posted on 23-Jul-2002 2:51:58 AM
Title: Runaway With My Heart
Author: Meagzie
E-mail: meagzie⊕hotmail.com
Category: Who else? M/L
Disclaimer: I own nothing. NOTHING! NOTHING, YOU HEAR ME?!
Rating: Uhmm... lets leave it at R for now, but I don’t know what it’ll get to later…
Summary: What if Liz had left after EotW?
Author’s Note: I know, I know, this has been done before! Ack! But alas, for those of you that know me, I have put my own twist on the whole deal. *happy* For some reason, lately Ive felt the need to write fics that are a bit more serious. Im not sure why, but I do. *coughSHAMELESS PLUGcough* Read Long Day. Its nice and depressing. This first part is sorta short, but hey, Im always full of suprises. *big* And the title is a line from The Calling’s “Wherever You Will Go”. Enjoy!


Part 1

The smoky essence filled his nostrils mercilessly, and his eyes were already watering from the exposure. Cigars, cigarettes, all dimly lit in the hands of murmuring men with occasional, satisfying grunts. He couldn’t control the constant cringing that discharged from his body. The sights clouded his mind, his thoughts indecisive, and his body rigid with loss of composure. Bright flashes of lively lights spun about, and cheap, tasteless music echoed through the shady room.

He stepped inside the establishment, unsure of whether he wanted to leave in disgust, or stay in hope. That was what his whole life had amounted to in the past years. It was either he flee to some sort of sanity, or stay to face the threatening demons. Most of the time his head and heart had disagreed profusely with each other. His head had told him to flee, to keep himself in a state of human consciousness. But his heart, always the strong, demanding one, had told him to fight. His heart had told him to stay and find his own way out, so he could one day come home again.

The mind of a human, and the heart of a king.

He, of course, had followed his heart the whole way through, but only because he knew that it was the way she would have wanted it to be. She had told him that he was born a passionate, powerful leader and it was his duty to follow through. With just the gaze of her compelling eyes, she had told him that he was able to do anything that he wanted to do. He had cherished every last moment with her. His mind had memorized and repeated every last word, every last touch, every last breath that she had shared with him.

She had left him. And he had left the state of sanity.

He always said he’d come back though. He had stayed on this planet, had gone to another planet, and neither had felt like home. She was what home was to him. She would always be his home.

So upon his arrival on Earth, his first mission was to find her. To find her and bring her back to his arms, where he would never, ever let her go again. He had spent every living, breathing moment since his return on finding her.

And this is where he had been led.

He found a table near the rear of the room, his unconscious actions were, as always, leading him to blend in unnoticeably. Even so, he felt uncomfortable in being in such an appalling place. Women were walking by him, wearing very little or nothing at all. They each had an awful strut, swinging their hips side to side like an unnerving pendulum. Their perfectly manicured hands balanced trays carrying endless supplies of alcohol.

He watched as inebriated males leered at the women, touching the women on body parts that they didn’t even touch on their wives anymore. Some would just smirk at the ladies, licking their lips in suggestion, and others would outright grope them. He was sickened at the sight, but he was even more disgusted by the fact that the ladies did nothing to stop them. They accepted the dollar bills thrown at them, and even preformed a lap dance for the men.

He turned his offended eyes away from the sight, but there was no pure place to situate his eyes. A sizeable stage stood predominantly at the front of the room, and a pair of towering poles was located beside each other with a space of a few feet between them. He watched as a young lady, no older than twenty-two, wrapped one long, alluring leg around the left polished pole. Her hand gripped the pole, balancing her body, and she delicately swung her body around, slowly lowering herself to the stage floor. Once hitting the floor, she fell into a kneeling position, and with a fluid motion, her upper body bounced from side to side. Lacking a top, her bare breasts was exposed to the captive audience

He turned away again, deciding the best place for his eyes were on top of the table.

“Anything to drink, sir?”

He looked up, finding another youthful female staring at him inquisitively, as if her near nudity was something of the norm. Her round, full breasts were scarcely held by a flamboyant string bikini top. An unbearably low bikini g-string was resting on the lower region of her body.

“N-n-no thank you,” he replied, stuttering from being in the near presence of the woman. “Perhaps just a water, please.” His eyes focused on a tiny rut in the table, so he did not notice the woman give him an odd look and strut away.

He let a relieved breath out once he was alone again. How could she be here? He must have been mistaken, maybe taken the wrong directions from someone. She couldn’t be here. She wouldn’t… degrade herself like this. That was not who she was. Only in the most desperate situation would she resort to this, but even then, he was not sure she would do this.

His thoughts were quickly disrupted when a loud voice erupted across the strip club, and he jerked his head back up to the stage. Stage lights danced across the room and the voice echoed over the entire area, drawing in the attention of every single visitor.

“Ladies and gentleman, it is my pleasure to announce the upcoming act. Her charm and poise can only be outdone by her enticing movements, which will leave you trembling in your seats. Please help me introduce the sexiest dancer to this side of the world, Angel Sparks!”

The whole room darkened except for the one single spotlight that was aimed at the stage. A moment later, a slender, tanned leg peeked out from behind the dark curtain that hung at the rear of the stage. The leg teased the audience, flaunting its delicacy in a swift up and down motion. Soon the whole body of the woman appeared before the audience, and the expression of a sly cat enraptured her face.

He nearly choked on air from the sight of her. It was her. His her. She was here. She was actually here. That was her. How could it be? No. No, it couldn’t be.

But it was.

His eyes were glued to her delicate figure as she soon moved along with the beat of the booming music. Her body was covered in only a barely legal miniskirt, displaying the slenderness of her attractive legs. A sheer blouse concealed her upper body, with only one button fastened near her breasts. Her hair was tightly done up on top of her head in a taut bun, and her gorgeous skin glistened underneath the attention of the spotlight.

Slithering her body down to her bended knees, and then back up to her upright position, her hands glided enchantingly up her body, brushing against her pointed nipples that protruded from her firm breasts. Her hands continued to climb upwards, sweeping across her neck and finally reaching the bun in her hair. In a quick, swift motion, she pulled the hair tie out and the long, silky length of her hair cascaded gracefully down her back. Tilting her head and shaking it a few times, her hair swished gorgeously on her back while still exposing the base of her throat.

He could feel the bile rising up through his throat. He couldn’t believe she was doing this. Her beautiful, cherished body was being put on display for the greedy eyes of ungrateful and undeserving men. She was not just displaying, but she was flaunting her once guarded treasures. The memory of the time in his life when he was hoping beyond hope that there would be a day when she would completely bear her heart to him passed through his mind, and he was sickened by the sight of her now baring her whole being to the world.

Her blouse was now haphazardly tossed onto the stage floor, and her breasts were exposed to the audience. Her striking body still held its beauty and youthful appearance with the addition of some maturity. Her shape had become much more curved, not in a weight sense, but she had gained much more of a figure. Her hips had rounded slightly, and her breasts seemed larger without a hint of wilting. Even her face features, from what he could see, were more defined.

She was now completely nude except for her g-string, and bending over, exposing the audience to a full view of her enrapturing breasts. Random catcalls were shouted throughout the room, and loud roars of intoxicated laughter were resonating through the space. Her whole body gave no indication of disturbance from the rude and boorish behaviour as she continued to dance in the manner of a devious tigress.

She made her way over to the side of the stage, where more than a handful of men sat in a trance of her body. She bent over again, but this time exposing the backside of her body. Swaying her body from side to side, men quickly swarmed to her and reached out to touch her, any of her. Unsurprised by the action, she continued to swing her luscious ass and men gradually slipped dollar bills into the string of her bottoms.

Once satisfied by the amount of money she had acquired from the men, she moved back towards the center of the stage. She turned her back to the audience and gave one last swift, hip swing to the left and proceeded to exit off the stage. Another round of loud roars engaged the room, now sounding out disappointed shouts. Men were beginning for more, for just one glance, for anything.

He felt so sick to his stomach that he was unsure if he was going to be able to make it to the restroom.

But he had come back to Earth to find her, and that’s what he had done. Found her. And with finding her, he had found her new life, her new lifestyle.

Yet to come this far and not continue his trek seemed like an adverse waste of time. He had come here to find her, and no matter what he saw on stage, he refused to believe that was really she. The she he knew so long ago. The she he loved more than life itself. No, it was time he found her again. And not just her body. He was to find her mind, her soul, and most importantly, he was to find her heart again.

Standing up from his table, he quickly made his way to the front of room following path of the sidewall. Making sure no one was noticing his actions, as he was rather experienced in becoming invisible, he slipped behind the tall curtains.

Glancing around to see if anyone was nearby, he decided it was clear for him to proceed and he began to explore the backstage of the strip club. As he had expected, the area was quite dingy and poorly lit with the scent of rotting air tickling his nose. A very short hall led to a small room at the end, and he ventured closer to it. As he continued nearer, he heard the most precious voice he had ever heard in his life. The sweet tone of that voice could break him to pieces quicker than an enemy’s power force could.

“Tristan, I really don’t think that’s a good idea… no, I’ll be fine… Honey, please, don’t worry about me. Now just go-… Tristan! Calm down! I’m fine, sweetie. You don’t need to come and pick me up. No… Tristan? Tristan! Listen to me!… Will you stop? I don’t need a bodyguard!… Tristan? Tristan! TRISTAN?”

A loud, irritated sigh came from the room and the slamming of a phone sounded. He slowly made his final steps to the entrance of the room, where he found her sitting in a chair facing a tall mirror lined with bright lights. A short robe covered her body, and he was already sighing in relief at the sight. A small counter sat in front of her, and her arm was propped up upon it. Her cheek was leaning in against the palm of her hand, and he could see from the mirror that her eyes were tightly closed in exhaustion.

What was he to do? He had waited for this moment for so long, and now that it was finally here, he felt as if his whole body was frozen in place. What if she didn’t want to see him? What if she never wanted to see him again? Who was this Tristan fellow? Was this man her husband? A lover? The man who kissed her every night before bed, and kissed her every morning when the sun greeted the lovers?

But just at the look of her face, he couldn’t hold back. This was her. The only one he could ever love. The only one he could ever feel deep within his soul, and know that somewhere deep inside, the feeling was being reciprocated. He loved her for her mind, her heart, and her soul, and from the moment he laid his hand over her fatal wound, they were intricately bound together for the rest of their lives.

So with another small step, he cleared his throat and stared at the stunning gorgeousness of her. With a small exhalation of breath, she said in an irritated voice, “I’m sorry, you’re not supposed to be back here. Don’t make me call secur-”

She stopped mid-sentence as she turned around to look at the intruder. The gracefulness she had possessed on stage was missing now, and the aggravated woman she had just been was missing as well. Now it was just her.

“Max…” She whispered quietly, a small, fragile hand coming up to cover her mouth in shock.

“Liz.”
posted on 23-Jul-2002 2:53:40 AM
Part 2

“What… what are you doing here?”

Liz stared at Max, finding herself entranced by the muddy brown eyes she hadn’t seen in years. Those very same piercing eyes that could touch her soul without exerting an ounce of strength. He looked rugged to her; his face was bearing the marks of a tired, weathered man. His eyes were wide open, attentive, as she had always remembered them to be, but now, there was something different. She noticed the faintest hints of wrinkles and the tired struggle his eyes kept.

“I guess I could ask you the same thing,” Max replied in a soft tone. His voice was not accusing or condescending, as she had feared it would be and had nightmares about. She pulled her robe more tightly to her body, wanting to close it as best as she could. She felt so naked, even more so then when she was on stage. Under what felt like the cruel scrutiny of Max’s eyes, not only could he witness the degradation she had put her body under, but he could stare right through that barricade and find the heart she had hidden for so long. His eyes penetrated every layer she had conceived, and it was almost as if he were undressing her now. It was almost as if he were undressing her mind, her body, her heart, her soul

Max took a step forward, his hand reaching out to touch her. How long had he waited for this exact moment? His dreams of finding her again had haunted his entire being for years, perhaps decades, possibly centuries. His never ceasing mind taunted him with the bittersweet memories of his other half, the part that completed his soul. His heart had long ago been tucked away, but if he dusted it off and handed it to her, would she run away? Would she turn away in disgust at the sight? Would she see that he had always wanted her to have his heart? Would she see that he could never give it to anyone else but her?

“Max, what are you doing here?” Liz repeated, this time with more force. Though she tried her hardest to keep her poise, her body was quivering and she felt as if her body had turned to ice. Even her wide, untrusting eyes stared frozen at Max’s hand.

Why was he here? Didn’t he know how hard it had been to leave him? To leave all of them, all of Roswell? Couldn’t he understand that this was dangerous for her already diminished mental health? She was different now, extremely different. How could he have not realized that? And he was different, there was no way he could not be. The aged glaze over his eyes told Liz just that, and the wrinkles on his hand only accentuated the difference from the young boy she had known many years ago.

“You shouldn’t be here, Max,” Liz said quietly. She took a step away from his outstretched hand and turned her head away from him, to escape the desperate pleading on his face.

“You shouldn’t be here either.” Max’s tender voice warmed a part of Liz that she hadn’t felt for years. How could he do that? How could he just open the wound in her heart, the very same heart she had sealed away so, so long ago?

Liz sighed deeply.

“Max, you can’t just walk in here like this. Like nothing has happened, like we’re the same people. Things have changed. My life has changed.” Liz turned her head towards him, looking sadly at him. “I have changed, Max.”

“Don’t you think I’ve realized that, Liz?” Max asked in a raw, painful manner. “I realized that even before the moment I stepped foot into this place. But I’ve changed too, Liz. We’ve both changed.” He paused, his body caught in the act of watching her, melting at the fact of being in her presence again.

“It doesn’t mean my heart has changed, Liz,” he continued in a gentle voice. “It doesn’t mean my soul has changed. It doesn’t mean I don’t still love-”

“Don’t.”

Liz’s voice was sharp and heartbreakingly hard. She whipped her whole body towards Max, and pointed a shaking finger at him. Her eyes were already wet with emotion, and her face was displaying the strain in keeping herself together.

“You don’t know me anymore, Max! You can’t say you lo-” Liz halted her words and shook her head to clear it. “You just can’t say that. You have no right.”

“How can you stand there and pretend there’s nothing there anymore?” Max felt the words burst out of his mouth in a frustrated way. “I do, Liz. I do feel that way. How can you say that I don’t know you? Why? Just because I haven’t seen you in years? I know you don’t believe that! My heart knows your heart. My mind knows your mind. My soul knows your soul.” Max took a step towards her again, pleading with her to believe his words. “Our connection, it just can’t break over time. It doesn’t.”

Liz brought a weary hand to her eyes, and she sighed heavily again. In a whispering voice, she told him, “No, Max, it doesn’t just break over time. It breaks over time of hurt and pain.” She lowered her hand, letting it linger lazily over her throat. “And I don’t think it’s reversible.”

Max stumbled backwards, as if her words had literally come out and slapped him brutally across the face. He stared at the woman that was standing before him, and felt the strings on his heart pull taut, recognizing the thick barriers she had enclosed herself in. There were so many things he needed to know, so many things he wanted, no, needed to ask her. He couldn’t lose her now, he just couldn’t lose his one chance so soon.

“No, Liz, you can’t do this,” Max replied angrily. “You can’t expect me just to leave after I’ve spent a lifetime without you. If you’re going to push me away, at least have the decency to tell me why you left me in the first place.”

Liz gasped in shock, staring at him with horrified eyes. “How dare you!

“How dare I what, Liz?” Max half-shouted. “Ask for the truth? Want an answer as to why I’ve felt like I was torn in half since the day you left? The day you left without so much as a good-bye note.” Max turned his back away, crossing his arms over his chest in heaving emotion. In a broken whisper, he said, “You lied to me, Liz. You played me for a fool.”

“What?” Liz asked in utter bewilderment. “What are you talking about?”

Max turned back towards Liz, and she could see the mounting tears in his eyes. She felt her heart tear just a little more, if that was even possible. She stared at him, trying to overcome the sensation of bile rising up in her throat. The suffering that was mirrored in his eyes, staring right at her, it was so much for her to handle.

“Kyle. You made it look like you slept with him.”

Liz’s petite hand rose to her mouth in horror, remembering that night and the night before all too clearly. The night Future Max came to her, begging her to change the future, to save the lives of the people he loved. She couldn’t refuse him that night, and probably wouldn’t have on any other night either. Not with the same glitter she saw in her Max’s eyes, shining in the very same eyes of Future Max. He came to her with his desperate plea, and she remembered the distinct appearance of his weary expression. She could remember in precise detail the sadness that reverberated in his eyes, in the shaking of his hands, and even in the growing strands of gray hair.

Had it been worth it? Sacrificing her whole, entire life for the lives of the people Max loved dearest? What was left of her now? A two-bit stripper who had spent most of her life in this same strip club. She had given up her life, everything she had ever dreamed for herself, and willingly submitted it all to the pleas of Future Max. It wasn’t even her Max. It had been Future Max.

Then again, weren’t they both the same person?

Even now, she could see the striking similarities between the Future Max that had visited her so long ago, and the Max that was standing right in front of her. Both had lost the fire in their eyes, the fire in their souls that kept them burning with the most eminent shimmer of hope, love, and courage. They were both burnt, deflated even. Their bodies sagged with an undeniable lassitude.

“Why, Liz?” Max demanded quietly. “Tell me why you pretended to sleep with Kyle when things were starting to get better between us. I loved you then, Liz, and I love you now, but I can’t understand why. You knew it would destroy me. So tell me, Liz. Tell me why.” Max placed his solid hand on her arm, forcing her to look at him.

With tears creeping down her quickly dampening cheeks, she stared him straight in the eye. “Because you asked me to,” Liz whispered to him. His eyes revealed his utter confusion to her, but she couldn’t focus on that right now. Her mind was an unbelievable puddle, and she felt herself losing all control she thought she had possessed.

“What are you talking about, Liz?” Max’s hand gently shook Liz’s arm, trying to get her to concentrate on what he was asking her, but her mind was moving far too quickly for him.

“He told you,” Liz said quietly. “Kyle. He told you the truth, didn’t he? He told you that we didn’t really sleep with each other.”

Max sighed and pulled away from her, her words striking up memories he never liked to visit. Rubbing his face with his hands, he sat down in the chair that Liz had been sitting in not too long ago. He clasped his hands behind his neck, and his head was leaning down towards the floor. He stared long and hard at the ground for a few moments, and she waited patiently for him to talk while her mind continued to reel at the sudden change in her night.

“I was so angry at him. I blamed Kyle for everything. I even blamed him for you leaving me. I went out of my way to ignore him, and made these stupid comments to him. I never listened when he tried to tell me something; I let my emotions get the best of me. He tried to tell me so many times. No matter how many times I pushed him away, no matter how many times I degraded him, he kept trying to get through to me.” Max looked up at Liz briefly. “You know what he said when I asked why he kept trying to talk to me?”

Liz stepped forward and put a hand on his knee. She was finally feeling the effect of her overactive mind settling, and focused on what Max was telling her.

“What did he say?” Liz asked softly.

“He told me, ‘It’s what Liz would have wanted’.” Max shook his head in disgust. “I got so angry at him after that. The way he said it, it was like he was saying it as if you were dead. Or as if he knew you were never coming back. I couldn’t handle it. I threw him against a wall with my powers, and walked away from him.” A dark cloud erupted in Max’s eyes and he stood up suddenly, beginning to pace across the room. Liz watched him worriedly, although she wasn’t sure if she was more worried about his actions or more worried about why he was acting this way.

“Max?” Liz called to him gently. “What happened?”

Max paused his steps for a moment before returning to his pace, which was quickly rising in speed. His hands were winding up in his hair, then down in his pockets, and then he was playing with the hem of his shirt. His actions were stiff, and unorganized; his feet were starting to shuffle along the floor.

Liz moved to stand in front of him, and she placed her hands on his again. His unruly eyes stared into hers, and he slowly began to absorb the strength she was sending him. Smiling shyly at her, Max was finally reminding Liz of the boy she remembered from so long ago.

“You were the only thing in this entire universe that could make me feel… complete. Liz, I’ve been to places where people kill each other for the sheer pleasure of greed. I’ve been to places where the word love isn’t even recognized as a word, much less a feeling. I’ve been to places where blood surrounded your whole life, blood and death. I’ve been to places where losing the ones you cherished the most, died in your arms everyday.” Max brought a hand up to Liz’s face, cupping her cheek tenderly. He smiled again, but this time it was tinted with the shade of sadness.

“But never have I ever forgotten the brilliant sparkle of bliss that flooded your eyes when you laughed. I have never forgotten the delicate softness of your skin when it glistened with the glow of an earlier rain shower. I have never forgotten the husky sound of your voice when you were slowly falling asleep as we stayed on the phone until late in the night. I have never forgotten the silky feel of your hair that pleasured my unworthy fingers by just one single strand. And I have never ever forgotten the sweet, tantalizing taste of your lovely, lovely lips…” Max slowly leaned forward, his lips slowly descending onto the warmness of Liz’s lips. Her eyes were closing, her mind was shutting down, and she was going to let herself feel this kiss even if it killed her.

“Who the hell are you?”

Liz jumped at the voice, and she pulled away from Max promptly at the sound of the voice. Max stumbled forward slightly, and looked confused at Liz before noticing the other person in the room. Liz stared at the young man, and sighed guiltily.

“Tristan, what are you doing here?”
posted on 23-Jul-2002 2:54:44 AM
Part 3

“Who the hell are you?” Tristan yelled as he flung himself at Max. Max was ultimately surprised by the attack, and fell backwards onto the ground with a heavy Tristan falling on top of him. If Max hadn’t been trained to adjust to surprise attacks, he surely would have ended up with a handful of bruises. Tristan kept swinging his fists angrily at Max, and Max twisted to avoid them, while keeping his arms up in defense.

“Tristan, no!” Liz screamed. She was already kneeling beside the struggling men, and her hands were gripping one of Tristan’s muscular arms, trying to pull them away from Max’s face. Her attempts were feeble though when compared to the determination of Tristan’s strength mixed with his flared anger.

“Tristan, stop it! Please! TRISTAN!”

Tristan’s mind slowly started to gather the information it was receiving from the small pressure Liz’s hands were giving on his arms. Tristan paused, still kneeling over Max, who had yet to fight back, and looked over at Liz. He weakened when he saw the buildup of tears in her eyes, and had to force himself to put his arms at his side. He took another glance at Liz, realizing her eyes were stained with red, obviously from crying earlier. Again, his temper soared and he immediately raised his fist again.

“What’d you do to her?” Tristan roared at Max, threatening him with his fist.

“Tristan, please!” Liz cried. “Don’t hurt Max! He didn’t do anything. Get off him!”

Tristan tried to fight off the nagging feeling Liz was sending him, but failed miserably, resulting in him gradually rising off of Max at the persistence of her pleading. He watched as Liz quickly kneeled over Max, cupping his face tenderly, checking for bruises. Tristan stared at her befuddled, completely oblivious as to whom the jerk was.

“If he didn’t do anything, then why are you crying?” Tristan growled. “And why the hell was he mauling you?”

Ignoring Tristan’s words, Liz caressed the side of Max’s face, scanning it for any marks. Max lay quietly, as he hadn’t said a word since Tristan had stepped foot in the door. She could feel the intense heat of Max’s gaze on her, watching her as if she were a treasured piece of fine art. She knew that Tristan probably thought of it as if Max were leering at her, as many men did because of what she had to do for a living. But Max would never, and Liz knew that. Her heart knew what she really meant to Max.

“Are you all right?” Liz asked quietly, as her hand rested against his cheek. Max nodded slightly, finding himself staring into the alluring depths of her chocolate eyes. Liz began to blush, only causing a smile to overtake Max’s face.

“Ahem.”

Tristan stood with his arms crossed and an overly irritated expression on his face. He looked at Liz expectantly, wanting an explanation of some sort. His foot started to tap to prove his aggravated state. Whoever that guy thought he was, Tristan was going to put him in his place, whether Liz liked it or not.

Liz sighed heavily, never once imagining herself in this situation. Well, perhaps she had imagined herself in this situation, but never once had she actually thought it would come true. It was a dream and a nightmare all at the same time. She stood up, and reached out a hand to help Max up.

“Tristan, what are you doing here anyways?” Liz asked, brushing off whatever dirt had collected on Max’s shirt. “I told you to stay at home.”

“Yeah, well, excuse me for worrying about you,” Tristan snapped back.

Max stood uncomfortably between the two. He was still oblivious as to this Tristan fellow was, and if this guy continued to treat Liz with disrespect, Max wasn’t sure he could control his own actions. Max kept thinking up of possibilities as to whom Tristan really was, and nothing seemed to sound good. Boyfriend? Maybe, but he looked a little young for Liz. Friend? He seemed a little irritated by Max to be just a friend. Pimp? Liz wouldn’t do that… would she?

“Tristan,” Liz replied softly. She moved quickly to his side, gripping his arm in her hand again. Tristan turned his head to the side, blatantly ignoring the pleading in Liz’s eyes. Liz persisted, keeping a gentle tone in her words.

“You don’t need to protect me, darling. I’m a big girl. I really do appreciate all your worry, but what if something had happened to you on your way here, huh? What would I have done? You know I can’t live with you. You’re my buttercup.” Liz let a playful smile adorn her face, and she tickled Tristan’s side. Tristan bit his lip in an attempt to keep a straight face, but he failed miserably.

“Why do you always have to do that?” Tristan pouted. Liz just smiled again, and hugged Tristan tightly to her.

“Because I love you so much,” Liz whispered affectionately into his ear. She wrapped her arms around Tristan’s neck and kissed his cheek tenderly.

Max watched as the scene unfolded before him. His heart, as he had declared it earlier as Liz’s, shattered along with the innocence of love he and Liz had shared years ago. He had asked himself if Liz would run away if he offered his heart to her. He knew the answer now. She wasn’t going to run. She was simply going to turn it down.

And that hurt all the more worse.

Max guessed he should have known earlier. It had been years since Liz and him had seen each other, much less touched each other in the way only soul mates could. Perhaps the whole illusion of finding his soul mate so early on in his life was just a tactic of retaliation. Karma, if you will. He had brought the downfall of an entire planet, and he was being punished for it over and over in this lifetime.

Max’s stomach was in his throat, and he knew he could not endure this torture much longer. Indecent images of Liz’s body entangled with the body of another, sweat glistening on her body as her tongue fused with another’s. Had she thought of him at all over this time? Had she thought of him when she had kissed another? Had she even bothered to think of him when she left Roswell forever?

Maybe this is what Liz wanted. Liz wanted freedom, independence, someone who could love her without the difficulties of another planet, other duties. Could Max really blame Liz for how she felt? He had only hurt her for being what he was, being who he was. In the end, was she at fault for just wanting to be normal and to be loved? She had tasted what it could have been like in the charade with Kyle, why wouldn’t she want a full dish?

“Max?”

Max shook his head, realizing he had lost seconds in the muddle of his disheartening thoughts. Liz was standing beside him, her hand slowly reaching up to touch his chest. Max felt it all happen in slow motion, as if he were both dreading and anticipating the suffocating rush of her hand against his body again. Sure, she had touched him before but this… her hand touching him… it was like fireworks time after time, an explosion of emotions he kept hidden from the rest of the world, in fear someone would destroy what little he had left.

“Max, are you okay?”

Her voice. An angelic creation only God would send him to pleasure every fraction of him. Or perhaps a demonic creation by the devil to torture him in the most insatiable way. Some days he wasn’t sure which it was. Most days he didn’t care.

“I’m fine,” replied Max in a more solid voice that he thought he could manage. Tristan was still eyeing him warily, his arms now crossed in an intimidating manner. Max didn’t want to rude, so he held back the laugh at the young man’s attempt. It took more than that to terrify Max Evans.

“Well, Max,” Liz said somewhat slowly and quietly. She held out a hand toward Tristan and he hesitantly put his hand in hers.

“I guess formal introductions are in place. Max, this is my son, Tristan.”

Max nearly choked on air as he heard the words exit Liz’s mouth. Tristan was her son? There was no way, just no way. He had to be at least sixteen or seventeen… and Liz was in her early thirties…

Liz watched Max’s reaction, her heart already caught in her throat. She wasn’t sure as to how he was going to react, but then again, she wasn’t sure she wanted to know. The look on his face appeared lost, confused, as if he was trying to figure out a difficult puzzle. His eyes searched hers, desperately trying to find an answer that he knew could destroy him.

“Tristan,” Liz called, turning to her son. “Maybe you should wait for me and Max outside. We’ll be out in a few minutes.”

“No,” Tristan responded quickly. “I’m not leaving you here alone.”

“Tristan, please,” Liz pleaded. She began to push him towards the door, telling him over and over again, “We’ll be right out. Max and I just have to talk.” Tristan was trying to fight back, but he minimized his efforts in fear of hurting his mother.

“Who is this Max guy anyways?” Tristan shouted, obviously mentioning Max’s name in disgust.

“Tristan, not now, we’ll talk later. Now go.” Liz’s strict motherly voice echoed, and Max would have smiled at the maternal sound but his head and heart were beating erratically and much too loud.

Tristan exited the room, but not without one last menacing glance at Max. Max didn’t notice though, he was too busy staring at Liz, trying to conjure up some sort of answer to the millions of questions in his mind. Liz sighed heavily, wondering how she would answer those questions.

“Liz…” Max whispered. “You’re still so young. You would have had to been… when you…” Max couldn’t finish his sentence and just continued to stare at her. Liz smiled weakly at him and moved back towards him. With both hands she reached for his, and entwined her long, slender fingers with his calloused, strong ones.

“A lot has happened since we last saw each other, Max,” Liz replied softly. She looked sadly at their tangled fingers, and gave him another small smile. “It’s gone.”

“What is?” Max asked quietly, almost whispering.

“Our connection.” Liz continued to stare at their hands, fearing that if she looked up at him, he would notice the trickle of tears running down her face. “Do you remember that night at the Crashdown? When you came to me, and asked if we were still friends? Just friends? And you kissed me. I saw all these things, all these wonderful, amazing things.” Liz brought Max’s hand to her tender lips and placed a kiss on each of his fingers.

“How could I have ever forgotten that?” Max asked. “I’ve never forgotten one single memory with you, Liz. They kept me alive all this time.” Max stared at her, willing for her to lift her head and look back at him so she could see the love he still held for her. The love he would always hold for her. “You kept me alive all this time, Liz.”

Liz let out a single, choking sob, and instantly Max wrapped his arms around her, pulling her snuggly against his chest. He ignored the warm, wet tears that were soaking through his shirt, he just wanted to cherish the feeling of her head tucked neatly underneath his chin again. It was as if their past troubles had never really matter, that they endured all they had for just this moment. To get here, to be warm within each other’s embrace again. Nothing had ever felt so right, but Max feared nothing would ever feel so right again.

“Max, do you really want to know what happened? About Tristan?” Liz asked him in a whisper.

“Only if you’re willing to tell me,” he replied, kissing the top of her head affectionately. It was such a small gesture with such a great meaning.

“I want to tell you, Max,” she responded. Liz pulled her head away and finally looked Max right in the eye. Letting out another choking breath, she pulled him closer and shut her eyes tightly.

“I was raped, Max.”
posted on 23-Jul-2002 2:55:47 AM
Part 4

“So this is it,” Liz told Max quietly. She gestured to her surroundings and then gave him a small smile. “Not much, but it’s still home sweet home.”

Max nodded silently at the slightly shabby apartment, its dimly lit rooms shadowing an eerie sensation. Liz was already hanging up her jacket in the front hall closet, and Tristan was busily glaring at Max. He felt out of place in their home, but also oddly comfortable. As if he belonged there, that he was part of the family. Part of her family. Although, Tristan’s persistent and fierce glower was something to be debated.

Liz took a deep breath as she closed the closet doors. What was she thinking bringing Max back to her and Tristan’s home? No matter what shameful things she had done in the whole of Tristan’s 17 years of life, it was always him first. Her baby was the top of her priorities. But now… now she had welcomed Max into her home and into her life, even though she knew Tristan didn’t like it one bit. Tristan didn’t know Max, he didn’t know Liz’s long past with Max. How could she expect him to accept Max? What in the world was she doing?

She wanted to call Max a stranger but he wasn’t. Her heart could recognize who he was no matter where she resided, and what she had endured. There were bonds made the day he saved her life that were indestructible, though long bouts of time had certainly dampened their bond and possibly destroyed their connection. She couldn’t deny the attraction she felt the moment she saw him however. As if every molecule in her body had heated up and spun wildly out of control, a once quiescent desire roaring inside of her again. How was it that he could just look at her again and cause a flurry of ache and craving turmoil within her?

Tristan coughed loudly and stared harshly at Max again. “Well, now you’ve seen it. You can go home now.” Tristan pointed towards the door, and even went to open it for Max.

“Tristan!” Liz scolded. “Max is a guest in our home and you will not treat him with such disrespect.” Liz shook her head and dropped her chin. “Please, Tristan,” she pleaded more gently this time, “Let me have some time alone with Max.”

Max watched the offended and slightly hurt expression that wavered through Tristan’s eyes, knowing that he was upset about his mother’s brisk request for him to leave. Max felt sympathy for the kid, knowing he would feel the exact same thing if the situation were reversed. Tristan didn’t know Max, unless Liz had said something about him before, and from the looks of it, she hadn’t. Obviously they had been through some really tough experiences, and Tristan found himself protective of his mother. No, Max couldn’t blame Tristan at all. Max almost wanted to praise the kid for taking care of Liz when he hadn’t.

“Liz, maybe this is a bad idea. I can go get a hotel room and if you still want to talk you can get a hold of-”

“No!” Liz shouted. Her burst surprised not only Max but Tristan as well. He had never seen his mother this fervent about an issue that didn’t have to do with Tristan. But he was still firm in his decision to not let Max stay longer than necessary. His mother had given her whole life to protect him, and he was only more than willing to protect her. Hell, all they really had was each other.

“Don’t you dare leave,” Liz growled at Max fiercely. A severe glaze coated her eyes and she pointed a steady finger at him. “You walk out that door, Max Evans, and you walk out of my life forever.”

Tristan stumbled a step backwards from the fiery spirit that filled Liz’s words, and he had to do a double take. His mother was staring intensely at Max, almost as if she was challenging him. Tristan felt a pull at his heart, almost as if it were slowly tearing apart, stitch-by-stitch. His mother was exhibiting this whole other side of her, a side he had never known, but obviously Max had. It frustrated him and made him heartbroken at the same time. His mother was all he had. He thought it had been the same way for her, but by the look in her eyes, it obviously wasn’t. Even with the demanding glare for Max in her eyes, there was a small glint of love in them. It wouldn’t have seemed observable by a stranger, but Tristan could recognize it. It was the same look she gave him when she had tucked him into bed when he was younger, the look of unconditional love and admiration.

It was then that Tristan realized that this was too personal of a moment to witness. This moment was between his mother and this… Max character. As much as he despised the idea of leaving his mother alone with a man he didn’t know, Tristan understood it wasn’t his place to be there.

Taking a small step backwards, he whispered quietly into the already deathly silent room. “I’ll be in my room.” Before making his way to the door down the hall, he leaned into his mother and kissed her tenderly on the cheek. Giving Max a warning glare, he advanced to his room. A few moments later the sound of rock music blasted into the air.

Max stared after the young man, feeling a sense of admiration growing for Tristan. He knew that Tristan was not fond of the idea of Liz being left alone with him, but knew he had no place in Max and Liz’s conversation. Max could recognize the sense of spirit that resided within Tristan that could have come from no one other than Liz. Tristan had her passionate character, the way he stood quickly to Liz’s protection. Tristan possessed the stubbornness that Liz was quite well known for, and their hearts were undoubtedly the largest kind there could be in this world.

Max took a closer look at Liz, noticing the small, tired wrinkles that surrounded her eyes. She had grown older, but in her growth, had grown into a beautiful butterfly. A matured, gorgeous butterfly that had stolen his heart long ago, as if the stability of his heart rested upon the slight fragile wings she possessed. The humourous thing was that Max wasn’t sure he even wanted this heart back. It was hers, it always had been.

That’s why he had felt like his whole body had fallen into a deep, dark hole, and his ears unbelieving to what she had told him. Rape. Why? Why would anyone want to harm his precious butterfly? Who could possess such venom in their system to dart out from behind the gorgeous flower and sting his butterfly? Max’s instinct had been to wrap his arms tighter around Liz, cursing himself for ever letting her go. Yes, she had left him initially, but he had never come after her. That, in its purest form, had been entirely his fault.

“Max.” The softest whisper brushed against his ear, and the warmest hand touched his cheek, an electrifying bolt raging through his body. This mesmerizing butterfly had called to him, and his senses three-folded. His internal organs seemed to be caught in his throat, and the memory of being told Liz was raped… it tore him apart. Tears were already building in his eyes, forgoing the stereotype of grown men never crying.

“Why?” Max choked out. He immediately engulfed his butterfly in a shielding embrace, unable to hold back the string of tears that followed.

“Oh Max,” Liz murmured. She brought his head, her hands cupping both sides of his face, and she stared him in the eyes. The always understanding eyes Liz had, they stared at him. “I’m okay now, don’t you see?” Liz gave him a small smile, reassuring him. Max just stared helplessly at her.

Liz sighed and leaned her head down against his hard chest. Her hands laid flat against the muscular curve of his back, and pressed her whole body up against him in a comforting manner. “How is it,” she asked softly, “that you can still love me after all this time? After all that has happened. After I left Roswell.” Liz swallowed loudly. “After what you saw me do tonight.”

“Liz, you are the most beautiful, amazing person I have ever met, both inside and out. No matter what you do, or what happens, I love you. From the farther galaxy to this very Earth, my heart, soul, mind and body has always belonged to you. Do what you will with them, but I am merely a prisoner of your love.” With the softest words flowing through Liz’s ears, Max leaned down slightly and gave a tender kiss upon the crown of her head.

Liz was going to soak Max’s shirt, she was sure. Her eyes had watered and tears were seeping from them onto his shirt for the thousandth time this night. She gripped him tighter, wanting to be swallowed by his warmth. Just then a memory hit her like a ton of bricks, reminding her of a time so far away. The night she had felt Max’s bare skin so close to hers, the way he had touched her and emitted a soft glow. The very same glow that had touched them both from the tip of their heads to the tip of their toes, giving them the sense of completion they had been searching for the past years.

“I love you, Max,” Liz whispered back. “That never changed. Even if I wanted it to, it never would.” Liz brought one hand to Max’s neck and pulled his shirt slightly down, exposing his smooth skin. Putting one finger on his skin, she made small swirls and designs. Max looked at her puzzled, unsure as to what she was doing it.

“I still can’t do it,” Liz whispered sadly. She looked up to only be met with Max’s confused expression. She smiled sadly again, telling him, “Glow. I still can’t make you glow like you’ve always been able to do to me.” She felt Max’s hand cup the side of her face and voluntarily pressed her cheek back against his warm, strong hand.

“I told you before, Liz. I am glowing; you just can’t see it.” Max grinned affectionately at her. “It’s warm, you see. I was so cold before, but now… now I’m warm with you beside me. You make me warm, Liz.”

“How can you say that? Our connection. I can’t feel it anymore. It’s not there.” Liz sniffled quietly. “Why isn’t it there, Max?”

“I think-” Max paused before continuing, “I think we’re blocking each other.”

Liz raised her head and looked at him. “What do you mean we’re blocking each other? Why would we do that?”

“Because we’re scared,” he replied gently. “We’re scared of feeling what we know we’ll feel.” Max slowly pulled away from Liz until their hands were just touching. “It’s time we’re honest with each other, Liz. It’s time we stop hiding from the world and from each other.”

Liz only nodded, knowing his words were true. It was time to tear out of this cocoon she had surrounded herself in. Undoubtedly her earlier announcement had left Max with many questions.

It was odd, letting someone in again. The only person who had ever touched her heart so completely, so tenderly, was her son. He served as her saviour, and she would give him the world if she could. Guilt plagued her from the time of his birth to this very moment. She could never give him the life he deserved, but amazing as it was, Tristan never argued. He constantly reassured her, told her he loved her, and they continued down this disastrous path of life.

Liz led Max into her small living room, and sat down on a worn couch. She knew she should feel ashamed at what she had to show for her life, but with Max, it was different. He would understand. Somehow, he always understood.

Max followed Liz’s actions and sat down beside her. An odd silence engulfed them before Max couldn’t hold his tongue anymore. In a frantic rush, he burst, “Why’d you leave me, Liz? Why’d you leave Roswell?”

Liz stared at Max, surprised but his outburst. The question was inevitable, but surprised her nonetheless. Gathering her thoughts, Liz took a deep breath. Taking one of Max’s hands into hers, she stared him straight in the eye and proceeded to tell him the truth. The whole goddamn truth.

“That night that you saw me-” Liz swallowed. “That night you saw me with Kyle, that was all a show. It-it wasn’t real. I know you know that, but there’s more to the story. I wasn’t trying to hurt you, there was a method to my madness. You see… god, you’re going to think I’m insane.” Liz sighed, but Max just looked on with encouragement.

“Days before you saw me with Kyle, I had a visitor. This special visitor who told me things that, well, could have completely destroyed our world. Literally.”

Max’s eyes were already wide with curiosity. “Who was it?”

Liz sighed and gave a sarcastic laugh, finding the irony in her next words. The words that had caused her to give her heart to Max before, but now they were used to relive a painful memory.

“It was you.”

“What?” Max answered, completely befuddled by her answer.

“You came to visit me, but fourteen years from the future. Your enemies had come to Earth and were destroying our planet. You and I, we were married but the only ones left. You had just witnessed Michael’s death, and Isabel died two weeks prior. You needed to do something, so you came back in time.”

“I what?” Max gasped. “Liz, time travel isn’t possible. What are you talking about?” Liz just smiled at him.

“The granolith. It’s powerful, more powerful than you could have ever guessed. It’s capable of time travel and he traveled back to me.” Liz sighed. “You see, in the future you and I became… close. Tess didn’t like that, and eventually she left Roswell. She joined the enemies because she was so angry.”

“TESS?” Max shouted, startling Liz. “What does this have to do with that bitch?” Max’s anger surprised Liz, as she had seen him perfectly calm most of the night.

“Future you said that you all needed her to defeat your enemies. You all had powers that completed the unit. She left and everyone died.” Liz watched Max’s face turn a fiery red as he stood up, unable to sit still any longer. “Max? What’s going on? What happened? What did Tess do?”

Max’s body became completely rigid and he turned away from Liz. “I don’t want to talk about it.”

“That’s not fair!” Liz cried. “You were the one who said we have to be honest. Max, you better be honest with me.”

“I’ll tell you, Liz, I swear to god,” Max pleaded as he turned to face her again. “But not now, this is about you. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have reacted like that.” He sat back down beside her and placed his hands in hers. “Please?”

Liz hesitated for a moment, not sure if she should persist on hearing his story or not. In the end, the pleading in Max’s eyes decided for her and she sighed heavily. “Future you asked me to help you fall out of love with me. I tried words, I tried pushing you away, I tried anything I thought that would work.” Liz paused. “We were happy, Max. In that future, the future he came from. We were happy. We got married and everyone was there and we danced and danced and danced…” Liz gazed away, a linger smile playing on her lips.

Max didn’t want to ask, but he knew he had to. “What happened?”

“Like I said,” Liz repeated in a tired voice. “Enemies came, conquered the Earth and everyone died. Future you came back to our time and told me that we had to change the future.” Liz tightened her grip on Max’s hand. “So I pretended to sleep with Kyle-”

“Because you knew that would destroy me.” Max’s voice was quiet, and pondering. Liz froze at his words, and drew her hand back, bowing her head down in shame. Max immediately slapped himself for what he said, it sounded so harsh.

Then again, seeing her in bed with Kyle Valenti was just as harsh.

“Liz, please don’t draw away from me,” Max begged her, reaching for her hand. “I didn’t mean it that way. It was hard, yes, but this why we are here now.”

Liz pulled away again, standing and walking to the other side of the room. She couldn’t sit there beside him and pretend as if guilt hadn’t washed over her. She had lied to Max and then left Roswell, how could he have not been destroyed? What was she doing? Letting him in, expecting him to completely forgive her.

“What are you doing here, Max?”

Max closed his eyes, still kicking himself. She was doubting him, she was doubting the feelings he had for her.

“I love you, that’s what. I’m here and telling you I love you.”

Liz took a sharp breath in, and kept her back to him. She was losing focus with him here. She was losing everything she spent the past 17 years making.

“Sometimes love isn’t enough, Max.”

Max stared at Liz, his eyes wide and his jaw dropped. No, she couldn’t mean that.

“Liz, that’s not true. You don’t believe that, I know you don’t.”

“What the hell do you mean you know I don’t believe that? Huh? You don’t know anything about me now! How can you say you love me when you don’t even know me?”

“Yes I do!” Max shouted back. “I know you. I’ve known you since the day I laid my hand on your stomach and healed you! I love you and I do know you.”

Liz whipped her head around, staring at him in a ferocious manner. “You know me? You think you know me? Do you know that I screamed at him when he came up behind me and threw me down on the disgusting alley floor? Did you know that I clawed at him while he tore off my clothes? Did you know that he hit me and hit me because I wouldn’t shut up, because I wouldn’t stop moving? Did you know that he forced himself on me, that he grabbed my breasts so hard that he had to gag me? Did you know that he left bruises on places that no one should have ever seen? Did you know I cried and screamed and kicked him when he was on top of me? Did you know he pinned my arms down when he forced himself in me? Did you know he left me there when he was done like I was just a piece of trash? Did you know I laid there for two hours before anyone found me?”

Max again found himself speechless with wide eyes. How was he supposed to respond to that? How could he possibly soothe Liz’s fears that obviously had left scarred for so long it was incomprehensible?

“Liz, I…” Max’s words fell short, unsure of what to say.

“I had his baby, Max,” Liz continued, quietly. Her eyes were fixated on a purplish stain residing on her living room carpet but nothing could hide the drip of tears that fell off her face. “I had a great life in Roswell. I had parents who loved me, and took care of me. I had two best friends that looked out for me and was always encouraging me to be the best Liz Parker I could be. I was smart, I was on the honour roll, and I was on my way to being the valedictorian.” Liz looked back at Max, no long a storm captivating her eyes but a deep wound that had been reopened. “I had you, Max.

“But then the future you came back and ruined everything, my whole life. I saw the look you gave me when you left that night. You couldn’t believe I would devastate you horribly, that I could ruin our love so cruelly!” She took a shaky step backwards. “I couldn’t believe it either. So I left, and never came back.” Liz shook her head sadly. “And less then fourty eight hours later, I was just another pregnant seventeen year old and victim of a rape crime.” Liz let out a low cry. “I was just another statistic.”

Liz slowly sank to the floor, her body instantly curling into a fetal position. So much was lost in her life, and this was all she had to show for it: an overexposed body and a broken soul.

Max immediately moved from the couch and down beside Liz’s body. She looked so tiny, so young like this. His butterfly had been rejected by her new world, and now she took solace in returning back to her cocoon. He couldn’t handle seeing her like this. He couldn’t stand seeing the one person in his life that was so strong, now broken like a fragile piece of glass.

No, this was different. She wasn’t a fragile piece of glass. Max could fix a piece of glass with the wave of his hand. This… this he couldn’t heal with just his powers.

“Liz,” Max called gently. Very slowly and very tenderly, he placed a large hand on her trembling shoulders. “You’re right, maybe I don’t know what has happened in your life the past few years, but it doesn’t mean I love you any less. Why? Because when I look in your eyes, my heart still beats a little faster and my hands get a little sweatier. I’m thirty-five years old, Liz. I fought a war. I watched people die. And here I am, acting like a hormonal teenager.” Max lowered his voice. “Only you can make me feel this way. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again. I love you, Liz Parker.”

Liz raised her head, a swollen redness covering her face from the previous onslaught of tears. Looking at him, seeing the truth in his eyes, it was so overwhelming for Liz. She had left him and he still loved her. Did she even know how to handle this emotion anymore? Sure, she loved her son, but that was a different sort of love. A maternal feeling you get from the moment your child graces your life. No, this was a different love. A love that could enter your life without so much of a warning and could leave with just as much cruelty. Was she willing to put her heart on the line for this? For Max?

Liz slowly sat up, maneuvering to sit on her knees. Keeping her eyes locked on Max’s, she held out her hands. Max placed his on top of hers, and a dull buzzing appeared in their bodies. Both stared at each other in surprise but both melted into smiles at the return of such a feeling. Their connection.

It was weak though. Merely a hum in the background, but it was a hum no less. It captivated all of Liz’s senses though as she fought desperately to feel it entirely, to be swallowed by its magic. Liz shut her eyes, losing herself to the small sensation that enchanted a small part of her.

“Do you feel that?” Liz whispered.

“I can feel you.” Liz opened her eyes in surprise at feeling Max’s hot breath so close to her. His face loomed only inches from his, and he was gazing at her with such intensity that it made her shiver with delight.

“I can feel you too…” Liz closed her eyes again, and at the pace of a snail, she began to lean into Max’s lips. At the same time Max leaned in too, his heart beating thunderously in anticipation of tasting her lips.

Their lips met in a soft, passionate kiss and without warning, their connection grew tenfold. It was as if a glorious waterfall of passion had poured on top of them, showering them in the brilliance of love. Liz’s body vibrated with the awareness of Max and his adoration for her. It warmed her from the tip of her head to the tip of her toes. Now she knew what Max had been talking about when he said she made him glow, because she knew for damn sure that she had to be glowing.

As their connection grew stronger and stronger, Liz was flashed with pictures and memories from Max’s past. And that’s when the images it hit her, all of them.

A deep, guttural cry ripped from her throat and she jerked away from Max, finding herself sprawled on the floor. Her eyes became wide and round as her breathing came out harsh and rapid.

“No…” Liz cried. “No! It wasn’t supposed to happen that way!”

posted on 23-Jul-2002 2:56:56 AM
Part 5

“How?” Liz whispered, a wide-eyed look of fear plastered across her face.

Max just stared back at her, taken aback by her sudden retreat from him. He had been kissing her, kissing her like he had only dreamed of for the many years he had been separated from his love. His whole body had been vibrating with the feel of her, the touch of her, the taste of her, their connection only heightening the sensations he felt from her. He didn’t want it to end, but she had jerked away before he could protest.

“How what?” Max asked in a soft, concerned voice. He inched forward, still kneeling on the floor, but Liz automatically backed further away. Tears were again formed in her eyes as horror kept flashing in her eyes.

“We changed things, Max!” Liz screamed. “It wasn’t supposed to happen! I left because things were supposed to change! It just wasn’t supposed to happen that way!” Liz brought her hands up to her face, covering it and wailing uncontrollably.

Max immediately leapt towards Liz and smothering her in his arms. Too emotionally drained to fight back, she fell into his arms and continued to moan in anguish. Max tried to rub a soothing hand on her back, but she continued to cry in undeniable pain. She had seen something, a flash of his past. That had to be it, it just had to be.

“What did you see, Liz?” Max asked softly.

“Alex…” Liz moaned horribly. “His… h-house…” She gripped Max’s shirt in her tiny fists, and pulling his body close so their faces nearly touched. With an urgent expression on her face, she yelled in a demanding tone, “That’s why, isn’t it? That’s why you wouldn’t talk about Kyle before! That’s why you feel guilty!”

Max just stared at her with wide eyes, suddenly faced with the woes of his past. She had seen it. She had seen it in his memories, the nightmares that haunted him day in and day out. The sight that forever had imprinted itself in his mind, the sight that could cease all plausible thinking and certainly had for Max.

“What did you see?” Max asked in a quiet, painful whisper. Max closed his eyes, letting the horrible guilt wash over him.

“Was he… was he in there?” Liz cried. “Oh god, Max, tell me he wasn’t in there!” When Max didn’t answer her but instead turned his head away, Liz let out a long wail.

“What happened, Max?” Liz inched forward, her head leaning towards him. A morbid need to know filled Liz and she desperately waited for his answer.

“Maybe we should move this to somewhere more private, Liz,” Max whispered. “Your bedroom, perhaps?” The soft tone he was using let Liz know that he meant nothing sexual by suggestion. Liz wasn’t sure if this made her more afraid. Whatever he had to tell her was not going to be good.

Liz nodded at his suggestion. She took the hand that Max offered to her, helping her off the floor. She smiled slightly at him, and led them towards her bedroom at the end of the main hall. Opening the door, she held it open for Max as he entered.

Max felt himself take a deep breath as he entered her room, immediately trying to take in his new surroundings. The room was plain with very little filling the small room. The walls were dirty white, probably stained from years of neglect and lack of washing. A queen-sized bed sat in the middle, up against the back wall with a tacky floral print bedspread lying upon it. An old dresser sat against the opposite wall, with a vast mirror on top. The only other noticeable item in the room was the small alarm clock that sat on the floor beside the bed.

Max wanted to cringe at the sight. Obviously Liz hadn’t had it easy and money was probably always tight. Guilt began to wash over him, mentally kicking himself for not being here, for not being able to care for Liz and her son.

“Tristan has offered to get a job repeatedly,” Liz said quietly as she shut the door. Liz smiled gently. “I always told him not to, and if he really wanted to help me he would work his hardest at school and become someone great.” Liz paused for a moment, before giving Max a sad look. “Maybe even a scientist. He’s such a smart kid. He’s a really great man, Max.”

“I wouldn’t expect anything else,” Max replied, “with a woman like you for a mother.” Liz blushed and just nodded slightly. It had been so long since she had heard genuine compliments.

“Liz, why are-”

“Be quiet, Max. It’s my turn to ask the questions.” Liz gave him another small smile, and Max melted. He just nodded. “What happened to Alex?”

Max sighed. He took a seat on Liz’s bed and she sat down beside him. He gave her a defeated look before asking, “Are you sure you’re okay? You seemed to not be doing so good after what you may have saw.”

“Max, stop stalling,” Liz replied “I’m fine.”

“Fine, fine.” Max stood up again, and started a slow pace back and forth across the room. “It was eight months, three weeks, and six days since you had left.” Max shrugged when Liz gave him a questioning look.

“Everyone was at odds with each other, especially Kyle and I. We couldn’t agree on anything, which almost got us killed.”

Liz’s jaw dropped. “What? What do you mean?”

“The Skins. They… well, it’s a long story. We destroyed their harvest and they tried to kill us. All in all, we’re alive and they’re not.” Liz blinked at Max’s brief description and decided to ask him about it later. They really had been apart for a long time. There was so much they didn’t know.

“Things had sort of settled after that mess though,” continued Max. “Isabel and Michael began separating themselves from the group, even from Maria and Alex. Maria blamed me for you leaving, and I think Alex did too but never really said anything about it. Kyle just kept trying to talk to me, and I let my stupid, stubborn mind take over and not listen. Maria was desperate to find you though. She and Alex had dinner with your parents once a week. I was banned from the Crashdown. Your dad blamed me too.”

“Oh, Max,” Liz whispered. “I’m so sorry. I just… I’m sorry.”

Max stopped pacing and stood in front of Liz. He kneeled before her and took her hands into his. “Don’t, Liz. This isn’t something you have to be sorry for. I don’t blame them for holding me responsible for what happened. Too much has happened to be sorry for all that’s occurred. We just need to look forward and remember the past, right?” He gave her a hopeful smile, and she returned it with one of her own.

“So are you going to finally tell me what happened?” Liz asked.

“Like I said, it over eight months since you had left. Maria wanted to find you, so she finally convinced Alex to do a search on the internet for you. Maybe you had kept your name wherever you had gone. Alex told her once to just let you go, and Maria didn’t talk to him for a week. I think Kyle was sort of just along for the ride. So they were all at Alex’s house, sitting around his computer doing research and possibly looking for any leads as to where you could have gone.”

Max stopped, and closed his for a moment. He’d never forget this. He could never forget this. Max tried to push away the threatening tears that were welling up behind his eyes, but he failed miserably. Looking up at Liz through glassy eyes, he resumed in a low voice.

“I didn’t know what they were doing until Isabel called me up in hysterics. She said I had to go to Alex’s house b-because something was happening. I didn’t listen to the rest. I just ran to my jeep and drove off. I knew something wasn’t right. I knew something was happening.” Max let one tear slip down his cheek. His eyes locked onto Liz’s, a deep aching expression crossing his face. “You know what I thought the whole way there? I kept thinking ‘Liz is going to hate me if I let something bad happen to them’. I kept thinking that you would completely hate me if anything happened to Maria, Alex and Kyle.”

Liz felt her heart catch her throat, knowing she didn’t want to hear the rest but had to. She weaved her fingers with his, and let her other hand stroke his head gently as he laid it in her lap. “Max, I couldn’t hate you even if I wanted to.”

Max let out a quiet sob, crushing her hand in his. “When I got there, Isabel and Michael were just kneeling dejectedly on the ground watching as Alex’s house was torn in flames. His whole house was on fire, his whole goddamn house. I could barely recognize his house when I saw it. I didn’t know what to do. I had no fucking clue.” Max paused, sniffling slightly. “I tried to stop the fire. I tried to put out the flames, but I was too late.”

“No…” Liz whispered, drawing a hand to her mouth. Max lifted his head, looking worriedly at her. “It was her, wasn’t it?” Max just sighed and nodded.

“She started the fire at each side of the house so it surrounded them. There was no way for them to get out.” Max pleaded with Liz’s eyes, staring at her intensely. “I didn’t know, Liz. I’m so sorry, I didn’t know.”

Liz swallowed harshly. “You didn’t know what?”

Max squeezed his eyes shut in the memory and horror. “That Tess was the enemy. That she killed them. She killed Maria, Alex and Kyle.” Max let out a deep breath. “And she killed Isabel.”

“No!” Liz screamed suddenly, ripping her body away from Max. She moved quickly off the bed, and began to move around the room. Her hands itched to do something, and she fought the incessant need to cry. She had been doing that too much tonight. She yanked opened one of her dresser drawers and began to take out all of her clothing just so she could fold them again and put them back in.

“Liz, please,” Max pleaded quietly as he stayed kneeling on the ground beside the edge of the bed.

Liz sniffled loudly, and in a detached tone, she asked, “What happened?”

“Liz, maybe we shouldn’t do this right now. We should talk about what happened to Al-”

“GOD DAMNIT, MAX! I ASKED WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?” Liz screamed at him, throwing an old, faded shirt at him. Her breath was coming out rapidly and her eyes were flaring with unrestrained anger. Max sighed and decided against fighting with her.

“There was a man named Khivar in our past life. He was the enemy that took our kingdom away and caused the downfall of the Royal Four. Vilandra, who was Isabel in her past life, had fallen in love with Khiver and betrayed her family for him. He’s been ruling on Antar, our planet, ever since. We found all this out when we destroyed the Skins. So when Alex, Maria and Kyle died, Tess told us that it was Khivar who had done it. That he had found out about us and was going to destroy us.” Max turned his body around so he was sitting down on the floor and leaning against the bed.

“Did you believe her?” Liz whispered with her back turned towards Max.

Max sighed and rubbed his face tiredly. “I want to say that she mindwarped us, but I’d be lying. Michael, Isabel and I were complete messes at that point. I had never seen Michael and Isabel that horrible. For days on end Michael would sit on his couch staring off into space, and Isabel would sleeping nonstop in her bed. I think she had dreams of Alex during then.” Max drew his knees closer to her body, placing his arms on top of them.

“When Tess put this idea into our minds that Khivar had been the one behind the fire and deaths, she said she had found a way to go to Antar a few weeks later. Michael jumped at the chance to avenge Maria’s death. I’m positive that the moment that those words left Tess’ mouth was the moment that Michael came to life again. Perhaps he wasn’t actually coming to life. He was lost without Maria, and he said he had to take revenge on whoever had taken her life.” Max shook his head. “I was so damn blind. I just followed Tess and Michael because I didn’t know what else to do, and Isabel followed me. I knew it didn’t matter to her either way. She lost her spirit the day Alex died.

“So we went. Tess, somehow, I don’t know how, found a way to use the granolith to take us back to Antar. We were fools thinking that we could just go walking onto a foreign planet and kill their ruler. The moment we even stepped onto Antar we were captured and thrown into prison.” Max’s face hardened with hatred. “All except for Tess.”

Liz gasped loudly. “She was working with Khivar,” Liz stated. Max nodded in confirmation.

“That bitch had tricked us, and we were too stupid to figure it out,” Max responded in an angry voice. “She had it all planned. She had had it planned well before Nascedo died. We get there and the three of us would be captured and executed the next day.” Max looked upward, a sad expression passing his face now. “Isabel didn’t cry. For the first time since Alex, Maria and Kyle’s death, she’s didn’t cry. She just accepted that she was going to die. I think she even welcomed it.” He settled his gaze on Liz’s head, a teary glaze over his eyes. “You know what she said to me? She told me she didn’t blame me. She told me that this wasn’t my fault. She told me that she hoped I could die in peace like she was going to.” Max’s voice shook and he stopped talking for a moment, gathering himself again. Max dropped his head down, hiding his teary face.

Liz turned around, taking a deep breath when she saw Max’s crushed appearance. She slowly made her towards him and lowered herself onto the floor, sitting next to him. She put one arm around his shoulders, and gave him a supportive smile when he looked up at her. He smiled softly back at her.

“I think Michael was more angry than anything else. Not about being executed, but about never getting to kill Tess. He was mad that he would never get to kill the person who took Maria away from him.

“The next day they chained us up in front of everyone, the entire population of Antar. It was a public execution with Tess and Khivar as our executors. They were going to do it one by one, and as slowly as possible.” Max choked back an oncoming sob. “T-Tess… put a hand on Isabel’s stomach.” Max shook his head again, trying to shake his sadness. “Her eyes were wide, and staring at me. Her mouth was open but it was like she was in too much pain to make a sound. She burned her from the inside out.” Max let out a quiet moan, reliving the whole ordeal in his mind. “I watched her kill my sister. I watched Tess burn her, and I couldn’t do a damn thing to save her.”

Max suddenly turned and leaned into Liz, falling into her arms. Liz, surprised at first, automatically wrapped her arms around him and rubbed his back in comfort. He was breaking down, and Max was scared. He had stayed strong and stable since that moment, knowing he had a duty to fulfill, but now it was different. The war was over, his sister and all of his friends were dead. The wall he had built was too flimsy to last much longer.

“Michael… he was just as horrified as I was. He started to struggle then. He didn’t want to have the same fate, and he told me later that he didn’t want to watch me fall to the same fate as well.” Max covered his mouth, muffling whatever weeping sounds were forcing their way out.

“There was a rebellion group on the planet. They hated Khivar almost as much as Michael and I did at that very moment. They came too late for Isabel, but saved Michael and I. They… set fire to the platform we were standing on, using that as distraction to get Khivar and his men away from us and still be able to unchain us. We fled after that. We never stayed anywhere long enough for any of Khivar’s men to sniff us out.” Max wrapped his strong arms around Liz’s small waist, drawing strength from her presence.

“We were so naïve when we were kids, Liz. So, so naïve. We never actually thought about fighting a war, but god… when Michael and I had to keep running, keep training, keep pushing our emotions out of the equation, it was suffocating. Michael was worse than I was though. He pushed himself to the brink, and then some. I knew that the number one concern for him was finding Tess and killing her, not only for Maria now but for Isabel too.” Max sniffled slightly.

“There was this one time that we had just moved to a new site. It was deep into the night, and I couldn’t sleep. We had to kill a handful of Khivar’s men from the last site because they were right on our trail.” Max paused and looked up at Liz for a moment, smiling. “If there was one thing I could have liked about Antar was the way the sky lit up at night. It is so different from Earth. You could even call it beautiful if it weren’t for the war being waged on the planet.” Max brought his head back down, bringing Liz close to him.

“I was sitting outside, watching the stars above us, trying to see if we could find Earth or maybe a star that you could have seen from Earth. Michael sat down beside me, not saying a word. We had some moments like that, where we just sat together. We didn’t have to say anything, we just reveled in the satisfaction of us just being alive. He eventually turned to me though, and asked, ‘What are you going to do when this is all over, Max?’ I didn’t know what to say. I wasn’t even sure if it was ever going to end. After listening to my silence for a few minutes, Michael tilted his head and had the first smile I had seen on his face since Maria died. He said to me, ‘When this is done, I’m going to her, Max. I’m going to take her in my arms and I’m going to tell her I love her. I’m going to tell her I’ll never leave her again.’”

Max took a deep breath, trying to slow the emotions that were hitting him rapidly. He felt Liz give a shake, and realized that she herself was crying. He straightened his back, and took her face into his hands. With the pads of his thumb he wiped away the streaks of tears on her cheek. She smiled gratefully at him, and suddenly leaned in, grazing his lips with hers. A grin graced Max’s lips when she pulled away, his eyes closed shut and savoring the pleasure to the very last second.

“Thank you,” he whispered to her.

“I think I needed that as much as you did,” Liz replied, leaning her forehead against his. He nodded, giving her another light kiss.

“What happened afterwards, Max?” Liz asked softly.

Max sighed. “Fifteen years later, we finally thought we were ready to find Khivar and Tess. Fifteen years. The rebellion kept telling us we weren’t ready, that Khivar was too strong, but Michael and I were sick of waiting. We were sick of moving every second day on a planet we didn’t even know with people who knew nothing about us. So Michael and I went with a few guys from the rebellion.”

“What?” Liz asked incredulously. “You just walked right to Khivar’s place and told him you were going to kill him?” Max shrugged.

“Basically. We charged Khivar’s palace, and stirred up as much hell as we could. Guards swarmed us instantly, but we were far too trained for them to get near us. Michael and I let our emotions seep out, knowing our anger would give us the extra force we needed to defeat Khivar.” Max’s eyes hardened. “Tess came out of some room. She was definitely surprised by our attack, and the moment Michael saw her, he shot at her. She died instantly. It was almost too easy, and I stared at Tess’ suddenly lifeless body.

“I was so taken aback by Tess’ quick death that I didn’t even notice Khivar coming out. He shot at me immediately, and Michael lunged in front of me. He took the hit for me, and fell to the ground. I just remember watching it as if it were in slow motion. Khivar shooting at me at out of the corner of my eye, and Michael leaping swiftly in front of me.” Max bit his lip, shaking his head.

“He stared up at me, wide-eyed, as if he was just as surprised. I held out my shield, making sure Khivar couldn’t take any more hits. I just dropped to my knees then, shaking my head. My last friend was going to die. The last person. But he was like Isabel. He was accepting his fate. I think he was smiling, and he whispered to me, ‘Is she really dead?’ I told him, ‘Yeah, Michael, you did it. You killed her.’ Michael grinned, saying to me, ‘Cool.’ He groaned suddenly, and touched the part where Khivar had hit him. He wheezed a bit, and grabbed my shirt. I was already about to lose it by then, I couldn’t handle it. Michael was clutching my shirt, and looked right in my eyes, telling me with a huge smile, ‘I told you I was going to go to her. I’m going to tell her I love her, Max. I’ll tell them you say hi. I’ll tell Isabel you love her.’ His grip on my shirt loosened, and all sane thoughts left my head. I put my one hand on his chest, but he hit it away. He told me not to heal him, he didn’t want to be healed. He was dying, and we both knew it. I told him I loved him. I told him he was my brother.” Max’s face was wet with tears again, and Liz was equally emotional. Max brought his hand up to Liz’s face again, and cupped the side of it in his palm.

“Just before he died he told me, ‘Go find her, Max. Go find her and tell her that you love her. Never leave her, Max. Life is too short.’” Max shook his head, a weeping sound strangling in his throat. He dropped his eyes to the ground beneath them and said in a quiet whisper, “I love you, Liz. I won’t ever leave you if you don’t want me to.”

Liz lost all control of her emotions, too caught up and affected by his story, and she wrapped her arms tightly around Max’s neck, drawing him close to her. She began to sob against his body, and felt his arms wrap around her, pulling her just as close. “Max, I’m so sorry. I’m so, so sorry.” Liz buried her head into the side of his neck. “I love you.”

Max let out a deep breath, smothering himself with Liz’s luscious scent and took every last bit of pleasure in the warmth her body created against his. “No, I’m sorry, Liz. This is a lot for you to take in.”

Liz pulled her head away from his neck and looked at him affectionately. She kissed him again, her lips heating up against his soft lips. A hot chill sent shocks through her body as he returned the kiss, and she ran her hands up and down his back, his muscles tensing with fire at her sizzling touch. Liz began to grab the hem of his shirt and lift it up, but Max stopped her, mumbling through her lips.

“Liz,” Max said between heavy breaths. He smiled at her when she looked at him with wide curiosity. “I love you, but… we can’t do this. Not right now. I think you need time to digest this.”

Liz exhaled noisily, and pulled away slightly. She nodded and bit her lip hesitantly. “Right. Digest this. You’re right.”

Max agreed, although his whole body screamed at him in disagreement. This wasn’t about him and his needs. It was about Liz. It would always be about Liz from this point on. Max untangled himself from Liz, and pulled away tentatively. He gave her a light kiss on her forehead, and told her, “Maybe I should let you have some time alone.”

Liz smiled appreciatively, before replying, “Yeah, just give me a few moments. You’re right, I need to digest this.” Max nodded and stood up, making his way towards the bedroom door.

“Do you want anything? I can get you something from your kitchen.”

Liz’s eyes were already furrowed, only half paying attention to what Max was saying. “Yeah, yeah, sure. Water would be a great.” Max nodded again and opened the door to exit.

“Max?” Liz asked before he left.

“Yeah?”

“Did you kill him?”

“Yeah.” A small, sad smile appeared on Max’s face. “Yeah, I did.”

“I’m glad you did. He deserved to die.”

“Yeah, he did.”

Max stepped out of the room, shutting the door behind him. She deserved some time to herself. He had unloaded a lot of information onto her. He was feeling emotionally drained from having to relive his nightmares, he couldn’t image what she was experiencing.

Max quickly wiped away neglected tears, and straightened his back. He was going to be strong for Liz no matter what. In all reality, the hope of her letting him back into her heart was all he had left. He loved her, and he had always loved her. He wanted nothing to do with aliens or other planets. He didn’t want to be known as the King or be in charge and at fault for the many deaths around him. No, he just wanted to be Max Evans. The lover of Liz Parker. He sucked at being an alien. He excelled at loving Liz Parker, even if it took the rest of his life to prove it.

Max took his steady steps towards the kitchen until he realized that someone was in there already. Peeking his head in, he saw that Tristan was making a sandwich for himself. Tristan looked up at the sight of Max, and immediately dropped his head back down to where he was making a sandwich, effectively ignoring him. Max stood awkwardly at the entrance of the kitchen.

“I’m, uh… getting some water for your mom,” Max said quietly.

“That’s nice,” Tristan replied coldly as he pulled a loaf of bread out of a bag.

Max stood at the entrance for a few moments longer, feeling like a clumsy teenager again. He sighed and took a few steps into the kitchen, just looking hopelessly at the cupboards that surrounded him.

“I’ll kill you if you hurt her,” Tristan said suddenly with a cruel tone in his voice. He dropped his knife loudly into the loaf bread, and then raised an eyebrow, making sure Max got his point.

“I’d kill myself if I hurt her,” Max replied. He wanted to smirk at Tristan’s attempt to scare him, but decided it probably would have hurt his feelings.

The kitchen stayed silent for a few moments as Max fumbled around trying to find where they kept the glasses. It was an extra long process considering that Tristan was less than willing to help him. When he finally found the correct cupboard with all the glasses in it, Tristan spoke up.

“Mom likes bottled water.”

“What?” Max asked dumbly.

“Bottled water,” Tristan replied in an irritated voice. “You know? Water that comes in a bottle?” He pointed to a box in the corner. “In there. There are a couple of bottles.”

“Oh, thanks,” Max responded quietly. He walked over to the box and just as he was bending down to reach in and grab a bottle, he heard Tristan speak up again.

“Who are you really?”

Max stood up and gave Tristan a questioning look. Tristan leaned against the counter, bringing his ham sandwich to his mouth and taking a bite. He lifted one eyebrow as he examined Max, continuing, “Mom. Not once in my whole damn life has she ever brought a guy home. She doesn’t even have any friends. She hates the club and she hates the men that go there. I would never let her work there again if she hadn’t made me promise her I would focus on my school rather than working.” Tristan took a pensive pause. “But here you come, all of a sudden, and my mom is throwing herself at you. So tell me, who are you really?”

Max stiffened, unsure of how to answer his question. He wanted to honest with Tristan, he was Liz’s son, but Max wasn’t sure how much he needed to tell him. “I’m just an old friend of-”

“Don’t feed me bullshit,” Tristan retorted. “I saw the expressions on her face. I saw the… love she has for you. I’m not happy with it, but I can’t control her feelings. She’s aching inside, Max. She cries at night, you know. I can hear her, even though she thinks I’m sleeping.” Tristan sighed, throwing his half eaten sandwich on the counter behind him. “After seventeen fucking years, my mother is still crying. Crying over what happened to her, crying over that asshole. I know what he did to her. I know what that son of a bitch did to her. My father.” Tristan let out laugh that sounded more like a bark. “Father, my ass. Who the fuck rapes a seventeen year old girl and leaves her lying in a back alley?” Tristan growled with anger, his red eyes flashing at Max. “So who the hell are you? Why the hell should I trust you to not hurt my mom?”

Max took another step forward, about to reach forward and touch Tristan but decided against it. “You have no reason to trust me, Tristan. None at all. You don’t know me, and you’re free to hate me all you want, but I want you to know that I love your mother. I love her. You asked me who I am really. Well, I’m someone who knew your mother a long time ago, and I’m here to make amends. A lot of time has passed since we last saw each other, and we’ve both made a lot of mistakes in our lives, but we’re both just… people. And people make mistakes and have rough times. That’s life. It’s what we do after these mistakes and how we handle our problems that shapes up as a person.”

“You love her,” Tristan whispered, more to himself than anyone else. He looked up at Max, a less defensive appearance adorning his face. “Why are you showing up now?”

Max rubbed his forehead, trying to relieve the stress that had built up in his head. “It’s a long story, but I’m here, and I think that’s all that matters.” Max paused for a moment. “You said she hates working at the club. Why does she work there then?”

Tristan sighed, and slightly shrugged his shoulders. “She says she makes good money, and it pays the bills. I wish she would stop though. I know how much she hates it, but she never listens to me when I tell her to quit. I think she feels like she owes Greg something, the owner.” Max raised his eyebrow in question, and Tristan shrugged his shoulders again. “Apparently Greg took mom in when she was pregnant with me and helped her onto her feet.” Max makes an “oh” sound and stays silent for a moment.

“Did you know Alex, Kyle and Maria?” Tristan asked suddenly. Max smiled, and nodded.

“Yeah, I did. They were great people.” Tristan nodded. “Your mom told you about them?”

“Yeah,” Tristan replied. “She said she knew them a long time ago. She said they were her best friends.” Tristan paused. “She said she wishes I’ll have friends like them someday.”

“I hope you do too,” Max told him.

Tristan nodded silently, and didn’t say anything else. Max stood there for a moment before deciding to make his way back to Liz. He gave Tristan a small grin before proceeding to walk out of the kitchen when he heard the words that made his heart break all over again.

“Please don’t take her away from me,” Tristan pleaded quietly. Max stopped immediately, and turned slowly to look at him. Tristan’s head was bent down and he was avoiding Max’s gaze.

“I don’t want to take anything from you, Tristan, especially your mom. She’ll always be your mom, and you can’t change that. She loves you.” Max stared at Tristan’s head. “If it’s okay with you, I just want to share her. We have the power to make her the happiest woman in the world. I’m willing to go the distance if you are.”

Tristan turned his head slightly, hesitantly looking at Max but only finding a genuine expression. Tristan let out a heavy breath. “I love her. I’ll do anything for her. She’s all I got.”

Max smiled, and nodded in understanding. “I know what you mean.” He raised an eyebrow and held out his hand to Tristan. “Friends?”

Tristan eyed Max’s hand cautiously. He didn’t want to acknowledge it, but he knew that Max wasn’t going to go away. Max was going to become a large part of Liz’s, and eventually his, life. He wasn’t sure whether he was happy with this or not, but knew he had no choice left to make.

Tristan gripped Max’s hand firmly, and shook it.

“Friends.”

posted on 23-Jul-2002 2:57:57 AM
Part 6

“You all right?” Max asked as he peeked inside of Liz’s bedroom.

Liz stood with her back towards the door, so when she heard Max’s voice it spooked her slightly. She gave him a small smile, and nodded. Her arms were crossed over her chest, and she was biting her lip in thought.

“I never meant for it to happen this way,” Liz told him quietly. “Things were supposed to be changed for the better. The world wasn’t going to end, Tess would become an important part of the four square and everyone would be able to live their lives.”

“Without you?” Max asked just as quietly. He set down the bottle of water on her dresser, and stepped closer to her. “Because if that’s what you mean, it wouldn’t have been possible. We all needed you, Liz, not just me.”

“No one was supposed to die, Max.” Liz shook her head. “That’s not why I changed the future.” Liz paused for a moment, cocking her head to the side. “I wonder what Michael and Maria’s kids would have looked like.”

“Liz,” Max choked out. He stepped forward again, placing a hand on her elbow. “Don’t do this. This wasn’t your fault. What happened has happened.” Max took the last step towards her, and wrapped his arms around the warmth of her body. “All we have now is the future, and that’s what we need to focus on. You learn from your mistakes and you move on.”

Liz was barely listening to him though, playing different scenarios out in her mind. This was her fault. In the other lifetime, everyone was alive. At least they got to be happy for a little awhile. Max and her got married, and their friends lived their lives happily alongside them. Instead, she had to change the future so everyone died. This was her fault. This was all her goddamn fault.

“…Liz? Are you listening to me?” Max shook Liz gently, and turned her around in his arms so she faced him. “Please, don’t do this. If all this hadn’t have happened, you wouldn’t have Tristan.”

“I love Tristan,” Liz murmured somewhat distantly. “He’s my whole life.”

“I know,” replied Max with a smile on his face. He cupped Liz’s face with his hands, staring her straight in the eye. “See? There’s a silver lining to every cloud.” Max leaned forward and brushed his lips against her sweet ones.

With her eyes still closed, she murmured softly, “Are you sure I only have one silver lining?” She was the one to lean in this time, capturing his lips between hers and in turn, lacing their souls together once again.

Max pulled away reluctantly. He smiled at Liz adoringly when she stared at him with a confused expression. He ran his hand through her hair, its velvet touch soft against his skin. “There’s so much more we need to talk about.”

Liz sighed softly, lowering her head against Max’s broad chest. “I’m sick of talking.” She felt Max’s chest rumble slightly as he gave a chuckle. He pulled back slightly, and looked down at her angelic face.

“Tell me more about you,” Max told her softly before pressing his lips softly against her forehead.

“About me? What’s there to know about me?” Liz asked in a confused manner.

“There’s a lot to know about you,” replied Max.

“Like what?”

“Like you’re the most beautiful woman in the world. Nay, the universe, and this I have proof of.”

“Max Evans, are you trying to flatter me?”

“If I was, would it be working?”

“You bet your alien bottom it is.”

“Well then,” Max murmured into her ear, “I’ll remember that for later.”

Liz smiled, her cheeks turning a slight red colour. She could not believe the effect Max still had on her body, being able to make her heart pound implausibly at just the sound of his voice. She could feel his hands roaming her body, his fingers tangling in her hair, and she felt electric bolts coursing through her veins already.

Max sat down on the bed behind him, pulling Liz onto his lap and curling his arms tightly around her. He couldn’t wipe the giddy, childish grin on his face when she tucked her head against his neck. Thinking soon became difficult for him as her warm breathing against his neck was making large waves of heat roll through his body. God, what this woman could do to him!

“Greg was the one who found me,” Liz told him quietly.

“What?” Max asked distractedly. Being this close to Liz was doing things to his body that he thought he would never feel again.

“Greg. He’s the owner of the strip club. After…” Liz paused. “After I was raped, Greg was the one who found me in the alley. He called an ambulance and everything, and he even came with me to hospital.” Liz unwrapped one of Max’s arms from her waist, seeking the warmth and strength of his hand in hers.

“I was so broke,” Liz continued. “I don’t know why I thought I could leave Roswell with next to nothing. I couldn’t pay for hospital bills, I couldn’t pay for an apartment. Hell, I couldn’t even pay for dinner, much less pay for a baby.

“Greg was my saviour. He held my hand the whole time. He was a random stranger who helped a no name seventeen year old who was raped and pregnant. He didn’t have to do anything. He could have even just left me lying there. But he didn’t. He took my baby and I in, and helped us live a decent life. I owe him everything.”

“Is that why you won’t leave the club?” Max asked quietly. He brought her hand up to his lips and kissed it tenderly.

“Greg is the sweetest man,” Liz continued. “He’s always taken care of Tristan and I. I know Tristan isn’t fond of him because I still work for Greg at the club, but Greg is getting older. He needs help doing things.” Liz laid her head down on Max’s shoulder. “Greg isn’t some sick, perverted guy that you would expect him to be. His dad owned the club, and Greg promised to take care of it. He’s got a wife, who’s even sweeter than Greg. They need help doing things. He can’t manage the club by himself anymore.”

“What about everything you planned on doing though?” Max persisted. “What about going to Harvard, and becoming a molecular biologist? Getting married one day, and having a white picket fence? You can still do that, Liz. I respect what you’re saying, but what about you and what you want?”

Liz gave Max an appreciative smile, but shook her head gently. “No. From the moment that… beast raped me, it was never just about me. Tristan has always come first and foremost. I need this money. I need it so I can give Tristan a life he deserves. I know he deserves more than we have, but I can’t quit now. I want Tristan to be able to do anything he wants, absolutely anything. He’s so focused on his studies…” Liz sighed. “When Harvard comes knocking on his door, I want to be able to send him there.”

Max took her face in his hand and stared her straight in the eyes. “You can do that without having to work for Greg, despite how wonderful it was that he took you in.”

Liz shook her head and peeled herself off of Max. She stood off to the side, her arms crossed, and she added quietly, “You just don’t understand, Max.”

“Then help me understand, Liz!” Max replied a bit hotly. “I can’t figure out the reason why an intelligent, beautiful, amazing woman like you would choose to work in a strip joint?”

“You really think I chose to spend my life stripping for strangers?” Liz asked him angrily. She could feel her blood starting to rise in temperature, angry that Max would throw this in her face. “To be made to appear as a slut in front of my friends, my family, my own son? You think I chose to be that?”

“Well, if you didn’t, then who the hell is making decisions for you?” Max yelled back. “It seems to me that you’re a perfectly adult woman who can make decisions for herself! No one is making you look like a slut other than yourself!

“Don’t you throw accusations at me, Max!” Liz yelled back heatedly. She huffed irately before continuing in a low, growling voice. “If you want to talk about choices, fine! I do believe it was you who decided to trust Tess when she came to Roswell and ruined our lives. It was you who kissed her that one night. It was you who had to fulfill some bullshit destiny with her!” Liz narrowed her eyes at him. “It was you who lead Tess to kill all of our friends.”

Silence swept the room instantaneously with the exception of their heavy breaths circulating the room. Max stared at Liz with a surprised expression before anguish swept his face, and he turned away from her. Liz was just as shocked with herself, unbelieving that she had actually said that to him. Her mouth hung open slightly, staring at him as regret consumed her. Max shook his head, and stood up from his seat on the bed without looking at Liz. He walked towards the door and swung it open, making his way out of the room. He slammed the door shut, and its deafening noise arose Liz from her motionless shock.

“MAX!” Liz called urgently. She quickly followed Max’s action, trying to reach him before he left her forever.

“Max, please! I’m sorry. I didn’t mean that! You know I didn’t!”

Max stood with his hand on the doorknob of the front entrance door. His back was towards Liz, and she gazed at the muscles that were tightening in his back from tension. All she could hear in that moment was Max’s heavy breathing, watching as Max’s mind was combating with himself to stay or leave.

“Max…” Liz repeated softly. She stepped towards him, laying a petite hand on his stiff shoulder. “I’m sorry. I know it wasn’t your fault. It was hers, Max. It was always hers. I was just frustrated and said that without thinking. I’m sorry.”

Max stared at the tall door in front of him, trying to wrap his mind around the whirl of emotions inside of him. He knew the moment that she said it that she didn’t mean it. It was a defense mechanism for her, shifting blaming attention from her to him. Nevertheless, it hurt him. It was a place he didn’t ever want to go, reliving the mistakes of his past. There was some truth to what she had said. It was partly his fault for giving Tess the chance to murder his friends and his sister.

Max shook his head. That was the past. This is now.

“Liz, I’m not going to play this game anymore,” Max told her in a quiet voice. “Either you tell me what the hell is going on right now, or I walk out this door.”

Liz unconsciously let out a small yelp, and she moved closer to him as if to make sure he didn’t leave her. “I’ll tell you anything, Max,” she cried. “Just don’t leave. Please don’t leave.”

“Why won’t you quit your job?”

Liz closed her eyes, and leaned in against Max, brushing her body up against his firm back. She wrapped her small arms around his narrow waist, despite his hand still gripping the doorknob. She laid her cheek against the back of his shoulder, rubbing it warmly against his sweetly scented shirt.

“Greg’s an older man and the club means a lot to him. His wife has had ovarian cancer for four years now, and he’s afraid that one day soon she’s going to die, leaving him all alone. He wants to make sure he can spend every moment he can with her. I take care of the place whenever he can’t.” Liz sighed heavily.

“He said he wants me to take over the club when he retires. Greg says he doesn’t trust anyone with something as important as the club his father gave him. I made a promise to him to take care of the club should the day arise that he doesn’t or can’t take care of the club.” Liz brushed her lips against his shoulder, kissing it delicately. “I don’t break promises, especially to someone as important as Greg.” Liz paused for a moment. “They’re like the parents I couldn’t have after I left Roswell, Max. I couldn’t refuse Greg even if I wanted to.”

Max’s hand dropped from the doorknob, unable to keep his frustration with Liz when she had bared her heart so nakedly to him. He turned around, surprising Liz as she jumped slightly. He suddenly swept her swiftly into his powerful arms with a lover’s embrace, pressing his eager lips against her delicious ones. Liz stumbled, startled, and soon Max had her securely backed up against the nearest wall. His hands fumbled around her waist as her arms came around his neck, both of them pulling the other closer to them.

“I am so in love with you,” Max mumbled against her lips. His hand sauntered to her hair, her soft strands curling around his calloused fingers. “Your heart is so beautiful.”

Liz moaned helplessly as she opened her mouth slightly, letting Max’s gloriously ravish her. She was sure that Max was saying more to her, but her hearing that tuned out at the sensations his body was causing her. She wanted more of him. No, she needed more of him, all of him. She would always need all of him.

“… And I’m not saying-” Max pulled his murmuring lips away from hers reluctantly, creating a path of tender kisses down her chin and further down to her neck. “-That I agree with this-” Max placed both of his hands on the curve of her waist, drawing her close to him. “-Stripping thing, we’ll have to work that out-”

“Later!” Liz practically moaned aloud. “We’ll work that out later.” Max ceased his motions, glancing up at her and letting a tiny grin sweep his face. He affectionately tucked a stray strand of hair behind her ear, leaning in and kissing her cheek in a boyish manner. Liz felt a shiver as waves of intimacy rolled over her suddenly, a feeling she hadn’t experience in much too long.

“I need you, Max Evans,” Liz sighed. She gazed at him intently, before gently pushing herself away from the wall and taking him hand in hers. She quietly lead him back to the doorframe of her bedroom before she draped her arms around his neck again. Whispering quietly into his chest, she told him, “I love you, Max Evans, and I need you to love me.”

Max stood silently, staring deeply into the chocolate brown eyes that were looking back at him with intense passion. “Promise me one thing, Liz.”

“Anything.”

“Promise me that the next time you feel the urge to runaway, you won’t just take my heart with you.”

“Never, Max. I’ll never take just your heart when I can worship all of you for the rest of my life.” With that, Liz pulled Max into her bedroom and shut the door behind them, with only quiet whimpers of affection sounding beyond.

posted on 23-Jul-2002 2:58:58 AM
Epilogue

“Mom! Stop that.”

Liz just glared at Tristan before she continued to adjust his tie. Tristan rolled his eyes. He was no longer a teenager, yet his mother could not stop treating him like one. He was grown man now, with an apartment of his own and he even had a girlfriend. He did his own laundry, cooked his own dinner, and cleaned his own room. He was even first in his class, and was well on his way to a successful career in law.

Liz let out a loud sniffle. “My baby is all grown up!” Her wail was noisy and she collapsed dramatically into Tristan’s arms. “First you leave me all alone, go to Harvard and now you’ve got a serious girlfriend.” Liz’s eyes widened in horror. “You’re going to elope, aren’t you? You’re going to elope and not tell me! Tristan Alexander Parker, don’t you dare think that you can get married in Las Vegas without letting me know! Oh god. You’ve done it already, haven’t you? Oh dear lord! My baby is married!”

“Mom!” Tristan yelled. He gripped the sides of her face between his hands, and forced her to look right into his eyes. “You’re losing it, mom. I am not married, I did not elope and I’m not even considering proposing marriage to Lisa!” Tristan dropped his hands and threw them up in the air in frustration. “Get a grip, mom!”

Liz looked at Tristan with a confused, pondering expression before her eyebrows narrowed and she gave Tristan a hearty fierce look. “Is she pregnant? I thought I showed you how to use condoms when you were a teenager. Tristan, she may say she’s on the pill but-”

“MOM!”

Tristan growled in frustration, and shook his head profusely. Sometimes he was positive his mother belonged in an insane asylum. He absolutely did not under any circumstances want to talk to his mother about his sex life. He wasn’t dense. He knew that his mother and Max had had sex, but that was their business, as it was just his and Lisa’s business whether they engaged in… sexual situations.

Tristan rubbed his temple. He knew his mom was happier now than she had ever been, but sometimes she was just too much. Max and her had quickly evolved their relationship after his first appearance in Tristan and Liz’s life. Max moved into their apartment that very weekend, and soon life was nothing what Tristan had remembered it to be. He immediately noticed the extra bounce in his mother’s step, and the permanent grin that was plastered on Max’s goofy face. It made him want to smile and puke all at the same time.

“Lets go, Mom. Our seats are getting cold without us.” Tristan took his mother’s hand in his own and led them towards the rows and rows of audience seats reserved for friends and family of the graduates. Pointing to a pair of seats near the front, they squeezed past a few people so they could sit down. A few rows ahead, a nervous Max Evans fidgeted in his seats.

The long speeches bored Liz endlessly. Instead of listening to the hopeful words for the graduates, she focused on the back of Max’s head, watching, as his hands would refuse to settle. She giggled slightly at the sight, but hushed again when Tristan gave her a perturbed glance. She just shrugged and turned back towards Max’s head, only to find him staring back at her with a slightly shy grin. She giggled again, but quietly this time, and waved to him. Max waved back and blew her a kiss before trying to focus on the endless string of speakers.

It was a long wait but Liz eventually heard the name of her lover, a beam of pride for him enveloping her whole body until it glowed from the inside out. She whispered the name over again to herself.

“Max Evans.”

Liz tried to hold back the tears that were threatening her eyes as she watched him cross the stage with a proud stance. Surely, he was one of the oldest students in his class but she was nonetheless proud. She had watched as he slaved away at homework, trying to prove to her, to the world, and to himself that he could do this. And here he was, earning his degree in English so he could advance to the world of teaching.

Liz clapped proudly for him, unable to minimize the wide, shimmering smile that spread across her teary face. They had come so far. Not just from the day he reentered her life, but from the day he laid his hand upon her stomach to heal her and completely rearrange her destiny.

Troubles had been nothing but around the corner for the two of them throughout their lives, but here they were, still standing and desperately in love with each other. Their lives had never been chocolate and roses since Max’s reappearance, especially with Max’s obvious distaste for Liz’s career. Liz became so frustrated with Max that he had more than once spent his nights on the living room couch, no doubt just as frustrated.

Their problems soon subsided when Greg’s wife, Helen, had died suddenly, with Greg following the following spring. Much to Liz’s surprise, Greg had left everything he owned to her, including the club and a large sum of money he had saved over the years. Liz had been more than appreciative, knowing that Greg and his wife had truly thought of her as the daughter they had never had. Without Greg around to keep the business going, she was confused as to what to do.

~“He left you how much?” Max asked, stunned. He watched as Liz slowly pealed off her stockings, just coming back from a meeting with Greg’s lawyer.

“Eight hundred, fifty thousand dollars,” Liz replied halfheartedly. Max whistled loudly.

“That’s a lot of cash, Liz.”

“Don’t you think I know that?” Liz snapped, throwing her coat onto their bed. Max stood up from his seat on the bed and immediately walked over to Liz, wrapping his arms around her. Liz sniffled loudly against his chest, trying desperately not to let a tear slip.

“He left me all of this… money, Max,” Liz told him in a frustrated voice. “What the hell am I supposed to do with it? I don’t deserve his money, the money he strived his whole life to make! It’s his money! It’s his club! It’s his life!” Liz buried her face into Max’s shoulder and let out an angry yell. She didn’t care if she was being irrational. Greg shouldn’t have died on her, it wasn’t fair.

“Hey, hey,” Max soothed softly. “It’s going to be all right, babe.” He kissed her head softly, and rubbed circles on her back. “He loved you, Liz. He just wanted you to have everything because he knew you’d appreciate it. Because he wanted you to have a part of him.”

Liz sighed loudly, holding onto Max tightly. Greg was like her very own father. It was terrifying to even think about his death, but now that it had actually happened, it was suffocating. What was she supposed to do without someone to dote on her like a father? And what was she supposed to do with a strip club? The only reason she had continued to work there was because of Greg. What now?

“Liz, you do whatever you want to do with the club and the money. If you want to keep the club and manage it, then do it. If you want to sell it, then do it. It’s yours now, and it’s your choice.”

*****

“Wow, mom! This looks great!”

Liz smiled gratefully at her son as she smoothed out her dress. It had taken time, money and hard work to get here, but this was finally it. The day she had been waiting for months. The opening of the newly renovated club, the smoky essence of a strip joint now replaced with the bright lights of a nightclub. Liz couldn’t help but grin when she glanced around the room, people stretched from wall to wall, drinking, chatting and dancing.

Liz had to take out a small loan to pay for the extra costs that the complete renewal and restoration had cost her. She didn’t mind though, because from the looks of it, the money would not be a problem to make back.

“Greg would have really loved this, mom,” Tristan told Liz, whispering into her ear. She softened at his words, her eyes beginning to water at the mention of Greg. During the whole process of the club’s renovation, she swore she could feel Greg’s approving presence around her.

“Come on, mom,” Tristan yelled to her over the loud crowd. “I want to dance with the most beautiful woman here!” He grabbed her hand and Liz happily followed him. She paused for a moment though, and looked behind her at the large wall behind the bar. A small, yet beautiful portrait of Greg and Helen dreamily staring into each other’s eyes hung on the wall, and Liz stared at it for a moment before blowing it a kiss. Wherever Greg was right now, Liz hoped he knew what he had done to her and for her, and just how much she loved him.

“Lets go, handsome,” Liz yelled as she turned back towards Tristan. “Teach this old lady some dance moves!”~


“Mom? Mom!”

Liz blinked and then turned towards Tristan, who had a weird expression on his face.

“Mom, you totally blanked out there. The ceremony is over. Max is probably waiting for us outside.” Tristan stood up and pulled Liz up beside him, leading the both of them outside of the auditorium. Liz squinted her eyes the moment she walked outside, the sudden sun temporarily blinding her.

“There!” Liz exclaimed a bit too loudly. “There he is!” Liz pointed over to Max’s lone body, obviously searching for Liz. Her heart began to thud quickly as it always did when she was near him, and she saw him spot her, beginning to make his way quickly towards her.

Tristan checked his watch eagerly, wanting to avoid what was sure to be a public display of affection between his mom and Max. “I’ve got to go pick up Lisa from work,” Tristan told Liz. “I’ll meet you at supper.” Liz just nodded distantly, and started to make her way to the most handsome man to grace her life, other than her son of course.

Max wrapped his arms around her small body and lifted her up, spinning her around in an excited circle. Liz let out a surprised squeal, her arms quickly encircling his neck to prevent a fall. Max slowly lowered her until her lips were even with his, and he leaned in, giving her a sensual, intimate kiss. Her lips were warm against his, and he was sure he could devour her completely right there and then. She was so beautiful to him, inside and out.

“I’m so proud of you,” Liz mumbled against his lips. He just nodded as he continued to ravish her with his lips. Not even the murmuring people that passed them distracted him as his hand became tangled in her luxurious hair.

Maaaax…” Liz whined quietly. “Not here.” She pushed him back lightly and ran a hand through her hair, trying to straighten out the mess.

“Sorry,” Max replied with little emotion, knowing he could never be sorry for ravishing his beauty. He took her hand in his, and began to take a walk. “Walk with me, talk with me.” Liz giggled and leaned in against him, sighing happily as the soft fabric of his robe brushed her arm.

The couple strolled silently around the grounds of the university, hand in hand. The calm sun peeked high above behind a few clouds, making the air warm without it’s overwhelming heat. Max soon slipped his arm around Liz’s shoulder, pulling her body closer to him, wanting her to be as close to him as she physically could be without him ripping her clothes off.

“Here,” Max said softly as he pointed towards a secluded, towering water fountain. “Lets sit. I want to talk to you.”

Liz nodded and took a seat on the bench that surrounded the spouting water fountain, pulling Max down beside her. He grinned at her, unable to keep his hands way from her. He tucked a stand of hair behind her ear and laid a soft kiss on her cheek. Liz blushed slightly and smiled gently back at him.

“I love you,” Max whispered to her, his eyes greedily staring into her calm ones. “I love you so much.”

“I love you too, Max,” Liz replied, taking his hand into hers and placing it on her lap.

“I’ve always loved you, Liz Parker. I’ve known since the very first day that you were the one for me. The one and only. I always told you that we make our own destinies. I was supposed to be some king on a faraway planet, but that’s not my destiny. It never was. My destiny was much larger, much more important than that could ever be.” Max leaned in, bringing his hand to the side of her face and brushing her cheek with his thumb. “No, my destiny was to love you and cherish you with everything I have and could ever be.”

Max took her hand then, and slowly lowered himself down beside her on a single knee. Liz’s eyes became round as she realized what he was about to do, and she brought a small hand to her open mouth.

Max grinned at the beauty before him, and was ineffectively fighting excited tears. He reached into the pocket of his pants underneath his robe and pulled out a small, velvet box. Opening it, he presented the shimmering diamond engagement ring to her.

“Liz Parker, will you give me the chance to make you the most precious, treasured woman in this universe by giving me your hand and your heart for the rest of our lives?”

Liz’s eyes were spilling with blissful tears as they kept darting from the shining ring to Max’s gorgeous face. She gave him a teary smile as she slid down beside him and immediately wrapped her arms around his neck. She kissed him passionately, causing the two of them to topple to the ground, with Max leaning over her and staring tenderly down at his lover.

“Max, I love you,” Liz whispered softly. She pulled his head down, drawing his lips down against hers again. Max moaned loudly at the sensation of her surrounding him, and began to trail his lips from her lips and down her exposed neck.

“Does that mean you’ll be my Mrs. Liz Evans?” Max mumbled against her warm flesh, his hands wandering to her waist and pulling her closer to him.

Liz placed her hands on either sides of his face and drew his face close to hers. Laying a light kiss on his lips, she told him in a light whisper, “I’ll be anything you want me to be.”

Max smiled at her with an affectionate expression, and replied with a heavenly voice, “I don’t want you to be anything. In my heart, I know you already are my queen, my lover, my beauty and my life. Nothing could ever dare to change that. Nothing.”