posted on 31-Aug-2001 6:08:39 PM
Title: Author: Carebehr (Carrie)
Category: Max/Liz/ others-future fic
Rating: PG-13 for now
Disclaimer: I own no parts of Rowell
Summary: This is about 10 years after Departure. Max, Isabel, and Michael disappeared without telling Liz, Maria and Kyle where they went shortly after Tess left. Liz becomes and FBI agent and is unwillingly pulled into the special unit and directed to track them down.

Please let me know what you think of this.
feel free to email me at luvtohangout⊕

Part 1:


To: Agent Parker
Date: January 3, 2011
From: Special Unit
Re: Case Name: ROS #234

Agent Parker,

This has been an ongoing case started by Agent Smith a decade ago. This is highly classified and on a need to know basis. Your orders are to go to Los Angeles California and track down the suspects and observe them undercover. Their whereabouts, jobs and addresses are listed below. We will inform you of when the task is completed. Report all information gathered via secure server. Be on the lookout for any strange behavior. The unit believes one of them might be the same suspect from Roswell New Mexico that escaped during observation in the year 2000. If so, they are responsible for the deaths of many agents in the special unit and are considered dangerous. Use force if necessary. All past reports are included with this memo. Your plane tickets are included, and a briefing will be held at eighteen hundred hours in the black room. Welcome to the Special Unit.


Maxwell Evans: Employment: UCLA College Professor -Physics
SS#: 526-89-6332
Marital Status: single
Address: 52655 Lido Dr.
Santa Monica, CA 90405

Isabel Evans: Employment: Buyer at “Bloomingdales” Sherman Oakes
SS# 589-85-7411
Marital Status: Single
Address: 52655 Lido Dr.
Santa Monica, CA 90405

Michael Guerin: Employment: Artist- work shown at “Concepts” gallery- Bev hills
SS# none found
Marital Status: single
Address: 715 South Normandie Street #414
Los Angeles, CA 90005


Agent Linton
Special Unit

Special Directions: Shred after reading


“Shit!” Liz said to herself as she put the memo down. “What the hell am I going to do now?” She muttered as she entered all of their information into her palm pilot. She walked over to the shredder and fed the paper through it. She walked back over to her desk and picked up the phone.

The other side of the line rang once when her boss picked up the line. “Agent Roberts.” He said crisply as he answered.

“Sir, it’s me Parker” Liz said in a serious tone. “No disrespect sir, but why am I being sent on this assignment for the SU?” she tapped her fingers on her desk.

“Come to my office Parker and I’ll fill you in.” he said and hung up.

Liz grabbed her briefcase and put her files into it along with her plane tickets and her glasses. She didn’t need to read the files. She pretty much knew what they said. She was there for almost all of it, up until the time they all disappeared. She put her coat on and stepped out of her office, turning to lock the door behind her. She looked at her watch before sticking her key in. 5:10. She would only have forty- five minutes or so to discuss this with Agent Roberts, but she knew she wouldn’t be able to get out of it. They never assigned an agent to a case and then pulled them off of it after giving them the information. She could only hope that she would be able to do her job, without becoming personally involved again.

She walked down the hall to her boss’s office and remembered the last day she and Maria had seen all of them. It was two days after Tess had left. They had come into the Crashdown and had Kyle with them. They had asked her, and Maria to sit down, and then they told them they were leaving. They said they had to go, that even though they loved them, they had to figure out a way to save Max’s son, and they had to do it alone. They thought it wouldn’t be safe for Maria and her anymore, since Tess had returned to their planet without the Royals. They thought she would want revenge and it would never be over until they confronted it. Michael had kissed Maria goodbye, and promised her he’d come back for her, though he never did. Max had given her one last kiss and said,” I love you Liz” and then they turned and left leaving her and Maria crying on Kyle’s shoulder.

She stood in front of her bosses door and reached up to wipe away a tear before anyone saw her. “Get it together Parker, FBI agents don’t cry.” She berated herself under her breath. She lifted her hand and knocked on the door.

“Enter” she heard her boss call from the other side.

Liz walked in and set her briefcase down on the seat of a chair.
“Ahh, Parker, have a seat.” Agent Robert’s said to her seriously.
Liz picked up her briefcase and sat down, placing it on her lap.
“What’s on your mind?” Agent Robert’s said as he clasped his hands together and looked across the desk at her.
“Well sir,” she began, not sure where to start. “I guess the first thing I’d like to know is how the hell I got assigned to the Special Unit.”
Agent Robert’s looked at her surprised by her anger. “Well Parker, they asked me for the best undercover agent I had, and I told them it was you.” He smiled gently at her. “It’s quite a promotion Liz.” He said gently. She was his favorite agent on the team, and the only one he ever referred to by her first name. Of course, the fact that they’d had an affair years prior helped him to be biased when it came to her.

Liz looked at him and smiled. She had met him as a rookie on the force, and even though he was married, she couldn’t help but become involved. He was handsome. With dark hair and dark serious eyes. He was only 5 years older than her, but he was one of the most respected agents on the force. She felt safe with him, like she had with Max, but she also liked the fact that he was married. It helped to know that things couldn’t get serious between the two of them. That way she never let herself get attached the way she had with Max. She knew he still cared for her, and giving her this assignment was done as a favor to her. It wasn’t his fault. He didn’t know about her past.

“I know Steve, and thank you for the thought, but I don’t know if this is such a good idea.” Liz stammered trying to come up with a good excuse to why she didn’t want the assignment. It didn’t matter though because she knew she had no choice.
“You’ll be fine Liz. You always are.” Agent Roberts said as he stood up. He walked around to her side of the desk and reached up to take her by the shoulders. “ You know I still love you Liz.” He said to her as he leaned in for a kiss.

“I told you, it’s over Steve. I need to keep work separate from my personal life.” She said as she released herself from his powerful grip. Suddenly she was glad she was being sent to Los Angeles tonight. Even though the case was not what she would call “ideal”, getting out of here was definitely looking like a good plan. “I have a meeting to get to in the black room. I’ll keep in touch from L.A.” she said as she walked towards the door.

“Please do Li..I mean Parker.” Agent Roberts cleared his throat and walked to open the door for her. “Let me know how things are going out there for you. Come right back if anything gets too dangerous. From what the SU tells me they’re pretty dangerous. I don’t want anything to happen to my best agent.”

Liz smiled at him and said, “Ok sir.” And as the door shut behind her she rolled her eyes and said to herself, “I think I can handle it.”

Part 2

Liz sat back and rested her ahead against the headrest. She hated to fly, but was used to it by now. Since she was FBI, she didn’t travel on commercial airlines, she flew by Air Force carrier. It was loud and uncomfortable, and she always brought her own pillow, blanket and Walkman.

She picked her briefcase up off of the floor next to her and pulled out the files on Max, Isabel and Michael. They had given her the more recent information in the meeting she had in the Black Room, along with an in depth slide show on the group and what they’ve been up to lately. Michael had grown a mustache, and was a well know artist in LA, specializing in Contemporary Art. Isabel had cut her hair shorter, and trendy, and was very successful in the fashion industry. According to her file, she was launching her own designs soon. Max, well, he had looked exactly the same as the day he walked out of her life. He was a respected professor of physics, and liked to sail his own boat on the weekends. All of them were single. Liz wondered if they ever thought about the past, and the people they left behind.

Liz’s mind wandered off again, and she recalled how upset she had been after they left. They left because they wanted too, not because they had to. She had cried herself to sleep every night for months because of it. Maria and her had walked around like zombies.

After a long time, her tears turned into anger for Max deserting her and she vowed that she would never fall in love like that again. She only dated guys that she could use and then throw away, taking out her revenge on Max on all of the unsuspecting men that she went out with. They all promised her the stars, but she knew they could never give her what Max had, and she hated what he turned her into. After she graduated college on the east coast, and got her degree in molecular biology, she didn’t know what to do with her life. She had no relationship to speak of, and was still bitter in her heart. She wanted to do something that made her feel empowered. Made her feel in control. She decided she wanted to be a police officer, never imagining she’d end up in the FBI. After she graduated the academy, she went to work for the Washington D.C. Police Department. One day, she saved the President’s daughter from a rapist outside of a dance club, after she’d snuck out of the White House. That was how she ended up in the FBI, and she thought the irony of the whole thing was hysterical. She was now one of the people she had hated so much when she was a teenager. Now here she was, part of the special unit, and she was on her way to try to observe Max Evans. She wondered how she was going to get away with it. She looked the same, just slightly older, but she could easily pass for a college student. She closed her eyes and started to put together her plan.

The plane touched down and Liz snapped her head up. She reached in her purse for her hairbrush and started to fix her tousled long brown hair. She looked down at the files on her lap and at Isabel’s picture. She wondered if maybe she should cut her hair short like Isabel had. After all she was nearly twenty -seven years old. She laughed to herself at how ridiculous she sounded. Like twenty- seven was old! She threw her blanket, pillow and Walkman into her shoulder bag and reached up to get her suitcase. She walked off the plane and over to the Colonel waiting for her in an Army Jeep.

“Are you Colonel Drake?” she asked as he nodded.
“Hop in Agent Parker. It’s nice to have you here.” He smiled as they drove off.
“Just take me to the closest place I can grab a cab please, I’m dying to get checked into my hotel.” Liz smiled back with weary eyes.
“No problem, there’s some cabs on the other side of the runway, it’ll just be a minute.” He said as stepped on the gas more, making Liz’s neck whip back.

They drove across the field and he pulled up along side three or four taxis. He got her stuff out of the back and hailed one for her. She smiled appreciatively and said, “Thanks for the lift Colonel.” And she stepped into the cab. He waved back at her and yelled, “Anytime little lady, anytime!”

Liz hated being called “little lady”, or “honey” or any of those sickening names men always used to refer to women they thought were cute. She thought it was such bullshit. She rolled her eyes as she settled into the cab and thought for the tenth time that day how much she hated men.

“Where to sweetie pie?” the cab driver asked.

Liz checked into her hotel in Santa Monica and immediately went to take a shower to wash off the Colonel and the cab driver. When she got out, she wrapped herself in a towel and walked over to the phone. She dialed the operator and asked to make a collect call. It was the safest way to make calls harder to trace. She waited for the voice to come on the line and she smiled. It had been too long.

“Collect call from a Ms. Elizabeth Parker-do you except the charges?” the operator asked.
“Oh my god-of course I do!” the female voice said on the other line. “Hello? Hello?” she said waiting for the connection to go through.
“Hi Maria!” Liz squealed into the phone. “How are you girlie?”
“Liz, I’m so happy you called! Where are you?” Maria asked excitedly.
“Well, you’re not going to believe it but I’m in LA!” Liz said laughing at how excited Maria sounded.
“Your’re here? Where? Where are you staying?” Maria asked.
“Ria, you know I can’t tell you. Not yet anyway. I’m here in Santa Monica and I’m on assignment.” Liz said quietly.
“Anything juicy? I mean I know you can’t tell me, but could you give me a hint?” Maria asked hopefully. Liz had such an exciting life, always doing something new.
“Well I don't think you could find any excitement in my life compared to yours Maria! By the way I bought your album, it’s great! Congratulations!” Liz exclaimed happy for her friend and her blossoming singing career.
“Thanks sweetie! Let’s get together, can we meet for dinner?” Maria asked.
“ Yeah, are you sure you’re not too famous to go out in public?” Liz asked laughing.
“Totally! Can we go tonight? I’m dying to see you!” Maria laughed back. “Can you meet me at “The House Of Blues” on Sunset? We’ll get some drinks and munchies and catch up!”
Liz was totally tired, but she wanted to see Maria too and fill her in on what she was working on. “ Sounds great, see you at nine thirty?” Liz asked as she gave in.
“Yes-oh I’m so excited!” Maria yelled into the phone.
“Ok, great see you then! And Maria, you’re gonna die when you hear what I’m working on!” Liz said whispering into the phone.
“OOOOHH I knew it was juicy-better make it nine o’clock! Bye Liz!” Maria said as she heard Liz laughing.
“Ok nine then-see you later!” Liz said as she hung up.

Part 3

Liz sat at the table and looked around the dark noisy club. It wasn’t exactly what she had in mind when she agreed to meet Maria. But it looked like a fun place. She stood up again and looked around just in time to see Maria and three large bodyguards walking up to her.

“LIZ!!” Maria yelled as she ran towards her and jumped into her arms.
“Maria-it’s so good to see you-finally!” Liz said as she hugged her best friend.
Liz looked at Maria. She looked great. Her hair was long and blond, and she was wearing low cut jeans and a halter top. Liz felt overdressed in her business slacks and blazer. She knew she was going to need Maria’s help with her plan. She just hoped the Special Unit wouldn’t find out that she’d involved a civilian in her assignment, though she couldn’t figure how they would. She was supposed to be undercover after all.

“You look great!” Liz said as Maria sat down in her chair smiling.
“So do you! You look so professional!” Maria laughed as she leaned in closer so they could hear each other.
“What do you want to drink? I’ll go get it” Liz offered as she stood up.
“Sit down Chica! I’ve got it covered!” Maria smiled as she snapped and one of her giant bodyguards came over.
Maria looked up at him and said, “I’ll have a gin and tonic, and Liz will have a vodka on the rocks, right Liz?” Maria asked with her eyebrows raised.
“You got it!” Liz smiled at Maria’s memory. They hadn’t had a drink together in years. Liz thought back. It had to have been at least six since Maria and Kyle’s divorce. That was the last time they had gone out together. The night her divorce was final Maria had called Liz and asked her to come to Phoenix, where her and Kyle had been living. She was bummed out that things didn’t work out between them but wasn’t surprised. They had gone to some seedy little bar, and Maria had gotten trashed and Liz had to drag her out of the place.
“Geez Liz, do you remember the last time we had a drink together?” Maria yelled over the noise.
Liz nodded. “Of course I remember, the question is do you remember?” Liz laughed.
“Yeah-that was a shitty time in my life.” Maria said looking down at the table and pretending to scratch something off of it.
“Do you ever hear from Kyle?” Liz asked gently, not wanting Maria to get upset.
“Yeah, we’re still friends actually. He moved back to Roswell to take over for Jim when he retired.” Maria looked up at Liz and laughed. “Can you even believe he went back to that place after all we went through there?” Maria asked her eyes welling up with tears.
Liz shook her head. She couldn’t imagine going back to Roswell, and told her parents that every year when they wanted her to come home for Christmas. She saw to it that wherever she was, she could fly them out to see her. There was no way in hell she would go back to that town. There were too many bad memories.
“You know, for a time, after Kyle and I got married, I thought I was over Michael.” Maria said taking a tissue out of her halter top.
“I know you did. Hell, Maria, we’ve been telling ourselves that for ten years.” Liz said reaching to take her friends hand.
Maria nodded, “Did you know that Kyle and I tried to have a baby?”
Liz shook her head. She had no idea Maria wanted to have a baby back then.
“Yep, we tried every month from the time we got married until we just decided it wasn’t going to happen. Two years. The night I told Kyle that I didn’t want to try anymore, he accused me of not wanting it bad enough.” Maria laughed uncomfortably.
“What? Why would he say that?” Liz asked amazed at Kyle would say such a thing.
“ He said that the only person I ever wanted to be with was Michael and that my mind and body were not in sync. He said my mind was telling me I wanted him, but my body was telling me I wanted Michael. Can you believe that bullshit?” Maria asked as the bodyguard put their drinks down.
“Maybe it wasn’t bullshit Maria.” Liz said tenderly as she scooted her chair closer to her friend.
“ What? You mean you think he was right?” Maria asked surprised.
“ I don’t know. I mean look at me. I haven’t been in a serious relationship since I was seventeen years old Maria. I hate men, and on one hand I hate Max and Michael for what they did to us, and on the other hand I miss Max, and I think about him every day. Tell me you don’t feel the same?” Liz asked finally admitting it out loud. She looked at Maria as her eyes filled up with tears again.
“God Liz, I’ve been pushing it down inside of myself for so long, I didn’t even realize how much it still hurts until you just said it. Maybe we should both admit we’re not over them and we never will be. God I hate Michael.” Maria said, taking a big gulp of her drink.
“Well, we’re a couple of pathetic losers aren’t we?” Liz laughed. “Here we are with these amazing careers, and no one to share our lives with but each other.” Liz tried to laugh, but it came out more of a choke.
“Yep, oh well at least we know something about each others lives that we can never tell another soul, a link that will never divide us. Their secret.” Maria laughed at the irony.
“You know Liz, now that you’re FBI, you could really get them in some deep shit if you wanted too.” Maria laughed as she snapped her fingers at her bodyguard and pointed to their glasses.
Liz smiled weakly and said, “Girl, you have no idea!”
Maria stopped, looked at her closely and said, “Liz what’s up? I know you-spill it.”
“Ok, well I’m not sure how to say this, and you can’t tell anyone. My job depends on it Maria okay?” Liz asked her wanting to make sure she agreed before telling her.
“Sure, sure you know I won’t blab about any cases your working on.” Maria agreed glad that it had to do with Liz’s job and not her personal life.
“Well this morning I was given a promotion.” Liz stopped and looked at Maria.
“Liz, that’s great, congratulations girlfriend! Let’s toast!” Maria held up her glass and Liz stopped her.
“What’s wrong? I take it this isn’t good news?” Maria said when she saw that Liz was not happy about it.
“Maria, I got promoted to the Special Unit.” Maria looked at her with a confused expression on her face. “You know the SPECIAL UNIT??? “ Liz said emphasizing the last words. “I’m supposed to track down Max, Isabel and Michael and observe them undercover, then report back to my superiors on their behavior.” Liz said as she downed the fresh drink that Maria’s guard had brought her.
“WHAT?” Maria yelled at her. “Are you saying that their here? In L.A.?” Maria couldn’t believe it. She was shocked at what Liz had told her and her mouth dropped open momentarily. “Liz, what the hell are you going to do? Are you going to turn them in?” Maria said desperately fearing for the aliens that used to be their friends. “I mean you can’t! Not after everything!” Maria started to cry and she pulled another tissue out of her halter.
“Maria, it’s my job to observe them, not experiment on them. It IS my job though, and if I don’t do it my career is over. Do you understand OVER!” Liz yelled over the noise. Everything I’ve worked so hard for will be gone, and it will be because of them again.” Liz said sadly. “Look, I need your help. Max is a professor at UCLA, and I need to observe one of his classes as a student. I need you to go shopping with me so I can get some younger looking clothes. Will you help me?” Liz asked Maria practically begging.
“Yes. I’ll help you. I won’t say anything, and whatever you decide to do I’m behind you Liz. Just promise me I don’t have to see Michael okay?” Maria agreed and Liz nodded her head.
“I don’t want you to get involved like that, just be there for me okay? I think I’m probably really going to need a friend.” Liz confessed, knowing this was going to be tough for both of them, but happy to have Maria there for her.
“Ok, I’m there for you. I just have a couple of questions and if you can’t tell me I’ll understand.” Maria said thoughtfully.
“Ok shoot.” Liz said ready to tell Maria whatever she wanted to know.
“First of all, what’s Michael doing?” Maria looked at Liz with expectant eyes.
“Do you mean is he single, or what’s his line of work?” Liz answered knowing exactly what Maria really wanted to know.
“Both I guess” Maria blushed.
“Well, he’s an artist, he lives over off of Wilshire Blvd and his art is shown at a gallery named “Concepts.” Liz answered, purposely leaving some stuff out.
“AND?” Maria asked desperately.
“AND he’s single. Never been married. Oh yeah and he has a mustache.” Liz giggled.
“Eww!” Maria said and laughed too. “What about Isabel and Max?”
“Nope, they don’t have mustaches.” Liz laughed. The alcohol was getting to her and she was feeling silly.
“Duh! Maria said, obviously inebriated as well. “I meant what are they doing? Are they single too?”
“Yep. Isabel is a buyer at Bloomingdale’s in Sherman Oakes and she is launching her own designs soon, and I told you about Max.” Liz trailed off.
“Liz, does he have a son?” Maria couldn’t help but ask.
“The file didn’t mention one, but I’ll see what I can find out.” Liz replied, her laughter gone.
Maria nodded her head and then asked, “Wouldn’t it be easier to just be you? I mean you know, like bump into him on campus and say you’re a new professor or something. I’m sure the Unit could set you up like they did Topolsky at our school.” Maria wondered why Liz hadn’t thought of this.
“Yes, it would be.” Liz said as she looked right imto Maria’s eyes, “but if I don’t disguise myself, then I’m in danger of blowing the case. Max knows he can use his powers around me freely, and if he does, then I have to report it. I was kind of hoping I wouldn’t have to report anything out of the ordinary unless they did something careless. I may hate him, but I don’t wish him harm, not the kind of harm that they would invoke on him Maria.” Maria nodded. “I was there when he came out of the White Room, and I saw how terrified he was and I felt how terrified he felt. I don’t want him to go through that again. If he forces me to though, I will do what I have to do. Like I said it’s my job. I’m not the same person I used to be Maria.”
“ I know you’re not. Sometimes I miss the old Liz though.” Maria said as she put her arm around her best friend and gave her a squeeze. Hell, sometimes I miss the old Maria too.”
Liz looked down and nodded sadly.

Maria looked at Liz and knew there was no way she was going to be able to remain unbiased in this case. She knew she didn’t really hate Max, no matter how much she tried to convince herself she did, but she was one angry woman, and one tough bitch now. Even if Max bumped directly into her she doubted he would recognize Liz if she was disguised. There used to be a time when Max would know Liz just by the sound of the way she walked, but Liz was a different person now because of what Max had done to her. She knew that if Liz was really over Max, then his life would be over. Maria looked back up at Liz and said, “Well girlfriend, what time do you want to go shopping?”

Part 4

Maria arrived at Liz’s hotel at nine thirty the next morning, accompanied by her giant bodyguards and a limousine. Liz was waiting for her in the lobby and laughed as she walked out to meet her.
“I swear Maria, does the word “covert” mean anything to you at all?” Liz giggled as she stepped into the long vehicle.
“Nope, it just isn’t traveling unless it’s in one of these babies!” Maria smiled back at her.
“You look cute as usual.” Liz smiled as she eyed Maria’s red sundress and platform sandals.
“Thanks sweetie, you look old as usual!” Maria said glancing at Liz’s navy blue suit and giggling.
“Thus the reason for our journey right?” Liz asked as the driver lowered the privacy glass.
“Where to Ms. Deluca?” he asked.
“The Beverly Center of course Nigel!” she told him, and then she raised the glass back up. “I thought we could check out Bloomingdale’s while were there.” Maria winked as Liz rolled her eyes.
“I told you Maria, I’m undercover. UNDERCOVER! That means I can’t just walk into these places and ask to see them. I don’t want them to recognize me okay?” Liz said seriously.
“ I know, I was just kidding. I was thinking though, if we’re both in disguise, we could go into that art gallery together and look at some of Michael’s paintings right?” Maria asked hopefully.
Liz took a deep breath and said, “Actually Maria, I was going to go by there this afternoon, so if you want to, you can come.” Maria’s eyes lit up. “If you behave, and you are in a disguise too.”
Maria looked at Liz like a little girl and clasped her hands together. “Yippiee! I really want to see some of his work. Who knows, I might even buy one!” Maria laughed.
“I take it you’ve moved past the denial, and are now accepting the fact that you love Michael still?” Liz asked her smiling.
“Well, I don’t know about love, but at least I’m not going to turn them over to the government!” Maria said glaring at Liz.
“Maria, we went over this a hundred times last night. It’s my damn job. I worked hard to get where I am, and I’m not going to allow some school girl crush get in the way of it.” Liz said looking out the window and avoiding Maria’s glare.
“Crush? Liz, you and Max were like soulmates!” Maria yelled at her.
“Obviously we weren’t Maria or he would’ve come back.” Liz whispered.
“Liz, we don’t know why they didn’t come back. You can’t keep living with this hatred inside of you. It’s making you bitter and rotten, and you’re going to end up as an old spinster!” Maria said as the car slowly stopped and they heard Nigel exit.
“Oh well, at least my heart will be intact.” Liz said as she got out of the car and began to walk towards the entrance to the Mall.
“Yeah it’ll be intact alright,” Maria said to herself sadly. “Because it will be a stone.”

Four hours and sixteen shopping bags later, Liz and Maria decided to don their disguises and head to Wilshire Blvd for lunch and a visit to the “Concepts” gallery.
Liz had put on a golden brown wig that was long and wavy, a pair of army green cargo pants, a cropped black sleeveless t-shirt and a UCLA Bruins baseball hat. She wore a pair of Sketchers and carried a black messenger bag. She looked at Maria. “Well how do I look?” she asked casually and turned around.
“You look hot! I mean seriously Liz, whatever work out regimen you’re on, I want it! Look at you ab’s! You are buff!” Maria said poking at Liz’s stomach with her mouth hanging open.
“Thanks I guess!” Liz laughed. “It’s called the FBI training camp. Ever since I was there, I have been sort of a work out nut.” Liz confessed. “Well, that and the fact that I have no social life to speak of.” Liz laughed, as she looked at her reflection in the mirror.
“You won’t have to worry about that anymore! The college guys are going to be all over you!” Maria laughed as she pulled on her short red wig and sunglasses. “How do I look?”
Maria asked looking in the mirror at her short black mini dress.
“Like Orphan Annie grew up and turned into a prostitute!” Liz laughed and sat down on the couch in Maria’s apartment.
“Nice Liz, real nice!” Maria sauntered off and changed into jeans and a tube top, leaving the wig on. She put on her high heels and threw a canvas bag over her shoulder. “Is this better?” Maria stuck her tongue out at Liz.
“Much, come on let’s go, I’m starved!” Liz said as she headed out the door.

They decided to eat at a little café across the street for the gallery where Michael’s work was being shown. They both ordered salads and ice tea and chatted as they finished their meals.
“Would you ladies like some coffee?” the waitress asked.
“Sure” Maria said, looking at a nodding Liz.

As they sipped their coffee, Liz glanced across the street, not for one minute forgetting why she was there. She had purposely chosen a table that had a view of the gallery. She didn’t tell Maria, but her file had told her that Michael had a painting due there at one o’clock today, and that their would be a showing of his work tonight at eight. She hadn’t decided if she was going to take Maria along or not. She was going to see how well she handled the afternoon first.

At twelve fifty- five she saw a black pickup truck pull up outside of the gallery and a young woman got out of the passenger side. Then she saw a man get out of the driver’s side and walk around to the back and pull a painting out of it. They walked inside and were in there for a couple of minutes before Liz said to Maria, “Ok don’t freak out, but Michael just walked into the gallery. He’s with some girl.” Liz said as she looked at the disappointment on Maria’s face.
“Oh my God! He’s in there right now?” Maria hissed across the table through closed lips.
“Relax” Liz said,” he can’t hear you! We’ll wait until he leaves, and then we’ll go in and look at his stuff.” Maria nodded calmly. “There’s a showing of his work tonight, you can come if you’re good, and if you pick a better disguise.” Liz laughed as she watched the door to the gallery.
“Ok, I want to come, I promise I’ll be good.” Maria said quietly.
“There he is, don’t turn around.” Liz directed as she watched Michael get back in the truck and speed off without the girl he’d arrived with.
“Is he gone?” Maria asked nervously.
“Yep, let’s go. The girl he arrived with is still in the Gallery, maybe we can talk to her.” Liz looked at Maria who was shaking. “Scratch that, maybe I can talk to her. You keep your big mouth shut ok? Remember this is a case I’m working on.” Maria nodded and followed Liz out of the café.

When they arrived at the gallery Liz took a deep breath and put on her best college student act. The bell rang when they walked through the door and a young brunette walked over to them.

“Hello girls, can I help you today?” a lady in a black dress with a string of pearls asked them in a snooty voice.
“Actually yes, I was planning on coming to the Guerin show tonight. I’m a big fan of his work, and I was wondering if I might get a look at some of the items now, so I could decide on which one’s I want to purchase before I come.” Liz said, as an amazed Maria stood silent next to her. She had never actually seen Liz working before.
“Of course miss. However, you do know that they run upward of fifty thousand dollars a piece.” The snooty lady said and Maria gasped.
Liz shot Maria a look and said to the woman, “Of course I do. I said I was a fan didn’t I?”
“I beg your pardon miss, you just didn’t look like someone that would have that kind of money. I meant no offense.” She said to Liz
“None taken. I would explain to you how I have that much money, and why I don’t appear to be a snooty bitch like yourself, but I really don’t think it’s any of your damn business. Now, may I see the work please?” Liz said to the lady whose mouth had dropped open at Liz’s retort. She obviously did have money, because no one in this town acted like that unless they did, she hated these rich kid’s!
“Of course Miss….? She trailed off waiting for Liz to reveal her name.
“Cassidy. Hillary Cassidy.” Liz filled in quickly. She guessed she now had her cover name.
“Right this way Miss Cassidy. Mr. Guerin’s work is right in here.” She led them into a room that was blocked off with fancy velvet ropes. Maria held her breath as they entered the room. The walls were filled with paintings His paintings. Maria walked away from Liz and began to look at them.
Liz thanked the woman and began to follow Maria around the room. In the corner, there was the young woman who had arrived with Michael in the pick up truck. She was hanging some more of his work on the remaining blank wall.

Liz walked over to Maria and gave her a look that told her to keep looking at the paintings. Maria nodded and continued to look at each of them. They were abstract, but Maria could tell what they were representing. She knew Michael, and his emotions, well enough to read them. Some were representing pain, some loneliness, some hatred. They were dark, but interesting. Maria could tell why he was so well known in the art world. His work had a way of dragging one in, and making them want to figure out what they meant. They were expensive with the highest one she saw going for one hundred and eighty thousand dollars. She glanced over at Liz who was walking up to the girl hanging a painting on the corner.

“Hi there.” Liz said to the girl as she approached,
“Hi. Did you have a question?” the girl asked nicely.
“No. I’m just a fan. I ‘m coming to the show tonight. Thought I’d get a preview. Will Mr Guerin be here for the show?” Liz asked as casually as she could.
“Of course. He always goes to the shows. I take it this is your first one of his?” the girl asked smiling.
“Yes, I just love his work, but this is the first time I’ve been able to make it to one of them.” Liz said as she looked at one of Michael’s paintings. It looked familiar, but she couldn’t place it. She was never very good with art, especially abstract. She would have to ask Maria about it to see if it meant anything to her.
“I’m Mr. Guerin’s assistant Tammy Bishop.” The girl stuck her hand out to Liz and smiled.
“Nice to meet you. I’m Hillary Cassidy.” Liz said as she shook her hand.
Maria walked over and said, “Well Hill, have you decided on which one you want yet?” she gave Liz a wink and raised her eyebrow.
“Yes. I think I’d like this one. She pointed it out to Maria who gasped. It was beautiful. It was so much different from the others. It had greens, blues, purples and oranges in it where as the others only had greys, whites, blacks and crimson in them. The strokes were soft and careful while the others were short and rough. The image was familiar, but she couldn’t quite see what it was. She looked at Liz and asked her, “How much?”
Liz shrugged and looked at the girl. “ Well, Tammy how much is this one?”
Tammy took the plaque that she’d been holding in her hands and placed it on the wall. She had just hung the picture up when Liz approached and completely forgot to hang it next to the work of art.
“Well, this is his newest one, and he really didn’t want to sell it, but I convinced him.” Tammy said proudly as she attached the plaque. “He said it was special or something. He just finished it this morning.” She stepped back allowing the girls to see it.
Maria looked at the plaque and noticed the price. Two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Then she heard Liz gasp and quietly mutter under her breath. “Oh my god, look at what it’s called.”
Maria looked at the painting and the plaque again. It was called “Love” and the familiar image staring back at her was her own.

Natures first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold
Her early leaf's a flower
But only so an hour
Then leaf subsides to leaf
So Eden sank to grief
So Dawn goes down to day
Nothing Gold can stay
-Robert Frost
posted on 31-Aug-2001 6:11:46 PM
Part 5

Liz looked in the mirror of her hotel room bathroom and didn’t like her reflection very much. She still looked like the Liz Parker she used to be, but the true reflection didn’t lie. She was bitter. Maria was right. She was going to dry up and die an old spinster bitch.
Seeing the painting of Maria that Michael had painted made Liz’s heart clench. Maria bought the painting then and there, under a false name and address, arranging a wire transfer through her bank so the gallery would never have records of her true identity. She spent all of her record deal money on it, and all of her savings plus a credit line the bank gave her. She cried the whole way home, every time she glanced at it, knowing finally that Michael still loved her beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Liz combed through her wet hair, and walked into the bedroom of her suite. Tonight she was going to come face to face with Max Evans. She was going to go as the college student, simply planning on meeting him before she coincidentally ended up in his class at UCLA. She knew Isabel and Max were both on the guest list for the showing at the gallery, so she would see Isabel as well. When her and Maria went shopping, they found one of Isabel’s designs, and Liz snatched it up. It just happed to be a beautiful black cocktail dress. She knew if she wore it, it would be a great conversation piece for her and the unsuspecting Isabel.

Liz thought briefly about her assignment and the irony of it. She still planned on following her assignment through. Max meant a lot to her and their past together would always remain in her heart, but she wasn’t ready to give up her career for him at this point in her life. No, she would just have to follow though and not get personally involved. There were so many things she hated about herself these days. Her lack of compassion was the main thing. She did have a change of heart concerning Maria though. She told Maria not to wear a disguise to the showing, and if she wanted to pursue Michael she could. After all, Maria could have wandered into that gallery all be herself and bought that painting. It really had nothing to do with the case. At least she would be able to find out why they never came back for them, without having to blow her cover.

Liz put on her black garter belt and stockings, and then poured herself into the skin tight, strapless black dress. She picked the wig up off of the vanity and touched it up, making sure it looked natural, and put it on making sure that none of her hair was showing. She leaned over the vanity and put in her blue contact lenses. She grabbed her wrap off the bed, and picked up her small black purse and walked out the door to her room and down to the lobby to meet Maria. Hillary Cassidy was going to be Maria’s new intern.

“What the hell do you mean someone bought it this afternoon?” Michael screamed at Tammy as he stood in the gallery.

“I’m sorry Mr. Guerin, but this woman came in and fell in love with it. She paid the full asking price for it sir.” Tammy said apologetically.

“I don’t give a shit!” Michael yelled. “I told you I didn’t want to sell it, but you just had to talk me into it.” Michael said as he sat down and put his head in his hands for a moment. Then he stood up and faced Tammy. “Why was someone looking at it to begin with anyway? The showing isn’t until tonight.” Michael said calming down slightly.

“Well, Linda brought these two girls in here and they said they were big fans. I guess they wanted to see what they wanted to buy before the showing tonight.” Tammy said as she silently prayed he wasn’t going to fire her.

“So the woman who bought my painting said she’d be at the showing tonight?” Michael asked hopefully.

“Yes, she’ll be here.” Tammy said confidently.

“Good then I’ll just offer to buy the painting back from her.” Michael said relieved

“Sir, this woman, she LOVED this painting. I don’t know if she’ll sell it back to you.” Tammy said remembering the way the woman had acted.

“Tammy, the only reason I allowed that painting in this place was because I thought I would be here to make sure no one actually bought it. Now that you’ve gone and sold it to some anonymous woman, I will do whatever I have to do to get it back. It has sentimental value, and I refuse to allow it to hang in some strange woman’s house. I don’t know why I listened to you in the first place. Obviously you were wrong, the price wasn’t too high for someone!” Michael threw his hands up and stormed out of the room, leaving Tammy to cry silently to herself.

“Hey Liz, you look great!” Maria said as Liz stepped into the limo. Liz looked and smiled at the compliment.

“So do you, you look much better without that ridiculous wig!” Liz laughed.

“So, are you nervous about seeing him?” Liz asked curiously, trying to gauge Maria’s mental state.

“Yes, terrified. But excited too, you know?” Maria giggled. “Thanks for letting me do this Liz. It really means a lot. I really need some answers.” She said more seriously

“I know, I could use some too. I know I act like I don’t care anymore why they never came back, but I do. I really need to know for my own sanity.” Liz said quietly.

The car stopped and Nigel opened the door for them. Liz handed Maria her FBI made invitation to the opening and Maria handed it back to her.

“I spent a quarter of a million dollars here this afternoon “Hillary”. They gave me an invitation!” Maria laughed as she walked ahead of Liz and entered the gallery.

Liz presented her invitation to the man at the door and walked in to the bustling show. There were people wall to wall, and she saw Maria walking around very calmly, pretending to be interested in the work.

She walked over to the paintings and started to look at Michael’s work. They were very good, but not her taste. She liked more traditional paintings. She picked up a glass of champagne and strolled around, making eye contact with a few men that gave her the once over with their eyes the way she hated. She walked to the back of the gallery and past a man in a dark blue suit. She stopped a few people past him and looked around. She had a funny feeling in the pit of her stomach. Max, she knew it was him. He was close by.

Max stood looking at one of Michael’s paintings. It happened to be the one titled “Loneliness”. He laughed at how much the painting reminded him of his own life. He took a sip of his water and nearly choked as he was drinking it. He stopped and looked around. The sound that he had just heard, and that scent. He looked around, but didn’t see anything that looked familiar. His mind must have been playing tricks on him again. He could have sworn it was…no but that was impossible.

Liz spotted Michael and Isabel standing along the back wall. Michael looked like he was upset about something, and he was telling Isabel all about it. Liz’s eyes sought out Maria and noticed she was talking to an elderly gentleman over by the bar. She wondered what she was waiting for, thinking she should just go and tell Michael she bought the painting. She looked around again, still not seeing Max. She began to think he wasn’t coming.

“ I just love your dress!” she heard the all too familiar voice squeal behind her.
Liz spun around to face Isabel Evans.

“Oh thanks, I got it today at Bloomingdale’s!” Liz gushed back, with her best fake smile. “It’s by a new designer named Isabel Evans. “Isn’t it fabulous?” she looked down at the dress. Liz figured it was a good idea to get on Isabel’s good side.

“Yes, it certainly is.” Isabel smiled back. She stuck her hand out, “Isabel Evans, it’s a pleasure to meet you.” She said proudly.

Liz stuck her hand out, “Oh my god, you’re Isabel Evans! I don’t know what to say! I’m so embarrassed!” she gushed as she shook Isabel’s hand. “I’m Hillary Cassidy, the pleasure is all mine Ms Evans”

“Please,” Isabel said looking around, “call me Isabel. Are you a fan of Michael’s work?”

“Actually, my boss is, she’s over there somewhere, I’m her intern so she insisted I come along." Liz said trying to act shy.

“Oh, then you’re a student?” Isabel asked as Liz nodded. “What school do you attend?
“I’m starting mid -semester at UCLA on Monday.” Liz said smiling, knowing this would spark an introduction if Max was actually there.

“You’re kidding!” Isabel exclaimed, “My brother is a physics professor there! You have to meet him, let’s go track him down!” Isabel grabbed Liz’s arm and whisked her off to find Max.

They crossed the room and stopped behind a man in a dark blue suit. Just as Isabel was about to tap him on the shoulder, he spun around, scaring Isabel and Liz to death.

“Geez Max, you scared the crap out of me, what’s wrong with you?” Isabel asked forgetting Liz was standing next to her.

“Oh- nothing Iz. I just thought,… never mind." He looked over at the girl standing next to his sister and couldn’t take his eyes off of her. He looked at her eyes, and was surprised to see that they were blue. He looked at her light brown hair and smiled. She was definitely beautiful, but not his type. She looked younger than him as well, maybe twenty or so. He hoped Isabel wasn’t trying to set him up again.

“Max, this is Hillary Cassidy, she’s a new student at UCLA, starting on Monday.” Isabel smiled as Liz stuck out her hand. She blocked her mind from him, knowing that if she didn’t he would know who she was.

“Hi there. I’m Max Evans. I’m a professor at UCLA.” Max said and he smiled as he took her hand. There was something familiar about her hand and the way she held his. He tried to form a connection but was disappointed when he couldn’t. This girl was interesting, but he wasn’t about to pursue anything.

“Actually, your sister told me. Physics right?” He nodded. “I’m actually going to be taking that this semester. Maybe I’ll end up in one of your classes Professor.” Liz smiled at him trying to control her heart from beating a million beats per minute. Here she was, face to face with Max. She was pretty sure he had no idea who she was, but she had felt him try to connect to her.

“Well, that would be great, I hope to see you in class Miss Cassidy.” He nodded professionally at her.

“Please, call me Hillary.” Liz said as she looked at his eyes. Just as soulful as ever. She knew at that moment that her case and her career were going to go straight down the toilet.
By the time this was over, she'd be lucky to be doing traffic duty at the local police department.

Part 6

Liz ran into the ladies room, hardly being able to breathe. All of her hatred and bitterness disappeared in one minute of looking into Max’s eyes. She could tell, that he felt there was something familiar in her. Almost like he had hoped it was actually her. She could barely tear herself away from their conversation but she needed to gather her thoughts. Max and Isabel had invited her and “her boss” to an after party they were throwing for Michael at their house, and she wasn’t sure if she should go. Part of her was still hanging on to the thought that this was a case she was working on, and she was supposed to be observing them, not partying with them. She knew deep down though that if she were planning on revenge, she would already be back at her hotel emailing her supervisor her observations up to this point. She would be telling them about Max trying to form the connection and she would be telling them about her past with them. If she really wanted to turn them over, she could have done it years ago. She knew that she wasn’t going to tell her bosses about anything unusual. It would be the only way to save her job and hopefully get sent back to her old team at the FBI, and the only way to keep them safe.

She fixed her hair and make-up and walked over to the bar. She glanced around and saw Maria getting ready to approach Michael, who was talking to that snooty gallery bitch from earlier. He looked really mad, and it looked like they were looking for someone. She turned back around to the bar and heard someone ask her, “So, Hillary, can I buy you a drink?” She turned around to see Max standing there, waiting for the guy next to her to move so he could sit down.

“Sure, I guess. I’ll have a vodka on the rocks please Professor.” She smiled nervously.

“Please, don’t call me that off campus. It makes me feel about eighty years old!” Max laughed.

“Ok, sorry. Mr. Evans?” he shook his head so she tried again. “Max.” she said quietly.

His head jerked up and he looked at her. Hearing her say his name he could swear…no it just wasn’t possible. It could NOT be possible.

“So, Hillary, where are you from?” Max asked snapping out of his thoughts, he wanted to know more about this girl. She reminded him so much of HER.

“I’m from back east. I grew up in Connecticut, right outside of Hartford.” She said confident in her cover. “How about you?” she asked, waiting to see what story he would come up with.

“Well, Isabel Michael and I are all from New Mexico.” He said and she raised her eyebrows.

Liz laughed. “Oh yeah where? Roswell?” she said trying to seem like she was joking. Max choked on his water.

“Albuquerque actually.” Max said as he looked at her more closely again. “Have we met before? You seem very familiar to me.”

“I think I have one of those faces, I get that a lot.” She smiled at him. The guy next to her finally got up and left so Max sat down.

“Did you give any more thought to the party later?” Max said thinking that maybe he was wrong about not pursuing this. He hadn’t dated in a long time, and this girl was way to young for him, but there was something about her that reminded him so much of her. He was so tired of dreaming about her and not being able to be with her, maybe this girl could be something. He knew he wanted to find out. If he couldn’t have the real Liz Parker, maybe he could have the next best thing.

“Don’t you drink?” Liz asked as she downed her vodka.

“Nope.” He said looking around the room briefly before his eyes rested on hers again.

“Why not?” Liz asked remembering the night him and Kyle had gotten drunk.

“Have you ever gotten so drunk that you do and say things that hurt someone and then you don’t remember?” Max asked as he looked into her blue eyes.

“Yes.” Liz said honestly.

“Well that’s what happened to me, and I haven’t taken a drink since.” He smiled.

“Wow, whomever you hurt must have meant a lot to you for you to take such drastic measures.” Liz said touching the rim of her glass.”

“She did.” Max said sadly.

Liz looked at him and felt bad. He was obviously miserable about something, and the way he referred to their past, was almost heartbreaking. She had imagined Max being a happy professor, with loads of women trying to land him, she never thought he would be a miserable lonely shell. Like she was.

“So who was “she” if you don’t mind me asking.” Liz said knowing she was treading on dangerous ground.

“She” was the love of my life." he paused. "My first love you know?” Max said, trying to control himself. He had no idea why he was telling this girl this stuff. He just felt like he could talk to her.

“Oh.” Liz said not wanting to push the issue and seem overanxious.

“Yeah, we lost touch over the years I guess you could say.” Max continued looking at her.

“Well, have you ever tried to find her? She obviously meant a lot to you Professor, I mean Max.” Liz looked up at him, finally ready to get some answers from him.

Max opened his mouth to speak when someone tapped her on the shoulder and she turned around to see Michael standing there.
“Excuse me, are you Hillary Cassidy?” Michael asked seriously.

Liz looked at him nervously and answered, “Yes, Mr. Guerin, wow, what a pleasure to meet you.” She said as she grabbed his hand and begun shaking it.

“Thanks. Look, Linda, the gallery owner, said you were in here with a friend earlier this afternoon and she bought one of my paintings. Is that true?” Michael asked hopefully.

“Yes, it’s true, why do you ask?” Liz asked in a friendly tone.

“I need to get the painting back. It wasn’t for sale. It has…sentimental value you could say.” Michael stammered. “Anyway, is she here tonight? Linda and I have been looking for her all night, and she doesn’t seem to see her anywhere.”

“No, I’m sorry but she couldn’t make it. I could try to let her know you’re looking for her though if you’d like?” Liz asked hiding her smile. They didn’t see her because Maria didn’t have the disguise on. She wondered why Maria hadn’t approached Michael yet. Michael didn’t want to sell that painting after all. She would love that!

“Yes, here’s my card.” Michael said handing her a little white business card. “Please have her call me as soon as possible. Thank you Miss Cassidy. Sorry to interrupt you Max.” He nodded curtly and walked off.

“So” Max said, “you know the woman that bought that painting huh?”

“Yes, she’s a good friend of mine. Why does he want it back so badly?” Liz couldn’t help but ask.

“That painting is of his first love, Maria. She was Liz’s best friend.” Max trailed off sadly.

“Liz? I take it that was your girlfriends name?” Liz asked.

“Yes, Liz and Maria were best friends, and Michael and I were best friends. We were inseparable you could say.” Max said

“Well what happened to her? I take it you guys lost touch with her too?” Liz asked

“Well we had to leave for awhile, to um, take care of a family emergency and Michael came along for moral support. We were gone longer than we thought we’d be, and when we came back, Liz was gone and Maria had married someone else and moved away. We thought, actually their parents thought, it would be better to let them lead their own lives.” Max’s eyes filled up with tears, and he blinked them away quickly, looking away from her. When he turned around and looked at Liz he said. “No one would tell us where they were. They had obviously gotten over us. We didn’t want to screw their lives up.”

Liz couldn’t believe what Max had just told her. They did come back for them after all. They must have been gone a couple of years if Maria was married when they returned, but they came back. She was already away at college. She regained her control and looked over at Max. She wasn’t sure if she believed him, but he had no reason to lie to her. She was a stranger to him. Surely someone would have told them if they had returned to Roswell.

“What about your sister? Does she have any lost loves?” Liz said trying to keep her tone light.

“Yes, lost in a different way. Her boyfriend died in a horrible car accident when we were in high school.” Max replied, looking over Liz’s head at Isabel talking to an older woman.

“Oh wow. That’s awful.” Liz said remembering the tragic event. There wasn’t a day that went by when she didn’t think of Alex still.

“Yeah. Iz hasn’t been the same since. Actually none of us have. He was a good friend.” Max said, the sadness returning to his voice.

“Well, then let’s drink a toast to him.” Liz said as she raised her glass. Max raised his and Liz said, “To…?” and waited for Max to fill in his name.

“To Alex” Max finished

“To Alex” Liz said and they both took a drink from their glasses.

“Would you excuse me for a moment Max, I need to go and check in with my boss. I’ll be right back.” Liz smiled and he nodded and she walked off.

Max looked at the girl walk away until she was engulfed by swarms of people. She even looked like Liz from behind, except for the hair color. He could’ve sworn that he had seen tears in her eyes when she mentioned Alex. He also thought she had reacted strangely to his telling her about Liz and Maria. Almost like he had turned a light on in her eyes. Eyes that were so blue, almost too blue, like they might not be her real eye color. But, he thought, there was no way she could be Liz. No way.

When they had gone back to Roswell in 2004 he had tried to find out what school she had gone to, but her parents wouldn’t tell him. They said it was bad enough that she wasted a year waiting around Roswell for him to come back before finally going to college. They told him they would conveniently forget he was back, and they wouldn’t tell Liz. According to them she had “finally gotten over him, and it wouldn’t do to go and screw up her life again.” He wasn’t about to give up though.

They hung out in Roswell for a long time, and he spent all of his time going to Jr. College and waiting for Liz to come home from school for Christmas or something, but she never did. Every Christmas her parents would leave and go somewhere else and Liz never came back. He had even asked Sheriff Valenti to help him locate where she was, but he said he couldn’t, that he had promised Amy that he wouldn’t tell them where the girls were. He wasn’t going to ruin his marriage to her to help Max and Michael. Finally he had given up hope, and when he had been in Roswell for three years, he left to go to Stanford. He finished quickly and got his degree in one year, since he had nothing better to concentrate on than his studies, and he had credits transferred from his Jr. College. He then completed the rest of his schooling in half the time that it would have normally taken. He chose to major in physics, knowing Liz wanted to be in molecular biology, and he had hoped their paths would cross, but they never did. He finally settled in L.A because Michael and Isabel were there, but he never felt like where he lived was really home. He was the youngest professor at UCLA and the girls were constantly after him, but he wasn’t interested in any of them. Now this girl, who might end up being one of his students, was having the most amazing effect on him. She was mature beyond her twenty years, but he couldn’t put a finger on exactly what it was that was causing his attraction. He knew he wanted to find out though.

Part 7

Liz looked around the room for Maria, not seeing her anywhere. Finally she went into the ladies room to look and she found her sitting on the little pink couch they had in the vanity area.

“Maria, what are you doing in here?” Liz asked as she sat down next to her.

“I’m hiding, what does it look like.” She whispered.

“Why are you hiding?” Liz asked, totally confused.

“They’re looking for the woman that bought the painting Liz, he wants it back.” Maria said sadly.

“I know. He wants it back because it’s sentimental. He doesn’t want a stranger to have it. He loves you still.” Liz said gently. “Look, I just spent the last twenty minutes talking to Max. He said they went back for us Maria.”

“What? How could they have, we waited for them for three years!” Maria whispered loudly as she looked around the nearly empty room.

“I know, he said that we were their long lost loves, and that when they came back, you were married and moved away, and I was at college. He said that no one would tell them where we were.” Liz said back, taking Maria’s hand.

So did you blow your cover or what?” Maria asked, amazed that Liz could have gotten all of this information out of Max.

“No, he still thinks I’m Hillary. The conversation just sort of rolled around to his past.” Liz looked at her friend. “You have to talk to Michael. You have to tell him you bought the painting Maria. He loves you. You can make it work with him again, even if there isn’t hope for Max and I. I would at least like to see one of us happy.” Liz said sadly.

“Liz, what about your case, what are you going to do? I have to know, I can’t go do this if I know that you’re going to turn them in” she thought for a moment. “If you are, I understand. I know it’s what you have to do.” Maria asked as tears started to spill over her eyelids.

“Maria, give me a break. You know I can’t turn them in! I’m just going to turn in normal observations and do the best I can to keep my job and keep them safe. I can’t get involved with Max though. The best I can hope for is that my cover doesn’t get blown, and I eventually can get re-assigned to my old team at the FBI.” Liz said as she stood up and fixed her dress. “Now get yourself together, because we’re going to Max and Isabel’s for an after party. You can talk to Michael there. I can’t believe he hasn’t seen you yet. How long have you been hiding in here anyway?” she asked laughing.

“Off and on, about three hours. I keep going out there, and then every time I get my nerve up, I lose it and come back in here.” Maria said blushing.

“Ok, go out the back door, and I’ll meet you in the limo. Sound ok?” Liz asked as she put fresh lipstick on.

“Yeah.” Maria said, “Sounds good.”

“Ok, see you in a few.” Liz said as she walked over to her friend and gave her a hug. “Everything is gong to be fine Maria. He loves you.” Liz said as she released her. “Now go to the car girl.” she laughed and she walked out the door.


Liz walked back over to the bar to see Max waiting for her lost in his thoughts. She couldn’t believe she was here, talking to him. Talking to Max. She wanted to just close her eyes and kiss him, and remember what it was like to be in his arms. He looked the same, he smelled the same, he even sounded the same when he talked to her with his gentle voice. How could her parents not have told her he came back and he was looking for her? She didn’t understand the feelings she was experiencing. She didn’t know if she would be able to control them if he made a move on her. It had been so long since she actually wanted a man close to her, wouldn’t it just figure that it was Max. She just hoped that he wouldn’t try anything, since there was a possibility she would be one of his students. She wondered if that was still the best course of action to take. She might be able to observe him better if she was involved in a friendship with him rather than his student. She knew that there wasn’t much she could learn about him, sitting in a lecture hall. She started to convince herself of this as she walked up to him.

“Hi there.” Liz said as she sat down on her stool.

“Hi again. Did you find your boss and ask her about the party?” Max smiled, telling himself not to confide too much in her, despite how he was feeling

“Yep.” Liz answered. “She’s up for it.”

Max smiled actually happy she was going to be coming. He wondered once again what was going on with this girl. “Great! I can give you a ride if you want?” Max offered.

“It’s ok, I have a ride.” Liz smiled at his obvious disappointment. “Thanks though. I guess I’ll see you there?”

“Yes.” Max answered, “You’ll definitely see me there. Here’s the address.” He handed her a piece of paper with the address from her files on it.

“Right” she said as she took it. “Max, thanks for the drink and for the company. I hate these parties, but this one has actually been really enjoyable.”

Max smiled at her and said, “ I’ve had a nice time too. See you later?”

“Yep, see you later.” Liz winked at him as she stood up and walked towards the front door. She could feel his eyes burning into her back and she couldn’t resist turning around to look at him one more time before leaving. When she turned around, she saw him looking at her with a strange look on his face. Then she realized the one part of her that she had forgotten to disguise. Her walk.

Liz ran to the waiting limo and jumped in. She buried her face in her hands, berating herself for her stupidity. How could she have been so dumb? Of course Max would know her walk. He used to sit and watch her work at the Crashdown, sometimes all day.

“Liz, are you okay?” Maria asked gently putting her hand on Liz’s knee.

“Yes. I’m just an idiot.” Liz said and tried to laugh.

“What happened?” Maria asked concerned for her friend.

“I forgot about my walk Maria.” Liz said disappointed in herself.

“You’re walk?” Maria asked confused

“Yes, my walk, I just left the gallery, and when I turned around, Max was looking at me like he used to look at me, Liz. Not Hillary. He recognized my walk. I’ll be lucky if my cover is still in tact by tomorrow. He has to be suspicious.” Liz said shaking her head.

“Liz, what’s the worst thing that could happen if your cover is blown?” Maria asked gently.

“Well, I could lose my job, or get demoted, at the very least.” Liz said as she shook her head at her own stupidity.

“Ok, so you would lose your job, but you would probably have Max right?” Maria asked, knowing how Liz still felt about him.

“Maria, don’t start okay? Let’s just go back to my hotel so I can check in with my superior.” Liz said looking at her. “Then we’ll head to the after party.”

“Sounds good.” Maria said nervously. “I hope Michael is okay with seeing me. I still can’t believe they came back and we were gone. They must have been heart broken.”

“They were heart broken? THEY WERE?” Liz yelled. “What about us Maria? We waited for them for three years. THREE YEARS!” she repeated. “We wait for them, put our lives on hold, cried ourselves to sleep every night while they were off doing God knows what, and you’re worried about them being heart broken?” Liz looked at Maria, anger in her eyes.

Maria lowered her voice to a whisper and said, “Liz I’m sure if they could have come back sooner they would have.”

“Whatever.” Liz said as she poured herself a drink from the bar in the limo.

“Liz, why are you so upset?” Maria asked. “A few hours ago you were completely in control, and now you’re like an emotional mess. What’s going on? What happened with Max?”

“Nothing happened with him. I just saw ten years worth of anguish and loneliness in his eyes. That’s all.” Liz said sadly, calming down, “It just wasn’t how I thought it would be Maria. I thought I could come in here, and he would be this eligible bachelor, that was dating all sorts of women, and sailing his little boat, and he isn’t like that. He’s miserable, just like I am.” Liz finished as she took a sip of her drink.

“Well, at least you’re finally admitting it. But, what are you saying, that you are thinking of pursuing something with Max?” Maria asked hopeful.

“No, that’s just it. I can’t. If I want to keep my job, then I can’t even let him know that I’m Liz. He could hate me anyway, and I don’t want to know if he does. I have to keep pretending I’m Hillary. It’s that simple.” She said as the limo pulled up to her hotel. “Wait here Maria, I’m going to go check in, and I’ll be back in a few.”

Maria nodded as Liz got out of the car. She knew that Max still loved Liz. If he didn’t he wouldn’t have told a perfect stranger that she was the love of his life. She knew Liz was in for a long uphill battle with herself. It was a double -edged sword. On one side, she would have to give up her job, but she would get to be with Max in all probability. On the other side she would have to give up Max, never telling him who she was, but she would get to keep her job, and return to her world of lonely bitterness. Either way, Liz was not going to end up being completely happy with her decision. She just hoped Liz could figure out a way to have both.

Part 8

“Yes sir. I understand sir.” Liz said as she spoke to Agent Linton. She listened to what he was telling her with her eyes wide as she slowly lowered herself on to the bed.
“Fine sir, I’ll try, but do you really think that’s fair? I mean these people have feelings.” Liz said as a tear rolled down her cheek. “ If you say so, then consider it done. Yes I understand. I’ll be sending my written report via secure server as requested. I just wanted to check in.” She listened for another moment and hung up, turning off the scrambling device on the nightstand.

Her boss wanted her to get “close” to Max Evans. Finally the truth of the assignment came out. They knew about her past with him and they wanted her to get close to him again, so she could bring him to them. They knew she was his high school girlfriend the whole time, they just didn’t let her in on what they had planned. They wanted her to give them Max Evans, and they wanted it done soon.

Liz stood up and walked into the bathroom. She had no choice now. She had to make up her mind. She either had to turn them all in, or she had to betray the government. She looked in the mirror at her tear stained cheeks, and knew that she had to tell Max who she was. She needed to tell him. She had to tell all of them that they were in danger again, and that she was responsible for it. She brushed out her wig, and splashed some cold water on her face before fixing her make-up. She grabbed her bag, and walked back out of the room with her mind made up.

Liz stepped back into the waiting Limousine and tried to put a smile on her face. Maria didn’t need to know what her boss told her. She didn’t want her to worry.

“Everything go okay?” Maria asked.

“Yep, fine, let’s head to the party. I could really use a drink.” Liz answered seriously.

“What happened?” Maria asked, reading Liz’s stress instantly. Liz started to deny any problem but Maria held her hand up and said, “Don’t try it. I know you, what’s going on?

“Fine, you want to know, then I’ll tell you. You and I are going to have to decide between our careers and Max and Michael.” Liz said, realizing the ramifications of what she was planning.

“What? What do you mean Liz?” Maria asked, obviously scared to death.

“My boss just told me that the Special Unit knows who I am. They know about Max and I, which means they know about you and Michael. They didn’t send me here to observe Max, as I was originally lead to believe. They sent me here to turn him over to them.” Liz looked at Maria waiting for her reaction.

“Liz, what….what are we going to do? What are you going to do?” Maria asked as she started to panic. She pulled out her cypress oil and started to sniff it.

“I’m telling Max who I am, and I’m telling him why I’m here. I have to put the ball in his court Maria. I have to give them the chance to run. I’ll lose my job but it’s the only way. If you want to be with Michael, you should go with them. I’ll cover for you guys as long as I can.” Liz said sadly.

“No Liz, you have to come with us. I won’t go without you. It will be bad enough giving up my singing career, right when it’s taking off, but I’m not leaving you too. Max won’t let you stay either.” Maria said as she began to cry.

“Maria. It’s the only way for all of you to be safe, for awhile anyway. I have to cover for them, so the Special Unit doesn’t know they’re gone. Hopefully by the time they find out, you guys will be too far away for them to have any idea where you’ve gone.” Liz said as she looked out the window at the passing buildings.

“Liz, you‘re going to lose your job.” Maria said, amazed at Liz’s decision.

“I know. I have to do this, Maria. I have to give them the chance to escape. I owe them that, especially after all of the years I’ve spent hating them. All the years of wasted emotions.” Liz said as she started to cry.

“Well, then I guess we’ve made our decisions.” Maria said. “I mean assuming everything goes well with Michael and I.” she tried to manage a smile.

“Everything will, I know it.” Liz said as she leaned over to give Maria a hug. “You guys will be just fine.”

“Thanks Liz, for everything. I can only imagine how hard this is for you.” Maria said as she embraced her best friend. The car stopped and the door opened. They stepped out the vehicle and Liz leaned into Maria’s ear and said, “We promised them we’d keep their secret, and I have to keep that promise. It’s as simple as that.”

Maria nodded as they started walking up the path that led to the Evan’s house. Maria lifted her hand and knocked as the door opened seemingly by itself and they stepped into the wild party.

“Wow, this place is hopping!” Maria said as she plastered a smile on her face. “Do you see Michael anywhere?”

“Nope,” Liz yelled back. “He might not be here yet. Why don’t you go get a drink, while I go look for Max?”

Maria nodded and headed off to the bar. Liz looked around, finally spotting Max over by a pool table. He had removed his blue blazer and tie, and he had his shirt unbuttoned slightly and his sleeves rolled up. Liz’s heart clenched as she saw he was playing against a beautiful blond in a very short dress. She started to walk over to the pool table, when she noticed him stop and look around. Finally his eyes landed on her and he smiled. He put the pool cue down on the table and walked towards her, much to the obvious chagrin of the blond woman.

“Hillary, I’m so glad you came. Can I get you a drink?” Max said as he lead her over to the bar.

“ Sure Max, that would be great.” Liz said, knowing she would need one.

“Wait here. Don’t move, I’ll be back in a second.” Max smiled as he walked over to the bar and poured her drink. He couldn’t believe how excited he was to see her.

He walked back over to her and handed her the drink, as he led her outside to the quieter pool area. When they got out there, Liz noticed a band setting up, and millions of twinkling gold lights.
“Wow, it’s really beautiful out here. How long have you lived here?” she asked him casually.

“Oh, a couple of years I guess. It’s ok. I really prefer the desert though to all of these palm tress.” He smiled at her searching for something in her eyes.

“Yeah, I know what you mean.” Liz said as she looked over at him.

Max raised his eyebrows at her as the band started to play their first song. It was slow, so Max leaned forward and said, “Would you like to dance?”

“I’d love to.” Liz answered as he took her hand and led her to the small wood parquet floor they had set up. He took her in his arms as she stepped into him. She could smell his cologne and started to get dizzy. She was in his arms again, even if it was just a dance. She knew the decision she had made earlier was the right one.

Max held her close to him as they swayed to the music. He wasn’t really hearing it though, since he was so caught up in this girl. She felt so right in his arms. Seeing her walk earlier and her reaction just then to his comment about living in the desert, he was more intrigued. He opened his eyes briefly and looked around the room and spotted someone by the pool. His eyes narrowed for a moment and then grew big and a smile crossed his lips.

He looked down at the beautiful creature he was dancing with and reached up to tip her face towards him. He looked into her eyes as the little gold lights flickered in them, and he looked at her lips. Lips he had seen and touched hundreds of times. He placed one hand on the small of her back as the hand resting on her chin moved up to her cheek and cupped it slightly. She moved her hands around his waist and looked up at him. He leaned his head down towards her waiting lips, anticipating the feeling he knew would overtake him. The feeling he hadn’t felt in ten years. When their lips touched it was like electric current traveling through them as one, circling over and over again through him, then through her and back around again like it would never end. Max could see her in her kisses, her pain and anguish when they didn’t come back, and she could see his as well. She saw his hurt and sadness when he found out she was gone, and she felt his pain, over all of the time he had waited for her.

His lips parted hers as he deepened the kiss and she gave herself over to him fully. She knew he knew. She didn’t have to say a word. She was with Max again, and it didn’t matter what happened with her job, it would all be worth it because of this one moment.
As he lifted his lips off of hers, she felt as if someone had just pulled the rug out from under her as she struggled to catch her breath. She looked up at him and he smiled as a tear rolled down his cheek. “Liz..God it’s been so long….” he trailed off.

When she could finally speak, she looked up at him and whispered, “Max, how did you..?”

He smiled at her again and pointed over to the edge of the pool. “Well,” he whispered back, “among other things, Maria is standing right over there. It sort of tipped me off.”

He leaned in to kiss her again as her tears started and she gave up trying to be the tough FBI agent she had learned to be. Everything had changed. She just hoped she had the strength to let him go again.

Part 9

Maria spotted Michael the second he walked in the door.

“Well” she said to herself quietly, “It’s now or never!” She walked straight over to him, but by the time she got to him he was already surrounded with people. “Damn!” she muttered. She walked over to the bar and sat down on one of the stools. She couldn’t believe that she was going to talk to Michael tonight. It seemed like a dream. She had no idea what she was going to say when he saw her. According to Liz, he knew she married Kyle. She would have to try to explain that. How?

She looked back over towards the front door and noticed Michael was no longer standing there. She looked around and couldn’t see him anywhere. She stood up and glanced outside to where Liz and Max were and she saw him making a beeline right for them. She stood up and followed him.

Michael saw Max and Hillary Cassidy as soon as he was able to escape the onslaught of people that mauled him when he walked in the front door. Since she was there, he figured her friend that bought the painting was there too. He walked over to them, waving away any people that tried to stop him along the way. When he was standing right behind Max, he noticed that he was kissing this girl. His eyes grew wide, and anger coursed through him. How could he just kiss this stranger? Had his feelings for Liz disappeared? He hadn’t kissed anyone like that in ten years. Michael and Max had both dated, some of them very attractive women, but it never went far, maybe a good night kiss or something. They knew that they couldn’t get serious about anyone. It wasn’t safe. Michael wondered what the hell he was doing.

“Excuse me you two.” Michael cleared his throat and tapped Max on the shoulder.

Max turned around to see Michael as he held on to Liz around her waist.

“Yes, something I can help you with?” Max smiled, making Michael’s mouth drop open. He hadn’t seen Max smile like that since…

“Umm….yeah, I just wanted to ask Hillary if her friend was here.” Michael stammered, still trying to get over Max and this girl.

“Actually, she is here Michael.” Liz said smiling. “But I’m not sure you’ll want to ask her for the painting back.”

“Why? I have to. I just can’t allow it to be sold to a stranger.” Michael said looking at the ground.

“Well, that’s just it. It wasn’t.” Liz said as she pointed over his shoulder.

Michael turned around and followed her finger. His eyes rested on the most beautiful sight he’d ever seen. Maria. She was standing there with tears rolling down her cheeks, shaking with the anticipation and fear of seeing him again. He noticed her blond hair was as long and beautiful as ever, and her eyes were still like truth serum for him. She walked slowly over to him and stopped right before she reached him.

“Hello Michael.” She got out before her voice failed her.

“Maria?” Is it…is it really you? How did…how did you find me?” Michael stammered.

“Well, Liz helped me.” Maria said and pointed to her best friend, who was still being held on to tightly by Max.

“Liz?” Michael said and he turned around and looked at the girl he thought was Hillary.
“Liz is that really you in there?” Michael managed a light laugh.

“Yep, it sure is” Max answered for her and kissed her on the cheek. “Well, he continued, “we’re going to leave you two alone to talk, we’ll meet up with you guys later.” Max smiled as he guided Liz towards the house. He was going to get some answers out of her, but for now he had something else on his mind.

“So, do you want to sit down.” Michael asked Maria as he led her over to some patio chairs.

“Sure.” Maria said nervously. She used to know all of Michael’s emotions, but now she couldn’t read him.

“What’s with Liz and the disguise?” Michael asked, his curiosity getting the better of him.

“I’ll let her explain that later.” Maria stopped and then said, “Come on Michael, we haven’t seen each other in ten years, I’m sure there are things you want to ask me that are more interesting than that.”

“Actually, you’re right there are.” Michael said as he sat down on a lounge chair and Maria sat on the one across from him. “Why’d you do it Maria?”

“I assume your talking about Kyle?” Maria asked, completely composed and her eyebrows raising.

“Of course I’m talking about Kyle! I mean I realize we were gone for awhile, and you got over me, but Kyle?” Michael spat out totally disgusted at the thought.

“Got over you? I never “got over” you Michael. After you left, I was miserable. Liz and I both were. We cried ourselves to sleep every night. We waited for two years before I finally married him. God if I thought you were coming back I never would have.” Maria said as tears welled up in her eyes.

“Well, we did come back, only to find that you guys were gone. No one would even tell us where you went. Your mom ripped my head off for hurting you and then told me you married Kyle.” Michael noticed the tears start to fall down her cheeks and stood up and then sat down next to her. He put his arm around her shoulders and she rested her head on his chest. She let the tears flow freely as he held her.

“Michael I’m so sorry. I never knew you came back. If I had, I would have left Kyle and come running back to Roswell.” Maria said as she buried her head in her hands and continued to cry.

“Shhh.” Michael whispered and he started to run his hand up and down her arm trying to calm her down. He couldn’t believe she was here, sitting with him in Max’s backyard in California. He had dreamed of seeing her again, but her marriage to Kyle had made that impossible, yet here she was. “Maria, where’s Kyle? Is he here too?” he said looking around the party.

Maria looked up at him and shook her head before looking back down at her lap. “We’re divorced. We divorced a couple of years ago actually.”

“Oh.” Michael said relieved “What happened?”

“He knew that I still loved you when he married me. He understood and he said he thought he could live with that. After awhile, he realized that I would never fully be his because my heart would always belong to you. He thought he deserved better than that and I agreed with him. We decided to split up as friends before we ended up hating each other.” She said quietly.

Michael reached down and tipped her head up towards him. “So”, he whispered, “Is that true? Does your heart still belong to me Maria? Because I think you know my heart still belongs to you.” He looked into her eyes. “I’m sorry it took us so long to come back. I’m so, so, sorry I hurt you.”

Maria nodded and looked into his eyes, willing him to kiss her, letting him know that he was forgiven. “ My heart will always be yours Michael.” She whispered and leaned in to his lips. He leaned forward and cupped the side of her face in his hand. Their lips met with ten years of longing and loneliness. Maria parted her lips and allowed him to deepen the kiss, hoping that it would never end. His mustache tickled her lip, something she wasn’t used to when kissing him, but she liked the sensation. This Michael was a man. Not the boy she remembered, but he caused the same reaction inside of her. She needed him and she knew that she would give up everything for him. When their lips parted, they both took a deep breath and Maria said, “ I love you Michael. Please promise you’ll never leave me again.”

Michael nodded and hugged her to him tightly. “ I promise Maria, never again.” He said as he reached up and quickly wiped the tears threatening to fall down his cheeks. “I’m so glad you have the painting I did of you, I was so worried that …” she held up her finger in front of his lips.

“Don’t say anything Michael. That painting was so beautiful. It was like my heart stopped when I saw it. You’re very talented.” She smiled. “You’re not getting it back.”

“Get it back? I don’t want it back. I painted it for you Maria.” He hesitated a moment. “I have a confession to make.” Michael started. “I heard your song on the radio the other day, and I called your record company. They told me that you lived here in LA, and I ..well I…I painted you that painting, hoping I could track you down and give it to you.” He finished.

“But you thought I was married to Kyle. You were going to track me down anyway?” Maria asked with an amazed look on her face.

“Yeah, I figured I had waited long enough. I couldn’t live without you anymore. Not without knowing if you still had feelings for me. I haven’t had a truly happy moment in ten years.” He confessed. “You make me a better person Maria. I love you. I guess I finally figured that you should have the option of seeing me. I had to know if you still had feelings for me, and if you didn’t I had to hear it from you, face to face. Finding out you were in LA was like fate. You were too close, I had to see you, even if you were married. I had to see you again.” Michael finished, tears falling on to his cheeks.

Maria looked up at him and nodded leaning in to kiss him again. “I love you too.” She placed her lips on his and they kissed silently promising to never leave each other again. When they parted Maria said, “Michael, there’s something Liz and I have to tell you, it’s really important, and it isn’t good news…”

“Don’t say anything right now, I just want to be with you for awhile before anything ruins it okay?” he leaned in closer to her again and placed his hand behind her neck, gently placing his lips on hers. All he heard of her answer was a small moan from the back of her throat.

Natures first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold
Her early leaf's a flower
But only so an hour
Then leaf subsides to leaf
So Eden sank to grief
So Dawn goes down to day
Nothing Gold can stay
-Robert Frost
posted on 31-Aug-2001 6:16:38 PM
Part 10 (R rated!!)

Max led Liz into the house by her hand, afraid that if he let it go for one second she would disappear again. He turned around to her and smiled as they walked quickly through the living room and straight to the back of the house, passing the blond in the short dress that Max had been playing pool with earlier. Liz didn’t miss the looks of shock on all of his friend’s faces as he dragged her towards the bedrooms. It was obviously something they had never seen him do.

When they got to the door of Max’s room he turned to her and said, “Liz, I know there are lots of things to be said, and a lot of questions to be answered, but please, could we just forget all of that for a few minutes, and just be with each other. I really need to just be with you, no distractions, no hesitations and no doubts. Could we do that?” Max asked as he looked into her eyes.

Liz looked at him and knew she wouldn’t be able to say no. She had no doubts. She needed to be with him just as bad, needed to feel his arms around her, to remember what it was like to truly love a man, and have a man love her. She nodded silently and he opened the door to his room and led her in. She looked around and marveled at how different his room was than the one he had when they were in high school. He had an antique looking four- poster bed and a matching bedroom set. She walked over to the bed and sat down on the edge, while he walked over to the armoire and put on some music.

Liz ran her hand over the pillow next to her as she glanced over to the nightstand. He had a silver framed picture sitting on it and she picked it up to get a closer look. It was a picture of her. One she had given him years earlier, and he still had it. It made her heart skip a few beats and a tear roll down her cheek. When she looked up Max was standing in front of her with love in his eyes. He knelt down in front of her and murmured, “God, Liz, I love you, and I missed you so much.” And he wrapped his arms around her and rested his head in her lap.

Max was amazed at how strong his feelings for her still were. It was like no time had passed between them. He’d rested his head in her lap, to overtaken with emotion to do much of anything else at that exact moment. He just wanted to lay there like that for a few seconds, drink in Liz and all that he had missed in the last ten years. She still fit up against him perfectly and he knew that she always would.

Liz looked down at him and ran her fingers through his hair. He was so beautiful. She had never seen a man as handsome as Max, and she doubted she ever would, but what made Max so much more than handsome was that he was so sensitive and emotional when it came to her. He was a beautiful person on the inside, and didn’t deserve what was coming for him. She knew she had to protect him, and she would die if she had to.

Max slipped his hands from her waist and ran them down her hips and thighs, caressing them softly as his hand slipped up the sides of her short dress. He felt where her stockings ended and met her garter and a small groan escaped his throat. In one swift motion he picked her up and she wrapped her legs around his waist and their lips met. Their kisses were strong and passionate, filled with a hunger neither of them had felt for a decade. All of the emotions they had held in their hearts poured out as their kisses grew deeper with every second.

Max’s hands held her bottom as she pressed herself closer to him. He walked over to his dresser and gently sat her down on top of it and released his grip. She unbuttoned his shirt and he shrugged his shoulders allowing it to fall to the floor. Liz inhaled sharply at the sight of his bare chest. She ran her fingers up and down it as he removed his hands from her waist and up to cup both sides of her face in his palms. He released his lips from hers, and let them trail down her neck, leaving a burning path where they touched her skin. Then he leaned into her ear and whispered, “Please Liz, let me see you.” And he leaned back and looked into her eyes.

Liz nodded, and reached up and removed the wig she was wearing, letting her shiny, chocolate brown hair tumble down past her shoulders. Max smiled, and ran his fingers through it.

“It’s the same. God, it’s exactly the same as I remember it.” Max stammered. The same as it’s been in my dreams every night since I left you.”

Liz’s eyes filled up with tears at his confession and she whispered, “You’re the same as you were in my dreams too Max.”

He crushed his lips to hers and picked her up again as she wrapped her arms around his neck and her legs around his waist. He walked her over to the bed and laid her down as he kept kissing her. She pulled away from him slightly and he leaned over her. He looked down at her with her hair spread out across the pillows and realized that she was even more beautiful than he remembered. He ran his thumb down the side of her face as she looked up at him. She reached up and quickly removed the blue contact lenses from her eyes, discarding them carelessly onto the dresser. She knew she wouldn’t need them anymore.

Max looked into her deep brown eyes and exhaled loudly. “You’re so beautiful Liz, I can’t believe your really here with me like this.” He whispered as he kissed her again. She wrapped her hands around his neck again and let her fingers trail down his neck. She pulled her lips from his and started kissing the front of his neck and his throat, making Max groan loudly as he reached around the back of her dress and slid the zipper down.

He leaned back and looked into her eyes silently asking her if it was ok and she nodded. He lowered the front of her dress and immediately felt intoxicated from her beauty. He had never seen her like this before, and she was a woman now, and a beautiful one at that. “You’re so perfect.” He said as he lowered he mouth to her breast.

She was drowning in his touches, but she could feel her conscience begin to get the best of her. She wanted Max so badly, and she needed to make love to him, but how would she tell him why she was there if she allowed this to happen? He began to slide her dress down over her body until she heard in fall to the floor and she was lying there with nothing but her black stockings, lace garter and panties on. She felt Max’s eyes on her and she looked up at him. His eyes were filled with such absolute love and adoration for her that she knew she wouldn’t be able to live with herself if she did this without telling him everything first. She could live with him being angry at her for being FBI but she couldn’t live with him thinking that she’d used him. She had to stop.

“Max stop.” Liz said breathlessly as he was kissing her stomach.

He looked up at her with hurt in his eyes. “Why, what’s wrong? Don’t you want to be with me like this Liz?” He didn’t know if he would be able to handle her answer if it was “no”.

“Of course I do. I want it more than anything, but I just can’t do it if we don’t clear the air first. I’m sorry, but there’s something I have to tell you.” Liz said as she got up and started to put her dress back on.

Max could tell that she was very serious, so he too stood up and grabbed his shirt from off of the floor. When they were both finished dressing, he turned to her and said, “Okay, what did you want to tell me Liz?”

“Max, first of all I want you to know that I’m still one hundred percent in love with you, and my life has not been the same since you left.” Max smiled and took her hand and led her over to sit on the bed.

“But, after you were gone, I turned into a different person. One I’m not very proud of.” Liz continued. “In fact, I turned into a downright bitch. I was bitter and angry, and I was like that until yesterday, when I came here.” She said sadly.

“Go on,” Max encouraged.

“I was really mad at you guys for not coming back,” Max started to say something but she said, “Please let me finish.” He nodded and she continued. “I felt used. I wanted to do something that made me feel more empowered. After I graduated college, even though I majored in molecular biology, I became a police officer in Washington D.C.” she said glancing at the look on his face. His smile was completely gone and he glared at her.

“You’re a cop?” He said as he stood up and ran his fingers through his hair.

“No, Max, I WAS a cop.” She saw his face relax but she knew there was no going back. She took a big breath. “A couple of years ago I was promoted to the FBI. I’m in the Special Unit Max.” tears rolled down her face. She knew it would be hard to tell him, but she didn’t know it would be this hard.

“ You’re what?” Max yelled as his legs gave out from under him and he collapsed onto the edge of the bed sitting next to her. “So what, are you here to arrest me? To take me back to the White Room? What Liz?” Max spat out at her, not daring to look into her eyes.

“Actually, I was just promoted to the unit a couple of days ago. My assignment was to come and observe you, Michael and Isabel. To report anything strange to my superior.” Liz said. “I was supposed to just observe you form afar. I thought I could do it, but once I saw you….” she trailed off.

“So what Liz, you thought it would be easier to get into my pants instead? Is that why you came here?” Max asked angrily. “What about Maria? Is she in on this too?”

“No.” Liz shook her head. “ I did tell Maria about my assignment, but she just wanted to see Michael. She still loves him.” She hesitated before saying, “Like I still love you.”

“You love me?” Max spat out ,”Oh really? That’s why you came here to spy on us?”

“No Max, after the gallery showing, and seeing you, I had made up my mind not to report anything suspicious, no matter what I saw. I promised you I’d never tell and I never have.” Liz said as tears continued to roll down her cheeks. “When I checked in at my hotel, after the showing, my superior told me they knew who I was, they know about our past Max, and they want me to deliver you to them. But I can’t. I love you.”

“So what are you going to do then?” Max asked, calming down a little at hearing she wasn’t going to turn them in.

“I’m doing it right now. I’m telling you their looking for you again, and you guys need to run. Take Maria with you. I’ll stay here and cover for you guys as long as I can.” Liz said as she sniffled and gained her composure.

“Liz, If they find out, you’ll lose your job.” Max said looking at her.

“Max, if they find out, it will be a whole lot worse than me losing my job.” Liz said as she stood up and walked over to the door. She turned around and looked at him. “Max, you have to leave soon. All of you, change your names, go somewhere that they can’t find you. I’ll do what I can for you guys, but I don’t know how long I can cover for you.” She walked back over to him and bent down, taking his face in her hands. “Max, I love you, always remember that. I’ve never, ever gotten over you, and seeing you, even for this short amount of time, has made anything that happens worth it for me.” She kissed him quickly and walked out of the room.

Part 11

Liz walked down the beach in Santa Monica looking at the pier in the distance, and listening to the ocean. She wondered how she got herself into this situation. Her career would be over, she wouldn’t have Max, and more than likely she would probably be killed in some “accident” the way the Special Unit was always keeping agents from opening their mouths.

She wasn’t sure of Max’s frame of mind when she left him sitting on his bed, but she knew he was mad. She couldn’t blame him. It was like she was a trusted member of his family; even after all of these years, and now she was a traitor. It was ironic that she was worried about being a traitor to her government, but now she was more concerned about being a traitor to Max.

She racked her brain trying to figure out a way that she could go with him, not that he’d asked her too. There was no way she could, she had to stay back and act like she was still observing them so the unit wouldn’t know they were gone for awhile. They wouldn’t be able to tell her where they were going, and she wouldn’t want them too, for fear they would try to get it out of her once they found out.

Liz glanced up at the pier and at all the beautiful lights as she sat down on the sand. She didn’t want to die. She knew that by doing this she was writing her own death sentence. She would do it for Max, she always knew that she would be willing to die for him, she just thought that they would have spent their lives together before it happened, or at least some of their lives. Now just when she had found him, he was going to be gone again. So she would die knowing he was safe. It was the only way she could face it. “I love you Max.” she said out loud into the night.

“I love you too.” Max said standing behind her.

Liz turned around as Max sat down next to her. He looked over at her and could tell she’d been crying. After she’d left, he sat there for a while before he went and told Isabel and Michael what was going on. They were as surprised as he was. They weren’t surprised that Liz was going to let them go. They knew how much Max and her still loved each other. Maria was planning to go with them, and they had decided to leave two days later. Isabel wanted to leave the next morning, but they all had things to straighten out before they disappeared.

“Liz, come with us.” Max said trying to make it sound more like an order than a request.

“I can’t! Don’t you understand? If I don’t stay and cover for you, they’ll know we all ran, and it wonlt be enough time for you to get far enough away.” Liz said wiping her eyes.

“I don’t care.” Max said, “We’ll survive, we always do. We’ll just get as far away as we can before they start looking.”

“Max, it won’t work. I have to check in with my superior four times a day.” Liz said sadly. “ If I don’t check in, even once, then they’ll know I’m gone, and since they know about our past, they’ll know I went with you.”

“Liz, I just can’t allow you to do this. There has to be another way.” Max said as he turned to her and took her hands in his. “Please, I can’t live without you, and I don’t; want to anymore. I want you to come with us. Please. I can’t live my life knowing that they killed you because you wouldn’t turn me over to them.” Tears started to fill his eyes.
“You know they’ll kill you don’t you?”

Liz nodded silently. “ Max, I need to do this. I need to do it for you, and I need to do it for myself. I need to know your safe, and just seeing you tonight, made it worth it.” She took a deep breath. “I spent so many years hating you for not coming back, and now that I know you did, I just feel regret for the way things happened. Ten years have gone by. Ten years of loneliness, bitterness and pain. It wasn’t even living it was just going through the motions. I don’t have a life if I don’t have you. There’s no way for me to have you, and for all of you to be safe. I need to do this. It’s the only way I can have any peace. Please.” She looked over at Max and tears
spilled over her eyes again and he pulled her closer. He hugged her tightly to him.

“I can’t let you do it. I’m sorry. I just can’t. You know I would do anything to protect you.” Max said. “I can’t just leave knowing that…you’re going to die Liz.” He rocked her back and forth, crying against her hair as she cried against his chest quietly. “Please, promise me that you’ll at least consider going with us.” She started to shake her head. “Just think about it for forty eight hours. Please.” She lifted her head and looked at him and nodded slowly as she saw the desperation and love in his eyes.

He nodded as well and started wiping her tears off of her face with his thumbs while he cupped her face with his hands. She looked up at him with huge doe eyes and he knew he had to kiss her. She tilted her head slightly so he could lean in with his and their lips met. He knew he would never forget this moment, with the waves crashing in the background and the soft carnival music coming from the pier, and he wanted to make sure she wouldn’t forget it either. He laid her down on the soft sand and continued to kiss her gently, with all of the love he had been suppressing for the last decade. He ran his fingers through her hair and placed his hand behind her neck, pulling her head gently towards him allowing him to deepen their kisses.

“Max, I..I want you to make love to me.” Liz whispered between his passionate kisses.
“But I need to think about this with a clear head, and I’m afraid I won’t be able to if you do.” She smiled, “ Plus, we don’t even have a blanket or anything.” Max stopped what he was doing and nodded silently, understanding her feelings. She should know that he would wait for her, forever if he had to.

“You’re right, I don’t want it to be like this anyway. I want it to be perfect.” Max said.

He stood up and helped her up as well, brushing the sand off of his pants and then helping her brush the sand off of her dress. She placed her hand in his and he said, “Let me walk you back to the party and I’ll give you a ride to your hotel.” He managed a small smile.

“Thanks,” she answered, “but my hotel is right there.” She pointed to a beachfront property only five hundred yards or so away.

“Well, let me walk you there then” Max smiled as they started to walk hand in hand along the beach.

When they reached her hotel he kissed her good night gently and she hugged him tight. She promised him she would think about going with them, even though she knew she wouldn’t be able to. In her heart, she wished there was a way, but in her head she knew they wouldn’t be safe if she was with them.

She walked up to her hotel room, her mind trying of another alternative, and she stuck her key in the lock. She would have to check in with the SU before bed. She walked into the room as was surprised to see that all of the lights were off. She walked over to the wall, and flipped the switch on.

“Hello Liz.” She heard a male voice say behind her. She recognized it instantly and chills went down her spine. She turned to the bed slowly and he was sitting on the edge of it.

“Agent Roberts” Liz said looking at him. “What are doing here sir?”

“Well, imagine my surprise when Agent Linton told me that you knew these suspects you were supposed to be observing.” He said sternly. “And imagine my surprise when he told me that you knew one of them very, very well.”

Liz walked over to the vanity and threw her purse down on it. “ Sir, I don’t see your point. So I knew them and I dated one of them in high school. Big deal, it won’t interfere.”

“I certainly hope not.” He said. “You know I was waiting here awhile for you so I decided to take a walk along the beach..” He trailed off.

“Sir, I was just doing my job.” Liz said defensively looking at his reflection in the mirror she was standing in front of.

“Liz, I don’t think I have to tell you what will happen to you if this case goes belly up.” Agent Roberts said as he stood up and walked up behind her.

Liz looked down at the vanity dresser and shook her head. She was sickened by the thought that he was standing behind her.

He mistook her silence for ignorance and said, “Well, in that case, I think I should tell you what’s in store for you.” He paused and she looked back up at his reflection.

“First, they WILL find your little friends. Then they’ll be sure to let them know that you died because of your failure to complete your assignment. Then they’ll experiment on them. You see Liz, they’re tired of trying of get these people. They want them and they want them now.” He looked at her and she nodded.

“Of course, they don’t have to know you’ve failed Liz, and from what I saw on the beach, you will fail.” He said as she turned around to look at him directly.

“I was just doing my job Steve, getting close to him, that’s what they told me to do.” Liz spat out at him.

“Don’t give me that shit Parker. We have a past too remember? I can tell when it’s personal with you. That was personal.” He glared at her.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Liz said as she turned to walk towards the door.

He grabbed her elbow and turned her around to face him. “Oh don’t you?” he said, “Let me tell you something Liz, I’m not a fool, so don’t treat me like one. At this point I’m your only hope for life. If you agree to my plan that is…” he said smiling.

“What plan would that be Steve?” Liz said staring at his eyes.

“Let me put it this way. I know you Liz, and I know you’re a good agent too. I also know that I’ve never seen you the way I saw you down on the beach with that guy. He means something to you, and I know you’re not about to turn him in. My guess? You told him why you’re here, and they’re going to run.” He finished looking at Liz. He saw her eyes cast down towards the floor and he continued. “We can help each other Liz. I can help you protect them from the SU, and you can help me too.” He finished waiting for her response.

“Oh, and how would I help you Steve?” Liz said disgusted by the unfolding events.

“Well, like I told you back in Washington, I still love you. My divorce was final this morning. I want you to marry me Liz.” He pulled her towards him and crushed his lips down on hers. She pushed him away just as quickly.

“What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” Liz yelled as she wiped her mouth.

“I know, you love this Max guy, and I can live with that, but I’m in love with you, and I want you to be my wife. I’ll let you help them Liz and I can help you too. The Special Unit will kill you if they find out that you betrayed them, I can make sure that they never find out. I’m your only hope. You can’t do it without me, so you need to decide.” He paused. “Either marry me, help them escape, and save your own life, or don’t marry me, and die. The choice is yours Liz.” He smiled evilly. “I can tell you this though, if you don’t marry me, not only will you be killed by the SU, they will be found and killed too. After of course the SU gets what they need from them.” Steve finished and he walked over to the door. “ I’ll be in touch. Let me know Parker. The ball’s in your court now.” He blew her a kiss and walked out the door.

Liz collapsed on to the bed and burst into tears. What the hell was she going to do now? She went into her closet and changed into jeans and a tank top, grabbed her messenger bag and ran out the door.

Part 12 (NC 17)

Max walked back to his house thinking about the choice Liz had made. He knew that even though he asked her to think about it, that she wouldn’t. He still knew her well enough to know how stubborn she was. He honestly didn’t know if he could live his life without her. He would do anything to protect her, and now she was willing to die for him.

He knew he had to explain to her why they were gone when they left ten years prior. He knew she must have been wondering what happened to his son. He wanted to tell her, to clear the air, before they went their separate ways. Just thinking about leaving her again was like torture.

At least he knew Michael and Maria would be together. It seemed like all of his life he had been making sacrifices for those around him, never able to have what he wanted or needed. For a long time, none of them had what they wanted. None of them had love. Now he had Liz back after all these years, and she was going to leave again. The difference this time was that he knew there would be no hope of ever seeing her again. She would be dead. He knew the Special Unit would kill her like had had Topolsky. Having that hope was what had kept him alive for the ten years he was without her.

His eyes filled up with tears for the hundredth time that night as he walked back into his house. The party had cleared out considerably and there were only a few people hanging around. He walked into the back of his house and towards the room they kept there for Michael to stay in when he chose to. He knocked on the door twice and walked in, surprised to see Maria in Michael’s bed asleep with the sheet covering, what he assumed was, her naked body. He looked around the room not seeing Michael anywhere.

“Hey Maxwell what’s up?” Michael asked as he came out of the bathroom with a towel wrapped around his waist.

“Hey. I need to talk to you.” Max said sadly.

“Sure, just let me throw some pants on, and I’ll meet you in your room okay?’ Michael asked.

Max nodded and headed out towards his room. He walked in and sat down on his bed, picking up the picture of Liz. He ran his finger down the glass covering the photo, noticing that she looked the same as she had in high school. He set the picture down on the nightstand and walked over to his dresser, remembering how he had Liz sitting there hours before.

He heard his door open suddenly and he turned around expecting to see Michael standing there. It was Liz. She was out of breath and crying. He started to walk towards her and she ran and jumped into his arms wrapping her arms around his neck.

“Liz,” Max began “What’s wrong?” but Liz cut him off with her lips on his, needing and passionate. She wrapped her legs around his waist and he held her bottom as he carried her over to the bed quickly and sat down with her on his lap. When she released his lips, she said only, “Max, make love to right now. I…I need you.” And he groaned at her request. She kissed him again and explored his mouth with her tongue desperately trying to get as close to him as she could.

He released himself from her lips and looked into her eyes. “Liz, are you sure? Is this really what you want?”

“Yes, she nodded, “I need to be with you just once before.., please Max, please.” She said desprately, still out of breath from running to his house.

“Ok, shh. It’s ok.” He said as he ran his fingers through her hair and brought his lips back onto hers. He pushed his tongue into her mouth and she teased him with hers. Her hands immediately went to his shirt and ripped it open, carelessly ripping all of the buttons off.

Max brought his hands around to the back of her neck and continued to explore her mouth with his as she ran her hands up and down his bare back, clawing with raw passion and need. She pulled away from him and in one motion stripped off her tank top, leaving only a lacy black bra revealed.

Max kissed her neck and a small moan escaped her throat. He continued kissing her down the side of her neck until he reached her shoulder and a small thin bra strap. She tipped her head back and said, “Oh.. Max..” as he pulled the strap down off of her shoulder and he kissed her there. She looked at him and reached around and undid the clasp and he pulled her bra off and tossed it to the ground. He marveled at her beauty and placed his mouth over one of her breasts and teased it with his tongue.

His hot breath on her sensitive skin was enough to send Liz into overdrive, and she pushed him down onto the bed so she was straddling him and he was flat on his back. He continued to tease her, as he planted hot kisses on her perfect breasts and in her cleavage. “Oh God.” She whispered as she reached down in between them and unbuttoned his pants. She slid the zipper down swiftly and he lifted his bottom up so she could push them down his legs. He released his hands from her to get them the rest of the way down and threw then on the floor, leaving him in his black boxer briefs.

She rolled off of him and stood next to the bed and unbuttoned her jeans and pushed them down over her hips until they too fell to the floor. She stood there in nothing but her black lace panties and Max sat back up and crawled over to the edge of the bed. He looked at her from head to toe and said, “You’re even more beautiful that I imagined all these years.” And he pulled her back over to him and wrapped his arms around her waist.

Her legs grew weak as he planted hot, wet kisses on her stomach and soon he pulled her down on to the bed resuming their position of her straddling him. She rubbed against him as he kissed her, feeling his arousal on her most intimate of spots. She moaned quietly as he cupped her breast with one of his hand, as the other one pushed her bottom down, forcing the friction between them to grow more heated. “mmmmm. Max...” She said as she started a rhythm with him between the last pieces of clothing they were still wearing.

“Liz, I have to…I have to…” he trailed off as he rolled her over so he was on top of her. She reached her hand down and slid it into his boxers and grasped his arousal and he moaned. He had dreamed of her touching him like this for so long, he could hardly believe he was there with her. He pulled away form her kisses and looked down at her “I love you.” He said and he buried his face in her neck, continuing to kiss her on every square inch he could find.

Liz smiled and whispered, “I will always love you Max, only you.” as a tear slipped out of her eye. She removed her hand from his boxers, and ran her hands up and down his back a few times before tugging at them to try to get them off of him.

He felt her need for him, and reached down and wiggled out of his boxer briefs, and looked down at her. She was like an angel. She smiled and looked back up at him, begging him with her eyes to hurry. He reached down and slowly slid her black lace panties off of her and then looked at her again. A low growl escaped his throat as he resumed his position on top of her.

She spread her legs, allowing him to settle in between them as he kissed her again. Their tongues teasing each other, and increasing the passion they felt. Liz couldn’t take it anymore, she had to have him inside her, and Max was growing just as desperate. “Max, she whispered, “Please…please.” He nodded silently and entered her quickly. Liz moaned loudly as he exhaled and their rhythm picked up.

Max had never known anything so beautiful as this moment with Liz. He had dreamed of this so many times, but it didn’t prepare him for what it would actually be like to be joined with her as one. His heart swelled, as he picked up their rhythm and drove into her gently at first, picking up speed as the intensity grew.

Liz could hardly stand it anymore. Max was so gentle and loving, yet so passionate and raw. She held on to him tight and etched this memory into her mind. She never wanted to forget this, not one single second of it. She wrapped her legs around his back and he moaned as he grabbed her bottom with one hand and lifted her up slightly to meet him, while he braced his weight with his other hand. She raised her hips and met him thrust for thrust until finally she could feel the wave approaching and knew she couldn’t hold back.

Max was waiting for her, he wanted it to be perfect, and he wanted them to finish together. He didn’t think he would last any longer when she said, “ Max, I’m gonna..” and she started to ride the explosion and her body began to shudder. It was all Max needed to push him over the edge and he too began to ride the waves of their climaxes.

They lay there out of breath for a while, neither one of them saying anything. After a few minutes Max rolled off of her and pulled her over to his chest. She rested her heads there and listed to his heartbeat.
“So would you like to tell me what brought that on?” Max smiled as he ran his fingers through her hair.

She shook her head. “No,” she began, “I don’t want to tell you but I will.” She took a deep breath. “The good news is I’m not going to be killed for helping you.” She paused. “The bad news is, I’m getting married.”

Part 13

Maria rolled over and looked at the clock. It was seven a.m. She looked around the room and noticed Michael wasn’t in bed next to her. She got up and wrapped the sheet around her naked body and slowly crept into the bathroom. He wasn’t in there either, so she decided to get dressed and head out to the kitchen to see if her was in there.

Michael was setting the table for breakfast when he heard her come in.

“Hi you.” Maria said as she walked up behind him and let her arms creep around his waist.

“Hi yourself.” Michael said as he leaned his head back and enjoyed her kissing his back.
“I wanted to surprise you with breakfast, but I guess that’s not gonna happen huh?”

“Sorry.” Maria apologized and released her arms. “What are you doing up so early anyway?”

“Actually”, Michael said, “I’m not up early, I was never asleep. Max came in a few hours before daylight and said he needed to talk, but when I went to his room, he was most definitely busy.”

“With Liz?” Maria squealed.

“Yeah, I’m pretty sure, I can’t imagine who else he would’ve been with, he’s been waiting for Liz for ten years if you know what I mean.” Michael smiled.

“And what about you Mr. Guerin?” Maria asked sitting down on the chair, “Have you been waiting for someone?”

“I think you know the answer to that one.” Michael walked over and kissed her on the nose. “Help yourself to whatever you want.” He said pointing at the food.

“Oh, I think you know what I want.” Maria said seductively.
“Well, then, let’s go!” Michael said as he picked her up and threw her over his shoulder and headed for the bedroom. Maria was laughing the whole way.


“You’re WHAT?” Max asked completely caught off guard by Liz’s statement. “What the hell do you mean your getting married?”

“Max”, Liz said, “An agent that I used to date saw us on the beach last night, he threatened to turn me in to the SU if I don’t. We dated casually a while back. He obviously has stronger feelings for me than I do for him.”

“Well,” Max began, “exactly what kind of feeling do you have for him?”

“I think he’s a disgusting pig.” Liz answered and looked up at him again. “He said that if I married him, then he would let me help you to escape, and he would make sure the SU didn’t hurt me. If I don’t, then we’re all dead.”

“Liz, I won’t let you marry this guy, and subject yourself to him for the rest of your life. I just won’t. I want you to marry me Liz.” Max said quietly.

“Oh Max” Liz said as tears filled up her eyes. “I’ve been waiting my whole life to hear you say that, you have no idea how it makes me feel.”

“Yes I do, because I’ve waited my whole life to say it to you.” Max said, getting out of bed and walking over to the dresser. He pulled out a small box and walked over to wear she was lying. He looked own at her and smiled.

“Liz, I bought this before I went back to Roswell. I brought it from home for you. I was going to ask you when we came back.” Max said as he opened the box, revealing a beautiful ring made of a purplish metal Liz had never seen before.

“Home?” Liz said as she pointed up towards the sky, amazed.

“Yes, that’s where we were all that time. We went back to our planet, they sent someone for us. Unfortunately, when we got there, we learned that Tess and the baby died on their way back. The granolith didn’t make it. It exploded when it hit our planet’s atmosphere.”

“I’m sorry.” Liz said looking at his sad expression.

Max nodded at her apology. “It took a long time to get to our planet, and by the time we got there, made sure Kivar was dethroned, and came back, almost three years on earth had passed. I’m sorry it took so long Liz.” Max said as he held her hands.

“I’m sorry I didn’t wait for you.” Liz said as tears threatened to spill out of her eyes.

“So” Max said, “I’ve been saving this ring for you ever since and I want us to start our lives together, to have children. I can’t lose you again.”

“But Max,” Liz said, “We won’t have a life. Agent Roberts is extremely jealous, he knows I love you. He wants me to be his wife even though he knows my feelings for you. He won’t give up. He’ll turn me over to the SU and they’ll kill me, and they’ll find you and experiment on you. And then kill you.”

“Liz please.” Max begged. “There has to be a way.”

“There is no other way. This is the only way to keep us all alive and safe. You’ll at least know I’m alive Max, it’s more than we could say last night.” Liz said as she took the ring out of the box. “Will you put it on my finger?”

Max nodded and pulled the ring out of the box and slid it on to her right hand. “Someday, I’m going to put this on your other hand Liz Parker. I promise you.” Max said as he hugged her to him as her tears finally fell.

“I’ll always be your wife in my heart Max. When I’m with him, I’ll always be thinking of you.” Liz said crying. “Remember that.”

Max nodded and said, “If he ever hurts you Liz I swear I’ll kill him.”

“If her ever hurts me, or you, I’ll kill him myself.” Liz said remembering the disgusting kiss Agent Roberts gave her the night before.

Max pulled back and looked at her face, wiping a stray hair out of her eyes. “Ok Liz, if you think this is for the best, and your positive it’s the only way I can make sure they don’t kill you then ok. I just want you to be safe.” He said as he kissed her forehead.

“I’m sure. It’s the only way.” Liz answered “Max, promise me you’ll try to let me know where you are somehow, so if I can ever get out of this, I can find you.”

“Ok. Somehow I’ll figure out a way. It might not be for awhile though, until we’re sure we’re safe, but I promise you, I will be with you again.” Max said.

“I’ll wait, forever if I have to. I’ll wait for you, and when you tell me where you are, I’ll be there as soon as I can.” Liz looked into his eyes. “Wait for me, the way I never waited for you Max. Please.”

“I will. I’ll wait.” Max said as he crushed his lips to hers and they shared a final kiss.

When they parted Liz said, “I have to go and talk to Maria and say goodbye, and then I have to go find Agent Roberts and tell him my decision.” Liz said as she stood up. “You guys have to be out of her by tonight. I know you wanted to wait until tomorrow, but you should go as soon as you can. Tonight at the latest. I’ll be able to keep Agent Roberts busy while you guys are leaving.

“Liz I..” Max began but Liz covered his lips with her finger.

“Max, Don’t say anything. Just go. The more you say, the harder it will be for both of us. Just know that I’ll keep the memory of last night in my heart for the rest of my life, no matter how long it may be.”

“I love you.” Max said as he let go of her hand and she started to walk towards the door.

“I love you too.” Liz said as she winked at him and blew him a kiss. She walked out the door and shut it behind her and burst into tears.

Part 14

“I Liz Parker, take Steven Roberts to be my lawful husband….” Liz repeated the words numbly, with no emotion. She looked at the man she was marrying through narrowed eyes. She was amazed that he didn’t care that she hated him, he wanted to be married to her anyway.

Their flight to Las Vegas had gone with no more than three words spoken between them. She couldn’t believe that just that morning she was making love to Max, and there she was, on her way to marry the most repulsive man she had ever encountered.

Steve told her that he would keep up his end of the bargain and allow her to let her friends to escape. Then he said he’d cover for her and tell the SU that he pulled her off observation duty for the evening for another case he was working on. That way when they escaped it wouldn’t be her fault. The fact that she was going to be married to him made it even easier since he was good friends with Agent Linton, the head of the SU. If all went as planned the others were leaving Los Angeles at this very moment.

Maria had cried when Liz told her what she was going to do, also begging her to go with them. She knew that what Liz was doing was the only way to keep them all alive and Liz told her that she would find a way out of it and they would all be together again. Maria just nodded and hugged her goodbye. Liz had left before seeing Michael and Isabel. She didn’t think she could handle any more goodbyes.

Now here she was marrying Steve Roberts. She had always thought her last name would be Evans, not Roberts. It didn’t matter, in her heart she would always be Mrs. Max Evans. Someday it would be true for real. Steve slid the wedding band on to her left hand, as she fingered the ring on her right hand with her thumb. He leaned in and gave her a quick kiss and it was done, she had married him.

“C’mon” he said, “Let’s start the honeymoon!’ and he grabbed her hand and led her out of the “Little White Chapel”. The only thing she could console herself with was that it wasn’t the “Elvis Chapel.” That was the place she and Max supposedly got married.

He took her back to the MGM grand and led her to the honeymoon suite. When she walked in and looked at the giant round bed she nearly gagged. She turned around to Steve and looked him right in the eye. “You might have black mailed me into marrying you, but there’s no way in hell I’m consummating this sham.”

“Really?” Steve asked. “Because I’m sure your little friends are trying to leave right now, and with one phone call I can prevent that from happening.”

Liz glared at him. “Why would you even want to sleep with me? I hate you. I will hate every second of being with you, and I will be imagining Max.”

Steve shook his head and them smiled. “I can live with that. Now get undressed.” He commanded as he took off his pants.

Liz told herself she was doing it to keep Max safe, and she swallowed and took her clothes off. She got in bed next to him and completely blocked everything from her mind except Max’s face. His loving eyes, his gentle touch. Steve was rough, not at all like Max, so her imagination really had to work over time. The fact that he at least wore a condom was her only consolation.

Liz had been married for a month. She hadn’t heard anything from Max, and she didn’t expect to for a while. She looked around her apartment for the last time, as she picked up her remaining belongings and walked out the door. She knew she would have to move in with Steve eventually, but she had put it off as long as possible. They returned to Washington the day after they got married and resumed their jobs at the FBI.

Steve had covered for her as planned, and the SU released her back to her old team. She was working under Steve during the day and she had the displeasure of lying under him every night after work at his insistence. Tonight she was going to tell him that she would not sleep with him anymore. She figured Max and the others would be far enough away by then. In the past she had gone back to her apartment every night after being with him and had cried herself to sleep because she felt like she was cheating on Max. Her hatred for Steve grew every single second.

She walked down the stairs of the building when she suddenly felt dizzy. She sat down on the step and caught her breath. A vision of Max swept through her mind suddenly and she smiled. She stood up and continued to walk down the stairs. She hailed a taxi and headed to Steve’s where she was planning on telling him to go fuck himself, because she wasn’t going to allow him to do it to her anymore.

She got out of the taxi as it pulled up to his apartment building. She slowly walked through the door, nodding at the doorman as she passed and headed for the elevator. When she got to the fourteenth floor, she stepped out and walked to Steve’s apartment, a smile hiding behind her brave façade.

She stuck her key in the lock and walked in, surprised to see that Steve didn’t seem to be home. She walked down the hallway and heard the sounds coming from the bedroom. She opened the door quickly. There he was, in bed, with his ex wife Melanie.

“Well, well, well.” Liz said. “Isn’t this interesting?”

Steve scrambled around on the bed and finally jumped up and quickly pulled his pants on. “Liz, oh my God, what are you doing here?”

“Well,” Liz smiled, “I guess I’m finding grounds for divorce aren’t I?” Liz turned towards Melanie “Hey Mel” she nodded. She had always liked Steve’s wife, it was one of the reasons she had stopped dating him years before.

“Umm hi Liz. Sorry.” Melanie whispered.

“No, don’t be sorry.” Liz smiled at her. “It’s perfectly fine. Did Steve tell you that he blackmailed me into marrying him?” Melanie shook her head. “No? Well he did, and this is the only excuse I need to get my divorce.”

“Liz, I .” Steve said grasping for the words.

Liz held her hand up. “Save it jerk off, it’s over. Oh and by the way, I quit too.” Liz said as she turned to walk out of the bedroom. She turned around to face him once more before leaving. “You better not say anything to the SU Steve, I held up my end of the bargain, it’s not my fault you couldn’t keep it in your pants.” Liz thought for a moment and continued, “Besides, I think it would look a little suspicious if your wife turned up dead right when she filed for divorce don’t you?”

Steve nodded and waved her out the door.

“Bye now. See ya Mel.” Liz said smiling as she walked out of the bedroom, picked up the box of her belongings and headed back out of the apartment. She was finally free!

She took a taxi back to her apartment, walked in and put the box down. She walked over to the phone and called her landlord. He told her he had not rented out her place yet so she could stay with no problem. She smiled and headed over to her little refrigerator opening it with a flourish. It was empty. She picked up her purse and rifled through it, getting whatever money she had in her wallet, and stuffed it in her pocket. She threw a jacket on and walked out of her apartment to go to the store. There was something else she needed to get there as well, and she was almost as excited about that as she was about being free of Steve. She just hoped it would deliver the news she was hoping for.

Liz looked at the little white stick sitting on the bathroom counter. She closed her eyes and squeezed them shut, trying to will the tip of the stick to change colors. She heard the bell on her timer go off and she picked up the stick and stared at it. It was blue. She grabbed the box and looked at the directions again and then at the stick again. She put it back on the counter and slowly walked into the living room. She looked around at her empty place and smiled. She suddenly started jumping up and down and dancing around the room as tears streamed down her face.

Finally she tired out and looked at the phone. There was no one to call. No one to tell. She was going to have Max’s child and there wasn’t a sole to share it with. She hoped she would hear from Max soon, she couldn’t wait to tell him. She knew he’d be as happy as she was.

She sat down on the one piece of furniture she still had, a small stool and stared at the ground. She had no husband, no job, and a baby coming in thirty- five weeks and she had no idea what to do. She had some money saved, so the job thing wouldn’t be a major deal for a while, but she knew she would have to find one eventually. She thought about the kind of job she’d like to have and her mind kept going back to something in the science field. It had always been her passion and this was the perfect opportunity to explore it.
She made up her mind to go to the local college the next day, and see if they had any openings in their research department.

She would also need to see a doctor soon, so she decided to call and make that appointment too. She really needed to talk to Max, to find out if it was even safe for her to see one. She figured it would be ok since she knew from friends that all they really did at the first appointment was weigh you, take your blood pressure, and confirm your pregnancy. She would have to decide later if she should continue seeing the doctor. She hoped she would be with Max by then.

Liz smiled as she walked into the bedroom. She had gotten rid of her bed, but she still had a sleeping bag, so she rolled it out and laid down on it, falling asleep quickly and for once in a long while, with only happy tears rolling down her cheeks.

Natures first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold
Her early leaf's a flower
But only so an hour
Then leaf subsides to leaf
So Eden sank to grief
So Dawn goes down to day
Nothing Gold can stay
-Robert Frost
posted on 31-Aug-2001 6:22:12 PM
Part 15

Liz rolled over and looked at the clock. Three-thirty a.m. She rested her hand on her stomach and smiled. Her doctor’s appointment had gone well and he had confirmed that she was about five weeks pregnant. Everything seemed to be fine so far, and she couldn’t wait to tell Max. She hoped he would get in touch soon.

Her visit to the college hadn’t gone as well as she’d hoped, and they had no opening for a research assistant. She lay there thinking about another line of work before a feeling of peace washed over her and she knew what she needed to do. It was almost like something inside of her was telling her to do it. She smiled again and rolled back over and fell back asleep.

She awoke at nine am to the phone ringing.

“Hello.” Liz said sleepily as she answered.

“Collect call for a Miss Shirley Temple from a Miss Margarita Salt. Would you like to accept the charges?” The operator squeaked out.

“Oh my God of course!” Liz said quickly remembering their old fake I.D. names from their trip to Vegas.

The static on the line was cleared and instantly she heard Maria.

“Shirley is that you?” Maria asked, obviously wanting to keep up the fake name bit.

“Yep, I’m here Marg!” Liz said excitedly. “Where are you guys? Are you safe?”

“Yeah, we haven’t really settled down yet, we’re still on the move. We’ll be to our destination soon though.” Maria said “How are you doing? I mean how’s the marriage?”

“It’s over!” Liz said happily.

“Really?” Maria asked surprised. “What the hell happened?”

“Well, along with my seething hatred for the bastard, I caught him in bed with his ex. It was all I needed to get out of it.” Liz said remembering the scene.

“Right on!” Maria said happily.

“And I have to tell you something but you have to promise not to tell you know who.” Liz asked

“What? I promise!” Maria said excited to hear Liz’s secret.

“I’m pregnant and it’s his!” Liz said happily.

“You mean “his” as in the “his” that’s here with me?” Maria asked quietly looking across the room at Max.

“Yep!” Liz said. “But I want to tell him so no blabbering! I mean it Margarita!”

“No prob, my lips are sealed!” Maria said happily.

“How’s everything with you and Dr. Love?” Liz asked using Michael’s old alias.

“Great, they don’t call him that for nothing!” Maria laughed. “I’m just really happy to be with him you know?”

“ I know.” Liz said a little sadly.

“Ok, hold on because Rob Roy wants to chat.” Maria said giggling. “He is miserable without you Shirl.” She said quietly.

“I am too, I really need to talk to him.” Liz said as tears rolled down her cheeks.

“Ok, I’ll put him on. Love ya sweetie!” Maria said before she handed the phone over to Max.

“Hello?” Max said as he got on the line. Liz heard his voice and immediately couldn’t stop the tears from flowing freely.

“It’s so good to hear your voice”. Liz cried and she heard Max exhale loudly.

“Yours too baby. How are you? I miss you so much, you have no idea.” Max said.

“I miss you. When will we be together?” Liz asked hopefully.

“What’s going on with the blackmailing jerk?” Max asked quietly. “It kills me to even think about it you know.”

“It’s over. Margarita can fill you in. I quit my job too. I’m all yours now. When can I be with you?” Liz asked. “I have something important to tell you, but I don’t want to do it over the phone, I want to see your face.” Liz explained.

“Soon sweetie real soon.” Max answered. “We’re not settled yet, but when we are I’ll send for you, I promise.”

“Ok. By the way, I’m moving to California. I need to be there. It reminds me of you, and I really need that right now.” Liz said quietly. “I’ll make sure my phone number’s listed so you guys can find me when you’re ready okay?”

“Ok. Soon I promise. I love you.” Max said quietly.

“I love you too.” Liz said crying.

The line was dead. She should have told him about the baby, but she wanted to see his face when he found out. She wondered where they were, it sounded far away. She had decided last night to go to California, her little way of being closer to Max. She wondered where she would live, and her mind immediately focused in on Santa Monica. Right by where Max had lived.

She was pretty sure she could get a job at one of the Universities, there were a few different one’s. She would go as soon as she could unload the apartment and since she hadn’t really unpacked any of her stuff form the first move out, it would be fairly easy to do everything without over exerting herself.

She walked downstairs to her landlord’s apartment and knocked on the door.

“Ahh. Mrs. Roberts. What can I do for you today?” the small Italian man asked when he opened the door.

“Hi Mr. Gillespie. I need to talk to you about something, and it’s MISS Parker again.” Liz answered.

“Oh ok then Miss Parker. What can I do for you?” he smiled. He hated that husband of hers and he was glad she was rid of him.

“Well, I was offered a job in California, and the money is too good to turn down.” She lied, “So I’m going to be moving out there as soon as I can. I’ll stay until you rent my place, but then I’m leaving. I hope it doesn’t cause too many problems.”

“No problem at all.” He said. “My nephew just got married, and him and his new bride are looking for a place, I could rent yours to them. When did you want to move out?” he asked.

“Well, how about this weekend?” Liz smiled, relived to be getting on her with her move quickly.

“Sounds fine Miss Parker.” He said. “You have been a wonderful tenant, and I have liked having you in the building.”

“Thanks.” Liz smiled shyly. “I’ll send you my new address when I get out there, you know, for my security deposit.”

“No need, I have it in your file, let me go get it. I know your place will be fine, and your rent is paid through the end of the month. Be right back.” He smiled and walked into his apartment returning a moment later with the money order for four hundred dollars she had given him ten moths prior when she moved in.

“ Thanks Mr. Gillespie. The extra money will help.” Liz said as she shook his hand.

“ Take care now.” He smiled as he started to close the door.

“You too!” Liz said walking off happily towards he place to get the rest of her stuff packed.

It was already Wednesday and she would be leaving on Saturday. She had to start making phone calls so she would have some places to stay along her route to California. She figured she could drive about three hundred miles a day before getting to tired. That was one of the things she wasn’t used to yet. Being so tired. It seemed like she needed a lot more sleep since she found out she was pregnant. She thought a nap sounded really good.

Liz walked into her apartment and over at her mattress that seemed to be calling to her. She decided to lie down just for a minute and rest, but ended up falling asleep.

******** She was walking along the beach wearing a long, sleeveless, white cotton dress, and listening to the ocean’s waves crashing along the shore. She heard a light laugh coming from behind her and she turned around to see Max and a beautiful little girl playing in the water. Max looked so handsome in rolled up khaki’s and a white shirt, and the little girl looked just like her with long chocolate hair and big brown eyes. The little girl had on a white cotton dress similar to hers and she was running down to the water where Max was and then she squealed as the water came up and touched her toes. She ran up to the sandy part of the beach until the water had receded and then back down to Max. He picked her up and twirled her around as she laughed. It was the most beautiful laugh she’d ever heard. She walked over to them and waited on the sand where they were playing. The little girl ran up to her calling out “Mommy! Mommy!”*************

Liz sat up with a start. She had never had such a vivid dream before. She thought back to it and remembered the little girl and Max. They seemed so happy. She rested her hand on her belly and smiled at the thought of the little girl in her dream. She wondered if she was going to have a girl, and if some way she was seeing their future. She hoped so. If she would someday feel the love and peace in her heart that she’d felt in her dream, then everything would be worth it.

Part 16

Max sat up suddenly looking around the room trying to remember where he was. It was dark. He walked over to the window and looked outside. He could barely see the sunrise coming over the horizon. He had the most wonderful dream; it had disoriented him to be back here, in this dreary motel room.

He had seen Liz, in a beautiful white dress, and a little girl that looked just like her, also in a white dress, and he had been playing on the beach with her.

He dreamed about Liz all of the time, but none of the dreams were like that one. He smiled as he looked out the window, thinking back on the little girl from the dream. She was beautiful, just like her mother. He thought of Liz and how much he missed her. It was getting harder every day.
At first, Maria Michael and Isabel assured him it would get easier, since he had already gone so long without her. They said that him just knowing he would be with her again soon would make it seem more bearable than his life before. Something in the pit of his stomach disagreed with them though, and lately he felt like he needed him with her even more. He couldn’t quite put his finger on what made him feel that way though. Talking to her on the phone a few hours before had made him feel slightly better, and knowing that she was away from that bastard made his heart leap. He couldn’t stand the thought of her being with him, and he knew she hated every second of it.

He glanced back over to the bed, and knew he should get some more sleep. They had stayed up until one that morning so they could call Liz at nine a.m. her time. It was worth it. Just hearing her voice completed a void he had felt since the day he left her. He looked out once more at the awakening city and closed his eyes. He hoped they would have that peaceful beach scene sometime in their future.

Max opened his eyes a moment later and returned to his lonely bed. He thought back to the night that him and Liz made love, and a smile crossed his lips as he fell back asleep.

“Wake up Max, it’s time to go!” Isabel said as she shook him.

“What time is it?” Max asked through hooded eyes.

“It’s seven a.m. and we have to get out of here if we want to get there before sundown.” Isabel said as she grabbed his clothes from his duffle bag and threw them at him.

“Thanks Mom.” Max said sarcastically.

“Shut up and get in the shower, and if possible do we think we could manage a smile today? You’re getting awfully hard to travel with.” Isabel said as she walked out of the room.

“Yeah, and you’re a pure delight.” Max said to the door as she closed it behind her.

Max got up and walked through the living room and out the front door. He walked down the hall to the bathroom, that they shared with the rest of their floor and hopped in the shower. He turned on the faucet and realized that the water was already cold. He should have known it would be if Isabel and probably Maria had already taken theirs.

After his shower he dressed in the small area next to the tub, and then headed back to their room. When he got there, everyone was already waiting for him so they could leave.

“Ok, let’s go.” Max said as he picked up his backpack and swung it over his shoulder.

“Where are we going first?” Michael asked as he followed Max out of the room.
Max turned around and looked at him. “First we go get rail passes, then we’re off across the border.”

“Max, can we please see it before we leave? I promise, I won’t ask to stop and see anything else, I just want to see this one thing, is that to much to ask?” Maria begged as she looked at Max.

Max hesitated and looked at her. “All right Maria.” He said reluctantly. It was hard enough being in this city without Liz, but this was just going to suck.

“I kind of want to see it too.” Isabel said as Max’s eyes widened.

“ You do Iz? Really?” Max asked surprised.

“Yeah, I mean, I’ve always wanted to sort of.” Isabel stammered as she looked across the street. “Let’s get some coffee and head over there.”

“Okay.” Max said as he followed her across the street with Michael and Maria following him.

After their coffee they boarded the red line and headed to their destination. As they walked through the station Max felt a warm feeling go all through his body and he smiled. That had been happening to him every so often for the last few weeks. He had no idea what it was, but it always made him stop to catch his breath. This certain feeling always put a smile on his face as well. He had a hunch that it had something to do with Liz, but he didn’t know why.

“Look! There it is!” Maria squealed as she ran across the marble ground with Michael desperately trying to hold on to her hand. Isabel picked up speed also, and ran after her leaving Max all alone staring with his mouth open. He couldn’t help but mutter under his breath, “Oh god Liz, I wish you were here to see this with me.”

He looked up at the famous tower and he heard Maria yell, “Come on Max, let’s go all the way to the top!” He smiled and ran to catch up to them.

“Welcome to the Eiffel Tower!” a small French man said as they walked up to the ticket window.

“Thanks, four adults please, all the way to the top!” Maria said smiling as she handed over her francs. He handed her the elevator tickets and she said, “Merci!”

They walked over to the large crowd of people and waited to board the elevator that would take them up one of the legs of the tower, and up to the top, where they would be able to go outside and see all of Paris.

Once they boarded, the ride only took a couple of minutes, and they disembarked. Max walked over to the little gift shop and looked around, while Maria, Michael and Isabel, fed money into the giant binocular machines to see the view. Eventually Max made a couple of small purchases and wandered out onto the scenic deck and took in the beautiful views with the rest of his friends.

Liz looked at her reflection and smiled. She was eight weeks pregnant, and even though her stomach was showing no signs of her and Max’s baby being inside of her, her face told everything. She positively glowed. She brushed on a little eye shadow and headed out into the kitchen smiling.

She made herself a piece of toast with peanut butter on it, and she sprinkled a sugar packet over the top. She walked over to the pantry and took out the bottle of Tabasco and generously shook some of it on to complete her daily breakfast ritual. She smiled again as she thought about Max’s reaction to the baby. She wondered briefly if he would be upset, but then realized she was being silly and that Max would be thrilled. She ate her toast and drank a huge glass of milk, with more Tabasco in it, and then burped loudly. She giggled as she walked back into her bedroom to get ready to go to work.

Liz had used Max as a reference since he had told them he was leaving for a family emergency, and she was able to secure a good job at UCLA medical center, working on some research projects there. It wasn’t exactly molecular biology, but it paid well, and had full medical benefits. She would be able to have her baby there if she needed to, but she hoped she would be able to join Max soon, and have her baby wherever they were.

Her new doctor had told her at her second appointment that everything looked to be fine, and that at her next appointment she would be able to hear the baby’s heart beat. She could hardly wait to hear it. She touched her stomach and smiled as she looked in the mirror. Her pants were definitely getting tight, and she knew she’d have to go out shopping soon, to buy the dreaded maternity clothes. Her loose dresses were fine for right now.

She walked back out to her living room and grabbed her briefcase. She was about to walk out the door when she opened it and found the Fed-Ex man standing there.

“Hi, are you Elizabeth Parker?” the man said.

“Yep. Do you have something for me?” Liz asked, expecting it to be something from her parents.

“Yes I do, an international package. Sign here please.” He said as he pointed to a numbered line on his clipboard.

“Thanks” Liz said as she signed the paper and took the small box.

She shut the door and walked over to the counter staring at the box. She went and got a knife out of her kitchen drawer and sliced the top of the box open. She fished through the packing peanuts and her eyes filled with tears as she pulled out a tiny Eiffel tower and a note. She looked at it through watery eyes and made out the writing, It said, “I wish you could have been with me, see you soon. I promise we’ll come here together someday. I can feel you with me all the time. I love you. Max”

Part 17

Liz looked at the note again. Paris. They were somewhere in Europe and all she could do was sit here and wait for them. It had been just over three weeks since she had gotten the little Eiffel tower and note from Max. She hoped that she would be with him soon.

Work was going well, and tomorrow she would go to her doctor’s appointment to see if she could hear the heartbeat yet. She had always dreamed of Max and her having a baby, but she never thought she would be doing it without him there with her. She had no idea what to expect, especially since the baby was half alien. She smiled as she walked over to the full-length mirror in her room. She stood sideways and pulled the fabric of her dress tight across her stomach. She smiled at the little mound she saw there and rubbed it gently.

It was Saturday, and she had promised herself she would go to the mall and get some maternity pants. She was hoping to find some cute Capri ones since summer was coming. She walked into the kitchen and pulled a cherry coke out of the refrigerator, and generously poured Tabasco into it. She wished Max could see her, she knew he’d really get a kick out her drinking Cherry Coke with Tabasco. Her doctor told her not to drink too much caffeine, but she knew her body was just telling her what it needed, so she indulged every now and then. She was almost twelve weeks pregnant, and past the first trimester.

She walked over to her counter and picked up her copy of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” and sat down on her big fluffy chair. She propped her legs up on the ottoman and opened the book thinking that it was too bad they didn’t make a book called, “What to Expect When You’re Expecting an Alien.” In addition to her weird craving for Tabasco, she was having some other side effects. She was having the most vivid dreams, and sometimes it was like she could feel Max with her. She was thrilled with this, since it made it more bearable to be without him.

She sat there and read until she felt like she had learned enough about her twelfth week, and then she decided to go out and get the mail, taking the short walk out to the boxes in front of the house next door. She smiled happily as she strolled along, until she reached the mailbox. She reached her hand in, grabbed the papers inside and then started looking through the mail as she walked slowly back to her house. She came across a small envelope with no return address. She looked more closely at it and could tell it had an international postmark, but it was faded, so she couldn’t tell exactly where it was from.

She ran into the house and threw the rest of the mail onto the kitchen counter before she ripped open the small envelope. She read it quickly once before sitting down and reading it again.

Dear Liz,

I hope that you’re ok, I miss you and love you so much. I can’t write too much, just in case. I just wanted to let you know that we are all fine, and will have a place to call home soon. We have settled in a different country, as I’m sure you could tell by the gift I sent. Hopefully you got it. Be sure to have your passport ready, and I’m sure you will love it here. I’ve been having the weirdest dreams about you, they make me feel like you’re here with me. I hope to hold you in my arms soon. I love you,

Liz laughed as she read the name he signed to the letter. She folded it neatly and walked into her bedroom to place it in her jewelry box next to the letter he sent with her gift a few weeks back. She placed it inside and shut the top of the box as tears rolled down her cheeks.

Liz walked over to the bed and got down on her hands and knees reaching under it for her lock box. She pulled it out and put it on top of her bed, getting up to sit down next to it. She slowly put in the combination and heard the lock click as she finished. Opening the top of the box, she reached in and pulled out her passport and her birth certificate. She decided that she should carry it with her just in case she had to leave quickly. She closed the box and put it back under the bed, then walking into the living room and putting the documents in her purse, in a zippered compartment in the side of the bag.

With that done, she decided to get her mind off of everything and head to the mall as planned. She wished she had a way to get a hold of Max, so she could at least send him something, but she figured she would see him soon. She grabbed her keys and headed out the door, walking over the newspaper that was dropped there that morning on her way out.

“Maria, let’s go!” Isabel yelled from outside the bathroom. “We have like a zillion places to look at today, and I have a job interview!”

“I’m coming!” Maria yelled form inside. “My hair is just weird in this weather!”

“So put a scarf on it for God’s sakes! It’s raining after all!” Isabel said banging on the door.

Maria opened the door and stepped out with her hair pulled straight back into a ponytail. “You know Iz, I happen to have an interview too.” She said as she walked past her.

“Really where?” Isabel asked surprised.

“At a little supper club around the corner. They said that if they like me, I can sing there a few times a week, and if it works out then I can start headlining every night.” Maria said totally confident in her ability to land the job.

“Wow, that’s great, sorry I was rushing you.” Isabel apologized. She had promised Michael that she would try harder to be friendly to Maria. She was the only other female of the group, and it was easy to see how important she was to Michael, so she had worked on developing a friendship with her.

“It’s okay, I know I was in there awhile.” Maria said. “How much longer until we find a bigger place?” she sighed

“Soon I hope. We’ll have to see what the realty guy shows us today. Max said they have some nice places lined up. With the money that we had in our savings, we should be able to get a decent three or four bedroom.” Isabel said smiling, then you and Dr. Love will have all the privacy you need!”

“Very funny Brandy Alexander!” Maria taunted, not at all amused by Isabel’s use of Michael’s fake name.

“Hey, don’t make fun, that’s the name I put on my resume for the department store I’m interviewing at. Since it’s the one on my passport I figured I’d better cover myself.” Isabel said as she added some eye shadow to her lids. “What about you, are you Margarita Salt?” she giggled.

“Nope, I’m just going by the name “Margarita. I dropped the Salt, too cheesy. This is a classy club, so I figured it didn’t work.” She smiled as she grabbed her purse and her umbrella from the can at the door.

“Okay, but remember we’re meeting Max and Michael at the realtor’s office at one right?” Isabel asked as Maria waved and nodded, and headed out the door.

“Okay, so you are looking for a three or four bedroom place right?” The Italian realtor asked as he leered at Isabel.

“I think so, but we should really wait until my brother and friends get here” Isabel said as she backed away to the other corner of her office. That was the thing with Italy, the men were so forward. Good looking, but forward.
“Oh sure, no problem. We’ll wait for them.” The man said as he sat down behind the desk.

Max and Michael walked in shortly after and introduced themselves to the man. He smiled cheerily at them and asked them to take a seat.

Michael leaned over to Isabel and whispered, “Where’s Maria?”

Isabel shrugged and said, “I haven’t seen her since this morning when she left for her job interview.”

Michael nodded and looked over at the door willing Maria to walk through it. As if on cue, Maria walked through at that moment, carrying a shopping bag with a few new outfits to perform in.

While Max continued to talk to the realtor, Isabel leaned over to Maria and asked her, “So? How’d it go?”

“Great, I’m all set. I start tomorrow night. Thank God everyone here speaks English.” Maria smiled as Max cleared his throat signaling them to be quiet.

“As I was saying,” Max continued, “My wife is still in America, but we’ll need a place with two master suites. One for them,” he pointed to Maria and Michael, “and one for my wife and I. Then we will need a suite for my sister, and a separate suite for guests.”

Isabel Michael and Maria looked at each other surprised. They were all wondering why they would need a suite for guests, when they were positive no one would ever be coming to visit them in Italy.

"Ok then, let's go look at some places. We can take my limousine." the relator said as he tried to impress Isabel.

On their way out of the office, Michael took Max aside and asked him, “Why do we need a suite for guests? No one’s coming except Liz, and she’ll be in your room.”

“I don’t know, I just think we’ll need the extra room. I mean you and Maria are going to get married eventually, and I’m going to marry Liz as soon as I can. I just thought that we might need the extra room for you or something.” Max said as he looked at the ground and shuffled his feet.

“Maxwell, is Liz pregnant or something? Is Maria?” Michael asked, thinking it was weird for Max to be thinking of kid’s already.

“No, nothing like that….I don’t think so anyway. I mean Liz would have told me if she was right?” Max said looking at Michael.

“I don’t know, I would think so.” Michael said as he walked to the car door and opened it.

“Yeah. I’m sure she would. Still…” Max trailed off.

“What?” Michael asked.

“I don’t know. I just have been getting these weird feelings, and these wild dreams. All of them include Liz, a child and me. A little girl.” Max finished as he ran his hand through his hair.

“Hmm.” Michael said. “Do you want me to ask Maria if she knows anything?”

“No, it’s okay.” Max answered. “I’ll ask her myself soon enough.” Max smiled as he got into the car, to go look at the first property on the list.

Part 18

“We’ll take it!” Isabel said as she looked at the gorgeous villa the realtor was showing them.

“Hold on Iz, we need to find out what Michael and Maria think. Be patient.” Max said as he looked at the ocean below them.

“Patient? Patient?” Isabel said. “ Max, we’ve been on the move for five and a half months now. Tell me you don’t want to find a place pronto! I know you can’t wait to get Liz here and it’s time. I mean, here’s this awesome place, right above the ocean, with all the suites facing the water…I mean this is it, let’s do it. We have the money Max.”

“I know, and I do want Liz here soon. I just can’t shake the feelings I’ve been getting. I’m pretty sure she’s pregnant Isabel.” Max said as he looked out over the cliff at the beach down below.

“So you’ve been telling us for the last month, so let’s do it. This place has five suites, all with private bathrooms! Do you have any idea how much I need to have my own bathroom?” Isabel said as she jumped up and down.

“I know Isabel, let’s just see what Michael and Maria think okay?” Max said picturing himself living in this palatial home.

Maria walked out onto the giant deck and looked over at Isabel. She smiled and ran to her joining her in her excitement. “Did you see the bathrooms?” Maria asked as Isabel nodded.

“Well Max,” Michael said, “It’s pretty clear to me that the ladies love it. What do you think?

“I think it’s perfect. I can’t imagine a better place to bring Liz to than this. Plus, it’s not to far from the lab.” Max said thinking about the research lab he’d been working at.

“Or the studio, or I could just move my studio into one of the garages. I mean there are five of them.” Michael laughed.

Max nodded and went to talk to the realtor about purchasing the home, while Maria and Isabel decided to walk through and make decorating decisions.

Liz woke up and instantly knew she was going to be sick. She ran into the bathroom and made it just in time. When she was feeling better she went back to her bed to lie down. She hated morning sickness, and she couldn’t believe she had gotten it in her sixth month. She felt tons better and decided to go eat some breakfast, and read the paper.

Liz got out of bed and glanced at herself in the mirror as she walked past it, on her way to the kitchen. She was definitely showing now, but she was still small enough to be able to wear most of her elastic waist pants and oversized shirts. She was six months pregnant, just barely at the point that people were asking her when she was due, but most of them still looked at her like they couldn’t tell if she was just fat, or if she was pregnant. She suspected that when she got a little bigger, more people would start asking her questions like the friendly, “where’s the father?” that she had gotten from her neighbor.

She had received a note from Max two weeks before, telling her to start packing. He said he would be sending for her soon, and they were hoping to close escrow on a new house any day. He said she’d love it. She wondered if he had any idea she was pregnant, and for an instant she thought that he knew. She had been having more and more dreams lately, always with the little girl in them, and she knew that the little girl was the baby she was carrying. She wondered if the dreams Max had mentioned were the same ones she was having.

She sat down at her table and took a bite of her toast, smiling at the sweet and spicy combination. She opened the newspaper to the first page and saw the headline: FBI DRUG BUST GONE BAD; TWO AGENTS KILLED. Liz skimmed the article and her breath caught in her throat when she saw the names of the agents. Agent Steven Roberts, and Agent Peter Linton.

“Oh Shit!” Liz said as she jumped out of her seat and ran to the phone. With shaking fingers she dialed her old office at the FBI and paced back and forth as she waited for someone to answer the phone.

“Federal Bureau of Investigation, how may I direct your call?” the operator said as she answered.

“Hi Elsie, it’s Liz Parker. Can you put me through to someone in Steve’s department, maybe Agent Casey?” Liz asked referring to one of her friends from her old team.

“Hi Liz! How are you?” Elsie asked cheerfully.

“I’m fine. Can you put me through?” Liz asked impatiently.

“Sure, hold please.” Elsie said as she transferred the call.

The phone rang again as the transfer was complete and she waited for someone to pick it up.

“Agent Casey here.” The man said as he picked up the phone.

“Jack-it’s Liz Parker, I just read about Steve. What the hell happened?” Liz asked as she found it harder and harder to breathe.

“Hey Liz! What’s going on? Where are you living?” He asked her.

“Everything’s fine, I’m just out of state dealing with some family crap. What happened, I opened up the paper and saw they were killed.” Liz answered.

“ Well, Steve and Pete from the SU were having dinner downtown, supposedly talking about some case they wanted to reopen, when they saw a drug deal going down outside the window of the restaurant.” He continued, “they went out to bust the guys and one of the guys shot both of them in the head before they could get to their guns. Mel is hysterical obviously. They weren’t even on duty Liz, can you believe it?”

Liz started to calm down a little and asked, “So it was some completely random thing?”

“Seems to be, the cops busted the guys a few hours later. They admitted to doing it, they’re going down for sure.” He said.

“Oh, okay. Well I’m glad they were caught. Give Mel my condolences.” Liz said as she hung up the phone slowly, still hearing him talk on the other side.

She relaxed a little and sat back down on her chair, before she burst into tears. Her shaking was uncontrollable as she realized how scared she had been that the agents were killed because of something to do with Max. She was positive that the case they were going to reopen was her’s. She was glad that circumstances prevented their meeting from going much further. She knew that they would have come looking for her, and when they found out she was pregnant, Steve would have known whose it was. The thought of them hurting her or her baby made her feel sick again as she ran to the bathroom.

A few minutes later she could hear the distant ringing in her ears, and she wasn’t sure if it was the doorbell, or just her head. She stood up and wiped her face off and walked to her door, looking through the peephole at a man in a delivery uniform. She opened the door and looked at the man who just held out his clipboard for her to sign without saying anything. She took the envelope he handed her and shut the door. She walked over to her chair and sat down ripping open the envelope and digging inside. She burst into happy tears as she looked at what her hands held. The most precious thing she had seen in the last six months, airplane tickets.

Part 19

Liz stared at the airplane tickets as tears ran down her face. She was finally going to be with Max. She picked up the envelope and turned it over, allowing a white sheet of paper and a key to fall out. She looked at the paper and at Max’s familiar handwriting.

My love,
Meet me at the Eiffel Tower.
I made reservations for you at the Plaza in New York, and at the London Marriott Marble Arch.
I will meet you at the Tower upon your arrival in Paris.
Love, Max

Liz smiled and looked at the tickets. The first ticket was dated for that night and it was from Los Angeles to New York. Her second ticket was for the following evening and it left for London. Then she looked at the third ticket and it was from London to Paris three days later. She briefly wondered why she had a three-day layover in London, but quickly put it out of her mind as she looked at her watch. Her first flight left in three hours.

Liz ran into her bedroom and pulled her suitcase out from under her bed. She opened it and looked inside. She had packed it at least a month ago, and she knew her stomach had gotten bigger since then. She decided to dump most of the stuff out and repack. She quickly threw in a few pairs of leggings and a few maternity shirts. She grabbed two sweaters out of her closet and then turned to the pile she had dumped on the floor and fished out all of her bras, socks and underwear from the pile. She knew that stuff would still fit at least. She figured she should pack light, and she could just buy new stuff when she got to her final destination.

She ran into her bathroom and pulled out the pre-packed toiletry kit from under the sink, carelessly throwing in her prenatal vitamins and her hairbrush. She looked at her reflection in the mirror as she realized how fat she looked. She hoped Max would be happy about her appearance, and about her healthy weight gain. She smiled as she ran back into the bedroom and picked up her shoulder bag, while throwing the toiletry bag into it. She knew she would want that stuff on the plane with her.

Liz walked into the living room and pulled the note she had written for her landlord off of the fridge. It briefly explained how she had to leave the country due to a family emergency, and that the landlord could sell her possessions and keep whatever money they fetched, as payment for the inconvenience. She placed the note on the kitchen counter and headed for the door. She had a few stops to make before heading to the airport.
Max looked around the bedroom and smiled. He knew Liz would love the villa, and he hoped that this room would be her favorite. He had bought a huge four-poster king sized bed with a canopy and had it placed in the center of the room. It was so tall it had little step stools to get on top of it, and one was placed on each side of the bed. He had a giant over stuffed chair and ottoman to the right, in what was called the “master sitting room.” Along side of the chair was a bassinet. He knew Liz must be pregnant, but if she wasn’t, he knew they would want to have children soon.

He glanced over at the bathroom and walked over to it. He looked inside at the walk in closet that he had filled with clothes for her. Some were maternity and others were for after she had the baby, all of them were expensive, the finest money could buy. Max had no problem affording everything. He had recently discovered a new virus strain at the research lab, and consequently was able to help develop a new drug for it, which he was paid hefty royalties for. He wanted to treat Liz like a queen and their child as a prince or princess. He looked at the huge roman tub in the center of the room with the Jacuzzi jets, and smiled as he pictured Liz and him inside of it.

“Max, are you okay? It’s the middle of the night.” Isabel asked as she walked into the bathroom and saw him standing there.

Max looked up at her, as he snapped out of his daydreaming. “Yeah, Iz, I’m fine. Just excited I guess.”

“Well, I don’t blame you. I’m sure she’s as excited as you are, especially if she’s pregnant!” Isabel laughed.

“What time is it there? Do you think she got the tickets?” Max asked, momentarily worried that she would miss her flight.

Isabel looked at her watch and then back at him. “Yeah, her flight leaves in a few hours, I’m sure she’s gotten them.” Isabel said trying to reassure him.

Max smiled and looked around the bathroom. “Do you think she’ll like it here Iz?” Max asked nervously.

“Are you kidding? She’ll love it! This place is amazing, and when she sees the nursery and everything she’ll flip!” Isabel said as she rubbed her eyes. “Now try to get some sleep, she’ll be with you soon.” Isabel said as she led Max back into the bedroom. “Seriously, sleep.” She commanded.

“Okay, okay.” Max said climbing into bed. “Thanks Isabel.” He said as she turned off the light.

“What are sisters for?” Isabel asked as she walked out of the room and back to her suite down the hall.

Liz walked into her doctor’s office and up to the receptionist’s check in window.

“Hi. I’m Liz Parker, and I need to get my medical records.” Liz said as she looked at the red head behind the counter.

“Oh, are you going to be leaving our office?” the assistant asked with her eyes wide. “Was there something you were unhappy with?”

“No, no. Nothing like that. I just got a job offer from another state, and I need to take my records with me for my new doctor.” Liz said casually.

“Okay then. Here, you need to sign this to allow us to release your records, just fill in your name and address and sign it please.” She said handing Liz a white paper.

“Okay.” Liz said as she filled out the paper and handed it back. Ten minutes later she was on her way back to her car with her records in her shoulder bag.

She drove along Sunset looking at the palm trees and all of the little shops. She would miss LA, but she couldn’t wait to see Paris. She wondered if that’s where Max was living, but she knew he had been there weeks before, and she couldn’t imagine why it would have taken so long for him to send for her if he had been there the whole time. She smiled and realized that it didn’t matter, wherever they would be living was fine with her, even if she had to live in a shack for the rest of her life, as long as she was with Max.

She pulled into the bank parking lot and walked in and over to one of the bankers seated at the many desks to the right of the teller line.

“Hi, I’d like to close my account please.” Liz said looking at the male banker straight in the eye.

“Is there some sort of problem?” the banker asked.

“Nope, I’m just moving to another state and plan on opening an account there.” Liz said as she kept looking at him.

“Well, we can make it easy for you to have access to your account from anywhere in the United States.” He said trying to convince her to keep her account open.

“That’s okay. I’ll take my money.” Liz said. She was getting frustrated with the man and she was running short on time.

“Very well.” The man said. “You’re account number and some identification please.”

Liz handed over her bankbook and her driver’s license. The man punched in the information into the computer and his eyes grew wide as he saw the screen.
“Cashiers check okay?” the man asked as he punched the keys on his keyboard.

“Actually, if I could get half cash and half cashiers check that would be ideal.” Liz said sternly.

“Certainly.” The man said as he stood up. “I’ll be right back, I’ll have to go to the vault.”

“Sure, but I’m kind of in a hurry, so if you could do it as quickly as possible I’d appreciate it.” Liz said as she looked at her watch. She only had one hour before she had to be at the airport. The tickets said to arrive one hour early for domestic flights, and she still had one more stop.

The man nodded and disappeared, returning ten minutes later with a large manila envelope. “Here is your cash Ms. Parker, we used the machine to count it so you can be sure it’s all there. There is $157,387.45 in cash and $157,387.45 in cashiers check for a total of $314,774.90.” The man sighed. “Is there anything else we can do for you today?” he asked.

“Nope.” Liz smiled. She didn’t have time to count it so she glanced into the envelope. Seeing mostly hundred dollar bills, she smiled and sealed it. “Thanks!” she said as she turned around and walked out stuffing the envelope in her shoulder bag. When she got to her car she pulled out her briefcase from behind the seat and put in the combination and it popped open. She placed her envelope with her money inside, and then added her passport and medical records. She left her toiletry bag and her wallet with a small amount of cash in it inside her shoulder bag and then started driving to her next destination.

She pulled up to into the lot and looked around. She glanced quickly at her watch, getting out of the car and walking into the office. She had twenty minutes to get this done.

“Can I help you?” a blond lady with her hair in a bun asked as she approached Liz.

“Yes. I’m in a big hurry and I need to sell my car.” Liz said.

“Is it hot or something?” the lady asked looking at Liz up and down.

“No, it’s mine. It’s fully paid off too. I just have an out of state emergency and I really need the cash. Plus I’m headed to New York, and I don’t really need a car there.” Liz said as she looked at the hesitant lady.

“Well, what kind of car is it?” she asked as she removed a pencil from her tight bun.

“It’s a black Jeep Wrangler.” Liz said looking at the car next to her.

“Year?” the lady asked.

“2010” Liz said smiling. “It’s in great condition too.” Liz said as she remembered the day she bought it. It reminded her of Max’s old jeep, that’s what prompted the purchase. She never thought she would ever run into him back then and here she was getting ready to fly to Paris.

“Let’s go take a look.” The lady said as she walked out to the parking lot. Twenty minutes later Liz was hailing a taxi for a ride to the airport with a cashiers check for eight thousand dollars hidden in her briefcase.

Natures first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold
Her early leaf's a flower
But only so an hour
Then leaf subsides to leaf
So Eden sank to grief
So Dawn goes down to day
Nothing Gold can stay
-Robert Frost
posted on 31-Aug-2001 6:27:09 PM
Part 20

Liz approached the counter and was surprised to see that her hands were shaking. She was so beyond excited, but she was also nervous about seeing Max. She was already twenty-six weeks pregnant, just over six months, and at her last doctors appointment she was asked if she wanted to know the baby’s sex. She wanted to know, but it wasn’t right to find out without Max, so she declined.

“Hi. I’m checking in for flight 365 to New York.” Liz said as she handed the lady her ticket.

“Yes Ms. Parker. Your seat is 3A in First Class. Here is your boarding pass, and you will be leaving from gate 17B. Do you have luggage to check?” the lady asked.

“No, I just have one small suitcase, a shoulder bag and my briefcase.” Liz said smiling.

“I’m sorry, but only two carry on items are allowed on board. Would you like to check your suitcase?” she asked.

“Very well.” Liz nodded as she placed her suitcase on the section of the counter that was reserved for check in baggage. She figured she could always buy new clothes if they lost her luggage.

The lady handed Liz her ticket and boarding pass. She took it and began to walk away. She couldn’t remember the last time she had flown on a commercial airline. She knew it would be better than flying those dammed air carriers she flew in as part of the FBI. She smiled as she remembered the lady at the counter told her she would be in first class. Max was so sweet. She could hardly wait to get to New York. She wanted to spend whatever time she had there seeing the tourist destinations, but she had a feeling she would be too tired.

As every day passes, she was getting more and more tired, having to nap every day after work. Liz stopped and realized that she had forgotten to call her employer and tell them she was leaving. She laughed to herself and finally let herself relax. She knew she wouldn’t be coming back here. It wouldn’t be such a big deal if she burned one bridge. She continued walking; suddenly glad she had checked her heavy suitcase at the counter.

Finally after a fifteen-minute wobble, she reached her gate and sat down. Now there was nothing left to do but wait for them to call her flight. She glanced across the terminal and spotted a Mc Donald’s, and looking at her watch she decided she had enough time to go and grab an apple juice or something. She stood up and walked over to the eatery and got in the long line.

“Liz? Liz Parker?” a man said as he squinted his eyes and stared at her.

Liz turned to face the man involuntarily. Her eyes grew wide and her hands started shaking as she stammered. “No.” and turned her head in the other direction.

“Yes it is. What are you doing here?” the man asked as Liz tried to avoid his gaze.

Liz knew she couldn’t avoid the man so she just tried to act as casual as possible. He probably had no idea she had left the force so she turned to him and smiled. “McMahon, I’m on a undercover case, please don’t acknowledge that we know each other. Shit!” she said angrily as she stepped up to the counter.

The man stood there and stared at her. He felt ridiculous. Of course she must be on a case if she was flying commercially. Oh well, he had wanted to tell her his good news, but didn’t even get a chance.

Liz walked back over to the gate where her plane was leaving from and sat down. She looked at her hands and noticed they were still trembling. “Geez Parker, when did you become such a wimp?” she muttered to herself under her breath. She opened her apple juice and pulled her small bottle of Tabasco out of her shoulder bag, generously dumping it into the juice. She had no idea that the man across the terminal had just picked up his Mc Donald’s order and was watching her every move.

“Maria!” Michael called from the front door. “Let’s go, you’re going to miss your flight!”

“I’m coming, I’m coming!” Maria yelled back as she darted around the living room picking up her keys, then her airline tickets.

Isabel sat on the couch and managed a small laugh at Maria’s expense. “I swear girl, you are going to be late for your own funeral.” Isabel said.

“I prefer the expression “late for my own wedding” thank you very much!” Maria said as she threw her purse over her shoulder.

“Right, like Michael is going to get married in this lifetime!” Isabel said laughing again.

“I know. I don’t need you to remind me.” Maria rolled her eyes. “I’m out of here. Have a nice week!”

Isabel stood up and gave Maria a hug. “Have fun and be careful. Good luck with your audition. I know you can land the part easy. London’s theatre community would be lucky to have you.” Isabel smiled and stepped back.

“Thanks Iz.” Maria smiled as she headed fro the door and an inpatient Michael.

“Oh, by the way, say hi to Liz for me!” Isabel yelled after her.

Maria waved and yelled, “Will do!” as she walked out the door.

“Finally.” Michael said sighing. “I swear you’re going to be late for your own funeral.”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah.” Maria said as she rolled her eyes at him and walked out to the car.


“Flight 365 to New York now boarding First Class passengers in rows one through ten.” The voice on the loud speaker repeated for the second time.

Liz stood up and grabbed her briefcase and bag and headed towards the gate. She handed the flight attendant her boarding pass and walked down the hallway towards the plane. When she found her seat she sat down and rested her head on the headrest, closing her eyes. She was pretty sure she would be able to sleep the entire flight.

“Miss? Could I get you a pillow or blanket?” the too perky, brunette flight attendant asked quietly.

Liz opened her eyes and looked at the young woman. “Umm sure, that would be great.” Liz said sleepily.

“And would you care for something to eat or drink before take off?” the woman asked.

“If you have something small like peanuts or something that would be great.” Liz said.

She heard a man’s voice from behind her ask, “Would you like some Tabasco with those?”

Liz’s mouth went suddenly dry as she turned to see the familiar face that went with the voice. The flight attendant gave him an odd look before squeezing by him and back to the rear of the compartment.

“Excuse me?” Liz asked angrily, with a brave façade.

“I said, would you like some Tabasco with those Liz.” He said sternly.

“Why would I?” Liz asked nervously.

“Well let’s see. How about because I saw you dump practically a whole bottle in your apple juice earlier.” He said as he glanced at her stomach. “Don’t tell me that’s an ordinary pregnancy craving.”

“Actually it is.” Liz said as she faced forward.

“Liz, I’m the new head of the SU. They sent me an entire file on you and your friends. I know what happened between you and Steve.” He said as he tried to look in her eyes.

After a moment she looked at him as tears sprung to her eyes. “McMahon. Please, I’ve been through enough, just let me go. Let me live my life and be happy.” Liz begged, figuring it was her only option.

“Relax. I have no intention of trying to get you or your friends. In fact, I think this entire unit is a total ball of shit. Most of the assignments are ridiculous accusations ruining people’s lives. We’ve always got along Liz, I don’t want anything from you. In fact, I just came on board for a minute to let you know that you don’t have to worry about the SU. They’ll leave you alone as long as I’m in charge, whatever the truth may be.” He said as she suddenly leaned forward and hugged him.

“Thank you so much.” She squeaked out as he took her arms from around his neck and released himself from her grasp. “No problem, I have bigger fish to fry with this unit other than some half breeds. Have a nice life Liz.” He said as he stood up and walked off the plane.

Liz buried her face in her hands a sobbed. She was finally free. She could stop looking over her shoulder all of the time. He knew about them and didn’t even care. She briefly thought about what else he was investigating that was so big that McMahon didn’t care about Max and the others anymore, but was interrupted from her thoughts as the flight attendant brought her her pillow and blanket, along with a cup full of mixed nuts.

“Are you okay?’ she asked Liz as she saw her sobbing.

Liz nodded her head and took the cup of nut from her. “I’m fine. Just hormonal.” She said as a quick excuse.

The plane took off and Liz closed her eyes. She didn’t awake for the entire flight, finally resting peacefully for the first time in months.

Part 21

Liz stepped off the plane at JFK international airport in New York and smiled. She had slept the whole flight, so she felt refreshed, almost like a new person. She reached down and touched her belly as she felt the familiar flutter of the baby kicking.

She had been to New York years earlier on a field assignment, so she knew her way around. She went to baggage claim and retrieved her suitcase, silently thanking the baggage handlers for not losing or damaging it. She walked outside into the humid, morning sunlight and hailed a taxi.

She didn’t have to wait long, as there were plenty of them ready to take people to the city.
As she hopped in she told the driver to take her to The Plaza and exactly which route to take to get there the quickest.

“Not your first trip to New York I presume?” the cabby said smiling. “Are you from here?” he asked in a thick Brooklyn accent.

“Nope, but, I have been here before.” Liz said smiling. She couldn’t figure out why she felt so great. It was almost as if just knowing she was going to be with Max soon had relaxed her, not to mention the fact that McMahon had let them all off the hook.

“The Plaza it is then!” the cabby said as he pulled out of the airport.

Liz’s check in at The Plaza had gone smoothly, and they had told her that her room was completely paid for and had a two hundred dollar room credit on it as well, which she could use for room service. When she entered her room she had found a basket on the table that included bubble bath, chocolate, foot lotion and a certificate to the hotel spa for a morning of relaxation. Of course there was also a little note from Max, although it wasn’t in his handwriting. It said that he hoped she had a nice flight, to enjoy herself and to use the spa certificate the next morning before her long flight to London.

Liz looked at the basket again and wondered if Max knew she was pregnant, and if Maria had told him. She trusted Maria and couldn’t imagine her betraying her that way so again she pushed it out of her mind. She took the bubble bath out of the basket along with the note and walked into the huge marble bathroom.

She leaned over the tub and turned the faucet on, waiting for the cool water to warm up before plugging the tub. She walked over to the mirror and glanced in it quickly, not bothering to care how she looked since she felt so great. She had decided to take a bath and then go out for a walk in the city. She wanted to shop a little but didn’t have that much room in her suitcase left, so she thought that maybe she would shop for some baby items.

She plugged the bathtub and poured in the bubble bath, as the floral scent filled up the room. She stepped into the tub and sat down, her growing form dispersing the water to each side of her. Weeks before she had learned her lesson about filling up the tub and then getting into it, when she had gotten in and promptly flooded her bathroom floor.

Liz laughed to herself at the memory and laid her head back against the bath pillow that was provided for her. She wondered again where Max was. She knew him well enough to know that Paris was probably just another stop to their final destination.

The phone next to the tub started ringing and Liz looked at it and laughed. Only at the Plaza would there be a phone in the bathroom. She dried her hand off on the towel she had placed next to her and reached for the receiver.

“Hello?” she answered smiling.

“Hi beautiful.” The deep voice on the other end of the line said.

“Max! Oh my God, it’s so good to hear your voice!” Liz said as tears immediately sprang to her eyes.

“Yours too. I miss you and I can’t wait to see you.” Max said as he too tried to control his emotions.

“Will you be in London?” Liz asked hopefully.

“No sweetie, sorry but I can’t. I have some important business to attend to in Austria, but I’ll meet you in Paris as promised.” Max said softly.

“Okay, I can’t wait!” Liz said wiping her tears away and trying not to make him feel bad.

“Did you get the basket?” Max asked her, the smile returning to his voice.

“Yep, and Max, I can’t thank you enough for doing all of this. I mean, The Plaza?” Liz said shaking her head. “Can you afford of all this?”

“Yep, and a lot more. Don’t worry about it.” Max assured her. “By the way, you be sure to use every penny of that room credit young lady.” He laughed.

Liz smiled at his words, not feeling like a “young” lady at all. “Okay, I will, promise.” She said.

“Good. So what are you going to do today? I hope it was all right that I put you on the evening flight to New York. I mean it must have been early when you got in this morning.” Max said apologetically.

“No, I’m glad you did. It gave me a chance to catch up on some much needed sleep. I even slept through the stop in Dallas.” Liz said as she yawned. “As for today, I thought I’d spend some money shopping.”

“Well don’t overdo it sweetie. Take care of yourself for me okay?’ Max said sounding worried.

Liz listened to his caring words and again wondered if he knew something and wasn’t telling her. “Max, you sound worried, is everything okay?” she asked.

“Yes, is everything okay with you?” he asked her waiting cautiously for an answer.

Liz thought a moment and knew right then that he knew, but she still couldn’t bring herself to tell him about the baby over the phone. She was going to kill Maria for blabbing. “Yes. I’m fine, just soaking in the tub with the fabulous bubble bath you sent me. Thanks again Max.” Liz said changing the subject.

“Don’t thank me, like I said, you deserve it.” Max whispered. “I have to go meet a client for dinner. It’s a few hours ahead here you know.”

“Okay, go ahead. I guess I’ll see you at the Eiffel Tower then. I love you.” Liz said disappointed that he had to go.

“Liz honey, don’t sound like that, it breaks my heart.” Max said, as his voice got lower.

“I know, I didn’t mean to sound like that. It’s okay; it’s just a few more days. I just miss you.” Liz said, trying to lighten her tone.

“I miss you too. I love you and I’ll see you in a couple of days okay?” Max said trying to sound happier as well. “I can’t wait to hold you in my arms again.”

“I can’t wait for you to hold me in your arms again either.” Liz wondered if his arms would even fit around her. “Love you and I’ll see you soon.” Liz said smiling at the image.

“Love you too, bye beautiful.” Max said.

“Bye Max.” Liz said as she lifted the receiver from her face and placed in back on the wall.

Liz leaned back into the tub and noticed that almost all of the bubbles had disappeared and that the water was beginning to cool down. “Well,” she said to herself, grabbing on to the bar inside the tub and hoisting her larger than normal frame up. “Time to do some baby shopping.”

Max was happy he’d called Liz, even if he felt worse now than he had before calling her. She still wasn’t telling him whether or not she was pregnant, and he wanted to know. He looked across the trendy restaurant and saw the men he was meeting and started walking over to them. If all went well tonight, Liz and him would never have to worry again.

“Hello gentlemen.” Max said as he approached the table.

Both of the men stood up to greet him. One was a tall red headed man with freckles all over his face. Max didn’t know his name and he didn’t care. He was there to meet with the other man.

“Mr. Evans, it’s good to see you sir.” The other man said as he pushed his wire-rimmed glasses up further on his nose and bowed slightly to Max.

“I told you not to call me that Gradin.” Max said sternly as the man looked at him shamefully.

“Right, sorry Mr. Randolfo sir.” The man said quietly, using Max’s alias.

“Take your seats. Did your friend here pass clearance?” Max asked nodding his head towards the redhead.

“Of course sir. He wouldn’t be here if he hadn’t.” The man with the glasses said as he nodded. “he’s my new assistant.”

Max looked at both of them. This was the most important meeting of his adult life, and it would insure that him, Liz and their children could live normal healthy lives out of danger from his planet and Earth.

“So, what news to you have for me then?” Max asked the man with the glasses.

“It’s taken care of. McMahon’s been promoted to the head of the unit. His first order of business is to drop the case against all of you and destroy any evidence or files containing your names.” The man said. He looked at Max.

“Liz knows doesn’t she?” Max asked seeing the expressions on their faces.

The two men looked at each other amazed by Maz’s intuition. The red head faced Max and said, “Yes sir, McMahon saw her at LAX before she left for New York. They knew each other from the FBI. He approached her and told her she wouldn’t have to worry anymore.”

“What did she say to him?” Max asked, trying to keep his face from showing any sign of emotion.

“He said she cried. Said something about it being a woman thing, hormonal, I don’t know. She was relieved to say the least.” The man with the glasses said.

Max nodded. He had spent the last seven years trying to get one of his men inside the Special Unit. Even before he had run into Liz and found out that she was working in the FBI. McMahon was from his planet. Max had brought him back to Earth with them after they went looking for Tess. Isabel, Michael and him had all agreed it was the only way to make sure their futures would be safe. They had to get a man in there the proper way, arouse no suspicions, so they had brought McMahon back with them and had him train under Sheriff Valenti for two years before having him apply to the FBI. Finally five years later he was the head of the unit, just like that.

Max knew they would eventually allow him to be an agent in the unit; it was only a matter of time. He proved his loyalty to the FBI, as well as to Max and the others many times, always keeping his mouth shut and his nose clean. He was just the type of person the SU would be looking for. When his other men had Agent Roberts and Agent Linton killed, Max suspected the SU would promote someone already on their team to head it up, but instead they brought McMahon in, shortening the waiting time considerably.

Max hadn’t put forth the command to have the other two killed, it had just worked out that way. He had actually sent the men who had done it back to their planet as punishment for possibly putting Liz in danger, but they said that their sense of duty to Max prevented them from allowing Agent Roberts to live after what he had done to Liz. Agent Linton just happened to be in wrong place at the wrong time.

Isabel wouldn’t be happy. She was in love with Todd McMahon. It had always been tough on them, but now that they were living in different countries it was even harder. He was dreading having to tell her Todd was the new head of the SU. They all knew it would happen, but it didn’t make it easier. He knew Todd wouldn’t be able to call Isabel himself, at least not until he made sure every scrap of evidence was destroyed. Maybe then Isabel would be able to return to the United States and start a life with Todd. Maybe even start their life on their home planet.

Max looked across the table at the two men. “And what about the rest of them, are they gone?” he asked.

“Yes sir.” The man said pushing up his glasses again. “From what we can tell, there are only a handful still left, and McMahon will have the unit take care of them.”

“Good, I don’t like knowing their still on Earth.” Max whispered. “They have caused enough trouble back home. Make sure Todd knows that they must not survive the experiments or whatever the hell the SU wants to do with them. I don’t care, I just want them disposed of.”

“Yes sir.” Both the men said at the same time.

“I have meetings in Austria tomorrow for the research facility I work at. Get in touch with me through the orb if you need me.” Max said as he stood up. “Thank you both for your loyalty and service. Keep in touch.”

The other men stood and bowed their heads slightly. As they began to walk out from their side of the table Max held his hand up. “Please, I’ve paid the tab, order anything you’d like for dinner. Unfortunately I can’t stay, but you should.” Max said as he started to wave over a server. “Please get these gentlemen whatever they’d like.”

“Yes Mr. Randolfo.” The waitress said, obviously knowing who Max was.

Max smiled at the two men and said, “Talk to you guys later.” And began walking out of the restaurant.

Max walked along the dark, quiet road deep in thought. “Damn those Skins.” He muttered under his breath. At least they’d all be dispensed of soon. If everything went according to plan, the disposal of the skins would not only serve his needs, but would also quench the thirst of the FBI for years to come.

Part 22

Liz walked into her hotel room and dropped the five bags she had been carrying for six blocks. She was completely wiped out. She was planning on unpacking all of her purchases, but instead fell right into the bed and didn’t wake up for three hours.

When she awoke she was starving so she called room service and used some of her room credit. She ordered a giant meal with chicken, potatoes and vegetables, as well as a pitcher of milk, a cherry coke and of course a bottle of Tabasco. She ordered a piece of “Death By Chocolate Cake” to go with the milk, and decided that she would call back down for a snack of vanilla ice cream later that night.

She decided to take out all of the baby stuff and look at it before putting it in her suitcase. As she opened the first bag and pulled out her purchases her eyes filled up with tears. She hadn’t wanted to buy a lot of stuff without Max, but she just got carried away, and standing there looking at all of the little white bodysuits and booties it finally hit her. She was going to be a mother. After all of the years waiting for Max, loving him, and wasting her time being bitter and hateful towards him, she was going to have his baby and spend the rest of her life feeling him in bed next to her. She smiled at the thought and started to pull out another bag when there was a knock at her door.

She walked over to it dazed, and opened it to find the room service attendant standing there.

“Ms Parker?” the attendant asked as she nodded silently and stepped aside to let him in. She let him set up her food and walked over to her purse pulling out a ten-dollar bill to tip him with. When he was finished he walked back over to the door and stood there.

“Here you go. Thank you.” She said as he handed him the money.

“No need. It’s already taken care of.” He said. “I just need you to sign here please.” He pointed to the paper in his hand.

“Oh, ok then.” Liz smiled as she took the paper and signed it.

“Thank you. Let us know if you will be needing anything else.” He said as she nodded and he closed the door behind him.

Liz walked over to the little table that her food was set up on and smiled. She was starved. She sat down and began pouring Tabasco in her cherry coke, and then all over the piece of chocolate cake. She had learned that if she poured it on at the beginning of the meal, it had time to soak into all of the little spongy crevices inside the cake.

She picked up the guide for the spa off of the nightstand next to her and began reading about the treatments offered. She was excited that they offered a massage for “mother’s to be.” She finished eating her meal, savoring every bite of chocolate cake and then drank two glasses of milk quickly. She reached beside her and picked up the phone, calling down to the spa to make her reservation for the next morning. If she was lucky, she could get an early appointment. She had to be at the airport by 2:00 pm so her she could be ready for her flight at 5:17pm on British Airway’s. She knew international passengers needed to arrive two hours prior to take off so she figured that would be fine.

Ten minutes later she had her reservation at the spa for 8:00 am. She had ordered the “Mommy Massage”, a seaweed leg wrap and three different facial treatments, as well as a manicure, and pedicure. She then called room service again and asked them to bring her a giant bowl of vanilla ice cream. She knew she didn’t have to worry about eating so much. She had gained a healthy eighteen pounds so far, and was mostly all belly. She looked at her reflection in the mirror across from the bed and realized she was wrong. Mostly belly and boobs. She knew Max would like that part of her body for sure.

She quickly looked at her watch and noticed it was already past ten. She would have just enough energy left to eat her ice cream and watch a little TV before crashing for the night.

Max walked into the villa with a serious expression on his face, which didn’t go unnoticed by Isabel and Michael.

“How was the meeting? What did that dork Gradin say?” Michael asked.

“It’s all taken care of.” Max said. “Is, can I talk to you alone for a minute?”
“Sure.” Isabel said quietly knowing it was not good news, well not for her anyway.

Isabel followed Max into his suite and watched as he took off his blazer and threw it down on the giant cream-colored chair.

“So what’s up?” Isabel asked.

“Isabel, there’s no other way to say this so I’m just going to spit it out. Try to remember that this is good news for all of us even though it doesn’t seem like it now.” Max said quietly, turning around to face her.

“It’s Todd isn’t it?” Isabel said as she stared at him. “Is he okay?”

Max nodded. “He’s fine. He got a promotion yesterday.” He watched as the tears slid down Isabel’s cheeks. He took her into his arms instantly as she let her sobs out and cried on his shoulder.

“They made him head of the Special Unit.” Max whispered as he stroked her hair. “I know it hurts not to be with him Is, believe me I know.”

Isabel stopped crying and stood back to look at him. “You know? What do you mean you know? You don’t know shit Max.” Isabel fumed. “All you know is that you are going to get to be with the love of your life again, and probably have a child with her. You don’t know what it’s been like to be in love with someone for the last seven years, and only get to see them once a month if your lucky.” She turned away from him and crossed her arms over her chest.

“What are you talking about?” Max yelled back. “I’ve been in love with Liz since the tenth grade Isabel. I’ve been without her ever since eleventh grade, and I just finally found her again. Then to top it all off, it’s entirely possible she’s been pregnant with my child for the last seven months and I haven’t been able to see her once!” Max yelled at her.

Isabel nodded and turned around slowly. “I know, but it’s easier to not be with someone at all than it is to see them, and keep re-igniting that love, only to let it go again every single time. Max, I know you and Liz were apart for a long time, but do you know what the difference is?” she asked. When he didn’t respond she answered. “You are in control of yourself and Liz’s relationship. Todd and I aren’t. Todd works for you Max, so him and I can’t be together until he is free of that.”

“Isabel, I know that, but I need Todd in the SU. He’s the best guy I have out there. I can’t just pull him back here to play house with you now can I?” Max asked her as she diverted her eyes from his.

“As soon as he destroys everything on us, and turns the remaining Skins in, and makes sure they are destroyed, then he’ll be all yours okay? I promise, no more assignments.” Max said quietly.

“Really? Do you promise?” Isabel asked him as she wiped her tears away.

“Promise.” Max said as he held out his arms and she walked over to him and hugged him again.

“Thanks Max.” Isabel whispered as he released her from his embrace.

“Now get out of her and send Michael in okay?” Max said as she walked away from him and towards the door.

Isabel nodded and left his suite. A few moments later Michael entered.

Liz walked out of the spa feeling so relaxed and refreshed, she thought it was a shame that she would have to deal with the crowds at the airport that afternoon. She went back up to her room and laid down, just enjoying the feeling she had.

Her skin felt tighter and younger, and more than one patron had commented on her “glow”. Her legs, which had been aching when she woke up, felt rejuvenated. Even her back, which was a constant reminder of her current condition, felt like a load had been taken off of it. She made a mental note to tell Max how much she had enjoyed his gift.

She looked at the ceiling and then tried to look at the TV, realizing that she would have to sit up to do so, since she could not longer see over the growing mound in front of her. She boosted herself up on one elbow before collapsing back down and closing her eyes. She smiled as the familiar dream began to overtake her senses again.

********* “ Daddy, Daddy! The little girl in the white dress squealed, as Max chased her on the beach. He ran up behind her and picked her up, twirling her around as she giggled, her eyes gleaming. Liz watched them from further down the shore and laughed. She heard Max say loudly, “Come on, let’s go get mommy!” as he put the little girl down and they both started running towards her. The girl squealed and yelled, “Here we come to get you Mommy!” and they ran, both smiling as they got closer and closer to her until Max lifted her up and threw her over his shoulder before they all went collapsing onto the sand, laughing in a big heap, with the little raven haired girl landing on top of her and Max. ****************

The phone was ringing. Liz reached around the nightstand without opening her eyes and grabbed it.
“Hello?” Liz asked not ready to wake up from her happy dream yet.

“Miss Parker, this is the front desk. The limo is ready to take you to the airport.” The man said crisply.

“Oh, okay, I’ll be right down, I just fell asleep.” She said as she hung up.

Liz sat bolt upright and looked around the room at all of the things she still needed to get together. Her clothes were still in her suitcase, but her toiletries were spread out all over the bathroom, and all of the baby clothes still needed to be added to her suitcase. She ran around the room throwing things into her suitcase and toiletry bag and ten minutes later she was in the lobby, out of breath.

The limo driver escorted her to the car and put her one suitcase in the trunk. She had asked to hold onto her shoulder bag and briefcase and she had sat those next to her in the car. Finally she was on her way, and relaxed slightly as she looked at her watch. She had only lost about fifteen or twenty minutes.

When they got to the airport Liz looked at her watch again and realized she had exactly two hours to check in and get settled. She wasn’t surprised to hear that Max had booked her in First Class again, which made her smile. She sat down and waited for the speaker to announce her flights boarding procedures, propping her feet up on the chair across from her.

A moment later she heard a man behind her. “Liz?”

Liz debated on turning around. After running into McMahon at LAX, she was sure she should just act like she was someone else.

No such luck though, as a male head popped in front of her. “Liz! Oh my God, what are you doing here?”

Liz glanced up and was truly shocked at the person standing in front of her. “Kyle!” Liz said as he helped her stand up.

“Hey! So, what are you doing here in New York?” Kyle asked her as he took in her very pregnant appearance.

“Oh, I’m going to visit someone overseas, this was just a stopover.” Liz smiled.

“Let me guess, Max right?” Kyle said as he raised his eyebrows.

“What makes you think that?” Liz asked as her expression soured.

“Well, I used to be married to Maria remember. You two are like the same person, and neither of you were willing to let go of the two of them, so therefore I know that the only possible father of your baby is Evans.” Kyle smiled at his detective work. “So how is he anyway?”

Liz smiled and looked at the ground. “He’s good Kyle.”

“So I take it your no longer with the Bureau?” Kyle asked.

“Nope, I’m officially starting the next part of my life, with Max.” Liz said as her eyes lit up.

“So umm, do you still talk to Maria?” Kyle asked avoiding her eyes.

“Yeah, actually I’m going to be seeing her soon too.” Liz said as she noticed the hurt lingering in Kyle’s eyes.

“She must be with…him then?” Kyle asked unable to bring himself to say Michael’s name.

Liz nodded.

“Do they have any kids?” Kyle asked

“No.” Liz said desperate to change the subject. “So, what are you doing here?” Liz asked looking around.

“Oh, I was here for my dad and Amy’s anniversary. Ten years you know.” Kyle said, “By the way tell Maria to call her mom, she’s worried sick.”

“So Jim and Amy live here in New York now?” Liz asked surprised.

Kyle nodded. “Yeah, I’m still in Roswell though.” He waved at someone over Liz’s head and a moment later a tall blond woman joined them.

“Liz, this is my wife Michelle. Michelle this is Liz Parker. We went to high school together.” Kyle said as Liz glanced at him trying to figure out if he’d ever mentioned her and Maria to Michelle before. There didn’t seem to be any recognition on Michelle’s face.

“Nice to meet you Liz.” She said as she stuck out her hand. “Come on honey, we’re going to miss our connecting flight back to the hick town.”

“Ok, why don’t you go check us in at the gate and I’ll be right there.” Kyle said. Michelle looked at him with a strange expression and then nodded.

“Okay but hurry. I don’t know how we ended up in the international terminal. These airports are so damned confusing. Nice meeting you Liz.” She said as she walked away waving.

“Wife huh?” Liz asked as she smiled.

“Oh shut up Liz.” Kyle laughed, “ we met in Colorado last winter. She’s a lot of fun. She doesn’t know much about my past, it’s better that way.” Kyle quickly changed the subject. “It sure was good to see you. Tell Maria “hi” for me okay, everyone else too.”

“I will.” Liz smiled. “Kyle could you do me a favor?”

“Sure, you know I’d do anything for you Liz.” Kyle said honestly.

“Tell my mom and dad not to worry if they don’t hear from me for a few weeks. Tell Amy that Maria is okay too, but please don’t tell them where we are or who we’re with. Could you do that for me?” Liz asked, her eyes silently begging.

“Sure. No problem. Believe me, I learned to lie a long time ago.” He laughed. “It’ll be fine.”

“Thanks.” Liz said sighing.

“Liz, come back to Roswell if you ever get a chance, I’d love to see all of you guys again.” Kyle said smiling.

“Okay, I will.” Liz said as she hugged him. She heard the announcement of her flight but didn’t want to react. She knew Kyle didn’t need to know where she was headed, even if was only a stop along her route. “You better go catch up to your wife.” Liz laughed. “Congratulations by the way.”

“Thanks, you too.” He said as he pointed to her stomach. “Do you know what it is yet?”

“Thanks.” She smiled. “I don’t know, but I think it’s a girl.” Liz smiled as she whispered it to him.

Kyle looked down the terminal in time to see Michelle start yelling at one of the skycaps who was trying to give her directions. He pointed to her and said. “I’ve really got to go Liz. Take care and call me if you need anything.” He handed her a business card with his phone number on it and kissed her cheek.

“Ok, I will Kyle. You take care too.” Liz said as he started to walk away. She stood there waving at him until he turned around to go meet up with his wife, then she grabbed her shoulder bag and briefcase, and ran to the gate of her flight. She made it onto the plane right as they were closing the doors.

As she sat down in her comfortable first class seat, she thought back to the strange coincidences of meeting McMahon at the airport in Los Angeles and now Kyle in New York. She smiled and briefly wondered whom she would meet at the next airport.

Part 23

Liz’s flight landed in London’s Heathrow airport at 5:07 am London time. Liz walked off the flight in a daze and almost didn’t see the man holding a sign with her name on it. When she noticed him, she slowly made her way over to where he was standing.

“I’m Liz Parker.” She said yawning.

“Oh, Ms. Parker.” The man smiled. “It’s nice to meet you. I’m Nigel you’re limousine driver. I trust your flight was enjoyable?” he asked with a British accent.

Liz yawned again and nodded.

“Do you have any luggage to collect?” Nigel asked as he took Liz’s shoulder bag for her.

“One suitcase.” Liz said following him towards baggage claim.

“Very well, it’s this way.” He said. “After we collect your things, you’ll have to go through customs. I can help expedite that, one of my old school chums works in customs here.”

“Great. I’m wiped. I can’t wait to get to the hotel.” Liz said walking slowly, rubbing her lower back.

“Actually my instructions were to take you to Hazlitt’s.” Nigel informed her. “I can take you to your hotel though if you wish.”

“What’s Hazlitt’s?” Liz asked. “Is it a restaurant or something?”

“No, it’s actually a hotel in the theatre district. It’s not where your staying, but those are my instructions.” Nigel said walking into the baggage claim area.

“Oh.” Liz thought for a moment. She knew Max would not send her somewhere at this time in the morning if he didn’t want her to go. “Ok then that will be fine.”

“Very well then.” Nigel smiled as he picked up her suitcase. “Let’s go to customs and see if we can find Hugh.”
Twenty minutes later Liz was sitting in Nigel’s limo riding to Hazliltt’s. Custom’s had gone smoothly as Nigel had promised and she now had a new stamp in her Passport. She wondered how many she would have by the time she reached Max.

She had three days in London and she was planning on relaxing most of the time. She decided she didn’t want to sight see alone, and the constant walking wouldn’t do her back any good. She thought that she would rather wait until after the baby was born and come back with Max.

Nigel eventually pulled up in front of the hotel and opened the door for her.

“Room twenty three Ms. Parker. Just knock. I’ll be here waiting for you when you are ready to go to your hotel.” Nigel said.

“Thanks Nigel.” Liz said. “Do you know what I’m doing here?”

“No, but I do hope you’ll tell me upon your return.” Nigel winked and Liz nodded.

“Definitely.” Liz laughed.

She walked up to the door of the old hotel and walked into the lobby. It was certainly beautiful. It looked like it had been a few private flats in it’s past, and then turned into a hotel. It was old, maybe from the eighteenth century, but had been recently refurbished, thus the elevator.

She looked around, not seeing anyone that she recognized. She was stumped. She let herself wonder for a moment if maybe Max was waiting in the room upstairs, but quickly dismissed that idea. He wouldn’t have lied to her outright on the phone by telling her he had meetings in Austria if he was going to meet her here. He knew she was disappointed and he wouldn’t have made her feel that way on purpose.

She walked over to the “lift” and pressed the old fashioned button waiting for the door to open. When it arrived she pressed the button with the two on it and rode it up one floor. She stepped out and quickly found room twenty-three.

She took a deep breath and raised her hand to knock, but before her fist hit the wood, the door flung open and she was facing Maria.

“Liz!” Maria squealed, pulling Liz into her arms and bursting into tears.

Liz couldn’t speak. She was so overcome with emotion that tears just started rolling down her cheeks and she began sobbing uncontrollably.

Maria stepped back and held her at arms length. “Liz sweetie are you okay? What’s wrong?” Maria asked searching her face for an answer.

Liz didn’t say anything, she just looked at Maria and continued to cry. Finally she could see the worry on Maria’s face through her tears and found the words. “I’ happy to see you!” she hugged Maria again.

“Me too! God I thought you’d never be here! I was up all night I was so excited!” Maria said. “Now let me look at you momma!”
Maria looked at Liz from her toes to her face and back down again before saying, “you look great! You’re all belly! Have you even gained enough weight?” Maria asked worriedly.

“Yeah eighteen pounds!” Liz said finally calming down and wiping her tears away. “I’m a total pig, you should see what I eat! I'll probably gain twenty-five to thrity pounds by the time I'm done, so that's normal.”

“Well you look fantastic! Max is just going to die when he sees you!” Maria said. “Are you hungry? We could go around the corner and get a scone or something.”

“No I just want to sit down if that’s okay, I’m wiped!” Liz said as she walked over to Maria’s bed and sat down on it, leaning back to support her weight with her arms.

“I know, I’m sorry for having Nigel bring you here so early, but I have a matinee performance this afternoon and I just couldn’t wait to see you!” Maria said tears filling her eyes again.

“A performance of what?” Liz asked.

“Oh, I got a part in a small theatre production here in London. I’ve only been here a few weeks. That’s why I’m here! I have two weeks left before going home.” Maria said. “I like it here but I really miss Michael.” She said sadly.

“I bet, and where is “home”? Liz asked.

“Nice try Chica!” Maria laughed. “Don’t think for a second that Max didn’t coach me on what and what not to tell you!”

Liz laughed with her. “I know. It was worth a try right?” Liz looked at Maria again. “It is so good to see you, I really missed having a best friend the last seven months. I can’t tell you all of the times I wanted to just pick up the phone and call you to tell you some interesting tidbit about my pregnancy or something.”

“It’s really great to see you too honey. You can fill me in on everything over the next few days. Besides, I need to know all about the pregnancy stuff.” Maria looked at the ground smiling.

“Why?” Liz asked trying to read her expression. “Maria are you…pregnant?”

Maria looked at her and smiled before nodding. Liz jumped off the bed and her and Maria held hands as they jumped up and down a few times.

“You are? Seriously?” Liz asked as they stopped and Liz rubbed her belly.

“Yep, six weeks.” Maria said. “Michael doesn’t know yet, he’s been pretty busy with work and stuff.” Maria said, not wanting to elaborate on what Michael was working on with Max.

“Congratulations sweetie, I’m sure he’ll be thrilled!” Liz said. “Well, there’s nothing to worry about. My pregnancy has been completely normal so far.”

“Completely? Are you sure?” Maria asked worry clouding over her eyes.

“Yeah why? What’s wrong?” Liz asked sitting down on the edge of the bed again and bringing Maria down to sit next to her still holding her hands.

“Well, I’ve been having these weird cravings…” Maria said trailing off.

“Oh you mean the Tabasco?” Liz asked laughing.

Maria nodded. “So you have it too?” she asked, visibly relaxing.

“Of course!” Liz answered. “Don’t worry, it’s normal. I just forgot about it, I’m used to it now so I don’t think of it as strange anymore.”

“Ok good!” Maria said. “While you’re here, we have to go shop for a few things.” She said changing the subject.

“Such as?” Liz asked raising her eyebrows.

“Oh I don’t know, baby stuff and things.” Maria said with a playful grin.

“By the way, did you tell Max I was pregnant?” Liz asked.

“No, but you should have by now Liz." Maria chastised. “I mean your due in what twelve weeks?”

“Yeah, about.” Liz answered, her eyes downcast. “I know I should have told him Maria. I just couldn’t do it over the phone. He’s been acting like he knows though, so I figured you told him.”

“Nope, you told me not to tell him and I didn’t. He does know though.” Maria smiled. “He’s been having these dreams Liz. Something about you and the baby with him on a beach…. I don’t know.”

“Really?” Liz asked. “Have you and Michael shared any dreams lately?”

“Shared as in having the same dream you mean?” Maria asked.

Liz nodded. “The dream you just described has been occurring throughout my pregnancy.”

Maria’s eyes got big. “Really? I did have a dream the other night about the baby Liz.” She whispered.

“Then Michael probably already knows.” Liz said smiling.

“Well, things are never dull are they?” Maria asked. “Anything else I should know?”

“Well let’s see..this is off the subject, but I ran into Kyle at the airport in New York.” Liz said as Maria nearly fell off the edge of the bed. “He said to tell you hi.”

“What else did he say?” Maria whispered.

“Nothing. He’s married to this tall blond woman who is obviously a total idiot. He met her in Colorado.” Maria laughed so she continued. “He was in New York for your mom and Jim’s anniversary. Did you know they live there now?” Liz asked.

“Yeah. I called her once at the old number and it had a forwarding one to a 212 area code. How are they?” Maria asked sadly.

“Good I think, but you have to call your mom. She’s worried.” Liz said gently. “Besides she needs to know she’s going to be a grandmother.”

“Oh so you’ve told your mom and dad then?” Maria asked raising her eyebrows. Liz looked at the floor. “I thought not.” Maria said.

“Look Liz you know as well as I do that our parents hate Max and Michael. I mean I'm furious that they never told us they came back to Roswell. I'm not ready to just forgive and forget yet." Maria said. “Besides, they can’t know where we are right now, and until we can go back and see them, there’s no point in getting them excited about grandchildren.”

“I know. Your right. I want to confront my mom and dad on why they lied to me about Max coming back, but I'm not ready yet.” Liz nodded. “I told Kyle to tell them we were okay and we would get in touch as soon as we could. I didn’t tell Kyle where I was headed, just said I was going to see a friend overseas.”

“Did he believe you?” Maria asked.

“Yeah, I was in the international terminal, otherwise I would have told him I was going somewhere in the U.S. he knew I was going to see Max though, said if I was pregnant I had to be going to see Max. Isn’t that weird?” Liz asked.

“No. Remember when I told you that we tried to have a baby but couldn’t?” Liz nodded.
“He must of just known that you felt the same way about Max than I did about Michael. He is a detective after all. Seeing you pregnant, it must have just been obvious to him.” Maria said. “he’s always been able to read the two of us like books Liz. He was the only one who understood what we were going through when they left us. It was why I married him.”

Liz nodded. “He knew you were with Michael too, he asked me if you had any kids. I guess I gave him the wrong answer!” Liz burst out laughing. “Enough about Kyle, when are you going to tell Michael?”

“In three days when the two of us go to Paris!” Maria said walking over to the bureau and pulling out her plane ticket. “My seat is right next to yours!”

“Really?” Liz asked. “That’s great! So are you meeting him at the Eiffel Tower too?”

“No, we’re not nearly as romantic as you two, we’re meeting at the hotel.” Maria said. “You two will have the Eiffel Tower all to yourselves, then you and Max are staying at the finest hotel one night before he takes you home.”

“It seems so far away I can’t wait to see him.” Liz said as she wiped the tears from her eyes.

“Well, don’t you worry, the next three days will fly by and then we’ll be on our way. Besides, we have tons of stuff to do until then.” Maria smiled. “Let’s do this, you go have Nigel take you to your hotel, take a nap and relax. Then I’ll call you after my show and we’ll get together for dinner. I’ll get you a ticket so you can come see the evening performance tomorrow night.”

“Sounds great!” Liz said standing up and hugging Maria again. “I’ve really missed you Maria, and I can’t wait to get all caught up!”

“Me either, and we are going to do some serious shopping too girl!” Maria giggled.

“I don’t know about that, I only have one suitcase and I don’t want to travel with tons of bags.” Liz said thoughtfully.

“No worries, I was planning on shipping all of our stuff home anyway. I don’t want to take a ton of stuff to Paris either. Liz, don’t worry about money either okay, Max told me to let you buy whatever you wanted, his treat.” Maria said.

“Believe me Maria, Max has done enough and actually I have plenty of money.” Liz smiled opening the door and stepping out into the hallway.

“Ok, then I’ll call you when I get back and we’ll set up dinner!” she leaned in to give Liz another hug. “See you later sweetie!” she waved as Liz started waddling down the hall.

When Liz got into the lift Maria closed the door and leaned against it, resting her head on the wood. She smiled and a tear rolled down her cheek. “Soon we’ll all be together again, and I’ll be waddling just like Liz does.” She said to herself before walking over and plopping down on to the bed for a nap, thinking about what their lives would be like once they were all living peacefully with no worries, and no threats. She hoped everything was going as planned with Max and Michael.

Part 24

Liz and Maria spent the next three days eating their way around London, taking breaks to do some shopping. Liz had told Maria all about her pregnancy, her job, and everything that she’d been doing since they last saw each other.

Maria still refused to tell Liz where they would be heading after Paris, but she did tell her that they all would be living together once they reached their final destination. Liz had learned that Michael was painting out of one of the garages in their house that they had turned into a studio, and he was having a lot of success in the local galleries as well as across Europe.

She had also found out that Isabel was designing clothes and her new European line was just starting to take off with the local celebrities. She was in love as well, but Maria wouldn’t really elaborate on who with.

As for Max, Maria said he was working in a research facility and making good money on some sort of top secret project. She said he was miserable without Liz, like the light had gone out of his eyes. Maria told her that sometimes she would just find him outside looking out into space, with tears in his eyes. Everyone knew not to bother him when he was doing that because it meant he was thinking about Liz. This made Liz smile and her heart clench. She couldn’t wait to see him.

Maria’s theatre production was awful, but Maria was fantastic in it. Liz had loved watching her perform, and it was a musical, so she got to hear her best friend sing as well. Maria had told her that after she had the baby she was going to go back to singing full time. She had said that by the time the baby was born, it should be safe enough for them to resume their lives, either in Europe or the United States. As it was all of them were going by false names.

They had decided to meet for dinner on their last night in London. Since their plane was leaving at 6 am for Paris, they decided to make it early. Now they were sitting outside in a small café drinking tea and eating salads.

“So what’s the plan tomorrow when we get to Paris?” Liz asked taking a huge bite of her salad.

“Well, we’ll both share a limo and the driver will drop you off at your hotel first. Then he’ll take me to mine. We’ll meet for lunch and go buy you something sexy to wear for Max tomorrow night.” Maria winked. “There’s no where better to buy lingerie than Paris! I'm buying something killer for myself!”

Liz smiled at the thought of her pregnant form in lingerie. “I don’t know Maria, do you think Max will like the way I’m going to look in sexy lingerie? I mean I look like I have a beach ball attached to my middle.” Liz laughed.

“He’ll love it! Besides I told you he’s pretty positive already that your pregnant. If you think he's going to wait to make love to you until after the baby is born you’re crazy girl.” Maria said. “We’ll get you something beautiful.”

“Okay, after the shopping then what?” Liz asked.

“We’ll go back to our separate hotels and you can relax before going to meet Max at the Tower. I told him you’d be there by 8pm, so you should have plenty of time to nap and make yourself irresistible for him!” Maria smiled and took a sip of her tea.

“God Maria, I can’t believe I’m going to be with him tomorrow night. It’s like a dream.” Liz said looking out into space. “I can’t wait! I bet I don’t sleep tonight at all!” Liz confessed.

“I know, I can’t wait to see Michael either! He’s meeting me at my hotel whenever him and Max get done with their business.” Maria said dreamily.

“What kind of business do they both have in Paris?” Liz asked picking up on Maria’s slip of the tongue.

Maria looked surprised at her question before realizing what she had just said. “Oh umm, I’m not sure.”

“Maria, spill it. I want to know what you’re not telling me. Right now.” Liz said starting to get angry at her best friend's silence. “Don’t lie to me, we’ve been through too much together to do that.”

“Liz, I can’t. I promised Max I wouldn’t tell you. He doesn’t want you to worry.” Maria said and she looked into Liz’s eyes. “He’ll tell you himself when it’s time.”

“Time for what?” Liz asked. “No, I want to know now, or I’m not getting on that plane tomorrow. I won’t put my baby in danger.” Liz said protectively.

“It’s not dangerous Liz!” Maria said quickly. “God, how could you think Max would put you or his child in danger?” she asked. “No, it’s just..” she looked around., “alien related.” She said quietly.

“Are they in trouble? Are people after them here too?” Liz asked starting to panic.

“No, their just taking care of some stuff back home. They want to be able to go back eventually, and they want to make sure it will be safe when we do.” Maria said.

“Taking care of what kind of stuff exactly?” Liz asked. “Maria what’s going on?”

“Ok I’ll tell you, but you have to swear not to tell Max I did.” Maria said begging her.

“Maria, I can’t lie to Max, but I promise to try to keep this conversation between us.” Liz said.

Maria nodded. “Ok. I don’t know everything, but I’ll tell you what I do know.” Liz nodded and she continued. “When they came back from…you know..” she pointed up towards the sky. “well they didn’t come back alone.” She whispered. “they brought back some people, and they all work for Max and Michael.”

Liz’s eyes grew wide. “What do they do for them?” she asked.

“Well, Max is in charge because of his royal status you know, so he calls the shots. Michael just makes sure people are doing the stuff he asks of them.” Maria said.

“What kind of stuff Maria?” Liz asked.

“Right now?” Maria asked and Liz nodded. “One of Max’s men just got promoted to the head of the SU.” Maria whispered. “At least that’s what Michael said on the phone last night.

Liz thought for a moment. “Do you mean McMahon?” Liz asked her eyes wide.

Maria nodded. “Do you know him Liz?” she whispered.

Liz nodded slowly. “I saw him in LA the day I left. He followed me on to the plane.”

“Oh my God are you serious?” Maria asked. “What did he say?”

“He saw me using Tabasco. He told me I should be more careful, and he said we didn’t have to worry anymore, that he had bigger fish to fry, and we were no longer the SU’s concern.” Liz said recalling their conversation. “Maria, what was he talking about?”

Maria hesitated a minute before answering her. “Skins Liz. There are Skins there. That’s what he meant. He’s supposed to be setting up some sort of trap to catch them and let the SU do experiments on them. Sort of killing two birds with one stone.” Maria said.

“What do you mean?” Liz asked confused.

“Well, they’ll be getting rid of the Skins so we can return to the U.S. without having to worry about them, and they’ll also be satisfying the Unit’s craving for alien’s, also making it safer for us.” Maria said glancing around to make sure no one was listening.

Liz nodded. “So how did McMahon know who I was?” she asked.

“Are you kidding me?” Maria asked. “Max made sure all of his people know who you are. You haven’t known it, but you’re probably the most protected woman in America, even safer than the first lady.” She laughed.

Liz’s eyes grew wide. “Wow.” It was all she managed to get out.

The waitress came and cleared their plates and dropped off their check. Maria paid it and they left the café, walking back to Liz’s hotel, neither one of them saying anything.

“Look, Liz, don’t worry. Max and Michael can handle everything. You just go rest and I’ll be here to pick you up in the morning to go get our men okay?” Maria asked.

“Yeah, I know they can handle it. At least we’re all safe here and their not going to the U.S. themselves.” She said nodding her head.

“That’s right.” Maria said. “They can’t just go running off like in the old days, they have other responsibilities now. That’s why they brought the others back with them. They can’t do everything themselves. Max has been working on this for years Liz, even before we found them in LA.”

“I’m sure, I met McMahon after I graduated the academy. He was already working for Max I assume?” Liz asked.

“Yep. By the way, that’s who Isabel is in love with!” Maria said smiling.

“Wow, that’s great!” Liz smiled. “I know I don’t need to worry. I’ll see you in the morning.” Liz said giving Maria a hug.

“Okay sweetie, sleep well.” Maria said as she hugged her back and started walking down the sidewalk trying to hail a cab. She had instantly thought she should have had Nigel drive her. Finally she was able to get one to pick her up, and she rode back to her hotel hoping Max wouldn’t be too upset with her for telling Liz what was going on.


Liz awoke the next morning and hopped out of bed more excited than she had ever been in her life. Tonight she would be sleeping with Max. She ran into the bathroom as fast as her awkward frame would carry her and hopped into the shower, getting done in record time. She put on a pale blue sundress and her white socks and Keds and threw all of her stuff into her suitcase. Maria had taken all of her purchases the day before, and had arranged to ship them directly to wherever their house was.

She walked down to the lobby and looked at her watch. She still had fifteen minutes until Maria and Nigel would be here to collect her, so she picked up a magazine off of one of the tables and sat down to start reading it. When she reached the third page, she smiled. There was a giant picture of the Eiffel Tower. She looked around to make sure no one would see her and she quickly ripped the page out of the magazine, carefully folded it and stuffed it into her shoulder bag.

She smiled as she looked out the window and saw Nigel’s limo pull up and him hopping out of the car. He opened the door for Maria and she stepped out wearing a yellow skirt and tight white blouse. She saw Liz in the lobby at once through the window and waved. Liz waved back and headed out the door, thrilled that they were early. As she was about to walk out the man standing behind the desk called out to her.

“Ms. Parker?” He said and Liz turned around.

“Yes?” Liz said stopping and looking at him.

“You have a phone call. We tried to ring your room, but you obviously are getting ready to leave. Would you care to take it over there?” the man asked and pointed towards a counter across the lobby holding six or seven phones on it.

“Sure.” Liz said holding up her finger so Maria would know she would be a minute. Maria pointed to her watch and Liz nodded, quickly walking over to the counter holding the phones. One started ringing and she picked it up.

“This is Liz Parker.” She said answering it.

“Hi there sexy.” Max’s voice said on the other end of the line. “I’m glad I caught you.”

“Hi Max!” Liz said, her smile widening. “Is something wrong?” she wondered aloud as her expression darkened.

“No, no. I just couldn’t wait until tonight to hear your voice.” Max said sweetly. “How was your layover with Maria?”

“It was great, but I’m really excited about being with you Max, I can’t wait to sleep in the same bed with you tonight and feel you holding me.” Liz confessed.

“Well I hope that’s not all your planning for tonight.” Max said seductively.

Liz laughed, but didn’t say anything.

“Well you better go, otherwise you’ll miss your flight. Is Maria there yet?” Max asked concerned.

“Yep she’s outside waiting for me.” Liz said. “So I guess I’ll see you tonight at the Tower?” Liz asked.

“Count on it! I’ll meet you at the top okay?” Max asked and Liz smiled, her eyes filling up with tears.

“Kay.” She said. “I love you and I can’t wait.”

“Me either.” Max said sweetly. “Bye baby.”

“Bye.” Liz said hanging up. She wiped her eyes and walked quickly out the door, hopping into Maria’s limo and heading for the airport.

Maria took one look at her dazed state, smiled and asked, “So how’s Max?”

Natures first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold
Her early leaf's a flower
But only so an hour
Then leaf subsides to leaf
So Eden sank to grief
So Dawn goes down to day
Nothing Gold can stay
-Robert Frost
posted on 31-Aug-2001 6:30:00 PM
Part 25

Maria and Liz’s flight went off without a hitch and much to Liz’s relief; they didn’t run into anyone at the airport. Their limo picked them up and after clearing customs and getting another stamp in their passports, they both headed to their separate hotels to rest and relax for a while.

The met for lunch and went shopping as planned. They went to four different lingerie shops before they both found the items they wanted. Maria had found something she liked at every shop, but insisted that they wouldn’t stop until they had found Liz something she would feel comfortable and sexy in. This was not an easy task since she couldn’t quite picture herself in any of the sexy French ensembles. They had finally found the perfect items and parted ways, promising to meet up for breakfast with Max and Michael the next morning at ten.

Liz sat on the edge of her bed and looked at the clock. She had already showered and put on her make up. She had added a little extra eye shadow and lipgloss to her normal routine, so it would show up in the darkness of evening. She glanced at the new lingerie she had bought that afternoon, and decided to wait and put it on after they returned to the hotel.

She had no idea whether Max expected her to dress up for the evening or not, so she decided to wear a long black stretchy skirt and her black boots, along with a yellow silk fitted sweater that was long sleeved and had a shiny yellow ribbon that ran through it just under her bust line and tied into a bow. She looked in the mirror at her reflection and decided she looked cute, so she brushed out her long brown hair and added a simple black headband to complete the outfit.

She thought for a moment about trying harder to hide the obvious swell of her abdomen, but thought better of it. She was proud that she was carrying Max’s baby and she wanted him to know it. Besides, she had seen pregnant women that looked much larger at this stage than she did. She realized as she looked at her reflection one last time that pregnancy suited her, and she wouldn’t mind going through it once or twice more in her life.

She grabbed her black leather trench coat from off of the chair and picked up her black Fendi purse that she had also purchased that afternoon, and checked the room one last time. She had bought both vanilla and strawberry scented candles and had placed them all around their room, in anticipation of returning later with Max. She had also arranged for the hotel to bring up a bottle of sparkling cider and some champagne flutes for them.

She closed the door and walked down the hallway to the elevator. She stepped in and looked down at her hands and was surprised to see that they were actually shaking. She felt butterflies in her stomach, and the baby was moving around like it was having trouble getting comfortable in it’s small confined space. She laughed out loud when she actually saw her stomach move under her sweater.

She stepped out of her hotel and felt the cool night air hit her face, so she quickly put on her jacket as the doorman hailed her a cab. She had been warned that it was not safe for her to try to walk at night, and though it was close, she didn’t want to chance it. She stepped into the cab and noticed her hands were shaking even more now, and was surprised that she was so nervous about seeing Max.

When she arrived at the Eiffel Tower, it was brilliantly lit with millions of tiny gold lights, flickering and creating the most amazing effect. Her breath caught in her throat, as she stood completely spellbound at the image it created. She had never thought the Tower was beautiful before actually seeing it. It had always been just a giant mass of twisted metal to her, but she knew now why Paris had kept it as a landmark. She knew the second she looked at it why Max had sent her the miniature version and why he had wanted to meet her here. It was the most romantic place she had ever been to.

She bought her ticket to the top and was quickly whisked away in the elevator as her stomach sank and her mouth went dry. She had never been a big fan of heights, but she could deal with it, knowing what awaited her at the top of this majestic edifice. The elevator stopped and she transferred to another one to take her up to the middle level, not bothering to look around. From there she got on another elevator to go the rest of the way up.

When she reached the top, she looked around the covered area, not seeing anyone that resembled Max at all, so she headed out to the open air level and looked for him there. She glanced at her watch and realized she was fifteen minutes early, so she walked over to the railing and looked out over the city. Again her breath was swept away by the beauty. She was up higher than she had probably ever been before, looking out over one of the most beautiful cities in the world, waiting for love of her life. She trembled with excitement and looked at her watch again. Nine minutes.

She sighed and looked around again, wondering if she should go back in under the covered section of the observation level. She decided that she would enjoy it outside for a few more minutes, and when it was almost time for her to meet Max she would go back in. It was a mild evening with a slight breeze, and with her coat, she was quite comfortable.

A few minutes later she felt the baby kick hard and she put her hand on her belly, rubbing it slowly as she had become used to doing out of habit. The baby kicked again, even harder than the first time and she grabbed the rail with her free hand to steady herself. “What’s the matter with you?” she whispered to her stomach as she shifted her weight, trying to rearrange the position of the baby.

“Maybe she knows her daddy is here.” Max’s deep voice whispered in her ear as his arms snaked around her from behind and rested on her stomach. He buried his face in her neck as he inhaled her scent and he put his hands on top of hers, as he helped her rub the area where the baby was kicking her a moment earlier. She took the hand that she was using to hold onto the railing and reached up behind her to touch the back of his head with it, not really believing he was actually there holding her.

Liz ran her fingers through his hair and she leaned her head back on his chest as tears spilled out of her eyes. She slowly turned around to face him, and their eyes locked instantaneously. “Are you really here?” Liz asked looking at his face. She lowered her eyes to take in all of him starting from his toes, up his black pants, and over his soft black sweater, taking in his black leather coat, before glancing back up to his face. She inhaled the scent of his coat mixed with his aftershave and tears sprung to her eyes. It was Max.

Max nodded and cupped her face in his hands. “Yes beautiful, I’m really here. I’m never leaving you again either.” Max whispered. “You or our daughter.”

“How do you know it’s a girl?” Liz asked, wiping at her eyes.

“The same way you do, the dreams.” Max whispered as he leaned forward to kiss her for the first time in seven months. He ran his lips over hers, gently at first, but then took her mouth in his with the passion that had built over the many months they had spent apart. He kissed her until he had taken the last of her breath away and they both had to come up for air. “God Liz I missed you so much.” Max said as he pulled away from her. “It was so hard knowing you were pregnant and all alone. I’m sorry.”

“Max please don’t apologize, we both did what we had to do, and now we can live in peace. I’m so glad that you’re here holding me again.” Liz said as she leaned her head into his chest and her tears started to flow freely. “I love you so much.” She whispered in between the heaving sobs that she was finding difficult to control.

“Shhh.” Max whispered as he ran his fingers through her hair. “It’s okay baby.” He lowered one of his hands and began rubbing her back, looking out into the distance. He continued to let her cry, knowing that there wasn’t any point in trying to stop her, so he just held her and rubbed her back for a while, kissing the top of her head every other second or so to reassure her that he was there and that they were together again.

Finally after a long while, Liz’s sobs ceased and she looked up at Max nervously. “Max, are you happy that we’re going to have a baby?” she asked, the doubt and fears over the last several months coming back to her.

“Oh babe, I’m thrilled.” Max smiled as her ran his thumb over her bottom lip. “It’s bad enough that we went all these years before finding each other. Why would you think I would be anything but completely happy?”

“I don’t know.” Liz shrugged. “I guess maybe I thought you would be disappointed that it happened so soon. I mean we only made love once.”

“I know, but it was the most special night of my life Liz, and the fact that we created a life, makes it even more special.” Max said quietly. “I don’t need a piece of paper to tell me that I’m going to be with you for the rest of my life, I know I will. There’s no reason to not have a baby together. I can’t wait to be a dad.” Max confessed as tears filled his eyes.

Liz nodded and smiled. “So you don’t think I look too fat then?” she tried to laugh, but it came out sounding more like a nervous giggle. She had worried about Max’s reaction to her body ever since she started showing.

“No.” Max whispered. I think you look more beautiful than I have ever seen you look before.” He brushed his lips against hers quickly before releasing her lips to plant kisses on both cheeks and then her forehead.

“Max, why didn’t you tell me that you knew about the baby?” Liz asked quietly, looking at his eyes.

Max looked at her and smiled slightly. “I didn’t need to ask you. I knew. I guess I thought you would tell me when you were ready, but you never did. Why not?”

“I didn’t want to tell you over the phone.” Liz said. “I know it’s stupid, but I knew it would make you feel bad, and I didn’t want you to rush to be with me. I didn’t want anything to interfere with what you were doing to ensure Michael, Maria and Isabel’s safety. I didn’t want to be responsible for you making a quick decision just because you knew I was pregnant.”

“Still, I wish you would have told me.” Max pouted like a little boy for a moment. “It doesn’t matter now.” He smiled. “We’re together and we have many years to look forward too, and I’ll have a couple of more of your pregnancies to make up for time lost on this one.”

“Oh really?” Liz teased as she reached her hand around to the back of his neck and played with his hair.

“Why don’t you want more kids Liz?” Max asked sounding worried.

“Mmm-hmm.” She murmured as she leaned into kiss him again. This time she took the lead as she parted his mouth with her tongue and teased him slightly before pulling away. “Come on Max, there’s a perfectly good hotel room going to waste around the corner.” She grabbed his hand and started to drag him back towards where the elevators were inside.

“Liz wait.” Max said taking hold of her elbow spinning her back around gently.

“What?” Liz asked staring at the serious expression on his face. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing.” Max said taking both of her hands in his. “There was just something else I wanted to ask you before we left.”

“Oh. Okay, what is it?” Liz asked searching his face for a clue to what he was feeling.

Max looked in her eyes and reached forward to cup the side of her face in one of his hands before placing a gentle kiss on her lips. He got down on one knee and pulled out a little black box, while holding one her hands in his.

“Liz Parker, you are the love of my life.” Max began, opening the box, revealing a large, gleaming diamond ring.” From the first moment I saw you, I knew that you would be the only one that would know the real me. The years we went without each other were the most painful, lonely years of my life, and since finding you again, just breathing brings me joy because I know it brings me one breath closer to being with you. I love you, and I want to start showing you how much right now. I want to spend the rest of my life sharing my soul with my one true love, the one who already own my heart, you Liz.” His eyes filled with tears. “I’ve always told you that we choose our own destinies remember?” she nodded. “Right now I’m choosing mine. Please Liz, will you marry me?” Max finished, still looking into Liz’s eyes as they had throughout his proposal. They had gone from shock to happiness to tears, and as he placed the emerald cut diamond on her finger, he waited for an answer, not really knowing what he would do if she said no. In fact the thought hadn’t occurred to him until that very moment.

Liz looked down at him and fresh tears fell down her cheeks and all she could do was nod. She took a deep breath and tugged on Max’s hand urging him to stand up. When he did she threw her arms around his neck and murmured “Yes, yes, yes.” into his neck, before pulling back to look into his eyes. “Max,” she said wiping her tears for what seemed like the hundredth time that night. “That was the most beautiful thing anyone has ever said to me. Of course I’ll marry you, I can’t live another moment without you, you and our baby are my life now and I want to spend the rest of it loving you and raising our children.”

Tears rolled down Max’s cheeks as he nodded, any words escaping him. He was finally going to marry Liz, and as the whooshing in his ears stopped, he realized that every single person standing on the observation deck of the Eiffel Tower were clapping and cheering and some women were even crying, for him and Liz. He looked around and then looked back at Liz, who seemed to have realized this at the exact same time. “Come on,” he leaned in and whispered in her ear. “I believe you said there was a hotel room somewhere going to waste

On the other side of Paris, Maria was sitting across from Michael at the hotel restaurant. He had arrived as planned, and after a quick make out session to say hello to each other, they had decided to go eat. He was seated across from her looking very handsome in a blue button down shirt and gray slacks that she had picked out for him back home after burning every flannel shirt he owned.

“So,” he said looking at her while taking a bite of his steak. “How’s the show going?”

“Good.” Maria said. “Just a few more weeks after the hiatus, and then I’ll be able to come home.”

“Good, I don’t like you staying London all alone. Especially now.” Michael said mysteriously.

“What do you mean?” Maria asked nervously. She wondered if Liz was right, and Michael knew about the baby.

“Nothing.” Michael said quickly. “I just heard the crime rate in that area was going up.” He took another bite of his steak.

Maria looked down at her tasteless chicken and started to feel sick. She had to tell him. Right now, or she wouldn’t make it through dinner without puking. She reached for the bottle of Tabasco sauce and drowned her chicken with orange sauce in it before pouring it into her chocolate milk.

Michael smiled, but quickly wiped it off his face as she looked up at him again.

“Michael, there’s something I have to tell you. I was going to wait until we were back in the room later, but I can’t. I have to tell you right now.” Maria said all in one dragged out breath.

Michael put his fork and knife down and looked at her, trying hard not to laugh. He wanted to have a little fun first. “Really? You know there was something I wanted to tell you too.” He said.

“Oh. Ok.” Maria said relieved that she wasn’t the only one with big news.

“Yeah, Max wants me to go to Germany for a few months, there’s some of our people there working on some classified stuff. I hope you can live without me for a while after you get back?” Michael said as he reached over and took her hand. “I know it will suck, but he really needs me there.” He hesitated seeing her horrified expression. “Unless there’s some reason you could think of that I shouldn’t go without you.”

Maria was near tears up until she heard that last sentence. She realized what he was doing and decided to play along. She never let Michael get the better of her and she wasn’t about to start now.

“Nope, I can’t think of a single reason.” Maria said as she took a sip of her chocolate milk. “I mean it won’t be too much different than me being in London and you in Italy right?” she smiled sweetly.

Michael knew he’d been had, Maria could read him like a book. He was a terrible liar. “So what was your big news?” he asked with a bitter tone.

“Oh I didn’t say it was big news, I just said I had something to tell you.” Maria said trying not to laugh.

“And?” Michael asked, completely pissed that he had started this game to begin with.

“Oh nothing, I was just going to tell you that you had some broccoli stuck in your teeth.” Maria smiled pointing at her front teeth and saying, “Right about here.”

Michael looked at her and started to pick at his teeth, which got hysterical giggles out of Maria. He looked at her angrily. “Come on Maria, cut the crap. Just say it. Just tell me damned it!” he practically yelled.

“Say your sorry first for torturing me.” Maria pouted, her red lips frowning.

“Me torturing you? Shit, I’ve been waiting for days for you to tell me and you haven’t, you’re the one torturing me!” Michael said looking at her and trying to keep his voice down.

“Ok, ok.” Maria gave in. “I don’t know why I have to tell you. You obviously know already.” Maria said, disappointment filling her tone.

“So then the dream was real?” Michael asked amazed.

“Yep. Michael, I’m pregnant.” Maria said waiting for the explosion. She knew Michael loved her, and she wasn’t worried of losing him, but she was pretty positive he wasn’t ready to be a father. They had never once talked about kids, so she wasn’t sure if he ever wanted them.

Michael sat and looked at her for a moment, trying to think of the right thing to say. Finally Maria couldn’t stand it anymore.

“Well? Aren’t you at least going to give me a kiss, or at the very least say something?” Maria fumed staring at him.

“Yeah..of course…I mean…God, I’m just speechless.” Michael blurted out. “Wow.”

“Great. And that means?” Maria asked.

“I’m happy sweetie.” Michael managed to say. “I mean I thought you were, but actually hearing you say’s just different than I thought it would sound.”

“Are you really happy, or are you just saying that?” Maria asked suspiciously.

“No, I really am.” Michael said standing up and moving over to sit next to her. He put his arm around her shoulders and whispered, “I really, really, really am happy Maria. I love you, and you are going to look so cute all big and pregnant.” He smiled at her and she laughed. “ But there are a few things we need to talk about.”

“Like what?” Maria asked, envisioning all of the horrible things he could tell her like he was leaving for months.

“Like, the fact that I don’t want you going back to London. I want you to stay in Italy where I can be with you.” Michael said sternly.

“Why?” Maria asked.

“Because I’ve just spent the last seven months with Max everyday, seeing him worry about Liz and their baby, and I refuse to do that just so you can perform in that awful production.” Michael blurted out.

“I thought you liked the show!” Maria said tears filling her eyes.

“No, I said I liked YOU in the show. The show is awful, and they can live without you. I can’t.” Michael said. “I want to be with you every step of the way Maria. This is my baby too.”

Maria thought about it and nodded her head. She knew Michael made sense, and she wanted him to be there for her pregnancy. “Ok. I’ll quit the show and come home for good.” She said. “Anything else?”

“Yes as a matter of fact there is Ms. Deluca.” Michael said as he got off the seat and kneeled down revealing a small velvet box.

Maria gasped as she ripped it out of his hand and opened it, revealing a round solitaire that was at least three carats. “Oh my God!” she yelled as half the restaurant turned around.

“Hey, give me that!” Michael said as he grabbed the ring leaving her holding the empty box with her right hand as he slipped the ring on her left. “I’m trying to do this right Maria!” he said impatiently.

“Sorry, sorry, go ahead.” Maria said shaking.

“Maria, you know I love you. There isn’t really any words that describe our relationship and what it means to me so I will try to explain it the only way I know how.” He waved over a waiter who came to their table holding a large square object under a red velvet drape. “This is what I hope our future will be, if you do me the honor of becoming my wife.” Michael said as he removed the piece of red velvet revealing one of his paintings. Maria looked at it, and burst into tears as she saw his rendition of him, her and their child, encased in a red glow of love. It was in Michael’s usual abstract style, but Maria could see everything he had wanted her too in it.

Maria took Michael’s face in her hands and slid down off of the seat so she was sitting next to him on the floor. Tears had spilled out over his eyes and he was looking at her waiting for her answer.

“Michael, I would love to be your wife. God I’ve been waiting for you to ask me for ten years!” Maria said before she burst into tears. He crushed her body to his and planted gentle kisses all over her face before pulling away and helping her to stand up.

He put his arm around her and took the painting from the waiter. He led her out of the restaurant and back up to their room, tears still streaming down her face.

Part 26 (NC-17)

Max and Liz walked hand in hand back to their hotel and when they reached the lobby Liz pulled out the key to her room as they started walking to the elevator.

“You don’t need that, you’re not in that room anymore.” Max said as he took the key out of her hand and led her to the front desk. He handed the key to the attendant and then he pulled her towards the elevator.

“Max, what’s going on?” Liz asked. “The room I was in was beautiful.”

“But it wasn’t the best Liz, and you deserve the best. Besides, I have a surprise for you. Come on.” Max said as he kissed her cheek and they stepped into the glass elevator.

“I don’t need any other surprises. Just being with you is enough.” Liz said as she leaned in and brushed her lips against his cheek. He turned his head at the touch and took her mouth in his for a moment before they had reached the top floor of the hotel and the doors opened.

He took her hand and led her down the deserted hallway until they had reached the room at the end of it. He took the card key and swiped it through the scanner attached to the double doors and when the light turned green, the lock clicked and he opened both of them, stepping aside to let her enter.

“Oh my God, Max it’s beautiful!” Liz said as she looked around the suite. She slowly walked over to the couch and stopped, looking around at all of the candles that were lit. She smiled, realizing that Max must have let them know when to light them.

“Look outside. That’s the surprise.” Max said smiling as Liz walked over to the French doors and opened them, stepping out onto the huge balcony. Liz walked over to the edge and looked out over the city. The Eiffel Tower was in full view only a block away.

“Wow.” Liz said turning to look at Max with tears in her eyes. “Could you possibly be any more romantic Max Evans?” she asked.

“What can I say?” he said walking over to her and taking her hands in his. “You bring it out of me soon to be Mrs. Evans.” He kissed her lips gently before leading her back inside. “I can’t wait for you to be Liz Evans.” He said as they walked back to the room.

“Me either.” Liz said looking at her gorgeous engagement ring.

“I had all of your stuff brought over from your room, and it should be in the closet. Do you want something to eat?” Max asked as he released her hand and walked over to the phone. “I was thinking I would call room service and have them bring something up, if that’s okay.”

“Sure, that’s fine. I’m starved. I was too nervous to eat before going to meet you.” Liz admitted shyly.

“Me too.” Max said. “I’ll just order some chicken and potatoes and some sparkling cider. How does that sound?”

“Fine. Be sure to order some..” Liz started but Max cut her off.

“Tabasco..I know.” He smiled. “Would you like a chocolate milk?”

“Mm-hmm.” Liz smiled.

“I thought you might.” Max said laughing. “Why don’t you go take a bath and relax while we’re waiting?”

“Well I was kid of hoping we could take one together after we ate.” Liz said seductively. “That is if we both fit!” she laughed.

“That sounds great. I’m sure we can both squeeze in, go look at how big the tub is.” Max smiled.

“Okay I’ll be right back.” Liz said walking towards the back of the suite. She passed the bedroom and glanced inside. There was a huge king size bed that was covered in a beautiful down comforter in pastel colors, and tons of fluffy pillows. Max had all of the vanilla and strawberry candles from her room moved in here, and they were waiting to be lit. Just having them in the enclosed space, made the entire room smell sweet and romantic. She inhaled deeply as she walked over to the closet and peeked inside. All of her clothes that had been hung in her closet were now hanging in here, and her suitcase still held all of her lingerie and other intimate apparel.

Liz smiled, walking into the bathroom. She looked at the huge tub, and realized that they would have no problem getting in it together. There was a huge basket of bubble bath, shampoo and bath gel, along with moisturizing bath beads. When she stepped towards to the tub to take a closer look, she noticed that it had been filled with water, and had hundreds of rose petals floating on the surface. She lost her breath for a moment as she looked at the tub, realizing once again how romantic Max was. A tear rolled down her cheek as the scent of roses filled her senses. She quickly wiped it away and walked back into the front room.

Liz walked over to Max quickly. He was still on the phone with room service but she didn’t care. She grabbed him passionately and roughly, with a need she hadn’t known existed. She pressed her lips to his as he mumbled into the phone and then hung it up, trying a couple of times before actually getting in onto the phone base. His eyes were wide with surprise at her forwardness, but he quickly closed them to enjoy her touch completely.

Liz continued to kiss him roughly, before she had to come up for air, but then she quickly moved her lips to his neck, which she knew would drive him crazy.

He didn’t disappoint her as he moaned when her hot breath hit his sensitive flesh. He ran his hand up her back and onto her neck as he placed his other hand on her bottom, pushing her into him as roughly as she was kissing his neck. He felt her swollen belly push up against his stomach, but he continued to press her into him, trying to get as close to her as possible with the present circumstance between them.

Liz moaned as she felt the baby kick, and Max kissed her forehead. He could feel it too. She smiled and continued kissing his neck, working her way up the front of his throat and finally getting to his lips again. She shrugged out of her coat, which she still hadn’t removed, and then she helped Max out if his. She leaned back and looked into his eyes before reaching for the bottom of his sweater and pulling it up and over his head.

“Liz, sweetie, we have to stop, room service will be here soon.” Max tried to protest as she began kissing his neck again, while her fingers were working on unbuttoning his long sleeve dress shirt.

“Umm-hmm.” Liz said as she continued down the front of him, her fingers expertly undoing every button. As she did, her fingers brushed against the bare flesh of his chest, and a low growl escaped his throat.

Max quickly scooped her up into his arms, her body still light to him, even carrying the extra weight of their child. He led her over to the sofa and laid her down on it. He leaned in and kissed her on the cheek before releasing himself from her grasp. “Wait here.” He said as he disappeared into the bedroom.

A moment later he had returned, and as he was walking over to her, there was a knock on the door. Max walked over and opened it and a waiter came in, rolling a table set for dinner. I was complete with candles and Liz smiled when she saw the bottles of Yoo-Hoo chilling in the sterling silver bucket.

Max tipped the waiter generously and walked him to the door. When he had left Max turned to Liz. “So are you still hungry?” he asked with a sly grin.

“Yes, but not for what you ordered.” Liz said quietly looking at him with passion filled eyes.

“Me either, come on.” Max said walking over to where she was sitting on the couch and taking her hand. She stood up and followed him to the bedroom where he had lit all of the candles before the food arrived. The room was dimly lit with the glow of their flames, and the smell was completely intoxicating. Max had pulled the covers on the bed back, revealing cream-colored satin sheets with some more rose petals scattered across them.

Max walked up behind her and put his arms around her stomach. “I’ve been waiting for this so long Liz, it’s almost like I’m nervous. It won’t hurt the baby or anything right?” he asked.

“No, everything will be fine, it will just be a little more difficult than last time.” Liz giggled. “Wait here, I have a surprise for you now.”

Max raised his eyebrows at her as she released herself from his embrace and disappeared into the bathroom. He walked over to the bed and sat down, hardly believing that he was about to make love to her again. He felt as though he was floating on air as he removed his shoes and socks and then his pants and shirt, leaving him in only his pair of black boxer briefs. He waited for her to return going over all of the events of the last year in his head. At the same time last year he was a miserable professor, living in fear of being found out by his enemies, and thinking he would never love again. He thought he would die alone and miserable. Now here is was, waiting on a bed in a fabulous hotel in Paris, for Liz, the mother of his soon to be child, and his fiancée. He had taken steps to ensure that they could live in peace for the rest of their lives, and that they would never have to hide again. He smiled to himself as he inhaled the sweet scent of the vanilla and strawberry candles.

He heard the door to the bathroom open and he looked up to see the most beautiful thing he had ever laid his eyes on, Liz standing there in a pale pink negligee. It was a sheer material, and he could see right through it, with the glow of the candles behind her. It covered her breasts, barely, and he was surprised at how much bigger they had gotten since he had last seen her. A moan escaped his lips as he looked at her feminine arms in the sleeveless lingerie. It only covered her to her thighs, and he noticed that she had matching pale pink panties underneath, and he moaned again. She looked beautiful with her swollen belly and it turned Max on knowing he had made her like that.

“Liz, I..” Max said before trailing off.

“I know. I look huge don’t I?” Liz said shyly staring at the ground. She silently cursed herself for allowing Maria into talking her into the ridiculous get up.

“No, you look absolutely breathtaking. I’m speechless. I’ve never seen you more beautiful than you are right now. Come here.” Max said holding his hands out to her.

Liz did as he asked and slowly walked over to where he was sitting on the edge of the bed. She looked at him and realized that he hadn’t changed at all since high school. Aside from the few wrinkles next to his eyes, he looked exactly the same. She was thrilled that he did, he was the sexiest thing she had ever seen. She smiled as she noticed his boxer briefs; he knew that she loved him in those.

“Max, you look just like you did in high school do you know that?” Liz asked as she cupped his face in her hands.

He rested his cheek in her palm and then kissed her thumb. “You look even more beautiful if it’s possible. You haven’t aged at all Liz.” Max said smiling.

“Oh I don’t know about that.” She rolled her eyes. “My many years of bitterness has left me with a few gray hairs.” She laughed as he reached up and ran his hand around the back of her neck, taking his other one and reaching up to brush a stray hair out of her face.

“I don’t think so, it’s just the same gorgeous chocolate brown as it was back then. I do see some lighter pieces in it though. Been hanging out at the beach?” Max asked looking at her and smiling.

“Yeah, I used to walk along the sand when I was in California. I lived not to far from where you had your place. I used to walk over to the house and look at it, remembering the night I was there with you.” Liz looked down at her lap. “I know it’s stupid.”

Max tipped her chin up so she had to look at his eyes. “It’s not stupid Liz. I’ve been doing stuff like that too.” He admitted. “As a matter of fact, our house is by the beach and I walk there a lot too. I started doing it after the dreams.”

Liz’s eyes got big. “The dreams I was having about the little girl in the white dress?” she asked.

“Yes.” Max said caressing her cheek gently. “I’ve seen all of your dreams Liz, I told you, that’s how I knew the baby was going to be a girl. I saw the one’s on the beach as well. I love that dream.”

“Me too. It’s one of my favorites.” Liz whispered. “Don’t be disappointed if it was just my imagination though, it still could be a boy.”

“How come you didn’t find out for sure?” Max asked. “I mean the doctor could have told you right?”

“Yeah, but I didn’t think it would be fair, you know finding out without you.” Liz answered. “I didn’t even want to buy anything for the baby without you so I don’t have much, just a few things I bought on my way here. Maria and I did a little shopping and she had everything shipped to the house.” Liz smiled and looked at him. “You know she’s pregnant too.”

“I figured she was, Michael told me about his dream.” Max said smiling. “I’m so happy for them, but I don’t want to talk about Michael and Maria, I want to talk about us, and then I want to make love to you.”

“Okay, what do you want to talk about?” Liz asked.

“Well, what kind of wedding do you want?” Max asked as he gently pulled the spaghetti strap of her negligee off her shoulder and began to kiss it.

“You know, a small but beautiful one.” Liz said as she tipped her head back at his touch.

“Do you want to do it before or after the baby?” Max asked moving to kiss her neck.

“Do what?” Liz asked completely distracted by his kisses.

“Get married.” Max laughed quietly as he continued to kiss her neck. He moved one of his hands down to her stomach to feel the baby.

“Oh right. I guess before, that’s the proper thing to do.” Liz said as she tipped her head to the side to allow him easier access.

“Well, we could get married privately before the baby and then have the big wedding after it’s born. Maybe wait for Maria to have her baby, and then we could have a double wedding?” Max asked taking the other strap off of her shoulder and moving to the other side.

“Max, that’s a great idea, in fact, Maria would love it! When we were little girls, we used to say we would have a double wedding. Do you think Michael will mind?” Liz asked hopefully, forgetting Max’s lips in her excitement.

“No, I don’t think he’ll mind a bit, in fact, he’ll probably be relieved!” Max laughed sitting back and looking at her knowing she was not paying attention to his kisses. “We can talk about it tomorrow morning at breakfast. Maria told you we were meeting them in the morning right?”

“Yep. Now, onto the other part of our conversation, I think you said you wanted to make love to me?” Liz asked turning her full attention back to him and his lips.

“Yes I certainly do. The sooner the better.” Max said as he cupped her face in his hands and pressed his lips to hers, ravishing her mouth with the passion he felt. He deepened the kiss as she parted her lips to him and he teased her tongue with his.

Liz felt the ache in her abdomen grow stronger as she pressed her breasts against his bare chest. He released her lips only long enough to lean back and pull her negligee off of her arms and down over her breasts, until it reached her waist, exposing her to him.

He looked at her for a moment, before cupping one of them with his hand and teasing her nipple with his finger gently. She reached up and took his hand in hers and pulled it away from her breast. He had read a few books on pregnancy and understood that there were probably many areas on her body that were more sensitive than the last time they made love and so he stopped and looked at her.

“Liz, I know that there are probably some things that you don’t want me to do because of the baby, but since I don’t really know what they are, please tell me if I’m hurting you or anything okay?” Max whispered as she continued to kiss his chest.

Liz raised her head and looked him in the eyes. “Max, don’t worry, it will be fine. My breasts are sensitive, that’s all, but you can touch them. Just be gentle okay?”

“Okay.” Max said as he laid her down on the bed and then laughed. “I guess this won’t be working now will it?” He looked at her stomach and smiled, placing his hand on top of it. “Does she always kick you like that?” he asked feeling the little “thumps” in her abdomen.

“No, just since I’ve been with you actually. It’s weird, like she knows you’re here with us.” Liz said sitting up, then pushing him down and climbing on top of him. “As for us, I think this will work much better.” She said reaching up and removing the negligee, leaving herself naked except for her pink panties.

“You won’t get any argument from me.” Max said as he reached up behind her back and she lowered her head to his. She reached around and pulled her long hair to one side revealing her neck to him again, and he took it in his mouth passionately. Liz moaned as his hot tongue ran down and across her chest and she pushed herself harder against his arousal.

“You’re so beautiful Liz.” Max whispered as he trailed his kisses back up to her throat and eventually finding her lips. He reached down and placed his hands on her hips, for the first time noticing that two little ribbons, tied in bows, were the only thing holding on her panties. He quickly pulled on the strings and they came off. He carelessly tossed them to the floor with one hand, as he rested his other hand on her bottom and continued to press her harder into him.

Realizing he had removed them, Liz reached down and tried to pull off his boxer briefs as well. She frantically pulled at them until he lifted his bottom and helped her to slide them down his legs, and he kicked them off quickly.

“God you’re sexy Max.” Liz said as she looked down at his form lying beneath her. He smiled up at her and motioned for her to come back down to him with his finger. She leaned over him and brushed her lips against his, gently at first, but soon neither of them could hold back any longer. Liz maneuvered her body so he was directly beneath her and within seconds she felt Max inside of her. She moaned loudly and rested her face into his neck.

Max stopped. “Are you okay, am I hurting you sweetie?”

“No, no, you just feel so wonderful.” Liz whispered. “Please don’t stop.”

Max nodded and continued to thrust himself deeper and deeper inside of her and she matched him thrust for thrust, enjoying every second of their reunion. She had never felt such amazing sensations before, even when they had made love the last time. She was sure it was because of the baby, and for the first time in months, she finally felt whole again.

Max couldn’t handle it anymore, and he was about to tell her so, when she told him she was going to finish as well. Max called her name out, without even knowing it, over and over again until they had both ridden their own waves of pleasure and lay out of breath with Liz still on top of him in a breathless heap.

“Are you okay?” he finally managed to ask as he caressed her back gently.

“Mm-hmm. Great.” Liz said as she rolled off of him and on to her back. She pulled the sheet up over her body as her temperature started to cool down, and she felt a slight chill. “Is it cold in here?” she asked

“No, not really. Are you cold?” Max asked suddenly worried. “Maybe we shouldn’t have done that.”

“No, I’m fine, just a little chilly. No biggie.” Liz answered. “Hey, why don’t we go take that bath?”

“Sounds great, I’ll go heat up the water.” Max said leaning over and kissing her cheek before getting out of the bed, putting his underwear back on and heading into the bathroom.

Liz pulled the sheet back and got out of bed, following him to the bathroom, her teeth chattering. She had no idea why she was so cold, but a hot bath sounded wonderful. She rested her hands on her bare stomach and walked into the bathroom, passing the mirror in her path to the tub. She glanced in it and stopped dead in her tracks when she saw her reflection. “Umm Max, you might want to come look at this.” She said as she stared at her stomach in shock.

Part 27

“Holy shit!” Max said as he stared at Liz from across the bathroom. “Why is it doing that?”

“I was hoping you could tell me! You’re the alien!” Liz whispered. “I mean look at it, it’s not only glowing, but it keeps changing from silver to red! What’s going on?”

“I don’t know, I’ve never known anyone that was from my planet that had a baby. I need to try to get a hold of one of my men here on earth to ask them if they know anything.” Max said running across the bathroom to the phone mounted on the wall next to the toilet.

“Max, I’m scared, what if something’s wrong?” Liz asked as she grabbed a bathrobe off of the hooks behind the door.

“Come here.” Max said quietly as she walked over to him. He pulled her down onto his lap as he waited for whomever he was calling on the other end to pick up. “Everything’s going to be okay. How do you feel, does it feel any different?”

“No, I’m just a little cold, but that’s all. The baby is still kicking and everything.” Liz said. Max’s expression grew serious as the person on the other end answered.

“Hey it’s me. Is the line secure?” Max said into the phone. “I need to ask you a few questions about home.”

He paused before continuing. “Of course I mean that home.”

Max rolled his eyes. “I’m here with Liz, and she’s about seven month pregnant. Her stomach is glowing and it keeps changing from silver to red.”

Max nodded. “Well it’s none your business but yes we did.”

Max’s eyes grew wide and he nodded again. “Okay, thanks, I’ll get in touch tomorrow.”

He hung up and smiled. “Nothing to worry about sweetie. It’s normal.”

Liz sighed with relief. “What did he or she tell you?”

Max sensed a hint of jealously and continued. “HE told me that when the two parents of the unborn child make love, the mother’s stomach glows like yours. He also said that it glows red if the baby is a girl, and green if it’s a boy. So I guess our dreams were right.” He wrapped his arms around her and rested his face on her arm.

“Wow, that’s weird. I wonder how come boy’s don’t glow blue.” Liz said.

“Because that pink and blue thing is an earth thing.” Max smiled. “On Antar, parents of boys usually decorate their boy’s rooms in green and their girls rooms in red. Now I know why.”

“Oh.” Liz said. “ Will it go away?”

“Yep, he said it will disappear within an hour. Remind me to warn Michael.” Max laughed.

“You better call him now.” Liz laughed.

“No, it won’t happen until eight weeks before the baby is due.” Max said suddenly panicking. “Liz that means your going to have the baby within the next eight weeks.”

“But I’m not due for twelve weeks!” Liz said scared. She stood up and began pacing back and forth across the bathroom. “Oh my God!”

Max stood up and walked over to her. He grabbed her and hugged her to him, rubbing her back as he spoke. “Liz, it will be fine. We have plenty of time for you to get settled at the house, and we’ll be together. Everything will be fine.”

“Max, I know it will, but I have to tell you something.” Liz said as tears spilled over her eyes. “I’m completely, utterly, unbelievably scared of giving birth. I’m terrified.”

Max smiled at her vulnerability. “Sweetie, you will do great. Women have babies every day, and we’ll all be there to help you. Besides, I’m sure I can help take away some of your pain.”

“What, you’re just going to heal me right there in the delivery room?” Liz asked, the panic in her voice rising.

“No, I thought you could have the baby at home. Maria and Isabel could help you.” Max said. “We don’t really know what to expect so I thought a hospital might be a bit uncomfortable.”

Liz nodded and started to calm down. “Okay, you’re probably right.” She took a deep breath. “Hey, I’ve been shot, I can handle having a baby.” She nodded as she tried to convince herself.

“I know you can. You’ll do great.” Max said “Wait a minute, you were shot?” Max asked, his eyebrows rising.

“Yeah, before I joined the FBI, when I was a rookie cop.” Liz shrugged as she walked over to the tub and stuck her hand in checking the temperature of the water. It was still warm so she stepped out of her robe and into the tub. “Are you going to join me?” she asked.

Max nodded and walked over to the tub and removed his boxer briefs and followed her in. As they sat down across from each other Max caressed her legs gently as she played with the rose petals floating on the surface of the water.

“So tell me about when you got shot Liz.” Max said running his fingers up her legs to her knees and down again.

“Well there isn’t much to tell really.” Liz said. “ I was new on the force, just out of the academy, and a guy tried to attack me outside of my apartment building one night. He had a gun, and when I pulled mine on him, he shot me.”

“Where?” Max asked. The memories of the time he had saved Liz from the first bullet that had hit her ten years earlier were still fresh in his mind.

“It went right through my upper thigh. The guy had really bad aim.” Liz laughed. “I was only standing about three feet away from him.”

“What happened to him?” Max asked, trying to keep the shock out of his voice. He had a strange feeling about the story Liz was telling him.

“I killed him.” Liz said as she looked down at the water. “I had no choice. It was him or me. I shot him three times”

“Oh my God.” Max said. “You could have died and I would have never even known, or been there to help.”

“Max, don’t blame yourself for things that happened to me while I wasn’t part of your life. They made me stronger, made me the person I am today, made us find each other again.” Liz said. “Please don’t.”

Max nodded. “I know, I just can’t help but think that I should have been there to protect you, but I was too busy on my planet and playing the nutty professor.”

“You had to go to your planet Max, you had to find out about Tess and your son and everything. It’s not your fault that all of that time went by when you were gone.” Liz said. “Besides, I know for a fact that if that wouldn’t have happened and we would have stayed together, things would be much worse than they are now.”

“What do you mean?” Max asked looking up at her.

“Do you remember the night before all of you guys were going to leave, when we found out that Tess killed Alex? When you told me why you were leaving?” Liz asked, her voice choking up at the mention of Alex’s name.

Max nodded. “Yeah, when you yelled at me in the lab and stuff?”

“Yeah.” Liz said. “Do you remember that I told you I didn’t sleep with Kyle?”

Max nodded again, all the shame he felt that night rushing back to him. He had betrayed Liz by sleeping with Tess. It made him sick to even think about it. “Liz I’m sorry about the whole Tess thing.”

Liz held up her hand. “Max, this isn’t about that. We all make mistakes. I did too. I told you I slept with Kyle so you would turn your back on us, on our love. So you would go to Tess.” She said.

“I know Liz.” Max smiled. “I know all about the Future Me and what I told you.”

Liz’s mouth dropped open in surprise. “But how?”

Max took a deep breath. “Before we left, I asked Kyle what happened. He told me that you went to him and asked him for help, but that you never told him why. He said you loved me, and that you were miserable after it happened. When I got home, to Antar, I met a girl, not much older than us, who had helped transform the Granolith into a time travel device. She filled me in on the rest.” He finished.

“Serena.” Liz said quietly. “You met Serena didn’t you?”

Max nodded. “Yes. She told me that if you wouldn’t have done what you did, that we both would have met her under different circumstances. That we would have used the Granolith to go back to my planet, and when we returned to Earth, everyone we loved would have been dead. Tess would have had them killed.” Max said.

“But that’s not what you told me, you said that they would have all died by the hands of our enemies. That without Tess you three were weaker.” Liz said shaking her head.

“I know that’s what I told you but it wasn’t true.” Max said. “The fact is that Tess was working for Kivar like she said in the chamber the day she left. If you and I wouldn’t have broken up, then Tess would never had gotten pregnant, and wanted to return home with our child. She never would have died entering the atmosphere, and she would have killed Michael, Maria and Isabel. She would have killed us too Liz.” Max whispered. “You did exactly what you needed to do, got me to go to her and get her pregnant so she would die and therefore prevent all of the deaths she would have been responsible for.”

“But why didn’t you just tell me the truth?” Liz asked crying.

“I don’t know what my reasons were. I can only guess that I didn’t want to tell you that I had to sleep with her.” Max shrugged. “I’m so sorry that I lied to you, even if I don’t remember any of that.”

“Don’t apologize Max. You must have had your reasons.” Liz said wiping her eyes. “At least we’re together now and nothing can come between us again.”

“That’s for sure.” Max smiled and pulled her over to him. She turned herself around and rested in between his legs resting her head on his chest.

“Max promise me something?” Liz asked him in a sweet voice.

“Anything.” Max said kissing the top of her head.

“Never, ever, as long as we live, mention that bitch or your sex with her, or anything about it again?” Liz asked.

“Okay I promise.” Max laughed as they sunk further under the water together, Max resting his hands on her belly, which was still glowing.

Part 28

Max and Liz made love three more times before taking a break to eat. Max used his powers to reheat the food, and they ate every morsel on their plates. They finished their meal with chocolate strawberries. That led them into a conversation about the events eleven years before that started the night at The Crashdown when Liz spilled the bowl of strawberries all over the floor.

“Max, do you think we’ll ever be able to go back to Roswell?” Liz asked as she bit into the last berry.

“Probably. Why? Would you like to?” Max asked watching her eat.

“Eventually. I want to confront my parents. I want to know why they tried to keep us apart all this time.” Liz said. “I promised myself I’d never go back because of all the memories, but now I feel differently since we would be going back together, with our child or children.”

“I know what you mean.” Max nodded. “I would like to go back too. I would love to see my parents. Isabel has been bugging me about it forever.”

“Maria’s mom and Sheriff Valenti are living in New York now, but Kyle is still in Roswell too.” Liz said. “I know Maria would want to go back, maybe make a pit stop in New York on the way.”

“Let’s give it a while. Until both of the babies are born, then we’ll talk about going okay?” Max asked.

“Kay.” Liz said wiping her mouth. “That was delicious. I’m so tired, and we have to get up to go meet Michael and Maria. Are you ready for bed?”

“Yep. We need to get a good nights sleep too, because tomorrow night we’ll be sleeping on a train.” Max grinned seeing the excitement on Liz’s face.

“A train?” Liz asked. “So we’ll be leaving Paris? Come on, tell me where we’re going!”

“Nope! It’s a surprise, but we are leaving France. Our train leaves at midnight and we’ll sleep the whole way there.” Max said. “That’s all I’m saying.”

“Are Michael and Maria going too?” Liz asked.

“Uh-huh.” Max mumbled. “If Michael gets his way she won’t be going back to London. He wants her home.”

“Thank God, I don’t want her pregnant and alone in London either. You know how stubborn she is though.” Liz said standing up and walking into the bathroom. She put on a white cotton nightgown with little flowers embroidered across the front of it. When she got back into the bedroom Max had put on a pair of silk pajama bottoms and was laying in bed on top of the covers.

“You’re right. She is stubborn, but I think she’ll agree. She saw how hard it was for us to be apart this whole time.” Max said smiling at how pretty she looked.

“That’s true. I think she knows it would be better for her to be home with all of us.” Liz said. Max smiled and she asked, “What? Why are you looking at me like that?”

“I don’t know. I just like hearing you refer to our place as “home”. It makes me happy that’s all.” Max said leaning in and kissing her cheek.

Liz smiled at him. “You are my home Max, wherever it is. I haven’t felt at home since you left, and now being with you, even this hotel feels like home. Like a part of me was missing and now it’s not.”

“I know exactly what you mean. I love you and I can’t wait for you to be my wife.” Max said brushing his lips against hers.

“I can’t wait to be your wife.” Liz said. “Now we better get to sleep. I love you.”

“I love you too beautiful.” Max kissed the top of her head as she rested it on his chest and within minutes they were fast asleep in each other’s arms like they had never been apart.


The next morning Liz and Max made love again before going down to the lobby of their hotel to meet Michael and Maria. They had noticed that as long as they bonded that way regularly, Liz’s chills would be less frequent and less intense. She would still get cold, but it wasn’t as bad as the first time. Her stomach was still glowing, but luckily, her red blouse was thick enough to cover it..

“Are they meeting us here?” Liz asked looking at her watch.

“Yep. They should be here any minute. It’s almost ten isn’t it?” Max asked and Liz nodded. “They’re hotel is just around the corner.”

“How come they aren’t staying here?” Liz asked.

“Michael and I always stay in separate hotels, just in case.” Max said looking past Liz and out the window.

“In case of what?” Liz asked suddenly worried.

“Well, in case of an assassination attempt.” Max said quietly. “There are still some people who would like to see me dead, and Michael is my second in command. Some of these people would think nothing of destroying an entire hotel to get to me, so Michael stays in a separate one so he will be safe if anything happens to me.”

“Oh my God!” Liz hissed. “People are trying to kill you?”

“No. We’re safe, it’s just a precaution. I’ll explain everything later in more detail, but I have men from my planet all over Europe and in the U.S. It’s just in case. Don’t worry, the threat is small.” Max whispered as Liz’s eyes filled up with tears. “Liz, we’re in no more danger now than we were in the past, so relax okay sweetie?”

Liz nodded and wiped her eyes. “Okay Max. I trust you. I know you wouldn’t let anything happen to me. Just don’t let anything happen to you either okay?”

Max smiled and nodded. “Promise. Look there they are.” He pointed towards the revolving glass doors as a very excited Maria and then Michael passed through them.

“Liz!” Maria said running over and hugging Liz. “How was last night?”

“Wonderful, of course!” Liz said holding her hand up and showing Maria her ring. “How about you guys?”

“Fabulous!” Maria squealed as she also held her hand up showing her ring off.

“Congratulations you guys!” Liz said hugging Maria again and then grabbing Michael in an embrace.

“Hi Liz, thanks.” Michael said as he hugged her. “It’s good to see you, both of you.” He said pointing to her stomach. He turned to Maria smiling. “I suppose that’s what I have to look forward to?”

“You got it space boy!” Maria said. She then leaned into Liz and whispered, “Don’t let him fool you, he was thrilled.”

“I’m so glad Maria.” Liz said. “Did you two talk about London?”

“Yeah, I’m not going back. Michael wants me home.” Maria said. “Isn’t that sweet?”

“Yep. I’m really glad too, I was worried about you being alone there.” Liz said.

“Come on ladies, let’s go eat.” Max said putting his arm around Maria. He leaned in and gave her a kiss on the cheek. “Congratulations on the engagement and the baby honey.”

“Thanks Max.” Maria said resting her head on his chest.

“Excuse me but that’s my woman.” Michael said grabbing Maria and wrapping his arm around her as they walked to the restaurant.

Max laughed and walked up behind Liz, putting his arms around her as they walked awkwardly behind Michael and Maria to the restaurant.

A few minutes later they were sitting at a table looking over menus while they chatted happily about their evenings the night before. After ordering they started to discuss the plans for later that day.

“So the train leaves at midnight, that means we need to be at the station no later than 11:15 right?” Michael asked and Max nodded.

“Yep, that sounds right. I wanted to take Liz around Paris today to see some of the touristy spots, then she’s going to need a nap probably.” Max said looking at Liz.

Liz nodded in agreement. “I do get tired easily, so that sounds good.”

“Me too. I wouldn’t mind seeing some of that stuff if you don’t mind us tagging along.” Maria said. “Unless you had other plans Michael?”

“Nope, that sounds good.” Michael said.

“Great!” Liz said, “Then we’ll all go! We can head out after breakfast and then later this afternoon we’ll nap and stuff and then we can meet up for dinner and then head to the train station.”

“Okay.” Max said. “That sounds great. I have to make a few phone calls before we head out though, so why don’t you ladies do some shopping and we’ll meet up at the café around the corner in two hours, say one o’clock?”

Maria and Liz nodded. “That sounds good.” Maria said. “Michael are you staying with Max, or coming with us?”

“I’ll stay with Max.” Michael said. “You two have fun.”

The waitress brought their food, and Maria and Liz ate quickly so they could head out and start shopping. Two hours wasn’t nearly long enough, so they needed all the time they could get.

Maria took the final bite of her muffin and quickly washed it down with some Tabasco laden orange juice and looked at Liz. “Ready?” she said with her mouth full.

“Yep.” Liz said as she leaned over and kissed Max. “See you later honey.”

“Bye. I love you, have fun.” Max said.
“I love you too.” Liz said grabbing a muffin for the road and getting up off her chair. Maria had kissed Michael good-bye and was waiting to get going. They set off with a final wave and when they reached the lobby Liz turned to Maria and said, “So what are we shopping for?”

“Duh, what do you think? Wedding dresses!” Maria said as Liz followed her out the revolving doors and on to the busy streets of Paris.

“What do you think of this one?” Maria asked as she modeled a dress in front of Liz for the tenth time that day.

“Too slutty. What’s with the corset thing?” Liz asked wrinkling her nose.

“I don’t know, it’s very French though don’t you think?” Maria asked. “Did you find one you like?”

“It’s awful, take it off. I’ll show you the one I like. Obviously I can’t try it on though.” Liz laughed.

“Okay, give me a second.” Maria said disappearing back into the dressing room. She emerged a minute later carrying the only one she tried on that her and Liz both agreed they liked. She walked over to the rack where Liz was standing and saw her fingering the material of an ivory dress.

“Is this the one?” Maria asked standing next to her.

“Uh-huh. It’s exactly what I’ve always dreamed of. Other than the fact it's not white. That wouldn't be apporpriate though.” Liz said. “What do you think?”

“It’s gorgeous. I think you should get it.” Maria said nodding.

“It’s too expensive, and I would have to lose every single pound after the baby to fit into it.” Liz said sadly.

“Liz, you can afford it, and I wouldn’t worry about getting back down to your old size, you’ve hardly gained a thing.” Maria said. “Get it. I’m getting this one.”

“Good, I love that one.” Liz said looking at the dress Maria was holding. It was also an ivory silk like the one Liz was looking at. “By the way Maria, Max and I were talking, and we were wondering if you and Michael wanted to have a double wedding. After both of the babies are born.”

Maria’s eyes lit up and she clapped her hands together. “Yes! That would be great!! Michael will be so relieved!”

Liz laughed. “That’s what Max said. I just thought it would be wonderful, like the way we said we’d do it when we were little remember?” Maria nodded. “Of course we’re going to actually get married in a little ceremony before the baby comes, but we thought we could all have a big wedding after they’re both born.”

“That sounds perfect! Michael and I were talking about doing the same thing, now it just makes it more special!” Maria said excitedly. “Now we’ve both picked out ivory dresses, made in the same silk material….Liz you have to get that dress.” Maria said nodding.

“You’re right, I’m just going to do it.” Come one let’s go buy them!” Liz said smiling as she walked towards the counter. “By the way, have you had any more dreams?”

“Actually yeah I have.” Maria whispered. “The other night I had one that was really weird. You and I were older and so were Max and Michael and we were all sitting in the front pew of a church. There was a girl that looked sort of like you and a boy getting married and we were all crying.” Maria stopped and looked at Liz’s expression. “What?”

“Maria, Max and I found out for sure last night that we were having a girl. Do you think maybe you’re having a boy and your dream was a premonition or something? Maybe your son and our daughter’s wedding?”

Maria stared at her and blinked. “Is that possible?”

“I don’t know. Let me know if you have the dream again, or any others okay?” Liz asked.
“I’ve been having the same dream of Max and I on a beach with a little girl, I’ll let you know if it comes true, then we might find out if they are premonitions.”

“Okay.” Maria nodded. “How did you guys find out for sure you were having a girl?”

“Apparently eight weeks before the baby’s due your stomach glows when you make love.” Liz said slightly embarrassed.

“But you’re not due for twelve weeks.” Maria said surprised.

“That’s what I thought too. I think these hybrid pregnancies are a month shorter. Thirty six weeks instead of forty.” Liz explained.

“So how does that tell you if it’s a boy or girl?” Maria asked her eyes wide.

“Well my stomach glowed silver and red. Boys glow silver and green.” Liz said.

“Green?” Maria asked. “That’s weird.”

“Tell me about it. Max said on their planet the parents decorate their girl’s rooms in red and boy’s in green. He said it didn’t even make sense to him until we saw my stomach last night.” Liz said. “By the way, I got chills, and it glows for an hour.”

“Oh my God!” Maria said. “Well thanks for warning me. I’ll be sure to let you know when I start glowing and what color it is.”

Liz nodded. “Ok, and I’ll be sure to let you know of any other weird stuff.” She promised “We have to meet the guys in twenty minutes so let’s buy these and arrange for them to be shipped so we can get out of here.”

Maria nodded, thinking about what Liz had just told her. How weird it would be if her son married Liz’s daughter someday. She smiled and crossed her fingers that she would be having a boy. Deep down she knew she was, but she wasn't about to tell anyone.

Part 29

The two couples spent the rest of the day sight seeing around Paris. They visited the art museums and took the metro to the different stops to visit the various shopping areas as well. They all had a great time laughing and remembering all of their great times.

Instead of heading back to their hotels to nap as planned, they decided to go to a park they were walking past and relax there. They all sat under a tree, and Max and Liz rented a small boat and Max rowed them out the middle of a lake that was in the center of the park. The spent the hour they were out there kissing and snuggling, and talking about their future.

“I talked to Maria about the double wedding this morning and she’s all for it.” Liz said as she rested her head on his chest while he sat behind her.

“I mentioned it to Michael as well. He thought it was a great idea too.” Max said kissing the top of her head and wrapping his arms around her.

“Great. We agreed that we’d all get married before the babies are born and then have a big wedding after. Is that okay?” Liz asked.

“Yeah, it’s perfect. In fact, I have an idea, but if we want to do it we have to get back to the hotel and get all of our stuff together for the trip tonight. How does dinner on the Seine sound?” Max asked referring to the little boats that ran up and down the famous river.

“Great, but do we have time?” Liz asked.

“Yep, we just have to get everything set for later. The last dinner boat leaves at six thirty. That should give us enough time to get to the train station by eleven fifteen as planned. Come on.” Max said, picking up the oars and beginning to row towards the shore where Maria and Michael were sitting.

They filled the other couple in on the plans they had come up with for dinner, and Maria was so excited she was jumping up and down. She had wanted to see Notre Dame, and now she would be able too. It was right on the Seine River, and the boat would go right past. She wouldn’t be able to see inside, but Michael promised they would come back to Paris someday.

They split up and headed back to their hotels, packing all of their things quickly and sending them down to the lobbies to have them sent to the train station later.

Max took one more look around their room and smiled. They had made some wonderful memories there. “Liz?” He called out. “It’s time to go sweetie.” There was no response from her so he headed to the bedroom and bathroom to check if she was there, but she wasn’t anywhere inside the suite. He headed back out to the living room and saw her outside through the window, standing on the balcony looking over the city.

Max walked up behind her and heard her sobbing. “Liz, honey what’s wrong?” he asked gently.

“Oh Max, it’s just so beautiful here, like a dream you know?” Liz said as she wiped her eyes and turned to look at him. “I just don’t want to leave I guess.”

“We have to go home sooner or later. Besides, wait until you see our place! It’s gorgeous and I know you’ll love it. Maria, Michael and Isabel live there too, we’ll all be together.” Max tried to convince her but she looked so sad.

“I know, but it won’t be the same. The last couple of days here have been so wonderful; I can’t imagine it being any better. I guess I’m just nervous about moving on to the next stop.” Liz smiled through her tears. “This has been a magical trip Max, thank you.”

Max took her in his arms and whispered in her ear. “No, thank you Liz for coming and meeting me, for agreeing to be my wife, and for having our child. This is just the beginning of our magical lives together.” He kissed her cheek and then moved on to her lips, gently. They shared their last kiss on their balcony and walked into their room, took one last look around and headed out to meet Michael and Maria again at the boat.


“Here’s to new beginnings.” Michael said as they all raised their glasses and toasted.

“This was a great idea Max, it’s just beautiful.” Maria said looking out over the edge of the boat and out onto the view.

“Yeah, Maxwell, this is great.” Michael nodded.

“Well we’re not done yet.” Max said. “How would you all feel about getting married?” he asked.

Michael nodded. “Yeah we already agreed to the double wedding thing remember Max?” Michael reminded him. He turned to Liz and said, “ Maria told me you two talked about it this morning Liz.”

“Yeah, I know. “ Max said, “but I was thinking of doing something sooner, you know before the babies are born.”

“Ok, what?” Liz said smiling.

“How about now, here on the river?” Max said as Michael’s mouth dropped open.

“What?” Maria asked reaching over and pushing Michael’s chin up, closing his mouth for him.

“Well, I’ve arranged for the captain to marry us if we want to. I mean this isn’t a real “ship” but he is a real captain, he used to sail for Princess cruises.” Max said looking for any reaction from his friends but they just stared at him. “Anyway, he’s retired, but he said if we want to get married, he’s perfectly qualified. So how about it?”

Liz threw her arms around his neck, knocking her chair over as she stood up. “Yes, yes yes! Let’s do it!” she squealed in delight.

“Umm. Michael what do you think?” Maria asked quietly unsure of what his answer would be.

“Sure, Let’s do it!” Michael finally said with a smile.

“Are you sure? I mean we don’t have to you know.” Maria said quietly.

“I know. I want to. If I didn’t want to I wouldn’t have proposed.” Michael said. He ran his hand down the side of her face until his thumb rested on her lips and his hand cupped her small chin. “Come on Maria, I love you, let’s do it.”

A tear rolled down Maria’s cheek and she nodded, kissing his thumb. “Ok.” She whispered.

Michael smiled and looked over at Max, who was helping Liz pick up her chair. “Okay we’re in.,” he said.

“Great! I’ll go tell the captain and we’ll get everything set up. Remember this is just going to be a simple civil ceremony, nothing fancy, that will be for the big wedding.” Max told them as he stood up. “Be back in a few minutes.” He kissed the top of Liz’s head and walked away, going to find the captain.

Max returned a short time later with a big smile on his face. “So are you guys ready?” he asked.
“Yep, let’s do it!” Michael said standing up and helping Maria out of her chair.

“Great.” Max said taking Liz’s hand. “Right this way.”

Max led all of them to the front of the boat where they had set up a little area for the wedding. They had cleared away all the tables, and put up little dangling hanging lights. The four of them walked up to the captain and he nodded at Max as he pulled out a little black book and began to read. In French.

Liz smiled and tried not to laugh as she saw Maria bite her lip as well. She had no idea what he was saying, but it didn’t matter, she knew that when he looked at her it was her cue to say, “I do”. She thought about the day Max had saved her and healed her bullet wound. Then she remembered him telling her it wasn’t safe for them to be together, that he was “different.” She easily could think back to the day they had all rescued him from the White Room, and him telling her that she was his destiny. Then the first time they made love at his little house on the beach, the day she found out she was pregnant and Max’s proposal on the Eiffel Tower. A tear escaped her eye realizing that he was right. After all this time they were being married. Here, in Paris, right next to their best friends. She was his destiny.

The Captain had paused and looked at Max who looked into Liz’s eyes, nodded and said, “I do.” while he ran his hand over her stomach.

Michael made his pledge next by touching Maria’s face and whispering, “I do.”

The Captain started speaking again and then stopped to look at Liz who said, “I definitely do.” She saw a couple tears escape Max’s eyes and he smiled at her, reached up and pushed a piece of her hair behind her ear.

Maria nodded when she was asked her question and then burst into happy tears before finally blurting out, “Yes I do!”

The Captain continued his ceremony and when he reached the end, he pronounced them “men and wives.” But they didn’t understand that until everyone on the boat started clapping and cheering. The Captain motioned for them to kiss each other and the two couple fell into each other’s arms and kissed passionately . Their first kisses as married couples.

Natures first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold
Her early leaf's a flower
But only so an hour
Then leaf subsides to leaf
So Eden sank to grief
So Dawn goes down to day
Nothing Gold can stay
-Robert Frost
posted on 31-Aug-2001 6:34:39 PM
Part 30

The group boarded the train a little before midnight as planned, and realized that Max’s request for separate sleeping cars had been honored. Max and Liz entered their car, as Michael and Maria disappeared into theirs next door. They were all tired, and looking forward to waking up in Italy the next morning.

“So Max,” Liz asked, “Where in Italy are we going?”

“Rome.” Max answered and Liz’s eyes lit up.

“Really? Is that where we live?” she asked.

“Nope.” Max said mysteriously.

“Well where do we live then?” Liz asked. “Come on Max!”

“Ok, ok you win.” Max smiled. “We have a villa on the Amalfi Coast. It’s in southern Italy, right on the water. You’ll love it!”

“Oh my God!” Liz said wrapping her arms around him suddenly. “A villa? Are you serious?”

“Yep, one hundred percent. We saw it a few months ago and Isabel and Maria fell in love with it. They said you’d love it too, so we bought it.” Max smiled, hugging her.

“Max,” Liz started, “How can you afford all of this stuff? I mean a villa, all these first class accommodations and stuff?”

“Well I work at a research laboratory right outside of Naples, and we’re developing some interesting things that I can’t talk about. My salary there is good since I’m in charge of the project.” Max said.

“Oh.” Liz answered looking into his eyes. “I guess Michael and Isabel are doing pretty good too huh? Maria told me Isabel is still designing clothes in Europe, and Michael’s paintings are selling well.”

“That’s true.” Max said nodding. He noticed she wasn’t smiling anymore and sat her down on the fold down bed as the train started it’s journey. He sat down next to her and asked, “Liz what’s wrong?”

“Nothing.” Liz lied.

“Come on, I know you better than that.” Max said. “Tell me.”

“Well, It’s just that I don’t really have anything to do once we get to Italy.” Liz began. “I mean Maria sings, Michael paints and Isabel designs clothing. You have this job and that just leaves me doing nothing.”

“You’re not going to be doing nothing, you’re going to be raising our children. I thought that’s what you wanted.” Max said taking her hands in his and turning to face her.

“It is. It just seems sort of lonely. That’s all.” Liz said as tears filled her eyes.

“Well Maria won’t be doing anything until after she has her baby, and she might decide to give up her singing once they have a child. Then you two will be able to hang out together.” Max said smiling. “Wouldn’t that be great?”

“Yeah I guess so.” Liz nodded. “It would be fun to do things with the kids. Maybe I’m just being stupid aren’t I?”

“No I don’t think you’re being stupid.” Max shook his head. “You’re entire life you’ve been such and independent strong woman, I don’t think it’s going to be easy to just change that.”

Liz nodded. “I am looking forward to raising our daughter Max, please don’t think that I’m not.”

“I don’t think that at all.” Max assured her. “Look I’ll tell you what, after she turns one, if you want to go to work, I’ll get you a job at the research lab with me okay?”

Liz looked up at him “Really?”

“Yep.” Max smiled. “Do you feel better now?”

“Uh-huh, lots.” Liz answered. “I love you Mr. Evans.”

“I love you too Mrs. Evans.” Max smiled. “God, do you have any idea how long I’ve been waiting to say that to you?”

“As long as I’ve been waiting to hear it.” Liz said leaning in and brushing her lips against his.

“Nope, longer.” Max murmured and deepened their kiss. When they parted he said, “I’ve been in love with you since the first time I saw you. When I stepped off the bus and saw you in the third grade.”

Liz smiled. “I remember the first day you came to our school. You were so shy.You didn’t talk to anyone. Isabel had made tons of friends by the end of the day and I don’t think you even talked to one kid.”

“I didn’t. I was scared, of letting anyone see the real me. Until that day I saved you.” Max said touching her face with his hand. “Do you remember that day at school when you scraped the cells off of my pencil and confronted me in that room?”

Liz nodded. “Yeah.” She smiled at the memory.

“Well,” Max said, “At that moment it was like all of the pieces were falling into place. Like it was happening in slow motion. I had dreamed of telling you so many times, but I couldn’t. When that gun went off and you were lying there bleeding, I knew I had to save you, I knew I had to tell you the truth. I knew I had to be with you.” Max explained as a tear rolled down his cheek. He pushed a stray hair behind Liz’s ear and noticed tears were rolling down her cheeks as well. “Then when I told you, you supported me and stood by me and fell in love with me, the real me. The me that no one knew, not even Isabel and Michael. I never thought anyone would ever love me like that Liz. Especially not you.”

“Max I…” Liz began but Max held his finger in front of her mouth.

“Liz the day I came back from my planet and you were gone, it was like someone had taken my heart out and ran over it with a truck. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t do anything. I had thought about coming back to you every single day I was gone, and then for you to not be there it was like..” Max trailed off and grabbed his chest. “Like I died.” He finished.

“I’m so, so sorry Max.” Liz whispered as she rested her head on his chest and he ran his fingers through her hair.

“No, don’t apologize Liz.” Max said sounding angry. “It’s not your fault, I don’t blame you and Michael doesn’t blame Maria either. It was your parents. They lied to us and to you.”

“I want to confront them. I need to.” Liz said. “When it’s safe for us to go back, I want to do it ok?”

Max nodded. “Ok.” He leaned his cheek down on the top of her head and inhaled the scent of her hair. It smelled just like it did ten years before. “Liz, I know today was not what you envisioned for our wedding, I hope your not too disappointed.”

“Disappointed?” Liz asked. “Why would you think that? It was beautiful. All that matters is that I’m your wife now. The big fancy wedding can wait, me marrying you couldn’t. Not another minute.”

“I’m glad you feel that way.” Max said.

“Why would you think I would feel any different than you?” Liz asked. “Don’t you know what you are to me Max?”

“Yeah I guess so.” Max said quietly.

“You guess so?” Liz repeated. “You are my life, my heart and my soul. Having a life with you and a family with you was all I ever dreamed of. The whole time I was an agent, leaving Roswell, turning my back on men, it was because of you.” She tried to explain. “I was running away from my feelings for you, at least I was trying to. I should have known I never would be able to. They’re too strong Max.” she started to cry and wiped at her face. When she composed herself she continued. “When you didn’t come back, I thought it was because you stopped loving me. I should have had more faith in you, in us. I built up this wall around myself and it was a strong one until I saw you that night at the Art Gallery. My wall crumbled the second I saw you again. Even after ten years.” Liz was crying openly now, and Max had begun to rock her back and forth. “I never want to be without you again. Ever. I don’t think I could survive it Max. I’m still so scared of losing you again, even though I’m here in your arms right now.”

“I’m never leaving you again Liz, I promise.” Max said as he continued to rock her.

“You can’t promise me that, you don’t know what could happen. What if you get killed or something?” Liz cried.

“I’m taking every step possible to ensure that doesn’t happen. We can’t live our lives together worrying about what might happen sweetie, we just have to live every day to the fullest.” Max ran his hand down the back of her head trying to calm her down.

Liz nodded silently. She finally stopped crying and looked up at him with tear stained cheeks. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to ruin our wedding night.” She said quietly.

“You didn’t.” Max smiled and wiped a stray tear away. “Our wedding night is just beginning.” He leaned forward and kissed her running his hand behind her neck.

They fell back on to their bed, kissing each other with all of the love they felt, and with all of the time they had wasted without each other, silently vowing to stay together forever as husband and wife. They consummated their marriage slowly and lovingly, murmuring words of love throughout the entire process.

They fell asleep as the sound of the tracks beneath them went by, lulling them into a deep slumber. Neither of them hearing the man sneaking into their compartment.

Part 31

Liz awoke in the middle of the night and rolled over to look at the digital clock next to their bed, the sound of the train tracks beneath them still going by. It was a little after four in the morning and she had to go to the bathroom. She smiled as she felt Max’s body next to her and heard his light snoring. Sitting up, she picked up her bathrobe from next to the bed and threw it over her as her eyes adjusted to the darkness of the room.

Standing up to make her way to the door, she tripped on something and nearly fell over, falling onto the chair across from the bed. She caught her breath in fear when she realized she had actually not fallen on to the chair, but on to the person sitting in the chair.

“Hello Liz.” The voice whispered as the dark beady eyes looked into hers.

“Who are you?” Liz whispered as he suddenly reached up and covered her mouth with his hand.

“Quiet now, you wouldn’t want to wake up Max would you?” he whispered.

Liz shook her head in fear as she felt the gun under his jacket press into her chest.

“Come on.” He said standing up and shoving her towards the door.

Liz had never been so scared in her entire life, she had no idea who this man was, but he obviously knew her and Max. A moment later he was leading her down the hallway of the train car and he had the gun pointed up against her back.

“Now if you behave yourself, then I’ll let you go.” The man said in his normal voice. “If you’re a bad girl than I’ll have to throw you off of the train.”

Liz swallowed as she walked down the deserted hallway. She had no idea what he wanted or where he was taking her. After a few minutes, he led her into a baggage car where she saw Maria tied up and sitting on the floor. He had obviously hit her over the head with something because she was slumped over in an unnatural position and a small stream of blood was running down from her hairline.

Liz ran over to her and kneeled down next to her to check for a pulse and was relieved to find a strong one. “What the hell did you do to her?” Liz spat at the man. “Don’t you know she’s pregnant?”

“Of course I do. Why do you think I’m here?” the man asked Liz and let his eyes rest on her swollen belly. “Do you think my people would allow them to mate and multiply? I don’t think so.”

“What do you want?” Liz asked sitting down next to Maria and cradling her head in her lap.

“I want to prevent that from happening obviously.” The man said. “Now if you cooperate I’ll let you both live.”

“Who are you?” Liz asked glaring at him with hatred.

The man laughed. “Do you think I’m going to tell you my name?” he laughed again. “You don’t need to know who I am, or even what I am Liz. All you need to know is that I’m here to prevent you from having that baby.” He pointed to her stomach.

“Why? It’s just an innocent child.” Liz said as tears rolled down her cheeks.

“A child yes, but innocent? No, it’s not innocent. She will be raised by Max, and by you, therefore she’s a threat, and so is your friend’s child.” He hissed. “Both of them need to be destroyed.”

“Oh and you think I’m just going to sit here and let you kill our babies?” Liz asked starting to stand up, resting Maria’s bleeding head on the floor gently.

“Well look at you, do you think your going to be able to stop me?” he said laughing with evil eyes.

Liz looked down at Maria and then to her own child growing inside of her. She knew the only way to save them was to distract him long enough to get to Max and Michael for help. If she could do that then they had a chance. She looked back up at the man as he scratched his neck and peeled off a piece of skin.

“You’re a skin.” Liz said.

“Of course I am.” The man said to her throwing the piece of skin to the floor.

Liz realized that this knowledge would be helpful since she knew how to incapacitate the skins from their battles years before. She knew some martial arts being that she was FBI, but she didn’t know how much she would be able to still do because of her pregnancy. She weighed the possibilities and decided to try to get away, knowing that he couldn’t hurt Maria if he was chasing her.

“So what do I have to do?” Liz said a plan springing to mind.

“Relax, it’s not time yet.” The man said sternly. “ I’ll let you know when it is. It shouldn’t be too painful.” He smiled evilly.

“I have to go to the bathroom, it’s why I woke up.” Liz said hoping he would let her.

“Fine follow me.” The man said as he leading her from the baggage car and down the hall back towards her room. They stopped a short while later and he pointed to the ladies room.

Liz nodded and let herself in. “Be back in a minute.” She said.

“It better not be longer.” The man said patting his jacket where he had put the gun.

Liz walked into the tiny compartment and looked around hoping to find something she could use as a weapon. She was getting nervous not finding anything when a thought occurred to her. She sat down on the toilet lid and rested her head in her hands. This had to work, it was their only chance.

She concentrated on Max’s sleeping form a few doors down, and said his name in her head over and over until she could see him clearly.

She concentrated on their baby and tried to pool it’s energy with her own finally she sat upright, with her eyes’ closed. She knew Max could hear her.

“Liz where are you?” Max asked her through their connection.

“I’m in the bathroom a few doors down.” She said back, her lips moving with her words but no sound coming out.

“Is this a dream?” Max asked her.

“No, Maria and I are in trouble, this was the only way I could think of to try to get help.” Liz said. “There’s a skin that wants to kill the babies Max. Maria’s already been hurt.”

Max bolted upright in bed as he lost their connection. It took him a moment to realize that Liz had actually been talking to him in his head. He knew the baby must have enabled her to do so. He looked around and seeing that she was gone, he jumped out of bed and knocked on Michael’s connecting room door.

A sleepy Michael answered it a moment later after Max continued knocking and calling his name.

“What? What’s going on?” Michael asked rubbing his eyes.

“A skin has the girls, come on.” Max said throwing his pants on and putting on his shoes with no socks.

“What?” Michael asked confused.

“I don’t have time to explain, but Liz connected with me and told me they are in trouble.” Max paused and looked at Michael. “She said Maria’s already been hurt. He’s after the babies.”

“Oh my God.” Michael said running to his room and throwing on a sweatshirt and jeans, not bothering to put on shoes. “Where the hell are they?”

“Liz said she was in the bathroom a couple of doors down, I don’t know where Maria is.” Max said slowly opening his compartment door and looking down the hallway. He motioned for Michael to follow him quietly and they both headed towards the door to the bathroom. When they reached it, Max opened the door to the ladies compartment and it was empty.

“Damn.” Max whispered. “He must have taken her back to where Maria is.”

“Well at least we know they’re on the train somewhere.” Michael said. “Can you try to connect with Liz again?”

Max shook his head. “No, she was using the babies energy to do it, it’s not safe for her or the baby to try it again. We’ll just have to search. Let’s split up.”

Michael nodded. “I’ll take the passenger compartments and the engine, and you take the baggage cars.”

“Ok.” Max whispered and headed down the hallway towards the baggage cars as Michael headed in the other direction.

Max walked slowly down to the first car and looked through the small glass window in the door. It was empty so he moved on to the next. He could almost feel Liz was getting closer, but he couldn’t put his finger on exactly where she was.

Finally after looking in all of the baggage cars he reached the very last car of the train. He peeked through the window and he could see Liz and Maria sitting in the corner of the dark room, Liz holding Maria’s head in her lap and stroking her hair. A man that was slightly taller than him was watching them with dark eyes.

Max took a deep breath and stepped away from the door as his hatred bubbled beneath the surface. He stepped back over to the entrance to the car and slid the door open quickly holding his hand out in front of him and forming a shield. He ran over to where Liz and Maria would and allowed them into his safety bubble, protecting them from the shots the Skin was firing from his gun. The bullets bounced off quickly, flying and ricocheting off the metal walls and around the car.

Liz looked up at Max and smiled with relief. “It worked, you heard me!” Liz said as she tried to pull Maria up and into her arms so they could escape. Max nodded but remained silent.

“You can’t save them sir.” The man said shaking his head and trying to reload his gun in the hopes that Max would run out of energy. “This is what needs to happen.”

Max didn’t answer him, only shook his head, using all of his energy to keep the shield up around them. Suddenly he heard Michael’s voice and saw him raise his hand as well, sending a blast of white hot heat towards the Skin and causing him to evaporate into tiny flakes instantly.

Max let his shield down and collapsed on the floor.

Michael ran over to Liz and Maria and scooped Maria up in his arms and let sat down slowly on the floor and tried to see her injury. “Maria? Baby answer me!” Michael begged as he saw the gash on her head that was obviously caused by a fierce pistol whipping.
Liz looked on from Max’s side, tears rolling down her cheeks. Max caught his breath and hugged her tightly to him, brushing the hair out of her face and showering her with kisses. “Max, you have to do something, make her wake up.” Liz begged him as they saw Michael start to cry.

“She’ll be okay. The baby’s okay too.” Michael said. “It’s just..seeing her like this…you know?”

Max nodded. “Just let me get back some energy and then I can heal her.”

“No Max. Remember what Serena said?” Michael shook his head. “You can’t heal them when they’re pregnant, it’s not safe for the baby.”

Max looked at Liz whose eyes were wide with horror. “So if something happens to us while we’re pregnant you can’t heal us, at all?” she asked.

Max and Michael both shook their heads. Max touched Liz’s face with his hand and cupped her chin. “The surge of energy is dangerous, the baby won’t survive it, because it’s half human.”

“Oh my God.” Liz said.

Michael stood up and picked Maria up. “I’m going to take her back to the room and get her cleaned up.”

Max and Liz nodded and watched him leave. Max then stood up with shaking legs and helped Liz to her feet as well.

Liz looked up at him as he put his arm around her shoulders. “Max did you know that man?”

Max nodded sadly. “Yes, he was one of my men. I never even knew he was a Skin. I could kill Gradin!” Max said, running his hand through his hair. “He said that guy had clearance!”

“Max what are you talking about?” Liz asked as they walked back tot heir room.

“Gradin is one of my men. The creepy Skin had glasses last time I saw him, but I know it was the same guy Gradin brought to a meeting a while back. I know it was him, and he obviously wouldn’t have had clearance if they were doing what they were supposed to be doing. Jesus, he could have killed you guys.”

“Max your rambling again. Explain everything to me.” Liz said looking at him as he opened the door to their compartment.

Max nodded and sat down on the chair as Liz sat down on the bed facing him. “Well, I have a group of men from my planet working for me. One of them is the new head of the SU.”

“McMahon right? The one Isabel is in love with?” Liz filled in. When she saw Max’s look of surprise she filled in, “I saw McMahon at the airport and Maria filled me in while we were in London.”

Max nodded again and continued. “Well he;s supposed to infiltrate the unit and dispose of the Skins.”

“Right I know that already.” Liz said nodding her head. “But why did he want to kill our baby?” Liz asked her throat choking up.

Max stood up and went to sit down next to her. “Liz, a lot of people on our planet were shocked when Michael and I wanted to come back to Earth and be with you and Maria. Not all of them were happy about it, and quite a few tried to prevent it. Some of them crossed over and became allies with the Skins. The Skins, as well as those people want nothing more than to prevent us from bringing more hybrids to Earth. The group of men that work for me and Michael are part of a team to ensure that we rid this planet of the Skins as soon as possible so we can all live here in peace for the rest of our lives, and so our children can live in peace and their children and so on.” Max took a deep breath. “By us having children and by Michael and Maria having children, we’re ensuring that this planet with have part of our race living here for many generations. The Skins don’t want that, and that is why we have to make sure to get rid of them. That’s what my men are doing.” Max looked at her. “Obviously they’re not doing it well enough, but I’ll take care of that.”

“But why don’t they want any hybrids on Earth?” Liz asked confused by the new information.”

“Because they want to take over Earth Liz, and as long as Antarians are living here they won’t be able too. We are the only race that can fight them, and if we’re here, or our children are here, then they know they can’t win. It’s as simple as that. They know we’ll all raise our children to hate the Skins but not to fear them, to fight them, and because of that they know they’ll always have a hard time taking over Earth if hybrids or full blooded Antarians are here.” Max explained.

“So will we ever be completely safe?” Liz asked.

“Yes, we will, but it will take time.” Max said. “I’m sorry that happened to you tonight Liz. I’m so glad you’re okay. I don’t know what I would have done if anything had happened to you our the baby.”

“I’m okay. I’m just glad I could form the connection with you to let you know what was going on.” Liz said.

“Me too. It obviously wasn’t something that guy had considered. I think he was hoping to do away with all of you before Michael and I could get to you.” Max said suddenly hugging her to him. “I love you so much Liz.”

“I love you too Max.” Liz said resting her hair against his chest as the sunrise started to pour through their window. “Do you think he would have killed Maria and I too?”

“Yes.” Max whispered.

“He said he wasn’t going to, not that I believed him. Why do you think he was going to kill us?” Liz asked curious to what his reasoning was.

“Because he knows that Michael and I would never have children with anyone other than you and Maria, so he would have wanted to prevent any other future children between all of us, therefore eliminating the possibility of us ever procreating.” Max said quietly.

Liz nodded. “Oh.” And snuggled closer to him. “Would you really never have children with anyone else?” she asked knowing his answer but wanting to hear him say it anyway.

“I would never love again Liz, therefore I would never have children with anyone else. EVER.” Max smiled and kissed the top of her head.

He heard Liz inhale sharply and grasp him tighter, her hand clutching at his shirt desperately but she didn’t say anything.

“Liz what’s wrong?” he asked trying to look at he face.

“Look.” She said and pointed to the floor right beneath them. “My water just broke.”

Max looked down at the silver liquid at her feet and all over the front of her nightgown and smiled.


Part 32

“Max it’s too soon!” Liz said growing hysterical.

“Obviously it’s not Liz.” Max said jumping up and running to grab some extra blankets off of the table. “Lay down.” He commanded.

“No. I’m not ready.” Liz said shaking her head.

Max laughed. “Honey, ready or not, the baby is coming.”

“It’s not funny Max.” Liz said trying to catch her breath. “I’m scared.”

Max walked over and sat down next to her. “I know you are baby, but I’ll be right here to help you okay? When it’s all over we’ll be holding our daughter.”

Liz smiled and then her expression grew serious “What if it’s too soon? What if something’s wrong?”

“Liz, we don’t know anything about alien pregnancies, and unfortunately Serena never told us how long they lasted. For all we know, this could be the right time.” Max tried to reassure her. “Either way, I’ll be right here, and if I have to do any healing I will, once the baby is out.”

Liz nodded trying to calm down. “Okay. Could you go see if Maria is okay, and if she is can you see if she’ll come over. I really need her here with me too.”

“Sure.” Max smiled and went over to the adjoining door and banged on it.

Michael opened it a moment later and stared at Max. “Can I help you?” he said slightly irritated.

“Liz’s water broke. Is Maria up?” Max asked as Michael peered past him and glanced at Liz, still covered in silver liquid.

“Holy shit!” Michael said quickly. “I thought she wasn’t due for another eight weeks?”

“She wasn’t but it’s okay, we’ll deal with it.” Max said looking over his shoulder at Liz. “Besides we don’t know that for sure. Her stomach was already glowing when we were together. Just because that starts eight weeks before birth doesn’t mean she was due in eight weeks. For all we know it could have happened before that but we didn’t know because we weren’t together.”

Michael nodded. “Right I guess that’s true. Maria’s okay, I wouldn’t let her go to sleep because she probably has a concussion. I’ll go get her.”

“Thanks man.” Max said turning back to Liz and walking over to her. “He’s going to get Maria.”

“Good.” Liz said sighing.

“Any contractions yet?” Max asked.

Liz shook her head. “No not yet.” She said and then she suddenly grabbed her stomach and doubled over on to the bed in pain.

“I guess you spoke too soon.” Max said sitting down next to her and pushing her hair back out of her face.

Liz recovered quickly and smiled weakly. “I guess so.”

Maria came running into the room and pushed Max out of the way so she could sit next to Liz. She had a bandage on her head, and her eyes were red, but other than that she looked fine.

“Oh my god Liz, I can’t believe this!” Maria smiled. “I know you’re probably scared shitless, but just think, by the time we get to Rome, you’re going to be a mommy!”

“I know.” Liz smiled. “I just want to get past this part though.”

“I’m right here chica, and so is Max. We won’t let anything happen to you I promise.” Maria said smiling happily.

Liz nodded as she was overcome with another contraction. She groaned as Maria put her hands on her friend’s stomach and rubbed it.

“It’s ok, it will be over soon.” Maria told her in a soothing voice.

Max knelt down next to the bed and stayed right by Liz’s face, as he kissed it gently and ran his hand over her forehead. He picked up a wet washcloth and laid it just above her eyebrows to try to cool her obviously rising temperature. “Liz sweetie, you’re really hot, how are you feeling.” Max asked here concerned.

“I feel okay, I don’t feel like I have a fever or anything if that’s what you mean.” Liz said, trying to catch her breath. “This really sucks though.” She said as she once again grabbed her stomach in pain.

“Liz, you have to concentrate on what’s happening to your body.” Maria said gently. “Pick a place in the room to focus on.” Maria suggested and then her eyes grew big as she had an idea. “ Do you have anything special you’d like to use? I’ve always heard that makes it easier to concentrate.”

Liz thought for a moment as she awaited the next contraction. “Can someone get me my little red make up case please?” she asked quietly.

Michael walked over to the other side of the room and picked up the requested item, handing it to Maria who sat it down on her lap.

Liz reached up and opened it, taking out a ring and slipping it on her pinky.

“What’s that?” Maria asked as Max looked up to see what Liz had taken out of the case.

Liz moved her head so she could see Max’s eyes. “It’s the ring Max gave me before he left California. I had to take it off because my fingers got too fat.”

Max smiled and kissed her forehead. “I was wondering what happened to it. I didn’t ask because I didn’t want to make you feel bad in case you lost it or something.” He said. “I swear I’m still going to put it on your ring finger as soon as the swelling goes down.”

“No, I want you to do it at our big wedding, instead of a wedding ring, I want you to move this ring to my other hand okay?” Liz asked looking into Max’s eyes.

“Ok baby. Whatever you want.” Max said and kissed her gently on the lips.

Maria looked at Michael with tears in her eyes over their romantic exchange. She noticed that Michael was teary as well and she wondered what had caused him to become so much more emotional since high school. Not that she was complaining.

With Liz’s ring on her pinky, she was able to concentrate and get through the contractions easier. Max had given her some helpful tips on blocking out the pain, and he fed little bits of energy into her when she felt like she couldn’t continue, all the time giving her little kisses and words of encouragement.

Maria had laid Liz down on her back, and propped one of her legs on the chair, which they had moved next to the bed. She had spread out a blanket over the lower half of Liz’s body, and awhile before they had removed Liz’s soaked nightgown and she had put on one of Max’s t-shirts. It was almost time.

Michael looked on at the unfolding events and suddenly felt self-conscious. “Umm Liz, do you want me to leave?” he asked quietly.

Liz looked over at Michael and smiled. “Of course not. Why would you think that?” she asked.

“I don’t know, this is sort of a personal thing, giving birth, and I was just thinking that maybe you wouldn’t want me here.” Michael said.

“Michael, if you’re uncomfortable then by all means go. My feelings won’t be hurt.” Liz said, “ but if you’d like to stay then I would love to have you here. After all, you and Maria will be going through this yourselves in a few months.”

Michael nodded and said. “Okay then, if you really don’t mind then I’d like to stay.”

“I don’t mind at all.” Liz smiled as another contraction hit her full force.

“What does it feel like Liz?” Maria asked quietly as Liz’s contraction finished.

Liz screwed up her face as she tried to think of the best way to describe labor. “It feels like exactly what it is. It’s like my uterus is contracting and tightening all around the baby, trying to push it out of my body. Does that make sense?” she asked looking into Maria’s wide eyes.

“So then it’s not like a sharp pain like a needle?” Maria asked.

“No, it feels like cramps sort of but about fifty times more intense.” Liz said. “I won’t lie to you Maria, it hurts, but it’s manageable. You’ll do fine.” Liz winked.

“How many weeks pregnant are you?” Maria asked suddenly wondering how long her pregnancy would be.

“Twenty nine weeks tomorrow.” Liz said as she tried to concentrate on another contraction. “How close together are they now?” she asked.

“Two minutes.” Max said. “Are you doing okay?” he asked.

“Yeah, it’s just that it’s starting to feel like I need to push.” Liz said. “I don’t know why, it just feels like my body wants too.”

“Okay then.” Maria said. “Let’s do it on the next contraction okay?”

Liz nodded. “Okay.” She said in a slight panic.

“You’re doing great sweetie, and you’re almost done. I’m right here with you.” Max said trying to calm her down.

“We all are Liz, you can do this girl, got it?” Maria said patting Liz’s leg and folding the blanket back.

“Okay.” Liz said. “Here comes the next one.”

“Okay, you push and Max and I will count to ten. Try to push the entire time we’re counting, and don’t stop until we say 10. Got it?”

“Yep.” Liz said as Max got behind her to hold her as upright as possible. He slid his arms under hers and let her lean back into his chest.

“Here we go!” Maria said as she started to count to ten slowly.

Liz felt like her body was being torn in two and it was completely out if her control. She continued to concentrate, but not on her breathing, on pushing. Amazingly it felt better when she pushed, so it wasn’t as hard to do as she thought it would be. Maria stopped after she got to ten just as she said she would and let Liz take a breath, but then she counted again, until she had done it three times.
Liz contraction was over and Max leaned back a little bit to let her relax before the next one began. “You are doing so great honey.” He whispered in her ear. “I love you.”

“I love you too.” Liz said breathlessly. “Here comes the next one, God they’re really close together now.” She said as Max leaned up again.

“Okay, push!” Maria said as she started counting again, this time joined by Max and Michael as well. When she reached the end of third set of ten Maria screamed, “Oh my God! I see the head!”

Max smiled as Liz leaned her head back and gasped for air.

“Liz, you’re almost done sweetie, a couple of more pushes and she’ll be out okay?” Maria asked. “She’s got lots of dark hair!”

“Mm-hmm.” Liz responded as she laid her head back down on Max’s chest unable to speak.

Max was completely speechless. He couldn’t believe this was happening. Liz was finally going to have his baby. They would be holding their beautiful daughter in a matter of minutes. He felt his heart actually swell with love as he took in the surroundings. He couldn’t have imagined it being more perfect, even if it was on a train. “Almost there Liz.” He said smiling and hugged her.

Liz nodded. “Here comes the next one.” She warned as she felt the next wave of contractions coming on.

“This is it Liz, I just know it!” Maria said happily. “You’re going to finish this right now!”

Liz nodded again and held her breath, pushing as hard as she could with the strength she had left. She felt a warm tingle go through her body and she knew Max was feeding her some of his energy. She was thankful for it as she strained to push the baby out of her body.

“Oh my God here it comes!” Maria squealed as tears rolled down her cheeks. “The head is out, the head is out!”

Liz collapsed in exhaustion as Maria cleaned out the baby’s nose and mouth as best as she could, waving over Michael to help her.

Michael timidly walked over to where Maria was. He looked down at the tiny person and waved his hand over it’s face as he used his powers to clean out the baby’s mouth, nose and eyes.

“Okay Liz, one more push sweetie, you can do it.” Maria said and Liz nodded. “Go now.”

Liz obeyed and used the last bit of her energy to push their daughter the rest of the way out. She heard Michael gasp in shock as she felt the tremendous release of pressure. She did it, it was over, and she was a mother.

A high-pitched wail filled the room as the baby took its first breath.

“You did it Lizzie, you did it!” Maria said crying. “It’s a beautiful perfect little girl!” She pulled the blanket back further and laid the baby on top of Liz’s now flatter stomach.

Liz burst into happy tears as she looked up at Max. He also had tears running down his cheeks. “I love you.” He whispered in her ear and showered her with little kisses. “She’s beautiful, just like you are.”

Liz smiled, rubbing their daughters back gently. “I love you too. I can’t believe we made her.” She murmured.

“Wow.” Michael said. “That was amazing you guys.”

“Max do you want to do the honors?” Maria asked picking up the baby and pointing to the umbilical cord.

Max nodded, getting up from behind Liz slowly. He kissed her on the cheek. “Are you okay?” He asked her before laying her gently down on the pillow.

Liz nodded. “Just tired.” She smiled. “I want to hold her Max.”

“I know. Let me wrap her up and I’ll bring her to you.” Max said placing one more kiss on her forehead.

Max walked over to the baby and used his powers to cut and tie off the umbilical cord perfectly. He nodded at Maria to signal that he was done. He waved his hand over his daughter cleaning her up and drying her dark brown hair and he took her from Maria and wrapped her in a blanket, taking her to Liz’s waiting arms.

“Oh my God.” Liz said as she held her daughter in her arms for the first time, tears flowing freely down her cheeks.

Max smiled. “I know. I’m completely speechless.”

“I love you so much Max.” Liz said through her tears. “Can you believe it? We’re a family!”

Max nodded, his emotions to strong to speak. Once he caught his breath he leaned down and placed a passionate kiss on her lips. “I love you. Both of you, so much there aren’t even words. I’m so proud of you Liz. I’m proud to be your husband, proud to be the father of our child, proud that you let me be with you. I love you.”

“I love you Max Evans.” Liz said reaching up and touching his cheek.

“Umm guys?” Maria interrupted. “We have a little problem to deal with here.”

Liz and Max nodded and Max went to the end of the bed to stand with Maria and Michael who was holding her hand.

“Liz, I’m going to try to heal you okay?” Max asked. “You know, the glowing silver liquid and other not so nice stuff?”

“Sounds great.” Liz nodded. “Traveling after giving birth is not my idea of fun.”

Max laughed and Maria moved out of the way and into Michael’s waiting arms.

Max rested in hand on Liz’s abdomen and closed his eyes, erasing all traces of Liz’s pregnancy and consequent labor and delivery. When he was finished he sat back and rested his head in his hands. “Better?” he looked up at her and asked after a few minutes.

“Much!” Liz smiled. “I feel like I didn’t even have a baby! Wow, that’s the way to do it!” she smiled looking down at her body. “Except my boobs are still huge.” She laughed.

“Well I figured you might want to feed her, plus I sort of like them that way.” Max smiled amused.

Liz nodded. “Yeah you’re right. Wow Max, thanks, I feel great. Even my energy is back.”

“Thank God!” Maria sighed. “Max, promise me you’ll be there when I deliver.” She begged.

“You know I will Maria.” Max smiled. “Thanks for all of your help you guys. By the way Maria, where did you learn to deliver a baby?”

“Well once my mom and I were driving through town with Jim and a lady in the back of a taxi was in labor and ready to deliver so I watched Valenti do it. No biggie.” Maria explained. She felt Michael tense at the sound of the last name of the Sheriff and his son.

Maria rested her head on Michael’s shoulder as he wrapped his arms around her and kissed the top of her head. “So I guess we have until what thirty weeks or so?” he asked looking down at her and then over to Max and Liz snuggling and holding their baby.

“Yeah probably.” Max answered. All of the excitement last night must have thrown Liz into labor a week early. I would say thirty weeks is a good guess, she looks to be full term.” Max said gazing at his daughter.

“She’s perfect you guys.” Maria smiled. “Congratulations.”

“Thanks.” Liz smiled. “Thanks for everything Maria, I’m so glad you were here.”

“Me too.” Maria looked at her watch. “Wow it’s already ten, the train will be in Rome in about twenty minutes. We better get ready.”

“Wait.” Michael said. “They haven’t even told us what they’re naming her.”

Maria turned to Max and Liz and waited for them to answer but they didn’t.
“Didn’t you guys pick out a name?” she asked curiously.

Max shook his head, but Liz just stared at Michael and Maria before turning to Max and saying, “Max, I’d really like to name her after Alex if it’s okay.” She asked timidly.

“Of course it’s okay. I think it’s a great idea.” Max said. “How about Alexandra?” he suggested.

Liz nodded and fresh tears spilled own her cheeks as she looked over to Maria.

Maria was nodding her head as she started crying as well. “I love it. I think it’s only right that the first child born to all of us be named after him. Excellent idea Lizzie.” She said as Michael also nodded and hugged her to him tightly.

“We need a middle name now.” Liz smiled as she wiped at her cheeks.

“How about Faith?” Max asked as Liz nodded her head.

“Faith?” Michael asked thinking about it. “That’s pretty.”

“Yep it’s perfect because it’s something we’ll always have in each other.” Liz said as she leaned into kiss him. After releasing his lips she stood up and walked over to their best friends. “Maria, Michael, we would like you to officially meet Alexandra Faith Evans.”

Part 33

The two couples stepped off of the train and into the warm morning sunlight of Rome. Liz held her new daughter in her arms tightly as Max led them all to two chauffer driven limousines for the rest of the ride to the villa. Michael and Maria steeped inside theirs after hugging Max and Liz goodbye, and Maria gave Alexandra a kiss on her forehead.

Max opened the door to their limo and held it open for Liz to climb in with the baby. He stepped in after her and signaled for the driver to head out by knocking on the privacy glass twice.

Max placed his arm around Liz’s shoulder and gazed down at Alexandra.

“She’s so beautiful Liz.” Max whispered.

“I know, she’s perfect, but are you sure she’s okay?” Liz asked nervously.

“Positive. I checked her out three times before we got off the train, relax.” Max said kissing her cheek.

“I know, I know, I don’t know what my problem is. I guess she’s just so tiny it makes me think something’s wrong.” Liz explained. “But if you say she’s fine then I trust you.”

“Good, because she’s fine.” Max smiled. “All babies are little like that.”

“I guess I don’t have very much experience with babies.” Liz said sadly.

“Well if I have my way, you’ll be an expert in a few years.” Max smiled.

Liz laughed. “I know you’ll get your way Max, you always do!”

Max smiled and lowered the privacy glass.

“Hey Nigel, did you see our new addition?” Max asked smiling a huge smile.

“Yes sir, I did, she’s beautiful. Congrats to both of you.” Nigel said in his crisp British accent.

“Nigel!” Liz said surprised to see the limo driver that helped her in London. “What are you doing here?”

“I’m Mr. Evans’ private driver Mrs. Evans. I go wherever he goes.” Nigel smiled at her in his rearview mirror. “He sent me to personally take care of you since he didn’t need my services while you were in London. Now I will be your private driver Madame.”

“I have a private limo driver?” Liz asked quietly, looking at Max.

“Yep.” Max answered her smiling. “Believe me Liz, you don’t want to have to drive in Italy.”

“Okay.” Liz said. “I guess it’s you and me then Nigel!”

“Well actually, it’s you and me and Mrs. Guerin. You two will have to share me Madame.” Nigel said.

“Well no problem there.” Liz said. “I doubt we’ll be going anywhere without each other anyway.” Liz smiled.

“Very good then Madame.” Nigel said.

“Nigel can I ask you a favor?” Liz asked and he nodded.

“Could you please call me Liz?” she asked. “I feel about ninety when you call me Madame.”

“I’m sorry but my upbringing refuses to allow me to call you by your first name.” Nigel said. “I could call you Mrs. Parker if you’d rather?”

“Yes, that would be fine. Thanks Nigel.” Liz said casually as she looked at Max.
“What?” she asked him when she saw the smirk on his face.

“Nothing.” Max said. “I was just picturing what you would look like when you really are ninety.”

“Very funny.” Liz laughed. “Probably all wrinkly and shriveled.”

“Naw, I’ll bet you’re still as beautiful as you are right this minute.” Max said kissing her cheek and looking down at Alexandra.

“We can only hope.” Liz smiled. “By the way, will we get to the villa before I turn ninety? How long is the ride?”

“About three hours.” Max answered. “Relax and settle in, take a nap, I’ll hold Alex.”

Liz smiled at Max’s shortening of their daughter’s name and nodded, handing her to him. “Just wake me if she needs to be fed. She ate right before we got off the train, but she’ll probably get hungry before we get home.” Liz said smiling.

“Okay.” Max answered. “But I’m sure that if she cries, you’ll wake up on your own, you know “motherly instinct” and all.”

“Right.” Liz said as she leaned back and closed her eyes. She was asleep thirty seconds later.

“So Nigel is the plan set in motion?” Max asked once Liz started to breathe slower.

“Yes sir, I received your wire last night. Everything is all set.” Nigel responded.

“Good. We had a run in with one of his men on the train, and unfortunately our suspicions are confirmed now. We need to take care of it.” Max said as he looked down at Liz. “I won’t take the chance of anything happening to Liz or the baby again.”

Nigel nodded and looked at Max in the mirror. “I can’t apologize enough for not finding out about the traitor sooner sir. We were notified right as your train left. Unfortunately there was no way to warn you.”

“Well, hopefully this plan will work and that won’t be a concern ever again.” Max said. “I appreciate all you’ve done for me over these last months Nigel. It’s why I’m putting you in charge of Liz and Maria.”

“Yes sir.” Nigel said seriously. “I’ll make sure their okay sir.”

“Thank you.” Max said. “Nigel, as soon as the research at the lab is complete, you know your wife will be the first one here right?”

“Yes sir, Mr. Guerin told me and I appreciate it. “ Nigel said sadly. “At this point I’m not sure I really believe it though. It seems like a dream that will never come true.”

“It will come true, it is just going to take a little longer than we hoped.” Max said. “I promise, she’ll be here with you soon.”

Nigel nodded again and managed a smile. “Your wife is an amazing woman sir. She sure loves you a lot. You’re very lucky.”

Max looked down at the baby and then over at Liz, sleeping soundly. “Yes I certainly am.”

They pulled up to the villa just under three hours later. Liz had woken up as Alex began to cry, thirty minutes earlier. They pulled into the enormous circular driveway and were happy to see that Michael and Maria had just arrived as well.

Nigel stepped out of the driver’s seat and opened the door for them, bowing slightly as they exited the car.

“Well Lizzie, this is our house!” Maria squealed as she weaved her hand in front of the mansion that was sitting before them.

“Oh my God!’ Liz said as she took in her surroundings. There were beautiful palm trees everywhere, and the villa was a deep blush color. She looked behind her and saw what looked like a five car garage across the driveway. Max took her arm and led her up to the front door as she cradled Alex in her arms. They walked in through a gigantic mahogany door, twice as tall as Max and five times as wide as her door to her old apartment.

They entered the marble foyer and Liz inhaled deeply, the smell of the ocean immediately overtaking her senses.

She handed the baby to Max as Maria took her hand and smiled. “Come on, I want to show you the balcony!”

Liz nodded and Maria dragged her outside. They giggled like little girls as they stepped on to the terracotta-paved deck. Maria pointed over to the brick wall and Liz smiled, nodding excitedly.

They ran over to the wall and Liz looked over the edge and down to the private beach below them. She saw the blue and white stripes of private cabana tents and matching lounge chairs right on the sand. The waves were crashing on the shore, and white sprays of water were shooting up as they hit the rocks of the cliffs fifty yards down the beach.

“Wow.” Liz whispered as she took in the view.

“Isn’t it great?” Maria asked smiling. “When Iz and I saw this, we knew we had to live here!”

“It’s unbelievable!” Liz laughed. “Like a dream!”

“I know, wait until you see the bathrooms!” Maria laughed.

Max and Michael walked out on to the deck and looked at the two women. Michael turned to Max and said, “Can you believe them? They’re like a couple of little kids!”

“I know.” Max said smiling. “You gotta love them!”

Michael nodded in agreement. “Yup.” He said.

“Hey, can I show Liz our bedroom now?” Max yelled across the deck.

Liz nodded and Max noticed how beautiful she was once again. The breeze was whipping her hair to the side of her face, and her smile was huge, all of her perfect white teeth set in an enormous smile of excitement.

“Come on!” Max yelled as Liz walked over to him, taking a sleeping Alexandra out of his arms.

“First I want to show you a surprise.” Max said as he put his arm around Liz and led her back into the house.

“What kind of surprise?” Liz asked as they walked down one of the many long hallways of the villa.

“You’ll see.” Max winked at her. They walked, until finally they stopped in front of another mahogany door. “Go on. Open it.” Max told her.

Liz opened the door slowly and her mouth dropped open at what she saw in front of her. Her eyes filled with tears as she looked around the room, taking in every square inch of it. To her left was a large canopy crib, in the same mahogany as all the doors and trim in the villa. It was covered in pink and was complete with a mobile of pink and white little animals. She looked next to the crib at the beautiful matching dresser and changing table, also trimmed with pink chintz.

On top of the dresser was a spinning nightlight that projected little lambs onto the ceiling directly above it and played a beautiful tune that Liz couldn’t make out. She looked across from her and saw a wood rocking chair and matching ottoman, decorated with pink and blue striped fabric. From that point of the room on, the furniture repeated itself, ending with another mahogany crib, minus the canopy, all the fabric and decorations in blue.

“Oh Max, is beautiful, has Maria seen it yet?” Liz asked knowing that the blue half of the room was for her best friend’s son when he was born.

“Nope, we just had that half done while we were in Paris.” Max smiled.

“How long has that half been done?” Liz asked pointing to the pink half of the room.

“A while.” Max answered smiling. “Well do you like it?”

“I love it!” Liz smiled, wiping a tear from her eye. “It’s beautiful. Thank you.”

“Don’t thank me, it might have been my idea, but Isabel decorated it.” Max said.

“I should have known.” Liz smiled. “She has such impeccable taste.”

“She sure does. It really turned out great huh?” Max said. “Now, on to our room.”

“Wait, I want to put Alex in her crib. She’s fast asleep.” Liz said walking over to the crib with Max following closely behind.

She removed all of the bedding, leaving just the sheet and laid Alex down on the mattress gently. “Until she’s older, the comforter and stuff will have to be for show. It’s not safe for her to have anything in the crib with her.”

Max nodded. “See, and you thought you didn’t know anything about babies!” Max laughed quietly beign careful not to wake Alex up.

“Well I did do some reading while I was pregnant.” Liz admitted.

“Come on.” Max whispered, leading her quietly out of the room and shutting the door behind him.

“How will we hear her if we shut the door?” Liz asked, concerned.

“Modern technology.” Max smiled and picked up a portable baby monitor from the plant stand in the hallway.

“Excellent!” Liz laughed and put it on her belt.

“Now, on to our suite!” Max took her hand leading her down the hallway.

“Suite?” Liz asked raising her eyebrows. “It’s not just a bedroom, it’s a suite?”

“That’s right princess, you deserve nothing less.” Max kissed her cheek and opened the door to their room.

Liz walked inside and let out a long whistle. “Are you kidding me?” she asked, looking at the huge four-poster king sized bed and overstuffed chair.

“Nope!” Max said laughing. “Check out the closet and the bathroom.”

Liz looked at him briefly before walking into the bathroom and screaming. Max ran in to find her jumping up and down in excitement.

“It’s huge!” she squealed. “It has a vanity and a Jacuzzi tub!”

“I know.” Max said calmly. “I take it you like it?”

“I love it!” Liz said. “If it’s possible I more than love it! Wait, where’s the closet?” she asked looking around.

“Over there.” Max pointed to the giant mirror sliding doors behind her. “Mine is in the other room by the bed, that one is all yours.”

Liz slowly walked over to the closet and slid one of the doors back. Her breath caught in her throat as she stepped inside and saw all of the clothes that Max had put in there for her.

“We’ll have to take the maternity one’s back I suppose.” Max said walking up behind her and wrapping his arms around her waist.

“No, we can just keep them for next time.” Liz smiled and leaned her head back against his strong chest.

“Ok.” Max agreed. “Good idea.”

“Max, this is so wonderful. I’m so happy.” Liz said as he squeezed her tighter.

“I’m glad you like it here.” Max whispered as he kissed her ear.

“I love it, it’s beautiful. It’s just like a fairytale you know?” Liz asked as she turned around to face him, wrapping her arms around his neck.

“Yep, and you’re the princess.” Max said kissing her forehead.

“And you’re the prince who came on your white horse and rescued me.” Liz smiled leaning into his lips.

Max touched her lips with his and parted them, gently teasing her tongue with his. “I love you.” He murmured, as he separated himself from her and led her back into the bedroom by her hand. “Now, you just had a baby, so don’t go getting frisky on me.”

“You healed me Max, I don’t even feel like I had a baby at all.” Liz smiled seductively.

“Still, I think you need your rest. Your body has been through a lot the last twenty four hours.” Max said. “Lie down and take another nap, we have a busy evening tonight.”

“We do?” Liz asked surprised, as she tried to pull Max onto the bed with her.

“Yes, a small get together.” Max said. “No big deal, but there will be quiet a few people here and I don’t want you to be overwhelmed.”

Liz nodded. “Okay then, I’ll let you escape for now.” She said pouting.

“Later we’ll spend some time alone okay?” Max said laying her down and kissing her forehead.

“Kay.” Liz said as she closed her eyes, amazed at how tired she still was even after her nap in the car. “Wake me in a bit.” She said handing him the baby monitor remote.

“I will.” Max said quietly as he kissed her. He waited until she fell asleep before leaving the room. He had a lot to get ready in the next few hours. He hoped it was enough time.

Part 34

“Hello?” Isabel yelled out. “Is anyone home?” She waited for a minute before she heard someone coming towards the foyer where she had just walked in.

“Isabel!” Maria yelled and ran towards her friend, embracing her in a giant hug. “You look fantastic. How are you?”

“I’m fine!” Isabel smiled, as she looked Maria over. “So do you have any news to share?”

Maria nodded happily, making her long blond ponytail bounce. “Yep. I preggers!”

“Michael thought so.” Isabel smiled. “Congratulations!”

“You’re next sweetie.” Maria said putting her arm around Isabel and walking her through the door into the living room.

“Yeah, if I ever get my man home.” Isabel said sadly. “So how was London?” she asked perking up. “Is Liz here too?”

“Yep! London was nice but you all were right. The production was awful.” Maria nodded. “So I quit. I’m going to be here now, getting huge and fat.” She laughed. “By the way, we found out that our pregnancies are only thirty weeks.”

“Really?’ Isabel said sitting down on the couch and propping her leather clad feet on the coffee table. “How?”

“Well Liz had her baby on the train!” Maria started nodding and Isabel stood up instantly.

“She had the baby? Where is she?” Isabel asked looking around.

“Who?” Maria asked laughing. “Liz or the baby?”

“Liz of course!” Isabel said shooting Maria a look.

“She’s taking a nap before the party tonight. The baby is in the nursery though if you want to go peek at her. She’s really beautiful Isabel.” Maria said, her eyes filling with tears. “Dark hair, dark eyes. Just perfect.”

“Wow! I can’t even believe it!” Isabel smiled. “What’d they name her?”

“You will love it Izzy.” Maria said with a tear rolling down her cheek. “They named her after Alex. Her full name is Alexandra Faith Evans.”

“That’s beautiful. It’s a perfect name and a lovely tribute to Alex. He would be so happy.” Isabel said wiping at her eyes. “Let’s go look at my niece.” She added before walking off towards the nursery.

Maria took a few quick steps and caught up to her. “So where have you been and why didn’t you come to our wedding?” Maria asked her as she stepped up along side her.

“I know I’m sorry. Max called me and told me to get my ass to Paris, but I couldn’t, I had an important meeting with Prada in Milan.” Isabel said. “I swear I’ll be there for the big wedding.”

“Really? What was the meeting about?” Maria asked.

“They want me to design a line for them.” Isabel said nonchalantly with a wave of her hand that clearly made Maria think it was no big deal to her.

“Are you going to do it?” Maria asked. “That would be pretty cool.”

“I’m thinking about it. I don’t know. I mean I like having my own freedom.” Isabel said. “Things would have to be approved by them of course, and the entire line would say “Isabel Evans for Prada” on it instead of just my own name. I don’t know if I like that. I’m considering it though.” Isabel said as she stopped in front of the door to the nursery. She lowered her voice to a whisper. “Of course if Todd were here I’d do it in a second to able to spend more time with him. Prada already has a giant clientele so it would take a lot of the pressure off of me to market my own line.”

Maria nodded. “Well why don’t you talk to Max about Todd?” she whispered.

“I did.” Isabel said rolling her eyes. “He said this would be his last assignment.” She whispered. “Who knows how long it will last though?”

“Well some interesting stuff happened on the way here that might have caused a change of plans concerning the Special Unit. Talk to him again.” Maria said.

Isabel’s eyes lit up. “Really? What happened?” she asked.

“I’ll fill you in later, but it’s probably best to try to get Max to tell you. That way he can tell you what their plans are.” Maria said quietly. “I’ll talk to Michael to see what I can find out too and I’ll get back to you.”

Isabel nodded and turned the doorknob of the nursery door. She turned around to Maria and whispered, “Have you seen the changes I made to the nursery yet?”

Maria shook her head. “What changes? It looked perfect! What did you change?”

“You’ll see.” Isabel whispered as she pushed the door open gently.

They stepped inside the nursery and Maria’s eyes grew large as she looked at the half of the room that was blue. Her eyes immediately filled up with tears and her hand flew to her mouth to keep any sound from escaping and waking Alexandra. She looked over at Isabel who was smiling ear to ear with an excited expression on her face.

“So what do you think?” Isabel asked in the lowest whisper she could manage.

Maria didn’t say a word. She just walked over to Isabel and threw her arms around her neck, hugging her tight. “I love it.” She whispered in Isabel’s ear after a moment. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.” Isabel said smiling and hugging her back. “I knew you’d like it. As soon as Michael told me you two were having a boy, I couldn’t wait to get started on it. I’ve had a blast!”

“Thank you so much Izzy.” Maria said stepping away from her to look into her friend’s eyes. “I don’t know what to say.”

“You don’t have to say anything. You and Liz just enjoy it and enjoy your children.” Isabel said giving Maria’s arm a squeeze. “Now let’s see little Alexandra.” She said winking at Maria and walking over to the side of the canopy crib ensconced in pink.

Isabel looked down at the angel sleeping below her and her breath caught in her throat. She was just amazing. Isabel gazed at the tiny little person asleep with the most peaceful, innocent expression on her face. She reached down and touched Alexandra’s cheek lightly, but luckily she didn’t stir. Her little lips were parted slightly as she breathed in a perfect rhythm.

“Wow.” Isabel whispered.

“I know. It’s amazing isn’t it?” Maria asked looking over at Isabel.

Isabel nodded. “Seriously weird to think she came out of Liz though isn’t it?”

“Totally.” Maria agreed. “I can’t believe I’m going to have one in twenty three weeks.”

“I know.” Isabel said looking at her. “It’s like I have this pit in my stomach. I want to have a baby too Maria.” Isabel admitted. “So badly.”

“I know sweetie.” Maria said putting her arm around Isabel’s shoulder. “You will. Just give Todd a chance to do what he has to do for Max, then you’ll be together for the rest of your lives.”

Isabel nodded. “I know. Come on let’s go before we wake her up.” She whispered sadly.

Maria followed Isabel back out into the hallway and she closed the door quietly behind them. She turned to Isabel with a big smile and said, “So what are you going to wear to the party tonight?”

“I don’t know.” Isabel said walking back towards the living room with Maria following her.

“Geez girl do you always have to walk so fast?” Maria said catching up.

“Sorry.” Isabel smiled. “I guess I’m so used to a fast paced environment I forget to slow down when Im not working!” she laughed.

“Well you better learn, because when I’m waddling around like a duck, there’s no way I’ll be able to keep up with you!” Maria laughed. “Now back to my question, what are you wearing tonight, and don’t tell me you don’t know because I know you do.”

“Well, I was thinking of wearing my black strapless Gucci dress.” Isabel said thinking as they walked into the living room. “What about you?”

“I don’t know.” Maria said and suddenly her and Isabel burst out laughing, and walked arm and arm into the kitchen.

Neither one of them knew Max had been listening to their conversation in the nursery through the baby monitor. He knew there had to be something he could do about Isabel and Todd. It just wasn’t fair to keep them apart any longer. He would discuss the matter with the others at the party that night.

Natures first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold
Her early leaf's a flower
But only so an hour
Then leaf subsides to leaf
So Eden sank to grief
So Dawn goes down to day
Nothing Gold can stay
-Robert Frost
posted on 31-Aug-2001 6:37:36 PM
Part 35

Liz awoke to the sounds of people talking outside of her bedroom door. She reached down to feel her stomach and panicked for a moment at its flatness before she realized she had already had the baby. She rolled over with a smile on her face and threw her legs over the edge of the bed and stretched her arms high above her head.

“I see you’re up my beautiful wife.” Max said quietly behind her.

Liz turned around and looked at him. She still found it hard to believe that she was married to him after all of their time apart. He was so handsome and so romantic; she didn’t think she could have done better if she had spent the rest of her life looking. She silently thanked the stars for sending him to her.

“Hi there sexy.” Liz said as she yawned.

“So I have a little surprise for you tonight.” Max said mysteriously walking over to the window and opening the curtains, revealing the ocean view below.

“You do? What?” Liz asked, standing up and walking over to stand behind him. She wrapped her arms around his waist and rested her head on his back.

“We’re hosting a little get together here tonight. It’s sort of a combination wedding reception for the four of us, and congratulations on the baby and Maria’s pregnancy. Some of the people that work for Michael and I wanted to do it when they found out about everything.” Max said turning around in her arms to face her.

“Wow, good news travels fast. Sounds like fun.” Liz said smiling. “As long as you promise that I’ll get you all to myself later.”

“Promise.” Max said tipping her chin up and giving her a gentle kiss, causing Liz to melt into his arms. Suddenly they heard someone clear their throat behind them.

“Excuse me guys, but Max there’s a telephone call for you.” Maria said slightly embarrassed at walking in on them.

“Be right back.” Max said giving Liz another quick kiss. “Thanks Maria.” He said leaving the room.

“Glad to see you’re up.” Maria said smiling and walking over to Liz. “Did you have a nice nap?”

“Yeah it felt great.” Liz said stretching again.

“Well you have a couple of people that would like to see you. Namely Isabel and your daughter.” Maria said.

“That sounds so weird Maria. My daughter. Wow.” Liz said shaking her head in amazement.

“I know.” Maria smiled. “So what did you think of the nursery?”

“I love it!” Liz said. “Did you know about it?”

“Nope.” Maria said shaking her head. “Well I knew that she was doing it for you, but I had no idea she had put in all of the blue stuff. I love it too.”

“So where is Isabel?” Liz asked as she walked over to her closet and pulled out one of the many new sundresses that were hanging in it. She pulled her t-shirt and shorts off and slid the dress on.
“Where else?” Maria asked. “She’s in the nursery holding Alex. She loved the name by the way.”

“Good, I was kind of worried it would upset her. I don’t know her very well you know. Actually I never did. She’s always been a mystery to me.” Liz said quietly.

“Liz look” Maria said. “Isabel have gotten to know each other really well over the last six months and I promise you she loves you like a sister. She’s just like we were, in love with a man she can’t have. Not yet anyway.”

“McMahon.” Liz said more to herself than to Maria. “What’s the deal with that anyway? I mean how long is Max going to keep him tied up in the SU?”

“I have no idea, but it’s tearing Isabel up inside.” Maria said. “You should see her in there with Alexandra. She wants to have a baby so bad it’s driving her nuts.”

Liz nodded in understanding. “Well it makes sense. She’s almost thirty and she’s in love. Of course she wants to have a baby.” She said.

“I know. I’m going to try to find out what Max and Michael’s plans are so I can at least give her an idea of what’s going on. That is, if she can’t get any answers from Max herself.” Maria said.

“I’ll try to find out what I can too.” Liz said sliding on some sandals. “Now let’s go find my sister in law and my daughter!” Liz said walking out of the room.

“Ok.” Maria said following her out of her closet and then out of her suite and into the hallway. “You know Liz, there’s a connecting door from your suite to the nursery.”

“There is?” Liz asked surprised.

“Sure.” Maria said nodding her head. “Our room is on the other side and we have one too. It’s built into the wall next to your bed, sort of camouflaged. I’ll show you later.”

“Ok.” Liz said as she turned the doorknob and walked into the baby’s beautiful room. She smiled when she saw Isabel sitting on the blue and pink striped rocking chair holding Alexandra.

“Shh.” Isabel whispered as they walked in. “She just fell back asleep. I gave her a bottle Liz, I hope that’s ok?”

“Sure it’s fine.” Liz smiled. “It’s good to see you, how are you?” she whispered to Isabel.

“I’m fine.” Isabel said. “I think the question is how are you doing?”

Liz waved her hand. “Fine. No biggie!” she smiled.

“She’s amazing Liz. Congratulations.” Isabel whispered looking down at the baby in her arms. “I suppose you’d like to hold her though.”

“Go ahead.” Liz smiled. “You are her aunt after all.”

“That’s true.” Isabel said quietly. “Just let me know when you want to hold her though because I could sit here all day.”

Liz nodded. “Isabel I wanted to thank you for the amazing job you did on this nursery. I couldn’t have even imagined anything so beautiful.” She said as Maria nodded in agreement.

“You’re welcome.” Isabel said. “I had a lot of fun doing it.”

“Well thanks again.” Liz said. “Since you’re enjoying her so much would you mind if I went and grabbed a snack before the thing tonight?”

“No not at all. You must be starving.” Isabel smiled. “Go ahead, I’m just going to hold her for a bit longer and then I’ll put her back in her crib for you.”

“Ok.” Liz said. “Maria are you hungry?” she asked turning to her friend.

“Aren’t I always?” Maria said laughing quietly.

“Great let’s go get something to eat and leave Isabel here with Alex.” Liz said as she turned to walk out the door.

“Liz.” Isabel said causing Liz to turn back around. “Thank you. For the name I mean.” Isabel said looking down at the baby and then back to Liz.

“Don’t thank me Isabel. Alex was one of my best friend’s it seemed only right to give my child his name in remembrance. It was purely selfish.” Liz winked, smiling at her.

“Well I love it and it suits her perfectly.” Isabel said. “Now go eat.” She waved them towards the door giggling.

“Yeah, I really want a piece of chocolate cake with Tabasco all over it.” Maria smiled and licked her lips.

“Yuck.” Liz said. “I can’t think of anything less appealing.” She screwed her face into a twisted expression.

“So I take it then that the Tabasco craving goes away after the baby is born?” Maria asked laughing as she followed Liz down the hall and to the kitchen.

“I guess so.” Liz laughed. “Thank God!”

“Great.” Max said into the phone as he looked around his office. “So what time does your plane get in then?”

Max listened to the voice on the other end tell him the time before he replied. “Ok then I’ll have Nigel meet you at the airport at seven, that way you’ll be here by nine.”

The voice on the other side of the line spoke again and Max nodded his head and said, “Great, I’m glad you can make it.” And then he hung up.

Max stood up and walked out of his office heading for the kitchen. When he got right outside of it he could hear Liz and Maria giggling like little girls.

He smiled to himself and walked in to see them sitting on the center island with their feet dangling beneath them, each eating a half of a package of cookie dough still with the plastic wrapper on it. They both had the plastic peeled down and were munching away happily.

“That looks nutritious.” Max said laughing and walking over and removing an apple from the fruit basket on the counter.

“Who cares?” Maria said dashing Tabasco on hers.

“What no sauce for you?” Max asked looking at Liz.

“Nope!” Liz laughed. “That craving is long gone!”

“Yeah until the next time.” Max smiled and wiggled his eyebrows.

“Shut up.” Liz smiled as he walked over to her and stood between her legs. He leaned down and took a big bite of her cookie dough. “Hey!” she said hitting him gently.

“What?’ Max asked acting innocent. “We’re married now, everything belongs to both of us.”

“Not when it comes to food.” Liz said giggling and trying to hold her cookie dough up to high for him to reach.

“Ok, ok.” Max said. “I give up.” He looked at Liz. “Have you checked on Alex since you’ve been up?”

“Of course.” Liz nodded taking another bite of her dough and then smiling. “Isabel’s with her in the nursery.” She said with her mouth full.

Max nodded. “Well ladies the party starts in a little over an hour. You two better start getting ready.”
“We will after we’re done here.” Maria said chomping away.

“Is this a fancy thing?” Liz asked.

Max nodded. “Yep so go get something gorgeous on. There’s tons of stuff in your closet.”

“Ok.” Liz said. “I’ll go in a minute.”

“All right.” Max said giving her a kiss on her hand. “I’m going to go check on Isabel. See you in our room in a few.”

“Ok.” Liz said as she licked the final bit of dough from the wrapper and then took a swig of milk.

Max gave a nod to Maria and then disappeared out the door.

“Come on Maria,” Liz said hopping off the counter. “I need you to help me pick out something to wear.”

“Can I bring my dough?” Maria asked looking down at her half finished snack.

“Yes, you can bring your dough.” Liz said as she snorted at her.


Part 36

Liz slipped her black thigh high stocking on and attached it to the black lace garter belt she had bought in Paris. She smiled as she thought of Max seeing her in the sexy French lingerie. She couldn’t wait to get him alone later. She put on the matching lace bra and through her hair over her left shoulder as she adjusted the strap to the right fit. She repeated the motion with the other strap before looking at herself in the long mirror that made up the closet door.

“Not bad for a new mom.” Liz said to herself as she looked at her reflection.

“Hurry up.” Maria yelled from the bedroom, I have to get dressed too you know!”

“Ok, ok I’m coming.” Liz rolled her eyes as she stepped into her closet and looked through the clothes that Max had bought for her. There were several suitable dresses to choose from, all were by the finest designers.

She pulled out a red long dress that reminded her of the dress Julia Roberts wore in “Pretty Woman.” She looked at the label and wasn’t surprised to see it was a Gucci design. She placed the dress back on the closet rod and moved down to the black cocktail dresses. She pulled three out, looking them over, before putting them back. They were all beautiful, but they just weren’t what she had in mind. She looked the dresses over once again and her breath caught in her throat as she pulled the last one off of the rod. It was covered in plastic, but Liz immediately knew what dress it was.

Liz pulled the plastic off of it quickly and smiled. It was the dress that she had been wearing the night of Michael’s gallery showing. The same one she had put on the night she found Max and he became part of her life again. The black cocktail dress she had worn on the beach when Max told her he loved her. It was the beautiful dress that Isabel had designed.

Liz hugged it to her, and closing her eyes, she allowed all of the memories of that night to come flooding back. She smiled to herself as she threw her robe on and exited the bathroom holding the dress.

“I found it Maria, this is what I’m wearing tonight.” Liz said smiling at Maria who was sitting on her bed flipping through an issue of Cosmo and still munching on her cookie dough.

“Which dress is it?” Maria asked squinting her eyes and trying to get a better look at it.

“The black one that Isabel designed, you know the one I wore the night I was undercover?” Liz asked. She held it up so Maria could get a better look at it.

“Oh right!” Maria said jumping off of the bed and walking over to Liz. “How did that get here?”

“I have no idea.” Liz said smiling. “I left it in the house I was renting in California. I figured I’d never fit into it again.”

“Hmm..weird.” Maria said eyeballing the dress. “Do you think it’s a different one? Maybe Isabel made you another?”

“Maybe.” Liz said nodding. “Either way I’m wearing it.”

Maria nodded. “It is perfect for the occasion.” She said reaching out to touch it.

“Get you’re doughy hands away from my dress Maria Guerin.” Liz scolded as she pulled the dress out of Maria’s reach.
“Oh right, sorry.” Maria said looking down at her messy fingers. “I’m going to go get ready now if you don’t need me anymore.”

“Go ahead.” Liz said laughing. “I’ll see you at the party.”

“Kay, bye!” Maria said as she waved and walked out of the room.

Liz headed back into the bathroom to do her make up and hair. She curled all of her long brown locks into little ringlets and added a couple of tiny rhinestone clips to give it a little extra flare. She applied a little more eye shadow than she would normally wear, and completed the look with a little bit of black eyeliner. She then added red lipstick that was the perfect compliment to her eyes and hair and gave her a sexy pout.

She looked in the mirror and was happy with the results. She took her robe off and slipped her dress on, struggling to reach the zipper in the back. She couldn’t reach it so she gave up and put on her black high heels, figuring she would go find Maria and ask her to zip her up.

“Wow.” Max said standing behind her with his eyes wide.

Liz turned around and was surprised to see him standing there gawking at her like a teenager. “What’s wrong? Is it too much? Do I look like a tramp?” she asked nervously looking at him and then in the mirror and back again.

“ you just look so sexy.” Max said, his eyes bulging.

“Really?” Liz asked. “Too sexy for the party?”

“No. yes. I don’t know.” Max said staring at her.

“Max!” Liz said rolling her eyes. “That doesn’t help! People are going to start arriving in a little while. If I need to change tell me now!”

“No, you look great. Don’t change.” Max said looking at her hair. “I love your hair.”

“Thanks.” Liz smiled and walked over to him. When she got directly in front of him she turned around. “Could you zip me up please?” she said seductively.

“I’ll try but I can’t guarantee the zipper won’t be going down instead.” Max smiled as he leaned in and kissed her neck gently.

“Well try.” She said as she melted at the feel of his hot lips on her flesh. “This will have to wait until after the party, but I promise you it will be worth the wait.”

“Ok.” Max said as he slid the zipper up her back.

Liz felt the heat from his hand touch her back as the zipper rose up until it had reached the top. She inhaled deeply and tried to gain control of her body which was making it perfectly clear how bad it needed Max.

“I need you.” Max whispered into her ear as if he could read her mind. “I need you now Liz.”

“I know.” Liz said as she tipped her head back and leaned it onto his strong chest. “We can’t though, there isn’t time.”

“I know but can I just…” Max trailed off as he bent his knees slightly and ran his hands under her dress and up the sides of her legs. “I just need to feel you.” He murmured. “Oh God….” He said as he felt her thigh-highs end and her garter straps begin.

Liz turned around quickly and crushed her red lips against his. She parted his mouth with her tongue passionately as he ran his hands around to her buttocks and picked her up. She wrapped her legs around his waist and he carried her to the bed, not releasing her lips from his own as he did so.

He gently sat her on the bed and releasing her lips, he looked down at her. “I’m not going to be able to keep my hands off you tonight with you looking like that. You realize that don’t you?” Max said as he put his hands on his hips.

Liz pouted, her lips still stained red from the lipstick. “I’m sorry honey.” She said as she eyed him hungrily, their time restraints forgotten.

Max allowed himself a small smile at how cute she looked. “You are right though, we don’t have time right now unfortunately, it’s almost eight. I need to put my tux on, and I’m not going to get anywhere with you in here looking at me like that.”

Liz looked up at him and continued pouting. “Ok then I’ll go.” She said sounding like a child.

Max exhaled and tipped his head back. “Liz..I’m telling you. It’s taking all of my self-control right now not to rip that dress off of you and throw you down on that bed. You don’t understand what you’re doing to me.” Max ran his hand through his hair. “You look so damned sexy right now with you hair like that and your red luscious lips and the make-up..God I can’t handle it. I want you so bad, but there isn’t time. You have to go in the other room or something.”

“Ok Max.” Liz said as she leaned up and kissed his cheek. She had never seen him so obviously flustered before. She actually felt good that she had gotten him so worked up. She slowly walked away from him and walked over to the mirror to fix her lipstick and hair.

“See you in a bit.” She said as she started to leave the room.

“Liz?” Max said before she could leave.

“Yeah?” Liz asked turning around.

“You’re not mad or anything right?” Max asked, worried that she might have felt rejected.

“Oh yes Max, I’m terribly mad.” Liz said as Max’s face fell and he looked ashamed. “In fact, I’m so mad that you’re just going to have to be punished later.” Liz winked and disappeared out the door with a smile, leaving Max with a surprised but very pleased look on his face.

The party was in full swing and Liz was having a great time. All of the people that Max worked with were very nice and a pleasure to talk to. Liz found herself sharing in their discussions on science and the research they were doing in their lab.

She loved the fact that Max was staring at her from across the room with his eyes filled with lust. She could tell that their escapades earlier had really effected his concentration. She smiled at him and ran her tongue across her bottom lip and bit it suggestively. Max exhaled and excused himself from his group and quickly disappeared into the kitchen.

On the other side of the room were Michael’s friends from the art world. Maria was bored out of her mind, but played the proud wife to the hilt. She knew Michael was a brilliant artist, and she loved his work more than anyone, but these people had to be the most boring, ass kissing group she had ever had the displeasure of hanging out with. She looked across the room at Liz, who looked like she was having a great time in the science group, and smiled at her.

Liz waved at Maria and could tell she was bored. She then searched the room for Isabel and found her sitting alone on the couch looking miserable. Liz excused herself from the group she was talking to and headed in Isabel’s direction.

Maria saw Liz heading over to the couch and thought that it was the perfect escape from the boredom she was facing. She excused herself as well, and headed towards Isabel, reaching her at the same time as Liz.

“Hey Iz.” Liz said as she sat down on one side of Isabel and Maria sat down on the toher side.

“Hi guys.” Isabel said quietly. “Are you two having fun?”

“Yeah. Max's friend’s are really nice.” Liz said. “Interesting too.”

“Well Michael’s friend’s are all asses.” Maria said and they all laughed. “They kiss his butt like he’s a genius or something. I mean he’s a wonderful artist, but he’s not Picasso!”

“I know what you mean.” Isabel nodded. “They all want something from them. Max’s friend’s are the same way.”

“What do you mean?” Liz asked.

“Liz, I probably shouldn’t be the one telling you this, but what the hell.” Isabel said. “Max is recreating the Granolith. All of these people, they’re from our planet, they want him to bring their families here. They’re all vying for a pot as soon as it’s complete.”

“Really?” Liz asked amazed. “Another Granolith?”

“Yep.” Isabel said. “As for Michael, they all want money from him, or free paintings for their restaurants, galleries or retail stores.”

“Oh my god.” Maria said. “Do they know all these people are just using them?”

“Of course.” Isabel said. “They know. They have what they want, they don’t care about anything else, especially these people.”

“What do you mean ‘they have what they want’?” Liz asked.

“You guys.” Isabel said looking at Liz and Maria. “All they’ve ever wanted were you tow. To be with you, love you, have families with you. All of this other bullshit is just business.”

“Oh.” Maria said. “Well as long as they know why these people are really their friends then I guess there’s no harm in it, for business sake.”

Liz nodded. “So I wonder what all of Michael’s art friend’s would think if they knew they were in a room with a bunch of aliens?” she laughed and then Maria and Isabel laughed too.

“No shit!” Maria said. “I bet they’d clear out of here so fast it would make our heads spin!”

Isabel nodded and looked at her watch. “Well kid’s, it’s almost nine o’clock. I think I’m going to head off to bed now that I’ve made my appearance.”

“Ok good night.” Maria said leaning over and giving Isabel a hug.

“Night.” Isabel said and hugged Liz as well.

Isabel walked off, leaving Maria and Liz staring after her. She walked through the living room and through the foyer passing the front door on her way. Just as she started to walk down the hallway she heard the front doorbell. She looked around and saw that no one else heard it, so she walked over to it and opened it angrily.

“Hi beautiful.” Todd said as she looked up at him surprised.

“Todd!” Isabel screamed as she flung herself into his waiting arms.


Part 37

“What are you doing here?” Isabel asked through her tears as she clung to him tightly.

“Well your brother requested I come. I was in Berlin with the SU and he called me and pretty much told me to get my ass here fro this party.” Todd said. “Are you okay sweetie?”

“I am now.” Isabel said as she inhaled his scent. “I missed you so much. When do you get to come home for good?”

“Soon baby, soon.” Todd said running his hand down the back of her hair. “I missed you too, more than you know.”

Isabel stepped back and looked at him again as he wiped her tears away. “Well come on, I suppose I have to share you for a bit. I know Max will want to talk to you.” Isabel said as she led him into the living room.

Liz and Maria looked up from their seats on the couch as Isabel walked into the room holding Todd’s hand.

“Maria look, its Todd.” Liz said smiling and then turned to search Max out unsuccessfully.

“I know!” Maria jumped up and ran over to him hugging him tight, leaving Liz sitting on the couch alone.

Liz stood up and looked around, still hoping to see Max somewhere but she couldn’t see him anywhere. She walked over to Isabel and Todd and smiled. “Hello Todd, it’s good to see you.”

“You too Liz. Congratulations on the baby, and the wedding. I’m glad we were able to see each other in a more personal setting than we did last time.” Todd smiled warmly at her and gave her a hug.

“Yeah, you really freaked me out that day.” Liz laughed remembering his appearance at the airport in Los Angeles. “I’m glad you could make it tonight. You’ll have to fill me in on the SU later.” She whispered.

“Sure thing.” Todd winked. “Where’s Max?”

“I don’t know.” Liz said looking around for him again. “He disappeared into the kitchen a few minutes before you got here and I haven’t seen him since.”

“I know where he is.” Michael said walking up and shaking Todd’s hand. “He’s in with the baby.”

“He is?” Maria and Liz asked at the same time.

“Yep.” Michael said smiling. “I guess he can’t get enough of the little angel.”

“Well come on then Todd, let me show you the beautiful job Isabel did on the nursery, and then you can meet Alexandra, our daughter.” Liz said taking his hand and leading him down the hallway with Isabel and Maria following.

“Are you coming Michael?” Maria asked, calling out behind them.

“Nope, I’m going to go get some of that food, I’m starved.” Michael said smiling. “I’ll see you in a bit.” He blew Maria a kiss and then turned to walk in the other direction.

“I swear, I think he’s terrified about having a baby of our own in that nursery.” Maria laughed as she linked her arms with Isabel’s.

“I can’t say that I blame him.” Isabel said quietly. “It’s a pretty scary concept. Not that I would mind though.”

“Oh he’s happy, don’t get me wrong.” Maria said. “Just scared I think. Seeing Max with Alex has made it more real for him.”

Isabel nodded. “I’m interested in seeing Todd’s reaction too. We haven’t really talked about having children, at least not until we’re married, but I know I’m ready.” She confessed. “I’m going to bring it up this weekend.”

“Good.” Maria said. “It’s about time.”

They all reached the door to the nursery and Liz quietly turned the handle. When the door creaked open her eyes filled with tears as she saw Max holding their daughter closely against his chest. He was gazing down at her, his eyes filled with love and adoration. He hadn’t even heard them come in he was so engrossed in Alexandra.

“Max.” Liz whispered and he looked up at her and smiled. “What are you doing in here?”

“Nothing.” Max said sheepishly. “I just wanted to hold her.”

“I know what you mean, I loved holding her this afternoon.” Isabel whispered and looked at Todd.

“Hey Max, how are you?” Todd said nodding towards Max. “Congratulations, she’s beautiful.”

“Thanks Man.” Max said smiling. “I’m glad you came. Was she surprised?” he asked looking at Isabel.

“You could say that.” Todd smiled and put his arm around his girlfriend as she nodded.

“Good.” Max smiled. “I hope you two will have a wonderful weekend together. Let me put her in her crib and then we can all return to the party.” He said standing up and walking over to the crib.

“Wait, I want to kiss her good-night.” Liz said as she walked over and planted a gentle kiss on Alexandra’s forehead. “Good night angel.” She whispered before Max laid her down.

They all left the nursery and headed out into the hallway. Max put his arm around Liz and led her back towards the living room leaving the rest of the group to follow. When they reached the foyer, Max turned around and smiled at all of them. “Now that we’re all here, I think we should talk some business. Where’s Michael?”

“He went to get something to eat. I can go get him.” Maria said.

“Good, meet us outside on the patio.” Max said. “We can talk more privately there.”

“Max, you’re sounding like you want Liz, Maria and I there too. Do you?” Isabel asked in surprise. Usually meeting between Max, Michael and Todd were not meant for their ears.

“Yes. I do.” Max nodded. “Liz and I are married now, as are Maria and Michael. You and Todd are close enough. No more secrets.” Max said turning around and heading out towards the patio pulling a shocked Liz along behind him.

“Wow.” Isabel said.

“Yeah.” Todd muttered. “Well you heard the man, let’s go.” He sighed, not at all happy about Isabel knowing everything he was up to for fear of her worrying about him.

They both headed out to the patio behind Max and Liz, leaving Maria behind to go and find Michael.

She found him in the kitchen, standing over the sink shoving a giant piece of cheesecake in his mouth. It was stained red from all the Tabasco sauce he had poured on it.

“You could have shared some of that with me you know?” Maria asked giggling as she walked up behind him.

Michael turned around with his mouth full and stared at her in surprise. Then he forced himself to swallow it and wiped his mouth off with the napkin he had been holding. “Sorry, I forgot you liked that stuff now.” He said looking at her stomach.

“It’s okay.” Maria said. “Why are you eating in here?”

“Well I can’t exactly drown my cheesecake in Tabasco in the other room. Not in front of all the art people.” Michael said.

“That’s true.” Maria nodded. “Why do you put up with all of them Michael? They are all so fake. They’re only using you.”

“I know.” Michael nodded. “Still, they’re part of this world Maria. Part of my business.”

“Whatever.” Maria said. “You don’t need them. I don’t know why you don’t tell all of them to fuck off.”

“Nice language from a lady.” Michael said laughing.

“Who said I was a lady?” Maria asked walking over to him and wrapping her arms around his neck.

“Not me.” Michael smiled. “That’s the way I like it too.”

“I know it is.” Maria laughed and kissed him roughly. “Max and the others are outside. We’re having a meeting. Wives invited.”

“Really?” Michael asked surprised. “That’s a new one.” He ran his fingers through her hair and started kissing her neck.

“Yep, so come on Romeo.” Maria said pulling him towards the side door leading to the patio. “We’ll continue this later.”

“Ok first order of business is the Granolith.” Max said as he opened the file he had brought out with him. “We’ll have to explain it to you ladies I guess.” He said.

“I already did.” Isabel said quietly. She looked around at the shocked expressions on the guy’s faces and smiled weakly. “What? I had to. They had a right to know!”

“How long have you two known?” Michael asked looking at Maria and then at Liz.

Maria looked at her watch. “About forty minutes.” She said sarcastically. “She just told us earlier tonight Michael so relax.”

“Ok then.” Max said. “Well as you all know, the lab I’ve been working at is rebuilding the Granolith from some blue prints that we brought back with us ten years ago. The news is, that it’s done. Now no one knows this except for the people sitting at this table, and it is not to leave here. Do you all understand?” Max asked looking around the table.

Liz, Isabel and Maria all nodded emphatically.

“Of course Max.” Liz whispered. “We wouldn’t dream of telling anyone anything you tell us.”

Max took Liz’s hand and smiled. “I know, I just had to reiterate it.” He said and then continued. “Now most of the people at the lab have family and friends they want brought to Earth as soon as possible, and with the exception of a few people, that’s not going to happen. Not yet.”

“Why not?” Maria asked.

“Well, we didn’t build the Granolith so we could bring people’s families here. Eventually we will, but right now, we need to bring our military here first. As you know, the Skins have been our major threat from day one. Todd, what’s going on with them and the SU?”

“Well,” Todd began. “The SU has gained access to the Skins major safe house which is in Berlin. It’s safe to say at this point that they have roughly twenty seven hundred here in Europe, and only about a thousand in the U.S. Therefore, we’ve located the majority of them and are systematically disposing of them as we speak. We have plenty of people from our planet that have infiltrated as well.” Todd explained. “As for the one’s in America, they are working on command from Berlin, so once we can take care the ones there, they will most likely be called back to their planet.”

“So are you saying that we will be able to return to the United States soon then?” Liz asked.

“Why? Are you in a hurry to get back there?” Maria asked surprised.

“No, but I would like to confront our parents, among other things.” Liz said quietly.

“There will be plenty of time for that Liz.” Max said. “One thing at a time.” He squeezed her hand. “So Todd, have the SU captured a Skin yet?”

“Yes.” Todd nodded and the group gasped collectively. “Yesterday they captured four of them in Berlin and they are returning to U.S. soil with them now. They have a ton of experiments to conduct, but to them, these are the aliens they’ve been looking for, just as we planned. They have no idea about our race at this point in time.” Todd smiled and they all visibly relaxed.

“Excellent.” Max nodded. “Great work Todd.”

“So when will the experiments be done?” Isabel asked. “I mean you’re going to be doing them too right?”

“Yes, they’ll start immediately, they think I’m still here covering our trail and dealing with the government crap over taking the bodies off of German soil and all that crap. When I get back I’ll be observing the experiments and writing reports. As soon as the rest of the Skins are called back, then my assignment will be complete. Right Max?” Todd asked hopefully.

“Right.” Max nodded. “The men we are bringing here in the Granolith can handle the rest of them that are in Berlin.”

“How will you know when they are all called back?” Liz asked.

“The Skins we’ve captured have built in communication devices. Much like our orbs, but they’re inside their heads. When they get called back the beacon will go off on the ones we’ve captured and we’ll know immediately.” Todd explained. “Once they call them back to Berlin, it will only be a matter of time before they all leave. They are here to find us, they’ll give up eventually when the pressure gets to be too much and they are in danger of the other governments finding out about them. They are supposed to be here on Earth in secret. They would all be murdered if the planet found out about them.”

Everyone nodded in understanding. Max looked at Isabel and hoped that the Skins in Berlin would call the others back soon so Todd could come home to her. He wished he could take Todd out of the SU, but it was too important and they worked to hard to get him in. He looked down at his file and then back up at the group. “Any other questions on that matter?”

“I have one.” Liz said as she looked up and into the faces of everyone at the table. “Now that there is another Granolith, when do we get to go to your planet with you guys?”


Part 38

Max looked at Liz with eyes wide with surprise and then he looked over at Isabel, Michael and Todd. “Liz, why do you want to go to our planet?” he asked, turning to look at her once again.

“Well, I’m just interested in seeing it. If it’s possible I mean.” Liz said. “Is it?” she asked.

“I’m not sure.” Max said quietly. “We’ve never done any tests to see if humans could survive the trip.”

“Well I think we should.” Maria said, joining in the conversation.

“You want to go too?” Michael asked. “Maria, I’m not even sure it would be a good idea…” he started to say but trailed off.

“Why not?” Maria asked.

Max looked at Maria. “You guys, there are people on our planet that don’t agree to us being with you. I’m not sure how they would react if we brought you there, and I for one am not willing to take that kind of risk with you two and our children.” Max said looking at Liz.

Liz nodded. “He’s right Maria. Look at what happened on the train. If that’s the sort of people we are going to have to deal with then it would probably be best if we stayed away.” She said sadly.

“Ok.” Maria said. “I still think you should do tests on it though, just in case we don’t have a choice some day.”

“She’s probably right Maxwell.” Michael said nodding. “It wouldn’t hurt.”

“Ok.” Max agreed. “We’ll do some tests.”

Liz heard a familiar sound and looked down at the baby monitor. “Well that’s my cue. Alex is awake. I need to go feed her, I’ll be back in a bit.” She said and stood up to walk inside the house, passing one of Max’s men that she had seen him talking to earlier.

“Mr. Evans, Gradin is here.” He said as he looked around the table at the others.

“Thanks Forester, have him go to my office.” Max said standing up. “Michael, Todd, shall we?”

Michael and Todd stood up, releasing themselves from Maria and Isabel’s grip. They followed Max into the house and into his office, as Maria and Isabel went to find Liz to tell her what was going on.
Todd was the last one to enter the giant room that Max had turned into his private workspace. He shut the large door behind him and stood in front of it, blocking the only exit to the room.

Michael sat down in the chair next to Gradin who was nervously tapping his foot on the wood floor.

Max stood behind his desk looking down at the traitor with cold eyes. He rested his hands on the top of the desk and leaned over it slightly, appearing taller somehow as he towered over Gradin and he visibly tensed at the situation.

“What’s going on sir?” Gradin asked nervously.

“What’s going on?” Max asked. “I think you know exactly what’s going on Gradin.” Max said in an ominous tone.

“I do?” Gradin asked, swallowing.

“Yes, you do.” Max said. “Your little friend tried to kill Liz on the train ride from Paris. He was your friend with the glasses, you remember, the one from our last meeting?” Max asked knowing full well that the man remembered. “He wanted to destroy our children. You are a Skin.”

“I..I.. I don’t know what your talking about.” Gradin said shaking his head. “I assure you sir I’m not a Skin, and I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“Really?” Michael asked. “Then you’ll have to objection to me trying to peel a piece of your slimy skin off then will you?”

“What?” Gradin asked nervously. “You better not come near me.”

“Or?” Michael asked, standing up. “What are you going to do about it?”

Suddenly Gradin stood up and ran to the door. He tried to get past Todd but he was too strong for him. He darted around the room in a panic as Max and Michael stood still, watching him freak out. He ran over to the window, looking out over the cliffs below and started yelling.

“You’re not going to get away with this! You can’t marry humans and have children with them!” Gradin yelled hysterically as he continued to dart around the room and then back to the windows. “They won’t allow it! I’m not the only one you know! Others will come and take care of the children and you are all powerless to stop it! It might not be now, it might be years from now, but it will happen, they will be destroyed!”

Suddenly he jumped through the window, shattering glass all over the office. His gold colored shimmering blood trailing after him, dripping from the cuts the glass caused. He ran directly to the edge of the cliffs and took a giant leap, plummeting to the sand below. There was no way he could have survived.

“What the hell was that?” Michael asked as he climbed out the window after Todd and Max.

“It was weird, that’s what it was.” Todd said laughing. “He totally freaked out!”

“I know.” Max said. “I wasn’t even going to kill him, just send him back to Antar.”

“Oh well.” Michael said. “It serves him right after what he tried to do to Liz and Maria.

Todd nodded. “That’s for sure. Slimy bastard.”

“Still,” Max said, “I wonder why he freaked out like that. It was like he was mental or something. Skins are usually very brave and extremely strong, it’s not like them to just give up and kill themselves to avoid confrontation.”

“True.” Todd nodded in agreement. “I’ll have some of our men come and pick up the body. We’ll see what we can find out. I’ll have them do an autopsy.”

“Good idea.” Max said. “Where are the girls? We better find out if they’re okay.”

“We’re fine.” Isabel said, standing behind them, with her hair blowing in the night breeze.

Michael, Max and Todd turned around to see the three women standing there, and Liz holding Alex.

“Max.” Liz whispered with tears running down her face. “When we came in and saw all the blood….I….I….”

Max ran over to her instantly as Michael and Todd ran to Maria and Isabel.

“It’s okay.” Max whispered as he hugged Liz and Alex to him. “We’re okay.”

“We heard what he said.” Maria said as Michael hugged her. “We were standing at the door.”

“Come on Todd, let’s go in.” Isabel said, sensing they all needed some time alone. Todd nodded and followed her inside, knowing Max would fill them in later.

Isabel silently thought to herself how hard it was going to be for her brother and her friends. She knew they had a long road ahead of them.
She was the lucky one. She was in love with an alien and not a human.

Natures first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold
Her early leaf's a flower
But only so an hour
Then leaf subsides to leaf
So Eden sank to grief
So Dawn goes down to day
Nothing Gold can stay
-Robert Frost