on the schedule,” Liz said as she put a ticket on the rack and spun it so Michael could
see the order.

“It hasn’t helped me any,” Maria responded, giving the handsome guy manning the grill a quick glance. “He’s taking the whole ‘I’ll watch your back’ thing a little
too far.”

Liz laughed. When Michael said he would do something, you could take his word for it. He had been shadowing Maria for days and Liz believed it was more than just protecting her from Tess. She thought he liked being around someone as lively and flighty as Maria. It was a total 180 from the life he had been use to.

“Do me a favor?” Maria asked.

“What?”

“Have Max tell him to cool his jets or I won’t be responsible for what happens. He’s got my mother completely fooled. She even asked him to dinner last night, it was so embarrassing.”

The bell rang and the girls looked at the pass thru. “Order up,” Michael called.

“Just look at that face,” Maria grimaced. “I can’t get away from it.”

Michael held up his hands and asked, “What?”

Grabbing her order, Liz said, “It could be worse.”

“How?”

“It could be Kyle.”

posted on 8-Aug-2002 3:53:33 PM by LilyFrancesca
Hello....Hello! I'm on my way out the door for a long weekend and thought I would give you a really, really long part. I hope this tides you over til I get back, Krys.

PART TWELVE

Liz unlocked the front doors and let Michael out. “You did a great job, tonight,” she said as he walked to the motorcycle parked out front.

“Thanks,” he grimaced, not use to having someone complement him.

“I think Dad saw your potential.”

“I just got sick of frozen dinners every night and figured, at least here, I can have some decent food.”

Liz tried to hid her smile. Leave it to Michael to think that burgers and fries were decent food. “See ya.”

“Bye.” He made sure she had locked the doors before starting up his bike. Looking over his shoulder for oncoming traffic, he didn’t see the girl standing in the shadows, watching him.

He took off down the street and she waited until he turned the corner before going back down the alley to the rear of the cafe.

Tess had decided that she would take possession of Liz herself, so only she would know where Liz was hidden. When she turned up missing, she would use Michael as her pawn to lead the others off her trail.

Testing the back door, she laughed to herself at the number of locks securing it. Placing her hand over each one, she was rewarded with a soft click as the tumblers moved. She slipped in quietly and made her way over to peer thru the window in the door leading to the dining room.

She saw that Liz was siting at one of the tables, entering tonight’s receipts into a ledger book. Listening for any movement from upstairs, she opened the door and padded silently up behind her. Closing her eyes, she tried to gain access to Liz’s mind, but found the way was blocked.

Liz spun when she first felt the pressure Michael spoke of and saw Tess standing behind her. Jumping up she faced her defiantly. “What are you doing here?” she
demanded.

Tess was disturbed that she was unable to enter Liz’s mind. ‘Time for plan B,’ she thought and reached out and grabbed Liz by the shoulder. Using a technique that
Nesadeo had shown her, she used her powers to compress a small vessel in Liz’s brain, which made her loose consciousness and slump to the floor.

Tess couldn’t hold back the smile that came to her face as she executed another little trick shown to her by her ‘father’. Raising her arm, she opened both doors
leading to the alley, while she levitated Liz’s body out them and to her awaiting car.


###

Max opened his eyes and saw a pen laying on the desk in front of his nose. Raising his head, he rubbed the sleep from his eyes and looked at the clock. The
red numbers showed it was 2:45 am and he realized he had fallen asleep waiting for Liz to call.

‘Liz’, he thought and unconsciously reached for her thru the bond. He sensed that she was asleep and relaxed. ‘She must have finished late and didn’t want to wake me,’ he thought reassuring himself.

Getting undressed, he got into bed and turned out the light. He sent a wave of love to her and drifted back to sleep.



###

Liz felt wrapped in a blanket of Max’s love and tried to roll over and snuggle deeper into it, but she couldn’t seem to make her arms move. Coming fully awake,
she realized that she wasn’t in her own bed and that her arms were being held tightly over her head.

Looking to her right, she saw a table with a lamp on it, next to the bed, while on the other side, there was a filthy toilet and sink. Across the small room from her,
was a metal door that was slowly opening.

The bright light coming from the other room silhouetted the person entering Liz’s prison. Waiting for her eyes to adjust, a myriad of questions flashed thru her mind. ‘Why was she here? and Who was responsible?’ were the uppermost.

“Are you enjoying your stay?” asked a condescending voice.

The latter was immediately apparent and Liz replied, “Tess.’

“Very good,” Tess purred. “I was afraid I had done serious damage to that pretty little head of yours.”

“Why are you holding me?”

“Isn’t obvious? You have something that I want.”

“Max.”

“He’s part of it, but more importantly, you know where the Granalith is,” she elucidated.

“I don’t know what your talking about.”

“Tsk, tsk. I never thought a amiable girl like yourself would stoop to lying, even for your ‘soul mate’,” she laughed cynically.

Walking closer, Tess looked down at her captive. Nesadeo had told her about the experiences he had while contained by the humans and thought it would be ironic to perform some of the same tactics they had used on him, to extract the information she need. ‘This should be fun.’

Liz saw the flame of insanity burning in Tess eyes and broke out in a cold sweat. Somehow, she had repelled the assault on her mind and now Tess was planning
something Liz was sure she wouldn’t like. Struggling to release her arms, she let out a silent cry to Max.

“He can’t help you,” stated Tess, nonchalantly. “In fact, I don’t think there is a being on this godforsaken planet that could. So what do you say we get down to
business, hmm?”

###

Max was dreaming. He saw Liz struggling to free herself, but it was futile. A dark shadow stood above her, ready to devour his love, and there was nothing he could
do about it. He ran toward her, but he felt as if he was moving thru molasses. He called out to her, but no sound could break the bubble closing in on him.

“Max, wake up, wake up,” Isabel said, shaking her brother.

Max tossed his head back and forth crying, “Liz! Liz I’m coming!”

“Max, please, you have to wake up,” she implored

Coming out of his dream, he reflectively grabbed her arms. “Isabel?”

“Thank God,” she breathed. “Max, I’ve been trying to wake you for ten minutes.”

“What’s going on?” he asked, then saw Michael standing behind her. “Michael, what’s wrong?”

Isabel turned to her ‘other’ brother and frowned. ‘How the hell were they going to tell him?'

Seeing Isabel’s expression, Michael stepped closer to the bed and said flatly, “Liz is gone.”

Letting go of his sister’s arms, Max sat up in bed and asked, “Gone? What do you mean, gone?”

“She was taken last night from the Crashdown. The police have been looking for her since three this morning.”

“Who....what?” he stuttered confused. Reaching for her, he found that she was terrified, but alive. “She’s still alive,” he stated to Isabel’s relief.

“Can you tell where she is?” Michael asked.

Max closed his eyes and tried to get a fix on her, but it was no good. All he could feel was her fear and it almost overwhelmed him. “She’s scared, oh god, we have
to find her.”

Michael could tell that he would have to take over for Max, until this was resolved. In this state, the was no predicting what he might do. “Okay, I’m going
to go to the cafe and see what they have found out so far. You two, call Maria and Alex and have them meet us here in an hour. Understand?”

Isabel nodded and pulled her brother into her arms. She knew that they had to find Liz and fast. If anything happened to her, Max would never recover. Laying
his head on her shoulder, she watched Michael purposefully stalk out of the room. If anyone was going to find Liz, it would be him.

###

Michael waked into the Evan’s living room, discouraged. He went to the cafe and Kyle (will wonders never cease) pulled him aside and told him what the police knew. It wasn’t much.

Maria looked up and seeing Michael, she threw herself into his arms, sobbing. He enfolded her in his embrace, knowing that this was terrifying for her. Placing a
kiss on her head, he turned to the others. Isabel was next to Max on the couch, while Alex was pacing like a caged tiger

“Well?” Alex snapped, stopping in front of him.

“What they think is that she let someone in thru the back and that she might have left with them on her own,” he replied.

“That’s impossible,” Maria proclaimed, “she wouldn’t do that without telling someone.”

“I know, but that’s what the evidence is saying,” he said, stroking her hair.

“Okay, we all know that she is not somewhere she wants to be, so let’s figure out here and go get her,” Alex demanded.

“I know how you feel, but we have to go about this with level heads,” Michael aid, sitting Maria down in the chair she had vacated. “We need to figure out who as her.”

“Isn’t it obvious?” Max asked. He looked like hell. His face was pale and his eyes hadsunk deep into their sockets. He clutched Isabel’s hand like it was the only
thing keeping him sane.

“Where do you think we should start looking?” Isabel asked.

“I’ve already been by ‘her’ house, but I didn’t see any sign of her or her car. She could be anywhere."

“That’s comforting,” growled Alex.

“Hey, this in not the time to go off half cocked,” Michael remarked, feeling the same as Alex. “We have to think where she might be holding her.” Turning to Isabel he asked, “Has he felt anything else?”

Looking at Max, she shook her head. “No, but he said that it flares up briefly.” Standing up, she pulled him to one side. “Michael, he’s not doing good. It’s like he is being sucked into Liz’s fear and he can’t find his way back.”

“No, he’s giving himself over to her,” Maria said. The two of them looked at her. “They are connected. He doesn’t want her to face this alone, so he is trying to join
her.”

“That makes sense. A while ago, it looked like he was fading out.”

“Okay,” Michael said decisively. Motioning for Alex to join them, he said,” Alex, I want you to go to Tess’ house and see if you can find anything. Isabel, I
want you to try and see if you can get to Liz, dreamwalking. Maria, I need you to stay here and take care of Max. I’m going to go to Liz’s and get her journal. She might have written down her experiences from the dream and they may lead us to where Tess is keeping her. Any questions?”

The three of them looked at Michael in a new light. Here was the man the King of Antar hand picked to be his second in command, and now they knew why. Who
would have know that this person had resided inside of Michael all these years.

Agreeing, they went about their assigned tasks with heavy hearts. Isabel walked up to her bedroom in a daze. She was glad that her parents were
out of town and she didn’t have to explain her brother’s condition to them. All her life, she had wanted to tell them about herself and Max, but now she was
grateful that they were still in the dark and safe, she hoped.

Entering her room, she opened the drawer to her nightstand and took out a picture of Max and Liz. Alex had received a new camera last week and had been the
happy shutter bug, to everyone’s dismay. She had planned on getting a frame for it and giving it to Liz as a gift, but that might not come to pass.

Clutching it to her chest, she willed her mind to calm down and she slipped into the dream plane. She knew better than the others, that this might be a fool’s
errand, and she might not be able to find Liz’s aura. Hoping Liz was sleeping, she sent her mind out to float over her hometown.

She had expected to go to Tess’ home or maybe one of the abandoned warehouses, but she drifted to a section of town she never visited. Here were rows upon rows of tenement houses that had housed workers during the building of the base. Now, they were in inhabited by the down and out, junkies and prostitutes. “I guess Tess had no problem blending in,’ she thought.

Focusing her search, she started floating down to one of the most dilapidated and was about to pass thru, when her concentration was broken by Maria screaming
her name.

“Isabel! Isabel come quick, I think Max is dying!”

###

Alex sat in front of the house for a few minutes to see if there was any activity within, before going around the back and jimmying open the garage window.
Pulling himself thru, he went over to the door to the house and said a quick prayer to the patron saint of thieves and fools . Slowly turning the knob, he waited for the alarm to go off, but there was silence.

He opened the door and walked into a messy kitchen. The sink was overflowing with dishes and there were take out cartons strewn about. ‘Not much of a
housekeeper, is she?’ he thought. Walking around the island he entered the great room and stopped dead. On the wall across from him were hundreds of snapshots
of the six of them. On closer inspection, the ones of Liz were mainly before the shooting and their involvement with the aliens.

‘She’s been watching Liz for months,’ he thought. ‘Could she have something to do with the shooting?’ A cold chill went down his spine and he turned to go and
warn the others when a picture on the table caught his eye. Looking down at it, he was frozen to the core. It was a blow up of Liz and someone one had scribbled
over it with red marker. At the bottom written in black were the words, ‘DIE BITCH DIE’.

Fearing the worst, he ran out of the house and jumped in his car. Taking off down the street, he call the Evan’s house but no one answered. Throwing the phone on
the seat, he stomped on the gas, not knowing what he was going to find when he got there.

###

Michael jogged down the street away from the Crashdown. There had been police inside of the restaurant, but not upstairs, when he climbed up to the balcony and entered Liz’s room. Her journal had been under her bed and he had just climbed back out of the window, when he heard voices coming down the hallway. He had thrown himself over the wall and practically slid down the ladder in his haste to get away.

Leaning against his bike, he leafed through the entries dated after the shooting. Scanning the pages, he slowly came to realize that Liz had held back many things
she had experienced during her dream. He had to wonder how Max would have reacted if he knew half of the things Liz had suffered by knowing him, and he admired her for throwing herself back into the fire.

He closed the book in frustration. There was nothing he could see, that would lead him to where Tess might be holding her. Slipping it under the bungee cord on
the back of the seat, he was putting on his helmet when Maria’s phone rang. Flipping it open he asked, “Anything?”

Maria cried, “Michael, Max is really, really bad, you have to get here, now!”

“Okay, I’m on my way.” Stuffing the phone in his pocket he headed back to save the only friend he had ever known.

###

“Max, Max can you hear me?” asked his sister, brushing back a lock of hair from his forehead. His skin was clammy and cold. “You have to stay with us, Max. You
can’t help her if your not here.”

Alex placed a hand on her shoulder and she laid hers over it. Turning her face to look up at him, Alex felt a wrenching in his gut at what he saw shadowed there.
She returned her gaze to the still figure laying on the couch and willed him to open his eyes.

Maria sat in a chair staring into space. She knew that if Max was fading, Liz must be dying, and there was nothing she could do. She heard Michael come in, but
couldn’t summon the strength to go to him. It was hopeless. Tess was going to win again.

Kneeling next to his friend, he gave him a shake. “Maxwell, wake up. We need to find her and you have to help,” he demanded, getting mad. Grabbing his
shoulders, he shook him hard.

Max groaned and opened his eyes. “Michael?”

“Max are you okay?” Isabel asked anxiously.

He placed a hand on his head and moaned. “Liz is in trouble. Tess is doing awful things to her, but she’s resisting. I need to get back to her.’ and he closed his eyes.

Seeing he would get nowhere with Max, Michael stood and looked to Isabel and Alex. “Did you find out anything?” he asked them.

“Just that she had been watching Liz since before the shooting and that she wants to kill her,” Alex said disgustedly.

“I think I might know where she is, but it is a long shot,” Isabel replied, standing up. She went over to a map laid out on the table and pointed to a section. “I was
able to trace her aura to here, but that was all.”

Michael looked where she pointed and grunted. He knew “In one of the tenements?”

She nodded and asked, “Will we be able to get to her in time?”

“I don’t know, but I’m sure going to try.”

“Let’s go,” Alex said, going toward the door.

Michael stopped him and said softly,” No, I need you to stay here.”

“She’s my friend, and I won’t abandon her.”

“I know, but they need you to be strong for them,” he explained nodding to the women behind them.

Looking over his shoulder, Alex could see that he was right and he could just bein the way. “Okay, but if you need me I’m just a phone call away.”

“I’m counting on it.”

###

Liz bit back a scream, she would not give Tess the satisfaction of hearing her cry out. Opening her eyes, she saw Tess sitting in a chair across from her, scowling.
After trying to get into her mind again and failing, Tess had resorted to physical stimulation to get the answer to her one and only question, ‘Where is the Granalith?’

The bed she was lying on was metal, and Tess had wired it up to a outlet and was using a remote switch that she flipped on and off, sending a charge thru Liz’s body. It was enough to shock her, but not kill her. “Why don’t you kill me and get it over with,” taunted Liz.

“What and end my enjoyment at watching you suffer?” cackled Tess. She was frustrated that she could not strip Liz’s mind with her powers. The electricity had
been one of the things used against Nesadeo during his imprisonment with the government, and so far she wasn’t impressed. Liz was still able to mouth off and
it was getting on her nerves.

“Face it. I will never tell you anything, you bitch,” spat Liz. She hoped that goading her like this would end her torment. She could feel Max in the back of her mind, lending his strength, but she didn’t want it. She felt that if she died, she could take him along with her, and he need to stay here and protect the others from this monster.

“Brave words, but I will end this when I want and not before. You could further that along, if you would tell me what I want to know.”

“Fat chance of that happening.”

“Suit yourself,” and flipping the switch, she smiled as she saw Liz’s body convulse with energy.


###

Max could feel what was happening to his love and he could do nothing to stop it. Using their bond, he sent his energy to her, hoping to give their friends enough
time to save her. He didn’t care if he sent everything he had, it was for Liz and it would be worth it.

###
Michael was racing thru the streets of the section of town Isabel had told him about, but he couldn’t sense Tess anywhere. If she was hurting Liz, she must not
be using her powers and he wouldn’t be able to locate her until she did. Pulling over to the side of the road, he decided to try something he hadn’t done since he
was a child.

Before being sent to the first of many foster homes, he had made a connection with one of the councilors at the halfway house they had placed him, when he had been found in the desert. She had freaked out and quit soon after. He vowed that day, to never expose himself to that kind of hurt again, but now he knew he didn’t
have a choice.

Closing his eyes, he pictured Liz in his mind’s eye. At first, he saw nothing, then suddenly, he was drawn to a building two streets away. Opening his eyes, he ran
down an alley toward his goal, knowing that she didn’t have much time left.


###

Isabel watched as the life force slowly drained from her brother. She had tried everything she could think of to get him to come back, but it was no use. He
would let himself die, to save Liz. Clinging to Alex, silently weeping, she knew that she would never see his smile or hear his laugh again. She prayed that Liz would be worth his sacrifice.

###

“Well, I’m board,” commented Tess. She wasn’t going to break Liz this way and decided that she needed to inflict more pain. Walking over to the bed, she took a
deep breath and held out her hand. Slowly, it began to glow, and she gave Liz an evil smile; this was really going to hurt.

Liz watched her approach and tried to brush the hair out of her eyes by shaking her head back and forth. Glaring at her in defiance, she watched in horror as the girl’s hand began to glow and she felt the heat radiating off it. Suddenly realizing what she intended, Liz finally gave Tess what she had been hoping for, a scream of pure terror.

###

“Liz! No!” screamed Max, sitting up right on the couch. Isabel went and put her arms around him. Looking at the others, fresh tears crept down her cheeks and she
knew the end was near.

###
Michael knew what building Liz was in, but he had no clue as to what floor, never mind what apartment. He was in the foyer when he ‘felt’ Tess using her powers
and he could feel Liz’s dread thru the connection. Running up the stairs, he made it to the third floor before Liz’s scream penetrated the hallway. Racing down the hall, he slammed into the door at the end and looked about hurriedly. Another scream permeated the air and he kicked open the bedroom door, and was overwhelmed by what he saw.

###

Tess’ hand lowered ever so slowly to lay on Liz’s chest and she could actually smell the flesh burning under her palm. Liz’s scream went on and on, as Tess fed
more power to her fingers. If this little slut wouldn’t give her the information she wanted, she was going to burn.

###

Liz, thankfully, only last a few moments after the first onset of pain. She saw darkness coming toward her and she embraced it joyously. As it overwhelmed her,
she sent out one last goodbye to Max and regretted not being able to say the same to her parents.

*Did you believe that I would leave you?* asked a voice in the darkness.

*Max?*

*Of course, were you expecting some one else?* he joked, coming up to her and taking her in his arms.

*You shouldn’t be here, Max. Your needed back there.*

*I belong where ever you are. Your the other half of me.*

*What about Isabel and Michael? You need to be there for them. They won’t be able to fight the enemy that is coming.*

*How bout we go back and do it together?*

*That’s not possible. I’ll never leave that room alive.*

*Trust me.*

Laying her head against his chest she replied, *Always.*


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 8-Aug-2002 3:54:38 PM ]
posted on 12-Aug-2002 8:11:14 AM by LilyFrancesca
The beach was great....I am now a beautiful shade of read, oh well!

PART 13

Michael thrust his hand out in front of him and sent a burst of power at Tess that picked her up and threw her across the room and into the wall. Not waiting to
watch her slide to the floor in a heap, he rushed over to the bed and with a wave of his hand, the handcuffs holding Liz’s arms and legs melted away. Gently, he
picked her up and carried her out of the room, without a backward glance at the figure on the floor. Right now, Liz was more important than finishing off the
monstrosity bleeding and unmoving in the corner.


Taking great pains not to hurt her much abused body, Michael carried Liz down the three flights of stairs and into the street. Knowing that he could never get her
back to Max on his bike, he put her arm around his neck and fished the cell out of his coat. Placing next to his ear, he hit the re-dial button and waited for someone
to answer.

“Hello?” asked a gruff voice.

“Alex, I’ve got Liz, but I need a car. Pick us up at the corner of Amostown and Piper. Got that?”

Alex was shocked to hear Michael’s news, seeing that Max was hardly breathing in front of him on the sofa. “Is she alive?”

“Yeah, but she needs to get to Max and fast.”

“Michael, Max might not be able to help her. He’s in rough shape.”

“Well at least they can be together then. Come get us.”

“I’ll be there shortly,” he said and hung up the phone. Addressing the others he said, “I have to go get Michael, he’s got Liz. Will you guys be okay?”

Hearing Liz’s name, Maria perked up. “Liz? he found her. Is she okay?”

“He said she’s alive, but she’s hurt and needs Max. I’ll be back.”

The girls watched him bolt out the front door, then turned their gazes back to Max’s prone figure. If Liz stilled lived, maybe Max would too.

###

Alex sped around the last corner and saw Michael with an unconscious Liz in his arms. Coming to a screeching halt, he vaulted out of the car and ran around to open the passenger side door.

Michael gently deposited his burden in the front seat, and reaching around her, he clicked the seat belt into place. Standing back up, he shut the door with a slam and jammed the helmet on his head. Starting up his bike, he waited until Alex pulled away from the curb, to follow.

The drive back to the Evan’s was the longest of the two men’s lives. Finally, they arrived and Michael threw his helmet to the ground and removed Liz from the car.
Alex ran ahead and held the front door open for him. Maria was waiting inside to direct him up to the master bedroom.

Laying her on the bed, Michael asked, “Where’s Max?’

“Right here,” he said coming out of the bathroom. His hair was damp and he had a towel in his hand.

“Glad to see your feeling better,” commented Michael.

“Thanks to you,” Max replied kneeling down next to Liz.

Maria came up behind Michael and wrapped her arms around his back . He spun in her embrace and lifting her up, he kissed her long and hard. He wouldn’t know
what he would have done if it was her, not Liz, lying on the bed.

Max slowly peeled away the remnants of Liz’s shirt, trying not to cause any further damage. Isabel sucked in her breath at the charred hand print embedded on
her chest below the collarbone. Repressing a shutter at the power that would be required to do such wreckage, she put her hands on Max’s shoulders and offered
her strength to him.

Closing his eyes and taking a deep breath, Max gathered up his remaining power and most of his sisters, and dove into Liz’s aura. What he saw sickened him. Liz was normally surrounded with a pure amber light but now it was infused with a green ichor, that radiated from the burn. Deciding that getting rid of the taint would go along way in restoring her natural balance, he focused a burst of healing energy at the wound.

At first, the poison started to dissipate, but a sudden flair broke through the surface and fought back viciously. Gritting his teeth in frustration, he pushed it
back down and rooted around to find the center of the contamination. To his surprise, he saw that Tess had attached this nasty bit of work to all of Liz’s doubts
about her self and their relationship. It was the fuel feeding the slow consumption of her soul.

‘Max, how’d she do this?’ Isabel asked in the back of his mind.

He was amazed that his sister had been able to follow him into the healing trance and see what he was seeing. ‘I’m not sure, but we need to dislodge it from her and hopefully, without a source of power, it will cease to function. Ready?’

He felt her agreement and he imagined a knife in his hand and proceeded to sever the line that connected this blight, from his beloved. It took a series of quick
strokes to get thru the connection and he had to sever the feeble attempts it made at re-establishment, but finally he was able to draw the foul node of corruption
from Liz and disintegrate it with a concentrated blast of energy.

With that removed, Liz’s body joined him in re-balancing her essence. It showed him where the healing was needed most and he followed it’s lead. Seeing that the
body was physically mended, he sent out a tentative thought to her mind and had to jump back quickly from the whip like snap of self preservation.

Heeding this warning, he deduced that his best option of bringing her back from the terror she faced, would be better accomplish by holding her in his arms and
sending waves of reassurance through the bond their shared. He pulled himself back into his body and let go of his sister.

Slumping forward, he tried to regain his breath as he heard Alex catch Isabel before she fell to the floor behind him. A few minutes later, he was able to raise is
head and see the results of his work. Liz’s flesh was whole, but she would forever carry the mark of Tess hand faintly on her skin.

He felt tears escape from under his lids, as he squeezed his eyes shut at the unfairness of it all. If it wasn’t for him, she would have remained safe and unharmed. If it wasn’t for his selflessness, he would have rebuffed her successful re-entrance back into his life.

“Stop it,” whispered a voice next to his ear.

Snapping open his eyes, he looked into the weary, but fully aware gaze of holder of his heart. “Liz?”

“Stop beating your self over the head,” she ordered, weakly. “She’s wanted me dead for eons. She know that no matter what she does, you and I will be together,
forever. If not here, than in the next life or the one after that.” She closed her eyes, exhausted, and fell into a deep sleep.

Collecting her hand into his, Max wept over it and thanked God that she would be all right. He had come very close to loosing her and he vowed to eradicate the
menace that had almost taken her away from him.

###

A few hours later, and after taking a nap next to Liz, Max came down the stairs looking much better than he had going up. When Michael broke Tess’ hold over
Liz, he had come rushing back into his body and awoke. He had heard Alex talking on the phone, and opened his eyes to watch his friend race out of the house. Groaning, he made Isabel and Maria aware that he was back and they came and helped him to get upstairs and refresh himself before the guys brought Liz home.

Now he had the unfortunate task of finding out what Michael had done to Tess. Taking a seat next to him and Maria on the sofa, he said, “I don’t think I’ll ever be
able to repay you for what you did for us.”

Michael was a little abashed buy the sentiment, but decided not to comment on it. He was coming to realize the depth of feeling one could have For another person,
and he hoped that if the situations were reverse, his friends would have come to the rescue.

Looking around the room at his friends, Max knew that he would do anything to keep them safe, even if it meant killing someone to do it. Letting out a sigh at the
thought, he asked, “What happened to Tess?”

Michael shrugged and replied, “I blasted her into the corner and grabbed Liz and left. I don’t know if I just stunned her or if she’s dead. I’ve been waiting to see if
Liz was going to be okay before going back over there.”

“Well I for one, hope she is rotting as we speak,” Maria snarled. She wished she had the tramp’s lily white neck in-between her hands right now, so she could
wring it.

“Down girl,” Michael whispered loudly. The others laughed and it broke the tension in the room. Maria gave his arm a punch and he grunted for her sake.

“I say, we go and see either way,” Alex put in. He didn’t relish the idea, but they had to know if she would be coming to get them. “Michael and I can be back in a
half an hour.”

“No,” Isabel said. She had been in the kitchen brewing coffee and she placed the tray she had made up on the table in front of the couch. “I don’t want you coming
within twenty feet of that witch.”

“She’s right,” Max said. “I can’t risk having Maria and Alex falling into her hands. If you guys would stay here with Liz, Michael, Isabel and I will go. If she still there, we can take care of her, our way.”

The others could see the gleam of revenge glowing in his eyes and understood that he needed to face her himself. Three against one were good odds and their combined powers would be able to take care of anything Tess could throw at them.

###

Max, Isabel and Michael piled into the jeep and headed out to see what had happened Tess. Michael gave Max the directions and they drove along, each immersed in their own thoughts. Isabel looked over at her brother and scowled in frustration. His need for revenge was so out of character for him, she was worried at what he might do when he finally saw Tess in person. Michael, on the other hand, had show a side that she never knew existed. She wondered if they were even the same people she thought she knew.


Max watched the road and tried not to speed. His overwhelming need to face Tess as soon as possible was the force driving him on. He should be exhausted, but the
flame of retribution was burning brightly in his soul and only confrontation would douse it. He hoped Michael had left something for him to take his anger out on.

Pulling onto Piper Road, they were forced over to the shoulder, when a fire truck came screaming up behind them. Watching it fly by, a sense of dread fill Michael.
As they got closer to their destination, they could see flames rising in to the darkening sky. They were stopped a block away from the building that once held Liz, it was completely engulfed in flames.

The three of them got out of the truck and walked closer to the taped off area surrounding the inferno. Around them, the forgotten people of the world mulled as
they watched the place they called home disappear. A woman was weeping off to Max’s right and he turned to see if Tess was included in the group.

“She’s gone,” said Isabel.

“How do you know?” asked Max.

“One of two things happened,” she replied. “Either she came around and left, or she is still in there. Which ever one, there is nothing we can do now. We’ll have to wait and see what the police find, but I wouldn’t keep my hopes up. If anyone was caught in there, there won’t be much left for them to find.”

Glancing up at the fire, Max had to agree. Time would tell if she got out or if she received justice from some other hand. He was divided as to which out come he
would prefer.

###

Liz slowly woke and her eyes roved the room, trying to figure out where she was. All of a sudden, the events of the last day and a half came flooding into her mind
and she sat up abruptly. “Oh my god, my parents must be freaking out,” she said to the empty room.

Swinging her legs off the bed, she grabbed the headboard and tried to stand. When she had no difficulties, she smiled and thought, ‘What did I expect? Max is good at what he does, especially when it comes to me.’

Hearing voices coming from downstairs, she followed them and saw Maria and Alex sitting in the Evan’s living room. When he saw her, Alex jumped up and came over to help her to a chair. Seeing what he intended, she laughed and said, “Thanks for the offer, Alex, but I feel fine.”

“Are you sure?” Maria asked, plainly not convinced.

Sinking into the chair, Liz reassured her. “Yes, Mom.”

“Good. When Michael brought you here, we weren’t sure if you would be able to walk, never mind, be okay.”

“Oh, so that’s how I got here,” replied Liz. She could only recollect the pain Tess had inflicted on her and Max’s healing presence. Everything else was a blur.

“Yeah, he burst in and sent that bitch flying,” ginned Maria.

Liz gave her a small smile and said, “Michael was always one who shot first and asked questions later.”

“What are you going to tell your parents?” Alex asked.

“I’m not sure. They must be frantic by now.”

“They realized you were gone a couple of hours after you were taken. They think you went with someone you knew, because there was no forced entry,” he told
her.

“I think she waited until everyone had left, and opened the locks on the back door. All I remember is feeling her trying to get into my head and confronting her. The
rest is fuzzy.”

Looking around, she asked, “The others?”

“They’ve gone to see if she was where Michael left her, then from there, I’m not sure,” explained Alex.

As he finished speaking, the Jeep pulled into the drive and the three waited anxiously for their friends to come in with some news. They could tell that things were not well by the expressions on their faces. Max saw Liz and made a bee line to her and sat on the arm of her chair.

Raising an eyebrow, Maria asked, “Well?”

“The place had almost burned to the ground by the time we got there,” Michael said, sliding to the floor at Maria’s feet. She began to rub his temples. “Aaaaah,”
he groaned in pleasure.

“What’s our next move?” asked Alex, taking Isabel’s hand.

“First thing, we have to get Liz home.” replied Max, even though he hated to let her out of his sight.

Liz nodded. “What should I tell them?”

“Tell them that you were hit on the head and when you woke up, you were laying on the side of the road.” Michael suggested.

“Okay, but how will I explain about you guys finding me, and not the police?”

“We’ll say we saw you walking back to town and brought you home as soon as possible,” Isabel put in. Everyone seemed to like the plan, and so they got up and Max put his arms round her. The others went out and gave them a few minutes alone.

“I guess I have to thank you for saving my life, again” she said.

“If it wasn’t for me, you wouldn’t have been hurt either time.”

“What do you mean?”

“Alex went to Tess’ house. She has a wall of surveillance pictures and most of them are of you months before you were shot. We think the shooting wasn’t an accident.”

“Are you kidding?”

Shaking his head, he gave he a quick squeeze and stepped back. “Let’s get you home. We can talk about this later.”

Agreeing, she followed him out the door, but something kept nagging at the back of her mind. She knew she had to dive into the memories of her imprisonment, because she was sure it held the key to everything.


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 12-Aug-2002 11:38:05 AM ]
posted on 14-Aug-2002 8:43:43 AM by LilyFrancesca
Kara, yeah I have this one on the Bordello over at EZ Boards, so that might be where you've seen it. It's complete there, but this board has such great feedbackers, I wanted to see how ya'll like it here.


Part 14

Tess still couldn’t believe that she had let Michael come up on her unawares. She hadn’t heard him kick in the door, so intent on hurting Liz, she was flying thru the
air before she knew they were no longer alone. On the verge of unconsciousness, she watched thru veiled eyes as Michael scooped up her prize and dashed out of the apartment.

She must have blacked out, because when she came to, the room was on fire, probably caused by a short circuit from the extension cord that was still wired to the bed. Crawling along on her belly, she made for the door, trying not to breath in any of the noxious fumes coming from the asbestos filled paneling. When she got to the hallway, the stairs were blocked and she was forced to enter the apartment across the hall.

Slamming the door behind her, she broke thru the wood covering the window and stuck her head out. This building along with most in this part of town, had been
built in the mid forties and were not equipped with fire escapes. Seeing a drain pipe, Tess shook her head to clear it, before squeezing thru the broken slats and
swinging herself out onto the ledge.

Shuffling along, she came to the edge and had to jump onto the pipe. Giving a silent thanks to her creator for her small size, she shimmied down to the ground.
Hearing sirens in the distance, she ran to her car, which was parked a few blocks away, and took of in the opposite direction.

She would have to make contact with Kivar, she shuttered at the thought, and find out what he wanted to do. She dreaded his reaction and what he would do to her once he got her back on Antar, if she ever made it that far. This fiasco was going to cost her dearly.


###

Liz’s reunion with her parents was a tear filled event. Having almost lost their daughter twice in as many months, they jokingly informed her that she was never
to leave her room again. Praying that it was only a joke, Liz endured the many questions put to her by the sheriff. Luckily, he didn’t need to question the others
as much, their answers were pretty straight forward, and they were sent on their way.

Promising to call her later, Max left the restaurant, but stayed in the vicinity. He wasn’t going to let Tess get a hold of her again, on the off chance that she survived the fire. Alex agreed to bring Maria and Isabel home, while Michael sat with Max in the Jeep.

“Are you planning on keeping a ‘round the clock surveillance?” Michael asked, pouring some hot sauce onto his Three Musketeer Bar and taking a bite.

“That’s the plan,” he replied, watching Liz and her mother go thru the doors into the back.

“And when do you expect to sleep? Or eat?”

“I haven’t got all the detail sorted out yet, but I’ll come up with something.”

“You know, Liz won’t want you to do this.”

“I know, but what else can I do? Because of me, she is in danger. God, I have almost got her killed twice and I won’t let it happen again.”

“I say we take out the cause, then she will be safe.”

“I have a feeling that Tess is only a tool. She might be working for someone else, maybe even Kivar. How can we stop him?”

“I’m not sure, but I bet Liz’s parents won’t let her out of their sight for a long time. We can go to Tess’ and check out this wall Alex told us about. Maybe she left more than he saw. It couldn’t hurt.”

“I guess your right, she should be fine, for now. I’ll come back and watch over her tonight. I wouldn’t put it past them to try and get to her as soon as possible, she
apparently has something they want.”

Starting up the truck, Max took on long look at the apartment above the restaurant and slowly drove away, vowing that he would keep her safe.

###

Liz’s parents were true to their word and she was hovered over and watched more than when she came home from the hospital. The sheriff finally seemed satisfied that she didn’t know any more than what she had told him and had left her in peace. Her only regret was not finding out why Tess had been asking about the
Granalith.

From her dream, she had only told the others that it was only some sort of ship. For some reason, she withheld the whole ‘Future Max’ incident, and was not sure
why. *Yes you do,* said her conscious. *You didn’t want to loose Max again.*

She cringed at the words. The voice was right and she knew it. Deep in her heart of hearts, she wanted the wedding that Future Max had described, never mind the
consequences that would be involved if it came to pass.

‘I know it was wrong,” she thought, ‘but at least this time Tess won’t get Max’s son.’

*That’s what has been really bothering you,* taunted the voice. *She had him before you.*

‘No,’ she snapped, then realized that was a lie. It had eaten her up inside until she had been consumed with hate for the both of them. “It wasn’t fair,” she said aloud.

“What wasn’t fair?” asked a voice behind her.

“Michael,” she said turning to look at him.

Jumping off the wall he walked toward her. “How are you feeling?”

Smiling, she unconsciously rubbed the spot where Tess had branded her. “Fine, thanks to you.”

Looking away, he took something out of his jacket and held it out to her. “I thought you might want this back.”

Seeing her journal, she resisted the urge to snatch it from his hand. Instead she asked, “Did you read it?”

“Yeah,” he admitted. “I thought it might lead us to where she was keeping you.”

He placed it on the table next to her chair and quickly wiped his hand on his leg. “Why, Liz?”

Knowing what he wanted, she scrambled for something to tell him, but all she could say was, “I don’t know.”

“You don’t know?” he asked incredulously. “Our lives are in the balance and all you can say is ‘I don’t know.’ ”

Shaking her head, she couldn’t meet his eyes. “I guess I was being selfish,” she whispered.

Slumping into a chair he let out a sigh and ran his had thru his spiky hair. “That at least is something I can understand.”

“Did you, I mean, have you........?”

“No, I didn’t let the others see,” giving her a hard look.

“Thank you.”

He got up and was about to leave when her voice stopped him. “I felt you, you know.”

“I know.”

“Will we always be ‘connected’?”

“Yeah, until I break it.”

“You can you know, I’ll understand.”

“No, I think I need to know where you are for now, if only for Max’s sake.”

“Do Max and Isabel know about this power?”

“No,” he replied climbing onto the ladder. “Now, we each have a reason to keep secrets.”

Liz silently agreed as she watched him disappear down the side of the building. She knew her reason, but what was his?


###

Alex placed his arm around Isabel’s shoulder and she laid her head against his shoulder. Ignoring the movie, she closed her eyes and basked in the warmth of his embrace.

Suddenly she saw images of Tess flashing thru her mind:

*flash* Tess driving in the desert shaking with rage. *flash* Tess talking to a familiar figure hovering over a glowing device.
*flash* Tess being set upon by two beefy and them
throwing her in a car.
*flash* Tess laying battered and bleeding on the side of the road.

“Oh my god,” Isabel cried sitting up in her seat. A bevy of ‘shut up’ and ‘keep it down’ answered her but she didn’t hear them.

“Isabel, what is it?” Alex asked looking into her frightened face.

“We have to go and see Max, right now,” she exclaimed.

Hearing the fear in her voice, he stood and grabbing her hand behind him, he bullied his way to the main aisle, pulling he along with him. Once outside he asked, “Where?’

“Home, he said he had to study,” she replied as he led her over to the car and opened the door for her. After she was situated, he closed the door and ran around
to his side. Sliding behind the wheel, he saw that she was badly shaken and hurriedly drove her home.

posted on 15-Aug-2002 8:37:15 AM by LilyFrancesca
Part 15

Max was trying to focus on the book in front of him, to no avail. His mind keptb going back to what he and Michael had found at Tess’ house.

The place had been ransacked. The wall of pictures Alex had told them about along with the blow up of Liz were gone. The only thing they had found was a photo of him and Liz taken at the Crashdown a week or so ago and that had been hidden under a discarded pizza box.

The two of them went thru the house, but everything of Tess’ was gone. Either she had made it out of the fire and took her stuff or someone came and cleaned up
after her when they realized she was dead, he didn’t know which.

Pulling out the picture, he brushed his finger over Liz’s smiling face. He remembered how happy she was that day. She had just found out that she would be going to a seminar at the University of New Mexico on molecular biology, given by some professor whom she regarded as a leading scientist in his field. She had been so excited, that her joy made the people around her smile at her
delight.

‘That was so like her,’ he thought. ‘Her mood effects those around her, she feels things so deeply.’

He felt a pulse of love come to him thru their bond and he knew she was thinking about him. Unfortunately, she wasn’t as sensitive as he was and unless he sent a large dose, she wasn’t aware of his thoughts.

“Oh well, she’ll know soon enough,” he sighed and stood to get ready for their date. Her parents would only let her go out if she was with him or Maria and Alex. She was getting fed up with the whole situation, but he liked it very, very much.

Grabbing fresh towels out of the linen closet, he headed down the hall to take a quick shower. Hearing his name being called from downstairs, he spun and ran down to see what was wrong.

Alex was coming thru the front door behind Isabel, who had called his name. He wasn’t the only one to respond to her call.

“Isabel,” her mother said, walking in from the kitchen, “what are you yelling for?”

“I wanted to know if Max was home,” she said, staring at her brother.

“You could have gone up to his room. There is no need to shout the house down.”

“Sorry Mom, I didn’t mean to alarm anyone,” she apologized.

“Okay.” Seeing Alex she asked, “I thought you were going to a movie?”

“We were, Mrs. Evans,” Alex said, “but it was really boring. We thought Max might want to come with us and get something to eat.”

“That was sweet of you,” she said beaming at her daughter’s friend.

“Why don’t you two come up for a minute, and let me finish getting ready,” Max suggested, sensing his sister needed to talk to him alone.

Isabel nodded her head and grabbing onto Alex’s hand, led him past her mother and up the stairs. Max shrugged at his mother and gave her a smile. She returned it and giving the retreating pair a strange look, went back into the kitchen.

Max went back up stairs and going into his room, he closed the door behind him and leaned against it. “Well?”

Sitting next to each other on the bed, Isabel told them about the flashes she saw of Tess, while clinging to Alex’s hand. When she was finished she said, “I know she
isn’t your favorite person right now, but she is in danger. What if she’s picked up and they find out what she is?”

Max looked up at the ceiling and knew she was right. He had hoped Tess had died in the fire, but Isabel was never wrong when she got her flashes. “Do you have any idea what road she was on?”

“I saw a sign for some fortune teller, but that’s it.” she replied, dishearteningly.

“It wouldn’t have happened to say Madame Vivian on it, would it?” asked Alex.

“Yeah, that could be it,” she said, raising one brow in a silent question.

“I’ve brought Maria out there a few times,” he defended himself.

“Isn’t that over on 252?” Max asked, pulling out a map from his desk.

“About ten miles out of town. Near that shut down motel.”

“Okay, let me call Liz and tell her that I’m going to be late and we’ll go and check it out.”

“Max, what’ll we do if she’s there?” Isabel asked in trepidation.

“I guess we’ll find out when we get there. I can’t promise anything.”


###

“Well, damn,” Liz said hanging up the phone.

“What’s up?” Maria asked poking her head out of the closet.

“That was Max. He said he needs to check something out with Isabel and he wasn’t sure if he could make out date.” Throwing a pillow she whined, “I was so looking forward to getting away from this house.”

“Poor baby,” Maria cooed as she pulled out one of Liz’s dresses and held it up in front of her as she looked into the mirror. “At least you had a date for tonight. Space- boy had been avoiding me like the plague.”

“He told me he wanted to be scheduled for anything open.” Liz told her.

“It’s just so he doesn’t have to take me anywhere,” Maria complained, discarding the dress and pulling out another one. “I thought we were starting something and
he goes all frigid on me.”

“Don’t worry. When he finally comes around, your going to wish he was back to the way he is now. He can get very intense.”

“I hate that you know more about him than I do. I wish you could show me how we were in your dream. I might be able to get some pointers.”

Shaking her head Liz replied, “Trust me, you don’t want to know. You might end up killing him before he has the chance to win you over.”

“Well, it looks like you and me tonight, Wanna go down and bug Michael?”

Smiling, Liz figured it was the only other invite she was going to get tonight and it would be fun watching Maria drive Michael crazy.


###

“There’s the sign,” Isabel said pointing to the glowing hand in the distance.

Alex slowed up and the three of them scanned the roadside for anything out of the ordinary. Looking out the windshield, Alex was surprised to see a dark van pulled over onto the shoulder. Slowing to a crawl he watched as the side door was thrown open and something flung to the ground. Without turning on it’s lights, the van took off down the highway.

Knowing instinctively what had been tossed onto the dirt, he stopped the car and got out.

“Alex, what are you doing?” Isabel asked, not having seen the truck.

Waving her to join him, her and Max got out of the car and followed him to where he stood looking down at a heap at his feet. Isabel sucked in her breath when she
saw Tess’ bloodied face staring up at her.

Max knelt next to the prone girl and felt for a pulse. “She’s alive.”

“What are we going to do?” Isabel asked. She still felt betrayed by this girl and wasn’t sure she deserved help after what she put Liz thru. Unfortunately, they
couldn’t leave her here, because of what she was and what could happen to them if she was found.

“We have to take her with us, I guess,” Alex said surprised to here his voice so calm. He had seen the mess he made of his best friend and knew that she would
kill them all if given the chance, but he wasn’t a monster and couldn’t leave her here. “But where?” Max ran his hand over her body and saw she wasn’t seriously hurt. He decided that she could heal on her own without his help. She deserved to feel some pain considering what she inflicted on Liz. Now, where to take her.

“Back to her house?” suggested Isabel. “You said they already cleared it out, so they wouldn’t think she’d go there.”

“What choice do we have? I won’t risk having Liz see her. she is still having nightmares about her captivity,” Max said and bent to pick up the limp girl.

Tess’ eyes fluttered open and when she saw who was holding her, she began to struggled weakly. “Cut it out or you going to hurt yourself even more,” he said
coldly.

She stopped moving and looked up into his eyes uncertainly. “Why?” she whispered.

“We can’t risk you being picked up by anyone else,” he replied, carrying her to the car and putting her in the back seat. Climbing in next to her he motioned for the
others to get in .

“Where are you taking me?” she asked hoping to sound calm, when in fact she was more terrified than when Kivar’s people had scooped her up.

She knew that he was angry about her botched attempt at finding out the location of the Granalith, but she never suspected him to have her beaten. The worse part
was that the men who had taken her, never uttered a word. They just went about hurting her like machines, with no expressions on there faces. She was unsure if
they were suppose to leave her there to die in the cold desert night or what.

Max looked at her with hate filled eyes and said, “To your house. We have a few thing we need to talk about.”

Tess felt a shiver race down her spine at the repugnant look he gave her. Closing her eyes, she laid her head back on the seat. Taking a deep breath she tried to focus her mind and gain access to his, but it was blocked.

“You should conserve your strength,” he said softly. “Your little trick won’t work on us. You should have figured that out after everything you put Liz thru. Your lucky it was us and not Maria who found you.”

“What could that little bitch do to me?” she asked with false bravado

“You would be surprised at the things she wants to do to you. Just sit back and shut your mouth. You have a lot of explaining to do.” Turning her head, she gave him a dirty look but did what he said. If she was going to get out of this alive, she would need all the rest she could get.

###


“Michael, could you cook this a little more?” Maria asked sweetly as she walked behind the counter carrying a plate that held a Will Smith Special.

“You asked for medium and medium is what you got,” he said rolling his eyes.

The girls had come down a half hour ago and his life had been hell ever since. Maria had ordered one thing and after he had almost finished it, she had changed
her mind and ordered the burger. Liz wasn’t helping things either. She had complained that her food was too cold then too hot and he was about to boot the both of them out of there.

“But when I cut it in half, it was still pink inside,” Maria pouted prettily. She had to choke back a laugh at the pitiful expression on his face.

Taking the plate roughly from her hands, he looked over his shoulder to make sure Mr. Parker was elsewhere and quickly passed his hand over the food. Holding it
back out to her he said, “Now is there anything else?”

Smiling Maria replied, “No that should be it,.........for now.”

Michael growled low in his throat as he watched her walk back to the table she was sharing with Liz. “You must have done something pretty bad to tick her off,” Mr. Parker said from over his shoulder.

Turning his head to look at the older man he replied, “If you tell me what it is, I’ll at least have a clue.”

Jeff Parker laughed at the boy. When Michael had come in looking for a job, he had seen himself twenty years earlier. He remembered what it was like to be young and carefree, but poor. He had a feeling that this young man was more that what he appeared on the surface, and he proved it in his unrelenting search for Liz
when she had gone missing. That, if nothing else, had earned him his respect. Liz and Maria were lucky to have him for a friend.

“Well what ever you did, you better fix it and quick. With those two against you, you never get any peace,” he said and clapped him on the shoulder.

Sighing in disgust, Michael spun the ticket holder and started on his next order.


posted on 16-Aug-2002 8:09:31 AM by LilyFrancesca
Part 16

Isabel opened the front door and held her hand up to her nose to block the stench coming from inside the house. Looking at the girl behind her, she didn’t think her opinion could go any lower for her, but she was mistaken.

Blinking her watering eyes, Tess said, “They must have left the fridge open.”

“That or your a pig and this is your sty,” mumble Isabel as she flipped on the lights.

Max brushed past her and walked into the kitchen. Waving his hand, he disintegrated the source of the odor and shut the refrigerator door. Pointing to the table, he indicated for the others to take a seat.

Pulling out the picture of him and Liz he threw it down in front of the bruised girl. “You want to explain why you tried to kill Liz ?” he asked unemotionally.

Tess looked down at the photo and had to keep a sneer from her face. It seemed she was never going to get rid of this bane to her existence. “She didn’t fit into my
plans,” she said pushing the picture way.

“So torturing and almost killing her benefited you .....how?” asked a sarcastic Alex. His hands were clasped together on the table in front of him and his
knuckles were turning white from the pressure he was using to keep them from reaching out and implementing one of the many ways Maria planned on killing this beast.

“No, that was for my pleasure alone,” Tess laughed maliciously.

Isabel gasped and Alex lost it. Standing up his chair fell to the floor as he tried to round the table and dispatched this demon back to hell where she belonged. He was stopped by a hand on his shoulder and the word “Enough.”

The power that voice held, froze him on the spot. Slowly, he turned and looked at the man behind him. He was taken back by the flame of rage glowing in Max’s
eyes. Never taking his gaze off Tess he said, “This is getting us no where. Sit down Alex.”

Unable to argue, he did as he was told, but he kept clenching his fits in frustration. Death would not be enough retribution for what she has put his friends thru.

Walking over to Tess, Max leaned onto the table and placed his face mere inches from hers and said slowly, “Where is he.”

“Who?”

“Kivar. I know you’ve been working for him. Is he here on this planet?”

“Why would I tell you?”

“I’m the only thing keeping you alive. Your ‘friends’ apparently have no more need of your services and that means your value is less than nothing.”

“And what are you going to do, oh great and mighty King? You have no idea what your up against. I should be the least of your worries. When the time comes, your
going to wish you had me on your side.”

Spinning away, Max paced into the living room. He knew he could rip the information from her mind in a kind of reverse healing, but he was unsure he could control himself enough to not kill her. She will be useful somehow and he couldn’t waste her on revenge, even for Liz.

Isabel went over to her brother and touched his arm carefully. She could never have guessed at the hidden depths that were concealed behind his quiet demeanor. Here was someone she didn’t know and she wasn’t sure she wanted to. Michael had always been the first to fly off the handle and jump in feet first. Max, on the other hand, was the pillar of reason and tranquillity, not this stranger standing before her.

“Max, what are we going to do? We can’t leave her by herself, she might try and hurt the others,” she whispered.

“I know,” he replied. “Do you think you could say here with her and Alex while I go and get Michael? Everyone needs to have a say in this.”

“Even Liz?”

“I’m going to try to keep her out of this. She has suffered enough because of me and I won’t let her get hurt again.”

“Are you sure that’s wise? If she finds out, she won’t understand.”

“Then I guess we won’t let her, will we?”

Shaking her head no, they walked back to the table and Max pulled Tess from her chair. Dragging her to one of the bedrooms, he threw her into it and was going to
close the door, when she spun and threw a bolt of energy at him. Throwing up a field of his own, he absorbed the blast. “Not very smart, Tess. I bet that was the last of your energy, hmm?”

Revealing the snarl she had been holding back she screamed, “Bastard! You better not turn you back on me or it will be the last thing you do!”

“I guess I’ll be careful then,” he said tiredly and with a wave of his hand, she slumped to the floor.

“What did you do to her?” Isabel asked from the doorway.

“She’ll be fine. I just put her into something like a coma. Seems appropriate, don’t you think?”

###

Max left Alex and Isabel to watch over Tess’ unconscious body while he heads over to the cafe. Michael should be close to the end of his shift and if he waited near his parked bike, he wouldn’t have to go into the restaurant and risk running into Liz.

Slamming his hand against the steering wheel, he gave into some of the anger that was seething thru him. Why he hadn’t killed Tess as soon as he realized it was her laying in the dust, was a question he couldn’t answer. Instead he put himself thru the agony of watching her express her joy at the pain she inflicted on Liz.

‘She’s our only link to home,’ he tried to justify to himself. ‘She maybe yet prove useful.’ He could only trust the others would agree with him.

Pulling behind the building he cut the engine and looked up to the balcony over head. There were candles lit and he could faintly make out the notes to one of Liz’s favorite songs. He smiled despite himself and indulged in imagining her sitting in her lounge chair, staring up at the night sky.

Because of his wandering thoughts, he didn’t become aware that the object of his reverie was standing next to him with a slight smile on her face. “Max?” she questioned.

Startled, he yelped, “Liz, what are you doing here?”

“Ah Max, I live here,” she laughed.

“Yeah, that’s right,” he said cursing his luck. Looking around he demanded, “What are you doing out here by your self?”

Holding up a bag of trash, she walked over to the dumpster and tossed it in. Whipping her hands on the back of her jeans, she came back over to the truck and
asked, “Did you finish that thing with Isabel?”

“What? Oh yeah,” he answered, staring past her at the back door.

“Okaaaay,” she drawled. “Why don’t you come in. Maria and I are on a mission to drive Michael insane”

“No I can’t,” he said bluntly. “I’m just waiting for Michael to finish his shift.”

“Oh. Well then, uhm, okay, see ya Max.”

Trying to ignore her crestfallen expression he said,” Tell Michael I’m waiting for him.”

“Uh sure, no problem.” Spinning on her heel, she whipped the screen door open and stormed back into the kitchen. Brushing past Michael, she spat, “Max is outside waiting for you.”

He finished washing his hands and asked, “Did he say what he wanted?”

“Do I look like his secretary?”

“I’ll take that as a no,” he said watching her violently pushing the door to the dinning room out of her way.

Punching out, he grabbed his jacket and went out the door to see Max sitting in the Jeep. “What the hell did you say to Liz?” he asked. “She’s pretty pissed.”

“Get in, we have a problem,” was his only reply.

Slipping on he coat, he hopped into the truck and while Max was backing out of the alley, he asked, “What is it, Maxwell?”

“I’ll tell you on the way.”


###

“Men suck,” Liz said as she fell into the chair across from Maria.

Maria raised her eyes from the personal ads she was scanning and replied, “Your just realizing this now?”

Picking up her napkin, Liz began shredding it into thin strips. “No, I guess it slipped my mind for a while.”

“Chica, what happened?”

“I went to toss out that bag of trash from behind the register and Max was sitting in the Jeep. When I asked him to come in, he was all cold and told me he was
only there to meet Michael.”

“See, this is what I’ve been telling you,” Maria exclaimed throwing up her hands. “You open yourself to someone and all they end up doing is kick you in the gut.”

Nodding her head in agreement, Liz closed her eyes and took a calming breath. Abruptly, her connection with Michael became awake and she could hear everything Max was telling him. Snapping open her eyes, she stared at her best friend in terror.

Maria watched the blood drain from Liz’s face and reached over and grabbed her hands in support. “Liz, what is it?” she asked anxiously.

“Oh my god, they have Tess,” she whispered, starting to shake.

“Who? Who had Tess? Your not making any sense, Liz.”

Steeling herself against the onset of dread gnawing at her soul, she kept repeating over and over, ‘She can’t hurt you. She can’t hurt you.’

Every night since she had returned home, she has been awoken petrified and covered in a cold sweat. In her nightmares, she kept seeing Tess; glowing hand coming toward her and hearing her ask the same question repetitively.... ‘Where was the Granalith?’

It was only the artful applied concealer under her eyes that kept her family and friends in the dark about her lack of sleep. She knew they would worry and she
was afraid that her parents might make her talk to someone about it. She wouldn’t risk the safety of the others so she could get a good nights sleep.

“Liz are you okay?”

Maria’s voice brought her back to the present. “Do you have the car?” she asked her eyes wide and dilated.

“Yeah, where we going? And what was that you said about Tess?”

“Max has Tess and is bring Michael to her house,” she replied, standing. “We need to get over there.”

Comprehending that Michael could be in danger, Maria stacked the plates on the table into a pile and put them into Liz’s hands. “Take these in back and tell your
Dad that were heading to my house for a girl’s night. I’ll run upstairs and grab the keys and some things for you to stay the night.”

Liz nodded absently and Maria stopped her a few steps from the door. “Liz, snap out of it, or your Dad won’t let you leave the building.”

Nodding again, Liz pasted a false smile on her face and walked into the kitchen. Maria took this as a good sign and dashed upstairs for their things.


posted on 17-Aug-2002 6:30:14 PM by LilyFrancesca
Part 17


“So your telling me that you and Michael are connected?” Maria asked in disbelief. “When the hell were you going to let me in on this info?”

“It happened when he was looking for me,” she tried to explain. “I only felt him for a few seconds, that one time.”

“And it slipped your mind to make me aware you can communicate with him mind to mind?”

“It’s not like that. This is the only time I got anything from it, besides, he asked me to keep it to my self. Sorry.”

“Perfect! This is so like him to keep the fact that we could have a bond like you and Max and he hides it from me, “she complained.

“It is nothing like what I share with Max. I’m like a homing beacon and he can find me if he has to.” Liz tried to reassure her friend so she wouldn’t feel rejected
by Michael’s unwillingness to share his thoughts with her.

Before Maria had a chance to reply, Liz said, “There’s the house. Pull over and kill the lights.”

Maria complied and asked, “Isn’t that Alex’s car?”

“Your right. Max did say he had to do something with Isabel and she was suppose to be seeing a movie with him,” she replied, staring at the house hoping to see some movement from within.

“I say we go and demand what the frig is going on,” Maria suggested and got out of the car.

Liz jumped out after her and quietly called her name, “Maria, wait.”

“Liz?” a voice asked a second before someone grabbed her arm and she jumped. Surprised to see who it was she cried, “Kyle!”

“Are you okay?” he asked then looked at Maria who had stopped at the sound of his name. “Hey Maria.”

“Kyle?” she asked walking back towards them. “What are you doing here?”

Indicating his clothing he replied, “I’m out for a run, and you?”

Looking over her shoulder at the house, she lied thru her teeth, “Coming to see a sick friend.”

“Anyone I know?”

“No, I don’t think you do,” Liz hastily said.

Glancing back and forth between the two girls he asked, “Okay, what’s going on?”

“Why would you think something is going on?” Liz asked hoping to sound nonchalant and failing miserably.

“Does this have something to do with your kidnapping? Cuz if it does, we need to call my Dad.”

“No!” they both yelled in unison. “Everything is fine Kyle, “Liz said removing his hand from her arm. “Why don’t you finish your run and we’ll see you at the game
tomorrow.”

“I’m not leaving the two of you here by yourself,” he informed them stubbornly.

“Kyle please, this is really none of your business,” Liz told him rudely. She needed to find out what was going on in the house across the street. “You should go.”

“Liz, I’m still your friend and I’m not going to stand by and watch you get hurt.”

“You have no idea what’s going on, so could you please let it go. I don’t have time for this.”

“Fine you don’t want my help. I’ll go and call my father and he’ll get to the bottom of this.”

Seeing she didn’t have much of a choice, she motioned for Maria to go up to the house and warn the others before saying, “Okay, you’ll come and see everything is
fine, them you leave. All right?”

“Agreed,” he said and together they crossed the street and walked up the front walk.

Taking Liz’s hint, Maria sprinted up to the house and without knocking , burst into the foyer. Not seeing anyone, she followed the hall to the kitchen. Unsurprisingly, the four of them were sitting at a table discussing the situation.

Michael glanced up and seeing her standing in the doorway, demanded, “What are you doing here?”

“We don’t have time for twenty questions, “she replied breathlessly. “Liz is coming with Kyle. He threatened to call his father if we didn’t agree to let him come here. Where’s Tess?”

“What do you mean she’s coming with Kyle?” Isabel asked frantically.

“He saw us out front and wants to make sure Liz isn’t trying to find out who kidnapped her,” she explained. “We told him we were here visiting a sick friend.”

“Tess,” Alex said, “is unconscious.”

“Really? You take my advice and bash her over the head?” she asked hopefully.

“Long story,” Max interrupted. “Where are they?”

The doorbell rang and Maria pointed back they way she had come.

“Great, this is all we need,” mumbled Michael.

“If you had told us what was going on, we wouldn’t have had to follow you,” Maria snapped at him giving him a look of disgust.

H was shocked at the venom in her words and he felt that he may have underestimated her yet again. Turning his attention to Max, he watched as his shoulders dropped in resignation and he left to answer the door.

Taking a deep breath, he opened the door and the first thing he noticed was that Kyle had a grip on Liz’s elbow. “Take your hand off her.”

“Whoa, take it easy, Evans,” Kyle said holding up his hands. “I’m just here to make sure Liz and Maria are okay.”

“Well as you can see, their in good hands. Thanks for your concern. You can leave now.”

“No I think I’ll hang around to make sure everything is on the up and up.” he replied and looked over Max’s shoulder. He saw that Maria was in the hall, wringing her hands nervously.

“That’s not what we agree, Kyle,” Liz said, drawing his attention back to her. “You can see that Max is here and if my parents trust me with him, I’ll be fine.”

Pulling her back from the doorway which elicited a growl of disapproval from Max, he said quietly “I don’t understand everything that’s happening with you,
but I’m going to trust that you’ll be okay with tall, dark and brooding over there. I just want you to know that if you need me for anything, don’t hesitate to call. I
was serious about being your friend and that means you can come to me with anything.”

Smiling at his heartfelt words, she hugged him and missed seeing the jealousy that flared in Max’s eyes. Kyle saw it and it reassured him the Liz would be safe.
Pulling back, he took a few steps away from her before Max did something they would both regret and said loudly. “Take care of her, Max.”

At his slight nod, Kyle turned and jogged down the walk to continued on his run.

Max watched him until he was out of sight, then indicated that Liz should come into the house. Once inside, he pulled her into the den and asked, “What are you doing here?”

“I could ask you the same thing,” she said, looking up and seeing a myriad of emotions pass over his face. “What is going on?”

Turning from her, he pulled over a chair and spinning it, he sat with his arms draped over the back. “It’s Tess.”

“I got that,” she remarked sarcastically. “ Why do you have her here?”

“How did you find out?”

“That’s not important,” she said brushing her words away. “I need to know why you and the others neglected to inform me that she was alive.” A thought occurred to her and she squatted down in front of him, “You thought to shield me from this, didn’t you?” she demanded.

He looked away and she had her answer. Standing up, she started pacing back and forth in front of him. “You know, I’m not as fragile as you think, Max. I have been through a lot since knowing you and, well, I want you to know that I can handle things and don’t need to be protected all the time.”

“Liz” he began, but she cut him off.

“No. I’m not going to live my life looking over my shoulder, worrying every moment could be my last. I couldn’t function like that, no one could. I knew what
I was getting into when I begged to be in your life. I want, no I need you to understand that I’ll face what’s to happen with a full heart. I accept that I could
lose you without a moments notice and I vowed to myself that I would make the most of the time I have with you, be it one day or fifty years.

There will never be another in my life but you, Max. I would die for you. God, I almost have, twice. Don’t you know how much I love you?”

Max gazed up at her and could feel the tears welling up in his eyes. He didn’t know what he had done to deserve her, but he knew that she was a gift from some
greater power and he prayed that he would get to thank the entity that brought her into his life.

He rose and took her into his arms. Nuzzling her hair he whispered, “Your right. In trying to protect you, I’ve denied you the right to make your own choices and
that was wrong. I only wanted to keep you safe.”

Rubbing her cheek against his chest she replied, “The safest place for me is by your side.”

Clearing his throat, Michael said from the hall, “This is all very sweet, but we have bigger problems than your trust issues. Can we please face the topic at hand?”

“You know, your a jerk, plain and simple,” Maria said from behind him, and the entwined couple had to hold back their laughs. Letting go, Max took Liz’s hand
and with her by his side, they walked together to face the future.


Michael sat in the chair next to Maria, but she shuffled hers closer to Alex. Giving her and exasperated look, he waited for the others to find their seats before directing his gaze at Liz and asking, “How’d you know we were here?”

Liz blushed as everyone, but Maria, turned and stared at her. Not able to return Michael’s look, she let her eyes wander around the room and repeated her words
to Max, “It’s unimportant.” She was fully aware of how Michael would react if she blurted out his secret to everyone, and she wished to avoid another scene.

The silence lingered and she finally let her eyes rest on his face and she hoped that he could see her pleading not to make her tell, but as Maria had told her often
enough, subtlety was lost on him. He was more like the 2 x 4 to the back of the head kind of guy.

Maria could see Liz’s dilemma and said, “She’s right, Tess is what we should be discussing.”

“I agree,” inserted Isabel, breaking her self imposed silence. Maria’s announcement of Kyle’s arrival had sent a spear of ice shooting thru her heart. If the Sheriff’s son, became involved, she knew they wouldn’t be able to explain things and they would be handed over to that ‘Special Unit’, Liz spoke of. She would rather die, than let herself or her ‘brothers’ be dissected.

Michael gave her a sidelong glance and let it drop for now. He still had some questions for Liz, but the girls were right, Tess was the bigger priority. “Fine.
What are we gonna do about her?”

Everyone instinctively turned to Max for an answer. He squeezed Liz’s hand under the table and let out a sigh. “For one thing, “ he began, “we need to know if
she is really working for Kivar. Also, we have to find out why she wants the Granalith. It might be more than just a ship to return home with.”

Michael’s eyes snapped to Liz and she felt the heat behind his gaze. She had been agonizing whether she should tell the others about Future Max and the
Granaliths’s other known use, but she was still undecided. As of right now, the future that he described could still happen and she had to find a way to make sure it didn’t come to pass.

“We need to get the book, “ Alex suggested. “It might hold all the answers we need.”

“Good idea,” Max said, having let it slip from his mind. “Do you think it could still be here? Michael and I turned this place upside down, but we didn’t find anything important.”

“You said she’s unconscious, right?’ Liz asked. Max nodded and she proposed, “Isabel might be able to dreamwalk her and find out where it is.”

Isabel perked up at the thought and nodded her head slowly. “If she is dreaming, I might be able to get her to tell me where it is.”

“Are you sure you want to do this?” Max asked, not wanting her to risk herself, especially when it came to Tess.

“I said so, didn’t I,” she replied slightly offended. Up until now, she had felt useless, but here she was the only one who might touch Tess’ mind and find something pertinent. “Let me get comfortable and give it a try.”

Daring Max to stop her, she got up and went into the great room and laid down on the sofa. Alex followed her and began to rub her temples in an effort to help her
relax. She might have fooled the others, but he knew she was riddled with tension at the thought of connecting with the mind of someone without a soul.

“Deep breaths,’ he whispered, then repeated over and over, “In and out. In and out.”

She looked up ant him and gave a half-hearted smile before closing her eyes and letting his voice lull her into that now familiar state of not quite awake, but not
fully asleep, where she was free to fling her mind to follow where the object of her inquiry, resided.

She didn’t have far to go, only the other end of the house, but the walls around Tess’ mind were high and expertly built. Isabel circled time and time again, looking for any weakness in the construction, but found none.

Mentally stamping her foot in frustration, she was about to give up when a small crack made itself known at the base of the structure. Bending over, she could catch a glimpse of the hell it was to be Tess, thru it’s narrow view.

She recoiled in horror, but steeled her spine to face the madness and get the answers they needed. Making herself into a wisp of vapor, she slipped thru the
crack and into the maelstrom that was Tess’ being.

Reforming as herself, she instinctively put up her hand to fend off the images bombarding her senses. In few second flashes, she was able to experience Tess’ life since her emergence from her pod:

Darkness, then a blinding light, followed by a tall man with a scowling facen speaking to her in an unknown language.

A young girl staring into a mirror, but instead of her own reflection, a freak was looking back at her.

A never ending life with a being that hated you and blamed you for his misery and the reason he was stuck on a planet full of nothing but slave material.

Closing her eyes, Isabel had to tell herself that this was Tess’ life, not hers. She pictured the faces of her parents in her mind and with it, all the love they had
shown her during the last ten years.

Finally able to separate herself from her surroundings, she kept the love she had from her family as a tether to her true self and re-opened her eyes.

Tess meeting with Kivar, via the device and where she hid it along with the book for safe keeping.


Glad that she saw the information she needed, Isabel sent herself back to her body and Alex’s calm voice. The chaos that was Tess’ mind tried to embrace her, but
her roots were deep and she ripped out of it’s grasp and rushed back into her mortal self.

Raising her hand, she stopped Alex’s right hand and opened her eyes to see him smiling down at her. Glancing at the watch on her wrist, she noticed that she had been out for almost two hours. Her fight to leave that damaged mind must have taken long than she imagined. ‘The others must be ready to kill each other by
now,’ she thought and with Alex’s help, she rose and walked back toward the kitchen.

She had been correct, and the tension at the table was palatable. Maria and Liz were sitting on one side, while Max and Michael sat across from them with blank
expressions on their faces. “Are you guys okay,” she asked stepping into the pool of light thrown down by the only fixture working in the house.

Maria jumped and put she hand to her mouth to stifle a scream. Gaining her composure, she complained, “A little warning, next time.”

“Anything?” Michael asked gruffly, trying to avoid looking at the blonde.

‘What have you done now?’ she thought before replying, “Her car. Everything we need is in the trunk of her car.”

Coming up behind her, Alex put his arms around her and gave her a squeeze. Laying her head back against his shoulder, she was able to relax for the first time since the images of Tess began flashing thought her mind.


posted on 18-Aug-2002 1:38:14 PM by LilyFrancesca
Mareli, I have a husband just like yours.. He thinks I have the mouse permentally inserted up my butt! I glad your liking my story*big*

ASA, I know how it is to have to wait for postings and I would have done that same if one of my favs was posted somewhere else. Thanks for letting me know how much you liked it....It makes me feel soo good!

Part 18

“This ridiculous,” Liz said turning to look at the others in the jeep with her. “We can drive around for days and never find her car.”

“Do you have a better idea?” Michael asked sarcastically.

Liz kept her temper, but just barely. Michael had been snipping at her every chance he got since they decided to go and find Tess’ missing car. For all they knew, her cohorts could have taken it along with all her things from the house.

“Kyle offered to help me if I needed him.”

“Have you lost your mind?” he shouted. “Why don’t we drive over to the FBI field office and turn ourselves in while were at it.”

“Michael, that’s enough,” Max and Maria said in unison. Max looked into the review mirror at her and she gave him a wink. “She has a point,” she told the aggravated figure next to her.

Maria was still pissed at him for not telling her about the Tess situation. She knew he was only trying to protect her but she was a big girl and could take care of herself. The walls he placed around his heart were thick and she thought she was beginning to breech them, when he neglects to tell her about his ability to link with someone.

Now he was snapping at her best friend because she was hiding the very thing he asked her to keep secret in the first place. Liz was only trying to help.

“What do you mean?” he demanded, turning his ire on Maria.

“We could tell him that Liz remembers Tess’ car and he could check if it has been found by the cops,” she said catching on to where Liz was heading.

“That might work,” Max said.

“Maxwell, are you crazy?” he asked, feeling he was the only one in the truck with a brain. “she’s going to get us all killed!”

That was it. Liz lost control of her temper. “Max, pull over,” she said coldly.

Looking at her from the corner of his eye, he could see she was shaking with suppressed rage. Doing as she asked, she opened the door before he could come to
a complete stop and got out. Turing to Michael she commanded, “Get out.”

Not waiting to see if he would follow, she walked over to a large boulder and leaned against it.

Hopping over the side rail of the jeep, Michael stomped over to where she was standing and asked, “What’s up you butt?”

“Your head, apparently,” she replied, pushing away from the rock. “You’ve been on my case every since I wouldn’t answer your question about how we found out
and I’m sick of it. I’ve only been doing what you asked me to do.”

“Okay, you’ve lost me.”

“I want you to break the connection, “she pleaded, her anger spent. “It was what told me where you and Max were going tonight.”

He was stunned. “That’s....that’s not possible.”

“Obviously, your wrong,” She stated. “I saw Max telling you where you were going and why. Somehow, it opened enough for me to over hear.”

Running his hand thru his already spiky locks, he began pacing back and forth in front of her. When he didn’t respond she asked, “That never happened before, did
it?”

“No,” he snapped, then apologized. “Sorry. I’m not really sure if it could work that way, or not.”

“Michael, “ she said putting her hand on his arm to stop his pacing, “remove it, then we won’t have to worry that it might happen again.”

“What if you get taken again? I owe it to Max to protect you.”

“That’s a chance I’m willing to take for your privacy. Mine too. It could go both ways, like a swinging door.”

“I’m not sure how it’s going to affect you,” he admitted.

“Do it anyway.”

Turning to face her, he raised his hand and clamped it onto her shoulder.


“What’s going on with them?” Max asked the girl behind him. “I’ve never seen Liz so mad.”

“This is nothing, I’ve seen her.....” she began, but trailed off as she watched to two people she cared about most go at each other. “They have a few things to work out.”

“A few things?” he inquired, spinning to look at her. “Maria, what’s happening?”

His pleading eyes were more than she could take. Hoping those two would forgive her she said, “When Michael saved Liz from Tess, he somehow connected with her and that’s how we knew where to find you.”

“Why didn’t she tell me?”

“Michael asked her not to tell anyone,’ she said and he could see that she had been hurt by the omission also.

They watched as the two continued to argue. Max wasn’t sure if he should go and try to find some common ground they could meet on, but that thought slipped
away when he saw a strange expression pass over Michael’s face and he grabbed onto Liz’s shoulder.

“What is he.......Michael no!” he cried, scrambling to get out of the truck. As he ran toward them, everything went into slow motion.

Michael’s hand had begun to glow and Liz was fighting to get out of his grasp. Max had covered about half the distance between them and the Jeep when Michael released her and she slumped to the ground.

Time returned to normal as Max skidded to a stop on his knees. Cradling a limp Liz in his arms he looked up at his best friend and growled, “If you’ve harmed her in any way.......”

Bending over, Michael rested his hands against his knees and tried to catch his breath. Maria came up to him and placed her hand reassuringly on his back. Suddenly, her eyes got wide and she toppled over to lay next to Max and Liz.

Michael raised his head and looked into his friends confused face. “It’s a long story.”

###
When the girls finally woke, Michael had relayed the story of the social worker at the foster care center, along with her reaction, and how he had used the power to find Liz.

“I guess I owe you more than I realized,” Max told him when he was done. “But what happened to Maria?”

A guilty expression passed over his face as he watched the blonde slowly open her eyes. “That wasn’t suppose to happen. I was closing the connection from my end
when she touched me and well, let just say she got a large dose of Michael.”

“Large?” Maria asked turning to look at them. “Massive is more like it.”

Collecting her into his arms he gave her a kiss on the head and said, “Sorry, you didn’t deserve that.”

“I have to agree, but it did answer a lot of questions I had about you.” Seeing his panicked expression, she assured him, “Don’t worry, my lips are sealed.”

To make sure that was true, he placed his against hers and sealed her vow with a silent one of his own.

“Ouch,” Liz groaned, lifting her head from Max’s lap. “What happened?”

“Michael broke your connection,” Max told her, brushing back a stray lock of her hair.

“That’s great, but does everything with you people have to end up with me unconscious?” she joked.

Helping her to stand, Max hugged her against him and scolded her playfully, “Would you please stop scarring the hell out of me every five minutes. I must have aged 10 years in the past two weeks.”

Kissing the side of his mouth, she teased, “I think the gray in your hair makes you look very distinguished.”

“Gray! Where?”

She laughed as he intend and he said to the other couple, “We should go back and relieve Isabel and Alex.”

Agreeing, they piled back into the Jeep and headed back to Tess’ house. The drive was thankfully uneventful and the sun was just breaking the horizon when they pulled into the drive. Alex came out to meet then with some disturbing news.

“Tess is gone, “ he said.

The rushed inside and saw a badly shaken Isabel seated at the table. “Isabel, are you okay?” asked Liz pulling up a chair next to her.

Nodding her head, she said, “I heard her moaning, so I went in to check on her, when she threw a blast of energy at me.”

Maria gasped and grabbed onto Michael’s arm. “Is she still here?” he asked.

“No,” Alex replied. “The blast knocked Isabel out and she escaped out the window.”

Max slumped into a chair and rested his head in his hands. Just when he thought things couldn’t get any worse, more bad things happen. Now they were all in
danger and for the life of him, he didn’t know what to do about it.


###


Maria was driving Liz home a few hours later when she asked, “Where do you think she is?”

Liz didn’t have to ask who she was, and shrugging her shoulders she replied, “I’m not sure. I have tell you, this Tess frightens ma a lot more than the other one.

Our Tess is out of control with no one to help her and with no where to hide. She could be capable of anything.”

“Thanks for the pep talk,” Maria laughed humorlessly. “I feel so much better.”

“Sorry. I’m just worried that Max is taking all the blame for this, again. Before he believed he was responsible for Alex’s death and the baby because he trusted her.
Now he is walking down the same path again, with my imprisonment and her escape. I understand why he feels it, but he’s not to blame.”

“You don’t need to convince me,” Maria said. “He might not be perfect, but he cares for all of us.”

“I know,” Liz sighed. “I wish there was something we could do to make him understand that we care for him just as much.”

“Well, I for one plan on going home and taking a long hot shower and getting some sleep. I feel like I got run over by a UFO.”

Smiling, she reminded her, “Don’t forget your working the supper shift with me tonight.”

“As if you would let me forget, boss lady.”

Liz snorted and the two drove the rest of the way to the cafe, lost in her own thoughts.





posted on 19-Aug-2002 8:11:26 AM by LilyFrancesca
Part 19

Tess huddled behind a storage shed watching the sun pop out from behind the distant mountains. She still wasn’t sure where she could go, but for now, she
need to keep out of sight in case they came looking for her. The bolt of energy she flung at Isabel would have killed the girl if Tess had been at full strength, but she
had only been knocked out and that had given her enough time to slip out of the house unseen.

Jumping out the window, she almost landed on her face, when her legs threatened to buckle, but they held and she made her way thru the back gate and across the
neighbor’s back yard.

Now as she waited for daylight, she tried to think of a place she could hole up until she recovered from the beating she suffered at the hands of Kivar’s men and
the coma Max had placed her in. It had been a bitch to annul and she must remember to thank Isabel the next time she saw her for giving her the way out.

The walls that Isabel had encountered had been placed there by Max and Tess had bruised her self fling her mind against them, when she saw Isabel slip threw that crack. When she had left, she used it to crumble the walls where they had stood.

Hearing a door open, she watched as an old woman walked over to her parked car and opened the trunk. Sensing and opportunity, Tess ran up behind her and pushed her head first into the opening. Snatching the keys from the outstretched hand, she shoved it and the rest of the arm into the trunk and closed the lid.

Taking a quick look around, she saw her only witness was a calico cat sitting on the sidewalk cleaning a paw. Smiling, she threw the keys in the air and catching
them before they fell, she opened the driver’s side door and drove off into another beautiful New Mexico morning.


###

“This is ridiculous,” Maria complained as she wiped her face with a napkin. “Can this place get any hotter?”

“You should be here slaving over a hot grille,” Michael said glaring at the object in question.

“Sorry,” Liz apologized. “Dad is trying to get someone over her to look at the A/C unit, but the normal guy is on vacation and everyone else is gone for the night.”

“Yeah, they all seem to be here.” Maria indicated the packed dining room. “Doesn’t anybody eat at home any more?”

“Just think of all the tips your going to make,” Liz said, as always, looking on the bright side.

“You aren’t the one with sweat streaking down your back and stringy hair.”

Liz had to admit, even thought the place was packed and the temp had to be in the mid eighties, she was only mildly effected by the heat. In fact, she was quite
comfortable. “Why don’t you two go and get some fresh air. Jose and I can handle things for a few minutes.”

Not waiting for a second invitation, Michael and Maria beat a hasty retreat out the back door. Jose gave Liz a smile and picked up the spatula Michael dropped in his
rush to get outside.

She returned it when he said, “Gringos. Can’t take a little heat.”

###

Maria leaned against the building, relishing in the slight breeze that made it’s way down the alley. Michael slumped to the ground and pulled off the handkerchief
that was holding back his hair. Waving his hand over it, the fabric dried instantly.

“Do you think it’s wise to do that so openly?” she asked looking down at him.

“No one is around and after last night, there isn’t much about me that you don’t know anyway.”

Sliding down the wall, she took one of his hands in hers and told him softly, “I saw a lot, that’s true, but they were only images of things that happened in your past, not how you think or feel. I know there is tons of things you could share with me if you wanted to.”

When he only stared at her, she turned her head away, afraid she had over stepped his bounds. He was a very private person and she felt she didn’t deserve to know
all the things she had seen flash thru her mind last night. She hadn’t earned that kind of trust.

Michael had seen the pain that flickered in her eyes before she turned away, but he was unsure if he could erase it, like he wanted. She meant the world to him and
he didn’t want to hurt her, but the problem was that he had ten years of hiding himself from the threat of being hurt and only a few weeks with her couldn’t break the walls that he constructed and reinforced for so many years, overnight.

Her silent plea for his heart would have to go unanswered for now, maybe forever and he didn’t have the guts to tell her to her face. Standing, her retied the square of fabric on his head and mumbled, “We should go back.”

Refusing to look at him she replied, “I’ll be in, in a sec.” She waited for him to close the screen door behind him, before she let the tears that had been building, fall.

‘It isn’t fair,” she wailed in her mind. ‘I know he’s capable of love, look how he feels about Max and Isabel, so it must me, as usual. It’s got to be genetic, Mom and me seem to only fall for impossible men. Why do I keep putting myself thru this time and again, when I know how it’s going to end up?’ she asked the universe at large.

“Glutton for punishment,” she said as she roughly wiped the tears away and got to her feet.

Straightening her uniform, she decided to take back her life, regardless of how crappie it was at the moment. Unfortunately, that thought went straight to hell as
the door burst open and Michael stood there facing her.

Brushing his knuckles against her cheek, he gave her a sad smile and lowered his face to hers. Before his lips touched her, Maria took a deep breath, and could
smell, grease, sweat and the unmistakable aroma that was Michael. A scent that was better than anything her mother could peddle at her store, that was at once
calming and electrifying. She could never get enough.

‘Boy if I could bottle this.....’ was her last coherent thought before waves of intense pleasure his kisses always created, crashed over her and swept her up into
the world that they only shared. There she could hold what he gave her close to her heart and cherish it as the precious gift it was.

###

Kyle was walking toward the cafeteria when he saw Liz sitting by herself on a bench, staring off into space. He still felt that she hadn’t told him the truth the other night and during the few classes they shared today, she seemed distracted.

Coming to stand in front of her, he said, “Liz.” Not getting a reaction, he waved his hand in front of her face and cajoled, “Earth to Liz, come in Liz.”

Laughing, he snapped his fingers next to her ear and was rewarded as she almost jumped out of her skin. “Ah!” she yelped.

“Nice to see you back in the land of the living,” he joked, taking a seat next to her.

“Huh? Oh, Kyle it’s you,” she said blinking a few times to rewet her eyes.

“Are you okay?” he asked seriously. “I must have said your name three times.”

“Yeah, I’m fine. Why do you ask?”

“How long have you been sitting here?”

“I’m not sure. Kyle, what do you want?” she asked not in the mood for him right now.

“Well,” he said pondering his next words. Deciding to jump in with both feet he asked, “I want to know why you lied to me Saturday night? What was the real reason you were at that house? I know it wasn’t to visit a sick friend.”

“Kyle, were not dating anymore and I don’t have to explain myself to you, “ she replied haughtily.

“I’m still your friend, Liz and I want to make sure your not in over your head.”

“With what? God, your starting to sound like my father. If he doesn’t know where I am every minute, he gives me the third degree. Do I have to post my whereabouts on a billboard?”

“Whoa, where’s this coming from, “he said holding out his hands. “I thought you might need a friend, but I can see I was mistaken.” Standing he gave her a rueful look and headed on his way.

“Kyle,” she called, but he kept on walking. Putting her hand over her eyes, she sighed, “Damn.”


Max was coming out of the lunchroom when he saw Kyle coming his way. Dropping his eyes, he hoped to avoid having to acknowledge his presence, but Kyle stopped in front of him.

“Kyle,” Max said and tried to brush past him.

“Evans,” Kyle spat, which stopped Max in his tracks.

“What do you want, Kyle?”

“I want to know what you’ve done to Liz. Every since she started hanging around with you, bad things keep happening to her.”

“What are you implying?” Max asked softly. He was aware of the danger Liz was in because of him and he didn’t need a muscle head to throw it in his face.

“All I’m saying is that Liz is my friend and I don’t want her to get hurt because of you and your friends. She had been acting strange all morning and I know it has
something to do with you and that house you were at the other night.”

“Don’t worry about Liz, I can take care of her,” He snarled and tried to move past him.

Kyle grabbed his arm and said, “Your not doing a good enough job.” Letting go of Max’s arm, Kyle pushed thru the double doors, leaving Max to stand in the empty
hallway silently agreeing with him.

###

“Liz. Yo Liz,” Maria whispered to the girl siting in front of her. Shaking her head she gave the chair a kick and Liz grunted.

“Ms. Parker, if you wouldn’t mind,” the teacher said, “please see me after class.”

A few snickers and a mumbled taunt made Liz realize she had not been paying attention and got caught. Peering over her shoulder, Maria mouthed, ‘I tried to warn you.’

Rolling her eyes, Liz turned and tried to focus on the lesson, but to no avail. She kept thinking about the Granalith and how Future Max had used it as a time
machine.

Was it possible for them to use it and bypass even the shooting? Maybe they could arrange to have all four podsters released at the same time and avoid Tess’
hatred altogether.

*Are you willing to loose Max forever?* that inner voice asked for the thousandth time.

‘I couldn’t loose something I never head,’ she reasoned. ‘Max and the others would be able to led normal lives.’

*Would it be normal? They would know their different and risk of exposure would be the same.*

‘True, but the four would be a unit and prevent Kivar from taking over the Earth.’

*That might not happen and besides, you don’t know how to reconfigure the machine anyway.*

The bell rang and Liz picked up her backpack and put her books away. When everyone had left, Mrs. George came to stand next to her desk. “Is there something bothering you, Ms. Parker?” she asked.

Knowing that her teachers didn’t believe she had recovered from her ordeal, Liz decided to use it as and excuse for failure to pay attention in class. “Actually, I
have been having trouble sleeping,” she said, which was true, “and my mind has been wandering.”

“Have you told your parents about this?”

“No! No, they worry as it is, I don’t want to add to it. Maria promised to get me some of those aroma therapy candles from her Mom’s store and we thought I could try that before bothering my parents,” she lied. It really wasn’t a bad idea.

“If you think it would help,” the teacher said skeptically.

“As a matter of fact, Cosmo had an article on it,” she began rummaging around in her bag, “I think I have it here....”

“That’s okay, Ms. Parker. You better get to you next class.” Walking back to her desk, she added, “Your a good student, and I would hate to see your grades slip.”

Standing, Liz slung her pack over her shoulder and replied, “Thanks for your concern, Mrs. George.”

Striding out of the room, she let out a sigh of relief. She would have to make sure she stayed alert in class from now on, or someone was bound to call her parents
and she would never be let out of the house!



posted on 20-Aug-2002 8:46:58 AM by LilyFrancesca
Part 20

The room smelled musty and there were some pretty hairy spiders living in the corners, but it was the safest place Tess could find on such short notice. She had
ditched the stolen car a mile or soo before she hitched a ride with a trucker, but had to bail when his hands became to adventurous. He was too stupid to realize
how lucky he was that she wasn’t at full strength. Good thing she had kept her temper, a jack knifed rig would have brought the cops sniffing around and that was the last thing she needed. That was why she had unlocked the trunk of the car before she abandoned it, so the old lady could drive herself home when she came to.

“Must be getting soft,” she told her eight legged companions. “I’ve been spending too much time with these disgusting humans.”

When she didn’t get a reply, she moved the sun faded curtains back from the window so she could stake out the parking lot. All that was visible was the car of
the couple who had recently entered Madam Vivian’s House of Fortune, along with the highway going off into the distance and the shimmering desert beyond the blacktop.

Letting go of the rotting fabric, Tess threw the blanket she had taken from the car , over the sagging mattress on the bed and laid down to get some much need rest.
She would figure out her next move when she was felling stronger.

###

“I don’t think it’s a good idea,” Isabel told the two guys sitting across from her. “The sheriff is not know for his kindness.”

“True, but we need to locate that car,” Michael said, spinning a Tobasco bottle on the table in front of him. “Our lives could depend on it.”

Max nodded his head, as he watched Liz bust a table on the other side of the dinning room. Kyle’s comment about his lack of protection of her had hit close to home and he knew now knew that she would resent him if he did no matter how good his intentions were. She had informed him that the safest place for her was at his side, but that also put her in the line of fire.

“What would we tell him?” Iz asked, before snatching the bottle from the table. It’s rattling was getting on her nerves.

“That Liz remembers being a silver Impala with a burgundy interior,” Max replied as he turned his eyes on his sister’s anxious face. “He might find it and ask her to
identify it.”

“that’s all well and good, but don’t you think he’ll search it if he finds it abandoned?” she rationalized. “He can’t get his hands on the book.”

“That’s why I’ll be staking out the impound yard,” Michael said. “Right now there are only a couple of trucks rusting away there.”

“It sounds too risky,” she said glaring at Michael as he began playing with the pepper shaker. “We’re not even sure Liz could pull it off.”

“She can do it,” Max said looking back at Liz. “I’d bet my life on it.”

“It’s not just your life, Max,” she warned following his gaze. “It could mean hers too.”

“I know.”

###

“So Miss Parker, my son said you wanted to talk with me,” the Sheriff said leaning forward in his chair.

She had approached Kyle that morning and apologized for her outburst the day before. She explained about her sleeplessness and how she was remembering things about the kidnapping, the car especially. She asked if he could arrange a meeting with his dad at home, so she wouldn’t have to got to the office and alarm her parents.

He was a bit hesitant, but in the end agreed that talking with his father, anywhere, was better than trying to do things on her one. he told her that he was happy that
she trusted him and that they were friends again. hugging him, she tried not to feel guilty about using him, even if it was for the best.

“Yes, Sheriff Valenti,” she replied. “I have been remembering little things and seeing how my parents were acting, I thought it would be better if we talked about this here. I hope you don’t mind?”

He nodded his understanding. “Tell me what you remember.”

“I think I might have come to while in transit, because I remember opening my eyes and seeing that I was in a Chevy Impala. A new one. I knew what kind it was, ‘cuz my Grandmother has on just like it.”

“What color?”

“Silver with a red colored interior.”

“Did you see the person driving? Was there anyone else in the car?”

“No, all I could see was a person with a black hat and gloved hands holding onto the wheel before I must have passed back out. Sorry.”

“That’s okay, Liz,” he reassured her. “Anything at this point can’t hurt. If you remember anything else, you call me, okay?”

“Your not going to say anything to my parents, are you?” she asked anxiously.

“For now, there isn’t anything to tell, really. Let’s see where this will take us and go from there.”

Standing, she said, “Thanks, Sheriff. I should go, they worry if I don’t come home right after school.”

“Kyle, you’ll see she gets home safe?” he asked his on, who had been sitting at the dining room table.

“Yeah Dad, I make sure she get there.” he said and gave Liz a smile. He of all people knew how intimidating his father could be and he understood Liz’s need to leave as soon as possible. “I’ll see you later.”

Sheriff Valenti watched the two youngsters leave and was happy to finally have a lead on a most baffling case.

###

“Did he believe you?” Isabel asked Liz. The group were sitting out on her balcony enjoying the night and discussing her meeting with the sheriff.

“Yeah. He really wants to get to the bottom of this. My parents have called him everyday since I’ve been home to see if he has had any leads,” she told them. Kyle had been so sweet when he brought her home. He had walked her into the restaurant and told her parents he was the reasons she was late so she wouldn’t get into hot water with them. He was turning out to be a better friend than she could have imagined. She hated lying to him, but she understood the consequences if he knew.

“Now all we have to do is wait,” Alex said, giving Isabel a squeeze. Her fear of the government was warranted, but he had a feeling that the sheriff would help in protecting them, given all the facts. He had done so in Liz’s dream and that had proven mostly correct.

“I’ve got a scanner and I will be waiting if they happen to find the car,” informed Michael. Sitting and watching the impound yard had proved to be a boring as it sounded and he had to work anyway. “I figure, if they find it, I’ll hear them calling the sheriff and one of us can check and make sure it isn’t searched before we have a chance to get the book.”

“I think we need to talk about Tess,” stated Maria. She was sitting on the wall surrounding the balcony, picking at the crumbling mortar.

“She’s gone, end of discussion,” Michael snapped.

“No. Your wrong,” she retorted. “She’s not here, true, but she’ll be back.”

“What does she have to come back for?”

“Liz is still alive.”

Turning from her, he began pacing because he knew she was right. “We should have killed her when we had the chance.”

“No, we need her,” Liz said, finally making up her mind. Looking up at Max, she knew he could forgive her anything and hoped the others would understand what
she was about to tell them.

“Liz, are you sure?” Michael questioned quietly.

Nodding her head, she looked at the others and began. “In fifteen years from now, the Earth is going to be attacked by Kivar and his men. We’ll try to stop him, but without Tess’ help, we’ll be killed off one by one, until there is no one to stop him from enslaving humankind.”

“Liz, I don’t understand,” Alex said stopping her. “How do you know this?”

Giving him a weak smile, she replied, “I didn’t tell you everything that happened in my dream. In fact, there are a few things I hope never to repeat. One of my
emissions was that I was visited by someone I’ve come to call Future Max.”

Max looked down at her in surprise. Her detailed description of everything that happened while she was in the come had never even hinted at this. He came back
in time? How?

“He told me that when we were 19, Max and I eloped and were married in Las Vegas. Because of our love, Tess left Roswell and at the end, the lack of her
power caused the downfall of everything and everyone we loved.”

“What? Wait, what are you saying?” sputtered Maria, who had to quickly grab onto her perch and save herself from pitching over backward into the alley below.

Rushing over to her, Michael picked her up and deposited her into a near by chair. “Don’t EVER do that again,” he commanded in a low voice.

She grimaced at his tone, but decided she liked how he had jumped to save her. Turning her attention back to Liz, she motioned for her to continue.

“Isabel spoke before she started again, “What did he want you to do to stop that from happening?”

“He told me that I had to make my Max fall out of love with me. He said that Max and Tess needed to be together to save the world,” she explained.

“What could you have possible done to make me stop loving you?” Max asked skeptically.

“I told you that I wanted a normal life, with real boys and I wasn’t willing to die for you,” she told him softly. not looking into his face. She knew what would be
reflected there.

“I can’t believe that I stopped loving you because of that.”

“That wasn’t all.” She looked Michael and he gave her a slight nod. He deserved the truth. “I pretended to sleep with Kyle and arranged for you to find us in bed together.”

Maria gasped and placed her hand over her mouth in shock. If anyone wanted her to hate him, that would be a sure fire way to make it come about. Grabbing Michael’s hand, she saw sympathy for Liz mirrored there. “You knew,” she hissed.

“Yeah,” he replied. “It was in her journal.”

Max stood and walked to the other side of the balcony. He was finding it hard to catch his breath. He kept telling himself that it never happened, but the pain was
still there, as if he knew how it felt to have found the two of them together, in Liz’s bed, laughing.

Spinning he asked, “It was in your bed, wasn’t it? I found you when I came up here to ask you to go to a concert or something, right?”

All the blood drained from Liz’s face and she couldn’t seem to get her mouth to ask how he could have known that. She hadn’t been abler to write the details f her
betrayal down in her journal, so it was impossible for him to know how she had destroyed him.

“Liz, are you okay?” Alex had left Isabel’s side and had come to kneel in front of her.

Nodding her head seemed to break the spell holding her lips quiet and she asked, “Max? Max, how did you know that?”

“I don’t know, “ he said solemnly. “It was like I was watching a movie in my head, cuz I saw what happened and felt everything he must have felt.”

“I’m so sorry Max, but I had to do it. Future Max told me that the fate of the planet rested on me making you hate me and turning to Tess,” she cried, burying her face in her hands.

Alex put his arms around her and whispered, “It’s okay Liz. It never happened. You don’t have anything to apologize for.”

“He’s right,” Max said next to her now. “It can’t happen now, I won’t allow it.”

Surrendering her into Max’s arms, Alex went back to Isabel and took her hand in his. “It’s like Tess killing me,” he said, “it won’t happen now.”

Shaking her head, Liz pulled out of Max’s embrace and wiped her eyes as she said, “I know, but the time line hasn’t changed. Tess won’t be here when we need her and we’ll all die.”


“What about Ava?” Michael asked slowly.

“Ava? Who’s Ava?” Maria asked.

“Ava! I had forgotten all about her!” exclaimed Liz.

“Would someone please tell me what the hell is an Ava?” demanded Maria.

“Ava is a duplicate of Tess, only nicer,” Liz said, shocking them again.

“Duplicate? Like a clone?” Isabel asked.

“Sort of, yeah, I guess you could say that,” Liz replied thoughtfully. “She’s part of the other set of royals.”

“Are you telling us that there are more of them running around?” Alex asked then grunted as Isabel elbowed him in the side and said “I am not a THEM.”

“The people who engineered you wanted to hedge their bets, you could say, and made two sets, in case something went wrong. Later they realizing that they were inferior, so they placed the Granalith with you.”

“Where are they?” Max asked.

“They were in New York City in my dream,” she replied.

“I think we need to hear the whole story,” Alex suggested. “Tell us everything you remember.”

Agreeing, Liz went and got her journal. Flipping open to the section about the dupes, she read what she had written about them. How Rath and Lonnie killed Zan because he refused to go to the Summit and how Nicholas, (She explained who he was), told them about the Roswell set and the three remaining aliens stole
a car and came her to get Max.

Ava was against the meeting, having agreed with Zan, so Tess went in her place with Rath and Lonnie, who had tricked Max into believing that Michael and Isabel wanted him to go. Max never told her the full story, only that he refused Kivar’s offer and that afterward Rath and Lonnie disappeared.

Ava left Roswell as soon as Max and Tess got back from the city, but she informed Liz that Max’s healing of her had changed her somehow and how she had always felt Zan hadn’t really loved her. He always seemed to be waiting for someone else and she he believed it was Liz.

“Wow,” commented Maria, when Liz closed her journal.

“Ditto,” Alex said and looked at each one of his alien friends to gauge their reactions. Isabel looked like she had been hit in the back of the head with a board,
Max was thoughtful and Michael was surprisingly relaxed.

Seeing Alex’s questioning gaze, he replied, “I’ve had weeks to get over the shock.”

“You knew about this and never said anything?” Isabel asked coming out of her stupor.

“I asked him not too,” Liz said coming to his defense. “I’m still not sure they even exist.”

Isabel gave Michael a ‘We’ll talk about this later,’ state and said, “Be that as it may, we have aright to know everything.”

“I’m sorry, but that’s everything I can tell you,” she apologized. She wouldn’t let Max relive his time in the White Room, not even for his own sister.

“Max,” she complained, but he cut her off.

“Enough. It’s Liz’s dream and she’s allowed to keep some things to herself,” he said not looking at anyone. The night’s revelations had been hard on him too.

“Fine,” she huffed and turned to Alex. “Could you bring me home now?”

Giving her a smile, he nodded and the two of them exited thru Liz’s window and disappeared down the hall.

Maria moved her chair closer to Liz and began talking to her in a hushed voice as Michael went up to Max who had gone to stand near the ladder to the alley. “Are
you okay?” he asked.

“I’m not sure,” he admitted. “Was this why you didn’t want me to see the journal?”

“In part, but it isn’t mine to show you. It’s ironic,” he laughed, “in her dream, I stole it from her to find out what she had been writing and if it was dangerous to
us, but because of it, I came to understand that she would never do anything to hurt us, just like now. She loves you, Max, no matter what. Your a lucky guy.”

Looking over at the girls, he caught Maria’s eye for a long moment, before hopping onto the wall an climbing down the ladder. Max followed his gaze and saw the plea for forgiveness in Liz’s chocolate depths and knew he would forgive her anything.

He wondered if in his past life, if he had married Tess because he knew deep in his heart, that his soulmate wouldn’t be born in that lifetime. He couldn’t picture
himself marrying someone, if he knew the other half of his soul was out there and he settled because he couldn’t find her. Tess was who she was, no matter what
image she took and evil would always be evil.

Maria went inside to give them some privacy and Liz went over to him, still holing her journal. “You can read it if you want, “she said holding the book out to him.

He was tempted, but declined her offer. “No, what you have in there, is yours and yours alone. I’m sorry that Michael read it without your permission.”

“It wouldn’t be the first time,” she mumbled and placed it on a table. “Are we okay?”

Collecting her into his arms, he rested his chin on her head and squeezed her tightly. “Yeah, were good,” he replied relishing in her warmth and engulfing love.

posted on 21-Aug-2002 7:55:57 AM by LilyFrancesca
Part 21

Tess watched as her car was loaded on the back of a flat bed and cursed her luck again. She had finally gotten her strength back, and with the tarot lady’s car, she had retraced her steps to the place she had left her car the night she went to meet Kivar’s men.

Earlier that morning, she had received a message stating that Kivar had come up with a new plan to get rid of that Parker bitch and get the Granalith all at once and
she had been eager to find out what it was. Not entirely trusting the scumbags who had turned against their own race, she had hid the car and walked to the
meeting place.

She had no sooner arrived when she had been knocked on the back of the head and thrown into a van. The rest was a blur and since regaining her powers, she was able to recall where the car was.

Now she stood helplessly by as the Sheriff had her car towed away. She would have to prevent him from searching it until she was able to remove her stash of
alien artifacts from the trunk. ‘What would the Sheriff value most in the world?’ she asked herself. When the answer came, she realized she could hurt Liz in the
process and set out to locate Kyle Valenti.

###
“UFO Center, Max speaking. How may I help you?” Max said answering the phone for the hundredth time that morning.

“Max, it’s me,” Michael said urgently.

“What’s wrong?” he asked lowing his voice and looking around to make sure no one was near by.

“I heard on the scanner that they just found a silver Impala and there taking it back to the impound yard.”

“Okay, are you headed over there?”

“Naw, I can’t leave work, it’s crazy here. Liz’s Dad is counting on me. Can you get away?”

“I wish. This place is a zoo. Milton has already asked me to stay late.”

“Great! I’ll call Alex and see if he can do something. although I hate involving him.”

“I know what you mean. See if Iz can go with him. Two heads and all that.”

“I’ll call them, but I wish we could be there instead.”

“And what is ‘your’ big plan on stopping the sheriff from searching the car?”

“I don’t know, but I would think of something.”

“So won’t they. Their just as much a part of this as anyone. Look, I got to go, call me as soon as you hear anything and I’ll try to get out of her when I can.”

“Later.”

###

“How are we going to stop the Sheriff from searching a car in his own impound yard?” Alex asked Isabel as she watched the flat bed pull into the fenced in yard at the edge of town.

“He needs probable cause before he can search it, so we might luck out and he’ll have to wait until Liz identifies it,” she said optimistically. Lowering the binoculars, she handed them back to him.

“Yeah, but when has luck been on our side, lately?” He looked thru the glasses as the Sheriff answered his cell. The military binoculars were able to show clearly the expressions passing rapidly over Valenti’s face and Alex felt his stomach drop.

Something really bad must have happened. As Alex watched, the Sheriff’s phone slid out of his hand to the ground and he began to shake in terror. “Iz, something’s
wrong with the Sheriff.”

“What do your mean?”

“Valenti just got a call and he looks terrified.”

“Let me see,” she said snatching the glassed from his hand. “He’s leaving. Fast, really fast.”

Alex started the car and pulled out behind the SUV. “What’re you doing?” she asked grabbing hold of the dash as he accelerated to keep the Sheriff’s vehicle in sight.

“I got a bad feeling about this. He might need our help.”

“Are you our of your mind? What do you think a couple of kids could do to help the ‘Sheriff’?”

“Trust me on this, okay?” he snapped. “We need to help him.”

Clicking her seatbelt in place, she sat back and crossed her arms over her chest. Sometimes she wondered what she ever saw in Alex Whitmam.

###

Kyle was just putting the last of his equipment into the trunk of his car, when he heard squealing tires and looked around to see who the bonehead was. Seeing an
old four door hunk of junk coming down the isle toward him, he dismissed it as some sophomore showing off his first car. Slamming the lid, he yanked the keys
from the back pocket of his jeans and was opening the door when he felt an intense pressure build between his eyes.

Rubbing the bridge of his nose, he figures today’s practice had finally caught up to him. A hand on his shoulder made him turn and look into a pair of frosty blue
eyes. “Who are......” was all he got out before a blank stare replaced the puzzled one on his face and like as he knew it faded away.

Tess had known she would find Kyle at some type of practice at that time of the day and she wasn’t disappointed when she saw his fire engine red Mustang in the student parking lot with the trunk open. Gunning the gas, she needed to get behind his car before he had the chance to back out and loose any chance of
gaining control of him. He must have been distracted by something, because he was unaware of her blocking his exit and coming up silently behind him.

She closed her eyes briefly to make contact with his mind and to re-enforce the connection an to make sure he wasn’t fooling her like Gurien did, she grabbed his
shoulder and imagined herself as a wedge and slammed her will over his before he could get three words out.

His glazed eyes told her she has succeeded beautifully. Grabbing his hand, she led him like a puppet to the stolen car and into the passenger’s seat. Slamming
the rusty door, she darted around the nose of the car and pulling the door closed behind her, she jumped behind the wheel and without a backward glance, tore out of the parking lot at breakneck speed.

Reaching the highway, she decided to use the old quarry Michael had once brought her to, as her meeting place with the Sheriff. Ten minutes later, she parked behind a stand of scrub and pulled out a cell phone.

Handing it to Kyle, she instructed him to call his father and repeat after her when he got him on the line. Kyle took the phone and with jerky, uncoordinated movements, punched in his father’s number and wait him to answer.

“Valenti.”

“Dad, I need you to listen carefully,” Kyle said in a monotone voice.

“Kyle? Son, this isn’t a good time,” Jim said as he watched the flat bed driver get out of the truck and start removing the car.

“Dad, I need you to listen carefully,” he said again, repeating the words echoing thru his empty mind.

“What’s the matter with your voice?” Jim began but was stopped when Kyle continued without answering.

“I’ve been taken hostage and I need you to meet me at the old quarry. Your to come alone and tell no one where your going and why, or they’ll kill me. Understand?”

“Are you okay? Please tell me your okay,” Jim pleaded to his son.

“Just come and get me, Dad, before something bad happens to me.” Tess took the phone from his hand and snapped it shut, cutting off the Sheriff’s questions.

“I guess it’s just you and me for now,” she told the expressionless boy. He didn’t reply and she laughed at his slack jaw. “Actually, I guess it really only me, huh?”


###

“Hello!” snapped Isabel as she glared at the guy driving the car recklessly.

“It’s me,” Max said, surprised to hear his sister so angry. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine, but Boy Wonder here has totally lost it,” she complained.

At Max’s “Huh?”, she explained what had happened at the impound yard and that for the last ten minutes they had been racing to keep up with the Sheriff. “I can’t imagine what he intends to do if we ever get to where we’re gong,” she finished sarcastically.

“Who’s guarding the car?” Max asked locking the doors to the museum. Milton had received a call, courtesy of Michael, of a big sighting in the next county and had closed the Center to check it out. He left Max to clear out any stragglers and told him to take the rest of the night off.

“No one, far as I know,” she replied. “Why?”

“I got out earlier that I thought and I had planned to join you and Alex.

“You could if I knew where we were ‘going’.” She emphasized the last word loudly and finally got a reaction from Alex.

“Who’s that?” he asked not taking his eyes off the speeding truck in the distance.

“Max. He’s going to check out the car,” she said and heard Max say, “Right, I’ll call you know if I have any luck.”

“Okay, bye,” she replied and snapped closed the phone. “Any idea where we are?”

“As a mater of fact, isn’t that the turn off for the quarry?” he said pointing to the truck accelerating down the dirt road up on their left.

“Yeah,” she confirmed. “Why would he be going there?”

“I don’t know, but it’s got to be something important, he was petrified back at the yard,” he answered making the turn onto the old access road.

“Well, I for one, hope this is nothing more that a wild goose chase.”

Giving her a quick look, he agreed then added, “Don’t get your hopes up. Whatever’s down there, it’s up to no good and I just know we need to be there to help the Sheriff.”

###

“Crashdown,” Liz said answering the phone.

“Liz, it’s me,” Max said.

“Max, where are you?” she asked putting a finger in her ear to block out the noise from the packed dining room. “I can barely hear you.”

“I’m on my way to the impound yard. They found Tess’ car.” he explained quickly. “Do you think Michael can get out and meet me?”

“I don’t think so,” she apologized. “This place in a mad house. Dad fired up the other grille and if Michael left, I think he’ll notice.”

“Okay, just tell him where I’m going and that I’ll stop in as soon as I have what we need.”

“I thought Alex and Isabel were on watch?”

“They were, but something came up. I’m almost there. I’ll see you in little while.”

“Be careful, okay? I don’t want to miss our date tomorrow,” she said sweetly.

“Me neither, love you.”

“Me too, bye.”

“Bye.”


Liz hung up the phone and cashed out the few customers standing by the register before walking back to the kitchen. Pulling Michael away from the grille, she told him what Max was doing.

“I should be with him!” he scowled.

“I know, I’m sorry,” she said looking into the restaurant.

“Not your fault,” he replied. “Oh damn!” he cried and ran back to pull off the smoking burger. “My life can’t get any worse,” he mumbled, when Maria threw a plate onto the pass-thru.

“Table 10 said they wanted this well done,” she complained.

“Guess I was wrong,” he said grabbing the order. Flipping off the bun, he replaced the perfectly cooked burger with the charred one and slamming the top back on, gave it back to Maria and said, “Here, well done.”

Jeff Parker let out a laugh and wiped a towel over his sweaty face. Michael looked over his shoulder and the two men shared a smile. Maria picked up the plate and
silently vowed to take the difference of her crappie tip out of Michael’s hide.


###

Max pulled over next to the gate of the impound yard and cut the engine. Hopping over the side of the Jeep, he approached the fence slowly. Taking one
last look to make sure he was alone, he placed his hand over the lock holding the chain. He moved the tumblers and watched it fall to the ground with a thud. Pulling the chain off one side of the double gate, he slipped inside and jogged over to the silver Impala.

Using the same trick as on the gate lock, he popped the trunk and tried to block most of the light from showing . The contents were a mixture of old toys and
clothing. He thought it odd for Tess to keep things from her childhood, he knew she wasn’t playing with a full deck, so go figure. Tossing aside a worn Cinderella
comforter, he felt along the back of the fire wall and was rewarded with a lump under the carpeting.

With a yank, he removed a leather bag where it had been stuck to the metal with duct tape. Holding his prize close to the light, he untied the string holding it
closed and saw that indeed, the book was there along with a small compact. Deciding this was not the place to investigate further, he pushed the jumbled contents evenly over the floor of the trunk and slammed the hood.

Turning, he was surprised to see a large man leaning against the fence. The man pushed himself upright and approached Max with a swagger in his step. “I’ll take
that, if you don’t mind,” he said in a western drawl.

Max looked around quickly and noticed for the first time that there was another car in the yard that looked new. Cursing under his breath, he tried to circle the Impala but came face to face with another man wearing a dark suit and sunglasses.

As the men moved to intercept him, a light shined in his eyes and a voice call out, “Hey what’s going on in there?”

Shielding his eyes, Max was never so happy to see Deputy Hanson in his whole life. “Deputy!” he called out.

Hanson got out of the patrol car and walked up to the three men. “Evans, right?”

“Yeah, that’s right, Deputy,” he said, emphasizing the title.

“Isn’t it a little late to be out here?”

“Sorry about that,” Max replied giving the two men side long glances. “I heard over the scanner that you guys found a Impala and thought maybe it was my Grandmothers. Hers was stolen a few nights ago.”

“So?”

“She had some personal things in the back and I thought if I found them, I could cheer her up.” he lied thru his teeth.

“Personal?”

“Her wedding album. She was planning on having their pictures restored as a surprise for their 50th anniversary and before she could, the car got stolen.”

Max new he was starting to babble, but he knew these men were trouble and he need to get his ass out of there fast.

“And is it?”

“No her car is blue. I was just leaving when these guys showed up.”

Looking between the two men, Hanson said, “Okay. Next time, wait for someone to call you first before coming here on your own. Go on home.”

Max let out a sigh of relief that the deputy bought his story and saved him from the two brutes. “Thanks, Deputy Hanson.”

“Now about the two of you,” he heard Hanson address the others and couldn’t help the smile that spread on his face. Kivar’s men would have to better liars that him to explain why they were there.

posted on 22-Aug-2002 8:44:19 AM by LilyFrancesca
Part 22

“Slow down,” Isabel demanded, now interested in why the sheriff would be going to a place where her and her brothers met when they need some privacy from prying eyes. It could only be a coincidence, right? “He’s right up there.”

Alex pulled the car close to the quarry wall and turned off the ignition. Putting the binoculars to his eyes, he said, “He’s standing next to the truck. It looks like he’s calling to somebody.”


“Okay, I’m here,” Jim yelled. Driving in, he had seen no sign of his son or anyone else and only just realized his phone was not in it’s holder. He must have left it at the yard.

“Throw away your gun,” said a voice off to his left, from behind some scrub.

He cursed himself for not noticing before, but did as he was told. He still had the ankle holster holding his .22. “There, gone,” he said tossing his side arm away.
“Where’s Kyle?”

Tess smile at the concern she heard for his son, in his voice. Maybe if she had grown up with a caring father, her life would have turned out better. ‘God, I’m pitiful,’ she thought in disgust. ‘What do I care for love? All that matters is not getting caught and my revenge on Liz Parker.’

The two sides of her genetic makeup had been at war within her ever since Isabel had peered into her mind, and showed her human half, what it was like to have
feelings. In her mind she knew humans were worth nothing, but her soul craved the closeness she had witnessed between the others, like a drunk craves a drink. Even know, knowing what she was doing could possible save her very existence, she felt guilty for her misuse of the love between parent and child.

“Snap out of it,” she whispered malevolently. ‘It’s either you or them.”

Stepping out from behind the scrub, Tess pulled an indifferent Kyle along with her. “As you can see, he’s fine.”

The Sheriff took in his blank stare and growled, “What have you done to my son?”


“Alex, what’s going on?” Isabel asked impatiently, reaching for the glasses. “Let me see.”

Taking a look, she saw Valenti talking to someone on the other side of his truck and out of line of sight. “Who’s he talking to?” she asked mostly to herself.

“Your guess is as good as mine,” Alex replied. “If we try to get any closer, they’ll see us.”

“Wait, I see.......Oh My God Alex! It’s Tess and she’s got Kyle!” she cried.

“Kyle? What would she want with Kyle?”

“I don’t know, but it would explain his reaction. What are we going to do?”


“He’s fine, it’s only temporary,” Tess explained, pulling Kyle closer to his dad. ‘It will only last long enough for me to kill you,’ she thought, the alien side forging to the front.

“Why did you take him? What do you want?” Valenti asked, looking to see if there was any one else hiding.

“I needed you to stop what you were doing and this was the quickest way to make that happen,” she said wondering why she would tell a mere human her reasons.

“Fine, I’m here. Let my son go.”

###
Max walked in to the Crashdown and gave Liz, Maria and Michael a big smile. Patting the pocket of his jacket, he indicated that the mission was a success.

The three let out a collective sigh of relief and went back to eating. The dinner rush was finally over and Mr. Parker had whipped up their favorites for a job well done.

Taking a seat next to his friend, Max grabbed a Tobasco covered fry from his plate. “Any trouble?” Michael asked.

“Some, I’ll tell you later,” he replied softly, not wanting to alarm the girls. Louder, he asked, “Any word from Iz and Alex?”

“No. Where did they go, anyway?” Liz asked looking at the time.

“They said something happened with the Sheriff and Alex had one of his bad feelings about it, so they followed him,” Max said shrugging his shoulders. “I’m
sure it’s nothing.”

###

“Not so fast, Sheriff,” Tess replied to his plea. ‘Did he really think he would be leaving here?’ the alien side asked. ‘He’s more stupid that I thought.’

‘NO!’ cried the human side. ‘We’ll tie them up and by the time they get free, we’ll be long gone. There’s no reason to kill them.’

“Shut up!” Tess screamed. Letting go of Kyle’s arm, she put her hands on her head and tried to squeeze the voices into silence. Their whisperings had always been a part of her life, but since Isabel invaded her mind, the volume had increased. She was tired of having them take control of her when she least expected it. This was her mind and she would be damned, before she let them take control.

The Sheriff used her momentary outburst to grab his son and pull him toward the truck. “Kyle?” he whispered looking into eyes that were devoid of life. “Kyle can you hear me?”

Tess came back to herself and saw that the Sheriff was trying to get his son into the truck. “He won’t get in unless I tell him too,” she informed Jim. “And I’m not ready for you leave yet.”

Deciding this girl was not a threat, he charged her and grabbing her by the arms, he picked her up and began shaking her violently. “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO MY SON?” he screamed.

Smiling, she closed her eyes and gave Kyle a command. A second later, she was falling to the ground, as Kyle tackled his father to the ground. Scooting back on her butt, Tess watched in fascination as the two Valenti men wrestled in the sand.

###

“That’s it,” Isabel said, getting out of the car. “I will not let her hurt another person.”

She had possession of the binoculars for the last few minutes and realized Tess has some kind of control over Kyle. When she started screaming, she had hoped the Sheriff would grab his son and get out of there, but Tess had said something to set the Sheriff off and he grabbed her. Kyle’s reaction had been unexpected and the final straw for Isabel.

“Isabel, wait!” Alex called running to catch up with her. “What do you plan to do?”

“Something we should have done a long time ago.”

“And that would be?”

“Get rid of Tess.”

Tess was still laughing when she saw the two figures approaching. When she realized who it was, she was undecided as to what to do. Here was the person that
had awaken the disgusting and soft human side of her being, and the alien side went berserk. Holding out her hand, she sent a burst of energy flying .

Isabel was surprised, but had been expecting something of the sort and deflected the blast with a shield of green energy. Unbeknownst to Max and Michael, she had been practicing her defensive abilities. The scare they faced when Liz was missing and the scenes she saw in Tess mind made her realize, that with all her powers she was helpless. She hated felling helpless, so set about to remedy the situation. She only hoped she was ready.

Clapping her hands, Tess replied, “Very good. I see you’ve been practicing.”

Coming to a stop a few feet away, Isabel shook back her hair and her Ice Queen persona fell into place. “You would be surprise at what I can do.”

“Your nothing but a hybrid freak, who doesn’t even realize how little it knows,” replied the alien.

“Your as much a human as I am,” she shot back.

“I will never be human! All humans are good for is manual labor and sport. Did you know, the only human DNA our ‘creators’ could get were from the dredges of that race? The rejects that had been throw into asylums because they couldn’t assimilate to their lot in life. So I wouldn’t act all high and mighty if I were you, Princess,” she sneered.

“That goes a long way to explain many things,” Isabel replied, not rising to the bait. “If what you say is true, our ancestors weren’t ones to sit back and endure slavery at the hands of a race that were no better, if not worse than their own.”

“Ha! These humans are only a step above monkeys and you have the audacity to compare them to a people that have existed for 10 millennium. But I guess I’ll
have to excuse your ignorance, seeing you were raised by these primates.”

While Tess and Isabel were spitting at each other like two cats, Alex had gone over to the men rolling around on the ground and had helped the Sheriff restrain Kyle. After catching his breath, Jim asked in a hoarse whisper, “What the hell is going on?”

Giving him a ‘you don’t want to know look,’ Alex wrapped his legs around Kyle’s and replied, “It’s a long story.”

Glancing back at the girls, the sheriff tried to wipe the dirt off his face while keeping a firm grip on his son’s upper body. “Yeah, I bet.”


The insult to her parents hit Isabel dead in the heart. Her eyes narrowed and she raised her hand. Her offensive powers were as reliable as Michael’s, but with her anger behind it, she sent a bolt of blood red energy at Tess’ smug face.

Tess waved her hand and a mustard colored aura surrounded her, which deflected the shot around her body and absorbed the blow.

The Sheriff was astonished to see the proof his father had been looking for and almost ruined his family over, staring him in the face. There could only be one
explanation for the forces at work in front of him and he felt ashamed for not believing. “This wasn’t what I thought,” he said to Alex.

“Yeah, I bet,” he echoed. He wanted to leave Kyle to his father and help Isabel, but realized this was her fight and he would only get in the way. He didn’t think he could ever love her more, than at this moment.


“Nice, but primitive. Must be the monkey DNA coming thru. See what you make of this,” Tess stated and clapping her hands together, Isabel felt as if her head was in a vice.

Gritting her teeth, Isabel imagined that she was surrounded by a wall of glass, and it was spinning like a top. The pressure Tess was exerting on her ceased and
Isabel could see it trying to get a grip on her, but the spinning shield made that impossible.

Keeping it spinning with one part of her mind, she thought that a physical attack might get thru where an energy bolt would fail, and levitated a large rock behind
Tess and hurled it at her head.

Her aim was something she would need to improve, but she got the results she wanted and Tess staggered. Spinning, she thought one of the humans had thrown
something at her. Before she could retaliate against them, Isabel sent another rock at her head.

Ducking, Tess screamed, “You Bitch! Leave it to a freak to use primitive weapons. Now you’ll die!

The Sheriff saw his gun lying a few feet away and with his free hand, tried to reach for it, but Kyle, feeling his hold slip, swung and hit Alex on the side of the head. Cursing, Jim hoped his son would forgive him and gave him a shot to the jaw, that knocked him out cold.

Snatching his gun, he called out, “Okay, hold it right there!”

Tess’ hand had just dropped and Isabel was knocked off her feet with the impact, when the Sheriff’s voice rang thru the night air. Turning, Tess smiled and shook her head in distaste. ‘Would these humans never learn?’ she thought and a ball of power appeared in the palm of her hand.

Seeing what she intended, Isabel cried, “NO! Alex!” Getting up, she rushed toward the insane girl. Alex was her life and if he died, there would be no reason for her to live. Tess will not take him from her!

Jim saw the determination on Isabel’s face, but couldn’t let her go thru what she planned. Sighting down the barrel of his .45, he squeezed the trigger and Tess
slumped to the ground as Isabel came to a skidding stop a foot away.

Looking down at the dying girl, she felt a pang of regret that things couldn’t have worked out better, but she knew in Tess’ mind, it was all or nothing. The light
faded from her eyes, and Isabel let out a sigh of relief that it was finally over.

Isabel picked her way around Tess’ lifeless body and made he way over to Alex as he was getting to his feet. He almost fell back to the ground when she threw her
arms around his neck and asked anxiously, “Are you okay? Please tell me your okay.”

Pulling out of the half nelson she had him in, he gave her his patented lopsided smile and said, “Of course, M’lady. With you as my champion, I have nothing to fear.”

Slapping his arm, she pulled him back into her arms and nuzzled his neck in relief.

Sheriff Valenti walked over to check Tess for a pulse, and finding none, removed his jacket and laid it over her face. Taking a deep breath, he turned and walked
back to where his son lay, unconscious on the ground.

Isabel saw him out of the corner of her eye and released Alex. Swallowing hard she began, “Sheriff, about what you saw ....”

He cut her off with a wave of his hand. “Don’t,” he said brushing back the hair from Kyle’s eyes. “I all I want to hear from you is that you can help my son.”

“I....I’m not sure....”

“Well get sure,” he snapped standing abruptly. “She did something to him and I want you to fix it. He tried to kill me for god’s sake!”

“Sheriff, it’s not that easy,” Alex said, stepping in front of Isabel protectively.

“Don’t you get it? I don’t care what you have to do, but you will fix my son. Understand?”

Alex looked at Isabel and mouthed the word ‘Max?’. She shook her head, not wanting the sheriff to know about the others. Having him know about her and Tess was going to be hard enough, with out adding Michael and Max to the mix. ‘Then what?’ he asked silently.

Squaring her shoulders, Iz came out from behind Alex and bent down next to Kyle’s prone figure. Laying her hand on his head, she cleared her mind and tried
the same tactic she saw Max use when he healed Liz all those weeks ago. She pictured his aura as being a calming blue, and tried to ‘see’ it surrounding him like
Liz’s amber, but she couldn’t do it. She wasn’t equipped with healing and watching done was not the same as being able to do it yourself.



Closing her eyes, she tried to dreamwalk him, but all she saw was an empty cavern that used to be his mind. Pulling back, she suppressed a shutter and looked up at Alex. “I can’t,” she whispered.

Placing a hand on the Sheriff’s shoulder, Alex stopped his outburst and said, “We can bring him to someone who might be able to help him, but we need your assurances that this will go no further.”

Jim was ready to blast into them again, when he saw the fear reflected on the faces of two kids before him. If everything his father had told him about the government
and it’s task force to hunt and destroy aliens were true, these people had the right to be afraid for their lives. Knowing that they were the only chance his son had to
regain his mind, he nodded and replied. “Fine, but when this is over, we have some talking to do.”

“And her?” Alex indicated the body a few feet away.

“I’ll tell them she was crazed and that she kidnapped my son because she believed I could get what ever she wanted because of my job. She threatened his life and I
had to kill her to save him.” he said and went to his truck and pulled out a knife from behind the seat. Wiping it clean of his prints, he placed in Tess’ outstretched hand and closed her fingers around the hilt.

Isabel and Alex were astonished at the Sheriff’s tactics, but they knew too many questions would be asked if the real reason ever came to light. He was putting his job and his very life on the line to keep their secret. They had no choice but to trust him.

“Take Kyle where ever you need to, and I’ll call the office,” he told them. “Call me as soon as you know.”

“Won’t they want to know where he is?” Isabel asked, while Alex ran back to get his car.

“I said I’ll take care of it,” he replied wearily. “You just take care of my son.”

She nodded and when Alex drove up, she opened the back door so they could lay Kyle in. “How should we contact you?” she asked when they were done.

Seeing Alex’s cell hanging from his belt. Jim detached it and said, “Call me.”

Getting in the car, Isabel watched as Valenti and his gruesome companion faded into the distance. “What if Max can’t help him?” she asked.

“Let’s hope that won’t happen,” he replied and caught once last glance of the man silhouetted by the dwindling sun, in the rear view mirror.


posted on 23-Aug-2002 12:47:06 PM by LilyFrancesca
Part 23

“Max, your ringing,” Liz said, leaning back from his embrace.

Fishing out his cell, he flipped it open, “Isabel?”

“Max, we need your help,” she said watching the boy in the back set.

“Were are you?” he asked.

“Is that Isabel?” Michael asked coming over to the booth where the couple was sitting.

Max held up his hand and said, “Say that again.”

“I said, Alex and I are on our way to Valenti’s house with Kyle. Tess is dead and she did something to him and we need your help.”

“Tess is dead,” he hissed in astonishment.

“What!” exclaimed Liz.

“Listen, I’ll explain everything when you get to the house. Bring the others, we may need them.” Alex said something in the background that Max couldn’t hear, then she said, “We’re here. Get over her now.”

The phone went dead, and Max went into action. “Get your stuff,” he told the others. “Iz needs our help.”

Seeing the panic on his face, the others did as they were told. Liz ran into the back to grab he coat and told her father that they were going to take a ride to relax. he kissed her cheek and told her not to be too late. Giving him a weak smile, she thought that they were already.


###

Alex and Isabel had to practically drag Kyle into the house, he was dead weight. Laying him on the couch, Isabel went around and turned on the lights. Getting a
blanket, she draped it over Kyle’s unmoving body. Sooner than she expected, there came a hesitant knock on the front door. Rushing to answer it, she was relieved to see her brother and the others waiting on the steps. “Come in. He’s in the living room.”

“What the hell is going on?” Michael demanded. “Max said Tess is dead?”

“Yeah, she is,” Alex said. “Valenti killed her, before she had a chance to take out Isabel.”

“Listen, we’ll tell you the whole story, but we made a deal with the sheriff to get his son back and that should be our first priority,” Isabel injected. She knelt next
to Kyle and took his hand in hers. “I tried to dreamwalk him, and I have never felt emptiness like this before. It’s terrifying.”

Liz went and placed a hand on her shoulder, trying to comfort an unusually sullen Isabel. “We’ll do what we can.”

The others nodded and gathered around the couch. Max knelt next to his sister and placed his hand on Kyle’s head. “Tell me what you think she did to him,” he instructed his sister.

“She mindwarped him. It looks like she wiped out his mind, but I can’t be sure. Take a look and tell me what you think.”

Max took a deep breath and closed his eyes. Since coming out of the pod, he had had the ability to see the auras that surrounded people. Everyone had one, but the
color and texture was varied with each person. Kyle’s was the color of the sky reflected on water, bright with ripples running thru it. Focusing on that, Max was able to slip into the essence that was Kyle and immerse himself in the ebb and flow of his being.

His sister was right, where Kyle’s mind should be, was empty and dark. The rest of his body was fine and functioning, but there was no spark of animation. It was
as if he was a living doll. Pulling back, he prepared to jump back into his own body, when he thought he heard his name being call from a long distance away.

Concentrating, he turned a metaphysical ear to where he thought the voice had come from and listened intently. Not hearing anything, he chalked it up to wishful
thinking.

Opening his eyes, he looked at his sister and his expression confirmed her suspicions. Kyle was beyond help. “What are we going to do,” she cried and threw
her arms around Alex.

While Isabel wept into his shoulder, Alex told them about what had happened since leaving the impound yard hot on the heels of the Sheriff. When he was done, they stared at him in shocked silence.

“So if we don’t heal his son, the Sheriff is going to turn us in?” Michael asked, breaking the silence.

“Yeah, basically. He was going to take care of Tess and we were to fix Kyle.” Isabel said, inelegantly wiping her nose on the sleeve of her shirt.

“I say, we leave him here and take off,” Michael said. He always knew there was a chance of this happening, and he had been right.

“No, you can’t,” Maria said tearfully.

Michael looked at her and felt his heart contract. His feelings for her ran deep and the thought of leaving her, pained him, but he knew it would be for her own good
if he didn’t include her in his screwed up life. “I won’t risk your life,” he said softly before turning away.

“Max?” Liz asked.

Not looking up, he said, “We can’t leave.”

“Why the hell not?” demanded Michael. “If we stay, were dead. If we leave, we have a fighting chance.”

“We can’t leave him like this,” he indicated Kyle. “It was one of us who did this to him, and for what? No, we have to try, Michael or we’ll be no better than Tess.”

“Here we go,” he said sarcastically, throwing up his hands. “I swear Maxwell, ever since you heard about the whole King business, you think your way is the only way.”

Standing up, Max for the first time got in Michael’s face and lost his cool. “And I’m sick and tired of cleaning up your messes. Granted, I make mistakes, but your whole life had been nothing but one mistake after another. Take Maria for instance.”

“What about her?”

“Don’t you see what your doing to her? God, open your eyes, man. She loves you and you can’t except it. Oh no, you have to be strong, and be able to drop anyone
and anything at a moments notice. That’s no way to got thru life, Michael. You keep yourself isolated from her, to protect her, but all your doing is hiding behind
your insecurities. Are you going to start pushing Isabel and me away too? Then you’ll really be alone.”

“You don’t know what your talking about!” he shouted. “You have always had it good. Parents who love you and care about what happens to you. I haven’t had that luxury. You can’t imagine what I’ve gone thru.”

Lowering his voice, his anger spent, Max said, “Your right, we don’t know. You never let us know or help you.”

Sitting on the coffee table, Max put his head in his hands, drained. Liz came and sat next to him, putting her arm around his shoulders. “There must be something
we can do.”

Taking a deep breath, he sat up and replied, “While I was in there, I thought I heard his voice. I don’t think he’s really gone. If Tess did that, she would have
killed him.”

“Like she did to Alex in my dream,” she said, nodding her head slowly. “So there’s a chance?”

“I hope so,” he answered looking at Michael. Michael gave him a blank stare and Max let his eyes fall. He could never know what it was to be Michael and they
both knew it.

“What do you need us to do?” Maria asked, willing to do anything if it meant Michael would stay.

“This what I think..........”


###

The sheriff gave the door of the coroner’s van a punch and it drove off. Deputy Hanson was waiting for him near his truck and he walked over, ready to face the
numerous question he could see the deputy was itching to ask.

“Well?” Jim said in a tired voice.

“So let me get this straight,” Hanson replied, rubbing the side of his nose. “This girl kidnapped your son because she was the one who took the Parker girl and it was her car we found out on 252?”

“Yeah, she said she wanted me to help her get away or she would kill Kyle.” Jim had made up the story, not realizing how accurate it was. He was still trying to
come to terms with what he saw this evening and he wanted to get back to Kyle and see if he was going to recover.

“Listen Hanson,” he said, “I want to go make sure Kyle is all right. I’ll file my report in the morning. The coroner should be done by then.”

“Sure, Sheriff, what ever you say,” Hanson said, typically following Valenti’s lead. “I’ll see you in the morning. I hope Kyle is okay.”

Getting into his truck, Valenti said, “Me too, Deputy. Me too.”


###

Kyle lay on the dining room table. Around the perimeter of the room, Liz, Alex, Isabel, Michael and Maria were taking deep breaths and trying to clear their minds
as Max had directed. Michael looked across Kyle’s body and quirked an eyebrow at Alex. Alex gave him a one shoulder shrug and a half smile in response.

Michael had reiterated his position about leaving after hearing Max’s plan, but had been out voted, yet again. ‘Since when has this been a democracy?’, he had
scoffed, but with five pairs of eyes silently telling him to shut up, he went along reluctantly with the others.

“Are you ready?” Max asked taking a step closer to the table.

Isabel was the first to step up and gave her brother a small smile. A lot of what was going to happen depended on her and she wasn’t sure she was up to the task.
Her fight with Tess had made her more aware of how truly different she was from the humans in her life and for the first time, she actually felt scared of her alien
side.

Maria was next and holding out her hand to Michael, she made him feel ashamed at his dissension with the group. Grabbing her hand, he in turned reached out and
took a hold of Isabel’s She gave him a squeeze, but stopped her self from looking at him. She knew he would not want to see the warmth reflected in her eyes.

Alex took up Isabel’s other hand and looking over his shoulder, he waited for Liz to complete the circle. She was staring intently at Kyle and he could see the fear in
her eyes. She had confided to him while in the kitchen earlier, that none of this would have been happening if she didn’t press so hard to find out about Max and
the others. If she had let her dream go as what it was, a dream, they would have had nothing to do with aliens and Kyle wouldn’t be like he was.

Liz’s back had been to the door and when Alex looked thru it, he had seen Max leaning against the jam in the dining room, with a defeated expression on his face.
Liz’s word had cut him to the quick and Alex could just imagine what he was thinking. No doubt he blamed himself for Kyle’s predicament because he healed Liz in the first place.

Alex placed his hands on Liz’s shoulders and in a voice loud enough for Max to hear, he said, “You have nothing to be sorry for. If ever two people were meant to be together it is you and Max. In your dream, you save by him in the cafe and here it was in the hospital, so don’t you think he need to save you? I think that if you
were in a car wreck or if something else terrible had happened, he would have been there to save you too.

At least we have a chance to bring Kyle back and make things right this time. I know Max tried to save me in your dream, but it had been too late and I died. Let’s not let that happen to Kyle, okay?”

She nodded her head and as he hugged her, Alex looked at Max and saw his thanks in his expression.

“Liz” he said holding out his hand to her.

Max turned to look at her and the smile she gave the two of them, seemed to make the task they face a little less impossible. Grabbing their hands, the circle was
complete and all eyes turned to Isabel.

###

Taking a deep breath, Isabel closed her eyes and dropped herself into her dreamwalking state, easily. She no longer need to be asleep herself to get there and now she hoped she would be able to pull the others in along with her. Forcing her eyes to re-open, she looked first to Maria and sent out a tendril of thought to the blonde.

*Isabel?* Maria asked, shocked.

*Who else would it be?* she asked saucily. *Can you follow me?*

Blown away by the whole process, she replied, *Lead the way.*

Isabel drew her to what Maria envisioned as a long hallway with a bench up against the wall. *Does this place always look like this?* she asked.

*It is what ever you believe it is,* Isabel explained. *I wanted a place for everyone to meet, and this is it.*

*You could have imagined something a little more comfortable,* grumbled Maria as she took a seat on the bench.

*You won’t be here long,* she stated. *Just stay here until the rest of us get back.*

Maria nodded her head and realized that she really didn’t have a head here. *Make it quick. This place gives me the creeps.*

Isabel suppressed a laugh at the expression on her face and set her gaze on Michael. He was easier to make contact with and she quickly had him sitting on the bench with Maria. Alex was next and because of their relationship, he came into the meld effortlessly.

Liz was still staring at Kyle, so Iz gave her a mental tap on the shoulder to get her attention. Almost jumping out of her skin, her gaze shot to Isabel and grimaced.
*Am I that repulsive to you?* Isabel asked, self-consciously.

*No. How could you ever think that? I’m in love with your brother.*

*True, but he never almost killed someone.*

*You were only trying to defend yourself and Alex. I would have done the same.*

*Would you?*

*Of course.*

Isabel looked into her eyes and had no choice but to believe her. The gleam she saw there convinced her that Liz would do anything to save everyone of them if
given the choice, without any thought for her own safety. Yet again, she proved that she was more than worthy to be with her brother. *This way, sis.* she said
and gave Liz a mental pull.

When Liz was settled with the others, Isabel smoothly pulled her brother into the plane and together they faced the waiting four. *You understand,* Max began,
*what I need you to do?*

*Yeah,* replied Michael. *We’er your power source. We feed you enough energy to go in and brig Kyle back.*

*Right. Ready?* With their agreement, he took a hold of his sister’s hand and said *let’s go.*




AN: Only one part to go! I will try to post it in the morning.
posted on 24-Aug-2002 12:57:54 PM by LilyFrancesca
The Last Part!!!


Sheriff Valenti pulled up in front of his house and was surprised to see the cars in his driveway. Cutting the engine, he got out of the truck and went into the house.
What he saw in his dining room, made him stop in his tracks. Around the table were six very familiar teenagers and they were glowing.

Pulling out a chair, he sat, knowing that if he disturbed them, he might never get his son back. Kyle lay unmoving on the table and Jim was fearful that he was
already dead, when a thin line of energy radiated out from Max Evans and entered his son’s body. As he watched, he could see that Max was siphoning off power
from the others, to supplement his own. What ever that girl did to Kyle, it would take everything these kids had to set it right. Jim hoped it would be enough.

###

*Kyle!* called Max into the emptiness that was Kyle’s mind. *Kyle can you hear me?*

Max listened and tried to hear anything besides the echoing of his own voice. Drawing more power from the others, he dared to go where he hadn’t tried to look
on his own and was rewarded by what he thought was his name being called. *Kyle, where are you?*

*Here!* came the weak sounding voice off to his left. *I’m over here.*

Max trudged his way to where he thought Kyle was, but abruptly hit a wall. Raising his hands, he tried pushing against the blackness, but it wouldn’t budge. *Kyle, are you behind there?*

*Yeah! Can you get me out of here?*

*I’m gonna try.*

###

Jim sat transfixed at what was happening in his dining room. One by one, Maria, Michael, and Alex had stopped sending energy and had slumped to the floor. After being surprised when Maria fell over backward, Jim had stood behind the next in line and caught them before they fell to the floor. He was standing behind Liz now, because he had noticed that Max’s sister seemed to be collecting the power and was sending it to her brother, so he assumed Liz would be the next to drain.

He was right, and when Liz did stop glowing, he was there to lay her on the carpet next to the others. His eyes moved back and forth between Isabel, Max and Kyle. He could tell that Max was exerting himself to the breaking point and it seemed to be getting a reaction from Kyle, who had tensed up a few minutes before. “Go on Max, you can do it,” he whispered. “Bring him back to me.”

###

*That’s it Max,* came Isabel’s voice from the blackness. *All we have left is you and me. Will that be enough?*

Max grunted a response and gathering up the last of their reserves, sent a outpouring of force at the wall and was rewarded with a resounding shudder as the wall disintegrated in a shower of sparks. Behind it, on his hand and knees, was a ragged looking but smiling Kyle. Max went over to him and grabbing him under the arms, stood him up and said, *Your going to be okay.*

*If you say so-* he replied, then his eyes rolled up into his head and he started shaking.

*Iz, pull us out now!* Max shouted and everything went black.


Max was lain next to the others on the living room floor. He had been the last to collapse and Jim placed him next to his sister. Walking over to the table, he put his hand on Kyle’s head and willed him to open his eyes.

Kyle let out a moan, and Jim released the breath he had been holding. Giving his shoulder a shake, he said, “Kyle, wake up son.”

Kyle’s head rolled back and forth for a few minutes then his eyes snapped open. “Dad?” he asked in a husky voice.

“Yeah, son. It’s me. Are you okay?”

Pulling himself to a sitting position, he rubbed his head and replied, “I think so. I had the strangest dream that Max Evans pulled out of a dark cave.”

Glancing into their living room he exclaimed, “Holy shit! What happened to them?”

“They saved your life,” Jim replied, helping Kyle off the table and over to the couch.

“Are they going to be okay?”

“I hope so.”

###

Max was the first to recover. He opened his eyes and blinked as the light from the nearby end table shinned into his face. Putting a hand up to block it, he sat up and
took a moment to remember where he was. It all came flooding back and he quickly gazed into the dining room at an empty table.

“I’m over here,” Kyle said from the sofa.

Spinning, Max saw a smiling Kyle reclining against a bunch of pillows. His father was sitting on the arm next to his son, with a warm smile on his face. “Glad to see
back, Max,” he said.

“What happened?”

“You saved my son’s life.”

“Max?”

“Liz!” Max cried and crawled over to her. She sat up and rubbed her forehead. “Who hit me?” she asked bewildered.

“No one, love. It is an after effect of the meld, I guess,” he said taking her in his arms. Around him the others were coming to and all were rubbing their heads in
pain.

Alex was on the far side of the room and not seeing Kyle, asked, “Did it work? Is he back?”

“Yeah, I’m back,” Kyle replied. “Thanks to all of you.”

“You’ll be getting a bill,” Michael said, helping Maria to her feet. “A large one.”

“What about Tess?” Isabel asked the sheriff warily.

“Everything is taken care of, Miss Evans. You don’t have to worry,” he reassured her.

“That’s not entirely true,” Kyle said, looking at his Dad.

“What do you mean?” Liz asked, now sitting next to him on the sofa.

“She’s still alive.”

“No son,” Jim said, placing his hand on his shoulder. “she’s not. She should be at the morgue by now.”

“Trust me Dad, she’s alive and,” turning to look at Liz, “Planing on killing you, again”

“Kyle,” began the sheriff, when the phone rang. Going over to where it hung on the wall, he picked up the receiver and said, “Valenti.”

As the others watched, his face became grave and he asked, “Are you sure?”

The person on the other end must have reaffirmed their answer and Jim replied, “Okay, I’ll be right there,” and hung up the phone.

“What?” Maria demanded.

“That was Deputy Hanson. He said the coroner’s van never made it to the morgue. They found it on fire a mile from town . The only body they could fined was the
driver’s. Tess is gone.”

“Gone? What do you mean gone?” Michael asked.

“I mean, she’s not there.”

“She’s running,” Kyle said from the couch. “She is going to recover and then she’s going to come back and kill us all.”

“How the hell would you know?” Michael inquired sarcastically.

“I can hear her,” he replied. “If I listen really hard, I can hear what she’s thinking. But it’s getting harder every second. I think she moving away from Roswell.”

“Great! Now what are we going to do?” Alex asked the silent room.

Hope she never comes back,” Kyle said ominously. “cuz when she does, we’re all dead.”


The End



posted on 24-Aug-2002 9:35:54 PM by LilyFrancesca
I'm glad for all the feedback, it was wonderful! There is a sequel in the works called What the future may hold and I will try to post the first few parts soon. I look forward from hearing from you all again*wink*.