posted on 7-May-2002 10:07:31 AM
Title: Forget
Author: Angel
Category: M/L with everyone else thrown in.
Rating: R for language & violence; NC-17 for nookie
Disclaimer: I own nothing, no suing please *wink*
Summary: No one knows where Liz went when she fled Roswell 10 years ago, but once a year, Max gets pulled to Liz while he's sleeping. Maria and Max have been obsessed with finding her for the last decade...but what will happen when they find her?


Part 1~

May 14, 2012

2am and Max Evans finds himself standing in a familiar place. It’s the same place he comes every year on this day, at this time…Liz Parker’s bedroom. Sometimes it’s a different house, sometimes an apartment, but it’s always her bedroom. The furniture he recognizes, when he runs his hand across the top of her dresser as he passes…carefully noting the items resting on the top. A hairbrush, some body lotion, chapstick, a grocery list, and a bottle of perfume. He can’t make out anything that could give him a clue and he moves his gaze to a familiar picture. It’s the one of Liz, Maria and Alex at the Crashdown. She brings that picture with her everywhere. A small smile crosses his lips as he lightly touches the frame, remembering his drunken night with Kyle when he changed Maria and Alex’s head to his own.

As he makes his way across the moonlit room, he passes a small sitting area with a large, overstuffed, and well-worn chair. A blanket is thrown across it and dangles down to the floor next to a pair of fuzzy white slippers. Next to it is a side table holding a small stack of books…some old, some new, all with bookmarks poking out of their pages. An empty mug sits next to them with the tea tag still dangling over the side. She still loves to read in this old chair. The chair appeared about 6 years ago and it’s stuck with her ever since then. He’s tempted to inspect the titles of the books, but Liz stirs in her sleep and his attention is drawn to the bed where she sleeps.

“Such a big bed for such a tiny thing.” he thinks as he picks out the swath of dark hair peeking out of the top of the big down comforter.

He steps over to the overly large four poster bed. It’s new, he would remember a monstrosity of a bed like this. The last one was plain, just a small wooden head board with no foot board and close to the ground. This one is huge, made out of pine with round posts at least a foot in diameter. The top of the mattress comes to above his stomach and he wonders if she has to take a running jump to get up into it when he notices the small, wooden step stool next to the bed. His eyes travel up the mess of sheets and comforter only to find her face hidden. Slowly, he reaches his hand up and gently pulls the blankets down under her chin.

He sighs as her beautiful face is revealed. The face he dreams about every night. He longs to touch her cheek, to feel her sleepy warmth. But he knows the rules…no touching. So he holds his hand just above her skin, hovering for a few seconds before he pulls it back. Next to her bed is an alarm clock, 4:17…soon. She’s in the same time zone she was in last year. Makes sense, the room looks the same. There’s a phone and a glass of water next to the bed as well. He moves the glass a little closer so she won’t have to reach as far if she wakes in the middle of the night thirsty.

Starting to feel the pull, he whispers his love to her and passes his fingers over her lips…wishing with everything he was that he could touch them. She shifts slightly in her sleep, and a whispered, “Max” passes her lips causing him to jerk his hand away, alarmed. It’s only a dream, and he relaxes…delighting in the fact that she still dreams of him.

He still has a smile on his face when he abruptly sits up in his bed. It fades quickly when he realizes where he is, though. Swinging his legs over the side of his bed, he rubs his face with his hands as he remembers each and every detail of his visit. He makes a mental note to jot down the details of the new bed in his Liz Diary as he takes a sip of water from the glass that sits next to his bed. The big red letters on the alarm clock don’t surprise him. They read 2:20am. Always 20 minutes, always at 2am, always on May 14. Every year he is somehow pulled into Liz Parker’s bedroom. Liz Parker…who he hasn’t seen or spoken to since that awful day – High School graduation - 10 years ago.

And all he knows is that he’s not the one doing it.

Part 2~

May 14, 2012
Roswell-Max’s house

“Michael! Where’s my toothbrush?”, Maria’s screams down the hall outside Max’s bedroom, waking him.

He looks at the clock and groans as he whips the blankets off. It’s 9am already, he needs to get in the shower before Maria comes looking for him.

Michael and Maria are in town visiting him for two weeks and it always takes him a couple of days to get used to their loudness in the morning. He generally likes to sit quietly with his coffee and paper by himself every morning. But he loves the welcome change of having four rambunctious Guerins in his house. It’s all so…normal. Michael, Maria, and their two children Grace and Alex travel to Roswell as often as they can from their home in Las Angeles. Although Michael grumbles about making the haul, he’s always happy to spend time with Max and Isabel once he gets there.

Max finishes his shower and trudges down the hall and into the kitchen where Michael is standing in front of the stove cooking something that makes Max’s stomach rumble. Grace and Alex are in the living room watching the Cartoon Channel, still in their pajamas.

“Hey, sleep ok?” Max asks Michael on his way to the coffee maker.

“Yup. You?” Michael asks as he pauses at the stove, waiting for Max’s response.

Max pours some coffee into his favorite mug, looking over to see Michael’s questioning gaze. He nods, “Yah. She got a new bed.”

Michael serves up some eggs and bacon on two plates and carries them over to the table, setting one in front of Max and sitting down with his across the table.

“Same time?” Michael asks.

“Yah. Still didn’t see anything to clue me into where she’s at, though.” Max says before picking up a slice of bacon.

Michael and Max are silent through the rest of their breakfast, both contemplating this mystery. They listen to the sounds of Scooby Doo drifting in from the other room and the bursts of laughter from Grace and Alex. Suddenly, Michael gets up and serves up another plate of eggs and bacon, bringing it to the table and setting it down in front of the seat next to Max. Max glances up with a grin, knowing what’s coming.

“Max! So did you see her? Does she look the same? Do you know where she’s at? Did she get a new chair yet?!” Maria whooshes into the kitchen like a small storm, firing questions at Max and planting a kiss on his cheek.

She sits down next to Max and immediately digs into her breakfast, pausing only to accept a cup of coffee that Michael passes to her. After several seconds, she glances over at Max and says, “Well?”

“Yes. Yes. No. No. But she did get a new bed.” He responds.

She nods, her face falling briefly, but she recovers quickly and tells Max to tell her all about the bed. The friendly chatter continues throughout breakfast as Maria repeatedly tells the kids to turn the TV off and get dressed. They discuss their plans and commitments for the week over one last cup of coffee and agree to get together with Isabel and Jesse for dinner later that night. Maria is taking the kids to see her mom for a few hours, then she’s heading over to the Crashdown.

“Have you seen the Parkers lately, Max? They’d really like to see you.” Maria says as she clears the table.

“I just don’t get over there much.” Max says as he drops his head and glances around the room looking for a distraction.

Maria sighs, knowing it won’t do any good, but she asks anyway, “Well, do you wanna go over with us this afternoon?”

Max gets up to turn the coffeemaker off and says, “Nah, we’re gonna shoot some hoops this afternoon. Right Michael?” as he glares at Michael.

“Yah, Kyle’s meeting us.” Michael mumbles as he leaves the kitchen wanting to avoid the whole conversation.

“You know what, Max? For ten years, these people have had no idea what is going on with their daughter. For ten years, they’ve been afraid to even hope that she’s alive. But you know. You know how she’s doing. You know that she’s alive, and you won’t tell them. What’s it gonna hurt at this point?” Maria has had this conversation with Max for years. She tries to convince Max to tell Jeff and Nancy Parker about his non-human status and tell them that Liz is ok. To tell them that he sees her once a year, snug in her bed, sleeping. But he refuses, says he doesn’t want to put them in danger. Blah blah blah. She’s heard it all before and every year she gets angrier.

“It’s been ten years now, Max!”

Max gives her a weary look, expecting this conversation. They have it every year, and every year Michael finds a reason to leave the room and leave Max defenseless against his wife.

“Maria. You know I want to. But we can’t. We just can’t, ok? So let’s drop it so you can get on with your vacation.” He gets up and makes a move to leave the kitchen.

But he’s stopped by the sadness in Maria’s voice. “But they think she’s dead, Max. Dead. Don’t you think they have a right to know that she’s not?”

“Of course I do,” Max turned around, running his hand through his hair in frustration, “but don’t you get it yet? Alex died because of us. My dad died because of us. Who knows how many others there are. We’d just be putting them in danger and you know it.”

“You don’t have to tell them you’re an alien. Just tell them she called you, or you saw her when you were on a business trip…something! Just tell them something to give them hope. It’s not fair, Max” Maria tries to be practical and get him to see that something needs to be done.

But Max turns away to leave the kitchen, “No. I’m not telling them anything. And we’re not talking about this anymore.” he walks away, leaving Maria alone and thinking about Liz.

As she watches Max walk down the hall and up the stairs, she sits down at the table drinking her coffee and thinking about how it all got so screwed up… Maria remembers it as if it happened yesterday. She was so excited to finally graduate, to finally be free…


Part 3~

May 14, 2012

As Maria sits in Max’s kitchen watching Max tear off toward the stairs, she can’t help but think back to that day…graduation day.

May 14, 2002
Roswell – Liz’s bedroom

Maria and Liz are standing in front of the mirror in Liz’s room, checking the position of their mortarboards. Today, they’re graduating from West Roswell High.

“You know, it doesn’t really seem real, does it, Maria?” Liz says as she helps Maria straighten her tassel.

“Yah, it kinda seems insignificant in the grand scheme of things. I really wish Alex were here.” Maria responds. “That…thing…better not show up today or I’m going to have to kick someone’s butt.”

“Maria…” Liz sighs in resignation, “there’s nothing we can do about her. She’s here, and we just…we just have to deal with it.” Both girls stand in front of the mirror, small smiles of understanding for each other… thoughts of Alex thick in the air.

A month earlier, Tess showed up in Roswell with baby in tow. Trouble followed Tess and it took everyone to get the government off their backs…again. According to her, she escaped from Khivar and stole a ship to come back to Earth. But the U.S. government picked her up on their satellites and they were hot on her trail all the way to New Mexico. She seemed genuinely scared for her life and pleaded with Max to not send her away. She told him she had a connection with the baby and if anyone hurt her, it would hurt the baby too. No one liked it, and Isabel wanted her dead with a fiery passion. But Tess was allowed to stay, because of the baby, although she was never left alone. And Max…Max fell in love with his son the first time he saw him. He was spending all of his free time with the baby, and by default, Tess. It didn’t take long for Tess to start her work on Max again. She did everything she could to get Max to notice her.

And Liz was jealous. She couldn’t help it. Every time she saw the three of them together, it only reminded her of what she didn’t have. Of course, Max still told Liz how much he loved her, and only her. But he was spending more and more time with Tess and the baby. Max and Liz had taken the next step in their relationship when they got back to Roswell from Vermont. It was the best night of Liz’s life and she couldn’t imagine her life being any better. Then she came.

Nobody knows if it was the stress of Tess’ arrival and the danger that followed her, or if it just wasn’t possible, but before either Max or Liz even knew she was pregnant, she miscarried. The doctors said she was about 3 months along, only Max and Liz knew that couldn’t be true…it had been less than a month since they made love. Liz was devastated, as was Max. They were all in shock…after everything Max and Liz had been through, they didn’t need this, too. And Isabel and Maria couldn’t help but wonder if this meant they couldn’t have children with Jesse and Michael.

Liz’s parents were beyond angry. Liz’s dad wouldn’t even look at Max. He knew he couldn’t forbid Liz to see Max…she was 18 and graduating soon. But he was furious that Max could do something like that to his little girl.

So it was even worse when Max started spending more time with his son. Liz understood his need, but it hurt more than she could explain. She recovered physically from the miscarriage and tried to get excited about their upcoming graduation. But there was a sadness there that wasn’t there before. Maria was hoping that the trip they had planned after graduation would work to help Liz heal emotionally.

Maria puts her arm around Liz as they gaze at themselves in their graduation gowns, “Chica, today we are officially Educated Women!” giving Liz a big smile and a hug.

“Yah,” Liz decided, “you’re right! We are woman, hear us roar!” and they both start giggling uncontrollably.

As they arrive at the school, Maria notices Liz looking for Max. He said he would meet her there at 3pm. But just as Maria and Liz walk into the gym, they both see Max...kissing Tess. He’s holding his son, and stoking Tess’ hair…whispering in her ear and smiling. Maria merely stands gaping at the trio, looking over to Liz and seeing the shock on her face. Max sees them and, as if in slow motion, he puts his arm around Tess and leads her over to Liz and Maria. He looks genuinely sorry, he can hardly look at Liz as he says, “Liz…I’m so sorry. But I think we both know that the best thing for me to do would be to take responsibility here…for my son. I really didn’t want to hurt you, but I’ve realized that I really don’t have a choice. I have to take care of my son, and Tess. They need me. I’m so sorry. I do love you…it’s just that…I have to do this. I’m sorry.” He whispers the last part as he leads Tess away.

Maria immediately looks around for Michael in a panic and, seeing him walking in the gym, she yells at him to get over there. After several minutes of confusion, and Maria angrily telling a just-arrived Michael about what just happened, Liz turns toward Maria and with empty eyes softly says, “I don’t belong here. I should be dead…I should be dead anyway.” Maria, who is telling an incredulous Michael the exact words that Max said, hears Liz and moves to pull Liz into her arms. But she quietly steps away, turns, and runs out of the gym. That’s the last time anyone saw or spoke to Liz.

Except Max. He sees her every year on that date, when he’s somehow transported into her bedroom…no matter where she lives, or how many times she’s moved, apparently. He just keeps appearing and he has no control over it. But he found out there were limitations. He could never leave her bedroom, and he could never touch her. The one time he tried…the first time…she sat up screaming and he promptly disappeared, back to his bed. No, no touching. He looks forward to those 20 minutes every year…and Maria can only hope that he finds something while he’s there that’ll clue them in to where Liz was.

Over the years, he has tried desperately to look out her window, but he’s only seen something once…the ocean. But that was only one year, the next year it wasn’t there anymore…only darkness…trees and endlessness. But for that year, they scoured both coasts, looking for Liz Parker. She never left anything hinting at where she might be. The only clue he ever had was her alarm clock. They at least knew what time zone she was in. She moved, on average, about every other year as far as he could tell. Although, there was no telling how many times she moved before finally settling down in one place. He searched for anything…a purse, wallet, receipts, pictures. He even tried to pick up the phone once, but that didn’t work…he couldn’t talk…and he found he couldn’t dial any numbers anyway. He never stopped looking for clues and he would write every detail down in what he called his Liz Diary. From the color of the carpet, to various items that he saw laying around in her room.

In between his yearly visits, he and Maria had a full Find Liz campaign in motion…doing everything they could think of to track her down. They made numerous trips around the country, and outside of it, based on phone calls from people who said they had seen her. They never stopped searching.

And he never stopped torturing himself for what happened that day. Soon after Liz took off from the school gym, Michael ran up to him and punched him…knocking him on the ground. He demanded to know what he was thinking, saying those things to Liz. Michael suspected that Tess had mindwarped him and slowly advanced on her, threatening to kill her if she didn’t admit what she’d been doing…baby or no baby. Maria was hysterically trying to find Liz, but she wasn’t anywhere. She wasn’t at school, she wasn’t at the Crashdown.

Meanwhile, Michael dragged Tess out to the dessert. Max had dazedly taken his son home…wondering what exactly happened. Tess could feel the power building up in Michael and tearfully begged him not to hurt her. She admitted that she’d been mindwarping Max for weeks. Michael had suspected as much. After several threats to her life, the truth finally came out. Khivar sent Tess away after finding out that she wasn’t pregnant, and she didn’t have the other three with her. He sent her back to Earth and she was desperate. She stole a baby from the first hospital she saw and headed back to Roswell, hoping to get Max to take her and the baby in. She admitted that she and Max had never even had sex…it was all a mindwarp. The more Tess told him, the more he was disgusted and horrified. Tess told him she saw the signs that Liz was pregnant, so she took care of that, too, by making her miscarry. She was furious. What business did they have mating with humans?! Of all of them, she thought she would get sympathy and understanding from Michael. She was wrong.

It quickly became clear to her that she wasn’t going to find an ally in Michael. There was no where for her to go, no one to go to, no one to help her. She tried running away only to find Michael following close behind. They had a violent confrontation, both exchanging heated words and alien fire. In the end, Tess turned her power on to herself and killed herself before Michael could. But the damage was done. Liz was gone.

They searched for months, relying on the police for help. But there was no sign of Liz. Liz’s parents hired a private investigator but all they ever learned was that Liz had withdrawn all of her savings that day and disappeared. The Parkers were furious at first, blaming Max for Liz’s leaving. Max blamed himself and could barely manage to face anyone…instead, throwing himself into his search for Liz. Isabel and Max ended up with no choice but to tell their parents the truth about themselves, because they needed their help in returning the baby to his parents. They were shocked, especially Max’s dad when he realized that what he’d been investigating all these months was nothing what he imagined it would be. He felt horribly guilty, and apologized to Max for everything he put him through. Things were never quite the same between Max and his father, but they were slowly trying to get back their trust in each other. Unfortunately, Philip Evans died of a heart attack shortly after Max and Isabel’s revelation and Max has never stopped blaming himself for that, either.

May 14, 2012
Roswell – Max’s kitchen

A smile touched Maria’s face as she thought about how she and Michael had gotten married soon after graduation and moved to L.A. Maria wanted to embark on her music career the way she wanted to and Michael was so supportive. Isabel and Jesse stayed in Roswell because Isabel couldn’t stand the thought of leaving her mother after her father’s death. Max also stayed in Roswell, hoping that someday Liz would return. He wanted to be there when she did. He had nightmares about that day every night and Maria was the only one he told about them. They learned through Larek that Khivar had given up for the time being on trying to find and destroy the Royal Four. He told his cabinet, after he returned from trying to get Vilondra to return with him, that “The Royals were children…of no use to him, and certainly no threat to him. They can barely take care of themselves.”

They never totally relaxed from the threat of Khivar even though nothing alien related had happened in over 10 years. Well, except Max getting pulled to Liz every year for 20 minutes in the middle of the night. The first time it happened, Max was so freaked out. He tried every night to repeat his transportation, but it never happened.

Maria missed Liz desperately. She just knows that if Liz knew the truth about Tess, about what happened, she would want to come back. She just knows it…if only they could find her. Sighing, she gets up from the table to chase down her rug rats and force them away from Scooby Doo and into their clothes. She can’t help the smile that comes when she sees them giggling on the floor. They really are wonderful kids, and Michael is such a good dad. “Ok you two, up. Turn the TV off. Go brush your teeth and get dressed. I laid your clothes out on the bed.” She says loudly to them as she walks in the room clapping her hands.

Dinner that night at Isabel and Jesse’s was festive. Everyone was there…Max, Maria, Michael, Grace, Alex, Kyle, Jim, Amy and Diane Evans. They all waited for Max’s confirmation that he saw Liz the night before but didn’t press him about it when it was clear he didn’t have anything further to tell them. They know that Max is always reluctant to talk about his visits with Liz for a few days after.

Everyone wanted to play with Grace and Alex, and the kids were loving the attention. Maria entertained everyone with outrageous stories of the music business in L.A. and Diane couldn’t help herself from asking Isabel and Jesse about her future grandchildren. Max left early, looking exhausted from the previous night’s events and from all the activities that day. Maria knew what Max was thinking about…that he wished the next year would go by quickly so he could see Liz again.


Part 4~

May 14, 2013

Getting ready for bed, Max is restless. He’s had been feeling disconnected all day…like he isn’t in his own body. He finishes work early…he works at the college as an Astronomy professor. All he can think about is getting to bed so he can finally see Liz, even if she would only be sleeping. He pulls out his Liz Diary, rereading his last entry…trying to figure out some way to find her.

As he drifts to sleep, his thoughts are of Liz and their lost child. Tears seep out of the corners of his eyes as he remembers how heartbroken they were…of how devastated Liz was. He thinks about how stupid he was for falling for Tess’ mindwarps…again. All he wants is to hold her in his arms just one more time, to tell her how sorry he is and how much he loves her…would always love her.

2am…he finds himself standing in Liz’s bedroom once again. He’s surprised…it’s the same room…the same house. That makes it at least 3 years that she’s been in one place. Interesting. Making his way farther into the room, he walks over to her dresser to examine the items lying on top. There’s the picture of her, Maria and Alex. Her hairbrush and other grooming items are arranged in the middle, a blue scarf thrown haphazardly behind the display. But his gaze suddenly stops on something…could it be? He strains to see in the darkness…it’s an envelope. A bill. He picks it up and sees the return address of a gas company in Philadelphia. But it’s addressed to a Julie Baker at 3266 W. Riverfront Ln. Confused, he wonders if Liz has changed her name. He memorizes the address and turns from the dresser, heading for the sitting area.

He still can’t see anything worth noting out her window as he looks over a new stack of books. Slowly, he traces the writing on the spine of one of the books and he notices another mug with a used teabag inside of it sitting next to the little stack of books. He touches the mug…still warm, with a trace of lipstick on the rim. He lightly touches the lipstick, rubbing it between his fingers and wishing it had come directly from her lips. Turning from the small sitting area, he moves toward the giant bed. He smiles at his previous image of Liz doing a run-and-jump maneuver to get into the thing, but freezes when he looks up to the head of the bed. Liz is underneath all those covers somewhere…he can see the lump of her body. But when he looks up, not only does he see her hair peeking out of the top, but part of her face. Her nose and her eyes…which are open…and staring in shock at him.

He stumbles back in surprise, grabbing onto the chair to keep himself from falling. But no sooner had he tried to move toward her, saying her name with only silence leaving his mouth, did he jolt awake in his own bed. He jumps out of bed and paces around his room a few times, running his hands through his hair, and grabbing his Liz Diary. He quickly writes down the name and address that was on the bill on her dresser and glances at the clock. 2:10am. He didn’t get the usual 20 minutes. Undoubtedly because she woke up. Quickly grabbing up the phone, he dials information and asks for the number of a Julie Baker in Philadelphia at the address he has. Nothing. After making them check again, he slams the phone down and screams in frustration.

Michael comes running into his room, wondering what all the commotion is about. They were in town visiting, just like they did at that time every year. “What the hell’s going on Maxwell? You’re gonna wake Maria up and you know how she is when she’s pregnant!”

Max glances quickly at Michael, not really looking at him, then proceeds to grab a bag out of his closet, throwing clothes into it. He picks up the phone again and dials the airline, “I need the next flight out of Roswell to Philadelphia.”


Liz pushes the covers down and slides out of bed slowly. She’s shaking all over, trying to figure out what’s going on. She’s sure she saw Max in her room…looking around on her dresser, examining the books she had next to her chair. He was right there…and he looked at her, then just disappeared. Was it a dream? How could it be a dream when she was awake? She walks over to where Max had been standing when he disappeared…she touches the same book she saw him touch. Then her gaze falls on her dresser. Crap. That’s what he was looking at…her gas bill…her gas bill that has her address and new name on it. “Think Parker…was it him? Was he projecting himself here? Was he trying to dreamwalk you? Or was it all your imagination?”

She sinks to the floor, clutching the bill in her hands. If it was him, he knows where she is now. She can’t take that chance. She’s been running for so long, it doesn’t take her long to formulate a plan of evacuation. There’s no use trying to sleep anymore tonight. So she hauls her suitcases down from her closet and packs the small amount of clothes she has. Tears are threatening to fall as she gathers all the paperwork she’ll need. “Damn him! Just when I think I might actually stay in one place for a while, he does this. Why can’t he leave me alone? He has his son, and he has Tess…why can’t he just forget about me?” She knew he wouldn’t give up. Well, she wasn’t going to stand by and let Max Evans trample all over her heart again. There’s too much at risk. She didn’t go through hell just to have Max make it all for nothing. She thought that by now it would be perfectly clear to him…to all of them that she didn’t want to be found. What did he want?

She gets dressed and moves into the living room, assessing what will stay and what will go. Pulling boxes out of the closet, she begins packing up the few belongings that she’ll be taking with her.

posted on 7-May-2002 10:09:02 AM
Part 5~

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

“What?! What do you mean he left already?!” Maria is pacing the living room as Michael tells her what Max told him only an hour ago.

“He didn’t say much, just packed his stuff, called the airline and left.”

“What time’s his flight, I’m going with him. How could he leave without me?! It’s not even 4 in the morning!” Maria is now heading for the guest bedroom and starts packing her things.

Michael follows her and sighs, knowing he’s not going to stop her, “I don’t know, he didn’t say.”

“Well, you know the Roswell airport won’t have flights leaving until at least 5 or 6. I’m meeting him there.” Maria looks at Michael, waiting for a protest or argument.

But Michael just looks at her and raises his eyebrows. He knows better. “Are you sure you should be doing this? We’ve done this before, and it’s emotionally draining. You’re pregnant, Maria.”

“I know, I just…have to. What if he finds her this time? I have to, Michael.” She looks at him sadly as she zips the carry-on bag closed.

With Maria speeding off to the Roswell airport in a cab, Michael calls Isabel. “Hey Isabel, sorry to wake you up. Max got something.”

“Where to this time?” Isabel groggily asks.


“Ok, let me know if you hear from him. Did Maria go?”

“Yah, she just left.” He tells her before they say their good-byes and hang up.

Michael looks at the clock on the VCR. Of course, Max wouldn’t have it flashing 12:00 like theirs at home. 4:30am. He sinks into the sofa and sighs, preparing himself for Max and Maria’s return and their inevitable disappointment when they don’t find Liz. He should go back to bed and get some sleep before the animals wake up, but his mind is filled with thoughts of Liz…and Maria and Max’s obsession with finding her.

He liked Liz, she was loyal and was always straight with him. Especially during the rough times he had with Maria during their senior year in High School. He understood why she left…maybe not why she’s decided to cut herself totally off from everyone. But frankly, if she was trying so hard to stay away, then he thought they should just let her be. What exactly did Max and Maria think there were going to do if they did find her? Drag her back to Roswell against her will? Max and Maria have been on so many of these quests that he’s lost count. And every time, they come back more defeated than the last time.

Philadelphia – 6pm

Max and Maria emerge from their rental car on a residential street of row homes. There are trees lining both sides of the street and cars parked along the curbs. Down the street about half a block, some kids are playing street hockey while their parents sit on the front stoop.

Maria looks up at the stairs in front of them and says, “This is it, right Max? This is the right address?”

“I guess so.” He replies.

They both stand there a few moments taking in their surroundings, almost afraid to walk up the half flight of stone stairs to knock on the door. Finally, Max takes a deep breath and says, “Let’s go.” And heads up the stairs.

Maria follows him up the stairs and Max immediately knocks on the door. As they wait, Max looks around the porch. Empty. But there’s a roof overhead, Liz wouldn’t like sitting out here at night because she wouldn’t be able to see the stars. She probably has an area set up in the back to sit outside. He wonders if she still writes in her journal…he’s never seen one in her room during his visits.

Max is interrupted from his thoughts as a man opens the door. He’s wearing some sort of white jumpsuit-type uniform with the name Bill embroidered on the breast pocket. Maria hesitates and says, “We’re looking for Liz Parker…”

Max interrupts, “Julie Baker…we’re looking for a Julie Baker. Does she live here?”

Max is trying to look past him into the house when Bill says, “No one lives here. We were just called in this afternoon to clear out and clean the place so they can rent it.”

As Maria asks him for the name of the rental company, Max scans the furniture inside and boxes piled up in the front room. “We think the previous tenant is a friend of ours that we’re looking for. Did she leave some things here?” he asks Bill.

“Yah, left lots of stuff. We gotta haul it outta here tonight and it’s already almost dark, so if you don’t mind I gotta get back to work.” Bill says as he moves to go back inside the house. “You can come in and take a look around if you want, don’t bother me.” he says shrugging his shoulders, leaving the door open.

They enter the house and Maria heads straight for the boxes piled in the living room, anxious to open them and see what’s inside. Max heads toward the back of the house, past a small kitchen and down a short hallway. He can hear the rip of trim tape as the cleaners prepare to paint the walls. There’s a radio playing…he saw it sitting on the counter in the kitchen. It’s blaring some classic rock music…something by the Rolling Stones, he thinks.

The first room he comes to is on the left, it’s a bathroom. White tile, white fixtures. But he can smell something familiar…Liz. She didn’t leave that long ago. He steps away from the bathroom and walks down to the next doorway. He opens the door and steps in…his eyes tearing up as he looks around. She was here. She was here for 3 years and he scared her away. He walks around, noticing the marks in the tan carpet where her furniture sat. By the dresser, over to the sitting area…and then the huge four poster bed. It looks so different in the daylight….and empty. He can now see the view out the window is of a small back yard…fenced in…and a garage behind that leads to an alley. He looks up, yes, this is where she sat to read and maybe write in her journal. Unobstructed view of the sky. That’s probably why she has her sitting area by the window…it would be too cold in Philadelphia in the winter to sit outside.

He can hear Maria tearing through boxes in the living room. The Rolling Stones song is over and the DJ is announcing some kind of contest for tickets to the big Rolling Stones reunion concert…before going into a Bob Segar tune. He idly thinks about how old those guys must be and that they’re still performing when he turns from the window and heads over to the closet. The door is open and all he sees are a few wire hangers, discarded, laying on the floor. Some dry cleaning bags crumpled up in the corner. She didn’t leave any clothes behind. Taking one last look around, he exits the bedroom and walks back down the hall toward the kitchen and living room.

Maria looks up, noticing the look on his face, “There’s nothing here but pots and pans, silverware, kitchen stuff. I still have a couple boxes to go. Anything back there?”

Max gives her small shake of his head as he walks to a small coat closet just inside the front door. He opens the door and inspects the contents. Nothing…not even hangers here. He sees something when he stands on his tip toes to inspect the top shelf, though. Something crumpled up in the corner. He reaches for it and pulls it down…it’s a fuzzy blue glove. He touches it lightly at first, then brings it to his face to smell it. He briefly touches the soft glove to his cheek before turning around to show Maria his find, “She left a …” but stops when he sees her bent over one of the boxes…her hand over her mouth, crying.

He walks over to the box and peers over the edge into the bottom. Lying amongst various kitchen items and dishtowels is the framed picture of Liz, Maria and Alex. The smiling faces peering up at Maria and Max. In black marker written across the glass are the words, “Please leave me alone.” Max picks it up out of the box, staring at the handwriting…Liz’s handwriting. She must have left it on the kitchen counter for him to find and the cleaners packed it up with everything else.

Max bends down to pick Maria up off the floor. He puts his arm around her and they walk out the front door. She’s no longer crying and, sniffling once, she asks, “Did she take the chair?”

He nods, yes, and opens the door to help Maria into the car. “Ready to find a hotel?”

She sniffles again and nods. “We’ll go to the rental office first thing in the morning. I don’t know how much information we’ll get there, though.”

Max gets into the driver’s seat and they drive down the tree lined street, the sun setting and turning everything gold. They slowly drive past the kids playing street hockey and an old man sitting on his porch waves at them as they drive away.


Part 6~

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

When they arrive back at the hotel, Maria orders a pizza to be delivered. She sits on one of the beds, staring at the framed picture of her, Liz and Alex. Max watches her and finally says, “Maybe we should go home, Maria. It’s obvious that she doesn’t want to be found.” and wipes his hand over his face wearily.

Maria snaps her head up, “No. Max. She just doesn’t know…she doesn’t know the truth. You know what? We tell her the whole story…about Tess and the baby…about the mindwarping, and then we leave. If she wants to keep running, she can…but I’ll be damned if I’m going to let her keep running for the wrong reasons.” She tosses the picture on the bed as she gets up to answer the knock at the door.

Max sighs as he watches her pay for the pizza and bring it in. “You know Michael would throw a fit if he knew what you’ve been eating.”

“That’s why Michael won’t know, right Max? You’ll be telling Michael that I ate a nutritious, 4 course meal for dinner every night and I’ll be letting you live.” She smiles as she opens the box and pulls out a slice.

Chuckling, Max makes his way to the bathroom, “Whatever you say, Maria. Just don’t hurt me.”

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Max and Maria pull up to Liberty Rentals, doubtful that they’ll get any answers…but thinking it might be worth a shot. They walk through the front door and see a girl working at a desk nearby. She looks up and sees Max walking toward her and she smoothes her hair and shirt unconsciously. “Hi!” she says with a bright smile at Max, “How can I help you today?”

Maria rolls her eyes and walks up to her desk. “Yah, we’re looking for information on this rental.” and she slides a piece of paper with the address written on it across her desk.

The girl glances over at Maria, then back to Max, “Oh, yah. That one will be ready for a June 1st move-in. Are you interested in looking at it?”

“Actually,” Max starts, “we’re looking for the girl that just moved out. She’s a friend of ours and we’ve been looking for her for a long time.”

The girl sits back in her chair, “Well, I can’t really give out information about our tenants. I’m sorry.” giving him a look of sympathy.

Max looks down, defeated as Maria steps forward. “Look, I know it’s against the rules, but we’re desperate to find her. Can’t you do anything? Please?”

“I’m really sorry. I wish I could help you.” she says and looks over at Max. He looks so sad…staring at the ground, running his hand through his hair worriedly. “I tell you what. You tell me her name…so I at least know that you know something about her, and I’ll look up the name of the bank branch that we’re wiring her return deposit to.”

Max brightens instantly, and smiling he says, “Li…Julie…Julie Baker. Her name is Julie Baker.”

As the girl types in her computer, Max throws Maria a brilliant smile and she can’t stand still, she’s almost giddy. The girl turns back to them, writing on a piece of paper, “Ok, here’s the address…it’s a Nation’s Bank branch in Dallas. They won’t tell you anything about her, though. A Bank will probably have a little more security than we do.” she says with a wink at Max.

“Thank you so much!” Max and Maria gush at her as they run out the door.

In the car, they’re both on their cell phones.

“Michael! Isn’t this great?! This is the first solid lead we’ve had in years!” Maria tells Michael excitedly.

“Yah, it is, Maria. Just be careful. I trust that Max is making you eat right, right?” he says back.

Maria turns to poke Max in the side, making an eating motion with her hands before turning her attention back to her phone.

“Yah, two tickets to Dallas. Anything you have that leaves as soon as possible.” Max is talking to the airline when he feels Maria poking him and he looks at her gestures. “Oh, and can you make one of the meals vegetarian?” he adds while he rolls his eyes at her.

“Make sure the kids get a bath tonight, Michael. You know they’d go a month if we didn’t force them.” Maria is giving Michael instructions. “Oh, and call Isabel and fill her in.”

“Yes, Maria.” Michael sing songs back.

She laughs and says, “I’m sorry, I’m just so excited! I’ll call you when we get to Dallas. Love you.”

“Me, too. Take care of yourself.” Michael says as he hangs up

Roswell-same time
Isabel and Jesse’s house

Setting his cell phone on the table, Michael turns to Isabel and says, “They’re going to Dallas.”

“God, Michael…how long is this going to go on? Aren’t they going to take Liz’s message to them seriously? I mean, she’s had that picture forever and she’s carried it with her this long. She wouldn’t leave it for Max to find if she wasn’t serious, right?” Isabel says as she takes the last bite of the breakfast Jesse made for them all this morning.

Jesse gets up from the table and carries some dishes to the sink, “I don’t know how easy it would be for Max and Maria to just give up after all these years, after all their effort.” He turns to look at Michael and Isabel, “And do you think Max will ever give up if he keeps going on his 2am journeys every year?”

Isabel puts her chin in her hand, “No. He won’t…not my brother. This is his life, now…looking for Liz.” She laughs sarcastically, “What do you think he’ll do if he ever does find her? He won’t have anything to do with his spare time.” She gets up and she drags Jesse into the living room to look at some paint samples.

Michael gets up, bringing his plate to the sink and he looks out the window above it, watching Grace and Alex play in the yard with the neighbor kid. Their laughter is carried into the house and he thinks to himself, “It looks like being a kid is so much fun.” He watches for several minutes, envying them their youth…their innocence. That’s how Max, Isabel and his childhood’s should have been. Playing hide-n-seek in the front yard with the neighbor kids…not hide-n-seek from the world.

He turns from the window and walks into the living room, rescuing Jesse from piles of paint chips and fabric, “Come on Jesse, lets go take a look at your car…see if we can figure out what’s wrong with it.” Earning him a grateful look from Jesse, and the evil eye from Isabel.


Part 7~

May 15, 2013
Dallas-Fort Worth Airport-7pm

While Max gets a car at the rental counter, Maria is hunting down a hotel that’s nearby the address they have for the bank branch.

Max walks toward the bank of phones that Maria has been standing at for 20 minutes, carrying an envelope with the car rental paperwork and a set of car keys. “Find anything?”

Maria finishes writing in her notebook, “Yup. Embassy Suites…you get the couch.” She says as she starts walking toward the car rental shuttles.

Max picks up their bags and follows Maria, muttering, “Like that was even a question.” and he smirks as they leave the terminal.

At the hotel, Max is aimlessly flipping through the TV channels before finally turning it off, when Maria gets out of the bathroom from her shower and sits on the sofa. “So, I think we need to go over our options.” She says and she grabs a slice of the pizza they had ordered as soon as they arrived.

Max has Maria’s notebook open on the table in front of him, “Ok. First scenario…she packed up a moving truck yesterday morning and is driving the truck here herself. It would take about 3 days to get here from Philly, assuming she stops to sleep at night. Second scenario…she hired movers to pack and drive the truck and she flew here. That means that she’s already in Dallas and she has a 2 day head start on us.”

Maria chews her pizza, staring at the ceiling deep in thought. “Oooo…kay, I say we work with the first scenario. We stake out the bank for the next couple of days, assume she’ll get to town some time tomorrow and will need to go to the bank either when she gets here, or the next day. If we don’t see any sign of her, the only thing left to do would be visit the local rental companies and lie our asses off for information.” She takes another bite of her pizza and looks at Max.

“Sounds like a plan.” Max says as he makes some notes in the notebook.

“You can wear some tight pants and smooth talk the girls at the rental companies.” She winks at him as she wiggles her eyebrows.

Max laughs and says, “Oh yah? What if there’s a guy? What are you gonna do?”

Maria pats her belly and says, “I’m not thinking big, pregnant chicks are considered sexy these days, so I guess we’d be out of luck…unless he’s gay, then you’re back in the game.” She starts laughing at him.

“Have another piece of pizza, Maria. I saw a diner across from the bank, we can set up our stake out there…that way you can eat all you want.” Max laughs back and runs to the bathroom as a pillow sails through the air in his direction.

Thursday, May 16, 2013
Dallas Diner-8:30am

Max checked out the bank’s hours yesterday…8:30 to 5pm. and they arrive at the diner in time to see it open and settle in for a long wait. They both order breakfast and eat in silence.

The morning passes quickly as Maria reads a book that she brought with her and Max reads the paper, doing the crossword puzzle. After the first couple of hours, their waitress realizes that they aren’t going anywhere and keeps their drinks filled, making chit-chat every once in a while. She finds out they’re looking for a long lost friend who they think is moving to the area and will be going to the bank across the street. She shrugs as she makes the rounds at her tables…she’s seen weirder.

2:00pm rolls around, and Maria’s getting antsy. “I’m going for a walk, Max. I can’t stay in this diner one more minute...I need some fresh air. You’ll keep an eye on things while I’m gone?” she says as she slides her way out of the booth.

“Sure. Take your time.” Max says, giving her a look of sympathy at her discomfort. He watches her walk out the door and turn to walk in front of the diner…making a face at him as she passes his window. He smiles and thinks how glad he is that she caught up with him at the airport in Roswell. He left without her because she’s 6 months pregnant, and he didn’t think she should be traipsing around on another one of their goose hunts. And he didn’t think Michael would be too happy about it, either. But as he watches her bounce down the street, he realizes that Maria is no delicate flower. She had a good first pregnancy, and this one looks like it’s following the same path. Not that she won’t milk it for all it’s worth, though. He smiles as he remembers Maria confiding to him when she was pregnant with the twins, “I have to make Michael think that I’m helpless, terribly uncomfortable and in agonizing pain because it’s the only time I can get him to agree with everything I say. Hey, I gotta work with what I got, right?” When he can’t see her anymore, he returns to the magazine he bought at the hotel that morning.

When almost an hour has passed, Max starts getting worried. Maria wasn’t back yet. Looking over at the bank, then down the street in the direction Maria walked in, he contemplates going to look for her. But just then, his cell phone rings. “Calm down, over-protective guy. I found a baby store and I couldn’t help myself…I’m buying a few things. I’ll be back soon.” Maria says quickly.

“Ok, just…you should have called sooner. I was worried.” Max says, sinking back into his seat.

“I’m sorry. Consider me chastised. Bye.” She clicks off and shakes her head. When she was pregnant with the twins, she discovered she had a weird alien-mood-antenna and could pick up on Michael, Max and Isabel’s emotions when they were close enough. Thankfully it went away after she had the twins and she’s counting on the same thing happening when she has this baby. Thank goodness they live in L.A., or she might go crazy if she had to be tuned into nine months of Max’s brooding. Dealing with Michael’s emotions was more than enough for her to handle.

About 20 minutes later, Max catches sight of Maria walking back down the street, lugging bags in both hands. “Geez, did she buy the place out?” he thinks to himself with a smile.

She brings all the bags in the diner with her and stacks them in the booth. “What?!” she exclaims when she sees the look on Max’s face. “They were having a sale.”

When 5pm comes and they still haven’t seen any sign of Liz, they resign themselves to the fact that they’ll be back tomorrow and order some dinner.

Maria calls Michael to give him an update as they wait for their food to arrive. “No sign of her yet. We’re thinking of going to see a movie tonight and go to bed early.”

“Alright. I miss you…the kids miss you, too. And yes…they had a bath last night.” Michael heads off the question he knows is coming.

“Good. Thank you for being so patient, Michael.”

“No problem. Are you taking care of yourself? Been eating healthy? What are you having for dinner?” he asks her.

Maria looks down at the plate of fried cheese sticks and pizza that the waitress just delivered and bites her lip, “Um…chicken, potatoes, and green beans.” She lies as she looks over at Max, choking on the bite of sandwich he just took.

“Ok. Let me talk to Max for a minute.” He says as he rolls his eyes.

Maria hands the phone to Max giving him a look of warning, “Hey Michael, what’s up?”

“Nothing, everything’s fine here. Some woman from your department called to confirm your trip to Phoenix in two weeks.” He tells Max before getting on to the important question, “Maria’s eating junk and pizza isn’t she?”

Max looks out the window quickly and says, “Yup. Thanks for taking care of things there, I’ll talk to you later.” And he hands the phone quickly back to Maria.

“Michael, I’m fine…taking it easy, so don’t worry.” Maria says into the phone as she looks suspiciously over at Max.

“Oh, Isabel tried to dreamwalk Liz last night and she got through. She didn’t get a sense of where she was at but she was…um…dreaming.” Michael informs Maria.

“Really?! Why didn’t you tell Max?” she wonders as Max’s head snaps up to look at her.

“Well, she was having a dream about Max…a…a sex dream…and they were…” Michael starts to fill her in and Maria’s cheeks turn a deep red as she looks away from Max.

“Oh my God!” she says in a low voice after he tells her about the dream, giggling. “Are you serious?!”

“Yah, so I guess it’s up to you whether you wanna tell him about it or not. I figure you’d know best if he should know or not.” Michael says. “You remember how he got the other times Isabel got through and told us what Liz was dreaming about.”

“Great, thanks a lot, Michael.” She says sarcastically. “Alright, I’ll call you later. Love you.” And she turns off the phone, glancing up at Max.

“What was all that about?” Max asks her.

“Oh. Um…Isabel. She was able to dreamwalk Liz last night.” She begins, “but she didn’t see anything telling her where Liz is.”

“So what’s the big deal. Why couldn’t Michael tell me that?” he takes another bite of his sandwich and looks back up to her.

“Liz was having a dream…about you…” she leans in closer to him over the table, “…a very vivid sex dream.” She finishes and trying to hold her laughter in she looks down at her plate and picks up a cheese stick.

“Oh.” Max says as his face turns bright red and he looks down at the table, his brow furrowing. He looks back up at Maria and starts to ask for more details when the waitress comes to their table to refill their drinks.

“Hey, where did you all say your friend would be coming from?” she asks as she pours more soda in Max’s glass.

“Philadelphia. Why?” he looks up at her.

Pointing out the window their booth sits in front of, she says, “Because there’s a U-Haul out there at that light that says Philadelphia on the side. And I’m pretty sure those plates there are from Pennsylvania.” And she leaves for another table.

Max and Maria whip their heads around and sure enough, sitting right in front of the diner at a red light is a U-Haul. Max tries to see in the cab but can’t see anything more than it’s a woman driving. In a flurry, he flies out of his seat, wildly looking around at all their things strewn all over the seats and the table…along with their food and unpaid bill. He struggles in his back pocket for his wallet with one hand and digs around in his front pocket for the car keys. Glancing out the window every couple of seconds to make sure the truck is still there, he looks frantically at Maria.

She sees their predicament and looks up at him, “Go Max. There’s no time, just go. I’ll wait here.”

He doesn’t need any more encouragement than that as he flies out of the diner and gets in the car. Maria looks out the window as the light turns green and the truck pulls forward. “Please let it be her, please let it be her…” she silently repeats to herself. And she watches Max tear out of the parking lot, after the truck.


Part 8~

Liz Parker looks down at the paper lying on the seat next to her one more time. She’s slowly driving down a residential street, looking for the number she has written down. The street is lined with gigantic trees and the sun is just starting to set. It’s as good a place as any, she thinks. Finally seeing the number she’s looking for, she pulls the truck up to the curb in front. It’s a small house, and it looks like all the other houses on the street. That’s good…anonymity is good.

The windows in the cab are down and she can feel a warm breeze come in…blowing across her face as she turns the engine off. She looks down the street that stretches in front of her and she takes a deep breath, letting it out slowly. The sound of kids playing drifts in through the window, although she can’t see them. She wonders how long she has as she leans forward, resting her head on the steering wheel as she caresses the small of her back. “Damn it! Damn it! Damn it!” she grinds out through clenched teeth and pounds at the steering wheel in frustration. Suddenly, an uncontrollable sob escapes her throat and she can’t stop the flood from coming. She stays like that for several minutes, draped over the wheel and sobbing. “Will my life ever be normal?” she wonders to herself.

It doesn’t take her long to get herself back under control. “Keep it together, Parker.” She says to herself and she takes a deep breath, wipes the tears off her face and jumps out of the truck.

5 minutes earlier…

Max easily catches sight of the U-Haul and follows it through a maze of residential streets. It finally pulls over in front of a house on the left side of the street and stops at the curb, engine turning off. He stays back a ways and parks on the right side of the street, cuts the engine and gets out of the car. Walking slowly up the right side of the street, his eyes never leave the U-Haul. He stays in the shadows and tries to stay unnoticed as he approaches the spot across the street from the truck.

He hears something coming from the truck before he can see inside of it…someone crying. As he gets even with the cab, he steps behind a tree and peeks around…searching the inside of the cab across the street. He sees a woman leaning over the steering wheel, crying loudly. His heart aches at the thought that it might be Liz, and for a brief moment, he really hopes it’s not her. Because if it is, she’s probably crying because of him…because she had to run from him once again. He watches her sit up and wipe the hair back from her face and he gasps…it is Liz. He feels as if his heart stops beating and he can’t move.

She seems to say something to herself and she quickly gets out of the truck, walking around it to the mailbox. He’s paralyzed. What should he do? Suddenly he doesn’t have a thought in his head. He can’t make himself move out from behind this tree. He shakes his arms, “Come on, Max…get it together and just go over there.” He says to himself. Damn. Maria should be here…she’d be running over to Liz already.

What’s he going to say? Will she just take off again? He’s waging an inner battle as he watches her grab a large envelope from the mailbox and head to the front door of the house. She’s wearing cut off jean shorts and a torn t-shirt that has Nebraska written across it. Max wonders if she lived there at some point. Her hair is shorter, but he knew that already.

He can still hear her crying in his head, and he can’t make himself move. But before he can do anything, she’s disappeared inside the house. Standing there for few more moments…staring at the front door of the house, he can’t decide what to do. He knows Maria’s right…they need to talk to her. But…seeing her…all the reasons that they need to do that have flown out of his head. And her crying…she seemed so…broken. Making a decision, he quickly makes his way back to his car and looks toward her house one last time. He finally starts the car and turns around, heading back to the diner.

When he walks in and sees Maria’s face fall at seeing him, he knows she’s assuming it wasn’t Liz. He makes his way to the booth and sits down. Taking a deep breath, he says, “It was her.”

“What?!” she yells at him, “then what are you doing here?! You just left her there? Did you talk to her? Why are you back so soon, Max?” she rapid fires questions at him.

Max looks up at her, then back down to the table. “I just couldn’t, Maria. When I got there, she was sobbing…it was awful. She didn’t see me, I hid behind a tree across the street.” He says softly. “I just could come out from behind that damn tree and say anything to her…I couldn’t make myself move.” He laughs ironically.

Maria smiles with him at the shared memory of Max needing to ‘come out from behind the tree’. “Well, let’s go…I’m going back with you…” she begins.

“Maria, I don’t think we should. I don’t think I can do it…I don’t think I can face her.” Max admits.

Maria grabs his hands across the table, “Max, I’m sorry buddy, but we’re going. WE, as in you and me, are going to march up to her door and knock on it until she answers. Then we’re going to tell her what she needs to know. If she wants us to leave after that…we’ll leave. You can do this, Max. We’ve been waiting to do this for 10 years.” She squeezes his hands for reassurance. “But first, we’re going back to the hotel so I can shower. I’m not going to see her after this long smelling like a greasy diner.” She smiles and slides out of the booth, gathering her bags.

Max swallows and follows Maria out of the diner, helping her into the car. “You do smell kinda funky.” And she swats him on the arm as she sits down as he walks around, getting into the driver’s seat.

2 hours later…

Sitting in the car parked behind the U-Haul, Maria looks at the house and turns to Max, “So this is it?”

He nods and doesn’t make a move to get out. Maria takes a deep breath, grabs the door handle and says, “Let’s get this over with, I have to pee.” as she gets out of the car.

They walk slowly across the yard and Maria can see shadows of someone moving around inside…all the windows brightly lit from inside. They can hear loud music coming from inside…”Dave Matthews”, Max thinks. “She still listens to Dave Matthews.” Maria says to him softly, echoing his thoughts.

At the front door, Max backs away quickly. Maria turns and sees the panic in his eyes. She catches up with him in the middle of the yard, “Max. Listen to me. Max, it’ll be ok. Alright? I didn’t travel all the way around the country while 6 months pregnant to have you chicken out on me now! You got it?! So get yourself pulled together!” she has a hand on his cheek and she’s trying to give him an encouraging look. “It’ll be alright…what do think she’s gonna do, shoot fire out of her eyes at you?” she tries to lighten the mood.

“Maria?” Maria hears a quiet voice, a voice that’s not coming from Max.

Max and Maria whip their heads around to see Liz, standing in her doorway with a look of…what? Shock? Anger? Both? Max can’t tell. She’s covered with smudges of dirt and sweat, hair pulled up lazily in a ponytail…some of it hanging in her face. In her right hand, she has a sponge that’s dripping water on the floor while her other hand holds on to the door.

The three off them stand in silence, staring at each other as the sound of Dave Matthews drifts out into the yard.



At the front door, Max backs away quickly. Maria turns and sees the panic in his eyes. She catches up with him in the middle of the yard, “Max. Listen to me. Max, it’ll be ok. Alright? I didn’t travel all the way around the country while 6 months pregnant to have you chicken out on me now! You got it?! So get yourself pulled together!” she has a hand on his cheek and she’s trying to give him an encouraging look. “It’ll be alright…what do think she’s gonna do, shoot fire out of her eyes at you?” she tries to lighten the mood.

“Maria?” Maria hears a quiet voice, a voice that’s not coming from Max.

Max and Maria whip their heads around to see Liz, standing in her doorway with a look of…what? Shock? Anger? Both? Max can’t tell. She’s covered in dirt and sweat, hair pulled up lazily in a ponytail…some of it hanging in her face. In her right hand, she has a sponge that’s dripping water on the floor while her other hand holds on to the door.

The three off them stand in silence, staring at each other as the sound of Dave Matthews drifts out into the yard.

Part 9~

“Liz!” Maria flies toward her and hesitates for a second when she reaches her before pulling her in to a hug. “Oh my God, Liz!” she cries as Liz slowly raises her arms to embrace her.

After a few moments, Max finds himself slowly backing away toward the street…his eyes on Liz and Maria embracing in the doorway.

“Stop right there, Evans!” Maria yells at him, not letting go of Liz. “You move one more inch and I will have to kick your ass.”

He stops and Maria steps back from Liz, but doesn’t let go.

Liz glances over at Max for a split second, then back at Maria and down to her protruding stomach. “Well, you might as well come in. No need to give the neighbors a show…I’m new here.” and she turns to go back in the house, leaving the door open behind her.

Maria turns, waving her hand at Max…urging him forward to follow her through the door. He closes it behind him and stays standing in front of it.

Liz has gone over to a boombox that’s sitting on top of some stacked boxes and turns it off. She turns around, glancing at Max and says, “There’s a chair in the back bedroom. Can you go get it and bring it out here so Maria can sit down?”

He nods and walks in the direction she’s pointing. He walks past a kitchen and into a short hallway. Finding the room she must have been talking about, he walks in and sees that her huge bed has already been set up. He smiles slightly, heading for her chair and he carries it out to the living room.

Liz has disappeared into the kitchen and he can hear her filling plastic cups with ice and filling them with water. She reappears, and pauses as she enters the living room. Max has brought the chair in and Maria stands next to it with her hand out, stroking the fabric on the back. She looks up at Max, seemingly in question, and he nods at her. This makes her smile and her attention is back to the chair. When she sits in it, her smile grows wider and she again looks up at Max with a look of amazement.

Confused about the entire exchange, Liz walks further into the room and hands Maria one of the cups of water. She sets the second cup on the floor next to the chair and she walks back a few feet, sitting on the floor with the last cup.

Max moves to pick up the cup next to the chair, clearly left for him, and he sits on the floor not far from Maria. He can’t look at Liz and instead looks around the room. It has hardwood floors with light beige walls. There are several boxes lined up against a far wall and a bucket in the center of the room surrounded by cleaning supplies, rags and paper towels.

Liz finally speaks up, “So…what’s the thing…” she waves between Maria sitting in the chair and Max, “…with the chair?”

Maria smiles and continues to absently rub the fabric on the arm. “Oh, that. Um…I’ve had a sort of obsession with this chair ever since you got it.” she laughs nervously.

Liz doesn’t say anything, just looks at Maria in confusion.

Suddenly, Maria bolts out of the chair, “Oh man, I gotta pee!” she rolls her eyes, pointing to her stomach as she looks at Liz.

Liz smiles, getting up off the floor and says, “Here, it’s back this way.” and she leads Maria down the hall.

“The toilet paper is sitting on the counter and there are towels stacked on the bathtub.” Liz says as she opens the door to the bathroom for Maria.

“Thanks. Don’t kill him while I’m gone, ok?” Maria says with a wink as she closes the door.

Walking back into the living room, Liz sees that Max is standing in the middle of the floor…his hands in his pockets, staring at the door. When she walks back in, his head swings around to her.

She takes a deep breath, shifting on her feet slightly and she looks away…to anything but him. She looks back up and he’s looking at the floor, glancing up at her every few seconds.

“What are you doing here, Max?” she finally blurts out.

Max couldn’t possibly be more uncomfortable as he looks from the floor, to her and back to the floor again. Finally, while looking at something that’s apparently totally engrossing on his shoe, he says in a whisper she can barely hear, “I see you.”

An incredulous look comes to her face as she says, “Yah, Max. I see you, too. You’re standing right in front of me. What is that supposed to mean? ‘I see you’.” She mutters the last part to herself as she paces to one side of the room.

“Great.” Max thinks to himself. How stupid am I? What am I, some kind of idiot? He looks up at her…at a loss for words and opens his mouth, only to close it again.

Liz watches him and sighs deeply, stops her pacing and turns her head to watch Maria walk back into the room.

Maria looks from Max to Liz, wondering what’s going on. She sees Max repeatedly looking at the door and she can feel his agitation, fear, self-deprecation and most of all…panic.

She walks back over to the chair and sits down, “Liz, if you’ll sit down, we have a lot to explain to you.” And she watches as Liz glances back up at Max, anger in her eyes, and sits back down on the floor.

“Max, buddy, you’re gonna have to calm down…or you’re gonna give me a heart attack. Ok?” she looks over at him with her eyebrows raised.

He immediately goes to her side, “Are you ok? I’m sorry.” and puts his hand on her belly…checking.

Maria swats it away and says, “I’m fine, just keep the emotions in check.” with a smile.

As Liz watches this, she’s confused more than ever. Is that Max’s child? This gives her a slight pang but she brushes it away.

Max sits down next to Maria and Maria starts, “Ok, I don’t know what Max said…or didn’t say…so I think the best thing to do would be to start at the beginning.”

Liz stays silent for a moment, then looks up angrily at both of them and says, “Look, I don’t know what you think you have to tell me that’s so important, but you shouldn’t be here. You need to go back home.”

A look of sadness crosses Maria’s face, but she continues, “We’ll leave if you want us to…but there are things we think you need to know first.” She looks to Liz, gauging her reaction before continuing. “You know, the thing…with the chair?” at Liz’s nod, she goes on, “I know about this chair because Max sees it. Every year, on the same date, at the same time, Max is pulled to you in his sleep…to wherever you are. He sees you…he sees you sleeping.”

Liz looks sharply over to Max, “It was you! The other night, you were in my room!” she stands up and shakes her arms out and paces across the floor. “I can’t believe this! What gives you the right? What makes you think you can invade my privacy like that?” she fires at Max. “You have no idea what you’ve done!” Turning to Maria, she adds, “And you knew about this? How could you?” tears come to her eyes as she backs away from them, shaking her head back and forth.

“Liz…Liz, you don’t understand.” Max says softly as he takes a step toward her…only to see her take a step back. “I’m not doing it…I’m not the one making this happen.”

Looking at Maria, then back to Max, “Well, then who’s doing it?” But she already knows…she realizes now.

Max looks at the floor, swallows, then moves forward a couple of steps closer to Liz. He raises his gaze up to meet hers, takes a deep breath and furrows his brow, then says…

posted on 7-May-2002 10:10:05 AM
Part 10~

“You are, Liz…you’re doing it.”

Liz’s reaction isn’t quite what they’re expecting. Her eyes open wide, “Ok, that’s not exactly what I was thinking…but ok.” She thinks to herself as she stares in shock at Max before she races for a box in the hall, rips it open and dumps the contents on the floor. Looking over her shoulder, she pleads with Max, “Get over here and help me.”

Throwing a confused look in Maria’s direction, he quickly joins her and looks down…sheets? She has a sudden urge to make the bed? He stands there, watching her…confused…when she shoves some into his arms and tells him to grab the hammer and tacks that are on the kitchen counter. “You shouldn’t be here, Max. Start covering all the windows.” When he continues to just stand there, baffled, holding the sheets, she tells him, “Just do it, Max…now!”

Max looks over at Maria and finds the same confused expression on her face as she rises from the chair, “Did you hear what he said, Liz? You’re using some weird alien power to pull him to you.”

“Yes, I heard him, Maria.” Liz says as she races into the front room and frantically starts nailing a sheet above a window to cover it. “It’s not me, It’s not me that’s doing it.”

Once Max and Liz get all the windows covered, they return to the living room. Liz looks scared, her gaze darting around the room frantically looking for….where is it? She throws a couple of boxes off the top of a stack in the corner and finds what she’s looking for…her laptop. As she’s plugging it in and plugging her cell phone into it, Max and Maria watch her, “What’s going on, Liz? What are you doing?” Maria asks her finally…thinking that Liz has clearly lost her mind.

Liz looks over at them and looks around the room wildly, then back at them. “You shouldn’t be here.” She says again, stressing every word. She looks down at Maria’s protruding belly and looks up at her, “You need to go, you need to get away from me.”

“No! We’re not going anywhere until you tell us what’s going on!” Maria cries and shakes her head. “Max! Make her tell us what’s going on!”

Max looks over to Maria with an eyebrow raised as if to say, “And how exactly am I going to do that?”

Frustrated, Liz turns her attention back to her laptop. Typing in a few commands, she starts reading and noticeably relaxes. She sits back on her heels and wipes at her forehead, sighing with, it seems, relief. “Ok…we’re ok.” She absently says to herself, then turns to look at Max and Maria. Realizing what she must look like, she gives Maria a small smile and stands up. “Wow…you must think I’m a freak.”

“Crazy and lunatic are just two of the terms crossing my mind right now, Liz. What are you doing?” Maria says.

Liz smiles at her and says, “I can explain. You can’t stay very long, but I’ll try to explain what I can…then you have to leave.”

Liz goes out to the truck to bring in some kitchen chairs for them to sit on while she sends Max into the kitchen to get some peanuts and chips that are sitting on the counter. When they’re all comfortable, no one knows how to start. Liz finally looks up at Maria and says with a laugh, “So…the chair…you like it, huh?”

Maria laughs and says, “Not really, I mean, I never did like it from Max’s descriptions.” She touches the fabric on the arm and says, “When he first told me about it, I was horrified. It sounded just awful! I mean, brown? He told me it was well used and the fabric looked like it was ready to fall off. I drew it over and over again, imagining it in my mind, until Max said that I got it right. And I still couldn’t believe that you’d have such a thing in your house.” She laughs at the memory. “Michael was soooo tired of talking about this chair. He would roll his eyes and leave the room, muttering about his crazy wife.”

“So…you and Michael. You got married?” Liz asks in amazement and slight relief.

“Yup. A few months after graduation.” Maria winces as she mentions graduation and looks at Liz for her reaction.

Liz just nods and gives Maria an understanding smile. “You don’t seem to have a problem with it now.” She notices as she points to the chair.

“Now I see why you kept it. It’s comfy…cozy. It feels like home.” Maria says as she rubs her hand over the arm. “Every year, I’d ask Max if you’d gotten rid of it yet. It started to become a joke.” She chuckles as she looks over at Max.

Liz looks at Max then, too. “I thought I was seeing things…in Philly…hoped that I was seeing things.”

“I’m sorry, Liz.” Max says as he looks up at her. “I never meant to scare you into running again.”

Liz pauses a moment, looking into his eyes. “It’s ok, I’m used to moving a lot.”

“Yah, I know.” He replies as he notices a deep looking scar on her forehead before looking away quickly.

“Liz, there’s a reason we’ve been looking for you. There’s a reason we’re here.” Maria says.

Liz shifts her gaze to Maria, “I had hoped that I hid myself well enough so that this would never happen. Guess I slipped by leaving that bill out in the open.” She looks at Max once again, “So, how is everyone? Tess probably isn’t happy that you’re following me around the country, huh?” she asks as her gaze shifts down to the pile of peanuts in front of her.

“Liz, Tess is dead.” Max tells her, meeting her gaze.

“Oh…I’m…I’m sorry.” Liz looks embarrassed.

“No, Liz…you don’t understand.” Maria begins, “Liz, she orchestrated everything. She made Max act the way he was acting…made him say the things he said to you that day. The baby…she stole it. She was never even pregnant. She couldn’t have been, because her and Max never had sex.”

Liz looks from Max to Maria, and back to Max. “Are you serious? But you…you had a connection with him. You had flashes when he was born…and you connected to him when Tess came back.” She says, confused.

“She sent me those flashes. She made me think I was connecting to him. Khivar sent her away when she reached Antar and she wasn’t pregnant. He sent her back to Earth…she didn’t escape like she told us. She was desperate and did every thing she could to worm her way back in.” Max explains, “She even…she…she…” he couldn’t finish. He drops his head to the table as tears threaten to come.

“Liz, Tess made you miscarry your baby. She knew you were pregnant and she couldn’t let you have that child. If you did, she knew she would lose Max to you forever. Like he wasn’t already, but that’s beside the point.” Maria finishes for Max.

Liz stares at Maria in shock…a look of horror written across her face. The three sit in silence for several moments before Liz finally clears her throat and speaks. “How did she die?”

“She killed herself. She killed herself when she realized that Michael was going to kill her.” Maria tells her. “The same day you left.”

All these years, Liz thinks, all these years she thought it was her…that she was the reason she lost the baby. She can’t stop the tears that come and she covers her face with her hands.

Maria grabs one of Liz’s hands, “I’m so sorry, Liz. But she got what she deserved…she got what she deserved for what she did to Alex and to you. We just wanted you to know. That’s why we’ve been looking for you. We thought you should have all the facts if you were going to stay away…if you were going to keep running away from us.” She chokes up before continuing, “We miss you, Liz…everyone does. Please come home with us.” she adds softly.

Liz looks up at Max, who has been watching her, “Max, I’m sorry…I’m sorry you lost your son, too.”

“I didn’t have a son to lose, Liz.” He tells her. “What I lost was you…you and our child.”

After Liz takes a few moments to collect her thoughts, she gets up and goes to the kitchen for more water. She stares at the running water wondering how her life got so screwed up…wondering if it will ever be normal. “If I just wouldn’t have run in the first place…so much pain…so much lost.” She thinks to herself, as she watches the water swirl in the sink before falling down into the drain.

When she walks back in the living room, she raises her chin and looks at Max, “I can’t…I can’t come back with you. I want you to leave…and forget about me.”

“But why, Liz? You can come home, there’s no reason for you to stay away…we just told you, Tess was lying. And she’s gone now. You can come back home with us.” Maria cried.

“No, Maria…I can’t.” Liz sits back down. “Yes, I left because of Tess…and Max…and the whole situation. I just…couldn’t deal with it again. I couldn’t deal with it anymore.” Her gaze shifts over to Max and she steels herself for what she’s about to say…which is whatever she has to say to get them to leave. Taking a deep breath, she continues, “I…after you left…in the gym, with Tess…it just all hit me. I kept thinking that you should have just let me die in the Crashdown that day. If you had then I wouldn’t have had to suffer through all the alien bullshit for the following 3 years. After everything…all the secrets, the lies, and putting up with how you treated me, Max. I was just tired of it all. I was tired of being treated like a 2nd class piece of crap by all of you…when you were the ones that didn’t belong here…you were the ones who came to our planet and totally screwed with our lives. So I left. I couldn’t even stand to look at any of you anymore.” She finishes and glances up at Max.

Max shrinks back at her words…shriveling inside at each one. He knows she’s right, there isn’t a minute of the day that he doesn’t remember how he treated Liz…how awful he was to her. He’s looking down at his shoes…not wanting to see the hatred in her eyes…the accusation. He felt his heart twist in his chest and all he wants to do is do what she asks…leave.

Maria is baffled at Liz’s tirade. She had no idea that Liz had felt like that. “Liz…don’t you think you’re being a little harsh? I mean, you are the one who kind of forced them to let you help. Yes, I agree that Max treated you like crap there for a while, but did you have to take off and not contact anyone, not even me, for all this time?!”

Turning to see Maria’s teary eyes, she says, “That’s not why I stayed away. It’s why I left in the first place. I stayed away because I…I would have put you in danger. All of you…but especially you, Max…you and your son. You may not have a son now, but you’re still in danger. And even after it all, I had this stupid sense of loyalty…and I hated myself for it but I still had to protect you.” She sighs loudly and rubs her hands over her face and she hopes that it was enough…enough guilt to get him to leave.

Feeling himself slowly die inside at what Liz has said, he looks up at her last words. “In danger?” Max exclaims, “In danger from who? And why would you have anything to do with someone looking for me?”

Liz looks at Max…notices the new lines on his face and saddens realizing that she’s probably the reason they’re there. “Khivar. Max, Khivar will kill you if he finds you here.”


Part 11~

“Hold on. Khivar is here…with you? What are you doing with him?!” Maria cuts in, more confused than ever. She looks over at Max worriedly.

Looking at them for a moment, she makes a quick decision. “Yes, he is. That’s why you need to leave.”

“What?!” Maria cries out. “What do you mean, he’s here? As in ‘with’ you, or…or…what are you talking about? Max…what is she taking about? Would you say something to her already?”

Max watches Liz’s face…the way she can’t look at him…the way she’s biting the corner of her bottom lip. He thinks about the awful crying he heard when she was sitting outside in the truck earlier. “You’re lying.” He says to her simply.

Her gaze flies up to his, “No, I’m not. I’m sorry, Max” she raises her chin and looks past him to the wall on the other side of the room.

Max stalks across the room and grabs her arms, “You’re lying!” He says through clenched teeth. “And I’m not moving from this spot until you start telling the truth!”

Wrenching herself out of his grip, Liz breaks away and yells angrily at him, “God, Max! Why won’t you just leave?! Just leave! I want you to go!” She cries out the last part and throws her hands up to her head and grimaces with frustration before continuing. “You don’t belong here. It’s been a long time…and…and…” she looks around her, hoping something will suddenly inspire her when she whips her head around and says a little too forcefully, “He loves me! That’s…that’s why you have to go. He’ll kill you if he finds you here.”

She looks down at the floor, biting her lip, briefly thinking, “God, that was lame. I hope Max doesn’t remember that Khivar can’t stay her for very long. Maybe…he never was very good at remembering important details.” before looking back up at Max defiantly…her chin raised.

Max just stands there, his arms crossed, watching her tirade with no expression on his face…patiently waiting. Liz looks over to Maria and sees her just shrugs her shoulders at Liz.

Sinking to the floor, she sighs and cradles her head in her hands. “Shit! Fine…fine!” She takes a deep breath and admits, “He’s not here…not yet anyway. He’s the reason I’m constantly on the move, though. He follows me…tracks me wherever I go. He’s crazy.” She looks up at Max, pleads with him…knowing now that it’s over. He won’t leave her here now. “Don’t you see? He’s the one sending you to me in the middle of the night, Max. He wants you to find me, he’s always wanted you to find me, to lure you to me. Knowing him, he thinks it’s pretty amusing…baiting you like that. You don’t know how crazy he is…he…he…” she jerks her head back to Maria. “Can’t you talk some sense into him? You need to leave…now.”

Seeing that they’re not making a move to go anywhere, she sighs and glances over at her laptop, then says, “When I left…that day…graduation day…I didn’t go far. Just to Albuquerque. I was going to take a few days to regroup, to rethink my life, then go back to Roswell. But he showed up…at my hotel room. Khivar showed up…he did what he did when he came back for Isabel that time…remember?”

When Max and Maria nod and motion for her to continue, she says, “It was really strange. I didn’t know what he was talking about most of the time…and he…he kept telling me he was going to kill me. That killing me would destroy you, Max, and then he would have his chance.” She shuddered at the memory…remembering how scared she was. “He kept me there for days…” she drifts off and decides they don’t need to know details. “Until something snapped in him. He just…stopped his ranting. Then he did something to me…he got in my head. He saw that I had run away from Roswell…run away from you, Max. That’s when he came up with this crazy plan…or game…whatever he wants to call it. He was going to lure you away from Roswell, to separate you from the others…but especially Isabel. For some reason, he has a strong aversion to Vilondra…Isabel. He kept ranting about her off and on while he…” she looks away from them before finishing that train of thought. “Finally he left me there. He told me he’d be back when you showed up…because he knew…he knew that you would look for me. But he didn’t leave without putting something inside me…some kind of tracking device and monitor. No matter where I go, he can always find me. And he knows what I’m doing.” She takes a long sip of water before continuing.

“I told him…I told him that you, Isabel and Jesse had moved…so you and Isabel could to go to college…that you weren’t even in Roswell anymore. I tried to tell him that you wouldn’t try to find me…that you didn’t care about me.” she continues, “He’s afraid of Isabel, Max. That’s your trump card. For now anyway…it’s a game to him, that’s all it is.”

She sits down and looks at Maria. “Over the years, I became an expert at hiding. I changed my name…several times…and I moved constantly. Sometimes 3 or 4 times in a year, hoping it would be enough to keep you away from me…off my trail. I knew you would look. He stopped coming regularly after 3…or maybe 4 years. It’s kind of fuzzy. He still does, but not as often…Jaret and I think that he’s starting to get bored.”

At their looks when she mentions Jaret’s name, she explains. “He has others who keep tabs on me. Most just watch me, but there’s one who works closely with Khivar. His name is Jaret, I think he lives here…on Earth…but I’m not sure. He’s a shapeshifter…all the ones watching me are shapeshifters.” She says the last part as a whisper before straightening up and continuing. “When he first came to me, he told me that he’s a spy in Khivar’s camp…that he’d worked years to develop his cover. He said he was going to keep me safe and keep you safe, Max. I didn’t believe him for a long time, but after saving me from Khivar a few times, I started to believe him…to trust him. That’s who I was contacting on my laptop earlier. I checked with him on Khivar’s position…checking to see if Khivar knew you were here or if he was coming. We’re safe for now…and it helps that I just got here because the people who were watching me in Philly will have to move their camp, but you have to get out of here before he finds out. I didn’t tell Jaret that you’re here, but you need to leave.”

Liz stands up and looks at Max, “Max, if for no other reason, you have to get Maria out of here. Khivar would kill her in a minute…only because she’s carrying Michael’s child. And…and he would probably think that was cool in his twisted way.”

Maria instinctively puts her hands over her belly. “Liz, just come back with us. This is ridiculous…you see that, don’t you? You can’t run forever and you’ll be safer with us…in Roswell. What are you going to do…let him chase you around for the rest of your life?”

Max angrily shoots up from his chair, “This is not happening!” He looks at Liz and stalks across the room, grabbing her arms again. “We’re not leaving you here…I’m not leaving you here. I can’t Liz…you can’t ask me to do that. I don’t care how much you hate me right now.” He’s in a rage and turns from Liz to walk half-way to the door and back. “We’re leaving now. Grab what you need. If you don’t, I’ll call a cab for Maria and send her back to Roswell…but I’m not leaving here without you.”

He’s interrupted by the sound of Maria crying. He turns and sees Maria sobbing and telling him quietly to stop. He curses himself as he rushes to her…thinking that it’s the baby. But she gets up and goes to Liz, draping her arms around her and talking between her sobs. “Liz, please don’t do this. I need you. I need you to be there. I have two more kids…Grace…and Alex. They don’t even know you. They need you, too, Liz. I just can’t do this anymore…the constant wondering about where you are, what you’re doing. It’s too much. Please don’t do this to me anymore, Liz. Just do what Max says, and come home with us. Your parents! God, your parents think you’re dead! How could I ever face them…please…” she can’t say anymore because she’s sobbing so hard.

Liz holds her, telling her to calm down. Tears are running down her face as she thinks about how much she’s hurt Maria and her parents. She just doesn’t know what to do…she doesn’t know what to do anymore…and she wants it to be over. She knows Max won’t leave here…not now…and when Khivar comes, they’ll be sitting ducks. She blew it. “Ok, Maria. It’s ok” she says as she rubs her hand up and down Maria’s back, trying to quiet her sobs. “I’ll come…I’ll come with you…back to Roswell.”

“Ok.” Maria chokes out…still gripping Liz and crying.

“Ok.” Liz answers her back. She glances over to Max, who has slumped in the chair with his head in his hands. He breathes out a noticeable sigh of relief and nods his head.

“Liz?” Maria says in a small voice.


“I gotta pee again.”

And they both break out in a grin as Maria lets go of Liz and races toward the bathroom.

She turns to Max. “If we’re leaving…we need to leave now. You need to be close to Isabel and Michael. Unfortunately, he’s going to know I’m there…” she fades, her gaze straying towards the front door. Taking a deep breath and looking around the living room she says, “Come on…help me load this stuff back up in the truck.” And she turns to start re-packing boxes, leaving a confused and worried Max standing behind her.

“How did this happen?” Max thinks to himself as he watches Liz pack boxes in front of him. How did I let this happen?

Liz has already packed up her laptop and the few things from her bedroom when Maria comes out of the bathroom. Max is on the phone with Michael, filling him in on as much as he can and telling him that everyone needs to stay together…either at Max’s house or Isabel and Jesse’s. No one stays by themselves. He ends the call and rushes to Maria, “Are you ok? Do you need anything?”

“I’m ok, Max. Just a little hungry.” She laughs as she looks at her watch. It’s a little after 10pm and she feels like she’s starving.

“Ok, we’ll go back to the hotel and order some pizza…does that sound good?” he puts his arm around her and leads her into the living room.

“Yah, that sounds perfect.”

Max helps Liz carry the few pieces of furniture she had moved into the house back to the truck. All but one thing…the bed. They stand in the bedroom looking at it when Liz says, “Well, my neighbor carried the parts in and assembled it for me. It’s kinda big.”

“We don’t have time for it, Liz. We’ll get you a new one in Roswell.” Max says as he leaves the bedroom.

Liz follows him to the front door and Max asks her, “Is that it? Anything else?”

“Nope. I guess this is it.” She hesitates at the front door, looking at Maria waiting in the car. Her hand travels down to her lower back where she knows the tracking device is…nestled up against her spine. “Let’s go.”


Part 12~

Max drives the U-Haul and Liz rides in the car with Maria back to their hotel. Maria holds onto Liz’s hand the entire way. “Thank you, Liz. I’ve missed you so much.” She says as they pull into the parking lot.

Liz and Maria head up to the room, with Max following behind carrying Liz’s suitcase. They decided to stay the night at the hotel, then get an early start driving the U-Haul to Roswell. Liz tried to talk them into flying back to Roswell and she would drive the truck, but Max refused…saying that it was only a ten hour drive and they’d be in Roswell before anyone even knew she was gone.

In the room, Maria calls the pizza place and orders. Liz powers up her laptop again…she needs to contact Jaret again and make sure Khivar doesn’t know she’s with Max…and that he’s not planning to come anytime soon. She also needs to tell him she’s returning to Roswell. By now, he’s probably already picked up from her tracker that she’s with Max and Maria. He won’t be happy…and Khivar will definitely be coming when he finds out. But by the time that happens, they should already be there. Hopefully, Jaret will be able to stall him for a couple of days.

Max sits at the table and studies Liz while she works on her laptop. He notices a scar running down her neck for the first time. It disappears under her shirt and he cringes at the thought of how big it might actually be. He also clearly takes in her appearance for the first time. She’s thin…too thin. He can see her shoulder bones poking out from underneath her shirt. There are more scars…on her arms and on her legs. Looking back up to her face, he shifts in his chair as he looks more closely at it. There’s a scar from the corner of her mouth that dips down toward the bottom of her cheek. And the one on her forehead that he noticed earlier runs up to disappear in her hair line. Did Khivar do all that? He feels bile rising up in his throat as he thinks about what she’s gone through all these years…what she hasn’t told them. She looks like she’s been in a war.

Liz feels Max looking at her and glances up, noticing him looking at her scars with a grimace on his face. She recognizes that look because it’s the same one she has on her face every time she looks in the mirror. She meets his gaze for a moment before getting back to her transmission to Jaret. He’s not answering her call anymore, so she’s sending him a message, telling him she’s going back to Roswell.

“Can’t he just lie to Khivar about us being with you?” Max startles her out of her thoughts.

Looking back up to Max, she explains, “Jaret monitors most of the data from my tracker and he reports my activities back to Khivar. Khivar used to do it himself, but I guess he’s too busy…fighting…I’m not sure. But he can still see…what I’m doing…who I’m with…if he really felt like it. If he got bored one day…or if he doesn’t hear from Jaret quick enough. Jaret can only hope to delay him by withholding information for a few days…he can’t lie to him. If he does, his cover will be blown.” Sighing, she closes her laptop. “Khivar usually likes to come here whenever I move. Not all the time…especially when I’m moving frequently. But I was in Philadelphia for 3 years and he pretty much left me alone there. I’m sure that when he finds out I moved to Dallas, he’ll want to…come see me.” She unconsciously brings her hand up to the scar on her forehead and rubs it in thought as she watches Maria emerge from the shower.

Maria wanted to take a shower before the pizza arrived and as soon as she sees Maria walk into the sitting room, Liz hops up and heads to the bathroom for a shower herself. She feels so dirty from all the driving, unpacking, cleaning, crying and re-packing. It’s been a long day and all she wants to do is sink into bed and sleep for 12 hours. When she comes out of the bathroom, Maria is on the phone with Michael. It’s almost midnight and Maria is sleepily telling Michael that she’s ok and getting ready to go to bed. She tells him she loves him and clicks the phone off.

“Michael said to tell you that he’s glad you’re coming home, Liz. And that you have two very anxious kids waiting to meet you.” Maria says to Liz as she heads toward the bedroom. “I have to sleep. Liz, you can sleep with me…I’ll try not to hog all the covers. Good night, Max” and she disappears through the door, yawning.

Liz makes her way to the couch to sit down…Max is still sitting at the table watching her. They sit in uncomfortable silence for a few moments…neither knows what to say. She’s so emotionally drained and she leans forward, resting her elbows on her knees.

Max is replaying everything Liz said back at the house…and earlier when she told him about the tracker. He’s hurt her so much. And he doesn’t blame her one bit for wanting to get as far away from him as possible. “Liz,” he starts to say but Liz interrupts him.

“Can we just…not talk right now.” Liz says, not looking at him. She knows he has a million questions running through his head and she doesn’t have the energy to answer them right now. “I’m just so tired, and I don’t feel like talking about it right now.”

“Ok.” Max says. He wants answers…but knows it’ll take more time than they have right now to get them. He debates for a minute about pressing her, but changes his mind…not sure he’s ready to hear what she has to say right now anyway.

Instead, he says, “Will you let me try to take the tracker out?”

She hesitates, then nods and lays on the couch, face down. She feels Max sit down next to her and put his hand over her back. “Here?”

She cringes slightly at his touch and nods, yes, and she can fell the heat coming from his hand. He moves his hand over her lower back for a long time, then the heat goes away and all she can feel is his hand. He holds a small metal ball in his hand and looks at it for a moment…contemplating putting it in his pocket…instead, deciding to toss it in the trashcan. It would be better for it to remain in Dallas instead of traveling with them to Roswell. Looking down at her, he whispers, “I love you, Liz. I never stopped loving you…I couldn’t. I’m…so sorry.” And his hand moves up her back…intending to heal the ugly scars he sees there.

She sits up abruptly when his hand moves and pulls down her shirt. Looking at him for a few more moments, she rises and says, “Good night, Max.” and heads back to the bedroom.

Watching her run into the bedroom…away from him…Max sits back in the couch and brings both hands up to run through is hair. She’s afraid…she’s afraid he’ll see something in a flash. He could always tell what she was thinking and after ten years, it was no different. A few minutes pass before he shakes his head out of the daze he was in and pulls out the bed from the sofa before heading to the shower. After, he climbs into bed, thinking about Liz and everything she told them. He’s going to kill Khivar…for everything he’s done to Liz…and he’ll do it with a smile on his face.


Part 13~

Friday, May 17, 2013

They reach Roswell at 4 in the afternoon after driving straight there. Max drove most of the way, only taking a break when Liz insisted she take over. They’re all tired as they pile out of the cab and make their way through the front door of Max’s house. Liz doesn’t even have time to look at her surroundings before she’s caught up in a fierce hug. It’s Isabel. “God, Liz, thank God you came home!” Liz stiffens and tries to pull away from Isabel and she sees Michael swoop down on Maria, settling his hands over her stomach…making sure the baby is ok.

Maria swats his hands away and gives him a kiss. “Later, I have to pee.” And she heads further into the house, disappearing down a hallway.

As Isabel steps away from Liz, concerned at her reaction, Diane goes to Max and pulls him into a hug. “I’m glad you’re back, Max. We were so worried.”

“It’s ok, mom. Max whispers to his mom and meets Isabel’s gaze over her shoulder. He smiles at her and she nods while smiling back.

Liz tries to get through the group gathered around the door when she feels a pair of big arms engulf her. “We all missed you, Liz. Thank you for coming back.” Michael says in her ear. Liz closes her eyes as tears come to them and she hangs loosely in his embrace.

Max untangles himself from his mom and says, “Alright everyone, how about we let Liz breathe a little.” He watches her as they all move away toward the kitchen and living room and he and Michael go out to the truck to haul in the suitcases.

“Hey man, I’m really glad you found her.” Michael says to Max as they walk back to the house. “Everything will be ok, now that she’s home.”

Max looks at him with an expression that Michael can’t translate, “Maybe.”

Maria’s sitting in the kitchen with Michael as he heats up some leftovers for Maria. “Michael, she’s so defeated. She was so scared when she saw us at her front door. I’d never seen that look on her face.” She takes a sip of the tea Michael made for her. “I mean, she was determined that we leave her there! Can you believe that?! Leave her there for Khivar to do what he wants with her. You should have heard some of the things she said to try to get us to leave. Did you see the scars? He did that to her. I know it. She didn’t tell us what he did to her…has been doing to her, but she just looks awful!” She shakes her head trying to hold back her tears.

“It’ll be ok, Maria. We’ll make it ok.” He tells her as he sets a plate of stir fry vegetables in front of her. “Eat. I know it’s the first decent meal you’ve had since you left.” And he kisses the top of her head and walks to the doorway that leads to the living room. “Hey Liz…Max, there’s food in here in you want some.”

Max watches as Isabel sits next to Liz on the couch…she can’t stop touching Liz and Diane is telling Liz all about Grace and Alex, who are over at Amy’s. Liz looks uncomfortable and she turns to Max, “You know, I just want to go take a shower if that’s ok. I’m so tired…and…” looking around at everyone gathered around her…Isabel, Diane, Jesse…”I just…I really just want to relax.” She’s giving Max a pleading look.

Max gets up and says, “Sure. I’ll show you to a room and get you settled.” He leads her from the room as she says goodbye to everyone.

“Thank you, Max. I’m just not used to so many people around…and I don’t really know what to say to them yet. You don’t think I upset them, do you?”

“No, of course not. Everyone understands…you can talk to them later. Come on, you’re this way.” He leads her to the stairs and they walk up to the second floor.

He leads her into a room that looks like it gets little use. Her suitcase is sitting on a chair in the corner. She looks around and notices that there’s a dresser and full size bed as well. There’s a door on the left side of the room and Max confirms that it leads to a bathroom. “Be sure and lock the other door…it leads to the hallway.” He’s looking at the floor, shifting uncomfortably, “Um, I put some towels out for you. If you need anything, my room’s right across the hall.” Noticing her look up at him, he adds, “And Maria’s is next door.”

“Thank you, Max. I’ll…um…talk to you later, right? About what we’re going to do?” She moves to the bathroom doorway, turning on the light.

“Sure, no problem.” He says and leaves, closing the door behind him.

She stares at the door after he leaves, wondering what she’s going to say to him…what he’s going to say to her.

When Max gets back downstairs, Isabel is waiting for him, “Is she ok, Max?”

“Yah, just a little overwhelmed. Just give her some time to get used to being back…she’ll be fine.” He tells her, leading her into the living room.

Diane goes home around 7pm and Isabel and Jesse decide to stay on Max’s pull-out couch after the little he tells them. Max tried to fill them in with what he knew about Khivar and Liz and they all decide that for now it’s best to stick close together.

Liz hears the noise downstairs get quieter and she grabs a book, making her way down to the living room. Isabel and Jesse are on the couch watching a movie when she enters the room. “Hey. Sorry I weirded out earlier…it’s just…” Liz starts to explain.

“Don’t worry about it, Liz.” Isabel interrupts her. “I’m sure it’s a lot for you to take in all at once. We’re here if you need anything.” She smiles up at her.

“Thank you.” Liz says softly, looking at the floor. “Um…could you point me in the direction of the backyard.” She laughs softly.

“Sure,” Isabel smiles, and points toward the kitchen, “through there…there’s a door that leads out to the patio.”

“Thanks.” Liz says as she walks in the direction Isabel pointed.

Liz opens the backdoor and not finding a light switch for outside, she walks outside, shutting the door behind her quietly. She stands in the darkness, noticing there’s a pool, then looking up at the sky. It’s a clear night and she can easily see the stars. Glancing toward the back of the house, she feels for a light switch to turn on so she can read when she hears, “It’s over here.”

She whips her head around and sees Max standing on the side of the patio behind a large telescope with a camera attached to it. “There’s a kerosene lamp over here…if you wanted to read.” He says, nodding his head toward the book in her hand.

“Max…I…I didn’t know you were out here.” Liz says awkwardly.

“Sorry if I scared you…I was just taking pictures of the Flaming Star Nebula. I have a good view tonight…want to look?” He says when he sees her looking at the telescope.

“You can see that far away?” she says in awe as she steps closer to him.

“Yup. Here, just look through here.” He points to the camera eyepiece as she tentatively steps closer to him.

Setting her book down on a chair, she walks up and looks through where Max shows her. “Oh my…Max…it’s beautiful!” She says in amazement, not looking away.

He smiles at the awe in her voice and presses a remote control into her hand. “Here, press this button and you’ll take a picture of it. I’ll give it to you when I get them developed.” He moves her finger to the button while she looks through the camera.

She smiles and presses the button, hearing the slow click of the lens…it takes several seconds for the film to capture the image before she hears the lens click shut. “Wow. You’re lucky, Max. That you do this for a living.” She tells him as she straightens up and looks at him.

“Yah.” He says, at a loss for words.

“So,” She begins as she looks down to her feet. “Max…I’m sorry I was so harsh…back in Dallas. I didn’t…I was trying to get you to leave.” She looks across the yard at the pool. “I wanted to…make you angry enough…to leave. I…I didn’t mean what I said…well, most of it, anyway.”

Max is silent. She may have not meant what she said, but it was all true. He sits in a chair and motions for her to sit as well. They both look out into the yard…sitting in silence until Max says, “So, what did Jaret say when you told him you were coming here?”

“I don’t know. I sent him a message from the hotel in Dallas and he hasn’t contacted me since. I…I don’t know what that means. Sometimes it takes him a while to get back to me.” Liz says while she looks down at her hands. “If Khivar decides to come, we’ll have a couple of days notice. Jaret will tell me…I hope. It takes at least two days for Khivar to prepare a body to enter…they last longer if he waits.” She whispers the last part.

Looking over at her down-turned face, Max says, “Liz…what…what did he do to you? I mean…did he give you those scars? Or…was there…” he wants to know.

“Max,” Liz begins, looking over at him before looking back down at the ground. “I can’t…Max, you…you don’t want to know. And I don’t want to tell you…not now anyway.”

Max clenches his teeth and sits back in his chair, taking a deep breath. “Alright, Liz. But you need to tell me before he gets here. I can’t have him catching me off guard in a confrontation…I need to know.” He says quietly.

She nods her head, looking back up at the sky. “I forgot how clear the sky is here…you can see so many stars.” She says with a sad voice, “Everywhere I’ve lived, there’s been too much light pollution.” Looking back at Max, she asks him, “Do you mind if I just read for a while…out here?”

“No.” he says, standing up and walking over to get her the lamp. He sets it down on the table beside her, lighting the wick. “Enjoy your book, Liz.” He turns to walk in the house.

Sometime later, Max wakes up with a start. Someone’s screaming…Liz. He glances at the clock…3:30am…and bolts from his room across the hall and into hers. He goes immediately to the bed where Liz is sitting up, shaking and covered in sweat. He sits on the edge and hands her a glass of water. “Nightmare?”

She nods as she gulps the water. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to wake you up.” She turns teary eyes to his.

“Liz, it’s ok. You’re safe here.” And he reaches for her arm…watching as she cringes away from his touch. He pulls his hand back and looks up to see Maria standing in the doorway. “Liz, are you ok?” she asks quietly.

Looking up at Maria, Liz barely whispers, “Yah. I’m sorry I woke you up.”

“Hey, no problem. Do you need anything?”

When Liz shakes her head, no, Maria says, “Ok. Well, I’m right next door if you change your mind.” And she walks back down the hall after throwing Max a concerned took.

Liz lies back down, looking up at Max. “Stay here until I go to sleep?”

“Sure.” And he starts to get up to sit in the chair in the corner.

“No! Not over there.” It comes out sounding panicked, and Max turns to see her wide-eyed expression suddenly relax as she scoots over on the bed, “Here, next to me.” She says as she makes room for him.

He looks at her for a moment, then nods his head and climbs into bed, being careful not to get too close. He watches her as her eyes close and after a few minutes, he can hear her breathing even out into sleep. He lies there, on his back, staring at the light fixture on the ceiling. Watching the light play across the ceiling from the occasional car driving by on the street out front, he sees her hand inch over out of the corner of his eye and feels her lightly rest it on top of his. And he smiles slightly as he drifts off to sleep.

Liz wakes up, seeing that there’s sunshine coming in through the window through her closed eyelids and she snuggles deeper under her covers…cuddling deeper into the warmth surrounding her. When she hears a deep groan and a hand inching up her stomach to grab her breast, her eyes pop open and her body tenses. When the arm around her relaxes, she hurriedly scoots out from under it and out of the bed. As she makes her way around the bed, she tries not to make any noise that will wake Max up. Pausing on his side of the bed, she watches his sleeping face…his steady breathing. The clock on the bedside table reads 7am and she makes her way to the bathroom to take a shower. When she emerges from the bathroom, the bed is empty.

Max is in his room cursing himself for scaring Liz out of bed. He woke up when he felt her stiffen next to him and he realized that he was wrapped around her and worse, he was fondling her breast. He feigned sleep until he heard her go into the bathroom and shut the door. “Damn. That’s just great, Max. Good job.” he thinks to himself.

He can hear movement downstairs…probably Michael making breakfast. As he lies on his stomach in bed, two small flurries fly into his room and jump on top of him. Grace and Alex are jumping up and down on the bed, “Max! Get up Max!” and giggling as he pretends to be offended at their intrusion by groaning and swatting his arms at them. Alex gets off the bed and grabs his leg, while Grace is at his side pulling his arm. “Get up Max!”

“Ugh, you two are killing me.” He groans into his pillow, causing more giggles to erupt.

Liz hears the ruckus when she enters the hallway. Curious, she peeks through Max’s open door and smiles when she sees what’s going on. Max looks over his shoulder when he hears his door squeak to see Liz standing in the doorway in amusement at the scene in front of her. Grace and Alex halt their attack and look to see what has distracted Max. When they see Liz in the doorway, Alex whispers to Max, “Is that Liz?” At Max’s nod, Alex looks over at Grace and whispers loudly, “That’s Liz.” Leaving Max forgotten on the bed, Grace walks over to Liz and says, “My mommy told us all about you. I’m Grace. And that’s Alex.” pointing to Alex across the room.

“It’s very nice to meet you, Grace. And you too, Alex.” She looks over to where Alex moves in closer to Max. She kneels down to Grace and says, “Has anyone told you that you look just like your mommy when she was your age?”

Grace nods and says, “All the time. How did you know that?”

“Because your mommy has been my best friend since we were younger than you are now. I could never forget what she looked like.” Liz tells her as she slides her hand down Grace’s arm.

Liz stands back up and says to Alex, “And you…you look just like your dad…so handsome.” and grins at him.

Alex blushes and looks down at the floor. Then he looks back up at her and steps toward her saying, “I don’t look like him…he looks like me.” Liz smiles at that and he looks down toward her neck, “You have a boo boo. Uncle Max can fix it.”

He’s looking at the scar on her neck which runs even further than Max saw before. She’s wearing a V neck shirt and the scar drops down her chest, disappearing under the neckline. Liz raises her hand to cover it and says, “Oh, it doesn’t hurt, Alex. Sometimes I forget it’s even there.” She smiles and tries to reassure him. “Hey, I smell something good coming from downstairs. Smells like pancakes to me…wanna go check it out with me?”

Alex and Grace grab her hands, leading her from the bedroom, “Nah, that’s not pancakes. That’s waffles!” Alex says as Max listens to them walk down the stairs.

When they’re gone, Max gets up, heading to the bathroom for a shower. He knew they would love her. How could they not? Alex is the shy one…he rarely warms up to strangers. But Liz had him holding her hand within 5 minutes. Thinking about what Alex said about him healing Liz, he really wishes she would ask him to soon. He can’t look at those scars without imagining a million different ways they were created. But he doubts she’ll be asking him any time soon…if the way she cringes away from his touch is any indication.

posted on 7-May-2002 10:10:40 AM
Part 14~

Saturday, May 18, 2013
Max’s house

Max makes his way downstairs after his shower, and passing the living room sees Isabel and Jesse still asleep on the pull-out sofa. He walks into the kitchen and Michael is leaning against the counter, pajama bottoms and a t-shirt still on, holding a cup of coffee and watching the antics of Liz, Grace and Alex…trying to make waffles.

“Everyone else is still asleep.” Michael tells Max as he enters the kitchen.

Max nods at him and turns to watch Liz, who is standing at the counter with Grace and Alex on either side of her standing on chairs so they can reach the counter.

“No…no…it’s gonna be too full. Here, watch me.” Alex says as he grabs the pitcher filled with waffle batter from Grace and moves it over to the waffle maker. “See, only this much…or it spills all over the sides.” as he demonstrates the proper amount of batter to pour.

Grace giggles and looks at Liz, “He’s so bossy! He never lets me do anything ‘cuz he says I don’t do it right.” And she rolls her eyes and sticks her tongue out at Alex when he looks at her. “Maybe I like it when it spills out the sides…dummyhead.” she says to Alex.

“Hey!” Michael says to Grace, “What did you call your brother?”

Grace looks sheepishly over to Michael and says, “Um….yummyhead?” and she bats her eyelashes…giving him her most innocent look.

No one says anything for a minute, then Alex and Grace bust out laughing. “Yummyhead?!” Alex laughs, “You couldn’t think of anything better than that, Grace?” as he bends over clutching his stomach in laughter.

Michael just smiles and turns to the cupboard. “Coffee, Max?” as he grabs a mug.

“Yah.” He moves to grab the mug and fill it, then sits down at the table…watching Liz chuckle at Alex and Grace’s antics.

Michael joins him, “That woman from your department called again yesterday. The conference has been moved up and they want you to leave Monday instead.”

Max had totally forgotten about that, he hadn’t even called since he took off for Philadelphia Tuesday morning and told them he had a family emergency. “Thanks.” He says, thinking of what he was going to do.

Liz turns around with a plate full of waffles…some burnt…and says, “Well, breakfast is ready…I think” and she smiles as she opens a few cupboards looking for plates.

Max quickly jumps up to help her, telling her to sit down. He gets a stack of plates, forks, butter and syrup…bringing it all to the table.

As they all sit at the table, devouring the plate of waffles, Isabel joins them and says, “What? You couldn’t wait for everyone else?” as she sits down and serves herself.

“If we had to wait for you, we’d be eating lunch.” Michael says as he stuffs his mouth.

She rolls her eyes at Michael and turns to Liz. “Did you sleep ok? I told Max he should put a queen size bed in that room but he wouldn’t listen to me.”

Liz finishes chewing, and glancing at Max briefly, she says, “Um…yah. It was fine, Isabel” and she glances as Max once more before getting up and bringing her plate to the sink.

“You sure you don’t want more, Liz? You only ate one.” Michael asks.

“Yah, I don’t usually eat breakfast.” She tells him and smiles as she sits back down. “So, where do you and Jesse live, Isabel? Here in Roswell still?”

“Yup. We got a great deal on a house a few years ago and we’ve been remodeling. Sometimes I think we’re never going to finish.” She says with a laugh. “Jesse can’t tolerate the decorating part very much, but I’ve been living with sawdust and drafts for 5 years now, so he can just deal with it.”

Liz smiles a little at that and before she can say anything, Isabel says, “And no…no kids…yet. I wanted to wait until the house was finished. How was I to know I’d be hitting menopause before that happened?” she laughs.

“Don’t you think you’re being a little dramatic, Isabel?” Jesse says as he enters the kitchen.

Isabel looks up and teases, “No, I don’t. I had a plan. Plans are meant to be followed.” and she digs back into her waffles.

“Yes, yes…I know. It’s all my fault you didn’t marry a carpenter instead of a lawyer.” He laughs as he joins everyone at the table and fills his plate.

Liz is chuckling at their little ‘squabble’ and stands up. “If you guys don’t mind, I think I’m gonna go for a walk. I feel like I’ve been driving for a week. Michael? Would you mind keeping me company?”

Surprised, Michael looks at Max, then back to Liz, “Sure.”

Liz smiles and she looks over at Max before leaving the kitchen.

“Daddy…” Grace whines, “I wanna go, too! Can I go?”

“Yah, me too. I wanna go.” Alex joins in.

“Nope. Grown-up walk. You two help Max clean the kitchen up, then I want you to go upstairs, brush your teeth and get dressed. Your mom should be awake by then and she’ll want to see you.” Michael tells them as he heads upstairs to throw some jeans and shoes on.

Max gets up from the table and goes out to the front porch, sitting down next to Liz. “Hey.”

“Hey.” She says back, playing with a twig…scraping it along the cement. “Oh. Um…I like your house. It’s nice.” She smiles at him before turning her attention back to the twig.

“Thanks.” He says back. “Liz…we have a lot to talk about. I know that seeing everyone again has to be overwhelming, but we need to get ready.”

“I know.” She says quietly.

“First, you should see your parents. Or someone might see you and tell them before you get a chance to.”

“I know…I was building myself up to do that today.” She looks over at him. “I’m dreading what they’ll say. I mean, what am I supposed to tell them? That I stayed away all this time because…because I was jealous?” she laughs sarcastically and shakes her head…throwing the twig in the bushes.

“What do you think they’ll say, Max? I mean, how have they been?” she looks over at his bowed head.

“Well…um…I haven’t really talked to them much. Since you left, I mean.” He peeks over at her before looking back down at the ground.

“They blamed you, didn’t they.” She asks him and sighs.

“Yah. But…it wasn’t really any different. They were still mad at me for…you know…” he glances at her, “…getting you pregnant.” then turns to watch a car drive by on the street. After a few moments of silence, he continues, “Maria begged me for years to tell them…about me. So I could tell them about how I saw you every year. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t risk it.” He turns toward her, “They would have been dragged into this…this life full of secrets. Alex is dead because of me…because of us. And my dad, too.”

“Oh, Max. I’m so sorry…I didn’t know…about your Dad.” She turns toward him. “And Alex didn’t die because of you…he died because of Tess.” She picks up another twig and starts twirling it around on the sidewalk.

He looks down at the twig she’s playing with, “They think you might be dead. The private investigator they hired said that your disappearance looked like a kidnapping…you know, because all your money was withdrawn from your bank. After so much time passed and no one heard from you, they just assumed the worst. And I chose to let them believe that, rather than risk their lives, too. I hope you understand.”

“It’s alright, Max. It’s my fault. I should have called them, or written a letter.” She removes her hand and stands up, dusting off her jeans. “I’ll tell you what I can when I get back from my walk, is that ok?”

“Yah. Do you want everyone there? I should call Kyle and Jim…Isabel told me they’re anxious to see you. Is that alright?”

“Sure. Everyone should be there, I guess. It’ll be better if I only have to go through this once. I just need some time to gather my thoughts first.” She smiles up at him.

“Liz, I’m sorry…you know…about this morning…” he starts as he looks at his shoes.

“Huh?” she asks, before realizing what he’s talking about. “Oh, um…it’s ok…really. Don’t even worry about it.” She says as she twists her hands together, looking down at them before wiping them on her jeans.

Just then, Michael opens the door and steps out on the porch. “Ready?” he asks Liz.

She nods at him and says, “We’ll be back in a little while, Max.” and she turns down the front walk.

“Be careful.” Max tells Michael.

Michael nods then turns to follow Liz.


Part 15~

After walking in silence for a few blocks, Liz says, “It all seems so much smaller than I remember it.”

“Yah. It does. I think it’s because our world has gotten so much bigger, don’t you think?” Michael responds…noticing Liz’s slight limp the farther they walk.

Liz looks up at Michael thoughtfully and smiles, “I suppose so.”

After several minutes more of silence, Liz quietly says, “I wanted to thank you, Michael.” as she looks up at him. “for taking such good care of Maria all these years. She seems so happy. And knowing her, I’m sure you’ve had to put up with a lot…with her searching for me and…and I want you to know that I’m sorry. I’m sorry for causing her so much pain.”

Speechless, Michael just looks down at her and nods. “I love her.”

Smiling at Michael’s response, she says, “I’m so happy for you both. Grace and Alex are wonderful. I wish…” she stops, not wanting to get into her regrets.

Seeming to understand what she’s trying to say, he looks at her, “You have all the time in the world to get to know them now. And the new baby should be here in a couple of months.”

Taking a deep breath, she spots a bench up ahead in the park and goes to sit on it, motioning for Michael to do the same. “There’s another reason I wanted to talk to you this morning.”

Michael sits down and turns toward her, waiting for what she wants to say.

Liz turns to look at him, meeting his gaze seriously, “I wanna talk to you about Max. I want you to promise me something. That whatever happens…you know…with Khivar, I want you to make sure that Max’s safety comes first, no matter what. He’s going to worry about me…put me first, ahead of himself. I can’t do anything about that. But I have to know that you’ll make his safety your top priority…no matter what he tells you to do.”

Michael just looks at her, not knowing what to say.

She continues, “Because, Michael…if something happens to Max, if Khivar kills Max, then everything that I’ve gone through…everything I’ve put all of you through for the past 10 years will have been for nothing. Please, you have to promise me that you’ll do this. Tell me that you’ll keep him alive. Because I know he’ll make bad decisions if you let him…if something happens to me.” She takes a deep breath and grabs his hand, “Please…if you just tell me that you’ll do that, then I’ll feel a whole lot better about my decision to come back.”

Michael looks down at her hand on his and thinks about what she’s said. She’s right; Max would do anything to keep Liz safe, even if it meant getting himself killed. He only has a rough sketch in his mind of what’s going on with Khivar and why Liz stayed away for so long. But he’s awed by her selflessness and looks back up into her pleading eyes, “Of course. I promise…keep Max alive.” And he quirks up his lips at her in a smile.

She lets out the breath she was holding, and says, “Thank you, Michael.” Letting go of his hand, she looks out to the street for a few minutes…watching the cars drive by. She knew she could count on Michael. It’s a big reason she gave in to Maria in Dallas. She and Michael had never been great friends, but she’s pretty sure that they both had respect for each other.

“So,” Michael starts as he spreads his arms over the back of the bench and relaxes. “are you ready for the big pow wow when we get back?”

Liz laughs at Michael’s bluntness and says, “No.” and they both laugh at her answer.

Minutes pass as they sit comfortably together…knowing they don’t have to say anything. They watch a few cars drive by and Liz leans her head back against the bench, raising her face toward the sun and closing her eyes. She thinks about how much Michael has matured since high school and smiles. It looks like all Michael needed was a little love.

Breaking the silence, Liz opens her eyes and says, “I don’t know what to tell them, Michael.” And she leans her head to the side to look at him.

He looks over at her, then back to the street. Scratching his eyebrow, he says, “What do you want to tell them?”

“Nothing,” she smiles. “but for some reason I don’t think that’s gonna work.”

“No, probably not.” He smiles back before reaching his hand up to scratch his eyebrow. “Look, Liz…to be honest, you don’t have to tell us anything.”

Liz nods her head, knowing what Michael’s really saying…that they can see what happened just by looking at her.

“Well, I guess now is as good a time as any to get this over with. Wanna head back? And you can tell me what life with Maria has been like?” she smiles at him as she stands up and turns back in the direction of Max’s house.

“Sure.” He smiles and they start walking back to Max’s.

Meanwhile, back at Max’s house, Maria is woken up by Grace and Alex…anxious to get her out of bed. “Ok, ok…I’m up. Just give me a minute.” She tells them. “Get up here and give me some lovin’, that might get me up faster.” She smiles at them as they hop into bed with her and hug her.

“Did you eat breakfast, yet?” she asks them.

“Yup. We made waffles with Liz!” Grace squeals.

“So you guys got to meet Liz?” she says as she strokes Alex’s hair.

“She came into Max’s room when we were waking him up.” Alex informs her. “She has lots of boo boos, mommy. I told her that Max would fix them but she just said that they don’t hurt.” He sounded confused.

Maria sighs, thinking about how Max heals every little cut and scrape the kids have ever had when they visit. And if they get hurt in L.A., they make him heal the scars as soon as they see him again. “I’m sure she’ll ask him to when she’s ready, sweetie.”

“I think Max likes her.” Grace adds.

Maria smiles, “What makes you think that?”

“’Cuz he just stared at her all morning…when she wasn’t looking” she informs Maria with wide eyes as if this is the biggest secret she’s ever told.

“Well, I think you’re right, Gracie.” Maria says with a wink.

Almost an hour later, Liz and Michael burst through the front door in tears…from laughing so hard. Michael has just finished telling Liz about the fiasco surrounding the birth of the twins. As they stumble into the living room, they abruptly stop when they see Max and Maria waiting for them in the living room. Their laughter slowly fades as they walk further into the room.

Max and Maria smile upon seeing Liz laughing so heartily…it’s the first time they’ve seen her laugh since they found her. Truth be told, it’s the first time they’ve seen Liz laugh like that since before Alex died. “What have you two been up to?” Maria teases.

“Oh, Michael was just filling me in on some things that I’ve missed.” Liz goes to sit next to her in the big chair and a half that she’s sitting in. “He’s turned into quite the storyteller.” she grins.

“That’s Michael, resident wacky guy.” Maria laughs at the absurdity of that statement.

Max can’t help but feel jealous…he wants to make Liz that happy…make her laugh like that. “So, you enjoyed your walk?” He smiles at her.

“Yah…I did.” Liz says as she looks over at Michael and says, “Thanks for going with me.”

“No problem.” He says as he sits on the sofa next to Max, clapping him on the back. “So where are the monsters?” he looks around and sees the lack of children in the room.

“They’re out back, playing in the pool.” Maria tells him. “That’ll keep them busy for hours.”

“Isabel and Jesse went home for a while…they should be right back.” Max tells them.

Liz gets up and starts for the kitchen. “Does anyone want anything to drink?”

“Soda! Milk!” Michael and Maria call out.

“Coming right up…Max?” she asks.

He jumps up and says, “You sit down, Liz…I’ll get it. What do you want?”

“Soda’s fine…thanks.” and she sits back down with Maria.

“Kyle and Jim are on their way. I called my mom, but she has to work.” Maria tells her.

“Is Mrs. Evans coming back.?” Liz asks.

“Yah, she should be here soon.” She tells her, grabbing her hand and laying it on her stomach. “Feel that?”

Liz’s eyes go wide, “Wow! She’s moving!” She exclaims, running her hand over Maria’s stomach.

Laughing, Maria says, “Yah, it’s really cool until the last couple of months. I thought the twins were gonna kick my ribs right out of my body.”

“See,” Michael says, “she said it was a girl, too. Told you.”

Maria looks at Liz, “He’s convinced it’s a girl, but I think it’s a boy.”

Liz suddenly realizes that they can’t possibly go to a doctor, and wouldn’t be able to get the sonogram that most people have that tells them the sex of their baby. “Michael can’t connect with the baby and see what the sex is?” she asks…remembering when Max did that with Tess.

As Max walks back in with their drinks, Maria says, “But, Liz…Tess wasn’t really pregnant. She made him think that’s what he was doing.” Looking at Liz closely. “Michael can’t do that…he can just tell if the baby’s in distress, or content. Max can, too.”

“Right…I…I forgot.” She says, embarrassed as she looks down at her hands. “I still can’t seem to wrap my head around that one.” she says with a small smile.

Max hands everyone their drinks and sits back down with Michael, having heard what they were talking about. He looks at the coffee table, not knowing what to say…feeling like an idiot.

Just then, the door flies open and Kyle comes marching into Max’s house, “Where is she?” he asks as he storms into the living room…his eyes finally falling on Liz. “Oh my God, Liz.” He whispers and pulls her out off the chair, hugging her. “I thought I’d never see you again.” he says into her ear.

Liz stiffens immediately and struggles out of his embrace, “It’s good to see you again, Kyle.” and she steps back to get a good look at him. “You look just the same!” she laughs and wipes at her eyes.

“Yah…you…you too, Liz” he says, looking her up and down…she was so…different.

She gives him a ‘yah, right’ smile and asks him, “So where’s your dad?” looking behind him.

“Right here.” Jim says as he walks over, grabbing Kyle’s arm and slowly moving him away from Liz. He sees Liz visibly relax at having her personal space back. “It’s good to see you kiddo.” He says softly.

“Yah, you too.” She says back, smiling in gratitude. “You too.”

Isabel, Jesse and Diane arrive then, quietly entering and grabbing a seat…not wanting to interrupt the reunion.

When she sees them walk in, Liz says, “Well, I guess everyone’s here.”

Jim turns to Kyle, “Let’s go grab some chairs from the kitchen.”

When everyone has a seat, Liz looks around at everyone assembled and brings her hand up to her lips, tears coming to her eyes. “I’m sorry.” Clearing her throat she begins her story…


Part 16~

Nearly two hours later, Liz finishes telling them all she can about Khivar. She told them everything…how Khivar beat her that first day in Albuquerque…how he beat her for days. How he followed her for years, tormenting her with descriptions of how he was going to kill Max…and her. She told them only that he would get violent and knock her around when he saw her…there was no way she could tell them just how violent he really was. She told them about all the different places she had lived. How she took odd jobs like waitressing, bartending, and house cleaning…just so she could live. How she knew that no matter where she went, she would never be free.

She also told them about Jaret and how he had helped her…kept Khivar away from her. She told them about the handful of shapeshifters that followed her, watching her. She told them about how she could never make friends because anyone could be Khivar in a different body and she wouldn’t know it. She couldn’t trust anyone. She told them about the two years she spent drinking, trying to escape the reality of her situation. And she told them all of this with a straight face, not looking at anyone because she had to get through the telling without stopping…until they knew it all.

When she’s done, she pauses and says, “Then I opened my door to find Maria and Max arguing in my new front yard.” And finally she looks up. “They’ve probably told you the rest…so…that’s about it.” Maria has her head resting on Liz’s shoulder, holding Liz’s hand between both of hers.

“Jesus, Liz.” Jim says…his elbows on his knees, holding his head in his hands. “How are you here? How…?” and he chokes up, not able to finish.

The group is in silence…shocked…absorbing everything they just heard. Isabel is holding both Jesse’s hand and Diane’s, with her forehead on Jesse’s shoulder. “For so many years, I was so mad at you…for leaving…for doing what, I thought, you were doing to Max by making him appear in your room every year and making him so depressed. I was so…angry. I’m sorry.” She can’t even look at Liz.

“And you thought that all this time, we had accepted Tess, and forgiven her for what she did to Alex…what she did to all of us? That she was living happily with Max and their son?” Kyle says in amazement, looking over at her.

Liz nods slightly, still looking at her hands.

Michael stands up, saying, “I’m going out back…check on the kids.” and hurries out the kitchen door into the backyard.

Max looks around…over to Liz…and stands up, following Michael to the backyard.

He finds Michael sitting on the back patio, his left elbow on his knee, hand covering his mouth as he absently watches the kids splash around in the pool, laughing.

Max sits in the chair next to him…looking out at the kids, not saying anything…waiting for Michael to speak.

“What are we gonna do, Max?” Michael finally says. He looks over at Max, “What? Tell me you know what we’re supposed to do.” His eyes plead with Max’s.

Max looks away, back to the kids. “I can’t, Michael. I really don’t know.” He looks down at his shoes, “I haven’t even processed the fact that Liz is back…let alone what she’s been through…or what we’re gonna do now.” Looking back up at Michael, “We haven’t dealt with any alien-related problems for a while. It’s become easier and easier every day to forget that I even am an alien.” He sighs, “Some king I am.”

Michael sits back…taking a deep breath. “It could have been Maria.” As Max looks over at him, he meets his eyes, “It could have just as easily been Maria, and just thinking about it makes me feel like throwing up. I don’t know how she survived, Max…I really don’t. When are you gonna heal her?”

Max just shakes his head and says, “She hasn’t asked me to. She knows I want to, but she hasn’t asked me yet.”

“You know she has a limp, right? She’s had bones broken that didn’t heal right…I noticed it when we were walking this morning.” He tells Max. “And that scar…the one on her neck and chest…we don’t even know how far down it goes…” his voice fades as he drops his head in his hands. “It must have been bad…it must have been really bad. The way she looks…she looks like she’s been tortured…repeatedly.” He swallows loudly.

“Alright, Michael!” Max hisses at him. “I don’t need a rundown of Liz’s injuries.”

Michael looks over at him, “Sorry, man…I’m just…I don’t even know what to think.”

“It’s alright. Sorry I snapped. But I can’t just walk up to her and heal her if she doesn’t want me to. Hell, right now, she can’t even stand me touching her.” Max looks back.

“She loves you, man…believe me.” Michael tells him.

“You’re wrong about that. And I don’t blame her for hating me. I’ve done nothing but screw up her life.” Max says, dropping his head.

“Don’t start this crap, Maxwell. Believe me…she loves you…more than you deserve. Just give her some time.” Michael rolls his eyes as he talks. “From what it sounds like, the only person who’s touched her for the past 10 years is Khivar…and that was to beat the crap out of her and God knows what else. So don’t you dare start feeling sorry for yourself.”

Michael stands up, “I gotta figure out what to do with Maria and the kids. They can’t be anywhere near this when it goes down.” He looks back out toward the kids playing. “She’s gonna have the baby in a couple of months…what are we gonna do?” He runs his hand through his hair as he walks back inside, leaving Max on the patio.

Inside, Maria sits up and puts her hand to her head just as Michael walks back in the room. “I have to go lay down. I can’t handle all your emotions right now.” She says as she looks from Michael to Isabel.

Isabel stands up and helps Maria out of the chair, “I’m sorry, Maria. Why don’t Jesse and I take the kids back to our house for the rest of the day and night. They’ll have fun, and you can get some rest.“ she offers.

“They’d love that, Isabel. If its not too much trouble.” Maria says as she lets Isabel pull her up. She turns to Liz, “We’ll talk later?”

“Of course.” She says with a smile.

When Michael helps Maria up the stairs to their room, Liz turns to Isabel. “What did she mean about your emotions?”

“Maria…when she’s pregnant…can pick up all of our emotions. Me, Michael and Max. It’s pretty constant if we’re close by…but it’s usually not so bad because she’s been in L.A. most of the time so she’s only had to deal with Michael’s.” Isabel explains to Liz. “We figure it’s the baby picking it up, but Maria feels it too. It went away as soon as she had the twins, so we expect the same thing to happen this time.”

“Oh.” Liz says, feeling bad for causing Maria more pain.

“Let’s get the kids and go home, ok?” Isabel says to Jesse and Diane.

When she goes into the backyard to get the kids, she takes a seat next to Max…who is leaning over his knees in his chair, cradling his head in his hands. “Hey, Max.”

He doesn’t look up as he says, “Hey, Iz.”

“How did we let this happen, Max” Isabel asks as she raises her hand to her forehead, absently wiping her hair back. “How did we let this happen to Liz?”

When Max doesn’t respond, Isabel continues, “I think she’s not telling us everything.”

“Of course she’s not.” Max responds with a scratchy voice as he stands up and heads back toward the kitchen.

Max walks back into the living room, his eyes immediately going over to Liz before turning to his Mom. “I’m sorry I can’t get over there this weekend to help you clean out the garage.”

Diane gives Max a hug and says, “It’s ok, honey. You take care of Liz and if you need anything, you call me, ok?”

“Ok, mom.” He says back and releases her.

“Jesse, you’ll call me if you see anything strange?” Max says to him.

“Of course. Don’t worry.” Jesse says, clapping Max on the back.

Liz stands up to say goodbye to Diane. As she steps close her, Liz lightly touches her arm and says, “I was so sorry to hear about your husband.”

“Oh, thank you, dear. I miss him so much.” Diane says back with a small smile.

Isabel comes back in the room with the kids following and grabs a bag from a just arrived Michael. “Are you guys ready?” she asks Jesse and Diane.

“Yah, here…let me get that.” Jesse says as he reaches for the kids’ bag. “Bye everyone…see you tomorrow. Bye Liz.” He says, taking one last concerned look at Liz and leaving through the front door.

Alex runs over to Liz and pulls on her hand, “Are you gonna come over and make breakfast with us in the morning?”

She leans down, “We’ll see, Alex. You and Grace have fun tonight.”

“Ok, bye!” and he runs out the door, following Jesse.

Diane, Isabel and Grace say goodbye, promising to see them in the morning, and make their way out to the car.

Liz sits back down and exhales loudly. “One down, one to go.”

Kyle looks over and says, “Hey, if you want me to go to the Crashdown with you, Liz, I will. I see your parents almost everyday…I know they’re gonna be so happy to see you.”

A sharp jolt of jealousy shoots through Max as he stands helplessly in the center of the room. After all these years, Max is mildly surprised at how jealous he is of Kyle. Rationally, he knows there’s no reason to be…but Kyle has everything to offer Liz that he doesn’t. Shaking his head at being so juvenile, he goes to Jim to say goodbye.

Liz smiles at Kyle, “Thanks, Kyle. But I think the fewer people that are there, the better it’ll be.” And she stands up.

“No problem. But if you need anything, you give me a call…ok?” he says as he stands up, moving in Liz’s direction, then halting…remembering her reaction last time he touched her.

“Ok, thanks.” Liz tells him.

Jim claps Max on the back as he hesitantly steps toward Liz before stopping, “Anything, you hear. You call me…I don’t care what time it is.”

She smiles at him as he turns toward the door.

“Come on, son, let’s go.” Jim says to Kyle.

“Bye Liz…Max, Michael.” Kyle says as he heads out the door.

Liz looks in the direction of the door for a few moments, then turns to Max as Michael makes his way to the couch. “I guess I better go see my parents.” She sighs and looks at the TV that Michael just turned on. “I think I have my story straight.”

Michael looks over, “What did you decide to tell them?”

“That everything just hit me…Alex’s death…losing the baby…my relationship with Max and their trying to control me…and I just left. I’ll just tell them that it became easier and easier to stay away and before I knew it, 10 years had passed. It’s kind of lame, but I can’t think of anything better that they might believe.”

Max looks up at her and says, “Liz, if you want to tell them the truth, I’ll trust your judgement…I’ll go with you.”

Liz looks shocked at his suggestion and shakes her head, “No…no, Max…I really don’t think that’s a good idea.” She sees the relief pass over Max’s face.

“How are you gonna explain the scars?” Michael asks without looking at her.

“Car accident.” She says simply as she stands up and walks toward the stairs.

“Max?” She says looking over to him shyly. “Can you drive me over there?”

Max hesitates and says, “Sure. When do you want to go?”

“I’d like to freshen up…cover up.” She says, putting her hand over the scar on her neck and chest. “They’re gonna have enough to deal with…I should look as normal for them as possible.” And she walks up a few stairs before turning back, “Thank you, Max. I really appreciate it.”

Max sits down next to Michael, who’s giving him an approving look. “What’re you gonna do?”

Michael turns on the TV, “Watch a baseball game, take a nap…who knows? No kids…and Maria’s sleeping. I’m a free man for the afternoon.” He smiles as he flips through the channels.

20 minutes later, Liz comes down and Max’s eyes sweep over her body. She’s changed into a long-sleeved white cotton button down shirt and around her neck is a blue scarf. The one he saw on her dresser a few nights ago. She’s put a little make-up on and some earrings. Her hair is down, falling just to her shoulders making an attempt to cover the scar on her forehead…one side tucked behind her ear. She looks beautiful to Max and he just stares at her.

“Are you ready?” She asks when he doesn’t make a move to get off the couch.

“Oh…yah…of course.” He jumps up, stuffing his hands in his pockets. He grabs his keys off of a little table that sits right inside the front door and he opens it for her. “Be back in a few, Michael.”

“Good luck.” He yells at Liz from the couch, not taking his eyes off the TV.

posted on 7-May-2002 10:11:16 AM
Part 17~

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Max drives Liz to the Crashdown and he pulls his black SUV into a parking space in front. Turning off the engine, he sits looking in through the front windows. This place brings back so many memories…he tries to avoid driving by it whenever he can. As he looks at the tables sitting on the front walk, he remembers the night that he brought Liz home after her grandmother died. That seems like a lifetime ago.

He looks over at Liz and asks, “Are you ready? Or do you just want to sit here for a while?”

She’s looking through the front windows. She can see her dad sitting at the counter, her mom standing behind it filling a drink for someone. She remembers all the times her and Maria worked there, wearing that silly uniform. She doesn’t see any waitresses…or maybe they don’t make the waitresses wear that uniform anymore. She looks back to the counter…Alex…he would sit there for hours keeping them company when there weren’t any customers. Alex…

She turns at Max’s voice, “I’m ready. Should I just call when I’m ready to leave?”

“Yah, here’s the number at the house.” He writes down his number on a scrap of paper and hands it to her.

“Ok.” She says in a small voice and looks out the windshield and into the Crashdown for a few more moments.

Stepping out of the car, she walks toward the door…turning one last time to look at Max. She looks so scared, and he gives her an encouraging smile and nod before she opens the door to step inside. He sees Jeff Parker look up from the counter and stand up quickly from the stool he was sitting on. As Max watches Nancy rush from around the counter to run toward Liz, Jeff looks out the Crashdown window at him. Meeting his gaze for a few moments, Max slowly puts his car into gear and backs out of the space…driving away.

Instead of going back home, Max drives around Roswell aimlessly. Replaying everything Liz told them that morning. It’s like a tape playing certain phrases over and over again.

…he beat me…most of the time until I was unconscious. When I’d wake up, it would all begin again.

He came into a bar I was working at and taunted me all night while I had to work.

…he beat me…

He told me hundreds of ways he wanted to kill Max.

He’d tell me that he already killed everyone I knew.

My leg broke once, when he was kicking me…and he laughed while he kept kicking it.

…he beat me…

I couldn’t walk for a month when I lived in Chicago.

…he beat me…

…he beat me…

beat me

beat me

beat me

Not able to take it anymore, he pulls over to the side of the road and jumps out…using his powers to explode everything in the immediate area. He destroys two lamp posts, a mailbox, a few rocks and then he turns to his car, kicking it a few times for good measure. After calming down enough to realize what he’s doing, he sits on the curb and looks around at the damage he’s done. Fortunately, he’s on the outskirts of town and no one saw his display.

He lowers his head on his knees and breaks down sobbing uncontrollably. What else wasn’t she telling them? He could tell she was holding back. His heart ached, remembering her emotionless monotone. For ten years…while he was happily teaching away…while Maria was on tour…while Isabel and Jesse were busy with their remodeling…Liz was in a living hell. While they were all living their lives, Liz was being chased and tortured.

He looks up…out to the deserted street in front of him. He feels so helpless and powerless. Liz has had so much stolen from her…their baby…her dreams…a decade of her life. And why? Because he loves her. All because he loves her…he’s absolutely destroyed her life. Hopefully everything goes well with her parents. Even though they won’t know the truth, he knows that it would mean a lot to her to have their love. His thoughts are interrupted by his cell phone ringing.


“Liz called, you need to pick her up.” Michael tells him.

Standing up and wiping his face, he says, “Ok, thanks.” before clicking off.

When he gets back in the car, he sees by the clock on the dashboard that he just dropped her off 45 minutes ago. Hopefully that isn’t a bad sign about how their reunion went. He puts the car in gear and turns it toward the center of town. As he pulls up to the Crashdown, he sees Liz standing by the door with her parents. She looks up as he pulls into a parking space and motions for him to join them. His heart starts pounding nervously and he turns the engine off. He sits for a moment and hesitantly gets out of the car and makes his way over to them.

“Max! Nancy Parker rushes up to him and grabs one of his hands between both of hers. “I don’t even know how to thank you for bringing her home to us!” she gushes.

He’s overwhelmed by her greeting and simply looks down at her and smiles. “Um…yah…well, you’re welcome.” When he looks up toward Liz, he catches Jeff Parker’s eye before looking over to Liz.

“I hope I didn’t pull you away from anything important. My Mom asked me to call you.” Liz tells him.

“Please, come on in…you can tell us all about how you found her and talked her into coming home!” Nancy pulls him toward the doors to the Crashdown excitedly and he awkwardly gets pulled past Liz and her Dad as Liz smiles a small apology to him.

As they all sit down at a table, Nancy says, “I never see you anymore, Max. You used to come in with your sister all the time.”

Finally, Max hears Jeff Parker speak for the first time, “For God’s sake, Nancy. You know perfectly well why he never came in. He felt guilty for making Liz run away…we all saw him at graduation with that girl and their kid…flaunting her around like she was the greatest thing since sliced bread.” And he levels his gaze at Max. “What Max, couldn’t be happy just ruining my little girl’s life, you had to spread the wealth?”

“Stop it!” Liz says to her Dad angrily.

“Jeff, honey, can’t we just be happy that she’s home? You don’t have to bring all that up…obviously Liz has forgiven Max, or she wouldn’t have come back with him.” Nancy pleads with her husband.

Jeff simply sits back in his chair and looks over to Liz, “I’m sorry, Lizzie.” And he looks over to Max, taking a deep breath before saying, “I’m sorry, Max. It was a long time ago and Nancy’s right…I’m just glad that Liz is home. Whatever you did to find her and get her back…thank you.”

Max nods his head slightly before turning his gaze to Liz. “Well, Maria did most of the convincing…actually.”

“Well, whoever did what, I don’t really care…I owe you my thanks.” Jeff says to Max before turning to Liz.

“So, are you staying in Roswell? To live?”

Looking up at her Dad, Liz says softly, “Yes…I think so. I just got back yesterday and I haven’t really had a lot of time to think about what I’m gonna do yet.”

“We kept your room how you left it, Liz.” Nancy tells her. “You can stay there…while you figure out what you want to do.”

“Yes, I’m sure Max has enough on his hands with Maria and Michael and the kids staying with him.” Jeff says as he looks at Max.

Inside, Max is a jumble of confusion. He’s barely keeping up with this conversation, but one thing is clear…they don’t want Liz staying with him. Trying to not look panicked, he says, “It’s no problem, really. I have an extra guest room and I know Maria and the kids are loving having Liz around.”

“Mom, thank you…for the offer. But I think I’ll just stay put for a couple of days…get to know Grace and Alex…and figure out what I’m gonna do.”

Max doesn’t hear anything else that’s said…he’s stuck on the ‘couple of days’. “Couple of days?!?! Only a couple of day?!” his mind is screaming. No no no no…she has to stay…it never even crossed his mind that she might leave his house and go somewhere else. He just got her back and she wants to leave again?!

“Max? Max?” he’s broken out of his revere by Liz’s Mom.

“Oh…sorry. What was that?” Max shakes his head and looks over at her.

“I was just telling Liz that she should come over for dinner tomorrow night, would you like to join us?” Nancy smiles at him.

“Oh…um…sure. That would be great.” He smiles back at her, trying to avoid Jeff’s glare.

“Well, we really should go. I told Maria that I’d try to be back before she woke up.” Liz makes up an excuse off the top of her head.

Nancy pops up out of her chair and hugs Liz tightly to her. “Liz, I’m so glad you’re home. We missed you so much!” she says as a few tears slip out of her eyes.

As Max and Jeff both raise out of their chairs, Liz says, “Yah, me too.” And goes to her Dad to give him a hug as well. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Jeff closes his eyes as he hugs Liz and moves to grab Nancy’s hand as Max opens the door for Liz and they both walk out of the Crashdown. “I don’t believe one word she said about how Max found her and what she’s been doing all these years.”

“Oh, Jeff. Just drop it.” Nancy says as she walks away from him and through the swinging doors to the back.

Liz gets in the car quickly with her head down and tells Max, “I’m so sorry for that, Max. My Mom…she insisted that she talk to you herself. I’m so sorry for my Dad…”

“Liz…stop. It’s ok…really.” Max interrupts her apology. “He has every right to feel the way he does…he doesn’t have any reason not to.”

“I’m just sorry you had to lie to them.”

“It was easier than telling them the truth. You were right in not telling them about you…I don’t think they could handle it.”

Out of the corner of his eye, he sees Liz relax back into her seat and roll the window down. He glances over at her and she’s smiling while she holds her arm out the window and lets the wind drag her arm back. “I’m so glad that’s over. I’m glad today is over…the hard part of today, anyway.” She tells him when she sees him watching her.

He smiles at her before turning his attention back to the road.

Liz closes her eyes and lets the wind whip through her hair before saying, “Right now, at this very moment…I feel more free than I’ve felt in more than 10 years.” And she leans forward to turn the volume on the radio up before leaning back with a smile on her face.


Part 18~

“Max?” Liz says as she looks out the window at the passing Roswell scenery as they get closer to Max’s house.

“Yah?” He glances over at her, then back to the road.

“Think you could give me a tour of your house when we get back?” she smiles out the window.

He laughs, “Sure. Sorry, I guess we’ve been kind of preoccupied…I didn’t even think that you’ve never been there before.” Sadness seeps into his voice for the last few words.

When they arrive back at the house, Michael is still sitting on the sofa…watching a baseball game. “Hey.” He looks up, then back to the TV. “Maria went for a walk.”

Max nods and goes to the kitchen, grabbing two sodas out of the fridge. Handing one to Liz, he says, “Ready for the grand tour?”

She smiles, taking a sip of her soda, “Yup. Lead away.”

“Well, you’ve seen the kitchen…and the living room,” he starts with a smile. “through here is the dining room.” He leads Liz through a doorway leading off the living room. It’s empty of furniture, but a fort has been made in the middle of the room with chairs and sheets. Chuckling, he says, “Obviously Grace and Alex use it more than I do.”

Liz laughs with him, “I see that.”

He leads her back through the living room, into the hallway, past the stairs. “On the right, here…a bathroom. And down here is my office.” He tells her as they walk toward the end of the hall. Opening the door, he turns on the light and guides Liz inside.

She looks around, her mouth open. The first thing she sees when she walks in is poster-size photos all over the ceiling of stars….galaxies. She walks into the room, her head angled up toward the ceiling. “Wow! This is amazing.” She tells Max as he smiles back at her.

She looks down and sees a loveseat pushed up against one wall, next to a table just big enough to hold a TV. There are bookshelves lining another wall and they’re filled to overflowing with books and papers. Turning, she sees a recliner in the middle of the room, facing the loveseat and TV. On the other wall is a large desk, covered in computer equipment and a large, flat monitor mounted on the wall behind it. She sees a laptop sitting on the floor near the desk as well a small boombox.

On the walls are pictures drawn by Grace and Alex, most likely. There are also photos everywhere. Isabel’s wedding picture, a framed picture of his parents standing on a beach, Maria and Michael in what looks like their wedding picture. She walks up to this and runs her finger over the glass that covers it. Her gaze then moves to several pictures of Grace and Alex…documenting their growth from baby to now. She’s guessing they’re about 6, but no one has confirmed this for her.

She moves on and sees a picture of Max in a cap and gown with his mom and Isabel. Must be his college graduation. More pictures of Michael and the kids. Some of Maria on stage. There are also promotional posters for Maria and her CDs. And finally a picture of everyone sitting at a large table…looks like there was some sort of celebration going on. The table is covered with glasses, some empty, some full and some plates. She can also see ribbons scattered around and some crumpled up wrapping paper. Sitting around the table is Kyle, Isabel, Jesse, Jim, Amy, Diane, Max, Michael and Maria and they’re all laughing. She looks at all their happy faces and traces her finger over each one.

She turns, glancing at Max as she moves closer to his desk. He smiles at her, letting her know it’s ok to look around.

She admires all the computer equipment as she glances at folders and papers scattered across his desk. There’s a mug that says Roswell College which has the sole function of holding pens and pencils. The only picture on the desk is a tiny frame containing a picture of her. It’s one that she’s never seen…her back is to the camera and she’s looking over her shoulder back at the photographer with a big smile, her head thrown back in laughter. She can’t place the time when it was taken, so she picks it up, looking at it more closely. Turning to Max, she asks, “When was this?”

“Right after we got back from Vermont. We went hiking and camping in the woods, remember?” he tells her and she nods, remembering. “I took that while we were hiking…you kept teasing me…saying I couldn’t keep up and calling me an old man.”

“Ahh. I remember now.” She says, looking back at the picture and smiling. They made love for the first time on that trip. If she remembers right, he had to have taken this picture the morning after. Setting it gently back down in the same spot, she straightens, “I forgot my hair was ever that long.” She says as she absently touches the ends of her hair.

Leaving his office, Max leads her back down the hallway and to the stairs. Once upstairs, he tells her, “All the bedrooms are up here. I guess someone could use the office for a bedroom, but the closet isn’t very big.” They walk down to the room that she assumes Maria and Michael are staying in. “The Guerin penthouse.” He announces as he leads her into the room.

She smiles and takes in the size of the room. There’s a king size bed in the middle of the room, under the windows. She sees suitcases lying on the floor, their contents spilling over onto the floor. On one side of the room, under a section of the ceiling that slants down, are two sleeping bags peeking out of another fort made with chairs and sheets. There’s a doorway that leads to a bathroom.

“No one ever stays in here but them. They’ve kind of claimed it.” He chuckles, pointing to the pictures hanging on the walls. Some are of the kids, one is just of Maria and Michael. There’s also a large, framed picture of all of them in the Crashdown before their Junior Prom.

Liz laughs and turns to Max before walking closer to it, “Why would she hang this up? She was so mad at Michael…and he’s wearing his cooking clothes.”

Max laughs and says, “It’s to remind Michael of how much a pain in the ass he was in high school.” He sobers and adds, “And it has everyone in it…you and Alex.”

Liz looks back and notices that a cartoon picture of a devil has been pasted over Tess. She laughs, shaking her head, and whispers, “Maria.”

Liz leaves their room and heads back down the hall. She admires the built in cabinets at the end of the hall. They probably hold towels and sheets.

As they reach the stairs, Max says, “And that’s your room.” And turning to the other side, “And my room. That’s it…unless you wanna see the garage.” He says with a smile.

Liz just smiles back and says, “Well, I never really got a good look at your room this morning…I was a little distracted.” as she walks in to his bedroom.

She walks through the doorway and sees the dark taupe walls that she saw this morning. On the windows are dark, olive green velvet drapes that match the color of the bedspread…which covers a king size bed. It has a dark wood mission style headboard and matching footboard. As she looks around, she notices that all the furniture is dark. The floors are wooden and there are throw rugs thrown over them.

She’s startled by Max’s voice, “Isabel decorated it…practicing for her house.” She turns to see that he’s shrugging his shoulders, smiling.

“It’s nice, Max…cozy.” She tells him as she makes her way around the room. She sees his suitcase thrown to the side, open and still full from his trip. She notices clothes thrown on the floor next to the closet…like he packed quickly. She catches a glimpse of something from the corner of her eye and looks back toward the suitcase. Peeking out of his clothes, she can see part of a blue fuzzy glove…her blue fuzzy glove. Her gaze stays on the glove briefly, then moves away.

Next to the closet is another door that leads to a large bathroom. She peeks in and sees a big tub and separate glassed-in shower. There’s a vanity with two sinks and further back another door that looks like a small linen closet.

She turns back toward the bedroom and she sees that on one nightstand, there’s a lamp, a phone and some papers it looks like he’d been grading. On the other, the one closest to her, she sees an open notebook and as she moves toward it, she sees the name Julie Baker scrawled across one page, with her address in Philly written beneath it. As she steps closer and looks at the opposite page, she sees NEW BED written in bold and underlined twice. But before she can see anything else, Max has picked the book up and closed it.

“This is…um…what I write in. About you….I mean….about the details of my visits.” He stammers as he holds the book to his chest.

“Oh.” She says softly, as she watches him clutching the book…her brow furrowing slightly. She backs away toward the door and says, “You know, I think I’m gonna go down and see if Maria’s back from her walk yet.”

Max puts the book down on his bed and says, “Yah…ok.” as he nods his head.

“Thanks for the tour, Max. It really is a nice house.” She smiles at him as he walks toward her.

“Liz,” he says as he moves to stand in front of her. “I…I…” he reaches his hand toward her cheek…just hovering next to it. “can I…” he wants to touch her so badly.

She doesn’t let him finish as she leans her cheek into his hand, closing her eyes at the warmth. She can feel him rub his thumb across her skin, as she’s suddenly hit with a flash of Max…standing above her sleeping form, holding his hand above her face, longing to touch her lips. She can feel his love for her and her whole body becomes warm. “Max.” she whispers as his thumb moves to caress her lips and she can’t help the whimper that escapes from between them.

That small sound is his undoing and he brings his other hand up to her other cheek as his lips descend on hers. Her lips are so soft and he can’t think of anything else as he brushes over them with his own.

Caught helplessly with her feelings, and Max’s overwhelming feelings for her, swirling around in her body, Liz reaches up and wraps her arms around Max’s back, pulling herself close to him. As she opens her mouth to deepen the kiss, she hears Max groan and she feels her body unconsciously press closer to his.

Max’s hands move further down her body as she wraps her arms around his neck…hands grabbing at his hair. Breaking free from the kiss, he rests his cheek on hers briefly as he sighs, “Oh God, Liz.” before sucking on her earlobe and making his way down to her neck.

Liz throws her head back as she feels Max pick her up off the floor…wrapping her legs around his waist. She groans as she grinds against Max urgently and feels him shudder.

Max sucks his way down Liz’s neck, he can’t get enough. He rips her scarf off and moves to the other side. Suddenly, he feels her stiffen and bring her hand up to her neck. When he moves to look up at her, they both hear, “Liz! I’m back! Are you upstairs?” being shouted from downstairs by Maria.

Liz’s eyes go wide as she quickly slides back down to stand on the floor, still covering her neck with her hand. “Oh my God.” She whispers as she looks down at her crumpled clothes and tries to smooth them. She looks up at Max, his face is flushed, eyes closed, and he’s rubbing his forehead with his hand. “Oh God…I’m so sorry…Max…” she whispers as she backs out the door, looking at him one last time before running across the hall to her room.

Max backs slowly to his bed and falls back on it, rolling over on his stomach and groaning. “Damn it!” he says into the pillow. First this morning, then….this…and she hasn’t even been back for more than 24 hours. “What am I? Some kind of animal?” he berates himself. He takes deep breaths, trying to calm down as he tells himself that he needs to keep a safe distance away from Liz.

“Max? Where’s Liz?” he hears Maria ask from the doorway.

“Go away, Maria.” He growls at her, still face down in his pillow.

“Ok, grumpy.” She says, rolling her eyes. Picking up on his emotions as she heads across the hall to Liz’s room, she goes back to his open door and says, “You better calm that libido of yours down before you scare Liz, loverboy.” and she turns again to go to Liz’s room. His answering groan makes her giggle as she walks away.

“Liz?” Maria says as she pokes her head in through the door. “You in here?”

“I’m in the bathroom, Maria. Be right out.” Liz yells from behind the door in her room.

Maria walks in and sits down on Liz’s bed waiting for her. When Liz comes out of the bathroom, she notices her flushed cheeks but decides not to comment on them. “So…how’d it go…with your parents?” she asks instead.

“I don’t know. My Mom was happy. My Dad…I…I don’t know” She says as she looks down at her shoes. “I’m going over there tomorrow night…for dinner. They wanted me to stay there…with them. And my Dad…oh God, he totally attacked Max when my Mom made me call him and get him over there. It was awful.”

“I’m sure your Dad is happy, too. He’s probably just in shock seeing you. What’d Max do?”

“Nothing…he just took it.” Liz looks over at Maria. “I felt so bad. But my Dad eventually calmed down and thanked Max for finding me.”

“Are you going to…stay with them, I mean?” Maria asks.

“I don’t think so.” Liz answers. “It would be…strange. But I need to think of something…of what I’m gonna do, where I’m gonna go. I should try to find a job…soon. I don’t have much money…most of it went to rent that house in Dallas and I doubt I’ll be getting my deposit back.” She looks over to the door of Max’s room, Liz turns and whispers to Maria, “I need to get out of here…I just attacked Max.”

Maria’s eyes open wide and she whispers back, “You attacked him? Like flying fists and feet?!”

“No, more like flying lips and hands and legs.” Liz looks down at her hands.

“Oh!” Maria smiles and chuckles. “Well…if it’s any consolation, I bet Max didn’t think it was so bad.”

“Maria…” Liz shoots her a disapproving look. “I can’t stay here…I can’t even control myself around him, obviously.”

Maria picks up Liz’s hand, “Well, if you want to leave, I’ll help you…whatever you need. I mean it…anything. Although, I know Max would love it if you stayed here.”

“Thank you, Maria.” Liz tells her. Looking over at Maria, her eyes glancing out her door across the hall to Max’s door, she says, “Let’s go sit outside, on the back patio.”

“Sounds good…we can have some girl time…and you can tell me all about this horrible groping experience you had.” Maria smiles and stands up, pulling an eye rolling Liz up with her. “But first…I have something that belongs to you.” And she walks out of Liz’s room, motioning for Liz to follow her.

When they walk into Maria’s room, Liz watches her go to a suitcase on the floor and rummage through it before pulling something out and turning to Liz. “I believe this belongs to you?” Maria hands Liz the picture of her, Liz and Alex that Liz had left in Philadelphia.

Slowly taking the picture from Maria, Liz’s chin quivers as she runs her fingers over the glass that she had written her message on. “Maria,” Liz begins, looking up at her with tears in her eyes. “I was so scared. I was so scared that Max would find me.” And she lets the tears fall.

“Oh, sweetie.” Maria puts her arm around her. “I’m so sorry. I have to admit that I just don’t know what to say. I can’t even begin to imagine what you had to go through…I…I was off living my dream, with Michael, and you were…you were…” she can’t say anymore past the lump in her throat.

“Shh, Maria. It’s ok…I don’t need you to say anything. Just being here with you…it’s good.” Liz gives her a squeeze, trying to comfort Maria. “How about we go outside for our girl talk now.”

“Ok.” Maria says, sniffling. “I’d like that.” And she smiles at Liz before they turn to walk downstairs.

Sometime later, Max makes his way back downstairs and joins Michael on the couch. “Where’s Liz?”

“They’re out back…gabbing.” He answers. “Go grab me a soda…while you’re up?”

Max looks over at Michael and rolls his eyes. He gets back up from the couch and heads into the kitchen. “I’m starved…you cooking dinner?” he yells back into the living room at Michael.

“Sure. You wanna grill? Steaks? Chicken?” Michael says as Max walks back in with the sodas.

“Sounds good.” Max sits back down on the couch and they watch the baseball game in silence.

After an uncomfortably quiet dinner of grilled chicken, grilled potatoes, and salad, the four of them sit around the table drinking coffee and eating one of Maria’s mom’s key lime pies. “Mom brought this over earlier for you Liz, she knows it used to be your favorite.” Maria says as she takes a bite.

“Mmmm…still is. I’ll have to go see her tomorrow to thank her.” Liz says as she takes a bite and closes her eyes in bliss.

“So…no kids! I don’t know what to do with myself!” Maria exclaims as she sits back in her chair, trying to ease the tension she feels between Max and Liz.

“I know what you can do with yourself.” Michael says to her, raising his eyebrows and smirking.

“Michael!” Maria gasps, looking at Liz and Max…embarrassed.

“What? I think they know, Maria.” He says while pointing to her belly and taking another bite of pie.

Maria turns to a giggling Liz, “Excuse him…he’s still marveling at the concept of fire, and the wonders of the wheel being round.” She says as she rolls her eyes and stands up from the table.

“Michael, I’ll tell you one thing, you’re not doing anything to me that I’m not doing to myself first.” She smirks at him as she quickly makes her way out of the kitchen and toward the stairs.

Michael’s eyes go wide as he chokes on his pie and jumps up from the table, “Get back here woman…before I have to spank you!” and he chases Maria out of the room.

“Oooohhh…promise?” Liz and Max hear Maria giggle from the top of the stairs.

Hearing Michael run up the stairs, Liz and Max are left at the table in silence, stunned. “Wow.” Liz says, looking over at the plates and mugs they left behind.

Max clears his throat, getting up to clear the table, “Yah, they’re…um…they’re like that all the time.” he says nervously. “More coffee?” he asks.

“No thanks.” Liz gets up to help Max with the dishes.

When they’re finished, Max turns to her, “Liz…” he starts but she interrupts him.

“Max, I’m sorry…I…that was just…I don’t know what I was thinking…earlier.” Looking at the floor, she can’t even meet his eyes.

“Liz, you don’t need to apologize…I…” he begins, but she backs away to leave the kitchen.

“No…it was my fault. I…just…I’m sorry.” She interrupts him as she turns to run up the stairs.

He watches her run away from him and he sits down at the table, sighing. Eventually, he gets up and walks down the hall into his office and sits at his desk. He turns on his computer and looks at the small picture of Liz while he waits for it to boot up. They were so happy that day…just the two of them being teenagers for a change. They had made love the night before under the stars and it was the best night of his life. He would never forget how she looked in the moonlight.

He picks up the phone and calls a professor is his department at school. When he picks up, Max says, “Tom. Hope I didn’t catch you at a bad time.”

“Hey Max. No, of course not. What can I do for you?” he says.

“That conference in Phoenix next week, is there any way you could go in my place? This…situation with my family is going to take longer than I thought. I could bring my notes to you tomorrow. I’d owe you.” Max hopes he’ll say yes.

“Well, I guess. You know more about it than I do, but I’ll take a look at what you have and do my best.” Tom answers him. “Is everything alright?”

“Oh, yah…it’s just…I need to be here this week and going out of town isn’t really an option for me right now. I really appreciate this, Tom. I owe you…big.” Max says gratefully. “How about I run my notes over to your house tomorrow morning?”

“Actually, I’ll be at my office if you can bring them by there?”

“Sure. I’ll be by around 10…ok?”

“Sounds good, Max.”

“Thanks again, Tom…really. You’re doing me a huge favor.” Max tells him before saying goodbye.

As he begins to gather files from his computer, copying them to a disk, he hears someone walking down the stairs. He turns to a notepad lying on his desk and starts to make some notes for Tom and doesn’t notice Liz walk into his office.

“Max.” she says softly, startling him.

He looks up at her; she’s looking at the floor and twisting her hands together in front of her. “Liz?”

She looks up and swallows, “I’m sorry…” she laughs uncomfortably before continuing, “I feel like I can’t stop apologizing to everyone. But, um…I am…sorry, I mean…for running off earlier. I just…I’m so confused right now, and overwhelmed at seeing you again. Seeing Maria again. And you guys are being so nice to me and I don’t deserve it. I…I’m just…it’s hard for me to remember who I used to be.”

“Liz, no one expects you to be who you used to be. And why shouldn’t we be nice to you? Do you think that there’s some reason we shouldn’t be?” Max asks her, confused at her words.

“After everything I put you through? How can you?” Liz looks up at him.

“Everything you put me through? Liz, everything you did was for me…for all of us…you believed you were protecting us. How could we be angry about that?”

Liz looks down at the floor again, “If you knew the things he did…what he…” she couldn’t finish.

Max stands up and takes a step toward her, “Then tell me, Liz. Tell me what he did to you so you can see that I’ll still love you. That I’ll still want you.”

“Max,” she cries as she turns toward the door, then back to him, “you don’t understand what I…I’ve done. The things he did!” a tear falls down her cheek and she angrily wipes it away. “He…he raped me…over and over again. I’m pretty sure he did even when I was unconscious. He would beat me unconscious and tie me up…and he would do things…”

“Oh God.” Max cries, stepping toward her…reaching out for her.

But she steps back, out his reach, and rushes ahead with what she has to tell him. “And each time he would be someone else…in a different body. But it was always him…it was like a nightmare. No, worse than a nightmare because when I’d wake up he’d be there, ready to do it all over again. And he would laugh the whole time, telling me how sick I was…that I really enjoyed what he was doing.” She sat down on the loveseat and cradled her head in her hands. “I can still hear him…laughing…” she has tears in her eyes, but she doesn’t let them fall. If she did, she was afraid she’d never stop.

“He would make them watch…his watchers…the ones who follow me, keeping an eye on me when he can’t be there. They’re all shapeshifters, and he would…Max…he would make them be you. He would make them shapeshift to look like you and they would stand around watching as he…” the last sentence fading away, she grabs her hair in her hands, holding her hands over her ears and rocking back and forth.

Max is horrified as he listens to her, and he kneels down on the floor…his head in his hands, tears streaming down his face. And he hopes with everything in him that she’s done.

“I started drinking…a lot…and it helped. It helped when I would wake up and he was gone and I couldn’t really remember everything he had done. But he didn’t like that. I guess it wasn’t as much fun for him when I was drunk and he would beat me worse, so I stopped drinking…hoping that would make him happy. He would make me do…things…to him. And he would make me tell him I loved him, that I was his and he would laugh…he though it was so funny. And he would say ‘If only Max could see you now…think how disgusted he would be.’ And all those shapeshifters would be standing there…staring…and they looked just like you.” She can’t help it now and she chokes a sob out, the tears finally falling.

She doesn’t look at him as she stands up and walks toward the door. She doesn’t want to see his devastated face. “So you see? Do you see now? You can’t love me, Max…” And she leaves him crumpled on the floor, sobbing, as she runs from the room.

posted on 7-May-2002 10:11:56 AM
Part 19~

He doesn’t know how much time passes but eventually, Max stands up and wipes the tears off his face. What has he done? He’s destroyed the one person he’s ever loved. Leaving his office, he walks down the hallway and drags himself up the stairs. He paces outside of Liz’s room…pausing at her door every couple of minutes…only to start pacing the hallway again. He runs his hands through his hair and sits on the top step of the stairs…staring at her closed door.

Thoughts of barging in and telling her that he loves her…that he always has and always will…run through his mind. They’re followed quickly by red hot rage and he just wants to throw something. He feels out of control…no…he can’t let Liz see him like this. He gets back up and paces for several more minutes. Pounding on the railing at the top of the stairs a couple of times, he whispers, “Shit!” and storms into his room, slamming the door.

In his room, he walks to the side of his bed and picks up his Liz Diary, laying down on the bed and opening it to the front page. Reading his Liz Diary always calmed him down. He reads his notes from all of his visits to her…feeling disgusted with himself as he thinks about what she was going through and he had no idea.

Michael was wrong. He couldn’t heal Liz…he would never be able to heal her. He lays the book down and exhaustion over takes him. He doesn’t bother to take his clothes off or get under the covers as he cries himself to sleep.

Across the hall, Liz lays curled up on her bed. She listened while Max paced out in the hall and debated with himself about what to do. She heard him talking to himself at one point but she couldn’t hear what he was saying. Then she heard him hit something and slam the door to his room.

She sighs and rolls onto her other side. She shouldn’t have told him…but then she thinks of what happened in his room earlier and she raises her fingers to her lips, remembering how his lips felt on hers. She remembers their night together camping in the woods so many years ago. He needed to know…how different she really is now. He couldn’t go on believing that there could ever be anything between them again. She loves him too much to let him…what? Love her? How could he possibly love her after what she told him?

Maybe she should leave. She could run again…Khivar wouldn’t be able to find her without the tracker. She could become invisible again…she was an expert at it. Realizing that she wasn’t going to fall asleep, she swings her legs over the side of the bed. She walks to the window and looks out to the street below. Not a car in sight. She looks at her U-Haul, still parked in Max’s driveway. It would be so easy to go down and drive away…no one would ever know.

She quietly packs up her clothes and carries her suitcase downstairs and out the front door. Looking around one last time, she shuts the door behind her and heads out to the truck.

Max wakes up when he hears a knocking at his door. “Yah?” he says loud enough for whoever it is to hear him.

The door opens slowly, and Maria appears. “Max? What’s going on? I can’t sleep…I’m totally filled with all kinds of crazy vibes from you. It’s…it’s scaring me.”

“I’m sorry, Maria. Go back to bed.” Max tells her wearily.

“What happened? Is it Liz?” she wants to know.

Sighing, he says, “Yes.” And he looks over at his clock to see that it’s a little after 2am. “You should check on her…I…I can’t” and he lays back down, letting out a deep breath.

Concerned, Maria softly says, “Ok, Max. Everything will be ok, though…right?”

Looking at her intently, he says, “No. Everything will never be ok.” as he rolls over onto his side, away from the door. “Go away Maria…leave me alone.”

She stands there for another moment, her brow furrowing, before she closes the door and walks across the hall to Liz’s room. Quietly knocking on the door before opening it, Maria pokes her head in and doesn’t see Liz anywhere. Turning on the light, she calls out, “Liz? Are you in the bathroom?” She doesn’t hear anything and looks around the room. She sees that Liz’s suitcase is gone and she rushes back to Max’s room, opening the door without knocking. “She’s gone!”

Max sits up in bed, “What? What are you talking about?”

“Liz…she’s gone…her suitcase is gone and she’s not in her room.” Maria tells him quickly and she turns from his room to go downstairs, turning lights on along the way.

Max bolts out of bed and follows Maria down the stairs. They look in his office, before checking the living room and the back yard. Nothing. Hurrying to the front door, Max whips it open and sees that Liz’s U-Haul is still parked in the driveway. He turns to go back inside but catches a glimpse of someone in the driver’s seat, leaning over the steering wheel. Liz.

“She’s outside, Maria. It’s ok.” Max tells her before walking out across the front lawn and up to the truck.

Liz is startled out of her internal debate by a tapping on the window next to her. She sits up quickly and sees Max standing next to the door, his hand raised to the window. She sits back in the seat and lets out a deep breath before opening the door.

She looks past Max to see Maria standing in the doorway, her hand covering her mouth. She sees the tears in Maria’s eyes and starts to say, “Maria…” but Maria shakes her head and turns back into the house, closing the door behind her.

Liz puts her hand to her forehead and says, “Damn it!” before she looks over to see Max leaning against the side of the truck.

“You’re gonna leave…run again.” He says simply.

She looks up to the night sky and sighs. “I was, yes. But I couldn’t.” She looks over to Max, then down to the ground. “Max…I…I think maybe I should go, though…find an apartment or something tomorrow. Maybe I should go stay with my parents.”

“Is that what you want?” Max asks her without looking at her. She can see the muscles in his jaw flexing as he clenches his teeth.

She thinks for a few moments before saying, “I…it would be better for you, I think, if I weren’t here.”

Sighing, Max rubs his face with his hands. “Liz, we have a problem here.” he says as he walks toward her. “You seem to think you know what I want and what I need and it’s pretty obvious to me that you have no idea what that is.” He stands next to her and leans in close…reaching around her. “Whatever it is that you’re thinking…you’re wrong.” He stands back, the truck keys in his hand, and walks back in the house…leaving the door open behind him.

When he walks back in the house, Maria is sitting on the bottom step of the stairs and looks up. “Is she staying?” she asks him.

“Yes.” He says and walks up the stairs to his room.

Maria rubs her face as she stands up to follow Max up the stairs when she sees Liz walk back in the house. She walks back down to her room and climbs back into bed with Michael.

“Everything alright?” Michael asks her sleepily.

Maria closes her eyes and says, “No. I’m pretty sure it’s not. Liz tried to leave…run away again. And Max…he told me to leave him alone. He’s so sad…like, unusual sad…not normal Max sad. He’s devastated….it’s almost like he’s given up…like he’s…empty.” She turns to let Michael wrap his arms around her and she cuddles up against his chest.

He looks at her, waiting to hear the rest.

She sighs and says, “She’s staying, I guess. Something happened earlier…between them…something bad.”

They lay in silence for a few minutes, then Michael leans down and kisses the top of her head. “It’ll be ok. They’ll work it out. Whatever it is, it can’t be as bad as when Liz was gone.”

“No…it’s worse.” Maria says before she snuggles in closer to him and dozes off to sleep.


Part 20~

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Liz wakes up where she fell asleep, in the recliner in Max’s office. She lay there last night for hours, looking up at all the pictures on the ceiling. She listens to the early morning silence of the house thinking of what she’ll say to Maria. She looked so hurt last night, standing in the doorway. And Max…what did he mean? That he wants her to stay…here? With him?

She hears movement upstairs and someone walking down the stairs. Looking over to the doorway, she sees Max walk in the office, startled to see her there.

“Liz.” He stops, looking around. “Did you sleep here last night?”

She nods and starts to get up. “I’m sorry…I just…”

He shakes his head and heads over to his desk. “I have to go into the office, take care of some things.” He gathers up some files and a disk and turns back to her. “You’ll be here when I get back?”

She nods her head at Max, sad that he has to ask her that.

He walks to the door and says without turning around, “I’ll only be about an hour. We’ll talk when I get back.” And he walks out the door.

45 minutes later, Liz walks downstairs after showering and changing. Michael looks up from the paper as she walks in the kitchen. He takes in her red, puffy eyes and says, “I just made coffee.” nodding over to the coffee maker on the counter.

“Is Maria awake?” she asks him as she pours a cup for herself.

“Yah. She’s outside.” He says before getting back to his paper.

Liz walks out the backdoor and sees Maria sitting in a chair looking out over the backyard. She walks over and sits next to her.

After a few moments of silence, she says, “Maria, I’m sorry.” She looks at Maria and sees that she has tears in her eyes. “I’m…I’m so sorry.”

“Why?” Maria says with a small voice. “Why would you leave?”

Sighing, Liz plays absently with the buttons on her shirt. “I just…I thought it would be better if I left. I thought I could leave and Khivar wouldn’t be able to find me because he can’t track me. I…I thought it would be better for all of you if I wasn’t here.”

“That’s bullshit.” Maria says and looks over at her. “You’re scared. You’re scared of whatever’s going on with you and Max and…and you think it’ll all be easier if you left.”

“That’s part of it, too.” Liz admits. “I’m just so confused, Maria. I didn’t mean to hurt you.”

“I don’t know what happened last night between you two…but he loves you Liz. And I know you love him. Whatever happened…it…it broke him somehow. He’s in so much pain that I can feel it now…wherever he’s at right now, I can still feel his pain. But more than that, I feel his love for you…the same love I’ve been feeling from him for years.” Maria looks out at the pool. “Please don’t leave us again.” She says softly. “Whatever happens with Khivar…they’ll take care of it.”

Liz grabs Maria’s hand and says, “I know. I’m so sorry Maria…I won’t leave again. I promise.” And she leans her head down on Maria’s shoulder.

Maria nods and says, “Ok…it’ll be ok.” bringing her hand up to Liz’s head.

Wondering what happened between Max and Liz last night, Michael hears a muffled ringing coming from the living room. Walking in, he hears that it’s coming from a bag on the floor near the front door…Liz’s bag. It’s her cell phone. Debating about whether to answer it or not, his decision is made when it stops ringing. But before he turns to walk back to the kitchen, it starts ringing again.

He looks toward the back door, not wanting to disturb Liz and Maria and reaches for it, “Hello?” he says.

A long pause, then, “Who is this?”

“Who’s this?” Michael answers back.

“This isn’t your phone. Why are you answering this phone?” the voice questions him.

Michael rolls his eyes, “Because the owner of this phone isn’t available right now.”

Another long pause…Michael can hear the man breathing on the other end so he knows he’s still there.

“Hello?” Michael says.

Then the caller hangs up.

“Asshole.” Michael says under his breath as he brings the phone back in the kitchen with him. He scrolls through the menu and tries to pull up the last caller’s number but it says ‘unavailable’ on the display. Then he tries *69…nothing. He scrolls through the menu looking for the phone number listings, but it’s empty. Not one number is listed.

Just then, Max walks through the front door and walks into the kitchen to find Michael puzzling over the phone. “What’s going on?” he asks.

“Some guy just called Liz’s phone and got all pissy when she didn’t answer, so he hung up on me.” Michael says as he sets the phone on the table.

Looking down at the phone, Max asks, “Where is she?”

“Outside talking to Maria. I didn’t want to bother them…I think it’s pretty serious.” Michael tells him.

Nodding, Max looks outside through the window over the sink and sees Liz and Maria hugging. “She almost left last night.”

“Yah…Maria told me.” Michael says as he takes a sip of his coffee and looks up at Max.

“She told me…everything…last night. Everything Khivar did…to her. I think she panicked.” Max says as he sits down across from Michael.

Sensing that Max isn’t going to tell him more, Michael looks back down to his paper…he can only guess at how bad it was if she felt like she had to run again.

After a few minutes, Max gets up and walks outside. Maria and Liz turn to see him walk towards them.

“Liz, can I talk to you?” he asks her.

Maria stands up and wipes the tears off her face. “I need to go rescue Isabel from the kids. I’ll see you later.” She says to Liz, giving her a smile before walking back inside.

When Maria goes inside, Liz stands up to face Max…wiping her hands on her shorts. She looks up, trying to read the expression on his face and finds that she can’t. “Max,” she starts but he holds his hand up and shakes his head.

“No, Liz. I…just let me...” Max walks over and pulls a chair to face the one she was sitting in. He motions for her to sit back down. He sits and rubs his hand over his face, and looks up at her. “Liz, you have to help me out here. I’m not sure I know what you want. Do you want to leave here?”

Liz doesn’t look at him, instead looking at her hands in her lap. “Max...I…wish so much that things were different. I want…I want my life back. I hate feeling like this.”

“I don’t know what to do to help you…tell me what to do and I’ll do it.” Max pleads, looking for some sign that she wants his help.

She shakes her head and says, “I don’t know. I’m just scared…for all of us. I’m scared of what’ll happen to all of you because I’m here with you. I’m afraid for you. My being here puts all of you in danger, Max.”

“Liz, I’m not gonna let him touch you ever again. It’s killing me…thinking about what he did to you.” Max bends his head down and cradles it in his hands. “I can’t stand the thought that you want to leave.”

“Max…” Liz sighs and fidgets in her chair…looking anywhere but his face. “I understand…how guilty you must be feeling. I didn’t tell you…what I did…for your pity. I told you so you would realize. So you’d realize that you don’t want me…so you would be able to let go of the Liz you spent so much time looking for. The Liz you fell in love with. Because that’s not me…I’m…not that Liz anymore.” She whispers.

Max leans forward and grabs the arms of her chair, trying to get her to look at him. “I don’t think you do understand, Liz. I want you…not 18 year old Liz…but the Liz sitting in front of me. Yes, I feel guilty…so much so that I don’t think I can take it much more…but I don’t pity you. I admire you…for surviving…for living. And I’m not going to let you push me away because you think it’s for my own good. Or because you think that I couldn’t possibly love you now. Or because you have some crazy idea that you don’t deserve to be happy with me.”

He reaches up and cups her cheek with his hand, not letting her pull away. “I love you, Liz. Nothing you could tell me will stop that. I love you! Please don’t push me away.” He pleads with her.

He wipes away a tear that escapes her eye and looking at him she says, “I don’t…I…can’t give you what you want from me, Max. I don’t think I know how to love anymore. It hurts, Max…I feel so empty inside and it hurts. It hurts to look at you…knowing what you’re thinking.”

“And what am I thinking, Liz?”

Her chin quivers as she says, “That I’m used…and broken. I can practically hear you screaming when you look at my scars, ‘Let me heal you! So I can make you pretty again!’ But Max, it won’t help. Even if I let you heal these scars, I’d still be the same…underneath.”

“Liz, you are so wrong. I want to heal you…I can’t deny that. But only because I hate that you have to look at a constant reminder of what’s happened. I hate that you experience one ounce of pain when you walk. You couldn’t be further from the truth.” He tilts her head up, not letting her look down. “I love the person underneath…let me help you…let me heal you. Not just outside, but inside. Let me try…I just…I can’t watch you walk out of my life again. Please don’t do that to us…please don’t give up on us, because I haven’t. I told you once that I believe in you…I still do. Please don’t leave me, Liz…I need you so much.” He cries as he takes her hand and stokes it with both of his.

She looks into his eyes…swimming in unshed tears. She could lose track of time looking in those eyes. After a few minutes she says, “You know, I can feel you…when you showed up in Dallas, I knew you were there before I saw you. I didn’t know it was you at the time…but I could feel it…it had been so long that I didn’t recognize what it was. Isn’t it strange that after all this time, I can still feel you?” She sniffles and wipes her eye. “Do you think we’ll always be connected like that? Because you healed me?”

“I don’t know. I’ve never been connected to Kyle or his dad like that and I healed both of them. I think it’s more than that, Liz.” He watches as she looks down at their hands. “I took it for granted all those years ago…that it would always be there. Then, when you left and it was gone…I felt like part of me was missing. I felt it come and go sometimes…and it almost drove me crazy for awhile.”

“So…I guess we’re stuck with each other.” She raises one side of her mouth in a half smile.

“I guess so.” He says as he wipes a tear from her cheek. “Is that such a bad thing?”

She shakes her head and smiles. “No…it’s not a bad thing at all.”


Part 21~

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Three weeks pass with no movement from Khivar…and no word from Jaret. The semester has ended at the college and Michael and Maria decided to stay in Roswell for a while…until the situation with Khivar is resolved. Max argued with them about staying with him…and Amy wanted them to stay with her. In the end, Maria rented a house for a month. She felt bad for imposing on Max for so long and she didn’t think she could stay with her mother for more than a few days.

“Michael…tell your son he has to put a shirt on before we go to the Crashdown!” Maria yells at Michael from the bedroom.

Michael is lacing up his shoes to go play basketball with Max. “My son. Like she didn’t have anything to do with it.” He mutters as he walks out to the backyard and yells, “Alex, get a shirt on before your mother opens fire on us.”

“I heard that!” he hears being yelled from inside the house.

Michael walks back into the house and down the hall to their bedroom, where he sees Maria struggling to get her shoes tied. He kneels down on the floor in front of her and takes over. “How long are you and Liz gonna be at the Crashdown?”

“I don’t know…couple hours maybe? We’re gonna stop at the mall, too…I talked her into letting me buy her some new clothes.” Maria grins…proud of herself.

“Just call if you need anything…we’re gonna go play some ball. Maybe go look at some cars.” Michael says as he finishes lacing up Maria’s shoes.

“Ok…thanks.” She says as she gives him a quick kiss before standing up. “I have to run…I told Liz I’d be there 15 minutes ago. Did you get a shirt on that kid?”

Max’s house

Liz is standing in front of the mirror in her bathroom, inspecting her clothes. The collar on her shirt doesn’t go quite high enough to cover the scar on her neck totally. She doesn’t like to see her parents without being covered. The looks on their faces are bad enough when they can only see the scars on her face. Her shirt is a long-sleeved white mock turtleneck…if only the neck was a half inch higher. Sighing, she turns from the mirror and picks her purse up off the dresser before going downstairs.

Max looks up from the table when Liz walks into the kitchen. He looks at what she’s wearing and shakes his head. “Liz, it’s 95 degrees outside.” It’s a losing argument, he knows.

“I know…but it’s my parents. Can you…you know…make the neck a little higher?” she asks him while wiggling her fingers at him.

Rolling his eyes, he gets up and walks over to her. As he uses his powers to make the neck higher, he says, “Why won’t you let me just get rid of the ones on your arms? You’re gonna roast in that shirt.”

She smiles as he finishes and she feels to see if it’s high enough. “Not now, Max.” Satisfied that her neck is covered, she says, “Thank you.” and goes to the fridge to grab a Diet Coke. Seeing the look on his face, she says, “We’ll talk about it later…ok?”

Just then, they hear Maria honking her horn outside. “That’s Maria…have fun playing basketball. I’ll see you later.” Liz says before planting a quick kiss on Max’s cheek and running out the door.

After Liz leaves, Max sits back down at the table and absently runs his fingers over his cheek where she kissed him. Taking a sip of his water, he thinks about his lost cause in getting Liz to agree to let him heal some of her scars. He’s had practicality working on his side with the weather. But she still insists on walking around with long-sleeved shirts on when it boiling outside.

She tells him that she doesn’t want him to get flashes…to see what happened to her. Even after promising to push them back, she still won’t let him.

Other than their argument about the healing, the past three weeks have been…great. He smiles to himself as he thinks about it. Sometimes he still can’t believe that she’s really here. They spend almost every day together…staying up late into the night talking. He’s learned more and more about her…Khivar…Jaret. And what her life has been like. She opens up more to him each time they talk. And he’s told her about his life…as well as what he knows about everyone else. She gets so excited when he tells stories…sometimes making him act out particular events.

He gave her all his photo albums to look through…and gathered some from Isabel and Amy for her to look through as well. She looks at these late at night, alone in her room. Usually, the next morning she’ll be waiting downstairs with pages marked…ready to question Max about certain pictures and when it was taken or what was going on when it was taken.

The best, though, is when they stay up late watching movies. She’ll curl up next him on the couch, resting her head against his shoulder…sometimes she’ll reach over and grab his hand. And when the movie ends and she likes the music playing, she’ll get up and ask Max to dance with her through the closing credits before going up to bed. Yes, he definitely likes movie night.

Glancing up at the clock on the microwave, Max gets up and grabs his phone and keys before heading out to meet Michael at the park. As he drives, he thinks about his original plans for the summer. He had planned to join the research team at the High Altitude Observatory in Boulder, Colorado for the summer. They’re researching the Sun’s output of plasma and radiation and their effects on the Earth’s atmosphere. He had been looking forward to going, and he was going to take that opportunity to follow a few leads on Liz around that area.

But now…things had changed. He definitely won’t be researching the sun this summer, he thinks to himself as he pulls up to the curb across the street from the park. Locking his car he heads toward the basketball court, passing a few girls he recognizes from one of his classes. “Hi Max!” they call out to him.

“Hey.” He says back. He insists all his student call him Max. Mr. Evans, or even Dr. Evans, sounds too stuffy for him. Michael is already there waiting for him. “Hi Max.” Michael says to him in a mocking sing song voice.

“Shut up, Michael. They’re just students.” Max rolls his eyes at him.

“Uh huh…looks like you have a fan club.” He smirks, watching the girls walk across the park, glancing back at Max as they walk.

Michael’s still laughing at him when Max throws the ball at him, knocking him off balance.

The Crashdown

Maria and Liz sit back in a booth in the corner, watching Grace and Alex behind the counter with Liz’s Mom. She’s showing them how to work the milkshake machine today. “Grace, you better watch out or next she’ll have you in an alien uniform with antenna on your head.” Maria laughs over at them.

When Grace and Alex turn squealing to Nancy about wanting to wear antenna, Maria avoids the mock-angry look from Nancy with a smile and turns to look at Liz. “So…how’s it going?” she asks her…trying to get information out of her.

“How’s what going, Maria?” Liz says, making a half hearted attempt at avoiding the question as she glances around the Crashdown with a smile on her face.

Maria doesn’t say anything, just waits for Liz to return her attention back to her. When Liz doesn’t hear anything from Maria, she looks over and sees a smirk on Maria’s face…and her eyebrow raised.

“Maria…” she says as she rolls her eyes and smiles. “Nothing’s going on…really. It’s been…nice.”

“Nice?” Maria asks.

“Yah…we’re getting to know each other again. Kind of…healing each other, I guess.”

“Hm…and when are you gonna be running around in appropriate clothing for 100 degree weather?” Maria asks, eyeing Liz’s shirt and jeans.

Liz smoothes her shirt down and unconsciously brings her hand up to her forehead. “Soon. I’m just scared of what he’ll see.”

“Hun, it couldn’t possibly be worse than the millions of things he’s imagining in his head. It’ll be good…for both of you…if you just let him do it.” Maria grabs Liz’s hand across the table.

“I know.” Liz smiles over at her.

“And besides, we’re only buying temperature appropriate clothing today. So you have to get rid of them just so you can wear all your fabulous new clothes.” Maria says with a laugh.

Liz laughs with her. “Well, are you ready for this shopping extravaganza that you’re insisting on?”

“Yup.” Maria says as she slides out of the booth and walks over to the counter. “Nancy, you call me the minute they get unmanageable. You sure you don’t mind watching them for a couple of hours?”

Nancy looks up at Maria. “Of course not! You two go shopping…have fun. We’ll be just fine here. Right guys?”

Grace and Alex aren’t even paying attention as they become fascinated with blending pieces of candy bars into their milkshakes.

Maria laughs and says, “Yah…I’ll miss you too.” And rolls her eyes as she drags Liz with her out of the Crashdown.

2 hours later

Max and Michael stand in a used car lot, looking at a 5 year old Honda. “Think Liz will like the color?” Max asks Michael.

“I don’t know. Silver seems to go with her complexion.” Michael jokes as he raises his hand to his chin, resting his elbow on his other forearm.

Rolling his eyes, Max says, “You are absolutely no help to me, Michael.” Turning from the Honda he walks back over to the Jeep. “I think she might like this better…she can take the top off.”

Still in the mood to taunt Max, Michael says, “But I don’t think the blue will match those cute little sandals with the flowers that she has.”

Max turns to Michael and shoves him, then they start wrestling around the car lot, laughing. Suddenly, Michael stops. “Maria’s here.” And he looks around, not seeing her anywhere.

Max looks around and spots Maria across the street, walking out of the mall with Liz. They’re both carrying more bags than they can manage. “They’re over there…done shopping, it looks like.”

“Oh great…get ready to be tortured with a fashion show tonight.” Michael says as he watches them walk across the mall parking lot toward Maria’s car.

As Max watches Liz walking with Maria, laughing, he sees a car pull up in front of them. A minute later, a man gets out of the car and Max sees Liz drop her bags and push Maria behind her.

He doesn’t wait for Michael as he takes off running across the street…he sees the man talking, but Liz is shaking her head at him and trying to push Maria toward her car. As the man advances toward Liz, Max runs between all the cars in the mall parking lot.

He comes up behind the dark car parked in front of Liz and peeks around the side, seeing the man up toward the front. Max walks out and approaches the man from behind. Liz is several feet away with Maria poking her head around from behind Liz.

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you, Max.” The man’s voice stops Max dead in his tracks. “Wouldn’t want to put a show on for the kiddies, would you?” he asks as he turns around to face Max, pointing toward the large group of teenagers hanging out at the entrance to the mall. “And call your 2nd off while you’re at it.”

Max looks over and sees that Michael was coming up on the scene from the opposite side.

“Who are you?” Max asks as he sees his face. He’s young, 25 at the most. Taller than Max, but thinner…he’s wearing jeans and a gray t-shirt that has a green Rolling Rock logo on the front. He could be one of Max’s students.

“Someone who’s come to talk Liz out of whatever idiotic plan she thinks she has.” The man says impatiently as he turns back toward Liz. “What happened to your tracker, Liz? Khivar is beyond angry that it’s been removed…that was stupid-thing-you-did number one.” He says as he watches Max walk around him toward Liz and Maria. “Stupid-thing-you-did number two was coming back here.”

“Jaret…” Liz begins, as Max finally understands who this guy is. “Let me explain…”

“Nothing to explain, Liz. I get it. You’re throwing 10 years away…10 years of planning by an army of people that you have no Earthly concept of. All for a ‘roll in the hay’ with our king? Some girly chit-chat with Maria? Oh…probably a teary reunion with the folks, too…am I right?” Jaret says sarcastically to Liz.

“Hey. Who do you think you are?” Max demands.

Jaret advances on Max, “Who am I?” he asks incredulously. “I am the moron that signed up to spend the past 15 years of my life on this pit of a planet. Five of those years kissing Khivar’s ass to convince him I was on his side and ten more to chase around some human girl…all to save your ass!” he ends by pointing his finger into Max’s chest. “That is who I am…your Majesty.” He spits out the last part and turns toward Liz. “We’ll be leaving now, so say your little good-byes…come on.” He snaps his fingers at her, like you would a dog.

“Jaret,” Liz starts, “I’m sorry…I…they found me. They got my trail in Philadelphia…and tracked me down in Dallas.” She gets tears in her eyes as she looks at Max, then back to Jaret. “I know I screwed up, but…Khivar…he was sending Max to me.”

Jaret snaps his head back to Liz after eyeing Max, “Explain.”

“Once a year, in the middle of the night, I get transported somehow to wherever Liz is for 20 minutes. She’s always sleeping, so I just watch her. But last Monday night, I found Liz’s address on her dresser and we found her.” Max tells Jaret.

“I see.” Jaret says as he looks away, thinking. Turning back to Max, he says, “You shouldn’t have taken the tracker out. You’ve only alerted Khivar unnecessarily that there’s a problem. I’ve stalled him for weeks, but he’s becoming antsy and sent me to see what happened.” Looking to Liz he says, “Lucky for you, you took it out in Dallas so he thinks you’re still there.”

“Why don’t you just put another one in Liz and tell Khivar that it malfunctioned for a few weeks?” Maria offers as she inches out from behind Liz.

“Because then he’ll know that Liz is in Roswell…immediately…and with him. Genius.” Jaret rolls his eyes at her.

“Hey!” Michael says to him.

“Sooooory. Michael was right, you are an asshole.” She says under her breath and grabs Michael’s hand as he walk up to her.

“So that was Guerin that answered your phone when I called?” Jaret turns to Liz. At her nod he continues, “What was he doing with it? I thought it had been stolen. You’re to keep that phone with you at all times. I’m to be able to get a hold of you at any time of the day. How many times have we gone over this, Liz?”

“Ok, I’ve had about enough of you. You’ve been assigned to protect me, am I understanding that right?” Max spits out at Jaret.

“Technically…I guess.” He answers back.

Max steps toward him, “Then you will do what I say. You will not talk to Liz like that anymore. You will not talk to Maria like that anymore. And you will show Liz some respect.” He continues, “Now…we’re going to calmly go back to my house and discuss our plans. Do you understand me? Or do I have to poke my finger in your chest like a jackass to get your attention?”

“I understand.” Jaret replies. Turning to Maria he says, “I’m very sorry for my comment regarding your intellectual capacity.” Then turning to Liz he says, “Please forgive me, Liz. I meant no disrespect…just concern for your safety…and Max’s.” He then turns and walks around to the driver side of his car, enters it and starts the engine…waiting to follow the others.

“Kick ass! I want one of those, Max!” Maria slaps him playfully on the arm, turning toward her car.

“Jeez, Max…doesn’t anyone from our planet like you?” Michael says before picking the bags up off the ground and turning to follow Maria.

Max turns to Liz and sees the fear on her face. He walks over and puts his hand on her back. “It’ll be ok, Liz. I promise. We knew this was coming.”

She looks up at him and nods her head before walking to Maria’s car.

“Liz,” Maria looks over at Liz as she gets in the car…seeing the tears in her eyes. “He won’t hurt you…not with all of us there.”

Liz turns to look out the window. “I know. He’s never hurt me…he wouldn’t…” her voice fades away as she reaches up to brush a tear off her cheek.

“Maria, drop me off at my car…across the street.” Max says from the behind Liz. He reaches forward and puts his hand on her shoulder as her hand comes up to cover his.

“Ok.” Maria says as she pulls out of her parking spot and drives away from the mall…the car behind them following.

posted on 7-May-2002 10:12:42 AM
Part 22~

When they arrive back at the house, Maria is on her cell phone with Nancy…asking her if the kids could stay there for a little longer.

“If it’s a problem, I can have my Mom come pick them up.” Maria says into her phone as they walk through the front door.

“Oh no, Maria…I love having them here. You come get them whenever you want.” Nancy says.

Thanking Nancy and clicking the phone off, she hears Jaret ask, “You have kids?” as he looks between Michael and Maria.

“Yah.” Michael answers. “You don’t go near them.”

“Calm down Tarzan. Just amazed that they lived.” Jaret says as he walks further into the house, taking in his surroundings.

“What do you mean?” Max asks, following Jaret into the living room.

Jaret looks at Maria’s protruding belly, “You’re not engineered to breed with humans. It was supposed to be impossible.” He explains as he looks back at Michael. “Guess they were wrong.” and he shrugs his shoulders. “Do they have abilities?”

“No.” Michael answers quickly as he leads Maria to a chair.

Jaret sits down on Max’s couch and looks over at Maria. “How long? How long has it been?” he asks, nodding toward her stomach.

“Six months.” She answers him.

He raises his eyebrows in disbelief and says, “Hm.”

“What…’Hm’?!” Maria demands.

“That kid should be out of there by now.” He says. “But what do I know about human physiology?” and turns toward Max, “Can I please have a glass of water?”

“Wait! What do you mean?” Maria gets his attention again. “I was pregnant with the twins for a full 9 months.”

“That was twins.” Jaret says simply. “Antarian children take 3 months…at the most…to develop. Figure in a little human DNA and I figure a single child should take about 4 and a half, 5 months to cook in a human female. Your timer should have beeped at least a month ago, I’m guessing.” He looks up at her.

“This isn’t a casserole we’re talking about! This is my baby!” Maria exclaims.

“Whatever. Your human processes are so primitive, that’s just how I’ve always looked at the whole ordeal. Antarian females don’t carry their children as you do. So, like I said, what do I know about human physiology? I’m probably wrong.” He shrugs his shoulders again.

Maria sits down and Michael sits on the couch, next to her chair. “It’s ok. I check every day…I’d know if something was wrong.” He tells Maria as he glares at Jaret.

“You’re right.” Maria lets a breath out and relaxes.

“Liz, do you have any idea what you’ve gotten yourself into here?” Jaret gets her attention. “Why would you risk attracting unwanted attention to yourself like this?”

Liz looks over to Jaret, her face a mask of sadness and regret.

“Why wouldn’t she?! Is she supposed to live her life as Khivar’s plaything?” Maria asks incredulously as she grips Liz’s hand.

But Jaret doesn’t look away from Liz. Instead of answering Maria he says, “Once…twice more…at the most, Liz. He’s getting lazy. Now the opportunity’s lost.” He sighs and sinks back into the couch.

Max walks back in the living room with some water and a couple of cans of soda. “He doesn’t touch her again. If he wants me, he can come to me.” Max says.

Jaret rolls his eyes and says, “You don’t understand.”

“Make me.” Max responds. “Make me understand, then.”

“So,” Jaret sighs, “Liz tells me that your…Nacedo?” he looks at Liz for confirmation on the name. At her nod, he continues, “that your Nacedo…didn’t tell you much about yourselves.”

“No. He didn’t.” Max says. “But you’re a shapeshifter…like he was, right?” he asks.

“Yes.” Jaret responds, when the front door suddenly bursts open and Isabel comes rushing into the living room.

“Max! What’s going on? Michael called and told me…” she drifts off when she sees the strange person sitting on the couch. “Who are you?” she asks.

Jaret stands suddenly, “Vilondra.” He whispers.

Jesse walks in behind Isabel and hears this. Moving to take Isabel’s arm, he turns to Max…keeping a wary gaze on Jaret, “Hey…this…this isn’t that Khivar guy again, is it?” fear in his voice.

“No.” Jaret replies. “I’m Jaret.” Not taking his eyes off of Isabel.

“Well, Jaret, if you don’t mind, you can stop ogling my wife.” Jesse says tersely.

Jaret steps back, sitting down. “I’m sorry. If Khivar knew I was this close to Vilondra…he would have my head.”

“So, you were saying…you’re a shapeshifter?” Michael interrupts the staring contest between Jesse and Jaret.

“Yah, so?” Jaret responds.

Max looks at him pointedly and says, “You’ve been to our planet?”

“Of course.”

“So you can tell us…” Max begins, but Jaret interrupts.

“Oh…I see where this is going.” He nods his head in understanding. “Look, I’m no history teacher. So don’t expect me to waste my time, as well as yours, by telling you things you don’t need to know. I know what the message said that was sent with you in your ship. But that message was created a long time ago…by a desperate woman. You shouldn’t believe that you’re going to return to our planet. Because you won’t.”

Max looks confused. “But…I thought that’s what we were supposed to do…to help our people fight Khivar.”

Jaret laughs shortly, “Help?! Fight Khivar?! Look at yourselves! You’re weak humans now…with very limited abilities. You wouldn’t survive a full day on our planet.” He looks at the faces around him, some angry, some confused. “Look, as I started to say earlier…Liz told me that your Nacedo didn’t tell you these things. That he was working for Khivar. Assuming that’s true, of course he would follow along with what the message still said. He knew you weren’t going to return, but he had his own agenda.”

As Jaret pauses to take a drink of water, Michael asks, “So why would Khivar still be after us…after Max? If we’re such weak humans, what does he care if we live?”

“He doesn’t. Not really. You’re not important to his cause…to his attempts to take over the planet. All he was really interested in was Vilondra.” Turning to look at Isabel, he says, “But you must have scared the crap out of him when he came for you, because he’s afraid of you now. He won’t come near you.” Turning back to Max, he says, “What Khivar has is some bazaar need to…he likes having Liz under his thumb because he feels that it gives him power over you, Max. He thinks it’s fun that he can still cause you pain even though he killed you already…you know…before. It’s nothing but a game to him. It was dumb luck, really, that he stumbled across her in Albuquerque in the first place.”

“I’m sorry if you thought you’d be going back to fight, but you are little more than figureheads for a people who still believe in myths and legends. No one expects you to fight with them.” Jaret tells them.

Confused at their reaction, Jaret says, “I was made to believe that you didn’t wish to return to Antar. That you were content with your human lives. That’s what Tess told us.”

“Well, yah…but…” Isabel starts, “I guess we just always believed that there was some higher purpose for our existence…for our being sent here.”

“Nope. I guess your only ‘higher purpose’ would be to live out your lives…like your mother wanted. She gave you a second chance and it’s your responsibility to accept it. ” He says turning Max. “But now we have this mess with Liz. You’ve made him angry by not playing by the rules.”

Max looks at him, his face turning red with anger. “What rules?!” He stands up and crosses to the fireplace. “He imprisons and tortures Liz for his own sick pleasure? Makes her run from the people who love her? As far as I’m concerned, there are no rules!”

“So now what?” Michael asks Jaret. “We’re not handing Liz back over to him…obviously. What was he gonna do…keep Liz ‘under his thumb’ for the rest of her life?”

“He would have tired of her eventually. It’s already been three years since he last came to her. If he was ever going to let her go, though, he sure as hell won’t now…knowing she’s with you. That would mean he’s lost the game…and that’s unacceptable to him.” He looks at Max. “Unfortunately, you’ve now also ruined our plans to destroy his inner loyalist circle while he’s here with Liz. We’d been working on infiltrating them for 10 years, whenever he came here to be with Liz. We were close…just one or two more visits to Earth, and we would have had him by the throat.”

“Too damn bad.” Max says and looks into the fireplace, deep in thought as everyone talks around him. After a few minutes, Isabel gets his attention. “Max…what are you thinking?”

He looks at Jaret closely, “What if Liz was dead? Would he think he won his ‘game’ then?”


Part 23~

Saturday, June 8, 2013 – 7pm
Liz’s parent’s house

Liz takes one last bite of her Mom’s lasagna, her favorite, and says, “Wow, Mom. That was great. Thanks for making it.”

“There’s more, Liz…here.” Nancy makes a move to serve another piece to Liz.

“No, mom…I’m good. I’m full, really.” Liz stops her.

Nancy sits back down and says, “You should eat more, you’re so…”

“I know. Mom, I’m ok…really.” Liz says as she takes a sip of wine.

Liz and Max had excused themselves from the alien discussion in Max’s living room to go to her parent’s for dinner. They’d been invited a while ago and couldn’t cancel on them. Liz told Max that he didn’t have to go…she would tell her parents that he had a family thing that came up. But he said no, he would go. Trying to get back in her father’s good graces wasn’t an easy task…he didn’t want to do anything to screw up. As they left, Michael and Isabel were still huddled together making plans with Jaret…Maria having already gone to pick up the kids and bring them back to their temporary house.

“So, Liz, have you decided what you’re going to do…about a job, I mean? And a place to live?” Jeff asked her.

“Yah, actually, I saw that the new Chili’s over by the college is hiring for a bartender. I’m going tomorrow for an interview.” Liz tells him.

“Oh…well, your mother and I were talking and if you want to work here, we’d love to have you back.”

“Thanks, Dad, but I can make a lot more in tips bartending than waitressing here.” Liz smiles at him. She can feel Max’s eyes on her. He didn’t know she was planning on getting a job.

Jeff eyes them and asks, “And you’ve decided to stay with Max? At his house?”

Max speaks up quickly, “I have plenty of room. And she’s staying in the guest room.”

Liz rolls her eyes and says, “Dad…really…I’m almost 30 years old. Where I’m sleeping really isn’t any of your business.”

“She’s right, honey. Just leave her alone.” Nancy says to her husband before turning back to Max. “So…Max…are you teaching any classes over the summer?”

Max looks gratefully at Nancy, “No, I decided to take this summer off. I was going to be in Colorado this summer…but…um, I decided not to go.” He says as he looks over to Liz.

She looks up at him and smiles when her Dad says, “I’ve been trying to talk Lizzie into taking classes at the college this summer. You know she never went to college, don’t you?” with an accusing tone.

“Dad…stop it. It’s not Max’s fault I didn’t go to college.” Liz sighs and looks down at her plate.

“Jeff, for God’s sake, leave him alone.” Nancy cuts in. “Come help me make some coffee.” and she gets up, waiting for her husband to follow her.

When Liz and Max are left alone, Liz shifts uncomfortably in her chair. She picks up her wine glass and fiddles with it as she looks anywhere but at Max.

Suddenly Max breaks the silence. “Well, I think this is going well, don’t you?”

Liz looks up into his face for a few moments…before they both burst out laughing at his absurd statement.

Jeff and Nancy walk back in carrying coffee and cups and see Max and Liz laughing at the table. Smiling, Nancy asks, “So have Maria and Michael decided on how long they’re staying?”

Liz turns gratefully to her mother for beginning a new discussion as Max says, “I don’t know. They haven’t said anything, but I know they decided to stay longer than their usual two weeks because Maria wants to spend time with Liz.”

“Well, those kids are so wonderful.” Nancy gushes. “Grace is such a little chatterbox, she told me today all about their house in L.A. and all of her friends there. And Alex…he’s such a little man.”

Jeff laughs and says, “He always comes in with suggestions on how to change the menu. He’s convinced we need some macaroni and cheese.”

“Yah, they’re great.” Liz says with a small laugh. “We make waffles and Alex always insists on taking charge.”

Their laughter fades and after a few moments of awkward silence, Liz says, “Do you mind if I go look at my room for a little bit?” She hadn’t asked to see her bedroom since she’s been back…not wanting to relive the memories that lead up to her leaving.

Nancy pops up out of her chair, surprised at Liz’s request. “Sure, honey. Take your time.”

“Max, you wanna come with me?” Liz asks him.

“Oh…um, sure.” Max looks at her before glancing at her parents.

They get up and walk down the hallway, listening to her parents whispering fiercely at each other. She stops at the doorway and turns the knob. The door opens easily and they step inside, turning the lights on and closing the door.

“Wow, it looks exactly the same.” Liz says with wonder to Max.

She walks into the room and basks in the familiarity. It looks exactly as she left it. She walks over to the dresser and looks at the pictures stuck in the sides of the mirror above it. Her and Maria…Her and Max…Maria and Alex. As she looks in the mirror, she can hear haunting voices from the past.

Today, we’re educated women!

We are woman, hear us roar.

Her and Maria’s girlish giggles fade away as she turns to the bed and sits down on it, bouncing a couple of times before she gets up and runs her hand along the brick wall until she comes to the loose brick. Setting her wine down, she turns and grins at Max as she removes the brick and reaches in to pull her journal out. Its cover and pages are slightly warped with dampness, but it’s still intact.

“Is that…” Max begins, eyebrows raised in surprise.

Liz nods and, picking up her wine, turns to the window leading to the balcony.

Liz, don’t shut me out…please.

She looks over at Max, who has moved to look at the pictures stuck in the mirror, before she opens the window and steps out on the balcony. The colored lights are gone, as well as most of what used to be out here. The only things left are her old lounge chairs.

She glances over when she hears Max climbing out her window. “It looks smaller.” He says as he glances around the empty balcony.

Liz smiles and says, “Yah, Michael says it’s because our world has gotten bigger.”

“How philosophical of him.” Max says with a grin.

She walks over and leans against the short wall of the balcony and slowly opens the old cover, glancing at the words on the pages as she flips through them. Her journal. She thought she’d never see it again. She never dared start another one. She picks up her glass and takes a sip, letting her head fall on her shoulder as she looks around.

Max watches as Liz glances around her balcony, knowing she’s remembering things that happened out here when they were younger.

She looks at the spot where Max and her shared their first kiss. The wall that Max made a heart with their initials glow. The spot where her and Alex sat and watched his slides from Sweden. Except he never went to Sweden. All her thoughts at that time about getting away and traveling were inspired by Alex’s mindwarps.

Tears come to her eyes and she brings a hand up to her mouth. Alex. Sweet Alex, who should have never died at 17. Who, in one timeline lived to be at least 19. How many times over the years did she wish she could go back in time and change what she did the day of graduation. But whose lives would be sacrificed by a move like that? She should have never listened to time-traveling Max.

He sees her struggling to not cry and he brings his arm up around her shoulder.

“It’s my fault Alex died, Max.” Liz looks up to him, then back down to her journal.

“What? Why would you think that…you had nothing to do with Alex dying.” Max looks at her incredulously.

“When I changed the timeline, I killed him.” She says.

Knowing she’s talking about when he came back from the future, Max says, “No. You have no way of knowing that, Liz. You had not control over that.”

“But he was with us the night we got married, Max. He met us out in the desert with everyone else and danced with us all night. So he should have at least lived to be 19.” Liz turns sad eyes up to him.

Liz never told him they got married…she didn’t tell him anything about the future that he came back from. After shaking the thought that they got married at 19 out of his head, he says, “Liz, it was my fault. I came back and asked you to change things…and look at the alternative we got. It’s all my fault. We have no way of knowing what will happen. Each little decision we make every day can have a huge impact on our future. I should have never come back and asked you to do something like that.”

“Yah, well…I think I went a little overboard with the Kyle thing.” She sits down on a lounge chair and looks up at him with a small smile. “I was supposed to push you away, not knock you over a cliff.”

“I can’t believe I suggested something like that to you.” He looks down at her.

“It was my idea, not yours.” She laughs then, “You thought it wouldn’t work. I think your exact words were, ‘I would never be jealous of Kyle.’”

He laughs with her. “Guess I didn’t know myself very well.”

After a few moments, he asks, “So…that vision I saw…when we were in Las Vegas? It was real?” At her nod he says, “You were gonna tell me then, weren’t you? You wanted to say something when I told you about it, I could tell.”

She nods again and takes a sip of her wine.

He wants to ask her more, but doubts that she’ll tell him. Instead, he reaches his hand down and helps her up from the lounge chair. “Ready to go back in?” When their hands touch, they feel a jolt of electricity and Liz pulls her hand back.

“Ouch…sorry…must have gotten some static electricity.” Max says to her, looking down at his hand.

She nods and he climbs back into her room through the window as she takes a last look around.

Taking the journal with her, she turns to follow Max back into her room. Shutting the window, she remembers all the times Max climbed up the ladder to see her. She thinks about the late hours they spent lying under the stars in each other’s arms and she turns away from the window and heads back in to her parents.


Part 24~
This part has shades of naughtiness…but not really, it’s pretty much left to the imagination. So that’s my warning. :::wink:::

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Max and Liz stay at her parent’s for two cups of coffee and Liz is glad to see her Dad behave himself the rest of the time they’re there. As they get ready to leave, Liz promises to come by to see them the next week. Walking down the stairs to the door, Liz feels Max staring a hole in her back. She starts to think she might have had too much wine because her skin’s all tingly.

In the car on the way home, Liz says, “Thank you…for going with me, Max.”

He doesn’t say anything, just nods as they make their way silently back to his house. He has an urgent need to get home. The car has suddenly filled with the scent of Liz and he can’t handle it. He’s confused at the intense desire that just shot through his body. “Where did that come from?” he wonders. Suddenly, getting home and out of the car is the most important thing in the world.

Liz shifts in her seat, feeling hot all the sudden. She rolls the window down and says, “It got warm in here, didn’t it? I might have had too much wine.” as she looks over at Max with a smile. But her smile fades when she sees the look on his face. All the breath leaves her body and she looks quickly back out the window, closing her eyes…the image of Max’s flushed face imprinted behind her eyelids.

They finish the ride in silence…tension filling the car so that it seems to suffocate them. Pulling into the driveway, the car barely manages to come to a full stop before they both jump out of it like they’re physically repelled from it. Each standing on opposite sides of the driveway, they look at each other, then the car, then back. Quickly, they make their way to the front door, avoiding each other’s gaze.

When they walk into the house, they find a note from Michael informing them that Jaret left and said he’d be in touch when he had news. Otherwise, the house is empty. They both stand there a few moments, staring at nothing…listening to the silence, before they speak at the same time.

“I’m going for a swim.” / “I’m going upstairs to take a bath.”

They look at each other for a few beats…both blushing furiously…before they fly apart from each other, going their separate ways.

Upstairs, Liz sits on the side of the tub…watching it fill with water. She’s shaking her head, trying to clear it. What is wrong with her? In the car she was hit with this desire suddenly and she couldn’t seem to sit still. Her skin felt like it was on fire. Max knew…she could tell. How embarrassing. He must think she’s some kind of freak. She stands up and strips out of her clothes before stepping into the tub and sinking into the bubbles…hoping this will relieve the ache inside.

Downstairs, Max strips out of his clothes in the laundry room and puts his swimming trunks on before walking out quickly to the pool and diving in. Swimming several vigorous laps, he finally slows his pace and wonders what’s wrong with him. He probably scared Liz…that’s why she went running off upstairs. But he could swear that in the car…he could smell her…she was aroused and shifting around in the seat, driving him crazy. With each shift, the scent got stronger…he felt like he was gonna snap the steering wheel in two, his grip was so tight. Increasing his pace, he picks up his laps and swims until he’s so exhausted he can barely pull himself up out of the pool.

After locking up the house, Max drags himself upstairs. Looking over at Liz’s partially closed door for a moment, he turns and walks into his room. Just thinking about Liz on the other side of the door brings him into an instant state of arousal. Closing his eyes and shaking his head, he walks to the bathroom and turns on the water to the shower before walking back into his bedroom to grab some sweats and a t-shirt out of his dresser.

When he turns to go back to the bathroom, he thinks he hears a noise from Liz’s room. He takes a couple of steps back and peeks out his door. Her room looks dark through the crack of her door and he listens a few more moments…she must be dreaming…before heading for the bathroom again. He hears it again and, afraid that she might be having a nightmare, he walks over to his doorway and looks across the hall to her door.

What he hears next freezes him to the floor and his eyes open wide. Was that a moan? Definitely, that was definitely a moan. Oh God, she’s dreaming. Dreaming and moaning. Oh God. Feeling guilty for listening, he wants to move back into his room but finds that he can’t. He’s stuck in this spot, listening to moaning sounds coming from Liz’s room. Suddenly, it strikes him that Liz isn’t sleeping…when he hears his name followed by a low groaning sound.

He drops the clothes in his hands unnoticed to the floor and his mouth drops open. As he backs into his room slowly, he thinks that there’s something he’s supposed to be doing. Eyes fixed to the door across the hall, he vaguely hears a noise coming from his bathroom. Shower! The word suddenly appears in his head. Yes, shower…he should be in the…What was that? Did she hear him? He hears a rustling noise across the hall and quickly turns to walk into his bathroom, shutting the door behind him.

Liz’s head flies up to her door when she hears a door across the hall shut. She finishes buttoning her pajama top as she approaches her door, peeking out through the crack and biting her lip. Did he hear her? She thought for sure that he was still outside. Replaying the last few minutes in her head, she tries to figure out if she made any sounds he could have heard. She sees his door is open and a light is on…and she can hear the shower running. Looking down on the floor, she sees a pair of sweats and a t-shirt laying in the doorway to his room…almost like he just dropped… Raising her hand up to her mouth and laughing nervously, she whispers, “Oh my God.” He heard her.

Her eyes move back up into his room as she quietly pushes her door open. Walking across the hall, she pauses in his doorway and picks up the discarded clothes, putting them on his bed. The door to the bathroom is closed, but she can see the steam coming out from under the door and the noise of the water hitting the glass walls of the shower. Tiptoeing toward the bathroom door, she almost jumps and squeals when she hears 2 loud grunts from the shower and the sound of something falling against a glass wall and Max groaning, “Oh...” Her hand flies to her mouth and she stumbles as her toe hits the corner of his bed when she tries to run from his room. Limping as fast as she can across the hall, she flies into her room…flinging herself into bed and pulling the covers up over her head and massaging her stubbed toe.

After his shower, Max dries off and looks around for his clothes…quickly recalling that he dropped them in the hall. Smiling as he remembers what he heard coming from Liz’s room earlier, he walks out of the bathroom and stops when he sees his clothes on his bed. Looking toward the door, he’s sure that he dropped them on the floor there. Liz was in there…while he was in the shower. He can’t move…doesn’t want to see if her door is open. Did she hear him? He hesitates for a few moments before taking a deep breath and walking further into his room to pick the clothes up off the bed. He walks back to the bathroom, throwing the towel off and changing.

He turns off the bathroom light and walks over to his bed, climbing under the covers. He leans over and turns out the light and folds his arms behind his head for a few minutes before looking up. Across the hall, Liz’s door is open and she’s laying in bed, looking right at him. In that instant, they both know.

Liz smiles and says, “Good night, Max.” before pulling the covers up over her shoulders.

“Good night, Liz.” Max smiles back and looks up to the ceiling before drifting off to sleep.

posted on 7-May-2002 10:13:17 AM
Part 25~

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Both Liz and Max are woken up by a loud knocking coming from the front door. They both sit up in bed and look across the hall at each other before they hear, “Hey! You guys here?” being called from downstairs by Maria.

Max opens his mouth to say something, but Liz beats him to it, “Yah…up here, Maria.” She yells back down to Maria.

They hear Maria climb the stairs as she says, “We tried calling all morning…what? Did you take the phone off the hook?” as she makes her way to the top of the stairs. Standing on the landing, she looks back and forth between Max’s room and Liz’s room and says, “Hey, you can see each other in bed when you leave the doors open…did you know that?” before turning into Liz’s room and sitting on the edge of her bed.

Max and Liz just look at each other until Liz feels herself turning red and looks away. “What time is it?” She asks Maria.

“9…time to get your lazy butt out of bed.” Maria tells her before turning to look over at Max. “Michael’s downstairs with the kids…he wants to talk to you.”

Nodding, Max’s gaze lingers on Liz and he gets out of bed, walking into the bathroom.

“What was that?” Maria asks. “And why is your face bright red?!” she’s grinning at Liz.

Liz gets out of bed and says, “Nothing.” and grins on her way to the bathroom. “It was nothing, Maria…just…nothing, ok?”

“Whatever you say, Liz. Nothing…I get it.” Maria laughs as she watches her friend shut the door to her bathroom.

When Liz gets out of the bathroom, she sees that Maria is gone. She goes downstairs and is immediately bombarded by Grace and Alex.

“Liz! Guess where we’re going today?!” Grace runs toward her from the kitchen.

Bracing herself for impact, Liz asks, “Where?”

As she launches herself into Liz’s arms, Grace says, “The UFO Museum! You have to come with us!”

Liz walks into the kitchen carrying Grace and says, “The UFO Museum? You like going there?” She meets Max’s gaze when she enters the kitchen and she feels her skin heating up again. Putting Grace down on a chair, she looks to Maria and says, “I have that interview, but I can go after that.”

“I have no idea why they like going there.” Maria says as she rolls her eyes. “They insist we go there all the time and they end up laughing their way through the displays. It’s embarrassing.”

“I guess it would be kind of funny…if you were a kid and knew…the truth.” Liz offers with a shrug of her shoulders, trying to avoid Max’s stare. She can feel his eyes burning into her…her face must be bright red.

Maria can feel the tension in the air…as well as what Max is feeling and the kitchen becomes stifling to her. Standing up quickly, she says, “Guys, why don’t you go swim out back…I’ll be back in a few minutes.” before turning to Michael, who seems oblivious to what’s going on. “Liz and I are going for a walk…keep an eye on Grace and Alex.” And Maria grabs Liz’s arm, dragging her out of the kitchen as Max follows her with his eyes.

Michael nods and grabs a soda out of the fridge before turning to Max, trying to get his attention. “Earth to Maxwell…” Michael waves his hand in front of his face. “Do you or don’t you want to know what we talked about after you left last night?”

Shaking his head, Max looks over at Michael…taking a few seconds to process what he’s saying. “Oh…yah…yah. How’d it go?” He sits down with Michael at the table.

Outside, Maria grabs Liz’s hand and they walk toward the sidewalk running in front of the house. “So…it was getting a little warm in the kitchen, don’t you think?”

Liz looks over at Maria, embarrassed that she could see how Liz felt and she brings her hand up to her face. “Oh God, Maria…last night…in the car…and…and then…he heard me…”

“Ok, deep breath. Calm down and start from the beginning, ok?” Maria tries to calm Liz down.

Taking a deep breath, Liz wipes her hands on her pants and looks over at Maria before looking back to the street. “Something is wrong with me, Maria. Last night, on the way home from my parent’s, I got so….so…you know…turned on.” She whispers the last part.

“And…” Maria smiles at Liz.

“And…Max knew…he could tell.” Liz covers her face again. “Oh God, Maria, he heard me…in my room…you know.” And she looks over at Maria, raising her eyebrows.

“Are you serious?!” Maria bursts out, trying to not laugh.

“Maria…it’s not funny!” Liz tries to scold her, but can’t help her own laugh.

Putting her arm around Liz, Maria says, “So…what’s wrong with that? Max knows you get horny…I don’t really see a problem. It’s not like he isn’t…24 hours a day…now that you’re back.” And she rolls her eyes.

Liz looks at Maria, “Really?” she asks with big eyes.

“Oh sweetie, if you only knew…” Maria laughs and shakes her head. “I felt like I was gonna explode back in that kitchen when you walked in…I don’t know how he can stand it.”

“I think there’s something else going on, Maria. It’s like I can feel him…looking at me…and I feel my skin get hot. And…it was just…almost like something was living in the air in the car. It was so stifling. ” Liz furrows her brow…shocked at how she was feeling.

“That right there…that’s alien hormones, chica. Sometimes, Michael gets so…whoo!” Maria tells her as she waves her hand in front of her face before asking, “Don’t you remember…”

Liz thinks back to High School…how her and Max couldn’t keep their hands off each other. How after they made love, she could sense him looking at her from across any room. How he could heat her body up with desire by just being close by. “Yah…I guess…I guess I forgot. I thought it was just teenage hormones.”

“It probably was a little, but those aliens have overpowering sex hormones. It’s weird that you’re only just now picking up on it. Did something happen before the car ride?” Maria wonders.

Shaking her head, Liz says, “No, we were at my parent’s for dinner. We were out on the balcony…he put his arm around me…that’s about it. Nothing weird.” She keeps walking…thinking. Then she remembers, “He shocked me…when we were getting ready to go back inside. He reached for my hand and shocked me…but we just thought it was static electricity.”

Shrugging, Maria says, “Could be…maybe something got triggered when he touched your hand. I don’t know, you’re the science expert.” She laughs and says, “If you want, you can stay with us for a few days. See if it goes away.”

Smiling, she says, “Thanks. I might if it gets to be too much.”

Grinning, Maria says, “Sometimes, right out of the blue, I have to drop what I’m doing and drive all the way across L.A. to throw Michael down and have my way with him.”

Laughing, Liz says, “Maria…” as she rolls her eyes. “Are you serious?!”

As they walk through the front door 20 minutes later, Michael is pacing the living room and his head whips over to the front door. “Where have you been?!”

Maria looks at him, surprised at his forcefulness. “Walking, Michael…it’s only been 20 minutes…” but she doesn’t get a chance to finish as Michael storms over and grabs her arms, crashing his lips down on hers.

Liz steps away from them, looking away and smiling.

Michael breaks the kiss and, still holding one of Maria’s arms, pulls her toward the stairs quickly. Laughing over her shoulder, Maria looks from Liz to Max and says, “Um…we have to…can you guys go keep an eye on the kids for a while?” she laughs as she looks at Liz, “See? I told you.” and she follows Michael upstairs.

Liz stands rooted to the side of the open front door, staring at the stairs where Michael and Maria just ran up. She hears Max clear his throat and she looks over at him, standing in the doorway to the kitchen. “Do you wanna go out back?” he asks her, nodding his head toward the backdoor.

“Um…yah…sure.” She nods her head and follows him out the backdoor to sit on the patio.

Grace and Alex are splashing around in the pool and yelling for Max and Liz to watch them.

After a few minutes, Max clears his throat and says, “Yah…so, they’re always…”

“…like that. Yah, you told me, but I didn’t believe it until now.” Liz says as she smiles. “I guess I know why, now…I mean…Maria and I talked…talked about…” She feels her face turn red and she looks off to the side, embarrassed.

Max can’t breath…her scent is all around him and it’s taking every bit of control he has left to not touch her. “Liz…I…” he stutters and clenches his fists by his side, shifting in his chair.

Liz looks at him and feels a rush of heat between her legs. Watching him take a deep breath and close his eyes, she says, “Max…maybe I…maybe I should go stay with my parents for…”

“No!” he says a little too forcefully. He opens his eyes to look at her and says, “No…I’m sorry…I…I can control this. I’m sorry, please don’t go.” Taking a deep breath, he presses his lips together and stands up. “I’m just…gonna go for a run. Ok?”

She nods her head quickly and watches him walk back inside before looking back to the pool when Grace calls her name. Liz smiles and says, “I’m watching, honey!”

2 weeks later

Liz is just finishing her shift at Chili’s when she starts to feel it. She’s tried to practice calming herself down when she feels Max. It’s 1am and as she cleans up behind the bar, she knows that he’s awake…waiting for her to get home.

She shakes her arms and takes a few deep breaths, rolling her head on her shoulders, concentrating on her cleaning.

“Hey Liz, we’re going out for a few drinks…wanna come?” Greg, one of the barbacks asks her as he’s throwing empty bottles into a box.

She smiles up at him, “No, thanks. I’m so tired…I’m just gonna go home and go to bed.”

He shrugs and walks away as she puts away some glasses and grabs the tip jar to count out her tips to give the barbacks their share.

She waves goodbye to everyone as she leaves the restaurant and makes her way to the bus stop. She can feel her body heating up the closer she gets to the stop. As she waits for the bus, she can’t sit still and paces in front of the bench until it gets there. On the ride home, she starts to get dizzy with the anticipation of getting home. She tries to take deep, calming breaths to calm herself…but it’s not working this time.

When the bus drops her at the stop two blocks from Max’s house, she practically runs the rest of the way home. She needs to get safely to her room and take care of this insane desire that’s building up inside of her. Hopefully, Max is in his room and won’t see her getting in. She knows he’s awake…she can feel him…feel his need. It’s become a familiar sensation over the last couple of weeks.

As she approaches the house, she sees that all the lights are off. Feeling a little bit disappointed, she convinces herself that it’s a good sign…Max is probably closed up in his bedroom. She unlocks the door and lets herself in before turning to lock the door again. She makes her way to the stairs…she’s close now. Just a flight of stairs and a left turn into her bedroom until she can get relief.

When she gets to the top of the stairs, she has to stop…she’s breathing so hard she feels like she might pass out. She can feel the heat radiating from her face and she brings her hands up to her face, moaning without wanting to. She straightens when she hears herself and looks over to Max’s closed door…hoping he didn’t hear her.

She’s been hoping that this feeling would go away over the last two weeks, but it hasn’t. It comes in waves. She’ll be fine one minute and the next, she’ll feel out of control. Trying to stay away from Max has been difficult and most of the time she just wants to jump him when she sees him. He only seems to be affected when he sees her. Which is weird because she can feel the intense desire coming from him when he seems perfectly normal. Maybe he’s just better at hiding it than she is. Leaning on the railing, Liz is panting…out of breath…as she tries to make her feet move toward her bedroom.

She’s startled when she hears Max’s door open. She doesn’t look over at him but hears him say, “Liz? Are you ok?”

Calmly, she says, “Go back in your room, Max.”

He looks her over and is concerned when he sees the state she’s in. She’s grabbing the railing so hard, her knuckles are white. “Liz…what happened? Did something happen on your way home? Or…or is it…”

When she looks up at him, he unconsciously takes a step back. Her face is flushed, and the look she gives him…she looks like she’s going to devour him whole. Her eyes look like they’re glowing…but he knows it’s only the moonlight hitting them from his bedroom window. “Liz…” he whispers.

“Max.” she grits out between clenched teeth. “Just go back in your room and shut the door.” But as she’s saying this, she turns and takes a step toward him.

Suddenly, Max gets the distinct feeling that he’s being hunted and takes another step back. Like Liz, he had hoped that what they were going through would go away with time. He did his best to keep his emotions under control…leaving the house for hours at a time just to put some distance between them. She seemed to be doing ok lately, and he thought maybe it had started to fade. Obviously he was very wrong.

As she looks him up and down, she makes a growling noise from her throat and says, “Get away from me, Max.” as she continues to make her way toward him.

His eyes open wide and his body instantly reacts to her…he tries to move his feet but they won’t budge, “I can’t.”

Not a second passes before she’s on him…her mouth devouring his and her hands gripping at his back. He feels her nails ripping at the skin on his back and his mouth moves to her neck, his teeth grabbing at the flesh there.

He watches as she throws her head back and groans loudly…her backpack dropping to the floor as she grinds her hips into his. “Oh God.” He moans as he brings his hands up to her hair, gripping her hair as she brings her head to his chest, licking him.

He hears her say against his chest, “Max…I need you to touch me.” as he drags her head up so he can attack her mouth with his.

Breaking the kiss, he says, “Liz, we need to slow down.” He feels like he going to cum right there in the hallway.

She steps away from him and kicks her shoes off. “I’m sorry Max, I can’t.” and she raises her hands up to the button at the top of her jeans, quickly undoing it and lowering the zipper before pushing them down her hips to fall at her feet.

As she steps out of her jeans, she moves forward again…grasping at the tie on his sweatpants.

He feels out of control and he picks her up, carrying her to his bed and throwing her down on it as he kicks his sweatpants off. “God, Liz…you’re so beautiful.” He whispers as he looks down at her.

“Please, Max. I need you.” Liz whispers as she grabs his hands and brings them to her stomach as she starts to undo the buttons on her shirt. “I feel like my skin is gonna peel off my body if you don’t touch me.”

As she peels her shirt away, he looks down at her and sees the scar that starts at her neck. He follows it as it runs down, across her collarbone, down her chest and right breast, down her ribs and ending next to her naval. He cries out and lowers his head to her chest. “Liz, oh God…I can’t.”

But she grabs his hands and brings them to her underwear, “Please…Max…I need you…now.”

He pulls her underwear down her hips…feeling out of control as he rips them off of her in frustration before he lowers his head to her neck and whispers, “Liz…are you sure?”

He hears her say, “Push them back, Max…don’t look.” as she thrusts her hips up toward him, tossing her head from side to side and gripping his hips with her hands. “Please don’t look.”

Nodding his head, trying reassure her, he thrusts into her and they both cry out as he grips her shoulders and pushes down on them as he pumps into her over and over again. Every thought leaves his head as he drowns in being surrounded by Liz. Every fear that he was hurting her…every regret that his inability to control his need for her was doing this to her…they were all replaced by one single thought: Liz.

She hears him growl in her ear, “Liz…Liz…” and it makes her raise her hips up harder to meet his as she wraps her legs around his waist and grip at his backside, urging him to go deeper…faster. Feeling her orgasm approaching, she crumples handfuls of sheet in each hand and barely manages to whisper, “Max…don’t stop.”

He thrusts into her as deep as he can and raises his head to see her looking up him. He groans, “God, Liz…” as he feels her tighten around him and cry out his name. Three more quick, deep thrusts and he grunts through clenched teeth as he explodes inside of her. They continue to rock together, their movements slowing as he collapses.

As their breathing slows, he rolls to her side and pulls her into his arms as he wipes the sweat off his face on the covers. He feels her cuddle in close to him and he leans down to pull the covers up over them as their bodies cool.

He stokes her hair and says, “Liz? Are you ok?”

Not hearing anything besides her breathing, he looks down at her face and sees a smile on her face. He starts to say something and she brings her fingers up to his lips, silencing him. “Don’t, Max. No apologizing. We’ll do sweet, nice and slow next time.” and she drags her exhausted arm down from his lips to his chest.

As he listens to her breathing even out into sleep, Max reaches up to clasp her hand as he drifts off to sleep with her.


Part 26~

Monday, June 24, 2013

Liz wakes up to the sound of a phone ringing in the distance. Slowly, she opens her eyes and she can feel Max wrapped behind her…his hand on her stomach. She can feel her face flush with embarrassment as she remembers how she behaved last night. But then she realizes how…good…she feels. She feels calmer…peaceful…better than she has in weeks.

Tentatively, she wiggles her backside to see if Max is awake. She hears him groan and subconsciously press his hips into her as his hand grabs her breast. She suppresses a giggle as she remembers his same reaction to her the first night she spent here. Her amusement fades, though, when she feels his erection between her legs and her body’s reaction to it. She knows he’s asleep, his hand has fallen away from her breast, back down to her stomach…dangling from her hip.

Her heart rate increases and she can feel the throbbing between her legs. Slowly, she rocks her hips forward and back, trying to relieve the ache between her legs over the top of his erection. The friction feels wonderful and she establishes a rhythm as she brings her hand up to her breast. A moan escapes from her lips and she feels Max jerk awake. He groans and reaches up to replace her hand at her breast.

Letting her set her own pace, he gently thrusts forward between her legs and buries his face in her hair. He feels her movements become faster and her breathing comes quicker as she rolls onto her stomach and moans, “Now, Max…” and he reaches his arm around her stomach, raising her so he can thrust into her. He feels her contract around him immediately and she arches her back as she thrusts her hips back into his.

Groaning, he lowers his head to her back as he continues to thrust in and out of her. Lowering her head onto the bed, Liz stretches her back as she raises her hips up to meet his, “Don’t stop, Max.”

Straightening, Max brings his hands down to grip her hips and he throws his head back, listening to Liz moan what she wants from him. “Faster, Max.” “Oh God, yes…yes.” “Harder, Max.”

As he pounds into her, he feels close and grinds out through clenched teeth, “God, Liz…I’m gonna…” but before he can finish, he feels her climax as she cries out. As she shudders around him, he thrusts his release into her and collapses over her with a grunt…holding himself over her with his arms on either side of her.

After a few moments, he lowers them onto the bed and rolls to her side, bringing her with him. Letting out a deep breath, he wipes the sweat from his forehead and says, “Jesus, Liz…” Pulling out of her, they both groan and roll over onto their backs…letting the cool air run across their flesh.

She looks over at Max…he has his eyes closed and is blowing air out of his mouth, trying to angle it up on his face. She smiles and says, “Good morning.”

He looks over at her with his eyebrows raised and the corner of his mouth raised, “Good morning.” And they both laugh.

“I lied.” She says, “We’ll do sweet, nice and slow next time.” and she laughs as she raises the sheet up to cover herself.

Their laughter is cut short when she hears the phone again…her cell phone. She sits up, clasping the sheet to her, and looks toward the door. “That’s my phone.” And she looks over at Max with wide eyes. “It’s been ringing all morning, I think. Jaret’s the only one with the number.”

“Where’s it at?” he asks as he sits on the side of the bed and pulls on his sweatpants.

“My backpack…on the floor outside in the hall, I think.” She looks sheepishly up at him.

Grinning, he gets up and opens the door. Sure enough, her backpack is lying on the floor and he picks it up, bringing it in to Liz.

The ringing gets louder as she unzips it and reaches it to retrieve the phone. Clicking it on, she says, “Hello?”

Max watches as she flinches back at whatever was said in response and he reaches over, grabbing the phone from Liz. “What did you just say?”

“Max?” he hears Jaret on the other end.

What did you just say?” Max repeats.

“Oh…well, she wasn’t answering and I’ve been trying to call all morning.” Jaret tries to explain. “I was worried.” Trying to change the subject, he continues, “I’ve sent a message to Khivar, telling him what we agreed I would. He should get it within a couple of days.”

“Will he let you know when he decides to come?” Max asks.

“Yes. He’ll need a body and two days to prepare it…at least. I’ll call as soon as I hear anything.” Jaret replies.

“You do that. From now on, you speak only to me.” And Max turns the phone off.

When he turns to Liz, she says, “It’s ok, Max. It’s really not a big deal. People from your planet…shapeshifters…well, you know how Nacedo felt about humans. I’m used to it, Max…really. He has his moments, too…when he’s been really nice to me. It confuses him…emotions.”

“He doesn’t have any right to talk to you like that, Liz.” Max tell her, still angry.

Reaching up to put a hand on his arm, she says, “Max…I’ve known him for almost ten years. And believe me, he’s 100 times better now than he used to be. Emotions are difficult for them…he just acts like that because he doesn’t know how to deal with them. It’s kind of like a 5 year old, acting out because they can’t get what they want.” She smiles at him, trying to calm him down.

“How can you sit here and defend him, Liz?!” Max stands up and paces across the floor. “He stood by and just…he didn’t do anything to stop what was happening to you!” He runs his hand through his hair. “And he comes here saying that he’s on my side…that he’s here to protect me? I feel like killing him!”

Kneeling on the bed and wrapping the sheet around her, Liz scoots to the side of the bed and grabs Max’s hand, making him sit. “Max…what was he supposed to do? Just…think. Think a minute about the bigger picture. He’s ingratiated himself in the enemy camp and assigned to watch over me. There is a massive war going on, one that we know nothing about. There are millions of lives at stake…and others like him, who are entrenched with their enemy…just to get information. So why would he blow his cover? Why would he risk his life, as well as others that are close to Khivar, to help a human?”

She leans her head against his back. “Add in the fact that they don’t like us very much…and he didn’t have any reason to help me. But he did. He did as much as he could without alerting Khivar. He kept him away from me as much as he could, Max. And he didn’t have to. He did other things, too…for me…with no ulterior motive. I think…we’ve become sort of…weird friends over the years. It may not seem like it, but I know that he cares about me in his own, strange way.”

“I still don’t like him.” Max says defeatedly. “And I don’t want him around you anymore.”

Liz smiles and kisses his shoulder, “Noted.”

He looks over at her, looking at her sheet-clad body and says, “So…you said something about sweet, nice and slow earlier?” as he raises his eyebrow and gently pushes her back on the bed.

“You know…I think I do remember something about that.” She says with a smile.

2 hours later

As Max is just finishing making pancakes, eggs and bacon, he hears Liz walk into the kitchen. She leans in behind him and says, “Mmmm…I could smell that from the shower.” and he can feel her wet hair on his neck. “I’m starving.” And she makes her way over to fill a mug of coffee.

He fills two plates and carries them over to the table before going to get his own cup of coffee. When he takes a good look at her, he rolls his eyes and opens his mouth to say something.

“Don’t, Max…” Liz says as she holds her hand up, knowing what he’s going to say.

He looks at her from under his brow and shakes his head as he takes a bite of his pancakes. She’s wearing a black turtleneck and it’s almost 100 degrees out already. “So you’re going to the Crashdown today?” he asks instead…knowing that she only dresses like that when she’s going to see her parents.

Taking a bite of bacon, she says, “Yah, I’m meeting Kyle there.”

Kyle. She’s meeting Kyle. No big deal…it’s just Kyle. Max is looking down at his plate, having an internal conversation when Liz looks up at him.

“You’re not still jealous of Kyle…are you?” she smiles.

“No!” Max says quickly. “Of course not…why would I be jealous of Kyle?” He looks down at his plate as he shoves pancake in his mouth.

She gives him a knowing smile as she finishes her breakfast and brings the plate to the sink. “So, Michael and Maria are coming over tonight, right?” she says as she looks out the window at the pool. There’s a pool man out there, testing the chemical levels in the water.

“Yah. We’re grilling.” Max answers.

Turning back to Max, she says, “Ok.” as she pulls the turtleneck higher up her neck. “Do you wanna give me a ride to the Crashdown, or should I take the bus?”

“I’ll take you. I’m meeting Maria and the kids there anyway.” he says as he gets up and brings his plate to the sink before turning and running his hand down her arm. “Besides, I wouldn’t want you to sweat to death on the bus.” He throws her a grin as he walks out of the kitchen to get his shoes.

“Max?” Liz asks him as she follows him into the living room.

He looks up, “Yah?” as he sits on the couch, tying his shoes.

She looks at him as he stops what he’s doing and lifts his head to meet her gaze. “Nothing. Never mind.” And she shakes her head as she goes upstairs to get her purse.

Max watches her go…he’ll wait. He can tell she’s struggling with asking him…and until then, he’ll wait. He doesn’t think it’ll be long, though…she’s gonna ask him to heal her scars soon.

posted on 7-May-2002 10:14:19 AM
Part 27~

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Max holds the door open to the Crashdown to let her walk in before him. His eyes immediately fall on Kyle, who is sitting in a booth waiting for Liz. As they walk in, Kyle stands up, waves over at them, as Max shoots him a wary look before leaning down and kissing the top of Liz’s head. “Have fun. I’m gonna go get a Cherry Coke…call me if you need a ride later.”

“Ok…see you later, Max.” Liz smiles up at him as she walks over to Kyle.

Making his way to the counter, Max sits on a stool and looks over as Kyle sits down and smiles at Liz. “What can I get you, Max?”

Max’s head turns to see Liz’s Dad behind the counter. “Oh…um…a Cherry Coke, please.”

Jeff nods and turns away to get his drink. When he brings it back, he asks, “You gonna sit here and watch Kyle and Liz all afternoon?”

Max looks up at him and says, “Um, no…Maria’s meeting me here in a few minutes with the kids.” looking at Jeff with a semi-annoyed look before looking back over at Liz.

He watches as both she and Kyle look over at him…she seems to be explaining to him what Max is still doing there, too. She gives him a little wave and Kyle waves his fingers at him while blowing him a kiss.

Laughing, Max rolls his eyes at him and turns back around to Jeff Parker. Just then, Alex rushes in through the door yelling, “Max! Guess what?!”

Max stands up just in time to catch Alex as he hurtles himself at him. “What?” Max laughs.

“Mommy’s having a baby!” Alex yells excitedly at him.

Still laughing, Max says, “Yah, I know.” As he looks over for Maria, his laughter stops.

Maria is leaning over the steering wheel of her car out front. Max almost drops Alex to the floor as he rushes out the door to Maria. She looks up at him through the open window and says, “Max, my water broke when I was pulling up.”

Liz and Kyle run outside to see what’s going on…Liz running up to Maria and grabbing her hand through the window.

“Ok, where’s Michael?” Max asks her as he opens her door and helps her out of the car.

“He’s at the house.” Maria says, her face grimacing in pain.

“Ok, that’s good.” Max tells her as he puts his arm around her. Turning to Liz, he says, “Can you call Isabel and tell her to get to Michael’s?”

“Wait a minute!” Jeff Parker has run outside and is standing on the sidewalk. “She needs to go to the hospital, Max…not home.”

As Liz races in the back to the phone, Maria says, “No…Michael can deliver the baby…I’m not going to the hospital.”

Max turns to Jeff and says, “Maria doesn’t like the hospital…Michael’s been trained to deliver their kids at home. It’s ok.” Looking at Alex, he asks, “Where’s your sister?”

“She’s in the car. I told her to stay there.” Alex tells him.

Looking into the backseat, Max says, “Ok, Grace, why don’t you get in my car and we’ll take mommy home so we can take care of her.” He sees her eyes wide in fear and says, “It’s alright…we’ll be home in a few minutes and your Dad will make everything ok.”

After Liz calls Isabel, she runs back outside. As Max gets Maria in the passenger side of his car, he looks over at Liz and says, “Can you cover the front seat?” as he jerks his head toward the driver’s seat of Maria’s car.

She nods and says, “We’ll take care of it.” As she makes her way over to Maria’s car, she watches Max pull quickly out of the parking space and head in the direction of Michael and Maria’s house. Looking down at the driver’s seat of Maria’s car, she sees a small, wet area on the seat…it looks like liquid silver and it’s glowing slightly. Searching the car, she finds a blanket in the backseat and covers the driver’s seat before locking the doors and turning to Kyle. “You’ll take me?”

He nods and says, “Let’s go…I guess I couldn’t make it through my life without seeing an alien baby being born.”

Antar – War Room

Khivar is looking over the day’s reports on rebel movement when he hears a beeping coming from his communicator. Annoyed at the noise, he grabs it and yells, “What is it?!”

“There’s an incoming message from Jaret, sir.” His assistant tells him.

“Finally. Send it up.” and he throws the communicator back on the table, walks around his desk and watches the display as Jaret’s report appears.

He reads it a few times and sits down in his chair, leaning back and clasping his hands behind his head. “Well, Liz. It looks like your usefulness to me has run its course.” Sighing, he says to himself, “Too bad I have to kill you now.” And he gets up from his desk, grabbing his communicator on his way out the door, barking orders into it to his assistant.


Part 28~

Monday, June 24, 2013

When Kyle pulls up to Michael and Maria’s house, Liz is out of the car before it stops. Isabel pulls up right behind them and they all run in the house.

Walking through the front door, Kyle sees chaos. Michael is running down the hall with Isabel, Max is busy doing something in the kitchen and he can hear Maria yelling from the bedroom at Michael. Sitting on the floor by the bedroom door are Grace and Alex…looking scared. Kyle walks up to them and squats down, “Hey, this is gonna take a while…you guys wanna go get some ice cream?”

Michael looks down at Kyle gratefully before walking in the bedroom.

Alex considers the offer for a moment before grabbing Grace’s hand and pulling her up. “Ok, Kyle. That sounds like a good idea.”

Liz smiles at Kyle as he makes his way out of the house with the kids. “Tell Isabel to call me.” he says over his shoulder at Liz.

Hearing noise in the kitchen, Liz walks in and asks Max, “What can I do?”

He looks up at her and nods toward the towels piled on the table. “You can bring those in. She’d probably just like having you with her.”

“Ok.” She picks the pile up and asks, “Were you guys all there when the twins were born?” she has a worried look on her face.

“Yah. Everything’s ok…we just weren’t expecting it so soon. Last time it took 18 hours after her water broke, so I wouldn’t get too excited yet.” He says with a grin. Turning to the counter, he waves his hand over some surgical gloves and scissors and a few other things that Liz can’t see.

Nodding, she turns from the kitchen and walks down the hall and into the back bedroom. Maria is lying in bed, propped up with pillows. Isabel is sitting next to her, holding her hand and Michael is rubbing his hands over Maria’s belly. “Liz!” Maria beams at her when she walks in. “I was wondering where you were.”

Liz walks over to Maria and grabs her other hand, “How are you feeling?”

“Like I’m gonna explode all over this lovely room…but it’s all good.” Maria jokes. “I thought we had another month at least…I guess Jaret was right.”

Looking at Michael, Liz asks, “Everything’s alright…with the baby?”

He nods and says, “Yup. Everything’s fine. She’s snug as a bug.” and stands up.

Maria rolls her eyes, “You better not be set on this being a girl, buddy…I don’t want one speck of disappointment on your face when he comes out.”

Michael leans down and kisses her forehead, “Ok.” before grabbing a chair from the corner and sitting at the foot of the bed.

Liz leans up and brushes some hair off of Maria’s forehead and Isabel says, “Well, Liz…you’re in for quite a show.”

Liz laughs and says, “So I hear. Michael told me a little bit about when the twins were born.”

A snort comes from Maria, “Oh God…remind me again that there’s only one in there this time.”

Isabel leans over and puts her hand on Maria’s belly…making a show at checking. “Yup…just one.” And she smiles up at Maria.

Suddenly they hear a commotion in the front of the house and a few moments later, Amy Deluca comes rushing into the bedroom. “Maria! My baby! How are you? What’s going on? Did I miss it?” and she runs up to Maria, putting her hands on both sides of Maria’s face.

“Hi Mom…I’m ok…it just started.” Maria smiles at her.

Sitting back, almost disappointed, Amy says, “Oh…well, where are my grandbabies?”

“Kyle took them out for ice cream.” Liz tells her.

Turning to Liz, Amy says, “Oh, Liz…I’m so glad you’re here.” She grabs Liz’s hand and smiles at her. “Well, I guess I better go do my grandmotherly duty and rescue Kyle from Grace and Alex. Do you want me to bring them back here, or just take them to my house for the night?” she asks Michael.

“Your house, if that’s ok. It’ll be too crazy here later.” Michael looks up at her. “Thanks.”

She leans over and kisses Maria before getting up and hugging Michael. “You have someone call as soon as the action starts…I’m not missing this again.”

“Of course.” He grins at her.

She pats the top of his head and says, “Ok…you take care of my baby…or I’ll have to kill you.” she smiles at him and walks out of the bedroom.

A few minutes later, Max walks back to the bedroom and says to Michael, “Everything’s ready.”

Michael nods at him and says, “Thanks.”

“So, who wants to play poker?” Maria says after a few moments of silence.

Everyone laughs and Michael rolls his eyes as he gets up to go get the cards, mumbling, “Poker…the woman is giving birth to my children and all she ever wants to do is play poker.”

“You’re just mad because I beat the pants off you last time…and I was in labor!” Maria shouts after him.

Before Michael can get back with the cards, though, Maria puts her hands to her stomach and screams in pain. Michael runs into the bedroom, “What is it?” and puts his hands over her belly.

Liz stands up and watches as Michael bends over Maria and Isabel tries to soothe her. She hears Michael say, “It’s time…but she’s not dilated enough.” And she looks down to see that Maria’s belly is glowing brightly.

“Maria, honey, do the breathing. She can’t come yet.” Michael looks up at Maria.

“You tell her that!” Maria screams at him…her face bright red and beads of sweat forming on her forehead.

Michael looks over to Max and Max nods his head as he walks over to Maria. Putting his hand over Maria’s head, Liz watches as it glows for a second and Maria slumps back on the bed in relief. Max moves his hand down and around the swell of her belly and finally pulls it away.

“We have to get that baby out of there, Michael.” Max looks up at him.

“Can we dilate her cervix ourselves?” Isabel asks.

Max looks over at Isabel, “We can try…it’s better than the alternative.” Turning to Liz, he says, “Can you go in the kitchen and grab the things that are lying on the white towel on the table? Don’t touch anything…just wrap it all up in the towel and carry it in.”

Liz nods and rushes from the bedroom into the kitchen to grab the bundle and run it back to the bedroom. She sets it down on the dresser and steps back toward the head of the bed. She puts her hand on Maria’s head and looks down. Maria is drowsy…her eyes barely open.

From across the bed, Liz hears Isabel say, “He knocked her out…used the chemicals in her brain to…drug her. It only lasts for a few minutes.”

Looking up at Isabel, Liz absently wonders when he learned how to do that.

“Isabel.” Max calls her over before looking over at Liz and meeting her gaze before turning back to Michael.

Liz kneels on the floor and leans down close to Maria. “It’ll be ok, Maria.” She strokes her hair and tries to comfort her. She watches as Michael turns to look up at Maria before walking toward the foot of the bed. Max walks over with Isabel, who lays down towels on the bed and lifts the sheet off of Maria’s legs. Max looks up at Michael, who is feeling Maria’s belly one more time, and waits.

When Michael turns to Max and nods, Max sits down on the end of the bed and reaches his hand up into Maria.

Maria moans and throws her head to the side, and Liz does what she can to calm her as she watches with wide eyes. Isabel is holding Maria’s knees and looks up to Liz’s shocked face. “It’s ok…Max delivered the twins.”
Looking down at Max, Liz says, “I thought…Michael…”

Isabel shakes her head and turns her attention back to Max.

Liz watches as Max pushes his hand deeper into Maria and turns to look at Michael who has his hands on Maria and looks at Max and says, “There. Do it.”

Suddenly, Maria screams and tries to sit up. Liz panics and looks at Max, yelling, “What are you doing?! Stop it!” She looks up and sees Michael holding Maria down on the bed. “What are you doing?!”

Isabel looks at Liz and says, “It’s ok, Liz. He’s just dilating her cervix…it hurts.”

Grabbing Maria’s hand, Liz looks down at her face…contorted in pain with tears streaming out the corners of her eyes. She looks up at Liz and cries, “Make them stop, Liz…it hurts.”

Liz reaches a hand up to her cheek and says, “Shhh…it’ll be ok, Maria. It’ll be over in a minute.” and looks back down to see Max pulling his hand out from under the sheet.

He looks up at Michael and a few moments later, Michael looks at Maria and says, “Ok…let’s try this.”

Max nods and peels off the gloves he has on before putting on another pair. He walks up to the head of the bed and leans over Maria, putting his hand to her forehead again. “Isabel, get everything ready.” He says as he walks back toward the end of the bed. He looks up at Michael just as Maria seems to wake all the way back up.

“What the hell, Max! Why don’t you just reach inside and rip out my lungs through my asshole next time!” Maria yells at him.

Max grins at her and shrugs as she shifts her attention to Michael. “How could you let him do that?! I’m done with this, Michael. You hear me? This is the last time I’m doing this!”

Liz can’t help but smile at Maria’s tirade. She doesn’t blame her…she’d probably be screaming, too.

“Ok, Maria…I’m sorry, but I didn’t have a choice.” Max tells her. “Are you ready to get this over with?”

Maria nods and says, “Ok, Max…get Michael’s kid out of me.” and she leans back closing her eyes as Michael rolls his eyes.

Smiling, Max reaches up and puts his hand over Maria’s belly. As Liz watches Maria’s face scrunch up, she realizes that Max must have put the baby to sleep, too.

She watches as Max keeps his hand on her belly. He looks like he’s concentrating when his eyes suddenly fly open the same time that Maria screams.

“It’s time, Maria…push.” Max calmly says from the end of the bed.

Michael sits at the head of the bed and supports Maria as she leans up and pushes. Her belly is glowing brightly now and Liz has to look away. Maria stops pushing and sags in relief in Michael’s arms, not letting go of Liz’s hand. The glowing fades to a dull light.

A few moments later, Max says, “Get ready, Maria…ok, now. Push now.”

Maria pushes again as Michael rubs her back and soothes her as much as he can. “You’re doing great, Maria.”

She leans back again and takes deep breaths…her face is covered in sweat and her eyes are closed.

“One more time, Maria…come on.” Max says from the end of the bed as Maria leans forward and pushes again. “We have a head…come on Maria. Just one more, a big one.”

Maria screams as she leans forward before collapsing against the pillows on the bed and the glowing light fades to nothing.

“It’s a girl!” Isabel shouts from the foot of the bed. Her and Max are bent over and Liz looks up at Maria smiling as Michael leans over and kisses his wife’s lips.

“I told you.” he whispers to her.

“Shut up and go get my baby.” Maria smiles at him.

Liz turns to watch as Michael cuts the umbilical cord and Isabel cleans her up before bringing her up to Maria and laying her on her chest.

“Oh, Maria…she’s beautiful.” Liz gushes as she stands up and looks at the little baby squirming on Maria’s chest.

Michael walks back up to the head of the bed and sits next to Maria…cradling his wife and baby. “You did good, honey. She’s wonderful.”

Maria laughs through the tears in her eyes, “Yah…she’s wonderful, isn’t she?” Maria looks up at Liz and says, “I’m so glad you were here.”

Liz looks down at them, her eyes filling with tears. She sees Max stand up and peel off his gloves, “You’re all fixed up, Maria. We’ll get out of your hair for a few minutes and I’ll come back and check the baby again.”

Liz takes one last look at Maria and the baby before turning to leave the bedroom behind Max. Isabel shuts the door behind them and says, “Wow…that was fast.”

“Oh my God!” Liz exclaims. “Maria’s Mom! Someone should call her. What’s her number?”

Isabel raises her hand to her mouth and says, “She’s gonna be so pissed…she missed the twins being born, too.” as a laugh escapes.

Liz walks into the kitchen and sees Max at the sink scrubbing his hands and arms. She picks up the phone and asks, “What’s Amy’s number?” Isabel tells her and she calls to break the news to Amy that her daughter gave birth to a baby girl 15 minutes after she left.

Ten minutes later, Liz, Max and Isabel are sitting on the front lawn of Michael and Maria’s house. Max is lying on his back, looking up at the sky. Liz is resting back on her hands, her legs stretched out in front of her. And Isabel is sitting cross-legged, plucking pieces of grass from the ground.

Finally, Liz says, “I thought you said that Michael was trained to deliver the babies.”

“It’s just easier to tell people that…raises fewer questions than if we told them I did it.” Max says as he stares at the sky. “Michael doesn’t have enough control over his powers. And they’re too important in getting the baby out.”

Isabel jumps in, “Plus, it’s his wife…his emotions are too jumbled to really be any help.”

Liz nods and looks out to the street. “So…it takes alien help to get the baby out? What if you guys weren’t around?”

Isabel keeps her gaze on the ground. “That won’t happen. We were all there last time, and we were here this time. Everything is fine.”

“The baby won’t come out without help…from our powers. If we weren’t around, a c-section would have to be done and then the entire hospital would know.” Max says from the ground. “It’s not exactly a normal human delivery…”

“Oh.” Liz says thoughtfully as she looks down to the ground. “I guess Jaret was right…she was only 7 and a half months along and the baby looked like a good size.”

“It’s a good thing they were here.” Max says.

After a few moments, Liz says, “That was incredible, Max. You stayed so calm…I think I was ready to tear my hair out.” She laughs before continuing. “I’m sorry I yelled at you…I didn’t know what was happening.”

“It’s alright…we didn’t have to do that last time. Although, we had to listen to her bitch at us for 18 hours instead. I’ll have to remember the dilating thing for next time…” He grins as he raises his hand to his eyes to block out the sun.

They all stand up when they see Amy, Kyle, Grace and Alex pull up in front of the house. Amy dashes in through the front door down the hall and into the bedroom. They could her outside crying, “I can’t believe I missed it again! What were you thinking?!”

Max walks back in the house to go check on the baby and Isabel follows. While Isabel cleans the baby more thoroughly and dresses her, Max checks Maria one more time…healing what he can. Then he takes the baby from Isabel and checks her from head to toe for anything unusual. Handing her back to Maria, Max says, “Everything’s good. You have a perfectly normal little girl.”

Maria looks up at Max and says, “Thank you, Max. I’m sorry I yelled.” as she looks back down at her baby and rubs her finger along her cheek.

“No problem.” Max grins at her. “We’re gonna clean up here and go. Call if you need anything.” He turns to grab a trash bag and starts gathering towels and discarded gloves. When everything is picked up, he leaves the bedroom and walks back to the kitchen. Tossing a few more things in the trash bag along with the scissors Michael used to cut the umbilical cord, he ties it up and turns to Isabel, Liz and Kyle. “We should go for a while…let them have some time alone.”

They all agree and walk out of the house, agreeing to meet later at Max’s for a bar-b-que.

Liz gets into Max’s car and looks at the clock. “I can’t believe it’s only 2.” She says as she leans back in the seat. “I feel like days have passed since this morning.”

“Yah…that definitely wasn’t on the agenda for today.” Max says as he starts the car and pulls out onto the street.

Liz turns to look out the window…thinking about how brave Maria was. At a time when she would have thought Maria would be freaking out, she was calm and determined. It was the most incredible thing she’d ever witnessed. The vision of Michael holding Maria and their new baby brings a smile to her face.

As Max drives, he thinks about how scared he was. For a minute there, he thought they were gonna have to cut that baby out of Maria. He remembers how he kept glancing at Liz and seeing how scared she was as she tried to be brave for Maria. He keeps remembering the fear in her eyes when Maria screamed in pain.

They make the drive in silence, each caught up in their own thoughts. Liz almost looks surprised when they pull in Max’s driveway and he turns the engine off.

Max grabs the trash bag from the trunk and as they’re walking toward the house Liz says, “I should probably call my parents and let them know.”

Max nods and opens the door, letting Liz in before him. “I’m gonna take care of this, then I think I’m gonna go take a shower.”

As Liz goes to get the phone from the kitchen, Max takes the trash bag to the backyard, and making sure no one is around, uses his powers to disintegrate the bag. The he walks upstairs, peeling his shirt off when he gets to his bedroom. Turning on the shower, Max walks back in his room to sit on the bed and take off his shoes. He feels like he hasn’t slept for days as he looks at his bed…remembering that he and Liz had just made love in this bed four hours ago. All of a sudden, he’s overcome with drowsiness and lies back on the bed, closing his eyes as he drifts off to sleep.

An hour later, Liz is downstairs on the couch flipping through channels on TV when she looks up the stairs. She can still hear the shower running. Surely he’s not still in there. Concerned, she walks up the stairs and peeks in Max’s bedroom. When she sees him sprawled out on the bed sleeping, she smiles and walks in. She goes in the bathroom and turns the shower off before turning back to the bedroom.

She looks at his chest, raising and lowering with each breath…at his arms that are flung out on either side of him and she looks down to see that he still has one shoe on. Unlaced…but still on. She bends down and pulls it off for him before lifting his leg fully on the bed. Watching him for a few more moments, she smiles and turns to leave his room…shutting the door behind her.

She walks across the hall into her bedroom and strips off her clothes as she searches for a swimsuit. She’s too wound up…a swim would be good. She searches through all her bags and can’t find her one and only swimsuit. Standing in the middle of her room, hands on her hips, she tries to think of something else she could wear to swim in. She walks back over and opens the door to Max’s room as quietly as she can and goes to his dresser. She pulls out a pair of boxers from the top drawer, and glancing over at Max to make sure she didn’t wake him, she leaves and shuts the door behind her again.

After putting on the boxers and rolling the waist band a few times to keep them on, she puts on a tank top and grabs a towel before heading downstairs. She grabs a boombox off the counter in the kitchen and brings it outside with her, turning it on before stepping onto the diving board and diving in. The water feels so good compared to the heat of the day. After swimming a few laps, she makes her way to the steps and sits on the second one…leaning back and resting her head on the lip of the pool.

She feels the sun on her face and marvels at the fact that she’s been here for over a month and this is the first time she’s gone swimming. She’s startled out of her thoughts when she opens her eyes and sees Max standing by the side of the pool, watching her.

“Max!” she stands up suddenly. “I didn’t wake you up, did I?”

Max drags his gaze over her and shakes his head. “No, I guess I just needed a little nap.” He looks at his boxers which are wet and practically falling off of her, then up to the tank top she’s wearing. It’s ridden up so that it’s bunched just underneath her breasts.

She looks down when she sees that Max is looking at her and says, “Oh, um…I borrowed a pair of your boxers. I can’t seem to find a swimsuit.” She looks up at him, biting her lip and fidgeting under his gaze.

She watches as he strips out of his pants down to his boxers and dives into the pool. Standing on the steps, she sees him swim underwater toward her. He surfaces at the bottom of the steps and reaches up to hook his finger in the waistband of her boxers, pulling her down the steps into the pool with him.

When she’s standing in front of him, he leans forward to kiss her neck…sucking gently on the skin underneath her ear. She stumbles forward into him and puts her hands on his chest, her head thrown to the side as she closes her eyes. He drags his mouth up to hers and runs his tongue along her lower lip until she opens her mouth to his. He kisses her thoroughly and hears a small sound come from the back of her throat. Placing his hands on her hips, he slowly starts to drag them up under her tank top.

“Hey! We brought…” Max and Liz whip their heads over to the back door where Isabel and Jesse have walked out carrying bags of food. “Oh…oops! Sorry.” Isabel says with a smile. “We didn’t mean to um….interrupt.” she turns to walk back in the kitchen…a laughing Jesse behind her.

Liz clears her throat and steps back from Max. “I’m gonna…um…go get dressed.” She says, looking down…embarrassed at having been caught. She looks up at Max right before he reaches for her and pulls her close, kissing her again.

Letting her go, he smiles and says, “Me too.” And he guides her over to the stairs and they climb out of the pool.

Walking back through the kitchen wrapped in a towel, Liz giggles and says, “Sorry guys…I’ll be right back.” And she runs up the stairs to her room.

When Max walks into the kitchen, Isabel says, “I’m sorry, Max. I should have called first. I didn’t think…”

“It’s ok, Isabel. I’m gonna go get dressed…I’ll be right down.” He smiles as he passes her in the kitchen and heads upstairs.

As Jesse takes out the steaks and chicken breasts from one of the bags, he says, “Well, it looks like Max and Liz are back together.”

“Yah…I hope it’s a good sign…that Liz is getting her life back to normal.” Isabel smiles as she pulls vegetables out of another bag.

They hear the front door open with a knock. “Anyone home?” Kyle yells into the house as he walks in.

“In the kitchen, Kyle.” Isabel yells back.

Kyle walks in and loudly pronounces, “I have beer!” as he opens the fridge to put it inside, grabbing two before shutting the door.

Grabbing one from Kyle, Jesse says, “Great…I think we should celebrate.”

“My Dad will be here in a little while…he got caught up with something at the station.” Kyle tells them as he sits down at the table. “Where are Max and Liz?” he asks as he takes a swig of his beer.

“Upstairs changing clothes…we caught them making out in the pool.” Jesse grins as he sits down across from Kyle.

“Oops.” Kyle laughs.

20 minutes later, Max comes downstairs to find Kyle and Jesse outside starting the grill. He sees the beer bottles on the table and says, “So we’re drinking tonight?”

Kyle looks over and says, “Not you, buddy. Only those of us of the human variety.”

Liz walks outside and says, “What’s for only us of the human variety?”

Jesse grabs a beer out of the box and hands it to Liz. “Beer.” He says in a deep voice and laughs.

Liz giggles at him as Isabel walks out behind her and says, “Yes…manly men must have their beer.” And she rolls her eyes.

Shrugging her shoulders, Liz unscrews the top and takes a swig. “Works for me.”

Isabel sits down next to Max and says, “Great…we’re stuck with a bunch of beer-swilling, drunk humans for the night.” laughing as she hands Max a Cherry Coke.

“Well, wasn’t that the plan Isabel? Get them all drunk and perform alien experiments on them when they pass out?” Max asks his sister seriously.

Kyle, Jesse and Liz look at each other and burst into laughter, lifting their bottles and clinking them together and they all say, “Cool!” before taking a drink and laughing some more.

Isabel turns to Max and says, “They’re hopeless.” and laughs with them.

“I see the celebrating has already started.” Jim says as he walks through the back door and sees everyone laughing on the back patio.

“Hey, Jim…pull up a chair.” Max greets him, standing up and rearranging the chairs so Jim can join them.

Over the course of the evening, they eat and laugh and cheer the new Guerin. Max watches Liz as she relaxes and jokes with everyone…laughing more than he’s seen her laugh since they were kids. He watches as her and Kyle act out the time Kyle had a party at his house and Jim came home early to find Kyle puking in the back yard…and Liz trying to rush everyone out of the house before he saw.

They tell Jesse and Jim all about the rushed delivery that afternoon. And Kyle laments sarcastically about how it was too bad he had to miss it. After the sun sets, Jesse decides he’s going for a swim, but not before he and Kyle drag Isabel to the side of the pool and push her in. Kyle dives in after them and Jim follows close behind.

Max moves to the chair next to Liz and smiles at her, nodding to the glass of water she’s drinking. “No more manly beer for you?” he jokes.

She laughs and says, “Nah. Two is enough for me…I don’t wanna start growing chest hair.”

Jim looks up at them and jokes, “You two too good for the pool?”

“Nah…they had enough of the pool earlier.” Isabel says before they all start laughing.

Liz smiles and rolls her eyes at them before looking down at her hands. She sees Max reach over and grab one of her hands and she looks up at him, smiling.

Eventually, everyone makes it out of the pool and starts picking up their mess of bottles, cups and plates. Finally, at around 10pm, the last person walks out the door leaving Max and Liz alone…sprawled out on the couch.

“That was fun.” Liz says. “Having everyone over…it was…fun.” And she smiles over at Max.

“Yah. Maria will be pissed that she missed it.” Max says.

Smiling, Liz says, “I’m sure she’d rather be doing what she’s doing now than be over here.”

Nodding, Max brings his hands up and folds them behind his head as he looks up at the ceiling.

“Max?” he hears Liz ask after a couple of minutes.

He looks up and says, “Yah?”

She looks down at her lap and asks him, “When will you have all your powers back?”

Furrowing his brow, he says, “I should be fine tomorrow…why?”

Shrugging her shoulders, she says, “No reason…just curious.” and she stands up. “I think I’m gonna go to bed…it’s been a long day.”

Max sits up and says, “Ok.”

Liz walks over to Max and bends over to give him a small kiss on the lips before standing back up and smiling. “Good night, Max.”

“Good night, Liz.” He says as he watches her climb up the stairs. Leaning back into the couch he thinks about how much he wanted her to sleep with him tonight…just so he could feel her next to him. But she’s right, it’s been a long day and she’ll probably get a better night’s sleep in her own bed.

Getting up off the couch, Max makes his way to all the doors, making sure they’re locked and he turns out the lights as he makes his way upstairs. Throwing on some sweatpants and brushing his teeth, he climbs into bed and turns out his light. It doesn’t take long before he’s deep in sleep.

Sometime in the middle of the night, he wakes up and sees Liz standing next to his bed. He smiles and lifts up the covers as she crawls in next to him and he puts his arms around her as they both fall back asleep.

posted on 7-May-2002 10:15:08 AM
Part 29~

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Max wakes up to the smell of coffee and he opens his eyes to see Liz sitting next to him in bed. She sees him open his eyes and smiles. “Good morning.”

“Good morning.” He says back as he sits up.

“I’m making breakfast…and I brought you some coffee.” She says as she points to the steaming mug on his nightstand.

“Mmmm…thank you.” Max says as he reaches over for the mug. “It smells good.” He smiles as he takes a sip.

Standing up, she says, “Why don’t you shower and get dressed? I’ll see you downstairs.” And she turns to walk out of his room.

Watching her go, he wonders what’s going on and he gets out of bed to head to the bathroom. He has a feeling it has to do with what happened between them the other night. It was too soon…they were out of control, and he was way too rough with her. Maybe she wants to move in with her parents to put some distance between them. They haven’t really had a chance to talk about it.

When he gets downstairs, he walks into the kitchen to see Liz in front of the stove cooking eggs. She turns to watch him walk in and smiles. “It’s almost ready.” before turning back to the stove.

Max eyes her for a moment, then moves to get out plates and silverware before going to the fridge to pour himself a glass of orange juice. “Want some juice?” he asks her.

“Sounds good.” She agrees as she serves up eggs, bacon and toast and brings the plates to the table.

They eat their breakfast in silence and Max is practically itching with curiosity. But he wants to wait for her to bring up whatever it is she wants to talk about. When they finish, Max watches as Liz plays with the last bite of egg on her plate. He can’t wait any longer and finally has to ask what’s on his mind. “Liz…do you…are you upset about what happened…the other night?”

Liz looks up at him quickly, not expecting that. “What? No…I mean…are you?”

“No!” He says immediately. “I just thought…it seems like you want to talk about something…and I thought…”

She looks back down at the table and says, “Well I wasn’t exactly planning for that to happen…and I’m a little embarrassed at how I acted. I mean…I practically attacked you. And I don’t know if I’m ready…to deal with what it means now…for us.” She shakes her head, “But that’s not what I want to talk to you about.”

He doesn’t say anything, just waits for what she wants to say.

She puts her fork down and wipes her hands on her pants before she looks back up at him. “I want you to heal me today.”

When he doesn’t say anything she continues, “I know you’re gonna see things…but…I’m ready. I mean, if you still want to.”

“Of course I still want to.” Max says…with a little shock in his voice. He realizes that she’s been debating about this for days.

He stands up from the table and walks around to Liz’s chair, pulling her up in a hug. “Of course I still want to.” He whispers again into her hair.

She lets out a breath of relief and says, “Good.”

Pulling back from her, he looks down and tucks her hair behind her ear. “Now?”

She nods her head. “If you didn’t have anything planned…now would be good.”

He smiles and leads her from the kitchen and up the stairs to his room. He sits her on the side of the bed and asks, “Where do you want me to start?”

She looks around the room before standing up. She looks at him for a moment before she reaches down and pulls her shirt off over her head, then reaching down, she unfastens her jeans and slides them down her hips to fall at her feet. Sitting back on the bed, she kicks her jeans off and says, “Start wherever you want, Max.”

Max stands in front of her, trying to concentrate on what he’s about to do instead of the fact that she’s sitting on his bed in nothing but her underwear. He sits down next to her and gently pushes her back to lie down. Raising his hand to brush across her cheek, he lowers it to her neck and places his palm against the skin there. As he moves his hand down to her chest, leaving smooth skin in its wake, she watches his face as he grimaces and tears come to his eyes. He chokes out a sob as he heals her and she knows…he’s seeing everything Khivar did to her. Closing her eyes, she concentrates on the feel of his hands as he makes his way to her arms…then her legs…healing all the scars there. Then he brings both hands up to her right thigh and she feels his hands get warmer and a tingling in her leg as he heals the bone there. The bone that Khivar splintered when he kicked her, over and over again.

She rolls back over on her back after he heals the scars on her back and he raises his hand to her face, but she grabs it and shakes her head, no. When he’s done, he grabs her hand in his and bends over the side of the bed, his shoulders shaking with his sobs. “God, Liz.” He cries as he brings her hand to his mouth and cries against it. She presses herself to his back, leaning her head there.

He quickly turns around and pulls her close to him, burying his head in the crook of her neck. She can feel his tears dropping onto her shoulder and rolling down her back as she runs her hands up and down his back in a soothing motion.

After a few minutes, he leans back and looks into her dry eyes. “How did you ever live through that? How can you be so calm and accepting of it now?” he whispers.

“Oh, Max…” She says as she pushes him back on the bed and curls up next to him, resting her head on his chest. “I’m calm and accepting because I’m getting my life back. Not of what he did to me.” She brings her hand up to his chest and idly plays with the buttons on his shirt for a couple of minutes. “I tried to kill myself once.” She says softly.

“I know…I saw.” Max whispers as he brings a hand up to her hair.

“I was so…destroyed. Everything was hopeless…Khivar was using me for his…” She fades before continuing. “And Jaret…I hated him. He claimed to be helping me, but he was using me for his own motives, too. I didn’t have anything…I lost my family…my friends…you. I just didn’t see the point in living anymore. So I swallowed a bottle of Percodan and chased it with a glass of vodka. I was totally serious about it. But Jaret found me…he got the drugs out of my system and he nursed me back to health. I tried to fight him…yelling at him, telling him I didn’t want to be used by him anymore. That I didn’t care about his stupid war, that I just wanted my life back. He stayed with me for days, listening to my ranting and raving…getting things thrown at him…and he yelled right back at me…telling me he hated what Khivar was doing to me. He promised me that they would destroy Khivar and I’d get my life back. He promised me that he would make sure I got my life back.”

She takes a deep breath, letting it out before she continues. “That was about four years ago. I didn’t entirely believe what he said, but it gave me a small sliver of hope…and that’s all I needed. He even showed up one day with tickets…to a concert Maria was giving in New York. He took me and we sat high up in the stands through the whole concert. He even brought binoculars so I could see Maria better. It was so wonderful.”

Max freezes, thinking. “Madison Square Garden? Was it at Madison Square Garden?” he asks her.

“Yes…it was sold out…in the middle of the summer.” She nods her head.

He lifts his head to look down at her. “I was there…I was backstage. I was there…and you were there…so close.”

She looks at him and closes her eyes. “I moved again right after that. Jaret was afraid that there was a slim chance that someone might have seen me there.”

Laying his head back down, he closes his eyes and says, “I felt you that night. I felt our connection…and I was frantic, convinced you were close by. I made Maria crazy…she posted people at all of the exits with pictures of you…hoping someone would see you. After…I…I lost the connection…and I convinced myself that I was crazy.”

They lay in silence for a few minutes, thinking of how close they were to each other and didn’t know it. Finally, Liz says, “Yesterday…it finally hit me. I have my life back…I finally have it back. And watching Maria and Michael yesterday…I realized that I want that. I want a family…and it was like I was hit with this sudden, wonderful truth…that I can do anything I want now. It’s taken these weeks for me to fully understand that I’m free now.”

Leaning up on her elbow and looking at Max, she says, “I want to kill him, Max. I want Khivar to come here so I can kill him myself. Then I’ll really be free.” Then she leans down and, grabbing both sides of his face, she kisses him. Max brings his hands up her back to tangle in her hair as their tongues fight each other for control. She breaks away from the kiss and looks down into his eyes. “Thank you, Max…for helping me heal. I love you.”

Bringing his hand up to her cheek, Max says, “I love you”


Part 30~

After enjoying a couple of hours just lying in each other’s arms, Max and Liz decide that they need to get up and call Michael to see how they’re doing. Max helps Liz get dressed and they go downstairs. While Liz cleans the kitchen from breakfast earlier, Max calls Michael.

Ending his call with Michael, Max walks back in the kitchen and sees Liz looking at her reflection in the steel door of the fridge. She’s pushing her shirt to the side and tracing the area where the scar used to run down her chest. She turns when he walks in and smiles at him…embarrassed at being caught looking at herself.

“Why didn’t you let me heal the scars on your face?” he asks her.

Bringing her hand up to the scar on her forehead, she says, “People have seen them, Max. It would look strange if they disappeared suddenly.”

He nods and says, “Maybe we’ll just get rid of them slowly, then. So it’s not so noticeable.”

“What did Michael say? How are Maria and the baby?” Liz changes the subject.

“They’re sleeping. She asked for you earlier, though. He said we can go over tonight.”

“Good.” Liz smiles, looking forward to seeing them. “So…whatcha wanna do now?” she asks him with a grin.

Max looks up to the ceiling in thought and says, “Hmmm…we could go to the park. Or we could go for a drive. Or we could go see a movie. Or…” There doesn’t seem to be an end to his list, so Liz interrupts him.

“Ok, ok.” She says, laughing and holding up her hands. “How about we go for a drive…and just see where we end up.”

“Sounds good.” He smiles and runs upstairs to get his shoes.

Ten minutes later, they’re heading out of town with the windows down and the radio turned up loud. Liz changed into one of the new outfits Maria bought for her…a loose, white blouse with short sleeves and a scooping neck with Khaki shorts that zip up the side. She has her bare feet propped up on the dashboard as she feels the wind whip through her hair.

Max looks over and sees she has her eyes closed and a smile on her face. She looks so beautiful…her hair and blouse whipping around with the wind. Thoughts of what he saw earlier when he healed her invade his mind but he pushes them back for now. Today is for them…to just do nothing and have fun.

He watches as Liz leans over, resting her hand on his thigh, and says in his ear over the wind and the music, “Let’s go to the woods.” and she leans back…the same smile on her face. But her hand stays on his thigh…making small circles with her thumb.

Taking a deep breath, he tries to concentrate on the road in front of him instead of what she’s doing with her hand. As they approach the turnoff for the woods, Max feels Liz’s hand inch over to the inside of his thigh and she scrapes her nails up his khakis until he reaches down and grabs her hand, stopping her ascent. He looks over at her amused face and tries to give her a warning look, which makes her grin go wider.

Max pulls the car into a clearing they’ve been to frequently when they were younger and parks, turning the engine off. Liz immediately unbuckles her seatbelt and hops out of the car, looking around at the familiar setting. She turns to look back at Max and sees that he’s still sitting in the car. “Grab a blanket…we can hike down to the lake.” She says before she turns to walk into the trees.

Shaking his head and smiling, Max grabs a blanket from the back seat and gets out of the car to catches up with Liz. She’s picked a stick up and is poking at the ground with it as she walks. When he gets closer, she turns around to see him walking quickly up to her and she laughs. “Still can’t keep up?”

He laughs and says, “Yah…well, it was a little difficult getting out of the car after your teasing.”

She throws her head back once more to laugh at him before turning around and running down the path. When he gets to the end of the path, he finds Liz standing on a rock that overlooks the lake. She’s bouncing up and down on her right leg and he watches her, wondering what she’s doing. He laughs and asks, “What are you doing?”

She stops and turns to look at him. “It doesn’t hurt. I could probably jump up and down all day.” Then she smiles as she points toward her thigh.

Understanding, he smiles back at her and spreads the blanket down on the ground in front of a tree. “Come sit with this old man…you’re making me tired just watching you.” He jokes.

Smiling, she jumps off the rock and walks over to him…stepping up close to him but not touching him. She looks him up and down and says, “You don’t look so old to me.” Then she sits down, pulling him with her. He leans against the tree and she sits between his legs leaning back into him, facing the lake.

He intertwines her fingers in his as they look out across the water and she says, “Have you ever talked about it…about when you died…with anyone?”

“No. I never wanted to…and I think it freaked Michael and Isabel. They never really asked. I don’t think they wanted to know.” He answers.

She nods her head once and traces his fingers with her other hand.

He leans his lips down to the top of her head, feeling the texture of her hair. “It was weird…confusing. Before…right before it happened…all I could think about was you. How I’d never see you again. Then everything was dark…and I remember images, like photographs, from my life. They just kept flashing…it was overwhelming. I didn’t understand some of them…or the people and places that were in them.” He pauses before continuing. “I felt…like I wasn’t alone…that there was another presence there, or maybe more than one…I don’t know. I wasn’t…pleasant. But the next thing I remember is waking up and feeling like I was in someone else’s body. I guess, technically I was.”

“Did it hurt?” Liz asks him.

“When I was fighting Clayton for control it did. Maria said you knew…when it happened.”

She nods her head and says, “I just suddenly felt this emptiness. And I knew…Maria didn’t believe me…but I knew.” Thinking for a few moments, she says, “After all this time, I still don’t understand what happened that night. Do you?”

“No. All I remember is falling out of the window and thinking that you were gonna die…I put my shield up and then…I was on the ground, looking up at you.” He kisses the top of her head. “Michael was pissed, I know that. He was pissed when he found out that I tried to kill Maria…then he was pissed about that whole transfer of power thing.”

Liz laughs, “Yah…I think we were all glad that that didn’t stick. Poor Jesse. How long did it take for him to forgive Michael? I know Jesse still wasn’t talking to him when I left.”

“It took a while…but Jesse came around. It’s weird enough finding out about aliens…but to have one try to kill you…” Max brings one of his hands to Liz’s stomach and rubs it lightly. “You were never scared of us…of me.”

She places her hand on top of his, grazing his fingers with hers. “How could I be? I knew you…I saw you. That’s when I fell in love with you.”

Turning around to kneel in front of him, she sits back on her heels and brings her hand up to his cheek. “Max? Do you ever think about…what it would have been like if I didn’t lose the baby? I do…every time I see a child that’s the same age…as ours would have been.” She brings her hand down to the front of his shirt and watches as she smoothes the creases out.

“I think about it all the time.” Max says softly.

“I meant what I said this morning…about wanting a family. I want that…someday.” She leans down and curls up against his chest and waits a few moments before adding, “with you.”

He wraps his arms around her and says, “We’ll have that…someday. I promise.”

As they drive back to Roswell late that afternoon, Liz hears her cell phone ring. She looks over to Max before leaning down to get it out of her bag. Clicking it on, she says, “Hello?” and sees Max looking at her with concern…not wanting her to talk to Jaret.

“Liz?” she hears from the other end. “I…How are you? Are you doing well?”

She laughs, knowing he’s making an attempt to be nice. “I’m good, Jaret. Hold on.” She hands the phone over to Max.

“Jaret.” Max says into the phone.

“See…I can make pleasant small talk.” Jaret says to him.

Rolling his eyes, Max asks, “Do you know anything?”

“Well…I see the pleasant small talk is only one-sided.” Jaret says sarcastically. “Yes. I’ll be there in the morning. He’s coming…he’ll be here in two days. I have information you might want.”

“We’ll be at my house. See you tomorrow.” Max says before ending the call and turning to Liz. “Jaret’s coming in the morning. Khivar’s on his way.”

She nods at him and looks out the side window at the passing scenery. The rest of the ride is made in silence as they make their way over to Michael and Maria’s house.

When they walk through the front door, they see Maria sitting in the living room as Michael walks toward them with Grace and Alex. When they see Liz and Max, Grace and Alex run from their Dad and into the living room.

“We have a new sister!” Alex tells Liz enthusiastically.

“I know.” Liz smiles at him. “Does your new sister have a name yet?” she turns to join Maria on the couch.

“Of course she has a name.” Maria smiles at her and grabs her hand. “We named her Elizabeth.”

Liz covers her mouth with her hand as tears come to her eyes. “Are you serious?!”

Maria squeezes her hand and says, “Yup. Michael thought we should name Grace after you, but I told him we were gonna wait until you came home and name our next daughter after you.”

“Oh, Maria…I don’t know what to say.” Liz gushes as she hugs Maria.

Max smiles over at Michael and jokes, “Well, now I’m just jealous.”

Laughing, Michael says, “I guess you’ll just have to wait for the next one, Maxwell.”

“Unless you’re the one that squeezes it out, Michael…there won’t be a next time.” Maria informs him. “I’m done populating this planet with aliens.”

Everyone laughs as Grace and Alex roll on the ground giggling at what their Mom said. “We’re not aliens Mom!”

Looking over at them, she says, “Ever since I had to start buying Tabasco sauce by the gallon for you two, you lost your membership card that says ‘I’m a Human’.” She winks at them.

Liz looks at Grace and Alex and asks, “Do they have powers?”

Alex looks up at her and puts his finger up to his lips. “Shhh…we don’t tell anyone.”

Nodding, Liz makes a zipping motion across her lips. “I got it.” And smiles at him. Turning back to Maria, she asks, “So…where is my namesake?”

“Sleeping…finally!” Maria says as she sags back in the couch. “You can go look at her, but if you wake her up, you get to put her back to sleep.”

Smiling, Liz stands up and says, “I’ll be quiet.” and walks down the hallway to the back bedroom. Pushing the door open slowly, she walks in and closes the door behind her. She makes her way across the room to the crib and looks down at the sleeping baby inside. She’s so tiny…laying on her back and taking quick, little breaths. Liz smiles as she stands there and watches her sleep. Quietly, she backs away from the crib and heads toward the door…opening and closing it slowly.

She walks back down the hallway and into the living room. “She’s so beautiful, Maria. And so tiny!”

“She didn’t feel so tiny coming out.” Maria says with big eyes. Looking at Liz up and down with a critical eye, she says, “Liz!” she looks over at Max, then back to Liz. “You’re…wearing one of the new outfits I bought you!” Grinning, she winks at Liz.

Looking down at her clothes, then back up to Maria, Liz raises her hand to her neck…realizing what Maria’s really commenting on and says, “Yah…I thought it was time for a change.” smiling at Maria. Turning to Max, she says, “We should have brought dinner…I didn’t even think.”

“I ordered pizza.” Michael tells them. “Should be here soon.”

“Yah, now he lets me eat pizza.” Maria rolls her eyes as Michael sits down next to her. He grabs her hand and kisses it before saying, “Like you ever listened to what I said.”

Sitting on the floor with the kids, Liz agrees to play Go Fish with them until the pizza gets there. Max sits in a chair next to the couch and asks Maria how she’s feeling and how the baby’s doing.

“I’m good, Max. Actually, I feel really good. Everyone should have an alien with healing powers deliver their children.” Maria says with a smile. “Really, thank you, Max. I don’t know what we’d do without you.” She leans over to give him a hug.

“Hey, I helped, too.” Michael whines.

Turning toward her husband, Maria pats Michael on the hand and says, “Yes, honey. You helped with all the panicking.”

“I don’t panic.” He pouts.

“Of course not.” Maria says sarcastically. “I still love you.” She says as she leans over to kiss his cheek.

Liz looks over at them smiling and says, “Well I’ll admit it…I panicked.”

Grace looks up at her and says, “You did?”

“Yup. I had no idea what was going on. Your mommy was a lot braver than I was.” She smiles at her.

“Well now you’ll know what’s going on and you can be brave when you have babies.” Alex tells her, trying to make her feel better.

“You’re right.” She smiles at Alex and glances over to see Max watching her.

Liz is saved from everyone seeing her blush when the doorbell rings. Michael gets up to pay for the pizza and turns from the door. “Time to eat.” He says as he brings the boxes into the kitchen.

When everyone is seated around the table, Michael get up to fill a glass with water and starts to bring it to Maria, then turns around and pours the water out, refilling it with milk. He brings it back to the table as Liz watches him.

“How do you do that?” Liz asks, nodding toward the glass that he set down in front of Maria.

“Do what?” he asks as he takes a bite of pizza.

“That…thing where you know what Maria wants before she asks for it…or like when I’ve seen you open the door for her before she’s there…like you know she’s coming?” She asks, looking up at Maria.

“Oh.” Maria says as she puts her pizza down and takes a drink of her milk. “I don’t know…Michael?” she looks over at him. “When did that start anyway? I can’t remember.”

He just shrugs his shoulders and Maria rolls here eyes, turning back to Liz. “I think it was after we got married…or when I was pregnant with the twins. Yah…I’m pretty sure it started then. It gets really strong when I’m pregnant…but I don’t remember exactly when it started.” She waves her hand dismissively. “It’s pretty cool, though…don’t you think?” she grins.

“Yah. Real cool.” Michael mumbles from his chair.

This makes Liz laugh and roll her eyes at Maria.

Laughing, Alex says, “Yah! The other day, Daddy was taking us to Gramma Amy’s house and we had to turn around and come back home because Daddy said Mommy couldn’t get out of the bathtub.”

“Ha ha. No more funny stories about Mommy getting stuck anywhere.” She eyes Alex.

When they finish their pizza, Michael tells the kids to go take a bath and get ready for bed.

“But we wanna play cards with Liz!” Grace whines.

“Another day. Go.” He tells them and watches as they sulk down the hallway toward their bedroom.

Liz gets up to pick up their plates and clean up the empty pizza boxes as Max tells Michael about Jaret’s call.

“So…I guess we should call Kyle and Valenti…get them over there in the morning, too.” Michael says.

“I’ll call them tonight.” Max says. “I’ll just call you when he gets there.”

Turning to Liz, Michael says, “This Jaret guy…we can trust him?”

Liz looks at Max then to Michael. “I think so. I mean, he kind of has to do what you ask him, right?”

“Yah, but he could turn around and blow the whole plan, too. Turn you over to Khivar.” Michael says.

Shaking her head, she says, “No…no, I know that he wouldn’t willingly put me in danger. We’ve been through a lot…and I know it doesn’t seem like it…but I think he would protect me.”

“Well I don’t like him…I don’t trust him either. He’s a jerk.” Maria says. “And Liz, I don’t know how you could have put up with him for so long. The way he talks to you…I can’t believe you just take it.”

Sighing, Liz clasps her hands on the table in front of her. “I know he’s…challenged…socially. I’m not about to make excuses for how he behaves but we…we understand each other, I guess. He just says what he thinks…he doesn’t worry about hurting feelings.” She shrugs her shoulders.

Suddenly, they hear the baby crying from the bedroom. “Well, that’s my signal.” Maria pushes her chair back from the table.

Liz and Max stand up, too. “We should get out of your way. Michael, I’ll call you in the morning.” Max says.

“Thank you for coming over you guys.” Maria says. “Liz, I’ll talk to you tomorrow?”

“You bet.” Liz tells her, smiling and giving her a hug.

Waving at Michael in the doorway, Max and Liz make their way to the car. On the drive back to Max’s house, Liz says, “I can’t believe they named her after me.” as she smiles at Max.

“It’s a beautiful name…I’ve always liked it.” Max says with a grin.

As they walk in the house, Max turns to lock the door and throws his keys on the table by the door. When he turns around, Liz is standing in front of him.

“Dance with me, Max.” she says, looking up at him with a smile.

“Here?” he asks.

She steps forward and brings her arms up around his neck. “Yup.”

He brings his hands down to her waist and says, “But there’s not any music.”

Pressing in close to him, she brings a hand down to his chest. “We have music…right in here.” She taps her fingers over his heart and starts to sway.

He grabs her hand at his chest and smiles as she leans her head on him. As the moon rises higher in the night sky, Max and Liz stand in his living room and dance to the music of their beating hearts.

posted on 7-May-2002 10:16:22 AM
Part 31~

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

“I have to work tonight.” Liz tells Max as they sip coffee on the back patio early the next morning after he asks her if she wants to go out to dinner that night and maybe see a movie.

Sighing, Max says, “Maybe you shouldn’t…for the next couple of nights. Until we’re sure you’re safe.”

“It doesn’t matter where I am Max. When he comes, he comes.” She shrugs her shoulders. “What’s the difference? Besides, it won’t be this soon. He just called yesterday…we have until at least tomorrow night.”

Before Max can say anything, they hear a loud knocking at the front door. Liz gets up and says, “That would be Jaret…I’ll get it.” She turns to walk back inside…Max watching her go…trying to think of any way to talk her out of going to work.

He’s surprised when he sees Liz and Jaret walk outside…laughing. Looking at them quizzically, he doesn’t have to wait long for Jaret to make his presence known.

“So, where are the rest of the troops?” Jaret asks him, still laughing with Liz.

“I’ll go call Michael and Isabel.” Liz says before turning to go back inside.

Jaret steps forward and sits down next to Max…looking at the pool. “Nice pool.”

Max doesn’t say anything…just stares at Jaret with suspicion.

“What’s the problem, Max? Liz and I aren’t allowed to laugh together? I have known her for 10 years…about 7 years longer than you, I believe.” Jaret says. “Liz and I understand each other…better than you know.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Max asks, irritated with his smugness.

Jaret laughs, “Calm down. I just mean that she doesn’t take my shit. If I’m harsh with her, she knows it’s only because I’m worried about her. She’s probably the only human I would call ‘friend’. We know each other…we’ve been through a lot together.”

He continues when Max is silent…leaning back in his chair and bringing his hands to the back of his head. “You know…she used to make me these awesome cookies. I’m gonna miss those.” He says with a wistful smile on his face. “And, she taught me how to dance…after she got me drunk one night.” He laughs, remembering how he stumbled all over the place. “She seems to trust you…I know all I need to know about you, and I don’t trust you.”

“You don’t know anything about me…just the person I was in my past life.” Max says…instantly filled with jealousy…and anger.

“I just hope her loyalty isn’t misplaced in you.” Jaret says.

Liz walks back outside and looks from Jaret to Max…knowing they were talking about her. She takes a seat next to Max and says, “Michael and Isabel are on their way over.”

“So, I was telling Liz that she looks good…you did a good job with the healing.” Jaret says to Max. “She never wanted me to heal them…said she didn’t trust me.” He says as he laughs.

Max looks confused, so Liz explains. “Yah, well…I wanted to end up looking like me…not your ideal woman.” She turns to Max. “Jaret has a preference for tall, red haired…well endowed women. He was just itching to give me a new look.” She laughs. “Besides…I just…I couldn’t let anyone heal me…again.” She looks down at her hands.

Max smiles at her and grabs her hand. “So, I hear you got him drunk?”

Liz groans and smiles. “Oh God…that was a mistake. He was shooting stars all over the place and making the lights glow like a dance club. I’m sure the neighbors thought we were crazy.”

Jaret laughs and says, “Yah…well…at least I’m fun when I’m drunk. You’re just mean. Max, you wouldn’t believe some of the stuff I had to hear spewing from her mouth. Did you know she cusses like a sailor?”

They hear Michael and Isabel in the house and they get up to go inside…Max shaking his head at the stories Liz and Jaret are blurting out. Max walks back to his office and comes out carrying a box. “Wow. The AC Box…haven’t seen that for a while.” Liz hears Michael say.

“What’s an AC Box?” Liz asks.

“Alien Crisis Box. It has everything we need in case of emergency. Walkie talkies, the orbs, pendant, metal book, translation…you know…all the stuff.” Isabel explains.

As Max sets the box down, he and Michael start pulling out the walkie talkies and opening the battery compartments. Max goes to the kitchen and walks back in with numerous packages of new batteries and he and Michael start putting them in.

Liz approaches and peeks in the box. She sees all the things Isabel ticked off, and she sees her old Crashdown uniform peeking out from the bottom. Reaching down, she pulls out the sealed bag that it’s encased in, looking at the old, dried blood and the hole in the front. She runs her hand over the plastic, thoughts of that day flashing through her head. That was the day her life began. “You kept this?” she turns to Max, remembering that it was one of the items that Michael took from Meta-Chem.

Max had been watching her look at the dress, “We thought it would be a good idea to keep anything that could be traced back to us.”

“Oh.” She says as she lays it back in the box. Some small pieces of amber rock catch her eye as she realizes that they’re the broken remains of the healing stones that she exploded out in the desert. Backing away from the box, she sits down on a nearby chair and stares into the fireplace. The dress just made it all real for her. If it wasn’t for her, they wouldn’t be pulling out their Alien Crisis Box…hell, they wouldn’t even have an Alien Crisis Box. It’s all because of her. Getting shot, Max being tortured, screwing with the timeline, Khivar coming here…if it wasn’t for her, they would have all been able to live normal lives, no one ever knowing their secret. She wishes that the future Max would have gone back to the day of the shooting instead, and made sure that Max didn’t save her.

Max watches the thoughts pass over Liz’s face. They might as well have been written there, he knows so clearly what she’s thinking about. But he doesn’t get a chance to say anything before Jaret walks over and sits next to him.

“Whatcha got here?” he asks as he looks into the box.

Rolling his eyes, Michael says, “Our stuff.” as he reaches for another package of batteries.

“Such the wordsmith, Michael. Whatever would we do without your running commentary?” Jaret jokes.

Michael glares at him and says, “Is there a reason you’re here? Other than to be annoying?”

“Well, I guess I could leave…let you all die. No skin off my back.” Jaret says, starting to get up off the couch.

“Enough!” Liz says to Jaret. “This isn’t helping.”

He looks over at her, seemingly having a silent conversation with their eyes, and sits back down on the couch. Looking back at Max he says, “You’ve made the necessary arrangements?”

“They’ll be here in a couple of hours.” Max tells him.

Nodding, Jaret noses through the box, looking at its contents. “Wow. You have a virtual goldmine in here!” he exclaims. “I could make a fortune selling this stuff back home.” Picking up the metal destiny book, he looks at Max. “Can I just…take this? Man, you have no idea what this’ll bring me at auction. Oh! I bet I could sell it to a museum for a fortune!” He says as he pages through it.

Rolling his eyes, Max says, “No.” and gets back to work with the batteries.

Frowning and throwing the metal book back in the box, he pulls out the translation, leafing through it and says, “Good translation. You do it?” and looks up at Max.

Not looking up, Max says, “No. Liz and Maria’s friend, Alex, did. Tess mindwarped him to get it, then she killed him.”

Setting it back down in the box, Jaret sighs and says, “Oh…harsh. She was determined, I’ll give her that much.” And he looks up at Liz, who is back to staring into the fireplace…deep in thought. He never could understand her need to protect Max…her love for him. Admittedly, he doesn’t understand the emotion of love…but she deserves better than this. Better than Zan.

“Oh, I did get some info from Khivar that you might find interesting.” Jaret says.

Everyone looks up at him as he continues to rifle through the items in the box. “Jaret…” Liz prompts him.

He looks up, holding an orb, examining it as he talks. “Oh…right. He told me about your visits to Liz once a year, Max. He was disappointed that they didn’t lead you to her sooner, because he actually had forgotten about it. His goal was to get you alone…away from Roswell. He never thought it would work…ultimately, he just thought it was funny…torturing you like that.”

“He though it was funny…” Max stares at Jaret…his face getting red with anger.

“May 14th…that was the date, right? That was when it happened?” Jaret looks up at Max.

Max nods and Jaret continues. “And is that date meaningful to you in some way?” he’s says, trying to prompt Max into thinking.

“It’s the day we graduated.” Max says, looking over at Liz…furrowing his brow in regret.

“It’s also the day we got the message from our mother, Max. It’s the day the orbs were activated.” Isabel jumps in.

Nodding, Max remembers the day Liz left him for his destiny and went to Florida for the summer.

“He…how do I put it…programmed Liz to pull you to her while she was sleeping on that night every year. Liz’s mind provided the date…he found out it meant something to the two of you. He used whatever residual powers she had from you…when you healed her. He was actually surprised that it stuck for so many years.” Jaret looks from Max to Liz. “I had no idea…he never told me.”

“Thank you…for telling us.” Liz says. “Do you think it’ll stop? Or is it programmed to happen for the rest of my life?”

“Your powers were supposed to fade with time, and then you wouldn’t be able to do it anymore. I don’t know, Liz.” Jaret admits as he shrugs his shoulders.

Liz turns her head to look back into the fireplace and Max thinks about how much those yearly visits consumed his life and it was just a joke to Khivar.

Seeing Max look like he’s ready to explode, Michael says, “Hey, if it wasn’t for those visits, you wouldn’t have been able to track Liz down…right?”

Max lifts his head and nods at Michael. “Right.” He looks over at Liz and he can tell she’s upset. She’s staring into the fireplace, wringing her hands together in her lap.

“Well.” Jaret says as he stands up. “I need to make contact with the troops…make sure they’ll think I’m somewhere that’s not here for the next couple of days.” Stretching his hands over his head, he says, “We all on the same page?”

Max looks up, “I think so. We’ll go out to the desert when Kyle and Jim get here.”

Nodding, Jaret takes one last look at Liz and walks outside.

As Michael and Isabel continue to put batteries into walkie talkies, Max gets up and kneels in front of Liz’s chair. “Liz.” He says as he puts a hand over hers, stilling their twisting.

She looks down at him, then over to the box. “All that stuff over there, Max. Just think…if you wouldn’t have saved me that day in the Crashdown…the last 13 years would have been entirely different, for all of you. No FBI, no Tess, no Khivar. No one would know who you are.” She looks back at the fireplace. “It all started that day…you should have let me die then. That’s what was supposed to happen…”

Glancing over at Michael and Isabel, Max knows they heard her…they look up at him, then quickly get back to work. No doubt thinking about all the times they told him that same thing when they were in High School.

He looks back at Liz, and standing up, he grabs her hands and pulls her out of the chair…and leads her back to his office. Once he shuts his door, he puts his hands on both sides of her face and makes her look up at him. “You think I shouldn’t have saved you that day?”

At her nod, he continues, “You don’t know that all of that wouldn’t have happened anyway, Liz. There are a million other ways the FBI could have found us…which would have led Nacedo and Tess to us. I think everyone would agree that I make bad decisions, Liz. And without you, I would have gotten everyone killed years ago. I almost did…when Tess left in the Granolith. Liz, you’ve saved our lives a hundred times over…and you’re feeling guilty over the one time I saved yours?”

“But Max, all of those things happened because you healed me.” Liz says. “I know…I know all about timelines, believe me. I just…I can’t help but think about the chain of events that started with that day in the Crashdown. It could have all been so much different…better…for all of you.”

“What about you, Liz? Then you’d be dead…you have no idea what would have happened if you were dead. Hell, you have no idea how different our world would be right now if you had eaten waffles instead of eggs and bacon one morning 5 years ago.” Max paces across the room before turning back to her. “I won’t have you feeling guilty for something I did…something that I would do over and over again if I had to.” He walks back over to her. “Don’t start pointing out things we could have changed over the years, because I guarantee my list is longer than yours.”

Liz can’t help the laugh that escapes and she brings her hand to her mouth. “Well, you have me there.”

Max stops and looks at her, taking a moment to realize that she’s laughing at him, and he quirks up one corner of his mouth.

“I’m sorry, Max…” She can’t help but laugh again. She looks up at him, tears threatening to come from holding in her laughter before she lets it out, holding her stomach. “Max…you…I…I’m sorry…” she tries to say something but can’t get it out.

Max laughs with her and grabs her arm, “You’re laughing at me! Aren’t you?” When he has her arm restrained, he brings his hands to her ribs, tickling them and making her laugh harder.

She squirms, trying to get out of his reach and grabbing at his hand. “Max! Stop! I’m sorry!” she begs him as she tries to sink to the floor to get away from his tickling fingers.

He sinks down with her and she pushes him back as she lands on top of him. Their laughter fades quickly as Max stops his assault on her. Their faces are inches apart and Max brings a hand up to tuck some hair behind her ear. “Fate stepped in that day, Liz…and brought you into my life. I wouldn’t change that for anything in the world.”

She feels herself melt at his words as she looks into his eyes, then drags her gaze down to his mouth. Licking her lips, she slowly lowers her lips to his and hears a small groan come from the back of his throat as his hands make their way under her shirt and up her back. Flicking her tongue out to his lips, Max opens his mouth to grab it with his own and one of his hands moves to the back of her head, pulling it down closer to his as their lips smash together.

He hears small sounds coming from Liz as she brings one of her legs over him so that she’s straddling him on the floor. When he feels her push herself down into his hips, he groans as he grinds up into her causing her mouth to break away from his in a breathy moan.

Sitting up off the floor, he crushes her to him…wrapping his arms around her and burying his face in her neck. “Liz, we need to stop. I have to stop…now.” He moans into her neck…not able to stop his hands moving over the skin of her back.

“Ok.” She breathes more than speaks as she grinds into him even harder.

Gripping her hips, Max stops her movement and pushes her back. “Liz…as much as I want to rip your clothes off right here, Michael and Isabel are in the next room…and Kyle and Jim will be here any minute.” His mouth is positioned right next to her ear and he can’t help but snake his tongue out to flick at the sensitive skin there.

Jerking back at the feel of his tongue, she grins evilly as she reaches a hand down to the front of his pants and squeezes. “You’re right…we should stop.” And she leans forward to lick his neck at the base of his throat.

Max lets his head fall back as he grabs her hand, pulling it away. “Ok…I deserved that.”

Liz smiles as she stands up and smoothes her clothes. “Yes, you did.” She walks toward the door and turns to look back at him on the floor. “Are you coming?” she asks in a breathy voice, then smirks at him before opening the door and walking out.

Max groans and lays back on the floor, kicking the door shut with his foot.

At 2:00, they all make their way out to the desert to a lonely stretch of 285. Max, Liz, Michael and Jaret ride in Max’s SUV. Kyle, Jim, and Isabel ride with Jim in his police cruiser. Pulling over to the side of the road, they all pile out.

Spreading a diagram out on the ground and holding it down with rocks, Max stands over it and addresses everyone. “Ok, Kyle. You have access to what we talked about?” At Kyle’s nod, he continues, “Good. You’ll be positioned here…about 3 miles down.” Pointing to the diagram with a twig. “Michael, you and Isabel will be with me in town.” Looking at Jaret and Liz, he asks, “You know where you’ll be, right?”

They both nod and Jim says, “Why don’t we do a couple run-throughs…make sure we all know what we’re doing?”

Max looks over at Liz, then back to Jim, “Alright. Let’s go.”

5 hours later

Leaning against a large boulder, Liz watches as the sky turns from blue, to orange and pink and red, then fades to purple. Thin clouds make their way across the sky and she tries to make out shapes in them, like she used to do when she was little. Looking down, her gaze stretches across the desert floor…seeing the tumbleweeds roll across the rock and sand. She wonders briefly what this place was like when people first settled here. It had to be a hard life…the heat of the day, the cold of the night. All the rocks and no rich soil to plant crops in.

She gets a chill when the sun sets completely and the sky starts to darken. Standing up, she stretches her limbs and picks up her bottle of water. The others are all gathered around one of the cars and she watches as a large bird circles them overhead and squawks. They don’t really need her here. Because if things go as planned, the day after tomorrow, that bird will most likely be circling over her dead body on the side of the road.


Part 32~
Some R-rated nookie.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Chili’s is crowded and Liz is busy working at filling drink orders with two other bartenders working with her. Max is sitting at the end of the bar, insisting on not leaving her alone. He doesn’t trust Jaret to tell them truth concerning when Khivar will show up and he doesn’t want Liz being by herself.

She glances over at him and frowns. He’s sipping his third Cherry Coke and looking down at the bar in front of him. He’s worried and on edge about what will happen…she can see the tension in his face. It’s so sweet that he wants to sit here while she works…that he wants to protect her. But they both know that it wouldn’t really matter. If Khivar came tonight, neither one of them could do anything about it. She insisted on going to work…over Max and Michael’s protests. But she’s not about to sit cooped up in a house…waiting. She did that for years before she realized that it just didn’t matter.

Max looks up and sees Liz watching him. He becomes alarmed for a moment, looking around but when his gaze falls back to Liz, he sees her smiling at him…reassuring him. He relaxes and watches as she gets back to work. He watches her talk to one of the waitresses and turn to fill two glasses of beer and bring them back to the waitress waiting at the counter. She shouldn’t have to work here…she shouldn’t be mixing drinks for laughing people sitting around a bar who might throw a few coins down for a tip when they leave. She’s better than this…she deserves so much more than this.

As he watches her, he can’t help the reaction his body has. After this afternoon in his office, he found it more and more difficult to look at her the rest of the day without seeing the image of her leaving his office and asking if he’s coming. He shifts in his seat uncomfortably as he watches her swing her hips and stop at the bar opposite him and bend over to hear a customer’s order. He looks at her backside and in between her legs…imagining his hand…

She whips around and looks at him…her face flushed…and runs into the back.

“Oops.” He thinks as he sips his Cherry Coke. Maybe he should move to a booth.

After all the customers have left, Max sits at the bar next to Liz as she counts out her tips and divides everyone’s share. She turns to him and smiles. “$220…one step closer to independent mobility.” Getting up, she calls out a goodbye to everyone and they walk out toward Max’s car.

“Max, I’m sorry it’s so late. You didn’t have to stay the whole time.” Liz says on the ride back to Max’s house.

“I wanted to.” He tells her. “You can never have too many chili fries.” He smiles.

And you get the added bonus of smelling me all the way home.” Liz smiles back at him before her eyes open wide when she realizes what she said. “I mean…smell the chili fries…on me.” she says quickly and her head falls back on the seat when Max’s desire washes over her. “Oh God.” She swallows. She’d been feeling it all night as she worked, but it in full force right now.

Max pulls quickly into his driveway, wheels screeching and turns off the car. He practically throws himself out of the car and darts to the front door…taking deep breaths as he unlocks it. Liz follows him in the house and turns to lock the door as Max walks quickly up the stairs and into his room.

She walks in the kitchen and grabs a bottle of water out of the fridge, leaning on the counter as she gulps down half of it. She closes her eyes and tries to calm her body down by taking deep breaths. The only thing she wants to do right now is run upstairs and throw Max down and have her way with him. But she doesn’t want to be controlled by this…whatever it is. At least it’s easier for her than Max…he’s probably upstairs trying to decide between a cold shower and taking care of it himself.

Smiling, she decides she’ll make the decision easier for him. She yells up the stairs, “Max…I’m going for a swim.” She walks outside and turns on the radio on the patio and carrying her bottle of water, she walks around the pool aimlessly, sticking a foot in to test the water. She brings the bottle up to her neck and presses it there, the cold water feeling good against her warm skin.

Glancing up at Max’s window, she sees him watching her and she smiles at him. The only light in the back yard is coming from the pool…casting an eerie blue light up at her. When she reaches the far side of the pool, she bends down to set her bottle of water on the ground. She stands up and looks once more to make sure Max is still watching. Keeping her eyes on his, she slowly raises her shirt up over her head and throws it in the grass before reaching down and unzipping her shorts. She lets them fall to the ground at her feet…wiggling her hips as they drop. Reaching around her back, she unfastens her bra and throws it to the side with everything else.

She closes her eyes and reaches up to let her hair down from its ponytail. Shaking her hair out, she opens her eyes to look at Max and smiles…seeing one hand braced against the window and the other moving, out of her sight. Good…her goal accomplished, she reaches down and pulls her underwear down her legs and kicks them to the side. She looks at Max one more time…running one hand slowly down the front of her body…and dives in the water.

She doesn’t know how long she swims laps…but at some point, she feels the tension leave her body and she relaxes…continuing with her laps. When she’s done, she swims the length of the pool underwater and surfaces by the steps. Looking up, she’s surprised to see Max standing there…waiting with a towel and her bottle of water. She smiles and says, “My very own pool boy.”

Walking up the steps, Max wraps the towel around her…drying her and hands her another one for her hair. She accepts it gratefully and grabs the bottle of water, taking a swig of it. “Whew! That felt good.” she says as she heads toward the house.

Max follows her in, smiling, and says, “Yes…it did.”

She grins and turns her head to the side to look at him over her shoulder before walking upstairs. Max throws the clothes he picked up from around the pool onto her bed as he turns to walk across the hall. He hears her call from across the hall, “I’m taking a shower…are you going to bed?”

“I’ll be up.” He answers back as he climbs into bed and picks up a book. Listening to her move around the bathroom, he hears the water turn on and smiles…wishing he could be in there with her. After what she said the other morning, about not knowing if she was ready for that kind of relationship with him, he decided to wait for her to let him know when she’s ready. And he wasn’t going to let it happen again when they were being overwhelmed by his hormones.

Turning his attention back to his book, he doesn’t notice 20 minutes later when she’s standing in his doorway.

“Max?” he hears and looks up at her. He smiles when he sees she’s wearing his favorite pajamas…they consist of purple pants and a button down, short sleeved top with frogs all over them.

When she sees him look up, she continues, “Do you want me to sleep in here tonight?”

He just looks at her without responding, raising his eyebrows, and she laughs and rolls her eyes at him before turning to go across the hall and turn off her bedroom light. She walks back into his room and climbs under the covers with him as he closes his book and puts it on the nightstand.

“You can keep reading, I don’t mind.” She looks up at him.

“Liz, it’s 3 in the morning…I think I’m ready for sleep.” He smiles at her as he turns the light off and feels her snuggle in close to him and he wraps his arms around her.

He leans down to kiss her lightly on the mouth and says, “I Love you, Liz…good night.”

She throws a leg over one of his and places a hand on his chest and says, “Good night, Max.” and she kisses him on his shoulder before resting her head there.

Sometime in the middle of the night, Max wakes up when he hears Liz talking. He opens his eyes to the darkness and hears Liz’s muffled voice next to him. Turning his head, he sees Liz lying on her stomach, her face turned toward him with a little bit of drool falling out of her mouth onto her pillow.

He smiles and reaches over to wipe the drool off her mouth and she moans his name, pressing her pelvis into the mattress. He freezes and pulls his hand back slowly, not wanting to wake her. She’s kicked all the covers off and has one knee bent to the side and one arm under her chest. On closer inspection, Max sees that her hand is under her shirt and lying under her breast.

He watches as she moves her hips into the bed and moans in frustration before she says something about chocolate cake sitting out too long. He chuckles to himself as he leans on one elbow, resting his head on his hand. Her face is flushed and he watches her eyes moving behind her eyelids…dreaming about, apparently, sex and chocolate cake.

Slowly he moves his hand to her leg, letting it hover over the back over her thigh without touching her. He moves it up to between her legs and pauses there, looking back up to her face…making sure he doesn’t wake her up. Using his powers, he sends a low pulse of energy toward her and he watches, fascinated, as she grinds her hips down and groans loudly from her throat. He watches her hips jerk a couple of times before she lets out a sigh and relaxes…a small smile on her face.

Bringing his hand back up to his side, he watches her face…afraid that he woke her up. But he smiles when he hears her moan and say, “Mmmm…carrot cake.” He leans down and pulls the covers back over her and lays back down on his side, drifting off to sleep with a smile on his face.

posted on 7-May-2002 10:17:16 AM
Part 33~

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Liz wakes up slowly and opens her eyes to see the sun shining brightly in through the window. She looks over and sees that Max is still asleep. Leaning over, she sees that it’s 9am and she snuggles deeper into the covers, closer to the heat of Max’s body.

She watches as he smiles and says, “Hey.” Without opening his eyes.

“Hey.” She says back. “you asleep?”

“Yes.” He answers.

She smiles at him and says, “It’s 9 o’clock. When’s Michael coming over?”


She continues to watch him and after a couple of minutes she says, “You still asleep?”

He laughs and opens his eyes. “No. Someone wouldn’t let me sleep last night.”

Her eyes open wide and she says, “What did I do?”

“Just talking in your sleep…and some drooling.” He grins at her.

“Oh my God…what did I say?” she asks, horrified.

He leans on his back and folds his hands behind his head. “An ‘Oh, yes Max!’ and some ‘Don’t stop, Max!’” he says in a high, breathy voice…grinning at the ceiling.

Liz’s mouth drops open before she covers it with her hand. But when he looks over at her she narrows her eyes and smacks him on the arm. “Shut up…I did not!”

She jumps on him, attacking him with her hands, tickling him. “I did not say that…you are so lying!” she laughs.

He laughs and tries to fend off her attack before finally saying, “Ok…ok…you didn’t!”

She jumps off of him and sits next to him. Laughing she says, “You’re such a jerk.”

“Yah, well…you like me anyway, right?” he smiles at her.

She smiles and rolls her eyes before lying back down next to him.

“Liz?” Max says as she looks over at him. “I was thinking…maybe we should start…you know, moving some of your stuff out of the garage. In here?”

She just looks at him for a few moments and asks, “You mean, like, move in here…with you?”

He stutters for a minute, “Well, yah…if you want…I mean…um…unless you…” he suddenly realized that she might not want to move in with him. “I was just…thinking…that you could stay here. Permanently.”

She smiles at his floundering and decides to play with him. “Oh, well…I though that maybe I should move in with my parents for a while. Stay in my old room and look for an apartment.” She glances at him from the corner of her eye. “What do you think?”

He’s frozen…she can’t leave. What will he do if she leaves? “Um…well, sure…if that’s what you want.” He looks down at the covers, picking imaginary lint off of them. Then he looks off to the side, thinking about being by himself again. He’d gotten so used to her being here…his heart sinks as he thinks about not seeing her when he wakes up in the morning.

She smiles at the little boy look on his face and rolls over on top of him, saying, “Max…I’m kidding. I want to stay…if you want me here.”

He looks up into her face, shocked. Then a smile lights it up as he pulls her down for a kiss. “Yes…I want you to stay.” He rolls them over so he’s on top of her…trapping her hands above her head on the bed. “You’re gonna pay for that.”

She looks up at him, biting her lip, and wraps her legs around his waist, raising her hips up to his. “I’m counting on it.”

He groans and rolls to her side. “No….no, we really have to get up. Michael will be here soon. No teasing today, Miss Parker.”

She pretends to pout as she gets up off the bed and sighs. “Ok…party pooper.” And she turns to walk out of his room across the hall to her own…taking her pillow with her.

“Liz?” he calls to her before she makes it all the way across the hall.

She peeks her head back in and looks at him.

“I was thinking…maybe we should make some cake today? Chocolate…maybe carrot? What do you think?” he asks her with a grin on his face…trying to hold back his laughter.

Her face flushes and her eyes pop open as she stares at him…his words taking a few moments to totally sink in. “You…” she her eyes at him and walk toward him, raising her pillow. “…I can’t believe you!” she chucks the pillow at him as he laughs and runs into his bathroom, shutting the door right before the pillow hits it. She smiles and walks back to her bedroom, mortified that he knew what she was dreaming about.

After Max gets dressed, he walks over to Liz’s room and peeks in. He sees her in the bathroom and he peeks his head around the corner to look at her. She’s standing in front of the mirror in her underwear, tracing the path that the scar used to run down her chest and stomach. She leans forward, close to the mirror, and tilts her head to the side looking at her neck. Then she stands back and looks at her arms closely…running her hand across the smooth skin. She looks back up into the mirror and whispers, “Wow.” before leaning back in to look at her neck.

Max backs away from the door, not wanting to disturb her…and not wanting her to catch him watching her. He smiles as he makes his way downstairs and makes it to the living room just in time to hear a knocking at the door. Opening the door, he expects to see Michael but instead sees Jaret. “Jaret.” He says as he opens the door wider for him to enter.

“Max.” Jaret says in reply. “Where’s Liz?” he asks, looking around as he walks in.

“Upstairs, getting dressed.” Max tells him as he shuts the door.

Nodding, Jaret sits on the couch and crosses his ankle over his knee and raises his arms across the back of the couch. “So, I’m all yours for the next two days. Everyone thinks I’m in Dallas.”

Max walks into the kitchen and starts the coffee maker before walking back in the living room. He sits down in a chair and just looks at Jaret.

“What?” Jaret asks, looking down at his shirt. “Do I have something on me?”

Max continues to look at him. “I’m just trying to figure you out. I’m trying to figure out what’s in this for you…why help us?”

Jaret nods his head in understanding. “Ah…I see. Well…I guess there’s nothing in it for me. How’s that for a vague answer?” He looks over at Max. “I guess I want to make sure Liz is safe. I made a promise to her once…and I intend to keep it.”

“I hope you can.” Max says, not taking his eyes off of him.

“I will.” Jaret responds confidently.

They both look over as Liz walks downstairs. “Oh.” She says, surprised. “I didn’t know you were here, Jaret.”

He winks at her. “I’m very sneaky that way.”

She laughs and rolls her eyes as she walks into the kitchen. Walking back into the living room with two cups of coffee, she hands one to Max and sits on the arm of the chair he’s sitting in. “You want anything?” She asks Jaret.

“Nope. I’m good.” He tells her just as they hear a knocking right before Michael walks in.

“Well, make yourself at home, Guerin.” Jaret says.

Michael shoots a look at Jaret before looking at Max. “I got a car. I took the keys to the Crashdown before I came over.” He looks at Liz. “They’re behind the cash register.”

She nods and tells him there’s coffee in the kitchen. “How’s Maria?”

“Sleeping when I left.” He yells from the kitchen. “Grace and Alex are staying with her Mom.”

Jaret looks at Liz. “She had the baby?” When she nods, he asks, “Anything strange happen?”

“No.” Michael says as he walks into the living room and shoots another look at Jaret before sitting down.

Throwing his hands up, Jaret says, “Ok, ok…just curious.” He leans forward and says to Max, “By my calculations, we should initiate the plan beginning tomorrow morning…first thing.”

“You don’t think he’ll be here before then?” Max asks.

Shaking his head, Jaret says, “No…It’ll take at least that much time for him to get a body. I don’t even think he’ll be here by morning, but we should be ready.”

Nodding, Max says, “I think we should go through everything at least once more today…make sure everything is timed right.”

Jaret stands up and says, “Liz, can I talk to you for a minute?” He looks around. “Outside?”

She nods and stands up, looking at Max before she walks out back with Jaret.

“I don’t trust him.” Michael says, taking a sip of his coffee.

Max looks from the kitchen where Liz and Jaret just disappeared, then back to Michael.

“You trust him with her?” Michael asks, nodding his head toward the back yard.

“Not really…but I can’t tell her who she can and can’t talk to.” Max answers with a scowl on his face. “Kyle and Valenti are at work today, but they’ll be ready tomorrow.”

“We’ll be ready.” Michael says, watching Max get up and look toward the back yard again.

“We better be.” Max says as he walks into the kitchen, Michael behind him.

Max glances out the window above the sink, not wanting Liz to think he’s spying on her and leans back against the counter. “How’d you get the car?” he asks Michael…who is looking directly out the window, not trying to hide the fact that he’s spying on them.

“A friend.” He says cryptically.

Max raises his eyebrows at him and Michael sighs, rolling his eyes. “Ok, I stole it from the impound lot and changed the color and plates.”

“Good, then it’ll be a couple of days before they notice it’s gone.” Max says, glancing back out the window.

Michael looks at Max in surprise…he was expecting a lecture about stealing cars…not praise. He sees Max’s back stiffen and they hear Jaret’s voice raising from the back yard. “…don’t know what you’re doing, Liz!”

Michael doesn’t wait to hear any more and before he waits for Max to do something, he turns and rips the back door open and stalks outside. “Hey!” he yells at Jaret. Max follows behind him.

Liz and Jaret look over, surprised, and Jaret says, “What?”

Liz looks from Michael to Max, wiping her eyes and says, “It’s ok…”

“Leave her alone.” Michael says, advancing on Jaret.

“Or what?” Jaret stands his ground, glaring at Michael.

Liz stands between Jaret and Michael and says, “Guys…stop it. I’m fine. Michael, we were just talking…I’m fine.” She looks at Max for support but he’s staring at Jaret, his jaw clenched in anger.

“Didn’t sound like talking.” Michael says, not taking his eyes off Jaret.

“Back off over protective guy.” Jaret says to Michael. “What Liz and I talk about is none of your business.”

Liz walks over to Michael and says, “Michael, please…I’m fine.” She looks up at him pleading with her eyes. She grabs his arm and leads him back in the house. “Come on…leave him alone…really, it’s nothing we haven’t discussed before.”

Max stays outside, looking at Jaret. “What were you yelling at her about?”

Jaret looks impatient as he says, “Liz and I have…differing opinions…regarding…you.”

Max eyes him for a few moments before turning to go back in the house, leaving Jaret on the back patio. Rolling his eyes, he follows Max into the house…muttering under his breath about emotional hybrids.

Later that evening, after Jaret has left, and they’ve eaten a quick dinner of sandwiches and chips, Michael gets up and says, “Well, I better get home. Maria probably needs some help.” Getting up and walking to the door, he turns to Max and says, “You’ll call…if anything…”

“Yah…we’ll call.” Max says.

Before leaving, Michael turns back to Liz…looking at her for a few moments as she gives him a meaningful look. Smiling, she tells him, “Remember what we talked about Michael…when I first came back.” And she nods, indicating that she knows he’ll do what he has to.

He looks at her and nods once, pausing. He thinks to himself, “After everything, all she’s thinking about is Max’s safety.” Glancing once at Max, then back to Liz, he turns and walks toward his car.

“What was that about?” Max asks Liz as he shuts the door behind him.

“Just a talk we had about Maria once.” Liz says as she walks into the living room.

Max follows her and grabs her hand before she reaches the stairs. “Liz…what was that about…earlier, with Jaret? What were you two talking about?”

She turns to look at him and sighs. “Max. Jaret…he…he doesn’t like you very much.”

“And.” Max says.

“And…he doesn’t think I should be here…with you…staying with you. He thinks you’re gonna end up hurting me…again.” She looks down at the floor.

Max drops her hand and looks at her down turned face. “You told him…about me…about us? From before?”

She shakes her head. “No…I mean, yes…kind of. He knew…Khivar told him everything and then…over the years, he asked me about you.” She looks up at him. “He was the only person I had to talk to for so long, of course we talked about you. I just didn’t know…about Tess…and what she had really done.”

Max looks down at the floor sadly before turning to walk into the living room and sitting down. Liz follows him and starts to say, “Max…I’m sorry…”

He holds his hand up and says, “Don’t…apologize. Please.” He looks at the fireplace and says, “Maybe he’s right. Maybe all I’ll do is hurt you…I haven’t had a very good track record.”

Walking toward him, Liz says, “Max, no. That’s not true. Jaret doesn’t know you…he doesn’t know us.” She sits down next to him and continues. “Jaret and I have always had this disagreement. He never understood us…our connection. He never understood how I could love you.”

“I don’t either, Liz. I honestly don’t understand how you can love me after…everything…everything you’ve gone through because of me. I love you…more than anything. But I can’t help but think that my loving you will bring you nothing but pain.” He lowers his head to his hands and stares at the floor.

“Max…” Liz slides to the floor and grabs his hands, making him look at her. “I love you…do you hear me? You’re not the only one in this…I’m here, too. And I love you, I’ve always loved you. Please don’t do this. Don’t push me away because you feel guilty. We’re both guilty, Max…of a lot of things. Look at me.”

He looks at her face, tears filling his eyes.

She brings a hand up to his cheek and she says, “I’m not going anywhere. I’m staying…with you. Because I love you. We should talk…about what you saw. About what happened. That’s what this is about, isn’t it? It’s just gonna eat you up inside and I can’t stand it. I can’t stand that when you look at me, you’re consumed with guilt.”

“Liz…I don’t want to make you talk about it…to live through it again.” He shakes his head.

“I’ve lived with it for 10 years, Max. You’ve known for 2 days. I can talk about it just fine. You’re the one that needs to talk about it.”

He chokes a sob out and says, “I can’t even think about it. I just keep pushing it all back, I can’t…God, Liz…I should have been there. I should have known!”

Liz kneels up and wraps her arms around him, holding his head to her shoulder. “We’re here…together now, Max. That’s all that’s really important, right?”

She stands up and pulls him up with her and toward the stairs. Holding his hand, she leads him upstairs to his bedroom. Turning to him, she wipes the tears from his face and leans up to softly kiss his lips before she brings her hands down to unbutton his shirt and push it back off his shoulders. She runs her hands along his chest, feeling the warmth of his skin and lowers her hands to the hem of her own shirt. She pulls it up over head and throws it to the floor before throwing her bra after it.

Max brings his hands to her sides and slowly raises them as she unfastens his pants and lets them drop to the floor. She does the same with her shorts and underwear before walking to the bed and lying back on it, propping herself up on her elbows as Max follows her down.

They make love for most of the night…bringing their souls together over and over until they collapse in exhaustion. The next day will be long, but it also might be their last. Tonight is for them…to come together and lose themselves in each other.


Part 34~

Thursday, June 28, 2013

This is it. This is where it all comes to a head. Sitting in front of the Crashdown, Liz looks out the side window of the silent car…binoculars in hand, searching for anyone that could be Khivar. She’ll know him…no matter what body he has, she’ll know his movements, his walk. Setting the binoculars down in her lap, she looks at the front of the Crashdown and slowly down the sidewalk to the old office space that used to house Congresswoman Whitaker’s office and her file cabinets full of secrets.

So many secrets. Before she found out about Max and Michael and Isabel, she had no concept of the depth that secrets could run. And how many people had them. She was so naïve…so innocent. Her world used to be so black and white. People were either bad or good…no in between. She learned all too soon that people lied…even good people…for reasons you might never find out.

Sighing, she looks at Max. She smiles as she remembers last night…how wonderful it was to her. They were both carefree, alive…probably for the first time in 10 years. But as she looks out the side window again, she knows that chances are, it’ll be their last wonderful night together.

After a few hours of staking out the main street of Roswell in front of the Crashdown, the sun is beating down bringing the afternoon heat and Liz sees a car moving down the street, into a parking space a few storefronts down from the Crashdown. Raising her binoculars, she watches a man get out of the car and turn to look at his surroundings. Watching as he straightens his shirt, closes the car door, and walks up to the sidewalk, Liz picks up her walkie talkie and says, “It’s him. Dark shirt, jeans, dark hair. Just got out of a Honda.” Continuing to watch him stand by his car, she hears an answer over her walkie talkie, “Ok, We’re moving.”

Stretching in the early afternoon sun, Khivar inspects the people milling about in front of the Crashdown. If Jaret is right and Liz is in Roswell, this is where she’d be…he knows it. Smiling, he leans on the hood of his car, watching people walk down the sidewalk…some pushing strollers, some carrying briefcases, some holding hands with someone else.

“God I hate this place.” He mutters to himself. “Too dusty.”

Suddenly, he sees a black SUV pull up in front of the Crashdown, not 6 cars down from him. The passenger door opens and he sees her…Liz. She’s laughing and she leans in to say something before bounding up the sidewalk to the Crashdown. Looking back at the SUV, he sees through the open windows that the king is sitting in the driver’s seat. Well, if this isn’t his lucky day…he has perfect timing. Then he looks in the backseat and sees Vilondra, laughing. Ok, maybe not so lucky, he thinks again.

Before he gets a chance to move, he sees Liz come bouncing out of the Crashdown again, waving something in front of her to the occupants of the SUV…keys. She’s smiling. He cocks his head…he’s suddenly aware that he’s never seen her smile.

He watches as she runs around the other side of the SUV and hops in another car’s driver’s seat. She starts it up, and he sees that it’s a convertible as the top lowers down. Looking over at Max, he watches as she smiles big at him and says, “Follow me!” and backs out of the space. The SUV pulls out and onto the street behind the convertible.

Getting into his car, Khivar makes his way down the street, following the two cars out of town. Good. The fewer people around the better. As soon as Liz is alone, he’ll make his move to dispose of her. If Vilondra wasn’t with them, he’d just get rid of them all. Too bad.

Looking into his rearview mirror, Max picks up his walkie talkie, “We got him. 30 minutes, be ready.”

As the caravan makes its way out of town, Khivar watches as the two cars seem to play with each other on the highway. Liz would slow down and make Max pass her, then Max would do the same. They would drive side by side shouting at each other over the wind and laughing. Khivar watches as Liz’s hair flies around in the open air and he thinks she looks beautiful…and so happy. This confuses him. How that loser of a so-called ‘king’ could make anyone that happy is beyond him.

He follows them at a safe distance to avoid them noticing him. Just as he’s wondering how far these idiots plan on driving, he sees a large truck topping a hill in front of them…another small one behind it. He looks at the two cars in front of him and sees that Liz is currently in the wrong lane, driving next to the SUV. She’s obviously not paying attention…her head is turned toward the window of the SUV, laughing and throwing her head back.

Khivar honks his horn, trying to get their attention and he sees them both turn their heads to look back at him, confused…and irritated…at his interruption of their playing, no doubt. He waves his arm, trying to get them to look forward, but it’s too late. Liz looks forward, just as the truck bears down on her, slamming on its breaks, but the bulk of it carries it forward, slamming into Liz’s car. The convertible flies up and smashes into the window of the truck, then bounces to the side, flipping over repeatedly in the road before coming to a rest in the ditch.

He slams on his breaks, as does the SUV, and he watches the sliding truck and the twist of metal…he hears the crunching sound of glass breaking and he slowly pulls his car over to the side of the road. The truck has come to a stop, steam rising out of the vents in the front.

Watching as Max frantically gets out of the SUV and looks over the road, Khivar remains in his car for a moment before getting out. He sees Max run up and kneel by the side of the road, about 100 yards from where the twisted convertible lays upside down. Vilondra and Rath…or is it Michael now?…jump out of the SUV and run toward Max as Khivar makes his way slowly toward the group that’s forming on the side of the road. The driver of the truck is climbing out of the cab and running over…yelling something about how they were on the wrong side of the road…he didn’t see them until it was too late or some such thing.

As he approaches, he sees Max bent over the broken and bloody body of Liz Parker. He is busily trying to heal her, but Khivar can tell from here that it’s too late for that. As he approaches, he can hear Vilondra crying and saying Max’s name defeatedly. He watches as Max sinks back, sitting on the ground holding his head in his hands. Well…this sucks. He came all this way to kill her and she goes and does it for him. What a waste of time this turned out to be. Pissed, he walks over to the small group huddled on the side of the road and looks down at her body. Liz, Liz, Liz…you stupid girl.

Looking up he notices flashing lights behind the truck. It was a police officer behind the truck that he saw. He sees a man leaning on the door, with some communication device in his hands. Probably calling for more policemen and an ambulance. Won’t be needing an ambulance, buddy. You’ll be needing a body bag.

“Did you see?” his thoughts are interrupted by the frantic truck driver. “Did you see her driving in the wrong lane?”

He speaks up, loudly, enjoying the voice that comes with this body, “Yes. Yes I did. I tried to warn them, but it was too late.” And he shrugs his shoulders, looking over at the three people standing next to him. The three people he wants dead more than anything. And that…that bitch is looking at him.

“You were the one honking?” Vilondra asks him.

If only she knew who I was, he thinks. But instead, says, “Yes.”

She has tears all over her face, reminding him of the last time he saw her on Antar. She was crying for different reasons then, but crying none the less.

He looks down at Max, who is crumpled over Liz’s broken body, sobbing…interspersed with screaming. What a fool. He takes a last look at Liz Parker’s unseeing eyes staring up at the sky…unseeing because her head is torn almost completely off of her body…and he shakes his head as he turns to go back to his car. Nope, your majesty, you won’t be healing that anytime soon. He’s feeling odd…almost sad.

“Hey! You can’t leave! You have to be a witness!” the truck driver yells after him.

“Sorry, I can’t stay.” He yells back and gets in his car. He looks at the scene in front of him for another moment. “Stupid bitch.” He thinks. This could have been more enjoyable, for both of them, if he had been able to kill her himself. And he puts his car in gear, turning around and driving down the highway…away from King Zan and his merry band of idiots.


Part 35~

Turning on the radio, Khivar rolls down his window and enjoys his drive back to Roswell. He turns the music up louder…he likes this sound. He thinks about stopping and playing with the locals before returning this body. Guess he won’t have to kill this one…he’ll have it back in plenty of time.

He takes his time driving, actually feeling better…laughing at the human emotions in this body that were causing him to feel sad over Liz’s death. He makes a mental note to contact Jaret and let him know his services here are no longer needed, he’ll be able to return home. That should make him happy, he knows how much Jaret hates it here. He doesn’t blame him. All this dust, and dirt, and the blandness…this planet has no flavor, he decides with a laugh.

45 minutes later, Khivar makes his way back to Roswell and gets stuck behind someone driving in front of him too slowly. As he passes the Crashdown for the last time, he sees something that makes his head boil over in rage…”Jaret! That Asshole!” he growls before swinging his car around.

The desert…45 minutes earlier

As Max leans over Liz’s body, sobbing, Kyle watches Khivar’s car drive down the highway. When it’s no longer in sight he says, “He’s gone.” And Max stands up, turning with Isabel and Michael to look down the road.

“You think he bought it?” Max asks.

“Looked like it.” Michael answers. “He looked kind of…disappointed. And then he just walked back to his car and took off.”

“Jim.” Max says, turning to Valenti. “You’re on…contact us when you switch cars.”

“Ok.” Jim says and turns to get in his car…driving around the truck and speeding down the highway to catch up with Khivar.

The four of them turn and look down at Liz’s body and watch as a bright light shoots out of it…turning back into Jaret. He lays there for a moment before standing up and brushing himself off. “Man, that kinda sucked.”

Max watches the transformation, closing his eyes and running his hands through his hair. He never wants to see that again. They decided that to make it clear to Khivar that Liz was dead, Jaret was going to have to be convincing. He made it look like Liz’s head was half-way off her body…blood pouring out of her mouth and limbs thrown in very unnatural positions.

Watching as Jaret stands up and dusts himself off, Max nods to him before turning to look at the steaming truck in the middle of the road.

Max walks over and waves his hand over the front, smoothing out any dents and cracks caused by the collision. “Kyle, you can take the truck back now. Thanks. We’ll call you when we get back to town.”

“Oooo…kay. Glad to be of service.” And he mock salutes Max as he climbs back into the truck, starting it and heading back to town.

“We need to fix the other car.” Max turns to Isabel, Michael and Jaret…and looks over toward the twisted car on the side of the road. “It looks worse than I thought it would.” And he grimaces.

Walking over to the crumpled convertible, the four of them concentrate on fixing the car. After several starts and stops, they can’t get the car to look right. When it starts to take too long, Jaret tells them to stop. “We’re never gonna get this thing back to normal. Get back, I’ll take care of it.” He raises his arm and a bright light shoots out of his hand, engulfing the wreck and disintegrating it. When he lowers his arm, all that’s left is a burned spot on the ground.

As he does that, the others make sure they get rid of any evidence like glass or car parts from the road and the sand.

In Roswell

Khivar turns the car around, his face contorted in anger at what he’s looking at...Liz Parker, sitting on a bench on the sidewalk, as plain as day...her head bent, talking on some sort of radio…and very much alive.

In the desert

Jaret turns to Max and says, “You better contact Liz, tell her to get out of site. If Khivar drove back in the direction we came from, he might drive back through Roswell.”

“Right.” Max says as they walk the SUV and he gets the walkie talkie from the front seat.


“Yah. Max?” Liz answers back.

“He’s gone.” Max tells her. “We think it worked. Everything went as planned.”

There’s a pause, then he hears. “Good. Are you sure?”

“Not completely. Valenti’s tailing him now.” Max answers back.

“Ok. How’s Jaret?”

“Good as new.” Max says as he puts the key in the ignition and turns it. “We’re on our way back. Stay out of sight for now.”

But Liz’s answer is a scream that’s cut off right before he hears a loud crashing noise.


But there’s nothing, no sound.

In Roswell

As Khivar’s furious thoughts roll through him, he parks his car and stalks over to Liz, the nitwit is still bent over, not paying attention to anything. After the elaborate production he just witnessed, you would think she’d stay out of sight…what a moron. Quickly approaching her, he grabs a handful of hair and yanks her up off of the bench. She starts to scream and the radio crashes to the ground, but he waves his hand over her throat, ending that noise before it starts.

He quickly drags her to his car before anyone can notice anything wrong. Throwing her in, he binds her to the seat so she can’t move. Getting into the driver’s seat, he looks over at her panicked face and the tears streaming down it. “Ah, Liz…you know how much I love that look on your face.” And he backs the car out, driving away from Roswell.

In the desert

“Liz! Liz!” Max yells into the walkie talkie. “Valenti! What’s going on?!”

Crackling, then, “Max…I lost him when I was switching cars. I saw his car tear off down the street away from the Crashdown. I’m on him.”

“Don’t do anything. Just follow him.” Max barks at him. “We’re leaving now. Stay in contact, let me know where you are.” And he throws the SUV in gear, turning it around and driving back toward Roswell.

“Shit! He must have seen Liz. How stupid!” Max is hitting the steering wheel as the speedometer hits 95. “Damn it!”

“Max…Max. You need to slow down. Getting us killed isn’t gonna help Liz.” Isabel tries to calm him down.

“Heading out past the old soap factory, Max. He’s not stopping.” They hear Valenti’s voice over their radios.

“Maxwell, man…you gotta calm down.” Michael tells him from the backseat. “We’ll catch up with him.”

“Where’s he taking her?” Max asks Jaret.

“I don’t know. I’m sure he knows I’m involved now, so there’s no way for me to find out.” Jaret answers. “Just make sure your friend isn’t spotted following him.”

“Max.” they hear Valenti’s voice and Max picks up his radio.


“He’s pulling off on a road that leads to an old storage facility that used to be used for road repair crews. I’m gonna circle around and drive around back.” Valenti says.

“Ok. Don’t follow them in. Stay out of sight until we get there.” Max tells him and asks Jaret, “Will he have others with him?”

Jaret shrugs and says, “Probably not…he doesn’t usually travel with an entourage. He usually meets us all somewhere…so I can’t say for sure.”

“Keep an eye out for others.” Max says to Valenti before he lays the radio back down on the console. Pushing harder on the accelerator, Max pushes the SUV up to 90 and flies toward Roswell…toward Liz.

At the storage facility

Khivar pulls the car up to the front of an old, long ago used building that looks vacant. “Honey, we’re home.” He laughs as he gets out of the car and makes his way around to the passenger side.

Pulling Liz out of the car, he drags her toward the building and opens the front door before pulling her in after him. He throws her down in the corner and stands over her…shaking his finger at her. “Liz….Liz…Liz. You guys almost had me.” He smiles at her and cocks his head to the side.

“I have to say…I didn’t expect this of Jaret. How long have you two been planning your little schemes behind my back?” he asks her. “What…cat got your tongue?” he laughs at her as he walks across the room, looking around to see what it contains. Some orange road cones are stacked up in one corner, next to some metal barrels.

There are some metal folding chairs stacked against another wall and he goes over to take one off the top. Bringing it back over in front of Liz, he opens it up and sits to face her. Waving his hand over her throat, he sits back. “Guess no one can hear you out here.”

She doesn’t say anything, just sits in the corner looking at the floor. She thinks of nothing but Max…hoping that they didn’t follow them out here. Khivar will kill him…all of them…if they try to come here. She hopes that Michael keeps his promise to her.

“So, Lizzie. Whatever shall we do with our time while we wait for loverboy to show up?” Khivar smiles at her.

She looks up at him and calmly says, “How about I kill you?”

“Hey! I have a better idea!” He gets up and walks around the room, looking for something that he can use. “It’s been so long, Liz. I don’t know how I ever let so much time go by since our last round of fun.” He finds something that looks sturdy. “Aha! This will do nicely.” He smiles and he takes it down and walks toward Liz.

Grabbing a fistful of hair, he raises her off the floor and brings her face close to hers. Smiling, he says, “I sure have missed you, Liz. Why did you have to go and do something so stupid? We had some good years together, didn’t we?”

Liz throws her head back and slams it forward with all her strength…straight into his nose. He drops her and screams as he raises his hand to the blood squirting out of his face. “What the hell was that for?!” He screams at her. But he barely finishes his sentence before she brings her foot back and kicks him in the groin as hard as she can.

“What are you doing?!” He screams as he falls to his knees. “I thought you learned long ago that you can’t fight me, Liz.” And he scrambles forward, grabbing at her as she runs toward the door. She gets it yanked open before he uses his powers to pull her back and he grabs her neck, raising her off the floor. “You stupid bitch. I thought we were past all this.”

He throws her into the corner and pulls his hand from his nose, looking at the blood. “Great. You’ve ruined this body.” He shakes his head and wipes his hand on his jeans. Looking over at her, he sees her grabbing her head. He walks close to her and is surprised once again by her hand shooting out and her nails scratching down his face, over his eye.

Reaching for her, he stumbles and lands on top of her and feels her bite down on his ear. Kicking at her, he pushes himself up and watches as she spits half of his ear out of her mouth. “Enough!” he yells as he raises his arm and binds her halfway up the wall, spread eagle with his powers.

He grabs his ear…well, half of it…and inspects the damage. Laughing he looks at Liz and says, “Well, aren’t you the little hellcat today.” He walks closer to her and says, “You know, it’s so much more fun this way.” And he grins as he raises his hands to her breasts.

30 minutes after leaving the crash site, Max is driving down a gravel road…talking to Valenti over the radio. “How much further?”

“I can hear you, Max. Just another 50 yards or so.” Valenti tells him just as Max catches site of his car parked in the woods.

Pulling up next to Valenti, Max jumps out of the car and walks over to him. He grabs his binoculars and looks through them down to the building that sits at the bottom of the hill they’re parked on. He sees Khivar’s car parked out front, but there’s no one outside. “Have you seen anyone?”

Jim shakes his head and says, “No activity. Just his car parked out front. I assume they’re inside, but I haven’t seen them.”

He tosses the binoculars down and says over his shoulder, “Come on…let’s go.” And starts to walk down the hill.

“Max…wait!” Michael grabs his arm, pulling him back. “You can’t just barge in there. He’ll kill you…and Liz.”

“Michael’s right, Max.” Jaret says. “His powers make yours look like parlor tricks. You can’t just walk in there.”

“Then what do you suggest.” Max challenges them, extremely irritated.

Jaret looks around at them, his eyes stopping on Isabel briefly, then back to Max. “We send in Isabel first. Distract him.”

“No.” Max says immediately.

“Look, Max…for some reason, he’s afraid of Isabel. This can work to our advantage.” Jaret tries to explain.

“What do you want me to do?” Isabel asks Jaret.

“Isabel, no. You’re not going in there.” Max says to her forcefully.

Turning toward her brother, she says, “Max, if what Jaret says is true, then I’m going. I’m gonna do what I can to get her out of there. You’re not stopping me.”

Turning back to Jaret, Isabel says, “What do I do?”

Before Jaret can answer, Max looks down toward the building and says, “He’s doing something to her. I can feel her down there…he’s hurting her…she’s scared.” He turns to look at Jaret. “How come I can feel what she’s feeling?”

Michael just looks at Max for a few moments, thinking, then says, “She’s pregnant.”

Max looks at Michael as his eyes well up with tears. “No.” he whispers and looks back down to the building.

Jaret furrows his brow and looks down toward the building at Michael’s revelation. After a few moments, he looks at Isabel and says, “You drive up to the front…act like you came alone. He’ll know you’re there…hopefully he’ll come outside. If he does, I’ll go in and get Liz. Do whatever you have to to keep him outside with you.”

“I’m going with you.” Max says, turning around to look at him.

Jaret looks at Michael, then Max. “No. You’ll be of no use to me…or to her. You can’t fight him, Max.”

“I’m going with you.” Max says again, more forcefully. “You’re gonna fight with me when we could be getting her out of there?”

Jaret looks at Michael for support, but Michael knows…they’ll have to knock Max unconscious to keep him from going down there now. Rolling his eyes, Michael sighs and nods his head at Jaret.

“Fine. You both come. You can get Liz out of there if I have to confront Khivar.” Jaret says before turning to Jim. “You bring your car closer for them to get away with Liz…but not within sight of the front door.”

Nodding, Jim says, “Alright. Isabel? I’ll follow you down.” And they both turn to get in the two cars and drive around toward the front of the building as Jaret, Max and Michael make their way down the hill.

Isabel makes her way toward the other car parked in front. She’s nervous as she parks next to it. Getting out, she stands next to the car for a few minutes, wondering if Khivar is ever gonna come out. Her question is finally answered when she sees the door crack open and Khivar step out, looking around for signs of anyone else.

“I came alone.” She tells him, not moving. She looks at the blood all over his face and the missing ear with blood running down his neck. And he’s walking toward her with a slight limp that wasn’t there earlier.

“Vilondra.” He says with a hiss. “What are you up to?”

“I knew it was you…by the side of the road back there. I had to come…I felt…pulled here…to you. I…I don’t even know why I needed to see you.” She looks at him, showing concern for his injuries. Then she looks down at the ground shyly, then back up to him.

“We always did have an extraordinary connection, Vilondra.” Khivar says as he steps closer. “But you’re playing games…thinking you can save your friend inside.”

“Friend? She’s no friend of mine.” Isabel says angrily, her eyes turning black as Vilondra starts to take over.

“Ahhh…is that so?” Khivar says as he takes another step closer to her, sensing a change in her.

“Yes.” She says, “I’ve come only for you…you know that.”

“I suppose I do, Vilondra. But you toy with me. Where’s your idiot brother?” He asks, looking around her.

She laughs, “Back in Roswell, crying over Liz…that his plan didn’t work.”

“Is he now?” He says with a satisfied smile. “Come…closer.” He motions her to come forward.

As she approaches him, he looks into her eyes and sees the blackness there. Running his hand across her cheek, he asks, “So where’s that husband of yours?”

“Not here.” She says simply as she grabs the front of his shirt and pulls him to her.

Laughing, he says, “Ah, Vilondra…you always were so…forceful.” before he lowers his head to kiss her.

Kissing him back, she throws her head back as she moans loudly and he brings his head to her neck, kissing her there. She can taste blood in her mouth.

Max, Michael and Jaret enter the building through the back and quietly make their way further in, making sure Khivar is outside. Seeing the open door and Khivar and Isabel outside, Jaret motions Max and Michael forward.

When Max sees Liz, a strangled cry comes to his throat. She’s suspended on the wall, her arms held above her. Her legs spread. She looks like a big X and her head is hanging to the side. Her shirt is torn to reveal a gash across her ribs and he sees a bloody pipe lying on the floor. He sees blood coming out of her mouth as well as down her forehead. Michael shoots a look at Max, silently telling him to be quiet.

Moving quickly towards her, Max sees that she’s watching them…her eye’s big. Well, one eye…the other one is rapidly swelling shut. She looks toward Michael with tears in her eyes…and she grimaces at him…accusingly. Michael gives her a pained look and looks again toward Jaret and the door as Max uses his powers to release Liz from the wall.

Outside, Khivar hears a noise coming from inside, and Isabel sees Max, Michael and Jaret inside over Khivar’s shoulder as he turns his head back. Moving quickly, Isabel raises her hand to his chest and sends a bolt of energy down her arm, through her hand and into him.

Khivar screams as he stumbles back, grabbing his chest. “You bitch!” he yells at her as he tries to make his way back inside. She shoots another blast at him and it throws him forward, through the door and onto the floor.

But he raises his arm and fires back at her, sending her flying into the car, crumpling onto the ground.

Khivar stands up quickly and walks toward the group gathered around Liz. Max and Michael look up at him and stare in shock at his appearance. They’re looking at his injuries, wondering what the hell happened to him when he says, “Now…where exactly do you think you’re going with my Liz? We were just starting to have fun…couldn’t help herself from begging for it.” Khivar smirks as he raises his hand to his bloody face and shakes his head, smiling, “She likes it so rough! But I guess you know that, don’t you Zan?” Michael and Max watch as he raises his arm in Max’s direction.

Max pushes Liz behind him and stands, raising his arm toward Khivar. “You can’t have her. We don’t have anything to do with your war or your planet…so what’s the point?”

Stepping toward Max, Khivar raises his arm to Jaret in warning as he turns his attention back to Max. “Ah…the point, my dear king…is amusement. You provide trucks full of it…and pretty little Liz over there…so full of fire. I don’t have to have a point. And now, it looks like you’re trying to make off with my little playmate. I don’t know if I’m quite ready to give her up yet…I just love the look on her face and her pretty little tears when I’m fucking her.”

Michael can feel a surge of energy coming from Max and the anger rolling off of him as he sees Max step forward out of the corner of his eye. Not taking his eyes off of Khivar, Michael says, “Max…don’t.” He watches as Khivar winks at Max, grinning, and raises his hand slightly. But before Khivar has a chance to strike, Michael turns to Max and sends a burst of energy at him and Liz…sending them flying through the back door…outside. The door swings shut behind them and he then turns to face Khivar, his arm outstretched, standing in front of the door.

Laughing, Khivar walks toward him. “Wow. That was pretty self-sacrificing Rath. I’m impressed.” But instead of walking further toward Michael, he stops in front of Jaret. “You’ve been a naughty boy, Jaret. Sneaking around behind my back with that human…slut!” he spits out. “You…of all people…you spoil my fun!”

Jaret says nothing for a moment before finally speaking. “You screwed up, Khivar. You and your need for revenge…you couldn’t just stick to the fight, could you? You had to drag the Royals into it…like they’re any match for you. And you stuck me on this awful planet for 10 years…just so you could play games with them. Is it fun? Tormenting people who can never fight back?”

“I thought you understood, Jaret. It was all for fun! But apparently, you took it too seriously.” Khivar turns fully toward him. “Tell me, were you working against me the entire time, or are your actions caused by misguided human emotions?”

“You’ll never know.” Jaret tells him…standing his ground.

Sighing, Khivar says, “No…I guess I won’t.”

Both men bring their arms up, preparing to fight when a bright light engulfs the room and a ball of energy shoots from the front doorway…straight at Khivar. It hits him in the back and he stumbles forward, looking down as his chest explodes outward. “Well, that just won’t do.” He says absently as he tries to release himself from the dying body.

Michael looks to the front door and sees Isabel, slumping over in the doorway. Then he sees Khivar raise his hand to create the transport field that will carry him back to Antar, but Jaret shoots out at his rising energy, blocking him from the field and the now dead body that he inhabited falls to the ground. He shouts at Michael, “Get Liz in here…now!” Jaret holds the squirming energy against the ceiling…not letting it move toward the transport field as Michael runs out the back door.

Max and Liz run in behind Michael, followed by Jim, and Jaret grabs Liz’s arm, pulling her from Max. He looks at her, “It’s your choice Liz…you can kill him by not letting him go. He’ll need to shift into his true form soon and he’ll die slowly, and painfully as soon as he hits the atmosphere. Or, you can let him go back…I’m giving you the choice.”

Liz looks up at him as Jaret places her arm up, pointing toward the energy at the ceiling and he grabs her wrist. Suddenly, the power that was coming from Jaret’s hand is now coming from Liz’s. She watches as the energy twists and turns, trying to get away and she looks over to Jaret. She nods her head, tears in her eyes, as they both turn to look back up at the ceiling.

Max stands back with Michael and Jim, watching as the power coming from Liz’s hand seems to get stronger and the transport field fades away…quickly disappearing completely. He looks back to the ceiling and sees the energy start to change…into something more solid. What follows is the most awful noise he’s ever heard. It’s a loud, high-pitched screaming and he moves to cover his ears.

With a nod from Jaret, the power stops shooting out of Liz’s hand and she lowers her arm to her side. They step back as the screaming mass falls to the floor with a wet thud. The skin starts bubbling, as if acid was just poured on it.

Isabel stands, holding herself up in the doorway and watches as Khivar’s body slowly starts disintegrating, fumes rising from the bubbling flesh. She raises her hand to block the smell and eventually, the hideous screaming stops.

She steps forward, looking over at Max, Jim and Michael, then Liz. She’s staring down at the mess in front of her…not moving.

When the mass stops moving, Liz still doesn’t look away as she asks Jaret, “Is he dead?”

“I’m pretty sure…looks like dead to me.” Jaret says in awe…still staring at the mess on the floor.

Liz nods and steps forward to the misshapen head…and pokes at it with the toe of her shoe. She watches it roll back and forth for a moment before she brings her foot down…smashing the head flat to the floor. Stepping back, she nods and says, “Yah, looks like dead to me, too.” And she turns around to look at Michael and Max and Jim.

She takes a step toward Max and he rushes forward to pull her in his arms. He cradles her head to his chest as she wraps her arms around him and squeezes as hard as she can.

posted on 7-May-2002 10:17:59 AM
Part 36~

Friday, June 29, 2013

Grace and Alex splash around in Max’s pool as Liz watches their playing. She smiles at them as they play Marco Polo and she brings her hand to her stomach…thinking about the little life inside. She knew before anyone had a chance to tell her…she can feel each alien’s emotions as if they were her own. How did Maria ever stand this? The only emotions she doesn’t have swirling around in her right now are Maria’s and Jesse’s.

Well, and Jaret…he doesn’t have any…or so he says. She looks over at him sitting next to her and she can tell he’s relieved…and angry. She smiles, thinking how horrified he would be if she told him he was developing ‘those nasty human emotions’.

Jaret looks around the outside area…making sure no one is within earshot. “That was really stupid, Liz.” He says as he leans forward, elbows on his knees and looking at the ground.

When Liz doesn’t answer him, he looks up at her wanting an explanation. He watches her move her eyes in his direction before they move back to the kids in the pool. Barely moving her lips, she whispers, “I did what I had to do. He would have just come back, and you know it.”

Still glancing around to see if anyone is listening, he whispers back, “He would have killed you.”

Not looking at him, she looks up at the sky ambivalently. “Better than living in fear…or as a prisoner.” She looks over at him and says in a forceful whisper, looking directly in his eyes, “I did what I had to do.”

“You should tell him.” Jaret says, nodding toward the kitchen where Max is.

“I will…someday.” She glances over at him before whipping her head around to grin at Max as he walks out the door.

Max walks over and sits down next to Liz, asking, “How’s it going out here?” while looking at Jaret.

Jaret looks at Liz and sees her small shake of the head and says, “Fine. Just talking about going home.”

Looking back to the pool, Liz asks, “So, are you going back to Antar now?”

Jaret looks between the two of them, “I hope so. There’ll be unrest…on both sides. I need to leave today and arrange a meeting that will hopefully take me home.”

“So that’s it?” Max asks…suddenly feeling untethered, directionless.

Jaret is curious. “What else would there be?”

I just…wonder what’s gonna happen now.” Max says, grabbing Liz’s hand in his.

Jaret laughs and says, “I’m not a fortune teller, but from the looks of things around here, you all will finish out your happy human lives…breeding with the natives, apparently. And hopefully, I get to go home and breed with my natives.” Wiggling his eyebrows and grinning.

Liz laughs at him and says, “What a frightening thought.”

Jaret looks at her and says, “I’m supposed to be insulted, right? Yes, yes…won’t I just miss your sparkling sense of humor, Parker.” And he rolls his eyes.

A couple of hours later, Jaret tells them it’s time for him to go and he says goodbye to Isabel first. “You have enormous power…you have no idea. And thank you…for saving my life. He would have easily killed me with his first strike."

Isabel looks down and says, “Yah, I doubt it was all me…but, you’re welcome. Thank you for helping us…for helping Liz.”

Jaret nods at her and says, “Vilondra.” And walks toward the door…stopping in front of Michael.

Glaring at Michael, he says, “I’d tell you I’m gonna miss you…but I’d be lying.” And he grins.

Michael smirks and says, “What you did…for Liz. Thanks.” He nods at Jaret.

Clapping Michael on the back, Jaret says, “Do me a favor…work on that vocabulary.” And he laughs as Max walks to the door with him.

“So…I don’t suppose you’re so grateful for my help that you wanna reward me with the destiny book?” Jaret grins at Max.

Smiling, Max says, “No. But I do owe you my thanks. You came through for us…for Liz…and you got to keep your promise to her. So you got what you wanted, right?”

Nodding, Jaret says, “Right. Look, I still don’t like you much…can’t help that.” He grins. “You better worship the ground Liz walks on for the rest of your life…or I’ll have to force myself to come back to this dustbowl and kick your ass.”

Liz walks up and hears this and says, “Jaret! Stop acting like my dad…I already have one, thanks.” And she rolls her eyes at him.

Looking at Liz, Jaret’s gaze softens and he says, “Can I talk to you…in private?”

“Sure.” Liz smiles and walks out the front door with him, closing it behind her.

Standing on the front lawn, Liz and Jaret just look at each other…neither knowing how to start. Liz brings her hand around from behind her back and hands Jaret a package. “I made you those cookies you like…since I bet they don’t have M&Ms on Antar.”

Jaret takes the package from her and looks at it a moment before looking back at Liz. “Liz…I’m sorry…that I didn’t ever do more to help you. What you did yesterday…it was stupid, and dangerous.”

Sighing, Liz says, “I couldn’t let him go back, Jaret. Max decided the best thing would be to get Khivar to leave…but he doesn’t know. I do…and I think you do to. He would have come back. Max wasn’t looking far enough ahead…his only concern was for me, and nothing I could have said would have changed his mind. I had to be free…I know you don’t understand that, you never did. One of us had to die yesterday…me or him…and that’s the only way I could have it.”

Jaret looks at the ground…almost pouting. “Well…it still…stupid.” He says, not knowing what else to say about it.

She smiles at him and says, “I know. But it’s all over now…you don’t have to worry about me.”

Jaret looks over to the front window and sees Max warily watching them with Michael and Isabel. “I’m not too sure about that…I still don’t agree with you staying here with him.”

“Jaret…” Liz starts but he interrupts.

“I know, I know…I won’t say anything else about it.” He looks back to her. “Just…be happy now. See, I gave you your life back…like I told you I would…remember?”

She nods as tears come to her eyes.

“Aw, geez…don’t start crying.” He rolls his eyes and she laughs at him.

“Sorry…I just…I think I might actually miss you, Jaret.” She says to him.

“Well, don’t tell anyone else this…but I might miss you, too, Liz.” Jaret says. “I bet I’ll be famous…doing the talk show circuit…telling all kinds of stories about you and our king.” He grins at her. “Well, I’d have to introduce the concept of ‘talk shows’ to them…but my name will be well known. People just eat up any kind of news on him and the Royals.”

She laughs at him and steps forward, wrapping her arms around him and squeezing.

He stiffens and hesitantly brings his hands up to pat her back lightly. “Yah…ok, Liz? I don’t do the hugging thing.”

Liz says, muffled by his chest, “Yah, I know. Just deal with it.” After a few moments, she pulls away and says, “Have a good trip home, Jaret. I hope you get there soon.”

“I guess I don’t have to tell you to take care of yourself…and your casserole.” He winks at her with a smile and nods toward her stomach.

She shakes her head, smiling, and says, “No…we can take care of ourselves just fine.”

He nods at her and after looking her over one last time he turns to walk toward his car which is parked on the street. As he reaches it, he turns back to her and says, “Good bye, Liz Parker.”

“Good bye, Jaret.” Liz says back.

He watches her for another moment before opening his car door and getting in. As his car pulls away, Liz raises her hand at the retreating car, even though she knows he won’t be looking in the rearview mirror.

That evening

Maria and Liz are in the pool as Maria excitedly tells Liz all about being pregnant by an alien. Grace and Alex are splashing them, trying to get them to pay attention to their antics. Every once in a while, Liz glances up and catches Max watching her and she smiles. He’s sitting on the patio with Michael, Kyle, Isabel and Jesse…and she can hear Isabel talking excitedly about finally getting the house finished. Michael is holding Elizabeth as she sleeps…oblivious to what’s going on around her.

“I don’t want to leave, Liz.” Maria tells her. “I think we should move back here…to Roswell. I just got you back, I don’t want to lose you again.”

“Maria…you’re not losing me…you’re just going to L.A.” Liz smiles at her. “But, if it’s any consolation, I wish you lived here, too. I don’t know how I’m gonna get through this pregnancy without you.”

Looking at Liz, Maria says, “Well, then that does it. I’m telling Michael we’re moving back here. There’s no reason we need to live in L.A. at this point. I can fly back and forth. We can build a house…with a pool for the kids. Of course, my Mom is gonna go nuts…and Michael…he’ll like being close to Max and Isabel…”

Liz listens as Maria goes on and on with her plans. She can’t help the smile that comes to her face. She has her best friend back…she has her family back…and she has Max. She definitely has her life back now…now she can finally move forward…without looking back. For anything or anyone.


May 14, 2014

2am and Max Evans finds himself standing in a familiar place. He stands just inside the bedroom and the first thing he sees is a lump snuggled down under the covers of the bed in the middle of the room. A small smile crosses over his face before he turns to the dresser. Looking at the odd assortment of things, his eyebrows raise as he sees a bra flung carelessly across the top. He walks further and runs his hand over the familiar fabric of Liz’s reading chair before he turns toward the bed. The covers are pulled up over her head, but he knows she’s under there somewhere. Approaching the side of the bed, he gently grabs the covers and pulls them down to just below her chin. Her hair is longer…he can see it fanned out across her pillow. He raises his hand to her lips…hovering his fingers just above them and she sighs.

Removing his hand, he looks next to her…at his own sleeping body. He’s startled when he hears himself snore. Looking at Liz, he expects it to wake her up…but she continues to sleep. She never told him he snored. Grimacing, he makes a mental note to do something about that.

As he continues to watch her, she turns on her side and scoots her backside into him. He sees himself reach over to her under the covers and she smiles as she moves against him.

His eyes fly open, waking up with a start, and he looks around the room suddenly…trying to get oriented. His thoughts are broken by the feel of Liz wiggling her hips back into his arousal. His hand pressing against her lower abdomen…his fingers sneaking in through the front opening of his boxers she’s wearing. He pulls his hand back and looks around again. It happened…he was pulled from his sleep to Liz. He didn’t have far to go.

Still feeling disoriented, he’s suddenly hit with the realization that Liz is rubbing up against him. And he’s surprised…happily surprised. They haven’t made love in over three months…much less teased each other like they used to. Bringing his hand back to her abdomen, he thrusts forward…feeling her press back against him in response. When she reaches down and brings his hand inside her boxers, he realizes that she’s awake.

“Liz…you’re killing me.” he whispers into her hair.

She doesn’t stop her movement as she says, “Maybe that’s the idea.”

He freezes. Since the baby arrived…and a couple of months before…, they’ve always been too tired…or the baby would wake up and need fed or changed…or Liz just didn’t want to. “Really?” he asks hopefully.

She turns to face him, “Yah…really.” And she pushes him back, stripping her clothes off as she straddles him.

He stops her, “What about Philip?” he asks her about the baby.

She smiles and says, “I don’t think he cares, Max.” as she places kisses on his chest.

“No…I mean…what if he wakes up?”

“Then I guess we’ll have to be quick.” She tells him with a suggestive smile.

“It happened. I saw you…us…sleeping.” Max tells her as she pulls his boxers off and slides back up his body.

She kisses him, thrusting her tongue into his mouth before pulling back and whispering into his ear. “While I’d really love to talk to you, Max…right now I want you inside of me.”

“Ok.” He breathes out and eagerly makes love to his wife under the covers of their giant, four poster bed.