posted on 31-Aug-2001 6:40:45 PM
Title: Truth Be Told
Author: Carebehr (Carrie)
Category: Max/Liz/ others
Rating: PG-13 for now NC-17 later (I will worn before any NC 17 parts!)
Disclaimer: I own no parts of Rowell
Summary: This starts the night of Tess' "Departure" end of season two. The gang is about to try to find Ava, and finds someone else along the way.

This is my very first fanfic-so any feedback is appreciated-even if it is just that you want me to add to the story. Let me know what you think please!!!

Part 1

It’s May 21 and I’m Liz Parker and after today, things will be different. I know it has been awhile since I’ve written, but nothing has truly inspired me within the last year. Rather than rehash the very painful, tragic circumstances that have led up to this day, I will just start from here. I woke up yesterday morning with this awful feeling in the pit of my stomach. Just knowing that Alex died needlessly because of his knowledge of the Royal Four made me want to throw up. There was no denying it, and there was no other explanation. Finding what we found (I don’t need to describe it, because I know I won’t ever forget it) in the abandoned house that Leanna led us to, left little room for doubt. I don’t know what Max’s reaction was, since Michael told him about it later that day on the phone. Finding what we did, and seeing the translation of “the book”, was surreal for me to say the least. I just couldn’t get the nagging feeling that aliens were responsible for Alex’s death out of my head, or my heart, and seeing that it was true with my own eyes was like a form of torture. When Max came to me yesterday afternoon and apologized to me, it was like it was all happening in slow motion. I never meant to divide our close family of friends that we all worked so hard to preserve, but I just couldn’t let what happened to Alex go undiscovered. I still miss him every day. I love you Alex.

I think Max understood that I never really wanted to be right even though I knew I was with every fiber of my being. I spent the last year wishing things could be like they were, but never really thinking they could be. When school ended last year, and Max and Isabel saw the image of their mother at the pod chamber, I knew then and there things would change, but I never realized the magnitude of the events that would take place. I told myself I was over Max, but I knew, deep down, I would never really get over him. I put on a pretty good show about it too. Leaving my job at the Crashdown, and going to work for Congresswoman Whitaker seemed like the perfect escape from all of their crap, but of course, it actually just dragged me back in. What do I care? At least I have been able to spend time with Max, even if it has been under horrible circumstances. I swear it’s been like I don’t even know him anymore. He has been so cold and distant. Playing the “King” role to the hilt.

Last night when Max told me about Tess, and about them spending the night together, I never thought I could feel so much pain and still be breathing. I might have even stopped for those few seconds, I don’t remember. His first time was supposed to be with me! I am still just sick about it When Max told me he was leaving, and that Tess was pregnant, my shock and disappointment subsided and my anger took over. Doesn’t he know how much I love him? Didn’t he know that I would have died for him, and that I saved myself for him? Of course he didn’t because I told him with my own mouth that I didn’t want to die for him and I told him with my stupid plan with Kyle that I didn’t save myself for him. Well I blurted out all of these question’s right to his face last night and to say he was hurt and shocked at the “saved myself” comment is putting it mildly. He nicely pointed out that I had not saved myself for him, but that I had slept with Kyle. Good going once again Parker! Sometimes my love for Max causes me so much pain, that I wish he had let me die that day in the Crashdown,

There was no point in dwelling on it, Max fulfilled his destiny to be with Tess and he was leaving. He kissed me goodbye, and told me he loved me, though he did not deny his love for Tess. I ran into the Crashdown before the first of many fresh tears hit the floor. He didn’t even cry for me. How could I have been such a fool? Everything started humming in my ears, and I just kept telling myself that it couldn’t be true. Tess couldn’t be pregnant. I don’t know why I was shocked. I was the one who pushed him towards her in the first place. I have no one to blame but myself. Unfortunately, I can’t even blame Tess, well not for what happened with Max anyway. At least he would return home knowing I never slept with Kyle. When he asked me if I did I just shook my head. He never asked me why I had lied to him.

So I did what any girl would do if the love of her life told her he’d slept with is intended mate, impregnated her, and was leaving for his home planet the next day would do: I went to Maria’s house and supremely embarrassed myself in front of Sean while trying to seduce him! Luckily, Sean is a decent guy and knew I was doing something I didn’t want to do and called me on it, after which I retreated to Maria’s room to wallow in my misery. Let’s just leave it at that, I really don’t want to think about it 20 years from now while reading this journal.


Poor Maria was so distraught about Michael when she came home, and I was so busy depressing myself further over Max, we almost didn’t hear Amy freaking out in the kitchen. She was saying “Larek” over and over again and had this weird look on her face, like she had been hypnotized. It was odd, because then she started tapping her fingers on the stove. My mind and eyes did a double take, and I remembered Kyle doing the same thing the other day at the Crashdown, and then Alex doing it on his guitar right before he was killed. It just hit me like a ton of bricks, TESS! It had to be Tess, since she had tried to erase Amy’s memory at the UFO museum after Brody held us hostage. Could it be a side effect from the mindwarp? I had no idea, but I knew Tess had to be involved, and both Alex and Kyle must have been mindwarped if they were doing the tapping thing too. Kyle thought we were crazy at 5 am this morning, when we woke him up at dawn babbling on like two nuts! After some gentle coaxing and a lot of calming down, Kyle confirmed our suspicions. Apparently Tess’s mindwarps were not fool proof (because that is what she is) and left side effects. One being finger tapping and the other being total memory retrieval! Tess had used Alex to decode “the book” and mindwarped him into thinking he was in Sweden and when he realized what she was doing, she tried to mindwarp him again and killed him on accident (or so she claimed to Max). Luckily we made it to the pod chamber before they all left, and since Michael was actually coming out of it(he decided to stay with Maria here on Earth) we ran in and confronted them with the discovery. I have never seen Kyle so mad. Max asked to be left alone with Tess in the pod chamber, and everyone complied. He came out 2 minutes later, but she didn’t. I was so happy to see him and I just knew he wouldn’t leave with her. Max and Alex were friends, and even though Tess was carrying his child, he couldn’t just forgive her and return home.

Today everything changed, and Max held me in his arms again and told me he was right about letting me into his life, and about loving me. I thought my heart would burst right there. I was shaking so bad, and even as I write this now, I am still not sure if it was my body trembling because Max’s arms were around me once again after so long, or the ground shaking from the Granolith, but either way, I was back in Max’s arms, and Tess was on her way back to their planet. Alone. Now, as I sit here on my balcony, looking up at the stars I am wondering what Max is doing right now. Is he awake? Is he thinking about where all of this leaves us, like I am? Is he wondering at all why I lied about Kyle?
Does he know why I tried to push him away? It must be obvious that I love him, even though I haven’t said it in a year. I just don’t think…

Liz stopped writing and threw her journal under the lounge chair next to the brick in the wall where she kept it hidden. She could have sworn she just heard someone call her name. She looked at her watch-12:34 am. Late, but not too bad, it seemed later. She was just tired from the previous day’s events, and not sleeping a wink the night before.

“Liz”? someone whispered.
Liz stuck her head over the railing and looked down into the alley. “Hi Max” she whispered back.

Part 2


“Can I come up?” he said quietly.
“Sure, we have to be super quiet though, I’m in trouble for staying out all night last night, even though I was at Maria’s for most of it”. Liz said in a low voice.
“No problem, this will only take a minute” Max started as he climbed up the ladder leading to Liz’s balcony.

She stepped back as he hopped over the edge and easily jumped onto the deck.

She didn’t know exactly what to say to Max, so she just stepped towards the open window to her room and shut it so their voices wouldn’t trail into the house and wake up her parents. When she turned back around to talk to him, she was surprised to find him mere inches from her face.

“Liz…I don’t know where to start” Max began in a quiet voice that gave away every emotion he was feeling at that exact moment.

Liz placed a finger to his lips and whispered, “Max, you really don’t need to say anything, the whole experience has been completely overwhelming as it is, let’s not try to put any words to it right now.” She lowered her eyes simply because she didn’t think she could look into his soulful one’s for another minute without her legs buckling under her.

Max tipped her chin up so that she was forced to look at him again. “Liz, I am so sorry about what happened with Tess and Alex. I hope you know that she was acting of her own accord, and that Michael, Isabel and I had nothing to do with what she did”. He let go of her face and turned away with his eyes downcast, revealing the guilt he was feeling about what had happened to Alex and how one of his own was responsible.

“Max”, Liz whispered, “ I know you had nothing to do with Alex’s death. Alex and you were friends! As for Isabel and Michael… Isabel cared a great deal for Alex, might have even loved him! I know none of you would have even thought of a plan like that. Tess wasn’t brought up with feelings. Nasedo…he was devoid of all emotions, she never had the benefit of parental love and guidance. She was not like the three of you. Even Michael has found love in Maria. The only person Tess ever truly loved was herself”.

Max turned back around to look at her again and said, “Well I just wanted you to know that we were not involved with her plan. It’s very important for me to know that you don’t have any grudges towards any of us. We all care about you and Maria, we won’t let anything happen to the two of you, I mean nothing like what happened to Alex. Tess won’t be coming back.”

“ I know that. I’m not worried about it. You will always have danger waiting for you. It’s part of who you are, why you’re here. Please Max, don’t keep pushing us away from the three of you. Maria and I care for you guys, and when you push us away, it just makes us feel... lost without you.” Liz looked down at her feet and realized for the first time since Max had gotten there that she was only wearing a tank top with no bra, and cut off sweats. She suddenly felt very vulnerable and exposed. Like he could see right through her brave façade.

“Liz?” Max began but then visibly tried to bite his tongue to keep the next question from escaping his lips.

“Yeah?” Liz said in the quietest voice Max had ever heard her use, almost like she was as afraid of the next question as much as he was.

Max walked over to her and took her small hand in his big hand and walked her over to the lounge chair. “Sit down please. I really need to ask you something, and if I don’t do it now, I don’t think I will ever be able to, and I really need to know the answer.”

Liz nodded and as she brushed past him to sit down she could smell the scent of him. Max. He always smelled the same. She would never forget the way Max smelled. It gave her the same feeling that her Grandma Claudia’s house did when she was little. That feeling of love, and safety. She knew it was a combination of things her Grandma Claudia had in the house that made it small that way. She had her assortment of candles, her perfume, the mothballs and cedar in her attic. All of it made Liz feel safe. Max’s smell was also a combination of things. His shampoo, his soap and aftershave, and of course the leather jacket he was wearing all the time in the evenings, but most of all it was just Max. His scent just made her feel safe and loved, even if his actions and words didn’t. She looked up at him, straightening her form in her chair so she could put on that brave façade again. She knew exactly what he wanted to ask her.

“Max”, she said before he could begin,” before you say anything, could we just make a deal?”

“What kind of a deal?” Max replied to her suddenly looking less nervous and more intrigued.

“You know, a deal to always be honest with each other about what is going on in our lives from this day forward. To tell each other when anything unusual is going on and if we feel a certain way-anything.” She stopped herself before she could say too much about how she was feeling right now.

“Liz, I have always tried to be honest with you, I just don’t want to see you hurt, so I guess I unconsciously kept things from you so I wouldn’t have to see your hurt and disappointment. Like I did last night when I told you about Te…you know, and when we said goodbye. I will never forget the way you looked last night when I told you all of that stuff. I’m so sorry. I'm such a hypocrite. I told you to have faith in us, to believe we could be together and that I loved you, and that you would be my destiny no matter what. Then at the first sight of something I knew in my heart and soul couldn’t possibly be true, I lost my faith in us and I turned my back on you and on our love. I am so sorry Liz. Can you ever forgive me?”

Max looked up at Liz and saw that she had changed her position on the chair. She now had her knees drawn up to her chest and her arms hugging them closely to her body. Her face was buried in her arms and her hair fell all around her like a curtain. He could her muffled sobs, and see her shaking her head back and forth over and over again. She was obviously very upset by his words and he understood why she was shaking her head “no”
She obviously could not forgive him for all of the hurt he had caused her over the last year. He leaned forward and brought her to his chest and hugged her tightly to him. “I am so sorry Liz, so sorry” he said over and over again until her sobs subsided and she looked up at him with tear stained cheeks.

“Max” She said while trying to catch her breath, “you're not the only one who is sorry about things that have happened in the past. I lied to you. I lied to you and I pushed you away right into Tess’ waiting arms. I thought she would be better for you Max”. Fresh tears began to roll down her cheeks as she buried her head on his chest again, and breathed him in.

“Better for me than what?" Max choked out. He could not understand what on earth she was talking about. After everything they had shared and everything they had said to each other why would she think Tess would be better for him than her? It couldn’t all be the destiny crap. There had to be more. He knew Liz to well enough to know that up until the point of him finding her in bed with Kyle, which he knew now wasn’t what it appeared to be, he was about to win her back. They were about to get back together up until that week that Liz showed up in house spouting some nonsense about how she wanted a normal life and she didn’t want to die for him. God, that hurt him so much he thought he was going to shrivel up and die right there in front of her. What was she talking about? What had she lied about? He noticed she still hadn’t answered his question, and all of the unanswered ones that had been swimming around in his head all afternoon.

“ Liz?” Max pushed for an answer gently.

“ Oh Max”, Liz cried “ I thought she would be better for you than me. I thought you should be with the one you were created to be with. Your powers are stronger when the four of you are together. You needed to be with her so she would stay in Roswell.” Already seeing that she had said too much to go back, she just waited for the inevitable questions looming on Max’s mind. She didn’t have to wait long.

“Liz, what are you talking about, how do you know our powers are stronger when we are together? How did you know about the Granolith being so powerful, and why did you make me think you had slept with Kyle?” Max wasn’t holding anything back now, and Liz knew it was going to be a long night. Not half as long as every night had been since Future Max had paid her a visit though.


PART 3


Liz took a deep breath, sat up and said, “God Max, I don’t even know where to begin, the whole thing is just unbelievable…..” she trailed off.

“Just start from the beginning,” Max said, as if there was anyplace else to start from.

“Ok”, Liz began, “ Remember that night that you serenaded me at my window and threw me the white roses?” He nodded slowly and unsure of what was coming next. “Well I wasn’t alone when that happened Max.”

“I know, I saw your Dad, remember? He started to yell at me and then stopped when he saw what I was doing? How embarrassing, but totally worth it to see the look on your face!” Max smirked at the memory, he had so many good one’s of Liz and all that they had shared.

“No, I don’t mean my Dad.” Liz said abruptly. “There was someone else. I don’t even know how to say this, I never thought I would be telling you even though I have wanted to since that night.” she sighed. “Ok, I’m just going to spit it out….Max, you came back from the year 2014 and showed up on my balcony about 2 minutes before the present you showed up to serenade me.” There it was out, all she could do was try to gauge his reaction to what she had blurted out. The hardest part was over.

“WHAT?” Max said as his eyes narrowed to little slits and he glared back at Liz like he thought she was crazy. “What are you talking about? How do you know it was me and not some crazy shapeshifter trying to kill you or get to us?”


“Max”, Liz began quietly, “ It was you. Believe me, it was you. At first I also thought it was a shapeshifter, but then he was able to tell me that you would be showing up to serenade me, and then there you were. He looked exactly like you, just about 14 years older, with gray hairs and everything! Plus he knew all of this personal stuff about our futures. It was you, I knew it was true, and then he explained why he was here…” she trailed off.


“GRAY HAIR?” Max almost yelled as Liz covered his mouth with her hand to keep the yell inside of it. “Shhhhhhhhh” Liz warned, “I know I was shocked too” she giggled, her first it a long time.

“Ok, so tell me,” Max said as he calmed down a little, “Why was he here and why was he involving you? If he really was me, then he would know to leave you out of whatever plan he had. I mean Liz, you know I would never put you in danger deliberately.”

“Well, he said that he needed my help, and that he couldn’t go to any of you because it concerned you and I and…Tess. He said someone named Serena told him he couldn’t see you face to face, so he came to me, he said he needed me to help you fall out of love with me.”

Max didn’t know what to say, why would he do something so cruel to Liz, even in the future? Thousands of thoughts swirled in his head put he couldn’t nail down even one to say out loud. Finally he knew what he wanted to ask her above all else.

“So the night that you came to my house and said all that stuff, about not wanting to die for me, and all of that, was that part of the plan to make me fall out of love with you?” Liz lowered her head and nodded as fresh tears escaped her eyes for the zillionth time since Future Max had visited. Liz was crying freely now, “I’m sorry I said all those things and hurt you. None on them were true.”

“Oh… Liz, I can’t believe you did that. That must have been the hardest thing you have ever had to do, saying those things.” Max pulled her to him and she rested her head on his chest once again, hardly believing this was all happening and the truth was coming out at last. She was happy and miserable all at once.

Liz lifted her head up and looked his square in the eye. “No, seeing your face when you found me in bed with Kyle was the hardest thing I have ever had to do.”

“ Well, why didn’t you tell me all of this before? Why did I want you to fall out of love with me? Why Liz, why?”

Liz caught her breath and stopped crying. “Max, if I tell you everything he told me, it could affect the future and our destinies.” She said as she pulled a stray thread off the bottom of her cut offs.

“We make our own destinies, remember?” Max said as he tipped her chin up to make her look at him.

Liz nodded and a stray tear escaped down her cheek. Max wiped it away with his thumb as he cupped her face in his hand. God, she was beautiful. How could he have caused her so much pain?

“Max, he said that in our past, which is actually our present day, you and I got back together, and got a lot closer, and eventually Tess left Roswell. He said that all of you were stronger with Tess as part of the group, and without her your enemies were able to take over Earth. He also said that although you and me were still alive in his time, Michael and Isabel were dead Max. Your enemies, and he never said if they were the Skins or another race, won the war.”

Max looked at her not knowing what to say. Michael and Isabel were dead? How could that be? All of that happened just because Tess was not there? It must have been really awful if he wanted Liz to be out of his life. He looked at her and knew she was telling him the truth. It all had to be real. It had to be the future.
“How did I get here from the future? What had happened between us? We were still a couple fourteen years from now?” The questions just wouldn’t stop swimming around in his head. At least now he was able to sort them out a little easier.

“Well, remember when I told you the Granolith was really powerful and not to let it get into the hands of your enemies when you were in New York?” he nodded. “Apparently it is a powerful machine, that was adjusted and made into a time travel device”

“Liz we both know there is no such thing as time travel”. Max shook his head “no”.

“That is exactly what I told Future Max when he told me,” Liz giggled uncomfortably.
“He said that it was possible, and I had no choice to believe him. I mean Max, I was looking at you with gray hair!”

Max nodded and shot Liz a glare when she made the last comment about his hair. “I believe you, I know you are telling me the truth. I just wish you didn’t have to go through all of it alone.”

"I wasn’t alone. I told Maria a few days after it was over between us. She was having a really rough time with Michael too. She found him at Courtney’s and when she went to the door, Courtney was in a towel and nothing else. That is actually how I came up with the Kyle plan. After seeing how hurt and betrayed Maria was after discovering Michael at Courtney’s, I knew that it would make you feel bad enough to walk away from me Max”. Tears were rolling freely down her cheeks now and Max just kept gently wiping them away.

“Liz, I….I don’t know what to say. You have been so unselfish and you’ve been through so much pain. I’m so sorry I didn’t have more faith in us and in you”. A tear now rolled down Max’s cheek as he realized what a complete ass he had been to Liz and what a fool he had been to run right into Tess’ plan.

“It’s over now." Liz said sadly." I’m sorry I didn’t tell you so we could come up with another way to get Tess to stay. Now you know the truth. I really did save myself for you Max, not that it matters now.” She wanted to bite her tongue right off for saying that.

“Liz”, Max shook his head desperately, “of course it matters. Just because I was an idiot and didn’t have faith in us, you did. You saved yourself even after Future Me told you that we couldn’t be together. You had faith that I would be your first one even after that. You’re so amazing. You did all of this for everyone else, not caring how it made you feel. I love you Liz. I always have loved you, and I always will.”

He pushed her hair away from her face and ran his hand along her cheek and down to her neck. He then placed his hand around the back of her neck and guided her lips towards his. She held her breath as their lips met and she felt the gentlest kiss she could have ever imagined. It was filled with so much love, and so many apologies, but it let her know that she was the one that Max Evans loved and always would love no matter what the future held. He trailed his tongue gently over her lower lip and into her mouth. The sensation Liz felt was one she had only ever felt in her dreams. A hum filled up her head and then they started-the flashes:

-Max and her kissing in Congresswoman Whitaker’s office.
-Max’s hurt after she told him in his room that she didn’t want to die for him and that she wanted to be with a “normal” guy.
-Max crying into his pillow after she left his room.
-Max’s hurt and betrayal at seeing her in bed with Kyle.
-Max sitting on a bench in the park with Tess.
-Max seeing her in a wedding dress and him in a tuxedo in Las Vegas.
-Max crying after she left the jeep and went into the Crashdown when he said goodbye.
-Max anger with Tess over what she had done.
-Max realizing how right he was to let her into his life and to love her completely.


Max couldn’t stop himself from kissing Liz. He wanted her to know how much he still loved her after all that happened, and that he always would. Kissing her was like going home. Everything that he felt was familiar and safe was in Liz’s kisses. He remembered everything that they had been through and he completely opened himself up to her, and she was starting to let him in as well. He began to kiss her neck as he ran his fingers through her beautiful long hair and then they started-the flashes:

-Liz in front of her mirror with a lace cloth over her head and a flash outside her window.
-A man that looked like himself but older kneeling and looking into Liz’s window
-Liz walking to his house rehearsing what she was going to say to him.
-Liz crying and sitting on her lounge chair.
-Liz asking Kyle for help with something
-Liz and the older him watching a younger him and Tess through the mini blinds of Congresswoman Whitaker’s office.
-Liz dancing with him in Las Vegas.
-Liz seeing him kiss Tess at the prom.
-Liz kneeling on the floor of the Crashdown crying, after he said goodbye to her the night before.
-Liz kissing Sean and then crying
-Liz’ desperation to get the Pod chamber before they left.
-Liz writing in her journal.


Liz abruptly pulled away at the same time as Max did. They looked into each other’s eyes as the realization of all of the flashes over took both of their emotions. They were both crying and wiping the tears off of each other’s faces. Neither could think of any words that were justified for the intense feelings they both were experiencing. The truth was told now, and all they could do was move on from here and not dwell on their past mistakes.


Part 4

“Max , I ..” he held a finger to her lips.
“Shh, don’t say anything. There are not enough words to tell you how sorry I am for everything that has happened. I wish so much things could go back to the way they used to be. I know they can’t. I am just happy being here with you right now, let’s not think of anything else but right now.”

“I wish I could do that Max but I can’t”, Liz cried. “ I know Tess is still out there somewhere, carrying your child, and I know it won’t be over until you save him, which means things can’t be ok with us until that happens. You will always be tied to Tess now. You don’t belong to me anymore. You belong to your son and his mother. Even if you won’t be part of her life romantically, she will be part of your life and your son’s forever. You never denied loving her Max. You just said you loved me more." He started to say something but she held her hand up so he couldn't interrupt her,"I know you just found out how evil she is, but you can’t say she meant nothing to you, and you can’t promise me she won’t be back. I will be with you, and stand by your side, as a friend, but I can’t be with you as more than that until this is all over and settled. It’s not fair to me Max, and I have to look out for me now. I’m sorry. I do love you, I hope you know that.” Liz sat up straighter now, her brevity no longer a façade, but a fact. She was tired of being a doormat, and it was time to do what was best for her, and that was not to be with Max right now. Boy did her heart break over it though.

Max’s eyes filled with tears as he looked at her angelic face. God, she was so much stronger than the Liz Parker he got to know a couple years ago. Liz was not a girl anymore, she was a strong woman. He knew she was right, why should he just expect her to run into his arms happily knowing he had slept with Tess? Just because Tess was gone, she wasn’t really gone. Their baby was at the front of his mind, and he knew it wasn’t fair to Liz to make her suffer through all the uncertainty that came along with that fact. He knew he would have to let Liz make the choices for them. She deserved to be able to do at least that, and he would wait.



“Liz, you’re right, I understand. I can only imagine how much you have been hurt by me, Tess, and the whole pregnancy thing. I can’t ask you to be in a relationship with me and follow me in my search to save my son. The son Tess is carrying. God, it makes me sick to even think about it. So if being friends with you is what I can have right now then I will happily take it without complaints. Know this though: I expect you to keep up your end of the honesty deal.” He forced her to look into his eyes by once again tipping her chin up. “If anything like this ever happens again, I expect you to tell me right away ok? I’ll tell you the truth about everything too. If I have learned anything over the last 6 months it is to be honest. Especially with myself, and with you Liz. I love you and I will wait for you to be ready. I will wait forever if I have to for you. I love you, and I want you to remember something. There is no one better for me than you Liz Parker and there never will be. I will love you and only you until the day I die. I’ll wait, and you tell me when you’re ready. Ok?” Max looked like a little boy who had just been told he couldn’t have dessert until he finished his plate. This made Liz smile.

“Max, when I said I would stand by you in your search for your son, I meant it. I will be there for you whenever you need my help, or if you just need to talk. Anything. I don’t want this to be awkward. I want to…” Max held a finger up to her lips.

“I know,” he whispered. “It’s ok you don’t have to say anything else. Things won’t be awkward. I’m telling you right now though, I’m not going to give up on trying to get you back. Just please don’t shut me out like you did when you came back from Florida, ok?” Max smiled at her as she nodded. It had been so long since she had seen him smile, that it took her breath away.

Max stood up and helped her up off the lounge chair. “It’s late, I should go,” he said as he walked towards the ladder.
“Max?” Liz said as he started to walk.
“Yeah?” Max turned to her.
Liz whispered, “I’m really glad you came over tonight.”
Max said, “Me too Liz, me too.”
He walked to the edge of the building as she followed him and hopped over on to the ladder. He looked up at her and said, “I was thinking, do you think we could all meet tomorrow afternoon, you know to sort of come up with a plan on where to go from here?”

Liz nodded as she yawned. “Yeah, that would be fine. Maria and I get off at 4. We could just meet here at the restaurant if that’s ok?” Liz yawned again and Max couldn’t help how much she looked like a little girl at that moment in her little tank top and cutoffs.

“Yeah that’s fine. I probably won’t wake up until 2 pm anyway. We should probably ask Kyle to come too. I mean now that I know what happened between you two wasn’t real, and after he helped with the Tess situation, it seems only normal to include him. Don’t you think?” Max asked Liz while he was hovering on the ladder.

“Absolutely.” Liz smiled at him. “I’ll call him tomorrow from work. He hasn’t been too interested in this stuff before, but he might have changed his mind considering…” her voice trailed off.

Max nodded and looked up at her. He then gestured with his finger for her to come closer.
She complied, and when she got to the edge of her balcony he leaned over and placed his lips on hers. He took his one free hand and put it against her cheek as the kiss seemed to go on and on.
“Sorry,” he said when he finally let her go, “I just wanted to remember..”

Liz smiled at him shyly remembering the words she said to him after the first time he had left her with a broken heart.

“Ok then, I’ll see you tomorrow at 4. Goodnight Liz.” With that he climbed down the ladder.

Max began walking home, digesting all that Liz told him that night when he realized she hadn’t answered one of his important questions. He quickly resigned himself to the fact that he would have to wait until the next afternoon to find out the answer, but he had a pretty good idea what it would be.


Liz yawned as she walked back over to the lounge chair and reached underneath it. She picked up her journal and looked over the last bit she had wrote before Max showed up to talk. She picked up her pen and crossed out the last few words she had written and started a new paragraph:

"Max was just here. I told him the truth about everything. I told him I couldn’t be with him as a girlfriend right now, but that I would stand by him as much as I could as a friend. That was so hard since my heart just wants him to take me in his arms and never let me go, but this is what I need right now. He understood and we promised not to keep things from each other anymore.

He asked me about what happened to us in the future and if we were still together, but I never answered him, as we got side tracked on other stuff. I hope it doesn’t come up. Telling him we were married at nineteen is not something I am looking forward too, but if he asks I will keep my end of the deal and tell him. Hopefully he never realized I didn’t answer. Off to bed I have to be up at 7 for my shift."

Liz placed her journal into the wall and replaced the brick that it hid behind. She walked over to her window and slid it open as quietly as she could and snuck inside. She crawled in bed and fell asleep quickly, the first time she had done that since the night Future Max showed up at her window.


Part 5


Liz’s alarm clock was buzzing again and she just couldn’t bring herself to hit the snooze button one more time. She had already overslept by 30 minutes. She knew it was time to get up and get ready for work. At least she could look forward to telling Maria about her and Max clearing things up the night before.

She walked to her bathroom and turned on the shower. When she looked in the mirror it was like looking at someone else. All of the stress since the whole Future Max fiasco had really taken it’s toll. That combined with Alex’s death, Tess, and the alien baby thing had caused her to lose some much needed sleep. She noticed the dark circles under her eyes and the pale face looking back at her as her own. She hadn’t really cared lately how she looked, so she rarely looked into her mirror at all. She vaguely wondered if Isabel could help her where normal make up couldn’t. She vowed to ask her about it later.

After her shower, she brushed her long wet hair into a ponytail and put on her uniform. Every time she put it on she remembered the day Max saved her life, and when she looked into the standing mirror that night. She remembered sticking her finger through the bullet hole in the uniform and then seeing the silver handprint on her belly. She smiled at the memory for the first time in awhile and was glad he saved her that day.


She tied her white tennis shoes and bounded down the stairs two at a time, amazed at how much energy she had considering how tired she was. She literally felt like the world had been lifted off her shoulders.

“Hey Liz”, her dad called out from the office he kept in the back of the restaurant, “you seem happy today!”

“I feel great today Dad! I think we need to turn on some music, what do you think?” She smiled at him and bounced off towards the radio.

“Ok, but none of that “Korn type stuff Lizzie!” “It’s too loud for comfortable digestion!”
He screamed at her as she turned on whatever station had been previously set on the radio.

“Relax Dad, I just put it on whatever it was already programmed too. I just feel like some music, I really don’t even care if it is your old man style!” Liz laughed as she went to her locker for her antennas.

“THE ALIEN GODDESS IS HERE!!” Liz heard as the back door to the Crashdown flung open. Liz turned around to see a grinning Maria looking at her.

Maria winked and said “Hey chica! Is this the most beautiful morning ever or what?” She walked over to her locker and threw her bag into it. She reached into her pocket and pulled out a picture of Michael and stuck it up in her locker. She then pulled out a fat red marker and proceeded to draw a big red heart around it. She put on her antennas, and gave the picture a big smooch before she turned around to Liz for her response.

“Oh my God Maria-what is going on? I knew you and Michael were obviously "closer" when I saw the two of you yesterday, but I had no idea it was this serious”. Liz started laughing at her uncontrollably when she saw Maria’s mouth.

“What? What’s the matter? What’s so funny?” Maria looked at Liz like she was crazy. She knew Michael and her had her ups and downs, but she never thought their relationship was one to laugh at, especially as hard as Liz was laughing.

Liz just kept laughing and pointed to her mouth. Maria immediately looked in the magnetic mirror she had in her locker and saw what had Liz in such hysterics. When she kissed the picture of Michael, she had gotten fresh red permanent marker all over her lips. She looked ridiculous!
“Oh crap, Liz- help me get it off! Michael is coming in for breakfast this morning and if he sees this I will have to tell him what a complete moron I was being!” Maria began to scrub at her lips.
“Ok hold on a minute, I read somewhere that nail polish remover takes off permanent marker, let me get some.” Liz ran off to the bathroom while Maria was still scrubbing at her mouth with her hand.

“Hello is anyone here??” Maria heard someone call from the front to the restaurant. They were on the other side of the door so their voice was muffled, but Maria could tell it was a guy’s voice.

“Oh Shit”! Maria said out loud right as Liz came running up with the nail polish remover.
“What’s wrong –I mean besides the obvious?” Liz giggled.
“Someone’s out front! Tell me you unlocked the doors already!” Maria looked at her with a pleading stare.
“Nope, sorry Maria, they were locked.” Liz started scrubbing at Maria’s lips with the remover furiously trying to get off the marker before the inevitable happened.

Liz was scrubbing but it wasn’t coming off. Maria was starting to panic and tears started to slowly roll down her face. Liz knew it really wouldn’t be that big of a deal if Michael saw her like this, but since Maria and Michael’s relationship was so unpredictable, she knew Maria wanted to look perfect for him all the time. She was really embarrassed over how she looked at that moment.

Just then the swinging door from the front came open and there was Michael standing there with a big smile on his face. Liz quickly stepped next to Maria and reached her arm around her covering her mouth with her hand. “Hi Michael!” Liz exclaimed a little to loudly. “Maria and I are having a private discussion, could we meet you out front in a minute?” Liz said with a huge smile.

“Sure,” Michael said, “but holding your hand over her mouth like that won’t keep her from blabbing anything, believe me I should know!” He laughed and walked away as Maria glared at him.

“That jerk!” Maria said as the door shut and Liz let go of her mouth. “He knows perfectly well that I can keep a secret! I mean I haven’t blabbed to anyone yet that we had se..”. Maria looked shocked at her own admission and her own hand reached up to cover her mouth quickly.

“That you did WHAT????” Liz said just as surprised as Maria was. “Maria did you an Michael sleep together?” Liz stared at her waiting for her answer and giving her a look that let her know she wasn’t leaving until she got one.

“Ok, yes Liz we did, and it was wonderful and magical and romantic and everything I dreamed it would be and I swear I will give you all of the details later-I SWEAR! Could we just focus on the problem at hand right now please?” Maria begged her as she looked like she was going to cry.

“Ok right-sorry Maria, I’m just surprised you know? Totally happy for you guys but surprised.” Liz looked down and she didn’t know why but tears instantly sprung to her eyes.

“Hey Liz, I’m sorry I didn’t tell you sooner. I just wasn’t sure how you would feel about it since what happened between Max and Tess and everything. I know you were hoping that after everything, you and Max would still be each others “first” you now?” Maria was looking sadly at Liz and instantly cursing herself for letting the subject slip out that way.

They were both interrupted by a knock on the swinging door.

“Is everything ok in there you two?” They heard a female ask from behind the door.

“Isabel is that you?” Liz asked smiling at Maria and knowing their problem was solved.

“Yeah-Michael said you guys were having a private convo so I didn’t want to just walk in, but he said you two had been in there awhile and you were supposed to open 5 minutes ago.” Isabel said as quietly as she could. “People are waiting outside you guys!”

The door quickly jerked open in front of her and Liz said, “Isabel thank God you’re here, we need some major molecular structure changing!!” and she dragged Isabel behind the door.

Five minutes and some laughing later, all three girls appeared in the front of the restaurant. Maria looked back to her old happy self, Liz’s dark circles and pale complexion had been changed to a healthy glow, and Isabel had even given herself a new hairstyle for the moment, complete with curls and highlights. They all looked great.

Part 6





“Maria, will you cover for me for a few minutes, I have to go call Kyle and fill him in on the meeting today. Max and I agreed he was part of this now and that he should be here.” Liz asked as she loaded her tray up with food for table 4.

“Sure chica-no problem” as she grabbed Liz's tray and danced off to the tune of “California Dreaming” that was playing on the radio. //Liz’s Dad has the weirdest taste in music// she thought to herself.

Liz picked up the phone and dialed Kyle’s number, not really surprised that she still remembered it. It rang seven times before a sleepy sounding Kyle answered. “Hullo?” he croaked out.
“Umm-hi Kyle it’s Liz. How are you? Are you still asleep? Liz immediately felt weird about being the one to call him.

“Yeah Parker, you know not all of us have to work at the crack of dawn”. He said immediately wishing he had been nicer to her.

“Kyle”, Liz said impatiently, “it’s two o’clock in the afternoon, sorry I figured you’d be up by now!”

“So what’s the big emergency-is something wrong?” Kyle asked realizing that she never called him and if she was it had to be a big deal.

“Nope-everything’s fine”, Liz said to put his mind at ease quickly, ”we are all going to meet here at four, and we thought you would like to join us? We want to come up with a plan for Max and of course a way to protect ourselves in case Tess comes back.”

“Oh-so you ALL agreed to having me there?” Kyle couldn’t help but ask.

“Actually, Kyle, Max and I sorted everything out last night and he knows nothing happened between us. It was his idea to include you in this from now on. You’re a part of it now Kyle whether you like it or not. I’m sorry I dragged you into everything. Especially what happened that night…” Liz broke off her sentence, she knew he knew what she was referring to without going into any more detail.

“Liz, it’s ok. This all has been like a nightmare, with Tess and her lies and Alex dying and everything, I mean we got pretty close that night in the slime chamber…” he hesitated a minute then said, “I’ll see you at four. Thanks for calling me and letting me be involved.”

“Good I’m glad you’ll come. Hey, I have one more thing to ask you.” Liz said unsure of what his reaction would be.

“Yeah?” Kyle said at the other end.

“What did your Dad say when you told him about Tess?” Liz waiting holding her breath until he answered. She felt so bad for Sheriff Valenti. He took Tess into his home and then found out she had used him and mindwarped his son-the one person he cared about more than anything in the world. He was such a good man and she was glad they had him to help them.

After a moment Kyle replied. “You know what Liz, he said he wasn’t surprised! He said he cared about her, but there was just something that he thought was “off” about her. He knew she wasn’t like Max, Michael and Isabel. He said that he just attributed it to the fact that she never had loving parents. Now he knows the real reason why she was like that. He did say that he was glad the rest of them stayed though. He said he wasn’t looking forward to boring old Roswell again! He’s pretty happy, and he got to give Max and Isabel the video they made for their parents yesterday afternoon when they stopped by to thank him for everything again.”

Liz was happy that he was dealing with everything so well. “Kyle thanks again for your help with the mind retrieval thing, I know it wasn’t easy for you to realize what she had done.”

“No, it wasn’t, but I have to believe that it put me more in touch with my spiritual side. You know what Buddah say…”

Liz interjected “Oh Kyle I have to go, a customer is waving me over..see you at four!” she hung up as she heard a confused Kyle saying “Ok bye Liz….”
Liz put the phone down and exhaled loudly. Maria sauntered over and said, “What’s up? Is he coming?”
“Yes Maria he’s coming and he’s bringing Buddah with him!


At five minutes to three the door jingled and a very handsome, rested Max Evans walked in. He walked over to a table in Liz’s section and sat down, and picked up his menu. He knew exactly what he wanted. He wanted Liz, he wanted to save his son and he wanted all of this uncertainty to be behind him, but he would settle for a burger and fries and a cherry coke.

Liz walked over to his table with a huge smile on her face. He thought she looked beautiful in her uniform with her ponytail and her antennas. She had a huge smile on her face, it had been so long since he’d seen that.

“Hey Max-how did you sleep?” Liz asked

“Just fine thank you, and you Miss Parker? How did you sleep? You look well rested.” Max eyed her suggestively.

Liz swatted him on the shoulder with her order pad and laughed, “What can I get you Max?”

Max smiled and said, “Well you know what I want, but since I can’t have that, I’ll take the usual. She laughed and he knew things were going to be fine between them. Maybe, even better than fine. Their banter was anything but awkward.

“I’ll put the order in right now, oh and by the way, I talked to Kyle and he’ll be here for the meeting.” Liz called out before she walked towards the kitchen.

Max loved watching her walk to the kitchen. Before he saved her that day, that is what he’d been doing all afternoon. Watching her cute little rear end walk back and forth to the kitchen. Not that her uniform was sexy in a conventional way, but it was a cute little short outfit. Max wondered if he was attracted to it because it was an alien uniform. He started laughing at the thought.

“What’s so funny?” Michael asked as he plopped himself into the booth.
“Nothing, I was just thinking of something stupid.” Max replied as he started to blush.

“Uh oh Maxwell, that can’t be good, and seeing who you are looking at I know it’s not! What’s going on with you two? Are you back together or what?” Michael asked curiously.

“No, were not, but not because of me Michael, because of her.” Michael noticed Max looked sad at the realization that they weren’t a couple.

“So what’s going on?” Michael prodded, trying to get Max to talk. “Is she really pissed about you and Tess?

“Of course she’s pissed you moron. How would you feel if you were in her shoes?” Max said angrily, although he was once again more angry with himself than anyone else.
Quickly changing the subject Max said, “Speaking of women, how are things going with you and Maria? Things must be serious if you were going to stay here to be with her Michael.”

Michael shifted in his seat and said, “actually Maxwell things could not possibly be more serious at this moment in time.” He looked down and blushed.

Max caught on to this and said not as quietly as Michael would have preferred, “You and Maria slept together?”

Michael just shot him a death stare and said “Shhhhhhhhh, do you want the whole place to know? Shit, Max”. Michael looked over at Maria-thank God it didn’t seem like she heard him.

“Well how was it?” Max couldn’t help but ask. “I mean-not how was it exactly, but was it ok? Did anything weird happen? Was it normal? Any complications?” Max just kept rambling on and on. He wanted all the answers. Obviously Maria was still alive so it must be possible.

“Max-it was great. That’s all I am going to say. It was just perfect. I love Maria and I know it was right. We thought we were saying goodbye Max, it’s not something I am going to pressure her into doing again. For all I know she only did it with me because she wanted me to be her first, and that I was leaving and never coming back.” Michael looked sad at the thought, but quickly recovered. “Anyway buddy, It’s possible, there were no complications, but there also wasn’t anything “alien” about it. No extra long orgasms or anything. It was just as I thought it would be. Perfect”. Michael sat there with a dopey smile on his face for a few seconds.

“What on earth could you two possibly be talking about that gave Michael that look on his face?” Liz asked as she set down Max’s food.

“Nothing!” They both replied at the same time.
“Well, it must be a very interesting nothing, you’re both blushing”, Liz said as she wiggled her eyebrows up and down.

Isabel walked up to the table and said, “Aww Liz, leave them alone-they can’t help it, they are both total perverts!” and with that she took a chair from an empty table and sat at the end of their booth.

“How much do I owe you Liz?” Max asked reaching for his wallet.

“Forget it-it’s on the house. Liz said as she walked away smiling.

“And you said nothing is going on between you two, I can’t remember the last time she gave you free food Max!” Michael laughed as he jumped up from the table. “Excuse me you guys, but I see my lady has a free moment….” And he walked off towards Maria.
***************************************

It was 4:05 and Kyle still wasn’t there. They were waiting to start, they wanted to be sure everyone heard everything and Liz was the first one up. Since her story included Kyle, she wanted him to be there for the whole thing.

“Sorry I’m late, sorry, sorry, sorry!” Kyle babbled as he walked in. He too took a chair from a different table and sat next to Isabel at the end of the booth. He looked to his right and saw an extremely cozy Maria and Michael wrapped around each other and he looked to his left and saw a very poised Liz and Max sitting there. //Wow how things have changed! // he thought to himself.

“It’s ok Kyle, were not in any hurry, and we waited for you.” Liz smiled at him. She always had such a way about making him feel ok about everything.

Max looked at him, smiled and said, “Yeah man, it’s cool, we’re in no rush and it was important for us to wait for you since Liz is about to explain something really important to all of us and it concerns you.”

Kyle nodded, realizing that Max had just said more to him in one mouthful than he had the entire time he’d known him.

Part 7

“So Liz, this future version of Max told you that without Tess, we’d all be killed? “ Isabel asked blankly. She couldn’t believe that Tess was that important. “How can that be-how can she be the link that holds us all together. We all have powers, are hers stronger or something? I just don’t get how that could happen.” tears started to roll down her cheeks and Kyle moved to hold her hand. Heck, he had do something, she was sitting right next to him crying. He wasn’t a total jerk.

“No Isabel, her powers are NOT stronger, they just complete all of yours, you ALL are stronger when you’re together. With her gone, it makes all of you weaker. You guys haven’t been in many situations together where your powers were needed all at the same time, so you really don’t know what the four of you would be capable of if you worked together.” Liz said. She felt like she had become an expert on all of this since she rehashed it in her brain thousands of times.


“Liz why didn’t you tell us? I mean I can understand why you didn’t tell Max, but why not Isabel and I?” Michael looked at her with solemn eyes.

“I couldn’t Michael. I didn’t want to believe it was true. I couldn’t face the two of you dying, there was no way I could straight out tell you it was going to happen right to your faces. I know I didn’t handle the situation in the best way and for that I’m sorry, but this all has a more important point. Tess is gone. She isn’t here anymore and without her you all are weaker. It didn’t happen the way Future Max said it would, she didn’t leave because of me, but she did leave. We need to figure out how that is going to affect not just you guys, but all of us. Aside from the obvious… baby issue.” Liz looked at Max as she said this, and he took her small hand in his big one and gave it a squeeze.


“Well I don’t know what we should do, but I know what we shouldn’t do,” Maria said as she looked around the table, “we shouldn’t trust anyone anymore. Especially any new students at school.”

“We only have one year of school left, and we need to stick together through thick and thin. If you don’t think you can do that then you should leave now.” Max said as he looked around letting his eyes fall on Kyle a little longer then on Maria and Liz.

“Hey I’m in for good now, and I’ll be here to do whatever you guys need me too. Tess took advantage of me, and my dad, so I know he’ll feel the same way. I’ll fill him in when I get home tonight. You guys can count on me. I was getting sick of hanging out with those dumb jocks anyway-they have no spiritual side at all.” Kyle said emphatically.

“Maria laughed at that statement and said, “You just realized that Kyle?” and everyone had a short laugh with her.

“Hey, I have an idea! What about Ava?” Liz spurted out with her eyes growing big.

“What about her? I don’t want anything to do with those creepy people”, Maria said while she snuggled a little closer to Michael.

“I know how you feel Maria, but Rath and Lonnie totally screwed her over, we don’t even know if she went back to New York. She wasn’t like them, didn’t quite fit in, you know what I mean?” Liz looked around at the nodding heads.

“Don’t you think it’s weird that Ava was all nice, and seemed truly tortured by Rath and Lonnie, and Tess seemed to just mold to be whatever you guys wanted her to be? Like Tess was putting on an act, but Ava was just naïve? Why would she be like that if Tess had grown up with Nasedo, so protected, and Ava had grown up in New York. Why would she be naïve? Tess was the one who should have been naïve. I mean, no one that grows up in New York City, and I mean espescially UNDERNEATH New York City would be naïve. Right?” Liz left the question hanging in the air while the others thought about it.

“Tess knew a lot of things about our planet.” Max began, “she answered a lot of questions for us, but she never really proved that she was telling us the truth. We need to read the translation of the book again and see if there are any loopholes or suspicious things in there that could have double meanings, or that she could have turned into something else.”

“Liz and I could do that Max” Maria offered. “We’re great at reading into things!”

“Ok then let’s start there. If I want to save my son”, he gave Liz’s hand a quick squeeze again, “then we have to know what we’re dealing with when it comes to Tess. Liz, do you think there is anyway Alex’s dad would give you his computer?” Max looked at Liz with his eyebrows raised.

“Probably, I don’t think he would mind, especially if he knew how much it would help us out. I’ll see what I can do. Why Max?” Liz looked at him with a quizzical expression.

“Well”, Max began, “there might be more information in there that you couldn’t get the first time you looked due to the rushed state you were in. We need to look at all of his files, not just one’s that are recent either. It also might give us a clue as to how we can track down Ava, you never know. Alex was a whiz on the computer and everything we need might still be in there.” Max glanced at Isabel and noticed that she was about to cry. Liz noticed at the same time and she reached her arm around Isabel and squeezed her tight.

“Isabel”, Liz whispered, “ Alex would be so happy to know that he could help us even though he’s not here.”

“He is here Liz”, she said quietly, “I feel him all around me all of the time. I’m not over him Liz, just talking about him is hard, but you’re right, he would want to help.” She missed Alex so much and she didn’t like to admit her weaknesses, but the moment with Liz just felt right.

When they both looked up, they had discovered that they had a plan and everything had been settled. Maria and Liz were going to look over the translation of the book with Isabel’s help and see if they could find anything suspicious in it. They planned a girl’s night at Liz’s house tomorrow night to do the work and catch up with each other at the same time. The following day they were all going to go to Alex’s house to talk to his Dad about the computer.

Kyle was going to enlist his Dad to see if they could locate Ava anywhere, since it seemed like the Sheriff would have the best resources for that.

Max and Michael were going to use Brody’s computer at the UFO center to see if they could find any information that Brody might have put in there during one of his many encounters with Larek.

It all seemed settled, so they started to get up, not really ready to separate from each other, since they had all been through so much in the last couple of days.

“Hey you guys, my mom left today for a week at a spa in Sedona, since she wasn’t feeling all that well you know,” they all laughed at what Maria had told them previously about Amy’s memory retrieval flashes, “so my house is free. Why don’t we all head over for a giant slumber party!” Maria looked around at the horrified expressions on the guy’s faces. “Not a slumber party, I meant a general hang out session where everyone could just camp out in the living room. As long as everyone agrees to behave I think it would be really fun!”.

“Maria, “ Michael laughed, “we’re the only couple here in case your forgetting, and I can’t speak for you, but I promise to be on my best behavior!” Maria whacked his arm.

“Ok so what do you guys say, is everyone up for it?” She looked around at all of her best friends smiling faces.

“I’m in!” Kyle said, “I know my Dad will know I’ll be safe with all of you protecting me!”
he laughed, “ Just let me run home, grab some stuff and fill him in on the plan. I’ll bring some chips and dip and soda too. We have a ton in our fridge in the garage.”

“Great!” Maria squealed, “Max, Liz, Isabel whaddaya say?”

“Ok Maria, I’ll run upstairs and get out of my uniform and grab a sleeping bag and stuff and meet you at your house.” Liz said starting to look forward to it.

“I’m there!” Max said as soon as he heard Liz say she’d go. “I’ll bring some movies over too. Will Sean be there?” Max said hoping the answer would be no. He hadn’t gotten Liz’s flash of kissing Sean on the sofa bed out of his mind yet. Liz glanced at Maria quickly when Max asked about him, also hoping Maria would say no.

“Nope”, Maria shook her head, “some of his delinquent friends and him decided to spend the night at the cemetery.”


“ Great!” Max said relieved. “ Isabel?” Max asked, “Are you coming?”


Isabel rolled her eyes and exhaled loudly, “I suppose I have to now, everyone there will need supervision and since I’m the only mature one in this group, I guess I’d better chaperone. I’ll need to stop and get some ice cream though to keep my sanity.” Isabel was not looking forward to spending another night in her room crying over Alex, so this sounded perfect. She was excited, but she would never let them know that.

“Yippee!!” Maria yelled, See you all at my house in an hour or so!” She then dragged Michael out of the diner.

“Hey Kyle,” Max asked shyly, “Do you think you could give Iz and I a ride home. I don’t have the jeep anymore.”

“Oh right, no problem Max come on.” Kyle said happily.

“Great thanks, when we get home I’ll borrow my mom’s car to get to Maria’s so it will only be a one way trip! Max leaned over to Liz and kissed her forehead, I’ll see you in 45 minutes. We’ll go get our stuff and be back then to give you a ride to Maria’s.”

“Ok, see you then” Liz yelled as he walked out the door with Isabel rolling her eyes behind him.

Liz turned around and ran up the stairs to start packing. She wondered what she would be able to write in her journal tomorrow night. She could hardly wait to find out!

Part 8

“Hey guys, come on in!” Maria wailed as Max, Liz and Isabel walked through the door.

“Michael and Kyle are in the living room watching some made for HBO movie or something. I was just going to order a couple of pizzas. What do you guys want on yours?”

“Extra pepperoni and pineapple,” Max and Isabel said at the same time.

“Yeah I figured. That is exactly what Michael wanted.” Maria held up her hand before either of them could say anything. “I know, I know, sweet and spicy-whatever.” Maria walked off holding a coupon and the cordless phone.

“You guys go ahead,” Isabel said, “I’m just going to put my ice cream in the freezer.”

“Mmm, what kind did you get Isabel?” Liz asked, thinking some ice cream sounded good.

“It’s not vanilla and it’s not going to be shared!” Isabel laughed as she went into the kitchen.

“If you want some ice cream, I’ll run out and get you some later.” Max said as he saw Liz’s pout.

“That’s ok, I don’t need it, it just sounded good right now. After I eat some of that pizza I probably won’t want anything else for the rest of the night!” Liz laughed.

“It’s really good to hear you laugh Liz.” It’s been a long time.” Max said while they sat down on the love seat.

“Yeah, well Max I haven’t really had too much to laugh about lately.” Liz said looking at the floor.

“I know. I’m sorry”. Max whispered as he reached to push the hair out of her face.

“It’s ok Max, please don’t keep apologizing. We’re both sorry for a lot of things that happened. We’re both to blame. Liz said quietly, still not looking at his face.



“Ok lovebirds, off the loveseat, that’s our spot”, Michael said with a smile while dragging Liz and Max off their seats. You guys can have the big couch.”

“Oh, like I’m gonna sit on the floor-I don’t think so Michael, this is a brand new Prada skirt.” Isabel said with her hands on her hips looking completely annoyed by the suggestion.

“First of all Isabel, you are the only one here who even knows what that means, besides Liz maybe,” Michael replied smirking, “and second of all, you can just sit your Royal Ass down on the couch then Your Highness.” And with that Michael threw in a bow for good measure.

“Umm, ok then I will”, Isabel looked at the couch where Kyle was sitting and decided to sit down on the other end. She liked Kyle, but didn’t want to give him any ideas.

“So I guess we have the floor then”, Max said to Liz while she nodded

“No, no that isn’t right. Liz shouldn’t have to sit on the floor. Ladies should be able to sit on the sofa,” Kyle stood up and pushed Liz over towards the couch, “Max and I will lay on the floor. Kyle was so impressed with himself over being such a gentleman, he didn’t see the death glare Max was sending his way.

“Oh thanks Kyle, that’s really sweet”, Liz said while heading to sit down. She thought that this would be the perfect way to steer clear of Max for the evening. She didn’t need the temptation of him sitting so close to her. She was going to stick to her plan no matter what. She wasn’t about to get back together with him while things were still so up in the air. //Relax Liz, you can do it.// She thought to herself.

“Pizzas are ordered and they’ll be here in thirty!” Maria said as she came into the room. She looked around and saw Michael on the love seat waiting for her, Liz and Isabel on the big couch, and Kyle and Max on the floor. Her gaze then returned to Liz and Isabel and she said, “Whatever!” before she sat down. “Max what movies did you bring?’

“Well, I wasn’t sure what everyone liked, so I brought four, and I thought we could pick.” Max said while holding up the movies. “For the comedy I brought “American Pie”, this suggestion got laughs from Michael, and Kyle and groans from the girls, “for the action/adventure flick I brought “The Matrix”, everyone agreed this was a good one, “for the drama/tear jerker I brought “The Patriot” but it was taped off HBO the other night so the quality isn’t that great, and for the chick flick I brought the only decent one we had, that us guys could make it through, “10 Things I Hate About You”.

“Well I’m for either of the one’s that have Heath Ledger in them!” Maria said as Michael pinched her arm. “Owwww” she whined in response.

“Let’s watch ‘The Matrix” first and then we can watch “10 Things” if that’s ok.” Michael said while getting up to walk to the VCR.

“Maria, you guys should get a DVD player-they’re great”, Kyle said while looking up at her ancient VCR.

“I’ll get right on that Kyle.” Maria laughed. “Maybe if you actually tipped me decently I would have enough money to get myself one!”

“What’s a tip?” Kyle laughed

“Exactly my point!” Maria laughed while glancing at Liz.

Maria noticed Liz didn’t look too happy. She wasn’t laughing; in fact she looked like she was about to start crying. Maria decided she would have to corner Liz alone in the kitchen or her room later and find out what was going on. Liz caught her looking at her and gave her a fake grin.

“I think someone’s at the door Maria,” Isabel said, breaking Maria’s train of thought.
“Must be the pizza guy.”

Maria jumped up and ran to the door, coming back with three large pizza boxes. “Ok everyone, two of these are your sweet and spicy pizza’s, and one of them is a half pepperoni and half sausage for Kyle, Liz and me. I’m only gonna say this once-STAY AWAY FROM OUR PIZZA! I got you two so you guys would have enough, but we only have one so hand’s off!” Maria glared at the podsters while trying to keep a straight face.

“How much do we owe you Maria?” Liz asked reaching for her money in her pocket.

“Nada guys-it’s on me! My mom left her Visa card here! Maria giggled as she walked towards the kitchen, “I’ll go get the Tobasco for you freaks of nature!”

Max and Michael laughed. Michael looked at Max and said, “You just gotta love her!” before he too went to the kitchen.

Kyle got the soda out and passed them around and they all spent the next hour eating, laughing and watching “The Matrix.” They had all seen it more than once before, so everyone was talking during the movie. It had been a long time since they all just hung out and laughed with each other like this.

“I don’t care what you say Kyle, there is no way that “Christina what’s -her –face”-would beat Britney Spears in Celebrity Deathmatch. That girl is buff! Have you seen her ab’s? I mean I don’t like her music or anything, but she has got a seriously toned body!” Michael said while getting up to throw his trash away.

“Yeah that’s true, you might be right. Christina is a little skinny. There’s not much there if I think about it.” Kyle nodded taking one final bite of pizza before he too got up to throw his trash away.


Maria couldn’t even believe this conversation was happening. Britney and Christina in Celebrity Deathmatch? She really needed a breather from all of this crap! Sometimes guys were such dorks! She looked across the room at Liz and Isabel sitting on the couch also amazed at this ridiculous topic. She rolled her eyes at them and they made silly faces back at her. Then she glanced at Max who looked like he was in his own little world. Maria felt sort of sorry for him, but she was angry at the way he treated Liz. She knew what Liz had been through for him, and she couldn’t even believe Tess was pregnant. The whole thing made her sick.
“Hey Max, since you’re not involved in this stimulating conversation, do you think you could help me out with the trash?” Maria leaned over and whispered to him.

“Sure Maria, let me get my shoes back on and I’m all yours,” Max answered while reaching for his shoes.

Liz saw Max getting his shoes on and wondered what was going on. Max looked at her across the room and pointed to the trash. Liz then saw Maria get up too and knew they were just making a quick run out to the dumpster. Liz always hated when Maria had to go put trash in that dumpster alone, she was glad Max was going with her.

When they got outside the house Maria said, “So Max, what’s wrong with Liz. She’s super quiet tonight. Did she mention anything when you picked her up tonight?” Maria slowly looked at Max trying to be as casual as she could.

Max looked at her fully aware of what she was trying to do. “Maria, I told Liz that I loved her and she doesn’t want to be with me right now. So if that’s what you’re asking, that’s what’s going on. Believe me, it has nothing to do with me not wanting to be with her. She said she can’t be with me until we get everything settled with Tess and the baby and everything. We have a lot to get past.” Max looked at the ground as he walked.

“You do know she loves you though right Max? I mean she did tell you that?” Maria looked at him with raised eyebrows.

“Of course she did Maria, but I’m sorry to say that it doesn’t make it any easier for me to know that, and also know I can’t be with her.” Max looked at the dumpster as he threw the trash in. “Not that I in any way, shape, or form deserve things to be easy when it comes to Liz.” Max grabbed Maria’s bag and threw it in.

“I know you’re upset Max, but things will work out. We’ll figure out a way to save your son, and find Ava, and then you and Liz can be together for good.” Maria looked so convinced Max had a hard time not believing what she was saying.

“Thanks Maria, I know I can always count on you to cheer me up. I have to ask you something though. I know it’s not my place, and you can totally tell me to mind my own business, but what happened between Liz and Sean?” Max looked at her, fear in his eyes over the answer.

“Max, nothing happened. After Liz saw you kissing Tess at the prom, she left and went to find Sean. According to him, they just danced at the bowling alley in the lanes.” She saw Max’s confusion and specified, “apparently after the whole fiasco with Brody and the hostage thing, Liz agreed to go out with him so he would keep his mouth shut about it. They went bowling, so when she wanted to find him on the night of the prom, she knew that’s where he would be.” Maria looked at Max and tried to read his expression.

“So once again she was doing something for me?” Max said. “She wanted Sean to keep his mouth shut so she agreed to go out with that loser? Sorry Maria no offense.”

“None taken”, Maria laughed, “he is a loser! They are close though, I mean close like good friends. Not close like Liz is with you. The other night, after you and her said your good byes, she showed up here and wanted to sleep with him.” She saw the hurt look on Max’s face and quickly said, “she didn’t do it Max. He knew she didn’t want to, when he asked her what was wrong, she told him that you broke her heart. She just seems to run to Sean every time she gets hurt by you. A rebound thing I guess.” Maria looked like this realization had just occurred to her. “She’s waited her whole life for you Max, you can wait for her for a little while.” Maria linked her arm through his as they approached the door. “Thanks for helping me with the trash.”

“Anytime. Thanks for the help Maria. You’re a great friend.” Max smiled “Oh by the way, I’m really happy for you and Michael!” Max laughed.
Maria’s mouth dropped open and she said “And he says I’m a blabbermouth!”
****************************************************************

They walked back inside to find that Kyle and Michael were intensely watching the end of “The Matrix”, Isabel was eating her ice cream and flipping through the latest issue of Cosmo, and Liz was no where to be seen.
“Hey where’d Liz go?” Maria asked as she sat down next to Michael.
“Shhhhh woman! I don’t know! I think she went in to the bathroom, or your room or somewhere.” Michael looked annoyed so Maria decided to go look for her herself.

She stood up and Max said. “Sit down Maria, I’ll go find her.” Maria looked up at him gratefully. She really just wanted to sit and relax next to Michael for a bit.

Max walked down the hallway and knew immediately where Liz was. He could hear her crying from outside the bathroom door.

“Liz?” Max whispered. He didn’t think everyone needed to know she was upset.

“Go away Max, I don’t want to talk right now.” Liz said as she tried to stop crying. Max could hear her sniffles subsiding as she tried to gain control of herself.

“Please Liz, tell me what’s wrong. I thought we were friends remember? Besides I think we have some sort of honesty deal between us?” Max tried to sound light- hearted hoping she would cheer up slightly.

The door flung open and Liz was standing there in front of him, her hair slightly tousled, and red rings around her eyes. She took his hand and led him into Maria’s room and closed the door. She sat down on the bed and pulled his hand so he would sit next to her. She looked up at him and took a deep breath.

“Max, I just feel so dumb. I mean, here we are, spending all this time together after all that’s happened and I thought I could just be happy and it wouldn’t be a big deal but it is.” Liz looked up at him and was instantly sorry she did. Her resolve was cracking with every glance.

“Liz, are you saying that you can’t even be around me anymore?” Max looked like someone had punched him in the stomach. The last months without Liz had been the worst of his life, with the worst consequences, and he didn’t want to go back to living like that, especially with everything else that was going on.

“No I’m not saying that, I’m just saying it’s harder than I thought it was going to be, just being friend’s. I look at you across the room, and I just remember how you used to hold me, and the way you smell, and how you make me feel so safe, and it just makes me want to run and throw my arms around you. I know I need to be with you Max, but I also know it can’t be like that right now.” Liz looked up at him again proud of herself for being honest with him and remaining in control.

Max was shocked by what she had just said to him. He knew they had a deal about being honest, but he didn’t think Liz would open up to him like she just had about how hard it was for her.

“Liz,” Max began, “I can still hold you and make you feel safe without us being together as a couple. You are one of my best friends, and I want to make you feel safe and loved, even if I’m not allowed to love you yet. Please let me make you feel that way.” Max got down on the floor on both knees in front of her so he could see her face. He held both of her hands in his and said, “We’re going to get through this, and then we’ll be together forever, but until then, let’s just try to be as close as we can without stepping over the line.” Liz nodded at his suggestion and Max continued, “I said I wasn’t going to give up on getting you back, but I’ll lay off until you are ready for me. I love you, and you’ve been through enough already-I don’t want to be the cause of any more of your tears. Please Liz…”. She looked up at him and saw a single tear escape down his cheek and realized how hard it was for him too.

“Max, will you just hold me tonight? I just need to feel you holding me when I fall asleep,” Liz said sounding very much like a little girl.

“Of course I will, we’ll zip our sleeping bags together and it’ll be great ok?” Max said feeling better after getting everything out in the open. “Now let’s go back into the other room and get everything set up-it’s getting late, and after last night, and your shift today, you’ve got to be tired.” Max helped her up, and swiped a hand over her face erasing all the signs of her tears.
“Thanks Max”. Liz smiled
“Anytime!” he kissed her hand and led her back down the hallway..

When they walked back into the front room, one look told them it was time to get ready for bed. Michael and Maria, oblivious to the fact that the TV was playing white snow and had been for awhile, were making out heavily on the love seat and Kyle was sprawled out asleep on the floor in front of the TV.

Isabel had disappeared, but her sleeping bag was rolled out and set up. They could see the light in Amy’s room was on from the crack under the door, so it appeared that she went in there to get ready for bed. Max and Liz also noticed that someone had turned off the lights, which made the room seem like a clip from “Poltergeist”.

Liz led Max over to his sleeping bag, and when he sat down she went and got hers off the kitchen table. They zipped their bags together, leaving Isabel’s bag right where she left it and them on the other side of her. She was next to Kyle, but he was a good 6 feet from her bag, so they figured she would be ok with them taking that spot.

They were so beyond tired, they decided to just lay down together in their clothes. Liz snuggled up and “spooned” herself into Max, inhaling his scent deeply as she began to fall asleep instantly. She barely heard Max whisper, “I love you Liz, always.” She wasn’t even sure if she really heard it or if it was a dream.
***************************************************************

At 3 am the front door burst open and everyone jumped from their sound slumbers. Michael and Maria had fallen asleep on the loveseat fully clothed, and Isabel had put on a pair of purple designer pajamas and had eventually immerged from Amy’s room into her own sleeping bag.

“What the fu…?” Maria yelled as the lights flipped on and she saw a out of breath Sean standing in the living room while the front door was still open.

“Sean-what the hell is wrong with you?’ Michael yelled, “can’t you see we were sleeping-don’t you have an ounce of human decency?” Michael was about two seconds from jumping up and pounding him.

Sean’s eyes rested briefly on a very startled Max and Liz apparently sharing a sleeping bag.

“I know, sorry you guys,” Sean yelled, “I didn’t mean to scare the crap out of you, but there’s something you should know. I went to Liz’s house first and saw that she wasn’t in her room so I figured…”


“You were on Liz’s balcony?” Max glared at him through livid eyes. Max looked at Liz and she shrugged. She obviously was as surprised as he was about Sean’s admission.

“Later, Evans!” Sean yelled, “Now what I was about to tell you, was that Larry, Weezer and I were at the cemetery, and we saw something I thought you all might be interested in!” Sean was out of breath still, so it made it seem like he was rambling.

“Spit it out Sean!” Maria said, already knowing what it must be concerning if it was at the cemetery.


“Well”, Sean inhaled to catch his breath, “there were these guys there, all dressed in black with ski masks on, and they had a black body bag with them. When they left, we went over to where they had been to see if there was anything weird going on, and there was!”

“What, Sean what?” Isabel practically screamed at him.

“Your friend Alex? It looks like they dug him up and took his body!” Sean finally blurted out.

Part 9

“What the hell are you talking about Sean?’ Maria spat out at him. “They dug up his body and did what with it exactly? Are you sure? Were you guys drinking or smoking something?” Maria’s mind was working a hundred miles and hour. She looked over at Isabel who looked like she was going to throw up. Liz noticed this too and got up and went to sit down next to her.

“Sean, you have to slow down and tell us everything you saw. It’s VERY important”, Max said calmly.

Sean looked at Max with obvious loathing. “Look Evans, I’m trying to tell you what I saw, and that is that some guys in a white van, with no writing on it, dug up your buddy, stuck him in a bag and left with him. We weren’t drinking and we weren’t on something either Maria” he finished as he looked over to her and Michael still sitting on the love seat

Isabel jumped up and ran to the bathroom with her hand covering her mouth.

“Nice going Deluca-you asshole! Don’t you have any shame? Alex and Isabel were really close.” Kyle got up and went to see if Isabel was ok. Max used this opportunity to question Sean about some of the more gruesome details.

“Girls if you want to go in the other room too, it might not be a bad idea. I need to ask Sean some things about Alex and the body.” Max said sympathetically to Maria and Liz.

“No way Max, Alex was our best friend, we want to know everything, right Liz?” Maria asked and Liz confirmed it with a nod of her head.

“Ok then,” Max began, “Sean, did you get a look at the body? How close were you to it?

“We saw it, we were only about 5 feet from where they were,” Sean looked down sheepishly, “we were hiding in one of those tomb things.” Maria and Liz threw him a look that said they were totally grossed out.

“What exactly did you see” Max probed.

“Well I’ll just start from the beginning,” Sean said, “and if you have any questions as I go along just ask okay?”

Max said, “Ok that sounds good, but be sure not to leave out any details, those could be very important. By the way, did you tell anyone else about this?” Max realized suddenly that he might have.

Sean shook his head. “No, and I told Weezer and Larry not to open their mouths either or..let’s just say they’ll keep quiet, I guarantee it.”

“Ok good, now go ahead with your story.” Max said, literally on the edge of his seat.

“Well we all went out there and we were daring each other to do stupid graveyard type stuff, that’s how we ended up in the tomb.” Sean looked around at the four of them as he spoke. “Then while we were in there, we heard some noises outside. We thought it was just one of those guys that digs the graves for the cemetery, but then we realized there were 4 or 5 different voices and we knew something was up, I mean in every movie I’ve ever seen, there is only ever one guy that digs the graves!” Max and Liz looked at each other realizing what a strange reasoning system Sean used. “So we started to peek out of the tomb,” Sean revealed. “We saw two guys with shovels, and one guy with an EMPTY body bag like they use on that “Homicide” show, you know what I mean?” Everyone nodded at him. “So, we thought that was weird because they had just gotten there, and why would the bag be empty? Then they started digging and while they were doing that, Weezer pointed out that when people die and they bury them, they don’t just bring the body to the grave and throw it in right? They put it in a coffin and stuff first. So we were getting really suspicious. Is everyone with me so far? Any questions?”

“Yeah I have one,” Michael spoke up, “now you’re absolutely positive these were all men right?”

“Right”, Sean replied. “If there was a woman, she never said one word. All the voices we heard were male.

“Ok go on then,” Michael said. Max gave him a quizzical look as to why he’d asked that question, but then realized that he was trying to rule out Tess as being there.

“Well,” Sean continued, “When they stopped digging, one of the guys told one of the others to get “the device” and he brought over this mechanical lever type of thing, and they hauled the coffin up to ground level and opened it.” Sean looked around at everyone and they all looked at him like he was telling them a ghost story.

“When they took the body out they put it in the bag and carried it off to their van, saying that they needed to hurry so they could get it in “the tank” before it was too late and they were arguing about it. Then they came back and filled in the hole, and left. I bet if we go now, the dirt will still be fresh from where they piled it back on. Plus, they just laid the grass right back on top of it, so you wouldn’t be able to tell just by looking at it. It’s also going to be muddy, it’s probably the only gravesite that’s wet because the sprinklers don’t go on until morning. We checked it out since we were going to be sleeping there.”

“Why was it all wet?” Max asked totally baffled.

“Well, when they lifted his body out of the coffin, all of this weird liquid poured out, and Alex’s body was all wet. We almost didn’t notice it, except, the clouds disappeared at exactly the same time.” Sean said pointing towards the sky. “The moonlight made it obvious that Alex’s hair was wet, and the light hit the ground just right for us to be able to see the stuff pour onto the ground, it must have been that embalming stuff.” Sean said not thinking much about it.

“Yeah, maybe.” Max said thoughtfully, but he knew they didn’t fill up the coffin with that stuff. Luckily Sean didn’t think it was an odd occurrence. He snuck a look at Michael who looked at him with a strange expression on his face as well.

“What did the body look like.” Max asked and looked around at the girls. “I mean I hate to ask this, but was it decomposed?”

“No that was one of the weirdest things, I mean Alex died in a car accident right?” they all nodded. “ Well it didn’t look like he had a mark on his body, at least not from where we stood.” Sean finished.

“Well the mortuary might have cleaned him up, right Max?” Michael asked looking over at Max.

“Yeah it’s possible.” Max said, reluctant to tell them how bad Alex looked when he tried to save him in the back of the coroner’s truck, since Sean was sitting there.

“Is that all Sean?” Liz asked hoping they could get some more information out of him.

“Yeah that’s it. They didn’t talk too much, and we tried to get their license plates, but they drove off too fast. Sorry.” Sean said looking at Liz.

“Thanks Sean for telling us, we should probably get over there and see what we can find don’t you think Maxwell? Michael asked.

“Yeah, you’re right”. Max said getting up and putting his jacket on.

“Sean, you better stay here, we’re going to call the Sheriff when we get there probably, so you should be as far away from that place as possible, you know since your on parole from juvey.” Maria said to him as she grabbed her sweater from the closet.
”Why don’t you head over to Larry’s and sleep there tonight. We’ll leave your names out of everything-I promise okay?”

“Ok, you’re probably right.” Sean nodded. “Not like I’ll get much sleep anyway, the whole thing was just so creepy.” Sean stared off into space for a minute and said, “I mean, it’s like he was never even a person, like he was just a…a… a shell or something.”

“Max?” Liz started at him and whispered. “You don’t think…?”

“I don’t know what to think.” Max said back and shrugged. They both raised their heads and looked up at the doorway to the living room.

“Sean, did you just say his body looked like a shell?” Isabel asked as her face drained of color again and she fainted into a surprised Kyle’s arms.


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 6:43:31 PM
Part 10



“Max, drive faster, it’s going to get light out pretty soon!” Michael yelled as they raced down the highway towards the Memorial Park.

“Michael”, Max said impatiently, “I’m going as fast as I can! I’m driving a minivan for God’s sake!”

“Please, Max, we have to get there before those sprinklers go on so we can get a sample of the liquid Sean was talking about.” Liz said, as impatient as everyone else was.

Isabel was sitting in the front seat next to Max, just staring at the road ahead clenching her hands in her lap.

“Iz, we’ll find out what’s going on I promise okay?” Max said gently as he put his hand on her leg.

“Do you even realize what this all sounds like? Do any of you know?” Isabel suddenly yelled as she turned around in her seat to face the four in back. “Sean said Alex looked like a shell! A SHELL! What about all the liquid? We don’t need samples, we know what we’re going to find, so why doesn’t someone just say it damn it!” Isabel was crying now and shaking. “The body that “they” buried, was not Alex, it was a husk! The skins are behind this! Am I the only one who realizes it? Shit you guy’s just admit you are all thinking the same thing!” Isabel buried her face in her hands and sobbed.

Kyle leaned over to Maria and said, “What the fuck is she talking about?”
Maria looked at him and whispered; “Not now Kyle, we’ll fill you in later.”


A couple of minutes of silence filled up the van and no one said anything until they pulled into the parking lot of the cemetery.

Liz walked over to Isabel and put her arm around her. “Isabel, I know how hard this must be for you, but we’ll find out what’s going on. We will, we always do right?”

Isabel nodded her head. “I know, but if it’s true, and what we all saw buried was a husk, then where is the real Alex? Could he still be alive Liz? Do you think it’s possible?” Isabel asked hopefully.

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned from everything that’s happened with all of us, it’s that ANYTHING is possible.” Liz stole a quick glance at Max.

“Ok then, let’s go try to figure out what’s going on.” Isabel said as she walked away from Liz and headed towards Alex’s gravesite with her head held high.
**********************************************************************

They all walked together, afraid of what they would find once they reached the grave. When they got there they noticed that everything looked normal. They had turned off their flashlights, as the approaching sunrise made it easy to see where they were going, but Max pulled his out when they reached their destination to try to get a better look.


“You guys, Sean was right,” Max said, sounding somewhat shocked, “They definitely dug up this grass and then laid it back down.” Max said kneeling down “the ground here is soaking wet, and look the liquid is thick, like dishwashing liquid.” Max stood up and showed them his hand as he rubbed his thumb and forefinger together and the liquid stuck to them.

“Oh my God,” Kyle said scared to death, “What the hell does that mean?”

“Well, when we found out that Congresswoman Whitaker was a skin, we went to Copper Summit” Liz started to explain. “When we got there, Isabel had a confrontation with Nicholas, and ended up being led into a room underneath a barn that had rows and rows of with liquid filled chambers with bodies in them. They’re called husks, and the Skins use them to live in when they’re here on Earth. Their natural forms can’t survive here.” Liz finished and looked at Kyle. He looked green, like he was about to lose every bite of the pizza he had eaten the night before.

Finally Kyle mustered up enough breath to get out his question. “Let me guess, the liquid was thick? Just like that?” He looked around at all of their faces.

“You got it brainiac.” Michael said quietly.

“Oh my God,” Maria said totally amazed. “I thought you guys said that those thing took like 40 years or something to mature! How could there be a husk of Alex? He wasn’t even born yet 40 years ago!” Maria looked at Liz wondering if she had any kind of idea what was going on.

“We need to find Ava you guy’s. Fast. She’s the only one that can help us with this. She’s the only one of the New York bunch we can trust, and she must know at least some of what’s going on.” Liz said as she looked at Max for him to agree with her.

Max nodded. “Liz might be right. Tess knew a lot of history about our people and why we we’re here and why the war was going on. Ava must know some stuff too. In the meantime, I think Michael, Kyle and I should take another trip to Copper Summit and see what we can find. We thought the Skins were obliterated by Tess, when they wiped out the town, but now that we know Tess was working with Kivar, that whole thing could have been a mindawarp on us.” Max looked at Michael wondering what he was thinking.

“Michael, what do you think?” Max asked. Michael was surprised that Max was asking him his opinion since lately he’d been making all the decisions himself.

“I think you’re right. We should go and see what we can find out. Are you ok with it Kyle, or would you rather stay here? We would understand if you did.” Michael said sympathetically.

“Well, are you guys sure you want me along? I mean it’s not like I can protect you two. I might just hold you back. Don’t you want Isabel along? I mean Liz said your powers were stronger together right?” Kyle was scared to go along, but would go if they wanted him to.

“Isabel’s not safe there. Nicholas has always tried to get at her. She’d be safer here.” Max said taking Isabel’s hand.

“Yeah, unless they want you guys to run out to Copper Summit, so they can come here for us, knowing you won’t be here to protect us!” Maria said frightened. “No way-we’re all going! I’m not staying here without Michael and he’s not going anywhere without me. We all stick together-through thick and thin, remember Max?” Maria raised her eyebrows at their leader and the other girl’s nodded, including Isabel.

Max thought a minute and looked around at all of them. She was right. They should all stick together. Michael and him would just be worried about the girls the whole time anyway, and it would distract them. He wouldn’t be surprised if Kyle worried about them too. He knew Kyle felt like they had all become closer, and Liz always meant a little something extra to him. Besides, Max had his own selfish reason for agreeing to Maria’s demand. He didn’t want Liz alone in this town with Sean Deluca climbing up to her window.


“Ok Maria, you win.” Max said, trying to look like she had talked him into it. Maria grinned and looked at Liz. Liz looked unsure of whether or not she was ready to head back to Copper Summit.

She had been so terrified last time they faced the skins, she didn’t know if she could do it again. She looked at Max and Maria and said quietly, “Umm yeah, you know what guys? I think I’m going to stay here. You guys go. I’ll stay and start going through the book and Alex’s computer files, assuming his dad let’s me have the computer.”

“No way chica!”-Maria said way too loudly for a cemetery, “you ARE coming. I’m not leaving you here alone. We stick together now! Max?”

Max walked over to Liz and led her away from the group by her elbow. “What’s going on?” he said to Liz with slight anger in his voice. “I thought we were going to stand by each other? Why do you want to stay here? You know as well as I do that the book can wait.” Max looked at Liz waiting for her response.

“Max, you of all people should know why I don’t want to go. The Skins almost killed us last time. I’m scared.” Liz looked up at him fear in her eyes. “You can’t say your not scared because I know you are, and you guys have powers to protect yourselves! We don’t.”

“Liz, I have always protected you haven’t I? I’m not about to stop now okay?” Max looked at her feeling bad he’d put her in this position again. “I really need you to be there with me, I need to know your ok, not hundreds of miles away. I need you there so I can see with my own eyes. Otherwise I will be distracted worrying about you the whole time. Do you understand?” Max asked her, his eyes full of love.

Liz thought a moment about his admission. There was no way she was going to be the cause of Max’s weakness. “Okay, I’ll go. If it will make you stronger, I’ll go.” Liz said as she swallowed. She was terrified and he knew it.

“Thank you Liz. Besides there were a couple of things I thought we could talk about on the long drive there if you don’t mind?” Max asked hopefully, trying to change the subjucet.

“Sure Max, we can talk about whatever you want, and I have some more questions too. It seems like the more we tell each other, the more questions that come up you know?” Liz asked looking at him.

“Yeah”, Max smiled “I know just what you mean. I’ll figure out a way to borrow my Dad’s Miata-it only holds two people so we’ll be able to drive by ourselves.” They started to walk back to the group when they heard Maria gasp.

“Oh Shit! Look!” Maria yelled, and as they all turned to see what she was staring at they saw it. There it was, a big piece of skin hanging off the tombstone next to Alex’s. Kyle reached over to it and touched it, hardly believing what he was seeing. Right when he went to pick it up, it disintegrated.

“”Well then. There’s little room for doubt now isn’t there?” Michael asked as he looked at all of them. “I guess all previous plans are now officially put on hold.” They all looked at him and nodded.


Part 11


Liz looked around her room, making sure she didn’t forget anything. She couldn’t believe she was going back to that place. Copper Summit was one of the scariest places she’d ever been to, with the creepiest group of aliens she had the displeasure of coming into contact with. She realized that they were actually only one of four types she had met. Max Isabel and Michael weren’t scary, well not to her anyway, their duplicates were creepy and weird, but scary wasn’t the word, and Brody/Larek wasn’t around for long enough for her to find out. Still, the Skins were downright terrifying. She would just have to go into this strong and confident. The irony didn’t escape her however, as she realized she was going to help Max be stronger, when he was the one who told her all those months ago that she “threw off his balance” and he forgot everything else when she was around. She hopped out her window on to the balcony and removed the brick that hid her journal. She picked up a pen and began to write what had happened the night before when she heard a voice from inside her room. She quickly put the journal inside the hole and replaced the brick, deciding she would have to put off her writing for a couple more days.


“I’m out here Maria!” Liz called out towards her window.

“Hey, girlfriend, what are you doing, getting some fresh air?” Maria sid while she climbed out Liz’s window. “Like the ride in Max’s dad’s convertible won’t be fresh enough?” Maria laughed, thoroughly cracking herself up.

“Yeah, something like that.” Liz laughed.

“Are you all ready to go? They’ll be here any minute.” Maria looked at her watch. “ As for me, I can hardly wait to snuggle in the back of Kyle’s Mustang with Michael!” Maria winked at her.

“I guess that’s what the scarf over your head is for? You look very European Maria,” Liz laughed as she touched the silk scarf covering Maria’s hair.

“I know! Check these out too!” Maria said as she pulled out a pair of giant white framed sunglasses and slipped them on. “Don’t you just love it? I mean zee ensemble really verks doesn’t eeet?” Maria drawled in an awful French accent.

“Yeah, it’s great! I love your Capri’s too, really cute! Did you bother to pack any clothes that would be conducive to our mission though?” Liz asked smiling.


“ Of course I did, what do you take me for anyway, Liz?” Maria removed her sunglasses and started counting on her fingers. “ I brought two pair of shorts, one pair of jeans, some cute little tops that are sure to make Space Boy drool, and of course, my new bikini, because I told Michael they better book us at a motel with a Jacuzzi!” Maria then sat down on Liz’s lounge chair with a thump.

“Maria, this isn’t a vacation you know. These people are scary! I mean, REALLY scary. They can do all sorts of shit to you. If they touch you, they can rape your mind and access all of your memories about everything. If they get a hold of us, they can find out everything we know about Max, Michael and Isabel. Do you think I would be this hesitant about going if I wasn’t scared? Huh?” Liz looked at Maria with her hands on her hips and waited for her reponse.

“I know Liz, calm down, I’m just trying to lighten the mood. Michael filled me in last night before we went to bed. He told me all about what happened to you guys last time you were there. Don’t worry, it won’t be like that this time.” Maria stood up and hugged her friend

“I keep telling myself that.” Liz began and then quickly looked at Maria, “Did you just say that Michael and you spent the night together again last night?” Maria nodded. “What’s going on with you guys anyway? Are you still sleeping together or what?” Liz hated to get so personal, but Maria did promise to give her details.

“Ok Liz, here’s the deal. The other night when they were about to leave, Michael invited me over for dinner. Actually he insisted he see me, now I know why.” Maria looked at the ground and then up at Liz. “Anyway, when I got there he had made dinner-with a salad even!” Maria’s face lit up at the thought and Liz’s mouth dropped open, “ and get this, he even put out Scooby Doo plates because he remembered they were my favorite!” She laughed and so did Liz at this confession.

“Well he said that the reason I never got flashes from him was because he never let me get them. He opened himself up to me Liz. I saw tons of flashes of his life. I initiated everything, and he tried to tell me that he was about to leave but I didn’t let him say anything. I had a feeling he was going to tell me something bad, and I just wanted to be with him you know?” Liz nodded totally understanding what she meant. “I wanted him to be my first” she continued, “and I knew that he wouldn’t be here forever. I wanted to be as close to him as I could, for as much time as we had left together. It was like I decided I was sick of all the games, and the crap and hiding my feelings, trying to be tough. I just wanted to be with him. I love him.” Maria got tears in her eyes when she then said, “I just didn’t know that he was going to be leaving an hour later.”

She suddenly got a big smile on her face, and she said, “ But he stayed for me Liz. Michael was going to stay on Earth to be with me, after all of that time searching for a way home, he wanted to stay with me.” Maria looked at Liz and tears were rolling down her face.

“Maria, I am so happy for you. I’m glad it worked out for you guys. I’m so glad.” Liz was hugging her and crying now.

“You know, one day, you and Max will decide that you’re sick of trying to stop it too.” Maria said wiping the tears off her face. “You and Max know you are fated to be with each other Liz. You two are so in love. When are you going to stop fighting it and go to him?” Liz started to interrupt her, “I know what you said Liz, that you can’t be with him right now. But the thing is, you don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. Whether he could be killed, or you could. Go to him Liz, just go to him and be with him no matter what. No matter how long you have left together. Everything will be easier to get through if you are together.” Maria said as she took Liz’s hands in her own. “Just promise me you’ll think about it ok?” Liz nodded, wiped her own tears away, and then Maria changed the mood and put on a big smile.

“Well, not like my sexy bikini will help though! Michael has decided that he didn’t think I was really ready to give up my virginity, and that I only did it because he was leaving. I tried to remind him that I made that decision BEFORE he told me, but he was convinced that I knew he was going to say something bad and that’s why I wanted to do it.” Maria threw her hand’s up into the air. “So he’s making me wait now! But it’s ok, I’ll get him!”


Liz laughed and said, “Oh my God Maria, I think he’s created a monster!”

“Nope, just another pervert to add to the bunch,” Isabel said as she stepped out of the window.

“Sorry,” Isabel laughed, “I couldn’t help overhearing! The guys are downstairs and ready to go. Kyle has the top down on the Mustang Maria, I hope that’s ok?”

“Eeetz jus fabulous..” Maria trailed off in her horrendous French accent, as she put her sunglasses back on with a flourish and headed in through the window.


Liz and Isabel laughed and climbed in behind her. Liz grabbed her baseball cap off the bedpost and put it on, as she slung her backpack with her clothes in it over her shoulder. She could hardly wait to be alone with Max. They both had things to clear up.



Part 12

“Hey Liz, I hope it’s ok that the top is down?” Max asked when she hopped into the little red car. Max had on a pair of shorts, a t-shirt and sunglasses, he looked so sexy Liz sucked in her breath involuntarily.

“Sure, it’s great! I love convertibles, you know that” Liz said as she blushed.

“You look so cute in your little hat, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you wear one before-it’s really cute.” He saw Liz look up at him suddenly. “Sorry should I not have said that? I know I said I’d back off.” Max said nervously, not wanting to get their road trip off to a bad start.

“ It’s fine, Max relax.” Liz laughed. “It’s ok for you to give me a compliment you know. In fact I welcome them!” She laughed and glanced at him. If he didn’t know better he could almost swear she was flirting with him!

Liz pulled some lip gloss out of her backpack and started to put it on. Max looked at her and wondered what flavor it was. //Get a hold of yourself Evans!// he told himself.

“So I know we just started driving, but maybe we could just get some things cleared up so we don’t have to worry about them anymore?” Max asked, hoping she’d be ok with that.

“Sure Max, do you want to go first or should I?” Liz smiled at him. She was going to keep a smile on her face, or die trying. She did not want to start crying here in the car.

“How about if I ask a question and then you ask one and we’ll go back and forth to start?” Max thought this sounded like a great plan, and would give her ample time to ask him her questions, even though he was dreading every single one, knowing they would most likely be about Tess and their “relationship” if you could call it that.

“Sounds good-go ahead-ask away!” Liz said as she pretended to concentrate on putting he lip gloss back in her backpack.

“ Ok, well I guess the first thing I need to ask you is: What happened between you and Sean. I mean, did you guys get close?” Max asked casually as he looked in the mirror to merge onto the freeway.

“Yeah-Max. We did get close.” Liz glanced at him trying not to giggle, he was jealous! “We’re good friends. If you mean “Did he climb onto my balcony night after night for deep meaningful conversations, No. We weren’t that close. He was just someone who was there for me when no one else was.”

“Ok, I guess that makes sense. Well how “close” did you two actually get physically. I mean it’s not my business, but I really would like to know, just so I can stop picturing stuff.” Max turned bright red and steadied himself for her answer.

“Well technically I answered your one question and it’s my turn to ask mine, so before I answer you I’m going ask it. Max, why did you sleep with Tess?” Liz looked at him with tears brimming on her lower eyelids. He could tell she was fighting hard to stay composed.

Max knew it was coming, but he still wasn’t prepared to answer her. Why did he sleep with Tess? Was it because he felt betrayed by Liz? Was it because she made it clear that she didn’t want him anymore? Was it purely a rebound thing, or was it more?

“I don’t have an easy answer for you Liz.” Max said sadly. “I really don’t know why I did it. Part of it was because she was who I was supposed to be with..”

Liz held up her hand clearly angry, “Don’t give me that crap Max, you never felt that way remember? You said you didn’t care about that destiny shit so try again!” Liz bit his head off.

“I know Liz, you’re right. I do think it’s shit.” Max nodded agreeing with her. He decided that the best way to explain it was to just try to remember how he was feeling when it was all happening, “I meant that we had something strong in common, she showed me memories of home. It’s what I thought I wanted. I needed to know the things she remembered and we became friends, or so I thought.” He hesitated for a minute before going on.

“Part of it was because I thought what you and I had was destroyed, believe me Liz, if I wasn’t such a moron, and a hypocrite, I never would have believed what you and I had was truly over.” He looked over at her waiting for her response, she didn’t give him one, so he continued. “ Maybe in my heart I knew there was a chance, and I never forgot how much I loved you, not for one minute Liz, but everything you did and said to me was telling me otherwise, and pretty soon it was like I was numb. The whole time I was with Tess, and everything we did, it was like it wasn’t me. Like I was having an out of body experience or something. It didn’t feel right, but I was so numb I didn’t care. I walked right into her plan willingly.”

He didn’t know what else to say, and she was just looking out the window, so he let the truth keep coming out. “When Alex died, and you blamed us it was like you drove a wedge between all of us. Something I never thought would happen. When you went on that search to find out what happened to him, and I got mad, it wasn’t because I thought you were wasting your time and putting us in danger, it was because I was afraid you would find out that we were responsible in some way and things would drive all of us apart forever.” Max was trying to make her understand, but he didn’t know what he could say to make her forgive him.

“Tess stood by my side and made me feel like every decision I made was the right one, even though it wasn’t. She was there for me when no one else was. She knew I loved you Liz and she didn’t care, she wanted me so bad, she was willing to be with me knowing I was imagining I was with you the whole time. She put on an act and I was just to numb and hurt to see through it.” Max looked over at her again, but she still hadn’t moved. “My relationship with you wasn’t the only one that was affected. Isabel and Michael and I will never be the same either.” He said sadly.

Max couldn’t think of any other way to explain to Liz why he’d done what he did, so he waited for her reaction. Slowly she turned around and he saw the look of anguish on her face and once again berated himself.

“Max,” Liz said loudly so she could hear him over the wind, “the whole thing with Sean, it‘s pretty much the same thing, so I understand.” She managed a weak smile at him knowing it was what he needed from her. She placed her hand over his on the stick shift and started her explaining.

“ When you and Tess started hanging out more I was really hurt even though I knew it was for the best. Sean had just come back into town and I hadn’t seen him since we were all little kids. He started to make it obvious that he liked me, and kept asking me out. Finally I just told him my heart belonged to you Max, and that things between us were complicated.” Liz looked at his face as he drove, his jaw set. It was obviously just as hard for him to hear this stuff as it was for her. “After Brody took everyone hostage, I agreed to go out with him so he wouldn’t tell anyone what happened that night. We went out and had fun, but I wasn’t in to him at all.” She paused to try to see what his face was telling, but he just looked at the road ahead.

“Well as you two got closer, I just started running to Sean every time I was hurt, or lonely, or upset about you. I used him Max, not one of my finer moments.” Liz tried a light laugh but it came out sounding funny to her own ears. “Anyway, when I said all of that stuff to you at the Prom, I was hoping you would want to fight for us, but you didn’t really say anything. Then I saw you kissing Tess, so I ran to Sean. Nothing happened between us, but he did make me smile, which was something you hadn’t made me do in a long time and I really needed.” From her angle Liz swore she saw tears in Max’s eyes, but she wasn’t sure if it was because of her, or the wind leaking into his sunglasses.

He wasn’t giving her any reaction, so she continued. “The other night after you dropped me at the Crashdown, I was so hurt and I felt so betrayed, I went to Sean. I went to go and have sex with him. I’m not going to lie about it. I wanted to hurt you the way you hurt me by sleeping with that monster, and leaving me for her.” Max looked at her then waiting to hear what she was going to say next. “But I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t sleep with him. I just started crying when he was kissing me, because I was so angry with you Max and I knew that’s why I was there, for revenge. Sean’s a decent guy, he could’ve taken advantage of me but he didn’t. He just let me have a good cry and held me. He let me cry over you Max.” She looked back out her window letting him know that was all she was going to say about Sean and their relationship.

Quickly she turned back to him and moved her hand from the stick shift and rested it on his leg. She turned her body in her seat to face him more directly. “You know Max, we both basically are to blame for doing the exact same thing to each other because of how stubborn and dishonest we were. You just went further than I did, but that doesn’t mean that I am any less guilty. Your consequences were just worse than mine, but it doesn’t mean that my actions didn’t have any. I mean I lost you didn’t I?” She reached over and removed his sunglasses from his face, and he glanced at her and then back to the road. “Max, I know we have a lot more to talk about still, and a lot to get past, but I want you to know that you can’t keep thinking all of this was your doing. It wasn’t. I’m to blame too. I love you so much and I’m sorry about lying to you, and about Sean and everything.” She disconnected her seatbelt and leaned over and kissed him gently on the cheek. She then moved her mouth over his hear and said, “I love you Max, always.” Just like he had in her ear the night before when they fell asleep.


Part 13

“Kyle, we need to stop and eat soon because I’m starting to get light headed.” Maria said from the back seat of the Mustang.

“Ok, let me pull up next to Max and Liz and let them know to get off at the next exit.” Kyle replied as he stepped on the gas and moved into the lane next to Max. As they began to catch up to the little red Miata, Isabel laughed and said, “Is it just me, or does it look like Liz is kissing Max’s neck?”

“Oh my god! No it’s not just you Isabel, that’s definitely what it looks like from here!” Maria said laughing.

“Oh shit, if they get back together now, we’ll never get to Copper Summit! You guys know how they are when they get all lovey -dovey!” Michael said totally disgusted.

“Oh calm down Mr. Sensitive! I for one would be thrilled to see them back together, I’m sick of them both trying to deny the way they feel about each other. They have enough to deal with, without having to fight their feelings too.” Maria said while she began to nibble on Michael’s ear lobe. “Besides, “ she said coming up for air once again, “tell me you all don’t think Max would be better off getting through all of this Tess/baby crap if he had Liz in his life again.”

“I think she’s right Michael, as much as I hate to admit it. Max and Liz have loved each other for too long to keep denying it. It should be an interesting weekend!” Isabel said laughing. “Kyle hurry up, the next exit is ½ mile away and then there’s no services for fifty miles!”


When they caught up to Max and Liz, Liz was once again in her seat with her belt on. Isabel rolled down her window and leaned over a little and yelled, “Let’s pull off for lunch before Maria dies of starvation!” in her usual sarcastic tone.


Max gave her a nod and Kyle fell back behind him as they pulled off the freeway. They spotted a Taco Bell and an Arby’s. Max pointed to the Taco Bell out the top of the car, they all returned a “thumbs up”. He parked, and leaned over to get the extra bottle of Tabasco that they always brought with them, out of the glove compartment.

“Liz, about what you said in my ear a few minutes ago-what exactly were you saying?” Max asked as he shut the door to the glove box.

“I was just telling you how I feel about you Max, letting you know that we’ll be together sooner rather than later. Maria said some stuff to me earlier today that really made me think. Some things I hadn’t considered before. I might not be ready to just jump right into a relationship right now, but there are other things to consider besides what I’m ready for. That’s all.” Liz gave him a huge smile as she got out of the car and ran towards the others. Maria was waiting for them, holding open the door.

“Everything okay Chica?” Maria smiled when Liz got to the door.

“Everything is great Maria-just great!” Liz said happily as she walked inside. She turned around and gave Maria a wink.

Max walked up and leaned in towards Maria’s ear. “I don’t know what you said to her this morning,” Max whispered, “but thanks. Thanks A LOT!” Max gave her a killer smile and walked off towards the counter.

Maria smiled and said to herself quietly, “They don’t call me the Alien Goddess for nothing!”


After stuffing their faces for close to an hour, and using the restrooms, everyone was ready to get back to the drive to Copper Summit. They knew they would have to stop at a motel when dusk approached, since it was part of the agreement that Max made with his dad so he could borrow the car, he thought they were going to cheer on Kyle at an away game in Arizona. It was also the only way Sheriff Valenti agreed to let them go without him. They wanted to stay somewhere close to town, but not actually IN Copper Summit, so they were hoping they could get there tonight. They knew there would be no camping out at Ida’s house this time.

“Let’s go, let’s go!” Maria yelled as she hopped into Kyle’s car. “We only have a few hours until sundown, and I don’t want to have to drive too far tomorrow.”

“We’re coming Maria, geez, calm down, we’ll get there be tonight-no worries”, Isabel told her as she sat down in the front seat. “We all want to get there as much as you do you know.”

“I know you do. Sorry, I guess I’m a little too anxious and a lot nervous about this place. I mean you guys made it seem like Invasion of the Body Snatchers or something.” Maria said in a low voice.

“I know we did, Michael joined in, “that’s because it was.”

“Ok-everyone ready?” Kyle asked as Isabel, Michael and Maria nodded. “Let’s go!” Kyle honked his horn at Max and Liz to let them know that they were all set to get moving.

Max pulled out of the restaurant, and after they both stopped for gas, they got back on the road. Three and a half hours later, the sun started to disappear over the horizon and they knew they were supposed to stop soon. They were only about 40 miles outside of Copper Summit, so Max figured they had gotten close enough for tonight. He pulled off the freeway, and into the parking lot of a small motel with a coffee shop attached to it. He drove the little red car through the dirt, and into a parking spot, as Kyle followed and pulled in next to him.

“Is this place ok?” Max asked when he approached Kyle’s window. “We’re only about a half an hour from the hell hole.”

“If it has a shower and a bed, than it looks good to me. Let’s check in!” Isabel said as she jumped out of the convertible before anyone else could answer.

“Well I guess this is it!” Michael laughed as he stepped out after her. “I’m getting hungry again anyway, and it does have that little coffee shop.” Michael laughed and glanced at Maria. “Shit, imagine being one of the waitresses in that place Maria-what a dive!”

“I know! Those poor people, and I thought I made no tips! Maria smiled as she followed Michael out of the car and started walking towards the motel lobby.

“Tip, what’s a tip?” Kyle began, and he followed them laughing as Maria rolled her eyes.

Liz stepped out of the Miata and looked around at the dingy motel and restaurant. Max and her hadn’t had any serious conversations since they left Taco Bell a few hours ago, and she was feeling pretty good about how things were going between them. Things weren’t awkward at all. She really wanted to get into the room, take a long hot bath, and just think about what Maria had said to her that morning. She WAS right. She didn’t know how long her and Max had together before the next inevitable crisis over took them both. She was beginning to think that she should stop following her head and start following her heart.

“LIZ! EARTH TO LIZ!” Maria yelled. “ Are you coming or what?” Maria looked at her laughing as she snapped out of her thoughts.

“Oh yeah! I’m right behind you!” Liz said as she ran to catch up. “ Let’s get checked in, I’m dying for a hot bath!”
“I know what you mean Chica, I feel so scummy after that long ride with the top down. I think I even caught a few bugs in my teeth! I don’t know how those Europeans do it, and still look so put together. My scarf just didn’t cut it!” Maria laughed as they walked inside.

“Hey, what are the sleeping arrangements going to be?” Isabel asked as they stood in front of the desk in what was a tacky excuse for a lobby.

“Well,” Max said thoughtfully while counting the money in his wallet, “we really only have enough money for one room, since we don’t know how many days we’ll be here.” He looked up. “We’ll get a room with two beds and two of us will sleep on the floor I guess.” Max said while shooting Isabel a “don’t be difficult about this” look.

Isabel knew when to shut her mouth and not argue with him, so she just nodded and said, “Fine with me, as long as I can get a shower!” she smiled a sarcastic grin at Max.

“Ok, it’s settled then, let’s get our room so we can get settled and shower, and then we’ll come to the coffee shop and grab some dinner.” Michael told them as he slipped his arms around Maria’s waist. He wondered if the motel had a Jacuzzi.

Everyone stepped up to the counter as an older gentleman wearing a flannel shirt and denim overalls turned around to greet them. His nametag said “Joe” and he was at least 70 years old with gray hair and a mustache.

“Hi ya kid’s what can I do you for?” He asked with a smile.

“We’d like a room please.” Max said to him with a smile equal to his.

“Just for tonight?” Max and Liz nodded in response. He looked at them and asked, “Just passing through then? Where are y’all headed?” Joe asked in a friendly tone.

“Well we might be here more than one night, but we’ll let you know tomorrow if that’s ok. We have some business in Copper Summit.” Max said quietly, not wanting to attract any attention to them. He didn’t seem to think there was any harm in telling the old man that’s where they were going though.

“Whatcha all doing going there?” Joe said loudly. “That place has been deserted for months! One day the whole town just picked and left, they did! It was the weirdest thing. People here are still yapping about it.” Joe looked around at all of them. “Oh are you all part of the demolition group?” Joe asked curiously.

“Demolition group?” Maria said as Liz interrupted her.

“No sir.” Liz said quickly. “Actually we’re voluteers for a preservation group and we came to gather some of the more historical pieces before the town is destroyed.” Liz said as she figured out what the man was saying just in time to stop Maria from blowing a perfectly good cover for them.

“Oh right!” Joe said as if it all made sense. “Copper Summit was a historical landmark. You’re all sure to find some interesting pieces there. Good Luck with that!” Joe smiled as he handed Max the keys to the room. “Normally, I’m not supposed to let this many people stay in one room, but seeing how y’all are here to preserve our history, I made an exception. Sign here please.” Joe winked as he pointed to the roster in the book.

Max smiled back and said “Thank you sir, like I said I’m not sure how long it will take for us to go through everything there, so we might need to be here another night. I’ll let you know tomorrow afternoon when we get back if that’s ok?” Max asked nicely.

“That’s fine son, we got plenty of rooms.” Joe smiled showing yellow teeth. “Oh by the way, be sure to try the Coffee Shop, my daughter works over there, she’ll treat you right nicely.”

“Ok thanks, we’re going to head to the room and get cleaned up first. We’ll be sure to head over there later though.” Max smiled as the girls started to walk outside.

“ Oh yeah-that there reminds me, “ Joe yelled after them, “Hot water’s out! Enjoy yer stay!”

“Ok”, Kyle said looking at Max and Michael, “which one of you guys is going to tell the girls that news?”






Part 14

“What a total pit,” Isabel said as she looked around the dingy motel room. “And don’t even get me started on the water issue!”

“How can they not have hot water,” Maria asked, “I mean what is this a negative two star motel?”

Liz just sat there on the stained chair, facing the table with her head down on her arms. She couldn’t even gather up enough energy to complain about it. She just felt gross.

“Liz are you ok?” Max asked as he knelt down next to her and placed his hand on her back.

“I’m fine. I was just really looking forward to a bath.” She looked up with tears in her eyes and forced a smile.

Max knew she was exhausted. She couldn’t have slept more that 6 hours in the last three nights combined. He stood up, grabbed her bag, and led her to the bathroom. Once inside he shut the door and turned on the water. He searched through her toiletry bag for her bubble bath. Liz looked at him, not caring in the slightest that he was going through her stuff. He pulled out her shampoo and conditioner and set them on the side of the tub for her. The bubbles filled up the tub, and the smell of the bubble bath filled the tiny room. Max smiled at her and said, “Don’t you want to get in?”

Liz laughed half- heartedly and said, “Max the water is freezing, there is no way I’m getting in there!”

Max smiled and winked at her. “Not for long!” He pulled up his sleeve and dunked his hand into the freezing water. Ten seconds later he grinned, stood up and said, “Have a nice bath Liz. When you’re done we’ll go grab something to eat.” He blew her a kiss and walked out of the bathroom.

Liz carefully stuck her hand in and felt the water. It was perfect! She undressed and got in the tub. She leaned back and rested her head on the cool porcelain. One thought entered her mind like a broken record. “What should she do about Max?”
She knew she wanted to be with him. She just didn’t know if she could survive if they were torn apart again. She closed her eyes and breathed in the relaxing smell of the bubble bath, and for a moment, she wished Max were in there with her. She smiled at the thought, knowing what she needed to do.


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

Max walked out of the bathroom to find that everyone else had disappeared. He walked over to the table and found a note scribbled on the back of a gasoline receipt. It told him that everyone else had gone to the “so called” pool to wash off, and apparently there WAS a Jacuzzi. Evidently, they either figured Liz would be in there all night, or they didn’t think of using their powers to heat the water. Although, seeing how many times Isabel used that trick, he would’ve been surprised if she hadn’t thought of it first. He looked back at the closed door of the bathroom and decided to go let Liz know he was going to put on his suit and head over to the pool as well. He didn’t want to bother her, but he wanted her to know where he would be.


He knocked on the door and heard Liz say quietly, “Come in.”

He figured that she must of thought he was Maria, so he said loud enough for her to hear him, “Liz it’s me Max, I just wanted to let….”

“It’s ok Max, you can come in.” she laughed “I’m decent”.

“Oh ok, he said as he opened the door slowly. “I wasn’t sure if you knew it was me when you said to come in so…” his voice trailed off as he saw Liz in the bathtub. Her hair was up and pulled away from her face with a few little pieces hanging down. She had little beads of water on her neck, and one of her knees was sticking up above the bubbles. She had both arms on the side of the tub and her head was tipped back looking up at him.

“It’s ok, I know you can’t see through the bubbles. I mean X-ray vision isn’t one of your powers is it? Cuz, if it is, then there isn’t anything here you haven’t seen before probably.” She laughed making the bubbles bounce.

“Right, I mean, no I don’t have X-ray vision.” Max stammered. “I uh, just wanted to let you know that everyone else headed to the pool to get cleaned up, so you have the place to yourself.”

“Well, not completely to myself, you’re here. Or, are you going over there too Max?” Liz asked him quietly while she glanced up at him while pretending to play with some of the bubbles.

“Well I was thinking about maybe heading over there yeah, you know to get cleaned off.” Max said not really sure now if that was what he wanted to do.

“Ok, but I was just about to get out, so if you want to get in the tub instead you can.” Liz said looking at him.

“ Actually Liz, I think I might do better with some cold water right now.” Max said laughing, looking slightly embarrassed at the fact that he was having trouble holding a conversation with her while she was in the tub, naked, right in front of him.

“Ok, well then I guess I’ll just see you when you come back?” Liz asked, trying to keep the smile off of her face. She knew she was teasing him, but she didn’t care. She wanted him to squirm a little before she gave into him.

“Yeah-I’ll be back in about twenty minutes, I guess. By the time I get there, they’ll probably be ready to come back, and I’m getting pretty hungry so…” Max trailed off losing his concentration again as Liz sat up straighter, and he could barely see the outline of her breast under the bubbles.

“Ok. Hey Max, later after dinner, we could go sit in the Jacuzzi together if you want. You know, and talk.” Liz smiled and looked up at him.

Max wasn’t sure what to think about the way Liz was acting. Did she want him back? Was she ready to let him love her again? He was positive now, that she was flirting with him. There was no doubt about that. Now she wanted to go sit in the Jacuzzi later with him. He definitely needed to go and jump in the cold pool.

“Yeah that sounds great. Then we could zip our sleeping bags together again like we did at Maria’s if you want to.” Max said raising his eyebrows waiting for Liz’s response.

“Sounds great, enjoy your swim!” Liz said as she sunk back down so her body was completely under the bubbles, she leaned her head back and closed her eyes. She waved at him and smiled.

“Ok, see you in a few.” Max said as he backed out of the bathroom. He headed to his bag and grabbed his swimsuit. After he put it on, he locked the Motel room door behind him and made a mad dash for the pool, surprising the rest of the swimmers with a giant leap into the icy water. “It’s going to be an interesting evening” he thought as he sunk to the bottom, feeling much more in control than he did a few minutes earlier.



Part 15


“Liz, how was your bath Chica?” Maria asked her as they all walked towards the coffee shop.

“It was the best bath I’ve ever had Maria. The best!” Liz laughed, as she linked arms with her best friend.

“Yeah, I got the feeling from Max, that it was the best bath he’d ever had too, even though he wasn’t even in the tub!” Maria said quietly, with laughter in her voice.

“Why, what did he say to you?” Liz scowled preparing to be embarrassed by her obvious flirting tactics.

“He didn’t have to SAY anything Liz! He came running to the pool and jumped right into the sixty degree water without even touching it to feel the temp first!” Maria was talking quietly so no one could hear their conversation. “Then when he got out, he said that you were still in the tub. Well you know me, I put two and two together, and figured out that you were the one who got him in that crazed state. So what happened?” Maria couldn’t help but ask. She wanted Max and Liz to get back together more than anyone.

“Nothing but some harmless teasing Maria. In fact, I think I might have even been teasing myself!” Maria raised her eyebrows and looked at her like she didn’t understand what Liz was saying. Liz laughed and said. “Let’s just say that the look on his face, was enough to make me need a cold dip in the pool!” Liz blushed and Maria started laughing.
“He couldn’t even hold a conversation with me Maria, it was great!” Maria laughed louder as Max turned around and looked at them. Liz changed the subject.

“What else did I miss at the pool?” Liz asked curious as to what they had all talked about.
“Oh nothing, we were just talking about how Copper Summit was deserted, and that it should be easier to walk into town and look around now, knowing that the Skins are gone.” Maria said, relief flooding through her voice.

“Maria, I don’t want to freak you out or anything, but when it comes to that town, never assume it will go smoothly!” Liz said, ready for the next day.

They walked into the coffee shop and went and sat down at a giant booth. The place had old Formica tables that were heavily scratched from years of plates being slid across it. The black leather seats were worn and duck tape covered some of the bigger tears. All in all, it was a big of a dump as Isabel thought the Motel was, but it was clean, and the menu had a lot of choices. They were all starving, so they were happy to just be able to eat, let alone have a large menu to choose from.

“I’m so hungry, I’m ordering one of everything!” Michael said as he looked over the menu.

“ Me too”, Maria said “all that hot- tubbing made me ravenous!”

Isabel and Kyle nodded and looked over their menus quietly, while Max and Liz were really just pretending to look at theirs. Sitting in such close proximity to each other after their conversation in the bathroom, was proving to be difficult as well as exciting. It was taking all of Max’s self control not to kiss Liz right here in the middle of the restaurant, and it was taking all of Liz’s, just to sit next to him, without touching him in some way.

Luckily their thoughts of each other were broken when a pretty girl in a waitress uniform walked up to the table. She was about twenty- three or twenty- four, with long blond hair and green eyes. “Hi welcome to “The Cuckoo’s Nest”. What can I get for you guys?” she asked nicely, looking around at each of them.

“Umm, I’ll start.” Michael said. “I’ll have the chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes and a cherry coke, and she’ll have the grilled cheese and a diet coke,” he said while pointing at Maria. “Kyle you’re up” he said as he handed his menu’s to the waitress whose name, according to the embroidery on her uniform was “Anita”.

“I’ll have the double cheeseburger, medium rare, fries, and a Coke.” Kyle smiled and looked at Isabel and then back towards the waitress. “She’ll have…” he began, pointing at Isabel.

“Don’t you even think about trying to order for me Kyle Valenti!” Isabel interjected with a glare. She looked at the waitress “I’ll have the taco platter, extra hot sauce please.” Isabel said as she angrily handed her menu over. “I swear you’d think he was four!” Isabel said to the girl, “and that is exactly why I don’t date high school guys!”

Anita laughed and said to her, “Don’t get your hopes up hon, they don’t get any better in college! The guys at my school are so lame. You should hear some of their pick up lines!” Isabel laughed-the waitress was sweet.

“What about for you two? Are you going to order for her, or is she a modern gal too? “Anita the waitress” asked laughing.

“Go ahead Liz” Max said as he gestured towards the waitress.

“I’ll have a cheeseburger, medium-well, a side salad with ranch, and a cherry coke please.” Liz said and then pointing at Max she added, “and he’ll have the same!”
Max nodded sheepishly and everyone laughed.

“Ok I’ll get that right up for you guys, and let me know if you need anything. The waitress said laughing as she walked off.

Max leaned over to Liz and whispered, “How did you know that’s what I wanted to order?”

Liz looked back at him and said back quietly, “Because I know you Max.”

Max smiled, took Liz’s hand under the table, and looked over at Isabel who had been talking with Kyle, Maria and Michael about the waitress apparently.

“I mean really, how do you go to college, and then end up waiting tables here for the summer? Don’t you think you would at least stay on campus, just so you wouldn’t have to work in this dive?” Isabel said totally amazed that an intelligent girl like their waitress, would be working at this establishment.

“ Well, maybe she’s Joe’s daughter and she’s here to help him out.” Max said looking at Isabel with his “you are such a snob” look on his face.

“Did Joe say his daughter’s name was Anita, because that was the name on her uniform.” Michael said as he reached over to grab an extra bottle of Tobasco from the empty table next to theirs.

“Actually, now that I think about it, he didn’t say what her name was at all. He just said she worked here, and would take good care of us if we came in.” Max said remembering the conversation he had during check in.

Maria shushed them as their waitress headed for their table with their drinks. When she reached them, Isabel said, “So what college do you go to?” while unwrapping her straw and looking at the girl.

“I go to Stanford- you know in California? I’m here for the summer to help my mom and dad out with the place. It doesn’t get too busy, so I can do a lot of reading during the slow periods-which is pretty much all summer at this dive! She told them smiling. “Where are you guys from?”

“We’re from Albuquerque.” Michael said before anyone else could answer her. We’re doing a preservation project in a town not too far from here. We’re just passing through.”

“What are you studying at Stanford?” Liz asked quickly to cover up Michael’s usual gruffness.

“ Physics. I’m kind of a science freak…” Liz’s eyes lit up, but before she could ask her anything else, their waitress said, “Be right back, the cook is signaling me that your food is up!”

“She seems nice doesn’t she?” Maria asked Michael as she took a sip of her drink. “You know you can actually talk to people without acting like you are on an important government mission or something!” She laughed and looked at him again.

“ I just don’t think she needs to know where we’re really from do you?” Michael shot back at Maria.

“I agree, but you’re so weird about it. You could say it more casually and without “the look” you know?”. Maria said giggling.

“Whatever Maria. When you’ve been hiding your whole life then you can tell me how to act.” Michael said while glancing up at the waitress heading over with their food.

“You’re right I’m sorry-let’s just forget it okay?” Maria said as she leaned into Michael. Michael kissed her on the top of her head, and squeezed her to him to let her know that all was forgiven.

The waitress dropped off their food and they ate and chatted for a while about how they were going to explore Copper Summit the next day.. Soon they were finished and were ready to head out of the restaurant. Max and Liz were looking forward to their Jacuzzi date, and Isabel was just happy that she would have a bed all to herself. Max and Liz said they would be sleeping together on the floor again, and Kyle told her he would as well.

Kyle and Max got up and headed for the payphones to call their dad’s and let them know everything was okay. Michael went to pay for their meal. The girl’s went to the restroom and they all met up again at the front of the restaurant.

They thanked “Anita” and wished her good luck with school in case they didn’t run into her again. She wished Isabel good luck with men because according to her, “the other two don’t look like they need any luck” referring to Liz and Maria. Isabel nodded and agreed.

On their way out of the restaurant, they ran into Joe again in the “lobby”.

“Ah how was your meal?” he asked smiling, “did you get to meet my daughter? Was she working tonight?”

“Well, we think we met her,” Maria replied laughing, “ is her name Anita?”

“Yep, that’s my little girl! I hope you all enjoyed your food, and I hope she treated y’all right well!” Joe said slapping Max on the back.

“Yeah, she was great. You must be really proud having a daughter that goes to Stanford and is such a science buff.” Isabel said smiling as Joe’s expression changed.

“Stanford? Science?” Joe looked perplexed and he thought for a moment. “Oh-wait-y’all aren’t talking about a youngin ‘bout twenty three years old are ya now?”

“Yeah, isn’t that your daughter?” Michael asked, wondering why they were wasting time talking to this old man why he could be cuddling in bed with Maria.

“ No, no, no, that’s my grandaughter!” Joe said laughing! “Her momma is my daughter. She musta been wearing Anita’s uniform again. She’s downright forgetful when it comes to doin’ her laundry, so sometimes she wears Anita’s uniform if her momma’s not on the same shift. I’m surprised she didn’t tell you her name though.” Joe said laughing at their mistaken identity as he started to walk away.

“Oh well, we should’ve introduced ourselves to her too, it just never really came up, you know?” Maria said, feeling stupid for thinking that young college girl was this old man’s daughter.
“So what is her name anyway? “ Isabel asked him, thinking she might like to actually address her correctly if they ate at the coffee shop again, which was a distinct possibility.

“Her name is Serena. Serena Phillips.” The old man said and he turned around and walked into the restaurant

Part 16 (R Rated-not NC 17 but a little dirty!)

“Holy shit! Did he just say her name was Serena?” Maria whispered loudly to the rest of the group.

Liz just stood there with her mouth wide open staring after the old man.

“Yup that’s what he said. Why, What’s the big deal?” Kyle asked, his eyes darting over to Liz’s expression.

“That Max from the Future told Liz that she would be friends with someone named Serena one day. She supposedly is the one that told Future Max that he couldn’t see himself during our time or it would be a disaster, remember?” Maria asked him as she walked over to Liz and placed her arm around her.


“ Oh yeah, that Serena.” Kyle said quietly not really remembering that detail of the story.

“Liz, are you ok?” Max finally asked after a few minutes of silence.

“ What? Umm yeah, I’m fine. Just tired I guess.” She looked at Max. I don’t think that would be the same Serena that Future Max was talking about. I’m sure it’s a different Serena.” Liz said confidently.

“ Well, just the same, I think we should talk to her a little more sometime before we head home. Just to put our minds at ease you know?” Isabel asked as she started to walk out of the lobby.

“Good idea-I for one would like to ask her some more questions about her Physics studies and stuff. If she is the same Serena, then we need to keep in touch with her, even if it’s just under the pretense of friendly letter writing.” Michael said as he followed Isabel out of the door with the rest of them trailing behind him.

When they got back to the room, Max took Liz aside. He turned to her and asked hopefully, “So, are you still up for the hot tub, or are you too tired?”

“Nope, let’s go, I could really use the distraction right now, that was too weird.” Liz smiled. “Let me just go and put my suit on, I’ll grab a couple of towels too.

“Ok, let me just grab my suit first, it’s still wet, and hanging over the tub.” Max said as he walked into the bathroom.

When he came out Liz went in and undressed. She put on her bikini, suddenly glad she had brought the tiny red suit, instead of her matronly black one piece. Maria had told her that this one made her boobs look bigger, and at this particular point, she was all for that! She threw on her sweatshirt and a pair of shorts over it, and headed out.


When she came out of the bathroom, Maria and Michael were snuggled up on one of the beds, and Isabel was lounging on the other one, reading some book. She had even let Kyle lay on the other side so he could watch TV with his head on the foot of the bed.

“I’ll just be a minute” Max said as he walked past her and into the bathroom. When he got inside he used his powers to dry his suit completely before he put it on, so it wouldn’t feel so cold. He wondered what kind of bathing suit Liz had. Since she was gone all last summer, he had never seen her in a bathing suit. He briefly thought about the Serena development and told himself that he would definitely talk to her before heading back to Roswell, just in case.

Max walked out of the bathroom, looked around and didn’t see Liz anywhere.

“ Hey, where’s Liz?” Max asked, looking at the four people on the beds.

“She went outside, said she’d meet you out there. Something about needing fresh air.” Michael said as he pulled away from Maria’s lips for a second to answer him.

“ Thanks, we’re heading to the Jacuzzi-don’t wait up!” Max winked and he walked to the door.

“ Don’t worry we won’t!” Michael called after him.

When he opened the door, Liz was sitting on the sidewalk directly in front of their room looking at the ground.

“ Ready to go Liz?” Max asked her as he held a hand out to help her up.

“As ready as I’ll ever be.” Liz smiled, knowing only too well, what she meant.

They walked over to the pool area and laid their towels on the lounge chair next to the Jacuzzi tub. Max pulled off his T-shirt in one quick movement and Liz inhaled sharply.

“ Are you ok?” Max asked as he looked over at her with genuine concern.

“ Oh yeah, fine. It’s just been awhile since I’ve seen you without your shirt on, and even then it wasn’t under the best circumstances.” Liz said quietly, referring to the night she had shown up at Max’s window when he had been doing pull ups.

“ Right.” Max said covering his chest self consciously as he walked over to the switch that turned the jets on.

Max walked over to the Jacuzzi and stepped in. “It’s really warm, are you going to come in?” he asked looking at Liz still standing there in her shorts and sweatshirt.

“ Yep.” Liz said, still distracted by how great he looked in his swim trunks and nothing else. She started walking towards the hot tub and dipped her toe in.

“ Well are you coming in with your clothes on?” Max laughed and looked up at her.

“No!” Liz rolled her eyes at him. “I just wanted to feel it first.”

Liz walked back over to the lounge chair and removed her sweatshirt while her back was towards Max. She then removed her shorts, and was thankful it was dark out, so at least she would have the illusion of a tan. She vowed to start lying out when they got home.

She turned around to walk over to get in the hot tub and then she heard a groan from Max at her approach. He had turned around just as she had let her hair out of it’s ponytail and began walking towards him. She looked up at the noise with a surprised look on her face.

“ What was that?” Liz asked him with her eyebrows raised, smiling.

“ Sorry”, Max blushed, “It just sort of came out. I’ve never seen you in a bathing suit before Liz, I guess I wasn’t picturing a bikini in my head.”

“Well what were you picturing?” Liz asked as she stepped in and walked over to where he was sitting.

“ I don’t know, something sexy, of course, because everything is sexy on you.” He smiled. “I guess just more of a black one -piece type of suit. You know more conservative.” Max said while he looked at her up and down as she walked over.

“ I do have a wild side you know!” Liz laughed as she sat down next to him. She could feel his leg touch hers, and she knew it was time to let him back into her life. She drew in a deep breath and said. “In fact Max, I was so wild, that Future you told me that we got married in Las Vegas when we were nineteen. What do you think of that?” she asked looking down at the water. She slowly glanced up to see the look on his face.

Max couldn’t believe what she had just told him, and if he hadn’t had the vision of them in their wedding attire when they were all in Vegas a few months back, he would have told her she was crazy. He knew she was telling him the truth though, and deep down he knew that it must have been perfect.

“ I know Liz, I mean I knew we must have been married there when I had that vision, but I didn’t know how old we were.” Max turned to her and touched her face, brushing aside a stray hair. “ I know it must have been just perfect Liz. Tell me about it. Did he tell you everything?”

“ He just told me we eloped.” Liz smiled sadly at the memories she would never have. “And that everyone met us halfway and we stayed up all night dancing.” She looked at Max, his eyes so full of love, trying to picture the moments as well. “ Our song was “I Shall Believe” by Sheryl Crow.”

Max’s eyes filled up with tears as he looked at her. He touched her lips with his thumb, and his face was only mere inches from hers. “Liz, you looked beautiful on our wedding day, in case I never told you.” He watched as a stray tear fell out of her eye and fell onto his hand. “God, I wish things could have been different.”

“Max, I need to be with you.” Liz said suddenly, looking into his eyes.

“ I’m right here.” Max whispered still touching her cheek with his hand. “I’m never leaving you Liz. Never.”

“No, I mean I need to be with you, as in BE with you. Be a couple.” Liz whispered back. “I love you Max, and we don’t know how much time we have to be together and I need to spend the time I have left with you, loving you.” She took a deep breath. “I love you, and I’m ready. Please Max, kiss me.” She looked into his dark eyes lovingly and leaned into his lips slowly, wanting to give him the opportunity to stop her if he wanted.

Max couldn’t believe what was happening. Just last night she was crying that she wasn’t ready to be with him this way, and now she was changing her mind. He couldn’t stop himself from kissing her. He had been waiting for this for a long time, even when he didn’t know he was waiting for it. This wasn’t just an apology kiss like they had on the night Tess left, this was going to be a kiss that was going to seal them together as one. Max, leaned in to her and whispered, “Are you sure Liz? I mean really, really sure?”


She nodded. “Max” she breathed right before his lips touched hers. The heat from Max’s kiss sent chills through her body instantly, and then she began to warm up. His soft lips felt perfect on hers, and she used her tongue to part them further so she could taste him. She tilted her head to the side, so they had better access to each other’s mouths, as he ran his hand down her spine and back up again. She climbed on top of him and straddled his legs with her own, pushing up against him until she felt like she couldn’t get any closer unless he was inside of her. He ran his hands down her back once again and then up to the back of her neck. He placed one hand behind her neck and she tipped her head back, releasing them from their kisses. He began to kiss her neck as her hair fell into the water behind her and she groaned. “Max, don’t stop, please.” He ran kisses up and down her neck and used his other hand to cup her breast through her bathing suit top. “God, you’re so beautiful Liz” he said as he looked at her again and at her straining nipples against the halter top of her suit. He ran a string of wet passionate kisses down her chest to the edge of her bathing suit top and used his other hand that was behind her neck to undo the halter clasp. Liz lifted her head up as the clasp released and she looked at him. His eyes were dark with love and adoration for her and her body. She took his hands in her own and placed them on her waist as she began to take the halter top down herself. When her bare breasts were exposed he reached up and cupped them again while he placed his hot mouth on their soft skin. Liz put her head down so that her face was in his soft hair and she moaned, “Oh Max….” He released her breast from his mouth and immediately sought out her lips with his. Their kisses exploded once again as their lips met and Liz frantically tried to get closer to him. A groan escaped his throat, and she writhed and pushed harder against his arousal . She reached down into his bathing suit and tried to untie the string, so she could get as close as she wanted to be to him. Max gently took her hands and released her lips from his. He brought her hands up to his mouth and kissed them gently and whispered, “Liz, we can’t do this, not here. I want to, believe me I do, but not like this. I want it to be perfect.” His eyes looked into hers and after what seemed like forever she nodded.

“Ok Max, you’re right. I want it to be perfect too. I just love you, and I guess I got carried away.” Liz said blushing as she refastened her halter top, got off of him and started walking over to the stairs of the Jacuzzi.

“Liz,” Max said quietly as he grabbed her hand and brought his lips to hers once again for a short kiss. “ I love you too, and I want this more than anything. I always have, just not here in this scummy hot tub okay?”

“Okay” Liz laughed as she gave him another quick kiss. “Let’s go, we have another long day tomorrow.” She walked over to the stairs and got out and wrapped herself in a towel.

She turned around to see Max leaning his head against the side of the Jacuzzi with his eyes closed. “Max, are you getting out or what?” Liz laughed.

“ I am, I just need a minute to um… collect myself you know?” Max said turning three shades of red.

“Oh okay..sure!” Liz laughed as she realized what he was telling her. She put on her shorts and her sweatshirt and turned around to see him getting out and wrapping himself in a towel.

Max put his T-shirt back on and they both walked quietly back to the motel room hand in hand. When they reached the door, they could see all the lights were out and there was no sound from the TV coming through the door. They snuck inside quietly and Liz went into the bathroom to change. When she emerged, she saw that Max had zipped their sleeping bags together and had apparently changed into his pajama bottoms inside the sleeping bag. His wet bathing suit was dry and neatly folded on the chair. She walked over to where he was and stepped into the sleeping bag beside him. She laid her head down on the pillow and instantly she saw Max’s face above hers. Max reached over and ran his fingers through Liz’s wet hair instantly drying it for her. “Thanks.” Liz whispered smiling.
Max looked at her, and whispered back, “You’re welcome.” And he leaned down and kissed her. He couldn’t resist. Just being able to kiss Liz again whenever he wanted was pure heaven. He gently pulled away before they got carried away again and said, “Goodnight. I love you.”
Liz smiled and said, “Goodnight Max, I love you too.” as she rolled over and he filled in the space behind her with his body. “Spooning” was their favorite way to sleep together, ever since they had spent the night in the desert when they found the orb. Liz used to dream that Max was behind her in her own bed, only to wake up and remember they were barely speaking. This was like one of those dreams. She smiled to herself.
She heard Max whisper in her ear, “ Oh, by the way, I love your bathing suit!” and he made a soft little groan in his throat.
Liz giggled quietly and whispered back, “I wish I could say the same thing about yours! What idiot thought of putting that stupid string in there anyway!”
Max groaned again and they snuggled closer together as they began to fall asleep.


Part 17

They all woke up the next morning and got ready to head out. Max and Michael agreed that they would ride in Max’s dad’s car, and that the girls would follow with Kyle in his. They put both of the tops up on the convertibles and piled in. As they were pulling out of the motel parking lot, Kyle saw someone running after them and yelling. Kyle honked his horn at Max and then stopped as someone ran up to his window. When he looked to see who it was, he was surprised to see that Serena girl from the restaurant last night.

“Oh My God, what does she want?” Isabel asked turning around to face Maria and Liz in the back seat.

“ I don’t know, Kyle. Why don’t you roll the window down and find out!” Maria yelled at him.

“Ok ok,” Kyle muttered as he pushed the electric window button.

“Hi, I’m so glad I caught you guys! My car broke down, and I was supposed to head into Copper Summit today to try to sell some boxed lunches to the demolition crews there.” She was talking fast and she noticed Kyle was just staring at her with a funny look on his face. “ My grandpa told me you all were heading there for a preservation study, so I was wondering if maybe I could catch a ride?”

Isabel shook her head at Kyle and gave him a death stare. “No way Kyle” she muttered under her breath. “No way.”

Liz whispered from the back seat, “Is, you’re the one that said we should talk to her more, this is the perfect opportunity.” Liz leaned into Kyle, “It’s ok, let’s give her a ride.”

“Fine”. Isabel spat at them as she got out of her side of the car so Serena could climb in.

“Hop in” Kyle said as he stepped out of the car so he could put her lunches in his trunk. Serena smiled and she ran around to the other side of his car. “Thanks a lot you guys!” she said as she hopped in.

Max was looking in his rear view mirror at what was going on and he wasn’t sure he liked what he was seeing.

“What’s going on back there Max?” Michael asked as he tried to look out of the plastic back window of the car.

“ It looks like that Serena girl is coming with us.” Max said confused. “Wait, Isabel is on her way over here to fill us in.”

Isabel approached Max’s side of the car and he rolled down the window. Before he could say anything, Michael blurted out, “What the hell is she doing in your car?”

“Her car broke down, and she is supposed to deliver some boxed lunches to the workmen that are demolishing the place. She sounded pretty desperate, and Liz thought it would be a good idea to spend some more time with her you know?” Isabel said this last part right to Max and she rolled her eyes.

“Ok, ok, let’s just go, I don’t think she’ll be a problem.” Max said as he started to roll his window back up. Isabel ran back over to Kyle’s car and hopped back in the front seat. Liz, Serena and Maria were already chatting like old friends, and Kyle muttered under his breath, “Great like there wasn’t enough girls in the car before.”

Isabel heard him and laughed as she fastened her seatbelt. “Let’s go Kyle, Max is fine with it.


When they arrived right outside of Copper Summit, Max pulled over to the side of the road and waved Kyle over as well. Max and Michael got out of the car, so Isabel and Kyle got out of theirs and walked over to wear they were standing, ready to hear what the plan was. Maria and Liz stayed in the Mustang with Serena.

“Ok,” Max started, “Here’s the plan. We drive in, and drop off Serena wherever she needs to go. Then we head to the other side of town and ditch the cars, then we go on foot.” Max looked at his three friends who were nodding their heads. “ Let’s walk around checking stuff out and then we’ll stop at the barn where the chambers were assuming it’s still there. Now the town is supposed to be deserted, so we might not find anything, but keep your eyes open at all times.”

“What about Liz and Maria, Max? What do you want to do about them?” Kyle asked.

“Well, you all need protection-just in case. Michael can cover Maria, I’ll cover Liz, and Kyle not to burst your ego, but Isabel can cover you.” Max looked at him as Kyle sucked it up and agreed.

“Sounds good. Let’s go.” Michael said as he hopped back into Max’s car.

They drove through town slowly, looking at every building as they went by. Demolition crews were everywhere, but they looked normal. Only a few buildings were still standing and they were the one’s that were declared Historical Landmarks. Liz had learned from Serena during the ride, that they planned on turning the town into some sort of historical museum and ghost town attraction, relating to the pioneers and early settlers of the area. She had also told her that the rumor in the surrounding towns was that all of the people that lived there had committed mass suicide like in Jamestown, and that the police just didn’t want it to get out.

Serena looked out of the window and told Kyle, “You can just drop me off over there, next to the barn please.” Kyle nodded at her request and pulled over. Max pulled over a few feet ahead of him when he saw Kyle stop.

“Thanks a lot for the ride you guys-stop by later and I’ll save a few lunches for you-on the house!” Serena smiled as she carried the lunches over to a wooden table that was sitting there.

“Great-see you later then!” Kyle waved as he climbed back in the car. They then headed past the town and out the other side of it and parked the cars.

“Everyone ready?” Max asked as he walked over to the group that had just gotten out of Kyle’s car.

“As ready as I’ll ever be to walk around this place.” Liz said as she walked over to him and hugged him. “I hate this town Max, it gives me the total creeps.”

“I know. It’ll be ok. I promise.” Max smiled at her and kissed her forehead.

“Michael, you better not leave me alone for one second.” Maria said as she took his hand.
“Don’t worry about it, I don’t plan on it.” Michael said looking over to Kyle and Isabel. “What about you two-are you ready?” he asked as he started walking.

“I guess.” Kyle said as he looked at Isabel. He couldn’t believe he was going to be protected by a girl. Isabel was tough though, and with those powers he was actually glad he was going to be paired with her.

“Ok let’s go.” Max said as he and Liz walked past Michael and Maria to lead the group.

They walked quickly until they got into town and then they slowed their pace. They wanted to look like they were there for a preservation study, so they stopped every so often and looked at things they came across, passing it around the group so each person could see it. Then they put it back exactly as they found it and continued on. They didn’t see anything unusual, the town did seem to be deserted, but if they learned anything about the Skins, it was that nothing was ever as it seemed with them. They needed to go to the hidden chamber and check it out before they could say that the Skins were definitely gone. Soon, they could see Serena selling lunches to some of the workmen next to the barn.

“You guys hungry?” Max asked as he looked behind him at everyone.

“I’m starved.” Kyle and Maria said at the same time.
“Serena said she’d give us some boxed lunches on the house, as thanks for the ride we gave her this morning.” Kyle told them as he pointed over at Serena.

“Sounds good to me.” Michael said as they started walking towards the barn.

“Yeah, let’s get our lunches, and then head into the barn to eat. That way it will look like we’re trying to get out of the sun, not nosing around.” Isabel suggested as they approached Serena.

At the sight of the barn Liz’s throat went dry. She noticed that the doors were open and the old fashion coffin on the carriage was still there. There was a small plaque to the right that confirmed that it was a Historical Landmark and would not be torn down. She had never seen all the husks in the chambers like Isabel and Michael had, but she had seen it from the outside like this, and just standing here again terrified her.

“Are you ok?” Max snapped her out of her trance.
“Yeah, why?” Liz asked looking up at him.
“Well I asked you if you wanted turkey or ham three times and you didn’t answer me.” Max smiled.
“Oh sorry, turkey I guess.” Liz said as she let go of Max’s hand so he could go get her lunch.
“Ok, Ill be right back.” Max said as he walked away.

“Shit-this place is so creepy!” Maria said to her as the guys went to get their lunches.
“Wait until you see what’s under that thing.” Isabel said as she gestured towards the barn. “Come on, let’s go in and find a place to sit. There has to be some blocks of hay we can move around to sit on.”

The girls walked into the barn and Isabel turned white as a sheet.
“Isabel what’s wrong?” Liz asked, seeing the color drain from her face and her expression change from one of happiness, to pure terror.
“Do you guys smell that?” she asked as she spun around and looked behind them.
“Smell what Iz?” Maria asked, the color starting to drain from her face as well.
“That smell, it’s what the chamber smelled like when I was in it. It’s the fluid they keep the husks in.” Isabel said as her eyes darted around the room searching for the guys.

“Do you think they’re still down there Isabel?” Liz asked, knowing that they were going to find out within minutes.
“I don’t know.” Isabel whispered as her voice shook.

Just then Max, Michael and Kyle walked in to the barn and headed in their direction. Liz waved them over and when they approached they set the lunches down on a block of hay that the girls were standing next to. Max looked at Isabel and immediately knew something was wrong. Then he looked at the terrified expressions on the faces of Liz and Maria. “What-what’s going on? Did you guys see something?” Max asked as he walked over to Liz and pulled him into her arms. She was shaking.

“Max, don’t you smell it? Michael? Anyone?” Isabel asked as she looked at all of them one by one. “It’s the smell from the chambers. We have to go down and look –NOW.” Isabel said with urgency in her tone.

Michael smelled the air. “Iz, I don’t smell anything. Are you sure?” he asked gently.

“ Of course I’m sure! I would never forget that smell!” Isabel said practically yelling at them now.

“Well, it’s not like we’re going to be able to eat until we find out, so let’s go.” Kyle said bravely as he walked over to Isabel and took her hand. “I believe you Isabel, come on.” He whispered to her and she started to lead him to the back stairs that led down to where the chamber was.

Max took Liz by the hand and started walking after them as Michael and Maria followed.
When they got to the stairs, they watched as Kyle and Isabel began to walk down them.
“Wait!” Max said quietly. “Isabel, Michael and I should go down first and you three should either stay up here, or follow us down so we can protect you. But we should go first.” Isabel looked up at him and nodded. She let go of Kyle’s hand and he switched places with Michael and Max, taking one of Liz’s hands and one of Maria’s in his.

Max, Michael and Isabel walked down the remaining stairs and reached the door at the bottom. Isabel took a deep breath and tried to open it, but it was locked. Max lifted his hand and they heard the bolt slide open. They turned around and looked at their friends briefly before going in. Maria and Liz nodded their head encouraging them, and they opened the door. When they walked in they looked around and found a lantern in the corner. Isabel used her powers to light it, so Max would not have to use his energy to supply light for them. As the room illuminated they heard Liz, Maria and Kyle inhale sharply and as they spun around they saw what caused their reaction.

Part 18

“Holy Shit!” Michael said as he turned around. “What the hell…..?” he trailed off as Max walked over to him.

Max looked up and down the length of the walls. The chambers were still there, even though Michael and Isabel had destroyed them the last time they were there.

“They must have rebuilt them Michael.” Max whispered, still not sure if they were alone.

“But Max, Nicholas said it takes 40 years for a husk to mature, what’s going on? What could they be planning?” Isabel asked, her voice shaking.

“I don’t know, but we need to find out. At least they’re all empty.” Max replied as he looked over at his sister.

“Actually, they’re not ALL empty.” They heard a very frightened Liz say from behind them.

They all turned around to see what she meant, and the sight they found was one they were not prepared for.

“Oh my god-it’s Alex.” Isabel said as she ran over to the tank. She pressed her fingers to it and rested her head on the glass. “Alex oh my god…Alex” she repeated.

“What’s going on?” Kyle asked quietly. “Alex is a Skin? I don’t get it! We’ve known him since we were little!” Kyle looked at Liz. “I mean we went to elementary school with him He can’t be a skin! What about all the stuff he helped you guys with, if he was a skin don’t you think he would’ve been working against you?” Kyle asked turning back towards Max and Michael.

“ No, Alex wasn’t a skin, that’s why we need to find out what’s going on.” Max said as he touched the glass that encased Alex’s husk.

“Hey you guys, check this out!” Maria said as she walked along the rows of the tanks and stopped in front of the one that was fifteen or so down from Alex’s.
“I think we can stop looking for Ava.”

They all ran over and looked at what Maria was talking about. Sure enough, Ava’s husk was in the tank.

“What the hell is going on?” Michael asked as they continued to walk up and down the rows of tanks. When they got to the end of the row, they came across two more tanks with husks in them. Liz took one look at them and fainted right into Kyle’s arms.

The husks were hers and Max’s.

“Liz. Liz! Are you all right?” Max asked as he shook Liz’s lifeless body. Finally she opened her eyes and looked up at him.

“ Max, what happened?” Liz croaked out barely above a whisper.
“ What happened is that we just found our husks, and you fainted.” Max said gently as helped her to her feet.
“Oh yeah-right.” Liz said remembering the shock of being faced with herself a few minutes before.

“Shhhh do you hear something?” Maria asked as she ran over to Michael and grabbed his arm. “Someone’s coming! Quick hide!”


They all stopped and listened and Maria was right. Someone was definitely walking around above them in the barn. They heard the footsteps travel along the ceiling until they were right above the stairway they had used to enter the chamber. Michael thought of using his powers to slam the door shut on them, but decided against it in fear that they would just attract attention to themselves, so he jumped behind the tanks with the rest of the group.


“Johnson, you’re a moron. I told you to lock this friggin door when you leave, what the hell are we gonna do if someone finds this stuff down here? How the hell would we explain it?” A mans voice said as him and another man entered the chamber.

“Sorry sir, I thought I did lock it. In fact, I could’ve sworn I went out the back after I locked this deadbolt.” The other man said apologetically.

Behind the tanks Max and Liz glanced at each other after hearing there was a back way out.

“Well sorry won’t be saving our asses if Kivar finds out we blew it the way Nicholas did, you got that?” The man that was obviously “in charge” asked other one.

“Yes sir. I understand.” He replied.
“Good, now down to business. What’s going on with the rest of those kids? Are you having any luck with the plan?” he asked as they began to walk down the rows of tanks. They stopped in front of Alex’s.
“No sir, unfortunately the Whitman kid isn’t talking. We put Ava in the cell with him this morning and were monitoring their conversations, she isn’t willing to help though.” He answered. “We’ll get him to eventually, but we need a little longer.”
“ We don’t have a little longer! His husk was severely damaged when the humans buried it, but it’s almost ready, I swear that is the most disgusting custom. Why would you bury the dead?” The man said gruffly. “ Anyway,” he continued, “ we need to find out how to get to the other kids so we can use them to help us get the Royal Four, or three as it may be. This Whitman kid was easy to get, so the others shouldn’t be too hard either. Once his husk is repaired, we can have “Mr. Whitman” head back to Roswell and get this “Liz girl” and Rath’s little friend Maria. Oh and I want that Kyle kid too. He knows too much now.”

Maria and Liz looked at each other behind the tanks realizing the danger they were in and Maria’s eyes filled up with tears. Liz mouthed the words “It’s okay.” to calm her down.

“But sir,” the other man interjected, “ how do you know they’ll follow the girls here?”

“Don’t be a fool Johnson, of course they will. They’re in love with these humans. Plus we know Vilandra will follow her brother as well so no problem there. They’ll want to protect them at all costs, and that’s when the plan will come together. Once we have them, we’ll use the Linograde to take them back to Kivar where he can kill them in his much anticipated public execution.” The man looked at the husks again. “Then Kivar can send some people to live in these husks and take their places here, and no one will ever know the difference. Luckily we can produce the husks quickly if we have their DNA.”

“ Sir, what are we going to do with the humans when we send the remaining Royal 3 to Kivar?” Johnson asked.

“ Who cares? We’ll give Kivar the option of having us kill them here, or sending them back to Antar to die with their friends. I don’t care either way. Personally I’d like to kill them myself, but we’ll let Kivar make the choice.” The man said as they continued to walk. They stopped in front of Ava’s tank.

“ What about this one?” the subservient man asked.
“Ah yes, Ava.” The man replied. “ Well her last chance is going on as we speak. She either tells us what Whitman is confiding in her, or she’s done too. Tess gave us everything we needed. Not only did she return home with the Granolith pod, and information of the Royal’s and their friends, she brought Zan’s DNA with her. Too bad she lost the heir to the throne in the journey.” He sighed. “ It’s just as well. Now Kivar can impregnate her himself, and they can be King and Queen with their own heir. Tess was easy to turn. Zan treated her like shit the whole time they were married because he was in love with that servant girl in the palace. History always repeats itself.” The man chuckled as he looked at the other one. “Too bad Vilandra didn’t repeat her past mistakes. Now she is going to die for it.”

Isabel looked at the ground and Kyle put his arm around her shoulder carefully as to not make any noise in the confined space they were hiding in.

Liz looked at Max and he lowered his eyes. His son was dead. He looked back up at Liz as she mouthed “I’m so sorry.” He nodded his head in response to her.

Michael took Maria’s hand knowing that she was feeling bad about the Skins using her to get to him.

The men continued to walk along the corridor looking at the tanks. They finally stopped right in front of the tanks that contained Max and Liz’s husks. They were all hiding behind these two tanks and collectively held their breath as the men approached.


“As for these two,” the man said, “ Their love was what led Kivar to power, but it could end up being his downfall. Kivar had hoped that by sending Mirith to shoot her that day in the restaurant before they were together that it would end things. But he saved her. Like he knew who she was or something, and they fell in love again!” the man threw his arms up. “ The only good thing that came out of that episode was that we were able to get her DNA off the dress she’d been wearing so we could create her husk.” The man began pacing.

“Then Kivar sent the “fake Zan” to talk to the girl so he could prevent them from staying together, and it seemed to work for awhile, but their love has drawn them back to each other, just like it did on our planet.” The man looked at the other man and shook his head as he said,” Why doesn’t he realize he’s a king and with that come certain obligations? If he would have just realized that, then Kivar wouldn’t have taken over Antar and his people would still be living peacefully. He should have realized some of his people would rebel against the thought of a King being in love with a peasant! It was all Kivar needed to go in and take over his precious kingdom. What a fool Zan was trying to convince his people of destiny when all they had ever known was arranged marriages between similar classes. Well I’m sure he realized that when they killed him and his servant love.” the man was shaking his head now, and the other one was nodding in understanding.

“He can’t just love whomever he chooses, whether it be a servant girl or a dumb waitress! I warned them about sending her essence to this planet, I told them that it would happen again, but they insisted that since she was the mother of his son, that her essence be sent too, along with his intended, to see if they would find each other again and if they did who he would fall in love with. To see if there really was something like destiny. Again he chose her over his intended mate. If the people of Antar find out of this development, and that their King was right, that there is “destiny” it’s all going to be over for us.” He trailed off

Max took Liz’s hand as they listened to what the man was saying. His eyes grew wide as gave it a tight squeeze.

The man looked at the ground. “We’re just lucky that they don’t know who she is. If they find out that they were together before, it will ruin what we’ve worked so hard for. If they find out that they are stronger when they’re together, or about her powers, that he probably awakened when he saved her, then we’re finished. If they connect anymore and strengthen their bond, then Kivar might as well step down from the throne and give up the planet peacefully. For he will be easily defeated, and will never be able to remain in control of Antar. They can’t know that their love is what started the war. That’s why Whitman was so important. When Tess got him to decode the book, she didn’t know about them sending Kilaara’s essence, and she didn’t know it would be in the book. When Whitman found out and threatened to tell Zan about Kilaara, Tess luckily was able to stop him until she could get him here to us and we could fake his death. These two are the most important one’s to Kivar’s plan. He knows they’ve found each other and wants them returned to him alive. Even if he can’t have the others, he wants these two. He wants them to die, before the truth gets out, and he wants to see it with his own eyes.”

The man that was in charge walked back over to the door, leaving the other one still standing in front of Max and Liz’s husks. When he reached the door he turned around to the other man and yelled out, “You better get me the other kid’s DNA, and I mean soon Johnson! We need to put this plan into action ASAP. Before it’s too late.” And he turned around and walked out of the door.


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 6:46:58 PM
Part 19


The man walked through the corridor and into an office in the back of the chamber. When he shut the door behind him, Max whispered, “Come on let’s go, they’re gone.” And he climbed out from behind the tank. He took Liz’s hand and helped her out as Michael and Maria followed. Kyle came out after them and helped Isabel down.

“We need to get our of here, fast.” Michael whispered as he looked around. “Quick let’s go through the door we came in, the other guy is in the back.”

“We can’t just leave Michael!” Isabel hissed, “What about Alex? He’s still alive, and so is Ava. They could be here somewhere, we have to find them!” Tears started to roll down her cheeks.

“Isabel, Michael’s right.” Max said “ We know that they need Alex alive for now, that will give us time to come up with a plan.” Max looked at everyone and then said, “We need to get out of here and wait until tonight, when it’s dark out, to come back and search for them.” Isabel nodded sadly knowing he was right.

“ Ok let’s go then!” Maria said tugging on Michael’s arm. She couldn’t wait to get out of there.

They turned around and ran up the stairs and back into the barn. They walked out into the sun and looked around. No one seemed suspicious of where they’d been, so they slowly walked over to Serena to tell her that they were heading back to the Motel for some rest.

“Serena,” Liz said, “We’re going to head back. Did you need a ride?
“Nope I’m good thanks!” Serena said smiling. “I’m going to hang out here for a bit to see if I can sell some more lunches, and then my friend Tim, who’s on one of the crews, said he’d give me a lift”

“Ok, we’ll see you later then?” Liz asked casually as they started to walk away.
“Yep, I’m on at five in the Cuckoo’s Nest, so come on in for dinner!” Serena called after them.

Liz waved back as they all headed for the walk out of town and back to the cars. No one said anything during the walk, their minds were all processing the information they had just overheard. Finally when they reached the clearing that they had left the cars in, Isabel spoke.

“ I can’t believe Alex is alive you guys. I just can’t believe it.” Isabel said shaking her head.
“We’ll find him Iz don’t worry.” Max said looking at her.
“I know we will, because I’m not giving up until we do.” Isabel said in a determined tone.
Max nodded at her and walked away, leading Liz over to the passenger side of Kyle’s car. He stood her in front of him and wrapped his arms around her waist and leaned in to give her a kiss. After he pulled away, he smiled and said, “So I guess you’re Kilaara.” He reached up and brushed a long stray hair out of her face. “I just can’t believe everything we just heard. It’s amazing Liz.”

“I know. I can’t believe that I’m from your planet, or I mean my essence was. I guess my parents have some explaining to do.” Liz smiled as she looked up at him. “You know Max, a war started because of our love, and it was the reason we were all sent here. We have to figure out a way to end all of this.” Liz looked down at the ground. “I mean, I feel responsible, you know?” Max nodded.

“ So Max,” Maria walked up and interrupted, “let me get this straight, according to that monster in there, you were in love with Liz on your home planet. She was a servant girl in your palace, and even though you were married to Tess, you had an affair with Liz, had a child with her and your people rebelled because of it?” Maria asked, amazed at the turn of events.

“I guess so.” Max said solemnly. “That was why Tess was so adamant about us being together I suppose.” Max looked at her. “She knew I had loved Kilaara or Liz, in our past life and fathered a child with her. If my people accepted Kilaara and believed in the destiny I had tried to convince them of, then our son would be heir to the throne. Kilaara would have been queen and Tess would have been out. She didn’t know that Liz was Kilaara until Alex translated the book, and by then she was already pregnant with my child. If she had found out before then, Liz would probably be dead by now.” Max looked back at Liz and hugged her to him.

“Oh My God.” Maria said under her breath. “But Max, we all read the translation and it didn’t say anything about this in it. Why?” she asked.

“I don’t know. The only thing I think of would be that either Alex was told by her to destroy that part, or she did it herself. Either way, it doesn’t matter. When we find Alex he can fill us in.” Max answered.

“Max, I’m so, so, sorry about your son.” Liz murmured into his chest as she remembered that the man had said that he didn’t survive the journey.
“Yeah Max, we all are man.” Michael said as he walked over to Max and put his hand on his back.

“Thanks you guys.” Max said as he kissed the top of Liz’s head. “I guess having a child with Tess was not my destiny in this life either.” He sounded sad as he said it, but then his tone changed to a happier one. “My destiny is the same here as it was there. To be with Liz and to have a child with her someday.” He looked down to see Liz’s reaction.

She looked up and smiled at him as a tear rolled down her cheek. “Oh Max, I love you so much.” Liz said as she leaned up and kissed him.

“Well we better head out so we can get back to the motel and get ready for tonight.” Kyle said carefully, not wanting to interrupt the tender moment between Max and Liz.

“Yeah, I’m still hungry too since we never got to eat.” Maria said as she climbed into the Mustang. “and if I’m going to protect my DNA, I need my energy!” She laughed.

“Don’t worry, I’m not going to let them create a husk out of you. They won’t be able to get close enough to get anything from you.” Michael said as he climbed in after her.

“Well what about you Spaceboy? They want yours too you know, and I doubt I can protect you!” Maria snuggled up against him in the back seat, waiting for Kyle and Isabel to hop in.

“Don’t worry Maria,” Michael said sweetly, “the only one that will be getting my DNA is you someday.” Maria looked up at his and her eyes filled up with tears involuntarily. She just couldn’t believe how sweet Michael was lately, and that he basically just told her that he wanted her to be the future mother of his children! She leaned in and kissed him and then rested her head on his chest.

“I guess I’m riding with you then?” Liz asked Max as Kyle and Isabel got into his car.

“Of course you are, I have to keep my eye on you, you know!” Max laughed as they walked towards his car with their arms wrapped around each other.

“Max, what do you thing that guy meant about you awakening my powers?” Liz turned her head up and looked at him. “I mean do you think I have powers?”

“ I don’t know. I think we should find out though don’t you?” Max asked as he opened the car door for her.
“Yeah, I guess so.” Liz said hesitantly. “I mean if it will help us then yes I do.”
“Ok, then as soon as we get back to Roswell, we’ll start on it.” Max said shutting her door. He walked over to his side and got into the drivers seat. He placed his hand on her knee and leaned over to give her a quick kiss. “You know Liz, he also said something about us “bonding further” and after what happened between us last night, I think we should agree to try not to do that until we know what the consequences are.” He touched her face and smiled. “Is that ok?”

“That’s a good idea. I mean I know I got carried away last night but you’re right. We need to ask Ava and Alex what he meant by that.” Liz said smiling as she fastened her seatbelt.
“ Good, then we agree.” Max said as he started the engine to the car and they started to drive back thorugh the town. He just hoped he would be able to control himself around her until they found out all of the answers.

He was thrilled about what they found out today. He knew Liz was his destiny and what that man had said only confirmed it. The Skins plan to keep them apart hadn’t worked, and now he knew Liz was his, and that he had chosen her again.

He didn’t remember anything from his past life except for what Tess had awakened. He didn’t even know if those memories were real. He did know that it felt right to be with Liz. He had a child with her on his home planet, and she was the reason that Kivar took over. He had chosen love over his own kingdom, but he knew why. His life wasn’t worth living unless he was with her.

He thought of how their lives must have been like then. Hiding from everyone. Lying to everyone. Did his people even know about their child, or were they killed before Max revealed to his people how serious his relationship with the servant was? All he knew was that he was killed because he believed in destiny and soul mates and the rest of his people did not. His parents insisted on sending Kilaara’s essence along with him, perhaps coming out of her pod in a different place, and earlier than them, but still they found each other. Max’s parents must have used this as an experiment, to see whether or not he could unknowingly prove that destiny was real.

Him and Liz were together again, and they couldn’t stop it. The force was stronger than his planets belief in arranged marriages. Max sighed as he thought about all that lay ahead for him and Liz. He just hoped they could survive what was waiting for them.



Part 20


The drive back to the motel was surprisingly quiet inside of Kyle’s car, and not much louder in Max and Liz’s. Everyone was overwhelmed by what they had overheard inside the husk chamber.

Maria was thinking about how she put Michael in danger, and Michael was thinking about how he’d put her in danger again. They held each other’s hands as Maria rested her head on his chest.

Isabel stared out the window solemnly, hoping they would be able to find Alex. She couldn’t believe he was alive and well, in some cell being held prisoner by the Skins. She swore to herself that if she ever came face to face with that bitch Tess again, she would destroy her once and for all. She wrung her hands in her lap as the anger filled her soul and a single tear rolled down her cheek. “We’re coming for you Alex” she said under her breath.

Kyle glanced in his rear view mirror at Michael and Maria. He thought about all they had heard and the realization hit him. They were all in big trouble! Some crazy aliens were after their DNA! They wanted to make a husk out of him and send it to Roswell to take his place! Liz was also an alien? He thought that part sort of made sense. She was always drawn to Max like theirs had been more than just a teen romance. He started to feel better about her leaving him and ending up with Max. It wasn’t his fault after all, they were obviously meant for each other. Of course that didn’t help him to not feel so alone. Soon Alex would be back and Isabel would be all over him and he would be the only one without someone. “Well,” he thought, “At least I have Buddha.”


Max looked over at Liz and took her hand. She smiled back at him, lost in her own thoughts. Her parents had lied to her. She must have been adopted. They never told her anything that made her think that was a possibility. Her happiness after hearing she belonged with Max was overshadowed by the fact that she didn’t know who she was anymore. Was she a hybrid like they were? She got sick, and she didn’t have powers that she knew of. She seemed totally human. Maybe she wasn’t Kilaara after all, and Max’s soul mate was still out there somewhere. That guy did make it sound like it was her though, he said she was a “dumb waitress” and that if Max’s people found out it would be the end of Kivar. Yes, she must be Kilaara. There was no other explanation. She just hoped they would find Alex and he could fill in all of the blanks from the book he decoded. Ava could help too, she said Max had changed her, did she mean that he awakened the powers? She looked over at Max who was watching the road with intense concentration.

Max was deep in thought as he looked at the road. Liz was a servant girl from his palace in his last life, and they killed them because of their love. There was no way he would allow it to happen again. He thought about his son with Tess, and the fact that he didn’t survive. He felt bad, but truly believed it was meant to happen. Tess basically tricked him into getting her pregnant. She didn’t deserve to have his child. His mind turned back to Liz, and hearing that they had a child together on their planet. He wondered if their son was still alive, or if he was killed along with them. His stomach turned over at the thought of losing Liz and their child, even though he had no memories of it. He knew he was meant to be with Liz, what the man said just confirmed it. He couldn’t believe that the war was started over his own beliefs regarding destiny and whether or not it existed. He thought that the people of his planet must be very unhappy if they have never truly been in love, only matched up with their mates because of their social standing. Perhaps they learned to love one another, but he must of known he’d never learn to love Tess. Not in the way he loved Kilaara. He knew he must have felt strongly for his soul mate, the way he felt for Liz now, since they were basically the same person.

“Max, are you okay?” Liz asked quietly, seeing he was deep in thought.

“Yep, I’m fine. Better than fine actually” Max said as he smiled at her. “How about you? Are you okay?”

“Yeah, to be honest I am. I’m pretty upset with my parents obviously, but I’ll talk to them eventually about everything. It’s just really overwhelming you know?” Max nodded in response. “I think we all really need to find Alex and get some more answers.” She said.

“That’s for sure!” Max said and laughed.

“So I guess the future you was a fake after all. I’m sorry Max, I really thought it was you and what you were telling me was true.” Liz said sadly.

“Liz, just because that guy called the future me “fake Max” doesn’t mean that it wasn’t really me that came back from the future. It just means that if it was me, I must have been working for Kivar since he’s the one that must have sent me. We know that he wanted us to stay away from each other. He could have threatened me and made me do that. Future Max told you Isabel and Michael were dead and that we had to fall out of love or the world would end. He could have been telling the truth. We don’t know what the future held for us. Just like we don’t know what it holds for us now.” Max said as they pulled into the motel parking lot.

“That’s true”, Liz said. “There has to be a way to end this. There just has to be.” Liz said as the car stopped. She turned and looked at Max. “We have the advantage now, they don’t know we know who I am, and that we know what started the war. We can defeat them Max, and you can go home to your planet and make Kivar step down.” Liz said as she un- latched her seatbelt and went to get out of the car, but Max grabbed her arm.

“Liz, I’m not going anywhere, not without you anyway. Besides, it’s our planet remember? I don’t remember any more of it than you do, this is my home, here with you. I’m not leaving” Max leaned forward and kissed her on the cheek. “Come on lets go eat something so we can go get ready to head back.”

“Ok, I’m pretty hungry actually.” Liz said as they got out of the car. “Thanks for saying all of that stuff Max, it really made me feel a lot better about everything we heard.” Liz smiled at him as he walked over to her and wrapped his arm around her waist.”

“No problem, let’s try to not to make any decisions until we talk to Alex okay?” Max said quietly so that the rest of the group that was walking in front of them couldn’t overhear.

“Okay, you’re right.” Liz whispered back.
“Great, let’s eat!” Max said as held the “Cuckoo’s Nest” door open for her.


After eating their dinner, they went back to the room to change so they could leave at sundown to return to Copper Summit to search for Ava and Alex. Liz and Maria both put on black jeans and black t-shirts with black sweatshirts around their waists. Isabel put on a tight sleeveless black shirt and long black leggings and she put a black knit hat on. The guys all wore black head to toe as well, and they all felt like they would be able to hide in the darkness easily.

“I feel like I’m Tom Cruise in “Mission Impossible” Kyle said laughing as he glanced in the bathroom mirror.

“Kyle, no offense, but you look nothing like Tom Cruise sweetie!” Maria said from right outside the open bathroom door.

“Hey-now, you don’t need to be rude!” Kyle glared at her as he walked back over to the bed and sat down.

Maria laughed and went into the bathroom to brush her hair. When she came out everyone was sitting on the bed discussing their plan.

“Ok, here’s what’s going to happen.” Max began, glancing up at Maria as she sat down.
“We’ll leave the cars where we did before, and walk in.”

“No, I think we should leave them closer.” Michael interrupted, “What if we have to make a run for it? We have no idea what condition Alex could be in. If he’s weak he won’t make it outside of town. We should park behind one of the rubble piles.”

“You’re right,” Max nodded and continued, “Ok, we park behind the rubble pile across from the barn, then we go down and start searching. We’ll stay together the whole time, I don’t think anyone should wander off and search alone. Agreed?” he glanced around and everyone nodded. “Good, now if we find them, then we need to high tail it out of there. That’s when we split up.” He took Liz’s hand and looked at Kyle and Maria. “You guys get Alex out of there and head back here to the motel with him. We need to stay behind and destroy the husks and see what else we can find. If we decide to bring Ava back, we’ll take her with us. She’ll just have to squeeze in.” Max looked around waiting for an objection; he didn’t have to wait long.

“No way, I’m not leaving you guys there alone.” Liz said surprisingly. Max thought of all people, Maria would be the one to object. “There’s no way I can just sit here and wait for you guys to show up. That time we did that when you all went to the White Room to rescue Max was like pure torture for Maria and I, right Maria?” Liz said, tears filling up her eyes at the memory.

“She’s right it was awful.” Maria replied remembering. “But Liz, I think Max is right. We need to get Alex out of there and let them do what they need to do.” she said gently.

“I can’t believe you, of all people, feel that way Maria!” Liz said as she stood up, practically yelling. “Are you telling me you’re willing to just sit here and hope they come back to us? I’m not! I want to see you guys with my own eyes the whole time. I can’t. I just can’t do it. I can’t sit here and wait like that. Not again.” Liz said, tears rolling down her cheeks as she started to have trouble breathing.

Max stood up next to her and grabbed her by the shoulders. “Liz, listen to me. We have to know that you guys are safe and we need for you to bring Alex back here. There’s no other way. We’ll be fine, I promise. Give us two hours from the time we separate, and then we’ll be back. Two hours. I swear it’s all we’ll need and then it will all be over.” He said as he hugged her to his chest.
She was completely panicked over losing him and she murmured into his chest, “I can’t lose you Max, I just can’t, not after I just got you back. I just can’t.” she said over and over again through her tears.

Max’s heart was breaking for her as he gently pushed her away. He knew they had to do this and even though it hurt Liz so badly, it had to be done this way. They wouldn’t be able to protect themselves as well if they were also trying to protect the ones they loved.

“You’re not going to lose me Liz I promise. Remember, I ‘m not going anywhere without you.” Max said trying to reassure her. “I’ll be here I promise.” He tipped her tear-stained face up and placed a kiss on her lips as she clung to him tightly. Max glanced at Maria and she walked over and pulled Liz gently off of him.

“Come on, Liz, let’s go get in the car.” She said taking Liz’s hand, “Everything’s going to be all right, I just have one of those feelings, you know? One of my “Madame Vivian” moments!” Maria said trying to lighten the mood.

“Maria,” Liz choked out, “Madame Vivian was full of shit! She told you that you and Michael would never come to anything, and that Alex and Isabel would never have anything between them either. She also told me that Max would choose love over his obligations, and he slept with Tess! She was a total scam!” Liz started to laugh wiping her tears away as they walked over to the Mustang.

“Yeah,” Maria said, “she did say all of that crap! Well, anyway, I know everything will be fine. I can just see it!”

“You know, Buddha says that if you envision your goal, then you’ll be able to obtain it.” Kyle said as he walked up to them smiling.

Maria and Liz rolled their eyes and Maria said, “See, if Buddha says it then it must be true!” she winked at Liz before busting up in hysterical laughter and climbing into the backseat.
Liz laughed with her, and leaned into Kyle and said jokingly, “Not to burst you bubble Kyle, but I don’t think Tom Cruise is Buddhist!” she laughed as she winked referring to his earlier claim that he felt like the action star.

Kyle gave her a sarcastic smile as Max, Michael and Isabel walked up. “Liz, are you riding with Max again, or with us?” he asked as he went to get in the drivers side.

“Max?” Liz asked, looking at Max, wanting to make sure he was ok with her riding with him. He nodded at her, smiling, and she turned back to Kyle and said, “I’m riding in the Miata.” She ran towards Max’s car and Michael got into the Mustang. Max followed Liz to his car and hopped in, and they were on their way back to Copper Summit to find Alex.



Part 21

They parked their cars behind the rubble across the street from the barn as planned and quietly got out of the cars. They left the tops down so they could easily jump into the cars if they were being chased. They walked over to a little building, one of the few still standing, and crouched down behind it. Max looked at them and nodded and the three aliens took the lead with the humans following closely behind them. They quickly walked as close to the ground as they could, over to the entrance to the barn. It was completely dark, and it didn’t appear that anyone was around. They carefully tip toed across the barn floor, remembering how they could hear the feet of the other men earlier that day.

When they approached the stairs leading down to the chamber, they stepped carefully down, happy in the fact that they didn’t squeak or make any noises. The bolt was locked again, and Max lifted his hand to unlock it as he had done before. When Michael gently pushed the door open, they could see that the only light was that coming from the tanks, which seemed to be illuminated at all times. They carefully walked through the chamber until they were standing in front of Max and Liz’s husks again.

Liz tapped Max on his shoulder and pointed at his husk. He looked up at it and noticed that it seemed to be disintegrating, as Liz’s seemed to be getting more mature. Liz’s was almost ready for implantation of a Skin, but Max’s looked sick, and dying. It seemed that within the last six hours since they had last been there, it had definitely taken a turn for the worse. Little pieces of skin were floating around in the tank’s liquid that should have been crystal clear. Max looked back at Liz and shrugged his shoulders at what his husk looked like, and then he pointed to the door leading to the back room.

They waited for Max to unlock the door, and quietly filed into the pitch black room. Isabel lifted her hand and produced a small flashlight. No one knew she had it, so they looked at her in surprise and she smiled at them. Max started to go through the top drawer, finding no paperwork, only small videotapes, and rolls of camera film. The bottom drawer only produced seven giant bottles of lotion. Max reached under the desk to see if anything was taped underneath it to no avail. He looked back up at the group and shook his head to let them know he hadn’t found anything.

Isabel placed the flashlight facing up on the desk and started looking at the walls, feeling around for anything she could find. She ran her hands along the wall planks starting at the floor and up as far as she could reach, which was pretty high up since she was so tall. She continued to do this until she had done one entire wall.

Maria and Liz had dumped out the trash basket and started going through it, but all they found was a bunch of empty candy wrappers and a torn up newspaper.

Kyle stood by the door as a lookout, concentrating on Max’s husk. He was totally grossed out by what it looked like. He tried to imagine what could be wrong with it, but since he knew nothing about husks, he couldn’t think of anything.

“You guys, look!” Isabel whispered pointing at the dark wall.
They all ran over to see what she had found, leaving Kyle at his lookout post. She was knelt down on the floor and was looking at something along the baseboard on the back wall of the office. Max and Liz knelt down on either side of her and Max aimed the flashlight at the wall. There was a small ditch in it, and it looked like it had been stuffed with something.

“Isabel, can you pull that stuff out?” Liz asked as she tried to see what it was.

“Yeah” Isabel said excitedly, “it’s just paper or something” as she dug her fingers in and started pulling newspaper out.

“Well I guess that explains why all that torn up newspaper was in the trash.” Maria whispered.

They were all silent as Isabel continued to pull the paper out of the hole. After ten minutes, all of it was out and a small light appeared under the baseboard.

“Max, there’s a room in there!” Isabel said as she jumped to her feet. “We have to get in there, it must be where Alex is!” she started to walk away to go find the room, but Max held her back.
“Isabel, we don’t know that, it could be another room with Skins in it. We need to wait and find out.” Max said apologetically.

“Ok, but how are we going to do that?” Isabel asked impatiently as she shoved the newspaper back into the hole to erase any trace of them being there.

“ We need to find the room and see if we can get a better look. Come on, we’ll go out the back.” Max said as he walked out of the room, grabbing Liz’s hand as he did. “You stay close to me okay?” He said to Liz as they walked towards the back door.

“Okay.” She whispered to him as Maria, Michael, Kyle, and Isabel followed.

When they reached the back door, Max used his powers to unlock it and they walked up the stairs. They expected to find themselves outside, but actually found themselves in another hallway with two doors. One appeared to be situated right above the office they had been in.

“It can’t be this one Max, It was on the same level as the office we were in downstairs.” Isabel whispered, afraid of wasting any time.
“Just because we saw light doesn’t mean it was on the same level Iz”. Max said as he walked over to the door.

He got down on the floor to try to see if there was a light underneath, and only saw that there was a rubber strip on the bottom of the door.

“Michael,” Max directed, “check out the other door and see if you can see underneath it.”

Michael got down on his knees and crawled over to the door. He looked under it and could easily see the legs of a table and a chair in the dark room.

“Yeah, I can see under it why?” Michael asked.

“This one has a rubber strip, they obviously don’t want anyone either looking, in, looking out, or being able to tell what’s in here.” Max said standing back up.

“So what do we do? How do we get in?” Isabel asked.

“Isabel, We need to dream walk Alex. That way we can tell him to knock on the door that he is being held behind. Can you do it?” Liz asked hopefully.

Isabel got a strange look on her face and said. “I can try. It’s kind of weird, you know since I just found out he is still alive, but I see him in my dreams every night anyway, so I think I could try it.” She replied as she sat down on the ground and rested her head back on the wall.


*** Isabel was confused, she’d never been anywhere like this place before. There was crimson colored smoke swirling around and the walls were black.
“Alex?” Isabel called quietly, “Alex are you here? It’s me Isabel.”
She heard a muffled sound and the smoke began to clear a little to her right so she walked in that direction. Then she saw him. He was sitting in the corner, up against the black walls. He was dressed in solid black and he had his head down on his knees, hugging them to his chest, rocking back and forth. Isabel walked over to him and knelt down in front of him. “Alex. It; ok, it’s me Isabel.” She said quietly as she touched his shoulders.
“No, no it’s not. Isabel’s dead. They killed her, they’re all dead. Liz, Maria, Max, all of them…” Alex trailed off crying.
“Alex, We’re not dead. We’re all alive. They lied to you. They told us you were dead too. They’re tricking you Alex, the Skins are tricking you.” Isabel said to him gently.
“SHUT UP!” Alex screamed. “I don’t want to talk to you. I told you, I’m not telling you anything! You killed them. You killed them…” Alex repeated.
“Alex, listen to me.” Isabel begged. “We’re all here. I’m dream walking you right now. Remember how I could do that?” Alex didn’t answer, he just looked up at her. When his eyes met hers, he knew she was telling the truth.
“Isabel?” Alex asked as he reached out to touch her face after a long moment, not believing she was really there.
“Yes, Alex it’s me. We’re in Copper Summit, are you?” Isabel asked as he continued to stare at her.
“Yes, in some room. Ava is here too. They told me they killed you guys. Are you all okay? Alex asked, wiping his tears away.
“Yes, we thought you were dead Alex, we’ll explain everything to you later, we have to get you out now though.” Isabel said, as she touched his face, not able to believe they were really speaking.
“Ok, what do you want me to do?” Alex asked as he looked up at her.
“We think we know where you are, but we need you to knock on the door, or something so we’re sure.” Isabel said, “ Is it just you and Ava? Are there guards?” Isabel asked quickly.
“ Yeah, it’s just us, but theirs some weird thing on the table that prevents Ava from using her powers.” Alex said remembering the room they were trapped in.
“Is it shaped like a pentagon or something?” Isabel asked and he nodded.
“Ok” she said, “we know what it is. It won’t allow us to use our powers either. The only one’s that can disable it are you guys. We can’t get near it.” Isabel said thinking.
“I have to go.” She said as she kissed his cheek. “Just let us know where you are somehow ok?”
Alex nodded and she disappeared*******

Isabel sat up with a start.
“Did you see him? What happened?” Maria asked excitedly. Isabel had been asleep for a good five minutes at least, and judging from the tears rolling down her cheeks, she could tell she must have seen Alex.

“Yes, I saw him. He’s ok.” Isabel said wiping her face off and standing up. Ava’s with him, no guards.” Isabel whispered. “I told him to knock on the door or something to let us know if he was in there. He said he was in Copper Summit.”
She looked at Max and Michael. "There's a pentagon thing in there too." she whispered and they nodded thoughtfully.

They stood and waited but nothing happened, finally twenty minutes later they heard a rustle on the other side of the door. They held their breaths, they were either about to find Alex, or were about to be caught by the Skins.


Part 22

They stared at the door with their breath held collectively, none of them daring to speak when they heard a sound on the ground. They looked down and there was a piece of paper lying there.
Max picked it up and the rest of them gathered around to see what it said. In small black ink it said only “I’m in here you guys.” And it was signed with a big A.

“Oh my god, Alex is on the other side of that friggin door!” Maria whispered loudly pointing at it. “How are we going to get him out if you guys won’t be able to use your powers?”

“ We’re going in to get him Maria.” Liz said. Max started to say something but Liz held her hand up. “No arguments. You guys can’t go in there or you’ll be useless to destroy the husks later. You know that thing will drain your energy too much to do what you need to do before leaving.” Liz looked at Max and waited for his response.

“She’s right Maxwell” Michael said quietly. “If we want to destroy those husks, and put an end to this we’ll need our energy and our powers. It’s bad enough Ava can’t use hers to help. I think Liz is right.” He too looked at Max also waiting for him to make his decision.

“Ok, we’ll open the door for you, and you guys disable the pentagon as soon as you can.”
Max looked at Liz and said, “don’t take any unnecessary risks, go in and get him and run like hell back to Kyle’s car.” They all nodded.

“Kyle, I’m counting on you man to look after them.” Max whispered and shook Kyle’s hand.

“You got it Max, they’ll be fine.” Kyle said as Max released his grip.

“Yeah, and try to remember that even though you think you look like Tom Cruise, you aren’t!” Maria giggled as Kyle elbowed her in the ribs.

“Hey, I am 165 pounds of Greco Roman wrestler remember?” Kyle smiled.

“Come on-let’s do this.” Liz said as she started to walk towards the door. Max grabbed her and spun her back around to face him.

“Be careful Liz. I don’t think I have to tell you how important you are to me do I?” he said as he looked into her eyes.

“Nope.” Liz smiled at him. “I’ll be fine Max, please don’t worry. I love you, and there’s no way I’m going to miss out on whatever the future holds for us. No way.” Liz stood on her tiptoes and kissed the tip of his nose.

Max looked at her again, “Two hours okay?” he whispered and she nodded.

“Two hours.” Liz said back.

Maria was hugging Michael with all of her strength when Michael leaned into her ear and whispered, “Remember how angry you were at me that time we were stuck in that cheesy motel on highway 285?” Maria smiled and nodded in response. “And remember how I told you that I would never consider being with you, not even if you were the last girl on earth?” she nodded again smiling at the memory. “Well, I had a great time that night. It is one of my best memories Maria. Please promise me that we’ll be able to make a lot of new memories okay?” Michael asked as her looked into her eyes, cupped her face with his hands and placed his lips on hers, reluctant to let her go.

“I promise Michael. I’ll be fine” Maria said as they separated. “We’ll see you guys back at the motel okay?” Maria asked as she kissed him again. “You be careful too. I love you.” she said bravely, as she stepped away from him. Michael let go of her hand and whispered. “I love you too.”

“Ready you two?” Kyle asked as he stood by the door.

“Yep, let’s do it.” Liz said as Kyle looked back at Max and Michael and winked, letting them know that he would take care of their girls.

They stepped up to the door and Isabel walked over next to them. She felt along the door.
“There’s seven locks, plus it’s welded shut at this entrance, so it’s going to be a minute.” She said as she started to unlatch, unbolt and unweld the door. When the last bolt was unlocked, she said. “Your up.” And stepped back.

Liz stepped in first and noticed the flight of stairs straight in front of them. The room was dimly lit, so there was no problem seeing where they were going. Maria followed her and Kyle was bringing up the rear.

Liz slowly descended the staircase that ran along one of the walls of what looked like a giant warehouse type of room. When she reached the bottom she looked over to her right and her eyes lit up. It was Alex and Ava. She started to run over to them. “Alex!” she whispered loudly.

“Liz! Maria! Oh my god, you guys are okay!” Alex whispered as they approached him.

“Alex!” Maria said as she ran over to him and flung her arms around his neck. “I can’t believe you’re alive!” Tears started to roll down her cheeks as she hugged him.

“I can’t believe you are either!” Alex wept, as he released Maria and grabbed Liz pulling her into his arms. “They told me you guys were all dead!”

Kyle nodded at Alex and gave him a smile, being the quintessential tough guy. “Where’s the pentagon thing?” he asked looking around the room.

“It’s over there, on the table.” Alex pointed as he let Liz out of his arms. Liz turned around and for the first time noticed Ava standing there looking at their reunion.

“Are you all right Ava?” Liz asked as she hugged her.

“Yes, I’m fine thanks.” Ava said quietly. “Thanks for coming to get us.” She smiled shyly.

“No problem, we have tons of things to tell you guys, and tons of questions for you too, but first we have to get you out of here!” Liz said as she and Maria walked over to where Kyle was standing in front of the pentagon.

“Shit, I hate these damn things!” Maria said as she picked it up, threw on the ground and stomped on it. She stomped on it again and again with more anger than Liz had ever seen in her. She continued until it was nothing more than some broken pieces on the floor, then she kicked it as hard as she could as the pieces flew across the room. “There, much better. Let’s go.” She smiled at them.

They all ran across the room and up the stairs as fast as their feet would carry them. When they got to the top they saw Max, Michael and Isabel waiting for them, relieved to see that they were okay.

Isabel ran towards Alex and jumped into his waiting arms. “Alex, oh I’m so happy to see you. I’ve missed you so much.” She cried as he held her.

“It’s okay Iz, I’m okay.” Alex said as he inhaled her scent. He was so relieved that she was alive. He never thought he’d be able to hold her in his arms again. Max and Michael stepped forward to shake his hand.

“We’d better get out of here, let’s go you guys.” Kyle said as he started to run for the door.

“Right, we’ll see you guys back at the motel, soon I hope.” Liz said as she gave Max a quick kiss. She grabbed Maria’s hand and dragged her away from Michael and towards the door.

“Go, get out of here.” Michael said winking at Maria. She nodded at him and ran towards the door.

“I don’t want to let go of you.” Isabel said to Alex as he tried to pull away.

“I know, but I need to go with them. I’ll see you soon. Promise.” He said as he released Isabel’s arms from around his neck. “Promise.” He said again as he kissed her forehead and started following Liz, Kyle and Maria.

Isabel wiped at her face and watched them as they disappeared out of the door.

“He’ll be fine Iz, come on, we’ve got work to do.” Michael said as they turned around to see Ava standing there. Michael looked at Max who was staring at her with blind hatred.

“She’s not Tess, Maxwell” Michael said to him after seeing the look in his eyes. Max looked over at him and then back over to where Ava was standing.

“I know.” Max said as he started to walk towards her. When he was standing right in front of her he said, “I hope we can trust you. I hope you can give us the answers we need.”

“I can tell you whatever I know, later. Right now we need to get out of here. You can trust me. I’m not her. Believe me, it’s a damned curse having to walk around with this face, but I’m not anything like her.” Ava said in response looking into Max’s eyes.

“Well, I don’t have time to argue with you right now, so I’ll just have to go with my gut. Come on, we’ll need your help.” Max said back to her.

They walked out of the hallway and back into the husk chamber. They stopped in front of Max and Liz’s husk and looked again at how sick Max’s looked. “Why does it look like that?” Max, asked turning to Ava.

“I told you, I’ll answer all of your questions later.” Ava said as she raised her hand up to the tank containing Liz’s husk. “We need to get rid of this one first. It’s the most important to them.” Ava said as she looked at them. “I’ll need help, I’m pretty weak from the pentagon.”

“Ok, you and Max take care of these two, and Isabel and I will head over and take of the Alex’s and Ava’s.” Michael said as he and Isabel ran towards the other tanks. “Then we need to destroy the tanks.”

Max nodded and said, “Yeah, and be sure to destroy the actual husk, by hitting that thing on the back of their neck, not just the tank. We need to disintegrate them.”

Michael and Isabel nodded and took off down to the other tanks. Max and Ava stepped away from the tanks and held hands as they lifted their palms up, facing them. They concentrated all of their energy on destroying them, and in seconds there was a large explosion and the tanks were destroyed. The husks were lying on the ground, and they knelt down to look at them. Ava turned Max’s debilitated husk over, and punched the back of it’s neck, causing the husk to disintegrate and sending millions of tiny skin flakes into the air. She looked over at Max, holding Liz’s husk.

“Max, go on, do it!” Ava said as she looked over at him.

“I…I can’t.” Max whispered looking down at Liz’s form.

“Max, it’s not really her. She’s safe and on her way out of this place. You have to do it NOW!” Ava said angrily.

“I know it’s not really her. It just looks so much like her I…I…” he trailed off.

“Damn it. I’ll do it then.” Tess said as she walked over to Max, pulled Liz’s husk off of his lap and turned it over. She bent down and hit the husk on the back of the neck and it disintegrated. Max reached his hand up and touched the falling flakes.

“Thanks, I don’t think I could’ve done it. It was too weird. Like I was killing Liz.” Max stammered trying to catch his breath.
***************************************

“Get in, get in!” Kyle yelled as he hopped into the car, jumping over the door.

They all jumped in after him, Maria in the front seat with Kyle, and Liz and Alex in the back seat. They drove out of town quickly, not daring to breathe until they were on the open highway.

“We made it”, Kyle said, “no one’s behind us.”

“Thank God!” Maria exhaled as she turned around and looked out the back of the car.

“Alex, would you like to start filling us in on what happened?” Kyle asked desperate to know the whole story.

“Well, don’t you think we should wait until we’re all together so I only have to tell it once? I mean it only seems fair to wait for the others.” Alex answered looking at Kyle in the rearview mirror.

“Yeah, you’re right man.” Kyle nodded. “Hopefully destroying the other husks won’t take too long and they’ll be back at the motel soon.”

“They will be, I know it.” Liz said as she glanced out the window.

Alex took her hand and whispered, “So I guess you and Max found each other again huh?”

Liz smiled and just nodded at his question.

“Good,” he said, “the Skins don’t stand a chance then.”

Liz looked at him, more anxious than ever to find out the answers to their questions. Alex obviously knew what was going on, and she had the feeling that he would be able to tell them what they needed to know.



Part 23

Max, Michael, Isabel and Ava, finished destroying the chamber, and the husks and started to run to the rubble pile where Max’s car was hidden. It had taken them longer than they thought it would to destroy everything, especially since their energy drained after each time they had to destroy one. When they had reached the last five tanks, they had to hold hands and concentrate together to be able to demolish them completely. They were exhausted.


“Wait!” Michael yelled when they had crossed the street where Max’s car was hidden.
He stopped and turned around to face the barn. “We should destroy the barn. Burn it down or something so they can’t use it again.”

“Good idea, let’s do it.” Max said as he stopped as well and ran back over to Michael.

“I can’t…I’m too weak.” Ava said quietly.

“I know you are, we don’t need you for this. My car is behind the rubble pile over there.” Max said, pointing. “Go and wait for us in it. It’s only a two seater, so we’re really going to have to squeeze.”

“That’s okay, I’ll ride in the trunk if it will get me out of this town.” Ava smiled at them and started walking towards the car.

Max turned around to Michael and Isabel and raised his eyebrows. “We’ll go and get some wood, light it with our powers, and torch the place. That way if they investigate it, it will look normal.” He said as he walked over to one of the demolished buildings and picked up a piece of wood. He looked at it intensely for a moment and it combusted into a flaming torch. Isabel and Michael also picked up pieces of wood and lit them off of Max’s and the three of them walked towards the barn. They stood in front of it briefly as Max lifted his torch and touched it to the hay outside of the doors and it erupted in flame. Isabel and Michael touched theirs to the hay as well, and within moments the barn was heavily engulfed. The three of them stood there and watched it for a few minutes, before the heat got too intense. Max looked over at Isabel and yelled, “Come on, let’s go before anyone shows up!” and started running to the car. Isabel looked at Michael and with a nod of his head they both followed.

When they got to the car, they found Ava passed out, squished behind the two front seats in the little gap they had behind them. Max climbed in to the drivers seat as Michael sat in the passenger seat with Isabel on his lap, and they raced out of the town, none of them looking back. They could hear fire trucks in the distance, and knew they would make it out of there before they arrived.

“I can’t believe we did it!” Isabel exclaimed as they pulled on to the highway.

Max smiled and looked at his watch. It had been three hours and seventeen minutes since the others had left. He knew Liz must have been worried sick. He glanced at Michael and knew he was thinking the same thing about Maria.

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

“Where the hell are they?” Liz yelled as she looked around the room. “It’s been three hours!” She walked over to the window and moved the curtains so she could look out. There was no sign of them. She wrung her hands as she sat down on the chair she had pulled over to the window.

Alex looked at Maria, obviously concerned. “I’m sure there fine you guys.” Maria looked up at him, and nodded her head. She was sitting on the bed next to him trying to calm herself down.

“You know,” Kyle began, “There were a lot of tanks for them to destroy, it probably just took them longer than they thought it would.”

“Yeah,” Alex agreed. “The Skins don’t usually come back until just before sun up, so I’m pretty sure there wasn’t anyone there.”

Liz got up and walked towards the door. She opened it and went outside taking a big breath of fresh air. She thought about what Maria said to her a couple of days ago. She was right. She could have lost Max, without ever telling him the truth. Without ever letting him back into her life. She looked towards the motel driveway silently willing him to come back but it didn’t seem to work. She thought about all she had heard earlier that day and smiled. She and Max had a child in their previous life, and Max had told her that he wanted to have one with her someday. She wondered how much longer they would be able to stop themselves from sleeping together. The man had said that if they strengthen their bond, then they would be stronger. She wondered if he was right, and what would happen if they did make love. She wanted to be close to him that way, she knew that much, but he was right. They needed to get some answers. She looked out to the Motel driveway again and whispered to herself, “Where are you Max?”

Just then, she saw the red Miata pull into the motel. It sped along the dirt road until it stopped right in front of her. She stood, rooted to the spot, relived that they were back safely. Tears spilled over her eyes and started rolling down her cheeks as she stared at Max getting out of the car. He ran over to her never taking his eyes off of hers. He picked her up and spun her around as she clasped her hands behind his neck and hugged him tight. When he put her down he held both sides of her face gently with his hands and placed his lips on hers, relief washing over them both.
Liz looked up at him and said, “ Max, Oh God, I’m so glad your back…I thought…I..” she trailed off quietly.

“I know. I’m sorry we were late. It took longer than we thought. Sorry.” He said as he tilted his head to kiss her again.

Kyle, Maria and Alex came running out of the room after hearing the commotion outside and Maria ran right into Michael’s arms as Isabel flung herself into Alex’s. Kyle stood there awkwardly looking on. He stared at Ava, still passed out in the back seat, so he walked over to the car, picked her up and started to walk back into the room.

Maria looked up at Michael and said through her tears, “ You came back to me again.”

Michael looked down at her crying face. “Maria, don’t you know by now that I’ll always come back to you? I told you we have a lot more memories to make together.” He said smiling. Maria looked up at him and he wiped the tears off of her cheeks and she smiled back at him.

Alex squeezed Isabel to him, still amazed that he was holding her in his arms. He looked down at her and asked, “Isabel, are you okay?”

“I’m okay now.” Isabel smiled as she hugged him again. She looked up and whispered, “You know how everyone always says that you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone?” Alex nodded and smiled. “Well,” she continued, “I know exactly what that means now.” She smiled up at him with the most beautiful expression and asked, “Will you kiss me Alex?”

Alex nodded, all words escaping him, and tipped her face up towards his own. He gently placed his lips on hers, the way they had done in the past, but Isabel had kissed him back with such urgency, such passion that it stole his breath and he had to release her. She looked up at him and at the surprised reaction he had on his face and she whispered, “Sorry.” And blushed.

“Don’t be. That was…a… great.” And he hugged her to him again. “Things are definitely going to be different now.” He said quietly and she nodded into his chest.

They all slowly walked inside, holding onto their significant others tightly. When they entered the room, they noticed Kyle sitting on the edge of the bed with a passed out Ava lying behind him.

“Well, do you think we should wake her up?” Max asked looking at the rest of the group as they nodded.

“We have a lot of questions Maxwell, she might be the only one that can answer them.” Michael said.

“Yeah, I think she might know more than she even told me.” Alex said as he sat down in the chair and lowered Isabel on to his lap.

“Ok then.” Max walked over to Ava and started to shake her. Ava, Ava wake up." he repeated. After a few minutes, Ava’s eyes fluttered open and she looked at Max.

“Zan?” she asked in a confused tone.

“No Ava, it’s me Max. Remember, we came and got you and Alex out of Copper Summit?” Max explained as she sat up on the bed and looked around at all of them.

“Oh right…” Ava said as it all started to come back to her.

Max moved to sit on the other bed and continued, “We overheard some Skins talking this afternoon, and they said some stuff, some pretty amazing stuff, and we need to know if it’s true.”

“Ok, ask away, but Alex probably knows most of it too. They talked in front of him a lot right Alex?” Ava asked and he nodded.

“Great, so who wants to go first?” Max asked as he looked around the room.


Part 24

“I will.” Liz said as she looked at Ava. She walked over to the edge of the other bed and sat down next to Max. She looked over at him and he took her hand and gave it a small squeeze of encouragement. “Ava, am I Kilaara?”

Ava looked at her with wide eyes. She paused a moment and then nodded. “How did you know? The Skins? They were talking about that?” Ava asked.

“Yes,” Liz replied, “they said that I was a servant in my past life. In Zan’s castle. They said we were killed because of our love.”

Ava nodded again and said, “Well I guess you want to hear the whole story. You all probably do right?” she looked around at the nodding faces.

“Ok, well, it all started when Zan, or Max, was thirteen years old. His parents chose his bride for him, which was an ancient practice on our planet. Zan knew he would have an arranged marriage since he was a small boy. There was no way around it, and there was no questioning it, it was just the way things had always been done. Of course you all know her as Tess, which by the way is short for Tessaria.” She looked around at the waiting eyes of the group. “Anyway, Zan didn’t want to marry Tessaria because they had nothing in common. She was a spoiled, selfish little girl, and Zan was a kind, caring boy. She was beautiful, and it was thought on our planet that beauty was the sign of royal blood and the proof of the ability to produce a son. So, Zan’s parents agreed to the marriage, after Tessaria’s parents presented her to them. Zan was not happy with the arrangement, and made it perfectly clear to Tess. She knew he hated her, but she thought he would learn to love her, like all of the other people on the planet had learned to love their arranged mates.” Ava paused and looked around. Everyone was silent listening to the story.

“Well, after the marriage, as the years went on, Zan did everything he could to avoid being with Tess. He started to spend a lot of time outside the palace, going to the library and reading ancient books written by the famous philosophers of our planet, some of which spoke of a love so strong it couldn’t be denied. A force that brought destined one’s together in life and in the afterlife. Zan knew that the men that wrote the books were highly respected and he started to wonder if a love like that was really out there. One day he was coming back from the library and he bumped into a woman in the market. He knocked her down, and when he bent down to help her up, he placed her hand in his hand and they formed a connection. Zan knew she was the love he had been wondering about. Her name was, as you know, Kilaara.”

Ava stopped and got up and walked over to the window, staring into the darkness. She turned around again and looked at Max and Liz, her head resting on his shoulders and tears threatening to spill over her eyes.

“Zan went back to the palace and told his parents about what he’d read and the girl he’d met and he spoke of destiny. His parents were livid, and told him never to mention the word again. They said they’re was no such thing, and to forget the peasant. They were outraged by the fact that he could think he had strong feelings for anyone other than his wife. Tessaria was going to be the queen, and they didn’t want anything to threaten that. They told him to forget his foolishness, and never speak of it again, and to spend his time trying to produce an heir to the throne. They were furious that Tessaria had not become pregnant.” Ava took a deep breath and continued.

“A few months later, the Queen, Zan’s mother, hired a new servant to cater to Tess and all of her needs. She was finally pregnant. The servant she hired was..”

“Kilaara.” Liz finished and Ava nodded.

“Yep, it was Kilarra.” Ava smiled. “Tess lost the baby she was carrying a few months into the pregnancy, and she never was able to produce an heir, but they allowed Kilaara to stay on the staff at the palace, because Tessaria grew more needy and selfish after her loss. Soon, destiny stepped in again, and Zan ran into Kilarra in the palace. They planned secret meetings, late at night, and would read together and talk until morning. After awhile their passion grew, and they could no longer deny it. Fate had stepped in, but they didn’t know it would lead to their own execution.” Ava paused, realizing the ramifications of telling them all of this. She wasn’t sure what it would lead to.

“Go, on.” Max said sternly.

“Years went by and Zan and Tess became King and Queen. A short time later, Tess found out about them, and she ordered Kilaara’s death, even blaming her for the loss of her child. On the morning of her execution, Zan stood up before the people of his kingdom and told them about destiny, fate and true love. They rebelled against him and ordered him to be killed too. They died right next to each other, holding hands. No one knew until years later that Kilaara had given birth to a son, Zan’s son, in secret. He is the heir to the throne, but no one knows where he is. Kilarra sent him off somewhere right after he was born so no one would find out about him, and so he would be safe. Only Kivar and his people know of his birth, and a few of the loyals to Zan, the one’s that Kivar hasn’t killed yet.”

“So, the majority of the people of the planet still don’t know about their son?” Michael asked, amazed.

“No, I only know, because I have been hearing this story from Lonnie since we were little. She remembers the day they were killed. She remembers a lot from our planet. She said that some of the people that were loyal to Max are still trying to spread the belief in destiny, by telling Zan and Kilaara’s story. Vilandra fell in love with Kivar, so she knows that Zan was right about destiny. They had her intended murdered before their wedding. That was Rath.”

“Oh my god..” Maria said as she looked at Michael. He hugged her closer to him and kissed the top of her head.

“Rath was not one of Zan’s followers. But, he was his best friend. He had tried to bring peace back to the planet, he even converted some of Kivar’s people, but it wasn’t going to happen. He had no idea Vilandra was a traitor until it was too late. With Zan and Rath gone, and Vilandra with Kivar, it made it easy for him to take over. After he moved into the palace, he had Vilandra killed. Apparently their true love was one sided. He has a lot of followers, people that believe in what he tells them to. Mindless zombies. If they found out that your essences have found each other again, they would easily overthrow Kivar’s government.” Ava finished.

“What about our parents?” Isabel asked

“They are still alive, being held by Kivar in a prison. After he found that they sent your essences, he sentenced them for life.” Ava said sadly.

“So that was what Courtney meant. She must have been one of the one’s Michael converted.” Maria said remembering that she had died to protect him. She looked over at Michael and he nodded.

“So no one knows where Zan and Kilaara’s child is?” Kyle asked, totally engrossed in the story.

“No, thank god. If they knew, Kivar would become even more powerful. He has been looking for him for years. He wants to raise him as his own, teach him his evil.” Ava finished.

“Well, we know now that Tess lost the baby that she had conceived with me, and now Kivar is planning on impregnating her. We heard that from the skins this afternoon.” Max said as Liz leaned into him.

“What baby? Max, what are you talking about?” Alex asked.

“Max and Tess slept together Alex. Tess was pregnant and their baby couldn’t survive here, they almost left to go home, but we found out what Tess had done to you, so she left by herself. According to what we overheard this afternoon, she lost the baby.” Liz explained so Max wouldn’t have to.

“Man, is that what she told you? That she was pregnant by Max?” She is such a conniving little bitch!” Alex yelled as Isabel jumped off of his lap. “Well,” he continued, I guess it’s time for my part of the story!”


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 6:50:15 PM
Part 25

Max and Liz looked at each other and back at Alex. “Yeah, I guess you better tell us what’s going on!” Max said waiting to hear his story.

“Well, when Tess mindwarped me into decoding the book for her, which you guys know already right?” he looked around as they all nodded. “When I woke up, which is when I guess you guys thought I was dead, I was in that room in the barn, alone. Tess came in and paid me a little visit. She was working for Kivar.”

“We know that too.” Liz said as she glanced at Max.

“Ok, the first time she came to see me, she said that they were going to take a sample of my DNA, to create a husk of me, one that could take my place in Roswell after they got all of the information they needed from me. She asked me questions about Max’s flashes with Liz, how much you all really knew about your past but didn't tell her, and of course, the translation of the book.” He looked at Max.

“What did the book say? I mean we got to see most of it, but there obviously was some stuff missing from it.” Max asked him.

“The part that Tess made me destroy, which is the only part you guys don’t have, talks about Kilaara’s essence, and their child. It doesn’t have the location of him or anything, just about how her essence was sent along with Max and Tess’s. It didn’t say anything about her until the end of the book, almost like they wanted you to think Tess was your mate, and they added the last part just in case, which makes sense, since we now know that they wanted to see if you would find her before telling you about her. It also had the story of Kilaara and Zan in it. That really pissed the bitch off!” Alex said smiling.

The rest of the group laughed for a moment before Alex continued.

“Anyway, she told me that she was supposed to return to your planet, pregnant with Max’s child, and she was supposed to be sure that Isabel, Michael and of course Max were all with her, so she could turn them over to Kivar. She said that if she returned with his child, it would prove to Zan’s people that her and Max or Zan, were supposed to be together, and that destiny did not exist. She told me that she knew there was no way to get Max to sleep with her before “the deadline”, and that she would have to use some fancy mind warps to get him to impregnate her. That’s when she told me about getting his DNA for his husk, and that they already had Liz’s.”

“Alex, are you saying that Tess mindwarped Max into sleeping with her? That he didn’t know he was really with her?” Liz asked hopefully.

Max was silent, he knew the answer. He knew he slept with Tess, he remembered every minute of it, and the thought made him nauseous.

Alex looked over at Liz and Max and said sadly. “She did get him right where she wanted him. They were together, right Max?” he asked as Max nodded shamefully. “I don’t know how far they got, but I know that he didn’t sleep with her.” Alex smiled at Liz. “At least that’s what Tess pretty much said during another one of her visits.” Alex trailed off looking at Max. as he jerked his head up amazed.

“So how do you know they didn’t have actual sex?” Maria asked.

“She said s that she was unsuccessful at getting your DNA Max, which means that…umm.. how can I say this.. there was no way you could have gotten her pregnant.
She told me that you wanted to stop, before you went too far. That you told her you couldn’t do it, that you wanted to wait for Liz.” Alex said looking at them as they held hands. “She was really mad about it too.” He laughed.

Max shook his head. “No, I remember, I remember being with her, sleeping with her. How could it not be real?” Max looked around the room as everyone shrugged their shoulders. “Michael,” Max asked, “you said that when you and Maria slept together it was perfectly normal right?” Michael nodded.

Alex looked at Maria with a look of shock on his face. He so didn’t need to hear about her losing her virginity to an alien.

“Yeah” Michael nodded as Maria shot him a death glare.

“Well remember when I told you about Tess and our experience?” Max asked quietly.

“You mean the hour ..um..yeah” Michael cut himself off. Liz probably didn’t want to hear about Max’s hour long orgasm.

“Well, maybe that’s why that happened. Maybe we were there, and I went pretty far with her, but we never actually..you know.” Max couldn’t bring himself to say it with Liz sitting right next to him holding his hand.

“So you think that Tess started mindwarping you while you were fooling around, making you think you’d kept going, even though you actually stopped without doing the deed?” Kyle asked.

“It’s possible.” Max said quietly. “I woke up with her next to me, and we weren’t dressed, but like I said, I don’t know how far we actually got.” Max looked at Liz and saw her eyes fill up with tears. “I’m sorry.” He whispered in her ear and she nodded.

“So if that’s true, what about the baby Max saw?” Michael asked.

“Oh, Tess was pregnant, but not by Max. She knew she had to be pregnant when you all returned home, and since she was unsuccessful with Max, she slept with someone else, and was actually lucky enough to conceive.” Alex said looking at them, waiting for him to tell them who Tess had slept with.

“Well?” Maria practically yelled, “Tell us for God’s sakes!”

“According to Tess, she was pregnant by Rath.” Alex finished looking at all their mouths drop open at the same time. He smiled, sat back, and waited for the flood of questions to come in.
***********************************

After they all gained back their composure, Ava was the first to speak.
“He’s right, Rath came and told me that Tess and him killed Lonnie. He said that they were in love if you can believe that! They were all working for Kivar. It's one of the reasons they killed Zan” Ava said sadly. "Rath said Tess was going to have his baby, he was pretty happy about it too. He didn’t know she was using him. He had no idea she was going to leave him here to go back to our planet with Max.” she paused and then said, “Tess killed him too.” she finished sadly as Alex nodded.

“Yep, she made you think it was your baby Max, but it wasn’t.” Alex said, not missing the look of relief on Max’s face.

“I can’t believe that hag lived in my house! What a total bitch!” Kyle said as he rested his head into his hands.

“But if Tess never got Max’s DNA, how did they make his husk?” Liz asked wiping the tears from her cheeks. “And why did it look like that when we saw it earlier?

“Another one of Tess’s tricks. Alex said. “She thought she’d be little miss scientist and tried to alter Rath’s DNA. She figured if anything went wrong, she’d already be back on your planet, pregnant with a child she was planning on passing off as Max’s, and living in the palace with Kivar. By then, it wouldn’t have mattered if anything went wrong. She didn’t anticipate you guys figuring it all out.” He finished as he looked at Maria, Liz and Kyle.

“Max’s husk was not cloned from his real human DNA, so it started to disintegrate as it matured.” Ava said. "She manipulated it enough so the husk would have Max's apperance, but without her constant manipulations, it started to destroy itself. So after she left, it started to disintegrate."

“Wow” Maria said, “This is all so unbelievable.”

“Yeah” Michael said as he hugged her to him.

“Well, when we head back, we need to figure out where to go from here.” Max said looking around the room. “We have to do something about Tess and the Skins we saw this afternoon. They’re still going to be looking for us, and they’re not going to be happy when they figure out we destroyed their plan again. Kivar is going to be beyond pissed off. Plus we need to start working with Liz to figure out her powers and that kind of stuff.” Max finished, knowing they had a lot ahead of them.

“So let’s recap,” Liz said, “Lonnie, Zan, and Rath are all dead. Tess lost Rath’s baby on the journey home to your planet…”

“She did?” Alex smiled and Liz nodded. “Sad, but it serves her right.” Alex said.

“And Max never actually had sex with Tess.” Liz continued smiling at Max. “We destroyed all of the husks, blew up the barn in Copper Summit and found Alex and Ava. We found out that I’m also a hybrid, met Serena, and learned some pretty amazing stuff from two skins while hiding behind tanks containing our own bodies. Is there anything else we need to do before we head back to Roswell?”

“Yes.” Max leaned in and started to nibble on Liz’s earlobe, “Jacuzzi.”

Part 26

They all headed out to the motel Jacuzzi together, looking forward to the relaxation that awaited them. Max and Liz held hands as they walked, Liz sneaking a look at him every so often. She was so relieved. He hadn’t slept with that monster after all. It was bad enough that he had the memories of it, but at least they weren’t real.


Max looked over to Liz and smiled. He couldn’t believe how beautiful she was, and sometimes he still had trouble believing she felt the way she did about him. He was glad that it turned out he hadn’t slept with Tess, but he had fooled around with her quite a bit, and he would never forgive himself for getting into that situation. He was just happy that when he finally was with Liz, she would be his first. Just like he had always dreamed. He was going to make it perfect for her, and then he was going to make sure she could never leave him. Their senior year was coming up, and he wondered if they were too young for him to ask her to marry him after they graduated. He pushed the thought aside, content to just be there in the moment, and worry about everything else when they got home.



Alex and Isabel walked together, Alex’s arm wrapped around Isabel protectively. He had no real idea how she wanted to proceed with their relationship, but he was up for anything she wanted. He was just happy to see her, and to hold her in his arms.

Isabel rested her head on Alex’s chest. She felt so lucky to have him back. She never wanted to let anyone too close to her, for fear she would lose them, and she had lost Alex anyway. She knew she had to do what Liz had, and just be thankful for the time they had together, and to make the most of it.



Michael was carrying Maria on his back and she was whispering things into his ear. She knew what she was doing to him, and he loved every second of it. He once again told himself how lucky he was to have her in his life, to have let her in. He couldn’t imagine living a day without her. He knew he would do whatever he had to do so that she would always feel safe and protected. He never thought he could love anyone, but Maria brought the best out in him.

Maria laughed as she felt Michael’s neck grow hot and heard him groan quietly. She loved that she could get him so turned on, just by saying things to him. She was so happy that he finally allowed her to see him, and she told herself that no matter what, when they got back to Roswell, she was going to make love to him again. She could hardly wait.



Kyle looked around at all the couples and felt completely awkward walking next to Ava. Mostly he suspected, because she looked just like Tess. Her hair was a little shorter, and it had bright pink streaks in it, but he thought that was kind of cool. She had an accent, so just listening to her she didn’t really sound like Tess. He hoped they could trust her, in his gut he felt like they could. He wondered what his dad would say when he met her. Kyle hoped he wouldn’t have to go back to sleeping on the couch.

Ava walked along next to Kyle, looking at him occasionally out of the corner of her eye. He was really cute. Not cute like Zan was, but cute in a different way. He wasn’t really her type, too clean cut, and someone mentioned he was Buddhist, which meant she was probably not his type either. Still, she thought he was nice, and she remembered how he carried her into the Motel room and laid her on the bed gently as she tried to pretend she was still asleep. She wasn’t looking forward to going back to Roswell with them, but knew it was for the best. The Skins knew she was working with Max now, and if they caught her again they would kill her immediately.

They reached the Jacuzzi and were surprised to see that someone was there. It was already two in the morning, so they couldn’t imagine who it would be. As they walked closer, Liz recognized the figure that was sitting in the tub.

“Hi Serena!” Liz said as she threw her towel down on the lounge chair.

“Hey you guys! You’re up late.” Serena smiled.

“You too. What’s up?” Isabel asked, peeling her shorts and shirt off and revealing a black bikini. Alex stood rooted to the spot staring at her as she walked into the hot tub.

“Oh you know..work, parents, all the typical bullshit.” Serena said as she looked down at the water.

“Do you want to talk about it?” Isabel asked as she went to sit down next to the girl.

Serena looked at Isabel and then over to the rest of the group. “Nothing really to talk about. Just sick of this town, sick of school, sick of my parents and their crap. It’s like during the semesters at school I’m my own person, can do what I want, stay out until whenever I want, you know?” Isabel nodded. “Then I get back here for my breaks, and it’s like I’m in prison. I can’t go out on dates, I work my life away, and I have to be home all the time because there’s nothing to do, and my parents are super strict.”

Maria and Liz were eavesdropping on Serena and Isabel, while they were pretending to get out of their clothes. Maria raised her eyebrows at Liz and she nodded as she took her sweatshirt off. Max and Michael were undressed and heading for the Jacuzzi.

“Michael wait.” Maria whispered as Max and him turned around and walked back over to them.

“What?” Michael answered. “Are you two coming in or did we just come out here to stand around?”

“Listen to Serena and Isabel for a minute and tell me what you guys think.” Maria said to him and Max as she removed her shorts.

Michael nodded and looked at her bikini bottoms. They were blue, and cut like shorts. She took her top off to reveal a yellow and blue string bikini top. Michael inhaled deeply and started to kiss her neck. “Not now Michael, listen!” Maria commanded.

Max sat down next to where Liz was standing and ran his fingers up her leg causing her to immediately break out in goose bumps. He pulled her over so she was standing in between his legs and he started reaching around to unbutton her shorts and slide them down her legs. She felt his hot breath on her back as he hugged her to him, eventually pulling her down to sit on his lap. They listened.

“So, why do you even come home for breaks then?” Isabel asked nicely.

“I need the money, and like I told you guys, waiting tables is the only job I can get, that has the slow times that allow me to read.” Serena said.

“Well, why not go to another town and waitress, or stay on campus during the breaks?” Isabel asked her.

“I don’t know, there’s no one on campus during the summer, and the restaurants in the area where my school is are always packed. Plus, it’s way expensive there. I couldn’t stay in my dorm during the summer, and I would never be able to afford an apartment, even with a room mate.” Serena said as she ran a wet hand through her hair and sighed.

Liz looked at Max, “are you thinking what I’m thinking?” she asked him and he nodded. He got up and walked over to Michael, whispering something in his ear and he nodded too.

They all walked over to the Jacuzzi and stepped in, filling in the empty spaces around the bench. Max sat down and Liz immediately climbed on to his lap and he wrapped his arms around her waist. Michael sat down next to him and Maria sat on his lap. They all looked at Serena.

“Serena,” Liz began, “We couldn’t help overhearing, and we were wondering if maybe you would like to come back to Roswell with us?”

“I thought you guys were from Albuquerque.” Serena said, confused.

“Well, the preservation project we’re working for is based there, but we actually live in Roswell.” Michael covered quickly.

“Oh.” Serena said.

“Anyway”, Liz continued, “ My parents own a restaurant there, it’s a cheesy little alien themed place called the Crashdown, and we’re short a waitress. I’m sure they wouldn’t mind letting you stay in our extra room for the summer, and you could work with Maria and I at the Crashdown.” She finished waiting for Serena’s response.

Isabel nodded. “Yeah, it’s small town, but there’s stuff to do at least. You should come!” Isabel said as she nodded and smiled.


“Wow, that would be really cool, but I’m not sure if my parents would go for it.” Serena said.

“Well, why don’t you ask them?” Liz said, “You could follow us back tomorrow, if your car is working again.”

“Yeah, it was just a dead battery, my dad replaced it while I was in town today, so that no problem.” Serena smiled, “I think I want to go, I just have to convince then to let me out of their clutches for a couple of months. They don’t really need extra help here, so they might let me go. I’ll talk to them in the morning and let you guys know by lunch. Is that ok?”

“That sounds great!” Liz said excitedly.

They all smiled and nodded their heads as Serena stepped out of the Jacuzzi and wrapped herself in a towel. “See you guys tomorrow, and thanks a lot.” she said as she walked away.

When she was gone, Liz turned herself around on Max’s lap and started to kiss him. She leaned forward and whispered, “Thanks Max, I really would like to get to know her, even if the future you was sent by Kivar.”

Max kissed her neck and whispered back, “I know, it’s ok, we don’t have to tell her who we are. By the way, you didn’t ask Ava about what those guys said about strengthening our bond, how come?”

Liz smiled and quietly said, “I thought I should maybe talk to her in private, Alex and Kyle don’t really need to know what she’s going to say, I didn’t want to make anyone feel embarrassed.”

“Ok”. Max said as he kissed her neck again, “Let’s talk to her soon though.”

“Oh yes”, Liz said taking a deep breath, enjoying his kisses. “Very soon.”

Isabel looked around at Max and Liz, obviously engrossed in a private conversation, and Michael and Maria snuggling and kissing quietly and she looked around. “Umm, you guys, I don’t mean to interrupt, but has anyone seen Alex, Ava and Kyle?”

The four others looked up at her and then looked around. A second later they all heard a male voice scream, “Cannonball!” and a loud splash in the water, followed by a high pitched scream and a guy laughing loudly.

Isabel raised her eyebrows and walked over to the stairs of the Jacuzzi and stepped out, followed by Liz and Max, then Michael and Maria. She walked over to the pool area and immediately started laughing.

There was Alex, in the freezing cold water laughing, and Ava, whom Kyle had obviously thrown in the pool with all of her clothes on, laughing with him. Kyle was standing at the edge of the pool, completely dry and laughing hysterically.


Max and Michael looked at each other and then nodded. Together they ran up behind Kyle, picked him up and threw him in the pool in one swift motion. Isabel, Liz and Maria then looked at each other and smiled. The three of them ran up behind Max and Michael and pushed them into the pool quickly. Unfortunately for them, Max was able to drag Liz and Maria into the pool with him, and they all screamed as the cold water hit their skin.

When they looked back up to the side of the pool, Isabel was the only one standing there laughing and she was totally dry. Max, Kyle, Michael and Alex started to make their way towards the stairs knowing that it would take all four of them to get her in.

When she saw them coming, she started to run back towards the Jacuzzi, but they caught her and lifted her up. Max and Alex got an arm each, and Michael and Kyle each took a leg. She squirmed around relentlessly as they carried her back to the pool. “I swear Max Evans if you don’t let me go right now I’m telling everyone about…” She didn’t have a chance to finish because she was flying through the air on her way to the icy surface. She let out a blood-curdling scream as she hit the water and the guys stood on the side of the pool laughing. When she surfaced, she was laughing too, being a good sport about it.

The four of them jumped back in quickly and Max waved his hand through the water warming it up sufficiently. Liz swam over to him wrapped her arms around his neck and whispered, “I just love having a boyfriend that can do that.” as she leaned in to place her lips on his.


Part 27



The next morning they loaded the cars up and headed to “The Cuckoo’s Nest” for breakfast. They all slept well, Isabel and Alex sleeping in one bed, Maria and Michael in the other. Max and Liz slept on the floor together again, and Kyle slept on one side of them and Ava on the other. They were tired, and all fell asleep quickly, not waking until late morning.


“Hurry up,” Maria yelled, “we’re going to miss breakfast!” as she ran towards the restaurant.

“Geez, Maria, we’re coming, calm down!” Isabel laughed as they followed her and Michael.

“Well, I really feel like having breakfast, not lunch, and it’s already eleven.” She waved them on, “they stop serving breakfast at eleven thirty!”

“I don’t think it will take us a half an hour to get there.” Kyle said laughing and he glanced at Ava, who was smiling as well.

“Yeah, I think we’ll be okay.” Max said as he put his arm around Liz’s shoulder.

Liz smiled up at him and rested her head on his chest, wrapping her arm around his waist.
“I swear, that girl can eat more than anyone I’ve ever known!” Liz said as she looked over at Alex.

“I know,” Alex replied, “Remember in third grade when she volunteered to head up the bake sale?” Liz nodded and giggled.

“What bake sale?” Michael yelled from up ahead, glancing at Maria.

“Nothing, come on!” Maria said as she tried to drag Michael further away from the rest of them.

“Well,” Alex continued, “When it was time to start the bake sale, they couldn’t find the cakes, cookies or pies anywhere.” He laughed. “Then they found Maria in the janitor’s closet, surrounded by all the empty plates and pans!”

Everyone burst out laughing and Max turned to Liz. “Is that true?” he asked her.

“Yep, totally one hundred percent true!” Liz answered laughing.

Michael looked over at Maria. “That was you? Oh shit! I heard that story the next day at school! I didn’t know it was you!” Michael laughed hysterically.

“Yeah, but I wasn’t alone!” Maria looked over at Kyle and he shook his head silently telling her to shut up.

“Kyle was there too?” Liz doubled over in laughter looking over at Kyle’s horrified expression.

They all turned to look at Kyle and Maria explained, “Oh yes, he was there with me, pigging out on all those cakes and stuff! He just left before they found me!” Maria said pointing at Kyle.

Kyle looked at Maria like he couldn’t believe she told them that. Then he blushed and admitted, “Yeah, ok, I was there, but at least I was smart enough not to get caught!’ he laughed as Michael opened the door to the restaurant. “Now, come on let’s eat!” he laughed.

They all walked over to two tables and pulled them together to sit down. Max handed Liz a menu and she shared it with him as he passed the rest of them down for the others.

“Hey you guys!” Serena said as she came over to them. “So I’m all set for the summer!” she squealed happily.

“Yippiee! Liz said as she jumped up and gave Serena a hug. “My parents will be so happy that I’m bringing extra help back!” She released her from he embrace and sat back down.

“We’re leaving after breakfast, is that okay?” Max asked her.

“That’s fine, my shift just ended actually, and I’m all packed so just let me know when your ready to leave.” She said, “Oh and I know you guys have a few more people than you arrived with, so if you want, a few of you can ride with me.”


“Yeah”, Liz said, “these are our friends Alex and Ava. They were in Copper Summit with another group, but wanted to come back with us to Roswell instead of taking the bus back.”

“Great, well, anyone’s welcome! I’m going to go change and then I’ll meet you back here.” She looked down at her brown uniform. “ I can’t wait until I can wear a different uniform. This one’s so boring! I hope the ones at your place are more colorful” she smiled as she walked away

“Poor girl”, Alex said, “She has no idea that by this time tomorrow she’s going to be wearing antennas on her head.”

Liz and Maria nodded and laughed. “She also has no idea that she’s going to have to put up with the grumpiest cook in New Mexico!” Maria said as she planted a kiss on Michael’s cheek.

“I hope she likes it there. I’ll feel really bad if she ends up hating the place.” Liz said looking at Max.

Max smiled at her and said, “I wouldn’t worry too much, I’m sure she’ll love it compared to this place.


After eating, they all walked out to the cars and piled in. Liz and Max rode in the Miata again and Kyle and Ava rode in his car with Michael and Maria in the backseat. Alex and Isabel decided to ride in Serena’s white Ford Explorer, so they could snuggle together in the back seat.

They wanted to be back in Roswell by midnight, so they could crash at Maria’s house again, and enjoy their last night of sleeping with their significant others. Max and Liz led the way, and Kyle followed, with Serena bringing up the rear.


Part 28


They pulled into Maria’s apartment complex a little after midnight, totally wiped out. They had driven straight through, only stopping to eat dinner at Maria’s insistence. Max pulled into a parking spot as Liz lifted her hand off his leg, where it had remained for most of the ride back.

“Finally! I thought we’d never get here.” Liz said as she jumped out of the car.

“I know, that drive sucks.” Kyle said getting out of his car as well.

“It wasn’t so bad, I thought it was pretty.” Ava said smiling.

“That’s because you’re used to skyscrapers and cement, not desert.” Kyle said, “believe me, after you’re here awhile, you’ll hate it too.”

Kyle stretched and looked into his car. “Are you guys coming or what?” he yelled at Michael and Maria who were busy going at it in the back seat.

“Yeah, yeah., in a minute.” Michael replied, not at all happy with the interruption.

Alex and Isabel walked over to them and Liz asked, “Where’s Serena?”
Isabel looked at her and said, “She’s calling her parents on her cell. She wanted to let them know she made it okay.” Liz nodded.

Isabel turned to Max and asked, “So Max, what is Alex supposed to tell his Dad when he gets home? I mean everyone thinks he’s dead.”

Max thought for a moment and then said, “I think he should go home and just tell them the truth. That he was kidnapped, and that the kidnappers faked his death. Tell them it was a case of mistaken identity and when they figured it out, they let you go, but you never got a look at their faces or anything.” Max finished looking at Alex.

Alex and nodded and agreed. “I’ll go home first thing in the morning.” He glanced at Isabel and she smiled.

“I’ll fill my dad in on what went down, that way when your parents bring you to see him, which they will, he’ll know the story.” Kyle said. “In fact, I’m going to head home right now, since I really don’t need to spend the night.”

Max nodded and Ava shifted uncomfortably. Kyle noticed this and said, “Ava, if you want you can come crash on our couch. It’s up to you.”

“It’s ok, thanks though. I think I’ll just stay here with everyone else. I don’t want to freak your dad out or anything.” She answered and he nodded.

“So, where’s your place Liz?” Serena asked walking over and looking around.

“I live around the corner, but we all decided to stay here tonight since Maria’s mom’s out of town. I hope that’s okay?” Liz asked as she looked at her.

“Oh, that’s fine, I just didn’t know if I should get my stuff out of the car or not.” Serena said smiling.

“Umm, just grab a few things and leave the rest.” Liz said.

“Kyle, could you help me get my suitcase out of the back, it’s pretty heavy.” Serena said sweetly looking at Kyle.

“Umm sure. No problem.” Kyle stammered as he followed her over to the Jeep.

When they got to the back of her car, she opened it and said, “So did I hear that you weren’t staying here with us tonight?”

“Yeah, I thought I’d head home. I’m pretty tired.” Kyle said casually.

“Oh, yeah., I’m sure you’re completely wiped, I was just sort of hoping to have someone to talk to while all these cute couples were being lovey-dovey, you know?” Serena said as she dragged her suitcase over to the edge of the car.

Kyle looked at her. She was a knockout. Even prettier out of her waitress uniform and in tight jeans and a halter top. She was looking at him like she might be flirting with him, but he wasn’t sure what to make out of it.

“Well, Ava will be here.” He said not sure if she was actually coming on to him.

“Oh, that’s right. Well then I’ll be all set then won’t I?” Serena said sarcastically.

“What are you saying, that you want me to stay?” Kyle asked feeling it was better to get straight to the point with her. He wasn’t shy with girls, and this one seemed to be working at his speed. She was more forward than what he was used to, but she was a college girl. He could get used to it.

“Actually, that’s exactly what I was saying.” She said as she spun around and looked up at him with big blue eyes. She bit the side of her lip seductively and tilted her head to the side waiting for his answer.
She caught Kyle off guard and all he could manage to say was “Umm. Yeah, okay.” And she walked past him holding her pajamas and a toothbrush.

They walked back over to the group and Michael looked at Kyle. He could have sworn the guy was blushing. He squeezed Maria’s hand and she followed his gaze.

“So, let’s go in.” Michael said. “ Kyle, I guess we’ll see you tomorrow morning at the Crashdown?” he asked.

Kyle looked at Serena and she raised her eyebrows at him. “Actually, I think I’m just going to crash here. I’m pretty tired and I’m sick of driving.” He answered.

“You only live three minutes away Kyle.” Maria said, noticing the smile that Serena had gotten on her face at Kyle’s announcement. She just couldn’t resist.

Liz looked at Maria, it wasn’t like her to be so rude, well yes it was, but her comment still surprised her. She followed her gaze to Kyle and noticed Maria smiling at him and at Serena.

“I know.” Kyle answered, “I just thought it would be easier.” He stammered.

“Yeah.. uh-huh.” Maria said laughing as her and Michael walked towards her house.

Part 29

They all walked into Maria’s place and threw they’re stuff down on her couch. Maria glanced around and noticed the light on in Amy’s former office. Her mom had transformed it into Sean’s room the day the whole Tess thing happened, right before she left for the spa.

“Wait here you guys, Sean is home, let me go fill him in on what happened.” Maria said glancing around at her nodding friends. “Serena, you can sleep in my room, come on and I’ll show you where it is.” Serena nodded and followed her, glancing back at Kyle as she walked away.

“I’ll come with you Maria.” Michael said as he followed her to the back of the apartment towards Sean’s room.

“Who’s Sean?” Ava asked looking over at Kyle who was too busy watching Serena walk down the hall.

Liz saw Ava looking at Kyle and took it upon herself to answer. “Sean is Maria’s cousin. He’s staying here for a while. He’s the one who tipped us off to the fact that Alex might still be alive.” She whispered so Serena wouldn’t hear.

“Sean did?” Alex asked.

“Yeah, him and his two loser friends were hanging out in the cemetery when they saw those creepy skin guys take your body. He told us and that’s how we finally found you.” Isabel answered planting a kiss on Alex’s cheek.

“Well that makes sense. I guess I never thought of asking how your guys even found us. Kinda weird that Sean was involved huh? I mean he still doesn’t know about you guys right?” Alex said, directing his question more towards Max than anyone else.

“No he doesn’t and he’s not going too…” Liz answered trailing off as Max looked at her and then shifted uncomfortably.

Maria and Michael came back out of the back bedroom with Sean in tow. Sean immediately walked over to Alex.

“It’s good to see you alive and well man!” He said as he shook Alex’s hand.

“Yeah,” Alex said, I hear I have you to thank for it too. So thanks!” Alex said with a grin. as Sean nodded.

“Someday you’re all gonna have to tell me what that shit was all about.” Sean said as he looked over to the new people in the group.

“Sean,” Maria said, “this is Ava,” he walked over and nodded and shook her hand. “And this is Serena.” Maria finished as the other girl came back into the room. Sean went over to her and he shook her hand as well.

“Wow, you look just like that Tess bitch.” Sean said as he stared at Ava. “Sorry” he said as he realized how rude he sounded.

“Yeah, I know, she’s my twin sister. Don’t be sorry, she is a bitch.” Ava said as she glanced at her feet.

Sean looked her over and noticed she looked a little less snooty than Tess did. “I like you’re hair, the pink, it’s really cool.” He said shyly.

“Thanks. Tess and I have different um..styles I guess you could say.” Ava said.

“Yeah, that and the fact that you’re nose isn’t permanently cast upwards and you don’t appear to have a stick up your ass.” Sean said with a smirk.

“Well, she is a little stuck up.” Ava said and they all laughed.

“A little?” Kyle asked as Serena smiled at him like a little girl. God she was hot. He suddenly didn’t know if he should stay over.

“Anyway,” Liz said as she rolled her sleeping bag on to the floor. “We should all get some sleep.”

Max bent down and grabbed his and Liz’s backpack off of the couch, swinging one over his shoulder. He grabbed Liz’s hand and walked her towards the bathroom. “We are going to go get ready for bed. See you all in a few!” he said as he dragged her off giggling.
*******************************************

“So what’s the deal with them?’ Sean asked as he watched Liz and Max disappear from sight.

“They, my heart broken cousin, are most definitely back together.” Maria said putting her arm around his shoulders smiling. She was thrilled that she no longer had to worry about Sean and her best friend.

He shrugged her off and gave her a dirty look. “Like I care.” He said looking at Ava.

“Oh, ok.” Maria said giggling. “Michael, let’s go grab some sleeping bags out of the garage.” She rolled her eyes at him and they left the room. Michael barely heard her muttering something about there being “something in the water.”

“What did you say hon?” Michael asked as they walked out to the attached garage.

“Nothing.” Maria said. “ Did you see the way Kyle and Serena were acting?” Michael nodded and Maria continued, “and now it looks like Sean might be interested in Ava. I was just wondering if there was something in the water that was making them all get goo-goo eyes at each other.”

“Well, no one likes being alone.” Michael said as he spun her around and gave her a deep kiss. When he released her lips Maria smiled.

“You used to like it if I remember correctly.” Maria said as she nuzzled his neck.

“That was because I never knew what I was missing.” He replied kissing her neck.

Maria moaned as she melted into his arms. “Well now that you know, I hope you won’t forget.”

Michael whispered in her ear as she began to kiss his neck, ”Never, nope, uh-uh.”

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

“Kyle, you’re welcome to share Maria’s room with me if you want. I promise I won’t bite.” Serena said leaning in closer to him.

“Umm, ok, It’ll be pretty crowded out here anyway, I’ll just sleep on the floor.” Kyle said amazed at his restraint.

“Good, I have a reputation to protect.” Serena said with a smile.

Kyle nodded vaguely wondering exactly what kind of reputation she had.

“Grab your stuff, and I’ll lead the way.” Serena smiled seductively.

“Well, I better check with Maria first. Our parents are dating, so we have a kind of love/hate relationship. I better ask her if she feels comfortable letting me in her room.” Kyle answered.

“Ok, Suit yourself.” Serena said slightly irritated. She was looking forward to having him alone in the bedroom with her, even if it was just to talk.

“If she says it’s ok, I’ll be there in a bit.” Kyle said apologetically. He wanted to kick himself for even caring what Maria would think. She walked off and Kyle plopped himself down on the couch noticing he was the only one left in the room. He muttered to himself, “Figures. Alone again.”

****************************************
Isabel and Alex had retreated into Amy’s room, and crawled into bed, content to just lay together in silence, just absorbing the heat from each others bodies. Finally Alex had to ask her what he’d been wondering about since he first saw her again.

“Isabel?” Alex whispered, in case she was asleep.

“Mmm?” She answered quietly.

“I need to ask you something.” Alex said.

“Shoot.” Isabel answered in quiet husky voice.

“Remember the prom?” Alex asked as if she had forgotten.

“Of course.” Isabel said, “What about it?”

“Well, I just kind of felt that, maybe, our relationship was starting to move forward again, and then when I thought you were dead, it was like my life had ended too. I was just wondering how you felt about everything, starting from that night.” Alex blurted out.

“Alex, I love you.” Isabel said shyly. “I didn’t know it until you were gone. Until I though you were dead.” Isabel struggled to find the words as she felt Alex relax when she told him she loved him. “I know it now though.” She continued as she turned over to face him. “ I spent so long trying not to let you get too close to me, always keeping you at arms length, but it just made it worse. I know I can trust you Alex, and I’m ready to open myself up to you, and to be with you.” Isabel hesitated as fear consumed her. “Alex, do you still want to be with me?”

“Of course, oh God how could you think that I don’t?” Alex said as he ran his hand along her cheek. “I want to take it slow though.” He said as she nodded. “We’ve both been through so much. I want us to move at a comfortable pace for us. Is that okay?” Alex whispered.

“Yes, it’s perfect.” Isabel smiled. “ I’m not used to sharing myself openly, but I see how good it’s been for Max to have Liz and for Michael to have Maria. I want you to be the one I share things with Alex, please just be patient with me, it’s something I’ve never been able to do really well okay?” Isabel said as a tear rolled down her cheek.

“Of course. I love you too Isabel. You know that right?” Alex asked.

Isabel nodded her head and leaned in to kiss him.

**************************************
“So, what can I get you? Pizza? Ice cream? Anything you want, just tell me.” Sean said as Ava boosted herself up to sit on the kitchen counter.

“Well, how about pizza and ice cream?” Ava asked as she smiled at Sean. She thought he was cute, even cuter than Kyle. Well, more her taste anyway. He was that rebel, bad boy type like Zan was.

“You eat like Maria does!” Sean said, as she looked him thoroughly embarrassed. “No, I like it. It’s rare to find a girl who doesn’t just eat salad and diet coke. I hate that!” Sean laughed as he pulled the pizza out and went to get two plates. He glanced back at her black leather skirt and ripped tights. She was certainly cute, he thought.

“Yeah, well, I lived in New York for awhile, and we didn’t get a lot to eat so now…” she trailed off as he looked up at her.

“You didn’t get a lot to eat? What like you lived on the street?” Sean asked as he put the pizza in the microwave and turned to look at her.

“Under it actually.” Ava admitted remembering their little home.

“You and who else?” Sean asked surprised. “I mean I know “little miss goody- goody” Tess never would have survived there, so you must not have been with her.”

“No.” Ava laughed, “ She wasn’t there. We were separated years ago. She went to one foster home and I went to another. I’m what you would call the “bad one” of the two of us.” Ava laughed. “I was there with my foster brother and sister. They’re dead now. I’m all that’s left.” She said sadly.

“I’m sorry.” Sean said as he walked over to take the pizza out of the microwave. He handed her the plate and she smiled.

“Don’t be. I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. They did some things they shouldn’t have. Got involved with people they shouldn’t have. They got what they deserved in the end.” Ava said.

“Wow. You must have some wild stories. I’d love to hear some of them.” Sean said. “Would you maybe want to go somewhere tomorrow night? We could go to a movie or something.” He asked shyly.

“You mean like a date?” Ava asked surprised. She had never actually been on a date before, since she had always been with Zan.

“Well yeah. I mean if you want. Otherwise we could just hang out with everyone else I guess.” Sean said awkwardly.

Ava smiled. “No, a date would be..nice.” she said softly.

“Well, then it’s all set. Why don’t I meet you at The Crashdown at seven?” he said.

“Sounds fine.” Ava smiled and bit into her pizza.

“And hey, you can have my room tonight. I’ll sleep out here on the floor.” Sean offered.

“Thanks, “Ava said.” But I really would rather be around people. I don’t; like being alone.”

“Ok.” Sean said. “Maybe I could crash out here with all of you and Michael and Maria would want my room.”

“Or Max and Liz?” Ava said.

“No way.” Sean said as he bit into his pizza and walked over to the trash can to throw his paper plate away.

“Oh. Why not?” Ava asked.

“Let’s just say that I think Liz deserves better and leave it at that.” Sean said angrily.

“Ok.” Ava said as she noticed the look on his face. She would have to find out what that was all about. She made a mental note to ask Liz about it in the morning. “Well, thanks for the pizza, but I think you owe me some ice cream!” she laughed.

Sean turned around and smiled at her. “Coming right up!” he said as he walked towards the freezer. “Sorry but all we have is bubble gum flavor. It’s my favorite and since no one else was here…..” Sean trailed off and Ava interrupted him laughing. “What?” he asked smiling at her.

“It’s my favorite too!” She laughed as he pulled two bowls down and started to scoop the pink concoction.


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 6:53:56 PM
Part 30

“Oh god Max, we have to stop.” Liz said breathlessly as Max ran his hands under her shirt for the millionth time. “We have to, right now!”

“I know, but I ..just…can’t…make myself.” Max answered her with a deep moan.

“Max, I love you, and I really, really, really, want to keep going, but I refuse to lose my virginity in Maria’s bathroom.” She said as she kissed his neck.

“I know. Okay Liz.” Max said as he separated himself from her and helped her down off the counter.

They had gotten carried away from the moment the door shut. Max had lifted her up on to the counter and she had wrapped her legs around his waist, and they had proceeded to wreak havoc on each other’s bodies.

“The others are probably wondering what happened to us anyway.” Max said as he ran his hand through his hair.

“I doubt that.” Liz said. “Did you see the way Kyle was checking out Serena? And what about Sean with Ava?” Liz asked smiling.

“I don’t want Ava anywhere near Sean, do you understand that?” Max asked sounding like Ava’s father.

“Excuse me?” Liz said angrily at his tone. “Don’t use your “king voice” with me Max, you’re not in charge of Ava or Sean. They can do what they want.” She saw the angry look on his face and it made her madder. “I mean it Max, you let them do whatever they want, you have no right to keep them from becoming friends, or more if they choose. “Besides”, she paused. “How come your not worried about Kyle and Serena?”

“I just don’t like Sean. Ava deserves better.” Max said as he crossed his arms across his chest.

“And I’m sure that Sean feels the same way about you.” Liz replied.

“Why are you sticking up for him Liz? Do you have feelings for him or what?” Max glared at her waiting for her response.

“I can’t believe you even asked me that!” Liz practically yelled. “Yes, Max, I have feelings for Sean, that’s why I’ve spent the last three nights with you in a motel, and why I ran like hell to try to stop you from going home with that bitch, and why I saved myself for you. Yep, you caught me, I have feelings for Sean!” Liz threw her hands up and stormed out of the bathroom.

“Liz wait.” Max called after her as she flew past him. “I’m sorry, I know that sounded stupid.”

“You’re damn right it did.” Liz spat at him. “How would you like it if I asked you if you still had feelings for the manipulative tramp?”

Max stifled his smile at Liz’s description of Tess and kept his face serious. “ I would know that you were just being a jealous insensitive moron. Just like I was being. I’m sorry Liz. I didn’t mean to ask you that, I was just upset that you were sticking up for him. Sorry.” Max said as he walked over to face her.

“ I don’t have any feelings for him, not like that. I do consider him my friend though Max. He was there for me when you weren’t.” Liz tried to explain.

“Don’t remind me.” Max said.

“Well it’s true, and I consider him my friend, but that’s all. Besides, I would think you would be happy if him and Ava hit it off. Then you wouldn’t have to worry about him being after me anymore.” Liz said as she took his hands in hers and tried to ease the anger in his stance.

“That’s true I guess.” Max said, still not happy about the prospect of one of his own with Sean.

“Ava can take care of herself Max. Let’s just wait to see what happens with them and worry about it then okay?” Liz sighed as her anger completely dissipated. “Come on, let’s get some sleep.” She said as she pulled him by his hands into the living room.

When they reached it, they noticed the light on in the kitchen and Kyle sitting all alone in the dark on the sofa.

“Kyle?” Liz whispered through the darkness. “Is that you?”

“Yep, it’s me.” Kyle answered.

“Why are you sitting here in the dark all alone man?” Max asked as he squinted his eyes to try to see him better.

“Well, I was waiting for Maria to come back. Serena asked me to sleep on the floor of Maria’s room, but I don’t know where she is, and I don’t want to just go in her room without her permission you know?” Kyle said as he yawned.

“Where are Isabel and Alex?” Liz said glancing towards the kitchen.

“They’re in Amy’s room asleep I think.” Kyle answered. “Do you guys know where Maria is?”

Liz and Max both shook their heads. “Last time I saw them they went out to get some sleeping bags from the garage.” Liz said giggling. “I’ll go see if I can find her and ask her for you.”

“Thanks.” Kyle said as Liz walked down the hallway.

“So, where’s Ava?” Max couldn’t resist asking.

“ I think her and Sean are in the kitchen. I heard the microwave earlier.” Kyle said totally uninterested.

“Damn” Max muttered under his breath. He had hoped to be able to talk with Ava privately about Sean before she had the chance to be alone with him. He briefly thought about what Liz said, and thought that maybe he would wait to see what happened before freaking out.

Liz walked back into the living room smiling. “Kyle, Maria said you can go in her room, but if you touch anything in there she will make sure you “live just long enough to seriously regret it” were her exact words.” Liz laughed. “She also said thanks for asking before going in there. I think you may have scored big points with that move!”

“Great thanks Liz, see you guys tomorrow.” Kyle said as he practically ran towards Maria’s room.

Liz turned around and looked at Max smiling. “So, where is everyone?” she asked as she sat down and started zipping their sleeping bags together.

“Here, let me do that that.” Max said as he sat down next to her. “Alex and Isabel are in Maria’s mom’s room, Serena, and now Kyle, are in Maria’s room, Sean and Ava are in the kitchen I think, you and I are right here and Maria and Michael are..?” he stopped and waited for Liz to fill in the answer.
“Busy making out in the garage on an air mattress.” Liz said as she doubled over in laughter and her head fell on the pillow.

Max laughed too and looked down at her. Her hair had fanned out across the pillow and the moon coming through the window had fallen right on her face. He stared at her for a moment completely speechless.

“What?’ Liz said as she stopped laughing and smiled up at Max.

“Nothing. You’re just so beautiful.” Max said as he leaned down to kiss her. Their lips had barely touched when they heard someone clear their throat.

The light switch flipped on, completely ruining the romantic moment. Max turned around and glared at the doorway.

“Oh sorry.” Sean said as he looked at him and Liz smiling.

“Sean turn the light back off, you’re killing my eyes.” Liz said angrily.

Sean flipped the light switch again and the room was dark once more. “We hope you guys don’t mind, but we’re going to crash out here with you.” Sean said as he helped Ava to set up her sleeping bag.

Max rubbed his eyes and looked over at Sean. “Didn’t Maria’s mom give you your own room Deluca?”

“Yeah, and I offered it to Ava, but she said she’d rather stay out here with everyone, so I thought I would too. The more the merrier right?” Sean asked glaring at Max.

“Whatever. At least she had enough sense not to go in your room with you.” Max said.

“Give me a little credit Evans, I wasn’t planning on going in there with her. You know I do have some manners.” Sean said as he sat down on the sofa and looked at the sleeping bag where Max and Liz were.

“Oh really?” Max asked, “Is that why you climbed up on to MY girlfriends balcony the other night?” Max said as he started to stand up.

“Umm you guys..” Liz said also starting to stand up. “ I really don’t think this is the time to talk about this.”

Sean ignored her and answered Max. “Oh, is she your girlfriend now? What happened didn’t Tess give you what you were looking for?”

“Shut up Deluca, you don’t know anything.” Max said as he turned around to see Liz’s shocked expression.

“Oh yeah?” Sean yelled, “I know that she’s too good for you. You use her, you break her heart and then you come running back to her and expect her to just forgive and forget?” Liz started to say something but he wouldn’t let her get a word in. “I’ve got news for you Evan’s she might have forgiven you, but she won’t ever forget. Neither will I. You don’t deserve her love and for the life of me I can’t figure out why she gives it to you. You disgust me man.” Sean finished as Ava stared at him. She couldn’t help but wonder if he was in love with Liz.

“Whatever.” Max said, “You’re just pissed because you were hoping she would love you the way she loves me but I guarantee she never will. We have something you couldn’t possibly understand. You’re a loser.” Max said as he glared at Sean. “She does love me, so move the fuck on.”

“You’re a jerk Evan’s. You’re just lucky I’m a decent guy and I didn’t take advantage of the situation between you two, otherwise she wouldn’t be your conquest, she’d have been mine.” Sean said as Max lunged towards him knocking him over onto the floor.

“Oh my god, Max!” Liz said as she ran over and her and Ava tried to break them up.

“Stop! You guys, please!” Ava yelled as she pulled on Sean.

Soon they were all caught up in the fight and fists were flying everywhere. Ava felt someone’s crash against her cheek and it sent her reeling back towards the sofa, where she then hit her back and slumped over holding her face.

Liz was next as a fist hit her in the chest and she fell backwards against the coffee table, hitting her head on the corner and slumping over, dazed as blood poured out of the gash. Everything went black.

Ava looked up as she saw Michael standing in the doorway to the living room. “What the hell is going on?” he asked looking at Ava and the two guys fighting. Sean was landing most of the punches and Michael wasn’t surprised. The guy just got out of juvie.
He ran over and tried to break them up as Sean climbed on top of Max and started to punch him repeatedly in the stomach. Max guarded his face and took each blow in stride until Sean looked over to see Liz’s slumped form over by the sofa, and Ava’s shocked expression as she crawled over to where Liz ‘s form was lying.

He stopped hitting Max and allowed Michael to pull him off of Max’s body. It took Max a few seconds to realize he wasn’t being pounded on anymore and he opened his eyes and looked around. He saw Sean go over to Liz and bend down in front of her and he quickly got up to go over to her as well.

“Liz? Liz are you okay?” Sean asked as her looked at her face. Blood was pouring out of a giant gash somewhere on her head, but her hair covered wherever it was.

“I’m sorry.. I…” Sean trailed off as Max suddenly pulled him away from her and took Liz into his arms.

“Liz?” Max said as he ran his hands over her body checking for wounds.

Ava looked at Max and pointed to the blood coming out of Liz’s injury. Max looked down and noticed that his shirt was soaked with blood and Liz was barely conscience. “Shit!” he yelled trying to find her pulse. “Hold on Liz, just hold on baby.”

Maria, Kyle and Serena heard the commotion and came running in followed by Alex and Isabel. Maria ran over to Liz and Max and yelled, “What happened? Oh God, do something, she’s bleeding everywhere!” She looked at Max imploringly and silently begged him to help her friend. Max looked back at Liz and realized that he couldn’t take the chance of losing her. He looked up at Michael and over at Isabel and they nodded.

He placed his hand over her head wound and healed her. She laid in his arms silently afterwards, her complexion pale from loss of blood. Max looked around the room and his eyes finally rested on Serena and then on Sean who stood there completely amazed.

“Ok, you guys are going to tell me what the hell just happened and I mean right now!” Sean said. He was determined to get to the bottom of everything he’d seen since he arrived in Roswell.

Part 31

“Okay, you’re all nuts!” Sean said when Max and Maria finished telling him the whole story. They had started with the day Liz was shot at the Crashdown and told him and Serena everything up until what Max had just done, only omitting the Future Max stuff for another time. Everyone else had added bits and pieces to the explanation along the way.

Max looked over at Sean and said, “You can’t tell anyone Sean, I mean it. Same goes for you Serena, I’m sorry you got dragged into this.” He said as he turned to look at her.

“It’s okay. I believe you too. I’ve heard things about Copper Summit, and what you told me just confirms my suspicions.” Serena said quietly.

“What kinds of things?” Max asked as Liz started to stir in his arms.

“Well, I grew up right outside of that town and you hear things about the people
you know? Some of the kids at school had said that it was full of aliens, but they were just rumors so I didn’t think much about it. Then, I saw the flakes.”

“Flakes?” Sean asked.

“Yeah, you know, the skin flakes.” Serena said looking at Max. “The day that you guys must have destroyed their harvest, the skin flakes traveled for miles because of the winds. The news in our area even covered it. No one could say what it was, but now that you told me what happened, I know that’s what it was. They were so gross.” Serena shivered at the memory.

Liz started to say something as they all looked at her.

“What…happened.” She said quietly as Max looked down at her.

“You got thrown into the coffee table and cut your head open. You were bleeding pretty bad and I had to heal you again.” Max said gently.

“Heal me? In front of..?” and she pointed to Serena and Sean.

Max nodded. “I didn’t have a choice Liz. We just spent the last two hours telling them everything.”

“And?” Liz asked.

“Serena believes us, Sean thinks we’re nuts.” Max said smiling at her as he brushed some of the hair out of her eyes.

“Liz, is it true?” Sean asked, ready to believe whatever Liz told him.

Liz nodded and said, “Whatever they told you is the truth Sean, that’s why what Max and I have is so complicated.”

Sean nodded and looked at Ava, trying to change the subject. “So you’re Tess’ duplicate?”

Ava looked at him and said, “Yes, and I’m nothing like her. She was a cruel evil witch, and I’m not.” Ava tried to smile hoping that Sean wouldn’t be scared off once he knew that her and Tess had the same DNA.

“That’s cool.” Sean said casually.

“So now that you guys know. You have to swear not to tell anyone.” Kyle said. “My dad knows too, and he’ll do anything to protect them, including revoking someone’s parole if necessary.”

“No need. I won’t tell anyone.” Sean said, ignoring Kyle’s glance and focusing on Liz and Maria. He knew that if he told, it would put them in danger. He didn’t care about the rest of them, but Maria obviously loved Michael, and Liz loved Max, and he would keep his mouth shut to keep them safe.

“What about your parents?” Serena asked. “Do they know?”

“No one knows. Just all of us sitting here, and Kyle’s dad, the Sheriff.” Liz said as she tried to sit up.

Serena nodded and looked at Kyle. “Wow, so you were healed like Liz was huh?” she said to him smiling.

“Yep.” Kyle said proudly.

“Let’s go back to Maria’s room and you can tell me all about it.” Serena said as she took his hand and led him back to her room.

“Good night!” Kyle said to everyone as he followed her.

“Liz, let me take you over to your sleeping bag to lay down okay?” Max asked as he helped her up and over to her bag. He laid her head down gently on the pillows, checking to make sure he had completely healed her. When he was satisfied that she was okay, he planted a gentle kiss on her forehead and whispered, “Liz, I’m so sorry that fight happened. I was so scared when I saw you were hurt. We acted like such idiots and it was stupid. I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay. I’m fine, just a little headache.” Liz smiled slightly before getting a serious look on her face. “Max, you can’t keep being jealous of Sean like that. It’s dumb. You know I love you and only you right?”

“I know. I don’t even have the right to be jealous of what happened when we weren’t together, I just can’t bear the thought of you with anyone else.” Max said.

“Yeah..umm. I know how you feel.” Liz whispered as she pulled him closer to her and brushed her lips against his soft ones. “Which reminds me Mr. Evans, can you go ask Ava if she can meet me at the restaurant tomorrow for lunch. I have some things to ask her if you know what I mean.” Liz winked and Max smiled.

“Sure,” he said, “I’ll set it up for around one?”

“Sounds great. Thanks.” Liz said as she closed her eyes.

Max walked over to where the rest of the group was sitting. Maria and Michael were having their own conversation while Isabel and Alex tried to answer more of Sean’s questions. Max whispered Liz’s lunch request in Ava’s ear and she nodded her agreement.

“Well, if all the major issues are finished, Maria and I are going to resume our night’s sleep in the garage. Is everything cool?” Michael asked as he looked over at Sean and Max.

“It’s fine. We’re going to crash now too.” Max said. “Liz is okay, and I think Serena’s cool with everything. How about you Sean?”

“Yeah.” Sean said and nodded. “I’ll keep my mouth shut for sure. Liz and Maria mean too much to me to put them in any danger. That’s why I won’t say anything. You don’t have anything to worry about.”

“Good.” Michael said as Maria looked at him and mouthed the words , “Thank You.”.

Sean nodded and said, “Good night you guys.”
**********************************************

Maria and Michael walked back to the garage together hand in hand.

“So, do you think he’ll be okay?” Michael asked as he led her through the door.

“I hope so.” Maria said as she laid down on the air mattress and pulled him down next to her. “Sean’s pretty loyal, he’s no nark.”

“That’s true. I guess that would sort of make him look like a real moron considering that the people he hangs with have to trust him.” Michael said as he snuggled into Maria.

“Yeah, I don’t think we have to worry. But Michael, my mom and Jim are getting pretty close. How long do you think we’re going to be able to keep it from her if he knows and now Sean does too?” Maria asked as she looked at him suddenly.

“I don’t know Maria. I guess will keep it from her for as long as possible. We can’t tell her yet, we just can’t.” Michael said sadly, knowing how much Maria hated to lie to her mom.

“I know. Good night.” Maria said as she closed her eyes and hoped everything would be okay.”


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

The next morning Sean woke up early and left the house, leaving a note taped to Ava’s sleeping bag confirming their date for that night. Ava woke up and smiled when she saw it. After everything that had happened the previous night, she wasn’t sure if he would still want to go out with her.

She got up and walked into Maria’s kitchen opening the refrigerator to get some orange juice. True to the fact someone in the house was dating an alien, there was a half full bottle of Tabasco on the table, which she helped herself to. She looked up as she heard someone else approaching the kitchen. She was surprised to see that it was Kyle, and Serena wasn’t with him.

“Hey Kyle. How did you sleep?” She asked with a smile.

“Actually I didn’t. The floor is really hard in there.” Kyle said as he rubbed his back and jumped up to sit on the counter.

“You mean you actually slept on the floor?” Ava asked surprised.

“Of course. What kind of guy do you think I am?” Kyle asked, acting shocked at her innuendo.

“Well, I thought you were a typical one, but obviously I was wrong!” Ava laughed. “Sorry.”

“It’s ok.” Kyle said smiling. “Don’t think it didn’t cross my mind, it just wasn’t the right place or time. I’d like to get to know her first believe it or not.” Kyle said more surprised by this than Ava was.

“Get to know who?” Michael said as he too came into the kitchen and walked over to the coffee pot.

“Serena.” Kyle said shyly.

“Oh yeah man, good idea, get to know her. That way things won’t be weird between you two if something does happen.” Michael said and walked out of the kitchen.

Kyle watched him walk out and laughed to himself.

“What’s so funny?” Ava asked

“Nothing, I just never thought I’d be taking girl advice from Michael Guerin.” Kyle said laughing his way out of the kitchen.



Part 32 (NC-17)

Liz woke up with a splitting headache. She couldn’t believe she had to work an eight-hour shift today. She walked into the kitchen, surprised to see everyone sitting there drinking coffee and talking. She walked right past all of them and straight to the cabinet where she knew Maria’s mom kept the Tylenol. After downing two of them and a huge glass of water she turned around to see that Max was the only one missing from the kitchen.

“Hey where’s Max?” Liz asked as she looked around.

Maria was the only one who heard her and she looked up and pointed towards the back of the house. “He’s in the shower.” She yelled over everyone else voices.

Liz nodded and smiled. She walked out of the kitchen and over to her backpack and got out her clean clothes and her toothbrush walking purposefully down the hallway towards the bathroom.

She opened the door as she heard the water running inside. The steam poured out of the bathroom and she smiled as she walked in and set her clothes on top of the toilet seat.
She walked closer to the shower and paused, wondering what she was doing. She was sweet innocent Liz Parker. “Not anymore.” She said under her breath as she took off her pajamas and quickly brushed her teeth.

“Is someone in here?” Max asked as he felt the cool air from the door being open reach where he was standing.

Liz walked over to the shower and peeled back the curtain quietly, looking at Max’s back and bottom as he stood under the hot water and it cascaded down his body.

Liz stepped into the tub and stood behind Max. She leaned forward and ran her arm around his waist, pressing her lips, as well as her naked breasts onto his back. He jumped slightly at the touch and then he relaxed as he realized who it was. He leaned his head back and she trailed her kisses up his back and onto his neck, standing on her tiptoes to reach him.

Max turned around and faced her as she shied away from him, not sure if she was ready for him to see her completely naked, and in the light of day no less. She turned away from his gaze, and he could tell she was embarrassed suddenly so he grabbed her hand and took a step so he was right behind her, hugging her to him, and whispered in her ear “You’re the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen, and you don’t have any reason to be shy Liz.” He brought her body over to him so it was flush with his own and he took her hair and put it to one side of her neck. He then began kissing the other side, leaving a fiery trail along the way.

He reached around the front of her and cupped one of her breasts with his hand as he used his thumb and forefinger to tease her nipple gently. He kept his other hand on her stomach as she lifted her arms up and wrapped them around his neck, pushing her bottom into his hardness, desperately trying to be closer to him. She wished it was possible to just crawl inside him, and the ache in her body was growing desperate for his touch.

“Max..I..” Liz trailed off breathlessly as he ran his hand down along her stomach until it rested gently on her heat. The core of her body cried out to him as he complied and started to rub her most intimate of spots. A deep moan escaped her throat as she leaned her head back against his chest and let the warm water run down them. He continued to rub until she couldn’t take the feeling that had welled up inside of her anymore. He continued to please her as her moans increased and her body became rigid, suddenly exploding into a quivering climax, and she thought her legs were going to buckle under her, but Max was holding on to her tight. She had never felt anything like it. “Oh my God Max that was unbelievable.” She whispered. She wanted more, she wanted Max to make love to her, but they had to stop. She started to tell him so but he stopped her, knowing what she was thinking.

“Shhh. It’s okay, we’ll stop before we go to far. I just need to be close to you like this.” Max said as he stopped kissing her neck . “I love you.” He whispered as she felt his hot breath on her neck. She tilted her head up so her lips could find his, and as his lips brushed against hers, she parted her mouth as she always did, and began teasing him with her tongue.

Liz felt braver than usual, and Max made her more and more comfortable with her body as each second ticked by. She had never been naked with a guy before, but it somehow felt right with Max, and the sensations she was experiencing were wonderful beyond words. She needed more.

“Max,” she said, “I want you inside of me.” Liz was desperately trying to catch her breath as she reached behind her and took his arousal in her hand, running it up and down the soft skin.

“I know sweetie, I want that too, but we can’t. God it kills me to say that. We can’t until we talk to Ava.” Max said as he too was becoming breathless and desperate. “We better stop now.”

“Mmm-hmm.” Liz said as she suddenly turned around and dropped to her knees. Max stared down at her and said, “Liz, really, you don’t have to.”

“I want too. I love you Max.” Liz said as she grasped on to his hardness with her hand. “I’ve never done it though, so I hope it will be okay.” She said with a small smile.

The feeling of her hot wet hand on him made him groan, and all he could get his mouth to say was, “Umm, I’m sure it..will..be..fine.” he lifted his hands up and braced himself on each side of the shower as she took him into her mouth and began to run her mouth up and down his arousal, teasing the tip of him with her tongue as she pulled her head back, nearly releasing him from her mouth, only to greedily allow him to plunge back in before she repeated the motion again. She picked up her speed as he grabbed the back of her head with one hand, still using the other one to hold himself up. He could feel the mounting climax and he warned her, “Liz, I’m gonna..” and she continued with her motions, reaching up to touch him as well.

Max’s body shook as he exploded into her mouth and she drank him in. He slumped down on to the floor of the tub next to her, his legs not able to hold him up any longer, and he looked at her. “Wow, Liz.” Was all he could say as he pulled her into his arms and they sat in the tub, while the shower water continued to spray warm water onto them.

“I love you Max.” Liz said as she looked at him.

“I love you too.” Max said as he wrapped his arms around her tighter and breathed in her scent.
“We need to talk to Ava soon.” Liz said as she looked up at Max and he smiled at her.

“Real soon.” He smiled back before kissing her again.

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

Liz walked into the back of the Crashdown and over to her locker. She reached inside and grabbed her headband with her antennas on it and placed them on her head. She thought back to that morning and smiled. She didn’t even hear Maria come in until she was standing right in front her.

“Hello, earth to Liz, come in Liz.” Maria said laughing as she waved her hand in front of Liz’s dazed expression.

“Oh, sorry Maria. I was just thinking.” Liz said as she tied her apron around her waist and blushed.

“About this morning?” Maria laughed, as Liz’s eyes grew wide.

“What about it?” Liz asked as she turned so Maria couldn’t see her expression.

“Come on Liz, Michael and I heard you guys in my bathroom. You don’t have to be embarrassed you know. This is me you’re talking to. Probably the only other person on earth that understands.” Maria said as she put an arm around Liz. “So, did you guys go all the way?”

“No, we need to wait. I have to talk to Ava. You heard what those guys said about Max and I strengthening our bond?” Maria nodded. “Well,” Liz continued, “we have to find out what it means before we do it, but believe me, I’m ready.”

“I’m sure you are, especially since you know that you’ll be his first too.” Maria said smiling. “When are you going to talk to Ava?”

“She’d meeting me here at lunch to talk, I’ll fill you in later.” Liz said as she started walking out to the dining area.

“Great. Hey could you ask her something for me?” Maria said smiling.
“Sure. What?” Liz asked.

“Could you just ask her about birth control? I mean Michael and I were safe when we did it, we used a condom.” She blushed, “but I want to go on the pill, I just need to know if it will work the same way you know?” Maria finished.

“Yeah, I was wondering that too.” Liz said quietly. “I’ll ask her.” She paused and looked at the front door. “Come on, it’s time to serve the masses.”

Part 33

Liz looked at her watch and rolled her eyes. It was only eleven-thirty. She still had an hour and a half until Ava came to meet her for lunch. She couldn’t wait to talk to her. After what her and Max did in the shower that morning, she really needed to find out some details about what would happen if she slept with him. Not to mention Maria’s questions. Of course it didn’t help that Michael and Max had come in for breakfast an hour before, and still hadn’t left yet.

In a half an hour, Serena was due in for her shift. Liz’s parents were thrilled when she told them she had met a girl who wanted to work at the restaurant. While Liz was gone, another waitress quit to go to Europe with her boyfriend, so they were really short on help. They happily allowed Serena to stay in the other bedroom they had upstairs. Liz couldn’t wait to find out the dirt on her and Kyle, and she noticed Maria checking her watch often too. She wondered if Maria was interested in the gossip, or Liz’s meeting with Ava. Either way, she would get her answers by the end of the day.

Maria walked over to Liz and sighed. “I swear it is dead today. What’s going on? With crowds like this, I’ll never get my DVD player!”

Liz laughed. “I know. I’m so bored, but if we go hang out with the guys, my dad will have a shit fit.” She said.

“He should be more worried about the way Max is staring at you, then you talking to him!” Maria said as she looked at the guys. “I mean seriously Liz, what did you do to him this morning?”

“Nothing.” Liz said blushing.

“Give me a break, a guy only looks at you like that when he knows what he’s missing. Does he know what he’s missing Liz?” Maria asked wiggling her eyebrows.

“You heard us, you should know.” Liz said and laughed as she walked back over to the soda machine to get refills for Max and Michael.

“Oh no, I’m not going to let you go over there by yourself. I need an excuse to go see Michael too.” Maria said as she grabbed one of the cherry cokes from Liz’s hand.

“Fine, we’ll both go.” Liz smiled and looked at the watch again.

“Relax, she’ll be here soon enough.” Maria said as she passed Liz and walked towards Max and Michael’s table.

“Yeah, yeah, I know.” Liz said as she followed her.

When they got to the guy’s table Michael instantly pulled Maria into his lap and planted a kiss on her lips. Max looked up at Liz and smiled shyly. He wanted to do the same, but since him and Liz had just gotten back together, he wasn’t sure how she felt about public displays of affection with him yet.

Liz noticed Max’s uncertainness and shifted on her feet. She smiled at him and leaned into his ear.

“You don’t have to be shy with me Max. I know what you want, and I want the same thing.” She whispered.

Max blushed a deep red and then smiled. He wasn’t used to Liz being so forward and outspoken. She was being downright sexy. She had just told him that she wanted everyone to know about them, and he didn’t have to worry about her feeling uncomfortable.

“Liz, can I talk to you outside or in the back for a minute?” Max said.

“Sure,” Liz said sarcastically, “I think Maria can handle this crowd.”

“Yep, I think I can handle it.” Maria said as she pulled herself off of Michael’s lap and fixed her apron.

“Great, come on.” Max said as he grabbed Liz’s hand. “Is the back okay?”

“Actually, outside is probably better, since my dad’s in his office.” Liz said smiling.

“Okay.” Max said as he led her outside. When they got out the door, he led her around to the side of the restaurant where the alley outside her window was.

“What’s up Max?” Liz asked as he stopped and turned around to face her.

“I just want you to know that what happened this morning in the shower was really special Liz.” Max started. “I mean, it meant a lot to me that you wanted to be with me like that after everything that happened between us.” He said “Sometimes I still can’t believe you can feel the way you do about me.”

“Max, it meant a lot to me too. You made me feel…. unbelievable. I never imagined feeling so comfortable with a guy like that.” Liz said as she looked at the ground.

“I really love you Liz. I can’t even put it into words. I’ve never felt this way about anyone. Sometimes when I see you, you just take my breath away you’re so beautiful. Seeing you this morning… I can’t even describe what it did to me.” He said softly. “but I want you to know that we won’t do anything you’re not ready for, no matter what Ava tells you okay?”

“I meant what I said in the shower this morning. I want to make love to you Max. I’m ready. In fact,” Liz said as she looked at his deep amber eyes, “I’ve never been more ready for anything in my entire life. I want to be with you. I want to be so close to you that we feel like we’re one. Do you know what I mean?”

Max nodded and took her face in his hands. “ I know exactly what you mean, and I want that too, so much it actually hurts me sometimes.” He moved one of his hands to his heart and clutched at his black t- shirt. “I’m sorry I didn’t grab you and kiss you in there. I wasn’t sure if you wanted people to know about us yet, aside from the group I mean.”

“Are you kidding?” she asked, “I want everyone in this town to know you belong to me. Especially all the girls.”

“Liz, you have nothing to worry about. I’m all yours forever okay?” Max asked as he realized what that response had stemmed from and his demeanor instantly changed. He stepped away from her, leaving her feeling bear without his touch “You still don’t trust me do you? Is that why you want to sleep with me? So you can be sure I’m yours?” he was starting to get angry.

“Max, God no.” Liz said as she started to get scared at the way he was looking at her. “I told you, I want to sleep with you because I want to be as close as possible to you. I want you to be my first. I love you, and I want to show you how much.”

“But you don’t trust me do you?” he asked sadly.

“Well, I do. I just sometimes wonder if… “ she trailed off.

“What Liz?” Max asked.

“I just wonder if you would be with me if I didn’t know this huge secret about you. I mean, if you were just a normal boy in this town, and you hadn’t healed me that day, do you think we’d be together?” Liz asked quietly as her eyes dropped to her feet awaiting his answer.

“Liz, I’ve been in love with you since the third grade, don’t you know that?” Max asked trying to make her understand how much he loved her.

Liz nodded. “I know, you noticed me back then, from the flashes I saw, but …”

“But nothing. You’re my soul mate. It doesn’t matter what happened with that bitch. It was a trap. I love you, and I will love you forever. We were together in another life Liz. Our love is what we died for. I would do it again in a second. I don’t want to live if you’re not with me.” Max said starting to get frantic. “I can’t live without you, Liz.”

She looked up at him and saw the tears gather in his eyes. “I trust you Max, and I believe you.” She said quickly to put his mind at ease. “I didn’t mean to make you think that I was worried about you cheating on me or anything. Of course I know you love me. I’m just being stupid. I’m sorry, I don’t know what my problem is.”

Max’s face softened and he grabbed Liz around her waist pulling her as close as possible to him. He crushed his lips down onto hers and begged her with his tongue to open her mouth to him. She complied and he immediately began to kiss her deeply. He was passionate and slightly rough with her, like there was an animalistic need in him. A deep groan came out of his throat as he removed his hands from her waist and ran them up to cup her face in them. He continued to passionately kiss her as he moved one hand around the back of her neck, wrapping his fingers in her hair and pulling on it gently as his mounting need for her grew. She sensed his desire and pulled away gently.

“Liz, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to….” Max said as he backed away slightly.

“No don’t be sorry..I..I liked it.” Liz said, surprising herself ands him as well. “You’ve always been so gentle and restrained with me Max. Sometimes I wonder if I even turn you on still, the way I used to I mean.” Liz laughed.

“Don’t ever wonder that. It takes an incredible amount of restraint just to keep my hands off you. I guess I forget that sometimes you need to feel them on you huh?” Max said smiling.

Liz nodded and looked around the alley, making sure no one was coming. “Max, do you feel like it’s getting harder and harder to be away from me?” Liz asked as she stopped laughing and grew serious again.

Max rolled his eyes. “Are you kidding? Being away from you was torture before, but now it’s like I can’t breathe unless I’m in the same room with you, at the very least.”

“Me too. I wonder if this has something to do with us strengthening our bond and all that.” Liz said as she checked her watch.

“Maybe. What time is it?” Max asked as he saw her looking at her wrist.

“Twelve-forty.” Liz said quietly.

“Well, I guess we’ll know soon enough.” Max said. Then changing the subject he asked, “Hey, do you want to go over to Michael’s tonight and watch movies with him and Maria?”

“Sure.” Liz said. “They need to know what Ava has to say too. Maria asked me to ask her a few things.”

“Ok.” Max smiled. “I’ll pick you up at six then. Do you want to go out to dinner alone first?”

“That sounds great.” Liz said as she leaned in to give him a quick kiss. “I better get back.”

Max smiled and took her hand, leading her back to the restaurant. When they returned, Max took his seat at the booth where Michael was still sitting, while Liz walked over to Maria who was busy trying to show Serena how to use the milkshake machine.

“Hi Serena. How did you sleep last night?” Liz asked as Maria’s mouth dropped open in shock.

“Serena you don’t have to answer that hon.” Maria said in the girl’s defense.

“Come on Maria, you’re dying to know just as much as I am. Besides,” Liz said turning to Serena, “ if you’re going to hang out with us, and live here, you have to share the details!”

Maria looked at Liz again. “Ok, I don’t know who you are, but I would appreciate it if you could send back my best friend Liz Parker. You know, the one that doesn’t gossip, doesn’t do anything that would make someone blush, and the one who’s shy about sex?”

“Get over it Maria. This is the new me. It’s about time I started to have a little fun in life don’t you think?” Liz laughed as Serena looked at them like they were crazy.

“Well, I guess. You know, I sort of count on you to be the normal one remember?” Maria asked realizing what was going on. “This has something to do with Max and this morning doesn’t it?”

“Yeah Liz,” Serena said, “We tell each other everything so spill!” she laughed joining the fun.

Maria laughed as well and pointed her finger at Liz. “You know the last time you acted all crazy like this was when you and Max couldn’t keep your hands off of each other, even at school and you found the orb.” Maria said remembering back. “You lied to your parents and all that other shit just to be with him. What’s going on?”

“Well,” Liz started as she glanced around the restaurant. “I just feel like something wonderful is going on with Max and I. I mean outside just now, he pretty near attacked me, in a good way. It was unbelievable, and I actually loved every second if it.”

Maria nodded and smiled, her ponytail bouncing up and down. “I know what you mean. I love it when Michael gets all passionate and wild like that!” she looked at Serena. “What about Kyle Serena? Was he like that or was he more gentle and romantic?” she asked, her curiosity finally beating out her tactfulness.

“Well, I don’t like to kiss and tell, but since nothing happened, I can say without guilt, that I wouldn’t know!” Serena said as she shrugged her shoulders.

“What?” Liz and Maria asked at the same time and not very quietly. Max and Michael looked up and in their direction.

“Shhh!” Serena said. “Yeah. We stayed up talking until six this morning, and then he went home. Nothing physical happened, he’s a great guy. I think I actually like him.”

“You mean like him like a potential boyfriend?” Maria asked her eyes wide remembering how Serena bagged on the guys at her college.

“Yeah, can you believe that?” Serena answered. “I don’t know if he feels the same way though. I came on pretty strong last night, I pretty much just wanted to sleep with him.”

Maria and Liz looked at each other and then at Serena.

“What?” Serena asked under their scrutiny.

Maria raised her eyebrows at Liz and Liz nodded. “Well, this is really embarrassing. I mean you can feel free to say no or whatever, but since you’ve been with a guy before and all, do you think…” Liz stammered.

“I get it.” Serena nodded. “You ladies have some sex questions right? Some things you want to know but can’t ask mom?”

Liz and Maria nodded.

“Okay.” Serena said. “Have either of you done it yet?”

“I have, but Liz hasn’t. I’ve only done it once.” Maria blushed.

“Well,” Serena said, that’s the hardest part. No pun intended.” Liz and Maria laughed uncomfortably.

“So what do you guys need from me? Advice on how to please your men or what?” Serena asked as she picked up a tray off the counter and held it in front of her.

“Well, we want to go on the pill, but aren’t sure about how to go about it without our moms finding out.” Liz said as she glanced at Max across the restaurant.

“First you need to find out if that will even work with your men. You know what I mean?” Serena asked as they nodded.

“Ava is coming in like two minutes to sit down and fill me in.” Liz said as she straightened her antennas.

“Good.” Serena nodded. “So do you guys want to sit down and talk tomorrow night or something? Like a girls night?”

Liz and Maria nodded. “That would be great.” Maria said. “Is it okay if Isabel and Ava come too? I’m sure they can either contribute, in Ava’s case, or ask questions, in Isabel’s.”

“Fine.” Serena nodded. “Let’s plan on nine. Here okay?”

Liz and Maria looked at each other and at Serena and nodded. Liz heard the bell on the door jingle and turned around to see Ava wave at her. She held up her hand telling her to wait one minute and looked at the other girls. “Well, time to get some answers!”




Part 34

“Hi Ava, can I get you something to eat or drink?” Liz asked as she walked up to Ava.

“I could use a cherry coke.” Ava said smiling.

“Sure thing, be right back.” Liz said as she walked away and towards the soda machine. As she walked past Michael and Max’s table she heard Max whisper, “Liz.”

She turned around and stopped. “Yeah? What’s up?” she asked.

“Nothing.” Max said, “I just wanted to let you know that we’re going to take off now. I’ll be back at six to pick you up for dinner okay?”

“Ok. Bye.” Liz said as she leaned in to give him a quick kiss. “Where are you guys going?”

“Well, we’re going to go over to Alex’s and see if everything is okay. Isabel is over there with him and his parents. We thought we’d stop by and see how it’s going.” Max said.

“Okay-see you later.” Liz said as she walked off. Max watched her walk away and smiled.

Liz went back to her and Ava’s table with two drinks and a sandwich for herself. She sat down and got comfortable. “I really appreciate you meeting me Ava, I have some questions.”

“So,” Ava asked, “What do you want to know?”

“Well first of all, I want to know why Max and I are starting to feel like we can’t be away from each other for more than a couple of hours without feeling like we can’t breathe.” Liz said nervously.

“Yeah, I’m sure.” Ava said. “Liz, in your past life, you and Max met, fell in love and then you had his baby. Two of those things have happened in this life as well. History is repeating itself. Be careful Liz.”

“Ava, I really, really need to sleep with Max. It’s like I can’t even control what’s happening to my body. How can we be safe about it, and what will happen if we do?” Liz asked.

“Well, regular birth control will work,” Ava whispered, “but it’s the other consequences you have to be sure you want to deal with before you do anything.”

“What kind of consequences?” Liz asked.

“Well, for one thing, your bond will be stronger. I’m not sure how strong, but it’s possible that you’ll be able to connect with each other in every way.” Ava said.

“And that means?” Liz asked quietly.

“That means that you will be able to connect to each other even when you’re apart. At the very least, you’ll be able to hear him talking to you even when he’s across town, and same for him.” She said.

“And at the most?” Liz asked.

“I’m not sure. This has never been done, so it’s like you guys are an experiment. I would think at the very most, you’ll be able to feel all of each other’s thoughts, emotions, pain, everything. Like you’re both one person in two bodies. That’s what happened between Zan and I.” She said sadly.

“Ok.” Liz said nodding slowly. “Anything else?”

“Yeah Liz, your powers.” Ava said.

“What about them? I don’t have any yet.” Liz said as she took a bite of her sandwich.

“Yes you do. You just don’t know it. I know what your power is Liz and you’ve used it before.” Ava said.

Liz swallowed and looked at her shocked. “What do you mean?”

“The night I was here and you saved Max’s life in New York, you used your power. Isabel helped you because you didn’t know how to do it, but it was you Liz. When Max healed you, his essence connected with yours and he awakened your power.” Ava explained as Liz stared at her. “That’s what I meant when I said he’d changed you.”

“So explain to me how it works.” Liz said as she remembered going to New York and warning Max about the danger he was in.

“Ok.” Ava began. “You know how Isabel can dream walk?” Liz nodded. “Well what you can do is very similar, except you can project your image in real time, not dreams. People can be awake and perfectly conscience and they can see you, hear you, everything. Just like you’re really there. It’s called Astral Projection.” Ava explained.

“So when I saw Max in New York, I was really there?” Liz asked.

“Yep, but the cool thing is, you were still here too. It’s hard to explain, but you can be in multiple places at once. You could be here working, with Max at his house and shopping all at the same time. Of course that would take tons of your energy so I don’t recommend trying it.” Ava said smiling. “It does come in handy though if you’re in danger or something. They gave you that power so you could always stay in contact with Max, especially during the hours you sleep.”

“Why?” Liz asked as she envisioned sleeping in her bed at home, but being able to join Max in his bed too.

“Your bond will keep getting stronger, and during the time you sleep is when it gains the most strength since your energy isn’t being used for anything else. It only grows when you are together, so sleeping together is the perfect way to strengthen it, as well as your powers. Max can help you with them, and you will help him to strengthen his powers too.” Ava said. “Max’s powers have the potential to be one hundred percent stronger than they are now, but he can’t do it without your help. Your bodies know they need each other. That’s why you are having the feelings you are.”

“Wow.” Was all Liz could think to say. “How do you know all of this Ava?”

“I told you, Lonnie knew a lot about our planet, including everything her parents planned when they sent you all her. I mean Zan was her brother, so she was in on everything. I still don’t know how she remembered everything.” Ava said as she looked out the window.

“Ava, why were duplicates sent?” Liz asked.

Ava hesitated before answering. “Kivar created the duplicates to find you guys and deliver you all to him. He created us shortly after he found out what Zan’s parents had done. He sent us to New York on accident.”

“Oh.” Liz said quietly. “There’s just one more thing I don’t understand.”

“What?” Ava asked sipping on her drink.

“If Lonnie was short for Vialndra, and Rath and Zan kept their names, why is your name Ava if Tessaria was the name of Zan’s wife on your planet?” Liz asked staring at Ava.

Ava smiled and tears filled her eyes. “Because Liz, I’m not the duplicate, Tess was.”


Max and Michael had stopped by Alex’s house to see how everything was going, only to find that no one was home.

“Where to now Maxwell?” Michael asked.

“I don’t know. They must have taken Alex to see Valenti.” Max said. “Let’s go play some basketball.”

Michael nodded and they took off on Michael’s motorcycle towards the courts, Max hanging on to the back of the bike as Michael took off.

When they got to the park, they headed straight for the basketball courts, walking past the tennis courts on their way. Max glanced at the people playing tennis and stopped in his tracks.

“What’s wrong Max?” Michael asked as he waved his hand in front of Max’s face before following his gaze.

“What’s she doing here? I thought she was working until four and who’s the guy?” Michael asked as Max continued to stare at the girl playing tennis. She was wearing a short white tennis skirt, showing off tan legs, and a small yellow tank top, which bared her stomach. She was playing with a tall blond guy about their age who was wearing white shorts and a t-shirt.

“I don’t know.” Max said as he continued to stare. Their game had obviously ended and the girl walked gracefully over to the net as the guy shook her hand and planted a kiss on her cheek.

Max was livid. Why was Liz here playing tennis with some guy he had never seen when she was supposed to be working? He couldn’t figure out why she had lied to him and told him she was having lunch with Ava. He wanted some answers.

He walked over to the entrance to the court, as they walked out with their arms around each other. He walked over to her and grabbed her elbow as he spun her around, pulling her out of the grasp her friend had on her

“What the hell…?” she asked as he spun her around to face him.

“What do you think you’re doing?” she asked as she stared at Max’s deep amber eyes. “Do I know you?”

Max stared back at her. She looked exactly like Liz. Everything from her hair, down to her beautiful smile, which had now disappeared. She stared at him waiting for his response.

“Liz?” he asked in a hushed tone.

“Sorry, my names not Liz. It’s Lara. Lara Petersen. And you are?” she asked as the guy she was with stared at Max with angry eyes..

“Um.. Max…Max Evans. Sorry, I thought you were someone else.” Max said releasing his grip from her arm.

“Obviously.” Lara said as she managed a small smile. “Well, you couldn’t possibly know me because I just moved here.”

“Oh.” Max said. “From where?”

“New York actually. My dad was just transferred to this hell hole you call a town.” She said with detest in her voice.

“So you’ll be going to west Roswell in the fall?” Michael asked trying to break the tension.

“No. I’ll be attending private school.” She said in a snooty tone. “My father is an executive for a very important bank.

“Oh.” Max said quietly. “Well sorry to have bothered you.”

“No problem. See you around Max.” she said huskily as she turned around and took her boyfriends arm again and they continued to walk off the courts. She turned around once and stared back at him.

Max spun around and looked at Michael.

“That was too weird.” Michael said as Mix looked at him. “I mean she looked exactly like Liz, her voice even sounded like her!”

“Michael, that was more than just weird. “She’s from New York, and did you catch her name? Lara? As in Kilaara?” Max said putting two and two together, as Michael’s eyes grew big.

“What are you saying? That Liz has a duplicate just like we do?” Michael asked.

“Yep. That’s exactly what I’m saying.” Max said as he looked after the two walking away from them. “We have to get back to the Crashdown and tell Liz and I want to see if Ava knows anything about this.”


Part 35

Max and Michael ran into The Crashdown as Max searched Liz out with his eyes. He quickly ran over to the table where Ava and her will still talking and sat down next to Liz as Michael sat down next to Ava.

“Max!” Liz said startled.

“Sorry I didn’t mean to scare you.” Max said as he caught his breath.

“What’s going on? What’s wrong?” Liz asked as she saw the look on Max’s face.

“What’s wrong is that we just saw you at the park playing tennis with some blond guy.” Michael said, “Except it wasn’t you Liz it was girl named Lara.”

Liz looked at Max. “Oh my god, are you serious?” Liz asked.

“Yeah.” Max said as he looked at Ava. “She said she was from New York and that her dad just got transferred here. She told us he was a big wig at some bank.”

“Liz’s duplicate.” Ava said as she sat back and ran her hand through her blond hair.

“That’s what we were thinking.” Michael said.

“I should have known he made one.” Ava said.

“Who?” Max asked.

“Kivar.” Liz answered looking at him. Kivar made the duplicates. Tess was one of them. Ava is one of the original Royal 4.”

“He must have made a duplicate of Liz too. That explains her name. Chances are she doesn’t know who she is. She probably doesn’t have any powers either.” Ava said thinking.

“So how come you didn’t know about her?” Michael asked looking at Ava.

“She wasn’t with us in New York. She was probably raised by a loving family, just like Liz was.” Ava answered.

“So if you are one if us, how did you end up in New York and Tess here?” Max asked.

“Nasedo tried to teach me Kivar’s ways and told me that one day we would turn you guys over to Kivar but I couldn’t do it, so when I was eight he took me to New York to meet Lonnie and everyone else, then he took Tess and left me there.” Ava shrugged her shoulders like it was no big deal.

“So Kivar created a Liz duplicate and she was given to a regular family to be raised? What could Kivar hope to accomplish doing that? Michael asked.

“Maybe he was hoping that Max would find Liz’s duplicate and fall in love with her before finding Liz. Then Kivar could have had her turn Max over to him.” Ava said.

“So what am I supposed to do if I run into her at school or something?” Liz asked.

“Well, she said she would be going to private school so that shouldn’t be a problem.” Max said. “We’ll just have to keep our eyes open for her around town. She sounds like a spoiled rich kid, so I wouldn’t worry about seeing her at our hangouts.” Max laughed.

“Max, did she seem to know who you were at all?” Ava asked.

“No, well she was sort of flirty with me, but nothing unusual.” Max said as he looked down at the table.

“She was flirty with you?” Liz asked jealousy consuming her body. “What if she comes after you Max, and you think it’s me?” Liz asked.

“Liz, once I looked into her eyes, I knew it wasn’t you. Don’t worry.” Max said.

Ava looked at Max and Liz. She took a deep breath and leaned across the table closer to where they were sitting. “Liz, you guys need to strengthen your bond. Soon. I have a feeling you guys are going to need all of the powers you can get.”


Alex and Isabel walked into the Crashdown and saw Max, Liz, Ava and Michael sitting in one of the booths. It was obvious that they were having a serious conversation. They looked at each other and then headed over to their friend’s table.

“Hey guys what’s up?” Isabel asked as Alex grabbed two chairs from the table next to them.

“Hey Isabel. Hi Alex.” Liz tried to smile as she looked at her friends. “How’d it go with your parents Alex?”

“Good.” Alex said. “Great actually, of course they were beyond happy to see me. It was pretty emotional.” Alex said. “Then they took me to see Valenti and tell him the whole story, which went pretty smoothly since Kyle had already told him everything.”

Liz and Max nodded. Michael looked at all of them and stood up. “I’m going to go fill Maria and Serena in on everything. They need to know what’s up.” He said as he walked away.

“Why what’s up?” Isabel asked, seeing the strained faces of her friends. “Come on guys, spill it.”

“Well we just found out that Tess was actually the duplicate, Ava here is one of us. We also just found out that Liz has a duplicate.” Max said as Isabel and Alex stared at him.

“What?” Isabel nearly shrieked. “How did you find that out? Did you see her?”

“Yep, we went by Alex’s and you guys were gone, so we decided to go and play basketball. When we got to the park, we had a little run in with her at the tennis courts.” Max said.

“Oh Shit!” Isabel said, “Did she know who you were?”

“I don’t think so, at least she didn’t seem too.” Max said remembering the conversation he had with the girl.

“What’s her name?” Alex asked taking Isabel’s hand.

“Lara, as in Kilaara.” Max said.

“Oh my God.” Isabel said leaning into Alex. “So what do we do?”

“Well, we just need to keep our eyes out for her. Ava thinks she was raised like a normal kid like Liz, so she probably doesn’t know about her powers or anything.” Max said as he put his arm around Liz.

Isabel and Alex nodded and Maria and Serena came out of the kitchen and over to their table, followed by Michael.

“Wow, so Michael told us everything.” Maria said as she stood next to the table. “Is this like time to panic or what?”

“No, it’s fine. We’ll deal with it as it comes. In the meantime, everyone just act normal. If you see this girl, just avoid her at all costs. No talking to her, looking at her, nothing.” Max said as he looked at all of his friends. “Now, on to a more happier subject, Liz and I have a dinner date in about an hour.” Max turned and looked at Liz. “Why don’t you go up and get ready and I’ll be back then?”

Liz nodded. “Okay.” She gave him a quick kiss and scooted out of the booth.

“I have a date tonight too, so I also need to get out of here.” Ava said as everyone stared at her in shock. “What?” she asked.

“With who?” Maria asked.

“Well if you must know, with Sean.” Ava said shyly. Max looked over at Michael and saw that he was also concerned about Ava dating Sean. He had promised Liz he wouldn’t interfere though so he didn’t say anything.

“Cool.” Maria said as she looked at Max and Michael. “Have fun and don’t do anything I wouldn’t do!”

“Thanks. I’ll try not to!” Ava winked as she got up and started walking towards the door.

Maria realized that she had forgotten to ask Ava if she wanted to go to their girl’s night so she tapped Isabel on the shoulder and nodded towards Ava. Isabel stood up and followed her over towards the door, wondering what was going on.

“Ava wait up a minute.” Maria yelled after her as Isabel followed.

“Yeah?” Ava turned and asked her.

“Well, Liz and I wanted to get together with Serena tomorrow night and talk about girl stuff. So we’re going to do it tomorrow night. I wanted to ask you guys if you wanted to come. It would be great if you did.” Maria said.

“What kind of girl stuff?” Ava asked.

“Oh you know, nails hair, make-up, sex, food, movies..” Maria trailed off.

“Sex?” Ava and Isabel said at the same time with their eyebrows raised.

“Well yeah.” Maria said. “It’s not like we know what we’re doing on that subject and we thought that since Serena is sort of older and more experienced, she could answer some of our questions. Of course, Ava could tell us what she knows too.”

Isabel thought for a moment. She realized that her and Alex were getting pretty close now that they were back together. She figured it might not be a bad idea to get together with them and listen to whatever they would be talking about.

“Ok, I’ll be there.” Isabel said as she glanced at Ava.

“Me too.” Ava said, “What time?”

“Nine, here.” Maria said smiling.

“Okay, I’ll see you guys later.” Ava said.

“Bye.” Maria and Isabel said before they headed back over to the table.

“Ready to go Alex?” Isabel asked and Alex nodded.

“Where are you guys going?” Michael asked.

“We’re going to the mall. BCBG is having a sale!” Isabel smiled as Alex rolled his eyes.

“Then we’re going to see Artificial Intelligence at the theater. It’s our little compromise.” Alex said as Isabel rolled her eyes.

Michael laughed. “Well if you guys want to stop by my place later Max and Liz will be there. We’re going to hang out. You’re welcome to come by.” He said.

“Okay, thanks. See you guys!” Isabel said as she dragged Alex out of his chair.

Max looked across the table at Michael and Maria. “Liz and I are going to dinner, and then we’ll be right over.” He said.

“Sounds good.” Michael said as he turned to Maria. “Shall we head out?” he asked her.

“Sure, just let me go change out of this hideous outfit.” she answered pointing at her uniform.

“Okay, I’ll wait for you here.” Michael said smiling.

“Kay. Be right back.” Maria said as she bounced off to the back.

Max looked over at Michael. “I need to go too. I have a surprise for Liz tonight and I only have an hour to set it up. I’ll see you guys later.” He said as he stood up and walked out the door. He wanted to make sure this was a night Liz would never forget.
Part 36

Max pulled up to The Crashdown two minutes before seven and smiled as he saw Liz waiting for him inside. She looked beautiful. She wasn’t dressed fancy, but there was something in her eyes that radiated happiness. He hoped it was because of him.

He stepped outside of the car and shut the door behind him as he walked towards the restaurant. He looked up just in time to see Liz walk out the front door smiling.

“Hey, I was going to come in and get you.” Max said as he wrapped his arm around her waist and planted a long kiss on her lips.

“Mmmm.” Liz moaned slightly. “Well I saw you walking up to the door and thought I’d meet you halfway. Besides, my parents are inside going over the books. I thought I’d spare you from their wrath for now.” She laughed.

“Thanks.” Max whispered. “So, are you all ready for our date?”

“Yep. Am I dressed ok?” Liz asked as she glanced at her faded low slung blue jeans and her tight baseball style shirt that bared her midriff.

“Perfect.” Max smiled as he led her over to the car.

“Whose car is this?” Liz asked as she stepped up to the black Jeep Wrangler.

“It’s mine of course!” Max said opening the door for her and taking her hand to help her into the high vehicle.

“What do you mean? When…?” Liz rambled off as she settled into her seat.

Max walked around to his side of the car and hopped in beside her. “A client of my dad’s just got sentenced to five years in federal prison for tax evasion and they auctioned the car off. My dad had the heads up on it so he went ahead and brought it home for me today. I’m making payments every month to him until I can pay him back fully.” Max smiled as he shifted the Jeep into gear.

“It’s really nice Max. I have to say I was a little upset about Bob’s recent demise. This makes up for it though. What year is this thing?” Liz asked, running her hand up Max’s leg.

Max glanced at her hand traveling up his thigh and smiled. “Umm, it’s a ’99.” He said as he tried to keep his eyes on the road.

Liz nodded. “So where are we going?”

“It’s a surprise.” Max said cryptically.

“Oh come on. One little hint? Please?” Liz begged as she removed her hand from his leg and clasped them together in her lap like a little girl.

“Ok. Well it’s not a restaurant. That’s all I’m telling you.” Max smiled as he grabbed her hand and placed it back on his leg.

Liz smiled to herself as she looked over at Max. She watched as his strong arm peeked out of his short sleeve shirt. She loved watching him shift the vehicle, as the muscles in his arm contracted defining his masculinity. She turned quickly and looked out the window, removing her hand, afraid to have any part of her body touching him at that moment.

“So, what did Ava say?” Max asked, feeling her apprehension.

“She said we needed to be sure we wanted to face the consequences before we do anything.” Liz said turning to face him. “I’ll find out more tomorrow night, we’re getting together for a girl’s night.”

Max nodded. “We as in who?”

“Oh you know, me, Maria, Ava, Isabel and Serena. No big deal.” Liz replied.

“So what are the consequences, I mean besides the obvious human type?” Max asked, trying to sound casual about it.

“Well, for one thing she said that if we.. you know… we’ll strengthen our bond, being able to talk to each other through a mental connection and possibly stregthen it to the point of being able to sense each other’s emotions all of the time.” Liz said.

“All of the time?” Max asked. “Well, I guess that wouldn’t be so bad.”

“When I say emotions Max, I mean everything. Pain, anger, fear. Everything.” Liz said again, her voice unsteady. “Of course that’s worse case scenario, according to Ava. It could be that extreme, or just a more intense feeling of each other’s presence.”

“But she doesn’t know for sure?” Max asked. “How does that really help us?”

“Well, she said we are really the first of our kind, sort of like an experiment, she only knows what she learned from Lonnie a long time ago. She did her best to answer my questions.” Liz answered. “We just need to decide if were ready to be that connected.”

“Ok. Well, that’s something we’ll need to talk about some more. Did she tell you anything about your powers?” Max asked looking over at her, before turning the jeep down a dirt road off the main highway.

Liz looked around and wondered where they were headed. She trusted Max, so she wasn’t worried. She focused instead on the question at hand. “Umm, yeah actually she did.”

“And?” Max asked. “What did she say?”

“She said that I can do something called Astral Projection. Basically, I can be in multiple places at once.” Liz said looking at him.

“You mean like Isabel and dream walking?” Max asked nodding his head.

“No. Not really.” Liz started to explain. “When Isabel dream walks someone, they don’t know she’s there, she observes from the sidelines, unless she wants her presence known, like when she contacted you when you were captured by Pierce.” Liz noticed Max visibly flinch at the memories so she quickly continued. “When I do it, people can see me, here me, have a conversation with me, not knowing that I’m not actually there.”

“Like when you saved me in New York?” Max asked recalling Liz standing in the street yelling for him to get out of the way.

“Exactly. I didn’t know it at the time, but I wasn’t just dream walking you Max, I was really there.” Liz said as amazement filled her voice.

“But how did you know how to do it?” Max asked looking at her as he stopped the jeep and turned off the ignition.

“Well,” Liz began before trailing off. “Max where are we?” Liz asked trying to see out the window into the pitch-black night, completely losing her train of thought.

“In a minute. Finish what you were saying first. How did you know how to do it?” Max asked taking her hand in his.

“Well, I didn’t really. Ava told me that you changed me when you healed me, and then she told me to draw from Isabel’s power and so I thought she was the one doing everything. I didn’t know that I was the one actually doing it. I thought I was just helping Isabel.” Liz said looking down.

“Liz, you know, if you hadn’t of been there, I’d be dead. I can never thank you enough for saving me that night.” Max said as his eyes clouded over.

“I wouldn’t be alive either if it weren’t for you Max, I was just returning the favor.” Liz leaned forward and brushed her lips against his quickly. “Now where are we?” she asked excitedly.

“Well, let me show you!” Max said. “Stay right there for a minute. I’ll be right back.”

Liz watched as Max hopped out if the jeep and disappeared into the darkness. She thought about what Ava had told her about them needing to strengthen their bond soon. She was looking forward to the girl’s night they had planned for the next evening. She needed to know what she could expect with her first time. She hadn’t even really gotten to ask Maria about it yet. She hoped Ava could shed some more light on her powers and everything else. Just then Max appeared at her door.

Max opened the door to the Jeep and helped Liz out, grabbing a couple of extra sweatshirts out of the back seat. He doubted they would be cold, but wanted to make sure Liz was comfortable. He took her hand and led her through the darkness. When they passed the first group of trees, they came to a clearing. Max turned to face Liz and took her face in his hands.

It was easy for Liz to see Max now since her eyes had adjusted, but she still had no idea why he had brought her to the middle of the woods on a night with absolutely no moon to be seen. The only thing Liz could hear was crickets and the only thing she smelled was a strage mixture of trees and some sort of flowers. The pine was so overpowering it made it nearly impossible to figure out what kind of flowers though.

“Liz, I just wanted to bring you here to make us forget all the bad, and start again with the good.” Max whispered. “I know we’ve been through so much over the last year, but I haven’t for a minute forgotten the feelings we shared before everything happened, and I still feel the same way. Actually,” Max paused. “I love you even more than I thought possible. I want us to start our lives together, knowing nothing will ever come between us again. Nothing.” Max whispered as he brought her face closer to his and leaned in to kiss her.

He gently brushed his lips against hers and then stepped back, leaving her speechless. He raised one of his hands and waved it over the darkness in front of them, illuminating the darkness instantly.

Liz looked around and her mouth dropped open as tears filled her eyes. She reached up to wiped them away quickly, so the scene before her would be clearer. She covered her mouth with both of her hands as she took in the beauty of what was before her.

There were millions of twinkling gold lights hung from all of the trees, which now provided them with a soft hue of light. In the center of the clearing was a small table and chairs with a black tablecloth and candles in the center, along with a bottle of what looked like wine, but Liz figured it was sparkling cider. On each side of the table there was a silver dome covering a plate, and on each chair there was a seat cushion.

Liz looked to her right and noticed that there was a small rowboat, and they were on the edge of a lake. In various spots around the clearing there were tall stands with candles atop them, brightly lit, and next to the table stood another smaller table that held various other food items as well as a portable CD player. Spread out around the table were hundreds of rosepetals. Looking down at her feet she notcied thousands of them formed a path that led from where they were standing all the way to the table which must have been thirty feet away.

Liz uncovered her mouth and wiped her tears again as she looked at Max. “Max, I can’t believe..how did you…..?” Liz trailed off, unsure if she could trust her voice to finish.

“I had some help. What do you think?” Max asked quietly.

“It’s beautiful.” Liz said taking a deep breath. “It’s more than beautiful. It’s exquisite.”

“Come on, let me show you to your seat beautiful lady.” Max said as he took her hand and led her over to the table, both of them walking slowly over the rose petals. He noticed her hand was shaking as he took it in his. “Are you okay?” he asked her concern in his voice. “Are you cold?”

“No, no.” Liz said quickly wanting to put his mind at ease. “It’s just so beautiful. I’ve never had anyone go to so much trouble for me before like this.”

“Well, you’re worth it. Besides, like I said, I had help.” Max smiled mischievously as he pulled her chair out for her and then she sat down.

“Oh yeah?” Liz smiled. “Who?”

“You wouldn’t believe it if I told you.” Max said as he too sat down, and began opening the sparkling cider.

“Come on Max, I have to know who to thank tomorrow.” Liz smiled as he poured her a glass of the bubbly concoction.

“Ok, let’s toast to them then.” Max raised his glass and Liz followed suit waiting for him to begin the toast.

“To the little elves that helped me set up this beautiful scene so that I could have the pleasure of being with my soul mate, alone for one night.” Max began as he looked at Liz across the table. He saw the tears fill her eyes again and continued. “To Sean and Ava and all of the work they did.” Max tipped his glass to a Liz’s as her mouth dropped open in shock.

“Sean?” Liz asked as she put her glass down. “What did you do threaten him?” she laughed.

Max smiled as he listened to Liz’s laughter echo through the clearing. It sounded like music to him. “No, actually I asked Ava, and after I left the Crashdown earlier I came out here to get a National Park Pass, so we could come in the back entrance. I came to see how she was doing, and Sean was here helping her. Believe me I was as shocked as you.” Max smiled. “He was a really good sport about it. Shook my hand and everything.”

“Wow.” Liz manged to say as she picked her glass back up. “Well then, to Sean and Ava.” She said clinking glasses with Max and taking a sip of her drink.

“Shall we eat?” Max said as he stood up and lifted the silver domes off of the plates, revealing two steaks and baked potatoes.

“Wow!” Liz said as she stared at the plates. “Please tell me you didn’t make all of this yourself!”
“Nope. My mom helped me with these. She ran them out here just before we got here.” Max smiled and Liz could tell he was proud of himself.

“Max, I don’t know what to say.” Liz said as her tone grew serious. “Just when I think you are the most romantic, sensitive guy on the planet, you go and do something like this and surprise me. Why?” Liz asked.

“Liz, I don't do this to get on your good side or to impress you. You are my queen. Literally. We might not have been married in our past lives, but we will be in this one. I want to spend the rest of my life with you Liz.”

Liz started to say something but Max held up his hand. “I know, we’re too young, and don’t worry I’m not going to propose to you or anything.” Max smiled. “But I am going to one day. I do all of these things so you know how much you mean to me. I do them because I love you and I like showing you how much. You are everything to me Liz. Everything.” Max finished as he reached across the table and took her hand.

“Max,” Liz whispered. “You know that I want to spend the rest of my life with you too right?” Liz looked at him as he looked down at his plate. “Max, after everything that’s happened, I can’t imagine having to live my life the way I have for the last year. I need to be your wife someday Max. I need to be with you in every way.”

Max looked up at her and smiled at her words. “What did I do to deserve your love after all I’ve done.” He whispered in shame.

“You did what you thought was right at the time, just like I did. Tonight the blaming and pointing fingers stops. No more blaming ourselves for the things that have happened and no more blaming each other for the positions we were in okay?” Liz said as Max nodded slowly.

“I love you Liz.” Max said as he kissed her hand.

“I love you too Max, now let’s eat!” Liz said as he smiled and nodded. They both dug into their steaks ravenously.



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 7:00:07 PM
Part 37

Max and Liz spent the next forty minutes eating and talking. The reminisced about their old times while they ate, and when they were done, Max leaned over to the table holding the CD player and turned on some music. Liz’s eyes filled up with tears when she heard the familiar voice of Sheryl Crow and the song “I Shall Believe” fill the air around them.

Max stood up and walked around to her side of the table and held his hand out.

“Liz Parker, would you do me the honor of dancing with me?” Max said as he bowed his head slightly.

Liz wiped her tears away and smiled as she stood up. “But of course Mr. Evans, it would be my honor.”

Max led her away from the table a few feet and wrapped his arm around her bare midriff as she reached up to run her hands behind his neck. She rested her head on his chest and began running her fingers through the hair on the back of his neck.

This mad a slight moan came out of Max’s throat as he pulled her tighter. She rested her head on his chest and closed her eyes, inhaling the scent of him.

“I love you so much Liz.” Max whispered. He kissed the top of her head. “I wish we could stay like this forever.”

“Me too.” Liz said. “I love you. No matter what has happened in the past, or what will happen in the future, whenever you hold me like this it always reminds me of how safe I felt that night when the FBI was chasing us. The night you first told me you loved me.” Liz said as she leaned back and looked in his eyes. “Do you remember that? You were pretty out of it still.”

“Of course I remember!” Max said. “How could I forget? I told you that you were my destiny. Even though it took us awhile to get here, nothings changed. My destiny is still you Liz.”

Liz smiled and leaned in to kiss him. Her lips brushed his gently at first, then with more passion as he ran his hands up her back and under her shirt, trying to pull her as close to him as possible.

Max suddenly backed away from her and laughed. “Ok Liz, here’s the deal, and I don’t want you to take this the wrong way, but if we keep kissing like that, I can tell you right now that I’m not going to be able to stop. Maybe we should talk about what the next step in our relationship is going to be and what all the consequences are.”

Liz smiled shyly at him and put her hands behind her back. She bit her bottom lip and looked up at him with playful eyes.Max ran his hand over his face trying to remain in control.

“Ok Max. If that’s what you want.” Liz said seductively as she stepped forward and grabbed onto his shirt.

“Believe me it’s NOT what I want. I want to just take you over to that table and make love to you until neither of us can breathe, but unfortunately I can’t because of all of this alien bullshit. I need for you to tell me everything that Ava told you and don’t leave a single thing out.” Max said.

Liz smiled at what Max had just told her and blushed. “Ok, lets go sit down. She pulled on his shirt and led him over to the table, where she proceeded in explaining about their connection, the possibilities, and everything else she knew. She purposely left out the part about them needing to do it soon. She had surprise of her own in store for him.

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

“Maria, come on we have to stop.” Michael said trying to catch his breath.

“Why?” Maria asked just as breathless, in between kisses.

“Because I told Max and Liz to come over, and I invited Isabel and Alex too. Besides, I don’t have any …you know…protection on me.” Michael said nervously.

“I do.” Maria said.

“What?” Michael quickly pushed her away and looked at her.

“I have condoms. I brought them with me. I thought we could just keep them here.” Maria said. “I mean this is where we are most of the time right?”

“Yeah, but where did you get them?” Michael asked.

“Duh.” Maria said running her hands down the sides of her skirt trying to straighten it out. “I stole them from Sean’s room.”

“Oh.” Michael said. “Well anyway, people will be here soon, so we should stop.”

Maria stood up and walked into the kitchen. “Michael, what is your problem? What, am I only good enough to sleep with if you think you’ll never see me again?” she fumed. “I mean I’ve been trying to get you back in bed since we went to Copper Summit!” She walked to the fridge and pulled out a can of ice tea. She popped the top and drank the whole can in three giant gulps.

“No, I mean….” Michael stopped. He didn’t know what to say. “I just, I don’t know I just thought maybe it was still too soon.” He said.

“Too soon?” Maria repeated. “Why would it be too soon? We’ve already done it once, what’s the big deal?” she asked.

“The big deal is that I love you.” Michael blurted out. He stopped for a moment before continuing. “I love you Maria, and I don’t want this relationship to just turn into some sex starved, lust filled, typical teen age romance.”

“We are teenagers Michael. What’s wrong with being a little horny?” she smiled.
“I’m serious Maria.” Michael was getting angry with her. He stood up and went over to the window. “ I’ve never let anyone this close to me before. Sex changes things, and I don’t want anything to change. I don’t want to..no, I CAN’T lose you. You’re the most important thing in my life. Maybe even more important than Max and Isabel now.”

Maria walked over to Michael and wrapped her arms around him from behind. She leaned her face on his back and smiled. She hadn’t expected to ever hear that she meant more to him than his fellow hybrids.

“Oh Michael. You’re never going to lose me.” Maria reassured him. “Making love is not going to turn our relationship into the typical teen age romance, it’s just away for us to be as close as two people can get. I need to be that close to you Michael. I love you, and I’m not going anywhere. EVER.”

Michael nodded silently as he continued to look out the window.

Maria continued. “If you don’t want to then we won’t ok? No big deal. I’m not with you because your great in bed, I’m with you because of everything else I love about you.”

Michael smiled. “You think I’m great in bed?”

Maria slapped his back. “Don’t get to cocky Spaceboy, it’s not like I have anything to compare you to!” she said laughing. “Lets order some Chinese food, I’m starving.”

“Of course you are!” Michael laughed as he turned around and kissed her. “I’ll get the menu out of the drawer.”
***********************************

Ava looked across the table at Sean. He looked very handsome in dark jeans and a black sweater.

“Thanks again for helping me with the Max thing.” Ava said smiling.

“No problem.” Sean said. “So do you think Liz was surprised?”

“Yeah, I’m sure of it. It looked beautiful.” Ava said remembering.

“So girls really like that stuff huh?” Sean asked looking over his glass of Coke at her.

“Some girls do.” Ava said.

“Do you?’ Sean asked playing with his straw.

“Not really, but I’m not like most girls.” Ava said looking at him.

“Oh really? So what kind of stuff wins your heart?” Sean asked.

“Are you asking because your curious or because you want to impress me in the future?” ava asked raising her eyebrows.

“I don’t know. Both maybe.” Sean said shyly.

“Well, I’m from a big city, so I like stuff like motorcycles, certain types of hard rock type music, you know..not typical romantic stuff. Actually I don’t even like romance, I just have turn ons and turn offs.” Ava said

“Such as?” Sean asked.

“I like dangerous types.” Ava said looking at his face for any reaction.

“Really? Well, I wouldn’t have to do much to impress you then. I get in plenty of trouble all by myself.” Sean laughed.

“I said I liked dangerous types, not types that were in trouble. There’s a difference you know.” Ava said smiling.

“Like what?” Sean asked intrigued.

“Well, a guy can be hot, dangerous and exciting and still be responsible, have a job, and not in and out of jail.” Ava said.

“That’s true. You mean like being a good guy that likes to take chances in life?” Sean asked her interested in what she was saying.

“Exactly.” Ava answered. “Take me for example. I look like the original “Wild Child” but on the inside, I’m planning on getting a job here, paying rent, and going to school. There’s a time for fun and a time for responsibility.”

“Okay, so which ones the real you and which one’s the act?” Sean asked.

“What do you mean?” Ava asked confused.

“Ava, your either a bad girl or a good girl. You have all the looks of the bad girl but the goals of a good girl so I would guess deep down you’re a good girl that has been dealt a bad hand, so you’ve learned to hide behind the bad girl image, with the pink hair and attitude.” Sean said looking more closely at her.

“Yeah well, you don’t know anything about me.” Ava said trying to end their conversation.

“Yes I do, because I’m the same way. I’m in and out if juvie all the time, constantly hanging out with guys that get in trouble, but deep down I’m not like them.” Sean said. “Besides, I’d like to get to know you.” He reached across the table and took her hand.
“That is if you’d let me know the real you.”

Ava looked at him and thought a minute. “You know Sean, I like you a lot, but relationships with us can be very confusing. I mean just ask Liz and Maria.” Ava said. “I don’t know if it would be a very good idea.”

“I’m willing to take the risk. Come on Ava, just agree to go out with me again. We’ll just go one date at a time. No big deal.” Sean said stroking her hand with his fingers.

Ava looked at her hand. It had been so long since a guy touched her, and Sean’s hands felt so gentle on her skin. She nodded and said. “Ok. We’ll go out again.”

“Great.” Sean said and smiled. There was something about her that was just drawing him further in by the second. He didn’t know what it was about her, but he knew he needed to find out.

Part 38

Kyle sat as his booth in The Crashdown watching Serena work. She walked behind the counter and loaded up her tray with food and then stopped at the drink machine and filled up four glasses with soda. She placed them on her tray as well, and expertly carried them over to the four large men seated two tables away from him.

“Thanks baby.” One of the men said when Serena put down his burger.

“My name’s not baby.” Serena said as she shot him a nasty glare.

“Oh sorry honey.” He laughed as one of his fat friends gave him a high five.

Serena rolled her eyes. “Listen pops, my name is Serena and I would appreciate it if you would call me that.”

“How about you give me your number and I’ll just call you whenever and whatever I want?” one of the other men said while slapping her on the butt.

Kyle had seen enough, he wasn’t going to just sit there and let these old guys treat Serena like a piece of meat. He stood up and walked over to the table.

“Serena is everything okay over here?” Kyle asked looking at the four men in leather motorcycle jackets leering her.

“Yeah Kyle it’s fine.” Serena smiled.

“Yeah KYLE, everything’s fine. Serena here is just giving us some friendly service. Maybe if she’s lucky we’ll all give her a nice fat tip.” One of the men said through his graying beard, laughing.

“Look,” Kyle said. “She’s a waitress, not a hooker. If you want one of those there’s a place next to the highway that can help you out I think. Why don’t you all just finish your burgers and take off.”

“Well, well, well.” The fat one said. “It looks like Serena has a little boyfriend.”

“I’m not her boyfriend.” Kyle said glancing at Serena. “I’m just her friend, and I’m not going to allow you to torment her while she’s working.”

“Really? Well what are you planning to do about little boy?” The man that grabbed Serena’s butt stood up from his seat and towered over Kyle.

“Oh sit down.” Serena said as she pushed him back into his seat. “This isn’t some low life biker bar.”

“Hmm, our little Serena has quite an attitude.” One of the men said.

“Well I like them feisty.” The bearded one replied.

“Nah, too much trouble, they need to be able to keep their mouths shut for more than five minutes.” The one that had stood up said.

“Oh like it takes you longer than that?” the bearded one said again.

“Shut up man.” He replied. “You’re the one we call “speedy” remember?”

“Both of you cool it, the Sherriff just walked in.” The fat one said quietly.

“Well that’s our cue to leave.” The bearded one said as he tossed some cash onto the table. “This should take care of the bill, but no tip for you little lady. Your “service” could have been a lot better.”

The four of them got up and pushed Kyle aside as they headed for the door. Serena waited until she heard their motorcycles take off and counted the money and smiled.

“Idiots.” She laughed. They gave me a fifty and a ten instead of twenty and a ten. I guess I got a tip after all!”

“They shouldn’t have treated you like that Serena.” Kyle said looking at her.

“Please, I’m used to it. I worked at Hooters my first year at college.” Serena laughed as she started to walk away.

“Just because your used to it doesn’t mean it’s okay. You deserve to be treated nicer.” Kyle said looking after her.

“Yeah I guess.” Serena said. “By the way, thanks for what you did back there. It was really nice. I’m also not used to guys standing up for me.”

“No problem.” Kyle said shyly.

“How about you let me buy your dinner after I get off? I only have about an hour left on my shift. You could hang out if you want.” Serena suggested.

“Okay, but I’m buying.” Kyle said with a determined tone.

“Kyle, I just got a thirty dollar tip, those jerks are buying us dinner!” she laughed.

“Okay, when you put it that way how can I say no?” Kyle said. “I’ll just go over and sit with my dad for a few minutes.”

“Great, I’ll bring you a Coke.” Serena smiled as she walked into the back and Kyle headed towards the seat where his dad had sat down along the counter.

“Hi Dad.” Kyle said as he sat down next to him.

“Hey Kyle, how’s it going?” Sheriff Valenti asked, taking his hat off.

“Ok.” Kyle said. “Dad, how come some women let men treat them like dirt?” he asked.

“Well, Kyle there’s a different answer for every woman I suppose.” Valenti said. “I guess it depends on the woman. Are we talking about someone in particular? Maybe that cute new waitress?”

“Yeah, her name’s Serena. She was what made me ask, but she’s not the first girl I’ve known to be that way.” Kyle answered.

“Some women are just used to being treated badly because they don’t know any different. Maybe their dad’s treated their mom’s like that, or the men their moms dated were like that. Some women just don’t think high enough of themselves to put and end to the cycle, some just like it I guess. There’s tons of reasons.” Valenti pondered. “Maybe this girl has just never been treated right.”

“Is Amy like that?” Kyle asked.

“No, Amy demands that she be treated respectfully at all times.” Valenti laughed.
“That must be why Maria is like that too.” Kyle said. He wondered what Serena’s mom was like.

“Yeah, I feel sorry for Michael, he’s got his hands full with that one!” Valenti smiled as he took a sip of his coffee.

“That’s for sure!” Kyle said. Serena walked over and put a Coke down in front of Kyle and filled up Valenti’s coffee cup.

“Can I get you anything else Sheriff?” Serena asked wiping her hands on her apron.

“No thanks.” Valenti said nicely.

“Dad, this is Serena, she’s the girl that I told you would be staying with Liz and working here all summer.” Kyle said as Serena put her hand out. “Serena this is my Dad, Jim Valenti.” He took her hand and shook it.

“Nice to meet you Serena. So you’re staying upstairs then?” he asked, as she nodded.“Yep, never a dull moment over here huh?” Valenti asked, knowing that she already knew about Max and the others.

“So far, no.” Serena smiled. “Hey, do you guys think you could watch it out here for a few minutes for me? I’m the only one here, I really need to use the restroom!”

“Sure, no problem.” Kyle said as he spun around and looked at the two other tables that had people sitting at them.

Valenti turned his stool around as well and looked at Kyle. “So you like her huh?” he asked trying not to smile.

“What makes you think that?” Kyle asked him looking the other direction.

“Well, you don’t seem to be your usual cocky self when she’s around. Does she make you nervous?” Valenti asked.

“I don’t know.” Kyle mumbled and Valenti smiled.

“Yeah, she’s a bit older, maybe more experienced than most of the girls in Roswell.” Valenti said.

“Probably, but I’m not sure. I’ve dated some pretty wild one’s in this town.” He stopped talking suddenly remembering whom he was talking too. “You probably don’t need to hear about that.” Kyle said suddenly embarrassed by their conversation.

“No I probably don’t.” Valenti nodded. “Still, if you like her, just treat her nice Kyle, she’ll appreciate it even if nothing else ever comes of you two.”

“I know Dad. What if I want something to come of us though?” Kyle asked looking over at Valenti.

“Well then, you’ll just have to patient. Some of the best relationships start off as friendships. Remember that.” Valenti said. “Take it slow and really get to know her, let her really get to know you too Kyle. You’re a great guy, you’ve just never let anyone see that.”

“I let Tess see it.” Kyle whispered.

“Who?” Valenti said as he looked at Kyle. Kyle looked at him as he started smiling and they both cracked up.

“What’s so funny?” Serena asked walking up to the two of them.

“Nothing.” They both said at the same time and smiled.

“Well, I’ve got get back out there. Nice meeting you Serena, feel free to stop by our place any time.” Valenti smiled and placed his hand on Kyle’s shoulder for a second. “Don’t be too late tonight son. You’ve been out a lot lately.”

“Come on dad, it’s summer. Lighten up!” Kyle said laughing.

“Okay okay, see you tomorrow.” Valenti said as he put his hat back on his head and walked out the door of the restaurant.

Serena turned to Kyle. “He’s nice.” She smiled. “It must be a pain having the town Sheriff as your dad huh?”

“Not really. Actually he’s been a big help with the strange stuff.” Kyle said quietly as the bell on the door rang and signaled the last of the customers leaving.

“Mr. Parker said I could go ahead and go. Him and Mrs. Parker said they’d clean up.” Serena said. “If you give me a minute to change, we can head out.”

“Sure. I’ll meet you outside, that way they can lock up.” Kyle smiled. “I’ll wait in the alley out back so you don’t have to go out the back door alone.”

“Thanks Kyle, that’s sweet of you. But I carry mace.” Serena winked at him.

“Still, I’d feel better about you being back there.” Kyle said. “By the way, where are we going?”

“Well some customers that were here earlier told me that there is this fun little mexican restaurant right on the edge of town. I thought we’d go there.” Serena said raising her eyebrows.

“Yeah, I know the place. We went there after the winter formal at school last year.” Kyle said immediately regretting it. He wondered if he could have made himself sound any younger if he had tried. He stepped outside of the restaurant’s front door.

“Great.” Serena said sarcastically. “I’ll go get changed.” She rolled her eyes at him and shut the door, locking it behind her before disappearing into the back.

“Great start Valenti.” He muttered to himself while he headed to the back alley.
**************************
A half an hour later Serena and him were sitting at a table near the bar in the Mexican restaurant she had told him about. She seemed to have forgotten that he made an ass of himself earlier and they were having a pleasant conversation about Serena’s school and her classes. Kyle had found out that she was taking a few general courses, but mostly was concentrating on her major which was quantum physics. Kyle was amazed at how smart she was.

He was sitting there listening to her tell him about what she had been working on before the semester ended, when he glanced up and saw the strangest sight. Liz was sitting on a stool at the bar.

“Serena, would you excuse me for a second?” Kyle said, not wanting to draw to much attention to what he’d seen.

“Sure.” Serena smiled. “I’ll just order another round of “virgin” margarita’s.” she said smiling.

“Great.” He replied seriously. “I’ll be right back.” He stood up and walked over to the bar, where he could see that she was drinking out of a glass that was for alcoholic drinks. It was shaped like an hour glass, the non-alcoholic drinks were served in straight glasses. Her’s had a little umbrella in it.

He leaned into her ear and whispered, “What are you doing here?”

She turned around and threw her raven hair over her shoulder. “Well,” she drawled, obviously intoxicated. “I don’t know, maybe I was hoping to see you.” She looked at him from his feet up to his face, her eyes lingering on his crotch.

“Huh? Are you drunk.” Kyle asked narrowing his eyes to look at her more closely.

“Do you want me to be handsome?” she asked him.

“You are! You’re not old enough to drink!” Kyle hissed in a soft whisper.

“How do you know?” she asked suddenly angry.

“How do I know? What do you mean? I’ve known you since kindergarten!” Kyle spat at her.

“Oh so you’re from New York? Did we ever..you know..get together?” she asked smiling and glancing at his pants again.

“What? New York? What the hell are you talking about? It’s me Kyle, Kyle Valenti. Hello? What are you drinking Liquid Plumber?” he asked looking at her half empty glass.

“Well Kyle Valenti, I don’t remember you so I’ll introduce myself again, I’m Lara Petersen, and this town sucks. Although I have to say, between this place and the tennis courts I’ve met the cutest guys. I met a couple of hot basketball players earlier today. One of them had the most soulful eyes I’ve ever seen.” She said her words slurring. “Maybe you know him too. “I think he said his name was Max. Ever heard of him?”

Kyle stared at her, his mouth dropping open. He was about to ask her what she was talking about when he felt a hand on his arm. He turned around to see Serena.

“Come on Kyle, we’ve gotta go. Now.” Serena said as she pulled him away from Lara.

Lara stared at Serena with a nasty look. “Well maybe Kyle here wants to stay with me.” She said.

“I don’t think so.” Serena replied stepping in front of Kyle.

“Well I’m used to getting what I want, and I want him to stay so why don’t you take your bimbo ass out of here trash.” Lara said standing up and only coming up to Serena’s chin.

“Look bitch,” Serena said looking down at her. “You’re obviously drunk, so I won’t bother making a bigger fool of you by beating your sorry ass. We’re leaving.” Serena dragged Kyle away from the bar leaving a fuming Lara looking after them, to out of it to do anything.

When they got outside of the restaurant Kyle looked at Serena. “What the hell was that about?” he asked completely dumbfounded. “I thought you and Liz were friends!”

“Liz and I are friends, but like she said, her name’s Lara.” Serena said pulling her sweater on over her halter-top.

“Am I supposed to know what that means?” Kyle asked waiting for her to explain.

“No, you weren’t at the Crashdown this afternoon so you couldn’t possibly know what it means. That self centered little bitch in there?” Serena pointed at the restaurant. “ That’s Liz’s duplicate.”

Kyle stopped dead in his tracks and just stared at Serena waiting for her to fill in all of the blanks.

Part 39

Serena filled Kyle in on everything they had learned that afternoon as she sped along the streets of Roswell trying to get back to the Crashdown.

“So Liz has a dupe. God that was so weird!” Kyle said as he held on for dear life.

“We have to tell Liz we saw her, we also have to tell her that the bitch is asking about Max. She needs to know.” Serena said narrowly missing the rear of a red corvette as she changed lanes.

“Maybe we should tell Max instead.” Kyle told her closing his eyes to the oncoming traffic as she weaved in and out of the one lane road, passing people.

“Whatever, we have to tell both of them. What time is it?” Serena asked him.

“Twelve thirty I think.” Kyle answered as he tried to hold himself still enough to look at his watch.

“Liz said her curfew was at twelve, so she should be home. Do you want me to drop you off at your place?” Serena asked. “You obviously can’t come in, her parents would kill you.”

“Sure.” Kyle said relieved to see that she had slowed down slightly. “Hang a right and then a quick left at the next light. I’m the second house on the left.”

“Ok.” Serena said. “Hey, I was wondering if maybe you wanted to go out again sometime. Maybe to a movie?”

“Sure.” Kyle answered trying not to sound overly enthusiastic. “When did you have in mind?”

“Whenever.” Serena smiled as she pulled into his driveway.

“Ok.” Kyle said. “Thanks for dinner and the drinks.”

“No problem.” Serena smiled. “ Hey maybe I’ll see you around tomorrow. Do you play basketball?”

“Yeah, why do you?” Kyle asked sounding shocked, getting out of her car and shutting the door.

“Yeah why, you’re surprised because I’m a girl?” Serena asked through the open passenger window, enjoying his obvious frustration.

“No..I..” Kyle stammered feeling stupid.

“Great, I’ll see you on the court at one and we’ll see who the better player is.” Serena said quickly as she put the car in reverse and peeled out of the driveway.

Kyle watched her drive down the road and shook his head. He wondered how he had managed to insult her again, and why he got so flustered every time he was talking to her.

Serena got back to The Crashdown as quick as she could and quietly walked into the Parker’s house going straight to Liz’s room. Knocking quietly, she waited but there was no answer. She knocked again. Still no answer. She thought about going out to look for her, but figured she had missed curfew to be with Max, so it must have been a great date. She decided the information she had could wait until morning so she turned and went to her new room and went to bed.


“Max, what time is it?” Liz asked as she stood dancing with Max, the hundreds of gold lights flickering around them.

Max looked at his watch. “Twelve-thirty.” He said.

“Shit!” Liz said releasing herself from his grip and running towards the table. “My curfew was at twelve, my parents will kill me if they realize I’m not home.”

“Can’t you just do your little Astral Projection thingy?” Max asked coming up behind her and kissing her neck.

“No, I still don’t know how to do it.” Liz said. “I’m meeting with Ava tomorrow morning to start learning.”

“Oh ok.” Max pouted. “We better get you home then. Come on.” He started leading her back to the car.

“Max, what about all of this stuff? We can’t just leave it here.” Liz said as she pointed to all of the lights and tables.

“I’ll come back and clean it up after I take you home.” Max said. “Now come on, I don’t want you to get grounded.”

“Ok. I wish I could stay and help you.” Liz said apologetically as they reached his new car.

“It’s ok.” Max smiled. “It will only take me a few minutes.”

Liz climbed in the Jeep and fastened her seatbelt, as Max shut her door and ran around to the other side of the car. He hopped in next to her and a few minutes later they were heading back down the dark road towards town. They finally reached the back door to her house at 1 am and Max turned off his engine and went to open the door for Liz.

When he got to her side of the car, he opened the door and she started to get out, when she suddenly grabbed him and pulled him towards her. She wrapped her legs around his waist, still sitting on her seat and began to kiss him passionately. When she finally released his lips, she dropped her legs and smiled. “Thanks for a wonderful evening Max.” she said before pushing him aside and walking past him.

He grabbed her elbow before she got too far away and spun her back around to face him. “Hey, you cant just do that and then leave me here!” he said with his eyes wide. “I want some more thanks!”

“Max, you know I have to go in, I’ll be lucky if I’m not grounded for life after tonight. I promise though, I’ll make it up to you.” Liz looked up at him with an innocent smile.

“Tease.” Max said as he kissed her again, parting her lips with his tongue and making the kiss longer and deeper.

Finally she was released for his grasp and she giggled. “I’m only a tease if I don’t come through on my promise. We decided tonight that we should strengthen our bond right?” he nodded. “Ok then, I’ll find out more from Ava tomorrow night, and then I’ll make up for my teasing you.”

“Ok then.” Max smiled. “Sleep well then. I hope your conscience doesn’t keep you up.”

“Why would it?” Liz asked.

“Because you’re leaving me seriously turned on, and now I have to drive all the way back to the mountain to clean up!” Max said jokingly as she started to stick her key in the lock.

Liz laughed.“Bye Max!” she rolled her eyes at him and then blew him a kiss.

“Bye beautiful, see you tomorrow.” Max smiled getting back in the Jeep and starting the engine. He waited until she was inside before driving off. He headed back up the road leading to where they had spent the most magical evening of their lives together. Max hoped it was the first one in a long line of them.


Liz walked into the dark living room and started to creep up the stairs. She heard a click and instantly knew she was in big trouble. She stopped mid step and slowly turned around. The light in the living room had been turned on. She let out a sigh and turned around, retreating back down the staircase to the living room.

“A little late aren’t you honey?” her mom’s voice said quietly from the sofa.

“Sorry mom, but I was on a date.” Liz said apologetically.

“With?” Nancy asked, her eyebrows raising.

“Max.” Liz whispered looking at her feet. She knew her mom didn’t really like Max, in fact she was pretty sure she hated him.

“You mean “Max” as in the “Max” you disappeared all night with last year?” Nancy asked.

Liz nodded but didn’t say anything.

“And the “Max” that almost got you expelled from school?” Nancy asked looking at Liz.

“Yes.” Liz nodded trying to build her confidence before looking at her mother.

“When did you start seeing him again? We haven’t so much as heard his name since the beginning of the school year.” Nancy said standing up.

“That’s not true mom, we went to Prom together remember?” Liz said finally looking up at her mom.

“Yes and I remember Maria’s cousin bringing you home. So what’s going on?” Nancy asked.

“Why were you waiting up for me?” Liz asked trying to change the subject.

“I wasn’t. We got an important call from Aunt Lucy. Grandma Ruth is in the hospital. I went to wake you up to tell you to pack your things, but obviously you weren’t in bed.” Nancy said. “We need to be in Phoenix by late tomorrow morning, so we need to leave tonight. Lucky for you, your father is upstairs packing so you get to deal with me.” Nancy said. “Don’t expect for him to be too nice about it either Lizzie.”

Liz didn’t say anything. Grandma Ruth was her mother’s mother, and a mean nasty witch. She didn’t want to say that to her mother though so she said, “Mom, I can’t go to Phoenix with you, I volunteered to put in some time at the youth center this summer and I’m supposed to start tomorrow.” Liz lied. “Besides, I really need the extra money for school clothes. The semester starts soon.”

Nancy looked at her through slotted eyes. “Honestly Liz, I don’t know what’s gotten into you lately. Going away with your friends for days at a time and now you’re hanging out with this “Max” kid again.” Nancy shook her head.

“Mom, nothing is going on.” Liz said, deciding on whether or not to confront her mother about the lies they had been feeding her all of her life. She quickly realized it wasn’t the right time to get into it with her so she pushed it out of her mind. She would confront her when they got back from Phoenix. “I’m just trying to have a fun summer before school starts again. ou know, be a NORMAL teenager.” She shot her mom a look letting her know that she knew something was up.

Nancy immediately lost her nasty tone and said. “Fine dear, I know how you feel about Grandma, so you may stay here with Serena, work and do your volunteer thing.” Nancy acquiesced. “I’m telling you right now Lizzie, no boys in this house do you understand?”

Liz nodded and looked at her feet trying not to smile. “So how long will you be gone for?” she asked.


Nancy shrugged. “I don’t know, but I hope we can trust you with running the restaurant while we’re gone?” she asked.

“Yeas, you can. Serena and I can handle everything.” Liz said rolling her eyes. “I swear mom, I’m not a moron.”

“I know. Remember, no parties and no boys! Especially that “Max” character.” Nancy said before walking out of the room. She stopped for a moment and turned around to look at Liz. "I'll be calling to make sure your home by curfew every night." She turned back around and began climbing the stairs yelling out "We'll call you when we get there. Good night Liz."

Liz looked after her and said under her breath, “Yeah okay mom, I’m going to have the house all to myself but I promise I won’t let Max in! Whatever!” she smiled as she ran up to her room taking two steps at a time in her excitement.


She burst into her room and was surprised to see Serena sitting on her bed waiting for her.

“Serena, what are you doing here?” Liz asked throwing her coat down on the chair.

“Your dad knocked on my door right after I got back from my date with Kyle, he told me they were leaving for a few days.” Serena explained. “ Sorry about your Grandmother.”

“Don’t be, she’s total hag.” Liz said. “So what’s up? How was your date?” Liz asked.

“Fine, that’s what I wanted to talk to you about actually.” Serena began. “I was going to wait until tomorrow morning, but since we’re both up..” Serena trailed off.

“Okay, go ahead.” Liz said walking into her bathroom and taking her make-up off.

“Kyle and I met your Dupe.” Serena said watching her in the mirror from the doorway to the bathroom.

Liz stopped removing her eye shadow and stared at Serena’s reflection before whispering, “Where?” She turned around and walked out of the bathroom, Serena following her and both of them sat on Liz’s bed.

“We went to a little Mexican place for dinner, right on the edge of town, and she was there in the bar.” Serena said. “From the looks and sound of her she was, three sheets to the wind.”

“You mean drunk?” Liz asked amazed.

“Yeah.” Serena said. “She was also trying to pick up on Kyle.”

“Wait a minute, Kyle wasn’t; here this afternoon, oh my God! He thought it was me didn’t he?” Liz asked her face turning red.

“At first yeah, but then I explained everything to him, don’t worry.” Serena assured her. “The thing is Liz, when Kyle first approached her, she asked him if he knew Max. She sounded like she wanted to get in touch with him. I thought you should know.”

Liz nodded and looked at Serena. “So what is she like?” she asked quietly.

“Nothing like you Liz, the complete opposite.” Serena said.

“Yeah, all of the dupes are.” Liz said. “But what did she say?”

“Well, she tried to pick up on Kyle, telling him how cute he was, and then I stepped in and interrupted, which really pissed the bitch off. She’s a rich spoiled brat Liz.” Serena said summing up Lara’s personality as best as she could. “She actually told me she was used to getting what she wanted, and that she wanted Kyle to stay at the bar with her!” Serena said laughing. “Of course, I told her to step off, and we left.”

Liz nodded. “We need to find out everything we can about her Serena. We’ll fill in Maria, Isabel and Maria in tonight when they come over, and then we’ll plan on following her the next time we run into her, if we can’t find out where she lives before then.” Liz said.

“Liz, don’t you think we should tell the guys?” Serena said quietly. “I mean what if it’s dangerous?”

“I don’t think she knows who she is Serena. I don’t want the guys to know because. Well honestly I don’t want Max to be anywhere near her.” Liz said ashamed of her jealousy.

“Liz,” Serena said, “you know you don’t have to worry. Max said he knew she wasn’t you remember?”

“I know but still.” Liz said. “They would never allow us to do it by ourselves. We need to find out what’s going on, who she’s living with and if she has any contact with Kivar and we can’t do that with the guys.”

”Why not?” Serena asked. “Maybe the ticket is to get one of the guys to go out with her, you know that way they’d be able to get into her house and stuff.”

“You mean like date her?” Liz asked raising her eyebrows.

Serena nodded. “Yeah, you know, infiltrate the enemy and stuff. She’s obviously into boy’s Liz, and it might be the only way to really get information out of her. Come to think of it, I didn’t see her around any girls at all at the bar. Maybe she doesn’t have any friends that are girls. If that’s true she’s not about to just trust one of us.” Serena said.

Liz thought about it for a minute and realized she was right. “But who?” Liz asked.

“Well I think the choice is obvious..Kyle.” Serena said quietly.

“What?” Liz asked surprised by Serena’s choice for the job.

“Well, it’s not safe fore Michael and especially not for Max. Sean is not one hundred percent trustworthy yet, although he’s coming around. Alex is way to into Isabel to go for anything like this and I don’t really think he is her type.” Serena said nicely. “She obviously already likes Kyle and it will give her a major ego boost to know that he likes her after I took him away tonight.”

“Do you think he’ll do it?” Liz asked.

“Yeah, let me work on it. I’m pretty sure I can get him to do it.” Serena said. “I know he’ll want to help.”

“Ok then. Talk to him and we’ll talk more about it tonight.” Liz said nodding. “Do you think you’ll have a chance to see him today?”

“Yeah, we’re supposed to play a game of basketball after my morning shift.” Serena said.
”I’m working a split shift tomorrow, so I have to be back by three for the second one. I should know by then.”

“Okay, I’m off tomorrow. I’m meeting with Ava in the morning, then I have a doctor’s appointment. I should be back by four. You can tell me then, before the others get here so we can fill them in if he says yes.” Liz said.

“Sounds good. See you in morning.” Serena said as she let herself out of Liz’s room. She had no doubt that Kyle would be more than happy to help.

Part 40

Liz got up the next morning, showered and dressed, and peeked in her parent’s room before going into the kitchen for breakfast. They were gone and she was thrilled. She muttered to herself as she opened the fridge, “Real nice, don’t even poke your heads in to say good bye to your only daughter. Jerks.”

She poured some milk into her bowl of Rice Krispies and sat down at the table as she picked up one of her mom’s tabloid newspapers and leafed through it. Moments after opening it, her eye caught an article and she dropped her spoon into her bowl, sending milk splashing all over the front of her shirt. “Damn.” She muttered as she wiped it off with her hand. She stared at the article in the society section:

BANKING MOGUL KEVIN PETERSEN HEADS UP MAJOR BANK IN NEW MEXICO

Kevin Petersen of New York Commodities Bank has relocated to Roswell New Mexico to head up the new branch of New Mexico Trust and Loan along with his daughter Lara Petersen 17, who will be attending Newbury Private School For Girls before graduating with high marks next year. Mr. Petersen will be hosting a masquerade ball at his estate in Morrehead Commons on Saturday night by invitation only of course. He will be taking up his new position the following Monday and has said that he “hopes to bring a bit of class and high society to the sleepy little town of Roswell.”

Liz dropped the article and ran into the restaurant. She searched out Serena and when she found her she ran straight over to her nearly knocking over the giant tub of sugar that was sitting on the edge of the counter. When she reached her she was nearly out of breath.

“Serena.” She said quickly and took a deep breath. “We need to be sure Kyle will help us.”

“What’s going on? What’s wrong?” Serena asked putting the tray she was holding down on the counter and dragging Liz into the back of the restaurant.

“There was an article on Lara’s dad in one of my mom’s cheesy tabloids.” Liz blurted out. “They’re having a masquerade ball at her house on Saturday, we have to get Kyle invited. It’s the perfect opportunity, there will be so many people he could let us all in and since we’ll have masks on we’ll be able to do some serious snooping!” Liz said proud of her idea.
Serena nodded. “Ok, I’ll talk to him this afternoon about that too. You’re right, it would be a way to get at least a few of us in to look around.”

Liz nodded. “I can go too since no one will be able to see my face.”

Serena thought for a moment. “ Liz I think we should tell Max and the other’s. This plan is more dangerous. They need to know. We should try to take Max and Michael into her house with us.”

Liz shook her head and then changed her mind. “No way. I don’t want him there, I told you.”

“Okay then, but I think you’re making a mistake.” Serena sighed. “ I’ll let you know later as planned.” Serena said.

Just then Marcus from the kitchen stuck his head through the door. “Ms Parker? There’s a phone call for the manager, would you like to take it? It’s a Mr. Petersen.”

Liz looked at Serena and then nodded. “Yeah, thanks, I’ll grab it back here.” She walked over to the phone, and as she picked it up she saw Maria walk in to the room, and over to her locker. She saw the strange looks on Serena and Liz’s faces and ditched her antennas to go see what was going on.

Maria walked over to stand next to Serena and whispered, “What’s up?”

Serena held a finger up in front of her lips signaling Maria to be quiet and they listened to Liz’s conversation.

“Yes sir Mr. Petersen we do.” Liz said pausing.

“Yes.” Liz said.

“Of course, that’s a generous offer Mr. Petersen but..” she was obviously cut off.

“Yes, that would work I suppose.” Liz said on her end and paused again.

“Yes sir Saturday night then. I’ll send someone over to go over the menu with you. Would this afternoon be alright?” Liz asked as Maria was practically jumping up and down with anticipation and Serena was shaking her head trying to get Liz to call of the plans she was making.

Liz hung up the phone and turned to Maria and Serena. “Well, I’ll need you guys to work Saturday night, we have a catering job.”

“No way Liz, we can’t cater that party! It’s crazy!’ Serena said looking at her.

“Why? It’s perfect!” Liz said. “We get Kyle in there to keep her busy, and then we all cater and while no one is looking, we see what we can find!”

“No way Liz!” Serena said. “We can’t!” Serena said still shaking her head.

“What the hell are you guys talking about, fill me in!” Maria said confused.

“The guy that just called is Liz’s dupes dad.” Serena said. “He’s having a masquerade ball on Saturday night and Liz wants to see what we can find out about them. She thinks she’s Nancy Drew.” Serena said rolling her eyes.

“Hey you’re the one that said she was looking for Max!” Liz started to yell. “We have to find out if she knows who she is, besides, I need the money and he offered me way to much to turn down. Now we’re letting Marcus, Kathy and Agnes run the restaurant Saturday night and we’re all going to cater this party, got it?” Liz said looking at Maria and Serena who we’re shocked into silence.

“Ok.” Maria finally managed. “Are we telling the Max and Michael?”

“No way, it’s not safe, just in case she knows who she is. Ava and Isabel can’t know either. Besides, we’ll need Michael to help cook everything for the party, but then he can have the night off. I don’t want Max or the others anywhere near that place if I can help it.” Liz said. “Alex and Kyle can come, we’ll need their help. Sean’s too.” Liz said. “Now Maria, here’s his address. Go over and take a menu with you. He said he wants simple stuff, nothing we can’t handle. His original caterer fell though at the last minute and we’re the only option, so just come up with a plan with him.”

“Ok.” Maria said. “Liz, how are you going to go in that house? You look just like her, won’t that be a bit suspicious?”

“No, he wants us to come in costumes, complete with masks.” Liz said. “We should be able to handle the serving as well as some poking around her room and his office.”

“I still think we should tell the other’s Liz, we might need them.” Serena said. “I mean at least let Isabel and Ava come, I mean we were going to let them in on it before. They can change their hair color and wear masks too. They can even change your hair and stuff to make you less noticeable.”

Liz thought a moment and realized she was right. “Ok. They can come but I’m not changing my mind about Max and Michael. If Max even knew we were planning this he’d stop us and it’s something we have to do.”

Maria and Serena nodded. Serena seemed content in the fact that Liz had agreed to tell Isabel and Ava, and dropped the subject. “I have to get out there an open before people start throwing things threw the window. See you in a minute Maria?”

Maria nodded. “Be right out.” She turned to Liz. “are you sure this is a good idea Liz?” she asked.

“Maria, the girl straight out told Kyle that she was looking for Max. I have to do something. I can’t lose him again.” Liz said.

“Liz, you’re not going to lose Max to a dupe of you! He knows who the real you is and he’s not about to fall for that chick.” Maria said putting her arm around Liz.

“I know. I just need to find out why she’s here. For my own piece of mind Maria.” Liz hesitated before continuing. “Her dad’s name is Kevin, Maria.”

“So?” Maria asked.

“So..Kevin, Kivar? Ring any bells?” Liz asked.

“You think he’s Kivar?” Maria asked. “Is that possible?”

“I don’t know, but that’s what we need to find out. That’s why Max and Michael can’t come. It’s too dangerous!” Liz said running a hand through her hair.

“Then Isabel and ava shouldn’t come either.” Maria said. “Why did you agree to let them?”

“We need their help, we need to at least have a couple of people with powers, just in case. If we disguise them enough they won’t know it’s them. Max and Michael are guys, the most we could do is change their hair color.” Liz explained. “ Besides, any guys we bring will attract attention. Believe me, from what I’ve heard of this girl, she has “cute guy radar.” No one will notice any extra girls walking around, but guys, they’ll be noticed within seconds.”

“Ok.” Maria agreed nodding. “Why do I have to go to his house today though?”

“Well I can’t go and the only other person is Serena and she’s working a split shift today so I can’t ask her to do it during the only three hours she has off. Plus she needs to talk to Kyle. You’re the only one that can go. It’s too important to send anyone else Maria please?” Liz begged.

“Oh all right, but if I’m not back in a couple of hours you better come and get me out of there!” Maria said. “What time?”

“One. Don’t worry, everything will be fine.” Liz told her and Maria hoped to God she was right.



Maria walked up the cold stone steps of the mansion reminding herself to breathe every few seconds. She looked up at the house in front of her and got chills up her back. She had never seen such and ugly cold looking house. It didn’t help that the weather had started to get ugly, with a summer storm on the horizon and the black clouds overhead. She reached the door and held her breath as she grabbed the giant brass knocker and banged it on the giant wood door.



A wrinkled old man answered. He was so skinny Maria could hardly believe he was able to stand upright.

“Yes?” the man asked as he stared at Maria over a pair of wire framed glasses.

“I’m..umm.. Maria..I’m…ummm..here to see…umm..Mr. Petersen. I’m..umm.from The Crashdown.” Maria stammered out nervously.

“Oh yes of course, right this way.” The butler said as he let her through the door and began walking through a large marble hallway. “Mr. Petersen will be right in miss. Have a seat.”

He pointed towards a giant wood tale that must have seated fifty people at it and took up nearly all of what must have been the dining room. Maria took a seat and looked around as the butler left the room and slid two giant wood doors together leaving her alone. Maria took a deep breath and nervously began to chew on one of her fingernails.

A moment later the doors flew open and a girl was standing in front of her. Liz’s duplicate. Maria inhaled sharply at the resemblance of the girl to her best friend. She tried not to act too surprised. She had seen dupes before, and knew they were as different from the real people as you could get.

“Hi.” Maria said as she smiled a fake smile at the girl.and noticed she was wearing a tennis outfit complete with a white pleated skirt, white sweater and even a pair of those ankle socks with the little balls on them.

“Hello. My name’s Lara Petersen. My father sent me down to meet with you first. See this ball he’s throwing is for me.” She said with her nose in the air.

“Oh really?” Maria asked. “I didn’t know that. My name’s Maria.” She said. “ So did you want to look at the menu?”

“No I’ll just tell you what I want.” Lara said. “I want enough Beluga to feed an army, some of those little finger sandwiches and a bunch of truffles.”

“Sorry, but we’re more of a burger and fries type of place.” Maria said trying to hold back a smile.
“Oh.” Lara said. “Whatever, just do whatever you do then. My dad told me the other caterer backed out, so I have to try to be nice to you. I guess he couldn’t handle the job.”

“Well we could do standard finger food like pigs in blankets, and then a buffet of different items including some salads and chicken and stuff.” Maria said.

“That’s fine.” Lara said. “I’ll just rough it. I won’t be eating anything anyway, my dad has invited nearly every boy in town, so I’ll be amazingly busy.”

Maria tried again not to smile.

“Maybe if your lucky, I can cast off the one’s I don’t like to you and your little helpers in the kitchen.” Lara said snidely.

“Thanks but I have a boyfriend.” Maria said starting to find this girl insufferable.

“Well, bring him then.” Lara said, a twinkle in her eye. There was nothing she liked better than other girl’s boyfriends.

“He has to work, so I’ll be coming solo thanks.” Maria said. Just then the doors flew open again and the man that Maria assumed was Mr. Petersen walked in.

“So.” His voice echoed through the cold room. “Did you two figure everything out?” he asked smiling.

“Yes father.” Lara said. “We’re going to be having salad and chicken.”

“Fine then. I’m Kevin Petersen.” He leaned forward to shake Maria’s hand. Maria shook it and chills ran up her spine making the hair on the back of her neck stand straight up. This guy was creepy.

“Noice to meet you. Maria Deluca.” She managed to say.

“Deluca, Deluca..” he repeated. “Ah yes your mom makes all of those funny little alien related items.

“Yes.” Maria said turning three shades of red.

“Well nice to meet you, and you’ve met Lara already, so I guess we’re all set then. Do you have any questions?” he asked.

Maria shook her head. “No I think we’re all set. What time would you like us here?”

“The party starts at nine, so be here by seven thirty to set up.” He said. “I’ll get you a few parking passes, how many do you need?”

“Oh about four or five I guess.” Maria said. “Oh and how many people are you expecting?”

“Ah yes I guess you do need to know that don’t you?’ he asked. “About one hundred and fifty.”

Maria nodded. “Okay thanks, see you then I guess.” She said standing up and shaking his hand feeling the chills run up her spine again.

“Nice meeting you Maria.” Lara interrupted. “I’ll show you out, I’m heading down to the tennis courts right now anyway.”

“Lara we have courts here and a machine, I don’t know why you have to go down to that park it’s absolutely dreadful.” Mr. Petersen said following them out the doors to the hallway.

“Dad, I want to play against an actual person not a machine.” Lara said. “Plus all the cute boys play basketball down there. One in particular that I want to invite to the party.” She whined.

“It looks like rain so come home by the time it’s dark. Also I think we already have enough boys coming to the party don’t you?” he asked as she opened the front door and stepped out, with Maria following her.

“Ok father whatever.” Lara said sounding annoyed.

He closed the door behind him and left Lara and Maria standing outside of the house on the cold stone steps.

“Bye. Nice meeting you.” Maria said as she turned to walk back into her car.

“Whatever.” Lara said as she walked off towards the garages.

Maria saw her a few moments later racing down the road in a black Porsche, narrowly missing an old lady walking her dog. “What a crazy bitch!” Maria said to herself as she slowly navigated her mom’s Jetta down the street.


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 7:07:36 PM
Part 41

“Hey Max.” Serena said as Max sat down in his favorite booth.

“Hey Serena is Liz back yet?” Max asked looking around the restaurant.

“Nope, I haven’t seen her since this morning.” Serena said. “Can I get you something to drink?”

“Yeah, I’ll take a cherry Coke I guess.” Max said.

“Okay. Be right back.” Serena said as she headed off in the direction of the soda machine.

Liz walked into The Crashdown totally exhausted. She had no idea that practicing her powers would be so draining. She saw Max sitting with his back towards her and headed over to his booth.

“Hey honey.” She said as she sat down across from him.

Max’s face lit up at the site of her. “Hey. Why are you sitting over there? Get over here!” he said as she climbed out of her seat and plopped down next to him. “How was practice?” he asked planting kisses on her neck.

“Really tiring. I don’t know how you do it.” Liz said. “Plus I made like zero progress.”

“It is exhausting, that’s why I’m always out of energy after I use my powers.” Max whispered as he continued to kiss her neck. “It’ll come to you though.”

“Ah I see you found her.” Serena said putting down his drink and a bottle of Tabasco.

“Yep, thanks.” Max said not taking his eyes off of Liz. Serena laughed and walked away looking at her watch. The first part of her shift was over and she needed to go talk to Kyle. She gave Liz a “thumbs up” and headed in back.

“So,” Max asked, “Did you get busted last night?”

“Sort of.” Liz said. “My mom was waiting up for me. My Grandma is in the hospital. They left to go to Phoenix some time in the middle of the night. They wanted me to go but I told them I was going to stay here. I made up some pathetic story about volunteer work and the Youth Center.” Liz said. “I swear I’m going to rot in hell for that one!”

“Well, I’m a youth.” Max said starting to kiss her neck again. “You could work on me.”

“Very funny.” Liz teased as she kissed him.

“So your parents are gone then huh?” Max asked with a twinkle in his eye.

“Yep.” Liz looked at him. “ Max, are you sure you want to go through with the bonding thing? I mean hearing each other’s thoughts would be weird, but actually experiencing all of each other’s emotions? Is that really something we want?” Liz asked suddenly nervous about the prospect.

“Yes it is what we want.” Max said. “Besides, we don’t know if that’s what will happen. I just know that we need to be close. As close as possible. Why don’t you still want to?” he asked the smile fading from his lips.

“Yeah I do.” Liz said seeing how upset she had made him. “I guess I’m just scared that’s all.”

“It’ll be okay, as long as we love each other everything will be okay. I promise.” Max said. “I do have some bad news though, and I’m really bummed out now that I know your parents are gone.”

“What?” Liz asked.

“I have to break our date for Saturday night. My dad has a new client and we have to go to their house for dinner. My dad said it’s a “command performance.” I’m sorry.” Max said.

“Oh.” Liz said. She had completely forgot about their plans for Saturday night. She was secretly relieved that he had to go out with his parents.

“I’m sorry, but I promise I’ll make it up.” Max said smiling as he started to kiss her neck again.

“It’s okay. We got a catering call this morning, I’ll just work the party.” Liz said trying to be as honest as she could.

Max looked at her. “ You’re going to do a catering job without your parents being around to supervise?”

“I don’t have a choice, the people were in a real bind. Besides, if I can pull it off, I can keep the money from the job, after I give Maria and the others their share.” Liz admitted.

“Oh, who else is working it?” Max asked.

“Well, it will be Maria, Ava, Serena, Alex, Kyle, and now me I guess. I was going to ask Isabel, but now I won’t.” Liz lied. “Of course I thought we had plans, so I wasn’t going to ask you.”

“What about Sean?” Max asked.

“Oh yeah him too I guess.” Liz said. “I need all the help I can get. It’s supposed to be pretty big. I’m still waiting to get the final numbers from Maria.”

“Great.” Max said, running his hand through his hair trying not to appear jealous. “Any chance we could meet up after I get home?”

“Sure, I don’t know what time we’ll be done, but you could come back and wait here for me.” Liz said smiling. “I’ll leave my window unlocked.”

“Ok. I guess it’ll have to do then.” Max said cursing his parents and their stupid dinners in his head.

“I have to go.” Liz said looking at her watch.

“But you just got here.” Max said. “I’ve been waiting to see you all day, and you’re leaving already?”

“I have to Max.” Liz kissed his cheek and stood up. “I have a doctor’s appointment.”

“For what?” Max asked looking worried.

“Nothing, my allergies have been acting up.” Liz said. Max didn’t need to know she was going to see the doctor about going on the pill.

“Oh okay. Will I see you later then?” Max asked as Isabel walked into the restaurant and walked over to the table.

“No, we have that girls night tonight remember?” Liz said as Max nodded.

“Right, I’ll call you then.” He smiled.

“Ok. Bye hon.” Liz said as she blew him another kiss and walked towards the door passing Isabel along the way.

“Hey Liz are we still on for tonight?” Isabel asked her as she walked by.

“Yep, see you later.” Liz said waving over her head as she rushed from the restaurant.

“She was in a hurry.” Isabel said sitting down across from Max.

“Yeah, on her way to a doctor’s appointment.” Max said shaking Tabasco into his drink.

“For what?” Isabel asked. “Is she sick?”

Max shook his head. “Allergies.”

“Oh.” Isabel nodded. “Can you believe that mom and dad are making us go to that dumb party on Saturday?”

“Party? I thought it was a dinner.” Max said looking at her as though she were crazy.

“Nope. It’s some big party. We have to wear masks.” Isabel said laughing like it was the most ridiculous thing she had ever heard of.

“Huh?” Max asked confused.

“It’s a masquerade ball dummy.” Isabel said. “That means we have to dress up and wear masks.”

“Liz said her and everyone else were catering a party on Saturday. Do you think it’s the same one?” Max asked excited by the prospect of being able to see Liz after all.

“Probably. Dad said it’s the biggest thing going on all weekend. Though that’s not saying much.” Isabel said as she looked at a menu.

“Isabel, don’t tell Liz. If it’s the same one I want to surprise her and if it isn’t I don’t want to get her hopes up okay?” Max said smiling.

Isabel nodded. “You two are so mushy.” She said shaking her head.

“Promise?” Max asked.

“Ok. I won’t say a word. Try not to get your own hopes up though okay? Otherwise if it’s not the same party you’ll be miserable to be around all damned night.” Isabel said.

“I’m outta here.” Max said as he stood up. “Is Alex meeting you?”

“Yeah, he should be here any minute actually.” Isabel said as she saw him walk through the door. “There he is now.”

Alex waved at them and headed over to their table. When he got there he sat down next to Isabel and gave her a kiss on the cheek. “Hi Isabel, hey Max.” he said.

“Hey Alex, I’m just leaving. Do you want to hang out later, maybe go play some pool?” Max asked.

“Sure.” Alex said. “I’ll meet you back here in a couple of hours, how about seven?”

“Fine. I’ll call Michael and Kyle too.” Max said as he held up his hand and gave a slight wave. “ See you later then. Bye Is.” He turned and headed out to the front of the restaurant. When he walked out to his Jeep he was surprised to see someone sitting in it. When he got closer his throat closed up with panic and he started to turn around when he heard his name.

“Max?” she said to him hopping out of his Jeep and running over. “Max, I thought it was you. Do you remember me?”

Max thought it was best to play dumb. “No, have we met?”

“Yes!” she pouted. “At the tennis courts. How dare you not remember?” she teased touching his arm lightly. “ I’m Lara Petersen.”

“Oh right. Sorry” Max said trying to walk around her and pulling his arm away from her. She blocked his path by sticking her hip in front of him.

“It’s okay. I’ll let you make it up to me.” Lara said seductively. “My father is throwing me a party and I want you to be my date.”

“I can’t I have a girlfriend.” Max said.

“Right, like I care.” Lara said. “She’s not invited.”

“I said no.” Max said. “I’m not interested.”

“Fine. If you change your mind, here’s my phone number.” She handed him a little pink business card with her name, address and phone number on it. “Just so you know Max, I don’t give up that easy, but I’ll let you off the hook for now. See you around.” She stepped aside.

“Lara, just so you know, there isn’t a chance in hell I’ll ever be using this.” Max said as he ripped up the card and threw it on the ground at her feet. “I told you I have a girlfriend.”

“Whatever.” Lara said fuming and walking away glaring back at him. “Not for long.” She said under her breath.





Serena and Kyle played the second half of their basketball game in fits of laughter. Serena had out scored Kyle by twenty points in the first half, and now he was just trying to joke around in front of all the guys that had gathered around to watch. Most of them Kyle knew from school, so he was thoroughly embarrassed at the pathetic situation he found himself in.

“Are you ready to forfeit?” Serena asked as she dribbled the ball in front of him, passing it through her legs to her other hand as he lunged for it.

“No, not until I win!” Kyle said laughing.

“Well I have to be back at work in about an hour, so how about if we just call it a tie and quit.” Serena said smiling. “Besides I need to talk to you about something.”
“Ok.” Kyle said throwing up his hands. He yelled loudly so everyone could hear. “If you forfeit that’s it!”

Serena laughed and rolled her eyes. “Come on.” She nodded towards the benches.

“You’re pretty good.” Kyle said laughing as they picked up their towels and started to clean the sweat off their foreheads.

“Thanks. My high school team was state champions three years in a row.” Serena said batting her eyelashes playfully.

“Hey, you could of warned me.” Kyle said.

“And ruin all of the fun? Nah, not a chance!” Serena said. “Hey I need your help with something.” Serena said taking on a serious tone. “It’s about that Lara girl.”

“Liz’s dupe?” Kyle asked. “Why what’s up?”

“Well, Liz thinks we should find out everything we can about her, and by coincidence her father called Liz today asking her to cater this enormous party he’s having on Saturday.” Serena explained.

“So what do you need from me?” Kyle asked.

“Well we need a plant inside the party, one that’s a guest. You know to keep her busy so we can check the place out.” Serena said looking at Kyle.

“You want me to be the plant?” Kyle asked shocked. “What, you want me to get myself invited to this party at her house and be her date?” He was disappointed that Serena would actually want him to go out on a date with someone else.

Serena saw the look on his face and tried to explain it better. “I don’t want you to like..you know..do anything with her! I just want you to keep her busy, you know, like an undercover assignment.” Serena said.

Kyle smiled. He could have sworn she sounded jealous. If she wanted him to do it, he would. “Okay. She’s cute. I mean, I used to date Liz so it shouldn’t be too different. Well except for the fact that Lara actually likes me and Liz didn’t.” Kyle tried to stop himself from laughing at the expression on Serena’s face. She looked beyond pissed off. “What’s wrong?” Kyle asked.

“Nothing. You just sound so happy about it.” Serena said standing up. “I hope you have a great time. Look, there she is, why don’t you go talk to her right now.” She was pointing towards the tennis courts and Kyle followed her finger.

“Fine then I will!” Kyle said getting angry with Serena. He didn’t understand women at all. First she wanted him to go out with her, and now that he said he would she was mad. He was totally confused. Again. He stormed off to the tennis courts with a furious Serena staring after him, her mouth open in shock.

She watched him up until he reached the courts, and then she stuffed her towel in her bag and wiped the tears from her eyes. “Damn him.” She said to herself as she walked off towards the car. She couldn’t understand why she was so upset, she had dated tons of guy’s without giving a damn who else they went out with. She shook off her anger and told herself she was being stupid. She sat down behind the wheel of her car and waited for Kyle. There was no way he was going to let him see how upset she just was.

Kyle walked up to Lara and tapped her on the shoulder. She turned around and looked at him, starting with his feet and then up to his face, her eyes resting on his crotch as they had the previous night in the bar.

“Hi do you remember me?” Kyle asked with a cocky grin, his confidence completely back with this girl.

“I sure do.” She said. “How could I forget? Karl wasn’t it?”

“Kyle.” He said still smiling. “You’re Lara right?”

“Right, from the bar last night at the little restaurant.” Lara said. “I would never forget a hottie like you. I’m just really bad with names.”

“So what are you doing here?” Kyle asked. He knew it was a dumb question, given her outfit, but she didn’t seem to notice.

“Getting ready to play some tennis and you?” She asked him looking at his sweaty basketball clothes. “Trying to sink some balls are you?” She looked at his crotch again.

Kyle’s mouth twisted into a surprised grin. He had never met a girl this forward before, and looking at Liz’s face as he heard her words just freaked him out. “Something like that yeah. It’s hard to score at the basketball courts though.” He said looking at her.

“Well, I know where you could sink all the balls you want.” Lara said as she ran his fingers down his arm.

Serena saw this through the car window and thought she was going to throw up.

“Yeah? Where’s that?” Kyle asked unfazed by her advances and remaining his cool cocky self.

“At my house. We have our own courts.” She winked.

“Well I was thinking maybe we could go out on Saturday night, you know try out some other types of sports.” Kyle said quickly glancing at Serena’s car.

Lara smiled. “Well I would but my Dad is throwing me a giant masquerade ball. Hey, how would you like to be my date?” she thought aloud.

“Ok, but I’m surprised a beauty like you doesn’t have a date already. Why not?” Kyle asked.

“Well let’s just say he fell through.” Lara said thinking of Max and his cold attitude. “So how about it? I mean unless your girlfriend will be upset.” She said pointing to the car and seeing Serena. “She was pretty mad last night.”

“Who cares about her? She’s tighter than a lid on a pickle jar. I could really use a good time if you know what I mean.” Kyle said looking over at the car again.

“Great. Here’s my address and phone number. Call me and we’ll finalize the details, you’ll have to wear a tux. You do have one don’t you?” Lara said.

Kyle rolled his eyes. “Doesn’t everyone?” he laughed. “I’ll see you then Lara.” He leaned forward and grabbed her hand, gently kissing it before letting go and walking away.

“Bye Kyle.” Lara called as she turned back around to the tennis courts.

Kyle walked over to Serena’s cart and hopped in the passenger seat.

“So how’d it go?” Serena forced herself to ask, even though it had been obvious that it went well.

“Fine, I’m going to the party. Are you happy?” Kyle asked instantly back to the shy person he turned into around Serena.

“Yeah.” She said as she started the car and drove back towards his house.

“Are you really?” Kyle asked hoping she would say no.

“Yes. This is important to Max and Liz. You need to go and be her date. To keep her busy so the rest of us can look around their house.” Serena explained again trying to convince herself as well.

“Do you want to come in?” he asked her when they got to his house.

“I can’t I have another shift remember?” Serena asked him angrily.

“Right. Well do you want to do something later?” he asked.

“We’re having a girl’s night at Liz’s. Maybe another time.” Serena said as she started the car up.

“That’s okay.” Kyle yelled through the window over the sound of the engine. “I have to go rent a tux for the party anyway.”

Serena looked at him and pressed down the gas pedal quickly, causing the car to peel out of the Valenti’s driveway. Kyle watched her speed off down the street before walking inside the house, dropping his bag and collapsing on the couch, once again thinking how confusing Serena was.

Serena was around the corner from his house, where she had pulled over as soon as she could no longer see his house in her rear view mirror. She sat there wondering what her problem was as she sobbed uncontrollably into the sweatshirt he had left on the seat in his hurry to get out of the car. She inhaled his scent every time she took a breath, and with each new breath her sobs became worse and worse until she finally turned off the car and just let it all out, knowing, but not caring for a single second, that she was going to be late for her next shift.

Part 42

“Mom I told you everything was fine, would you quit bugging me?” Liz said into the phone.

“Lizzie, that Max boy hasn’t been over there has he?” Nancy asked from the other end of the connection.

“No he hasn’t but I don’t see what the big deal is anyway.” Liz said rolling her eyes as Maria watched their conversation trying not to laugh.

“Liz, he’s bad news, nothing but trouble.” Nancy said.

“How do you know mom?” Liz asked getting angry.

“We’ll talk about it when I get home sweetie. This isn’t a conversation I want to have over the phone.” Nancy said.

“I know me either, and there’s some things I want to talk to you about too.” Liz said as Maria’s eyes grew wide.

“Fine then we’ll talk later. What are you doing tonight?” Nancy asked clearly not trusting Liz for one second.

“Girls night. Serena, Maria, Ava and Isabel will be here. No boys so relax.” Liz said sarcastically.
“Lizzie you better change your attitude because I’ve had just about enough….” She started but Liz wasn’t listening.

“Ok mom bye!” she said in a high-pitched happy voice and hung up on her.

“Did you just hang up on your mom?” Maria asked surprised by Liz’s blunt ending to their conversation.

“Yep. I’ve had enough of her. She lies to me about who I am for seventeen years and then she thinks she can control me. She hates Max and she doesn’t want me to see him.” Liz confided.

“So what are you going to do?” Maria asked.

“You know me well enough to know that she can’t stop me. I love Max and I’m not going to let her tell me what I can and can’t do.” Liz said. “Maria if I tell you something do you promise to keep it between us?”

“Sure hon. What’s up?” Maria said seriously.

“I’ve been saving money for the last year, and when I turn eighteen I’m moving out.” Liz said standing up and walking over to her window and looking out onto her deck.

“Wow. Are you sure? What about college?” Maria asked.

“I still want to go. In fact, I’m hoping to get a scholarship. But I want to stay with Max. Whatever he wants to do I want to be with him. If that means no college than so be it.” Liz said looking at the ground.

Maria nodded. “Okay Liz. You know I’ll support you whatever you decide.”

“Thanks.” Liz managed a smile. “Things are going to get bad here at home. I’m going to have to leave as soon as I can. I don’t trust my parents and they don’t trust me. It won’t work like that.”

Maria nodded again. “You know Liz your welcome at my place anytime.” She said walking over and giving Liz a hug.

“Thanks Maria.” Liz said. She smiled and then changed the subject. “Enough about them, let’s talk about Saturday night.”

“I seriously think we should tell the guys what we’re planning.” Maria said shaking her head and sitting down on Liz’s bed.

“Well I was starting to think the same thing, but Max and Isabel have to go to some dinner with their parents that night, so they won’t be able to come and help us anyway. This is really our only opportunity to see what we can find out, and if we tell Max now he’ll just tell us we can’t go, and then he’ll worry about it all night.” Liz said.

“You’re right. He’ll know we would go anyway.” Maria said. “So what’s the plan?”

“Well, Serena called from her car phone to say she was going to be a little late for her shift, and told me Kyle made the date with Lara.” Liz said. “So he’ll keep her busy, and then we just need to make sure Mr. Petersen is also distracted. It shouldn’t be too hard, there will be tons of people there.”

“So you’re betting on the fact that he’ll be mingling with all of them?” Maria asked.

“Yep. I’ll sneak off and go check out Lara’s room and then I’ll come back down for a bit. Then I’ll sneak off to Mr. Petersen’s office and to his room as well.” Liz explained. “You, Alex, and Ava and Sean can serve the food and if one of them starts to head in my direction, drop a tray and make a big commotion and I’ll get out of there.”

“Great plan Liz.” Maria said sarcastically.

“Do you have a better one?” Liz asked.

“Yeah, we tell Michael and Max and we let them do the snooping around.” Maria said. “What if they see you?”

“They won’t, I’ll have a costume on. They’ll think I’m just another guest. They won’t even know I’m with you guys at all. You’ll be in charge of the catering stuff. That way if they find me I can just say I’m looking for the bathroom.” Liz smiled.

“Ok, if that’s the way you want to do it then I’m not going to argue with you. I think the whole thing is stupid though and I want it to go on record that I strongly disagree with this plan.” Maria said shaking her head.

“Concerns noted.” Liz said rolling her eyes at her. “Look we still have until the day after tomorrow, if we come up with anything between now and then we can still change the plan okay?”

“Okay.” Maria agreed. “Now what is the plan for tonight?”

“Well Serena gets off downstairs at nine, and that’s what time I told Isabel and Ava to be here too. Should we rent some movies?” Liz asked.

“Nah, I think we’ll have plenty to keep ourselves busy.” Maria said. “So all of this is hush-hush to Isabel then too right?”

“Yep.” Liz nodded. “So anyway, do you think Serena will really be able to help us with the whole sex thing?”

“Well if she can’t then Ava should be able to at least help us with some of it.” Maria said walking over and looking in the mirror. “You know Michael told me he was afraid that our relationship would turn into some sexual thing and that’s why he’s been afraid to sleep with me again?”

“Really? Weird.” Liz said watching her. “That doesn’t sound like the macho Michael I know.” She laughed.

“Tell me about it. He was so sweet too. He said that he was afraid of losing me and that sex made things complicated.” Maria said. “I guess he’s right. By the way how did your doctor’s appointment go?”

“Oh you know, typical first exam I guess.” Liz said shyly.

“I know, when my mom took me to my first one I was completely embarrassed by the whole thing. Of course it didn’t help that I was only thirteen.” Maria laughed. “She thinks that since she got pregnant with me when she was eighteen, that I was doomed to repeat her same mistakes. I swear she had me on the pill before my feet could even reach the stirrups!”

Liz laughed. “Well the doctor said they won’t be working for a month, so if Max and I decide to do it we’ll have to use something else.”

Maria nodded. “Michael doesn’t even know I’m on the pill, we used a condom.”

“How come you didn’t tell him?” Liz asked.

“I didn’t want him to think I had done it before. I mean now he knows I haven’t, but I don’t know, I guess I didn’t want him to think I was cheap. It’s stupid.” Maria said. “I’m going to tell him before the next time though. It just wasn’t right to blurt it out the first time. It would have ruined the whole mood you know? Besides we didn’t know if the pills would work then anyway so it’s good we used the condom.”

“Yeah.” Liz said. “Max doesn’t know I went today, he thinks I’m having problems with my allergies. I want to wait to tell him, until it’s perfect.”

“I know what you mean. At least we know now that the pills will work on them. That’s more than we knew before.” Maria said brushing her hair. “Hopefully we’ll find out more tonight.”

“Maria, I know I’m ready to make love with Max, but I can’t help it, I’m scared.” Liz confided.

“I know sweetie. That’s normal, you don’t know what to expect.” Maria walked over and sat down next to her. “You know what though? When your there, in the moment, it will feel so right that all of your fears will disappear. If they don’t then don’t do it, your not ready.” Maria said.

“Does it hurt really bad?” Liz asked.

“Yes. I’m not going to lie to you Liz, it hurts.” Maria nodded. “But it goes away quickly. You’ll be a little sore for a couple days, but Max could probably help you with that.”

Liz nodded. “Probably.”

“Liz, don’t worry. Max loves you so much I’m sure he’ll be gentle, just like Michael was with me. It only hurt for a second and then it felt amazing!” Maria smiled. “Obviously, you can see how much I want to do it again!”

“I know I’m being stupid about it. I know I’m ready. I’m meeting Max back here Saturday night after the party. I’m going to do it then.” Liz said. “Assuming of course that everything goes well at the party.”

Maria nodded and the phone started ringing. Liz leaned back to the nightstand and reached over to pick it up.

“Hello?” Liz said answering the phone.

“Hi Liz it’s Kyle.” He said

“Hey Kyle what’s up?” Liz said.

“I just wanted to let you know that everything’s set with Lara.” Kyle said sounding upset.

“What’s wrong? You sound bummed?” Liz asked as Maria walked over and Liz held the phone in between both of their ears.

“It’s Serena. I just don’t understand her at all.” Kyle said.

“Why what happened?” Liz asked.

“Well she told me to set up the date, and when I did she was obviously mad about it. She’s sending me such weird signals. I just don’t get her at all.” Kyle said.

“She likes you Kyle. I’m sure of it.” Liz said. “Look just relax and give her some time. It sounds like she doesn’t really know what she wants. Do you like her?”

“Yeah. I like her a lot.” Kyle said. “She just makes me feel like a moron. I don’t know how to act around her. I can’t be my usual cocky self around her it’s weird.”

Liz laughed. “That is weird, you must really like her!”

“I think I do.” Kyle said. “Anyway, enough of this mushy crap, I just wanted to let you know we were all set for Saturday. “I’ll talk to you later and bye Maria.” Kyle said.

Maria giggled. “How did you know I was here?” she asked.

“I could hear you breathing.” Kyle said. “Talk to you ladies tomorrow, have fun at your girls night. Bye.”

“Bye!” Liz and Maria said in unison before hanging up the phone.

“What do you suppose is going on with Serena?” Maria asked.

“I don’t know, but we’re going to find out tonight. I’ve never heard Kyle so deep in like.” Liz said.

“Me either!” Maria said. She heard a noise and looked around the room, her eyes resting on Liz’s window. “You have a visitor Ms. Parker. I’ll be downstairs.”

Liz looked up at the window and saw Max kneeling in front of it smiling. She ran over to it and opened it.

“Hi, what are you doing here?” Liz asked climbing out to join him on the balcony.

“I missed you.” Max said grabbing her and pulling her to him. He kissed her gently on the lips before releasing his grip and smiling. “I was on my way to go play pool with the guys, and I thought I’d stop by. How was the doctor’s?”

“Fine.” Liz said looking away from his eyes.

“What’s going on? Are you okay?” Max asked tipping her chin towards his face so he could see her eyes.

“Yeah, why?” Liz asked turning completely away from him and walking over to the patio chair.

“Well for one thing when I asked you about the doctor you looked away from me before answering.” Max said.

“Max, I wasn’t at the doctor for allergies. I was at a completely different kind of doctor if you must know.” Liz said sitting down in the chair. Max walked over to her and kneeled in front of her.

“Oh. Well what kind of doctor, are you sick?” Max asked trying to see what was going on from her expression but all he saw was her embarrassment.

“I was at the OTHER doctor, you know?” Liz said her eyes wide trying to get across what she was talking about.

Max looked at her for a moment before he understood. “Ohh, THAT doctor. Well what happened? Why didn’t you just tell me that’s where you were going, I would have gone with you.” He said quietly.

“That’s really sweet, but I would never have made you do that!” Liz laughed as she looked into his sweet eyes. “It was personal, something I didn’t want to talk about in the restaurant.”

Max nodded. “Okay, so is everything okay?”

“Yeah, I’m officially on the pill.” Liz smiled.

“Wow. I don’t know what to say.” Max said standing up and running his hand through his hair. “I guess we’re really going to do this then huh?”

Liz stood up and walked over to him, snaking her arms around his waist and resting her head on his back. “Yep, but don’t get too excited, they won’t work for a month.”

“So we have to wait until then?” Max asked turning around and looking into her eyes. He reached up and tucked her hair behind her ear. “I don’t know if I can wait that long Liz. I’m going crazy as it is.”

“Me too. We can do it, we just have to use a condom.” Liz smiled. “I knew it would take a month, that’s why I went now. I figured the sooner the better. I feel like my skin is crawling every time I’m away from you.”

“Mmm, me too.” Max said leaning in and kissing her, wrapping his arms tightly around her tiny waist. “I need to go before I can’t make myself leave.”

Max released her from his grasp.

“Max, what if I don’t want you to leave?” Liz asked and pulled him to her by the front of his shirt.

“I don’t think you understand Liz, if I don’t leave now, I won’t be able to leave.” Max said.

“I know exactly what you mean Max, and I want to make love to you, now, tonight.” Liz said looking up at him through her passion filled eyes.

“Liz, as much as I want that too, I want to wait until Saturday night if it’s okay. I want to be able to spend the whole night with you, holding you in my arms and making love to you over and over again. I don’t want some quickie, knowing your friends will be here within an hour. I hope that’s okay?” Max asked, running his hand down her bare arm.


Liz nodded. “You’re right, it’s just when I’m with you it’s like I need you.” She clutched her chest where her heart was. “I need you soon Max.”

“I need you too honey. Saturday is only a couple days away, and believe me, it won’t be here soon enough. Okay?” Max said smiling at her and kissing her cheek. “Now I have to go meet the guys, and you have a girls night starting soon, so I’m going to head out.”

“Kay.” Liz said pouting. “Love you.” She called after him as he walked towards the ladder leading down to the alley.

Max turned around to climb down the ladder. “I love you too. Want to meet for breakfast tomorrow?”

“I can’t I have the dreaded all day shift, Ida needed the day off, and Maria can only work a half day because her mom is coming home tomorrow. It’s just me a Serena.” Liz said. “Then I have to close and do the books tomorrow night.”

Max nodded obviously bummed out. “Okay, I should try to pick a shift up at the UFO center anyway, I need the money.”

“Okay, I’ll bring you lunch then. Is one okay?” Liz asked and Max nodded.

“Perfect, I’ll see you then. Have fun tonight.” Max said as he started to climb down the ladder.

“You too Max, be good!” Liz yelled after him and blew him a kiss.

“Always!” Max yelled back before jumping off the ladder and heading down the alley.


Part 43

Max walked to the pizza place where he was meeting Alex, Kyle and Michael and when he got there he was surprised to see Sean there with them.

“Hey guys.” Max said walking up to the table.

“Hey Max.” Alex said smiling. “We were wondering if you were still going to show up.”

“Sorry, I stopped by to see Liz, and was there a little longer than I thought I’d be. What’d I miss?” Max asked.

“Nothing except your little tart over there making goo-goo eyes at Kyle.” Sean said pointing over to the tables. He followed Sean’s finger and his eyes rested on Lara, sitting at a table with three other girls. All of them were staring in their direction.

“Shit!” Max said. “What the hell are they doing here? This isn’t exactly Beverly Hills Polo Club.”

“Well I’m going to some big party with Lara Saturday night.” Kyle said looking over at the girls. He smiled when he noticed Lara’s attention had moved from him and on to Max. He realized looking at her that Liz had every right to be worried about Lara’s intentions with Max. She was practically drooling.

“Really Kyle? You’re going out with her? With Lara?” Max asked in shock.

“Yup!” Kyle said as he held up his pool cue.

“Why?” Max asked. “I thought you were into Serena.”

“Well, Serena is having trouble deciding whether or not she’s into me so I thought I’d help her decide.” Kyle said. “You’re up Sean.”

Sean began chalking his cue and looked at Kyle. “That’s kind of a shitty thing to do isn’t it Kyle? I mean your using Lara to make Serena jealous right?” he asked.

“Yeah, well she’s using me because Max turned her down. Isn’t that right Max?” Kyle asked.

“Be careful Kyle, she’s Liz’s dupe, we don’t know what she knows about us.” Michael said glaring at Kyle.

“Are you going out with her to make Serena jealous or because she looks like Liz?” Max asked.

“Max, calm down. I told you to make Serena realize she likes me. The fact that this girl looks like Liz is just a coincidence.” Kyle said.

Max looked at him and decided he was being honest. “You’re right, I’m just being weird. I’ve felt really insecure about Liz the last couple of days. I don’t know why. Sorry man.” Max apologized.

“It’s cool.” Kyle said. “ Well, Sean won that game, who wants to rack them up?”

“I will.” Alex said. “Who’s playing?”

“I am” Kyle said.

“Me too” Max said picking up his cue.

“I’m in.” Sean said.

“I’m sitting this one out.” Michael said.

“Do you have room for a few more?” the guys heard and they all turned around to see Lara, along with her three friends standing behind them.

“No.” Max said glaring at Lara.

“Oh come on Max, we won’t bite. Well not unless you’re lucky.” Lara winked and picked up a pool cue.

“There’s too many at this table already Lara.” Max said.

“Well I’m sure Kyle won’t mind if we play. Say in teams?” Lara asked walking over to stand next to Kyle and putting her hand in the back pocket of his jeans.

Kyle wasn’t sure what to do. He knew that if he blew off Lara then Liz would be pissed that he messed up their plan for Saturday, but then again the anger he saw brewing in Max’s eyes didn’t look like a very good alternative.

“Come on Max it won’t hurt to let them play.” Kyle said as Max glared at him.

“Fine whatever.” Max said, “I play alone.”

“Fine.” Lara said. “Missy you play with him.” She said pointing at Alex. “And Kylie you play with that guy.” Lara pointed at Sean. “You guys can take the table next to this one and the winners can play each other. I guess you’ll have to sit this one out Jen since Max “plays alone.” She laughed.

Max looked over at her and rolled his eyes at her stupid attempt at humor. “Lara, why do you insist on being such an unbelievable bitch?” he asked.

“Max, this is not being a bitch, believe me, I’m just kidding around.” Lara said pouting.

“Whatever.” Max said taking his shot. The solid red ball went in and he said, “I’m solid.”

“Yes you certainly are.” Lara said. Kyle looked at her and tried not to smile. He couldn’t believe how forward she was.

Max rolled his eyes and tried to ignore her. He glanced in her direction and was amazed by how much she looked like Liz. Their personalities were as different as night and day.

They played their game of pool, while Lara continuously put the moves on Kyle. It was harder than Max thought it would be to see someone that looked exactly like Liz, hanging all over Kyle. Even though he knew she was Lara, it was like his eyes were playing tricks on him and he had to keep telling himself it wasn’t his girlfriend standing on the other side of the table. When the game was over Kyle and Lara walked off towards the back of the restaurant and sat down at a table. When he looked back at them he saw Lara reach around Kyle’s neck and pull him into a deep kiss. He couldn’t take it anymore. This wasn’t what he had in mind for the night.

“I’m outta here.” Max said handing his pool cue to Sean who had been watching Kyle and Lara too, and was trying to get rid of Lara’s friend Kylie, who was flirting shamelessly with him.

“Where are you going?” Sean asked.

“I don’t know, anywhere but here.” Max said quietly.

Sean nodded. “I’m heading out too, I’ll walk out with you.” Sean said. “I’ve had enough with these desperate girls, and I don’t know what the hell Kyle’s doing with that hag.”

Max nodded. “I’m going to use the bathroom and then we’ll head out.”

“Ok, I’ll see if the other’s are ready to go too. Michael and Alex went to get some sodas. We can head back to Amy’s if you guys want, she won’t be home until tomorrow.”

“Sounds good, be right back.” Max said and walked off towards the back of the restaurant. When he walked around the corner and entered the hallway leading to the bathroom he bumped right into Lara. He couldn’t believe his bad luck.

“Hi Max.” Lara said looking up at him.

“Hi.” Max said shifting uncomfortably.

“I hope you’ve changed your mind about coming to my party.” Lara said.

“I thought you were going with Kyle.” Max said bitterly.

“There’s plenty of me to go around.” Lara said. “Why? Have you decided to come?”

“No.” Max said bluntly.

“Come on Max, what has this little girlfriend of yours got that I haven’t?” Lara asked putting her hands on her hips.

“Me for one.” Max said and smiled. “And that’s not going to change.”

“Yes it will Max, it’s just a matter of time.” Lara said. “Until then, Kyle will keep me busy enough.” She brushed past him and headed back to the table where Kyle was sitting.
Max rolled his eyes and went in to use the restroom. When he came out all of the guys were waiting for him, including Kyle.

“What happened to the viper?” Max asked looking around the café.

“Lara?” Kyle asked and Max nodded. “I told her we were leaving and she headed out too. I’ll see her on Saturday night. Come on let’s go.”

Max and the rest of the guys followed Kyle out to the parking lot where they all got in their cars and headed to Sean’s.



“Okay so your telling me that if Max is hurt, say he cuts his finger, then I’m going to feel that?” Liz asked her eyes wide.

“It’s possible.” Ava said shoving a handful of popcorn in her mouth.

“Wow.” Maria said. “Liz are you sure that’s something you want to do?”

Liz nodded. “I have to Maria, I don’t know, it’s like my body is overriding my brain. I practically forced myself on him earlier.”

“It’s to be expected Liz, you two were made to join with each other.” Ava said. “Besides, that’s worse case scenario.”

“Okay so what’s best case?” Liz asked grabbing some popcorn herself.

“That you two would have the most unbelievable bonding of emotion. You would have a connection like no one has ever experienced before. Your memories of your past lives would be clearer, and you would be able to communicate without words. A bonding of the souls.” Ava said touching her heart.

“Wow.” Serena piped in. “That would be amazing Liz.”

Liz nodded, her mouth full.

“What about Michael and I, should we be worried of any side effects?” Maria asked.

“No, you guys should be fine, just be careful because their sperm is super strong. I mean SUPER strong. You should be okay on the pill.” Ava said. “Just don’t forget to take it!”

“What about me?” Isabel asked quietly.

“You should be fine too. Alex will have to use a condom though because the doctor will want to do some blood work on you before putting you on the pill, and we can’t let him do that.” Ava said. “Of course I also don’t know if it would even work. You’re pure hybrid Isabel, Liz isn’t. She has more human in her than we do and so her blood is normal. The pill should work on you, but I don’t want to guarantee it. Sorry.”

“It’s okay, that’s fine.” Isabel said. “I was just worried that we wouldn’t be able to do it for some strange reason.”

“Nope you can.” Ava smiled. “By the way, all of you will be able to produce children together if it ever comes to that. Liz, you and Max have to be extra careful, because you had a child in your last life, and you were about the age you are now.” Ava said looking at Liz.

Liz nodded. “Okay.”

“Not to change the subject or anything, but you’re really quiet tonight Serena, are you okay?” Maria asked and they all turned to look at Serena.

“Yeah, I’m fine.” Serena said quietly.

“Does this have anything to do with Kyle?” Liz asked gently. She could sense that Serena was on the verge of tears.

“Yes. No. I don’t know!” Serena said and started crying. She tried to calm herself down as Maria jumped up from her sleeping bag and ran to get her a wet washcloth. She returned a moment later and handed it to Serena who immediately wiped her tears away and held it to her face. “I think I’m in love with him!” she blurted out before bursting into tears again.

Liz and Maria smiled at each other and then Liz turned to look at Serena. “Do you think he’s in love with you?”

Serena shrugged. “I don’t think so, but I don’t know. I act like I don’t care if he goes out with other people but then when he makes a date, I freak out. I don’t know what’s going on. I’ve never been jealous before, but now I feel like I want to rip this other girls eyes out!” she continued crying.

“Serena, Kyle likes you a lot, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s in love with you too. I think you’re sending him some mixed signals.” Liz said putting her arm around her.

“I know I am, but I don’t know how to act. I’m not sure if I should tell him how I feel. I’m afraid he’s going to tell me he has no feelings for me and I’m so terrified of having to hear that, I’ve been trying to convince myself that I don’t care, but I do!” Serena cried.

“You don’t have to worry about that girlfriend, Kyle is crazy about you. Tell him how you feel.” Maria said nodding. “It’s the only way to move on to the next step.”

Serena nodded. “I know. I’m gonna do it. I’m going to tell him.”

“Shh, do you hear that?” Ava asked getting up and running to Liz’s bedroom window. She lifted up the glass and climbed out onto the balcony, with the rest of the girls following her.

When they reached the edge, they all looked down and started laughing. There were the guys, all piled into Max’s Jeep and Kyle’s mustang, and they had the radio blaring. They were all singing, obviously trying to serenade them, but they sounded awful. The girls couldn’t even tell what song they were attempting. Liz waved them up and they all piled out of the cars and headed up the ladder one by one.

Part 44

The guys climbed up the ladder to Liz’s balcony one by one, and when they reached the top they found the girls doubled over in laughter.

“What’s so funny?” Kyle asked obviously drunk.

“Nothing.” Maria laughed even harder seeing the shape he was in.

“I mean it? What?” Kyle asked looking around at them, his eyes resting on Serena. He walked over to her slowly, touched her cheek and asked, “Hey, whassa matter? Have you been crying?”

“No.” Serena looked away.

Kyle turned back around to the rest of the group, but they were to busy laughing and saying their “hellos” that they didn’t even look his way.

“Why were you crying?” Kyle asked trying to straighten himself up.

Serena turned back to look at him, glaring. “Why? What’s with you? Are you drunk?”

“I dunno.” mumbled Kyle.

“Yes you do.” Serena said. “You’re drunk for the same reason I was crying.”

“What reason’s that?” Kyle asked looking away and then back into her eyes.

“Because of what’s going on between us Kyle. Admit it, you’re just as confused as I am.” Serena said stepping closer to him.

“Ok, I admit it.” Kyle said quietly, his eyes resting on her lips. “I have feelings for you Serena.”

“I have feelings for you too.” Serena smiled and looked up at him.

“Can I kiss you? I really want to kiss you.” Kyle said leaning closer to her. “I’m sorry about Lara and all of that crap.”

Serena nodded and held her finger up to his mouth to shut him up. She leaned in and brushed her lips against his, as he wrapped his arms around her waist tightly.

“Oh my god! Look!” Isabel said pointing at Kyle and Serena. They all began clapping and cheering and hollering causing Kyle to quickly let go of Serena and blush.

“Come on, let’s go inside.” Serena whispered taking Kyle’s hand and leading him through the window.

“Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do!” Maria yelled laughing. She turned around to the rest of the group and noticed Sean and Alex were obviously intoxicated as well. “What the hell have you guys been up to anyway?” she asked.

“Nothing much.” Alex said pulling Isabel down beside him on the lounge chair.

“Right!” Isabel laughed. “You’ve been drinking Alex! Where were you guys?” she asked.

“Oh fine.” Alex said rolling his eyes. “We went to play pool and then we went back to Sean’s.”

“Maria’s you mean?” Maria asked. “It’s my house remember drunko?”

“Yeah, yeah whatever.” Alex said waving his hand around. “Well we went back there and had a few beers. No biggie.”

“Alex, you never drink. How many did you have?” Isabel asked, laughing at his slurring of words.

“Three.” Alex said sheepishly. “So I’m a lightweight, can I help it? No.”

“It’s okay. I still love you.” Isabel said leaning into kiss his cheek. Alex turned his head at the last second and his lips landed on her own and she was so surprised she jumped back instantly.

“You do?” Alex asked. “You love me Isabel?”

Isabel looked around at the other couples waiting for her answer. She wondered how she got herself into this awkward situation. Finally after what seemed like an eternity of silence she answered him. “Yes Alex I do. Not that you’ll remember it in the morning.”
She said.

“Of course I’ll remember it Isabel. I love you too.” Alex said smiling. “Come on, let’s go somewhere more private.” He said looking around at the staring eyes of the rest of the group.

Isabel looked around too, and nodded as she stood up. They walked over to the edge of the balcony and Alex helped Isabel climb over the side. They disappeared down the ladder quickly.

“Wow.” Liz mumbled. “It’s about time.”

Max laughed and wrapped his arms around her waist as he stood behind her. He buried his face in her neck and gave her a quick kiss. “So what have you ladies been up to tonight?”

“Nothing much.” Maria said as she looked at Liz and Ava, who were both trying not to laugh.

“Uh oh.” Sean said sitting down on the chair next to Ava.” They must have been talking about you guys.” He laughed.

“Not so fast Deluca.” Ava said. “How do you know your name wasn’t involved in the conversation?”

Sean shrugged and smiled.” I hope it was.” He winked and Ava blushed.

“So how much have you had to drink?” Ava asked raising her eyebrows at him.

“A beer or two.” Sean said looking at her. “I like your jammies. Very cute.”

Ava looked down at her black drawstring shorts and her hot pink camisole and blushed. In all the excitement she had forgotten to grab her robe on the way out of Liz’s room.

“Shut up.” Ava said embarrassed.

“Hey, relax, I was giving you a compliment.” Sean said. “Hey are you hungry?”

Ava nodded. “A little, we just had some popcorn, but we hadn’t had a chance to order the pizza yet.”

“Great, let’s go raid the fridge.” Sean said. “You don’t mind do you Parker?” He looked over at Liz who was too busy listening to what Max was whispering in her ear to notice. Sean then looked over to the lounge chair where Maria and Michael had settled, and noticed that they were too busy kissing to care.

Ava giggled and Sean stood up holding his hand out to her. “Shall we my lady?”

Ava took his hand and stood up. “Absolutely.” They went over to Liz’s window and climbed inside, walking past Kyle and Serena on Liz’s bed and making their way down to the kitchen.

“I missed you so much.” Max whispered into Liz’s ear as she smiled.

“You did?” Liz asked shyly.

“Mmm-hmm.” Max said kissing Liz’s ear. “Let me show you how much.”

“Okay.” Liz said leaning her head back into his chest. “Do you want to go inside?”

“Sure.” Max said smiling. “I think your room is occupied though.” He laughed pointing into the window at Kyle and Serena.

“Well we’ll just have to send them to Serena’s room.” Liz said as she turned around to face him. “Besides, I really don’t want them doing that stuff on my bed!”

“I don’t blame you.” Max smiled. “Come on, I can’t wait to get you alone.”

“Max, I want to make love to you, now, tonight.” Liz said into his ear as she hugged him to her.

“Tonight Liz? With everyone here?” Max asked surprised, stepping back to look into her eyes.

“Yes. Tonight, with everyone here.” Liz repeated. “They won’t care, they’re too busy doing their own things.” She said pointing to Maria and Michael.

“True.” Max nodded. “Are you sure you’re ready though Liz?”

Liz nodded. “Positive.”

“Okay then Liz Parker. Let’s go inside then, we have some bonding to do.” Max smiled and swooped her up into his arms as he walked her towards her window.

Part 45- (NC-17)


Max laid Liz down on her bed and looked at her. “I know I keep asking you this, but are you sure you want to do this? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I definitely want to, I just don’t want you to feel like I rushed you into anything you know?” he asked.

“I know. I’m sure. I’ve never wanted anything so bad. Ever.” Liz said smiling. “Besides, even if my mind didn’t want to, which it does, my body wouldn’t be able to stop anyway.”

“Ok.” Max said. He climbed on top of her and began kissing her. The kiss started out gentle, but as Liz parted her lips to his tongue, it grew more passionate.

Liz’s body responded immediately. She raised her hips up to meet his arousal and started to push herself up against him. Max moved his lips to her ear and neck as he pushed back against her heat with the lower half of his body.

A moan escaped Liz’s lips as she fought to get her breath, but her body was completely taking over. She felt like she couldn’t get close enough to him. She actually wanted to be able to crawl inside of him, but knowing that was impossible she wanted him inside of her desperately.

Max sensed her need and leaned back to look down at her. “I love you Liz.” He whispered before untying the drawstring on her white knit pants and lowering them to below her hips, leaving her only in a pair of black lace panties. Max moaned at her beauty. She raised her bottom so he could slide her panties and her pants the rest of the way down her legs, and they fell into a heap on the floor at the foot of the bed.

“I love you too.” Liz said quietly reaching down and cupping his hard arousal for a moment before unbuttoning the fly on his jeans and also lowering them down his body.

Max climbed off of her and took his jeans the rest of the way off, revealing a pair of blue boxers that he also removed quickly. He pulled his t-shirt up over his head and discarded on the floor in the growing heap of clothing lying there.

Liz looked at Max with her eyes huge. She had never seen a naked man before, and Max was most definitely a man. A tiny gasp escaped her throat as she took in his naked form.

Max smiled and climbed back on top of her, pulling the bottom of her tank top up and over her breasts. He cupped one in his hand before bending his head and teasing her nipple with his tongue.

Liz moaned and ran her hand through his hair. She quickly wrapped her legs around his waist and continued to push against him.

Max could feel how wet she was on his naked flesh, and he wanted to be inside of her desperately. “Are you ready?” he whispered, not wanting to force anything.

“Mm-hmm.” Liz murmured as she felt his hardness push up against her intimate spot. “Definitely.” She kissed his neck and then stopped. “Wait Max, we have to use a condom.” She breathed heavily, trying to get the words out before it was too late.

“Right, I have one.” Max said suddenly climbing off of her, sitting up on the edge of the bed and reaching for his pants. “I’m glad you reminded me, because I was totally caught up in the moment. Sorry.” He said shamefully.

“Don’t be, I forget about everything when I’m with you like this.” Liz said. “Ready?”

Max nodded and she lay back down, allowing him to climb on top of her again. He kissed her for a moment before she wrapped her legs around him. Max kissed her deeper and began to enter her gently. He heard a little gasp come out of her mouth and then she sighed and relaxed. He pushed a little harder and she rose up to push against him as well. A moment later he broke through her virginity and a little squeal of pain came out of Liz’s mouth, and he stopped.

“Are you okay?” Max whispered as he looked down at her.

A tear rolled down her cheek and she nodded. She put her hands on his hips and urged him to keep going, since Maria told her that the pain goes away after a moment.

Max knew that she wanted him to continue so he did, gently pushing in and out of her as both of their passion grew. Soon she was matching him thrust for thrust and moaning his name over and over. Hearing his name on her lips, with such passion, drove Max crazy, and he didn’t know how much longer he was going to be able to keep going. “Liz I..” he tried to speak but found he couldn’t.

Liz was also ready to explode. After the pain of earlier, she couldn’t even begin to describe how much pleasure she was in. Having Max inside of her was like a dream, and she almost felt as though she was exploding inside. She could feel that her skin was getting hotter, and so was Max’s. A drop of his sweat fell onto her forehead and she opened her eyes to look at him and was surprised to see he was looking at her as well.

“You’re so beautiful.” He whispered and their eyes locked.

Both of them were one now, and they could both feel the strangest sensation course through them. They were both climaxing, but more than that they were riding a wave of the most intimate bonding they would ever experience. This was their first time together, and the most important. All of Max’s feelings and memories were instantly shot into Liz, as hers were into him. They both instantly knew how deeply the other one felt about them, and could clearly see their past, present and future. They saw visions of their past lives, and the first time they had bonded in those lives, as well as the birth of their son.

Liz gasped at the onslaught of emotion though her eyes never left Max’s. Neither of them could look away from the other, as the feelings and memories kept coursing through them. She felt all of his disappointment when he thought she slept with Kyle, and then his elation when he knew she hadn’t.

Max struggled to catch his breath as he looked into Liz’s eyes, and he heard her gasp at the sight of their son form the past. He felt all of her pain over Alex’s supposed death and his betrayal of her with Tess, but more importantly he felt how much she loved him and how relived she was to find out it was all a lie, and she would get to be his first.

They continued to absorb all of the emotions being poured between them until finally it seemed they were slowing down. They continued to look into each other’s eyes until they were able to break away from each other. Max collapsed on top of Liz trying to breathe, as Liz raised her arms to wrap them around him tightly.

“Are you okay?” she whispered when she found her voice.

Max was shaking but managed a nod that she could feel on her neck.

“That was….wow.” Liz said, not finding any words to describe it.

She felt Max nod again and him mutter something into her shoulder.

“What?” Liz asked amazed.

Max leaned up and rested himself on his arm. “I said that was amazing.” He said as he gazed down at her and brushed her hair back over her forehead. “I love you Liz Parker.”

Liz smiled and ran her hand down the side of his face. “I love you too Max Evans.”

Max smiled. “I know you do. I felt it, I saw it, and I know it’s all true.”

“What is?” Liz asked confused.

“Your love for me. I finally know that you love me as much as I love you. I knew you did love me, but I never knew how strong it was.” Max said as he climbed off of her.

Liz felt empty as soon as he got up. She quickly wrapped herself in the sheet from her bed, sat up and looked at him as he started to put his underwear on. “What do you mean Max, we’re made for each other remember? How could you even doubt that I wouldn’t love you as much as you love me?”

Max shrugged his shoulders and sat down next to her. “You should know Liz, didn’t you see everything like I did?”

Liz nodded. She knew what he meant; she had absorbed all of his memories and feelings over his life. She knew how he always felt alone and thought he would never find someone to love him for who he was. “I know. I used to feel the same way about your feelings for me Max. Insecure.” Liz explained as she looked down at her lap.

“Well now we never have to feel that way again right?” Max asked as he ran his down the side of her face and kissed her lips gently.

“Right.” Liz smiled.

“Now don’t you have something you want to tell me Nancy Drew?” Max asked as he tackled her down so she was lying on her back once again and he was on top of her pinning her down.

“No.” Liz smiled sweetly. “What do you mean?”

“Lara’s house?” Max asked trying to get her to say what he already knew.

“I don’t know what your talking about Max.” Liz said trying to avoid his penetrating stare.

“Really?” Max asked. “That’s funny, because I thought I saw all of your plans for Saturday night just a minute ago.”

“Shit.” Liz said looking at him. “Okay, you win. The party I’m catering is at Lara’s. I thought I would try to find out some information about her while I was there.”

“I thought we made a deal not to keep any secrets from each other.” Max said disappointed. “How come you didn’t tell me?”

“I thought you would tell me it was too dangerous, that you didn’t want me going, etcetera.” Liz said. “Besides, you’re going to that thing with your parents, and I thought you would just worry all night if you knew what I was doing.”

“Well you’re right, I will worry all night, but I think it’s a good idea.” Max said smiling. “I mean we need to know what we’re dealing with, and you’re a big girl, I know you’ll be careful. If you think it will work then I trust you.”

“Really?” Liz asked surprised by his reaction to the plan.

“Yeah really.” Max said. “Besides, I’ll just head over after my parents thing, and give you a hand.”

Liz nodded. “Ok.” She whispered.

“Liz, you don’t have to worry about me being near Lara.” Max said. “Especially after what we just did.”

“I know.” Liz whispered. “How did you know that’s what I was thinking?”

“I don’t know, I just did. I felt you were jealous.” Max said. “I guess the bonding really linked our emotions huh?”

“How come I can’t feel yours though?” Liz asked surprised.

Max shrugged. “I don’t know.”

Liz struggled to get past him and climbed out of bed. She walked over to the window and looked outside, not surprised to see Michael and Maria still going at it on her lounge chair. She walked over to the bed again and quickly got dressed.

Max felt her disappointment and stood up. He walked over to her and wrapped his arms around her. “Liz, it will come. You’ll be able to feel all of my emotions soon, and you’ll be so sick of it, you’ll wish you couldn’t. Believe me.” He whispered in her ear.

A tear rolled down her cheek. “But how come I can’t now?” she asked. “It’s not fair that you can feel mine, but I can’t feel yours. What kind of a dumb bonding is this?” she asked, the tears starting to fall quicker.

“Liz, stop it.” Max said starting to get frustrated. “It will happen. I promise.” He turned her around. “We’ll just have to keep doing it until it works.” He smiled.

Liz managed a laugh between her tears.

“That’s not the only reason you wanted to do this is it?” Max said looking into her eyes.

“No, of course not.” Liz said. “I was just hoping…I don’t know I’m just being stupid.”

“No your not sweetie.” Max reassured her. “Are you hungry? Do you want to go downstairs and get something to eat?”

Liz nodded and wiped her tears away. “Yeah, I could eat.” She said putting on her pajamas.

“Okay then, let’s forget all of this crap and go enjoy our post making love fridge raid.” Max said smiling and took her hand leading her to the door.

Liz smiled and opened the door, jumping back as Sean, Ava, Alex, Isabel, Kyle and Serena all fell into the room and onto the floor.

“Nice guys. Real nice.” Max said stepping over the heap of their friends and helping Liz climb over them as well. “Classy bunch.” He said as he and Liz walked down the hall laughing.


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 7:11:30 PM
Part 46 (NC-17)

Kyle, Serena, Alex, Isabel, Sean and Ava all stood up and straightened themselves out. They looked at each other before racing out of the room and following Max and Liz down to the kitchen. When they reached it, they saw Max and Liz going through the refrigerator.

“So umm, you guys what happened?” Serena asked as the others looked at her in shock at her boldness. She looked around at all of their faces and said, “What? Someone had to ask.”

“What Serena means,” Kyle started, “Is did it go okay? Are you okay Liz?”

Liz turned around and smiled. “Well not that it’s any of your guy’s business, and I’m sure since you were all eavesdropping you know what happened, but I’m fine. Great actually.”

“We were only there for a minute. I tried to talk them out of it.” Isabel said quickly. “I mean I don’t want to hear that stuff! Gross, that’s my brother.”

Max laughed. “Well none of you have to worry, everything went fine okay? So you can all resume your own love lives thank you very much.” He said.

“Ok, sorry.” Alex said as he and Isabel turned to go upstairs. “Good night everyone.”

“Good night.” Liz and Max said at the same time.

“Yeah, we’re heading back up too, see you tomorrow.” Serena said dragging Kyle out of the kitchen by his hand.

“Us too, come on Ava.” Sean said starting to leave the room.

“I’ll be up in a minute okay?” Ava said.

“Okay.” Sean said disappearing around the corner.

When Ava heard his footsteps on the staircase she knew he was out of earshot.

“So anything new?” Ava asked with her eyebrows raised.

“Yeah, actually there is.” Max said. “I can feel Liz’s emotions but she can’t feel mine. Why?”

“That’s strange.” Ava said and thought for a moment. “Did the bonding actually take place?” she asked.

“What do you mean?” Liz asked. “We made love if that’s what you’re talking about.”

“Well that and…did the actual transference take place?” Ava asked trying to explain her question better.

“You mean the memory transfer?” Max asked.

Ava nodded. “Yeah, but it should have been much more than a memory transfer, it should have been all emotions, especially since you two are soul mates. You should have been able to tell what the other was feeling.” She looked from Max to Liz. “Liz, could you feel the way Max was feeling during the bonding?”

Liz nodded. “Yes, I could feel how he felt about me. I could see all of his memories and everything too. What’s going on?” Liz asked desperately.

“I don’t know, it sounds like it went just as it should have.” Ava said shaking her head. “The only thing I can think of is that since you aren’t more in tune with your alien side, that you just haven’t been able to access his thoughts yet. We’ll work more on your powers, maybe that will help.”

Liz nodded. “Okay.” She said sadly. “I’m going to go up and take a shower.” She kissed Max on the cheek. “See you in a few minutes?” she asked smiling.

“I’ll be right up.” Max said leading her lips back to him with a gentle tug of her chin, and giving her a kiss.

“Good night Ava.” Liz said and Ava nodded. Liz headed up to her room trying to think of why she couldn’t access Max’s emotions. When she couldn’t think of anything she decided not to let it ruin the most important night of their lives.

Max shoved what was left of a piece of strawberry pie into his mouth and chewed. Ava looked at him for a minute and her eyes grew big.

“Max, how could you?” Ava asked in shock.

“What?” Max asked surprised at her sudden outburst.

“You know what I’m talking about!” she lowered her voice to a whisper. “You’re blocking her aren’t you?”

“No, what do you mean?” Max whispered back and looked around, avoiding Ava’s penetrating stare.

“You know exactly what I mean Max Evans, you’re blocking Liz’s access to your thoughts!” Ava said surprised.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Max said quietly. “Why would I do that?”

“I don’t know, you tell me.” Ava hissed. “How could you do that to her, can’t you see how upset she is?”

“Fine.” Max admitted. “I know she’s upset, but I’m scared. I’m not even doing it on purpose.”

“Scared? Of what?” Ava asked.

“Of Liz seeing her dupe and the way she’s been acting.” Max said shyly. “She’s been relentless about coming on to me, and I think it will really hurt Liz. Like I said, I’m not doing it on purpose, I just was trying to block those specific memories, and in the process I guess I ended up blocking everything.”

“Max, you have to fix it.” Ava said. “ You two are stronger if the bonding is complete. I’m sure it wasn’t easy for her to open herself up completely to you, and it’s not fair that you’re manipulating your powers like this.”

“I know and I’ll fix it. I just want to tell her what’s been going on before she sees it.” Max said. “I had no idea how strong the transference process and the bonding would be.” Max smiled.

“It’s amazing isn’t it?” Ava asked. “Zan and I did it.”

“Yeah, it was great.” Max said remembering. “I feel so close to her now.”

“That’s the way it should be, but she needs to feel the same closeness as you do, and I can tell you right now, she doesn’t. Not even close.” Ava said. “Go fix it Max, now.”

Max nodded. “I know, she’s trying to figure out why she can’t feel me right now. I can hear her thoughts so clearly.”

“Then go tell her about Lara, and open your mind to her. The bonding is already complete, so you don’t have to have sex to do it, just stop blocking her.”

Max nodded. “Ok, but what if we want to..you know..bond again?” he asked shyly.

“Go right ahead.” Ava said. “I’m just saying that you don’t have to. The bonding has already taken place as it should have, it’s just your ridiculous behavior that’s making it incomplete.”

“Ok.” Max nodded. “I’ll tell her now.”

“Good.” Ava said. “I’m going up to find Sean. I need to talk to him too. See you tomorrow.”

“Thanks Ava.” Max said smiling.

“No problem.” Ava said before leaving the room and heading back upstairs.

Max sat down at the kitchen table and closed his eyes. He wanted to let Liz in. He wanted to show her everything, and he suddenly realized that the best way for Liz to know how much he despised Lara was for him to let her feel it. He focused on Liz, standing in the shower. She was so deep in her own thoughts about why she couldn’t connect with him; it was like walking through a deep fog.

Liz looked at the stream of water running down the wall of the shower. She couldn’t figure out why she couldn’t feel Max the way he felt her, and even though she had vowed only a few minutes earlier not to let it ruin their night, she couldn’t help but think about it. She picked up the bottle of shampoo and was about to pour it into her hand when a sudden energy ran through her and she dropped the plastic bottle onto the floor of the tub. Her knees buckled under her and she braced herself with each hand pressed up against the shower door on one side and the wall on the other. She slowly lowered herself to the ground as the flashes ran through her mind like a movie. She saw everything that had happened between Max and Lara, and she felt all of Max’s hatred for the dupe. She saw Max sitting down in the kitchen with his eyes closed, feeding all of this though her mind and she felt how sorry he was from keeping it from her. The assault on her senses ended a few seconds later when she saw Lara earlier that night at the pizza place where the guys had gone to play pool, hanging on Kyle but staring at Max, and she felt how ashamed Max was at how the girl acted around him. Her final image was that of Lara asking Max what his girlfriend had that she didn’t and Max’s response that she had him.

Liz slowly recovered from all of the emotions she had experienced and stood up and jumped out of the shower. She picked up a towel and wrapped it around her quickly before opening the adjoining door to her bedroom and running into it. She still had suds all over her arms, but she didn’t care, she flung her bedroom door open in an attempt to make it downstairs to Max, but when she did so, he was standing in the doorway.

“I’m sorry Liz. Sorry I blocked you.” Max said looking at her, trying to tell how she was feeling. “I was scared that you’d be angry about Lara.”

Liz shook her head but didn’t say anything. How could he think she would be angry with him for the behavior of someone else? He didn’t do anything wrong and here he was apologizing. She stepped closer to him and pulled him into her room by his shirt, shutting the door behind him.

She looked at him and said, “Max, you have nothing to be ashamed of. You didn’t do anything wrong.” She wrapped her sudsy arms around his neck and pulled his lips towards her own. She kissed him with a renewed passion, and she felt his love pour into her soul at the mere contact of their flesh.

He quickly picked her up and she wrapped her legs around his waist, moving her lips to his neck and jaw line. The towel that covered her naked body was instantly hiked up over her hips, exposing her bare bottom as he cupped it in his hands and walked her over to her dresser, sitting her down on top of it.

She reached up and unbuttoned his shirt until it was completely open and he shrugged out of it quickly. The towel fell down to her waist and she pressed her bare breasts against his strong muscular chest as she continued to kiss his neck.

Max ran his hands from her bottom up her naked back to her shoulder blades and pressed himself harder up against her, feeling her nipples on his chest. He leaned his head back as she kissed the front of his neck, her tongue leaving little trails of fire. He grabbed the back of her head by her hair, holding it tightly and pulling it backwards as he began to leave his mark on her neck, biting it gently and sucking on her sweet tasting flesh.

Liz moaned and put her hands behind her, bracing herself on the dresser as she leaned into his mouth, which was heading towards her breasts. Her breathing caused her chest to heave as Max made his way down the center of it, kissing in between both of her breasts before cupping one in his hand and sucking on it almost roughly.

Max realized she was no longer touching him and whispered, “Liz, baby, please touch me.”

Liz sat upright once again and ran her hands around to the back of his neck where she ran her fingers though his hair roughly, pulling on it as her passion grew. She scooted forward on her dresser so that her naked heat was pressed up against his hardness. She released one of her hands from his neck and reached down, pulling open his button fly jeans in one quick motion. She breathed heavily as she put her hand into his boxers and ran it up and down his hard shaft and he groaned.

“God, Max, I need you inside of me.” Liz murmured in his ear and moved her lips to cover his again. She moved her tongue into his mouth and then moved it away every time he tried to touch it with his own. This caused Max to groan again as he tried to shrug out of his pants.

Liz moved her hand expertly on him and between having her hot little hand on his hardness, and her teasing him with her tongue Max felt like he might explode any second.

Liz sensed his urgency through their connection and she removed her hand from inside his boxers and lowered her other hand to his hip, trying to help him to push his pants down the rest of the way down his legs. A moment later they were down, and he kicked them the rest of the way off. He reached up and grabbed Liz’s towel, which was the final barrier between their two bodies, and he pulled it out from in between them in one swift pull, their lips never leaving each other.

Liz scooted forward again so that her buttocks was right on the edge of the dresser and Max decided it was time to tease her a little bit. He reached between them and ran his finger along the inside of one of her thighs, and then plunging it inside of her, bringing a moan to her lips. He felt the vibration of it against his own mouth, and used the opportunity to catch her tongue with his own. This caused Liz to moan louder as he grabbed the back of her head again by her hair with his other hand and deepened their kiss roughly with all of the passion they both felt.

Liz’s head swam with excitement as her body responded to him involuntarily. Max broke their kiss and leaned back to look at her, removing his finger from her heat, which elicited a disappointed groan from Liz. Her cheeks were flushed and her eyes blazed with passion. Her wet hair was tousled and his fingers were still laced into it.

“You are so damn beautiful.” He whispered before taking her mouth in his own again, and swiftly plunging his hardness into her as she wrapped her legs around his waist instinctively. He lost all reason as he went deeper and deeper inside of her until her mouth broke away from his and she moaned his name. He cupped her buttocks with his hands as he brought her closer to him and she met his thrusts with her own until they were both ready to go over the edge. He called her name out as she continued to moan, her breasts heaving from lack of breath. He finally spilled himself inside of her, not able to hold himself upright any longer as she came right along with him, both of them falling backwards onto the dresser completely spent with the passion they had just experienced.

“Oh my god Max, that was amazing.” Liz said when she finally caught her breath.

“Yeah.” Max managed to say as he slowly stood up and reached for his clothes.

“Don’t.” Liz said sitting up as she looked at his naked body. “You’re so beautiful Max, can we just sleep together like this, without any barriers between us?”

Max got a sudden look of fear on his face and he whispered. “Oh my God Liz.”

“What?” Liz asked seeing the frightened expression on his face. Then she instantly knew what he was feeling through their connection, extreme fear registering in her thoughts as well. “We forgot to use a condom!”




Part 47

“What do we do?” Max asked desperately.

“Nothing!” Liz rolled her eyes at him. “What can we do?”

“I don’t know.” Max said, pulling his pants on. “Shit, we just got carried away, I didn’t even think about it.”

“Obviously I didn’t either.” Liz replied putting on her pajamas. “Look Max, there’s no use getting upset until we know if there’s anything to get upset about okay?”

“You don’t even seem worried why not?” Max asked looking at her as she climbed into her bed.

“Because there’s no reason to worry. Look Max, I’m supposed to get my period in like four days, I’d be really surprised if I was able to get pregnant right now you know?” she said pulling the blanket over her. “Now come on, relax. I’ll let you know as soon as I find out anything okay? In the meantime, don’t stress because it will make me stress.”

Max nodded. “Ok. I’ll try.”

“Good, now come get into bed with me. I have a long day tomorrow and I need to get some sleep.” Liz commanded and Max walked over to her bed and laid down next to her.

“I love you. Sorry I freaked out.” Max said rolling over to face her and looking into her eyes.

“I love you too, and it’s okay.” Liz whispered.

“I want you to know that I do want to have children with you someday okay?” Max asked.

“I know, and I want to have your children someday Max, I would just like to be out of high school at the very least.” Liz smiled at him and touched his cheek. “I admit, this wouldn’t be the ideal time for us to have a baby, but if it happens, we’ll just deal with it okay?”

Max nodded and leaned in to kiss her. He gently brushed his lips against hers before whispering, “Ok beautiful.”

“Good night sexy.” Liz whispered before she closed her eyes and quickly drifted off to sleep.

Max watched her sleep for a while trying to get the idea of Liz being pregnant out of his head. He knew he wouldn’t be able to fall asleep until he at least had some sort of plan to put into action just in case. He worked out all of the details in his mind before finally falling into a deep slumber.


Liz dreamt that she was running through a deep forest. The fog was so think she couldn’t see anything but she felt the trees scraping against her face with every step she took. Finally she stopped in a clearing where there was a table and chairs set up with beautiful gold lights surrounding the area. She saw Max in the distance and started running towards him, but as she got closer she saw that he wasn’t alone. He was with a girl, a girl that looked just like her. She knew it was Lara, and Max was kissing her. Her head started to swim and she heard a ringing in her ears. It was getting louder and louder and louder.

Liz sat up with a start. She looked around her brightly lit room and realized that the ringing she heard was the phone. She lay back down and reached over to pick it up as Max still slept soundly next to her.

“Hello?” she answered sleepily.

“Hello Lizzie.” Her mom said briskly.

“Hi mom.” Liz said as Max rolled over and threw his arm over her chest.

“Were you asleep? It’s nine o’clock. Don’t you have a shift this morning?” Nancy asked.

“Yes mother, I’m heading down right now.” Liz answered, annoyed.

“Well I just wanted to let you know that we’ll be home on Monday. Your Grandmother is feeling better and she is going home on Sunday, so we’ll be heading back Moday morning after we get her settled in.” Nancy said. “What have you been up to while we’ve been gone?”

“Nothing much, working, you know having fun. School starts in a few weeks, so I’m trying to just enjoy my summer.” Liz said watching Max closely so she could warn him her mom was on the other end if he awoke.

“Well don’t enjoy it too much if you know what I mean Lizzie.” Nancy said coldly.

“Yes mom, I always know what you mean, and I promise you make it impossible for me to enjoy it too much.” Liz said in a nasty tone.

“I don’t know what has brought on this nasty attitude of yours but when I get home we’re going to have a little talk young lady.” Nancy said crisply. “If I would have talked to your Grandma the way you talk to be I would’ve gotten a severe beating.”

“Mom, I have to go down to work now. See you Monday.” Liz said hanging up the phone on her mother for the second time in two days.

“Who was that?” Max asked still half asleep.

“The witch.” Liz replied getting out of bed.

“Your mom?” Max asked rolling over to her side of the bed to lay on her pillow.

“I have to go down to work, feel free to sleep as long as you’d like. I’ll just see you down there whenever.” Liz said walking into the bathroom to take a shower.

“Mm-kay.” Max smiled and yelled out, “Love you.” Before falling back asleep.

“You too.” Liz yelled out.

The Crashdown was packed and Liz and Serena were running around like crazy women trying to get everyone their food, refill drinks, and also ring them up at the register.

“Shit, why couldn’t Maria come in?” Serena asked for the third time that day.

“I told you, her mom is coming home from that spa today and her and Sean had to clean the house.” Liz yelled from behind the register.

“What about the old bag? Where the hell is she?” Serena asked wiping the sweat off of her forehead.

“I don’t know, she’s having a corn removed or something.” Liz rolled her eyes. “Look it’s not my fault, my dad gave her the day off months ago. We’ll just have to manage.”

Serena nodded and disappeared into the kitchen. A few minutes later she came out looking much more relaxed.

“What’s up?” Liz asked. “You taking some Quaaludes or something back there?”

“Huh?” Serena asked confused.

“Never mind.” Liz laughed. “You look much more relaxed now that’s all.”

“Oh I called Kyle. He’s coming to help us out.” Serena smiled.

“Kyle?” Liz asked astonished. “You got Kyle to come and wait tables?”

Serena nodded and laughed. “Yeah, why are you so shocked?”

“Because the Kyle I know would never do that. How did you manage it?” Liz asked, picking up a tray of dirty dishes and putting them under the counter.

“Well we have a date tonight, and I told him if he didn’t come help I’d have to cancel it because we would be here cleaning up until the wee hours of the morning.” Serena smiled evilly.

“You are so bad!” Liz laughed. “I love it!”

Serena smiled. “Speaking of love, there’s your man.” She said pointing to the kitchen door where Max had just walked in from the back.

“Be right back.” Liz said as she walked over to him and wrapped her arms around his neck, placing a kiss on his lips.

“Hi beautiful.” Max said. “Mmm, you taste good.”

“Thanks, I just had a chocolate milk shake.” She whispered as she ran her cold tongue down the side of his neck.

“Oh God.” Max whispered. “What are you doing later?”

“Well I have to stay here and work all day remember?” Liz asked leaning back to look at him. “We’re super busy, but if you want to stay and help, then I might be able to get out of here earlier tonight.”

“Can’t. I picked up a shift at the UFO center like I was thinking about doing, but I’ll come by after I get off and see how you’re doing okay?” Max asked as he nuzzled into her neck again.

“Okay.” Liz said sticking her cold tongue in his ear and making him jump.

“You’re a naughty little thing today.” Max laughed as he started to walk towards the door pulling her along with him.

“I can’t help it Max, you make me crazy.” Liz smiled as she inhaled the scent of his after-shave that was trailing behind him.

“Well keep that thought because I’ll be back later.” Max smiled, leaning down to kiss her and catching her off guard as he thrust his tongue into her mouth passionately before breaking their kiss. “See you make me crazy too.”

“See you later.” Liz smiled as he started walking away. She held on to his hand until the last possible second and finally let go, smiling as Max turned around one more time and blew her a kiss.

Liz sighed and walked back to the counter and started wiping it off, a dreamy expression on her face.

“Wow.” Serena said. “You guys are so into each other it’s amazing.”

“We were made for each other Serena remember?” Liz asked floating back down to reality.
Serena nodded. “Look Liz, about the party tomorrow night. I really think Max and Michael need to know about it.”

“Max already knows.” Liz said. “He saw it last night when we umm..bonded.”

“Oh okay.” Serena smiled. “So are we going to let Maria fill Michael in?”

“Yeah, and Max wants him to come with us.” Liz said.

“He told you that?” Serena asked.

“No, I felt it from him. He has to go to that thing with his parents; I just know that he would feel better about us going if Michael came along. I’ll call Maria and tell her to fill him in when he gets off work tonight. I don’t thing we should tell him while he’s working.” Liz said nodding towards the kitchen and whispering. “He tends to get distracted.”

Serena nodded in understanding. “Ok sounds good.” She paused before continuing. “Umm Liz, how far do you want Kyle to carry this Lara thing?”

“I don’t want him to carry it far at all.” Liz said. “I just want him to keep her occupied. Serena, I don’t even want him to touch her if he can avoid it.”

“Ok good because I don’t know if I can handle more than that.” Serena said looking a bit green.

Liz walked over to her and put her arm around Serena’s shoulders. “Serena, would it be easier for you if you stayed here with Betty and worked the night shift?”

“No way!” Serena said. “I want to be there to keep my eyes on that slut!”

“Ok. Then back to the original plan. I’ll close this place at five and then we’ll head over to set up for the party okay?” Liz asked and Serena nodded. “Everything will be fine.”

“I hope your right Liz, I hope you’re right.” Serena mumbled to herself as she walked towards the kitchen to pick up her customer’s order.
****************************************************

They worked like dogs the entire day and finally at eight o’clock Max walked in looking almost as tired as Liz did.

“Hey baby what’s shaking?” Max said as he walked up to Liz and reached around her squeezing her bottom gently.

“Not much, just getting ready to lock up. Wanna help us clean up?” Liz asked looking at him with flirtatious eyes and walking to the door and locking it.

“Sure.” Max nodded following her. “What do you want me to do?” he asked looking around the restaurant. The place was in shambles.

“Well I want you to bend me over and take me right here on this table” she pointed to the booth next to her, “but I guess you can sweep.” She said handing him her broom.

Max’s eyes grew wide at her comment. “God Liz, are you trying to make me lose it right here and now? Don’t say shit like that unless you plan to follow through.”

“Who said I wasn’t planning on following through?” Liz said as she sent Max a scene form her imagination through their connection. It was one of them having sex on the counter of her parents restaurant with her underneath his naked body.

Max pulled her to him as his eyes filled with lust and she felt his arousal press against her stomach through her uniform. He started kissing her neck and whispered, “Later.” Into her ear before pulling back and taking the broom. Then he looked at her once more and sent the same image back to her except in his image she was on top of him.

Liz exhaled loudly and sat down as her legs gave out. “Promises, promises.” She teased as Max started sweeping. He shot her a look that said he was serious about keeping his promises and then turned around and walked away.

Kyle walked over and looked at Liz. “Pathetic.” He said as he shook his head and wiped off the table.

“Shut up!” Liz said defensively. “Besides, I wouldn’t talk if I were you Kyle, you and Serena are pretty “pathetic” yourselves.”

“What do you mean?” Kyle asked.

“You’re so in love with each other. It’s obvious.” Liz smiled and stood up.

“So?” Was all Kyle could manage to say as Liz walked away.

“So,” Liz said turning back around, “you shouldn’t throw rocks if you live in a glass house.”

“Huh?” Kyle asked tilting his head to the side.

“Never mind, just clean.” Liz said as she walked into the back of the restaurant and turned on the radio. She tuned it to the popular station they all listened too and went back to the front of the restaurant. When she got out there she was surprised to see that it was almost all cleaned up.

She walked over to Max and said, “Did you do this?” waving her hand around the restaurant.

“Do what?” he asked innocently.

“Cleaned.” Liz said accusingly. “Did you clean up using your powers?”

“Maybe.” Max said smiling. “I have promises to make good on, I don’t have time to sweep all night you know?”

Liz laughed. “Okay, okay, you win. I’ll go tell Serena and Kyle they can go.”

Max smiled. Good because I can’t wait to get you up on that counter Miss Parker.” He whispered.

Liz laughed and walked over to where Serena and Kyle had started dancing. “You guys can head out. Max and I can finish up, not that he left too much more to do.” She told them. “Kyle thank you so much for all of your help today.”

“No problem Liz, happy to help.” Kyle smiled. “I guess I’ll see you tomorrow night at the party then?”

Liz nodded. “Yeah, I’m going to have Ava change my hair, so you won’t recognize me, but I’ll let you know who I am.” Liz smiled. “Have fun tonight you two.” She said opening the door and letting them out.

“Now, where were we?” Max said, grabbing her from behind and turning her around.

“I think we were here.” Liz said leaning into him and kissing his neck and jaw.

“Mmm, I think you’re right.” Max murmured.

Max waved his hand and the restaurant went dark, with the exception of a reddish glow and Liz looked around amazed.

“Max did you see my dream?” she asked.

“What dream?” he asked her and then waved his hand again as white rose petals began to fall around them and they started dancing.

“You did!” Liz smiled as she leaned into him slightly embarrassed and covered her face with her hands.

“Ok, yeah I did last night during the transference. But who was the other guy in it?” Max asked.

“I have no idea.” Liz giggled as Max picked her up and sat her down on the counter.

“Now, I believe we have some promises to keep?” Max said as he ripped open her waitress uniform and started kissing her breasts through her bra.

“Yep, we sure do!” Liz said lying down and smiling.

Part 48

The next day was busy getting ready for the party. Maria had filled Michael in on the plan the night before, and he was up for it. He had spent all day in the kitchen preparing the food and getting everything ready. Soon it was five o’clock and Liz closed The Crashdown putting a sign on the window informing everyone of the early closure.

Liz walked upstairs to find Max sitting on her bed.

“Jesus Max! You scared the crap out of me!” Liz said as she walked into her room and saw him.

“Sorry.” Max said. “I just wanted to talk to you before you went through with this.”

“Max,” Liz said sternly, “I’m not changing my mind, so don’t ask me too. I need to find out if she has any idea who she is. We all need to know.”

“I know.” Max said looking at the ground. “I didn’t come here to talk you out of it.”

“You didn’t?” Liz asked surprised.

“Nope.” Max answered. “I just came to tell you to be careful, and if anything gets weird, get the hell out of there.”

“I will, I promise.” Liz said holding her hand up as if she was taking an oath.

“Look, after this little thing with my parents, I’ll try to get over there to help you out okay?” Max said standing up and hugging Liz.

“Max, I don’t want you anywhere near her.” Liz said in a jealous tone. “Just come back here and wait for me okay?”

Max smiled at her jealousy and knew there was no point in arguing with her so he just nodded. “Ok. If that’s what you really want me to do. But I want you to know that I expect you to keep in contact with me the entire time using our connection okay?” he asked.

“Okay.” Liz promised, thinking this was a fair compromise.

“I mean it Liz, I want you to check in with me regularly to let me know you’re okay.”
Max said sternly.

“I will. Now get out of here, I have to get changed.” Liz commanded and pointed to the window.

“I know I need to go get ready too. Can you believe I have to wear a tux to this ridiculous thing?” Max said shaking his head and kissing her on the cheek.

“Really? I can’t believe I’m going to miss seeing you in a tux! I love the way you look in one. I can still picture the way you looked the night of Prom.” Liz said, suddenly getting sad.

“Liz, don’t do that.” Max said quietly. “Don’t torture yourself that way. We have another Prom to go to this year and it will be wonderful okay?”

Liz nodded. “Okay.” She whispered. “I’m wearing that dress tonight Max. The black one I wore to Prom?”

“I know which one you’re talking about. You looked beautiful in that dress.” Max said.

Liz’s face suddenly lit up. “Hey let’s make a deal. Let’s meet back here later tonight, and wear what we have to wear tonight. Then when we get back here, we can imagine it’s Prom, and we can do it right this time.” Liz suggested looking at Max with hopeful eyes.

“Sounds great. We’ll definitely do it right.” Max said leering at her.

Liz laughed. “Now out Maxwell Evans, I have to get ready!” she said.

“Okay, okay, I can take a hint!” Max laughed as he walked over to the window and stepped out on to the balcony. “I love you.” He yelled inside.

“I love you too, have fun tonight!” Liz yelled back smiling.

“Be careful, and good luck.” Max said before blowing her a kiss and disappearing.

“Thanks.” She whispered to herself. “But I think I’ll need more than luck.”

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


By six-thirty the party was already in full swing. The early arrivals through a wrench in the groups plans because they had to start serving the champagne and appetizers earlier than they had planned, and that was going to mean they would have to serve dinner earlier as well. All of this was not according to plan, because Liz wanted to sneak off and check out the house during dinner, when Lara and Mr. Petersen were most likely to be occupied. At this rate, it would still be light outside when they served the main course at
seven- thirty.

“Damn.” Liz muttered to Maria as they were loading their trays up with glasses of the bubbly alcohol. “It’s too early! Mr. Petersen said to serve dinner one hour after the appetizers and that’s seven thirty. It doesn’t get dark out until eight!”

“Relax Chica!” Maria said in an upbeat voice. “By the time dinner rolls around Lara will be drunk as a skunk at the rate she’s going. Plus Mr. Petersen is supposedly engrossed in some conversation with a guy out there according to Alex.”

“Ok good.” Liz said visibly relaxing as she exhaled. “Keep giving Lara champagne. Maybe we’ll get lucky and she’ll pass out.”

“Not likely.” Serena said walking over to them. “The night Kyle and I saw her at the bar she was wasted, but she was holding her own. I bet she’s all over Kyle by the end of the hour.”

“Serena, Kyle can handle himself.” Maria said. “Besides he’s not even drinking. Not even one little sip.”

“Really?” Serena asked smiling.

“Really.” Maria said. “By the way did I tell you two how much I love your new hair styles? Ava really did a great job!”

“Thanks.” Liz said running a hand through her curly blond locks. “Yours looks terrific too Maria, I love the color of the red she gave you.”

“Thanks. I like it too. It’s so nice to have it short for the night. I think the bob is very sophisticated but I would never have the nerve to do it myself. I vowed I would never cut my hair this short again!” Maria smiled.

Serena held up a silver platter and looked at her own reflection. “Do you think mine looks okay? I’ve never been a brunette before.”

“It looks great honey!” Ava said walking in and smiling. “You all look great, no one will ever guess it’s you guys under there. Now it’s time for my change. All those in favor of black raise your hands.”

Maria, Serena and Liz stared at her.

“What no one likes black?” Ava winked and ran her hand through her own hair making it black and very long. It hung right below her waist. She then took her hand and ran it down one strand creating a hot pink streak like she had in her blond hair. “It’s my trademark.” She winked. “Well what do you all think?”

“You know, it actually looks good.” Maria said smiling.

“Yeah, I wouldn’t of thought so but with your blue eyes, it’s really nice. Kinda “Elvira”, but nice.” Liz nodded.

“I like it.” Was all Serena managed to say before Michael yelled at all of them.

“HELLO?” he yelled. “Are you ladies working or doing makeovers?”

“What is your problem?” Maria asked glaring at him.

“Oh nothing, just that poor Alex and Sean are out there running around serving stuff and you guys are back her chatting. Get your asses out there, you all look fine, and don’t forget your masks.”

“Yes sir Mr. Guerin sir!” Maria saluted and rolled her eyes before picking up her mask and placing the ornate object over her eyes. “I can’t believe you guys stuck me with the crow.”

“I’ll take that one Maria and you can have the flamingo if you want!” Ava said happily.

“Well considering your new look I think the crow will be a perfect addition.” Maria laughed. “Plus I do like pink, so okay!”

Maria took off her mask and handed it over to Ava who put it on quickly. All of their masks covered only the top portion of their faces and they were all based on birds. The girls had to admit they were beautifully crafted, even if they made them feel ridiculous.
Maria looked over at Liz and smiled. “The peacock looks great on you Liz!”

“Thanks.” Liz said. “I can’t believe we have to wear these things. Why couldn’t Mr. Petersen let us pick our own masks?”

“Maybe he wanted everyone to be sure they knew who the help was.” Serena said tying on her rainbow colored parrot mask. “You know since we’re all birds?”

“Well whatever, I think they’re ridiculous.” Liz said shaking her head. “Come on lets’ get out there.”

“Just be glad your not one of the guys Liz. Did you see the masks he gave them?” Maria asked as they walked through the swinging doors and out into the party carrying laden down trays.

Liz shook her head and looked around trying to spot Alex and Sean in the crowd. When she finally saw them serving appetizers over by the grand piano she nearly dropped her tray. There they were, Alex’s face covered by a cow mask complete with black and white fur, and Sean with a pig mask complete with a snout.

“Oh my God!” Liz started laughing trying to balance her tray. “How mean is this guy?”

“That’s what we’re here to find out Lizzie.” Maria said. “Now let’s spread out and see if we can overhear anything interesting.”

They all nodded and went in separate directions. Liz walked out onto the back patio and Maria headed for the foyer. Ava went over to the staircase and Serena went into the giant dining room to serve the people who had already congregated there in anticipation of dinner.

“Serena is that you?” she heard a man whisper and turned around.

“Hey Kyle. Yep it’s me.” Serena whispered under her breath. “Where’s the princess?” she looked around.

“She’s in the bathroom. Probably puking. She’s drunk already.” Kyle said laughing quietly. “How are you doing?”

“Fine.” Serena said smiling and looking everywhere but at him.

“I just wanted to tell you…never mind.” Kyle said as he looked towards the bathroom. “Here she comes I better go.”

“Ok.” Serena said as her eyes filled up with tears. “What a fucking nightmare.” She said under her breath as she walked over to the window and peeked outside to where Liz was on the giant patio of the mansion.



Phillip Evans pulled his gold Buick Regal into the large circular driveway and stopped behind the long line of cars waiting to get valet parked.

“We’re here kids.” He said looking up at the large house. “Now remember, this is a new client of mine so be on your best behavior. He could mean a lot of money for my firm.”

“Don’t worry dear, I’m sure the kid’s will be mature adults.” Diane said putting her hand on his arm.

“Dad, “ Isabel asked looking at the long line of cars in front of them. “How big is this party?”

“I’m not sure sweetie. About a hundred and fifty people or so I think.” Phillip said pulling the car up a little as a valet driver sped down the other side of the driveway with a silver Jag.

“Wow.” Isabel said sitting back in her seat.

“Do we really have to wear these dumb masks Dad?” Max asked looking at his black Zorro type mask and rolling his eyes.

“Yes, we do.” Phillip said looking at his son in the rear view mirror. “That’s why it’s called a masquerade ball.”

“Is it really a ball or just a party?” Isabel asked trying not to laugh.

“It’s a party, but there will probably be some dancing. You two can cut loose out on the dance floor after dinner.” Phillip said smiling at Diane.

“Oh gee can we?” Isabel said in a sullen tone.

Max hit her gently. “You know, if you two don’t mind, I think I’ll call a cab and head out after dinner. I’m really tired.” Max said trying to sound convincing. All he could think about was meeting Liz in her room later. Luckily he hadn’t gotten any weird feelings through their connection from her so far.

“No Maxwell it’s not okay. You will stay until we’re all ready to leave.” Phillip said sternly.

“But Dad, I really wanted to see Alex later.” Isabel whined looking down at her rose covered mask and picking off a few petals.

“No Isabel.” Phillip said getting angrier. “Is it too much to ask that you kids spend an evening with your parents for once? It’s not like we’re trying to move you out of town!”

“Calm down Phillip.” Diane said rolling her eyes.

“Don’t you start with me too. I’m nervous as hell and I don’t need this shit right now.” Phillip said finally pulling up to the valet attendant and opening his door. “Now put your damn masks on and let’s go!”

Max fastened his black mask on his face and looked over at Isabel who had done the same. Diane had put on her mask, which was made of lilacs and Phillip had donned a white “Phantom of the Opera” type of mask.

As they headed up the steps Max looked at the giant mansion before him. “By the way Dad, whose house is this? I mean who is this new client of yours anyway?” Max asked casually.

“It’s Kevin Petersen’s house and he lives here with his daughter Lara. It wouldn’t hurt for you to be nice to her as well. Introduce yourself.” Phillip said as he and Diane walked through the door leaving a shocked Max and Isabel standing on the front steps behind them.

Part 49

“Holy shit!” Isabel said as she turned her mask-covered face towards Max. “This is Liz’s dupes house!” she said quietly.

“Thanks Isabel but I already knew that.” Max said staring at his parents walking off without them.

“Max, that girl is totally after you isn’t she?” Isabel asked. “What are you going to do?”

“Nothing. Just relax and play it cool, maybe no one will recognize us with our faces covered.” Max said. “Besides, Liz and the rest of the group are here catering this thing.”

“THIS is the party Alex was helping Liz cater tonight?” Isabel said, taking Max’s arm as they walked into the party.

Max nodded. “Yeah, they planned it to try to find out more about Lara and Mr. Petersen. I take it he didn’t tell you?” he asked smiling.

“No he certainly did not or I never would have let him do it. I can’t believe you let Liz go through with it either.” Isabel hissed.

“She didn’t tell me about it either Isabel.” Max whispered. “I only found out when we bonded.”

“Really?” Isabel asked surprised. “So you can read each others thoughts and stuff?”

“Sort of. More like I can tell if she’s nervous or apprehensive and what it is that making her that way. That’s how I saw their plan.” Max said. “Look I don’t even know if Alex knows what their plan is, or if he only came to help serve, so relax until you talk to him.”

Isabel nodded. “Okay. What are we going to do? Dance and have a good time?” she asked sarcastically.

“No.” Max said. “I’m not sure. It wasn’t like I knew we were going to be here tonight. I’m just going to try to avoid Lara, as well as try to find Liz, or at least connect with her.”

Isabel looked at him. “Connect with her?”

“Yeah, we can send feelings to each other.” Max said shyly.

“You mean like you can talk without speaking?” Isabel asked amazed.

“Yeah.” Max said. “Now come on, let’s go see if we can track down everyone and at least them know we’re here.”

“Well we won’t have to look far.” Isabel said nodding towards the dining room doors. “Isn’t that Kyle over there? You know the guy with the drunk girl hanging on him.”

“Yeah that’s Kyle all right, but that drunk girl is Lara if you haven’t noticed.” Max pointed out.

“Oh my God you’re right!” Isabel said quietly, squinting her eyes and trying to picture the girl without her white swan mask on. “Wow she really does look like Liz huh?”

Max nodded. “Yeah, but trust me she’s nothing like her.”

“I think I’d like to find out for myself Max.” Isabel said with an evil smile, releasing her arm from his and walking off towards Kyle and Lara leaving Max standing in the center of the room alone.


“Liz we’re out of appetizers.” Michael said as he threw the hot plate into the giant stainless steel sink.

“That’s okay because dinner is being served in fifteen minutes.” Liz said throwing her silver platter on to the counter. “These people are major lushes.”

“I know what you mean, I went out to find the bathroom and some drunk lady grabbed my ass.” Sean said walking in to the kitchen and laughing. “We better get more food in them or we’ll really have a crazy bunch!”

Liz felt chills run down her spine and she had to grip the counter to keep from blacking out. She was dizzy for a moment before she looked at Michael and said, “Max is here.”

“Are you sure?” Michael asked but when he saw her expression he smiled. “Sorry of course you’re sure.” He said.

“I have to go find him before Lara does.” Liz said in a near panic. “Shit, what the fuck is he doing here?”

Sean’s eyes grew huge at Liz’s profanity. He had never heard her talk that way before. “Wow Liz, I didn’t know you had it in you!” Sean said shaking his head as he grabbed a bottle of champagne in a white napkin and headed out the swinging door. “Gotta go refill the lushes glasses!” he said.

Liz looked at Michael again. “Did you know he’d be here?” she asked angrily. “I thought he was supposed to be at that thing with his mom and dad?”

“He is. Maybe this is the thing with his mom and dad Liz.” Michael said. “I mean he did say he had to wear a tux, and this is the biggest thing in town so it actually makes sense if you think about it.” He nodded.

“Whatever.” Liz said. “I better go and find him.”

“Find who?” Maria asked as she came into the kitchen.

“Max.” Michael said. “He’s here.”

“Wow, I thought I saw Isabel over by Kyle and Lara.” Maria shook her head. “What a weird coincidence.”

“Isabel’s over by Kyle and Lara?’ Liz asked. “Was Max with her?”

“Nope. I didn’t see him honey, sorry.” Maria said. “I’m sure he’s out there somewhere though, and I’m sure he’s fine. Go look for him, we’ll take care of the kitchen and dinner stuff.”

“Ok thanks.” Liz said and pushed the door open and headed out to the party.

“Wow, this bonding thing sure is getting interesting!” Michael said as he turned around to Maria and looked her up and down. “By the way, did I tell you how hot you look tonight?”

“Nope, but keep talking Space Boy.” Maria said smiling.


“Lara this is my friend Isabel. Isabel this is Lara Petersen.” Kyle said introducing the two girls.

“Nice mask.” Isabel said looking at Lara’s White feathered mask.

“Umm you too.” Lara said obviously drunk.

“So Lara, Kyle tells me that you go to private school. Co-ed or all girl?” Isabel asked.

“All girl o’course.” Lara said slurring her words. “Dear Daddy would never l’me go t’school with boys.”

“Oh. That’s too bad.” Isabel said snidely. “You’re really missing out.”

“Naw.” Lara said. “I get enough action on the side.” She winked.

“Oh right.” Isabel said smiling and looking at Kyle.

“So who invited you?” Lara asked squeezing Kyle to her side and hanging on to his arm for balance.

“Actually I came with my parents, your dad invited them for business.” Isabel said looking at her.

“O’course you did.” Lara said. “Well if you’ll cuse us we gotta go sit down for dinner.” Lara said grabbing Kyle’s arm and dragging him into the dining room.

Kyle looked over his shoulder at Isabel and rolled his eyes. He couldn’t believe he was stuck with this drunken slut all night. Here she was on a date with him, and she’s telling his friend she gets “plenty of action on the side.” Just what every guy likes to hear from his date. Kyle smirked and pulled out Lara’s chair for her to sit down She turned around, looked at him and smiled sweetly.

“Umm Kyle, I was hoping I could just sit on your lap.” Lara said suggestively.

“I don’t think that’s a good idea Lara. There are obviously a lot of important business people here for your father tonight.” Kyle said looking around the room for Serena.

“Screw em!” Lara said throwing her head back and laughing loudly. “Or just screw me!”

Kyle rolled his eyes at her forwardness but had to keep the act up. He leaned over and whispered into her ear. “If you’re a good girl and behave through dinner then later I will.”

Lara’s eyes grew wide with excitement. “Okay Kyle.” She whispered back to him and took her seat, folding her hands in her lap. She wanted Kyle almost as much as she wanted…she lost her train of thought. Her eyes rested on the mass of people waiting to take their seats for dinner, and there he was. Max. She knew it was him even with the ridiculous mask on. He was standing by the doors to the dining room next to that Isabel girl. Lara smiled and she couldn’t believe her good luck. “Kyle, I have to go to the bathroom, would you ‘cuse me for a moment?” she said once again slurring her words.

“Sure.” Kyle said as he stood up and pulled her chair out. He watched her get up, walk straight over to Alex and whisper something to him. Lara smiled and then headed out of the room to the bathroom presumably.

Alex looked around the room and then Kyle saw his eyes rest on something. Following his gaze he realized it was Max. Kyle smiled and then watched Max as Alex walked up to him, told him something and Max nodded. Alex then headed over to Kyle and leaned down.

“Your little girlfriend just asked me to move Max’s place card. She wants him to sit across from her.” Alex said.

“What did Max say?” Kyle asked.

“He said to do it so she won’t suspect I’m with you guys. He said to tell you so you’d know what was up, and that he could take care of himself.” Alex smiled.

“Ok. Thanks Alex.” Kyle nodded. “Here she comes.” He waved his hand trying to tell Alex to make a hasty retreat.

Alex walked over and moved the place cards on the other side of the table. A short time later, the rest of the guests made their way into the dining room and took their seats around the long table.

Max sat down across from Lara and noticed the sickening smile she had plastered on her face. He wondered again where Liz was. He had sent her more than one signal that he was there through their connection, but she hadn’t come up to him yet. He looked around trying to avoid Lara’s gaze. Suddenly he heard a bell ringing and a familiar voice say, “Ladies and gentlemen, dinner is served.” It was Liz.

Part 50


‘There you are.’ Max whispered to her through their connection. ‘I hardly even recognized you in that get up. Were you blocking me?’


Liz looked over at where he was sitting and then her eyes traveled to Lara sitting directly across from him. ‘Well isn’t that convenient?’ she said, nodding towards Lara. ‘No I wasn’t blocking you, I was just busy so I couldn’t answer. I knew you were here.’

Max looked up at her as she helped everyone find his or her seats, but she refused to make eye contact with him. ‘Why won’t you look at me?’ Max asked her silently.

‘I don’t want anyone to know that we know each other, and I’m afraid if I look at you my eyes will give everything away.’ Liz said.

‘Oh.’ Max said. ‘Did you have a chance to look around yet?’

‘No not yet.’ Liz said walking over to the cart and picking up a tray of dinners. ‘I’m planning on going after everyone is served. Can you help the others make sure that Lara and Mr. Petersen stay in here?’

‘Sure.’ Max said looking over at Lara, who hadn’t taken her eyes off of him. Max smiled at her weakly as Liz set his food down in front of him.

‘God she makes me sick Max.’ Liz said seeing the look this slut was giving her boyfriend.

‘Jealously doesn’t suit you Liz.’ Max said tenderly. ‘You’re feelings are overwhelming my senses. There’s no reason to be feeling that way. I love you and only you.’

‘I know.’ Liz said. ‘This is so weird that you’re here Max.’

‘I know I nearly passed out when my parents told me whose house this was.’ Max said smiling. ‘I have to admit I was kind of glad that I’d be able to keep an eye on all of you.’

Lara mistook Max’s smile as one meant for her. She leaned forward in her chair and ran a stocking clad foot up Max’s leg.

Max recoiled at the sensation of someone’s foot traveling up his leg, under his pants. Liz was quick to sense his feelings of horror.

‘What’s wrong?’ Liz asked through their silent connection.

‘Lara has her foot up my pants.’ Max said knowing that it was important to tell Liz the truth about everything that was going on. They had promised each other that there would be no more lies, and he wasn’t going to break that promise.

‘WHAT?’ Liz voice screamed in Max’s head. ‘Get it out of there!’ Liz said angrily. ‘I swear I’m going to kill that bitch!’

‘It’s okay Liz, I can handle it.’ Max said shifting in his chair and trying to shake Lara’s leg loose.

‘No Max, I can handle it.’ Liz said as she picked up a tray of mini meatballs in red wine sauce and headed in Lara’s direction.

‘No Liz don’t.’ Max said as his eyes grew wide and followed Liz making her way towards Lara.

As Liz got closer to Lara she could hear Max’s protests in her head, but she chose to ignore them. She was done letting this snotty little slut have her way with all of their men. Lara had been hanging all over Kyle all night, and now she had one hand in his lap and one leg up Max’s pants. Who the hell did she think she was?

Liz walked up behind Kyle and Lara and gave Kyle a wink and nodded to her right. Kyle moved over a little and Liz gave a slight scream, before executing a brilliant fake trip and dropping the entire tray of little red meatballs on Lara. The small finger foods rolled into her hair and then down her face. They made their way down the front of her silk dress leaving trails of wine sauce behind them, before finally resting in a little pile on her lap.

Liz feigned embarrassment as Lara jumped up with her mouth open. When she had finally been able to speak, everyone in the room turned to her as she yelled, “DADDY!!” at the top of her lungs.

“I’m so sorry.” Liz said. “I don’t know what happened, I tripped on something and..I’m so, so sorry.” She said keeping a straight face.

Isabel, Max, and the rest of the guests were having a harder time staying serious. Alex, Sean and Ava who were serving, were also trying to keep from laughing hysterically. Finally after a few minutes Isabel couldn’t take it anymore. She burst into uncontrollable laughter, complete with tears streaming down her face. She looked up at Liz and winked through her tears while the rest of the guests started to join her in her fits of laughter.

Kyle and Max both started laughing and to Lara’s complete horror, so did her father.

“Calm down honey.” Mr. Petersen said laughing. “It was an accident. Just go get cleaned up.”

Lara glared at her father. “Go get cleaned up?” Lara said mocking him. “How am I supposed to get cleaned up? My dress is ruined!”

“Relax, you have plenty of other dresses you could put on, now go upstairs.” Mr. Petersen said taking a sip of his wine.

“I want her fired!” Lara said pointing at Liz and glaring at her. “NOW!”

“Lara, just go get yourself put back together and I will handle everything all right?” Mr. Petersen said. “Now go young lady.”

Lara said something under her breath before stomping out of the room and upstairs, shooting Liz a death glare before her exit.

Mr. Petersen stood up and looked at Liz. “Now why don’t you come with me young lady and we will discuss this.”

Liz nodded mutely and followed Mr. Petersen out of the room. ‘Let me know if you need any help’ Max’s voice said in her head as she followed him into what must have been his office.

‘I’ll be fine.’ Liz told Max as she sat down on the stiff leather couch.

Mr. Petersen’s voice broke into her conversation with Max. “Now Miss..I’m sorry what is your name?”

“Hathaway.” Liz said. “Katie Hathaway.”

“Right, Miss Hathaway.” He continued. “My daughter is used to getting her way, and you could see that she was very upset, but I don’t want to fire you. In fact, I think it’s only right that she be put in her place every once and awhile and normal every day accidents like the one that just occurred are healthy for her to experience.” Mr. Petersen said. “Still, it wouldn’t look right for you to go unpunished for the little accident in there. After all this is a formal affair and I do expect a degree of professionalism Therefore I would like you to remain in the kitchen for the evening, helping in there instead of out with the guests.” He said. “Is that fair?”

“Oh yes sir.” Liz said smiling and thinking that it would be even better for her plan if she didn’t have to be serving. “Again sir I’m so sorry for what happened. I’d like to pay for Miss Petersen’s dress.”

“Well dear, that dress was twenty five hundred dollars, so I don’t expect you to pay for it.” Mr. Petersen said. “How about you pay for the dry cleaning of it though? Deal?” he asked.

“Deal.” Liz said nodding. “Thank you Mr. Petersen.”

“All right. Now off to the kitchen you go.” He said smiling. “I’m missing a perfectly good meal.”

Liz nodded and silently stood up and walked to the kitchen, filling Max in on their conversation along the way, through their connection.

‘So how is this going to be better?’ Max asked confused over Liz’s plan.

‘Because now no one will even notice if I’m missing for awhile, and Lara will have to wash her hair and stuff, get changed and redo her make-up. That sets her out of the scene for awhile as well.’ Liz explained. ‘Also, I just got to see Mr. Petersen’s office, so I know where it is now.’

‘Ok. By the way Liz, that was too funny, but it could’ve ruined everything.’ Max said.

‘I don’t care. I have had enough of her and her games. It was worth the risk.’ Liz smiled to herself as she arranged tiny little desserts on a silver platter.

‘I love you.’ Max said shaking his head.

Isabel interrupted them as she leaned over and whispered in Max’s ear. “Liz is so classic!”

Max looked behind him and smiled at Isabel. “I know that was funny huh?” he said as he pictured Lara’s face again.

“Hilarious!” Isabel said giggling. “Why’d she do it? Is part of their plan?” she asked in a whisper.

“No, she had a fit of jealousy. Lara had her foot up my pant leg.” Max explained.

“Wow the action at this end of the table is way more exciting that at the other end. Mom and Dad are telling stories about our trip to the river.” Isabel rolled her eyes.

“Hey guys. Can you believe that scene?” Kyle asked as he walked up to them.

“I know! We were just talking about it.” Isabel smiled.

“Everyone is.” Kyle said laughing. “No one is even eating their dinners, they’re all just talking about Lara.”

“What are they saying?” Max asked curiously.

“Mostly that the spoiled little bitch deserved it.” Kyle said looking around and lowering his voice even more. “Most of these people can’t stand her.”

“Really?” Max asked. “I thought this party was for her. I mean I thought most of these people are her friends.”

“They are, but they don’t like her. I least that’s the feeling I’ve gotten being her date.” Kyle said. “Most of the people I’ve met seem to be surprised she found a date at all. They’re as two faced as she is though so who knows.”

Isabel nodded. “I know what you mean. Three girls have told me to warn you about her Max.” she said. “About ten have told me to warn you Kyle.” She laughed.

Kyle laughed. “I know what you mean, she’s a piranha. At least she’ll be busy getting ready for awhile.”

Isabel nodded. “Are you guys done eating, because it looks like everyone is making their way back into the other room for the dessert trays and champagne.” Isabel said pointing to the people leaving the room.

“Yeah let’s go. Liz should be making her move any time now so we need to keep an eye on Mr. Petersen. Lara should be busy upstairs in the bathroom for awhile, washing her hair and stuff.” Max said as the three of them started laughing again.


Liz looked around Mr. Petersen’s office for a few minutes before she decided to check the desk out first.

She walked over to it and tried to open the drawers but they were all locked. “Damn.” She whispered to herself.

“Need some help?” Ava asked from the corner of the room.

“Shit! Ava you scared me!” Liz whispered loudly.

“Sorry, but I figured you might need me. You had to have known all of this stuff would be locked.” Ava said smiling and walking over to the desk.

“Just unlock the drawers please.” Liz said rolling her eyes. “You can lecture me on my stupidity later.”

“Promise?” Ava asked as she put her hand on the top of the drawers and they unlocked one by one.

Liz nodded. “Thanks. Now let’s see what we can find.”

They looked through all of the drawers but couldn’t find anything but a bunch of bank papers and loan files. They were about to shut the last drawers when Ava pulled out a black folder and opened it.

“Liz look.” Ava whispered and leaned closer to Liz.

Liz looked at the file closely and her eyes grew wide with surprise. She turned to Ava slowly and searched her mind for answers but couldn’t come up with any. “Why?” Liz whispered as she looked at Ava who shrugged her shoulders. “Why would he want to buy The Crashdown?”

“I don’t know.” Ava whispered. “Did you know your parents were selling it?”

“No.” Liz shook her head. “They would never sell it. They love that place. There has to be something weird going on.”

“Look at this.” Ava said holding up another file. “It looks like he’s trying to buy Maria’s mom’s business as well.”

“Amy would never sell her business either! At least not without telling Maria.” Liz said in shock.

The doorknob started to turn and they heard Mr. Petersen’s voice outside, obviously trying to get away from whichever one of their friends was trying to stall him.

“Come on let’s get out of here.” Ava said as she quickly stuffed both of the files back into the drawer and locked them. They ran out of the room through the side door, just as Mr. Petersen entered his office.


Part 51

“Where have you two been and why are you out of breath?” Maria asked as Liz and Ava ran into the kitchen and interrupted her and Michael’s make out session.

“We were just in Petersen’s office.” Liz said trying to catch her breath and explain.

“Yeah and you’ll never believe what we found.” Ava said.

“What?” Maria asked, obviously intrigued.

“We found a file that said Petersen is trying to buy The Crashdown.” Liz said. “And your mom’s business too Maria.”

“WHAT?” Maria yelped. “My mom would never sell her business. She loves it!”

“I know.” Liz agreed. “My parents would never sell the restaurant either. Something weird is going on.”

“So what do we do now?” Michael asked. “Are you guys still going to try to check out Lara’s room?”

“Definitely.” Liz nodded her head and looked down at her wrist. “I set my watch for the time she left to go get cleaned up. She’s only been gone twenty- two minutes. It should take her at least another half an hour to re-do her hair.”

Maria nodded. “At least. That girl won’t come back downstairs unless she looks perfect.”

“Ok then, let’s head up there.” Liz said. “Maria, you come with me and we’ll all make sure she’s up in the bathroom. Then Ava you head to her room and unlock the door, if it’s locked, and then get back down here before someone gets suspicious.”

“Ok.” Ava said nodding.

“I’ll be too busy to fill Max and the others in on what we found, so Michael, you do that while we’re up there.” Liz said. “Everyone know what to do?” she asked looking around.

“Yep, let’s go.” Maria said as Michael nodded.

A few minutes later the three of them were heading up the back staircase towards the bedrooms. They crept down the hallway until they reached the bathroom. Liz pressed her ear up against it and when she was sure she had heard someone inside, she motioned for Ava to search out Lara’s bedroom.

Ava continued to walk down the hallway checking every room by opening the door slightly and peeking in. She made her way down the corridor until she came to the last door. When she checked the doorknob she noticed it was locked, so she used her powers to unlock it quickly and peeked inside. It was definitely Lara’s room. She leaned back so she could see Maria and Liz and gave them the thumbs up that she had found it.

Liz looked at Maria and motioned her to follow. They walked down the hallway until they reached Ava and then they all quietly entered Lara’s room together. They were definitely not prepared for what they had found.

Isabel looked around the room at the guests enjoying the sounds of the band. Many of them were on the dance floor already and they looked like they were having a wonderful time.

Alex saw her across the room and made a beeline for her. He approached her from behind and leaned forward to whisper in her ear. “Hi beautiful.” She turned around and smiled at him.

“Hi.” Isabel said. “What are you doing?”

“Just saying hello to the most beautiful woman at this party.” Alex said smiling.

“You’re just saying that cuz you’re hoping you’ll get lucky later.” Isabel rolled her eyes.

“Maybe.” Alex laughed. “But since I’m working right now, I have to keep an eye on things so Liz can get whatever it is she’s looking for.”

“Did you know about this plan before tonight Alex?” Isabel asked.

“No, I just thought it was a regular catering job, and I needed the extra money. I didn’t find out about it until we got here.” Alex explained. “I would have told you if I had Isabel.”

“Right. I know. So what are we supposed to do now?” Isabel asked looking at Alex.

“I don’t know.” Alex said. “Just wait I guess.” He shrugged.

“Ok. Too bad you’re working this thing or we could dance.” Isabel pouted. “I love the way you dance.”

“I love the way you dance too.” Alex said smiling. “Remember the prom? God, that night was so great.”

Isabel nodded. “It was great. Magical is the only way to describe it. It was right before you disappeared.” She said sadly. “I’m so glad you’re back Alex.” She said, her eyes filling up with tears.

“Me too. I missed you so much.” Alex said reaching down and subtly touching her hand. “Have I told you how beautiful you look tonight?” he asked looking at her black strapless dress.

“No.” Isabel said with mock disappointment.

“Well you look absolutely breathtaking Miss Evans.” Alex said as she touched his fingers with her own. “Want to meet up after the party and continue this?” he asked.

Isabel nodded. “Definitely.”

“Good then I’ll meet you at your house when we’re through here.” Alex said. “I have to get back to the kitchen now. Love you.” He said before releasing her hand and disappearing into the crowd.

“Hey Is.” Max said as he walked up behind her. “I just got some interesting news from Michael.” Max said. “Well actually it was from Sean, but it came from Michael in the kitchen. He asked Sean to pass it around.”

Isabel turned around to face her brother. “Really? What’s going on?”

“Let’s dance.” Max said as he dragged Isabel out onto the dance floor. “It’s easier to talk out here.”

Isabel nodded. “So what’s up?”

“Well Ava and Liz were in ‘you know who’s’ office and they found a file with some interesting info in it.” Max whispered.

“What kind of info?” Isabel asked quietly as she smiled at the other guests as Max twirled her around the dance floor.

“Apparently Petersen is trying to buy The Crashdown and Amy Deluca’s business as well.” Max said. “Of course Liz and Maria think something strange is going on. They both say their parents would never sell their businesses.”

“I can’t imagine them doing that either.” Isabel said looking at Max. “Where are they now?”

“Upstairs trying to find out where Lara’s room is.” Max said shaking his head. “Liz is blocking my connection right now so I have no idea what’s going on.”

“Why is she blocking you?” Isabel asked, confused.

“Well one of two reasons. She either doesn’t want to be distracted, or she doesn’t want me to be able to read her feelings. It’s okay. We need to be able to do it to keep our sanity.” Max smiled weakly.

“That’s understandable.” Isabel nodded. “So what do we do now?”

“We wait.” Max sighed. “I’m sure Liz will connect with me if anything weird happens. Other than that everything seems to be going as planned.”

“Yeah except for the little meatball incident!” Isabel laughed. “I don’t think that was planned!”

“No it wasn’t, but it ended up working out for the best in all of our favors. Look.” Max said pointing across the room at Kyle and Serena talking.

“I just love that those two are together.” Isabel smiled as she looked at them. Serena’s eyes told how much she was in love with Kyle and he seemed just as smitten with her.

“Yeah.” Max agreed. The song ended and he led Isabel off of the dance floor into the waiting arms of their father.

“Isabel, may I have the next dance?” Philip asked.

“Sure Dad.” Isabel said. “Max I’ll catch up with you later.”

Max nodded and headed in the direction of Kyle. He noticed Serena walk off a moment before and since it wouldn’t do to be hanging out with the help all night, he figured Kyle was really the only other suitable person to hang out with other than his mother.

As he was approaching Kyle he got suddenly dizzy as nausea overcame him and he sat down in the closest chair to him. He put his head in his hands trying to stop the room from spinning as he felt all of the blood rush out of his face. He tread to put a finger on what was wrong, but he couldn’t place it. He knew he wasn’t sick, because they never got sick. There could only be one reason, and then he heard her words of panic. ‘Max, oh God Max, get up here.” It was Liz.



Liz, Maria and Ava looked around the room as their breath caught in their throats. It was like a horror movie or some sort of suspense thriller. The ceiling and walls were painted jet black and there were words spray painted all over them in different colors like red, fluorescent blue, hot pink and white. The only lighting in the room came from strategically placed black lights, which made the room even creepier. There were phrases scrawled across the ceiling above Lara’s black satin covered bed. Liz recognized them from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and her stomach sank.

Liz looked around trying to see what else was written while Maria and Ava stood rooted to the spot with their mouths hanging open. Liz saw all of their names on one of the walls. Each name was sprayed on the wall, followed by a heart and the name of the person’s significant other. It had Max’s name followed by hers, then Michael’s and Maria’s, and Isabel and Alex’s. She had included Serena and Kyle, Ava and Sean and even Jim and Amy. At the bottom of the list was Lara’s name, followed by a heart, and then it was blank.

“Well I’d say she definitely knows who we all are.” Maria said as she inhaled sharply and followed Liz’s gaze.

“Yeah I think so.” Liz managed to say. “What a sick bitch! What is she doing?”

Maria and Ava shrugged. “I don’t know.” Ava whispered. “But look at that.” She said pointing to the side of the room.

Liz and Maria followed Ava’s finger and walked slowly over to what looked like a vanity table with a chair. When they got to it they noticed that pictures of all of them were taped to the mirror, completely covering where their reflections should have been. Most of the pictures were of Max. Some of them had Liz in them and some of them were just of him. She had pictures of him playing basketball, washing his car, standing outside the movie theatre, even pictures of him sitting in his favorite booth at The Crashdown.

“Shit Liz. It looks like your fears were not unfounded. She’s definitely after Max.” Maria said putting her arm around Liz. “The question is why?”

“She obviously thinks he’s her mate.” Ava said pulling out three photo albums from the bookcase next to the vanity. “Look.” She opened the first book to reveal hundreds of more pictures of them. Some of the photos were under the protective plastic; others were just shoved in the book and overflowing out of the sides of it.

Maria opened the other two books and they were more of the same. The only difference was that one book was full of pictures of Max and Liz, one album was full of pictures of Maria and Michael, and one was full of pictures of Isabel and Alex.

“This chick is a total freak. I mean it’s like Silence of the Lambs or something!” Maria said quietly. “I’d like to own the place where she gets her film developed, they must make a fortune from her!”

Ava picked up an empty album. “Look you guys.” She said holding the album up. On the front of it written in black magic marker Lara had written “Max and Lara” surrounded with a heart.

“More like Fatal Attraction.” Liz said quietly. “Come on we need to get out of here. I feel sick.”

They turned to walk out of the room when they were met with the demon herself.

“What do you three think you’re doing?” Lara asked standing behind them with her hands on her hips.

“Lara. Umm hi.” Maria squeaked out.

“Do I know you?” Lara asked, clearly annoyed.

“It’s me. Maria Deluca. Remember, we met the day I came to discuss the menu here?” Maria tried to sound casual as she was trying not to pee her pants in terror.

“Oh right. You look different.” Lara said as she walked over to the light switch and flipped the lights on. Instantly all of the spray painted words faded into the walls and they were no longer noticeable.

“Well you know, it’s a masquerade ball, I thought I’d change my look.” Maria said. “We were just coming up to check on you. See if you were almost ready. We were waiting for you before we served dessert.” Maria said.

“Right.” Lara said. “Well you know, I was a mess.” She glared at Liz who was trying to connect with Max.

“Oh I know you were. Well you sure got ready quick though.” Maria said trying to lighten the mood as she looked at Lara’s brown hair pulled up neatly and her fresh make-up and dress.

“Well you know how it is.” Lara said as she waved her hand in front of her face and changed her make-up and then her hair instantly. “So why don’t we stop playing games?”

Maria stared at her with her mouth open and wondered why Liz couldn’t do that. “What do you mean?” she asked weakly.

“I mean that you know who I am, and I know who you are. Isn’t that right Lizzie?” Lara asked looking at Liz again. “Don’t bother trying to connect with him. I’ve been blocking you for the last twenty minutes.”

Liz looked up at Lara and stepped back involuntarily. Seeing the evil reflected in a face that looked just like her own sent a wave of panic through her and right before she fainted she knew she had connected with Max and told him to come upstairs.

Then everything went black.





Part 52

Max regained his strength and the dizziness passed. He stood up from his chair and looked towards the staircase. He had heard Liz’s voice in his head calling for help. He needed to get to her, fast. He bolted towards the staircase and as he approached it he turned around to make sure no one was watching him. As he started to lift his foot and rest in on the first step he heard a voice behind him.

“Where do you think you’re going son?” Mr. Petersen asked as Max turned around slowly.
“No where sir.” Max said. “I was just going to find a bathroom.”

“There’s one downstairs for the guests.” Mr. Petersen said. “Unless of course you’re actually looking for something, or someone else?”

“Actually, to tell you the truth sir, I was looking for Lara.” Max said, suddenly getting an idea.

“Of course you were.” Mr. Petersen smiled. “She is after all the guest of honor. Why don’t you go ahead and go up. See what’s taking her so long.” He waved at Max to continue up the stairs.

“Yes sir.” Max nodded. “I’ll bring her right down.” He said as he started climbing once again.

“Liz! Oh my God!” Maria yelled as she ran over to Liz and knelt down beside her. She turned to Lara. “What did you do to her?”

“I didn’t do anything to her.” Lara said smiling. “She obviously passed out from fear or something.”

“Whatever.” Maria said. “Look, I don’t know what your really doing in Roswell, but you better watch your back bitch.”

“I think you know why I’m here Maria.” Lara said. “I’m here to claim what’s mine.”

“By that you mean..?” Ava asked, suddenly afraid of the answer.

“Max of course.” Lara smiled. “He’s my mate.”

“No he’s not, he’s Liz’s.” Ava said. “You’re mate is dead Lara.”

“What are you talking about?” Lara asked. “I’m Kilaara, Max is my mate.”

“Nope, sorry.” Maria said glaring at Lara over her shoulder, still holding Liz’s hand. “Liz is Kilarra’s essence. You’re nothing but a pathetic duplicate, to throw off our enemies. Zan was your mate Lara, and he’s already dead. Rath and Lonnie killed him. They’re dead too.” Maria finished.

“Rath and Lonnie are dead?” Lara asked slowly sitting down on her bed. “Why didn’t Kivar tell me?”

“Is Kivar here? Is that who your dad is?” Ava asked quietly.

“No.” Lara shook her head. “Kivar is still on Antar. My dad raised me after my mom died. He has no idea who I am. He has nothing to do with this.”
“So how did you find out about everything?” Ava asked, sitting down next to her.

“A girl named Tess came and told me everything when I was living in New York. She told me who I was. She put me in touch with Kivar. She gave me this.” Lara walked over to her vanity table and pulled out the silver sphere.

“An orb.” Maria said. She looked down as Liz started to stir. “Liz? Are you okay sweetie?” she asked as Liz opened her eyes.

Liz sat up slowly and looked around the room. Her eyes rested on the door and suddenly it burst open and Max was standing there. He ran over to where she was sitting and got down on his knees next to her.

“Liz. What happened?” Max asked desperately. “Are you okay?”

“She’s fine.” Lara said bitterly. “You’re little soul mate is just fine Max, don’t you worry.”

“What happened?” Max asked with an angry tone. “What did you do to her?”

“Me?” Lara asked. “I didn’t do anything to her! She fainted.” Lara tried to explain. “I admit I was trying to block your connection, but she must have been trying too hard to get past it, she must have passed out from trying to hard.”

Max kissed Liz on the top of her head. “Are you okay baby?” he asked gently as he looked into her eyes.

“Yeah.” Liz nodded. “She’s right. I was trying to connect with you, and once I found out she was blocking us I used all of my energy to try to complete the connection. I guess I don’t know how to really control my powers yet. Especially this bond.” Liz said.

“So..you guys have…umm…bonded already?” Lara asked shyly.

“Yeah.” Max said as he helped Liz up. “What the hell is going on?”

“Max,” Maria started to explain. “Lara met Tess. It must have been while you two were in New York. Tess gave her an orb and told her about who she is. She left out the most important detail though. That she’s Kilaara’s dupe.” Maria said. “Kivar’s been telling her that you’re her mate. He’s been using her, she was raised just like Liz. Mr. Petersen doesn’t know anything about any of it.”

“Is that true?” Max asked in shock.

“Pretty much.” Lara nodded. “I’m really sorry. I trusted him. I didn’t know he was lying. I thought I was meant to be with you Max, I thought that Tess was telling me the truth. She said if anything happened to her then I was to be with you. I was supposed to kill Liz. She said Liz was the dupe and she was mind warping you into thinking she was me.”


“Tess was a lying bitch!” Ava said.

“Was?” Lara asked in surprise.

“Yeah, she’s dead.” Max said. “She tried to take the Granolith back to Antar and she didn’t survive the trip.”

“Oh.” Lara said quietly. “Wow.”

“Yeah, anyway, what are we going to do Max?” Ava asked as Liz rested her head on Max’s shoulder.

“Well for now, we better all get downstairs before anyone gets worried.” Max said.

“Like who?” Lara asked.

“Like Kyle, Sean, Serena, Michael, Alex and Isabel, not to mention your dad, and my parents.” Max said staring at Lara.

“Ok, you’re right. He’s already wondering why I’ve been acting so strange since we moved here.” Lara said. “Um, what are you guys going to do about me?”

“Well that depends.” Max said as they started to walk out of her bedroom and down the hallway.

“Depends on what?” Lara asked.

“On whether or not you’re going to help us get to and defeat Kivar.” Max said solemnly as he turned to look at her.


THE END


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