|posted on 4-Mar-2002 6:47:10 PM|
|Title: Wait For Me|
Author: C. Nicole
Category: Max and Liz, future AU
Disclaimer: The characters are not my own. They belong to Katims and the UPN. The song from the title is from Faith Hill's Breathe Album ( by Bruce Springstein I think) Anyway...I don't own it. So don't sue.
We said we’d walk together baby come what may
That come the twilight should we lose our way
If as we’re walking a hand should slip free
I’ll wait for you
And should I fall behind
Wait for me
We swore we’d travel together, darlin’ side by side
We’d help each other stay in stride
But each lover’s steps falls so differently
So I’ll wait for you
And should I fall behind
Wait for me
Now everyone dreams of a love lasting and true But you and I know what this world can do
So let’s make our steps clear that the other may see
And I’ll wait for you
Should I fall behind
Wait for me
“Why am I doing this to myself?” she asked the empty room. She’d been sitting in the hotel room all afternoon. Waiting. It seemed like she was always waiting for him.
When he had called her the week before, telling her he would be in town, all she could think was that she should say no. It was a simple word really. No. It was easy to say. She’d said it a thousand times. But she could never bring herself to say no to him. So when he’d asked if she could meet him at the hotel, in their room, the room they always got when he came back, all she could do was whisper out yes. The conversation had ended abruptly with him saying that he wasn’t alone and that he had to go.
Now here she was and he had yet to arrive. Of course he was never on time. Sometimes he didn’t even show up at all. He would never call to explain. And yet she never got upset. This was the only way she could be with him. After everything that had happened, she knew that she would go through hell for him. She would do anything and that included being whatever he wanted her to be and doing whatever he wanted her to do.
She glanced at the clock by the bed and knew that he would probably not be coming. This wasn’t the first time he had stood her up and it wouldn’t be the last. He had obligations that couldn’t be ignored. Not for her, not for anyone. It didn’t matter what she was to him.
She got up from the bed and made her way to the bathroom to change. She wouldn’t leave yet. He might still come. She could only hope. She discarded her clothes quickly and turned the water on in the shower. She would take a long hot shower and try to relax. While she waited for the water to warm she looked over her naked form in the mirror.
At nineteen Liz Parker was drastically different from the naive small town girl she had been just three short years before. Her looks hadn’t changed that much. She was still dark complected, her hair still long and dark. But her face, there was a maturity and sadness there. The sparkle in her eye had disappeared long ago. The only solace she knew was found in their union. He filled her so completely that nothing else in life mattered and everything dimmed in comparison to their brief trysts.
Time spent away from her was torture. And yet he endured. He had no choice. He had accepted the path of his life long ago. Now he did things that he hated. He had become something that he despised. Going to her was always hard. Maybe harder than staying away. Because if he went to her and held her in his arms he could forget for a few blissful hours what it was to have the fate of a world resting on ones shoulders. Knowing that he couldn’t stay with her, knowing that he had to use her the way he did, tore him up inside. She deserved so much better than that. She deserved a lover who wouldn’t leave in the dead of night . Someone who could stay and watch her while she slept. A husband who could give her the life he knew that she desperately wanted. But she stayed with him. She lived for him only. She had said it herself many times.
He looked anxiously at his watch and prayed that she would wait. He would be there soon. He needed her to be there. He needed to feel her soft skin against his, to hear her moan his name, to watch her as she was consumed with pleasure that only he could give her. He could feel himself responding to just these thoughts of her.
He glanced at the driver of the car who returned the look with a raised eyebrow.
“Is there a reason you’re in such a hurry, Max?” Michael asked his anxious friend.
“You know why I’m in a hurry Michael,” Max bit out angrily. Only Michael knew what Max was doing. Everyone else would have been appalled at this sort of behavior in him. Somehow though, Michael understood.
“Same place?” Michael asked as he turned the corner, the hotel coming into view. Max only nodded. He could see that her car was still there. Michael pulled up next to it and looked at Max who was practically out the door already.
“Maxwell, you’ve got until seven am. Don’t be late this time. The girls aren’t buying the excuses anymore,” he told Max. The response was the slamming of the car door. Michael sighed loudly. This was going to turn out badly. He’d been telling Max that for the last year but it was to no avail. Max had responded that when he wanted Michael’s opinion he would ask for it, but until then to stay out of it.
Max made his way silently down the hallway of the hotel and found room 115. He placed his hand over the doorknob, emitting a small glow as he used his power to unlock the door. He entered quietly and looked around the dark room. The red numbers on the clock stood out clearly. It was almost seven pm. He was three hours late. He glanced around the room as his eyes adjusted to the dark. He could smell her scent. His eyes landed on the pile of clothes next to the bed and then wandered to the bathroom door. Light peeked out from beneath it and he knew she was in there. He could hear the sound of water running inside. She must be taking a shower, he thought to himself. The water shut off and Max listened for movement. He heard the shower curtain pull back. He stood there unable to move. The door to the bathroom swung open, revealing her to him.
“Liz,” he whispered. She stood there naked and wet while he drank in the sight of her.
“You came,” she said, her voice equally as soft.
“I had to see you,” was his reply.
No more words were spoken. Max moved quickly to her. His arms wrapped around her and he pulled her up into a kiss. It was desperate and hungry, full of need and desire. Liz quickly brought her legs up, wrapping them around his waist. Max stumbled blindly toward the bed, refusing to break the kiss.
He was devouring her. Consuming her. That’s what it always felt like. She could do nothing but surrender to the sweet torture of his lips. His hands were working carefully, kneading her flesh, making her ache with wanting him. It had been so long since they’d last been together. Almost a month now. She needed this, she needed to feel him buried inside her. She needed that like she needed air to breathe.
They were on the bed now. He was sitting on the
edge, his hands caressing her back as she straddled him. She moved to take off his clothes, but he was too quick and with a wave of his hand they were gone. Liz hesitated briefly before bringing her mouth to suck at his flesh again. She wanted to taste him. He always tasted so good. And he was so warm. She loved the feel of his skin against hers. It was like he ignited every cell in her body, making her burn.
They changed positions and Max was once again in command of the situation. He laid her out on the bed and they locked gazes as he settled himself over her. He took her mouth again, thrusting his tongue inside, foretelling things to come. His hands moved to cup her breasts and she moaned into his mouth as his fingers pinched a hardened nipple.
Liz could feel Max’s arousal against her thigh. Her hands made their way to his engorged member and began to stroke it gently. Max pulled away. “If you start that it will be all over...” he mumbled into her neck even as he let her continue. His own hand abandoned her breast and made its way down to her sex. She was so hot and wet, so ready for him. His fingers played with her, rubbing back and forth coating themselves in her juices. He flicked at her swollen nub and was rewarded with a moan as she began to buck against his hand. His fingers found their way into her center and he began to stroke her walls. Her hips began to thrust, urging him to move faster.
Max decided quickly that he’d tortured himself enough. He removed his hand, and nudged Liz’s legs apart, settling himself between her thighs. She moaned softly when she felt his erection rubbing against her opening. She moved her hips again and cried out as he thrust into her. They were still for only a moment before they began moving together. Liz urged him on, wanting him deeper, harder and faster. She needed to be completed in a way that only Max Evans could accomplish.
His mouth found hers again as he continued his strokes into her. Their pace was vigorous and the kisses were short as their bodies slid against each other. Max knew he was close, but he didn’t want this to end before Liz was there with him. He reached his hand between the sweat slicked bodies and thumbed at her clit. Liz cried out loudly as her body spasmed and clutched him within her. Max’s own orgasm followed quickly. He collapsed on top of her, both gasping for breath.
He lifted his face to look into her eyes. He wondered if she could see how much he loved her. He could see the love in her eyes.
“Max,” she whispered softly. He could hear sadness and contentedness in her voice.
“I love you, Liz, so much. Thank you for waiting.” He told her. He leaned forward and kissed her tenderly.
Liz smiled up at him. “I’d wait forever for you, Max.”
Her words, ‘I’d wait forever for you, Max’ echoed in his head as he watched her sleep. She was so beautiful. It hurt him to think that he’d have to leave her again. Her breathing was deep and even and he watched the rise and fall of her chest, mesmerized by her.
His mind flashed back to when this had all begun. After their junior year, Max, Michael, Isabel and Tess had gone into hiding. They had left everything behind, including their friends. Liz had been devastated, Max knew that much but at the time he’d thought it was best. He’d wanted the others to be safe. Drawing any potential enemies away from Roswell had seemed like a good idea. The only problem with that was not knowing what was happening with those left behind.
He’d gotten Liz to agree to meeting him every so often to keep each other caught up on what was going on. They’d been apart almost a year before Max had been able to contact Liz. He and the others had to be sure it was safe. They’d set up a meeting at a hotel that was halfway between Roswell and their current location. Michael had made all of the arrangements and had driven him. He would be lookout while Max talked with Liz. It wasn’t that they were in immediate danger. They had just needed to be careful. Even Isabel and Tess had been kept in the dark.
Liz had been there, waiting. The moment they’d seen each other, he had pulled her to him and was sure he could never let her go again. It was so good to see her, to have physical proof that she was okay. He’d finally gotten a good look at her then. She was painfully thin and looked frightened.
“Max, we have a problem.” Her voice had shaken with emotion. “There are skins, more of them, in Roswell. The town is pretty much overrun. They’re after you and I’m pretty sure that Khivar is the one they report to. I.....Maria and Alex are gone now. They were both in denial. Alex went back to Sweden and Maria said that she was going to go somewhere that no one could find her. I’m the only one left. Both their families left when the town started changing. My folks are still running the cafe, but it’s like they’re oblivious to everything. I’m afraid to leave the house, to do anything. I only got away because I said I was coming to check out colleges. Max, I can’t stay there. I have to leave. After this I’m going away. I don’t know where.” She hadn’t been able to go on. She’d broken down into tears. Max wasn’t sure what to do. He’d offered to help her find someplace else to live. She’d accepted and settled down where only he could ever find her if he had too. A few months later, Max had called her. He wanted to see her. She hadn’t questioned him, just gone where he’d said. That’s when it happened. They hadn’t been able to keep apart. They’d both been so lonely without the other. They’d made love and Max had promised that they’d be together for real as soon as everything was over.
But as each month went by, he was able to see her less and less. The skins army was gaining strength. And four against hundreds didn’t lend themselves to good odds. Their meetings now were few and far between. He hated to do this to her. But he was selfish. He couldn’t let go and he knew that she didn’t want him to.
His dilemma now was telling her that he wouldn’t be able to see her for a long time now. The skins were getting ready to attack. Max had assembled his army. They were waiting back on Antar for him to give his word. The Granilith would do the rest. But until then, until he was sure that things were cooling down, he had to cut all ties. He was going to make Liz go away. He had to hide her to keep her safe. Michael would be the only other person to know where she was at. He still couldn’t trust Isabel and Tess. Not after the mistakes they’d been making lately. It was as if someone on the inside was helping the skins. Isabel swore that it wasn’t her. Tess had proven her loyalty many times over by helping them. But there was still something wrong with the whole thing.
Liz started to stir next to Max. He moved to wrap his arms around her. He watched with a smile as her eyelids fluttered open.
“Hey,” she breathed out.
“Hey,” he kissed her forehead tenderly. For a moment Max said nothing else. He let his fingers sift through her long hair. “Liz, there’s something we need to talk about,” he said softly. He watched as her eyes were immediately full of concern. He kissed her gently trying to ease her worry but it was no use. She could read his own expression and knew that this talk would not lead to a happier existence for either of them.
“The skins are getting stronger. They’re going to attack soon. I.....I won’t be able to be with you for awhile. We can’t see each other during the fighting. I can’t risk that you’d get hurt. So I’m sending you away. I’ve found Alex and he’s agreed to look after you. Make sure that nothing happens.” Max didn’t have a chance to continue. Liz was already up and moving. She’d pulled away from him.
“Why can’t I stay with you? Fight by your side? That’s what should be happening.” she was pacing back and forth. Only a thin sheet draped around her small frame.
“Liz, it can’t be that way. No one can know about
you. I can’t risk Khivar using you against me. You know he will. I’ll be a lot better off knowing that you’re safe and away from all this, than I will if I’m worrying that something will happen to you. You know this is true.” Max wasn’t going to back down. He’d made his decision.
She stopped pacing and looked at him. He could see the trust in her eyes. He knew that he’d gotten through to her. “I don’t want to be without you,” she said softly, coming to his side again. “I can barely handle going these weeks at a time. Only to see you for a few hours. It kills me. How will I get through an indefinite amount of time?” the tears streaming down her face nearly broke his heart. He hated his position. He hated being this leader. He hated hurting everyone he came into contact with. All he’d ever wanted was a normal life with a normal family. With Liz.
“We’ll get through it because we have to. We just have to know that when this is all over we’ll be together. And everything we’ve gone through will be nothing to what we get to share in the future,” he whispered as he pulled her to him.
He shouldn’t have looked away because his eyes landed on the clock then. Only two hours left. Two hours to tell her he loved her with everything he was. Two hours to say goodbye when all he really wanted was to hold on to her forever. He had to be strong. Max pulled Liz up into him, kissing her desperately. Two hours was still two hours. It wouldn’t be enough time but it was time nonetheless that he could fill with loving her.
Tess stared out the window of the small apartment. They’d been living there for the last six months. It had become their headquarters. She and Isabel shared one of the bedrooms with Max and Michael sharing the other. Not exactly the life of royalty, but it was their life. She sighed. She hated this. She hated the waiting. Most of all, she hated the lying. Isabel had snuck off somewhere during the night. She would come back and say that she’d gone for a walk. A weak excuse. But no one said anything. It was like they were denying what was right in front of their faces. Max and Michael were lying too. They had said they had a meeting with Larek. Supposedly he was still using Brody’s body. Therefore he had to meet them halfway. But they weren’t meeting Larek. Max had a lover, he was meeting her. Everyone knew. It had been whispered about among the people that were gathering to help with the fight. No one knew the name. Tess did. She’d have to be stupid not to know.
But it didn’t matter because Tess had a secret too. Well it wasn’t really a secret. She turned away from the window and picked up the phone. “Kyle, meet me on the corner of First and Maple at eight am. We need to talk.” As soon as that was said, she hung up and prayed that he’d be there. She needed his help with this. She hoped that she’d be able to fix things before it was too late.
|posted on 4-Mar-2002 7:28:03 PM|
Liz never wanted to think about when he would leave. She always had to think about the moment. She couldn’t dwell on his inevitable departure. She had to focus on the way he felt in her arms. The way his kisses branded her soul. The way his touch sent shivers down her spine, and how even his words could make her ache with desire for him. He was doing all of those things to her and more at that very moment. Whispered I love you’s interspersed with breath stealing kisses, all the while his hands were roaming as though he were trying to memorize the contours of her body.
Another kiss, mouths fused together, neither wanting to give in and break apart for much needed oxygen. “I can’t live without you,” he whispered as he moved himself between her thighs. Liz opened herself up to him, welcoming him into her. Knowing that the only completion either of them would find was with each other. Liz’s moans were loud and unencumbered and Max gloried in her complete loss of control. He felt his own slipping as well and with a raspy groan began to move within her faster.
“Max, say it,” Liz’s own breathy voice demanded as she arched into him, her hips moving frantically to match his pace.
“You’re mine,” he cried out. “Forever!” Liz felt herself giving over everything to him at the sound of those words. That was all she’d ever wanted. To be his. To be the other part of Max Evans. The part that he couldn’t and didn’t want to live without. Her climax washed over her and she registered the wonderful sensation of his as he came inside her, giving a part of himself over to her.
There was silence in the room. Soon the sound of the ticking clock seemed to be the only noise. Max cringed. He moved and brought Liz to him, kissing her fiercely. Maybe if he just kept kissing her time would cease to exist and he could stay right where he was forever. Liz seemed to understand and they clung to each other, almost desperately. Neither wanting to let the other go.
It’s funny how there never seems to be enough time. Not when you want it to last forever. Liz couldn’t stop her tears and they mixed with Max’s.
“I love you, so much. I.....I promise that as soon as it’s safe, I’ll come for you. We won’t be apart any longer than necessary,” Max told her. Fifteen minutes, that’s all they had left now. They were sitting up on the bed, across from each other, hands entwined, foreheads together.
“I know. I love you too. If....if.....promise me you’ll stay safe, Max. I won’t be able to go on if I know you’re putting yourself in harms way. I....”
“I can’t make that kind of promise, Liz. I want to be able to assure you but....” she put her finger to his lips. “Then don’t say anything.”
Another minute passed. Both were afraid to look at the clock but neither could help it. Desperation seemed to settle over them. Max took his hands, running them over her, .touching her face, her lips, her eyes, her nose.
“Stay here until Thursday. Michael will come then. He’ll take you to meet Alex. No one else will know where you are. I trust Alex implicitly. He’ll take care of you.” His words were said to reassure himself as much as her.
Another glance at the clock. Two minutes left. Max started to pull away. Liz couldn’t find it in her to let go. “ I know why you leave when I’m sleeping now. I understand. Saying goodbye is too hard,” she whispered as he pulled away. Max didn’t want to let go either.
Liz couldn’t sever their connection just yet. She got up and walked to the door with him, still holding onto him tightly.
“Michael’s waiting,” Max said as they stood in the doorway. Liz nodded her head. One last kiss. It was full of so many things, promises, desires, fear, desperation, love..... Max closed his eyes and Liz dropped his hand from her grasp. That small action hurt him more than any physical injury ever could. But it was necessary. With one last “I love you” whispered from both sets of lips, he was gone.
Liz shut the door behind her, locking it again. She crawled back over and into the bed. The pillow he’d slept on lay there. It was mocking her. Telling her in no uncertain terms that he was gone. She grabbed it and buried her face in it. Taking in the smell of him that lingered all the while soaking it with her tears.
“Is there a reason that you wanted to meet me so damn early in the morning?” Kyle Valenti asked as he stood on the specified corner talking to Tess.
“I just needed to see you,” she told him.
Kyle shook his head. “Nuh uh, not buying it. Besides we just saw each other about five hours ago. What’s really going on?”
“Alright. I need your help. It happened again last night. After you left I went to check on Isabel. She was gone. This is the second time this week. I can’t help but feel funny about it. It isn’t right. She’s Max’s sister for Godsake. I know that I shouldn’t be thinking this, but I think she’s the leak. I’m afraid that the past is repeating itself. What if Khivar got to her? What if she can’t control herself? There are so many what ifs.” Tess was beyond frustrated. She was beside herself with what to do. They were the Royal Four. The only way they could possibly win the war is if they were all together. Liz had proved that when she’d explained about future Max all those years ago. They had to stay together as a unit. But if one of their unit was defecting then they had problems. Big problems.
“You think it’s her don’t you? You think that she’s the one spilling info to the other side?”Kyle said as if he fully understood.
Tess nodded. She felt guilty about the whole thing. This was so hard. She knew that she couldn’t go to Max or Michael with this. They wouldn’t believer her. Isabel was their sister. They wouldn’t believe that she was capable of betrayal.
“So is she back yet?” Kyle asked. He grabbed Tess’ hand in his and started moving. They needed to walk. It was early morning and cold. They didn’t need to freeze while standing on the street corner. There was a coffee shop near by. They could go there.
“She came in about a half hour before I left to come meet you. I didn’t say anything to her. I just sort of said hi and goodbye. She looked fine. A little windblown but fine. I just don’t know what to think,” Tess exclaimed angrily.
Kyle pulled her to him and into a hug. He kissed the top of her head. “ I know it’s hard. I don’t know how you could even bring this up to Max. It seems too far out. You don’t want to believe that it’s her either. But Tess, honey, if she’s the one putting you at risk then she needs to be flushed out. You need this in the open. If it’s her, she’s going to have to choose where her loyalty lies.”
Tess sniffled a little, holding back any tears that might come. “God, what if I’m wrong? I can’t just accuse her....” her voice trailed off. They needed a plan. She’d been working on it. That’s where Kyle fit in. Aside from being her support system he was also her go to guy. He got things done when she needed them.
“So this is what I want to,” she started as she regained her composure. They were inside the cafe now, two steaming cups of coffee in front of them. “We follow her. As covertly as possible. We just have to see where she’s going, who she’s meeting with things like that. The problem is that she can sense me sometimes, so we’ll have to be careful to stay out of sight. And I’m going to need to use you as a cover with Max and Michael. If they ask where I’m at, I’ll say with you. So that’s you’re automatic answer. We’re together always.”
Kyle smirked slightly. “That’s not a problem. So when do we start?”
“Tonight. You can come over for dinner. Max and Michael should be back from their meeting with Larek sometime tomorrow. I want to do this as soon as possible.”
“Alright, I can deal. Just promise that this isn’t the only ‘private investigation’ you’ll be conducting this evening,” Kyle’s grin was infectious and Tess laughed.
“I’ll see what else I can do,” she told him. They finished their coffee and then with a kiss goodbye Kyle left for work and Tess went back to the apartment.
Michael glanced over at Max. He was staring out the window of the car.
“What did she say?” Michael finally asked.
“You pick her up there, at that hotel on Thursday and then you’ll meet Alex at the drop off location. Alex has his instructions from there. He’ll take her with him wherever it is that he’s going,” Max’s tone was flat, lifeless.
“You don’t know where he’s taking her?” Michael was surprised. He thought for sure that Max would know exactly where Liz would be. Max only shook his head no.
“We’ve got designated meeting times. If I need to know later, I can find out. But for now, its better if I don’t know. Alex will be in touch through Kate if something should happen that requires our immediate attention.”
Michael nodded. “How’s Kate doing?” he asked. Max actually managed half a smile at this.
“She seems fine. Although you’ve certainly had an impact on her attitude toward men. I believe that last time I talked with her she said that we were all pigs and deserved to be slow roasted over open flame.” Max chuckled softly. “You sure know how to pick ‘em, Michael.”
“Whatever Maxwell.” There was a pause. “So does that mean she’s mad at me?”
“Yes, Michael I believe so. Why don’t you just go see her? After you drop me off, go to her. You should do it before things get really serious and we have to leave again.” Max thought about Liz as he said this. It wasn’t fair that everyone they loved had to be kept away at arms length for their own protection.
“I might do that,” was Michael’s response. His thoughts drifted to Kate. She was a spitfire. Sort of like Maria had been. Only Kate usually gave into him without much of a fight. It wasn’t love, probably just lust and an I know where you’re coming from kind of thing. Kate was from Antar and she’d been raised in a rough home on earth, just like Michael.
Michael shook his head. Now wasn’t the time to be thinking of things like that. He had to rebuild that stone wall of his. There were more important issues at hand.
“Max, I think it’s time we talked about the situation at home. We need to figure out what’s going on. I.....I’m starting to think that we can’t trust Isabel or Tess. They’ve been strange lately. Tess’ behavior might be from overdoses of Kyle but Isabel.....I don’t know. She won’t talk about it and ......” Michael’s words were cut off by a look from Max.
“I can’t deal with this right now Michael. I....I don’t want it to be either of them. But especially not her. She’s my sister.” Max was torn. Everything pointed toward Isabel though. She was on the inside, she was rumored to have a great lover among the skins. Her recent behavior only seemed to carry the rumors.
God, why did life have to be so hard?
Trying to keep track of everthing and everyone around you is an exhausting job. Max couldn’t think of a single good reason to go on like this anymore. He was more than exhausted. He was sick of everyone coming to him for answers or guidance. He didn’t want to be a leader. He could barely remember how he’d gotten forced into it in the first place. It’s not like he was going to get anything out of this in the end. The only thing that came from a war was death. And now he had to be away from the one person that made his life worth living because of some damn civil war on a planet that he barely knew anything about. He’d fight though if only to protect the planet he grew up on and the ones he loved.
His thoughts were back on Liz again. He kept wondering what she was doing. If she was missing him like he did her. For a moment he forgot why he was sending her away and keeping her a secret in the first place. It actually wasn’t that big of a secret. People talked. That’s part of why he sent her away. He wasn’t foolish enough to think that he’d be able to protect her while he was trying to lead his army. She was his weakness and to have her near would mean being distracted. He knew she was safe this way. He had to believe that.
Michael interrupted Max’s thoughts. “We’re almost there. Anywhere you want to stop before we go to the apartment?” Max shook his head no. They arrived only to be greeted by an empty apartment. There was just a note on the kitchen table from Tess telling them she was spending the evening at Kyle’s. Max made his way over to Isabel and Tess’ room. He knocked on the door. They needed to talk with Isabel. When there wasn’t an answer he opened the door to the room to find it as empty as the rest of the apartment. Both beds were made and everything was picked up and neat.
Max left the room and turned to Michael. “Izzy’s gone.” Michael gave a stiff nod in response.
“We need a plan Max. We can’t keep ignoring this.” Michael’s voice was gruff, but it was obvious that this was effecting him as well.
“I’ll sit down and talk with her. When she gets back, I’ll confront her, ask her what’s going on. I think the direct approach is the only way to get any answers.”
“I guess that’s a plan,” was Michael’s reply. So they sat and waited. Michael turned on the TV. There was a hockey game on channel 43. Maybe some mindless entertainment would be good.
Isabel sat in front of the computer screen waiting anxiously. Every night at 11:37pm on the dot, guitarman1947 would log on to his computer. Like clockwork, Antarprincess would respond to his inquiries. It was all very silly. She’d never been very good with computers, but she’d stumbled across this place one night when she been taking a walk to battle her insomnia. It was a coffee shop that catered to people who liked to chat online. There were computers set up everywhere. So you could sit and drink your coffee and instant message someone half way around the world. So Isabel had tried it. The first chatroom she’d joined had been about shopping. It hadn’t held her interest very long. The old Isabel Evans would have been able to chat for hours on the latest trends, but this Isabel was different. She actually cared about world issues and things that didn’t pertain to looks. When you’re on the run, trying to save two planets from destruction those other things sort of take a back seat.
She had managed to make some friends though. It didn’t matter that they’d never actually met in person. It was liberating to be able to talk this way. Not to have them judge you by appearance or any preconcieved notions. She didn’t even have to be herself. She could make up a character to play out.
It was hard to get away from her alien nature though. She’d found a group that’s main focus was the crash of 1947 in Roswell. That’s how she’d met guitarman1947. He was really funny and sometimes he reminded her of Alex. They had connected instantly, sharing theories and such. Isabel’s theories were a little closer to truth than anyone would ever know. Everyone else on the board dismissed them. Guitarman didn’t give them much credit either, but he liked to discuss them with her. It had been a great arrangement at the start. She’d been able to vent her frustrations in a somewhat constructive manner. While she never told him the truth, he knew more than many ever would. But then it had all changed. He’d started asking personal questions and taking her seriously. So tonight she had to tell him she couldn’t talk to him anymore. She’d let him down easily and say that she was leaving to travel and wouldn’t have regular computer access.
At 11:55pm Isabel got worried that something must have happened. He was never late. He was always online and wanting to talk. She sighed and got up from the computer. There were others milling around waiting for open computers. Dejectedly she made her way home.
As she left she thought she caught a glimpse of someone behind her. She turned around quickly . No one. Just her imagination. She kept walking. “God, I hate this city,” she mumbled under her breath. It creeped her out. She walked a little faster as the feeling that she was being followed stayed with her.
“What are you doing?” Kyle asked Tess as they stood outside of the coffee shop. Tess was peering in through the window, her focus intent on Isabel’s form.
“Shsh, let me concentrate,” she hissed out.
“Are you using your powers? If you are just stop right now. This is stupid. We’ve been following her since she left. I’m tired of sitting out here and waiting. She’s obviously just having coffee and using the computer,” Kyle said, rubbing his hands together in a vain attempt to keep them warm.
“Exactly. The computer. What if that’s how she leaks the info?” Tess said.
Kyle rolled his eyes in response.
“Look, she’s getting up.” Tess was peering in the window again.
“Quick! Hide!” she wispered in a panic as Isabel stepped outside. They hung back a ways and then began to follow her.
“She’s heading back to the apartment....” Kyle whispered as they made there way, sticking in the shadows.
They both stopped abruptly as Isabel did the same and began to look around. Kyle pulled Tess off into a dark doorway. “I think she can feel us,” he said.
Tess nodded. “Let’s go back to the apartment. We’ll just say that we went out for ice cream or something okay?”
Kyle insisted that they couldn’t really lie about that so they went and found an all night market and bought a quart of ice cream to take back with them. “It will seem less suspicious if we’ve at least got the ice cream to back up our story.”
So they lost track of Isabel. Later they would realize that they should have followed her a little more closely. Maybe then they could have avoided disaster.
|posted on 4-Mar-2002 7:37:11 PM|
Max glanced at his watch wearily. It was almost 1 am. There was still no sign of Isabel. The TV had switched over to airing infomercials now and Max had acquired a headache between Ron Popiel’s dehydrator pitch and Victoria Principle’s new makeup line. He’d been alone for the last hour or so. Michael had gotten a phone call from a very irate Kate and had gone into his room to talk to her privately. Max decided that he would wait up until 1:30 am and then he’d go to bed. He’d had maybe a total of six hours of sleep in the last few days. It had been worth the lost sleep to spend time with Liz though. But now he desperately needed to rest.
When the numbers on the VCR clock read 1:45 am Max got up from the couch and headed to the bathroom to get ready for bed. He’d just finished brushing his teeth when he heard the front door of the apartment open.
“Isabel?” he hollered out.
“Max? You’re back?” was her questioning reply. Max walked out into the other room. His sister looked more than a little upset.
“What’s wrong Izzy?” he asked. She looked scared.
“I.....I think that I was followed,” she’d barely finished the sentence when there was a knock on the front door. Isabel jumped when she heard it. Max placed a comforting hand on her shoulder. It was probably nothing. Just a neighbor. And Isabel was probably just being paranoid. But it was better to error on the side of caution. He put a finger to his lips, gesturing for her to remain quiet.
*Just stay here,* he pathed to her. * I’ll go see who it is. I’m sure it’s nothing.*
Isabel nodded her compliance and Max moved for the door. He’d just reached the door when the lock began to move on its own. Max watched as the chain moved out of place. The doorknob began to move and he took a step backwards. The door swung open and Max stared at the man standing in the doorway.
“Who are you?” The question was asked quietly but the demand and menace behind the words were more than evident.
“Ask your sister. I believe she knows me well,” the man replied. He was fairly tall with shaggy blond hair and the smirk on his face only proved to incite Max’s rage.
Max turned to Isabel who looked horror stricken. “No.....I....I don’t know you. I swear, Max, I’ve never seen him before in my life,” Isabel told Max. She was visibly shaken.
The smirk remained on the guys face. “She’s right. We’ve never met in person. Sometimes words are able to form deeper bonds than physical relationships. I know all her secrets Max. She told me everything.”
Max kept his face expressionless, trying to hide his true feelings.
“Ah, your eyes give you away Max. They are a weakness of yours. They reveal the truth of your feelings even though you hide behind a calm demeanor. But your eyes aren’t your greatest weakness are they Max? There’s something else. Am I right? Your greatest weakness is nothing more than a human girl by the name of Liz Parker.”
Max fought desperately to maintain control at the mention of Liz’s name.
The man continued to bait Max. “Tell me, how is your lovely consort? I trust you found her well yesterday. Do you suppose that she’s well today? I wonder if your fair lady is as loyal to you as you’d like to believe.” He paused. “Do you ever worry that she’s not safe Max? That maybe you can’t protect her? Yes.....I’m sure that you do. I’m sure that you’ve thought about it a lot and taken every possible precaution. But you know what Max? All that worrying, all that planning was for nothing. It’s already too late.”
Max lost all ability to think rationally at this point and pushed the man up against the wall. He placed his hand menacingly over his heart while gripping him by the neck. “Isabel, get Michael!” Max ordered through clenched teeth. His gaze examined the shifty eyes of his captive.
“I suggest you talk. The information you give me may be a bargaining tool for your life. What’s your name?”
There was no response and Max pressed a little harder on his neck.
“Avery,” he breathed out. “My name is Avery.”
“Good. That’s a good start. Now tell me, what the hell are you doing here? And what do you know about Liz Parker?”
The smirk returned to the man’s face. “She must be one hell of a tiger in the sack for you to be so hung up on her. Does she submit to your every command or are you submissive to her? I bet she’s a screamer too.”
At these words Max’s hand began to glow. “I suggest you try a different approach. Insulting my wife isn’t going to get you anywhere,” Max informed him angrily.
“What the hell’s going on here Maxwell?” Michael’s voice rang out as he approached the two men. Max didn’t even look away. He eyes were focused on his glowing hand.
“Avery here has been saying some not so nice things about Isabel and Liz.”
“Yes. And how are your women doing Michael? How many are you stringing along this month? I know there’s a Kate for sure. But that relationship interests me about as much as it does you. I believe Maria Deluca is the woman that tends to make you act irrationally.”
“You’re wrong. I’m irrational about everything,” Michael dead panned.
“Funny. Well you won’t be laughing soon enough.” Avery’s eyes had shifted to a completely different color now. He was shape shifting as he stood there crushed against the wall. He was now in the body of one Alex Whitman.
“See Isabel, you certainly know me now.” He slipped from Max’s grasp and out the door. Michael ran into the hallway, lifting his hand, ready to fire out a blast of his destructive energy.
“Wait! No!” Isabel cried out, stopping him.
“What the hell....Isabel, dammit why’d you do that?” Michael hollered at her. He started to go off after this Avery guy when Max pulled him back into the apartment.
“It won’t do any good now. He could have shape shifted again. He could be anyone,” Max told him. He glanced briefly at Isabel. Her hesitation to let Michael kill the shape shifter was puzzling. Maybe it had something to do with his looking like Alex.
“He knows things Max. He was here to set us up. That’s what this was,” she finally said quietly. It was all starting to come together now. Khivar would be making his move soon. This was just the first step. He was testing them for weakness and he’d found it very quickly. The humans.
The three stood in the apartment. Max was lost in thought, pacing, as he tried to come up with an alternative plan to keep Liz safe. He couldn’t just call her up. There was too large of a chance for the phone call to be intercepted. No, something else would have to happen.
Isabel was trying to process what had just happened. This...Avery character said he knew things about her. He said she’d told him things. Thoughts of guitarman1947 entered her head and she knew that she’d been set up. She recalled something else. Max.....he was still tied to Liz. He hadn’t broken ties like he’d promised. In fact it sounded like more than just a secret rendezvous. Had she heard correctly? Was Liz his wife?
Michael endured his own struggle. He was fighting back the urge to cause physical damage to something. He needed to act. He needed Max to make a decision, to come up with a plan. He couldn’t just sit around when their enemy was now very aware of where they were, not to mention the fact that his own weakness had been thrown in his face and would no doubt be used against him.
It seemed like hours of silence and inactivity when in truth it was only a brief moment. Max spoke first. He was in charge, he was King. Decisions needed to be made, action needed to be taken and there was no time to waste.
“Michael, change of plans. You leave right away. I’ll change the rendezvous time with ....” his voice trailed off as he looked at Isabel. He was thinking of Alex and the shape shifter. Was Alex even okay? Could he still be trusted? “I’ll rearrange it. You pick Liz up as soon as possible. Go rest now, while you can. In the meantime Isabel, start packing everything we’re going to need to transfer to sector 0918. We’ll all split up and make sure we aren’t being followed. In two days, be at the new location. No sooner, no later than 0900 hrs. If you aren’t there for any reason, the rest of us will come back to meet again at 2100. If you’re followed, abort. Wait three days and then we’ll try to meet again at the same times. Michael once you’ve got Liz you bring her and Alex. Khivar has obviously been keeping tabs on them. They’ll only be safe now if we can keep an eye on them.”
“What about Maria?” Michael asked.
“I’ll take care of it,” Max told him. “Now you take care of your part.”
Michael went to pack his things while Max made a few phone calls. Isabel was hastily going around the apartment picking only essential items to take with them. When Kyle and Tess entered the apartment moments later, they walked into chaos. Isabel was crying as she packed. Max was pacing while he talked quietly on a cell phone. Michael emerged from the bedroom with a packed duffel bag. Grabbing the keys to the car he left without saying a word.
“What’s going on?” Tess asked.
“Pack your things and then take Kyle to get his stuff. We’re transfering to sector 0918. Khivar’s found us. Even the humans are in danger now. We have to leave. Take Isabel with you and she’ll explain everything,” Max told them. His tone was clipped and commanding. He went back to his phone conversation.
“No. You listen to me for a change. You be where I told you at the time that I told you or I can’t promise you’ll be safe. Do you understand?” There was a pause after Max said this and you could hear a female voice speaking loudly on the other end. “I’m sorry you feel that way Maria. I’m trying to keep everyone out of harms way. It’s up to you. I can’t force you to do anything. But if you don’t come all we’ll do is worry for your safety.” There was another pause. “Please don’t let any hard feelings between you and Michael .....” Max was interrupted. “If I say it, if I agree, will you come?” Another pause. “Okay, Yes. Michael Guerin is an ass and he doesn’t know how to handle his emotions. He needs to be taught a lesson. And you know what Maria, I think you’re just the person to teach him that lesson.” Maria’s voice had quieted considerably now. Thank God. Max thought he was going to lose his hearing there for a second.
“So now that this is settled, be at the assigned
location by tonight at 7pm. Look for Alex. He’ll take you to the next place.”
Michael had been driving for almost two hours when he found himself at Kate’s apartment. He felt compelled to check on her. That Avery guy had mentioned her not being important but he wanted to be sure. He knocked on the door and waited impatiently. When Kate opened the door she looked surprised to see him standing there.
“Michael, what’s going on? I thought you said you couldn’t , or rather wouldn’t, come see me tonight.” When she said that their eyes met and Michael couldn’t look away. He started to feel out of control, like something else was in charge of his actions. Like he was posessed. He grabbed Kate, kissing her hard. His mind was rebelling against his body unsuccessfully. He shouldn’t be here, his head kept telling him. It was nearly screaming at him to leave, to go and get Liz. But his body was already on it’s way to Kate’s bedroom.
Alex drove as quickly as he could. He’d just gotten back to the states a little over six hours ago. He’d been contacted by Max to help him protect Liz and despite having washed his hands of all things Alien years ago, he hadn’t been able to say no. This was about protecting Liz, keeping her safe. He couldn’t say no to that. But now, all their plans had been changed and he was regretting that he ever agreed to this. He was getting pulled into the Alien Abyss yet again. But he couldn’t think about that right now. He had to get to his position. He had to meet Michael and he had to take Michael and Liz with him to get Maria. That was Max’s new plan. After that, he’d have to wait and see what his next decision would be.
He’d kept on the periphery of things through Isabel, even though he was sure that she hadn’t put two and two together. It had been an accident really. He’d been in Sweden for a year and his girlfriend there had dumped him. So he’d turned to his computer and chat rooms for company. The first person he met, oddly enough had a screen name of Antarprincess. It had been too coincidental. So that’s how he knew that she was still okay. She being Isabel. He shook his head, trying to clear his thoughts and free his mind of past images of the girl he had never quite gotten over.
Max sat in the dark apartment. Everyone had gone but him. He was waiting. He wanted to try and contact Liz, to warn her to be careful and to look for Michael. He’d tried dream walking her but had been unsuccessful. That was more of Isabel’s thing anyway. He couldn’t just call her. They were watching her closely. He knew they were. This was his worst nightmare. Knowing she could be in trouble and not being able to do anything to help her. But he was helping her. At least he hoped. Max closed his eyes one more time.
*Liz,* his voice pathed out. *Liz, sweetheart if you can hear me, I need you to listen closely. Michael’s coming for you early and you need to go with him and only him. He’ll bring you to me. We’ll be together soon. I love you.* There was a pause and then Max heard a small voice inside his head. * I love you too, Max.*
|posted on 4-Mar-2002 7:45:06 PM|
Liz woke the next morning and clutched the pillow to her. She’d been dreaming. It was a good dream. She and Max were together and they were living a normal life. One where they didn’t have to be married in secret and only see each other when imminent danger wasn’t looming over their heads. For those few short hours of sleep Liz had been blissfully happy. Only to wake and find the bed empty. There was no normal. There probably wouldn’t be for awhile.
Getting herself motivated to move was difficult to say the least. She wasn’t feeling well and the dark grayness of the outside world wasn’t making it any better. She pulled herself into the shower though. Standing under the hot stream of water, she let herself cry again. Her tears didn’t last long though because on the periphery of her mind a thought edged its way in. Max. He had contacted her last night. She remembered now. Michael was coming for her. He was going to take her to be with Max.
It’s amazing how one’s outlook can change completely when a little bit of hope is introduced to the situation. Liz finished her shower quickly and went around straightening up the room, getting her things together. Michael would probably be there for her soon.
While she was waiting for him she sat down and turned on the TV. She turned it to CNN and watched the world news. There wasn’t really anything interesting happening. Ironically enough the world had been fairly peaceful lately. The Middle East had even taken a bit of a break from its ongoing wars. It was a little eerie. Almost like something big was coming and the whole world knew it. Liz shook here head. That was silly. She shouldn’t think like that. Things were obviously fine, especially if Max was letting her go to him. She focused back on the news. The anchor was currently talking about a series of odd deaths in Atlanta, Georgia. There was no sign of struggle. No apparent injuries. The victims had been found on the street dead. They were still waiting for autopsies to be completed and for the reports to be released. That was interesting. Something told Liz not to forget about that.
Her thoughts were interrupted by knocking at the door. Michael. That had to be him. Even so Liz was cautious. Years of hiding had taught her that one could never be too careful. She went to the door and peered out the peephole. Michael stood there, looking annoyed and in a hurry.
“Liz,” he hollered. “Liz if you’re in there, answer the door. We’ve got to go. Max will kill me if we’re not on schedule.” Well it sure sounded like Michael. But better to be safe than sorry.
“Okay, if you’re really Michael tell me something,” Liz said through the door.
“Where is Maria’s only ticklish spot?”
“What? Liz come on...”
“Fine, it’s on her right leg behind her knee. She really used to like it when I....”
“Okay, that’s enough information.” Liz said as he opened the door. She didn’t really need to know all of the details. Besides the annoyed disinterest in his voice was a dead giveaway.
“Are you ready?” he asked, raising his eyebrows.
Liz nodded. “Let me get my bag.” Grabbing her things she left one item on the night stand. Just in case.
Max had been driving since five o’clock in the morning. It was almost ten am. Time to pull over and rest. He was going to be early anyway. There were rules about getting somewhere early. There were rules about being late. There were rules about being followed and there were rules about aborting plans. There were rules for stopping for emergencies.......there were rules for everything. There had to be, or someone could get hurt or even killed. Carelessness was not an option. There was always a story or a plan. There was always a backup story or plan.
The gas station was only slightly busy when Max pulled up. He filled the car’s gas tank and went inside to pay. He grabbed himself something to drink and a bottle of Tabasco sauce and went to stand in line at the register. The TV was turned to local news. The story was about some kids going up against the school board on the issue of uniforms in school. Max was almost to the front of the line when the anchor’s tone of voice changed.
“In other news, the bodies of five unidentified citizens were discovered early this morning outside a hotel in Jacksonville, Florida. As with the victims in Atlanta, Georgia, the Jacksonville victims seemed to be uninjured and their cause of death unknown. The only link authorities have identified are mysterious markings located at the base of the victims’ spines. The markings appear to be symbols. But no one has been able to even guess as to their origin.” Max watched with a clenched jaw as the symbols flashed up on the screen. They were asking for information on what they could possibly mean.
Max knew what they meant. As each symbol was shown the message became clearer, mocking Max. They were Antarian and read, “We have her your Highness.”
Max willed himself not drop what was in his hands. He was shaking so badly he didn’t think he was going to make it. But he paid and made it out to his car before he broke down. It was only a momentary lapse in control. A lapse nonetheless. He should have known. He shouldn’t have left her alone. Now he had to fix this. He had to deal with the repercussions. Michael. He needed to get in touch with Michael. He had to know what had happened, what had changed the plans. But Max couldn’t call Michael. The plan had somehow failed. Calling Michael could cause other irreparable damage. He couldn’t risk that. He just knew that he had to get to sector 0918 and get there fast. He needed another plan.
When Michael woke up that morning he’d been surprised to find himself laying underneath a warm body. For a moment he’d imagined it to be Maria. But when he’d opened his eyes he’d found Kate. He’d gently pushed her off of him and gotten up quickly. His mind had felt fuzzy and he was disoriented. He didn’t remember how he’d ended up at Kate’s. He’d been very aware that there was something that he was supposed to be doing. Michael had quickly pulled on his clothes and made his way out to the car. His stuff was still inside. He was supposed to be going somewhere. Liz. He’d been on his way to pick up Liz. She was supposed to be waiting for him at the Hotel in Jacksonville
When Michael arrived at the hotel he’d knocked on the door several times.
“Liz,” he hollered. “Liz if you’re in there, answer the door. We’ve got to go. Max will kill me if we’re not on schedule.”
He knocked again.
He swiped his hand over the door knob to unlock the door. It swung open, revealing an empty room. Liz Parker Evans wasn’t there.
Michael surveyed the room looking for signs of a struggle, anything. The only thing he found was a small alien toy figure. He picked it up and was assaulted with flashes.
He saw himself talking through the door with Liz.
He was saying something about Maria.
Liz grabbing her things.
Liz setting the little toy down.
Liz’s thoughts. She knew it wasn’t him. She knew that she had to play along to keep herself safe.
For the first time in a long time Michael, the alien warrior, Michael, the King’s second, felt fear. Fear for Liz Parker, the girl who was by all rights his Queen. The fear was quickly replaced with self-hatred. He’d failed. He’d failed Max and he’d failed Liz. What was he going to do now? The plan. They had a plan for everything. He would follow through with their plan. Then he’d have to do whatever he could to make things right.
Liz glanced at Michael out of the corner of her eye. They’d been driving for a long time. He hadn’t said very much and she didn’t really try to make conversation with him. She was uncomfortable to say the least.
She’d known he wasn’t Michael since he’d shown up at the door. The look had been all wrong for one. This Michael was too clean cut. The Michael she knew still wore clothes that were less than fashionable and not necessarily new. This Michael looked like he’d just come from shooting the latest Gap commercial. Plus his attitude was off. Michael was rude but he wasn’t cold the way this Michael was. Liz also knew for a fact that Maria’s ticklish spot was her elbow, not her knee. Something that the real Michael would have known very well considering all the time he’d spent in High School torturing Maria with that piece of information.
So now she was playing it safe. She was pretending she really thought he was Michael. Maybe it had been a foolish move on her part to just play along, but she’d gotten the distinct impression that this Michael wouldn’t have hesitated in being forceful with her. Liz suspected that she could just as easily be riding in the trunk of the car as the passenger seat and it wouldn’t matter to him either way.
She thought he could maybe be a shape shifter. But the shape shifters were meticulous, methodical and logical above all else. This Michael was none of those things. Her next thought was of Rath. The others hadn’t seen or heard from him since Max’s first trip to New York. If that last visit of his to Roswell was any indication the looks he was currently giving her were more than friendly in nature. It was almost like he was leering at her. She remembered how disgusted she’d been when he kissed her. Willing herself not to shudder with the thought, she focused her attention out the car window, watching the scenery carefully. Maybe she could figure out where they were. She hadn’t actually seen a road sign for a long time.
After another hour of silence Liz couldn’t take it anymore. She needed to get some answers, whoever this was. Then maybe she could connect with Max later to let him know what was happening.
“So, Michael, you and I haven’t really even talked lately. I mean Max talks about you and Isabel and Tess even. But you know it’s all just pretty general things. He did say that you’d sort of met someone new. Kate, yeah he said her name was Kate. So is it serious?”
Michael shifted uncomfortably in the driver’s seat. “She’s just a fuck,” he said with a shrug. For a moment Liz was taken aback but her mind quickly reminded her to let it go. If she let on that she knew, she’d probably endanger herself. She had to be smart about this. She had to stay focused and keep her head clear to find out everything she could.
After another long period of silence, they pulled into a town, probably about as large as Roswell. From there they went to the bus station and waited. She was about to ask what they were waiting for when a girl appeared from inside the bus station.
She opened the door, pulled Liz out, shoving her into the back seat and taking her place next to Michael in the front. “It’s about damn time,” she said to Michael’s look alike. “I been waiting all fucking afternoon for you.” He didn’t answer he just pulled her over to him and kissed her hard.
Liz watched the exchange with interest and no small amount of disgust. She wondered just who this woman was.
Her question was answered a moment later when the girl broke away from the lip lock smiling. She looked to Liz. “So you’re the King’s consort, huh? I guess there’s no accounting for taste is there? You must be a good lay though.”
Liz didn’t say anything. She didn’t even blink. Was that the best this girl could do?
“I’m Kate, by the way.” She smiled again. It was an
“And in case you haven’t figured it out yet, this handsome man here is not the Michael you know and love.” When this still didn’t cause a reaction in Liz she began to frown.
“You see, Michael betrayed Max to be with me, Liz. But I really don’t want Michael. I want Rath here. We’re breaking apart the Royal family, piece by piece. And now you’re going to help us finish this off. Khivar’s waiting for you. He wants to make you his queen. And you can’t possibly say no to that can you? I mean really, think of the step up it will be. You’ll go from being one King’s whore to another King’s Queen. I really think that you’re getting a good deal here.”
Liz looked away. She should have known that Khivar was behind this. He’d been after Liz since he’d first made his appearance on earth. Max hadn’t been around then. He had already left with the others. Liz had felt sorry for the new boy in school and thought that by helping him, she’d help herself keep going with out Max around. It had been one of the biggest mistakes of her life. The boy, Avery as she knew him at school, had really been Khivar. When she’d found out she’d left Roswell in search of Max under the pretense of going to look at colleges. She hadn’t been back since.
Now she was on her way to him and she knew that this reunion would not be friendly.
***Max*** she tried to call out to him with her mind. She waited for an answer, a flash, anything to let her know that she’d been heard. Nothing. Holding in a sob, Liz looked out the window again. Still no road signs. Silent tears made their way down her cheeks. She hadn’t been this scared and alone for a long time.
|posted on 4-Mar-2002 7:58:47 PM|
Michael pulled up to the gas station and glanced at his watch. 11:58 pm exactly. At least this part of the plan was still intact. He silently cursed himself again for the mess he’d made of everything. How were they supposed to be able to defeat an entire army of skins if he couldn’t follow some simple instructions to pick someone up? He took a moment to collect himself and then got out of the car carefully, taking in his surroundings. He spotted Alex first, standing by a bright neon sign advertising beer. Michael was about to approach Alex when something stopped him. That something was actually the appearance of someone. A woman with long, honey colored hair and full red lips was pacing in front of Alex, flailing her arms as she talked loudly and animatedly.
Damn but she was beautiful when she was pissed.
He almost hated to interrupt.
Quickly slipping on his stonewall face he approached them, stopping when he felt Maria’s icy glare shot in his direction.
“Michael,” Alex said with a nod. Michael returned the gesture and then pointedly avoided making any sort of eye contact with Maria. “We should go,” he said and turned toward the car, expecting them to follow. But of course that would be too easy.
“Where’s Liz?” Maria asked.
Michael paused momentarily. “She’s not here. We have to go or we’ll be late. Then we’ll have to drive around until the next meeting time. I really don’t want to be stuck with you two for that long.”
“NO! We are not going anywhere until you tell us where Liz is. Max promised me that she would be here. Now what the hell happened?” Maria demanded.
“Would you just get in the damn car!?! I’ll tell
you what I know as we drive.”
Alex had remained fairly silent up to this point. “How do we know you’re really Michael?” he asked appraising Michael carefully. Caution. It was something that they’d learned long ago. He hadn’t really needed to be cautious for a long time now. The need was returning quickly.
“You don’t I guess. You’ll just have to trust me,” Michael said.
“Well, I don’t trust you. You could be a shape shifter or some skin in a poorly bathed Michael husk. There’s only one way to tell,” Maria insisted. “Go inside. I’ll follow and then I will be the judge of whether or not it’s really you.”
Michael was about to protest when curiosity overcame him. He wanted to see just how Maria could really tell. She thought she was so smart. He shook his head and tried not to smile. He needed to earn their trust. That was another reason to do what she said. They needed to get the hell out of here fast. Who knew who was following them?
So Michael walked into the gas station and Maria steered him toward the back.
“Alex, you stand guard,” she ordered as she pushed Michael through the door of the women’s restroom. Luckily it was currently unoccupied. Maria stepped away from Michael and stared at him for a second. He raised an eyebrow expectantly.
“Drop ‘em,” she said.
“What?” What the hell was she talking about?
“You heard me, drop ‘em.”
“Drop what exactly, Maria?” Michael was more than a little confused.
Maria stood there, arms crossed in front of her chest, lips pursed in agitation.
“Your pants, Spaceboy. Drop your damn pants!”
“What?” Michael exclaimed loudly.
“Do it!” Maria hissed out.
“Fine,” Michael muttered. With a few jerks and a tug, his belt was unbuckled and his pants pooled around his feet on the floor.
“Boxers too,” Maria said.
Michael couldn’t help but smirk at that. “You’re enjoying this aren’t you,” he said. And without further ado the boxers joined his pants on the floor.
Alex shifted nervously as he waited for Michael and Maria to come out of the bathroom. He was worried and anxious. First, something was definitely up. Liz not being there meant that something had gone wrong from the last time he’d been in contact with Max. The plan had failed. That was the worst case scenario. Hopefully it had just been changed at the last minute and Max hadn’t made any attempt to let Alex know. He was probably picking up Liz himself. He probably wanted to make sure that she was safe and the best way for him to do that would be to get her himself. That made Alex feel a little better. Liz would be safe with Max. Now, though, for all he knew Maria could be alone in the bathroom of some skeezy gas station with a crazed, evil, shape shifting alien. Of course that only worked as a theory if this was the worst case scenario situation. But he didn’t want to believe that so he was going to go with real Michael on this one.
He heard an exclamation from inside the bathroom and was tempted to rush in to see what was going on. Something told him to stay put though.
Two minutes later, the door to the restroom opened and Maria emerged. She looked a little flushed but other than that she was okay.
“It’s him,” she said as she walked passed. Michael followed closely behind her and was......zipping up his pants.
Dear god, he didn’t even want to know. He’d just pretend that he hadn’t seen that. Yes denial was becoming his friend once again.
“Where to next?” Kyle asked with a yawn. They were on their third route toward the new location having already back tracked twice to lose anybody that could be following them. They had approximate seven hours before they met up with everyone else.
“Just keep going the way you’re heading,” Isabel told him from the backseat. “We’re safe enough for now.”
Tess shifted uncomfortably in the passenger seat. She wasn’t sure how to react to any of this. Isabel had explained everything that had happened while she and Kyle were getting ice cream. Part of her was relieved to know that she’d been wrong about Isabel. The other part felt guilty for even thinking that she was the leak. Another part of her felt like she was to blame. If she and Kyle would have just kept following Isabel they could have caught the guy and maybe led him somewhere else, instead of directly to Max.
Of course there was still a big part of Tess that wasn’t ready to trust Isabel yet. Trust was something you earned. Tess should know. It had taken her a long time to earn the trust of the others. They still weren’t entirely sure of her sometimes. It wasn’t until she had fallen in love with Kyle and stopped pursuing their “destiny” that they’d really started to accept her. She’d finally realized that there supposed “destiny” wasn’t set in stone. It had been altered when they’d become human. They were different people now with different live. Not carbon copies of the past.
So why could she let go of the ghost of Vilandra. It still lurked in the back of her mind. Still gave her pause when trying to trust Isabel. Looking into the back seat though, she realized that she’d been jumping to conclusions. Isabel looked just as lost and vulnerable as the rest of them. She had the weight of a world of her shoulders too.
Isabel tired to relax and sleep a little. In a few hours she would have to take over driving responsibilities for Kyle. She should rest while she could. Who knew what the next few days would bring for any of them.
After seeing the news broadcast Max had made a point to stop every three hours to check and see if there had been any new developments. He had to see if there were any other messages. The killings in Florida were the same as Atlanta. But the Atlanta Police department couldn’t release the symbols found on the victims there. The FBI had taken over the investigation. Max couldn’t help but worry even more at not knowing the other message. What if Khivar had someone else?
Max couldn’t be certain but he guessed that Atlanta had merely been a warning. Had he and the others actually stayed there in the city instead of taking off right away, he might have gotten it. But the warning was too little too late. Now Liz was at stake.
He’d tried not to think about it. Tried not to wonder what had happened and if she was still okay? Were they hurting her? He was going crazy thinking all sort of things. And he wasn’t sure who was more to blame. Himself for stupidly leaving her alone in the first place or Michael for not getting there in time. He couldn’t blame Michael though. Knowing him, he had probably driven straight through to Florida, not even stopping for anything until he got there. Of course Max wasn’t sure of anything except that the enemy had his Liz. They could even have Michael. God, the not knowing was absolutely killing him. He hoped Liz was okay. He wouldn’t be able to go on if something happened to her. He would just give up. He couldn’t lead knowing that he had been the reason something bad happened to her. As it was he’d never be able to forgive himself for doing this to her. He wouldn’t rest until she was safe though. He would do everything within his power to make sure she came back to him safe and sound.
Max glanced at his watch. He needed to sleep. Just two hours and then he’d get back on the road and drive the last stretch to meet the others.
“Get out of the car! We’re here,” Kate’s voice commanded, pulling Liz from her fitful sleep.
Slowly Liz made her way out of the car. Before she had a chance to see anything she was blindfolded and dragged across......it felt like sand. Where the hell were they?
“Quit dragging your feet! Walk!” Rath’s voice yelled at her. Liz tried but they were pulling her so fast that she had a hard time keeping up. After a moment she felt her feet hit a hard surface making it somewhat easier to walk. Another endless amount of time passed as they continued to walk. Down stairs, lots of stairs.......long hallways.... They finally stopped and Liz was aware of a door being opened. They pushed her through it and then shoved her down into a chair.
“I told you to bring her, I didn’t tell you to force her. Good god, can you not follow orders?” a male voice rang out.
“Sir, she figured it out and we had to do something, she was being slow,” Rath said.
“Did she put up a fight?” the other voice asked.
“No sir, she came peacefully. I think this is going to be easier than you thought,” Kate’s voice said.
“Take off the blind fold,” the voice ordered.
There was some movement and Liz felt them pulling her hair as they took the blind fold off. And when she opened her eyes she found herself looking into a familiar set of faces.
Avery or Khivar rather. Lonnie....Vilandra. Rath. Kate.
For some reason the image of the four square shot through her mind.
“Long time no see, huh Liz?” Avery said.
“Not long enough,” Liz managed to get out. Her voice was shaking.
Avery shook his head. Then looked at Lonnie. “Take her over to the third quadrant. Put her in a room there. I can see this is going to take some one on one time before she loosens up a bit.”
Liz bit her lip. She would not cry. She would be strong. She’d be brave. Whatever they wanted, she wouldn’t give them. She’d die first. Protect Max. Protect Max. That was her new mantra.
Three separate vehicles arrived at the designated location on time. Words were not exchanged verbally. They all remained silent. Even Maria and Alex. Max’s tortured countenance was enough to let them know that something had gone terribly wrong. But they couldn’t discuss it here, not out in the open like this.
After their brief check in they all went for another drive. This drive led them in circles until they found themselves in front of......well it was like a picture right out of a story book. A two story house with a white picket fence. “This is sector 0918?” Maria asked as they pulled up.
Michael nodded. “It’s going to be home for the next couple of months. Max found it awhile back. He bought it on the spot. I suspect it had something to do with Liz. I was with him when he got it......he used up the rest of his inheritance money from a relative of his or something like that. Anyway.....he’s always said it could be a safe house for us if things went sour in Atlanta. That’s exactly what happened. So now here we are. Although...I suppose he’d rather be bringing Liz here than any of the rest of us.”
They got out of the cars and made their way inside with their things. It was dark out. The other houses on the street were dark, the families inside probably fast asleep.
Everyone looked on in silence as Max slowly turned to Michael.
“What happened?” he asked quietly. His voice edgy. He needed to know where things had gone so terribly wrong that they’d lost one of the few people he actually still cared about.
“I.....got there too late. She was already gone. I found this on the dresser,” Michael explained. He pulls out the little alien toy and hands it to Max. “ I got a flash from it. It was Rath I think....pretending to be me and doing a rather poor job of it. I could sense her feelings from the flash Max. She went willingly. To protect herself. She’s a smart girl. She knew she could either play along or end up getting herself hurt by resisting.”
Max nodded. “ I have to be honest with you Michael....I don’t understand how they could have gotten to her so quickly. How could they have known to move in like that?”
Michael looked away. He’d been thinking the same thing. “Max I think we should talk about this in private,” he said. He didn’t have any desire to have Maria hear what he was about to admit. It was bad enough that he had to tell Max.
“Why?” Max asked.
“I ....have something to tell you and it’s not going to go over very well.”
“Do you know something? Spit it out!” Max demanded.
After a long moment of hesitation Michael started talking. “I left the apartment last night and got straight on the interstate to head down to Florida. I don’t know how it happened but about two hours after I left....I ended up at Kate’s. I don’t know why I was there. But.....dammit,” Michael paused. “I woke up this morning not remembering much of what happened after I got to Kate’s. But I was in bed with her. I left right away.....But it was too late. Liz was gone.”
Six faces all stared at Michael with mixed emotions. Isabel looked disgusted. Alex and Maria looked more than upset. Maria actually looked like she was about to explode. Max’s own anger was palpable.
“You bastard! This happened because you couldn’t go a whole day without getting your wick dipped? You son of a bitch!” Maria yelled.
“ I trusted you,” Max said. “How can you even stand there in front of me? Do you even feel bad about this?”
“Of course I feel bad. I know how you feel about Liz. But just because she got taken...that doesn’t take away from the fact that there is a war brewing here. We have to focus on that.” As Michael said the words he knew he’d made a mistake because Max’s hand moved back and he knew that he was about to get hit. Before it could happen though Maria stepped between the two men, effectively stopping Max.
She turned toward Michael and before he even knew what was happening, her fist was connecting with his
Liz sat on the small cot, her knees drawn up tightly to her chest. She had spent the better part of an hour trying to connect with Max to no avail. She supposed that he was too far away. She couldn’t even hazard a guess as to where. He never told her about where he was staying. She knew that they had places set up all over the country for them to hide. There was even a place out of the country just in case. Hopefully Max was there. If he was...then maybe he was safe.
The door to the room opened from the outside and Avery stepped into view. She’d have to get used to calling him Khivar. Calling him Avery made him seem too familiar. It reminded her of her error in judgment back in high school.
“So....how do you like your new accommodations?” he asked.
Liz didn’t even bother looking up. She couldn’t even stand to look at him.
“Why are you doing this?” she asked.
“Well I would think it’s fairly obvious, Liz. You see....you control the one man that poses the greatest threat to me. Now if I control you...then I control him. Once he’s taken care of I’ll be able to go back to Antar the victor of this war. Once I have Antar....I can move on to bigger and better things. Like say....Earth. You know it actually wouldn’t take much. Humans are really quite easy to manipulate.”
Liz shivered as he spoke. He was so cold and calculating. How could she have ever thought he was a friend? How could she have made that mistake?
“You’ll never control Max,” she finally said. “He’s too strong. He knows that he has a duty to his people. I mean nothing. I don’t know why you think otherwise. What Max and I had was in the past. I may love him but he no longer loves me,” she lied. Maybe she could convince him that she wasn’t what he wanted.
“Even if that is the case, which I highly doubt, I’m still going to keep you around. You’re certainly not hard on the eyes and sometimes Vilandra is just a little too needy for my tastes. I prefer strong, independent women like yourself,” he told her with a smile. Liz didn’t respond.
“Look, I’m not going to hurt you Liz. I promise you that much. I need to use you to find Max. And even then....it’s not just about killing him. It’s about the battle. I want to go head to head with him. Man to man. Alien to alien. I want the fight. Not just an easy victory. And...if Max really is meant to be King...well he won’t have anything to worry about. Then you can have your pathetic happily ever after.”
He got up and left then. His emotions flaring to life. He’d never felt for anyone before. He’d never even wanted to fathom what it was to feel things. But when he was around Liz Parker he felt things. Things that scared him. He’d felt them the first time he’d met her. It had been purely by accident. He’d come to Roswell looking for the Royal Four only to discover that they’d disappeared. He’d been doing some surveillance work, looking for any clues that might lead to their new whereabouts when he’d literally ran into Liz. She’d looked so sad and withdrawn. He’d known immediately that she was the one. The link to Max Evans that he needed. He knew all about the shooting in the Crashdown...all about the destiny hologram...everything. And he’d understood with that one brief meeting why Max had been willing to risk all for this girl.
Despite protests from his advisors he’d decided to go undercover and personally befriend Liz. Trying to find out any information he could. She had been kind and he’d developed an affection for her that he couldn’t explain. One night though....they’d been studying in the Crashdown and he’d crossed the line and kissed her. After immediately pushing him away ....she’d thrown him out. She avoided him for days. And he overheard her tell her friend Maria that she’d seen flashes. That he wasn’t human and that he wasn’t on Max’s side. She knew he was Khivar. He’d waited with baited breath for her to contact Max and tell him that he was there, but nothing happened. Until now. This had all been a long time coming. The planning had been so meticulous and precise. Hopefully it would pay off.
Michael sat alone, with a bag of ice held precariously over his left eye. Maria packed one hell of a punch. That was for sure. Everyone had left him alone. He couldn’t blame them. His carelessness had put Liz in her current situation. He’d let Max down. He didn’t expect to be trusted or forgiven any time soon.
The door to the room opened and Alex walked in. He took a seat across from Michael.
“You know you fucked up right?” he asked.
“Do you at least feel bad?”
“Why don’t you explain what happened? I’ll listen and we can see if we can figure out what the hell is going on.” Alex knew that now was the time to stick together, not break apart. They needed each other to be strong. Or Liz was going to be lost to them. Not even just Liz. Everything that they’d been fighting for would be lost.
“I remember driving,” Michael started. “I remember thinking that I had to get to Liz. I don’t know why I ended up at Kate’s. After I got there, I don’t remember much of anything except waking up. I left then.”
“Well, what did you feel? I mean....can you explain that much? Maybe if we can delve into this we can get a clue.” Alex was trying to find out why Michael would knowingly put Liz in danger. As long as he’d known Michael, he’d always looked out for the members of the group, even if he didn’t want to.
“I was nervous for awhile, afraid that I might be too late. I don’t remember feeling anything for Kate. Not until ......” Michael sat up a little straighter and took the ice off his eye.
“The only way I would have stopped thinking or feeling is if someone was controlling what I was thinking or feeling. Tess can do that. There are other Antarians that have the same powers. Kate....she’s one of them. What if....?” Michael looked up at Alex. “What if I’ve been the leak all along? I mean, she could have taken any information she needed from me when we were together. And last night....she called and that’s when everything started happening. I remember being on the phone with her. When I tried to hang up, I felt this pull on my mind and we kept talking. Then Isabel came in and that’s when this all started Alex. That has to be it,”Michael concluded.
“It’s not concrete, but it is a start Michael. I think we should go talk to the others. Kyle’s got Maria held down. And Max is a little bit more calm. Isabel has been trying to talk to him. They might be hostile, but they’ll listen.”
Michael got up and followed Alex from the room. He didn’t have anything to lose by throwing out the possibility that Kate had been their enemy rather than an ally.
After Maria had punched Michael, Max had left the room. He needed to get away from Michael before he hurt him more than Maria could. So he’d gone upstairs. He’d known exactly where he was going. The landing on the staircase led to a hallway. Down the hallway to the right was the bathroom. Across from the bathroom was a medium sized bedroom. There were two bunk beds in there. Another room was next door to the bathroom. Inside was a day bed and a vanity. But Max walked past those other rooms and right into the room at the end of the hallway.
It was a large bedroom. There was a walkout window with a small balcony. The room itself was completely furnished. There was a king-sized bed located in the center. It had a large oak head board. The dresser drawers matched the headboard. There were two night stands located on either side of the bed.
It was for Liz. It had all been for her. The minute he’d seen the house, he’d recognized it from visions. Visions of the future she wanted for them. In these visions they were all here....in the house. Liz was laughing and chasing after two little children. One a raven haired boy with ears that stuck out ever so slightly. Another a little girl, the spitting image of her mother. And Max loved the vision. Because he knew....it was his family. The one he’d always dreamt of having with Liz.
So when he’d seen the house, he hadn’t hesitated. He’d bought it immediately. For months after he’d bought it he’d wanted to bring Liz here. To show her that he was planning for their future. But there had never been time. Something had always happened. Something was always getting in the way of what little time he could spend with her. And now.....
Max collapsed on the bed, tears in his eyes. He might never get to show her now. She might never know that this was for them. After allowing himself a moment, he regained his composure. He couldn’t afford to give into his emotions right now. He had to focus. Emotions would get him nowhere. It was time to rely on his alien side. To let the human side take a back seat. He had to save Liz. He had to save his people. Even if that meant becoming something that he hated.
|posted on 4-Mar-2002 8:08:39 PM|
Isabel found Max upstairs in one of the big bedrooms. She could see the remnants of tears in his eyes. She started to leave, wanting to give him the time to himself. But turned around to face him. With the situation at hand, extra time wasn’t a luxury they had. They needed to get things taken care of as quickly as possible. She knocked tentatively on the door frame to get his attention. “Max,” she spoke softly, not wanting to startle him.
Max tried to discretely wipe the moisture still lingering in his eyes. “Iz....did you need something?”
She walked into the bedroom and sat down in the
rocking chair next to the window. “Look, I know this is hard, Max, but we have to get past this. For Liz’s sake. We need to start working together to come up with a plan. To move forward with this war. But before we can do that....we all have to be honest with each other. We’ve been keeping secrets from each other for far to long. It’s time to get things out in the open. Because we’ve separated ourselves even when we know that we’re all better off working together. That means that you’re going to have to tell us everything, Max.”
Max knew exactly what she was asking from him. She wanted to know how things with Liz had happened. She wanted to know why he’d never told her, why he’d kept it a secret for so long. “I don’t know if I can Iz....” his voice broke momentarily. Some alien side, he thought to himself. Max truly didn’t know if he was ready to reveal that secret part of his life with Liz. For so long it had been just about them. And while at first it was a secret out of necessity, it had become a sort of safe haven for them. A place where they were allowed to just be Max and Liz Evans. Completely and totally in love. Nothing else existed for them.
But reality was intruding. Their secret had been revealed. “I...” Max’s voice cut off and he looked away.
“ I know Max. I know....but you have to because if there’s even the slightest chance that this could help us.....We have to trust each other again. That means we have to know everything. We have to understand.”
After a moment Max nodded his head at this. Isabel was right. He would do this. To help save Liz. With a deep breath he got up and left the room, forcing himself not to look back. The room was full of thoughts of a future that he was no longer sure he could still have.
Everyone was gathered in the living room. Max took a seat and glanced at everyone. Michael’s stone face was set and he stood stiffly in the corner, as far away from both Max and Maria as possible. Max could feel his anger towards Michael resurfacing but tried to shove it down. The looks Maria was shooting in Michael’s direction would be punishment enough for now. Not to mention the black eye he’d be sporting. Max knew that Michael wouldn’t be able to heal himself and he’d be damned if he would do it for him. He deserved to have a reminder of his failure when he looked in the mirror.
“I should start at the beginning,” Max finally spoke up. All eyes were now focused on him. “It was almost a year after we left that I decided to contact Liz. I sent her a letter, like we’d agreed on. The letter didn’t really say anything when you casually read through. But I knew that Liz would read between the lines. I told her that I wanted to meet with her and get an update on everyone.”
“Why didn’t you just contact my dad?” Kyle asked, interrupting. “He told you he’d keep an eye on things.”
Max shrugged. “ Your dad has been a great help to us. I told myself that I didn’t just contact him because he was too much in the public eye. But it wasn’t that. The alien situation wasn’t really what I was concerned about anyway. I wanted to see Liz, to know that she...and the others were okay.” Max said, looking at Maria and Alex. He paused, taking a deep breath.
“We met up at a hotel in Boston. Her parents had given her permission to visit Boston University. College visits were the only way she could leave Roswell. When I saw her....she was scared. She told me that there were skins in town. That no one else realized it but she knew. She never said how....but she just knew.”
“Wait.....why didn’t she ever say anything to us?” Alex asked.
Max shrugged. “Maybe she thought she couldn’t. I don’t know. You were both gone by then anyway. You’d moved on....gotten out of Roswell when Liz hadn’t been able to. She was alone.”
Maria spoke up. “Wait....Liz told me. We were on the phone and she said that she thought that this new guy from school was a skin....or something. I think his name was Avery or something. She was really freaked out....”
Max’s head shot up. “What did you just say his name was?”
Max looked over taking in Isabel’s wide eyed expression then back at Maria. “Did she say anything else?”
“Well, uhm, I guess he tried to kiss her and before she could pull away she got a flash. She mentioned something about trying to work through what the flashes meant,” Maria told them.
Max stood from his chair and started pacing. He wanted to throw things...to release his pent up anger and frustration. “They’ve know then. This whole goddamn time. They’ve know. And all that time I said we had to be apart....to protect her....it was no use,” Max bit out angrily.
Alex spoke up then. “Why don’t you tell us what happened next with you and Liz,” he suggested.
It took a moment but Max harnessed his anger and moved on. “Like I said. She was scared. She didn’t want to go back to Roswell. So I hid her. We’ve got places all over. So I set her up down in Florida. It was far enough away from where we were at in Atlanta not to connect us....but close enough to..Anyway, about a month later, I drove down to see her. To check in on her and make sure she was doing okay. I didn’t tell anyone where I was really going. I lied and said I was meeting one of the Antarian factions there. It took a lot to convince Michael to stay behind. Liz knew I was coming. She met me at my hotel room and it just sort of happened.”
Liz was sitting on the bed when the door to the room opened. She stood up quickly to face him. Max stood in the doorway, unsure of what to do, knowing he should step forward. He should do something. Standing there wasn’t going to get them any closer together. They never did figure out who took the first step, but the next thing either of them knew was the warmth of finding each other’s arms. Max held Liz tightly to him, taking in everything about her. The way she smelled, the way her hair felt like silk as it sifted through his fingers and how her slight frame just seemed to fit perfectly against him. Liz was doing her own inventory at the same time, letting all things Max just wash over her completely.
“ I’ve missed you,” she whispered, a stray tear escaping down her cheek. Max caught it with his finger and leaned his forehead against hers. “I’ve missed you too,” he whispered back. This was the moment they’d both longed for. At their last meeting the urgency of the situation had distracted them from feeling anything at being together again. He could still remember the way his stomach had rumbled and his knees had gone weak at the sight of her after so long. This reunion had been a long time in coming.
They stood like that for what seemed like an eternity, just basking in the way it felt to be together again. It was Max who first realized just how close their lips were. “Liz,” he said softly. Her eyes met his briefly and then drifted shut as she closed the gap between them and pressed her lips to his. The timber of the kiss changed quickly from gentle to demanding. Both parties out of their mind with want. They had been apart for so long now. It had been too much time away from each other, with both missing the little things. Even back in Roswell, before they’d left.....they hadn’t been together like this. Things had been too confused. But now.....thoughts of everything but each other flew from their minds.
Hands moved of their own volition. As the buttons of Liz’s blouse began to come undone, Liz pulled back slightly. “Max....” she started. She need to explain that this would change everything between them. He knew about future Max but not quite everything. She hadn’t explained everything.
“Shhh...” he replaced his finger against her lips. “I love you, Liz,” he said softly. The truth behind his words shone brightly from his eyes. “I’ve never stopped. Not for a moment.”
Her eyes flashed at the thought that even after everything they’d gone through, even after all this time....he could still love her. “I love you too, Max,” she told him, then brought her lips to his again and moved her hands to the hem of his shirt, forgetting everything but the man standing in front of her.
The pile of clothes on the floor grew as their passion became more fevered. And when the final barrier of clothing was removed, they were still for a moment. They just stood there, staring into each other’s eyes. Liz spoke. “Max,once we do this......there’s no turning back.”
Max smiled. “I’ve known this moment was inevitable since the first moment I saw you, Liz Parker. To belong to you completely, for us to belong to each other....it’s always been about forever with you Liz. You are my future. And I don’t need an orb to tell me that. Listening to my heart has always seemed to work best,” he whispered. With that spoken he brought his lips down to her and sealed his words with a reverent kiss.
Max picked Liz up and gently laid her down on the bed. Leaning back slightly, his eyes took in the sight of her, awed by her beauty. It wasn’t enough to merely look though. He had to touch the perfection before him. His fingertips lightly traced the path his eyes followed. Liz could feel herself blush from his appraisal, wondering if she was what he expected...if she was good enough.
As if sensing her self doubt, Max leaned down and placed feather light kissed across her skin, outlining her rib cage and the valley between her breasts. His mouth continued upward, lightly licking the pulse of her neck and then kissing the skin below her ear. “You’re so perfect,” he told her. “I’ve never wanted anything but this....but you.”
She moved her hands to cup his face, forcing their eyes to meet. “I’ve waited for you Max, always you.” The words were spoken and as their eyes met Max was reminded of everything she had been willing to sacrifice for him. Their eyes stayed focused on each other. Their connection formed, locking them both into about a thousand sensations. And as it continued to open wide, their feelings for each other crashed over them. Both were startled and awed by the amount of love and desire
they felt. They’d always known it was there but neither had fathomed the power of it.
Max could no longer stay still. He wanted to feel and taste Liz. He’d waited for so long for this very moment. He hands began a gentle exploration of the woman he loved beyond reason and comprehension. And as he explored every curve of her body, Liz’s own hands moved to touch him. She’d always been impressed by Max’s physique and to have this free reign to touch him was a dream come true for her.
Her ministrations soon had Max stopping his own as her lips began to work over his skin. Everywhere her mouth touched felt on fire. And he could feel how much she wanted him and it only served to fuel his own desire for her.
“Liz....w-we have to slow down or I’ll never make it,” he managed to say between kisses. They pulled back slightly both taking in ragged breaths. Things began to move in slow motion then. Their kisses were heated and all consuming and their bodies moved in sync, coming together as if with practiced ease. It was instinctive. Nothing had ever felt more right. As Max moved between Liz’s legs he was awed once again at the rush of desire he felt from her. He entered her slowly, reveling in the way her body seemed to consume him. Her wet heat accepted him completely and with a smooth thrust, he broke through the barrier of her virginity.
He sucked in a deep breath as his eyes met hers. Time seemed to stop as two who had endured so much finally came together. Connected. For all time. Inseparable from this moment on. The world tilted on it’s access as amber colored eyes met dark brown ones...tears escaping both at the joy of their new found union. The only sound that could be heard was their own deep breathing.
The moment was broken by the ticking of the clock in the background and Max finally registered the reality of the situation. “Are you okay?” he breathed out, willing his body to stay still. Liz’s eyes fluttered slightly, a single tear slid from the corner as she gave him a smile. “I’ve wanted to belong to you like this for forever, Max.”
Her hips moved beneath him, urging his own movements. Wanting to complete the act of their joining. Both were lost in the new sensations that were being stirred in them. Their bodies moved together, both urging the other on to completion. With each thrust into her Max wanted to brand her his own. Liz’s own body responded fervently trying to draw him into her as deeply as possible. She felt his climax coming first and could feel his struggle to hold off. But as he whispered the words... “You’re mine,” to her she felt her own body tighten with release. As soon as Max felt her muscles contracting around him he let go of his control and gave himself up to her.
They lay in each other’s arms, both breathing heavily and shaking as they tried to return to earth. The whole night stretched out before them still. A night where reality could be ignored for a little while. They spent the time exploring this new side of their relationship, neither wanting to sleep because that meant morning would come. Once that happened......this new found bond would be tested as they would be forced to separate.
“Max.....Max!” A voice echoed in Max’s ear. “Antar to Max.....come in....hello!” Maria hollered out. Max shook his head, dazed from the recollection of he and Liz.
“Geez....you spaced out there for a second. Care to continue the story?” Maria asked.
Max nodded slightly. He was relieved that no one else had been able to see the intensely private moment he and Liz had shared. He would just leave that part of their relationship out of the explanation for as long as possible.
“So Liz met me....we talked. We agreed to meet again when I could get away,” Max continued. “And then that next time we met.....I had two tickets to Vegas with me. I couldn’t stop myself. I wanted to be with her. To have some kind of claim to her even when I couldn’t physically be there. We got married in a little chapel and spent three whole days together. I had to tell Michael everything. I endured an hour long lecture on the error of my ways, but he covered for me despite his disapproval.”
“Why didn’t you ever tell us?” Isabel asked, the hurt apparent in her voice.
“ I didn’t want to risk any of Khivar’s people finding out. We’ve known there was some sort of spy among us for awhile. We couldn’t trust anyone. I wanted to keep Liz safe. So I thought that if I kept our marriage a secret....I could protect her. Things were okay for awhile because our situation with Khivar hadn’t grown tense yet. I met with Liz as much as I could without drawing suspicion. But as things got worse with Khivar.....I saw Liz less and less. This last weekend was the first time I’d seen her in almost two months. And because of the way things were going....I was going to hide her again. Or rather Michael was. I was going to send her to Alex. I wasn’t even going to know where she was at. But none of my plans to keep her safe mattered....because they knew all along.” Max’s tone was defeated as he finished. He’d let everyone down by keeping secrets from them. Most of all he’d let Liz down. He should have listened to her when she’d insisted that they would be better off together. But he’d been too concerned for her safety to listen. He was so afraid that she’d get caught in the middle of all this that he’d actually thrust her right into it.
“Max....snap out of it,” Michael’s voice rang out from across the room. “You are a King. We have a situation to deal with. I’m sorry that I was a bastard and fucked up. But you can’t focus on your guilt right now. You’ve gotta get your shit together and come up with a plan. We don’t have time to sit around and mope about what might have been. Enough is enough.”
Max stood up and faced Michael. “That’s right. I am a King. A King whose Queen has been taken because his ‘trusted’ second couldn’t keep his dick in his pants. You may be right about taking action, but the next time you want to speak your opinion, you wait until you’re asked. I don’t trust you right now, Michael. I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to again. You’re going to have to prove your self to me.”
The others just watched as a nonverbal war was waged between the two men. Michael’s eyes flickered first as he conceded defeat. He had accepted his role as Max’s second a long time ago. He deserved to have lost Max’s trust. Now he needed to earn it back. If that meant he had to rescue Liz single handedly he would.
“Okay....so what’s the plan?” Alex finally asked.
All eyes turned to Max.
|posted on 4-Mar-2002 8:16:20 PM|
“You need to eat,” Khivar said as he sat across from Liz at the table in her small room. “It’s been several days since you ate last, Liz. You need to keep up your strength. How can I expect Max to meet my demands if his beloved isn’t safe and healthy?”
Liz refused to meet his gaze. She was staring at a spot on the table. Avoiding everything. The smell of the food was making her ill. And looking at him only made her nausea worse. Truthfully he had done nothing to harm her. He’d been very good to her, keeping Rath and the others away from her. Making sure she had whatever she needed to be comfortable. But really, what did he expect from her? Gratitude? For taking her and keeping her away from the one person she needed most? No....Liz didn’t think she could ever bring herself to be grateful.
When she didn’t respond, Khivar decided to try a different tactic. “So ....Liz, how are your parents? When was the last time you talked to them?” he was trying to be pleasant. To get her to drop her guard a little. Her response was immediate and he knew that he’d said the right thing, even if he had made her angry at least he had elicited some sort of reaction.
“You leave my parents out of this!” she said. Her voice was hard. How dare he bring her family into this. “They have nothing to do with any of this. Leave them alone!”
“Look...I was just trying to make conversation. Would you relax please? I don’t like seeing you like this,” he told her. It was the truth. She was so withdrawn. Nothing like the girl he had met over a year ago in Roswell. She had changed. Before she had been sad and lonely, now though, she was grief stricken and looked heart broken. He wondered briefly when the last time a genuine smiled had crossed her lips. “Liz...”
“No....I just want you to leave me alone,” she finally bit out. “ I just...” she couldn’t even finish her sentence as the nausea she’d been battling overtook her. The bile rose up in her throat and she ran swiftly for her small bathroom.
This was certainly interesting.
When Liz returned Khivar questioned her, making sure she was okay. “I’ll have a doctor sent in to check on you immediately,” he informed her and then left. He had plans to make. He would go to Liz again later.
Liz watched the door close and crawled onto the small cot set against the far wall of the room. She curled herself up into a ball and tried to fight back tears. She didn’t need a doctor to come and examine her. She knew exactly what was wrong and now she was afraid of what would happen once her situation was confirmed.
The first part of their plan had been to assign everyone responsibilities and tasks. Maria was in charge of keeping the house in order, making sure everyone had something to eat. Not the greatest work, but a necessary evil. Kyle and Tess were in charge of surveillance and making sure that their whereabouts were kept secret. Max and Michael were forced to put their feelings aside to work together, contacting the factions of Antarian supporters, preparing them for Khivar’s attack. They needed to develop a battle strategy. This left Isabel and Alex. Isabel was trying to contact Liz. To dream walk her. Alex was there to help her, make sure things went smoothly for her. She would try every hour to see if Liz was sleeping and the connection could be made. In the meantime, she and Alex were in charge of communication systems. This also included keeping track of all the alien paraphernalia that doubled as weaponry and spying equipment.
Max’s biggest concern was Liz. When he wasn’t arguing with Michael over strategies he was trying to connect with Liz. He hadn’t really slept in days. The nights were the hardest for him. He would lay awake wondering if she was okay....if she was thinking about him. When he did sleep he was always restless. The other’s were concerned. He looked terrible. He hadn’t shaved and he walked around in a funk most of the time, snapping at everyone and sounding completely apathetic to the situations of the others.
Up to this point Isabel had been unsuccessful in connecting with Liz and she was beginning to think that they were just too far apart. But the more she tried to connect with Liz, the easier things became for her. Dream walking had always been her specific power or ability. Now it was almost second nature to her. It was a Saturday night, two weeks after Liz was taken that the connection was made.
The images surrounding Isabel were blurred at first, barely discernible. It wasn’t like Max in the White Room. That had been surreal and terrifying. This was more subdued, less hectic. Definitely not drug induced. Isabel could sense Liz all around her. But it wasn’t just Liz. She could feel the presence of others as well. They were a mere whisper in her mind. When the images from the dream began to sharpen she recognized several things. It was like a meeting room. There were several people there. Two men and two women. She recognized Rath and Lonnie immediately. Her gaze focused on the other woman. Kate. She should have known the conniving bitch was in on everything. Her focus shifted and her eyes landed on the man. He was facing away from her. Then he turned. It was Avery. But he wasn’t Avery. Rath addressed him as Khivar. Liz appeared suddenly, looking panicked.
“No....” she cried out. “Get out of here. They’ll know you’ve been here. They can’t know...” she said. She looked horror stricken.
“Liz, calm down...” Isabel said as she tried to approach Liz’s dream image. “You have to help us find you. Where are you?”
“No...it’s a set up. He’s going to use me....to get to Max. Forget about me...... you need to protect Max, Isabel. Promise me,” Liz pleaded with her.
Isabel hesitated. She wanted to push Liz for more information, but she could feel herself being pulled out of the dream.
“Promise me Isabel,” Liz’s voice said again as the dream faded, thrusting Isabel back into reality.
She opened her eyes to a room full of concerned people. Max looked horrified and hopeful and completely devastated all at once. All eyes were on her. Alex handed her a glass of water and held her hand as she explained.
“I reached her. I-I think that she’s okay for now. A little scared but okay.”
Max’s relief was palpable. He bit back a sob. He shouldn’t be like this. He was stronger than this. It had just been so long since he’d felt her in their connection. He’d needed to know somehow that she was still okay. The relief from this new found knowledge was small. He would find no satisfaction or real relief until she was in his arms and he could see and touch her himself.
“What did she say?” Maria demanded.
Isabel had to ignore the question at the moment as she tried to process everything.
“I saw who took her. It was Rath and Lonnie.” Isabel chanced a glance in Michael’s direction. “And Kate was there too Michael. She was there. That means she was playing you the whole time.”
Michael’s facial expression gave nothing away. But his eyes revealed his own self disgust. He’d fallen for the enemy. He’d put them all at risk. He’d been the leak the whole damn time.
Isabel went on. “And Avery was there. He’s Khivar.”
Max looked up at this. “Are you sure?”
“Liz kicked me out of the dream. She said we had to protect you at all costs. That they took her to try to trap you Max. She wanted me to promise that we would protect you.”
At this Max stood up. He was so angry. With himself....with Khivar with the whole damn Universe. He never wanted any of this. The brunt of his wrath was bestowed on the alarm clock that was sitting on the night stand. It met it’s demise as he grabbed it and threw it against the wall and stalked out of the room.
The others said nothing...they just made their way back to their own beds, each contemplating what they had learned. Wondering if it would bring them any closer to finding Liz.
Isabel though....she needed to know something. She needed to know what the added presence had been. It hadn’t been much. But it was enough to make her wonder. She didn’t dare tell Max was she suspected. He would be devastated, even more so than he already was. And he was barely hanging on by a thread.
“Alex...I have to try again,” she told him as he sat there watching over her.
“Not tonight Isabel. You’re too tired. You should rest and then you can try again tomorrow,” he responded.
Isabel shook her head. “No, Alex. I felt something in the connection. Something that could make a huge difference. I have to find out now.”
At the determined look in Isabel’s eyes, Alex knew there was no use in protesting. It was obviously very important to her. So all he could do was hold her and hope that she found what she was looking for.
The connection this time around was different. This time she only felt Liz on the periphery of her mind. She wasn’t surrounded by Liz’s presence. It whispered on the edge, like the other presence had before. That’s when Isabel realized that she had connected not to Liz but to the presence.
The flash overtook her as the realization set in.
Rapidly diving cells darted across her mind. The cells continued to divide and Isabel looked on in fascination as the cells, the embryo, began to develop into a fetus. Then she was being sucked into the developing cells, so far in that what she was seeing was a double helix. DNA. And the amazing thing was that she was reading the code from the DNA. The flash changed and visions of a birth were before her. The features were clear. A brown haired little boy. He was the spitting image of Max right down to his adorably large ears. But it was Liz’s smile that adorned his face. The flash changed yet again, repeating the process over from the beginning. Almost identically. Except the code...the DNA was different. It was a little girl that time. Her features were a combination of both Max and Liz with serious eyes and a beautifully goofy smile displayed on a face haloed by long brown hair.
Once again Isabel slipped away from the connection. Tears fell from her eyes as they met Alex’s concerned gaze.
“What did you see?”
“This isn’t just about Liz anymore,” she told him. And it wasn’t.
Liz was pregnant.
“How are we feeling today?” Khivar asked with a smile, sitting down next to Liz. He’d had her brought out of her room. They were sitting outside, in the sun. It was the first time Liz had been allowed out of her room since they’d reached the compound.
Liz ignored Khivar. Instead focusing on her surroundings. They were on the beach. There was miles of ocean spread out before her. Her eyes were focused on the waves as they rolled in, meeting the sand on the shore.
“I asked you a question. The least you could do is answer,” Khivar voiced. His tone was hinged with anger. Liz had been shutting him out now for weeks. At first she had talked with him. He could get responses from her. Now though....after the news about her pregnancy had come to light, she had completely shut down.
Liz turned her head and looked Khivar straight in the eyes. He was momentarily startled by the emotions he saw there. She was angry and afraid and at the same time....so completely in control that he was almost frightened of her. But he quickly brushed that aside. He could never be frightened of a mere human. Not even if said human happened to be carrying the heir of an alien king.
When Khivar had first been informed of the pregnancy he’d been angry. Mostly because the news of this had stirred emotions in him that he didn’t want to exist. He was jealous that Zan or Max as he was now called was Liz’s lover. It was a petty thing really. In the end it didn’t matter how many lovers she had. He just wanted to be the last. The one that would wipe away memories of all others. Only now with this baby....there was a snowball’s chance in hell of that happening. If she was pregnant that meant that her connection to Zan was permanent. They were bonded and she would never respond to any other man as she did to Zan. The only good that came out of this was the added bonus of the connection. Khivar could use it to his advantage. He would draw Max in with Liz. Then he and Zan could have their battle. Once Zan was out of the way, he could rule with Liz, and raise the child as his own.
“I have to ask you something Liz,” he said. His eyes locked on her profile again as she gazed out at the ocean. “You knew who I was when I kissed you two years ago. Why didn’t you ever tell Max?”
“I wasn’t ever sure,” she finally responded. “I knew you were a shape shifter. I could see all of the evil things you’d done. I only ever suspected that you were the one that had started this whole mess.”
“Even the suspicion should have warranted a mention don’t you think? I mean can you imagine my surprise when I show up at Max’s only to have him think that I’m someone else. He didn’t even recognize me....his worst enemy. Surely you must have mentioned something,” he baited her. He was questioning her loyalty to Max. Making her think that she had really betrayed Max all along.
Her eyes once again locked with Khivar’s. There was the all too familiar anger. And clarity. Like she knew exactly what he was trying to do. When she spoke, her voice was clear, unwaivering.
“My time with Max was never about war or him being an alien king. It was about loving him. Making him forget this burden that he has taken on. And at the same time he made me forget that I was really just a small town girl that fell in love with someone that was beyond her destiny. He made me feel like the reason I was alive was to love him. It’s still true. I never told him because I never thought you to be a real threat. When I was with Max, thoughts of you didn’t exist. You were insignificant in my mind the moment Max was near.”
Her words made him flinch. He quickly recovered and stood up, facing away from her.
“I’d be careful if I was you. You wouldn’t want to out live your usefulness,” he told her and then walked away. A moment later two guards returned to take Liz back to her room.
It had been two weeks since Isabel had discovered Liz’s condition. Two weeks of keeping this secret from the whole group. Two weeks of fighting with herself over the best course of action. If she told, there would be chaos. Max was sure to break down. He was only holding on by a string. He rarely slept. Every moment was spent designing plans of attack. Trying to set up a defensive. He and Michael spoke only of the crisis at hand. Max had yet to give in and forgive Michael. Michael had yet to prove that he deserved Max’s unyielding trust. Maria was only slightly less chilly toward Michael. The others were the only ones he could talk to. They were all stressed. All of them trying not to think about what could be happening to Liz or what was going to happen to them once Khivar made his move.
Isabel was ready to crack from the weight of carrying around the information she now had. She spent every night trying to get back to Liz. To see if she could still sense the other presence. But it was like Liz wasn’t sleeping or if she was she was doing a good job of blocking Isabel. She had told Alex. He’d known something was going on immediately. He kept her grounded when she tried to connect with Liz. They had argued back and forth for days on whether or not to tell Max.
Isabel wanted to believe that her brother was still the same as before this happened. That he was still strong and reliable and responsible. She wanted to believe that this news would be met with determination and that he would step more fully into his role as their leader. If the man she knew him to be was still in there somewhere he would take this news and use it to help bring his wife home to him sooner. But there was this small part of Isabel that was unsure. That was afraid that he would break. Because up to this point he’d been a zombie. Being completely unemotional was bound to catch up with him. She didn’t want this news to be his breaking point. That’s why she hadn’t told anyone else yet.
Alex knew that he wouldn’t say anything to Max. At least not at this point in time. There was a big group meeting that night to check in on everyone’s progress. Max had called it a status report. After the meeting he and Michael were traveling back to Atlanta, GA. They were to meet up with Larek there. He would take them on to meet another group of Antarians. The whole group knew that this meeting with Larek could be a turning point in their outlook on this war. Larek obviously had important information to relay. This was why telling Max could prove to be a problem. He needed to be focused. He needed to be able to lead without distraction. This news would certainly distract him.
The others were already gathered in the living room of the house when Max made his appearance. They all stopped talking when he entered the room. He didn’t look at any of them, he just sat down. They all noticed that outwardly he looked a little better than the last time they had seen him. He’d finally showered and shaved for one thing and some of the tired lines on his face seemed to have lessened. The dark circles under his eyes were still there though and he’d lost weight from his lack of appetite.
“Who’s first?” he asked abruptly. He wanted to start the meeting so that he and Michael could leave as soon as possible.
“I’ll go first,” Tess voiced. “So far we’re still pretty much hidden. No one, not even the Antarians have any idea as to where we’re currently located. Hiding in plain sight seems to be working well for us. Our contact in Phoenix said that the group of skins they’ve been tracking there are on the move. There are about two dozen of them and they’re being followed as we speak. We’re hoping that they’ll lead us to Khivar’s current location,” she finished.
Max nodded. “Good. Next?” Max’s gaze landed on Isabel. She was about to speak when Michael’s cell phone rang. He answered it quickly and listened as the voice on the other end spoke rapidly. He ended the conversation and turned to Max.
“We’ve got trouble,” he said. “That was our contact in Atlanta. They just found the bodies of eight Antarians. They’ve each got a different symbol burned onto their chests. It looks like Khivar left us a message.”
“Do they know what it says?” Max demanded.
“They wouldn’t say over the phone. They want to tell you in person,” Michael told him. He had a feeling that this was bad.
Max’s blood ran cold. He knew the message was about Liz.
“Isabel....Dream walk her. NOW!” he ordered.
“M-Max....I can’t just....she won’t be awake.” Isabel was frightened by the look in Max’s eyes. He was desperate.
She closed her eyes and grabbed onto Alex’s hand, quickly searching out for Liz’s presence. She could sense her but the presence she was pulled into was not actually Liz. It wasn’t even a single presence. There were two. And if she hadn't been sure before, she was absolutely positive now. Liz was pregnant. And it wasn’t just one baby but two.
This flash let Isabel see how far along Liz was in this pregnancy. A little more than three months. That meant that she had been pregnant already the last time that Max had seen her.
She came out of the dream walk with a start just like she always did. “Liz is fine....” she said taking a deep breath.
Max sagged with relief but only momentarily. “What did you see? Were you able to connect with her? Talk with her?” he asked.
Isabel shook her head. “Not exactly.”
“What do you mean? How do you know if she’s okay then?”
“Because I connected with...I connected with the babies, Max,” she said softly. “Liz is pregnant with your babies.”
At these words, everyone in the room held their breath. Some from their own shock at the news, others waiting to see what Max’s response would be.
He couldn’t speak. He could barely breath. A thousand jumbled thoughts were running through his head. He’d never been so happy and scared in his entire life. Liz was pregnant. They were going to have a family.......At this thought something seemed to snap into place inside of Max. He realized now just how selfish he had been these past few weeks. He’d been so consumed with guilt and self- pity that he’d gotten lost in it. He hadn’t been doing what he needed to be doing. He had bigger concerns than war right now. Not only was his wife at risk but his children as well. And now it was more than a little personal. Max knew that when he and Khivar met again......only one of them would be left standing. It was going to be him. He had a family to live for. A world to build for that family.
He stood up. “Let’s go Michael. I’ve got a family to save now. And I’ve wasted too much time as it is. We’re going to end this.”
A collective sigh of relief could be heard as the Max that stood before them began to morph back into the Max they all knew and looked to for guidance. Their King had returned and was going to go save his Queen.
|posted on 4-Mar-2002 8:31:46 PM|
The meeting with Larek was an important one. For months now, all the Antarians on Earth had been training, using their powers to become stronger so that when the time came to fight, they could be successful. But it didn’t seem like enough to Max. There was something they weren’t thinking of.
The drive to meet Larek was long and full of silence. Max had nothing to say to Michael. His thoughts were full of Liz. Ever since she’d been taken, he’d been sporadically checking their connection. There were random moments that it was strong enough for him to feel her. But for the most part the distance between them was probably too great for it to really work. As they drove closer to Atlanta now, to meet with Larek, the connection seemed to open wider. It started out small, barely there.....but the closer they got, the more he could feel her presence in his mind. It was no where near as strong as when they were actually together, but it was there nonetheless. It wasn’t just her presence though. He felt another one there, floating on the edge. His child. Max felt a renewed sense of hope and his mind began to relax. For the first time in weeks, he felt himself give in to sleep willingly.
Michael watched his leader carefully from the corner of his eye as he drove. Max’s whole demeanor had changed. He almost seemed happy or at least as happy as a man whose wife had been kidnapped by an evil alien dictator could be. Michael’s own mind was in overdrive. He was worried about the situation at hand. He knew the confrontation with Khivar was drawing closer. But that wasn’t what or rather who he was worried about. Maria still wasn’t talking to him. He’d tried several times to just speak with her, to apologize. But she didn’t want to hear anything from him. He couldn’t really blame her.
But she was hurting. He knew she was. Her heard when she cried herself to sleep at night, worried about Liz and upset with him. He knew because he sat outside her bedroom door, watching over her. He tried to tell himself to just move on. Maria had been the one to walk away from him over two years ago. And despite all his pretense, despite the stonewall, he’d been hurt. Especially because he loved her. After that he’d put all emotional attachments aside. When Kate had come to him he’d figured that it wouldn’t hurt to have a little fun with someone that was like him. Now look where that had gotten him.
He had no right to ask Maria for forgiveness. He really didn’t. But he needed it and not just for the mistake with Kate. He needed forgiveness for everything he’d ever put Maria through. He knew that if Maria had been the one kidnapped he’d be just as devastated as Max. He was more determined than ever to make sure that Liz and the baby she was carrying were returned to Max safely.
Michael glanced over at Max again and did a double take. Max was smiling in his sleep.
Dreams. They were the only place Liz found any comfort. In her dreams she could pretend that her life wasn’t complicated. She could pretend she wasn’t being held against her will in an attempt to lure the love of her life to his enemy so that he could be killed. Her dreams didn’t work like that. The dreams were about other things. Better things. Things that promised a future. Sometimes they involved a normal life. One where she and Max lived in a normal home with the pitter patter of little feet and childish laughter echoing in the rooms. Other dreams included all of their friends and family. They were cherished almost as much as the dreams of just she and Max and the fantasy of their family. And other dreams replayed precious memories for Liz, allowing her to relive those moments all over again.
So she was dreaming of Max, greedily accepting the sight of his dream image. These dreams, these memories were all that she had to keep her sane, to give her hope. She had gone too long without the feel of Max’s strong, loving presence in her life.
This particular dream or memory was a favorite of Liz’s. Their wedding.
Liz stared at the hotel room door, waiting anxiously. She was experiencing a moment of deja vu as she sat there. Max was supposed to be coming. After four interminably long weeks apart he was finally coming to see her again. All she could even think about was being able to physically see him, to actually feel his presence and not just have a sense of him on the periphery of her mind. And touch him. She wanted to touch every single inch of him, slowly memorizing everything and anything about him, at the same time assuring herself that he was okay and that he was real. The anticipation of his arrival was slowly driving Liz crazy.
She sat up straighter on the edge of the bed as the lock on the door came undone and the doorknob opened, revealing Max to her. He’d barely stepped into the room before she pounced on him, almost causing both to topple over. With a chuckle Max steadied himself and pulled Liz into his arms. Their lips found each other quickly, instinctively, needing to reacquaint themselves after their forced separation. They needed to feel the warmth of the other’s mouth pressed against their own. Liz’s kisses were a drug Max couldn’t get enough of.
Max finally pulled away, leaning his forehead against Liz’s. He was smiling and still breathing hard from the greeting he’d received. “I have a surprise for you,” he told her.
“What is it?” Liz asked carefully.
“I can’t tell you. You’ll just have to trust me.
Michael’s waiting in the car to take us to the airport,” Max explained. He watched as Liz’s face fell slightly, obviously disappointed.
“What’s wrong?” he asked quickly, concern filling him at her reaction.
Liz offered Max a shy smile and shrugged as her cheeks flushed slightly. “Nothing’s wrong. I guess, I just thought we’d get to.......to do what we did last time and spend our time together in...in bed,” she finally managed to admit.
Max laughed and leaned in to kiss her again. “That will definitely be happening. Just not in this particular bed. So will you come with me?” he asked, looking in to her eyes, pleading with her.
Liz nodded. “To the ends of the universe and back. I’d go anywhere to be with you,” she whispered.
A few hours later their plane landed in Las Vegas, Nevada. Liz’s heart was pounding furiously as they pulled up in front of a small Elvis Chapel.
“What are we doing here?” she breathed out, barely able to speak.
“Living out our future,” Max told her softly as he took her hand in his own.
“How did you know? I never told you....” Liz started to say.
“I got a flash the last time we were together. Then I remembered when we were here in high school and the flash that I had then. It all fit together.”
Liz could feel tears forming in her eyes at everything he’d done for her. She could see his love for her radiating from every cell in his body, just like her love for him. Max led Liz inside then and she was ushered off to change into her wedding dress. A dress Max had picked from memories of the flash he’d had. As he got himself ready he could feel his heart beating rapidly and he was sure that it would burst from the pure joy he was feeling. The feeling just grew as the moment he would make Liz his own drew nearer.
Moments later Max watched as the only girl he could ever love made her way down the aisle toward him. She was a vision in white, her simple gown lovingly hugging her slender curves, leaving only her shoulders bare with chestnut strands pooling around her like a waterfall. Max was awed by the sight of her, humbled that the beauty before him would ever choose him, accept him, love him. He could see in her eyes as she clasped her small hand in his own that she did indeed choose him to love.
As they stood there together, a smile formed on Max’s lips that was only equaled in brilliance by Liz’s own. They were barely aware of their surroundings, their complete focus was each other. Liz held in tears as she thought about how she’d never believed this moment would be possible. Now she was living out a future that she had once tried to changed because she thought she had to. Both had tears in their eyes though as they spoke their vows, pledging their eternal, undying love. Neither speaking anything more true than those promises to each other. And two hearts beat in perfect synchronization as Max slid the ring on to Liz’s finger, claiming her as his own, forever.
As Elvis pronounced them husband and wife, Max couldn’t wait any longer. He gently took her face into his hands and, looking into her eyes, sealed their union with a kiss. Liz opened herself to Max completely with the kiss, returning with equal fervor the love he was sending her through that one simple act. There were no barriers between them anymore. They were no longer the ones that were keeping each other apart. They had given in to everything they’d ever felt since that fateful day in the Crashdown. A day that was now significant for more than one reason. September 18. The day Max saved Liz and Liz saved Max. The day they changed each other’s lives. Now.....it was their wedding day.
After the ceremony was over they quickly made their way from the chapel, neither letting go of the other. In the elevator on the way up to the room, Max held Liz closely to him, unwilling to have her separated from him in anyway. He didn’t want to ever stop kissing or touching her.
No words had been spoken out loud between the two since they had said their vows. But now, standing in their room, Liz felt the need to speak. The tears that had been threatening to fall earlier, now ran freely down her cheeks. As she looked up at Max, his breath caught in his throat at the love he saw displayed on her face.
“I’m your wife,” she said, her voice an awed whisper. “I....I’ve wanted this for so long. Even before future Max told me.....even after.....” her voice trailed off. “I’m your wife,” she said again. This time the joy of the title was as clearly reflected in her voice as the awe of it.
Max smiled and leaned his forehead against hers. “I’m your husband. I’ve wanted this with you since I’ve known what this was.” As the words sunk in Max couldn’t wait any longer to kiss her again. The passion between them grew quickly and eager hands made swift work of disrobing.
“I love you,” Liz whispered between kisses. “So much.” More kissing. They found the bed and settled onto it, quickly coming together. The need to feel each other skin to skin, to be joined as deeply as possible, was almost overwhelming. They didn’t fight it, they just gave into their feelings and the room was soon filled with the sounds of heavy breathing and moans of pleasure. As they found their completion with each other, both cried out at the joy of their union. Afterwards they lay spent and sated in each other’s arms. Words of love were shared, promises of a future were made silently through their ever increasing connection.
They spent the next three days lost in each other. They never surfaced from their room, both being selfish and not wanting to be apart for even a moment. Their one attempt to go anywhere had ended in the elevator and had resulted in a prompt return trip right back to the room and to bed. Both were insatiable. Not wanting to waste a single minute of the precious little time they had together.
The last night came too quickly. Max held Liz possessively, knowing that after the night was over they would have to be apart again to keep her safe. His mind and his heart were fighting each other. He wanted to be with her. To stay with her and never let her out of his sight. But his head was telling him it was too dangerous. That it would be better if Khivar had no knowledge of her or her connection to him. He knew that above all else, especially his selfish wants, he had to protect her. Because one day he was going to hold her to her promises for their future.
He glanced down at Liz, sleeping peacefully in his arms. At the thought of no longer being able to hold her like that, he woke her. He kissed her desperately, wanting to forget that she could not always be in his arms. Liz submitted willingly to his demands, allowing him free reign. His mouth hungrily sought hers, kissing her breathless before trailing a line of fire down the smooth skin of her throat until he reached the valley of her breasts. He nuzzled the soft skin there with his nose before moving to take a rosy hard nipple into his mouth. He suckled her, reveling in the moans escaping her lips.
Liz pulled Max up toward her, wanting to feel his warm mouth against hers. She kissed him just as desperately as he did her. Both trying to ingrain the memory of each other so deeply into their systems that they could never forget. Hands sought heated flesh in intimate caresses as lips mimicked the action their bodies craved. The urge to join together, to become one, was too strong to resist, neither wanting to put off the pleasure they knew awaited them.
Max entered her body swiftly, glorying in the way she welcomed him. The way she seemed to be made just for him. Her tight body clung to him, accepting him fully with each stroke into her. The slowness of their movements increased to a breath stealing pace. Max was lost in the feel of Liz. Lost in the way she could make him forget everything and just love her because she loved him so completely. They worked together, bodies frantic to reach completion. Liz felt her body tighten as her release seemed to wash over her in pulsating, electrified waves. And as the pleasure of her climax charged through her body, she cried out Max’s name, clinging to him tightly. The tremors in her body triggered Max’s release and with a final hard thrust he came, spilling himself into her. As his body trembled from the aftershocks of his orgasm, he felt Liz pull him closer to her.
He didn’t even realize he was crying until he looked up into her eyes and saw his tears mingling with her own. “I don’t want to leave you,” he whispered.
She nodded and held him even more tightly.
They didn’t sleep the rest of the night. They had too little time together to waste even one precious
When Liz opened her eyes after the dream, she could feel the tears that had started to dry on her face. For awhile, all had seemed right with her world as she’d lost herself in the memories that she and Max had made. But it hurt something deep within her to have to wake up alone, not knowing whether or not he was safe.
“Your awake,” Khivar’s voice rang out in the dark room. As he spoke he flicked on the small lamp sitting on the table. He sat, his chair facing the bed, watching Liz. She shivered at the mere thought that he’d been in there, watching her sleep.
“What are you doing here?” she asked.
“Keeping an eye on you. Somebody has to. We don’t want you reaching out to someone. That might get in the way of our plans. Or maybe it will help. That is, if you can manage to lure Max right to us. I’d rather not. I have a plan. And I do hate to deviate from all my well thought out methods to take out our beloved King.”
“You Bastard!” Liz snapped out and moved back on the bed, postioning herself as far away from Khivar as possible.
Khivar didn’t even acknowledge her words. He just kept looking at her. After a long moment of silence, he spoke.
“What were you dreaming about?” he asked.
“I don’t remember,” Liz told him, making her voice as calm and even as possible.
“You lie well. Do you suppose that your precious Max is conscious of the fact that you’re lying about him right now? Do you suppose he’s hurt by the fact that you don’t value your memories the way he does? I bet he’s dreaming about you right now.”
Liz could feel her stomach turning. Khivar was taking one of the only things she had left, away from her. Twisting it into something that was now dangerous to Max.
He stood up suddenly, his chair wobbling with his hasty action.
“I’ll leave you to yourself. You should rest. You need to stay healthy if you’re going to be of any use as bait.” With that he was gone.
Max felt himself wake abruptly. Almost like the connection to the dream had been cut or severed quickly. He felt disoriented and scared. He looked around nervously. Michael was still driving. He said nothing as he tried to regain control of his senses. He just sort of watched out the window as the rest of the world rolled by. His emotions were flying all over the place.
He sat up straighter suddenly as feelings of nausea rushed over him.
She was close.
He could feel her.
Her essense.....their connection, it seemed to permeate through his entire being.
“Michael......where are we?”
“We’re almost past the state line. Why?” Michael was immediately concerned. Max looked tense and yet somewhat peaceful at the same time. Almost relieved.
“ I can feel her, Michael. She’s here.”