posted on 31-Aug-2001 7:33:14 PM
tittle- Blurring The Lines

author- Melissa ~ True Blue Healer (although, when I first started to post parts to this fic, I was Mslayer713)

disclaimer- Lets see: It's all mine!!! Max, Liz, Michael, Isabel, Maria, Kyle, and Alex -- who will NEVER die!!!! LOL
Actually, I own shit. No, Max, no pod squaders, nada. It all belongs to UPN and Jason Katims and Melinda Metz, seeing how it's all based on her book series.

category- AU M/L M/M and I/A fic. I spread the love around...

rating- Um...R...maybe a little more...

summary- Well...Max is a hottie and half with a motorcyle and a new attitude. Just add some Michael into the mix and ya get my new Max!! He's more like him then ya think... Plus, this being an AU fic, other things are a little different too...READ: No Tess!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

authors notes- Well, feedback would be great!!
***

PART 1 ~
Liz wiped down the counter of the cafe with boredom written all over her face. It was late, there were only a few customers left, and one of them was Max Evans.

Max Evans…

Watching him, Liz wondered what he was really like. Everyone was weary of him. He was mysterious with his dark looks and brooding manner. And he hardly ever spoke.

But everyone knew how he was. It was hard to miss him when he went flying by on that motorcycle of his.

Still looking at him Liz froze when she suddenly realized he was looking back. Feeling her face get red, she quickly looked away, busying herself on refilling the salt shakers.

Why was she even looking at him? Everyone knew Max Evans wasn’t the best guy to get involved with. He wasn’t even her type.

Biting her lower lip, Liz chanced another look. There was something about his ‘bad-boy’ vibe that pulled at her. Watching him covertly, Liz noticed the last couple was ready to cash out and leave.

Going to the cash register, Liz tried her best not to look at him as she passed. Smiling at the older couple, Liz took the money. “Thanks for coming,” she told them.

“You’re very welcome,” the man told her, leading his wife outside.

Smiling, Liz put their money away and realized it was just her and Max now. Looking at her feet, she walked back to the counter, humming the last bars of the jukebox song to keep her mind off of him.

Wiping at her neck, Liz sighed. It was so hot in here. Walking over to look at the thermostat, she saw it was normal. Maybe it was just her.

Or maybe it was Max.

Pushing that thought far away, Liz heard a new song start up.

~ Take me down, 6 underground; the ground beneath your feet. Laid out low, nothing to go; no where away to meet. I’ve got a head full of drought down here. So far off, losing out round here. ~

Listening to the seductive beat of the song, Liz suddenly wished another song would come on. Seeing Max stand up, she watched as she walked toward the cash register to check out.

Taking a deep breath, she walked over, giving him a brief smile. “Hope you enjoyed your meal.”

He looked her right in the eye and said, “I did.”

Liz was so entrapped by his deep eyes that she almost tripped over her own feet as she walked around to the other side of the cash register. Trying to hide her embarrassment, she laughed it off. “Ok…well, um, it was $5.02.”

Pulling out his wallet, Max handed her a 10. Taking it, Liz felt their fingers touch and a spark ran through her whole body. Looking down, she quickly made the change and handed it back.

“Here you go. Have a good night,” she added, trying to keep her voice even.

Taking the change, Max gave her a smirk before going to walk out the door. Placing his hand on the glass, Liz watched as he hesitated before spinning back around and walking around the counter to stand right in front of her.

Looking up at him, Liz could see the passion in his eyes as he pulled her close. Feeling his chest up against hers, Liz’s heart speed up and her breath caught in her throat as he kissed her deeply, sending all other thoughts out of her head.

~ Over ground, watch this space. I’m open to falling from grace. ~

Liz kissed his back, losing herself in the feel of his body along hers. Suddenly his lips were on her neck and his hands moved down, holding her up against him tightly.

~ Calm me down, bring it round; to way high off your street. I can see like nothing else; in me, you’re better then I wanna be. Don’t think cause I understand I care. Don’t think cause I’m talking we’re friends.
Over ground, watch this space. I’m open to falling from grace. ~

Max was moving his lips all over her and Liz was being pulled farther and farther away from her safe world. Everything was Max and all she wanted was for him to never stop.

Moaning, Max suddenly picked Liz up and sat her on the counter beside the cash register, moving to stand in between her legs.

Running her hands over his chest, Liz started to unbutton the front of his shirt. Her mind was screaming at her to stop, but she ignored it, letting Max attack her mouth once more.

~ Talk me down, safe and sound; too strung up to sleep. Wear me out, scream and shout; swear my time’s never cheap. I fake my life like I’ve lived too much. I take whatever you’re giving, not enough. ~

“Hey.”

Jumping, Liz looked across the counter at Max, the 10 dollar bill still in his hand. The daydream was gone and Liz was suddenly returning to reality.

“Um…yeah, I’m just a little hot,” she said softly, taking the money and making change. “Here you go,” Liz added, handing him the change and watching him walk out of the café without another look her away.

“My god…” she said moaned, ready to die of embarrassment. Rubbing her temples, Liz sighed and walked over to the door, changing the sign to closed before starting the nightly chore of closing up the café.
***

Max watched as she walked away from the door, her face flushed from the daydream. He knew she had it. It was written all over her face that she was experiencing it.

But the weird part was that it was his fantasy.

There was something so wholesome and sweet about Liz Parker that made him want to ravish her. It was weird.

All of his other flings had been with totally different kinds of girls—and he never had any fantasies about them.

Shaking his head, Max pulled on his leather coat and jumped on his bike, gunning the engine before tearing off.

He wasn’t about to let little Liz Parker get to him.

~ Over ground, watch this space. I’m open for falling from grace. ~
***
TBC

PART 2 ~

“Ok, I’m staying till closing from now on,” Maria told her, taking a drink of her iced tea.

Sighing, Liz looked around the quad, trying to explain to Maria what she was going through. “Maria…I just—“ She finally gave up. “I can’t explain it.”

“Liz, babe, we’re talking about Max Evans here.” Thinking it over, Maria added, “ok, granted, he is yummy, but he has a rep.”

“I know,” Liz said finally.

“Besides…I thought you had Kyle Valenti wrapped around your pinky,” her best friend said mockingly.

Scowling, Liz amended, “no, he’s attached himself to it—I’m still looking for a saw to cut him off.”

“Well, as far as he knows, it ain’t the pinky, but the ring finger.”

Standing up, Liz said, “don’t even joke about something like that,” before walking off.

“Lizzie,” Maria called after her, “are you trying to say you wouldn’t like to marry Mr. Valenti?” she joked.

“That’d be a yes.” Spinning around, Liz stopped when she saw Max Evans and Michael Guerin stroll over to one the benches and sit down.

“Wow…they actually came today,” Maria said. “Was Michael with him last night?”

“No, he was alone.”

Watching Michael, Maria added, “shame…that one’s yummy and delicious.”

Scoffing, Liz glared at Maria. “I thought that they were ‘bad element’.”

Looking back, Maria replied, “they are. But they are some fine element!” Taking her arm, Maria pulled Liz away. “Come on, we can not drool no more; bad is bad and nothing will ever come of it.”

Glancing at Max once more, Liz paused when she found herself looking right into his deep brown eyes. Maria tugged again and Liz followed, but not before seeing his sister walk up to them.

Maria must have noticed too cause she said, “ice princess cometh.”

“She’s not that bad,” Liz replied. Isabel Evans may have had her moments but she always seemed ok toward Liz.

“Please…I don’t know what Alex sees in her.”

“She’s pretty.” Liz suddenly thought that might have been an understatement. Isabel Evans was tall, built and curvy. Pretty much every male at West Roswell High’s fantasy. Her long blonde was always perfect and her make-up was never smudged.

“Yeah, pretty shallow,” Maria said finally.

“Maria, do you have to rag on everyone?”

Looking over her shoulder, Liz smiled when she saw Alex Whitman standing there. “Alex!”

“Parker, my girl,” he replied, draping his arms around her shoulders. “Guess who just walked into the quad.”

“Who?” Maria asked.

“A one mister Kyle Valenti…and,” looking around, Alex grinned as he added, “yes, I am getting the evil eye now.” Pulling Liz even closer he added, “think he’ll try to beat me up?”

Scoffing, Liz mumbled, “why can’t he just get a clue.”

“Maybe you should buy him one,” Alex joked.

“Did ya tell him flat out that you didn’t want to date him?” Maria asked, ignoring Alex and starting to walk toward the school.

“Yes, I even played the boyfriend card.”

“And who was the fake beau?”

“‘Tis was I,” Alex said, giving a slight bow.

Shaking her head, Maria added, “well, there was your problem.”

“What’s that mean?” Alex asked quickly.

“Well, no offense to you Alex, but that’s not gonna make Kyle Valenti back down.”

“I could make him back down,” Alex mumbled.

“I know you could,” Liz told him, patting his shoulder.

“At least one of you cares for me,” he said pointedly, giving Maria a look. “I gotta book.”

Watching him walk away, Maria shook her head. “Such a drama queen.”

Scoffing, Liz added, “and this is coming from the girl who threw herself onto the counter last week to keep my dad from making her work on a Saturday night.”

“Hey…Travis Vega asked me out! What was I supposed to do? Have you seen Travis’s muscles?” Maria asked, emphasizing with her hands.

Shaking her head, Liz just smiled as they started to their next class.
***

“You gonna be ok tonight,” Mr. Parker asked Liz, checking to make sure everything was in place.

“Yes,” Liz said in frustration. “I think I can handle it one night.”

“Besides Mr. P, I’m gonna be here,” Maria added, breezing past to serve a table.

“For some reason that’s not much of a comfort. Well, Julia will be here for the rest of week and all of next week too,” her dad added.

“Come on Jeff, we’re gonna miss out flight,” Nancy Parker said, coming out front.

Giving Liz on last hug, her dad added, “no parties.”

“Right,” Liz said, smiling at her father.

“Bye sweetie,” Nancy said, kissing Liz on the cheek. “We’ll see you in 2 weeks.”

“Have fun!” Maria exclaimed, coming back up. “And happy anniversary.”

“Thanks Maria,” Jeff added.

“Watch out for Liz for us,” Nancy added with a grin.

“Got it covered,” Maria said, waving them off.

“Bye dad, bye mom,” Liz added, walking them to the front door. One last hug they were gone, getting into the cab and heading toward the airport.

“Oh! 2 weeks without adult supervision!” Maria squealed. “Can I have this week off?”

“Maria!”

“I’m kidding,” she said, going to the counter. “But I do have one request.”

“And that is?” Liz asked, arching one eyebrow.

“I stay over a few days—no curfew and a car!!” she added.

“My two favorite things,” a deep voice said from behind Liz.

Spinning, Liz nearly screamed when she found herself face to face with Max Evans. Unable to find her voice, Maria came over.

“Hi, can we help you?” she asked.

Glancing at Maria quickly, Max turned back to Liz. “Can I get a men in blackberry pie to go?” His voice was low and rough, making Liz swallow as she tried to control her own voice.

Nodding, Liz got a ‘sure’ before going to the back to get it out of the fridge. Her heart was pounding on double time and her hands were shaking. What was her problem?!

As if thinking the same thing, Maria came into the back asked, “what is your problem?”

“I don’t know,” Liz admitted, going to the fridge. “He just…” Pulling out the pie, Liz stumbled as her hands shook and nearly dropped it.

“Ok, give me that,” Maria said, quickly taking it. “You need to pull yourself together.”

Taking a deep breath and nodding, Liz said, “you’re right.” Following Maria out front, Liz could feel her face getting red as Max watched her. It was like he was trying to read her mind or something.

“Well, here ya go. That’ll be $6.50,” Maria told him.

Handing her a 10, Max added, “keep the change,” before taking the box and walking out of the café.

Blowing out the breath she’d be holding, Liz leaned against the counter.

“Are you ok babe?” Maria asked, a little laugh in her voice.

“No…” Liz mumbled, placing her forehead on the counter.
***

Max put the pie in the passenger seat of the jeep and started it, wishing her had brought his bike. Glancing at the café one last time, he pulled out of his parking spot, gunning the engine as a little red mustang convertible passed by.

He recognized it as one of the jocks from school.

Letting the wind blow past him, Max wondered why it didn’t work this time. He went into the Crashdown with every intention of trying his new theory out. Last night Liz Parker had experienced one of his thoughts with him. And Max wanted to know why the hell she could do that.

So, after making up his mind to try it again, he walked into the Crashdown and sat down in one of the booths near the counter, watching Liz. She was saying goodbye or something to her parents and hadn’t spotted him yet.

Thinking up a good scenario, Max got up and headed over toward her and Maria DeLuca. Liz was surprised, to say the least, and Max started his plan into action.

The original script called for him to make Liz ‘see’ him and her talking in the back after she went to get the pie. But for some reason beyond his control he started to imagine them making out.

Ok, maybe it wasn’t beyond his control, but he wasn’t gonna fight it either.

But it didn’t matter. Liz didn’t experience it with him this time.

Shifting the gears of the old jeep, Max pulled his thoughts back to the present and pulled into his driveway. Grabbing the pie, he got out of the jeep and walked inside.

“Where you been?” Isabel asked, pulling the phone away from her ear.

“Meeting with enemy aliens and conversing to take over the planet,” Max said as he walked into the kitchen. He could feel Isabel’s glare and smiled. Sitting the pie down on the table, he pulled off his coat and went to get a drink.

“You’re getting more and more like Michael everyday,” Isabel mumbled, walking into the kitchen.

Glancing at her, Max asked, “who was on the phone? One of your superficial bimbo-cheerleader friends?”

“You would know,” Isabel replied quickly. Spotting the pie on the table, she smirked and added, “chasing after little Lizzie Parker again I see.”

Glowering at her, Max walked out of the kitchen. “I was not chasing after anyone—and certainly not her.”

“Oh please,” Isabel commented, following him down the hall. “I’ve seen the way you look her up and down. All of my friends are jealous,” she added with a mockingly pout.

“Yeah, well, those vultures you call friends can step off.”

Smirking, Isabel flopped down on his bed. “My, my, my. Has my brother actually found a real girl?”

“Other then your legions?” Max commented. “I don’t even get why you mess with them. They’re airheads.”

“Which explains why they all want you,” she tossed back. “So…who is it? As if I don’t all ready know.”

“Who’s who?” Max mumbled, sitting down at his desk.

“The girl,” Isabel said with a huge smile.

Sighing, Max stood back up and grabbed his leather jacket, going out of the room without answering his sister.

“Say ‘hi’ to Liz for me!!” Isabel called after him.
***
TBC

PART 3 ~
Liz looked up when the doorbell chimed and immediately spun, running for the back.

“Hey Liz.”

Too late.

Plastering a smile on her face, Liz spun around to see Kyle Valenti heading toward her. “Hey Kyle.”

Smiling, Kyle walked the few feet to her and added, “hi Liz. I was just wondering something.”

Stepping away, she walked back over toward the counter, putting it between them. “What’s that?”

Sitting down on a stool, he said, “when do you get off tonight?”

“Um, I’m closing,” Liz said, thankful that she was.

“Oh…well, I could stay around and keep you company.”

Stuttering, Liz said, “um, ok, well, see--…Maria’s gonna be here and we have this whole girls night planned so…”

Kyle, seeming to buy it, said finally, “ok…well, it was worth a try.”

“Yeah, ok,” Liz muttered, watching him walk away to join a few of his friends at a booth.

“Taming the beast again?” Maria asked, walking up to the counter while looking at Kyle.

“More like trying,” Liz replied. “He just won’t give up.”

Smiling, Maria pinched her cheek. “Why would he—you’re so cute!” she cooed.

Swatting her friends’ hand away, Liz brightened when she saw Alex walk in. glancing over at Kyle, Liz saw he noticed too.

“What are you thinking?” Maria asked, eyeing her.

Smiling, Liz rushed over to meet Alex on the other side of the counter. “Remember our deal?” she whispered.

“About Kyle?” he asked.

“Yeah.”

“Yeah.”

Then Liz kissed him in front of everyone. She could hear a few mummers and feel Alex’s shock. “It’s for show,” she muttered against his lips.

Coming out of his trance, Alex nodded and kissed her back, even putting his arms around her. Getting on her tiptoes, Liz wrapped her arms around his neck.

Finally pulling back, Liz looked up at Alex, she could feel the laughter coming and quickly pulled him into the back, hearing a few catcalls in their wake.

“Oh my god!!” she exclaimed as they both burst out in laughter.

“That was too weird,” Alex got out.

“I know…we’ve never—“ Liz said.

“Never,” Alex agreed, still laughing.

Suddenly the doors flew open and Maria rushed back. “I can not believe you two!!”

Trying to stop laughing, Liz said to Maria, “did it look believable?”

“Uh-huh. I think I even saw tongue!!” she replied, which only started Liz and Alex’s laughing again. “Guys!!”

“Ok…ok,” Alex said, taking in some deep breaths and wiping at his eyes.

“Did Kyle see us?” Liz asked.

“Yeah, him and the whole restaurant,” Maria answered. “How are you gonna explain this tomorrow?”

“What are you talking about Maria?” Alex asked, completely confused.

“Everyone saw you two practically making out. It’s gonna be all over the school.”

“No…no it won’t,” Liz said finally, completely sober now.

Scoffing, Maria shook her head and headed back out front. “Ok, don’t believe me. But I am not gonna bail your butts out come tomorrow morning.”

Watching her leave, Liz glanced at Alex. “You don’t think she’s telling the truth…do you?”

Alex shrugged. “Come on, it’s Maria—total drama queen. And even if she is, what’s it gonna hurt? We don’t have a girlfriend or boyfriend.”

“Yeah…” Liz said softly, thinking about Max. “I’m sure no one’s even gonna remember.”
***

Everyone’s eyes were on Liz as she walked into school the next day. Trying to ignore the blatant staring, she shifted her backpack and walked to her locker.

Seeing Alex already waiting there, Liz also took in the looks he was getting. Placing her hair behind her ears, Liz walked over and started to dial her combination.

“I think we underestimated the importance of teenage gossip,” Alex muttered.

“This…it’s all gonna blow over,” Liz said as one of the football players walked by and Whistled. Clearing her throat she added, “soon—it’ll all blow over soon.”

“So…does anyone ever listen to the highly divine?” Maria asked, walking up to them. “I was just in the girls’ room.”

“Save it Maria,” Alex mumbled, not even looking at her.

“Mr. Alex Whitman has climbed up a few rungs on the social scale.”

“Really?” Alex asked, suddenly very interested in what Maria was saying.

“Oh yeah…you’re hot stuff now that ya got a girlfriend.”

“So this is great!”

Liz, shutting her locker, looked at Alex. “Alex…think about what Maria just said.”

Confused, Alex looked back at Maria. Sighing, Maria added, “now have girlfriend. Can’t chase after sultry popular girls,” in a monotone voice. “No more mooning over Isabel Evans.”

“Awe…man. The High school dating system sucks!” Alex exclaimed as he walked off, sulking.

Shaking her head, Maria muttered, “so lost…” Looking back at Liz, she added, “I’ve been doing a little gossiping myself.”

“What now?” Liz asked, starting to walk to her homeroom.

“Oh nothing, just that a certain ‘bad boy’ we both know of is actually here today…”

Stopping, Liz turned to Maria. “Did—did—you didn’t tell him that me and Alex were—“

“Oh no, I did not talk to him,” Maria said quickly. “But he’s gonna hear about it,” she added, walking off into the classroom while Liz stayed in the hallway.
***

Isabel spotted Max sitting on the bleachers, stretched out in his all black outfit. Shaking her head, she walked up to him, kicking him on the foot to get his attention.

“Go away,” he barked, not even opening his eyes.

“What crawled up your butt and died?” Isabel muttered, sitting down beside him.

Recognizing her voice, he peeked his eye open at her. “Nothing.”

“Uh-huh. I take it from your ‘tude that you heard,” she added, turning her face up to the sun.

“Heard what?” Max asked, closing his eyes again.

“You didn’t hear?”

Hearing the shock in Isabel’s voice, Max looked at her. “Hear what?” When she didn’t answer, Max pulled his head up. “Isabel…what is your deal?”

“She’s jealous.” Looking up, Max mumbled a ‘hey’ as Michael sat down a level below them.

“I could care less,” Isabel said, shooting Michael a look.

“What the hell are you too talking about?” Max asked.

“Izzy’s just a little jealous over Alex Whitman.”

Isabel scoffed and kicked Michael, knocking him down a few seats. Michael laughed sarcastically, shooting her a look.

“Alex Whitman?” Max asked, glancing at his sister, who was seething at Michael.

“Yeah…that’s the guy who follows her around like a little lap dog,” Michael added. “You should see the bright green shirt he’s wearing.”

“It’s orange,” Isabel said quickly. When both guys stared at her she added, “what? He follows me around! I’m bound to see him.”

“And I am not jealous over him and Liz Parker, ok?” Isabel amended stiffly.

Hearing Liz’s name, Max froze, looking at his sister and best friend. “What are you talking about?”

Shooting Michael another look, Isabel finally said, “there’s a rumor going around about Liz and Alex.”

“What about them?” Max asked, feeling his stomach clench.

“That they were making out at the Crash,” Michael replied.

As soon as the words left Michael’s mouth, Max’s first instinct was to go find Liz as fast as he could and make her forget all about Alex Whitman. But he curbed that impulse and decided to play it cool.

“And this matters to me why?” he asked, leaning back again.

Glancing at him, Isabel said, “I don’t’ believe you.”

Sitting up, Max scoffed and grabbed his coat. “I don’t have to prove anything to you.” Then he was gone.

“What the hell was that?” Michael asked, eyeing Isabel.

“Shut up, Michael,” she muttered, watching Max walk away.
***
TBC

PART 4 ~
Liz rubbed her neck as she walked down the hallway. She’d hear enough about her and Alex for one day; even a whole week! Glad to have the hallway to herself, Liz continued on her way to the bathroom.

It was so close to the ending of class that her teacher let her go before the bell. Walking around the corner, Liz froze when she saw the familiar leather jacket of Max’s as he walked into an empty classroom.

Wondering what he was doing, Liz walked over to the door, noticing it has left open some. Biting her lip, she looked around to make sure she was alone. Seeing no one, Liz slowly pushed open the door and walked in.

The room was dark except for the sunlight coming in the far window and Liz wondered where Max was. Walking in a few more feet, she jumped when the door suddenly went shut. Spinning to look at it, Liz was about to leave when she could feel him right over her shoulder.

“You’ve been busy,” Max said softly, his voice in her ear and his hot breath on her neck.

Straining to keep her voice under control, Liz swallowed, then replied, “what do you mean?” He was so close that she could feel his body heat down the whole length of her body.

“You and Whitman,” he added.

“Uh…that’s not how it sounds,” she said quickly.

“Really…” he whispered, trailing his fingers down her arm.

Closing her eyes at the emotions he was bringing forth in her, Liz simply nodded her head and said, “uh-huh.” When Max didn’t say anything else, Liz finally added, “he was just helping he get rid of someone.”

Max moved his hand up to trace her neck and Liz sighed, feeling his other hand come around her stomach. Then he was spinning her around to face him. “Is that so?” he whispered, his breath now on her lips.

Liz still had her eyes closed and again just nodded. She couldn’t seem to find her voice for anything. Then suddenly his arms were gone and Liz was left with a cold feeling surrounding her.

Opening her eyes, she spun to see the door open. Sighing, Liz slumped against a desk to catch her breath. Her pulse was racing and her knees felt weak.

“I need to get a grip,” she whispered. Standing back on her own 2 feet, she looked around for her book bag. Realizing it was still on her back, Liz stopped. It hadn’t been there a second ago.

Hearing the bell ring, Liz blew out her breath and left the room. “What does he do to me?” she whispered as she was going out the door.
***

Coming out of his hiding spot, Max watched as Liz disappeared out of the classroom and into the sea of West Roswell High students. Standing in the barley lit room, he contemplated what just happened.

He’d been able to make Liz see what he imagined…maybe even desired—don’t go there, he told himself.

He’d been able to make her see it but no where near as long as last time. And she’d almost caught her. He forgot to put her book bag into the scenario, but he wanted to be able to feel her back against his chest—

You’re doing it again, he told himself angrily.

Liz Parker was just someone he was trying a new power on, nothing more. Repeating that a few more times, Max left the classroom in a better mood then when he had entered.

Liz wasn’t in a relationship with Alex Whitman.
***

Liz walked down the hall after her last class, still thinking about her encounter with Max in the classroom. She was so lost I her own thoughts that she didn’t even notice Alex till he was in front of her.

“Hey,” he said.

“Hey…” Liz said back, still kind of lost in her thoughts.

“You ok?” Alex asked, falling in step with her.

“Huh? Oh…yeah.” Thinking it over, she started,” the weirdest thing just happened to me…” then stopped. “It’s—never mind. What are you up to?” she asked, trying to focus on him.

Looking shocked, Alex told her, “you would not believe how many girls have come to me claiming to be ‘upset’ that I’m taken!”

“What did you say to them?” Liz asked

“Of course I told them I wasn’t really dating you,” Alex said quickly.

“Of course.”

“But then after the first three ran away quickly I gave up and started to let ‘em think what they wanted.”

“Of course.”

“I mean, some affection is better then none,” he said.

“But it’s not real,” Liz added.

“Yes, but neither are we so it evens out,” Alex replied. Shaking her head, Liz kept walking. Suddenly Alex pulled her close and swung his arms around her shoulders.

“Valenti alert,” he said softly.

Looking around, Liz saw Kyle walking down the hallway, coming right for them. “Liz,” he said. Then looking at Alex he added, “Whitman,” with out any emotions.

“Hey, Kyle! Good to see ya,” Alex said in a fake cheerful voice.

“Uh-huh,” he mumbled. Looking back at Liz, Kyle added, “I’ll see ya later at the Crashdown.” Then he was gone.

“He stopped us for that?” Alex asked, watching Kyle walk away over his shoulder.

“Uh-huh,” Liz said.

Shaking his head, Alex turned back around and suddenly shoved Liz away from him. Stumbling to catch herself on the lockers, Liz glared up at Alex, but his attention was focused elsewhere.

Following his eye line, Liz saw Isabel Evans walking down the hallway; her usual groupies close behind. Alex was beaming as she walked by. “Hey, Isabel,” he said.

“Alex,” Isabel said, slightly acknowledging him.

Beaming, he spun back to Liz. “Did you see that? She actually spoke to me. This is new—it has to be due to us.”

Rubbing her shoulder, Liz grumbled, “how nice.” Alex, not even seeming to notice, kept on talking and walking down the hallway, leaving Liz to follow.
***

The Crashdown was packed as Liz rushed around, trying to keep orders straight as she served half of the café. Maria was fussing too, rambling on about ‘a damn town that needed to learn to eat at home every once in awhile’.

Hearing the bell ding, Liz rushed back behind the counter and to the serving window. Picking up the hot plates, she held her mouth shut as they slightly burned her hands. Quickly dropping them off at a table, Liz watched as Maria picked up an order.

“Hot, hot, hot, hot, hot, hot,” Maria mumbled as she rushed past with some plates. Dropping them off, she quickly made her way back to Liz, blowing on her fingers. “These orders are coming too fast! My fingers can’t take it,” she whined.

Nodding her head, Liz patted Maria on the arm and continued to serve the masses. About an hour, and 50 million customers later, the Crashdown was starting to die down some; ‘some’ being the operative word.

There were still a bunch of customers and they seemed to be here for the long haul. Walking past the counter, Liz froze when she heard the engine gunning of a motorcycle. Racing for the door, she looked out and watched as Max parked.

Pulling back before he saw her, Liz went back to the counter where Maria was, watching her closely.

“What was that?”

“What was what?” Liz replied.

“Your little dash to the door,” Maria added. “I heard him pull up.” When Liz didn’t say anything Maria gasped. “Liz, you’re not actually thinking about it, are you?”

“Why not?” Liz asked.

“Because he’s a player, Liz. He’s dated just about all of the girls on the cheerleading squad—“

“But not for long,” Liz argued. When Maria raised her eyebrows, Liz mumbled, “so it’s not my best point.” Glancing at the door, she wondered why he hadn’t walked in yet.

“No, it is. He just uses them for one thing.”

“You don’t know that,” Liz was quick to say.

“Please, I’ve seen the way they look at him,” Maria threw back.

“Ok, but all the guys at school date them. So I can’t date anyone?” Liz took another look at the door. Where was he?

Sighing, Maria said softly, “Liz…Max Evans is not the kind of guy you date. He’s the kind of guy you fool around with.”

Max still hadn’t come in and Liz was antsy to see him. Making up her mind, she looked at Liz and said, “maybe I wanna fool around,” then headed for the door.

“Liz!” Maria exclaimed.

“I’ll be right back,” she promised, quickly leaving before Maria could argue anymore.
***
TBC

PART 5 ~
Max pulled up to the curb outside if the Crashdown and waited while Isabel found a spot for the jeep. A minute later her and Michael were coming over to him.

“Can’t we eat somewhere new?” she complained.

“You love eating here,” Michael said.

“No, I’m sick of eating here,” she amended.

“Well, I love it then. So quit complaining.”

Throwing daggers at Michael with her eyes, Isabel flipped her hair and turned to Max. “I wanna go for a ride.”

“Not now,” Max said simply.

“Yeah, he’s hungry, like me. Can we go in and eat now?” Michael asked impatiently.

Ignoring him, Isabel added, “well, I’ll go myself. I’m not hungry.”

But Max wasn’t listening. He was looking past Isabel and at the door of the Crashdown. Liz Parker was walking out. She looked at him for a second, as if she was afraid to walk up to them.

Looking over her shoulder, Isabel saw this and looked back at Max. Michael, seeing it too, gave Max a look.

“I’ll talk to ya guys later,” Max told them, never taking his eyes off of Liz.

“You gotta be kidding me,” Michael muttered.

Isabel, knowing that Max wasn’t kidding, said to Michael, “come on. Let’s go eat.”

“Thought you weren’t hungry,” Michael added. Scoffing, Isabel pulled on his arm until he followed her into the café.

Max, glad that they were gone, saw the look Isabel gave him before going inside. Putting in the back of his mind, he refocused on Liz, who was slowly walking up to him.

“Hi,” she said tentatively.

“Hey,” he said back.

Looking at his back, Liz added, “cool bike. It must be great to just fly down the road; get away from everything.”

Looking at it too, Max said, “best part.”

“Yeah…” Liz put her hair behind her ears and added, “I bet it’s great to go riding out in the desert under the stars. It must be so freeing.”

Looking up at her, Max couldn’t help but think how sexy she looked while she was nervous and acting all innocent. Shaking his head, Max said, “it’s just the road and you. Nothing but speed.

“Wow…sounds like fun.” Liz smiled slightly and looked down.

Watching her closely, Max took in all her curves in that outfit. “It is,” he added, looking her up and down. “There’s nothing like it.”

Liz, feeling his eyes, suddenly could also feel her pulse speeding up. Shifting on her feet, she looked at him and added, “I’ve never even been on a motorcycle so I wouldn’t know.”

“We might have to do something about that,” Max said without even thinking. Was he really asking her out?

Wondering if he was asking her out, Liz wasn’t sure on what to say. Thinking of something, she hoped it didn’t come out wrong. “Maybe, but who said I wanted to do anything about it?” she asked with a slight smile.

Hearing the flirting tone in her voice, Max off his bike and walked up to her until his chest was just about touching hers. Looking down into her eyes, Max said in a husky voice, “some things you can tell.”

Then he walked away, a smirk on his lips as he heard Liz take in a sharp breath.
***

Isabel and Michael sat at their normal booth in the café. They didn’t have to look at a menu; they’d eaten here so many times it was burned into their memory.

“He’s getting careless,” Michael muttered.

“He’s just talking to a girl,” Isabel said. Giving him a look, she added, “you should try it sometime.”

Ignoring that remark, Michael went on. “He has a thang for her.”

“So? Who cares if he has a ‘thang’ for her,” Isabel said mockingly.

“I do. Especially if he decides to tell her,” Michael exclaimed.

“Ok, first off, Max isn’t telling anyone anything,” she told him. “And second—you’ve lost it completely.”

“Can’t do that if ya never had it.” Looking up, Isabel smiled when Michael threw Maria DeLuca a smirk. There was something there. “Can I get 2 cherry cokes, 2 orders of fries and a ‘will smith’ burger?”

“Cherry coke, a hamburger, and fries,” Michael said.

Writing it all down, Maria asked, “anything else?”

“Nope,” Michael was quick to say. As soon as Maria was gone he added, “you ordering for him?”

“He’s gonna eat too.”

“If he comes in.”

“Why wouldn’t he come in?” Isabel asked. Just then Max walked in and headed right for them, scooting into the booth beside Isabel.

“What?” he asked when Michael stared at him.

The door to the café opened again and Liz walked in, casting Max a quick look before going up to Maria, who was already talking to her. Watching, Isabel could see how emotionally Maria was talking about something and how Liz didn’t seem to be hearing one word.

“You and Liz Parker?” Michael asked Max, bringing Isabel back to the conversation.

“you can go on,” Max told him, shooting him a look.

“I’m going on what I saw out there.”

Isabel, rolling her eyes, muttered, “let it go. Max knows the rules.”

Glancing at her, Max added, “yeah, I know ‘em—and I have a few of my own.”

“You 2 date too much as it is,” Michael said.

“I don’t date,” Max said. “I hook up.”

“Michael, we don’t get serious so back off,” Isabel added.

“Are you sure about that?” Michael looked at Max. Thinking about it, Isabel looked at Max too. Was he really falling for Liz Parker?

“I am not interested in Liz Parker,” Max said finally. Suddenly Michael slumped down in his seat and looked to the wall, as if he was hiding his face.

Confused, Isabel Looked up past Max and held her breath. Looking too, Max came face to face with Liz, who was standing there with their drinks.

“I um…I was bringing your drinks,” she said softly, putting them down on the table quickly before walking off.

Finally turning back to Michael, Max’s face was hard.

“Max…” Isabel said. Without another word he got up and walked out of the café. Sighing, Isabel slumped down in the booth. “You just can’t leave stuff be,” she told Michael.

“How was I to know she was gonna be standing there,” Michael exclaimed.

Shaking her head, Isabel looked away.
***

Maria walked into the back, looking around for Liz. She had seen her run back here after going to Max’s table. She also noticed Max’s quick departure a second later. “Lizzie?” Maria called out. Not getting an answer, she went to the bathroom. Knocking on the door, she asked, “is anyone in here?”

“Go away Maria,” Liz’s muffled voice said from the other side of the thick door.

“No, see, I can’t go away. That would be breaking a best friend law,” Maria told her. “You gonna let me in?”

A few seconds later there was a click. Pushing open the door, Maria looked in to see Liz sitting on the back of the toilet, her feet on the seat. Walking in and shutting the door, Maria asked, “you ok?”

“I’m fine,” she said softly, looking down at her knees.

“You sure look fine; sitting in the bathroom hiding.”

“I’m not hiding.”

“Then what are you doing?” Maria asked, coming over to her best friend.

“I’m…” Taking a deep breath, Liz chuckled slightly and added sarcastically, “I’m kicking myself in the ass.”

Already having an idea, Maria asked, “for what?”

Scoffing, Liz looked at her and for the first time, Maria noticed Liz was crying. “I can’t believe I actually thought he liked me.”

“Oh…sweetie…” Trying to calm Liz down, Maria rubbed her back. “Maybe…maybe he does like you,” she added, remembering how Max looked when he left.

Shaking her head, Liz said, “no…no he doesn’t; and I just heard it from his own lips.”

“Liz, babe—“

Getting up, Liz wiped at her eyes and turned away. “We gotta get back to work.” Then she walked out of the bathroom, leaving the door open for Maria to follow.

Sighing, Maria watched her stop at the doors to the front before going through them. Maria could tell Liz was trying to get control of her emotions. Finally taking deep breath, Liz walked through them.

Turning off the bathroom light, Maria followed Liz, feeling her heart break for her best friend.
***
TBC

PART 6 ~
Max paced his room, trying to figure out what was going on inside of him. All he could think about was Liz Parker. Rubbing his temples, he continued to tell himself it was just an experiment, but he was getting tired of hearing that.

There a was a slight knock at his door and Max looked to see Isabel walk in. “hey,” she said softly, coming in to sit on his bed.

“Hey,” Max mumbled back, going to stand by his window.

“Mom and dad are out late,” Isabel added, trying to make conversation.

“What do you want Iz?” Max asked, looking up into the night sky.

He could her pause, then sigh. “Max…is it?”

“Is it what?”

“Is it getting serious?”

Max glanced at her quickly before looking back outside. “It’s just an experiment.”

“Experiment?” Isabel repeated, her voice doubtful.

Sighing, Max admitted, “I found a new power.”

“What kind?” she asked, interested.

“I can make her see things…think they’re happening when they’re not.”

“Make Liz?” Isabel asked finally.

Nodding, Max kept looking out the window.

“That’s not all it is Max.”

“Don’t start,” he told her, his voice full of authority.

“Max, I saw how you looked and I saw how she looked after you left; I’m not blind!”

“It’s just an experiment,” he said again, willing himself to believe it too.

Shaking her head, Isabel added, “I doubt that.”

Max looked back out the window and up at the stars. Even he was starting to doubt it.

“Max—“

“Leave me alone,” he said, still looking up at the stars. Isabel still didn’t move and Max turned to her. “I said go!”

Giving him one last look, she walked out the door, leaving it wide open. Watching the door, Max could feel all his anger and frustration coming to the surface. Storming over, he slammed it shut with all his might. There was a loud crack and the hinges on the door snapped, coming right out of the doorframe.

Cursing, Max ran a hand through his hair, trying to calm down. Walking out the broken door, he grabbed up his coat and keys to his bike.

He needed to get lost for awhile.
***

Liz calmly entered her combination into the lock, popping open her locker. Her whole body felt exhausted, like she had just run a 10-mile marathon. Grabbing up her books, she quickly shut the door, screaming when she saw someone standing right on the other side.

“Kyle,” she said, instantly wishing it was Max instead. Pushing that thought back, she could already feel her heart constricting. Max Evans had a pull over her and he couldn’t care less.

“I saw you were looking kinda down. You ok?” Kyle asked, seeming to be actually worried about her.

“No…I’m fine,” she told him, lying through her teeth. She wasn’t fine; she wasn’t anywhere near it.

Liz Parker was completely heart broken.

“Really? Sure you don’t wanna talk about it?” he asked, stepping in closer.

Liz could smell his cologne and frowned. His was too thick and confining, the opposite of Max’s. His was there, an essence that wrapped around her and filled every sense, but not the least bit thick or suffocating. Closing her eyes, she took a deep breath. She really needed to get over this.

“Liz…” Kyle said, his voice right in front of her.

Opening her eyes, Liz could tell Kyle was about to kiss her. She was frozen as his lips descended on hers; the sight making her want to flee but her feet refused to follow instructions.

Liz instantly wanted to pull back as his lips touched hers, but something was holding her there. Closing her eyes again, Liz started to kiss him back, imaging she was in Max’s arms instead of Kyle’s; and completely oblivious to the bystander at the end of the hall.

Feeling Kyle’s tongue slip into her mouth, Liz instantly opened her eyes and pulled back. “My god…” Running a hand over her mouth, Liz turned away, ashamed and disgusted with what she just did.

She had completely been imaging herself with Max Evans while kissing Kyle Valenti!

“Liz—“

“I have to go,” she said, quickly running down the hall.

“Liz!” Kyle called.

“I’m so sorry,” Liz added, dashing around the corner before he could catch her.
***

Max stormed out of the school, not even paying attention to who he was walking past. Going around the school, he quickly made his way to his motorcycle.

How could she do that? How could she stand there and kiss Kyle Valenti?! How could Liz do that to him—

Stopping his train of thought, Max stopped walking too and just stared at his bike. Liz wasn’t his girlfriend; hell, he barley even knew her.

But here he was, completely and utterly flipping out cause he saw her kissing someone. Cursing, he sighed and sat down, trying to compose his thoughts.

This was getting out of hand. Why did he care who she was kissing? It wasn’t like he wanted her or something…

Hearing the side doors of the school open, Max casually looked up and stopped, watching as Liz came down the steps, her face hidden behind her hair as she raced downward.
***

By the time Liz reached the doors, her breath was labored as she tried to hold back her tears until she was at least outside. Bursting through the doors, her vision became blurry as the tears finally fell.

Going as fast she could without falling, Liz raced down the steps. She could feel eyes on her as she reached the bottom and stopped, looking across the quad to see Max siting on his bike, looking right at her.

There was something in his eyes that made her stop; something that said he was mad. Confused, Liz watched as he started his motorcycle and revved it, never taking his eyes off her.

Then it hit her—Max saw her and Kyle kissing.

Shaking her head, Liz could feel more tears fall as she watched Max spin his tires and take off, barreling out of the parking lot.
***
TBC

PART 7 ~
It had been 3 days since Liz last saw Max. He hadn’t been at school and never came by the Crashdown. She knew that kiss with Kyle really screwed everything up. Even Isabel and Michael were keeping their distance.

Which why she avoided Kyle like the plague ever since. But he was making it hard. He had showed up at the Crashdown tonight and Liz couldn’t really leave cause she was working.

Liz had never been so happy to close up then café then tonight; it meant Kyle had to leave. He had spent all night trying to talk to her she had spent all night trying not to talk to him.

Flipping the sign to 'closed', Liz sighed and rubbed her neck. She was exhausted.

“So, what are your plans tonight?” Maria asked, mopping up.

“Um…a hot bath and a good book,” Liz replied, walking from the door. Going about three steps, Liz stopped when she heard the gunning of a motorcycle in the distance. Spinning around, she frowned when she didn’t hear anything else.

“I saw that.”

“Saw what?” Liz asked, turning back to her.

“You—the hope in your eyes at the sound of a motorcycle,” Maria said while putting the mop back in the bucket. “Well, I’m done here.”

“Good. I can finally go upstairs,” Liz said.

“You sure you don’t want me to stay,” Maria added, reaching for her purse.

“No…I want some down time.”

“Alright,” she said finally, heading for the door. “Call me if you change your mind.”

“I will,” Liz promised as Maria walked out the door.

“Later babe,” she called.

Smiling, Liz said good bye then locked up. Taking the bucket and mop into the back, she finished the few tiny chores that were left then headed up the steps, shutting down all the lights.

The house was empty and silent, making Liz shiver. Shutting her front door, Liz mumbled, “I’m home,” before going to her room.

Turning on the light, she quickly kicked off her shoes and pulled her antennas out. Looking at them, she placed them on her desk and shook her head.

Letting her hair down from her ponytail, Liz walked over and flipped her radio on. The last song was ending and an up-tempo beat started.

~ She paints her nails and she don’t know, he’s got her best friend on the phone. She’ll wash her hair; his dirt clothes are all he gives to her. And he’s got posters on the wall of all the girls he wished she was, and he means everything to her. ~

Walking over to her mirror, Liz glanced in it for a few seconds before sighing. What did she expect? Sexy, rebel Max Evans would want this? Plain, boring Liz Parker? Besides, he didn’t even know anything about her.

~ Her boyfriend…he don’t know…anything…about her. He’s too stoned; nitendo. I wish that I could make her see…she’s just the flavor of the week. ~

Unbuttoning her outfit, Liz wondered if Max was like that. He did have a reputation for dating girls and then dumping them real quick. Would he just treat her like nothing if they got together?

~ It’s Friday night and she’s all alone; he’s a million miles away. She dressed to kill but the tv’s on, he’s connected to the sound. And he’s got pictures on the wall of all the girls he’s loved before and she knows all his favorite songs. ~

What was she even thinking? She was never gonna get with Max Evans. Sighing, Liz continued to unbutton her outfit as she went into the bathroom.

Drawing the bath water, Liz sighed. It hopeless to even think about him. Why was she torturing herself? Listening to the lyrics of the song, Liz frowned. She really didn’t need to be hearing this.

~ Her boyfriend…he don’t know…anything…about her. He’s too stoned; nitendo. I wish that I could make her see…she’s just the flavor of the week. ~

Walking back out into her room, Liz reached for the radio. Hearing something on her balcony, she quickly froze. Hearing it again, Liz turned to look out the window.

~ Her boyfriend…he don’t know…anything…about her. He’s too stoned; nitendo. I wish that I could make her see…she’s just the flavor of the week; flavor of the week, flavor of the week… ~

Shutting off the radio, Liz walked over to her window and paused. She didn’t see anything and the sound was now gone. Shrugging, she finished unbuttoning her outfit on the way to the bathroom, casually swinging the bathroom door shut behind her.
***

Max took in a quick breath and pressed his back against the brick wall, closing his eyes in an effort to remain unseen. Liz was right beside the window.

Even with his eyes closed he could still see her trim stomach, her lacy red bra and flare of her hips through the opened dress. God…it was pure torture. He could even see the top of her underwear.

Daring another look, Max saw she was going into the bathroom. Sighing, he wondered why he was even here.

He’d been sitting out on this balcony for about 10 minutes and then Liz walked into her room, tossing off her shoes and taking off her antennae’s. Even after Max’s past and his true nature, he couldn’t help but think they were goofy. Isabel used to say she was offended, but he couldn’t have cared less.

After Liz placed them on her dresser she flipped on the radio and went to stand in front of her mirror.

Max had watched with an intense gaze as she regarded her own reflection. He could see it in her eyes that she was unhappy with what she saw. Which only left him confused. She had such thick hair and deep eyes; it was hard not to lose himself in them.

Then she had started to get undressed. Even Max couldn’t watch that much so he turned away. But not before getting a slight glimpse.

And that slight glimpse was killing him.

Rubbing his eyes, he looked back in the room and heard water running; Liz was getting a bath. Glancing quickly in the direction on the bathroom, Max noticed the door was open a few inches.

Willing his eyes away, Max tried in vain to focus on anything in the room, anything, but it wasn’t working. Feeling like a peeping tom, he glanced at the bathroom again.

A slight corner of the mirror was visible and Max could see Liz’s side as she let the waitressing outfit slide to the floor. Her dark hair was lying on her shoulder and Max could imagine running his hands through it. Suddenly Liz reached around her back and un-did her bra, letting it fall to the floor too making her whole, bare back visible now.

Spinning around, Max clenched his eyes shut once more. This was too much for him; he felt like a pervert. Taking in a few deep, long breaths, Max finally opened his eyes and froze, seeing Liz right in front of him in a bathrobe.
***
TBC

PART 8 ~
Max swallowed and looked at Liz. “What are you doing here?” she asked. She crossed her arms and Max realized that in doing so her robe pulled up some. “Well?”

Getting it together, Max said casually, “no reason.”

“Other then watching me?”

Pausing, Max added, “I didn’t know you were in the bath.”

Liz looked skeptical and replied, “I saw you in the mirror. You knew very well where I was.” Max didn’t answer and Liz sighed, turning from him. “I don’t get you. You say you don’t like me then I catch you spying-“ Spinning back around, Liz’s words got stuck in her throat as Max pounced on her, smothering her lips with his.

Out of shock, Liz opened her mouth to protest and Max took the opportunity to deepen the kiss. Pulling her against him roughly, Max’s hands felt hot against the cold silk of the robe.

Sighing into his mouth, Liz wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled herself closer to him, reaching on her tiptoes to press her mouth harder against his. Her mind was yelling to stop but her heart fought back with passion.

Eventually the tattling little voice in her head stopped.

Sliding his hands up her back, Max became aware of the fact that Liz wasn’t wearing anything under the robe except underwear. Groaning, he backed Liz up until her back was pressed against the wall.

Liz’s head was spinning and her breath was swallow as Max molded his body against hers. Pulling her lips away to catch her breath, Liz sighed as Max worked his way down her neck, nipping at the sensitive skin.

Feeling a pulse go through her whole body, Liz’s vision got blurry. Closing her eyes on instinct, she gasped as she suddenly could see millions and millions of star rushing past her.

But what she saw didn’t even come close to what she felt. Her whole body was floating and completely alive to every sensation Max was causing her to have.

Whimpering, Liz clung to Max’s shoulders as he moved his lips back to hers, taking her mouth hungrily. Sliding his tongue into her mouth, Max groaned and pressed harder against her, pulling her up to his height and caressing her body with his hands.

“Max…” Liz sighed against his lips, closing her eyes as she was once again accosted with a flash of light. This time she could see a cliff in the desert, with the ground around it covered in weird designs.

Then it was gone; along with Max’s lips.

Opening her eyes, Liz could see Max backing up some, a wild look in his eyes. Steadying herself, she pressed against the wall in hopes to gain some control. Her whole body was shaking and her mind was still spinning.

“Max?” Liz finally asked, looking up at him.

“I gotta go,” he said, backing up and going toward the fire escape.

“No—wait,” she called out, stepping toward him. Every molecule of her body was pulsating with the desire to keep him close by; every cell was screaming for his touch, his caress, his kisses.

Max seemed to hesitate a second then added, “I’ll see ya,” as he quickly climbed over the wall.

“Uh…” Watching him go, Liz felt a coldness fall over her form without his arms around her. Wiping at her face, she walked over and watched his form flee down the street toward his bike. Hearing the roaring of the engine, Liz closed her eyes and let the slight wind blow through her hair as the sound grew fainter and fainter.
***
TBC


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 7:36:48 PM
PART 9 ~
Isabel could hear Max’s bike as he roared into the driveway. Looking at her clock, she saw it was after midnight. Getting up, she stretched and walked to her door, getting ready to find out where Max had been.

But she wasn’t prepared to find him standing right on the other side of the door. Which he was.

Jumping, Isabel said, “god, Max!”

Without so much as a ‘hello’ Max brushed past her and started to pace the length of the room.

“Nice too see you too,” Isabel muttered.

“Liz got a flash from me,” Max said quickly and loud, running a hand through his hair.

“What?!” Isabel demanded, shutting her door quickly. “Liz can’t have a flash.”

“Well, she did,” he said back sarcastically.

“Then un-do it!” Isabel replied, mocking his tone. Sighing, Isabel asked, “how did she have a flash?”

“ She just did, ok?”

“No, not ok. How did she get it?” When Max didn’t answer, Isabel kept up. “Did you connect with her?”

“Not by choice,” Max said softly, but there was something in his tone that made Isabel doubt it.

“Then what? Was it during one of you ‘experiments’?” she asked.

“Isabel—“ Max started, his tone low.

“Max, just tell me how the hell Liz Parker, a human, got a flash!!”

“We were kissing,” Max exploded, throwing his arms out. “Ok? We were making out on her balcony! Want any more details?”

“No—you can stop there,” Isabel told him.

scoffing, Max went back to pacing.

After a few minutes of silence, Isabel asked, “are you sure she got a flash?”

“Yeah…” Max mumbled.

“Did she ask you about it?”

“No.”

“Then how do you know she saw something?”

“Cause I saw it too…I saw things from her,” Max answered, his eyes going glossy for a second.

Watching her brother, Isabel could see how much he felt about all this. But there was something in his tone that made her think.

“Max…what are you really afraid of?”

“What?” he asked, stopping his pacing.

Sighing, Isabel added, “you seem more mad that you were kissing her then that she saw a flash.”

“I care that she had a flash too,” Max exclaimed.

“But you care more that you actually kissed her,” Isabel insisted. “God, Max…you can’t do that again.”

“What? Isabel, you’re gonna tell me I can’t kiss a girl?!”

“Yes, because you actually formed a connection with her without thinking about it! That’s dangerous Max!”

“You think I don’t know that?!” he demanded.

“Do you? Because I got the feeling that you want her to know!!” When Max was quiet, Isabel gasped. “Max…no…no. You can not tell Liz. You have to stop this.”

“Stop what?”

“Stop meeting her; stop being with her!”

“You can’t tell me what to do! I thought you were on my side with this,” Max added.

“I was until you decided to tell her about us!!”

“I never decided anything!” Max exclaimed. “I’m not telling anyone.”

Pausing, Isabel looked down. “I hope so…cause our freedom and whole life depends on this staying between us.”

“I know that,” Max added, sitting down on the bed.

Isabel, watching her brother, suddenly felt very sad and exhausted. Sitting down at her desk, she asked softly, “you really like her, don’t you?” Max was silent and Isabel took that for a ‘yes’. “Max…if you really like her, don’t date her for just a week or two then dump her—like you do with everyone else. It’s not fair to you or her.”

Sighing, Max stood up and walked out of the room without another word. Looking out the window, Isabel felt sorry for Max, but she also envied him.

Max had someone he felt was worthy of his secret, his friendship, his love.

Isabel didn’t have anyone.

Suddenly a picture of Alex in his orange shirt flashed over her eyes and Isabel smiled, remembering how his lights would light up around her. Clearing her throat, Isabel shook her head.

She could not think about Alex Whitman like that.
***

The sunlight was filtering through Liz’s window, slowly making it’s way toward her bed. Inside the light there was a shadow coming forward, kneeling down beside the bed.

As the shadow feel over Liz’s form, she slowly stirred, rolling it, knocking the blanket down some to reveal her bare stomach and underwear from where her shirt had ridden up.

Her hair was pillowed around her head and Liz sighed, taking in some air. Stretching, her shirt rise even more. Moaning softly, she licked her lips and stilled once more.

After a second the shadow moved and a hand reached out to softly stoke her face, the fingers sliding down her neck too.

Smiling softly, Liz mumbled Max’s name in her sleep, totally unaware of the real person in the room. Suddenly feeling lips on hers, she could feel them licking at her lips, urging them open. Liz responded a second later, feeling them deepen the kiss and lean onto the bed.

Hearing the slight moan of the box spring, Liz shot up in the bed.

Gasping, she looked around the room and found it empty. Swallowing, Liz groaned slightly and touched her lips, remembering her and Max’s kisses from the night before.

Looking at the clock, Liz saw it was after 8. Knowing she wasn’t gonna be able to get back to sleep now, she pushed the cover the rest of the way off of her and threw her legs over the edge of bed.

Standing up, Liz stretched her hands over her head and arched her back, trying to rid her body of sleep. Feeling a slight brush over her stomach, Liz looked down. Not seeing anything, she scoffed and shook her head.

“I need to get a grip.” Walking toward the bathroom, Liz paused when she saw her robe hanging on the door handle. Lightly touching it, she could feel Max’s hands through it once again.

“No…I can be strong,” she whispered. Taking a deep breath, Liz walked into the bathroom to start her shower.
***

Letting out his breath, Max got up from his crouched spot beside the bed. It had been so easy to make her over-look him; a lot easier then last time in the classroom. Easy like the first time in the Crashdown.

What was the difference?

Hearing the shower start, Max sighed and knew he was stupid to come over her. He crawled in through the window, took one look at her lying on the bed, and was lost.

Then when she moaned and stretched, showing her trim stomach, the temptation to touch her was just too much. Max had to be closer. Then she sighed his name.

Well, temptation went right out the window and was replaced with pure desire. He had to touch her; he had to kiss her.

And then he had to hide cause she woke up.

Pausing, Max suddenly remembered what Isabel said: he was opening connections without realizing it. He did that by kissing and touching her.

His power lasted longer and was easier to perform when they had an open connection—even if it was just a touch! He had touched her hand at the Crashdown that night and he had been kissing her this time.

But he was still able to do it without touching her.

Hearing the shower stop, Max quickly glanced at the clock. He had been sitting here on her bed for 15 minutes! Quickly getting up, he crawled out the window just in time.

Liz walked out of the bathroom with nothing on but a towel, running a hand through her wet hair. Watching her for a few more seconds, Max finally moved and went down the fire escape, walking away from the Crashdown.
***

Watching Max’s shadow back off as he walked away from the window and toward the ladder, Liz looked over her shoulder to see his head disappear behind the wall.

Spinning around completely, she gazed at the window and a longing. Making a decision, Liz pulled open her closet and tried to decide what she was gonna wear.

She had a lot of plans to take care off.
***
TBC

PART 10 ~
Maria could hear the sound of footsteps coming down the stairs as she buttoned up the front of her outfit. Spinning to see Liz, she stopped.

“Whoa…nice outfit,” she exclaimed.

“Well…it seemed like a good idea to wear today,” Liz replied, opening her locker and pulling out her make-up bag to do a few touch-ups.

Looking her up and down, Maria knew something was up. She was wearing her low cut hip huggers and a tight, bright red belly shirt, which left a huge gap in her stomach exposed.

“What are you up to?”

Putting on some eye liner, Liz asked, “what?”

“You. What are planning on doing today?” Maria repeated.

Putting out some lipstick, Liz ignored the question. “Does this look ok?”

Staring at her best friends’ face, Maria had to admit the new look looked great. “Bravo—now answer my question.”

Sighing, Liz threw her make-up bag back in and slammed the locker. “I’m sick of letting Max control this. I’m making my move. After last night and today I have--”

“What?! Making your move?!” Maria demanded. “Last night and today?! What happened?!!”

“Maria—“

“No, no! Don’t you dare ‘Maria’ me. Tell me what happened.”

Sighing, Liz sat down on the couch near the work lockers. “Max was on my balcony last night.”

“He just showed up?” Maria asked. When Liz nodded, she added, “well, what did he say?”

Thinking about it for a second, Liz said softly, “not a lot.”

“What did he do?” Maria asked slowly, knowing where this was going.

“Um…that would be the ‘lot’ part,” Liz finally admitted.

“Liz!!” Maria exclaimed. “Tell me you did not make out with him!”

“Well…”

“Oh my god! And today?!”

“Nothing happened today. I just ran into him.”

“Where?”

“My balcony,” Liz replied while looking down.

Shaking her head, Maria started to pace. “Oh my god…and now you are making your move…” Looking back at Liz, Maria raised an eyebrow. “What the hell is your move?” she asked, a little curious.

Standing back up, Liz added, “I plan on finding out how he really feels about me.”

“Basically find out if he just wants some ass,” Maria replied.

“Something like that,” Liz said, walking toward the front of the café.

“No—wait!” Maria called out, stopping her friend. “Liz…what is all this? I mean…what are you gonna actually do?”

“Well…2 can play his game,” Liz said with a smirk before heading out into the front of the café.

“Oh…” Watching the doors swing shut, Maria rubbed her temples.

It was gonna be a long day.
***

Spotting Alex at the café doors, Liz smiled and headed toward him, noticing Kyle Valenti eyeing her from a table in the corner. Alex, seeing also, greeted Liz with open arms.

“Babe,” he said, planting a kiss on her lips quickly.

“Yeah,” Liz said, trying not to laugh. It was so weird to be with Alex like this, but if it kept Kyle at bay…

“Let’s go outside,” she suggested.

“Anything,” Alex said, giving Kyle a 500-watt smile before taking Liz’s hand and leading her outside.

Once out the doors, Liz looked up at Alex. “Rubbing it in?”

“I couldn’t resist,” he replied. “So…”

“So…can you do me a little favor?” Liz asked, starting to walk down the sidewalk some.

“Sure,” Alex said casually.

“Can you look up something for me? Maybe surf through some info on rock formations out in the desert outside town.”

Looking confused, Alex nodded. “Ok…but can I ask what perked your interest in geology all of a sudden?”

Looking around, she took Alex’s hand and led him into the alley beside the café. Talking low, Liz told Alex, “I had this…picture, like, of a rock formation with all these weird drawings and…symbols around it out in the desert.”

“A picture? Like from a book?”

“No; like from my head—or even someone else,” Liz added.

Even more confused, Alex asked, “so you saw this with your own eyes?”

“Yes.”

“So…you were out in the desert and came across it?”

“No,” Liz replied quickly. “I was up on my balcony ki—um, thinking and this picture just…flashed past my mind.” Stopping, she suddenly felt weird talking to this with Alex. Something was telling her to keep all of this to herself. “Is there anyway you can find it?”

Seeing how much Liz wanted him to do this, he sighed. “I can try?” Alex asked, not even sure what Liz was asking.

Smiling, Liz hugged him tightly. “Thank you Alex! You are the best.”

“Ok…”

“So you can like, find this on the net, right?” Liz asked. “It won’t be too hard?”

“Um…shouldn’t be. But there are a lot of rocks out there…can ya give me some hints here?” Alex added, going along but not really knowing why. “How far out of town?”

“About 10 miles…maybe,” she guessed. “Or about 50…Can you just start at 10 and go out to 50?”

“Um…I guess.”

Smiling, Liz threw her arms around him again. “Thank you so much!”

Hugging her back, Alex shook his head. “You are one weird girl Parker.”

“Awe…but ya know you love me,” she beamed.

“How could I not? I may have to fight off Valenti and Evans for that tittle, but I can take ‘em,” he joked.

Looking at him, Liz asked, “Evans?”

“Come on, Liz. We’re not blind. You like him and he likes you,” Alex replied.

“Yeah…well…Maria thinks that’s a mistake.”

Sighing, Alex put his arm around Liz’s shoulder and led her back to the street. “Look, Maria just doesn’t want to see you get hurt.”

“Who says I’m gonna get hurt,” Liz argued. “I’m a big girl.”

Smiling, Alex added, “I know—and that shirt is really making the point.”

Looking embarrassed, Liz crossed her arms. “I’m gonna remember this the next time you have to go to the bathroom after an encounter with Isabel Evans,” she joked, taking off in a jog as Alex scoffed.

“You’ll pay for that,” he exclaimed, going after her.

Laughing, Liz busted out in a run down the street, not paying attention to who she was running past. Seeing the playground up ahead, she quickly crossed the street, only a few feet in front of Alex, who was quickly gaining on her.

Turning it into a flat out race, Alex breezed past Liz.

“Not fair!! Your legs are long then mine,” she yelled, reaching for his shirt to stop him from passing even more. Shortly they were at the playground and Alex stopped, spinning to give her a triumph grin.

“Faster and better then all,” he joked, throwing his arms out.

“Whatever,” Liz grumbled, heading for the swings. Playfully grabbing her, Alex put her in bear hug.

“Say you’re sorry.”

“For what?” she asked innocently, trying not to laugh.

“Ha—ha. Say it,” Alex instructed.

“Fine…I’m sorry I said that about you.” When Alex let go, Liz added, “I should’ve waited till you couldn’t hear me.”

Scoffing, Alex waved his hand. “You better be glad I’m tired from running.”

Laughing, Liz sat down on the swings and lazily swayed back and forth. “God…it’s been so long since I just laughed and let loose.”

“I know. Me and Maria are constantly saying that,” Alex added, sitting down beside her.

Giving him a look, Liz muttered, “thanks.”

“What? Look, that’s not a bad thing. It just means you need to get out some.” Thinking about it for a second, Alex looked at her sideways. “Is that why you’re hooking up with Max?”

“What? No,” Liz said quickly. “I just…I like him…”

“You like him?” Alex repeated. “So you like him, like him? Or just like him?”

Smirking, Liz asked, “are we still in elementary school?”

“Just answer the question Parker,” Alex added, starting to swing high.

Meeting his pace, Liz smiled, loving the feeling of weightlessness in her stomach. “I like how he looks at me,” she admitted.

“Kyle Valenti looks at you,” Alex added.

“Kyle is nothing like Max. Max…he’s eyes are so deep and dark…” Liz could feel her mind drifting as she added softly, “they were so full of passion when he kissed me.”

“You guys kissed?!” Alex asked, looking at her as they swung back at forth.

Glad that her hair flying in the wind was hiding some of her blushing, Liz simply nodded the best she could.

“Was he better then me?” Alex asked with a wide grin.

Laughing, Liz smirked and added, “never!” in a high, shrilly voice. “No one will ever compare to you!”

“Of course not,” Alex joked in a snotty voice.
***

Michael watched as Alex and Liz played on the swings, talking back and forth as they kicked themselves up higher. Eyeing Liz, he wondered what she did to get Max all riled up.

Laughing, Liz leaned back and let the air fly through her hair, watching the ground get closer as she flew down toward it, just barley missing it as she came back up and sun shown on her face.

He had to admit she was kinda cute. A little stuck up though, but not stuck up like ‘Princess Isabel’, but stuck up like she was too busy with schoolwork and her job to have any fun. Unlike that Maria chick, who bounced all over the place.

Michael actually thought it was ironic that they seemed to be best friends. That was like him being friends with Max if he was all quiet and reserved—it wouldn’t happen.

Which was why he was surprised when he noticed it was her running down the street like a little kid, laughing as Whitman chased after her. Wondering what was up, Michael had followed them here, watching as Alex and her playfully wrestled then got on the swings.

Max had said there was nothing going on with them, but this little scene made him wonder. They were awful chummy. Max had had this smug look on his face when he had gotten home from school the other day, saying he looked into it.

There was something in his eyes that made Michael think he used his powers, but he wasn’t about to bust the guy on it. Michael used his own powers all the time. In fact, he just made a waitress spill a soda a few minutes ago.

She had it coming.
***

With her head still leaned back, Liz thought this must be how it felt to ride on a motorcycle; to have her hair blowing all around her and the air rushing past.

Opening eyes, Liz threw her feet down and stopped swinging as quickly as she could.

“What’s wrong?” Alex asked, stopping to.

“I um, I just remembered I have somewhere to be,” she said quickly, getting up.

“I’ll walk you,” Alex suggested, getting up too.

“Oh…ok, at least until the Crashdown,” she said finally. She really didn’t need Alex to accompany her to the Evans’ household.

Or when she put her plan into action.

Today, Max Evans was gonna make up his mind.

Walking with him, Liz quickly led him back to the Crashdown. The whole way she could feel eyes on her. Shrugging it off, Liz walked into the café, ignoring Kyle and going up to Maria.

Noticing the stain on her outfit, Liz asked, “what happened.”

Huffing, Maria muttered, “Michael Guerin.”

“He spilled a soda on you?” Alex asked, sitting down at the counter.

“No…but I still say he had something to do with it.”

“How?” Liz added.

Looking innocent, Maria replied, “it happened right after I suggested nicely that tipping is very common in the human world.”

“Nicely,” Alex repeated, giving her a doubtful look.

“As nicely as possible,” she muttered. “The guy might be fine but he’s rude as hell.”

Smirking, Liz added, “might be?”

“Ok, more then might—but he’s still rude. And no one I would ever date; never,” she threw out, giving Liz a look.

“Oh…low blow,” Alex mumbled. “Hitting where it hurts.”

“It didn’t hurt,” Liz corrected him.

“Does that mean you’ve given up on this weird, Max Evans obsession?”

“I’m not obsessed,” she told Maria. “And no.”

“Well…one of you are if you actually try this.”

Looking away from Maria, Liz sighed. No matter how many times she told herself Maria was just trying to look out for her, it was still getting annoying.

“Let’s just pick a nicer topic,” Alex said suddenly.

“I can’t,” Liz told him and Maria. ”I gotta go.” Maria gave her a look but didn’t say anything, which Liz was great for. Giving them another goodbye, Liz left the café and started her walk toward the Evans household.
***
TBC


PART 11
Taking a deep breath, Liz wiped her hands on her pants before reaching up and pushing the doorbell before she chickened out. Contemplating running away, she braced her back and stood up tall as the door opened.

Looking in, she slumped some when an older guy, more the likely Max’s dad, opened the door. “Hi…can I help you?” he asked nicely.

Smiling, Liz said, “is Max home by any chance?”

Nodding, he opened the door so she could step into the front hallway. Looking around, Liz waited while Mr. Evans walked toward the hallway and called out, “Max! You have company!”

“What dad?” Max asked, coming out of the kitchen with his back facing toward Liz. Looking at him, Liz could see his muscles bulging out from under his tank top. Feeling her face get red, she quickly looked away.

Pointing at her, Mr. Evans smiled and added, “I’ll be upstairs.”

Confused, Max turned around to see Liz standing by the door. Giving his father one last look, he walked over to her. “What are you doing here?”

“Um…” Swallowing, Liz suddenly felt like she couldn’t find her voice. “Well…I just wanted…” Pushing her hair behind her ears, she stalled. She had this whole speech planned but now she couldn’t remember one word of it.

Shaking his head, Max reached past her for the keys hanging by the door. Giving her another look, he walked out the door, taking her with him. Looking back at the door confused, Liz watched it shut. Realizing he was taking her toward his motorcycle, she felt unsure.

Climbing on, Max saw her hesitate. “Get on,” he said, pointing over his shoulder.

“Ok…”Liz, said finally, climbing on. Not knowing where to put her hands, she loosely griped his shoulders while he gunned the engine and backed the bike out of the driveway.

Gunning it one last time, Max took off down the street, the sudden uptake of speed making Liz wrap her arms around to waist to hold on and giving a surprised laugh.

Driving through town, Liz saw Max was pointing the jeep toward the desert. Enjoying the feel of him in her arms, she could’ve driven all the way across the desert if he wanted.

Hitting the outskirts of town, Max gunned the engine again and flew forward, quickly picking up more speed. Feeling the wind whip through her hair, Liz leaned back some, closing her eyes as she turned her face up toward the sun.

Feeling her pull away from him a little, Max turned his side mirror until he could see Liz. Watching as she let the wind blow through her hair, he couldn’t help but give a little smile and shake his head.

No matter how much he tried to fight, there was something about Liz that pulled him toward her like a magnet. Seeing the alcove up ahead, Max pulled the motorcycle off the rode, parking it under some trees for shade.

After Liz climbed off, he did the same, but leaned his hip back against the bike, watching her. Why did she come to his house? Wondering if it had something to do with the flash she got from him, Max stiffened.

“Um…I know you wanna know why I stopped by,” Liz said finally, picking at the tree in a nervous fashion.

“Why?”

Sighing, she gave a little laugh. “I didn’t think this would be so hard,” she added and Max knew it was mostly directed at herself. Taking a deep breath, Liz turned to face him once more.

“Ok…I wanna know what you’re doing.”

“What I’m doing?” Max repeated, not really understanding what she was asking. But he was glad it didn’t have anything to do with the flashes.

Sighing, she ran a hand through her hair, forgetting about her insecurities for a moment. “Last night you came to my room and kissed me—really kissed me and the day before you came to me in school and I can’t stop thinking about how you touched me. And you probably think I’m some little ditz who’s gonna just follow you around, waiting for you to acknowledge me or whatever since I just admitted that but I’m not. I don’t need you or your mind games, so either tell it to me what you want straight out or leave it be,” Liz declared, taking in a deep breath before looking down, once more back in her shell.

Eyeing her, Max couldn’t help but walk closer, keeping her eyes locked on his. The way she took control for a second then suddenly went back to being timid was something he’d never really seen. Isabel never hid her true feelings or backed away, while all the girls he usually dated didn’t have the guts or even know how to stand up to him.

But Liz? She had both.

Stopping when his face was just a few inches from her, Max lightly ran his finger down her arm, never taking his eyes off of hers. “You don’t need me?” he asked, seeing her eyes follow his hand.
“Well…I never—“ Looking back up at his face, Liz stopped talking.

Leaning down, Max closed his lips over hers, instantly deepening the kiss. Wrapping her arms around his neck, Liz leaned into the kiss, letting out a little moan when Max pulled her closer.
***

“Mom? Dad?” Isabel called, walking into her house. Going into the kitchen, she saw Michael, of all people, walking from the hallway. “Don’t you have your own home?” she asked, pulling out the juice and pouring a glass.

Taking it, Michael shrugged. “Sometimes. I’m looking for Maxwell.”

Making another glass of juice for herself, Isabel asked, “have you checked his room?”

“Not there.”

Pausing, Isabel glanced out the window and saw his bike was gone. “Must’ve went for a ride.”

“2 guesses with who,” Michael added.

Glancing at him, she shook her head. “He said he was gonna stay away after Liz had a fla—“ Stopping herself, Isabel took a drink, hoping Michael didn’t hear what she almost admitted. Him knowing about Max and Liz was the last thing they needed.

“What?”

“Nothing,” Isabel said quickly.

“Liz what?” he repeated, eyeing her.

Sighing, Isabel put the juice carton away. “Max thinks she had a flash,” she said finally, kicking herself for telling him.

“What?! How?!”

“Michael—lower your voice,” she said harshly, looking to make sure her parents weren’t nearby.

“How did she have a flash Isabel?”

Taking his arm, she led him to her room and quietly shut the door before turning to him. “Max kissed her.”

“How did that make her have a flash? We’ve kissed humans before.”

“I know,” Isabel added, sitting down on her bed. “But Max…we think he opened a connection without realizing it.”

“What did she see?”

“We don’t know.”

“Then we find out,” Michael insisted, going for the door.

“How are you gonna do that? Just barge into the café and demand to know what she saw while kissing our alien brother?” Isabel exclaimed. “Think for once Michael.”

“First off, I am thinking. And secondly, she’s not there.”

“Then what do you plan on doing?”

“We go to her friend—Maria something or other. Or Whitman,” Michael replied.

“How do you even know if she told them?” Isabel asked.

“Her and Whitman were being awful chummy—she coulda told him this morning.”

“How do you know about her and Alex?” Isabel asked, her voice demanding. “Did you spy on them?”

“I saw them, ok?”

“No, not ok. Michael—“

“Isabel! We have to nip this in the bud before it gets out! Do you really wanna leave your cozy little life here and go running away from the freaking FBI?!” When she didn’t respond, Michael went for the door again. “That’s what I thought. Lets go.”

Sighing, Isabel glanced around her room once more before following him, shutting the door with a slight click.
***
TBC

PART 12
Liz was barely aware of the noises from the café as she walked in the back door, a look of happiness on her face. Sitting at the counter, she was silent until Maria came up.

“I don’t like the look on your face,” she said finally, standing on the other side of the counter with her hands on her hips. “What happened?”

“Um…well.” Looking slightly confused, Liz said softly, “I’m not really sure…but it was good.”

“Good?” Maria repeated slowly. “What was good?”

“He kissed me…again.”

Seeing the love struck look on Liz’s face, Maria sighed. “I’ve lost you. Soon you’ll be just as bad as Alex is with Isabel, panting and drooling like a little lost puppy!”

Coming out of her funk, Liz said with emotion, “I will not.”

Bending over till she was looking Liz right in the eyes, Maria said simply, “Max Evans.”

Instantly Liz got a far away look in her eyes and a silly grin formed. Sighing, Maria shook her head and started to walk away. “I’ve lost her.”
***

Isabel watched Maria and Liz intensely, noticing how close they were. It was stupid and childish she told herself, but Isabel couldn’t help but feel a little envious.

Not that she would admit it out loud.

Sure, she had plenty of friends, tons actually, but none of them were really her friends. They just wanted to be part of her clique—be part of the popular girls.

And then all those guys following her around, panting and paying her compliments on her body. None of them really like her, they just liked her body. None of them actually said she was beautiful, they would say she was sexy or hot. Nor would they say she was smart or nice or sweet—like she really was.

None of them had ever paid her a real compliment…except for Alex Whitman.

He would grin like an idiot and say she looked beautiful. Not sexy or hot, but beautiful. Or he would compliment her if she got a correct answer in class or he would notice how she was caring.

And he would look at her like he could see right down into her soul. There was even a little voice in the back of her head that said he would like what he found there, human or not human.

Stopping that train of thought, Isabel shook her head. Sure, Alex was sweet and she would even admit he was kinda cute in that dorky way he had, but there was no way she could ever date him.

Besides, she didn’t date, she hung out. Dating involved making a commitment and they couldn’t do that.

Which was exactly way her and Michael were sitting in a both in the Crashdown café. But by the look on Liz Parker’s face it was obviously too late.

Michael must have seen it too because he huffed and slumped down into the seat. “He’s getting too close.”

“We don’t know that,” Isabel lied, looking at the expression on Liz’s face. The normally clam and placid girl suddenly seemed to light up and was smiling. She looked happy.

And for some reason Isabel felt bad if they tried to take it away.

It wasn’t like she was friends with Liz. She had probably never spoken more then 5 words to the girl, but she did always seem nice and fair—like she wouldn’t shun Isabel for what she really was. And that’s what every relationship came down to in Isabel’s life.

Would they still be there if she showed them her true self?

Only a few passed that test. Her parents were just about the only humans she trusted the ever tell, but Max and Michael made it clear that no one was to know.

But there was something about Liz Parker and Alex Whitman that made her think that maybe…maybe they could be trusted. And she could probably even throw in that chatterbox Maria DeLuca if she had to.

But it’s not like she’d ever get to test her theory…right?
***
TBC

PART 13
Max paced the length of his room, his sleek and toned body coming off looking like a tiger on the prey. All this pacing was getting him no where and he still didn’t know how to handle all this.

Getting frustrated, Max growled and threw himself down on the bed, running his hands over his face. Why was this so hard?! What was so special about Liz Parker that made it nearly impossible to stay away? Oh, who was he kidding? He wasn’t nearly impossible—

It was impossible, impossible.

There was no way in hell he could drag himself away from her; from her arms, from her lips. Oh god…her lips…who knew someone so innocent and sweet like her knew how to kiss that good. Max had done some kissing in his time but Liz…she was the best he had come across yet.

And something was telling him he wouldn’t find any better.

Hearing a knock on his door, Max sighed. “What?” he called out.

“Supper’s ready,” his mother called through the door.

“I’m not hungry mom,” he said back, hoping she would just go away and let him sulk in privacy.

“Ok…”

He could hear her footsteps retreating from the door and Max sighed. He knew his mom worried about him, but there was nothing she could do about it.

There was another knock at his door and Max added, “mom, I’m not hungry!” before closing his eyes.

“I’m not your mom.”

Looking up to see Michael walking into his room, Max shook his head. “I’m not in the mood Mike,” he grumbled.

“Well get in the mood,” Michael threw back. “I was just at the Crash—“

Sitting up, Max glared at Michael. “What did you say to her?”

Michael scoffed and sat down at the desk, shaking his head. “The first thing outta your mouth is about that Parker girl.”

“Isn’t that what ya came over here to talk about?” Max asked. Without waiting for a answer, he added, “what did you say to her?”

“Nothing…” Michael added, picking his feet up and placing them on the edge of the bed. “But I did see her and Whitman.”

Rolling his eyes, Max laid back down. “So what? You don’t want me with Liz so you’re gonna tell me she’s with someone else?”

“You wanna be with Liz?”

Ignoring that question, Max added, “her and Whitman are friends only.”

“You didn’t answer my question.”

“I ain’t gotta answer it,” Max exclaimed, sitting back up. “What I do with her is none of your business.”

“Like hell it isn’t. Isabel told me she got a flash!” Michael replied.

Scoffing, Max stood up. “So let me get this straight—I can’t see some girl because you say so?”

“No…you can’t see some girl because she more then just ‘some girl’ to you,” Michael said in a low voice before standing up and leaving the room.

“Go to hell…” Max muttered to Michael’s back, but then he instantly felt guilty, even if Michael hadn’t heard him. He couldn’t really get mad at Michael for saying the truth.

Liz did mean more to him then just some hook-up or something.

Cursing, Max slammed his door and stormed over to his radio, flipping it on to hear a heavy-rock song blast out.

~ Everywhere I go I see your face. Every sound I hear is the sound of your voice. Why are you haunting me? Why are you haunting me? Why can’t I let you go…go?
Why are you haunting me; why are you haunting me?
Why are you haunting me; why are you haunting me? ~

That was exactly what it felt like. Liz Parker was haunting him. Everything about her was haunting his mind, making him think about her 24/7; think about how it felt to have her body pressed up against his as they made out on her balcony. The flashes he got from her…

It was all haunting his mind and body.

Not to mention the fact that he was lying to her.

~ Everything about me is a lie. At least it seems that way when I look your eyes now. The truth scares the shit out of me. Whoever said love is real and love is blood has never felt the way that I feel.
What does it matter? What’s done is done and I should get on with my life.
Why are you haunting me; why are you haunting me?
Why are you haunting me; why are you haunting me? ~

That’s exactly what Max should do. He had to get on with his life and forget about Liz Parker. Forget about her eyes, how her hands felt as she ran them up and down her back, how he his felt while running them up and down her back.

Shit…

He might as well try to give up his alien powers first cause there was no way he was gonna forget seeing Liz in nothing but a shirt and underwear while she stretched and arched her back while waking up.

~ I don’t know what it is, but I can’t seem to make myself forget…just something that you said has crawled t get inside my head!
Why are you haunting me; why are you haunting me?
Why are you haunting me; why are you haunting me?
Why are you haunting me…why are you haunting me!! ~

Falling back onto his bed once more, Max sighed in frustration and ran his hands through his hair. He couldn’t just lay here all night and think himself sick over all this.

He needed a distraction; something to get his mind off all this shit.

And with his morbid and twisted mind, the very best distraction was as plain as the nose on his face.
***

Liz sighed and pulled her hair up into a low ponytail, staring at the reflection in her work locker before shitting it with a disgusted sigh. Maria was right. She needed to do something before she started to follow Max around like some lovesick freak.

Which was why she offered to work today. They didn’t really need another waitress, but if she didn’t do something soon she was gonna go crazy with all those Max thoughts in her head!

Blowing out all her breath, Liz leaned her head against the cold locker and stayed there, her eyes closed and her hands lower on the lockers.

Feeling like she was being watched, Liz sighed and turned around, expecting to find Maria standing there, ready to dish out another lecture. But instead she found no one, nothing.

Wrinkling her brow, Liz finally shrugged and was about to walk into the front of the café when she noticed the back door was slightly adjure. Hesitating a second, Liz figured Jose or Maria must have left it open when they took out the trash. Walking over to shut it, Liz paused, the feeling of being watched coming over her again.

Walking out side and looking around, Liz saw the alley was empty. Shrugging again, she was about to go back into the café when a pair of arms wrapped around her waist and her back was pressed against a hard chest.

“You know…you really shouldn’t walk outside in the dark by yourself…” Max Evans said in a husky, voice. His hot breath was on her neck and his finger drew a little circle around her belly button through her outfit.

“Really?” Liz whispered back, hoping he couldn’t hear the trimmer in her voice. She wasn’t scared, but his form being pressed up against her was sending shivers through her whole body.

Didn’t he realize the effect he had on her?

“I could easily escape off with you,” he added, letting his fingers trail her body as he ran them up the front of her waitress uniform.

Please, her mind begged, but Liz simply said, “is that so?” her voice catching slightly as Max’s fingers lightly grazed the area between her breasts. What is he trying to do to me?!

Swallowing, Liz closed her eyes as Max’s fingers trailed her collarbone, slowly gliding up her neck and grazing her chin. Suddenly she felt his finger lightly trace her bottom lip.

Letting go of her hesitations, Liz did something she normally wouldn’t do. She drew Max’s finger into her mouth and lightly nibbled on it, running her tongue over it seductively.

She could hear Max’s quick intake of breath and smiled, doing it again. Then suddenly she was facing him, his lips attacking hers hungrily. Wrapping her arms around his neck, Liz pulled herself as close to him as she could get, feeling his hands on her waist and holding her up to help accomplish that feat, while at the same time she could feel his hands all over her body.

Pulling her lips from his, Liz took in some much-needed air while his lips moved down to her neck, nibbling and sucking on her skin. Everything he was doing was making her body shiver and tremble with excitement.

“Lets get outta here,” he said gruffly, his voice low and husky in his throat.

“But…I told Maria I would work…”she whispered, not wanting him to stop what he was doing but wanting to be loyal to her friend also. His hands just felt too good.

“She’ll understand,” Max added, his lips finding hers again and deepening the kiss immediately, slipping his tongue into her mouth and commanding her to respond.

Melting at his touch, Liz knew there was no way she was gonna walk back into that café any time soon. Maria would just have to understand.
***
TBC

PART 14
Maria huffed and walked up the steps to the apartment above the cafe, wondering where Liz was. She went into the back 15 minutes ago to change and never returned. Maria wasn’t really mad because they didn't need help—it was pretty much dead out front, but she was upset if Liz just took off again.

Knocking quickly and going inside, Maria called out for the other girl. Not getting an answer, she walked into Liz’s bedroom, seeing her clothes on the bed. So, wherever she was, Liz was wearing her uniform.

Shaking her head, Maria walked back out of the room and headed downstairs, coming out front with a grim face. Liz did it again—she took off without any notice!

“10 bucks say Mr. Evans had something to do with it,” Maria muttered. Seeing she had new customers, she picked up the coffeepot and walked over, serving them some. Heading back toward the counter, Maria noticed Isabel Evans was still here, but now alone since Michael Guerin left.

Spinning on her heel, Maria walked over to the table. “Where’s your brother?”

“What?” Isabel asked, confused as she looked up.

“Your brother—Max. Where is he?” she repeated.

“I’m not his keeper,” Isabel bit out.

“Maybe you should be. He’s coming on to my friend and now she’s gone off with him.” Maria noticed Isabel tensed some.

“Liz left with Max?” she asked.

“I’m assuming. Liz is gone and—“

“I gotta go,” Isabel said suddenly, jumping from the booth and bolting out the door.

Watching the other girl, Maria groaned in frustration and sat the coffeepot down on the table, hearing a thump. Looking down, she realized she just spilled coffee all over the counter top.

“Great…just great,” she muttered, going to get a rag.
***

Max was acutely aware of Liz’s body being pressed up against his back while she clung onto his chest from around his waist. Her fingers were slightly moving, caressing his muscles and the sensation was heady.

Swallowing, Max returned his focus to driving the motorcycle down the old road, roaring through the desert. The hardest part was knowing that Liz was wearing a short skirt behind him and her bare legs were slightly coming in contact with him.

Getting an idea, Max slowly brought the bike to a stop and climbed off, looking at Liz. Her face was confused and her hair blown back from where she had taken it down while he had been driving. The way she was sitting on his bike made Max feel alive, like he could feel every cell in his body.

Not being able to resist, he pulled her up and into his arms, capturing her lips with his. The kiss was long and deep, causing Max to groan from deep in his throat. Finally pulling away, Max licked his lips, finding them to taste like strawberries now from her lip-gloss. Running his hands down her side, he let them stop on her waist, pulling her tight up against him.

“Why did we stop?” Liz asked, her voice low and her eyes focusing on his lips again.

Max felt a… an ache of some sort as she did. That one little motion of her eyes made this fierce need inside of him come alive. Taking her mouth again, Max heard her sigh, like she was getting a fix of something she craved.

Yeah, that’s what it was. Max was craving Liz and had to be near her, touch her, kiss her. If not he didn’t know what would happen. And you had to meet your cravings.

Remembering his idea, Max finally pulled his lips from Liz and walked back over and sat down on the motorcycle, scooting back to make room in front of him. Patting it, he threw her a sly grin and said, “climb on.”
***

Liz tried hard to remember everything he was telling her but it was hard with his chest pressed into her back and his hand on her, pointing everything out with her own hand. Max had his other hand planted to her waist and everyone once in awhile he could move it, making his fingers graze her side.

“So that’s about all you need to know,” Max said finally, turning so he could look at the side of her face.

“Um…I’m not really sure…what to do still,” Liz admitted, looking back at him. “Don’t I need to know more to drive a motorcycle?”

“I’ll help you; I’m right here,” he told her, scooting up a little closer to her back.

“I know…” she whispered, trying to regain her control. “But um…what if something happens—“

Placing his finger over her mouth, Max added, “I won’t let it.” His voice was husky and Liz saw his eyes looking at her lips as he lightly traced them.

Finally nodding, Liz turned back around, closing her eyes for a second and taking a deep breath. She felt Max shift some behind her and then he ran his hand down her arms, taking her hands and placing them on the handles.

“Ready?” he asked, his voice right behind her ears.

Nodding, Liz carefully started to bike, relieved when it worked. Listening to his instructions, she slowly led the bike onto the empty highway, feeling a rush as the air moved through her hair.

“I’m actually doing it,” she exclaimed.

“Give it some more gas,” Max offered.

Hearing the bike jerk under her and move forward at a faster rate, Liz couldn’t help but let out a little laugh. It was so weird to actually be driving! Max’s hands slipped back from hers, giving her full control. She felt them land on her waist and Liz reminded herself that she needed to focus on the road.

“This is so freeing…” Liz whispered low, hoping Max didn’t hear her. She didn’t want to feel like a complete idiot in front of him now. It was obvious that he liked her. Ok…more then obvious, but Liz didn’t want to jinx it.

Max said something and Liz strained to hear it as the wind wiped around her head. “What?” she asked, glancing at him from the corner of her eye quickly.

Leaning forward, Max had his whole body flushed against her hers as he said, “you’re the only person other then Izzy to drive my bike.”

“Oh…” Liz replied, trying not to focus on how his body stayed wrapped around her. His hands traveled down her sides and he wrapped one of his arms completely around her as if to hold her there.

Like she was gonna move away! Leaning back some, Liz shifted until her body was completely between his legs. She could feel his heart beating against her back and his breath on her neck.

They came to a fork in the road and Liz asked, “which way?”

“Um…right,” Max said finally, bringing his hand up and pointing before laying it on the handles and helping her steer into the curve. Once they were straight again, Max sled his hand back and trailed it up her arm and down her side, slowly letting his fingers, caress her curves.

Expecting his hand to rest on her hip again, Liz sucked in her air when he trailed it down her thigh, letting it rest high on the leg. Trying to keep her attention on the road in front of them, Liz swallowed and shook her head.

Then, when she thought things couldn’t get worse, Max moved his fingers and started to caress her though, moving his fingers closer to the inside of her leg.

“Pull over,” Max whispered in her ear, and Liz was happy to oblige. As soon as they were stopped and the motorcycle was turned off, Max spun Liz into his arms, capturing her mouth in a hungry and desperate kiss.
***
TBC

PART 15
Max felt like his whole body was a live wire as Liz climbed off the bike, looking toward the entrance of the café. Looking back at him, she scuffed the sidewalk with the toe of her shoe.

“You working tonight?”

“I got early shift,” she replied, glancing at her watch. “Which started about 15 minutes ago.”

Still sitting on the bike, Liz’s chest was at his eye level and Max had to try really hard not to stare. “I might stop by,” he finally mumbled, looking away before he got himself into a situation.

“Ok…” Liz looked nervous and Max couldn’t help but notice how her bottom lip pouted out some.

Never being a ‘PDA’ kinda guy, Max was about to start up the bike and tear off when he glanced back at her face and was lost. Laying his hand on her hips, Max pulled Liz close until her lips were inches from his. Her could feel her breath on his face and still taste the strawberry lip-gloss from their earlier ‘adventures’.

Closing his mouth over hers, Max slipped his tongue in real quick then back out, loving the little whimper she gave from deep within her throat. Deepening the kiss for a little bit longer this time, his eyes closed on instinct and Max was bombarded with images of Liz and Maria playing dress-up with Ms. DeLuca’s clothes and pretending to go out on dates.

He knew in the back of his mind that this was bad—if he was getting images from Liz she might be seeing something from him, but along with the intense flashes from Liz, he was also getting a surround-sound version of the emotions and feelings coming off her.

And it was enough to make him wanna take her up to her bedroom right now! Hell, anyplace with a floor would do!

Groaning into her mouth, Max was about to pull Liz back down onto the bike with him when he became aware of their surroundings as a car honked behind them.

Pulling back slightly, Max murmured, “later,” against her lips before he pulled away completely and started the bike. If he didn’t make a clean break, there were gonna be some consequences.

Liz nodded, her expression slightly dazed and Max knew how she felt. Seeing the road was clear, Max gave her one last look before pulling, his tires squealing. He needed to take a nice, long ride before going home.
***

Liz lightly felt her lips, still dazed by his kiss and the things she…saw. It was hard to explain, but she now knew that Max was adopted and found with his sister wondering the desert when they were about 6 or 7.

Taking in a shaky breath, Liz was about to turn around when a hand landed on her shoulder. Screaming, Liz jumped and spun around to see a very confused Alex.

“Alex! You scared the shit outta me!” she exclaimed, placing a hand over her heart.

“Wow…you never cuss,” he muttered.

Not wanting to talk about herself right now, Liz said, “why are you—“

“I did that checking you wanted,” Alex said and his voice even had a hint of excitement to it.

“Really…what did you find?” Liz asked, noticing the papers in his hands.

“Not here,” he said, looking up toward the direction her balcony was. “Can we go up?”

“Um…” Glancing at the door of the café, Liz nodded. “Yeah, just quick before Maria sees me out here.”

“Oh…I think she would’ve done been out here if she saw you,” Alex added, grinning

“You saw us?” Liz asked, heading into the alleyway and over to the ladder leading up to her balcony.

“Oh yeah…I thought he was gonna swallow your face!” he joked.

“Alex…” Liz whined, reaching the top and climbing over. A second later he followed.

“Liz…you do realize what you’re getting into, right?”

“What do you mean?” she asked softly, wondering if he figured out that her ‘visions’ were coming from Max.

“He’s known for his rep with girls.”

Sighing with relief, Liz smiled before realizing that Alex was still look at her. “I mean, um, it—it’s not like that with us.”

“Well…I hope you’re right.”

Nodding, Liz pointed to the papers in his hands. “What are those?”

“Ok…you’re not gonna believe this,” Alex said, his voice shocked. “I did that research for you and I got a few little things, but nothing I guessed you were looking for, so I kept going out, way past 50 miles.” Pulling out a folded geographic map, the ones that mark canyons and rock formations, Alex laid it out on the floor, getting down on his knees and pointing at it. “See this—there’s a huge bolder and rock formation right about here.”

Getting down to look too, Liz searched the map for the name of the area. “Where is it at?”

“That’s the weird part…I couldn’t find the name of the place for anything!” Taking a deep breath, Alex added, “it’s about 75 miles outta town…”

“75 miles? Why does that—“ Trailing off, Liz suddenly remembered the little ‘Roswell Crash’ stories on all the menu’s downstairs in the café. All them marked the site of the crash to be 75 mils outtta town.

Knowing her train of thought, Alex nodded, “yep…75 miles outta town.”

“What else did you find? Is that all?” Liz asked.

“Actually no…” Pulling out another folded map, Alex said, “here’s where it starts getting weirder.” This one was older, the endings slowly yellow and the markings a little but faded. “I went back some years to see if I could find any info on the location of the rocks and I got a hold of this.”

Watching him, Liz saw Alex unfold the map and lay it right over the to other one, matching the graphics directly. Her eyes immediately going to the spot where the formation should be, Liz was surprised to see nothing; no markings what so ever for the rock cliff.

“It wasn’t there before 47, Liz. There is no record of the rock formation before 1947,” Alex said, his voice awed.

“That—that…that can’t be…” Liz whispered, pulling up the older map to look at the newer one. “It has to be a…a typo or something!”

Sighing, Alex rocked back on his heels. “I don’t know; and I don’t really wanna. This is all getting to creepy for me.”

Throwing both maps down, Liz kept on the ground, thinking about it all. First she got the flash of the rock out in desert from Max and now she saw them, him and Isabel, walking out in the desert, lost, and homeless from him.

How could she see these things?!

“How did you know?”

“What?” Liz exclaimed, jumping up.

“The formation…how did you know to look for one? You didn’t really explain it earlier,” Alex said.

Fidgeting, Liz looked back down at the maps. Sighing, Liz looked back up at her friend. “Alex…I—“

“Where the hell have you been?!” Maria exclaimed, barging into Liz’s bedroom and over to the window to the balcony. “You two are dodging me!!”

“Maria, we are not!” Alex told her.

Watching as Alex and Maria talked, Liz stole another glance at the maps. Trying to look casual, she shifted back down to here knees, and folded them up, tucking them against her body in an attempt to hind them from Maria.

“You!” Maria exclaimed suddenly and Liz jumped, nearly dropping the maps. “We need to have a discussion on just bailing on people!”

Realizing that Maria didn’t see the maps, Liz smiled weakly. “Um…I had to go to bathroom?”

“For 3 hours?!”

Were they really gone that long? Calculating it in her head, Liz found Maria’s time to be right. “Ok…a long bathroom break,” she added finally.

Glaring, Maria shot them both a look before muttering they better be down the steps in 2 minutes or she pulling out the big guns. Then she was gone, heading back down to the café.

Sighing, Alex looked at Liz and asked, “what are you doing.”

Looking down at the maps, Liz said, “um…I’ll meet ya downstairs.”

“Liz—“

“I’ll right down; I promise,” she told him, waiting until the nodded and climbed through the window to move, rushing over to the brick wall, she got down on her knee’s and reached forward, pulling out the loose brick. Glancing in the hall and spotting her journal, Liz quickly stuck the maps in too, putting the brick back in place.

Sighing, she stood back up and climbed into her window, never noticing the onlooker from the building across the street.
***
TBC







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 7:39:21 PM
PART 16
By the time Max actually made it home Isabel was waiting for him, her arms crossed and her head held high. Shaking his head, Max pushed past her and into the house. “I’m not in the mood Iz.”

“Well get into it.”

Pausing, Max spun and looked at her, disposing of his coat and keys. “What crawled up your ass?” he joked, giving her a sarcastic smile. When Isabel didn’t react, he repeated, “I’m not in the mood Iz.”

“Well get in the mood,” Michael said, suddenly walking through the front door without knocking. He strolled up and took a spot beside Isabel.

Scoffing, Max said, “you two are gonna lecture me?” Looking at each of them in turn, he added, “didn’t you two put the principle’s car on the roof of the school last month?”

“Don’t dig up every little thing we’ve done to try and weasel your way outta this,” Isabel told him. Max looked her in the eyes and she shied away after a minute.

“He deserved it, the prick,” Michael muttered. “He gave me detention for a week.”

“Like you even went,” Max threw back. “Look…my life, my way.” Starting down the hallway to his room, he threw over her shoulder, “this isn’t up for discussion!”

“Like hell it isn’t,” Michael mumbled, going down the hallway. Isabel bit her lower lip, pausing a second before following.

“This has everything to do with us—all of us,” Michael declared, storming into Max’s room.

“No—“

Cutting Max off, Michael added, “when you open connections with some girl it does!”

Eyeing his sister, Max asked, “you told him.”

“I had to Max! Someone has to make you see,” she finally said.

“I don’t need to see anything,” Max replied.

“Look at you! You don’t even know what’s important!” Michael threw out.

“What’s important? What’s important?!” Max exclaimed, charging up to them. “What? That you two can use your powers for little kicks but I can’t even kiss a girl!!”

Isabel backed up a step and shook her head. “I can’t even…” Looking back at him, she added, “I’m not blind Max…I see how you look at her; I see how she looks back!!”

“You gotta back off Max,” Michael threw in. “you’re getting in too deep. You’re letting her in on our secret and you need to—“

“Don’t tell me what I need!!”

“Somebody has too!!”

Isabel flinched at the tone in their voices and tried to calm them down. “Max? Michael? Just—“

“Get the hell outta my room,” Max said, his voice low and hard. Turning his back on Michael, he added, “I didn’t tell her shit and don’t plan too.”

Eyeing him, Michael muttered, “good for you Maxwell…but you just remember that when she starts to ask questions.” Not waiting for Max to reply, he strode out of the room.

Looking at her brother, Isabel added, “you need to get some perspective.” Then she left the room too, racing down the hallway to catch Michael. “Michael!”

Grabbing his arm, she opened her mouth to speak, only to suddenly hear a loud smack and glass shattering from Max’s room. Glancing at his door quickly, Isabel held onto Michael when he tried to flee.

“Max is just—“

“Don’t feed me any bull, Isabel,” Michael said, pulling his arm free.

“Where are you going?” she demanded.

“I’m gonna fix this,” he called over his shoulder.

“Michael!” Watching his back disappear, Isabel sighed.
***

Max stared at the snow globe as it laid shattered and leaking on his floor, the gold and sliver sparkles still filtering down through the air. The dome had been a present from Isabel one year for Christmas. It had a picture of a big city in it, a little reminder of their plans to leave Roswell as soon as they were old enough.

Him, his sister and Michael still had those same dreams today.

Watching as more of the water seeped out of the cracked glass, Max felt like an invisible bubble around himself just busted and the air was finally reaching him, chilling his bones and turning his body numb.

Going into autopilot, Max walked over and knelt beside the dome, staring down at it while waving his hand in the air. Like watching a video rewind, the dome started to suck the water back in through the shattered glass, which was also starting to reform. After the transition was complete, Max picked it up, looking it over. The globe was brand new again.

But something was missing.

Realizing what it was, Max placed his palm over the glass, watching it glow for a second before pulling away. The dome was now filled with gold and silver specs, coming down in a never-ending glowing rain onto the little town.

Staring at it for another second, Max walked out of his room, the globe still in his hands.
***

Liz stared down at the plate, realizing the guy was right, this wasn’t his order. Sighing, she replied, “I’m sorry. I’ll go get yours right now. Sorry for the wait too.” Hurrying off, Liz muttered to herself, “that’s the 4th time tonight!”

Waiting by the pick-up window for the real order, Liz bereted herself. What was her problem tonight?! Sighing, she knew exactly what her problem was.

And it was hidden in her balcony wall right now.

Wiping at her brow, Liz heard the doorbell chime. Looking up, she watched as Alex walked in. Casting a look at Maria real quick, seeing that she hadn’t noticed Alex yet, Liz picked up the plate and rushed it back over to the table, saying she was sorry for the wait once more.

Greeting Alex with a tight smile, she grabbed his elbow and said, “we need to talk,” leading him into the back.

“Ok…” Alex said, letting her lead him off, a confused look on his face.

Pulling him through the doors, Liz asked, “can you take me to the rock formation tomorrow?”

“What? Why?” Alex asked.

“I just…I need to go. Can you?”

“Liz…I don’t like this—you’re becoming obsessed.”

“You think I don’t know that?!” Realizing that she was yelling now, Liz took in a deep breath and pulled Alex over to the work lockers. “Look…I need to know,” she Liz said in a hushed voice. “I’m going insane with wondering how this is all connected to Max and why no one else has picked it up! I mean, I’m forgetting orders and tripping over my own feet!! I need to know Alex…”

Taking all that in, Alex asked finally, “what does all this have to do with Max Evans?”

Realizing what she just said, Liz added quickly, “just my mind running away—he has nothing to do with this.” Not waiting for his response, she kept going. “Can you been here by 8? I gotta be to work at 1.”

Scoffing, Alex whined, “it’s a Sunday…”

Knowing he was gonna do it, Liz pulled him into a quick hug. “Thank you Alex.” Pulling away, she started back out front, leaving before he could change his mind.

“I wanna know everything tomorrow,” Alex called out to her.

“I promise,” Liz replied, praying he would understand that come tomorrow, she would have to break that promise.
***

Isabel paused outside of Max’s door, listening to the thump of his music. Trying to decide if she should knock, she finally decided not to. He would probably just send her away rudely, making her lash back out. Shaking her head, Isabel looked at his door once more before going on.

Max hadn’t come out of his room since their fight. He just holed up in there, not even coming out to eat diner.

Going into her own room, Isabel reached out to turn on her flick on her light but stopped, noticing the sparkling orb on her bed. Shutting the door and leaving the light off, she walked over to her bed slowly, tenderly picking up the object and sitting down.

It was the snow dome she gave to Max a few years back for Christmas. Watching as the sparkling gold and silver specs flew around the little town, Isabel laughed softly. They continued to fly about although no one was shaking the globe. She could feel the heated glow shining off her face and a grin broke out.

This was Max’s way of saying he was sorry. He brother didn’t talk much or like to admit he was wrong, but Max did care for her. Even though he barely showed it; aside from being protective as hell over her.

Cradling the glass dome in her hands, Isabel stood up and walked over to Max’s room, knocking on the door. Hearing his music turn down and a grunt of a reply, Isabel opened the door and shut it quietly, walking in and sitting on the bed beside her brother.

“Thank you,” she said softly.

“I never liked the thing anyway,” Max muttered, not looking her in the eye.

Knowing that he was just trying not to make a big deal out of it, Isabel added, “look…about tod—“

“You were right,” Max said suddenly, getting up and wondering over to his radio, tuning through the stations without even stopping to hear what he was passing by.

“I know how you feel about her and…I didn’t want to be right,” she whispered.

“Yeah, well, you are,” he muttered, forgetting about the radio and walking out of the room, leaving her alone.

Still sitting on his bed, Isabel glanced back down at the globe, letting the music fill up the silence.

~ I’d like to close my eyes, go numb, but there’s a cold wind coming from the top of the highest high-rise today; it’s not a breeze cause it blows hard. Yes, and it wants me to discard the humanity I know, watch the warmth blow away.

So don’t let the world bring you down. Not everyone here is that fucked up and cold. Remember why you came and while you’re alive, experience the warmth before you grow old. ~

Max watched her as she swept, running a hand over her neck. Her hair was loose now, fanning around her head as she leaned back over, making a dark curtain around her face. He could tell by the way she held her body that something was bothering her.

The longer he stayed and watched Liz, the more he wanted to turn around and run.

He knew Michael and Isabel were right. Deep down he knew that letting Liz in was gonna cause trouble. He had come here tonight to break everything off with her, cut the strings, and clean the slate.

And that was 2 hours ago!

It was just that somewhere else, maybe even deeper then the other knowledge, he was fighting against all this; fighting to let Liz in. Maybe that was what he really wanted, but he wasn’t gonna find out anytime soon.

In every fight there was a loser and there was gonna be one tonight.

Taking a deep breath and walking toward the café doors, Max got about 6 feet before his feet froze to the sidewalk again. “Freakin’ wuss…” he muttered, turning around and walking away from the Crashdown café and Liz Parker.

The war was still waging and Max didn’t know who to bet on.

~ Do you think I should adhere to that pressing new frontier and leave in my wake a trail of fear? Or should I hold my head up high and throw a wrench in the spokes by leaving the air behind me clear?

So don’t let the world bring you down. Not everyone here is that fucked up and cold. Remember why you came and while you’re alive, experience the warmth before you grow old… ~
***
TBC

PART 17
Liz’s neck was sore and her feet hurt by the time she was climbing the steps to her apartment. Sighing, she opened the door and was greeted with silence. Maybe she should’ve asked Maria to stay over…

Shaking her head no, Liz rubbed her neck and walked down the hallway, opening her bedroom door and stopping. She could see someone on her balcony through the window.

Freezing, she didn’t know what to do. Where they here to rob her house?! Swallowing, she got up enough nerve and shouted, hoping it would scare them off.

“I’ve got a baseball bat!!” Running over to her bed to get the one she kept there in case anything like this did happen, she grabbed it and stood back up straight, noticing they were hoping over the ledge—and not using the ladder.

They jumped of her balcony!

“Oh my god!!” Liz screamed, dashing out the window and crawling toward the ledge, trying to get back to her feet and keep the bat in her hands just in case. Looking over the side, she braced herself to see a body, but there was nothing.

Gasping, Liz watched with shock as they ran out of the alley, still intact and alive after the fall. There was no way anyone survived a fall that high without any broken bones!

Pulling the bat up to her chest, Liz spun around, trying to see if maybe her eyes had played a trick on her and he was still up here. But she was alone. Trying to remain calm, she took in a deep breath and let it out, only to have a moan escape too.

Dropping the bat with a clatter, Liz raced over to her wall, getting down on her hands and knees and pulling out the brick, searching for the maps. Pulling out her journal, Liz tossed that aside and reached back.

“No…no…” she mumbled, not feeling anything except dust. “Please no,” she cried, reaching in further. Still nothing. Pulling her hand back out, Liz dusted the cobwebs off of it and stood up slowly, her hands shaking.

She was right—those maps were worth something.

And know they could be in the wrong hands.

Crawling back into her room, Liz switched on the light finally and picked up her phone, dialing Alex’s number.

“Hello?” he answered, his voice full of boredom.

“Alex—someone was on my balcony tonight!”

“Wait—what?”

“Some guy or something was on my balcony when I came upstairs!” Liz exclaimed. “I scared him off but…”

“Look, I’m on my way. Close and lock all the doors and windows and call the cops,” he instructed.

“I don’t…my parents and—and they’ll be called…”

“Liz—someone guy broke into your house maybe! Either you call or I do!!”

Moaning her ok, Liz added, “just please come over Alex.”

“I’m on my way—and lock up!” he added before hanging up.

“Thank you…” Liz said into the phone, her heart still racing.
***

Max was pacing his room, his hands clenched at his side. Something was wrong—something was very wrong. His nerves had been on edge for the last hour. Running his hands through his hair, Max was about to go crazy. He had no idea what it was.

Hearing his window open, he looked up to see Michael suddenly climb in. Stiffening, Max wondered if they were gonna have another fight, cause right now, he was on edge enough to take anyone out.

“Something’s going down,” Michael said, starting to pace himself. “I was just on my way through town and there were some cops out at the Crashdown—“

“What?!” Max exclaimed, his blood going cold.

Liz…it had something to do with Liz.

“I don’t know what happ—Max!!”

Ignoring him, Max dove out his window, racing toward his bike. He had to go and make sure Liz was ok. Starting it up, he roared out of the driveway, not even bothering to keep it quiet. If anything happened to her he would maim whoever did it.

Racing toward town, Max slowed down when the glowing UFO over the café became visible. A few seconds later the cop car was too. Stopping a block away, Max hoped off the bike and made his way to the café, about to enter the alleyway when the back door of the café opened and two cops walked out, followed by a pale Liz and Alex Whitman.

“We suggest you lock up tight tonight. Without any fingerprints we don’t have a lot to go on,” the first cop explained. “But we’ll do our best to look into it.”

“Be sure to contact us if anything comes up missing,” the second cop added, putting on his hat.

Liz stiffened at that but simply nodded. Alex, sticking out his hand to shake the cops hands, he added, “thank you.”

“Look…with your parents outta town I suggest you don’t stay here tonight, Ms. Parker.”

“Could—could he come back?” Liz asked suddenly.

“It’s just a precaution,” the first cop spoke up. “But it’s one we suggest you take.”

“Don’t worry—I’ll make sure she goes somewhere,” Alex said.

“Do you have someplace you can stay?”

“Um…yeah,” Liz said finally. “I can go over to my friends house; she’ll let me stay.”

“Ok. But in case something goes wrong, just call and we set you up somewhere,” the cop added.

Max backed up some more then they made their way to the car, getting in a pulling away. Looking back at Liz, he watched as she shook her head.

“This…I can’t believe this…” Looking up at Alex, she added, “he took the maps; that’s what he was after.”

“Come on,” Alex said softly, putting his arm around her shoulder. “Lets get inside.” Liz nodded and they both walked in, slamming the door behind them.

Coming out of his hiding spot, Max glanced up toward her balcony real quick before turning around and walking away. Something was going on. Why didn’t Liz tell the cops something was missing?
***

“Lizzie!” Maria exclaimed, opening the door and rushing into the bedroom. “Oh my god—are you alright?!”

“I’m fine,” she insisted, pulling her legs up to her chest.

Maria looked at Alex and he added, “I think she’s just a little freaked…”

“I would be too if I caught some guy creeping around my bedroom!!” Sitting down beside Liz, Maria added, “did he take anything?”

Glancing at Alex quickly, Liz shook her head ‘no’. “I think…I think I scared him off when I cried out.”

Pulling her close, Maria shook her head. “Well, come on babe. You can stay at my place tonight. There’s no way I’m letting you stay here.”

Nodding, Liz stood up and grabbed the overnight bag she had packed after Alex called Maria over.

“Oh—let me call mom real quick,” Maria said suddenly, going over to pick up the phone.

Pulling Alex a few feet away, Liz looked up at him. “We have to go out there tomorrow.”

“He actually took the maps Liz?” When she nodded, Alex blew out all of his breath. “This is too much. What kind of person would go through all that for just some clumsy maps?”

“I was kinda wondering that myself…Alex, they jumped—“

“She’s cool with it,” Maria said suddenly, coming over to them. “What?” she asked, looking at them both.

“Nothing…I was just making sure me and Alex were keeping our plans for tomorrow—right?” Liz said, looking up at him.

“Yeah…right,” Alex replied finally.

“okayyy…” shaking her head, Maria took Liz’s ram. “Come on, lets get going.”

Nodding, they all left the room, shutting off the lights and leaving it pitch black, making the tiny red light in the corner visible.
***

Looking up, Isabel sighed when Michael burst into her room, not even bothering to stop and knock. “Some of us know how to knock moron,” she muttered, returning to her magazine. Ignoring his glare, she continued to read, sprawled out on her stomach.

“Well…I see you’re back to your usual icy-self,” he said back. “I thought ya might’ve been thawing out on us.”

Rolling her eyes, Isabel looked up at him. “Call it a lapse in mental judgement. Max is back to normal so we have nothing to worry about.” Giving him a quick ‘Princess Isabel’ smirk, she returned to the magazine she was in the middle of reading before he barged in.

“Back to normal,” he repeated.

“Yeah—he’s giving up the Parker girl,” she added, not even looking up. “Ugh…someone really needs to tell that girl that sequins are so 80’s.”

“Really…cause he just went running over to her place,” Michael deadpanned, ignoring her fashion comment.

“What?” Isabel asked, giving him all her attention. “Why?”

Clearing his throat, Michael looked her in the eye. “I know something and Max doesn’t.”

“What?”

Surprised, both Isabel and Michael turned to see Max standing in the doorway, his face emotionless.
***

“Liz…honey, are you sure you’re ok?” Maria asked, sitting down on the bed beside her.

“Yeah…” she replied, pulling the comforter tighter around her. “I’m just thinking about some stuff…”

“What kinda stuff?”

“Just stuff…” When Maria gave her a look, Liz sighed. “I know you don’t like Max but…”

“It’s not that I don’t like him, it’s that I don’t want to see you get hurt,” Maria explained. “Liz, he dates all those airhead cheerleaders slash mini-tramps for about 2 weeks, if even that, then dumps them—I don’t wanna see you fall for this guy and them get your hurt broken when he dumps you or wants to go further then you do.”

“Max would never press me to do something I didn’t want to,” Liz said.

“He might not; but what’s saying he won’t dump you if you don’t?”

“He’s not like that Maria…” Liz whispered finally.

“I’m going by what I’ve heard and it ain’t nice Lizzie.”

“And I’m going by what I know,” she insisted.

“Ok…then let him prove me wrong. But he ever hurts you, I won’t be so easy to convince.” Leaving Liz with that, Maria left the guestroom, shutting the door softly.

Sighing, Liz ran a hand through her hair. Taking a deep breath, she laid back in the bed and tried to relax, but it wasn’t working. Fluffing the pillow, she tried again, but the flutter in her stomach just wouldn’t go away enough for her to get comfortable.

Sitting back up, Liz glanced at the window and bit her lower lip. She couldn’t stay here tonight. Casting a quick look at the door, Liz jumped up and quietly pulled on her drawstring pants and shoes, threw on a windbreaker and went for the window.

Pulling it open, she froze when it creaked. The hallway was still empty and no lights were coming on. Glad that she hadn’t gotten caught, Liz climbed out and stumbled her way to the ground, trying to miss Amy DeLuca’s rose bushes. Making it in one piece, she crept to the front, her feet flying down the street as she reached the sidewalk.

No sooner did she reach the end of the block did the rain start to pour, but Liz didn’t stop or turn back. Pumping her legs, she raced toward her destination, not letting anything get through to her.
***

Max walked into his bedroom and sighed. Michael was obviously hiding something but he wasn’t about to give up the info. Isabel seemed to be in the dark too.

Reaching for his light switch, Max was ready to flip it on when lightening struck, lighting up the whole room, outlining a small form on his bed.

Walking closer, Max could hear the rain from his open window and looked down to see Liz Parker curled up on his bed, her clothes soaked through and her hair damp.

Swallowing, Max quickly closed his door, leaving the light off so not to disturb her. Just the sight of her on his bed was making blood pump through his veins and his heart thumb against his chest.

Coming back over to the bed, he sat down beside Liz, looking her over. What was she doing here? He could’ve sworn she mentioned something about staying at a friend’s house. He was actually relieved when Liz had said ‘she’; at least he knew she wasn’t staying with Whitman.

There was another clap of thunder and Liz stirred, reaching up to rub her eyes before opening them. Noticing him, she slowly sat up and Max caught a glimpse of her stomach from where her jacket had slid up some.

“Hey..” he said softly, not knowing what else to say.

“Hey… I um—…is it alright that I came?” Liz finally asked, looking down.

Nodding, Max added, “yeah…I ain’t got a problem with it.”

“Ok…” Nodding herself, she was still looking down. “Um…I was just a little spooked—someone broke into my house and…” She finally trailed off.

Noticing that she was shivering, Max got up and went to his closet, pulling out one of his old shirt and going back over to the bed. “Here.”

Taking it, Liz slid off her coat and Max saw she was just wearing a tank top under that. She was about to pull his shirt on when she stopped.

“Max…I just to know that….”

Sitting down beside her, Max looked back into her eyes and leaned in, softly kissing her lips. He couldn’t stop himself; he had to touch her and trying to fight it any longer would’ve made him resort to punching out a wall. Feeling her kiss back, Max deepened it, slipping his tongue into her mouth, enjoying the moans he was inciting from her. Liz’s hands were on his back, needing his muscles.

Quickly their innocent kisses grew more intense and Max found himself pushing her down into the bed, pulling his shirt out of her hands and tossing it onto the floor.
***
TBC

PART 18
Liz sighed as Max moved his lips down to her neck, his short burst of hot air sending shivers down her spine. Running his hands up and down her sides, Max’s fingers gripped the bottom of her tank top, balling it up into his fists.

Placing her hands on his neck, Liz pulled his lips back up to hers, feeling him move so his whole body was on top of hers. Feeling his weight over her, Liz paused, letting it all sink in. Her heart was pounding fiercely in her chest and she could feel her muscles tensioning in nervousness.

Pulling back some, Max looked down into her eyes and Liz stared back, feeling something click inside of her. All of her nervousness gone now, she leaned up, pressing her lips against his and pushing up until Max was on his knees, straddled across her hips.

Not breaking the kiss, Liz trailed her hands down the front of his shirt, lightly running her fingers over his muscles. Max’s hands, still clenching her shirt, moved under it now, stroking her sides.

Pulling her lips from his, Liz smiled as Max leaned forward, trying to recapture them. Giving him a look of pure passion, she slowly started to unbutton his shirt, never once looking away from his face. Undoing the last button, she slowly ran her hands back up his chest, caressing it as she went.

Closing his eyes, Max seemed totally out of it as Liz leaned in a kissed his chest, outlining his muscles with her tongue while her hands slipped his shirt off completely, tossing it aside. Placing her hand over his heart, Liz felt it beating hard, its rhythm fast against her palm.

Moving her hand to caress his bare back, Liz barely had time to pull her head back up before Max’s lips came down on her, his mouth frantically devouring hers.

Moving his hands up her side, Max pulled back only enough to pull her shirt over her head before returning his lips to her skin, nipping and sucking on her neck.

Moving until they were both lying down again, Liz could feel her stomach flinch at the first skin-to-skin contact. The tingle went up and down her whole body and she sighed, arching her back to bring her up flushed against his.

“Liz…” Max hissed, his breath hot on the spot right under her ear, sending another shiver down her spine while his fingers moved up her back, toying with her bra clasp.

Hearing another clasp of lightening, they both paused as the strike of lightening light up the whole room.
***

Wincing as she fell through the window, Liz hit the floor hard, rolling over onto her back after a beat. The dawning sun shone into her eyes and Liz shied away, placed her hand up to block the light. It was a lot easier to climb out the window then back in.

Using her feet as leverage, Liz pushed away from the window, holding her side. Trying to get over the rose bushes made her scrape her side against the house and now it was sore.

Still on the floor, Liz tensed when the slight echoing of footsteps could be heard coming down the hallway; and moving closer to her door. Jumping up more quickly then her side permitted, Liz winced and jumped into the bed, not even kicking off her shoes.

Realizing she had Max’s shirt on, she quickly pulled it off to reveal her bra and snuggled down into the bed, shoving the shirt out of sight. Fringing sleep, Liz held her eyes closed as the steps kept going past.

Sighing, she pushed the covers back, and hopped out bed, still holding her side. Looking down at the bare skin, she could see the markings of a bruise already.

The things you do for love, she thought off handily before stopping mid-step on the way to get another shirt. Love…

Thinking back on the night, Liz couldn’t help but feel butterfly’s in her stomach. Max’s hands had been all over her body, seeming to absorb every one of curves into the memory. His breath and lips on her skin had been too much.

But none of that even compared with the feeling of waking up in Max’s warm, strong arms. Closing her eyes, Liz could still feel Max’s bare chest pressed against her, his muscles hard and toned as she lightly traced them, her cheek right over his heart.

Pulling herself back to the present, Liz smiled and absent-mindly traced the curve of her bra, thinking back to when Max had been trailing his lips there, nipping at the sensitive skin. Shaking her head, she pulled back from her thoughts yet again and reached for a shirt, stopping short when there was a knock on her door.

“Lizzie?” Maria called. “You up?”

“Yeah,” she called back, searching for a shirt while Maria entered the room.

“Thought I heard you up.”

“Mm-hmm…” Liz replied, still looking around.

“What happened to your side?” Maria asked suddenly, coming over.

Pausing to look down at it, Liz saw the bruise was in full bloom now. “Uh…”

“Did you get from last night? Rushing around for that freak?” Maria asked, her voice full of loathing.

Jumping on the excuse, she nodded. “Yeah…I hit it on a windowsill,” Liz lied, justifying to herself as only ‘half’ a lie. She did really hit it on a window…sorta…

“Having trouble sleeping?” Maria added. “It’s not a work day and you’re up at dawn?”

“No…I…I’m just restless,” she said finally, looking around. “I can’t find my tank-top…”

“It’s gotta be around here somewhere,” Maria said, looking around too.

Going around the bed, Liz reached down and pulled up a shirt. Realizing that was Max’s, Liz quickly put it back down and froze, suddenly remembering where her shirt was—

On Max’s bedroom floor.
***

Isabel pounded on Max’s door again, huffing when he still didn’t answer. “Max…” Still not getting anything, she rolled her eyes and pushed open the door, expecting to find her brother sprawled out over his bed, looking dead to the world.

But instead she find the bed empty; along with the rest of the room.

Confused, she looked at his clock and saw it was only after 7. Where could he be? Max usually slept in on Sundays. Walking into the room a few more steps, Isabel looked around again, making sure he hadn’t fell onto the floor or something.

Sometimes she didn’t know about him…

Still not finding him, Isabel was about to leave the room when her mother walked past, stopping to look in. “Isabel…where’s Max?”

“Um…bathroom,” she said, not knowing if she should’ve ratted him out or not.

Nodding, Diane Evans moved on, going into her own bedroom. Sighing, Isabel headed over to his window and leaned out, straining to see around the house. Sure enough, the tire of his bike was visible.

Leaning back in, Isabel spun around and intended to make sure he wasn’t really in the bathroom, but something red on the floor stopped her. It was shirt or something. Bending down to pick it up, Isabel didn’t recall Max owning any red clothing. He mostly wore dark greens, blues, browns, and black.

Realization dawning over her face, she held up the shirt, noticing the small cut of the tank-top; the small cut of a girl’s tank-top. Getting over the shock, Isabel’s face hardened as she stood back up, the shirt clutched in her fist.

Storming out of the room, she dashed down the hallway, passing through the kitchen without stopping to answer her fathers’ questionable look. Grabbing the keys to the jeep, Isabel muttered something about going out for breakfast before pulling open the door and rushing outside, going for the vehicle and tossing the shirt in the back.

It wasn’t until she was about to hoist herself behind the wheel that Max entered the driveway, walking with Michael. Eyeing her brother, Isabel snatched up Liz’s shirt and advanced on them.

“Hey Iz,” Max said, just then noticing her look. “What—“

Throwing the shirt at him, Isabel fumed. “How could you Max? Didn’t you even stop to think about what could happen?!”

Looking down at the shirt, Max cursed. “Isabel—“

“I can not believe you!” she added. “So what? Did you sleep with her? Did you actually break every god damn rule we have just so you could diddle Liz Parker!”

“Hey,” Max said harshly, stepping up to her, “you better back off now.”

“What the hell are you two talking about?” Michael exclaimed, coming between them.

“Tell him, Max,” Isabel said, her voice low. “Tell him that Liz was in your room last night and, considering how her shirt is still here, I’m thinking it had to come off.”

Looking at Max, Michael asked, “what?”

Eyeing his sister, Max said calmly, “Isabel, you need to back the hell off…” but his posture was ready for a battle.

“Did you even stop to think about your actions?” she added.

“I’m thinking I’m not answering your questions.” Brushing past them, Max added, “I’m sick of you two always being up in my business.”

“Damn it, Max. Did you sleep with her?” Michael asked, stopping him. “I can not believe you would actually be that stupid!”

Brushing his hand away, Max added, “it’s not your concern.”

Isabel, running her hands through her hair, said sarcastically, “of course it’s not. All you did was basically put your life and Liz’s on the line cause you had sex and well, you’re and alien and she’s a human so…”

“I did not do anything to Liz that would ever put her life in danger,” Max said quickly, his voice full of command.

“How do you know that? You’re not even the same species as her,” Isabel replied, her voice low and urgent. “For all you know she could get hurt or something!”

“She’s right Maxwell,” Michael agreed, his voice harsh. “You were supposed to break things off with her—not get in even deeper!”

“What’s going on out here?!”

Looking at the front door, Max, Isabel, and Michael watched as Diane walked onto the front porch, her eyes looking back at them. “What is the problem?”

Eyeing Isabel and Michael, Max blew out all of his air through his nose, trying to keep his temper in check. “Nothing mom,” he said finally. “I was just telling Isabel and Michael how they needed to back off before they made a mutual ‘friend’ go off.”

Without anything else, Max brushed past them all, heading for his bike. Diane seemed confused but didn’t push it. Giving Isabel and Michael one last glance, she went back inside.

Ignoring the glares from Isabel and Michael, Max started his motorcycle and roared outta the driveway, heading toward town.
***
TBC

PART 19
Liz looked up from her plate when the doorbell chimed. Spotting Alex, she smiled slightly and motioned toward Maria, calling her over.

“What babe?”

Waiting until Alex reached them, Liz told Maria, “me and Alex are leaving. I’ll be back in time for my shift.”

“Hon, you don’t have to work today. I totally understand. I mean, some guy broke into your house last night,” Maria said.

“I’m fine, Maria; really,” Liz added, trying to soother her friends worries.

“Well…I don’t think you should spend tonight alone…”

“I won’t; I promise,” Liz added, getting up.

“Alright…be careful,” Maria said finally, giving Alex a look before walking off.

Smiling, Liz shook her head. Maria was like a mother hen when it came to her friends. “You ready?”

Alex simply nodded and started to the door, leaving Liz to follow.

Throwing a confused look at his back, Liz finally shrugged and caught up with him at the door. “I think Maria needs her cedar oil, huh?”

Alex, just nodding again, looked around.

Stopping, Liz held the door in her grip, giving Alex a weird look. “What’s wrong?” Alex just looked at her and Liz widened her eyes, waiting for his response.

“You lied to me,” he said finally.

Getting it, Liz let the door go finally and sighed. “What do you know?”

“I know that you’re holding out on me about all this.” Giving her direct look, Alex asked, “what does Max Evans have to do with all this?”
***

Max pulled his bike to a stop a block from the café, getting off and making his way toward the restaurant, hoping to find Liz there. She had mentioned staying at that Maria girl’s house but she might be here by now.

Reaching the alleyway to the café, Max gave a half smile when he noticed Liz was standing outside. He wasn’t sure what was going on with him, but just the sight of her was enough to make his heart beat on double time and his body ache for her touch and kiss.

Heading over, he stopped when Alex Whitman came into view. Alex seemed angry about something and Liz was looking down, guilt all over her face. Wondering what going on, Max ducked into the alley and stopped at the end of the building, watching as Liz told Alex something, who was thinking it over.

Nodding finally, Alex lead Liz to his car, opening the door for her and even closing it. Getting in himself, Alex stopped and turned to Liz, saying something to her with emotion.

Wishing he was close enough to hear what they were saying, Max couldn’t help but think about how Michael implied that Liz and Alex were more then just ‘friends’.

Disgusted with just the thought of it, Max spun away and told himself to calm down. Liz wasn’t with Alex. She was with him. Looking up and taking in a deep breath, Max noticed the fire escape up to her room.

Remembering how some guy broke into her place the night before and the cops had no clue, Max got an idea. Making sure no one was looking, he started up the ladder. He had a tool at his dispense that the police force didn’t.

Max could see flashes by simply touching stuff.
***

Liz watched Alex carefully, not sure on how he was going to react. His hands were gripping the steering wheel tightly and he seemed to be thinking way too hard. “Alex…”

“It’s—it’s impossible Liz…” he said finally. “You can’t see into someone’s…memories…from just kissing them.”

“Then how do you explain it?”

“Well…” Swallowing, Alex shrugged. “I don’t know. It’s common knowledge that Max and Isabel are adopted and maybe you heard some place about how they were found in the desert.”

“And the rock formation?”

“Um…for all we know you came to this little discovery on your own…”

Shaking her head, Liz added, “Alex…I was kissing Max and suddenly this picture of the cliff and these…weird…glowing symbol-things just flashed before my eyes! Explain that!”

“Maybe ya saw it somewhere before,” he tried, sighing in frustration. “Look…for all we know this is some wild goose chase. This rock might not even be the one you’re thinking off!”

Looking out the window, Liz stopped, seeing the stop of it on the horizon. As they got closer, the more Liz knew this was it; this was the same exact thing she saw in the ‘vision’.

Pulling up near an old fence, Alex slowed down, looking over himself.

“Stop the car…” Liz instructed softly, unbuckling.

Pulling to a stop, Alex unbuckled too, following Liz out of the car. “Is this it…”

Looking up, Liz simply nodded. It was the same exact rock…down to everything. Walking closer, she left the car door open, never taking her eyes away from the structure. They were still a good ways away and Liz needed a closer expectation.

Bending down, she crawled through the broken fence, hitting her elbow on an old, rusted sign. Glancing at it quickly, she paused. “Pohlman Ranch…” she said softly.

“What?” Alex asked, coming over.

“Pohlman Ranch…ring a bell?” Liz asked him.

“Not that I can think of,” he replied, looking at the sign himself.

“Hmm…” Looking back at the rocks, Liz stood up and waited for Alex to climb over before moving on, walking toward the formation.

Standing at the base of the main rock, Liz looked up. “Alex…”

“Huh?”

“The structure it seems…” Trying to think of the right words, Liz walked a few feet closer. “It’s like it could be…empty, ya know?” she asked, looking over her shoulder at him while touching the rock.

Feeling a shock go up her arm, Liz screamed and pulled back, losing her footing and falling to her back. Alex was there instantly, his face full of worry.

“Oh my god, Liz, are you ok?” he asked.

Closing her eyes, Liz nodded, her hand pressed tightly to her chest. It felt like her whole arm was on fire and then her body gave a slight jerk.

“Liz…” Alex added, but his voice sounded far away. “Liz—are you ok?!”

Opening her eyes, Liz suddenly had tunnel vision. Trying to focus on Alex, he could faintly see his lips were moving but his voice wasn’t reaching her ears. He was too far away…

Rolling her head to look at the cave, Liz could feel the fire slowly spreading over her body as the form moved out from the shadows, walking toward her. The closer it got, the more intense the burning got. She could make out the same of a person under the bright blue glow, but other then that it was all lights.

Freaking out, Liz glanced back at Alex, wondering why he wasn’t trying to help her. Didn’t he see it?! Screaming out, Liz looked back at the form, yelling for it to leave her be and for Alex’s help, but no sound was reaching her lips.

With only about a foot between them, the form stopped and looked down at Liz, moving its head to one side. Frozen with fear, Liz’s tunnel vision got worse until suddenly all she saw was blue and her whole body felt like it just went up in flames.

Opening her mouth, Liz let out an ear-piercing scream.
***

Max looked toward the window to Liz’s room and paused, wondering if he should really do this. He had to actually touch stuff to get a flash and it was just wrong to go through her things—now matter how appealing the idea might seem.

Remembering how Liz mention she found him on the balcony, Max decided to start there. If he was last seen here, the connection would be stronger there. Lazily walking around, Max looked for something to pick up. Reaching the far wall, Max stopped noticing the break on the ground and the notebook a few feet away.

Kneeling, Max picked it up and noticed it was bound by leather and looked used. Opening to the first page, he read the first line and stopped, realizing it was her diary.

Max was holding Liz Parker’s diary. Or well, journal was what she had written. Shaking his head, he quickly shut the book and sat it back down. No matter how much he wanted to know if there was really something going on with her and Whitman, he wasn’t about to read that.

Glancing at the wall, he noticed the brick was from it. A hiding spot maybe? Picking up the brick, Max slid it back into the spot, finding it was the perfect fit. Pulling it back out, Max suddenly blinked, the feeling of a flash clouding his senses.

By the tine his eyes reopened his vision was different. Everything was black and the wall-cubby wasn’t empty. Without his command, his hand reached into the opening and pulled out some folded papers, ignoring the journal.

Realizing he was seeing what happened last night through the robbers’ eyes, Max could tell how much he wanted these papers. As they were being unfolded in front of his eyes, Max realized that were just maps of the desert. Geological maps actually.

Hearing something from inside, suddenly his head whipped to the left and Max could faintly hear footsteps outside Liz’s bedroom door. Liz! his mind screamed.

Watching as his hands quickly folded the maps and stuck them under his shirt, Max was suddenly running for the fire escape, hearing Liz’s voice call out. Looking down at the ground below, Max’s heart rammed up into his throat as the body suddenly jumped, the ground rushing closer.

Gasping, Max flew backwards, dropping the brick and rubbing his eyes, trying to feel normal again. Finally getting everything back into focus, Max took in a deep breath and looked toward Liz’s room.

Swallowing, he got up onto his legs and took another deep breath, not wanting to believe what he just found out.

Liz’s visitor last night was not human…and he had every intent of killing for those maps…
***
TBC

PART 20
Liz gasped and her eyes flew open, her breathing labored.

“Liz—Liz!” Alex was still calling, looking into her eyes deeply. She seemed to be looking right through him for a beat before focusing on him. “Liz…answer me,” he pleaded.

“Alex,” she said softly, her voice trembling.

“Liz! Are you ok? What happened?!”

Trying to sit up, Liz moaned and clung to Alex. “I feel…I feel different.”

“Liz…are you ok? What happened,” he repeated, trying to keep his voice calm. His heart nearly stopped when he saw her collapse onto the ground like that…

“I don’t know…” she admitted, pulling back some.

Sighing, Alex pulled her close for a hug and kissed the crown of her head, helping her up after beat. “But you’re ok?”

“I’m fine…” Liz said finally.

“You’re sure? You’re really ok?” Alex added, looking into her eyes. Something seemed off.

“I’m fine, jeez!” she exploded, pulling away quickly, throwing him a look.

Shocked, Alex was frozen as Liz scoffed. “Liz—“

Before he could even get the next word out Liz faltered and started to lean. Reaching for her, Alex held her up.

“Alex—I—I don’t know why I just…” Liz trailed off, looking up at him helplessly.

“It’s ok,” Alex said finally, helping her toward the car. “We need to get you home—“

“I don’t feel so good,” Liz added, leaning into him more.

“Now,” Alex finished, practically carrying Liz to his car.
***

“I’m serious!” Max exclaimed, tearing the clothes rack out of Isabel’s hands.

Looking around, Isabel tried to ignore the looks they were getting. “You are making a scene,” she said softly, her voice urging him to shut up.

“Then listen to me,” Max said, his voice low also and full of command. “I had to listen to your shit this morning; now you listen to me.”

Grabbing the hanger back from him and putting it back on the rack, Isabel added, “no…you ignored me and Michael and made up your own rules.”

Growling, Max took Isabel’s elbow and led her out of the store, ignoring her attempts to stop him. Eventually she stopped fighting and let him whisk her out of the mall. Reaching his bike, Max spun to her expectedly.

“We need to find her now and make sure she’s ok,” he instructed.

“Max, why? So you can make out with her some more? I am not—“

“Shut the hell up Isabel,” Max exploded. “For once put someone else before your own self preservation!”

Shocked into silence, Isabel didn’t respond.

“Now…something is after Liz and we have to stop it.”

“Something,” Isabel repeated, her voice soft.

“Something not human,” Max added. When she looked at him he sighed. “I got a flash and guy who broke into Liz’s place last night was not…well, lets say he isn’t from anywhere around here.”

Nodding, Isabel said finally, “ok…so we do what about it?”

“We find her—keep him away.”

“He’s coming back?”

“I don’t know! All I know is he wants something that Liz has and will do anything to get them.”

“What does he want?” Isabel asked. “Why would he go after Liz?”

“He took these maps from her—“

“Then he won’t go back after her—he has them.”

“I know,” Max said.

“But you just said she still had them,” Isabel added.

Confused, Max thought back. “I did, didn’t I?”

“Yeah…Max…what’s going on?”

“I don’t know…but we gotta find Liz.” Getting on the bike, Max waited for Isabel to climb on before tearing out of the parking lot.
***

Opening her car door, Liz saw Alex coming over, offering his hand. Tempted to push it away, Liz simply shook her head no and got out on her own. She felt a little stronger now, but her vision would ‘shake’ every now and then.

“Are you—“

“I’m fine,” she snapped, instantly feeling guilty. Why was she getting on Alex’s case? “I’m sorry…but, I’m fine Alex,” Liz added, making sure to keep her voice soft and calm.

“Ok…just checking,” he replied, his voice slightly defensive.

What’s his problem? She thought snidely. Doing a double take, Liz took a deep breath and followed him into the café, shooting a look at the jock that gave her a once over.

“Liz…hey, Liz,” a voice called out, making her skin crawl.

“Kyle…” she drawled out, turning to look at him.

Alex, moving up behind her, said suddenly, “leave her be Valenti—she’s had a rough morning.”

“Alex…can I handle this,” Liz added, her voice dripping of sarcastic sweetness. Turning back to Kyle, Liz walked closer, her eyes locked on his.

“You look different,” he commented, looking right back.

“Is that so?” Leaning her head to one side, Liz looked him over. “You know Kyle…I’ve been thinking…”

“Yeah?” he asked, his voice slightly eager.

Closing the deal, Liz leaned in and stopped, her lips just a few inches from his. “I’ve been thinking that you need to go on with your little, tiny, shriveled—“ Glancing down at his crotch, Liz smirked. “—Self and leave me be. I have a man who knows how to keep me satisfied.” Throwing him a kiss, Liz turned and stalked away, listening to all his buddies hoot and holler.

Walking past Alex, she smirked at him, enjoying the shocked expression on his face. Serves him right for thinking I’m so uptight. I should—

Stopping that train of thought, Liz did a complete 180. What the hell did I just do?! her mind screamed. Sitting down at the counter, Liz tried to calm her breathing down.

“Liz, babe! That was sooooooo incredible!” Maria shrieked, running up to her. “Kyle’s face is blood red!!”

Trying to ignore her, Liz rubbed her temples.

“That will teach him to just up and kiss you again,” she added, her grin getting bigger. “Maybe ya shoulda added something about how—“

“Maria—“ Liz tried, hoping she would stop. Didn’t that girl ever shut her trap?! Feeling some guilt, Liz pushed it down.

“You know what? Cross that—it was perfect the way you did it!”

Agreeing silently, Liz smirked. She did get him good. Feeling a slight twang of guilt, Liz stomped it down. This was feeling way better…

“And his buddies are lovin’ it!”

Giving Maria an icy glare, Liz waited for her to stop.

“Where did it come from?!” Maria asked. “You were—“

“Oh, shut up! God!” Liz exploded, standing up. “Don’t you ever—“

“Liz!” Alex shouted, coming over. “What the hell has gotten into you?!” Maria was just staring her eyes wide, staring at Liz with shock.

Hearing the doorbell jingle, Liz looked over to see Max and Isabel walk in. Smiling and biting her lower lip, she walked away from Alex and Maria without even a parting glance.

“Liz—“ Max started but stopped when he saw the look on her face.

“Hi Max…” she said softly, stopping only when her chest was up against his. Seeing the look Isabel was giving them, Liz shot one back, please when Isabel looked shocked.

Doing a double take, Liz looked back at Isabel. There was something about her…something different like Max—something she almost recognized.

Or well, something in her recognized it.

“What’s going on?” Max asked, his voice low as Liz turned back to him and licked her bottom lip. Smiling, she moved in closer.

“Well…you can examine me to find out…” she said finally.

Scoffing, Isabel shook her head. “No way…Max?”

“Um…” Max swallowed and took in the look in Liz’s eyes.

“We can go upstairs,” Liz added, pulling on his leather jacket. Alone, she added silently, giving Isabel a quick look.

“Liz, we need to talk,” Alex said suddenly, coming over with Maria.

“Not now,” Liz replied, not even looking at them.

“Now,” Maria added.

“Not now,” she repeated, her voice harsh.

“You guys are making a scene,” Isabel hissed.

Looking between everyone, Max looked back at Liz. What the hell was going on with her?

“Um…we need to talk,” he told her.

“Ok,” she said, running a hand down his chest and pulling him toward the back.

“That’s all you’re doing too,” Isabel accused, following, leaving a shocked Alex and Maria in her wake.
***
TBC

PART 21
Max numbly remembered that Isabel was following him as Liz drug him toward her room, promptly shutting the door in Isabel’s face so she couldn’t enter. Gesturing toward the closed door, he was about to open it when Liz pulled his attention back to her, running a finger down his face, and pulling him close.

Trying to remember that there was something off about Liz, Max sucked in a quick breath as she nibbled on his bottom Liz, her tongue playfully darting in and out of his mouth, teasing him.

Completely gone now, Max pulled Liz closer, capturing her tongue in his mouth and holding it there while it dueled with his own. Feeling her body press closer, Max started to walk forward, trying to map out her room in his head. If he walked a few more feet, they should reach the edge of her bed.

Feeling Liz lean back, Max followed her down, covering her small form with his body. Feeling her shift under him, Max gave into to what she wanted and rolled over, pulling her on top of him.

Liz, who was now straddling his hips, pulled back and fraction and whispered huskily, “I want you so bad Zan…”

Through his muddled brain, Max registered too things at the same time. One, Liz’s eyes were suddenly WAY too bright blue and, two, she just called him ‘Zan’.

Pulling his lips from hers, Max was still, trying to catch his breath. “What?” he asked.

“I want you so bad Max,” she repeated, leaning down to nibble on his ear lobe.

Trying to keep his brain clear while her tongue did heavenly things to his body, Max swallowed. Was his mind playing tricks on him? Or did she really call him Zan?!!! And her eyes…

Hearing a slight pounding in the background, Max zeroed in on it and realized it was Isabel. Recalling that she was still right outside the door, he took another deep breath to calm himself down.

“Don’t make me open this door myself,” Isabel added with another pound.

Liz, looking at the door also, suddenly looked ready to attack.

Lifting her off of him, Max sat Liz aside and went to get up, figuring that if Isabel was in the room he would be able to think clearer.

“Max…” Liz called.

Standing up, he looked down at her and nearly gave into the intense ache inside him to continue what they had started, but resisted and walked to the door, reminding himself that something was off about Liz.

Opening the door, Max found Isabel with her hand raised, aimed at the door handle. Seeing him, she muttered, “about time…” before walking in. Stopping short, Isabel added, “what happened to Liz?”

Looking back, all the color drained out of his face. Liz’s body was limp and she slumped over the bed in a position no one would keep voluntarily. Rushing to her side, Max rolled her over and noticed how red her face was.

“Liz…Liz!” he exclaimed, trying to wake her up.

“What happened?” Isabel asked, coming to her other side. Looking up at his sister, Max could see the panic and sincerity on her face; she truly wanted Liz to be ok.

“I—I don’t…I don’t know,” Max stumbled out, his heart beating on triple time. Liz’s skin was hot and she wasn’t responding to him. Growing more panicked, Max placed his palm over his chest, trying to form a connection.

“Come on…” he urged softly. Not getting a response, his mind went into overdrive and the worst scenario came into his mind. “No!”

“Try skin to skin contact,” Isabel said suddenly.

Moving her shirt aside, Max placed his hand back on her chest, relaxing some when he could feel her heart thundering in her chest. But it was beating way to fast. Closing his eyes, he willed the world away and focused entirely on her.

Still not getting anything, he growled in frustration and pressed down harder. Feeling a hand land over his, Max could also feel Isabel’s presence helping the connection start up. There was a brush of something across the back of his mind and Max briefly saw a cocoon like egg covered in a blue film and blonde little girl inside.

Gasping, Liz suddenly flew up, her jerk pulling Max and Isabel’s hands away from her. Pulling in air, Max closed his eyes and tried to catch his breath.

“Zan…” Liz said softly, causing Max’s eyes to burst back open.

Looking at her closely, Max noticed how she seemed to be in some kind of trance, her face expressionless and her eyes dull.

“Max…” Isabel said softly, her eyes also on Liz. “Did you see…”

“Yeah, I did,” he added, reaching out for Liz. Not getting a response from her, Max pulled her close, relaxing some when she slumped against his body. Her skin wasn’t so hot anymore and her breathing and heart rate were back to normal.

Looking down at her face, Max took in her sleeping form and couldn’t help but feel a surge of protectiveness flow through him.

“Max…that flash…” Isabel started, looking at Liz too, “I always knew we had come from—from…pods or something but…”

“I know,” Max added quietly, still holding Liz close.

“How did she know that Max? It came from her…”

Just as confused as she was, Max pulled Liz closer until just about her whole body was on his lap. There was no way he was letting her out of his sight now. Hearing a slight scuffle on her balcony, Max and Isabel both looked to see Michael climbing in the window.

“What—“ Isabel started but was cut off when Michael announced, “that little power surge you guys just did was enough to knock me off my feet.”

Sharing a glance, Max and Isabel both debated on what to say. “Um…it wasn’t us,” Isabel said finally.

“Then who was it?” he asked deliberately.

“Liz,” Max added.

Looking at her small form, Michael was silent. “Well…that makes what I’m about to tell you somewhat simpler,” he added sarcastically.

“What are you talking out?” Isabel questioned.

Watching, Max’s blood ran cold when Michael pulled out two folded papers. “The maps…”
***

Maria tried one more time to push through the doubles doors, but was still kept out. Hearing Alex’s grunt which she guessed was her cue to move, Maria ducked out of the way as Alex rammed his should hard against the door, his face looking painful as he fell backwards some.

“Alex!” she cried, hoping he was ok. She knew his ego would be hurt some; but she was the only one here. After Liz and her lip-sucking boy toy plus sister ran out of here, Maria ordered a direct close up and pretty much ushered the whole café full of customers out the door.

Since Liz was losing her mind, it kinda only left Maria to be in charge.

Holding his shoulder, Alex put up a brave face. “I’m ok—my shoulder may be outta shocked, but I’m ok.”

Looking at the door, Maria kicked it. “What the hell is going on?!” she exclaimed.

“Maria—“

“It’s a swinging door! It can’t get stuck—it goes both ways!!”

Giving up on his shoulder, Alex added, “tell that to the door…”

Frustrated, Maria groaned and hit Alex, not registering that he just rammed the door with that arm.

“Ahh…” he groaned out, giving her a death look.

“Oh!! Alex—I’m soooo sorry!” Maria said, giving him a sincere look. “I just—sorry…”

Sitting down, Alex muttered something then sighed. “My dad is getting weirder and weirder…”

“That’s it—I’m going up,” Maria proclaimed, marching out of the café and into the side alley. Looking up the side of the building, Maria pulled her self up the ladder, thanking the heavens that their sadistic gym teacher made them do chin ups constantly.
***

“Where did you get those…” Max asked, gently sliding Liz off of his lap and onto her bed. “The guy who robbed Liz has those and—“

“You think I did it?” Michael exclaimed, knowing where Max was going.

“You have the evidence…”

“That I took yesterday—as in during the day. The dude from last night is another case.”

“So…we’re supposed to excuse you because you decided to do your thief work during the day instead of night?” Isabel questioned.

“Look—the saw the guy takes those maps—I had a flash,” Max added.

“I’m sure you did see him; see him take a bogus set I made up in a quick sec,” Michael said dryly. Holding up the maps, he smirked. “These are the real ones.”

“The real what?” Isabel exclaimed, confused. “What’s so important on those damn maps!”

“Isabel,” Max warned, casting a quick look at Liz. She was still asleep. “We don’t know,” he told his sister. “But the guy who wanted them was an alien so I’m betting they’re pretty important.”

“He was an alien?” Michael asked after a beat. “Are you sure?”

Nodding, Max cast another look at Liz. She had been so close to getting hurt—whoever it was would do anything for those maps…

“Get them outta here,” he said decisively.

“What?”

“Max, we need to find out what’s on them!” Michael exclaimed.

“Not here—take ‘em back to our place,” Max added.

“For mom and dad to find?!” Isabel said.

“They’re safer there!”

Hearing something on the balcony, Michael glanced toward it and crept out of the window, oblivious to Isabel and Max, who were still arguing over what to do with the maps.

Hearing someone come up the fire escape, Michael raised his hand and waited for them to come up…
***
TBC

PART 22
Maria reached above her head and grabbed the next rung, pulling herself up. Praying no one would walk underneath her, she tugged down on her skirt.

She didn’t need anyone seeing her underwear.

Reaching up and placing her hand on the balcony wall, Maria sighed and hefted her feet up, propelling her body forward. Feeling a big gust of wind, Maria was suddenly out of balance as she was pushed back from the brick wall.

Screaming in fright, Maria reached blindly for the ladder, the wall, anything to pull herself back up. With her heart thumping wildly, Maria screamed again as strong hands gripped her wrists and pulled her back forward and over the wall, her body slamming against her savior.

Crying out again, mostly in shock and relief this time, Maria clung to him with her eyes sealed shut, trying to calm her breathing down. She could have fallen to her death a few seconds ago. Feeling another jolt of fright ricochet through her body, Maria pressed her face into the chest of the man holding her upright. “My god…” she whispered.

“Um…you….”

Hearing the familiar rumble of a deep voice, Maria pulled back slightly and looked up at him. “Michael…”

He looked shaken and Maria realized that he was darting his eyes all around the place; looking everywhere but at her face. Pulling back from him completely, she shook her head and remained to stay upright on her shaky legs.

Trying to think clearly, Maria looked back up at Michael Guerin. “What—what are you doing here?”

Glancing quickly at Liz’s bedroom window, Michael didn’t answer.

Seeing movement inside, Maria cast one last look at Michael before rushing over and climbing in, immediately spotting Liz lying on the bed, completely oblivious to the world as Max and Isabel Evans argued a few feet away.

“Liz!” she exclaimed, making Isabel and Max spin around and gape at her.

Ignoring them, Maria raced to Liz’s side and tried to wake her up. “Liz…Lizzie…Liz, wake up.”

Coming forward, Max glanced at Michael, who had just returned to the room, and Isabel before going to Maria and Liz’s side. “Maria—“

“What’s wrong with her?” she demanded.

“She’s asleep—“

“More like passed out!” Glaring at Max, Maria added, “what the hell happened to her?” Not waiting for answer, she shook her head and returned her attention to Liz. “Wake up sweetie…”

Max sat down on the bed beside Liz and Maria glanced up at him. “Leave.”

“Wh—“

“I said leave. I know what happened today and I don’t care. Liz has changed since you’ve been hanging around!”

“Hey—“ Michael started but stopped when Maria set her gaze on him.

“I want all of you outta here,” she said finally, giving Max one last look.

Isabel and Michael shared a look and nodded, waiting for Max to head for the door. When he made no move, Isabel gave him a questioning look.

“I’m staying,” he said with conviction, his eyes never leaving Liz.

“Maxwell…” Michael stated.

“We talked about this.” Fixing Michael with a steady gaze, Max knew he understood what he was saying. Get those maps as far away from here as possible.

Knowing there was nothing to say to change his mind, Isabel nodded and led Michael out of the room.

“She’s gonna be ok, Maria,” Max said finally, gazing down at Liz.

“Then explain to me how you know? What’s wrong with her?” Maria asked, looking him right in the eye.
***

“I’m gonna go stash these…somewhere…” Michael said finally, going out the backdoor of the café.

Sighing, Isabel wrapped her arms around her waist and calmly flicked her finger at the doors to the main room of the café, making them swing open easily. Walking through, she stopped, noticing the room was empty except for Alex Whitman, who was staring at her.

“What?” she asked self-consciously.

“The door…it was stuck…”

“Oh…guess it just needed to opened from the other side,” Isabel fibbed. Standing in the middle of the room like an idiot, she pushed her hair back behind her head.

“Um…are you ok?” Alex asked softly.

Looking at him closely, Isabel finally nodded, her gaze never leaving his eyes.

Feeling slightly nervous, Alex smiled tightly and tried his best to look comfortable. After a few moments and she was still gazing at him, Alex said finally, “wow…you must have really excelled at the staring game as a child.”

Realizing that she was staring, Isabel looked away quickly and coughed, trying to look casual.

Feeling stupid for saying that, Alex closed his eyes and prayed for the earth to open up and swallow him whole. Isabel Evans was looking at him and he made her stop!! Was he stupid?!

Clearing this throat, Alex said suddenly, “is Liz…”

“She’s ok…” Isabel replied, thinking back on the earlier events. She had never seen Liz act so mean. It was like she was possessed or something…

“Good. She’s been acting weird ever since we got back from the rock formation,” Alex added.

Getting her attention, Isabel walked up at Alex. The map they had was of rock formations in the desert. “Alex…why were you looking at rock formations?”

“Um…well, it was Liz’s idea,” he said finally. The silence started to eat at him and Alex suddenly jumped out, racing over to the jukebox, mumbling something about music.

Sitting down at the counter, Isabel watched Alex while he punched in some numbers and continued to look over the list.

~ Digging deep, I feel my conscious burn. I need to know who and what I am. This hunger jolts me from complacency; it rocks me, makes me meet myself.

Jacob walked with a limp to remind him of the greater gift of the greater one. But when I fell, fell to my own resources, how can I carry a truth if I can’t crawl to you? ~

The more she watched him, the lonelier Isabel felt. Alex was a great guy and she had simply ignored him for years because he wasn’t up to her popularity standing or was too different.

But that hadn’t stopped Max. He had someone to go to, someone to be with when things got to tough.

Maybe even someone who would understand him when they found out the truth…

~ I wanna feel something sweeter then this sin. Cover me in leaves and roll me over again. Cause I’ve been everybody else and now I wanna be something closer to myself. ~

Pulling her eyes away from him, Isabel noticed his coat hanging over the back of his seat. Not even thinking about it, she lightly fingered the material, absent mindly wondering about him.

Suddenly Isabel’s vision shifted and she could see the hallway at school and another version of herself walking down the hallway with her usual ‘friends’ in tow.

Noticing her hair, Isabel realized when it was. This was from freshman year, right after she had accidentally made her blow dryer blow up and her hair got singed really bad; to the point where she had to cut a good bunch off. She had worried that it was too short and everyone would think she looked stupid.

Watching the scene play out, Isabel saw how Alex walked up to her as she was at her locker, checking her hair yet again. All of her friends had said it looked great, but she didn’t really believe them. For all she knew, they were probably down the hall making fun of her right now.

“Um…hi, Isabel,” Alex said softly.

Glancing to look at him, Isabel’s younger self waited for him to continue.

“I um—well, I just wanted to say—or well tell that…” Pausing, Alex got out finally. “Well, I wanted to say that I like your haircut. It looks great.”

Feeling her vision clear back up, Isabel opened her eyes and looked back at Alex. He had made her feel so special after that cause he really meant it. He did think she looked great. He said that to her even through he was embarrassed so that she would feel better about herself.

Gazing at Alex, Isabel slowly stood up from her seat and walked toward him.

~ Paint me in a different light; shed me yet another coat of skin. Mark me with ash until I’m clean again. Cause I’m so sick and tired of being sick and tired. I know I can love you, I know that I can! ~

Feeling someone come up behind him, Alex glanced over his shoulder to see Isabel there, looking at him with a weird look on her face. Turning around completely, he gazed back, not moving an inch.

Crossing the last few feet between them, Isabel looked up into his eyes and leaned forward, touching his lips softly, her gaze never wavering. Holding her lips there for a beat, she finally pulled back, her eyes still on his.

Swallowing, Alex did the only thing he could.

Reaching to cup the back of her neck, Alex pulled Isabel close and covered his mouth over hers, kissing her passionately and fully.

~ I wanna feel something sweeter then this sin. Cover me in leaves and roll me over again. Cause I’ve been everyone body else and now I wanna be something closer to myself. ~

Feeling his hands run through her hair, Isabel arched into him, letting it flow over her shoulders freely so he could run his hands down her back also in the process. Hearing him sigh as he body flushed up against his, Isabel moved closer, moving them into the jukebox.

Pulling away for air finally, she gazed up into his eyes. “Alex…”

“What?” he asked softly, licking his lips and leaning forward to kiss her again.

Giving into the temptation, she kissed him once more, this time openly, letting their tongues mingle lazily while her body melted under his touch. Sighing his name, Alex pulled back a fraction of an inch, asking what again.

Swallowing, Isabel looked up at his face and said suddenly, “I have to tell you something about me…”
***
TBC

PART 23
Max checked the lock on the window one more time, glaring into the darkness of Liz’s balcony. Hearing Maria’s argument still going on behind him, Max shook his head and spun around, leaning against the glass.

No one was gonna get past him.

“Mom,” Maria said into the phone. “Mom—I know it’s a school night but—“ Stopping once more, she shot a look at him before returning to the phone. “I don’t want to leave Liz…her come to our house?”

Casting a look at Liz, Max walked over, sitting down on the bed beside her still sleeping form. Glaring at Max, Maria said finally, “that’s not an option. Yeah, fine…fine!” Turning off the phone with a grunt, she sat it back down.

Already knowing the outcome, Max asked calmly, “so?”

Setting him with a nasty glare, Maria muttered something under her breath and said out loud, “fine; you win. You stay but I swear, if something happens to her I will hurt you—badly.”

Smirking, Max watched as she picked up her purse and started to retreat out of the room. Reaching the door, Maria spun back around and added, “I WILL be expecting those answers that you dodged tonight by tomorrow, by the way.” Then she was gone.

Sighing, Max ran a hand through his hair before looking back at Liz. Her face was expressionless and her breathing was deep and rhythmic. She hadn’t moved for the last 2 hours and Max was getting worried. Michael and Isabel had been long gone and they were somewhere with those maps.

Wondering what was on the maps, Max leaned back against the headboard, settling in. He was gonna be here the whole night so he might as well get comfortable.
***

Slowly coming out of her sleep, Liz rubbed her head, shifting closer down to her bed. Feeling a set of arms pull her closer, Liz could also feel a strong chest pressed snugly against her back and hot breath on her neck. Liz realized that their whole body was formed against hers.

Rolling over, she came face to face with Max, his eyes twitching as he shifted, drawing her closer once more in his sleep. Smiling, Liz reached up and traced his jaw, watching as his eyes finally fluttered open and he focused on her.

Continuing her exploration of his face, Liz traced his eyebrows and slid her finger down his nose, letting it fall over his lips softly before pulling back. Gazing into his eyes, she asked softly, “what’s going on? What are you doing here? What am I doing here?”

Shifting up onto his arms, Max gazed down at her. “What do you mean? We came up here after I showed up at the Crashdown.”

Getting confused, Liz rolled onto her back, looking up as Max towered over her. “No…I was out in the desert with Alex and then…” Looking around, she added, “then I woke up here with you beside me.”

Sitting up completely, Max thought for a second them asked, “you don’t remember coming back to town?”

“No…” Thinking back, Liz felt like she had spent the day under water. “I um…I don’t remember anything really…” Getting even more confused, Liz shook her head. “I was asleep? For how long?”

“The last couple hours.” Looking back at her, Max added, “you really don’t remember anything? What did you dream about?”

“I dreamt…I—“ Cutting herself off, Liz rubbed her brow. “I don’t remember…” sitting up herself, she shook her head. “Max I don’t like this—what happened?!”

Looking her in the face, Max opened his mouth to speak but stopped, hearing a noise from her balcony.

“Max—“

“Stay here,” he instructed, slowly getting up from the bed and making his way to the window.

Frightened, Liz shifted on the bed, wanting to keep Max in her sight the whole time. He walked up to the window and stopped short, just staring at it. “What’s—what’s wrong?” Liz asked.

“It’s unlocked…but I checked it…” Making a quick decision, Max raced back over to the bed and pulled her up. “Come on, we gotta go.”

“Wha—Max?”

Looking deep into her eyes, he asked, “do you trust me?” Swallowing, she finally nodded. “Then come with me.”

Reaching for her coat hung on her chair, Liz took his hand when he held it out and let him lead her down stairs and out the back door of the café. Climbing onto the back of his bike without any hesitations, she clung to his waist as he raced out of the alleyway.
***

Stepping over the tire tracks left on the pavement, he watched the couple retreat with squinted eyes. Taking a drag off his cigarette, the older guy blew out the smoke and glanced back up toward the balcony.

He was almost out of the alleyway when the hand clamped down on his shoulder, pressing him downward. His eyes rolled up into his head and he collapsed onto the ground in heap, his feet poking out onto the sidewalk.

There was bright flash of light visible from the sidewalk then the man walked out into the open, popping a tick-tack into his mouth and walking away from the alleyway, the feet still hanging out from the corner.
***

Walking into his house, Max looked around and noticed all the lights were out. Shutting the back door behind Liz, he started toward the hallway but stopped when he noticed the light coming out from his bedroom doorway from down the hall. Taking Liz’s elbow, he steered her into the living room.

“I’ll be right back,” he told her, walking away before she could argue. Creeping closer to his door, Max could hear paper rustling and a frustrated sigh. Licking his lips, he placed his palm outward and pushed his door open quickly, storming in the room.

“Hold it” he yelled.

“It’s me!” Michael yelled back, taking on a defense stance.

Sighing, Max let his hand down. “What are you doing here Mike? You scared the shit outta me! My parents--”

“Are staying in Clovis tonight. They left you a note,” Michael explained.

Ignoring the fact that he came home to find Michael in his house along, Max sighed and walked closer. Noticing the maps, he cursed and shut his bedroom door. “I thought said to get them away from Liz!”

“Do you see Liz here?” Michael asked, turning back to the desk where the maps were spread out.

“Look in the living room!”

“Well…I didn’t know you were bringing her here,” Michael threw back. “You gotta look at this man,” he added, motioning toward the maps. “I can’t figure it out.”

Running a hand through his hair, Max glanced quickly at the doorway before walking over. “What exactly is on ‘em?”

“Wish I knew…look, see this rock formation?” Nodding, Max watched as Michael pulled the other map out. “It’s not here in this one—this is a map from 1945.”

Glancing at both the maps, Max said finally, “so…this formation just showed up sometime after 1945?”

“Or 1947,” Michael added.

“Where’s it at?”

“About 75 miles outta town.”

Getting the hidden meaning of Michael’s statement, Max looked closer at the formation. It was huge. “Where is this? What’s this place called?”

“I don’t know—it doesn’t say,” Michael added.

Stumped, Max looked back down at the maps and tried to find a clue that would explain something.
***

Sitting on the Evans couch, Liz flexed her fingers. Something had happened to her; she knew it. She just didn’t know what. Sighing, she stood up and started to walk around the room, taking in all the nick-knacks and pictures.

Spotting one of a young Isabel and Max, Liz smiled slightly and picked it up. They were covered in snow and had their arms around each other, grinning up at the camera. Guessing that they were on a skiing trip of some sort, she noted the sky poles in the background. Grinning even more, Liz shook her head.

She had never taken Max for a skier.

Putting that one down and picking another one, Liz saw this was even younger and had Michael in it too. She wasn’t sure how she knew it was Michael, but she did. Looking at it closely, Liz sucked in a quick breath when the glass ripped, making the picture look like a pond of water.

Looking around, she swallowed and returned her gaze to the picture. It looked fine now. Biting her bottom lip, Liz reached up with her free hand and tentatively brushed her finger over Max’s face, closing her eyes as a bright light claimed her sight.

* The sky was bright with stars, a ‘v’ shape pulsated in the sky as three small children walked over the sand, their forms morphing rapidly into their now selves, the stars bursting with energy as a slight glow surrounded the three. *

Gasping, Liz dropped the picture frame and watched it clutter to the ground, landing face down. That was from her dream—she had dreamt that today! Freaked, Liz’s hand trembled as she bent over to retrieve the picture.

Turning it over, Liz gazed at the pic, knowing she would find the same three children from her dream staring back at her. Swallowing again, she looked hard at the pic, seeing if it was going to the ripple thing again.

Hearing a knock at the door suddenly, Liz nearly screamed as she jumped up. Sighing, she put down the picture and waited to see if Max was going to come and answer it.

The knock came again and Liz glanced down the hallway before going to the door. Peaking out the peephole, Liz saw Alex’s panicked face and pulled back, quickly opening the door.

“Alex? What are you doing here?”

Looking surprised to find her here, Alex looked past her and said finally, “why are you here? Never mind; it doesn’t matter. This is even better. Come on,” he said.

“What? Come where?”

Swallowing, Alex said quickly. “I came to talk to Max but I don’t think I can go through with it. Isabel told me something and I just—I don’t believe it and I think she’s hurt or something. I’m not really sure, but I don’t wanna even think about it.”

“Alex, what are you talking about?”

“I’ll explain on the way, let’s just go,” he added, reaching for her hand.

“Go where?!” Liz asked again.

“The rock formation,” Alex admitted finally.

“What? Why? Max told me—“

Looking scared, Alex cut her off. “Liz, please! Just come with me!”

Seeing his stress, Liz looked over her shoulder and said finally. “Ok…just let me tell Max—“

“No!! Lets just go…please Liz.”

Taken back by his outburst, Liz was quiet for a moment. “Ok…I’ll get my coat.” Stepping back so he could come in, Liz looked at him when he didn’t make a move. “Alex?”

“I’ll wait out here; just hurry.” He seemed to spooked to even come into the house!

Confused, Liz nodded and went into the kitchen to get her coat. Seeing the notepad by the phone, Liz glanced to see if Alex could see her. Out of his sight, she quickly jotted down a note for Max and picked up her coat.

“Ok,” she said, meeting him at the door. Alex smiled and Liz paused, a shiver going down her spine. Trying to hide it, she mumbled something about being cold and pulled on her jacket as she followed him out of the house and down to the street.

Noticing he was getting into an old Cadillac, Liz asked, “where’s your car?”

“Oh…didn’t I tell you? It broke down. This is a loner,” he explained.

“No…you didn’t tell me,” Liz said softly, glancing back up at the Evans household. Seeing that Alex was waiting for her to get in, Liz smiled at him tightly and climbed in, missing the sadistic smile that crossed his features before he climbed in himself and started to car.

Trying to ignore the pit growing in her stomach, Liz watched as Max’s house grew smaller and smaller and Alex drove them away.
***
TBC


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 7:42:35 PM
PART 24
Isabel climbed out of the jeep and jogged toward her front door, going over the speech she had prepared on her way home from Alex’s house.

Oh god, Alex…

To say he was little freaked was an understatement. She figured he was handling it well enough considering what she had told him, but he would definitely think about her different now.

Going through the front door, Isabel sighed and leaned her back against it, closing her eyes.

She could still see his eyes after she showed him everything, how they were trained on hers as he opened his mouth and tried to talk, but nothing came out. He seemed truly confused and took a few steps back, prompting Isabel to have a panic attack.

Did he think she was some kind of freak who needed to be annihilated?!

Then he calmly said, “well…I always thought you were different.” And asked to go home and think about some things. Which is where she had just left him a few minutes ago—standing on his front porch in a slight daze.

Taking in a deep breath and squaring her shoulders, Isabel started the short journey to Max’s bedroom to face the firing squad.

Idly, she wondered what she would put on her tombstone…
***

“We need to know who wants these—you said he was an alien.”

Nodding, Max pushed away from the desk and paced the length of his room. “This is all…first these maps then Liz actually goes out into the desert and comes back possessed or some shit and calls me Zan—“

“Zan?” Michael repeated, snorting. “What kind of name is that?”

“I’m more worried about whose name it is,” Max admitted finally, his voice giving away his jealousy.

“You think she’s boinking some other guy?”

Max gave Michael a death look, but didn’t say anything to deny his accusation. What if Liz really was with someone else? What would be do?

My powers would have a field day, he thought darkly.

“Max…you look about ready to kill someone,” Michael commented. “Besides, if she’s with anyone, I’m going with Whitman.”

“Would you get off it?! She’s not with anyone else,” Max exclaimed, wishing he would just shut up.

Shrugging, Michael went back to the maps, leaving Max alone with his thoughts, which were directly on Liz. Sighing, he got up to go and check on her when he heard the front door slam. Freezing, he caught Michael’s look before going to the door, pulling it open to only reveal Isabel getting ready to barge in.

Max opened his mouth to ask about Liz but stopped cold when Isabel blurted quickly, “I told Alex.”

“What?! You told him about us?!” Michael shouted while Max was frozen, his eyes plastered on Isabel’s guilty face. She seemed shocked to find Michael in the room but just swallowed, not denying his question.

“How the hell could you?! Are you stupid; or just have a death wish?!”

Waiting for Isabel to answer, Max could feel his heart constricting.

“I don’t know!” Isabel suddenly exclaimed, her eyes misty. “But I had to do it! I was watching him and—and I just…” Turning to her brother, Isabel added softly, “I finally get it. I understand what you feel for Liz and I know I yelled and accused you of being rash and not thinking, but I was the one not thinking! I just didn’t want to admit that I was jealous of what you had…”

Speechless, Max just watched as Isabel turned back t Michael and added, “Alex is gonna be ok with this; he won’t tell anyone, I know he won’t.”

“How do you know?” Michael threw back harshly.

“I trust him.”

“No, you wanna trust him! The FBI could be on the way here right now!”

“What did you tell him exactly?” Max finally asked, speaking for the first time since Isabel dropped her bomb.

“I didn’t say anything…I um, I showed him; opened a connection,” she admitted.

“Damn Isabel, why didn’t you just draw him instructions on how to dissect us too!” Michael shouted, his voice rising even more. “I don’t know what to do between the two of you! One is spilling our secrets left and right and the other is sleep with humans!”

Glaring at Michael, Max suddenly shouted, “me and Liz didn’t have sex, alright? So leave her the hell outta this!” Storming out of the room, Max went into the living room and stopped, not seeing Liz. Glancing at the bathroom door, he saw it was dark.

Hearing footsteps coming down the hall, he ignored them and went into the kitchen, finding it empty too.

“Max…why didn’t you tell us this morning when I…” Isabel trailed off. “Max, I know—“

“Where’s Liz?” he asked suddenly, cutting her off and glaring at Michael. “She’s gone.”

Sighing, the other boy looked around, his expression agitated. “I was with you; I don’t know where the hell she is.”

“I asked her to stay in the living room.”

Confused, Isabel added, “she wasn’t here when I came in.”

“Look, she probably just went for a walk or something,” Michael added. “But we need to deal with this Alex situation.”

“It’s not a situation!” Isabel exclaimed.

Spotting a note on the counter, Max picked it up and immediately recognized Liz’s handwriting. “When was the last time you saw Alex?” he asked quickly, spinning to look at Isabel.

“I dropped him off then came straight here, why?”

Holding up the note, Max added, “cause it might be a situation,” a pit already starting to churn in his stomach. Liz’s hurried note said simply:

‘Went with Alex. He’s acting weird and I’m worried about him. I’ll talk to you later.
Liz.’
***

Watching the scenery with a confused expression, Liz said slowly, “Alex…the cave is that away,” pointing over her shoulder.

Not saying a word, Alex suddenly cut a sharp U-turn, making Liz cry out in surprise. Staring at him, she swallowed and asked, “are you ok? What did Isabel tell you?”

“I just forget how to get there ok,” he replied stiffly, still not looking at her.

“You forgot how to get to the desert…” Panicking, Liz looked around, hoping to see another car or something, but the street was bare.

“You got the maps?” he asked suddenly.

“The maps?” Liz repeated slowly, chancing a look at her door.

“Yeah…what did you stash them? The fake copies were a ‘genius’ idea…” Alex added, his voice dripping with sarcasm.

Freaking out now, Liz decided to play along. “Right—right, the fake copies that um—that the burglar took…and the real ones that I still have.” There was definitely something wrong here. Either Alex had lost it, or this wasn’t him…

“Where did you put them Liz?”

Stalling, she asked, “where did I tell you I put them?” Scooting closer to her door, Liz tried the door handle, finding it locked.

“Tell me where they are Liz,” Alex repeated, his voice hard and emotionless.

“Alex…what’s going on? You’re scaring me…” Trying the door again, she added, “let me out.”

“Not until you tell me where the maps are!”

Cringing, Liz pressed her back against the glass. “Alex—“

“Ms, Parker, if you value your life, you WILL hand over the maps and hand them over now,” he threatened.

“You’re not Alex,” she stated, her panic rising several notches.

Turning and grinning at her, the Alex double added, “no…and you won’t have long to figure out who I am if you don’t comply.”
***

Isabel shook her head, pulling into Alex’s driveway and spotting his white car. “I told you there was no way he beat me there and had time to usher Liz out.”

“Well, the note said she left with him,” Max pointed out.

“Then the note is wrong.” Getting out, Isabel went to the front porch and pushed the doorbell, waiting with Max and Michael behind her. After a few moments and no one answered, she pressed it again.

“He might be asleep,” she said finally.

“His parents home?” Max asked.

“Coast clear,” Michael said after looking round quickly.

Confused, Isabel watched as Max tried to door and found it unlocked. Pushing it open, Isabel was about to protest when she saw the condition of the house. “What…Alex,” she said, rushing in.

The whole living room was trashed and it looked like someone literally fell through the coffee table. Walking further into the house, Isabel could feel the charge in the air.

Someone had been and here and used powers; lots of power.

“Well, this settles it; Liz isn’t with Alex,” Michael said finally.

“What—what do you think happened to him?” Isabel got out, looking at Max for answers.

“I don’t know…” he said softly.

Worried, Isabel walked around, looking for something to go on as a clue. Panicking, she rushed for the door, calling out, “we gotta find him!”

As soon as her hand touched the doorknob, Isabel closed her eyes as a flash suddenly took over her vision.

*Alex walked out of his house and got into a huge Cadillac, stuffing something into the trunk before getting behind the wheel and driving off. The scene shifted to the trunk, an outline of a body was visible in the darkness. *

Gasping, Isabel pulled out of the flash and looked at her brother and Michael. “Liz did leave with Alex…but it’s not the Alex we think…”
***

Grinding her teeth to keep from calling out, Liz sighed when he released his grip on her arm and shoved her into her bedroom, shutting the door.

“Get ‘em now,” the guy ‘wearing’ Alex’s face ordered.

Swallowing, Liz looked around her room and tried to think of something. What the hell was going on? How did this guy look so much like Alex? And why did he want the maps so bad?

“I um…I forget where I put them,” she said weakly.

Stalking closer to her, Liz backed away, bumping her hip onto the desk. Placing her hands behind her back to steady herself, Liz’s fingers brushed over the extension for her telescope.

The thick, metal, and heavy extension.

“Stop stalling…I want it now. It’s the only way to find the royal four and I will do anything to reach them,” he threatened. “It’s my job and I always do a good one.”

Swallowing, Liz curled her fingers around the extension with a death grip and looked up into Alex’s eyes, reminding herself that it wasn’t really Alex.

“Then…I should too,” she said, quickly wiping the metal rod around and connecting it with the side of his head, the sickening crack making her gag. Alex’s double fell to the ground and Liz stared down at the bloodened telescope extension in her hand, dropping it with a moan and bolting for the door, only to find it locked.

Trying to push the image of Alex’s bloody head from her memory, Liz spun around and raced to her window, sliding it up just as Alex moaned.

Panicking, Liz crawled through and stumbled her way to the fire escape, starting down the ladder as she noticed Alex’s duplicate sitting up slowly. Trying not to slip and fall, Liz climbed down the ladder quickly, jumping the last few feet to the ground and turning around.

Finding herself face to face with a bloody Alex, Liz screamed and pushed herself up against the wall of the Crashdown.

Reaching up to pull his hand away filled with blood, the guy stared at it. “I’m still not used to this whole ‘bleeding’ thing. It gets rather annoying.”

Watching with wide eyes, Liz stared as he ran his hand over the wound, making the blood and deep gash disappear. “That’s much better. Now…you better take heed or you might end up like your little friend.”

Waving his hand at the car, Liz looked out the corner of her eye and saw the trunk pop open to reveal Alex’s limp body. Her blood running cold, Liz sobbed and raced over to him. “Alex!!” Crying, she was relieved to find his skin still warm and his chest still moving up and down.

He was alive.

“Alex…Alex, please wake up,” she sobbed, trying to pull him out of the cramped space. Moaning, Alex’s eyes started to flutter and he groggily pushed his body up, opening his eyes.

“Liz? What…” His eyes becoming alert, he jumped up and pulled her close. “Oh god, some guy came to my house and wanted to hurt you…” Trailing off, Alex looked past Liz and paled. “What the hell…”

Looking too, Liz swallowed and moved in closer to Alex as the guy approached, still looking like Alex. “Well…hate to spoil such a nice reunion, but we have some work to do.”
***
TBC

PART 25
Michael huffed as they climbed out of the jeep, looking up at the dark house. “She’s not even home!” he complained.

Sighing, Isabel muttered something under her breath before adding, “she’s the only person who they would contact!“

Looking peeved, Michael just sighed and leaned his hip along the jeep.

“Good, now…go Max,” Isabel instructed.

Knowing he was the only one that she would actually talk to, Max took a deep breath and got out, going up onto the porch and knocking. Not getting an answer, Max knocked again while a familiar feeling came over his stomach.

The others must have had the same thought because they started forward. “She’s not home; please tell me she’s just not home,” Isabel said. “We don’t need her in on this too.”

“Well, I think coming here kinda does that,” Michael muttered.

“We’re just here to ask her if she’s heard from them,” Max explained, walking over to look in the front window. The living room and foyer was empty.

“And then what?”

“Tell her thanks for info, and no thanks for no info,” Isabel replied hotly. “Just shut the hell up and help us.”

“Please, like you even care about Liz—you’re only here cause of Whitman.”

Looking at his sister quickly, Max said, “we’re here for both, ok Michael?” Going off the porch, he added, “I’m going around back!”

“I’m coming with you,” Isabel exclaimed, running to catch up.

Waiting a beat, Michael sighed then rounded the corner, walking casually.
***

Closing the door to the spare room, Maria waited a beat then crept over to the window, the moonlight shining in on her face. Slowly pushing up the window, she looked out and sighed, noticing her mothers’ roses.

“Sorry, mom, but they may get trampled,” she mumbled, sliding out of the window on her stomach, stretching to the touch her feet to the ground before she slipped into the bushes.

“Need some help?”

Hearing the voice, Maria shrieked and fell down to her knees, just barley missing her mothers’ flowers. Thanking the earth for at least that, she looked up from the ground, eyeing her semi-attacker.

“Oh…this is perfect,” she muttered, hanging her head and shaking it. "Hello, again, Max—what brings ya to my neck of the woods? With your little gang, none the less.”

Seeing the looks crossing between him, his sister, and Michael Guerin, Maria sat up straighter. “What’s going on?”

“Have you seen Liz?” Max asked.

“Or Alex?” Isabel added.

Getting up to her feet, Maria eyed her. “Since when do you wonder where Alex is?” she asked wearily.

“We just wanna know, so if you’re gonna help, great. If not, shut the hell up,” Michael told her. Maria’s mouth dropped and she stared at him.

“Michael,” Max warned, his voice hard with anger and authority. Looking back at Maria, he added, “we’re just looking for Liz and Alex. Have you seen or heard from them?”

Finally looking away from Michael, Maria looked into Max’s eyes and paused. Sighing, she admitted, “I haven’t heard from Alex since this morning and I left Liz with you…” Trailing off, Maria paled and looked away before looking back. “What happened?”

“Nothing,” Max said after a moment. “We just—“

“What…happened?” she repeated, stressing the words. When Isabel looked down guiltily, Maria moaned and asked, “where is she?”

“We don’t know,” Max said softly. “We were hoping you had heard from them.”

“Them…Alex is gone too?!” Walking past them, Maria raced around front.

Following, Max, Isabel, and Michael watched as she hopped in a little red jetta before cursing. “I forgot mom took my keys…” Getting back out, she ignored them and started to walk down the street.

“Where are you going?” Isabel called out to her.

“To find my friends—not that you care!”

“We wouldn’t be here if we didn’t care!” Max threw back, starting to follow her. “Do you know where they would go?”

“If they’re somewhere in Roswell—I’ll find them.” Shaking her head, Maria added, “I knew something was up when they got back from that trip today!”

Isabel suddenly asked, “trip? What trip?!”

“I don’t know,” Maria added, stopping to look at them with frustration. “Someplace in the desert!”

“The rock formation,” she whispered. “Alex told me that it was Liz’s idea or something that made them look into it.”

“What are you talking about?” Maria asked, walking a few feet back toward them to meet Max, who was sharing a look with his sister.

“Liz’s idea?” he asked slowly.

“Liz…” Isabel repeated, looking right back.

“What are you guys—“ Michael stopped and looked at Max suddenly. “The flashes.”

“What?” Maria repeated. “Flashes?”

“It does have something to do with us; what we are,” Isabel said, her voice shaky.

“We’re going; now!” Max instructed, going toward the jeep with Michael and Isabel in toe.

Watching them with a confused expression, Maria suddenly came to and raced after them. “Hey—you know more then you’re letting on, don’t you?!”

“Just get in if you’re coming,” Max exclaimed, gunning the engine as he started the vehicle.

Casting a quick look at the empty seat beside Michael in the back, Maria swallowed and jumped in.
***

Huddled in the corner of the door, Liz tried her best to get as far away from the guy in the front seat as she could. He still looked like Alex and Liz clutched the real Alex closer, feeling a little relieved when he squeezed her hand.

Taking in a shaky breath, she closed her eyes and willed herself to wake-up from this nightmare. Opening, she held back a sob when she was still in the car and that THING was still driving them farther and farther away from civilization.

“So, I’m guessing I go about 75 miles outta town, right?”

Ignoring him, Liz tried her door one more time, finding it still locked. Feeling helpless, she started to cry, prompting Alex to draw her close.

“It’s gonna be ok, Liz,” he whispered in her ear.

“How…how?” Looking back up at her close friend, Liz pulled back some. “How can he look like you Alex? How can he know about the maps? And where are the maps? With all these questions, how can it be ok?”

Licking his lips, Alex pulled her face closer and looked right into her eyes. “Do you trust me?”

Shocked, Liz paused a beat. “You know I do…”

“Then trust me when I say this is all gonna be ok.”

Looking back at him, Liz nodded. There was something in his voice that made her think he knew what he was talking about.

“Now…” Casting a quick look at the guy, Alex whispered, “we just have to find a way to let Isabel know we’re heading to the rocks…”

“Isabel?” Liz whispered back, confused. “What does she—“

Suddenly pulling the car to a stop, the Alex double turned to them. “Tell me their names, now,” he ordered. “I want all of the royal fours names.”

“Royal four…” Liz whispered, remembering him saying that earlier.

Alex held his ground and his jaw tight, just staring his double down.

Sighing, the other guy said, “is this creepy for you? Will this help?” Raising his hand, Liz watched with a shocked face as the car was let up by a bright white, making her turn her head eventually. The car shook slightly and Liz sealed her eyes, trying not to cry out in fear.

Feeling everything settle down, she reopened her eyes and gasped, pushing her back into the door, ignoring the pain as the handle jammed into her lower back.

Suddenly Jim Valenti was sitting in the front seat, a sadistic grin on his face.
***
TBC

PART 26
Liz and Alex both stared at the older ‘man’ in the front seat of the car with shock and fear. Alex, having some forward knowledge of the possibility of bad aliens, as Isabel Evans had put it, was then first to break the silence.

“Sh—sheriff?”

Waving his hand, the guy in the front seat said, “I prefer to be called Nasedo.”

“But…but you’re Jim Valenti…”

Looking down at himself, Nasedo nodded in approval. “It is very close and detailed, isn’t it?”

Feeling sick to her stomach, Liz muttered, “you’re not him…”

“No, thank goodness. Valenti wouldn’t know his ass from an alien’s.”

“Alien…” Liz repeated, her face showing doubt, but her eyes were wide with the prospects.

Nodding, Nasedo held up his hand and a ball of light appeared, as if trying to prove his point. “Pretty nifty trick, huh?”

Liz was speechless, so Alex stepped up to the bat and added, “yay…you’re a human flashlight,” in a calm voice, but his insides were jumping and his mind was screaming for help.

This was bad.

Suddenly the ball of light darkened and Nasedo’s face was covered in shadows.

And it was gonna get worse.
***

Maria eyed Michael as he crossed his arms, apparently not happy with the present circumstances. Eyeing the space between them in the backseat of the jeep, she shifted further away, trying to make it look natural.

Michael Guerin was what he mother would call a ‘vibrator. He just gave off these signals and right now, he was ticked off; royally ticked off.

And she didn’t want to be anywhere around when he went off.

Looking up at the house, Maria wondered where Max and his sister were doing. After she jumped, stupidly without thinking, mind you, into their jeep, they had driven here hastily, arguing over who would wait with her in the car and who would go inside to get something.

Like she needed a bodyguard.

As it was well guessed, Michael lost and was on guard duty, which looked like mentally sleeping from Maria’s point of view. Did the guy even know how to speak?

Sighing with frustration and looking back at the road, Maria wondered what was so damn important in Max Evans house and would help them find Alex and Liz.

Yeah, like they magically have some map that locates where they’re headed, she thought miserably. Hearing the front door slam and hurried footsteps, Maria looked over to see Isabel and Max jogging toward them.

“Got the maps,” Isabel called out, climbing in as Max hopped behind the wheel and started the jeep.

Wide eyed, Maria mumbled, “or I could be wrong,” which got her a look from Michael. Ignoring it, she strained to see what the maps located as Isabel unfolded them, their only light the street lamps as Max raced down the road, pointing the vehicle outta town.

“About 75 miles…then we’ll hit a fork in the road and we go right,” Isabel instructed.

“75 miles?” Maria asked, getting a look from Isabel, who seemed surprised to hear her speak up. “75 miles what? Why would Liz and Alex travel that far?”

Isabel looked back down at the map and Max shifted gears, the engine roaring the only sound in the car. Swallowing, Maria looked at Max and Isabel’s back before turning to Michael. “Michael…what’s going on?”

Looking at their backs also, Michael muttered something under his breath before turning to her. Her face was filled with worry and he paused.

“Michael…” Maria added, her voice filled with apprehension.

“Liz and Alex aren’t just missing,” he admitted finally.

“Then what are they?” Maria asked, her voice rising a little.

Michael hesitated and Max filled in, “they were taken by one of our enemies.”

“What?” Maria screeched. “Taken? Enemies?!”

“Maria—“ Isabel tried, hoping to calm the girl down.

“What the hell kinds of stuff are into that makes you have enemies?!”

Knowing she was being ignored, Isabel went back to the map, glad that they had hit the desert before Maria’s outburst.

“Somebody better answer me!!”

“It’s complicated,” Max told her, his patience wearing thin. He was worried enough about Liz, plus Alex, and did not need Maria getting on his nerves.

“Complicated, complicated?” she mocked. “My two best friends are missing; possibly taken hostage by someone who dislikes you, so I think I deserve a explanation!!”

Isabel finally turned around completely in her seat. “Maria! You might deserve to know som—“

“Damn right I deserve!” Maria added.

Michael, about ready to blow, turned to the hysterical girl. “Listen, you need to shut the hell up and—“

“Do NOT tell me to shut up when the people I love and care about could get hurt,” she threatened, her voice barley controlling her anger.

Michael opened her mouth to speak, but Max beat him to it. “Just, everybody stop!” he ordered, bringing complete silence to the vehicle.

Maria wiped at the angry tears that had escaped during her rant and took in a deep, shaky breath, hoping to calm down some. Getting upset and exploding at the others, who were trying to help Liz and Alex too, wasn’t going to help or get her friends out of danger quicker.

Focusing on the sound of the wind wiping around the jeep, Maria looked around and realized they were heading into the desert. Putting two and two together, she looked at Isabel.

“We’re going to that rock formation; the one Alex talked about, aren’t we?”

Looking down at the map, Isabel was trying her best to keep it flat as the wind wiped at the corners of the paper. “Yeah…that’s where they’re headed.”

“And by they you mean…” she added, trying to keep her voice calm and even.

“We don’t know exactly.”

“Just that they have Liz and Alex.” Max’s voice was hard with anger and Maria saw how he clenched his jaw to keep from saying more.

Confused and worried for her friends, Maria was finding it hard to keep her emotions in check. “Then how do you know it has something to do with you? What could make you guys so sure they’re even in danger?!”

“Cause we do, ok? We know!” Michael bit out.

“Oh…that’s great; you know. We’ll, do you care to let me in on what you know to be SO important?”

“Not really,” he replied.

“This isn’t helping,” Isabel exclaimed, turning her face toward them and Maria noticed for the first time how worried she looked. “We have to work together to get them back!”

Shifting the gears once more, Max made the jeep lurched forward, picking up more speed. “How much further?”

“About 50 miles,” Isabel said finally.

Feeling the vehicle more forward even more, Maria saw Max’s foot press down harder on accelerator.
***

Liz numbly looked out the window, trying to comprehend all she had learned. The guy in the front seat, who was calling himself ‘Nasedo’, had self-proclaimed himself an alien.

There was an alien driving the car she was riding in.

And he had taken her and one of her close friends hostage.

AND, he had broken into her house a few days ago to steal the maps that she and said friend had stumbled upon after her make-out session with her boyfriend.

Nope, this was better then an after school special, her muddled brain deducted.

“You know, the crash is about 75 miles outta town…so I’m gonna drive that far, then you can tell me where to go,” Nasedo proclaimed, turning on the radio.

Pushing the music away from her mind, Liz closed her eyes and willed the car away, ‘Nasedo’ away, even Alex away and pictured her cozy bedroom. She could feel the bed under her back and see the walls around her.

Opening her eyes, Liz whimpered helplessly and turned to Alex.

Taking in her grim expression, she knew he was trying to think of a way out for them. He kept reassuring her that everything was ok, but she knew it wasn’t. Liz wanted to grab him and scream ‘there’s an alien driving us into the desert!!!’, but curbed the impulse.

But she needed to do something; needed HIM to do something. Alex was being way to calm about all this. Why wasn’t he freaked like she was? They just learned that alien DID exist!! They could be planning on taking over the earth right now, and Alex hadn’t even batted an eyelash yet!!

Although, the one a few feet away didn’t really care about taking over the earth; he was too obsessed with finding the ‘royal four’, whoever they were. But he was convinced that they knew them.

“About 10 more miles,” he said in a singsong voice, obviously liking how nervous they were. The voice and face of sheriff Valenti combined was too creepy and Liz noticed that Alex even flinched at the image.

“Could you at least change into someone else? Preferably some one we DON’T know,” Alex muttered.

Nasedo seemed to consider this for a moment before adding, “naw. I like this body; it wields power. Plus, it is a little comforting to Ms. Parker here.”

Liz shrunk back when he eyed her in the rearview mirror. “Why is that?” she finally managed to ask.

“Why, after your little performance today for ‘my’ young son Kyle, I thought you resented all Valenti’s.”

“Kyle…today?” Liz repeated, totally confused. “I didn’t see Kyle today…” Looking at Alex for support, she was surprised to see his guilty face. “Alex?”

“Actually…you did see him,” he admitted finally.

Whistling, Nasedo smiled up in the front seat. “It was quite a little scene too. I was wondering what had gotten into you, but I could see how he could make anyone react like that.”

“You were there?” Alex asked in a monotone voice, like he was thinking really hard.

“Right corner booth.”

Confused and a little scared at what might have happened, Liz turned to her friend. “Alex…what—what is…’he’ talking about? I didn’t see Kyle today!”

Suddenly the old Cadillac came to a stop and Nasedo turned in his seat, still wearing the face of Jim Valenti. “75 miles. Where to now?” h asked in a hard voice.

Glancing out the corner of her eye, Liz could make out the fork in road through the moonlight, meaning that the formation was right over the horizon toward the right, the top jutting upward.

Alex too, was purposely keeping his eyes from the right. Looking right into his eyes, Alex said slowly. “We are not telling you anything.” His voice was brave, but Liz could see his eyes were jumping and his hands were gripping into the seat for control.

Nasedo, seeing this too, smiled, knowing they indeed did know what he needed. “Well…I gave you a choice—“ Reaching out, his finger collided with Alex’s temple and his eyes rolled back into his head instantly, his body falling backwards.

“—And you chose wrong.”

Liz screamed and reached for her friend, pulling him toward her in a feeble attempt to keep him upright. “Alex…” she cried feeling his neck for a pulse, but not finding one. Placing a hand over his heart and grabbing his wrist with her free one, Liz concentrated the best she could, trying to feel something; anything, even if it was just a thump under her palm.

Paling, she dropped his hand and looked down at his face, pulling her hand back from his chest.

Alex’s heart was beating anymore.

He was dead…
***
TBC



PART 27
Alex pulled Liz’s limp body against him, his mouth mumbling incoherently as he tried to wake her up. It wasn’t too long before he realized that she wasn’t waking up.

Nasedo, watching the scene with interest, rubbed at his head. Feeling the charge in the air, he sighed, lightly letting the air in the car shift to accommodate his powers. Looking back at the boy once more, Nasedo noticed he was trying mouth to mouth to reprieve the fallen girl.

Shrugging, Nasedo switched gears and stopped this mind warp, letting it slid out of view and the scene shifted to Alex’s limp body lying on the seat, with Liz hovering over him.

Deception was the easiest way to find out what he wanted. Who wouldn’t spill info for a friends’ life? He just had to find out who had more info. Keeping up one mind warp was though, but 2 was even harder. And doing them both at the same time was even more complicated.

“He can’t die…please help him!!” Liz screamed.

“You help me and I’ll help you,” Nasedo said, pushing the other mind warp back at the moment. He needed to know what little Miss Parker knew. “Where are the royal four?!”

“I don’t know—just help him,” she sobbed.

Sighing, Nasedo was tempted to blast her but opted to slip back and try his other option. Switching the realities for his purpose once more, Nasedo watched as everything in the backseat seemed to melt as the 2 teens switched places and Liz was now on the seat, Alex still trying to revive her with CPR.

He had to choose one reality to go with, and the teens answer was the deciding vote. The girl obviously didn’t know anything. She didn’t even stop to think before telling him she didn’t.

“You tell me what I want to know and she lives,” he ordered, getting right to the point.

He saw the younger man consider his options and Nasedo grinned. This one knew more then he was letting on.

Bingo.

They had a winner.
***

Alex seemed to waver on control as he stared down at his friend. What was he going to do? If he told him about Isabel and the others, they could get taken away and maybe even hurt for what they were.

But if he didn’t, Liz was already hurt and would die. He had to choose between his best friends’ life and the lives of a girl he could possible love and her family.

Closing his eyes, Alex could feel the tears threatening to spill. Opening them back up again, he regarded Nasedo with a haunted expression.

The answer was clear and he had to choose it.
***

Max’s foot continued to push down harder on the gas as he felt a pain run across his mind, making his eyes dim a little. He could feel the wind whipping around his face, but Max was suddenly filled in a black void. Liz was crying and weeping openly, crying for help.

Feeling his insides churn at the desperation in her voice, Max let out a strangled cry and felt hands griping his, pulling him away from the wheel and his foot was being shoved off the gas also.

He could hear people yelling at him, but all that mattered was the void and Liz’s sobs, breaking him over and over again.

“Max!” a loud voice yelled, finally bringing him back from the brink of insanity.

Opening his eyes slowly, Max registered that they jeep was sideways in the road, and Isabel was shaking him, her face filled with tears as she called out to him.

“Wake up!!” Michael screamed, slapping him hard on the back while Maria was trying to climb over him to get out of the vehicle.

“You people are crazy!” she screamed, finally getting out. “What the hell happened to him?!”

“You saw him,” Michael yelled back at her. “He blacked out for a sec, ok?!”

“Liz,” Max exclaimed, fully back in this reality. “She’s hurt…”

“What?” Isabel asked.

“How do you know that?” Maria demanded, coming a few feet closer but still keeping some distance.

Max wasn’t sure what happened while he was out, but he assumed it was enough to scare Maria and make her jump out of the car. He must have lost control of the jeep.

“Is Alex ok?” Isabel added.

“I don’t—I don’t know. But we have to get there, NOW!”

“What is going on?!!!” Maria demanded again, her voice shaking.

“Get in the car,” Michael ordered her.

“Uh-huh; he nearly killed us!”

“Get in Maria,” Isabel urged. “This is Liz and Alex’s only hope; we have to get there!!”

Michael, climbing out of the jeep, took her elbow and added, “get in; I’ll drive.”

“Like that makes me feel better,” she added, but Max noted how she got in anyway. He figured that Isabel’s statement made an impact. Climbing into the back beside the other girl, Isabel let Max slide into the passenger seat while Michael got behind the wheel.

Praying they would make it in time, Max held on as Michael brought the jeep back to life and flew down the road.
***

Looking up at the rock formation, Alex could feel the coldness radiating off of the other guy all the way down to his bones. Casting another look at the Cadillac, Alex could see Liz’s form on the back seat.

Seeing his attention was on the girl also, Nasedo said, “she continues to live…if you tell me what I want to know. What are their names?”

The guilt was rising and taking Alex over in waves, but he COULD NOT let Liz die. No matter how much he might hurt Isabel, he wouldn’t let Liz die for this.

Isabel could still have a chance if this guy found out. Alex could warn her and the others and they could get away. But Liz didn’t have that choice. She would die if he didn’t stop it.

“Isabel Evans, Max Evans, and Michael Guerin,” Alex whispered, his eyes focused on Liz the entire time.

He had to do this.

Seeing movement in the back of the car, Alex’s heart jumped and he raced toward it, pulling Liz close as she stood up and stared ahead at the rock formation.

Alex didn’t know how or care what was going on, but it didn’t matter. Liz was alive and ok. “Liz…god, you’re ok.”

Ignoring him, she continued to stare at the rocks, her eyes emotionless. Alex looked back over at Nasedo, but stopped, realizing that he seemed just as confused.

If he didn’t bring Liz back, who did?
***

Liz watched as the blue light engulfed her, making her skin crawl and her body ache as she cried out in a silent pain, her eyes sealed shut.

Then it was over.

Opening her eyes, Liz only saw blue. Everything was blue. The sand, the rocks, the few shrubs, the moon, the sky; it was all blue.

And she was suddenly alone.

Panicking, Liz called out and moved, feeling the thick web over her skin. Looking around, she realized that everything was blue because it was covered in a blue substance. A thick, Jell-O like substance.

Moving forward once more, Liz spotted the rock formation and made it her destination as she fought her way against the filmy sea. After what felt like hours, Liz reached the incline and started up, her efforts being torn back down by the waves of blue pushing her back.

“No!” she screamed, forcing her body forward. She had to reach the cave, had to reach what was inside.

She could make all of this better if she got there. Inside laid the key to all of this, and she was the only one who could fix it.
***

Liz’s body stopped a few feet in front of Nasedo and Alex watched with wide eyes as she held her chin high.

Nasedo, looking deep into her eyes, seemed furious for a moment before doubling back, his face pale. “You can’t be here…”

Liz, her face seething with anger, advance on him. “I have been waiting for this and nothing will stop me from attaining my goal. You nor them.”

“You will not get away with this,” Nasedo vowed, but Alex could see his demeanor was less intimidating.

Looking back at his friend, Alex noted how stiff she looked, like she wasn’t herself…like someone else was in control of her body

Hearing the squeal of tires, Alex looked over her shoulder and saw the trail of dust as a vehicle came racing toward them, still too far away to know who it was.

“Do you really think you’ll save them? You couldn’t do it then and you won’t do it now,” Liz said, her voice hard and full of confidence. “You, their measly protector, have been searching for years for them and have yet to see what was right under your eyes. I will have him once more.”

“I will die before you harm our king,” Nasedo vowed.

“What is going on?” Alex exclaimed, not being able to take it anymore. The vehicle was growing closer by the second and Alex chanced another look, noticing that it was jeep—and had Max and Michael were in the front seat.

Growling, Liz turned her attention on Alex and lifted her palm, a dark light erupting from him and tossing him into the air. Yelling Alex landed a good 20 feet away, winded and filled in pain.

A second later the jeep was there, just barley missing his legs. He opened his eyes and watched as Max jumped out, racing back towards Liz with Michael on this trail as Isabel raced to his side.

“Alex, are you ok?” she asked, gently touching his face.

“What happened?” another voice asked and Alex noticed Maria was there too. “Where’s Liz?”

Remembering what had happened, Alex suddenly bolted up, groaning as his bones protested. “Max and Michael…Liz will hurt them…” he managed out.

Maria, getting the drift, helped Alex up and along with Isabel they started toward Liz, Max, Michael, and Nasedo. Reaching the guys, Alex opened his mouth to warn them but stopped.

Max was standing still, gazing at Liz while she walked toward him slowly, her eyes trained on his. Looking over her shoulder, Alex saw that Nasedo was on the ground, his body still.

“That’s not Liz…” Max said finally as the other teens reached his back, flanking out behind him while the Liz double simply stared back at them.
***
TBC

PART 28
Liz reached the top of the incline, panting for breath and trying not to collapse in weakness. She spotted the opening like she knew would and wondered aimlessly how she actually knew it would be there. Shrugging it off, Liz ignored her body’s pleas for rest and urged on, going blindly into the darkness.
***

Max watched as she walked closer, her lips invited as she said softly, “come to me Zan…we can be together…”

“Who’s Zan?” Maria asked.

Feeling the pull to go, Max stepped a few closer, eyeing her carefully.

“Max…” Isabel said, reaching out for him.

Ignoring her, he waited for Liz to reach him before closing his eyes as she touched him, her hands tracing every inch of his face.

“You loved it when I touched you,” she whispered in his ear. “ You said your skin felt like it was on fire and that my hands were the only cure.”

Feeling light headed, Max knew he should pull away but something was holding him near.

“Even in our last moments together you cried out for my touch…for my love.”

“Max…get away from her,” Michael said, his voice low and urgent.

Trying to form some thoughts, Max knew that Michael was right; he needed to get away. As if feeling him pull away some, Liz fumed and threw her hand out, making a blue light emit and surround them, keeping the others out.

“I WILL have you again,” Liz vowed, her eyes lightening to a bright blue within seconds. Tracing his lips with her finger, she added, “I can not wait to hear you say my name…tell me it…Zan, tell me it.”

Closing his eyes, Max could faintly hear the others in the background, yelling at him, but they all seemed so far away. Feeling his body tingle, Max opened his mouth and answered her request.

Her name; he knew it. He’d always known it deep down.

“Ava…”
***

Liz entered the chamber and froze, spotting the incubation pods on the wall. There were four of them. And one was still occupied. Walking closer, she looked all around before coming to stand in front of it.

The little girl’s blonde hair circled her tiny body as it bopped in the blue goo, well preserved even though it was meant to have hatched years ago.

Getting down on her knees, Liz wiped at the see-through cover, pulling more of the goo away. Some of it was leaking from a crack near the top and Liz knew that was how she got out.

How she got into her body.

Raging at the thought of someone using her as weapon against Max, Liz backed up, looking around the floor before crawling a few feet away. Bringing the large rock back over, she stopped, resting a moment.

Her body was still weak from the fight to get here and she needed to rest a moment. Closing her eyes, Liz gasped when she suddenly saw herself and Max outside, their bodies surrounded by a light.

“No!” she screamed, instantly knowing that the force over her body was planning on killing Max and the others.

With renewed strength, Liz picked up the boulder and raised it above her head, bringing it down in one swift motion toward the pod.
***

Maria was frozen as she stared at the blue light, reaching out to finally touch it, finding it hard and soft at the same time. It shook suddenly and she glanced over to see Michael was throwing his shoulder against it.

“Max!” Isabel screamed again, pounding her fists into the blue shield.

“That…person…she’ll hurt him,” Alex added.

“She’ll kill him! I can feel it!” Michael exclaimed. “She did it once, she’ll do it again.”

“You know who that really is?” Maria asked, finally admitting that someone or something had taken over her friends’ body.

“I remember—she killed us,” Isabel cried.

“Stand back,” Michael ordered, raising his palm.

Feeling Alex and Isabel pulling her back, Maria obeyed. Watching Michael, she gasped as a ball of light erupted from his palm and flew toward Max and Liz.

Squeezing her eyes shut, Maria was too scared to open them up and see what happened.
***

Max kept his eyes closed, his body going insane as Ava’s hands explored his chest, her mouth right below his ear, her breathing sending chills down his spine.

“You used to call out your admiration to me while we made love…there was nothing else like your hot body above mine…”she whispered seductively.

Processing it in his mind, Max noted how it was deeper and throatier then Liz’s.

Liz!

Her name exploded in his mind and Max shook his head. What was he doing? Ava had killed him…

“Kiss me Zan,” Ava instructed, making him look her in the eyes. “Kiss me…”

Not being able to look away, Max swallowed and leaned forward, doing as she said. Suddenly her eyes flashed from their now blue color and were once more Liz’s deep chocolate brown and Max pulled back, staggering from Ava’s grasp.

There was a slight sizzle over his back and Max saw the blue around them was fading. Ava, her eyes going back and forth between blue and brown, growled, her face twisted in a sneer.

“Don’t try and fight it Zan…you are mine.” Coming toward him once more, she pulled him close.
***

Grunting with the force, Liz brought the rock down once more, this time smashing the front of the pod, spilling blue goo all over her clothes and lap. The small body fell forward and Liz looked down, paralyzed as it simply laid still.

Feeling the room shift, Liz leaned toward, trying to not get sick. Closing her eyes, she suddenly saw nothing but black.
***

Feeling his control coming back, Max said finally, “my name is Max,” and shoved her away, watching as she fell onto her back.

Glaring up at him, Ava’s voice deepened even more as she said, “you were worthless then and are now. I will kill you all…”

Max was about to respond when she suddenly screamed, the voice thick and raspy as she threw her head back in agony. Her mouth was filling with blue goo, the substance flowing down her neck and chin.

“Max…”she choked out.

Looking down, he saw her eyes were once more brown and totally terrified.

“Liz!” Falling to his knees, Max pulled her close, turning her face downward and wiping the blue substance away, urging it out with his fingers as he tried to clear out her air hole. His whole body was shaking with the force of his emotions as the idea of losing her was becoming a reality.

Her could hear her gasping as she tried to catch her breath and he prayed silently as he rubbed her back and continued to empty her mouth of the substance. Liz started to cough, her breathing returning to normal and Max wiped the rest away before pulling her close, realizing she was gonna ok. The force field around them suddenly dropped and everyone raced forward, wanting to find out what happened.

Max simply looked down at Liz, who was curled up in his lap, her face pressed into his chest. Pulling her closer still, he ignored everyone for now, just enjoying the feeling of Liz in his arms.
***
TBC


PART 29
Maria sighed and stood up, stretching her muscles as she reached high above her head. Yawning, she rubbed at her eyes and looked out the window, seeing the sun was just starting to advance over the horizon. Watching it for a few minutes, Maria walked over to the window, thinking about crawling out onto the balcony, but finally deciding not to.

Turning back to the room, Maria rubbed at her neck. Looking at Liz’s sleeping form, she walked back over, pulling the wet cloth off and walking toward the bathroom to re-wet it. Turning on the cold water, Maria ran her fingers under it, waiting for it to reach its peak of coldness.

Soaking the little hand-towel, Maria ringed it loosely and walked back into the bedroom, carefully putting it over Liz’s forehead. Brushing her hair away, Maria felt how damp it was from her sweating and her skin was still hot.

Afraid to actually turn on the AC for fear of what would happen, Maria quickly opened the window’s hoping that would help her best friend. Liz had been asleep every since last night. Her skin was hot and she was sweating profoundly.

But it was no where near to what it was last night…

Hearing a knock on the door, Maria glanced at the clock. It had been about 15 minutes since the last knock.

He was right on time.

“Go away!” she called out, glancing back at Liz.

“DeLuca, I want to know how she is,” Max said through the thick door.

“She’s fine. I’m looking at her right now,” Maria said back, pulling off her sheet. Her whole body: legs, arms, stomach, were hot and she was sweaty.

“Is she still hot?”

“It’s getting better; she’s not shaking anymore. And the fever is down.” Liz turned her head and Maria brushed her hair back once more, once more feeling her hot skin, but relieved that it was indeed getting better.

“Good, good. Open the door.”

“You’re not coming in Max. Look, she’s still pretty hot and all she’s got on is her under…garments—so your teenager filled hormone body is staying out!”

She could hear Max sighing on the other side of the door and Michael, who was out there also, mumbled something about opening the door. “Don’t even think about it mister,” Maria said suddenly. “Aliens powers or what not, I will kick your booty if you come in here!”

When the guys didn’t argue anymore, Maria sighed and took some time to reflect on what she just said.

Alien powers?

“My life is so wrong,” She moaned. Looking down at her friend, Maria added, “I mean, it’s ironic. The 2 hottest guys in school are aliens and, of course, we both fall for ‘em.”

Maria had yet to admit it to anyone, barley even herself, but damn, Michael Guerin was hot and well, she was liking how they were all suddenly thrown together.

But she was NOT happy about HOW they were thrown together.

Her best friend was ‘possessed’ or some shit like that by a bad alien, there were actual aliens on earth, and three of them had been hiding in her plain sight for years.

And, in this very emotional and traumatized time, Maria DeLuca was actually considering the option of dating one of them!

Not that she’d be alone. Liz and Max were pretty much an item, not that they’d really said it officially yet, and Alex and Isabel…well, Maria wasn’t sure of what was going on there. Alex told her how Isabel had kissed him and everything.

Thinking about her other best friend, Maria called out, “are Alex and Isabel back yet?”

There was a slight pause as Max called back, “not yet…they should be soon though; very soon.”

Alex and Isabel had left late last night, or well, early this morning to go back out to the rock formation to see what had happened. Liz kept mumbling something about a room and eggs; whatever that meant. Plus the fact that Liz was taken over by some alien and a blue…goo…was flowing out of her mouth, they were all in a hurry to find out what caused it.

Suddenly there was some commotion from out in the hallway and Maria could hear Alex and Isabel’s voice. Checking Liz once more, she found her skin less hot and she seemed to be sleeping more restful now. Sighing in relief, Maria walked over to the door just as it was opening.

“Max—“

“I’m not Max,” Isabel said, walking in with Alex in toe.

“How’s she doing?” Alex asked quickly, going straight over to Liz’s side.

Isabel was shutting the door as Max tried to come in. “Alex is a guy!” he protested as Maria ran to Liz’s bed.

“You might as well let him in,” Isabel added.

“She’s in her underwear,” Maria said.

“Um…nice bra,” Alex commented suddenly, making Max’s nose flare and him come storming in the room anyway. Stalking over to the bed, he glanced down and stopped, realizing that Alex wasn’t seeing Liz in her bra.

She was now covered by the sheet.

Getting a glare from Max, Alex said, “sorry—I couldn’t help it.” Getting a look from Isabel also, Alex added, “yeah; not a good time to joke.”

Michael, who had come into the room also, shook his head and asked, “whatcha find?”

Sighing, Isabel glanced at Alex before replying, “nothing.”

Max, moving to sit on the bed while stroking Liz’s hair in a comforting pattern, added, “what about the formation?”

“I touched it and…” she trailed off, watching how Max was being with Liz.

Alex, also noticing the signs of intimacy with how Max was treating one of his close friends, cleared his throat and said finally, “um…we looked all around and couldn’t find an entrance for a cave.”

“What about ‘eggs’. She kept mumbling something about ‘eggs’,” Maria added.

“Nothing even remotely shaped like an egg,” Isabel answered.

“Did you roam out some? It could’ve been another rock or shit,” Michael demanded.

“We roamed,” Alex added, getting kinda defensive at his tone. “We didn’t see anything.”

Michael eyed Alex and the two men stood like that, glaring back and forth. Rolling her eyes, Isabel muttered, “good way to help guys.”

“Isabel’s right,” Maria said quickly, surprising everyone in the room and herself with how quick she came to the others girl defense. “We need to work together to find out what happened to Liz.”

“What about the guy? What did he say his name was?” Max asked Alex.

“um…Noseda, Norega; something along those lines,” Alex said after thinking. “It was really weird…”

“He was gone also. There wasn’t any trace of him ever even being there,” Isabel replied.

“He—he looked like the sheriff, right?” Max asked.

“Yeah…and before that he was me,” Alex said softly. When everyone looked at him, Alex added, “that’s how he got Liz to go with him.”

Feeling helpless, Maria added, “so he could be anyone at anytime? He could just come up to us and…”

“No, I won’t let it,” Michael said with conviction. “We’re gonna find him.”

“And how do you purpose we do that?” Isabel added, her voice filled with frustration. “In case you haven’t noticed, we’re kinda out of options.”

“No we’re not.” Sharing a look with Max, Michael turned his attentions to Liz, prompting everyone else in the room too also.

“No,” Max said quickly, knowing exactly where the conversation was going. “Liz is out of this now.”

“Maxwell—“

“Forget it Michael,” he added in a hard voice. “We’re not using Liz like that.”

“Using?” Maria questioned, getting lost in the argument going on between the three aliens.

“How is it using her when she would help openly,” Michael protested. “I mean, at least you said she would.”

“Michael, we’ve only did it a few times and it could be risky with Liz being like this!”

“Connection…isn’t that what you did with me?” Alex asked Isabel.

Looking at him, Isabel faltered, “yeah but—“

“Then it can be done.”

“We know it can be done, Michael,” Max threw back. “But it’s not happening.”

“It’s harder with Liz being out,” Isabel added.

“But you can do it,” Michael stressed. Glancing at Isabel, he asked, “how much harm would we cause to just go in and review what she saw?”

“Maybe not much—“

“See, Max.” Pointing at Isabel, Michael tried to prove his point.

“We wouldn’t even be able to control what we saw,” she said after a moment. “We could get all this fodder.”

Thinking back, Max looked down at Liz, remembering when she was lying on this bed hours ago, unconscious and just getting over a brief ‘possession’.

“Wait—you guys can just go into other people’s heads and see what they think?” Maria asked.

“No, it’s not like that,” Isabel replied, trying to explain. “We see flashes, like, images and knows things about what we saw…”

“Like I saw about you?” Alex questioned. Isabel nodded.

“Have you ever did that to me?” Maria demanded.

“Have we ever touched you?” Michael threw back.

“Yes! On the balcony.”

“Oh…” Giving her a look, Michael added, “well, it didn’t go into your messed up world.”

“Guys, we need to think rationally about this,” Alex suggested. “If you know Liz won’t get hurt…then maybe you should…”

“How big is the possibility? Of Liz getting hurt, I mean?” Maria asked.

Shrugging, Isabel said finally, “I don’t know. Connections can be risky. You can’t control what you show someone and what you see from them.”

“But you will see something?”

“More then likely. Max and Liz have already opened some connections between them so it would be easy to get in…but we’ve never tried this on anyone who’s been knocked out.”

“I don’t see how it would make it harder. Wouldn’t it be easier?” Michael asked suddenly. “She won’t be able to fight it.”

“She could fight it? Fight being showed stuff?” Maria asked.

“She could try…I don’t think she would though. The last time this happened and Max tried to heal her—“ Isabel suddenly trailed off and looked at Max, who was staring right back at her. “The flashes,” she added softly.

“She didn’t mean egg,” Max told everyone while still looking at Isabel.

“She meant cocoon,” she finished. Closing her eyes, Isabel was suddenly forced to watch as a hand was forced through a filmy surface, straining upward while a small body of a little girl followed suit, climbing out of the light blue cocoon with hesitation.

Gasping, Isabel’s eyes flew open, along with Michael and Max’s. All three teenagers looked at each other, reliving the day they were ‘born’.

“I just saw…” Michael trailed off, knowing the others saw themselves emerging from their pods also.

Trying to rationalize what just happened, Max looked down at Liz and said, “I think she knows where our pods are,” in a shaky voice.
***
TBC

PART 30
“So…you guys know who this whack job that took over Liz was?” Maria asked finally, having been thinking of that question all morning. Watching as Michael raised his hand and the stove screeched, moving back to its place along the wall.

The back area and kitchen of the restaurant had been in shambles when Maria and the rest of the gang got here late last night, the only explanation that the ‘shape shifter’ thingy did it while chasing Liz from the apartment in a moment of rage.

“We know enough,” he said finally, pulling his hand down.

“Meaning…what?” Maria added, finishing up her sweeping.

“Meaning WE know enough.”

Sighing, she glared at him. “I’m in this now—your secret is out so you better let me know what’s going on.”

Glaring back, Michael simply shrugged and replied, “ask Isabel or Max. They’re the ones who let you in.”

Feeling hurt that he didn’t want her part of his little circle, Maria’s anger flared. “Yeah, god forbid that stonewall Guerin ever shows any emotions and talks to people. You know, maybe it’s an alien trait.” Slamming her broom back into it’s spot in the corner, Maria stormed out into the front of the café, looking to make sure that everything was in order.

“What the hell does that mean?” Michael demanded, following her.

“Well, none of you ever talk to anyone! Or well, ya do know. So…maybe it’s a Michael trait.” Turning to look at him, Maria added, “you know, Michael rule number 1: no telling secret. Rule number 2: no talking to anyone who’s not ‘alien’. Rule number 3: no letting in cute girls. Rule number—“

Cutting her off, Michael exclaimed, “you know nothing about me or what I’ve been through!”

“Well, I guess I can’t if you won’t even tell me what’s going on with my best friend! God Michael…if Max and Isabel can open up to people, why can’t you?”

Staring at her for a beat, Michael asked finally, “what’s it matter…who would I let in?” Turning to go before she could reply, he didn’t see her wounded expression as he walked into the back.

“Great…not only is he an alien, but he’s an oblivious alien,” Maria muttered.
***

Clicking his tongue, Alex nodded his head and swung his feet, letting them bounce off of the stone wall of Liz’s balcony. Looking down from his perch on the ledge, he noted how far down the ground was.

“That’s a long jump…and to land on your feet…”

Glancing down too, Isabel nodded. “Yeah…Max was right when he said landing on their feet was an alien trait.” She was leaning on her hips, standing lazily while she looked down.

Hearing Max’s name, Alex glanced back into the bedroom window, watching as Max leaned his back against the headboard of the bed, pulling Liz’s still form close.

“So…they’re pretty close, huh?” he asked, indicating them with a nod. “Like, ‘dating’ close?”

Looking in the window also, Isabel through for a second then replied, “well…Max hasn’t come out and said it yet, but I think they are…he cares for her a lot.”

“How much is a lot?” Alex asked.

Looking back at him, Isabel pondered his question. “Alex…are you jealous?” Her voice was soft and there was a hint of hurt in it.

“No!” he replied quickly. “No, I don’t think of her that way.” Seeing Isabel’s relieved, but slightly confused face, Alex added, “I just--…Liz told me how she feels about Max and I don’t want her to get hurt if Max doesn’t feel the same way.” Looking down, Alex sighed. “I mean, I know I would feel…less then happy if the girl I liked doesn’t feel how I…feel.”

“How does Liz feel?” Isabel asked finally.

Still looking down, he replied, “she feels a lot.”

Smiling softly, Isabel said back, “I’m sure Max feels a lot back too.”

Sitting in silence for a few minutes, Alex bit his bottom lip and looked at Isabel, reaching out to take her hand in his. Smiling, Isabel laced her fingers through his and climbed onto the ledge beside him, looking over the edge.

Watching the morning sun, Isabel laughed softly. “You know, I’ think I’m still in denial.”

“About what?” Alex asked.

Looking at him, she added, “that you accept me even though I’m…different.”

“I always knew you were different, just not how much,” Alex admitted. “And as for me accepting you, that was just natural.” Feeling her face flush, Isabel rolled her eyes and playfully shoved him, laughing softly.

Laughing back, Alex sighed and watched the morning sky for a few moments before letting his eyes drift back toward Liz.

“She’s gonna be ok, Alex,” Isabel told him.

“I know…Max won’t let anything happen to her.”

“He won’t,” Isabel insisted. “We’re gonna figure out why she took over Liz.”

“Do you know…who…took over her—well, her body?”

Sighing, Isabel used her free hand to push her hair back. “It’s kinda complicated. When Max said her name…I had a flash from our…our home planet.”

“A flash? Like a memory?” Alex asked.

“Yeah, like a memory. And in this memory I could feel my mistrust of her, of Ava. I’m almost positive that she had something to do with our death back there.”

There was a heavy silence as they both contemplated what that could mean.
***

Sitting Indian style in the middle of the empty desert, Liz sighed and placed her hand over her eyes, trying to keep the sunlight out. Still not seeing anything, she let her hand fall down to her lap, feeling the hot sun burn into her bare back and limbs. She was glad all she had on was her Bra and underwear, it helped keep her cool, but was confused on why they just suddenly disappeared.

And how could see be out in the desert when she was vaguely aware of the feeling of her bed under her back and could hear soft voices every once in awhile.

Looking forward, Liz saw the air shimmer and cocked her head to one side, watching as two forms took shape in front of her. It was guy and girl. They were dressed in strange clothes and both had a crown of some sort on.

Watching as they stood facing each other, Liz could only make out the shadows of their faces and heard nothing, but she knew they were being pledged to one another.

They’re getting married, she realized. Watching as two more figures appeared a few feet off, another boy and girl set, Liz could feel the contempt and mistrust flowing off them toward the new couple.

Suddenly they were all gone and Liz was on a cliff, looking down onto a huge lake, the water a rusty red. Looking around, she took in the two forms swimming in the water, watching as the thick liquid reformed behind them.

Again, the scene shifted and Liz was looking at two men as they stood before her, recognizing the one as the groom from earlier. They didn’t even seem to notice that she was in her underwear or that she couldn’t even hear them.

Looking around in confusion, Liz blinked when she noticed the cliff was now gone as she was in front of the rock formation, standing on the ledge leading up to the cave entrance.

Feeling the hard rock under her bare feet, Liz walked up to the entrance, feeling like that was the only thing she could do. Going through the opening, Liz looked over her shoulder when the sunlight totally disappeared.

There was now a stone in opening, blocking the light. Going along with the weird dream, Liz walked in further, spotting the pods once more. Stopping short, Liz noticed they all held little fetuses now. Walking closer, she took in the two little boys and two little girls, bobbing in their hibernation state.

Walking even closer, Liz reached out and ran her hand over the front of the top right pod, looking at the little dark haired boy in it. Seeing a red sea flash in front of her eyes, she stroked the filmy cover again, this time seeing him standing still, his back stiff as he recited his vows, clearly not feeling what he was saying. In all the ‘visions’, Liz could never clearly make out his face, but the next flash coming in front of her eyes made Liz gasp.

The guy sitting on a table top in the quad at school, his feet planted on the seat as he had his hands clasped, looking around with boredom written all over his face. Perking up a little, Max focused his eyes on one girl walking out the side doors of the school with some friends.

Opening her eyes as the picture fell away, Liz pulled her hand back slowly. Swallowing, she looked over the other pods and finally returned her gaze to him; to her boyfriend.

Max Evans was in that pod.
And she just realized he was in love with her.
***

Max looked sharply down at Liz as she mumbled his name, her face filled with confusion. Looking around, he noticed Isabel and Alex were talking softly on the balcony, completely lost in their own world, and Michael and Maria were still downstairs.

“Liz…are you awake?” Max asked, sliding his hand down her neck, letting it rest at the edge of the thin sheet, feeling her heart thumping under his palm.

“Max…” Saying his name once more, Liz turned her head, groaning softly.

“Liz…wake up, ok?” he added, placing his other hand on her cheek. “You need to wake up…” Feeling a tingle start in the base of his head, Max closed his eyes as the numbing feeling traveled quickly, going down his spine and spreading through his head at the same time.

His whole world shifted and Max suddenly jumped, feeling his feet land. Opening his eyes, he spun around quickly, finding himself in a dimly lit cave. Confused, Max was about to call out when he saw a body a few feet away, the form backlit by a blue light.

Recognizing the curves of Liz’s body before he could even make out her face, Max rushed forward, pulling her toward him. “Liz!”

Startled by his presence, Liz jumped slightly, then smiled when she saw him. “Max…how did you get here?”

“I don’t know,” he admitted, getting slightly thrown off contact when he looked over her scantily clad body. “But um…where are we?”

Looking over her shoulder, Liz added softly, “your birth place.”

Looking also, Max could feel the air leave his lungs in a rush. There were four pods stacked on a wall, the cocoons filled with a blue substance. He didn’t need to look any closer to know him, Isabel, and Michael inhabited 3 of them.

Which only left Ava to be in the last one.

Her short blonde hair was a little longer now and straight, not curly, and her face was thinner and softer, like she was changing forms.

“She gave her essence to the one who saved her,” Max said without thinking, the words just coming out of his mouth. He had no idea what it meant, but knew it was true.

“Max…I don’t like this…I wanna go home,” Liz said softly, backing up some.

Looking at her, Max could feel some of his defensives coming up. Liz was freaked out by what he was. She didn’t want to be with him now that she knew the ‘truth’.

“She used me to hurt you,” Liz added. “I don’t want to be anywhere near her. Take me away; just you and me.”

Seeing the trust and feelings in her eyes, Max had to swallow back the lump in his throat. Walking over to her, Liz fell into his chest, wrapping her arms around his waist. Holding her back, Max could feel his body reacting to Liz’s bare skin as he rubbed her back. “Liz…”

Pulling her face back, she leaned up, softly kissing his lips, her hands coming up to caress his shoulders and upper arms. Kissing her back, Max deepened it, sliding his tongue into her mouth as she sighed. Not wasting any time, Liz started to pull his shirt off, tossing it to the side when she accomplished her task.

Not knowing where the fueling was coming from for this passionate embrace, Max pushed that thought aside and nipped at Liz’s neck, liking how it vibrated with the little sounds she was making. Feeling her fingers digging into his shoulder blade, Max groaned from the slight pain and pulled her closer, bringing the lower bodies into contact.

Everything was moving so fast, but it felt right like nothing ever had to both of them. Moving their bodies down to the floor, Max laid on his back, letting Liz rest on his chest while they continued to explore each other.

So caught up in their own pleasures and new experiences, neither one noticed when Ava’s pod took on a slight green hue.

Her hair was now brown as she opened her eyes, which were no longer a bright blue, but a deep amber brown.
***
TBC



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 7:43:05 PM
PART 24
Isabel climbed out of the jeep and jogged toward her front door, going over the speech she had prepared on her way home from Alex’s house.

Oh god, Alex…

To say he was little freaked was an understatement. She figured he was handling it well enough considering what she had told him, but he would definitely think about her different now.

Going through the front door, Isabel sighed and leaned her back against it, closing her eyes.

She could still see his eyes after she showed him everything, how they were trained on hers as he opened his mouth and tried to talk, but nothing came out. He seemed truly confused and took a few steps back, prompting Isabel to have a panic attack.

Did he think she was some kind of freak who needed to be annihilated?!

Then he calmly said, “well…I always thought you were different.” And asked to go home and think about some things. Which is where she had just left him a few minutes ago—standing on his front porch in a slight daze.

Taking in a deep breath and squaring her shoulders, Isabel started the short journey to Max’s bedroom to face the firing squad.

Idly, she wondered what she would put on her tombstone…
***

“We need to know who wants these—you said he was an alien.”

Nodding, Max pushed away from the desk and paced the length of his room. “This is all…first these maps then Liz actually goes out into the desert and comes back possessed or some shit and calls me Zan—“

“Zan?” Michael repeated, snorting. “What kind of name is that?”

“I’m more worried about whose name it is,” Max admitted finally, his voice giving away his jealousy.

“You think she’s boinking some other guy?”

Max gave Michael a death look, but didn’t say anything to deny his accusation. What if Liz really was with someone else? What would be do?

My powers would have a field day, he thought darkly.

“Max…you look about ready to kill someone,” Michael commented. “Besides, if she’s with anyone, I’m going with Whitman.”

“Would you get off it?! She’s not with anyone else,” Max exclaimed, wishing he would just shut up.

Shrugging, Michael went back to the maps, leaving Max alone with his thoughts, which were directly on Liz. Sighing, he got up to go and check on her when he heard the front door slam. Freezing, he caught Michael’s look before going to the door, pulling it open to only reveal Isabel getting ready to barge in.

Max opened his mouth to ask about Liz but stopped cold when Isabel blurted quickly, “I told Alex.”

“What?! You told him about us?!” Michael shouted while Max was frozen, his eyes plastered on Isabel’s guilty face. She seemed shocked to find Michael in the room but just swallowed, not denying his question.

“How the hell could you?! Are you stupid; or just have a death wish?!”

Waiting for Isabel to answer, Max could feel his heart constricting.

“I don’t know!” Isabel suddenly exclaimed, her eyes misty. “But I had to do it! I was watching him and—and I just…” Turning to her brother, Isabel added softly, “I finally get it. I understand what you feel for Liz and I know I yelled and accused you of being rash and not thinking, but I was the one not thinking! I just didn’t want to admit that I was jealous of what you had…”

Speechless, Max just watched as Isabel turned back t Michael and added, “Alex is gonna be ok with this; he won’t tell anyone, I know he won’t.”

“How do you know?” Michael threw back harshly.

“I trust him.”

“No, you wanna trust him! The FBI could be on the way here right now!”

“What did you tell him exactly?” Max finally asked, speaking for the first time since Isabel dropped her bomb.

“I didn’t say anything…I um, I showed him; opened a connection,” she admitted.

“Damn Isabel, why didn’t you just draw him instructions on how to dissect us too!” Michael shouted, his voice rising even more. “I don’t know what to do between the two of you! One is spilling our secrets left and right and the other is sleep with humans!”

Glaring at Michael, Max suddenly shouted, “me and Liz didn’t have sex, alright? So leave her the hell outta this!” Storming out of the room, Max went into the living room and stopped, not seeing Liz. Glancing at the bathroom door, he saw it was dark.

Hearing footsteps coming down the hall, he ignored them and went into the kitchen, finding it empty too.

“Max…why didn’t you tell us this morning when I…” Isabel trailed off. “Max, I know—“

“Where’s Liz?” he asked suddenly, cutting her off and glaring at Michael. “She’s gone.”

Sighing, the other boy looked around, his expression agitated. “I was with you; I don’t know where the hell she is.”

“I asked her to stay in the living room.”

Confused, Isabel added, “she wasn’t here when I came in.”

“Look, she probably just went for a walk or something,” Michael added. “But we need to deal with this Alex situation.”

“It’s not a situation!” Isabel exclaimed.

Spotting a note on the counter, Max picked it up and immediately recognized Liz’s handwriting. “When was the last time you saw Alex?” he asked quickly, spinning to look at Isabel.

“I dropped him off then came straight here, why?”

Holding up the note, Max added, “cause it might be a situation,” a pit already starting to churn in his stomach. Liz’s hurried note said simply:

‘Went with Alex. He’s acting weird and I’m worried about him. I’ll talk to you later.
Liz.’
***

Watching the scenery with a confused expression, Liz said slowly, “Alex…the cave is that away,” pointing over her shoulder.

Not saying a word, Alex suddenly cut a sharp U-turn, making Liz cry out in surprise. Staring at him, she swallowed and asked, “are you ok? What did Isabel tell you?”

“I just forget how to get there ok,” he replied stiffly, still not looking at her.

“You forgot how to get to the desert…” Panicking, Liz looked around, hoping to see another car or something, but the street was bare.

“You got the maps?” he asked suddenly.

“The maps?” Liz repeated slowly, chancing a look at her door.

“Yeah…what did you stash them? The fake copies were a ‘genius’ idea…” Alex added, his voice dripping with sarcasm.

Freaking out now, Liz decided to play along. “Right—right, the fake copies that um—that the burglar took…and the real ones that I still have.” There was definitely something wrong here. Either Alex had lost it, or this wasn’t him…

“Where did you put them Liz?”

Stalling, she asked, “where did I tell you I put them?” Scooting closer to her door, Liz tried the door handle, finding it locked.

“Tell me where they are Liz,” Alex repeated, his voice hard and emotionless.

“Alex…what’s going on? You’re scaring me…” Trying the door again, she added, “let me out.”

“Not until you tell me where the maps are!”

Cringing, Liz pressed her back against the glass. “Alex—“

“Ms, Parker, if you value your life, you WILL hand over the maps and hand them over now,” he threatened.

“You’re not Alex,” she stated, her panic rising several notches.

Turning and grinning at her, the Alex double added, “no…and you won’t have long to figure out who I am if you don’t comply.”
***

Isabel shook her head, pulling into Alex’s driveway and spotting his white car. “I told you there was no way he beat me there and had time to usher Liz out.”

“Well, the note said she left with him,” Max pointed out.

“Then the note is wrong.” Getting out, Isabel went to the front porch and pushed the doorbell, waiting with Max and Michael behind her. After a few moments and no one answered, she pressed it again.

“He might be asleep,” she said finally.

“His parents home?” Max asked.

“Coast clear,” Michael said after looking round quickly.

Confused, Isabel watched as Max tried to door and found it unlocked. Pushing it open, Isabel was about to protest when she saw the condition of the house. “What…Alex,” she said, rushing in.

The whole living room was trashed and it looked like someone literally fell through the coffee table. Walking further into the house, Isabel could feel the charge in the air.

Someone had been and here and used powers; lots of power.

“Well, this settles it; Liz isn’t with Alex,” Michael said finally.

“What—what do you think happened to him?” Isabel got out, looking at Max for answers.

“I don’t know…” he said softly.

Worried, Isabel walked around, looking for something to go on as a clue. Panicking, she rushed for the door, calling out, “we gotta find him!”

As soon as her hand touched the doorknob, Isabel closed her eyes as a flash suddenly took over her vision.

*Alex walked out of his house and got into a huge Cadillac, stuffing something into the trunk before getting behind the wheel and driving off. The scene shifted to the trunk, an outline of a body was visible in the darkness. *

Gasping, Isabel pulled out of the flash and looked at her brother and Michael. “Liz did leave with Alex…but it’s not the Alex we think…”
***

Grinding her teeth to keep from calling out, Liz sighed when he released his grip on her arm and shoved her into her bedroom, shutting the door.

“Get ‘em now,” the guy ‘wearing’ Alex’s face ordered.

Swallowing, Liz looked around her room and tried to think of something. What the hell was going on? How did this guy look so much like Alex? And why did he want the maps so bad?

“I um…I forget where I put them,” she said weakly.

Stalking closer to her, Liz backed away, bumping her hip onto the desk. Placing her hands behind her back to steady herself, Liz’s fingers brushed over the extension for her telescope.

The thick, metal, and heavy extension.

“Stop stalling…I want it now. It’s the only way to find the royal four and I will do anything to reach them,” he threatened. “It’s my job and I always do a good one.”

Swallowing, Liz curled her fingers around the extension with a death grip and looked up into Alex’s eyes, reminding herself that it wasn’t really Alex.

“Then…I should too,” she said, quickly wiping the metal rod around and connecting it with the side of his head, the sickening crack making her gag. Alex’s double fell to the ground and Liz stared down at the bloodened telescope extension in her hand, dropping it with a moan and bolting for the door, only to find it locked.

Trying to push the image of Alex’s bloody head from her memory, Liz spun around and raced to her window, sliding it up just as Alex moaned.

Panicking, Liz crawled through and stumbled her way to the fire escape, starting down the ladder as she noticed Alex’s duplicate sitting up slowly. Trying not to slip and fall, Liz climbed down the ladder quickly, jumping the last few feet to the ground and turning around.

Finding herself face to face with a bloody Alex, Liz screamed and pushed herself up against the wall of the Crashdown.

Reaching up to pull his hand away filled with blood, the guy stared at it. “I’m still not used to this whole ‘bleeding’ thing. It gets rather annoying.”

Watching with wide eyes, Liz stared as he ran his hand over the wound, making the blood and deep gash disappear. “That’s much better. Now…you better take heed or you might end up like your little friend.”

Waving his hand at the car, Liz looked out the corner of her eye and saw the trunk pop open to reveal Alex’s limp body. Her blood running cold, Liz sobbed and raced over to him. “Alex!!” Crying, she was relieved to find his skin still warm and his chest still moving up and down.

He was alive.

“Alex…Alex, please wake up,” she sobbed, trying to pull him out of the cramped space. Moaning, Alex’s eyes started to flutter and he groggily pushed his body up, opening his eyes.

“Liz? What…” His eyes becoming alert, he jumped up and pulled her close. “Oh god, some guy came to my house and wanted to hurt you…” Trailing off, Alex looked past Liz and paled. “What the hell…”

Looking too, Liz swallowed and moved in closer to Alex as the guy approached, still looking like Alex. “Well…hate to spoil such a nice reunion, but we have some work to do.”
***
TBC

PART 25
Michael huffed as they climbed out of the jeep, looking up at the dark house. “She’s not even home!” he complained.

Sighing, Isabel muttered something under her breath before adding, “she’s the only person who they would contact!“

Looking peeved, Michael just sighed and leaned his hip along the jeep.

“Good, now…go Max,” Isabel instructed.

Knowing he was the only one that she would actually talk to, Max took a deep breath and got out, going up onto the porch and knocking. Not getting an answer, Max knocked again while a familiar feeling came over his stomach.

The others must have had the same thought because they started forward. “She’s not home; please tell me she’s just not home,” Isabel said. “We don’t need her in on this too.”

“Well, I think coming here kinda does that,” Michael muttered.

“We’re just here to ask her if she’s heard from them,” Max explained, walking over to look in the front window. The living room and foyer was empty.

“And then what?”

“Tell her thanks for info, and no thanks for no info,” Isabel replied hotly. “Just shut the hell up and help us.”

“Please, like you even care about Liz—you’re only here cause of Whitman.”

Looking at his sister quickly, Max said, “we’re here for both, ok Michael?” Going off the porch, he added, “I’m going around back!”

“I’m coming with you,” Isabel exclaimed, running to catch up.

Waiting a beat, Michael sighed then rounded the corner, walking casually.
***

Closing the door to the spare room, Maria waited a beat then crept over to the window, the moonlight shining in on her face. Slowly pushing up the window, she looked out and sighed, noticing her mothers’ roses.

“Sorry, mom, but they may get trampled,” she mumbled, sliding out of the window on her stomach, stretching to the touch her feet to the ground before she slipped into the bushes.

“Need some help?”

Hearing the voice, Maria shrieked and fell down to her knees, just barley missing her mothers’ flowers. Thanking the earth for at least that, she looked up from the ground, eyeing her semi-attacker.

“Oh…this is perfect,” she muttered, hanging her head and shaking it. "Hello, again, Max—what brings ya to my neck of the woods? With your little gang, none the less.”

Seeing the looks crossing between him, his sister, and Michael Guerin, Maria sat up straighter. “What’s going on?”

“Have you seen Liz?” Max asked.

“Or Alex?” Isabel added.

Getting up to her feet, Maria eyed her. “Since when do you wonder where Alex is?” she asked wearily.

“We just wanna know, so if you’re gonna help, great. If not, shut the hell up,” Michael told her. Maria’s mouth dropped and she stared at him.

“Michael,” Max warned, his voice hard with anger and authority. Looking back at Maria, he added, “we’re just looking for Liz and Alex. Have you seen or heard from them?”

Finally looking away from Michael, Maria looked into Max’s eyes and paused. Sighing, she admitted, “I haven’t heard from Alex since this morning and I left Liz with you…” Trailing off, Maria paled and looked away before looking back. “What happened?”

“Nothing,” Max said after a moment. “We just—“

“What…happened?” she repeated, stressing the words. When Isabel looked down guiltily, Maria moaned and asked, “where is she?”

“We don’t know,” Max said softly. “We were hoping you had heard from them.”

“Them…Alex is gone too?!” Walking past them, Maria raced around front.

Following, Max, Isabel, and Michael watched as she hopped in a little red jetta before cursing. “I forgot mom took my keys…” Getting back out, she ignored them and started to walk down the street.

“Where are you going?” Isabel called out to her.

“To find my friends—not that you care!”

“We wouldn’t be here if we didn’t care!” Max threw back, starting to follow her. “Do you know where they would go?”

“If they’re somewhere in Roswell—I’ll find them.” Shaking her head, Maria added, “I knew something was up when they got back from that trip today!”

Isabel suddenly asked, “trip? What trip?!”

“I don’t know,” Maria added, stopping to look at them with frustration. “Someplace in the desert!”

“The rock formation,” she whispered. “Alex told me that it was Liz’s idea or something that made them look into it.”

“What are you talking about?” Maria asked, walking a few feet back toward them to meet Max, who was sharing a look with his sister.

“Liz’s idea?” he asked slowly.

“Liz…” Isabel repeated, looking right back.

“What are you guys—“ Michael stopped and looked at Max suddenly. “The flashes.”

“What?” Maria repeated. “Flashes?”

“It does have something to do with us; what we are,” Isabel said, her voice shaky.

“We’re going; now!” Max instructed, going toward the jeep with Michael and Isabel in toe.

Watching them with a confused expression, Maria suddenly came to and raced after them. “Hey—you know more then you’re letting on, don’t you?!”

“Just get in if you’re coming,” Max exclaimed, gunning the engine as he started the vehicle.

Casting a quick look at the empty seat beside Michael in the back, Maria swallowed and jumped in.
***

Huddled in the corner of the door, Liz tried her best to get as far away from the guy in the front seat as she could. He still looked like Alex and Liz clutched the real Alex closer, feeling a little relieved when he squeezed her hand.

Taking in a shaky breath, she closed her eyes and willed herself to wake-up from this nightmare. Opening, she held back a sob when she was still in the car and that THING was still driving them farther and farther away from civilization.

“So, I’m guessing I go about 75 miles outta town, right?”

Ignoring him, Liz tried her door one more time, finding it still locked. Feeling helpless, she started to cry, prompting Alex to draw her close.

“It’s gonna be ok, Liz,” he whispered in her ear.

“How…how?” Looking back up at her close friend, Liz pulled back some. “How can he look like you Alex? How can he know about the maps? And where are the maps? With all these questions, how can it be ok?”

Licking his lips, Alex pulled her face closer and looked right into her eyes. “Do you trust me?”

Shocked, Liz paused a beat. “You know I do…”

“Then trust me when I say this is all gonna be ok.”

Looking back at him, Liz nodded. There was something in his voice that made her think he knew what he was talking about.

“Now…” Casting a quick look at the guy, Alex whispered, “we just have to find a way to let Isabel know we’re heading to the rocks…”

“Isabel?” Liz whispered back, confused. “What does she—“

Suddenly pulling the car to a stop, the Alex double turned to them. “Tell me their names, now,” he ordered. “I want all of the royal fours names.”

“Royal four…” Liz whispered, remembering him saying that earlier.

Alex held his ground and his jaw tight, just staring his double down.

Sighing, the other guy said, “is this creepy for you? Will this help?” Raising his hand, Liz watched with a shocked face as the car was let up by a bright white, making her turn her head eventually. The car shook slightly and Liz sealed her eyes, trying not to cry out in fear.

Feeling everything settle down, she reopened her eyes and gasped, pushing her back into the door, ignoring the pain as the handle jammed into her lower back.

Suddenly Jim Valenti was sitting in the front seat, a sadistic grin on his face.
***
TBC

PART 26
Liz and Alex both stared at the older ‘man’ in the front seat of the car with shock and fear. Alex, having some forward knowledge of the possibility of bad aliens, as Isabel Evans had put it, was then first to break the silence.

“Sh—sheriff?”

Waving his hand, the guy in the front seat said, “I prefer to be called Nasedo.”

“But…but you’re Jim Valenti…”

Looking down at himself, Nasedo nodded in approval. “It is very close and detailed, isn’t it?”

Feeling sick to her stomach, Liz muttered, “you’re not him…”

“No, thank goodness. Valenti wouldn’t know his ass from an alien’s.”

“Alien…” Liz repeated, her face showing doubt, but her eyes were wide with the prospects.

Nodding, Nasedo held up his hand and a ball of light appeared, as if trying to prove his point. “Pretty nifty trick, huh?”

Liz was speechless, so Alex stepped up to the bat and added, “yay…you’re a human flashlight,” in a calm voice, but his insides were jumping and his mind was screaming for help.

This was bad.

Suddenly the ball of light darkened and Nasedo’s face was covered in shadows.

And it was gonna get worse.
***

Maria eyed Michael as he crossed his arms, apparently not happy with the present circumstances. Eyeing the space between them in the backseat of the jeep, she shifted further away, trying to make it look natural.

Michael Guerin was what he mother would call a ‘vibrator. He just gave off these signals and right now, he was ticked off; royally ticked off.

And she didn’t want to be anywhere around when he went off.

Looking up at the house, Maria wondered where Max and his sister were doing. After she jumped, stupidly without thinking, mind you, into their jeep, they had driven here hastily, arguing over who would wait with her in the car and who would go inside to get something.

Like she needed a bodyguard.

As it was well guessed, Michael lost and was on guard duty, which looked like mentally sleeping from Maria’s point of view. Did the guy even know how to speak?

Sighing with frustration and looking back at the road, Maria wondered what was so damn important in Max Evans house and would help them find Alex and Liz.

Yeah, like they magically have some map that locates where they’re headed, she thought miserably. Hearing the front door slam and hurried footsteps, Maria looked over to see Isabel and Max jogging toward them.

“Got the maps,” Isabel called out, climbing in as Max hopped behind the wheel and started the jeep.

Wide eyed, Maria mumbled, “or I could be wrong,” which got her a look from Michael. Ignoring it, she strained to see what the maps located as Isabel unfolded them, their only light the street lamps as Max raced down the road, pointing the vehicle outta town.

“About 75 miles…then we’ll hit a fork in the road and we go right,” Isabel instructed.

“75 miles?” Maria asked, getting a look from Isabel, who seemed surprised to hear her speak up. “75 miles what? Why would Liz and Alex travel that far?”

Isabel looked back down at the map and Max shifted gears, the engine roaring the only sound in the car. Swallowing, Maria looked at Max and Isabel’s back before turning to Michael. “Michael…what’s going on?”

Looking at their backs also, Michael muttered something under his breath before turning to her. Her face was filled with worry and he paused.

“Michael…” Maria added, her voice filled with apprehension.

“Liz and Alex aren’t just missing,” he admitted finally.

“Then what are they?” Maria asked, her voice rising a little.

Michael hesitated and Max filled in, “they were taken by one of our enemies.”

“What?” Maria screeched. “Taken? Enemies?!”

“Maria—“ Isabel tried, hoping to calm the girl down.

“What the hell kinds of stuff are into that makes you have enemies?!”

Knowing she was being ignored, Isabel went back to the map, glad that they had hit the desert before Maria’s outburst.

“Somebody better answer me!!”

“It’s complicated,” Max told her, his patience wearing thin. He was worried enough about Liz, plus Alex, and did not need Maria getting on his nerves.

“Complicated, complicated?” she mocked. “My two best friends are missing; possibly taken hostage by someone who dislikes you, so I think I deserve a explanation!!”

Isabel finally turned around completely in her seat. “Maria! You might deserve to know som—“

“Damn right I deserve!” Maria added.

Michael, about ready to blow, turned to the hysterical girl. “Listen, you need to shut the hell up and—“

“Do NOT tell me to shut up when the people I love and care about could get hurt,” she threatened, her voice barley controlling her anger.

Michael opened her mouth to speak, but Max beat him to it. “Just, everybody stop!” he ordered, bringing complete silence to the vehicle.

Maria wiped at the angry tears that had escaped during her rant and took in a deep, shaky breath, hoping to calm down some. Getting upset and exploding at the others, who were trying to help Liz and Alex too, wasn’t going to help or get her friends out of danger quicker.

Focusing on the sound of the wind wiping around the jeep, Maria looked around and realized they were heading into the desert. Putting two and two together, she looked at Isabel.

“We’re going to that rock formation; the one Alex talked about, aren’t we?”

Looking down at the map, Isabel was trying her best to keep it flat as the wind wiped at the corners of the paper. “Yeah…that’s where they’re headed.”

“And by they you mean…” she added, trying to keep her voice calm and even.

“We don’t know exactly.”

“Just that they have Liz and Alex.” Max’s voice was hard with anger and Maria saw how he clenched his jaw to keep from saying more.

Confused and worried for her friends, Maria was finding it hard to keep her emotions in check. “Then how do you know it has something to do with you? What could make you guys so sure they’re even in danger?!”

“Cause we do, ok? We know!” Michael bit out.

“Oh…that’s great; you know. We’ll, do you care to let me in on what you know to be SO important?”

“Not really,” he replied.

“This isn’t helping,” Isabel exclaimed, turning her face toward them and Maria noticed for the first time how worried she looked. “We have to work together to get them back!”

Shifting the gears once more, Max made the jeep lurched forward, picking up more speed. “How much further?”

“About 50 miles,” Isabel said finally.

Feeling the vehicle more forward even more, Maria saw Max’s foot press down harder on accelerator.
***

Liz numbly looked out the window, trying to comprehend all she had learned. The guy in the front seat, who was calling himself ‘Nasedo’, had self-proclaimed himself an alien.

There was an alien driving the car she was riding in.

And he had taken her and one of her close friends hostage.

AND, he had broken into her house a few days ago to steal the maps that she and said friend had stumbled upon after her make-out session with her boyfriend.

Nope, this was better then an after school special, her muddled brain deducted.

“You know, the crash is about 75 miles outta town…so I’m gonna drive that far, then you can tell me where to go,” Nasedo proclaimed, turning on the radio.

Pushing the music away from her mind, Liz closed her eyes and willed the car away, ‘Nasedo’ away, even Alex away and pictured her cozy bedroom. She could feel the bed under her back and see the walls around her.

Opening her eyes, Liz whimpered helplessly and turned to Alex.

Taking in her grim expression, she knew he was trying to think of a way out for them. He kept reassuring her that everything was ok, but she knew it wasn’t. Liz wanted to grab him and scream ‘there’s an alien driving us into the desert!!!’, but curbed the impulse.

But she needed to do something; needed HIM to do something. Alex was being way to calm about all this. Why wasn’t he freaked like she was? They just learned that alien DID exist!! They could be planning on taking over the earth right now, and Alex hadn’t even batted an eyelash yet!!

Although, the one a few feet away didn’t really care about taking over the earth; he was too obsessed with finding the ‘royal four’, whoever they were. But he was convinced that they knew them.

“About 10 more miles,” he said in a singsong voice, obviously liking how nervous they were. The voice and face of sheriff Valenti combined was too creepy and Liz noticed that Alex even flinched at the image.

“Could you at least change into someone else? Preferably some one we DON’T know,” Alex muttered.

Nasedo seemed to consider this for a moment before adding, “naw. I like this body; it wields power. Plus, it is a little comforting to Ms. Parker here.”

Liz shrunk back when he eyed her in the rearview mirror. “Why is that?” she finally managed to ask.

“Why, after your little performance today for ‘my’ young son Kyle, I thought you resented all Valenti’s.”

“Kyle…today?” Liz repeated, totally confused. “I didn’t see Kyle today…” Looking at Alex for support, she was surprised to see his guilty face. “Alex?”

“Actually…you did see him,” he admitted finally.

Whistling, Nasedo smiled up in the front seat. “It was quite a little scene too. I was wondering what had gotten into you, but I could see how he could make anyone react like that.”

“You were there?” Alex asked in a monotone voice, like he was thinking really hard.

“Right corner booth.”

Confused and a little scared at what might have happened, Liz turned to her friend. “Alex…what—what is…’he’ talking about? I didn’t see Kyle today!”

Suddenly the old Cadillac came to a stop and Nasedo turned in his seat, still wearing the face of Jim Valenti. “75 miles. Where to now?” h asked in a hard voice.

Glancing out the corner of her eye, Liz could make out the fork in road through the moonlight, meaning that the formation was right over the horizon toward the right, the top jutting upward.

Alex too, was purposely keeping his eyes from the right. Looking right into his eyes, Alex said slowly. “We are not telling you anything.” His voice was brave, but Liz could see his eyes were jumping and his hands were gripping into the seat for control.

Nasedo, seeing this too, smiled, knowing they indeed did know what he needed. “Well…I gave you a choice—“ Reaching out, his finger collided with Alex’s temple and his eyes rolled back into his head instantly, his body falling backwards.

“—And you chose wrong.”

Liz screamed and reached for her friend, pulling him toward her in a feeble attempt to keep him upright. “Alex…” she cried feeling his neck for a pulse, but not finding one. Placing a hand over his heart and grabbing his wrist with her free one, Liz concentrated the best she could, trying to feel something; anything, even if it was just a thump under her palm.

Paling, she dropped his hand and looked down at his face, pulling her hand back from his chest.

Alex’s heart was beating anymore.

He was dead…
***
TBC



PART 27
Alex pulled Liz’s limp body against him, his mouth mumbling incoherently as he tried to wake her up. It wasn’t too long before he realized that she wasn’t waking up.

Nasedo, watching the scene with interest, rubbed at his head. Feeling the charge in the air, he sighed, lightly letting the air in the car shift to accommodate his powers. Looking back at the boy once more, Nasedo noticed he was trying mouth to mouth to reprieve the fallen girl.

Shrugging, Nasedo switched gears and stopped this mind warp, letting it slid out of view and the scene shifted to Alex’s limp body lying on the seat, with Liz hovering over him.

Deception was the easiest way to find out what he wanted. Who wouldn’t spill info for a friends’ life? He just had to find out who had more info. Keeping up one mind warp was though, but 2 was even harder. And doing them both at the same time was even more complicated.

“He can’t die…please help him!!” Liz screamed.

“You help me and I’ll help you,” Nasedo said, pushing the other mind warp back at the moment. He needed to know what little Miss Parker knew. “Where are the royal four?!”

“I don’t know—just help him,” she sobbed.

Sighing, Nasedo was tempted to blast her but opted to slip back and try his other option. Switching the realities for his purpose once more, Nasedo watched as everything in the backseat seemed to melt as the 2 teens switched places and Liz was now on the seat, Alex still trying to revive her with CPR.

He had to choose one reality to go with, and the teens answer was the deciding vote. The girl obviously didn’t know anything. She didn’t even stop to think before telling him she didn’t.

“You tell me what I want to know and she lives,” he ordered, getting right to the point.

He saw the younger man consider his options and Nasedo grinned. This one knew more then he was letting on.

Bingo.

They had a winner.
***

Alex seemed to waver on control as he stared down at his friend. What was he going to do? If he told him about Isabel and the others, they could get taken away and maybe even hurt for what they were.

But if he didn’t, Liz was already hurt and would die. He had to choose between his best friends’ life and the lives of a girl he could possible love and her family.

Closing his eyes, Alex could feel the tears threatening to spill. Opening them back up again, he regarded Nasedo with a haunted expression.

The answer was clear and he had to choose it.
***

Max’s foot continued to push down harder on the gas as he felt a pain run across his mind, making his eyes dim a little. He could feel the wind whipping around his face, but Max was suddenly filled in a black void. Liz was crying and weeping openly, crying for help.

Feeling his insides churn at the desperation in her voice, Max let out a strangled cry and felt hands griping his, pulling him away from the wheel and his foot was being shoved off the gas also.

He could hear people yelling at him, but all that mattered was the void and Liz’s sobs, breaking him over and over again.

“Max!” a loud voice yelled, finally bringing him back from the brink of insanity.

Opening his eyes slowly, Max registered that they jeep was sideways in the road, and Isabel was shaking him, her face filled with tears as she called out to him.

“Wake up!!” Michael screamed, slapping him hard on the back while Maria was trying to climb over him to get out of the vehicle.

“You people are crazy!” she screamed, finally getting out. “What the hell happened to him?!”

“You saw him,” Michael yelled back at her. “He blacked out for a sec, ok?!”

“Liz,” Max exclaimed, fully back in this reality. “She’s hurt…”

“What?” Isabel asked.

“How do you know that?” Maria demanded, coming a few feet closer but still keeping some distance.

Max wasn’t sure what happened while he was out, but he assumed it was enough to scare Maria and make her jump out of the car. He must have lost control of the jeep.

“Is Alex ok?” Isabel added.

“I don’t—I don’t know. But we have to get there, NOW!”

“What is going on?!!!” Maria demanded again, her voice shaking.

“Get in the car,” Michael ordered her.

“Uh-huh; he nearly killed us!”

“Get in Maria,” Isabel urged. “This is Liz and Alex’s only hope; we have to get there!!”

Michael, climbing out of the jeep, took her elbow and added, “get in; I’ll drive.”

“Like that makes me feel better,” she added, but Max noted how she got in anyway. He figured that Isabel’s statement made an impact. Climbing into the back beside the other girl, Isabel let Max slide into the passenger seat while Michael got behind the wheel.

Praying they would make it in time, Max held on as Michael brought the jeep back to life and flew down the road.
***

Looking up at the rock formation, Alex could feel the coldness radiating off of the other guy all the way down to his bones. Casting another look at the Cadillac, Alex could see Liz’s form on the back seat.

Seeing his attention was on the girl also, Nasedo said, “she continues to live…if you tell me what I want to know. What are their names?”

The guilt was rising and taking Alex over in waves, but he COULD NOT let Liz die. No matter how much he might hurt Isabel, he wouldn’t let Liz die for this.

Isabel could still have a chance if this guy found out. Alex could warn her and the others and they could get away. But Liz didn’t have that choice. She would die if he didn’t stop it.

“Isabel Evans, Max Evans, and Michael Guerin,” Alex whispered, his eyes focused on Liz the entire time.

He had to do this.

Seeing movement in the back of the car, Alex’s heart jumped and he raced toward it, pulling Liz close as she stood up and stared ahead at the rock formation.

Alex didn’t know how or care what was going on, but it didn’t matter. Liz was alive and ok. “Liz…god, you’re ok.”

Ignoring him, she continued to stare at the rocks, her eyes emotionless. Alex looked back over at Nasedo, but stopped, realizing that he seemed just as confused.

If he didn’t bring Liz back, who did?
***

Liz watched as the blue light engulfed her, making her skin crawl and her body ache as she cried out in a silent pain, her eyes sealed shut.

Then it was over.

Opening her eyes, Liz only saw blue. Everything was blue. The sand, the rocks, the few shrubs, the moon, the sky; it was all blue.

And she was suddenly alone.

Panicking, Liz called out and moved, feeling the thick web over her skin. Looking around, she realized that everything was blue because it was covered in a blue substance. A thick, Jell-O like substance.

Moving forward once more, Liz spotted the rock formation and made it her destination as she fought her way against the filmy sea. After what felt like hours, Liz reached the incline and started up, her efforts being torn back down by the waves of blue pushing her back.

“No!” she screamed, forcing her body forward. She had to reach the cave, had to reach what was inside.

She could make all of this better if she got there. Inside laid the key to all of this, and she was the only one who could fix it.
***

Liz’s body stopped a few feet in front of Nasedo and Alex watched with wide eyes as she held her chin high.

Nasedo, looking deep into her eyes, seemed furious for a moment before doubling back, his face pale. “You can’t be here…”

Liz, her face seething with anger, advance on him. “I have been waiting for this and nothing will stop me from attaining my goal. You nor them.”

“You will not get away with this,” Nasedo vowed, but Alex could see his demeanor was less intimidating.

Looking back at his friend, Alex noted how stiff she looked, like she wasn’t herself…like someone else was in control of her body

Hearing the squeal of tires, Alex looked over her shoulder and saw the trail of dust as a vehicle came racing toward them, still too far away to know who it was.

“Do you really think you’ll save them? You couldn’t do it then and you won’t do it now,” Liz said, her voice hard and full of confidence. “You, their measly protector, have been searching for years for them and have yet to see what was right under your eyes. I will have him once more.”

“I will die before you harm our king,” Nasedo vowed.

“What is going on?” Alex exclaimed, not being able to take it anymore. The vehicle was growing closer by the second and Alex chanced another look, noticing that it was jeep—and had Max and Michael were in the front seat.

Growling, Liz turned her attention on Alex and lifted her palm, a dark light erupting from him and tossing him into the air. Yelling Alex landed a good 20 feet away, winded and filled in pain.

A second later the jeep was there, just barley missing his legs. He opened his eyes and watched as Max jumped out, racing back towards Liz with Michael on this trail as Isabel raced to his side.

“Alex, are you ok?” she asked, gently touching his face.

“What happened?” another voice asked and Alex noticed Maria was there too. “Where’s Liz?”

Remembering what had happened, Alex suddenly bolted up, groaning as his bones protested. “Max and Michael…Liz will hurt them…” he managed out.

Maria, getting the drift, helped Alex up and along with Isabel they started toward Liz, Max, Michael, and Nasedo. Reaching the guys, Alex opened his mouth to warn them but stopped.

Max was standing still, gazing at Liz while she walked toward him slowly, her eyes trained on his. Looking over her shoulder, Alex saw that Nasedo was on the ground, his body still.

“That’s not Liz…” Max said finally as the other teens reached his back, flanking out behind him while the Liz double simply stared back at them.
***
TBC

PART 28
Liz reached the top of the incline, panting for breath and trying not to collapse in weakness. She spotted the opening like she knew would and wondered aimlessly how she actually knew it would be there. Shrugging it off, Liz ignored her body’s pleas for rest and urged on, going blindly into the darkness.
***

Max watched as she walked closer, her lips invited as she said softly, “come to me Zan…we can be together…”

“Who’s Zan?” Maria asked.

Feeling the pull to go, Max stepped a few closer, eyeing her carefully.

“Max…” Isabel said, reaching out for him.

Ignoring her, he waited for Liz to reach him before closing his eyes as she touched him, her hands tracing every inch of his face.

“You loved it when I touched you,” she whispered in his ear. “ You said your skin felt like it was on fire and that my hands were the only cure.”

Feeling light headed, Max knew he should pull away but something was holding him near.

“Even in our last moments together you cried out for my touch…for my love.”

“Max…get away from her,” Michael said, his voice low and urgent.

Trying to form some thoughts, Max knew that Michael was right; he needed to get away. As if feeling him pull away some, Liz fumed and threw her hand out, making a blue light emit and surround them, keeping the others out.

“I WILL have you again,” Liz vowed, her eyes lightening to a bright blue within seconds. Tracing his lips with her finger, she added, “I can not wait to hear you say my name…tell me it…Zan, tell me it.”

Closing his eyes, Max could faintly hear the others in the background, yelling at him, but they all seemed so far away. Feeling his body tingle, Max opened his mouth and answered her request.

Her name; he knew it. He’d always known it deep down.

“Ava…”
***

Liz entered the chamber and froze, spotting the incubation pods on the wall. There were four of them. And one was still occupied. Walking closer, she looked all around before coming to stand in front of it.

The little girl’s blonde hair circled her tiny body as it bopped in the blue goo, well preserved even though it was meant to have hatched years ago.

Getting down on her knees, Liz wiped at the see-through cover, pulling more of the goo away. Some of it was leaking from a crack near the top and Liz knew that was how she got out.

How she got into her body.

Raging at the thought of someone using her as weapon against Max, Liz backed up, looking around the floor before crawling a few feet away. Bringing the large rock back over, she stopped, resting a moment.

Her body was still weak from the fight to get here and she needed to rest a moment. Closing her eyes, Liz gasped when she suddenly saw herself and Max outside, their bodies surrounded by a light.

“No!” she screamed, instantly knowing that the force over her body was planning on killing Max and the others.

With renewed strength, Liz picked up the boulder and raised it above her head, bringing it down in one swift motion toward the pod.
***

Maria was frozen as she stared at the blue light, reaching out to finally touch it, finding it hard and soft at the same time. It shook suddenly and she glanced over to see Michael was throwing his shoulder against it.

“Max!” Isabel screamed again, pounding her fists into the blue shield.

“That…person…she’ll hurt him,” Alex added.

“She’ll kill him! I can feel it!” Michael exclaimed. “She did it once, she’ll do it again.”

“You know who that really is?” Maria asked, finally admitting that someone or something had taken over her friends’ body.

“I remember—she killed us,” Isabel cried.

“Stand back,” Michael ordered, raising his palm.

Feeling Alex and Isabel pulling her back, Maria obeyed. Watching Michael, she gasped as a ball of light erupted from his palm and flew toward Max and Liz.

Squeezing her eyes shut, Maria was too scared to open them up and see what happened.
***

Max kept his eyes closed, his body going insane as Ava’s hands explored his chest, her mouth right below his ear, her breathing sending chills down his spine.

“You used to call out your admiration to me while we made love…there was nothing else like your hot body above mine…”she whispered seductively.

Processing it in his mind, Max noted how it was deeper and throatier then Liz’s.

Liz!

Her name exploded in his mind and Max shook his head. What was he doing? Ava had killed him…

“Kiss me Zan,” Ava instructed, making him look her in the eyes. “Kiss me…”

Not being able to look away, Max swallowed and leaned forward, doing as she said. Suddenly her eyes flashed from their now blue color and were once more Liz’s deep chocolate brown and Max pulled back, staggering from Ava’s grasp.

There was a slight sizzle over his back and Max saw the blue around them was fading. Ava, her eyes going back and forth between blue and brown, growled, her face twisted in a sneer.

“Don’t try and fight it Zan…you are mine.” Coming toward him once more, she pulled him close.
***

Grunting with the force, Liz brought the rock down once more, this time smashing the front of the pod, spilling blue goo all over her clothes and lap. The small body fell forward and Liz looked down, paralyzed as it simply laid still.

Feeling the room shift, Liz leaned toward, trying to not get sick. Closing her eyes, she suddenly saw nothing but black.
***

Feeling his control coming back, Max said finally, “my name is Max,” and shoved her away, watching as she fell onto her back.

Glaring up at him, Ava’s voice deepened even more as she said, “you were worthless then and are now. I will kill you all…”

Max was about to respond when she suddenly screamed, the voice thick and raspy as she threw her head back in agony. Her mouth was filling with blue goo, the substance flowing down her neck and chin.

“Max…”she choked out.

Looking down, he saw her eyes were once more brown and totally terrified.

“Liz!” Falling to his knees, Max pulled her close, turning her face downward and wiping the blue substance away, urging it out with his fingers as he tried to clear out her air hole. His whole body was shaking with the force of his emotions as the idea of losing her was becoming a reality.

Her could hear her gasping as she tried to catch her breath and he prayed silently as he rubbed her back and continued to empty her mouth of the substance. Liz started to cough, her breathing returning to normal and Max wiped the rest away before pulling her close, realizing she was gonna ok. The force field around them suddenly dropped and everyone raced forward, wanting to find out what happened.

Max simply looked down at Liz, who was curled up in his lap, her face pressed into his chest. Pulling her closer still, he ignored everyone for now, just enjoying the feeling of Liz in his arms.
***
TBC


PART 29
Maria sighed and stood up, stretching her muscles as she reached high above her head. Yawning, she rubbed at her eyes and looked out the window, seeing the sun was just starting to advance over the horizon. Watching it for a few minutes, Maria walked over to the window, thinking about crawling out onto the balcony, but finally deciding not to.

Turning back to the room, Maria rubbed at her neck. Looking at Liz’s sleeping form, she walked back over, pulling the wet cloth off and walking toward the bathroom to re-wet it. Turning on the cold water, Maria ran her fingers under it, waiting for it to reach its peak of coldness.

Soaking the little hand-towel, Maria ringed it loosely and walked back into the bedroom, carefully putting it over Liz’s forehead. Brushing her hair away, Maria felt how damp it was from her sweating and her skin was still hot.

Afraid to actually turn on the AC for fear of what would happen, Maria quickly opened the window’s hoping that would help her best friend. Liz had been asleep every since last night. Her skin was hot and she was sweating profoundly.

But it was no where near to what it was last night…

Hearing a knock on the door, Maria glanced at the clock. It had been about 15 minutes since the last knock.

He was right on time.

“Go away!” she called out, glancing back at Liz.

“DeLuca, I want to know how she is,” Max said through the thick door.

“She’s fine. I’m looking at her right now,” Maria said back, pulling off her sheet. Her whole body: legs, arms, stomach, were hot and she was sweaty.

“Is she still hot?”

“It’s getting better; she’s not shaking anymore. And the fever is down.” Liz turned her head and Maria brushed her hair back once more, once more feeling her hot skin, but relieved that it was indeed getting better.

“Good, good. Open the door.”

“You’re not coming in Max. Look, she’s still pretty hot and all she’s got on is her under…garments—so your teenager filled hormone body is staying out!”

She could hear Max sighing on the other side of the door and Michael, who was out there also, mumbled something about opening the door. “Don’t even think about it mister,” Maria said suddenly. “Aliens powers or what not, I will kick your booty if you come in here!”

When the guys didn’t argue anymore, Maria sighed and took some time to reflect on what she just said.

Alien powers?

“My life is so wrong,” She moaned. Looking down at her friend, Maria added, “I mean, it’s ironic. The 2 hottest guys in school are aliens and, of course, we both fall for ‘em.”

Maria had yet to admit it to anyone, barley even herself, but damn, Michael Guerin was hot and well, she was liking how they were all suddenly thrown together.

But she was NOT happy about HOW they were thrown together.

Her best friend was ‘possessed’ or some shit like that by a bad alien, there were actual aliens on earth, and three of them had been hiding in her plain sight for years.

And, in this very emotional and traumatized time, Maria DeLuca was actually considering the option of dating one of them!

Not that she’d be alone. Liz and Max were pretty much an item, not that they’d really said it officially yet, and Alex and Isabel…well, Maria wasn’t sure of what was going on there. Alex told her how Isabel had kissed him and everything.

Thinking about her other best friend, Maria called out, “are Alex and Isabel back yet?”

There was a slight pause as Max called back, “not yet…they should be soon though; very soon.”

Alex and Isabel had left late last night, or well, early this morning to go back out to the rock formation to see what had happened. Liz kept mumbling something about a room and eggs; whatever that meant. Plus the fact that Liz was taken over by some alien and a blue…goo…was flowing out of her mouth, they were all in a hurry to find out what caused it.

Suddenly there was some commotion from out in the hallway and Maria could hear Alex and Isabel’s voice. Checking Liz once more, she found her skin less hot and she seemed to be sleeping more restful now. Sighing in relief, Maria walked over to the door just as it was opening.

“Max—“

“I’m not Max,” Isabel said, walking in with Alex in toe.

“How’s she doing?” Alex asked quickly, going straight over to Liz’s side.

Isabel was shutting the door as Max tried to come in. “Alex is a guy!” he protested as Maria ran to Liz’s bed.

“You might as well let him in,” Isabel added.

“She’s in her underwear,” Maria said.

“Um…nice bra,” Alex commented suddenly, making Max’s nose flare and him come storming in the room anyway. Stalking over to the bed, he glanced down and stopped, realizing that Alex wasn’t seeing Liz in her bra.

She was now covered by the sheet.

Getting a glare from Max, Alex said, “sorry—I couldn’t help it.” Getting a look from Isabel also, Alex added, “yeah; not a good time to joke.”

Michael, who had come into the room also, shook his head and asked, “whatcha find?”

Sighing, Isabel glanced at Alex before replying, “nothing.”

Max, moving to sit on the bed while stroking Liz’s hair in a comforting pattern, added, “what about the formation?”

“I touched it and…” she trailed off, watching how Max was being with Liz.

Alex, also noticing the signs of intimacy with how Max was treating one of his close friends, cleared his throat and said finally, “um…we looked all around and couldn’t find an entrance for a cave.”

“What about ‘eggs’. She kept mumbling something about ‘eggs’,” Maria added.

“Nothing even remotely shaped like an egg,” Isabel answered.

“Did you roam out some? It could’ve been another rock or shit,” Michael demanded.

“We roamed,” Alex added, getting kinda defensive at his tone. “We didn’t see anything.”

Michael eyed Alex and the two men stood like that, glaring back and forth. Rolling her eyes, Isabel muttered, “good way to help guys.”

“Isabel’s right,” Maria said quickly, surprising everyone in the room and herself with how quick she came to the others girl defense. “We need to work together to find out what happened to Liz.”

“What about the guy? What did he say his name was?” Max asked Alex.

“um…Noseda, Norega; something along those lines,” Alex said after thinking. “It was really weird…”

“He was gone also. There wasn’t any trace of him ever even being there,” Isabel replied.

“He—he looked like the sheriff, right?” Max asked.

“Yeah…and before that he was me,” Alex said softly. When everyone looked at him, Alex added, “that’s how he got Liz to go with him.”

Feeling helpless, Maria added, “so he could be anyone at anytime? He could just come up to us and…”

“No, I won’t let it,” Michael said with conviction. “We’re gonna find him.”

“And how do you purpose we do that?” Isabel added, her voice filled with frustration. “In case you haven’t noticed, we’re kinda out of options.”

“No we’re not.” Sharing a look with Max, Michael turned his attentions to Liz, prompting everyone else in the room too also.

“No,” Max said quickly, knowing exactly where the conversation was going. “Liz is out of this now.”

“Maxwell—“

“Forget it Michael,” he added in a hard voice. “We’re not using Liz like that.”

“Using?” Maria questioned, getting lost in the argument going on between the three aliens.

“How is it using her when she would help openly,” Michael protested. “I mean, at least you said she would.”

“Michael, we’ve only did it a few times and it could be risky with Liz being like this!”

“Connection…isn’t that what you did with me?” Alex asked Isabel.

Looking at him, Isabel faltered, “yeah but—“

“Then it can be done.”

“We know it can be done, Michael,” Max threw back. “But it’s not happening.”

“It’s harder with Liz being out,” Isabel added.

“But you can do it,” Michael stressed. Glancing at Isabel, he asked, “how much harm would we cause to just go in and review what she saw?”

“Maybe not much—“

“See, Max.” Pointing at Isabel, Michael tried to prove his point.

“We wouldn’t even be able to control what we saw,” she said after a moment. “We could get all this fodder.”

Thinking back, Max looked down at Liz, remembering when she was lying on this bed hours ago, unconscious and just getting over a brief ‘possession’.

“Wait—you guys can just go into other people’s heads and see what they think?” Maria asked.

“No, it’s not like that,” Isabel replied, trying to explain. “We see flashes, like, images and knows things about what we saw…”

“Like I saw about you?” Alex questioned. Isabel nodded.

“Have you ever did that to me?” Maria demanded.

“Have we ever touched you?” Michael threw back.

“Yes! On the balcony.”

“Oh…” Giving her a look, Michael added, “well, it didn’t go into your messed up world.”

“Guys, we need to think rationally about this,” Alex suggested. “If you know Liz won’t get hurt…then maybe you should…”

“How big is the possibility? Of Liz getting hurt, I mean?” Maria asked.

Shrugging, Isabel said finally, “I don’t know. Connections can be risky. You can’t control what you show someone and what you see from them.”

“But you will see something?”

“More then likely. Max and Liz have already opened some connections between them so it would be easy to get in…but we’ve never tried this on anyone who’s been knocked out.”

“I don’t see how it would make it harder. Wouldn’t it be easier?” Michael asked suddenly. “She won’t be able to fight it.”

“She could fight it? Fight being showed stuff?” Maria asked.

“She could try…I don’t think she would though. The last time this happened and Max tried to heal her—“ Isabel suddenly trailed off and looked at Max, who was staring right back at her. “The flashes,” she added softly.

“She didn’t mean egg,” Max told everyone while still looking at Isabel.

“She meant cocoon,” she finished. Closing her eyes, Isabel was suddenly forced to watch as a hand was forced through a filmy surface, straining upward while a small body of a little girl followed suit, climbing out of the light blue cocoon with hesitation.

Gasping, Isabel’s eyes flew open, along with Michael and Max’s. All three teenagers looked at each other, reliving the day they were ‘born’.

“I just saw…” Michael trailed off, knowing the others saw themselves emerging from their pods also.

Trying to rationalize what just happened, Max looked down at Liz and said, “I think she knows where our pods are,” in a shaky voice.
***
TBC

PART 30
“So…you guys know who this whack job that took over Liz was?” Maria asked finally, having been thinking of that question all morning. Watching as Michael raised his hand and the stove screeched, moving back to its place along the wall.

The back area and kitchen of the restaurant had been in shambles when Maria and the rest of the gang got here late last night, the only explanation that the ‘shape shifter’ thingy did it while chasing Liz from the apartment in a moment of rage.

“We know enough,” he said finally, pulling his hand down.

“Meaning…what?” Maria added, finishing up her sweeping.

“Meaning WE know enough.”

Sighing, she glared at him. “I’m in this now—your secret is out so you better let me know what’s going on.”

Glaring back, Michael simply shrugged and replied, “ask Isabel or Max. They’re the ones who let you in.”

Feeling hurt that he didn’t want her part of his little circle, Maria’s anger flared. “Yeah, god forbid that stonewall Guerin ever shows any emotions and talks to people. You know, maybe it’s an alien trait.” Slamming her broom back into it’s spot in the corner, Maria stormed out into the front of the café, looking to make sure that everything was in order.

“What the hell does that mean?” Michael demanded, following her.

“Well, none of you ever talk to anyone! Or well, ya do know. So…maybe it’s a Michael trait.” Turning to look at him, Maria added, “you know, Michael rule number 1: no telling secret. Rule number 2: no talking to anyone who’s not ‘alien’. Rule number 3: no letting in cute girls. Rule number—“

Cutting her off, Michael exclaimed, “you know nothing about me or what I’ve been through!”

“Well, I guess I can’t if you won’t even tell me what’s going on with my best friend! God Michael…if Max and Isabel can open up to people, why can’t you?”

Staring at her for a beat, Michael asked finally, “what’s it matter…who would I let in?” Turning to go before she could reply, he didn’t see her wounded expression as he walked into the back.

“Great…not only is he an alien, but he’s an oblivious alien,” Maria muttered.
***

Clicking his tongue, Alex nodded his head and swung his feet, letting them bounce off of the stone wall of Liz’s balcony. Looking down from his perch on the ledge, he noted how far down the ground was.

“That’s a long jump…and to land on your feet…”

Glancing down too, Isabel nodded. “Yeah…Max was right when he said landing on their feet was an alien trait.” She was leaning on her hips, standing lazily while she looked down.

Hearing Max’s name, Alex glanced back into the bedroom window, watching as Max leaned his back against the headboard of the bed, pulling Liz’s still form close.

“So…they’re pretty close, huh?” he asked, indicating them with a nod. “Like, ‘dating’ close?”

Looking in the window also, Isabel through for a second then replied, “well…Max hasn’t come out and said it yet, but I think they are…he cares for her a lot.”

“How much is a lot?” Alex asked.

Looking back at him, Isabel pondered his question. “Alex…are you jealous?” Her voice was soft and there was a hint of hurt in it.

“No!” he replied quickly. “No, I don’t think of her that way.” Seeing Isabel’s relieved, but slightly confused face, Alex added, “I just--…Liz told me how she feels about Max and I don’t want her to get hurt if Max doesn’t feel the same way.” Looking down, Alex sighed. “I mean, I know I would feel…less then happy if the girl I liked doesn’t feel how I…feel.”

“How does Liz feel?” Isabel asked finally.

Still looking down, he replied, “she feels a lot.”

Smiling softly, Isabel said back, “I’m sure Max feels a lot back too.”

Sitting in silence for a few minutes, Alex bit his bottom lip and looked at Isabel, reaching out to take her hand in his. Smiling, Isabel laced her fingers through his and climbed onto the ledge beside him, looking over the edge.

Watching the morning sun, Isabel laughed softly. “You know, I’ think I’m still in denial.”

“About what?” Alex asked.

Looking at him, she added, “that you accept me even though I’m…different.”

“I always knew you were different, just not how much,” Alex admitted. “And as for me accepting you, that was just natural.” Feeling her face flush, Isabel rolled her eyes and playfully shoved him, laughing softly.

Laughing back, Alex sighed and watched the morning sky for a few moments before letting his eyes drift back toward Liz.

“She’s gonna be ok, Alex,” Isabel told him.

“I know…Max won’t let anything happen to her.”

“He won’t,” Isabel insisted. “We’re gonna figure out why she took over Liz.”

“Do you know…who…took over her—well, her body?”

Sighing, Isabel used her free hand to push her hair back. “It’s kinda complicated. When Max said her name…I had a flash from our…our home planet.”

“A flash? Like a memory?” Alex asked.

“Yeah, like a memory. And in this memory I could feel my mistrust of her, of Ava. I’m almost positive that she had something to do with our death back there.”

There was a heavy silence as they both contemplated what that could mean.
***

Sitting Indian style in the middle of the empty desert, Liz sighed and placed her hand over her eyes, trying to keep the sunlight out. Still not seeing anything, she let her hand fall down to her lap, feeling the hot sun burn into her bare back and limbs. She was glad all she had on was her Bra and underwear, it helped keep her cool, but was confused on why they just suddenly disappeared.

And how could see be out in the desert when she was vaguely aware of the feeling of her bed under her back and could hear soft voices every once in awhile.

Looking forward, Liz saw the air shimmer and cocked her head to one side, watching as two forms took shape in front of her. It was guy and girl. They were dressed in strange clothes and both had a crown of some sort on.

Watching as they stood facing each other, Liz could only make out the shadows of their faces and heard nothing, but she knew they were being pledged to one another.

They’re getting married, she realized. Watching as two more figures appeared a few feet off, another boy and girl set, Liz could feel the contempt and mistrust flowing off them toward the new couple.

Suddenly they were all gone and Liz was on a cliff, looking down onto a huge lake, the water a rusty red. Looking around, she took in the two forms swimming in the water, watching as the thick liquid reformed behind them.

Again, the scene shifted and Liz was looking at two men as they stood before her, recognizing the one as the groom from earlier. They didn’t even seem to notice that she was in her underwear or that she couldn’t even hear them.

Looking around in confusion, Liz blinked when she noticed the cliff was now gone as she was in front of the rock formation, standing on the ledge leading up to the cave entrance.

Feeling the hard rock under her bare feet, Liz walked up to the entrance, feeling like that was the only thing she could do. Going through the opening, Liz looked over her shoulder when the sunlight totally disappeared.

There was now a stone in opening, blocking the light. Going along with the weird dream, Liz walked in further, spotting the pods once more. Stopping short, Liz noticed they all held little fetuses now. Walking closer, she took in the two little boys and two little girls, bobbing in their hibernation state.

Walking even closer, Liz reached out and ran her hand over the front of the top right pod, looking at the little dark haired boy in it. Seeing a red sea flash in front of her eyes, she stroked the filmy cover again, this time seeing him standing still, his back stiff as he recited his vows, clearly not feeling what he was saying. In all the ‘visions’, Liz could never clearly make out his face, but the next flash coming in front of her eyes made Liz gasp.

The guy sitting on a table top in the quad at school, his feet planted on the seat as he had his hands clasped, looking around with boredom written all over his face. Perking up a little, Max focused his eyes on one girl walking out the side doors of the school with some friends.

Opening her eyes as the picture fell away, Liz pulled her hand back slowly. Swallowing, she looked over the other pods and finally returned her gaze to him; to her boyfriend.

Max Evans was in that pod.
And she just realized he was in love with her.
***

Max looked sharply down at Liz as she mumbled his name, her face filled with confusion. Looking around, he noticed Isabel and Alex were talking softly on the balcony, completely lost in their own world, and Michael and Maria were still downstairs.

“Liz…are you awake?” Max asked, sliding his hand down her neck, letting it rest at the edge of the thin sheet, feeling her heart thumping under his palm.

“Max…” Saying his name once more, Liz turned her head, groaning softly.

“Liz…wake up, ok?” he added, placing his other hand on her cheek. “You need to wake up…” Feeling a tingle start in the base of his head, Max closed his eyes as the numbing feeling traveled quickly, going down his spine and spreading through his head at the same time.

His whole world shifted and Max suddenly jumped, feeling his feet land. Opening his eyes, he spun around quickly, finding himself in a dimly lit cave. Confused, Max was about to call out when he saw a body a few feet away, the form backlit by a blue light.

Recognizing the curves of Liz’s body before he could even make out her face, Max rushed forward, pulling her toward him. “Liz!”

Startled by his presence, Liz jumped slightly, then smiled when she saw him. “Max…how did you get here?”

“I don’t know,” he admitted, getting slightly thrown off contact when he looked over her scantily clad body. “But um…where are we?”

Looking over her shoulder, Liz added softly, “your birth place.”

Looking also, Max could feel the air leave his lungs in a rush. There were four pods stacked on a wall, the cocoons filled with a blue substance. He didn’t need to look any closer to know him, Isabel, and Michael inhabited 3 of them.

Which only left Ava to be in the last one.

Her short blonde hair was a little longer now and straight, not curly, and her face was thinner and softer, like she was changing forms.

“She gave her essence to the one who saved her,” Max said without thinking, the words just coming out of his mouth. He had no idea what it meant, but knew it was true.

“Max…I don’t like this…I wanna go home,” Liz said softly, backing up some.

Looking at her, Max could feel some of his defensives coming up. Liz was freaked out by what he was. She didn’t want to be with him now that she knew the ‘truth’.

“She used me to hurt you,” Liz added. “I don’t want to be anywhere near her. Take me away; just you and me.”

Seeing the trust and feelings in her eyes, Max had to swallow back the lump in his throat. Walking over to her, Liz fell into his chest, wrapping her arms around his waist. Holding her back, Max could feel his body reacting to Liz’s bare skin as he rubbed her back. “Liz…”

Pulling her face back, she leaned up, softly kissing his lips, her hands coming up to caress his shoulders and upper arms. Kissing her back, Max deepened it, sliding his tongue into her mouth as she sighed. Not wasting any time, Liz started to pull his shirt off, tossing it to the side when she accomplished her task.

Not knowing where the fueling was coming from for this passionate embrace, Max pushed that thought aside and nipped at Liz’s neck, liking how it vibrated with the little sounds she was making. Feeling her fingers digging into his shoulder blade, Max groaned from the slight pain and pulled her closer, bringing the lower bodies into contact.

Everything was moving so fast, but it felt right like nothing ever had to both of them. Moving their bodies down to the floor, Max laid on his back, letting Liz rest on his chest while they continued to explore each other.

So caught up in their own pleasures and new experiences, neither one noticed when Ava’s pod took on a slight green hue.

Her hair was now brown as she opened her eyes, which were no longer a bright blue, but a deep amber brown.
***
TBC



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 7:49:53 PM
PART 31
Liz’s head was fuzzy and she felt like she was swimming up to the top of some water as she came to. Feeling a pair of soft lips over hers, she opened her eyes, seeing Max looking down at her, a confused but passion filled expression on his face.

“Max…” she whispered, licking her lips, still feeling his kisses. How was that possible? It was just a dream…

“Oh my god…” Sitting up, Liz gasped as she thought back on all that had happened the last 2 days. It felt like a weird, off base dream, but it wasn’t. It was real.

“You ok?” Max finally asked.

Looking over at him, Liz could see the emotion in his eyes that he was trying to hide. He had been worried about her. But she had known that. She could remember him calling out for her in the desert last night. But she wasn’t herself.

“I was--…I saw things Max,” Liz whispered, trying to sort out all her weird memories.

“Don’t think about it now,” he instructed.

Hearing the slight catch of his voice, Liz turned to him and looked hard, seeing the flicker of another image placed over him. A faceless form, but yet it was recognizable.

“Zan…”

Looking angry, or maybe he was hurt, Max licked his lips and asked, “who is Zan, Liz?”

“I…” Trailing off, Liz closed his eyes and saw the form in the rusty water, looking upward to a cliff. Letting the scene play out in her mind again, Liz was suddenly looking down from the cliff, watching as ‘Zan’ and another form walked towards her.

Coming back to reality, Liz realized that Max had been calling her name and the others, Isabel and Alex, had wondered back into the room, looking at her with confusion and concern.

“You are. You’re Zan,” Liz told Max, ignoring the confused look on his face. Laughing cause she finally got it, Liz pulled herself up to her feet and added, “you’re Zan. Or well, you used to be on your home planet.”

Looking at his sister, Max seemed a little shocked. Looking at her too, Liz paused, watching as once more another form covered Isabel, fitting her shape and size perfectly.

“Liz…are you ok?” Alex asked, walking toward her. “We need to talk about—“

Walking past him, Liz gazed at Isabel, making the other girl look back at her weird. “Vilandra. You were Vilandra?” Liz asked finally.

“What? Vilandra?” Isabel repeated, looking at her brother with a confused face. A second later she gasped and said softly, “I remember.”

“We were brother and sister,” Max added.

“You were Zan, I was Vilandra and Michael was—“

“Rath,” Liz filled in just as Michael and Maria walked into the room.

“Lizzie?” Maria exclaimed, coming over to hug her. “Are you ok?”

“I’m ok,” she replied finally.

“We remembered some more,” Isabel told Michael, walking a few feet closer to him. “You were Rath.”

“Rath…” he repeated, his eyes moving back and forth as he thought. “Rath…I remember.”

“That’s great. But how does Liz remember it also?” Alex asked suddenly, coming over to flank her other side. Isabel and Michael exchanged a look while Max seemed lost in his own little world, still sitting on the side of the bed.

“I don’t know,” Liz added. “It’s like something in me just clicked and I have all this information.”

“What kind of information?” Michael asked quickly.

Sighing, Liz looked at Max and said softly, “Ava…do you remember her?”

Max simply nodded and Isabel and Michael looked at him. “She’s the one who…” Isabel let her voice trail off. “I mean, I know we didn’t trust her—I can feel it. But I don’t know what happened.”

“I don’t know either…but she abused your trust. Used you against each other,” Liz added. “I could feel it when….”

“When she took over your body?” Maria asked.

“Yeah…”

“Wait—you knew what was going on when she was in control?” Alex added.

Trying to explain, Liz sighed. “I was aware…but it was like I was somewhere else and I could just feel what was going on; not see it.”

“What did you see?” Michael asked.

“The pod chamber,” Max informed everyone. “We know where it’s at.”

“By pod chamber you mean…” Maria looked at Liz then at Max.

“Where they were born,” Liz answered. “And there’s another one of you.”
***

“You’ve lost it if you think I’m going to school when there’s another one of us out there!” Michael exclaimed.

“We’re not rushing into this!” Max threw back.

“Why not? Cause little perfect Liz and crew wants go to school? Who needs them? This is about us!”

“Would you lower your voice,” Isabel hissed, glaring at Michael. “They’re gonna hear you!”

Max, Isabel, and Michael stood in the back room of the café while Liz, Alex, and Maria were still upstairs, getting ready for school.

“Do I care?” Michael threw back.

“We’re not going now,” Max said, his voice hard. “We’re waiting.”

Scoffing, Michael crossed his arms and shook his head. “Where are they Max? Where are our pods?”

“You’ll find out soon enough.”

“I don’t like how you and little miss scientist are the only ones who know,” he tossed back in anger. “This isn’t about them. It’s about us; it always has been.”

“Things change,” Max said simply.

“When are we gonna go?” Isabel asked after a long silence.

Putting his hands in his back pockets, Max added, “tonight.”

“Why not now?”

Sighing, Max eyed Michael. “We don’t know what the hell is gonna be waiting for us when we get there! This could be a trap!”

“One of our own is gonna set us up for a trap? Why would they do that Max?!”

“She did it once before!” Max exclaimed. “Look…Ava or whatever her name is now, she isn’t on our god damn side. So if you still wanna go running out there and get your ass taken or some shit, be my guest Michael.”

Eyeing each other, both guys stood still. Max’s jaw was tight and Michael had his arms crossed his hands clenched in fists. Feeling the tension in the room, Isabel walked a few feet closer to them.

“We all agree Ava can’t be trust, ok? We get that. So could you two just back down once and act like you have some brains,” she told them. “God knows that you two can’t agree, so why even try.”

Backing away finally, Max added, “we wait till tonight. End of discussion.”

“Who died and made you king?” Michael muttered, brushing past him and going out the door.

“If you try to boss him around he—“

“I need your insight right now Isabel,” Max told her.

“Well, you’re gonna need it, Maxwell,” she said back. “You’re only pushing him more to go do it on his own.”

“I’m in charge here—“

“Excuse me? Since when?” Isabel asked hotly. “You can not just boss us around like you please. Me and Michael have a say in this, so if you know more then you’re letting on, you need to tell us!”

“Who said I’m keeping anything from you?”

“I know you Max. You can’t hide your feelings as good as you think you can. You’re scared. It’s written all over your face. You think this Ava chick wants to hurt us…” Figuring out why Max was worried, Isabel added, “or hurt the person who’s taking her place…”

Glaring at his sister, Max said, “I hope Alex knows what he’s gotten himself into with you; I hope he thinks it’s worth it to be treated like shit.”

“Like wise for Liz. Like I said, you shouldn’t start a relationship unless you plan to see it through. And I don’t think you know how to do that.” Watching as Max scoffed and left huffing like Michael did, Isabel wrapped her arms around herself.

What Max said hit home. Isabel had never really been in a relationship before, and when she was, she treated the guys like they were her slaves. She was already feeling guilty about it and then when Max brought it up, it became 10 times worse.

“Max and Michael already leave?”

Looking up to see Alex coming down the steps, Isabel quickly looked away. “Um, yeah…just a few seconds ago.”

“Oh…Isabel, are you ok?” he added.

“Why wouldn’t I be?” she threw back, spinning to give him one of her icy looks. “I’m peachy.”

Shaking his head, Alex walked closer. “Kinda had a feeling that you’d pull the ‘ice princess’ routine today.”

Feeling like she just had her heart ripped out, Isabel faltered. No one besides her brother and Michael saw threw her. Alex thought she would turn on him now, and yet he still told her all those things this morning.

And what were you just planning to do? Turn on him, her mind added guiltily.

“I saw the real you Isabel. So…I know that’s not you. But I’ll comply. I won’t let your friends see us together or think we’re friends.”

“Friends…” Isabel whispered as he turned away and went back up the steps.

She deserved that little speech. She deserved Max’s too. She did treat everyone like crap. And her so called friends from school? They weren’t real. Alex, Liz, and Maria were closer to her then they were.

But was she willing to give up her popularity for them?

Hearing the jeep’s horn screech, Isabel came back from her thoughts and strode out the back door, intending on making the best of her situation.

She didn’t let anyone direct her life but herself.
***
TBC
PART 32
Watching as Liz stared into her locker with a blank expression, Maria lightly nudged her. “Hey, space cadet. You all there?”

“What? Oh, I’m here,” Liz said finally, shutting the locker.

“Really? Coulda fooled me,” Maria joked while they started to walk slowly down the hall.

“I’m just…I remembered something else…”

Glancing at Liz, Maria waited a beat before saying, “you remembered something about…our visiting friends?” Liz nodded but kept silent. “Well?” Maria finally asked.

Liz looked around and said softly. “When Max was…there…with her, with Ava, they were married and…” Looking down, she sighed. “This is gonna sound so weird…”

“Weird?” Maria repeated. “Babe, Liz, I just found out that,” lowering her voice, she whispered, “aliens exist.” Shrugging her shoulders, Maria added in her normal voice, “how much weirder could it get?”

Biting her lower lip, Liz added shyly, “I think it can get weirder. A lot weirder.”

Maria completely stopped walking and turned to stare at her best friend. Noticing for the first time how pale Liz looked and that she seemed scared, Maria took her by the elbow and said, “come on.”

“Where are we going?” Liz asked, following without any more arguing.

“Somewhere we can talk in private.”
***

Isabel climbed out of the jeep and started to walk toward the school, seeing Max heading up the steps. He was still mad and wouldn’t even ride with her to school.

And she hadn’t heard from Michael either.

“Hey, Isabel, what’s got Max so occupied?” Pam Troy asked with a little pout. “I said hello and he just kept walking. A girl could think he didn’t like her…”

Rolling her eyes, Isabel replied, “hate to break it to you Pam, but Max has other wise been detained.” Actually, she didn’t hate to break that to her, it had felt good; great even.

“A girl? Well…he’ll be mine soon enough,” she purred back. “I always get what I want.”

Realizing how much that sounded like herself, Isabel could feel the guilt rising. “Yeah, well…things change,” she told Pam, who just huffed and got up, going into the school.

Waiting a few moments, Isabel tried to make herself look casual and smiled, walking toward the school also.
***

Alex sighed and popped open his locker, getting out his books for his morning classes. Picking up his AP computer book, he grimaced; Isabel was in the class.

Sure, he knew her secret, and sure, he knew she liked him and cared for him. But what he didn’t know was if she would actually talk to him in public.

They weren’t exactly from the same social level at school.

Glancing to his left, Alex casually checked the group of ‘popular’ kinds standing in a huddle down the hall. Isabel wasn’t with them. Hearing footsteps approach him from behind, Alex looked up to see Kyle Valenti heading his way.

“You seen Liz?” he asked with out preamble.

Rolling his eyes, Alex muttered, “take a hint Valenti.”

“What?”

Feeling like a complete loser, Alex said finally, “no, I haven’t Valenti. And, just out of curiosity,” Alex spun around and smirked, “what exactly did Liz say to you the other day at the café?”

“Screw you…” Kyle muttered, backing away.

“Glad to be of service!” Alex called back, slamming his locker in frustration before remembering he sat his book bag down in it. Shaking his head, he started the combo over again.

“Hey.”

Glancing quickly over his shoulder, Alex saw Max standing behind him. “Hey,” he said back, feeling kinda weird. In all the years they had gone to school together, he didn’t think Max had ever spoken 2 words to him in public.

Both siblings were snubbing him.

“You seen Liz?” Max added gruffly, wiping at his upper lip with his thumb.

Trying not to laugh at Max, Alex reminded himself that he usually didn’t chase after a girl. Someone was gonna have to break it to Max eventually that he was already past that stage. It was obvious to anyone who had seen them together that Max and Liz were into each other; WAY into each other.

Thinking for a beat, Alex suddenly realized that their little group misfits were the only people who knew about them.

“Um…I haven’t seen her yet,” Alex finally replied, glancing back at him. “Check with Maria.”

Max nodded and was about to walk away when Alex swallowed and asked quickly, “is Isabel around?”

Max shrugged and said, “we didn’t ride together,” before walking off, more then likely to find Maria or Liz herself.

Wondering about the tone he took when Isabel was brought up, Alex shrugged it off. Hearing the door at the end of the hall open, he looked up and stopped, watching as she walked in.

It was like everything went into slow motion as soon as Isabel came into sight. Her hair seemed to shine and breeze over her shoulder as she grinned brightly and veered to the side, heading straight for her usual clique.

Speeding time back up to normal, Alex sighed and slammed his locker, throwing his book bag over his shoulder and heading away from the others.
***

Hearing the slam of a locker, Isabel automatically sought out the nose, seeing Alex’s rejected face before he headed away from her. Just a few steps away from her ‘friends’, she bit her lower lip and glanced back at Alex, the guilt falling heavily on her shoulders.

Straightening her back and throwing her chin out, Isabel spun on her heel and went after Alex, ignoring the questions and looks from her little clique.

“Alex,” she called out breathlessly, trying to catch up with him. His long legs, plus the fact that he was walking fast to get away from her, made the chase go all the way to the end of the long corridor.

Alex stopped after a beat and stood still, looking down. “You’re actually gonna be seen with me?” he mumbled.

Isabel walked around to face him and looked down also. “Look…I’m a jerk, ok?”

Alex smiled softly and added, “did I just hear THE Isabel Evans say something bad about herself?”

Isabel smiled back and picked her head up, catching some movement over Alex’s shoulder. Seeing Pam Troy, Stacey Schiem, and Tommy Hicks coming toward them, her smile slowly started to fade,

Alex, noticing the look, glanced over his shoulder and sighed, turning to face the firing squad.

“Isabel…” Giving Alex a sideways glance, Pam said, “what’s going on? We’re waiting for you.”

“Yeah, what are you TWO talking about?” Stacey asked in her high, chipper voice.

“Isabel was just asking to borrow my computer notes,” Alex said quickly, knowing that the others knew he was a whiz in that class. “And she has, so I’ll be leaving.” Starting to brush past the others, Alex didn’t even chance a look back at Isabel.

That is, until her heard her voice.

“Actually, I was also asking Alex about his plans for this weekend,” Isabel said loudly.

Alex froze mid-step and slowly turned back around, seeing the smile on her lips and the twinkle in her eyes. “My plans…” he repeated.

“Yeah, like Saturday. What are you doing?”

“Um…nothing.”

“Well, you are now. Pick me up at 7:00?”

“Yeah. Yeah, of course,” he beamed, amazed that she was actually admitting to liking him in front of her friends.

Reaching forward to smooth out the front of his shirt, Isabel smiled and added, “great. It’s a date.” Then she walked off, leaving Alex, not to mention the others, in a shocked silence.
***

Heading for the girls’ room, Liz was about to follow Maria inside when a voice called out her name. Recognizing it, Liz gave Maria a look that said she had to take care of something first.

Nodding finally, Maria added, “lunch. Bleachers. Got it?”

“Got it,” Liz repeated, watching her best friend walk off and Kyle Valenti walk closer. Looking down, she started to apologize before he even reached her. “I am SO sorry Kyle. I know what I said was outta line and I shouldn’t have said it.”

“Liz—“

“No, let me finish. I can’t apologize enough. But in my defense, I wasn’t…really myself and—“

“Liz,” Kyle said again, getting her to stop talking and look at him. “I know you weren’t yourself. You wouldn’t do something like that, and I don’t know why you did. But it’s ok.”

Stunned, Liz simply mumbled ok back and stood there. “Um, listen Kyle…”

“Look, I like you; really like you and I still want to go out.”

“Kyle…I can’t.”

“Why not? I know you’re not really seeing Whitman.”

Liz looked down and scuffed at the floor with her shoe. “I’m…look, Kyle, I can’t. Sorry.”

Scoffing, Kyle started to walk away but stopped, coming back over and finally asking, “Liz, I’m not stupid. You don’t really seem to want to go out with me, but you haven’t even given me a chance! Come on…”

Still wondering if she should tell anyone about her and Max, Liz debated it in her head as Kyle waited. Max hadn’t come out and said they were dating, but she could figure they were.

“Are you free this weekend? Look, we could just meet for lunch or something,” he suggested.

Doesn’t he ever give up! Liz thought in frustration. “I’m not free Kyle.”

“You have other plans?” he added. “If not then…”

“She has plans,” a deep, hard, and JEALOUS voice said behind her. Smiling softly, Liz felt Max’s arm come around her waist, pulling her close to his side. If this was another guy, Liz would’ve be upset that he was getting jealous over nothing, but with Max, it just felt so right to be near him, in his arms.

“With who? You?” Kyle asked in disbelief.

“Yeah me,” Max threw back. “You got a problem with that?”

Kyle scoffed and turned back to Liz before saying, “maybe we should let Liz have a say in this.”

Liz felt Max pull her closer as Kyle looked at her and she knew he was getting mad. Wrapping her hand around Max’s arm and moving closer as he held her in his arms, Liz said, “I have plans with Max.”

Kyle looked down at her stomach and Liz followed his eye line, noticing that Max’s fingers were under her shirt, lightly skimming her skin. She hadn’t even seemed fazed by it. Anything Max did to her felt natural and perfect. And she wanted more.

“You and Evans,” he asked finally.

Liz hesitated and was about to open her mouth when Max said, “I think Liz has made her choice.” Then, in what Liz guessed was partly to piss of Kyle and partly to fill this need that was flowing between them, Max leaned over her shoulder and kissed her neck, lightly flicking his tongue over her pulse and giving it a quick squeeze, pulling the skin into his mouth.

Liz closed her eyes and tried to hold back a low moan as spikes of pleasure surged through her body. Everywhere Max was touching her was suddenly on fire and her whole being was calling out for more. But she only had so much willpower and let out a sigh, opening her eyes when Max pulled away slowly, finally letting go of his hold on her skin and bringing up his hand to trace the spot his lips had touched.

Feeling the heat coming off of his finger, Liz could feel the power surge all the way down to her bones. Max was removing some redness from her skin…

A hickey!

Looking at him, Liz took in the passion in his eyes and knew he was more then willing to do that and more to her. Swallowing, she turned her body around in his arms, barley noticing that Kyle was stalking down the hallway, leaving them in the dust.

But neither of them cared. As soon as she was in his arms, everything else just seemed to fade away.

Max placed his hand on the back of her skull and pulled her up, leaning down to meet her halfway as their lips connected, the desire and need in them starting to burn with intensity. Urging her mouth open with his tongue, Liz eagerly obliged and let him in, marveling at the feeling. The kiss was hard and bordered on hurtful, but Liz still felt like she needed more, she wanted more.

Max sucked her lower lip into his mouth and pulled away, letting it slide back out only when necessary. Liz licked the lip and rocked on her heels, tugging on the front of his leather jacket. She had suddenly become aware of the attention they were drawing to themselves and her face got a little red.

“I can’t stop thinking about that vision we shared,” Max said in her ear, his voice husky. “Or that night in my room.”

Liz swallowed and leaned into him, placing her forehead on his chest. “Max…” she said with emotion. If he kept this up, she was going to lose it and jump into his arms, not even caring that they were in the middle of their schools hallway.

“I want you Liz…I need you,” Max admitted, his hands going down her sides.

Liz shuddered at the emotions his words caused to spiral through her body and tried in vain to clear her mind and think straight, but Max’s hands were making them nearly impossible.

“Do you wanna go somewhere more private?” he added, lightly skimming her ear with his tongue.

Not trusting herself to talk, Liz simply nodded her head quickly. Taking her hand in his, Max pulled out of the embrace and quickly led her down the hall, his body language screaming out his authority as they walked.

Watching how his muscles moved in his back as she followed him, Liz had the urge to run her hands up under his jacket and shirt to caress his skin, but she willed it a bay for now and simply moved closer, feeling him squeeze her hand.

If this happened every time they kissed, Liz had a feeling that they were gonna be going off to ‘private’ places a lot.
***
TBC
PART 33
Maria clicked her tongue and dug around the bottom of her bag, smiling when she spotted the candy. Unwrapping the tootsie-pop, she stuck it in her mouth. Strawberry was her absolute favorite flavor, and she craved the sugary candy.

Humming a catchy tune she heard on the radio that morning, Maria went back to her task of trying to find her books. She had so much junk in her locker that it made the first stop in the morning a hassle.

Holding the sucker in her mouth with her tongue, Maria focused on trying to pull her History book free with both hands. Still humming the tune, she was oblivious to everything around her until she felt her lollipop being pulled out of her mouth.

“Hey—“ Spinning around, Maria was expecting to find Liz or Alex, but was surprised to actually find Michael Guerin, leaning on some nearby lockers with HER sucker in HIS mouth.

Trying to calm her racing pulse down, Maria swallowed and said casually, “that was mine.”

Michael pulled the sucker out of his mouth and asked, “want it back?” holding it up to her mouth.

Confused, shocked, and intrigued by his behavior, Maria glanced at his face quickly before leaning down and tasting the lollipop once, making sure to close her eyes while she savored the taste. Pulling back and licking her lips, Maria said, “I’m done now.”

Michael opened his mouth to speak but stopped, covering the look on his face quickly, but not before Maria saw it. He had been staring at her mouth the whole time!

Trying to hold back a smile, Maria returned to her locker. Maybe Stonewall Guerin would be easier to crack then she thought. Coming off the high of her little flirt session, she suddenly became very aware of what she had just done.

Clearing her throat, she chanced a glance at him and noticed he was still there, the lollipop back in his mouth once more. Having felt her gaze, Michael suddenly turned his eyes on her and pulled the sucker out, moving closer to her.

Maria’s heart beat speed up some and she stood still waiting for his next move.

“There’s something about the combination of strawberry and chocolate,” he said huskily, leaning in until his lips were only a few inches from hers.

Not being able to move away or pull in closer, Maria just simply nodded, not even being able to form any words. She could feel the heat off of his body and smell his musky cologne, making her head swim and her throat go dry. He glanced down to her lips and Maria followed his gaze, staring at his mouth.

She had always thought he was cute, down right sexy actually, but just looking at his lips was enough to make her knees go weak. She could imagine them on her lips, her own skin even, and the want for that to be true was growing bigger with each second.

Suddenly, Michael pulled the sucker back up and popped it into his mouth, pulling away like nothing had happened. “Sweet,” he commented before walking away.

Still frozen to the floor, Maria watched him walk away before scoffing and leaning her head into the open locker.

“I hate all aliens,” she muttered.

“Wow…that eliminates, what? 3 maybe 4 people on the earth?”

Moaning, Maria pulled her head out and glared at Alex. “Alex, can I ask you a question?”

“That’s what I live for,” he replied. “But I have some news to tell you first. Isabel—“

“Uh-huh, that’s great,” Maria said quickly, stopping him before he could go any further. “Is it just alien males, or are all guys totally oblivious to a girls feelings?”

“Here we go,” Alex muttered, hanging his head.

Slamming her locker, Maria kept going. “I mean, you’re a guy!”

“Thank you so much for noticing. And I think you should know that, as I, being a guy, I’m not big on breaking down all the problems of relationships.”

“Great for you,” Maria added, taking his arm and leading him down the hall. “I mean, are you just missing that one gene that enables you to understand us girls, or is it more?”

Alex sighed and shook his, knowing that once Maria got on a roll that there was no stopping her.

“Is the gene there and you just ignore it? Or this more of an alien thing? Wait, no; that can’t be it. Max actually noticed Liz like him and—“

“Speaking of Michael,” Alex said suddenly. “I—“

“Who said anything about him?” Maria replied.

Giving her a look, Alex was about to open his mouth and reply when the bell rung, signaling the start of class. “Oh, listen! Homeroom calls!” he exclaimed, pulling a still talking Maria down the hall.
***

Max slid his hand up further, slipping his fingers under the back of her bra, grunting in frustration when he didn’t feel the clasp. Changing the angle of the kiss, he pulled his lower body away some and slid his hand up the front of her shirt, just about to reach her chest when Liz stopped his hand.

“We’re in school Max,” she said, her voice breathless as she pulled her lips from his.

Actually they were in the science supply shed, which was right outside the back entrance of the school. There was a slight smell of alcohol and other science products that Max wasn’t too interested in; being this close to Liz, he could smell her sweet shampoo and her skin tasted like cantaloupe or some other fruit.

Then add in the feeling of her body flushed up against his, and Max totally forgot where he was.

“School…right,” he mumbled, leaning in to capture her neck in his mouth, sucking on the hollow spot under her pulse. Liz sighed and ran her hand through his hair, using her other one to massage the muscles on his lower back, which was driving him insane.

Her hand kept dipping lower, her fingers just barely skimming under the rim of his jeans before pulling back up, the sensation making him pull their bodies closer together.

“Max…” Liz said softly, tugging on him until he leaned up and captured her lips once more. Moving both hands down her hips, Max paused a beat then dared even lower, cupping her backside and thrusting her hips into his, moaning at the contact of their lower bodies.

Suddenly a bright white flew in front of his eyes and Max closed them, feeling the familiar start of a flash. He saw a quick flash of a body of water, sparkling a deep red in the sunlight, then he was on a cliff over looking the water and he could feel someone standing beside him.

Just as he was about to turn toward the other person, Max felt Liz jerk out of his grasp and the flash ended, leaving him breathless and a little dizzy.

“Max, I just had a—a…”

“Flash,” he ended for her, opening his eyes.

“Yeah…that,” Liz replied.

Looking at her face, Max was about to ask her what she saw when he stopped, watching as she licked her lips and ran a hand through her hair. Liz’s eyes were focused on the floor and when she finally lifted them up to her, Max stared into them and lost all his control.

Stepping back into her, he pulled her close and attacked her mouth, slipping his tongue into hers, trying to quench the need flowing through him.

But it didn’t seem close enough. Getting a suddenly flash of their shared ‘vision’ in the pod chamber, Max growled deep from within his throat and knew what the problem was.

He needed to feel Liz’s skin, needed to feel her skin up against his.

Meaning, they needed to get the hell outta school; and fast.
***

Liz tried to keep her mind on what was important, but Max’s mouth was doing wicked things to her while he moved her shirt down some, following his lips over the skin being showed to him. And when he moved downward and flicked his tongue down into the valley between her breast as far as her bra would let him, she couldn’t help but let out something between a sigh and a purr.

“Max…” Taking in a deep breath, Liz became aware of his hands, which were pulling her shirt up some. “We need to go…”

“Going is a good idea,” Max said between kisses, backing them up to the door while never taking his lips off of her. “We could go to my house.”

Biting her lips to stop herself from blurting out a yes, Liz felt Max’s hands slid down to her thighs and she jumped up, wrapping her legs around his hips and letting him prop her up against the door. “Actually…I think we should go to class,” she finally got out.

Max stopped what he was doing to look at her. “Class?” he repeated.

Feeling his gaze, Liz closed her eyes, trying to keep some control. Her body was itching to move against him, but she willed herself still, reminding herself of the flash from a few minutes ago.

“Class is the last place I want to go,” Max said, leaning in to kiss a path up her neck to her ear. “I’m not in the mood for school…”

His husky tone made Liz shiver and she was about to give in when she was once again forced to replay the vision in her head. “No…class is a good place to go,” she added, moving her head slightly when Max went to kiss her.

If he reached her lips, it would all be over. One kiss from Max was enough to make her knees buckle and send her flying.

“You know, I’m sure homeroom is just about over,” Liz added, moving her mouth from his again. “And Maria and Alex and the others will be looking for us.”

Max tried once more to kiss her and Liz avoided it, hearing his grunt of frustration. She felt his hands move over her, the actions giving off how restless he was. He kept nipping on her skin and trying to capture her lips as she kept talking.

“Maybe we should go find the others and let them in on our visions. I mean, are we the only ones they happen to or do the others get them too without planning it?” Liz was trying to hold back a smile, but Max relentless tries to kiss her were making the air in the room feel charged. He was trying every angle and even tried once to pull her face toward him with his hand, but it didn’t work.

His grunts of frustration and the way his breath was becoming labored, it was obvious that he wanted more from Liz. Thinking back on how he had tempted her earlier in the highway, Liz knew two could play this game. Liz could temp him right back.

Sliding down the front of his body, she pulled away slowly, letting her hips brush over his seductively as she went. She looked up, noticing how tight his jaw was clench and smiled.

Just as Liz was about to pull out of the embrace entirely and walk around him, Max’s hand landed on her hips and he held her there, pinning his eyes on hers and he breathed deeply, blowing all the air out of his nose.

“Liz…you’re playing with fire,” he said, his voice low and gravely. His fists clenched the bottom of her shirt and she could feel them shaking through the thin material with want.

Grinning wider, Liz licked her lips and leaned up, trailing her tongue around his ear before whispering. “Are you scared of getting burned?” Then she quickly slipped out of his grasp and went out the door, hearing his groan as leaned his head against the wall.
***
TBC
PART 34
Isabel lounged back on the bleachers, watching the guys’ gym class run laps around the football field. Bored as hell, she leaned back and slipped on her shades, letting the morning sun skim over her skin.

She already had a perfect tan, but if worse came to worse and she got burned, one little wave of her hand would take care of that. Feeling her sunlight go away, Isabel opened her eyes and stared up, unable to see the features of her intruder due to the shadowing.

“Excuse you,” she said, gazing up. When they didn’t move, she pulled off her glasses and sat up. Seeing who it was, she shook her head and added, “shouldn’t you be out there, running laps like a little mouse on a wheel?”

“Skipped.”

“Freebie,” Isabel said back, returning the sunglasses back to her nose and closing her eyes. Michael’s gaze stayed on her and she sighed, hoping he would take the hint.

“I heard something about you,” he said suddenly.

“Gee…great; the gossip mill has already started,” she said cheerfully, her sarcasm ringing loud and clear.

“What were you thinking?” Michael demanded.

Scoffing, Isabel sat up quickly and spun on him. “I was thinking that Alex is a good guy and I had every right to hang out with him. What about you?”

“What about me?”

“Well, what were you thinking with your little lollipop tactic with Maria this morning?!”

Michael seemed shocked at her knowledge and Isabel smirked, driving it in even more. “How do you know about that?”

“I have my ways,” she purred, leaning back again. She’d let him think she saw, or maybe even that Maria told her, but she wouldn’t tell him otherwise; which was that she heard Maria telling Liz about it in History. She also overheard Maria telling Liz that the whole experience was surreal and totally sexy, but she didn’t want to think about that.

Michael and the word ‘sexy’ in the same sentence just sounded weird to her.

“Where’s Maxwell?” Michael asked, doing an obvious subject change.

“He skipped homeroom AND 2nd, along with you,” Isabel pointed out. “You see him in 1st?”

“Skipped myself,” Michael said again. Giving a little scoff, he asked, “was Liz missing in action too?”

“No. She was there.” Hearing the bell ring from inside the school, Isabel turned her attention back to the football field and saw all the guys start running for the locker room.

One lingered in the back and Isabel smiled, recognizing the familiar build. Sitting up straighter, she licked her lips and waited for him to gaze her way before giving a little lingering look and flip of her hand.

She could see Alex’s grin all the way from her spot.

“If I gotta endure all this love shit with you too, I’ll go freaking mad,” Michael gripped, lounging back on the bleacher behind him.

Rolling her eyes, Isabel spun on him and leveled his look with an icy glare. “Can it Guerin. YOU’RE the one full of shit.”

“Excuse me?”

“You heard me,” Isabel tossed back, collecting her things. “You’ve got the hots for DeLuca.”

“You’re tripping now,” Michael exclaimed.

Isabel flipped her golden hair and rolled her eyes once more. “We’ll see,” she promised, making her way to the ground. “And by the way,” spinning back around, Isabel threw out the last curve-ball, “ALL of us are meeting at the Crashdown tonight and you get to ride in the DeLuca mobile, since Alex and Liz will be with me and Max.”

Watching Michael’s mouth move, more then likely to curse her, Isabel laughed when she couldn’t make out the exact words spoken. “Love ya too, Mikey.”

Walking along the fence that ‘held’ in the football field, Isabel noticed some of the guys from the next class were starting to come in. checking her watch, she upped her pace some, not wanting to be late.

Hearing a grunt, a familiar grunt, she looked around and saw Max, feverishly attacking one of the big mats the football players used. Shaking her head at all the emotion and effort he was putting into it, Isabel was about to leave when she paused, glancing at her brother once more.

Contemplating it for a second, she walked a few feet closer, intending to go talk to him; but after he rammed the stuffed pad once more and cursed, she turned that idea down to just watch him. He looked extremely angry or upset, but the feelings flowing off him weren’t. He felt frustrated and full of energy.

“What the hell got into him?” she whispered out loud, shaking her head once more and checking her watch. Seeing what time it was, Isabel dashed toward the school, forgetting her brothers’ weird behavior for the moment.
***

Wiping his brow, Max paused for a breather then rammed the mat once more, giving a grunt when he made contact with his shoulder. Jumping back from it, he stretched his arms and got into the position to attack once more.

“Evans! That rage should be put to some work!” Mr. Staubs called out, his voice gravely from smoking and yelling.

Snorting at the comment, Max waited for the football coach to continue his plea for a new team member. Everyone knew the West Roswell High football team was getting its ass kicked left and right.

“It’s called football and you get to do that constantly,” the coach added. “Get out all that anger!”

“It’s not exactly anger,” Max muttered, thinking back on his encounter with Liz and feeling the low hum take place in his stomach once more. Cursing, he rammed the pad, feeling it give away under his strength and the crunch from a bar breaking.

Coach Staubs came over, along with the few students mulling around, to examine the ruined football equipment. “Damn Evans…you got some muscles under ya.”

Knowing full well that his ‘heritage’ helped with that contact, Max just shrugged and moved on to the next pad, getting into position. He needed to burn some energy and burn it now.

God help anyone who crossed his path right now…

“Frustrated Evans?”

“Screw you,” Max commented, not even turning around. The cocky, self-righteous voice was the last thing he wanted to hear. How could he forget that Kyle Valenti was in this class? Ramming the pad, Max made his mind square in solely on the attack, not even looking at Kyle or his buddies.

“Oh…I’m going with sexual frustration,” Paul, one of Kyle’s goons, snickered, walking past Max.

Working out a kink in his neck, Max rubbed his brow and, by pure will, made himself stare at the mat and no where else. Getting into position once more, he put his shoulder forward and charged, just as Paul added, “maybe Liz isn’t putting out, though I heard she does…”

Max shoulder connected with the pad and there was a loud pop as a burning pain exploded all down his arm, neck, and back, but it was ignored for now. With wide eyes and a red face, Max spun onto Paul and, using the same hurt arm, decked him solid, knocking the other guy onto the ground and into a half-assed back-flip.

Ignoring the more-then-likely broken shoulder, Max let his powers work on it until there was just a dull hum. Paul was still on the ground, his hands cupped over his nose, which was bleeding profoundly, and Kyle was stepping up to Max.

“You broke his fucking nose!” he exclaimed, pointing back to his friend, who was now being helped up. Mr. Staubs, having seen and heard the commotion, was heading over now also.

“Don’t mess with me today…” Max replied, his voice low and hard.

“What? Think you’re some freaking big shot? You the winner?!”

Shrugging his shoulders, Max looked Kyle right in the eye and said calmly. “I got the girl, didn’t I?”

Kyle’s face turned red and Max saw the movement as his fist curled and he drew back. Ducking to dodge the blow, Max was caught off guard when Kyle suddenly tackled him, driving them both down to the ground. The air was knocked out of him and Max was temporally stunned, giving Kyle the opportunity to land his fist on Max’s jaw.

Feeling the blood spill down his chin, Max was shocked back into reality and attacked back, grabbing Kyle by the neck and tossing him off, taking the offense and knocking the other guy a good one in the eye.

Getting the upper hand, Max drew back once more and held Kyle down with a knee in his chest, getting ready to pound him into the ground when a pair of strong arms grabbed him up.

“Break it up, now!!” Mr. Staubs yelled, holding back Max while someone else got Kyle under control, calling out for more help also.

Struggling against his holder, Max shot Kyle a death glare, which was returned. Both men silently declared right there that it wasn’t over.

It was far from over.
***

Craning her neck to take one last glance at the football field, Maria sighed and worked her way under the bleachers, ignoring all the commotion from the field. Seeing Liz looking around cautiously and ducking further into the shade, Maria snickered, thinking how gangster it all felt.

“We are missing some kick-ass action or something on the field,” Maria commented, noticing the look Liz gave her. “Ok, what? What was so important that couldn’t wait till lunch and has me cutting math class?”

Liz took a deep breath and said finally, “me and Max had another flash together.”

Waiting a beat, Maria replied, “and that’s weird? That’s happened before, right?” Liz nodded and she added, “then what’s the big deal?”

“We’ve never seen the same thing, or well, experienced it together.”

“Experienced?” Maria repeated, trying to comprehend.

“Yeah…” Taking another deep breath, Liz pushed her hair behind her ears and the amended, “no, I mean, we’ve had flashes together and we’re both there, like sharing the same one, but this was different.”

“How different?” Maria asked, a small ball of dread forming in her gut. This was gonna be bad…

“It was like we were having 2 different flashes and they merged…I can’t explain it really, but to say that I WAS her.”

“Was who?” Off of Liz’s look, Maria paused and added, “you were that Ava chick in the flash?”

“No…I was the other one…” Liz whispered.

“There’s another chick? Damn…was Max the equivalent of a male-slut in his past life?”

“Maria!” Liz whined. “Look…when I’m…seeing things about Ava, it’s her in front of me, but sometimes I’M the girl…and Ava’s there too.”

Taking a minute to organize her thoughts, Maria got out finally, “ok…so, you’re saying that there’s someone else, other then the Ava-bitch, who was on their home planet and is a part of all this crap?”

“Yeah…” Liz mumbled, starting to pace.

“And you’re seeing things about her too?” Liz nodded once more and Maria stopped again, stumped. “Ok…so what’s your connection with her? You were the first to be exposed to Ava, so that was your link. What’s it this time?”

Stopping suddenly, Liz spun around and hissed, “the pod! Oh my god…” before running out from under the bleachers.

“Liz—Liz!!” Shaking her head, Maria held her now churning stomach and chased after her friend.
***
TBC
PART 35
Max stood up and stalked toward the door, glaring at Kyle so he’d back away and let him out first. Storming out of the office, he walked down the hallway, flexing his fingers. His hands itched to hit something but he held back, knowing that if he did anything else he’d get expelled.

The only reason he got off today with only a call to his parents, who weren’t in, and not expelled was because Kyle actually fessed up to taunting him. But he only did that after Principal Strout threatened to kick him off all of his sports.

Kyle cracked.

Shaking his head, Max ran his fingers through his hair and sighed, wanting to be anywhere but here. He needed to be free, go for a ride. Heading to one of the side doors, he slammed them open with all of his frustrations and stalked outside.

Reaching his bike, Max climbed on and started it, gunning the engine for good measure.

“Max, Max!!”

Looking over his shoulder, Max watched as Liz came down the steps, Maria standing up top. Cutting the engine, Max climbed back off and waited for her to reach him.

“Max…we need to talk,” Liz exclaimed, breaking off to catch her breath. Looking up at him, she suddenly asked, “what happened,” reaching up to touch his face. Or mainly, his split lip.

Backing away some, Max ducked away. “Nothing important. What’s going on?” he added, looking back at Maria, who was still waiting. Glancing back at Liz, Max noticed how she fanned her face, pushing her hair back to get some air and could feel his heart speed. Just about anything she did made him want her.

“Never mind,” he added, grabbing her hand. Everything he needed to make himself feel better was right here.

“But Max—“

“Later. Just, not now,” Max told her, pulling her close. “Can we go…”

Liz seemed to contemplate it in her head and said firmly, “this is really important.”

“It’ll still be important later,” he whispered, leaning in to kiss her.

“But Max--”

“No but,” Max added, kissing her once more before getting on the bike, waiting for her to follow. Liz licked her lips and glanced back at Maria, who just waved her off in frustration and walked away.

“We’re gonna talk, right?” she asked.

“Later,” Max repeated, reaching out to pull her close as the lunch bell rung.

Liz bit her bottom lip and added, “promise me Max. We WILL talk.”

“Ok,” he promised, leaning in for a kiss, letting his hand rub her lower back. Wrapping her arms around his neck, Liz moved in closer and bit at his bottom lip, making Max moan and pull away.

“Get on,” he said in a raspy voice.

Doing as he said, Liz grabbed onto his waist and Max started the motorcycle once more, glancing around to make sure the way was free. Spotting Kyle on the sidewalk and looking straight at them, Max glared back and revved the engine, squealing tires as he pulled off and tore past him.
***

Michael rolled his eyes and looked away, hoping she didn’t see him.

Too late.

“This is getting out of hand.”

“What is?” Michael asked, faking innocence.

“Don’t play dumb with me – or well, who said you were playing—“

Michael glared up at Maria and stood up, hoping to make her back down.

It didn’t work either.

“Something is wrong with Liz.”

“What?” Alex asked, suddenly appearing at Maria’s side.

“Did I invite you over?” Michael asked him before turning back to Maria. “Or you, for that matter?”

“Michael, listen to me: something is REALLY wrong with Liz!” Maria exclaimed.

“What now?” Isabel sighed, joining the group also.

“Hey Isabel,” Alex said quickly, giving her a goofy smile.

Isabel smiled back and Michael rolled his eyes. “I’m outta here.”

“She mentioned the pods,” Maria added, making Michael halt in his retreat. “Knew that’d stop ya.”

“What did Liz say about the pods?” Isabel asked, her voice serious now.

“She was talking about all the…thingy’s she keeps getting from you guys.”

“The flashes?” Isabel added.

“Yeah, those. She said that in some of them she was that Ava chick, then other times she’s SEEING her through SOMEONE ELSE’S eyes,” Maria explained.

“Someone else? That’s a real clue,” Michael muttered.

Maria opened her mouth to make a comeback but Alex stopped her by saying, “who else could it be? That alien guy talked about the ‘Royal Four’ and, unless I’m really bad at math, you guys, Max, and Ava equals 4.”

“Maybe she wasn’t a royal,” Maria said simply. When Michael and Isabel kept quiet, she added, “what I say?”

Turning to Alex, Isabel asked, “the guy, he was scared of her, right?”

Alex nodded. “Yeah, why?”

“Why would he be scared of his queen?” Isabel added slowly. “It doesn’t make sense. He said something about protecting us, so why be afraid?

“Unless she wasn’t the queen at all…” Michael said finally.

“Wait – this evil friend-snatcher hussy isn’t even the real queen?” Maria exclaimed. “Then why was she in the pods with you guys?!”

Alex said softly, “um, Maria, that’s what we’re getting at. We don’t think she was.”

“Oh…” Looking around at the others, she added, “oh!! Then who is? Who’s the real queen?”
***

Max sighed and pulled Liz closer, trying to get a reaction out of her, but she was still just looking into space. Flopping back down onto the bed, he looked up at her as she sat across his lap.

“What?” he finally asked, feeling his shirt clinging to his sweaty back. Sitting up quickly, Max tore it off before lying back down and throwing it to the side.

Shaking her head, Liz finally looked at him. “What?”

Growling in frustration, Max added, “are you even here?”

Looking down, she started to play with the button on his pants idly. “Max…this is important.”

“Uh-huh,” he mumbled, focusing on her hands. Was she aware of what she was making him think of? The LAST thing he wanted to do was talk…

“We need to talk,” Liz added loudly, trying to get a reaction out of him.

“Ok…” Watching her fingers, he frowned slightly when she suddenly pulled her hands back. Looking up at her, he noticed the expression on her face and thought back on what she had said. ‘Important and they needed to talk’. Ok, so why is she—

‘Need to talk’?!

That can’t be good…

“Talk about what?” he asked, sitting back up and giving her his full attention. Did she finally decide she wanted Kyle now? “Does this have to do with Kyle?” he spat out.

Groaning with frustration herself, Liz shot up and spun around to face him. “Why would this have anything to do with Kyle? Do you see me with him? Have I been dating him for the past week or you?!” Max didn’t answer and Liz sighed, adding in a calmer voice, “I knew you were jealous but…does this have anything to do with the hallway thing, or did something else happen?”

Thinking about it for a beat, Max sat up all the way and leaned over some, placing his elbows on his knees and clasping his hands. “Naw…same old.”

“Then…can we just talk?” Liz asked, sitting down at her desk.

“I’m not gonna stop you.”

Scoffing, Liz shook her head and stood up. “Fine. When you decide to treat me like a human being, you can come and find me.” Going toward the door, she was almost out it when she was pulled back and the door slammed shut.

“What?” Max exclaimed, looking right at her. “What is going on?!”

“What’s going on with you? What happened today, Max!”

“Nothing, ok? Nothing that proteins to you.”

“Well, something happened to ME today that proteins to you,” Liz tossed back, sitting on the bed once more.

“What?” Max asked lazily, stretching out beside her, letting his bare back hit the cold sheets. He just wanted to close his eyes and restart the whole day. Nothing was going right!

Deciding to follow his new laid-back posture, Liz said casually, “Ava’s not in that other pod.”

“What?!” Max yelled, sitting up quickly.

“Uh-huh,” Liz added, glancing at her fingernails. “Pesky little tid-bit came to me today.”

“And that’s all you can say?” Max added.

“Oh, I’m sorry. Do you actually want to talk now?”

“Liz…just tell me, ok?”

Considering it for a moment, she finally sighed. “I keep getting new flashes and in some of them I’m someone else. And I can tell that you, or Zan, didn’t really want to marry Ava. You were forced into it.”

Max took all that in then asked, “whose the other person?”

“I don’t know,” Liz admitted. “But I like her a LOT better then Ava, I’ll tell ya that much.” Thinking about it for a second, she bit her lower lip then added softly, “Max…do think she could be…um, maybe your mother? I mean, she was at the wedding and near you and Isabel.”

Max looked down and didn’t say anything. He’d never let himself think about his mother; his REAL mother. Diane and Phillip Evans raised him and his sister, gave them a home and loved them like their own, but they weren’t his parents.

“I shouldn’t have mentioned it,” Liz whispered, crawling over to wrap her arms around his waist and kiss his bare shoulder tenderly before placing her chin on it. She could feel the turmoil flowing through him and knew he was insecure about the subject.

“It’s a possibility,” Max said finally, leaning back into her some.

“Maybe…have you ever…do you remember them? You’re real parents?” Max shook his head and Liz looked at him, adding, “you miss them, don’t you?”

“I don’t remember anything to miss.” Standing up slowly, Max pulled out of the embrace and walked over to the window, picking up his shirt.

Sighing, Liz watched him. “Why won’t you admit what you feel?”

“Cause there’s nothing to admit. How can I feel something for someone I’ve never met?” he asked, putting on the T-shirt.

Getting up, she walked over and kissed him softly. “You really need to learn how to express emotions,” she whispered, hoping to lighten the mood.

“I express myself just fine,” Max mumbled back, taking her mouth once more. Liz wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him close, making Max left her up some. The kiss grew deeper and kept going, making them both crave air finally but still not wanting to let go. Taking the lead, Max maneuvered them toward her bed, laying Liz out in front of him and taking in the view.

“Shouldn’t we tell the others about the pod?” she asked, her chest rising quickly as she drew in air.

“Later,” he told her, sliding his body along hers and drawing her close once more, deepening the kiss on contact, his hands roaming up and down her back and over her hips as she laid facing him.

“Max…” Liz breathed out, throwing her leg over his and moving closer still. Reaching down, Max hooked his hand under her thigh and massaged it before rolling Liz over onto her back and moving on top of her, fitting his body into the curves of hers.

The little noises coming from the back of her throat edged Max on and he moved lower, nicking and licking at her neck, feeling the vibrations as she reacted to his touches.

Finding her pulse, Max circled it with his tongue before sucking hard, making Liz reach under the back of his shirt and grip his back. His ego soared with each reaction he got from her, amazed that he was only using his mouth on her. He could do SO much more with his hands too.

Pushing her shirt over some, Max moved downward even more, tasting every inch of skin exposed to him as he followed the path of her bra. Reaching his hand up, he pulled away to pull her shirt up and run his fingers over her trim stomach, feeling her flinch at his first touch then arch her back and hips into him.

“Liz!” he groaned, grabbing her hips and lowering them back onto the bed, keeping her close. Returning his lips to her skin, Max kissed as far down as the bar would let him, then let his tongue push it down even more, exposing the valley between her chest, which he explored carefully and slowly, taunting her.

“Max…” Liz dug her nails into his back some and closed her eyes, letting everything roll over her. Every nerve in her body felt like it was being touched by him directly and revved up, getting ready to jump out of her skin. What he was doing felt TOO good…

“What are you doing to me?” she got out.

“Everything you want…what I want -- what we need,” he said huskily, rocking his body forward into hers. Liz sighed and arched upward, giving Max the room to pull her top off. Sitting up and straddling her hips, Max pulled his own shirt off and tossed it aside with hers before leaning down and attacking Liz’s mouth again, his hands molding her body to his.
***
TBC
PART 36
* Well, he can’t sleep at night and he can’t do what’s right. It was all because she came into his life; it’s a deep obsession, taking up his time.*

Max woke up slowly, stretching lazily while rolling to his side and pulling her close, the radio playing softly in the background.

His eyes flew open and Max looked down, smiling softly. Liz’s body was pressed against him, her back against his chest. From his vantage point, he could see the shape of her body and his mind drifted back, letting him relive the feel of it from earlier.

Trailing his finger down her arm, Max followed the path he made, taking the sheet that was covering her down too. Liz stirred some and scooted backwards, pressing into him more. Taking in a deep breath to control his body, Max moved his hand down even more, moving on to caress her hips, exploring her body gently and innocently with no inhibitions.

Earlier in the day, their emotions and hormones didn’t give them a chance to actually explore, but now, Max was taking the time. The feel of her naked skin under his fingers was eating away at him, but he held strong. He wanted to remember every inch of her skin.

He had actually made love to Liz Parker.

* She’s all that he wants, she’s all that he needs. She’s everything he just won’t believe. Take away his doubt, turn him inside out, then she can see what he’s been dying to say, but things don’t always turn out that way.*

The emotions flowing through him were rampant, making Max take another deep breath and pull his hand away. Liz as if feeling the loss of his touch, mumbled in her sleep and rolled over, turning her body toward his.

“Max…” she moaned, throwing her leg over his and pressing her chest against him, laying her head down.

Closing his eyes, Max swallowed and, once more, took some time to get control. Didn’t she realize how good it felt to have her body against his like this?

It was temptation; plain and simple. Reaching out blindly, Max ran his hand down her back, giving in to his urge to touch her. Liz sighed and opened her eyes, smiling up at him.

“Hey…”

“Hey,” Max said back, his voice low and husky.

Liz pulled her body up some and added, “we’ve spent the whole day in bed,” before kissing him sweetly.

“Hmm…” Max replied, holding her close, his hands roaming more now. “We skipped lunch…”

Liz licked her lips and whispered, “Are you hungry?”

Max’s eyes grew darker and he added, “oh yeah…” before attacking her mouth.

* And he must confess all the impure thoughts of his beautiful temptress. Although he keeps it all bottled up inside, although he keeps it all safe within his mind, oh yeah…*

Rolling Liz under him, Max leaned in, sucking her bottom lip into his mouth before letting it slide back out, tempting her. Liz made a helpless sound and wrapped her hands behind his neck, pulling his lips back to hers.

Max lowered his body over hers and they both moaned, feeling the heat coming off of their closely knitted bodies. Liz let her hands move down his back, her fingers skimming over his skin. Max arched his back some and deepened their kiss, reacting to her touch. Feeling that, Liz slid her fingers down his back again, pressing harder this time and dipping lower.

“Liz,” Max hissed out, moving his body so that he could reach more of hers. Liz arched her body too, wanting Max’s lips on her; all of her. Max nipped and licked at her skin, inciting a few sounds from Liz.

“I could do this all day…” Max moaned, moving lower to trail his tongue around her navel.

“But we can’t,” Liz added, her voice breathy. “The others…” Giving up on trying to talk, she simply moaned again when Max moved back up, taking her mouth in his. The kiss was long and meaningful, taking both of their breaths.

Pulling back finally, Max sat up and said, “If you really meant we can’t go on, someone better get out of this bed,” before he lost his control.

Liz laughed and nodded, climbing out and taking the sheet with her as she headed for the bathroom. Max shook his head and stood, grabbing up his boxers and pulling them on. Stretching, he yawned and scratched his chest, looking around for his pants or shirt.

The bathroom door reopened and Liz emerged, the sheet still wrapped around her slim body. Watching as Max bent over to grab up his shirt, Liz smiled and walked up to him, wrapping her arms around his waist before he could get it on. Taking a closer look at her object of affection, she nipped at his bare shoulder, getting a grunted response from Max that sounded deep and husky.

* She’s all that he wants, she’s all that he needs. She’s everything he just won’t believe. Take away his doubt, turn him inside out, then she can see what he’s been dying to say, but things don’t always turn out that way.*

“I never knew you had a tattoo,” she whispered, looking down at his lower back. In the middle of his back, right above his boxers, sat an outline of a star done in black, the size of it about as big as her palm.

“It’s kinda…it’s sexy,” Liz added, feeling weird as she said the last word. Had she ever even said the word before? When she wasn’t joking, of course. It all felt too surreal. Little Lizzie Parker, calling some guy ‘sexy’. Not that it didn’t apply to the moment.

Cause, damn, Max Evans was SEXY.

“Sexy huh?” Max repeated, his voice gravelly. Spinning around, he pulled Liz close and kissed her deeply, letting his hands work their way under the sheet she had wrapped around her body. It wasn’t like he hadn’t already seen it all before. It was quickly becoming one of his favorite sights.

Sighing with pleasure, Liz finally pulled back and Max got an idea, adding, “lay down…on your belly.” Giving him a confused look, Liz did as he said, her arms up under her chin, the sheet still covering most of her body up. Max followed her down, lying right beside her.

First order: the sheet had to go. Hooking his hand under it, Max pulled the wrap down slowly, letting his fingers softly graze her skin. He felt Liz shudder and grinned wickedly, knowing what he was doing to her.

Pulling the blanket down until it was just starting to expose the round of her hips and her bottom, he stopped. Gazing up, Max reached up and brushed her dark, thick hair off of her shoulder blades, where it had landed. Taking in all of her body that he could see, Max trailed his fingers down her bare back slowly, inching his way downward.

* So wipe that smile off your face before it gets too late. There’s only so much time for you to make up your mind.*

Liz repressed another shudder and sighed, pressing her cheek against the cold sheet under her. Max’s hands kept moving downward, leaving a trail of fire across her skin. She wasn’t sure of what he was going to do, but hell if she wanted him to stop! Her pleasure bordered on torture as his fingers massaged and caressed her back, moving WAY to slow in her opinion.

“Max…” she sighed out, hoping it would prompt him to give her more, give her something, give her ANYTHING.

Instead, it did the complete opposite.

“Yes?” he asked, taking his hands off of her skin completely. His tone was superior and he moved so that she could see his cocky grin. Moaning in frustration and longing, Liz shot him an annoyed and very angry look before she tried to roll over.

But she never got to.

Placing his hand palm open onto her back, Max leaned in and whispered into her ear, his hot breath trickling down her neck. “I’m not down yet.”

Liz swallowed and closed her eyes, the tone of his voice was no longer superior, but now low and husky, like he was unwinding inside like she was. A second later he reached out and nipped her ear, taking the lobe into his mouth quickly before releasing it.

This time, her shudder was apparent.

The journey downward was started again, and Liz was nervous and enlightened when it was done at a faster pace this time. Max’s hands finally reached her lower back, hovering over the space between the base of her spine and the round of her butt.

Liz swallowed, her whole body itching to move but resisting, dying to know what he had planned. Max hands finally pressed down on her and they grew warm, sending a pulse through her whole body. Relaxing at the feel, she was barely aware when his hands left her skin. The spot on her back was still warm and felt like it was vibrating slightly.

“Now you’re truly mine,” Max murmured, his mouth back up near her neck and ear again. Picking her head back up, Liz craned her neck to look at him.

His?

The word worked it’s way into her brain and Liz smiled, liking how Max called her ‘his’. Feeling his fingers on her skin, she could feel the tips of them tracing a design on the spot, the heat still radiating off of it.

A star, she realized.

Pushing herself up onto her elbow, Liz looked at Max’s eyes and could see the passion and desire lying within them, along with a deep, protective look. Forgetting about the sheet as her wrap, she got up and stood in front of her full length mirror, pivoting her hip so she could see her lower back.

Sure enough, in the same spot as Max’s, Liz now had a matching tattoo, a tad smaller then his and instead of just being outlined in black, it was filled in.

Like hers completed his.

Looking back at Max, Liz simply stared at him, not sure of what to say. Of course she loved it, obviously, but that was the problem. Not only did she love the tattoo, but she loved the artist also.

“I love it,” she said softly, suddenly very aware of how vulnerable she was, not only exposing her body, but her heart also.

Max, as if feeling her discomfort, stood up and walked over, only clad in his boxers, his shirt from earlier on the floor, forgotten at the moment. Leaning in to gently kiss her neck, he worked his way upward, saying, “you are perfect…taste SO good…”

Liz laughed softly, her neck and chest rubbing up against Max harder. “I’m glad I taste good.”

Max simply nodded and continued to ‘taste’ her, moving his way along her jaw until his lips found hers. Opening her mouth and letting him in instantly, Liz wrapped her arms around his neck and held him close, reviling in the thought of them being together from now on.

* She’s all that he wants, she’s all that he needs. She’s everything he just won’t believe. Take away his doubt, turn him inside out, then she can see what he’s been dying to say, but things don’t always turn out that way.*
***

Bouncing down the steps, Liz did up the lest few buttons of her outfit, getting ready to go out to the front of the café and serve the masses for about an hour. Maria and others should be there by then, letting them all head out toward the rock formation.

Opening her work locker and pulling out her antenna’s, Liz caught a glimpse of her reflection and shook her head. She had a feeling that her silly grin wasn’t going away anytime soon.

Remembering how Max said she was going to be a dead give away, Liz snorted and looked in the mirror again. The grin was still there, seeming to mock her. Clearing her throat, Liz wiped the smile away and looked.

Still there.

Blinking, she licked her lips and stretched her face, craning her neck. Figuring that did it, Liz looked again and groaned.

That damn grin wouldn’t go away!

“I give up,” she muttered, slamming the door, trying to look agitated, but the grin made all that effort go down the drain. What was the use? It wasn’t like anyone was going to realize why it was there.

Going into the front of the café, Liz spotted Max at the counter and spun away, going to help an elderly couple that had just walked in. He would never let her live it down if he saw her like this again. He had already joked about it earlier. He was convinced she wouldn’t last 10 seconds.

She was going show him who could be the cool one.

Getting down the couples order and taking a deep breath, Liz squared her shoulders and spun back around, going to the counter. With the coffee pot on the other side, she had to walk right past him.

Max saw her and sent a sexy, sly grin her way, nearly making her knees buckle with the intensity of his gaze. His eyes moved up and down her body, sending shivers in its wake.

Bring it on, Liz thought, I can take it – Max Evans is going down.

--

Max saw Liz’s emotionless face and smirked even more, knowing he was going to win. If Liz wanted to play…

She walked right past him, her eyes not even grazing over him, but Max saw how rigid her back was. Sucking on his teeth, he leaned onto the counter, pulling himself closer to her as she stood a few feet away, pouring a cup of coffee.

“I’ll take one,” he added. Liz nodded and pulled down an extra cup, not even glancing his way.

Weakness point number one: she couldn’t even look at him.

Liz poured the cup and handed to him, her fingers slightly grazing his. Taking the opportunity, Max pulled her around the side and toward him, her hips coming into contact with his legs.

He could see the flicker of lust and desire cross her eyes before she asked, “do you need any sugar?” with a light tone.

Good game, but not good enough.

Without taking his eyes off of her, Max reached over and pulled the sugar jar closer and pulling her hand out. Picking it up, he dulled a little bit out on her upturned finger, pretending to ignore her deep sigh, and sat it back down.

“Don’t mind if I do have some,” he said, taking her finger into his mouth. Liz gasped and closed her eyes, taking in a deep breath and leaving her mouth open afterwards. Max swirled his tongue around the tip, before letting her finger go, adding, “Mom...best I ever had.”

Liz swallowed and backed up a step, swallowing once more. “I um…I–I have to get to work,” she stumbled out, walking away quickly.

Max chuckled softly, shaking his head. He knew her hands were a sexual turn-on for her and knew EXACTLY how much it had affected her. She wasn’t going to last.

--

I’m not going to last, Liz thought, making her away across the café toward the couples’ table. Halfway there she remembered the coffee and groaned, stopping in her tracks.

It was still back on the counter.

Right beside Max.

Ok…ok…I will not give in. I lasted earlier today in the science shed and I’ll be ok now!

Going back over to the counter, Liz hummed and ignored Max, picking up the cup and going back around. Realizing that he wasn’t even looking at her, Liz paused and looked right at him, seeing the superior grin he loved to wear.

Oh…oh it’s on now, Liz thought, dropping off the coffee and taking the order quickly, trying to come up with ways to make Max suffer. She could play this game as good as he could, maybe even better.

Just think about: she was a teenage girl and he was teenage guy slash alien. Alien, yes, but still a guy. She could work this. Little hip movement and some sexy looks…who was she kidding?! She couldn’t do this!!

Liz needed Maria.

Cursing Max in her head for starting this – he did, technically – Liz walked back past him and went to the order window, leaning down onto it with a sigh. Thumping her foot idly, she licked her lips and tried to think of a way to make Max take notice. Getting nothing, Liz looked through the window, wondering where Jose was.

“Hello?” she called, leaning in, stretching onto her tiptoes. The back of the café was empty for as far as she could see. “What – Jose?!” Coming back out, Liz sighed and rocked on her heels, turning around to look for him out front, but getting snagged in Max’s gaze.

His eyes seemed almost pitch black as she stared at her, his jaw tight and his hands down on the counter. Feeling delighted by this revelation, Liz reminded herself to calm down and walk over to him slowly.

Doing just that, she stopped on his side of the counter, standing very close. She was opted to take a step back, fearing her own control, but she just smiled sweetly. “Refill?”

Max nodded and Liz reached past him, putting her fingers around the cup. Just as she was about to turn away Max reached for HER, planting his hands on her hips and pulling her into his body, then turning so that she was between him and the counter. Liz faltered for a moment, swallowing and looking around. School was still in session for at least another 10 minutes, so the café was just about empty and no one was watching them.

With her body tucked between his legs, Liz summoned all of her control and simply picked up the coffee pot, refilling his cup and sitting it down. “Anything else?” she asked, hearing the slight catch in her voice.

Max seemed to contemplate that question as his hands roamed, moving over her hips and down her thighs. “Well…I can think of something,” he replied in a husky voice, his fingers sliding around to caress the back of her thighs.

“Well…this is neither the time nor the—“

Liz’s voice squeaked as his hands moved upward, going under her dress to rub right below her butt.

“Place for that,” she finished. She was right earlier – she wasn’t going to last. But she was going to go out with a fight.

Max’s hands lingered there, his fingers slowly edging up before he pulled them back down quickly. Grateful that his body was blocking everyone from getting a free show, Liz placed her hands on his shoulders and leaned in, intending to whisper in his ear ‘who wants who now’ but the words got lodged in her throat when she heard a familiar noise behind her.

Someone had just cleared his or her throat.

Freezing, Liz’s eyes popped open and she looked over her shoulder, fearing what she saw. Jeff and Nancy Parker stood there, looking at her and Max with wide and curious eyes; though, Jeff’s were more angered.

“Hi mom…dad,” Liz exclaimed, pulling away from Max quickly, who seemed to stiffen at her statement.

The day just went downhill.
***
TBC


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