posted on 18-Dec-2001 8:24:59 PM by JO
Title: Pathos
Author: JO
e-mail: jolovesroswell⊕yahoo.com
Category: Future Fic, Post-Departure
Summary: Max and Liz are thrown back together. If I say too much, you'll know the whole story.....

Author's Note: Okay, I've tried to post here before but I'm just letting that old post/thread slide away. Anyway, my question to all those higher up on the thread-posting totem pole, I need help on how to change the subject area when I decide to post again. If you can just reply with advice, it would be much appreciated.

Hope you enjoy!

JO

____________________________________

PART ONE
2014

Liz Parker sat perfectly still, staring at her reflection in the mirror. She looked relatively unchanged, despite how bleak her life seemed at the moment. She closed her eyes, keeping them closed for several seconds, just enough time for a solitary tear to drip down her face. She had seen him tonight, for the first time in probably three years. He was the only man who could make her feel so many different things: love, hate, emptiness, grief. She opened her eyes slowly and stared directly at her reflection. Somehow, along the course of the years, her eyes had lost their luster and sparkle. They used to sparkle when she looked at him, and she knew, deep within her heart, that no man would ever make her feel how Max Evans made her feel.

She swallowed and blinked hard, fighting for the control she so desperately wanted. One look, she thought, and it all comes flooding back. They had locked eyes the moment she stepped into Maria’s house, just as Maria had planned. They held the gaze for several seconds and she remembered the way Max’s mouth turned up at the corners in a semi-smile. Blindly, she threw Maria her anniversary present and bolted. She could not see Max, not tonight, and had foolishly believed Maria when she had said Max would not be in attendance. She nervously bit her lip, catching her reflection again, remembering exactly how it had been to look into his eyes, even for those few seconds. It was like he was trying to melt away a decade of absence with one look,
trying to make her remember just how amazingly wonderful they once were. Max had always looked at her that way, especially after Tess. During that time, she had felt like he wanted her to look at him with love in her eyes, but no matter how hard she tried and no matter how much she wanted to, all she could picture was his one night with Tess. Technically, they had not been a couple, but Liz had always held out hope they would one day be together again. Max’s night with Tess had instantly shattered any of the dreams she so voraciously held on to.

She sighed and twirled a long strand of hair around her fingertips. It should have comforted her that Max looked just as shitty as she felt. Wasn’t that what old girlfriends were supposed to think, how they were supposed to feel? But somehow, despite all the anger she felt, the most painful and surprising emotion she felt was regret. On the way home from Michael and Maria’s,
she had once again stumbled into her fantasy world and had seen the vision that she dreamt about each night while a senior in high school and her first years of college. Max, dressed in his tux, and she in a beautiful, white wedding gown, laughing and smiling with each other, passionately kissing each other. Even now, simply staring at her reflection, she could feel his lips on the back of her neck. She felt them sting and burn and sear the very core of her soul, marking her, enticing her, just as they had done that night. If she blocked out everything around her, she could feel his hands on her body, clumsy yet loving and gentle, just as they had been that night, their one and only night together.

Quickly she wrapped her hands around her head, temporarily hoping to crush her own skull if that would erase the memory of her weakest moment. That was the night everything changed between them. That was the night she stumbled to his bedroom window in a drunken stupor, and confessed everything to him. That was the night he swore his son did not matter, that she
mattered more than anything, that she was his life. That was the night she believed the same words he had been repeating for three years. That was the night they gave in to their passion, changing them, everyone and everything around them in ways only Liz Parker knew.

[ edited 8 time(s), last at 13-May-2002 8:34:18 PM ]
posted on 18-Dec-2001 8:32:10 PM by JO
PART TWO
2014

Liz rested her chin on her hands, directly avoiding the reflection she had been staring at so intently moments earlier. Surely he sensed her shock when they made eye contact. Despite everything that had happened between them, she and Max had always shared that special connection, since the day he had healed her. She smiled slightly remembering all the times Maria had complained about wanting Michael to be more like Max and now, years later, it was Michael who was the
devoted family man and Max who was the loner.

Furiously rubbing her eyes, she glanced at the clock on the night stand. 2:30 a. m. Max had always had this insomniac effect on her. Just thinking about him and their life together used to keep her up all hours of the night, wondering, hoping, dreaming. Now, it was the dreams that kept her awake. Dreams in which she was finally happy. Dreams that they were together, as a
family, but those dreams would never come true. She had been the one to run away from him. As a matter of fact, she had always been the one to run away, claiming Max’s best interest at heart.

Standing quickly from the stool, she was suddenly agitated with herself. She had always had Max’s best interest at heart, but now wondered why she had not been selfish. By leaving him to his destiny, running away from him in the desert, she had been overwhelmed with guilt and confusion after hearing Max’s greater purpose. By following through with Future Max’s plan, she had saved Michael and Isabel, and assured that Tess would stay in Roswell. Had she known what was to come of Tess staying, she would have never done it, no matter how desperate Future Max seemed. Everything about her life now was wrong, and the worst part, the part neither her heart nor her mind could understand, was that she had done it to herself.

* * *

She knocked hesitantly at the door, glancing around quickly for signs of anyone she knew. Both
cars were in the driveway so she knew Maria would be home. She raised her hand to knock again when the door slowly opened, revealing Evan, Maria’s six-year-old son. “Hey, Aunt Liz . Mom’s in the kitchen.” And just as quickly as he had appeared, Evan was gone, running up the stairs as fast as he could.

“Maria,” Liz called as she walked into the house and closed the door. “Michael?”

“In here, Liz,” Maria called from the kitchen. “We’re in the kitchen.”

Liz sat her purse on the couch and walked slowly into the kitchen, fully expecting to see Max sitting at the table with Maria. She paused just outside the kitchen door, peeking into the room before stepping in. She was surprised to see Maria and four-year-old Livvie sprawled across the kitchen floor coloring. Liz leaned against the door frame and watched as Maria instructed her
blonde pixie-haired child how to color in the lines. Immediately, she felt the same sadness she always felt, knowing what she could have had. “Ant Wiz,” Livvie screamed, throwing down her crayons and running toward Liz. “You is hewe.”

Liz recovered and bent down quickly, scooping Livvie into her arms. She hugged her tightly as Livvie blew a raspberry on Liz’s cheek. In return, Liz lifted Livvie’s shirt and blew on her stomach, prompting giggles to echo from the little girl’s mouth. Liz quickly kissed her nose just as Livvie began to squirm to be put down. “Come on, you can cowor wif us.” Livvie grabbed
her hand and pulled Liz to the kitchen table, where Maria now had the coloring book and crayons spread out.

“Livvie girl, why don’t you go get the new book Aunt Liz sent you and we’ll read it to her, okay?” Livvie’s green eyes sparkled as she smiled widely at Liz before running out of the kitchen to her room. “That should keep her busy for a few minutes. Four-year-olds have no attention span, or at least she doesn’t. I think she gets that from me.” Maria pulled out a chair before
turning away from Liz. “Want some coffee?”

“Love some,” Liz replied, sitting down at the table slowly. “Thanks.” Liz watched as Maria poured two cups of coffee and turned back toward her. Maria carefully sat one cup in front of Liz before she sat down next to her at the table. Liz held the cup in her hands, taking light sips as she and her best friend sat in uncomfortable silence. “I’m sorry about ruining your anniversary party.”

“You didn’t ruin it, Liz,” Maria said, leaning back in the chair. “As usual, all of Roswell just wanted to know what was going on with you and Max. After you stormed out, he just disappeared.” Liz opened her mouth to speak, instantly concerned for Max. Maria noticed it too and amended her words. “Not gone disappeared, just disappeared from the party. I found him in Evan’s room. He was telling Evan and Livvie a story. He’s really good with kids, you know.”

Liz’s jaws tightened and she bit her lip, trying to control the tears now pooled in her eyes. Of course Max is good with kids, she wanted to say. Max would have been a loyal and wonderful father. “I’m sure he’s great with them, Maria,” Liz whispered as she moved the cup from side to side in her hands.

“Okay, Liz, you’re thirty-one years old and you’ve been in and out of Roswell for the past ten years, mostly out. I love you and I love Max and I’m sorry that you got mad because he was here, but, damn it, if you still love each other -”

“Who says Max still loves me?”

Maria rolled her eyes. “You’re kidding, right? For a Harvard educated person, Liz, you’re extremely dense.”

Liz wildly avoided Maria’s eyes. Maria normally hit the nail on the head. She blinked and remembered Max’s smile when they had first locked eyes the other night. Instantly her heart warmed and her mind flooded with a montage of Max’s many smiles. She cleared her throat,
pushing the memories into the farthest corner of her mind. “Who said I love him? He has a son, Maria. A son with Tess who killed Alex. Remember Alex?”

“Don’t even start with that, Liz. Of course I remember Alex. I love Alex and I miss him every day. I stayed here, remember? I didn’t run away.”

“Please Maria,” Liz pleaded. “Please don’t do this. I....I’ve made mistakes and I’m sorry, but I’m
here now. I don’t want to fight with you about something that happened a million years ago.
Please.”

Maria’s face softened and she reached out for Liz’s hand. Liz gratefully accepted it, thankful that
she had avoided Maria’s interrogation once again. If Maria knew the real reason Liz had left Roswell in the middle of the night almost eleven years ago, Liz was certain she would be dragged kicking and screaming back in to the alien abyss, the place she desperately did not want to be. “So, are you ever gonna tell your bestest friend what you’re hiding?”

“Wh- what?” Liz released Maria’s hand, her eyes darting back and forth across Maria’s face for any signs of recognition. “Why do you think I’m hiding something?”

Maria shrugged as she took another sip of her coffee. “I just think you are. And I think it’s big. I wish you’d share it with me. You know how I hate being out of the loop.”

“There’s no loop, Maria,” Liz nervously replied as she stood and walked over to get more coffee. “No secrets. Nothing to hide.”

Maria swivelled in her chair to face Liz, who was leaning against the counter top. She watched as Liz’s hands gently shook as she raised the cup to her lips. “So you’ll forgive me if I think you’re lying, won’t you?”

“Maria.” Liz sighed and rolled her eyes, taking a small step to the side.

“Okay, okay. I won’t press you. You’ve always kept your secrets for a reason.” Maria stood up
and walked toward her oldest friend in the world. “But usually your secrets have to do with Max.” Maria had not been prepared for the look of horror that flashed momentarily in Liz’s eyes. The coffee cup in Liz’s shaky hands fell to the floor, shattering on impact. Liz tucked her hair behind her ears and quickly darted away from Maria.

“I...I’ll clean this up, Maria.”

“Liz, what’s wrong,” Maria asked, grabbing Liz’s arm as she bent down to pick up the pieces of the shattered cup.

“Nothing. Nothing’s wrong.” Liz pulled her arm out of Maria’s grasp and stepped away from her. “I...I should go. I forgot I had to be somewhere. Bye, Maria.” Liz turned on her heels and ran out of the kitchen toward the front door.

Maria sighed as she heard Michael yell at Liz and bent down to pick up with was left of the coffee
cup off her kitchen floor. “What’s wrong with Liz,” Michael said, as Maria stood up with the broken cup in her hands. He kissed her cheek and waved his hands across the cup, restoring it to its normal condition. “She almost knocked me down running out of here.”

Maria placed the cup in the sink and leaned against the counter top, determination written across her face. “I don’t know, but I’m going to find out.”
posted on 18-Dec-2001 8:39:13 PM by JO
PART THREE
2014

After leaving Maria’s house, Liz knew she had to get out of Roswell. She had come back strictly for Maria and Michael’s anniversary and her plan had been stay a few days then return home. As she drove away from the city and into the desert, she knew she couldn’t disappear so easily this time. Maria was relentless. She would pursue Liz for the rest of her life, especially now that Maria knew Liz was hiding something from her. Something big. Something about Max.

She drove blindly away from the city, almost content to keep driving until Roswell was merely a spec in her rear-view mirror. But Roswell meant too much to her. Max meant too much to her. She was so caught up in her thoughts, she hadn’t realized she’d driven directly to the
place she hadn’t returned to since the morning she left Roswell: the quarry. She exited the car and carefully make her way down the rocky hill. She stopped one-half of the way down, took off her jacket and threw it on the ground. She sat down gently and pulled her knees to her chest. So many memories held in this small quarry. Their first meeting as a group, after Topolsky had
contacted Alex. She remembered exactly how scared and vulnerable she had felt at that moment.
How it had become the six of them in one fatal swoop. And how they were bound together by a common secret, a secret that still bound them today.

It seemed like she always had Max on the brain when she came here. Today, for instance, as well as the morning of her departure. This had been a special place, for all of them, not just for she and Max. A faint smile crossed her lips as she remembered the intimate scene Max had set for them on their first date, post-Tess.
September 2001

Liz, blindfolded and wearing a new black dress, sat in the front seat of the Evans’ car. Max drove, occasionally glancing to his right to make sure Liz was still wearing the blindfold.

“Where are we going, Max?” She raised her hands toward her eyes, touching the silk fabric that covered them.

“Don’t you trust me, Liz,” Max asked with a laugh.

“Not when you blindfold me, no. I’m just going to take this thing off.” Her hands wrapped around to the back of her head, grasping for the knot that held the blindfold over her eyes.

“No,” Max pleaded, reaching for her, accidentally swerving the car to the right in his attempt to
stop Liz from removing the blindfold.

“Max,” she screamed, bracing her hands on the dashboard as Max regained control of the car.

“We’re almost there, Liz. Please wait, okay?” After several minutes, Max pulled the car to a halt, quickly scurrying to the passenger side to retrieve Liz. He tenderly helped her from the car and gently guided her path down the hillside. “We’re here,” he said after abruptly stopping their downward trek.

Liz smiled as she felt him move behind her and, after kissing the back of her neck, he removed the blindfold, revealing a candle lit quarry to a stunned Liz. Small candles illuminated the entire quarry, creating a pool of dancing lights in the water. Overhead, it seemed that every star in the sky sparkled, matching the flicker of the candles.

“Oh Max,” Liz gasp, covering her mouth with her hands. She shivered as he placed his hand on the small of her back and guided her carefully to the table set for two on the rock ledge less than two feet away from the. “How did you -” she began as she raised her tear-filled eyes to meet his soft amber ones.

“Maria,” he responded and Liz could see a faint blush sweep across his face.

“I -”

“Liz,” he said, gently placing his fingers over her lips to quiet her. “I...I’ve done a lot of things I’m not proud of. I’ve hurt you in ways that could have been avoided, that should have been avoided, and I’ve asked you to sacrifice so much. I’m sorry, Liz. I’m sorry for
everything.” He took her hands into his and smiled what she called his shy smile. “I don’t care about what’s happened in the past. It’s over and done. I want to start over with you, Liz. I want to make you fall in love with me again. I want to make all your dreams come true. Will you let me do that?”

Liz nodded her head, her eyes suddenly lost in Max’s. “Yes, Max, I will.”


Liz pulled her knees closer to her chest and rested her chin on them. She stared at the rock ledge that had held the table. It had once been flat and smooth, magically jutting out into the quarry. Now, it was jagged, scarred and unsafe. Instantly, she remembered that the quarry held other non-happy memories too.


Summer 2003

She paced nervously beside Maria and Michael. Max had not arrived, even though he had called this meeting. He had sounded anxious when they talked, and Liz worried that any number of things could have delayed his arrival at the quarry. Isabel stood by the water’s edge, her cell
phone attached to her ear. Liz watched her as she laughed and could only assume she was talking to Diane or her two-year-old son, Alex. Liz shuddered as her mind wandered back to the previous summer and hoped they were not revisiting problems of the past.

They had just graduated from high school and Isabel had been married for almost six months to an attorney in Mr. Evans’ firm, Jesse Ramirez. Max and Michael were wary of Isabel being involved with him, let alone marrying him, but after some convincing from Maria and Liz, they
had seen that it was best for Isabel. Somehow, though Liz could never determine exactly how, Max and Michael found out Jesse worked for the FBI. After months of prodding, Jesse had admitted as much to the group, shocking Isabel completely. He swore to them he wasn’t
involved in FBI dealings anymore, especially after he married Isabel. Liz thought it was extremely ironic that only weeks after confessing to them he had worked for the FBI, Jesse was shot on Main Street in broad daylight, trying to protect Isabel and their unborn child from a kidnaping by the FBI Special Unit. His death was listed as accidental, the result of a drive-by shooting, but it still caused chills to run down Liz’s spine, knowing how close the FBI had been to Max, to all of them.

She paced several steps away from Michael and Maria, her nervousness now brimming to the surface. She looked at the top of the quarry and smiled, relieved to finally see Max’s outline appear. Instantly, her relief turned to confusion as she saw a petite blonde appear by his side.

“Tess,” Maria seethed through her teeth, stepping forward in front of Michael. “What is she doing here?”

Liz turned and watched as Isabel’s mouth dropped in shock. She quickly turned away from Isabel, trying to control her own anger as she watched Tess and Max make their way down the rocky slope to the waiting four-some. She felt Isabel brush against her as she calmly walked toward Tess, waiting for Tess and Max to reach them. Tess smiled at Isabel from several yards
away and remained smiling until Isabel drew her right hand back and slapped Tess squarely across the face. Tess stumbled to the right and Liz watched in confusion and horror as Max reached out for her to prevent her from falling onto the rocks. “You bitch,” Isabel spat as Max helped to steady Tess. Isabel then turned on her heels and stormed away from them.

“What is she doing here, Max?” Maria stepped into the spot vacated by Isabel. “You just had to come back and ruin our lives a little more, didn’t you. Was there someone left on your list to kill? Me? Michael? Liz?” Michael stepped behind Maria and placed his hand on her shaking shoulder, trying to calm her down.

“Tess came back to help us. She’s changed.”

“You’re a fool, Max. Things like her don’t change.” Maria glared at Tess as she folded her arms across her chest and tapped her foot continuously on the ground.

“What do you really want, Tess,” Michael asked, stepping around Maria and pushing her behind him. “And where’s Max’s kid?”

Liz slowly crept toward Michael, highly interested in all the questions that had been raised in the past ten minutes. She was too shocked to form words, too numb to think clearly. Tess was a lying murderous bitch that had destroyed all their lives, and Max had brought her back into the fold, believing the vile filth that came out of her mouth. She glanced down and back up again,
startled to see Tess standing no less than a foot away from her.

“There was no baby. It was just a trap to get you home.” Liz blinked and Tess was magically
standing beside Max again, staring directly at her. She shook her head, lowering it slightly when something caught her eye. Max was holding Tess’ hand. Tess had been gone for two years, and somehow, despite all the progress she thought she and Max were making in their
relationship, he was holding Tess’ hand. She raised her eyes to meet Max’s, her brow furrowed in confusion.

“I don’t care what you say, Maxwell,” Michael said, accidently knocking her with his elbow, shaking her from her thoughts about Max and Tess’ intertwined hands. “I don’t trust her and I’m never going to trust her again. She lied to us, used us and killed Alex. You may be a hybrid, Tess, but you’re nothing like us.”

“God dammit,” Max screamed, flinging his arms into the air. Liz jumped as a clap of thunder echoed through the quarry. The ground rumbled and Liz looked to her left at their ledge. Where it had once stood, proud and special, a broken piece of rock sat in its place, with the remaining
pieces rolling down the hillside toward the water. “We’re talking about home, Michael, our real home, and finding the answers you’ve been looking for your whole life. Tess can give that to us. She can answer every question.”

“She can also get us killed,” Michael continued, ignoring Max’s pleas and focusing a steely glare directly at Tess. Liz watched as Tess and Michael locked eyes, neither blinking or giving an inch. “Let’s go, Maria.” Michael wrapped his arm around Maria’s waist and Liz watched
as they walked arm-in-arm up the rocky slope to their car. She quickly turned her attention back to Max and Tess. In an instant, just as she had done minutes earlier, Tess invaded Liz’s personal space.

“You’ll never be rid of me, Liz Parker,” she taunted. “Me or my son.”


Tess was right, she thought. I’ll never be rid of them. Tess’ plan to disrupt Max’s life at all costs had succeeded and Liz knew that, until they were finally free of Tess, she and Max would never be together. His son, Tess’ son, was heir to the throne, a vital commodity when it came to waging war against Max. And no matter how much she tried to deny it, Tess’ son was Max’s first. No child she had could ever compare to that.

Liz nervously bit her lip and looked out into the quarry. She sighed loudly. Dusk was upon Roswell and this was her favorite time to be in the desert. The first twinkling of the stars that were almost reflected in the desert floor. The rock formations that seemed to melt as the sun set behind them. She ran her hands through her hair and sighed again, wishing, not for the first time in
her life, that Max were there to share it with her.

The second Max had entered her brain, her heart fluttered and instantly warmed, her stomach
began to turn small somersaults, just as it had done since the day he healed her. She closed her
eyes, unaware of the gentle breeze that blew because she was so absorbed in remembering the way Max’s touch felt on her skin. She felt his lips brush hers, the stubble from his jaw line tickle her neck. She could hear her own heartbeat as it fluttered faster. These reactions only meant one thing to her: Max was near. She opened her eyes and scanned the quarry for him. Relief and sadness flooded into her heart at the same time until she saw a small rock roll past her hand.

She glanced slightly to her left and her whole body warmed. Turning around, she saw him, standing behind her with his hands in his pockets. “Hi, Max.”

He smiled his shy smile for her once again. “Hello, Liz.” And Liz couldn’t help the faint smile that crossed her lips as he sat down beside her on the rocky hillside.
posted on 24-Dec-2001 6:00:14 AM by JO
Shameless bumpage

AvengingAngel - No worries. Kismet is acomin' (sometime *sad*)

JO
posted on 25-Feb-2002 9:15:36 PM by JO
Wow - I've been trying to edit this crazy thread F-O-R-E-V-E-R. Hopefully, I've got it settled now.

JO

____________________________

PART FOUR


“Beautiful night, he said, staring overhead. Liz glanced at him out of the corner of her eyes before joining his upward gaze.

“Do you ever just look at the stars any more, Max? I mean, after you, it’s hard for me to look at them without wondering what else is out there, if all my questions will be ever answered. Sometimes I wish I could look up, just to look up, and admire the beauty of the universe.”

Max cleared his throat and leaned closer to her. “I was just making polite conversation,” he whispered. Liz opened her mouth to speak, turning her head to look at him. They locked eyes. Then it happened, something that had not happened between them in several years. They laughed, strong, hearty, friendly laughs. Liz had forgotten how good it felt to laugh, especially to laugh with Max. He looked so beautiful when he laughed, when he really laughed. The lines around his dimples creased and his whole face lit up. Mostly, when Max laughed, he laughed with his eyes. Liz had always gone weak in the knees whenever Max looked at her. Those beautiful amber eyes had been her undoing from the first moment, and they haunted her in her dreams even
now.

They laughed and talked as old friends did. They talked about their families, their mutual friends, the high school reunion Liz did not attend, Michael and Maria’s kids, and Alex. Max told her about taking Alex, Evan and Livvie to the park the previous week in which Evan fell into the
fountain, Alex lost his two front teeth flying out of a swing and Livvie ate a caterpillar. By the time, Max finished the story, Liz was in tears from laughing. She continued to laugh after Max had stopped talking and did not offer any stories from her personal life, leaving them sitting in silence after the laughter died.

“I can’t believe it’s been ten years,” Max finally said, unable to handle the silence any longer. Liz’s breath caught in her throat, uncertain exactly what Max meant. They hadn’t spoken to each other since that night and they certainly had never spoken about what had happened in Max’s childhood bedroom.

“Wh- what are you talking about, Max?”

“Michael and Maria,” he offered simply. Liz breathed a small sigh of relief. There was only so much reminiscing she could handle for one day. “Who knew they would get married.”

“Who knew Michael would agree.”

“Exactly,” Max said, laughing at Liz’s statement. He paused slightly, glancing at Liz who was rolling rocks around in her hands. “Liz,” he began then suddenly cleared his throat. “I...we’ve never talked about it...you know, that night.”

“Max -”

“I don’t care, Liz. I mean, you left. I don’t understand why and there’s nothing I can do to change it but I can’t pretend that when I see you, when I’m with you, I don’t still feel something. You know what I mean, don’t you Liz? You feel it too, I know you do.”

Liz quickly nodded her head and her eyes caught the broken, scarred ledge on the corner of her vision. She rolled a rock in her hand for several seconds before launching it toward the water. “I’m different, Max. Lots of things have changed and I don’t think you want me in your life the way I am now.” She stood and scooped her jacket up off the ground, dusting it with her hand.
“We’re just...different.”

Max stood quickly and grabbed her hand as she turned to leave. “Please don’t shut me out, Liz. We’re both different people, but I need you in my life.” Max tenderly reached for her face, caressing her cheek with his thumb. Liz shocked them both by leaning into his touch. She closed her eyes, basking in the delicate touch of Max’s skin on hers. It had been so long since she felt it in real life. She felt the warmth creep around her heart and she impulsively grabbed Max’s arms
to steady herself. She felt his breath blowing lightly against her face, and she felt a light buzzing in the back of her brain, knowing exactly what had happened the last time she had felt it. “I love you, Liz,” he whispered, his breath hitting her neck, causing goose bumps to roll down her flesh. “Please don’t shut me out.”

“Max,” she whispered as she felt his lips graze her earlobe. The warmth surrounding her heart quickly made its way outward, warming her whole body as it traveled. Her body rocked with slight tremors and she dug her fingers into Max’s shoulder, dropping her head forward slightly. Max pulled her body tightly against him, holding her as she rode out the wave of release. She
dropped her hands to his waist, allowing herself to enjoy the moment of being in Max’s arms again. He pulled her tighter against him and Liz’s eyes widened as she felt his erection press against her hip. Her body momentarily convulsed, causing her hand to involuntarily brush him.
She felt it throb as her hand grazed him and a low groan erupted from Max’s throat.

Her brows furrowed and Liz opened her mouth to speak. Before she could form the words to tell him that this could not continue, Max’s mouth crashed onto hers. Her held her against him with one arm and ran his free hand through her hair. Their tongues dueled, hungrily lapping at each other with an overwhelming passion and longing neither could control. Liz felt her brain go fuzzy
and before she could control it, a single image passed between them.

*FLASH*
Liz laughing and playing together with two dark-haired children, wishing Max was with them


Liz quickly pushed him away and drew her fingers to her mouth, horrified at what Max had seen and knowing that it had been too much. Tears threatened to stream down her face as Liz quickly ran from the quarry, and, once again, away from Max.
posted on 25-Feb-2002 9:20:40 PM by JO
Author's Note: This section might be...gruesome for the faint at heart. Please use caution.

JO

_____________________________

PART FIVE

“But you kissed her, right,” Maria probed as she brushed Livvie’s hair before the girl’s bedtime. Max looked at Maria through hooded eyes as he distracted Livvie by doing slight of hand tricks with a quarter. Maria smiled triumphantly, knowing that, if Liz had let Max kiss her, she would soon let Max do other things to her as well. “Okay, Livvie girl, give Max a kiss and off to bed
with you.”

Livvie puckered her lips and kissed Max on his offered cheek, making a loud smacking sound when she was finished. Maria rolled her eyes and tapped her on the bottom, chasing the squealing four-year-old out of the kitchen and into her room.

She turned back toward Max who was twirling Livvie’s hairbrush in circles on the table. The light that was in his eyes a second ago was now gone and Maria was instantly concerned for her friend as she sat down beside him. “What’s wrong, Max?”

“There’s a lot you don’t know, Maria, about Liz and me.”

“Wait,” Maria said, holding up her hand. “Do I need to pop some popcorn for this?”

“No,” Max answered with a laugh. “Things today just went too far.”

“Did you get freaky with Liz at the quarry?” Maria’s eyes widened in anticipation.

“Wats fweeky, Momma?”

Max stifled a laugh with his hand as Maria stood up and turned to face Livvie standing in the doorway. “Olivia Elizabeth Guerin, you better march your little self right up to bed.” She stomped toward Livvie, who ran screaming into the other direction. “Get her in bed, Space Boy, or so help me, no one’s getting freaky in this house ever again.” Max felt a slight blush cross his
face as Maria turned to face him. “So Max, did you and Liz -”

“No, Maria, nothing like that happened at the quarry.” Maria watched as the tips of Max’s ears reddened and a wide smile spread across her face.

“Okay,” she said, calming herself. “You kissed her and I’m thinking it went a little farther than that. Am I right? Please say I’m right.” Max’s lips thinned and he felt his cheeks get hot as a blush spread across them. “I knew it. Come on, Max, give Maria here all the little kinky details.”

“Th...our connection...came alive again, Maria. That’s all.”

“That’s all? Do you realize how awesome that connection thing of yours is? I used to hate Liz because she knew exactly what you were thinking or feeling at all times. I was so jealous.”

Max shrugged. “But look at you and Michael now. And,” he began, a note of sadness dripping through his words, “look at Liz and I.”

* * *

Liz carefully laid her purse and car keys on the kitchen table. Just before she called out for her parents, she saw a note in her mother’s handwriting explaining that she and her father had went for a walk in the park and would be back. She smiled and laid the note back on the table where she found it.

She walked into her room, undressing as she walked through the apartment. After the emotional roller coaster she had been on today, she wanted nothing more than to take a bath and go to sleep. She flipped on the light in her bathroom, turned on the faucet inside the tub and plugged the drain. She eased herself down into the steaming water and sighed.

Normally, after she had been thinking about Max throughout the day, her mind replayed all the different memories she had. The second her eyes closed, her mind was assaulted by various images of Max, including the images of Max kissing her today and the same images she clung to from ten years earlier. Her body had not been prepared for this assault and she gripped the tub as she felt the weight of Max’s body hover over hers.


It was you.

You’re my dream girl, Liz.

You're the one, Liz...the only one.

Whether I die tomorrow or fifty years from now, my destiny is the same: it's you.

I don't...I don't care about my destiny or my planet or anything else. All I care about is you.

I’m coming for you, Liz.

It's you I trust. It's you I have faith in...

I believe in you.

But I was right about one thing: To get you into my life, to be around you, to love you.

Let me make all your dreams come true.

My son doesn’t matter. Nothing matters to me more than you do. You are my life.

I love you, Liz. I will always love you.


Quicker than this afternoon, warmth spread outward from her heart, she felt the slight buzz in the back of her brain, and her body shuddered with tremors, causing her toes to curl and her eyes to roll back into her head. This was all happening too fast. It had been ten years since her body reacted this way to Max, and that was caused from direct physical contact. Now, here she was
alone, her mind simply flooded with images and sensations and she was plunged over the edge. She pulled her head under the water, desperately willing herself to calm down, trying to convince herself that she could not fall apart every time she spent time with Max. She remained underwater for several seconds, until she felt a sharp pain in her stomach.

Sitting up, she inhaled sharply as she felt pain slice through her again. A shaky hand covered her mouth in terror, knowing innately that something horrible had just happened to someone she loved.

* * *

Nancy and Jeff Parker sat together on a bench in the park holding hands. They knew that although Liz had come home, the person that slept in her bed and ate breakfast with them each morning was not truly their daughter. Their daughter had been a vivacious and smart girl, full of life, with a bright future on the horizon. The person who was with them now was Liz, in body, but certainly not in spirit. They hadn’t pressed her since she had returned the previous week, but
a person would have to be blind not to notice the change in Liz. They had never been to her house, never heard about her personal life, never knew exactly what had kept her away from Roswell. She kept secrets. She told them she was happy, and they believed her lie.

Slowly and carefully, they stood up and joined hands again to return home and possibly get a moment with Liz to get to the root of the problem. They didn’t hear the men come up behind them until it was too late. One man grabbed Jeff and twisted his arm behind him, demanding to know where ‘they’ were. Jeff asked who but never heard the answer after the knife when through
his back. The men quickly turned their attention to Nancy, asking her the same question.

“Who are you talking about,” she asked as tears streamed down her cheeks.

“Your grandchildren,” the man seethed. Nancy’s eyes widened, unable to answer and, after several seconds of silence, they turned a knife on her, gingerly slicing her throat.


posted on 25-Feb-2002 9:27:46 PM by JO
PART SIX


Liz carefully opened the back door of the cafe, glancing from left to right several times in the alley. In a panic, with her heart still in her throat, she had dressed quickly, somehow feeling that she had to get away from the apartment. She closed the door quietly, not wanting to cause alarm, all the while her eyes and ears were open and alert. She ran soundlessly down the alleyway, stopping only at intersections to scan the area around her. Using the alleys, she knew she would
be able to run from her house to the sheriff’s office rather effortlessly. She reached the office in record time, stopping outside to catch her breath. After several seconds, she felt calm enough to go in and not freak out and she silently prayed that Kyle Valenti was still in his office.

She pulled her hair down from its ponytail, fluffing it as she lowered the zipper on her hooded sweatshirt. She smiled widely, glad to see a young deputy manning the front desk. “Can I help you, miss,” he asked in definite Texas twang. Liz leaned up against the counter and licked her lips, pushing the lower one out in a pout.

“I sure hope so, Deputy....Carter,” she purred as she leaned further against the counter. He glanced down and when his eyes met Liz’s again, he arched his eyebrows and leaned closer to her.

“I hope so too,” Deputy Carter said as a smug smile crossed his lips.

“Well, actually, Deputy,” Liz began. “I’m here to see the sheriff.” She almost laughed out loud at the look of rejection and annoyance on Deputy Carter’s face.

“He’s in his office,” the deputy replied gruffly, thumbing over his shoulder as he turned back to the evening paper.

Liz smiled and briskly walked in the direction of the sheriff’s office. It was always nice having friends in high places. She paused just outside the door, listening carefully for sounds of anything that she might not want to see. After deducing that the only sounds she heard were snores, she swung open the door, crept to the desk and clapped loudly over Kyle’s head, waking him
instantly. He jumped out of his seat, sending papers, his hat and the newest Playboy magazine flying.

“Dammit, Liz,” Kyle said, picking the Playboy up from the floor as Liz stared at him innocently. His frustrated mood quickly subsided when he saw that most of Liz’s assets were hanging out of her jacket. “Nice cleavage, Parker. How’s ‘bout slidin’ over here and sharin’ the wealth?”

“Oh,” Liz said, quickly zipping up her jacket and Kyle’s face immediately fell. The panic returned in the pit of Liz’s stomach while she tried to mask what she felt. “This is not a social call, Kyle. I think something’s happened. I got this weird feeling -”

“It better not be alien related, Liz,” Kyle interrupted, standing up to retrieve his fallen hat when Deputy Carter buzzed him from the front desk. “Yeah?”

“Sorry, Sheriff, but there’s been an incident. I think you might want to investigate it yourself.”

“What type of incident, Carter? Send one of the patrols to look at it. I’m off -”

“It’s a 915.”

“Oh,” Kyle said, looking momentarily at Liz. “Yeah, yeah, um, where?”

“Liberty Park.”

“I’m on it.” Kyle took his hand off the speaker and moved it to the side of his desk. He slowly put his hat on and stepped for the door, side-stepping Liz.

Liz followed him closely, confused by what she had just heard and that Kyle was now avoiding her. “What’s a 915, Kyle?”

“Double homicide.”

Liz felt a rush of nausea hit her stomach and she grabbed for Kyle’s arm. Kyle reached for her on instinct, easing her into the nearest chair. “My parents are in the park,” she said, her eyes welling with tears.

“Let’s go,” Kyle said, taking her hand and gently leading her out the back exit to his truck.

* * *

Liz clung to Kyle’s jacket as they made their way through the park. The deputies had done a good job of blocking off the crime scene until the coroner and Kyle arrived. Liz glanced around nervously, upset with herself that she could not pinpoint exactly where the feeling of dread in her head was coming from.

Three deputies stood around the bodies, now covered by large white sheets. They stepped aside as Kyle and Liz entered the area. “Don’t touch anything,” Kyle whispered just after they stepped passed inside the yellow police tape surrounding the bodies. “What have you got, Johnson?” Liz released him as her eyes scanned the ground for signs, clues, anything that could tell her why she was feeling this way.

“Two Caucasians, sir. One male, one female, both approximately sixty to seventy years old. Male has a knife wound in his back, female has a wound across her throat.”

Kyle carefully stooped to the ground at the side of the sheet. Looking around, he lifted the corner of the sheet and his shoulders sank forward. His eyes caught to something in between the bodies, something he hadn’t seen in almost ten years. Remembering that a deputy was standing over his shoulder, he lowered the sheet carefully. “See that woman,” he asked, pointing to Liz a few yards away. The deputy nodded. “I want you to go get her and bring her over here. Then I want you
to block off a fifteen mile radius from this spot and find the murder weapon. Any questions?”

“No sir,” Deputy Johnson replied swiftly. He turned on his heels, running toward Liz. Kyle pushed his head back on his head, and placed his hands on his hips. He watched as Liz turned and walked calmly toward him.

“Kyle?”

“Liz, I...I’m sorry.” Kyle reached for her hand. Liz’s eyes widened and she opened her mouth to speak, closing it quickly.

“That’s them,” she quietly asked, pointing to the bodies covered by the sheets. “That’s my parents?” Her eyes flickered momentarily, tears brimming at the corners

Kyle pulled her quickly into his arms, hugging her tightly. Liz’s arms hung limply by her side, knowing now what the sharp pains were that she had felt. Her parents were dead, brutally murdered at 8:00 in the park almost three blocks away from their home. Kyle pushed Liz away
slowly. He kissed her forehead and their eyes quickly went to the ground three steps away from where her parents lay. Holding his hand, Liz walked toward the object lying on the ground and picked it up. She gasp as it instantly disintegrated in her hand on contact. “Skins,” she whispered, looking at Kyle.

“Turn around, Liz.”

“Why?”

“Because I found a skin under there,” he replied, pointing to the sheets. “And I need to get rid of it.” Liz obediently turned away from him and Kyle lifted the sheet, touching the skin. It too disintegrated on contact and Kyle quickly lowered the sheet. “We should tell Max,” he said, leading Liz back to his truck.

“Oh my God,” she gasp, covering her mouth. Kyle assumed it was the realization finally hitting her and he stepped forward to comfort her. He was not prepared for the look of panic that swept across face and set in her eyes. “She knows, Kyle. Tess knows.”

posted on 5-Mar-2002 8:48:09 PM by JO
Shameless Bump

New Part on Wednesday
posted on 8-Mar-2002 7:16:50 PM by JO
PART SEVEN


Kyle shook his head, taking a step back from Liz. “Tess knows what, Liz? What are you talking about?”

Liz frantically looked around the park, avoiding Kyle’s questions. “I...I have to go home.”

“Okay, Liz,” Kyle said as he took her hand. “I’ll drive you. Let’s get in the truck.” Kyle pulled her gently toward his when Liz jerked her hand away and stumbled backwards several steps.

“She knows, Kyle. You don’t understand. She knows and she’ll find them. I have to go home, to Denver. I have to go home right now.”

In all the years Kyle had known Liz, he had never seen her as shaken as she was in this moment. She nervously wrung her hands, wore a look of panic on her face and sheer terror flashed in her eyes. He grabbed for her again and used his free hand to turn her face toward him. “Okay, Liz, I’ll get you to Denver, okay. But right now, I need for you to get in the truck so I can call the airlines. Will you do that, then we’ll go get some luggage and things for you.”

“I don’t need anything,” Liz shouted, wrenching away from Kyle again. “I just want to go home.” The deputies turned to look at Liz after her outburst. She twitched nervously from one side to the other until suddenly her knees gave out and she collapsed forward into Kyle’s waiting arms. He lifted her carefully and placed her in his truck. He closed the door, declining Deputy Johnson’s suggestion of a sedative and took out his cell phone to call the alien king.

* * *

“Thanks for dinner, Maria,” Max said as he cleared away the last of the dishes from the table.

“No problem, Max. You are welcome any time.” She smiled brightly as the phone rang. She ran quickly to answer it, hoping it had not woken up the finally sleeping children. “Hello. Yeah, Kyle.” Maria raised her head to look at Max, her eyes widening, causing Max to rush to her side. “Oh my God. Is she okay?”

Max felt his heart drop to the pit of his stomach. Something had happened to Liz, he just knew it. For a split second, he thought he could feel her panic and shock and then it was gone.

“Yeah, he’s right here,” Maria said, handing the phone out to him. “It’s Kyle.”

Max accepted the phone, wrapping both hands around the neck of the phone. He moved the receiver to his ear and exhaled slowly. “Kyle?”

“Hey Max. There’s been an accident.”

“Is it Liz?”

“No, she’s fine.” Max breathed a sigh of relief, thankful that Liz was okay. “It’s her parents, Max. They’re...dead.” He silently cursed himself, upset that he felt relief because Liz was okay, knowing that she wasn’t really okay because her parents were dead.

“What happened?”

“They were murdered. And the weird part,” Kyle began, his cell phone momentarily breaking up, “we found a skin beside them.”

“A skin,” Max questioned, thinking back to the last time he had actually had knowledge of a skin in Roswell.
“Does anyone else know?”

“Just you, me and Liz.” Kyle’s cell phone reception broke up again. “Listen, Max, Liz is really shaken up. She keeps talking about going to Denver for something.”

“Denver,” Max wondered aloud. “What’s in Denver?”

“I don’t know. I can stall the funerals because of the investigation but I thought you and Michael might-” Kyle quickly moved the phone away from his mouth and Max heard him say something to a Deputy Johnson. “Sorry,” Kyle said back into the phone in a lower tone. “The sight should be preserved for the next couple of hours, minus the skins, of course. Let me know if I can help.”

“Thank you, Kyle and thanks for being there for Liz.”

“She’s my friend, Max. I wouldn’t be anywhere else right now.” The phone went dead in his hands and Max turned back toward a tear-stained Maria and a concerned Michael.

“We’ve got a situation.” Max said as he blindly hung up the phone and walked toward Michael and Maria’s kitchen table.

posted on 8-Mar-2002 7:34:25 PM by JO
PART EIGHT

Liz and Kyle sat together on the flight to Denver. Liz had adamantly refused Kyle’s help, but he had been relentless and had won the argument. She rocked back and forth in her seat, feeling more and more helpless as the seconds ticked away. What if she were too late? She shuddered and pushed the thought far from her mind.

They sped through the airport and Kyle watched as a very determined Liz hailed a taxi and gave the driver instructions. They drove for about twenty minutes, into a nice piece of suburbia. The taxi halted and Liz ran frantically out of the cab to the front door of a modest looking home. Kyle quickly paid him and ran after her. She was fumbling with her keys when he reached her on the front stoop. She flailed her arms in frustration, causing the door to creak open. Liz inhaled sharply and Kyle grabbed her arm as her eyes rolled back in her head.

He clamped his hand over her mouth when she regained consciousness and signaled to her with his eyes to remain quiet. When she nodded her compliance, he released her and they proceeded into the house together.

Inside the house, it looked like a tornado had touched down. The couch was overturned, broken china was scattered across the dining room floor, curtains were ripped and barely hanging on the rods. Liz strapped her purse across her shoulders and began walking, careful not to make a sound. Kyle scanned the two front rooms and followed Liz as she walked into the back of the
house. Once they reached the hall, Liz gasp and covered her mouth with her hands. Kyle looked at her then followed her line of sight to a pair of legs jutting out into the hall. He grabbed her hand, pushing her behind him and they both walked toward the pair of legs.

Kyle swallowed hard once they reached the legs, surprised to see a beautiful redhead laying motionless. Liz peered over his shoulder and he could fell her breathing accelerate.

“Serina,” she gasp, shoving Kyle out of her way as she knelt beside the deceased woman.

“Liz, don’t touch anything,” Kyle warned, just before Liz touched Serina’s hand. He watched as Liz bowed her head and he could see she was biting her lip. “Do you know her?”

“I did,” Liz replied softly as she stood up. Memories came flooding back to as tears rolled down her cheeks for her dead friend.


Fall 2004

“Oh damn,” she whispered, watching in agony as her pencil rolled off of the study table and bounced across the floor of the large study room. She pushed her chair away slowly, careful not to bump her large stomach for fear of retaliation from the twins. She had read that pregnancies in general caused hormones to fluctuate severely, but combine a normal pregnancy with the
alien hormones floating throughout her body and she was a blithering, fat mess. She eased herself down onto the floor, preparing to crawl to retrieve her pencil when the pencil magically appeared in front of her face. She raised her eyes first, then her head.

“Here you go,” the redhead said as she and Liz locked eyes. “Hey, you’re in my micro class. Liz, right? I’m Serina, Serina Black.” Liz rocked back on her knees, wincing slightly. “Oh, hey, let me help you.” Serina tossed the pencil back onto the table and grabbed Liz’s arms to help pull her to her feet. “You look like you’re going to pop any minute.”

“That’s how I feel,” Liz replied, settling herself into her chair and placing her hand on her stomach. The twins moved quickly at her touch, as they had been doing for the past two weeks. Liz sat forward slightly, a pained expression crossing her face, and Serina rushed to her side.

“Are you okay?”

Liz smiled, thankful that she could finally be open and honest when someone asked her if she was okay. Being so far away from home and keeping this huge secret from everyone she loved had taken its toll on her. The twins were the only things that kept her going. Knowing that no matter what happened from this point forward in her life, she was going to be a mother, that she was
responsible for Max’s children, that through them a part of him would always be with her. She spoke to her parents and Maria regularly, but it wasn’t the same. She wanted to tell Maria she was pregnant, to share this wonderful experience with everyone, especially Max, but there was no way she could do that now. She blinked, remembering Serina had asked if she was okay and
momentarily upset with herself that she was ignoring the friend Future Max had told her about, the friend she had been waiting to meet. “I’m fine,” she said, smiling brightly. “I’m just fine.”


She shook her head and glanced across the hall to another bedroom, again almost shoving Kyle down as she ran past him. “Jase! Lily!” Kyle quickly regained his balance and turned to watch Liz fling open the closet door. “Jase! Lily!”

“What are you doing, Liz,” Kyle asked as Liz crawled deeper into the closet. “Are you looking for your cats?”

“You know I’m allergic to cats, Kyle,” she snapped, running out of the room into the other bedroom, again flinging open the closet and dropping to her knees. She crawled into the closet and Kyle heard what he thought were locks being opened from behind the clothes.

He stepped in the doorway, bending at the waist to try and figure out exactly what Liz was doing. “Dogs then? Hamsters?”

“Kyle, shut up!” Liz sighed as she exited the closet and sat in the floor. “You don’t -”

“I don’t what, Liz? If you tell me, I’ll help you. You should know that by now.” Kyle stooped beside her. Liz raised her head, meeting Kyle’s soft eyes. She clumsily ran her hands through her hair, knowing that Kyle was now in too deep. She had to tell him the truth.

“They’re my children, Kyle. Mine and Max’s.”

* * *

Max and Michael waited until the all the police left the scene before emerging from behind their hiding place. They had scanned the perimeter of the police investigation hours before, even going so far as to plot a further radius than Kyle had allotted for the department’s investigation. Their search had turned up nothing and both men were beyond frustrated.

“This doesn’t make any sense, Maxwell,” Michael said after they had been inspecting the crime scene for almost an hour. “Why would the skins come back now? And why kill Liz’s parents? Liz isn’t any part of this and the Parkers most certainly aren’t.”

Max brushed his hair out of his eyes. Michael had no idea how wrong he was. Liz would always have a part in Max’s life, a part of his heart. The skins knew that. They could sense it somehow. And what better way to hurt Liz, and consequentially hurt Max, than by killing her parents. “This is serious, Michael.”

“No shit. You think I want to leave Maria and the kids alone? I’m all for packing up and leaving Roswell.”

Max rolled his eyes. “You’ve been saying that for almost fifteen years. We can’t run, Michael, but we do need to stay together.” He focused his attention three blocks down, towards the Crash Down Cafe. “Let’s go check on Liz,” he said, nodding his head in that direction. Michael sighed but followed Max down the street.

Max quickly looked through the front door. The restaurant looked the same as it always did. Everything was put in its place and spotless. He motioned for Michael and they briskly walked around to the back of the apartment. He placed his hands on the ladder to Liz’s balcony and remembered all the times he had climbed this ladder in his youth. A faint smile crossed his lips as he remembered the result from his first time climbing the ladder - their first kiss.

“Get a move on, Maxwell,” Michael gruffly said, snapping him out of his memory. He really didn’t need to fantasize to remember what it felt like to kiss Liz. He relived that wonderful memory every day.

Both climbed the ladder quickly; Max because of his need to see Liz and Michael to keep up with Max. Michael placed his hand on the outside of Liz’s bedroom window, unlocking it effortlessly. He lifted the window and after quickly surveying the darkened room, he and Max climbed through. Max held his hand open, a bright ball of light appearing in the palm of his hand. Liz’s
once pristine room was in total disarray. The contents of her desk and chest of drawers were scattered across the floor. The mattresses and box springs from her bed were thrown on either side of her bed. Clothes from her closet were piled in the floor with a trail leading out the
doorway of her bedroom. “Maxwell,” Michael said, glancing sideways at an equally shocked Max. “I’d say Liz is seriously involved.”

posted on 8-Mar-2002 7:38:48 PM by JO
Shameless Plea

Okay. It is my goal to update these fics once a week with one new part. However, given this board's tendency for slowness of late, I've had a hard time trying to find my fics. If you all (my loyal readers) would be so kind as to offer me shamless bumps, I'll do what I can to get this posted on a consistent weekly basis.

Much Appreciation!

JO
posted on 8-Mar-2002 8:12:03 PM by JO
Lorrilei1960

Oh - THANK YOU!

I am really honored by your kind words. I hope you'll continue to enjoy my fics!

Thanks so much for the glowing compliments!

JO
posted on 13-Mar-2002 8:26:02 PM by JO
PART NINE

After seeing the shambles of Liz’s room, Michael grabbed Max and physically removed him to restrain him from investigating the apartment further. As they walked toward Michael’s house, Michael felt the overwhelming urge to take Maria and the kids and lock them in a closet.

“I have to find Liz.”

Michael rolled his eyes but continued walking. He was only partially surprised that, when Max finally spoke, his first concern was for Liz. “We have to stick together now, Maxwell. Someone is out there. They killed Liz’s parents. Hell, they could be at your mom’s house right now.”

Max stopped and quickly pulled out his cell phone. Diane answered the phone after several rings and Max explained that he had just had a nightmare and wanted to check on her. Diane laughed and told him that she loved him before hanging up. Max raised his eyes to meet Michael’s scrutinizing gaze. “I’m not going to worry her, Michael. She just found out the real truth a few
years ago. I can’t make her worry until we know something significant.”

“Finding skins at the scene of Liz’s parents’ dead bodies is pretty significant,” Michael said as they stepped onto the back porch. “Be quiet. The kids are asleep.”

* * *

Kyle sat next to a nervous Liz in stunned silence. After she had dropped the bombshell that she had the alien king’s children, she had methodically removed several pictures from the house and stuffed them into the three small bags she pulled from her closet. He then watched her break several of the picture frames lining the hall, kick holes in the walls, and make the mess worse.
Without asking questions, he helped her carry the bags to the waiting cab, turning just in time to see Liz run her hand across the door jam and a faint red glow seep through her fingers. She left the door slightly cracked and she hastily scanned the neighborhood for any trace of spying eyes.

Liz had kids, he thought. Liz had the alien king’s kids. Said kids were now missing. They had boarded the plane to Roswell and had sat most of the way in silence. His mind itched for the details of how Liz had somehow become pregnant with Max’s children. He rubbed his nose, glancing at Liz out of the corner of his eye. She was staring at photos in her wallet, he assumed of the kids. “Does Max know,” he asked, startling them both. He hadn’t been ready to ask the
question aloud yet, but now that it was in the open, it seemed like as good a place as any to get his answers. Liz couldn’t run away from him on a plane.

“Wh - no! And you can’t tell him, Kyle.”

“Why,” Kyle asked, turning slightly in his seat to face her. “If I had a kid with the love of my life, I’d want to know. Max has kids, plural, and,” he continued, feigning shock, “oh yeah, they’re missing.”

“Max can’t know,” Liz said, leaning closer to Kyle. “No one knows about Jase and Lily.”

“No one? I find that hard to believe.”

“I didn’t tell anyone.” Kyle opened his mouth but Liz quickly silenced him with a glare. “Not even Maria.” He pursed his lips together, sliding back against his seat as Liz turned again to the photographs of her children in her wallet. Kyle mumbled something incoherent, but Liz didn’t
really care. Jase and Lily, her entire world, her babies, were gone. She smiled as she lovingly traced their matching faces. If any of Max’s enemies had bothered to pay attention, they would instantly know these were Max’s children. They looked so much like Max, with their brown hair and amber eyes. Jase even had his father’s ears. And now, they were gone, missing, and in danger. Liz brought her shaky hands to her face, covering it in hopes of stifling her tears. Kyle slowly put his arm around her and Liz buried her face in his shoulder.


December 2004

“I’m sorry, Mom,” Liz said into the phone, gritting her teeth the entire time. “Yes, I miss you and Dad.” She wrapped her arm underneath her stomach and leaned against the wall. “What? My cell is breaking up. Love you. Merry Christmas.” She pressed the end button on the phone and dropped it on the table. “Merry fucking Christmas,” she screamed at the top of her lungs, as another contraction ripped through her body. She dug her nails into her palms, drawing blood. She smeared her hands across the front of her shirt once the contraction had passed, hoping she could make it to the couch before another one hit her. They were closer now, less
than two minutes apart. She swallowed hard and waddled slowly toward the couch in the center
of the room.

She hated lying to her parents. She told her mother that her research was behind and she was staying at school to catch up. It had not been a total lie. She was behind, but she was also pregnant. She had barely made it to her car on Friday before her water, or what she thought was supposed to be water, broke. Unfortunately for her, her mother had called in the middle of her worst contraction yet. As she eased herself down on the couch, she ran her tongue across
her front teeth and grimaced, knowing that she had chipped them both during the conversation
with her mother.

She had made the cabin reservation almost two months ago. The manager had assured her that she was so far away from civilization, no one would bother her, and, when she arrived, she had carefully carried her luggage and baby supplies in from her car. Then she waited. She read baby books, biology books, Serina’s notes from their classes, anything she could get her hands on. And she waited. She waited for almost three days before any other signs came, but when they came, she felt it.

She placed her hands on her stomach again, feeling another contraction bearing down hard and fast. She closed her eyes, pressed her feet against the floor and screamed until she had no breath. She had always assumed she would be strong when this moment came. Had she known she would be alone in an isolated cabin, she would never have gone through with it, which made
her sad because she had loved knowing Max’s children were growing inside of her. She wiped the tears from her eyes and stared between her feet at the two small children and the large mess they had created. Instantly, all doubts and fears vanished. She was someone’s mother. Not just one someone, but two someones. She waved her hand across them and they began to cry. Liz exhaled slowly as she picked them up, amazed by their tiny features that reminded her so much
of Max. “You’re here,” she said, snuggling her crying infants against her, tears streaming down her cheeks. “You’re really here.”


* * *

Max was waiting for her when she returned to Roswell. She dropped her bags just inside her chaotic bedroom and he instantly appeared outside her window. She furrowed her brows, running a quick hand through her hair to fluff it as she carefully crossed the room to let him in. She backed away slowly, her eyes falling on the picture of she, Maria and Alex that had remained on
her desk since high school. She bent over to pick it up as Max climbed through her window. She smiled as she held the picture into the glare of the street light for closer inspection. That was when their lives had been simple, when they were just three friends enjoying their teenage years, long before they knew anything about aliens. Sighing, she threw the frame onto one of her
mattresses.

Before she had any opportunity to gather her thoughts, she was in Max’s arms, being crushed tightly against his chest. “I’m so sorry, Liz,” he said, as he stroked her back. “This is all my fault.”

“Max,” she began, only to be stopped by Max’s mouth on hers. She opened her eyes in shock as Max broke the kiss.

“I thought I’d lost you.” He hugged her tighter against him, unwilling to let her go. “God, Liz, I was so scared. I...I can’t lose you.”

“I’m right here,” she whispered as she wrapped her arms around him. “And I’m not going anywhere.” She tilted her eyes upward as Max gently cradled her face with his hands, his amber eyes filled with relief. She bit her bottom lip slightly and after looking into his eyes again, she slowly pressed her lips to his, reigniting the passion silently brimming beneath the surface.

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 27-Apr-2002 10:14:51 AM ]
posted on 19-Mar-2002 9:08:36 PM by JO
PART TEN

Just as their lips touched, Liz felt her body temperature rise. She pressed herself closer to Max, gently raking her nails across his back. Max released her momentarily, raising his arms over his head to remove his shirt then tossed it aside. It fell neatly on the corner of her bed post and Liz smiled before he attacked her lips again.

He took her face in his hands while his lips roamed from her mouth to her neck. He had forgotten they had once been like this: out of control, passionate, so in sync with the other they became one person. He quickly returned to her mouth, suddenly desperate to kiss her, to taste her. And she returned his feverish kisses with her own, equally as feverish. His hands traveled down her sides,
grazing the curve of her breasts and waist before resting on her hips. Unable to stop himself, he waved one hand over her shirt, popping open all the buttons.

Liz’s mouth opened in response and she and Max locked eyes. Both were breathing heavy, their faces flushed and lips swollen. She swallowed hard, her brain too occupied with thoughts of Max’s body against hers to think straight. She leaned forward to kiss him again when he slowly backed away from her. “I...this wasn’t supposed to happen. I’m just so glad you’re okay.” He
crossed his arms over his chest, suddenly embarrassed, eyeing the room for his shirt. He quickly put it back on and straightened the mattresses on Liz’s bed. “God, I can’t believe I -”

“Max,” Liz interrupted, stepping toward him as he sat on the edge of her bed. “I wanted this just as much you.” She placed her hand on his shoulder, having forgotten that her shirt was open. Max glanced at her before he raised his hand and placed it directly over her heart.

Liz inhaled and clasp both of her hands over Max’s. She was not prepared for the heat that penetrated her skin where Max’s palm was resting. Her heart rate quickened and she and Max locked eyes again. She leaned toward him and Max caught the back of her head with his free
hand, pulling her against him as he fell backwards onto the bed. She landed on top of him gracefully as they resumed their passionate kisses. He carefully rolled on top of her, intertwining their legs, and raised up on his elbows. “As much as I want this, Liz,” he began, a small smile creeping across his lips, “I...I really just want to hold you in my arms, just for tonight, so I know that you’re safe. ” He leaned forward and tenderly kissed her forehead. “Will you let me?”

Liz placed her hands on his face, gently tracing the lines around his eyes. “Yes, Max, I will.”

TWO DAYS LATER

Liz, Max and most of Roswell stood in the cemetery as Liz’s parents were laid to rest. Max had stayed with her since her return from Denver, holding her in his arms every night as they slept. Both had not been so well-rested in almost eleven years. The minister concluded his remarks and Max gently squeezed Liz’s shaking hand. She raised her head to meet his, and, just for her, he
smiled his shy smile. Placing his arm in the small of Liz’s back, he escorted her from the cemetery and toward the Crash Down.

* * *

“I’m so sorry, Liz,” Amy Valenti said, hugging Liz once the majority of mourners had left the cafe. Liz sighed and let herself be held by the woman she considered her adopted mother. “If you need anything -”

“Thank you, Mrs. Valenti.” Liz smiled weakly as Amy released her. “This isn’t Joshua, is it,” Liz asked, turning her attention toward the young boy standing beside Amy. He looked like a Valenti, Liz thought, glancing momentarily at Kyle, who was sitting at the counter talking to Maria and their nine-year-old sister Larissa . “How old are you now?”

“Almost twelve,” he answered shyly as he walked toward Kyle. Liz smiled, watching Kyle motion for Joshua to sit down while he mussed his hair. Maria gave him a drink and the four laughed softly as Joshua took a sip. Kyle looked over his shoulder at her then quickly crossed the
cafe and took Liz’s arm in his hand.

“Sorry, Amy, I’ve got to talk to Liz.” Liz smiled feebly as Kyle hustled her toward the back room. Her eyes caught Max, sitting in a booth in the corner of the cafe. His arm was draped across the back of the booth as Alex sat next to him. Just before Kyle pushed open the swinging door, Liz caught a glimpse of his smile and found herself smiling along with him.

“Kyle,” Liz began, after he finally released Liz’s once they were inside the back room, clearly frustrated with Kyle’s aggressive action. She grabbed it and massaged the place she knew would leave a bruise. Who knew Kyle had such boney fingers?

“Are you and Evans back together?”

Liz opened her mouth in shock. She closed it quickly and glared at Kyle as she stepped away from him. “I don’t think -”

“None of my business. Yeah, Liz, whatever. Did you tell him yet? Cause if I had children, I’d want to know.”

“Could you talk any louder,” Liz asked, closing the distance between them. “I don’t think they heard you at the courthouse.”

“Max should know about his children, Liz. I know you have a lot on you right now, with your parents,” he said, looking at Liz.

“I don’t want to talk about my parents, Kyle.” She turned her head away from him, crossing her arms defiantly across her chest.

“Your children are missing, Liz, and they’re his children too.”

“Don’t you think I know that? Don’t you think I want to find them? God, Kyle, they’re my children.” She gasp as she saw a shadow enter the back room and held her breath for several seconds after seeing it was Maria. “Maria? You startled me,” she laughed nervously. “How long have you been standing there?”

“That’s it,” Maria said with a gleam in her eye, stepping out of the doorway and into the back room. “That’s your secret.”

“What -”

“You got pregnant with Max’s children and you ran away.”

“Yep,” Kyle replied for Liz, stepping closer to Maria.
“And they’re missing.”

“Kyle,” Liz began only to be interrupted by Maria’s response.

“Max’s kids are missing,” Maria gasp. Liz covered her face with her hands. This was quickly spiraling out of her control.

“Max’s kids,” Isabel asked, stepping into the back room.
“What are you talking about?”

Liz, Kyle and Maria jumped as Isabel spoke. “Liz was pregnant with Max’s children,” Maria blurted, just as Liz stepped forward to put her hand over her mouth. Liz turned slowly to her left and her eyes widened as she saw Max standing directly beside Isabel, his brows furrowed in confusion.

“Max,” she called. He met her eyes for a second then turned around and swiftly exited the cafe.

“Now look what you’ve done,” Isabel spat at Liz, placing her hands angrily on her hips.

posted on 25-Mar-2002 8:06:05 PM by JO
PART ELEVEN

“Did you know he looked for you for six months,” Isabel said, stepping closer to Liz. “He wasted six months of his life on you. He kept saying he could feel you, that it was like -”

“Like I was standing next to him, holding his hand,” Liz quietly replied, lowering her head. She had not intended Max to find out about Jase and Lily this way, but nothing about her life had gone according to plan for a very long time.

“God, you are such a bitch. Why would you do this to him? Why come back here, just to hurt him again? You have no idea how lost and pathetic he was.”

“You have no idea what you’re talking about, Isabel,” Liz screamed, surprising Maria and Kyle. They had never seen Liz Parker react so loudly before. Stealing a glance at each other, they quietly sat on the couch, waiting to see another way Liz might surprise them. “You don’t know anything about my relationship with Max. Everything I’ve done for the past decade has been for
him, but you wouldn’t understand that kind of unselfish love.”

“I love Max.”

“I’ve seen how you love people, Isabel, and if that’s your definition of love, I want no part of it.” Liz stormed past a shocked Isabel.

“Where are you going?”

Liz stopped just short of the swinging doors and spun around to face Isabel. “I’m going to find Max,” she frankly replied, kicking the door open with her heel as she exited the back room. Maria and Kyle exchanged glances again, slowly rising from the couch, and they too brushed past Isabel back into the cafe.

* * *

Liz carefully parked her car beside Max’s SUV. She had instinctively known where he had went. It was where he always went, where they had always went: the quarry. She gently closed the car door and walked to the edge, the beginning of the quarry itself. He was standing in almost the exact spot they had sat days earlier with his hands in his pants pockets staring straight ahead. She sighed slowly and began her descent.

She had almost reached him when she felt her heartbeat begin to flutter faster. She paused, silently willing it to be calm, and after several seconds, continued walking until she reached his side. “Max?” She placed her hand on her throat, suddenly scared of what he would do, what he would say.

“Do you remember that night,” he asked, just as quietly as she had said his name. He tilted his head to the side and kicked at several small rocks with his shoe. “I...I think about it ninety-five percent of the day. That night,” he said, pausing slightly to look at her.

“It was magic,” she answered, a faint smile crossing her lips. “Pure magic.”


June 2004

Liz licked her lips several time, loudly smacking them together. She ran her unsteady hands across her now messy hair, mentally debating with herself whether she should knock or not. Before she could control it, her right hand rapped several times on the window. She quickly drew it against her body, holding it as if it had been burned. She stepped from side to side and
had just made up her mind to run when he opened the window. “Liz?”

She smiled widely and waved. “Heeeyyy, Max.”

Max leaned slightly out the window, looking from left to right. He furrowed his brows as he stared back at a twitching Liz. “What are you doing here?”

She sighed and rolled her eyes, stepping closer to him.
“I came to see you-oo.” She stumbled forward, clumsily lifting her foot onto the window ledge. After several attempts, she successfully climbed, or rather, fell through the window, landing with a thud at his feet. He stooped down beside her to help her up. She exhaled and Max quickly covered his nose, surprised to find the
smell of alcohol mixed with Liz’s normal scent of strawberries.

“Are you drunk?” He steadied her wobbly legs and stepped away from her.

Liz vehemently shook her head no. “Yes, I am.” She stopped shaking her head, and instantly grabbed her head with her hand. “Whoa.”

Max sighed and rubbed his eyes. He knew it was too hopeful to think that Liz had actually wanted to come see him. They had spent the majority of Michael and Maria’s wedding not speaking to each other, and he felt like a fool for thinking that, after all this time, she would
want to talk to him. “Come on,” he said, reaching for her arm. “I’ll take you home.”

“No,” Liz replied, feigning off his attempt to grab her arm. “I’m tired of listening to you. You always tell me what to do and look where it’s got...gets...got...look where I am.” She stomped her foot which instantly twisted to the side. She pulled up the layers of crepe from her sky blue bridesmaid’s dress and took off her high heeled shoe, examining its now broken heel. “Damn
stupid ass shoe,” she muttered, pitching it over her shoulder out the window. “I’m tired of doing what you say,” she proclaimed, crossing her arms over her chest as she plopped onto Max’s bed.

“What are you talking about? I don’t tell you what to do. We haven’t talked, Liz, we don’t talk.”

“You’re just trying to trick me,” she said, pointing her finger at him. “Well, I’m not listening to you. If I hadn’t listened to you in the first place, we’d be married.”

Max ran his hands over his face in frustration and wondered if this is what he had been like the night in high school he got drunk with Kyle. Liz had never told him exactly what he had said, and no matter how hard he tried to remember, the night was just a fuzzy haze. Had Liz been this frustrated with him? Had he made as much sense as Liz was making right now? “I don’t know
what you’re talking about, Liz. I’m sorry.”

“I’m talking about you and me, Max,” she softly replied, carefully standing up from his bed. “Don’t you want to know what would have happened to us? Don’t you want to know the truth about me and Kyle? ”

Max sighed, remembering the sick feeling in the pit of his stomach he had felt when he saw Liz in bed with Kyle.
“I know you didn’t sleep with Kyle. You told me that a long time ago.”

“But you don’t know why.” She shook her upper body and Max swore silently as the spaghetti straps of her bridesmaid’s dress slipped down her arms, revealing to him the swell of her breasts. He turned away from her quickly, knowing that this was a dangerous road to take.
“Don’t you even care anymore, Max?”

“Of course I care,” he said, spinning around to face her. “I will always care.”

“Then ask me,” she whispered, stepping out of her other shoe and walking slowly toward him. “Ask me and I’ll tell you everything.”

Max backed away from her quickly, running his hands through his hair. Part of him was dying of curiosity and had always wondered why Liz had pulled such an elaborate scheme to deceive him. The other part of him, a much smaller part, wanted to just take her home and forget this night ever happened. It was the wedding, he told himself. Liz was just emotional from the
Maria’s wedding. “It’s just the wedding that’s making you do this, Liz. This is not you. You don’t get drunk. You don’t -”

Liz smiled dreamily and closed her eyes. “We got married, Max, you and I, in Las Vegas.” She twirled in a circle in the middle of Max’s room. Max’s eyes widened as he remembered the vision he’d had in Las Vegas of he and Liz running from a cab, like they had just been married. It couldn’t have been real, but it had felt so real. If he thought about it for a few seconds, he
could feel Liz in his arms, the satin from the bridal gown against his skin, and their kiss.

“My vision was real,” he said aloud, wanting Liz to notice his confusion, but, more than that, wanting to say it aloud so his brain could process it. “It was real?”

“And the night of the Gomez concert,” Liz continued,
“when you saw me in bed with Kyle, that should have been our night, but I listened to you.” She opened her eyes and stared at him with a look of anger he had never known could exist inside her. “You with your long hair and leather pants and nice ass. I believed you when you said the world would end if we were together. You said Tess left Roswell and that the Four Square was broken. You said Michael and Isabel died.”

“Michael and Isabel died?”

Liz ignored him and continued. “But everything I did...doesn’t matter now. Alex is dead. Tess is gone. She’s having your child.” Liz ran her hands through her hair in frustration. “It should be my child, Max, our child. She never loved you the way I loved you.”

“Why would you do this, Liz?”

Liz blinked and stared directly at him. “Because you asked me to,” she stated simply, looking into his eyes. Max stepped toward her, suddenly so much more in love with her as the realization of what she had sacrificed hit him. She had given up a known future with him, just
because he had asked. He cradled her face in his hands and after searching her eyes, he found the love he thought he had died.

“I love you, Liz.” He hesitantly brushed her neck with his mouth, causing her to inhale sharply. “I will always love you.”

“But your son -”

“My son doesn’t matter. Nothing matters to me more than you do. You are my life.”

“Max,” she whispered as their lips finally met.

posted on 25-Mar-2002 8:11:14 PM by JO
PART TWELVE


June 2004

“God, this feels so right,” Liz said as Max trailed kisses down her neck, searing her skin. “I never imagined this would feel so right. Oh, God.” She closed her eyes, trying to imprint this memory into her mind so that when she woke up from this amazing dream, she would remember exactly what it felt like to have Max’s hands and mouth caress her body. The sound of the zipper
from her dress startled her and she opened her eyes, meeting Max’s instantly. Their eyes remained locked as the sky blue bridesmaid’s dress fell from her body, landing in a pile at the foot of Max’s bed. His Roswell High t-shirt soon joined it.

Maintaining eye contact, they slowly climbed onto Max’s bed. He hesitantly reached for her, trailing his fingers up her arm to her neck. Liz watched as a white glow shimmered off her skin. She moved closer to Max and mimicked his motions, trailing her fingers up his arm and down his chest. “I can’t do it to you,” she said, lowering her head.

“I’m glowing everywhere. . .my toes, my heart. You can't see it. It's on the inside.”

Liz’s eyes met his again quickly. “You remember?”

“I remember everything,” he whispered as he placed his palm over her heart. She inhaled sharply as warmth spread outward through her body. Her drunken haze quickly evaporated and she stared at Max while biting her lower lip. Max reflexively kissed her, pulling her lower lip into his mouth. She moaned slightly and Max ran his free hand up the back of her neck and into her hair, causing bobby pins to spring out onto the floor and bed as her hair cascaded down her back. Moving his assault from her mouth to her neck, Max pulled her tightly against his chest, wrapping his arms around her to unfasten her bra. Liz moved away from him slightly, just
enough so the bra was no longer an obstacle and they each hissed as their bare skin touched. She laced her legs around his hips and they fell backwards onto Max’s bed. She arched against him while he caressed and teased her body, finally claiming her for his own as he had longed to do for more than a decade.

Everything from that moment on was in slow motion for them. Every touch, every kiss, every glance, every hushed declaration of love seemed to last hours. They explored each other in minute details, relishing in the moment as if it were their last moment together. Liz felt a buzzing in the back of her brain and her heart beat echo in her ears. She felt a coolness wash over her flesh while internally she remained on fire. Max placed his hands on either side of her face, forcing her to focus only on his eyes. Liz laced her hands through his, never once losing eye contact with him. As the point of culmination neared, with their bodies fully intertwined, it
happened. All the colors of the spectrum reflected in their eyes, and, at that moment, their connection and love for each other cemented forever. Liz felt her body rise and fall, her breathing matching Max’s breath for breath. She heard no sound other than him and everything in the room other than Max became blurry. With one final pulse, her body jerked against Max’s
and she felt their souls collide, all the fears and doubts in her mind and heart subside, the steady rhythm of Max’s breath against her neck. Even through her haziness, she knew she was no longer drunk on alcohol; she was drunk on Max. Nothing else in her life would ever be as explosive and awesome as this moment. They were irrevocably bonded, cemented, one. They had
at last made their own destiny, altering their lives in ways neither ever dreamed possible.


“It was magical,” Max said, turning to face her. “I’ve never experienced anything so powerful.”

“Me neither,” she replied softly, unable to look away from him.

Max paused, a faint blush settling on his face while he remembered what he considered the best night of his life. He was thankful for many things: his family, his friends, but he relished every memory he’d ever made with Liz, especially that night. Knowing now that they’d created life made the memory that much sweeter.
“What are their names?”

“Jase and Lily.” Liz pulled a photo from her pocket and presented it to Max. Her heart swelled when she saw his face light up as he traced the outline of their smiling faces.

“God, Liz, they’re beautiful.” He rested his hand momentarily on his chin, in awe that he had helped to create something as perfect as these children.

“They look like you,” Liz replied, stepping closer to him, her heart warming with each step she took.

“We’re going to find them, and after we do, we’re going to be a real family. I promise, Liz, we’ll find them.”

Her eyes widened in shock at the determination that echoed in Max’s voice. Of all the emotions she’d assumed he’d feel, determination was not one of them. “You aren’t angry? I...I thought you’d be furious. I wanted to tell you, Max, so many times but I was scared.” She balled her hands together, nervously chewing on her bottom lip.

“Why,” Max asked and she couldn’t mistake the concern in his voice. “You know I love you, that I love only you. What would make you so frightened that you couldn’t tell me about our children?”

“Tess,” she said, lowering her head. “It was Tess.”

* * *

Absalom paced cautiously in the hallway. He was far away from his assigned room, and was breaking rules established by his father the longer he stayed in this quadrant of the compound. Three days earlier, two prisoners had arrived. His father had disappeared with his general and Tristan into the strategy room shortly after their arrival, sending rumors flying through the ranks. His mother had seized the opportunity of his father’s absence to once again remind him of his
destiny. The words of the old soothsayer echoed through his mind. You are the strong one,
Absalom.


He paused outside the prisoner’s door and scratched his head, wondering now what had possessed him to wander so far into this quadrant. He knew the two prisoners were on opposite ends of the compound and that his mother had been extremely proud when they were captured but their purpose remained a mystery. I’m sure Tristan knows, he thought. The Crown Prince. He wiped his mouth, the thought alone leaving a vile aftertaste. At least his mother loved him, that he knew. She had taught him how to watch people, to search their minds and faces for what you wanted to know. She had taken him to the soothsayer when he was six so that his destiny could be revealed to him and she could guide his path. You are the strong one, Absalom. Your battles shall be hard and divide houses but you will prevail. His mother had interpreted the remarks as meaning he was bound for greatness, and, even at such a young age, he had recognized the conflicts within her. She had always claimed loyalty to his father, but he had now
come to realize his mother served only herself and her purposes.

He was fairly certain his father loved him but Tristan, the Crown Prince, clearly came first. It was Tristan that attended strategy meetings. It was Tristan that sat at his father’s right hand. It was Tristan that would inherit all and he would be left with nothing. He sighed and turned toward the direction of his room, suddenly uneasy that his father might find him here, when a blood-curdling scream pierced his ears. As the scream grew louder, he stepped toward the source and, knowing
this too was against his father’s many rules, he opened the prisoner’s door.

The scream almost drove him to his knees and Absalom quickly covered his ears after closing the door behind him. He raised his hand toward the ceiling, illuminating the pitch black room instantly. His eyes adjusted quickly and he walked toward the shaking figure lying on the bed. He leaned toward it slowly, and in a fraction of a second, the figure sat upright, scaring him just enough to make him stumble backwards onto the floor. The figure, he now recognized as a girl, calmly turned to face him. “I had a bad dream. Will you stay with me?” He leaned toward her, his ice blue eyes mesmerized by her amber ones. She lay back down and pulled the covers up to her neck. Absalom slowly crawled toward her and, once he was close enough, he reached out for her, unable to control the urge he had to touch her. His hand stopped, hovering over hers as he watched her chest rise and fall. He felt her small hand envelope his and inhaled sharply, losing his own breath as she opened her eyes and smiled at him. “My name is Lily.”
posted on 10-Apr-2002 7:41:24 PM by JO
Finally....geez Louise. I never thought I'd make it back here.

I just wanted to invite all the readers of "Pathos" (and my other fics) to join my e-group. I AM posting...just can't seem to post HERE, per se.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/JO_FanFiction

Anyway, I should have all my fics posted or linked to this e-group by the weekend.

If you want to read "Pathos" in 'real time,' I suggest you visit the Bordello to see what's been happening since you last read.

http://pub44.ezboard.com/fthespoilerslutsfanficwhorehousefrm6.showMessage?topicID=84.topic

Again, thanks for your patience and I hope you'll be reading (or continuing to read) my fics very soon!!

JO
posted on 26-Apr-2002 6:53:55 PM by JO
Quite a gap in posting - a MONTH - geez louise! I'd also hate to have this thread end up as a dead thread...

JO

_____________________________________

PART THIRTEEN

“How does Liz expect to find Max,” Isabel asked as she followed Maria and Kyle through the swinging door from the back room. “I’ve never been able to find him when he hides like this, and Roswell isn’t that big.”

“There’s obviously a lot you don’t know about Max,” Maria replied, clearing away the last of the dishes.

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

Maria shrugged as she passed silverware and plates to Michael through the kitchen. “I’m just saying -”

“Let’s not start a war over this,” Kyle said, stepping toward Isabel, guiding her to one of the stools. “Max and Liz have kept secrets from everyone, and now, there are complications.”

“What complications?” Michael wiped his hands on the apron before placing them on his hips. Maria, Kyle and Isabel glanced at each other, wildly avoiding Michael’s stern gaze. Maria sighed and quickly filled Michael in on the latest developments in the saga of Max and Liz.
“How many women is Maxwell going to get pregnant,” he asked several minutes after Maria had told him
everything they knew. He plopped down on the stool closest to Isabel, seemingly still in shock.

“That’s not really the issue here. These kids are missing and we have to find them.”

“Does Liz know who took them or where they might be?” Maria patted Michael’s back, knowing full well she was going to read Liz the riot act when she finally reappeared from her search for Max. She too had been shocked at first, but now she was just angry that such a huge secret had been kept from her.

Kyle rubbed his forehead, and Maria, Michael and Isabel were momentarily stunned to see just how much Kyle resembled his father at that moment. “Tess,” he quietly said. “Liz thinks it was Tess.”

* * *

“Tess?” Max stared at Liz in disbelief. “Liz, that’s crazy. Why would she do something like that? She has my son, that’s all she’s ever wanted.”

“I’ve lied to you, Max, about a lot of things, but I would never lie to you about Tess. She came to see me, just before I came back for Maria’s wedding.”


June 2004

“Serina, I’m -” Liz threw her back pack across the top of the sofa, closing the apartment door behind her with her foot when she stopped mid-sentence.

“She’s not here,” Tess replied, a sneer forming across her face. “And by the looks of things, you won’t be here much longer.” She pointed to the luggage beside the door and returned her gaze to Liz. “Going to Roswell for Maria’s wedding?” Confusion spread across Liz’s face
momentarily as Tess made her way from the bookshelf to the back side of the couch, close to Liz. “I didn’t get an invitation so make sure to pass along my best wishes.”

“What do you want?” Liz crossed her arms over her chest, matching Tess’ gaze glare for glare.

“Testy, aren’t we,” Tess asked, leaning against the back of Liz’s couch. “Get an A - on a paper instead of an A+?” Liz rolled her eyes and shifted her weight from her right foot to her left, hoping her impatience was evident. “I just want to make sure you remember our arrangement.”

“We don’t have an arrangement, Tess.”

“Oh, so you want your loved ones to die a tragic, horrible death. Let’s see, who deserves to die first?”

“Knock it off,” Liz said, swatting at her as she walked into the kitchen. “I’m going home to support Maria, that’s all.”

“I just want to make sure, Liz. You’ll forgive me if I don’t trust you.” Tess followed her into the kitchen, twirling a long blonde curl on her index finger.

“Like I trust you,” Liz muttered, turning around suddenly to find Tess invading her personal space, Tess’ hands planted firmly on her shoulders.

“Max is mine, Liz. You know that. The fate of the world is in your hands.” Liz glared at Tess as she stepped away from her. Tess had become a keen enemy over the years, loyal, so it seemed, to Kivar and with the ability to twist Max in any direction she felt served her purpose. Her surprise arrival in Roswell the previous summer had destroyed what remained of Liz’s
fragile relationship with Max, and had sent her running back to Harvard. Liz’s jaw twitched as Tess resumed twirling her hair. “I have armies at my command, and if you so much as look at Max, I’ll destroy everything you love, including him.”

Liz’s eyes filled with horror and tears at Tess’ statement. “You wouldn’t. He...he’s the father of your son.” Somehow she felt that this was Tess’ ultimate bluff, the one way to ensure Liz would do whatever to keep Max safe, even staying away from him. But when she looked into Tess’ ice blue eyes, she saw the monster she had always known existed and, just like in high school, Tess scared her.

“I’ll do anything to keep you away from him, Liz. You should know that by now.”


* * *

“Oh that’s crazy,” Isabel replied, dismissing Kyle’s theory with a flip of her hand. “Tess got everything she wanted out of Max that night in the observatory.”

“No, Isabel, there’s always been a method to her madness.” Michael stood up and began to pace in front of the counter. He ran his hand through his hair, as he often did when he was in thought. Lacing his hands behind his neck, he pivoted quickly, raising his eyes to meet theirs. “It makes perfect sense. What better way to hurt Max than to hurt Liz. Killing her parents is a pretty good start.”

“But what about the children? I mean, none of us knew about them, so how could Tess?”

Michael leaned against the counter in front of Maria, his facial expression blank but Maria could tell his brain was working furiously to fit together the pieces of this mystery. “That’s what we’ve got to find out, and the person that knows that best is Liz.”

* * *

“I’ve been running ever since...that night,” Liz replied and Max did not miss the look of guilt that flashed across her face. He could tell she had felt guilty for a long time, but now, with their children in danger and her parents brutally murdered, her guilt was overwhelming. He took her hand in his and felt it course frantically through their connection. She raised her eyes to meet his and was surprised by the sweet look of acceptance and forgiveness that reflected in those beautiful amber pools.

“There’s no reason to run anymore, Liz. We’ll face whatever happens....together.”


posted on 26-Apr-2002 6:59:47 PM by JO
PART FOURTEEN

When they returned to the cafe, Max ordered everyone home, desperate to have Liz all to himself for the night. The questions and planning would begin tomorrow, but tonight, he needed her. Once the cafe was securely locked, he whisked her upstairs to the living room of her apartment, a million questions streaking through his mind. He was a father, and, unlike when Tess became
pregnant, he was acutely interested in knowing everything about their lives. “Tell me everything,
Liz. When you did you find out? What was the birth like? Were you alone? Did you -”

“Whoa, Max, slow down. I can only answer one question at a time.” She smiled as she patted his
hand, thrilled that he was taking such an interest in their children. If only they were here to be a part of it.

“I’m sorry, Liz, but I’ve missed ten years. I’ve missed their first steps, their first words, their first smiles. I’ve missed everything.” He gently stroked the back of her hand with his thumb and Liz felt their connection ebb and flow with each stroke. She glanced at Max, silently wondering if he felt it too. She had lived with the feeling of void for so many years and to be with Max like this, with chaos surrounding them yet knowing their extraordinary connection still existed gave her all
the hope she needed. She closed her eyes, allowing herself to rejoice in the thing she had once tried to extinguish and wondered how she had lived without this, without him, for so long.

Max watched the small smile form on her face and couldn’t help but smile as well. He too was feeling it all over again, but whereas Liz had tried to kill the memories, Max reveled in them. The memories of their one night lulled him to sleep, knowing that Liz would remain in his arms and that he would shower her with love night after night. In his dreams, Max could block out his hated destiny, and was more than content to bask in the afterglow of Liz’s love. He slowly intertwined their fingers, leaning closer to her. Their connection skittered and Liz’s eyebrows arched in response to the energy she felt. He continued to lean closer to her, his mouth parting slightly, ready to nip at her own parted lips. Max exhaled then kissed Liz tenderly on the mouth.
As their lips touched, their connection reverberated keenly through their bodies, pumping electricity through their veins. The windows of their souls opened and they were able to see what life had wrought for the other.

He hesitantly broke the kiss after several seconds, leaning his forehead against Liz’s as he had done so many times. She raised her hand to his face and lovingly cupped his cheek. “Thank you, Liz.”

“For what,” she whispered, raising her eyes to meet his.

“For them,” he replied, his voice cracking slightly. “I know how....hard it was for you. I can’t imagine...and I’m sorry...thank you.”

“They are a part of you, Max.” Liz brought her other hand to his face, gently cradling it. “And I loved them from the beginning. Their birth was -”

“I know.” He paused to pull her hands into his but not before kissing them softly. “I’m sorry you were alone.”

“You didn’t know, Max. It’s okay.”

“You’ll never be alone again, Liz. You know that, don’t you?”

A smile spread across Liz’s face. “I’ve stopped running, Max. This is where I belong. My home is with you, is you.”

“You’re my home too, Liz.”

* * *

Maria braced herself against the outside of the rim, her fingers clasped tightly around the base. Her body convulsed, causing her to dry heave for the umpteenth time. She lay her head on her arm as tears streamed down her face. She sniffed loudly then reached to pull herself up to the sink. She felt Michael’s hands underneath her arms hoisting her just before her knees slightly buckled. “Maria?”

“Not now,” she said, barely above a whisper, waving him off. “Please Michael, not now.”

“This...we can’t have this right now.”

Maria snorted. “That’s exactly what a wife wants to hear from her husband. ‘We can’t have a baby right now, too much shit going on.’”

“Maria -”

“It’s fine, Michael, really. I mean, who wants another baby?” She shrugged and weakly stumbled past him into their bedroom. “Do you remember how it was with Evan? The cravings, the weight gain, the crying.”

“I felt much better after I talked to your mom.” Maria rolled her eyes but couldn’t help the lop-sided smile that appeared on her face. Michael had been more scared about Evan’s impending birth than she had imagined. He had stayed by her side the entire six months, waiting on her hand and foot, sharing every ounce of pain she felt. “I love them, Maria and I love you, but if you go
through with this, I don’t think I can handle you being here.”

“What do you mean? You’re not sending me to my mother’s for six months, Michael. We are in this together.”

“This mess...with Liz’s kids and Tess could get complicated.”

“And I’m a distraction? Is that what you’re saying?” Maria’s eyes widened and Michael almost swore that smoke came out of her nose. Evan and Livvie hovered in the doorway, their parents loud voices having woken them up. “I refused to be put out, Michael. Liz is my best friend and I’m going to stay here and help her. This is where I belong.”

“You’re right,” Michael said, stepping closer to her.
“This is where you belong and I don’t want you in Albuquerque. If you want the truth about it, I’d feel much safer if Amy and the kids were here so I could protect them.”

“So it’s settled then?”

“It’s settled. You’re staying here.” He motioned the kids into their bedroom. Evan ran at full speed and slid onto the unmade bed while Livvie dragged her blanket behind her, shyly climbing into her father’s lap as he sat on the bed. He kissed the top of her head, glancing at Maria. A smile dragged across her lips as she nodded her approval and Michael’s eyes beamed. “Evan,
Livvie, we’ve got a surprise for you.”

“We’re getting a dog,” Evan asked, his eyes widening with each second that passed. Livvie’s mouth dropped and she squealed excitedly, bouncing up and down on her father’s lap. Evan stood up and began jumping up and down on the bed. Maria tiled her head to the side, hinting with her eyes that Michael should nip this idea in the bud.

“No, we’re not getting a dog. This is better than a dog.”

“What’s better than a dog,” Evan said, falling to his knees in disgust.

“I want a dog, Daddy.” Livvie’s bottom lip thrust out quickly as she brought her blanket to her face and fingered its corner.

“Momma and I are going to have a baby. Remember when we talked about babies?”

“Are you gonna get pudgy like when Livvie came?”

Livvie covered her mouth with her blanket and giggled.
“Daddy’s pudgy,” she said, poking Michael lightly in the stomach.

“Daddy’s not pudgy,” Michael sternly said, swatting Livvie’s tiny hands away from his stomach. “That tickles, Livvie.” Maria covered her mouth to stifle the smile as Evan began to bounce on their bed, singing at the top of his lungs that his father was pudgy. Livvie squealed and teetered toward her, joining Evan in his bouncing. Michael glanced quickly at Maria with a mischievous
look in his eye before growling and lunging at Evan, causing Livvie to squeal and Evan to jump off the bed. Evan ran past her as Michael chased him out of the bedroom. Livvie gently climbed down and started to run after them when she placed her hand on Maria’s stomach.

“Hey witta baby,” Livvie said, resting her head tenderly on Maria’s stomach. Maria smoothed her daughter’s golden hair as tears filled her eyes. Livvie motioned for Maria to come closer and whispered in her mother’s ear. “We pay dess up when she comes, ‘kay, Momma?” Maria could only nod her head slightly before Evan and Michael ran past the bedroom again, causing Livvie to
squeal and run after them in hot pursuit.

* * *

Tears skipped down Liz’s cheeks and Max tenderly wiped them away with his thumbs. “No more tears, Liz. You’ve spent too much of your life crying.”

“I’m sorry,” she sputtered, biting her lower lip. “I...I’m just so worried about -”

“I know,” Max replied, placing his arm around her shoulders and pulling her close to him. “We’ll find them.” She rested her head on his shoulder and Max hesitantly placed his palm over her heart.

Liz sighed, her breath sending shivers down his neck and back. “You’re always healing me, Max. Maybe you should let me heal you for a change.”

“What do you mean always? I don’t do it that often.”

Liz pulled away from him in shock. “Yes, you do,” she replied with a laugh. “You’ve done it, like, three times since I’ve been back. You do it a lot.” Max grimaced and pulled her close to him again, wrapping his arms around her as she curled against him.

“I bet you don’t remember the first time.”

“I remember everything,” she whispered, raising her eyes to meet his.


May 2002

Max stood on the fringes of the crowd, watching Liz and Maria dance with each other. Had it really been just a year since he kissed Tess at this same prom? He shuddered, trying to purge his mind of the memory. It had all started with that one kiss, the kiss that changed his life forever. Luckily for him, the search for his son hit a dead end, and immediately thereafter, he had groveled heavily to Liz, begging forgiveness. He had broken her heart, betrayed her in the worst way ever. Miraculously and by the grace of God, she had forgiven him and here they were, together at their Senior Prom.

He straightened immediately when he saw her walking toward him. She was wearing a red dress similar to the one she wore in Las Vegas the year before. Maria had styled her hair in an “unsweep mess” as Michael termed it with tiny tendrils framing her face. She smiled at Maria then locked eyes with him as they made their way to where he and Michael were standing. She wiped a stray hair out of her eyes as she picked up her punch glass, their eyes never leaving each other. He winked at her , which did not go unnoticed by Maria. “Are you going to dance with your date, Mr. Winky?”

Max felt the blush creep to the tips of his ears and shoved his hands deeper into his pockets. Liz laughed slightly, threading her arm through his and laying her head on his shoulder. “Do you want to dance,” she quietly asked. “We don’t have to.”

“Let’s go,” Max replied with a tilt of his head toward the dance floor. Liz beamed and followed Max as they weaved through tables and chairs. “I’ve been waiting for this,” he said, pulling her against him as the fast song changed into a slow one. She shyly glanced at the ground as the strains of the familiar song filled her ears.

Come to me now
Lay your hands over me
Even if it’s a lie, say it will be alright
And I shall believe

Liz’s eyes widened and she stopped moving. “I...I’m sorry, Max.” She turned and ran into the hallway. Max followed her immediately, wondering what had made her react so strongly to the song. He caught up to her quickly just outside the auditorium and reached for her arm, spinning her around to face him. Tears trickled down her cheeks as she tried to back away from him.
“Please, Max.”

“Liz? What’s wrong?”

“I....n..nothing.”

“Did I do something wrong? Please tell me.”

Liz’s eyes met his and she softened. He was silently pleading with her, hope and concern etched in his beautiful face. “This song just makes me....sad,” she replied quietly.

“Let me help you, Liz.”

“Max -”

“Please,” he begged, reaching for her.

She stepped backwards quickly, narrowly escaping his grasp. “There are things I’m not ready to tell you, that I can’t tell you, Max, and I don’t want you to -”

“I can heal you, Liz. I can make the hurt go away. Please.” After several seconds of silence, Liz nodded her consent and Max gently ran the palm of his hand across her, scanning for the best place to heal her. He stopped inches away from her heart. He paused slightly, then pressed his hand over her heart. Liz inhaled sharply and brought her own hand to cover his. Heat
traveled outward from her heart and Liz felt small bits of comfort and love creep into her mind. She raised her head to look at Max, tears once again welling in her eyes. His shoulders slumped forward and he dropped his hands to his side. He sheepishly met her gaze and shoved his hands into his pockets. Liz brought both her hands to the spot where Max’s hand had just been, the
residual warmth still floating off her skin. Then she did something completely unexpected: she rushed into his arms and kissed him.


“No one heals me like you,” Max said, nuzzling his face against her neck. His lips brushed her cheek and he felt her smile in response. “I want to feel this way for the rest of my life. Will you marry me, Liz?”

posted on 26-Apr-2002 7:04:31 PM by JO
PART FIFTEEN

“You’re serious,” Liz asked, a look of shock plastered across her face. She used to dream about this moment, when Max would ask her to marry him. She had dreamed about wearing a white wedding gown, knowing no other man but Max would ever touch her in such intimate ways. Their friends and families would be in attendance and they would dance their first dance as man and wife to their song. Their lives would be filled with love and children and happiness. Such was not the case today because Liz had long since given up her dream of becoming Max’s wife. But now, years after her dream had died, he was asking her to live it for real.

“Why would I joke about this?” He watched as the shocked expression did not fade from her face. How could Liz not believe him? How could she think he hadn’t thought about her every day? How could he not want to marry the love of his life? “Yes, Liz, I’m serious. Let’s get married.”

“I....I don’t know what to say,” she quietly replied, suddenly interested in the loose threads on the arm of the couch.

“Say yes,” he whispered and watched as a small smile began to form across Liz’s lips. She slowly turned her head toward him, the smile stretching across her face, lighting her eyes. Her eyes suddenly misted with tears, leaving Max to wonder if tears were the sign of a good thing. “Well?”

“Yes,” she cried. “God, a thousand times yes.” She flung herself into his arms, their lips meeting instantly. And as was the case with them, their connection flared to life the moment their lips touched.

Max threaded his fingers through her hair as he hungrily ate at her mouth. Liz moaned slightly as Max’s lips trailed fire up and down her neck. She braced her hands on his waist, the living room beginning to spin. They locked eyes in mid-kiss, the level of desire mirroring in their eyes. Liz heard the sounds of zippers and ripping fabric just before her heartbeat began to echo in her ears.

“Are you sure,” he whispered, both of them knowing they had now gone too far to willingly stop. Their connection was alive, furrowing and stimulating them to the core of their entwined soul. It would not let them stop. This joining, this primal urge, this mating had to be fulfilled.

“Don’t....stop,” she managed to say before she momentarily lost her power of speech. She raked her nails across Max’s broad shoulders, arching against him. He growled low in his throat at her motion and proceeded to maul her with his mouth and tongue. In her frenzy, Liz managed to wrap one leg around Max’s hips, using her other as leverage against the arm of the couch. When had they ended up on the couch, she silently wondered. Her thought went unanswered as she felt a faint buzzing in the back of her brain. Her body shook slightly but was immediately back under her control.

Max threaded his arms underneath her back, pulling their bodies as close together as possible. He smiled slightly as the thought of Liz being made for him entered his mind. Every curve, every groove of her body fit to his like a puzzle piece. He buried his face against her neck, enjoying the feeling of her all around him. He could lay dormant like this with her for the rest of his life. Just
as he completed his thought, he felt her hands press tightly on the backs of his thighs. His jaw tightened, along with the rest of his body, and he knew that Liz had felt it too. She inhaled sharply, grinding herself against him. He responded by catching her bottom lip in his teeth, playfully tugging on it. It elicited his desired response from Liz, and within seconds, his vision
blurred, triggering his body to respond in its own way.

* * *

Max brought her hand to his mouth, kissing it tenderly.
“I love you,” he said as she threaded her hand through his hair. “We’ll find them.” Liz smiled hesitantly and Max released her hand to exit his SUV. Liz opened the door and turned slightly to her left in time to see Kyle gently help Isabel down from the cab of his truck. She glanced forward when Max took her arm and they descended into the quarry.

“Let’s get this show on the road,” Michael said, his leg vibrating impatiently. Maria placed her hand on his knee and the vibrations stopped. “How do we get the kids back?”

“That’s a little complicated,” Max began glancing at Liz as he stood up. The six of them had made make-shift chairs out of the larger rocks at the base of the quarry. Max was reluctant to drag everyone back into the alien abyss, but with the lives of his children at stake, he was unsure exactly what his next step should be. He had called the meeting simply as a sounding board, a way to talk out exactly what their options were. “We don’t know where Tess is. She’s kept out of sight for the most part.”

“Why do we assume it’s Tess?”

“It’s Tess,” Liz said. “There is no doubt in my mind that Tess is behind this.”

“If she’s loyal to Kivar, why not just kill the kids?”

“Isabel -”

Isabel glared at Max. “What? I’m just trying to figure out why Liz assumes it’s Tess.”

“Because she’s pure evil,” Maria said, a flippant look crossing her face. “I think Tess has given us enough evidence to suspect her in any crime committed against the six of us. You should know that better than anyone, Isabel. Moving on.” Isabel glared momentarily at Maria before dropping her head to the ground.

“I could run a trace on her,” Kyle offered. “I mean, I don’t know where exactly to look but -”

“That would be great, Kyle, but until then, we do nothing.”

“Nothing,” Michael shouted as he jumped up from his rock chair. “You can’t be serious, Maxwell. It’s more than just your kids in danger here. We -”

“It’s not a great plan, Michael. I know that.”

“You’re damn straight,” he said, grabbing Maria’s hand.
“It’s a stupid plan.” With that, he pulled Maria away from their meeting, carefully dragging her to their car. Isabel stood up slowly, followed by Kyle. Isabel wore a look of concern across her face, and Max could tell she wanted him to follow Michael, but he just didn’t have the heart. Michael had blown up quicker than he had anticipated and, knowing Michael, Max knew it was better to let him calm down before approaching him again.

“We should go after him, Max. You know Michael...”

“That’s the problem, Iz,” Max said, taking Liz’s hand into his as the four of them made their way to their own vehicles. “We all know Michael.” Liz suddenly jerked on Max’s arm, her eyes widening in excitement. Max could almost see an idea forming in her head.

“We have to get to Michael’s,” she said, running briskly to Max’s SUV, leaving Max, Isabel and Kyle no choice but to follow her lead. They quickly left the quarry on a direct path back into town and to Michael’s and Maria’s.

* * *

“You shouldn’t have just pulled me out of there, Michael. I know you’re scared -”

“I’m not scared, Maria,” he said as he closed the back door behind him. They had not spoken during the drive home from the quarry. “I just think it’s a stupid plan.”

“It may not be the best plan, Michael, but it’s Max’s plan. You remember who Max is, don’t you?”

“I know who he is,” he gruffly responded, opening their refrigerator to retrieve the carton of orange juice and tabasco sauce mix he and the kids drank. He opened the carton and began chugging, knowing it made Maria mad when he drank out of the carton. Wiping his mouth, he met Maria’s determined glare, which made him feel even more guilt. Maria didn’t deserve this kind of treatment, especially in her condition. Maria loved him, had always loved him. She supported him through everything. “I’m sorry. You’re just...it’s not your fault at all.”

“Damn straight it’s not my fault. I’m not the one that snapped. I’m not the one who has gone into overprotective mode.” Maria stepped toward him just as Michael jerked out of her reach. “Michael, don’t you think that Liz tried to protect her children? She never stayed in one place more than a few months. You and I both know that.” Maria paused, meeting Michael’s eyes.
Liz had sent sporadic letters to them over the years, but each letter had a new return address. Maria knew Michael was thinking the same thing she was. Maybe Tess was behind this. Maybe Liz already knew and had spent the better part of ten years running from their enemies. Maybe Liz had sacrificed herself once again for the alien cause. “You can’t protect us all the time,” she
said softly, placing her hand over her stomach.

“That’s my job, Maria. That’s who I am. That’s what I do. If anything happened to you or Evan or Livvie -”

Maria placed her fingers lightly on his lips. “You don’t control the fate of the world, Michael. If something
...bad is meant to happen, it’s going to happen, whether you’re around or not. You can’t be my 24/7 bodyguard. You can’t keep one eye on Evan and one eye on Livvie all the time.” Michael sighed and leaned his forehead against hers. “You have to trust other people, Michael. You have to trust us to watch out for ourselves. Just because you think waiting is a bad idea, it doesn’t mean that Max thinks it’s a great idea. It just means that it’s the only option we have right now.” She placed her hands on either side of his face, lowering his head to look into her eyes. “But thank you, Michael, for being the overprotective lug I love.” He smiled slightly,
sweeping his lips over hers just as Liz burst into their kitchen followed by Max, Isabel and Kyle.

“I know where we can start looking,” she sputtered, out of breath due to the excitement of her thought. Michael exchanged glances with Max and Isabel, both of whom shrugged. “I can’t believe we didn’t think about this before,” she continued.

“Where?”

“Copper Summit.”

posted on 26-Apr-2002 7:10:23 PM by JO
PART SIXTEEN

“What about Copper Summit,” Isabel screeched as Michael released Maria and Kyle and Max gravitated toward the kitchen table. Liz slowly sat in the chair closest to Max, the others claiming seats as well. Liz’s suggestion had awakened something within each of them. The trip to Copper Summit had been a turning point for the entire group: Isabel had begun her journey learning about her past life as Vilandra; Michael and Maria had fought about Courtney’s continued
presence in Michael’s life; Liz’s ‘betrayal’ had caused Max to slip further away from her.

“That whole place should be a ghost town. We destroyed their skins -”

“That means jack, Maxwell.”

“Michael -” Maria began, placing her hand over Michael’s in an effort to calm him.

“He’s right, Max,” Liz offered before Michael or Max could say anything in response. “We don’t know what happened after Courtney hit the main controls. The skins could have been destroyed....or not. Didn’t Nicholas show up in New York?” Liz turned to face him and Max’s brows furrowed in confusion. Their revelations in Copper Summit had lead to a semi-attack on Roswell, suspending the humans in another time frame in an effort to seek and destroy Max, Michael, Isabel and Tess. Max would have sworn on his life that Tess had used her abilities to destroy all the skins and he would have believed it forever, except that Nicholas had appeared in New York at the summit of the five planets, something he knew that an obliterated skin would not be able to do. “I’m not trying to undermine your authority, Max,” Liz continued, snapping him
back to the present. “But if there’s a chance Jase and Lily are in Copper Summit, I don’t want the opportunity to pass us by.”

“So we’re going to Copper Summit again,” Isabel said, dejectedly rolling her eyes and crossing her arms over her chest.

“What do we do, Max,” Liz quietly asked.

Max glanced around the table. Maria held tightly to Michael’s arm, the concern on her face unmistakable. Michael, on the other hand, looked ready for a fight. Across from him, Isabel’s face bore the mark of angry resentment. Kyle, having never experienced the first trip, looked remarkably neutral. He mentally debated with himself about looking at Liz. She was the one
person in the room that could sway him with a look. Her face remained neutral, like Kyle’s, but her eyes were her undoing. In them, Max could see her fear and her silent pleas to go back to Copper Summit, to find their children. He bowed his head slightly, knowing his own heart ached to rescue the children he did not know but also knowing he didn’t want to set foot in that town
again. He sighed slowly, the pull of his heart being no match for the logic of his mind. “I guess we’re going to Copper Summit.”

* * *

“You can’t just leave me here, Michael.”

Michael sighed and ran his fingers through his hair. “I can and I will.” He threw the small duffle bag over his shoulder as he walked outside to his car.

“I’ll follow you,” Maria screamed at him. “I know the way.” He stopped in their driveway, a mere five steps from the trunk of the car. Dropping the duffle bag at his feet, he turned and quickly walked back into the house.

“Please Maria. I need you to stay. Liz’s place is secure, Max, Kyle and I checked it. You and the kids will be safer there.”

“I thought we were in this together, Michael.” She pushed out her bottom lip, and Michael knew immediately why he could never say no to Livvie when she did the exact thing - he couldn’t say no to her mother either. This time, however, he knew he had to be strong.

“We are,” he said, taking her hands into his. “And I carry you with me all the time.” He placed both of her hands over his heart and watched as the simple action melted the determination set in her green eyes.

“When did you get like this?”

He smiled and kissed her mouth. “I love you, Maria, and I’ll see you in a couple of days.” He slowly turned away from her, memorizing just how the floral cotton nightgown hugged her curves and her blonde hair floated in the light breeze.

“Love you too, Space Boy, but make sure you don’t bring home any more Michael worshipers. You’ve already got your congregation right here.”

* * *

Liz, Max, Isabel and Michael arrived on the outskirts of Copper Summit around midnight. Max parked his SUV near an abandoned mining shaft and he and Michael quickly covered its existence. Liz’s stomach rolled heavily and she doubled over beside a small fern-like plant, emptying its contents as Isabel walked to her side.

“Oh God, Max,” Isabel whispered, her annoyance shining through. “We can’t survey or retrieve your kids if she’s going to be wrenching her guts out.”

Max was at Liz’s side in an instant, holding back her hair as she continued to dry heave. “Are you okay, Liz? Maybe you should stay here.”

“No,” she said, wiping her mouth with the back of her hand. She rested her hands on her hips, trying to control the urge to vomit again. “I’m fine. Besides, Jase and Lily don’t know you, any of you. I have to go.”

Max glanced back at Isabel and Michael. Even in the darkness, Max could tell Isabel was rolling her eyes. He protectively placed his arm over Liz’s shaking shoulders, certain now that this trip had been a bad idea. His stomach too was in knots and he hadn’t yet been able to shake the feeling that something bad was once again going to happen in Copper Summit.

“What do you say, Maxwell? Are we going into town or turning around?”

“We’re not turning around, Michael,” Liz abruptly answered, more harshly than she had the strength to back up. Max took her hand into his and she felt the air crackle around her head, causing the hairs on her arms and the back of her neck to stand up. She jumped slightly, causing Max to jump in response. “Did you feel that,” she whispered.

“Feel what?”

She furrowed her brows, instinctively pulling her bottom lip into her mouth. Max gently squeezed her hand and her legs wobbled of their own violation, almost knocking her to the ground. “I know you felt that,” she snapped. She could make out Max’s blank facial expression, while his eyes were brimming with concern about her behavior. “I’m not crazy. I felt...something.”

“Liz,” Max began, reaching for her other arm. Liz anticipated his move and jerked away from him.

“No, Max, I’m going to find my children.” She stumbled away from him, towards the place she remembered as the town’s location. Michael placed his arm across Max’s shoulders, shaking his head slightly before following Liz into the darkness. Max turned toward Isabel and she
reluctantly began walking in the same direction as Michael and Liz.

* * *

They huddled together behind the corner of a building, their four heads sticking out into the alleyway at various levels. Much to Max’s surprise, the town of Copper Summit had not become a ghost town; it was a flurry of activity. Somber looking men and women paraded down Main Street and in and out of the Universal Friendship League headquarters. Under normal circumstances, Copper Summit appeared to be an average run-of-the-mill town, but the four of them knew that nothing ever appeared as it seemed.

Michael removed his binoculars from his back pack, aiming at the large brick building adjacent to the Universal Friendship League headquarters. After several seconds, he hit Max with his elbow and passed the binoculars to him. Max focused them and watched as Nicholas appeared at one of the doors. Max could see Nicholas waving his arms, pointing to several of the men and women walking past him. They scurried inside the building, and Max watched in shock when he saw familiar blonde curls peeping out from beneath a black beret, the figure walking toward the building. As if the blonde curls weren’t enough of a clue, Tess showed her face by slowly turning toward their hiding place, her blue eyes clear and focused. When her surveillance was seemingly
complete, Max watched in horror as Tess walked inside the building, followed by Nicholas. He slowly lowered the binoculars and blindly handed them to Michael. “Tess is here,” he quietly said, turning slowly to face Liz as Isabel and Michael leaned against the building. Liz’s eyes widened and she inhaled sharply, pulling her left hand over her heart.

* * *

Lily and Absalom lay side by side on her cot. They had been playing a game of Old Maid when Sharon instructed them to turn out the lights. Absalom absent-mindedly rolled the beaded bracelet clasped around Lily’s wrist between his fingers, knowing the price a warning from
Sharon meant. He tried to lay perfectly still and wondered what his father would say when he discovered he was in Lily’s room instead of his own.

He could feel Lily’s shallow breathing beside him and he knew she was asleep, but, for some reason, sleep would not claim him. He sighed loudly, surprised when Lily stirred in response. Her right leg wrapped across his left one quickly and she pulled her right arm away from him, resting it on her stomach. He held his breath, not wanting to wake her up, knowing the difficulty she had sleeping. Clicking his teeth together several times, Absalom was suddenly uncomfortable with the fluttery feeling beginning in the pit of his stomach. He rested his palms on his stomach and closed his eyes, mentally scanning for a cause of the feeling and sighed again when he found none. He knew the real cause, and she was laying beside him sound asleep.

Carefully lacing his hands behind his head, he allowed his daydreams to materialize. He spent most of his day dreaming about her, about being with her and he continuously wondered what it would be like to kiss her. Would she giggle and blush? Would she smile sweetly and kiss him back? Would she punch him in the stomach? His mother had considered it part of his training for greatness to pair him with several of the young women in the compound. Of course, most of
them were Tristan’s leftovers, but he had enjoyed the experiences just the same. And as an almost thirteen-year-old mostly human boy, he was beginning to feel a certain intrigue toward girls: the way their bodies looked, the way their hips swished as they walked, their scents. But with Lily, something completely unexpected was happening.

He felt the constant need to touch her, not necessarily in a sexual way, just to maintain skin-on-skin contact with her, to know she was close. He wanted to protect her, to shelter her from the harm and hurt of the world. He wanted to whisk her away from this compound, his mother, his father, Tristan, from everyone and live with her, a life without destiny. He wanted to watch her
mature into the beautiful woman he knew she would be and to love her, as a man loves a woman, as a husband loves a wife. But he was merely twelve and Lily only ten. Why did she have this force over him? Why did he already love and need her so much? As if on cue, Lily’s right hand clasp his thigh and she bolted upright in bed, her left hand over her heart. Absalom sat up beside
her, adjusting the blankets between them so she wouldn’t become frightened when she fully awoke. “My mother’s here,” she excitedly whispered, her amber eyes intently meeting his blue ones. “And Jase is in danger.”


posted on 13-May-2002 9:06:35 PM by JO
I'm so sorry for the delay. Here's the completed fic. Thanks very much for your patience!!

________________________

PART SEVENTEEN

The door closed and Jase released his breath slowly. The general and the blonde had come to torture him again, and, once again he had survived. Their meetings were always the same. The blonde would call him names, call his mother names, then slap him hard across the face. The general would place his hands on either side of his head and sift through his mind for what, Jase did not know. No words were exchanged and Jase had had no other contact with anyone except them since his captivity.

He slumped against the wall, banging his head against the cold cinder blocks. The general and the blonde had mentioned his mother more often this time, as well as the man he knew to be his father, Max Evans. The blonde’s blue eyes had sparkled when they left his room and Jase now understood his mother’s terror and why they had spent very little time in one place. Tess Harding was truly an evil person.

What would his father do, he wondered as he stood and slowly walked toward the metal door. His mother had said his father had been a king in his past life and was a leader now in his reincarnation. But he did not know this man. His mother had told he and Lily the truth about their origins only weeks before the kidnaping and while Lily had rejoiced in knowing how special she was, the realization of his heritage bore on his mind like an overwhelming burden. He was a prince, an alien prince, the son of a man he’d never met and knew nothing about. He ran his hand over his bruised cheek, remembering instantly what his mother had said the first time she had caught him healing himself.


“Your father could do that.”

“Do what,” he asked, nonchalantly scratching the back of his hand where a bee just stung him. He watched his mother squint and he felt a panic rise up in his throat, like she knew what he was doing, like she had seen it before. He turned away from her quickly, watching Lily and Serina play a game of horse.

“Heal,” she replied, turning her attention back to the text book in her lap.

“Tell us, Momma,” Lily begged, dropping the basketball at Serina’s feet and running to her mother’s side. Jase rolled his eyes and shoved his hands into the pockets of his shorts before he slumped into the vacant lawn chair beside his mother. “Tell us about him again,” Lily repeated. Jase watched as Serina held the basketball underneath her arm, the hairs on the back of his neck suddenly stood on end and a chill ran down his spine. He had never had that sort of feeling before. He was surprised when Serina met his gaze with an almost menacing look on her face. She blinked hard and resumed shooting the basketball as Lily crowded around Liz’s feet. Serina was his mother’s closest friend and he had known her all his life. Why did he suddenly feel like he couldn’t trust her? Shaking the thoughts from his brain, he returned his gaze to his mother, her eyes now brimming with tears.

“I was sixteen when your father healed me,” she began in a quiet whisper.


* * *

Livvie yawned and curled against Amy on the sofa, her tiny eyelids fighting to stay open. Alex, Joshua, Larissa and Evan were stretched across the floor of Diane’s living room, playing Chutes and Ladders. When Diane wiped the dust off the game and handed it to the kids, she had never imagined they’d play the old game for more than an hour. Max, Michael and Isabel had played for hours on end but she knew theirs had been a different childhood, a different time. She turned
away from the foursome in the living room and toward Maria and Kyle who were sharing a private laugh around her kitchen table. She smiled slightly, her arms full of dishes and her heart suddenly sad that Philip was not there to share in this happy moment. “Livvie’s asleep, Maria,” Diane said as she carefully placed the dessert plates in the kitchen sink.

“And Evan’s almost out,” Amy replied, carrying the four-year-old bundle in her arms into the kitchen.

“Take the kids back to Liz’s,” Maria responded, handing her car keys to her mother. “I’m going to stay a little bit longer.”

“Honey, you shouldn’t be walking back to Liz’s, especially in your condition.”

Kyle stepped in front of Maria when he saw her open her mouth to respond. He tried to hide his own laugh, knowing that Amy just cared about Maria’s health but always managed to stick her foot in her mouth when she mentioned it. “I’ll drive her to Liz’s, Amy.”

“Kyle -”

“Are you sure?”

Kyle shook his head. “It’s not a problem,” he said, ushering Amy out of the kitchen as Maria and Diane followed.

Amy carried Livvie to Maria’s car while Kyle carried a sleeping Evan and Larissa and Joshua followed. Maria, Kyle and Diane stayed on the front porch until the taillights of Maria’s car disappeared into the darkness and the three returned to the house.

“I’ll help you clean this up,” Maria said after Diane sent Alex to bed. She stooped beside the game board slowly and winced as a sharp pain shot through her back. She placed her hand gently across her stomach, the pain stopping the instant she touched herself. After several seconds, and as Kyle straightened the numerous children’s books Amy had been reading to Livvie, she began picking up the game pieces. Once the task was complete, she handed the box to Kyle who placed it back in its rightful spot on the bookshelf.

They walked into the kitchen, only to see Diane in dishwater up to her elbows. Maria stepped toward Diane and picked up a towel to help dry the dishes when she surprised herself by yawning. She quickly covered her mouth with the towel as Diane laughed. “Go home, Maria. I can finish this.”

“Oh, no, Diane. We made this mess and it’s -”

Diane turned away from Maria, rolling her eyes at Kyle. “Kyle, please take her home.” Kyle smiled weakly as he shoved one of Diane’s chocolate chip cookies into his mouth. Diane smiled in response and once again turned toward Maria. “Go home.”

Maria hugged Diane, thanking her for the meal and company and she and Kyle walked toward the door but not before Kyle took several of Diane’s cookies with him for the road. Diane waved a soapy hand at them as they closed the door behind them. Maria and Kyle were just two feet away from Kyle’s truck when the Evans house exploded in a fireball, sending them flying forward and knocking them unconscious.

posted on 13-May-2002 9:10:17 PM by JO
PART EIGHTEEN

Tess stood in the window on the third floor, watching as Max, Isabel, Michael and Liz dealt with the knowledge that she was indeed in Copper Summit. She twirled her hair on her index finger, a sardonic smile creeping across her lips. She glanced to her left as the clock began to chime eight tones, the smile rounding into a laugh.

“What’s so funny?”

She spun around quickly, surprised to see Kivar. The rest of her laugh died in her throat as she watched him walk into the room. He was an amazing man and she had given herself to him fully and completely, for his cause and his pleasure. She would hate to describe him as ordinary, but that’s exactly what he was. There were no scars on his perfect body, no distinguishing features on his perfect face, and while she would admit she loved him, she was not in love with him. Knowing and being with Kivar was merely a means to an end of accomplishing her goal.

Summer 2003

Tess sat on the edge of Max’s bed, her fingers playing with the fabric of the comforter. Max scurried around her, packing several things in his small duffle bag while Isabel chased after him. Isabel had almost stepped on her toes several times, prompting glares to pass between the two once friends.

“I can’t believe you’re going to trust her, Max,” Isabel pleaded as Max continued to shove clothes into the bag. “You know how she is.”

“Ouch,” Tess replied, her voice dripping with mock hurt. “I’m sitting right here, Isabel.”

Isabel glared at Tess momentarily and Tess wondered if indeed they could shoot death rays out of their eyes. Concentrating hard, she aimed at the framed picture of Liz resting on Max’s night stand. After several seconds with no reaction, she resumed her game of pulling threads out of Max’s comforter.

“Think about what you’re doing, Max. “We don’t really know what she’s capable of.”

“You’re supposed to be her friend, Isabel. You’re supposed to want to support me.”

“She killed Alex, remember?” Max stopped packing the duffle, his whole body filling with tension. Slowly raising his head to meet Isabel’s face, he saw the concern for him in her eyes. She was silently pleading with him, straining to break through the wall Max had placed around himself in the hours since Tess’ surprise arrival. “Don’t go with her, Max. Please.”

Tess quickly glanced up from her game of pulling thread to watch Max and Isabel’s exchange. Her jaw twitched as she watched Max’s determination falter. Slowly reaching out to him, she grazed her hand along his thigh and smiled in triumph as Max resumed packing. “I’m going Isabel. I have to find my son.”


“Ah,” Kivar said, peering over her shoulder. “I see Max Evans has paid us a visit.”

“Yes, but he won’t be here for long.”

“You should stop these playing these games, sweet Tess,” he said as she pushed her hair away from her neck in order to kiss her.

“I’m simply helping you destroy Max,” she purred, her lips pursed in hopes he would move from her neck to her mouth. When he did not, she deftly crossed her arms across her chest and stepped closer to the window.

“You’re hurting Max because he didn’t love you,” Kivar replied, standing beside her in front of the window. “I suppose I should be concerned that Tristan may not even be Max’s child, but I don’t know which instance I’d be more angry about, Tristan not being Max’s son, or Absalom not being mine.” Tess firmly set her jaw and spun on her heels to face him, her blue eyes glistening with fire. Kivar glanced at her out of the corner of his eye and laughed slightly. “Maybe you should seek the comfort of the good general, as you have been prone to do.”

“You insipid fool,” she spat, her fists clenched so tightly her knuckles were white. “How dare you -”

“How dare you,” Kivar boomed, his amusement of the situation quickly turning to anger. He swatted his hand at Tess, causing her body to fly across the room and crash into the wall. “You forget who you are talking to, sweet Tess. It would suit you well to remember.” He was at her side before she could collect her thoughts, offering his hand in assistance which she angrily shook away. Kivar backed away slowly, their eyes never losing contact.

* * *

“Are you sure, Lily,” Absalom asked, trying to quiet the excited girl. She had been in near hysterics since she awoke, and Absalom was certain a guard would hear the noise and come to investigate.

“Yes, I am,” she screamed, flailing her arms. Absalom stumbled backwards as Lily shook off his attempts to grab her. “I have to find them. I have to get to them.” She turned blindly toward the door and was met by the menacing face of Absalom’s half-brother, Tristan.

“You’re not going anywhere, Lily,” he seethed. “Not tonight.”

* * *

“What’s the plan, Max,” Isabel quietly asked. Before Max could answer, Michael’s cell phone ring cut through the silence.

“Answer it,” Max cautioned as he, Isabel and Liz glanced around their perimeter, hoping Michael’s mistake had not cost them the element of surprise.

Michael fumbled through the back pack as the phone continued ringing. He answered it with annoyance in his voice, just like he always answered the phone, but he could feel something was wrong somewhere.

Max, Isabel and Liz heard Amy’s shrill voice on the other end and watched Michael’s complexion go deathly pale. Max grabbed Michael’s arm just in time to steady him before he dropped the phone. “We have to get to Roswell, Max,” he said, tears streaming down his cheeks. “Something’s happened.” Max glanced between Isabel and Liz as their own faces paled.

* * *

“I thought we were going to destroy Max. Destroying him means you have to destroy those he loves,” Tess said.

“You are merely playing games with him and when he catches up with you, you’ll pay for your games with your life.” Turning his back to her, he placed his hand on the ornate panel in the wall, the wall slid open revealing his large throne room. He calmly walked into the room, knowing Tess would follow him. “Besides, if I wanted Max Evans dead, I would have killed him a long time ago.”

“Who’s playing games now,” she asked, arching her eyebrow as Kivar sat down on the large chair in the center of the room. He ignored her, turning to look out the window in time to see the four figures running away from town. He glanced at Tess and watched the sardonic smile return to her face.

“You’ve done something, haven’t you?”

“I’m destroying Max,” she smugly replied. “One piece at a time.”

Summer 2003

“One piece at a time, Max,” Tess said, purposely rubbing her breasts against Max’s arm as they sat beside each other on the floor. “Just because we didn’t find any answers today doesn’t mean we won’t find them tomorrow.”

“Why would Kivar want to kidnap our son,” Max fumed as he dropped the metal-plated book on the carpet. “I thought he wanted me.”

“He does,” she purred, “and to get you, Kivar will do anything, Max, even kidnap our son.”

“But he was okay, right? I mean, nothing was wrong with him.”

Tess smiled and stroked the back of his hair, pulling him closer to her. “He’s beautiful, Max. He acts so much like you. I...I just want to get him back.” She bit her lip and tears welled in her eyes. Max threw his arms around her in comfort, surprised that Tess could be such a passionate and concerned mother.

“We’ll find him, Tess.”

“Kiss me, Max,” she whispered as she brushed her lips against Max’s cheek. “Maybe we can open a connection to him.” Licking his lips, Max hesitantly nodded and lowered his lips onto Tess. He was unaware that at that exact moment, Liz stood outside his bedroom window, watching the entire ordeal as it unfolded. Tess, however, knew precisely the exact moment Liz Parker had appeared outside Max’s window.


“You are the fool,” Kivar began, midway out of his chair to confront her when he saw Tristan appear, dragging a small girl behind him. Kivar glared at Tess, easing himself back into his chair as he gave Tristan permission to enter.

“Most humble king,” Tristan began, causing Tess to roll her eyes. Absalom, having followed Tristan to the throne room, also rolled his eyes. Kivar once again glared at Tess and she sat down slowly in the chair she occupied during Kivar’s royal proceedings. Because of how Tristan had greeted him, this was one of those proceedings. “I present to you a gift to honor your greatness.” Tristan bowed regally and thrust Lily forward toward Kivar, causing her to stumble and fall. Absalom lurched forward but quickly remembered his place and hesitantly returned to the shadows. “A new bride for your new campaign.”

“I object,” Tess spat, standing up so violently her chair fell backwards into the floor. Absalom cautiously made his way toward the center of the room, also wanting to object to Tristan’s insane gift. “This...she is only a child. She is not of noble blood or birth and simply cannot -”

“Enough,” Kivar said, raising his hand to silence Tess. He motioned for Lily to come forward, his eyes widening with each timid step she took toward his throne. “Who is your father, dear one?” Absalom cringed as he watched his father brush a stray hair away from Lily’s delicate face. His fists clinched at his side when he saw his father’s eyes light up and Absalom knew he was enjoying the way Lily’s skin felt against his own. His eyes blurred and he noticed Tristan staring at him, the same menacing look on his face as was there when he came for Lily. Absalom’s eyes widened in horror, knowing that Tristan had somehow become aware of his feelings for Lily and was now giving her to Kivar, his father, his king.

“Max Evans,” she quietly replied, tears streaming down her cheeks.

“Of noble blood,” Kivar said, looking over Lily to Tess, whose own eyes bore the shock she felt. If Kivar took Lily as his bride when the time came, she would once again be replaced and would lose everything to a human. “And your mother,” he asked, turning his attention back to Lily.

“Liz Parker.”

“You miss her, don’t you?” Kivar took her hand into his and Absalom felt his entire body heat in rage. Lily nodded her head, her eyes never leaving the floor. “Then you should be with her,” he said, causing Lily’s head to snap up, her amber eyes filling with tears. Kivar looked past her, his eyes catching Absalom’s and he motioned for his son to step forward.

Absalom crept slowly past Lily, turning his eyes slightly to look at her. His father still held onto her hand but out of the corner of his eye, he could see her head turn in his direction. “Do you know this girl,” Kivar demanded as Absalom bowed in front of him.

“I do,” he replied, his voice not nearly as shaken as he had imagined it would be. “Her name is Lily Parker.”

“And do you know her brother?”

“I know of him, my king, but I do not know him.”

“Not as well as you know Lily, it would seem,” Kivar mumbled, yet loud enough for his mother and Tristan to hear and for Absalom to hear Tristan’s snort in response. Absalom could feel his mother standing beside him and closed his eyes in preparation for the fury both of his parents were about to unleash on him for his disobedience.

“Absalom,” she questioned, her blue eyes bright with wonder.

“She is my friend.”

“She is your enemy,” his mother spat, stepping in front of him, her blue eyes quickly clouding. “How long has this been happening?”

“That is not important, Tess.”

Tess glared at Kivar. “It most certainly is. Absalom knows the rules of this compound. He knows your rules, Kivar, and he broke them by associating with her.

“Would you like to see your mother, Lily,” Kivar asked, ignoring Tess’ rantings. He stroked the back of her hand gently. Absalom balled his hands into fists, trying to control the simmering rage he felt in the pit of his stomach.

“Yes, I would,” she said and Absalom’s heart softened. She was just a child, a child that missed her mother and brother.

Kivar placed his hand underneath her chin, raising her head to meet his. “Then you shall.” He smiled sweetly at her, Absalom unaware that his father would ever be merciful toward anyone. “Take her to her room, Tristan, and make certain she is ready for her trip home.” Kivar released Lily’s small hand carefully and Absalom watched in horror as Tristan lead her away. “And as your punishment, my son,” Kivar began, turning toward Absalom with Lily still on the fringes of his view. “You are to kill her brother.”

posted on 13-May-2002 9:13:44 PM by JO
PART NINETEEN

“What happened, Michael,” Max asked once they were back at the SUV. Michael had quickly gained his composure after Amy’s phone call and ran back to the desert, leaving Max, Isabel and Liz no choice but to follow him. Michael had uncovered the SUV and was sitting in the back waiting for the others to arrive. They wordlessly climbed in and Max drove toward Roswell. Liz looked out the window, waiting for Michael to answer. She wiped her face and touched her heart again, knowing that her children had been in that compound and that she had been so close to getting them back but she didn’t dare speak because she too could feel that something was wrong in Roswell.

“There was an accident,” Michael finally responded. Isabel took his hand into hers but Michael refused to say anything else at that moment. It was almost two hours before he spoke again.

“It was an explosion.”

“An explosion? Where,” Isabel questioned.

“At your house,” he said quietly, removing his hand from Isabel’s grasp. “Maria, Amy, the kids and Kyle were at your house for dinner. Maria sent Amy and the kids back to Liz’s place and as she and Kyle were leaving, the house exploded.”

“Mom,” Isabel asked, her eyes brimming with tears. “Oh my God, and Alex?”

Michael looked away from her and Isabel began to wail at the top of her lungs. Max quickly pulled the SUV onto the side of the road and jumped into the back seat to try and calm Isabel down. “Oh my God,” she cried. “And Alex. Our mother. Oh my God!”

Liz closed her eyes, silently thanking God that her children were still alive; captured but alive.

* * *

“No!” Lily wrenched away from Tristan’s grasp and ran quickly to the foot of Kivar’s throne. “No, please don’t kill him. Please. I...I’ll do anything.”

Absalom looked slightly to his left and noticed the wide smile that brimmed across Tristan’s face. They had planned this. His father and his brother had planned to take Lily from him and to tarnish him in her eyes by having him kill her brother. Absalom watched in horror as Lily bowed on her knees before his father, her hands drawn up under her chin, her shoulders shaking as she continued to cry.

“You would sacrifice yourself so your brother could live? Is that what you are saying, Lily?”

“Please, Kivar,” she begged. “Please don’t kill my brother. Please.” Her amber eyes shone brightly with tears and Absalom could only watch in shock.

“You would remain with me if I let your brother live?”

No, Lily, he wanted to scream, but he knew it was too late. Lily had made her choice and she had chosen a life of imprisonment with Kivar in exchange for her brother’s freedom. He hung his head in defeat and could have sworn he heard his heart break into a million pieces when she answered his father’s question.

“Yes, I will.”

* * *

Max parked the SUV in one of the emergency room parking spaces just outside Roswell Community Hospital. Before he completely stopped the car, Michael and Isabel exited the vehicle and were in a dead heat run toward the emergency room door. He and Liz quickly followed their trail.

“Hey Michael,” Joshua said as Michael and Isabel ran into the waiting room. They both screeched to a halt and bent down to Joshua’s level.

“Where’s Maria,” Michael asked, his voice sounding more demanding than he meant. Joshua stumbled backward in response to Michael’s tone of voice but Michael quickly steadied the boy and kept him from falling.

“Maria is in room 702. Mom’s with her.”

“Thanks buddy,” Michael replied, mussing Joshua’s hair slightly before ran out of the emergency room toward the elevators. Isabel’s eyes widened but Joshua looked at the ground instead of meeting her gaze. She slumped into one of the chairs in the waiting room just as Max and Liz entered the room.

“I’m sorry, Isabel,” Joshua quietly said, placing his hand on Isabel’s shoulder. “Alex was my very best friend.” As in the car, Isabel’s eyes immediately flooded with tears and Max released Liz’s hand to rush to her side. Isabel pushed Joshua out of her way and collapsed into Max’s open arms. Liz lowered her head and slowly stepped toward them as Isabel continued to cry.

Isabel wiped her nose on the shoulder of Max’s shirt, catching Liz’s movement toward them. Instantly she was out of Max’s arms and standing in front of Liz, an angry look flashing in her eyes. “This is your fault,” she screamed, pointing her finger in Liz’s face. “You did this.”

“Isabel, it’s not Liz’s -”

“Don’t try to defend her, Max. Not this time,” she said, shaking her head. “You killed my mother and my son just as if you’d done it yourself. You brought this plague back to Roswell, Liz. And now look at how many people are hurt by it.”

“Isabel, I -”

“I don’t want to hear anything you have to say, Liz. You have been nothing but trouble since day one. If I had been there that day, you’d be the dead one right now.”

Max grabbed Isabel’s arm, spinning her away from Liz. “You don’t mean that, Isabel.”

“Yes, I do, Max. At this moment, I hate her more than I could ever hate Tess.” She quickly spun around to face Liz, who was now holding Joshua’s hand. “Why don’t you go back to wherever you came from. No one wants you here.” Isabel turned away from Liz and walked back to the chair she had risen from moments earlier, covering her face with her hands as she walked.

Max stepped closer to Liz, who, in response, stepped away from him, tears streaming down her face. “She’s just hurting, Liz. She didn’t mean it.”

“I...I’m going to see Maria,” Liz quietly replied, not meeting Max’s eyes. She turned and briskly walked toward the elevators, Joshua following closely behind.

* * *

“I’m so sorry, Michael,” Amy said, placing her arms around Michael’s shoulders. Michael held Maria’s hand and gently squeezed it. He looked to the corner of the hospital room, Evan and Livvie asleep in the large chair, Evan’s arm protectively draped across Livvie’s shoulders. He gritted his teeth, inadvertently squeezing Maria’s hand again. She squeezed it in response and opened her eyes, smiling weakly.

Michael quickly wiped his face, knowing that if Maria saw him crying, she’d kick his ass. Amy patted his back several times before stepping out into the hall to give them a moment alone. Michael waited until the door was closed behind them before he covered Maria’s hand with his head, beginning to cry again. “I’m so sorry, baby. I’m sorry I wasn’t here.”

Maria reached across her body to lightly stroke Michael’s head. He grabbed her other hand, taking them both to his mouth to kiss them. “I love you, Michael.”

“God, I love you, Maria and I’m so sorry I couldn’t save -”

“Ssshhh,” Maria said, placing her fingertips on Michael’s mouth. “Let’s not talk about it right now. I’m just glad Livvie and Evan -”

“Oh, I know,” Michael said, his voice cracking at the thought of losing his other children and Maria in one fatal swoop. “We’ll get through this.”

“I know we will, baby,” Maria replied softly. “We always do.”

* * *

Liz and Joshua walked slowly toward Maria’s hospital room. Joshua had explained how Amy and the kids had left Diane’s early when Amy realized she forgotten her pie plate at Diane’s and she had promised to make Livvie’s favorite pie for lunch the next day. It was Amy that had called emergency people after she and Joshua found Kyle and Maria lying unconscious in the street and the Evans home in flames. The second person she had called was Michael. The doctors had told Amy and Joshua that Maria and Kyle should consider themselves extremely lucky. Kyle had broken his left jaw, his left collarbone and shoulder and his left arm. The only injuries Maria had sustained were the loss of the baby and four bruised ribs.

Who would do this, Liz wondered as she spotted Amy in the hallway outside Maria’s room. Who would have a reason to want to hurt any of them? She wrapped her arms around her waist and a sudden current rippled through her stomach, her mind flooded with the image of a small, dark-haired, giggling boy. She fell to her knees and Amy quickly rushed to her side. “Liz? Are you alright?”

“I...I’m fine,” she said, standing up slowly, confused by the image she had just seen. “I...I’m just a little shaky.”

“It’s understandable,” Amy replied, slipping her arm around Liz’s waist. “I’m a little shaky too.”

Liz smiled feebly as Amy walked her to Maria’s door, unable to push past the anxious feeling growing inside her heart.

posted on 13-May-2002 9:15:37 PM by JO
PART TWENTY

Liz slowly walked into Maria’s hospital room, her heart in her throat. Isabel’s words rang through her mind at a deafening volume. This is your fault. You did this. No one wants you here. Liz relaxed somewhat when she saw Maria asleep in her bed, Michael and the kids surrounding her. There was no doubt in her mind Tess had once again managed to cause a rift in their group, yet somehow, she knew she was partially responsible. First her children, then her parents and now her friends, all hurt in some way because of her arrival in Roswell. Tears instantly filled her eyes and she spun blindly toward the door. Jerking it open, she streaked past Amy, Joshua and Larissa. She ran at full speed, tears streaming down her face, her muffled cries dying in her throat. She had to get out. She had to leave.

She rounded the corner, out of control. She narrowly missed crashing into a wheelchair and had to correct herself quickly to keep from injuring herself and the wheelchair’s occupant. Several nurses glared at her as she ran, but she did not stop. She just kept running. She shoved open the front doors of the hospital, looking from left to right several times. Then it hit her: there was no place for her to go, no place left for her to run. Her children needed her and they also needed
Max. She slumped her shoulders in defeat and walked to the nearest bench. She sat down, immediately beginning to rock back and forth in agitation. Lowering her head, she covered her face with her hands and silently cried.

* * *

“Where’s Liz,” Max asked Amy, some two hours after he, Michael, Liz and Isabel had arrived at the hospital. Isabel had been unconsolable and a doctor had suggested giving her a sedative to cope with the shock of her mother and son’s tragic deaths. Max had reluctantly agreed but was glad now that Isabel seemed to be sleeping comfortably in one of the lounges. After securely locking the door of the lounge, he had immediately went to find Liz, the memory of Isabel’s harsh words still ringing in his ears.

“I....she ran out of Maria’s room almost two hours ago,” Amy stuttered, brushing back the hair out of Larissa’s eyes. “She ran around the corner and I haven’t seen her since.”

Max’s eyes widened just before he too ran down the hallway, following Liz’s path from two hours earlier. He slowed at the corner, mentally debating with himself which way to turn. He chose to go right and briskly walked down the long corridor toward the front doors of the hospital. He roughly shoved the doors open, the panic in his throat slowly rising to the surface. He scanned the exterior of the hospital for Liz, his fear taking over his brain. He quickly spun and walked back into the main lobby. He was almost to the security desk when he saw Liz stumble out of the women’s restroom.

“Liz,” he cried as he ran toward her. She raised her head slightly and Max ran faster when he saw how pale she looked. She braced herself against the wall and would have collapsed on the floor had it not been for Max’s arms around her waist. The second he touched her, his mind was assaulted with images. The most startling image to flood into Max’s mind was the image of a small boy, probably four years old, his brown doe-like eyes shining brightly as he laughed. He squeezed Liz’s waist tighter, his vision suddenly blurry. The air around them crackled with electricity causing the lights in the hallway to flicker and when Liz touched Max’s shoulder to
steady herself, the jolt sent them flying backwards against the wall.

Max recovered quickly and crawled to Liz’s side. His mind was a whirlwind of emotions and thoughts, having never experienced something like this with Liz before, despite their powerful connection. He touched her cheek, a slight electric current shocking him again. Liz slowly opened her eyes and he recognized them to be the same brown doe-like eyes he’d seen in his vision. “I....I think I’m...pregnant,” she mumbled softly before she lost consciousness.

* * *

“Take her to her room,” Kivar said to Tristan, dismissing he and Lily with the wave of his hand. “And make sure she’s comfortable.” Tristan roughly grabbed Lily’s upper arm and Absalom’s jaws tightened in response to Lily’s small cry of pain. She glanced over her shoulder at him quickly, causing Absalom to take three small steps, intent on following her.

“Stay,” his mother commanded and Absalom halted his forward progress. Tristan and Lily vanished out of the throne room but Absalom managed to catch one more fleeting glance of her before the doors closed. “Sit,” she ordered once the guards were cleared of the room, sliding her chair toward him. He straightened the chair and sat down, preparing for the verbal abuse that both parents were going to hurl at him.

Instead, his mother turned her venom on Kivar. “What the hell are you doing? This is no way to destroy Max.” Absalom watched as his father slowly stood from his make-shift throne as his mother continued her advance.

“What better way to destroy Max, sweet Tess -”

“Stop talking in riddles,” she screamed, her blue eyes flashing. Absalom flinched at the volume of his mother’s outburst. “Just give me a damned straight answer, Kivar.”

“You didn’t let me finish,” Kivar replied, sweeping her long, blonde curls off her shoulders with both hands. He rested his hands calmly on her shoulders, gently moving the up and down along the curve of her upper arms. “What better way to destroy Max than to take his only daughter as my wife,” he asked, wrapping one arm around her waist, pulling her tight against him. “What better way to make him suffer than to imprison her and force her to have my child?”

“And the boy,” Tess asked as she draped her arms across Kivar’s shoulders.

“Nicholas has seen fit to take care of that problem.” Kivar swept his mouth across hers and Tess hungrily captured his lips. Their bodies crashed against each other, a yellow glow surrounded them. Absalom turned away from his parents, horrified by their display of affection while plotting a murder, and swiftly exited the room unnoticed. Once outside the throne room, he ran down the corridor into the bowels of the compound. Stopping several minutes later, he knocked three
times against the wall, a door appearing on his left. Glancing over his shoulders, he swiftly entered the room, securing the door behind him.

“Absalom?”

“It’s me, Meran,” he replied as a old man hobbled toward the door. “I need your help.”

“It’s about her, isn’t it?”

“I have to save her brother,” Absalom said, his ice blue eyes filled with determination.
posted on 13-May-2002 9:20:22 PM by JO
PART TWENTY-ONE

“You know the price of helping him,” Meran asked, his green-blue eyes reflecting the dim glow from the naked light bulb. Absalom met his eyes momentarily and quickly looked away. He sighed, his shoulders slumping forward as he sat down on the stool he had used so many times before. He furrowed his brows and Meran watched in anticipation as Absalom weighed the pros and cons of the situation in his mind.

“Do you know the price of helping him,” Absalom quietly asked, not meeting Meran’s intense gaze.

“I do, my boy, but I have been waiting five eternities for this.” He plodded carefully to Absalom’s side, resting his hand on the boy’s shoulder. “It is a difficult choice to make. Time -”

“But he doesn’t have time,” Absalom pleaded, finally meeting Meran’s timeless eyes. “Nicholas can -”

“Can be easily manipulated,” Meran responded with a wave of his hand. “The great general is not as great as he thinks.” He laughed slightly, turning away from Absalom.

“What should I do, Meran? Help me, advise me.”

“I have advised you, my boy, and buried within you are the answers you seek.” Absalom rolled his eyes, sharply turning his head away from Meran. “You know what the soothsayer said, Absalom. You know your destiny.”

Absalom shook his head, fighting back tears. The old soothsayers words echoed in his head. You are the strong one, Absalom. Your battles shall be hard and divide houses but you will prevail. “What if I don’t believe in destiny,” he asked, sounding like the scared boy he was instead of the brave man he was trying to be. “What if the soothsayer was wrong and I’m not meant for anything?” Meran smiled slightly at him and Absalom felt an eerie calm overcome him.

“Nothingness is not your destiny, Absalom,” Meran responded with more conviction than Absalom had ever from him before. Meran realized his tone and immediately cleared his throat. “You must choose what side you are on. If you help this boy, you can never come back here. You will lose everything about your life. You will become Kivar’s enemy and like the remaining royals, you will be hunted.” Meran paused, watching Absalom’s face for signs of doubt. “What do you choose, Absalom?”

Absalom slowly bowed his head, closing his eyes tightly. Flashes of Lily entered his mind. Lily, with long dark hair and a glowing smile. Lily’s amber eyes filled with passion and love. Lily’s once flat stomach protruding as their child grew inside her. Lily as an old woman, her amber eyes sparkling with love for him. He raised his head, a new confidence alive inside him. “I choose her,” he said. “I choose Lily.”

Well done, my boy, Meran thought as he lead Absalom into the catacombs of the compound. Well done indeed.

* * *

Liz lay silently on her bed, curled into a fetal position. The moon shone faintly through her window and she closed her eyes momentarily, listening in the darkness for Max. But she heard nothing. He had helped her after her revelation in the hospital, yet she felt a coolness from him she’d never known existed within Max. He had tucked Isabel into her parents’ bed hours earlier and while Liz lay alone in the darkness, she knew Max was sitting in the living room, also alone in the darkness.

She stood up from her bed and walked out of her room, glancing toward where Isabel slept at the end of the hall. She breathed a sigh of relief when she saw that Max had closed the door and she continued lightly walking through the apartment to the living room. She saw his shadowy figure through the darkness sitting motionless on the couch. She took several steps toward him when his voice boomed through the silent room, startling her. “We can’t...tell them.” Liz walked toward him and gently sat on the opposite end of the couch.

“About the baby,” she said, her hands grazing her stomach.

“Yes,” Max replied and Liz felt the couch shake, knowing he was shifting his weight. She nervously bit her bottom lip and pulled her feet underneath her. His mind unwillingly flashed back to the last time he had heard he was a father.

It’s just...what happened between us...it has all these...implications.

“And you believe me?”

“I saw him, Liz.” Liz glanced at him and saw his face move toward her for a split second then turn away. “I had a flash in the hospital.” They sat in the darkened room together for several seconds, the silence deafening.

This is my child, too and I fully accept that, but I also want you to know that this is your decision and I will respect whatever you decide.

“Maybe I should just go,” she said abruptly. “I mean, Isabel was right, Max. Everything that’s happened is my fault. I could leave and no one would ever know about the baby.”

“I’d know.”

I said I would stand by you.

“Yes,” she said. “You’d know.” She paused, her heart conflicted between staying in Roswell, allowing Max to be the wonderful father she knew he would be or leaving. “I think leaving would be for the best,” she finally responded. “I can’t handle hurting Maria like this.”

“And running won’t hurt her just the same,” Max snapped and Liz winced at the anger in his voice. “What about Jase and Lily,” he asked, his voice calmer now. “We have to get them back.”

Hey, my entire life changed overnight and I think I’m entitled to get a little freaked!

“I can get them back, Max. I know they’re in Copper Summit and after I’m gone, you can just tell everyone I left in the middle of the night -”

That’s not what I meant, I...

He shook his head, willing those other memories to remain dormant. Glancing out of the corner of his eye at Liz, his mind was filled with new memories, memories of the life they could have with Jase, Lily and this new baby. Memories that warmed his heart, not turned it to stone. “Not alone, Liz. You’re not going alone.” She inhaled sharply as she felt him move closer to her. The hairs on her arms stood on end and a strange silver shimmer glistened off her skin. Max continued moving closer to her and she felt his breath hit her neck, causing her to audibly moan. “You said you wouldn’t run anymore.” He brushed his hand against her arm, sparking the same current that had shocked them in the hospital and Liz’s body shook in response. “I felt that,” he whispered, his breath hot against the coolness of her neck. She inhaled sharply as he planted his warm mouth against her skin in a tender kiss. “Did you feel it?” Liz nodded slightly and Max nuzzled against her, wrapping his arms around her waist. “I...I can’t let you go. Not now.”

“Because of the baby?”

“Because of you, Liz. Because of how much I love you.” He threaded his hands through her hair, roughly pulling her face flush against his. “Because of how much I need you. Because if you left, I’d go insane. Roswell is a dark place without you, Liz, and I don’t want to be in the dark anymore.” He held his palm away from her face, illuminating the candles throughout the room and returned his hand to the side of Liz’s face. She smiled sweetly as Max traced paths across her face with his nose. “I love you, Liz. I will always love you.” He traced his hands lovingly across her stomach.

“I love you too, Max,” she whispered just before their lips crashed together.

posted on 13-May-2002 9:24:35 PM by JO
PART TWENTY-TWO

Absalom and Meran emerged from the catacombs of the compound in the prisoner room adjacent to Jase’s cell. Absalom held his palm outward toward the adjoining wall when Meran clasped his shoulder, almost driving him to the floor. Meran placed his hand on the wall and after several seconds the wall disappeared, giving Absalom a perfect entrance into Jase’s cell. He lunged forward, again Meran’s hand restrained him. Before Absalom could ask why he was restrained a second time, Nicholas appeared on the fringes of his vision. Absalom and Meran watched as Nicholas slithered toward Jase and Absalom felt his blood begin to boil. Nicholas reached for Jase but abruptly stopped, turned away and left the cell. Absalom glanced at Meran for an explanation and noticed that Meran’s eyes were closed tightly, his brow furrowed in concentration. Turning back toward the wall, Absalom raised his hand, shattering the looking glass wall Meran had constructed with his mind. Jase’s eyes widened in terror as Absalom ran into his cell and the dark-haired boy stumbled away from the blonde boy.

Absalom extended his hand to Jase, his blue eyes mesmerized by how much Jase and Lily resembled each other. Jase, however, did not take Absalom’s outstretched hand, his eyes darting back and forth across the room. “I can help you,” Absalom excitedly whispered. “Take it.”

“Why should I believe you?”

“We don’t have much time. I can get you out of here but you have to take my hand right now. Nicholas will be back soon.”

Jase again glanced around the room and Absalom let his hand drop slightly before their eyes met. “You look so much like her,” Jase said, catching Absalom off guard as he grabbed his hand and pulled himself to his feet.

“Who?”

“Tess Harding.”

Absalom pulled Jase through the wall into the room where Meran had been patiently maintaining his warp over Nicholas. Absalom pressed his hand against the opposite wall, a secret door appearing at his touch.
“She’s my mother,” he replied as he grabbed Jase’s arm and pushed him through the doorway, he and Meran following close behind.

TWO DAYS LATER

Max, Isabel, Michael, Liz and Kyle stood around the graves of Diane Evans and Alex Evans Ramirez. Isabel was again heavily sedated, needing both Michael and Max to support her. Maria was still in recovery at the hospital and Kyle looked like he should have remained there for several days. Liz stood a few steps behind Max, her feelings of guilt multiplying with each one of Isabel’s cries. Very little remained of the Evans house and several of the homes neighboring it had sustained damage from the explosion. Just as her parents’ deaths had been declared the result of a mugging, the explosion had been listed as being caused by a gas leak.

Liz turned her head away quickly when she saw Isabel’s knees buckle, her eyes suddenly filling with tears. So much pain, all because of her. As if Max had read her mind, he turned slightly, catching a glimpse of her over his left shoulder. Her face warmed and she lifted her head, meeting Max’s loving gaze immediately. She smiled slightly and Max smiled his shy smile for her, just as he had done at her own parents’ funeral.

* * *

“Isabel,” Kyle said, knocking on the door of Liz’s parents’ room. “Are you awake?” He hesitantly walked in the room, uncertain if he should bother Isabel while she was trying to sleep.

“I’m awake, Kyle,” she responded, turning over on the bed to face him. She smiled slightly and Kyle walked toward the edge of the bed to sit down. He winced as he did so, his body unable to fully take the stress of day-to-day tasks. Isabel sat up beside him, pulling the covers around her shoulders. “You should let Max heal you,” she quietly replied, brushing her hand against his bruised cheek. Kyle felt a slight tingle and knew that Isabel was healing his face.

“You should let Max heal you,” he said, clasping her wrist as she dropped her hand from his cheek. She let her wrist fall onto his lap and intertwined their fingers.

“Max can’t heal me, Kyle. I don’t know if I’ll ever heal.”

“Don’t say that, Iz. When Dad died, it was...hard.” Kyle lowered his head, tracing the lines on Isabel’s hand with his thumb.

“This is just....different, Kyle”

“I know,” he replied, leaning across the bed. “Well, I’ll let you get some sleep.” He smiled at her and pursed his lips to kiss her cheek. It was their typical gesture among the two friends. He kissed Maria and Liz all the time and if he hadn’t known Michael would make fun of him, he would kiss Michael and Max. It was just a way for Kyle to let them know he was glad he had them and to make himself feel better at the end of his day. He leaned closer to her, his lips accidently brushing against the corner of her mouth causing Isabel to gasp. Kyle immediately released her hand and leaned away from her, shocked by his actions. “I...I’m sorry. God, Isabel,
I -”

She grabbed Kyle’s arm as he stood to leave and pulled him onto the bed, capturing his mouth with hers.

* * *

“Why are you helping me,” Jase asked as he, Absalom and Meran sat around a campfire in the middle of the desert. “You’re Kivar’s son and if what my mother said is true, you’re my enemy.”

“I’m no one’s enemy,” Absalom replied, poking the fire with a stick. “That war is long over.”

“Then why help me? Your mother obviously had plans for me or she wouldn’t have kidnaped me and Lily. Your brother -”

“He’s not my brother,” Absalom snapped, causing Meran to raise his head from his nightly meditations.

“He said he was your brother. You have the same eyes, the same face.”

“Well,” Absalom began, throwing the stick into the fire. “He’s not. We have the same mother. We both have blue eyes. That’s where the similarities end. I’m nothing like Tristan.”

“It...it doesn’t matter,” Jase responded after several minutes of silence. “I’m just trying to find out why you’re helping me.”

“Because of Lily,” Meran replied, causing both Absalom’s and Jase’s heads to snap toward him. Absalom hung his head slightly as a warmth spread through his body. He balled his hands into fists, trying to get his emotions under control. He had left her, left her to Tristan and Kivar and had saved her brother instead. He swore to himself that someday he would return to save her.

“How do you know about Lily? What have you done to her?” Jase flung himself at Absalom, knocking both of them to the ground. “Where’s Lily?”

“Nothing,” Absalom said, fending off Jase’s punches with his arms. “I haven’t done anything to Lily.”

“Silence,” Meran commanded, a bright pink light flashing from his fingertips across the desert sky. Absalom threw Jase off of him and both boys stood up slowly to face Meran who was now standing as well. “There are many things you do not know and many things that will now change your lives forever. Fighting solves nothing, no matter what you are taught.”

“Then tell us,” Jase said, his eyes trained on the faint stream of pink light still emanating from Meran’s fingertips. “Tell us what we don’t know.”

“Now is not the time,” the old man responded, slowly reclaiming his seat on the overturned log. “Just know that every royal has a destiny to uphold, a greater purpose written in the stars. It effects all of you, every member of your family and Lily is at its center.”

* * *

“The boy is gone, Kivar,” the guard said, bursting into the room Kivar shared with Tess. Tess fumed at the interruption, having almost gotten Kivar to agree to attack Max exactly where it would hurt him the most.

“Where is Nicholas,” Kivar boomed as he extended his hand toward the guard, the blinding white light obliterating him instantly. Tess shielded her eyes and grabbed her robe, following Kivar’s trail into the main hallway of the compound. “Where is Nicholas,” Kivar demanded again, this time to a hapless guard on a break from his outside patrols. When the answer did not come quick enough, the man disintegrated, scattering Tess with dust. She coughed and Kivar whirled toward her quickly, his hand extended. Tess pushed her palms outward in defense causing her energy shield to form just as Kivar sent a beam of light in her direction. The beam penetrated the shield and Tess fell down, unharmed as the shield dissipated. Kivar glared at her but turned on his heels and continued down the long hallway. “Where is Nicholas?”

“Absalom is gone as well, Kivar,” Nicholas replied from behind Tess, causing both Tess and Kivar to turn swiftly to face him.

“Absalom,” Tess squeaked, drawing her hands to her mouth as Kivar brushed past her almost knocking her down.

“What do you mean, Nicholas? What happened?”

“The boy and Absalom are missing, Kivar,” Nicholas said plainly. “So is Meran.”

“Meran,” Tess asked, attaching herself to Kivar’s side. They all knew what Meran’s involvement meant. Nicholas’ jaw twitched as he watched Tess’ silk robe flow with her movements. His eyes went directly to her breasts, heaving now as her complexion paled. Nicholas shook his head quickly and looked at the ground.

“Meran helped the boy escape.”

“And the girl,” Kivar asked, glancing down the opposite end of the hallway where Lily’s room was.

“She is safe. Tristan is standing guard.”

“Absalom helped him escape?”

Nicholas nodded. “It looks that way, Tess.”

“My God,” Tess said, covering her mouth with her hand as she spun away from Kivar’s side. “What are we going to do to get him back?”

“Get him back,” Nicholas asked, stepping closer to Tess. “Get who back?”

“Absalom,” she responded. “I want my son and Jase Parker back in this compound. How are we going to get them back? The boy deserves to be tortured for kidnaping Absalom.”

“We don’t,” Kivar said, his eyes still focused in the direction of Lily’s room. “We start a new war.



________________________

Author's Note: And that's the end of this piece, but - never fear - there is a sequel on the way, Chaos. Please look for it to begin on Friday!

jo

posted on 15-May-2002 7:12:12 PM by JO
Shameless bumping for you Breathless *wink* Your praise - oh ye goddess of RosFic - is...breath-taking!

BLS - The sequel (Chaos) will begin to be posted on Friday. Please look for it!!

Thanks so much for everyone's comments! Hope you'll look forward to reading the sequel as well!!!

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 16-May-2002 6:23:12 PM ]
posted on 16-May-2002 6:32:18 PM by JO
Just a primer for the sequel:

Jase and Lily Parker - Max and Liz's children (conceived after Michael and Maria's wedding when Liz confessed all to Max during a drunken binge); Both were kidnapped and taken to Copper Summit.

Tristan - Tess and Max's son

Absalom - Tess and Khivar's son; He feels a pull toward Lily that he doesn't really understand.

[NOTE: Tristan and Absalom also have a sister - Morgana who will feature prominantly in Chaos]

DECEASED (because I have a high body count)
Alex Whitman
Jim Valenti - by natural causes
Jesse Ramirez - in a gun fight protecting Isabel
Phillip Evans - by natural causes
Jeff and Nancy Parker - killed by skins
Diane Evans and Alex Ramirez - killed by skins
Serina Black - killed by ???



Okay? Everybody clear?? It's just hard to keep up with everyone, you know? And I just wanted to prepare. I will probably post a Pathos synopsis again after I officially start Chaos (tomorrow - yay!)