|posted on 2-Sep-2001 9:05:33 PM|
|The Augur - Completed NC-17 UC L/Z|
Disclaimer: Characters portrayed belong to Melinda Metz, Jason Katims and the WB. I Shall Believe belongs to Sheryl Crow and Bill Bottrell. No infringement intended.
Rating: Hard R/NC-17
Summary: Liz Parker has been a tool for longer than she’d like to remember. It’s when she meets a stranger that’s the splitting image of her supposed lover that she realizes her true destiny.
Category: Other. UC. AU.
Notes: The show didn’t happen. This is an alternate universe.
Liz relayed the entirety of her vision in as much voice as she could muster. She just wanted to sleep but he wanted her knowledge as soon as possible. Once the last word was out of her mouth, King Zan pushed himself off of her and began dressing. “That all? Find the orbs?”
“Yes, that’s all.” Liz pulled the blanket up over her body. “One in Roswell and one out in the desert.”
“Rest. You comin’ wit me this time.”
“Why?” She mumbled, exhausted and ready for sleep.
“You ain’t gave me no coordinates. I ain’t doin’ no guess n check, yo.” Zan leaned back over her. He ran a hand down her body through the blanket. “We be needin’ you wit us for the visions.”
Liz nodded and let her eyes flutter closed. “Do me a favor. Keep Rath out of here tonight. I’m tired... too tired.”
“Whateva the lady wants, she gets.” He tilted his head before leaving the bed. He pulled on his leather jacket and head out the door, shutting it soundly behind him. He fused it shut and sent a glare Rath’s way, daring him to do anything about it.
“‘Bout time, yo. What took so damn long?” Lannie sat up and waited for Zan’s announcement.
“We goin’ back to Roswell.” Zan leaned against the door.
“Why the hell are we goin’ back there?” Ava leaped off the chair she was in and stalked up to him. “How do you know that she aint’ settin’ us up? You know she dyin’ ta go back.”
“They some communicator orbs there. One in town and one in the desert, yo.” Zan kept going, completely ignoring his mate’s outburst.
“Yo, the retard’s right. How you know she ain’t tryin’a go back?” Rath sat up and rested a hand on Lannie’s leg.
“She loves me, yo. She ain’t goin’a lie to me.” Zan glared at him. “You leave her alone tonight. She needs rest before we go. The visions aren’t gettin’ no easier for her body to take.”
“Just do her right and we won’t have this problem.” Lannie raised an eyebrow at her brother. “You keep makin’ sure she loves you.”
“We goin’. Get your shit together.”
“Yo, what you talkin’ ‘bout? This ride is sweet.” Rath stood back so Zan could examine the Trans Am he had stolen.
“It ain’t gonna work.” Zan crossed his arms. “We have to keep her comfortable. The four of us would barely be comfortable in that. Get a van. A long one.”
“What?” Rath stomped forward. “You want me get rid of this sweet ride for a van?”
“15 passenger van. Got it?” Zan looked him square in the eye. “We goin’ hick town. This’ll stand out. Use that lump three feet ‘bove yo ass, yo. In-con-spic-uous. Can you spell that? You know what that mean?”
“I ain’t stupid.”
“Stop actin’ it, then. Get a van. Then take out the backseat and the middle seat.” Zan turned and jogged up the stairs to their temporary apartment. Lannie and Ava were waiting for him.
“Yo, she ain’t come out.” Ava complained. “I thought we was leavin’ early.”
“Idiot tried to get a ride and got the wrong one.” He strode to Liz’s room and opened the door. “Yo.”
“Zan.” Liz nodded as she stuffed her clothes into her bag. “I’m almost ready.”
“We got time. You oversleep?” He eyed her carefully.
“Just a little. I’m fine now. Promise.” She nodded again and zipped up her bag. “Just needed sleep... thanks... for keeping him out.”
“No prob. Don’t worry. He ain’t goin’a touch you while we do this.” He motioned for her to come closer. She pulled her bag over her shoulder and did as told. “How long it been since you been there?”
“You came for me when I was 14. It’s been ‘bout... seven years.” She leaned into his touch as he caressed her face, waves of pleasure shot through her body at that innocent place of contact.
“You wouldn’t...” He leaned in and nuzzled her neck. “Think of stayin’ there... wouldja?”
“No.” Liz bit her lip as her breathing picked up. Her hands wrapped around his arms for support. She could hear his silent question in his soft kisses. “I only always wanna be with you.”
“That’s what I thought.”
“Yo, jealous much?” Lannie taunted Ava. They could hear the hushed conversation between Zan and Liz. Ava stared at the doorway as if her eyes would set the room on fire.
“We don’t need her.” Ava crossed her arms.
“Retard, yes we do. She gets the visions and he’s the only one who can give ‘em to her.” Lannie smirked at the smaller girl.
“I’m ‘bout ready to slit her throat.”
“Don’t you dare, yo. You might be his bitch but he’ll kill you.” Lannie looked up when Rath walked into their apartment. “Rath, yo. Retard’s finally gettin’ jealous.”
“She should be. The augur’s a better fuck than she is.” Rath shrugged and slung an arm around Lannie. “They ready, yo?”
“Almost. He’s just givin’ her a little somethin’ to keep her loyal.” She licked his lip ring. “Let’s go.”
“He here?” Zan called into the room.
“Yeah.” Rath called in.
“Good.” Zan appeared with Liz in tow. “Rath, grab the mattresses and take them down to the van. One in front, one in back and we’re good to go.”
“Why do I gotta get stuck drivin’?” Rath muttered. Lannie was asleep behind him and Ava was fuming beside him. Sighs and moans drifted through the van to Rath’s ears. “Right, cause he’s fuckin’ the augur.”
He glanced into the rearview mirror at the makeshift curtain hanging over the one seat left in the van. It separated them from her. Rath just didn’t get it. Anywhere they went, the damn augur always got her own room and her fill of whatever food they brought back. Zan always treated her like she would break.
On the other side of the seat and curtain was a tangle of naked limbs, emitting moans and groans of pleasure. Whenever she had the itch, he was always more than happy to scratch it. Rath was only allowed this when there was a major vision dry spell... not that he ever paid attention to orders.
Liz arched her back, thrusting her chest up under Zan’s hands and mouth. He licked and sucked at her breasts until he knew she was ready. The hard peaks hardened even more once his hot mouth was gone.
“Zan, please.” She breathed out. Without further distraction, he thrust his long hard cock deep inside her body. She let out a shuddering sigh and then a moan as he started driving into her at a swift pace.
Liz wrapped her legs around him, keeping him close as possible before the inevitable visions ripped through her with her orgasm. Her fingers wound their way through his hair, pulling his head down to lose her scream in his mouth.
His fingers dug into her thighs as his thrusts came shorter and faster. Drinking the taste of her mouth, he felt her body tense beneath his. He held off until her scream threatened to break their kiss. Her inner walls clamped down around him and he let go, coming after her. Zan stayed with her while her body convulsed with both orgasm and vision.
“Liz.” He whispered and waited for her to return to him. “Liz, what did you see?”
It took her a moment to come out of her haze. This one bothered her, she clung to him while she caught her breath. So many new faces and objects. Interactions and arguments, fights and stares, buildings and people... It was all so confusing.
“Liz.” Zan sat up and held her against him. “Tell me.”
“There’s a book.” She whispered, pressing her ear to his chest. “It has many answers and someone with many different faces can read it...”
Zan waved a hand over them, dressing them both in their normal clothes. Sleeveless shirt and jeans for him and long-sleeve blouse and skirt for her. “Someone with different faces... what’s that supposed to mean?”
“Zan, he changes. He’s important but not more than the ones he protects.” Liz whispered and moved to the other side of the van where her bag sat. She pulled a pencil and a piece of paper out of it. She began drawing. “You and the others will change. Look different. Be different. There is something very important about what you do in Roswell.”
“Anything else?” He pressed.
“A cave with... a message. An old man, an Indian, and this.” She showed him the symbol she had drawn, then she lifted his shirt and matched it to the tattoo on his chest.
“Get some sleep.” Zan nodded and gave her back the paper. She stopped him from going, pressing a soft kiss to his lips before lying down. He kissed her once more before she let him go. “Sleep.”
Then Zan moved around to the front where Lannie was sleeping. He woke her. “What the fuck? I was asleep, Zan.”
“There’s a shape-shifter in Roswell. We’ll get more information out of her when we get there, just givin’ ya’ll the heads up.” He told them.
“I still say this is a ploy to get us back there so she can go home.” Ava grumbled.
“She’s not going to do that. She couldn’t if she tried. They think she’s dead, remember? Unless you screwed up your part of the plan.” Zan leaned forward to stare her in the eye. “Did you?”
“Then we cherry.” He sat back and leaned against the base of the remaining seat in the van. “Rath.”
“Yeah, we still got a couple of days.”
“Alright, everyone sleep. This goin’a be major.” Zan shut his eyes and drifted off. He never told them everything, just what they needed to know. He didn’t know how he got surrounded by such idiots. Lannie was the only decent one but then she always had that mischievous light in her eyes. It was trouble but he could handle her as long as he held the information.
“Max, pay attention.” Max jumped as a hand slammed into the desk in front of him. He met the blue eyes of his protector. “I know you think that school is the most important thing at the moment but remember that it’s only something to keep you from getting bored.” Ed Harding held his hand out and gestured to the room. “This is just frivolous nothing until we get a ride home. I let you live here so I can keep an eye on you. Do you think Philip and Diane would have understood if you told them the truth?”
Ed kept up his rant. “Tess tells me that you haven’t been playing nice. Isabel and Michael don’t have this problem.”
“Neither of them have Tess as a mate.” Max muttered under his breath. Ed raised an eyebrow at the comment. “She’s an idiot. What did I ever see in her on the home planet?”
“She was very beautiful.” The older man shrugged and then followed Max’s line of sight to a missing poster over the desk. “The girl is dead. There was a funeral from what I understand.”
“She can’t be.”
“This is what I’m talking about. You’re obsessing over a girl that died when you were 14. Granted she would have probably become a beautiful woman but this is insanity. Seven years I’ve watched you dote on that picture. Enough. You have a bride.” Ed sighed in defeat. “Isabel told me that you never spoke to the girl a day in your life.”
“Why would she tell you that?” Max never took his eyes off the poster.
“I do my research. This is a distraction.” He crossed his arms and eyed the young man. “You graduate in six months. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out you’re obsessed and that will get you killed. She’s dead. It’s time you moved on.”
“Then why was her coffin empty when they exhumed her?” Max stood and shook his head. “Why didn’t her parents ever give up looking for her?”
“I saw the reports. She was gunned down on Main Street in front of two-dozen witnesses. They only exhumed the body to look for the missing shells. Get over it. Some ghoul probably took her for some depraved use.”
“Shut up.” Max faced his protector. “I get the point. I have a question. If I’ve been programmed to love Tess, why don’t I? Why was I so drawn to a girl that was gunned down on main street seven years ago? Why do I still feel like she’s out there?”
“I never said you would love Tess. I said you were made for her and her for you. You’re the one that sleeps with her, you tell me. Pleasures of the flesh are all it really takes the other stuff is a distraction.”
“Enough. Tess is a distraction. She doesn’t take anything I say seriously... just like you.” Max motioned for him to leave. “Get out. I have to study or pretend to study so leave.”
Max waited until the door shut behind his benefactor and protector before letting his eyes fall on the poster he had taken from a stack at the post office when he was 15. Elizabeth Parker and all evidence that she had died had disappeared two days after her funeral. The only thing that kept him tolerating Tess was the hope that he would find her someday. If only her parents knew that the person who kept renewing the posters and missing person databases was that Evans kid that used to sit in the back booth.
Zan felt Ava kissing on him but didn’t even bother to open his eyes. He was too tired to even think about doing her. “Stop.”
“Come on. It’s been weeks.” She whispered to him.
“You weren’t too tired for her.” Ava accused him.
“That’s different.” Zan opened his eyes. She was waiting for him to explain how it was different. “Get off it, Ava. We need her. She only gets her visions with me. That’s why we got her in the first place.”
“You shoulda let Rath heal her.” She glared at him.
“Rath can’t heal. Besides, the way he rides her, she’d be dead by now.” Zan got up and moved up onto the seat and stretched out. Laying down, he remembered how it had started.
Zan sat straight up. He was sweating profusely. He had a dream that had taken him across the country and to a girl. She was standing in front of a Chinese restaurant. She had long brown hair and beautiful brown eyes.
“‘Sup?” Lannie rolled over and watched him through the sleepy slits of her eyelids.
“Vision.” He whispered.
“A vision. You got a vision?” She rolled her eyes and flopped back on the dirty old mattress, in the process, smacking Rath.
“Shut up, yo!” Ava hissed. “What’s the shit?”
“Duke got a vision, yo.” Lannie grumbled.
“Since when do we get visions? The shape-shifter ain’t said we get visions.” Rath scrubbed at his eyes.
“Road trip.” Zan sat up looked around. He knew he had stolen that Atlas for a reason. “Yo, where does the desert start?”
“Desert? I goin’ back to sleep. Wake me when he ain’t crazy no more.” Ava rolled over and shut her eyes. Rath followed suit but Lannie sat up and watched her brother.
“So it really was a vision?” She watched him turn the book every which way, trying to make heads or tails of the map.
“I think so. I ain’t never had a dream like that before.” Zan met her eyes. “I ain’t crazy, Lannie.”
“I know. They’s stupid.” She pointed to their mates on the mattress. “So what was it?”
“A girl. Cornball. Brown hair, brown eyes. Our age. She needs to be with us.” He studied the maps and highways. He took a finger and traced a route to where he knew the ship had crashed. A dark blue line was left in his finger’s wake. “There, we goin’ there. Have Rath scan this in the morning. More than one of us gotta know the way.”
“What’s at the crash site?”
“She is. In Roswell.” Everything was falling into place in his head. “We goin’ in the mornin’.”
“Whateva you say, Duke.”
Lannie watched her brother sleep. He was becoming more annoyed with his mate daily. It was obvious. She rolled her eyes. It would just figure that the two of them, the smartest and most gorgeous brother and sister pair there ever was, would each get stuck with beautiful idiots.
Rath glanced in the rearview mirror and glared at Zan’s reflection. He wasn’t telling them things again. The last time they had gone to Roswell, only Lannie had known who they were looking for besides the great king. Then Zan had sprung this elaborate plan to get the girl at the last minute.
“You know. This seems like a helluva long way to go for orbs and to find a fuckin’ shape-shifter.” Rath called back.
“Shut up, Rath. Zan knows what he’s doin’ and he’s sleepin’ now so shut up.” Lannie shot back.
“You know what’s up?” Rath turned his eyes back to the road.
“No. He’ll tell us what we need to know when we need to know it... just like with the girl. It all has to come together. He ain’t King just cause he was born to it, ya know.” She ignored Ava’s glares. “Last time was my idea, yo. Zan wasn’t supposed to know what went down. That ways... she don’t know what really went down.”
“Stupid.” Ava muttered.
“What you say?” Lannie sat up.
“I said this whole thing is stupid. We shouldn’t even be goin’.” She tugged on her lip ring.
“We’s goin’ cause I say so. All of ya’ll just shut the hell up.” Zan shouted before going back to sleep. Then screams shut them all up and woke them up from whatever state of doze they were in.
Rath nearly swerved off the road he was so startled. “Yo, shut her up.”
Zan moved around to the back and put his hands on Liz’s head. She was dreaming of the shooting again. He lightly touched her face and shoulders. “Liz. Liz. Sh. Liz. Sh.”
She calmed down and opened her eyes as they filled with tears. She sat up and clung to him. Zan rubbed her back and kept talking in a hushed voice. “Yo, s’okay. They ain’t gonna git you long as you wit me. You got that? You stay with me and they ain’t never gonna find you.”
Max shut the door in Tess’s face and returned to his bed for the fifth repeat of Counting Crows of the evening. That didn’t stop her from entering his room. “Max...”
“Did I invite you in?” He groaned. “Please leave. You know the rules. If I don’t invite you in, if I lock the door and you hear Counting Crows, you are not allowed to disturb me.”
“You’re really letting this King crap go to your head.” She pouted and sat on the end of his bed.
“And you’re not? Sometimes I think the only reason you let me have sex with you is because I’m king.”
“I think you have that backwards. Michael and Isabel are getting married and you and I have barely crossed the line of waking up together the morning after.” Tess turned to him. “I love you.”
“Whatever. Leave.” Max pointed to the door. Glaring, she left him alone. His eyes fell on the Missing poster at his desk across the room. He remembered seeing that pretty brunette the first day he stepped off the bus in the third grade. From that moment, he was in love. Six years later, he had been witness to her apparent death.
Max swung his feet over the edge of the wall he was sitting on. Michael should have been there sooner. Then he saw her across the street at Senor Chow’s. She was smiling and laughing with her best friend Maria DeLuca.
Max was entranced. Her hair fell over her shoulders and shone in the sunlight. Her shirt was beginning to fill. He could remember the torture it was to sit behind her in 8th grade English the year before. He could see her bra straps through her shirts and that would lead him to thoughts he shouldn’t have at school. Her smile was enough to drive him crazy... and the way her eyes lit up... magical.
Out nowhere, a man came running down the street. The cops were after him because of the gun he was waving around. Max froze with fear, his eyes fixed on Liz. Then the gun went off. Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!
Screams filled the air and the man kept running, as did the cops. Max sat on the wall and watched Liz Parker bleeding on the sidewalk. He wanted to go to her, to save her but he couldn’t. What if he were found out? There were so many people. He blinked. He swore he could see himself knelt over her for a split second.
He was wrong. She was gone by the time the ambulance came to collect the two bodies. All he could do was sit there on his wall and wait for Michael. There was a little hole inside him. He couldn’t believe he had just seen her die.
“Max?” Isabel sat next to him.
“Do you know what today is?” He whispered.
“I never told anyone but that day...” Max looked his sister in the eye. “I could have saved her.”
“Max, she was shot twice in the chest.” Isabel took her brother’s hand. She didn’t know why he kept torturing himself over Liz Parker’s death.
“Isabel... I was there.” Max whispered and watched her eyes grow wide. “I saw it happen. I could have saved her. I saw a vision of myself saving her but I sat right where I was, too scared to do anything.”
“You saw a vision?” She watched him carefully.
“She was bleeding on the sidewalk and I saw myself in different clothes. I leaned over her, put my hands on her wounds and heal her. It was only a split second but that’s what I was supposed to have done.”
“You haven’t talked about her in a couple of years. Why now?”
“It’s eating away at me. I saw her die but I know she’s not dead.” Max sighed and shook his head. He didn’t know what was wrong with him. Sometimes when he slept with Tess, he imagined she was Liz. “Something had to be up. Three months after her body disappeared... that’s when Tess and Mr. Harding showed up.”
“Max, get some sleep. You think too hard.” She kissed his forehead and switched off his CD player.
“I think she was important to us.” Max told her as she moved to the door.
“Max, ever think of why you only do this over Liz Parker? What about Maria DeLuca? She died seven years ago too.” Isabel shut and locked the door behind her.
“That is a good question.” He spoke aloud to himself.
Liz stretched out her legs. She could hear the others griping about how much a piece of shit town Roswell was. It had been so long since she had been home that she had forgotten what everyone looked like, forgotten what the city looked like. Home... right. She whispered to herself, “Or maybe I blocked it out.”
Her last memories of Roswell were not really good ones. The only good thing it had ever brought her was Zan. He treated her decent. Better than he treated the others, slightly better than he treated his sister. Who was it to say what it was like being loved by a King? Maybe Liz.
Liz fell to the sidewalk, her chest felt so heavy. It was getting so hard to breathe. Where had that guy even come from? Shootings didn’t happen in Roswell. ‘I’m dying,’ the thought struck her suddenly and tears poured out of her eyes. A shadow passed over her eyes. ‘This is it. I’m dead.’
“Look at me.” A voice said. Liz looked up and met a pair of panicked amber eyes. She got sucked in but was in too much pain to know what was going on. A warm tingling sensation filled her chest. When her vision cleared, a familiar face stared down at her. “Don’t say a word. I’ma get us outta here. Just stay quiet.”
The boy picked her up and carried her down the street and into an alley. Liz found she couldn’t take her eyes off his face. He stumbled and they fell behind a dumpster. She could swear she had seen him before but just couldn’t place where. “What did you do?”
“I brought you back from the dead.” He whispered and closed his eyes. “It took a lot outta me. I gotta rest before we jet.”
Then her eyes got wide as saucers. “What about Maria? She got shot too.”
“I ain’t come for her. I come for you.”
“Liz, you wake?” Zan peeled back the curtain.
“Yeah.” She sat up and changed her clothes. Tight three-quarter-sleeve shirt with matching ankle-skirt and boots. Then she pulled on her gloves.
“We almost there. Just gotta find a place to park, then we goin’ for grub.” He watched her carefully. He had never let her get pierced or tattooed like the girls. “What’s that place your ‘rents own?”
Liz drew a blank, she could see the UFO that made the sign but the name eluded her. She shrugged and combed out her hair. “They probably don’t even work there anymore.”
“Com’ere.” He crooked a finger at her. She crawled over and knelt beside the seat he was sitting in. Grasping her jaw, he leaned in and kissed her soundly, sliding his tongue into her mouth, drawing on her memories. Zan felt her melt against the seat, her hands grasping his wrist and neck. When he saw the sign she had in her mind, he broke the kiss. “Just stick wit me and I take care of you.” He locked eyes with her. “Don’t forget.”
The van pulled into a parking lot and they filed out. As it turned out, Rath chose the exact wrong place to park. Liz found herself staring at the Senor Chow’s sign across the street. She immediately backed away. Zan gripped her hand but only succeeded in pulling her glove off and when her bare hand made contact with the wall, she gasped. The day of the shooting ran through her head, seen from the view of someone across the street. She felt his paralysis and fear, his anguish at not being able to help.
Zan pulled her away from the wall. He handed her the glove. “What did you see?”
“The shooting. Someone saw you.” Liz leaned against him. “Or at least he thought he saw you.”
“Yo, let’s bounce.” Rath rolled his eyes and led the way down the street. Lannie followed and after a huff, Ava followed suit. Zan wrapped an arm around Liz and led her after them. Liz couldn’t help remembering the days that she spent with Zan in Roswell. Five very long days.
Liz noticed that the boy’s pale skin had shifted into a light bronze. “Do I know you?”
“Don’t think so.” He sat up and shook his head.
“I’m Liz.” She held out her hand. He took it after a moment.
“Your name isn’t familiar but your face is.” She commented, staring at him all the while. “Why did you save me? Do you know who... who shot me?”
“I don’t know who shot you.” He told her sincerely. “I seen you before... in my dreams. I had ‘em all the way here.”
“Where are you from?” Liz realized she felt slightly weak from what she had just been through.
“New York, yo.” Zan nodded with a slight smirk. “Listen, we gotta get you outta this town. Whoever it was that shot you and your friend, they gonna try again.”
“Why would someone want to shoot me?”
“Thought maybe you could tell me. My dreams tell me that you important to us.”
“My family. You’ll meet them.” Zan got to his feet and pulled her to hers. “Supposed to meet them outside town.”
Liz let Zan lead her through alleys that she never knew existed until they were outside town. There waited three other teenagers. Zan grabbed her hand and pulled her forward. “Introductions.”
Liz stood still under the intense gaze of his friends. Zan first pointed to himself. “I’m King Zan of Antar. I’ll explain later.” Then he pointed to a pretty blonde. “My sister, Princess Vilandra. We calls her Lannie.” Then he pointed to the mean looking body. “That’s her boy, Rathard. Rath.” Then he pointed to the shorter blonde. “And that’s Avaria. Ava.”
That short introduction didn’t bother Ava. She didn’t care, she knew that Zan didn’t like her much and she didn’t like him back. She wasn’t sure she liked his cornball they had just risked their necks to get a hold of. “This is Liz. Did you guys find a place to hide out?”
“Sure.” Lannie nodded her head in the direction of an abandoned building. “Over there.”
“Why aren’t they looking for me?” Liz stayed as near to Zan as possible. She wanted to trust him but the others scared her. Lannie and Rath stared at her and the other blonde, Ava, sat with her eyes closed alot.
“Must be whoever shot you.” Lannie supplied. “They makin’ it look like you died. If it works, we the only thing that can keep you alive.”
“But why? I don’t understand.” Liz felt she was on the verge of tears. “What did I do?”
“You ain’t done nothin’... yet. Maybe that’s what they scared of.” Rath cocked his head at her. “Maybe there’s somethin’ you do that no one else can.”
Liz had found them odd but she trusted Zan. She was finally part of something important for the first time in her life. Here were these kids, the same age that she was that could do extraordinary things.
She looked around; careful not to lift her head too high, else someone might recognize her. She wasn’t here to go home, she was here to help Zan. He kept an arm around her waist, anchoring her to his side. Sometimes she was flattered by his possessiveness and other times, like now, she was annoyed by it. They stopped outside a restaurant and the other three went into action.
Liz and Zan stood outside and kept an eye out. Ava stood in the doorway and created the illusion. Rath and Lannie grabbed the takeout boxes from the counter and walked out with them. Then the five of them made their way into an alley to see what they were eating.
There were three boxes. As per usual, they were all opened and Liz got her pick of what she wanted. Then Zan chose the box that he and Lannie would eat out of, giving Lannie the choice of what she wanted from the meal. Rath and Ava got the remaining box. Didn’t really matter, cause Zan would eat what ever Liz didn’t.
Liz picked at the barbeque sandwich and chili beans but didn’t eat much. She just held out the box for Zan to take. He took one long look at what all she didn’t eat and crossed to sit next to her. “Eat.”
“I’m not hungry.” She whispered.
“We ain’t eaten in four days. Don’t tell me you ain’t hungry.” He hissed and pushed the box back into her hands. Finally, Liz tore the sandwich in half and started eating on the smaller half. He did try to take care of her, she would give him that.
Zan took a look around the sewer cavity that passed for their home and noticed that Liz wasn’t in there. “Where she go?”
“Said she was gettin’ some fresh air.” Rath mumbled around the piece of pizza he was chewing on.
“Yo Duke, she went out the front.” Lannie pointed. Zan went the way pointed out and found Liz with her face pressed to a grate. She was crying.
“Yo.” Zan called stiffly.
“I miss my family. I miss my friends. I miss my room. I even miss school.” She whispered.
“You miss bein’ dead?” He approached her slowly.
“What?” She turned to him.
“If I hadn’t come by and healed you. You would have died.”
“How did you know to be there? You live across the country from Roswell.”
“I had a vision. I saw your face. I knew that I was supposed to bring you back to life. They was after you... your friend just got in the way.” Zan couldn’t help but smell her hair as he hugged her. His biological instincts were just beginning to kick in. He and Ava stayed far away from each other. They didn’t want to be married. They were only fourteen years old.
“I miss her. She was my best friend.” Liz whispered as she clung to this boy that had saved her life and whisked her away from a boring small town life. “What am I even doing here? I can’t do anything special. Why would I be important to you and your family?”
“I ain’t gone askin’ for the vision. It came to me. Alls I know... It was you.” The strawberry scent of her hair filled his nostrils. Her soft skin against his cheek held his attention.
“It was me?” Liz repeated and turned her head in hopes of looking in his eyes for confirmation of what he had just said. This gorgeous boy had saved her life simply because a dream had told him to; for no other reason than he believed that he had seen her face in a dream.
Zan ducked his head a pressed his lips to hers. So soft. Liz closed her eyes and savored the sensation. Her first kiss and from a King no less. Zan didn’t want to pull away. Kissing wasn’t something he normally wanted to do but now he could see why Lannie and Rath were always doing it. The second his lips moved away from hers, a vision ripped through her mind. Liz gasped as before her eyes a scene unfolded.
A pod, glowing green with life. A fist punched through the membrane, ripped the film open, spilling forth life-sustaining slime and a boy. The boy rose to his feet and looked over the remaining three pods. Amber eyes searched for signs the others would be coming out soon but found none. A scuttling sound grabbed his attention. Roaches. Then a figure stepped out of the wall and bowed to the boy. “Welcome to Earth, King Zan.”
Liz’s eyes refocused on amber eyes before her. Zan shook her lightly. A buzzing remained in her head from the vision. “You came out of a pod. You came out first and a man bowed at your feet.”
“Who told you that?” Zan narrowed his eyes at her. He hadn’t told the others that the shape-shifter had been there when he was ‘born.’
“I saw it... In my mind. Zan, how did I see that?” Liz whispered.
“I think we know what you can do.” He studied her face. “Now, what caused it?”
“Liz, where is that building you saw?” Zan got to his feet. He looked at Liz; she was staring into space. She had been doing that a lot lately. “Liz?”
“What?” Her head snapped around.
“That building, with the book?” He asked again, pulling her to her feet.
“The library.” She answered with a slight nod.
“What book?” Rath demanded of Zan. Zan didn’t answer, just pulled Liz with him to lead them to the library. “What book? You never said nothin’ ‘bout a book.”
“Well, I’m sayin’ now. We’re goin’. End of discussion.”
Max grabbed his bag and stormed out the door with Tess running after him. Those words kept ringing in his ears. ‘Double wedding.’ When exactly had his life slipped out of his hands? When did they start making decisions for him? Wasn’t he supposed to be the king? Wasn’t he supposed to decide what was best? He wasn’t even engaged and already he was supposed to be married?
“Where are you going?” She called after him.
He stopped before he got to the Jeep. “You know... the part where I leave the house without telling anyone where I’m going. That was intentional. You know why? I don’t want anyone to know where I’m going!” He took a deep breath. “I just need a little space because that house is suffocating.” He pointed to the offensive building. “Between Isabel’s planners running around and Michael’s loud music and your continual harping... and now this. I can’t get any peace. Work on that while I’m gone.”
“What is with the attitude? I didn’t hear you complaining about space last night.” She huffed and crossed her arms.
“One thing straight here. I don’t like the idea of you and me. Truth is... I was horny and seeing how the only other female in the house is my sister... your room is where I went. Don’t confuse love and lust.”
“You didn’t used to be like this?” She followed him the rest of the way to the Jeep speaking very quietly. It was a rare occasion when their dear king blew up and he certainly never raised his voice to a female.
Max climbed in behind the wheel. “I used to be normal and before you say that I was never normal, can it. I used to live a normal life and I didn’t mind too much. I wasn’t a King, I didn’t have a destiny and I wasn’t married. I want that life back. The past seven years have been torture. Now I’m leaving. I will probably be back but don’t come looking for me. I’ll come home when I come home.”
Liz pulled her hood over her head and entered the library. Zan motioned for Lannie and Tess to stay outside. He and Rath followed Liz through the library and ignored the strange looks they got from the people trying to study.
Something made Liz stop dead in her tracks. She took three steps back and faced the bulletin board. It was fresh, the poster that was tacked to the board. It was her. Her fourteen-year-old face smiled down from the missing poster. “Zan...”
“What?” He looked at the board. “So what? Barely looks anythin’ like you anymore.”
“This was put up today.” She reached to pull a glove off to touch it but he stopped her.
“This ain’t what we here for.” Zan nudged her further into the library and motioned for Rath to take down the poster. “Where’s that book?”
“Come on.” Liz took his hand and led him through the stacks to a ladder. She looked up and matched the shelves to the ones she had seen in her mind. She pushed the ladder down the row to the middle. “It’s up there behind volumes I through V. A handprint will appear and you just reach in and get it.”
Zan climbed up and Liz took to glancing around. She could see Rath at the end of the aisle looking out. She looked up at her lover and watched him move books out of the way.
Zan’s mouth left hers to suck on her neck. His soft new facial hair tickled her skin and his tongue felt so good on her neck. Liz could feel the pressure building in her head. The visions didn’t come every time but a simple kiss usually worked. She couldn’t even remember how long they had been making out but her guess was that it had been awhile. The shadows cast from the light through the grate had shifted noticeably since she last laid eyes on them.
It had taken them a couple of months to figure out that kissing was the trigger. After he had explained the mating situation and how Zan and Ava were unhappy with it, Liz and Zan gave in to the intense attraction they had for one another. Then kissing was no longer a problem to find the visions that had started out as pieces of Zan’s past.
Zan’s mouth left her neck and the pressure released. Red stars, speeding through space and earth soared before her eyes. Slowly, Liz explained what she had seen and he nodded. “The crash.”
“The crash... you mean... THE crash.”
“That the one.” He sat up, dumbfounded.
Liz rubbed her temples. A dull ache had replaced the pressure in her skull. “I think that I pay a price for these visions.”
“I have a headache... and it took more then just a kiss for this one to make it through.” She whispered and fixed her eyes on her shoes.
“I’ll figure it out I’m sure. Don’t worry about it.” Liz leaned back on the old beanbag to think.
Liz stepped back to see what Zan was doing and bumped into someone walking down the aisle. “Sorry.” She muttered and turned her face away.
“No problem, my fault.” A male voice whispered and then he kept walking.
Max tacked up the new missing poster on the library bulletin board and then dumped his bag on an empty table. Quiet. This is what he needed. Sitting down, he pulled a blue folder from his bag. American literature. “Great.”
After glancing at his notes and ignoring the rumble of whispers that suddenly swam through the study area, Max stood up. He needed references for his paper and he hated wading through those huge indexes at the back of the library. Gathering his notebook and a pen he made his way to the back aisle to find the authors he needed. As his eyes flew over the titles and author names on the huge bound indexes he thought about the day that Tess had showed up in his life.
“Maria DeLuca.” The room went absolutely silent. The substitute glanced around the room and called out the next name.
Max barely listened to the substitute teacher call roll. He mumbled his ‘present’ and kept staring at the empty chair in the front of the room. Three months had passed and the seat was empty. It was too late to keep her name from being entered into the sophomore class and the teacher had done the seating chart before realizing that two students were no longer there. No one wanted to sit in her chair or the other one for that matter.
“Elizabeth Parker.” At the lack of response, the teacher continued on down the roll and the ‘present’s were hushed. Finally she put a hand on her hip. “Does anyone know where Maria DeLuca and Elizabeth Parker are? If they’re skipping... none of you is helping them.”
Max rose from his seat. “That must be an old roll sheet.”
“Mr. ... Evans, is it?” The substitute crossed her arms and acknowledged his slow nod. “Care to explain.”
“That’s an old roll sheet. You must be relatively new to Roswell or you would know that three months ago... Liz Parker and Maria DeLuca are no longer with us.” Max took his seat again. “Everyone knows that.”
“No longer...” She took in the subdued atmosphere that had settled over the classroom. “Oh. I see. Well then... let’s get class started.”
Halfway through class a new girl had wandered in. Tess Harding. Max felt an instant pull to her. Not the same one he’d had when he had stepped off the school bus when he was eight years old but it was a strong one.
The blonde had taken the empty seat in front of Max’s. While everyone gathered their things before the bell, she turned around and smiled. “Hi.”
“Hey.” Max nodded. His eyebrows went up when she took her pen and started drawing on his book. A circle, then swirling lines around it. So familiar and yet so alien. He knew that symbol.
“Just think about it.” She whispered. Before he could say another word, the bell rang and she was out the door.
So intent was he on looking for the index he needed that he bumped into a girl waiting at the bottom of the ladder. She quickly moved out of his way and looked down, her hair fell in her face. “Sorry.”
“No problem, my fault.” Max nodded and kept walking, returning his eyes to the shelves. He hated indexes, there were so many of them and never in alphabetical order. All he really wanted was to disappear, let Isabel take over as ruler of Antar, and never see Tess again. Surely there were better women he could be involved with. She couldn’t be the one that he was meant to end up with. “Why the hell can’t they do one author in a volume? Then they can be organized.”
Max turned to go back and saw a girl fall from a ladder. A man near the base caught her in his arms. It would have been a romantic scene if the woman weren’t pushing away at him. Another man pulled her away from the first and tore down the aisle with her. Max shook his head. Seemed like no one knew what love was supposed to be.
Sighing, Max went back to his table and gathered his things to leave. The bulletin board caught his eye. He could have sworn that he had just put up a poster when he walked in. Shrugging, he pulled another one from his bag and pinned it up. He didn’t know what he was going to do with himself now but staying around the library was sure to get him found rather quickly.
“It ain’t in there.” Zan hopped off the ladder and motioned for her to climb up. “Do yo thang.”
Liz climbed up and put her ungloved hand against the silver handprint. The force of the vision threw her backward. Images flashed and colors too bright. She couldn’t make anything out. Rath caught her easily. He smirked down at her. “You lookin’ for some help wit that vision?”
Liz pushed at him and then suddenly Zan had pulled her into his arms. Her head was splitting. She just needed to get the vision out. “Zan...”
“What?” He glanced down at her, tearing his glare away from his number two.
“Help me... please.” Liz closed her eyes against the lights of the library and let Zan lead her away from any prying eyes. She trusted him to get them secluded enough for anything. His lips pressed insistently against hers, tongue probing until finding entrance into her mouth. The pressure inside her head lessened but the vision stayed away.
Sensing that she needed more, Zan slipped a hand inside her skirt, his fingers searching for and finding her clit and rubbing circles around it. He kept his mouth firmly against hers to block her moans as he brought her the pleasure she needed to cancel out the pain. He knew the instant she had had enough, her nails dug into his arm, signaling to him that it was time. Stepping back, he pulled away both his mouth and his hand. Liz sagged against the shelf. The vision opened itself up and allowed her to view.
A short girl led a dark-haired boy through the stacks and to the ladder. She pointed to the top. “It’s up there.”
“What is?” He asked.
“The book. Move the books out of the way on the top shelf. There’s a secret compartment that only we can open.” She smiled at him. The boy climbed the ladder and did as instructed. He didn’t see the compartment but pressed his hand against the wall. A surge of energy went through his hand and his hand pushed through the wall and his fingers met with something cold and metallic feeling. He grasped it and pulled it out. It was a book. Slowly he flipped through the pages and there they were. All four of them.
Liz gasped as the vision faded. “The book was taken by a boy and a girl.”
“I don’t know. I couldn’t see them too well. The book though...” Liz looked him straight in the eye. “It had you in it. You, Rath, Lannie, Ava.”
“Let’s go. We’ll find out more later.” Zan pulled her through the library, motioning to Rath to follow. They were almost out when the bulletin board caught his attention. The poster was back. “Yo, I told you to fix that.”
“I did.” Rath tore it down one more time and threw it on the ground. All three exited the library. Lannie and Ava were waiting under a tree. “Let’s go.”
“Did you get it?” Lannie asked.
“No, but we will.” Zan promised. As a group they turned and walked down the street, not even noticing the Jeep that drove past them in the opposite direction.
Max walked into the house and tried to get past the kitchen and up the stairs. Too bad it didn’t work. “Maxwell! Give me a hand?”
“What?” Max groaned and shuffled into the kitchen where Michael sat between Isabel and Tess. They had the table covered in books. Wedding dress and tuxes adorned the models on every page of every book.
“I don’t know what to do with this stuff.” Michael pointed to the magazine in his hand. “How do I know what will look good?”
“And you think I would? I thought Isabel had everything covered.” Max sank into a chair across from all of them.
“I was going to be nice and let him pick his own tux. You need one too... if you’re going to be best man.” Isabel glared at her brother and then snuck a glance at Tess. “So did you think about it?”
“No.” He shook his head. “It’s not going to happen.”
“Max...” Isabel sighed heavily. “It just makes sense to get it over with. While we’re planning for me and Michael, we might as well get you and Tess--”
“No.” He banged his fist on the table. “How many times do I have to say this? It’s not going to happen.”
Michael sat back and crossed his arms. “The guy’s right. No weddings. Just sex.”
No sooner were the words out of his mouth than did both Tess and Isabel hit him. Max rolled his eyes and made his escape. The four of them had lived together since high school graduation. Michael had moved in shortly after Mr. Harding revealed to them their destinies.
Max stared at the page with their four faces as Ed explained to them what he knew. How could this be true? For eight years the three of them had hid from everyone, knowing they were different, knowing they were in the ’47 crash. Suddenly, Max was king of a planet in a galaxy far, far away. It sounded like a bad science fiction movie.
“Tess was your bride.” Ed explained to Max. Max glanced over at Tess. Granted, she was very pretty and there was this pull between them. He was almost certain that it went both ways. “She was your Queen. She was made for you.”
“We were married?” Max asked. He was nearly 15 years old. Going out with a girl for a month seemed like forever, being married was just... wow.
“And Isabel was engaged to Michael. Michael was your second. The commander of your army.” Ed went on. Isabel glanced at Michael and blushed. She had never thought of Michael that way before. “You were both great... warriors. Good soldiers.”
“So what about our powers?” Michael asked eagerly. “How come Max and Isabel don’t have any problems but I can’t do anything?”
“I lost you. That was partly my fault. You haven’t been trained. That is what I am here for. To teach you, to train you, to make your destinies known to you.” The man’s blue eyes danced as he paced the living room of his new home. “I do believe there is a situation that needs to be rectified. Michael, you will not stay on Old Chisholm Trail. No, that would be unacceptable. You leave everything to me and you will be living here before the month is out.”
“What are you talking about?” Michael glanced at his friends.
“I can’t take Max and Isabel from their parents without making anyone suspicious but Hank Whitmore is a problem that can be dealt with... unless you’d prefer those living conditions. The drunken rants, dirty floors and midnight beatings.”
“Beating?” Isabel’s head snapped around. “He hits you?”
“Leave it alone, Iz.” Michael muttered and nodded to Mr. Harding. “Do what you have to.”
Max had just entered his room when he felt Tess at the door. She didn’t walk in, she just stayed in the doorway and stared at him. “What do you want?”
“I didn’t... it wasn’t my suggestion. That was all Isabel’s idea.” Tess whispered. “Would it be so bad, Max?”
“You tell me. You want to be married to a man who doesn’t love you?” He turned on her. “To a man who would use you as a sexual outlet?”
“Stop it. You know you don’t really feel that way about me. You wouldn’t keep coming to me if you did. I know you.” Tess turned slightly and leaned against the door. “You wouldn’t use me. If you did, it would go against everything you believe.”
“What do you want from me?”
“Just admit that you feel something-- anything for me.”
Liz looked up from her notebook and immediately wished she hadn’t. Rath and Lannie were going at it on the other bed across the room. Zan and Ava had gone to scam some food, leaving her to decipher her visions. Her head was swimming with the four faces revealed to her by the boy opening the book. That book was important to them.
She sat drawing out every symbol she could make out from the brief flipping of the book’s stiff pages in her mind. Those faces called to her and begged her to draw them. So she started with Zan. It was him and even with the obvious differences, she knew it was him. She could almost imagine him without the spikes, with soft hair that would fall across his forehead, without the piercings, without the goatee, with a sexy half-smile that would make her melt in an instant. No matter what he looked like, she would know him and love him, but a clean cut Zan was definitely something to drool and dream over.
Zan was complete. She ran her finger through the pencil marks, smudging them to make hair and eyebrows. Then she shaded in his full lips. Her tongue darted out to wet her lips at the thought of kissing him. She traced his jaw line and remembered it had been such a long time since he had smooth hairless cheeks. He had started growing his goatee as soon as his facial hair had come in.
Very quickly, she drew the images of the other three she had seen in her vision so she could get back to her daydreaming. She drew Rath without his mullet Mohawk and monster sideburns but with short spikes. Lannie had long hair and bright smile, no short curls or dark makeup. Ava had the same chin length hair but had curls and a sugary smile. “God, could they be any more cornball?”
On a fresh sheet she began a drawing of herself with her long braids, her darkly shaded eyes and cheeks. Making sure that Rath and Lannie were totally lost in each other, she pulled out the missing poster from her pocket. Comparing the two images, Liz realized that Zan was right. She barely looked the same. In fact, she looked like she could be her own mother... or older sister but definitely not the same person.
Liz stuck her head out of her little corner of the Antarian territory of the sewer. She motioned for Zan to join her. He was up and off the beat up old couch in seconds. Rath yelled after him. “Pussy!”
Zan pulled the curtain shut after he climbed into her sleeping area. Liz pulled him down for a deep kiss. Her fingers wound in his hair while his tangled in her braids. Their tongues fought for dominance as their bodies found their way down to the mass of pillows that she slept on. She let her hands move away from his head and down his body, caressing his developing muscles beneath his black shirt It didn’t take long for his to mold themselves to her ripening curves.
Liz had been putting him off for months but now they were finally going to cross the ultimate line. She felt she was finally ready to make love to him. He started testing her. First his shirt dissolved and then hers. Her lack of protest and eagerness to touch him and to respond to his touches, drove him on. Piece by piece the rest of their clothes dissolved and hands covered more ground.
Kneading her soft flesh, Zan shifted on top of her, bringing his chest flat up against hers. Fast and heavy breathing filled the small curtained area. Liz moaned as his mouth fixed itself on her throat. A burning ran through her body, settling low in a place barely discovered and about to be charted. She gasped when his fingers slid between her legs and rubbed her folds, allowing them both to realize how hot and wet she was. “Zan...”
Zan nudged her legs apart, pressing his cock against her heat. She arched her body against him, wanting the ache to subside, wanting him to soothe it. Taking her cue, he guided his throbbing cock inside her body slowly. He had to grit his teeth to keep from shouting out how good she felt surrounding him. Then he encountered one of the last shreds of innocence that she had left. Drawing back slightly, Zan pushed through the fine membrane, eliciting a cry from Liz.
“Wait.” She whispered, grasping his arms. That’s when he looked into her eyes, her eyes glittering with unshed tears. As her lids closed over her brown eyes, a tear appeared at each eye. Unable to take the sight of her crying, he buried his face in her neck and rocked against her. Liz bit her lip to muffle her soft grunts as he picked up speed. Finally, oh finally, was she able to move past the pain and feel him as he moved inside her body. “Zan... more...”
It was the only invitation he needed to move with more strength and speed. The sweat eased the friction between their bodies as they built up the pleasure to come. Liz threw her head back and wrapped her arms around him, placing her palms flat on his back. Zan continued to thrust forcefully between her legs. Just as he felt himself reaching his orgasm, her inner walls fluttered and clamped down on his cock. The extra tightness was enough to make him cum on the spot.
Ten spots of pressure pushed into his back as he fought to stay still over her writhing body. Liz felt the warmth spread through her middle as her breathing returned to normal. She couldn’t keep a smile from crossing her face when she gazed up into his face. He pulled out of her and collapsed on the pillows next to her. Liz drew a blanket over the both of them and lay facing him. “Zan... I love you.”
“Yeah... love you too.” He touched her cheek tenderly and let his eyes flutter closed. She curled up beside him, resting her head on his shoulder.
Liz looked up when the door opened. Rath’s harsh yell filled the air. “Shut the damn door.”
“Not my problem.” Zan dropped a bag on the table and took the other to Liz on the bed. “You are goin’ ta eat.”
“Ok.” She nodded and took the bag from him. “What is this?”
“Don’t know. Swiped it off a park bench while the chick wasn’t lookin’.” He shrugged and took a burger from the bag. “There enough for all of us this time.”
“Yeah.” Liz nodded and pulled a carton of fries from the bag.
“What’s this?” Zan pulled her notebook from beside her. He eyed the images and then turned to her. “What the hell is this?”
“That’s what I saw. It’s in the book.”
“Yo, I still say this is shit. We ain’t got nothin’ to do here.” Ava spat from her chair by the table. “I oughta tear all those braids off yo head.”
“I’d like to see you try.” Zan tossed over his shoulder, smirking at Liz. “My money’s on Liz.” His let his eyes fall on the notebook again, chewing his burger slowly. The burger was good, it had jalapenos cooked into the meat. “You don’t even need a damn pencil. Why you keep drawin’?”
“It’s fun.” She tilted her head. “Like readin’. That’s fun. So is a lot of stuff that you don’t do.”
“You got gifts. Use ‘em.”
“You will never believe this.” Isabel slammed her purse down on the foyer table. Michael and Max didn’t even look up from the game playing on the television.
“Iz, you get the burgers?” Michael called back to her.
“No.” She scoffed and stomped into the room, placing herself in front of the TV. “Let me tell you what happened. I went through all the trouble of walking into town and ordering your damn specialized burgers and fries and you want to know what happened?”
“The convertible still in the shop?” Max craned his neck to see the game around her.
“Not anymore. I set the bags down on a bench to get the keys that fell into the gutter.” Isabel turned around and shut off the TV. “When I got up... the bags were gone. Gone. You’re dinner is gone.”
“What? What are we supposed to eat?” Michael sat up.
“Fix something. I am not going back out there. I cannot believe someone would just walk up and steal someone else’s food.” She huffed and stamped her foot. Michael finally got up and hugged her.
“Iz... I’ll order us a pizza.” Max got to his feet to retrieve the phone. Lately, anything was liable to set Isabel off and only Michael could calm her down. In some ways, they were really just too normal.
“Max? Where’s Tess?” Ed poked his head into the kitchen.
“She went for a walk.” Max shrugged and flipped through the phone book. “She said not to wait up.”
“You can’t keep treating her like this.”
“Like what?” Max slammed the phone down and faced his protector. “I don’t think she wants this either. I think she does it because you keep on her back about it. You know you can’t tell me what to do and so you ride her. Just drop it.”
“Michael and Isabel never had this problem.” Ed pinched the bridge of his nose in a human gesture of stress.
“Michael wasn’t brought a stranger and told to love her. He loves Isabel and I’m happy for them. They’re going to get married because they want to. I don’t. If it happens, it happens... don’t push it.” He finished and began dialing the phone number to the nearest pizza place.
“Maybe you should have told her that you didn’t care about her.” Ed raised his eyebrows and ducked out of the room.
Zan stared at the picture of his face that Liz had drawn. She had obviously spent a great deal more time on his than the others. Flipping the page, he saw her self-portrait and it blew him away. That smirk on her lips was the one he loved. Quickly he flipped back to the beginning at her earlier drawings. He vaguely remembered her complaining about beginning to forget her parents and friends. She had drawn them all and written little biographies about each one. The only time she used her limited powers to draw was for colors.
There was a skinny kid with blue eyes, the girl that died, an old guy that had to be her father, a woman with brown hair was possibly her mother. Zan never bothered to read her little captions. It fascinated him that she had this whole world before he came along with his family and his destinies. Tossing the notebook aside, he settled into the bed that he was sharing with Liz. Ava had secured the room for them.
As soon as he had gotten comfortable, Liz had immediately sought him out in her sleep. Sometimes he knew exactly why he was supposed to save her life that day but sometimes... he wondered why... just why he needed her at all. Why would a king and his family need a human to give them these visions of what needed to be done? What was the point?
Zan followed the map that Liz had made for he and Rath to follow. There was an orb to be found. Communication orbs but the real question was who they communicated with. Images swam around in his head as he drove. He and Liz had a rather interesting shower that morning. One thing that he never told anyone, especially Liz, was that sometimes he got images and impressions from her. That was how he had first found out about how Rath and Liz had started up.
Liz found herself struck with a horrible bout of homesickness. Zan was out insuring that the locals knew not to mess with his crew. Crying, she stood beside a grate and hid her face from the others. Lannie snorted and turned to Ava. “Come on. I’m hungry.”
“No more pizza, girl.”
“We’ll do Chinatown.” Their voices faded as they left the lair. Liz never even heard Rath come up behind her. His hand came up to rest on her shoulder. She jumped slightly, startled, and turned to face him.
“What? You homesick?” He asked in his gruff voice, to which she nodded stiffly. Unable to stop the tears, she reached out and hugged him, wrapping her arms around him, hiding her face in his chest. Slowly, his arms came around her tiny body, giving her just a little comfort. It was some time before she calmed down and they both realized how close they were, so close and they’d never been so before. Liz looked up at the guy who hadn’t really spoken to her in the three years that she had lived with them. Before she could stop to think, he kissed her, sliding his tongue into her mouth when she gasped.
The only reaction she had to the invasion was to reciprocate. Her tongue joined his in a dance. He tasted so different from Zan, kissed so differently... Was that his hand on her ass?
Zan had felt that kiss and shortly after that... he had turned to Ava, convinced that Liz was beginning to stray. Maybe the King wasn’t all that if he couldn’t keep the interest of a human girl.
“That’s the marker.” Rath pointed a finger to the side of the road.
“We off road for ten minutes. There’s s’posed to be a tower or somethin’.” Zan eased the van off the road and into the desert.
“I don’t see shit.”
“She said--” Zan started but got cut off.
“She said. It’s always about Liz. She gets the bed if there’s only one. She gets food. She gets your trust. She ain’t one of us.” Rath shouted and jabbed a finger at his leader.
“She’s mine!” Zan yelled and slammed on the brakes, just barely missing a cement base and a fallen radio tower. “You see, there it is.”
They jumped out of the van. Zan pulled out his map and instructions. He stalked over to the spot marked and motioned to Rath. Rath put his hand over the ground and the hard desert floor opened up. A wide circle formed and deepened. Dirt swirled out of the hole and evaporated. A shine filtered out. Zan leaned down and scooped up the blue glowing orb.
“You goin’a doubt her again?” His eyes never left the orb in his hands.
“Whateva you say, Duke.”
Liz strolled down the streets of Roswell. Her gloved fingers ran over items, wishing she could feel them under her bare fingers. Her thin gloves had become a second skin to her over the past three years. Her hood rested on her head, hiding her face and hair. How she longed to be able to feel the sun all over her pale body. Absently she rubbed the back of her sore hips. Zan had entered her shower and pressed her against the wall to make love.
He was searching again, which meant she could lose him. Every time he doubted her place in his life, she stood the chance of losing him. Every time he left her, he went to Ava. Once he had slept with Ava... she was the other woman. Liz had caught them together. Hurt and upset, Liz ran to Rath, remembering the impressions she had gotten from him the one time they had kissed. All those impressions had come to her in visions when she touched him intimately. The things he wanted to do to her.
She thought it was what she needed to get back at Zan for screwing around with Ava. Rath was so rough with her that she couldn’t enjoy it. She had sex with Rath but she made love with Zan. At first it was revenge... then she became disgusted with herself.
When Zan found out, he was pissed. He and Rath nearly got into it. Then she and Zan got into a fight.
“I’ll leave. You obviously don’t want me anymore. I’ll just go and you and Ava can just screw at will.”
“I only fucked her once.”
“Bullshit!” Liz screamed at him. She had seen him with Ava more than once in her visions but she hadn’t told him that.
“Liz... you listen to me.” He backed her into a wall and braced his arms on either side of her.
“Why should I?” Her voice faltered as she tried to remain strong in her vulnerable position. “You took me from my home three years ago because you said I was someone special. I guess I’m not special anymore, huh. So why the hell should I listen to you?”
Her small fists started beating on his chest even as his arms slipped around her. “Liz.”
“Let go! I’ll leave.”
Zan had to think quickly. There was no way he could let her leave. No matter what she had done or he had done. He would never admit it to anyone or even himself that he needed her. “No, Liz. I love you. I do. I love you. I don’t love Ava.”
“Then why are you sleeping with her?” Liz felt the tears slip out of her eyes as she lifted her head to look at his face; his eighteen-year-old face barely reminiscent of the fourteen-year-old one that had saved her life on that street in Roswell. His face had hardened with every day he got into a fight, with every life that he took to protect his family.
“I told you she was my mate. It’s just somthin’ we’s s’posed to do. We s’posed to mate. Why the hell did you fuck Rath?”
“So you get me and her and I just get you?” Liz glared at him and tried pushing him away again.
“What? You wanna keep fuckin’ him?” Zan stepped back in shock. That’s not what was supposed to happen. Liz was his, she loved him, she only wanted him; that’s the way it was supposed to be.
“No!” She screwed up her face in frustration. “I only want you.”
“Then what the fuck?” He held out his arms for her to explain herself.
“It’s not right. If you’re with me, you’re with me. Don’t be with her too. If you get someone else, why can’t I?”
He never answered that one. So Liz did her best to see that he was satisfied with her. Rath kept coming to her though. If just to make Zan sorry that he kept going to Ava, Liz let him. Sometimes she made it clear that she didn’t want his attentions and others she just didn’t want to make him angry. Zan would never let Rath hurt her but then Zan wasn’t there all the time.
Liz wandered away from the store window that she had been staring into and continued her walk. Ava and Lannie were supposed to look after her but they had fallen asleep the second the guys had left. So Liz went for a refresher tour of the town where she was born. So much was different about the town and about her. Had anyone tried to tell her that she would be key to the existence of royal aliens on earth, she would have laughed in their face. Had anyone told her that she would receive visions, become empathic... overall develop extrasensory perception and mild psycho-kinesis, she would have told them such things didn’t exist. Zan thought she was crazy looking for a human definition for the things she could do.
Suddenly, she found herself looking up at the Crashdown’s neon UFO sign. Immediately, she high-tailed it across the street and into the nearest building. She walked into a group of people taking the tour of the UFO Center. Once within the main building, she filtered herself out of the group and looked around on her own. It would figure that the first exhibit she came to expressed the connection between the paranormal and UFO activity. “If only they knew.”
“Hey, did I go to high school with you?” A voice drifted over her head. Liz turned slightly to make out the tall and gangly figure of a familiar blue-eyed face. Who was he again?
“Highly unlikely.” She replied and turned back to the exhibit.
“You just look very familiar. I’ve lived here my entire life and so if I recognize you it must be because you lived here at one point or another.” The man continued to chatter on.
“I’m from New York.” Liz told him and moved on to the next exhibit expressing the involvement of unidentified aircraft with foo fighters.
“Are you sure you aren’t from here? You look very familiar and I never forget a face.” He prodded and followed her to the exhibit on secret government factions.
“Look. I ain’t never been here before.” She pulled her hood further around her face.
“Alright. Sorry. Hey, let me make up for this misunderstanding. How about I give you a tour of Roswell? We could see all six sites and then grab some lunch.” He smiled warmly. One look into his face and Liz couldn’t say no.
“Fine.” She finally said and lifted her hood off her head. “I’d like that.”
“I’m Alexander Charles Whitman. You can call me Alex.”
Liz furrowed her brow in confusion for a moment but shook it off. Those headaches were really screwing with her mind. “I’m... Call me Cassandra.”
“Cassie?” Alex arched an eyebrow up.
“Sure, why not.” She managed a small smile and let him lead her through the Center.
“I’ve been coming here for years. It’s just fascinating. The possibility of life on other planets and their part in our lives if any. Do you believe?”
“Yeah. We can’t be the only intelligent life in the vast universe. It’s just not plausible.” Liz shrugged and fiddled with one of her braids.
“What brings you to Roswell?” Alex inquired as they made their way out of the Center. Liz stopped watching where she was going and led him lead. “You’re a long way from New York.”
“I came with... my boyfriend and his family. They came through here once a long time ago and it was time they came back.” It wasn’t a total lie.
“Oh, so you have a boyfriend... Where is he?” He flirted with her. “I know I wouldn’t let my girlfriend wander strange cities if she was as beautiful as you.”
“Well, he had some business to take care of.” Liz smiled a little as she took a seat across from him at an outside table.
“Business... what does he do?” Alex contented himself to nice conversation with a pretty lady that stuck out like a sore thumb in the small town of Roswell.
“Well, he’s important. He’s got people who depend on him to make decisions that no one should have to make.” Liz pondered aloud. “He’s like a King.”
“Wow. So, Cassie, what do you do?”
“I love him.” The response was immediate.
“Besides that.” He chuckled and shook his head.
“I read, write, draw.” Liz rubbed at her gloved fingers and shrugged slightly. “Sometimes I dance and listen to music.”
“I’m curious, so don’t get offended. It’s like 85 degrees out here and you’re wearing a long sleeve shirt with gloves and that hood. Aren’t you a little hot?” Alex pointed to each item in turn.
“I am.” She laughed and dropped her gaze to the table. “My skin is very sensitive...”
“Ah... I see, well the desert is no place for you.” He leaned on the table and stared at her hard. “I just can’t get over how familiar you look.”
“I guess I just have one of those faces.”
“Do I have this right?” Max trailed a hand over his face. “They are using you to get to me now?”
“I just said I’d bring it up. I didn’t say I’d change your mind.” Michael flipped the channels on the TV at a rapid pace. “I’m doing the wedding thing because Isabel wants it. What Isabel wants, she gets... you know?”
“Yeah but can’t she leave me alone. When and if I get married... I’ll make that decision. She should be happy she’s getting her wedding.” Max shoved himself off the couch. “I’m heading out.”
“Anywhere but here.” Max grabbed his keys and went out to his Jeep. Destiny was the house conspiracy. He drove into town muttering to himself. “Be a King, Max. Take charge, Max. Be nice to Tess, Max. Get engaged, Max. Get married, Max.”
Pulling into the Crashdown, Max hopped out and started into the restaurant when someone called out to him.
“Evans!” Called the familiar voice.
“Whitman...” Max shook his head and headed over to the table where the lanky guy and a braided girl sat. “I thought you were still in Tucson.”
“I was... for a month but I couldn’t stay away. Anyway I could talk your sister out of marrying Guerin?” Alex asked hopefully then leaned forward to the girl across from him. “Let me tell you that his sister is the most beautiful woman in the world and she won’t give me the time of day.”
“Sorry, man. Date’s set. I’ll see if I can swing you an invite.” Max chuckled. Everyone at West Roswell had seen the way that Alex drooled over Isabel Evans. After a trip to Sweden, he had come back and actually asked her out, regardless of the fact that she was dating Michael. He had been hounding Isabel ever since. Max and Alex had formed a twisted friendship. Whenever Alex was in serious danger of being killed by Michael, Max would step in and lend a hand. Once upon a time Max would have like his sister to date someone more like Alex, prove to Ed and Tess that destiny wasn’t all there was... but then he realized that Isabel was really and truly in love with Michael.
“Oh! I’m sorry. Max Evans, meet Cassie... Cassandra... you never told me your last name.” Alex motioned to the girl that was staring off into space while the two men conversed about things she didn’t know about. Max turned to see the braided woman in the seat across from his friend.
“Hi, nice to meet you.” Max held out his hand to shake with the girl.
“Oh uh, hi.” Liz took his hand before looking up at him. If she had looked first, she wouldn’t have held out her hand. There was the image that she had drawn the night before. It was Zan but not. She knew Zan was out in the desert; there was no way this could be him. Her eyes widen as she jerked her hand back and got to her feet. She should have never left alone, she should have waited until someone would go with her. It was HIM. Her visions had told her many things, aside from being able to read the book that they never found, he was bad. The shape-shifter.
Zan slammed on the brakes just after re-entering Roswell. He had been just about to make a right turn to go back to the room they had secured but then a vision had appeared in the street. Liz stood there in the intersection waving her arms at him, panic clear in her eyes. Yanking on the steering wheel, Zan cut across two lanes and turned left.
“What the fuck? You tryin’a kill me?” Rath shouted from the passenger seat. “Where the fuck you goin’?”
“Shut the fuck up.” Zan gritted through his teeth. He had to get to Liz and kill whatever made her so scared. “Liz is in trouble.”
“Get away from me.” Liz stood up on the chair in an attempt to put more distance between her and the man in front of her.
“Whoa!” Alex had just planned on taking the pretty girl to lunch. She had seemed nice enough at the time. The second she set eyes on his friend Max, she had freaked. Max held his hands out in a gesture that he hoped showed he didn’t mean any harm. He took this opportunity to really look at Alex’s new friend. She looked so familiar... almost like... but Alex said her name was Cassie. She was covered from neck to toe.
“What’s wrong?” Max asked softly, vaguely aware of the spectacle they were making.
“Don’t touch me.” She hissed with so much venom that both men moved away. “I don’t know who you are but stay away from me.”
“Cassie, calm down.” Alex finally stepped in. “This is just a friend of mine. He won’t hurt you.”
“Like you would know, you don’t know what he is.” Liz never took her eyes off the man who looked like her lover under major makeover influence. Max immediately paled at her words. She knew what he was? “Why do you look like him?”
“Look like who?” Max asked, his voice barely a whisper.
“Oh, you know who I’m talking about. You almost had it. You have the face and the body but Zan would never be caught dead dressed like that.” She shook her head with a slight smirk. She knew he could probably kill her but if she could keep him off-guard she could have some time to build energy. It wouldn’t cause him much damage but maybe she’d be able to get away.
“Zan...” Max trailed off. Ed had tried to tell them about their past lives but Max really hadn’t paid much attention, maybe he should have. He stared up at the beautiful woman and tried desperately to make some sense of the situation.
“Cassie, come on. Get down from there. No one is going to hurt you.” Alex spoke up and reached for her hand. She allowed him to guide her off the chair. She scooted away from Max in an attempt to put some distance between them.
“Shit.” Both Alex and Max whispered when a man stalked up to them and put his arm around ‘Cassie’. Max stood there dumbfounded as a man that could have been his twin calmed down the distraught woman.
“Liz.” He murmured into her braids as he ascertained that she was unharmed. Then his eyes fell on the two men before him. Their eyes widened at his use of her real name. “Who these fuckers?”
“He’s gotta be the shape-shifter.” Liz whispered even as she clung to his body.
“What the hell you doin’ out by yoself? Where’s Ava and Lannie?” He griped her out but his eyes never left his duplicate and his friend.
“I just went for a walk. I ran into that guy Alex across the street. He bought me lunch. Then that other guy came, said his name was Max.” Liz whispered, her eyes stinging at unshed tears. He was angry with her and would probably yell at her later.
“Look, Zan.” Max managed to put his tongue to use. “We weren’t trying to hurt her. We were just saying hi.”
“No one touches her.” Zan sneered. “You and I are gon meet ‘gin. When that happens, we get some answers.” The two backed down the street and disappeared around a corner.
“Did you hear what he called her?” Alex whispered. “That’s not possible... is it? She can’t be Liz. Liz is dead.”
“It looked like her.” Max spoke softly as bells went off in his head. He had to go to Ed.
“She’s gone. No one knows better than I do. I was her best friend for... five years... both of their friends.” Alex started losing it. It just could not be her.
“Alex, don’t worry about these people... I’ll take care of it.”
“What were you thinkin’?” Zan yelled at her, watching her braids fall over her face. Her eyes fixated on her boots, blinking back the sting. “I never leave you alone ‘cause you can’t defend yourself. If it ain’t cause of the visions, it’s cause you cain’t gather enough energy. Who knows what he would’a done to ya if I ain’t hauled ass over there?”
“Stupid bitch.” Ava muttered.
“You! Shut the fuck up.” Zan whirled on the small pink-haired girl. “What the fuck were you doin’ sleepin’ when I told you to look after her?”
“What’s the shit anyway?” Rath interrupted.
“She says it was the shape-shifter. He was wearin’ my face.” Zan chewed at his lip stud and raised a hand up in the air. “He was dressed like a cornball but it was my face, my body he was walkin’ around in.”
“She said I looked just like Zan. Then this guy shows up. He was wearing my face and my body. He was dressed like a punk but... it was me.” Max ran a hand over his face then raised it up in the air. “What didn’t you tell us about the mission to bring us here?”
“Did she let anything else slip?” Ed stared at his King hard. They had retreated to his office the second that Max had stepped into the house.
“I think she thought I was you.”
“Did he say anything?”
“He said that no one touches her. He and I would meet again. That when we did, he was going to get some answers. No, he said we. ‘We get some answers.’ I get the feeling that he wasn’t just talking about him and Liz.” Max nodded solemnly. “What haven’t you told us?”
“You said he looked like you but was dressed like a punk. Anything else different?” Ed asked, he just needed a little more information.
“He had this accent. He is not from New Mexico, or Texas. No place from the South. Not west coast either. Maybe East coast, up North.” Max heard the thick accent in his head over and over again. “He drops his endings, talks tough, bad grammar. He hasn’t had any schooling, no supervision from the way he took control of the situation.” Max chuckled lightly thinking of how he learned to analyze a person in one of his courses at the college. “And you said those classes wouldn’t come in handy.”
“I think I know who it is.” Ed stood up and began pacing his office. “When we were briefed on our mission, we were given specific tasks. We would bring you to earth and wait for your emergence. You were set to emerge first. We would explain things, beginning training. Then we would tell you and only you about the other set.”
“The other set?” Max looked up at his protector.
“We were sent to protect the royal four. Thing was... there were two sets. Then there was the crash and the government. We hid you four here and she took the other four somewhere else. You are the four that matter. The others were a decoy; a back-up plan. I honestly didn’t think they survived. Your pods were leaking and I tried to repair the damage.” Ed closed his eyes as he saw it all again. “I wanted to get you further away but not with the damage you all had sustained. I told her to go.”
“Her? She? Who are you talking about?” Max pressed.
“You know the story as well as I do. Three died in the crash and two were captured. The next time I saw her, we were both in the hands of the Special Unit. She told me he took them far away but close enough that we could get to them. She faked her death and escaped but she couldn’t wait for me. She left. When I escaped, finally... I went looking for her. I spoke to her briefly once. We decided to raise you separately. Since we were the only two left and there were eight total.” Ed paused to see that his charge understood.
“What happened to her?” Max whispered.
“I found her, dead. I assumed that they had gotten her and killed them too. I thought they were gone and so I didn’t tell you when I found you. There was no point in bringing them up as a strategy if they were gone. When I got back here after I found her, the three of you were gone. I took Tess and set out to find you.” Ed finished his little oratory.
“What was her name?”
“Her name is not important. I should have known that they had survived. They are stronger than you are.” Ed pinched the bridge of his nose and sank into his desk chair. “Zan, Rathard, Vilandra and Avaria.”
“They have Liz.” Max whispered. “I am almost certain that it’s her. Zan... he has her.”
“I should have paid more attention to you.” The old looking man admitted. “If he does have her, there must be a reason. A reason that you fixated on her, a reason that he has had her all these years... it can’t be just because she’s a beauty as you say.” Ed scratched his head.
“That not it. Not it at all. The second that I saw her, I knew she was special. I was eight years old, Ed. She’s always drawn me to her.” Max whispered. He thought back to all the times he had stared at her during class or across the schoolyard. “I never believed she died. I had a vision of myself healing her before she died. Maybe it wasn’t a vision after all.”
Liz looked around for her notebook. It was old and tattered, pages torn, binding bent... but it was hers. She remembered drawing in it the memories of her family and friends. Zan was ordering them back into the van. It was too risky to stay in the room. “It was right here. I left it there.”
“Let’s bounce already.” Lannie sauntered out of the room, pulling Rath after her.
“I had it last night. Where is it?” She felt the tears stinging her eyes. That notebook was all she had left of her deteriorating memories.
“I chunked it.” Ava shrugged and went out to the van.
Liz stood there, dumbstruck. She stormed out of the room after Ava. “You did what?”
“I threw it away. It’s just a dumb notebook.” Ava barely batted an eye until she heard the scream. Liz reached out and grabbed her by her pink hair.
“You had no damn right to touch my notebook!” She screamed at the woman, tossing her to the ground. She gathered her energy quickly, fueled by her anger and loss. Liz had no clue what she was going to do with this ball she was building but she was too pissed to think.
Ava picked herself up off the ground and wiped the grit from her face. “Oooh, bitch. You gon regret that.”
Just as the two lunged at each other, Zan grabbed Liz and pulled her away. “Chill!”
“Let her go. I want a piece of her.” Ava hissed.
“I said chill.” Zan pinned her with a look. He glanced down at the obviously furious Liz for a moment before letting her go. “Let it go.”
“I can’t.” Liz shoved herself off him and tore down the street.
“Look what you did!” Zan turned on Ava, who cowered under his gaze. The three of them could feel the anger coming off him in waves. “She can’t even remember her way around you stupid bitch.”
“It ain’t my fault she flipped.” Ava meant to shout it out but it only came out as a whisper.
“You don’t touch her shit. Her brain is fryin’ to keep us ahead of the game. That’s why she gets what she wants. That’s why she gets a bed and food before we do. She even taught you dumb asses how to read as good as she can.” Zan growled at them. They stared at him like children who had gotten caught playing ball in the house after the window broke. “Now, instead of lookin’ for the damn shape-shifter, we gotta look for her. Get in the fuckin’ van.”
Rath and Ava did as told, knowing they were the main cause of any discontentment Liz had. Lannie approached her brother slowly. “How sick is she?”
“I don’t think I could fix her.” Zan whispered. “Somethin’s gone wrong. I don’t think she was s’posed to get like this.”
“Where you think she’ll go?” She glanced down the street in the direction the smaller girl had taken off.
“She doesn’t even know.” He stared at his feet for a long time, until after Lannie had climbed into the van. He always held back on Lannie. He wondered sometimes if she knew it. Liz probably didn’t even realize how much the visions were taking out of her.
Liz opened the phone book and turned it to the back and ran her finger down the rows of names until she hit the one she wanted. Whitman, Charles. The only Whitman in the book so there had to be some relation to the man she met at the UFO center. On a whim, she flipped to the beginning. Evans, Max. Curiously enough there was an Evans above and below his name. The one above had the same address but different phone number, listed as Evans, Isabel. The other name was across town from what she could remember. Evans, Philip. “Interesting.”
Wincing, she raised a hand to her forehead. Scanning was out, so she ripped the pages from the book and tried to get her bearings in a town that she had once known the ins and outs of. Where was she?
She started walking around and ended up back at the room. The van was gone and so were Zan and the others... but the cleaning lady’s cart was right outside. Sneaking up to the cart, she quickly retrieved her notebook from the bag. Opening to the first page, she recognized the name of the man she had met earlier and her crude drawing hardly did him justice. Maybe he knew what was going on.
Alex jogged to the door. Who in the world would be dropping by so late? “I got it Mom!”
He opened the door to see the ghost that had haunted him all day. She stared up at him with those brown eyes that had lost the light that he had loved. She had seen so many things in the years following her ‘death’ that her eyes no longer smiled. They still conveyed everything that she felt but in such a stronger way than before. “Alex?”
“Yeah, that’s me...” He didn’t know what to call her.
“I know you, don’t I? I mean... I used to know you. Right?” Liz furrowed her brow in confusion.
“You don’t remember?” Alex asked softly.
“I don’t remember a lot of things. I know my name is Liz. Elizabeth Parker. I know that you have the same name and face as this person.” She showed him her notebook. “I drew that a long time ago. It is you?”
“Yeah, it is.” He nodded and slowly reached out to hug her. Hesitantly, she hugged him back. His body jerked suddenly and sobs filled her ears. “I’ve missed you, Liz.”
|posted on 2-Sep-2001 9:08:37 PM|
Max studied the page in front of him for a minute then turned the page. “That one.”
“Good choice. Which one will you be wearing?” Isabel noted the page number and style.
“That one.” Max reiterated. “You’re not giving that one to Michael.”
“He wanted a powder blue tux, Max.” She groaned.
“Can’t we wear the same style? It’ll look different on both of us.” He tried to help out.
“But you’ll end up looking better than him and I am determined to have him looking his absolute best.” She flipped through the book. The phone rang and Isabel had it in her hand before the second ring. “Isabel... Alex, I’ve told you. I’m engaged... Oh... Max, it’s Alex.”
Max sighed and took the phone. “Hey man... you’re kidding... It’s really her? ... Why not? ... Why won’t she say? ... No man, I have no clue what she was talking about... No, don’t know who that guy is... maybe... I guess I’ll just have to talk to him... Tell her that I’m cool... It’s really important that I talk to her, Alex... Yes it does have something to do with her boyfriend... hell, I’m curious as to why he looks like me too... catch you tomorrow then.”
“What was that all about?” Isabel asked, curious as to why her stalker hadn’t wanted to talk to her.
“Nothing.” Max hopped up from the table and disappeared into Ed’s office.
Liz walked into Alex’s room with a towel around her hair and clad in his sweats, tank and her gloves. She sat on the edge of his bed and rubbed her hair dry. “Your parents won’t mind you keepin’ me here?”
“My parents barely notice that I’m here.” Alex shook his head with a smile. He took in her appearance. “What’s happened to you? The gloves, I mean?”
She sat silently for two full minutes before speaking. “How much do you know about Max Evans?”
“Plenty. I know his sister is beautiful and won’t talk to me beyond a casual ‘how’s the weather’ conversation. He’s a genius. He’s hilarious and he’s a stand-up kind of guy.”
“Never mind, then. You obviously don’t know him too well.” Liz whispered and ran her fingers through her hair.
“We all thought you died that day... then when the evidence disappeared and your body was missing...” Alex shut his eyes against the memory of how hard that summer was without his best friends. “Why did you disappear?”
“I had to.” She murmured as she focused her energy on restoring fresh braids to her head while he wasn’t paying attention. “I still don’t know who shot me... Zan saved me. I’ve been with them in New York. He protects me.”
“Why did you come here tonight?”
“I-I don’t know. Ava tried to destroy my notebook, my sanity, my memories. I tried to hurt her... I’ve never tried to do that before. I feel like I’m losing myself the longer that I’m with them.” Liz rubbed her gloved hands together.
“Then why do you stay with them?” Alex pulled his chair closer to the bed.
“I love him. He loves me.” She shrugged and stared down at her hands. “Zan protects me, he heals me... I need him. Ava’s just jealous that he doesn’t love her. She’s just sex to him. I’m what he wants.”
Zan surveyed the around but there was no sign of her. He was exhausted but he needed to find her. Rath pulled the van over into an empty lot. “We’ll start again in the mornin’. She can’t have gotten far, especially if she’s got Swiss chese for brains.”
“When we get her back, you will never touch her again.” Zan muttered and sank into the passenger seat, his eyes still sweeping the area outside the van.
“No whateva.... That’s an order.”
“Tell me about what you think Max is.” Alex asked, spreading sheets on the couch for her to sleep on.
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.” Liz shook her head. She wanted to tell Alex everything but so many years of keeping things to herself had paid their toll on her soul. She watched his blue eyes full of concern. He wanted to know everything that had happened to her since she had ‘died.’ “Are you ready for a long story?”
“I got all the time in the world.” He smiled gently and sat on one end of the couch. She pulled on her jacket before joining him. Once again, none of her flesh touched anything that wasn’t hers.
“I see it in my dreams. I see it happen. We were standing there talking and waiting... I guess for you. Then some guy ran through and shots rang out. They got us both. I just lay there on the sidewalk bleeding when Zan appears over me. He put his hands on me and healed me. Then he picked me up and we got out of there.” Liz shut her eyes. “He said that someone was after me. That I was special and he had seen me in his dream. That he was supposed to save my life. It was strange while we were still in town. I saw my own casket put into the ground. Where are my parents?”
“They sold the Crashdown about five years back and went to Florida but I guess they come back every once in a while because I see new missing posters around town. After your body disappeared, they thought you might still be alive.” He wanted to hug her for dear life but didn’t want to stop her from talking. Alex loved that she felt she could go to him after all this time.
“Oh.” She nodded. “When we got to New York, he tells me who he really is. Zan is the King of this planet in a solar system far away. Lannie is his sister, a princess. Rath is her fiancée and Ava was intended to be Zan’s bride.”
“Where do you figure in to this alien nation?” Alex teased lightly, not quite sure what to make of what she was implying.
“I’m the augur. I chose the name myself. They didn’t really read much before I got there. It was a couple of months after I was there that we discovered what was special about me.” Liz twirled a braid between her fingers as she recounted that innocent experience. “Zan was comforting me because I was homesick. He gave me my first kiss and then I saw things. I saw his birth on Earth. He had never told anyone about the shape-shifter that was there when he came out of his pod.” A whimsical smile crossed her face, making Alex glad he was there to witness it. “So I see things. Past, present, future. Like the prophet Cassandra, like the oracles at Delphi, like a soothsayer.”
“You didn’t used to be able to do things like that.”
“Alex, I didn’t used to be able to do a lot of things.” She told him with a slight smile. Being in his presence had taken the edge off her headache. She had a vision building but she chose to ignore it. “ Like this.” She gathered her energy and held out her hand. Across the room, Mrs. Whitman’s vase slid from one side of the table to the other. “Or this.” She lifted her hand to her hair. One braid turned red. “Zan changed me when he healed me. I’ve got psycho-kinetic abilities and some ESP. You wanted to know about my gloves...”
“Yeah.” He nodded in awe.
“I can get... flashes when I touch things with my bare skin. Like I know that someone may have seen Zan heal me that day and that is dangerous because someone knows I’m still alive. My life is still in danger.” Liz sighed and touched her temples.
“Do you want some aspirin or something? It looks like you’re fighting quite a headache.” Alex started to get up.
“No. I’ll be fine. It’s a vision but I have to find an equilibrium before it can be revealed to me.”
“I need Zan. The visions give me pain and I need Zan to give me pleasure to get them out. They’ve gotten so bad over the years. It used to be that just a touch would help but now...” Liz shook her head. “I should rest. I have to find Zan tomorrow. My visions help him to be the King he needs to be.”
“What about Max? You said he was a shape-shifter this afternoon.” Alex scratched his head. “I’ve known him since he came to school in the third grade. We’ve become pretty good friends since sophomore year of high school. Why would you think he’s an alien? He’s as normal as they come.”
Liz shuddered as she recalled one of Zan’s memories. That had made a lasting impression on her about the shape-shifting ‘protectors’. Sometimes it gave her nightmares. “When Zan came out of his pod, a shape-shifting protector greeted him. She told him about his past life on Antar and his purpose on our planet. For two weeks she trained him in the extensive use of his abilities. Then... she taught him how to kill.”
“He was only six years old, well he looked like a six-year-old.” Liz felt the tears well up and spill out of her eyes but she kept talking. “They practiced on homeless people and crack-heads. She showed him different ways to kill humans. Once, they killed a Skin, that’s their enemy. Zan... he’s smart, real smart and he didn’t like killing but he did as he was told because he had responsibilities and he had to take care of his family. They were going to emerge from their pods soon.”
“Wow.” Alex felt himself getting sucked into her story. He didn’t really believe any of it but he could tell that she did, wholeheartedly.
“The third week out of his pod, they ran into FBI agents as she was explaining something to him. I’ve never gotten what it was but it must have been important. She held out her hand to fend them off. One of the Agents told her something and she lost it. Zan hid in a trashcan.” Liz wiped the tears off her face. “She turned on him. She tried to kill him... so he had to kill her. He was so scared.”
“Don’t you think that maybe the FBI did something to her to make her turn?”
“No. She was angry. She kept taunting him. She threatened the pods. There was only one thing he could do and so he killed her.” Liz wiped her face on her sleeve and sniffed. “He never told the others anything more than that shape-shifters existed. When I told him that there was one here, he got a little nervous.”
“Max wants to talk to you.”
“No!” Liz shook her head. “I can barely hold my own against Ava. I couldn’t defend myself against Max.”
“Max never hurt a fly in his entire life. He always refused to dissect the frogs in bio.” Alex tried to reassure the scared girl on his couch. His eye caught on her notebook. “Can I?” Reluctantly, she handed it over. Alex looked over his young face and then Maria’s. The Parkers. “Grandma Claudia died.” He told her.
“I know. I think I saw her in a vision six years back.” Liz hugged her knees to her chest.
He turned page after page of drawings of Roswell and people she knew. Then came the four. Maybe she really did see visions. There was Tess Harding and Alex knew she had never met the girl. Alex knew all four people on the page. Max Evans, all around good guy. Isabel Evans, living breathing goddess. Michael Guerin, bane of his existence. Tess Harding, a fool for Max Evans. “How did you see Tess?”
“Tess?” Liz shook her head.
“This girl here, this is Tess.” Alex pointed. “This is all of them. Isabel and Michael and Max and Tess. They all live together at Tess’s. Did you know that they all lived together?”
“That’s Zan, Rath, Lannie and Ava.” Liz disagreed. “That was in a book that’s very important to their mission... if only we could find it. Look, I really need to rest and then tomorrow I have to find Zan.”
“Okay, Goodnight then. Holler if you need anything.” Alex left her alone and went back to his room. There was no way he was going to sleep tonight. Not with all that knowledge in his head. Could it be true? Aliens on earth. Royal aliens on earth. Sinking down on his bed, he eyed the phone a minute before picking it up. Not caring if he woke anyone up, he dialed Max’s number this time. Max rarely answered his own phone and so Alex left a message on the answering machine.
Max’s arms tightened around his pillow as his eyes finally fluttered closed. Tess’s even breathing against his back helped ease him into slumber. Her words echoed in his head still. ‘I couldn’t take it if I woke up alone again.’ Aside from that thought, the night was entirely peaceful, so Max focused on that. It was in these moments that he could consider marrying Tess.
The knowledge that she trusted him endlessly with everything that was her, that she had just given herself over to him completely once again, that she would do anything at all to please him... it was overwhelming and Max had trouble believing anyone could feel that way about him. Her soft breasts were pressed against his back, her left hand rested on his shoulder, her silken hair tickled his ear just a bit and her eyelashes fluttered against his spine in her sleep. If only she knew how that turned him on. How many times in his past life had he lain like this with his wife? How many times had he given in to the urge that he felt now? That urge to gently roll over beneath her and wake her with kisses so that they could make love once again.
Yanked from his mind’s musings by the phone ringing, Max cursed softly to himself. Who the hell would be calling so late? Two more rings and the answering machine turned on. “You’ve reached Max Evans. I’m not able to come to the phone at the moment so if you would leave your name, number and purpose... I guess I’ll get back you.” Beep.
“Max, it’s Alex. She’s asleep now but... man... she told me some crazy shit tonight. I’m not sure whether or not I believe it. I know you’re there so just get back to me. There’s no way I’m sleeping, now. I won’t get into it now but I really need to talk to you about this stuff. I’ll be up so come over when you can.” Click.
There was no decision to be made. Max got out from under Tess and yanked his clothes on. He wondered if he should take the Jeep or walk. Either way, he’d be there soon enough.
Zan stared at the park across from the van. He couldn’t sleep if she wasn’t there beside him. His mind raced with a million reasons to worry. What if she was attacked and was too weak to send him a warning? What if she was having another vision and he wasn’t there to relieve the pain? He closed his eyes at the possible pain she could be in. Zan wished he could stop all this and go back make things different. What if he hadn’t come for her? What would she be doing instead?
He almost snorted. If it weren’t for him, she’d probably be married or in college or something. She wouldn’t know about interspecies politics or that there were at least six races of beings in the known universe. Zan stepped out of the van and began walking. What he wouldn’t give to grant her that ignorance and peace of mind...
Zan got about ten feet when the van door opened, issuing forth Rath. The taller man quickly caught up to Zan. “Where you going?”
“For a walk.” Zan answered shortly and made to go on with his plan of taking a walk.
“Yo... I... I gotta tell you somethin’.” Rath’s hesitant statement made Zan freeze. Rath never needed to tell anyone anything, mostly because he could barely string together a coherent sentence by himself. “I shoulda told ya before but we wasn’t back here before.”
“What?” Zan shook his head at his second.
“It’s just that when you told me to kill Liz. I didn’t.” The street-light shone down on the both of them. Rath lowered his voice slightly when he heard a set of footsteps walking across the street.
“What the fuck you talkin’ bout?” Zan took a step closer to the moron.
“Well, ya see... I was gonna and then I wasn’t too sure if I could just off some chick. Then some punk beat me to it.”
“What are you sayin’? Someone wanted her dead... for real?”
“I guess so... yeah. I guess I just never thought of it that way.” Rath shrugged uncertainly under Zan’s glare. “Look, I just thought that since we was here... you should know.”
“You just thought.” Zan’s eyes narrowed even more. “I don’t tell you to think. Get your ass back to the van and protect the ladies, genius. I’m goin’a get Liz.”
“How you gon do that? Huh? We ain’t seen her all night!” Rath called after Zan’s departing figure. “She ain’t gonna come back!”
Zan kept walking, wishing all the while that he could reach out his mind to her like she could to him. She said someone had seen him heal her. What if that someone was the person that tried to kill her? He had to find her... fast. He put a hand to his head for a minute. The ramifications of what Rath had said were sinking in. Zan had really been destined to save Liz’s life. Someone or something out there had wanted her dead... and that made her even more important than before.
Max wrapped his arms around himself to fend off the cold night air. It was so quiet out that he was glad he didn’t take the jeep. The engine would have been heard all over. His mind raced. Liz Parker was really alive after all these years. Max could remember sending her a couple of anonymous Valentines every year. He would watch her eyes light up when she opened them and then glance around as if she’d be able to tell who sent them.
“I shoulda told you before but we wasn’t here before...”
Max quickened his pace as he noted two unusual characters standing underneath a streetlight across the street. He should just hurry up and get to Alex’s. Just two more blocks.
Liz tossed and turned in her sleep. It was obvious to Alex that she was in pain but he didn’t know what to do about it. Should he wake her? Should he call someone? The hospital? Her friends? Where were they? What was happening to her?
A soft rap at the front door told Alex that Max had finally arrived. He rushed to the door and pulled in his friend. “Max, okay... She told me that she was killed and an alien brought her back to life. She says you are a different kind of alien that shape-shifts. She’s asleep but she’s hurting. I don’t know what’s going on so I don’t know what to do.”
Max blinked at Alex’s immediate rant upon his entrance. Had he just said what he thought Alex said? “Whoa. Slow down.”
“Ok.” Alex led Max into the living room where Liz still lay asleep though sweating profusely. “Check this out. She said she drew this the other day.” Alex showed Max the pictures of himself and his family. Max’s eyes widened at the amazing likeness to Tess. “She says that’s Zan, um... Lannie... Rath and she says that is Ava. Her boyfriend and his family. She said that these pictures are in a book or something that’s really important. She said that they have to find it.”
Max sank back into the chair he sat in. he flipped through the book and found excerpts from the book and other symbols that were ingrained in his head, programmed into his mind before he was created. “My God... I know this...” Max traced a symbol in the book.
“So it’s true? You’re an alien?” Alex’s eyes widened. While he said it and thought it... the idea didn’t really take in Alex’s addled mind.
“You can’t say anything to anyone but... I may need your help now.” Max whispered. “She trusts you and I need to talk to her about what she knows about her boyfriend and his family.” Max suddenly stopped and turned to Liz.
Zan stopped walking mid-stride. He felt Liz in his head. She was nearby somewhere and she needed him.
Max couldn’t stop himself from moving to her side. Alex watched in silence as something seemed to take over his friend. Liz reached out and touched Max in her sleep, her glove vanished. Her hand lifted to his face as he turned to press a kiss to her palm. Her back arched, raising her upper body up off the couch towards Max. Her jacket vanished and her bare arms came in contact with Max’s suddenly bare torso.
Alex blinked and then shut his eyes. He shouldn’t be witnessing this. This shouldn’t be happening. Liz’s boyfriend had seemed pretty possessive and if he knew that she and Max were getting friendly...
Liz shuddered as she began waking up. The pressure in her head was making it difficult to stay asleep. Somehow Zan had found her and he felt so good. Just his skin against hers was lessening the pain. His lips on her palm allowed the minor visions to be released. That’s when the physical sensations registered. His chin was smooth against her hand, the absence of his lip stud struck her suddenly. “No!”
Max’s eyes sprung open as Liz leaped off the couch. It was then he realized his shirt was gone. He saw Liz cowering on the other side of the room. He started to get up and cross over to her, when a light tap to his chest pushed him back down. Her outstretched hands drew back to her sides.
“You just stay away from me.” She hissed and then turned to Alex, who had opened his eyes to this bizarre turn of events. “And you... I trusted you and you led him right to me.”
“I thought I was helping.” Alex raised his hands up.
“You thought wrong.” A growl came from the open doorway. All three sets of eyes moved to the figure standing there. “Liz, come here.”
Liz wasted no time in grabbing her bag and notebook on her way over to Zan. He thrust her behind him immediately. Max stood slowly, hands down, to face his mirror image. “I didn’t hurt her. I wasn’t trying to hurt her.”
“Your kind spells trouble.” Zan narrowed his eyes at the shirtless man before him.
“I’m not a shape-shifter.” Max cleared his throat. “I’m like you. I was once called King Zan of Antar.”
“Bullshit. I’m King Zan.”
“When my mother recreated me, she made two sets... just in case.” Max went on. “My protector just told me this tonight. She made a backup set to throw off the scent of the Skins... but to tell you the truth... I’ve yet to see one. I’m not too sure if they even exist.”
“I’ve killed dozens of them.” Zan stood his ground. “They are on Earth. Trust me.”
“Okay, I’ll take your word for it.” Max searched his brain for any information that would pacify Zan. The book! “I have the book. The one with your faces in it. Zan, Vilandra, Avaria, Rathard.”
“You took the book?” Zan almost took a step forward.
“The girl, Avaria... the one they call Tess. She showed him the book in the library where my vision said it would be.” Liz whispered to her Zan while shaking off her headache. Some holes in her visions were becoming clearer but the pain kept her from remembering them all. Max watched the way Zan’s eyes shifted to Liz and softened. “Let’s go. I can find them later.”
“You... I told you we would meet again.” Zan pointed to Max and backed out the door, nudging Liz ahead of him. When the door shut, Max turned to Alex and ran a hand through his hair.
“You’ve got to tell me everything that she told you.”
Liz stumbled as the adrenaline rush stopped. Zan caught her and pulled her down an alley. She was weak. They fell in a heap behind a dumpster. Liz clung to him and pleaded. “It hurts... why does it hurt so bad?”
Zan slipped his hand up her shirt and caressed her skin. He put aside being angry with her for running off so he could check her out. She didn’t appear to be physically hurt. Her visions must have been wreaking havoc on her senses all night. “How bad is it?”
“Awful.” She hissed and closed her eyes, allowing his touch to heal her. She pressed her body into his, needing to be closer, needing to be touched and relieved. He nuzzled at her neck, leaving soft kisses along her throat. “He could heal me. How is that possible?”
“He healed you?” Zan almost drew away from her for a moment before he remembered the pain she was in. “What happened in there?”
“I went to Alex because he used to be my friend. He was one of my best friends and he remembered me. He wanted to be my friend after all this time.” Liz guided his hands to her breasts as she panted her tale. “I talked to him. I told him but I could tell he didn’t believe me. I tried to explain but then I got so tired. I was having a nightmare and I called to you in my mind.”
“I know. I heard you. That’s how I found you.” He murmured into her ear. His fingers began teasing her nipples slowly, just letting the pleasure build. He cursed at their awkward position in the alley.
“I felt you but it was him. He kissed me like you do, his skin felt just like yours. It was so strange. Then I got the images of him making love to his... Ava and I knew it wasn’t you. You have a goatee and this.” Liz bent her head to lick at his lip stud. He tasted so good and she couldn’t stop kissing him. Minor visions released themselves at a rapid clip as she arched into his hand. “He was so different but the same. Zan...”
“What?” He paused but resumed his touching when she whimpered.
“There are four of them. They look like you.” She moaned and felt the pain go down a notch. “I think I may have pulled a muscle in my brain when I used my powers on Max. But I didn’t know then.”
“Know what? What is he?” He pulled her tighter against his body, hoping to infuse her with as much energy as he could muster.
“He’s you.” Liz gasped then suddenly stopped moving. Her body went limp against him. She shivered as the cold night touched her skin. “I know where he lives. He lives with the shape-shifter.”
“And this matters why?” Zan rubbed her skin to create some warmth. “What the hell is wrong with you? You’re cold as hell.”
“It still hurts. I need more.” She fought to keep her eyes open. “You remember when all it took was for you to touch me and it went away?”
“Yeah. I’d just touch your nose and they’d just rip on through.” He chuckled and reached for her bag. She had to have another jacket in there. “Hey, you remember the time we scared that old lady when you had a vision in the store? Thought she was gonna shit bricks.”
“Never could look at Twinkies the same way again.” Liz smiled a little at the memory of the way she jumped Zan’s bones in the junk-food aisle of a grocery store when they were supposed to be on a grub-run.
“Still get a little worked up when I see cupcakes.” He admitted, tucking her head under his chin. His fingers came in contact with paper. Looking over it, he found it was a page from a phonebook. There it was Max Evans, after a quick scan he found the appeal in the paper. “We need to get you comfortable.”
“Zan. I need help. I can’t get them out.” Liz cried, the tears slipped down her cheeks and soaked his shirt. “I feel like I’m dying.”
“You ain’t gonna die. I ain’t gonna let you.” Zan told her sternly. He forced her to look at him. “You hear me? I am not going to let you die on me.”
“The visions...” Her eyes slid away from his.
“Fuck the damn visions. They’re killin’ you but I’m gonna beat ‘em. You ain’t leavin’ me.” His voice cracked, revealing the strain that he’d been holding in. “You got that? We been through too much shit for you to leave now.”
“You can’t do this alone.” She whispered, the longer he touched her, the better she felt... it just wasn’t enough to make her whole again.
“You learn who can help?” Zan stroked her hair and waited for her answer. Once she whispered to him what to do, he picked her up and started walking out of the alley. He just hoped he wouldn’t get lost.
Max dumped his keys on the table and trudged up to his room. He stripped down and slid back next to Tess. He just needed some sleep. If only he could just get the feel of Liz’s skin out of his mind. Against his will, his cock hardened. If he licked his lips, he could probably it taste her palm. That thought only served to get him even more worked up. First he glanced down at the growing tent in the sheet then over at Tess where she still slept. Gently he nudged her awake and pulled her on top of him.
Zan almost lost his footing as he walked the streets of Roswell. Where the hell was Manchester Boulevard? He shifted Liz’s small form in his arms and kept going. Glancing down, he saw her eyes flutter closed. “Liz, wake up.”
“Don’t go to sleep on me. Talk to me.” He ordered her.
“Anything. I just need to know you wit me. Talk, sing, hum. Just do something so you don’t fall asleep.” He looked up at the sign on the corner, cursing when it wasn’t Manchester. “What’s that song you always used to sing?”
“Which one?” Liz wanted so much to close her eyes against the pain and just drift away.
“You know the one by that chick with the hair?” Zan crossed the street and was once more enveloped in darkness. The streetlights seemed so far apart. So many thoughts raced through his head. If Rath hadn’t shot Liz, who did? Where was the bastard? What did he know about what was going on? What was with this Max guy that had given Liz visions so large she was dying? Why were there two sets? “Liz?”
“I don’t remember.” She sobbed and buried her face in his neck.
“Let’s remember together then.” He whispered and rubbed her leg with his fingers. “It’s okay. Sh. It’ll be okay.”
After catching her breath, Tess leaned forward and propped her chin up on Max’s chest, letting her body slide down along his. Sighing in contentment, she fixed her eyes on his face. Her mate was so handsome. “Max?”
“Hm?” His eyelids barely cracked open.
“What’s been going on? He spent tonight looking through the book.” She asked referring to the way Ed read through the book several times and had this expression of confusion on his face all night.
“Don’t worry about it.”
“But Max... he seemed really upset. What’s going on?”
“I’m handling it.” Max lifted his head and opened one eye.
Raising herself off him to show him she meant business, Tess raised her voice. “Where did you go tonight?”
“You’ve been really strange lately. What is it?”
“Just go to bed, Tess.” Max told her and lay back to close his eyes.
“No. Tell me, Max.”
“I’m tired. I just want to go to sleep.” He attempted to roll over, making Tess get off of him. Huffing, she grabbed her robe and left the bed. She wrapped the robe around herself before storming out of his room. Sighing heavily, Max opened his eyes to stare at the ceiling. His mind wandered to various and sundry things. Softly, he began singing. “Come to me now...”
“Come to me now...” Zan hear the words before he knew he had said them. Liz lay her head against his shoulder. She hummed for a moment and then began singing softly.
“Come to me now. Lay your hands over me. Even if it’s a lie, say it will be alright and I will believe.” Liz let out a breath as she let the tune sink in.
“Keep singin’.” He told her and let his feet guide him. He didn’t know where he was going but he was sure he could trust his instincts now.
“Broken in two, I know you’re on to me... that I only come home when I’m so all alone but I do believe.” She couldn’t believe she had forgotten her favorite song. Zan hummed right along with her, the vibration beside her body creating pleasant feelings inside her. He remembered.
“Come on. Don’t fall asleep on me.” He whispered.
“That not everything is gonna be the way you think it oughta be. It seems like every time I try to make it right it all comes down on me.” Her voice was fading away. “Please say honestly, you won’t give up on me. And I shall believe. And I shall believe.”
“Never give up on you. I swear.”
Max found himself putting on his sweats, still singing that song he hadn’t heard in years. “Open the door.”
Suddenly he couldn’t remember the rest of the words. That phrase stuck in his head. ‘Open the door... open the door... open the door.’ So that’s what he went and did. Some force made him go downstairs to the front door and open it.
Ed watched him carefully. It was almost as if the man were sleepwalking. The shape-shifter watched his king stand at the door in a daze... almost as if he were waiting for someone.
“Open the door...” Liz trailed off. Zan shook her lightly but she never started singing again. Down the street, he heard a door open. Automatically, his eyes snapped to the origin of the sound. Looking up, the street sign said ‘Manchester BLVD.’
Zan broke out into a jog. He didn’t want to upset her delicate frame but he needed to get there. That’s where he was supposed to be with her. He had to take her there. As he approached the house, a figure in the doorway came into view. Glaring, Zan walked slowly up to the front door. “If she dies in this house, I will not hesitate to kill you.”
“Understood.” Max nodded and stood aside to let his duplicate enter with the ailing augur.
Zan lay Liz down in the extra bedroom and glanced around a bit. It was made up like a guy’s room. Metallica posters and hockey banners adorned the walls. Max moved around getting extra blankets and pillows. “This used to be Michael’s room but he hadn’t used it in a little over a year... unless Izzy gets mad at him.”
“Who the hell are Izzy and Michael?” Zan muttered and busied himself with stripping Liz of her clothes. She still hadn’t woken up. Her face was pale, her breathing shallow and her skin varied from feverish head and shoulders to ice cold arms and legs.
“Um, Vilandra and Rathard.” Max supplied after a moment. He couldn’t help but stare at Liz’s beautiful body as she lay here in just her underwear. She was perfection in his mind’s eye. He was snapped out of his trance when Zan glared at him and yanked a blanket over her still form. “What’s wrong with her?”
“You.” Zan muttered and turned his attention to his ailing lover. “Liz? Liz, come on. Talk to me. Liz.” He touched her face and neck, just hoping to get a response out of her.
“Me? How did I do this to her?” Max sat on the edge of the bed.
“You touched her. She needed me and you touched her. I don’t know what it is you know that she needs to tell us but it’s too much for her to handle and... this time she’ll die if she doesn’t get it out.” His tone grew softer.
“She gets visions?” He stared at her face and mulled everything over.
“Yeah. Ever since I healed her... she gets these headaches and they release the visions once the pain goes away. Over the years, the pain got worse and she got more sensitive to everything. She reads moods like a fuckin’ fortunate teller, she can tell you what someone is like if she holds somethin’ of theirs... she gets little visions from touchin’ things and bigger ones from touchin’ people. These last few years, she ain’t been able to control it.” Zan pushed her braids out of her face. “The pain got worse lately. She been weak. She ain’t never been like this, though.”
“Why did you come take her?” Max asked, daring to be brave with his rough-looking duplicate.
“Don’t you see it? When you look at her? I seen her in my dreams one night. She haunted me for a week until I found her. I was s’posed to save her life. I followed her for a day. Then someone was s’posed to shoot her and I was s’posed to save her life.” Zan found himself recounting those first experiences with the mild-mannered man sitting on the other side of the bed. “The second I saw her. I knew I had to have her.”
“Me too. I saw her when I got off the bus the first day of school. I watched her for nearly six years and then she died.” Max never looked away from her beautiful pale face. “I always thought she might be alive... just never knew for sure.”
“Asshole. You don’t let someone like her get away. I don’t intend to. She said you could help, so help.” Zan turned to Max. When Max just stared at him with a blank expression, Zan began stripping off his shirt. “Then leave us alone.”
Max nodded and left the room. He had no clue what to do, and so he went to Ed and started explaining what had happened that night.
Isabel tiptoed into the kitchen and tapped her brother on the shoulder. He barely turned. She could tell he hadn’t gotten much sleep the night before. “How come Michael’s room is closed?”
“Liz Parker is in there.” Max shrugged and took a sip of his coffee.
“You’re joking, right?” She shook her head.
“Nope... and she’s dying from me touching her. Zan is in there trying to heal her.”
“But you’re Zan...” She narrowed her eyes at her brother. “Max... what’s going on?”
“Apparently there are two Zans. Me and Zan.” He pointed to the door. “As to which one of us is the real Zan... who knows?”
“I am.” Zan stated and moved into the kitchen, bare-chested. Isabel practically climbed onto the counter to allow him room to pass. She stared at his piercings and tattoos in a mixture of shock and disgust. Zan paused to look her up and down. “Cornball.” Then he kept moving to the refrigerator. “I’m gon grab some grub, aight? Aight.”
“How is she?” Max poured a little Tabasco sauce into his coffee before taking another sip.
“Figure out how you s’posed to help her?” Zan countered, pinning the man with a look. Max shook his head slowly. “Then she ain’t doin’ so hot.”
“How do you know you’re the real King?” Isabel mustered up the courage to ask the strange man standing in her kitchen.
“Any of ya’ll ever been to a Summit? Do you know who Hanar, Kathana, Sero and Larek are? Nicholas or Khivar?” Zan grabbed a slice of pizza and made his way back over to Max. “Please tell me you know who Larek is.”
“No clue.” Max shook his head.
“That’s why I’m the King. Larek is my best friend from the home system. There’s these five stars, each one’s got a ruling house. I rule ours and Larek rules his. Close as brothers we was... until dear sis, here.” Zan pointed to Isabel. “She decides she likes Khivar’s dick better than her own betrothed’s. She sold out the house of Antar to that backstabber Khivar and his sidekick, Nicholas.”
“You’re lying.” Isabel whispered.
“Face it sweet cheeks. You were the death of us all. Just couldn’t keep those legs closed, could ya?” Zan taunted her, knowing he had struck a nerve.
“Enough!” Max shouted. “Isabel is not Vilandra.”
“Oh but she is. I trust Lannie, just not as much I used to trust Vilandra. She’d sell me out in a second if she knew she had a chance at ruling Antar. She may be my sister but she’s a fuckin’ slut. If I wasn’t her brother, she’d fuck me too.” Zan examined Max’s clean-shaven face, his neat and tidy hair, soft hands and strong but tender flesh. “Bet you never killed before.”
“There’s been no reason for it.” Max spoke quietly.
“’Nother point. I’ve killed to protect my family. I killed Skins. I killed Nicholas right after the Summit. I killed FBI agents that got too nosy in my city. I will kill whoever necessary to ensure the survival of my family. Can you do that?” Zan raised his voice and stepped to Max. It looked like some bizarre mirror image. “There’re still Skins out there, just waitin’ to take us all out before the ship comes.”
“How did you get the ship to come?” Ed stood in the doorway, Tess and Michael behind him. “How did they contact you?”
“Yo, simple. I cut a deal at the Summit. Liz told me what to expect. So I go in there to be the benevolent King that I am and I settle things. I tell Khivar’s man hell no. Afterwards, I killed him. I promised I’d use the Granilith if they come get us.”
“How do you know about the Granilith?” Isabel whispered. It had taken years for Ed to tell them about the Granilith and this guy already knew about it.
“Liz told me. She said she’d tell me where it is before the ship comes... which ain’t gon be for years. She said it’d be safer if no one knew where it was until then.” Zan crossed his arms.
“You mean to tell me that human girl knows where the Granilith is?” Ed’s eyes widened and he began pacing. “She gets visions as a result of being brought back from the dead. This doesn’t make any sense.” Finally, as if coming to a decision, he stopped moving and faced Zan. “Wake her up.”
“Yo, it ain’t that easy. She still in major pain and I’m doin’ everythin’ I can short of fuckin’ her but it ain’t workin’.” Zan held up his hands and made to go back down the hallway.
“Max, is this guy for real?” Michael pointed to the duplicate.
“Yeah, he is.” Max nodded stiffly.
“Max, help him bring her back. We need to know what she knows.” Ed motioned for Max to follow him down to Michael’s room. “Zan, how did you do so well if your protector was murdered?”
“The protector...” Zan growled and turned on the shape-shifter. “She was a traitor. She was going to kill the others so I killed her. I don’t like your kind.”
“My kind. Your people are my kind.” Ed countered.
“Then I just don’t like protectors. I ain’t been out the pod three weeks and she turned on us once those Febes knew where she was. They told her they was takin’ her back to the white room and she turned to me, ready to kill me, ready to kill them. They was still in they pods.” Zan got in the protector’s face. He wouldn’t hesitate to take this one out. “I was the only one there was to protect them and so I killed her. I raised them all. I took care of everything.”
“I trust you did just splendidly. Now, we really need to wake sleeping beauty.” Ed nodded and pointed to the door behind him.
“Who?” Tess whispered to Isabel.
“Liz Parker. She’s alive but now she’s dying.” Isabel hissed back.
“Liz Parker? That girl that Max has been obsessing about?” Tess felt like she had been punched. Of course, that’s where Max had gone last night. He went to her.
“I don’t like this.” Lannie shook her head. It was daylight and Zan wasn’t back yet. “I don’t like this.”
“He just went after her. She isn’t even one of us.” Ava grumbled.
“She’s a good piece of ass. Worth it to me.” Rath shrugged.
“A vacuum is a good piece of ass to you.” Lannie snorted. “No, he loves her. He’s goin’ to bring her back. No doubt.”
“Find him, Lannie.” Rath ordered.
“Here goes.” Lannie’s eyes slid shut and she reached out to her brother’s mind. Before he knew she was there, she saw the house and street sign. She then saw all the faces in the room where he was. Then she was thrown out. “Let’s go. I can find him.”
“Get the fuck out of my head, Lannie!” Zan shouted and shook his head. Isabel blinked. They had the same powers they did? Tess and Isabel held onto each other as the situation escalated. Liz’s prone body lay in the middle of the bed, practically naked and covered in sweat.
“Max, she said you could help, so help her.” Ed prodded.
“What am I supposed to do? I don’t even know what’s wrong with her.” Max protested.
“She’s hurtin’, that’s what’s wrong with her.” Zan snapped and took her in his arms.
“Let Max try.” Ed insisted and motioned for Max to take off his shirt.
“No. Nobody’s with her but me.” Zan shook his head and held her closer.
“You said it’s the only way.” Ed lifted his hands to the King. “You’re the King. It’s your call.”
“Everybody out. There’s too many people.” Zan ordered. “Just Max and the shape-shifter.”
“Why do you need him?” Max gestured to the older man as the others obediently filed out and shut the door.
“Cause Liz said he was important.” Zan whispered and stroked her hair out of her face. “You touch her but I’m gon hold on to her. No funny shit.”
Max nodded and pulled his shirt over his head before sitting on the other side of the bed. He touched her hands, her skin was so soft. Liz let out a sigh and sank back against her lover. Zan wrapped an arm across her chest to shield her bare breasts from Max’s view. Max reached out and touched her calves. He drew her legs against his bare chest to keep skin-to-skin contact as he stroked her legs from ankle to knee before daring to touch her thighs.
“Don’t go fallin’ in love, now.” Zan warned. “She loves me.”
“She wanted me to touch her earlier.” Max commented.
Ed broke in when he saw the anger flare in his kings’ eyes. “This isn’t a pissing contest boys. I’m curious as to why this girl can see what she sees. I want her awake.”
“What the fuck do you think we tryin’a do?” Zan growled. “No one wants her back more than me.” He stroked his fingers down her face. Then he noticed her breathing had returned to normal. “Liz?”
Liz arched her back. Zan was all around her. How was it possible for him to be touching her face, holding her and be driving her insane by stroking her legs? The pain lessened considerably but the dull ache was still throbbing through her. The visions chose that moment to slam through her body, ripping painful wave after painful wave through her body.
Max let go and jumped away when she started convulsing. Zan glared at him. “Get your ass back on this bed and help her.”
“I don’t know but she was doing better until you leaped off the bed like someone lit a fire under your ass. Sit the fuck down and help her.” Zan shouted. Max did as told. He felt like he was eight years old and had spilled the paint can in art again. Help but stop making a mess. Max was scared as he pressed her legs to his ribs and rubbed her thighs from knee to hip.
“I don’t know.” Zan whispered and moved his hand from her face to her stomach, his fingers played at the edge of her panties. He debated on whether or not he should help her like this with these men in the room. ‘Fuck it.’ He slid his fingers underneath the cloth and through her soft curls to find her little bundle of nerves.
“What are you doing?”
“What’s the ultimate pleasure?” Zan raised an eyebrow and began rubbing the little nub the way that he knew she liked. “Liz, baby, come on. Come back to us.” Max felt her hips bucking against Zan’s hand as he kept touching her legs. “You need more baby?” Zan kept talking to her as if she could hear him. His fingers worked at her faster. “Cum for me. Liz, cum for me.”
Max watched her face as it contorted first in pain and then in a grimace of pleasure. He parted her legs just a little and dropped his gaze to where Zan’s hand worked under the flimsy cloth. He could see Zan’s hand slip further down inside and knew the instant that his finger had entered her body. Her legs stiffened and then her hips began bucking wildly.
Zan kept his fingers pumping in and out of her body as his eyes fluttered closed. He leaned his head against hers and whispered to her softly. “You ain’t leavin’ me. You’re gon come right back here to me cause I love you. You got that. I love you. I ain’t never gon do anythin’ you don’t like if you just come back to me. Do you hear me, Liz? I love you.”
Liz arched her back and thrust her hips down on Zan’s curled fingers. “Zan!”
Max watched her ride out her orgasm and only wished that he could be the one to give it to her. Then her body went limp. He panicked and looked to Zan. “What happened?”
“She’s restin’ now. I think she feelin’ better.” Zan kissed her temple. “She likes to sleep afterwards.”
“King Zan... I’d like to talk to you regarding a few things.” Ed, who had remained but a spectator through the whole ordeal, spoke up and gestured to the door.
“I need to hold her now.” Zan shook his head.
“I’m sure Max will make a fine substitute. This is really important.”
Knowing that Liz said that the shape-shifter could read the book and would give the answers they needed. He agreed. He nodded for Max to lie back before he laid Liz in his duplicate’s arms to rest. “You try anything with her and I will know about it.”
Max stroked Liz’s braids, fingers lingering on the one red strand. She had wrapped her body around his in her sleep. He had dreamed about holding her like this for most of his life and now that he was, it was all he was allowed to do. He wanted to hold her, kiss her, and make love to her. Liz sighed in her sleep and pressed her cheek against his chest. Her legs tightened their grip on one of his legs and one of her hands had slipped just inside the waist of his jeans at his hips. Rolling his eyes heavenward, Max prayed for the strength not to act on any of the many urges he was feeling at that moment.
Isabel eyed her brother’s duplicate with earnest. Zan had a hand on his hip, looking at something that Ed was gesturing to. She couldn’t believe he had just made himself at home in their house. There he was in his bare feet, bare-chested, and unzipped, unbuttoned jeans slung low on his hips letting everyone know he didn’t wear underwear. He was covered in tattoos that were vaguely familiar to her and had silver piercings all over his body. She honestly didn’t know whether to be disgusted or turned on. Shaking her head of that last thought, she berated herself for forgetting he was her brother... if not actually her brother. She could never think of Max that way.
“Take a picture, Princess. It’ll last longer.” Zan called out without even looking up. He studied the book and listened to Ed’s brief run-through of what was in it but it didn’t seem all that important. Either Zan already knew this stuff or it was just scientific babble that only Liz could understand. “Ok... say I trust you with my Liz... what are you going to do?”
“Let Max take his rightful place as King.” Ed replied and wished he hadn’t said anything. Zan’s amber eyes flashed with anger.
“He doesn’t even know what’s goin’ on!” The King roared. He closed his eyes to calm down but it wasn’t working. “I am the King. I been recognized and ordained by the Summit leaders. I was the one who risked his neck to get this deal done. You and Maxie boy know nothin’ about what went down that day.”
“What did happen?” Ed unflappably asked as if he hadn’t been yelled at. He was used to it, Max was always yelling at him for some reason or another but it never really bothered him. Humans were really immature creatures.
“We was contacted, we went after a little investigation and then we cut a deal.” Zan growled and tried to get his emotions under control but knowing that Max was holding onto his Liz wasn’t helping. Liz could calm him down and soothe his frazzled nerves. Knowing just where she was only served to put him further on edge.
“I’ll need a bit more detail. How did Liz help you though that?”
Zan took a deep breath and leaned on the desk, staring at the book. “I wasn’t goin’a go. Liz kept havin’ a dream about Nicholas and sos I know I gots to check this guy out and the fuckin’ shrimp refused to talk to me until I was recognized by the contact as the king of Antar... which I gotta say is the sweetest fuckin’ thing I ever saw.” He recalled how all the contact had done was place his hand behind his head and a hologram had lit up the room with the five houses of their home system. “Liz knew he was gonna ask about the Granilith, she knew he was gonna attack me to find it and she knew how he was gonna do it. Mind-rape. That’s why she didn’t tell me where it was. Liz was damn scared of the punk but he wun’t nothin’ to take out.” Zan snapped his fingers as he remembered how easy it was to overtake Nicholas. Once the pre-adolescent body had let down his guard, the mind-rape had been turned on Nicholas at the most crucial moment and the shorter alien had kicked the bucket.
“When was this?” Ed perked up.
“’Bout three years ago...” Zan slammed his fist into the desk hard. “That’s when she got worse. Fuckin’ Nicholas.”
Liz inhaled the entirely male scent of her bedmate. She knew it wasn’t Zan so it had to be Max. She became more and more aware of herself and how she was clinging to him with every passing second. She was both dreading and anticipating what she knew to be inevitable. The more aware her body became to his, the less it cared that Max was not Zan. Her bare breasts pressed against his chest, hard nipples stabbing into his muscles, his strong hands rubbed up and down her back. Liz just knew he could feel how wet her panties were becoming where her legs where wrapped around his thigh. She was so tempted to let the hand resting between his hip and his jeans slip down lower. How would this version of Zan even react to her sexual drive?
Finally, Liz lifted her head from his chest and studied his face and his closed eyes. It was the first time she had really allowed herself to look at Max. It was looking at his face in the dim light of this strange place she was in that she remembered how familiar she had thought Zan was when he had saved her life. Later she hadn’t been able to remember but now she could. Max Evans had come to Roswell in the third grade and sometimes he had classes with her. Liz bit her lip as she remembered the crush on the boy who had sat behind her in eighth grade English. She had never had the guts to turn around and talk to him. Then he had turned out to look exactly like the man she had been in love with since she was 15 years old. “God, you are so Zan.”
“Hey, you’re awake.” Max whispered and opened his eyes a crack. “Why aren’t you scared? You were ready to kill me last night. I felt you push me away.”
“I didn’t know what you were then. I know now.” Liz whispered, her eyes still running over every plane of his face. He still had a little baby fat in his cheeks and he kept his face shaved close. She had always wondered what Zan would look like if he hadn’t grown up in New York. Now she knew.
“You want me to get Zan... or a shirt?” Max tried desperately to keep his eyes on her face. He stopped rubbing her back and felt horror at how thin she was. Her ribs stood out plainly to his touch.
“Where are we?” Liz rolled onto her side and looked around. “Is this your room?”
“No, this is my best friend, Michael’s.”
“Where is Zan, anyway?” She asked, turning her eyes back on him for a moment as they traveled the room.
“Um, Ed... that’s our protector, he’s telling him about our mission.” Max explained and watched her look around the room. “Explaining about the book you told him about.”
“Then don’t bother him. He needs to know all the stuff he wasn’t able to get from his own protector... the bitch.” Liz murmured. She had so many answers and so many more questions. She had gotten some of her memory back but not all of it. “I... I’ve missed being in Roswell.”
“You don’t have to go back.” Max told her sincerely. It bothered him slightly that this beautiful creature was mal-nourished and hurting and that not one of her friends was doing anything about it.
Liz didn’t answer him. He didn’t know what she knew. “God, you know, the last time I saw you... You were sitting behind Kinsey in algebra and she used to bother you so much.”
“I remember that.” Max chuckled and lifted the blanket up over her shoulders, more for his comfort than for hers. “I... I saw you get shot that day. I thought someone had ripped my heart out of my chest. I wanted to help but I was scared and then you were gone. I regretted everyday that I saw you and didn’t say hi and didn’t ask you out.”
“Must be in the genes. Zan crossed a country to get to me.” Liz pondered aloud. A throbbing began low in the base of her skull. “I... I had such a big crush on you in freshman year and I didn’t think you even knew I was alive.”
“Maybe I would have gotten up the courage to be with you if you hadn’t left.” Max reached out and touched her hair without thinking. His fingers trailed along the red braid and then along her cheek. The soft touch relieved some of the still growing tension inside her brain cavity.
“Anything’s possible.” Liz gasped as her head began to throb all over. She cursed silently at the frequency of this rash of violent visions. Couldn’t they give her a least a day’s rest? She still wasn’t whole.
“What’s wrong?” He studied her carefully. His eyes snapped down to her hands when she reached out and gripped his arms. Her knuckles turned white with the force of her grip.
“I’m having a vision and it’s causing major pain.” She gasped again and pulled herself back over to him. “You have to help me.”
“Shouldn’t I get Zan in here?” Max protested weakly, if what he had seen earlier was any indication of what he needed to do then he was more than ready. It was Zan’s threat of murder that stayed him.
“He’s busy. You can help... I just need you to... ah... to touch me.” Liz whispered and pulled him on top of her, their chests meeting sent a ripple of pleasure throughout her body.
“Should I be doing this?” He asked aloud of himself. He wanted to. He had wanted to for so long but now she was there and she had a jealous lover that looked exactly like him.
“Max... just help me.” Liz pleaded and began laying kisses along his throat. Whenever Zan wasn’t in a particularly sexual mood during her vision invasion that always turned him on. She felt the vibration of his groan as her tongue ran along his pulse. He even tasted just like Zan. Would he love her the same way? That was the last curious thought she had as the need to get the visions out grew. “I hope you’ve got stamina... I’ve got a hell of a headache.”
“What?” He almost choked at her words. In response, she pulled him down for a steamy kiss that blew away any doubts about what he was getting himself into with this beautiful creature. He didn’t know which one of them had done it but their remaining clothes had disappeared, leaving him lying skin to skin with his dream.
“Hello, hello.” Lannie called from the doorway of the Harding house. She and her two companions looked over the foyer and whistled. “Looks like they got the good end of the stick.”
“They?” Ava asked cautiously.
“Yo, these people got our faces. Messed ‘em up real good.” Lannie shrugged and wasn’t surprised when her mirror image walked into the room and gasped. “What the fuck you done to my face?”
“Oh my god... Zan!” Isabel called over her shoulder into Mr. Harding’s office. “Your... they’re here.”
“What the fuck?” Zan raced out the door and stopped upon seeing his family. “What the hell are you doing here? I said I would take care of this.”
“Just checkin’ up on you, bro.” Lannie sauntered over and kissed his forehead. “You just up and left Rath to take care of us. I got worried. Did you find her?”
“Yeah.” Zan nodded stiffly and crossed his arms. He noticed Rath looking Isabel over with great interest. “Yo, Rath, her boy is in the other room. Don’t think he likes you doin’ that shit.”
“What the fuck?” Rath crossed his arms. “You just take off and don’t tell us shit?”
“You here now, right?” Zan motioned for Rath to join him in the office. “Dumbass, you ever think that maybe it was Nicholas you saw that day on the street?”
“Yo, you stupid, Nicholas was 14 when we met him.” Rath shook his head, laughing at his king.
“Idiot!” Zan smacked him upside the head. “Nicholas been 14 for 50 years.”
Max thought he was going to die when Liz impaled herself on his cock and started riding him for round two. She had managed in so little time to rile him up so much that just being inside her body was almost too much. Her skin tasted so sweet and it was so soft. The feel of his obsession finally all around him was absolute heaven. He watched as Liz’s back arched suddenly, her head thrown back and a low moan met his ears. Her inner muscles fluttered all around him. Growling, he let himself cum.
Instead of collapsing into sleep as he thought she would, Liz began working him up again. Her mouth on his flesh was maddening, as was keeping his off hers. Max ran his hands over every inch of her that he could reach and rolled on top of her for another round. Never in his life had he been this insatiable, nor had he ever wanted to be. Rolling her taut nipples between his fingers and sucking on her soft flesh, he didn’t know what had done to deserve this reward. They just kept giving themselves over to each other over and over again.
Tess watched the interaction in the room. Zan and his group talked amongst themselves, only Zan seemed to talk to anyone else. Finally, she decided that Max had been alone with Liz too long. Grabbing a pitcher of water and a couple of glasses, she excused herself from whoever was still paying attention to see if they needed anything.
For some unknown reason she found herself walking very slowly to Michael’s room. A sudden high-pitched cry came from the room, followed shortly by a familiar groan. Tears stung her eyes as she reached for the doorknob. However much she didn’t want to open the door, she knew she had to. It seemed like years before her shaking hand touched the cool metal, she had almost expected it to burn her fingers. She turned the knob slowly and gently nudged the door open.
The sight that greeted her was one she hoped never to see in her life. Her Max, her Max, her Max was having sex with someone else... and not just anyone else but Liz Parker. As she stood there frozen, watching Max ardently take the girl from behind and whisper ‘I love you’s into her braided hair, Tess thought about how many times she had collapsed next to Max and watched him stare at that damn missing poster. She knew that as she saw him touching and kissing Liz, he had never touched or kissed her the same way... nor would he ever. It was just too much. Just as silently as she had opened the door, she closed it and like a zombie made her way back into the kitchen to replace the pitcher and glasses where she got them. Without a word to anyone, she was out the backdoor, crossing the back yard to lean on the back fence as she cried.
Liz felt better than she had in months as she lay in Max’s arms, finally sated and finally pain free for the moment. She knew this wasn’t all it would take to make her whole but it was nice. It had been awhile since such an active and lengthy amount of lovemaking had been needed to heal her and then, she smiled to herself, she and Max had still gone once more. When she had asked about his stamina, she had only been half joking.
She just couldn’t get over how sweet he was. Max kept kissing her temples and stroking her hair, sometimes her arm but always touching her in some way. Surprisingly after that workout, she wasn’t tired like she normally was after a vision. Sighing, she pushed herself up onto her knees to stretch. She noted how his amber eyes, so like Zan’s, followed her every move. “The bathroom around the corner still work?”
“Um, yeah, the toilet handle gets stuck sometimes and the shower sometimes backs up.” Max propped himself up on his elbows. “How did you know?”
“When I get the visions... I also get a little something from you.” Liz brushed his hair out of his face and kissed his forehead. “I’ll be right back.”
Max watched her naked bottom move across the room. She reached into a bag and pulled out a few items and disappeared out the door and into the bathroom just a step away. It was laying there alone in Michael’s old bed that guilt slammed into Max full force. He had protested and told himself that he shouldn’t but he did and he enjoyed himself immensely... but that wasn’t the point, was it? Max contented himself to think of how Liz would fit into his life now that she was back. They could move her into Michael’s room, or into Max’s, and they could get her started on her GED... there were so many things that he could do for her.
Zan surveyed the room in silence. Once he had confirmed with Rath that Nicholas was the person who had actually shot Liz, then Ed knew what to do but Liz had to be awake for it. His crew kept eyein’ the cornballs but wouldn’t say much. Rath and Michael didn’t get along. Must have to do with Michael getting the brains and Rath getting the powers, Zan pondered with a slight smirk. Lannie and Isabel would barely look at each other. To Zan it was obvious they had gotten equal shares of everything but memories. He hadn’t actually seen Tess much since Ava had arrived but as long as they kept quiet and out of sight then he didn’t really care.
“Where’s blondie?” Zan snorted when Isabel suddenly glanced around, tearing her sickeningly lovey dovey gaze from Michael. She had completely forgotten about how this might affect her short friend.
“She’s in the backyard, again.” Ed sighed and motioned for Isabel not to worry.
“What’s with her?” Zan flipped through the book once more. “She’s not like the rest of them.”
“Max doesn’t know how he feels about her and so she’s upset...all the time.” Ed nodded slowly and began expressing something that had been on his mind. “It’s rather inconvenient. How does Ava deal with Liz?”
“She just does.” Zan replied and looked up the instant that Liz walked into the room. He thought she was the sexiest thing in the world at that moment. She had rigged a pair of his jeans so they wouldn’t completely fall off her small hips and she wore that burgundy tank top that he loved. Liz barely glanced around when she entered the room and went straight for Zan. “Hey.”
“What have you been learning?” She asked immediately and he noticed that she looked refreshed which didn’t make any sense to him.
“No much that we ain’t already know.” He answered as she tucked herself into his side and wrapped her arms around his waist. “Are you okay? Old man here says he thinks he knows how to fix the holes in your head.”
“Yeah, he does.” Liz nodded and turned to Ed. “The stones are still with the old man, his young friend left them on his grave.”
“You saw it in a vision?” Ed queried, still amazed that such a gift had been bestowed upon them. “I’ll be back in the morning with the stones. Please, feel free to be comfortable in our home.”
No one said a word until after the shape-shifter had departed the house. Zan took a moment to look his lover over. She was positively glowing and looking especially healthy. He took her red braid in between his fingers and restored it to its normal brown color. “That’s better.”
“God, you are so picky.” Liz stood on tiptoe to kiss him passionately, oblivious to the fact that Max had wandered into the room. His chest felt too tight as he took in the view of Liz, the woman he had just made love to several times in the past hours, in full lip-lock with a man that could be his twin. When the shower had shut off and Liz still hadn’t returned, Max had gone looking for her. Liz closed her eyes and pressed her face to Zan’s chest. “How long was I out?”
“After we helped you, ‘bout 12 hours.” Zan noted Max’s presence and how he was staring at Liz. “He didn’t scare you, did he?”
“I learned a lot today too.” Liz whispered and kissed his bare chest. “I am starving.”
“You are? Well, we’ll have to fix that.” Zan led her to the kitchen. “Yo, we gon grub.” He tossed over his shoulder to the others. Rath, Lannie and Ava got up and followed them. They had been good boy and girls only because Zan was in a fragile state of mind and if anyone did anything, he would snap. One thing no one wanted to find out was what happened when the king snapped. Soon they could show their true colors but only after Liz was fixed.
“Sure, help yourself.” Michael called after them shaking his head and turned an exasperated look on Max, whom he suddenly noticed looked crushed. “Max?”
“What?” Max looked up slowly, his amber eyes lost and unfocused.
“You ok?” Isabel went to her brother’s side. She had never seen him like this since they had found out who Tess and Ed really were. “Did something happen in there that we need to know about?”
“What? No.” Max snapped himself out of it. It hit him, Liz as obviously putting on a show until she could tell Zan what was going on. That had to be it... right? “I’m fine. Just tired of lying in bed all day. Let’s order pizza or something, go on a junk food run. I’m starved.”
The kitchen was cramped with seven people sitting around it, eating on assorted items produced from the cabinets and refrigerators. Max noted how the New York set sat. Liz sat practically on Zan’s lap, Lannie next to him, Rath with his arm resting on the back of her chair, Ava off to the side. He noted the definite glares transmitted between Liz and Ava while Zan was kissing on Liz.
Michael and Isabel were both sitting on the counter with cartons of leftover Chinese food, eyeing the others warily. Max become aware of for the first time that Tess wasn’t anywhere. He mouthed her named to his sister and she nodded to the backdoor. Groaning, he knew he should go see what was wrong with her this time but he didn’t want to let Liz out of his sight.
Michael hadn’t said much about the whole situation since he had woken up that morning and no one had asked him. There was a lot that he didn’t understand and he figured now was as good a time to ask questions. “Parker, you got our powers? How’s that?”
“I actually don’t know. We found out I had them about six years ago. They’re not strong or anything but I can hold my own.” Liz nodded and picked at a Twinkie, giving Zan a sly smile. In response he slid his hand up her thigh and she crossed her legs, trapping his hand where it was.
“We ain’t never tested her but I think she could take Ava in a fight.” Zan sent a look across the table to Ava, who looked away to keep from voicing her opinion. “If we left them alone, we’d have a bloodbath on our hands.”
“Her and her?” Michael snorted and then started laughing. “No way. I remember Parker always breaking up fights.”
“Things change.” Liz whispered suddenly and got to her feet, gently pushing away Zan’s hand. She didn’t want to think about all the ways she had changed since going to live with Zan. “Sometimes kickin’ ass is the only option.”
Zan watched her disappear into the house, barely brushing past Max to leave. He had noted all the looks the preppy guy had been giving Liz and he wasn’t going to stand for it. He was going to watch Max like a hawk.
Liz opened the front door two seconds before Alex was going to knock. “Hi.”
“Hi.” He smiled and shook his head. “You knew I was coming?”
“Yeah. You got worried because Max never called you. Come on. It’s a zoo but it feels a little bit more like home.” Liz stepped aside to let the tall man into the house.
“You got all that by opening the door?” Alex narrowed his eyes at her.
“No, I got an impression of his conversation with you from Max, paired with a little common sense; I heard your footsteps coming up the walk.” Liz smiled and led Alex into the living room where the others had gathered to stare at each other. They hadn’t been speaking much when Liz had entered momentarily before heading out into the foyer for a look at the statues. When they entered, Isabel and Michael were arguing.
“I can’t keep telling the planner to come back some other time.” Isabel shouted at him. “The wedding is in three months and we still have so much to do. We have too much to do and we can’t cancel because these... freaks are here.”
“Isabel, the wedding isn’t nearly as important as these guys. We have to prepare for whatever the hell it is that we’ve been waiting for for 15 damn years.” Michael shouted back.
“You don’t even want this wedding... why would I think you would care?” She scoffed and rolled her eyes. “You and Max and your damn pride. Just because someone told you it was supposed to happen, all of a sudden you don’t love us and you don’t want to get married... just because it wasn’t your idea.”
“That is not it, Isabel!” He turned on her and stopped his next sentence when he saw Alex and Liz standing in the doorway. “What the hell is he doing here?”
“Nice to see you, too, Michael.” Alex nodded to the harried alien. He turned to Isabel and smiled. “Isabel, if you’re looking for a stand-in groom, I’d be happy to volunteer myself as a candidate.”
“I’ll keep that in mind, Alex.” Isabel shook her head with a small smile.
“No she won’t.” Michael’s eyes narrowed at the skinny man standing in his home. He stared at Alex until Liz had led him to the little alcove that Zan was reclining in.
“Alex, this is Zan.” She slipped behind her lover, providing him with a human pillow. Alex held out his hand and then let it drop when Zan didn’t sit up to take it. She nudged him.
“Yo.” Zan muttered and closed his eyes. He listened to them reminisce about the days when Liz lived in Roswell, all the while enjoying the caresses that Liz gave to his shoulders and neck. She must have thought that he fell asleep because she began to tell Alex about how things were with them.
“I know he loves me... he doesn’t always say it but I know.” Liz didn’t meet Alex’s eyes when she said the next part. “Sure, he’s with Ava sometimes but it’s me he loves, not her.”
“That’s not a good situation, Liz.”
“It’s not like he even cares about her. He... I don’t know why but he feels like he’s evening the score by being with her.” She shrugged her shoulders and stroked Zan’s arms.
“Why would he think that?” Alex leaned forward.
“I guess it has to do with Rath. Sometimes... we... you know... and Rath is the noisiest lover in the world. So, Zan always knows.” She bit her lip and turned to stare out the window. “I don’t love Rath. I don’t even like him, in general. It’s just that the first time I had a vision of Zan and Ava together, I was shell-shocked. Then I saw them and I ran to Rath because I knew that Rath would have sex with me, no questions asked. He confronted me after the first time I slept with Rath.”
“Why would you do something like that?” Alex shook his head at her.
“I don’t know. To get back at him. He gets pissed when he knows I’ve been with Rath, just like I get pissed when I know he’s been with her. Most of the time we’re okay though. I just couldn’t stand to lose him to her.”
“What about Max?”
“What about him?” Liz shook her head and tried to see where Alex was going.
“Well, since I’ve been here... he hasn’t taken his eyes off you. Let me be the first to tell you that Max is devoted to you. He told me that he had the biggest crush on you and always regretted never acting on it.” Tossing a glance over his shoulder, Alex saw how Max’s gaze was still locked on Liz. “You could stay here, get to know Max.”
“I know all I need to know about Max.” Liz kissed the top of Zan’s spiky head. “I’ve already taken him for a test drive.”
Zan’s body involuntarily tensed at her words. He wanted to kill Max.
“Liz. I don’t understand you. You slept with Max. When?”
“Earlier. Granted, he’s a very good lover but... I don’t love him. He gave me the strength I needed to make it through the day and... I don’t know. Knowing what I know about him... he’s very self-deluded.” Liz whispered.
“What do you mean?”
“I know he wants me to stay here with him but I can’t. For one, I don’t love him. Two, he doesn’t really love me. Three, I don’t fit into his storybook delusions of the way life should be. Four, it’s not meant to be. I’ve seen the future and in order for it to work... I have to follow my heart.” Liz gazed down on Zan’s sleeping face and knew she loved him without a doubt. She glanced up and met Max’s eyes. She recognized the yearning in them and turned away. His life was not for her.
Max couldn’t believe his eyes. He saw the guilt in Liz’s eyes when their eyes met. She had purposefully looked away and kissed Zan’s head again. He felt someone sit beside him but didn’t look up. “It hurts, don’t it?”
“What?” Max turned to find Ava sitting next to him.
“That she used you and then forgot about you. He does it to me all the time.” She brushed some pink hair out of her face. “You get used to it.”
“I don’t want to get used to it. I want her.” Max shook his head and tore his eyes of the face that was too much like Tess’s. “I love her.”
“Then fight for her. Maybe she’ll change her mind about you.” Ava stood up and shrugged her shoulders.
“So check it. I’ll get him upstairs for a little romp and then you get him to go see what’s up. Then you can have a little fun with her.”
“No, see, I start talkin’ to her and when he leaves. Switch. Then I gets retard into the room... You let her see... and then I’ll have my fun with her.”
“Cherry, yo. Let’s do this.”
Liz blindly followed Zan, leaving Alex downstairs with everyone else. He had plans for the night. He was going to prove once and for all what he had been trying to tell her for the past few days. Pulling her into a room, he pressed her against the door when it shut. With agonizingly slowness their lips drifted to each other, Liz noted how soft and gentle his kiss was and just went with it. Then he pulled away. “I gots to say somethin’ to you.”
“What’s that?” Liz whispered.
“I know you heard me tell Lannie that I ain’t care ‘bout you... that I only keep you ‘round... for the visions.” His eyes locked on hers. “I lied. I lied to my sister, to my own blood. I love you and I ain’t never gon leave you behind.”
“Zan...” She breathed, a hand lifted to the side of his face, then fell to rest on his neck. “I know. I always know how you feel.”
“But I gots to tell you. You needs to hear it come from me.” Amber eyes burned into her as he insisted upon his point. “As soon as we gets that damn orb and the shape-shifter comes back with the stones... we gone.”
“We aren’t taking the orbs.” Liz shook her head, and kept doing so after he tilted his head. “I... let’s just say that a lot of things are supposed to happen.”
“I’ll tell you tomorrow. Why did you bring me up here? If all you were going to do is say ‘I love you’... you could have done that downstairs.” She raised her eyebrows at him. “Were we expecting some kind of physical reciprocation?” Her fingers found his belt loops and pulled him against her. “Cause I think... that pleasing me with an audience doesn’t count as time together.”
“Oh, you know ‘bout that, huh?” He clucked his tongue and fiddled with his labret piercing on the inside of his mouth.
“Yeah, I know about that.” Liz nodded her head and watched him cast his gaze to their feet. “I don’t know how I feel knowing that old alien guy saw me almost naked and being pleasured by my lover.”
“You’re better, right?” He lifted his eyes to hers once more. Her slow nod pleased him. “And Max? That ain’t gon’ happen ‘gin... right?” She didn’t look at him for a second, and when she tried to speak and he cut her off. “I wudn’t sleepin’.”
“I don’t love him... if that’s what you’re asking.” Liz shook her head. Two deep breaths later she tried to explain. “I’ve said to you that sometimes things need to happen. That was one of them.”
“Does this turn you on?” Suddenly his body shifted; facial hair disappeared, as did all piercings and tattoos, his black jeans were replaced with a pair of boxers and slacks, his hair shortened and lay flat on his head. Liz’s jaw dropped. “What? Don’t like it?”
“Don’t do that.” She found her tongue and sighed. “It’s not that I don’t like it... sometimes I do but it’s not you...” Taking a deep breath, she looked him over again. “It’s sexy as hell but I like the goatee.”
“Good to hear. These pants are too tight and I don’t like boxers.” His body shifted again and everything returned to normal.
“Funny... me either.” Liz whispered as she let her fingers play with the hair on the back of his neck. His fingers began untying the string through the belt loops of her borrowed jeans. She let him lead her to the bed.
“Funny, I know you ain’t wearin’ panties... but I think these are actually my jeans and I’m gonna hafta take ‘em back.” Zan gently pushed her back on the bed before pulling his jeans off her body. His eyes ran over her legs and up to her glistening curls. “I think that’s mine too.”
“It is?” Liz bit her lip to keep from laughing. “Does it have your name on it?”
“I don’t know. I’s just gon hafta check.” Zan knelt on the bed and pretended to look her over for his name, spreading her legs wide as he turned his head this way and that. “Well... I’s gon hafta get a closer look.”
Liz squirmed in anticipation of his lips on her core. His breath puffed against her rapidly heating flesh, then his tongue ran from bottom to top, circling her clit before lifting his head. Her eyes closed and her hands clenched the bedspread on either side of her body. Then he lowered his head once more to run his tongue over every inch of her wet pussy before plunging it deep inside her. Liz raised her hips to meet his mouth, gripping the bedspread so tight her knuckles turned white. Every lap and dip of his tongue rippled throughout her body, lifting her up so high she was almost afraid to come down. Zan sped up the thrusting of his tongue, alternating with sucking on her tiny bundle of nerves. Her feet pushed against the edge of the mattress before sliding over his shoulders, toes curling against his flesh.
Liz had been good about keeping quiet until he did that thing he always did to make her cum on the spot. A scream ripped out of her throat and her legs nearly crushed his head.
Max’s head shot up at the scream. He panicked until he noticed Lannie snort. She turned to him. “They’s at it again. She only screams like that when he goes down on her.”
“She’s got lungs like them fat chicks with the horns...” Rath popped a cheeseball into his mouth. Then he groaned. “And she tastes... like...mmmf.”
“You... um... you’ve... you and Liz?” Max sputtered and pointed to the offensive man, making motions to get his unasked question across.
“What? You think she’s special?” Rath drawled and leaned forward. “You think women want just one guy?”
“Play nice, Rath.” Lannie murmured and got up, sauntering off into the kitchen.
“I just don’t see Liz being with...” Max stopped his talking. It wouldn’t have made any sense. Rath obviously knew Liz a lot better than he did.
“You’re right.” Rath nodded. “She doesn’t... but sometimes she goes slummin’ and I’s only eager to please. She’s Zan’s bitch.”
“Wait... you’re saying that Parker.” Michael pointed upstairs. “She’s not... monogamous?”
“What?” Rath furrowed his brow at his duplicate. Then he turned to Ava.
“Monogamous means she stays with just one guy, idiot.” Ava sat there fiddling with her nose piercing, twirling the stud in the hole.
“She is... I guess... what you said.” Rath shrugged his shoulders. “She don’t go bouncin’ around or nothin’. It’s either me or Zan. Our friends don’t appeal to her or somethin’, like she’s too good.”
“I think that we need to stop talking about this.” Alex spoke up from where he was sitting by the window. “Some of us don’t like to hear our friends’ private life spread around for entertainment.”
“Alex?” All heads turned to see Isabel poking her head into the living room. “Can I talk to you for a minute?”
Michael glared at the thinner man, when he shot up out of his chair and followed Isabel up the stairs. “That guy is just asking for a stomping.”
“He’s harmless.” Max shook his head at his friend.
“Doesn’t he ever give up? Isabel is engaged. Taken. Off the market.” Michael growled, still staring at the staircase.
Liz shucked her tank and immediately felt Zan’s mouth on her bullet-hard nipples. Pushing his jeans down with her feet, she pulled him down against her. She wanted him inside her immediately but he took his time, being surprisingly slow and torturously gentle. Kissing his way, inch by slow inch, from one nipple to the other, using only the lightest possible suction on her flesh. His hands trailed down her skin with feather-light pressure, running from her ribs to her thighs and back up again.
She ran her hands over his shoulders, urging him to use more pressure, to touch harder, to go faster. He ignored every signal she gave him and continued to love every inch of her as slowly as he could. When he made his way up to her lips with hers, she was crying and begging for him to be inside her. Gently, he moved her further up on the bed and knelt between her legs, still languorously kissing her mouth. Then his mouth left hers to trail kisses over her face. His hands rested against her hips, keeping them from thrusting up against him.
“Please! Zan! God, now!”
“Please! Zan! God, now!”
Michael and Max looked up at the ceiling. Then Max’s jaw dropped. “Are they?”
“Yeah. I think that’s your room.” Michael nodded. “He was right. She does have a great pair of lungs.”
“Yo. You guys seen that Alex guy. I wanna ask him somethin’ ‘bout Liz’s parents.” Rath scratched his eyebrow. Michael immediately sat up. Then he nodded for Rath to follow him. Max sat on the couch and stared up at the ceiling. He barely noticed Tess enter the room and sit on the opposite side of the room.
Liz couldn’t hold back the cry when Zan finally slid his achingly hard cock into her up-thrusting hips. Deep throated moans and cries were ripped from her throat every single time he made a long smooth stroke inside her. He had worked her up into such frenzy that she came screaming his name not too long after he began his deep thrusts.
Max glared up at the ceiling, barely noticing that was curled up on an armchair and closed her eyes. Moments later, Michael stormed down the stairs and out the door. Not a word to anyone, just straight out the front door without looking back. After the door slammed there were only the sound of Liz’s screams, steady thumping and Zan’s grunts drifting down from the second floor.
“She’s a busy girl, isn’t she?” Tess whispered and kept her eyes off her betrothed.
“Where are you been?” Max took his eyes off the ceiling but didn’t look at her.
“Outside.” She murmured. Ava raised an eyebrow at the two but didn’t say anything. Just then, Alex ran down the stairs, glancing back, nervously.
“Hey, Alex. What’s with Michael?” Max asked and watched his friend’s face pale.
“It’s nothing. Can you tell Liz I said bye?” Alex rushed out the door and his car roared off. The three people satred at the door as if one of the people just gone through it would come back.
“A-uh!” The moan made it down to the living room.
Isabel wandered into the living room, her eyes on the ceiling. “How long has that been going on?”
“Too long. They’re in my room.” Max ran a hand over his face.
“I’m gonna go try to sleep.” She nodded to her brother and made her way up the stairs.
Zan’s fingers stroked Liz’s nipples in time with his fast thrusts. He had to get her close one more time and then he could cum. His breath puffed on her face where his face hovered near her. His thrusts were becoming sharper and shorter. Her body jerked with every movement he made inside her. She was well on her way to her third orgasm. Their bodies slid together with the sweat built up between them. Liz dragged her nails down his back, pulling him deeper inside her body. Zan bent his head to her ear, licking the curve before whispering three words. “I love you.”
Her scream near split his eardrum as she came, her body convulsing under his. Her inner walls clamped down around him, finally allowing him to spill his seed within her body.
“How many times was that?” Tess glanced up at the ceiling. “Two since I’ve been in here.”
“I think it was four.” Max murmured, his eyes also fixed on the ceiling. “Maybe it was six... I’m not sure about a couple...”
“So you have potential.” She shot out at him.
Ava burst out laughing. “Yo, they’s tantric. Ain’t just anybody can do that.”
“Ok...” Max shut his eyes. He did not need to imagine it anymore than he already was. Isabel rushed downstairs and slammed the door to Michael’s room behind her. “I’ll go see what’s up with her.”
Liz ran her tongue around Zan’s lips, tasting him slowly before pulling away. “I just wanna lay here with you forever but... I gotta go clean up that mess out there.”
“What mess?” Zan sat up and leaned over her, muscles flexing under drying sweat.
“Come and find out.” She looked towards the window, not surprised to see it was getting light out. “We’re going to have fun.”
“There you go being all sarcastic again.” Zan groaned and ran a hand over his face. “Let it lie. Stay here.”
“I think Max is going to want his bed back.”
“Long as you ain’t in it when he gets it back... I don’t care.” He pulled her on top of him. “Hey you ‘member that time we kicked back... just me and you?”
“That was a lot of fun.” She licked her lips and pressed a series of kisses to his chest. “If you help me clean up... I’ll make it worth your while.”
“That ain’t gon work.” He warned her but then she turned those doe eyes on him. “I’ll do it for free.”
“Okay... now... if I could walk... I’d go downstairs.” She stretched her legs back. “We’ll just lay here one more minute... then we’ll go.”
“Yeah.” He nodded. He was feeling the effects of their love-making as well.
“Just one more minute...” Liz closed her eyes.
“Isabel?” Max rapped on the door. Isabel had been in there for ten minutes without answering.
“Yo, she okay?” Rath appeared behind him.
“I don’t know. She just ran down here and locked herself in.” Max shook his head. “What happened upstairs?”
“Nothing, yo.” Rath shook his head and raised his hands. “I just come down to see if she okay.”
“Bullshit.” Liz glared at the two guys as they turned to her. They hadn’t heard her or Zan walk up behind them. “Let’s get some things straight, shall we?”
|posted on 2-Sep-2001 9:10:37 PM|
“Girls in the kitchen, guys in the living room.” Liz ordered, running a hand through her braids, Zan glared until they did what she said. Rath sank down on a couch, Max waited in a chair and Zan turned to his love. “Find Michael, bring him back here and sit him down in the living room. I’m going in there to talk to them first.”
Tess walked right through the kitchen and out the back door to watch the sunrise. Lannie and Isabel sat on opposite sides of the table and Ava perched herself on the counter. She knew that she hadn’t done anything... not that there wasn’t a plan involving her that had never gone into effect.
Liz stared at the door when she walked in, then shook her head. By the look in her eyes, Lannie knew that Liz knew. Their eyes locked. “Lannie, tell Isabel what you did or I will.”
“I know what she did.” Isabel whispered and turned her head to stare out the window.
“See. Case closed. Let’s go.” Lannie started to stand up but Liz pointed to the chair. “Fine.” Lannie finally conceded. It wasn’t as if she really cared. “I sleep with the geek and then Rath and I got into a little role-playing. You gotta spice it up or else it gets boring.”
“Lannie to Isabel translation is...” Liz sighed. “Lannie made herself look like you and slept with Alex. Then she went back to her old self and Rath made himself look like Michael and they did it. Did I leave anything out?”
“That’s about it.” Lannie nodded.
“You mean it wasn’t really Michael? Then where is he?” Isabel stood up and was about to go look for him but she was cut off.
“Michael saw Lannie with Alex and thought it was you. He’s pissed but don’t worry. Zan went to get him.” Liz reassured her. “We’ll tell him the truth and then it’ll be good.”
“I’ll tell him. I know where he is.” Isabel was out the door before anyone could stop her. The three girls stared at each other before Ava shrugged and hopped off the counter. Lannie crossed her arms and Liz nodded to the door.
“That’s it?” Lannie snorted. Both she and Ava were about to leave when Liz’s voice stopped them.
“No, it’s not.” Liz shoved a hand in her pocket. “I’m telling Zan about this... then things are going to change before the ship comes.”
Zan and Max listened intently as Liz explained what had happened the night before. Rath pretended to be stupid, or was that an act at all? Zan sighed and drew a hand over his face. “We’ll deal with it. When we get back to the crib... we’ll talk.”
“Rath and Lannie have to start respecting this.” Liz gestured to the house around them. “We can’t go to Antar like punks.”
“So what? Charm school?” Max snorted and sat back in his seat.
“Something like that.” Liz turned her back on Rath and knelt in front of Zan. “You tell them to do it and I’ll get them ready to address people properly. They have to respect what it is you all stand for. If they don’t, we will fail very quickly.”
“Ok, yo, it’s done.” Zan nodded. “We’ll learn to behave.”
“And talk correctly?” Liz pleaded.
“Yeah, that too.” He mumbled absently.
Liz groaned, slightly exasperated. “I will not have you guys going to meet Kivar and saying ‘Yo, Kivar, what’s up, bro? You gon give up the throne or what?’ I have a feel that won’t go over too well.”
“Fine, fine. Whateva.” Zan nodded. “I mean, ‘Yes, Liz. How very fine of you to educate us, the ignorant ignoramuses. We are in dire need of charm and beauty school.’” He batted his eyes at her and lay his hands flat under his chin. “‘What ever would we have done without your kindness and generosity?’”
“Much better.” She snickered.
Liz looked in on the living room without entering. Lannie and Rath were attached at the mouth in a corner. Max and Ava were talking about the Summit since he had missed that conversation due to his activities with Liz. Liz could see Michael and Isabel’s shadows through the window. Apparently, Liz hadn’t needed to tell Michael a thing herself. He had a trust in Isabel that Rath and never had in Lannie. Michael and Isabel were in love while Rath and Lannie were just going through the mating motions, barely anything more than lust.
She turned and saw Zan asleep in a chair, his feet up on the coffee table, his chin on his chest. Smiling at how relaxed he looked, she made her escape into the backyard where Tess was seated on a chair facing the bushes. Tess didn’t acknowledge the other girl’s presence. Liz broke the morning silence. “I’m not staying.”
“That’s nice.” Tess murmured and wiped a tear of relief from her eye.
“He loves you.” Liz sat on the ground, her thin legs drowning in Zan’s jeans. “You know he does... or else you wouldn’t be going through this.”
“Going through what?” Tess dragged her eyes over to the other girl. Her blue eyes were all cried out.
“You’re pregnant and you won’t tell him until he admits he loves you.” Liz winced when Tess burst into fresh tears. “You couldn’t have gotten pregnant unless he really loved you.”
“He loves you. He always has. He’s never been afraid to tell me how he was drawn to you.” Her words sank in deep.
“I gave him what he wanted.” Liz cleared her throat. “He wanted the chance to be with me, to tell me how he felt about me and he did. I can’t love him back and I can’t stay. He’ll realize he loves you but he had to make the mistake with me first. Sometimes these things need to happen.” Liz stayed quiet for a moment. “I envy you.”
“Why?” Tess shook her head in confusion. “You’re the one with the king. He loves you. Max loves you. Rath is infatuated with you... you have their respect. You lead them.”
“I don’t lead them. I tell Zan what I know and he makes the final decision. Sometimes it matches mine and sometimes it doesn’t. Max doesn’t love me, he was in love with the idea of me. Of the fourteen year old president of the science club, of the perfect Parker daughter, of the girl who had her life taken too soon. He’ll realize that I am not that person... hell... it took coming back here to make me realize I’m not that girl anymore. I was holding on to this place and these memories but I have a life and love that have nothing to do with this.”
“So why do you envy me?”
“You’re going to have a baby with the man you love. In all this time... I’ve never even been afraid that I might have gotten pregnant. I’ve always gotten my periods. I’ve never been sick aside from the visions and... I don’t think I’ll ever know what it’s like to have Zan’s child growing inside me. I don’t know what Nicholas did to me but... it’s like I’m being punished for loving him.” Liz sniffed a little and stared at the grass under her feet.
“At least you know he loves you. You’ll always have his love. Max will never love me.”
“You’re wrong but you’ll see.” Liz smiled bitterly. “I’d give anything to experience being a mother to his children but that isn’t going to happen.”
“Why not? Ed’s going to heal you when he gets back. Won’t that fix everything that’s wrong with you?” Tess whispered.
“It’s supposed to but... I need to tell you something that you cannot tell the others. I have to bide my time with this secret.” Liz rose to her knees and placed her hands on Tess’s knees. Tess nodded and put her hands on top of Liz’s. It was oddly reminiscent of a servant pleading to her queen. “There is a reason for there being two sets. A reason that was never planned but it will come to pass. Zan and Max have the royal seal in their heads. Zan has shown his to prove he is Zan... but his wouldn’t work on the Granilith. That’s why I won’t tell him where it is. It wouldn’t do any good. His seal will get us to Antar. Once there, it will come out that Zan can’t work the Granilith because there is a test on Antar. We will all die and even if I could have a child... it would be killed once we got there.”
“No.” Tess shook her head but Liz nodded. “There’s more?”
“Yes. Max can work the Granilith. Max is the true king of Antar. Only he can work the Granilith and the orbs. The second orb is in your attic. Ed knows it but he won’t hand it over. I will leave you ours but you have to promise me that in nine years you will bring them together and activate them. Don’t do it any sooner. Nine years, fours days and six hours from this moment, you need to activate them.” Liz instructed. “I don’t know everything but I know enough. You will be a great Queen. Max a great King... your son will reign for many years after you both pass. These things had to happen.”
“Zan is strong. We’ll make it home but... Max had to see it. Had to see what he needs to be in order to save his world. Michael had to learn to be tough. Isabel to stay close. Lannie is too much like Vilandra. She will be better trusted than she used to be. You... you have to know these things. I had to come here and break Max’s heart to show him that he had one and that it didn’t love me. Lannie was supposed to have sex with Alex to make his dream come true. Alex won’t stay in Roswell after the wedding and he’ll move on. He’ll know what could have been with Isabel or me... What Lannie and Rath did to Michael and Isabel will serve to further strengthen their bond.”
“I understand.” Tess nodded. The wheels in her head began turning, really turning, for the first time in her life. “I will stay with Max and I will have our son. I will bring them together to activate the orbs in nine years, fours days and six hours from now. I promise.”
“There you are, ladies.” Ed popped his head out the back door. “If you don’t mind, I’ve got the stones.”
Liz lay in the middle of the living room, her body aching slightly. Visions would accompany her healing. Zan knelt and took a stone in his hand. Max followed suit, as did Isabel and Michael. Ed was about to kneel in the final spot but Tess stopped him. “Let me. You cannot enter the circle with fear in your heart. I don’t understand why but you are afraid.”
“You’re right.” Ed nodded but he did know why. If he healed this girl, she would leave and so would her visions. He might accidentally prevent her from getting better and no one would forgive him for that.
Silence filled the room before Ed began the chant. The others soon picked up on it until their energies activated the stones. Liz gasped when their energies filled her. Each one touched her body, mind and spirit.
Liz turned the CD up and danced into the center of the room. Zan watched her from where he lay sprawled on the couch. They were alone. Ava was scoring some human and the others had headed out for some fun. He watched her twirl and move, dancing to the music. Suddenly she turned to him. “Dance with me, Zan.”
“No.” He shook his head. “I ain’t dancin’.”
“You know... I don’t think you know how to dance. I’ve never seen you do it.” Liz bit her lip and crossed her arms, still bouncing in time with the music drifting around the cave-like hollow in the sewers.
“I can dance. Sit your ass right here and I’ll show you.” He pointed to his lap.
“I’m not talking about sex... you do that very well.” Liz turned her nose up at his crudeness. “Which I can vouch for... I want to see you dance... vertically, with your clothes on... and properly fastened.” She added to make sure there was no mistake about what she was talking about.
Zan rose to his feet and switched CDs. Soft music echoed through the room. He grasped her hand, spun her out, in, around and back. “You was sayin’?”
“Ok... so you can dance...” Liz started but his lips pressed to hers, making her forget everything but him. When he pulled away, he pulled her toward her curtained corner.
“Don’t I get something special, today?”
“You get that everyday. I don’t think it’s special anymore.” Liz teased and followed him anyway.
“Can’t I be a man on the day I am officially a man?” Zan sank down on the pillow, rearranging them for his comfort before reaching for her.
“Oh big man wants to be a man but don’t wanna do any of the work?” Liz shook her head and backed away. “I don’t think so...”
“It’s my birthday and I shouldn’t have to work.” He turned his amber eyes on her and Liz couldn’t deny him anymore.
“You’re right.” Liz laughed and jumped on top of him, straddling him and then propping up his upper-body with more pillows. “Get ready, King Zan. If you weren’t a man before... you will be. Happy...” She kissed his chin. “18th...” She kissed his neck. “Birthday.” She finally closed her mouth over his.
It was the last time they made love before the Summit, the last time their lovemaking had not been preceded by pain and headaches due to visions.
Liz turned at a tap on her shoulder. Amber eyes met hers then hers dropped to his hand where it still rested on her shoulder. “Max?”
“You um... did you hear what she said about... about functions? I... I didn’t understand everything.” He quickly pulled his hand away from her shoulder as if he had been burned.
“Max? We’re in English.” Liz shook her head.
“I know but... you’ve got Algebra with me... I mean in fourth period like me. I already read this book and so did you, you told us and... could you help me out with these functions?” He rambled and kept his eyes on his pencil. It had taken him two hours to come up with that brilliant excuse to talk to Liz.
“Okay.” Liz turned in her seat and looked over his problems. “Well f equals this equation. x squared plus 4x minus 2 is set as equal to f. That’s the function. Here are the problems. What is the function when x is equal to 4, 7 and 9. From there it’s just the basics...” Liz looked over his face for a moment. He hadn’t looked at her since he asked for her help. His face was a study in concentration. “You’re usually good at this stuff... what... why didn’t you understand earlier?”
“Oh... um...” Max glanced up at her for a second then quickly looked back at his paper. He was caught, he was sure of it. She was going to laugh when she found out the geek sitting behind her in English was head over heels in love with her. She was going to laugh because it was stupid to think that someone like him could be with someone like her. “I... I fell asleep.”
“Oh. Ok.” Liz smiled and turned back around in her seat. She knew there was an explanation for the hottest guy on the planet talking to her... even if it was about school related materials. She would have to tell Maria who had talked to her!
Six months later, Max had hidden amongst the huge crowd at Liz’s funeral. He and Liz had never had another conversation pertaining to anything else the rest of the school year.
Isabel felt a pair of eyes on her. It wasn’t so unusual but she turned anyway. Little Liz and Flaky Maria were talking and pointing at her. For a split second, she panicked. Did they know? Then it was dismissed. She saw them pointing to a magazine. They were probably wondering how she had gotten the latest style when the magazine hadn’t been out for more than a week. They were envious. Somehow that didn’t settle well with Isabel. She shook her head as Michael approached. Maybe he had been right. She was trying too hard to fit in.
A month later, Isabel had found her brother crying. The object of his obsession had been gunned down in front of Senor Chow’s. She remembered the girl had been nice but she had never talked to her or been inclined to do so.
Michael watched Max watch that brunette; the one with the big doe eyes and tiny little body with those stupid little sweaters. He had to agree with Max. There was definitely something about her. She was pretty and smart and way too good for any guy. Michael knew that he wasn’t good enough for her. Max might be but he was chicken so that meant he wasn’t. Liz Parker was the girl that broke up fights, that gave half her lunch to that geek that had gotten his lunch money stolen, that was supposed to help tutor stupid guys like him, and didn’t make her parents worry about where she was. Figured Max would like the girl next-door type. Michael snorted and looked for Isabel.
A week later, he met Max across from Senor Chow’s where some weird activity was going on. That chick Max liked had gotten shot just moments before Max had arrived, or so he had been told.
“I promise.” Tess told Liz in the backyard. Her blue eyes glittered with unshed tears, just like Liz’s brown ones did.
Tess had only just met the girl and suddenly felt like her best friend. There was only one way to pay her back for the gift she was giving them.
Liz woke up. Apparently she had passed out right after the healing. She slept all day and night in the same spot. They had all been too afraid to move her. Zan was at her side in an instant. “Hey. You ok?”
“Yeah. I am.” Liz nodded. Her head was completely clear. She felt healthy like she hadn’t in so long. Feeling like a test, she reached out and touched someone’s shoe. No real thought about it, just touching it, idly. “Nothing.”
“What?” He asked her.
“Nothing. No vision. No headache.” Liz turned her tear filled eyes up to him. “I think it worked.”
She touched the shoe again, this time she wanted to see something. She took her hand off the shoe immediately. “Tell Michael that he needs to wash his shoes. That puddle he stepped in was not water.”
“You saw that?” Zan eyed her carefully.
“Yeah, and no pain, no headache. You did it. You really did it.” She threw her arms around him. Zan picked her up and twirled her around. “I still get visions, just no pain.” He set her down and Liz looked around at everyone in the room. They had woken up and moved into the room at the noise they were making. Liz’s eyes locked on Tess’s that were gleaming with something that she couldn’t identify. She tilted her head at the blonde.
“I’m glad you’re better, Liz.” Tess smiled sincerely. “Maybe you’ll get what you want...”
Liz tilted her head at the blond girl’s secretive smile and shook it off. She was too happy to think too much about it. Her eyes drifted over to Max and his downcast expression. He knew she was leaving and they still hadn’t talked.
Max sat in the driveway, staring up at the blue sky and its scattered clouds. Liz had come out and sat with him twenty minutes before and nothing had been said. Figuring he may as well get it over and done with, Max cleared his throat. “So... you’re leaving.”
“Did you really think I would stay?” Liz whispered, not meaning it to come out as harsh as it did.
“Was being with me really that bad?” Max turned to her. “Is the idea of staying here with me and being happy... just really so out there? The thought of a home with at least one working bathroom fixture, with plenty of food, warmth, shelter and one hopelessly devoted man... is that all just not what you want?”
“What I want is not the issue—“
“Bullshit. If you want it, I will get it for you. I will make it happen.” Max pleaded with her but she wouldn’t meet his eyes. “Liz, I have been in love with you since the first day I stepped off the bus in the third grade. I saw you and I knew you were it. When I thought you died... a part of me died too. I’ve just now gotten that back and call me selfish for wanting to keep that.”
“You’re selfish.” Liz pursed her lips into a tight white line as she thought of a better way to go about this conversation. She knew his growing up would only happen with her gone. “I am not for you. I was never for you, Max.”
“What?” The light in his eyes faded as he leaned back on his elbows to listen to her.
“As much as you would like to believe you are in control of it all... you aren’t. You are still very young, so much younger than I am... so very much younger than Zan is. You aren’t ready to handle the responsibility of a kingdom, much less a planet at this point. You’ve been sheltered your whole life.” Liz stared across the street at the houses in their little rows with their gardens and sidewalks, all clueless to the real wonders of the universe. “You’ve been raised human as I was. We have that in common... I stopped being human when Zan healed me. He changed something inside of me... as did Nicholas when I died for those split seconds. For the past seven years... I’m been something different. Not human, not alien. I am more alien now that I was willing to admit to myself. I rarely used my powers before now. How often do you use yours?”
Max didn’t answer her and so she kept talking. “I have been in love with Zan since...” She smiled to herself. “Probably since he saved me but really since the first time we kissed. He just wanted to make me feel better and he did something that would have normally grossed him out. He kissed a girl... My role in all this is just barely more than a catalyst. I know what will happen and in order for us, that’s us and you guys, in order for us to be victorious... I have to change a few things. That is up to me. The way they happen can change but not what happens.
“Had we met some other way... maybe you and I could be the ones in love... but you don’t love me. You refuse to acknowledge your love... because if you do... then it’s out of your hands, or so you think.” She nudged him gently. “Just because someone said you would love Tess doesn’t mean that you won’t genuinely love her. She needs you. You asked your protector more than once why Tess was chosen to come with you... have you tried asking yourself that question?”
“She’s not like me. She’s alien to me.” Max whispered.
“Because she accepts her alien side, because she loves you unconditionally, because she’s yours totally and completely and you don’t think you can reciprocate?” Liz locked eyes with him. “Know what that tells me? You already love her. You can learn from her.”
“What about you? What will you do now?” Max sat up, never losing her gaze.
“We’ll hunt some Skins.” Liz shrugged. “Might even send a few your way. We’ll make love... remember things we learned here and then the ship will come. In three years the ship will come and Zan will take me with him to Antar.” She let her eyes drift up to the sky. “Then the time will come when you’ll need to step up and when you do... you’ll be ready.”
“I don’t know.” She lied. “You’ll be ready when you’ll be ready and you’ll be ready by the time Zan is gone. You’ll be older and wiser and ready. I have no doubt about that.”
“Will I forget you?” Max closed his eyes. He didn’t want to forget her... or for her to forget him. This all seemed wrong to him. It was wrong.
“Only if you want to. The universe isn’t a peaceful place, Max. Remember that. There are dangers everywhere. Hurdles to be jumped, rivers to cross, roads to travel. I do know that you will be a great King with a great Queen and your best friend will make your sister a happy woman. Keep that in mind. Keep them safe.”
“When are you leaving?”
“I guess you were really out there. The others are waiting for me. They’re in the van already.” Liz pointed to where Rath and Lannie were making out in the front seat, Ava was laid out on the hood and Zan was crouched in the side door. “Promise me that my ghost won’t stop you. I know I’m great and all...” They both chuckled. “Give Tess a chance, trust her a little. Ava may not really love Zan but Tess really loves you.” She got to her feet and Max hopped to his. They locked eyes once more. “You are the true Zan. My Zan is just a copy, a good one but just a copy.”
“What are you then?” Max dipped his head. Liz stood on tiptoe to press a small kiss to his lips after a soft whisper. It was her goodbye. She squeezed his hand and turned to walk away. One tear escaped her eye as she climbed into the van next to Zan. Ava hopped off the hood and into the van. The old heap roared off with only Max to see it off. Max was never going to forget Liz Parker. Her words stayed with him. All the ones she had ever told him as the beautiful bright-eyed daughter of the Crashdown owners, the few they had exchanged in the house as the dying young woman, the truth she told him in the driveway as the healthy beauty and those little ones as her goodbye.
“I’m just the augur.”
Max held his young son on his back as he moved around, trying to clean up the mass amounts of toys that were needed to keep Aaron Evans happy. When he passed his wife, he pressed a quick kiss to her lips and kept going. “Daddy... Um... pay cars.”
“So now you want to play cars?” Max called back to the two and a half year old.
“Uh-huh...” Aaron nodded and started to slide down Max’s back. Once his little feet hit the floor, he was off and running to his toy chest. Tess watched them from where she was sitting making the grocery list. Max was a great father to their son. Aaron had his mother’s hair and his father’s eyes. It was too soon to tell but she was sure he inherited his father’s habit of controlling everything.
“Max? Did you like those things with the pineapple and the coconut?” She called out and nearly laughed. Every time Max put something away, Aaron would pull two more things out.
“Yeah. We need more Tabasco and more... whatever those things are you buy for him. I had to throw them out. He got a hold of them and dumped them in the toilet.” Max wrinkled up his nose.
“The animal crackers?”
“No... the... the other cracker things. The spicy ones.” He corrected her. The doorbell rang and Aaron shot to his feet to get there before his father did. Max ran and caught the little boy, hefting him onto his shoulder before looking out the peephole. A four-door Toyota was speeding down the street. Curious, Max opened the door and nearly stepped on a little girl sitting on the porch.
Kneeling down, he looked her over and then over the street but there was no one in sight. She had dark hair like his done up in two braids, hazel eyes, she had on a dark red shirt, little black jeans, and little sneakers. He could barely make out two sets of wet spots on her shirt. That’s when he noticed the tattered notebook in her little hands.
He took it from her and looked it over. Aaron eyed the little girl then ran into the house screeching. The little girl narrowed her eyes at him and then ran screaming after him. Max stayed in the doorway, sinking down to sit with the notebook. Tess blinked at the two children who ran past her and found her husband in a daze. Slowly he opened the book and read the note.
You ain’t got any idea how this is killing us. The ship is coming and by the time you get to reading this, we’ll be on our way to meet it. You gotta know that Liz and me, we love our baby girl. I ain’t never seen anything as beautiful as my Sara... besides Liz. Liz won’t tell me why but we can’t take her with us.
I love my baby girl. She’s something special but I don’t want her to get hurt. We argued about this for weeks and only came to one solution. You take Sara, raise her like yous her daddy. I don’t want to do this. I want to see her grow up and shit. I been there the whole way. I looked over Liz once we found out she was pregnant. I brought her into this world. I counted her ten toes and ten fingers, two arms, two legs, two eyes, nose and mouth. She’s perfect. I took care of them both... and now I wants you to take care of her.
She probably ain’t ever gonna remember me or Liz but you don’t let her forget that we love her. We always gonna love her. Don’t let me be sorry I gave her to you.
Max turned the page and there was another note. It wasn’t addressed to him but he kept reading anyway.
I want to thank you for allowing me this time. I know that it was you and I just... thank you isn’t nearly enough but there it is. I didn’t think I would ever feel my Zan’s baby growing inside me or see her born but I did. I’ve carried her and watched her grow over the past two years, three months and four days. And now my time is up.
You remember what I told you would happen and though I cannot change the fact my Sara will die on Antar... I can change when. Take her for me. Let her grow up and then take her to Antar with you. Tell her that I love her, that her father loves her. Never let her forget that loving her was the only reason we left her behind. I will cry every night that I am separated from her until the day I die.
Keep your promise to me. I trust that mine to you is fulfilled. Max loves you, he really does and you both love your son. Zan didn’t want to leave her behind but it’s the only way. Oh Tess, I want her to grow up. I don’t want her to die with the rest of us. Not so soon. Take care of her.
Max handed Tess the notebook with its notes from their new daughter’s parents. She read them both and then flipped through the contents of the rest of the notebook. There were pictures of Liz, Zan, Lannie, Rath and Ava. Then where were sketches of Sara as a baby and growing up. “Wow.”
“Yeah.” Max nodded. “What was she talking about?”
“Who?” Tess stalled and eyed a letter written from both Liz and Zan to their daughter to be read in the future.
“Liz. Do you know something about this that I don’t?”
“Just a little.” She nodded and sat beside him. “They aren’t going to make it, Max. Liz wasn’t supposed to have a baby, but I changed that. So it’s up to me to see that she lives to die where she would have. Sara will live a long life and then die naturally... I hope.”
Max turned to his wife and queen moments before they were due to step out in front of their people. He held the hands of young teenage children on either side of him; one of them his and the other could have been. They had used the Granilith to fly across the mass amount of space between Earth and Antar. A modification in its general use had gotten them home in two years with the aid of a redesigned ship made from parts of the original. Tess smiled at her husband and king reassuringly. It was time for Antar to meet their true king. Behind them Isabel and Michael stood with their two children, ten year old Penelope Guerin and seven year old Darin Guerin.
Tess turned her smile on young Jessica Evans, only five years old, wide-eyed and wondering what the heck was gong on. Max felt his son getting restless. He was fourteen, he didn’t want to be holding his father’s hand. Aaron Evans rolled his eyes repeatedly, it still hadn’t hit him that he was on an alien planet about to be hailed as the future king. On Max’s other side, fourteen year old, orphaned Sara stood. She was calm and quiet and reminded him of her mother in many ways.
The girl had turned up on his doorstep eleven years before. That little girl was a mix of her parents and left behind so that one thing could be changed about the future set forth for her. Tess said that Liz had told her their child would die on Antar, if she ever had one from Zan. Max remembered that Liz said she could only change the how and when but not the event itself. No one had to know the false king had a daughter. No one had to know that the daughter was half human. No one had to know that Sara was that daughter. No one had to know that she had inherited her mother’s gift...
Zan and Liz had only the chance to bring life into the universe once before they were taken from it. The story that Max had been told was that all communications between the king and Antar had taken place through ‘puppets’ and when he arrived on Antar, he was asked to activate the Granilith. Zan had turned to Liz, she shook her head and closed her eyes. When the task could not be performed. The five were set to death. Each was asked to speak their identity and plots.
“I am Avaria, queen of Antar. I live only to serve my king.”
“I am Rathard, commander of our king’s army. I live only to serve my king.”
“I am Vilandra, princess. I live only to serve my brother, my king and my people.”
“I am Zan, king of Antar. I live only to serve my people and my planet.”
“And who are you?”
“I am Liz. I’m just the augur.”
They were then put to death. Zan had one final thing to say before his passing and before a transmission was intercepted from Earth. “I am Zan. I came before. I have passed. I was foretold to come again. I come now. I pass again and I will come again. Mark my words... this is far from over, Kivar.”