posted on 1-Sep-2001 7:37:19 PM
Title: Destiny Is A State Of Mind
Authors: Jezzy and Bijou
Rating: PG-13 to NC-17 (Whatever kind of mood we happen to be in)
Summary: Basically a post-Destiny story. Not for Tess lovers/unconventional ‘shippers.
Disclaimer: Don’t own any of the characters except Jacinda, Mikos, and Dai. We’re just borrowing all the characters and will return them when we’re done. Except I don’t think Jezzers is gonna be done with Max any time soon. (Bite me, B!)
Feedback: Pretty please? But be nice! We worked hard on this, and if I wanted to be insulted and bitched at, I'd track down my birth mom and talk to her.- Jezzy

“It has begun.” Mikos said, staring at the small, beeping object covered in flashing lights in his hand. He turned to the young woman sitting in the back seat of the car.
Dai looked up from the similar object that she was holding “We have to tell her.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
Jacinda was sitting on the couch in her nightgown, holding a beeping, flashing communicator in her hand, when the door opened and Mikos and Dai stepped into the apartment. “It’s real, isn’t it?”
“It is.” Mikos replied
“Then it’s time for me to go.” Jacinda said sadly
“You’ve known your whole life that this day would come.” Dai said “You have to be with your family.”
“You two are my family.” Jacinda said “This is my home.”
“But it’s time for you to be with your real family.” Mikos told her
“How will I know them?” Jacinda asked
“You’ve known them your whole life.” Dai said
“And they’ll know me?”
Mikos nodded “The moment they lay eyes on you, they will know who you are.”
“Will they remember?” Jacinda asked
“You’ll help them remember.” Dai told her.
Jacinda sighed “And will I ever see either of you again?”
“Maybe.” Mikos lied
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕

She counts out all her money
In the taxi on the way
To meet her plane
And she stares hopeful
Out the window at the workers
Fighting through the pouring rain
She’s searching through the stations
For an old familiar song
And she’s picturing the places
Where she knows she still belongs
She smiles a secret smile
Because she knows
Exactly how to carry on

Jacinda turned up the volume on her portable CD player and looked out the window, trying to memorize all the familiar sights. She was going to miss New York.

She knows how to
Run, baby, run
Baby, run, baby, run
So run baby, run, baby
Run, baby run, baby, run
Past their old familiar faces
And their old familiar songs
To the comfort of the strangers
Slipping out before
They say ‘So long’
Baby loves to run

She knew what she had to do. It was her destiny to find her family. And to show them their true destiny.

Destiny Is A State Of Mind, part 1 *NC-17*

Liz set aside her journal. Lately she just couldn’t seem of anything substantial to write. She was about to turn out the light and get in bed when she heard a knock at her window. She went and opened it.
“Max, what are you doing here?” she asked
“I couldn’t stay away any more.” Max told her. His clothes and hair were soaked through with rain, and his eyes were wild. “I need you, Liz.”
“What about Tess? What about your destiny?” Liz stammered
“I don’t care about Tess.” Max said “I don’t care about anything that happened in what can only be described as a past life on a different planet. I don’t care about anything but you.”
Liz’s head was spinning. She sank into a chair as Max climbed in through the window and shut it behind him. Before she could say or do anything he was lifting her up and kissing her passionately. She returned the kiss equally, pressing her body against his. As soon as they broke the kiss, she grabbed his hand and pulled him over to her bed. Without a word, she lay down, pulling him down with her. No words were exchanged. No words were needed. Liz gasped and moaned as Max started kissing her neck and massaging her breasts through her thin blouse. Within minutes, they were both in their underwear and working on removing the last barriers between them.
“Liz...” Max said breathlessly “Are you sure?”
“I’m sure.” Liz managed to say between gasps. She pulled him down on top of her and arched against him.
That was all the encouragement Max needed. He unfastened her bra and quickly pulled it off of her. He cupped her soft breasts and then opened his mouth over one nipple, sucking on it gently. Liz cried out and twined her fingers through his hair, holding his head to her. Max started kissing his way down her body, pausing over the spot where he’d healed her months before. He pressed his face against her soft skin, breathing in the intoxicating scent of her. He slowly moved lower, all the while still stroking her breasts. As he moved his head down, he saw the dark, wet spot on her panties. Without thinking, he placed his open mouth over the spot. Instantly, he was addicted to the sweet, musky taste of her. He quickly pulled her panties down and threw them aside. Liz knew what was coming and she tried to take a deep breath, but then Max’s mouth was on her and everything else just ceased to exist.
“Oh my God, Max.” she moaned, pushing up against him. She whimpered and panted as he plunged two fingers up into her while sucking on the tiny bundle of nerves poking out from between her wet folds. Her entire body tensed, then relaxed completely as her climax washed over her. She screamed and shook, then fell back onto the bed, breathing heavily.
Max quickly moved back up her body, stretching out on top of her, and closed his mouth over hers. He broke the kiss and looked into her eyes as he slowly pushed himself into her. Liz moaned softly, wrapping her legs around his back. Their bodies moved in a perfect rhythm as they drew closer and closer to completion.
“Liz...” Max groaned “I love you, Liz.”
“I love you, too.” Liz whispered, gently sucking on his neck. She felt every muscle in her body tighten as her orgasm built within her. She cried out as she was pushed over the edge.
Max pulled Liz’s body tightly against his he came inside of her. Her walls tightened around him, milking him, squeezing every last drop out of him.
“Liz.” he groaned, pushing into her once more “Liz, Liz, Liz...”
“Liz!” Maria yelled, hitting her friend with a pillow “Wake up, we’re gonna be late for school.”
“Huh?” Liz groaned. She sat up, rubbing her eyes “Maria, what are you doing here?”
“I’m here to drive you to school.” Maria replied “Are you okay? It’s not like you to oversleep on the first day.”
“First day?” Liz repeated, leaping out of bed “Shit, I can’t believe my alarm didn’t go off!”
“Were you having a nightmare or something?” Maria asked “You were moaning and thrashing around.”
“Uh, yeah, I was having a really intense dream.” Liz replied, thankful that her back was turned and Maria couldn’t see how red she was turning. She couldn’t believe it had been a dream. It had seemed so real. It had felt so real. She quickly grabbed some clothes and bolted into the bathroom “I’ll be ready in five minutes, tops.” she promised as she closed the door.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“Max, let’s go!” Isabel yelled, pounding on the door “We’re going to be late, and we still have to pick up Michael and the porn star.”
“Tess still hasn’t found her own damn way to get to school?” Max groaned, opening his bed room door.
“Tragically, no.” Isabel sighed “And what took you so long?”
“Overslept.” Max replied “Had another crazy dream.”
“What kind of crazy dream?” Isabel asked, raising an eyebrow
“None of your business, actually.” Max replied shortly
“Sex dream.” Isabel said under her breath as she followed her brother down the hall.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“Okay,” Alex said “since it’s painfully obvious that neither of you are going to bring it up, I might as well.”
“Bring what up, Alex?” Liz asked, fully aware of what he was going to say.
“Isabel, Max, and Michael.” Alex said “Going back to school means facing them.”
“Alex, we know that.” Maria groaned “Hey, I’m Teflon, remember? I’m okay with it.”
“Liz?” Alex asked
“Yeah, I’ll be fine.” Liz yawned
“Did you get any sleep at all last night?” Maria asked
“Not really.” Liz replied
“Didn’t you mention that you had a really intense dream earlier?” Maria inquired
“Yeah, what about it?” Liz asked
“Well, you know I’ve been reading that book about analyzing dreams.” Maria said “What was it about?”
“I really don’t think there’s much to analyze.” Liz said, blushing slightly
“Really?” Maria asked
Liz sighed, knowing that Maria wouldn’t quit until she knew everything “Alex, cover your ears and hum.”
“Just do it!” Maria and Liz said in unison
Alex shrugged, covered his ears, and started humming.
“Okay, spill it.” Maria said
“Fine.” Liz groaned “It was about Max.”
“Okay, when you say about Max,” Maria said “Do you mean about Max or, like, *about* him?”
“The second one.” Liz replied, her face burning
Maria nodded “Well, you’re right. I mean, a sex dream about an ex-boyfriend, not much to analyze there.”
“That’s just it.” Liz said “It was different. It felt like more than just a dream. I mean, I could actually feel him and-”
“Okay, I don’t need to know anymore.” Maria interrupted “Alex, you can stop humming now.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“Hey, I just got a great idea!” Tess bubbled
“Not another one.” Isabel muttered
“We should all go to UFOnics tonight.” Tess continued
“And be seen in public with you?” Isabel hissed
“Did you say something?” Tess asked
“No, nothing.” Isabel replied. She pulled Max aside “Please tell me we can ditch her soon.”
“We’ve both got trig first period, Michael’s got physics, and she’s got social studies.”
“Thank God.” Isabel murmured
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“I’ll see you in gym, Maria!” Liz called as she closed her locker and headed for class. She greeted a few people she passed in the hall, scanning the crowd of students for a certain familiar face. She caught a glimpse of Max, at least she thought it was him, at the end of the hall, and quickly turned away so he wouldn’t see her. She knew she wouldn’t be able to look at him without remembering the feel of his body against hers in her dream. She was concentrating so hard on not being seen, she walked right into a trash can and fell flat on her behind.
“Whoa, Liz spill, aisle six!” A familiar voice said. Kyle rushed over and helped Liz to her feet “Can we get a mop and a price check on a pair of floral panties? I saw ‘em.”
Liz smacked him lightly with her bag “I was th-thinking about something and I didn’t see that.”
“Yeah? What were you ‘th-thinking’ about?” Kyle asked
“I don’t want to talk about it.” Liz replied “I have to get to class, so why don’t you just buzz off and mind your own sex dream-I mean, business!”
“Sex dream?” Kyle repeated “So, how was I?”
“Absent.” Liz said
“Ouch.” Kyle chuckled “Okay, I had that coming. Let’s see now, who could you have had a kinky dream about?”
“Kyle, I’m begging you, go away.” Liz groaned
“Of course!” Kyle said, way too loudly “It was about Space Boy, right?”
Liz hit him with her bag “Wanna say that a little louder?”
Kyle stopped laughing “Oh, shit. So that’s what foot tastes like. Sorry, I forgot that you and Max have that whole...thing going on.”
“We had a ‘thing’ going on.” Liz corrected “And yes, it ended rather badly, but that wasn't his fault or mine. I meant the ‘Space Boy’ thing. Could you not say that kind of thing so loudly?”
“Right, that.” Kyle said “Sure.” As they turned a corner, Kyle ran right into a girl who was walking in the opposite direction.
“Oh, geez, I’m sorry!” The girl exclaimed, immediately bending down to pick up her books.
“It’s okay, my fault.” Kyle replied. He picked up a few books and handed them to her. The girl looked up and gave him a grateful smile, and Kyle was instantly stuck dumb by her beauty.
Liz sensed this and helped the girl pick up her last few books “I’m Liz.” she said “And this is my friend Kyle.”
“Nice to meet you both.” The girl said shifting the books to one arm and shaking Liz and Kyle’s hands “I’m Jacinda. I just moved here.”
“I figured as much.” Liz said “Do you need help finding your classes?”
“Yeah, kind of.” Jacinda admitted “I’m looking for my trig class. Room 218?”
“That’s where we’re headed.” Liz told her “Come on, it’s this way.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“And this must be Jacinda.” Mrs. Moon said “Why don’t you have a seat between Max and Isabel in the back row?”
As Liz watched Jacinda sit down, she noticed that the new girl bore a striking resemblance to both Max and Isabel. She was tall and voluptuous like Isabel, and had Max’s dark hair and eyes. Liz shook the thought out of her mind and sat down.
But she wasn’t the only one who had noticed Jacinda. As Max turned around to look at her, their eyes met. Instantly, Max had a flash of Jacinda as a baby, and then as a young girl. Jacinda didn’t seem to have noticed anything, she was already opening her text book and getting out a pencil. Max tried to push the images he had just seen out of his mind, but he couldn’t. He was certain he’d seen Jacinda somewhere before.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“Did you guys get a look at the new girl?” Alex asked as he and Maria sat down at Kyle and Liz’s table in the quad.
“Yeah, she’s pretty hot.” Kyle said
“She doesn’t look, oh I don’t know, familiar to you guys?” Maria asked
Liz gasped “You noticed that, too?”
“It’s impossible to not notice it.” Maria said
“Now that you mention it, she does kind of look like someone we know.” Kyle agreed
“More like two someones we know.” Alex added
Liz shook her head “No, you guys, this is insane.”
“You’re right.” Maria said “We agreed that we weren’t going to let them get to us.”
“Hey.” A new voice said
“Oh, hi Isabel.” Maria said casually “I think Max and Michael are somewhere over there.” she absently pointed over her shoulder.
“Yeah, I know.” Isabel replied “But Tess is with them, and I don’t think I’ll be able to keep my lunch down if I eat with her. Could I sit here?”
“Well, yeah, I guess.” Liz said
“So, Kyle, did you see the game the other night?” Alex asked, pretending not to notice Isabel’s presence at all.
Isabel looked at Liz and Maria helplessly as the two boys walked away, chatting about football.
“He’s hurt.” Liz said
“I know he is.” Isabel sighed “And I know you guys are, too. And it’s all Tess’s fault, and I hate her for it. Maria, listen. I don’t love Michael. I mean, I love him, but in the way that I love Max. I could never feel any other way about him, and he could never feel any other way about me. He loves you. He’s just afraid of hurting you.”
Maria didn’t answer. She just stared straight ahead, hoping that Isabel couldn’t see that she was about to cry.
“And Liz,” Isabel continued “Max hates Tess just as much as I do. Everything was so great until she came along, and now it’s ruined.”
“It’s not all because of Tess.” Liz said
“Yes, it is.” Isabel insisted “And she didn’t just ruin what you guys had with Max and Michael, or what I had with Alex. She ruined what the three of us had, too. We were friends. You two were the only real friends besides Max and Michael that I ever had. I don’t want to lose that.”
“Well, maybe we don’t have to.” Maria said
Liz nodded “I think we can work at rebuilding what we had.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“Could you distract her for a few minutes?” Max asked, pointing to Tess, who was chattering away inanely.
Michael groaned “You owe me.”
“Thanks.” Max said. He looked around the quad until he saw Jacinda. Again when he looked at her, he was hit with flashes of her as a child. He walked over to the tree she was sitting under and stood over her, not sure what to say.
Jacinda looked up “Oh, hi. Max, right?”
“Right.” Max said “Mind if I sit down?”
“No, go ahead.” Jacinda replied
Max sat down facing her, trying to find the right words. “Who are you?” he blurted out before he could stop himself.
Jacinda didn’t seem at all confused or fazed by the question. She calmly looked him in the eye and said “You already know who I am, Max. You just need to concentrate.”
As Max looked into Jacinda’s deep brown eyes, a vision formed in his mind. He saw himself, standing in the middle of a large room, holding a tiny, dark-haired infant. He was wearing a long white shirt and loose white slacks. Suddenly, Isabel appeared behind him. She was wearing a long white robe and several strange medallions. As she reached out to take the baby from him, another woman came into the room. She was older, with a wise and beautiful face framed by long brown hair. She smiled when she saw Max and Isabel, and walked over to join them. A third woman appeared in the doorway. But instead of joining the happy family scene inside the room, she simply stood outside, glaring. The shadow covering her face shifted, and Max saw the woman’s face. It was Tess.
The vision faded, and Jacinda looked at Max inquisitively “What did you see?” she asked
“I...I saw myself...” Max began “And Isabel, and Tess. And another woman, and a baby. That baby was you, wasn’t it?”
“That’s right.” Jacinda said “And the woman? Who do you think she was?”
“My mother, and Isabel’s.” Max guessed “And yours. And that would make you...”
“That’s right.” Jacinda confirmed. “I’m your baby sister.”
“I don’t understand.” Max said “In the vision, I was an adult. You were a baby. How can we be the same age?”
“You were killed in the war that destroyed our planet when I was a small child.” Jacinda explained in a hushed tone, looking around to make sure no one was watching “You were recreated, engineered to be the same age I was. I know it doesn’t make much sense, but I can explain everything much better. Not now, though, and not here. I’ll meet you and the others somewhere tonight. Where do you usually hang out?”
“The Crashdown Cafe.” Max replied, trying to remain as calm as possible.
“I’ll meet you there at eight o’clock tonight.” Jacinda whispered. With that, she was gone.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“Jacinda!” Liz exclaimed “Hi, how was your first day at school?”
“Decent.” Jacinda replied “I’m here to meet Max Evans. Is he here?”
“No, but Michael, Isabel, and Tess are right over there.” Liz replied
Maria’s head shot up. She grabbed Liz’s arm and dragged her into the back room “Did you hear that?”
“She’s here to see Max.” Liz shrugged “So what?”
“So? Why would Max need to meet her unless she had something to do with, you know, the Czechoslovakians?”
“Maria, give me a break.” Liz sighed “We said we wouldn’t let them get to us, remember?”
“Right. You’re right.” Maria said “Where’s my cedar oil?”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“You’re late.” Jacinda said when she saw Max
“Yeah, I know.” Max replied “Sorry. Are Michael and Isabel here?”
“We’re here.” Isabel said “With Tess.”
Max pulled her aside “I thought we agreed to leave her behind.”
“We did.” Isabel hissed “She disagreed.”
“Max, who is this...person?” Tess asked in a pouty voice
“Uh, Tess, this is my friend Jacinda.” Max said “Jacinda, this is my...this is Tess.”
“Nice to meet you.” Jacinda said, visibly uncomfortable
Tess looked equally stunned and uncomfortable “You too. Could you guys excuse me for a minute? I need to make a phone call.” she stepped outside, walked over to the alley, and pulled out her cell phone. She punched in some numbers.
“Federal Bureau of Investigation, how may I direct your call?”
“I need to speak to Agent Pierce.” Tess said “And I don’t want to hear any of your ‘There is no Agent Pierce’ bullshit. I know for a fact there is one, and I want to be connected to his extension immediately.”
“Just a moment, please.”
“Hello? Who is this?”
“Don’t give me that crap!” Tess snarled “You know damn well who this is.”
“Tess, I hadn’t expected to hear from you-”
“You told me every pod on the ship except the three was destroyed.” Tess interrupted, getting right to the point.
“They were.” Nasedo said
“Then why is Princess Ru standing in the Crashdown with Max, Isabel and Michael?” Tess asked
“Princess Ru?” Nasedo repeated “Are you sure?”
“Yes, I’m sure!” Tess snapped “Don’t question me, you idiot!”
“And don’t call me that!” Tess interrupted “I swear, you are the most inept, worthless mercenary my father could have chosen.”
“I apologize, your Highness.” Nasedo said humbly “What do you wish me to do?”
“I wish you to return to Roswell at once.” Tess ordered “You will destroy her. And I will make sure of it.” She turned off the phone and put it back in her purse. Princess Ru, or Jacinda as she was now known, was more than a mere threat to her mission. Her continued existence all but guaranteed that Tess would not only fail in her mission, but would also that she would not survive. As far as Tess was concerned, the solution to her problem was simple. The girl had to die.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“I was hoping I could get to you guys before Tess did.” Jacinda sighed “Guess I was a few months too late, huh?”
“Wait, why did you want to get to us before Tess?” Isabel asked
“Because,” Jacinda began “there’s no other way to say it but this; The ones you know as Tess and Nasedo are our enemies. They aren’t from where we are from.”
“They’re the enemy species our mother was talking about?” Max asked
Jacinda sighed “She pulled that trick, did she? Oh God...I wish I didn’t have to tell you this. You didn’t really see a hologram of our mother. Our mother, and our father, and Michael’s parents all died a long time ago. Our entire species, except for maybe ten others living in other parts of this country, was wiped out by Tess and Nasedo’s people a long time ago.” she saw the disappointment in the others’ faces “I’m sorry. I wish I could tell you otherwise.”
“What about Tess and Nasedo?” Isabel asked “Who are they, really?”
“Tess is a princess of the enemy planet.” Jacinda replied “Nasedo is a mercenary who came to our planet with her as a servant. She was offered to Max as a bride to end the war between our planets. Max, of course, wanted nothing to do with her. But, as our leader, he had no choice. To get close to Max, and to gain his trust, Tess had to get past one obstacle. A young woman, one of noble birth, whom Max had fallen in love with when they were only children. Of course, in Tess’s eyes, she had to be destroyed. And she was. Nasedo did a wonderful job, made it look like an accident. Max was devastated, and of course Tess was right there to comfort him. Gradually, she gained his trust. And the trust of his sister, that would be you, Isabel, and of their good friend. That’s you, Michael.”
“So what happened?” Max asked
“Once Tess had gained your trust, Nasedo made his move.” Jacinda said. Her eyes were glassy with tears, and her voice faltered “Under orders from Tess, and from their home planet, he assassinated all of you, and our parents. But the three of you were recreated, cloned with human genetic material. Tess was executed. Nasedo should have been executed, but he escaped, and he recreated Tess in the same way you had been. Our scientists who had recreated you and kept me hidden where Nasedo could not find me put all of us into suspended animation, and we were put on a ship to earth with some soldiers, several more pods and some servants, to live among and reproduce with humans, so that our race could continue. But Nasedo stowed away on the ship, and as we neared earth he attacked, killing all of the soldiers and servants on board the ship, and destroying all of the pods except for yours. Or so he thought. Two servant children, a young boy named Mikos and a girl named Dai were able to escape him and hide on board with my pod. After Nasedo, idiot that he is, crashed the ship, they escaped into the desert with me, and after I hatched, they raised me.”
“Wow.” Isabel said “I just...I can’t believe that you’re my sister. This is so cool.”
“Yeah, I know.” Jacinda giggled
“So, you’re, how should I put this, a purebred alien?” Michael asked
“Right.” Jacinda replied
“Any cool powers?” Max asked
“Many cool powers.” Jacinda said “I can give you a demonstration.” she reached into her purse and grabbed her keys “Come on, let’s get out of here.”
Isabel’s eyes widened when she saw the keys “You drive a BMW?”
“A Z3.” Jacinda replied “You wanna ride shotgun?”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“Okay, I’ll admit it.” Liz said “That was weird.”
“What was weird?” Kyle asked
Alex rolled his eyes “Where have you been? Max, Michael, and Isabel just left with the new girl.”
“The cute one?” Kyle asked
“Haven’t you been paying attention?” Liz groaned “Cute or not, she’s a stranger. Why would they just take off at eight o’clock at night with a stranger unless-”
“She was one of them.” Maria finished for her
“I didn’t say that.” Liz said “Although, that would be a logical conclusion, you’re right. Wait, why are we even having this conversation? It’s none of our business.”
“Yeah, she’s right.” Alex said “I mean, who cares, right?”
“Right. Not me.” Maria agreed “Teflon, remember?”
Liz nodded “Exactly.”
No one spoke for a minute.
“Is anyone else feeling a need for chocolate and caffeine in insanely large quantities?” Maria asked
“Yes!” was the unanimous reply.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“So, can you turn water into wine?” Isabel asked
“Never tried to.” Jacinda replied “But I’ll bet I could. Oh! You guys wanna see something really cool?”
“Cooler than astral projection and teleporting?” Max asked
“Those really aren’t a big deal.” Jacinda said “Okay, you guys know how Tess and Nasedo’s species can shape shift?”
“Yeah.” Michael said “I’ve seen him do it.”
“Kid stuff.” Jacinda said “It takes them a while, and they can only hold it for less than an hour. Watch this.” She took a deep breath and closed her eyes. Her body seemed to stretch and grow a few inches taller. Her long brown hair shortened and curled and turned a bright orange red. When she opened her eyes, they were bright green. The whole transformation had taken only a few seconds.
“Unbelievable.” Max said
“And I can hold it for as long as I need to.” Jacinda said “I could stay like this forever.” she closed her eyes again and within seconds, she was back to herself “But I like this.”
“Why can’t we do anything like that?” Isabel asked
“Because of the way you were engineered.” Jacinda explained “I have many powers that you don’t. For example, you guys can enter peoples’ dreams. I can not only enter them, I can control them as well.” she yawned and looked at her watch “God, it’s late. Maybe we’d better call it a night.”
“Yeah.” Isabel agreed “I seriously don’t know what to say. It was so wonderful to meet you, but...that just doesn’t seem sufficient.”
“I know.” Jacinda said “I was just thinking the same thing.” the two girls laughed and hugged.
Max shook Jacinda’s hand “Take care of yourself. Do you have somewhere to stay tonight?”
“The Hyatt on route 285 South.” Jacinda replied
“285 South, huh?” Max said “Yeah, Michael knows it well.”
“Shut up.” Michael said “Jacinda, it was great to meet you.”
Jacinda nodded “Yeah, you too.” she turned and headed back to her car “I’ll see you guys tomorrow.” she called.
“Hey, wait a second.” Isabel said “Everything you told us about Tess. What do we do about her now?”
“Don’t act any differently towards her than you did before.” Jacinda said “But distance yourselves. Chances are, she won’t know you’re on to her.”
As the young woman walked back to her convertible and the other three teens returned to the Jeep, Tess turned away from the edge of the cliff “That’s what they think.” she said in a light, sing-song voice.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕

Destiny Is A State Of Mind (part 2)
Max woke up drenched in sweat. It was the fourth time in as many days that he’d dreamt about Liz. As he tried to make sense of it, something occurred to him. He jumped out of bed, threw on some clothes, and bolted out the door.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“Jacinda, are you in there?” Max called, pounding on the hotel room door.
“Yeah, yeah.” Came the irritable reply “Keep your pants on, I’ll be right there.” Jacinda opened the door wearing a short python print skirt. And nothing else. “What do you want?”
“I need to, uh, talk to you” Max sputtered “I’m sorry, could you maybe put a top on or something?”
Jacinda rolled her eyes “They’re just tits, Max! God’s sake, you’ve probably seen plenty before.”
“Don’t be so sure.”
She turned around and picked a black tank top up off a chair “Come on in, shut the damn door, would you?”
Max shrugged “Right. Okay.”
“Now, what was it that you needed to talk about?” Jacinda asked, putting on her top and pulling her long hair into a pony tail.
“A couple things, actually.” Max replied “First of all, there’s something that’s been bothering me, what you told us about Tess and Nasedo.”
Jacinda nodded “Right. What about that?”
“What’s the point?” Max asked “I mean, why would they go to all this trouble to make us trust them if they’re out to wipe out our people?”
“All part of a ri-God damn-dicolusly elaborate plan.” Jacinda explained “To gain your trust, cut you off completely from your human friends, alienate you, pardon the bad pun, from your family, and then tell you they’ve found a way back ‘home.’ Of course, since ‘home’ was destroyed years ago, they’d really be taking you back to their own planet, where they would then proceed to shuffle you loose the mortal coil.”
Max stared at her blankly “Which means...?”
“Kill you, you freaking simple creature!” Jacinda groaned “God, it’s like I’m talking to a five-year-old.”
“Okay, so they want to kill us.” Max said “And from what you’ve told me, you’re here to prevent that. Why you? You’re just a kid. For all intensive purposes, you’re younger than me.”
“Where we came from, I was younger than you, that’s right.” Jacinda said “By the time I took my first steps, you were already leading great armies into battle. But even then, I was born to protect you.”
“Doesn’t seem fair.” Max observed “To put all of that on your shoulders, I mean. If you’re in charge of protecting me, Michael, and Isabel, that means your basically in charge of the survival of our species. That’s a pretty serious responsibility.”
Jacinda nodded, sitting down beside him on the couch “Especially given that I’m in charge of protecting a bunch of brain-dead idiots.” She slapped him playfully “But it’s who I am. It’s what I was born to do. To protect you guys and to point you in the right direction. Towards your true destiny.”
“That’s another thing I wanted to ask you about.” Max said “I’ve been having these dreams lately, since just before you showed up actually-”
“Naked, sweaty dreams about Liz Parker?” Jacinda interrupted
“So you are responsible.”
“For those dreams?” Jacinda asked “Yes. The dreams about being chased by giant mutated hummingbirds? That’s your own fucked up imagination. The dreams about Liz are to, as I said, point you in the right direction.”
“You couldn’t have just told me?” Max asked
“I thought I’d do it the fun way.” Jacinda replied
“By manipulating my dreams, invading my mind?” Max snapped
Jacinda sighed “Funny. You give a guy some sex dreams about a girl he’s been in love with for, like, ever! You’d think he’d be grateful.”
Max nodded “Yeah, you know something? You’re right. I should be thanking you for invading my mind. Here, let me write you a little thank-you note.” He grabbed a pen and a piece of paper off a table, wrote something down, and handed it to Jacinda.
“There’s no F in ‘thank,’ Max. Very funny.” Jacinda said
“Wait a second, why Liz?” Max asked “Why am having dreams about her?”
“Like I said, the dreams are to point you to your true destiny.” Jacinda explained “It’s like what Tess did to Michael and Isabel. Except the dreams I’m giving you and Liz aren’t bullshit. They’re for real.”
“Liz is having the same dreams I am?”
Jacinda nodded “The same dreams, at the same time. Max, there’s a reason why you’ve been in love with Liz for ten damn years. A crush, even a big one, doesn’t last that long. Lust doesn’t last that long. But true, destined love. That outlasts everything. Even death. Do you remember the young woman I told you about? The one you were in love with when you had to marry Tess, who Nasedo killed? She wasn’t recreated like you were. But because true love can’t be ended, she was reborn. On earth, as a human.”
“As Liz.” Max finished for her.
“Right.” Jacinda said, smiling “The dreams are just one way of getting that across to you guys. Because apparently, her getting shot in the gut with you five feet away wasn’t a clear enough message to you dim fucks. And yet you both manage to make honor roll every semester. I gotta admit, I’m confused.”
“Wait, what does Liz being shot have to do with you?” Max asked
“You once said it to her yourself.” Jacinda sighed “It wasn’t just a coincidence that you were there that day. Her being shot, and your risking everything to save her, and that bringing you together? It was all my work, Max. But that didn’t work well enough, and then Tess and Nasedo came into the picture. So, here I am. Those communicators? There’s a damn good reason Nasedo didn’t want you using those things. But he couldn’t expressly forbid it without making you suspicious. Those communicators tipped the rest of us off as to where you guys were, and that although you weren’t aware of it, geniuses that you aren’t, you were in some serious danger.”
“The rest of who?” Max asked
Jacinda threw her hands in the air and groaned “The other Daranians.”
“Oh, of course!” Jacinda sighed “I forgot one of the most important details of our past. I guess idiocy sort of runs in the family. Our planet was called Daran. We’re Daranians.”
“Daranians.” Max repeated, smiling. “So, what you’re telling me is that Liz is my real destiny?”
“That’s right.” Jacinda grinned “The whole ‘preordained mates’ thing is a load of crap. But if you had one, she’d be it. Good to know, huh?”
“Very.” Max agreed
“Well good.” Jacinda said “And now that I’ve brightened your day, I really should get ready for school. Am-scray.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“Hello?” Jacinda said, snapping her fingers in front of Liz’s face “Dreamgirl? Earth to Liz? I’d like to order sometime today.”
“Right, sorry.” Liz replied, snapping out of her reverie “What’ll it be?”
“Saturn Rings and a Coke.” Jacinda said “So, what’s on the agenda for Liz Parker this evening?”
“Alex, Maria, chocolate, and weepy movies.” Liz sighed
“Not so fast.” Jacinda said “I want to see all three of you at my door at eleven o’clock on the dot tonight, dressed for a party, clear? I’ve got a surprise for you all.”
Liz laughed “Well, okay. What’s going on?”
“You’ll find out, Miss Nose.” Jacinda replied cryptically “Just be there.” She turned around as the door opened “Max! Izzy!” She squealed. She jumped up from her seat at the counter and bounced over to Max, who caught her in his arms and hugged her tightly.
“Something’s going on there, Liz.” Maria said “He’s known her for a week, and he’s hugging her like they’re best friends.”
“It’s none of our business.” Liz replied
“She’s our friend.” Maria pointed out “I think we have a right to know what she is.”
“I’ll talk to her tonight.” Liz promised “Apparently, she’s taking us to a party.”
“Have you talked to Liz yet?” Max asked
Jacinda shook her head “Not yet. I’m sorry, I just haven’t had time. But I will, I promise. And listen, tonight I want you guys to meet me at UFOnics, around eleven thirty, okay?”
“Yeah, sure.” Isabel said “Why?”
“It’s a surprise.” Jacinda replied
“Jacey!” Liz called “Your order’s up.”
“See you guys later.” Jacinda said to her siblings, walking back to the counter and sitting down. “Liz, you got any tabasco sauce?”
Liz nearly dropped the tray she was holding “Yeah, sure. Maria?”
Maria nodded and handed Jacinda a bottle. She and Liz exchanged looks.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
Destiny Is A State Of Mind, part 3

“Okay, so what are we doing here?” Alex asked
“I don’t know.” Liz said “She told us she had a surprise.”
“Ten bucks says her surprise is ‘Oh, by the way, I’m an alien.’” Maria said under her breath.
“Maria, hush!” Liz told her. She knocked on the door.
“Hey guy and girls!” Jacinda said brightly, opening the door. She was wearing a red python print handkerchief halter, a criminally short black skirt, and high, strappy black shoes. She looked a her friends and shook her head “This won’t do. Alex, you look fine. But Liz and Maria, you guys need help. Come on in, we’ll fix you up.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“Perfect.” Jacinda said, stepping back a little.
“I feel naked.” Liz complained, staring at the tiny ensemble she was now wearing in the full-length mirror.
“You look stunning.” Jacinda promised “Maria, you’re gorgeous. Now let’s get a move on. Don’t want to be late.”
“Late for what?” Maria asked
“You’re about to find out.” Jacinda said “Now Liz, I need you to ride in my car with me. There’s something I need to talk to you about.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
Jacinda turned off the engine outside the club and turned to Liz “So, how do you feel?”
“Pretty overwhelmed.” Liz replied, trying to process everything “So everything that happened between me and Max, from me getting shot to us falling in love, you made all of that happen?”
“No.” Jacinda said “You guys would have come together on your own eventually. I just gave you a little push. What can I say? I’m not patient.”
“This is all a lot for me to take in.” Liz said
“Trust me, I understand.” Jacinda told her “Listen, I’d appreciate it if you would explain all of this to Alex and Maria for me. Going over all of this crap over and over is giving me a migraine.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“Do you see her?” Isabel shouted over the music.
“No yet.” Max replied
“There she is.” Michael said, pointing to the front door.
Jacinda strode in looking like she owned the place. She didn’t seem at all surprised when half the people in the club stopped what they were doing and gawked at her. A minute later, Liz, Alex, and Maria followed her.
“What’s she doing with them?” Isabel asked
“Hey, I’ll be right back.” Jacinda said to Liz “You guys stay here, I don’t want to lose track of you.” She sauntered over to her fellow aliens “Don’t look at me like that.” She ordered “I brought them here for a reason.”
“Did you tell them?” Max asked
“I told Liz.” Jacinda replied “She’ll tell the others.” Before they could ask any more questions, she’d disappeared back into the crowd.
Maria elbowed Liz “Spill it already! What did she tell you?”
“I’ll explain everything later.” Liz promised
Jacinda pushed her way through the crowd “Liz, Max is here. You should go talk to him.”
Liz shook her head “I can’t talk to him yet. I haven’t talked to him in three months.”
“What about everything I told you?” Jacinda asked “Doesn’t that mean anything to you?”
“It does.” Liz said “But I’m not sure if I can face him yet.”
“And now, ladies and gentlemen,” the DJ announced “we’ve got some fresh new talent for you. She’s new to Roswell, so let’s give a big welcome to Jacinda!”
Maria and Liz gasped. Alex choked. Jacinda giggled.
“Surprise!” She said. She winked at her friends and headed for the stage. “Thank you!” She said brightly as the applause died down “I’d like to start off tonight with a dedication. This one’s going out to some friends of mine who are here tonight.”

“Tuesday night, 7:30
I hear a voice on the telephone
Doing fine, then it hits me
The voice that I am hearing
Means you’re not alone
I thought it would be easy, but it’s not
And now I would give all that I’ve got

But it’s too little, too late
No going back to the start
You only lose when you hesitate
And now that I would
Give you my heart
It’s too little, too late”

“I wonder who these friends could be.” Isabel said sarcastically “You think she’s trying to tell us something?”
Max nodded “I’m going over there.”
“So am I.” Isabel agreed “I mean, we might as well take the first step. Michael?”
“You can do whatever you want.” Michael said “But I’m staying right here. I’m not going to put her at risk, you know that.”
Isabel sighed, knowing better than to argue with him “Fine.”

“So mad about me
You couldn’t live without me
Now you say you’re moving on
I took the long way
I told you maybe someday
I guess I made you wait too long”

“Max and Isabel are coming over here.” Alex said
“Michael’s staying where he is.” Maria said somewhat bitterly “Surprise, surprise.”
“Don’t give up on him just yet.” Max said, having overheard Maria “He just needs a little more time.”
Isabel stood in front of Alex, not quite sure what to say. “You wanna dance?” She finally blurted out.
“Yeah, sure.” Alex replied, a little stunned.
Max followed his sister’s lead and held out his hand to Liz. They could talk about everything that had happened in the past few months, and everything that they now knew another time.
Liz hesitated for a second, unsure of what to do.

“I know I’ve only got
Myself to blame
And I’ve still got my pride
But just the same

It’s just too little, too late
No going back to the start
You only lose when you hesitate
And now I wanna give you my heart
And now you tell me

That it’s too little, too late
No going back to the start
You only lose when you hesitate
And now that I would
Give you my heart
It’s too little, too late”

“Liz?” Max said
“Yeah, okay.” Liz said. She took a deep breath and reached for Max’s hand. Then she glanced at Maria.
“Go ahead.” Maria told her “I’ll be fine.”
Up on the stage, Jacinda smiled to herself when she saw the two couples, then frowned when she saw that Michael and Maria were still apart. She’d have to work on them later. She turned her attention back to the music as a new song started.

“I didn’t hear you leave
I wonder how am I still here?
And I don’t wanna move a thing
It might change my memory”

Liz closed her eyes and leaned her head against Max’s shoulder. It felt so right. She silently kicked herself for being so stupid, for walking away from him, and for ever doubting that they belonged together.
“It’s okay, Liz.” Max whispered in her ear “You can’t change what happened. We’ve got the rest of our lives to make up for lost time.”

“Oh I am what I am
I’ll do what I want
But I can’t hide

And I won’t go
I won’t sleep
I can’t breathe
Until you’re resting
Here with me
I won’t leave
And I can’t hide
I cannot be
Until you’re resting
Here with me”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“I wanna feel
Something sweeter than this sin
Cover me in leaves
And roll me over again
‘Cause I’ve been everybody else
And now I wanna be something
Closer to myself”

Max waited impatiently for Liz, Maria, and Isabel to return from the ladies’ room. In the space of an hour, it felt like almost everything that had gone wrong in there lives had been fixed.
“Hey, Max.”
“Oh, hey Kyle.” Max said “How’s it going?”
“Pretty good.” Kyle replied “I saw you and Liz dancing together. You guys back together?”
Max nodded “Yeah, I guess we are. How are things with Vicki?”
“We broke up again.” Kyle said “For good this time, I think.”
“Oh.” Max said “Sorry.”
“I’m not.” Kyle snorted “Forget her, she can’t decide what she wants. Besides, I’ve got my eye on someone new.” He pointed to the stage, where Jacinda was stilling singing “Huh? I’m gonna ask her out later. You think I’ve got a shot?”
“I think you’d better stay away from her.” Max said
Kyle gave him a look “Who are you, her brother?”
“Actually, yeah.” Max said without thinking. He hit himself on the forehead when he realized what he’d blurted out.
“Did you just say that you’re her brother?” Kyle asked “So that would make her...?”
Max nodded “Right.”
“Wow. Okay.” Kyle said “There’s no one left in this town who’s just normal.”
“I don’t think there’s been anyone normal in this town for a long time.”
“Yeah.” Kyle agreed “Yeah, I guess that’s a pretty good point. So...your sister, huh? I thought it was a brother’s job to set his sister up with all of his friends until she goes nuts and joins a convent to escape.”
“No, that’s a guy friend’s job.” Max corrected him “A brother’s job to beat the hell out of any of his friends who try to move in on his little sister. No offense, but I’ve seen the way you use and discard girls.”
“Miss me?” Liz asked, sneaking up behind Max and winding her arms around him.
“Terribly.” Max replied as Liz started to drag him back to the dance floor “See you around, Kyle.”
“I can’t believe you guys are actually hanging out together.” Liz said
“He’s actually not that bad.” Max admitted “He’s an idiot, yeah, but in a harmless, almost amusing sort of way.”
“Kind of the way people like Canada?” Liz asked
Max chuckled “I guess so, yeah. But if he insists on pursuing Jacinda, I will have to break his neck.”
“Listen to you.” Liz said “You’ve known her for a week and already you’re acting like one of those muscle heads who thinks there isn’t a guy in the world who’s good enough for his baby sister.”
“I’m serious.” Max said “She was raised differently from me and Isabel. She’s innocent and naive. I’m not about to let anyone take advantage of her.”
“Call me crazy,” Liz said, glancing at the stage, where Jacinda was writhing almost as suggestively as she was singing “but I don’t think she looks all that innocent.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
Max groaned as his sleep was shattered by the blaring alarm next to his head. He tried to beat it into silence without opening his eyes. When that didn’t work, he picked it up and heaved it against the wall.
“Was that really necessary?” Liz asked
“It was giving me attitude.” Max replied. He sat up, rubbing his eyes. Looking around the room, he saw his friends asleep, draped over the chairs and couches. It took him a moment to realize that they were in Jacinda’s hotel suite.
“What’s all the noise out here?” Jacinda snapped, throwing the door to her bedroom wide open. She emerged in a flimsy silk nightgown and a sheer robe “It’s only noon, so if you two don’t shut your mouths so I can go back to sleep, you’re both gonna get bludgeoned to shit with platform shoes.”
“It’s noon?” Max repeated, jumping to his feet and waking up the rest of the room in the process “Jesus, how late were we out?”
“By the time I’d done five encores and was done collecting about a million phone numbers, it was so late you all decided to come back here.” Jacinda explained
“Our parents are going to skin us alive.” Liz groaned
“Not a problem.” Jacinda promised. “I woke up around ten and called them all before I went back to sleep. Isabel, Liz, and Maria, you three stayed here last night. Max and Alex, you stayed at Michael’s apartment and joined us here for breakfast or brunch or whatever in one of the hotel restaurants.”
“You’re a lifesaver.” Isabel said to her sister as she grabbed her purse and jacket. She turned around halfway to the door, went back to Alex, and kissed him on the cheek “Call me later?”
“Does ten minutes from now count as later?” Alex asked
“Give me a break.” Michael said under his breath. He glanced at Maria as he passed by her “See you around.”
“Yeah, sure.” Maria replied
Max kissed Liz gently, then again, not so gently “I’ll call you.”
“’Kay.” Liz said
“Jacinda, you were great last night.” Max said
“Thanks.” Jacinda called from her room “Leave quietly, okay? I’m trying to get some beauty sleep.”
“Okay, see you in ten years.” Isabel called. A pillow came flying through the door and hit her in the back.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“Okay, how fun was last night?” Jacinda asked
“Last night was unbelievable.” Alex replied
Maria shrugged “Last night was okay.”
“Last night was a mistake.” Liz said
Everyone fell silent and stared at her.
“Excuse me?” Maria said “You didn’t seem to think so last night. You guys were all over each other. God, the way you were dancing during that last encore I thought we were gonna have to turn the fire hose on you guys.”
“I got caught up in everything.” Liz sighed “But now I realize that we’re rushing back into everything way too soon, too fast.”
“Liz, you are not going to dump my brother again.” Jacinda said firmly “He was crushed when you walked away from him that day. I love him, he loves you, and if you ever hurt him again, I’ll snap your spine like a twig.”
Liz shook her head “I don’t want to hurt him. That’s why I think I should tell him that we need to slow down. I mean, Tess is still hanging around his legs and-”
“Tess is a shape shifting psychopath!” Jacinda interrupted
“Wh-what?” Liz sputtered
“The one thing I didn’t tell you last night.” Jacinda sighed “Tess isn’t really the fourth alien child who was on that ship. I was. Or, I was until Nasedo replaced me with Tess and tried to destroy me. She’s not the same species as them, or from the same planet. She’s not...she’s not even Max’s real destiny.”
“Who is?” Liz asked, completely stunned.
Jacinda took a deep breath, then let it out “God, I probably shouldn’t tell you this. Tess is out there and she knows I’m here and the more you know the more danger you’re in...” she flopped down on the couch and put one hand on her forehead.
“Jacinda, just tell me.” Liz pleaded
“Max’s real destiny...” Jacinda began “It’s you, Liz. You and Max were in love on our planet, in a past life. But Nasedo killed you, and you were reborn on this planet, as a human. ‘The Powers That Be,’ or whatever, saw fit to let you guys find each other again.” She sighed and leaned back against the cushions, her eyes closed “So, there you have it. With just a few damn sentences, I’ve changed your life and everything you thought you knew about yourself and put you in so much danger. I seem to have to do a lot of that lately.” She stood up a raced to the bathroom, covering her face. The door slammed behind her, and they could hear her sobbing.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“Iz, where’s the phone?” Max hollered, throwing aside the couch cushions.
“I don’t know!” Isabel replied “Check the couch!”
“Gee, thanks.” Max said under his breath. The phone rang once more, and then the answering machine picked up.
“Hi, you’ve reached the Evans residence. We’re either out somewhere or one of the kids misplaced the phone again-”
“Yeah we did.” Max groaned
“So leave a message at the beep.”
“Max, hi, it’s Liz. Are you there? Look, Jacey’s having some sort of a meltdown, she won’t come out of the bathroom, she won’t answer us, she’s crying. I think she needs you, or Isabel, or both of you-”
“Here it is!” Max said, grabbing the phone from behind the TV “Liz, I’m here. What happened? Okay...uh-huh. All right, we’ll be there as soon as we can.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“Thank God you guys are here.” Maria exclaimed “Ten more minutes and I think she’d drown in there.”
“Jacinda, sweetheart?” Liz said soothingly through the bathroom door “Jacey, can you open the door for us? Max and Isabel are here.”
The door opened slowly. Jacinda peered out timidly. Her face was streaked with mascara and her long hair was a mess. “Max?”
“Hey, you.” Max said. He held out his arms to her, and she collapsed against him “It’s gonna be okay.”
“No, it’s not.” Jacinda sobbed “This is a disaster. Everything’s ruined.”
“No, no.” Max told her “Whatever it is, we can fix it.” He glanced at Liz.
“Yeah, okay.” Liz whispered. She ushered the others into the kitchen “Max will take care of it, he’ll talk to her.”
“I feel so awful for her.” Isabel said “She’s seventeen fucking years old. She’s supposed to be running around at the mall and flirting with boys and getting grounded for sneaking out of the house and getting brought home by the cops. She’s not supposed to have the fate of a species resting on her shoulders. It’s not fair.”
“And she told me about how she grew up.” Liz added “She only had those other two aliens. And they didn’t act like parents, they acted like a couple of humble servants waiting hand and foot on a fragile little princess. They didn’t let her go to school, they didn’t let her have friends. They sheltered her like she was that kid in the bubble. That’s gotta mess you up really bad, I don’t care who you are or where you’re from.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“I shouldn’t have told her about Tess, or who she really is.” Jacinda sobbed “Now she’s got her whole life planned for her, and she knows it. Like me. And I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. And now she knows about Tess and Nasedo, and they might come after her. It’s all ruined.”
“No, it’s okay.” Max said gently, hugging her and leaning her head against his shoulder. “Liz can handle it. And so can I. Hey, at least now I know that my destiny isn’t with Tess.” Jacinda giggled lightly through her tears “No, I’m serious.” Max continued, trying not to laugh “I would have had to kill myself. Or her.” Jacinda burst out laughing, and Max did too.
“Okay, I got it.” Jacinda said
“Jacey, can I ask you something?”
Jacinda nodded “Ask away, grasshopper.”
“What do you remember?” Max asked “About our lives, I mean.”
“What don’t I remember?” Jacinda replied “It’s all up here.” She said, tapping the side of her head.
“Were we close?” Max asked
“Very.” Jacinda said “You were an adult when I was born. On earth you wouldn’t have been about twenty-five. But you loved me on sight. You’d take me for walks, you were there when I took my first steps, you were one of my first words. ‘Eapo,’ Daranian for ‘brother.’ I remember when I was a little girl, you used to pick me up and toss me in the air and catch me. It was my favorite game. I remember if I got scared, you’d hold me on your lap until I fell asleep. Sort of like right now. And I remember...I remember...” She trailed off and her brown eyes filled with tears.
“Jacey?” Max said
“I remember when Tess and Nasedo killed you.” Jacinda said softly “You knew something was coming, something big. So you made me hide, but you wouldn’t tell me why. I was the basic equivalent of three years old, but I sensed that something was wrong. I didn’t really know what death was, or that it could happen to someone so young. So when I saw you and Isabel and Michael fall, I waited until Tess and Nasedo were gone, and then I tried to wake you up. Even though somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew that you were never going to wake up again.” She broke down sobbing, covering her face with one hand. With her other hand, she grabbed Max’s arm.
As they connected, Max saw himself. He was carrying a tiny, dark-haired child whom he recognized as Jacinda. He saw himself hug her tightly, and then push her behind some curtains, motioning for her to stay hidden and be silent. Isabel and Michael came into the room, looking extremely distraught. Little Jacinda emerged from her hiding place and went to hug her sister. Isabel knelt down so she was at the child’s eye level and made a sign in the air. Jacinda copied the sign, and then Isabel pushed her back to her hiding place. Isabel looked at Max and Michael helplessly and was about to say something when Tess and Nasedo burst into the room. There was a blinding flash of white light, and when it cleared, Max, Isabel, and Michael were on the floor, convulsing. Max looked around frantically and locked eyes with Jacinda for just a second before he died. Tess and Nasedo smirked and walked calmly out of the room. When the door closed behind them, Jacinda hurried out from behind the curtains and knelt beside her brother’s lifeless body. She desperately patted his face and shook him for a minute before giving up and curling up on the floor next to Max.
The vision ended there. Max took a deep breath and glanced at Jacinda. She was in tears again, pained by the reminder. “You saw it?” She asked
Max nodded and put his arms around her “I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be.” Jacinda replied “I always knew I would find you again. And now that I have, we need to put what happened in the past aside and focus on insuring that we have a future.”
The was a knock on the door “Max? Jacinda?” Isabel said “You guys aren’t going to believe this...Tess is here.”
Jacinda’s face fell “I don’t believe it. How did she find us here?”
“Stay here.” Max told her “I’ll get rid of her.” He stood up and went out to the front hallway of the suite “Tess, what are you doing here?”
“I stopped by your house, and your mom said you were visiting your friend Jacinda.” Tess explained in her usual sickly sweet tone “She told me where you were, and I thought I’d just make sure everything was okay.”
“We were doing just fine.” Isabel said “Before you showed up.” She added under her breath.
“Are you sure you’re all right?” Tess asked, batting her eyes and pouting.
“We’re fine.” Max said “And I think you should leave.”
“Well, okay.” Tess purred “I guess I’ll see you guys around.” She cast a disgusted look at Liz, Alex and Maria as she turned and left.
“Is she gone?” Jacinda asked
“Yeah, it’s okay.” Max replied
Jacinda sat down on the couch and buried her face in her hands “Great. Just peachy-fucking-keen. She knows where I am, she knows who I am. And she probably knows that you all know about her, too.”
“It’s okay.” Liz said
“No, it’s not okay.” Jacinda said firmly “None of us are safe now.” She looked around the room at each of her friends “We have to stick together now.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
Destiny Is A State Of Mind, part 4

“Hey, Jacinda.” Kyle said
“Oh, hi Carl.” Jacinda replied
“It’s Kyle, actually.”
Jacinda shrugged “Whatever.”
“Right, uh, anyway,” Kyle chuckled nervously “I was wondering if you’d like to go to a movie or something tomorrow night?”
“Hmm. No thanks.” Jacinda said
Kyle looked surprised “Oh. Well, okay. I guess I’ll see you around.”
“Uh-huh.” Jacinda said. She walked on down the hall, leaving Kyle standing there.
“You blew it!” He groaned, smacking himself upside the head.
Liz and Maria caught up with Jacinda near her locker.
“Why are you doing this?” Maria asked “Can’t you see how much pain you’re causing?”
“Kyle’s a big boy.” Jacinda told her “He can handle a little rejection.”
“Not to him, to us.” Liz said “You obviously like him, but you’re playing some sort of sick mind game, and it’s driving us up the wall.”
Jacinda shrugged “You know he’s just going to lose interest in me after about a week and start pursuing some other girl.”
“I don’t think so.” Liz said “I’ve seen the way he acts around you. He’s usually so smooth with girls. With you, he can barely put a sentence together.”
“I don’t know.” Jacinda sighed “He is cute, I guess.”
“That’s it.” Maria said “Take a chance on love, girl!”
“Maybe I will.” Jacinda said
“Good for you.” Liz told her “I’ve gotta run. I have a free period.”
“And we all know what that means.” Jacinda smirked. She paused and frowned “Maria, what does it mean?”
“Eraser room.” Maria replied
Jacinda nodded “Oh yeah. Have fun, Liz. Say hi to my brother for me.”
“You guys are so immature.” Liz sighed
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
Max looked up as the door opened “Tess, what are you doing here?”
“Looking for you.” Tess replied, grinning slyly.
“I think you’d better leave.” Max said calmly, remembering Jacinda’s warning about not doing or saying anything that might set Tess off. “Liz is going to be here any minute.”
Tess frowned “So? What do you want with that human? I’m your destiny, Max.”
“No, you’re not.” Max told her “Maybe you were before. But things are different now. We’re different people, with different lives. I’m with Liz. I will never love you or anyone else the way I love her.”
“Glad to hear it.” A new voice said. Liz strode calmly past Tess, doing an excellent job of hiding her fear of being in such a small enclosed space with her. She stood next to Max and wrapped one arm around his waist. “Tess, would you mind closing the door on your way out?”
“It’s that little brat, Jacinda, isn’t it?” Tess spat “She’s been putting crazy ideas into your head, I know it! Fine! Go ahead and have your fun with your little whore. But this isn’t over, Liz. I’m not going to give him up easily. I’m not like you.” With that, she stormed out and slammed the door behind her.
Liz cringed. Tess’s last remark had been another reminder of the mistake she had made before.
“Don’t listen to her.” Max said, pulling Liz’s body up against his “She’s deranged, remember?”
“Yeah, I know.” Liz shuddered “I don’t like knowing that she could hurt you or one of the others at any time.”
Max shook his head “She won’t. She’s got some other plan. We just have to lay low and be ready for her.”
“Can’t you just get rid of her?” Liz asked
“I wish.” Max replied “Jacinda says we can’t do anything that might provoke her. Even if did manage to get rid of her, Nasedo’s still out there. She’s probably contacted him by now, Jacinda’s too much of a threat to them. For now, all we can do is watch out for each other.”
“I hate feeling so vulnerable.” Liz sighed
“We’re not vulnerable.” Max insisted “As long as we stick together, we’re at least as strong as Tess and Nasedo. Maybe even stronger.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“Where have you two been?” Kyle asked as Max and Liz joined the lunch line.
“Oh, you know, around.” Max said, trying to sound casual.
“Eraser room.” Kyle chuckled
“What makes you say that?” Liz asked
“Is that chalk in your hair?
Max ran his hand through his hair “Damn it! I thought I got all of it.”
“Busted.” Kyle said “So, how far have you guys gotten?”
“We’re not telling.” Max replied
“Oh, come on!” Kyle begged
“We’re not.” Liz said
“Sounds like an interesting discussion.” Jacinda said, cutting between Max and Kyle in the line “Oh, hey Kyle.”
“Hi Jacinda.” Kyle replied
“Max, Liz, you guys are coming over at nine, right?” Jacinda asked
“I thought you said nine thirty.” Max said
“Whatever.” Jacinda shrugged “Oh, there’s Louisa! Wait up! I’ll see you later, guys.” She smiled sweetly at Kyle “Bye.”
“Bye.” Kyle said
“Something going on that I should know about?” Max asked
“Please.” Kyle scoffed “She’s nice and all, but she seems a little flaky. And I’ve got all the flakiness I need.”
“You and Vicki got back together?” Liz asked “Again?”
“Yeah.” Kyle replied “In fact, I’m meeting her in the quad. I’ll see you guys later.”
“Hopeless.” Liz sighed “So, are we staying over at Jacey’s or just going to Kelly Peterson’s party with her?”
“I think I’d feel better if we all stayed in one place tonight.” Max said, lowering his voice “Tess is pretty skeeved. Today in Biology I could practically feel her eyes burning a hole in the back of my head. If she could shoot death rays out of her eyes I’d be a pile of dust right now.”
Liz pressed closer to him “Well, I’m glad you’re not. I like you much better in one piece.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“Gross.” Jacinda said under her breath as she watched Max and Liz kissing like they were the only two people in the cafeteria “It’s like they’re not even worried about offending other people.”
“Hey, maybe they’ll get stuck together like that.” Kyle suggested, sitting down next to her.
“Well, at least that’d be something.” Jacinda agreed “Hey, I thought you were eating lunch with Vicki out in the quad.”
“I was.” Kyle replied “But I was two minutes late, and apparently she took that to mean that it was okay for her to sit on Tommy Hogan’s lap and feed him French fries.”
“Ew.” Jacinda said, wrinkling her nose “I mean, ouch. Sorry.”
Kyle nodded, distracted by how cute she looked when she wrinkled her nose “Yeah, well, that’s over.”
“Since it’s over, maybe you’d like to go to Kelly Peterson’s party tonight?” Jacinda asked
“With you?” Kyle asked
“Yeah, me and Liz and Maria and Alex and Isabel and Max and Michael. Everyone’s going.” Jacinda said
“Yeah, okay.” Kyle said “That sounds pretty good.”
“Great. I’ll see you there around ten. Oh, hey, there’s Pam, I gotta go. Pam, wait up!” She jumped out of her chair and bolted so fast she knocked it over.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“So, she’s already told them everything?” Nasedo asked “Why don’t we just kill her?”
“It’s always ‘shoot now, ask questions later’ with you, isn't it?” Tess sighed “They’re expecting us to do something like that. We have to wait until they think they’re ahead of us.”
“If we can’t kill Ru-” Nasedo began
“I know what will happen if we can’t kill her!” Tess snapped “And don’t call her Ru. Just the sound of that name makes me ill.”
“Jacinda.” Nasedo said “If we can’t kill Jacinda, we’re as good as dead.”
“I know that, you idiot!” Tess said “But we won’t have to worry about that.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“Okay, some foreign exchange student just ralphed in the artificial ficus plant. Gross.” Maria said
“Are you kidding?” Jacinda asked “Now it’s really a party! Oh, I love this song! Hold this for me.” She handed her beer to Liz and climbed up on the coffee table, singing along with the music.

“I thought you'd be out of my mind
And I'd finally found a way to
Learn to live without you
I thought it was just a matter of time
'Til I had a hundred reasons
Not to think about you

But it's just not so
And after all this time
I still can't let go”

“Jacinda, get off the table.” Liz said, grabbing her friend’s hand “If Max sees you he’ll have a fit.”
“So what?” Jacinda giggled, shaking her hand free.

“I've still got your face
Painted on my heart
Scrawled upon my soul
Etched upon my memory baby
I've got your kiss
Still burning on my lips
The touch of your fingertips
Is lost so deep inside of me”

“What’s she doing up there?” Max asked
“Apparently, she’s singing.” Alex replied
“And she’s kind of drunk.” Liz said “Sorry, I didn’t see that she was going for the beer, I would have stopped her.”
“It’s okay, we just need to get her out of here.” Max said “I just saw Tess in the other room.”
“Right.” Isabel said “And if the enemy knows where you are, don’t be there.”
“Come on, Jacey.” Max said, lifting his sister off the table, shooting a glare at the boy who was dancing with her, staring straight down her shirt.
“I’ll call you!” Jacinda told him
Max shook his head “No she won’t.”
“Wheeee!” Jacinda squealed as Max carried out the door.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“God, I’ve never seen a girl this faced before.” Kyle said “How much did she drink?”
“I saw her take one sip.” Michael replied
“And you didn’t stop her?” Isabel hissed
Michael shrugged “Well, you know...she’s your sister!”
“Guys, stop it.” Liz said “We’ve got to get her back to the hotel.”
“I’ll drive her.” Kyle offered “She obviously can’t drive her car.”
“Hey!” Jacinda hollered “Hey, no one drives my car but me!”
“Yeah, we know.” Maria said. She spoke in a low, gentle tone as if she was speaking to a cranky child “But we’re going to leave your car here overnight and come back for it tomorrow.”
“Why?” Jacinda pouted
“Because you’re drunk, Jacey.” Max told her
“I’m drunk, Jacey!” Jacinda mocked, waving her hands in the air and stumbling “I’m drunk!”
“Yeah right, I’m really going to leave her alone with Kyle.” Max said
“Hey, standing right here!” Kyle protested
“Max, we can’t fit her into the Jeep or Maria’s car.” Liz said “And Kyle’s not going to try anything.”
“Yeah, I swear.” Kyle said “I won’t take advantage of her, no funny stuff.”
“Fine.” Max said reluctantly “Let’s just get out of here.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
Kyle tried to concentrate on the road as he drove Jacinda back to the hotel. He’d seen how aliens reacted to even a small amount of alcohol before, and Jacinda was much drunker than Max had been. A few times, Kyle stared at her just to be sure that she was still breathing. The rest of the time, he was distracted simply by how beautiful she was, even with her hair and clothes all disheveled and her makeup smeared. Even in her semi-concious state, she was singing along softly with the radio.

“I feel like I’ve known you
For such a long, long time
You tell me your secrets
And I tell you mine
She’s left you all alone
And you feel like no one cares
But I will never fail you
I’ll always be there

You tell your story
It sounds a bit like mine
It’s the same old situation
It happens every time
Can’t we see maybe you and me
Is what’s meant to be
Or do we disagree?”

Jacinda reached over and brushed her hand against Kyle’s arm. The simple touch sent such a jolt down his spine that he nearly lost control of the car for a second.
“Sing with me.” Jacinda said in a lazy, soft voice.

“What if I told you
What if I said
That I love you?
How would you feel?
What would you think?
What would we do?
Do we dare to cross that line
Between your heart and mine?
Oh, would I lose a friend
Or find a love that would never end?
What if I said?

She doesn’t love you
It’s so plain to see
I can read between the lines
Of what you’re telling me
And he doesn’t hold you
The way a woman should be held
How long can I go on
Keeping these feelings to myself?

We’ve both had our share of loneliness
So who’s to say we can’t have
A little happiness?
And if I found that in you
It would make my dreams come true
Or would you walk away?
Hear what I have to say

What if I told you
What if I said
That I love you?
How would you feel?
What would you think?
What would we do?
Do we dare to cross that line
Between your heart and mine?
Oh, would I lose a friend
Or find a love that would never end?
What if I said?”

Kyle turned off the car “We’re here.”
Jacinda raised her head a little “Oh. Okay.” She turned to Kyle “Thanks for the ride. You wanna come upstairs?”
“I don’t think that’s a good idea.” Kyle said “Everyone else is there. And it’s pretty clear that Max doesn’t want me hanging around you.”
“You don’t have to worry about him.” Jacinda said, leaning in a little “Aside from the powers, he’s just like any other screwed up teenager.”
“Yeah, it’s the powers that kind of worry me.” Kyle admitted
“Well, they shouldn’t.” Jacinda told him “He’d never hurt you, he’s too much of a wuss. And I’m ten times as powerful as he is, anyway.”
“Then maybe it’s you I should be worried about.” Kyle teased, painfully aware of how close her lips were to his.
“Maybe.” Jacinda agreed. She leaned forward a little more, closing the gap of a few inches between them. The kiss was powerful and deep, and Kyle couldn’t pull away from her, even though he knew what he’d be in for if they were caught. He wrapped one arm around her shoulders and pulled her closer, deepening the kiss even more. Jacinda suddenly pulled back, blinking.
“Are you okay?” Kyle asked
Jacinda smiled “I’m better than okay.” She replied in a clear, sober voice. “I’ll call you tomorrow, okay?” She leaned forward and kissed Kyle lightly, but pulled away from him before he could deepen it. “Good night.”
“Bye.” Kyle said. He watched her walk away, without stumbling once. Kyle shook his head as if to clear his mind. There was so much he didn’t understand about her, so much he didn’t know. But, he reminded himself, he would definitely be able to learn more about her now.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕

"Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains"

-Jean Jaques Rousseau
posted on 1-Sep-2001 7:40:15 PM
Destiny Is A State Of Mind, part 5

As soon as Jacinda walked into her suite, Max confronted her.
“We’ve been waiting here for half an hour.” He said “Where were you?”
“Oh, Kyle and I decided to pull over and have wild, kinky sex in the back seat of his car. Gosh, I hope I’m not pregnant or anything.” Jacinda said sarcastically “Apparently, he knows what a speed limit is, unlike some people.”
“You’re sober.” Max observed “He kissed you, didn’t he?”
“Actually, I kissed him.” Jacinda replied
“Are you insane?” Max demanded
“Whoa, relax.” Jacinda said “It was just a kiss.”
“He’s going to try and use you.” Max told her, ignoring the fact that the others had come in from the other room. “I know what he’s like, I’ve seen the kind of cheap, easy girls he goes out with.”
Liz cleared her throat “Excuse me?”
Max groaned “Liz, you know that’s not what I meant.” He followed her as she grabbed her coat and headed for the door.
“Is it hard to breathe with your foot so far down your throat, Max?” Jacinda asked
“Liz, wait!” Max said. He glared at Jacinda before following Liz out into the corridor “Would you wait a minute?”
“Not for you.” Liz replied coldly
“Come on, you know I didn’t mean you.” Max said. He caught up with Liz and stepped in front of her, blocking her path “I just meant that Kyle usually is attracted to girls who put out and...that doesn’t sound right either, does it?”
“Not really.”
“Okay, you’re right.” Max admitted “I don’t know what I meant. I just don’t want to see Jacinda get hurt.”
Liz nodded “I know you don’t. And it’s not your fault you’re just a dumb, brain dead guy. Maybe I overreacted a little, too.”
“No, you were right.” Max told her. He put his arms around her and just held her for a minute. Then he hit himself upside the head “Why do I always think of the right thing to say when it’s too late? Shut up, Jacinda! See? That would have been perfect.”
“Yeah.” Liz agreed “Come on, let’s go see how she’s doing.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
Jacinda tapped her long fingernails on the small kitchen table, trying to clear her mind.
“Couldn’t sleep?” A voice asked. Max sat down across the table.
“Yeah.” Jacinda sighed “My head feels like it’s going to explode.”
“Want to talk about it?”
“Why not?” Jacinda said “It’s just that...I was raised with everything I could have wanted, except real human contact. When I was little, I had nice little dresses, toys, candy, anything at all for the asking. Then it was clothing and jewelry and shoes and makeup, even cars and a huge summer house. But I didn’t really care about any of it. All I wanted was a normal life. To go to the mall and the movies and clubs with my friends. To have friends, even. To go to a real school with other kids. I even wanted to get yelled at or grounded just to see what it was like. And I wanted to see you and Isabel again, alive. And now that I have it all, it’s a little overwhelming.”
Max nodded “I can see how it would be. And to have our safety depending on you-”
“That I don’t mind so much.” Jacinda interrupted “I’m a little afraid of failing, I’ll admit. I don’t think I could live with myself if anything happened to you or the others. But I just keep telling myself that I won’t fail.” She stood up and paced around the room, then went to the refrigerator “You want a Coke or something?”
“Yeah, sure.” Max replied. He stood up and opened a few cupboards “Where do you keep the tabasco?”
“Tabasco?” Jacinda repeated “That stuff is for wimps. I haven’t touched it since I was a little kid.” She pulled a container of wasabe sauce out of the refrigerator “My ‘purebred’ taste buds prefer the harder stuff.”
“Speaking of hard stuff, how are you recovering from the party?” Max asked
“I’m fine.” Jacinda said “One kiss snapped me right out of it.”
“Yeah, about that.” Max said “I meant what I said earlier, I want you to stay away from Kyle.”
“You can want me to stay away from him.” Jacinda told him “That doesn’t mean I will. I like him, Max. This is part of what I’ve always wanted. To find a guy who I like and want to spend time with.”
“So, find a guy who isn’t ruled by his hormones.”
Jacinda shook her head “Do not start that. You’re not one to talk, you’re constantly fooling around with Liz.”
“That’s different.” Max said “She’s, you know...a girl.”
“And what am I?” Jacinda asked
“My sister.” Max replied
“Okay, now I’m confused.” Jacinda sighed “Forget it. I’m going to bed.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“What the hell is that noise?” Liz mumbled, rubbing her eyes. She sat up on the couch, pushing Max aside.
“It’s Michael and Maria.” Jacinda replied. She was leaning against the bathroom door. “I ran out of ideas, I can’t get them to talk to each other. So, I locked them in there and whatever happens, happens.”
“Let us out of here or I’ll kill you!” Maria screamed, pounding on the door.
“I think they’re gonna be in there a while.” Jacinda said “I made sure that Michael won’t be able to use his powers to open the door, and I’m going to leave them in there until they come to their senses.”
“What if they kill each other first?” Isabel asked
Jacinda shrugged “Whatever.”
“Open the damn door!” Michael yelled
“Bite me.” Jacinda replied
Max woke up and looked around “What’s going on?”
“I locked the Magnificent Bickersons in the bathroom until they talk things out.” Jacinda explained “And if they kill each other, at least we’ll have some peace around here.”
“I want you to pack your things.” Max told her “You can’t stay here anymore.”
“Why not?” Jacinda asked
“No reason.” Max said “I’d just feel better if we could keep track of you a little better.”
“No, you just don’t want me around Kyle.” Jacinda snapped
“It’s not that.” Max lied “I don’t think you’re safe here. Tess knows where you are.”
“Max, you’re a really terrible liar.” Jacinda said
“Fine, you’re right. I don’t want you anywhere near Kyle.” Max admitted, getting angry “Last night you said yourself that you know nothing about how the real world works. You’re naive, and I’m not going to let anyone take advantage of that.”
“I don’t need you to protect me!” Jacinda snarled “I’m supposed to be protecting you, remember?”
“Yeah, that makes me feel really secure.” Max said under his breath.
“I heard that!”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
Maria pressed her ear against the door “Sounds like they’ve forgotten about us. Try to get the door open.”
“I already tried ten times.” Michael said “Face it, we’re stuck in here until the princess out there decides to free us.”
“Well, since we’re stuck in here anyway, maybe we should start talking.” Maria suggested
“What’s there to talk about?” Michael asked
“How about the fact that you said you loved me and then just walked away?” Maria replied
“How about the fact that I only walked away because I didn’t want to put you in danger?” Michael said
“How about the fact that if you really cared about me you would know that it doesn’t matter to me if we’re in danger, as long as we’re together?” Maria countered “How about the fact that I can take care of myself, and I don’t need you to decide what’s best for me?”
“Forget it, I can’t talk to you about this.”
Maria turned away “Fine!”
“Fine.” Michael replied. Then he grabbed her, turned her around to face him, and closed his mouth over hers. Maria moaned and grabbed at his shirt, trying to pull him closer.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
Liz covered her ears. Between the screaming in the kitchen and the screaming in the bathroom, she felt like her eardrums were going to burst. Then she realized that the screaming in the bathroom had stopped. She glanced at Alex and Isabel, who were both trying to remain as neutral as possible in both arguments “You think we should check on them?”
“I’d rather not be in the same room as Jacinda when she’s this angry.” Alex replied “That kitten’s got claws.”
“Not them, Michael and Maria.” Liz said “They’re pretty quiet.”
“Maybe they killed each other.” Isabel said. She got up and went over the bathroom door. She moved her hand over the knob and the door opened “Or...not.”
Michael and Maria jumped apart and straightened their clothes.
Isabel just smiled and shook her head “Michael, wipe the lip gloss off your mouth. I’m gonna go intervene in the kitchen.”
There was a knock on the door and Jacinda stomped out of the kitchen, still yelling at Max. She opened the door and looked around. Then she looked down and screamed “Oh God...oh my God.” she gasped. Max caught her as she stumbled backwards and started to fall.
“Jacinda, what is it?” Liz asked. She stepped over to the doorway and immediately turned away, covering her eyes.
“What?” Maria said
“It’s cygnet.” Jacinda said, fighting a wave of nausea “A baby swan. Its neck is broken or something.”
Max let go of Jacinda and went to pick up the tiny animal “Yeah, it’s broken.”
“Put it down.” Isabel pleaded
“Who would do something like that?” Alex wondered out loud.
“Tess.” Jacinda replied
“I don’t get it.” Max said “Why would she kill a baby swan and leave it outside your door?”
“Besides the fact that she’s completely unhinged?” Liz offered
“I’ve always associated myself with swans.” Jacinda explained “You know, nice to look at but strong, with lethal tempers.”
“You definitely fit that description.” Michael said
“Tess must be reading my mind somehow.” Jacinda continued “And she left the swan as a warning. It’s probably one of the swans from the courtyard.” She reached out and took the cygnet from Max. “They’ll be looking for it. I can sneak it back to the courtyard and fix its neck so it looks like it died of a disease.”
“And then we’ll help you pack.” Max said
Jacinda just nodded.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
Destiny Is A State Of Mind (part 6)

“I’m bored.” Jacinda whined, flopping down on the couch. She pouted at Max and Isabel.
“What?” Max asked “Do you expect us to entertain you?” He turned on the TV “Look, MTV. Music, pretty people, bright colors. Have fun.”
“Have you figured out how we’re going to explain the extra daughter to our parents?” Isabel asked
“Not yet.” Max replied “I wish there was some way we could tell them that she’s our sister without telling them, you know, everything.”
“Maybe there is.” Jacinda cut in “I think I have an idea.”
“Is it me, or does the hair on the back of your neck stand up every time she says something like that?” Max asked Isabel.
Jacinda stuck out her tounge and threw a couch pillow at him.
The front door opened “Hey, anyone home?”
“In the living room, Mom!” Isabel replied
“Hi, kids.” Diane Evans said “Whose convertible is that?” She came into the room and saw Jacinda “Oh, I didn’t know you had someone here.”
“Mom, this our friend Jacinda.” Max said “We told her she could crash here for a day or two, I hope that’s okay.”
“That’s fine.” Diane replied “Nice to meet you, Jacinda.”
Jacinda smiled “You too. That’s my car outside. Do you need me to move it?”
“No, it’s okay where it is.” Diane said. She studied Jacinda’s face for a minute “You look awfully familiar. Have we met before?”
“I doubt it, Mrs. Evans.” Jacinda replied “I just moved here a few weeks ago from New York City.”
“Interesting. Max, Izzy, could you help me with dinner? Your father will be home in about ten minutes.”
“Is there anything I can do to help?” Jacinda asked “I don’t wanna brag or anything, but I’m a pretty good cook.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“Could one of you kids get the door?” Diane called “That’ll be the pizza boy, my wallet’s on the table in the hall.”
“I’ll get it, Mrs. Evans.” Jacinda replied “And I insist you let me pay for it, I feel really bad about the mess and almost blowing up the kitchen.”
“What a nice girl she is.” Diane said to Isabel “Are you sure she’s from New York?”
“Yeah, she is.” Isabel replied “She was raised by really rich, protective parents.”
“Protective is an understatement.” Jacinda said, coming into the kitchen and setting down the pizza boxes on the table. “My upbringing was a few cows and a seventeenth century curfew short of being Amish.”
“Isabel, could you go tell your brother that we’re ready to eat?”
“Yeah, sure.” Isabel said
“So, Jacinda, how long have you been friends with Max and Isabel?” Diane asked
“Pretty much since I met them three weeks ago.” Jacinda replied “They’re really great, and we have so much in common.”
“Have you noticed anything, I don’t know, unusual about them? Especially Max?” Diane asked
Jacinda thought for a second “You mean other than the fact that he’s an alien life form?”
Diane stared at the girl for a minute, then laughed “I guess boys can seem that way at your age.”
“Not that girls aren’t equally strange.” Max said as he and Isabel entered the kitchen. He shot a look at Jacinda and pinched her arm. She just smirked at him.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“So, Jacinda,” Philip Evans said “what brings your family to Roswell?”
“No family.” Jacinda replied “Just me. I was abandoned and then adopted when I was six, and now I’m trying to find my biological family. I was abandoned in the desert near Roswell, so I just figured this would be a good place to start. Mostly, I just want to find the lowlifes and ask them what I did at such a young age to deserve being ditched naked in the desert in the middle of the butt-freezing night.”
Diane couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Not only was Jacinda’s story identical to the story of how she and Philip had found Max and Isabel, but seeing Jacinda seated between her children at the table, Diane had finally realized why she looked so familiar. The pretty, dark-haired girl bore an absolutely staggering resemblance to the two Evans children. “Philip, could you help me with something in the kitchen?” she asked.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“So naturally, my idea worked perfectly.” Jacinda said to Liz, Maria, Alex and Kyle “Philip and Diane are convinced that I must be Max and Isabel’s sister. Now they want to do DNA tests on all three of us. And if the tests come back positive, they want to, get this, legally adopt me.”
“That’s great.” Liz said “Except for the part about the blood tests.”
“That’s where you come in, Kyle.” Jacinda said “I know your dad is in debt to my siblings and Michael. Come to think of it, you really are, too. We need his help getting a hold of some fake blood samples, or even just test results. Do you think he can help us?”
“I’ll talk to him, I think he can work something out.” Kyle replied
“Great.” Jacinda said “Meanwhile, I just want to be sure that you’re all watching your backs.”
“I know I am.” Liz shuddered “I just keep thinking about that little swan and thinking that that could be any one of our necks at any time.”
“Tess is one sick puppy.” Jacinda said “If she’s capable of doing that to an innocent baby animal, well...we have to be careful.”
Kyle put his arm around Jacinda and kissed the side of her head “Nothing is gonna happen to you while I’m around.” He told her, flexing his free arm.
Jacinda giggled and grabbed his arm playfully “Ooh, someone’s been working out.”
“Okay, stop before you kill someone’s appetite.” Liz said “I don’t think my dad would like you two scaring away all the customers.”
“Well, we’re screwed for places to hang out together.” Jacinda sighed “You have it easy. You wanna see Max, you just go to his house. I can’t bring Kyle home. For now, I’m just a guest, and besides that Max would totally blow a fuse if he saw us together.”
“Why don’t you just tell him to mind his own business?” Kyle asked
“I tried, believe me.” Jacinda said “We got in a huge fight. And Kyle, you know how much I like you, but Max is my brother. I have to maintain a good relationship with him.” She made a face “This really sucks. Is life as a ‘normal’ teenager always this complicated?”
Liz patted her hand sympathetically “Welcome to hell.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“Now these are my favorites.” Jacinda said, lifting a pair of light green stiletto sandals out of her suitcase “I got them for my sixteenth birthday.”
“Ooh, very nice.” Maria said, reaching for the shoes “May I?”
Jacinda pulled the sandals out of Maria’s reach “Sorry, babe. These are Jimmy Choo. They cost more than I’d care to tell you.”
“As much as I hate too, I’d better go soon.” Liz said “Max and I are going out to the quarry tonight.”
“Really?” Jacinda asked “A nice, slow drive and a picnic by candlelight? That whole deal? Sounds romantic.”
“Hey, I know what you guys are thinking.” Liz said “And stop it.”
“Oh, come on.” Jacinda giggled “Like you haven’t thought about jumping him.”
“I have.” Liz admitted “I’ve even wanted to a few times.”
Maria smirked “I’ll bet.”
“Yeah, come on Liz. How far have you and Max gotten?” Jacinda asked
“No comment.” Liz replied, blushing.
“Ooh, stranded at third base.” Jacinda said “So, what stopped you guys from sliding into home plate?”
“It was the night that we rescued him from the special unit, and he and I spent the night hiding in the woods.” Liz explained “We wanted to, but he was so weak. Plus we knew that we could be found at any moment.”
“Does Max ever talk about what happened to him when he was captured?” Jacinda asked
“Isabel says that he used to.” Liz replied “I don’t know, maybe he’s moved on. I hope so, for his sake. Why?”
Jacinda shrugged, looking at the necklace in her hand “I just wish I could have gotten here before. I mean, before Tess and Nasedo showed up and Max got captured, before all of that. You guys went through a lot of shit that I could have prevented.”
“Don’t think like that.” Maria said “You’re here now. You got them away from Tess and got our whole group back together, that’s what really counts.”
“Right.” Jacinda said distractedly. She was staring intently at the framed picture in her hand. Suddenly, she glanced past Liz and Maria and let out a bloodcurdling scream. “No!” She shrieked, dropping to her knees.
“Jacey, what is it?” Liz cried, shaking her friend “What’s wrong? Maria, go get Max!”
Jacinda didn’t hear or see either of them. She only saw Tess, standing behind Liz, smiling at her. “Soon.” she mouthed, slowing drawing one finger across her throat. Jacinda could almost see the blood gushing out.
“What’s wrong with her?” Max asked, kneeling down beside Jacinda.
“I don’t know, she just started screaming.” Liz said
“Jacey, what happened?” Max yelled, shaking her by her shoulders “Jacinda, it’s just me!”
“No!” Jacinda screamed. She suddenly stopped screaming and shaking. She was silent for a moment, then she started crying softly “I...I saw her, Max.”
“Who did you see?” Max asked
“Tess.” Jacinda sobbed
“Oh my God.” Maria gasped
The door opened “I thought I heard screaming.” Diane said “Is everything okay?”
“Yeah, everything’s fine, Mom.” Max replied “Uh, Jacey just fell off the bed and twisted her ankle. She’ll be okay.”
“Are you sure?”
“I’m fine, Diane.” Jacinda said, wiping her eyes.
“Okay.” Diane said “Oh, Philip just called. He just heard that the results of the DNA tests will be in in about two weeks.”
“That’s great.” Max said
“I know. I’ll let you kids get back to work.”
As soon as the door closed, Jacinda let her head drop into her hands.
“Jacey, it’s okay.” Max said “Whatever Tess is planning, we’ll be ready for her. We can beat her together.”
Jacinda squeezed his hand “I hope you’re right.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
Destiny Is A State Of Mind (M/L NC-17) part 7


“I have got to find ways to see Jacinda more.” Kyle said “I can’t stop thinking about her.”
“Apparently, you can’t stop talking about her, either.” Alex said
“Liz, any ideas?” Kyle asked, ignoring Alex.
“Well, she needs someone to help her out in a few classes.” Liz replied “I’m helping her with Bio, but she still needs help with Trig, Social Studies, and French.”
“She needs a French tutor?” Kyle said “That’s perfect!”
“Not really.” Alex said “Kyle, you don’t speak French.”
“Merde!” Kyle groaned
“And swearing in French doesn’t count.” Liz added
“Well, I can swear in a lot of languages.” Kyle said “Surely that counts for something.”
“How many languages can you say ‘hopeless’ in?” Liz asked
“Very funny.” Kyle muttered
“Hey guys!” Jacinda said brightly. She looked around quickly, then gave Kyle a quick kiss on the cheek “Good news. Max just told me that he’s going to be out with Liz tonight.” She turned to Alex “Think you could get Isabel out of the house for a few hours?”
“I think I could come up with something.” Alex replied
“You guys are the best.” Jacinda said
“I’ve gotta tell you, Jacey,” Liz said “I’m really happy for you two, but I’m not entirely comfortable lying to Max.”
Jacinda shook her head “You’re not lying to him, you’re just withholding information from him.”
“Yeah, I guess you’re right.” Liz admitted “But if he asks, I’m going to have to tell him.”
“I wouldn’t expect otherwise.” Jacinda told her “That’s one of the things I like about you, Liz. You’re honest and loyal.”
“You can’t sweet-talk me into lying to him, either.” Liz said
“Damn!” Jacinda pouted “I guess I’ll have to deal with Max myself.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“So, after staying in Kansas for about two weeks,” Jacinda said “I moved on, but made a few wrong turns and somehow ended up in Utah. I didn’t stay there too long.”
“Utah? Isn’t that the most conservative state in the country?” Kyle asked
“Yeah.” Jacinda giggled “I know that now. Hence the not staying there too long.”
Kyle chuckled “So why’d you drive, anyway? You could have taken a plane and been here in a few hours, instead of a few months.”
“I tried.” Jacinda sighed “I got kicked off the plane before it took off. I kind of spazzed out.”
“Your people don’t fly well?” Kyle guessed
“Can you blame us?” Jacinda asked
“Not really.” Kyle admitted
Jacinda giggled “I don’t know what my brother is so freaked out over. You’re a nice guy. I like hanging out with you.”
“Yeah, me too.” Kyle said “Listen, whatever your brother or anyone else tells you about me...well, it’s probably true. But I like you. You’re different.”
“Got that right.” Jacinda muttered
“I didn’t just mean that.” Kyle told her “I mean, you’re smart, and funny, and obviously a very loyal, caring person. And on top of all that you’re extremely beautiful.”
“No one’s ever told me that before.” Jacinda said softly, blushing. “In ten years I have never been told I’m beautiful.”
“Then I guess I’ll have to tell you a lot.” Kyle said, leaning closer to her “To make up for it.” He kissed her gently.
Jacinda immediately moved closer, deepening the kiss. Suddenly she pulled back, so fast she fell right off the couch. She didn’t move or speak for a minute.
“Jacinda, what’s wrong?” Kyle asked, kneeling down beside her “Are you okay?”
After a moment, Jacinda looked up at him. Then she screamed.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
Liz moaned and writhed as Max’s hands gently cupped and massaged her breasts. She whimpered and arched against him, trying to get as close to him as possible. Her short sundress had been unbuttoned and pushed aside, and her bra had been thrown into the back seat of the Jeep. Now she was sitting on Max’s lap, facing him as his hands slid over her body. “Max...oh, Max.” she whispered. She wanted him so badly. She could feel his arousal straining against her through his jeans. He kissed his way down her neck until he reached her breasts. He opened his mouth over one nipple, sucking it gently while continuing to roll her other nipple between his fingers. His other hand slowly moved down her body and slipped under her panties. Liz’s whole body shook and convulsed as Max gently slipped two fingers into her. He moved his fingers in and out until she was thrusting against his hand, moaning with pleasure. Suddenly, Max pulled his fingers out of Liz and stopped kissing her.
“Something’s wrong.” He said, before Liz could ask him why he’d stopped. “It’s Jacinda.”
“Do you think something’s happened to her?” Liz asked, quickly finding her bra and buttoning up her dress.
“I don’t know.” Max replied “But I think we’d better get back to her.” He slid his hand under her dress and touched her gently “We’ll pick up where we left off another time.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“What are you doing here?” Max demanded when he saw Kyle sitting on the couch, holding a shaking, weeping Jacinda in his arms.
“I called him.” Jacinda lied, wiping her eyes. “I was really scared, and I couldn’t reach you or Isabel or Michael, so I asked Kyle to come over and keep me company.”
“She saw Tess again.” Kyle explained. Jacinda had already managed to fill him in about who Tess really was, and the danger they were in because of her.
Max gently picked his sister up and hugged her “It’s going to be okay. She’s not going to hurt you. She’ll have to go through me, understand?”
“That’s what I’m afraid of, Max.” Jacinda whispered. “She wouldn’t have a problem with that.”
“Come on.” Liz said “You need some rest.”
“Rest is a good thing.” Jacinda agreed, yawning.
Kyle waited until the two girls were out of earshot “I guess I’d better go.”
“Wait a second.” Max said “Kyle, I don’t want to be a prick about this. But I do want you stay away from my sister.”
“I understand that.” Kyle said “But that’s not what she wants. And it’s not what I want, either.”
“I know what you want from her.” Max said under his breath.
“What the hell is wrong with you?” Kyle asked “I mean, did it ever occur to you that I like her for who she is and not what she looks like?”
“No, can’t say it did.” Max replied
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
Liz sighed and shut the door “Men.”
“What am I going to do?” Jacinda murmured, pulling her covers tight around her body “I don’t want to upset Max. But I really like Kyle.”
“It doesn’t get much easier, I’m afraid.” Liz said sympathetically “Dating and love are a pain in the ass. Even when you find someone you like who likes you, it’s still incredibly complicated. Just look at me and your brother. The thing is, you and I are both people who have a lot to give. And there’s just such a small number of takers who are worthy.”
“And make us horny.” Jacinda added
“That too.” Liz sighed
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“Hey, I just thought of something.” Jacinda said the next afternoon "What's the difference between Tess and a pit bull?"
“I don’t know, what?” Max asked
"One will rip you to shreds, scare your friends, and wreck your house." Jacinda replied “The other's a dog."
Max chuckled “Wait, which one is Tess?”
“Does it matter?” Jacinda asked
“No, I guess it doesn’t.” Max laughed “Listen, since you’re in such a good mood, I need to talk to you.”
“If you say one word about me and Kyle, I swear I am going to kill you.” Jacinda told him
“Well, I’m going to say something about it.” Max said “Jacinda, you’re my baby sister. I know that we’ve only known each other for a few weeks, but I feel like I’ve known you my entire life. I love you, Jacinda, and I don’t want to see you get hurt.”
Jacinda shook her head “Kyle isn’t going to hurt me, Max. He cares about me. And I love you, too. But I don’t need you protecting me. I have to figure things out for myself.” She stood up, picked up her sweater, and put it on.
“Where are you going?” Max asked
“Out.” Jacinda replied
“No, you’re not.” Max said “We’re not finished.”
“Oh, yes we are.” Jacinda said “Max, I do not need you controlling me, okay? I’ve got enough people or things or whatever to do that!”
“I don’t want you going out there alone.” Max said, blocking the doorway “If Tess or Nasedo is out there-”
“I can handle them a hundred times better than you could.” Jacinda interrupted, her voice growing cold. “I don’t need this shit. I’m not staying here tonight.”
“Then where are you going to go?” Max demanded
“Not that it’s any of your business, but I’ll probably stay with Liz or Maria. Or maybe one of the girls from the cheerleading squad.” With that, she pushed Max aside with surprising strength and stormed out into the hallway.
The door opened before she reached it “Oh, hi, Jacinda!” Diane said “Is something wrong?”
“Yeah, your son is an idiot control freak.” Jacinda snapped “God, I really hope I’m not related to him.” She slammed the door behind her.
“Oh, my.” Diane said “Max, what was that all about?”
“We had a little bit of a falling out.” Max replied “She just needs some time to cool off.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“Just a minute.” Kyle called. He muted the basketball game on the TV and went to open the door “Jacinda, hi. Come on in.”
“Thanks.” Jacinda said “Hey, is that the Lakers game? What’s the score?”
“Ten to six, L.A’s ahead.” Kyle replied “So, what’s up?”
“Max and I had a huge fight.” Jacinda sighed “I couldn’t stay there.” She suddenly put her arms around Kyle and tilted her face up towards his “Kiss me.”
“Okay, I’m usually not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, but why?” Kyle asked
“I need to see something.” Jacinda replied. As they kissed, she saw into Kyle’s heart and soul. And she saw herself as he saw her. Radiant and laughing. She pulled back and smiled at him.
“Are you okay?” Kyle asked
“I don’t know. I really like you, Kyle. But Max is my brother, and I love him. I hate fighting with him. Besides, I have to maintain a good relationship with him and the others.” Jacinda sighed
“Screw what you ‘have to do.’” Kyle said “What about what you want to do?”
“I don’t know how to do anything but what I was raised to do.” Jacinda said
“You’ll figure it out.” Kyle told her, hugging her.
Jacinda nodded and hugged him back. Then she pulled away, smirking at him “Okay, were you really trying to comfort me there or was that just all about copping a feel?”
“Uh, fifty-fifty, I guess.” Kyle admitted
“I thought so.” Jacinda said “So, where’s your dad? Is he working?”
“Actually, he’s visiting my grandfather.” Kyle replied “He won’t be back until tomorrow.”
“Really?” Jacinda asked, raising an eyebrow.
“Yeah.” Kyle said “Hey, you want something to drink? Some lemonade or something?”
“That would be great, thanks.” Jacinda replied
When Kyle returned a minute later, Jacinda was stretched out on the couch, smiling at him seductively.
“Hey.” She said softly. She stood up, walked over to him, and took one of the glasses of lemonade from him “Thanks.”
As she moved closer, Kyle noticed that the top buttons of her white, short-sleeved blouse, were open. He could see the top of her crimson lace bra and the swell of her perfect breasts. He took a step back “Jacinda, if I didn’t know any better, I’d say you were trying to seduce me.”
“That must be my fault.” Jacinda said “Because I am.”
“We can’t do this.” Kyle said “Oh my God. Did I just say that? No, I’m serious. It’s not right.”
“Why not?” Jacinda asked
“Because I don’t want to take advantage of you.” Kyle said, trying to look at her and not at her exposed underwear “You’re upset, you’re not thinking clearly, and-”
Jacinda silenced him by grabbing him by his shirt and kissing him passionately. Then she grinned at him “Still think it’s a bad idea?”
Kyle nodded “Yes, I actually do. But I can’t help myself.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“Liz, is Jacinda there?” Max asked
“No, why would she be here?” Liz replied
“We had a fight, and she stormed out.” Max explained “She said she might stay with you or Maria.”
“What did you guys fight about?” Liz asked “You didn't get on her case about her and Kyle again, did you?”
“Yeah, I did.”
Liz sighed “Max, one of these days she’s going to get sick of you trying to protect her all the time, and she’s going to beat the hell out of you. And honestly, I’m not going to do a thing to stop her.”
“It’s always nice to have a sympathetic girlfriend to talk to.” Max said
“Max, don’t worry about Jacinda.” Liz said “She’s a smart girl, I’m sure she’s fine. What’s the worst that could happen?”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“Kyle?” Jacinda whispered
“Shh,” Kyle said, pressing a finger against her lips “I’m listening for sirens.”
“Sirens?” Jacinda repeated “Why?”
“Because I’m sure the neighbors must have called 911, with all the noise you were making.” Kyle teased
Jacinda shrieked and punched him playfully “Is that so? You weren’t exactly quiet yourself.” She grabbed a pillow and hit him over the head with it a few times before he managed to disarm her. He pulled her close, pinning her arms down.
“You’re not sorry, are you?” He asked
“No.” Jacinda replied “Are you?”
“Hell, no.” Kyle said
“Glad to hear it.” Jacinda said. She leaned her head against his chest and sighed. Within a few minutes, she was asleep.
“I love you.” Kyle whispered in her ear. The words were out before he even realized he was saying them. He’d said those three words to plenty of girls before. But he’d never meant them. But this time, he was convinced, he did.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
Destiny Is A State Of Mind, part 8

“Good morning!” Jacinda said brightly, bouncing into the kitchen.
“Where were you last night?” Max asked
“Whoa, nice to see you, too.” Jacinda said “I stayed with Louisa Marquez.”
“You’re in an awfully good mood.” Isabel observed. There was something different about Jacinda, some marked change in her. ‘Damned if I can figure out what it is.’ Isabel thought.
Jacinda yawned and stretched “I’m wicked tired. Lou and I were up watching movies all night. I think I’ll go take a nap.”
“Just a minute.” Max said, blocking her path “I wanted to apologize for last night. Maybe I got on your case a little, and I’m sorry.”
“Wow, that must have given you a tumor, huh?” Jacinda teased “And I accept your apology.”
“Just like that?” Isabel asked “Don’t you want to make him get down on his knees and beg for forgiveness, or make him bark like a dog?”
“Don’t give her any ideas.” Max said
“Maybe later.” Jacinda yawned. She slapped Max upside the head “That’ll do for now. I’ve got to get some rest, I’m performing tonight. You guys will be there, right?”
“Wouldn’t miss it.” Isabel replied
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
Jacinda was waiting on the couch in the school lobby when Kyle walked in. Looking around to make sure that none of her friends were nearby, she sprang to her feet and jumped into his arms. “I missed you!”
“Missed you, too.” Kyle replied, kissing her forehead, then her nose, then her lips in rapid succession
“Being apart really sucks.” Jacinda sighed, leaning her head against his shoulder.
“Yeah, it’s been what, twelve hours since you last saw each other?” A new voice teased “I can’t believe you actually survived.”
“Funny.” Jacinda said, turning around to see Alex and Maria standing behind them “Actually, it hasn’t been quite that long.”
Maria gasped “Oh my God, you didn’t!”
Kyle shot a look at her “Keep it down.”
“How could you be so stupid?” Maria hissed “Haven’t you ever seen ‘Species?’ No offense, Jacinda.”
Jacinda shrugged “None taken. And relax, everything was normal.”
“Yeah, apart from a few glowing body parts and my busted eardrums.” Kyle said. Jacinda hit him on the arm, blushing.
“Well, that’s...great. I think.” Alex said “I mean, aside from the fact that Max is going to kill you, Kyle.”
“No he’s not.” Jacinda said “Because he’s not going to find out.”
Maria shrugged “Well, he-”
“He’s not going to find out, Maria.” Jacinda interrupted, speaking through clenched teeth.
“Oh! Oh, right. Of course he’s not.” Maria agreed “Right, Alex?”
Alex nodded “Right, unless-” He was cut off by Maria stomping on his foot “Right.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“Max, Kyle, could you two go get those boxes I left in the hallway?” Jacinda asked a week later, sitting on her bed.
Kyle groaned “How is it that you’re the one moving in, and yet we’re the ones doing all the actual ‘moving.’”
“Because we just want to sit here and watch your muscles bulging and getting all sweaty.” Liz replied
“What she said.” Jacinda said to Kyle “Now move.”
“God, they’re easy.” Liz said
“Yeah.” Jacinda sighed “It’s all in learning what makes them tick. You know, the little things. Waiting for them by their locker, telling them how hot they are for no reason, not walking away and leaving them at the hands of a homicidal shapeshifter.”
Liz smacked her lightly with the magazine she was reading “I am never going to be allowed to forget that, am I?”
“Well, by my brother, yes.” Jacinda replied “He’s totally forgiven you, he’s too in love with you not to. But it’s my duty to protect him and the others, and your little freak out put them all in danger. Besides that, it was just a really retarded thing to do. I mean, if some little perm-headed bleach blonde bitch is moving in on your guy, saying he should be with her for whatever reason, you do not agree and go off and boo-hoo in the corner. No, you get your ass up and break her fucking nose!”
“Okay, next time some psychotic alien is trying to come between me and Max, I’ll keep that in mind.” Liz said “Seriously, let it go. I made a mistake. You’ve made mistakes, too.”
“Sure.” Jacinda admitted “But my mistakes are little things, like leaving my keys in my car or accidentally mixing spring and summer colors. Your mistake could have brought down an entire species.”
“Enough already.” Liz groaned, smacking her again.
“Okay, okay.” Jacinda giggled, putting up her hands in surrender.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“This is slave labor.” Kyle said “Why do we let them do this to us?”
Max shrugged “I know why I let Liz get away with it. What’s your excuse?”
“Jacinda and I are friends.” Kyle lied “That’s it.”
“Glad to hear it.” Max said “I’ll grab these boxes over here, you get those.”
“Your folks must be beside themselves.” Kyle said
“You should have seen the look on Mom’s face when she told us that the test results were positive.” Max replied “It was pretty hard for us to act surprised, but I think we managed.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“Max and Isabel did an absolutely wretched job of acting surprised.” Jacinda sighed “Luckily, I think Diane and Philip...I mean, Mom and Dad. Wow, that’s really going to take some getting used to. Anyway, I think they were too busy spazzing to notice Max and Isabel’s reactions.”
“I’m just so glad everything is working out for you guys.” Liz said “Especially you. After all this time, you’re finally getting the life you deserve. A loving family, real friends, real relationships. Which reminds me, how are things with Kyle?”
Jacinda looked down, caught off guard by the question “Things are, you know, good.”
“How good?” Liz pressed
“Shit, am I really that obvious?” Jacinda whined
“No, not at all.” Liz assured her “It’s just that Maria’s been acting really weird, the way she always does when she knows a big secret. So, naturally, I just had to beat it out of her.”
“Great, now I’ve got to kill you both.” Jacinda said
“Relax, she won’t tell anyone else.” Liz promised “And neither will I. Unless I’m asked, then you know I’m not going to lie for you. But I wouldn’t worry about that. I mean, what are the odds that Max will come up to me and say ‘Hey, Liz, you wouldn’t happen to know if my sister’s sleeping with Kyle, would you?’”
“I guess you’re right.” Jacinda agreed “And while we’re on the subject of you, my brother, and sex, you guys are taking...precautions, right?”
“We don’t need to.” Liz said “We’re not sleeping together.”
“Not yet, anyway.” Jacinda corrected “I’ve seen you two together. It’s going to happen, sooner or later. And for the record, I’d put my money on ‘sooner.’”
“When, I mean, if it happens, we’ll be ready.” Liz said
“I wouldn’t take that chance if I were you.” Jacinda insisted “Our species procreates very quickly, and very often. Meaning that if you and Max do it without using protection even once, the chances that you would get pregnant are really high. If you’re smart, you won’t risk it. Your parents don’t even need to know about it.”
Liz thought for a minute “I really don’t know about that. I don’t want to lie to them. And my mom always said I could talk to her about this sort of thing.”
Jacinda shrugged “Well, whether or not you tell your parents is up to you. All I know is that if I were in your shoes, I’d make damn sure I was protected.” She jumped up off the bed and opened her closet “Now come on, you need to help me pick out something to wear tonight.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
Under a lover's sky
Gonna be with you
And no one’s gonna be around
If you think that you won't fall
Well just wait until
Till the sun goes down
Underneath the starlight, starlight
There's a magical feeling so right
It will take you tonight

Anyone who looked closely at Jacinda could have easily seen who the lyrics that she was singing were directed at. Luckily, Max wasn’t paying nearly as much attention to Jacinda’s eyes and body language as Kyle was.

You can try to resist
Try to hide from my kiss
But you know
But you know that you
Can't fight the moonlight
Deep in the dark
You'll surrender your heart
Don't you know
Don't you know that you
Can't fight the moonlight
No, you can't fight it
It's gonna get to your heart

“People are staring.” Liz whispered as Max’s lips trailed across her neck and up to her ear.
“But not at us.” Max replied “They’re all looking at Jacinda, just waiting for her to pop out of that dress.”

There's no escape from love
Once the gentle breeze
Weaves it's spell upon your heart
No matter what you think
It won't be long till you're in my arms
Underneath the starlight, starlight
We'll be lost in a rhythm so right
Feel it steal your heart tonight

Kyle could feel Jacinda’s eyes going right through him. As much as he enjoyed hearing her sing and watching her onstage, he couldn’t wait until they could be alone together. He shook his head as he noticed the way Max and Liz were dancing. Dancing was a loose term. More like groping to a beat. He wished that he and Jacinda could be that public.

You can try to resist
Try to hide from my kiss
But you know
But you know that you
Can't fight the moonlight
Deep in the dark
You'll surrender your heart
Don't you know
Don't you know that you
Can't fight the moonlight
No, you can't fight it

Jacinda smiled and winked in Kyle’s direction as she continued to sway and writhe to the music. Max and Liz looked like they were within an inch of ripping each other’s clothes off. Alex and Isabel were cuddling on a couch in a corner, and Michael and Maria had disappeared about twenty minutes earlier. Just about everything was perfect.

No matter what you do
The night is gonna get you
Can't fight it, don't try it
You're never gonna win
Cause underneath the starlight, starlight
There's a magical feeling so right
It will steal your heart tonight

You can try to resist
Try to hide from my kiss
But you know
But you know that you
Can't fight the moonlight
Deep in the dark
You'll surrender your heart
Don't you know
Don't you know that you
Can't fight the moonlight
No, you can't fight it

As soon as she could get off this stage and be alone with Kyle, everything would be perfect.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
Jacinda tapped her foot impatiently, waiting for Kyle to pick her up in the alley behind the club. Her ears perked up when she sensed a familiar aura, then she grimaced when she realized who it belong to.
“So,” She said without turning around “Princess Chode has finally decided to grace me with her presence.” She turned slowly, her face calm and regal, befitting a warrior whose heart pumped pure royal blood “I’m so glad. After all, creepy astral projections and brutally murdered baby animals are so impersonal. Where’s the love, Chode?”
“My name is Tess, Jacinda.” Tess said coldly
“There you go, hiding behind a false name and face. Just like the coward you are. The coward you’ve always been.” Jacinda said, keeping her voice equally cool.
“You’re not one to talk about hiding, child.” Tess said “You hide yourself behind your pretty smile, your expensive clothes.”
“I hide only what I need to.” Jacinda said “Under the clothes and the smile, Princess Ru is still alive and kicking.”
“Not for long.”
Jacinda stepped closer, her dark eyes showing a hint of anger “I would watch my mouth if I were you. It’s not just me you’re up against, Chode. My friends all have my backs. And I’ve got theirs.” She looked Tess up and down and sighed “Look, my advice to you, forget it. Fix yourself up, get a makeover, I’m sure you clean up...well...okay. Find some nice deaf, mute, blind guy who’s attracted to soulless, homicidal maniacs.”
“Now who needs to watch her mouth?” Tess snapped
“Wow, you really are ugly when you’re angry.” Jacinda said “And to think, all those years ago, you almost had a soft spot for my brother. You were actually deluded enough to believe that you could seduce him over to your side. You were foolish enough to think that he would want an heartless, hideous, soulless little freak like you, when he had a beautiful, wonderful woman like Countess Adesa. She scared you, didn’t she, Chode? You knew you could never compete with her. So you had to get rid of her. Didn’t work though, did it? None of your scheming and murdering worked. Because my brother and Countess Adesa are alive again, and they’ve found each other again. And I’ve found them again. And you’re shut out once again.”
“Not for long.” Tess said again.
“Yeah, about that.” Jacinda said. She grabbed Tess around her neck and slammed her into the wall “Stay away from my family. And I don’t just mean Max and Isabel. I mean Michael, Maria, Liz, Alex, my parents, Kyle, and his father. The people I care about who care about me. And I’m not kidding. I catch you near my family even once, you’ll be spending a lot of time at my house. Because I’ll bury your ass in the back freaking yard. Clear?” She squeezed Tess’s throat firmly once more, then released her and walked away.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕

"Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains"

-Jean Jaques Rousseau
posted on 1-Sep-2001 7:43:18 PM
Destiny Is A State Of Mind (M/L) part 9

“You...were...amazing...tonight.” Kyle managed to tell Jacinda between kisses.
“Really?” She asked “Cause I was pretty distracted. There was this really hot guy in the crowd who was undressing me with his eyes the whole time.”
“Uh, you are referring to me, right?” Kyle asked
Jacinda hit him playfully “Of course, you big dummy. Well, okay, there were probably about twenty other clowns picturing me naked. But you’re the only one who actually gets to see me naked.”
Kyle slid his hands up her thighs and under her dress “Good to know.” He said, gently pushing one thin spaghetti strap off her shoulder and kissing her bare skin. Then he pulled back and looked into her eyes “Something wrong?”
“Yeah.” Jacinda replied, knowing there was no way she could hide anything from Kyle “I saw Tess tonight. In person.”
“Jesus.” Kyle groaned “Did she try anything? Did she hurt you?”
“No.” Jacinda whispered “I actually choked her a bit. And I told her to stay away from all of us.”
“That’s good.” Kyle said “Do you think she will?”
Jacinda sat down on the foot of her bed “No. She and Nasedo and too determined. Suicidally determined.”
“I won’t let them hurt you.” Kyle whispered in her ear. He kissed his way from her ear to her lips. “I love you.”
“I know.” Jacinda said. She lay back on the bed, pulling him down with her.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“Jacinda and I had an interesting discussion today.” Liz said
“Yeah? What about?” Max asked, massaging Liz’s breasts through the thin, soft material of her dress.
Liz gasped and closed her eyes, trying to concentrate on what she was saying “She thinks you and I should be thinking about birth control.”
“Who died and made her Dr. Ruth?” Max said
“I think maybe she’s right.” Liz told him “Our parents wouldn’t even need to find out about it.”
“You’re right.” Max admitted “I just think it’s funny that Jacinda is giving you sex advice. As if she knows that much.”
“Yeah.” Liz giggled, looking away a little “Pretty weird.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“Kyle, you should go.” Jacinda said softly.
“How come?” Kyle yawned, kissing her throat gently.
“It’s six-thirty. Everyone’s going to be awake soon.” Jacinda told him.
“They’re not awake yet.” Kyle persisted. He moved over her again, kissing her deeply.
Jacinda sighed “You’re not playing fair.” She pouted, arching up against him.
“Neither are you.” Kyle teased
“That’s because I want you to win.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
Isabel stumbled into the kitchen, yawning and rubbing her eyes “Morning.”
“Good morning.” Max replied
“Where is everyone?” Isabel asked, pouring a bowl of cereal.
“Mom and Dad left for Clovis about ten minutes ago. Jacinda’s still in bed.”
“I better go wake her up.” Isabel said.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“Jacinda, let’s go!” Isabel called from the bottom of the stairs. When she didn’t hear a response, she sighed and made her way up the stairs “Jacinda, you’re gonna be late for school!” Still no reply. Muttering under her breath, Isabel walked to Jacinda’s bedroom door and threw it open. Then she screamed.
“Isabel!” Jacinda gasped.
“Shit!” Kyle exclaimed. He moved away from Jacinda so quickly that he fell right off the bed, taking most of the covers with him.
Jacinda quickly grabbed a pillow and covered herself with it. Isabel just stood in the doorway, too shocked to speak.
“What’s going on in here?” Max asked. He stopped short when he saw Kyle lying on the floor, still tangled in the sheets, and Jacinda curled up on the bed, covering herself with a pillow. “Get your clothes on and come downstairs immediately.” he told them, trying to control his temper. He walked away, slamming the door and dragging Isabel behind him.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“We’re so dead.” Jacinda groaned, closing her bedroom door behind them “Well, maybe I’m not. But Max is going to dismember you.”
“Maybe not.” Kyle said “Maybe if we just explain to him-” his sentence was cut short by Max’s fist slamming into his nose.
“Kyle, I think we need to have a talk.” Max said
Jacinda stepped in front of her brother, her eyes flashing “Max-”
“You’re next.” Max interrupted
“Okay.” Jacinda said, stepping aside.
Kyle stood up and wiped blood off his face “Max, would you just hear us out?”
“I have no interest in anything you have to say.” Max replied coldly “I can’t even breathe the same air as you. Get the hell out of my house.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“Why am I so pissed?” Jacinda groaned as she and Max walked into the school, still arguing “I don’t know, maybe because you punched my boyfriend in the face!”
“And you slept with one of my friends and lied to me about it!” Max snapped
“You wanna say that a little louder?” Jacinda asked “I don’t think Mom and Dad heard you all the way out in Clovis.”
“Then I’ll just have to tell them again when they get home.” Max said
Jacinda turned around to face him “You even think about telling our parents and I will rip out your entrails with my bare hands and feed them to my kitten.”
“You don’t have a kitten.” Max told her
“I’ll get one!” Jacinda hissed
“Do whatever you want.” Max said “Just don’t see Kyle. Jacinda, he’s just going to sleep with you until he gets bored and then move on. I’ve seen him do it to girls before.”
“That doesn’t mean he’s going to do it to me.” Jacinda insisted “He loves me, Max. He said so last night.”
Max shook his head “See? That’s what I’m talking about.”
“He meant it.” Jacinda said “I know he did. He wouldn’t do that to me.” She blinked back tears as she turned and stomped away.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
Liz crept up behind Max, leaned up and planted a light kiss on the back of his neck “Good morning.”
“Hey.” Max replied without turning around.
“Something wrong?” Liz asked
“I caught Jacinda in bed with Kyle this morning.” Max explained, slamming his locker door.
“Oh my God!” Maria gasped “Kyle and Jacinda got caught? Wow, to have been a fly on that wall.”
“Maria, you’re not helping!” Liz told her “Max, are you okay?”
“Yeah, I guess.” Max said “Isabel was the one who actually walked in on them. She’s taking a day off to recover.”
Liz and Maria exchanged looks. Maria shook her head “Don’t.” she mouthed.
“I have to.” Liz mouthed back “Max, if I tell you something you’re really not gonna like, do you promise not to have an aneurysm?”
“I don’t think you could tell me anything that’s worse than what I saw this morning.”
“Maria and I already knew. About Jacey and Kyle, I mean.” Liz said
“What?!” Max practically shouted
“Shh!” Liz whispered “Not so loud. I’m really sorry, okay? I would have told you, but she made me swear not to. I couldn’t just break my promise to her.”
“I know that. I long has this been going on?”
“A little more than a week.” Liz replied
“Shit.” Max said under his breath.
“We’re sorry we didn’t tell you.” Liz said “Are you mad?”
“Not at you two.” Max said “I’m pretty mad at Jacinda.”
“And Kyle?” Liz asked “How mad at him are you?”
Max thought for a minute “Somewhere between wanting to merely rip his lungs out and wanting to rip his lungs out and force feed them to him.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“Would you just listen to me for a minute?” Kyle asked
Max ignored him and continued typing the term paper he was working on in the library.
“Fine, okay, don’t listen to me. I’ll talk anyway.” Kyle said “I thought we were friends, Max. Or at least close to it. And I thought that you, of all people, would understand what’s like to look at someone and just...know.”
“Know what?” Max asked, still not looking up.
“That you’ve just found the person you’re meant to spend the rest of your life with.” Kyle replied “That’s what it was like for you when you first saw Liz wasn’t it?”
A few rows over, Liz and Jacinda were busy doing research for their own term papers.
“Okay, this is completely useless.” Liz sighed “Jacey, any luck?”
Jacinda put up her hand “Shh! Listen!”
“That’s how I felt when I first saw Jacinda.” Kyle was saying “I know I sound like some crappy romance novel or something, but I’m serious. I’ve loved her since the moment I laid eyes on her, and I know that she and I are meant to be together.”
Liz and Jacinda peered out from behind the bookshelf and saw that Max was saying something, but they couldn’t make out his words.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“So, you’re okay with them being together?” Liz asked
“I wouldn’t say that I’m okay with it just yet.” Max replied “But I can tolerate it. I guess.”
“Well, I’m sure Jacinda will be glad to hear that.” Liz said
“I just hope they slow down a little.” Max continued “Kyle swears that he’d never hurt Jacinda, and I believe that he wouldn’t. At least not intentionally. But she’s still learning about a lot of things. I’m a little worried that if she rushes into things too fast, she could end up hurting both of them.”
“Maybe you should tell her that.” Liz suggested
“I’m going to.” Max said “Tonight, after Kevin Harper’s party.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕

You found hope, you found faith
Found how fast she could take it away
Found true love, but lost your heart
Now you don't know who you are

Jacinda looked around, tapping her foot impatiently. Kyle had promised to meet her at the party fifteen minutes earlier, and she really needed to talk to him. Finally, she felt a familiar aura surfacing in the sea of auras that surrounded her.

She made it easy, made it free
Made you hurt till you couldn't see
Sometimes it stops, sometimes it flows
But baby, that is how love goes

“I talked to Max today.” Kyle said
“Really?” Jacinda asked, playing dumb “What did he have to say?”
“Well, I explained some things to him.” Kyle replied “He said he’ll try to be a little more understanding.”

You will fly and you will crawl
God knows even angels fall
No such thing as you've lost it all
God knows even angels fall

“I need to talk to you.” Jacinda blurted out after a moment “In private.” She grabbed his hand and pulled him through the crowd, out the sliding glass doors that led to the patio. Outside, it was quieter, but the music could still be heard loud and clear.

It's a secret, that no one tells
One day it's heaven one day it's hell
And it's no fairy tale, take it from me
That's the way it's supposed to be

As soon as they were hidden from view by a few shrubs, Kyle wrapped his arm around Jacinda’s waist and pulled her to him. He leaned in to kiss her, but she back away.
“I heard what you said to Max today.”
“Oh.” Kyle said, obviously surprised “You know, I meant every word of it.”
“I know you did.” Jacinda replied “And it was sweet, Kyle, it really was. But...the thing was kind of, well...scary.”

You will fly and you will crawl
God knows even angels fall
No such thing as you've lost it all
God knows even angels fall

You laugh, you cry, no one knows why
But oh, the thrill of it all
You're on the ride
You might as well, open your eyes

“Scary?” Kyle repeated
“Yeah.” Jacinda said “I mean, I’m just starting to figure out how a real, normal life works. I don’t want to rush into anything. So, I think maybe we shouldn’t see each other for a while. I’m sorry.” She turned and started to walk away before he could see that she was about to cry.
“Jacinda, wait!” Kyle said. She stopped and turned around “I love you.” He said.
“I love you, too.” Jacinda said tearfully “I’m sorry.” She hesitated for a second, then turned and ran, leaving him standing there alone.

You will fly and you will crawl
God knows even angels fall
No such thing as you've lost it all
God knows even angels fall
Even angels fall
Even angels fall
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
Destiny Is A State Of Mind, part 10

“You sure we have the house to ourselves this afternoon?” Liz asked
Max nodded “My parents won’t be home until tonight, Isabel and Alex are at the mall, and Jacinda’s driving around town aimlessly.”
“Again?” Liz sighed “She broke up with Kyle two weeks ago. He’s not that hard to get over, I know that from experience.”
“Jacinda’s got a lot of issues to work out.” Max said “I just wish she’d let me help her.”
“Maybe this isn’t something you can help with.” Liz said
They suddenly heard tires squealing and a loud crash outside. Moments later, Jacinda stormed into the house, knocking a few things over in the process.
“Bad day?” Liz asked
“What gave it away?” Jacinda said through clenched teeth.
“The flushed cheeks, the frazzled demeanor, the fist shaped dents in the wall...” Liz replied
“Those are from last week when she failed that Spanish test.” Max said “Now, Jacinda, whatever happened, do you think you could tell us about it without screeching like a retarded howler monkey?”
“Oh, go screw I don’t need you anyway!” Jacinda shrieked. She ran out of the room and up the stairs.
“I think we can take that as a ‘no.’” Liz said
The front door opened again and Isabel and Alex rushed in.
“Is Jacinda here yet?” Isabel asked breathlessly
“Upstairs.” Max replied “What happened?”
“Well, we ran into her at the mall,” Isabel explained “And then we all ran into Kyle. With Stacey Schinen.”
“Stacey?” Liz said “Wow. Never thought I’d say this, but Kyle could do a lot better.”
“Rebound.” Isabel sighed “Anyway, she saw them and totally freaked out. Which I thought was something of an overreact, given that that she dumped him. Rather unceremoniously, too. I told her as much, and she started screaming and saying-”
“I am not overreacting, damn you!” Jacinda screamed from upstairs “I am seventeen!”
“Yeah, that was pretty much what she said at the mall, too.” Alex said
“How much longer can this go on?” Max asked
“It’s hard to say.” Isabel replied “I’d say at least another week or so.”
Max shook his head “No way, I can’t deal with that. Can’t you just fix her?”
“Somehow I don’t think she’s the one who really needs fixing.” Liz muttered
“Maybe Max is right.” Isabel said “I mean, she’s our sister and we love her. And we hate to see her upset. Doesn’t that give us the right to control...I mean, help her?”
“I don’t think she’s the one who needs help, either.” Liz said
Isabel shot her a look, then continued “I’m actually starting to wonder if this Halloween party she wants to throw while Mom and Dad are away this weekend is such a good idea.”
“We can’t take it away from her.” Liz said “Planning that party has been the only thing that’s saved her few remaining shreds of sanity.”
“We definitely don’t want to take away her last few shreds of sanity.” Max agreed.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
Jacinda’s single, piercing scream echoed through the house long after she had fallen silent. When Max and Isabel burst into her room, she was curled up in the fetal position in the middle of her bed, sobbing hysterically.
“Jacey, what happened?” Isabel whispered. She reached out and touched her sister’s shoulder gently. Jacinda shot straight up in her bed, screaming and throwing aimless punches in the air.
“Whoa!” Max said, grabbing Jacinda’s wrists firmly “It’s okay, it’s just us!”
“No, no, no!” Jacinda shrieked. She suddenly opened her eyes and stopped thrashing around. Then she collapsed against Isabel, burying her face against her shoulder. “I won’t let her hurt you guys.”
“Who?” Isabel asked, stroking her sister’s hair soothingly.
“Tess.” Jacinda whispered “I had a nightmare...God, it seemed so real. Tess had you guys, and Michael, and Liz and Maria and Alex and Kyle. You were all chained up in a room, and I could see you, but there was glass between us and I couldn’t break it. I kept screaming to you guys, but no sound was coming out. And then Tess started walking past each of you, breaking your necks. And that’s when I woke up.”
“It’s okay.” Max told her “It was just a nightmare. We won’t let her hurt you, either.”
The door opened “Kids?” Diane said “Is everything okay in here?”
“We’re fine, Mom.” Isabel replied “Jacinda had a nightmare, but she’s okay now.”
“Are you sure?” Diane asked, studying Jacinda’s face carefully.
“Yeah, I’m okay Di...Mom.” Jacinda said “Really, it’s over. I don’t even remember what it was about.”
“Okay, if you’re sure.” Diane said “Good night.”
“Good night.” The three teens replied.
As soon as the door closed, Jacinda flopped back against her bed “Do you guys think you could sleep in here tonight? I’d feel a lot better if I could see you and know that you’re safe.”
“Sure.” Max replied “Why don’t you call the others, too? I mean, if it’ll help you to know that they’re okay.” He didn’t say it, but he wanted her to call them just so he could know that they were safe. Jacinda’s description of her dream had planted an image of Liz’s neck being snapped in his mind that he just couldn’t shake.
“Good idea.” Jacinda agreed, knowing that Max was asking for his sake as well as hers.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
After calling Liz, Maria, and Alex, Jacinda stared at the phone for a long time before picking it up and calling one last number.
“Hello?” A groggy, somewhat annoyed voice at the other end mumbled.
“Kyle?” Jacinda said softly.
“Jacinda?” Kyle said “It’s three in the morning.”
“I know, I’m sorry.” Jacinda stammered “I just...I dialed the wrong number. I’m really sorry. Go back to sleep, Kyle.”
“It’s okay, no big deal.” Kyle replied “Talk to you later, I guess.”
“Yeah.” Jacinda said “Bye.” She hung up and lay back down.
“He’s okay?” Max asked
“He’s okay.” Jacinda replied
“You think you can get to sleep now?” Max asked
“I can try.” Jacinda sighed “It seemed so real.”
“It won’t be real.” Max promised, reaching out and taking her hand “Tess isn’t going to hurt you or anyone else. Okay?”
“Okay.” Jacinda murmured. She climbed back under her covers and was asleep within a few minutes.
Max lay down on top of his sleeping bag next to the bed. He closed his eyes, even though he knew he wouldn’t get much sleep. Tess was already haunting Jacinda in her sleep. How long would it be before she started on him? And then on Isabel, and Michael? And how long would it be before Jacinda’s nightmares started to become their reality?
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
Destiny Is A State Of Mind, part 11

“So, how are you doing?” Michael asked
“Pretty good.” Maria replied “And you?”
Michael shrugged “Can’t complain. Is that enough talking?”
Maria laughed “I think so.” She closed the small gap remaining between his mouth and hers. As they moved back, she felt something cold and hard against her back “Ow, doorknob!”
“Sorry.” Michael said
“It’s okay.” Maria said quickly, kissing him again. Seconds later, they were both flung forward as the door opened. “That, however, was not okay.” Maria griped, turning around to face their intruder.
“I thought we locked that door.” Michael said
“I unlocked it.” Jacinda told him “Is that a problem?”
“No, we got no problem with you.” Michael replied, backing up. He knew Jacinda well enough to know when she was in a bad mood.
“Good, cause I need a place to hide.” Jacinda said “I have debate class with Tess, and I won’t be able to get through it without snapping.”
“You can’t let her get to you.” Maria said “That’s what you keep telling all of us. So practice what you preach!”
“I know.” Jacinda sighed “Sorry to just burst in on you guys. Seeing Tess freaked me out a little. I remembered the dream I had last night, and I just had to see you guys and know that you’re okay. I guess I better go find Alex and Isabel.”
As soon as the door closed and locked again behind Jacinda, Maria leaned her head against Michael’s chest. “She’s really scared.” she said “Do you think she has reason to be?”
“I don’t know.” Michael admitted, spitting the words out. He hated to think that at any time, Tess could hurt someone he loved, and that they could end up being powerless to stop her.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“No, Max, that doesn’t go there!” Jacinda screamed
“Okay, calm down.” Max said “What are you so hyper about?”
“I want this party to be perfect.” Jacinda sighed “I have been pouring all of my energy into it for two weeks.”
Max pushed her towards the couch “Would you just sit down and take a deep breath? Everything will turn out fine.”
“Kyle’s gonna be here.” Jacinda said
“You invited him?” Max asked
“Yeah, this afternoon.” Jacinda replied “I was headed for my car after cheerleading practice, he was just leaving football practice, and we ran into each other. We chatted for a few minutes, the party came up, and I just invited him.” She sighed, running her hands through her hair “It just slipped out, before I even realized what I was saying. What do you think that means?”
“I think I’m probably not the best person to ask.” Max replied “But if I had to guess, I’d say that it means that you guys are at the point where you can actually make steps towards being friends.”
“So you think it’s a good thing?” Jacinda asked
“You’re asking the wrong guy.” Max told her “Remember? Took me ten years to even kiss a girl?”
“Right, I know.” Jacinda sighed. She smacked him playfully “Go on, get outta here. Everyone’s gonna be here really soon, and you still need to get your costume on.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“Okay, I’m already starting to think this party wasn’t such a good idea.” Max said
“Why’s that?” Jacinda asked
“There are three random couples whom I’ve never seen in my life making out on my bed.”
Jacinda shrugged “At least someone’s getting some action in there.” She looked him over and raised an eyebrow “Nice costume. Where’s Chewbacca?”
“Very funny.” Max told her
“I thought so.” Jacinda sighed “So what’s with that? Are you and Liz going as Han Solo and Princess Leia or something?”
“Actually, we are.” Liz said as she joined them.
“Oh, gag.” Jacinda groaned “I was kidding! Forget it, I’m just gonna go find some sane people.”
“Don’t bother checking your room.” Max said “Michael and Maria weren’t exactly happy to see me when I went in there.”
Jacinda made a face “Ew! At least tell me they’re keeping their clothes on. That duvet cover wasn’t cheap.”
“As far as I know.” Max replied “But hey, at least someone’s getting some action in there.”
“Wow, it took you two whole minutes to throw that back in my face. Nice!” Jacinda said sarcastically. She stomped off, leaving Max and Liz behind.
“Great party.”
“Oh, hey Kyle. Thanks.” Jacinda said
“Nice outfit, too. Where are the other two Angels?” Kyle asked
“Maria’s with Michael. In my room, apparently. I’m none too happy about that, as you can probably imagine. Isabel’s dancing with Alex right over there.”
“Do you want to dance?” Kyle asked
Jacinda hesitated for a second, caught off guard. Then she nodded “Yeah, sure.”

You're climbing mountains
I'm on a hill
You're always running
I'm standing still
You live for the moment
No future no past
I may be a fool
To love by the rules
And want it to last

If you ever have forever in mind
I'll be here and easy to find
If your heart isn't ready
To lay down with mine
If you ever have forever in mind

From behind the stereo, a pair of cold blue eyes watched Jacinda and Kyle. Tess could feel Jacinda’s emotions as she struggled not to let herself get lost in Kyle’s arms. The girl was so foolish. She let her feelings for humans interfere with her mission. She glanced over at Max and Liz, who were making out in a corner, oblivious to their surroundings. The sight made her feel nauseous. Then she smiled. It was a cruel, sadistic smile.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
Jacinda leaned back against the trunk of of the biggest tree in the backyard. She sighed as she stared up at the stars, not even noticing the chill of the night air against her bare arms. The party was slowing breaking up, and people were draining out the front door, whooping and yelling. Kyle had left over an hour ago. Jacinda didn’t blame him for leaving early. She’d ignored him completely after they had danced together. She didn’t want to treat him so badly, and she didn’t understand why she did. She wiped a few tears out of her eyes before they could fall. She hoped that her friends wouldn’t notice she was missing any time soon. No such luck.
“Jacinda!” Isabel called as she and Alex ran out the back door.
“Go away.” Jacinda replied
Isabel grabbed her sister’s arm and started to pull her to her feet “I think you need to come inside.”
Jacinda pulled her arm away “Go away, Isabel!” She spat “I mean it!”
“Tess is here.” Alex blurted out
“Now my night is complete.” Jacinda groaned. She ran past Alex and Isabel and into the house. She scanned the crowd of remaining guests until she saw Tess “I can’t believe you actually had the nerve to show up here. After I told you what I would do if I saw you anywhere near my family!”
“What?” Tess said innocently “I’m just here to enjoy the party.”
“My ass you are.” Jacinda snapped “Leave. Immediately.”
Tess stepped forward “Make me.”
“Gladly.” Jacinda replied
“This could get ugly.” Liz said
“This ate ‘ugly’ for breakfast.” Max replied. He stepped between the two girls “Jacinda, calm down.”
“Calm down?” Jacinda repeated “Some fearless leader you are!”
“Keep your voice down!” Max ordered. He grabbed her arm, trying to get her under control. She responded by punching him square in nose. Max released her arm and stumbled back.
Jacinda whirled around to find that Tess had disappeared. She turned back and saw that Max was sitting on the floor behind her, wiping blood off his face. She sighed and shook her head, then stormed upstairs to her room.
“Oh my God!” She screamed “Michael, Maria, get out of here!”
“Can’t you just storm off to Isabel’s room?” Maria groaned, sitting up and buttoning up her blouse “Or your parents’? They’re not home.”
“Out! Now!” Jacinda hollered
“Okay, we’re leaving!” Michael said “Geez, relax!”
“Bite me.” Jacinda said, slamming the door behind them.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“Well, look who’s finally awake.” Isabel said
“Yeah, what time is it?” Jacinda asked
“Three fourty-five.” Isabel replied “Max and I are hooking up with the others at the Crashdown. Wanna come with?”
“Nah, no thanks.” Jacinda said “I’m way tired.”
“Good morning.” Max said “Uh, afternoon.”
“Hey.” Jacinda replied “I’m sorry about coldcocking you last night.”
“It’s okay.” Max assured her “You were upset.”
Jacinda nodded “I was. It’s just that I still can’t forget what she did to you guys. Seeing her in our home, so near you...I guess it set me off.”
Max put his arm around her shoulder and kissed the top of her head “I know. Look, you sure you don’t want to come with us?”
“I’m sure.” Jacinda said “I’m so tired.”
“Are you okay?” Max asked, looking at her skeptically.
“Yeah, I’m fine.” Jacinda insisted “Like I said, tired.”
“Okay, if you’re sure.” Max said “Mom and Dad should be home in about two hours. And you know where to reach us if you need anything.”
“Okay.” Jacinda said “I’m gonna go watch some TV. Say hi to everyone for me.”
“We will.” Isabel replied “Bye.”
“Bye.” Jacinda said “I love you guys.”
Max stared at her for a second “We love you, too.”
As the door closed behind them, Jacinda had to suppress a strong urge to jump up and go after them. But she couldn’t, and she knew that. If she were to leave the house now, or tell them about the impending danger she was facing, she would only make it worse. Perhaps she would even place them in grave danger, and she knew she couldn’t do that.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
Despite her resolve to be strong and face her fate, when two strong hands grabbed her from behind as she stood at the kitchen counter, she struggled. Her survival instincts kicked in, and she put up a valiant struggle for her life. She let out and single, piercing scream and managed to break free for a second before she was hit right on the forehead. As she hit the floor, she saw two faces smirking down at her before the world went red, then black. Then the pain was gone.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“Max, what is going on?” Isabel asked “Why did we have to just rush out of there?”
“Can’t you feel it?” Max asked, not taking his eyes off the road “Something’s wrong, Jacinda needs us.”
“I don’t feel anything.” Isabel replied “What do you think it is?”
“I don’t know.” Max admitted “But I don’t like it.” As he turned onto their street, his fears were confirmed. His parent’s cars were parked in the driveway, right in front of three police cars. Max pulled up to the curb and he and Isabel jumped out.
Sheriff Valenti met them at the front steps.
“What’s going on?” Max demanded
“I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news.” Jim replied, his voice grave and flat.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
Max’s body was completely numb. He couldn’t move, couldn’t speak. Nearby, Isabel was sitting on the couch, curled up in a ball, her face buried in her hands. Their mother was pacing back and forth, weeping softly. She had already been crying when Max and Isabel had come in. She’d started crying even harder when she saw them.
Partly out of relief that they were safe.
And partly out of grief that their sister was not safe.
Jacinda was gone.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
Destiny Is A State Of Mind, part 12 (Heavy R/NC-17)

“Hey, Kyle.” Liz said
“Hi. Is Jacinda here?” Kyle asked, trying to sound as casual as possible.
“No, but Max and Isabel left a little while ago.” Maria replied
“Hey, turn up the radio.” Kyle said “They’re playing our song.” He leaned across the counter and turned up the volume.

This morning is Monday
Where are you now?
Teasing my memory
Teaching me how too lay low
When I don’t want to

Liz made a face “Kyle, are you going to do the stalker thing you did after I dumped you?”
“I’m not doing a stalker thing.” Kyle told her “I just don’t want to accept that it’s over.”

Your love is elusive
This I know now
It’s making me crazy
Leaving me out
In the open
When I don’t want to

Baby, I can’t go through this again
I don’t need to go down
More than I’ve already been
Just like a wildfire
You’re running all over town
As much as you burn me, baby
I should be ashes by now

“Why not?” Maria asked “Jacinda’s my friend, and I adore her, but she’s not that nice, she’s not that smart, and she treats you like crap. Why do you put up with it?”
“Because I love her.” Kyle replied “And I know that no one in her life has ever loved her as much as I do. And she’s going to realize that sooner or later, and things are gonna change.”

The moments of pleasure
Never do last
They’re gone like a suitcase
Full of your past
Long gone, and in a hurry

Baby, I can’t go through this again
I don’t need to go down
More than I’ve already been
Just like a wildfire
You’re running all over town
As much as you burn me, baby
I should be ashes by now

“You know, I really thought you had something better.” Liz sighed
“Hey, shut up.” Michael spoke up. He pointed to the radio “Listen to this.”
“...if you’re heading home via Murray Lane, you may want to seek an alternate route.” The reporter on the radio was saying “There’s been police activity there since earlier this afternoon, when a seventeen-year-old girl who lives in the area was apparently kidnapped right out of her home. We’ll bring you more on that story as it develops, meanwhile-”
Alex flipped off the radio “You guys don’t think that...”
“No, it couldn’t be...anyone we know.” Liz said “I mean, it’s just...well, it can’t be.”
“Of course not.” Maria agreed
“Yeah, but maybe we should go over there anyway.” Alex suggested “You know, just to make sure they’re all okay.”
“Yeah, that sounds like a good idea.” Kyle said
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“Excuse me, Mr. Evans?” Max looked up at the sound of a woman’s voice.
“Yeah?” He replied, his tounge heavy in his mouth.
“Detective Winslow, New Mexico state police. I just need to ask you a few questions about your sister.” The woman replied
“If you don’t mind, Detective, I don’t think now is the best time to be questioning the family.” Jim said
“Sheriff, I just need to ask-”
“Later, Detective.” Jim interrupted her
Detective Winslow started to protest, then just walked away.
“Thanks.” Max said
“No problem.” Jim replied “Max, I don’t know what anyone’s told you, but don’t listen to them. I promise you that we’re going to get her back.”
“No one’s told me anything.” Max said “Why, what have they been telling you?”
Isabel stepped in “That doesn’t sound like ‘nothing’ to me.”
“All right, fine.” Jim said “One of the detectives was telling me that because of the nature of the crime scene, some of them are saying that she couldn’t be alive.”
Max and Isabel exchanged looks, then Max stood up “Make sure that our parents don’t hear that.” He said as he walked right past Jim and headed for the kitchen.
“Just a minute, you can’t go back there!” Jim called after him.
Without even regarding him, or the detectives who shouted the same warning, Max pushed his way through into the kitchen. Nothing could have prepared him for what he saw. A window was shattered, the glass spread all over the floor. There were a few broken dishes by the sink. Right in front of the stove was a small pool of blood, and a few streaks of blood stopped abruptly right in front of the back door. Max’s eyes were drawn to a few bloody hand prints on the cabinets. Hand prints made by small hands with long, thin, graceful fingers. Jacinda’s hand prints.
As Max touched one of the prints, he got a rush of images. Jacinda standing in the kitchen. A man-Nasedo, Max was sure-suddenly appeared and grabbed her from behind. As Jacinda screamed and struggled, she knocked some dishes off the counter and her foot went through the window. No sooner had she broken free from Nasedo’s grasp than Tess appeared. She grabbed a plate off the counter and slammed it into Jacinda’s forehead. The plate shattered, slicing open Jacinda’s face in several places. As she crumpled to the ground, Tess and Nasedo grabbed her and dragged her out the back door.
Isabel came into the kitchen behind Max just as the flashes stopped. “What did you see?” She asked, keeping her voice low.
“She’s alive.” Max replied “Tess and Nasedo took her.”
“Her blood is on your hands.” Isabel said
Max looked wounded “Isabel, that’s not fair. I didn’t know that this was going to happen.”
“No, I mean literally. There’s actual blood on your hands.” Isabel told him
“Oh.” Max said. He rubbed his hands together and the blood disappeared. Then he ran his hand over the smeared hand print, removing his fingerprints from it.
“Come on.” Isabel said flatly “We shouldn’t be in here.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
Liz felt her heart drop as she saw the police cars in front of Max, Isabel, and Jacinda’s house. Before Maria had even parked the Jetta next to the curb, Liz had already jumped out and bolted for the open front door.
“Max!” She called out. It only took a minute to find him, and she threw her arms around him. He pulled her close, and she wasn’t sure if he was shaking, or if she was. After a minute, she became vaguely aware of the noises around them. She reluctantly pulled away from Max and gave Isabel a hug. “What happened?” she asked, already pretty much knowing what the answer would be.
“They have her.” Max replied, knowing that Liz would understand who ‘they’ were.
The others came in at that moment, and Isabel latched onto Alex.
“Tess and Nasedo?” Michael asked
“Who else?” Max replied
“Oh my God.” Maria gasped “This is...oh, God.” She wavered a little and leaned against Michael. He wrapped his arm around her shoulder, supporting her.
“Okay, what do we do now?” Kyle asked
“We stay calm.” Max said “Her blood is all over the kitchen. I touched it and I saw her. She’s alive.”
“Oh, shit, the blood.” Isabel gasped “They’re gonna collect samples of her blood, and they’re gonna analyze it for clues, and they’re gonna know-”
“I already took care of it.” Jim interrupted
“Thank you.” Max said “I don’t know how you took care of that, and I don’t really want to know. Just...thank you.”
“It’s no problem.” Jim replied “The problem, of course, is what do we do now? I’m assuming the kidnappers are who I think they are?”
“Right.” Isabel said
“Sheriff?” Detective Winslow called “There’s a reporter here asking to speak with you.”
“Excuse me a minute.” Jim said
Liz pulled her cell phone out of her coat “I’d better go call my parents. They’re going to hear about this soon, and they’ll want to know where I am.” She turned on the phone and started dialing as she headed for the door. Max followed her, not wanting to let her out of his sight for a minute.
“The rest of you should probably check in with your parents.” Isabel suggested
“Probably.” Alex agreed “Hey, Max! Don’t be too hard on yourself. You had no way of knowing this would happen.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“...we now go live to Roswell,” The reporter on the TV was saying “Patricia, what’s going on out there?”
“Tom, the news here in Roswell tonight is not good.” the woman on the screen replied “The State Police are now confirming that seventeen-year-old Jacinda Evans was kidnapped earlier today. It’s a rather bizarre case, Evans, a popular junior at West Roswell High, was apparently taken right out of the kitchen of her family’s home in broad daylight. Tonight, police are questioning family members and friends. Very few details have been divulged, but apparently police haven’t got many leads at this moment. The State Police are asking that anyone with any information regarding the kidnapping call-”
“Enough of this crap.” Kyle groaned. He picked up the nearest thing within his reach, one of his basketball shoes, and threw it at the TV.
Jim looked into the room “For God’s sake, Kyle! Use the damn remote!”
Kyle shrugged, picked up the remote control, and pitched it at the TV.
“That’s not what I meant.” Jim said “Look, Kyle, I understand how hard this must be for you kids-”
“Yeah, I know.” Kyle interrupted “But understanding isn’t going to bring Jacinda back, is it Dad?” He turned off the TV “I’m going to bed.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“I know what you’re doing. And I just hope you know that it is not going to work. You see, Chode, unlike some quote-unquote ‘people’ here, I have a real family and real friends. People who care about me and are going to turn over every rock in this state to find me.”
Tess silenced Jacinda with a slap across her face. A spot of blood appeared next to her eye where Tess’s ring had scratched her “You’re really lucky you’ve got looks, Princess. Of course your family is going to look for you. But they’ll never find you. Not in time, I mean.”
“You’re not going to kill me.” Jacinda said “Because I’m too valuable to you alive. As long as I’m alive, the others will be looking for me. And for you. But if I die, they’ll know it. And you’ll have nothing to lure them to you.”
“Shut up!” Tess ordered, slapping her again. “You may be valuable to us as bait, but that doesn’t mean I’ll put up with your rambling.” With that, she turned and left, slamming the door of the small, windowless room where Jacinda was chained up.
As soon as she was gone, Jacinda let the tears fall. She cried for a long time, out of exhaustion and despair, until she finally fell asleep.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“Kyle, wake up.”
“Huh?” Kyle groaned. He opened his eyes and saw Jacinda staring down at him. Suddenly, he was wide awake. He leapt out of his bed “Oh my God, Jacinda, I-” He looked around and realized that he had to be dreaming. “Are you really here, or am I just dreaming about you?”
“I don’t know.” Jacinda replied “I thought I was dreaming about you. I can dreamwalk, but not without a picture of someone.”
“Maybe it’s the connection between us.” Kyle suggested “Maybe we just found our way to each other.”
“I think you’re right.” Jacinda agreed. She closed her eyes, and the torn, bloody clothes she was wearing changed into a long, low cut, red silk dress that flowed over her graceful curves. Kyle looked down and saw that his boxer shorts and undershirt hand changed into a tuxedo.
“Nice trick.” He said “Jacinda, where are-”
“Shh.” Jacinda whispered, kissing him gently. She reached over and turned on the radio.

I've been searching for you
I heard a cry within my soul
I've never had a yearning
Quite like this before
Knowing that you
Are walking right through my door

“I love this song.” Jacinda said softly “Kyle, please, don’t ask me where I am, or what’s going to happen to me. I don’t know. All I know is that Tess and Nasedo have me somewhere, and I can’t get out. I don’t know what they’re planning, or what’s going to happen to me. All I know is that right now, I want you to hold me more than anything.”

All of my life
Where have you been?
I wonder if I'll
Ever see you again
And if that day comes
I know we could win
I wonder if I'll
Ever see you again

“We’re not going to let them hurt you.” Kyle vowed, pulling her close to him.
“I don’t know if you can stop them.” Jacinda said, her voice breaking.

A sacred gift of heaven
For better worse, wherever
And I would never let
Somebody break you down
Until you cried, never

“You can’t think like that.” Kyle told her “You’ve got so many people who love you and would give anything to save you.”
“Including you?” Jacinda asked. Then she shook her head “No, I don’t have any right to ask you that. Not after the way I treated you. Kyle, I’m so sorry for everything. I’m sorry I used you and jerked you around. I just...I fell in love with you so quickly. It scared me so much, I just didn’t know how to handle it.”

All of my life
Where have you been?
I wonder if I'll
Ever see you again
And if that day comes
I know we could win
I wonder if I'll
Ever see you again

“I know that.” Kyle assured her “I love you, too. And I forgive you.”
Jacinda looked up at him “You do? Oh God, Kyle...I-”
“Don’t apologize.” Kyle interrupted, pressing a finger against her trembling lips “After we find you, we’ll have the rest of our lives to make up for lost time.”
“You’re right.” Jacinda sighed. She leaned against him, her face pressing against his shoulder.
Kyle kissed the top of her head gently, burying his face in her long, soft hair, and ran his fingers up and down her spine. Holding her like this felt so right, he wondered if he could ever survive if he lost her.
Suddenly, she was gone. Kyle lifted his head and looked around. He saw Tess standing across the room. She had Jacinda in a head lock, and had a knife pressed against her throat so hard that the skin under the blade was turning white. Tess lifted a finger to her lips, then smiled and slashed Jacinda’s throat.
“No!” Kyle yelled as he woke up. He looked around his room. Jacinda and Tess were gone. He reminded himself that they had never actually been there in the first place. Knowing that he wasn’t going to fall asleep again easily, he blindly reached over and turned on his radio.

At every time I've always known
That you where there, upon your throne
A lonely queen without her king
I longed for you, my love forever

All of my life
Where have you been?
I wonder if I'll
Ever see you again
And if that day comes
I know we could win
I wonder if I'll
Ever see you again

I wonder if I'll
Ever see you again
I wonder if I'll
Ever see you again

⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
Adesa leaned back against the pillows, moaning and sighing as Rekan caressed her bare skin with his lips and hands. The conflict and turmoil that was engulfing their home, occupying every waking minute was the furthest thing from either of their minds as soon as the sun went down and the five moons that circled their planet rose in the sky. To their people, Rekan was their strong, brilliant leader. To Adesa, he was her friend, her lover, her life.
Rekan moved his hands moved lower, over her back and down her legs. Adesa sighed and ran her hands through his hair, over his neck, and down to his broad, muscular shoulders. She closed her eyes and gently traced every muscle and scar. She knew his body better than she knew her own, and he knew hers the same way. She gasped as his hands moved back up to cup her breasts, and arched her body up against him, letting him feel how wet and ready for him she was. He didn’t hesitate for another moment. He whispered her name and kissed her passionately as he entered her.
Liz sat up straight on her bed, gasping and shaking. Looking around, she realized that she had fallen asleep in the middle of studying, still in her Crashdown uniform. But that hadn’t been a dream. It had been more real than any dream she had ever experienced. The thoughts and feelings had seemed completely natural, as if they were her own. Adesa and Rekan. The names were familiar. Then it dawned on her. Adesa had been her name in her past life on Max’s home planet. And Rekan had been Max’s name. Was it possible that what she had just seen had been a long buried memory of their past lives? Maybe she needed to talk to Max about this.
‘Great, Parker.’ She thought, shaking her head ‘His sister has been kidnapped by a couple of psychotics, and is in terrible danger and probably scared to death, and all you can think of is analyzing a sex dream you had about him? Get a grip!’ But the more she thought about Max, the more she needed to see him. She knew he was probably hurting, and she wanted to comfort him, and be comforted by him. She quickly put on her coat, locked her bedroom door, and climbed out the window.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕

"Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains"

-Jean Jaques Rousseau
posted on 1-Sep-2001 7:48:27 PM
Destiny Is A State Of Mind (M/L NC-17) part 13

“...our top story tonight, a seventeen-year-old girl from Roswell was kidnapped early this afternoon-”
“...Police currently have no suspects in the kidnapping of Jacinda Evans-”
“To hell with this.” Alex muttered, shutting off the TV.
“I can’t believe this is happening.” Isabel said softly
Alex kissed the top of her head gently “I know. But it’s going to be okay. Jacinda’s strong enough to survive.”
Isabel nodded and wiped her eyes “I know. But it’s just so unreal. And I keep thinking about Jacey, and how scared she must be. I keep trying to reach her, and she’s blocking me. Or someone else is blocking me.”
“Do you think Tess could be preventing you from reaching her somehow?” Alex asked
“I really don’t know.” Isabel sighed. She was quiet for a minute “Alex, could you stay with me tonight?”
“Of course.” Alex replied, wrapping his arms around her.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
Max was asleep when Liz climbed through his bedroom window. Even in the pitch dark, she could see him tossing and turning, and she could see tears on his face.
Liz knelt down beside him and shook him gently “Max, wake up.”
With a pained, almost inhuman cry, Max sat up.
“Max, it’s okay.” Liz said, sitting down next to him and hugging him fiercely “You were having a nightmare.”
“What are you doing here?” Max asked
“I had to see you.” Liz explained “I didn’t think either of us should be alone, with everything that’s happened.”
“Did you just walk all the way over here by yourself?”
“Well, yeah, I...” She trailed off as she realized what a stupid thing she had done.
“Liz, how could you do something so careless?” Max asked “Don’t you know what could have happened?”
“I know, I’m sorry.” Liz said “I needed to see you so badly I guess I didn’t think.”
“Don’t ever do that again.” Max told her, pulling her closer. “God, Liz, if anything happened to you...”
“I’m sorry.” Liz repeated “I’m so sorry, Max.”
“It’s okay.” Max said “I just...I can’t lose you, too.”
“Don’t say that.” Liz whispered “Jacey is alive, Max. You’ll find her.”
“This never would have happened to her at all if it weren’t for me.” Max said “I should have stayed with her. I had this feeling when I left this morning that something was wrong, and I ignored it.”
“No, Max, you can’t think like that. If you had been here, they would have taken you, too. Or worse, they might have hurt you.”
Max shook his head “I could have done something.”
Liz sighed “There’s nothing I can say to convince you that this wasn’t your fault, is there?”
“Not really.” Max admitted “I just keep thinking about Jacinda, and how scared she must be right now, and-” Liz cut him off with a light slap across the face “Ow! What was that for?”
“To snap you out of it.” Liz replied “And I’ll do that every time you start guilt-tripping if I have to.”
“Couldn’t you find a less painful method of ‘snapping me out of it?’” Max asked, rubbing his face.
“I could try.” Liz said “What did you have in mind?”
“This.” Max replied, leaning in and kissing her gently. “See? That’s all it takes to ground me completely.”
“I guess that works, too.” Liz said. She slid her arms around his shoulders and kissed him softly. As they deepened their kiss, she had a sudden flash. She saw herself and Max, or rather, Adesa and Rekan, tangled in each other’s arms. They were making intense, passionate love, standing up against a wall, with their clothing pushed aside and their hands roaming, exploring ravenously.
Liz gasped and pulled back, looking at Max to see if he had seen the vision.
“What’s wrong?” Max asked
“Nothing.” Liz replied, recovering quickly. She pulled him back into her arms and lay back on the bed, pulling him down with her. Liz moaned and slid her hands under his shirt, moving up and down his back. Then she moved her hands to the front of his shirt and started undoing the buttons, kissing every inch of exposed skin. The flashes continued as his lips moved to her chin, then her neck. She felt his rising erection pressed against her thigh and she moaned softly, lifting her hips off the bed and rubbing against him. She felt warmth and moisture spread between her legs.
“Liz?” Max whispered hoarsely
“We’re overdressed.” Liz said softly. She grasped his shirt and pushed it off of him, caressing his bare chest, sliding her hands over his firm, taut muscles.
Max’s eyes roamed over her as she lay pinned under his body. He moved one hand to the top button of her uniform and smiled slightly.
“What?” Liz asked
“The day I healed you.” Max replied “I remember opening up your uniform. I’d dreamed of doing that so many times, but for a different reason.”
Liz smiled at him and leaned up a little, inviting him to do just that.
Kissing her deeply, Max gripped her uniform and ripped it open. A few of the buttons popped off, but Liz didn’t care. She helped him pull the uniform off her body and lay back down, stretched out in front of him in her underwear. Max took a deep breath and moved over her, sliding his hands up her legs, stopping briefly at her waist before continuing up to her breasts. Liz gasped as he started massaging her breasts, stroking her nipples until they hardened. Soon it wasn’t enough and she whimpered softly, begging him without words to go further.
Max took the hint and slowly moved his hands to her back. He deftly unhooked her bra and peeled it off of her, groaning deep in his throat as he saw her bare, soft breasts, illuminated in the moonlight. He took one in each hand and kneaded them carefully, then began placing small, open-mouthed kisses on them. He felt a shiver pass through Liz’s body as he took one taut, rosy nipple into his mouth and began sucking gently.
Liz moaned and bit her lip to keep from crying out. She grabbed one of Max’s hands and moved it down between her legs, where she desperately needed him to touch her. Max pressed his fingers against her wet center, stroking her through the thin material of her panties. Liz began thrusting against his hand, whimpering and sighing with need. Frustrated, she reach down and began to remove her panties. Max could only watch as she removed them, finally revealing herself to him completely. His breath caught in his throat as he took in the sight before him. He then looked at Liz’s face, scanning it for any signs of uncertainty. Satisfied that she was just as sure as he was, he gathered her in his arms and let her move his hand back to where it had been. He gently ran his fingers over her soft, wet folds before he parted them and carefully slid one finger up into her.
“Max...oh...oh, God.” Liz gasped. She pushed against him, tears of pleasure filling her eyes. She couldn’t wait any longer. She needed him so badly. All she wanted at that moment was to pin him down and impale herself on him, as she had dreamed of so many times. Kissing him firmly, she grabbed his hand and pulled his finger out of her.
“Is something wrong?” Max asked
“No.” Liz whispered “I just...I need you inside of me Max, right now.” She pushed him back so he was sitting up against the headboard and unfastened the button on his pants. Then she pulled the zipper down slowly, her hands starting to shake. Max helped her remove his pants, then leaned back and waited for her next move, not wanting to rush her. Liz hesitated for a moment, then pulled his boxers down and off. Taking a deep breath, she looked down at his member, gasping softly. She tentatively reached out and gently wrapped her fingers around it and slowly ran her hand up and down the length of him a few times.
Max bit back a groan and put his hand over Liz’s. He slowly removed her hand from his erection and placed both his hands on her slim hips, lifting her up so she was positioned right over him. Liz smiled down at him and rubbed her hot, dripping core over him a few times, moaning softly. Then she maneuvered herself so that the throbbing, hard tip of him was right at her entrance. She looked into Max’s eyes and placed her hands over his as she began to lower herself onto him. He threw his head back and stifled another groan as her wet, velvety walls closed around him. He pushed up into her slightly and felt a little resistance.
“Liz, am I hurting you?” He asked, looking up at her with concern in his eyes.
“Max...” Liz said softly, gently caressing his face “It’s okay. The only way you’ll hurt me right now is if you stop.” With that, she took a deep breath and pulled back slightly before she pushed down onto him, taking him in completely. She winced as her body stretched to accommodate his fullness, and the tight ring of tissue around her entrance snapped. Max groaned as he felt Liz’s body stiffen and heard her wince. He pulled her close to him, running his fingers through her soft hair.
“I’m sorry.” He said, kissing the top of her head.
“Don’t be.” Liz murmured, kissing him “I’m okay, Max, really.” It had hurt at first, but now she only felt a mild stinging sensation. It was more than worth it to feel Max so deep inside of her body. She slowly raised herself up on him, then slid back onto him again. Max whispered her name like a prayer, over and over, as he took her hips in his hands and began moving her up and down as he thrust up into her. Liz whimpered and moved in the same rhythm, contracting her inner muscles around him each time he filled her completely.
Max slid one hand from Liz’s hip down to the tiny bundle of nerves that peeked out from between her folds, right above where their bodies were joined. He started rubbing slowly, then faster and harder as she began to moan and sigh. Their lovemaking became quicker and more frantic as they both drew closer to release. Suddenly, Max felt Liz’s body clamp down on him, contracting around him and pulling him deeper into her. He quickly closed his mouth over hers, stifling her orgasmic screams. He kept thrusting into her but slowed a little, not wanting it to be over yet. He suddenly flipped them over so he was on top. He lay her down on the bed without breaking their physical and mental connection and covered her body with his, still rubbing her clit with small, quick strokes. He lost control when Liz came again, kissing her to muffle her cries as well as his own as he shot his seed deep into her soft, shivering body.
“Max...” Liz panted, gasping for air “Max, that was...”
“I know.” Max said, burying his face against her shoulder “I love you.”
“I love you, too.” Liz whispered, holding him tightly to prevent him from pulling out of her. After a few minutes, she heard Max’s breathing became slow and even as he fell asleep. She sighed and closed her eyes, drifting off to sleep with a small smile on her face.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
Between an overload of information
And a striving for a pure dedication I
Find myself looking for the exit sign
See your pretty face in the sunshine
In the morning after staying up all night I
Want to wake you just to
Hear you tell me it's all right

Liz was awakened by the clock radio next to the bed as sunlight seeped in under the window shades, casting a pale gold glow throughout the room. She blinked a few times to clear the sleep from her eyes. She shifted slightly, then smiled contentedly when she remembered where she was and felt Max’s body against her and within her. As her mind cleared, she became aware of something wet on her chest and realized that Max was shaking. He was crying.

And all I want to be is too much
Sometimes for me

Good morning baby
I hope I'm gonna make it through another day
Good morning baby
I hope I'm gonna make it through another day

“Max, don’t cry.” She whispered, stroking his hair and kissing the top of his head. She knew without asking what was wrong. He felt guilty for being with her like this, for being so happy with her while his sister was out there somewhere, possibly hurt and frightened and maybe in grave danger. “There’s nothing you can do right now.”

See the stars and all the planets
Fly the great wide world and have it all
Yeah better get a ticket better get in line
I'm praying now for beautiful weather
Take a car and drive forever but I'm
Only ever sitting at the traffic light

“I know.” Max said “I can’t help feeling guilty.”
“Yes, you can.” Liz told him “Max, you know that this isn’t your fault. You know what would have happened if you had been here when Tess and Nasedo took Jacinda. And as for last night, you know that you couldn’t have just gone out looking for her. It wouldn’t have worked.”

Good morning baby
I hope I'm gonna make it through another day
Good morning baby
I hope we're gonna make it through another day

Max nodded, lifting his head a little “I know.” He repeated, kissing Liz gently “Liz, thank you. For being here last night, I mean. I wouldn’t have survived without you.”

(And when you rise)
And when you rise you'll find me here
(Open your eyes)
And see myself reflected there
(And for awhile)
A little room becomes an everywhere

“I needed to be here.” Liz said, wrapping her arms loosely around his shoulders “I don’t think I would have survived without you, either.”
Max kissed her again, groaning as he felt himself harden inside of her. Liz gasped, then moaned softly, pulling him closer. She started moving under him, digging her nails into his back. Max began thrusting in and out of her slowly, kissing her all over her face and neck. Liz whimpered and gasped, burying her face against his neck and nipping at his shoulder. Moaning her name, Max pulled almost all the way out of her, then plunged back in, trembling with pleasure.
“Oh my God!” They were so lost in each other, neither of them heard the door open until the heard Isabel’s scream. They looked up and saw her standing in the doorway, averting her eyes and shaking her head. “Oh my God.” She repeated “It’s deja screw all over again. That just bought me another five years on the couch. Thank you so much.”
Liz groaned and rolled her eyes “Isabel, maybe if you would learn how to knock-”
“Oh, you’re right!” Isabel snapped “It’s all my fault, how rude of me! This is only an emergency, our sister might only be dead! But please, by all means, finish!” She slammed the door and stormed down the hall.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
Having gotten dressed in record time, Max and Liz rushed into the kitchen minutes later.
“Isabel, what do you mean our sister might be dead?” Max demanded
“Exactly that.” Isabel replied shakily “Some hikers out to see the sunrise at Carlsbad Caverns this morning found the body of a teenage girl. The body is so brutalized...” Her voice faltered and it was a minute before she could continue “...that it’s been hard to identify. Mom and Dad left for the hospital half an hour ago, and they want us to meet them there.”
“Oh God.” Liz said softly, sinking into a chair “ can’t be Jacey. It’s not possible.”
“We have to get over there.” Isabel said “And Liz, I guess you’ll have to come with us.”
“I’m coming with, too.” Alex said as he came into the room “I’m going to be with you guys in case...well, we should probably all stick together right now.”
“Exactly why we’ll have to call Michael and Maria from the road.” Max said, grabbing his cell phone and putting it in his pocket. “Come on, let’s go.” He put one arm around Liz and the other around Isabel. He was trying to hold it together for their sake, but inside he was screaming.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
Destiny Is A State Of Mind (NC-17) part 14

Kyle groaned and smacked his alarm clock, trying to silence the annoying ringing. Even after the alarm clock was beaten into submission, the ringing continued. As the fog in his mind cleared, he realized the phone next to the clock was ringing.
“Kyle, it’s Liz.”
“Hey, is something wrong?” Kyle asked, suddenly wide awake.
“Possibly.” Liz winced “A body was found this morning in Carlsbad, and, well...they think it might be Jacinda.” She heard the phone dropping on the other end, and then silence. “Kyle? Are you okay?”
Kyle took a deep breath and picked up the phone “Where are you guys?”
“On our way to the hospital.” Liz replied “Mr. and Mrs. Evans are already there, and I think your dad is, too. Michael and Maria are going to meet us there.”
“I’ll be there in ten minutes.” Kyle said. He hung up the phone without saying another word.
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Maria yawned and rubbed her eyes. She tried to sit up, but she was prevented by Michael’s body, stretched out on top of her. She smiled and hit him lightly “Come on, wake up.”
“Huh?” Michael groaned, opening his eyes halfway, then quickly shutting them again as the sunlight hit them. “Ugh...natural light. Get it off of me.”
“Speaking of get off.” Maria said, pushing at him “Could you move a little?”
“Yeah, sorry.” Michael said, moving so he was sitting next to her on the couch. “What time is it?”
“Seven-thirty.” Maria replied “We fell asleep during the movie. Do you think we should check in with the others?”
“No, I don’t see any reason to.” Michael said “If there’s anything we need to know, they’ll call us.”
Maria sighed and let her head fall into her hands “I really can’t believe this is happening. I mean, poor Jacinda. She must be so scared. And Max and Isabel...” she reached out and took Michael’s hand “And you. I can’t imagine what this is like for the three of you. To me, and to Liz and Alex, she’s a good friend. To you guys, she’s the last real link to your past.”
“That’s why we can’t lose her.” Michael said
“You won’t.” Maria told him, gently caressing his face with one hand. She leaned in and kissed him softly.
Michael slid one hand through her hair and pressed his other hand against the small of her back, bringing her closer to him.
Maria moaned against his mouth and parted her lips, deepening the kiss. Her body suddenly went completely limp and images filled her mind. First she saw stars and galaxies, flying by at an astonishing rate. Then she saw herself as a little girl in the third grade, as Michael had first seen her. More images flew past her eyes, faster and faster. Each one was of her, as Michael saw her. Radiant and glowing. She suddenly pulled back and looked into his eyes, and saw a shocked expression on his face.
Without saying a word, they each understood what the other had seen. Michael pulled Maria back into his arms, closing his mouth over hers again. He moved his hands up her arms, then over her shoulders and down to her waist. Their bodies pressed closer together as they lay back on the couch. Maria grasped Michael’s shirt and was just about to pull it over his head when the phone rang.
“Ignore it.” Michael said
“We can’t.” Maria sighed “It could be important.”
Michael nodded and left her to answer the phone. Maria watched him go, missing the feel of his body on hers.
“Okay, Liz. We’ll meet you guys there. Right, thanks.” Michael was saying. He turned off the phone and stared at it for a minute before he let out a frustrated yell and pitched the phone at the wall.
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“Why is this taking so long?” Kyle groaned, pacing back and forth “How hard can it possibly be to identify a body?”
“The body...or, what’s...left of it, are almost unrecognizable.” Isabel replied flatly. She tried to detach herself from the situation, to describe what she knew as if she was describing a homework assignment. If she didn’t, she was afraid that she would faint or vomit.
The shudder that passed through all of them was almost audible. Liz buried her face in her hands. Alex pulled Isabel into his arms and held her close. Max shook his head a few times, trying to rid himself of the unpleasant mental images in his mind. Kyle stood still for a minute, then slammed his fist hard into the wall a few times before he turned and walked away. For a moment, the others watched him, all of them wondering if someone should go after him. Suddenly, a door behind them opened.
“Mom!” Isabel said, jumping up from her seat and running to her parents.
“It’s not her.” Diane said as she embraced Max and Isabel, sobbing with relief. “It’s not Jacinda.”
“Thank God.” Isabel sighed “I was so scared.”
“We all were.” Philip replied “Listen, you kids can head home. Your mother and I have some things to discuss with Sheriff Valenti.”
“Are you sure you don’t want us to stick around?” Max asked
“Not unless you want to.” Diane said “It’s going to take a while. Maybe you should go home and get some rest, this has been a hell of a day so far.”
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All my life, I worshiped her
Her golden voice, her beauty's beat
How she made us feel, how she made me real
And the ground beneath her feet
And the ground beneath her feet

Kyle turned up the car radio and leaned back against the head rest, closing his eyes. Then he opened them again. Every single time he closed his eyes he saw Jacinda. The first time he’d seen her in the hallway at school. Then in his dream the night before, in that red dress. Then the fear in her eyes as Tess held that knife to her throat and pushed the blade through her skin.

And now I can't be sure of anything
Black is white, and cold is heat
For what I worshiped, stole my love away
It was the ground beneath her feet
It was the ground beneath her feet

There was a knock on the window. Max and Liz were standing outside. Kyle groaned and rolled his eyes as he rolled the window down.
“Good news or bad?” He asked flatly.
“Good. All things considered.” Liz replied “It’s not her, Kyle.”

Go lightly down your darkened way
Go lightly underground
I'll be down there in another day
I won't rest until you're found

“Great.” Kyle said “She’s not dead. But she’s not here, either.”
“She will be.” Max said “We’re going to find her.”

Let me love you, let me rescue you,
Let me bring you where two roads meet
Oh come back above, where there is only love
Only love

Let me love you true, let me rescue you,
Let me bring you to where two roads meet

Kyle nodded, still staring straight ahead “Yeah, I know. I’ll see you guys later.”
As he drove away, the rest of the group joined Max and Liz.
“Is he okay?” Maria asked
“I think he will be.” Liz replied
“Why are you still in your Crashdown uniform?” Michael asked
“Oh...I was getting dressed for work when Max called me.” Liz said quickly “Can we stick to the topic at hand? Maria, why are you looking at me like that?”
“The Crashdown’s closed today.” Maria reminded her
Liz nodded “That’s true, but...”
“Oh my God, you did it!” Maria shrieked
“Maria!” Liz, Max, and Michael yelled in unison.
“Sorry.” Maria said “Sorry, I just...” she turned to Isabel “They did, didn’t they?”
Isabel hesitated for a moment, then nodded.
Max glared at his sister “Isabel!”
“Oh, please, like it wasn’t obvious or anything.” Isabel said, rolling her eyes.
“Liz, oh my God, details, now!” Maria gasped out, grabbing her best friend’s arm.
“I can’t believe I’m overhearing this conversation.” Michael groaned
“You think you can’t?” Max pointed out
Michael nodded “Yeah, you’re right. Come on Maria, we’re all very shaken and we need to get home and get some rest.”
“Not until I get details.” Maria insisted “Come on, Liz, spill! Was it good?”
“Would you calm down?” Liz begged “We’ll talk about this later.”
“Oh, you had better believe we will.” Maria told her
“Yes, later, good.” Michael said, starting to drag Maria away “Preferably when I’m not in earshot and neither is Max.”
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“Are you okay?” Max asked as Liz shut the door behind them.
“I’m fine.” Liz replied “Really, I should be asking you if you’re okay. I mean, what if that had been Jacinda?”
“I really do not want to think about that.” Max said. He wrapped his arms around her and rested his chin on top of her head, closing his eyes.
Liz nodded, kissing his neck gently “Have you been able to reach her at all?”
“A little.” Max replied “Not direct communication or anything, but sometimes I can feel her emotions. Mostly anger, frustration, a little fear. I just try to let her know that we’re looking for her, and we’re not going to give up. I just wish there was some way I could figure out if I’m getting through to her.”
“I’m sure you are.” Liz assured him. She leaned up and kissed him gently, then moaned softly as he pulled her closer, running his tounge over her lips and sliding his hands through her hair and over her shoulders, rubbing her back. As his body responded to her, he suddenly pulled back.
“I’m sorry.” He said, catching his breath.
“About what?” Liz asked
“I don’t want to take advantage of you.” Max told her “Every time I start to feel upset or guilty, I can’t just climb on top of you and pump away until I feel better.”
“Max, I love you.” Liz said “And I know that you love me. That’s what last night was about.”
“I do love you.” Max said, kissing her forehead softly “That’s why I want you to be sure.”
“I am sure.” Liz promised, pulling him back into her arms.
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Isabel lay down on Jacinda’s bed and closed her eyes. Then she opened them and looked around the room. Everything was exactly as Jacinda had left it. Her closet door was half open, revealing rows of expensive clothes and shelves of almost every kind of shoe imaginable. The small gold convertible that Jacinda took such immaculate care of was parked in the driveway, waiting to be driven. As much as she hated to, Isabel couldn’t help but wonder what would happen to Jacinda’s car and clothing and shoes if she never came home.
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Adesa paced back and forth, wringing her hands and sighing. With every passing minute, she became more anxious. The battle that had been raging a few miles outside the palace walls had been over for a long time. Rekan should have been back by now. Early that morning, before sunrise, they had been awakened by Coen, Rekan’s friend and second-in-command. He had told them that the enemy was approaching, and their army was preparing to fight. Adesa had begged Rekan not to go, certain that something was going to happen to him. He had promised her that he would be all right, that he would meet her in the garden when the battle was over.
As she stared into the clear, white reflecting pool full of small, bright green and blue fish, Adesa let her mind drift back to the first time she and Rekan had made love. They had been sitting together in this same spot and talking, when all of a sudden he had seized her in his arms and kissed her passionately. The next thing either of them knew, they were naked and tangled in each other’s arms.
The longer she waited, the more frantic Adesa became. She was about to go inside to see if she could find out where Rekan was when she suddenly heard him behind her. She turned around and saw him standing there. She blinked and rubbed her eyes to make sure that she wasn’t seeing things, then with a cry of joy and relief, sprang into his arms.
As they collided, Rekan winced slightly. Adesa pulled back and saw that his shirt was ripped and bloody. She looked at him with love and concern in her eyes as she tore the shirt off of him, then grimaced at the sight of the deep, bloody gash on his chest. Quickly, she pressed her lips against his chest, right above the wound. As they watched, the wound closed and all traces of it disappeared. Smiling, Adesa threw her arms around her lover, pushing him down onto the ground and landing on top of him.
Rekan buried is fingers in her long, dark hair, holding her mouth against his. Briefly, he wondered if he should take her inside, where no one could see them. Then she ground her hips against him and plunged her tounge into his mouth, and he forgot where they were. Suddenly, he didn’t care if every single living creature in the palace chose that moment to enter the garden. He pushed her down so she was lying flat on her back and covered her body with his. He pushed aside the piece of material that covered her breasts and tied around her back. As she moaned, he ripped the leather straps apart and threw the garment aside. His mouth closed over one breast, while his hand covered the other one. When she cried out and arched up against him, he moved his other hand down her body, easily pushing aside the thin piece of white material that hung from the jeweled belt around her waist, covering the front of her body. His fingers moved across her soft, wet folds before sliding into her body.
Adesa let out a reckless, passionate scream and tightened her arms around his back. Rekan moved his lips down her body slowly, pausing at certain spots, before he finally buried his face between her legs and slid his tounge into her. She couldn’t take it any more and she screamed his name as she came against his mouth. He quickly moved over her again and kissed her as he pushed their clothing out of the way and buried himself in her with one hard thrust. She screamed again and rocked against him frantically, kissing him all over his face and neck. He returned the kisses with equal passion, slamming into her as hard as he could. As her orgasm began to overtake her, she lifted her lower body off the ground, her hips bucking against him uncontrollably. He plunged into her once more as he filled her with his seed.
They lay wrapped up in each other for a long time, enjoying the lingering sensations. As Rekan finally recovered and started to move off of her, Adesa suddenly grabbed his hand. She looked up at him with tears of joy in her eyes and a smile on her face as she moved his hand down to her abdomen. His eyes followed their hands and widened when he noticed the small, glowing white symbol below her navel. His heart swelled as he kissed her softly, and gathered her in his arms.
Liz’s eyes flew open and she sucked in a deep breath. She sighed and closed her eyes again, hearing Max’s heart beat steadily under her ear. She smiled as she felt his fingers slide through her hair and then up and down her spine. One hand slowly moved to her stomach, covering the spot where he’d healed her over a year ago. Her smile grew and she shifted against him slightly, still not opening her eyes.
“I know you’re awake.” Max whispered, his lips brushing against her forehead.
With her eyes still closed, Liz murmured incoherently and buried her face against his chest.
“I’m going to have to torture you, aren’t I?” Max teased
“Please do.” Liz said, finally opening her eyes.
Max smiled and kissed her, carefully rolling over so he was on top of her. Liz moaned as she felt his arousal press against her center. His hands moved to her breasts. She threw her head back and closed her eyes as he began to thrust into her.
The phone rang.
“You have got to be kidding me.” Liz groaned
“I’d better get it.” Max said, more than a little annoyed. He reached over and grabbed the phone “This had better be important.”
“Hello, lover.” A sweet, sultry voice purred.
“Tess!” Max said, sitting up straight “Where is my sister? If you’ve hurt her in any way, so help me God, I will tear you to pieces-”
“Max!” Jacinda’s choked, weak voice interrupted, cutting right through her brother’s heart like a knife. In an instant, his rage was replaced by concern and love.
“Jacey...” He said “Jacinda, tell her I will do anything, and I mean anything-” The phone went dead. Max stared at it for a moment before he hung it up and let his head fall into his hands.
Liz wrapped her arms around him from behind, leaning her head against his back “It’s going to be okay, Max. She’s going to be okay.”
Max turned around to face her and lay his head on her shoulder. “You shouldn’t be involved in this. You should be as far away from this whole mess as possible.”
“No, don’t say that.” Liz said softly, running her fingers through his hair “There’s no way I’m going to leave you right now. Not when you need me the most.”
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Destiny Is A State Of Mind, part 15

“Interesting.” Tess said “You heard that, didn’t you? One minute he’s angrier than he’s ever been, the next he’s a pussycat. And all it took was hearing his beloved baby sister weak and weeping. That, my dear, is what we call ‘a weakness.’ An Achilles Heal. That’s good. I control his weakness, I control him. And this is a good start. But it’s not enough. In his past life, your brother had two major weaknesses. His sweet little sister, and his little whore of a mistress.”
Jacinda lifted her bruised, bloodied head with great difficulty and glared at Tess “You...leave her...out of this.” She gasped out “She’s human now. She’s innocent in all of this.”
“Innocent?” Tess repeated “Innocent? Hardly! Do you have any idea what your darling brother spent most of last night doing? The same thing he spent most of his time doing when he was supposed to be leading an entire race. Banging that tramp like a screen door in a hurricane.”
“I knew it.” Jacinda said under her breath. Out loud she said “That doesn’t concern you.”
“Doesn’t it?” Tess replied “Part of my mission is to make sure that your family doesn’t procreate. That your species doesn’t procreate. And you remember what happened last time, don’t you?”
“It won’t happen again.” Jacinda insisted, desperately trying to think of something, anything that she could say to change Tess’s mind. “She’s on birth control now, I made sure she knew how easily she could get pregnant.”
“Can’t take the chance.” Tess said
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“Kyle?” Isabel said “What are you doing out here?”
“Pondering the meaning of life.” Kyle replied
“You’re drunk.” Isabel observed
Kyle chuckled “You’re quick. Hey, you’re like, a girl, right?”
“Last time I checked.” Isabel said
“Sit.” Kyle ordered, pointing to the park bench next to him.
Isabel sat down “Okay.”
“What the hell is wrong with you people?” Kyle asked “I mean, all girls ever do, as far as I know, is bitch non-stop about guys, and how they can’t commit, and all they want is to fuck you and forget you. And yet, when we actually want a commitment, and we put our hearts on the table, all you want is to fuck us and forget us?”
“Um...we’re sorry?” Isabel offered lamely
“Women!” Kyle groaned “They’re just...what? They’re all pretty and inviting and nice. At first. Then they’re like ‘Pass me a fork. And your heart, too.’ And then they just...” He slammed his fist into his palm repeatedly. “I’m not bitter.”
“I can tell.” Isabel said “But you are completely wasted, so I’m thinking we need to get you home.”
“I’m fine.” Kyle said “I don’t need your help.”
Isabel sighed “I know that this is killing you. But we’re going to find Jacinda. We have to.”
“Right, I know.” Kyle replied “Because she’s some kind of protector of your people or something. Well you know what she is to me? She’s...” He trailed off, gesturing aimlessly.
“I know that.” Isabel said “You think I don’t care about her, too? She’s my sister! I love her and the thought of anything happening to her makes me feel like someone is ripping my heart to pieces.”
Kyle shook his head “You’re right, I’m sorry. That wasn’t fair of me to say that.”
“It’s okay.” Isabel sighed “You’re hurting. I understand, believe me.” She stood up “I’d better head home. You sure you’re going to be all right?”
“Yeah, go ahead.” Kyle said
“Okay.” Isabel said “Bye.”
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“So, Liz, you promised details.” Maria said, leaning over the counter at the Crashdown.
“Not now.” Liz groaned
“Why not?”
“Because we’re still here.” Alex called from the booth where he and Michael were seated.
“Come on!” Maria begged “At least tell me if it was good, please?”
Liz threw her hands in the air “Maria!”
“Fine, fine.” Maria said “So, is he, you know...endowed?”
“Maria!” Liz, Alex, and Michael yelled in unison.
“Okay, I’ll stop.” Maria giggled
“I’d better take off.” Michael said “Gotta go talk to Max.”
Alex nodded “Yeah, I’ve gotta go, too. You guys okay?”
“Yeah, I think so.” Liz said “See you guys.”
“Bye.” Alex said
Michael kissed Maria good-bye, lingering a little longer than he usually did. “Later.”
“Yeah, later.” Maria replied. As soon as he was gone, Maria turned to Liz.
“Don’t even start.” Liz said “Yes, it was amazing. No, nothing weird happened.”
“Are you sure about that?” Maria asked “I mean, are you sure you aren’t silver...anywhere?”
Liz blushed “Maria! No, I am not having this conversation. I’m going to be respectful of Max’s privacy.”
“Can’t you tell me anything?”
“Well...” Liz sighed “Okay, I’ve been having these dreams lately. About me and Max.”
“Sex dreams?” Maria asked
“Only these dreams aren’t really about us. They’re about our past lives.”
“Weird.” Maria said “Have you talked to Max about them?”
“Not yet.” Liz admitted “We haven’t had a chance yet. Maybe later tonight. I don’t know if-” She was cut off as the door opened and a young man with long dark hair and a severe, sharp face entered.
“I’m sorry, we’re closed.” Maria told him
“I know that, I can read the sign.” The man replied
“Hey, how did you get in?” Liz asked “That door is locked and...” she trailed off “Nasedo.”
“The same.” Nasedo replied, smirking.
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“Maria, can you hear us?”
“Hang on, I think she’s coming out of it.”
“Yeah, she’s waking up.”
“What?” Maria groaned. She opened her eyes a little, then completely “What happened?”
“Are you okay?” Max asked
“Yeah, I think so.” Maria replied, sitting up slowly.
“We came in here a few minutes ago, found you out cold on the floor.” Alex explained
“Scared the living crap out of me.” Michael admitted
Maria smiled up at him and took his hand “I’m okay. Where’s Liz, is she okay?”
“Liz was here?” Isabel gasped
“Well, yeah.” Maria said “We were talking and then...oh my God...Nasedo came in. And that’s the last thing I remember...oh God...oh, no.”
No one spoke for a minute. Then Max stood up and punched the wall, slamming his fist right through it.
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Destiny Is A State Of Mind (part 16)

Michael stared at the newspaper as he poured a cup of coffee. ‘Search Continues For Roswell Girls,’ read the headline above a picture of Liz and Jacinda at a school dance a month earlier. He shook his head and turned the paper over so Maria wouldn’t see the article. Normally, Amy DeLuca would have allowed Michael and Maria to be alone in the house over her dead body. But with everything that had happened, they’d had no trouble convincing her to let Michael keep Maria company while Amy was at work.
Making his way into the living room, Michael groaned when he saw Maria sitting on the couch in her bathrobe, watching a news program.
“It’s been ten days since Jacinda Evans and Elizabeth Parker, two seventeen year old girls from Roswell, were kidnapped right out of their homes in broad daylight.” The reporter was saying “Earlier this week, warrants were issued for the arrests of Ed Harding and his daughter Tess, the prime suspects in the case, who haven’t been seen in town since several days before Evans and Parker disappeared.”
Michael sat down beside Maria and wrapped his arms around her shoulders. She leaned back against him and let him take the remote out of her hand and turn off the TV. Without a word, she hid her face against his chest, weeping silently. Michael ran his hands through her hair and kissed the top of her head. He didn’t know what to say at that moment, but as he held Maria in his arms, he sensed that she didn’t need him to say anything.
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He felt his strength and willpower fading as she lay splayed out beneath him on the bed. Her firm, slender body was covered in a thin layer of perspiration that made her skin glow in the pale light. She was gasping and sighing, begging him to continue without saying a word. Though she looked like the submissive one, Jacinda knew she had Kyle in her complete control. Moaning softly, she wound her arms around his neck and pulled him down to her, kissing him deeply. His hands moved tirelessly over her body as they pressed closer together.
“Kyle...” Jacinda moaned “Oh, God, Kyle...don’t stop!”
“I love you.” Kyle whispered, kissing her neck and shoulders.
“Hey, thanks, man. But you’re not really my type.”
Kyle opened his eyes and sat up straight on the couch. “How long have you been standing there?”
“Too long.” Max replied “I was out for a walk and I stopped by about an hour ago, but you were asleep, so I thought I’d go for a drive.”
“I thought you said you were out for a walk.” Kyle said “Oh man, tell me you didn’t borrow the Mustang. Did I say you could borrow my car?”
“Well, no. I don’t remember you saying that.” Max admitted “Then again, I don’t remember saying you could screw my sister. So we’re even.”
Kyle shook his head “Wait a minute. What’s with this attitude? And when have you ever said ‘screw?’ You have been acting really weird. And it’s not just because of Liz and Jacinda. There is something going on here that...oh my God, you probed Liz, didn’t you?”
Max glared at him “No comment.”
“Yup. You probed her, all right.” Kyle said “How is it possible that I didn’t hear about this sooner?”
“Because it’s none of your damn business.” Max told him “And why are you so surprised? Do you think that you and Jacinda invented sex or something?”
“Well, you seem to think that you and Liz invented love.” Kyle replied
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“Okay, I’m thinking of a number between one and one million.” Jacinda said
Liz sighed “I don’t know...two?”
Jacinda nodded “You’re right, this is stupid. And for the record, it was sixty-nine. Come on, it’s me!”
“Whatever.” Liz said, shifting uncomfortably. She was cold, she was starving, and she was tired. Most of all, she was angry. She had given up being afraid a few days ago. Now she was just furious.
“Max is trying to reach me right now.” Jacinda said sadly
“I know.” Liz said “I can feel him, too.” She could feel his anger and frustration. And his pain. She tried to reach out to him, tried to tell him that she was all right, and that she loved him.
“I wish I could tell him that we’re okay.” Jacinda sighed, as if she had read Liz’s mind “I want to tell him that I love him, and ask him to tell the others that I love them.”
“Including Kyle?” Liz asked
“I don’t know.” Jacinda replied “It’s complicated.”
“Complicated seems to be the story of our lives.” Liz said “I guess we’re not really that different.”
“Of course not.” Jacinda agreed “I’m just like you. I put on my pants one leg at a time. The only real difference between us-”
“Is that your pants say ‘Gucci’ on the label.” Liz reminded her “And once they’re on, you put on Jimmy Choo boots and drive to school in a BMW convertible.”
“Well, that and I’m an alien.” Jacinda smirked
Liz nodded “Yeah, there’s that too.” She smiled slightly for the first time in ten days.
“We’re going to be okay, Liz.” Jacinda said after a minute’s silence.
“I know.” Liz said, leaning her head against the concrete wall behind her. She glanced over at Jacinda, and for the first time, she noticed that her torn, bloody sweater had slipped off her shoulder, revealing a small triangle surrounded by curved lines. Liz had seen that symbol before, on the necklace Isabel had found in Texas, and the communicator orbs. “What’s that?”
“That? Just a birthmark.” Jacinda replied absently “It’s the mark of the royal family.”
“I see.” Liz said, nodding slowly “And what would it mean if a woman found that symbol on her stomach?”
“That she was carrying a child of royal blood.” Jacinda said. Her head suddenly shot up, her eyes wide “Liz, why? Have you seen a mark on your stomach? Oh my God...if you’re pregnant-”
“No, no, I’m not. Don't worry, I remembered what you told me.” Liz interrupted “I’ve been having these...I’m not sure what to call them. Dreams, flashbacks...they seem so real.”
“Flashbacks.” Jacinda said “You’re seeing flashbacks to your past life. When Max was the emperor of Daran, and you were his mistress. How much have you seen so far?” Liz recounted every dream she’d had so far, and Jacinda nodded. “Good, I don’t have much to tell you, then.” She paused for a moment “In fact...close your eyes, and concentrate on me. Tess may have blocked us from connecting to the others, but maybe we can still connect to each other.”
Liz nodded and did what she was told.
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As usual, she felt his presence long before he wrapped his arms around her from behind and heard his voice.
“I didn’t think you’d come.” He said softly, kissing her neck and gently running his hands over her body, coming to rest on her swollen belly.
“I almost didn’t.” She replied, pretending that his touch wasn’t affecting her at all. It had been far too long since they had been together. They hadn’t made love since soon after their child had been conceived.
Rekan buried his face against her neck “Adesa, you know that I’m powerless to stop this. If there was any other option, any at all-”
“But there isn’t.” Adesa sighed “The only way to stop this war and save our race is for you to marry Princess Chode.”
“That’s right.” Rekan said “But I don’t love her.”
Adesa nodded “I know. But I’m afraid, Rekan. I don’t trust her. There’s something strange about her.”
“I understand that.” Rekan told her “And I don’t trust her, either. That’s why...I need to send you away, at least for the time being. I feel that something’s going to happen soon, something that I need to be prepared for. I can’t be prepared if I’m worrying about you.”
“I understand.” Adesa said, blinking back tears “What about your sisters?”
“Cianne will stay with me, I may need her help.” Rekan replied “But if Chode is truly working against us, she may see Ru as a threat.
“She’s only a child.” Adesa said
“That’s what we want them to think. If they find out how important she is to the survival of our people...” He closed his eyes, not wanting to think about the horrible things that their enemies might do to his beautiful little sister “She’ll be joining you in a few days.” He pulled her close and kissed her forehead. “Trust me, love. This will all be over soon. The war, the dying...”
“I know.” Adesa sighed. Her hands moved down, covering the glowing symbol on her stomach “I don’t want our child to be born into this perdition, Rekan. That’s the only reason I’m going to agree to this.” She turned and started to walk away, but he grabbed her and kissed her.
“Adesa, I love you.” He said, his voice thick with emotion and his eyes shining with unshed tears “Please, don’t ever forget that, or doubt it. You are my life.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
As Jacinda broke the connection between them, Liz shuddered. The emotions of her past self were still in her. She could almost taste her fear.
“Pretty intense, huh?” Jacinda said
“It’s so sad.” Liz said softly
Jacinda nodded “Gets a lot worse, I’m afraid. I don’t have to show you-”
“Yes, you do.” Liz interrupted “I need to know everything.”
“Okay.” Jacinda said
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
Every passing minute was arduous and painful. Adesa felt like she had counted the stones that made up the walls of the small room that was now her home a million times. The room was a painful contrast to the fine system of rooms and the courtyard that had been hers at the palace. This was not a proper life for the adored, cherished mistress of an emperor. And certainly not for the mother of a royal child. She comforted herself with the knowledge that Princess Ru would be joining her soon. Adesa couldn’t help but smile as she thought about Rekan’s sweet, energetic little sister. The room was going to seem so much brighter with the beautiful little princess around. The child had all the wonderful qualities of her brother that Adesa hoped her own child would have. His bravery, his intelligence, and his wonderful stubbornness.
The door opened behind her, and she turned around, expecting to see Rekan standing in the doorway with Ru. Instead, she saw a man she didn’t recognize.
It all happened in an instant. Without a word, the man walked over to Adesa and shoved her against the wall roughly. He placed one hand over her mouth and the other hand against her abdomen. She felt a sharp, piercing pain rip through her and her legs gave out as the man turned and walked right out of the room, not even shutting the door. The pain worsened as she felt warm fluid pouring down her legs, pooling around her.
It was far too late to scream.
But Adesa screamed anyway.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
Ru squirmed and whined impatiently. Rekan patted the top of her head and smiled. Sometimes his sister could be such a pain. But he wouldn’t have it any other way. He was proud of how independent and strong she was growing up to be. Clearly, all the time she spent with Adesa was having an influence on her.
As he approached the small barrack where Adesa was staying, Rekan felt a chill run up his spine. His anxiety increased as he got closer. Quickly, he set Ru down and instructed her to wait right where she was. He didn’t want to leave her alone, but at the same time he had a bad feeling about what he was going to find, and he wanted to protect her.
As he opened the door, his worst fears were confirmed. He dropped to his knees beside Adesa’s crumpled body. As he turned her over and pulled her into his arms, he saw that she had something in her arms. His heart stopped and shattered as he realized she was holding their child. Their son.
Quickly, he placed his hands on her. The child was dead, but perhaps he could still save Adesa. As he tried to connect to her, she murmured his name and her eyes fluttered open. With what little strength she still had in her, she pushed his hands away.
“It’s too late, my love.”
“Adesa, no...” Rekan pleaded “I can’t-”
“I have loved you all my life.” She said weakly, brushing a tear off his cheek. “And I will love you for all of the next life.”
“I will find you in that life.” He vowed, kissing her forehead and lips repeatedly “And I will not let you go again.”
“Wherever my soul goes, I will always be with you.” Adesa whispered with her last breath. Her hand slipped from his face and her eyes closed slowly.
Rekan buried his face in his lover’s long, dark hair and wept as he held her.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“What the hell is that thing?” Max asked
“It’s a Venus Flytrap.” Kyle replied “I got it a couple of days ago. I was gonna name it ‘Tess.’ But then I remembered that it’s actually beneficial to the environment. So I’ll save that name. Maybe some day I’ll find a plant that eats souls.”
Max shook his head “You need to get laid or something.”
The phone rang. When Kyle didn’t answer it, and just kept staring at the plant, Max picked up the phone.
“Valenti residence.”
“Max?” Maria said “What are you doing there?”
“Observing a vegetative life form.” Max said “And a plant, too.”
“Is he still sitting on the couch in his sweats?” Maria asked
“No, he’s at least moved to the kitchen.”
“But he’s still in the sweats?” Maria sighed “He hasn’t changed in a week.”
“That would explain why it smells like something died around here.” Max said “Anyway, what’s going on?”
“Everyone’s meeting at the Crashdown, Isabel says she’s got some stuff to tell us.” Maria explained
“We’ll be there in ten minutes.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“Ignore it.” Isabel said when the phone in the Parkers’ living room rang “It’s another damn reporter.” This was getting ridiculous. She couldn’t turn on the TV without seeing her sister and one of her best friends on the news. Every paper in the state had articles about the kidnappings almost every day. Even national magazines like Time, Newsweek, and People had done stories on it. And it was getting to the point that Isabel didn’t even want to be at home. As much as she wished she could comfort her parents, at the same time seeing them in so much pain was killing her. All of it was a reminder that she just didn’t need.
Alex knew what Isabel was thinking. He didn’t, however, know what to say to make her feel better. He had told her that everything would be okay so many times that the words seemed to have lost all meaning. And he knew that they hadn’t been much help to begin with. He reached out and touched her shoulder gently, and she jerked away, recoiling on the other side of the couch “Isabel?”
Seeing the hurt look on Alex’s face, Isabel moved closer to him. “I’m sorry. It’s just that...”
“I know.” Alex said “I understand.”
“How can you put up with me?” She asked, burying her face in her hands “I’ve been such a bitch.”
“I understand.” Alex repeated “It’s been hard on all of us.”
The door opened and Maria and Michael stumbled in, followed a minute later by Max, and finally by Kyle, who was clearly disoriented.
“Hell, some of us haven’t even seen the light of day in a week. I’d say you’re holding up pretty well, comparatively.” Alex said
“I heard that.” Kyle snapped, pointing an accusing finger at the wall.
“I’m over here.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“I’m sorry.” Jacinda said “Maybe showing you all of that wasn’t such a good idea.”
“No.” Liz insisted, blinking back tears “I told you, I needed to know. I’m just sorry that-”
“Don’t!” Jacinda interrupted “Do. Not. Apologize. All I ever hear from you is ‘I’m sorry’ this and ‘I’m so sorry’ that.”
“I’m sorry.”
“You did it again!” Jacinda groaned “Stop being so damn sorry all the time!” She glanced at Liz “And if you say ‘I’m sorry’ I swear I will wrap these chains around your neck and squeeze the sorry right out of you.”
“Okay, okay.” Liz said “Just stop yelling.”
“And that’s another thing.” Jacinda said “I know I piss you off. Don’t even try to deny it. And Max, my God! He must get on your last nerve all the time. To say nothing of the other bozos we hang around with. Don’t get me wrong, I love my brother, and our friends. But don’t you ever want to scream at them until you’re blue in the face?”
“I don’t see how yelling at them would accomplish anything.” Liz replied
“First of all, it accomplishes plenty. If nothing else, it makes you feel a hell of a lot better.” Jacinda insisted “Haven’t you ever heard the expression ‘Nice girls finish last?’”
“Haven’t you ever heard the expression ‘You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar?’” Liz shot back
Jacinda rolled her eyes “Haven’t you ever heard the expression ‘Only a goddamn Hillbilly would sit around thinking of the best way to attract flies?’”
“Touche.” Liz said after a moment, knowing when she was beaten.
“Victory.” Jacinda smirked “Seriously, look at you right now. You’re chained up in a basement, being tortured by a couple of psychotic aliens, and you’re not even the least bit pissed off? Liz, you are the most grossly put upon girl I have ever met, with the possible exception of myself. The two of us carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. Sometimes literally. If you don’t let some of that’s not healthy. I’m telling you, sooner or later you need to get pissed off.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“Kyle, quit pacing around. You’re making me seasick.” Max ordered. Kyle muttered something under his breath. “Hey, I heard that. And I’ll have you know I can find my ass with both hands blindfolded.”
“Well, good for you.” Kyle snarled as he sat down next to Isabel “Geez, and he’s in charge of the future of your race?” He muttered “Must make you feel real secure.”
“I heard that, too.” Max said
Kyle snorted “How could you miss it with those ears?”
“Shut up.”
Once again, Kyle muttered under his breath.
“Nice language.” Max said sarcastically “You kiss my sister with that mouth?”
“I did a lot more than kiss your sister with this mouth.” Kyle replied smugly.
“All right, that does it.” Max stood up and lunged at Kyle, but Maria and Alex held him back.
“Okay, both of you just sit down and shut up!” Maria yelled “This is getting us absolutely nowhere!”
Michael put his hand on her arm “Screaming isn’t going to get us anywhere either.”
Maria pushed him away, on the verge of hysteria “No! I don’t want to hear another word about who fucked whose sister, or who’s pissing off who, or any of the other bullshit you two have been at each other’s throats over. I just want my friends back!” She choked on a sob as she sank back onto the couch.
Isabel sat down next to Maria and put her arm around her shoulders “It’s okay, Maria.” She glared at Max and Kyle “Nice going. She’s right, you know. Jacinda and Liz are depending on us. Mostly on you two. This bickering and sniping over petty little things that, quite frankly, aren’t that important, is going to get them both killed.”
“Yeah, okay.” Max said “Truce?”
“Sure.” Kyle said “Now what was that you just said about Liz and Jacey’s lives mostly depending on the two of us?”
“Dreamwalking isn’t working, nothing I’ve tried so far to reach them is working.” Isabel said “Now you guys have to try.”
“I can’t contact people, Isabel.” Max reminded her “That’s your power.”
“And I’ should I put this? Human!” Kyle pointed out
Isabel reeled back and gaped at them “No, really? Gee, I forgot!”
“Okay, we’re sorry.” Max said “What’s your plan?”
“Last night, I tried to dreamwalk to Jacinda again.” Isabel explained “And after it didn’t work, I got to thinking about how the eight of us are connected to each other. And I realized that out of all of us, Max has the strongest connection to Liz, and Kyle has the strongest connection to Jacinda. And I don’t just mean because of...” She trailed off and waved her hand.
“I’ve tried to reach both of them a thousand times.” Max said
“I’m not talking about reaching them.” Isabel continued “I’m talking about sensing them. I know that they’re nearby, here in Roswell. I get these...these vibes. But they’re not strong enough. But I think that you two might be able to sense them enough to figure out where they are.”
“Are you suggesting that we just drive around town until we get strong enough ‘vibes?’” Kyle asked
“I’m suggesting that it’s all we’ve got right now.” Isabel replied “Unless you have a better idea?” No one spoke. “Okay then.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕

"Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains"

-Jean Jaques Rousseau
posted on 1-Sep-2001 7:52:30 PM
Destiny Is A State Of Mind (part 17)

“You know, I still remember what you were like.” Jacinda said “In that life, I mean.”
“What was I like?” Liz asked
“Loving and warm, and so beautiful.” Jacinda sighed, closing her eyes “You and my brother were just about the same age, and because your mother was a Countess, the two of you were raised together and became inseparable friends. So of course, it surprised no one when you fell in love as teenagers. By the time I was born, he was emperor, and you were his mistress. It was always assumed that he would marry you one day. But then the war started, and he was forced to marry Tess. And then you know what happened.” She opened her eyes and blinked back tears.
“We’re going to be okay, Jacinda.” Liz said, wishing that she could put her arms around her friend and comfort her.
“Liz, Denial ain’t just a river in England or whatever.” Jacinda muttered
“You know, if my hands weren’t chained behind my back, I would smack you so hard for that.” Liz told her
“Why don’t I take care of that for you?” Tess suggested as she breezed into the room “So, been busy sharing, have we?” She punched Jacinda in the face, slamming her head against the wall “Seems the Clod Squad is getting closer. I can feel it in my bones.”
Liz cringed and closed her eyes and Tess grabbed Jacinda by her shoulders and started hitting her head on the wall repeatedly. This happened almost every day. Tess or Nasedo would come in, pissed off at the world, and take out their aggression on Jacinda. A few times, Liz had cried out for them to stop, but she had only succeeded in getting herself slapped or kicked out of the way. Liz squeezed her eyes shut and tried to block out the sounds of Jacinda being beaten within an inch of her life once again. ‘Max...’ she called out in her mind ‘Max, where are you?’
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“She’s right, you know.” Kyle said “I can feel Jacinda nearby. I’ve been able to sense her ever since we...well, for a while now.”
Max nodded “They’re both nearby. We just have to figure out where, exactly, ‘nearby’ is. I just hope we can do that before it’s too late. If I lose Liz...God, she’s the best thing that ever happened to me. I can’t lose her.”
Kyle nodded “I know.”
“And, listen, for what it’s worth...I know that you’re serious about Jacinda. And I apologize for not recognizing how much you care about her sooner.”
“Apology accepted.” Kyle said “And I’m sorry that we lied to you. We should have told you that something was going on-”
“Wait a minute.” Max interrupted “Stop the car.”
“What is it?” Kyle asked, pulling the car over to the side of the road.
Max unbuckled his seat belt and got out of the car “They’re close. I mean, really close.”
“There’s nothing around here.” Kyle said “There’s a few abandoned houses and the old soap factory, that’s it.”
“So that’s where we’re going.” Max said
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“It’s going to be okay.” Liz said softly “Max and the others are going to find us.”
Jacinda’s only response was a low, pained moan. She had been drifting in and out of consciousness for an hour. One eye was bruised and bloodshot, and the other was completely swollen shut. There was a small pool of blood under her head, and her throat was marked with bruises from Tess’s hands.
“I can feel them getting closer to us.” Liz continued “They’ll find us, and they’ll get us out of here, and you’ll be fine.”
“You used to comfort me like this.” Jacinda said weakly “When my brother was away, I would be so scared that something would happen to him. I was just a little child, but I could sense when he was in danger. So you would come to me, and tell me stories, or sing to me, or just talk to me until I fell asleep...” Her voice trailed off and open eye drifted shut.
Liz leaned back against the wall and let herself cry.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“So what are you suggesting we do?” Kyle asked “Just storm right in there. Evans, come on, that’s suicide.”
“And what about just leaving them to die?” Max shot back “What do you call that?”
“Right, I know that.” Kyle said “But we can’t go in there unarmed. You’re not thinking rationally at all. What’s up with that? I’m supposed to be the irrational, impulsive one. You’re the sane, thoughtful control freak. Stop screwing up the order.”
“Fine, you’re right.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“So, let me see if I’ve got this absolutely straight.” Maria said “Liz and Jacinda’s lives are basically dependent on Max and Kyle. More than that, on Max and Kyle putting aside their petty differences and working together. Have I got that right?”
“Yeah, that’s pretty much it.” Michael replied
Maria was silent for a minute “We’re never going to see Liz and Jacey again.”
The phone rang.
“Ignore it.” Alex said
“No, don’t!” Isabel said, jumping up and grabbing the phone “Max? What is it? Yeah? Okay, we’ll be right there.” She hung up the phone “We’ve gotta go.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“I want to make it absolutely clear that I don’t like this plan at all.” Jim said, handing Kyle a gun.
“And how, exactly, do you plan on stopping us?” Max asked
“I don’t.” Jim replied
“Good.” Kyle said “Because you wouldn’t be too successful. Dad, we’re the only ones who have a shot at getting in there, finding the girls, and getting them out.”
“I know that.” Jim said “But if you’re not out in ten minutes, I’m coming in after you.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“This isn’t going to work, Tess.” Liz said as Nasedo dragged a semi-concious Jacinda out of the room. “Max and Kyle are here. Any minute now-”
Tess cut her off with a slap across the face “I know that. But they’ll be too late to save the little princess. And none of you will get out of here alive. You’ll be trapped.”
Liz suddenly stiffened. For the first time she was aware of the smell of smoke, and it was rapidly getting stronger. Tess and Nasedo had set fire to the building.
“History is repeating itself, Countess Adesa.” Tess said, calling Liz by her past name for the first time “You lose again.”
“Do I?” Liz asked, getting an idea as she remembered something Jacinda had told her “Max loves me. And he’s repulsed by you. Just like in that other life.”
“I was his bride in that life.” Tess said “And you were just his whore. Nothing but a good fuck to him.”
“At least he wanted to fuck me.” Liz “Jacinda told me all about how you were attracted to him in that other life. And he never laid a hand on you, because you weren’t good enough for him. And you still aren’t. You always were beneath him and you always will be. And not in a good way, either.”
Tess was livid. She swung back to hit Liz again, but Liz was prepared this time and she kicked her legs out, hitting Tess right behind her knees and knocking her to the ground. Before she could recover, Liz swung her hands over her head and brought the heavy chains that bound her wrists together down squarely on Tess’s head. Liz felt a sense of satisfaction she had never known as the creature who had tormented her for so long hit the ground, out cold.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
Jim checked his watch. Five more minutes. He was debating whether or not he should just go on inside, when a pungent stench hit his nose. Smoke. And gasoline. The building was on fire.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“Max?” Liz called out, becoming aware of the smoke that was starting to seep into the room. The door opened, and the next thing Liz knew she was wrapped in Max’s arms and he was kissing her and saying her name, over and over.
After a minute, Max moved his hands to Liz’s wrists, and the chains that had held her for over a week fell to the ground beside Tess. He looked at her, then back at Liz “You did that?”
Liz shrugged “She pissed me off.”
Max smiled, then leaned in to kiss her again. Suddenly, the sound of flames crackling nearby brought them both back to reality.
“Let’s continue this outside.” Liz suggested “Where’s Jacinda?”
“Kyle’s getting her.” Max replied as he pulled her towards the door “Hopefully, they’re already out.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
Jacinda fought the losing battle to stay conscious as Nasedo pulled her through the main area of the factory. The smoke and the smell of burning gasoline weren’t helping at all.
“I was ordered to kill you on your planet.” She vaguely heard Nasedo say “I never got the chance.” He threw her roughly to the floor and placed his hand over her chest “Better late than never.”
As her head began to spin and light, darkness, and colors began to flash in front of her eyes, Jacinda thought she heard a shot ring out, and the sound of a body falling beside her. Then her pain lessened, and she felt like she was floating. Somewhere in her mind, she decided that this must be what it was like to die. Then she heard a voice through the fog that was filling her brain.
“Hang in there, Jacinda.” Jim said as he picked her up, not stopping to see Nasedo was really dead. He had to get her out of there and make sure that Kyle, Max, and Liz were safe.
“Over here!” Jim yelled, straining to see through the smoke.
“Is she okay?” Kyle asked as he appeared next to them.
“I’m not sure.” Jim admitted. He placed Jacinda’s limp, prone body in Kyle’s arms “Get her out of here, I’m going to find Max and Liz.”
Kyle nodded and headed off in a random direction, hoping it was the right one. He reached a wall and, balancing Jacinda’s weight, felt along it until he felt a door. He pushed it open, barely making it outside before his knees gave out and he collapsed, sucking in clean, fresh air. He managed to clear the building completely, then shrugged out of his jacket and lay Jacinda down on it.
“Stay with me, Jacey.” He said, shaking her gently.
“Kyle?” Jacinda gasped out
“Yeah, it’s me.” Kyle said, taking her hand and kissing it softly “You’re safe now, you’re going to be okay.”
Jacinda coughed a little “Okay.” She said weakly. She closed her eyes.
Kyle pulled her into his arms “No, Jacinda, stay with me.” He held her close until he felt hands on his shoulders, pulling him away.
Max knelt down beside Kyle and took Jacinda from him. “Jacinda, open your eyes.” He placed one hand over her heart, and the other on the back of her head. After a minute, Jacinda’s eyes opened completely and she sucked in a deep breath.
“Is she okay?” Liz asked, her voice breaking as the enormity of everything that had happened started to hit her “Jacey, are you okay?”
Jacinda responded by lifting her hands, still chained together, and punching Max in the stomach. “What took you so long?” She demanded as she sat up.
Max looked up at her and saw the smile on her face. He managed to sit up straight after a minute, and as soon as Jacinda removed the chains from her wrists, he grabbed onto her and hugged her as if he would never let her go. After a minute, he pulled Liz into his arms and held both of them close.
“I was so scared.” He said “I thought I’d never see either of you again.”
“I wasn’t scared.” Jacinda told him “I knew you would find us. I have faith in you.” She pulled away from him and smiled at Jim and Kyle “And you.”
“Thank you.” Max said “Both of you.”
Kyle just nodded. He reached out and touched Liz and Jacinda’s hands, needing to be sure that they were really safe.
“Liz! Jacey!” Maria’s voice carried over the sirens of approaching fire trucks. She almost knocked her friends over as she embraced them. Alex, Isabel, and Michael joined them seconds later, a littler calmer but no less overjoyed than Maria.
“Are you guys okay?” Alex asked, hugging Liz, then Jacinda “Where are Tess and Nasedo?”
“Gone.” Jacinda replied, motioning to the factory, which was almost a solid mass of flames “And we’re okay.”
Isabel sobbed with relief as she embraced her sister “Then it’s over. We’re safe.”
Jacinda nodded “For now.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
Destiny Is A State Of Mind (M/L NC-17) part 18

“Max, this overprotective bull crap is getting old.” Jacinda sighed “It’s been a month. Nothing has happened.”
“Nothing’s had a chance to happen.” Max reminded her
“Because you haven’t let me out of your sight the whole time I’ve been home.” Jacinda said, pouting.
“That hasn’t just been me.” Max said “Mom and Dad have been pretty paranoid, and Isabel practically follows you into the bathroom.”
“But they all think that me working at the Crashdown is a great idea.” Jacinda pointed out
“They wouldn’t think that if they could see you in that uniform.”
“They didn’t have one in my size, this one is only temporary.” Jacinda said “So bite me.”
“I don’t see why you had to take the closing shift on your first day.” Max said “I don’t like the idea of you and Liz being there alone that late, especially since her parents won’t be there.”
“Then come over at closing time.” Jacinda suggested “I’m sure Liz would be thrilled if you did. She told me she hasn’t seen much of you lately.”
“We see each other every day.” Max said
“Not really what she meant. She said you guys haven’t done it since before she was taken.”
“That’s really not your business.” Max told her
“Max, she’s not a fragile little flower.” Jacinda said “She won’t break in half if you touch her.”
“I know that.” Max said “I’d have to be blind not to notice that she’s changed.”
“She’s not the only one.”
“Now that you mention it, I have noticed that you haven’t smacked me in the face just for living too much lately.”
Jacinda smiled and hit him playfully “You’re not upset that Liz and I came home with new attitudes, are you?”
“No.” Max replied, ruffling his sister’s thick, wavy dark hair. “I’m glad. I just don’t want to lose the Liz Parker I fell in love with, and the Jacinda Evans I...tolerate.”
“Don’t worry about it, Charlie.” Jacinda said, sticking out her tongue “We’re still your Angels.” She kissed her fingers tips, then lightly smacked her brother across the cheek. “See you later.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“Hey, Jacey!” Maria said “What’s up?”
“My nipples.” Jacinda replied, shrugging out of her heavy coat “It’s butt-freezing outside!”
Maria raised an eyebrow “That was something of an overshare.”
“Sorry.” Jacinda said as she hung up her coat in her locker “So, where’s Spaceboy taking you tonight?”
“I’m meeting him here in an hour. We’re going to dinner at Senor Chow’s, and then we’re gonna hit the mall and get some Christmas shopping done.” Maria said, unbuttoning her uniform and pulling a heavy red sweater over her head.
“Whoa.” Jacinda said “You actually talked Michael into setting foot in that ‘temple of greed known as the mall?’”
“Two words, sweetheart.” Maria told her “Reward system.”
Jacinda nodded “Nice. I should probably hit the mall tomorrow. I can’t believe I’m two weeks away from my first Christmas with a real family.”
“You never celebrated when you lived in New York?” Maria asked
“No, I celebrated with Mikos and Dai.” Jacinda sighed, her voice breaking slightly as she said the names of the aliens who had raised her. A week after she’d returned home, she has attempted to dreamwalk to them to report that she had been successful in her mission, only to discover that they were gone, killed by Tess and Nasedo in their dreams. “But this is different, you know?”
“Yeah, I know.” Maria said, patting Jacinda’s arm. She looked at her outfit and laughed “Geez, you’re almost out of uniform.”
Jacinda made a face “And you’re almost funny.”
“Right, okay.” Maria said “Later, dude.”
“Bye.” Jacinda replied, straightening her headband as she headed out through the door.
“You’re a little late.” Liz said
“You’re a little dim.” Jacinda shot back
“I’ll let it slide.” Liz told her. She glanced past Jacinda to the counter “Kyle’s here. You want me to get his order?”
“No, I can do it.” Jacinda replied. She headed over to the counter. “Hey.”
“Hi.” Kyle said “How are you doing?”
“Pretty good.” Jacinda said “I haven’t seen you around much lately. Where you been?”
Kyle shrugged “Places.”
“What you been doing?”
Jacinda pouted “How come you didn’t bring me something?”
“Because you’ve got everything.” Kyle told her
“Not the one thing I really need.” Jacinda said in a husky voice, leaning over the counter to give him a full view of her cleavage, which was threatening the lives of more than a few buttons.
“And-and what’s that?” Kyle stammered
“Your order.” Jacinda replied, standing up straight.
“Uh...alien blast.” Kyle said
“Coming right up.” Jacinda said. She turned on her heel and walked back to the kitchen.
“Somehow, I doubt he was talking about ice cream.” Liz said
“Is that so?” Jacinda yawned
“Jacey, he loves you.” Liz told her “And you care about him, you told me so.”
“I do, you’re right.” Jacinda admitted “But...I don’t know. It’s complicated. And part of me is still recovering. And it’s not like I don’t have other stuff on my mind.”
“I know.” Liz said “This is a big deal for you. I mean, your first Christmas with your family.”
Jacinda nodded, smiling “Yeah, it’s pretty cool. And the fact that I’m alive to enjoy it alone is pretty heavy.”
“Believe me, I understand that.” Liz told her “Which reminds me, how are you holding up? Anything you need to talk about, you know, one survivor to another?”
“Not really.” Jacinda said, shoving her hands into her apron pockets “I mean, I think it’s all pretty much sunk in, I’ve started to realize that it’s all over. What I’m having trouble with now is the fact that Mikos and Dai are really gone. I always knew, in the back of my mind, that I’d never see them again. And in a way, I was okay with that. I just never thought that I’d lose them in such a final, horrible way. And it’s not just them, either. All the others of our species are gone, too. Tess and Nasedo found a way into their dreams, and killed them in their sleep from hundreds of miles away. Max, Michael, Isabel and I are the only ones left. The continuation of our species relies on us.”
“I’m not even going to pretend that I know how that must feel.” Liz said, shaking her head “Just know that I’m here for you and the others.”
“We’re here for each other.” Jacinda replied
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“Hi.” Jacinda said as Max sat down across the counter from her “Didn’t expect you until later. Hey, Michael.”
“Hey.” Michael replied “We’re hiding, actually. From Isabel. She’s in Christmas Nazi mode.”
“That reminds me.” Jacinda said “Max, when you checked the outdoor lights, did you remember to check the indoor lights, too? And I need you to pick up some more holly for that garland I’m making.” She glared at her brother “Hey, I saw that look! Don’t give me that bah-humbug attitude, pal. This is Christmas, all right? It’s a time for warmth, and family, and love. So if you aren’t praying for snow or singing a carol, just keep your damn mouth shut!” She turned on the heel of her silver stiletto sandal and stalked off in a huff.
“Oh God...” Michael groaned “Two of them. If there is a God, I think it’s safe to say that he really, really hates us.”
“Hey Kyle.” Max said, noticing for the first time that there was someone else at the counter.
“Hey.” Kyle replied “Listen, I was wondering; If I gave you some money, could you pick up a Christmas present for Jacinda for me?”
“Why can’t you do it yourself?” Max asked
Kyle shrugged “I have no idea what to get, and I don’t have time to figure it out.”
“Don’t have time?” Michael repeated “We’re talking about Jacinda. How long does it take to walk into a jewelry store and point at anything shiny?”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
Jacinda pulled Liz into the back room “Why don’t you take your lunch break?”
“I wasn’t planning on taking one today.” Liz replied “It’s your first day, and I figured-”
“Liz, I spent ten days chained in a freezing cold basement with no food or water.” Jacinda interrupted “I can handle a little cafe during the lunch hour, all right?”
“I don’t know.” Liz said “Are you sure?”
“Totally sure.” Jacinda said. She gestured over her shoulder “Max is here.”
“Great, I need to talk to him.” Liz started to head for the door, but Jacinda stopped her.
“You’ll get a chance.” She opened her locker and pulled out a box wrapped in silver paper and tied with a black satin ribbon “Merry Christmas. Go up to your room and put that on. I’ll send Max up to talk to you in a few minutes. Although I should warn you, when he gets a look at you he might not want to do much talking.”
Liz eyed the package suspiciously.
“Trust me.” Jacinda laughed “You’ll both love it. Now shoo!”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“I just don’t know.” Kyle said “I want to get her something special, something that will really get her attention.”
“Something that will get you back into her pants.” Michael added
Kyle shot him a look “That’s not what I meant.”
Jacinda sauntered up to them “Max, Liz wants to talk to you upstairs.”
“Right now?” Max asked “Is everything okay?”
“Yeah, of course.” Jacinda replied “But she said it was important, you’d better get up there.” As he left, she smirked at Michael and Kyle “Dead man walking.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
Liz crossed and uncrossed her arms nervously as she stared at her reflection. She had told Jacinda a few days earlier that she wanted to think of something that would make Max lose control completely, and the white silk and lace chemise and matching thong that she was now wearing certainly fit that description. She hadn’t had time to get a Christmas present for Jacinda yet, but she knew she was going to have to get her something very nice. Maybe a puppy. Or a computer.
She was so lost in thought she didn’t realize Max had entered her bedroom until she saw him reflected in the mirror, standing in the doorway with his eyes and mouth open wide. She turned and walked over to him. Without a word, he pulled her into his arms and kissed her. His hands slid over her silk-clad body as they moved towards her bed, not wasting any time. Liz moaned as Max lay her down on the bed. The sensation of the cool sheets against her skin barely registered over the feel of Max’s hands on her, seeming to be everywhere at once. She worked frantically to unbutton his shirt and pushed it off of him as he started kissing her neck, flicking his tongue across the hollow at the base of her throat. Liz smiled and moaned against his mouth as she felt his arousal pressed against her. She could feel him losing control as she pushed his jeans and boxers down, and she loved it. Loved that she could make him so crazy. He bit down lightly, marking her as his, then moved lower, nuzzling her breasts through the thin lace.
“Max...please...” Liz gasped out, not sure what she was pleading for.
But Max seemed to know what she wanted, even though she didn’t. He pushed the chemise up above her breasts and laved each one with his tongue, making her squirm and cry out. He moved lower, pausing over the spot where he’d healed her, kissing her soft, smooth skin. Then he moved lower. Liz gasped as she felt his breath against her center, separated by the thin, narrow strip of material. Max quickly pulled the thong down and threw it aside, then buried his face between Liz’s legs.
Liz tried to catch her breath as she felt his mouth on her. She would have screamed if she’d had enough air in her lungs, but she could only managed a weak, strangled moan as Max began exploring her with his tongue. She reached down instinctively and held his head against her body, mewling and gasping desperately. Finally finding her voice, she moaned his name over and over. She arched up against him, begging him not to stop without saying a word.
Max had no intention of stopping. The feel of her against his mouth, and the taste of her fluids was better than any of his fantasies. He slid his tongue into her and brought one hand up to stroke her clit.
“Oh, God, Max...” Liz whimpered. She dug her fingers into the sheets, needing something to hold onto as each stroke brought her closer and closer to oblivion. Finally, she felt heat and pleasure spreading from her center through her entire body. With one final scream she flew over the edge, collapsing against the bed as her entire body shook.
Before she could completely recover from her orgasm, Max moved over her again, kissed her deeply, and rammed into her. Liz gasped against his mouth, then sighed, letting her head fall back onto the pillow as her body responded to finally being joined with Max again. It had been over a month since he had rescued her from the burning factory, but only now, feeling him moving inside of her, did she finally feel like she was home. Max started thrusting into her harder, knowing through their connection that she wanted him to lose control, wanted him pounding into her as fast and as deep as he could.
Liz screamed and moaned continually, wrapping her legs around Max’s back and clawing his shoulders. She met each thrust, rocking her hips against his, pulling him deeper into her body. They were both soaked with perspiration, and gasping for air. Through the connection, Liz whispered to Max that she loved him, hearing him in her mind, telling her how much he loved her. That was the last thing she was aware of as she came, screaming incoherently. As she felt began to recover, she felt Max emptying himself inside of her, and heard him moaning her name as he thrust deep into her, then collapsed on top of her.
After a few minutes, Max lifted his head and looked into Liz’s eyes, wanting to make sure she was all right. His heart swelled when he saw her smiling up at him, her eyes laughing and her chest heaving.
“Wow.” She gasped out. Max grinned and kissed her, hugging her to him.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
Destiny Is A State Of Mind, part 19

Jacinda rolled her eyes as she slammed her locker door shut. Max was damn lucky that Liz’s parents were out for the afternoon, that was for sure. She hoped as she returned to the dining room that none of the customers had heard Liz screaming and her bed banging against the wall. They would either think someone was murdering her, or lose their appetites. As she passed the radio on the counter, she flipped it on.
“What’s so funny?” Kyle asked, noticing the look on Jacinda’s face.
“You didn’t hear?” Jacinda asked
“Hear what?”
“Never mind. Trust me, you’re better off not knowing.” Jacinda told him, swaying to the music slightly as she cleared some dirty dishes.

Lately I’ve been slipping down
Thinking I’m the only one
Drifting in and out of blue
But destiny is a state of mind
And today I’m doin’ fine
Rolling through the afternoon
With you

And it’s a widescreen
World around me
And I’m lying on the backseat
Of my mind
And it’s a widescreen
Got you beside me
We’re just lying on the backseat
Feeling fine

Looking around, Jacinda was glad to see that the cafe was empty except for Kyle and an elderly couple in one of the booths. Michael had left with Maria for the mall, and the tourist family that had been there had paid their check and left. Despite what she had said to Liz about being able to handle a crowd, Jacinda was just as happy to have no crowd to handle.
“So, you doing anything later?” Kyle asked
“Closing.” Jacinda replied, leaning on the counter.
“Well, maybe after that we could go for a drive or something?” Kyle suggested “There’s a lot we have to talk about.”
“Yeah, there is.” Jacinda agreed “Pick me up at ten?”
At that moment, Jacinda saw Max and Liz in the back room, looking sheepish and thrilled at the same time. Jacinda walked over to them, clearing her throat to get their attention as they kissed.
“Your break was over twenty minutes ago, Liz.”
“Sorry.” Liz said “Wait, no I’m not. Deal with it.”
Jacinda smiled and high-fived her “I’m very proud.” She smirked at Max “Don’t ask. So, I take it you guys enjoyed your Christmas present?”
Max blushed and muttered something unitelligble as he returned to the counter and sat down.
“I think what he means is that for the first time, we’re actually glad that you’re incapable of minding your own business.”
“Silk and lace chemise, forty dollars.” Jacinda replied “Matching thong, fifteen dollars. The looks on your faces, priceless.”
“So, did you talk to Kyle?” Liz asked, knowing that while Jacinda was happy for them, she didn’t want or need to hear any details of her brother’s sex life.
“I will.” Jacinda replied “We’re going for a ride after we close up. And from the looks of things, he’s gonna to stay here until then. You do realize what him and Max are doing, right?”
Liz nodded “Yeah, sitting within ten feet of each other without throwing any punches. Wow.”
“Well, yeah, that’s amazing, I agree.” Jacinda said “I mean besides that. They’re guarding us like a couple of hounds. Like we can’t take care of ourselves. Haven’t you noticed? Every time you’re working here and I’m having lunch, at least one of them is here. When we went to the mall last week, we just happened to run into both of them within ten minutes of each other. They both hate the mall, what are the odds that we’d see both of them there on the same day?”
“I think it’s sweet.” Liz said “In a chauvinistic, archaic way, of course.”
Jacinda nodded “What are you gonna do? Anyway, I’m on break. You need to get back to work, you little nympho.”
Liz stuck out her tongue, checked her reflection in a mirror, and headed back out into the dining room. As she went through the door, she ran into Max. He kissed her forehead and pinched her playfully.
“Oh, give me a break.” Jacinda muttered.
As Liz left, Max walked over to Jacinda “I need to talk to you.”
“Yeah, sure. What’s up?” Jacinda asked, turning up the radio a little.

When I find myself
In times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom
Let it be
And in my hour of darkness
She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom
Let it be

“A couple of things, actually.” Max said “First of all, I wanted to make sure that everything is okay with you and Kyle.”
“They will be.” Jacinda said
“I hope so.” Max told her “Because he is driving me insane. He’s going on and on about you. Everything from that little dimple you get in your forehead when you laugh, to what he named your breasts. Which, by the way, I could have lived a long and happy life without hearing.”
“Well, I could have lived and long a happy life without hearing Liz screaming like an oversexed banshee while you were nailing her to the sheets. So we’ll call it even?”

Let it be, let it be
Let it be, oh let it be
Whisper words of wisdom
Let it be

“Fair enough.” Max said, turning beet red “Anyway, Kyle loves you. I should have realized it sooner. But I see it now, and I want you to know that if you want to be with Kyle, I think you should be.” He saw the look on her face and quickly continued “Not that you need my permission, I know that you don’t. I just want you to be happy.”
“You want to know what would really make me happy?” Jacinda asked “If you and Kyle would stop worrying about me and Liz so much. We’re okay, Max. We’re right here in front of you guys, living and breathing. And we intend to stay that way.”

And when the brokenhearted people
Living in the world agree
There will be an answer
Let it be
For though they may be parted
There is still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer
Let it be

Let it be, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Yeah, there will be an answer
Let it be
Let it be, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom
Let it be

Max nodded “I know that. At least, part of me does. But a bigger part of me still feels responsible what happened to both of you.”
“You can’t do that.” Jacinda insisted “You had no way of knowing what was going to happen.”
“But you did.” Max guessed “When Isabel and I left you that morning, I sensed that there was something wrong that you weren’t telling us about. Jacey, why didn’t you tell us what was going to happen to you?”
“It’s one of my ‘gifts.’” Jacinda sighed “Although I think of it more as a curse. Sometimes I can...I don’t know how to describe it. I can see, or sense the future, but I can’t change it. I knew what was going to happen that day, you’re right. But if I had tried to change it, if I had gone with you guys or told you what was going to happen, I would have made it worse. Probably put you both in danger. I couldn’t do that. I’m supposed to be protecting you guys, not knowingly putting you in danger to save my own ass.”

And when the night is cloudy
There is still a light that shines on me
Shine on till tomorrow
Let it be
I wake up to the sound of music
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom
Let it be

“I’m sorry.” Max said, putting his arm around his sister “I’m sorry that you had to face that alone. Were you scared?”
“Terrified.” Jacinda confirmed “I knew what was going to happen, but I didn’t know the outcome. I didn’t know that you guys were going to get me out of there.”
“I didn’t know, either.” Max told her “I didn’t know if I was going to be able to save you and Liz. All I knew was that if I couldn’t, I wasn’t going to make it.”
“That’s understandable.” Jacinda said “What you and Liz have is truly amazing. If you lost that-”
“I didn’t mean that.” Max interrupted “I would have been just as devastated if something had happened to you. You’re my sister, and I love you. I’ve know you for four months, and already I can’t picture life without you.”
“I love you, too.” Jacinda said “Even though you are a bossy, overprotective geek.”
“Well, you’re a bitchy, nosy little brat.” Max said, chuckling
“Anyone could see that we’re related.” Jacinda told him “We put the ‘fun’ in dysfunctional.”
“You put the ‘dis’ in it, too.” Max pointed out, ruffling her hair playfully.
“Hey, quit it!” Jacinda squeaked, moving out of his reach. She fixed her hair and straightened her headband. “I’d better get back to work. So you’re okay?”
“I think that’s my line.” Max said “I’m supposed to be comforting you.”
“We comfort each other.” Jacinda corrected “That’s what being a family is all about.”
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
Destiny is a State of Mind (part 20)

Kyle watched Jacinda as she chatted with one of her friends from school. She was laughing at something the girl had said, but he hadn’t heard the comment, and he didn’t hear her laughing. He could only see. And all he could see was how incredibly beautiful she was. It seemed that every time he looked at her, she got more beautiful.
“Is he looking at me?” Jacinda asked
“He’s looking.” Bella replied “So...?”
“I’m going for a drive with him.” Jacinda said “And we’re gonna talk. And...I don’t know. Listen, I just need a favor. Maria’s out with Michael, Alex and Isabel are at my house, and Liz...never you mind what Liz will be doing later. I’m gonna tell my folks I’m out with you, and if they call, I need you to cover for me.”
Bella nodded “You got it. I’ll see you tomorrow?”
“Yeah. See you tomorrow, Bell.” Jacinda said. She watched as her fellow cheerleader and the other remaining customers left one by one.
Liz came over “So, Max and I are...”
“I know.” Jacinda told her “Hey, have a good time, you know? Just keep the details to yourself, okay?”
“We will.” Liz said “Good luck.”
“Thanks.” Jacinda replied softly, looking past Liz to Kyle, who was headed over to them.
“Ready to go?” He asked
Jacinda nodded “Ready.”
As Kyle and Jacinda left hand in hand, Max came up behind Liz and wrapped his arms around her waist. “I can tell you this much. Those two are going to have the stupidest kids ever. Walking into walls, running around in circles. Stupidest kids ever, mark my words.”
Liz laughed and hit him playfully “You be nice, or I’m going to have to punish you.”
“You promise?” Max asked, turning her around to face him and kissing her.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“So...” Kyle said, looking at the stars above the desert, then back at Jacinda “How have you been? I mean, we haven’t had a chance to really talk that much since...since you got home.”
“I’ve been doing pretty good.” Jacinda replied “Recovering, dealing, you know? But I’m...yeah, I’m coping.”
“Good.” Kyle said “That’s good. Listen, you know why I asked you to come with me tonight, what I want to talk about.”
Jacinda just nodded, staring straight ahead.
Kyle moved so he was sitting in front of her on the blanket they had spread out on the ground and took her hand. “Jacinda, I love you. I loved you before I even knew you existed. And I know that you've been through a lot, and you’ve reevaluated a lot of things in your life. And maybe you’ve changed your mind about us. And if you have, I understand. So...if you can look me in the eye and tell me that you’ve had a change of heart, that nothing we’ve been through together means anything to you, that I don’t mean anything to you, I’ll back off. I’ll let you have as much time and as much space as you need, if you can do that.”
Jacinda felt tears sting her eyes. She opened her mouth to say something, but she couldn’t form the words. Finally, the tears in her eyes spilled over, and she threw herself against Kyle, wrapping her arms around him “I can’t.” she admitted “I love you, Kyle. I love you so much.”
“I love you, too.” Kyle said, kissing her gently, then again, less gently. As she pressed closer to him and started to unbutton his shirt, he pushed her away “No.”
“No?” Jacinda repeated
“Not yet.” Kyle told her, kissing her hand “The last time we were together, we slept together way too soon, and we screwed everything up. I don’t want that to happen again. I want us to take our time, and do this right this time.”
“What did I do to deserve you?” Jacinda asked after a minute “And how can you be so damn patient with me?”
Kyle gently tilted her face up towards his and looked into her deep, beautiful eyes “You’re worth it.”
“Thank you.” Jacinda said softly as she leaned in to kiss him.

It's hard for me to say the things
I want to say sometimes
There's no one here but you and me
And that broken old street light
Lock the doors
We'll leave the world outside
All I've got to give to you
Are these five words when I

Thank you for loving me
For being my eyes
When I couldn't see
For parting my lips
When I couldn't breathe
Thank you for loving me
Thank you for loving me

⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
Liz let out a soft, contented sigh as she lay on Max’s chest, feeling his fingers gently running up and down her back. They had spent nearly an hour outside on her balcony, staring up at the stars, before the cold desert night air had driven them inside. They had undressed each other slowly, wanting to take their time and savor each moment as they never had before. Now they were lying in each other’s arms on her bed, in no great hurry.
“Max?” Liz said softly
“Hmm?” Max replied, opening his eyes.
“When I was gone, how did you feel?” Liz asked “I mean, what was it like for you? What went through your mind?”
“Well, you remember what I was like when they took Jacinda, right?” Max said “When they took you, it was different. I wasn’t really all that sad, and I wasn’t really scared. I was just...I was furious. All I could think was ‘How dare they?’ It was one thing for them to come after me, and to take my sister. But when they took you, I was livid. All I could think about was what they did to you in our other life together, and how they might do it again. And that was just too much for me to handle. I know this is going to sound pretty bad, but you are mine. The thought that they had taken someone who belongs to me...I just wasn’t myself the whole time you were gone. I was so angry, I eventually just shut down completely.”
“I know exactly what you mean.” Liz said “Because that’s exactly how I would feel if anything ever happened to you. Because you are mine, just like I’m yours.” She leaned up and kissed him “And that’s never going to change.”
“Never.” Max agreed
“I love you.” Liz whispered
“I love you, too.” Max replied
“Show me.” Liz said
Max was more than happy to oblige.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
“Isabel.” Jacinda said impatiently “Isabel!”
“Huh?” Isabel and Alex jumped apart quickly.
“Well, now that I finally have your attention.” Jacinda sighed “First of all, quit hogging the mistletoe. Second, have you guys seen Max and Liz?”
“We’ve heard them.” Alex replied, making a face.
Jacinda put up her hand “Say no more. I beg of you. Now, scram, will you? Other people want to use this doorway.”
As Alex and Isabel slunk off, Kyle came up behind Jacinda and gently turned her around so she was standing right under the mistletoe.
“It’s midnight.” He said, leaning closer to her “So, how do you like Christmas so far?”
“Can’t complain.” Jacinda said. She wrapped her arms around Kyle’s neck and pulled him close for a kiss.
“Get a room.” Liz giggled as she and Max walked past Jacinda and Kyle.
“What, like you two horndogs did?” Jacinda asked, making a face at them.
“Exactly.” Liz said “Oh, I love this song. Come on, let’s dance.” She grabbed Max’s hand and pulled him out to the middle of the room, where everyone was dancing.
“There you are!” Maria said “Well, from the look on your face, I’d say someone just got probed.”
“Cut it out!” Liz admonished playfully. She grinned and leaned in a little closer “Twice.”
Maria’s eyes widened “No way! Geez, talk about a superior race.”
“Talking about me?” Max asked, wrapping his arms around Liz’s waist.
“As a matter of fact, yes.” Liz replied
“Okay, come on, Maria.” Michael said “Let’s leave these kids alone.”
“Right behind you, Space Boy.” Maria agreed. She followed him over to the punch table, where Kyle and Jacinda looked like they were within an inch of pushing everything off the table and jumping on each other.
“Hey, young lovers.” Maria said
Kyle and Jacinda looked up, then groaned.
“Marius Interruptus strikes again.” Jacinda sighed “So, you guys enjoying the party?”
“Liking it so far.” Maria confirmed “So, what’s going on with you guys?”
“Nothing beyond what you saw just now.” Jacinda insisted. Maria gave her a look “Okay, okay, second base. Sheesh.”
“So everything’s going to work out?” Maria asked
Jacinda shrugged “That I don’t know for sure. I’m finally figuring out how to control that power, and I’m glad. It’s nice not to have all the answers. Makes me feel more like a normal teenager. The future’s one big question mark, and I don’t know what lies ahead. I only know that if it moves, I’m shooting it.”
Maria giggled “Amen.” She glanced at the dance floor, then at Michael and Kyle, who were arguing about a recent basketball game “Come on, let’s go.” She said
The two girls grabbed their boyfriends and pulled them into the crowd. None of them knew what lay ahead, or what their lives were going to be. They only knew that together, they were strong enough to face anything.
⊕ ⊕ ⊕ ⊕
The End!

"Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains"

-Jean Jaques Rousseau