posted on 15-Sep-2001 5:36:45 PM by Priszm1978
Hey everyone! I decided to post all parts here so that if anyone is feeling lost they can just scroll up the screen and catch up.

Title Deceit
Category M/L, M/M, A/I, K/?
Rating Mostly PG-13, but does can include higher. There will be warnings if the rating changes.
Summary I'm rewriting Roswell. The shooting never happened. If you want to know how everyone finds out the truth, then you'll just have to read. Sorry to tell you, but Tess is in this. HOWEVER, before you let that turn you away, Tess is very bad and I can't bring myself to make her want to fulfill her destiny. So, without further ado, I bring you all parts!


I did it! I found the Royals. I have waited so very long for this day. I can remember when I first heard about them. Max Evans…so much like he used to be. Quiet, sensitive, always willing to put others ahead of himself. Oh, and don’t forget, loyal to a T! That was his downfall you know. He didn’t want to believe that everyone could have betrayed him. I can’t wait to see his face when he finds out he was right. You see, he was so close to everyone that he knew their thoughts and feelings. He didn’t need any special powers, just the love that he felt for them. And besides, his sister never could have done that to him, her loyalty first and always laid with the King, her brother. Isabel Evans…like Max she hasn’t changed at all either. The death of her father when she was just eight made an impression. She was daddy’s little girl and he just left her. The pain of her loss cut so deeply that she promised herself that she would never let anyone get close to her again. At least not to her heart. And trust me, she had a heart, bigger than all of our planets combined. Always the first to rush to anyone’s aide, willing to give whatever she could. I always wondered what would happen if she ever found the right man, the one who could look past all of her defenses. Maybe now I’ll get a chance to find out. I always knew it wasn’t Rath. He was always like another brother to her. She just agreed to marry him because she knew her heart was safe with him. Ahhh Rath or, as he is now known, Michael Guerin. There’s another that hasn’t changed. Always rash, quick to judge, even quicker to move into action. In a way he was the balance for Zan. Zan so cautious and Rath so impulsive. I wonder if Max remembers anything, if he still thinks that Rath betrayed him. Rath didn’t know, how could he have? After all, it was Ava who told him about the plans, the plans that turned out to be the downfall of the Royal Four. But more about that later, I would really rather think about it when I can be with the others.

So where was I? Oh yes, Rath, the impulsive one. Oh don’t get me wrong; he had his positive points too! I always thought that he was a lot like Vilondra. They both guarded their hearts, neither wanting to let in more pain. I know, you’re wondering why Rath felt he had to guard his heart. You see, then, just like now, he was an orphan. Poor Rath, his parents died in a boating accident when he was five. That’s how he met Zan and Vilondra, his aunt and uncle, the king and queen, took him in. The poor thing never got over the loss of his parents. Which is why he always felt like he had to guard his heart. I always knew that it would take a special someone to tear down the barriers he had put up. But he never met that someone in his lifetime. There was this one girl though. I don’t know how she did it, but somehow she managed to get under his skin. That boy would lay down his life for her if she asked. He’s lucky she never did. Especially since she became his Queen. I know, you’re all sitting there nodding your heads. You know who I’m talking about…Ava of course. See that’s the funny thing. While everyone else is pretty much the same, she somehow is different. She has to be; otherwise Zan would never have married her. She was a Queen to make everyone proud. She never flaunted it. Like Vilondra she was always willing to help where needed. Also like Rath and Vilondra, her marriage to Zan wasn’t a love match. Oh they did love each other, but not that all consuming love that everyone wants. No. It was more of a friendship kind of love, the way Ava loved Rath. Ah, but then again we have the betrayal. You see, Kivar set it all up. That man is a diabolical genius! He made it look like everyone betrayed Zan. He was really hoping to get the Royal Four to turn on each other. He never counted on the loyalty that lay within all of them.

I’m sorry. I can’t tell you more about the betrayal. See, that’s something that I will have to share with everyone, and I don’t want to say it twice. It’s just a lot to think about. But now that I’ve found them, I can put my plan in motion. I can work on fixing everything.

Part One

Dear Diary,

She did it again! As much as I love my sister, Brandy has got to stop living in fairy tales and start living in the real world. Huh! Who’d ever think that a sixteen year old would be the one to say that? I’m supposed to be the one who’s still living in la la land. And the stories she tells me; they’re not even the normal ones that everyone else gets to hear. They’re strange. And the names. I don’t even wanna know what she was smoking when she came up with those names. It’s almost like she took the concept of King Arthur and changed it.

I know, you’re wondering what it is she told me this time. This time she told me about the destiny. You know the basic story. Lord knows I’ve told it to you bunches of times. About King Zan, his sister Vilondra, his best friend Rath, and the queen-Ava. They sound like great people, all nice and loyal and all. But I know something went wrong. She never tells me what it was though. Tonight’s the first time she has ever told me about this destiny thing. I don’t know if I like that word, destiny. It makes it sound like people have no choice in their lives. I couldn’t stand knowing that my life was already heading down this set path. I wonder how the Kings and Queens of the world handle it?

Anyway, back to the story. Last one that Brandy told me she went over the war a little bit and told me that they died; that the Royal Four-as she calls them-ceased to exist. But now she’s changed her story. Can you see where I would wonder what she’s smoking? That’s besides the point. Brandy picked up where she left off last time, with the death of the Royal Four. Apparently there’s this prophecy in Antar (where did Brandy pick up that name? It’s as bad as the names for the Royal Four!) that states something to the effect of What once was shall again be or something strange like that! So okay, these four die. And I don’t know how other than there was a war. Zan’s momma, Queen Gabriella, knew that she couldn’t let them completely die. So she takes some blood from each, and goes to the royal scientists. It seems that they have been preparing for this day for a long, long time. They recreated the Royal Four! At this point I told Brandy she’s gotta stop with her crack. It’s totally messing with her brain cells! She just gave me that look. You know the one. Then she continued with her story. So they recreate the Royals and put them in these incubator tube type things so that they can grow. The scientists knew that it would take a while to find a safe place to put them, so they set the growth periods really slow. Brandy said it took like fifty years for the new Royals to look like they’re six year olds! I know, this story keeps getting stranger and stranger! So everyone gets ready to send the tube thingies off someplace safe when there’s an accident. And that’s where she stopped! Of all the nerve!!! I know I know. I keep teasing her and saying that the stories are ridiculous, but I do enjoy them. Shhhh! That’s between you and me. Hopefully she’ll decide to tell me more later. In the meantime, I gotta jet. It’s getting late and I have an Algebra test first thing tomorrow. Lucky me!


Roswell, New Mexico

Tess Harding walked into West Roswell High and looked around. She knew who she was looking for and she was hoping to see at least one of them right away this morning. Her head jerked up when she heard the bell. Tess let out a groan, knowing that she wasn’t going to get a chance anytime soon; she had to go to the office and get her new schedule. She was almost at the door when she ran into what felt like a brick wall. Looking up, she saw the strangest guy she’d ever seen. He was about 6’1” and his hair looked like it hadn’t seen a comb in a decade.

“Hey watch it!” The brick wall scowled at her then continued heading towards his first period. Secretly Tess smiled, knowing that she had just met Rath, or Michael Guerin, as he was known here.

“Hey Max! Wait up, I wanna ask you something!” Michael called out as soon as he saw his best friend, Max Evans. Max paused looking first at Michael and then focusing past him when Liz Parker came into view. “Max, hello! Wake up man!” Michael waved his hand in front of Max, hoping to snap his attention back.

Liz walked up and slid her hand into Max’s. After giving each other a quick kiss, they turned their attention to Michael. “Good Morning to you to Michael.” Max’s sarcasm only caused Michael’s scowl to deepen. “Funny Maxwell, very funny! We gotta meet tonight. I had the strangest dream and I think it means something.” Michael was looking around, pretending to make sure no one was listening but in reality he was looking for his on again girlfriend Maria DeLuca.

A grin spread across Liz’s face while she watched Michael. It turned into a full-fledged smile when she noticed her friend Alex Whitman walk up behind Michael. “Michael, do you really think that we need a meeting to hear about your wet dreams starring Maria? Ow!” Alex was prevented from saying anything more when he got smacked by his girlfriend, Isabel Evans. “God Alex! Could you be any cruder? It’s bad enough I’ve walked into those dreams, I don’t need to be reminded that he actually has them!” Michael turned red when everyone started laughing at the Isabel’s comments. “Hey! It’s not like that! My dream had nothing to do with sex! It’s like those dreams I was having last year…” Michael trailed off, waiting for Isabel and Max to remember what he was talking about.

Noticing the confused expressions, Max hurried to fill in Liz and Alex. “Last year Michael was having creation dreams. So we have an idea of how things started, aside from the crash, but we haven’t been able to find the location.” As Max finished his explanation the five-minute bell rang. Quickly setting up a time for the meeting later, everyone hurried off to their first period classes.

It’s started. Soon they will know who I am. But I have to remember to take my time, gain their trust. That’s the only way I can fix things.

Part Two

Arm in arm, Liz and Maria walked up to Liz’s room heading for her balcony where everyone was meeting. The two girls were giggling over the latest gossip, knowing that soon they would have to turn serious.

“Hey Liz, did you see that new girl? The blond with all the curls? I swear she looked like a gerbil!” Liz’s laughter increased as she pictured the girl Maria was talking about. “Really? I thought she looked more like a duck to me! My god! Can her shirt get any tighter? And that color! I thought the color of our uniforms were bad!”

Maria was laughing so hard she had to hold onto Liz to stay standing. “Hey Liz, I know! She’s not a gerbil and she’s not a duck She’s a-are you ready?-a Gerduck!!!!” The two walked into Liz’s room, both laughing so hard they had tears streaming from their eyes. Hearing their laughter, Isabel looked away from the mirror where she was fixing her make-up. Before she could say anything, Michael popped his head into the room. “Hey Max, the hyenas are here. Can we get started now? There’s a game on tonight!”

The three girls followed Michael through the window, Maria smacking his arm as she passed him. “Hey Space boy, there are things more important than a game you know!” Michael looked at Maria in disbelief. “Yeah, like what?” Maria shot him a coy look then sat down, taking her time in answering. “Well, there’s shopping, make-up, boys, sex, talking about the Gerduck…”

Liz couldn’t help it, she started to laugh again. This time it was her turn to hold on to someone so she didn’t fall over. Max looked at Liz, her face red with laughter and tears streaming down her cheeks. He laughter was so infectious that he started grinning. Isabel sighed and moved to peer over the ledge of the balcony. Alex looked around at everyone and just grinned, knowing that it was going to take a couple of minutes for Liz to calm down and Michael to catch up. Kyle was to first to notice what Maria had said. “You know Maria, I would have to agree with a part of what you said, sex is definitely more important than a game.” Kyle pasted his most innocent look onto his face while everyone’s heads whipped around to look at him.

Michael glowered at Kyle, silently warning him that this wasn’t a topic he really wanted to discuss at that moment. Shooting Kyle her patented glare, Isabel spoke up and changed the subject. “Maria, what is a Gerduck?”

At this point Liz was laughing so hard Max had to gently guide her to the ground. Her body was shaking so hard from the force of her laughter that he couldn’t keep a good grip. Maria started to laugh again. Between gasps for breath, she tried to tell the story. “You guys….you guys know the…the new…new girl?” Everyone nodded, impatiently waiting for her to continue. “Liz and I were…we were…talking about her. I said she…she looks like a…a…a…g…g…gerbil!” At this Maria started laughing even harder.

Liz, who’d calmed down somewhat, tried to continue the story. “I said that she looks like…like…like a duck! So Maria combined the two and…and…and we now have a Gerduck!”

Isabel, looking at Kyle and Alex, joined the other two girls on the ground. Maria was laughing so hard she was holding onto her sides. The laughter of Alex and Kyle mingled with that of the girls while Max’s grin just grew bigger. Michael scratched his eyebrow, confused as to who they were talking about. “Huh? What new girl? What are you talking about?” Max remembered seeing her walking around with Pam Troy. He described the girl to Michael. “Oh yeah. Her. She ran into me in the hall this morning. I think she’s been taking fashion advice from Pam!”

It took everyone some time to settle down. As soon as all eyes were dry and all make-up fixed (thanks to a little Samantha-genie-alien thingy) the meeting got started. Max started by reminding everyone of the dreams Michael’s had in the past.

“These dreams are just like those. Very hazy and indistinct, but I know that it’s more than just a dream. The one thing that I really remember is a voice, telling me that he’s here and to be careful. I don’t know this “he” the voice was talking about. But I think that we should leave before he finds us.” Michael nervously paced around the small area, his agitation apparent in the way he moved.

As he passed by Maria, she reached out and grabbed his hand. Pulling him down next to her, Maria put her arm around Michael’s shoulders, trying to get him to calm down. “Michael, maybe this he already knows who we are. Besides the new girl, there’s been no other strangers in town. Here have some Cedar Oil.”

Max sat with his elbows on his knees, studying the ground while he thought. “I don’t think that running is going to do us any good. Whoever this he is, already knows where we are. Nothing has been done to bring attention to us, so out of all the people in the country, to be able to pick out a small town means that this person has an idea of where we are. If seven people suddenly leave, things are going to look very suspicious. And you know we can’t leave Liz, Alex, Maria, and Kyle behind. They’re in this as much as we are!”

Liz reached over and grabbed Max’s hand in hers. She thought about what Max said, realizing that he was right. “Michael you know that the four of us would never let you three leave without us! Why don’t we talk to Kyle’s dad. He can look into this new family and keep an eye out for anyone else new.”

Alex piped up, not wanting to be left out. “Yeah man! It helps to have friends in high places! I can try to hack into the FBI’s databases and see if this person is involved with them.” Isabel gave Alex a kiss on the cheek, silently thanking him for his support and help.

“Max, I don’t know if waiting around is going to be the best thing for us though! What happens if he gets to us before we can protect ourselves? Or before we can protect Maria, Liz, Alex and Kyle?” Michael pulled Maria closer to him, his imagination already placing her on a table with white suited men cutting into her.

Isabel shuddered at the thought that their human friends might get hurt because of them. “Michael’s right Max. We can’t let them get hurt.”

“We can’t leave either. This is our area. If anything is going to happen, at least let it happen where we know the area. And Maria, Liz, Alex and Kyle, you guys don’t go anywhere alone. I’d be more comfortable if you were with one of us at all times, but since that’s not really possible, at least be with someone else.” Max copied Michael and pulled Liz closer to him. Liz snuggled into Max’s side and responded. “Max is right you guys. Why don’t we just work on what we’ve already planned. The Sheriff can look into the new family and keep an eye out for any strangers. I also think you guys should work on your powers. It might come in handy. Now, I don’t know about you guys, but there’s a movie I’ve been dying to see. Who’s with me?” Liz stood up and crawled back into her room. Eyeing each other, a silent agreement was made before everyone followed Liz.

Duluth, Minnesota

Sasha bolted up in bed, muffling her scream. Wow, she thought, what a nightmare! I have to write it down.

Dear Diary,

I just had the strangest dream! I was standing in the middle of the desert with my hand raised. I was surrounded by all these other people, but the only one I recognized was Brandy. She had her hand raised too, and this shimmery purple wall type thing was slowly going up. It was separating the two of us, plus about ten others, from this group of like fifty! The leader of the other group, I don’t remember what the person looked like, was telling us it’s over and to just give up.

I know that most dreams mean something. I wonder what this one meant. Or maybe it was just an extension of all of the stories Brandy tells me. Yeah that’s it. My subconscious took all of the stories she’s told me and gave me a nightmare. Strange as it was, the little details that I do remember are starting to fade. Ah well, time for dinner anyway. Then I have even more homework to do. Talk to you later Diary.

Au Reviour,

Part Three

I’ve been observing them. I need to find a way to become involved, a part of the group. I need them to share themselves with me. For without that trust, I cannot succeed. And success is vital.

Tess walked into her house after school calling out for her father. Ed Harding walked into the living room, wiping his hands on a towel. Tess looked at him with disdain written all over her face.

“Did you forget? What is the point of having alien powers if you insist on doing everything the human way? God, you’re as bad as the others! At least they have the excuse of being around other sub-beings all the time. You! What’s your excuse?” Tess threw her bag down on the ground. Moving over to the couch, she flopped down, acting like a normal human teenager for once.

Ed threw the towel into the kitchen, not watching to see where it landed and not caring. With a wave of his hand, he finished drying all evidence of moisture from his body. “Just who do you think you are talking to me that way? I don’t care what status you have, around here you treat me with respect. You know that they will be checking on us and first chance they get they may find a way to listen in on our conversations. So act the age you’re supposed to be and show me some respect. As for your question about the towel, I had a little mishap with the water. And yes I took care of it. However I finished just as you walked into the house and while I was sure it was you, I didn’t want to take any chances that you might have a human with you. Does that answer your question?” Receiving a nod from Tess, Ed turned back into the kitchen. Tess stood up and followed, planning on discussing the day with him.

Sitting down at the table and waiting for her food to be delivered to her, Tess provided Ed with the information she knew he was waiting for. “I ran into one, literally, today. I think it was Michael. He matched the attitude from the information that we received prior. My class schedule is all wrong, but don’t worry. I plan on going back tonight and taking care of that. By making sure I have the same class as each one of them throughout the day, I can work to gain their trust. Unfortunately for us, the very humans that we find so repulsive are looked upon with affection and trust by the three. Tonight I’ll go into their dreams and observe. After I’ve spent a couple of days with each one I should be able to start affecting their dreams, changing them so that I can introduce discord and chaos into the group.”

Ed set the plates down on the table. Reaching over and grabbing the salt, he proceeded to dump half the bottle onto his dinner. He passed the bottle to Tess and took a bite. Chewing thoughtfully, Ed contemplated all that Tess had told him. He knew it was important to proceed carefully, otherwise their plan would blow up in their face. “I think that’s a really good idea. There’s nothing better than creating chaos and disorder then stepping in to clear it all up. I did some scouting around today. I think I found some excellent spots to start our plan. I took some pictures for you. I think you should study them, then when you feel it is safe to start with the dreams and mind warps you can find a way to incorporate the pictures. After we finish eating, I’m going to hit up the library. I think I’ll do a little research on the town and the supposed crash of 1947. After all, we now live in a semi-famous town. And it could be amusing.”

Ed and Tess finished their dinner in silence, then each moved on to their after dinner plans. Ed heading to the library for some amusement and Tess heading to the high school to work on their plan.

Of all the places to put these, this has got to be the best. I don’t think any of them would ever question the decision to place such important items in a place like this! I knew that he was right, these places are perfect. Step one is finished.

Dear Diary,

Have you ever felt like you don’t belong? Like maybe there’s something else out there for you? I feel like this every day. Yeah, I got friends and such, but no one close. I don’t know what it is. I tried talking to Brandy about it, but she just says that I’m imagining things. That I have good friend’s and not to worry. Of course she usually says this after she gets that look in her eye. I don’t know how to describe it, but it’s almost like she knows something I don’t know.

Brandy told me that our parents died when I was really young. For a while I lived with Aunt Susan, but she was old and had to be put in a nursing home. So then I went to live with her daughter Jane. That didn’t last too long. Jane got a job offer for overseas. I’m not too sure where, she never told me and her letters always come with indecipherable postage. So Brandy got me after that. She was nineteen. Old enough to take care of a twelve year old girl. I don’t know why we never got to stay together. She always said it was because Aunt Susan could only take one of us and I was closer to Aunt Susan than Brandy was. I wonder if my constant shuffling has anything to do with my feelings? I don’t really even know how to put them into words. It’s almost like no matter how many friends I have and how many people I meet, there’s still something or someone missing from my life. The same with the boys I meet. Yeah I’ve dated some really cute and really sweet guys, but I’ve never gotten that BAM!! That certain feeling that you know this is the one, or could be the one. I wonder if I will ever feel like I belong, like I’m accepted no matter what. Or if I’ll even meet my Prince Charming. One thing I do know, every night in my dreams I don’t feel those empty feelings. And Prince Charming is there, waiting to wake Sleeping Beauty with the kiss of love.

Until later,

Part Four

Nancy Parker was sitting on the couch reading when she heard the door. Looking up, she watched as her daughter walked into the room. <> Nancy was pulled out of her thoughts by the sound of Liz’s voice. Shaking off her remaining wanderings, she held out a hand to her daughter hoping for a little mother-daughter bonding while Liz was still her little girl.

“Hi honey, how was the movie? What did you see?” Nancy put her arm around Liz’s shoulders and drew her closer. “We went to see Hot Shots: Part Deux and it’s a good thing it was a spoof! Otherwise only the guys would have liked it. Michael enjoyed the way they did the body count scenes. Although he says that Brave Heart still has the highest count in the history of films and someday he’ll have an accurate count to prove it. Alex, being the sci-fi junkie, enjoyed the way they incorporated Star Wars. Us girls just enjoyed the way they spoofed all the other movies.” Liz snuggled into her mother’s side. <>

“Mom, do you think we can go shopping sometime this week? There’s the semi-formal at school next weekend and I need a new dress. Maybe we can go with Maria and Mrs. DeLuca?” Liz held her breath, hoping her mom would agree to go. She didn’t really need a new dress, she just wanted one that would knock Max breathless. Nancy thought about it for a moment. “All right. Why don’t you ask Maria tomorrow during your shifts? Who are you going with?” With a squeal, Liz grabbed her mom in a tight hug. “Oh thank you, thank you! I was hoping to go with Max but…” Liz trailed off, thinking.

Nancy gave Liz a few moments to think, then gently prodded “But what? I thought you too were a couple? I know your dad and I don’t mind if you go with him. And I know his parents like the idea of you two together. So what’s the problem?”

Liz sighed and re-arranged herself on the couch. She sat cross-legged and looked at her mom. Her eyes were shining with uncertainty. “Well, I know that Max and I have been together for a while. Now that he’s finally accepted that it’s okay. But it’s still nice to be asked. And Max hasn’t asked me yet. That’s all.”

Nancy stifled a grin and placed her hand on Liz’s arm. “Honey, if that’s all that’s worrying you, don’t worry! I think I know Max and I know that he will ask you soon. He’s probably just been distracted. Didn’t he start that job at the UFO Center recently? Give him a couple of days. And if he doesn’t ask, you can ask. Or maybe…” Liz looked closely at her mom’s grin. <> “Or maybe what? I don’t know if I like the looks of that grin mom.”

Nancy’s grin widened, knowing Liz had successfully taken her bait. “Maybe you could talk to Kyle and convince him to take you. If you want to be really mean about it, you can ask Kyle to ask you in front of Max. Of course you’d say you have to think about it. And Kyle knows that you and Max are together. In fact, I think he’d be more than happy to play along. A little jealousy can’t hurt. Why don’t you go to bed now. You have to be up early. And think about what I said.”

Liz gave her mom one last hug and kiss. She headed off to her room deep in thought. Liz prepared for bed, still thinking about what her mom had said. <>

Dear Diary,

I hate my life!! I hate my sister!!!!! Brandy is making me move! I know that I don’t have any really close friends here, but I’m in high school! It’s not fair to make a teenager move. That’s like social suicide!

But it gets worse!!! I know, I know. You’re thinking how can it. Well let me tell you! We’re moving to, are you ready? Roswell, New Mexico!!! As if it weren’t bad enough that it’s a small town in the middle of nowhere, but it’s the Alien Capitol of the WORLD!!!! How can she do this to me???!!! How???

Painfully yours,

Part Five

Entering his room, Max closed the door and got ready for bed. Crawling under the covers, he grabbed his History book. <> Opening the book, Max started to lose himself in the oh so interesting world of the Civil War. He was almost finished reading when he heard a knock at the door. Max looked up just in time to see his mom enter the room.

Diane Evans sat next to her son and reached over to brush his bangs off of his face. Max gave her a slight smile then reached up and moved his bangs back to where they were.

“Hey honey, how was your night?” Diane asked.

“It was okay. The movie was good. Michael had another dream.” Max then filled his mom in on Michael’s dream and the meeting the group had before the movie. As Max talked, Diane grew more and more worried.

“Honey, you guys are going to be careful right? I don’t want anything to happen to any of you.” Diane pulled Max into a hug, hoping that Michael’s dream was nothing more than a nightmare.

Max thought about how lucky he was, they all were, to have such understanding parents. He remembered the first parent to find out about their out of this world secret.


Thirteen year-old Max tossed and turned in the grips of his nightmare. The nightmare was the culmination of a really long and bad first day of Junior High. Unlike most of his male peers, Max had yet to hit his growth spurt and as a result was not only smaller than many of his classmates, but also lankier. The teasing that he had received from those boys resulted in the nightmare that he was now suffering.

Walking into Roswell Junior High, Max looked around for his friends. He was unable to see very far in any direction because of the football players in front of him. The smallest one was at least five inches taller than Max. As one, the group of boys turned around and looked at Max. They started laughing and pointing. The captain of the team looked Max up and down. “Hey Evans! Are you sure you’re not an alien? You have the look of one ya know! You’re short, and you’re head is too big! All you’re missing is the gray skin and slanted eyes!” The remark caused the boys to start laughing even more. From his left, Max heard “Hey Evans, maybe you should look at yourself in the mirror!”

Max turned around and looked in the mirror behind him. His mouth dropped open when he saw himself. Instead of the reflection he’d been expecting, Max now saw himself as an alien. His eyes had slanted outward and instead of his usual amber color they were pitch black. His head had grown larger, with the top wider than the bottom forming a triangle. Spinning back around, Max gaped at the football players. The laughter he heard turned more maniacal. As he watched, the players started to change. Their eyes started glowing red and their fingers elongated, ending in claws. Max started to run, his movements hampered by the students around him. Stumbling, Max broke free of the throng and almost fell. Straightening back up he looked behind him to see the football players catching up.


Max twisted right out of his bed, hitting his head on his nightstand. Diane burst through the door in time to see her little boy sitting up with blood streaming from the cut on his forehead. Before Max noticed his mom, he reached up and placed his hand over the cut. Diane let out a soft gasp when she saw his hand glowing…

{End Flashback}

“Mom! You don’t have to worry. We’ve already talked about this. Kyle is going to talk to his dad. There’s some new people who just moved here and we’re gonna have the Sheriff check them out. Kyle’s also gonna have him keep an eye out for anyone else who’s strange and suspicious. With tourist season being mostly over, it shouldn’t be a problem to do. The rest of us are gonna start practicing our powers more so that we’re ready for anything.” Max hurried to reassure his mom, knowing that if he didn’t downplay everything she would worry even more.

“Okay honey. I want you and your friends to be careful! And make sure you keep all the parents in the loop. Remember that we will probably be in more danger by not knowing than by knowing! Now, I think it’s time for you to make your nightly call to Liz and go to bed. Make it short.” Diane gave Max one last kiss before leaving his room. <> Diane quietly closed the door, smiling as she heard her sons soft voice professing his love to Liz.

Edited by - priszm1978 on 09/22/2001 20:31:11
posted on 15-Sep-2001 5:40:20 PM by Priszm1978
Part Six

“Sasha, how is your packing coming? We have to have everything ready for the movers by tomorrow and our plane leaves tomorrow night!” Sasha rolled her eyes as her sisters voice floated up to her in her room. Letting out a sigh, she looked around knowing that she would probably never return again. <>

Finishing up with the last of the items in her room, Sasha moved downstairs to get something to drink and help her sister. “Hey Brandy, I know that this promotion is so important to you, but why do we have to go to Roswell? Why would a big company decide to build an expansion in a no-where town like that?” Sasha flopped onto the couch. She looked at Brandy waiting to her the reason again, hoping that maybe something would change and that maybe they wouldn’t have to move.

Brandy let out a sigh. Pushing strands of hair back from her face, she sat down next to her sister. “Sweetie, I don’t know why they would want to build there. All I know is that they need someone there to set up security. And as head of security for their headquarters, I got the job. It will be a good chance for us. And maybe you’ll make some really good friends. I know how you feel about the kids at your school now. Who knows, maybe Roswell will be better than here!”

Sasha lifted up Brandy’s arm and snuggled against her side. Ever since their parents had died Brandy was the closet she had to a mom-even if she’s only been taking care of her for four years. “Brandy can you tell me another of your stories?” Even though she would never let on that she loved her sister’s fairy tales, to Sasha they were familiar and she could use a good dose of that with the current upheaval of her life.

Planting a kiss on her sister’s forehead, Brandy thought for a moment about what to tell her. “Do you remember how I mentioned a destiny for the Royal Four?” Sasha looked up at Brandy, confusion marring her pretty features. “Yeah, I remember. But you never really went into it. I guess I just thought that you got sidetracked and that maybe it wasn’t that important.”

Brandy shook her head and gave Sasha a slight hug. “No, no I didn’t forget. It wasn’t pertinent at the time. You remember the four basic characters-King Zan, his wife Ava, his sister Vilondra, and her fiancée Rath. I don’t remember if I ever told you this or not but none of the marriages were love matches. All four had grown up together and were like brother and sister. As they got older and reached puberty, each of them always felt like there was someone out there for them. They all felt like they were missing a part of themselves. Time passed and they became adults. Still they felt like something was missing but at this point they all knew that whatever it was wouldn’t be found in that lifetime. So the marriages were arranged. Give me a moment, I need some water.”

Returning with the glass, Brandy sat down on the couch facing her sister. “The problem with Vilondra was that she was blessed with a heart as big as the Universe. But between the death of her father when she was young and the loss she felt over never finding that missing something, Vilondra was very careful with her heart. She agreed to the marriage with Rath simply because she knew her heart was safe with him. She loved him, but the love she felt for Rath was as the love Zan felt for Ava-that of a sister for a brother. Zan’s marriage to Ava was slightly different. Ava’s father was the ruler of one of the other planets. And even though both were aware that they weren’t marrying for love, they agreed to marry for the sake of peace. Ava was of noble birth, as was proper for the future queen to be. She was also a cousin of Rath-on their mother’s sides if I remember right. The problem was Ava’s other cousin, this one on the father’s sides. His name was Kivar. Kivar was never happy that Zan was supreme ruler. See while each of the planets had their own ruler, Zan was supreme ruler over all. And Kivar was power hungry.”

Sasha was scratching her head in confusion. “But what does all of this have to do with destiny?” Brandy let out a light laugh and reached over for her glass. Taking a sip of water, she replaced the glass on the table.

“I’m getting to that. A little impatient today are we? Okay. Now where was I…oh yes Kivar. Kivar was power hungry. He wanted to be supreme ruler. To gain his goals Kivar set in motion a brilliant plot. I know, I know. How can it be brilliant when he was so obviously evil? Well, that’s for another time. The end result of Kivar’s plot was the deaths of the Royal Four. There was one thing that Kivar didn’t know-that he couldn’t know. That was the prophecy. See, while the general populace of Antar knows that one exists and some of the older inhabitants are actually aware of a few details, the prophecy in it’s entirety is only known by the Royal family and the priests. The prophet was

What once was shall again be
For only with the death of the king
Will he meet his queen.

Once the Royal Four have meet their mates
Can evil be eradicated
Out of the ashes of hate
Will rise a Golden Age

Sasha raised her hand to halt her sister. “Wait, I’m confused. I thought the King had already met his Queen? And what is this hate deal?”

“No, remember that it was an arranged marriage. Both parties were aware it wasn’t a love match and that theirs really shouldn’t have been. The hate is simple, the lives of the four were destroyed by Kivar’s hate. And only upon his death at the hand of the Four and their true loves can Antar ever be fully restored. Now, let me continue. The Kings mother, Queen Gabriella, knew that this was to happen. Although she didn’t really know that it would happen to her children. The Royal family and their priests had been working for years to find a way to bring the King back to life, as it were. A procedure had been perfected during the last kings’ rein-Zan’s grandfather. So upon the deaths of the Royal Four, Queen Gabriella took their essence and mixed it with the DNA of a species that was similar to the Antarians. This is where the last story I told you picks up. So I won’t go into that. Now, the destiny of the Royal Four is to be together. Queen Gabriella knew that in this, their second lifetime, they would find their true loves-their soul mates. But it’s also very important that the four be together. For only together-as a unit-can they defeat Kivar. Don’t look at me like that. I know what the prophecy says. I can’t explain it. All I know is that the Royal Four have to be together and they have to have found their soul mates.”

Brandy let Sasha mull over the story for a moment. <> “Now, Miss, I think it’s time we got back to packing. Remember that we have less then twenty-four hours before we leave. Honey, I know you’re upset about moving, but look at it this way-it’s an adventure!” Standing up, Brandy held out her hand to Sasha and pulled her up off of the couch. Turning Sasha so that she was facing the den, Brandy gave her a push in that direction.

Pacing around the room, my head snapped up at the sound of a throat clearing. Glaring at the intruder I silently commanded that he speak. “I...I’m sorry to interrupt your highness. But I wanted to tell you that we have succeeded in getting into Rath’s dreams. A few more visits and we should know more about who he is.” I continued to glare, and then indicated that I wanted to be left alone. As soon as I was, I continued pacing. I knew that the more information we had the better things would be. I also knew that entering his dreams would get me more information in a short time than befriending him would in years. Soon, step two can commence.

Part Seven

Yawning and stretching, Liz woke up and looked at her clock. <<8 am. Even on a Saturday morning I can’t sleep in. I might as well get up and get ready. Max and everyone is gonna be here in a few hours so that they can practice. Hmmm, we don’t have school on Monday-I wonder if we can convince our parents to let us go camping.>> At that thought Liz bounded out of her room and started to hunt down her parents. She knocked on their bedroom door. Not hearing anything Liz slowly opened the door calling out before sticking her head in to look around. Seeing that the room was empty, Liz then headed towards the kitchen.

Jeff Parker sat at the table reading the newspaper and eating pancakes. He looked up when Liz entered the room. “Good morning sweetheart. Do you want me to make you some pancakes?”

Nodding her head, Liz gave her dad a kiss on the cheek before sitting down. “That sounds great dad! Yours are so much better than mom’s! But don’t tell her I said that.” Father and daughter both laughed at this knowing that pancakes were the one thing Nancy was incapable of cooking. Jeff stood up and started on the pancakes. As he cooked, he and Liz caught up on what was new in each other’s life.

“Dad, can I ask you a question? We were all planning on going out into the desert today. Max, Isabel, and Michael want to practice their powers some more. It’s been so long since the seven of us have gone camping and I was thinking that since we don’t have school on Monday, maybe we can just camp out?” Liz waited until her father turned around to look at her then gave him her best puppy eyes.

Thinking over her request, Jeff tried to avoid looking at his daughter. “I suppose. But you have to have an adult with you. Your mother and I are working this weekend so we can’t go. If you can find a chaperone that’s fine with me. Now, eat your pancakes.” Liz jumped up and gave her father a hug. Sitting back down, she started to quickly eat her pancakes so that she could go back to her room and call everyone.

“Max? It’s me! I had an idea about this weekend and my dad said yes. Well, he said yes as long as a responsible adult goes with. So what do you think?” Liz was out of breath by the time she finished.

“Huh? Liz, what are you talking about? Sweetie, you’re starting to sound like Maria. Take a deep breath and tell me why you’re so excited!” Max’s soothing voice came over the line, causing Liz to blush slightly when she thought over what she had said.

“Sorry. I thought that since we don’t have school on Monday, maybe we can camp out this weekend. That way you guys can work on your project. It’s been so long since the seven of us have done this. I asked my dad and he said it was all right as long as an adult goes with. So what do you think?”

Max thought it over for a moment. “You’re right, it has been a while. I think it’d be a good idea. But we’ll have to ask the Sheriff if he can go with us, my parents have meetings all weekend. Why don’t you call the others while I call the Valenti’s. Then we can still meet at there at 11. Before we leave we can go do whatever shopping we need to do.” Finishing up the conversation with Liz, Max started packing while he called over to the Valenti’s.

Ring, ring. Ring, ring. “Hello?” Kyle answered the phone, sounding like he was just woken up.

“Hey Kyle, it’s Max. I didn’t wake you did I? Anyway, I’m sorry. But I was just talking to Liz and she had a great idea. She thinks that we should go camping. Problem is we need an adult and neither hers or mine can go. Do you think your dad can come along?” Max didn’t think that it would be a problem. He knew that the Sheriff had the weekend off and he was planning on being with them during the practice anyway.

After thinking for a moment, Kyle hollered to his dad. “Yeah, Max. No problem. My dad thinks it’s a good idea. What time are we meeting?”

Max continued throwing clothes into his bag. “We’re still meeting at the Crash at 11. I thought that we could do whatever shopping we need to do as a group before heading out to the desert. Bring the usual and I’ll see you soon. I have to go inform Sleeping Beauty about the change in plans. She’s not gonna be all that happy about camping.” Sharing a laugh as they both thought about Isabel’s reaction, the boys hung up and got ready to leave.

Max walked into his sister’s room. He saw that she was already awake and reading one of her new magazines. “Morning Iz.”

Isabel looked up and smiled at Max. Her smile slowly faded as she saw the hesitant way Max was standing just inside of her door. “Max, what’s wrong? Did something happen? Liz? Maria? Alex? OH GOD! IT’S ALEX ISN’T IT??!!”

Max rushed over to the bed. Grabbing onto Isabel’s shoulders he looked into her eyes, trying to calm her down. “No, nothing’s wrong. Alex is fine. I was just talking to Liz and I wanted to tell you that we thought going camping might be fun. Then we will have more time to practice.”

Isabel smacked Max on the arm while taking deep breaths to help calm herself down. “Jeez Max! Don’t ever do that to me again!! I thought something was seriously wrong! Yeah, camping will be fine. I don’t think it’s as bad as I once did. So what are the details?”

As Isabel listened to Max, she got out of bed and started to pack. She didn’t have much to do since camping had become a favorite activity of the group over the past few years. Max laughed silently to himself as he watched her try and decided just what clothing to bring. He knew better than to say anything, though. A remark on his part might result in payback ranging from a new, brightly colored hairstyle to some seriously deranged dreams.

“Isabel, you need to hurry up! We’re meeting the other at the Crashdown at 11 and I don’t want to be late.” Max threw over his shoulder while heading towards the bathroom. Isabel stuck her tongue out at him, to distracted by packing to really care about paybacks.

Part Eight

Hanging up the phone after her last call, Liz headed out of her room to find her dad. She laughed to herself when she found him right where she left him-in the kitchen reading the morning paper and eating pancakes. Jeff looked up, sensing his daughter’s gaze.

“So what did you find out?” Jeff questioned, knowing that somehow his daughter had managed to pull off a two-day camping trip in thirty minutes.

“Sheriff Valenti will be our chaperone. Everyone will be meeting here at 11, like we had originally planned. Before we head out to the desert we’re gonna stop and get some food. Oh, and you’ll never believe this! Max says he didn’t get any complaints out of Isabel. She just got out of bed and started packing!” Liz laughed as she thought back to Max’s reaction. Isabel wasn’t the biggest fan of any outdoors adventures, but the group had taken so many camping trips over the years that she didn’t even bother to complain anymore. Even Alex had stopped listening to her whining.

Jeff laughed along with Liz. He knew firsthand Isabel’s love for the outdoors. He thought back to the first camping trip he’d ever taken with the group. It was the parent/child trip sponsored by West Roswell High during Liz’s freshman year. <>

“Mom, do we really have to do this?” Nancy rolled her eyes at Liz’s whine. She knew that Liz still loved her and Jeff, she was just reaching that stage of the teen years-the my parents are an embarrassment stage. “Yes Liz, you know your father and I have been looking forward to spending this time with you. You spend so much time with your group of friends that the only time we see you anymore is when you are working. And even then you’re still with your friends. Now, go put your bag onto the bus. I see Amy DeLuca over there and I’m going to go talk to her.” Nancy watched Liz walk off.

On her way over to the bus, Liz ran into Maria. Together to two girls complained about the necessity of spending an entire weekend with their parents. Maria soon got tired of that topic and started to tease Liz. “You know that Max and Isabel are coming on this trip right Liz? Hmmm, maybe you and Max could go do a little stargazing tonight. Maybe you’ll get lucky and he’ll kiss you.” Liz stuck her tongue out as Maria made kissy-faces at her. Liz glanced around, hoping that no one else had heard what Maria had said.

“Maria, hush! Only you and Alex know about my crush on Max! And besides, it’s not like he feels the same towards me. He only sees me as his friend, his very trustworthy friend too. If it weren’t for the fact that I know his secret, he probably wouldn’t even say two words to me. If anyone sneaks away to go stargazing it’ll be you and Michael. He likes you just as much as you like him!” Liz knew that any mention of Michael was enough to divert Maria’s attention from her feelings towards Max.

Maria gasped, pretending shock at the idea she might actually have feelings for Michael. “Liz! I so do not have feelings for Space boy! God! That’d be like having feelings for Alex!” Maria jumped when she felt an arm settle on her shoulders. Spinning around, she was confronted with Alex’s grinning face.

“Ladies! So glad to see you again, it’s been way too long!” Liz giggled at Alex, then pointed out that they had just seen each other seventh period, three hours ago. “Ah, I know. But you both are my two favorite ladies. And any time spent away from you is agony! Now, Maria, what’s this I hear you have feelings for me? Could it be true? Is the woman of my dreams finally admitting she feels for me as much as I feel for her?” Alex grasped his chest, knowing full well the two girls were talking about their favorite topics-Max and Michael.

Maria slapped Alex on the arm. “If you really wanna know if your dream girl has admitted her feelings for you, why don’t we call Isabel over?” Liz started laughing even harder knowing that Maria was prepared to follow through on her threat. “HEY ISABEL! OVER HERE!” Maria stood on the tips of her toes and waved to get Isabel’s attention. She also succeeded in getting the attention of everyone there. Isabel started over the friends, Max and Michael in tow.

“Oh God Maria! If you tell her I’ll tell Michael about the dreams you’ve been having about him. You know which dreams I’m talking about.” Maria looked at Alex’s red face. Before she could say anything, the others had joined them. Max tried to unobtrusively walk over to stand next to Liz. Maria threw Liz a knowing grin, only to have it wiped off when Liz threw one back at her. Maria was confused for a moment, and then she caught the direction of Liz’s gaze. Looking to her right she saw that Michael had copied Max’s move, only instead of standing next to Liz he was standing next to her. Inwardly Maria was jumping for joy.

“What dreams? Man Alex, what are you talking about?” Michael asked, knowing that whatever it was concerned Maria.

Alex grinned at Maria, then opened his mouth. “Oh just the dreams she’s been having about performing. You know how serious Maria is about her singing. She’s been dreaming that she’s up on stage and everything is going really well. After the last song, she finds out that the audience likes her so much because she’s wearing a little French Maid’s outfit.” Maria let out a gasp of outrage secretly relieved that Alex hadn’t told Michael the true nature of her dreams.

Isabel smiled, knowing that Alex had just lied, that singing wasn’t what Maria really dreamed about. Feeling bad for Maria, Isabel tried to change the subject. “Hey guys, I think they want us to board the buses. It looks like everyone’s lining up.” Five heads turned to look where Isabel was pointing. Letting out a sigh, they started to head over towards the rest of the group.

After a half hour drive, and listening to incessant complaining from Isabel, the bus pulled into the clearing at Fraser Woods. After everyone was unpacked and set-up the parents started dinner. Knowing that it was going to be awhile before it was ready, Max suggested a walk in the woods. The teens agreed and went to tell their parents where they were headed. After receiving cautions to be careful and be back in thirty minutes the group of seven headed off.

The walk wasn’t too bad. Kyle was leading and the rest had somehow managed to pair off. Max and Liz were secretly sneaking glances at the other both wishing that their feelings were returned. Michael and Maria were up to their usual bickering, also wishing that the other felt the same way. Isabel and Alex were last. Isabel was complaining about all the bugs that were swarming around and Alex was laughing at her. He wished that he could tell Isabel that he knew she could handle any situation and that he thought she was very beautiful. Heading back towards camp, the group was about five minutes away when disaster struck. Alex wasn’t paying attention to where he was swinging his arm and struck a beehive. Instantly the bees stung him and he started to swell up. Isabel saw Alex’s throat become more and more swollen.

“Liz, Maria! Something’s wrong with Alex! He just got stung by a bunch of bees!!” Isabel’s voice started to take on an edge of hysteria. She realized that if Alex’s throat closed completely off they could lose him, she could lose him.

The others hurried back to Isabel and Alex. Liz grabbed Maria when she Alex’s condition. Turning wide eyes towards Max, Liz pleaded with him to save Alex. Agreeing without hesitation, Max knelt down and proceeded to make the connection. None of the teens noticed the Parkers, Whitmans, Amy DeLuca, and Sheriff Valenti walking towards them. The parents stopped at the sight they saw. Carol Whitman grabbed onto her husband, tears sliding down her cheeks.

Max’s hands stopped glowing, and he swiped his hand across Alex, removing the handprint that had already started to show. Alex sat up drawing fresh air into his lungs. Maria and Liz let go of each other and immediately grabbed Alex; hugging him so tight he again had problems breathing. Max and Michael saw this and gently pulled the two girls away from Alex. Isabel knelt down next to him and held onto his hand as if she was never going to let go again. Kyle stood between Max and Michael, awestruck at what he had seen. No matter how often he’d seen the pod squad use their powers, he was always amazed.

Maria looked up and squeaked when she saw the parents standing their staring at them. The others looked to where she was looking and groaned. Max shared a look with Isabel and Michael, then stepped towards the cluster of parents. Liz followed Max, refusing to let go of his arm. “Um, hi guys?” Max’s tentative voice broke through the silence and released the parents from their frozen state.

Jim Valenti looked around at the other parents. He noticed that they were all in shock so he spoke up. “Uh, Max. Do your parents know about…this?” With a wave of his hand, Valenti indicated what they had just seen. At Max’s nod of confirmation he continued. “Why don’t we go back to camp and eat dinner. Let the shock of what we just saw wear off. After we eat and get everything cleaned up, I think that we should meet by my tent. It’s the furthest away from everyone else. You guys can tell your story then. Bring your parents, we may need them.”

Everyone headed back to the camp to do as the sheriff had suggested.
{End Flashback}

Jeff Parker pulled himself out of his thoughts only to notice he was alone in the kitchen. Silently chuckling to himself he thought about the results of that first trip. <>

Part Nine

Tess wandered into the Crashdown at 10:30 in the morning. Grabbing a booth near the windows, Tess grabbed a menu. She pretended to read the offerings while surreptitiously glancing around-looking to see if any of the group was there. Tess’ attention was pulled out of her musings when she heard the waitress clearing her throat. Tess looked up at the lady who stood there, impatiently tapping her pen against the order pad.

Giving the waitress a cold glare, Tess turned her attention back to the menu-deliberately taking her time in deciding. Just as the waitress was about to suggest she come back Tess cleared her throat and prepared to speak. Both women became distracted at the sound of voices coming through the doors leading to the back room. Tess’ eyes narrowed as she watched Liz come through the doors carrying a sleeping bag and duffel. Her dad followed behind her carrying a cooler. The waitress let out a low laugh when she heard Jeff cautioning Liz about the upcoming trip. “Considering how many trips those kids go on, you’d think that Mr. P. wouldn’t have any problems letting Liz go by now. Lord knows he’s chaperoned his share. Maybe that’s why he’s so worried. Anyway, have you decided yet?”

Once again Tess’ attention turned to the waitress. Tess placed her order and waited until the woman had left her table. Turning her gaze back to Liz, Tess watched her as she reassured her dad. Tess sat and eavesdropped on Liz and Jeff’s conversation while waiting. <>

Tess was jerked out of her thoughts at the sound of a bell. Glancing around, she saw a blond-haired girl walk in. Noticing the duffle and sleeping bag that she carried, Tess realized that this girl was a part of the group. Tess turned her attention to the conversation the two girls were having.

“God Liz! I so can’t wait to get away from my mom for a couple of days. She’s dating this new weirdo. I don’t even wanna think about how bad he is! Where does she pick up these losers? Anyway, mom also decided that this is a good weekend to try a new diet. Ugh! You have no idea how glad I am you came up with this idea! Hey, where’s Max? I would have thought he’d be here by now!” Maria grinned at Liz, knowing how happy Liz was to finally be with Max.

Shooting an answering grin at Maria Liz retaliated. “Hey! It’s not like I’m his keeper or anything. He’s probably stuck waiting on Isabel, again. But if you’re so worried about boyfriends, where’s yours?”

Opening her mouth to reply, Maria was cut off as hands grabbed her shoulders and spun her around. Before her eyes could focus on who had grabbed her, a mouth descended onto her lips-effectively cutting off the biting remark that was hovering on the tip of her tongue. Maria relaxed as the familiarity of the lips registered in her brain. Liz held back her giggles as she watched Maria’s arms creep Michael’s chest and encircle his neck. Letting out a sigh, the two slowly separated. Leaning his forehead against Maria’s, Michael greeted Liz.

Liz grinned in response, then looked towards the door. Maria and Michael shared a smile, knowing that Max was shortly going to be walking through the door. Michael started silently counting down in his head. As he reached one, the bells above the door jingled. Pulling their gazes apart, Michael and Maria looked up to see Isabel trying to get around her brother who had stopped as soon as he walked in the café. Finally convincing Max to walk towards the table the others had gathered around, Isabel rolled her eyes at Maria.

Maria only smiled at Isabel, knowing that as soon as Alex walked through the door he and Isabel would give Max and Liz a run for their money.

Tess’ attention was pulled away from the gathering group as the waitress placed her food down on the table. Not bothering to thank the woman, Tess demanded that her check be brought to her as soon as humanly possible. The waitress studied Tess’ sneer for a second before agreeing to get it prepared. Tess quickly ate her food, wanting to be ready to follow the group as soon as they left. Her wait wasn’t very long. After receiving the check, the rest of the group wandered into the restaurant. Tess watched the Sheriff walk through the swinging doors into the back. She could faintly hear the Sheriff speaking with Jeff, but couldn’t make out any of the words.

Making her way over to the cash register, Tess paid her bill then made her way outside. She got in her car and sat there, waiting for everyone to leave. After ten minutes, the group walked out of the doors and headed towards the jeep and the Sheriff’s SUV. Tess grinned, knowing that shortly she would hopefully know more about each member of the group.

FYI folks, I’ve never been to New Mexico. So any info that I give about it that has not been seen on the show is purely from my imagination.

Part Ten

Walking out of the Albuquerque airport, Sasha was hit by a blast of hot air. Lifting her hair from her neck she looked around. She let out a groan as she noticed the decided lack of green.

“Brandy, couldn’t they have moved us to a state that as more than brown as a decorative color?” Brandy laughed hearing the whine in Sasha’s voice. Keeping up the pretense that they needed to move because of her job, Brandy secretly hoped that she would find those she was looking for.

“Just think, when it’s the dead of winter and fifty below zero in Duluth, you’ll be running around in shorts and t-shirts. You can call all of your friends back home and laugh at them because they’ll be freezing their rears off and you’ll be nice and warm.” Brandy waited two seconds, knowing what Sasha’s reply was going to be. The two of them have had this exact conversation many times since Sasha learned of the pending move.

Whipping her head around to glare at her sister, Sasha stuck out her lip and pouted. “But Brandy! At least Minnesota had skiing! How are we going to be able to do that here! I mean, this is the Southwest! They don’t understand the concept of freezing!”

Brandy unlocked the door to the car that was waiting for them. Placing the luggage they had brought with them into the trunk Brandy explained New Mexico for what felt like the hundredth time. “Sasha, I told you! You can still go skiing! It won’t be a problem. Well okay, a little one. You’ll have to drive a little further to go skiing. But you can still go! And imagine how much better you might be than your new friends. After all, you’ve had the advantage of living minutes away from the runs.” Brandy started the car and pulled out of the parking lot.

Reaching over, Sasha flipped on the radio station. After flipping through the stations twice she finally settled on Oldies. Flopping back into her seat she crossed her arms and looked out of the window. “Well, at least I won’t have to worry about a full week of school. Starting at the beginning of a new quarter is good too. What do you think this school is going to be like?” Uncrossing her arms, Sasha reached up and started to twirl her hair around her fingers. Catching the move out of the corner of her eye, Brandy smiled knowing that her sister was more nervous than she let on.

The two sisters discussed what their new home would be like. After a while Sasha leaned her head against the window and slowly drifted to sleep. Reaching over, Brandy tucked a strand of Sasha’s hair behind her ears. Without her sister to distract her, Brandy’s thoughts moved to what she could expect. <> Glancing over to see her sister still asleep, Brandy pulled herself from her thoughts and concentrated on the remaining drive.

Letting Max take the lead in his jeep, Sheriff Valenti pulled out of the parking lot and followed out of town. The SUV followed the jeep to the grocery store where everyone got out of the vehicles. Tumbling into the store and grabbing a shopping cart, Liz and Max tried to get their friends to calm down. After convincing them to take things down to a dull roar, Max led the way through the store. As they moved up and down the aisles Liz occasionally removed an item from the cart and placed it back on the shelves.

Finished with the shopping the gang loaded everything into the cars. Everyone piled back into where they were, Max driving the jeep with Liz sitting next to him and Isabel wrapped up in Alex’s arms behind him. Jim Valenti put the key into ignition of his car and glanced around to make sure everyone was buckled up. Kyle sat next to him gazing out of the window. Maria and Michael sat in the back imitating Alex and Isabel. Satisfied that everyone was all set, Jim again pulled out and started to follow Max once again. As they left the city behind Kyle let out a sigh and seemed to sink further into his seat.

Noticing this, Jim looked over at his son. “Everything okay Kyle?”

Kyle glanced up and looked his father in the eye. “Yeah dad. It’s just that with the end of the quarter and all things have just been a bit stressful. It’ll be nice to pretend that it doesn’t exist for a few days.”

Maria overheard Kyle’s comments. Sharing a look with Michael she spoke up-compassion evident in her voice. “Yeah Kyle. We all know what you mean. And don’t forget the added stress of Michael’s dreams. Here, you wanna try some of my Cedar Oil?” Kyle took the bottle, knowing that refusing may bring on the wrath of Hurricane DeLuca and he wanted a peaceful trip.

At the mention of his dreams, Michael remembered what it was they wanted the Sheriff to do. As soon as Maria finished speaking Michael spoke up. “Hey Sheriff, I realize that we just asked you. But did you get a chance to do those checks yet?”

Jim looked in the mirror letting his eyes meet Michael’s. Jim knew how important it was for Michael to know he was being told the truth. “I’ve started the preliminary steps, but it’s gonna take a couple of days. I did find out something interesting though. It seems that the Harding’s soon won’t be the only new family in town. But let’s wait until we get to the practice area before I say anything.” Jim cut of Michael before he could say anything. He knew that Michael would want to know the information right away, but that Michael would also realized that it made more sense to wait until they were all together again.

Agreeing with Valenti, Michael leaned over and placed a soft kiss on Maria’s forehead. Moving his gaze to the window, Michael watched as the scenery speed by. No one in either car noticed the other vehicle following them.

Max pulled off of the road and made his way closer to the cliffs that were visible in the distance. He knew that once they rounded them it would be very hard for anyone to sneak up on the group. The cliffs were so high that it would take a helicopter to get up there. Problem was that the tops were so jagged no pilot would even consider trying it. There was one other advantage to the cliffs, the second reason Max felt safe practicing there. The cliffs themselves formed three sides of the valley. The valley itself was set around a bend. The way that the area was set up, sound traveled really well. In fact one of the things that the three practiced was listening to sounds, identifying what kinds of sounds they were as well as where they came from. The others had watched this practice so many times that everyone was capable of picking up and identifying the sounds as well.

Max pulled up to the opening of the cliffs. Getting out he walked around the jeep to Liz’s side and helped her out of the car. Together they turned to watch the SUV pull up next to them. By the time everyone got out of the SUV Alex and Isabel were standing next to Liz and Max holding their share of the equipment.

Everyone else grabbed the items there were supposed to and followed Alex and Isabel into the valley. The cliffs around the valley were riddled with caves. It was towards one of these that the group headed. Having been camping out there so many times in the past they kept a ready supply of wood and matches and even some non-perishable food items.

Tess sat in her car watching through binoculars as the group headed between the cliffs. She shut off the engine and reaching into the back, grabbed a pair of hiking boots. She knew that she would need them, as she had to park a ways away from where everyone else did. Getting closer to the cliffs, Tess prepared to use any means necessary to sneak up on the group and watch them.
Part Eleven

Liz sat next to Kyle and watched while Max and Michael practiced their powers. Michael was throwing energy bolts at Max while Max worked on the strength of his shield. Liz let her gaze roam from the two boys to where Isabel was sitting on a rock. Liz studied Isabel for a moment. The blond alien was sitting cross-legged. Her hands were resting on her knees and her back was straight with her eyes closed. To anyone else Isabel would have looked like she was meditating. Liz knew better. Isabel was practicing her dream walking abilities-specifically the range that she needs to be able to actually dream walk, the length of time she could remain in the dream, the extent that she is able to manipulate the dream. The most important feature that she was practicing was trying to dream walk someone while they were awake. Maria and Alex were sitting off to Liz’s right playing cards. They were more than willing to let Isabel practice her awake dream walks on them, as long as they knew that she was doing it.

Liz let out a sigh and turned to look at Kyle. She was a little surprised to see that he was staring off into space with a forlorn look upon his face. “Kyle, are you okay?” Kyle’s thoughts were so far away that Liz had to call his name a couple of times. Finally succeeding in getting his attention, Liz repeated her question.

Letting out a sigh of his own, Kyle turned his gaze to where Max and Michael were practicing. Watching them for a moment, his gaze then turned to Isabel and then back to Liz. “Yeah things are fine. It’s just that I look at you three and how happy you are with your aliens. And as amazing as it sounds I know that you, Maria, and Alex have found your soul mates. That those three aliens are going to be it for you guys, no matter what. It’s just that sometimes I wish I could have that. I know I’m only sixteen years old and all, and yeah I have fun dating the other girls at school, but it’s just not the same. You guys never have to question the reason you’re together. You know that if you have a problem there is someone there for you. You and Max, man you two practically share the same brain. And Maria and Michael, no matter how often those two fight I know that Michael wouldn’t trade her for the world. I sometimes wonder if he would even return to Krypton or where ever it is they’re from if it means leaving her behind. I know Max wouldn’t return without you. I sometimes wonder if I’ll be as lucky as you guys are, ya know?”

Liz slid her arm around Kyle’s shoulders. She knew exactly what he meant. “Kyle, you’ll find your soul mate someday. I used to look at my parents and the love they have and wonder if I would ever be as lucky as they are. Now I know that I’m luckier! I didn’t have to wait so long to find my other half. You know that you’ll find yours too! And she’s gonna be smart and beautiful and patient, kind, wise, she will be your balance. And when you do find her, you’re gonna wonder how it is you ever got through life without her.”

The two friends sat in silence for a few moments, both reflecting on their lives. Liz had been watching Max and Michael not really paying attention to what was happening. She was jerked out of her thoughts when she saw Michael shoot his bolt at Max and Max wasn’t prepared. Liz started to laugh when she Max jump back away from the glowing white ball that headed his way. Hearing her laughter, Max shot Liz a dirty look before turning to Michael.

Liz looked over at Kyle again, tuning out the two boys who had started to argue about safety and being ready. “Hey Kyle, I wonder if I could ask you a favor?”

Looking startled, Kyle looked at Liz. Seeing the way she was biting her lip, he started to feel nervous. “What is it? You’re not gonna ask me to pretend to sleep with you or anything are you?”

Liz ignored Kyle’s attempt at humor. Withdrawing her arm from around his shoulders she started to twist her fingers together. Looking at her hands, Liz drew in a breath and prepared to ask him. “No, not exactly. See, I know that Max and I have been together for a long time and all now, but sometimes he tends to take things for granted. And I don’t want that to happen. But at the same time, I don’t wanna tell him that he has to do this or that…”

Kyle slid his arm around Liz’s shoulders and drew her closer for a hug. Interrupting her he commented, “Liz, stop it! You’re starting to babble like Maria. What is it that you want?”

Liz took another deep breath. <> “Well, it’s just that Max hasn’t asked me to the dance next weekend. I know that we’re going together, but like I said, I don’t want him to take it for granted. So….doyouthinkyoucouldmaybeaskmetothedanceinfrontofMax?” Liz let out the last part as fast as she could then turned to look at Maria and Alex.

Kyle scratched his head. He wasn’t too sure if he had actually heard what he thought he’d heard. “Uh, Liz? Did you just ask me to ask Max to the dance?”

Her face turning red, Liz turned back to Kyle. When she saw the bewilderment on his face she almost started to laugh. “No I don’t want you to ask Max to the dance. I want you to ask me to the dance. In front of Max. Knowing that we aren’t actually gonna go together.”

Kyle looked at Liz, wondering if she’d lost her mind sometime in the past few minutes. “You really want me to do that? Are you aware of how jealous he’s gonna be?” Liz nodded, hoping that he’d say yes. “Aw heck Liz! He’ll kill me!” Letting her lower lip slip out into a pout, Liz silently begged Kyle. “Liz, don’t do the puppy face. You know I can’t say no to that face. All right! I’ll do it! But if he kills me, you’re gonna be responsible!”

Liz squealed in delight and threw her arms around Kyle’s neck. Maria looked over to see why Liz was so happy. Not seeing anything, she got up and walked over to her two friends.

“Hey chica, what’s up? Did you just win the lottery or something?”

Grabbing Maria’s hand and drawing her down next to her, Liz explained the plan. Maria laughed, then looked at Kyle in sympathy. “Man, I feel for you! He is gonna kill you! Hmmm, come to think of it…my Space Boy hasn’t asked me either. Kyle…?” Both girls looked pleadingly at Kyle. Throwing up his hands in defeat Kyle agreed then walked away to start planning his funeral.

Using her powers to hide her entrance into the valley, Tess found a rock and sat down. She watched as the two boys practiced their powers. <>

Tess proceeded to make herself comfortable on the rock. She watched the three practiced for about an hour until they suddenly stopped. As she watched, everyone gathered in one of the caves, then Max walked out and gathered some sticks. Waving his hand over the pile he’d made, Max started the fire. After letting it burn for a few minutes he then turned towards the cave and called to the others. Liz led the way towards Max, carrying a package of hotdogs and hotdog buns in her hands. Maria followed with the drinks while Alex had the plates and utensils. Isabel followed Alex bringing the potato salad and Michael had the chips and condiments. Kyle brought out blankets to sit on and the sheriff brought out the radio. Everyone sat down and started to cook their hotdogs. After all the hotdogs were cooked to exact requirements and the potato salad and chips had been passed around everyone started to talk.

Tess tried to listen to what they were saying but she was too far away and the radio was too loud. She sighed, knowing that she couldn’t get any closer. Although the three aliens appeared to have just gained their powers, they might be able to sense Tess if she moved any closer.

After the group finished eating Liz and Isabel worked to clean up the mess. Maria disappeared into the cave only to reappear with a football in hand. She walked over to where Jim was sitting with Kyle, Max, Michael, and Alex. They spoke for a while and waited for Liz and Isabel to finish. As soon as the two girls had joined them, everyone got up and formed teams. Maria knew that just having guys against girls wouldn’t be fair since there were more guys than girls. So she convinced Jim that he needed to join the game and the guys that Kyle needed to be on the girls’ team. After Max and Michael protested, Maria told them that they have super powers and they haven’t been shy about using them in the past to help their team. So it was only fair that the girls get Kyle.

From the rock where she was perched, Tess could hear Maria directing the group. Tess watched the game for a while, until her stomach growled. Making a face, she stood up and got ready to leave. Waiting until everyone was as far from her as they could be, Tess headed out of the valley. She figured that they wouldn’t be doing any more practicing and that she would just return the next day.

As Tess walked away, she didn’t notice the game stop and everyone gather together with serious looks on their faces.

Part Twelve

Everyone huddled at the far end of the valley and all eyes were turned towards Isabel. Isabel avoided looking at anyone instead her eyes were scanning the valley, constantly jumping from place to place. Max frowned as he noticed her gaze lingering on the entrance. Maria started to speak but was abruptly cut off when Isabel raised her hand.

Waiting a few more minutes Isabel finally looked at her friends. Looking Max and Michael in the eyes she seemed to be silently asking them a question. No one said anything, waiting for Isabel to take the lead. “Max, Michael? Did you guys feel it too?”

Max’s forehead wrinkled as he thought. Slowly he nodded his head in agreement. “Yeah. I mean, I thought I felt something. It was very faint. I thought that maybe it was from you or Michael. But it didn’t feel like it was coming from your directions. Michael?”

All eyes turned to Michael, waiting for his answer. Reaching up he started to scratch at his eyebrow while considering what Max had said. “Yeah, but it was like Max said. Very faint and I thought it was coming from him or you Iz.”

By this time the others were looking very confused. Alex started to speak, but like with Maria Isabel cut him off. “No wait. Before you say anything Alex, let me explain. See whenever we use our powers the others can feel it. It’s like an invisible wave of energy. Think of the feel of an electrical storm. That kind of feeling, but different. We can feel the energy use usually within about a block radius, unless it’s a really big use of that energy. Like Michael’s energy bolts. If he were to gather all of his energy and let it out then Max and I would be able to feel his energy from further away. I’m not sure how far because we’ve never tested it. Anyway, when we first got here I didn’t notice anything. And whenever my eyes were open it was the same as Max and Michael. Very faint, but definitely there and definitely not Max or Michael. I noticed it more when I was concentrating on my dream walks. But I didn’t see anyone. And whoever or whatever it was left a little while ago.”

Everyone was quiet, processing what Isabel had just told them. Liz moved next to Max and snuggled into his side as he put his arm around her shoulders. Looking down at her, Max placed a kiss on the crown of her head while silently praying to whoever the powers that be are that he hasn’t put her in any danger. Following Liz’s move, Maria and Alex both moved next to their respective aliens, silently offering comfort. Max was the first to speak up.

“From now on whenever we plan to come out here we need to watch and make sure we aren’t followed. Maybe we should even split up the timing so that half of us arrive first and the other half maybe thirty minutes later. I think that Isabel, Michael and I should always be in the first half. That way if we are being followed the second half can see any cars parked in the area and find some way to let us know. Or even sit back and observe to see who it is that’s following us. What do you guys think?”

There were nods all around as everyone thought over Max’s suggestion. Jim spoke up. “There is another option that we have. We can get some motion sensors and set them up towards the opening. I think they have some out on the market where it can be like a silent alarm except sending a message to a pager.”

Max thought about this suggestion. “Why don’t we wait on that for a little bit. I want to see if we are able to catch anyone by good old fashioned cloak and dagger work.” Max’s last comment elicited smiles from the guys and giggles from the girls. Maria looked around as everyone’s faces returned to being serious. Clapping her hands together she reached over and grabbed the football from Kyle.

“All right boys and girls. I do believe we have a football game to finish! If I remember right the girls had the ball and Kyle was just about to throw to yours truly. And the girls are up 21 to 7!” Sounds of protest were heard from the other team. Michael grabbed Maria and started to tickle her. “Say the real score! C’mon, I wanna hear you say that we were soundly beating you girls!”

Maria giggled as Michael hit her ticklish spots. Refusing to admit that the guys were capable of beating her team, she offered a compromise instead. The two teams started the game over, tied at zero.

The game lasted about an hour and was brought to a close when fat raindrops started to fall from the sky. Letting out squeals, the girls hurried towards the cave where it was nice and dry. The boys called after them, complaining that the game wasn’t over yet. Jim suggested that the four boys continue playing, he was going to join the girls at the cave and call into the work.

Sitting in the mouth of the cave, Liz and Maria filled Isabel in on their plan to make their boyfriends jealous. Isabel laughed picturing the look on Max and Michael’s faces. “Poor Kyle. You realize that they will want to kill him right? When is this marvelous plan of yours gonna happen?”

Liz and Maria looked at each other then shrugged. Liz spoke up “I dunno. We didn’t discuss that part!”

Maria thought for a moment then brightened. “I know! Why don’t we play Truth or Dare later and Kyle can do it then?” Liz and Isabel quickly agreed to the suggestion and the conversation turned to the dance itself. While they talked they didn’t notice the rain was coming down harder than before. Not paying attention, they jumped when they felt cold, wet arms come around them. Pushing the guys away, the girls looked them over from head to toe. Isabel turned to Liz and Maria with a devilish grin. Taking one look at Isabel’s grin Liz and Maria let their own evil grins form, then all three turned to look at the boys.

“So, ladies. What do you think? How are we going to rate them?” Isabel’s grin grew as she saw first confusion then dawning horror on the faces of the boys in front of her. Max started to shake his head in protest. Opening his mouth to speak, Liz quickly cut him off. “I think we should give each boy a score on a scale of one to ten. Who should we start with? Maria?”

Maria looked the four over considering. Placing a finger next to her mouth and tapping it, she turned to Liz and Isabel. “Hmmm, I think we should start with Alex. But you do realize that to be completely fair we need to add some hands on, right?” Hearing this all four boys started to protest and back away. Shooting them a patented glare, Isabel stopped them in their tracks. “Not so fast boys! We know about all the times you’ve ogled us, now it’s our turn! Maria I think you’re right. Would you like the honors?”

Maria walked over to Alex. Placing her hands on his chest she proceeded to examine him, making sure to get maximum embarrassment out of him. Moving her hands back up to his shoulders she trailed them around as she moved to his backside. As soon as she was finished Liz walked over and copied Maria’s movements. Isabel was last, making sure to do her best to keep Alex’s shirt wet. As soon as the girls were finished Liz handed them each a piece of paper and pen. They wrote down their scores for Alex.

Maria looked at Isabel and Liz, then walked over to Kyle. They made sure to treat Kyle the same as they had treated Alex then wrote down the scores for him. Michael was next. Enduring the hands on bit was more difficult for him, Maria had apparently shared all of his ticklish spots with her two friends. Isabel and Liz took every opportunity to make Michael squirm. Each time he did they told him to stand still, they couldn’t get an accurate score with him moving the way he was. Maria was the worst though. She walked up to Michael and gave him a coy glance. Silently he groaned, knowing that whatever she had planned for him would be very hard to endure.

As soon as Maria was finished with Michael and he was scored Isabel walked over to her brother. Hiding her feelings of disgust over having to touch her brother in this way, Isabel finished as quickly as she could then moved back to join the other two. Maria was next. Looking at Liz, the two girls held a silent conversation with their eyes before Liz nodded her head. Max was starting to look a little worried about what they had planned. Slowly sauntering up to him, Maria threw another coy glance at Michael. She then proceeded to give Max the exact same treatment she had given Michael. Max tried to move away from Maria’s hands but was stopped by Isabel who had quietly moved behind him. Concentrating, Isabel silently told Max that he needed to stand there and take it like a man. She explained that it wasn’t for his benefit but for Michael’s. Max looked over at Michael and sure enough his face was flushed red and he was glaring at Maria. With a growl, Michael stalked over and snatched Maria’s hands off of Max’s chest. Bending over he whispered that he was the only man she can touch like that. Maria giggled then went over to her score pad.

Liz walked up to Max and shyly looked up at him from under her lashes. It wasn’t like she’d never touched his chest before, she just wasn’t used to doing so in front of an audience. Biting her lower lip, Liz raised her hands to Max’s chest. He barely caught his moan before it passed his lips. Max’s eyes instantly turned black and he had to clench his hands into fists so that he wouldn’t grab her and drag her out of there. Her face flushing red, Liz skimmed her hands over Max’s chest before moving down to his abs. Her hands lingered on each muscle and a very satisfied female grin crossed her face when she saw him clench his jaw. Taking pity on Max, Liz finally pulled her hands away and joined the other two girls.

Max and Michael dried their shirts and Max dried Kyle’s while the three girls huddled discussing the results. Coming to an agreement the three moved to the sleeping bags that were set out on the cave floor and sat down. Isabel looked at Liz, indicating that she should go first.

Liz bit her lip as she looked at Max from under her lashes. “Well, Alex I gave you a 7.” She giggled when she heard him yelp. “WHAT! ONLY A 7! I’ll have you know that I am the stud!”

Isabel giggled at Alex’s antics. “Sure honey, you’re the stud. Now, do you wanna hear what I gave you?” Isabel wiggled her eyebrows suggestively. “You know, I think I’ll let Maria go first.”

Maria cleared her throat and proceeded in her best announcers voice. “Well, his form wasn’t too bad. And overall appearance was pretty good. I give him an 8!”

Alex glared at Maria, hoping that his two best friends would have been kinder to him. He turned pleading eyes to Isabel, hoping she had been nicer. “Alex I agree with Maria. Your overall appearance was very nice. I gave you a 9!”

Alex let out a sigh then turned to grab a dry t-shirt. He was stopped by Isabel’s hand on his arm. She leaned over and kissed him while slowly running her hand down his shirt. After the two came up for air Alex noticed that Isabel had dried his shirt for him. Giving her a quick kiss on the nose in thanks he pushed her back towards Liz and Maria then leaned back to hear the results for the other three.

Looking at Michael, Maria thought that maybe it was time to put him out of his misery. “Okay Space Boy! You’re next! I gave you a 9. As sexy as you look, you need to have Max teach you how to work off all that sexual frustration. And if you don’t have any, well then I guess I’m not doing my job right!” Michael rolled his eyes then sank down to join Maria on the floor. “Well, I didn’t want to say anything but…” Everyone started to laugh at Michael’s joke while Maria smacked him on his arm.

Clearing her throat, Isabel went next. “Michael I hate to tell you this, but I agree with Maria. You have got to stop eating all that junk food and greasy stuff from the Crash. I gave you a 7.” Michael spluttered, unable to form any words to defend himself.

Still giggling, Liz spoke up. “Sorry Michael, I have to agree with Isabel and Maria. I gave you an 8 as well. Sorry!” Michael glared at Liz when he noticed she didn’t look very sorry. Crossing his arms he huffed. “Fine! I wanna hear how you rated Maxwell then!”

Isabel went first. “Well Max, for being my brother and all, you weren’t too bad. I gave you an 8.” Max blushed slightly at his sister’s words. Then looked at Maria. “Sorry girlfriend, I gave you an 8 too! But please, teach Michael how to tone his muscles!” Maria’s plea was cut off at the feel of Michael’s mouth on hers. “Hmmm…then again…”

Amidst the laughter, Max moved towards Liz and sat down next to her. Pulling her into his arms he leaned down and gave her a kiss on the nose then leaned back to hear what her results were. “I’m sorry Max. I just couldn’t give you a 10. I had to go with a 9. You’re chest is very nice and all, but there’s always room for improvement!” Liz bit her lip, holding in her laughter at Max’s affronted look. Before he could say anything though Isabel grabbed the floor.

“Okay, that leaves us with our last contestant. It was a unanimous decision. Kyle, we all decided that you are a 10! Congratulations, here’s your prize!” The three girls stood up and presented Kyle with a rock and a kiss on the cheek. Alex moved over to congratulate Kyle. While he was doing that Liz explained their reason to Max and Michael.

“See, Kyle’s feeling a little left out. He looks at us three couples and he’s wondering if he’ll ever be lucky enough to find what we have. It actually sounded like he’s questioning whether he’s good enough to have someone love him the way I love you Max. So we thought we’d try and cheer him up. But don’t worry, you’ll always be a ten to me!” Leaning up and kissing his cheek, Liz pushed her boyfriend towards the winner with instructions to congratulate him. Michael followed after receiving a glare from Maria.

posted on 15-Sep-2001 5:51:10 PM by Priszm1978
Part Thirteen

Letting out a sigh, Brandy reached over and gently shook Sasha awake. Grumbling as she came awake Sasha straightened in her seat and rubbed the sleep out of her eyes. Shooting a glare at her sister for ruining her beauty sleep she turned and looked out the window.

“Why did you wake me up? We can’t be close to Roswell! There’s still sand out there! Lots and lots of sand! I can’t see any signs of civilization!” Sasha’s eyes swept from side to side looking for anything to assure her that she wasn’t in the middle of a nightmare.

Leaning her head against the window Sasha listened with half an ear as Brandy responded. “We’re on the outskirts. Soon you should be able to see the town itself. Did you see the cliffs over there? See point towards the sky, almost like a finger pointing up at the stars.” Sasha’s attention was caught by Brandy’s dreamy tone. Turning her head she followed the direction of Brandy’s finger until she saw the rocks.

A little shiver slithered along Sasha’s spine when she saw the rock formation. Her eyes widened slightly as a sense of déjà vu swept over her. Sasha’s attention was so firmly entrenched in the view of the rocks that she missed the knowing glance from her sister.

Slamming the door behind her, she walked into the house and tossed her keys on the table. Stalking through the rooms of the house her fingers trailed over surfaces, pausing here and there to examine items in further detail. She noticed none of this, however. Her mind was miles away, back in the valley as she thought about what it was she saw.

Ed Harding walked into the living room and saw Tess moving aimlessly around. Standing in the doorway he cleared his throat to get her attention. Tess was so distracted by her thoughts that the slight sound caused her to jump, one hand flying to her chest and the other jerking up in a defensive posture. Catching herself before decimating her father, Tess slowly lowered her hand.

Ed let out a humorless chuckle when he saw Tess’ reaction. He crossed his arms and leaned against the wall, waiting for her to start speaking.

Tess remained silent for a few more moments, gathering her thoughts before sharing them with Ed. Eyes narrowing she made her way over to the couch and sat down. “They aren’t as far as we though they’d be. Max and Michael were practicing defensive and offensive moves. Michael was shooting energy bolts and Max was using his shield to deflect them. Isabel looked like she was practicing her mental abilities. Her mental shields are stronger than we thought. I think it’s because her mental powers are easier to practice, less chance of someone seeing them.”

Tess paused, once again gathering her thoughts. When she started to speak again it was slower than the last time, as if she wasn’t too confident in what she was going to say. “I was able to sense them using their power, but it almost seemed like it was…simmering. Kinda like it was slowly heating up. Or, and if I didn’t know better, I would say that they are more powerful than they were letting on. There was one other thing. At one point there was a subtle change. I couldn’t put my finger on it. I don’t know if maybe their energies felt me or what it was. It was strange though. I think that we should keep a close eye on them.”

Pushing off from the wall, Ed moved to sit in a chair near Tess. He leaned back and raised one leg so that the ankle rested on the knee of his other leg. Tenting his fingers under his chin he gazed levelly at Tess. She almost squirmed under the intensity of his gaze, then her back snapped straight and she met his gaze head-on.

“Hmmm…and what of the humans? Do you have any idea how many of them know?” Furrowing his brow as he contemplated Tess sitting before him.

“Well, the humans that the three hang around with definitely know. And the Sheriff and his son were there as well. The humans weren’t doing anything except talking, playing cards, and reading. I was too far away to hear anything that was said by any of them. I didn’t want to get too close. I was afraid that since I was using my powers then they would be able to sense it as I got closer. So what do we do now, Ed? I was thinking that I would go back out there tomorrow and watch them some more.”

Shaking his head he grinned maliciously at her. Waving her out of the room, he contemplated all that she had told him. He knew that they had a long ways to go. He only hoped that they succeeded.

I sat down and thought about all that I have learned so far. I am so frustrated! I had hoped that the plan would be further along, that we would know more. I heard from Caleb today. He told me that they are no closer to finding the fourth and the protector. I can only hope that we find the fourth before they do. No matter how powerful I am, I would have problems against the Four. And if they fulfill the prophecy. Well, I just won’t think about that, it won’t happen. I won’t let it!

That night the seven teens sat around the campfire. The rain had stopped coming down hours before, dinner had been eaten and now everyone was enjoying the chance to relax. Max sat with his back against a rock, Liz curled up between his legs and resting on his chest. Slowly one hand stroked through her hair and down her back while the other rested around her waist, every now and then slipping under her shirt to stroke the soft skin of her stomach or back.

Michael sat to Max’s right, his pose copying Max’s. Maria was turned so that she could see Liz and the two girls softly talked while their boyfriends relaxed and let their thoughts drift. Alex sat on Max’s right. He too sat with his back against a rock. Isabel lay curled up in his lap catnapping, relaxing under the soothing circles that Alex was rubbing on her back.

Kyle and Jim closed up the circle. Jim was leaning back stretched out, enjoying the quiet that prevailed knowing that soon someone was going to suggest something the break up the peace that hung over them. Kyle sat with his knees drawn up and his arms around them. Resting his chin on top of his knees he gazed into the fire, hoping that the campfire would turn into a crystal ball and his future would be revealed.

Growing tired of the quiet, Isabel stirred and opened her eyes. She pondered her two brothers and the small girls wrapped up in their arms. Letting her mind float for a moment, Isabel’s eyes suddenly narrowed in contemplation. Standing up she walked over and hauled Liz and Maria up from the ground.

Both girls spluttered in shock and anger. “Hey Iz! Did I say you could manhandle me? Come on! Let go, I was comfortable!” Maria tried to pull her arm out of Isabel’s grasp but the taller girl was too determined.

Max stood up and glared at his sister. “Isabel! What do you think you’re doing??!! Let go of them! What has gotten into you?” Liz looked into Isabel’s eyes. After seeing the mischievous look lurking in them she turned and laid her hand on Max’s arm.

Standing on tiptoe Liz reached up and gave him a quick kiss on the cheek. “Max, it’s okay. I think that Isabel needs to talk to us. Don’t worry. There’s nothing wrong. It’s a girl thing.” Liz hid her smirk as she watched the tip of his ears start to turn red. Max’s gaze skittered around the cave, unwilling and unable to look either of the girls in the eyes.

Biting her lip to keep from laughing Isabel headed out of the cave, hauling Liz and Maria after her. As soon as she was sure they were far enough away so the boys couldn’t hear Isabel apologized for being so abrupt.

“I was in there napping and the perfect idea came to me! I know how we can get Kyle to ask you to the dance!” Isabel’s eyes were dancing in laughter as she pictured the reactions that Max and Michael would have to Kyle asking out Liz and Maria.

Maria immediately forgot her anger towards Isabel. Bouncing on her toes and lightly clapping her hands like a little girl she demanded to know how. “Come on Izzy! Don’t keep it from us!! Tell us. HOW??!! C’mon! C’mon!”

Liz grabbed Maria’s arm to stop her bouncing. “Maria, settle down. You’re making me dizzy. And if you don’t stop talking Isabel won’t be able to tell us!” Shooting Liz a look of apology, Maria turned expectant eyes to Isabel.

Isabel paused for dramatic effect. “Wellllll…I was thinking that we could play a game. Maybe something that we haven’t played for a long time…” Isabel stopped, waiting for one of her friend’s to realize what game she was talking about. When all she got was confused expressions, she continued. “I think we should play Truth or Dare. With one main purpose. To have Kyle ask you two to the dance. Of course we actually have to play so that Max and Michael don’t realize what’s going on. But I think that we can fool them!”

Eyes brightening in excitement, Maria started bouncing and clapping again. Liz squealed at the idea, then sobered with her next thought. “But Iz, how will we let Kyle know?”

Isabel’s grin widened as she shared a look with Maria. Seeing the look Liz frowned, knowing there was something that they weren’t telling her. Isabel took pity on her friend. “Okay Liz, the guys don’t know this yet. You CANNOT tell them! I don’t want them to know yet. I’ve been able to expand my power. You remember how I was trying to become strong enough to get into someone’s subconscious while they are awake?” Isabel paused then continued when Liz nodded in understanding. “I succeeded today. Not only that, but I can also communicate with that person. Kinda like telepathy, only I can only do it while I am in that persons mind and I still can’t do it for very long. So I was thinking that I could do that to let Kyle what’s going on?”

Liz nodded, biting her lip in excitement. Isabel sank down to the ground and crossed her legs, centering herself and preparing to enter Kyle’s mind. Taking deep, regulated breaths, her eyes drifted closed and Isabel felt herself start to mentally float.

//Kyle’s mind//

“Kyle! Don’t panic, don’t scream, and don’t do anything. It’s me Isabel.” Isabel waited for him to answer her back. She knew he was aware of her presence but he didn’t say anything. Isabel focused on his feelings and realized that he was too scared to say anything. “Kyle, it’s okay. It’s not a trick. It’s really me. I was to expand my powers while practicing this afternoon. Please, say something!” Isabel pleaded, hoping that she wasn’t doing any permanent damage to Kyle by doing this.

Kyle felt his panic float away as reassuring feelings washed over him. “Wow! This is amazing! Hey, why are you in my head?”

Isabel laughed as Kyle’s amazement turned into a different sort of fear. “It’s okay. I can’t stay long. I just wanted to tell you this. We came up with the perfect way for you to ask Liz to the dance. Maria’s going to suggest a game of Truth or Dare and during one of my turns I’m going to dare you to ask Liz. But you have to wait a little bit. Then a bit after that I’ll dare you to ask Maria. Uh oh! Kyle I have to go, I can’t keep this up.”

Isabel faded out of his mind and with a jerk opened her eyes. She smiled reassuringly at Liz and Maria when she saw their looks of concern. Holding up her arms for assistance Isabel stood up and linked arms with the other two girls, as much for support as a show of friendship for the boys still sitting inside the cave. Sly grins curved the lips of three young women as they made their way towards the opening of the cave, preparing to attack the unsuspecting young men sitting inside.

Part Fourteen

Dear Diary,

Well, here we are. Roswell, New Mexico. The place that is to become my new home sweet home. But for how long? I know that Brandy wants me to be happy about this, but it’s so hard. I know I didn’t really have friends in Duluth, but things weren’t really all that bad. Now. God, now I have to walk into that school on Tuesday and be the new girl again. I hate that. And Brandy told me that Roswell is a small town where everyone knows everyone. So they will all know that I’m new.

Driving here was really interesting, to put it mildly. Brandy pointed out some interesting sights, mostly desert stuff and cliffs. That sort of thing. There was one that really got my attention. It was a rock formation, the only one around for miles really. It was pretty big and the top came to a point, almost like a finger pointing at something. The strangest part about it though, I felt something when I looked at that rock. I don’t know what it was. It felt like, almost like I’ve seen it before. But I couldn’t have. Right? I’ve spent my whole life in Minnesota. How can a rock structure a million miles away from home feel familiar?

I can’t think about that anymore. Every time I try to analyze my feelings my head starts to pound. Considering that I don’t get headaches too much, I really don’t like it when I do get one. Oh! I have to tell you about Roswell itself, Diary! You wouldn’t believe this place!!! I don’t think I have ever seen so much alien stuff in one place before. It seems like every business has decided to cash in on the gossip about the ’47 crash. We drove in on, I guess its Main Street. On one side was this little restaurant called, are you ready? the Crashdown. Oh and even better, across the street was a UFO Museum. Brandy said we might go to the restaurant for dinner tonight. I wonder if I can convince her to go someplace that doesn’t have an alien theme? I better go now Diary. I still have a lot of unpacking to do. Putting it off won’t get it finished any faster, that’s for sure.


As she set down the book and pen her gaze wandered around her new room. She let out a sigh realizing that this was her new reality, there was no chance of waking up only for the tourist trap town to be dream. She frowned, not a dream; more like a nightmare. Placing the diary and pen into the nightstand, Sasha stood up and headed for the closet unpacked box. She sat down and cut the tape holding the box closed. Reaching in her hand closed around wood. Sasha pulled out the picture frame and looked at it sadly. The picture she saw behind her reflection was of her on the slopes. She had just finished a difficult run and Brandy was there to catch the glow of pride coming off of Sasha’s face. Sasha placed the picture on her desk and turned back to the long task of unpacking.

Two doors down Brandy was in her bedroom, her actions copying those of her sisters. She felt emotions rolling over he like a tidal wave; anger, sadness, misery. She looked towards her door half expecting to see Sasha standing in the doorway, her arms wrapped around her middle as if protecting herself from further pain. Inhaling deeply and slowly letting the air escape from her body, Brandy thought about the reasons they had moved to Roswell. Although she knew that she couldn’t tell Sasha, not yet anyway, Brandy hoped that things would improve for the other girl. She knew that her sister would make friends, but she couldn’t tell her that. Sasha would never listen, would never believe her sister when Brandy tried to tell her that she was a wonderful person and the other student’s were the ones missing out.

Looking at the picture in front of her Brandy reached out and traced the outline of the four people standing there. Her hand shook slightly as she remembered the fate that had befallen them. Her eyes closed and her features twisted with remembered pain. <>

Opening her eyes she let out a deep sigh and reached up to wipe at the stray tear slipping down her cheek. Glancing once more towards the door she could still feel Sasha’s emotions sweeping over her. She could only hope that when Sasha started at West Roswell High on Tuesday everything would be okay.

Part Fifteen

As the three girls walked back into the cave four sets of eyes watched their progress. Max immediately sought out Liz and lost himself in her eyes, failing to notice the calculating look resting on all three faces.

Michael’s head whipped around at the sound of footsteps. Like Max, he too focused on Maria. Starting with her feet daintily clad in sandals and moving up her calves he paused a moment to watch the sway of her hips. His eyes continued their wandering path up her body until locking with hers. He too failed to notice the look on her face.

Alex looked at Max and Michael shaking his head. <> Alex’s thoughts were interrupted when he caught sight of Isabel out of the corner of his eye. His train of thought screeched to a halt, then his mind blanked out. It was like this for him every time he saw his dream girl. He could only sit there, adoring her with his gaze as he again thanked whatever divine power saw fit to place this goddess in his orbit.

Kyle was the only one not looking at the three girls who were advancing towards the fire. In fact he was doing everything possible to avoid their gazes, aware that soon his dad would be planning his funeral. He didn’t want to do anything to hasten along his demise so he kept his eyes firmly locked on the flames. <>

Kyle looked up when he heard Maria’s voice. “We decided that we want to play a game. What do you guys think?” Maria shot a devious look at her two friends, waiting for the guys to pick up their cue.

Alex was the first to respond. “I think we should play strip poker!” Wagging his eyebrows comically he moved out of Isabel’s range not noticing that this put him right in Maria’s. Maria smacked him upside the head, earning a grateful look from Isabel. “Ow! Hey! What was that for? I was only kidding! God, see if you get anymore suggestions from me!” Alex slouched against the rock that was behind him. He crossed his arms and stuck his lower lip out in a pout. No one missed the twinkle in his eye though.

Michael smirked at Alex. “Good one Man! I agree with him. Maybe we should play poker, we’ll just make it regular poker.” Liz and Maria shook their heads. Maria caught Liz’s eye and gave her a subtle nod.

Liz spoke up from where she was snuggled in Max’s arms. “Maybe we should play a different game. How about Truth or Dare?” Groans were heard from the guys but were drowned out by enthusiastic agreement from Isabel and Maria. Shaking his head, Jim stood up and made his way to where the sleeping bags were. “You guys go ahead and have fun. I’m going to read my book.” Jim shot each of the guys a look of sympathy. He knew that there was no way they were going to be able to avoid playing the came. In fact it wouldn’t surprise him to wake up and see painted nails and make-up on the guys.

The seven teenagers arranged themselves around the fire. Liz and Max still sat cuddled up but Isabel and Maria made sure they sat kept Max between them. Kyle looked at where everyone was sitting and scooted closer to where Alex sat with Isabel between his legs. Isabel noticed the movement and grinned to herself. Rubbing her hands together she spoke “Okay, who’s going to go first? Maria?”

Maria nodded and straightened her back. She looked around the circle, letting her gaze rest briefly on each of her friends. Finally she stopped on Liz. “Liz, truth or dare?”

Liz audibly gulped before responding. “Uh truth, I guess.” “Okay, who was your first kiss?”

Letting out a sigh of relief Liz prepared to answer. “Real kiss? Or does Alex count?” “Real kiss.” “Okay, sorry Kyle but I gotta tell. It was Kyle.”

Max’s eyes widened in surprise. He looked between Liz and Kyle. “What? Kyle? When was this?” he demanded to know.

Liz gave him a light kiss of reassurance. “It was back in third grade. And it was all Maria’s fault too! She had found some of her mom’s romance books and when we were at her birthday party she decided that we needed to play this game. So when it was my turn I picked dare. Maria told me that I had to kiss Kyle like they do in the books. She actually had to read from one of the books so that we would know what she was talking about. I don’t know who was more grossed out, me or Kyle!” Liz’s story had everyone laughing. Hugging Liz to him, Max looked at Maria then Kyle. He couldn’t decide who’s face was redder: Maria’s or Kyle’s.

Max finally took pity on Kyle. “Hey man! As long as you didn’t enjoy it and there aren’t any repeat performances it’s okay. Liz, your turn.”

Liz thought for a moment. “Michael, truth or dare?”

Michael looked wary. He had spent enough time around the three girls to know that they came up with some nasty questions but that sometimes their dares were even worse. He thought about who was asking, then made his decision. “Truth. And be nice!”

Lips curving in a smile, Liz winked at Maria. “Okay Michael, when did you first realize you actually like Maria?”

Michael scowled at Liz, his cheeks reddening slightly. He knew that he would have to answer truthfully because Isabel had been in his dreams enough times that she would know if he was lying. Trying to look anywhere but at his friends he answered the question. “The first time I saw her.” His voice was so low that everyone had to strain to hear him.

Maria let out a gasp. “What!! That long and you’ve never said anything? Why not? And how could it be that long?”

Michael shook his head and looked up at the ceiling of the cave. He knew that he would have to answer her, she was too tenacious to let this go. “I didn’t say anything because at first I was afraid. I was afraid that you didn’t feel the same way. Then I accidentally brushed against you one day and I felt your feelings for me. At that point, after everything that Hank had said and done, I didn’t think I deserved you. Plus I was afraid that if I did get close to you and we had to go back I would hurt you and I couldn’t stand the thought of that. It was that long because it was you. The first time I saw you I was standing behind a tree and just watching. You and Liz were playing on the swings and I remember how your hair would float in the air. You were always so free and open with yourself. I remember I wanted to be a part of that freedom, to have that caring touch me. Anyway, I think it’s my turn. Isabel truth or dare?”

“Dare” Isabel said, knowing that Michael knew too much about her and could make her reveal things that she didn’t want too.

“Okay, dare it is. I dare you to perform a striptease for Alex!”

Part Sixteen

Isabel’s mouth fell open in shock at Michael’s pronouncement. Liz and Maria started to giggle while the other guys started to protest the dare. Michael held up his hand and waited for silence.

“I’m not finished! Isabel doesn’t have to strip completely, just down to her bra and underwear, or until the music is finished. But you can’t stall! And since she is like a sister to me, and she is Max’s sister, she doesn’t have to do it in front of the two of us. Kyle, watching or not is up to you. Liz and Maria have to watch to make sure Isabel performs her dare! Now, Liz, turn on a CD. Max you and I are going to head outside. Kyle, you with us or staying?” Michael explained the terms of the dare.

Kyle’s eyes swung between Michael’s inquiring look to Max’s glowering look. Tapping his fingers against his chin he transferred his gaze to the top of the cave. “Hmmm…big decision. Do I stay here and see Isabel in all her lovely glory and quite possibly loose my life, or do I go partake in some male bonding. Gosh, that is a big decision. On the one hand there’s the beautiful Isabel. But on the other there’s my life. Of course if I do stay to watch and Max decides to kill me, what a way to go. But I think I’ll join Max and Michael outside!” Kyle finished in a hurry when he saw Max’s look become even darker and his hands clench at his sides.

While the three males went outside to partake in bonding, Liz grabbed her CD player and put in the first CD she grabbed. As the music started Isabel stood up and started to sway her hips. Outside the cave, Max cringed when he heard shouts of “Go Isabel” drift his way.

Placing her hands on her hips, Isabel slid them up her side-brushing the sides of her breasts. Gulping, Alex kept his eyes glued on the path her hands were creating on her body. He shifted trying to become more comfortable. Isabel saw this and grinned knowing that she was getting to him.

Sliding her hands back down to her waist she grabbed the edge of her shirt. Isabel started to inch the top up, exposing her golden skin as she went. Just as Alex’s eyes bulged out of his head she released her shirt, letting it fall back into place. Isabel danced her way over to Alex. Bumping her hips from side to side she lowered herself to his level. Placing a finger on his forehead she slowly trailed it down over his nose and stopped at his lips. Lightly Isabel traced the outline of Alex’s lips before leaning over and replacing her finger with her tongue. She ran the tip of her tongue over his lips, pulling back when he opened his mouth and tried to capture her tongue between his lips.

Isabel stood up and turned her back to Alex. His eyes remained riveted on her swaying hips. His imagination kicked into overdrive as he fantasized about being alone with her. In his fantasy Isabel faced him as she slowly pulled her top over her head, like she was currently doing. Alex was pulled out of his fantasy as Isabel’s shirt landed on his head.

Alex hurriedly reached up and pulled her shirt off of his head. He held it in front of him and he became more uncomfortable as her tendrils of her scent made its way into his nose. Inhaling deeply he looked up at his goddess. She stood proud in front of him, a light blush staining her cheeks. Slowly Alex’s eyes burned a path down her face to her chest. He gulped when he saw the red bra with lace edging the top. Closing his eyes, he quietly let out a moan of pleasure and pain. At the sound of Isabel moving his eyes flew open.

Alex’s eyes bugged out when he saw Isabel’s hand move to the snap on her shorts. Suddenly he felt as if he couldn’t breath, just the act of drawing in air was a chore for him. His mouth felt like a cotton ball had taken up residence. Just as the button popped through the hole the music stopped. Involuntarily he groaned and his eyes glazed over. Alex knew that it would be awhile before he got he chance to see Isabel complete her dance for him.

Laughing lightly Isabel walked over and grabbed her shirt from Alex’s numb hands. She pulled it over her head while making herself comfortable next to Alex. Liz called the boys back in while Maria sat and laughed at Alex’s expression. Max saw the glazed eyes and the way Alex was shifting around and his hands clenched at his sides.

Reaching up, Liz grabbed one of Max’s hands and pulled him down next to her. Placing her head on his shoulder she rubbed his arm in a soothing manner. “Relax. She only got to her top. Alex really didn’t see anything. I think it was more of a combination of reality and fantasy that got to him. Besides, can you honestly tell me that if I had done that in front of you, that same look wouldn’t be sitting on your face right now?” Liz giggled as Max’s face took on the same glazed look that still sat on Alex’s face.

Michael looked at his two lust-starved friends and sighed. “Well Liz, Maria, did Isabel perform her dare satisfactorily?” Both girls looked pointedly at Alex before nodding. “I guess you’re right. I should have asked Alex that. Anyway. Iz, your turn.”

Isabel looked around the circle of her friends. Her eyes lingered on each person until she had contemplated each one. Slowly her eyes made their way around again until they rested on…

Part Seventeen

Sasha walked down the street slowly. As she passed each house she studied it, imagining the people who lived there, wondering what kind of lives they led. Her feet slowed to a stop in front of one house. Cocking her head to the side she briefly wondered why she had stopped in front of this particular house. Swift as a bird the question left her mind as she contemplated the house in front of her. The house looked like all the other houses around it. There was a basketball hoop in the driveway, shutters on the windows, and a fence surrounding the back yard. Like many of the houses in the neighborhood the house was painted a soft white color and the shutters were a dark blue.

Sasha’s eyes drooped down as she considered the house. She noticed that the blue of the shutters reminded her of a darkening sky. With a sigh Sasha sadly wondered if the dark sky would look the same in Roswell as it did in Duluth. She was so caught up in her musings about the house that she failed to notice the approaching footsteps.

Sasha jumped when she felt a hand lightly touching her shoulder. Spinning around her wide-eyed gaze landed on her “attacker”. Jumping back her hand flew up to protect herself if needed. Her eyes met startled blue ones, both faces mirroring the others fear.

The woman standing in front of Sasha raised both hands in a placating manner. “Calm down dear. It’s all right. I saw you standing out here and I was worried that maybe something was wrong. Are you all right?” The stranger peered closely at Sasha in concern.

Blushing lightly with embarrassment Sasha lowered her eyes to the ground. Silently she nodded, trying to assure the woman that she was fine. Eyes softening, the woman took in Sasha’s apparent embarrassment and the air of sadness floating about her. She reached over and gently grasped the young girls elbow. “Tell you what. Since it looks like I just knocked a good five years off of your life, why don’t you come in and have some lemonade?” Gently she started to steer Sasha towards the house that had previously been the object of contemplation.

Sasha tried to pull her arm free. “No thank you. I’m fine. I was just admiring your house before I started back home.”

The woman’s hold tightened slightly, enough to prevent Sasha from withdrawing her arm. “Well since you like it so much, why don’t I give you the grand tour before the drink?” She kept on heading towards the house, steadfastly ignoring the other girls protests.

Sasha kept trying to disengage her arm from the other woman’s hold. “No, really. I couldn’t. Besides, you don’t even know me.”

Letting out a light laugh the woman turned around and looked at Sasha. “You are right! I am so sorry, I can’t believe I forgot to introduce myself! My name is Diane Evans. And you are?” Diane ushered the girl into the kitchen as Sasha answered her question. She gently pushed the young girl down into a chair before heading over to the cupboards and pulling out glasses for the lemonade.

Joining her guest at table Diane observed her looking everywhere she could. Tilting her head to the side Diane took in the long red hair and deep golden eyes of her guest. <>

“So Sasha, you’re new here right? In a town this small it would have to be really hard to miss any newcomers. What do your parents do for a living?” Diane’s question caught the girl off guard and she jumped slightly in her chair.

Sasha looked penetratingly into Diane’s eyes for a moment, the sadness apparent in their amber depths. Glancing away, Sasha’s soft voice carried to Diane’s ear. “I don’t have any parents. My mom and dad died when I was really young. I don’t even remember them. My earliest memory is of living with my aunt and starting school. I think I was six or seven. After awhile she couldn’t take care of me anymore, she just got too old. So I went to live with a cousin. Brandy, my sister, was living in foster care. After my cousin got transferred Brandy was old enough to take care of me and I’ve been with her since.” Sasha’s eyes widened slightly as she realized how much she had just told this stranger. Hurriedly she picked up her glass and drank out of it, hoping to hide her discomfort.

Diane’s eyes misted over as she thought about the hardships the young girl in front of her and gone through in her short life. Hoping to make things easier for her, Diane sought to change the subject. “So what brought you and your sister to Roswell?”

A look of relief passed over Sasha’s face and she looked gratefully at Diane. “You know that big company that’s building a new office outside of town?” Diane thought for a moment then nodded when she recalled which one Sasha was talking about. “Yes I do. In fact my husband Philip and I have been retained to do some legal work for them.” “Well Brandy worked for them back in Minnesota. In fact she was head of security and she did such a good job updating and improving the security at their headquarters that they transferred her here to do the same with this office. I wish they hadn’t though.” Diane had to lean closer to hear the last part. She gently smiled, knowing that moving is never easy, especially when one is in high school.

Reaching over she patted Sasha’s hand. “So are you going to start at West Roswell Tuesday?”

Looking resigned Sasha nodded. Diane sought to reassure the girl. “My two children go there. I’m sure you’ll meet them. Max and Isabel are so nice. And their friend’s are so open and kind to everyone. What grade are you going to be in?”

Sasha raised her glass to her lips and took a drink before answering. “Um, I’m going to be a sophomore. I just turned sixteen last month. Thank you very much for the lemonade Mrs. Evans. But I really should be going. I’m sure Brandy is worried about me and I still have a lot of unpacking to do before school starts on Tuesday.” Standing up Sasha carried her glass over to the sink. Diane stood up and walked the girl to the door. Flashing a polite smile and giving a little wave, Sasha headed down the street towards her new home.

Sighing, Diane leaned against the side of the house. She watched the young girl walk away, hands tucked into her pockets and her head down. The girl’s entire posture screamed of the sadness that had been evident in both tone and word during their conversation. <> With a quiet chuckle Diane turned back into her house, resolved to do what she could to make the girl feel welcome and to dispel the cloud of sadness hanging over her.

Part Eighteen

Isabel looked around the circle of her friends. Her eyes lingered on each person until she had contemplated each one. Slowly her eyes made their way around again until they rested on…

Isabel’s eyes stopped at Kyle. Casting a quick glance at her brother out of the corner of her eye, she thought about picking on him-making him reveal one of his secrets or embarrass himself through a dare. As quickly as the thought occurred to her, she mentally shook her head to get rid of it. Isabel knew that if she didn’t choose Kyle now she might not get the chance to again. She mentally rubbed her hands, preparing for the fireworks that she knew would shortly follow.

Michael started to grow impatient with Isabel. Tapping his foot on the ground he glared at her. “Come on Iz! We don’t have all year!” He smirked when Isabel returned his glare.

Adopting a superior air, Isabel stuck her nose up in the air. “Fine Michael. If that’s the way you want to be, maybe I should just choose you. But I already decided on Kyle. Next time brother dearest. Now Kyle, truth or dare?”

Kyle gulped and started praying to every deity he could think of. Casting his eyes wildly around, Kyle hoped for something or someone to rescue him. When no rescue was forthcoming, he sighed and averted his eyes from Max. “Uh, dare. I guess.” Kyle cringed back against the wall as he waited for Isabel to pronounce is death sentence.

Casting a wicked look at an oblivious Max, Isabel giggled. Michael and Alex both looked at her strangely, wondering if maybe the girls hadn’t smoked something while they were outside. Isabel ignored them. “Okay Kyle. I dare you to ask Liz to the dance next weekend!”

Max’s head whipped toward his sister. Isabel kept her eyes glued on Kyle, knowing that if she looked at anyone else she would loose it and start to laugh. Liz and Maria also avoided looking at anyone else, both preferring the floor. Liz had to bite her cheek to stop the laughter that bubbled up from inside her when she felt Max’s outrage.

“Isabel!!! What are you doing??????” Max spluttered. He couldn’t believe that his sister would do something like that to him.

Kyle adopted a look of innocence. Widening his eyes and spreading his hands in supplication he appealed to Max. “But Max, Liz told me you hadn’t asked her yet. So Liz, will you go to the dance with me?” Both Kyle and Liz stood up and moved towards each other. Liz was careful to keep body between Kyle and Max. Still biting her cheek, Liz looked up at Kyle, her eyes twinkling with mischief.

Max sprang up from his position on the floor. He stalked up to where Liz and Kyle still stood facing each other. Placing his hands on Liz’s shoulders, he pulled her back into his body while glaring at Kyle. “What do you think you’re doing asking MY girlfriend out??!! I thought you knew better!!!”

Michael and Alex traded looks, then both jumped up to place themselves between Max and Kyle-attempting to widen the distance between them. Isabel and Maria leaned back against the sides of the cave and watched the drama playing out in front of them. Liz turned to Max and placed her hand on his chest. Pleadingly she peered up into his eyes. Fighting the draw to get lost in his gaze, Liz begged Max to back down. “Max please! Kyle’s your friend! You don’t need to hurt him! Besides, he’s right. I would like to go to the dance and since no one has asked me yet…” Trailing off, Liz moved over and sat next to Maria and Isabel.

Max stared at Liz, his mouth gaping open like a fish. “But…but…but Liz, I assumed that we would go together! We always do!” Max turned puppy eyes to Liz, knowing that she could never refuse that look.

Crossing her arms Liz shrugged in indifference. “That’s the problem Max. You assumed. You never bothered to ask me. And a girl likes to be asked you know! Makes us feel special!” Isabel and Maria nodded in agreement.

Max dropped to his knees in front of Liz. “Liz! I’m sorry! Will you go to the dance with me?” Max glanced slyly at Michael before turning his pleading gaze back to Liz. “If you don’t say yes, I might have to ask Pam Troy! You know how much she would love to go with me!”

Max looked a cross between horrified and hopeful that Liz couldn’t keep up the pretense any longer; she knew that the thought of going with Pam Troy was enough to make anyone sick. Pulling him close so she could hug him, Liz put him out of his misery. “Of course Max. I’ll go to the dance with you! I wouldn’t want you to have to suffer through the night with Pam.” Liz kept quiet about the game, knowing that Michael was next and if she said anything she would ruin everything.

Max stood up and approached Kyle with his hand outstretched. “I’m sorry Kyle. I didn’t mean to jump down your throat.”

Looking warily at Max, Kyle accepted his hand. “Yeah, no problem man!”

Max grinned. “Just don’t ever do it again!” Everyone laughed at the teasing tone in Max’s voice. Kyle let out a sigh of relief, then jumped when he felt a mental nudge from Isabel. He turned to look at her, then cringed at her raised eyebrow. Knowing what was next, he tried to mentally prepare himself.

Turning to Maria he nervously ran his finger between his shirt and his skin, suddenly feeling a lack of air. “Uh, Maria? Since, uh, since Liz is going with Max and I still don’t have a date, uh, will, uh, you go with me?” Before Kyle could draw another breath he found himself against the wall of the cave.

Maria rushed up to where Michael had Kyle pinned up against the wall. Tugging at his arm, she tried to get him to release Kyle. Michael looked at her, the anger on his face softening when he met her pleading eyes. “Aw Maria. Don’t look at me like that. Do you feel the same way as Liz? Wait, don’t answer that. I know you do. Fine, I’ll do it this once! Will you go to the dance with me?” Michael released Kyle in time to catch Maria as she jumped into his arms. Shrieking with joy she planted kisses all over his face.

Liz walked up to Kyle. Giving him a hug, she asked him if he was okay. “Kyle, I’m so sorry. I didn’t know that they would do this! Please forgive me?”

Max looked at Liz in astonishment. His mind whirled around, trying to make sense of what he had just heard. Suddenly, a light bulb clicked on his brain. Liz giggled, she could almost hear the click of the switch as awareness flooded his features.

Michael looked between Liz, Max and Kyle in confusion. Frowning, he mentally reviewed everything that had just happened. His jaw dropped open as realization slammed into him. He turned to look at Maria, outrage stamped on his face. “YOU SET US UP!!?? HOW COULD YOU DO THAT???”

All eyes turned to Michael. The girls took one look at his face and all three dissolved into giggles. Maria tried to speak so she could placate Michael, but she couldn’t inhale enough air. Liz was the first calm down. “Guys, we are sooo sorry! But you two were becoming settled and accepting that we would always be there when needed. In fact, we were starting to feel like blankets, you only take us out when you need us. So we thought we would shake you up a little. Remind you that we are your girlfriends, but that it is nice to be asked.”

Max glowered at Liz. Slowly he stalked closer to her. Liz looked at his expression and started quaking inside, but she stood her ground. Coming up next to her, Max lightly grabbed her arm. He stared down into her eyes for a long silent moment. Alex, watching this, was ready to help Liz if needed. Isabel grabbed onto Alex’s arm, feeling the tense, bunching muscles under her hand. She placed her mouth next to his ear. “Don’t worry. Max would never do anything to hurt her. He’s just playing.” Alex relaxed only slightly.

The silence stretched on. Liz tried to stand straighter, refusing to back down to Max. With a sigh, he lowered his head so his forehead rested on hers. His eyes softened as he thought about how lucky he was to have her in his life. “I can’t believe you did this to me. Remind me to never get on your bad side. Come to think of it, I’m sure that you had some help coming up with this. I think I want to stay on the good side of all three of you! I’m afraid of what would happen if you changed sides on me!” Max dropped a light kiss onto Liz’s lips and then pulled her close to him for a hug.

Breaths were expelled at Max’s words. Kyle looked very relieved to have all the attention off of him. His relief was short lived, however.

Maria looked over at Kyle, then at her other friends, all standing close to their loves. Her eyes narrowed thoughtfully. “Kyle, who are you going to take to the dance? You can’t not go!”

Kyle jumped slightly, Maria’s voice startling him out of his meandering thoughts. “I don’t know. There’s that new chick, I thought maybe I could ask her.”

Liz’s face scrunched up in confusion. “What new chick? You don’t mean the one that looks like a gerduck, do you?” Kyle nodded in confirmation. Isabel jumped in with her opinion before Kyle could respond.

“I don’t know Kyle. There’s something about her. I can’t put my finger on it. Maybe you should wait a couple of days. I heard that there’s another family moving here and they have a girl our age. Maybe you should wait and see.”

Kyle thought over Isabel’s suggestion. “Yeah, maybe I will. Now, I don’t know about you guys, but I’m really tired. I think we should hit the sack.” Stretching, Kyle let out a big yawn as he made his way towards the sleeping area. Slowly the rest of the group trickled over to join him, and after some sleepy conversation, silence descended over the sleeping teenagers.

Part Nineteen

Monday Night

I watched him walk into the room. I laughed silently to myself. He was so obviously trying to hide his nervousness. I smiled at him, trying to put him at ease. I’m not ready for him to tremble in fear from me. That would ruin everything. Motioning him forward, I rested my hand on his shoulder, sending calming vibes through my hand and into him. My smile grew wider as I felt the tenseness melt from his body.

He lowered his head then looked at my through his lashes, waiting for my orders. I let the silence stretch on, reinforcing the idea that I am the one in charge. Finally I spoke. “We know that the adults are all aware of who these kids are. Not only are we going to need to gain the trust of the Royals, but we also will need to gain the trust of the parents. Everything will work better if they trust us. What about the fourth? Anything about that one yet?”

The man in front of me audibly swallowed, his adams apple bobbing and betraying his lingering nervousness. “Not yet, your Excellency. I still have people searching. As soon as anything is found, you will be the first to know. As for the parents, I have someone who is excellent at computers, Steve. He has convinced the owner of that ridiculous museum that he needs to overhaul his electronics. Steve is now an employee there, he can keep an eye on the brat king. As for myself, I thought that my military experience would be helpful to the local yokels. I start next Monday as Roswell’s newest deputy. I’m hoping that the Sheriff will let whatever information he knows slip. And if not, there are other ways to get what we want.”

I nodded approvingly, my mind working all of this out. I knew that this was only a start, but we have plenty of time. Waving my hand, I dismissed the man from my sight. A slow smile crept across my face as I considered my plans.

Diane Evans looked up when she heard the front door open. Looking at her watch, she waited to see who would be first to greet her. A smile spread across her face as she watched her daughter walk into the room and sit down next to her. Putting her arm around Isabel’s shoulders, Diane pulled her in for a hug as she kissed her on the temple.

“Hey sweetie! Where’s your brother?” Isabel shrugged while grinning at her mom. “You know Max. He wanted to make sure Liz got home safely. And to him that means walking her to her bedroom door!”

Mother and daughter shared a laugh. As their laughter died away silence descended, leaving the room in silence. Diane was contemplating how to bring up Sasha to her kids. As much as she loved them, she was very aware of closed off the group could be towards others. And Diane found she wanted her kids to include Sasha for some reason. Narrowing her eyes, Diane contemplated that thought as she idly glanced at Isabel who sat with a far-off look in her eyes. Eyes widening slightly, Diane realized that Isabel’s eyes looked vaguely familiar.

<> Diane was jerked out of her thoughts at the sound of a door slamming.

“Mom?! Isabel? Oh there you guys are!” Max entered the room his mom and sister were in, walking over to give his mom a kiss before sitting down on her other side. “So did you and dad enjoy the quiet weekend?” Max inquired, only half listening for his mom’s answer as his thoughts had already drifted back to Liz.

Grinning when she saw his face, Diane decided to try and shock him. Looking at Isabel, Diane gave her a wink and a grin spread across the blonds face as she realized what her mom had in mind. Isabel covered her mouth to keep any giggles from escaping. Putting on a straight face Diane turned back to Max. “Mmmhmm, it was a wonderful weekend. Your dad is so great! Did you know he actually cornered me as I was vacuuming the floor and we made love right here on the couch?”

Max’s eyes widening in shock as he leapt off of the couch. “Gross Mom! I really don’t want to hear about you and dad…” Max was unable to finish the sentence and he shuddered at the mental image his mom’s words produced, his face turning red. “Ewww!!”

The giggles coming from his sister caught his attention. Max looked at her, frowning when he realized she was still sitting on the couch. “What’s so funny? And how come you’re still sitting there?”

By this time Isabel was laughing so hard she couldn’t answer him. Snickering herself, Diane took pity on her flustered son. “Max. Sit down. I was just teasing you! I saw how you went off into your Liz-world and I couldn’t resist. Don’t worry. Your dad and I didn’t do anything more than just sit and snuggle here!” Diane crossed her fingers behind her back. She knew that Max really didn’t want to hear about her sex life, any more than she wanted to hear about his, and she wasn’t all that eager to tell him about it. “Max, come on! Sit down and tell me about the trip.”

Max warily glanced at his mother as he gingerly sat back down on the couch. He glanced at Isabel before he started to tell his mom about their weekend. “Well, it was okay, except…” Max trailed off and glanced uneasily at Isabel. Isabel closed her eyes for a moment, and then continued where Max had left off.

“Except there was someone or something there. We didn’t see anyone, but I felt it.” Isabel and Max took turns telling their mom about what happened and what plans they came up with for keeping it safe.

Diane looked increasingly worried. “What about yesterday and today?” Max shrugged. “I felt the same thing, but didn’t see anything. We didn’t do any practicing yesterday or today. If there was really someone there Saturday, no one wanted to draw any extra attention to ourselves. Hopefully Sheriff Valenti and Alex can get all of the stuff together soon and we can go get everything set up.”

Max caught the look of relief that passed over Diane’s face before she hid it. His eyes met Isabel’s, then both teens leaned over and gave their mom a reassuring hug. Diane held her babies close for a moment before letting them go. Leaning back against the couch, Diane briefly closed her eyes and tried to clear her mind of the worry that was a constant companion. <>

Her eyes flew open when she remembered what she was going to talk to her kids about. “Um, Max? Isabel?” Max and Isabel looked steadily at her, their eyes slightly wide with apprehension when they heard the timid tone in her voice. “Don’t worry you two! It’s nothing bad. Do you remember hearing about new family?” Diane paused and waited for an answer. When all she got was confused looks she hastened to clarify. “Oh, that’s right. Sorry, I forgot that there are two new families. The second new ones, they just moved in this weekend while you were camping.”

Isabel looked at her mom, confused. “Yeah mom. What about it?”

“Well, I met this girl the other day. Her name is Sasha Johnson and she just moved here because of her sister’s job transfer. She’s a very nice girl. Very sweet and polite. And quiet! In fact, she reminds me of you two when you first came to live with us. You two were so shy, so afraid of doing or saying the wrong thing.”

Max groaned, knowing that if he didn’t say something his mom would keep on trotting down memory lane and they would never find out why she brought up the new people. “Mom? You were saying something about Sa..Sally? Susie?”

Diane slanted a glance at her son, knowing exactly what he was up to. “Sasha, her name is Sasha. And yes, I was saying something. I know how cautious you two and your friends are around new people. But she really is a very nice girl. I was hoping that when you go back to school tomorrow you two, and maybe even everyone else, could introduce yourselves to her and maybe try to get to know her a little? The poor girl looked so lost and lonely. And just think about how you would feel if you had to start a new school in the middle of the school year.” Diane stopped abruptly and bit her lip as she waited for an answer from Max and Isabel. She would never tell her kids that they had to do something. She couldn’t do that to them, not after all that they had been through in their short lives.

Isabel looked at Max, then sighed. “Tell you what mom, we’ll introduce ourselves and help her get used the her new school. But I can’t promise that we will let her into our circle. You know we can’t do that!” On the other side of Diane, Max was nodding his head. “Yeah mom. I don’t want to risk letting anyone else know our secret. The wrong person could find or we might put someone else in danger. Besides, I’m sure that she will make lots of friends very quickly.” Max tried to gloss over his reasons for not wanting to let someone else into the group. He was aware that his mom knew about all of the dangers he, Isabel and Michael faced all the time. He just didn’t want to risk reminding her of those dangers, then she would go into over-protective mother hen mode. Max grimaced at the thought. <>

Diane sighed. “Just promise me that you two will do what you can to make her feel comfortable and more at home here. That’s all I ask. Now, go finish your homework while I go work on dinner.” Max and Isabel stood up and each gave her a kiss and hug before heading towards their room. Diane watched them leave, shaking her head and laughing as they teased each other about Liz and Alex.

Part Twenty

Tuesday Morning

Slowly she walked into the school, her eyes darting from face to face. She tightened her hold on the strap of her backpack as her gaze swung desperately around, looking for a friendly face-any friendly face. Sasha let out a long sigh as she trudged up the steps into the school building. She stood just inside the doorway looking as lost as she felt. Her gaze finally fell on a sign pointing out the way to the office. Hitching her bag higher on her shoulder, she turned towards the office.

Pushing open the door Sasha nearly knocked over the guy standing on the other side. Her eyes widened when he turned to look at her. His blue eyes swept over her form before returning to clash with her brandy-colored ones. She noticed a lock of blond hair fall into his eyes. As he reached up to push it aside his mouth spread into a leering grin. Sasha shifted uncomfortably under his gaze.

“Excuse me? Miss?” Looking towards the direction of the voice, Sasha felt relief when she noticed it was the school secretary. As she stepped around the still grinning boy in front of her, her field of vision widened to take in all the different people working in the office.

“Hi. Today’s my first day and I’m supposed to pick up my schedule. And someone said something about a guide?” Sasha tightened her grip on her bag as she struggled to keep her gaze locked on that of the woman in front of her. The fine hairs on the back of her neck were prickling and she knew that the boy was still standing behind her, watching her.

The secretary reached over and grabbed a folder from a side counter. She pulled it towards her and opened it, pulling out the papers inside. “Ah, let’s see. You must be Sasha Johnson. Well, here’s your schedule and you will have a guide, uh let’s see. Oh here it is. Your guide is Liz Parker. She will show you around the school during homeroom. She will also pick you up from each of your classes and take you to your next one. Give me a moment and I’ll call her down here for you.” Before the secretary could pick up the phone next to her, someone spoke up.

Sasha jumped when she heard the voice coming from her right. She closed her eyes, praying it wasn’t the creepy guy. She turned her head and slowly opened her eyes. The first thing she registered was that this wasn’t the guy checking her out. As she took in his sandy brown hair and baby blue eyes her eyes widened and her jaw dropped slightly. With a slight shake, Sasha started to listen to him talking. “It’s okay Mrs. K. I have homeroom with Liz. I can take her there and leave her in Liz’s hands.”

Sasha failed to notice Mrs. K’s agreement as she was too wrapped up in the sound of his voice. She was startled as he turned to her and held out his hand. She flushed lightly as she turned her gaze down. Flushing even more, Sasha realized that she was now staring at his shirt and he had the first two buttons undone. Her tongue darted out to wet her lips and she frantically swung her eyes to the floor only to have them shoot back to his when she heard the sound of his voice.

“Hi. Kyle Valenti. And you are?” Kyle’s right eyebrow arched up in inquiry as he took in the girl standing in front of him. As he waited for her introduction, he thought that he had never seen such a beautiful girl. Her red hair was pulled back into a high ponytail. His gaze lingered on the bright strands as his thoughts turned to sunsets. Her golden eyes kept looking into his then darting away before looking back. Vaguely he realized that she was nervous. In the two seconds that she allowed her gaze to connect with his, he felt himself drowning in the depths of her eyes. He noticed that she was tall, standing only a few inches shorter than his own five feet eleven inches, when he had to look down at her. When her gaze next flitted away from his, he glanced quickly down her body, taking in her bright blue button down shirt hanging open over a black tank top. Moving his gaze down further he saw that she wore faded blue jeans and white sneakers. His eyebrow climbed closer to his hairline as he realized that her height was all her own. Snaking his eyes back up her body he took a moment to admire her long legs.

“Uh…Sasha. Sasha Johnson. You don’t have to take me. I’m sure I can find my way, I wouldn’t want to keep you from whatever it was you were doing.” Sasha blushed slightly as she forced herself to lock gazes with him. <>

Kyle grinned at the flustered girl. “It’s not a problem. I do want to see if I can catch up with my friends though. But if we don’t it’s not a big deal since we’re all in the same homeroom. Do you need to stop by your locker first? What am I saying! Of course you do. You don’t want to carry all that stuff around all day. Let’s go!”

Kyle gently placed his hand on the small of her back and guided her out of the office. As she showed him the paper with her locker number on it he grinned to himself. Kyle was surprised to realize he was happy her locker was by his. Shaking his surprise away he steered him towards the wing where their lockers were located. He led her to her locker and patiently waited while she put her notebooks and other items neatly inside. As soon as she was finished they moved over to his locker and he pulled out the books he would need right away.

At the other end of the hallway Max walked around the corner his arm around Liz. Alex and Isabel walked next to them holding hands while Michael and Maria were behind, arguing about something again. Liz looked up at Max and rolled her eyes as she listened to her best friend insulting her boyfriend. Max grinned down at Liz then leaned over and brushed a kiss against her forehead before stopping at her locker. He sighed in contentment and looked at his other friends all interacting with each other.

Max watched Liz pull out the books she was going to need as on either side of her Isabel and Maria were doing the same. He shook his head thinking he didn’t want to know how Maria had managed to talk the office into assigning the three girls lockers right next to each other’s or the four boys just down the hall from the girls lockers.

“Hey Cheeshead! Are you finished yet? We need to get to homeroom. Max said that there’s a new girl starting today and remember Liz has to be her guide. Besides, I wanna try and check her out. You know, make sure she’s okay!” Michael winced when he felt Maria’s hand connect with his shoulder. He rubbed the sore spot while glaring at his girlfriend.

Maria placed her hands on her hips and regarded Michael with fire in her eyes. “Excuse me! What do you mean you want to check out the new girl??!! Is there something you want to tell me about our relationship? Maybe you’d like to ask her to the dance for this weekend? Come to think of it, I don’t think Kyle has a date. Maybe I’ll just go with him! Or even better! I’ll with Tommy! Is that what you’re waiting to hear from me? Huh? Is it? Answer…” Maria was cut off abruptly as Michael brought his lips down to hers.

Michael softly worked his lips over Maria’s. Sliding his tongue out, he traced the seam of her lips waiting for her to open for him. With a sigh Maria relaxed her lips, allowing Michael to snake his tongue onto her mouth to immediately tangle with hers. The clanging of the lockers and high-pitched squeals faded away as Michael and Maria lost themselves in each other. Maria’s arms slowly crept up to encircle Michael’s neck. She hung on tight as the anticipated weakness hit her knees.

Alex threw a wink at Isabel before turning to the lip-locked couple and clearing his throat. “You guys need to find a room! But not the eraser room, Iz and I have dibs on that!” Maria and Michael pulled away from each other, looking dazed. Liz giggled softly at her friend’s expression. “Yeah, and stay away from the janitors closet. Max and I have that!”

Michael scowled at his friends. Laughing, Max, Isabel, Alex and Liz turned and headed down the hall towards the guys’ lockers. Michael looked down at Maria and felt a smug smile creep across her face when he saw the dazed look still in her eyes. Leaning down he kissed her nose then pulled her after their friends.

Part Twenty-One

Kyle looked over his shoulder as the sound of laughter reached his ears. A smile spread across his face when he saw his friends heading his way. He looked over to Sasha and noticed her shifting her weight nervously from one foot to the other. “Hey! You see the short brunette? That’s Liz, the one who’s gonna be your guide today. Hey guys!” Kyle called out in greeting drawing everyone’s attention first to him then past to the tall red-haired girl.

Max’s eyes narrowed thoughtfully, then he glanced at Isabel, raising an eyebrow in inquiry. Isabel shrugged in response while snuggling back into Alex’s embrace. Giving Alex a peck on the cheek Isabel turned to look at the new girl standing next to Kyle. Sasha nervously shifted her eyes away from the blonds frank perusal only to find them clashing with the amber gaze of the tall dark-haired boy in front of her. Her eyes widened and shiver danced down her spine as a faint feeling of déjà vu swept over her.

Liz noticed the look between Max and Isabel then the reaction the girl had to Max. She looked to Max and saw the confusion that was sitting there. She gave a mental shrug and stepped closer to the girl. She held out her hand in greeting. “Hey. I’m Liz Parker. You must be one of the new people. I’m sorry, normally I would know your name since we get so few new people. But you happen to start at the same time as another girl and I’ve only seen her.”

Sasha was taken aback by the openness Liz showed her. Tentatively placing her hand into the outstretched one in front of her she shyly smiled. “Don’t worry about it. Uh, my name is Sasha Johnson. Kyle told me you’re supposed to be my guide today. You know, you don’t have to worry about it. This is a pretty small school, I don’t think it’ll be hard to get lost.”

Liz gently smiled at the chattering girl. “You would be surprised. My first day here, I ended up in the Auto Tech class rooms like five times. It’s not all straight and in order. Why don’t you let me see your schedule while Kyle introduces you to everyone else?” Liz reached out and took the paper Sasha was holding. Before Kyle could say anything Max held out his hand. “Hey I’m Max and that’s my sister Isabel. I think you met our mom the other day. Right?”

Sasha looked between the two siblings surprise showing on her face when she saw how different they looked. “Uh, yeah. Your mom is really nice. You two are really related? You look so different from each other. Actually, neither of you really looks like your mom either.”

Isabel chuckled and stepped forward. “Yeah, Max and I really are related. But there’s a good reason we don’t look like mom at all. You see, Max and I are adopted. Anyway, this goofy looking guy is my boyfriend Alex Whitman.” Sasha looked at Alex and laughed as he shoots a pout towards his girlfriend.

Turning to her, Alex gave Sasha his trademark thumbs up a grin stretching his lips. “Hey Sasha! How’s it going? Where did you move here from?” Sasha was startled to realize she wasn’t quite so nervous anymore thanks to the genuine friendliness she felt coming from the group around her. “My sister and I moved here from Duluth Minnesota. She got promoted at work and unfortunately that meant we had to move here.”

Sasha shrugged, attempting to give the impression that the whole didn’t really bother her that much. She was startled to see a sympathetic smile from the other blond girl in the girl. The blond detangled herself from the arms of the guy next to her and stepped closer, placing a hand comfortingly on Sasha’s shoulders. “Hey, it won’t be that bad. Look at it this way, how many people actually get to claim they live in the alien capitol of the world?”

The blond giggled at the look of astonishment on Sasha’s face. The other guy, the one she hadn’t met yet, ran his hand through his hair making it stand up even more. He stepped behind the blond and wrapped his arms around her waist. “Ignore Maria. She don’t know what she’s talking about. I’m Michael. C’mon Ria. We gotta get to class.” Unwrapping his arms from Maria, Michael grabbed her hand and pulled her down the hall.

Alex watched his friends leaving, letting them get far enough down the hall so that Alex would have to raise his voice for his friends to hear. “Hey Michael! Your class is the other way! Are you sure you two aren’t heading for the eraser room?” Students in the hall looked towards where Michael and Maria had stopped and looked back at Alex. Maria stuck her tongue out at Alex, then grinned sunnily. Michael scowled at Alex then flipped him the finger before turning and continuing in the direction he was headed.

Isabel stood next to Alex shaking her head. With a sigh, she turned back to her friends and started to talk. Liz shared a grin with Max at her friend’s antics. “Sasha you have homeroom with all of us. Then you have math with Kyle and Isabel, English with Alex and Max, History with me, Max and Maria, the same lunch that we have, Art with Michael and Science with all of us.” Liz handed the schedule back to Sasha, her eyes landing on her watch as she did so. Her mouth dropped open when she saw the time. “Hey guys. We have to get going. Homeroom starts in like two minutes.”

While Max slung his arm around Liz’s shoulder, Isabel and Alex held hands. Following his friends, Kyle placed his hand lightly on Sasha’s back and gently directed her towards their first class of the day.

Tess stood at the end of the hallway and watched the seven friends heading away from her. Her eyes narrowed as she contemplated the way the acted around the new girl. She noticed that there seemed to be a wall of reserve up around each of them, the type of reserved behavior that everyone always has around them when meeting someone new. Tess let out a sigh as she looked around her and noticed the same wall that was up around those standing near or passing by her.

Letting out a sigh, Tess started down the hall in the direction the seven friends had taken. She knew that she would need to take action soon. Her eyes were drawn to a poster on the wall announcing the upcoming dance. <
Part Twenty Two

Liz walked into her homeroom and put her books on the desk. Max sat down across from Liz on her right. Michael and Maria claimed the desks behind Liz and Max while Alex and Isabel took the ones in front of them. Kyle directed Sasha to the desk across from Isabel and he sat down behind her, across from Liz. Everyone was just getting settled when the bell rang. Mrs. Smith, their homeroom teacher, waited until everyone became quiet.

“Good morning everyone. Today…” The opening of the door cut her off. Lips twisting into a scowl she regarded the latecomer, the intensity of her glare making the girl squirm. The girl spoke, hesitation evident in her voice. “I’m sorry I’m late. But the office had set-up my schedule wrong. I just got my new one this morning and I got a little turned around in the halls.” She turned wide eyes on the teacher, attempting to look as innocent as she possibly good.

Heaving a sigh, Mrs. Smith looked away and gazed out at the students. Each one was watching curiously, wondering who this girl was. Eyes alighting on the empty desk behind Kyle, Mrs. Smith spoke. “Fine. I’ll let it pass this once. Don’t let it happen again. There’s an empty seat over there across from Maria. Go sit there. Maria, raise your hand please.” Mrs. Smith waved the young woman towards the empty desk.

Maria raised her arm and watched the short blond make her way over, curiosity evident in her bright green eyes. The new girl avoided Maria’s eyes looking instead at Isabel. Isabel’s eyebrow lifted as she adopted her Ice-princess façade at the girl’s tentative smile. Ears picking up the sound of paper rustling, Isabel knew that Maria was passing Liz a note and waited patiently for her turn to read it. Her attention was drawn back to the front of the room when the teacher cleared her throat.

“As I was saying before we were interrupted, today we have two newcomers. Why don’t the two of you come up here and introduce yourselves.” Mrs. Smith’s tone of voice prevented any argument from the two girls. With a sigh of resignation Sasha and Tess made their way to the front of the room. Tess met the openly curious expressions of her classmates, a smile on her face. Her smile widened when she saw the reserved look on Max’s face. Her eyes slide over to Michael and saw distrust on his, while Isabel’s still held the earlier aloofness. Transferring her gaze to the human companions, Tess dismissed them as inconsequential. Her eyes slid past Liz until they came to rest on a pair of blue ones, eyes that were regarding her with more openness than those of her friends. Tess studied Kyle for a moment, her eyes narrowing slightly in contemplation. She threw him a wink before turning her eyes away bashfully. Tess peeked at the red-head standing next to her.

Sasha stood with her arms crossed defensively in front of her, eyes shyly lowered to the ground. She glanced at the blond standing next to her, noticing the almost mirror appearance of their poses. Tess was standing there with her arms hanging loosely at her sides and eyes downcast. Privately rolling her eyes, Sasha figured she might as well go first. After all, brains before bimbos, right?

Sasha took a deep breath hoping to calm her nerves. “Uh…my name is Sasha Johnson,” pausing she attempted to swallow the cotton ball that seemed to have taken up residence in her throat. “Um…my sister and, uh, I just moved here from Minnesota.” Sasha stopped and looked over at Mrs. Smith, silently pleading for permission to sit back down. Mrs. Smith nodded in assent and waited until Sasha had returned to her seat before turning to Tess.

Tess raised her eyes form the ground. She peered through her eyelashes and saw everyone looking at her. Focusing on Kyle, she flashed him a brilliant smile. Kyle’s eyes widened slightly in surprise as he took in the smile. “Hi. My name is Tess Harding and I just moved here from Washington State where I was captain of my cheerleading squad.” Tess preened a bit, attempting to show off in front of everyone. Liz bit back a laugh watching Tess. She opened the note Maria passed her.

Hey Chica! Isn’t the gerbil we saw last Friday? Ugh! And those clothes! Could she look any more like a slut??? Maybe we should introduce her to Pam Troy. They look like they’d have something in common-most of the boys at this school!!!

Liz’s shoulders started to shake from holding in her laughter. Tapping Isabel on the shoulder, Liz passed the note one. Liz counted to three before she heard Isabel let out a snort and immediately start coughing to cover it up. Mrs. Smith’s glare swung towards the three girls before waving Tess back to her desk.

“Okay, because of Sasha and ah Tresh, sorry, Tess, today I am going to call your names while I take attendance. I want each of you to raise your hand and call ‘here’ so that the girls can see who you are.” Mrs. Smith started calling roll while Isabel quickly passed the note on to the rest of her friends, starting with Sasha. Pretty soon the eight teenagers were all struggling to contain laughter.

“Today I want you to work on any homework you need to. If you need a pass to go to a different teacher’s room or the library come up here and see me. Otherwise work at your desks. You can talk, but keep it down to a very, very dull roar.” Turning to the papers on her desk Mrs. Smith tuned out the chattering voices that started up as soon as she stopped talking.

Not even waiting for the teacher to finish talking, Liz, Maria and Isabel all scrunched close together and started talking about the upcoming dance. The guys watched their girlfriends jabbering excitedly and groaned, knowing they were in for a long night. Letting out sighs, Max, Michael and Alex turned to each other to talk about other things.

“Hey, what should we do for dinner? It’s been awhile since we all went to a dance as a group.” Maria pointed out, hoping her other two friends would agree to a triple date.

Liz thought for a moment before her eyes lit up in excitement. “How about a picnic? We can all go together, maybe bring some candles and a portable radio for music.”

Isabel cocked her head to one side, considering Liz’s idea. “I like that idea. Oh, we can go to that clearing out in the woods or we can go to the cliffs out in the desert. What do you guys think?” Liz and Maria nodded in agreement, but the girls couldn’t decide which area they would prefer. As one they turned to their boyfriends.

“Max? We need your opinion on something.” Max turned towards Liz eyebrow raised in inquiry. “Well, you see, we decided we want to triple to the dance this weekend. And we thought instead of going someplace to eat or eating at the Crash, we would have a picnic. Only problem is, we can’t decide where we want to go. We were thinking maybe the cliffs or the clearing in the woods. What do you guys think?” Liz asked Max, turning her big eyes up at him.

Max thought about it for a moment, then looked at Michael and Alex. “What do you guys think? I think we should take care of dinner.” Michael and Alex nodded in agreement. Max turned to the girls. “Okay, leave dinner to us. We’ll take care of it.” Liz leaned across the aisle and gave Max a quick kiss before turning back to Maria and Isabel.

Max turned to Michael and Alex, looking at them questioningly. Michael shrugged and glared at Max as if to ask “Why are you looking at me? This wasn’t my idea.” Alex looked at Max then turned to watch Isabel.

“I like their picnic idea. Max, Michael, if we have it in the woods do you think maybe some Czechoslovakian fireflies will show up? And maybe we could bring some candles and add some soft music?” Alex glanced briefly at the other two before turning to continue worshipping Isabel with his eyes.

Michael looked at Alex in confusion. “Man, what the hell are Czechoslovakian fireflies?” Reaching up to scratch his eyebrow, Michael waited for Alex to respond. When he didn’t, Michael reached around Max to punch Alex in the shoulder.

Alex jerked his head towards Michael and glared while rubbing his shoulder. “What was that for?”

“I asked you what Czechoslovakian fireflies are? Now are you gonna tell me, or do I have to tell Isabel about the dreams you’ve been having about her?”

Max sat back and watched his two friends in amusement. He waited for Alex’s answer, feeling just as confused as Michael looked. Alex’s eyes widened in horror as he frantically tried to think about what dreams Michael was talking about. Alex leaned in towards Michael and lowered his voice, not wanting anyone to overhear, especially Isabel. “What do you mean you’ll tell her about my dreams? What dreams are you talking about? Hey! I thought you couldn’t do a dream walk!?” Michael chuckled as Alex’s questions tumbled over each other.

Holding up a hand to quiet Alex, Michael raised a brow and sat back waiting for Alex to answer his question. Alex sighed and gave up. “You aren’t gonna answer me are you? Max?” Alex appealed to Max.

Max shot a look at Michael before looking Alex in the eye. He had to tell him the truth. “Sorry Man! As much fun as I think we could have with this one, the girls would kill us if they found out we did this to Alex. No Alex, Michael hasn’t been dream walking you. Michael and I don’t have strong enough mental powers to do it. We have to have a really strong connection with the other person to be able to. He was just trying to get your attention.”

Alex glared at Michael for another minute before explaining what he meant. “When Maria first found out, she was having problems referring to the ‘thing’ without coming out and saying what it was. So she decided to start referring to ‘it’ as Czechoslovakian. Anyway, the whole, as Maria would put it, Samantha-alien-genie thing.”

Understanding dawned on Max’s face and in his mind’s eye he pictured the clearing with fireflies floating around. He looked at Michael, only to see him nodding in resigned agreement. Max looked back to Alex. “All right. Here’s what we’ll do. Michael, you take care of the candles and seeing if the fireflies will be migrating there that night. Alex, you take care of the music and blankets. I’ll take care of the food and each of us can bring flowers. Nothing too expensive, wildflowers, daisies, whatever. How does that sound to you?” Michael and Alex nodded in agreement as the bell rang. Grabbing their books, they stood up and made their way out into the already crowded hallway.

TBC…I’m still not done with Homeroom so the next part or two will be taking place at the same time as the guy’s conversation.

Part Twenty-Three

Kyle’s nose wrinkled as scents assailed it. Sniffing lightly, he recognized the scents of Maria, Liz and Isabel. He knew the aroma wafting his way wasn’t from his three friends. Sniffing again he picked up the light fragrance floating his way from where Sasha sat in front of him, watching the teacher explain the morning schedule. Kyle sniffed the air one more time and, sneezing from the unpleasant smell, realized the scent was coming from behind him where the new girl sat. Kyle rolled his eyes and sighed, wondering why she couldn’t follow the lead of the other four girls sitting around him and only lightly spritz on the perfume, not take a bath in it.

Kyle’s attention was drawn to Sasha as she turned around, Mrs. Smith finished with her instructions. He smiled and leaned forward, hoping to talk to her some more. “So what did you and Liz decide about your schedule? I hope we have more than homeroom together.”

Heat slowly crept up Sasha’s face as she turned her eyes shyly away from Kyle. She was confused by her own behavior. She had never behaved like a giggling girl around a man before. But then again, no man had ever caused butterflies to start flitting around in her stomach or her hands to become dry and clammy before. “Uh, well she told me which of you guys have a class with me. But that was it. I know I have lunch, and I think one other class with you. I just can’t remember which one. Is it really that hard to get lost in this school?” Sasha looked at Kyle, her head cocked to the side in disbelief.

Kyle nodded his head emphatically, amusement lighting his blue eyes. “Uh huh. See, the classes are kind of mixed together. So instead of a science wing and a math wing there are science classes next to art classes next to history classes. Oh, and the numbers aren’t sequential! It’s almost like someone created the rooms separate and then just plopped them wherever. You remember how Liz told you she ended up in the auto tech class? Well she wasn’t the only one to get lost. In fact we all got lost quite a bit that first week. I remember looking for the guy’s locker room and ended up in the girl’s bathroom! Fortunately there were no women in there, but being surrounded by tampon machines and all the mirrors they have in there is not my idea of a fun time!”

A giggle escaped from between Sasha’s lips. Kyle’s gazed drifted to her lips, glazing over when her tongue snaked out to wet her lips. Kyle was fascinated at the sight of the glistening pink lips. It wasn’t until Sasha called his name several times that he realized where his eyes were. Kyle blushed slightly as he averted his eyes from Sasha’s face.

“Kyle? Are you okay?” Sasha was concerned at the way Kyle had seemed to drift away. Still refusing to look at her, Kyle nodded. “Yeah, I’m fine. My mind just drifted. What were you saying again?”

Sasha looked closely at Kyle, almost sure there was something more than what he was saying. She shrugged it off, they didn’t know each other well enough for her to push the issue. “I was asking you about extra-curricular activities around here. At my old school we had a ski team and even a skating club. They would ice skate in the winter and roller blade in the fall and spring. What’s around here? What do you do?”

Kyle turned his gaze back to Sasha. “Well, I’m captain of the football and basketball teams. I thought about baseball, but for some reason I can’t seem to connect the bat with the ball. Go figure. Anyway, um there’s the Science club-Liz is president and Max is something or other. Between you and me, I think he just joined because of her. Ow!” Kyle yelped when Liz smacked him on the shoulder. He hadn’t realized she overheard him. Sasha giggled, feeling like he had deserved it. “Hey! I’m sorry! I didn’t mean it. Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah. Then there’s the art club. Maria and Michael are part of that. Maria has this amazing touch with a camera. You should see some of the pictures she’s taken of us! And Michael’s paintings are just as amazing. Some of them look so lifelike while the imagination that shows on the others makes you believe they actually exist! Then there are the usual sports, football, basketball, softball, oh and we have an amazing tennis team. There’s also the yearbook committee and a social committee, that’s Isabel’s department. There’s the computer club, which Alex heads up. We have a joint drama club with Clovis High, and I think there’s a few other things.”

Sasha looked at Kyle, confusion all over her face. “Uh, what’s a social committee?”

Kyle looked surprised at the question, then understanding dawned on his face. “Sorry, I guess I thought it was someone that was fairly typical for almost all schools. It’s actually a mix of things. They take care of the welcome wagon, welcoming new students, being their guides that type of thing. They also set up community service activities, which looks really good on college apps. Um, oh yeah. They’re also in charge of the dances. Figuring out when to have them, where, the theme, decorating, that sort of thing. Have you heard of the dance this Friday?”

Kyle’s attention was pulled away from Sasha when he heard a high pitched giggle coming from behind him. He winced at the sound, equating it to nails on a chalkboard. Tess leaned over her desk, getting as close to Kyle as she could while making sure she looked enticing. Kyle turned around when he felt her breath brushing his ear.

“Oh, hey. You’re Tess right? Uh, I’m Kyle Valenti. How’s it going?” Kyle turned back to Sasha, hoping to discourage any conversation from Tess.

Tess’ eyes narrowed briefly at Kyle’s rejection. “Yeah, I know who you are. Who doesn’t know the most handsome guy in the school? I hope I’m not being to forward or anything, but I’ve heard about the dance.” Tess ran the tip of a finger slowly down Kyle’s arm. Goosebumps broke out in the wake of Tess’ finger and Kyle suppressed a shiver of distaste. He turned back to Tess, wanting to answer as quickly as he could then continue his conversation with Sasha.

“Thanks for the complement. But, uh I’m not you know. Not by a long shot.” Kyle was very comfortable with the way he looked, confidant that he was one of the better looking guys in school. But he knew that if he were to admit she was right he might be jumping from the frying pan in to the fire. “Uh yeah. The dance. It should be okay.”

Tess lowered her lashes over her eyes and looked at Kyle in a manner she felt was a cross between shy and seductive. “You know, nobody’s asked me to the dance yet.” Tess let the end of the sentence dangle. Kyle shifted uncomfortably in his seat, knowing what she was angling for. Opening his mouth to speak, he was cut off by the sound of the bell. Letting out a sigh of relief and throwing a quick, informal smile in Tess’ direction, Kyle grabbed his books and followed Sasha out into the hall where she stood with the rest of Kyle’s friends.

Part Twenty Four

Liz gave Max a kiss on the cheek and turned back to Maria and Isabel. She listened to her two friends chatting about the dance, discussing who was going, who should be going with who, and what some of the girls were planning on wearing. Liz perked up when Maria changed the subject to clothes.

“I think I need a new dress. What do you think Liz? Isabel?”

Isabel enthusiastically nodded her head at Maria. “Yeah! I think we should go shopping. How about after school? Wait, you both have to work don’t you?”

“Yeah. Maria and I are both on tonight, but neither of us has to work tomorrow. I know I’m free. What about you Maria?” Liz was already trying to decide what kind of dress she should buy.

“Hey, whatever I had planned can wait. It was only some mother-daughter bonding time. And besides, I’m pretty sure I was just about to get bumped in favor of mom’s l’amour du jour! So yeah! I’m game. Should we meet at the Jetta after last bell or at our lockers?” Maria was so excited she was practically bouncing in her seat.

Liz grinned at Maria. “Uh, let’s meet at the lockers. That way we can all walk out together.” Liz blushed when Isabel and Maria started to giggle.

“Sure Liz. We can all walk out together. I’m assuming you plan on waiting for Max so he can get you safely to the car? I’m offended that you don’t think Maria and I could do the job just as well, if not better.” Isabel’s gentle teasing made Liz’s face become even redder.

“Oh, you’re a fine one to talk Iz! I know you would be more than happy to wait for Alex so you can help him leave school safely. And if you have your way, you’ll make sure you lead him out by the lips. Anyways,” Liz turned to Maria, attempting to change the subject. “I’m sure you don’t mind getting bumped in favor of your mom’s date. What did she have planned for bonding night anyway?”

Maria smirked. She knew Liz wanted to change the subject and as much as she would love to tease her some more, Maria knew Liz could, and would, tease Maria just as mercilessly as she was being teased. “Yeah, okay. I think she said something about pizza and ice cream. And that’s after we work on creating some more alien themed stuff. I’m pretty sure she’s gonna want to discuss Michael with me and if we’re having sex yet. Then she’ll go off onto her rant about how she doesn’t want me to make the same mistakes she did and yada yada yada. Oh, and don’t forget the fun little talk about birth control and all that. So yeah, I’d be more than happy to avoid that!”

Liz and Isabel were smiling at Maria in amusement. They both knew just the type of girls night Maria would be having with her mom, both having had the pleasure of being around one of her little lectures. In fact, both girls have even been on the receiving end of one of Mrs. DeLuca’s bonding conversations. Liz’s smile faded as she glanced to where Kyle sat talking to Sasha and ignoring the new girl behind him. Liz tuned in to Kyle’s conversation just in time to hear him say “Well, I’m captain of the football and basketball teams. I thought about baseball, but for some reason I can’t seem to connect the bat with the ball. Go figure. Anyway, um there’s the Science club-Liz is president and Max is something or other. Between you and me, I think he just joined because of her. Ow!” Reaching across the aisle she smacked him on the arm.

“Hey! I’m sorry Liz! You know I didn’t mean it! You don’t have to beat me.” Liz laughed at Kyle’s pout and leaned over to kiss him on the cheek. “Aw Kyle, you know I still love you! But I still love Max more.”

Kyle grinned at Liz and turned back to Sasha. Liz watched the two interacting for a moment. “Hey Maria, Iz. What about Kyle? He doesn’t have a date yet.” Liz was worried about her friend, more so after his revelations to her over the weekend.

Maria turned to watch Kyle then turned back to Liz, laying a hand on her shoulder. “Lizzy, babe. We gotta let him do it on his own. Remember, we’ve tried to set him up before but he never appreciates our hard work. So if he wants to go to the dance, he’s gonna hafta find a pair and ask someone. It’s not like he’s ugly or anything. And we know Kyle ain’t shy!”

Isabel laughed as she remembered the last time Liz and Maria tried to hook him up with someone. It wouldn’t have been too bad except Liz seemed to think April Roberts was the right girl. It might have worked, if April wasn’t the definition of a nerd. She was a very pretty girl, but her whole world revolved around her studies, particularly those involving math and science. Isabel wondered if Kyle and his date would be joining the other three couples for the night. That reminded her. “Hey Liz, what did Max say about dinner? Maria distracted me with some gossip about Vicky and Pam.”

Liz laughed at her friend. “Sure Isabel. Maria distracted you. Knowing you, you probably brought up the topic. Anyway, Max and the guys decided to take care of dinner. They seemed to like the picnic idea, but they didn’t give really say anything about where or what to eat or anything like that. So our job is to go find some beautiful dresses and get ready.”

“What about Kyle? Should we invite him and his date?” Maria questioned, a little worried about who Kyle might ask as there were very few girls without dates and even fewer girls that she actually liked.

Liz thought about it for a moment. “I think we should wait and see who he asks. Maybe he’ll want it to be a more private date. And depending on who he asks, I don’t know how comfortable I would be with someone not from our group.”

Isabel and Maria nodded in agreement. Before anyone could say anything more the bell rang and the three girls grabbed their books before making their way out into the hall. Stopping next to their boyfriends, they relaxed into the warm embrace of their loves while waiting on Kyle and Sasha. Liz straightened up when she saw them make their way out of the classroom. Her eyes narrowed in curiosity when she spotted blond curls bobbing behind Kyle, following him to where the friends stood waiting.

“Hey Kyle, Sasha. Uh, hi. Tess, right?” Maria elbowed Liz when she spoke up. Slanting a glance at Maria, Liz gave a slight shrug of her shoulders. Her upbringing wouldn’t let her be anything but polite to someone she didn’t know. At the blonds nod, Liz introduced her friends, not liking the way Tess’ eyes lingered on Max before moving on to Michael. Max tightened his grip around Liz’s waist. He could feel the tension building in Liz. Glancing between Liz and the new girl, Max’s brow furrowed in confusion, not sure what was making his Liz upset.

“Okay, since we have to get going to our next class, why don’t we do it this way. Sasha, you go to class with Kyle and Isabel and then Isabel can bring you to your next class since she’s got one near there. Then Max can walk you to History, you can head to lunch with Max and me. After lunch Michael can take you to Art and then to Science. After Science, we’ll lead you out of the building. How does that sound?”

Sasha nodded in agreement. She was relieved that she wouldn’t have to try to find her own way to her classes. She had already seen some of the maze that this school was and she wasn’t looking forward to finding her own way around. With a sigh of relief she moved next to Kyle and Isabel and waited while everyone said good-bye.

“Uh Kyle? I really hate to ask this. But I’m not sure where it is I’m supposed to go. And I overheard you saying you have math next. I was wondering, well, since I’m in your class and all. Could I walk with you?” Tess asked, trying to sound like she really needed help finding her class.

Kyle shot a look at Isabel, silently pleading with her to get him out of his. At Isabel’s almost invisible nod, Kyle let out a sigh of resignation. “Yeah sure. Let’s get going though. Mr. Beasley really doesn’t like people being late. He’s worse than Mrs. Smith.”

Kyle turned and trudged down the hall, not waiting for Tess. Saying good-bye and waving over her shoulder, Tess hurried after Kyle, Isabel and Sasha. She waited until the group had disappeared behind them before she moved closer to Kyle and let her arm brush against his. Kyle jumped and glanced warily at Tess out of the corner of his eye. He moved away only to have Tess follow, making sure she stayed close enough so that she could touch him. Kyle inched away once again, then gave up when Tess moved closer than she was last time. Letting out another sigh, he gave up resigning himself to having her practically walk on top of him all the way to class. Kyle walked a little faster, hoping as soon as he got to class he could get away from her. He shuddered, thinking she reminded him of a barnacle, very clingy.

Edited by - priszm1978 on 09/22/2001 20:39:58
posted on 15-Sep-2001 5:56:44 PM by Priszm1978
Part Twenty-Seven

Nancy Parker jumped in fright at the sound of the door slamming, followed by pounding footsteps. Spinning around, her hand on her heaving chest, she glared at the three giggling girls. Slowly the girlish sounds died away as the girls looked back at her in surprise.

“Do you girls have any idea how much you scared me? Liz I have told you time and again not to slam the door like that! Now, what’s so important you have to rush like that?” Nancy scowled at her daughter in disapproval, tapping her foot as she waited for her to answer.

Liz exchanged a sheepish glance with Maria and Isabel before looking back at her mom apologetically. “Sorry mom! It’s just that we need to get ready for the dance and we were stuck waiting on Maria.”

“Hey! It wasn’t my fault my mom wanted me to run to Hondo and drop off that order. Besides, I never said you had to come with.” Maria’s hands settled on her hips as she tried to defend herself.

Isabel laughed at the outraged expression on Maria’s face. “Maria, omitting the fact that you had to go to Hondo before we got in the car does make it your fault. You never said, but you never asked too!”

Nancy laughed at the antics of her daughter and the other two girls who seemed like second daughters. “Well, if you’re running behind, what are you doing standing here arguing about it? If you don’t hurry, you won’t make it to the dance and you’ll have some very unhappy boys on your hands.”

“Nah. They’d be thrilled if they didn’t have to go to the dance. They’d much rather sit around and do a body count on Brave Heart for the billionth time.” Maria waved her hands airily, dismissing Nancy’s comments. Laughing, Liz hooked her arms through her two best friends and pulled them in the direction of her bedroom. Watching them go, Nancy Parker shook her head in amusement.

Tumbling through the bedroom door, Isabel and Maria dropped their bags on the floor while Liz made a beeline for her bathroom. “I got the first shower! I’ll be out in fifteen, then you guys can argue about who gets to go next!” Liz called out as she partly closed the door.

Maria took Isabel’s dress bag from her and hung it up on the closet door. Isabel closed the bedroom door then flopped down on Liz’s bed. Holding out her hand, she used her powers to drag her bag closer. Reaching in she pulled out the latest fashion magazine. Opening to the first page, Isabel scooted over when Maria nudged her shoulder and together the two girls examined the different hair and make-up styles found with-in the pages. Isabel marked the pages when she or Maria thought a certain style would look good on one of them.

Hearing the shower shut off, Maria stood up and grabbed her bag before taking Liz’s place in the bathroom. Liz sat down in front of her vanity and Isabel got off the bed to stand behind her.

Isabel waved her hand over Liz’s hair, drying the long brown locks. “So Liz, what did you have in mind for you hair tonight?”

Titling her head, Liz studied her reflection in the mirror before turning to look at her dress hanging next to Maria’s and Isabel’s on the closet door. The midnight blue dress had silver strands shot through, causing it to shimmer and sparkle in the light. The thin spaghetti straps were silver and crossed Liz’s back before meeting the backside of the dress at the small of Liz’s back. The sweetheart neckline revealed a hint of cleavage before sweeping down the end at Liz’s ankles.

Liz turned back to the mirror and meet Isabel’s eyes. “How about we leave it down in curls? I have some rhinestone pins that I can use to pull back the sides.”

Narrowing her eyes, Isabel mentally pictured Liz with curly hair in her dress. Nodding slowly, Isabel spoke. “I think that leaving it down would be a really good idea. Here.” Waving her hand over Liz’s hair again, Isabel stepped back and looked at the curly mass as it hung down her back. Liz reached into her jewelry box and pulled out the clips. Taking a hand and grabbing a few curls, Liz pulled them back before sliding the pin into place. She repeated the motion with the other side.

Isabel studied Liz’s hair. Slowly she shook her head. “That doesn’t work. I have a better idea.” Reaching over she pulled the pins out of Liz’s hair and closed her hand over them. There was a brief flash of light and Isabel opened her hand to reveal two pins in the shape of silver stars. Pulling the sides of Liz’s hair back again, Isabel fixed them so that Liz’s hair cascaded from the pins before joining the rest of her hair sweeping down her back. With another wave of her hand, Liz soon had tiny silver stars winking out from behind the brown tresses all over.

Isabel finished with Liz’s hair just as Maria walked out of the bathroom. Maria studied Liz for a moment. “Great job Iz! I think with some silver glitter and maybe silver and gray make-up, your brother isn’t gonna know what hit him!”

Maria moved over to the bed to put on her undergarments while Isabel waved her hand over Liz’s face and upper chest. When she was finished she went into the bathroom for her turn at the shower. Liz moved over to her dresser and pulled out the new panties, garter belt and black and silver nylons that she had bought to wear with her dress. Joining Maria on the bed, Liz started to get dressed. Liz was startled when Maria suddenly bounced on the bed and grabbed Liz’s arm. Liz turned to look at Maria with an eyebrow raised.

“Liz! I think we should really tease the guys tonight!” Maria was so excited by her idea she couldn’t sit still.

“Calm down Maria! What do you have in mind?

“I think that we should tell them we aren’t wearing any under-ware! Maybe tell them just as we are heading out so that they are stuck all night thinking about what they think we aren’t wearing!”

Liz’s eyes lit up at the thought of torturing Max like that. Giggling, she agreed with Maria. Isabel chose that moment to step out of the shower. She patiently waited for her friends to notice her.

“What’s up?”

Liz and Maria looked at each other before dissolving into giggles again. Catching her breath, Maria explained her idea to Isabel. “I think that we should tease the guys tonight. Liz and I are gonna tell space-boy and moon doggy that we don’t have any under-ware on! Let them think about that all night long! Are you in?”

Isabel nodded eagerly. “When are we gonna tell them?”

Maria thought for a moment. “Well, Liz suggested we tell them as we are heading out. OH! I know! My mom and your parents are coming to take pictures of us before we leave. You’d think this was the prom or something! Anyway, I know that our parents are all gonna want a group shot. Maybe just before they take the picture we can whisper it to the guys. No, then we won’t have a nice group pic. Hmmm…”

Isabel and Liz thought about Maria’s suggestion. “No, we can still do it that way Maria. How about when our parents say they are done with the group pictures we can tell them we want one more. Then just before they take that one we can tell the guys we aren’t wearing any under-ware! They’ll be so shocked they won’t know what to think or how to react!” Liz looked at her friends to see what they thought about her idea. Receiving enthusiastic nods of agreement, Liz stood up and finished getting ready, Maria and Isabel following her lead.

Part Twenty-Seven B

Knocking lightly Nancy Parker opened the door and leaned against the frame as she watched her daughter primping for the dance. She watched Isabel make her way into the bathroom as Maria held up tubes of lipsticks for Liz’s approval. A wistful smile settled on her lips as she watched her daughter. Her mind wandered back to a time when Liz was still her little girl; when make-up and dances and boys never even crossed Liz’s mind.

“Mom? Mom? Mom!!!” Liz watched the clouds clear from her mother’s eyes as her voice penetrated whatever dreamland her mom had drifted off too. Laying a hand on her arm, Liz looked at Nancy in concern. “Mom? Are you okay? Is there something wrong?”

Nancy studied to young woman standing before her. Her eyes misted slightly as she took in how beautiful her daughter had grown. Putting her arms around Liz, Nancy pulled her daughter in for a tight hug before answering. “Nothing’s wrong honey. I just wanted to see how everything was going and remind you that your boys should be here shortly. I wanted to take some pictures of you three before Max, Michael, and Alex get here. Besides, I know that as soon as they do step through that door I’ll lose your attention!” Nancy’s tone turned teasing as a light blush crept up Liz’s face.

Liz leaned in and gave her mother a loving kiss. “Um, yeah. Okay. We’ll be out in a few minutes, I just wanna go to the bathroom first and then we’ll be all yours. For a short time anyway.” Liz gently directed her mom out of her bedroom before closing the door behind her. With a sigh she leaned against the door before pushing off to grab her purse and wrap. Isabel stepped out of the bathroom and as soon as the three girls had their things they headed out to the living room where Nancy waited with her camera.

Pulling up in front of the building, Max honked his horn and waited impatiently for Michael. His fingers tapping out a rhythm on the steering wheel, Max shifted as his anxiety increased. Moving his hand, Max was about to hit the horn again when Michael slid into the car. Max scowled at his friend. “It’s about time! Gees, I didn’t think we were gonna make it in this century.”

Throwing a glare at his friend, Michael turned his attention to the side mirror, valiantly attempting to improve his hair. “Ha ha Maxwell! Unlike you, I have to do my own ironing! And do you have any idea how hard it is to tie a tie? Hey! Where’s the food?” Michael questioned as he noticed the empty backseat.

Max followed Michael’s gaze before turning back to the road. “Don’t worry about it. Alex has the coolers. Everything we need is in there, and if it isn’t then it’s out in the clearing. All we need to do is go to Alex’s. His mom is letting him drive the SUV, so that we can all fit in and we can go as a group. After Alex’s we go pick up the girls.” One at a time, Max removed his hands from the wheel and nervously wiped the moisture on his pants.

“No really! We’re taking girls with us?! And here I thought it would be just you, me and Alex!” Michael’s sarcastic comment earned him a glare from Max. Michael just shrugged at him and turned to look out of the windshield, laughing at Max’s response. His laughter slowly died away when Alex’s house came into view. Max stopped the jeep next to the curb and made his way to the front door. Michael sat there and watched his friend. Gulping nervously Michael ran shaky hands through his hair then slowly made his way over to where Max was helping Alex load the coolers into the SUV.

Giggles drifted down the stairs as the three girls goofed around for the camera. They had taken every pose they possibly could, even dragging Liz’s parents into the fun. Amy De Luca smiled at Diane Evans at the sound of the girls having fun. Knocking on the door, Amy waited a beat before open and walking into the Parker’s living room. She ducked just in time to avoid the pillows and feathers that were flying everywhere. Her mouth dropped open in shock as she took in the state of disarray around the room. Her eyes stopped moving only to land on the three girls as they lay sprawled around the room. Shaking her head, Amy smiled in amusement before moving to help Maria up from the floor. Nancy and Diane moved over to help their daughters up before moving back so Isabel could repair the damages the impromptu pillow fight had brought about.

Isabel finished the repairs and moved to stand next to her mom. Diane put an arm around her daughter and pulled her close to her side, a soft smile settling on her lips as she gazed at her unaware daughter. Nancy smiled gently as she observed the quiet mother/daughter moment. Picking up her camera, she snapped a quick picture before turning to do the same with the De Luca’s. Lowering her camera, her attention was caught by the sight of the Sheriff standing in the doorway, watching the six women. Nancy made her way to where he stood. Rising up on her tiptoes, Nancy whispered a suggestion in his ear, then smiled when he nodded and headed back downstairs. Leaning back against the wall Nancy waited for Jim’s return. Hearing footsteps on the stairs, she turned in expectation. Nancy smiled in greeting as she held out her hand to Phillip Evans. Tugging him towards his family, Nancy chuckled at the surprised expressions on the faces around her.

“Well, I thought that it would be nice to get a picture of the three of you, and then a picture of you two with Jim.” Nancy’s smile grew at the pleased looks crossing her friend’s faces. Waiting until Phillip was in place next to his wife and daughter, Nancy snapped off a couple of pictures, then turned to do the same with Amy, Maria and Jim. She had just finished taking the last shot when a voice drifted up the stairs.

“Girls, your dates are here…”

Part Twenty Seven C

“Girls, your dates are here…” Three sets of eyes widened in surprise as soon as those words reached their ears. Turning to face their friends, Liz, Isabel and Maria gave each other one last look-carefully scrutinizing hair, make-up and dresses to make sure there were absolutely no flaws to be found. Each girl drew in a deep breath and lightly flushed, their eyes sparkling with excitement over the coming evening. Nancy, Diane and Amy picked up the wraps and purses belonging to their daughters and handing them over, taking a moment to straighten imagined wrinkles and to place a gentle, loving kiss on cheeks and foreheads. With a slightly sad smile Nancy pulled back from Liz and led the others downstairs to where the boys were eagerly awaiting their own personal Cinderella.

Three sets of eyes flew to the stairs at the sound of a door opening and closing. Nervously Alex played with the tie around his neck while Michael fiddled with the bouquet of wild flowers he had picked for Maria. Max started to shove both hands in his pockets but was stopped when the stem of the flowers he held jabbed him in the leg. Max smiled ruefully to himself before moving the bundle so that he held them straight in front of him. His smiled became eager when he heard the footsteps descending, only to fade when Nancy Parker’s dark hair peeked around the corner closely followed by his own mom.

Jeff Parker watched the disappointment settle over the faces of the three boys at the appearance of the missing adults. His attention was drawn towards the stairs when he heard the door open at the top. With a sad smile he waited for Liz and her friends to appear, remembering all the times when Liz was still a child and she played dress-up with her friends. She and Maria would always convince Alex that he was the one who needed to take them to the dance. They would make him dress in Liz’s dad’s old suits and Jeff would wait at the bottom of the stairs with Alex, camera ready in anticipation of the two girls waiting to descend the stairs and dazzle. <> Jeff was pulled out of his musings as Isabel came into view. Raising his camera, he took the obligatory pictures, forever capturing on film the statuesque blond in her shimmering gold and white floor length dress. Lowering the camera, Jeff watched as Alex stepped forward, offering the daisies he held to his goddess.

Max smiled at the love that was apparent between his friend and his sister. He was happy that Alex was able to draw Isabel out of her Ice-princess façade, as a result giving the world the warm and loving person he knew her to be. Max’s gaze slid from the tender kiss Isabel was giving Alex to the bottom of the stairs where Maria appeared, her lilac dress swirling around her knees, her coronet of curls cascading down her back, mingling with the many ribbons of various shades of purple. Max turned to look at Michael, laughing to himself when he noticed his friend’s mouth hanging open in shock. Michael snapped his jaw shut seconds before Maria turned her dazzling smile upon her space-boy. A slow smile spread across his face in answer as he stepped forward to present her with the wild flowers he held. Rising up on her tiptoes, Maria brushed her lips across Michael’s before quietly thanking him for the flowers. Taking Michael’s arm, Maria pulled him back and stood at his side as they waited for Liz to appear.

Maria watched Max staring at the stairs eagerly, as if the force of his gaze could make her appear faster. Hearing the light tread of her friend, Maria kept her eyes glued on Max, anxiously awaiting the moment Liz stepped into view. Pulling her camera out of her purse, she put the viewfinder to her eye, pressing down on the button at just the right moment. Maria forever caught Max with a dazed expression on his face, eyes glazed and darkened with desire. Lowering the camera, Maria watched as Max pulled himself out of his daze and presented Liz with the sterling roses he had picked for her from Diane’s garden.

Liz’s eyes lit up in wonder and adoration at her first sight of Max. All the boys were wearing black suits, each one in a different cut. When the girls had gotten their dresses, they also picked up white ties. Thanks to Isabel’s alien powers, the ties all matched the dresses perfectly. Unconsciously Liz’s tongue darted out to moisten her suddenly dry lips as her eyes wandered from the top of Max’s head-where his bangs fell over his forehead-down his body to the tip of his toes. Raising her eyes back to his, Liz stepped forward and gave Max a proper ‘hello’.

“Uh, Liz? Max? You guys need to get going soon and I want to get some more pictures first!” Liz flushed as her moms voice penetrated her daze. Her eyes swept over the amused faces of everyone in the room before settling on her moms.

“Yeah, okay mom! Uh, who’s first?”

Nancy thought for a moment then started directing everyone. “Okay, I think we should start with the couples. Why don’t we have you and Max over there Liz. Isabel, you and Alex go stand over there and Maria, you and Michael over there.” Nancy pointed to where she wanted everyone, then the parents positioned themselves and the cameras started clicking away again.

As soon as all the parents were satisfied with the pictures they had of the couples, they the teens rearranged themselves, again as directed. “Okay, I think we have enough couple pictures. I want one of Alex and Maria with Liz. Why don’t you three go over there? Jeff, you got one of the three guys together, right?” Jeff nodded in reply to his wife’s question. “Good. Then after you three, I think I want a few group photos. Oh, it’s too bad Jim had to go! I know he wanted to get some pictures of Kyle with his date. Oh well! Let’s go you three!” Nancy herded her daughter and Liz’s two friends like a dog herding sheep. With patient grins, the three disentangled themselves from their respective dates.

While Nancy was busy snapping away, Diane looked at her children. “Max, Isabel, you two go stand over there! I want a few of the two of you, then I want one of Max and Michael, and one of the three of you.” Sighing in agreement, the remaining three teens moved to where they had been directed.

Finishing up with the separate pictures, the six teens meet again in the middle of the room. They gave a sigh of relief when they realized they were almost finished with the pictures and they would be home free. “Okay, I want a group picture! Max, you and Liz stand there. Michael, you and Maria stand next to them. Alex, stand behind Isabel there!” Nancy waited while everyone situated themselves before again starting with the pictures.

“God mom! I never knew you were so picture happy! Are we finished after this?” Liz asked between clenched teeth, keeping her smile firmly on her face.

“Almost honey. I just want to get a picture of all of us. Jeff, will you go get someone to come back here and take it?” Jeff made his way to the front of the café to grab an unsuspecting customer. Spotting his friend Tom, Jeff explained what he wanted then turned to lead Tom into the back. The two men pushed through the door just in time for Jeff to make his way over to where his wife was standing. Tom quickly took the pictures, finishing with one camera he grabbed the next, until all parents had a copy the picture. Jeff thanked his friend and made his way to the front, searching for Tom’s waitress so he could tell her Tom’s meal was on the house.

Liz watched her dad go into the front. She turned to her mom and smiled. “Mom, I’m sure these pictures will turn out really well. But I think I want one more group picture! This time, I want Max, Michael and Alex to sit down on those chairs. And I want you to count to three before snapping it. Is that okay?”

“Sure sweetie! No problem. Just let me know when you are ready.” Nancy watched as the guys sat down and the girls arranged themselves on their laps. She waited to start counting until the three girls had their arms wrapped around their guy’s necks. Each girl rested her head on a shoulder, keeping their faces turned towards the camera, lips strategically placed near ears.

“Okay guys. On the count of three. One…two…” Nancy started her count. Just before she reached three, each girl whispered something into the ears of the guys.

“I’m not wearing any underwear!” Liz, Maria and Isabel quietly told Max, Michael and Alex in a singsong. “Three!” Nancy snapped the picture just seconds after the guys turned to look at the girls, preserving on film the slack jaws and glazed expressions, a mixture of shock and lust, that was the aftermath of the girl’s announcements!

Part Twenty-Seven D

As the flash from the camera died away the three teen girls blinked the spots from their eyes. Vision clearing, Liz’s smile widened when she saw Max staring slack-jawed at her. Liz’s eyes meet Maria’s and Isabel’s and the girls dissolved into laughter. Liz leaned over and placed a kiss on Max’s cheek before jumping up from his lap. Scurrying over to Nancy, Liz hugged her mom and gave her a kiss before grabbing her wrap and purse.

Nancy watched as Liz took Max’s hand and tugged him out of the chair. Max’s eyes were glazed in shock, his jaw hanging loosely. Numbly he reached out and took Liz’s wrap from her, waiting for her to turn around so that he could place it around her shoulders. Nancy looked around and saw Michael and Alex in the same state of shock. Shaking her head, she wondered just what the girls had done now. “Liz, I want you home by midnight. Your father will open the restaurant tomorrow so that you can sleep as late as you want. Now, you had better get going! Have fun everyone!”

“Bye mom! I love you! Don’t wait up. I promise I’ll be home by 12!” Liz wrapped her arm through Max’s and pulled him out of the door, Isabel and Maria right behind after receiving their curfews from their own mothers.

Tess looked at her reflection in the mirror, her eyes narrowing as she contemplated the slate blue dress she was wearing. With a frown Tess waived her hand over her hair. Her lips turned up in a smile when she saw the bun sitting high up on her head, small strands of golden hair curling down her neck and around her face. Slowly turning around Tess admired the way the dress swept low, leaving her back bare almost to her waist. Turning again to face the mirror, Tess’ lips curled upwards in a smile of satisfaction. She smoothed her hands down the dress, knowing that none of the boys at the dance would be able to resist her. Hearing the sound of the doorbell, Tess took one last look at herself. Waving her hand over her body, she made sure everything was perfect. She turned away from the mirror and picked up her purse. Squaring her shoulders, Tess walked out of her bedroom and prepared herself for her date with Kyle.

Kyle stood just inside the door, nervously shifting his weight under Ed Harding’s steely gaze. “Uh…so is uh, Tess almost ready?” Kyle stuttered.

Ed’s eyebrows lowered menacingly. “She should be down in a minute. Where are you taking her for dinner?”

Kyle gulped. “Well, uh we’re gonna meet up with some friends of mine at Senor Chow’s. They do Mexican and Chinese.”

Ed slowly nodded his head. “Yeah, okay. I want you to have her home by midnight. Understand?” Inwardly Ed smiled, secretly enjoying the teenagers’ discomfort. Hearing footsteps, Ed looked to where Tess was descending the stairs. “Okay, you kids have fun. Excuse me while I go clean my gun.”

With a last pointed look at Kyle, Ed turned and headed towards the back of the house. Reaching up, Kyle wiped at the sweat that had popped out on his brow. He turned to look at Tess. “Wow! You look great! Are you ready to go?”

Tess nodded and, making sure she had her keys, preceded Kyle out of the house. Drawing up alongside his Mustang, Tess waited for Kyle to get the door for her. She settled herself into the bucket seat and watched as Kyle rounded the hood of the car. Tess waited until he had started the car and pulled out of the driveway before speaking. “So where are we going to dinner? Your friends, Max, Liz, Isabel, Alex, Michael, and Maria, they’re okay with you bringing me? After all, they hardly know me.”

Kyle looked over at Tess in surprise. “I thought I had told you! I’m sorry! We aren’t meeting those guys. I don’t even know where they’re planning on going. All I know is Max, Michael and Alex planned a picnic somewhere. We’re meeting some of my football and basketball buddies at Senor Chows. Is that okay?”

Tess smiled tightly at Kyle, seething quietly inside. “Oh! Yeah, that’s fine. I guess I just assumed since I hardly ever see you hanging around anyone else. That’s all.” Leaning back in her seat, Tess looked out of the car window, upset at the unexpected turn of events.


Sasha flopped down on her bed and pulled out her diary. Opening to the last entry, she read over what she had written before uncapping her pen and turning to a fresh page.

Dear Diary,

Sometimes I really hate my sister’s job. She got invited to dinner with some bigwigs at work and she’s making me go with! I guess they want to get to know their employees and the families or something! Whatever! I could have gone to the dance tonight! I thought that maybe Kyle was going to ask me. But then he turned around and asked the other new girl. I can’t remember her name, but she’s the one Maria and Liz says looks like a gerbil. Or was that a duck? Either way. There’s just something kinda off about her. I really don’t know what it is. She doesn’t seem like Kyle’s type either! Hah! Listen to me! How would I know what Kyle’s type is? After all, I’ve only known the guy for less than a week! And it’s not like I like him that way or anything. Right? Anyway, I gots to go Diary. Duty calls. Well, that and my sister! You’d think if we were late she would be fired or something. Some people!

Wearily yours,

Sasha put her diary back in the drawer before pushing her self off of the bed. Looking at the nightstand, her hand briefly hovered over the surface, the desire to continue writing coursing through her. With a sigh, she let her hand drop to her side and headed out the door. Shutting the light off, Sasha pulled the door closed behind her-failing to notice the light glow seeping around the edges of the drawer.

Part Twenty Seven E Rated R

Max pulled up to the clearing where the picnic was set up. He glanced over at Liz sitting next to him, a scarf over her eyes obscuring her vision. Max’s eyes drifted down over Liz’s body and the words she had whispered to him earlier floated through his mind, clouding it and forcing out all rational thought. Max’s eyes darkened in lust and his imagination shifted into overdrive. //Max leaned over and gently yanked away the scarf covering Liz’s eyes. Locking gazes Max dropped a light kiss onto her lips then climbed out of the Jeep. Making sure to keep his eyes locked on hers Max made his way around the hood slowly, his pace reminding Liz of a hunter stalking it’s prey. An involuntary shiver made its way down Liz’s spine as the anticipation of what Max was going to do built up. Drawing up next to her Max reached across Liz and unsnapped her seat belt. Easing back, Max settled his hands around Liz’s waist and swung her around so her legs dangled out of the side of the Jeep. Gently placing his hands on her bare knees, Max spread her legs, stepping in between and leaning down to capture her lips in a sweet, loving kiss. Liz let out a sigh, her lips voluntarily parting to allow Max access to the deep, sweet, dark recesses of her mouth. Slowly Max’s hands slid up Liz’s thigh, caressing the raw silk under his fingers. Max’s tongue tangled with Liz’s, seeking then withdrawing, encouraging her to follow after. As Liz’s tongue explored Max’s mouth, played tag with his, Max’s hands leisurely made their way up the side of Liz’s legs, meeting at her hips, unimpeded by any cloth barrier. Tearing his mouth away from his loves, Max leaned his forehead against hers and greedily gulped in air. Liz’s lips curved in a mischievous smile, causing Max’s to curve in answer. Letting his smile fade, Max gazed seriously into Liz’s eyes, seeking affirmation. Liz gave a slight nod and pulled Max’s head down to her, their lips crashing together as passion swept over them. Slowly, gradually, Max’s hands separated from where they rested on her hips. Softly they crept towards the juncture of her thighs. Max sighed as he felt the silk of her curls under his fingers. Gently he continued, seeking her treasure. Liz let out a sigh as Max…//

Max jumped at the sound of Maria and Michael arguing. Looking around he flushed as he realized he was still sitting in the Jeep, Liz patiently sitting next to him waiting for her surprise.

Michael followed the Jeep, glancing in the mirror to see Alex and Isabel still right behind him. Briefly taking his eyes off of the road, he glanced over to where Maria sat in the passenger seat, a scarf tied around her eyes and her mouth moving a mile a minute. Michael’s face softened as he thought about how much she meant to him.

“Michael? MICHAEL! Are you listening to me? Why do I have to be blindfolded? Huh? Can’t I just take this thing off? I can’t see a thing! And you know how much I trust you with the Jetta! You better not be speeding! Are we almost there? Where are we going?” Maria twisted in her seat, trying to loosen the scarf around her eyes.

Michael silently chuckled at her, relieved he had thought to use his powers to restrain her hands. He knew that if her hands were loose that scarf would have been removed minutes after leaving the Crash Down. Heck, who was he kidding? If her hands were loose she wouldn’t have let him within ten feet of her! “Maria! Calm down! Yes we are almost there. Again, you’re blindfolded so that it’s a surprise! Don’t worry so much! Geez!!!” Michael let out an exasperated sigh and smiled. He glanced over again, his eyes taking in how beautiful she looked. He felt lucky that she was there with him. Never in his wildest dreams had he imagined this girl would want to be with him, that any girl would!

Looking back out of the front window, Michael slowed down as in front of him Max turned off onto a barely visible side road. Michael followed Max to the overgrown parking lot and parked. Shutting off the car he got out and made his way to the passenger side. Opening the door he guided Maria out of the car, making sure her hands remained far away from her face so she couldn’t remove the scarf. Impulsively he dropped a light kiss on her lips and grinned at the look of astonished surprise on her face. <>

Michael turned Maria so she faced towards the Jeep and lightly placed his hands on her shoulders, directing her footsteps carefully. Maria recovered from her surprise. “Okay Michael! We’re obviously here! Why am I still wearing this thing? Huh!?”

Michael absently answered her, his eyes glued on the unmoving figures in the Jeep. As they drew closer he saw Max start in surprise, the tips of his ears glowing red in the dull light. Michael started to laugh and Maria, unable to hit him with her hands, swung her head back so that she butted his shoulder. “Just what about this do you find so funny? Huh? I know you didn’t want to go to this dance, but I didn’t know you’d find it so damn funny!”

Michael wrapped his arms around Maria from behind and laid his head on her shoulder. He turned his head to brush her cheek with his lips. “I’m not laughing at you! I think we surprised Max! He’s been sitting there just staring at Liz since we parked. And from the color his ears are turning, I’d say we surprised him out of something pretty steamy!”

Alex, who had guided Isabel next to Michael and Maria in time to hear Michael, started to laugh! “Yeah, I’d say you’re right Michael! You don’t see his ears turn that red that often! That’s definitely his ‘I was fantasizing about Liz’ shade of red!”

Isabel reached over and smacked Alex on the arm. “Ewww! That’s my brother! I really don’t want to hear about that! Gross! That’d be like you hearing Liz and Maria’s fantasies about Max and Michael!!! Ugh!” Isabel shuddered, trying to stop thinking about what type of fantasies Max might be having.

Alex dropped a kiss on Isabel’s lips. “Aw shucks sugar! Won’t be nothing I haven’t heard before! Oh look! Max has finally decided to join the land of reality! Shall we my dear?” Alex guided Isabel’s steps towards where Max waited, Michael following behind.

Alex and Michael paused by the Jeep while Max lifted Liz down. The three men shared a quick glance and nodded to each other. Moving to the side of the girls, each guy scooped their girlfriend up in their arms, eliciting squeals from the surprised girls. Wrapping their arms around their boyfriends’ necks, the girls snuggled into the warm, broad chests.

“Max! I can walk you know! Just let me take this scarf off! You need to put me down! You’re gonna hurt yourself!” Liz protested while snuggling as close to Max as she could.

Max laughed lightly. “Relax Liz! You hardly weigh anything! And if I take off the scarf your surprise will be ruined! This way you don’t have to worry about tripping over anything and there’s no chance that you’ll ruin your beautiful dress!” As Max finished talking he entered a clearing. Setting Liz down in front of him, he waited until Alex and Michael had stopped next to him. Nodding to Michael, the two boys waived their hands around in front of them. They waited a moment before removing the blindfolds.

Gently untying the scarf, Max let it fall away from Liz’s eyes and was greeted by gasps of wonder from the three girls. Turning, Liz flung herself into Max’s arms and crushed her lips to his. Max staggered back before regaining his balance. Liz pulled away, her smile competing with the sight behind her. Out of the corner of his eye, Max noticed Michael and Alex receiving the same thanks from Maria and Isabel that he had gotten from Liz.

Almost as one, the three girls turned back around to the sight in front of them. A large blanket stood near the banks of the creek. A radio stood off to the side, soft music gently competing with the gurgles of water as it tripped and twisted its way over rocks and continued down stream. Flowers surrounded the area-some planted in the ground; some standing proud in vases; petals covering the blanket just waiting to be crushed and their soft, sultry fragrance released into the air. Candles ringed the blanket and stood on every rocky surface available, flames gently flickering in the soft breeze. Hooking her arm through Max’s, Liz eagerly pulled him towards the feast that awaited.

Tess let out a sigh as her eyes glazed over in boredom. Desperately she wondered how much longer she was going to be forced to endure Kyle’s friends. The guys were all talking sports-both professional and the sports they personally played. Tess wasn’t sure which was worse. After listening to Pauly try to one-up Tommy again, Tess realized listening to them talk about the sports they played was far worse. A grin spread across her face. <>

Tess turned her attention to the girls and surreptitiously rolled her eyes. <> Tess perked up when she saw the waiter approaching with their checks. She closed her eyes and concentrated, then opened them at the sound of voices.

“Hey Kyle! Why don’t Tommy and I split the check! You’ve got the hottest chick here, it’s only fair!” Kyle looked at his two friends in surprise. He had never heard them offer to pay for anything; usually they were trying to find ways to weasel out of paying. Cautiously he agreed, waiting for the moment when they would pipe up with the punch line. Not hearing a “Just kidding!” he quickly stood and grabbed Tess’ hand.

“Hey guys. We’ll meet you at the dance! My dad wanted us to stop by the station so he could get some pictures before we went. Catch ya later!” He pulled Tess out of the restaurant, barely giving her time to say good-bye.

Alex pulled into the high school parking lot. Shutting off the engine, he stared at the entrance to the gym for a moment. Reaching up, he ran a finger under his collar, unable to get rid of the heat that had suffused his body as soon as Isabel had made her announcement. Briefly, he let is mind linger on what he would like to do to her. Just as he started to undress her, Max appeared in his window. Alex jumped in surprise and opened the door. He avoided Max’s eyes and made his way around to help Isabel out.

Max watched Alex with sympathy. Although he didn’t like the idea of someone thinking about his sister that way, he knew that Alex was a good guy. But that didn’t mean he couldn’t give him a little warning. As Max lead Liz into the dance, he resolved that as soon as the girls disappeared into the restroom, he and Michael would have to have a little chat with Alex.

Liz looked over her shoulder at Maria behind her and grinned with excitement. Reaching back, Liz grabbed hold of Maria’s free arm and pulled her and Michael closer. Maria hooked her arm through Liz’s and said, “Bathroom?”

Liz nodded in agreement and cleared her throat. Alex and Isabel stopped and looked back at their lagging friend’s. Isabel nodded and grinned when Liz and Maria raised an eyebrow at her. As soon as the three couples had given their tickets, the three women untangled themselves from their boyfriend’s and headed off in the direction of the ladies room. “You boys will have to excuse us for a moment! There was one tiny detail missing from your wonderful picnic. We’ll see you shortly!” The girls threw air kisses in the general direction of Max, Michael and Alex as they walked away. Three groans of pain trailed after the swaying hips of Liz, Maria and Isabel.

Max waited until the young women had disappeared from sight before he grabbed Alex and Michael’s arm and hustled them into a distant doorway. Michael scowled at Max as he shook his arm free. “What the hell man! What’s going on Max?”

Alex pried Max’s fingers off of his arm. “Yeah! What is wrong with you?”

Max glared at Alex. “I don’t care what she told you back at the Crash! Remember she is my sister and nothing is gonna happen to her!”

Michael started laughing at Max. “Chill man! She’s a big girl! Izzy won’t let Alex do anything she don’t want him to do! And besides, if she does get hurt, he’ll have two very pissed off Czechs after him. Wait, no! Make that three. Izzy isn’t one to sit back and let things happen.”

Alex stared at Max and Michael a moment before stepping closer and staring them down. “Yeah. Well you two just keep in mind that you are dating my sisters! And if you hurt them, it won’t matter if you have ‘powers!’ Nothing will prevent you from feeling my wrath!”

Alex turned as the sound of laughter drifted nearer. With one last glance and a nod back at Max and Michael he headed down the hallway towards his girls. Taking Isabel’s hand, he led her into the dance and proceeded to dance the night away with her.

Max glanced at Michael before following Alex. With a grin he leaned down and gave Liz a kiss before placing his arm behind her legs and sweeping her off the floor. Liz squealed in delight and giggled as Max carried her behind Alex and Isabel. Michael grinned and watched his friend’s as they took off down the hall. Smile firmly in place, he turned to Maria. His heart sank a little at the wistful expression on her face. At that moment, Michael made a decision. Happy with his choice, he moved in front of Maria and turned around. Bending down, he looked over his shoulder at her. “Well my Fairy Queen, shall we?”

Maria looked at Michael in confusion for a moment before clarity dawned. With a happy giggle she hiked her dress up above her knees and climbed on his back. Happily she bounced up and down as he followed their best friends into the dream.

Part Twenty Eight

Liz waltzed into her room and plopped down on her bed, a dopey grin on her face. Grabbing her teddy bear she hugged it to her chest, while she hummed the tune to the last song everyone had danced too.

Yea, yea, yea
Dancin' in the door, middle of the night
Takin' your heart and holdin' it tight
Emotional touch, touchin' my skin
And asking you to do
What you've been doin' all over again
Oh its a beautiful thing,
Don't think I can keep it all in
I just gotta let you know
What it is that won't let me go

Turning onto her stomach, Liz reached under her bed and pulled out her journal. Grabbing her favorite pen, she opened to an empty page and stared at it for a moment while she collected her thoughts; strains of music floating through her mind.

I’m Liz Parker and today is October 18th. Tonight was the Homecoming Semi-formal and it was like a dream come true! I don’t know how Max did it, but he convinced Michael to be all sweet and romantic tonight. I don’t think Maria knew what hit her! But the best part about the night would have to be the joke we pulled on the guys!! I don’t even remember who’s idea it was. While Mom was taking the last picture, Isabel, Maria and I all told the guys we weren’t wearing any panties! Of course we all had on thongs and garter belts, so it wasn’t true. Max was guessing all night long, he didn’t know if I was lying or telling the truth!!! More than once I caught him just staring at me, and I could almost see what he had conjured up in his imagination playing out across his eyes!

Dinner was fabulous! The three of them planned a picnic and there were all these little finger foods. We had cold chicken, sandwiches, fruit, oh and Michael made this wonderful dessert! I was amazed we could even walk after!!! It’s a good thing we were going to a dance because I really needed to work off all of the calories I had eaten. And the clearing was stunning! There were candles all over the place and I swear I saw lights floating around! Max told me they were Czechoslovakian fireflies. I’m not sure if he was referring to himself or the country. He wouldn’t tell me! But the entire time we were eating, he wouldn’t leave my side unless he had too! Every other bite he feed to me, and if he wasn’t feeding me, he was touching me someplace. I don’t know which one of us liked my dress more!

It's your love
it just does something to me
it sends a shock right through me
I can't get enough
and if you wonder about the spell I'm under,
oh it's your love

When we got to the dance, Isabel, Maria and I really had to go to the bathroom. After all, the picnic didn’t really have a place for us to go ;)!! But that wasn’t the only reason we had to go! I mean, we are women after all! Maria told me Michael couldn’t keep his eyes above her waist. I don’t think she really minded though. She told me that this way she was assured he wouldn’t be checking out other girls. And it gives her blackmail material later on! I caught him staring at her a couple of times. He had this amazing look of wonder on his face. Almost like he couldn’t believe that she would want to be with him. And even more, like he was amazed she would want him to know such intimate info like that about her!

Alex was just as bad as Michael. Isabel said his jokes were pretty flat. Usually he has a smart remark for everything, but it was almost like his brain had short-circuited from her news. And the entire dance he kept alternating between gazing at Isabel with his usual adoring expression and exchanging glares with Max and Michael. It was really strange. I tried asking Max about it, but he said he didn’t know what I was talking about. I’ll have to see if Maria or Isabel noticed anything.

I swear the guys were funny! I know that Max was watching my hips every chance he got, just looking for my panty line. And a couple of times I thought I felt his hand lingering on my hip, almost searching. It’s not like I’m complaining! But usually his hand rests a little higher when it’s on my hip! Oh! And I thought I felt his hand on my ass! Definitely not complaining! But this is Max we’re talking about! He’s still shy about doing that in private and here he’s groping me in public! At the school dance no less!
Better than I was, more than I am
And all of this happen by taking your hand
And who I am now is who I wanted to be
And now that we're together,
I'm stronger than ever,
I'm happy and free
Oh it's a beautiful thing,
Don't think I can keep it all in
If you asked me why I've changed,
All I gotta do is say your sweet name

Come to think of it, as soon as we walked out of the bathroom and went to meet up with the guys again, there was a little bit of tension. I’ll have to think of a way to get Max to ‘fess up! Oh yeah, the dance! It was beautiful! Maria didn’t Michael out on the floor a whole lot. I don’t think she really expected too. But it was okay, there were a lot of fast dances and Max and Alex mostly sat out for those. That left the three of us to dance, which was fine cause then we could talk about the other girl’s and what they were wearing. I don’t think there was a song where the six of us were on the floor at the same time. Well, until the last dance that is. They played Tim McGraw’s It’s Your Love. I was surprised to see Michael drag Maria out on the floor for that song! The six of us danced close to each other, wrapped up in the arms of our hearts. Max was softly singing to me and I just let myself float in the comfort of his arms and on the beauty of his words. At one point I looked up and saw Alex and Michael softly crooning the words to Maria and Isabel too! I think that this is going to be our
song. Not just mine and Max’s, or Maria and Michael’s, or even Isabel and Alex’s. Granted we each have our song, but I think this is one that is going to hold a special memory for the six of us.
It's your love
it just does something to me
it sends a shock right through me
I can't get enough
and if you wonder about the spell I'm under,
Oh, It's your love
Oh its a beautiful thing,
Don't think I can keep it all in
I just gotta let you know
What it is that won't let me go

The dance was really fun. But something really strange happened at the end. We were leaving and Maria had use the bathroom. Isabel and I decided it was a good idea and we left the guys waiting. Of course we could feel their eyes watching our hips again. We talked quietly while walking, mostly about the little feels our guys were coping during the dance. Stuff like that! Maria pushed open the bathroom door and stopped still! I was confused about why she was stopping so I peered over her shoulder. Isabel being so much taller than the two of us had no problems seeing what had shocked Maria! Standing in the bathroom, in front of the mirror was that new girl. Teresa, Terry, no! Tess! I know, I know! You’re wondering what was so shocking about a girl standing in front of a mirror aren’t you! Normally it wouldn’t be! But this is us we’re talking about. Nothing is ever normal! At least not the normal version of normal. So we see this girl, standing in front of the mirror and she’s changing her lipstick! Using Isabel’s favorite method! Now it looks like there’s another Czech in town!
It's your love
it just does something to me
it sends a shock right through me
I can't get enough
and if you wonder about the spell I'm under,
Oh it’s your love

Liz closed her journal and put it back it’s hiding spot. Rolling off of her bed, she stretched tiredly before getting ready for bed. Climbing under the sheets, her mind went over everything that had happened that night. A small feeling of foreboding curled in her stomach and refused to go away as she drifted towards a troubled sleep.
It's your love, it's your love

Part Twenty Nine

Standing near the milkshake machine, Liz wiped down the counters half-heartedly. Her thoughts were turned inward as she thought about the events of the evening before. Hearing a sigh, she looked towards where Maria was filling the salt and pepper shakers. A grim smile settled on Liz’s lips when she noticed that Maria was so distracted she was overfilling the shakers. Liz was amazed Maria has held up as well as she has.

Soft curses floated through the order window and Liz turned her head just in time to see Michael burning yet another hamburger. Her smile grew tighter as she watched him rush to put out his fifth fire since his shift had started an hour ago. Turning her attention back to the counter, Liz sighed and fought to keep her mind off of their problem.

Maria finished filling the condiments and moved to put them back out on the tables. She was just placing the last one when she heard the bells over the door ring. Letting out a relieved sigh at finally having some customers, Maria turned towards the door with a welcoming smile on her lips. Her smile froze when she saw Kyle enter the restaurant. Snapping into action, Maria rushed up to her friend. “OH MY GOD! KYLE! Are you okay!? Please tell me you’re fine. She didn’t hurt you, did she? Oh my God! She did do something to you? Look at you! You look like no one’s home! And you’re looking at me like you don’t recognize me! Kyle! Say something! Please! Anything!!!” Maria babbled on, running her hands down Kyle’s arms and chest looking for any injuries.

Kyle looked at Maria in shock, his mouth hanging slightly open. He looked relieved when Liz and Michael moved up behind Maria, Michael putting his arms around his girlfriend with one hand covering her mouth. Liz reached into Maria’s apron pocket and pulled out her vial of Cedar Oil. Uncapping it, Liz waved the bottle under Maria’s nose. “Maria! Breathe deep! It’s okay. We’ll take Kyle in the back and explain everything to him. Relax! Michael, you wanna take her?”

Michael nodded and led his semi-hysterical girlfriend through the swinging doors. Liz gently took Kyle’s arm and pulled him after their friends. Kyle looked down at Liz and uttered his first words since entering the Café. “Liz? Is she okay? What’s going on?”

Liz pushed Kyle towards the couch and told him to sit before looking at Michael and Maria. Seeing their nods, she took a deep, steadying breath and turned to Kyle. “Okay, I’ll explain. Last night just before we left Maria, Isabel and I needed to use the bathroom. When we opened the door, we saw your date, Tess, in there refreshing her make-up.” Liz started.

Kyle spoke up, interrupting Liz’s story. “Yeah, so? What’s so strange about that? Girls do that all the time don’t they?”

Liz nodded in agreement. “They do, you’re right. Only, most girls don’t wave their hands over their lips and change their lipstick from a light pink to a deep red.”

Kyle gulped and paled considerably. “You mean, she did that hocus pocus thing that Isabel likes to do so much?” Liz nodded, her eyes watching Kyle warily.

Kyle stood up and began to pace and mutter to himself. Liz and Michael kept their eyes glued to Kyle and Michael kept an arm around a still trembling Maria. Kyle suddenly stopped mid pace and pinned Liz down with his gaze. “Liz, do you remember when we were discussing me taking her to the dance and what I said?”

Liz thought back to that conversation. “Yeah I do. Alex made some comment about you being manipulated and you said it was impossible unless she had somehow planted a message into your dream or something like that.” Liz stopped and stared at Kyle with wide eyes. “Kyle! You don’t think?”

Maria ping ponged her gaze from Liz to Kyle and back again. “What? He doesn’t think what? C’mon Liz! What’re you talking about?”

Liz and Kyle ignored Maria as they considered the implications. “Everything about that day makes sense now! I can see how I could have gone from feeling nothing towards her to wanting to take her to the dance! And if she’s related to Michael, Max and Isabel, then maybe she can do stuff like that! What are we gonna do?”

Michael spoke up, not quite following the conversation. “Liz? What are you talking about? You don’t think that maybe she did manipulate Kyle into asking her do you? And why would she want to do something like that?”

Liz locked gazes with Michael. “I don’t know why! Kyle, we’re meeting at Michael’s tonight to talk about this and what we should do. I’m done at 6, Maria and Michael are done at 5, and Max is done working at 7, if you want to join us. Otherwise, if you don’t we can just fill you in later. We thought that this is something we should keep from our parents until we know more about it.”

Kyle slowly nodded realizing that she was right, the parents didn’t need to know about all this just yet. Suddenly he remembered something and his head shot up to look at Liz in horror. “Oh God! I just remembered I’m supposed to take her to the library to help her study for some classes! I’m picking her up at 5! What should I do?”

Liz paced around the small area as she thought. Turning she looked at Michael and Maria while she answered Kyle. “I think you should still go. We don’t want to raise any suspicions. I think Maria and Michael can be there when you arrive and keep an eye out. If anything strange happens though, you guys call me or Max right away!”

Maria put her oil away and agreed with her friend. Standing, she made her way back towards the front of the restaurant to greet the customers entering.

It has started. I have breached their inner sanctum! And by the end of the day, my next step will have been completed. Ah, I cannot wait to tear them apart, to make them crumble like a house of cards. If felt good to kill them the first time, and it will feel even better this time. They are weak, they do not know anything. And he! He is just a boy! Not even a king! Nowhere near as grand and great as he was last time. His people would be so disappointed to see him now! Soon, victory will again be mine! Very soon!


Lying down on the couch, Sasha pulled a blanket over her and prepared to take a nap. She hated having to do company stuff with her sister, she was usually left feeling pretty wiped out after wards! Closing her eyes, she drifted towards sleep and thought about how nice her favorite blanket would look if it were a light blue instead of black. A small sigh passed between her lips as sleep completely overtook her.

Brandy walked into the living room just in time to watch her sister change the color of the blanket. A small smile curved her lips as she watched. Turning she headed towards the kitchen to make sure they had enough ice cream. She knew Sasha would need some comforting when she awoke!


Maria led Michael into the library and looked around. Spotting a table that was half hidden, she headed towards it. She didn’t want Tess to see her and Michael, but at the same time she wanted to be able to see every move they made.

Part Twenty Nine B

Walking down the hall towards the meeting room I looked at the pictures on the wall. I made sure I avoided looking in the eyes of those walking with me. It is a psychological thing. I am better than they are and I use every chance I get to remind them. Coming up to the doors I stop and wait for a nameless minion to open them for me. There’s a momentary hesitation as a brief struggle takes place over who will actually perform this deed. This is another thing I like. People fighting over me, fighting to do things for me-it is a very heady feeling. This is a good thing.

As soon as the doors were opened and no one was in my way, I headed towards a chair. No, not just any chair. My chair. Everyone knows not to sit in the chair or even touch it. Of course they learned their lesson about this. There is always someone who needs to learn that lesson a little more than others.

As I sit down I make eye contact with everyone situated around the table. Ah, I know what you are thinking. You are thinking I just said that I am better and by not making eye contact, I am enforcing that concept. And you would be right. However, these people currently bowing to me, they are not nameless. These people are my advisors; my spies.

I wait until everyone has finished bowing and motion to them to sit. I leaned back in my chair and placed my tented fingers under my chin, staring steadily into each pair of eyes turned my way. I waited until everyone was nervously shifting in their chairs before I finally decided to speak. “Report!”

I felt a small measure of satisfaction at the slight jump my words generated. The person to my immediate left stood and bowed to me before standing at attention and speaking. “Your Highness! You’re plans are on target. As you know, Tess has singled out a member of the group. You are also aware that Tess will be having a study date with one Kyle Valenti at the library this evening. I am confident that after the little show Tess put on last night at the dance, no one will want Tess to remain unsupervised with Kyle. Unfortunately my team has been unable to discover who will be following Tess on the date. I do know that some of the kids are working today. Zan and Rath are two of those kids. But it is unknown when they will be finished. As soon as that information is discovered, you will be informed.”

I kept my face blank as I pinned the informer under my gaze and contemplated his information. I finally nod and turn face the center of the table. “Good. I am pleased. I am sure that with the information Tess provides to the group, they will grudgingly accept Tess as one of them. I do believe that it Tess’ final act will prove to be the deciding factor, however. Next.”

This time I turn to face the person on my right. This person generated a cocky attitude that I normally would not allow in my people. But he is the best and unfailingly loyal to the cause. Therefore I allow it, along with a few other small slips. But only for now, until he is no longer needed. I notice he is waiting for permission to speak. With a nod of my head I sit back and relax, confident I will be hearing good news.

“Ah your highness! I’m positive you will be pleased with my report. Your plans are moving along very smoothly. The device you have asked for is ahead of schedule and should be finished by next week. Once we have gotten the snags worked out the production flew. As we draw closer to completion, we will have to set up a time for you to come and learn how to operate the device. I don’t think I have to stress how important it is you know every nuance. You are a ruler that loves to be involved. And we will want to make sure Tess is more than familiar with the object.”

My head nods slowly as I consider my plans for the next week. “Good, good. You are right, it is very important Tess is able to handle the device even in sleep. And what of your other task?”

His eyes light up when I remind him of this task. “Ah! My favorite! Everything is set up to your exact specifications. The ideal place has been found. You will be pleased with the remoteness. The sensors and triggers are all in place and have been tested daily. I do believe we will be highly successful with this.”

He finished his report and waited until I indicated he could sit down. Occasionally he does have some redeeming attributes. I turned to face the man sitting down at the foot of the table. “And the dreams? How are they progressing?”

The man stood and swallowed nervously. Secretly I smiled, enjoying the sight of fear. “Well, not quite as well as planned. We have been having problems finding patterns in their REM sleep. However I think we are close. We have already given Rath his first dream and we are continuing to target him. He seems to have more insecurities than the others. I, uh, my team and I have decided to target their human friends too. We are thinking of maybe giving them some nightmares about what their friends may really look like.”

I leaned forward and addressed the man. “Hmmm, okay. I want your team to keep working at this. And what about the fourth? Has she been found yet?” Saying this, I turned back to the man at my right. He squirmed in his seat before standing and answering my question.

“Uh, well…no. We haven’t y…y…yet f…f…found her. We are still working on it and we, uh, have had, um, several leads.” His nervousness caused him to stumble over his words.

My eyes narrowed in a glare, showing my blatant displeasure. “I want that girl found! Do you understand me? Do whatever it takes. Even if you have to pull people from other teams! I want her found and soon! Is that understood Nicholas?”

“Uh, y…y…yes your highness. I promise to double my efforts in finding her. You will know her identity soon Kivar.”

Part Twenty Nine C

Maria was looking idly at the books around her when she heard the sound of Kyle’s voice. Looking up, she watched as Tess led him to a table and they pulled out the books they needed. Maria watched for about ten minutes before her attention started to wander. Stifling a yawn she stood up and made her way over to the bookshelves, being careful to stay out of sight of Tess and Kyle. Maria grabbed a book that sounded mildly interesting before heading back to where Michael sat paging through a magazine.

Maria read the book she had grabbed more out of boredom than anything else. After about a half hour she started shifting restlessly in her seat. She leaned over to Michael, being careful to keep her voice down. “Michael, how much longer do we hafta stay here? I don’t think she’s gonna do anything to him!”

Michael groaned inwardly at the slight whine in her tone. “Maria, you know we can’t leave until Kyle and Tess do! We need to make sure she doesn’t do anything to him.”

“Well, yeah! But how do we know she’s evil! Maybe she’s a good Czech. If The Wizard of Oz could have good witches and bad witches, why can’t we have good Czechs and bad Czechs?” Maria asked in all seriousness.

Cocking his head to the side, Michael reached up and scratched his eyebrow in confusion. Mentally he replayed everything Maria had just said, trying to make sense out of it. When everything had been successfully filtered he answered her. “Maria it’s possible that she is good. It’s also possible that she is evil! But since we don’t really know her, we don’t know what she is.” Michael tried using a voice of reason, hoping to convince himself as well as Maria.

Maria jumped up and started pacing, her imagination still conjuring up all sorts of horrid scenarios. “Okay, okay you have a point. She could be a good guy. She could be a member of this elite force coming to hunt you down and exterminate you. And since we don’t even know why you’re here, we wouldn’t know why you died. Or, or maybe she’s related to this crazy leader somewhere who exiled the three of you and she’s coming to make sure you aren’t planning on creating more trouble! Or…or…OH MY GOD!”

Michael whipped around to face Maria when her heard her strangled whisper. He stood up and made his way to where she stood peering between shelves, his chair toppling over behind him. Drawing up next to her, he noticed her eyes were wide with shock and she had gripped the bookshelf so tightly her knuckles were turning white. Michael reached over and tried to pry her fingers loose only to have Maria’s death grip transfer to his hand. Michael winced with pain and could have sworn he heard bones cracking.

“Uh, Maria! You wanna loosen your grip? I kinda will be needing this hand. I am an artist you know! What are you looking at anyway?” Michael asked in a teasing tone, hoping to snap her out of the shock induced trance. Maria’s free hand rose and, trembling, pointed at the scene that had her speechless.

Michael turned to where Maria was looking and his jaw dropped open in shock. In front of him Tess was standing on a step stool while Kyle had his hands on her waist steadying her. Kyle’s gaze was darting around the library, frantically searching for Michael and Maria while he kept up a conversation with Tess.

“So, Tess. What kind of book are you looking for exactly?” Kyle looked up in time to see Tess glance down at him. Her lips curved in an enticing smile as she made sure she was balanced by holding on to the shelf in front of her.

“One that will help me with my report. It’s on Ancient Languages.” Tess winked down at Kyle before turning to the stacks in front of her.

Kyle waited until Tess was no longer looking at him before he started looking around again. Without thinking, he answered her. “What do you say we blow this place and go speak the most ancient language known to man?”

Tess giggled in response to Kyle’s question, knowing he didn’t really mean it. Rising up on her tiptoes, she waved her hand over the wall just above the bookshelf. As soon as the silver handprint showed, she reached through the wall and pulled out the contents inside. Completely withdrawing the book, Tess waved her hand over the wall again and the handprint disappeared. She paged through the book quickly before nodding in satisfaction. Getting ready to climb down, Tess placed the book on a shelf so she could reach it once on the floor.

Maria and Michael watched the whole thing in shock, their mouths flapping like fish. They waited until Kyle and Tess returned to their table before grabbing their stuff. Maria shot a look at Michael and he nodded in agreement. Together they wound their way through the bookshelves towards the front of the library. Maria squeezed Michael’s hand and rose up on her toes to brush a kiss across his lips before she headed towards the restrooms.

Michael watched Maria leave before he leaned against the counter and affixed a bored expression on his face. He pretended to idly look around and spot Kyle sitting with Tess. Pushing off the counter, he headed towards the table. Kyle looked up at the sound of approaching footsteps.

“Hey Michael! I didn’t know the library was your thing. Come to think of it, I didn’t know you even knew where the library was!” Kyle teased Michael, grateful for the extra company.

Michael scowled down at his friend. “Funny Valenti! Very funny! I wouldn’t have thought of setting one foot in here, but Maria needed to use the bathroom. You know, I was gonna tell you we’re doing a poker night at my place. I was even gonna ask you if you wanted to join us. But now I’m not so sure. Hey, I see Maria so I’ll see you guys later!” Michael turned to leave but he didn’t get very far before Kyle spoke up.

“No way man! You aren’t doing that to me! Do you know how long it’s been since we’ve had a poker night! I’ll be there! Same time as usual?” Kyle interjected before Michael could get very far. He knew that they weren’t really going to play poker, but he needed an excuse to not invite Tess to the meeting.

Michael nodded in agreement before turning and joining Maria. Tess watched him leave then turned to Kyle. She reached over and ran a finger down Kyle’s arm, injecting a flirtatious tone into her voice. “So Kyle, can I come to this poker game? I’m a pretty good player, and I might even bring you some luck.”

Kyle looked into her blue eyes and contained his shudder. “Sorry Tess, but our poker nights have always been a guys night. Trust me, the girls have never been invited, and it’s not for lack of trying either. Since we’re almost done with this, why don’t we get going. I promised my dad I’d eat dinner with him tonight.” Kyle pulled his arm away from Tess’ claws and started packing up his stuff.

Kyle dropped Tess off and waited until she had entered her front door before he pulled away and headed towards Michael’s. As he drove, he worried about what it was Michael and Maria found that was so important a meeting be called and the pretense of a poker game needed.

Note Part 30 will be following shortly. I ran into a CHAD when I was reposting so I have to go back and fix something. In the meantime, feel free to give me lots and lots of feedback!!

posted on 15-Sep-2001 6:16:03 PM by Priszm1978
Part Thirty

Turning over, Sasha caught herself before she tumbled off of the couch. She sat up and rubbed the sleep out of her eyes, feeling slightly disoriented from her dream. Her face scrunched up as she struggled to bring the dream into focus, somehow feeling that it was important that she remember it. A small “Aha!” tumbled out of her mouth as she remembered. She opened her eyes fully, laughing to herself at the thought of being able to change colors on a whim. Moving the blanket out of her way she stood up and turned to fold it neatly. As her eyes fell on the new color, she froze, her mind frantically trying to process everything she had seen.

Coming to a decision, Sasha resumed folding the blanket and laid it over the back of the couch. She turned and headed towards the kitchen, intent on seeking something to snack on before confronting her sister. Entering through the doorway, she paused briefly when she saw Brandy sitting at the table, a faraway expression on her face. Momentarily abandoning the idea of a snack, Sasha crept up behind her sister.

Brandy jumped when she felt hands settle on her shoulders and a voice yell in her ear. Spinning around she held her hand up in a defensive pose before lowering it at the sight of a wildly grinning Sasha.

“God! You scared ten years off of my life! What were you thinking?” Brandy lightly scolded, giving her sister a quick hug.

Sasha grinned unrepentantly, ignoring the scold. “You looked so lost in your thoughts that it seemed like a perfect thing to do! What were you thinking about anyway?” She sat at the table and watched her sister move to the freezer and pull out some ice cream and her favorite sauce.

Brandy prepared two bowls of vanilla ice cream and topped them with her homemade chocolate sauce before answering. Setting a bowl in front of Sasha, she met her eyes for a long moment. “Hmmm. I guess I was just daydreaming. How was your nap?”

Sasha’s eyes narrowed as she studied her sister. “It was good. That was very funny you know. Switching blankets on me! You gotta admit though, that blue does look better!”

Brandy brought some ice cream to her lips and closed her eyes to savor the taste. Swallowing, she looked at Sasha and slowly shook her head. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I didn’t switch the blanket on you. You did that.”

A puzzled expression settled over Sasha’s features. “You didn’t…But how?…who?…I did?…how? There was that dream.” Sasha’s gaze turned inward as she thought back to her thoughts as she was just drifting off and the dream that had followed. In her dream, she was getting ready for a date and she kept changing the color of her clothes and make-up. “Nuh uh! That’s impossible! You actually expect me to believe I just wished the blanket to change colors and it did? There’s no way!” Sasha’s gaze sharpened when she saw Brandy nodding in agreement, indicating that indeed Sasha had willed the blanket a different color.

Sasha’s jaw dropped slightly as she stared at her sister. “That’s impossible! How could I have done that? Huh? Tell me!” Her voice rose slightly as panic and disbelief warred in her.

Brandy sighed, wishing that this were easier. “Do you remember the stories about the Royal Four from Antar that I’ve always told you about? Do you remember me telling you about how after their death, their essence was recreated in human bodies? Sweetie, it’s possible because you aren’t completely human. You’re a human/alien hybrid.”

Sasha looked at Brandy like she was crazy and started laughing. Bending over, she held her stomach while tears streamed down her cheeks. Gradually it occurred to her that she was the only one laughing. Straightening, her laughter died away when she saw the serious expression on Brandy’s face. Shaking her head, she shot up from her chair and stumbled backwards. “No! No, it’s not possible!” With a soft sigh, Sasha fainted, sinking towards a temporary oblivion.

Maria pulled her head out of Michael’s refrigerator and grabbed some glasses before plopping down next to Liz and Max on the couch. Liz reached over and grabbed the can of pop and a glass before turning to look at Michael. Kyle cross-legged on the floor, his closed eyes making it seem like he was sleeping. Isabel sighed as she leaned back against the chair Alex was sitting in, his hands automatically moving to her shoulders where he started massaging the tension out.

Michael looked at his extended family for a long moment, studying each face and thinking about how far they had all come together. “Kyle man! Are you planning on joining us or were you just gonna sleep through the meeting?”

Kyle’s lashes slid up to reveal troubled blue orbs. Uncrossing his legs he drew his knees up to his chest and wrapped his arms around them. “Funny Michael. I could only sleep through this if I was sure it would all turn out to be a nightmare. Anyway, let’s get on with it. I really need to go take a HOT shower.”

Liz gazed at Kyle in sympathy for a moment before turning her attention back to Michael.

Michael smirked at Kyle. “Let me guess, you’ve come in contact with something foul and you need to wash it off right? Anyway! While you were playing around, Maria and I saw something very, very interesting.”

Maria jumped up and picked up the story. “Yeah! So anyway we were there watching them like we were supposed to be doing. When Tess decided she needed something else. So they wandered towards the back and God! did she have the worst taste in fashion! She had this bright pink top and an orangey-red sweater on top. And her pants! Ugh! They were mmph!” Maria’s words became unintelligible as Michael reached out and covered her mouth.

“Maria, I don’t think they really care about what she was wearing. Here, sniff some oil while I finish telling them everything. Anyway, like Maria said they headed off towards a more deserted area and after Kyle gave her the cheesiest pick up line known to man she stuck her hand in the wall and pulled out a book.”

The room erupted in a chorus of voices. Maria had succeeded in prying Michael’s hand away from her mouth and was busy teasing Kyle about his line. Alex listened for a moment to Maria and, after being told what Kyle had said, joined the teasing.

Isabel was busy pelting Michael with questions, trying to get him to reveal more information. Max sat there, his mouth hanging open and eyes glazed with shock. Liz looked around the room at the chaos and stood up. A piercing whistle split the air, causing everyone to stop speaking and turn to look in shock. Liz stood surveying everyone, her hands on her hips. “You guys need to be quiet. Maria, Alex, I’m sure that what Kyle said was pretty bad. It usually is. Isabel, you need to relax. Michael knows how important this is, he’ll tell us everything. Max, snap out of it. Yes the information was a shock, but we already knew she’s not from around here so it shouldn’t be that much of a shock. Now, everyone sit down and let him finish.”

Max shook his head slightly, his eyes clearing as Liz’s words penetrated the cloud of shock that had taken up residence in his brain. He looked at Liz in pride and grabbed her waist, pulled her onto his lap. He placed a kiss on her cheek and his lips lingered as he softly told her how proud of her he is. A light blush bloomed on her cheeks and, twisting, she dropped a soft kiss on Max’s lips.

Looking up, Max saw Michael getting ready to speak. Holding up his hand, he forestalled any comment that might come out of Michael’s mouth. “Michael, let me guess. She climbed up onto a ladder and waved her hand over the wall above the shelves. Then reached into the wall and pulled out a book. Right? That’s what I thought.” Max took the shocked silence of his friend’s as proof he was correct.

Maria’s hand fumbled for her cedar oil as she spluttered at Max. “But how? Why? How? You…They…I mean…” A knock sounded at the door, abruptly cutting off Maria’s attempts at speech. Eyes widened slightly as they gazed at each other, fear lurking behind the surprise. A second knock sounded and Michael got up to answer the door. The door swung open and their eyes got even wider when they saw who it was.

posted on 21-Sep-2001 7:49:41 PM by Priszm1978
Hey everyone! Jale, welcome! I'm so excited to see feedback by a new person. I promise I'll go repost parts 13-27 right after this. I'm not sure how that happened. Anway, this part has some answers in it. I don't think I missed anything or have something that doesn't match something previously said/written. If I did, please let me know and I'll find a way to fix it. As always, feedback please!!! And if I don't, I'll send my dog over to your house so she can look at you with her big brown eyes [:-)]

Part Thirty-One

Brandy rolled her eyes and heaved a sigh. She wasn’t sure what type of reaction she had expected from her sister, but this definitely wasn’t it. She sighed again and extended her arm. A slight glow emanated from her hand and stretched out to surround the still comatose Sasha. Brandy turned her hand palm up and raised it slightly, Sasha’s body following the movement to hover above the floor. Rotating her hand once more, Brandy pushed her hand towards the recently vacated couch and watched as her sister’s body floated to the couch. Lowering her hand, Brandy gently settled her sister onto the couch and made her way over to sit on a nearby chair.

Brandy rested her elbows on her spread knees and settled her chin into her cupped palms. She kept a close eye on her sister as she contemplated everything she had to share. After a short while Sasha stirred and sat up, rubbing her eyes and looking around in confusion.

“Uh, Brandy? I thought I already woke up from my nap? What’s going on? And why are you just sitting there? Did something…” Sasha’s voice trailed off as memory slammed into her. A small gasp escaped her lips and she shrunk back against the couch. Her eyes darted wildly about as she sought to escape the news she had received from her sister.

Standing, Brandy slowly made her way to sit next to Sasha. She kept her movements gentle, not wanting to startle or frighten the younger girl any more than she already was. Sinking down onto the cushions, Brandy placed a calm, loving hand on Sasha’s shoulder. After a moment Sasha took a deep breath and relaxed, leaning over to rest her head on Brandy’s shoulder. Brandy tightened her arm around her sister and waited patiently for the questions she knew were coming.

Sasha’s eyes drifted into slits and when she spoke, her voice came out softly, almost dreamily. “What was that? When you placed your hand on my shoulder, I…I felt, I don’t know. Something! What was it?”

Brandy moved her hand to Sasha’s hair and started stroking the soft strands. The soothing movements made Sasha relax even more into her sister’s embrace. “That was nothing. All I did was release some calming, vibes I guess you’d call them, into your bloodstream. It’s one of our basic powers. In fact it’s something that you have been able to do before, but you weren’t aware that you were doing so.”

Sasha’s brow crinkled in confusion as she thought about her sister’s words. “So there are other powers? What are they? And why…why don’t I have any? Other than the calming thing and now apparently changing colors.” The last part of the question came out quietly, almost timidly.

“We have a lot of powers. Actually, our powers are something that humans will be capable of someday. Our brains are more evolved than that of a regular human. So we can change colors, move things, heal, all sorts of things. I’m not entirely sure of everything that everyone can do. The powers vary from person to person, although everyone has the same basic abilities.

“The basic abilities include changing the molecular structure of something, healing minor injuries. We are also capable of dream-walking a person- getting into someone’s dreams. That one varies depending on your strength in that area, some people are only able to walk people they know or people who are the near vicinity. Each person can also create a defensive shield, although the power of that also varies. Ummm, everyone has the ability to defend themselves, again a power that varies. In addition each person has his or her own main power. I don’t know all the abilities there are, there are too many to keep track of.”

Sasha pulled away from Brandy and turned to face her, drawing both legs up onto the couch and crossing them as she leaned back against the arm. “Okay, but that doesn’t answer my other question. Why don’t I have any other powers?”

Brandy ran her fingers through her hair and sighed as she thought about the best way to answer the question. “Well, you do honey. When your parents created you, they included a shield of some sort. You have to remember that your planet was involved in a civil war at the time. Before the war broke out explorers had been to Earth and they reported that the members of this planet weren’t prepared to accept something or someone different. So your parents came up with the idea of a shield. And the purpose of the shield was to prevent your powers from showing until a certain time. But you do have powers sweetheart. Now that they have started to appear, you will be growing stronger and we will work together to make sure you know how to control them. I don’t yet know what your main power will be, but that one will reveal itself in time.”

Sasha chewed on her lip as she turned the words over in her mind. She leaned slightly forward as a phrase locked into her mind. “You said ‘your planet’, like my, uh, planet isn’t your planet. Why did you phrase it that way?”

“Think back to the stories I’ve told you about Antar and the four other planets. You and your family are from the second largest planet, Zelone. The inhabitants of Zelone are like those on Antar. I’m from the fifth planet Ca-Luna. My race is one of shape shifters. We are capable of changing our appearance so that we look like whoever or whatever we wish. The other two planets are both smaller and further away and contain a mixture of our two races.”

Sasha’s thoughtful expression grew more puzzled. “So does that mean Aunt Susan and Jane aren’t really related to us?”

Brandy chuckled slightly at the question. “Weeelll, no not really. In fact you, uh, you’re looking at your Aunt Susan and Cousin Jane. You’re not too mad are you?”

Sasha’s confusion deepened and she started to stutter in her confusion. “B…but…how? Why? W…who…why!?”

Brandy leaned over and took on of Sasha’s hands in her own. “I thought that you would be safer that way. You see, this is what I look like. And I didn’t know if the enemy would figure out we were here or not and they know me, they know what I look like. I knew that you couldn’t protect yourself and I couldn’t be there at all times for you. So I thought it would be safer to pretend to be someone else to protect you. ‘Susan’ was actually modeled after a nice woman I meet when I first arrived here. And when it got to be time for Susan to be too old, I arranged for ‘Jane’ to take over your care. When I showed back up as myself I knew that your powers had to be emerging sometime soon and the risk was worth it.”

Sasha leaned over and gave Brandy a hug before pulling back and looking her in the eye. “I’m not mad. I understand. So this means you aren’t really my sister? And do you really work? Did we really move here because of your job?”

Brandy’s eyes turned sad at Sasha’s question. “No, we aren’t really sisters. Not in blood anyway. But I do feel like you are my sister in spirit. You’re the best sister a girl could ever ask for. And yes we did move here because of my job. But I had something to do with that. See, all these years I’ve been looking for the missing Royals. Before I was sent here, the scientists found a way to improve upon some of my powers. My defensive powers were increased as well as some of my mental powers-specifically my ability to dream-walk. See each cognizant living being has their own signature and the higher ones mental capabilities the more distinct their signature is. All these years I’ve gone to bed and searched the dream plane for the signatures of the Royals. I think I’ve managed to narrow down my choices, finally. So I used some of my mental abilities and convinced the CEO that a new office was needed near Roswell. That way I can continue my search a little easier.”

Sasha slowly nodded as she realized her sister made sense. “So, why are you here? Why is it so important you find the Royal Four?”

“Because, little sister, I’m their guardian. And I haven’t been doing a very good job of it either.” Brandy grinned wryly to herself, thinking that was only partially true.

“So, if you’re their guardian, that must mean I’m one too. So when do we get to start practicing my powers so that we can find the Royal Four and protect them?” Sasha bounced in her seat excitedly. The shock of hearing that she was part alien was wearing off and, with the ever-present exuberance of youth, she was eager to embark on a new adventure.

If you're looking for me, check the Land of Denial
I'm sorry there's water running down your screen, my bubble just burst...AGAIN!
*Fanfic Dreamer* *Cowgirl* **Spoiler Slut** **Fanfic Whore**!
posted on 21-Sep-2001 8:48:58 PM by Priszm1978
Note: Sorry this is out of order, but for some reason it wouldn't post where it should. Also, if you're looking for Part 31, it's the post right above this.

Part Twenty Four

Liz gave Max a kiss on the cheek and turned back to Maria and Isabel. She listened to her two friends chatting about the dance, discussing who was going, who should be going with who, and what some of the girls were planning on wearing. Liz perked up when Maria changed the subject to clothes.

“I think I need a new dress. What do you think Liz? Isabel?”

Isabel enthusiastically nodded her head at Maria. “Yeah! I think we should go shopping. How about after school? Wait, you both have to work don’t you?”

“Yeah. Maria and I are both on tonight, but neither of us has to work tomorrow. I know I’m free. What about you Maria?” Liz was already trying to decide what kind of dress she should buy.

“Hey, whatever I had planned can wait. It was only some mother-daughter bonding time. And besides, I’m pretty sure I was just about to get bumped in favor of mom’s l’amour du jour! So yeah! I’m game. Should we meet at the Jetta after last bell or at our lockers?” Maria was so excited she was practically bouncing in her seat.

Liz grinned at Maria. “Uh, let’s meet at the lockers. That way we can all walk out together.” Liz blushed when Isabel and Maria started to giggle.

“Sure Liz. We can all walk out together. I’m assuming you plan on waiting for Max so he can get you safely to the car? I’m offended that you don’t think Maria and I could do the job just as well, if not better.” Isabel’s gentle teasing made Liz’s face become even redder.

“Oh, you’re a fine one to talk Iz! I know you would be more than happy to wait for Alex so you can help him leave school safely. And if you have your way, you’ll make sure you lead him out by the lips. Anyways,” Liz turned to Maria, attempting to change the subject. “I’m sure you don’t mind getting bumped in favor of your mom’s date. What did she have planned for bonding night anyway?”

Maria smirked. She knew Liz wanted to change the subject and as much as she would love to tease her some more, Maria knew Liz could, and would, tease Maria just as mercilessly as she was being teased. “Yeah, okay. I think she said something about pizza and ice cream. And that’s after we work on creating some more alien themed stuff. I’m pretty sure she’s gonna want to discuss Michael with me and if we’re having sex yet. Then she’ll go off onto her rant about how she doesn’t want me to make the same mistakes she did and yada yada yada. Oh, and don’t forget the fun little talk about birth control and all that. So yeah, I’d be more than happy to avoid that!”

Liz and Isabel were smiling at Maria in amusement. They both knew just the type of girls night Maria would be having with her mom, both having had the pleasure of being around one of her little lectures. In fact, both girls have even been on the receiving end of one of Mrs. DeLuca’s bonding conversations. Liz’s smile faded as she glanced to where Kyle sat talking to Sasha and ignoring the new girl behind him. Liz tuned in to Kyle’s conversation just in time to hear him say “Well, I’m captain of the football and basketball teams. I thought about baseball, but for some reason I can’t seem to connect the bat with the ball. Go figure. Anyway, um there’s the Science club-Liz is president and Max is something or other. Between you and me, I think he just joined because of her. Ow!” Reaching across the aisle she smacked him on the arm.

“Hey! I’m sorry Liz! You know I didn’t mean it! You don’t have to beat me.” Liz laughed at Kyle’s pout and leaned over to kiss him on the cheek. “Aw Kyle, you know I still love you! But I still love Max more.”

Kyle grinned at Liz and turned back to Sasha. Liz watched the two interacting for a moment. “Hey Maria, Iz. What about Kyle? He doesn’t have a date yet.” Liz was worried about her friend, more so after his revelations to her over the weekend.

Maria turned to watch Kyle then turned back to Liz, laying a hand on her shoulder. “Lizzy, babe. We gotta let him do it on his own. Remember, we’ve tried to set him up before but he never appreciates our hard work. So if he wants to go to the dance, he’s gonna hafta find a pair and ask someone. It’s not like he’s ugly or anything. And we know Kyle ain’t shy!”

Isabel laughed as she remembered the last time Liz and Maria tried to hook him up with someone. It wouldn’t have been too bad except Liz seemed to think April Roberts was the right girl. It might have worked, if April wasn’t the definition of a nerd. She was a very pretty girl, but her whole world revolved around her studies, particularly those involving math and science. Isabel wondered if Kyle and his date would be joining the other three couples for the night. That reminded her. “Hey Liz, what did Max say about dinner? Maria distracted me with some gossip about Vicky and Pam.”

Liz laughed at her friend. “Sure Isabel. Maria distracted you. Knowing you, you probably brought up the topic. Anyway, Max and the guys decided to take care of dinner. They seemed to like the picnic idea, but they didn’t give really say anything about where or what to eat or anything like that. So our job is to go find some beautiful dresses and get ready.”

“What about Kyle? Should we invite him and his date?” Maria questioned, a little worried about who Kyle might ask as there were very few girls without dates and even fewer girls that she actually liked.

Liz thought about it for a moment. “I think we should wait and see who he asks. Maybe he’ll want it to be a more private date. And depending on who he asks, I don’t know how comfortable I would be with someone not from our group.”

Isabel and Maria nodded in agreement. Before anyone could say anything more the bell rang and the three girls grabbed their books before making their way out into the hall. Stopping next to their boyfriends, they relaxed into the warm embrace of their loves while waiting on Kyle and Sasha. Liz straightened up when she saw them make their way out of the classroom. Her eyes narrowed in curiosity when she spotted blond curls bobbing behind Kyle, following him to where the friends stood waiting.

“Hey Kyle, Sasha. Uh, hi. Tess, right?” Maria elbowed Liz when she spoke up. Slanting a glance at Maria, Liz gave a slight shrug of her shoulders. Her upbringing wouldn’t let her be anything but polite to someone she didn’t know. At the blonds nod, Liz introduced her friends, not liking the way Tess’ eyes lingered on Max before moving on to Michael. Max tightened his grip around Liz’s waist. He could feel the tension building in Liz. Glancing between Liz and the new girl, Max’s brow furrowed in confusion, not sure what was making his Liz upset.

“Okay, since we have to get going to our next class, why don’t we do it this way. Sasha, you go to class with Kyle and Isabel and then Isabel can bring you to your next class since she’s got one near there. Then Max can walk you to History, you can head to lunch with Max and me. After lunch Michael can take you to Art and then to Science. After Science, we’ll lead you out of the building. How does that sound?”

Sasha nodded in agreement. She was relieved that she wouldn’t have to try to find her own way to her classes. She had already seen some of the maze that this school was and she wasn’t looking forward to finding her own way around. With a sigh of relief she moved next to Kyle and Isabel and waited while everyone said good-bye.

“Uh Kyle? I really hate to ask this. But I’m not sure where it is I’m supposed to go. And I overheard you saying you have math next. I was wondering, well, since I’m in your class and all. Could I walk with you?” Tess asked, trying to sound like she really needed help finding her class.

Kyle shot a look at Isabel, silently pleading with her to get him out of his. At Isabel’s almost invisible nod, Kyle let out a sigh of resignation. “Yeah sure. Let’s get going though. Mr. Beasley really doesn’t like people being late. He’s worse than Mrs. Smith.”

Kyle turned and trudged down the hall, not waiting for Tess. Saying good-bye and waving over her shoulder, Tess hurried after Kyle, Isabel and Sasha. She waited until the group had disappeared behind them before she moved closer to Kyle and let her arm brush against his. Kyle jumped and glanced warily at Tess out of the corner of his eye. He moved away only to have Tess follow, making sure she stayed close enough so that she could touch him. Kyle inched away once again, then gave up when Tess moved closer than she was last time. Letting out another sigh, he gave up resigning himself to having her practically walk on top of him all the way to class. Kyle walked a little faster, hoping as soon as he got to class he could get away from her. He shuddered, thinking she reminded him of a barnacle, very clingy.

Part Twenty-Five

The ringing of the bell signaled the end of the day. Liz finished putting away the supplies from the day’s experiment then made her way over to Max. With a smile of thanks, Liz took her books from him then tucked herself under his arm. Max drew her closer to his side and leaned down to give her a kiss. He had meant to only place a light peck on her lips, but became distracted when, with a sigh, Liz melted into him. Max forgot they were standing outside the science lab waiting for Alex and Isabel to finish. He forgot their other friends were standing next to them talking about their plans for the night. Max forgot everything except Liz. Her scent surrounded him and made him dizzy. Her touch danced butterfly light up his arms to the nape of his neck. Her lips tasted like the finest wine; he drank from them as if he were dying of thirst.

Groaning low in his throat Max felt the connection he shared with Liz start to deepen. Liz sighed again, reveling in the love and passion she felt pouring from Max’s lips. As the connection between the young lover’s not only deepened but also became more open, stars appeared behind Liz’s closed eyes-flashing across the darkened lids like a movie. Eagerly she mentally reached for the vision, inviting it closer, inviting it to reveal itself to her.

The vision was abruptly cut off when something hit Liz, causing her to lose her balance and tumble into Max. Her lips were torn from his unwillingly, tearing groans of dismay from the two teens. Liz looked up at Max with dazed eyes while her brain scrambled to process everything that had just happened. Max held Liz gathered to his chest, helping her to regain her footing. Neither noticed Maria crouched at their feet gathering up the books that had fallen unnoticed. Maria saw the identical bemused expression on the faces of her friends and started to laugh.

“Good going Alex! We’ve been trying to get their attention for the last year! I would suggest they get a room, but I’m afraid they would take me up on the offer. Then I would be stuck working alone! It’s bad enough having to work with Liz when Max is hanging around. You know Isabel, some day’s I think the two of them plan it that way! Then Liz can sit and stare all googley eyed at Max and she doesn’t have to work!” Maria teased her two friends’, counting down and just waiting for Liz to counter-attack.

Red heat crept up Liz’s face and the tips of Max’s ears turned bright crimson as their friends all started to laugh. Mock glaring at Maria, Liz attempted to defend herself. “Oh, like you’re one to talk Maria! You and Michael are even worse! If the two of you aren’t hitting on each other or practicing foreplay you’re staring at each other.”

Maria gasped in indignation. “Please! Flirting, foreplay! I’ll have you know I’m a good girl! I would never. And besides, Space boy over here don’t even know what those words mean!”

With a giggle and a wink Maria grabbed Liz’s hand and the two girls raced off down the hall towards their lockers. Michael watched his girlfriend take off, his mouth gaping open like a fish. Isabel was laughing so hard Alex was holding her up. Max shook his head at the antics of his girlfriend and her best friend before following them down the hall. Isabel and Alex followed discussing the movie they planned on going to while Michael finally closed his mouth. Muttering threats towards Maria, he followed his other friends, leaving Kyle and Sasha behind.

Slowly Kyle started to lead Sasha towards their lockers, neither one noticing Tess following behind. “You know, I don’t have any practice tonight and well, I know that Isabel and Alex are going to the Crash to hang out before the movie. And Max, well he’s always there when Liz is working. So, uh, would you like to go get something to drink with me?” Kyle nervously reached up and rubbed the back of his neck while waiting for Sasha’s answer.

Stopping in front of her locker Sasha turned to look at Kyle, disappointment and confusion written all over her face. “The Crash? What’s that? Besides I can’t. Not tonight. My sister is having some people from work over tonight for dinner. I really need to get home and do some cleaning and start dinner. If her co-workers ever tasted her cooking, she’d be out of a job!” Sasha laughed as she thought about some of her sisters more terrible disasters.

Kyle smiled as the sound of Sasha’s laughter washed over him like the bubbling of a brook. “Hey that’s okay! I understand! My dad’s the same way. That’s why I either live off of frozen dinners, con my way into my friend’s houses for dinners, or eat at the Crash. Oh yeah. The Crash is really the Crashdown. It’s an alien themed restaurant that Liz’s parents own. Liz and Maria have both been working there almost since they started to walk and Michael just started as a cook a few months ago. Max spent so much time eating there that his parents finally told him to support his own habit, they wouldn’t do it anymore. Now he works at the UFO Museum.”

Slamming her locker door shut, Sasha shouldered her backpack and followed Kyle across the hall to his. Leaning against the locker next to Kyle’s Sasha watched as he pulled out the books he needed for the night’s homework. “So Liz works at the Crash with Maria and Michael. Max works at the museum. What about the rest of you? Do you guys work or do you all laze around like bums?”

Kyle looked affronted at the teasing insult. “Hey! I’ll have you know we all pull our weight around here! Isabel helps her parents at their law office doing typing, filing, stuff like that. I help my dad out at the police station, doing the same as Isabel. Every now and then I pull switchboard duty too. As for Alex, he’s the local computer guru. He’s the one everyone turns to when they have problems with their electronics. You name it, he can fix it. Anyway, can I give you a ride home?”

Sasha agreed and followed Kyle out of the school. Her mouth dropped open when he led her to his Mustang. Laughing, Kyle held open the door for her and waited until she got in before he got in and drove her home. After dropping Sasha off at home and offering to pick her up in the morning, Kyle headed towards the Crashdown where he knew his friends would be.

Liz stood at the counter wiping it down. Hearing the bells above the door ring, she looked up and groaned when she saw some kids from school walk through the door. Her groan turned to a sigh of relief as she watched them sit down in Maria’s section. It wasn’t that she didn’t want her classmates in the restaurant, she didn’t mind at all. She even liked the students that were currently jostling each other for a place to sit. Liz had just finished taking care of three tables full of families and she was looking forward to five minutes of routine cleaning before Max came in for his dinner break.

Seeing that the table was finally settled down Liz called out for Maria, interrupting her argument with Michael.

“Don’t think that this going to let you off the hook! I expect you at my house for dinner tomorrow after Isabel, Liz and I finish shopping. You know very well my mom personally invited you and you will be there!” Maria forestalled any further arguments from Michael by walking over to take the tables order. Letting out a sigh, Michael pulled the bandana from his head and ran his fingers through his hair.

Michael brightened somewhat when he saw Liz walk into the cooler. Grabbing the door and holding it opened he called her name. “Hey Liz! I need some help. Maria’s mom invited me to dinner tomorrow night and I don’t know what to do. Help me!”

Liz gaped at Michael in astonishment then looked around to make sure he was really talking to her. Seeing no one else around, she turned back to him and eyed him warily. “Okay Michael. Tell me how Kyle almost died last weekend?” Liz crossed her arms and stared him down.

“What? What are you talking about? Kyle didn’t almost die! Well, unless you count him asking you to the dance.”

“Michael, you never ask anyone for help and you never admit to being nervous! I was afraid aliens had abducted you or something!” Liz laughed at her own joke, ignoring the smirk Michael sent her way.

“Ha ha. Very funny. Tell me what I do tomorrow. I know I’ve talked to her mom before, but I’ve never had dinner there. And I don’t wanna screw up!”

Liz laid her hand sympathetically on his arm. “Just be yourself Michael. Oh, and don’t do any displays of power, that might freak her out. Come to think of it, bringing flowers might be a good thing. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant. Or desert! You could make that yummy chocolate thing you made a few weeks ago! You bring that and she’ll probably hand Maria to you on a silver platter!”

Liz peaked through the window to see that Max had already arrived. Leaving Michael to his thoughts, she headed out to greet her boyfriend with a kiss.

Grabbing drinks for her friends, Liz slid into the booth next to Max. Cuddling against his side, she listened in contentment as Isabel and Alex discussed which movie they should see while Max and Kyle talked about last night’s ball game, occasionally throwing an opinion into the movie discussion. Bringing over food for everyone, Maria and Michael sat down and joined the conversations. No one noticed a pair of eyes across the restaurant watching every move they made.

Sasha walked into her room and flopped down on the bed. She was exhausted; the dinner parties her sister threw always had that effect on her. Groaning, she rolled over and reached into her nightstand drawer and pulled out her diary.

Dear Diary,

Today was the first day of school. Amazingly it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I expected to show up and have everyone either stare at me or totally ignore me. But that didn’t happen. I met this group of friends, the bond they have is unbelievable! And even though they are really close, they were still very friendly! There was this one girl, god I don’t even remember her name. But when I went to the bathroom after lunch this one girl stopped me. She said that she had seen me with them and asked me what I have over them. I was really confused. It must have shown on my face or something because she told me that while they are nice to everyone, they almost never let anyone else into their group and she was really surprised to see me eating lunch with them. I still don’t understand. After she walked out I just brushed it off. After all, if they didn’t want me around, they wouldn’t have asked me to join them at lunch. Right?

There was this one guy, Kyle. I don’t know. There’s just something about him. Just looking in his eyes I got butterflies in my stomach. I’ve never felt that way before! Never! I don’t get it. And every time I looked at him, he was just staring at me. Every time I caught him looking he would hold my eyes for a second and look away. But in that second, shivers would race up and down my spine.

I don’t know Diary. As good as today was, it was still very confusing. And I really need to go to bed now. Brandy had a dinner party and they always make me so tired! Maybe it’s all the adult conversation I have to listen to. No, that can’t be it. I know, it’s all the shoptalk! The words they throw around, it’s enough to wipe out anyone for a year! It’s off to bed for me.

Sweet dreams,

Putting her diary back into the drawer, Sasha got up and made her way into the bathroom to get ready for bed. After taking a shower and drying her hair, Sasha put on her tank top and flannel boxers and crawled into bed. As soon as her head hit the pillow she slid into dreams.


Sasha got out of Kyle’s car and walked up to her front door. Searching through her bag, she groaned when she realized she had forgotten her keys that morning. Looking around her to see if anyone was nearby, she held her hand over the lock and waited while her hand glowed red. With a faint click the lock slid back and she pushed the door open. Walking into the house Sasha threw her bag on the couch. Critically eyeing the deep brown color, her gaze slid to the slate blue of the carpet. With a frown, she realized the couch color was all-wrong. Biting her lip in thought she studied the couch and the carpet before waving her hand over the couch. The brown was replaced by a warm cream with shades of rose and green shot through it. Standing back and studying the couch and carpet again, Sasha nodded in approval. Moving over to the loveseat and chair she repeated her actions. Smiling in satisfaction, Sasha moved into the kitchen. Again she frowned when she saw the mess in the kitchen. She couldn’t believe Brandy would leave for work without cleaning her dishes from the morning. With a wave of her hand, the dishes were left sparkling clean.

~~End Dream~~

With a gasp Sasha shot up in bed. Hand trembling, she reached up and pushed her hair off her face. <> Sasha climbed out of bed and headed downstairs. She hoped that maybe a glass of water or something would help her get back to sleep, help her have a dreamless night.

Saying goodnight to his dad, Kyle walked into his room and stripped down to his boxers. With a sigh he lowered himself to the floor and started his nightly exercise routine. After doing his sit-ups and push-ups he crawled into bed and turned off the light. Kyle tossed and turned before settling into an uneasy sleep. His eyes moved rapidly as he slipped in his dreams.


Kyle walked through the door of the school. Looking around, his heart sank when he couldn’t find her. He headed towards his locker and threw a distracted hello to his friend. Opening his locker he absent-mindedly pulled books out, not paying attention to what he was doing. His head kept swiveling around, looking for her. Slamming his locker closed, he jumped in shock when her head popped up next to him. Slipping an arm around her, he pulled her close and gave her a tender good morning kiss.

“Mmmm, I missed you!”

“Kyle, we saw each other last night! Remember? You made dinner for me. It was very good too. Not as good as what came after though…” With a coy smile she trailed off knowing as soon as the memory flashed through his mind.

“You minx! As if I could ever forget last night. It was wonderful. I agree, dinner was very good. But dessert was even better! C’mon. I’ll walk you to class.” Kyle guided her down the hallway, vividly recalling the events of the previous evening. “You know, I never did ask you what you’re doing this weekend. Do you have a date to the dance yet?”

Glancing coyly at him she smiled. “Why do you ask? Are you planning on asking me yourself?”

Kyle smiled tenderly down at her. “Maybe. Would you go with me if I did?”

“Mmm, I would have to maybe think about it. Why don’t you try asking and see what I say?”

Kyle pretended to think over her offer. “Ah, I suppose I could do that. Tess, would you like to go to the dance with me this weekend? I promise I’ll even take you out to dinner before if you’d like.”

Tess’ lips curved in a satisfied smile. “I would love to go with you. And dinner sounds great! Pick me up at 6?”

~~End Dream~~

The ringing of the phone temporarily woke Kyle from his restless sleep. Groaning he glanced at his clock then turned over and went back to sleep. Across town Tess Harding smiled to herself and went to bed.

Part Twenty-Six A

Kyle woke up feeling more tired than when he had gone to bed. His forehead scrunched in confusion as he struggled to remember his dream. When it refused to reveal itself, he shrugged and dismissed it as unimportant. Taking a quick shower and throwing his clothes on, Kyle raced out the door-remembering at the last minute his promise to pick up Sasha and give her a ride to school.

Liz leaned back into Max’s chest, smiling when he dropped a light kiss on the crown of her head. She looked around at her friends eating their lunch and laughed to herself as Maria and Alex ganged up on Isabel and Michael about their lunches. Her gaze moved past to where Sasha sat staring wide-eyed at an arguing Maria and Michael. Liz frowned when she realized Kyle wasn’t sitting with the group. Ever since he had joined the “I know an alien” club he had eaten with them almost everyday. And days when he didn’t, he usually stopped by for a few minutes. Looking around the crowded lawn Liz spotted him sitting under a tree with a blond girl. Peering closer Liz’s eyes narrowed when she realized it was Tess.

“So Tess, what do you think of Roswell so far?” Kyle asked, gazing in admiration at his lunch partner. Tentatively he reached over and grabbed a curl of hair, gently fingering it as he explored the texture.

“It’s okay I guess. I mean when you move around as much as we have, one town starts to look like another after awhile. It’s really hard to make friends or have a boyfriend though.”

“I bet. I’ve lived here all my life. Sometimes I wouldn’t mind living somewhere else. Uh, Tess? I was, uh, wondering. Well, that is, if you don’t already have a date, would you like to go to the dance with me this Friday?” Kyle finished in a rush, slurring his words together in his haste to get them said.

Tess smiled to herself in satisfaction. Kyle, not noticing the true meaning of the smile, was dazzled and swallowed convulsively. Nervously he twisted his fingers, the action mirroring the twisting of his insides as he waited for her answer.

“Kyle, I would love to go with you to the dance. What did you have in mind for that night?” Tess settled herself more comfortably on the bench.

Kyle ran his hands up and down his jean clad legs, wiping off the gathering moisture. “Well, I was thinking I could pick you up around six. Uh, first we could head out to dinner. I was thinking we could either join some of my friends or we could go alone. Which would you prefer?”

Tess perked up imperceptibly at Kyle’s suggestion. Brow furrowing, the wheels in her mind started to spin. She knew that having dinner with his friends would be a good start. She needed to gain their trust and to do that she needed to be included in their group. She would even be happy starting out on the fringe. Shaking herself out of her thoughts, Tess realized Kyle was staring at her waiting for her answer. Lowering her head, Tess allowed a slight blush to appear on her cheeks as she peered at him through long lashes. “I’m sorry. I know it shouldn’t seem like a big decision but it is! I couldn’t decide what I want more-meeting your friends, especially since I know so few people, or being alone with someone as cute and adorable as you.”

Under Tess’ watchful gaze Kyle sat up straighter and puffed out his chest, preening in response to her compliments. “So what did you decide? If you really want, I’m sure I could suffer through an evening alone with you.”

Tess’ eyes widened in surprise at Kyle’s comment. When he comically leered at her she realized he was joking. Her eyes narrowed in mock anger and she playfully smacked him on the shoulder. “Well in that case, I think we should eat with your friends. After all, I wouldn’t want to make you uncomfortable.”

Kyle smiled at Tess and nodded in agreement. “Sure I’ll let them know. The only thing you have to worry about is making yourself look even more beautiful, if that is at all possible.” Kyle ducked his head slightly as his cheeks started to burn. “Anyway, I need to go. Liz is gonna help me finish our Science homework. I’ll see you later?”

Standing, Kyle waited for Tess’ nod of agreement before heading towards the table where his friends sat. Waiting until he was halfway to their table, Tess allowed a satisfied smile to settle on her lips. Had anyone looked closely, they would have seen a predatory gleam in her eyes.

Part Twenty-Six B

“Hey guys! How’s it goin’?” Seven heads snapped up at the sound of Kyle’s voice. Exchanging wary glances they greeted him. Liz slid closer to Max and Kyle sat down in the empty spot between Liz and Sasha. Leaning over Kyle stole a fry from Liz’s plate. At her shocked look, he threw her his most charming smile. Indignation melting like ice cream in the sun, Liz pushed her plate of fries towards Kyle.

Max looked at Liz and pouted. Leaning in she gave him a quick kiss, sucking in his lower lip before gently biting it. She soothed it with her tongue then let it slide out of her mouth. “Don’t try that with me mister. Those fries have been sitting there for most of lunch and you haven’t even made a move towards them. You only want them now because I let Kyle have them.” The corners of Max’s mouth turned up faintly and he grinned unrepentantly at Liz. Liz turned to Kyle. “I saw you talking to Tess over there. Discover anything interesting?”

Kyle grinned at Liz. “Spying on me Parker? I know, you just can’t stand to let someone as handsome as me out of your sights for very long!” Wiggling his eyebrows, Kyle leered at Liz.

Liz giggled. “Sure Kyle. I’ll let you believe that. So explain to me why I choose to go to the dance with Max instead of you.” Liz crossed her arms and smiled smugly at Kyle. Sitting next to Liz, Max bit his lip so he wouldn’t laugh as Liz teased Kyle.

Kyle thought about that for a moment. “Because…because I’m so darn handsome you didn’t think you could possibly even come close to looking as good as me!” Kyle grinned in triumph, believing he had beaten her.

Liz smirked at him in disbelief. “Uh huh. Sure Kyle. Whatever you say.” Liz rolled her eyes then remembered he hadn’t answered her question. “Now stop avoiding my question. And tell me what she’s like.” Leaning back against Max, Liz regarded Kyle with a steady gaze.

Avoiding Liz’s eyes, Kyle glanced around the table only to find all eyes on him. All but one set. Sasha, sitting next to Kyle, had her English book open and her eyes glued, unseeing, to the pages, hiding the hurt she was feeling.

With a sigh Kyle turned back to Liz, confusion marring his features. “It’s strange. Before you guys, I would have probably taken one look at her and done everything I could to get into her pants…” Kyle trailed off, mentally conjuring up an image of the girl he was taking to the dance.

Maria snorted derisively. Michael looked at his girlfriend with one eye raised in amusement, silently counting down to the comment he knew was coming forth. “Probably Kyle? Honey, unless you were gay there’s no probably about it!” Maria waved her carrot around to emphasize her point.

Sending a glare in her direction Kyle waited for the laughter to die down before continuing. “The funny thing is, when I saw her yesterday I didn’t really notice her. I mean, I wasn’t attracted to her in any way. Kinda like it is with you, Liz. Except with Tess, I didn’t even feel the urge to really even talk to her. But when I see you guys, I usually remember something I wanted to tell you or just hang around listening to the conversation. Anyway. Last night I dreamt about the dance. I don’t even remember all that much, I just know I was at the dance. Then this morning in homeroom I couldn’t stop sneaking looks at Tess. I was even listening for the sound of her voice or hoping to hear her laugh. Then when I saw her a while ago, I had this weird urge to talk to her; to ask her to the dance. And I wasn’t even planning on asking Tess. Come to think of it, she probably woulda been the last person I’d consider.” Kyle grabbed his soda and gulped some down while waiting for his friends reactions to his story.

Isabel stared at Kyle puzzled. “How could your feelings for someone change in a day? You aren’t that shallow!”

Kyle glared at Isabel. “Gee thanks Isabel. It’s good to know you think so highly of me!” The others at the table tried to hide their snickers at the sarcasm dripping from Kyle’s voice.

Alex noticed Isabel bristling, preparing for a fight. Hurriedly he stepped in, attempting to calm things down before a full-scale battle erupted. “Kyle you don’t think you were somehow manipulated into asking Tess or something?”

Kyle’s eyes took on a far-away look as he thought about Alex’s question. Max meet Alex’s eyes then slide his gaze over to Sasha, silently reminding Alex of the need for caution. Flushing slightly, Alex nodded in acknowledgement of the warning. Kyle caught the looks floating around the table. “Naw Alex! I don’t see how it’s possible. Unless she planted subliminal messages in my dreams or something!” Maria started to laugh at Kyle’s comment, trying to imagine Tess flashing signs throughout Kyle’s dream reading Take me to the dance! Take me to the dance!. Everyone else started to giggle except for Liz and Isabel. Liz looked at Isabel, her eyebrow raised in silent inquiry. Isabel imperceptibly shook her head, indicating that she didn’t think what Kyle had described was possible.

Tess walked into the house and called out for Ed. Finding out he was in the kitchen getting dinner ready, she headed in that direction; a smile on her face. “Hello daddy! How was your day? Ya know, never mind. I don’t really want to know. I think I’ll tell you about my day instead.” Tess chattered on, not giving Ed time to answer any of her questions. Grabbing a roll, she sat down at the table and raised her eyebrows in Ed’s direction. He sat down with a sigh, knowing that to do otherwise was useless. He waited for Tess to continue, hiding his impatience from her. Tess smiled gleefully when she sensed his rising restlessness. Waiting just a heartbeat longer she let him squirm. “Well, I got asked to Friday’s dance!” Tess leaned back and waited for his response.

Ed looked slightly shocked as he watched Tess. “You mean you actually got Max Evans to ask you to the dance? What did you do to his girlfriend?” Ed spat out the word as if it left a nasty taste in his mouth.

Tess shook her head. “Nope. Not with Max. With his friend Kyle. He was the only one without a date so I thought I would start with him. But don’t worry. Kyle and I are going to have dinner with his friends before the dance. I’ll use that time to start getting close to Max. Maybe I’ll talk a little walk tonight and see what Max is up to. Before Ms. Parker knows it, she’ll be out in the cold.” Tess’ teeth gleamed as she smiled at the thought of Max belonging to her. She knew with the right tactic, Max Evans would be putty in her hands. In the meantime, she would practice with Kyle Valenti. <>

Saying goodnight and hanging up the phone, Max rolled over onto his back and stared at his ceiling as he thought about the day. He recalled what Kyle had told them at lunch, letting the conversation play over and over again trying to make sense of all of it. The only thing he could come up with was the joke Kyle had made. Maybe, just maybe she had planted the idea in Kyle’s mind in some way. Then again maybe Kyle was just trying to justify asking her to the dance, maybe he felt bad because Tess got asked before Sasha. Grinning at the thought Max caught sight of the time. He groaned when he realized he needed to go to sleep if he was going to stay awake tomorrow in class. Closing his eyes, Max pictured Liz. He fell asleep with a smile on his face, sliding into dreams of Liz.


Max watched Liz glide towards him, the royal blue train of her dress shimmering and swirling around her as she moved. He smiled as she stopped in front of him and reached out to pull her closer, his head descending to capture her lips in a deep kiss. Love filled Max’s soul and overflowed. He was amazed that this beautiful creature could want him, could love him. He felt humbled by her acceptance of him, of his otherworldly status. Max slowly raised his head, wrenching a sound of distress from Liz. Resting his forehead on hers he watched her as she struggled to catch her breath, her chest rising and falling rapidly as slowly her eyes fluttered open. Liz’s lips curled in a sensuous smile as she gazed into Max’s eyes, rapidly losing herself in the molten gold depths.

At the sound of someone clearing their throat, Max and Liz jumped in surprise. Liz looked to her right and blushed when she saw the librarian staring disapprovingly at her and Max. Smiling apologetically, Liz pulled away from Max and sat back down at the table. Raising his hand, Max rubbed the back of his neck, frustration at being interrupted visible in the lines of his body as he sat back down next to her.

Liz rubbed Max’s back while she placed her head on his shoulder. Max grinned wryly down at her. “You know, this town is starting to remind me of a three-ring circus! It seems everyone is always watching what we are doing and you and I are the center ring!” Liz laughed lightly at Max’s analogy. Lowering his voice, Max reached out and caressed her cheek. “Have I told you how lovely you look tonight? I’m glad Isabel and Maria talked you into buying that dress for the dance.”

Max’s hand was still on her cheek. Placing hers over his, she turned her head and kissed his palm, her tongue snaking out to trace the lines that she found in them. Max drew in a breath with a hiss. Liz turned her head back to him when her attention was captured by Tess following Kyle into the library.

“Tess, are you sure you want to study for the Science test here? This place is crowded! We could have gotten so much more done at my place. And my dad is working tonight!” Kyle pleaded, hoping he could get Tess alone.

“No Kyle. I told you! We’re supposed to meet the study group here. Plus there’s this book I really, really need to get so I can finish my English paper.” Taking Kyle’s hand, Tess pulled him into the stacks, pausing momentarily to lock her gaze with Max’s.

Liz and Max watched Kyle and Tess disappear. Turning to Max, Liz noticed a frown on his face. She ran her thumb lightly over his lower lip, waiting patiently for him to tell her what was on his mind.

“Liz, there’s something about her I don’t trust. Would you mind if we maybe went and kept an eye on those two?” Max’s pleading look melted Liz’s heart. She knew there was no way she could refuse him anything. Nodding, she stood and shook the wrinkles out of the shimmering fabric. Liz reached up and straightened Max’s tie before taking his hand and leading him in the direction their friend had taken.

Standing behind a shelf of books Liz and Max watched as Tess stood on a step stool, Kyle’s hands at her waist steadying her. Looking over her shoulder to make sure Kyle couldn’t see what she was doing, Tess waved her hand over the wall above the top row of books. A silver handprint appeared and Tess reached through the wall, pulling out the book that was there. Setting the book on a lower shelf, Tess waved her hand over the wall again, making the handprint disappear. Grabbing a random book from the shelf, Tess stacked it on top of the one she had pulled out of the wall. Stepping down from the stool, she stared briefly towards where Max and Liz were watching. “You know Kyle. I think you’re right. I think we should go study for the Science test at your house. Let’s go!” Tess grabbed Kyle’s arm and pulled him out of the library. As Tess disappeared from sight the dream slowly faded.

~~End Dream~~
Max sprang up in bed, gasping for air. Running his hand through his hair, he thought about his dream. He struggled for a few minutes for an understanding. When none came to him, he shrugged and lay back down. As he drifted back to sleep, Max decided he would talk to Isabel about it tomorrow. See what she thought his dream meant.

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Edited by - priszm1978 on 09/23/2001 16:04:39