posted on 5-Sep-2001 2:31:00 PM
Author: Woodwinds
Category: M/L and the rest of the gang. Sort of an AU type story, but not quite.
Disclaimer: I own nothing, but if I did I would fix everything and all would be as it should…
Rating: PG for now, maybe more later. J
Summary: Max and Isabel are brother and sister and crowned prince and princess of the planet Antar. (Nothing really new here) Michael is Max's second in charge and Liz, his sister, is the Lady in Waiting, and best friend of Isabel. Max and Isabel are sent to Earth in order to "find themselves" and accept that they must marry their destinies within the next two years. Michael and Liz tag along for the trip. And that is all that I am going to say for now. Anymore would give the whole story away and defeat the purpose of me ever writing it!
Author's Note: All right. My general feeling on the feedback issue is that I love it. So bring it on. And you don't always have to be nice. If you don't like the way something is going, please tell me. But make sure you suggest a solution! J If you love everything about the way things are going, please tell me. If you have any comments, ideas, questions, ranting, or anything else, I ask that you feel completely free to do so. I love hearing everyone's ideas. There are so many great ones out there and I would love to incorporate some of those ideas into the story. So, post away, read away, and I guess the main point is that you enjoy.


Prologue

The red sun had just begun to set behind the mountains as Liz stood outside on the terrace of Isabel's room, enjoying the perfect weather and the gorgeous sunset. She had already taken care of all of her tasks for the day and had completed her studies. Life was good. No, it was perfect. She and her brother Michael had grown up in the palace. Their parents were the trusted advisors and best friends of the King and Queen of Antar. Michael was now the second in command to Max, the prince, and she, Elizabeth of Sarnwood, was the Lady in Waiting and best friend to Isabel, Max's sister and the princess of Antar.

The four of them had grown up together; it was only natural. They were both twins and had been born in the same season. It was as if they had been destined to be friends. They had all sat together with the tutor, receiving their education until two years ago. Once Max and Isabel turned 16, they were given a special instructor who would aid them in learning to accept their roles as leaders and prepare them for their reign. Michael studied with Liz, but he now had his special "war" training. Liz had felt a little lonely over the last two years. They had all grown up, and moved in their destined directions. It was the way that things had to be.

Liz leaned a little harder onto the cool tile surface of the railing, watching as the last slivers of light vanished behind the towering mountains.

She really didn't mind not seeing Max all that often. They never agreed on anything. Whenever Liz had an opinion about anything, he was always the first to oppose it and shoot her down. Liz had always prided herself on her intelligence, but Max just had this uncanny ability to make her feel like the most ignorant person on the planet. Women on Antar did not have much political power and were generally treated as objects to own. Liz and Isabel had decided together when they were younger to never let that deter them from any personal goals they had. They wanted to be free to love whomever they wanted. They wanted their opinions to matter. And, of course, Max had made it his goal, upon discovering their aspirations, to destroy any efforts they made. To put it all bluntly, Max infuriated Liz. Isabel tolerated her brother in public, but when Liz and Isabel were alone, they would let loose.

But that is not what had been bothering Isabel lately. She had been betrothed to Michael from the day she was born. Isabel was approaching the age where she would have to marry him. Isabel was constantly arguing with her parents saying that she didn't love him like that. Isabel was a hopeless romantic and was convinced that the man of her dreams was out there somewhere; he just hadn't found her yet. And Liz was sure it had something to do with the palace walls, and top security.

Michael also didn't want to marry Isabel, but not for the same reasons. Michael was born stubborn and hated to not be in control of himself. And since he did not get to choose whom he would marry, to him, it felt like someone controlling him.

A smile spread across Liz's face at the thought of the two of them married. Isabel's nickname in the palace was the "ice princess." And Michael just had a reputation of being, well, of being himself. They two of them would definitely make an odd couple someday. They would be forced to marry in the long run, and that seemed to be the worst of it all.

Max had been betrothed since birth also to Lady Ava of Wenters. Liz had never actually seen Ava for herself, but the rumors were always flying inside the palace walls. She was rumored to be beautiful with blond hair and blue eyes that supposedly could kill you with one glance. Max and Ava had also never met, which was the royal tradition. They would meet week of their wedding and then spend the rest of their lives together ruling the five planets.

It didn't seem right to Liz that Max should get to marry someone so beautiful. He deserved to lift the veil on his wedding night and see some plain maid lying there. Max always got whatever was the best of the best. So, Ava must be more than beautiful.

As far as herself, well, she was betrothed to the young advisor of some well off Lord on one of the other planets. His name was James. James and Liz. Liz and James. Either way she thought about it, it didn't sound right. She was even more of a hopeless romantic than Isabel, but was too shy to actually say anything. Liz had spent hours just lying in her bed dreaming of the man that would fly in and sweep her off of her feet. He would love her for who she was, and he would allow her to express her mind, admiring her ideas. But, that was never going to happen.

All four of them were 17 years old. The marrying age was 19. That left them two years to fight the battle they all wanted to fight. Except Max, of course. Max had not battle to fight. He was prince "I will accept whatever I am told." Liz wished he would get angry, just once, so that maybe he would begin to see things their way. The only thing that Max fought against was the fact that he was going to be the leader of an entire galaxy. He took his royal training and turned it into a joke, which enraged his parents.

It was completely dark outside now. Liz stood there as a chill went up her spine. She crossed her arms around herself in a feeble attempt to warm herself. She glanced out at the stars. They all looked so far away, just tiny ports of light flickering in the great silence.

Liz was pulled out of her dream world when the doors to the bedroom suddenly flew open and a very upset Isabel rushed inside. Isabel flung herself onto her huge feather bed, burying her head in a champagne colored pillow.

"Isabel!" Liz exclaimed in surprise.

"Liz, Liz they are punishing us. I finally had the strength to tell them that I will refuse to marry Michael and… and…" Isabel buried her head deep into the pillow once again, unable to tell the complete story.

"Liz rushed over and sat on the bed and began to rub Isabel's back. She spoke in a soothing voice as she had done so many times to calm Isabel down. "Isabel, everything will be all right. I mean, you just sprung this on them. You have to give it a little time to sink in and then approach them once more. Everything will be all right."

Isabel lifted her head and turned to look at Liz. "That is where you are wrong. They are sending us to earth until it is time to come back for the bonding ceremony. They are punishing us for refusing to marry."

Liz sat in shock for a moment. Isabel was being sent to earth? What would she do without her? She couldn't be here alone with Max and her dreams. "Michael is going too? You are leaving me here with alone?" Liz was trying to fight back the tears. This was all happening way too fast.

"I don't want to, I am being forced, remember?" Isabel buried her head in the now soaking pillow.

Liz decided that it was time to lighten up the mood just a little bit as long as there was nothing that could be done about the situation. What was that earth saying? Oh yeah, 'It's no use crying over spilt milk.' Liz looked down at Isabel. "Isabel, you can't leave me here now! I mean, who is going to help me with playing jokes on Max, who is going to help me get even with him? Whose pillows am I going to place out on the terrace so that they dry from being soak with tears? Whose dresses am I going to help pick out for an important occasion?" Better throw one more in for good measure, Liz though. "Whose feet will I kiss, and shoes polish?"

With that, Isabel started to chuckle into the thoroughly drenched pillow. "I have soaked a few pillows, haven't I?"

"Oh, I definitely think it has been more that a few. Why just yesterday,"

"All right, all right. It had been more than a few pillows. A lot of pillows! And, just so you know, Max is being forced to go to earth too. He basically told Dad that he would never be King."

"I'll bet that went over even better than you plea." Isabel started laughing at the thought. Liz smiled in contentment. Isabel was laughing, not crying, mission accomplished.

Isabel suddenly shot up in bed, "Liz, come with me! I know your family is here and we will be gone for a long time, but at least it would feel less like a punishment if you were there with me. Besides, you are my best friend and we have been through everything together. If I have to face my destiny, which I do, unfortunately, then I want you to be there with me facing it."

"Of course I will go with you, Isabel. You didn't even have to ask."

The situation suddenly looked a bit brighter to Isabel.

"Let's start packing."


TBC

**So what do you think? Let me know! J**


Part 1

The King and Queen stood in their chambers discussing the plans that they had just put into motion.

"I can't believe my children will be away for so long. I am going to miss them so much."

The King walked over and embraced his wife. "My love, we have been planning against this for 17 years now and yet we failed. There was nothing more we could have done. They must learn to accept their destiny. Max will be King someday, and Isabel and Michael must marry. We tried everything we could to get them to understand who they are and what they are meant for, and with the help of our advisors, Jeffrey and Genevieve, we raised their children with our children. We thought that maybe by growing up together they would learn to love each other and also accept who they are. Now, by sending them to Earth, they will learn to look at each other as more than friends. They will learn to depend on each other, to trust each other completely. They will study the people on earth and learn of the different ways of life around them. They will have to be careful in revealing who they are and in the end, Michael will love Isabel, and Max will be forced to accept his role as a leader."

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Liz carried the bags into the hallway so that the servants could come by and take it to the granolith chamber to be transported. How in the in the world had the two of them packed so much?

Just as Liz carried the last bag into the hallway, Max rounded the corner unhappy with what was going to take place later on in the day. When he spotted Liz struggling with a bag that was just a little too full, he decided to seize the opportunity.

Liz was backing up out of the room with the bag clutched tightly in her hands, desperately trying not to drop it or lose her balance. She was just about through the doorway was she felt something behind her ankles. Before she had time to think she was flying backward with the heavy nag threatening to squash her. She landed with a thud, pinned beneath the cumbersome bag.

Max started laughing hysterically at Liz stuck on the floor. "Better luck next time, Liz."

"Max, I swear, if you don't help me up right now, I'll…" Liz was scowling at him, furious that he would tease her so.

"Or you'll what? I am a prince and you are just a… well, a girl. Do you really think you can threaten me?" Max was really enjoying pushing all of Liz's buttons.

"Oh, is that how you see it? Well, I sure didn't see you carrying our your luggage. What was wrong? Was it too heavy for you? Afraid you might break a nail? Poor Maxy."

With that Max turned and walked away, his laughter filling the hallway.

Liz struggled out from underneath her captor and rushed into the room. "Isabel! Isabel, I need revenge, and I need it soon! Your brother is the most ignorant, pig headed, arrogant, boy! I need a plan and you are going to help me!"

Isabel came sauntering out of the closet area where she had been filling another bag. She had a sly grin on her face. "Liz, I have just the plan. Max has to give a speech for one of his tutors right before we go. He has been working on it forever and I know where he keeps it!"

"Isabel, are you thinking what I am thinking?" Liz said with a devilish grin on her face. This revenge was most definitely going to be sweet and rightfully deserved."

It was one hour until he had to be at the granolith and Max was running frantically to meet one of his tutors. After his great trick on Liz, he had completely forgotten about the speech he was supposed to make. He ran into the Library, throwing the doors open frantically. He had the speech tucked away in a book so that no one would see it. He had been working on it for a while now. Now he just had to remember which book it was exactly. Ah, there it is. He reached into one of the hundreds of shelves and grabbed a small leather bound book and pulled out the slips of paper inside. With that, he shoved the book back into the shelf and ran out of the room.

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Isabel and Liz giggled all of the way to the granolith chamber. Max was going to be furious with them, but what did they care?

They had slipped into the Library just minutes in front of Max and replaced his speech with a 'new and improved' version. Well, maybe saying that it was improved is an overstatement. But, it was definitely new! Isabel and Liz were laughing hysterically, Liz grabbing her side from where it was starting to hurt. She glanced over at Isabel and saw that she had tears in her eyes from laughing so hard and that only made her laugh all the harder. "Max is going to kill you!"

"What! Isabel, may I remind you that this plan was your idea and I fully intend to take you down with me; if I am going down."

They continued down the hallway with their joyful laughter filling the air.

As they approached the granolith chamber the cold, hard truth of reality began to hit them and immediately sobered them up. Isabel instantly began to tense up and go on the defensive. She reached for Liz's hand and clung to it for dear life. Her parents, the King and Queen, would be there to see them off.

The doors opened and they entered the dimmed chamber. It was such a magnificent object, that it always placed Liz into a state of awe.

The King and Queen stood to the left of the granolith while Liz's parents stood to the right.

Isabel cast a cold glare at her parents, determined to the core not to let them see her cry or see how truly afraid she was.

Michael was already in the chamber and he came and took Liz's other hand, giving it a squeeze, comforting her and assuring her that everything would be all right. He started to walk away, but at second thought he turned back to Liz and whispered in her ear, "Liz, what are you thinking? Are you insane? Stay here on Antar; you are the only one not being punished here. It makes no sense for you to come too. Stay here where you will be safe and live the life you were supposed to."

Liz knew she should have thought twice about that caring glance he had given her. That was all an act for their parents. Michael was just trying to take his mind off of the lack of control in the situation. She knew her brother better than to fall for that. "Michael, I am not going for you. I am going for Isabel, so drop it." And that was the end of that argument. Liz knew that Michael was way overprotective of her, and sometimes it was difficult for her to do anything because he was always concerned. Maybe concerned wasn't the right word. Paranoid. Yup, that was definitely a bit more accurate. Oh, and controlling. That was another great word.

The granolith doors opened once again and Max entered. Liz didn't even have the courage to look up, for if she did, she knew that she would burst into laughter. Max must be furious with her after her little improvements to his speech! But he was probably also furious about going to earth. Max had always thought that the people there were so primitive in their thinking. They were so technically, um, what is the word he uses, slow.

The Kings booming voice filled the chamber as he began to speak. "My children, I want you to know that we do send you in love to Earth. It is our hope that there you may learn to accept who you are and the roles set out for your lives. Max, my son, learn to be a great leader and love our people. Isabel, my daughter, learn to love him who was chosen for you to love. Michael, my son's trusted second in command, learn to accept that you cannot control every path your life takes. Liz, my daughter's beloved friend, take care of her for me." With that, the King placed his hand up the spinning cone, causing the lights in the room to swirl brilliantly with thousands of different hues. Liz stood in awe of the beautiful colors, admiring how they all fell against the walls when her eyes turned to her parents. It was one of the most beautiful things she had ever seen.

Jeffrey and Genevieve had tears in their eyes as they watched their two children leave for a distant planet for at least one life cycle. One was to be taught, and the other to be a teacher and a friend. They were so proud of their children and their love poured through their eyes as the silently said goodbye.

Liz opened her mouth to tell her parents that she loved them when there was a bright flash in the room.

Jeffery and Genevieve turned towards each other, Genevieve holding onto him for dear life. Their children were gone. They would have no contact with them until they came home. And when they did come home, they would quickly be married and whisked away into their duties.

The King took the chance to speak up. "Let us hope that they find themselves on this journey that we have sent them on.


TBC


Part 2

As soon as the transport had begun, it ended, leaving four very confused people standing in the middle of the dessert. There was a rock formation behind them, a somehow they all knew that the granolith was inside there, programmed to take them home in a year and one half.

Isabel had Liz's hand in a death grip and Liz's hand was starting to turn purple. "Um, Isabel…"

"Oh, sorry." Isabel loosened her grip on Liz's hand but refused to let it go. None of them had ever been to earth before. Their people had explored it often, studying the people and the culture and then returned home. They had always kept a low profile so that no one would find out what they really were or where they were from.

All four of them had seen pictures of various places on earth and seen data tapes, but that was all.

Basically, people on earth were just like them, but less advanced. They had no powers and had not developed the technology that Antar had. Also, the environment was a different. Here, the sun was a golden color instead of red. The water was blue instead of purple. Little differences like that.

The four of them stood silently wondering what they were supposed to do, when a bright flash temporarily blinded them all. Once their eyes had recovered a man was standing in front of them.

"Good evening your majesty. Good evening your highness. Good evening Captain. Good evening my Lady." He bowed with each greeting causing them all to blush a little. There was no one else around so it seemed a little too formal. Especially for Michael and Liz. Usually they were the ones doing the bowing.

"My name is Tom and I will take you to the places you will be staying. Come with me." He turned on his heels and walked towards a Suburban parked nearby. Liz was sure that that car had not been there a minute ago. It must have appeared along with this Tom fellow. The four of them followed him and got into the car. There were going to be a lot of changes for them here on earth, and ground transportation was one of them.

After a half hour drive they finally pulled up to a quaint two-story house. Your majesty, your highness, this is where you will be staying. Almost as soon as he had said that, two people, a man and a woman, came rushing out the front door. They looked so simple and so plain. Isabel felt the tears start to spring forward, but decided to fight them and put on a strong air, after all, she was a princess.

"Welcome, I'm Diane and this is my husband. We are so glad that you decided to stay with us. I'm sure that you will like it here in Roswell and that it will feel just like home."

Max decided right off the bat that these people were a little too cheery for his liking. This was going to be a long year and one half.

Mr. Evans decided to speak up. "So you guys are from a small farming community in Nebraska, huh? This must be a big change for you. I'm sure you will fit in just fine." He glanced over at the huge pile of bags now sitting on the sidewalk. "Well, can I help you with those?"

Max had a dumbfounded look on his face. Nebraska? OK, so these simple people had no idea where they were really from or who they were. That was an important note to self. It meant that they were to keep their identity a secret and blend in with the rest of the human race. If only his father could see him now, thinking ahead just like a leader. Maybe he would not have sent him here.

"Yes, thank you." Max turned around and gave a death glance to Liz. She was going to pay and it was going to be painful. Man, she was annoying. He then proceeded to walk inside of the house while Isabel stayed outside saying goodbye to Liz.

Liz really had to fight the giggle that was trying to surface. 'Keep your cool, Liz.' So, instead she decided to return Max's death stare. He had so deserved those improvements and Liz had no regrets.

She was snapped out of her revengeful thinking when a small sob from Isabel escaped.

"Isabel, this isn't goodbye. I probably won't be staying far from here, so just calm down and go inside the house. Get a good night sleep and I will come see you tomorrow. It will be just like home, except with out a palace." Liz hugged her best friend and then gave her a hefty shove towards the front door of the house. She then hopped back into the car and they took off into town leaving two very stunned people standing on their lawn with a whole lot of luggage to carry inside.

"Well, they must just be upset," Diane spoke up, "so we might as well get started carrying some of their stuff inside."

Mr. Evans placed an arm around his wife's shoulder and gave her a small kiss on her head.

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The Suburban finally pulled up in front of a two-story brick building with a giant lighted UFO coming out of the front. "The Crashdown Café. Looks like we are finally going to eat." This was a strange little town. Michael had not eaten anything since middle meal and was suddenly hungry. But this place looked like a dive. Where were the caterers and the fine dining?

Tom parked the car and stepped out. "Captain, my Lady, this is where you will be staying." He unloaded the luggage and then left Liz and Michael standing on the sidewalk.

"This is where we are staying?" Liz heard herself squeak out. Sure she had never been royalty, but she was used to living in the palace. Now she was going to live in a restaurant? Let alone a restaurant called the Crashdown? How ironic. Where was she going to sleep? In the kitchen among the servants?

Michael instructed Liz to wait outside while he checked out the situation. Liz giggled to herself. 'There he goes again. Captain Way Too Overprotective of my Sister.'

Michael pushed the glass doors opened and entered the crowded café. He didn't even know who he was looking for. He felt himself growing angry. He had no control over the situation. He had no idea what was going on, who he was looking for, where exactly he was staying, and if he would ever have control again.

A petite blond-haired waitress walked up to him. "Hi, welcome to the Crashdown. Table for one?"

Hey, at least they had some service around here. "Actually, I just moved here and I am looking for the people that I will be staying with."

A high pitched scream was emitted from the girl's mouth as she went running in the opposite direction, arms flailing in the air, and went into the back of the restaurant. Michael's hands had immediately gone to his ears as he tried to protect himself from the deafening sound, and he watched her disappear into the back. 'Dang,' he though, 'someone put a cork in her.'

A couple minutes passed while Michael just stood near the entrance contemplating his next move. Should he demand some food for himself, or should he grab Liz and run? Just then, a man came through the door to the back of the restaurant and headed his way. He held out his hand as he approached. "Hi, my name is Jeff Parker and you and your sister will be staying with us while you are here. You do have a sister, right?"

Michael was a little relieved finally meeting someone who was aware of what was going on. At least he and his sister would be safe and they had a place to stay. "Yes, she is waiting outside with our luggage. My name is Michael. It is nice to make your acquaintance." Michael was laughing inwardly. If only his parents could see him now: so proper, so polite, and so nice. Michael motioned for them to move outside so that Jeff could meet Liz and help them with their luggage.

Jeff Parker took notice of the beautiful girl standing outside. She was about 5'2" with long brown hair and beautiful eyes. "You must have a lot of work cut out for you with your sister. There must be a lot of broken hearts wherever she goes." Jeff joked with Michael.

"You have no idea." Michael mumbled under his breath.

Jeff walked up to Liz and gave her a kiss on the cheek. "Hi, Liz. I am Jeff Parker and you and your brother will be staying with my wife Nancy and me. You must be hungry and exhausted from your trip. Why don't you both," he turned to that he was standing in between the brother and sister, "come inside and get something to eat and then we'll get you all settled into your rooms." He gestured for them to move inside.

Michael glanced over at Liz.

"Liz it will be OK. I'm sorry that we all dragged you into this."

"Michael, stop worrying about me. I came of my own free will, and that decision had nothing to do with you. I came for Isabel and you. You guys are my world. What would I have done at home without you?"

Michael grabbed Liz's hand and they entered into the busy café, ready to brave whatever came their way in this new life.


TBC


Part 3

"Well, we didn't choose rooms for you, so you two can argue over who gets the room with the balcony." Jeff Parker teased them.

"Liz can have it. She loves the outdoors." Michael really did care for his sister. Liz had always loved the outdoors ever since they were too young to speak. Something about the starry expanse overhead intrigued her. She used to spend hours at a time standing on the terrace of Isabel's room just looking and thinking.

Liz gave a grateful smile to her brother. Ok. So he was really overprotective, she he loved and really did look out for her best interests. It was a shame that more people did not get to see this softer, more loving side of Michael.

"Well, then," Jeff spoke up, "I guess this will be your room then, Liz." He opened the door revealing a small room with a queen sized bed and a small window that led to a balcony.

"Thank you Mr. Parker."

"Please, call me Jeff. After all, we are going to be like family for a while."

With a weak smile, Liz walked further into her new room. It was going to be odd not living in a room adjoining to Isabel's. And this one was so much smaller with only one window instead of an entire wall filled with towering windows.

She walked over to the small dresser, fingering a small figurine of a ballerina. The Parkers must have somehow known that this would be the room that she would end up in. She turned and walked towards the bed and had a seat on the bouncy springs. It was so much smaller than her bed at home. This was going to feel so restraining. A flash of color caught the side of her eye. There was a beautiful bouquet of white roses sitting on her nightstand. How did they know that that color was her favorite? She leaned in to give them a



[ edited 1 time(s), last at 3-Jan-2002 9:04:20 PM ]
posted on 5-Sep-2001 2:33:01 PM
smell. Oh, they smelled wonderful. There was a small card slid just underneath the vase. Liz reached to pick it up and slowly pulled the envelope open.

"Liz,

We are honored that you will be living with us for the next year. We hope you will find this place becomes your home and that you will enjoy every moment of your stay with us. We hope that you will come to see us as family. We hope you like the roses. Maria picked them out for you. Welcome to Roswell."

The Parkers

Liz sighed and leaned back onto the bed. It had been an emotionally exhausting day and sleep seemed to consume her. Maybe a short nap would do her some good.

Jeff Parker led Michael down to his room. It was located at the end of the hallway. 'Good,' he thought to himself, 'at least I will have a little bit of privacy.' The only room near his was the restroom across the hall.

Michael entered the room and gave it a quick inspection and decided that this was going to take a lot more getting used to than he had anticipated. This room was tiny! And what size bed was that? There was only one window? This was going to be a long visit to earth.

"Well, I'll let you two get all settled in. Whenever you guys get hungry, just come on down to the restaurant and we'll cook you something up." Jeff turned and walked back down the hallway, stopping in Liz's doorway to make sure everything was all right. A grin spread across his face at the sleeping image of Liz on the bed. He was going to like her; he could feel it in his bones. She would be the easiest to get to know, to break into the emotional barrier they had both placed around their selves. Michael was going to be a little more difficult, a harder challenge. But he really wasn't too worried about any of that right now. He was just grateful to have them both here. Nancy and he had wanted children their entire lives, but had always been unable. Now, they finally had a chance to be parents, even if it was only for a little over a year. They would take anything they could get. They would love these two teenagers as if they were their own. He only hoped that they would come to look upon his wife and him the same way. Someday.

Jeff closed the door to Liz's room to allow her some peace and quite. It had been a long day for both of them and a little bit of sleep would make the day seem a little bit brighter.

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Max was enraged with everything. He was mad at the world, mad at his parents, mad at the Evans, mad at his room, but most of all, he was furious with Liz. It was bad enough that he was sent to earth because his parents thought he wasn't accepting his position as a leader, but to leave it such a huge embarrassment was unacceptable. Liz had ruined his last effort to show that he was trying. There he was, just trying to give a mock formal address to one of his tutors, and he had all of the notes there in front of him. He had never really rehearsed anything because he never thought he would have any problems. It was a matter of writing the speech and then reading it out loud: simple as that. But Liz had to go and ruin everything. He was going to seek the ultimate revenge on her if it was the last thing that he did.

Max started pacing around hid new bedroom. Revenge on Liz would have to be something really sweet. It had to be perfectly planned and carried out. She was so going to pay. It may take a long time to pull it off, but when he did…

After one last pace across the room, there was a knock on his bedroom door. "Enter."

It was Diane. "Max, we are going to go grab a bite to eat at the Crashdown, did you want to come?" Diane was hoping that perhaps a dinner out would break some of the tension in the house and between them all. She wasn't quite sure why Max and Isabel were so closed off, but she was sure that coming here was probably not their idea.

Max deliberated over whether he really wanted to go anywhere tonight. He wasn't really in the mood to have a "family outing." But, he was hungry, and maybe seeing Liz would inspire some form of revenge. Yeah, he would go to dinner, but only for his own reasons. "Yes, I would like to go."

Diane was a little taken aback by Max's response. She was not expecting that all. She was glad that Max seemed to be settling down a little bit. She wanted his stay with them to be a pleasant experience, not one where they are battling each other the entire time.

"Well, all right. We'll be leaving in about 10 minutes. As soon as Isabel is ready." She started to exit the room. "Oh, and Michael and Lindz are going to meet us for dinner."

"That could very well be a half hour." Max said under his breath. These people knew nothing about his sister and him. Well, they would learn soon enough what they wanted to know. "And it's Liz."

"Oh, sorry. I'll get the names eventually." Diane turned and walked down the hallway to check on Isabel's progress.

Max started kicking himself. What did he care if Diane had said Liz's name incorrectly. He should have never corrected her and just let himself get a kick out of Diane calling Liz some other name. He couldn't get Liz off of his mind. Her face kept haunting him with those big doe eyes and that beautiful innocent look. "Stop it Max!" He yelled at himself. What was he talking about, 'beautiful?' Uh! Revenge. Just keep thinking about revenge.

Forty-five minutes later Max and Isabel piled into the Evans' car and headed to the Crashdown. Liz's face kept haunting Max… Revenge! Revenge was the ultimate goal.


TBC


Part 4


Liz and Michael sat at a bright red, almost neon booth in the corner by the window. Michael had said that if he was going to live down here for the next year, he at least wanted to be able to see what he had gotten himself into.

Liz sat silently, letting her mind digest all that had happened in this one short day. This morning, she had been sitting in her chambers, not a small bedroom like here, but large chambers, going about her normal life. She had been happy there. Sure, she did not want to marry James. Heck, she had never met him, but she knew for sure that she didn't like the way their names sounded together. But, she could have lived with that. If she were still at home, she would be married sometime this year. That was a strange thought. She had never really thought of herself married. She had always dreamt of getting married someday and she wanted children someday, but that was always just the way it was. Someday.

Now, she was on Earth. On a distant planet, far away from home and marital duty. She should be happy that she got a little more time to herself before dedicating herself to her husband and children. But she wondered if she would enjoy her time here. She already missed her parents. She had always been a loving, obedient child and her parents had always showered her with love. They were so proud of her for giving up her comfort out of concern for Isabel. But did they notice the torment deeper within her for leaving them?

Liz sighed and bit her lip to avoid shedding any tears. She would be strong from now on, if not for herself, then for Isabel and Michael. Max could take care of himself for all she cared.

She turned in her seat to face Michael who had been intently studying the small blond waitress for the last fifteen minutes.

"Michael, what are you going to…" She noticed that Michael was paying absolutely no attention to her so she slouched in her seat and gave him a firm kick in the shin.

"Ow! What did you do that for?"

"Well, for one thing, it's impolite to stare at someone, especially for fifteen minutes, and I was wondering if you had decided what you are going to order because I'm hungry."

"I was going to order a hamburg-her, I mean hamburger."

Liz couldn't help but let out a hearty laugh at her brothers oh so obvious slip. It was a rare thing for him to make mistakes like that. He was always so serious and he concentrated really hard on the way he acted and what he said.

"Liz, if you give me a hard time about that, I'll tell Max what you did to his speech! And I know you wouldn't like that."

"Michael! How in the world did you find out about that? You weren't even there!"

A small smile started to form at the corner of his lips. "That doesn't matter. You just need to know that I know. And that is not all that I know about your little schemes. The only question that I have is, 'do you stay awake all night machinating?' Some of your ideas are really quite ingenious, if I do say so myself."

"Michael, I can't believe that you would ever think that I, you loving sister, could ever have such a devious mind. I am completely innocent." She batted her eyes and plastered her most innocent look on her face. She could practically see the halo that had to be hanging, crookedly, over her head.

"Uh huh, Liz. Sure. I know you a little better than to believe that small lie!" Michael was laughing now. "And besides, it's not like I don't notice the subtle romance between you and Max. Face it, you like him no matter how much you try to hate him." Michael knew he was hitting a sore spot with Liz, but he had the brother's privilege of being able to do that.

The halo disappeared and devil horns replaced it. "Michael. I refuse to go any further in this discussion. If I feel anything towards Max, his highness, it is simply raging hatred. He is the most annoying immature person I know and the last thing on my mind is liking him." Liz held a very serious look on her face through her whole speech. What she had said was all true, but she was going to try and eek some sympathy out of her brother. She had spoken with such a serious tone that it should have worked just like she planned.

Liz started to quiver her lip a little bit just to add some icing to the cake. Michael didn't have a whole lot of emotions, but when it came to her, it was like they were all on full alert.

"Liz, don't cry. We are in a public place and it wouldn't be right. I am not going to apologize for what I said because… well, because I won't. But I promise I won't say anything to Max about your devious plans for his life."

As soon as Michael had finished, the waitress came over to take their orders. "Hi, my name is Maria and I will be your waitress for today. Can I take your orders?"

Liz went first, which was proper.

"Yeah, I'll have the space salad and an order of Saturn rings."

"All right, would you like anything to drink with that?"

"Um, what do you suggest?"

"Well, we have sodas and shakes."

"I'll take a cherry coke, then."

"OK." She turned to face Michael, who was staring at her with his eyes practically bugging out of his head. "And you?"

Michael couldn't find any words to come out of his mouth. He sat there in silence for a minute before Liz spoke up.

"Um, he'll have a Will Smith burger and an order of Saturn rings. And water."

"All right. You're order should be up in a little while."

"Thanks."

Liz gave Michael another firm kick in the shin. "Way to go stud." Michael broke his trance and a shade of red covered his face. "Like I said before, Liz, mention this to anyone and I'll tell your little secrets!"

************************************************************************
The whole way to the Crashdown, Max sat quietly trying to come up with the perfect revenge on Liz. He had to show absolutely no mercy, he had to be ruthless and tactful. So far everything he had come up with didn't seem appropriate or it wasn't what he was looking for. He had envisioned chopping her hair while she slept, placing ink in her drink, making her mute for a day, mind warping her for a while, alter her food in some vile way…

Max was still planning when they pulled up in front of the Crashdown. Whoa! Small town restaurant. This was definitely going to take some getting used to. No more professional chefs, no more in-room dining, no more servants, though he could probably get the Evans to do some things for him.

He opened the door and stepped outside. Something smelled really good. He hadn't realized just how hungry he was, but they had not eaten anything since that morning back on Antar. Max's stomach rumbled a little and his hand went flying to try and cover up the sound. How embarrassing. Here he was, Prince and soon to be King of an entire planetary system, and his stomach was growling in public.

The bells on the door jingled as the Evans, Isabel, and Max entered the café. Diane did a quick scan to see where Jeff Parker's two were sitting and then motioned them all to move in that direction. Then she proceeded to take a booth on the other side of the restaurant. She didn't want to be too imposing on their first day in Roswell with them.

The second that Isabel spotted Liz she picked up her pace, practically running towards Liz. She had needed a shoulder to cry on all afternoon. Liz would understand everything that she was feeling and would be able to comfort her.

Liz stood when she saw Isabel coming toward her. It was so good to see a familiar, non-threatening face. "Isabel!"

They embraced each other until they heard someone clearing their throat behind them. Isabel and Liz pulled away from each other and Liz looked over Isabel's shoulder to see who it was that had interrupted their happy reunion.

Liz groaned a little when she saw exactly who it was that had disrupted them. It was Max: the one and only.

"Gee Liz, where's my hug?" Max said sarcastically.

"Well, since you are so in love with yourself, I suggest that yourself gives you a hug." Liz threw Max one last angry glance and then led Isabel to the seat beside her.

Isabel was so relieved to have Liz by her side again. They had been inseparable from the moment they were introduced to each other when they were children and there had always been this special connection between them. It was if they were the only two people in the world that truly understood each other. They had always shared adjoining rooms and the sudden separation, the miles now placed between them, was torturing her. They had only been away for a couple of hours, but the permanence of the situation was horrible to think about.

Max then came and sat next to Michael and they immediately dove straight into a conversation that did not include Isabel and Liz.

Max and Isabel placed their orders with Maria and they all waited for the food to arrive. At least there was some service around here.

Liz decided to go wash her hands in to restroom before her meal came. "I'll be right back." Isabel scooted out of the booth to let Liz out and then sat back down.

Even though Max was talking to Michael, his mind was completely focused on the task at hand. When he saw Liz get up and idea started to form in his head and this one definitely could be perfect. He decided to wait a minute before following her so as not to look too obvious. He stealthily made his way to the women's restroom.

Quietly, he opened the door and spotted Liz standing in front of the mirrors. 'Darn!' He was going to lock her in one of the stalls or something along that line. Well, the plan needed some alterations now.

Liz had walked over to the heated dryer and had placed her hands underneath it. Max crept up behind her and stood there. When Liz turned around she let out a quick scream at the person standing in front of her!

"Max! What do you think are doing? This is the women's restroom and…"

Liz was cut off suddenly when Max grabbed her hands and pinned them behind her, against the wall.

"Let me go, Max. This isn't funny."

"Liz, shut up." And with that Max leaned in.


TBC


Part 5


From Part 4…

Liz had walked over to the heated dryer and had placed her hands underneath it. Max crept up behind her and stood there. When Liz turned around she let out a quick scream at the person standing in front of her!

"Max! What do you think are doing? This is the women's restroom and…"

Liz was cut off suddenly when Max grabbed her hands and pinned them behind her, against the wall.

"Let go of me, Max. This isn't funny."

"Liz, shut up." And with that Max leaned in.

************************************************************************
Liz couldn't believe what was taking place! Max was going to kiss her! She couldn't help but notice the wonderful glowing feeling that started to spread throughout her entire body.

No, this was all wrong. 'No, Liz, don't think this way. Get a hold of yourself already. "No." she heard herself mumble as Max continued to lean a little further in, dangling his lips just in front of her own. "No." This time a little louder. "Max, no!" She placed her hands upon his well-sculpted chest, which she couldn't help but notice, and pushed him away.

Max's body flew backwards just a little which shook him out of the haze that had come over him while he envisioned kissing Liz. He had never expected it to feel like that. All was really thinking about was revenge on Liz and how mad she was going to be at him. He was a little stunned at all of the emotions flying through his head.

"Max, that was the most disrespectful, immature, inappropriate, mean thing you have ever done! How could you?" Liz was fuming at Max for almost kissing her and she wasn't about to let him get off easily for something she almost enjoyed. Of course, she would never confess to anyone that she had 'almost' enjoyed the thought of being kissed by him. "You know what, just get out!"

A small smile started to form across Max's shocked face. He had done it! He had the perfect revenge on Liz. "Well, now you know that when you mess with the crown prince of Antar, payback is most definitely on its way."

"Get out!" Liz could feel herself starting to choke up. She was humiliated, but it was still a good thing that no one else was in the room to see that happen. It could have been a lot worse, she thought.

Max turned and exited the restroom, walking triumphantly back to the booth where Michael and Isabel sat talking. He plopped himself down in the seat, a smile of contentment still upon his face.

A couple minutes later, Liz came walking out of the restroom, obviously trying to keep herself composed and cool. She calmly sat back down next to Isabel and took a deep breath. "Is our food not here yet?"

Max seized the opportunity to rub a little more salt into the wound. "Why Liz! You look a little flushed. Are you all right?" He had to bite his tongue to keep from laughing out loud and blowing his whole serious cover.

Liz threw Max an intense death glare, stood up from the table and stormed off towards the staircase tot the apartment, slamming the kitchen door behind her.

Isabel sat in the booth a little confused over everything that had just taken place. Her best friend in the world had just stormed out of the room. That was so uncharacteristic of Liz. Something must really be upsetting her, and she was pretty sure it had to do with Max. Gosh, couldn't he keep that gloating smile all to himself. She turned towards Max to begin her interrogation. "Max, what happened? What did you do to Liz?"

"Oh, well let's just say I dealt with some important foreign relations." The boastful smile on his face was growing to an all-time large.

Isabel jumped out of her seat and went running after Liz. Whatever Max had done to her, she knew it was not good. And most importantly, she knew Liz would need someone to talk to. Oh, and to scheme with…

Michael sat silently in his seat throughout the whole episode just observing, casually, everything that was taking place. Yeah, those two definitely had it bad for each other. It was actually kind of humorous to watch all of their subtle flirting.

Just then, Maria came with their food and set it down on the table before noticing that the two girls were missing. She assumed they were in the restroom or had gone outside to stretch their legs. "All right here are your orders. If you need anything else, just holler."

Max took one look at his food and immediately started to devour it. He hadn't realized just how hungry he was. Perhaps the whole plotting and acting out revenge really works up an appetite.

Michael waited to dive into his food until the blind waitress, Maria, disappeared behind the swinging two-way door.

************************************************************************
Liz sat out on her balcony, a blanket wrapped around her. The evenings in the desert were still a little cool even though it only the beginning of September. They had been in Roswell for a couple of weeks now and were pretty much all settled in. She really liked the Parkers. They had been so kind and they almost reminded her of her own parents.

She glance up at the stars and singled out the V constellation that she had once called home. She wondered what was going on there right now. Were her parents standing on their balcony, thinking about her and what she would be doing right now?

Liz missed everyone at home so much. Sure, her only friends in the whole universe were here on earth with her now, that wasn't so much what she missed. She missed her daily routine at home, her way of life, the palace, the oceans, the sky, and her parents.

She had actually scared herself the other day. She had been talking to Isabel while they were sitting on some rocks out by where they had landed. When it was time to return to their houses, Liz had referred to it as home. A chill had gone up them both after they realized what had just slipped from her mouth. They both missed home so much, but it happens to everyone. When you stay in one place long enough, the word "home" was eventually. Liz was kicking herself initially for saying the word, but after some thought, decided that it was only the natural thing to say. The Crashdown, her little apartment, her bedroom, and the Parkers were all now her home.

She couldn't say the same thing for Michael, though. He was always the toughest one for anyone to get to know. He always made it a point to remain uncomfortable wherever he was. Maybe it was his training, or the fact that he was second in charge to Max. He always prided himself on the fact that incase of an emergency he would always be ready to go. He would regret leaving nothing behind because he was never emotionally attached to anything there. He had admitted, however, in the utmost of secrecy, to Liz that he would regret leaving her. Or rather that he would miss her and nothing else. Maybe it was a twin thing, or a sibling thing, but Michael really did love her and she was one of the few people who knew the 'real' Michael.

Liz shivered under the blanket wrapped around her waist. This night reminded her so much of the night a couple of weeks ago when she had been standing on Isabel's balcony, simply staring at the stars. Their lives had changed so much in the last few weeks. Liz bet her parents would hardly recognize the person she had become. She was much more self assured and independent. Two characteristics not advised on Antar for women to be, but Liz wasn't on Antar anymore. This was earth, and the women here were extremely independent. Maybe she had done the right thing by offering to come to earth with Isabel. Perhaps this was her destiny all along.

Destiny. That was the dreaded word that was like a constant storm cloud looming above each of their heads. Whenever they would try to forget their destiny, it was like a little lightening bolt would shock them back to reality. Isabel and Michael had made no progress in their 'loving' relationship. They were like brother and sister so how were they ever supposed to learn to love one another. Wasn't that the ultimate goal? Wasn't it to fall in love and live happily for the rest of your lives?

Liz pulled the blanket a little further up her body to fight off the coolness.

She had always dreamt of falling in love with someone. She always wanted to be able to look across a crowded room and feel like the crowd splits when you spot him. And then she would walk up to him…

Ah, but that would never happen. Not with James. How can you love someone you have never even seen or met? Liz had always thought that someone she would fall in love with would start out as friends, and then, well, then it would evolve into something beautiful, something wonderful. She dreamt about being kissed to the point where it takes your breath away and there are no words to describe how wonderful it was and the depth of love that you would feel. She had never been kissed before, but she could sure dream up a great one with her mystery man.

Wait! She had been kissed before. 'Darn.' She thought. 'I had almost forgotten about that.' That wasn't an "almost" real kiss. It was more like a violation. It was the single most embarrassing moment of her life and she would never forgive 'his highness' for the memory.

But yet, it had been wonderful. Liz recalled the warm feeling that spread through her body as Max's lips almost embraced hers.

Liz shook her head violently at the image. She had to stop thinking that way. Max was her mortal enemy and that was the way it had always been and how it would always be. Her feelings for him had to remain strictly platonic. Nothing more, but less if she really wanted to.

Life was so unfair sometimes. 'How come the one you hate so much is the one that you can't help but love to hate?'


TBC


Part 6

Well, today was the day. Today was the day that Michael and Liz no longer mingled with royalty, but got down and dirty with the common folk.

Liz tied the alien shaped apron around her waist in a perfect bow. She was now the newest employee of the Crashdown Café. Liz adjusted the collar of the aquamarine dress in the mirror. "Hi, my name is Liz and I will be your waitress today." Somehow the words didn't seem quite as right as, "You can bring the meal in now. We're ready to eat." Well, at least she looked semi-decent in the funny dress. It was actually a good color on her, flattering her natural tones.

There was a small knock on her door and Michael came walking in. "Hey, you ready. We should head down. We don't want to be late on the first day, now do we?"

Liz turned around and took one look at her brother, choking a little at his new look. He was wearing a white cotton shirt, the kind that chefs wear, and a really tall chefs hat.

"Are you laughing at my new outfit? I'll have you know that this was really expensive, and this hat is very cool."

"It's not the shirt that bothers me… you really should lose the hat. It is so not you." She walked over and yanked the hat off of his head and then turned and placed it in her trashcan. "Well, do we look presentable?" She was a little apprehensive about their new jobs. They had never done any kind of labor like this before.

"Well, I know I look good, but you," he walked over to her dresser and grabbed the silver headpiece, "definitely need the finishing touch." He placed the silver crown with antennas on her head, watching them bounce back and forth. "Now, you look like a princess."

Liz couldn't contain her laughter any more, nor could Michael. "I can just see Isabel wearing these now!"

"Michael, seriously, we should get downstairs."

"Fine. If you don't want to poke fun at Isabel with me, you just go right on ahead."

With that, Liz turned and left.

************************************************************************
Somehow the restaurant seemed so much larger when Liz stood behind the counter rather than sitting at it. Liz flung open the two-way door and proceeded into the dining area when her legs froze. There, sitting at the corner booth like usual was Max.

Liz's legs froze and she couldn't take another step. There was no way she was going to make it through this day with him sitting there watching her every move, plotting mean things that he could do to her. He was incorrigible.

Liz felt someone approaching her from behind, so she turned around only to be face to face with the bubbly blond waitress, Maria.

"Hey, Liz right? I'm Maria and I will be training you today. Now, don't get too excited about the job, because really, all it is is greasy food with strange titles and lots of rude people. Yup, this is the life right here." Maria grabbed Liz's arm and twirled her around to face the seating area. Basically, you take the right half and I'll take the left. You just go up to the table, say who you are, take their orders, and then drop them off at that window over there." Maria pointed to the window into the kitchen. "When there food is ready, the chef will ding the little bell and call out the table number. If it's you table, you go get the food and take it to the people. Simple as that."

Liz's head was swimming trying to take note of all of the information and various steps. Sure, the average American teenager had eaten at thousands of restaurants, thousands of times, and many even worked in them, but there was nothing like this on Antar. Especially in the palace where she was the Lady in Waiting to the princess.

Liz nodded her head numbly while Maria spoke. She wasn't going to give away the fact that when she thought she had no idea what she was doing that she really had no idea. "I think I've got it. Could just keep an eye on me and make sure I do everything correctly? I'm really new at this."

"Sure, Chica. Don't worry about it. I've got you back."

The bell dinged and


posted on 5-Sep-2001 2:34:17 PM
Maria went to deliver her food. "Good luck!" She mouthed on her way across the room.

Liz inhaled deeply, preparing herself for the task at hand. She looked out at the seating area and suddenly realized that Max was sitting in her section. 'Great,' she thought. She put on her best game face and strode confidently towards his table. "Hey, what can I get you?"

Max had been staring intently at his menu and had not notice that Liz had walked up to him. "Yeah, I'll have a cherry coke and some Saturn…" His voice trailed off as he looked up and realized just who, exactly, had asked him what he wanted.

"Hey, Liz. Very impressive. And I love the outfit!"

"Max, don't even start in on me today. Just tell me what you want to eat and I will leave you to enjoy your own company."

"Why so cold and bitter, Liz? I may not leave a very large tip if you don't be nice."

"Max, give me your order." Liz was still reeling from the kiss he had given her three weeks ago. She wasn't about to let him see that she had been conquered.

"…And Saturn rings. There, are you happy now?"

"Very." She turned and left to deliver the little order slip to the kitchen. What was she supposed to do now? Was she supposed to get the drink and deliver it now or when his meal was ready? Well, it seemed that every time she had eaten in the café, the server had brought her drink before her food arrived. So, that settled it. She would get the drink now.

She walked the cherry coke over to Max and set it down in front of him. "There you go, one cherry coke."

"Why, thank you Liz. And did I mention that you look wonderful in that dress?"

That was it. Max had pressed her last button. She quickly reached over the table and grabbed the bottle of Tabasco sauce, popped off the lid and poured the bottle into his drink. "And there will still be a charge for that, and oh, I forgot to mention that we don't have free refills on Saturdays. Sorry."

She turned her back and walked away, her head high with triumph, leaving a stunned Max sitting behind.

Max wasn't so much stunned by the whole Tabasco sauce in his soda, but was mesmerized by the movement of Liz's hips as she walked away.

'No!' He wasn't going to let himself think that way anymore. Liz was the enemy, even though she was beautiful. Ah! There he went again. He instinctively leaned down and took a sip of the contaminated drink in front of him.

He jumped back a little at the odd taste because he had been expecting cherry coke. But, this new flavor was different, better even.

It was a little like Liz: he had expected one thing when he got his revenge, but had felt a totally different emotion. One that he was not so sure was a good thing. He would have to talk this over with Michael. A good manly talk would set his thinking straight.

Meanwhile, Liz had walked back behind the counter. It wasn't really crowded and for that she was quite grateful.

"Oh, that new cook is really getting on my nerves." Maria walked over to where Liz was standing.

"I mean, not even one day yet, and I can't stand him. He thinks he's so high and mighty. Well, I got news for you space boy, you ain't so high and mighty as you think."

Liz couldn't help but smile. Michael was obviously doing his best to thoroughly impress the other staff with his wonderful charm.

"He's your brother, isn't he? Well, tonight, you should have a little talk with him."

"It will get better. Michael is, well, he is just a little rough on the outside. Once you get to know him he's not so bad."

"Well, someone needs to teach him some common decency and some manners."

"Oh, he has plenty of those, you just wait until you see exactly just how polite he is. It gets better."

"Oh, no. I can't wait."

The two girls shared a good laugh together. This was a relationship that Liz could see turning into something deeper. They could be good friends someday. Maybe earth wouldn't be so bad after all.

And with school starting in a week, maybe they really could live a normal teenage life down here without all of the rules and restrictions of being in the palace.

West Roswell High, here come four aliens ready to learn, first most, and to have a good time. OK. So the learning part was a little cheesy, but Liz really loved school and the whole learning cycle. She was especially good at Science when she studied with her tutors.

Liz's order to take to Max was up. She walked it over to the table, the air of triumph still surrounding her. She plopped the plate down onto the table. "One order of Saturn rings. Enjoy your food." She turned to walk away, not willing to get into any more arguments, or taunting.

"Thanks, Liz."

She stopped cold in her tracks. She was not expecting a reaction like that from Max. Maybe this trip would be good for them all. After all, it was looking brighter and brighter.


TBC




posted on 4-Dec-2001 5:20:13 PM
Part 7


The first day of classes was a whole new experience for the four of them. The were all raised with tutors teaching everything they needed to know for normal classes, and then even more tutors to teach them their royal duties and special training. Now, they would all be submerged into the world of mass classrooms, lockers, crowded hallways, and cafeteria food.

They were all very behind on earth history, but they all had the ability to learn quickly and read books within minutes. That was a skill that would come in handy on more than one occasion.

They were not really expecting too many problems. The entire goal was to blend in and be normal teenagers just like everyone else around them. One small obstacle had come their way when they were registering for school. There was the sudden realization that the last name, son of the King and Queen of Antar, the rulers of the Five Planets V system, Crowned Prince, was not going to work for Max. The others also were in similar predicaments.

That was where the Parkers and the Evans stepped in and they unofficially adopted the four children as their own. Though, the whole time they thought it was rather strange that their 'children' did not have any last names. Max and Isabel became Evans, and Liz and Michael became Parkers.

Max had been a little insulted to begin with about the whole name thing. He thought that since he was the crowned prince, he should keep that title.

Liz found that kind of ironic, considering it was Max who was always fighting the fact that that was what he was. As for herself, she kind of liked her new name. Liz Parker. It kind of flowed and it made her feel official.

Michael, on the other hand, was another story. When the Parkers told him that he would go by their last name he was enraged. It was yet again something that he could not control. After eighteen years of being the Second in Charge, the honorable title was dropped for a lame, as he had told Liz, excuse for a last name. There was nothing special about the name Parker that made him important, or shouted his rank and stature on Antar. He just couldn't grasp the concept of blending in. Michael always was an individual.

Isabel handled her new last name about the same as Liz. She had been terribly homesick during the month they had been on earth. When she got her new last name, it made her feel like she was part of a family again. It made her unique, but yet she still belonged to two people who loved her just as if they were her real parents.

And now they were all walking down the hallways of West Roswell High together, two Parkers and two Evans, facing this new adventure together.

Liz entered her first class, AP English to find almost all of the seats filled and the teacher already taking attendance. Liz did a quick scan of the room searching for an open seat to sit it. Hmmm. She had a choice between sitting in front of Max, or sitting next to another skinny brown-haired boy. The decision wasn't all that difficult for her to make. Liz, as inconspicuously as she could, sat down and placed her backpack next to her seat where it would be easily accessible.

The brown-haired boy turned around and held out his hand for her to shake.

"Hi, I'm Alex Whitman, welcome to AP English."

"Liz Parker. Thanks."

The teacher noticed the quiet chat between his two students. Mr. Whitman, since you already seem to be acquainted with our newest student, why don't you introduce the rest of us?"

Alex stood a little ashamed. Liz could tell he was thoroughly embarrassed. He was probably the smart silent type. Alex cleared his throat and began to introduce Liz.

"This is Liz Parker." He really didn't know any more than that. Their introductions hadn't had the chance to go any further.

"It that all Mr. Whitman? Thank you. And Liz, welcome to Roswell. I am sure you will like it just fine here."

"Thanks."

"All right, class. Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce. Someone tell me some more."

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Next class was AP Physics and Liz had no idea where the room was located. She didn't really want to embarrass herself on the first day, but it was slightly important that she find the classroom. Thank goodness Maria rounded the corner and walked toward her.

"Maria!"

"Hey, Liz. So, what do you think of our pathetic attempt at a school? What classes do you have? Probably all of the smart people classes, huh? Well, don't worry, everything is just as bad as it seems."

"Thanks for the encouraging words, but what I really need is some help finding my next class. Do you know where the Physics room is?"

"Well, I don't see why anyone in their right mind would want to take AP Physics, but since you are, the room is just down the hall. Room 24B. I've got to get to my class. I'll see you at lunch, Liz."

"Bye, Maria." Liz turned and proceeded down the hallway, watching the numbers on the doors, scanning for 24B. She finally approached it only to find that most of the seats were already taken, once again. 'Great, just my luck.' After another quick scan of the room the horrible realization that the only seat left in the entire classroom, which seated probably 30 t0 to 35 people, was the back left counter, next to Max. Could her life get any worse?

Isabel was in this class, but it looked like she had gotten there early enough to get a good seat. She was sitting next to the nice guy Liz had met in AP English, Alex.

Isabel threw Liz an apologetic look, as if to say that she has tried and that she had also noticed which particular seat was the only one still available.

Liz stoically walked down the center isle to her new seat in the back. Tomorrow she would have to make it a point to come to this class earlier so that there would be more seating choices.

She took a seat on the wooden barstool next to Max and set her bag down on the ground.

"Why, hello Liz."

"Hello Max."

Just then the teacher entered. "Hello class, my name is Mr. Cutright. First off, introduce yourself to the person sitting next to you. They will be your partners for the entire year for all projects and in class labs. So, in other words, he or she will be your best friend in this room and outside the classroom for the next nine months."

************************************************************************
Lunch was the only part of the day that had gone smoothly for Liz. Maria had been waiting for her outside of AP Economics class ready to whisk her away into the cafeteria. She had been further introduced to Alex, who turned out to be Maria's best friend "in the whole universe."

Alex then began asking questions of Liz, like where she was from, how long she had been here, who the gorgeous blond was that he had sat next to in Physics…

Maria gave him a firm slap on the arm when that question came up. "Geez, Alex, she hasn't even been in school for one day and you are already in love with her."

"Hey, Deluca, don't make me tease you about that guy you have to told me about."

"Alex, you wouldn't!"

"Did you know that Maria sings?" Alex made a quick topic change to the dismay of Maria, who was ready for an argument.

"Really? What kind of music?"

Maria seized the opportunity to jump in and brag about herself, but just a little. "All kinds. I have a band," Alex promptly leaned over and slapped Maria's arm, "I mean, Alex has a band that I sing with. We perform in a lot of clubs and special events. Nothing really huge."

"Well, I think that's great. I'll have to hear you sing sometime."

"Yeah, that would be great. And then you can hear Alex here eating it up on his guitar or his bass!"

"That would be really great."

************************************************************************
The rest of the school day had gone as smoothly as could be expected. Liz, Max, and Isabel all had the same classes. Michael, on the other hand, well Michael had never really like school and therefore refused to work any harder at anything than he absolutely had to. For him it was also a control issue. If he could not control the amount of work, or what he was studying, it really bothered him.

Maria and Liz were standing outside chatting and waiting for Alex and Isabel.

"So, it wasn't too painful, was it?"

"Nah, it wasn't that bad. I guess I was expecting worse. I am just glad that my first day is over along with all the embarrassing things that come with it."

Isabel appeared in the doorway to the school and searched for Liz who was supposed to be waiting for her outside. She spotted her quickly talking to the waitress from the Crashdown. "Liz!"

"Hey Isabel! Oh, Isabel, this is Maria. We work together at the Crashdown."

"Hi." Isabel said curtly and then turned back to Liz, linking their arms. "Tell me all about how Physics went." And then she started to drag Liz away.

Liz leaned back around quickly to mouth an apologetic goodbye to Maria, who was left standing alone.

Alex emerged just then, and walked over to Maria and watched the two girls walk away. "Man, she is so hot."

"Liz wasn't kidding when she said her nickname was the Ice Princess, though. It is definitely appropriate."

The two looked at the fading figures, and then glanced at each other, then started running after them to catch up.


TBC

posted on 4-Dec-2001 5:23:14 PM
Part 8

October. Wow, it was already October. This trip to earth that had seemed like it was going to go by so slowly, was going by rather quickly. They had almost been there for two months now. Life wasn't as bad as she had imagined it would be at one time and she actually found that she really enjoyed school and excelled especially the sciences she was studying.

Maria had actually become a good friend, which really had been surprising. She was so different from anyone she had known on Antar. Now, she was at the Evans' home spending some quality time with one of the two people having the hardest time adjusting to life on earth. Sure, Isabel had adopting the Evans' as her parents the moment she set foot inside of their house, but it was more on the outside relationship part that she was struggling with. But she would never ever admit that. She had earned her title, or rather a term of endearment, Ice Princess, here on earth. Isabel had closed herself off to anyone not in her immediate family.

Michael was the other person having a hard time. Or maybe that wasn't the way to describe it for him either. Michael simply refused to let anyone in. His thinking was that the whole situation of being stuck on earth was temporary so why get used to it? "It's easier to let go when you have nothing to let go of," he had shared with her in the utmost of secrecy. She sent up silent prayers for him every night. If God was listening, perhaps they might answer her prayer. But, then there was always Maria again. It seemed that Michael really had a soft spot for her, though he would never admit to that either. Maybe Maria really was the answers to her prayers. Maybe she would be able to break through his enormous walls.

And as for Max, well that was a long story and she did not even want to think about that at the moment.

Isabel sat on the floor with her back leaning against the couch. She was dressed in her pajamas totally relaxed as Liz delivered an expert head massage to her over-tensed cranium. They were watching Ever After for practically the hundredth time.

Liz couldn't see the movie enough. Something about the whole concept of the crowned prince being able to choose whom he would marry based on whom he loved just was the most perfect and romantic thing ever. It almost ironically mirrored their own lives. Perhaps that was why they enjoyed it so much. Isabel was betrothed to someone she did not love passionately. They were more like siblings than anything. The women here on earth were so fortunate that they were not thrown into the duty of house and home. The women were not looked upon simply as prizes for the male stature and ego. Would Isabel ever find he soul mate, someone that she chose?

Liz was jerked out of her thoughts by Isabel's voice. "Hey, Liz, are you ready for that dessert you made. We should eat it before it gets too late. And since you refuse to tell me what it is exactly that you made, I have been suspended in suspense the entire evening trying to come up with every possible thing it might be."

Liz threw Isabel a sly look. "Well, all I am going to say is that it is something new that I have discovered since our stay here. And quite frankly, I have fallen in love with it." With that Liz unfolded her legs from the crossed position they had been in for the last half hour. They were a little unsteady but she thought she could make it to the kitchen.

One careful step at a time, she told herself. She finally made it to the kitchen to get the dessert. She smiled at the thought of the treat she had discovered a few weeks earlier.

She had been in the back of the Crashdown sorting through the refrigerator trying to figure out what would need to be on the next order. So far she had milk on the list. She decided to check the strawberry supply and reached into the fridge to pull out the packages so that she could set them on the counter and see if they were still good. She grabbed the containers and turned around quickly making sure that they all remained finely balanced in her arms.

She started to sort through the containers separating the good from the bad when an arm suddenly appeared on the bench and grabbed one of the berries. Liz jumped, and flew around to see who it was, all though she already had a pretty good idea.

"Max Evans, you are not supposed to be eating those let alone be back here. This area is for employees only." She said to him hotly as she grabbed the hand firmly that held the berry captive.

"Well, then you should know that I fully intend to never let this berry go until it is eaten."

"Max, you are not going to eat that. It needs to be washed now that you have had your hands all over it, and then it needs to be placed gently back where you got it from." Why did he always have to so irritating? Why did their parents have to send him to the same place as they all were? Couldn't they have sent him to some barren desert in the middle of nowhere? That was all he deserved.

"A barren desert, huh? I think that should have been reserved for you."

Liz's head flew up at Max's words. "You were listening to my thoughts? Max, that is the most disgustingly rude thing you have ever done. How could you? You know what, get out of here. Take the stupid strawberry and get out of here." Liz turned her back to him, disgusted with the site of him. She had never hated him as much as she did right then. Or so she thought.

She started to walk off in the other direction to leave the retched presence of Max, when he suddenly grabbed her arm, yanking her towards him, and turning her to face him at the same time. One hand moved to pin her arms behind her and the other grabbed her face. The next thing she knew, and before she had any chance to fiercely protest his actions, her lips were silenced with his own.

Her mind was going a million miles an hour. This was the most wrong thing he had ever done to her. If she thought she hated him before, she now had all of the grounds to hate him even more. He was, well he was violating her! But, if he was so horrible and this was so wrong, why did it feel so right at the same time?

She slowly started to return the kiss, allowing the warm feeling she had been fighting off to take hold of her.

Max's hand that held her arms behind her released her and started to move up toward her face, but stopped when her reached her stomach pushing her away from him. Liz was speechless when she should have been shouting violent protests, but the words just didn't come. She did not want to protest something she had enjoyed, though she would never admit to it. Instead she just stood stone still in one place with her mouth hanging slightly open in shock of the event that just took place.

Max still had the strawberry in his hand throughout the whole thing. Liz finally got her voice back, "I still want the strawberry back." But that was all she could manage to get out.

Max turned to leave since he had completed his mission, but instead decided to give her the strawberry. He took one bite, while maintaining eye contact with her the whole time and then handed the strawberry back to her, then turned again and walked through the swinging doors leaving her even more stunned and speechless.

Well, that had been a few weeks ago, and she was sure she had gotten over the whole thing. She had scolded herself more than once for letting herself get so caught up in the moment like that. But the most unfortunate outcome of the whole thing was that she had been unable to look at a strawberry the same way ever since that day. Every time she saw one she swore she could feel his soft lips upon hers and the way his hands felt and… No! Stop it Liz Parker. Max is your mortal enemy and you cannot think about an enemy in that way.

Liz started again to prepare the Strawberry shortcake, the surprise dessert. She would simply focus on the task at hand and everything would be all right.

************************************************************************
Max jumped out of the jeep and walked briskly up to the front door of his house. He had been out at the library doing the research for his half of the AP Physics project he and Liz had to do. She had refused to work with him at all on it, telling him to do his half and she would do hers. Then, he could give it to her and she would finish the rest of it. Working together was not an option. He opened the door and stepped inside to the dimly lit living room.

"Hey, Is, movie night again? Please don't tell me that you are watching that one movie, what is it called, again."

"Hi Max. Good evening to you too."

Max continued walking towards the kitchen to get something to drink before heading up to his room. He was a little shocked to see that the kitchen light was on. He knew that the Evans' were not home this evening and Isabel had been in the living room, so it really made no sense for the kitchen light to be on. He stopped abruptly when he heard movement coming from the lighted room. A small smirk started to form on his face at the thought of just who it might just possibly be in the kitchen. It was as simple as putting two and two together. Isabel had been in the living room sitting in the dark, staring at the screen of a paused movie. The only person that it could be in the kitchen was…

"Hey, Liz."

She jumped slightly at the sound of his voice.

"Max, I didn't even see you come in. You know, you really should announce yourself before you enter a room. It is a little on the rude side to scare someone like that." She fiddled with the fruit in front of her. She had begun to place the berries on the shortcake, but had stopped when she heard his voice.

Max suspiciously eyed what it was that she was trying to hide. It obviously made her uncomfortable and that was all the more reason to find out what it was that she was doing. He walked steadily towards her, keeping his eyes on her, but watching out of the corner of his eyes the objects on the counter.

A smile started to form across his face as a plan also started to formulate.

"So, strawberries, my favorite fruit." He reached out to grab on that had rolled slightly astray and placed it in his mouth. "Thanks."

With that he turned to leave. Yeah, that was all he would do to her tonight. He would let that one fester a little more over the last run in they had with strawberries.

He made his way to his room and flung himself onto his bed. The taste of the berry was still clinging in his mouth along with the memories of the feel of Liz's delicate lips upon his. When he had kissed her he had meant for it simply to be a plan of revenge, but instead it had awakened something deep within him. Was it possible that all of the years of teasing and taunting were now going to amount to this? Was it possible that their pranks were now really some cruel form of flirting?

Was it really possible that the one person in the world that he could not stand to think about or be around was the person that he could now stop thinking about and being around? Was fate playing some sort of cruel joke on him now?

Was he falling for mousy Liz Parker?


TBC

posted on 4-Dec-2001 5:27:46 PM
Part 9

Liz had walked into her room one night and there was a gift sitting on her bed. It was wrapped in one of the most beautiful bows she had ever seen. It wasn't large, by any means, but still, it caught her completely by surprise. It wasn't her birthday and she hadn't really done anything for someone to give her a gift as a thank you or something like that.

She walked casually up to her bed with her eye on the present with each step. She was still a little confused as to who and why someone would have given her a gift. She sat down onto the bouncy springs and reached for the gift. It appeared to be wrapped in a shoebox or something about that size. It was almost a shame to touch the gift; it just looked so beautiful simply sitting there.

The thought suddenly crossed her mind that the present could be some cruel joke from Max. He would do something like that. She could see the whole thing now… She would open the box and something would jump out at her and she would go screaming through the house. Of course, Max would be waiting somewhere nearby, maybe in the Crashdown, just waiting for her to come running through the double doors. Or maybe there was something else inside: Something alive, just waiting to crawl out and bite her or run all over her room.

Liz snapped herself out of her stupor. That thinking was stupid for many reasons, the first being that Max would never even buy her a gift, let alone think to get her something as a gag. Maybe it was from Michael, but no, even though he was a great brother, he wasn't quite that thoughtful.

She decided to search for a card because it seemed like the most logical thing to do next. She picked up the gift, turning it in all directions searching for a card, but it looked like there wasn't one. How frustrating was that. Well, maybe it was inside.

Or maybe it was from Maria or Isabel; they would do something like this. Her relationship had been growing in leaps and bounds over the last few weeks. But, every now and then they would get into a slight disagreement. Because of her alien status Liz always had to hide something from her and it was starting to come out in their relationship. Something little would happen, or Liz would use her powers to fix something when she thought no one was paying attention and she would always get questioned by a seemingly endless bombardment of questions from Maria. It was getting harder and harder to hide who she really was.

In fact, they had gotten into a little argument the other day so it really was quite possible that the gift was a peace offering from her.

But then again it could be Isabel. They had always been giving each other gifts at the most random of times throughout their entire lives. And Isabel had always been so thoughtful with things like that. Maybe Isabel had noticed how down or rather how out of it she had been lately. Ever since Max kissed her it seemed like the way she viewed her life had changed. She wasn't really sure if was for the better or for the worse, but somehow it was different.

That must be who it was from. Confident in the resolution that she had come to, she finally decided to open the present. She was careful not to rip the beautiful bow. Maybe she would hang it up on her wall in the bathroom or something. It couldn't just be tossed.

She meticulously pulled the wrapping paper from the small box. She lifted the lid as she held her breath in anticipation of what the contents of the box would be.

Inside sat a small leather bound journal with the symbol of the royal family crest on the outside. It was the one with the five stars of the constellation with the one in the apex bigger and sparklier than the others. She ran her fingers over the embossed emblem, going over each star until she finally ended on the brightest one. She let it rest there for a moment. The only people who ever got anything or gave anything like this had to be a part of the royal family. On top of that, there were only three people on the entire planet of Earth that knew where it was she was really from. Excluding herself that is. So, that narrowed down the possibilities quite nicely. She would just have to figure out whether it was Isabel or Michael that had given it to her. The third option, well that could not be an option. He would never do anything so thoughtful for her.

She opened up the leather bound book revealing it's blank pages just waiting for her to fill them with her most intimate thoughts that were never ever revealed, under any circumstances to anyone else. Not even Isabel.

It was the perfect gift and it had absolutely made her day.

Liz sat up on her bed with a sudden determination to find out whom it was, exactly that had given her the incredible gift.

She rose from her bed with the journal in hand and proceeded to Michael's room. It was Sunday so they both had the day off from work.

She knocked lightly on the door so as not to surprise him or startle him. He always hated that when she did that. And since she was in the mood for being nice, especially after what he had given to her, she knocked.

"Hey Liz. What are you up to?"

"Well, actually, I came by to thank you." She moved towards his bed, taking a seat on the edge of it.

"Thank me for what?"

"Michael, you know what for!" So he wanted to claim innocence, huh? Well, he never was good at public displays of emotion so it really was no shock that he was going to try and get out of the responsibility of dealing with this.

"Liz, quit pulling my leg all ready. But I guess if you want to thank me for something, you might as well just go on ahead and do it. I can take it." A small smile was forming on his face as he started to joke with his sister.

"Michael, thank you for the gift, you know, the journal. That was the most thoughtful thing in the whole world, both of them."

A confused look passed over Michaels face.

"You didn't give me the journal, did you?"

"Not that I knew of, but it I did, well then, I did a good job and you are more than welcome."

"Oh, Michael, it's all right. I thought it was probably you, but I guess it was Isabel. I think I am just going to run over there then and thank her. Sorry about the mix up."

She leaned over and nudged his side.

"Hey, it's all right. I only wish I had thought of it first."

She cast a sincere smile his way as she rose to leave the room. Michael could be one of the sweetest, most sincere people she at times, and then at others, well, he was someone totally different. He was totally boxed up and shut off to the emotions of the world. She wished he would show more of the previous side some more. Then maybe he would have had some luck at making more friends.

Liz made her way over to the Evan's home to make a surprise visit to Isabel. She was positive now that it was Isabel who had given her the journal.

She rang the doorbell and waited a few seconds as the footsteps from inside gradually grew closer and closer. The door flew open to find a half dressed, nicely sculpted Max standing in front of her.

"Umm… Hi…. I, um… Is Isabel here?" She finally managed to spit out.

A small smirk started to form on his face at her obvious flushing when he opened the door. So, he had shaken her up a little. That last plan had been the best one yet. But the unfortunate thing about the whole strawberry scene was that it hadn't been planned and it seemed to be backfiring on him. But he would never admit that to himself let alone to another living person. And especially never to Liz. They were mortal enemies and that was just the way it had always been and the way it always would be. Wasn't it?

"Um, yeah, she's in her bedroom."

"Sure, um, thanks." She stepped inside the house, squeezing my Max who nearly blocked the whole doorway. She closed her eyes as her back came into contact with his chest, trying to stop herself from feeling something completely illegal.

'Just keep walking, Parker. Don't look back, don't think about it, and more than anything, don't let him know that it affected you so much.'

Max stood stone still in the doorway as Liz continued down the hallway towards Isabel's room. Her hair had smelled so good, the scent still lingering in the air where she had just passed. He closed his eyes in order to compose himself. He was determined not to give into these feelings he was suddenly feeling.

Strawberries. That was the smell. He knew he recognized it. She had never used that scent before, or it had never caught his senses like that before. In fact, now that he thought about it, it was a new thing, since the kiss. And the strawberries. Was it possible that he had made a lasting impression on her as well as on himself?

************************************************************************
Liz entered into Isabel's room to find her sitting at her desk going through various shades of lipstick trying to find the perfect one to match her outfit. All using her powers of course.

"Isabel, thank you so much for the journal. I love it!"

"Liz, have you lost it? I didn't get you a journal. It must have been from Michael, but let me see it!" She had a big smile on her face, for anytime that Liz came to visit it just made the day so much better. And was definitely in the mood to talk.

"You didn't get it for me?"

"No, why?"

"Well, it's just that it has the royal seal on the outside, and I already asked Michael and he didn't give it to me. I just assumed it was you after he denied it. Who else would give it to me? No one else but the four of us knows about the royal seal."

"I have no idea who it was, but it wasn't me."

"Well, then that leaves only one other person and he would never think of doing something like this, or would he?"


TBC

posted on 4-Dec-2001 5:31:18 PM
Part 10a

Using her powers had never really been a big deal before. Of course before she was on another planet where it was normal to have some kind of powers. Max had the gift of healing, Isabel could dreamwalk, Michael could, well, he was really good at blowing things up. But, she preferred to call it "blowing things" up. He had always struggled a little at controlling his powers in order to employ them for a specific purpose. As for herself, she hadn't really developed her powers. It was a personal choice that she had made years ago. She always considered herself someone different and someone special and living in the palace, she had never really needed to develop anything unique. Sure, she used some powers to repair a tear here and there, or the color of something, but it had never been anything obvious.

So, it had been natural to use her powers the other day. She hadn't really thought anything about it until she looked over and realized that Maria was lying passed out on the floor…

She should have been more careful. Max, Michael, and Isabel were going to kill her. She had exposed them all. She had blown it big time. They were probably all going to have to go back to Antar and she was going to be punished. She had been kicking herself all afternoon.

************************************************************************
Earlier that day…

Liz was working the early shift at the Crashdown on a Saturday afternoon. She really was not in a good mood. She was tired and hot. Of course there had to be a heat wave in the middle of November and the air conditioner had broken down due to overuse. And finally to make matters worse, it was Saturday and she was stuck, on the one day that she could have slept in, working the early shift.

"Miss, um, excuse me, miss? I wanted my eggs over easy, not over hard."

"Oh, I'm sorry, let me just go get some new ones for you."

What was wrong with these people? An egg is an egg is an egg. All morning it had been nothing but "Miss, get me this," and "Miss, can I have my bill," and "Can we get some service over here?"

The dining area was packed at 7:30 and she was the only waitress on duty, for lack of a better term. Maria, her dear friend Maria, had decided to not show up. Who knew where she was. Perhaps she overslept, or maybe she and Michael decided to finally get together and do something, but that was highly unlikely.

So, there she was, manning the fort that was way too large for one person to man.

She grabbed the man's plate to return his eggs to the kitchen and placed the plate on her already full tray. After an amazing balancing act, dodging the swinging kitchen door, and then distributing the dishes to their proper locations in the kitchen, she delivered the man's eggs to the cook.

"I need the eggs over eggs over easy. Picky customers today."

"No problem Liz."

Another one of her orders came up while she was waiting for her eggs, so she decided to deliver the plates to the table. Loading them up onto another large tray, she carefully pulled it up onto her shoulder and proceeded towards the swinging doors. She rounded the corner behind the counter top in the back when her foot caught in one of the legs sending her sprawling onto the floor. The plates also came shattering to the floor, sending glass in several directions

"Darn it!"

She stood up, shaking off her uniform and doing a quick inspection to make sure that she was all right. After arriving at the conclusion that she was all right, there was now the new predicament of what to do with the now broken dishes and the food that was once on them but was now spread evenly across the floor. It was so busy that there would never be time to remake the food, and she was all ready in too bad of a mood to go and apologize to the people about the delay of their food.

She glanced quickly around her to make sure no one was looking and then reached out her hand to fix the broken plates of food. Why not take a short cut if no one had to find out?

As the last plate came together she let out a sigh of satisfaction. Thanks goodness for her alien powers! At least they managed to make her day a little earlier; at least something seemed to be going her way.

She turned around to continue on her way when she spotted Maria standing in the doorway, looking a little pale.

"Liz… what was that?"

Liz's face color immediately faded to a similar shade as the thought that Maria may have seen something.

"Um, ah, hi Maria."

"Liz, what did you just do? There were broken plates, and then…. And then… well then you… you… then they weren't broken anymore! Liz, I am thinking up every horrible situation right now. I am thinking that there must be some reasonable explanation for this, but honestly, right now, I am flipping out. Liz, please tell me that I didn't just see what I thought I just saw and that I am dreaming. Yeah, dreaming! That's it. I just need to pinch myself and then I will wake up and everything will be all right. This is all a side effect of living in the kooky town. So, now I am going to pinch myself and then I am going to wake up in my own bed and this is never have going to have happened. Hah! See this is all my wild imagination, and I do have a wild imagination running away with me again. It is my imagination, Liz, isn't it? Isn't it?"

Liz stood silently, perfectly still in shock of what Maria had just said. She had definitely seen something. She had blown it. She should have known better.

"Liz, please say something, because I am going to warn you that I am going to flip out in a second here, and I don't know if I…"

"Maria."

"Liz, I need to…"

"Maria. Just let me explain."

"Yes, please do, because I am really confused at the moment and…"

"Maria. Let me explain. Please, just sit down on the couch here. There is a reasonable explanation for whatever it is that you thought you saw."

"Liz, I know what I saw and it wasn't normal…"

Liz sat Maria down onto the couch slowly. What is the world was she going to do? Should she tell her the truth or should she claim innocence? The question she should really be asking herself was 'What will the other say?' She was sure that if Isabel heard the whole story she would eventually come and see things her way. After all, Liz was a little tired of hiding who she really was. It was really tiring having to hide her powers and her true identity for months on end, let along two years. Maybe she could just hint at it. But could she trust Maria? She was pretty sure that she could, but what if she went running out of the room totally freaked out and then never spoke to her again? Could she live with that?

"Maria, I need you to promise that you will never tell anyone what you saw here today. Please. I hate to beg, but I am going to. Please, please, please don't tell anyone."

"I promise Liz, but what did I see? What did you do? Liz, who are you?"

"Maria, I can't tell you. Please just trust me in that it is not my secret to tell. Please just give me time and don't tell anyone. Please, I am begging you."

It was getting obvious that she wasn't going to be able to keep this secret from Maria forever. She was going to have to talk to Max, Michael, and Isabel about the whole thing. Part of her wanted more than anything to tell Maria the whole story, the whole truth. She wanted someone other that the other three to know who she really was inside: The real her.

************************************************************************
Maria had left that day in stunned silence, but Liz was sure that she would not stay that way forever. She was going to crack eventually. What was she going to do?

The secret was out.


TBC

Part 10b

The meeting was set for Sunday night, which was way too soon as far as Liz was concerned. There was no time to prepare a thoroughly thought out speech with bullet points and counter arguments…

Tonight was the night she was going to break it gently to Max, Michael, and Isabel that she has blown their cover, sort of, and she had no idea what she was going to say.

She knew that Maria had witnessed her using her powers, but she had not brought up the topic since the incident. Oddly enough, Maria has been eerily silent about Liz's use of her powers. Liz was starting to doubt that Maria had really seen anything and whether all of the torment of the stress she as going through was really necessary at all.

But, no, Maria had made it pretty clear yesterday that she had most definitely seen something. Therefore, she was simply just going to have to suck it up face the music. She had to tell the others.

Liz rose from her chair on her balcony where she had been sitting for the last hour watching the sunset. The sunset on earth was so different from the ones on Antar, not necessarily better or worse, just different. But that was not was important at the moment. She needed to stop procrastinating and just walk over to the ladder and climb down. Then she would walk on over to the Evans' place for their meeting.

But nothing was that simple, especially this.

A soft knock on her bedroom window awakened her from her thoughts. She turned to face her window, revealing the confused face of her brother.

"Are we going to head over there or not, Liz?"

"Yeah, eventually." She turned to face the sunset again.

"Liz, you have been saying that for the last couple of hours. I have already called Max four times to postpone the meeting. If we are going to do this then we had better go before it is tomorrow already."

Liz shivered slightly at a chill in the air. Or maybe it really was the thought of how her kind brother was going to react to the news she had to share. She was pretty sure that if he had any idea what it was he would not be so anxious to get over to the Evans' either.

Michael watched as the chill swept through Liz's body. Something must have really been bothering her. Usually she couldn't wait to get over to the Evans' to visit Isabel, but tonight it seemed like she would rather be anywhere but there.

"Liz, did you have a fight with Isabel or something?"

"Hmmm? No, no fight. I'm sorry Michael. We can go now. I'm ready."

Michael walked up to Liz and placed his arm around Liz's waist and gave her a firm squeeze to help reassure her that everything would be all right, no matter what it was that was bothering her.

Liz turned her head to give Michael a loving gaze to say thank you for being so wonderful and caring.

They then walked arm in arm to the edge of the balcony and descended the ladder. When the reached the bottom, Michael replaced his arm around Liz's waist and they made their way to the meeting.

************************************************************************
The four of them gathered in Max's room to have their meeting. Liz and Isabel sat on the bed while Michael straddled the desk chair backwards. Max sat on another chair brought up from the kitchen and leaned back against the windowsill.

"Liz, I think it is about time that you tell us what it is that is so important. I mean, you have kept us waiting in complete suspense for the last couple of hours. Did you fail a class or something?"

"Max, just shut up and let Liz talk." Isabel scolded her brother.

"Well, actually the reason I called this meeting is because, well, because… Boy, this really isn't easy to say, so I guess I am just going to have to come out and say it. I should have rehearsed it more. Ok. So here it goes." Liz stopped to take a sigh, as sigh that last a minute or two.

The entire room was silent waiting for Liz to speak again.

Isabel gave Liz a gently nudge with her elbow.

The words suddenly came tumbling out of Liz's mouth as if she would die if she didn't speak them. "I used my powers!"

There! It was out! The weight on Liz's shoulders was suddenly lifted and her soul felt about one hundred pounds lighter.

Max began to chuckle quietly at the sudden release of tension. That was it? That was what this secret meeting was all about?

"Liz, big deal! I use my powers everyday! I see no reason to continue this meeting. This is the most ridiculous meeting we have ever had to call. I, for one, am going to leave now and get something to eat."

Max stood and began walking towards his door, another round of deep, throaty chuckles escaping him.

…"In front of Maria." Liz finished.

Max was frozen in his place by the doorway with his hand outstretched, reaching for the doorknob.

Michael's face started to radiate anger and Isabel seemed panic stricken.

Max finally turned around, his face enraged.

"You what? You used your powers? Liz, we had and still have rules about that. How could you let that happen?"

Michael decided to throw his ten cents in. "Were you even thinking Liz? You are usually so careful!"

"I don't know what happened! It was a really long day and I was in a terrible mood. I dropped all of the dished on the floor and they broke. I decided to fix them. I looked before I did it! No one was there, she must have walked in right after I turned my head."

"Liz how could you? You know better then to use your powers!"

"Michael, you use your powers all the time. How can you blame me for something that is a part of me? For goodness sake's, we are no humans! We are Antarians hiding in plain sight; it was only a matter of time before one of us was bound to slip up. It just happened to be me, and for that I am sorry. But you know what? I am not sorry that Maria knows. I need someone to talk to about who I really am. Sure, I have you Isabel, but I also need knew friends, other girlfriends to talk to."

"Liz, that is never possible. As your brother and as your superior I am telling you that there can be no others. Our situation here on earth isn't even permanent. We cannot form any permanent attachments to anything. We have to remain aloof to everyone other than the four of us sitting here in this room."

"But, Michael…"

"No, Liz. There are no buts this time. This is the way that it has to be."

With that last statement, Michael rose from his seat and walked towards the door, opened it and then walked into the living room. Liz heard the front door open shortly after his exit from the bedroom. She then jumped at the sound of the door slamming. Isabel also stood and walked out of the room, shock written all over her face.

"Isabel, please say something."

Isabel turned back around and threw Liz an angry glance.

"Liz, I don't have anything to say."

She then proceeded out of the room and headed towards her own room and slammed her door.

Liz was left sitting on the bed with no words left, no argument left, no more fight within her. She was defeated; cast away from those who loved her the most, from those who really knew her. Isabel would never speak to her again and she would be alone, stuck on earth by herself for the next year and one half.

She raised her head to take in her surrounding and was surprised to see that Max was still in the room.

"Max, I'm so sorry." The sobs that she had kept so carefully restrained deep inside finally started to make their way to the surface. "I'm… so… sorry. I never… meant… for any… of this… to… happ…en."

Max rose from his chair by the window and rushed over to Liz's side and buried her sobbing form in his arms. Liz's head came to rest perfectly in the crook of his neck and she let the floodgates open, drenching the shoulder of his shirt.

"Oh Liz. Innocent Liz. It is all right. Some one would have found out eventually. I am glad that Maria knows, for your sake. You came here for us, so unselfishly. Liz, I am glad someone knows."

He brought his hand up to the back of her head and began to stroke her chocolate brown hair. It was so smooth and it actually shocked him that he had been able to resist it that long already. The strawberry scent was slowly wafting up towards his nose and the scent seemed to fill the air.

Liz slowly began to compose herself and the realization of whose arms she was firmly embraced in dawned on her. She sat up quickly and brought her hand up to her eyes to wipe away the remnants of the tears that had just been there.

It had felt a little too perfect to be held so dearly in his arms. It felt so right, but was really something totally and completely wrong. It was something that could never be and would never be. Almost to her dismay…

Liz raised her head to look into Max's eyes. She realized a bit to late that that was a big mistake.

Max's hand rose to Liz's face and caressed the side of her face, gently rubbing his thumb back and forth in a comforting manner. Their eyes were locked together as Max slowly lowered his head towards Liz's, his eyes slowly lowering to look at her quivering lips.

The contact of their lips sent a warming sensation through both of their bodies, causing Liz to give another slight shudder.

The kiss was gentle and soft and completely reassuring, but so wrong. Liz slowly pulled away and rose from the bed, leaving a very stunned Max staring straight ahead.

"Max, thank you for your comforting words and letting me bawl my eyes out on your shoulder, but don't plan on it ever happening again."

With that she turned to leave, leaving an utterly speechless Max sitting alone in his room.


TBC


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 24-Jan-2002 1:32:47 AM ]
posted on 4-Dec-2001 5:35:54 PM
Part 11

Max spent the next few days reviewing his existence and his purpose in life. Liz Parker had caused emotions to rise within him that he had no idea were even there. He had to stop them. She was not his destiny, Ava was, and that was the way that things had to be. So, if he was supposed to have eternal feeling for this Ava lady, then why was he having these strange feelings about Liz. His mind and heart had to be playing tricks on him. There was no way in the universe that anything would ever come out of any relationship they might decide to have.

They were enemies to the core. They did not agree on anything. There were enough bitter words exchanged between them to last two lifetimes. There was no spark between them, it was simply all pent up emotions of revenge and hatred expressing itself in another form.

He, Max Evans, was not falling for Liz Parker, his sister's Lady in Waiting! He refused to admit to himself that she really was more than a Lady in Waiting, even though they had all grown up together and she was Isabel's best friend. He had always had a soft spot for her that he couldn't explain. She always got the best of him.

They had been through everything together. Back on Antar when they were children, during one of their equestrian training sessions, her horse had twisted an ankle. Of course, it had been his fault.

***Flashback***

He had challenged her to a race across a meadow they had come upon. He had done it merely so that he could beat her and then rub it in her face. After all, the ladies had to ride side-saddled, and that wasn't the greatest method for racing.

Liz had eagerly accepted the challenge and promptly let out the "Go!" signal.

The horses took off at a lightening pace, flying over the waist high flowers of the meadow.

Max had ridden out in this meadow several times before and had memorized the landscape as his trainer had instructed him to. But, Liz didn't know that and he was going to make sure to take full advantage of that.

They were flying neck in neck, skillfully dodging rocks and small trees.

Max finally started to pull away a little and decided to take a route that might throw her off a little. He steered his horse slightly to the right and pressed on increasing the distance between himself and Liz. A high pitched laugh caught his attention, turning his head to see what it was, he noticed that Liz had managed, while riding, to change her position on her horse. She was no longer sitting side-saddled, but rather straddling the horse as he was. She was catching up quickly!

Max silently cursed to himself. There was no way that he was going to let her catch back up to him. If they could only make it a few feet further they would be to that tricky patch. He would easily dodge it, but she would be forced to slow down just a bit. That bit would be enough for him to safely secure his role as the victorious winner of the race.

Max's horse easily jumped over the slight slope that was invisible to the naked eye. He began to mentally pat himself on the back when he suddenly heard a scream coming from behind him. He decided to ignore it, thinking it was probably just Liz's exclamation of surprise when she found his little surprise for her. His pace never slowed as he reached the designated finish line. Hopping off of his horse, he turned to face Isabel and Michael so that they could congratulate him on his slaughter over Liz.

But no one was there! He whipped back around to face the meadow and saw them both running in the same direction, towards a fallen Liz.

Great. She just had to go and fall off of the horse. She should have known better than to try and follow, let alone keep up with him.

Reluctantly, Max turned and followed his friends back into the meadow. He's better at least feign innocence.

Tears started to run down Isabel's face as she imagined the worst. Max laughed as he heard a small sob escape her. Liz was probably just fine. She was probably sitting on the ground waiting for him to run over, all worried, and fall at her feet apologizing. Never!

Instead, to his surprise, he found her kneeling next to her horse; it's neck embrace between her small arms. She was running hand down the mane in a comforting manner. She was sobbing uncontrollably as her eyes turned upwards, meeting his.

"I don't know what… happened. I was just going along, and then she fell!" She managed to choke out through her sobs.

Michael came back towards Liz after a quick surveillance of the terrain. "There was a small whole in the ground just a l ways over there. Liz, your horse must have stepped in it while you were racing. I'll bet she twisted her ankle. It's probably hurt really badly from the looks of it. Liz, we'll probably have to put her away or down."

A small wail was heard escaping from Liz. The horse had been a gift from Michael on her seventh birthday. She was her prized possession.

She continued to rub her hands down the horse's mane. Leaning in, she whispered quietly into her ear. "It will be all right. I will not let anything happen to you. Don't worry." She looked up and faked a small smile at the concerned faces around her. Until her eyes came to rest upon Max's…

"Max! This is all your fault! You knew that there was a whole there and you wanted to win the race. You knew that I would beat you and you are just a sore loser! Max, how could you be so mean? I never want to speak to you again!"

She turned back to her horse and buried her face in its warm neck, sobs continuing to wrack her body.

Max couldn't take this anymore. He enjoyed his revenge against Liz, but not when it caused her this much pain.

"Liz, I am really sorry. I can make it better. I have been working on my gift of healing, maybe I can help her."

"Don't you get it Max? That's not the point."

"Liz, let it go already. He's am offering you the chance to save your horse. Would you just accept his offer already? Just let your pride go for a minute." Michael scolded his sister.

"All right. Max, if you can do something about this, then you had better do it. It is all your fault after all."

Max moved in over her horse and placed his hands on its ankle. He felt the energy gather in his mind and then focused on channeling it down into his hands. He had to really focus to get it to do exactly what he wanted it to do. But, he could do it if he really tried. He had to or Liz would never speak to him again.

He slowly pulled away after fixing as much as his small hands could.

"That's all."

"Thanks Max."

************************************************************************
Unknown to Max or any of the others, Liz and Michael's parents had followed them out on their ride to make sure that they didn't get into too much trouble. They knew about the tense relationship between Max and Liz and were sure that something was going to take place between the two.

Genevieve inhaled sharply at the scene she has just witnessed.

"Jeffrey, could it be that those two are soul mates and we missed it?"

"My wife, you know that that couldn't be. The oracle foretold when Max was born that Lady Ava was his match. Max and Liz are simply friends."

"What if we were wrong? How will we ever know?"

"Destiny will run its course and then we will know who the real soul mate is. But, I am going to trust the oracle. The oracle said that their love would form far from home. How is that possible when they are both here?"

"I suppose you are right. But still, do you think it would be all right if we were to keep and eye on them throughout their lives? You know, monitor them secretly? If there was a mistake, they do deserve the chance to be together."

"Yes, they do. You are right. We will try to do something to watch them."

***End flashback***

Max sat up suddenly in his bed, the realization of a long forgotten memory hitting him like a bolt of lightening.

"The journal!"


TBC


posted on 4-Dec-2001 5:40:30 PM
Part 12

**Back on Antar**

"Do you suppose they will suspect anything?" Genevieve quietly asked her husband.

"I would not think so. Liz has always loved to write down her thoughts. She and Max act like enemies to cover something deeper. I have no doubt that she will probably assume that the journal is from someone else. Probably Isabel."

"I know. I suppose you are right. Is it time for us to check up on them yet? I miss her so much, and the years of wondering about the oracle has me wondering."

"My love, we must wait a while and let her pour her soul onto those pages. I miss our daughter as much as you do, and I too want some answers, but this will take time. We will check up on her in one month."

Genevieve walked over to her husband and leaned her head gently onto his shoulder. He in turn placed his arm securely around her waist, pulling her possessively towards him.

"Let's just give it time. Just a little time."

"I can live with that."

************************************************************************
Maria banged forcefully on the milkshake machine in one last pitiful attempt at getting it to produce more that simply a runny substance.

"I can never get this stupid contraption to work." She kneeled quickly, folding her hands in front of her.

"Please, I am begging you. Just this once I need you to work? What do you want from me?"

Laughter coming from the kitchen suddenly registered in her head as she threw an evil glare towards the kitchen window where Michael was leaning over the counter smiling at her.

That boy was driving her crazy. Could he be any more arrogant?

"I don't suppose that you could come over here and do anything about this, could you? Or do you prefer to just stand there and laugh at helpless women. Except, I'm not a helpless woman, so what, exactly, is it that you are laughing at?"

Michael continued to lean over the counter, a huge grin on his face. There was nothing quite as amusing as irritating this little spitfire.

"Michael Parker, can I say it any clearer? Get your royal butt over here and fix this thing!"

Fury was written all over her face. She had no idea who it was that she was messing with. It was definitely time to get over there and help her. He slowly walked around through the back door and entered the main dining area. He turned around to the backside of the counter and halted in front of the milkshake machine. After giving a quick glance about the mostly empty café to make sure that no one was watching, he stretched out his hand to the broken machine.

Focusing his energy into his hand, he quickly repaired the problem with the milkshake machine.

He whipped around to face Maria, determinism in his voice.

"There. Are you happy now? Make your milkshake."

"Michael, can I speak to you momentarily in the back. Now!"

Maria was fuming and Michael almost swore he could see the steam rising from her head. But he trudged his way into the back room, quietly following her.

"What did you do back there? All I wanted you to do was to fix the stupid machine, and instead you had to go and do some voodoo magic truck on it and "poof!" it was all better. After all that work that I put into it, you just had to go and put me in my place. But that isn't even the issue here. I do not want you doing that special powers thing around here. More specifically, around me. I having a hard enough time dealing with this whole new revelation as it is, and then you just had to throw that little show in there. Geez, Michael, I just found out about your whole "secret identity" thing. You don't have to go and make it more difficult for me."

Her face had become flushed as she spoke with so much passion.

"Oh, well if that's all you have to say, I am going to get back to the kitchen. There are people waiting for their burgers, and they didn't order milkshakes."

"Fine, I think it's about time for you to head back to the kitchen and get to flipping burgers. There are people out there waiting for their food and they didn't order milkshakes."

Maria turned on her heals and let out a loud huff as she entered back into the dining area. Man, he was irritating.

Michael stood his ground in the back room. Yup, he was such a goner.

************************************************************************
Max had decided to swallow his pride and made his way to Liz's house. They needed to figure out what exactly was going on.

Were they being spied on? What was someone monitoring them? Was someone monitoring them? What exactly were they looking for? Were they after him? Or worse yet, were they after Liz?

Max stopped dead in his tracks. This was a stupid idea, and a really bad plan. What was he thinking? Was simply walking up to her door and approaching her really the smart move? Maybe he should sit at home for a while and think this one through.

Yeah, that was sounding a little bit better. Maybe he could call her then too and he could avoid the whole awkward face-to-face thing.

Max looked up from the ground that he had been staring at for the last few minutes. He was standing in the alleyway to the Crashdown, and just happened to be right next to the fire escape ladder that led up to Liz's balcony.

Max wondered if she might be sitting up there right now, lying back on her lawn chair, staring at the starry sky overhead.

A smile came to his face at the image forming in his head.

He unconsciously began to climb the ladder up to her balcony. It was as if he had lost control of his actions and there was some strange pull guiding him further and further up the ladder.

He slowed as he reached the top, afraid that Liz might be there and be in for the surprise of a lifetime. She would never forgive him if he were to sneak up her like that. So, in order to avoid that predicament, Max stealthily peaked his head over the top of the wall, eyes examining every corner of the area. Liz was nowhere to be seen. That was a relief. But now that he was up there, what was he going to do? Liz wasn't there, so he might as well just climb back down the ladder. It was probably better that way. Now he would have more time to formulate a plan before approaching Liz.

Max made the weight shift to move back down the ladder, but instead his right leg ended up swinging up over the wall and landed on Liz's balcony. His left leg was not far behind.

What was going on with him? He had no control over his actions.

Max walked over to the wall by Liz's window and leaned his back against it in an effort to gain some composure and control.

His hand reached behind him and lay flat against the brick wall.

Suddenly he was hit with a flash of Liz standing alone on her balcony.

*****FLASH*****

She threw a careful glance around to make sure that no one could see what she was about to do. She was holding a medium sized, leather bound book in her hand. She turned and walked back to her window, but instead of climbing back inside to her room, she turned quickly to the left and knelt down. Her hands felt around the wall, searching for the loose brick that she had discovered several days before. A smile broke across her face as her hands found their goal. She carefully removed a brick from the wall and placed it on the ground next to her.

She looked down tenderly at the leather bound book in her hands.

That's when he saw it. The royal emblem was on the cover and it was glowing. Was this her journal?

Liz lifted the book to the small whole in the wall and placed it securely within it. She then reached behind her and grabbed the brick placing it back into its spot in the wall. She stood up and stretched, throwing her arms high above her head as if trying to grasp the sky. She gently lowed her arms and placed them around her waist as a slight shiver went through her body.

She then turned to enter through her window into her bedroom.

*****END FLASH*****

Max's hand that rested against the wall pushed a little harder on the brick it leaned against. To his surprise, it gave way ever so slightly.

Could it be? Was the flash something real? Max flung himself around to face the wall and carefully crouched down, his hand remaining on the loose brick.

He grasped the brick and coaxed it out of its cocoon. Sure enough, it moved with his gentle urges.

His hand cautiously entered into the dark space feeling around for anything that could remotely be what he saw in his flash. After all, it was quite possible that what he saw in the future and therefore was yet to happen.

Suddenly, his hand brushed against something that felt leatherish. Was it really possible? Were all of his questions about to be answered?

He grabbed onto the object and he pulled it out from its hiding place. Anticipation and mystery was written all over his face.

It finally came into view, and he gradually raised it, bringing it closer in order to more clearly view the cover of the object.

It was the leather bound book that he has seen in the flash. That meant that the flash had been past tense. The book, this book that he now held in his hand was real.

Max sat up quickly, and placing the book securely under his arm, he began his descent back down the ladder and onto the street below.

He had parked his car several blocks away, afraid that Liz would either hear it or see it parked below and avoid him. He began the trek back to the jeep.

Once Max reached his room back at home he sat down on his bed and turned on the small lamp so that he could inspect this new object he had confiscated.

So what was Liz Parker up to these days?

He cautiously opened the journal and turned to the first page with writing on it.

"October 25. My name is Liz Parker and today something was awakened within me. Something that feels an awful lot like a pull. I can't explain it.

I was over at Isabel's today because of our meeting about what to do with my accidentally using my powers in front of Maria. And that was when it started. Michael and Isabel were all upset with me and left the room.

Have you ever felt like your whole world is falling apart around you and it was completely your fault. Where suddenly this place where you decided to put yourself suddenly decides to play a dirty trick on you? Today my world came crashing down around me and I had no one there for me. Except him. Max. Max Evans. Prince Max. Mortal, sworn enemy Max.

He held me in his arms and let me weep. He gave me his shoulder to lean on. And those words that he said, they haunt me. But, it's not a bad haunt; it is more like a constant comforting voice echoing through my head all the time.

What exactly is going on with me? I feel like someone needs to pinch me and wake me up from this dream. Does Max feel something more for me than hate? Or the more important question here is, do I feel more for Max than I am letting myself admit?"

Max sat on his bed, utterly speechless.


TBC

posted on 13-Dec-2001 2:41:29 AM
Twice on Sundays? Gee, I feel so flabergasted right now! hehe. Thanks so much! *big*
posted on 13-Dec-2001 2:42:27 AM
Part 13

Isabel was sitting in one of the booths at the Crashdown drinking a cup of coffee. It was an interesting concoction, but had become addicted to it since she came to earth. There was no way she could make it through a day without at least one cup. She was definitely planning on taking a lifetime supply of it back to Antar with her.

But for now, she was simply passing the day away lost in her own thoughts.

How could Liz have done that to them all? Their entire existence was now jeopardized. Maria would never be able to keep such a big secret. She was going to crack and it was only a matter of time. Heck, she couldn't even pour her a cup of coffee earlier.

Maria had managed to spill it all over the table and onto her brand new pants. Thank goodness for alien powers or she would have had permanent coffee stains.

Yeah, she was definitely going to crack. Soon.

************************************************************************
Liz was standing in the back of the restaurant peering through the glass window in the door. Isabel was sitting right there, all alone. Heaven knows that they needed to talk. It had almost been two weeks since she had broken the news that their secret was out.

It was tearing Liz up inside. She had lost her best friend in the universe and she felt completely lost. Something had to be done. But somehow she could not get her feet to move from where she stood. Her heart willed her to go, but her body had other plans.

And that was how Maria found her.

She walked up behind Liz and reached out her hand to touch her should, but pulled it back at the last minute. She didn't want to contract some disease or something from touching an alien. But wait! She had hugged Liz several times over the last month or two! Maybe she was already contaminated with something!

'Oh gosh, I'm going to die!' She thought to herself.

'Geez, Deluca, get a hold of yourself…'

Instead, she decided to give a loud clearing of her throat to get Liz's attention.

Liz whipped around, a little surprised that she was being watched. She was sure that she had been the only one in the room.

"Maria! Oh gosh, you scared me. I was just… um, watching… um, checking to see how crowded the restaurant was before I went to work. You know, um, assess the situation."

There was no way that she was going to buy that. If Liz seriously thought that she was going to get away with that, she was wrong. She was a friend, whether that is alien or human, and gosh darn it, she was going to be just that.

"You know, she won't be here much longer."

"Oh, I know… Wait, um… What are you talking about? Who won't be here much longer?"

"You know exactly who I am talking about. Isabel. I don't know if you have super powers that can fix a relationship with another alien, but I have a feeling that you don't. So, this thing is not going to be fixed by you just standing there and staring at her."

Liz's eyes began to well up with tears as the truth of Maria's words sunk in.

"Oh Maria," she started walking towards her and threw her arms around her friend, "I just don't know what to do. She's been avoiding me ever since I told her that you know that we're… that we're… well, you know what we are."

Maria's hand was running up and down Liz's back in a comforting manner. She decided that if she was going to die from some disease, she had probably already contracted it. It was already too late, so she might as well do something worthwhile with what was left of her life.

"Come here, Chica." Maria led Liz over to the couch and they plopped down. Liz plastered her head down into Maria's lap and placed her feet on the other end of the couch. Maria began stroking Liz's hair as her lap began more and more soaked with tears. The thought crossed her mind that maybe the tears were contaminated somehow, but then again, Liz had already cried more than once in the last week on her. Either way, her life was definitely short.

"Maria, I just don't know what to do." Sniff. "She won't even talk to me." Sniff. "I miss her so much." Sniff. "We always talk." Sniff. "We always tell each other everything." Sniff. "I was just doing what I thought I was supposed to do." Sniff. "I thought she had the right to know." Sniff. "I thought they all did." Sniff. "Now, I'm not so sure."

"Liz." Maria lifted Liz's head so that she could talk to her face instead of to the back of her head.

"Liz, you have to talk to her. You did do the right thing, and a true friend would know that. I have a feeling that she knows that too, but is afraid to let anyone know."

Her words were so true, Liz thought. She would have been so lost at that moment if it were not for Maria.

"Liz, she is your best friend; your confidante. You have to talk to her. She needs to talk to you."

Maria forced Liz to sit up. Liz brought her hand up to wipe away the tears.

"Ok. I'll do it. I'll go talk to her."

Liz stood up and continued to compose herself. After a deep breath, she turned back to Maria for one last time.

"Thanks for loaning me you lap and you shoulder. It's just that I would normally vent in my journal, but that seems to be misplaced. I wish I knew where it was. It's really bothering me. Maria, I wrote everything in that journal. Everything. And to think that it may have fallen into the wrong hands… I don't know what to do. I feel like my whole life is falling apart. But, that is not what I need to think about right now. I mean, it is, but right now I need to concentrate on Isabel. I can't lose my best friend."

"That's right Liz. Focus. Set you mind on the prize and go for it."

"Right. Focus… Prize…" Liz kept repeating those over and over as her feet began to guide her back towards the door to head out to the restaurant. "Focus… Prize."

************************************************************************
Isabel saw Liz heading towards her out of the corner of her eye. Maybe she should get up and leave really quickly. She wasn't really in the mood to talk to Liz. For all that she cared, Liz had betrayed everything that a friend should be.

But it was too late. She was already cornered. Trapped.

"Isabel. I know you don't really want to talk to me right now, but I need to talk to you. And I need you to listen."

Liz decided to sit down, and scooted into the other side of the booth so that she could talk at eye level.

"Isabel, I need to say this and I'd appreciate it if you did not interrupt me. This is hard to say and it took a lot for me to come out here today. So, here it goes."

Liz decided to take one more deep breath before continuing. This was a bit harder than she had thought it would be. 'Focus… Prize…'

"Isabel, we have been friends for all of eternity. Why does something like this have to tear us apart? I'm sorry it was me that slipped up, but one of us was bound to eventually. Isabel, it could have been you. But that's not the point."

Liz could feel the tears trying to surface again, and decided to take a second to get them under control. She could not break down in the middle of her speech. She had had it all planned out for two weeks now, and now she was actually going to get through it. She was not going to fail because her emotions got the best of her.

"Isabel, you are my princess, and I always try to do what will please you; what will make you happy. I always have done what you have told me to do because that is my duty. But it was more than that. It always has been. I was your confidante. I was your friend. And you were mine. I'm sorry that out secret is out.

But you know what? I am glad it is too. I am tired of hiding. I am tired of lying to everyone we meet. Gosh, Isabel, Maria has become such a good friend to me and I see her so much more than I get to see you. You know that I still love you and that Maria could never take your place."

That's when it hit her. This wasn't about their real identity being revealed.

Isabel was jealous. Jealous of the attention that Liz would now give to Maria. Jealous that Liz would not have to come to Liz with every single one of her cares and problems.

"Isabel. That's what this is really about isn't it. You think that I am not going to need you anymore!"

Liz glanced across the table at Isabel whose tears were now overflowing and a guilty look plastered across her face.

"Yes, all right! Yes. I am afraid that you won' t need me anymore. Liz, we came here together as the only two girls in the whole world who truly knew each other. We were forced to depend on each other. We were the only two people who understood each other. I liked that. I don't want to share you. I don't want you to go away. Maybe I'm too selfish, I don't know, but I don't want to lose you."

Liz jumped up from her seat and flew around to the other side, embracing Isabel in her arms.

"Oh, Isabel. Nothing will ever take me away from you. Nothing. Yes, Maria may know now, but she is simply a good friend. She could never take your place."

"So you won't leave me?"

They both let out a little giggle at Isabel words.

"No, you are stuck with me forever."

"Good."

"So are we OK now?"

"Yeah, we're Ok. And you know what, I'm glad that Maria knows, for your sake. You need someone else to talk to."

"Um, Isabel, you're gripping me a little to tight and I can't breathe. And I think everyone in here is staring at us."

"Oh, gosh! I'm so sorry! And are they really staring at us? Oh my gosh, how embarrassing."

"So, you want to grab some lunch since you are already here."

"Why sure. I'd like that."

They sat back down at the table and took the menus out that were sitting along the wall.

"I don't even know why we bother to look at these. I mean, you work here, and I come here practically everyday."

Liz let out a hearty laugh at the thought.

"Um, Isabel. I have a question for you."

"Sure, shoot."

"I didn't happen to leave my journal at your house, did I?"

"Um, I don't think so. Why?"

"Well, um… I think I misplaced it. Don't worry it is not lost, it is simply misplaced."

"Liz, what did you write in your journal."

"Everything."

Isabel's face went ghostly white.

"Everything, everything?"

"Everything."


TBC

posted on 14-Dec-2001 2:24:01 PM
I sure hope he gets over it too, but in the meantime, it sure is fun to write him as Liz's arch-enemy! hehe. It's always good to see new faces on here! Thanks for the wonderful feedback!!
posted on 30-Dec-2001 8:23:41 PM
Part 15

Isabel and Liz sat crossed legged on Isabel’s bed. The half-eaten ice cream carton sat in front of them along with the plate of homemade cookies that Liz had brought over. She had laced them with Tabasco sauce, a condiment that they had all come to love. Only a few out of the two dozen still remained. An empty bag of popcorn sat on the dresser nearby.

This was a full out binge as they spilled the excruciating details of the last few weeks of their lives to each other.

The desserts were slightly different from the ones they would eat together on Antar, but they would do.

Liz had called up Isabel the next day after her whole intruder experience. The dream had dreamt inspired her to continue on with their tradition while they were on earth. And it was about time too. Things needed to be said and placed out in the open between them. And then there were the silly little things that also had to be discussed such as why make-up was necessary, and nail polish colors, and how small the stars looked down here. Of course they had taken breaks in order to consume the food in front of them, but they had not been long.

It was a slumber party, gossip session, and dessert binge all at the same time.

“So, Liz, did you ever find your journal. Because… you know…that… is slightly important to the whole secrecy behind our… real identity.” Isabel managed to get the sentence out as she cleaned her spoonful of ice cream off.

“Um, yeah. Whoever took it put it back last night.” Liz reached her arm inside the ice cream container and pulled out another spoonful.

“So who was it?” Isabel had been dying to know. She trusted Liz and if Liz wasn’t too worried about it, then either would she. She had worried about Maria’s knowing about them being from Antar, but she had now seen that Liz was right when she had said that they could all trust Maria.

“Well, actually…” she took a lick of her own spoonful of ice cream, “I’m not really sure. They ran away before I could see. I really didn’t see anyone at all.”

“Well, that’s a shame. But if they put it back then they must not have meant any harm by it.”

“That we know of.” Liz corrected her. “I’ve decided that I am going to play it really safe for the next few days just in case whoever read that is out to get me or something. I mean, you have to admit, the whole thing is just a little bit creepy.”

“True, but you would think that someone who intends to do you harm would not take the time to so carefully put your diary… I mean journal back where they got it. And they did it in the dead of the night, Liz. That means they didn’t want to be caught. Either he or she did not intend you any harm, or they were just out for a good read.” Isabel leaned across the bed to grab one of the cookies.

“I guess you could be right, but I am still going to play it safe and keep an eye out for any suspicious activity.” Liz crushed half of the cookie into her mouth.

“Ok, Liz. You do that.”

Still chewing, Liz managed to spit out, “All right, I will.”

The girls both burst out into laughter at their own silliness. Maybe it was the sugar just going to their heads, or perhaps it was just the good company that they were in.

Liz finally managed to compose herself… well, slightly composed herself.
“So, Is, tell me about Alex. What is going on between you two? Oh, and don’t you even dare to deny it, I know I saw some sparks flying between you two!” Liz interrogated with a devilish tone in her voice.

If this was a spill your guts session, then this was definitely an appropriate topic. After all, both Liz and Isabel believed that they should be able to choose to marry someone that they love, not someone who was chosen for them. And who knew, maybe Alex was the one that Isabel had always been dreaming about.

“Well, he is kind of nerdy, and that isn’t usually my type.”

“Uh huh, sure Isabel. Spill.” Liz wasn’t going to buy any of that. She knew her best friend a bit too well.

“All right. I guess after almost 17 years I still can’t fool you. Ok. Well…”

“Come on Isabel, it’s just me. And if you can’t tell me about it, then, well, I don’t know who you can!” Liz goaded her on just a little more.

“Well, he is really sweet. And his jokes! Oh my goodness, they are so lame, but I love them. It’s almost like he knows how to put a smile onto my face. The room gets a little cheerier when he walks into it. You know he’s a musician?” Isabel’s face was getting redder and redder as she spoke. She had never admitted this to anyone before. “He wrote me a song the other day. It was so sweet. It was completely in a minor key and all sad sounding, but it was so perfect.”

Isabel was lost in a dreamy state of mind.

Liz stood up and walked towards Isabel’s dresser.

Snapped out of her romantic gaze, Isabel realized that Liz had left the bed. “Where are you going?”

“To get you a towel.” Liz tried to keep a straight face, but she could feel the muscles in her cheeks denying her that privilege. “I think you are drooling!”

With that, all self-control that the girls had left went out the window.

Isabel clutched her stomach as she rolled over sideways on the bed. Liz almost fell over where she was standing by the dresser and found herself having to hold onto it to keep her balance.

The laughing continued on for a couple of minutes, all hope for composure most definitely gone. The two girls were most definitely having a good time and no one would be able to deny that.

That was when the door burst open and a very upset Max, who looked like he had just woken up, burst through the door. He had on a pair of plaid pajama pants and no T-shirt, his hair was just a little rumpled, and he was squinting his eyes trying to shield them from the sudden onslaught of light.

“Do you guys think you could keep the noise level down just a notch? I am trying to get some sleep. The rest of the world is trying to get some sleep. Heck, Antar is trying to get some sleep. It is three in the morning after all. Don’t you need any sleep? Normal human beings do.”

Isabel and Liz couldn’t help but chuckle slightly at the sight of the recently awakened Max. It was a sight to see… And his voice! It had that whole raspy sound quality to it.

Max’s hand rose to his face, forming a fist as he began to rub his eyes.

Isabel seized the moment to speak up. “Oh, um well, your highness, we are so sorry to have awakened you from your beauty sleep. Heaven knows you need it.”

Max cast Isabel a half-awake evil glare for her remark. He was most definitely royalty, and he was most definitely handsome. Well, that was what his mother used to tell him all the time, but she didn’t need that much information.

“All right, Max. We’ll keep it down a little. I guess the walls here aren’t as thick as the palace walls, huh? Oh well. Go back to bed. Go back to sleep.” She gave him a sarcastic smile and used her hands to gesture his towards the door.

“Well, I don’t know if I can sleep now. Between the taunting, the lights, the talking, and the noise, I am never going to get back to sleep. Now I’m too awake.”

Max crossed his arms and stood in the doorway looking every part the stubborn little kid.

“Aw, Maxie, do you need someone to come and tuck you back into bed and sing you a lullaby?” Isabel batted her eyes, and spoke with that motherly air.

“Hmmmph. Maybe I do.” If she was going to play this game, then so was he. There was no battle between his sister, Liz and himself that he wasn’t going to fight to win.

“In fact, I think that is exactly what it is going to take, now that you have mentioned it. Isabel would you do me the honors?”

“Hmm. Let’s see. Either I can do it, or we can have Liz here,” Isabel turned to look at Liz with a devilish glint in her eye, “can do it. She has a much better singing voice than I do.”

Liz was a little shocked at first when Isabel suggested that she put Max to bed. Gosh, that sounded so silly, but now that she thought about it, the whole idea had a ton of potential for a great prank. Yeah, she could do it. She would do it. And Max would never know what hit him. This would be great.

“Yeah, Max, I could do it.”

Liz started walking in his direction stopping directly in front of him.

“Well, seeing as you are too big for me to carry, you are going to have to walk yourself to bed. But once we are there, I can get you all tucked in and sing you a beautiful song. Or would you rather hear a story. Because I know a ton of stories that I am sure will put you right to sleep.”

She linked arms with him and led him out of the room. But before she was almost out of sight from Isabel’s room, she turned and gave her a wink.

Liz continued to lead Max back down to his bedroom. The lights in the hallway and the rest of the house were all out, the only light shining dimly from Isabel’s room.

************************************************************************

Max was enjoying every second of this moment. He had Liz’s arm comfortably linked in his own, and they were walking down the hallway, in the dark, alone. Things couldn’t get much better. He had been completely taken aback when Liz had accepted Isabel’s suggestion that she take him back to bed. He thought Liz would have turned that one down without any hesitation. But she had said yes, and now here they were alone, on their way to put him back to bed.

True the whole thing sounded a little childish, but it had turned out better than he could have ever planned.

He knew what Liz was thinking. More than that, he knew what she was feeling, and that thought made him all warm and tingly inside. Liz was in love with him. Well, maybe not quite in love since she never showed it or admitted it to him, but there was definitely something there. She had written it in her journal and that was the place that she wrote everything that she would never mention to anyone else.

Thoughts of the night they had been in his room alone before floated into his head. That kiss had been one of the single best moments of his entire life. It was as if this part of him was finally free to express itself. The whole experience was… well, freeing. He was falling for Liz Parker and he had finally let some of that realization show.

But the question was did that turn her off and away from him? Did that scare her? But now he knew the truth after reading her journal. Everything was great. Wait, it was more than great, it was perfect. And it would stay that way as long as she never ever found out that it was him that took her journal. And he didn’t just take it; he read the whole thing…

Max focused back onto the feeling of having Liz in his arms. There was some kind of heat emanating from the points that their flesh was joined, and it was so soothing and relaxing as if that was the way that things were supposed to be. The scent of her strawberry shampoo also wound its way up to his nose, filling it completely. There wasn’t anything more heavenly than that scent. Liz’s scent.

************************************************************************

She had only been in Max’s room one other time so far and that was when they had the meeting where she revealed that Maria knew about them being aliens. And that hadn’t gone so well, in more than one way. Michael was still angry with her, but speaking to her. She had made up with Isabel and there were no worries in that department anymore. That wasn’t really what Liz remembered about that night anyways. What really stuck out, what kept circling in her head, were the words that Max had said. Yet, even more than the words were the actions that had taken place.

It was their first kiss. Well, technically is was their second, but it was the first one that actually meant something other than being part of some evil plan of revenge towards each other.

But it was more than a kiss. That kiss had done something to her. Changed her way of thinking ever so slightly. She had written about it in her journal, so whoever had taken it definitely knew exactly what she felt towards Max Evans, but fortunately Max had no idea.

They could never be. First of all, she had no idea if Max even felt remotely any of the same emotions that she did. Secondly, he was betrothed to Lady Ava, and there was no way that was going to be undone, except by royal command of the King. The day that happened, she was sure that the world would freeze over and pigs would fly. Thirdly, and probably most importantly was the oracle’s prediction. And those always came to pass. Max’s love was supposed to ‘form far from home.’ That fit Lady Ava perfectly. She was from far away from here, and even a ways from Antar. It seemed that there was no denying that she was the one destined for him.

And that was what she was thinking when they finally approached Max’s door. He pushed it open for her, being the perfect gentleman. Why did he have to do that? Why couldn’t he just stay her enemy forever? Then her life would not be so complicated and she wouldn’t have to worry about falling in love with someone she could not have.

“All right Max, let’s get you back into bed.”

Max obeyed like an angelic little child, no longer playing the stubborn role.

Darn it! He was going to make this difficult for her. Why did he have to be so perfect right at that moment? And more than that, why did he have to not wear a shirt when he went to bed. Every muscle was so perfectly defined, and rippled as he lowered himself into bed. If he kept this up, she would never be able to keep her strong wall raised around her emotions.

“All right Max, would you prefer a story or a song?” Liz still stood in the doorway, refusing to go in any further, afraid that her emotions might betray her.

“A song, but you will have to come closer. Number one, I can’t see you when you stand in my doorway, and number two, I will be able to hear you better if you are closer.”

Max was so not going to do this to her. She wasn’t going to let him, and her emotions, get the best of her. She hesitantly stepped into his bedroom and then walked over to the end of his bed.

“All right. Is this better?”

“Actually, I was thinking a little closer. You know, I get scared by things I can’t see but I can hear in the dark.”

“You know, you are the most irritating person that I know. And I am only doing this because…” She walked over to the side of his bed. Leaning her knees against the edge.

“Uh huh, because…” Max sat up and swung his les over the side, letting his feet rest on the floor.

“Well, because Isabel and I… because I…”

Max raised his index finger to Liz’s lips, gently hushing her.

“No more talking Liz.” His hand then moved to the side to embrace her cheek. His fingers found their way behind her eyes and began rubbing the back of her head through her hair. His thumb continued to softly caress her cheek.

A little nervous, Liz decided that she had better do something to save herself from herself.

“Oh, so you want me to sing for you? Ok…” She cleared her throat and began to sing a truly horrible rendition of ‘Hush Little Baby.” It was the only lullaby type song that she could think up through her currently cloudy mind.

A smile formed across Max’s face as he stared at Liz’s face and the nervousness it revealed as she fought against her emotions. The song wasn’t for him. It was for her own sake, to save herself from what she really wanted.

Max used his hand that had somehow found its way around Liz’s waist (man, that thing had a mind of its own) and quickly and forcefully pulled Liz into a sitting position on his lap, catching Liz completely off guard ending her singing.

“No, Liz,” Max sighed into her hair, “no more singing.”

And with that he lowered his head, as she turned and raised hers with that gaze that only she can produce. They stopped there for a moment, simply enjoying the pleasure of being lost in each other’s eyes.

But the moment could not last forever…


TBC

posted on 30-Dec-2001 8:24:57 PM
Part 16

Liz raised her head just ever so slightly more and brought her lips into contact with Max’s.

An electric charge shocked them both, but in a good way. It was nothing painful or intrusive, it simply made the purity of the kiss intense and true. Yet it let out this white intense light that flashed for only a moment.

Was that some kind of omen? A sign to say that they should not have done that? Or was it the opposite?

Max pulled back slightly causing Liz to think that maybe that was not what Max wanted. Maybe she had been making the whole thing up in her head. Maybe she had gone delusional. Maybe this was not meant to be.

“Um… I’m… I’m sorry. I should not have done that. I’m… sorry.” Liz turned quickly to exit the room thoroughly embarrassed of the fact that she had let her emotions get so out of control. She had never had a weakness in that area before, or at least she had always been able to keep them under control. And now she had failed herself, her parents, her family, her world, her King… her Prince.

He would hate and despise her forever more for imposing herself upon him. He was betrothed, for goodness sake, and still she took that chance of revealing how she really feels towards him. His hate for her would no longer be the teasing and trickery they had bestowed upon each other for so many years. Now it would be pure, raging hate. And she had caused it.

He would never love her as she loved him.

She sat there sideways on his lap shaking ever so slightly from the electricity in the kiss and sighed deeply. She turned her face towards his, and without raising her head, she raised her eyes to look at him. She nodded her head just a little as to show him that she understood and that it would not happen again. Her eyes were shiny and glassy from the tears begging to spill from them.

She rose slowly from his lap and turned away from him. She stopped where she stood to catch her breath and take another deep sigh.

It was over. There was no more. That was the way that it was meant to be. She could not change what the oracles had predicted. She could not change what was meant to be.

She felt the tears start to overflow from their globed prisons as she began to walk quickly to the door and back to Isabel’s room. But before she could make it to his doorway a strong arm grabbed her upper arm, forcing her to fling back around. She found herself face-to-face, or chest-to-chest with Max.

“That’s not what I meant.” Max’s glowing amber eyes scolded her for letting herself think all of those horrible things about herself and about her actions. Yet, his eyes were full of kindness and love, not wanting to hurt her in any way.

“This is what I meant.” Max leaned in towards Liz’s face, his hands holding her body secure. His lips came crashing down upon hers with a sudden urgency; as if he had been wait for this moment his entire life. It was as if there had been a build up, an importance in this moment and it was finally being satisfied.

His hand loosened her arm, no longer forcing her to stay there, but present her with the chance to leave if she wished. He hoped she didn’t choose the latter. His arm then made its way up to her head, firmly planting itself in her dark tresses. He applied a little force, causing her to come closer to him. His other hand made its way to her waist when it claimed her as his, leaving her with no escape.

But nothing could make Liz even think about escaping at that moment. She was in heaven and earth, Antar, and the real world had been left far behind.

She had found the love of her life. Her first love and her last love. There was no way that she could marry that Lord James and give herself to him when she loved another man.

She sent the feelings of electricity that she was feeling to Max through the connection that had been opened. Her thoughts flowed freely to him, as did his to her. Love, grief, confusion, frustration, and then more love bombarded them as the kiss continued to deepen.

Wait! When had a connection been opened? There had never been a connection before. Did Max feel it? Was that what was supposed to happen? She would have to write about his in her journal, but she could think about that later. Right now, she was occupied in the arms of the man she had come to love and no longer despise.

Their first kiss was slow and desperate at the same time. Both comfortable and frightening. Complete and yet not enough. But above all else it was perfect. And the mutual feelings for the wish that it would never come to an end flowed between them both.

The sound of someone clearing their throat came from behind Liz, causing the two to stop dead in their tracks.

The moment had to end sometime, but this what not what they had pictured.

Max raised his head from where it had been rested on Liz’s forehead, his breathing heavy.

“Isabel!”

Liz’s face went ashen white at Max’s declaration of Isabel’s presence.

She immediately stepped away from Max and turned around to face the doorway where Isabel’s looming presence towered.

She would have some serious explaining to do. How was she ever going to get out of this one? She flew around and immediately began her hasty and not very convincing explanation of what exactly it was that she was doing.

“Oh, Isabel, I’m sorry it took me so long. See Max was having a really difficult time going to sleep and so I sang him a song, and then I read him a story, and I just lost complete track of the time. I was just getting up to leave when he jumped back out of bed heading towards the kitchen and so I turned around to stop him. We ran into each other and that is when you walked in.”

Liz held her breath hoping that maybe that wasn’t as bad of a lie as she thought it was. It could have happened…

“Liz, my room now. Max, you stay here and seriously think about what just happened.”

Just as Isabel and Liz were about to head out of the room, a tapping came at the window.

Max was slightly confused. Who in the world would come and pay him a visit this late at night, or rather this early in the morning?

He cautiously walked towards his window pulling the curtain back slightly to reveal a smiling Michael staring at him.

Max quickly undid the lock and let him into the room.

“Michael, what in the world are you doing here? And at this hour? Normal people are asleep.”

Slapping his hand on Max’s back and guiding Max back towards the center of the room Michael answered him.

“I was bored. What time is it? And I am most definitely not a normal person.”

“Isn’t that the truth,” Isabel moaned under her breath.

“In fact I am not really a person. Not even a normal one. I’m an alien from the planet Antar, and so are you my friend, so you had better get used to it.”

Michael let go of Max and flung himself back onto Max’s bed, sprawling all over it.

“Max your bed is comfy! I need to come over more often!”

A dead, impenetrable silence filled the room as Max, Liz, and Isabel stared at Michael. And then Michael would stare back. Then Isabel would stare at Max and Liz.

Michael could only take so much of the silence, so he decided to speak up. Plus, there was something going on and he hadn’t been included. That hurt. Ok, so it didn’t really hurt, but he was still going to find out what was going on.

He sat up on the bed and gave one long look around the room scrutinizing everything.

“So was there a party going on that someone forgot to tell me about? Or was it some alien meeting thing. Because you know there are only four of us on this planet and we all live in the same town. You could have had the decency to give me a ring.”

A guilty look crossed all of their faces for a moment.

“Michael, there was no party and no meeting. Isabel and I were simply having a girls night when we were rudely interrupted by Max, and then I came here to put him back to bed. Trust me, you didn’t miss out on anything.”

“Um, that’s not what I think.” Isabel decided to step out. Michael had a right to know what was really going on as Liz’s brother. He would be able to talk some sense into her is she wasn’t able to.

“The whole girls night part was correct, but it looked to me like that was a rather friendly way of putting Max to bed. A little too friendly.”

“Liz, Max, what were you two up to? A little late night bickering?” Michael started to tease the two.

“And there must have been some hands on fighting because, sister dear, your hair is a mess!”

Liz was caught completely off guard at the realization that she probably looked like she had been making out with Max. Between her hair, her flushed face, and both of their heavy breathing it was a dead give away.

‘Shoot!’ That was not the way that this was supposed to go. May these were all signs that she and Max were not meant to be.

Max decided to speak up. There had been a whole lot more going on and he was going to make sure that no one, at least for a little while, would find out about it. It was too soon and there were a lot of obstacles that would have to be overcome. Well, at least he hoped that no one knew about it and that he and Liz were going to get out of this little predicament. He hoped…

“There was nothing going on. It was as Liz said before. She was leaving, I got out of bed, and then we ran into each other. That’s how her hair got messed up. Everything was perfectly harmless.”

‘But it wasn’t. Our souls met. It was beautiful and perfect… and interrupted.’ Max said in his head.

Liz’s head suddenly flew around to stare him in the face. Had he just spoken to her? But she had never seen his lips move… Had he spoken to her mind? Did he know he had just done that? That was definitely something that she was going to have to write about in her journal. That way if it were to ever happen again, she would know that she wasn’t just delusional.

Max’s face showed no evidence of him being aware that he had just spoken directly to her mind. He wasn’t even looking at her.

Michael went into protective brother mode, trying to eek a little more tension out of the already obviously nervous Max and Liz.

“Well, if that is all, then I have complete faith in you, my sister, that that was all that really happened.” Michael stated coolly. But inside he was laughing hysterically. If Liz really thought that he would fall for her story, she had another thing coming for her.

“Well all right then. I’m tired. Max you should go to bed like you said you would. And I am going to go back to Isabel’s room and try to get some sleep. It’s been a long day.”

With that Liz turned on her heels and walked a bit too quickly back to Isabel’s room. Anything to avoid any more confrontation right then would be a good thing.

She flung herself onto her sleeping back and curled up into a ball. She could still feel Max’s lips on her own, and his hand around her waist. She could still feel the softness of his hand in her hair and on the back of her head. She remembered that electric shock when their lips first came into contact, and she remembered the sound of his voice in her head. Or had she been making that part up? Darn it, now she was really losing it. She was so exhausted that the borders between her imagination and reality were starting to fade.

Tomorrow she would write about all that happened and all that she remembered in her journal, but for now it was time to sleep.

Max was the last thought and the last image she saw as she drifted off into slumber land and her own dream plane where life was perfect. Only now that dream plane had a new character. Someone who hadn’t been there before except for a couple of times that she had tried to forget about.

Liz had had dreams about Max when she was younger. Then they used to scare her, such detailed dreams as if someone was trying to tell her something. It was something that needed to be changed or fixed. But of course a child’s mind never quite understands the complicated thoughts of the mind and therefore they were misinterpreted and stored away in the back of her mind for a time when she would better understand them. The dreams always had her and Max together, playing, and then later on in life it would be them holding hands or flirting with each other. She had always taken them as something that wasn’t meant to be; as something that she had to prevent from coming into play in the real world. They led completely different lives from their dream world and that was how it was supposed to be.

Or was it?


TBC
posted on 30-Dec-2001 8:25:57 PM
Part 17

Michael walked down the stairs from the apartment and into the back of the Crashdown in search of Maria. He was a man on a mission and nothing was going to deter him. If only he could find her…

He walked into the dining area on his continuing search. She had to be here somewhere. She was scheduled to work, so where was she?

After thoroughly examining the dining area, it was clear to see that she as not there. The weird guy Alex was sitting at the counter eating some pancakes. Maybe he would sit and also have something to eat. Hopefully he wouldn’t have to do any talking though. He was one ticked alien at the moment, and that was not a good thing.

Michael sat down on one of the spinning chairs at the counter, leaned forward and placed his head in his hands. His elbows were sitting on top of the counter in order to support him.

He was a man on a mission that had just flopped due to the lack of a particular person’s presence. Couldn’t anything go the way it was supposed to? Couldn’t life cut him a break? He didn’t want to marry Isabel. Well, he would if it really came down to it, but they would never love each other. Not in that way. They were like brother and sister, and somehow the thought of marrying her creped him out.

Besides, Isabel was on this crusade to prove to her parents that she should be able to marry for love. Not because she has to marry someone. She was determined that her soul mate was out there somewhere and that she would find him.

Well, she had better hurry up because they only have about a year and one half left on earth and then the inevitable would happen. And she would have to do more than find her soul mate; she was going to have to convince her parents that he was the one that she should marry. It would have to be a person who would be worthy of ruling in the accidental case of the future king’s death.

Was there any person who was worthy? Michael had always accepted the fact that he would be the one, but he didn’t want it. He had no patience, and was too quick to action. Someone else would be much better than him. He just continued to hope that nothing would ever happen to Max, and if something did, it would happen after he had produced and heir.

So now here he was, trying to change his own destiny and it seemed that fate was laughing at him. It was mocking him for his somewhat noble efforts. This was a big step for him. He never did things like this, but somehow seeing Max with Liz opened up his eyes. He could do that too. And there was only one person that he could think of…

But she no showed when he needed her the most.

Yeah, his life stunk…

Alex noticed that Michael looked slightly distraught sitting next to him. Perhaps he should take a chance of losing his life to see what was bothering him… Then again, maybe that wasn’t the wise choice.

“Hey, um, so how’s it been?” Alex decided that it was probably worth the effort, if not for Michael then for Liz. After all, he was her brother. And he had connections with Isabel that could definitely be a plus. Maybe he could introduce them some more. She tended to freeze up around him, but she was quite vocal when it came to Michael…

“Well, let’s see… I’m been banned to this place for the next year and one half, Liz doesn’t care about what I think anymore, and I can’t find the one person I came here looking for. How do you think I am doing?”

“Wow. That bad, huh? Well, once I broke the G-string on my bass and I have never heard the end of it to this day. That was pretty bad. Out of all the strings to break, it had to be that one…”

So maybe that was a sad attempt at lightening the atmosphere, but what was he supposed to do?

“Alex, no offense of anything, but I came here looking for someone and she’s not here, so I think I would just rather sit here in silence, sulking away the day.”

“Oh, well Ok then. I’ll just sit here and eat my pancakes.” Alex reached for his glass that was heading towards empty and chugged the rest. After placing it on the counter loudly, he spoke up again, “Hey, Maria, can I get some more orange juice?”

Maria stood up from behind the counter right in front of Michael and Alex.

“Sure I’ll get that for you right away. What is this now, your fourth cup?”

“Hey, what can I say, I’m a fiend for orange juice!” Alex flashed her a goofy smile to push her towards the juice machine.

“Anything for you, Alex.” Maria spit out sarcastically.

Maria promptly went and refilled his orange juice and then walked back to set it down on the counter space in front of him.

“Thanks beautiful.”

“No prob, stud.”

Alex went back to his pancakes and Maria lowered herself back down under the counter. She was going to fix the stupid milkshake machine if it was the last thing she did. There was no way she was going to resort to alien voodoo magic stuff anymore. That was all a bit strange.

Michael was stupefied in his seat, absolutely silent during the whole orange juice crisis. She had been right there, under the counter, right in front of him the whole time. Had she overheard anything? What if she had? Had he given anything away? Did she even notice that he was there? She never even made eye contact with him when she stood up. Was she purposely ignoring him?

Hmmm. Well, that would have to be remedied.

Michael sprung up from his chair and briskly walked around to the backside of the counter where Maria was crouched.

He walked right up next to her and started to tap his foot. His arms were crossed across his chest and he tried his best to looked irked by the fact that she was paying absolutely no attention to him.

And he even looked good today too. He had woken up and put on a sweater and some jeans. Heck, he’s even done his hair. He jumped out of bed, took one look at it in the mirror, decided it was good enough and then walked out the door. Hey, looking at it was more than he usually did.

Maria was trying as hard as she could to ignore the figure standing next to her. She was in no mood to be put in an even worse mood by his arrogance and taunting remarks. If only he would just go away.

This was taking too long. Michael was losing his patience and he was going to have to do something. He was going to have to speak up or she was just going to go right on ignoring him.

He cleared his throat loudly, which earned him a look at her face. She had turned her head and gave him the most beautiful frustrated and angry face he had ever seen.

“Maria, I need to talk to you in the back room.”

Maria could not believe her ears. He was so not going to talk to her like that. He was about to get a taste of his own medicine and she was going to be the one to give it to him.

“Oh, Michael! Hi, how are you doing? Oh wait, let me guess… Just dandy, though you do feel like going out and blowing something up. Am I right? And my goodness did you get a hair cut?”

Michael shook his head no.

“Oh. I didn’t think so. But you know, you should. And you should do something about your clothes too. I am sorry to say that the holey jeans trend died about 10 years ago.”

Maria kept her cool through it all. So maybe it wasn’t the best taunting in the world, but she could tell that she was definitely getting under his skin.

She stood up quickly and started heading away from Michael.

Michael was dumbfounded and stuck where he stood. Maria was definitely a spitfire. That was the truth. It was almost an understatement. And now she was just going to walk away from his without another word. Without another word from him. That was so not going to happen.

“Where do you think you are going?” Michael burst out in a controlling voice.

“To the back room, your highness. Just as you requested. The real question is are you going to come too, since you basically ordered me there as minute ago. You said you needed to say something. That should be interesting and I don’t want to miss it.”

With that Maria turned and walked through the two-way door into the back room, a growing smirk on her face. Oh, she was so good!

Michael still stood dead in his tracks, totally lost in his thoughts about Maria.

Someone cleared their throat next to him, so he turned his head to see who it was. Of course, it was Alex. Had he overheard the whole thing?

Could his life get any worse?

If Maria had anything to do with the rest of his life, the answer was a most definite yes.

“Man, if I were you, I would get my butt into the back room. When Maria gives an order, you best follow it.”

Alex then went back to eating his pancakes. There was no more that needed to be said, and besides, any more would probably result in some smart remark from Michael that was not necessary. Right now what was important was getting Michael into that back room with Maria.

See, unbeknownst to Michael and Maria, Liz and he had been working on a way to set those two up. They were so perfect for each other. And now this perfect opportunity had just jumped out. Alex was not about to let it slide. Liz would be so proud of him when she heard about it!

Michael decided that it probably would be a good idea to get his legs into gear. She was not going to wait in that back room for him forever. He needed to seize this opportunity. It was now or never.

Here went one of the most dangerous missions he had ever been on in his life…

************************************************************************
Liz decided to check on her journal one last time. She had written in it practically all morning about everything that had happened a few nights back at Max’s house. And when she wrote about everything, it meant everything. Every emotion, every event, ever thought that went through her head, and every question that they all resulted in.

But she had had an eerie feeling while she had been writing, as if someone was watching her. She had glance up a whole lot while she was writing, scanning the horizon from her balcony to reassure herself that those feelings were completely false. She had to be wrong. And yet, instinct told her that she was right.

She had discovered one of her other gifts a while back and it seemed to be the ability to sense when someone she knew was near. She could also sense danger when it was coming her way, almost like she could smell the evil before it actually arrived.

But this time, no one she knew was near. So could that mean that it was something evil?

Max and Isabel were at home. She knew because she had called. Max sounded a little strange when she had talked to him, but he had been acting strangely towards her ever since that night…

Isabel was excited to hear her voice and made her promise to come over for lunch so that they could review AP English together.

It wasn’t Maria because she was at work downstairs, and she was pretty sure that she had heard Michael head down there too.

And Alex was eating breakfast downstairs. That completed her social circle. So who was it that was watching her? Was the really even anyone watching her? Was she making the whole thing up?

All morning she had been going, about every hour, to check and make sure that her journal was still there. She probably should not be so paranoid about it because she had sealed it shut and no one but her would be able to get to it. And it was also well hidden. No one would know where it was unless they had been watching her for more than this morning.

So far every time she had checked, it was still resting snuggly in its hiding place.

She climbed out onto her balcony and made a b-line for the secret brick and waved her hand over it. Maybe she should stop worrying so much. It was always there.

She grabbed the brick in her hand and pried it loose from the wall. After setting it down on the ground, she took the same hand and reached inside the opening to feel for the leather bound journal.

A wave of panic swept over her as her hand simply sunk down into the whole. All she could feel was the concrete bottom.

It was gone!

She was right! Someone had been watching, and whoever that person was, they wanted her journal. And now they had it.

But why?


TBC
posted on 3-Jan-2002 9:00:06 PM
Hey Drama Queen! Thanks for reading! I am so glad that you like it!
posted on 3-Jan-2002 9:00:53 PM
Part 18

Michael cautiously approached Maria, his ands shaking ever so slightly. What had he been thinking? Was he insane? She was totally eat him alive, just like those black widow spiders who eat their mate…

Maria was standing impatiently near the kitchen entrance waiting for Michael to explain why in the world he wanted to see her in the back room. She could only think of one reason.

“Michael, if this is about making you use your voodoo, alien, magic… um, powers in public, I’m sorry. Ok? I’ll never make you do it again. Now can I go back to work?”

Maria started walking straight-ahead back towards the dining area, which unfortunately passed right by Michael. Well, she would survive, she hoped. She was still convinced that she was going to go to her early grave because she may have contracted something from the aliens.

She lightly brushed his side as she slowly walked by him. It sent a thrilling tingle up her body, from her toes all the way to her head.

‘Deluca, get a hold of yourself.’ She was determined to keep the tough shell manned for as long as she could. Michael was one of the few people that did not know the real her. He knew nothing about the part of her that sniffed cedar oils every time she would get stressed, and heaven knew that was a lot…

She had almost made it to the door when Michael’s arm swung around to grab her. Unfortunately he missed her arm, which was his original target, and ended up grabbing a fistful of her hair.

“Owww! What in the world are you doing! That hurt. You know, I am not some cavewoman that will take that kind of caveman behavior. Besides, you know, pulling a girl’s hair is something that most boys gave up back in grade school. So, I suggest you grow up a little, gain some manners, and for that matter brush your own head of hair. After that, I will allow you to apologize to me.”

Michael was dumbfounded. This was not going the way that he had planned it at all. So, he would make due with what he had. He would use his advantages.

Ok. Well, so he couldn’t think of any advantages at that moment, but he was determined to go through with his plan and that was good enough motivation for him.

He realized that his hand was still holding onto Maria’s blonde hair, so he released it quickly. But instead of allowing his hand to fall to his side, he reached his hand around Maria’s neck, forcing her to remain still and look at him.

Maria realized what Michael was going to do just a fraction of a second too late. She should have known better, her acting tough was seducing him! Well, if he was going to be that way, two could play that game, and she was a most worthy opponent…

Michael stared at her a moment longer before uttering the last words that he would say until Maria left the room…

“Maria, shut up.”

With that his lips came crashing down upon hers, demanding and desperate.

‘If it was all right for Liz and Max, then it has to be all right for me.’ True, Liz and Max really hadn’t spoken since the event, or rather Max had not spoken to Liz, but it still happened and they could not deny it. It didn’t matter how much they lied to get out of it.

The kiss was short-lived, however, do to Maria’s arms coming up to his arm and pinching the hair on it rather tightly.

If he pulled her hair, she was going to pull his…

Michael jumped back from the sudden onslaught of pain in his arm.

“What did you do that for?” Michael was just slightly angry because the little pain in the butt in front of him had just ruined the whole thing. All his efforts were now gone to ruin. Darn her!

“Michael I-wish-I-knew-your-middle-name Parker! You had no right to do that. May I repeat that I, Maria Deluca, am not some cavewoman that you can club over the head and then take for your own!” Maria was raving mad that he had violated her so. Sure, she had enjoyed it. Actually, she did more than enjoy it. She loved it! But there was no way on God’s green earth that she would ever admit that to him. She was so going to kill him, or at least make him think that she was going to kill him… The ‘think’ part was all that really mattered.

“You cannot just walk in here and kiss me and expect me to think it was the most wonderful thing in the world, fall into your arms, and declare that I love you! Nah, uh. That is not the way it works.”

Michael looked truly frightened of her! His eyes were completely opened and he was actually cowering slightly! Or was that just her wild imagination running away with her?

It was working. Oh, she was so good!

“Michael, let me inform you of the proper technique of telling a girl that you like her. Well, of course that is assuming that you did that because you like me. And if that was the reason…” Ok. Focus on the task at hand, Deluca! Don’t get distracted by your emotions!

“Anyways, the proper way to do that is to buy roses for the person. Then you leave them in some really public place, or someplace really special to the other person. The flowers had darn well have a nice card with them too. After that, maybe you could stop by with a gift at the person’s house. Say hello and then leave. Then, maybe another stop by the house could result in you asking the person out to a movie, or maybe a stroll in the park. And if there were already some pretty strong mutual feelings flying through the air, then maybe a nice dinner. Or, you know, a nice dinner is always acceptable…”

Ah! She was getting sidetracked again. Michael was starting to figure her out. Man, this always happened. Couldn’t she have kept it up for just a little while longer?

“So, what I am trying to say is that until you learn some proper manners, and haven’t I mentioned this before, you should just…”

Maria never had the chance to finish her thought, for just then, Michael cut her off.

“Maria, shut up.” And then he turned and left the room and walked straight to the double glass doors to exit the café. It was the perfect grand exit if he said so himself. He had left Maria absolutely speechless, which didn’t happen often.

So his plan hadn’t gone the way he had planned it. But it had most definitely been successful.

A small smile of success formed on his face as he rounded the corner and made his way to Max’s house.

************************************************************************
Back on Antar…

Jeffery sat reading the last few pages of the new entries of his daughter’s journal. His suspicions were starting to feel and sound more and more like they were true all along. Every word on each of the pages, in her beautiful handwriting seemed to prove his ever thought.

It was time to take this matter to the King, Max’s father. He had to know what was going on between the two children.

But first he would have his wife’s opinion on the subject. Since this involved their daughter, her opinion was of utmost importance to her. There was no telling how the King would react to their discovery, and it very likely could result in some anger. Anger that quite possibly could result in some action or words to his son, and Liz.

But Jeffery was now almost completely sure that his suspicions were correct. Liz’s journal, her innermost emotions and thoughts seemed to prove them right. How could the King deny that?

There was a soft knock on his door and his wife entered the room. She immediately noticed the concerned look on his face and walked quickly over to him, embracing him in her arms.

“My dear, what is it that troubles you? Please reveal it to me so that I may help ease the burden of whatever it may be.”

Jeffrey took his wife’s arms and pushed her back an arm’s length. He held out the journal, Liz’s journal, to her to take.

“Read this, then tell me what you think. I desire your opinion on what I should do. Or whether your thoughts will agree with mine at all intrigues me.”

Genevieve sat down in a maroon covered velvet chair near the balcony. She gave her husband one last look of concern and slight confusion before she lowered her onto the journal resting on her lap.

It was Liz’s journal. She’d recognized that handwriting almost immediately. Did Jeffrey discover something? Could the oracle have been wrong?

She read through the journal for the next hour while Jeffrey sat at a nearby chair with his head in his hands. He looked stressed, as his right hand ran through his hair as if trying to rid himself of some of the stress. It reminded her of Michael whom she missed so much. He would do the same thing when he was frustrated, confused, angry, or mystified. He must have picked the habit up from his father.

After and hour, approximately, had passed, she closed the journal and raised her eyes to peer outside the grand window that overlooked the palace garden.

A sigh escaped her as she watched a large swan land gracefully on the glassy-smooth surface of the pond.

Jeffrey stood up from his seat after noticing Genevieve’s shift in position from the journal to the window. He walked over to her side and placed his hands on her shoulders as if to reassure her that he would be there for her and for their children no matter what.

Genevieve raised her left hand and rested it on top of her husband’s left hand. She unconsciously started rubbing her thumb repeatedly over his hand.

“We have to go to the King.” Her soft voice declared with a slight quiver in it. She was nervous and excited at the same time about what her daughter’s words might mean. What they probably did mean…

“So you agree with my thoughts?” Jeffrey chuckled quietly to himself. “You have not even heard my thoughts and yet you know what they are.”

“I always know what your thoughts are, my love. I can hear them. I knew before I walked into this room. I was simply afraid of making this knowledge my own. I was afraid of having to acknowledge that it is the truth.”

She turned her head to look at her husband. Love filled her eyes.

“I am afraid for our daughter and her soul mate. There is so much that they will have to overcome. Will they ever be able to accept that they belong to each other? They were led to believe otherwise for so long.”

Jeffrey moved his right hand from Genevieve’s shoulder and placed it on her face, cupping her cheek in his palm.

“I think it will most definitely take time.”

Genevieve turned her head to stare back out of the window.

“It will take a miracle to convince the King. The marriage between Lady Ava and Prince Max was an incredible political move.”

Silence dominated the air in the room for the next several minutes before Genevieve spoke up again.

“Jeffrey?”

“Yes, my love.”

“Does this mean that the oracles were mistaken? They have never been mistaken before.”

Jeffrey pondered the question for a little bit before giving his wife his answer.

“I do not think that it was the oracles that made the mistake. I think it is we who interpreted it who made the error.”

Genevieve whispered the words of the oracle to herself, letting each word sink in as it was spoken.

“Two souls, welded into one.
The five planets will not see a setting of the sun.
A love that will form across a great distance,
To this union, to these leaders,
There will be no resistance.”

It seemed so simple now. How could they have missed it? The two souls would become one and prosperity would reign throughout the five planets. Once the two souls found each other the kingdom would rejoice and none would oppose them. Most importantly, and where the error had been made was the third line.

The distance that was mentioned was not the distance between the couple; it was where, the location, of where they would fall in love. Their love would form far from home.

Earth.

Genevieve then confirmed Jeffrey’s thoughts and his plan with the last words from her mouth.

“We must go to the King. It’s time.”


TBC
posted on 3-Jan-2002 9:02:10 PM
Part 19

Still on Antar…

The grand double doors to the throne room flew open as Jeffery and Genevieve burst through them. They silently said prayers to themselves that the King would listen to them.

The King had a reputation for being stubborn, determined that what he knows must be right. It would most definitely be a task to convince him to believe that it was not Ava that was destined to marry their son, but Liz.

The reasons that he would be a bit stubborn did not deal with the fact that he disliked Liz or anything. In fact, he thought of her as his own daughter. And it wasn’t that Liz wasn’t of a good enough family lineages. In fact, Liz was a true Lady, as much as Lady Ava, if not more. Her brother was the second in charge to the King’s son, and therefore if anything were to ever happen to Max and Isabel, Michael would become King. Liz was Isabel’s Lady in Waiting by choice. The two were best friends and found that it was the best way for them to spend as much time as they could together. Plus, Isabel having the reputation of being an Ice Princess, there would not be too many people who would truly understand her.

Isabel and Liz had come running into the throne room when they were little kids, probably around seven or eight, if Jeffery could remember correctly. Isabel had gotten down on her hands and knees, begging for Liz to become her Lady in Waiting. It wasn’t really the respected position for a Lady and the refused at first, but Liz had joined in on the begging. They began crying at his feet, tugging at his pants, just like in the movies, begging him to change his mind.

Well, as the present now told, they had eventually won and Liz became Isabel’s Lady in Waiting.

Now, perhaps Jeffrey and his wife would have to employ a similar technique to get the King to accept the revelation. It was going to take some fancy talking to get him to believe that they had all made a mistake in the translation of the oracle.

Jeffery reached back his hand to his wife, just a few steps behind him. He clasped her hand in his own, sending a short wave of reassurance, all that his powers to allowed him to. There was no way that he could do this alone or without the love of his wife.

He approached the King and the Queen with his wife in tow. After a deep breath he spoke.

“Your majesties. As your trusted advisors, something has been brought to my attention that is of the utmost importance to both of our children.”

Jeffery took a moment to glance back at his wife trying to gain some confidence in himself and what he was about to say. Genevieve gave him the look of reassurance the he needed before he turned back to face the King.

“Your majesties, we have been monitoring our children on Earth to see how they are doing. We gave Liz a journal, which unbeknownst to her was from us. In this journal, it was our hope that she would write down what was happening, not only in her own life, but also in the lives of the others.”

Jeffery took another deep breath before continuing again.

“Liz did as we had hoped. Actually she did more than we had hoped. She confirmed the suspicions that we have had for many years. Your majesties, Ava is not the one destined to marry your son. We misinterpreted the oracle. It is Liz.”

The King’s eyes took on a confused hint, as the news was broken to him.

“And why did you know to send a journal to Liz? How long have you suspected this but not mentioned it to me? This does involve my son as well as your daughter.”

“We watched them when they were younger, when they would be out playing. We didn’t really know to suspect anything then, we were not watching for it. It just stood out. The way that they acted around one another, the way their attitude changed when the other would walk in the room.”

“I noticed all of that too, but it has not led me to believe that they are destined to marry each other. It’s called sibling rivalry. True, they are not really siblings, but they grew up as brother and sister. Up through the day they departed for Earth they had constant battles and pulled pranks on each other. Jeffrey, this reminds me of us when we were growing up. We were no walks in the park, you know. Our poor parents!”

“This is different. It has developed into something more, something deeper, and something real. I have Liz’s journal here. She did not know that we were monitoring her and therefore her thoughts are quite candid and honest. Brutally honest, really. She has written about everything. How the relationship developed from squabbling to romanticizing. Your majesties, they have formed a connection.”

The King’s face went deathly white with the news of the connection.

“That cannot be possible. Only true soul mates can connect, and even then it takes much time for the connection to mature. This connection usually comes after marriage. Well, not even usually, it does! This is impossible. I refuse to believe that Ava is not the one for Max. She fits the description perfectly, and she is the best political move for the planets that has ever come our way. She will ensure the peace of our world, and the oracles even foretold that she would be a great asset to the royal family. How can you deny what that means?”

“Your majesty, I simply ask that you at least take her journal and read it. But, I do plead that you do not keep it for too long. She does not know who has it, and maybe that it is missing at all. We need to return it to her possession so that she may write more. I do accept the fact that we may be wrong in our presumptions, but I am almost positive that I am right. Liz’s words, her emotions speak for us all.”

“All right, I will do as you say and give this a look over, but I guarantee nothing. It is going to take more than the thoughts of a teenage girl to sway me.”

“All I ask is that you at least look at it. Thank you.”

The King handed the journal to his wife and then they departed into one of the side sitting rooms where they could be alone and undisturbed while they read the journal. The Queen had remained silent for the whole ordeal, keeping her thoughts to herself; such was the position of the woman on Antar. But she knew what she believed. Jeffery and Genevieve were right. She was sure of it.

She too had noticed the friendly banter between the two children, but in the last several years, the banter had taken on another purpose. It was one that their children probably had not even realized. They were hiding their true feelings behind their bickering and teasing. The pranks were a silent, inconspicuous flirt. They were two people who knew they had feelings for one another, but also thought that they could never be and therefore they tried everything possible to get the other to hate them.

Her husband would probably do something foolish before he realized that Liz and Michael’s parents were right. Hopefully she would be right there behind his stupid move, ready to repair it. She would just have to keep a sharp eye out for it. She loved her husband to death, but sometimes his stubbornness and pride got the best of him.

************************************************************************
Back on Earth…

Liz sat on her balcony, her head resting in her hands. She had no idea what was going on and that was driving her crazy. She was starting to act like Michael in that sense. He was the one sent to this planet so that he could realized that he was not in control of everything, not her. But now, here she was completely out of control with everything going on around her.

It had been a couple weeks since her embrace with Max. Since then, well the first week and one half, Max had been half way decent to her, smiling when she walked into the room, placing his arm around her waist possessively. He had even given her a light peck on the lips once, given no one had been around to witness it, but it had still been wonderful. Then suddenly a week and one half ago, it had all come to a screeching halt.

Max hadn’t spoken to her in that week and one half, merely a polite hello when he passed by her, or saw her in the Crashdown. But that wasn’t the worst of it.

Liz glanced once more to her lap where the single white piece of paper rested. His handwriting perfectly cover a third of it. She never had realized how beautiful and perfect his handwriting was. This was not the everyday school writing like most of the guys in Roswell, or Antar for that matter. This was his formal hand. This was the handwriting that was used for formal announcements from the royal court.

This was a formal announcement intended for her.

The words were like a bad nightmare. She had just allowed her heart to be opened to him, and now he had gone and crushed it. They would never be together. Things were supposed to be a certain way and they had to accept that.

She grabbed the piece of paper one more time, about to tear it in half, and then in half again, repeating the process until no one would ever be able to read it. Then she would burn it, and with it all of her feelings for Max.

But she couldn’t bring herself to do it. Instead she found herself standing up and climbing back inside her room through the window. She walked over to her bed and knelt down to pull out a small box from underneath it. She removed the lid and gently placed the letter inside. After putting the lid back on the box, she scooted it back under the bed.

She knelt silently next to the bed for a moment, the word of the letter ringing through her head as if he had spoken them to her in person. But he hadn’t. She had simply woken up and found the letter resting on her pillow, next to her head.

Liz choked back a sob as images of Max writing the letter flashed in her head. Why did the stupid connection have to open? That was not even supposed to happen to them. That was not supposed to happen to anyone until after they were bonded. Nothing about this made any sense.

“Liz,

It is my deepest sorrow to express to you that I may no longer see you in the manner that we had previously engaged. My duties lie to my kingdom, to my planet, to my world, and most of all to my crown. I am betrothed to Lady Ava and we will be married in the time of fourteen months from this very day. I am sorry for any pain or heartache that this note may cause you, but my intentions are all the best for both of us. I pray that we will remain friends in every sense as we were before.

Max, Crowned Price of Antar”

Gosh, he didn’t even write it in the vernacular! It was all fancy with no endearment in the addressing of the letter to her. And his signature was completely formal. He never referred to himself as Max, Crowned Prince of Antar. Was this simple a cruel prank on her?

Her heart told her it was not.

Maybe it was all her fault. Maybe she had seduced him into thinking he loved her. Maybe she had simply convinced herself that she loved him. They were never meant to be and she knew that, and still she had forced herself upon him and successfully tricked him. She should be punished. She should be sent back to Antar never to see him again. Maybe this whole thing was one big nightmare.

But if it was all a dream, how come it hurt so much?

Liz collapsed at the side of her bed. Her arms resting on her bed, her head was resting on her arms. Sobs wracked her body as she lost all control of her emotions.

She was in love with Max, and she could not have him. How could she have been so foolish as to allow herself to do that?

But then again, how could she not?

************************************************************************
A week and one half earlier…

Max sat in his room on his bed reading a good book. He had been happier the last week or so than he had been in his entire life. Things couldn’t get much better.

He was twitterpated. There was no better word to describe it.

Liz and he had watched Bambi together over at his house a few nights ago. Diane Evans just about threw a fit when she found out that neither Liz, Max, or Isabel had seen a single Disney movie. And since Bambi was one of her personal favorites, she declared the night a movie night for them, made them popcorn, and forced them down in front of the TV to watch it.

The three of them sat in the family room, curled up on the couches. Liz was next to Max on the three-seater, her head resting in his lap. Isabel had claimed the love seat and was snuggled up with a blanket, completely focused on the movie.

When Thumper became twitterpated, they all laughed out loud at the ridiculous word, but inside, Max was glowing. That word was the epitome of what he felt towards Liz. He was a goner.

That was a few nights ago and things seemed like they were progressing nicely with Liz. Even Isabel seemed to possibly be accepting them. After all, she was the main spokesperson for the, “I want to marry someone I love” campaign.

Max had been reading for the past hour or so, totally immersed in the fantasy world that the book created. But his stomach started to rumble so he decided to glace at his watch. His suspicions were correct it was dinnertime. He could always count of his stomach to keep track of time if all else failed him. The saying sure must be true that the way to a man’s heart was through his stomach. Liz had proved that one true. She had made him a batch of her specialty cookies. Chocolate chip laced with Tabasco sauce. And he ate every last one of them.

He leaned over to the right side of his bed to place his book on the nightstand. The book suddenly fell from his hand and a small gasp escaped from him at the new decoration on his nightstand. That had not been there before, he was sure of it. He had not brought one with him when they all came to Earth, so where did this one come from. Had Isabel brought one and then accidentally left it in his room sometime today.

But there was one problem with that explanation: Isabel had not been home all day. She was shopping at the mall with Liz, Alex, and Maria. They were having a girls’ day out, which included Alex, since he was part of the gang.

Max reached over and picked up the silver orb lying on his nightstand. It was cool to the touch and flawlessly smooth. The royal symbol was engraved on the top along with another symbol that he did not recognize.

Should he activate the orb to hear and see the contained message now or wait until he was in some secluded place where no one might see it too?

And was the message for him or had it been for Isabel? But then there was that whole problem with Isabel not being home all day again.

Max was frozen on his bed, trying to decide what he should do when his curiosity finally got the best of him. There was no way he could wait until after dinner to know what the orb had to say. So instead of standing up and exiting his room, he waved his hand in the air, closing his door and then sealing it shut to make sure that someone who should not see the message or the orb would not interrupt him. He then waved his hand towards his window, making it also close to seal in the sound, and then closed his curtains so that no one would be able to see inside.

Once he was sure the coast was clear, he placed his hands in a cup shape with his palms us, creating a nest for the orb to rest in. He closed his eyes and focused his energy, directing it to his hands, concentrating on the orb. After a few more seconds the orb began to glow and a bright green light shot out from the top of the symbols. An image of a young woman appeared in front of him. She was beautiful, in her own way.

She had very light blond hair that had gently curls in it, flowing down to her upper back.

Ava.

He had never seen her before, but something in his soul told him that it was her standing before him. The image appeared as if she was looking straight at him. It was almost unnerving to Max.

She began to speak. Her voice was smooth and flowing, but somehow it wasn’t the voice that he wanted to hear. It was not what he was expecting.

“Max, I know that you have never met me before and you are probably wondering why you are getting a message from me. Well, my love, when the sun rises tomorrow, it will be exactly 14 months until we are to be married. I am Lady Ava, your betrothed. I was permitted to send you this message so that you may not forget me and the life that you led and will lead again here on Antar and the Five Planets. I hope that you do not find this improper for my to be doing this, but I am just so anxious to meet you and then begin our lives together.”

The image of Ava turned to the side as if someone was standing in the room with her when she was recording the message.

“I know. I am getting there.”

She turned back to face Max, a secretive smile on her face.

“I’m sorry, my mother wanted me to inform you that she also looks forward to seeing you once again.”

A small giggle escaped from her body. It almost made him sick. True, there really was nothing wrong with her and she was friendly, but the reminder of his duties and who he really was and is was like a slug in the stomach. It was a rude reminder of something he was trying to forget, which, or course, was the opposite of what he was supposed to be doing while he was on this planet.

“Well, my dear, my time runs short and I must go. But please do not forget me and the planet that shines above your head each night. When you glace at the heavens, think of me and how I am waiting for you.

Goodbye, my love. Until we meet.”

The image faded out and Max was left alone in his room with his own thoughts. It was like a lightening bolt had just hit him, reminding him of who he really was. It was something that he could not forget.

The image of Ava’s face, of her lips saying that they would be married in fourteen months was permanently carved into his memory.

How could he have been so stupid to think that he could just turn to Liz and love her and deny all that waited for him back at home? He was the crowned Prince of Antar and he had better start to learn to accept that. That was his role in life. That was his destiny. Ava was his destiny. Not Liz. Never Liz. It could and would never be and he had to face the truth of that.

He knew what he had to do.

Max wrote a letter to Liz expressing all of his sorrow and emotions with all that had just happened. He signed his name at the bottom then decided to read it over once to make sure it said all that he wanted to say.

The letter was not right. It was too emotional. Max tore up the letter and decided to start another one. But what should he say? How should he say it?

After the letter was completed Max sat in his room, in shock still from the message on the orb. He hand glided over the covers of his bed seeking the orb once more. He needed to replay the message just to make sure that had not been dreaming or making the whole thing up.

His hand continued to pat the bed, unsuccessful in its search for the orb. Max then turned his head to look at the surface of his bed, scanning for the orb, but it was nowhere to be seen.

He was so sure that he had set it down there after the message played. But to his amazement and great mystery it was no longer there.

Max brought his hand up to his temples and began rubbing them methodically. What had just happened? The message had been real; he was sure of that, but to have the orb simply disappear? Perhaps it was to be played only a single time…

Max clasped the letter to Liz in his other hand. It would need to be delivered, but there was no way that he would be able to hand it to her face to face. And he wasn’t sure he could deliver it at all. But he could not allow Liz and himself to go on living a life, enjoying a lifestyle that could never be.

It took Max a week and one half to work up the nerve of putting the letter on Liz’s pillow. Placing the note in her room was like tearing out his heart and leaving it somewhere else. How was he supposed to go on like this?

He had barely spoken to Liz at all in the last week, simply saying hello when he had to. Each smile from her when he walked into a room was like a burning arrow being released into him. He could never love her the way his soul longed to.

He belonged to Ava. He belonged to Antar. He belonged to his crown.

But his heart would always secretly belong to Liz.


TBC
posted on 24-Jan-2002 1:31:27 AM
Part 20

There was a new guy in town. There was a new guy in the lives of the friends in Roswell.

Well, he wasn't really new to the town, but he was new to their social circle. Guess he realized that the jocks weren't what he was looking for. Somehow, he had deemed them worth of spending time with. Either that or he simply had no choice. It was one of the two.

Kyle Valenti.

Yeah, Isabel could not stand him, Maria tolerated him, Alex cracked jokes with him, Max ignored him, and Michael hated him.

But that left one person. Liz.

Liz had officially been single for one month. And in Kyle Valenti's mind, that made her available to the next highest bidder.

Whatever Max Evans had done to her, he was one foolish man for giving up such a prize as Liz. Kyle had decided that it was not right for Liz to be in mourning any longer, nor for her to be alone any more.

This was her lucky day.

Time had absolutely flown by and thoughts of Max haunted her everyday. She had not spent one night over at the Evan's with Isabel since the note. Isabel always came over to stay with Liz.

Their discussions now had a major rule worked into them, where there had been none before. It used to spill you guts session where they would talk about everything. Now the primary rule was that Max was not to be the topic of discussion in any circumstance. Nor was his name to be mentioned.

The polite smiles between the two of them had been short lived. Now there was only heartache and sorrow in the gazed they would find themselves in when the other walked into a room.

They would both be caught constantly when with their friends lost in a dream world, as if they were in a trance, but they were really thinking of each other.

But there was no show of emotion towards each other. No kindness. No love.

That was their existence for an entire month. That was the world that Liz had found herself trapped in after Max's one-sided decision.

Now she found herself sulking as she walked down the school hallway. She was late to class, but now she found that she no longer cared. Her no less than perfect grades had gradually been slipping over the past month, he mind no longer able to focus on science and English.

She was lost in a nightmare that no one could wake her up from. A darkness consumed her and threatened to overthrow her completely.

Michael had politely begged her on more than one occasion to consider going home. Perhaps a change of scenery and of company would be the solution to her blues.

But Liz had just sat silently in front of him, not answering and not really there.

And so now she was wondering aimlessly through the empty halls of West Roswell High. The scuffing of her feet echoed mockingly back at her with each step she took.

She wound her way around the corner and walked down the next hallway. She wasn't sure what she would do when she ran out of hallway to walk down. Both directions ended in a set of double doors that led to the outside world. Maybe she would walk through one of them. Maybe she would walk away from her problems. Maybe she would walk away from Max.

She was missing AP Chemistry at the moment. Max was probably sitting there at their table waiting for her. She wondered what he would think when she did not show up. What would he think if she never showed up again?

The hallway was growing brighter with each shuffled step as the double doors grew seemingly closer and closer.

She stopped just in front of the doors staring at the clouded glass, her hands wrapped around herself in a tight hug. She had two choices, she could turn around and walk in the other direction, back towards AP Chemistry, back to Max, or she could place her hands on the bar in front of her and walk through the door to heaven knows where…

Her mind was made up. Her hands released their death grip around her waist and reached for the bar, pushing it gently as if hesitating to take this huge step. They were trembling ever so slightly.

She exerted a little force against the door and it swung open, the light suddenly cascading into the hallway.

Liz's hand went flying up to her face in order to shield her eyes from the sudden onslaught of light. She stood squinting in the doorway, looking outside at the world. It looked so happy, birds singing and dancing on the breeze, the trees green and cheerful, and the sun shining its rays of glory down on all below. It all mocked her, scolded her for ruining Max's life and her own.

She walked methodically down the steps from the entrance to the school. She did not have a car so she could not go anywhere far, only as far as her feet would carry her. She turned down the parking lot, winding her way through the couple hundred cars; spiting each one for the freedom that each offered its owner and didn't offer her.

She turned down another isle, making her way to the exit of the school property when a figure stepped in front of her. She slammed into the chest before stopping back and taking in the figure standing before her.

"Well, this certainly is a surprise. Miss Parker, I never expected to see you out here at this hour of the school day."

Kyle Valenti stood before her, leaving against the car to his right.

"Kyle, I am not in the mood right now." She attempt to walk past him, but he stepped to block her way.

"Liz Parker, would you do yourself the honor of going to dinner with me?"

Gosh, could he be more conceited? But then again, the idea of going out to dinner with someone who was not Max, someone who was the opposite of Max could be a good thing. It would be good not only for her, but also for Max. He would be able to see that she had moved on.

She flung her hair back with a fling of her head and gave Kyle her best flirtatious smile. And after batting her eyes for a moment just to add to the effect, man she was enjoying this, she responded in her most carefree voice.

"Sure, that would be great."

"Really? I mean, yeah, of course you want to. So when should I pick you up. Does eight sound all right?"

Well, she had definitely caught him off guard with that response. Miss Scientist, valedictorian (so far) Parker was going to go on a date with Captain of the Football Team Valenti.

"Eight sounds great. I'll be waiting for you on my balcony."

"All right. Well, then I will see you later tonight."

Kyle stepped to the side to allow Liz to pass by and continue on her way, wherever she was going.

Liz walked away from Kyle with a little more life in her walk and a twinkle in her eye. A plan was taking shape in her mind, a plan of revenge and jealously. God Bless Kyle Valenti for asking her out. That was exactly what she needed.

It was the perfect way to spite Max for hurting he so deeply and permanently. He would be green with jealously when she was done with him. He would never know what hit him, and he would regret losing Liz as much as she hurt in her losing him.

She would go out with Kyle, she would have a not so great time, but she would go out with him. And she would make sure that Max would notice the special things that she would do with him such as him meeting her on her balcony, and maybe, and this was a big maybe, a kiss goodnight.

She would have to talk to Maria and Isabel about making sure Max had dinner at the Crashdown tonight. That way he would be there to witness it all.

Liz had sprouted devil horns, and Max would turn into the green-eyed monster. Another match made in heaven.

Liz stood in front of her mirror. It was 7:45 and Kyle would be here to pick her up any moment. She was giving herself the last few magic touches to make herself an absolute knock out. If she was going to do this, if she was going to make it a success, it was of the utmost importance that she did it well.

She would enjoy every moment of watching Max suffer. He deserved it.

Well, that was what she kept repeating to her self. Over and over she spoke it out loud, and then in her head, and then she would simply mouth it. The rule was that if you say something enough times, if you did it so many times you would start to view as the truth, right? Well, she was putting all of her money on that gamble.

Deep inside she still cursed herself for driving him away, for forcing herself upon him. She beat herself mentally for tricking him into believing that he loved her. It was all her fault, but somehow the whole idea of making Max pay thrilled her. But why should he be the one paying when it was all her fault? Why should he be the one to suffer?

'Stop it Parker! You are going through with this and there will be no more arguing with yourself.'

Liz gave her mirror image one last glance over to make sure everything was all right. She was wearing a light purple dress with a white lace sweater. The dress came down to just above her knees. A silver necklace with a rhinestone on the end completed the outfit.

Her hair was loosely curled and hanging freely down her back.

Her make-up was perfect. Isabel had picked out the colors in all of her expertise and then applied them herself claiming that she had the magic touch.

The rattle of the ladder caught Liz's attention. Someone was climbing up it. It was still ten minutes to eight, and Kyle was never early so it could not be him. Maybe Maria had decided to come offer her some girl support.

Liz bounced over to the window, not because she was anxious or happy, but because she was still trying to convince herself that she was anxious and happy.

She opened her window, but before stepping outside, she reached for her desk chair to grab a light jacket. Just incase it was not Kyle she was not about to stand outside and freeze.

She maneuvered her way out onto her balcony, which turned out to be quite a feat with a dress on. She stood up and turned around, kneeling down at the same time to close her window so that the warm air inside would not escape.

She decided to stay facing her window so that if the person were Kyle she would not appear as if she were waiting for him. She did not by any means want to appear anxious quite yet. Everything had to be perfectly timed.

She could not see the reflection of whoever it was in her window. The light was too dim. But whoever it was, they were wearing jeans and a green sweater and it looked quite nice if she said so herself.

She was about to turn around and say hello when two strong hands gently took hold of her upper arms, not allowing her to turn.

"Kyle, I can't walk backwards to wherever we are going, so you are going to have to let me turn around."

She started to turn her head to look at Kyle standing behind her. She was going to flash him a sarcastic smile. But he spoke causing her to stop all action.

"No, don't turn you head because if you do, I might not have the strength to walk away. I came here to say that I know what you are doing and I wanted to tell you that it wouldn't work, Liz. So go out and have your fun. Eat, dance, laugh, heck, kiss him goodnight if you want to, but remember that I know what you are doing. But also remember that I understand why you are doing it. I don't blame you, I'm not angry."

Liz attempted to loosen his grip on her arms and turn around. She wanted to see his face when he said those words to her. She wanted to watch him lie so boldly to her. She wanted to watch him get nervous. She wanted to see if he was hurting as much as she was. She wanted to know by looking into his eyes if he really meant what he was saying.

She wanted to throw herself into his arms and kiss him silly.

But his strong grip on her arms kept her held firmly in place.

"Liz, please don't turn around. Don't look back."

His hands let go of her arms, but she found that she had to obey his words. For she also knew that she would not be able to control herself if she turned around. Tears began to form in her eyes but she fought them. She had to be strong. She could show no emotion.

She heard him climb back over her balcony railing and listened as the ladder squeaked and groaned with every wrung that was supporting his weight.

She couldn't do this. She couldn't live a lie.

'But, Parker, you don't have a choice. Your destiny has already been chosen and it does not include him.'

She fought quickly to compose herself before any tears could break through their globed prisons. She was not about to let her mascara run and prove to the world that she was guilty of ruining two people's lives.

The sound of someone climbing up her ladder disturbed the silence of the night once more and Kyle appeared on her balcony.

"So, are you ready for the time of your life? You look incredible."

Liz blushed slightly. Yeah, she did look good. And she was definitely going to attempt to have some fun on their date.

"Yeah, I'm ready. So where are we going to dinner?"

They climbed over the railing and down the ladder. Kyle helped her with the last step. He then held out his arm for her to take and led her to his car.

"She's a beauty isn't she?" Kyle asked inquisitively.

"Um, it sure is."

Kyle was incredibly proud of his baby. It was a red Mustang that belonged to his dad. He had borrowed it for the evening. It was definitely a babe magnet.

Liz sat down in the front seat and Kyle assumed position behind the wheel and they went speeding off into the darkness.

************************************************************************
Max stood just around the corner and watched every move that they made. He watched every move that she made. He had just finished telling her the biggest lie he had ever told. And now, he stood in the shadow watching her leave him, his heart breaking in two.

This would be his place from now on. He would simply be watching her from the shadows because he would never be allowed to share her light.

He sighed deeply, leaning against the brick wall. Closing his eyes he wished away the horridness of his life, wishing that this were all merely a dream that he would wake up from in the morning. Then he would laugh, because that's what you do when you realize just how silly your dream was, but how serious it seemed while you were there. And then he would have lunch at the Crashdown when Liz was working, and she would walk up to him and throw her arms around his neck, bringing his head closer to hers. She would rise up on her toes to add some height to herself and then fuse their lips together. That would be there hello.

Max pinched himself just to make sure that he was really awake and that he was really living the nightmare.

He gave one more painful look down the street where Kyle had driven off with his heart before turning to return the Crashdown. Isabel was inside waiting for him.

************************************************************************
Upstairs, in Liz's room, a new decoration was being added to her room. A dark clad man walked through the shadows of her room, picking each picture up to see the image of the smiling girl. He set each one down carefully as to leave no trace of his being there.

He then stepped to the center of her room and turned in a full circle. Where would the best place to put it? Where would she be sure to see it as soon as she returned?

He walked over to the dresser and opened up the top left drawer. It was just as on Antar with no clothes inside but her most personal and important items. Right on top was a picture of her and Isabel. Just below that was one of her with Maria and Alex. They were all smiling. She looked happy. She wasn't happy anymore.

He dug a little deeper into the drawer and found what he was really looking for. This would be the perfect place to leave the orb. He slipped it into the drawer, keeping it slightly hidden, but obvious enough that she would find it.

Grasping the photo strip of Max and her together he closed the drawer. He turned around to look at the rest of the room, taking in the world that she lived in.

He took a step forward towards her bed and laid the picture strip directly in the middle. It would serve as a clue.

She looked so happy in the picture. He had never seen her smile like that. There was magic in their eyes when they looked at each other.

The orb was his last hope. It was the planet's last hope.

He gave one last look at the pictures on the bed before stepping out onto the balcony. Movement down below caught his eye. Max. He watched him turn and walk back into the Crashdown.

He turned to close the window, and then turned his eyes to the sky and vanishing into the night sky.


TBC

posted on 24-Jan-2002 1:33:50 AM
Part 21

Liz did not enjoy the date. Heck, in reality she could not wait to get home and say goodnight to Kyle. He seemed like a nice guy, but he definitely was not her type. He was a little too into his car and himself, and not so much into her and what interested her. She was not a self-centered person, but he never took the chance to get to know her more.

Well, at least all of his talking about himself gave her something to laugh about later on.

When Kyle had dropped her off at her house he had leaned in to kiss her. She decided to allow him to do so just in case Max was off somewhere watching. And if he was not then she would have something to rub in his face to make him even more jealous than he was.

The kiss was nothing special either. In fact, it was like kissing her brother. Not that she had ever kissed Michael, but still…

He had tried to take the kiss farther than a peck on the lips, but she refused.

She placed her hands on his chest and flashed him a killer smile before saying goodnight and squeezing through the door. She closed it in his face when he tried to follow her inside.

Kissing Kyle was not something that she planned on spending a lot of time doing in the future. She didn't even know if she would go out with Kyle. It was one thing to torture Max, but it was another when it also involved torture for herself.

Being home was the most wonderful feeling in the world. She immediately rushed through her bedroom, leaving the lights out and went to her balcony. She had to get her journal. She wanted to write down everything that had happened that evening before she forgot the important details.

Reaching for the loose brick in the wall she discretely used her powers to move the brick. Just before reaching her hand inside she stopped and wondered whether it would actually be there or not. It would been missing for a little while, then show up for the next few nights before vanishing once again. She had no idea who it was that kept taking her journal, but whoever they were they had to be an alien to break into her little power-sealed hiding spot. A human would never be able to do that. But that was the mystified her even more. Who would want to read her journal? Were they even reading it? Were they gathering information on her and then they were going to move in and take her? Was it someone good or bad? Was it more than one person?

She had so many questions and not one answer. The scientist in her would have to do some more problem solving to catch the thief.

After another moment of hesitation and her hand suspended in midair, she decided that she could suffer the consequences if her journal was not there. She had to know. Perhaps there was a pattern to when it would disappear. It didn't happen every time she wrote in it, only after she had written something really big in it. Did that mean that someone was actually watching her during the daytime? That was a creepy thought.

She reached her hand inside of the little cave and grabbed for her journal. It was there! She let out a relieved sigh at her discovery. She really needed to write in it. She was not in the mood for it to be missing.

But, of course, as fate would have it, it was there. Had she been imaging the whole missing thing?

No, she was not delirious, that she was sure of.

She breathed a sigh of relief at the feel of the cool, smooth leather in her fingers. It felt like being home. Her journal was a place where she could lose herself and write about what was really going on. Her life was not quite so painful when she was writing in her journal. If only she could write in it forever. Perhaps then her heart wouldn't be so broken as it was.

She clasped her journal to her chest, holding onto it for dear life. A small, secretive smile crept across her face at the memory of all the wonder times she had had writing away here on the balcony.

Sure, there had been sad times too. Times when her heart had been shattered into a thousand pieces and no one would know how badly she had been hurt. Not even Isabel. But she would find solace in the crisp white pages of her journal. It was her elision fields, her Heaven, her peaceful place.

Just as the she sat down in one of the lawn chairs she heard her phone let out an angry protesting ring from inside her room. Of course it had to ring right then. No one was home which meant that she would have to answer it.

Dragging herself quickly from her chair she flung herself back into her room and made a mad dash for the receiver. She was almost positive that the person on the other line would no longer be there. It had taken her a moment too long to reach the phone, but she decided to speak before hanging up just incase. You never knew…

"Hello?"

"Liz, oh Liz! Thank goodness it is you! I have good news. Ok. Well good new for me at least. The only thing is that I am not so sure if it is good news at all. I mean, what if it turns out to be completely horrible and things are never the same again? And what if I-"

Liz couldn't take it anymore. If Isabel didn't breathe soon she would pass out! So she decided to cut her off. After all, she had no idea what Isabel was rambling on about."

"Isabel, would you do me a favor?" Liz asked in the most sincere voice she could so as not to come across as being mean when in actuality she was just trying to give Isabel a hard time.

"Yeah, Ok. Breathe. I can do that."

Liz giggled into the phone at the mental images of Isabel trying to compose herself.

"All right. Isabel, let's start again. And this time, include some nouns so that I know who or what you are talking about."

"Nouns. Ok. I can do that too. Nouns. I don't know if I can do that! Liz, I'm like panicking here! I don't know what to do!"

"Isabel calm down. Whatever it is, I am sure that everything will be all right. Now, can you tell me what it is that has your feathers all ruffled?"

"One word. Alex."

There was a long, silent pause on the other end of the line as the two girls soaked in the possible meanings of the name.

"Hey, that was a noun! I could do it!" Isabel complimented herself.

"Congrats, Isabel. You have officially passed Elementary English!"

Liz couldn't help it. Isabel had so set herself up for some teasing.

"Ok. What about Alex? You weren't mean to him were you? Because, you know, he really is a sweet guy. I sit next to him in AP English and I hang out with him a lot when I'm with Maria."

"No, no, no. I wasn't mean at all. Actually, it was quite the opposite! Liz, I was nice to him!"

Liz was speechless. Isabel had just made the last statement as if she had never been nice to anyone before and she was trying to defend herself. Isabel sounded as if she was surprised that she was nice to him. This was too funny.

Yet, the whole conversation thus far had failed to expose the true nature of the call. Liz still had no idea what had Isabel all excited.

"Ok. So I know so far that you were nice to Alex. Wow. I think I know just about everything now. Was there anything else you wanted to tell me?"

There was another long silent pause, the only sounds that did ebb through was the sound of their breathing into the mouthpiece.

Finally Isabel broke the silence, and hopefully this time it would be with a clear answer as to why she had called.

"Liz, Alex asked me out to dinner and I accepted. I was not thinking! I know! I am so sorry. I just don't know what to do now. I know that I have to cancel our date because it can never be. He doesn't even know who I really am and where I am really from. But how do I do that? Break it off with him. I don't want to hurt him. Liz," the third long silence pierced the air in the phone, "I really like him…"

Liz found herself a little speechless after Isabel's revealing of the truth. She had not been expecting anything like that. True, she had witnesses them flirting on more than one occasion. And Alex had been particularly nosey about Isabel recently. She should have seen it coming.

A larger smile spread across her face as she pictured the two of them together. Perhaps Isabel had found her soul mate after all this time. Maybe she was right about the whole thing.

Well, at least she had been right for herself. Liz's dreams had been shattered. She would marry James in less than a year and that was the way that it had to be. She had come to face the music and walked away with the realization that there was no way to escape. She had tried and failed. She had loved and now was hated in return.

At least that was how Max was acting towards her. He avoided her like the plague. Each time she did see him it drove the dagger deeper and deeper into the unhealed wound.

But this was no time to think about herself and her own problems and her own crummy life. Isabel needed her! The best friend in her was kicking into gear as she gave her advice to Isabel.

"Isabel… Isabel, go out with him. Have a great time. Be young. Be free. Be in love, or in like, whatever you feel, be it. And if you want to tell him the truth about us, if you really feel that you can trust him, go for it. I know that Max would oppose it, but you know, I don't care what he thinks. He may be the King, but he doesn't control my life nor should he control yours."

Had she really just said that? It didn't sound like her at all. She sounded to liberated. She almost believed herself.

"Are you serious? Liz, what's wrong with you? Are you feeling all right? Did something happen to make you talk that way? Who are you and what have you done with my best friend? You really want me to go out with him? Are you crazy?"

"Isabel, I am completely serious. Go out and have a great time! Alex really likes you and if you like him then nothing should hold you back. You were always the one telling me that there was someone out there destined for me, my soul mate. Why should I have to follow my heart but you can't? You should listen to your own advice and your own heart."

"Liz, but what about my whole alien status? What do I do about that? I don't want to have a relationship with him based upon lies. That isn't fair to him and it isn't fair to my heart either."

"Well, then I think you just answered your own question. Tell him."

"Just like that? Just tell him?"

"It's that simple. I'm sure that he will understand. He may be a little confused at first, but he'll be all right eventually."

"Ok. So I will tell him the truth. All right. Ok. I will. I am going to go on a date with Alex! Liz, I am going on a date with Alex!" The exuberance in Isabel's voice warmed the air around Liz. Even though Isabel wasn't sitting right in front of her, the joy in her words made her smile with a silly giddiness.

"All right Isabel. Have fun on your date and make sure you fill me in on all the mushy details the moment you get home. I want to know everything. Every little detail!! Promise?"

"Promise! Thanks Liz. What would I do without you?"

"I have no idea. You would be a wreck, that's for sure."

"That was a hypothetical question you know…"

"Yeah? Then you shouldn't have asked it!"

Liz was laughing into the receiver by this point. Isabel just knew how to brighten her day without even trying.

"Talk to you later Isabel."

"Thanks Liz. Bye."

"Bye."

Liz set the phone back down on its base and turned to go back out onto her balcony. Her journal was sitting out there calling her name. It was her therapy and the Lord knows she needed it after the last few weeks.

But before she could make it past her bed a picture strip caught her eyes.

Now what was that doing out? She had no memory of taking out of her drawer. Maybe she had accidentally taken it out with something else and then it landed perfectly in the center of her bed, right side up, facing her. Yeah, that was possible, right?

She reached her hand out to pick up the small picture strip. She would just put it back to where it was supposed to be and then continue on her way back to her journal. She would not look at the images captured on the piece of paper, nor would she think about when the images were taken, nor what they looked like.

The second she picked up the photo strip a flash filled her line of sight. Someone had been in her room. She couldn't tell who it was or what they were doing, but whoever it was placed the pictures on her bed.

The shock of the truth hit her like a ton of bricks. She was meant to find the photo strip.

She was meant to put them back into the drawer.

Was there something in there waiting for her? Was someone watching her at that very moment, waiting for her to reach her hand inside the drawer? What was going on?

What should she do?

To open the drawer or not to open the drawer, that was the question.

All right, she had spent a few too many hours in AP English. There she went again, changing the subject so that she would not have to think about the current situation.

Well, she could not just stand there with the pictures in her hand all day. And if there was something waiting for her, wouldn't it just be better to find it and then decided what her next course of action would be? That would be better than letting her imagination run wild with all sorts of thoughts about what might be waiting for her…

So that settled it. She was going to put the pictures away and see what just might be waiting for her to discover it in her drawer.

She willed herself to go to her to her dresser with ever fiber of her being and yet her feet took her nowhere. That was frustrating.

'Get a move on, Parker.' She scolded herself.

Her right foot slowly escaped from its imprisoned position on the ground. It felt like lead. But she was going to do this. She had to know. Maybe her drawer held the answer to why her journal had disappeared so many times. Maybe it held a ticket home and away from her misery. Maybe it held the key to some other great misery. Maybe it held the way to bring Max back to her.

Liz shook her head from side to side to shake that thought of it. She could not think like that anymore. Max didn't want her. He didn't love her. Not anymore. He embraced his destiny. She had to do the same.

Maybe if she told herself that enough time she would actually come to believe in it…

Her left foot followed in pattern with the right and she stealthily made her way across the room to her dresser.

She creaked open the drawer upon her arrival, scared to look inside.

She decided that it was now or never. She opened her eyes and cast a quick glance into the drawer. The realization that her eyes had been closed didn't even dawn on her. She had no memory of closing them, but sometime between the first step and the opening of the drawer they had shut tight.

A short gasp escaped from her throat at the sight before her.

There was nothing. Absolutely nothing.

She laughed out loud at herself and how she had gotten herself all worked up. She should have known better than to let her imagination get the best of her.

She cursed her emotions silently. She loved her vivid imagination, but sometimes it really could be a pain.

She brought the pictures up to the level of the drawer and then started digging through some of the clothes and other various pictures. This one was going on the bottom. She didn't want to see it again for a very, very long time.

And that was when she saw it. The orb. An orb. It.

It was nestled very carefully between a couple of shirts, underneath a couple of pictures.

There was something waiting for her. Someone had been in her room and they had left an orb in her drawer where they knew only she would find it.

She pulled out the smooth oval shaped object and held it cupped in her hands. It had to contain a message. That was what orbs were used for. But who would need to send her a message?

Well, there went her imagination again. For all she new it could have been her mother just wanting to say hello. But then again…

Perhaps she should watch the message right away. No one was home so it was the perfect opportunity. No one would walk in on her and see anything they weren't supposed to…

With that decision and without any hesitation, she focused her powers on activating the message.

The bright blue light shot out and began to take the shape of a person in front of her. She couldn't tell who it was yet, but it was getting clearer and clearer…

Complete and utter shock covered her face the moment that the person came into focus. The orb slipped out of her hands and thudded loudly on impact with the ground.

She had never in a million years expected to get a message from this person.

The image began to speak to her; it's voice filling the room. And the words it spoke would forever change the course of her life…


TBC
posted on 26-Jan-2002 2:05:27 AM
I just wanted to let you all know that I added Part 10b to this board which someone so kindly pointed out was missing. hehe.

So, it's up now to read!
posted on 29-Jan-2002 3:01:31 AM
Part 22

Isabel sat across the table from Alex. If only her legs were a little bit shorter and then she would be able so swing them back and forth. At least that would be more entertaining than this. So far they had merely exchanged pleasantries and then sat silently at the table.

How was she going to do this? Why did she think that she could do this? Was she crazy? Had she completely lost it? Sure, Liz was supporting her on her decision, but Michael was going to kill her when he found out… That was if he ever found out.

And then there was Max. And who knew about him. He was on this whole "I have to embrace my destiny" trip and was trying to convince her that she should too. So maybe she was not the one who had lost it, maybe he was the one. He was always the one who refused to accept the fact that he was going to be king. He was the one who just wanted to be a normal person instead of having all the extra responsibilities and weights on his shoulders.

So now here she was about to go against every rule ever set for her to follow. She was about to take a chance with someone whom she was not supposed to marry, let alone date. She was betrothed… to Michael. She was to be married within the year.

There were probably wedding plans already in place. Since Max and she were twins there had always been plans to have this massive wedding week. Max would marry first since technically he was the first born and future King, and then she would follow exactly one week later, taking her place as the Princess. She would marry Michael…

She shook the thoughts from her head. They were unpleasant enough and she did not want to deal with that. After all, she was sitting in front of a wonderful, kind, caring, funny, witty, compassionate person. Yeah, she would defy the rules for him…

Now she just had to pray that he would not freak out and run away or say something totally stupid out loud. Hopefully he would react to it rationally and calmly. Hopefully…

"So, Alex…"

And that was as far as she got. She couldn't do this! There was no way!

"Yeah Isabel?"

Oh gosh! She was already committed. She was going to have to do it now! Darn that Alex for being so cute when he said her name! He just had to go and answer her and ruin everything!

"Umm. Well, there's something… there's something I want… need… there's something I have to tell you."

"All right. I'm all ears." Alex leaned forward in his seat and placed his elbows on the table, folding his hands in front of him.

"Well, gee, this is hard. There's something… well, there's something about us… I mean me that you should know."

There! She had it out. Well, not all of it, but at least it was something. It was a start and there was no turning back now. She had to tell Alex if she ever wanted anything to come of their relationship.

"Isabel. You don't have to tell me anything. I'm sure it's all right."

"No, Alex, you have to let me say it. You have to know the…"

Alex reached his hand across the table and brought his finger to her soft lips.

"Isabel, I trust you. Don't you trust me? You don't have to tell me anything."

How come he was doing this? Didn't he know that he was making that much more difficult for her to tell him? He had no idea of the magnitude of what, exactly, that she had to tell him. He would never begin to guess it in a million years.

"Alex…" Her voice cracked slightly as she whispered his name.

She brought her hand up to his hushing hand and gently wrapped it around it. She had to do this.

"Alex, you don't understand. I have to tell you this. It's so important before we can be toge… before we friends."

"Isabel. Trust me, I know that it's all right. You don't have to say anything."

"Alex, you know, this is really hard for me to do. I don't usually let anyone see or know what or who I really am. So please just let me get this out. I'm trying to get through this and you are not making it easy for me."

"All right, Isabel. If it's that important for you to say it out loud then go for it. I'll stop interrupting."

"Ok. Well, then, all I have to say is that, well, I'm not from around here." There it was out. No more weight on her shoulders.

"Well, I already knew that. You're an exchange student, Isabel. That's generally the case when it comes to exchange students."

Darn him. He just had to go and make things difficult for her. Now she was going to have to go into more detail.

"Alex, I'm not from anywhere around here."

"So you're from another country then?"

"No, Alex, you really aren't listening to me. I'm saying that I'm not from around here." She pointed to the room around them and then to the ground. Maybe she could do better if she was really subtle. Maybe then he would get it.

"Isabel, I told you that you don't need to tell me anything about his. I already know. Did you really think that Maria would be able to keep a secret of this magnitude to herself? I think not. So, as far as you're other worldly status goes, that's just fine with me. Isabel, I like you for who you are, not what you are. And all I have seen so far, I like. That's what I care about. I care about what's in your soul, in your heart, not what's in your blood."

Isabel sat dumbfounded in her seat. She couldn't move. She couldn't say anything. She was pretty sure that her mouth was hanging open.

"Isabel, let me take you home. I had a wonderful time this evening, but I think you have some thinking to do."

Alex stood up from his seat and walked over to offer his hand to help Isabel up from her seat.

A shaky hand found it's way into his steady palm before he pulled her up to her feet.

"Yeah… home…"

Alex allowed Isabel to link her arm in his to help steady her. He must have really shocked her. She was probably thinking that he would be the one to take the news roughly. He had definitely turned the tables on that one.

In truth, he had panicked when Maria had first told him the secret that she was not supposed to tell him. But, after some serious contemplation and some heart to heart girl talks with Maria, he had decided that he could deal with it. He like Isabel and he wasn't going to let the fact that she was an "alien" stop him from feeling that way.

He pushed the door open for her to walk through and then led her to his car. She definitely needed to go home. She had this complete shocked look on her face, emotionless and full of emotion at the same time. She hadn't said a word or uttered the smallest sound.

"Come on Isabel."

************************************************************************
Liz sat in silence as the image in front of her faded away. What was there to say? She had been right and wrong at the same time. What was she going to do now? No one would believe her. The orb would disappear before she could play it again. They tended to do that. It was some kind of safety measure used to make sure that the message would not fall into the wrong hands. It made sure that the message wouldn't fall into enemy hands…

She just had to sit there and convince herself that everything she just heard had to be right. She should feel honored to have received that message, and in many ways she did. But no her life seemed impossible. She had not been trained to deal with any of this. What would become of her future? What would become of her? Yet, the message had puzzled her ever so slightly. What was she worthy of that visit, of the honor of the words spoken for her ears only? Why was she so special? She was simply Liz Parker, Lady in Waiting to Isabel Evans, the Princess of Antar. She was a nobody. She had been rejected and denied by the only person she had ever loved.

But now she had a destiny. But had she already lost it forever? Had she lost her only chance at happiness?

She had to change the future.

************************************************************************
Maria sat on the bench in front of the ice cream store. She had been waiting for over and hour and he still had not appeared.

Where was he?

He was supposed to meet her there an hour ago and they were going to go out and have a date. It was supposed to be wonderful. He was supposed to be wonderful, but now that would never be. No, it would never be because she, Maria Deluca, was not going to give in to his annoying pleas that immediately broke her stonewalls. She was going to remain strong and she was most definitely going to give him a piece of her mind whenever he decided to show up. That was if he decided to show up.

She was really starting to doubt that he ever would when lo and behold he came walking casually around the corner.

She tried to sit there and ignore him. She ha to pretend that she didn't see him and everything would be all right. Stay strong. Stay unreadable. Stay aloof.

Her head turned sharply in the opposite direction and she immediately regretted the action. It was too obvious.

He was still walking towards her, determination written all across his face. This was going to be harder than she thought.

Well, if he was going to have the gall to approach her after being an hour late then she was most definitely going to let loose on him.

"Michael Parker, you are and hour late. I just want you to know that I am not going to tolerate this. If you had not figured it out already, our date is over, cancelled, fini! So, I suggest that you just turn around and walk back to wherever you just came from, because it was obviously more important then me."

With that she turned her head back to face the other way. She refused to give him the satisfaction of trying to win her back by looking into her eyes with his own. Besides, if she looked into his eyes she wasn't so sure that she would be able to resist his words.

"Maria, I didn't come to apologize. I came to take you out and you obviously still want to go or you would not have waited here for an hour. Only special cases would do that, and you, my dear, are most definitely a special case."

Michael placed his hand on her arm and forced her to turn back around against her will.

"Michael, don't do this to me. There is no way on this green Earth, mind you it's not Antar so you can't treat me like some kind of possession, that I am going to go out with you after you stood me up for an hour. So, yeah… I waited an hour for you, but that was only so I could give you a piece of my mind, which you so deserve by the way. You know what? You seriously need to learn some manners. Didn't your mother teach you those or were the taught in you schooling. Oh wait, you fail every class you take, and you must have failed that one with flying colors. I can't believe you still came here thinking that we would still go out. How could you even have the nerve? It's despicable. It's wrong!"

Maria was running out of things to say in a hurry. She had to leave soon or she would have to shove her foot into her mouth and take back all of the mean things she had just said. Her pride would never be able to live it down. She was too full of pride to walk away. But she was too weak to stay there.

"Maria. Shut up."

Michael swooped his head down and brought his lips into contact with Maria's. Sure she had been waiting an hour for him. Sure she was furious. But she didn't know where he had been or what he had been doing.

But she would find out soon.

The heat that spread through Maria's body from the kiss made her forget her anger. She was totally a goner for this guy and he knew it. He was her space boy. Hers. That had a great ring to it…

She pulled back suddenly from his endearing embrace and slapped him hard across his arm.

"Ow! What was that for?"

"Next time you show up on time."

"Yes mam!" He had just sold his soul to this little spitfire. Now he was putty in her hands. Lord protect him!

"So where are you taking me? It had better be somewhere nice after making me wait for so long. You have a ton of making up to me to do. You do realize that, don't you?"

"Yeah, I know. I'll get to it eventually. But for now, let's get out of here. I like benches, but not that much. And this whole emotional public display thing is really cramping my style."

Maria let out a richly toned chuckle. If there was thing that Michael did not have it was definitely style!

"So let's get going, space boy."

"You're carriage awaits, my lady."

Maria gave a quick glance around her. She didn't see any carriage. She didn't see any car. Was she going to walk wherever they were going?

The anger began to rise to the surface once again.

"Maria, don't stress, I parked around the corner."

"Oh good."

The rounded the corner and Maria's eyes immediately started to scan for a limo or a Porsche or something really nice. But there was nothing. There an old Impala and a motorcycle that looked like it wasn't even street legal. Nothing else.

"Michael? Where is my carriage? I don't see my carriage."

"It's right there!" Michael said pointing to the rusty motorcycle a few parking spaces away.

"I even brought an extra helmet for you to wear!" Michael had a huge grin across his face. Yeah, he was enjoying every minute of this. Maria could just maybe be the one he had always been searching for…

************************************************************************

Liz walked up to the doorway so cautiously. She had to do this. She was destined to do this. She had to say something.

Her future depended upon it.

Her happiness depended upon it.

A shaky hand reached out and pressed on the doorbell. The ringing sound echoed through the house and escaped through the door. Loud footsteps could be heard walking at a fast pace to answer her call.

She heard the rattle of the chain being pulled off the door and then the door handle began to shake as it was unlocked. Then, as if in slow motion, the knob turned and began to open the door.

There, standing before her was her worst nightmare and her best dream. This was her future. Their future. All of their futures. It all depended on her.

She had to make this happen. It was right. She should be happy.

But her happiness was all resting on the reaction she would receive after the news she gave.

The future was depending on her.


TBC
posted on 5-Feb-2002 7:38:07 PM
foreverdreamer- Good to see you here! Thanks for reading my little story! And thanks so much for the wonderful feedback. I am so glad that you are enjoying this. That's what make it all worth it. *happy*
posted on 5-Feb-2002 7:39:14 PM
Part 23

Max stood in front of Liz, completely confused and overjoyed at the same time by her presence. Was she there to curse him and give him a piece of her mind or was she there for some other torturous reason?

"Liz?" There was a long awkward silence between them. A little too long.

Max shifted back and forth on his feet; his hands were shoved into his pockets to keep himself sane. She must be a vision for she had not spoken or moved. Perhaps it was a vision come to haunt him, to chastise him for his decision. But the decision was one that he had to make. Actually, he did not even really make it. The decision had been made for him years before, back when he was born. It wasn't him, it was who he was that controlled and dominated.

He found his voice again and spoke to the apparition before him.

"Um… What are you doing here? Are you real?" Did he really just say that? Well, he had to be sure that his mind was not playing games on him.

"Max… I… Um… Well… I came…" She could not manage to get the words expelled from her mouth. She had this whole speech planned, this whole set of actions staged for the drama that was supposed to unfold, and now she couldn't even say hello.

What was she supposed to do?

'Think fast, Liz. Think really fast before you blow everything. The future is depending upon you. There is an entire planet depending on you. This is fate. This is destiny.

"Then why is this so hard?"

"What is so hard? Liz, what are you talking about?" Max had a completely confused look on his face.

"Did I just say that out loud?" Stupid, stupid, stupid! How could she have just done that? She really had to start thinking things through before letting her emotions get the best of her. She should have waited at home overnight and then come back in the morning. What was she supposed to do now? This was not the way that things had played out in her head.

"Never mind. I didn't mean for that to be said out loud. I'm sorry. I don't remember why I am here. Maybe I was sleepwalking or something. I'm sorry… sorry."

Liz turned abruptly and started to jog off in the opposite direction. She couldn't do this. It was so right; she knew that for sure now. But who was she to go against the King and Queen? Who was she to go against what the entire world thought was supposed to happen?

"No… no… no…" She heard herself mumbling as she ran away. They were not no's that she shouldn't be running away, but rather that the orb had to have been a plant. There was no way that she would visit her. There was no way that that would really happen. Why had she not thought of that earlier before she ran like a twitterpated idiot to Max's door? What did she always let her emotions get the best of her? Why couldn't she just be strong like she was supposed to be? She was weak. So weak. It had to end. Tonight it was going to end. From now on she was going to be a new stronger Liz Parker, more independent than ever.

************************************************************************
Max stood like a statue in the doorway as the swish of chocolate brown hair flew into his face. He watched as Liz started to walk, no wait she was running, away from him and his house. She was running out of his life, probably for the last time.

Maybe that was the way it was supposed to be. Maybe that would make things simpler. Maybe that would help to wipe the memory of her from his head. Every smile, that secret one that slid across her face when she looked at him, every twinkle in her deep brown eyes, every lift of her head allowing her angelic face to look at his own face, every touch of her silky soft hand on his own, every whiff of her strawberry scented shampoo…

And he was letting her get away!

Before he could even acknowledge the actions of his body, Max was running after her. She had disappeared out of sight and he had to catch up with her. He had never run so quickly in his life. His heart had been lost and now he had a chance to find it again and he could not let it get away.

There she was! He could see the swaying of her hair just a little ways ahead of him. He had to close the distance. He had to catch up!

"Liz!" He shouted as loudly as he could, but she didn't respond. He didn't really expect her to, but he had to at least try.

"Liz!" Once more couldn't hurt.

Still no response.

His feet carried him forward. Was he flying? There was no earth below him as he propelled himself forward. His feet fell in a rhythmic pattern on the ground and his breath became labored, but he took no notice of that now. There was only one thing on his mind.

With each thundering footfall he got closer and closer to his goal. To Liz. To his Liz. To his heart. To his happiness. To his destiny.

He was almost in arms length. His right arm unconsciously reached out in front of him trying to grasp the only thing that mattered to him. He was almost there. Just a couple more steps and he would be there.

His hand came into contact with her arm and her grabbed it gently but also with enough force to make her stop running away from him. Her skin was warm from the racing blood through her arteries and her breathing was coming in short gasps. That wasn't a normal sound for someone who had been running. He turned her to face him and at the same time placing his other hand on her other arm. He pulled her forcefully towards him, making an unspoken statement that she was not going to run. She was in his arms now and she was not going to leave them.

"Liz, please look at me." His voice was soft and comforting, but yet demanding at the same time. Qualities of a king. He would be King someday… He was not going to think about that at the moment. Right now he had a one-track mind. And he was not going to be derailed.

Liz lifted her head slowly to face Max's. She was going to have to face this sooner or later and it seemed as though fate had predestined the 'now.'

"Max, I can't… I can't to this. Us. I can't…"

Max brought a finger to her lips to silence her. There would be plenty of time for discussion, he would make sure of that. If he had his way they would have the rest of their lives.

"Liz, I don't want to know why or why not right now. I just want you to know that I am so sorry. I never wanted to hurt you. I never wanted to ruin your life. I never meant to…"

"No. Max, you can't do this. Please don't say things you don't mean. Please do not say something that you are going to regret tomorrow morning. Please don't make promises you cannot keep. Please give me something that isn't yours to give. Please don't make this any more difficult for me than it already it. Max, please."

"Liz, I just have to know. If there was a chance… If the fates had somehow, for some reason allowed it… if the oracle had not said something different, would there be a chance for us?"

"Max," Liz took a deep breath before taking the hand that was wrapped around her left arm and placing it in her own trembling hand. "I asked you not to ask that."

She lifted her tear glistened eyes to his once more. There was something that she had to do. She owed him that much, didn't she? It would ruin him, but if he was so determined to marry Lady Ava then it would make no difference.

"Max, I have something to show you." She took another deep breath and she turned to walk towards the Crashdown. Her hand was still tightly entwined with his own.

"I received something that you need to see. Something you need to hear."

************************************************************************
Liz led Max through the window on her balcony and into her room. She prayed silently that the orb would still be there and that it would contain the same message. She prayed that she had not been envisioning the whole thing in her head and that the message had really come.

"Just have a seat on my bed. I'll get it."

She walked over to her dresser and reached her hand inside feeling around for the cool, smooth surface of the metallic orb. Her hand brushed up against it and her hand folded around it, capturing it. She pulled it out and shut the drawer and stood still facing her dresser as she prepared herself for what was about to happen.

She turned slowly to face her bed and to face Max where he sat on the edge of it. She took slow, precise steps in his direction as she held out the orb.

Max's face went ashen white. Was that the same orb that he had received? How had she gotten it? What was she going to think of him? Was she going to think him a horrible person because he believed the message?

"Liz, I can explain the orb. I'm not sure how it came into your possession, but it showed up in my room a few weeks ago. I never meant for anyone else to see it. I'm so sorry."

It was Liz's turn to carry the confused look upon her face now. What in the world was he talking about? Wait… a few weeks ago? That matched up with the arrival of his letter… The orb… He must have received one too. But his must have had a different message because he did not react the way she thought he would have reacted if he had received the same message as she did.

"Max, I don't think this is the same one. This one came to me… Well, I don't really know when it came to me, but I just found it a little bit before I showed up on your doorstep. Max, who was your from?"

Max swallowed the lump in his throat before he spoke. Tonight was the night that they were going to solve what was going on. This was a lot more complicated than he had suspected.

"Mine was from my betrothed, Lady Ava."

Liz had to fight back the bile and the tears that attempted to rise at the mentioning of her name. Max had no idea. Lady Ava had no idea. Heck, she had no idea until the orb arrived in her room.

"Max, for several weeks now my journal has disappeared periodically. At first it was gone for a couple of nights and then it reappeared. Then it was gone again. It seemed to happen every time I would write something really important, something that had just happened to me, to us, in it. I didn't understand it at first. Every now and then I would sense when someone was near and they were going to take it, but I was never successful in catching the thief. Well, you are probably wondering where I am going with this, but please trust me that there is an end to it.

I really didn't even realize it until a little while ago, but the journal has the royal seal on the top. Well, I did know that part already, but the significance behind that I didn't realize. I kept wondering who would keep taking my journal. Why would they want my journal? What was so special about me? And you know what I realized?"

Max shook his head no. He really had no idea where Liz was going with all of this, but her lips had him in a trance and her voice was a prison. He could not move even if he tried. He would sit and listen. He would listen to her voice all day if he could.

"It wasn't me in particular that was important, it was us. You and me. Isabel. Michael. We were important. Our relationships were important. Someone was trying to keep track of how we were developing relationally.

Gosh, this is hard to get out. I want to say it just right, but I can't."

Max reached his hand up and brushed the backside of it against her cheek wiping away a stray tear.

"Yes, you can. Please go on."

Liz leaned her head ever so gently into his hand savoring the feeling of it on her face.

"Max, they wanted to know what was happening between us. You and me. They were watching us, monitoring us, stalking us, I don't know. It was about us.

I don't know who was taking my journal. I have yet to figure that part out, but whoever it was, I have a feeling that they might have suspect what was going on all along. Maybe even longer than we realized it."

Liz took his hand from her face and clasped it in her own and sat them on her lap.

"Max, today I received an orb. It is not the same one that you received. In fact, I am still in awe of whom mine was from. I feel so unworthy. But now I know that it was meant to be."

She raised their joined hands to her lips and placed her soft lips to his palm feathering with a kiss.

"We were meant to be. Max, all along it was us, not Lady Ava. It all makes so much sense now. Can't you see it? Our entire lives, the bickering and fighting were all masking our true feelings. Max I know you feel something towards me. I've seen it in you. I've felt it in your kisses. I've seen it in your eyes. I've felt it in you touches. I feel it in my heart.

Max, you are my destiny. I am yours. We are meant to be. Do you see?"

She brought his hand a little higher to brush against her cheek once more, embracing it and loving it.

To say that Max was dumbstruck would be the understatement of the century. He sat there reveling in the feeling of his hand on Liz's face. He wanted to believe all that she said with every fiber of his being. But how could it be true? He needed proof.

"Liz, you don't know how much I want to believe you, but I can't."

Liz felt her heart shattering into a million pieces. He didn't believe her. What else was she supposed to say? What was she supposed to do? He had to believe her. He just had to!

"Liz, I need proof. I can't just go against what everything in my life has said is meant to be and believe this. It's too good to be true."

Proof. He wanted proof. Well, how was she going to do that? What was she supposed to do? She had just told him the truth! Why couldn't he just believe her and have a little faith in her? Proof. She had to have proof.

And that was when she realized that there was something cool still trapped in her left hand. Something smooth and oval shaped.

The orb.

Proof.

She had proof. She had a way to show him that they were meant to be. She wouldn't lose him again. He would see this and know.

She had proof.

Proof.

Orb.

Proof.

She pulled the orb out from her left and concentrated on activating it once again. Now she didn't care if the whole neighborhood was watching. They would return to Antar and show the world their error. Then she and Max would be wed and live happily ever after. That was the way things were supposed to be.

The bright blue light shot forth from the orb filling the room with its brilliant glow. The image of a caped woman appeared before them, a woman that they had never seen before. Well, Liz had from watching the orb once, but this felt like the first time all over again.

The caped woman began to speak with a flowing voice. It was almost monotone, but yet held her listener perfectly. They were forced to hang on her every word, begging for the next one to be uttered.

"Do not be afraid. I have come to set things are they were meant to be. The sorrow that fills your heart has reached me across the many miles and galaxies between us. Your true love has been lead astray. But do not worry. Peace fill your heart. Be of courage and go to him. Your words will bring him back. Please, you must follow your heart. The balance of the planets, of the galaxy, of all worlds has been upset. Only your heart and your love may correct it. The fate of your world depends on it.

It was foretold many years ago:

'Two souls, welded into one.
The five planets will not see a setting of the sun.
A love that will form across a great distance,
To this union, to these leaders,
There will be no resistance.'

You must fix what has been broken. All must come to pass as promised. Trust your heart and good will follow. I beg of you to help us with your courage and your love. See and understand your destiny. Love as you were meant to. Happiness will be yours."

With that the image disappeared into the corners of the room and the blue light was snuffed out.

The oracle.

The orb.

Proof.

Destiny.


TBC
posted on 8-Mar-2002 3:26:09 AM
Part 24

"Liz, I don't understand. Who was that? Who was she? What did she say? What did it mean?" He took his hand that was still firmly encased in hers and brought it to his chest.

"Liz, please help me to understand. My head and my heart are telling me two different things and I don't know what to believe anymore. I want to believe you so badly, more than anything in the world. Please don't be angry with me for being hesitant. I… I am just so confused. My heart believes you. But my head, my head still needs some convincing. It needs it laid out. Please, Liz, please help me."

The tears flowed freely from his eyes as he whispered the words with as much love as he could. She had to help him understand. She just had to.

Liz sat there gawking at him. She didn't know what to think anymore. If Max didn't trust her, then how would they ever in their future be able to trust each other? Maybe she had misunderstood the oracle. Maybe the oracle had been sent to the wrong person.

No, she hadn't. She was sure. The oracle had come for her. For them. It as about them. They needed to be together. They were meant to be together. And he needed it in a simpler language? How much simpler could she make it?

"Max. I don't know if I can make this much simpler. Max, we are the ones talked about in the oracle. It's us. We are meant to be together. Max, your orb was a decoy. I don't know who made Lady Ava record it; maybe it wasn't even Lady Ava. But it wasn't true. She is not the one for you.

Max, don't you see? Our world is in trouble without us. Us, Max. Not you and Lady Ava. Us.

Our loved formed across a great distance. We aren't on Antar; we're on Earth, a great distance from home. Max, when we are together, once we are together, there will be no resistance. We are the ones who will bring peace to our world. It's us, Max. Can you see it now?"

The tears that had been gently trickling down her face now flowed freely as she begged Max to believe her. No thought to why he wouldn't believe her or how come he doubted her crossed her mind. All that mattered was the future of her planet, of their planet, and her heart. She could live without his love, but her heart would forever be broken. Now that she knew they were made for each other, that their love was foretold decades earlier, she was ruined for life. Her heart would be his forever. It would never be able to commit it to any other man.

"Max." She sounded desperate. Her voice shook and her hands started to search his face for some sign of understanding. The grasped his face, gently, but urgently stoking it desperately.

"Max. Please. Believe me. Believe your heart."

She collapsed there beside him, her head landing in his lap. The sobs of from her crying wracked her body. The tears flowed and created a puddle on Max's jeans.

Max's hand unconsciously went her head and began to gently stroke her hair. His fingers wrapped in small strands and ran all the way to the tips before repeating the process.

Could he deny everything that he had ever known? Well, even that was an overstatement. There was one thing, one part of him that drifted constantly from what everyone ever told him was meant to be. His heart. His heart could never believe that he was to marry another. His heart never belonged to him. He would never be able to give it away.

It had always belonged to Liz. He had given it to her the first time he ever saw her.

Could it really be true? Was Liz really his? Was she really meant for him? Was she made for him? Could his heart really be free to love her as he had always dreamt?

His hands moved cautiously from her hair to the sides of her head and he slowly lifted her head to look him in the eyes.

Her chocolate brown eyes, now glassy with tears pierced into his soul. She was looking straight into his eyes for one brief moment and for that one brief moment they were connected. They glimpsed each other's souls for a millisecond.

"Liz…" Max fixed his hands firmly on the sides of her face and forced her to look back into his eyes. His thumb gently brushed away a stray tear.

"Liz, your heart is so beautiful. I want to believe you. So badly… Liz, I'm trying, I really am. The whole thing just seems too good to be true. It's almost as if someone is trying to play a cruel joke on us. But yet this huge part of me tells me it isn't. I don't want it to be a joke.

Liz, there's just one other thing I do not understand. Liz, who was that in the orb? I know it was someone important. I could feel it. I could feel her. She was someone… someone… I know her."

Liz drove her glare into his eyes to see if he was really telling the truth. She knew he was, but for her own sake and her heart she just had to make sure.

"Max, it was the oracle."

"I know it was the oracle, she spoke it and I remembered it from all of the times my professors spoke it to me."

Liz started to giggle, causing Max to appear hurt. He must have thought that she was laughing at him.

She spoke hastily before he had a chance to think she had hurt him.

"Max, no! Don't you ever think what you are thinking right now! I'm sorry I giggled. It was just that… well, never mind. Just have some faith in me. Max, that was the oracle. The person. In person. She came to give us the truth. Max, that was how desperate she was. That's how important our love is. That's how much we are meant to be together."

Tears began to form in Max's eyes at each word that Liz spoke. Of course that was the oracle. That's why the figure, the cloaked woman, seemed too familiar. That was why he could feel her. That was why he could believe Liz. That was why he could believe his heart.

"Liz, I don't know what to say. I don't…"

Liz cut him off mid sentence when her lips came crashing upon his. Max's hands rose once more to her face and cupped it between his palms. He pressed her more into him, reveling in the feeling of her being close. The warmth, the connection spread through their bodies filling every square inch, enveloping everything in its path. It was almost as if every sense was humming with excitement. Every nerve understood that what they were doing was right. Utterly and completely right.

The kiss was broken for a moment when Liz pulled away. Max gave her a confused and slightly hurt expression.

"Max, if you don't know what to say, just don't say anything at all."

A small grin started to spread across his face at her comforting words.

"I think I liked what you were saying just a minute ago. Could you do some more talking for me? I think I need more."

Yeah, Liz was a completely goner for this guy. She leaned in once again and brought their lips in contact.

The kiss quickly began to heat up and they both filled every craving they had ever had. Every unspoken emotion that had been pent up for seventeen years raged through their kiss.

Max's hand left her cheek and found its way to her neck pulling her closer to him as if it were possible. It started to drift farther south and made its way to her back, rubbing up and down.

Liz reveled in the feeling of the friction his hand was causing on her back. But things were going a little too fast to soon. True, they were meant for each other, but they came from a background that believed in waiting.

There were boundaries that could not and would not be crossed until they truly belonged to one another.

Liz pushed away from Max, but made sure to keep a smile on her face so that he would not mistake her actions again.

"Max, we have to stop. We can't do this. We can't do what we both dream of. We will be together… um, you know, together, someday, but that day is not today.

Max, now that we know the truth we have to tell everyone else. Isabel has to know. So does Michael. Oh my goodness! Our parents, Max! What are they going to say? Will they believe us?"

Panic was written all over her face at the memory of her parents. Would they accept the news that she and Max were meant to be together? How would the king take it? He was such a stubborn man, always had been.

Max's smooth voice broke through her panic and brought her back into his warm comfort.

"Liz, my love," that had such a good ring to it, "let's not worry about that right now. Right now I am just so happy that I have you. And now I know that I will never lose you. You belong to me, not to some Lord somewhere else. Liz, I love you. I always have. I know we have to wait to take the physical relationship too far, but that's all right. It will make it that much more special on our wedding night."

Liz laid her head back into Max's lap, soaking in the feeling of being with him. He was so warm, so perfect. His hand started to stroke her hair again eliciting new feeling within her.

She sighed deeply, or was that a yawn? She was so tired, so emotionally drained. She wanted to rest in his safe arms. She would finally sleep well knowing that she was his and he was hers. Finally.

Max scooted back on her bed so that his back was leaning against the headboard. He towed Liz back with him. She snuggled into the crook of his arm. She fit so perfectly. How could he have ever thought that she was not the one for him? How had he convinced himself that he had to live a lie his entire life?

Another yawn escaped from Liz as she found herself drifting off into the dream world. Tonight she would have good dreams resting in the arms of the man she loved and who returned that love to her.

Max listened to her breathing even out and felt her heartbeat slow as she fell asleep. There were no words to describe all of the emotions that were raging through him. He was happier in this one moment than he had been at any point in his life. This was what had always been missing. She had. Liz.

How could he have ever doubted? He could have lost her with his doubt.

They would have to return to Antar sooner than planned now. There was planning to do. They would be wed within the year.

Wow. She would be all his in less than a year.

And they had to do some straightening out of the misinterpretations of the oracle. People had to know the truth.

Max silently prayed that they would listen and believe easier than he had.

But there was no way that he would let their thinking win. Not anymore. He knew who was right and who was wrong now.

And here he was now, the angel that slept leaning against him, in his arms was completely right.

His heart was sold to the truth.

In the morning he would start working on the arrangements to return home. He would work on how to break the news to his father. He would tell Isabel and Michael the truth.

But for now, he was going to sleep. After all, there was an angel in his arms.


TBC

posted on 8-Mar-2002 3:27:03 AM
Part 25

Morning had made its presence known for quite some time when the knock came on Liz's bedroom door.

Liz opened her eyes slowly, trying to shield them from the sudden onslaught of light. Who in the world was knocking on her door? Why was that person trying to wake her up?

Liz's heart stopped beating at the sudden realization that it was not only her that the knocking was going to awaken. She was wrapped in someone's arms. And that someone was very well built and warm… she did not want to get up. Was this whole thing a dream? It was too good to be true. Max didn't believe her. She had told herself that he never would.

But then wait… last night… discussion… orb…

She was in Max's arms!

How in the world had she ended up there? All she remembered was begging him to believe her and their destiny and then she had cried and that was where things went black. Now she was shocked to find herself in his arms, asleep.

Had they been like this all night? Had anything else happened?

She did a quick scan of herself and took notice that she was still fully clothed from her outfit the day before.

'Phew. That was a little too close.'

No matter how much her emotions wanted things to go further between them, they couldn't. Well, at least not yet. She was a firm believer in waiting until marriage to consummate a relationship, as was most of their planet. There was a special, unbreakable bond that formed and it was considered to be sacred.

She wanted to share that bond with Max, but that would come someday. Until then she would have to remain patient and definitely have someone hold them accountable. They didn't want any close calls.

The knocking sounded again. This time was a little louder than before snapping her back to reality. Whoever it was out there was getting a little more irritated that she was not coming to answer her door.

Did she really have to move? Every fiber in her being was screaming at the intruder behind her door. Couldn't they just go away? Wouldn't they just let her sleep in the arms of the man she loved?

And she was in his arms. He head was nestled perfectly into the crook of his neck, angled down towards his chest. His arms were around her waist, clinging to her as if he was unconsciously afraid of losing her. Her own left arm was draped gently over her waist just reveling in the feeling of having him to hold on to.

Max was still sound asleep, his breathes even and deep. He looked beautiful to her. Her own sleeping angel.

She nuzzled into his neck once again and closed her eyes. She was going to stay in his arms as long as she could. The world could go on around her and she didn't care. This was where she belonged and she was not moving from it.

More knocking, by far the loudest of all, resounded through the room. Both Max and Liz bolted upright in the bed at the obtrusive noise. They eyes were wide with shock.

************************************************************************
"What do you mean you received an orb?" Michael gawked at Liz from across the living room. He was pacing back and forth in the room and Liz swore she could see a dent in the carpet forming from his pacing.

Liz and Max were seated on the love seat next to each other. Max's arm was protectively around Liz's waist. There was no way he was going to let her get away from him. There was no way that he was going to let Michael try to convince Liz that she was wrong. He knew the truth now. Liz was his. He was hers. They belonged to each other and there was nothing that was going to tear them apart again. Especially Liz's brother.

Liz cast her glossy brown eyes back towards Max, looking deep into his eyes for the support that she needed.

Max gave her the most reassuring look he could, pouring his soul and all his love into her through their gaze. Nothing. Nothing would come between them again.

"Michael. It means just that." Liz found her voice and continued on in her attempt to convince Michael of their discovery.

Max and Liz had decided to start with Michael because he would be the toughest to convince. Even though Michael did not agree with his whole arranged marriage or betrothal to Isabel, he would go along with it in the long run. He viewed it as something that he could not change. That was a part of his role in Antarian society and he just had to face the fact that he would marry Isabel. And the date for that event was creeping up a little quicker than any of them liked.

So there they were in the Parker's living room trying to convince Michael that they had received an orb and that he message had been sent from the oracle itself.

Perhaps that was the hardest part. Liz kept having to go back to the fact that she received and orb. That was the only part that Michael could grasp. No one in the history of Antar had ever received an orb or any kind of message of that sort from the oracle. There were predictions and destinies that were foretold every now and then, but those were for the special people. Those were for the people who would change the future.

Those were for Max and Liz.

"You got an orb… And you still have it?"

Liz shifted uncomfortably on the couch. The tension was starting to get to her. Darn her brother for not believing her.

"Well, see, that's the thing that gets weird. We don't have it anymore. It disappeared sometime last night after we watched the message."

"So you don't have it?" Michael was having a hard time believing any of this. All his life he had been told one thing and now, all of a sudden, they were telling him something new and they expected him to just believe it? Just like that? Well they had something coming for them…

Liz was starting to get a little frustrated with Michael. A slight crease formed on her forehead. Max took notice of this and his hand around her waist automatically raised a few inches and started to rub her back. He wanted to help and he would if Liz wanted to him to, but she was determined to do this. Michael was her brother and out of anyone, her was the most prone to listen to her than him. And she sure was trying hard, but he could understand her frustration. All they were doing was repeating themselves over and over. And every question Michael had was very basic. It was always on something they had established very early on in their conversation. Why wouldn't he focus on the more difficult parts?

"Yes, Michael. The orb is gone. And we did receive and orb and it was from the oracle. She came to correct a mistake made seventeen years ago."

Michael brought his hands to his head and ran them through his hair. It was kind of an unconscious habit. His pacing finally gave to a halt and he collapsed on the full sized couch across the way from Max and Liz.

The implications of what they were saying were huge. They were having some luck in convincing him of their story… how could he not believe his sister? She had never lied to him. Not even once. Well, except for maybe that time that he caught them in Max's room, but that was another story.

Wait, his room. Max's room. Were they acting instinctively? Was that what was meant to be all along? It was all starting to make a little more sense now.

Perhaps they weren't losing it. Maybe there was truth in their story. Maybe they really were meant to be together all along…

"So you two got an orb with a message from the oracle. From the freaking oracle. You two must be gosh darn important! A guy could feel a little jealous, you know." A smirk appeared on his face as he began his taunting.

Liz saw it and recognized the tone in his voice almost immediately. Before Max could even begin to get defensive at all Liz flew off of the couch and into her brother's arms. He must have really missed something there. He totally did not see that one coming.

"Oh, Michael! Thank you! Thank you!" Liz embraced her brother tightly, her arms completely thrown around his back and her head buried in his chest.

Michael stood a little awkwardly, not quite knowing what to do. So maybe he didn't believe everything quite yet, but he believed most of it. And more than that, he believe that she believed, and that was all that mattered to him. He was such a sucker for his little sister.

Max just sat speechless on the couch. Whatever had just taken place between Michael and Liz he had completely missed. Maybe that was all right. He almost felt like he was intruding on a private moment, but instead he sat his ground. He was the prince of Antar after all. He had the right to be there. Liz would be his wife and therefore he would be where she was. And whether Michael liked it or not, there was no way he could stop them from marrying. But fortunately, now it looked like Max wouldn't have to play that Kind card. Liz had worked her smooth magic and charm perfectly.

One down. A few more to go.

************************************************************************
Back on Antar the count had begun. There was six months until the wedding of Max and Lady Ava. Preparations had started, invitations were going out, and Ava had come to reside in the palace. She awaited the return of her future husband.

The King had remained stubborn, refusing to hear out Jeffery and Genevieve's tale. He was determined to have Ava and Max marry. How else could there be peace on their planets? This was the greatest political move ever made. The two children had never met before, but he knew them both and thought that they made a perfect match. And his opinion was the only one that truly mattered, right?

************************************************************************
Thoughts of Max consumed her every thought for the next couple of weeks. She was almost giddy happy with her life. Things could not get any better. She hadn't been so happy at any point in her entire life.

Whenever she walked down the sidewalks, her steps had an extra bounce in them. She always had a smile on her face. Nothing got her down anymore. No matter what bad came her way the rest of her life she knew that she would be happy as long as she had Max in her life. His arms were like a place of solace. They were her strong hiding place. Her ultimate place of comfort. She could stay in them forever and ever.

The time was drawing near for them to return to Antar. It was summer vacation. They had all graduated from high school, which really was no big feat. They could have done it when they were about ten years old. Earth schools were so behind compared to the personal tutoring they had received.

They were a probably a few days away and counting on activating the granolith and returning home. The concept both excited and frightened them all at the same time.

Michael and Maria had become even worse in the bickering department over the last few weeks. But anyone who really knew them and knew what was going on, knew that they were head over heals for each other. Maybe the bickering was a way of making their impending separation easier. If there were hard feelings between them, it would not be so hard to say goodbye…

As for Alex and Isabel, well, they were happy too. Isabel was still holding off ever so slightly from having a real relationship with him, but it would happen someday, if only they had the time. Alex was content- still wishing there was something more- but content for the moment.

But now time was their enemy. The reminder of their true destinies was an ever-looming dark cloud hovering over their heads.

Liz sat on a wooden park bench watching the children run across and through the playground. Their piercing laughs cut through the air causing a smile to form on her face. Life for them was simple, it always had been, but it would change. But for the moment they were allowed the luxury of youth. Their only care was who pulled whose hair, and when lunch was. They had their whole lives in front of them. They would never know about a place called Antar and the royal family that had visited them. They would never have to worry about arranged marriages and defying a king and an oracle.

One little girl with brown pigtails, held up by those double rubber band things with the little balls on the end, the ones where you twist them… She looked so cute in her bright pink Capri pants and a white shirt with pink flowers that matched. She must have been about seven years old, so free and careless… She had pink sandals on her dirty little feet. She was standing still trying to get one of them off, perhaps to get all of the sand out of them, a mysterious smile spread on her face. She pulled off the sandal on her right foot, and then placing it back on the ground shifted to remover the left shoe.

That was when a little boy ran into her, causing her to go flying to the ground. Her hands flew out in front of her to brace her small body from the hard impact of the earth, her eyes closed tightly to shield them from the scary sight.

The boy must have been right around the same age as the girl. He was about the same height with dark brown hair and the most angelic expression on his face. It was one of utter concern for what had just happened.

The girl was crying now. Poor thing had no idea what had just happened. The boy looked just as stunned.

There were no parents running in the direction of the playground to rescue the children. They must have been off talking somewhere, perhaps even to each other. The kids were left on their own to deal with this trial. Perhaps a foreshadowing of their future to come, both good and bad…

The boy slowly knelt to the ground and rubbed his dirty hand across the girl's arm in a comforting manner.

"Don't cry. Please don't cry. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to knock you down. This is my first time to the meadow and I didn't see you through the grass." Pain filled his voice as he glanced at the angel he had tripped over.

He leaned in a little closer and placed his whole arm around the girl's shoulder, pulling her in to cry on his shoulder.

The girl turned her tear glistened eyes and streaked face to look at the kind voice. Something about it caught her and forced her to calm down. It was almost something familiar, something from a past memory. Was it possible that is was someone she knew?

She raised her head ever so slightly to glance up into his eyes, pain was written all over them.

"Max." Shock filled her voice at the realization of who it was exactly that had tripped over her. She had been laying out in the meadow reading a book. She must have fallen asleep, soothed by the gurgling sounds of the stream as it passed over the stones, tripping and falling on its way to the lake… caressed by the gentle passing of the breeze over the tops of the grass and flowers, bending to absorb, to embrace the air into their open arms.

She had made a nest for herself after running out to the meadow to find solace from the long day. It was a common routine of hers. It was her secret place… Her ultimate place of peace.

But then someone had come running by and tripped over her sending her sliding away to the right. Her tear-stained cheeks were suddenly wiped dry by a small warm hand; a hand that she had never known could be so warm, so kind, so… so loving…

Today was her fifteenth birthday and everyone was out of the city on business trips, including Isabel and her parents. She was left alone to mind the palace and catch up with her studies. She had been ill for a little bit, but finally on the road to mend. She suspected that it was partly due to being cooped up inside the palace for too long. The fresh air of the meadow, its healing winds would bring her back into her full spirit…

She wasn't hurt at all, just a little shaken and shocked from the whole incident. But still the tears flowed for some unknown reason. Perhaps everything was catching up with her. She was alone on her birthday… all alone.

"Max," she heard her voice eek out again. What in the world was he doing here? He was supposed to be gone. They all were.

"Liz?" His voice was full of confusion. What was she doing here? He had run out here thinking that he would be alone for a change. No more servants waiting on him hand and foot, no more responsibilities… Freedom. If only for a moment, but without it he was going to lose it.

Then, on his break for freedom he had stumbled across something solid, something alive…

"Max, what are you doing here?" She felt the palm of his hand on her face as he wiped the tears from her cheeks… Her head leaned into it ever so slightly.

"Liz, I'm sorry. Don't cry. Please don't cry."

Their eyes connected at that moment and all time seemed to stop. The stream quieted and the breeze swirled around them, enveloping the two of them in its warm arms. Their souls connected at that moment, recognizing each other after all their time of separation…

And then his lips softly touched hers, caressing them in the gentlest of manners. There was nothing urgent in the kiss, nothing frightening, just something perfect and completely right. It lasted for only a brief moment, ending far sooner than either of them would have preferred.

They both sat hidden among the tall grasses and flowers of the meadow staring at each other. What was going on? There were all the feelings that had never been there before, or at least ones that had never been acted upon. The awe of the moment and the realization of the mutual feelings just needed to be experienced and recognized through the silence and the trapped stare between them.

Max rose suddenly, a little to quickly, and turned around before proceeding to walk away quickly.

"I'm sorry," she heard him mumble as he walked away. He disappeared into the distance as Liz sat in the grasses watching.

That was when things had become awkward between them. They had become enemies ever since then, masking how they truly felt. It was almost like some unspoken agreement that they could never let anyone know what they really were feeling.

The little boy reached out his hand, offering it to help the girl up. She raised her tears stained face a little higher and reached her hand out. A small smile graced her face at the kindness he had granted towards her.

"It's all right. I'm Ok."

The boy and the girl walked hand in hand to the ladder the reached up to the entrance to the slide.

Liz sighed at the sight of the two children and at the memory of when her life had really started. That moment when Max had kissed her for the first time, the time that she had never told a living soul about, not even Isabel, was when something instinctive had awoken within her.

Now she swore she was the happiest person on the planet Earth. She had found her soul mate. Well, she had found her years before, but they were finally free to love each other as they were always meant to…

There were a few trials that still had to be overcome, and they would come in due course, especially once they returned to Antar. And Michael and Isabel had some serious decisions to make too…

Well, they had a few days to decide and to take some course of action. But Liz knew where she and Max stood. He had sworn to her that even if he had to turn down the throne, if that was what it took for him to get to spend the rest of his life with her, then that was what he was going to do…

Now the interesting and difficult part would be his parent's opinion on that…

But that would be dealt with in a few days.

Liz was snapped out of her daydream when two strong arms wrapped themselves around her waist and a warm body found its way next to her on the bench. Liz closed her eyes and soaked in the feeling of Max holding her. She sighed deeply, reveling in the feeling.

"What are you thinking about?" His voice ebbed its way into her dream world, but never disturbed it. It was like her dreams recognized that he belonged there.

A smile surreptitiously appeared on her face. She leaned her head sideways to rest on his should, and keeping her eyes closed sighed deeply again.

"I was thinking about a boy and a girl who ran into each other one day…"


TBC

posted on 3-Jun-2002 1:50:41 AM
Part 26

Liz sat with her legs crossed underneath her on Isabel’s bed. A bowl of popcorn sat on her lap and some hot chocolate sat on the desk within arms reach.

Isabel sat on the other side of the bed, opposite Liz. Her legs were hanging over the edge. She tried to swing them back and forth like she used to do on her huge bed back on Antar. But darn these earth beds, they were just a little too short. Either that or she was a little too tall. It could be a combination of the two…

But now she was letting her mind wander. Liz had come over to talk claming that it was something more important than any other thing they had ever shared with each other. Was Liz planning on murdering Max this time? If so, she would have no part in it. Sure, she enjoyed torturing her brother right along with Liz, but there were most definitely boundaries in that torturing that she would not cross.

The two of them had sat in silence for about fifteen minutes, eating the popcorn and sipping their hot chocolates. Someone was going to have to break the silence eventually. They couldn’t just sit there all night staring at their feet and other random things in the room.

Liz reached her hand into the bowl and was a little shocked to find her hand hit the bottom. Where did all the popcorn go? It was full just a little bit ago? Oh, gosh! Did she eat the whole thing? By herself? And why was she so nervous about telling Isabel about the recent developments between Max and herself? It wasn’t like Isabel was going to be upset. If anything, Isabel would be overjoyed. Liz suspected that Isabel had known all along that there was something going on between them. Isabel probably already knew what she wanted to say. In that case, well, she should just get it over with. She should just spit it out.

But somehow it wasn’t that easy. Liz was a little frustrated with herself.

Liz started to uncross her legs and make a move to leave the bed in order to get more popcorn, but Isabel’s hand reached out and pulled her back down.

“Liz, you did not come over here to sit on my bed and eat ungodly amounts of butter popcorn on bed in silence all night. Tell me what it is that is so important that you had to talk to me right away. I’m starting to get scared, Liz. You are not acting like yourself. Please, tell me what is going on. Please?”

Isabel’s hand went to Liz’s hand, embracing it as it encouraged Liz to speak.

“Well, it just that… well… I… Max… orb…oracle… defy… yeah.”

Liz just couldn’t get the words to come out of her mouth. It had suddenly gone dry and words wouldn’t form. Why was this so stinkin’ hard?

“Um, Liz. English please. Start again and take it as slowly as you need to. Just please tell me what it is that has you all upset.”

“Oh, Isabel, I’m not upset at all. Actually, I am happier than I have been at any other time in my whole life. I don’t know why this is so hard for me to get out. It really shouldn’t be hard.”

Liz brought her hand up to her face and tucked a piece of hair behind her ear. It was a nervous habit.

“Isabel, I’m in love. I’ve found my soul mate.” There. It was out. That was the hard part. Everything was smooth sailing now.

“Wow. Really, Liz?” This was most definitely coming as a shock to Isabel. Liz had been so down for so long, then happy for the last week, but she had no idea who it was that Liz has met. Liz hadn’t told her about anyone new in her life. So who was the guy she could attribute Liz’s happiness too?

Isabel looked over at Liz across the bed. She had this completely happy, giddy glow on her face. Yeah, she was definitely in love. Her face radiated that truth. Now that she thought about it, Liz’s face had been giving that away for a couple of weeks.

The sleuth in Isabel was starting to surface. So what guy in the area had been happier than a clam for the last couple of weeks? It couldn’t be that Kyle guy. He was such a creep. Completely too self centered for Liz’s taste. She would never go for a guy like that. Not unless he totally mellowed and found Buddha. But that would never happen. She hadn’t seen Liz hanging out with any other guys from school. So it couldn’t be any of them. Was it possible that Liz had met her betrothed somehow? Or maybe heard from him? But even that was not likely at all. Liz had despised her betrothed from the minute she heard his name. But she had only admitted that to Isabel. Liz would never let anyone else know.

So whom did that leave? The revelation hit her as quickly as a bolt of lightening. Of course! It had to be! He had practically been dancing down the sidewalks for the last couple of weeks. His depressed mood had suddenly become overwhelmingly happy…

“Max.” The words escaped her lips in a reverent whisper.

Liz looked up from the empty popcorn bowl with a smile on her face. Just the sound of his name made her heart beat just a little faster. Max. Her Max.

Isabel noticed the look on Liz’s face and instantly knew that her guess was correct. Now everything made so much more sense.

A scream of excitement that had been building within Isabel suddenly found its way to the surface. “Oh my goodness! You’re in love with my brother! You’re in love with Max! It’s about time!”

Isabel jumped off of the bed and Liz followed suit. The grasped each other’s arms and started jumping up and down. Smalls squeals of excitement cut through the sound of their jumping.

“You’re in love with Max! Liz, do you know how long I have been waiting for you two to stop your bickering and allow yourselves to admit that you are in love with each other? It’s been practically forever! You two are just so perfect for each other! Are you two going to get married when we get back to Antar? I mean, we are leaving in just a couple days! Oh, it’s jus so perfect. The ceremony can take place really soon and then…”

Isabel’s voice trailed off into a concerned silence. They stopped jumping up and down and Isabel’s grip on Liz’s arms was tightening rapidly. The realization of the implications of what Liz had just told her set in. They were in love.

Liz was betrothed. Max was betrothed. And they weren’t betrothed to each other.

“Liz, but the oracle…”

But Isabel’s concern was silenced abruptly when there was a soft knock on the door and head poked inside the room.

“Can I come in now? My body is starting to hurt from sitting against the door. And I personally think Mom will be mad if I wear tracks into the carpet from pacing back and forth.”

An innocent smile spread across Max’s face as he finished his plea.

Liz’s face erupted into another broad smile at the sight of her soul mate. She couldn’t help the feeling, nor could she contain it.

Max walked into the room rather quickly and went straight to Liz’s waiting arms where he was embraced firmly, enveloped in the arms of his love.

Isabel just stood in the middle of the room completely in shock. This couldn’t be happening. Sure, it was great and completely perfect, but it could never be. It wasn’t destined to be. The couple’s happiness would ultimately be cut short because of the outside forces they could not control. She was going to have to be the one to burst their bubble. They had to be awakened from the dream world that they had built for themselves.

“Liz. Max. You know that nothing can ever come of your being together. Max, you are destined to marry Lady Ava. Remember her? She’s waiting for you back on Antar. She’s probably already at the palace dealing with all of the wedding preparations. Max, you are going to be married to her in about five months.

“And Liz. You are betrothed also? Did you forget? I know you don’t want to marry him, but you do not have a choice. Liz, the oracle told us that Max would marry Lady Ava. We cannot, and we will not defy that prediction. We just can’t.”

Isabel could feel tears fighting their way to the surface, but she held them back. She had to be strong for the two of them. The reminder of their roles in life was going to be hard blow and she needed to be able to comfort them. She wouldn’t be able to do that if she was a wreck.

Max and Liz turned to face each other. Max’s arm stayed firmly planted around Liz’s waist. It usually found itself there. It just seemed completely natural and it also reaffirmed him that she was not going to go anywhere. She was all his, and would be his forever in a matter of months.

Knowing smiles spread across both of their faces as the viewed each other’s souls through their eyes. They knew the real truth about the oracle and whom it was that they were destined to marry.

Liz was the first to break the silence. But when she spoke, her gaze never left Max’s. She spoke to Isabel, but looked at Max.

“No, everything is perfect. The oracle was incorrect, or rather we were incorrect in interpreting the oracle. Max and I are meant to be together.”

Isabel felt herself becoming more and more frustrated with the two lovebirds standing in front of them. Didn’t they see that they were completely delusional? Were they so lost in their dream world that only tragedy would pull them out of it?

Liz happened to look away from Max’s all-encompassing gaze for a brief minute to console Isabel once more. That was when she noticed the look on Isabel’s face. She was falling apart. She didn’t understand.

Liz broke away from Max’s arm and rushed back across the room to Isabel, throwing her arms around her. After a long hug, she pulled back and then reached for Isabel’s hand. She led her over to the bed where they both sat down on the edge. Liz swung her feet back and forth slowly.

Max walked casually over to Liz’s side and took a seat next to her. His hands just couldn’t handle not touching her and they reached to capture her own. He held onto them tightly, his thumb rubbing back and forth across the top of her hand giving her the confidence and reassurance that he was right there beside her and would help her to help Isabel understand the truth about their situation.

Liz went on to tell the whole story about the oracle and the orbs to Isabel. Isabel sat in silence the whole time debating with herself on whether she should believe their story or continue believing that the were delusional.

When Liz and Max finished the story of how they came to be together there was a long pregnant pause between the trio.

Max and Liz looked towards Isabel with hopeful expressions on their faces.

“And you two are completely convinced of this and there is no way I am going to convince you otherwise?”

“Uh uh. Nope.” Liz smiled as she turned to look up at Max’s face.

Isabel released a deep sigh before she spoke again. “Well, then I guess I have no choice but to believe you two and wish you all the happiness and luck in the world. Well, in both worlds.” A small smile crept onto her face as she spoke those words, somehow becoming more comfortable with the idea after she resigned herself to at least going with their story. At least she could be happy for them. And gosh darn it, she was Liz’s best friend in the whole world. She had to be there for Liz. And if Liz had chosen Max, and Max had chosen Liz, then she would do everything in her power to ensure the happiness of the couple.

It was definitely going to take some smooth talking to convince their parents of the truth, if it was the truth, but she would help in any way that she could.

“Oh Isabel!” Liz burst out with excitement. Her arms went flying once again around Isabel’s shoulders, enclosing her in a tight embrace. Having the blessing and acceptance of her best friend and her brother gave her so much more confidence. They could convince their parents now. They could do it together.

Max and Liz stood up quickly, and clasping hands made their way towards Isabel’s bedroom door.

Isabel sat stunned on her bed until she realized that they were leaving.

“And where are you two off to?” She said in her most motherly voice.

Max’s voice came floating down the hallway back to Isabel’s room. “Oh, just to go make out on a park bench and celebrate our victory. We’ll be back eventually.”

“Well, you had better make that by eleven! Mom and Dad will be home from Hondo then and they would probably like you home too!”

“Yes, mother.”

Isabel sat on her bed soaking in all that she had just heard and learned. She still wasn’t sure if she believed all of it, but she believed that they believed it and that was enough for her.

A moment later the sound of the front door closing rang through the house. A small laugh ran through her body and she couldn’t help but be affected by the happiness that those two had radiated.

Yeah, she would support them. On earth for the few days they had left, and then again when they faced their parents back on Antar. Hmmm. Maybe she could even start dream walking her parents and slipping little hints and suggestions that might make the news a little less difficult to break to them.

Liz and Max had found their soul mate. She was happy.

But would she ever find her own?

Isabel walked out into the living room and sat down on the couch. Maybe there was a good mushy movie on the television.

She noticed the mail sitting on the coffee table and picked it up glancing through it to see if there was anything interesting.

One letter in particular caught her eye. It had the Antarian royal symbol on it strangely enough. People from Antar don’t send mail, she thought. They send orbs. Curious to know a little more about the mysterious piece of mail, she studied it closer. There was no return address on the envelope. That was convenient. There was a company title or something of that sort written across the back though.

“Royal Exchange Program. Yeah, isn’t that the truth.” Whoever had thought up this whole thing had quite the sense of humor.

“It must be some sort of notice of some sort telling the Evans’ that we are returning home. But you would think that since we are leaving a few days they would already know that we are leaving.”

Isabel sat on the couch staring at the envelope a moment longer.

“Perhaps it is simply instructions and a thank of some sort for taking us in for the last year and one half or so.” The more she thought about the more she was sure that was what the letter must say.

“I wonder if the Parker’s received one just like it?” She wondered out loud.

Well, there time on Earth was definitely coming to a close. Their experience here had been nothing like they all had anticipated. It had been less of a punishment and more of a freeing experience than anything else. They had not awakened to their destined roles in life, nor had they accepted the fact that they would have to marry whomever they were told they would have to marry. It seemed that Michael was completely gone and in love with Maria, though he would never admit it out loud. He knew it, and everyone else knew it. Heck, even Maria knew it and she returned the feeling to Michael.

‘I wonder what will become of them once we leave for home?’

It probably wouldn’t be pretty and she would have to put up with an even more brooding Michael.

And what would become of her? She couldn’t marry Michael knowing well that he loved another. And she would feel as if she were betraying Alex.

Alex? What was she going to do? She wasn’t sure if she was in love with him or whether it was simply an infatuation. She had dodged his advances so far, more out of fear of when her feelings would become than anything else. She was afraid to let herself feel something she was not supposed to. But if Max and Liz could do it, then so could she. Right? Well, maybe.

But she was also leaving in a couple of days and then what would become of her and Alex?

Why did life have to be so complicated? Why did she have to be a princess with this whole other life and destiny? Why did she have to have all of these huge expectations placed upon her?

What was she going to do?

What would Alex want to her to do? What did her heart tell her to do?

Well, that was a simple one. Her heart wanted to get up and go over to his house and kiss him silly.

She jumped up form her seat on the couch and ran towards the door, grabbing her jacket off of the nearby coat wrack.

She was going to do just that. She was going to follow her heart.

Isabel flipped out the lights and made her way out the door. She ran the entire way to Alex’s house afraid that if she waited a moment longer that he would give up on her… give up on them.

She made her way through a few bushed until she found herself at Alex’s window. She rapped lightly upon it so that she wouldn’t scare him.

Alex’s face appeared in front of her with a slightly confused expression on it. ‘Guess he wasn’t expecting me,’ she thought happily.

He opened the window, as Isabel stepped back a little to make room for it to swing open.

“Isabel? What in the world are you doing here?”

Isabel stepped forward tentatively convincing herself that this was really what she wanted. She was not going to allow herself to get cold feet after she had come all this way.

“Alex.” Her voice let out seductively.

Alex never had a chance to reply as Isabel’s lips crashed down upon his own.


TBC
posted on 3-Jun-2002 1:51:56 AM
Part 27

The doorbell rang, causing them all to be pulled out of their stupor. Everyone was over at the Evans’ house since they had the biggest living room. These last few moments were going to be their last all together like this.

Max was sitting on a chair in the corner with Liz on his lap. Their hands were folded around each other’s hands as they waited for Tom to come and get them.

Michael and Maria were out back having an argument no doubt. What else would they be doing? Maria was completely distraught over the idea of Michael leaving. She claimed it was not fair of him. That this was just another one of his rude traits. In her words, “he seriously needed a lesson in manners. One where he would have to pay attention.”

Alex and Isabel were in her bedroom saying their final goodbyes. It had been two days since Isabel had decided to make her move and let Alex know what she really though of him. And now she was cursing herself for waiting so long. The last two days had been two of the most wonderful days in her entire life.

The sun was just beginning to lower in the sky, casting an orange glow through all of the windows in the house. The light curtains were blowing gently with the breeze coming through the windows.

Liz let all of the memories and moments from the last year and one half flow over her with each gentle gust of the breeze. Closing her eyes, she collected each stray moment and committed it to memory.

Max brought their hands to his lips and placed and placed a gentle kiss upon her left hand.

Liz opened her eyes and looked to her right, looking Max in the eyes. A smile was on her lips. She then turned her eyes downward to look at her hand when Max had just kissed it. There on her finger was the most beautiful ring she had ever seen.

It was a simple platinum ring with a beautifully cut stone in the center. Every time Liz would study the ring she would swear that she could almost see the royal symbol in the cut.

Max had surprised her with the ring earlier that morning. Though it was not a tradition to give your betrothed a ring as a sign of your commitment to each other back on Antar, Max had claimed that he thought it was one of the most beautiful and wonderful traditions that he had witnessed during their stay on Earth. He wanted that for Liz so that they would never forget the moments that brought them together, and it would also serve as a constant reminder that nothing was going to separate the two of them.

It had not been anything terribly showy or public when he gave her the ring. In fact, it was quite the opposite. They had been in his room packing the last few things together when he had pulled it out and handed it to here.

“Here.” He said curtly before turning and walking into the bathroom to grab the last few things out of there. Though, on the way there he realized that he didn’t come with much, especially bathroom things, so why in the world would he need to pack them to go home with him. He had a whole palace full of bathrooms and bathrooms accessories waiting for him back on Antar.

But there was his mind getting sidetracked once again.

Meanwhile, Liz stood in the middle of his room a little dumbfounded. What in the world did he just give her? He just handed her this little maroon box and then made a b-line for his bathroom. That most definitely was considered strange behavior on his part.

She brought the little box up in front of her and started to opened it slowly, afraid that something would pop out. She stopped at the last minute when a thought suddenly struck her. Or perhaps some ink would squirt out and land on her clothes or something. This had to be some sort of prank. Had he decided to pull one final prank before they returned home? Did he still feel like he was behind in the prank tally? After all, he had gone scampering out of the room rather quickly. Maybe he wanted to watch her reaction from a safe distance…

Deciding it was better to be safe instead of sorry, she started holding the box slightly away from herself, she decided to turn it away from herself so that just incase something came flying out it would not hit her.

She decided that a quick opening would probably be better than a slower one and therefore she pulled it open with a flash. She closed her eyes, fearing the worst, and turned her head away.

After a few minutes she turned back and opened and eye to peak and see what damage had been done to Max’s room. Wouldn’t he be upset to see that his little ploy hadn’t worked so well?

But to her surprise there was no damage to anything in the room. Everything seemed to be completely normal. Strange. Maybe she had been wrong about the whole thing…

She carefully turned the small maroon box back around to face her. As soon as the object contained in the box came into sight her she gasped loudly. Her breath left her and she began to shake. If this was what she thought it was, Max was the most wonderful, adorable, perfect man in both worlds. If it wasn’t what she thought it was… well, then it was still wonderful.

She took it out of its bed of maroon velvet and started to place the ring on her left hand ring finger, but at the last minute she hesitated. Maybe she could have a little fun with Max and get him to lighten up and actually do what she thought he was doing correctly. Maria had told her all about it, and Liz had seen enough movies to know how it should be done. Max’s method was most definite cute, but she was going to give him a hard time. After all, that was her job in life. Just because they were going to be married did not mean, under any circumstances, that she had to become the serious, completely not playful, helpless wife role.

She pulled the ring back and placed the ring instead on her right hand ring finger. A funny smirk crossed her face as she ran towards the bathroom door, where Max was waiting to hear her reaction.

She flung the door open and then ran up to him, encircling her arms around his neck and firmly planting her lips upon his in a hungry kiss.

She pulled back to take in his completely stunned face, which still contained a look of complete satisfaction at that moment.

“Max! Oh, Max! It’s beautiful! Thank you so much. I love it!”

She have him another quick kiss before she pulled out her right arm from behind Max and held her hand out to the side so that it would be within Max’s line of vision. She waved her hand around a little bit just add a little more to the trick. The lights of the bathroom were caught in the stone and it sparkled brighter than the sun.

“It’s perfect Max. It fits perfectly! When did you even have time to find this ring? We’ve been so busy lately with the preparations for returning home, and with Isabel dream walking our parents, and planning what to do when we get home… You are amazing. You know that? Max Evans, you have stolen my heart and right now it is glowing brighter than the diamond on the ring you just gave me.”

She turned back to him, an innocent smile upon her face. Yet, Max was not looking at her, he was still looking at her hand and the ring upon her finger. On her right hand. His gaze began to skip back and forth from her right hand to Liz’s face. Back and forth. Back and forth.

His brow started to wrinkle. He was obviously bothered by something. Her plan was working! He had noticed her mistake.

He cleared his throat before saying anything. It was obvious that he had hoped to avoid all of this stuff, but there was no way on this green earth that she was going to let him get off that easily. Nope. She was a hopeless romantic and always had been. He was going to bend to her will if it was the last thing she did.

Liz felt a small giggle building up inside of her. She was forced to bite her tongue and her cheek to keep from laughing and giving away her whole ruse.

“Um, Liz? Umm… the ring… it is… well, it is supposed… Liz it goes on your left hand. It’s an engagement ring.”

Max looked a little more bothered but she was going to carry this one out just a little bit longer. She could almost feel the horns growing on her head. And if she looked behind her, there surely must be tail by now. All she needed was her pitchfork. Where was her pitchfork when she needed it?

Ah! She was doing it to herself again. She was going to laugh and her whole cover would be blown. ‘No! Keep it cool Parker. Let him play this one out… Keep it cool.’

“An engagement ring?” She said in her most innocent and naïve voice possible. “Oh, silly me. Let me just fix that right now. Engagement ring… sorry.”

She brought her hands in front of her and pulled her ring off her finger when another idea kit her. Eh, why not do it? She might as well put some frosting on the cake while she was at it.

The ring somehow, at that very moment jumped ‘accidentally’ out of her hands and onto the bathroom floor.

“Oh! Oh no! Oh, Max, I’m so sorry. It just completely slipped out of my fingers just then. Here, I’ll get it.”

She started to reach down to pick up the ring when Max stopped her and reached down himself and picked up the ring with a suspecting look on his face.

Had she made it too obvious what she was up to? True, she was acting a little too helpless and that was most definitely uncharacteristic, but gosh darn it, if Max was going to propose and give her a ring then he was going to do it properly.

He stood back up with the ring in his large hands. He held it in his right hand, and then with his left, he reached for her left hand and held it up between them.

“It goes here.” He slipped the ring onto her left hand, and afterwards lifted his head to glance at Liz. “There.” The sound was barely a whisper.

“Thank you.” She managed to squeak out before she became totally lost in his amber eyes.

“No, thank you.”

************************************************************************
That had been that morning. Now they were sitting on the chair waiting for Tom to come. The whole fact that they were finally returning home seemed so surreal. And yet, the doorbell had just rung causing their hearts to beat just a little bit faster. Things had been so perfect and peaceful for the last couple of weeks and now things would be getting a little rougher again. They had work to do when they got home. They would no longer be able to be simply teenagers in love, flirting and playing all day long. It would be back to the grind, back to the real world, where Max was a prince and Liz was Isabel’s Lady in Waiting soon to be Queen of Antar.

“Max, the door.” She spoke quietly to him.

“I know. I’m just trying to savor this moment. It’s probably the last calm, peaceful one that we are going to have for a little while.”

His arm wrapped tightly around her waist pulling her just a little closer to himself.

“I know, but just think, once we get through these next few weeks, we will have the rest of our lives together. Then, once you are King, you can declare entire days just to sit with my in our room and hold me for as long as you want to.”

Max’s face suddenly took on a mischievous look, “Liz Parker, I hope to be doing more than simply holding you.”

“Max Evans, what are you thinking about?” Liz asked in a scolding manner.

“You.”

And then he kissed her. This time it wasn’t an innocent kiss coming from Liz, but instead was a hunger filled kiss, claiming Liz as his own.

Liz pulled away after a moment in heaven and stood up quickly.

“Max, Tom is still at the front door waiting for you to answer it.”

“Oh yeah. Him. I was trying to forget about him thank you very much.” He rose from his seat and made his way to the door. He peeked through the peep whole just to make sure that it was really reality knocking on his front door and not another dream. He would definitely prefer the dream.

Reaching forward an unsure hand, he pulled open the door to reveal a very anxious looking Tom.

“Your Majesty.” He bowed deeply and then remained standing in the door. “My Lady.” He spotted Liz standing in the room just behind his prince and bowed slightly to her.

“All right.” Max cleared his throat once more. “We’re ready.” He turned to Liz motioning for her to go and get Michael and Isabel. She gave him an understanding smile and then turned to head down the hallway to Isabel’s room. They had to face reality also. Maybe there was some how, some way that they would be together again someday with the ones they loved, but for the time being they had to go home and fix their lives on Antar.

Max turned back to face Tom and took notice of the same vehicle they had driven in when they were dropped off in Roswell a year and one half earlier. It astounded him that so much time had gone by already. Perhaps the saying really was true that time flies when you are having fun. And Max did have to admit to himself that this ‘punishment’ really hadn’t turned out to be so bad. Heck, he found Liz out of it. If they had remained on Antar he probably would have been up to his neck in wedding plans. Wedding plans that did not involve Liz.

He shuddered at the thought.

Isabel came walking towards the front room with a tear stained face. It was obvious that she had tried to hide the tears so that Tom wouldn’t see her so weak, and really she had done a good job, but Max knew her better than that. He knew the signs that pointed to the fact that she had been crying. He knew that she wasn’t really as tough as she liked to pretend she was.

The three of them all stood in the doorway and on the porch for another few minutes. Not one word passed between any of them. An awkward silence had decided to move in and that was just the way it was going to be.

About ten minutes later, Michael appeared with his arm linked with Liz. He didn’t look so great himself, Max thought. But Michael was tough and he would make it. He hoped.

Tom was getting a little antsy from waiting so long. The King and Queen would not be happy if they were all late to their welcome home celebration. And Lady Ava would be there too and she had been most insistent upon being on of the first to welcome Max home.

“All ready?” The sounds of his voice almost seemed wrong after spending so much time in silence. The dream was at last completely tainted and reality had come to give them a rude awakening. Now they had no choice but to acknowledge its presence.

“Let’s go.” Tom turned and walked down the driveway to the vehicle then opened the door for the royal crew to board.

Diane and Philip Evans, as well as Jeff and Nancy Parker were all waiting out in the driveway to say their final farewells to their adopted children.

After a round of embracing, and after the final tears were shed, the four aliens boarded. Tom shut the door firmly behind them. Then walking back around to the other side of the car he hopped into the drivers seat and started the engine.

They pulled out of the driveway and began their journey back into the desert. They were all a little curious as to how they would be transported back to Antar. After all, the granolith was there and that was how they had traveled to Earth. Was the granolith going to summon them somehow?

The drive somehow seemed a whole lot shorter this time around. It always seems that way on the return trip. And before they knew it the side door was opened and they all filed out of the car onto a bare area in the desert. The breeze was still blowing and it really was a beautiful day. Yet, the day almost seemed to mock their misery in their returning. It almost seemed like the calm before the storm, and the Lord knew that there would be a mighty storm when they returned to Antar.

Perhaps they had all changed during their stay on Earth. Maybe it wasn’t quite the way that their parents had hoped they would, but they had changed. And it was definitely for the better. But would their parents like those changes? That was the ultimate question…

The stood in a square, facing inward waiting for whatever was going to happen to happen. They didn’t have anything to signal anyone on Antar with, so it was obvious that the whole return trip was not in their hands.

All of a sudden there was a bright flash. All four of them lifted their hands to their faces, trying to block out the sudden onslaught of blinding light. After a few seconds it disappeared as quickly as it had appeared. They lowered their arms and hands and took in their surroundings.

The granolith chamber on Antar.

They were back.

They immediately began praying as the made their way slowly out of the chamber. No one had come to greet them or welcome them back there. Sort of ironic, Max thought.

They walked down the hallway towards the throne room. Michael turned to head to his chambers when they got part way down. He mumbled something about taking a shower to wipe away unpleasant memories.

Isabel stopped in front of her chamber doors as well. But before opening her door, she turned to Liz and pulled her into a hug.

“Everything is going to be all right. You’ll see.” She sniffed, fighting the tears that were surfacing without her permission. The words seemed like they were meant for Liz, but in fact, Liz knew words were really Isabel trying to convince herself that everything would be all right.

“It will, Isabel.” She pulled back from Isabel, but held onto her hands, squeezing them to transfer just a little more support.

“I’ll be back soon.

Isabel turned and opened her chamber door and walked inside then turned to shut the door behind her gently.

Max then reached out his hand for Liz to take. Her left hand.

Together, hand in hand, they walked down the rest of the hallway to the grand double doors. After a quick reassuring kiss and a final squeeze of the hand, Max reached to open the door.

No sooner had he pushed the door open then he heard his name being spoken.

“Max! Welcome home my son!” His mother ran to him and folded her son in her arms. Max was forced to drop Liz’s hand in order to return his mother’s embrace.

“Max, there is someone her who has been dying to meet you.”

The Queen stepped to the side revealing a petite blond woman standing nearby.

Her curls bounced slightly as she walked quickly towards Max.

“My love!”

Before Max even had a chance to register who she was and what she was about to do, she kissed him…


TBC
posted on 3-Jun-2002 1:55:14 AM
Part 28

“Get your arms off of me!”

Other thoughts such as “Die! Die!” floated through his head, but he contained himself from actually voicing them. That might have been a little over the top. Instead, he thought of something else that might be just as effective. Maybe it was even better because it wouldn’t get him in quite so much trouble.


Max flung Lady Ava and her arms away from him and across the room. She went tumbling onto the floor, her dress making a great swishing sound. Tears rose to her eyes in misunderstanding.

Why was he rejecting her? They had been betrothed most of their lives. This was supposed to be happy occasion. They were seeing each other face to face for the first time. True, they had heard a lot about each other over the years, and had even sent orbs to each other every now and then, but they had never really met before. This was supposed to be when he took her in his arms and said, with a giant grin on his face, “Welcome, my lady!” And then he would sweep her off of her feet, they would be married in a few weeks, and then they would live happily ever after.

That was supposed to be what happened. Instead, she found herself cast away, thrown onto the ground, cast away like yesterday’s laundry.

Meanwhile, Max had turned back around, much to the surprise of his parents, and faced Liz. She had stood absolutely stone still during the whole thing. Originally it had been from Ava kissing Max, and then he had pushed her across the floor and the room. What in the world was she supposed to think?

But before Max had a chance to completely embrace Liz, his parents’ voices cut through the stunned silence.

“Maxwell, do explain your actions. And don’t dally in your explanation. I want the truth right now.”

Max’s father was furious and his fury was written over every inch of his face.

“Father, I refuse to marry Lady Ava. I more than refuse, I promise you that it will never happen. Ever. Furthermore, I am going to marry Elizabeth of Sarnwood. The oracle was wrong and she is my destiny.”

He turned back to Liz, his eyes piercing into her eyes and then into her soul. She felt his love radiating through their connection, which they had become a little more used to.

Max’s mother and father were dumbfounded by their son’s words. His mother was the first to break the tense, near silence. The only sound had been Lady Ava’s sobs coming from across the room.

“Max, what did you just say?”

“Mother, Father, I am going marry Liz in two weeks. Your sending my on my little trip to earth accomplished its mission. I am ready to embrace my destiny, the destiny I was fortunate to find while I was there. I am ready to take my place in the royal family and accept my duties as the Prince of Antar.”

With that he turned, with Liz in his arms and walked majestically out of the room. The door closed noisily behind him, echoing throughout the great room.

************************************************************************
Max awoke in the morning after a restless night of sleep. If only he could have remained in that dream world that his mind had created for him during the precious minutes he had been able to catch.

In his dream he and Liz had marched triumphantly out of the great hall leaving his parents behind with no doubt that he and Liz would be married.

Why couldn’t reality be like his dreams?

In reality, his parents had basically given him an ultimatum. He was to marry Lady Ava and he was to marry her in one week. They had said that if he was going to protest the consequences would not be pleasant.

Also, to add to his torture, Liz was to leave first thing in the morning for their vacation home across the planet until just after the wedding. Then, once he was permanently unavailable, she would return.

Max felt the tears start to build within him. What had he done to deserve this? He had tried to explain as best as he could to his parents what had taken place down on Earth, but his father had refused to listen.

Why was life so cruel?

He had to do something. He could not; he would not just sit around for a week preparing for a wedding to someone he didn’t love and someone he would never love. His heart belonged to another and it always would.

He could not marry Lady Ava. The oracle had told him that much. But was he willing to risk his position in life, his family for Liz?

That was an easy question to answer. Yes. A thousand times yes. It shouldn’t even be a question.

But even with the answer to that, there was still the other question. What was he supposed to do about the whole situation?

If he went after her, he would not only slander his name, he would slander hers. That was something that he couldn’t do. Liz was a perfect angel and he couldn’t tarnish that purity.

He had already tried to talk to his parents, and that obviously hadn’t gone very well.

He could pray for a miracle. Perhaps that was all that he could do…

A miracle. That would be easy enough to get, right?

************************************************************************
Liz was up bright and early packing the last few items for her unscheduled, unwanted vacation.

How could life be so cruel to her? And to Max! Just when they thought everything would be all right, when there couldn’t be anything but smooth sailing, a storm hit them head on. They had been riding so high off of their revelation about the oracle; they had been so completely in love that they had become blinded to what really lay ahead of them.

Now she was cursing herself for being so naïve. Now all of their chances at happiness seemed shattered.

Only a miracle would save them now.

She was bound away for the other side of the planet. And Max would marry Lady Ava while she was gone.

Liz closed the lid on her last suit case and moved them picked them up and moved them just outside of her door for the servants to come and pick up. They would then place them just inside the granolith chamber where she would be traveling from once again. Had it really been just the evening before that she had returned by means of the granolith?

Her hand came up to her face and wiped a stray tear from her cheek.

Once her bags had all been moved outside of her room, she walked back inside and closed the door quietly behind her. She leaned back against it, fighting the tears that kept trying to surface. Why did it seem that she spent so much time crying lately?

After a few minutes of composing herself, she moved swiftly across her room, and then reaching out both of her hands to open the large double glass doors, she stepped out onto her balcony for the last time. Well, the last time for a while.

She leaned her arms against the cold stone of the railing, and looked up at the sky. The sun was just beginning to rise up from behind the towering mountains in the distance. Little rays of light seemed to escape their confines and pierce through the midnight blue sky.

The two slivers of the moons were both still in the sky, just getting ready to vanish behind the veil of daylight.

Would life be the same once she returned? Would she even be able to bear living in the palace when he was there. She would never be able to touch him, or embrace him ever again.

She leaned her head down onto her arms, cradling it and trying to comfort herself. She just stood there in the silence of the early morning for quite some time. It seemed to be the only source of comfort. If she stepped back inside the palace she would have to face the inevitable. But out there, on her balcony, she could forget all of her worries and just let them float away…

She bolted upright at that thought. There was really only one place that she had ever been able to let all of her cares go. She still had time. She wasn’t leaving for at least another two hours. She had risen early so that she could have the morning to think, and that was exactly what she was going to do.

Without another thought, she went running off of the balcony, out of her room, and then down the hallways of the palace. She was not going to stop until she got there.

As she ran out the back entrance the few rays of sunlight warmed her skin. She hadn’t even thought to grab a sweater in her hurry. She had a one-track mind…

She ran for at least another mile or two until she reached her destination. There, she flung herself to the ground, securely hiding herself among the tall grasses. The slight breeze sang as it wound its way through the reeds. The sound of the nearby brook caught her ear as it danced along the stones in its way.

Life here had no cares. Here in her nest of grasses her troubles seemed to melt away. Here she could be an innocent child once again without a care in the world other than did she color in between the lines…

There she lay on her side, her head aimed towards the sky as she watch the colors of dawn paint the heavens. There in her dream world time didn’t matter. Here her mind was empty and her thinking was clear.

************************************************************************
Max rose after giving up on the idea of catching any more sleep. If Liz was going to leave him in another couple of hours, then he was going to spend as much of the time with her as he could.

He quickly got dressed and then walked quickly down to Liz’s room. Most of the palace was still sleeping so he wouldn’t be disturbed while visiting her. He hoped…

He approached Liz’s door in record time and knocked as discreetly as he could. He didn’t want to alert the whole place of what he was doing.

After waiting for several minutes with no Liz opening the door, he began to get a little worried. She hadn’t left already, had she? It was still too early? Or did he have her departure time incorrect?

Just to make sure, he decided to try the doorknob, and found it unlocked. That was strange. She usually kept it locked. The only person who usually visited her in her room was Isabel, and her room was adjoining.

He stepped cautiously into the room. He didn’t want to catch her in an inappropriate state of dress.

“Liz?” He whispered.

There was no reply. Was it possible that she had left already? And she hadn’t said goodbye?

Max turned around quickly and ran to the granolith chamber. If she hadn’t left yet, then maybe he could catch here there. He said a silent prayer as he ran down all of the hallways. She just had to be there. She wouldn’t have left without saying goodbye? Would she?

His mind was pulling him in a thousand different directions. It was a struggle just to maintain positive thoughts about the whole situation.

Max walked backwards until he hit the granolith chamber’s walls. He had to face the facts… They were all staring him in the face. She had left.

He let himself sink to the floor in defeat. It felt like his heart was being broken into a thousand pieces. Maybe he was still dreaming. Maybe he really hadn’t awakened like he thought he had. Maybe this was all one long, horrible nightmare.

After a few minutes, he couldn’t bare the confines of the palace any longer. All that was there for him was the cruel pains of reality. Liz was gone and he would never be able to hold her again. His parents were going to force him to marry Lady Ava in one week… His world was falling apart.

He had to get out of there, if only for a little while.

Personally, he didn’t really care where he went as long as it wasn’t in the palace. He would explode if he was there for one minute longer.

He decided to just start running and see where his feet led him. Nothing mattered anymore. His sole reason for breathing was gone. Maybe he would never stop running.

His feet led him out the door and down the streets of the capitol city. Thank goodness it was still so early in the morning or he would have run into the morning market and crowds of people. And if the people had recognized him he never would have gotten anywhere quickly.

He ran and ran, sometimes in circles. He noticed that he ran down the same street several times. Every street seemed empty, devoid of life or purpose. The sun was just showing it’s mighty face, peeking over the mountaintops when Max began to run out of the city boundaries. Even they were too confining.

The buildings became fewer and fewer until there was only the gravel road beneath his feet. He slowed down slightly now that he was out in the open country. Maybe here he would be able to think with a clear head about what to do. But something deep within him told him to press onward, to keep on walking.

He didn’t know where his feet were leading him, but he sudden urgency came upon him as if a bolt of lightening had struck him. Immediately his feet began to speed up their pace, resulting in a fast jog. His body was already weary from running for so long, yet it found enough energy to push him on towards his unknown goal.

Further and further outside of the city, his legs pressed him onward. Eventually, even the road seemed to cave in upon him and he had to leave it. He took a right turn and began jogging through a meadow. It was no longer in bloom due to it being mid summer, but it was still beautiful. The grasses were ever so slightly still green, still pliable. The tips were dryer causing an interesting contrast of colors.

No longer looking at his feet and where he was going, for they seemed to have a mind of there own and knew exactly where they were going, Max glanced up at the sky. It was a yellow-orange color. The rays of light from the sun sliced through the darkness of night, bringing forth a new day, with no mistakes in it. A new day full of so many promises… A new day that could signal the end of all happiness for him. It was breathtakingly beautiful and completely deceptive and cruel at the same time.

Why could it not stay night forever? Then Liz would never leave him. If only the sun hadn’t risen on this particular day.

On and on his feet led him, though it was only a couple of minutes. They seemed to be slowing a little as if they sensed that their destination was near, but still they moved.

The sound of a nearby stream caught his attention and he turned his head to try and locate the source of the sound. Suddenly, his feet, which previously had known perfectly each step they were taking, tripped over something solid.

Max found himself falling quickly towards the ground.

“Oof!”

His hands flew out in front of him to brace himself from the fall. But surprisingly, he found that his landing was quite soft. The gasses padded his fall and created a nest in which to catch him.

He laid in the grasses for a moment trying to take in what had just happened to him. A smile came to his lips and a hearty chuckle rumbled through his body and then escaped in an audible sound.

“I didn’t think it was very funny.”

That voice! It was so familiar. Maybe he had hit his head on his way down and he was dreaming again. Maybe he was unconscious. Or maybe he had died and this was heaven and she had come to greet him…

He sat up as fast as he could, his eyes wide open. After saying a quick, silent prayer that he wasn’t dreaming or dead, or if he was, that either way, the voice he just heard belonged to who he hoped more than anything it belonged to.

Turning his head back to face in the direction of the voice, his breath caught in his throat.

“I tripped over an angel.”

Liz stared back at him with a confused look. How in the world had he found her? And this whole thing was just a little too “déjà vu.” Had she fallen asleep and was dreaming that she was fifteen again? But if that was the case, why did Max look so grown up? Had he really found her? Had he really just tripped over her for the second time?

“Max” The words managed to leak out of her in a soft whisper.

Her hands slowly rose to his face, cupping it in the palm of her hands. She just had to touch him to make sure that he was real and not a figment of her imagination.

At the same moment, Max’s hands went up to his face to cover her own as if to reassure her that he was really there and that he wasn’t going anywhere.

“You’re really here.” The tears that Liz had been holding back all morning now spill over and there was a slight quiver in her voice as she spoke.

A broad grin spread over Max’s face. “I could say the same to you. I thought you had left. I was crushed. I didn’t know what to do, and then I just started running. My feet led me to you, Liz. My heart found you just like it was always meant to and always will.”

His left hand reached out and cupped Liz’s face. She leaned her head gently into his strong hand, memorizing its every touch. His fingers began to play carefully in her silky hair.

“Liz, something led me to you. That has to be a sign. I just can’t let you go. Not now that I finally found you.”

Liz brought her right hand down to Max’s lips and there she rested her index finger.

“Shhhh. Don’t talk Max. You’re here now, and that is all that matters at the moment. I get to hold you one last time. I get to love you once more, if only for an hour.”

A tear glided down her cheek. Max’s hand moved to wipe it away before it had a chance to fall to the earth.

“Liz, don’t cry…”

But he never finished his words, for Liz propelled herself into him, her lips fusing onto his own. Max’s arms wrapped firmly around her as if to make a statement that she would never leave, not if he could help it.

They leaned back and laid flat to the ground, the kiss never breaking even though their hearts were.

Once the need for air became overwhelming, the two finally broke the kiss, but maintained eye contact.

Max scooped Liz up into him, her head resting on his shoulder, her arm across his chest and her body snuggly up against his. His arm held her close to him, wrapped around her shoulder, cradling her head.

And there they rested together in complete silence, staring at the clouds overhead. They listened to the sound of the breeze in the grass and the stream trickling by. And they listened to the sound of each other’s heartbeats, which were perfectly in tempo with each other…


TBC
posted on 3-Jun-2002 1:57:13 AM
Part 29

Nearly an hour had passed in silence as the two lovers lay in each other’s arms. They were both afraid that if they did speak, it would ruin the moment. Since they only had a little longer together, they wanted to spend it in just that manner: basking in their love.

And there was no better location to do that. Liz’s place of peace was just that. Completely peaceful. Here Max found that his thoughts were a little clear, and a little more straightforward. Here he found that he could slow his racing heartbeat and think about his actions, present and future.

He had not come up with any solutions to their dilemma yet, but one had to come to him eventually. Back on earth he had promised Liz that he would abdicate the throne if that was the only way that he could be with Liz. She was the most important thing in his life.

But would he really be forced to give up his entire life? Were his parents really going to force him to take such desperate measures?

Maybe he could go to the oracle and beg her to come and talk to his parents. But then there was another problem with that. No one knew the location of the oracle. She was rumored to be somewhere in the far mountains, but no traveler had ever been successful in locating the oracle. So that option was out of the equation. It wasn’t possible.

But was it possible that he could somehow summon the presence of the oracle? But then, how would that be possible. No one could summon the oracle. She simply appeared whenever and wherever she wanted to.

Max’s thumb began to stoke Liz’s hand, which was resting lightly on his chest. There had to be something he could do. He refused to just sit there, like a coward, and let his parents ruin their lives. And in the process, they would ruin the life of every person on the planet. Who knew what could happen if what the oracle told them never came true.

Max’s thumb made a bigger sweep along the soft skin of Liz’s hand. He was a little surprised when it ran over something cool and smooth on her finger. He clasped her hand in his own and raised it up into the air so that he could see the obstruction on her hand.

He felt himself exhale when the ring he had given to Liz came within sight. How could he have forgotten about that? Had that really only been yesterday? It seemed like years ago with all they had been through in the last twenty-four hours.

He laid her their hands back down on his chest remembering that moment yesterday morning. A smile crept upon his face at the amazing memory. No matter what happened in his life, he would always remember that moment and how happy he had been.

Suddenly, he rose from his resting position, causing Liz to just about jump out of her skin.

“Max?” Her hands rose to rub his back in a comforting manner. She had no idea what was wrong, or if everything was fine. Whatever the cause for his start had been, she wanted him to know that she was there for him.

“Your ring.”

He was staring off into space with a lost look on his face. He was obviously deep in thought. But where within his mind was he?

“Max, you gave me that ring yesterday. I’ll never take it off. No matter what.”

“But that’s just it Liz. We can’t give up. The ring is supposed to be a symbol of the fact that we are destined for each other. It means that we won’t give up on each other ever. It means that we will stick together no matter what. It means that we will love each other until the end of time.”

He took their hands and raised them up to chest level between them.

“Liz, this ring means that I will never leave you. It means that we cannot give up on this whole thing. Liz, we are going to make it through this. There has to be some way. Liz, when we were on Earth we said that nothing was going to stop us from being together. We were going to do whatever it takes to be together. Liz, what happened to our confidence? What happened to us knowing that our love was invincible?”

Liz’s eyes started taking on a glossy look as she listened to the bold words coming out of Max’s mouth. Her Max was back, the Max that she had been laying there hoping would return to her. She wanted that stubborn confidence that he had shown on Earth again. True, most of the time it had caused more grief and pain than happiness, but at least he had been determined. Now it was time for that side to come out again. His voice would be heard in the palace.

“Max, maybe it is time for you to give your parents an ultimatum. They gave you one… and you wouldn’t necessarily have to go through with it, it just has to be enough to make them listen to you.”

“Maybe that could give us enough time to convince our parents that we are the ones who are really meant to be together.”

“Max, it could work.”

“It could…” Max’s voice trailed off into nothing with his last words. He had already started forming a new plan in his head. Maybe he would just tell his parents that he would abdicate the throne if they were going to force him to marry Lady Ava. Maybe that would be enough to shake his parents up and get them to listen to him. They wouldn’t want to lose their only son and be forced to give the throne up to someone else. And, honestly, his parents thought that Michael was still a little too much of a live wire. Yes, the trusted him completely, most of the time, but he just wasn’t ready to rule a planet.

Max rose to his feet and started to walk back across the meadow.

“Max! Wait! Where are you going?”

Liz was still sitting on the ground, completely stunned by Max’s whole change in mood and thinking.

Max froze in his steps and then rushed back to pick up Liz.

He cradled her in his strong arms and then proceeded to walk back across the meadow.

“Liz, I’m going to go change our destiny. I am going to do just as you said. I’m going to give my parents an ultimatum.”

“Max, do you really think that is going to work? I mean, you could be risking everything. Are you sure that’s worth it?”

“Liz, all that I know, all that I am sure of is that you are worth it. You are worth anything and everything.”

************************************************************************
Jeffrey and Genevieve sat in their room talking quietly. All had not gone as they hoped it would. Between the dreams that the King and the Queen had been having over the last few days, and with the journal, they thought for sure they might be a little more understanding towards Max and Liz when they returned home. But nothing had gone as they had hoped.

The King had acted completely too rashly. He hadn’t even tried. At least the Queen had started to try, but even she could not control her husband’s temper completely.

Jeffrey and Genevieve had not even had a chance to say anything. The King had been furious and completely too stubborn and had requested some alone time to think through the whole thing. The whole thing had ruffled his feathers a little past the point of comfort.

Sometime in the early morning, a soft rap sounded on their door.

“Enter.”

They turned to face the door from where they were sitting at a lounging table by a pair of big, glass windows. Genevieve dropped her teacup from which she had been sipping at the sight of the two young people who floated through the door. And they really did float as only a couple completely and totally in love could do.

The sound of the teacup shattering on the floor brought her back to reality. She rose immediately from her seat and ran towards Liz, embracing her daughter in her motherly arms.

“Liz! Honey, what are you doing here? I thought you were supposed to be gone by now! Though, I am overjoyed to see that you are still here.”

“Father, I have… Max and I have decided that I am not going to leave.”

She halted for minute, swallowing the lump that had begun to form in her throat. She turned to look at Max, and then gave his hand a squeeze before continuing. This was it. She was going to seal their fate for better or for worse with her next three words.

“I’m never leaving.”

Max and Liz stood stone still in the middle of the room looking hopefully toward her parents. The damage had been done and they could not turn back. Either they would understand or they quite possibly could shun them forever.

A moment or two more passed in silence. Genevieve’s hand rose to her mouth as a small squeal escaped. Was this all too good to be true? Here she and her husband had been sitting thinking it was too late, kicking themselves for not doing anything to stop what was happening, and Max and Liz had been the ones to think up a possible solution.

She couldn’t decided whether that was ironic or absolutely, completely, and utterly perfect.

“Oh!” She started to jump up and down a little bit where she stood. “Jeffrey!”

Max and Liz turned to look at each other. A confused look covered both of their faces. Liz’s mother looked far too happy for their comfort. Was it a good happy or a bad happy? Knowing Liz’s parents, it was hard to comprehend that it might be a bad happy. That was a little too cruel for their nature, especially towards their daughter.

“Mom? Dad?”

Liz stepped forward a small step, but never released her hold on Max’s hand.

Jeffrey was the first to speak up and silence their confusion.

“Liz, no three words could make your mother and I happier. Liz, we know all about how you two belong together.”

“You… you do? H… how?”

No other words would come out of her mouth. Too say she was shocked would be the understatement of the century.

“Liz, I was the one who stole your journal all those times. We had a feeling that something was going on and that there had been a mistake in our interpretation of the oracle. Liz, Max, we have been watching you two interact since you were young children. We always noticed that there was something different, something special about the connection you two children had. We’ve never seen anything like it before. I’m sorry that we went behind your back like that and invaded your privacy and most intimate thoughts, but I hope and pray that you understand. We had to know. We had to make sure. We were only thinking of you the entire time.”

“You?” Her voice sounded a little more accusing than she had intended. “You were the ones who took my journal? Did… did you give it to me too? You did, didn’t you? I should have known from the symbol on the top. And from its mysterious appearance…”

Liz’s mother rushed forward and grasped her daughter’s free hand. Apparently, Liz wasn’t going to release her death grip on Max’s hand.

“Liz, please, sweetheart. We are so completely overjoyed by what you have just told us. Your father and I were going to say something yesterday evening, but the King was so upset that he refused to speak to any of us! Honey, we want to help you, your father and I, anyway we can. Liz,” she turned to face Max also, “we know about the oracle and how she was talking about you two and not about Lady Ava.”

Max was the one to step forward and speak this time.

“You know about the true meaning of the oracle?”

“Yes, Max. We do. And we want to help you convince your parents that they are incorrect. We wanted to before also, but we thought it was too late. We were working on them the entire time you four were on Earth. He’s just so stubborn… always has been.”

“Thank you Jeffrey. Thank you for your help. Your support in our decision and our lives means more than you will ever know to us.”

Max squeezed Liz’s hand once again, and then raising it to his lips, he placed a soft kiss upon her palm. He sigh a deep sigh of relief before he spoke to her.

“Liz, we can do this. This is the miracle that I was praying for. I love you, Liz.”

“Two down, two to go…” Liz said with a sorrowfully tone. Yet, there was some hope there. They had jumped over one hurdle and had survived, now there was only one more to go.”

“My parents…”

“The King and Queen…”

“The King…”

“And Lady Ava. She’ll have to be let down somehow. She’s been planning this wedding her entire life, Max. She’s not going to be an easy one to convince.”

“Perhaps you are right. But in the end, it will not matter. She’s not the one for me. There has to be a better person out there somewhere for her. I know whom it is I belong with. My heart is not hers to own.”

“Oh, it’s not, is it? And whom, may I ask, does it belong too?” Liz cast him a sly glance goading him to play along.

“Hmmm. To an angel.”

“That’s tough competition.”

Max leaned his head down to hers so that their heads were touching. They both closed their eyes and took in the moment to its fullest.

“No, no competition. You already won.”


TBC