posted on 14-Aug-2002 12:00:53 PM
Title: When The Worst Happens

Author: Jenn

Disclaimer: If I owned Roswell, would I really be writing this? I didn’t
think so. Roswell and all its characters belong to Melinda Metz and the
United Paramount Network. Brendan and Jason are another story. I’m still
working on that. LOL.

Category: Mi/L mostly.

Rating: R for now.

Author’s Note: This is Post-Departure with a few twists.

Dedication: I want to dedicate this to DMartinez, SilverSky,
Peachez4MaxEvans and MoonBaby19 who have written some of the most
awesome Polar fics out there. It’s because of them that I am now a definite
Polarist. I want to thank them for inspiring me to write this.

Summary: Just when Liz thought she had gotten her life back
together, a tragedy strikes that could prove to ultimately be her breaking
point. Who will save her from herself before it’s too late?





********




Prologue: It’s Funny How Fast Your Life Can
Change





It was a typical Wednesday night at the Crashdown Cafe. Liz and Ava were
siting in the breakroom going over the books like they always did. It was
their job since Jeff and Nancy had left them in charge when they left for a
much needed one month vacation.



Micheal was in the kitchen cleaning the grill. Isabel was filling the salt and
pepper shakers, while Max and Kyle looked on.



“This is so boring.”



Max’s head shot up at Kyle’s comment. “Kyle I wouldn’t say that if I were
you. Isabel hates it when anyone complains.”



“Yeah I know that. I’m not dumb. I’m just saying that this is what we all do
every single Wednesday night. It’s getting to be a bit of a bore. And as hot
as Isabel may be, watching her filling the salt and pepper shakers for
twenty minutes straight is not exactly my idea of fun.”



“Oh and watching my girlfriend do the books is any more exciting?”



“Ava and Liz are still doing the books?”



Max nodded. “Yep. Ava said I can’t come in there till they’re done because
I’m a distraction.”



“And what did Liz say?” Kyle questioned his friend.



“Liz agreed. She said that Ava would never get any work done. Liz always
agrees with Ava.” He sighed/whined.



Isabel had been listening the whole time and decided to stick her two-cents
in. “Max, they’re sisters. They may not be blood related. But, like it or not
they’re sisters. What did you expect.”



Max sighed. “I know that.” He smirked “But if you really think about it, this
still has to be the weirdest situation ever. My girlfriend is my ex-girlfriend’s
adopted sister. Said girlfriend also happens to be a reincarnation of my wife
from my last life. Yet when Tess, also a reincarnation of said wife, came to
town, I wanted nothing to do with her. Ava showed up just in time to kill
Tess and prevent her from destroying our lives. And if wasn’t for Tess, we’d
still have Alex. But if it wasn’t for Ava, Tess would have gone home and
turned us over to Khivar. Liz wanted to kill Tess whether she said it or not,
for getting in between us. Yet Liz adores Ava. She gave us her blessing when
we got together. Everyone hated Tess yet we all love Ava.”



“Max, Ava and Tess are as different as night and day. Ava is a warm, caring
person whereas Tess was a sniffling little brat. Ava would give her life to
save any one of us, especially Liz. Tess would kill any one of us if it was for
her personal benefit. I think Tess and Ava must have gotten mixed up during
the crash. Tess definitely belonged with Rath and Lonnie.”



“I have to agree with Buddha Boy here. And even though Liz and Ava are
technically two different species, they’re are as close as you and I if not
closer.” Isabel said as she sat down next to her partner in crime.



Kyle in turn slipped an arm around Isabel’s shoulders and replied: “Thanks
SpaceBitch,” to which he promptly received a smack.



“What have I told you about calling me that! I hate that name. I am not a
bitch!”



“Yeah okay,” Kyle mocked. “and I’m completely human.”



She smiled, “Oh that’s right, you’re just as much of a Space Boy as my
brothers.” She laughed. “You’re not normal.” To prove her point, she waved
her hand over his head and unbeknownst to him, he now had
antennae.



Max couldn’t hold in his laugh any longer. “Kyle, buddy, you might want to
check out a mirror.”



“Why?”



“Kyle. Trust Me. Go look in a mirror.”



Kyle stood up and looked straight ahead in shock. Isabel had done it again:
the same antennae that were on the headbands that the waitresses wear,
were now sprouting from his head.



“Oh that’s real funny, Is.” He waved his hand over his head and the antennae
were gone. “Don’t you know that payback’s a bitch.” He said as he started
towards her.



She started backing up. Shit I forgot that Ava was working with Kyle and
Liz on their powers.
“Kyle I was just kidding.”



Kyle had an evil grin on his face. “Oh no Is. This time I’m gonna have some
fun.”



“Can’t we call a truce?” She asked helplessly as he backed her into a
wall.



His hands were now on either side of her head. “What do I get if I say
yes?”



“My love and affection?” She said/asked as she slid her hands around his
neck.



He put his arms around her waist and touched his forehead to hers.
“Hmmm...let me think about it. The love and affection of my gorgeous
girlfriend.” He emphasized each word with a kiss to Isabel’s neck. “Or
getting revenge on my gorgeous girlfriend.” He pulled away and looked at
her. “I don’t know. That’s a tough one.”



Isabel pulled him back towards her. “Well option number one gets you this.”
She said as her mouth latched onto his neck. Kyle groaned. She found the
sensitive spot on his neck that she knew drove him nuts.



“Oh. Oh right. I’ll take the love and affection of my gorgeous girlfriend.
Revenge can come later.” He pulled her face up so her could kiss her. “Are
you all done?”



She nodded wickedly. “Yep. All finished.”



“Let’s go then. Later Max.”



“Kyle behave. That’s my sister you know.”



“Oh I will.” Behave? What’s that?



“Max shut up. We’ll be fine.” Especially since the Sheriff’s not home.
She smiled to herself.



“See Max, we’ll be fine.” Kyle grinned.



He yelled into the kitchen. “Micheal we’re leaving.”



“Yeah. Yeah. I’ll see you guys tomorrow then.”



Kyle practically dragged Isabel out to his Mustang. The sound of laughter
was heard as they pulled way.




Max shook his head and smiled.


He walked into the kitchen to talk with Micheal. “You know, as much as I
don’t like Isabel going home with Kyle, he’s good for her.”



“I guess.”



“He is though. He’s one of us now. So there’s nothing to worry about. And he
makes her smile. For a while after Alex’s death, I never thought she’d smile
again.” Max beamed. “I’m gonna pop my head in the break room and say
goodbye to the girls. I have to be up early for work tomorrow. Later
Micheal.” And with that he left.





“Yea. Bye Maxwell.” Micheal grunted.



He didn’t want to discuss Alex’s death. It bothered him too much. Not only
did he lose one of his best friends, he lost his girlfriend too. Maria had done
exactly what Isabel wanted to. She had graduated early and left for some
school in New York. To make matters worse, the letter he had gotten two
months later had broken what little was left of his heart.



Dearest Michael,



I am writing this to you because there is something I need to tell you. But
first, I want to thank you for everything. I want to thank you for all that
you did for me after Alex’s death. If you hadn’t been there for Mom and I,
I don’t know what we would have done. I want to thank you for loving me,
and for letting me love you. I will forever cherish what we had.



Micheal, I’ve met someone. His name is Ashley. He’s caring, sweet and
sensitive. And he can promise me the one thing you can’t: Tomorrow. Micheal
let’s face it, it was fun while it lasted but that’s all it was, fun. I’m convinced
that we were together because of Max and Liz’s relationship. For a time, it
may have been for love. But after Max and Lizzy split, we seemed to drift
apart. I think we had a relationship out of convenience.



So what I’m telling you is this. It is over between us. I hope you have no
hard feelings towards me. I will always love you, but as a friend. You need to
find someone that will make you as happy as you deserve. Lord knows I
couldn’t. You deserve better than me.



Sincerely,

Maria




At Max’s mention of Alex’s death, all the painful memories came flooding
back. Despite what Maria thought, he really did love her. And, the only one
he had ever discussed that letter with was Liz. He had opened it up one
night after work, when no one but him and Liz were around. Half way
through reading it for the first time, he broke down in front of her. And
she didn’t tease him for it either. In fact she had broken down and
confessed that she still loved Max but had grown to realize that him and
Ava were perfect together. She couldn’t risk her sister’s happiness for her
own.



He suddenly remembered the night that Ava had shown up and saved their
lives. It was the night that they were planning on heading back to Antar
because Tess was pregnant and the baby couldn’t survive here. As much as
he didn’t want to go, he was willing to if only for Max and Isabel. Kyle and
Liz
had come bursting into the Granolith shouting something about Tess being a
lire. They said that she was the one who killed Alex. Max made everyone
leave the room except for Tess so that they could talk. They started
shouting at each other. Tess came bursting out screaming about how Liz,
Maria, Alex, and Kyle had ruined their lives. They were too human. She
raised her hand and it started to glow.



Max, Isabel and he were too shocked to do anything. A white light was
released from Tess’s hand and the next thing they knew, she was on the
floor dead. Ava stood in between Max and Liz, with tears in her eyes. If Ava
hadn’t been there, Liz, Maria & Kyle would have been killed. Liz and Maria
immediately flung themselves at Ava and engulfed her in a huge hug.




Ava later explained that after leaving Roswell, she had decided to travel for
a little bit. But she got so lonely on her own. She returned to Roswell, just in
time. She felt the anger flowing off of Tess and knew that something was
bound to happen.



It was decided that Ava would stay at Liz’s. Jeff and Nancy Parker
immediately took to Ava. They decided to adopt her. One month later, she
was officially Ava Parker. She started going to school and working at the
Crashdown. She fit in perfectly. Ava and Liz became extremely close,
especially when Maria left. She was Liz’s rock during that time.



Liz had kept her mouth shut when she noticed that Max and Ava started
spending a lot of time together. Ava had been through enough. Lonnie and
Rath had treated her like shit. Zan ignored her. She had been all alone. Max
seemed to light up when he was around her. Ava was finally at peace. Though
she was hurt, all Liz cared about was Ava’s happiness. Liz had it all for all
her life. She could at least let Ava have Max. Happiness be damned.



So that’s how he and Liz had become so close. Micheal began to see a whole
different side to Liz. He had always seen her as a stuck-up little Mommy and
Daddy’s girl. He realized she wasn’t. She didn’t get everything she wanted.
She was just as broken as he was.



He walked into the breakroom just in time to catch a glimpse of Max and
Ava sucking face. He then noticed Liz staring at them with jealousy and
adoration in her eyes. He decided that PDA’s were too much right now.
“Okay get a room.” They sprang apart.



“I don’t think Mom and Dad would like that. Do you Liz?” Ava
smirked.



“Nope. You’d be grounded for longer than I was.” Only Micheal noticed the
lone tear slip down her face.



“Ahem.” Max interupted. “I better get going.” He gave Ava one last kiss and
left.



Good idea Maxwell.



Micheal sat down on the couch as Liz and Ava got back to the books.



“I hate Math.” Ava groaned. “I suck at it.”



“You and me both babe.” Liz agreed.



“You guys are still doing the books?”



“Yes Micheal. We have to have everything perfect. Otherwise, the IRS
comes to bother Mom and Dad.” Liz replied.



“And if all the books aren’t done right, you might not get the right amount
of money in that paycheck of yours.” Ava added.



“Can you work it so that I get more than I’m supposed to?” He
smirked.



He was then hit with a pillow from each of the girls. He got up and ran at
the
both of them.



“Tickle fight!” He screamed as he proceeded to attack both sisters. He
chased them around the entire cafe for more than twenty minutes.



Their fun stopped when they were suddenly face to face with Sheriff
Valenti. He didn’t look happy.



“Girls, you should sit down. I have to tell you something.”



Both Ava and Liz immediately panicked. Liz had only seen that look on his
face once before. When he had told them that Alex was dead. Ava could
feel what she was thinking. They knew it had to be something about their
parents.



The Sheriff took of his hat and sat down across from the bewildered
sisters. These poor girls. They’re so young to lose both of their
parents.




“Liz, Ava, I’m sorry to have to tell you this but your parents were killed in a
car crash this morning.”



For a few minutes there was silence. The Sheriff stood up and said: “I’ll
leave you alone. If you need anything please don’t hesitate to call. You know
that Kyle and I will be here for the both of you.” With that he left.



Liz and Ava both promptly burst into tears and held onto each other for
dear life, as Micheal looked on.



“No.” Liz cried. “It can’t be true.” She said as she looked at Ava. “Av, our
parents are gone. We’re all alone.” I’m all alone



Ava couldn’t even find words. Jeff and Nancy had given her the life and
sister she had always wanted. They were her parents. And just like that,
they were taken from her and her sister. Now all she had was Liz. I have
Max. But who does Liz turn to?




“Mom and Dad.” She cried. “Why Mom and Dad? We need them.” Ava fell to
the floor crying. Liz immediately joined her.



Micheal looked at the Parker sisters and one thought crossed his mind.
Things will never be the same again.



********




[ edited 1 time(s), last at 14-Aug-2002 12:31:28 PM ]
posted on 14-Aug-2002 12:03:59 PM

Part 1: From Bad To Worse In 15 Seconds Or Less




In between their crying spells, Ava had managed to dislodged herself from
Liz's death grip. She was now pacing the room, contemplating what to do
next.



"I have to call Uncle Tony, Aunt Janie, an Uncle Mark. They have to be told
about Mom and Dad. And now we have to make plans for their fun..." She
stopped mid-sentence and started sobbing again.



"Oh god. I can't do this. This is a joke right? Or I'm dreaming. Yeah that's
it, this is all just a really bad dream. Soon I'll wake up and Mom will be
making breakfast while Dad's downstairs getting ready to open the Crash.
It's just a bad dream." She started full-on crying, as the realization hit that
it wasn't just a bad dream. "Oh my god. They're gone. I have to call Max."
She mumbled as she made a mad dash for the phone.



"No need. I'm already here." Ava turned to see Max, Diane and Philip
standing in the doorway.



Max quickly engulfed Ava in a fierce hug as she started sobbing again. "It's
okay baby. I'm here. It's gonna be all right. You're gonna be okay." He
murmured as he rubbed her back in an effort to calm her down. Can you
say absolute bullshit, Max. Neither her nor Liz are gonna be okay for a long
time.
He thought to himself.



"How'd you know?" Ava sniffled.



"Jim called us. We got here as soon as we could. I'm so sorry sweetie." Diane
said as she pulled Ava from Max's arms and hugged the girl tightly. She was
pretty upset herself. Both her and Philip were extremely close with Nancy
and Jeff. They had all been friends since high school. Jeff and Nancy had
asked them to be both Liz and Ava's Godparents.



"Is there anything you girls need?"



Well let's see. My parents!?! "Not at the moment, Mrs. Evans. I'll let
you know when I can finally think straight."



Diane nodded sympathetically. She really felt for the girls. Diane had lost
her mother at 13. And even though she liked Ava, she was silently wondering
where Liz was. Of either of the Parker sisters, Liz was her favorite. She
adored her. She longed for the days when Max and Liz were a couple. She
had talked with Liz shortly after her and Max had split and learned just how
much of a giving person she really was. Liz had explained Ava's background
and then told her of the relationship between Ava and Max. Liz sacrificed
her own happiness and put Ava and Max first. Diane had a new found respect
for Liz that would never ever change.



"Well then I guess we'll stop by again later. Call us if you need anything
sweetheart." She told Ava as she embraced the girl again.



"I will. Thank you."



Once his parents had left, Max had finally noticed someone was missing from
the picture. "Where is Liz?"



Like you care, Maxwell. Secretly, Micheal was a bit angry at Max on
Liz's behalf about the whole him and Ava situation. He was the only one who
knew how hurt she was. "I put her in bed. She cried herself to sleep. I
wasn't gonna just leave her on the floor." Micheal replied sarcastically from
Liz's doorway.



Ava saw the look he gave Max and knew exactly what it was. It was that of
anger towards Max. He's protective of Liz. And envy towards the both
of them. She had worn that look once upon a time. When she had first come
to Roswell. She had given that very same look to Liz and Max. She could
understand why he looked hurt. Liz had explained what Maria had done to
him. Micheal was filled with so much hurt and anger that, Liz was the only
one who could truly get through to him. What Maria did to him was
absolutely horrible.
But on some level, Ava knew Micheal would bounce
back. It would just take some time, and the right person to help him through
it. She knew that her sister would be the one to do it.



"Oh." Max silently thanked Micheal for keeping an eye on Liz. She's going
to need someone to turn to. I'm just glad it's Micheal.




"And if you'll excuse me, I'm going to sit in her room. When she wakes up,
she's gonna be pretty upset." He declared as he did an about face back into
Liz's bedroom.



Max stood there astonished at Micheal's thoughtfulness towards Liz. He's
a really great friend to her. Unlike me lately. I've been too wrapped up in
Ava to realize all that she's given up for everyone else's benefit.




"Max?" Ava interupted his thoughts.



"Huh?"



"Can you just stay with me till I fall asleep?"



His only answer was to lead her to the couch and lay down next to her. "I'll
stay longer than that if you want me to." He said as he draped an arm across
her waist.



"Forever." She mumbled sleepily and snuggled into him.



"Forever and a day." He promised as he too drifted off to sleep.



Liz's Room:



Micheal sat in the chair next to Liz's bed staring at her silent form. He felt
sorry for her and Ava because he knew how close they were to their parents.
He, himself was somewhat close to them too. Since the split with Maria, he
had been hanging out with Liz a lot and as a result, he spent a great deal of
time at the Parker household. He had even spent some nights in the guest
bedroom. Jeff told him that he was welcome to any time he wanted.



Now though, he was worried how Liz would deal with the loss of her parents.
It was like adding insult to injury. She was still hurting from letting Max go
and this, well this was just the icing on the cake. It was so ironic that
someone who had it all could have nothing at the same time. Things had just
gone from bad to worse. And all it took, was the 15 seconds in which Sheriff
Valenti told Liz and Ava that Jeff and Nancy were dead. Her life will
never be the same again. She'll never be same again.




Not that she was the same. She was definitely not the same Liz
Parker that had dated Max. A lot had happened to her in the last two years.
She fallen hard for Max only to find that he was destined for another. She
had let him go despite her own heartache. And to make matters worse, just
as she was prepared to let him back into her life, she had been told by a
future version of Max that if her and Max were together, it would be the
end of the world.



Yes, Liz had told him about the whole Future Max incident. And that
she had never really slept with Kyle. He had known that all along though. He
knew Liz was not a mean spirited person and would never do that to anyone.
So she told him everything. Afterwards, she begged him not to say anything.
And he didn't. He would never betray her trust after learning what she did
to keep him and Isabel alive. Never. He vowed to be the best friend to Liz he
could possibly be. After all, she wasn't any ordinary human, she sacrificed
herself to save his life. And not many people would do that for him.



Liz's life was slowly crumbling though. She kept her grades up for
appearances only. She would cry when she thought no one was around. She
saved the little happy facade for when Ava, Max or her parents were around.
Inwardly, however, she was miserable. And only Micheal knew the extent of
that misery. She had confessed to him. It was eating her alive.



Liz began to stir. She noticed that Micheal was sitting by her bed staring
out the window. "Micheal?" She asked sleepily.



He practically lept from the chair to the bed. He rubbed her cheek gingerly.
"How are you? Do you need anything?" He asked sincerely. And a very
dumb question that was. Of course she needs something. Her parents back
home safe and sound.




She shook her head. "It wasn't a dream, was it?" Please say it was. Please
say it was.
She asked as tears welled up in her eyes.



"I'm afraid not sweetie." Micheal wanted nothing more than to bring Liz's
parents back and give her some shred of happiness. She deserved at least
that.



"Oh okay." She said as her bottom lip quivered. She began sobbing. "Why me,
Micheal? Why them?"



"I honestly don't know Liz." He said. His own eyes were filling with tears at
this point.



In an attempt to keep her calm, he laid down next to her. She in turn, held
onto to him for dear life. As if she feared she'd lose him too.



They laid there in silence, holding each other for a while. Micheal's heart
broke with every sob she let out. Somehow, they formed a connection and he
could feel all the pain she was in. I guess it's because of Liz's powers.
Suddenly, all the pain he felt at losing Maria seemed like child's play to all
the pain Liz was in.



Liz suddenly looked him dead in the eyes. "Thank you." She sniffled.



"For what?"



"For being here with me. I can't be alone Micheal."



"I know. You're not alone Liz. You have all of us especially me. I won't ever
leave you alone. Not as long as you need me." You've been here for me and
I intend to do the same.




"It hurts so much." She sobbed.



He held her closer. "I know."



"It hurts so much here." She said indicating to her heart.



His heart broke once more as she gestured to her heart and began sobbing
yet again. I don't understand how something so horrible could happen to
someone so caring.
"Just let it all out Liz. It's okay to cry."



But will I ever stop? She clung to him as she cried. No I won't. If I
start, I'll never stop. And I can't do that.




Suddenly, she bounced off the bed and began cleaning her room. "What the
hell am I doing laying here?" She asked rhetorically. "This room is a mess."
She said as she started rearranging the books on her shelf.



Micheal sat there for a minute and kept a close eye on her. Then he decided
that he couldn't let her act like this. She had tried the same thing when
Alex died. For a time, she acted like he wasn't dead. Like he was on a long
vacation. Like she was trying to put off dealing with the pain. And he knew
all too well that the longer you put off dealing with the pain, the harder it
will hit you in the end.



"Liz come sit down."



"No."



"Why not?" He questioned even though he knew the real reason.



"Because, I can't. My room is a mess." She insisted.



"Liz, I'm not that naive. Don't lie to me."



"I'm not Micheal. I can't stand it when my room is a mess. So I'm doing
something about it. That's all." She said as she shook her head in
defiance.



He stood up and looked her dead in the eye. "No that's not all. Liz don't do
this. Don't act like this." He said in a solemn voice.



She laughed sarcastically. "Like what Micheal. I have no idea what you're
talking about." She said as she straightened out her bed.



He threw his hands up in defeat. "You know damn well what I'm talking
about. Don't try and play dumb with me. Cause you and I both know you're
smarter than that."



"I am not playing dumb. I'm not acting like anything." She was growing
agitated. Just leave me alone Micheal.



"You're full of shit and you know it." Quit lying to yourself Liz. It's not
gonna work. I know you better than that.




She laughed again. "If I'm so full of shit and you know me so well, why don't
you explain it to me then." She challenged him.



It wasn't lost on him that she had heard his thoughts but they'd deal with
that later. "Like this." He said gesturing to her room. "Like nothing's
happened. You can't pretend your parents aren't gone. That's not gonna
work and you know it. So don't pull this bullshit act with me. I don't
understand why you're acting like this."



He hit a sore spot. Don't push this Micheal. Please. "I'm not acting like
anything. Will you just leave me alone for Christ sake!" She screamed as she
pushed past him into her bathroom.



Oh you wanna play like that, huh? I see how it is Liz. "No I won't leave
you alone." He yelled back as he followed her into the bathroom.



Meanwhile, In The Livingroom



Both Ava and Max were awakened by the yelling that was coming from Liz's
room. Ava got worried and was about to go and check out what was going on.
But Max stopped her.



"Leave it. She's yelling at Micheal."



Duh. "Like I don't know that. I wanna know what they be," She shook
her head and corrected herself. Every now and then her New York accent
popped up. "I mean what they're fighting about." She said as she stood
up.



He grabbed her arm and pulled her back down next to him. "What do you
think Av?"



Ava could feel the anger coming off her sister in waves. "She's doing what
she always does when something horrible happens. Pretending like it didn't."
Yep, she too had witnessed Liz's way off dealing with things. Liz preferred
pretending nothing happened to crying about and dealing with it. She
thought that being strong was the only way to handle anything. This
situation probably wouldn't be any different.



"Exactly. And Micheal won't let her do that. She's fine Ava. Don't worry.
Micheal will handle it."



She laughed in response. "Oh I'm sure he will."



"And what does that mean?"



"It means that he'll try to be calm about it. Which is so un-Micheal like that
it will only serve to furtha piss my sister off. He's neva like that with any
one else. Why her?"



"Because, normally, she's the one who tries to deal with everything
calmly."



"Whateva. I'm tired. I don't wanna deal with the world right now. So let's
go back to sleep." She yawned.



"If that's what you want baby."



She didn't answer him because she was already asleep.



Back In Liz's Room



"You know what Micheal? Get out! I don't need this shit right now!"



"And if I said no?" I can't do that Liz.



Why not? "Oh so now you choose to be your wiseass-ish self?
Wonderful. Just freaking wonderful." She huffed and went back into her
room.



He followed her again. "Why is it that you think you have to play Lil' Miss
Strong for everyone else's sake. What about you? Huh?"



"Well if that isn't the pot calling the kettle black then I don't know what is.
You should talk Mr. Stonewall." She screamed in retort.



"Ouch. That's true." He conceited. "But I'm not like that any more. You're
the one who taught me that you can't just push the pain aside. If you do
you'll never bounce back. It takes time. I know why I did it why are you?" He
asked calmly.



"You wanna know why?" She yelled.



"Yes. I do Liz."



"Fine I'll tell you why." She sat down on the windowsill and gazed out the
window. "Because, I have to Micheal. If I don't, I'm weak and vulnerable.
And I get hurt. I always do. And if I stop pretending nothing's happened. It
all becomes real. And in reality.." She said as her anger faded and tears
began sliding down her cheeks. "And in reality, Alex is gone, and my parents
are gone. And I can't handle that." She started sobbing as she slid to the
floor.



Michael caught her before she hit the floor. He sat her in his lap and just
held her while she cried. "I don't want it to be real Micheal. It hurts too
much. What did I do to deserve this?" She asked no one in
particular.



"What did I do to deserve Maria leaving me? I've thought about it over and
over. And I can't name a damn thing I did to her except love her. Things just
happen. But you can't hide the pain. The pain is what makes it real. I know it
hurts. And it will for a long time. I'm still hurting. And there are days where
I don't wanna face it at all. But you once told me that the pain you feel is
part of what makes you human."



"I suppose you're right." She mumbled as she hid her head in the crook of
his neck. But what if I can't deal?



Micheal had heard what she thought. And although it worried him. He chose
to ignore it for the moment. Right now he concentrated on the sobbing girl in
his arms. She needed him. And it felt good to be needed for once by someone
other than his 'brother' and 'sister'.



Max and Isabel couldn't understand what he was feeling over the loss of
Maria. Only Liz could. She knew how it felt because she had watched Max
slowly slip away. She had made the choice to give him up. And she was now
paying the price for it. But right now that was nothing compared to loosing
both of her beloved parents. That pain would stick with her for a long time
to come.



And Micheal was sure that he would be there for her every step of the way.
Through each other, he felt they could hopefully learn to deal with all the
pain and heartache. And eventually come out stronger. But soon Micheal
would learn that Liz was not as strong as he thought. That she needed more
help than just a hug and a shoulder to cry on.



********



posted on 14-Aug-2002 12:05:13 PM

Part 2: Just Remember To Breathe





Valenti Residence



Isabel and Kyle were involved in an intense game of tonsil hockey, when
Isabel’s cell phone started ringing.



Isabel sat up in an attempt to get it. But Kyle quickly pulled her back down
with him.



“Let who ever it is leave you a message. We’re busy.”



“But what if it’s important?” She asked mockingly.



“What’s more important than your Kyle time?” He asked with a mischievous
gleam in his eye.



“Ummm...Plenty of things.” She replied dreamily as his mouth latched onto
her neck again. I’ve died and gone to heaven.



“Like what?” He snorted. “What could possibly be so important at this time
of night? Let’s think about this for a moment. My father’s out on patrol. My
mother and baby sister are at my aunt’s house for the night. No one’s home
but you and me. The only thing that I think is important right now is getting
you out of those clothes.” He said while gesturing to her purposely skin-tight
tank top and jeans.



She looked up at him in mock disgust. “So you only want me for my body? Eh?
I see how it is.”



“Oh you know it, Ms. Evans.”



“Well I’m only with you for your body so let’s see what we can do about
getting you out of that T-shirt, Mr. Valenti.”



“Well than what are we waiting for?” He asked as he started kissing a path
down her chest with every button of her shirt he unfastened.



Isabel in turn grabbed a fistful of his shirt and pulled in an effort to get it
off of him. He sat up long enough for her to yank it all the way off him. They
quickly resumed their previous position.



Suddenly the Livingroom phone started ringing. Kyle jumped up, but Isabel
quickly stopped him.



“Let the machine get it. We have more important things going on.”



“That we do my love. That we do.” He said as he settled back into his
girlfriend’s awaiting arms.



All that could be heard were the sounds of Isabel and Kyle kissing
passionately and Amy Valenti’s voice on the answering machine.



‘You’ve reached the Valenti’s. Leave a message after the tone.”
*BEEP*



“Kyle this is your father. Get off of Isabel and pick up the phone now.
I know you two are making out on the couch. Put your shirt on and get your
butt over to the phone ASAP.”



Kyle hastily did as his father said and made a mad dash for the phone, and
picked it up. “Dad? What’s wrong?”



‘Kyle I want you and Isabel to get your asses over to the Crashdown, right
now.’



“Why what’s wrong. Is everyone all right?” He asked worried by his father’s
tone.



‘There’s been an accident.’



“What do you mean by ‘accident’.” He questioned.



‘Nancy and Jeff Parker were in a car accident on Highway 80.’



“Shit. Are they all right?”



‘No. The car was hit by a semi. They were killed on impact.’



It took him a few minutes to regain the ability to speak. He felt like the
wind had been knocked out of him. Jeff and Nancy not only were Liz’s
parents, and good people, but they were his god parents. He felt like could
cry but he didn’t want to scare Isabel. Gotta stay strong. Can’t scare
Izzy.




The look on Kyle’s face worried Isabel. What the hell is going on? She
got up and stood next to him in an effort to hear what his father was
saying.



Kyle ran a hand through his hair in disbelief and finally spoke. “Oh god. Do
Liz and Ava know?” He asked while motioning for Isabel to get her stuff
together.



‘Yea. I don’t think that they took it too well. Just get over there cause as
far as I know only Micheal is there with them.’



“All right I’ll be there in five minutes.” He hurriedly hung up the
phone.



“What’s wrong?” Isabel asked worriedly.



“I’ll tell you in the car. Just get the keys and start the car. I’ll be out in a
sec.”



“Okay.” She said as she squeezed his hand and grabbed the keys. She
disappeared out the door.



Kyle simply stood there for a second. He shook his head in an effort to clear
his thoughts. And ran out to the car where his girlfriend was
waiting.



She noticed the lost look in his eyes. “Kyle?”



“Yea?”



“What happened?” What did his father tell him? She questioned as
they pulled out of his driveway.



“There was an accident on Highway 80. A semi hit the Parker’s car. Nancy
and Jeff are dead.”



Isabel felt like she was just punched in the stomach. Nancy and Jeff were
good people. They were always there for the group when they needed
anything. She had spent many a night at their house with Ava and Liz. “Ava?
Liz?”



“They’re okay. They just found out though. Dad wants us to go over there
because Micheal is the only one with them. At least as far as he knows.”




They were just a block away from the Crashdown when Isabel decided to
see where everyone else was in relation to the Parker’s apartment. Since Ava
had started working with Liz and Kyle on their then thought to be limited
powers, they had learned that Kyle and Liz could basically do everything
they
could. Her, Micheal, Kyle, Max, Liz and Ava had all discovered that they
could tell where the others were if they just concentrated hard enough. It
came in handy every now and then. Plus she could sleep easier at night
knowing where her family was at all times.



Isabel closed her eyes and concentrated. “No he’s not. I feel Max there
too.”



“Still we need to get over there. I can feel the pain flowing off of Liz, can’t
you?” And loneliness, anguish, and fear. Kyle replied. His connection
with Liz was strong since they had learned how to use their powers
together. He could sometimes read her emotions from miles away. That was
something that only he, Liz and occasionally Micheal were capable
of.



Isabel closed her eyes again. “I feel pain. I just can tell whose it is.”



They pulled up in front of the Crashdown and raced towards the back
entrance which they both knew would be unlocked. Kyle dashed up the stairs
but stopped short at the sight in front of him. He saw a head of blonde and
pink hair laying on the couch. Even though he didn’t see Max, he knew he was
laying next to her. He motioned for Isabel to be quiet.



‘Ava’s asleep.’ He mouthed to her. She nodded in understanding and they
both made their way in the apartment. They crept past Ava and Max. It was
obvious that Ava had been crying by the tear stains on her cheeks. Max had
a protective arm draped over her.



Isabel snuck past Kyle and made her way towards Liz’s room.



Micheal had heard the Mustang pull up and knew that Sheriff Valenti must
have called Kyle which also meant that Isabel was with him. One never
goes anywhere without the other.
He heard the creaking floor boards
which meant that they were coming near Liz’s room. He carefully unhooked
Liz’s arms from around himself and got up.



“Shh..” He told them when they were face to face. “I finally got Liz to
sleep.”



“How is she?” Isabel asked with concern written all over her face.



Micheal shook his head, a look of defeat on his face. “Not good at all.” He
said solemnly.



“How long has she been sleeping?” Kyle questioned.



“About ten minutes.” Micheal said while glancing at the clock. “She cried
herself to sleep earlier when she first found out. I picked her off the floor
and put her in bed. She woke up about twenty minutes later.”



“How was she then?”



“She asked me if it was all a dream. I’ll tell you, I never wished for anything
so hard in my life. Not even going home. I wished right then that I could tell
her it was.” Micheal said tears silently streaming down his cheeks at the
memory of their talk no more than twenty minutes prior.

He was sitting by her bed when Liz had begun to stir. He was lost in his
thoughts and she must have noticed him sitting there. "Micheal?"



He practically lept from the chair to the bed. He put his hand on the side of
her face affectionately. "How are you? Do you need anything?" He asked
sincerely. And a very dumb question that was. Of course she needs
something. Her parents back home safe and sound.




She shook her head. "It wasn't a dream, was it? “She asked as tears welled
up in her eyes.



"I'm afraid not sweetie." He wanted nothing more than for his powers to
allow him to bring her parents back and at least make her
semi-happy.



"Oh okay." She said as her bottom lip quivered. She began crying. "Why me,
Micheal? Why them?"



"I honestly don't know Liz." He said. His own eyes were filling with tears at
this point.



He remembered laying down next to her to keep her calm. She clung to him
for dear life.



They laid there in silence, holding each other for a while. He felt his heart
shatter with ever sob that escaped from her lips. They formed an emotional
connection and he felt all her pain.



Liz suddenly looked him dead in the eyes. "Thank you." She sniffled.



"For what?"



"For being here with me. I can't be alone Micheal."



"I know. You're not alone Liz. You have all of us especially me. I won't ever
leave you alone. Not as long as you need me." You've been here for me and
I intend to do the same.




"It hurts so much." She sobbed.



He held her closer. "I know."



"It hurts so much here." She said indicating to her heart.



Isabel had tears in her eyes. Seeing Micheal so upset was a rarity. She knew
he was heartbroken at Maria leaving but he never shared that with anyone
but Liz. This was definitely a rare occasion. But who could blame him. The
Parkers were like parents to everyone. Everybody loved them.



Isabel leaned back against Kyle who held her tightly. They all stared at Liz’s
restlessly sleeping form. One thought crossed everyone’s mind. What are
we gonna do?




“What happened then?” Kyle asked knowing there was more.



“She stopped crying and started cleaning her already perfectly neat
room.”



They nodded in unison.



“She starts acting like nothing was going on and when I asked her why, she
started screaming at me. She asked me why I was bothering her. She had
things to do. I basically told her to cut the shit. It took a little pushing but
she finally gave in. She laid back down and I held her. She asked me to stay
with her at least until she was asleep.”



“Okay. One sister down. What happened with Ava?”



“After I put Liz into bed the first time, Ava started pacing the room
babbling about all the stuff she had to do and then she broke down crying.
That’s when Max and your parents walked in. Max calmed Ava down and
Diane asked if they needed anything. Ava said no. And they left. Cept Max.
How’d you guys get here so fast?”



That must have been my parents calling my cell. I’ve gotta learn to answer
it more often.




“Well my Dad just called and told me and Izzy to get our butts over here. So
we did. Are you guys okay for the moment?”



Micheal nodded. “For tonight at least.”



“I really hate to ask this question in front of you Micheal but, does Maria
know what happened?”



Micheal cringed at the mention of Maria’s name. He knew however, that she
would come up soon enough. Especially now with every that just happened.
She would have to be told. It was either one of them call her or she’d find
out from her parents.



“I’ll call her. She’s my sister after all.” Kyle and Maria had become closer
since their parents had gotten married the previous year. They bonded
further when their little sister Tasha was born. They had spent many a night
baby-sitting her together.



He pulled out his cell phone and dialed the number from memory.



New York City: The Apartment Of Maria DeLuca and Ashley
Grimaldi...




“Ash? Have you seen my brush?” Maria yelled to her boyfriend as she
searched the bathroom in effort to find it.



“Yea. I cleaned the bathroom while you were at work. Try the second drawer
on the right.”



Sure enough, it was there. “Thanks baby.”



“You found it hun?” He yelled as she snuck up on him.



She tapped his shoulder with the brush. “But of course.” She said as she
kissed him on the lips when he turned around to face her.



It had been almost six months since Maria and Ashley had moved in
together. They were perfect for each other. It really was love at first
sight. Maria met him when she had taken a tour of the Columbia University
campus. The college she was now attending. He just happened to be her
guide. Ashley was completely in awe of her and had asked her out to dinner
that very night. She agreed. And they had been together ever
since.



Ashley Grimaldi was by any girl’s standards perfect. He was extremely
smart. He was studying to be a lawyer. He came from a wealthy family. And
he had a good head on his shoulders. He was 6’3 with entrancing blue eyes
and sandy blonde spiky hair. He was totally built, complete with six pack and
had that rebel look. His favorite outfit was a wifebeater that showed off
his incredible muscles and a baggy pair of Tommy Hilfiger jeans. And Maria
loved it. Add in a motorcycle and a New York accent to the mix and he was
absolutely perfect. Plus it helped that he shared in Maria’s love of
music.



Ashley pulled her tightly to him which caused a squeal of surprise to erupt
from Maria’s mouth. “Have I told you how much I you today?” He asked
huskily.



“Yes but it doesn’t hurt to hear it again.” She said with a smirk.



“I love you Maria DeLuca.”



“And I love you Ashley Grimaldi.” She declared as she kissed him
passionately.



Suddenly their moment was interupted by the phone ringing.



“I’ll get it.” Ashley declared as he reached for the phone.



“’Ello?”



‘Ashley? It’s me Kyle.’



“Kyle bro wassup?” Maria suddenly looked up from her new position on the
couch at Ashley’s mention of her brother’s name. ‘Is it my brother?’ She
mouthed to him.



He nodded. She moved closer to where he was.



‘Can I talk to my sister?’ He asked with a glum tone in his voice.



Ashley quickly picked up on the hurt and sadness in his voice, even though
Kyle did not sound it. “Bro was wrong?”



As soon as Maria heard Ashley ask Kyle what was wrong, she dashed into
their bedroom and quietly picked up the phone. She was devastated by what
she heard.



‘I’ve got bad news. Remember my friend Liz?’



“Ya mean Ria’s best friend?”



‘Yeah. Her parents were killed this morning in a car accident.’



“Shit. She and her sister aight?” He asked out of real concern. If Liz and
Ava were dead, Maria would be heartbroken for sure.



‘Yeah her and Ava weren’t in the car. The Parkers were coming home early
from their vacation in Vegas. They were hit by a semi and died
instantly.’



“Shit.”



‘Yeah. We’re all at Liz and Ava’s now.”



“Well be there on the next flight Kyle.” Maria’s voice suddenly interupted.
Ashley hadn’t realized that Maria had picked up the extension in their
bedroom. Shit. She gotta mad upset now. His thoughts were only
confirmed by the sounds of sniffling on the other line.



“Ria I’ll tell you what. You talk to ya bro and I’ll get da tickets for us.
Aiight?”



“Yeah baby.” She sniffled.



“Kyle, I’ll see ya lata bro.”



‘Bye man. Take care of her.’



“Ya know I will.” With that Ashley hung up and reached for his cell phone
and
the phone book. He was quickly on the phone with an airline. “Yo. I need two
tickets to Roswell, New Mexico. As fast as possible. Like yestaday....”




Meanwhile....In the bedroom..



“Kyle? Is Liz okay?” I know I wouldn’t if it were me.



‘Not really. Would you be if it was Mom and Dad?’



That thought had already crossed her mind. “No. Was anyone with her when
she found out?” She asked as her thoughts drifted to the fact that Kyle was
probably out with Isabel like always. And Max and Ava were practically
attached at the hip. A fact which still hurt Liz. Which except for Micheal,
left her by herself a lot.



‘Yeah. Micheal and Ava. Thank god the Crash was closed.’ He sighed. ‘Micheal
said that they both freaked.’ At the mention of Micheal, Maria felt a pain of
guilt in her heart. She still felt bad for the way she left Micheal. From what
Liz told her, he was really hurt by how things ended up.''



“I don’t blame them. They’re not even 18 and now their orphans.”



‘Ava’s taking it a little better than Liz.’



“What makes you say that?”



‘From how Micheal described her, she had a meltdown. And I can feel a
million different emotions coming from her. Mostly confusion.’



Maria was a little bothered by Kyle’s comment about feeling Liz’s emotions.
On some level she was very hurt by the fact that her brother and her best
friend shared a bond that she and Liz could never have. And that bond only
brought them closer to Max, Isabel and Micheal. She felt like an outsider
sometimes. And that along with the pain of losing Alex, was one of the
reasons she decided to graduate from school early and went to
Columbia.



Going away to school, gave Maria a newfound independence that she so
desperately needed. All her life, she depended on someone, whether it was
her mother, Liz, or even Micheal. It also gave her a new perspective on
life.



She had stopped looking at the glass as being half empty. It was always half
full now. She was defiantly more positive about everything. She had a great
life. Two very supportive parents. An adorable baby sister and protective
older brother. Awesome friends. Loving boyfriend. What more could she ask
for? The only thing she could think of was a better relationship with Liz.




After the whole Tess-tried-to-kill-us incident, Maria wasn’t exactly trusting
of anyone even resembling Tess which meant Ava. It was nothing personal to
Ava it was just the wounds Tess had created were still healing. That
defiantly caused problems with Liz because Ava was her sister. Liz couldn’t
understand why Maria left her. They had always planned to go to UNM Las
Cruces together. But she just had to get out of Roswell. There were too
many demons there that she didn’t want to face, at least not yet. She just
needed a fresh start.



Which meant cutting all ties that held her down for the moment. And the
only thing holding her down was Micheal. She strung him along for two
months but when school started, the phone calls and letters became few and
far between. At some point she had just fallen out of love with him. She
didn’t want to hurt him, but pretending to still be in love with him would hurt
more in the future. So she wrote him a letter. She told him about
Ashley.



In her mind, she knew that he probably wouldn’t take it well. Liz had later
told her that he in fact didn’t. That he was for now at least a broken man.
Despite how hard he had tried to push her away, he really did love her. He
thought he was doing it for her own good. It was ironic that in the end, he
was the one to get hurt.



It had taken her nearly two years to break down his walls. But she did. And
they fell for each other. Hard. Through all the fighting and the good times.
Through the tears and the smiles. Some was good some was bad. But she
would never ever regret what they had. Just the way they *she*
ended things.



“Ria, you ready baby?” Ashley yelled from the other room.



“Yeah. Just let me get some clothes together for us.” She yelled
back.



He came to stand in the doorway of their bedroom. He watched her pacing
the room with a worried expression on his face. “I’ll get mine. You dun hafta
do it.”



“No it’s okay I will.”



He knew that Hurricane DeLuca was not one to fight with. But he just
wanted to make sure. “You sure baby?” He asked as he wrapped his arms
around her and placed a tender kiss on her forehead.



“I got it. Just get the car.”



“Aiight I’ll be waiting downstairs. I love you.” He reluctantly let go of her,
grabbed his keys off the dresser and made his way downstairs.



“I love you too.”



She quickly ransacked their drawers to find some suitable outfits for
Roswell. She chucked them into a small suitcase and was basically ready to
go. “Roswell here we come.” She mumbled non-enthusiastically.



She ran downstairs suitcase in hand, and jumped in Ashley’s
Navigator.



He was concerned by the lost look on her face. “Ready ta go?” He asked as
her as he rubbed the side of her face.



“As ready as I’ll ever be. What time does the flight leave?”



“3 o’clock.”



“In the morning?”



“Yea. I figured you’d want da next possible flight.”



“I did. Thank you baby.” She said as she interlaced her hand with his and
they drove off.



“Ria?”



“Yeah?”



“Just rememba ta do da one thing I always tell ya.”



“What?”



“Just rememba to breathe.” He always told her that any time she panicked
about anything. And it always helped. He knew she would need that for
Roswell. He couldn’t understand why she dreaded going home so much. She
had it all. But he would soon find out.



*******



posted on 14-Aug-2002 12:07:35 PM

Part 3: Yes, I Still Remember





AN: A ‘~’ denotes a flashback.



Micheal sat in the bay window of his “room” in the Parker Apartment. He was
contemplating just about everything in his life. He wasn’t looking forward to
tomorrow, for the simple fact of it would mean seeing the source of all his
pain in the past year. Maria. As music softly played in the background,
Micheal flashed back to earlier times.



Do you still remember, how we used to be?

Feeling together, believing whatever.

My love has said to me.

Both of us were dreamers.

Young love in the sun.

Felt like my savior, my spirit I gave you.

We’d only just begun.





~They were in the middle of a crazy pillow fight when she suddenly stood
up and yelled “Truce.” The look in her eyes told him that she wasn’t up to
anything. So, he agreed to her truce.



He flopped down on his couch and she cuddled up next to him. “Micheal?”




“Hmmm?” He replied.



“Do you remember what it was like between us, when everything began?” She
smiled as she thought of their constant bickering. Looking back on it, Isabel
was right, they sounded like an old married couple. “Who knew that two
people who once wanted to kill each other could fall so deep in love.”



He chuckled in response. “You were infuriating to me. I had always thought
of you as Liz’s airhead sidekick. I didn’t want to deal with you.”



She smacked him in astonishment. “I’ll have you know I was not an airhead.”
She huffed, and crossed her arms mockingly.



He shook his head in disagreement. “Yes, sometimes you were. You were an
oil sniffing, airhead. But other times...” He trailed off as she
interupted.



“Oh yeah, rebel without a clue?” She challenged.



“Yeah. Bubble brains.” He shot back.



“Dorkbutt.”



“Cheesehead.”



“Space Brains.”



“Space Cadet.”



“Oil sniffing, airhead.” He shot back as he stuck his tongue out at
her.



“Oh yeah, at least I know how to use a brush.”



“Is that the best you got, Ms. I sleep with a teddy bear.”



“No. But this game is getting a little....” She said as she made a fake yawing
noise. “tiresome.”



He lunged at her and pinned her to the couch. “I’m tiresome, huh? We’ll see
about that.” He declared mischievously.



A look of panic crossed her face. She knew what he was planning to do.
“Micheal, I was just kidding.”



“No. I don’t you were.” And with that he began tickling her.



“Mich-eal, sssssttttooooppp!” She managed to spit out in a fit of
giggles.



“Only if you say the password.”


“I love you Spaceboy.”



He let go of her. “That’s what I wanted to hear.”



She laid her head on his chest. “Then I’ll say it again, I love you.”



“And I love you.”



“Forever?” She questioned.



“And a day. My love.”



He loved the feeling of being able to actually say those three words without
struggling. She was the only one who made that possible.
~



Hasta Mañana, always be mine.



Viva forever, I’ll be waiting.

Everlasting like the sun.

Live forever, for the moment.

Ever searching for the sun.





~He slowly ran his hands up and down her body. She shuddered as his
mouth latched onto one of her sensitive nipples. He took pleasure in driving
her insane. He watched as her head fell back against the pillows and her
eyes rolled in the back off her head. He knew all of her spots, and took full
advantage of them.



She grabbed a handful of his hair and dragged him back up her body. She
burned kisses up the side of his neck, which elicited a groan out of him. And
when she finally reached his ear she whispered huskily “I need you inside me
now Micheal.”



“Yes Ma’am.” He happily complied with her demand, and positioned himself
above her.



There was a look of pure ecstasy on her face as he slowly pushed his way
inside her.



“Mmmmmmicheal.” She immediately arched up off the bed. He felt so good.




“God, you feel so good baby.” He breathed in her ear. “So fucking good.” The
fact that he was talking like that on served to further arouse her.



He slowly began to pound in and out of her tight body. No matter how many
times they had been together she was always so tight. And it always drove
him nuts.



“Uhhhh shit.” She cried as she tried to speed up the pace of their love
making.

“Maria.” He hissed her name softly.

“Faster Micheal.” She shrieked. He was going painfully slow. He wanted to
take his time with her. But she had other plans. The could go slow another
day. She needed release and she needed it now.



She somehow managed to flip them over, so that she was on top. She began
to rock her hips almost violently. He met her thrust for thrust. “Micheal
help me.”



He held her hips in an effort to find the pace she wanted. After a few
minutes, they finally reached the steady rhythm she so desperately needed.
He knew by the look of passion in her glazed, unfocused eyes. “Mmmm right
there. Oh God. Don’t stop. Right there Micheal.” She panted as she laced her
fingers through his above his head. They were steadily driving each other
insane.



This wasn’t their first time. So there was no awkwardness in their
movements. No insecurities. Just pure passion driving them towards oblivion.




“God. Micheal. So good.” She couldn’t think straight, not that she could think
at all. She couldn’t control the way her body responded to his as she raised
and lowered herself onto to him. It was as if something primal inside of her
took over. She needed him deeper. If that was even possible.



His mouth latched on to that sensitive spot on her neck. “Baby.” He
hissed.



She ran her hands across his chest, feeling all of his muscles contract at her
touch.



“Oh fuck. I’m almost there.” She let the fire, and passion take over her.
Throwing her head back in ecstasy, her orgasm took over. Maria cried out
his name as she flew over the edge.



“Shit baby.” He felt her innerwalls clamp down around him. And that was all
it took to send him after her.
~



Yes I still remember, every whispered word.

The touch of your skin, giving life from within.

Like a love song that I’d heard.

Slipping through our fingers, like the sands of time.

Promises made, every memory saved.

Has reflections in my mind





~Afterwards, they lay in each other’s arms.



“Micheal, I love you.”



“I love you too, baby.”



“Forever?” She asked dreamily.



“And a day.” He replied as sleep overcame them both.
~



Hasta Mañana, Always be mine.



Viva forever, I’ll be waiting.

Everlasting, like the sun.

Live forever, for the moment.

Ever searching for the sun





~“But you always said that we’d go to college together at UNM Las Cruces.
What changed your mind?”



She shook her head in indifference. “I just need to get out of here Micheal.
Too much has happened. And I can’t be here right now. I need some space
for a little while.”



He looked like hurt. “While are you telling me this now? It’s December. We
don’t graduate until June.”



She shook her head. “No Micheal. You do. Liz does. Max does. Isabel does.
But I don’t.”



“Ria you’re not making any sense.”



She handed him a paper that answered it all.






West Roswell High School


Seniors Who Qualify For January Graduation:



A * denotes those students who chose to and will be graduating next
week.



Kim Aben *

Anthony Azzuro

Micheal Brachia

Teresa Brachia

Maria DeLuca *

Isabel Evans

Denise Lucadamo *

James Santos *

Alexandra Santoriello *

Elaina Zindar *



Congratulations to all who will be leaving us. We will miss
you!





“You’re graduating next week?!? Couldn’t you have told me about this
sooner? What were you just gonna leave without a goodbye?” He asked as
tears silently streamed down his face.



She too had tears in her eyes. “Micheal, it wasn’t like that at all. And you
know it. I only decided this two weeks ago.” She sniffled. “And how dare you
think I would leave without saying goodbye to everyone! Especially you!” She
screamed at him. “What kind of a person do you think I am. I just need time
away from here.”



“Time away from me, you mean.” He said bitterly.



“No not you. I love you. It’s just this place, this town. I know there’s got to
be something better out there for me. And I’m sure there’s something
better that Roswell, for you.”



“Where are you going?”



“New York. I promise I will eventually be back. I just need to see more of
the world than this rinky-dink town.” She said as she embraced him.



“Promise?”



“Yeah. I promise.”
~



But we’re all alone now, was it just a dream?

Feelings untold, they will never be sold.

And the secret’s safe with me.





~”Attention passengers, this is the final call for Flight 258 to New York.
Please proceed to Gate 3.”



“I will call as soon as I get there.” She reassured him.



“You had better. Or I’ll come there and bring your little pixie ass home.
Y’hear me?”



She laughed. “Okay Spaceboy. I love you.”



He hugged her tightly as the voice came over the intercom again. “Attention
passengers, this is the final call for Flight 258 to New York. Please proceed
to Gate 3.”



She reluctantly removed herself from his arms. “That’s my flight. I have to
go.” She kissed him for what was to be their last time. “I love you
Spaceboy.”



“I love you too, Cheesehead.”



As she made her way towards the gate she mouthed ‘I’ll love you forever’ to
him.



He in turn mouthed ‘And a day’, and blew her a kiss.



She pretended to catch the kiss in her hand. And with that she
disappered.



He had a bad feeling in the pit of his stomach as he watched her plane take
off. But he pushed it aside thinking it was nerves. Little did he know that
about two months later how right he was.
~



Hasta Mañana, Always be mine.



Viva forever, I’ll be waiting.

Everlasting, like the sun.

Live forever, for the moment.

Ever searching for the sun





As the song ended, he was brought out of his revelry by a familiar voice.
“Hello Micheal.”



********


posted on 14-Aug-2002 12:09:31 PM

Part 4: Let The Games Begin





Maria pushed the back door of the Crashdown open and trudged upstairs,
Ashley in tow. She opened the door to the Parker Apartment. “Hello
anybody here?”



“Maria is that you?” She recognized the voice as belonging to Max.



“Girlfriend is that you?” She asked humorously. Ashley turned to her and
mouthed ‘Girlfriend?’ to her.



“I’ll explain later.” She whispered in response.



Max quickly ran up to her and engulfed her in a hug. “Maria! How are you?”
Despite everything, he was genuinely happy to see her.



She smiled at him. He was the only one besides Liz and Kyle that she kept in
touch with. Although she talked to him and Kyle more than she did Liz. “I’m
good Max. You?”



“I’m all right. It’s good to see you. I just wish it wasn’t under these
circumstances.” He said sadly.



“I know.” She said as she ruffled his hair affectionately. Nancy and Jeff
had been like a second set of parents to her for as long as she could
remember.



Ashley didn’t want to interrupt the reunion but he felt a little awkward just
standing there. “Aren’t you goin ta intraduce us, Ria?”



“Oh yeah. Max this is Ashley. Ashley this is Max.”



For a moment, Max eyed Ashley carefully. There was something familiar
about him. He couldn’t quite put his finger on it. But he did notice one thing.
He looks so much like Micheal. It’s creepy. Well minus the piercings and
tattoos that is.




Ashley felt a pair a eyes on him and chanced a glance at Max. He looks
familiar. Where have I seen him before?




Max snapped out his stupor and stuck out his hand. “Hey man. Nice to finally
meet you.” He emphasized the word meet with a smirk because he had
tried for months to get Maria to come visit but she wasn’t having it.



Ashley shook it. “Same hea. Ria’s told me a lot bout you.”



“She didn’t tell you anything embarrassing right? Cause if she did....” He
asked half joking. But the other half of him also knew that Maria had a
tendency to open her mouth about anything and everything at all. He loved
her, and she was a great friend, but she babbled a lot.



“Max that’s enough. I didn’t say anything about anything embarrassing.” She
said trying to stop him before he shot his mouth off.

Ashley turned back to Max with a smirk on his face just to get Maria all
riled up. “We hafta talk lata.” Maria shot him a look of death. He would have
to pay for that later. Not dat I mind. He thought
mischievously.



Max mirrored Ashley’s grin. “Sure. We just can’t do it when Ria’s around. I
don’t know about you, but I value my life.”



“Aye you don’t live wit her.” He tried to hold back his laughter. He knew
Maria was still in the room.



Max patted him on the back. “My condolences man.”



Maria shot both of them a look of contempt. “Boys you’re treading on
dangerous ground now. Max I suggest you cut it out. Cause I know some
stories that will have Ava teasing you into your next life.” Max caught the
double meaning of her words. And Ashley did too. Well at least what it would
mean to him. She can’t possibly be referring to what I think she is. But if
she is, I think I finally found them.
Maria turned to her lover and jabbed
him in the chest with her finger. “And you mister, will be sleeping on the
couch when we get home if your not careful.”



Max cringed on Ashley’s behalf. “Ouch.”



“Max.” Maria warned.



“Sorry. I swear I won’t do it again.” He said while failing to hide his
smirk.



“Okay now, where is everyone?”



“Izzy and Kyle are in the Livingroom. Micheal’s somewhere. And Liz and Ava
are in Liz’s bedroom. Asleep I think.”



“Okay.” She said as she walked into the Livingroom. The first person she laid
eyes on was her brother, sitting in the recliner along side the couch. But he
didn’t notice her. He was too busy watching Isabel sleeping silently next to
him. That is adorable. I wonder if Ashley does the same thing.



“Kyle.” She whispered. “Kyle.”



He turned to her with a smirk on his face. “Well if it isn’t my little sister.”
He said as he enveloped her in a hug. “How are you Ria?”



“I’m okay ya big lug. You?”



“I’m good.” He smirked.



“How’s Izzy?”



“She’s good too.” He said with absolute adoration in his eyes.



“Where’s Spaceboy?”



Ashley was silent through the whole exchange. Girlfriend? Spaceboy?
What is this?




“He’s in his room.”



“His room?”



“Oh yeah. He stays over here a lot so we all refer to the guest room as
Micheal’s room. Jeff and Nancy,” He stopped for a second to regain
composure. This was going to be hard on all of them. “started calling it his
room first. It kinda stuck because he’s here all the time.”



Maria saw the pain flash across his features for a second. This was going to
take a long time to recover from. Jeff and Nancy had been like parents to
everyone. They knew the kids had secrets but they never pressed for
information out of any of them. They respected their need for secrecy. Just
as the Evans’ did. Jeff had been like the father she never had, Well until
now.
before Amy had married Jim. Nancy had always been the voice of
reason, making her see the light whenever her and her mother fought. They
were such good people. It made no sense why they would be the ones to die
so needlessly.



“If you say so. I’m gonna go see how he is.” She said as she left all three men
in her wake.



Kyle turned to Ashley. “Sup man?”



“Nada. You?” He said as his shook his soon to be brother in law’s hand. But
they don’t know that yet.




“Not much.”



They had met before when he went with his father and step-mother to go
visit Maria in New York. It was just after his little sister, Tasha, was born.
After spending a few days with him. He decided that Ashley was good for
Maria. He had never seen so much light in her eyes before. She seemed
freer, happier. But of course he had given him the big brother talk, even
though Ashley was older than him.



”What are your intentions with my sister?” He asked honestly.



“Well I don’t plan on hurting her. I love her.” The look on Ashley’s face said
he meant every word.



“Just see that you don’t. I don’t give a shit who you are or whose kid you are.
If you hurt Maria. You. Will. Regret. It. She’s had enough to deal with in the
past.”



“I won’t. I promise.”



“I trust that you won’t. You seem like a good guy. But remember what I
said.”



“I will.”




The Guest Room; Micheal’s Room.





She walked in just to hear the ending of ‘Viva Forever’ by the Spice
Girls.



His back was to her. She guessed he was in deep thought about something.
Most likely the situation at hand. But she needed to announce her
presence.



“Hello Micheal.”



“Maria.” He retorted softly in acknowledgment of her presence. It was a
few moments before he actually turned to face her.



When he did, Maria could see that Liz wasn’t kidding: he had changed A LOT.
His hair was back to its former state of spikiness, only a bit shorter than
before with subtle blonde highlights. Both of his ears were pierced. And
when she glanced at his face she noticed that he had the look of a very
broken man in his eyes, which she didn’t expect. Well she kinda did but it
still hurt her to think, I did that to him. But the biggest change of all
was the fact that he was so built. Damn Spaceboy looks good! Not
that he was lanky or anything before, it was just that he wasn’t as lean as
Max. Liz had told her that to release frustration, rather than blowing
things up or taking it out on his walls, he would work out. And it was
definitely noticeable under the white T-shirt he was wearing. It
hugged him in all the right places. He had very nice biceps which were
very visible. And he now had a six pack that could easily rival Kyle’s.
She had also seen that he now had a tattoo on his left bicep: a small heart
that was broken in two with the word Spaceboy across it.



“Micheal, you look good.” She found it hard to speak as she met his eyes. He
looked so lost.



“You do too. Ria.” He said solemnly, as he gave her a once over. She had that
I-can-take-on-the-world look about her. She stood before him in a black
tank top that said Babygirl in rhinestones, a pair of black bellbottoms that
clung to her curves perfectly and black high heel boots. And he could hear
hints of a New York accent in her voice. He long hair was swept up in a
ponytail with some loose tendrils around her face. She was wearing a name
plate that said Ashley’s Babygirl. He could also see that she had her tongue
pierced.



She decided to break the uncomfortable silence. “I know we have some
things to talk about but I...”



“Now is not the time nor the place Ria. We’ll discuss everything later.” He
declared defiantly. She could hear a bitterness in his tone.



She nodded in agreement. Okay who are you and what have you done with
my Spaceboy? Wait a minute, he hasn’t be my Spaceboy for a long
time.




“Okay fair enough. How are you doing?”



He looked her dead in the eyes. She could see unshed tears threatening to
spill over. “I’m okay I guess. But Liz...”



“Liz what, Micheal?”



The tears finally slipped down his cheeks. “She’s taking it so hard. I don’t
understand why everything always happens to her. It’s just not
fair.”



She crossed the room and put her arms around him. “I know Micheal. It isn’t
fair. But we can’t change it.” She said as tears pooled up in her own eyes.
“They’re,” She sniffled. “ they’re gone.”



He broke down. “But, you didn’t see that lost look in her eyes Ria.” He cried.
“She was so lost. She closed herself up to everyone. She’s only 17. She’s
done nothing to deserve this. And Ava just turned 16. This is wrong.” He
sniffled. “Just wrong.” He added softly.



Maria remembered that gentleness in his voice. It was reserved solely for
her. In the old days at least. Memories flashed through her head of the old
days all the time. It seemed like another lifetime. It all seemed so long ago.
Looking back on it, Micheal really did love her. But she at some point just fell
out of love with him. Yet, now, she continued to hold him like she used to. If
only for that moment. I should at least give him this. If only for a few
seconds.




For a moment, Micheal pretended to forget that she wasn’t his anymore and
relished in the fact that her arms were around him. He could pretend for
that one second that she still loved him. And it felt good. He missed her
touch so badly. He missed being loved so much. Then reality set back in and
he dislodged himself from her arms, a look of pain flashing through his
eyes.



She knew why he had pulled back. “Micheal I’m sor-”



“Save it. Sorry doesn’t change anything. Like I said: We’ll. Discuss. This.
Later.” He said as he angrily wiped the tears from his face. “There’s more
important things to worry about than my feelings right now.



“But..”



“But nothing.” He abruptly cut her off.



She gave him a look of contempt. She was about to open her mouth when she
was once again cut off.



Another obviously male voice drifted into the room and interupted what was
sure to soon develop into a fight. “Baby, you in dere?”



“Yea sweetie. Come here.”



If Micheal didn’t know any better, he could swear that the guy who just
walked in could pass for his brother. Well isn’t that just hysterical. Add
insult to injury much Ria?
He thought cynically. Maria gave the guy a
small
pec on the cheek and took his hand in hers. He could see the look of love the
other guy gave her as she smiled up at him adoringly. So this must be
Ashley. That’s it. There’s no way I’ll ever get her back. This looks like
they’re both in it for the long haul. At least he’ll take good care of her.

“Micheal this is my boyfriend Ashley. Ashley this is Micheal.”



“Hey.” Was Micheal’s response.



“Wut up.” Was Ashley’s. Yep, definitely a New Yorker. Was Micheal’s
thought.



Meanwhile Ashley was thinking other thoughts as he looked at Micheal. It
can’t be? Could it. No. It’s just not possible. He couldn’t be here. They never
said anything about it. He’s here. I finally found him.
Maria interupted his
train of thought.



“Micheal where is Liz?” She asked as she clutched Ashley’s hand
tightly.



“She’s asleep in her room. So is Ava.”



“How they doin’?” Ashley asked in true concern.



He shook his head sadly. “Not good. Not good at all.”



Maria turned to Ashley, “Baby I’m gonna go check on them.”



“Aight. I’ll be hea.”



As soon as she exited the room, Ashley tried to strike up a conversation
with Micheal.



“So seriously, how are they?”



Micheal glanced at Ashley waringly. “Like I said this is hitting them really
hard. It’s gonna take a long time for them to get over it. Especially
Liz.”



Ashley noted the soft look in Micheal’s eyes as he spoke Liz’s name.
Interesting. “You care about her a lot, don’t you?”



“Yeah I do. She doesn’t deserve this after all the shit she’s been
through.”



Okay Ashley thought. Time ta change da topic. Like
yestaday.




“What’s da deal wit Ria?”



Could we not get into this shit again. I’ve had enough for one day.
“What do you mean?” Micheal asked impatiently.



Aight, I obviously asked da wrong question. But I might as well stick wit
it.
“What went down wit you two?”



“It’s complicated.”



“I got time.” He said as he took a seat at the desk.



“I really don’t want to discuss it. I might say some things I’ll regret
later.”



Ashley could sympathize to an extent. He had a girlfriend that was with him
for three years that just up and left one day without a word. He felt for
Micheal. The pain in his eyes shone through every time he looked at Maria.
He wanted to know what happened. He had heard Maria’s version. Now he
wanted to hear Micheal’s. And not only because he was curious of the
situation. Now that he found who he was searching for, for most of this life,
at least; he wanted to know every bit of information about his life. He
needed to know everything.



Who does this guy think he is? “Why do you care?”



“I just do.” If you only knew Rath.



Liz’s Room





Maria pushed the door open carefully. She didn’t want to wake either girl up.
But Ava was already awake.



She stretched out in the chair by Liz’s bed. “Maria? Is that you?”



“Hey Ava. How are you?”



“I’m okay I guess. Considering the circumstances.”



Maria looked at Ava. She too had changed. Her hair was now long and a soft
shade of brown. She didn’t look like a little ‘hoodlum’ anymore. And she no
longer seemed as timid as she once was. Everyone went on without me.
Maria thought sadly. She decided that she’d put all hard feelings she had
for Tess aside and treat Ava like she should’ve in the beginning. Besides, Ava
had just celebrated her 16th birthday no more than two days ago. What a
present huh?




She slowly bent down in front of Ava. “I know this is gonna be hard sweetie.
But I promise I’ll be here if you need me.” She was startled as the girl
reached out and hugged her. “Thanks Maria. That means a lot.”



“I know we haven’t gotten along too well in the past but I promise that will
change.”



“Thank you, Maria.” Ava said as tears welled up in her crystal blue
eyes.



Maria felt her own eyes begin to water once again. “You’re welcome,
Ava.”



They were interupted by a soft knocking at the door.



Ava’s head shot up, “That’s Micheal.”



Maria felt a twinge of jealousy again. She resented the bond that they all
shared. At least when Alex was here, she wasn’t alone.



Without either of them saying a word, Micheal slowly opened the door. He
first laid eyes on Maria, and she caught his hard gaze. But she noticed a
change in his demeanor when he saw Ava. “How are you Av?” This was a side
of Micheal that she wasn’t used to seeing on a regular basis. He used to only
act like this around her. She again felt a twinge of jealousy tug at her heart.
I’ve missed so much. He had finally opened up. Just not when she was
around.



“Aight. I guess.” Ava responded despondently.



“C’mere.” He commanded softly as he opened up his arms to her.



Maria watched as she quickly stood and went to him. He hugged her tightly
as she began to sob.



She saw movement out of the corner of her eye. Liz was beginning to
stir.



Before Liz even opened her eyes, Ava sensed she was awake and whispered
to Micheal. “Go to her, she needs you.” Even though it hurt that Liz seemed
to need Micheal more, she understood. And she also knew that Micheal would
take good care of her. He would never let her down. He had been let down
too many times. And he was good at learning from others’ mistakes. These
days at least.



Micheal pushed past Maria and sat next to Liz on the bed. Maria eyed the
exchange carefully.



Liz slowly opened her eyes. The first person she saw was Micheal. He gently
cupped her cheek. “How are you?”



She leaned into his hand while covering it with her own. “I honestly don’t
know Micheal. I feel like I’ve been hit with a train.” She sniffled.



He put his arm around her when she sat up a bit. Somehow it ended up that
she was sitting in between his legs with his arms around her waist. She
instinctively curled into him. She looked so lost.



“Av?” Liz questioned still seeing her sister standing in the doorway with her
arms wrapped around herself.



“Lizzy?”



“Come here.” Liz said as she patted the bed.



Ava sat down on the edge of the bed. Liz motioned for her to come closer.
When she did, she was promptly pulled into an embrace by her
sister.



Maria watched as Micheal held both girls protectively. While the girls held
each other tightly. She felt she was intruding on the moment so she made an
excuse.



“I’m gonna go find Ashley.”



Only Micheal acknowledged her statement. He nodded slightly. So she left
the room.



Once outside, she sunk to her knees in the hallway. She let out a sob. She
began to cry. Ashley saw her and was in front of her in an instant.



“Baby, was wrong?” He asked as he reached for her hands.



She looked up at him. “Liz didn’t even notice I was there. It’s like she
doesn’t need me.” She cried.



Ashley pulled her to him. “Don’t think that way baby. She needs ya. She’s
just very emotional right now. Give her some time. I promise.” He said as he
attempted to wipe the tears from her beautiful face.



“You’re probably right. I love you, Ash.”



He smiled. He never got tired of hearing those words uttered from her
mouth. “I love you too baby. I always will.”



He helped her up. “C’mon let’s go see what your bro is up ta.” He draped an
arm around her.



She nodded and grasped the hand that he had around her waist.
“Okay.”



They walked into the Livingroom only to find Kyle and Isabel asleep in each
other’s arms. So Ashley sat down on the recliner and pulled Maria into his
lap. “Sleep love.” He told her. “It’s been a long day. An’ we got some rough
ones comin’.”



She smiled sleepily as he uttered the word ‘we’. In their relationship, it
wasn’t even just her or him it was always them. They did things together as
one. Not separately. As was the case with her and Micheal. But, truth be
told, Micheal was the furthest thing from her mind as sleep overtook
her.



Meanwhile...



Both Ava and Liz had drifted off on Micheal as they sat on Liz’s bed. He
didn’t mind. Not at all. They needed their rest. The next few days were
going to be the hardest of all. He knew that firsthand. Which is why
thoughts of Maria drifted into his mind as dreamland began to take over
him. And this was only just the beginning of what was to come. The road
ahead was paved with surprises, with the biggest one of all being for
him.



********



posted on 14-Aug-2002 12:10:49 PM

Part 5: Remember Me This Way





Ashley woke up at around 3 o’clock in the morning. He didn’t really know why,
but he had this nagging urge to check on everyone. Maria was snuggled up on
the chair next to him. Kyle and Isabel were asleep on the couch. As he made
his way around the apartment, he noticed Ava was no longer in Liz’s room;
instead, she was curled up like a baby in Max’s arms. Okay both sets of
brother and sister accounted for. Onto the last set of siblings.
He took a
peak into Liz’s room. There on Liz’s bed, were Micheal and Liz. She clung to
him like he was her lifeline, even in her sleep. And he was holding on to her
protectively. He may be hurting because of Maria now. He thought.
But he’ll eventually see what I do: He should be wit Liz. He smiled. It
also figures that once again it takes his heart being broken for him to find
the real one. It happened in our last life too.
Ashley thought
ruefully.



He sighed. He had been waiting to find them for so long. To find him. It’s
just my luck dat I fall in love wit da girl dat had his heart. I guess fate is
comin back ta bite me in da ass.
He chuckled to himself. Well I guess
dat mean dat Ria an I will get married for sure. Coz when the same thing
happen with Ayara, I ended up marrying her. And we was so god damn happy.
Well Rath was pissed for a little while, till he found Akyra.




Micheal felt someone staring at him. And for some reason he knew that
person was Ashley. I wonder why I feel like I know him from somewhere.
And for some reason since him and Maria showed up, I’ve been getting this
weird feeling of deja vu. Maybe it’s just me.
He felt Liz snuggle into him a
little more. He wrapped his arms tighter around her waist. I shouldn’t
even be caring about this at the moment. Liz is the most important thing
right now.




3 Days Later: Wednesday

The Funerals





Liz sat in the funeral home in a daze. So many people had come to pay their
respects to her parents. Their entire family was there. Even some of her
and Ava’s friends from school. Each of them coming up to her and Ava
uttering words of sympathy. But none of it helped. She just wanted her
parents back home, safe and sound. As did Ava. But be realistic Liz.
She thought to herself. They’re not coming back. You’re an orphan now.
She let a small sob loose as she stared at the coffins that held her parents.
Ava wouldn’t allow her to look inside at. She told her that it would be too
painful for either of them. Their parents bodies had been burnt so badly.I
never got to say goodbye
She thought over and over.



Max was somewhat relieved as he looked at his girlfriend and her sister.
At least they’re taken care of. That’s all that I can possibly ask for right
now. For either of them. Life is not going to be easy for them anymore. And
it’s not fair. But neither is life.
He was glad that there were some things
that Liz and Ava would never have to worry for. They had gone to the
reading of the will that morning. Apparently, Jeff and Nancy had been
prepared in the event of their deaths. Funeral plans had already been set up,
saving the girls the heartache. They had everything taken care of every last
detail in their will. They left everything to Liz and Ava: the Crashdown, the
money (And it was quite a lot at that. Jeff and Nancy had never informed
Liz and Ava that they had so much money in the bank. Then again they never
asked.), both of Grandma Claudia’s summer homes(One in Florida, the other
in Mexico.), and a small vacation home in Saratoga Springs, New York. So
they had no worries about money and such. Jeff and Nancy had made sure
that both of their daughters, in addition to Micheal, knew how to run the
restaurant. So that took a little bit of pressure off of the Parker
girls.



The two of them sat there, hand in hand, veils covering their faces. The
sight alone was enough to make anyone cry. Neither spoke a word, simply
nodding their heads at anyone who spoke to them. Ava was concentrating on
the caskets that held her parents. Both were closed. Jeff and Nancy’s
bodies had been too badly burned to have an open casket. And both Max and
Micheal had convinced her that it wouldn’t be wise for Liz’s sake either.
Speaking of Micheal, he was standing off to the side with Max, Kyle, and
Ashley. All five had black suits on. It figures that the only time we get
Kyle and Micheal into suits is for my parents’ funeral.
She thought as
tears streamed down her face.



Isabel still did not understand how this all could have happened to Ava and
Liz. They had never done anything wrong to deserve such pain. Well she
remembered Ava saying that she had done what she needed to survive when
she was living in New York City. Because Rath, Lonnie and even Zan were of
no help to her. But other than that she had done nothing wrong. And Liz.
Well Liz was a saint. It was all so senseless. They were just 16 and 17, and
now they were orphans. Why them? They’ve done nothing. She
screamed silently. Nothing.



Kyle watched Ava and Liz carefully. It was only a matter of time before one
or both of them had a breakdown. He felt the hurt, anger and sadness
coming from both of them. They’ll never be the same again. He thought
sadly. Especially Liz. She hasn’t spoken in three days. Not even to Micheal.
Ava at least gives albeit one words answers, at least talks.
A sense of
dred washed over him as he glanced at the elder Parker sister. He felt that
Liz would be the one to have a total breakdown. She can’t handle this shit.
She’s had too much to deal with in the past two years. Alex’s death. Her and
Max’s break-up. Max and Ava getting together. And Maria up and leaving for
New York. It’s weird. We’re all here for her, and yet she’s all alone at the
same time.




Ashley felt somewhat out of place at the Parker funeral. He didn’t even
know them. Yet, as he kept a trained eye on Liz and Ava, he felt like he had
been there before. Not so much in the funeral home itself. But in the same
situation. Watching two sisters grieving for their parents. The only thing
that seemed to be missing was the solemn older brother who had a knack for
fading into the background. He shook himself in an effort to rid his mind of
the thoughts. He had only witnessed and felt such sadness once before in
his life. But that was another lifetime. Far away from here.



Micheal felt his heart break for what seemed like the thousandth time as he
kept a watchful eye on Liz and Ava. Just five days ago, both of them were
chasing him around the Crashdown laughing. Now, he wasn’t sure either of
them would ever laugh that way again. Like Kyle, he could feel the sadness
just flowing off them in waves. Liz hadn’t uttered so much as one word in the
past three days, and he was starting to get really worried for her.



He broke out of his stupor for a moment because he thought he felt
someone boring holes into the back of his head. He turned around only to be
met with the dead on stare of guy in the corner. He had similar features to
Liz (Dark eyes, dark hair, olive complexion.) only he was a bit taller and
seemed a hell a lot more rough around the edges. Kind of like himself.
Must be one of Liz’s cousins I guess. He thought as he gave the guy a
once over. Yet something seemed vaguely familiar about him. Like the same
vaguely familiar feeling he got around Ashley. Weird. Was his only
thought on the matter.



It still didn’t seem real to Maria, as she sat in the funeral home clutching
her mother’s left and her father’s right hands tightly. They can’t be dead.
Soon, we’ll all wake up and find that this was just a cruel joke.
It seemed
as if the entire state of New Mexico had turned out to morn Jeff and
Nancy Parker. Everyone loved them. Her mother sat there sobbing
silently. Nancy had been Amy’s best friend since they were the tender age
of 5. And they had been inseparable since. They had been there for each
other for everything. Which also served to a contributing factor to how
close she and Liz were. They had been like a second set of parents for her,
through thick and thin.



She turned to her father with tear-filled eyes only to be met with his own;
full of unshed tears. He too was extremely upset. He and Jeff had been
best friends since high school. Jeff had been his best man at both of his
weddings; the first to Kyle’s mother Michelle, the second being obviously to
Amy. And he had been Jeff’s at his wedding to Nancy. There was a lot of
history between the Parkers and the Valentis. They had shared everything
over the years. But never in their lives did Amy and Jim think that they
would have to bury their best friends *brother and sister* so young.
Neither would live to see their fortieth birthdays. But the saddest part of
all was that they would never get the chance to see either of their
daughters graduate from high school.



The Final Good-byes





So many people had come up and said their piece about Jeff and Nancy.
Some told funny stories from high school. Some talked about what kind of
people they were. Others just spoke about how the Parkers had lent a
helping hand when it desperately needed. It was something they had been
known for. Everyone in town, in some way or another had been witness to the
Parkers’ graciousness.



Ava and Liz had asked Maria to sing at the service. She agreed. So she
ended up singing “Remember Me This Way” as the funeral procession made
its way to the cemetery next door. It had been their mother’s favorite song.
So it only seemed fitting.



Every now and then,

we find a special friend.

Who never lets us down.

Who understands it all,

reaches out each time you fall.

You're the best friend that I've found.





The procession was led by the caskets. Jim, Kyle, Ashley and Philip carried
Nancy’s. While Max, Micheal, and Jeff’s brothers Tony, Christopher, and
Adrian carried Jeff’s.



I know you can't stay.

But part of you will never ever go away.

Your heart will stay.

I'll make a wish for you,

and hope it will come true.

That life will just be kind,

to such a gentle mind.





They were followed by Maria who was trying as hard as she could to continue
singing the song without breaking into tears.



If you lose your way,

think back on yesterday.

Remember me this way.

Remember me this way.





Next came Ava, Isabel and Liz. Isabel stood in the middle while Ava was on
her left and Liz was on the right. Each of them clung to Isabel’s arms
tightly. All three were silently crying.



I don't need eyes to see,

the love you bring to me.

No matter where I go.

And I know that you'll be there.

Forever more a part of me,

you're everywhere.

I'll always care.





And they were followed by Amy who was holding onto Tony’s wife Terese and
Diane Evans for dear life. Both had tears streaming down their
faces.



I'll make a wish for you,

and hope it will come true.

That life will just be kind,

to such a gentle mind.

If you lose your way,

think back on yesterday.

Remember me this way.

Remember me this way.





Not too far behind were Chris and Adrian’s wives, Lisa and Shannon. And all
the Parker cousins. Nancy was an only child so the only family from her side
that was there were her aunt and uncle who elderly. They held hands tightly
with tears in their eyes.



And I'll be right behind your shoulder watching you.

I'll be standing by your side in all you do.

And I won't ever leave,

as long as you believe.

You just believe





Jeff’s casket was the first one lowered into the wide grave. It was quickly
followed by Nancy’s, which was placed next to Jeff’s. Sobs could be heard all
around as Ava and Liz walked up to the grave hand in hand and dropped roses
onto the caskets. Everyone else soon followed suit. Amy buried her head into
Jim’s shoulder. Diane cried into Philip’s jacket. Neither woman could bear to
watch the bodies of their long time friends being lowered into the ground.
Neither man could stop the tears from sliding down his cheeks as they held
their grieving wives.



I'll make a wish for you,

and hope it will come true.

That life will just be kind,

to such a gentle mind.

If you lose your way,

think back on yesterday.

Remember me this way.

Remember me this way.





Finally the service was over. And the only people that remained were all of
the Valentis, the Evans, the Parker girls, and Micheal and Ashley. A strange
silence fell over the group as they watched the workmen begin to fill the
grave. It was quickly broken however by Liz’s cries of anguish as she fell to
her knees beside her parents’ final resting place.



Micheal and Maria sunk down and held her tightly as she cried. Maria let out
muffled sobs as she clutched Liz’s hand. And Micheal tried to but found that
he could no longer hold back his tears. So they clung to each other crying.
Kyle held onto a sorrowful Isabel. And Ava collapsed into Max’s arms, next
to Micheal, Liz and Maria. Ashley stood back and let the tears drip down his
face at the mournful scene before him. He could feel everyone’s sadness.
And it was beginning to feel like it was his own.



Amy, Jim, Philip, and Diane stood together weeping as they watched all their
children. It was a heartbreaking scene. One that they had never imagined
they would ever have to bear witness to. But here they were. And the reality
of it all caused both women to turned away once more. It was too hard to
watch a group who had just barely begun to live their lives, deal with such
dreadful circumstances. They were too young to have such tortured looks in
their eyes. But nonetheless they did. And they would for some time to
come.



********



posted on 14-Aug-2002 12:11:57 PM

Part 6: Secrets, Lies, & Betrayal





After the funeral, everybody had gone to their respective homes. Micheal
went with Liz and Ava. Of his own volition, he had decided that he would be
staying with them for at the very least the time being. He really did not
want to be alone anyway. Seeing Maria had reopened wounds that had only
begun to heal. He felt like he wanted to punch a wall. And being around Liz
would keep him from doing so. She was the one who had coerced him into
working out as a means of releasing frustration instead of beating up his
apartment in the first place.



So he went home with them. Well so did Max. But he was only there long
enough to make sure Ava got to bed okay. Figures. He cares about no one
else.
As soon as she was asleep, he said goodbye and left. Not that
Micheal had a problem with that. Ever since their messy break up, Liz got
uneasy whenever she saw Max, a fact which only Micheal noticed. So him
sticking around didn’t really seem to be a necessity. She didn’t need the
added pain. Especially now.



Sure he didn’t really want to be around Maria, but that was besides the
point. Maria hadn’t cheated on him. But Max had on Liz. He still held anger
towards his best friend for sleeping with Tess. Max had claimed that he had
seen that Liz cheated on him. To which he had replied, “Bullshit.” If Max had
really loved Liz even just a shred of how much he claimed he did, he would
have seen that it was a lie. But then again Max wasn’t too swift at reading
between the lines.



That was another thing that bothered him. Max never had the faith that Liz
wouldn’t do such a thing. And with Kyle none the less. He had found it rather
funny. He knew that Liz would never be so stupid. But on the other hand, he
had never known that Max could.



But he really didn’t care to reminisce over how much an idiot Max was right
now. He had too much on his mind. Maria and Ashley for instance. It wasn’t
that he didn’t like Ashley, it was just that he got weird vibes when he saw
him. It felt as if he knew him from somewhere. He just couldn’t figure out
from where.



And the whole situation with Maria gave him a weird feeling. Like he had
been in the same exact situation before. But he couldn’t remember. He
hadn’t got that far yet on memory retrieval with Ava. Not that she retained
many of her memories either. But he had the distinct feeling that she
remembered a little more than she led on. But he knew she would spill in due
time. Like Isabel said she and Tess are as different as day and
night.



He quickly jarred himself once again. I need some sleep. He thought as
he stripped off his one and only suit (Or that damn suit as he referred to it.
Liz and Isabel made him buy it for special occasions.) He pulled a pair of his
baggy sweats out of the dresser and changed into them. Once changed, he
drew back the blankets on his bed and climbed in. It had been a long & tiring
day, so he was quickly asleep. But he wouldn’t stay that way for long.



~Micheal examined his surroundings. It was all so strange yet so familiar
at the same time. He watched another version of himself glancing around the
room. He was a bit bigger height and muscle wise, but he still had that spiky
hair. ‘It must be one of my memories from Antar. Which would make that
guy Rath. I think. But I’m not sure.’ He thought as he watched Rath walk
towards a large set of double doors and proceed to push them open.



He followed him out onto the balcony of his suite. It was on the third floor
of what he guessed was the Royal Palace. The view from where they were
standing was amazing. Everything was simply awe inspiring to him as he
looked around. The colors here seemed so much more vibrant. The clouds
were the deepest shade of blue. The grass was so green. The roses were
remarkably red. He inhaled deeply. The air was so crisp and fresh. It took
his breath away. ‘So this is what home is like? It’s beautiful.’



“Rath, my love are you here?” He heard a woman say as she entered his
quarters. Micheal didn’t get a very good look at her. But he knew she was
breath taking. ‘But how in the hell do I know that? What the hell am I doing
here though?’



He guessed at first, that Rath must not have heard her because he didn’t
turn to acknowledge her presence. But something told him that wasn’t the
case. ‘Or he’s feigning ignorance. Wait did I just think that? Okay where the
hell am I?’



She carefully and quietly walked up behind Rath. She quickly slid her arms
around to caress his bare chest. “Mmm my love. I’ve missed you.” She said as
she placed open mouth kisses to the back of his neck and shoulders.



Micheal suddenly realized that he felt all Rath’s emotions. He felt the love
and devotion toward her pouring off Rath in waves as he gave in to her
ministrations. And, as her hands explored Rath’s shoulders, he could see
what looked to be a wedding ring gleaming on her left hand. It was some sort
of silver or white gold with a bunch of symbols on it. ‘His wife?’ He asked
silently. ‘This doesn’t make sense.’



The next thing Micheal knew, he was no longer an observer of the scene
before him; rather, he was now an active participant. He was Rath. He
could feel his body responding to her. He groaned. It was intoxicating. She
held such power over him. And he liked it. This felt vaguely familiar to him.
But it felt really good. ‘Who gives a shit about sense right now.’



She knew just what to do to drive him crazy. It seemed as if every nerve
ending in his body was alive with pleasure. He felt himself turn her in his
arms and kiss her passionately. He then trailed his mouth down her neck as
she ran her hands up and down his back. “Rath.” She whispered dazily as the
passion took them over.
~



Suddenly Micheal was thrown out of the dream, but not before uttering his
lover’s name in response. “Akyra.”



He woke up in a cold sweat, gasping for air. What the hell was that. And
who the hell is Akyra?
He had to say her name again. “Akyra?” He
questioned himself. The name felt so foreign on his tongue yet so right at
the same time.



It took him a minute to get his bearings straight but when he did, he went
in search of the one person he knew could answer or at least attempt to
answer that question.



He found Ava just where he thought he would: out on the balcony of Liz’s
room, smoking a cigarette. That wasn’t surprising at all. Whenever anyone
was looking for her, she could be found here. What was surprising
was who was sitting there with her.



She smokes? “I didn’t know you smoke.”



Liz turned to him. She looked like, he couldn’t describe it any other way but
Shit. He had never seen her so bad. Her eyes were red and puffy from
hours upon hours of crying. Her normally perfect hair was now horribly
disheveled. And she had a lost look in her piercing brown eyes.



“I did a long time ago. I figured now is as any good a time as ever to revive
old habits.” She spoke calmly despite her slowly crumbling world.



“I see.” He said while giving a questioning look to Ava.



As she took a drag from her cigarette, Ava sent him a look that said Don’t
start any shit with my sister.




He sat down next to her. “Got an extra?” He questioned.



Both girls’ eyebrows raised in surprise. “Micheal I know you don’t smoke.”
Ava said matter of factly.



“How do you know? Huh?” He asked slightly agitated. The plan was to talk
to Ava and Ava only.




“Chill. I gots one for you.” She said as she opened her pack of Newports and
handed him one.



“Thank you.” He waved his hand over the cigarette and inhaled.



Liz had fully expected him to gag, but he didn’t.



He took a long drag and let it out very slowly. It felt strangely good to have
the nicotine back in his system. Especially now that they were all under so
much stress. It’s been a long time since I’ve had one of these. He
thought to himself.



“I...I didn’t know that you...” Liz stammered.



He cut her off. “I used to back when I lived with Hank.”



She nodded in understanding. “I can understand that.” She said
sympathetically. I can definitely understand that. He went through a lot
when he was living with Hank. He put up with a lot of shit.




Ava remember what Liz had told her of Micheal’s days with Hank. She
decided that a change of topic was long overdue. “So what brings you out
here at,” She asked as she checked her ring watch, “Oh three o’clock in the
morning?”



“Let’s just say I had an interesting dream.” He answered cryptically.



“What kinda dream?” Is he remembering things from home?



Liz heard the urgency in her sister’s voice and knew exactly where this line
of questioning was leading. “Micheal did you have a dream about
Antar?”



As always Liz hits the nail right on the head “I think so.” He said
flatly.



“Whaddya mean you think so?”



“Well answer me this, who was Akyra?”



Ava’s face suddenly drained of all color. I knew she would come up
eventually.




When he was met with silence, Micheal asked the question again. He was
growing angry. I hate when she does this. She probably remembers so
much more than she lets on. She’s keeping secrets from me.
“Ava do not
lie to me. Who is Akyra?”



Sensing her sister’s distress, Liz spoke up. “Micheal calm down
please.”



Ava brushed her sister’s arm off of her. “No Liz it’s okay. I knew she’d come
up eventually.”



“So?”



“So, she was my older sister. She was killed after being kidnapped during
one of Kivar’s raids on the palace.” She said as the memory of the last time
she saw Akyra alive came flooding back.



~”Ava! Akyra! Come quickly!” Zan shouted to his wife and sister in
law.



Both girls came rushing into his chambers just as he asked.



“Zan what’s wrong?” Akyra asked as he ushered both in and quickly shut and
locked the door.



“Kivar is on his way to the palace. I want you to take Ava to the spot that
Rath showed you last week. Vilandra is there already. And stay there until
either I or Rath come for you. Understand?” He asked urgently.



Akyra nodded solemnly.
~



“I remember Zan calling both of us into our chambers. He looked so
distraught. I hadn’t seen him that way since I miscarried our son; after
Kivar tried to have me and Akyra killed.”



Both Micheal and Liz suddenly found themselves listening very intently.




“He told us that Kivar and his men were on the way to the palace. He
instructed Akyra to take me and hide in one of the underground passages
that Rath had shown her.”



“But why did Rath show Akyra? Why didn’t Zan show you?”
Micheal asked curiously. Why was Akyra so important if Ava was the
Queen of Antar?




“I’ll get to that. But back to what I was saying. Anyway, Rath had shown
Akyra the passage because he thought it would be a safe place to hide us in
case of invasion. Zan and Rath had always put our safety first and
foremost.”



~At some point Rath had entered through a secret door behind Zan and
Ava’s fireplace.



Akyra quickly ran to him. He scooped his wife up in his arms. “Rath love...”
She started but was quickly silenced by his finger on her lips.



“Don’t challenge me on this Kyra. You are not coming with me this
time. I cannot risk your or Ava’s lives. You will be safer here. I don’t know
what I’d do if I lost you, my love.” He said as he took her hand and placed it
over his heart.



A sole tear slipped down her cheek at the profoundness of his words. “Rath,
I love you so much it hurts sometimes. You are my world.”



He took the hand that was gently caressing his face and placed a kiss in her
palm. “I know Kyra. I feel the same. Which is why I must be sure that you
are protected.” He said as he motioned to one of Akyra’s personal guards:
basically one of his officers. “Take the Queen to the safe house.”



“Yes sir.” The guard nodded and stuck his hand out for Akyra to
take.



She accepted and began to follow him out of the room all the while keeping
her eyes locked with Rath’s.
~



“Akyra, for once did not put up a fight when Rath asked her to go. She knew
he was right. If anything happened to either of us, they’d be crushed.” She
smiled as she remembered the love between her sister and Rath.



“But?” Micheal asked. I know there’s a but here somewhere.



“But I didn’t go so easily. I refused to leave Zan’s side.”



~”Zan I am not leaving you.”



“Ava this is not the time nor the place to have a disagreement. I have never
ordered you around because I love you. But now I am. As the King and your
husband, I order you to go with your sister.”



She began to sob. “No.”



Zan’s heart broke everytime his wife got upset. This wasn’t any different.
But unlike other times, she was not getting her way. “Baby, you
cannot
stay here. It simply isn’t safe for you. I will not allow you to be put in danger
again.”



“I’m still not leaving Zan. King or not. I refuse to leave your side.” She said
defiantly as she crossed her arms and gave him what was supposed to be a
stern look.



“Ava, let’s go!” Akyra shouted from just outside the door.



“Go.” Zan commanded as he pushed her toward her guard waiting at the
door.



“No!” She screamed. But it was too late to fight. The guard gently pulled her
out the door, toward her waiting sister.



Zan blew her a kiss. “I will see you later my love.”
~



“One of my guards literally had to drag me out of our room. I did
not want to leave him for fear that I wouldn’t see him again. Akyra went a
little more willingly with her guards than I did. Which was kind of ironic
really.”



“Why did Akyra have personal guards?” Micheal asked.



“That’s easy Micheal. Akyra was the Queen’s sister. That’s all.”



“No not quite. But I’ll get to that shortly.”



“Okay.”



~”Okay we will be safe here.” Vilandra told them as she wrapped a blanket
around a shivering Ava.



“For now at least.” Akyra mumbled.



Suddenly a guard entered the room. He looked straight at Akyra. “I have
orders from King Rath to escort you to your quarters.”



Akyra shook her head vehemently. His men never refer to him as King
Rath. He is always Prime Minister Rath. Something isn’t right here.
She
thought as she shot Ava and Vilandra a worried look. “No you lie.”



“I beg your pardon your Majesty.”



Why is he only asking for me? Not Lannie or Ava? “No Rath insisted
that we stay here until he or Zan comes for us. No one else.”



Suddenly the guard morphed into someone else: Melo, brother to Kivar: the
very same Kivar that was currently ruling Talira. “Plans have changed.” He
said as he grabbed Akyra’s arm and began to drag her out of the
room.



“NO!” She screamed.



Ava and Vilandra tried to get up and help. But they were quickly thrown
against the wall by a swipe of the Melo’s hand. He put up a shield. The girls
found themselves unable to stop it because they were too weak from the
fall.



Ava screamed for her sister. “No! My sister!”



Akyra looked at her helplessly. “Take care of Rath!” She yelled as he
dragged her further away from them.



Ava sunk to her knees screaming. “God no! Please don’t take her.” As she
succumb to sobs.



Vilandra who was screaming “Akyra!” held onto the sobbing girl, in an
attempt to keep her calm. Yet, they knew what fate Akyra would eventually
meet.
~



“Our guards took us to the spot that Rath had designated. For a while, we
were safe. But Kivar eventually found us.”



“How?” Liz asked.



“Because Kivar replaced one of Akyra’s guards with his brother.”



“Oh my god.”



“Yes so he took Akyra with him. I vaguely remember hearing voices outside.
I think some of his men were waiting for him. When it was all said and done,
no damage was done to the palace what so ever. It had been a planned
ambush. All they had wanted was Akyra. And they got exactly what they
came for.”



Micheal still wasn’t putting two and two together. Again why Akyra? What
was so important about her.
“Why not you?”



God Micheal, I wish you remembered some. It’s so hard to tell this to you.
It’ll will eventually make you feel like your reliving the past all over again. I
know I do. Ever night.
“Micheal shut up and finish your cig. I’ll get to
it.”



“I wasn’t as valuable as Akyra. Not by far. She was the glue that held our
two families together. She was my sister, my best friend, and a mother
when I needed one. She was the one Zan went to when he needed advice.
She was the aunt that spoiled Akien’s children rotten. And she was Rath’s
everything.”



Ava began sobbing softly but continued with the story. “I remember Zan and
Rath eventually showing up. I can remember it like it was yesterday. God I
can even tell you what I was wearing. Zan was so worried about me. He held
onto Lannie and I for dear life. They didn’t know that she had been taken
yet. But when they did, all hell broke loose. Rath was extremely furious. He
began pacing the floor angrily. Tears began streaming down his face. My god
you can’t even begin to imagine the broken look on his poor face as the
reality of the situation set it. He eventually realized what Lannie and I
already had. Akyra was as good as dead. I still remember the shrill cries
that erupted from his throat as he fell to his knees screaming her name. He
took a ship to Kivar’s planet. I think he knew it was in vain. But he went none
the less; by the time he got there, Akyra was already dead. Kivar had left
her body in plain sight. He knew Rath would come for her. She was his
weakness. Of course he would come for her. After that, he was never the
same. He was so empty. All the life had been sucked out of him. That, my
sister’s death, was the beginning of the fall of the Royal Houses of Antar
and Rilos.” She sobbed.



Micheal’s head shot up. He still wasn’t putting two and two together. Well he
was but not quite. “Why was I so angry?”



She took a deep, shaky breath before reply “Because...because Akyra, my
sister, was your wife.”



Micheal clenched his fists. And where is my wife now? Liz gasped at
the knowledge. “But I though Vilandra..”



“Was supposed to marry Rath. No it didn’t happen. Yes after Akyra died,
Zan thought Rath was the only person that could protect and take care of
his sister. So he asked Rath to marry her as a favor. He knew that they
wouldn’t love each other. But she would be protected. As always being the
honorable man that he was, Rath agreed. I think he agreed more because he
thought that he’d get some sort of redemption for Akyra. He had told me
time and time again that he had let the love of his life down. That the one
time she needed him the most, he wasn’t there. I told him he was wrong.
That he had been all that he needed to be for her. He made her so happy.
And that was all I had ever wanted for my sister. Rath was her world. But he
was hard headed and never saw it my way. But the marriage never went
through. Rath was killed in battle.”



“That’s so sad.” Liz said sorrowfully.



“No it was just as well.” Ava declared sadly. “My brother in law,” She said as
she glanced at Micheal. He met her sad gaze. “ was slowly dying of a broken
heart. Without Akyra, Rath was nothing. Without Akyra, we were all
nothing.”



“It’s like that saying, A warrior’s only weakness is his heart.” Liz said as
tears flooded her eyes.



“Exactly, Akyra was Rath’s one and only weakness.”



No one noticed but Micheal had tears in his eyes. He had searched his whole
life for a love so pure. And it was hard for him to hear that he had it at one
point but then lost it so tragically at the drop of a dime. “I really loved her.
Didn’t I?” He asked while his head hung in his hands. God I can still feel all
the love I had for her.




“Yes, Micheal you did. Akyra was your world. She had been since we were
children on Rilos.”



“Rilos?” Liz asked.



“My family’s home planet. Our father, Zan’s father and your father were
best friends. Our father was the head of the House of Rilos. And Rath and
Zan’s fathers were the heads of the House of Antar. Zan’s father was King
while Rath’s father was the Prime Minister of the Royal Guard of Antar. So
we were frequently on Antar and you guys would come and visit Rilos. They
were friends long before any of us were born.



Our mother had died when we were little. And father did his best to keep us
happy. And he did. And we were. For a time.



After my father was murdered by Kivar, Akyra became Queen. She had no
choice.”



Micheal being the forever skeptic just had to ask, “How so?”



“Well our brother Akien (Pronounced Akeen) was already the Prime Minister
of the Royal Guard of Rilos. He was also married with two children of his
own. He abdicated his right to the throne by assuming and retaining the
position. He loved it. He had never wanted to be King anyway. I was too
young. And she had been trained for this since she was a child. My father
had always said that she’d make him proud one day. So she was the only one
left to fill the role of leader. She accepted the crown without hesitation and
with much support from our people.”



“So how did I retain my title even though I married the Queen?”



“Because at the time of your marriage, you were not the Prime Minister of
the Royal Guard of Antar. Your father was. Once your father died however,
you were. But that was an after fact.”



“And what about you and Zan?” Micheal asked his former sister in
law.



“What about me and Zan?”



“How did you two come to be?”



“Because of Akyra. It was her wish that I be taken care of. She said that I
deserved a lot in like. That I deserved to be treated like the daughter of
the King *Like the Princess* that I was. She was the one who orchestrated
my marriage to Zan. I was delighted. Zan and I had loved each other for so
long. She knew that he would take very good care of me. Father wouldn’t
allow it because he felt I was too young. Hell we were all too young. But our
marriages strengthened both governments.”



“How young?” Micheal asked wanting to know more about his past
life.



“Keep in mind that royalty typically got married between the ages of 18 and
20. Akyra was only 16 when she took over. They were married on Akyra’s
17th birthday. Rath was barely 21. When I married Zan, I was 14, almost 15,
and he was 19. I don’t wanna sound all cornball but, we were happy.”



He closed his eyes and shook his head. So I was married. That was my
wife I saw in he vision.
“Seventeen and 21? Shit we were only
kids.”



“Yes, but even so, we were happy.”



“Even Akyra with all that pressure?” Liz asked. I can associate with
her. I know what it feels like to have the weight of the world on your
shoulders.




“Especially Kyrie.” Ava said as she used her pet name for her sister. “Her
and Rath were ecstatic. They were so in love.”



Micheal was in awe. He had never imagined that he was ever that happy.
That there was a possibility of being that happy with someone. I was
ecstatic? Me? Mr. Negativity?




“Why all the questions about Akyra, Micheal?”



“Because I had a dream about her and Rath. I think I’m starting to get my
memories back.”



Ava smiled. Her and Rath had been close in the last life. Maybe we can be
just as close in this one.




Liz was curious about the whole situation. It took her mind off of everything
else for a while. “So what happened when you guys were sent to
Earth?”



Ava sighed. “That’s the thing I don’t know. There are a few people that were
supposed to be here with us that are missing. Akyra and Akien are just some
of them.” Along with someone else that Micheal held dear.



“Some of them? There were others?”



Ava nodded solemnly.



“Like who?”



Micheal shut up. Liz thought silently. She knew her sister was holding
back. But for good reason. Ava never did anything without a reason. And this
wasn’t any different.



Time to lie. I can’t tell him the truth. I don’t want to get his hopes up, just
to get shot down again. I can’t do that or watch him go through that. He’s in
enough pain already. Hell we all are.
“I don’t remember. I just know that
there were more of us than this. I wish I knew Micheal. Believe me, I
do.”



She’s lying. But she never lies without a reason. I will find the
reason. One of these days.




Liz and Ava had both heard what he was thinking. He was practically
broadcasting it for the entire world. Little did they know, their silent
replies were exactly the same. No you won’t.



********



posted on 14-Aug-2002 12:12:58 PM
AN: I’m writing this part with the idea that Micheal is the oldest of
the Pod Squad. He’s almost 19. Ashley is 21. Max, Isabel, and Kyle are all 18.
Maria’s just barely 18. Liz is 17. And Ava is the youngest at 16.



Part 7: I Thought Time Healed All Wounds





Ashley cautiously entered the park. He didn’t know what to expect from this
supposed meeting. What can you expect when a face from your past calls at
two-thirty in the morning to rehash the sorted details of your former
life?



A dark haired man crept out of the shadows towards him. He wasn’t startled
in the least. “Okay, I’m hea. What’s going on?”



“You came.” The man stated as he nodded his head in an almost bowing
gesture.



Ashley nodded in return. “Yea Captain Obvious I’m hea.” He remarked
sarcastically as his arms crossed his chest. “Now can ya tell me what dis is
bout?” He asked impatiently. “My fiancee is gonna wonder where da hell I am
at 3 o’clock in the morning.” I hope Ria don’t wake up while I’m gone. I’ll be
if she does.




Still the same after all these years. “You always were the impatient
one. Weren’t you Narim?”



Ashley closed his eyes in remembrance and smiled slightly. “I haven’t been
called dat in years.”



The man’s pursed lips curled into a smile at the comment. “Feels good doesn’t
it?” There are some things I miss about the old life.



“It feels aight. But we’re gettin off track. Now care ta tell me why we’re
hea?”



“It’s time.” He said solemnly.



His eyebrows arched in question. “Time fo what?”



“Time to tell them who we really are.”



“Yea and don’t you think dat they gonna ask mad questions when we do?”
Ashley asked slightly agitated. As much as he wanted to let them know who
he was, he was afraid of what they’d say. Or what they’ll think. Micheal
and Ava will expect that I want something from them. That’s the way they
are. That’s the way they’ve always been.




“They will. But we will answer them.”



“But what about da ones we can’t answer?”



“Like what?”



Ashley threw his hands up in a mixture of aggravation and defeat. “Like
where da hell is Akyra? Rath, er, Micheal and Ava will be furious when we
tell them dat we have no idea where she is. How do we tell them that we
have no idea where the Queen of Rilos is? How they gonna react? Huh? And
they gonna ask why da hell we got separated like we did. And I don’t know
bout you, but those are answers I don’t have.”



He ignored the second question, deciding to concentrate on the more
important of the two. “We will find Akyra.” He retorted
determinedly. I will find my sister. No matter what, I will bring her back
to Rath. Even if it’s the last thing that I do.




Ashley’s hazel eyes clouded over with anger. He acts like dis is child’s play.
Like Akyra’s down da block or somethin.
“Oh yeah Akien. How do ya
suppose we go bout doin that? Huh? Do ya have some great plan? Is that
it?”



Akien shook his head. His blue-green eyes showed a great deal of
determination. He wasn’t going to let his sisters down again. He was
never going to let his sisters down again. “No. I have faith. My sister
will be found.”

“Well I hope faith is enough ta get us through dis time. Otherwise we’re
screwed.” Royally screwed.



“It will be Narim. All we need is time.”



****



Two Weeks Later:



Ava had finally gone back to school. She decided that she needed a
distraction from all the pain. And that was only possible by being with her
friends. She was attempting to get on with her life. But her sister however,
was a different story.



It was pretty much obvious to everyone that Liz wasn’t really living her life
anymore. She was merely going through the daily motions. She hadn’t gone
back to school. Nobody would let her; not that she really wanted to anyway.
They didn’t feel that she was ready to yet. So after some talking, arguing,
and even some screaming with the principal, they worked out a system in
which one of them would always be with Liz. Most of the time it was Micheal.
A good many of his teachers came to the Parker apartment to teach him
anything he missed. That was another change. Micheal had moved in with Liz
and Ava permanently. It made sense really. He was saving as Ava had
put it, ‘mad cash’. And in the event that Ava decided to stay over Max’s, he
was there with Liz.



Not that, that was of any real comfort. Liz wasn’t very active at all. She
spent most of the last few weeks in her bedroom. Except for using the
bathroom, taking a shower, or eating what little she did eat, she rarely left
her room.



In the past three weeks, Liz had uttered no more than three words at a
time. And when she did speak, it was to either Ava or Micheal. It seemed
like the old Liz was gone for good; having been replaced by a empty,
heartbroken version of herself.



No one knew what to do for her. They had gotten together and discussed a
few things that could be done. Maria said that they should simply let her
know that they were there for her if she ever wanted to talk. That she
would come to them when she was ready. Ashley, Ava, and Max went along
with her argument. Isabel suggested that they could try and dream walk her
into ‘waking up’. Micheal and Kyle strongly disagreed with her. They said that
when Liz did snap out of it, she would feel that her privacy had be invaded.
Which would only cause a rift in the group when unity was an absolute
necessity.



Micheal had argued that they should just leave her alone. That pushing or
hounding her would do no good. That if they left her to her own vices, she’d
eventually snap out of it. “She just needs time to grieve. Can’t we just give
her that?” He had pleaded with them. They eventually agreed.



But Micheal would soon learn that his suggestion had been the worst of them
all. That the group would come to collectively regret leaving Liz
alone.



****



At 10:30 at night, Micheal was awoken by sobbing. He knew exactly where it
was coming from. That was the one good thing about the position of his
room. It was in between Liz’s and Ava’s; so he could always tell when if one
of them was upset, which one it was.



He didn’t even bother getting dressed. He waltzed just into Liz’s room in a
pair of baggy flannel pajama pants and nothing else.



Liz sat in the corner of her room staring at her mirror, or rather the
pictures that surrounded it. There were pictures of everyone up there. But
the good bulk of them were of either her with Max or her with her parents.
Most of them were of Max either way.



Micheal had tried numerous times to get Liz to get rid of those pictures.
They fought over them plenty of times. It usually ended up in one or both of
them getting upset.



~ “Liz I’m telling you, you’ll feel a lot better if you just take them down.”
He said while motioning to the myriad of pictures surrounding her mirror.




“No. I. Won’t.” She shot back in anger.



“Why not?” He prodded.



“Because...because..”



He cut her off, “Liz you’re not even grasping at straws anymore. He’s with
your sister. He’s in love with your sister. He’s engaged
to your sister. He’s not coming back.” He said as he grabbed her arm gently
to pull her towards him.



She resisted the urge to cry at his words. “Neither is Maria.” She retorted.
Micheal let go of her as if he just been burned.



A wave of anger and hurt washed over him. “That’s not fair.” He yelled as
unshed tears pooled up in his eyes.



“Why not Micheal. That’s not exactly grasping at straws either. She’s with
Ashley. She loves Ashley. And she’s marrying Ashley in
two months.” She spat back with venom in her voice.



Every word she spoke, albeit the truth, felt like a knife straight through his
heart. And it caused the tears in his eyes to finally spill over.



“Do you know just how much of a bitch you can be sometimes.” He
yelled/sobbed.



She hadn’t noticed how upset she had really gotten him till she looked in his
deep brown eyes. ‘Good going Parker look what you did now. How cruel am I?’
Micheal’s defenses weren’t what they used to be. He let her see his
emotions frequently. It was too hard to put up his ‘walls’ anymore.



“Micheal I’m...”



“Save it Liz. At least I’m acknowledging the fact that she’s not coming back
to me. She never will. I’m learning to accept it. But it’s kinda hard when you
keep throwing it back in my face. Are you done rubbing it in? That. She.
Doesn’t. Love. Me. Anymore.” He accented every word by raising his voice
just a little higher than before.



“Max is NOT coming back! He’s with AVA! He doesn’t love you anymore. Get
over it.” He instantly regretted his words as he looked at her. Good job
Guerin. Way to make things better.




Liz sunk to her knees in tears. A sob escaped her small lips. She could barely
breath she was crying so hard. Micheal hadn’t meant to get her so upset. He
never meant to get upset over something so stupid. She had too much shit in
her life. It was his job to protect her from it and he failed
miserably.



He crawled over to her and pulled her into his lap. He rocked her back and
forth, rubbing her back and muttering “I’m sorry.” like it was his new
mantra. “I’m so sorry.” He said over and over as tears cascaded down his
face.
~



~ “I don’t understand why your torturing yourself like this. You’ll never
get over him if you don’t allow yourself too. At least take them down and put
them somewhere for now.” He pleaded with her as she sat on her bed in
tears.



“I c-c-c-can’t. I don’t w-w-want to.” She sobbed.



“I can’t understand why. He’s not worth it. He’s not worth your tears.”
Micheal said as he gently brushed the tears off her cheeks.



He grasped her chin and forced her to look at him. “You deserve so much
better than him. You will get better than him. You’ll become that
world famous biologist you’ve always wanted to be. You’ll marry that wealthy,
good looking guy. You’ll have the 2.5 kids, and a house with a white picket
fence. It’s what you deserve.” He said sincerely.



“And what about you?” She questioned as she place her hands atop his on her
face. “What do you deserve?”



He never answered the question. He didn’t want to tell her what he thought
he really deserved.
~



****



Micheal walked over to her and gently placed her in his lap. She threw her
arms around his neck and sobbed. He rubbed her back gently. She needed
him to be strong for her. It felt good to be needed so much by someone
other than his ‘family.’



“It’s okay Liz. I’m here. I’ll always be here.” God damn you Max. How could
you leave her like this.




Liz crawled out of the safety of his arms and went back to the window sill.
She watched the rain falling slowly outside. “I just want to be whole again.”
He heard her whisper softly as she wrapped her arms around herself. “I
just want to be loved again.”



All he wanted to do was gather her in his arms and never let her go. He
wanted to keep her safe from all things bad in the world. But that was a
wish Micheal would never see granted. He couldn’t conceal her from the
universe as he desired. It just wasn’t possible.



He watched as she crawled back into her bed and slowly drifted off to
sleep. It wasn’t unusual to him. Many nights, he would sit by her bed and
watch her sleep. He would be there to comfort her when she awoke from a
nightmare. He would get her a glass of water in the middle of the night when
she needed it. It was therapeutic to him. Taking care of her was helping him
slowly but surely, get over Maria. In fact, he was beginning to think he was
over Maria. He just needed to be loved. Hell he just needed to be
needed.



“Micheal, go take a walk. It’s my turn.” Ava said as she passed Liz’s room.
Once again, he was standing there keeping guard over her.



“No, I’m okay.” He insisted; but the circles under his eyes and the fact that
he looked so tired said otherwise.



“Micheal go.”



“And do what?”



She dashed into her room and rummaged through her sock drawer until she
came up with a twenty dollar bill. “Well we seem to be running low on
cigarettes, why don’t you go get us some more.”



“Why can’t you?”



“Because genius, I’m only 16. You’re almost 19.” She was right. Micheal would
be nineteen at the end of the week. But besides that he needed a break. He
had been running himself ragged the past two weeks. He would watch over
Liz non-stop. He managed the Crashdown five days a week. And he went to
school, when he could. He needed a breather even if only for a few
minutes.



She felt like he was trying to play Super Man. It felt as if he was trying to
atone for Akyra. That by protecting Liz, he’d be making up for losing her.
Deep down, he’s still the same. He’s still Rath through and through. Still
blaming himself for something that was beyond anyone’s control.


“Fine.” He muttered. “What do you want?”



“Newport Light 100’s”



“Newport 100’s it is then.” He growled as he stomped down the back
steps.



“Take the car.” Ava shouted to him.



He glanced at the keys sitting on the table by the door. The keys to Liz’s
Explorer.



“No it’s okay. I’ll walk.” I need to think.



****



Micheal trudged down to the gas station at the end of the block. Why am
I here? I should be home with Liz and Ava.
He thought silently.



He walked up to the counter an waited for the attendant to notice that he
was there.



“Can I help you?” The elderly man asked as he eyed Micheal
waringly.



“Yeah, can I get two packs Newport Light 100’s and one pack of Newport
100’s.”



The man retrieved what Micheal asked for and then asked, “Can I see some
ID?” He wasn’t quite sure this kid was 18.



“Sure.” Micheal said as he retrieved his wallet from his back pocket and
pulled out his license. Yes, he, Micheal Guerin, had a full driver’s license. He
handed it to the guy.



The guy looked at the ID, then at him, then at the ID again. “Okay. Here you
go.” He handed the ID back to him. “That’ll be nine fifty.”



Micheal handed him the 20 Ava gave him before. The man took it and handed
him his change. “Have a good night kid.”



Micheal looked at him skeptically. “Yeah you too.” Good night my
ass.




****



Meanwhile...



Ava wanted to check on her sister. She had felt that something wasn’t right.
She didn’t know why, but she just did.



She tip-toed over to Liz’s side. Everything seemed fine. Liz was sleeping
peacefully for once.



Ava readjusted Liz’s blanket. It was falling off her. But something didn’t
seem right still.



She walked over to the other side of the bed. She checked the window. All
locked.



She turned to face her sister. It seemed odd that both of Liz’s hands were
under her pillows. Liz never slept like that. Alarms began going off in her
head.



Panicking, she moved Liz in attempt to get a look at her wrists. She was
terrified of what she would find.



She pushed Liz slightly and pulled her arms out from under the pillow. She
didn’t find what she had expected to. Liz hadn’t cut her wrists. She was just
sleeping.



Ava sighed. I’m just being paranoid. She fixed Liz’s comforter over her
slight frame.



In the back off her mind, something still seemed off to Ava. She sat down
aside Liz on the bed.



Her attention was suddenly drawn to the medicine bottles on Liz’s night
stand. She picked one up; sleeping pills.



It was no secret among the group that Liz was taking them. She had been
since before their parents died. They were the only things that kept her
sleeping through the night. They curbed her nightmares.



But what did seem weird was that there were only 10 pills left in the bottle.
There should’ve been 15. Liz only took one a night. And the prescription was
for 30 days. Which dictated that there should have been 15 in the bottle.
Why were there five missing?



The reason for the missing pills suddenly dawned on her. She dropped the
bottle and screamed. Her eyes widened in fear. She grabbed Liz by her arms
and attempted to wake her.



“Liz! Liz! Wake up!” She screamed as she shook her sister. “No! Don’t you
dare do this to me!” She cried.



Liz didn’t move. Ava checked for a pulse. Liz had a faint one and her heart
was still beating. There was still time. She scrambled for the phone and
dialed 911. “Yes! I need an ambulance at the Crashdown Cafe! My sister
overdosed on sleeping pills! I can’t wake her up! Please! Hurry!”



****



Micheal was on his way home when he heard the ambulance. It wasn’t an
uncommon sound in Roswell. It didn’t phase him at all.



“I guess someone got hurt.” He said to himself as he shrugged his
shoulders.



Suddenly his cell phone went off. He retrieved it from his pocket and looked
at the caller ID. It read 555-4444 Roswell General Hosp.



Who the hell would be calling me from Roswell General? He thought to
himself.



Then it occurred to him: SOMETHING HAPPENED. He flipped the cover and
raised the phone to his ear. “Hello?”



‘Micheal.’ It was Kyle. He sounded serious. ‘I’m at the hospital.’



“I know why?” Please don’t say what I think you’re gonna say.



‘Well there’s been an accident.’ He said gravely.



Micheal ran a shaky hand through his hair. “Is everyone okay?” Please say
yes. Please say yes.




‘Micheal, it’s Liz.’



He inhaled deeply and released a breath quickly. “I’ll be right
there.”



He took off in a run. All the while hearing the Kyle say ‘It’s Liz.’ over and
over.



********



posted on 14-Aug-2002 12:14:04 PM

Part 8: Cause You’re My Best Friend





Micheal, it’s Liz.



In all his years on this Earth, Micheal had never run so fast. He was
terrified of what he would find once he got to the hospital. Losing Liz was a
very real fear to all of them. It was constantly looming over their
heads.



Liz was their rock. She was always there when a there was a crisis. She
always had a clever solution. They depended on her to be the level headed
one. And in the process, she became something different to each one of
them. She held a special place in each of their hearts. Liz was Micheal’s best
friend, Maria’s partner in crime, Kyle’s meditation buddy, Isabel’s shopping
accomplice, Max’s science cohort, and Ava’s big sister; all rolled into one.




They had felt it was only a matter of time before she had some sort of
breakdown. It was inevitable. For far too long, she had carried the weight of
the world on her shoulders. But what wasn’t inevitable was getting a phone
call telling him that his best friend in the entire world was in the
hospital.



He finally stopped in front of Roswell General to catch his breath. He had
run at least three miles in what seemed like only a few minutes.



Micheal dashed up to the front desk. “Liz Parker?”



“She’s in trauma two. There’s a bunch of people waiting for news on her in
the waiting room. It’s down the end of this hall to your left.”



“Thank you.” He took off in a run again.



The first one to see Micheal was Ava. She looked like she had just been
through a war. Her normally perfect hair was a mess. Her eyes were
severely bloodshot. There were tear stains down her cheeks. And she looked
so lost.



“What happened?” He asked, bracing for the worst.



“I-I-I went to check on Liz because something didn’t feel right.” Ava
sniffled.



“And?” Micheal inquired breathlessly as he ran a shaky hand through his
spiky hair.



“I found her sleeping. But I got scared for a moment cause both her hands
were under her pillow. So I pulled them out from under it. I was afraid she
had cut her wrists. But she didn’t.” She inhaled shakily as Max pulled her
down into his lap.



Micheal glanced at her silently as he sat down as if to tell her to keep
going.



“But I still felt like there was somethin off bout the whole thing. So I
checked the windows and stuff. Then I sat down next to her on the bed. I
noticed the bottle of sleeping pills looked kinda empty. So I counted em.
That’s when I realized there were only 10 there.”



Micheal shook his head. “There’s supposed to be 15 there.” Both he and Ava
kept track of Liz’s medicine to make sure that she was taking it.



Ava nodded as tears streamed down her face. “That’s why I called 911. I
didn’t know what else to do.”



Max hugged her tightly. “You did the right thing baby.”



“I hope so.”



Micheal was about to say something when an attractive, blonde man who
looked to be in his late twenties, wearing a long white coat interupted.




“Avaria Parker?”



She stood up and wiped at her eyes furiously. “That’s me.”



“I’m Doctor Christopher Beckham. I have been in charge of your sister’s
care since her arrival at the ER”



Ava shook his hand.



Micheal also advanced towards the doctor. “How’s Liz?”



“Are you family sir?”



“Everyone in this room is family, Doc.” Ava declared with a sad
smile.



He nodded. “Elizabeth is a very lucky young woman. If you hadn’t called 911
when you did, she might not be alive.” He added gravely.



“Is she all right though?” Maria questioned.



Dr. Beckham nodded. “She will be fine. We had to pump her stomach though.
But she managed to get away without any permanent damage. Had she come
in 20 minutes later, I’m afraid that might not have been the case.”



Ava, Micheal, Max, Maria, Kyle, Isabel, Ashley, Diane, Amy, Philip, and Jim,
all let out a collective sigh of relief that not a one of them had realized they
were holding in.



“Oh thank god.” Amy said as she and Diane hugged their respective
daughters tightly.



“Can I see her?” Micheal asked softly. He looked to Ava, silently asking
permission to see Liz.



“Micheal you don’t need permission to see my sister. Go.” She
smiled.



He nodded and turned back to the doctor. “Can I?”



“Of course, I’ll show you to where she is.” He said as he led Micheal out of
the room.



Kyle turned to his girlfriend with a smile on his face.



“What?” She asked as she quirked an eyebrow at him.



“Do you think he even realizes how bad he’s got it for her?”



She stared at him blankly.



“Don’t you see it Izzy?” Maria chimed in.



Kyle threw her a toothy grin.



“No.”



“He’s so inta her it ain’t even funny.” Ashley replied.



“You think so?” Ava and Max responded in unison.



All 10 of them let out a small laugh.



“I guess I’m oblivious.” Ava smirked.



“Yeah you kinda are.” Max teased.



****



Micheal entered the room cautiously, afraid of what he’d see.



He walked slowly to Liz’s bed side, where she lay resting peacefully.
Peacefully. It had been forever since he’d seen her with even a hint of
a serene look on her beautiful face. She hadn’t been happy in a long time.
And that made him sad. Not just for her, not just for him, but for the whole
group. Liz was the life force for all of them. She was the glue that held
their ‘family’ together. The mere thought that just an hour ago, they
could’ve lost her, brought tears to his eyes.



Liz had sensed his presence. She was awake but pretended to be asleep
anyway. She knew he had things to say to her that he couldn’t get out if he
knew she was actually awake. His emotions were radiating off him so
strongly; anger, anxiety, sadness, hope, love, and happiness all balled into
one.



She knew why he held each emotion perfectly.



He felt angry that she could do this to herself. That he wasn’t there to stop
it. That they were in this situation in the first place.



He was anxious because he wanted to know that she’d be okay. He’d been
worried about her for so long now that it was almost a second nature these
days.



He was filled with sadness. He wanted her to be okay. He wanted to take
away all her pain, but he couldn’t. Micheal was also sad because of a previous
revelation. That he had complete and utter happiness for a time in his last
life in the form of his wife Akyra. But she had been murdered so savagely.
Liz knew he dreamt of her from time to time and that his memories were
slowly coming back to him. He woke up crying a few times, but kept it to
himself. He felt like he had let her down. And no one knew where Akyra was.




He was filled with hope. Liz had heard the nurse’s conversation with the
doctor. He’d said that she would probably snap out of her self induced
stupor now cause she had finally reached her breaking point. She had to let
he emotions out now. And Micheal held out hope for that. He missed his best
friend so terribly.



He also felt happiness. Happy that she was okay. That she didn’t get hurt.
That he wouldn’t have to attend another funeral. That there was a chance
she’d reemerge from her private world of pain and sorrow.



She knew all of this because not only could she feel it, she could hear some
of his random thoughts regarding her.



Liz suddenly felt a warm, and definitely male hand stroking her face lightly.
She was so tempted to lean into his hand but knew she couldn’t. He had to
get some things off his chest before she could let him know that his best
friend was back. Once and for all.



Micheal silently touched her face. He wished that she would wake up and tell
him that she was okay. That she would be okay. But then again he’d never be
able to say some of the stuff he was thinking if she did.



“Liz.” He said softly.



He was expectedly met by silence.



“God. Where do I start? Don’t be mad at what I have to say. I just have to
get it out.”



I won’t Micheal. She thought to herself.



“How could you be so selfish? How could you do that? Did you even think how
much we would be hurt if something had happened to you? If you died? Did
you think how hurt I’d be?” He asked rhetorically as tears silently made
their way down his face.



I only wanted to sleep Micheal. I swear. I just wanted the nightmares to
stop.
If Liz had opened her eyes at that moment she would have been
heartbroken by the lost look on Micheal’s strong face.



“I don’t know what I would’ve done if you had....had..” He couldn’t bring
himself to say the word. “died.” He muttered softly. “God Liz, you’re all I
have left. I need my best friend back. I need my ice cream buddy back.” He
smiled softly.



Liz had to fight hard to resist the urge to smile at his last
comment.



“Liz, Ava needs her sister back. She needs to know that it’s gonna be okay.
She’s only sixteen Liz. She needs your guidance. And above all, she needs to
know that she’s not alone. She misses your mother and father just as much
as you do. She’s just as lost as you are. She’s just keeping it inside. And you
and I both know that it’s not healthy for her.”



I know. She thought sadly.



“And Maria. She needs you too. You guys have a lot to catch up on. She needs
someone to help plan her wedding with her. She’s gonna need a maid of honor
too.”



Liz was surprised at how easily the words slipped out of Micheal’s mouth. But
then she realized that he was healing old wounds. That he and Maria were
okay. That he was okay with the fact that Maria was marrying
Ashley.



“And surprisingly enough, Max has been worrying his little prick head off
about you. He thinks this is all his fault. That he was the sole reason you
went over the edge. Now I know damn well, despite how much he hurt you,
that that’s not true.



It was extremely difficult to bite back a laugh. Micheal, although he was
Max’s best friend, was still angry with him for the way he treated her. It
was so funny how he’d make little side comments about Max, every chance he
got.



“Another reason that you have to snap out of it is Kyle. If he quotes Buddha
one more time, I’m gonna kick his Buddha worshipping ass all the way to
Antar.” He laughed. “As much as Kyle is my friend, I wanna choke him
sometimes. Even Iz can’t get him cut the quoting crap. You’re the only one
who’ll get his butt in check like that. And please do it soon. He’s driving us all
nuts.”



It’s good to know that I can count on Kyle to keep them on their toes.
She laughed internally. Kyle could definitely be annoying in his study of
Buddhism once in a while.



“And Izzy. She needs her best girl friend back. She’s got no one to talk
shopping with except Kyle. And even he can only take so much.”



Poor Iz. She thought ruefully. I guess we’ll have to go shopping one
of these days.




Micheal again drew in a shaky breath and ran a hand through his spikes. “Liz
you gotta come back to us. We miss you so much. We need the old Liz back.
We need the happy Liz back. I need my partner in crime back.
Badly.”



He didn’t notice the tears on Liz’s face until she sniffled lightly. “Liz?”




She opened her eyes to Micheal’s soft brown ones staring back. “H...h..hi.”
She stuttered softly.



The next thing she knew, he had her in the tightest hug with no sign of
letting her go. “Thank god you’re okay.” He sighed. “Don’t you ever do that
again.”



She let the tears flow freely. “I’m so sorry Micheal. I only wanted to sleep.
I just wanted the nightmares to stop for once. I wasn’t thinking clearly. I’m
so sorry.” She sobbed.



Liz hid her face in the crook of his neck. He was so glad to have her back.
“Don’t ever do that again Liz. Promise me you’ll never do that again. I can’t
lose you. I just can’t.” He cried.



“I’m sorry Micheal. I promise I won’t. Never again. I didn’t think. I’m
sorry.”



He silenced her with a finger to her lips when he drew back from her. Both
of their eyes filled with tears. “Don’t be sorry. It’s not your fault.” He
hugged her again. “Just promise me.”



“I promise. I promise I’ll never leave you.”



Micheal felt a sense of deja vu at her words. They had been promised to him
in another life, by another person. But that would have to wait. Liz was back.
And that was all that was important right now. Liz was back.



********



posted on 14-Aug-2002 12:15:06 PM

Part 9: Guess Who’s Back Now?





Liz had been released from Roswell General Hospital two days later. The
only stipulation of her release was that she had to see a psychiatrist once a
week. She did so without complaint. It gave her a chance to air her feelings
without feeling like she was gonna hurt someone with her words.



Life for the Pod Squad had returned to a semblance of normal. A happier Liz
resurfaced, much to the delight of everyone. Ava took classes at night so
that she could catch up with everyone else school wise. Maria and Ashley
decided to transfer to UNM Las Cruces, so that they could be closer to
everyone. Maria and Liz began to reconnect. And Ava and Maria had become
close friends. Isabel took all three of them shopping. They now learned to
accept each other for who they were.



There were many girls nights now that all four woman of the group were
reunited. It gave the guys bonding time too. Max and Micheal worked
everything out. Kyle played mediator and in effect became great friends
with both. And even Ashley had been accepted into their quirky little
family.



School was going great. Liz caught up so fast. So did Ava. In fact, Max,
Micheal, Liz, Isabel, Ava, and Kyle had collectively decided to opt for early
graduation as Maria had done in their junior year.



They would start classes in late January at UNM Las Cruces with Ashley and
Maria. Liz had changed her major and now wanted to be an elementary school
teacher. Ava was going to major in psychology. Max was going for pre-med.
Kyle was going for criminal justice. Isabel was going to UNM for pre-law.
And Micheal was going for teaching along side Liz.



Ava had begun to help Max, Micheal and Isabel recover their real
memories. She filled in the parts that didn’t make sense such as:



The group sat spread across the Parker living room. The only group
member that wasn’t present was Ashley for obvious reasons.



“I thought there were five planets in the Antarian system.” Max stated with
a look of curiousity on his face.



“Oh there are. But there’s only three ruling families.” Ava answered
honestly.



“How’s that?” Micheal questioned.



Ava closed her eyes and to everyone’s astonishment, a map of the Antarian
system appeared in the middle of the room. It was five planets in a V shaped
configuration. She slowly opened her eyes and glanced at Liz “Do me a
favor?”



Liz nodded and an intense look of concentration appeared on her face as she
took over in keeping the hologram up. Liz’s powers had far surpassed Kyle’s
when they learned to harness them. She was just as strong as Ava if not
more.



Ava walked over to where the hologram was and began explaining. “There are
three rightful ruling families in the Antarian system. The House of Antar,”
she said as she pointed to the planet at the bottom of the V “is obviously
the head family. Followed by the House of Rilos.” She pointed to the two
planets on the left of the V. “And then the House of Talira.” She finished as
she pointed to the two planets on the right of the V.



“That doesn’t explain why there’s five planets.”



Ava turned to Kyle with a look of reprimand. “I was just getting to that. If
you’d let me finish.”



“Sorry.” He mumbled apologetically.



“Go on Av. I’ll make sure my loving boyfriend doesn’t say another
word.”



Ava smirked. ‘Guess we know who wears the pants in that relationship.’
“Thanks Iz. Anyway. Antar the head. Followed by Rilos and it’s moon, Relan
on the left. And Talira and it’s moon, Telan on the right.”



Unsure of the situation, Micheal asked, “So Kivar rules Talira?”



Ava nodded. “But not rightfully. His sister Lena is supposed to be the Queen.
Which then dictates that the true King is her husband, Dravo.”



Liz’s curiousity finally got the best of her. “So why aren’t they?”



“Because Kivar stole the throne out from under her two days after their
father, King Dralen, died. Kivar and his brother Melo had been banished and
disowned by Kivar years before because they had raped and beat one of his
servants. The poor child couldn’t walk when they got through with
her.”



Max cringed slightly. ‘And this is the bastard that has my throne?’ “And the
people allowed this to happen?”



“They had no choice. Kivar threatened that if they revolted, he’d kill Lena,
Dravo, their children Serena and Kayara, and his other sister, Belynn. The
people cared far too much for the royal family to strike back. They held in
the hope that the governments of Antar and Rilos would step in. And we did.
We declared war on Kivar, two months before he kidnapped and killed
Akyra.”



“So that’s how he came to power on Antar?”



Ava looked at her boyfriend/former husband sadly and nodded. “My sister’s
murder set off a horribly unstoppable chain of events that subsequently led
to the death’s of me, you, Rath, Vilandra, Akyra, Akien, his wife and
children, Lena, Dravo, Serena, Kayara, and many others in the Houses of
Antar, Rilos, and Talira.” She declared as tears cascaded down her
face.



“So how’d we end up here?”



“A bunch a scientists took our DNA an’ recreated us befo’ sendin us
hea.”



A collective gasp was heard around the room as Ashley pranced in. Like
nothing was wrong. The look on his face said ‘Here I am. Deal with
me.’



“Ash? Hunny?”



“Hi Ria baby.” He said as he gave her a small kiss.



He had come in with that trademark smirk of his. It suddenly reminded Ava
of “Narim?” She asked with a hopeful look in her eyes.



“In da flesh. Bout time you realized. I’s been hea a month an you ain’t said
nothin yet. I was gettin worried.” He declared with a smile.



Micheal was the first one to speak. “Narim?”



‘He still don’t rememba. I ain’t surprised.’ “Wait, I think a propa introduction
is in orda.” He said in his thick New York accent. “You all know that I’m
Ashley Grimaldi. But in mah last life I was known as Prince Narim of da
House of Antar.”



Maria’s jaw dropped. She let out a little laugh. “Figures leave one Spaceboy
for another. Why am I not surprised?”



Ashley promptly stuck his tongue out at his fiancé.



Liz and Isabel almost burst into giggles right then and there but Max’s next
question prompted them not to.



“House of Antar? I don’t have any siblings besides Isabel.” He declared
skeptically.



“No you don’t. I’m the oldest son of Prime Minister Cicero, best friend of
King Victor of Antar.”



“Hate to burst your bubble but my father was King Victor’s best friend.”
Micheal scoffed sounding somewhat childish.



“Trust me, Rath. I know dat.”



Liz was the only one to catch the Rath comment. ‘How does he know about
Rath?’



“Of course he does, Micheal.” Ava smiled. “He knows that because he’s your
brother.” She said as she threw herself into his arms.



She pulled back and smacked him lightly on his arm. “Why didn’t ya say
something before?”



“Cause, I wanted ta wait till da time was right ta say anythin. I wasn’t sure it
was you guys. I been duped before.”



“Ashley hun, how did you end up in New York then? Were you with Rath and
Lonnie?”



Ashley threw Maria an apologetic look. He knew he was gonna get it later.
“Nah, see we was all sent down in groups. All three of da Royal families. Max,
Micheal, Isabel and Ava. Then me, Akien, his wife, and Akyra. And Lena,
Dravo, Belynn. Serena an’ Kayara actually survived. They’re leadin da
resistance ‘gainst Kivar.”



Ashley’s story wasn’t logically panning out to Kyle. “That doesn’t make sense
what about Tess, Rath, Lonnie and Zan?”



“They were fakes sent by Kivar. He had his friend Nasedo switch Ava an’
Tess. They’s all dead anyways. It’s not a problem anymore. And Kivar neva
figured dat not just da Antarian Royals were sent down. But somehow me,
Akien, Akyra, an’ Kendra got split up. And no one knows where Lena, Dravo,
an’ Belynn are. I was found by our protector an’ put into an orphanage where
the Grimaldis adopted me. It wasn’t safe for him to keep me an’ Akien. So he
kept Akien and turned me ova but wit stipulations. He claimed dat he was
mah Uncle. So he had visitation rights. So Akien an’ I grew up togetha. As fo’
everyone else, I dunno.”



“So where is Akien?” Liz asked.



“Yeah, where’s my big brother?”



“He’s tendin ta some business in New York. He’ll be here next week.”



Micheal walked up to Ashley and without a word hugged him. Both men had
smiles on their faces. Ashley pulled back. “I missed ya little
bro.”




Since then, Ashley and Micheal hung out a lot. They became closer than they
were in their former lives. Micheal was even asked by his brother to be the
best man in his wedding to Maria. Micheal happily agreed. That was after
Ashley spent two weeks sleeping on the couch because he was terrified of
Hurricane DeLuca. But she eventually forgave him, after a good beating with
a newspaper Amy Valenti style.



And when Akien arrived, Ava and Liz welcomed him with open arms. He was
happy to have at least one of his sisters back. And even though Liz wasn’t
biologically his sister, he loved her just the same. With two new members,
the group then began to concentrate their search on finding the others,
primarily Akyra. Which proved to be a difficult task.



********



posted on 14-Aug-2002 12:16:20 PM

Part 10: Take Me Under





One Month Later: December



Earlier in the day, Micheal and Ava took his Blazer and decided to go
shopping. Micheal had finally gotten a car of his own. Liz and Ava had
unbeknownst to him, put some money from their parents into his bank
account. So he put some away for college and bought himself a brand new,
cherry red Blazer with the rest. Now he didn’t have to use Liz or Ava’s car
anymore.



Tomorrow was Liz’s birthday and both had been too busy to go shopping
previously. So they hit up the mall at around 10 o’ clock in the morning.




Ten stores and nearly a thousand dollars later, both had their presents for
Liz picked out. Micheal didn’t mind that his charge card bills would be high
for a while. Liz was worth it. Besides, after being released from the
hospital, she had made his 19th birthday his best ever. The entire gang was
there. It was a fun filled, carefree night that he would never forget. And it
was all thanks to Liz. She had made a total turnaround recovery after
getting out. Not that the old Liz had come back. Nope, she had been
replaced by a new and improved, yet still slightly (but understandably) sad
Liz. But time would eventually heal her wounds as it did Micheal’s.



Ava had plans for a late lunch with Max so Micheal dropped her off at the
Evans’ home at 2.



As he trudged up the stairs, presents in hand, his ears were met with loud
music. Liz had a reputation for blasting it when no one was looking.



****



O-Town, I want you to close your eyes,

and fall into a deep trance.

And when I count to three,

you’ll wake up and be mine.

I like it, like it, like it, like it, like it.

I love it, love it, love it, love it, love it.

I know you, know you, know you, know you, know you.

I love it when you take me, down, down, under your spell.





My mind is suffocated

by your deep side.

The scent of you has got me so blind.

Why, why can't I be with you full time?

Cause you bring me under.



Your lips, your eyes, your skin.

Can't wait to be within.

Your thoughts, your mind wheel me in.

In time, babe.

You're mine, babe.

So fine babe.

But for now.



****



He reached the top of the steps without problems. Despite the fact that he
had ten tons of bags in his hands.



Micheal hoped that Liz was distracted enough that she wouldn’t notice him.
His wish came true. She was in her room with her back to the door. It gave
him just enough time to make a mad dash for his bedroom. He quickly hid
the presents at the top of his closet.



He silently made his way towards Liz’s bedroom. He didn’t want her to know
he was home yet.



She was oblivious to the world around her as she expertly swayed to the
beat of ‘Take Me Under’. He found himself captivated by the motion of her
body.



****



I like it when you bring me under.

Girl, I know you so well.

I love it when we get down, down.

Oh, oh, can't you tell?

I know you know when I first met you baby,

my heart fell.

I love it when you take me down,

down under your spell.



Can I get an O?

Can I get a T?

Can I get an O?

And a W?

And an N?

Bring it back now.



If you, could ever understand,

what you put me through.

Then I, I,

I could forgive you.

I can't forget you.

The things that you do,

won't leave my mind soon.



I came to you with a broken view,

of what my life should be.

You carried me subconsciously.

I send my mind through your eyes.

My thoughts are caught up in you.

Ooo, Can't wait to wrap myself in you.





****



Up until two days ago, Micheal had, had no clue that Liz could dance. And
damn, could she dance! His eyes had nearly bugged out of his head when the
gang had gone to By Starlight. Liz, Ava, Isabel, and Maria hadn’t been in the
door of the club for more than two seconds when, they made a dash for the
dance floor. Max, Kyle, Akien, Ashley and him found a table just off the
dance floor to sit and watch. Micheal hadn’t even noticed the girls until he
heard the guys next to him talking.



“Damn do you see that girl?”



“Where bro?”



“The brunette in the black halter top and black bellbottoms. Damn she’s
fine.”



The second guy scanned the room until his eyes came to rest on Liz.
“Shit.”



“See what I mean? She’s so gorgeous.”




It had been at that point that Micheal looked to find the girl they were
talking about. His eyes quickly focused in on Liz and Maria grinding together.




At which point, he almost choked on his soda. Kyle knew exactly why and
quickly replied.



“I know man. I never knew any of them could dance like that.”



Micheal turned and glanced at Kyle.



He smiled. “I think I’m gonna go join my woman.” And with that he got up
from the table and crept up behind Isabel.



“Ya shoulda seen Liz when ‘Ria an’ I took her wit us when we went ta get our
stuff befo’ we moved hea. We went ta da Tunnel.”



“What’s that?” Micheal questioned.



“It’s a club. Damn they went crazy. Liz musta came home wit like 50 numbas
dat night alone.” Ashley said with a small smirk, knowing the effect his
words were having on his brother.




****



1,2,3



When I look into your eyes,

my mind just don't know what to do.

And it's a crazy thing.

Got me all in a trance.

Wanna dance in the streets with you.

You got it goin' on, flowin' on.

Girl you never show me wrong.

Make a fella wanna go write a song.

And give you all my publishing.

I'm gonna go where you wanna go.

Run wild, have fun like a carnival.

Cause I think I'm in love with you.

And before I never knew that I was so,

I can't recall.

Not at all.

The last time a girl made me fall

so deep that I had withdrawals.

So don’t stop cause.



I like it when you bring me under.

Girl, I know you so well.

I love it when we get down, down.

Oh, oh, can't you tell?

I know you know when I first met you baby,

my heart fell.

I love it when you take me down,

down under your spell.





****



Liz sensed his presence the minute he walked in the door. But why is he
just standing there not saying anything?
She wondered but thought
nothing much of it. I guess he’s not saying anything because he knows this
is one of my favorite songs.
Little did she know, Micheal had his own
reasons.



She knew he and Ava had gone shopping for her birthday so she just decided
to pretend like she didn’t know he was there.



Micheal on the other hand, couldn’t bring himself to take his eyes off of Liz.
She’s so beautiful. He thought. Wait a minute, where the hell did
that come from? This is my best friend we’re talking about here. I can’t
think of her like that.




He had been so confused lately. Dreaming of his life with Akyra was now a
nightly occurrence. Sometimes he’d awake with a smile. Others, he’d wake up
screaming. Liz would end up coming into his room and holding him while he
sobbed for his wife. His memories from their previous lives came flooding
back so fast. It made his head spin. He wanted to find Akyra. But he didn’t.
Micheal was comfortable with the way his life was now. He didn’t know what
would happen if they found Akyra. What will she expect of me? Will I
want her? Will I be able to be happy with her?




On the other hand he had been battling with a rush of new feelings. He
suddenly began to see Liz in a new light. On one hand she was his best
friend, his partner in crime. On the other she was this amazingly beautiful
woman, who at times captivated him. Yet, he still felt guilty everytime he
thought of her in a context other than friendship. He didn’t know exactly
why. But he just did.



He had been married in another life. Even if Liz felt the same way about
him, he didn’t want to drag her into this mess. He couldn’t live with himself
if she got hurt because of him. He had to keep his feelings at bay. Liz meant
more to him then that. And he wasn’t sure what he’d do when Akyra
eventually turned up. Not that anyone was.



********



posted on 14-Aug-2002 12:17:30 PM
AN: This part takes place the same day as Part 10, only later in the
day.




Part 11: Making Peace With Myself





Liz sat anxiously on the couch in her living room. She was awaiting Max’s
arrival. It was 3:58 and he was supposed to arrive at 4.



She had called him the previous night and asked him to come over.



~‘Hello?’



“Hi Max.”



‘Oh hey Liz. Ava’s not here.’



“Oh I know. She’s out with Izzy and Kyle. I called to talk to you
actually.”



‘Is everything okay Liz,’ he asked with honest concern.



“Yeah. Max nothing’s wrong. I just wanted to know if you could come over
tomorrow so we could talk,” Liz replied confidently.



‘Uh sure,’ he said, his voice laced with uncertainty. ‘How’s 4 o’clock
sound?’



“That’s fine. I’ll see you tomorrow. Bye Max.”



‘Okay. Bye Liz.’



Liz hung up the phone and slid down the wall, drawing in a shaky breath.
“Yeah. I’ll see ya tomorrow Max.”
~



So now here she was staring at the clock, awaiting his arrival. Deep
breaths Liz. Just remember to take nice deep breaths,
she told
herself.



She had been eyeing the clock since 3:30. To her, time had seemed to slow
to a snail’s pace. And with every minute that went by, her anxiety grew. But
she knew this moment had been a long time coming.



A knock had startled Liz out of her thoughts. She dashed toward the door
to let Max in.



She quickly checked her appearance in the mirror, plastered on a fake smile,
and proceeded to answer the door. “Hi Max. Come on in.”



Max peeked his head in and glanced around cautiously. It was as if he was
looking for someone.



Liz caught on to what he was doing. “No one’s here,” she explained. “Micheal’s
working downstairs and Ava’s hanging out with Maria and Ashley.”



He nodded slowly and made his way into the apartment.



They sat down opposite each other; Liz occupied her previous seat and Max
sat in the recliner across from her.



“So what did you need to talk to me about?”



Liz fidgeted nervously. “Oh, um, I just wanted to clear a few things up.
We’ve needed to talk for a long time and it keeps getting put off.”



Oh that talk. “Yeah we kinda did didn’t we. Listen Liz I-”



She knew full well what Max was planning on saying. So she beat him to the
punch line. “Max before you tell me that you never meant to hurt me, which I
happen to know is what you’re gonna say, let me save you the trouble. I know
that you never meant to hurt me by falling in love with Ava.” She let out a
heavy sigh. “She technically was your destiny after all,” she finished
quietly.



Max hung his head sadly. How’d did things ever get so messed up? “Liz
you know I never and I mean never believed in that destiny crap. It was
never an issue between us. It was always you. Whenever I said I loved you I
meant it.”



Tears pooled in Liz’s eyes. And that may have been true but it wasn’t
enough for us in the end.
“I know that Max. It’s kinda ironic isn’t it. You
fought so hard against it and yet you still fell victim to it.”



His tear filled eyes met hers. “Liz, I’m sorry for the way things worked out.
I’m sorry for Tess. I’m sorry that I was such a bad boyfriend. and I’m sorry
that things turned out the way they did.”



Neither of them ever actually used the words ‘slept with’ and ‘Tess’ in the
same sentence. To this day, they still found themselves unable to do so. That
“slutty wench” as Isabel had so appropriately nicknamed her, would forever
be a sore spot with the group.



She shook her head. “Despite how much it hurt Max, I’m not. You’re the best
thing that’s ever happened to Ava. You know full well that with everything
you’re sorry for, my sister’s not on that list. And somehow, she was able to
put that light in your eyes that I never did or could.”



Max noticed the way she skirted the whole Tess issue. He was amazed how
easily she brushed it aside despite the fact that Tess was technically her
sister’s identical. “But it was never my intention to hurt you. I just. God. I
just saw Ava and I fell hard.”



She knew he was being honest. “I know. But that’s the price we pay. And
while it still hurts sometimes, I think I’ll recover.” She smiled slightly
through her tears.



“Liz you deserve more credit than you get sometimes. If it had been me in
your shoes, I probably wouldn’t have stepped aside as you did.”



“I had no choice Max. It was either Ava’s happiness or mine. I chose hers
because she’s never had an easy break until she was adopted by my parents.
And compared to her I had everything. Who was I to stand in the way of
true love?”



Max winced at what he thought was an implication that he had never loved
her. “I loved you Liz.” Just not as I should’ve.



“Yes, for a time you did Max. But that was puppy love. That was nothing like
the love you and Ava share. What we had wasn’t always real. I think
sometimes ours was a marriage of convenience, so to speak. But we did have
some good times. And I’ll never forget them. Seeing you and my sister
together convinces me that despite the pain, there is someone out there for
me.”



Yeah there is Liz. His name is Micheal. “I’m just sorry that I wasn’t
always there for you like I should’ve been. As a friend, I failed you.”



“No you didn’t Max. It would’ve been awkward. But I’m a lot better now. I’ve
got my life back together. And no matter what, you’ll always be one of my
best friends first and foremost. Like we promised long before we got
together.”



Max stood up and hugged her. “So are we okay now?”



She smiled up at him. “Yes we are Max. Yes we are.”



And with that, a friendship was reborn.



********



posted on 14-Aug-2002 12:18:42 PM

Part 12: Happy Birthday Baby





Liz’s birthday was off to a great start. She had woken up to Micheal
bringing her breakfast in bed. God he’s so good to me. He was so cute.
He had made sure that the entire house was clean, leaving Liz with nothing
to use as an excuse for not going out later. And it had been decided weeks
ago that the Crashdown would remain closed. She had closed it for his
birthday, so he wanted it closed for hers. Which left her looking forward to
the rest of the day.



After taking a shower and getting dressed, she joined the rest of the group
in the Livingroom. Micheal, after making breakfast for her, had whipped
something up for the rest of them. So she chatted with them as they ate.
She had already received her presents from Maria (a scented candle set),
Ashley (a gift certificate to the mall), Akien (another gift certificate to the
mall), Max (a handmade jewelry box), Ava (a new telescope), Kyle (a gift card
to the bookstore that she loved) and Isabel (the entire Star Trek movie
collection). But Micheal refused to give to her the presents he had bought
for her until later.



She got a pleasant surprise at lunch time. Liz had known something was up
because she had heard Ava, Isabel, and Maria bustling around
downstairs.



Yet, Liz had no idea what to expect as Micheal led her down the stairs,
blindfolded. She heard a few voices whispering back and forth as he led her
into the dining room of the restaurant. She was growing impatient. “Micheal
can I take this thing off yet?” She groaned.



“Nope. Not yet, Ms. Patience is not a virtue I was born with.”



She chuckled as they came to a stop. “Well if that isn’t the pot calling the
kettle-” She stopped as the blindfold was removed from her face.



“Surprise!” People shouted from all directions.



Liz gasped in shock as she surveyed the room. She found herself surrounded
by her aunts, uncles, cousins, and tons of friends from school.



“Happy 18th Birthday Liz,” Micheal said with a smile.



She turned to him, “You did all this?”



He nodded proudly. “I take it I did good?”



“Hell yeah!” She threw her arms around his neck. “This is the best present I
could’ve hoped for Micheal. Thank you.” She kissed his cheek softly.



Micheal blushed slightly then leaned down to whisper in her ear. “There’s
plenty more to come.”



Well there’s a loaded statement if I ever heard one. Wonder what else
Mr. Fantastic has up his hot ass sleeve. Wait a minute did I just think about
my best friend in an un-best friendly way? I think I need a drink.
She
thought as she greeted all her guests with hugs and kisses. Yet her mind was
elsewhere.



****



Throughout the entire party, Micheal was having trouble keeping his
emotions in check. Liz hadn’t really strayed from his side the whole time.
And at this moment, he wanted nothing more than to push Liz up against the
wall and kiss her senseless. He’d had these feeling toward her for weeks now
and they were only growing stronger with each passing day. And it help
matters that he was sleeping in Liz’s bed with her. She had been having
nightmares again. It scared him how much he liked the feeling of waking up
with Liz in his arms This is freaky. I’ve never felt like this before. Not
even with Maria.




****



As Ashley watched his younger brother intently, he noted the look that
crossed his face everytime Liz was by his side. It was a look of confusion,
lust and need. But it was also filled with love. It couldn’t have been more
obvious as to how much Micheal wanted Liz. Yet, in his observations over the
past few weeks, he noticed how Micheal kept his feelings to himself. He was
purposely fighting the one thing he wanted the most. And Ashley guessed
(Well he kinda knew even though Micheal never actually used names,) that it
had something to do with Akyra.



He remembered a conversation that they had earlier in the week.

~“I can’t get into another relationship. It’s just not possible.”



“But why bro? Ya not ready fo anotha?” Ashley asked as he sat on the couch
playing with his goatee.



Micheal shook his head. “No it’s not that. I’m long over Maria. You know that.
It’s just that everything’s become such a mess. I mean what if Akyra shows
up? I can’t let some girl get hurt because of me, because of who I used to
be.”



“Howz dat?”



He sighed heavily. “I mean let’s say I do get involved with someone. Say I get
in too deep and fall in love. What happens when Akyra comes back into the
picture? What do I do then? I can just see it now: ‘Hey baby this is Akyra,
my wife from my last life.’ Yeah that’ll go over well. What if I have to choose
between my girlfriend and my wife? What do I do then?”



Ashley let out a chuckle.
I guess Kyle was right about Maria’s rambling
abilities rubbing off on everyone else. “Calm down bro. Ya need ta loosen
up.”



“I wish I could. I’m only thinking logically here. I don’t wanna be responsible
for breaking someone else’s heart like that. I couldn’t live with that on my
conscience.”



“Micheal,” he said as he played with his tongue ring, “what if Akyra never
shows up? Are you gonna spend the rest of your life alone and
miserable?”



Micheal’s reply was to slam his hands down on the coffee table. “I guess
that’s a chance I’ll just have to take,” he mumbled angrily.



It was then that Ashley decided that a change of topic was desperately
needed.
Like yestaday. “So about Liz birthday party....”~



Now it didn’t take an idiot to figure out that Micheal was talking about Liz.
He made no mention of letting his “girlfriend” in on their secret. Which
meant that she already knew. Which also meant that she could only be one of
four girls: Ava, Isabel, Maria, or Liz. Ava’s engaged ta Max, Isabel’s happy
wit Kyle, Maria’s wit me, an dat only leaves Liz.
And he adored Liz. If she
would make his brother happy, he would personally see to it that they got
together.



****



It was just about 9 o’clock when everyone left the Crashdown. Liz snuck up
behind Micheal as he finished washing the dishes in the Crashdown kitchen
and snaked her hands around his waist. She felt him stiffen and then relax
once he realized who had their arms around him.



“Shit you scared me.” God I wish she’d stop touching me. It would just
make thing easier.




“Sorry.” Liz apologized even as she smiled up at him. “Thank you for the
party. It was the best present I’ve ever gotten.”



“Some how I doubt that,” Micheal mumbled with a smirk.



“What?”



“Oh nothing. It’s only 9 o’clock, are you tired by any chance?” He asked
hoping to receive a big fat ‘no.’



“No why?” She asked curiously.



“Good cause we’re going out then.”



“Who’s we?”



“All of us. Go upstairs. On your bed you’ll find a few presents. Get dressed.
And make it quick. I want your butt down here in fifteen minutes.
Kay?”



“Or what?” She asked mischievously as she made her way towards the
stairs.



Micheal pointed at her butt and concentrated. A little bolt of electricity
shot at her.



Liz yelped in surprise. “You’re gonna get it Guerin.”



“Oh really? Well who’s gonna give it to me?” He challenged.



She looked at him for a moment silently. Then shaking her head and laughing,
she made her way up the stairs.



“What so funny?” He inquired.



“Oh nothing.” She replied, the humor evident in her voice.



“Yeah right.” He retorted. “She’s never up to just nothing.” He told his
reflection as he made his way to the stairs. He suddenly stopped, and made
his way back to the mirror. “She turned my hair pink! Why you little...Liz!”
He yelled as he dashed up the steps.



“Liz!”



No answer.



He stood silent for a few minutes. “Lizzie!”



He was suddenly answered by a squealing Liz charging at him.



She jumped into his arms, effectively knocking him to the floor.



“Micheal. I love you. These clothes are beautiful. And the jewelry....” She
trailed off as she stared at him.



Micheal was too stunned by their current position to answer. Her body
covered his and her arms were on either side of his head. As he looked into
her eyes, he could swear that he could hear his stonewall slowly
crumbling.



Liz found herself speechless as she locked eyes with Micheal. She leaned
down, about to kiss him. Then reality hit. This isn’t right. This can’t
happen.
She jumped off him. “I-I-I-I gotta go get dressed.” She
stuttered as she turned and dashed back into her room.



Micheal groaned. “Shit.” He grumbled as his fist hit the floor.



Akien and Ashley trudged up the stairs to the Parker-Guerin apartment
after making sure everything was put away downstairs. As they reached the
top, they heard Micheal mutter a string of curses while punching
something.



“Hey bro, what’s da deal?” Ashley asked as he followed Akien’s lead into the
apartment.



Micheal looked at his brother and former brother-in-law helplessly. “I
fucked up. Badly.”



“What’s wrong?” Akien questioned.



The look in Micheal’s eyes said it all.



“Ya kissed her didn’t ya, M?” Ashley asked rhetorically, already knowing the
answer, as he clucked his tongue ring.



Micheal made a poor attempt at playing dumb. “Who?”



Ashley shook his head in annoyance. “Liz. Ya dumbass. It’s obvious ya gots da
hots fo her.”



“You knew?”



“Of course, Micheal.” Akien scoffed. “It’s kinda obvious with the way your
eyes follow her and nothing else seems to exist when she’s in the same room
as you. But I gotta tell ya, the drooling puppy dog thing is gettin kinda old
Micheal.”



“Okay so maybe I like Liz.”



Ashley and Akien looked at him as if to say ‘We’re not stupid.’



“All right, maybe I’m in love with her. But nothing can come of it. Not a damn
thing.”



“Oh come off it Micheal. The knight in shining armor routine is getting old
too.”



“Ash, I just can’t let this happen. Despite whatever I want. I don’t wanna
hurt Liz.”



“Micheal, Liz is a big girl. She can take care a herself.”



“I know but-”



Ashley cut his brother off. “Cut da shit Micheal. Gimme a god damn
break.”



Micheal didn’t bother answering. It was obvious that he wasn’t gonna
win.



****



Liz sank against her bedroom door with a heavy sigh. “Damn. What did I just
do?” She wrapped her left arm around herself as she traced the outline of
her lips with her right hand, remembering how good Micheal’s lips felt
against hers. It was an almost magical feeling.



“What the hell was that?” She asked herself.



She picked herself up off the floor and braced herself against the door.
“God, what am I doing? He’s my best friend. I can’t fall for him. This is
crazy. Not only that, it’s just wrong. What the hell were you thinking Liz?”
She asked herself as she stared down her reflection.



But you liked it Liz. Don’t kid yourself. You’ve wanted this for a while now
and you know it. You loved the feeling of his hands on your bare skin. You
couldn’t get enough of his lips on your neck. You know you did. Just admit it
Liz, you want Micheal so bad it hurts.




The inner turmoil was too much. “This is crazy,” she shouted. “I can’t want
Micheal like that. Yet I do...” she trailed off as she admired her reflection in
the mirror across from her door.



She was dressed in the outfit Micheal had left on her bed. It was absolutely
gorgeous.



First was the stretchy, plush, sleeveless shirt. It had a deep v neckline
adorned with tiny rhinestones. It fit her just right. And it was just short
enough to show her newly pierced belly button. And it didn’t hurt at all.
Gotta love my powers.




Then there was the matching skirt. Like the tank top, it was black. The skirt
was perfect: tight, but not too tight. And it had slits that ran 3/4 of the
way up each side. She loved it. It was beautiful. Micheal must’ve really
taken his time when he was shopping.




Finally, there was a pain of black, leather, knee high, Steve Madden boots.
They had five and a half inch heels. Much to Liz’s delight, they made her feel
so much taller. Now she didn’t have to look up to look Micheal, Kyle, Max,
Ashley or Akien in the eyes. And she knew how expensive these boots ran for
($200), which made her appreciate them all the much more.



The entire ensemble was completed by two breathtaking pieces of jewelry: a
necklace and matching ring. Both were made of white gold. But neither could
have been store bought. They were hand made by Micheal.



Each had an Antarian symbol on it: the ring had it in the middle and the
necklace had a matching charm. The symbol itself somewhat resembled an
Irish Trinity Knot. Ava had told her that it symbolized friendship. And Akien
had further explained that it was also a symbol of love. Part of her felt that
it was pure coincidence. Yet part of her wanted to believe that Micheal had
meant it as a symbol of love. Cause then it meant that Micheal felt the same
way she did. But reality set in and she knew it just wasn’t possible.



Liz was thrown out of her musings by a soft knock. “Can I come in?” Micheal
asked sheepishly as he opened the door.



“Sure.”



“Are you ready to go?”



“Yeah. But I just want to say something real quick.”



“Okay,” he replied, his brow furrowed in confusion, afraid of what she had to
say.God I fucked up.



Liz noted the nervousness across his face. He thinks he fucked up. “If
you want, we can talk tomorrow. Now I don’t know where we’re going but
tonight, I just wanna have some carefree fun with my family. Okay?”




He nodded wordlessly with a smirk on his face. I’m her family.



“Good then,” she said as she hugged him. “Thank you for this Micheal. It’s
beautiful,” she said gesturing to her attire.



“You look beautiful Liz.”



“Thank you. I feel so beautiful.”



That’s because you are Liz. I only wish you’d see what’s right in front of
your face.
“You ready to go?” He asked as he offered her his
arm.



“But of course. Let’s go Dr. Love.”



Micheal smirked at his nickname. “Ay, watch it Shirley.”



“Or what?”



He was silent for a minute. She smirked knowing he had nothing to say in
retaliation.



“You know what? When I think of something I’ll let you know.”



“Oh I’ll be eagerly awaiting your answer,” she quipped back.



****



The Club: By Starlight



Micheal, Liz, Max, Ava, Maria, Ashley, Akien, Kyle, and Isabel piled into their
usual booth at By Starlight. Since it’s opening six months before, it had
quickly become their favorite club. And since everyone was either 18, over
18, or an emancipated minor, no one had a problem getting in.



They hadn’t even been sitting for five minutes when Lil’ Kim’s “Not Tonight”
came on. The girls quickly jumped up to go dance.



“Ooohh! I love this song!” Liz squealed as she grabbed Isabel and
Maria.



“Me too,” Ava squealed, “wait for me girls.”



“Lata boys,” Liz yelled back with a I’m-totally-in-my-element smile.



They continued to dance for some twenty minutes until Craig David’s “7
Days” came over the speakers. It was then that the guys decided it was time
to join their respective female counterparts (except Akien, who had been
dancing with a girl since he had entered the club.)



On my way to see my friends,

who lived a couple blocks away from me.

As I walked through the subway.

It must have been about quarter past three.

In front of me, stood a

beautiful honey with a beautiful body.

She asked me for the time.

I said it'd cost her her name,

a six digit number and a date

with me tomorrow at nine.




“I’m goin ta join mah woman,” Ashley said as he made his way toward his
fiancee.



“Ditto,” Max declared with a mischievous smile, as he followed
Ashley.



“Count me in. This is Izzy’s favorite song. You comin Guerin?”



Since they had entered the club, Micheal had noticed many guys eyeing Liz.
Kyle’s question gave him a perfect reason to deter said guys from
approaching her. “Might as well.”



“Well what are we waiting for? Let’s go join our women.”



Micheal liked Kyle’s statement immensely. Our women.



Did she decline?

No.

Didn't she mind?

I don't think so.

Was it for real?

Damn sure.

What was the deal?

A pretty girl aged 24.

So was she keen?

She couldn't wait.

Cinnamon queen?

Let me update.

What did she say?

She said she'd love to rendezvous.

She asked me what we were gonna do.

Said we'd start with a bottle of Moet for two.




Liz smiled as she felt a large pair of hands encircle her waist. It’s about
time. I know he’s seen all the guys gawking at me.
He didn’t loose a beat
as he joined her. She rocked her hips as she covered his hands with
hers.



He turned her so that they were face to face. She threw her arms around
his neck.



“Took ya long enough.”



“Oh were you anxiously awaiting my presence, Princess?”



“No.” She quipped back. “I just figured that you didn’t wanna be left at the
table all by yourself. I knew the guys were gonna dance with their girls at
some point. But if you don’t wanna dance with me,” she said as she made a
fake yawning gesture, “you can go back to the table. I wouldn’t wanna bore
you.” She knew full well that he wasn’t going anywhere. It was just fun to
play games with him.



“Oh I’m just fine where I’m at.”



“K. Suit yourself.”



As a reply, Micheal simply pulled her closer to him.



Monday.

Took her for a drink on Tuesday.

We were making love by Wednesday.

And on Thursday & Friday & Saturday.

We chilled on Sunday.

I met this girl on Monday.

Took her for a drink on Tuesday.

We were making love by Wednesday.

And on Thursday & Friday & Saturday.

We chilled on Sunday.




Liz closed her eyes and savored the feeling of being in Micheal’s arms. “I
didn’t know you could dance so well.”



“I have many hidden talents.” Way to give a loaded answer
Guerin.




Liz unconsciously stroked the back of Michael’s neck. “Is that so?”

Micheal took a deep breath. Does she have any idea how crazy she’s
driving me?
“Yep,” he mumbled.



They kept on dancing as Micheal, without thinking, kissed Liz’s neck
softly.



Liz bit back a groan. Micheal’s lips on her neck felt so good.



Nine was the time.

Cos I'll be getting mine.

And she was looking fine.

Smooth talker, she told me,

she'd love to unfold me all night long.

Ooh I loved the way she kicked it.

From the front to back she flipped it.

And I oh oh I yeah

hope that she'd care.

Cos I'm a man who'll always be there.




Liz deciding to up the anty, swayed her hips teasingly and grinded down to
the floor, then back up again.



This time, it was Micheal who had to fight back a groan. Liz was slowly
driving him insane. He didn’t really care at the moment that he wasn’t
supposed to be doing this. He just wanted her so bad.



“God Liz.”



Liz smirked at the softness of his voice. She had decided that she wasn’t
gonna let him get away from her. So teasing him was now that much more
fun. Even though she was scared as to what his reaction would be and where
this way going. “God has nothing to do with it Micheal.”



With a soft growl, Micheal attacked her neck. “Do you know what you’re
doing to me right now?”



“Why don’t you tell me,” she whispered softly in his ear.



“I want you so bad right now Liz. And I’m not supposed to.”



“Shhh..” she put a silencing finger to his lips “don’t fight it Micheal. Just go
with it.”



He did. He leaned in a captured her lips with his. She tasted so good. Like
that mango-cherry lip gloss she always wore. He couldn’t get enough of
it.



When they came up for air, Liz sighed contentedly and laid her head on his
shoulder.



Ooh yeah.

I'm not a man to play around baby.

Ooh yeah.

Cause a one night stand isn't really fair.

From the first impression girl,

hmm you don't seem to be like that.

Cause there's no need to chat

for there'll be plenty for that.

From the subway to my home,

endless ringing of my phone.

When you're feeling all alone,

all you gotta do is just call me call me.




But the content-ness only lasted for so long.



“Liz-”



“Micheal don’t worry,” she reassured him “I’m scared too. But right now my
feelings for you kinda outweigh all my fears.”



“But-”



“No buts Micheal. Is Akyra here right now?”



He shook his head no.



“Well then,” she said as she brought her hand up to touch his face, “we’ll
cross that bridge when we come to it. Won’t we?”



Liz’s chocolate brown eyes entranced him. He couldn’t help but shake his
head yes. There was just no saying no to her. Especially right now.



Monday.

Took her for a drink on Tuesday.

We were making love by Wednesday.

And on Thursday & Friday & Saturday.

We chilled on Sunday.

I met this girl on Monday.

Took her for a drink on Tuesday.

We were making love by Wednesday.

And on Thursday & Friday & Saturday.

We chilled on Sunday.




“How do you do that?”



“What Micheal?”



“Always know what to say to calm me down. You put all my fears at ease.” He
replied as he held her close.



“What can I say? It’s a gift,” she replied with that brilliant smile of
hers.



Break it down.

Break it down.

Since I met this special lady,

ooh yeah,

I can't get her of my mind.

She's one of a kind.

And I ain't about to deny it.

It's a special kind thing

with you ohh.




They continued to dance together as the song continued. Although Micheal
was happy that Liz was in his arms, he was still uneasy about a lot of stuff.
As much as he wanted her, he was terrified that he’d end up hurting her.

Monday.

Took her for a drink on Tuesday.

We were making love by Wednesday.

And on Thursday & Friday & Saturday.

We chilled on Sunday.

I met this girl on Monday.

Took her for a drink on Tuesday.

We were making love by Wednesday.

And on Thursday & Friday & Saturday.

We chilled on Sunday.




“Can we talk?”



“What’s wrong?”



“I just need to get some stuff of my chest before we see where this is
going.”



“Okay.”



“You wanna go home so we can sit down and talk without any
interruptions?”



She nodded. “Are you sure your okay Micheal?”



“Yeah,” he said as he slipped his hand into hers and led the way toward the
others.



Monday.

Took her for a drink on Tuesday.

We were making love by Wednesday.

And on Thursday & Friday & Saturday.

We chilled on Sunday.

I met this girl on Monday.

Took her for a drink on Tuesday.

We were making love by Wednesday.

And on Thursday & Friday & Saturday.

We chilled on Sunday.




“Guys, we’re gonna head home.”



“Is everything okay?” Isabel asked worriedly.



“Yeah. We just need to discuss some things.”



It was then that the group noticed that Micheal and Liz were holding
hands.



It was pretty obvious what was going on to Ava. “Okay. I’m staying over
Max’s tonight. I’ll see you guys tomorrow.” She said as she went to hug Liz.
“I love you. Happy 18th sis.” And then Micheal, “Good luck.”



Everyone else said their good-byes and Micheal and Liz went home to
talk.



********



posted on 14-Aug-2002 12:19:52 PM

Part 13: Discussions & Discoveries





Liz and Micheal drove home in complete and utter silence. Each was afraid to
speak for fear that they would say something wrong.



Again, nothing was said as they ascended the stairs to their apartment. The
silence was becoming a bit unnerving for the pair.



They sat on the couch facing each other. It was then that Liz noticed the
far away look in Micheal’s eyes. By now, she was used to it. It was a look that
she had witnessed more and more frequently in the past few weeks.



“Micheal?”



He shook his head. “What? Oh sorry.”



“What’s wrong?”



“Nothing.”



Liz sighed heavily. “Micheal, you know you can talk to me about anything
right?”



He nodded. The honesty in her eyes was astounding. Liz never ceased to
amaze him. Her emotions were always clearly visible in her eyes. He knew she
wasn’t lying. She always put everyone before herself.



“So what’s on your mind?”



“Akyra.” One word said it all. He was confused, unsure, anxious, hopeful and
angry all at once.



Her name sent shivers up Liz’s spine. That was the one thing she didn’t really
want to talk about, yet she did. On one hand she wanted the group to find
Akyra. She would probably be able to answer all the questions that up to this
point, no one had been able to answer. But on the other hand, she was afraid.
Afraid that her place in the group would be lost. That she’d no longer be as
important to everyone. As irrational as it was, she was terrified that Akyra
would take her place, and that they wouldn’t need her anymore. More
importantly, that Micheal wouldn’t need her anymore.



None the less, Liz knew that Micheal had a lot to get off his chest so she
had to play the understanding friend part and listen to him.



“What about Akyra, Micheal?”



For a moment, Micheal swore that he must have been going crazy because
when he said Akyra’s name, he saw a look of hurt and fear momentarily cross
Liz’s eyes. He hadn’t meant to hurt her. It was just that he wanted to talk
about everything that had been thrown in his lap in the past few weeks. Just
the revelation that he had once had a loving wife astounded him. He had
always held the thought that for some reason, back on Antar, he was a loner.
He couldn’t have been more wrong. Not only was he married and the head of
the Antarian forces, he was married to a Queen and therefore he was a King.
He had it all. But it had been so viciously taken away from him. That much he
remembered. His memories were slowly coming back piece by piece. And he
began remembering what life was like on Antar and Rilos. Ava helped him
recover a lot. Unfortunately, one of the first memories he recovered was of
the day his wife was kidnapped and murdered. Bits and pieces of that day
flashed through his mind.

~He entered the room through a secret door behind Zan and
Ava’s fireplace.



Akyra quickly ran to him. He scooped her up in his arms. “Rath love...”
She started but was quickly silenced by his finger on her lips.



“Don’t challenge me on this Kyra. You are not coming with me this
time. I cannot risk your or Ava’s lives. You will be safer here. I don’t know
what I’d do if I lost you, my love.” He told her as he took her hand and
placed it over his heart.



He watched a tear slip silently down his wife’s face as she smiled through
her tears. He raised a hand to her face. She leaned into his hand and placed
a kiss on his palm. “Rath, I love you so much it hurts sometimes. You are my
world.”



He took her hand in both of his and kissed it as his eyes locked on hers. The
love they shared was enough to knock him off his feet sometimes. Akyra was
literally a woman who was capable of bringing any man to his knees. She had
done it to him many a time. He considered himself an extraordinarily lucky
man. Akyra could have anyone yet she chose him. And when it came to their
marriage, she had always given a hundred percent. The past year had been
nothing but pure bliss for him. And he intended to keep it that way. He
intended to keep his wife safe. “I know Kyra. I feel the same. Which is why I
must be sure that you are protected.” He replied as he motioned to one of
Akyra’s personal guards. “Take the Queen to the safe house.”



“Yes sir.” The guard nodded and stuck his hand out for Akyra to
take.



She accepted and began to follow him out of the room all the while keeping
her eyes locked with Rath’s.



The words didn’t need to be spoken because they were shining through in
her eyes.
I love you. I trust you. Her eyes clearly said it all.



He returned her look with one that said
I love you more than words can
say. She merely smiled in return.~



That was the last time he ever saw his wife alive. He remembered the look
of love on her beautiful face as the guards led her out of Zan and Ava’s
room.



~He walked alongside Zan as they made their way to the spot where Ava,
Akyra, and Vilandra were sent until the danger was past.



Rath turned to his best friend. “Something just doesn’t seem right about
this Zan.”



Zan shook his head in agreeance. “It’s very odd. I have a feeling Kivar has
something else up his sleeve. What was the point of having his men spread
rumors that the Royal Palace would be attacked today and not actually
attack? It doesn’t make sense. He’s planning something. And I don’t like it at
all.”



“The question is what? He’s by no means a stupid man.”



Zan nodded. “And that’s what scares me. He meticulously plans every little
detail out before he does something. Which tells me that this was just one
step in Kivar’s next grand scheme.”



“We’ll worry about that later. The girls must be terrified right
now.”



Zan smirked at the look on Rath’s face. He knew it well. “Well I’m sure you’ll
fix that for Akyra real quick. Won’t you Rath?” He asked with a
chuckle.



He could only smirk in response. “Maybe.” He replied as the entered the
chamber.



Zan noticed the smile that crossed Rath’s face at the mention of his wife’s
name. It was unmistakable. He had that very same smile whenever he so
much as heard Ava’s voice. Yes, he knew that look well. It was that of
someone who’s hopelessly in love.



Rath could feel something was wrong the minute the door opened. Ava and
Lannie were on the floor crying. Yet, he couldn’t see Akyra anywhere. The
uneasy feeling in his stomach worsened tenfold. “Where’s Kyra?”



Lannie looked him dead in the eyes. “I’m so sorry.” Was all she said.



Zan didn’t get it. He turned to his sobbing wife for further clarification.
“Av?”



Ava let out a strangled gasp before calming down enough to tell him what
happened. “It was a planned ambush. Melo came for one thing and one thing
only.” She began crying harder than before. “My sister.”



That was enough for Rath. He knew what Ava had left unsaid. “No!” He
screamed. “This can’t be happening! Not Kyra!” He managed though clenched
teeth. “She’s done nothing wrong. She doesn’t deserve this. I’m gonna get
her back.” He said as he began pacing back and forth and Zan, Ava, and
Lannie watched.



“Rath,” Ava cried “it’s....”



He knew what she was about to say and stopped her. “Don’t you dare say it!
Don’t you dare say it’s too late. It’s never too late. I’m going to get my wife
back.” At some point, his screams had turned to sobs as he allowed reality to
set in. In his mind, he knew it was inevitable that his wife was already gone.
But his poor heart still held onto to the hope that Kivar wasn’t as much of a
bastard as everyone had said.



He felt Zan’s hand on his shoulder. He didn’t say a word through his own
tears. The look in his eyes said it all.
I’m sorry but she’s gone.



He fell to his knees screaming. “Akyra! Akyra!” His voice grew softer and his
sobs got louder. “Kyra. Baby. No. I. Love. You.” He collapsed in a ball of tears.
He knew his wife’s fate was sealed.
~



He’d been having terrible nightmares of that day. He’d wake up screaming.
Liz would calm him down enough to go back to sleep. But sometimes, he’d
have nightmares about how he’d found Akyra on Talira.



~He’d taken a ship later that day to Talira to retrieve Akyra’s body. He
knew Kivar would allow it. It had been his plan from the beginning and he
wouldn’t miss an opportunity to rub it in.



He could see her laying there through the view screen on the ship. He quickly
set it down and made his way towards her.



He started sobbing softly as he surveyed her body. She was wearing her
favorite dress. It was a long, lilac gown that he had always thought she
looked so beautiful in. She looked so peaceful.

“Kyra.” He cried softly as he fell to his knees beside her. He grabbed her
left hand in his as he brushed her long brown hair out of her face. Her
wedding band glimmered in the moonlight.



He stared at her for a moment before he realized that she was still
breathing. “Kyra?”



“Rath” she choked out “I’m sorry.” She said as tears cascaded down her face
as she continued to draw in shallow breaths. He knew she had only a few
precious moments left.



“It’s not your fault baby. I should not have left you.” He cried.



“N-n-n-n o,” she rasped “ don’t blame yourself. It wasn’t your fault either.”
She removed her hand from his and took off her wedding band. “Take this,
so that I’ll be with you always. I love you Rath. Always know that I loved you
to the day died and will love you beyond that. Take care of everyone for me,
love.”



He grasped her ring in his hand as he stroked her face with the other. He
nodded. “I love you too Kyra. I always will.”



With her last breath, she replied “In this life, and into the next.”



He sat there and sobbed for seemed like an eternity as he held the body of
the woman he loved more than anything. His world, his sole reason for living
no longer existed. Without her, he had no purpose. And from that point on,
he was never to be whole again.
~



He looked Liz in her chocolate brown eyes. He could see the conflicting
emotions running through them at the mere mention of Akyra’s name. He
decided to put her at ease. He knew she had been feeling very out of place
lately. It had grown customary for the two of them to sleep in the same bed.
Whenever he had a nightmare, she would sit and hold him rubbing his back
softly until he calmed down. And he knew that once she thought he was back
asleep, she would turn over and cry so softly. He felt the hurt coming off
her in waves.



“I don’t ever want you to feel that you are not as important as she is. Yes I
remember her from my last life. But I don’t know her in this life. I know you.
And I know that I care a lot about you. As try as I might, I can’t pretend
that I don’t feel for you as more than just a friend. I’ve tried to hide it for
a long time and I just can’t do it anymore. I don’t know where this will lead
but I don’t ever want you to feel like you come second in my eyes.”



Liz’s eyes flooded with tears as he voiced her concerns. That’s exactly what
she was afraid of. She knew Akyra had been an amazing woman. She also
knew that she could never be that kind of woman. She was afraid that once
Akyra showed up, she’d be left in the dust, no questions asked. But she knew
that he was being truthful. The honesty that shown in his eyes was amazing.




“C’mere,” he told her as he opened up his arms.



She climbed into his lap and he folded his arms around her. “Thank you.” She
said softly as he held her tight.



His reply was to brush a soft kiss on her neck. She leaned back into him and
closed her eyes as she sighed. She hadn’t felt so at peace in a long time. But
her peace was fleeting as THE question re-entered her mind. What’s gonna
happen to us when he finds Akyra?




He intertwined his fingers through hers around her stomach. Holding her
had such a calming force on him. He would be comfortable with just sitting
there holding her forever but there was a nagging question in the back of his
mind. What happens when Akyra shows up?



Micheal wanted the thought out of his head badly. And he knew occupying
himself was the best way to do so. So he started kissing Liz’s neck. She let
out a low moan that only served to egg him on.



“M-micheal.” Liz was in heaven. Micheal’s lips and tongue on her neck felt so
good.



“What baby?” He asked he knew he was driving her nuts as she reached a
hand back around to grasp his neck as he continued his assault on
her.



“God that feels so good.” She muttered softly.



“You mean this?” He rasped in response as he found the really sensitive spot
just above her collarbone and started sucking on it softly.



The next thing he knew, Liz was straddling him as she attacked his mouth.
Not that he minded or anything.



She came up for air. The lust in her eyes made him speechless. “Did anyone
ever tell you that you’re evil?”



He nodded wordlessly with a innocent smile on his face and a mischievous
look in his eyes.



“Well you are. But two can play at that game.”



“Oh really?” He asked as he leaned in to capture her lips again.



“Mmmm hmmm.” With that she let her tongue trail down the side of his neck
and then sat back up just as quickly.



“Baby, C’mere.” He wanted to kiss her so badly.



“No. Nuh uh.” She replied as she pulled back everytime he leaned in closer to
her. She jumped up suddenly. “I’m gonna go change. Stay here.”



He fell back on the couch heavily. “She’s gonna be the death of me.” He
thought aloud. But what a way to go.



****



Liz changed into shorts and a tank top and proceeded to crawl under the
covers of her bed. She had, had a lot of excitement for her birthday and it
had worn her out. She was soon asleep.



Micheal too had gone into his room and changed. He was now in his flannel
pajama pants. He stood in the doorway of Liz’s room watching her sleep for a
few moments before deciding to join her.



No sooner than he had put an arm around her had she curled into him and
sighed softly. He smiled and wrapped his arms tightly around his girlfriend.
Yeah she’s now my girlfriend.



********



posted on 14-Aug-2002 12:23:39 PM

Part 14: Who Can I Run To?





Liz had been having the same dream for the past week. It always ended at
the same point. And it puzzled her to no end. But tonight it was different.
Tonight the dream played all the way through.



~She woke up feeling sick and quickly made her way to the bathroom in
left corner of their room.



After throwing up the entire contents of her stomach, she laid down on the
floor. It was nice and cold. It made her feel better.



“I don’t know how much longer I can take this.” She whispered to
herself.



Getting up at an un-Godly hour and regurgitating whatever she had eaten
had become a nightly occurrence for her for the past week and a half. The
doctor told her it would subside soon. She had yet to tell anyone about it.
Especially her husband. She was waiting for the right time.



He felt her body leave the bed and heard her dash toward the bathroom. He
was slightly worried about her. She had been very weak and tired for the
past few days. He had been begging her to pay Dr. Attir a visit to see what
was wrong. But she stubbornly refused time and time again.



He got up a threw a shirt on. “Baby, you okay?” He asked once he was
standing just outside the bathroom door.
~



That had been the point where she usually woke up. And it bothered her to
no end. Who was the man on the other side of the door calling her Baby?
What was going on? Why was she sick?



~She threw the door open, plastering a smile on her face. “I’m fine Rath,”
she said softly as she stroked his arm. “Let’s go back to bed, love.”



He followed her wordlessly as she climbed under the sheets of their
expansive bed. He crawled in next to her and wrapped his arms around her.
“I love you.” He told her as he brushed a kiss across her forehead.



“In this life and the next.” She replied softly. She wanted him to think she
was drifting back to sleep. But in all reality she wasn’t. Her mind was too
occupied right now.



Unbeknownst to Rath, she had gone to see Dr. Attir as he had been begging
her to for the past week. The Doctor only confirmed what she had already
known in the back of her mind. She was pregnant.



While she had been ecstatic, she was also worried. Deeply worried about her
husband’s reaction. She knew he wanted children but he had made a remark
just the month before about waiting until all the problems with Kivar were
put to rest.



So here she was wondering about what he would say. Would he be happy?
Would he be ambivalent? Or would he be angry? Would he be upset with her
for being happy about it? She didn’t know. But in two days time, she would
find out. She would tell him over dinner on the one year anniversary of their
wedding. And at this rate, the day was not coming soon enough.



She hoped he would be just as excited as she was. After watching him with
Akien’s youngest daughter Taiera, she knew he would make a great father.
The way his eyes lit up as he played Yatique with her *thier* 3 year old
niece, brought tears to her eyes. He had always told her that he wanted at
least four children. He had come from a small family: his father, his mother,
him and Narim. So he wanted a large ‘brood’ as he put it.



Rath sighed softly in his sleep as he unconsciously ran his hand over her
stomach. She covered his with her own and smiled.
Hello baby. Mama
can’t wait for you to come. She’s been waiting all her life for you. And once
she tells Daddy about you, he won’t be able to wait either. Until then baby,
know that Mama loves you.



The truth of the matter was that she was thankful that she had gotten
pregnant. She had wanted a child for as long as she could remember. She fell
asleep with a bright smile on her face.
~



****



Liz awoke with a gasp and tears streaming down her face. She disentangled
herself from the safety of Micheal’s arms and made a mad dash for the
living room where she subsequently burst into tears.



She covered her mouth to mask the sounds of her sobbing.



The realization hit her like a ton of bricks. She knew that there was no way
that Micheal knew about this. No. If he knew, he would be so angry and
beside himself with hurt.




Micheal had confided in her that children were the one thing in this world
that he wanted the most. And it broke her heart to know that he had come
very close to it in his last life.



She sat there smoking a cigarette with shaky hands, contemplating what it
all meant as tears streamed down her face. She didn’t know why she was
having this dream. She didn’t know for what reason. And it scared her to no
end. Why would she be dreaming that she was Akyra? Was the dream true?
Was she really pregnant with Rath’s child when she was so savagely
murdered? And if so, why was it that she knew this? How come she of
all people was having this dream? The thoughts swirled around her head as
she smoked her cigarette. Did she tell anyone else that she was pregnant?
Did anyone know? Did Akyra beg Kivar to spare her child’s life as the life
slowly drained from her body?




And it was so obvious that Micheal didn’t know it. He would’ve been very
upset about it. Children were the one thing Michael held sacred in his life.
Eventually becoming a father was the one thing he looked forward to the
most in this life. He had told her so time and time again. They had many
heart to hearts about it. And the fact was that he was so good with kids. He
had helped her baby-sit her and Ava’s little cousin Natalia for two days when
her Uncle Adrian and her Aunt Shannon went to Florida for a weekend. He
loved it. The fact of the matter was that he had spent more time with little
Natalia than wither her or Ava. The way his eyes lit up as he played with the
toddler almost brought her to tears on more than one occasion.



“Oh god. God.” She cried as she lit up another cigarette. “I can’t tell him. I
can’t tell him.”



“Tell who?” Akien asked as he stood in the doorway of the kitchen.



Liz shook her head as the flood gates reopened. Akien was by her side in a
matter of seconds as she began sobbing again.



“I don’t know why but I somehow had a dream of of Akyra.”



“Whaddya mean?” Akien’s ears perked up at the mention of his younger
sister.



“Well I’ve been having the same dream for a week. But it always cuts off at
a certain point. But tonight was different. Tonight the dream finished itself
out.”



“And?”



“I want you to be honest with me Akien.”



“Y’know I always am Liz.”



“Was Akyra pregnant when she was killed?”



Akien’s mouth dropped. “How’d y’know dat?”



“It was in my dream.”



“Tell me about it.”



“I got up to go to the bathroom because I was nauseous. And Rath started
knocking at the door asking me if I was okay. I came out with a smile telling
him I was fine. We crawled back into bed and he drifted of to sleep. I
however stayed awake thinking about it. I remember being afraid to tell
Rath that I was pregnant. But I was going to none the less.”



He nodded solemnly as he interupted her “But she neva got da chance ta tell
Rath....” he trailed off.



“Because she was waiting for their one year anniversary.” Liz finished for
him.



“How did ya know dat?” He asked with wide eyes.



“It was in the dream.”



All he could do was shake his head in wonder.



Little did they know their thoughts were exactly the same: How did she
know that when I was the only person told about it by Kyrie? And she’s not
one of us.
How did I know about this when I’m not one of
them?




When looked over at Liz to talk to her again, he noticed that she had dozed
off. He removed the cigarette from her hand, put it out in the ash tray on
the coffee table and put a blanket over her. He then made his way back to
Micheal’s room to go to sleep. Yeah he definitely needed sleep. He was to
confused right now to think straight.



****



“So what exactly are we doing Av? Micheal asked from his position on her
parents’ bed.



“We’re gonna clean out Mom and Dad’s closet. I’ve been slowly cleaning up in
here. I decided to do it myself because I knew Liz wouldn’t be able
to.”



“So that’s why you told me to wait until Liz left to meet you in
here?”



She nodded, “Mmmm hmmm.”



He noticed the faraway look in her eyes and decided that this wasn’t best
thing for her to be doing either. It had been a few months since Jeff and
Nancy had passed, but he knew that didn’t make it any easier for Ava. “So
let’s get this over with then.”



“Okay,” she said softly, “we’re just gonna do the closet today. I’ll pull all the
boxes out and then we can get started.”



“Okay.”



The first thing Ava pulled out was a large, intricately designed cedar chest
from the bottom off the closet. Her mother had loved that thing. Her
father had made it by hand for her mother as a wedding present. It
contained pictures, photo albums, and lots of other stuff from her and
Liz.



“Oh look, here’s my adoption certificate,” she said as she pulled out a large
white envelope. She opened it up and pulled out her adoption papers. That
had been the best day of her life. She quickly took a seat on the floor and
began examining the papers with a smile on her face.



What Ava didn’t notice was that another paper had dropped on the floor.
But Micheal did. He picked it up and examined it.



“This can’t be right,” he muttered as he looked over the paper.



“What?” Ava asked as she looked up from her place on the floor. She noted
that Micheal’s face was now extremely pale.



“Here,” he said as he handed her the paper.



She looked at it carefully. “What the......?” She screeched. The pair was
silent for a few seconds.



The silence was broken by Ashley’s voice. “What’s wrong?” He asked from
the doorway. Ava’s screech had brought him there.



Ava wordlessly handed the paper over to Ashley. He glanced at it quickly
before he spoke. “Wait a minute. Ria neva said.....”



“That’s because we didn’t know. Mom and Dad never said anything about
this.”



Micheal sat on the bed with his face in his hands. He sat up and ran a shaky
hand through his spiky hair. “It does make sense,” he declared with a heavy
sigh.



“Why you sat dat bro?” Ashley questioned as his eyes focused on his younger
brother.



“Think about it,” Micheal said as he stood up and began pacing, “are there
any baby pictures of Liz around?”



Ava shook her head almost violently. “No, not before she was four. But
there’s a good reason for that. Mom and Dad lived in the Pullman Apartments
on the other side of town before they lived here.”



“They burnt down in 1988.” Micheal said as he figured it out
mentally.



“Exactly. Every single apartment burnt to the ground. The only thing that
Mom and Dad salvaged was Liz. They lost everything.”



“Perfect excuse,” Ashley muttered.



Ava’s head shot up. “You don’t think?”



“Av, it makes sense that’s the perfect reason not to tell Liz that she was
adopted.”



“But why wouldn’t they wanna tell her?”



“Because they was prolly afraid dat they would lose her. My parents were
afraid of dat for a long time. I always knew I was adopted. But they was
always afraid dat they’d lose me. My moms even told me so one
night.”



“When were you adopted?” Micheal asked curiously.



“1986, I came outta mah pod da same year. I was five.” he replied as he
silently asked his brother the same question.



“I came out of mine in 1989. I was six. I was put in to foster care in
1990.”



“I came out of mine in 1991. I was five at the time,” Ava piped up softly.
“Zan, Lonnie, and Rath were 12 by then so they took care of me.”



Some care. Both brothers thought silently.



To Ava, Ashley’s previous argument made sense as much as she didn’t want to
admit it.



“Av, does it list the names of Liz’s real parents on it?”



“No. It just said that she was found on the doorstep of the Roswell
Children’s Home one night.”



“That’s where Max, Isabel and I were brought after we were found on the
side of the road by the Sheriff.”



“What do we tell Liz?” Ava asked sadly.



“Ya hafta tell her. The longer she goes without knowin, The longer it’s gonna
hurt her.”



“All right,” Micheal replied with a heavy sigh, “we’ll tell her tonight.”



“We’ll?”



Ashley nodded as he locked eyes with his brother. “Yeah Ava we’ll tell her.
We’s a family, an’ we’re goin ta hafta deal wit dis as a family.”



Ava smiled sadly. She was glad that Micheal and Ashley were here for her.
They were right. Her, Max, Micheal, Liz, Isabel, Kyle, Maria, Ashley, and
Akien were all one big family, albeit dysfunctional at times. But they were a
family none the less. They stuck together in good times and in bad, through
thick and thin. They were her family. A family that she was very grateful to
have. And they would get through this, the only way they knew how: as a
family.



********



posted on 14-Aug-2002 12:24:44 PM

Part 15: Graduations and Revelations...





Later That Night



Akien sat on the couch in his apartment watching TV. It seemed as though
nothing of any actual substance could be found on any channel. “A hundred
an’ thirty-five friggin’ dollas for da dam satellite an’ not a dam thing on.” He
groaned, his voice heavy with a New York accent, as he stood, shut off the
TV and threw the remote on the couch. He was about to go in the kitchen
for a snack when he was interupted by a knock on the door.



He rolled his eyes and glanced at the clock. “Dis betta be good at 12:18 at
night,” he muttered as he swung the door open to find Ashley standing in the
doorway.



“Ash,” he said as he stood aside gesturing for Ashley to come in. He no
longer referred to Ashley by his name from his former life. Ashley wouldn’t
answer to it all the time. After all, in this life, he was Ashley Grimaldi; not
Prince Narim of the House of Antar.



Ashley quickly made his way to Akien’s couch and flopped down.



“Sure make yaself at home,” Akien muttered almost inaudibly.



Ashley heard Akien’s comment but didn’t see the need to even acknowledge
it. Not with what he had to tell him. Oh no. Not at all.



Akien sat down on the chair opposite Ashley. “An’ ta wat do I owe dis
visit?”



“IthinkIfoundyasista,” Ashley blurted out.



Akien shook his head as if to clear his mind. “I sorry but I thought ya jus
said.....”



“I did bro. I think I found Akyra.”



Akien jumped up and started pacing. “Where is she? She aiight? Who is
she?”



“Hea in Roswell. She’s fine. She’s Liz Parker.”



Akien stood still as a look of astonishment and disbelief crossed his face.
Aiight, dis boy needs a visit ta da loony bin for sure. “Ash you feelin’
aiight?”



“I’m fine bro. Think bout it. It makes perfect sense. Hav ya seen her powers
lately?”



“Yea but....”



“Yea but nuthin’ bro. Think bout it for a minute. Why is it dat Liz’s powers
are so advanced when Kyle’s ain’t no where nears as hot as hers? How is it
dat she’s been relivin’ Akyra’s past life through her dreams? You even said
yaself dat no one but you an’ Akyra knew dat she was pregnant when she was
offed. How da hell would she have known dat little bit otherwise? It’s jus too
much of a coincidence. Don’t ya think?” Ashley declared with a click of his
tongue.



He shook his head at Ashley with a look of dismay marring his features.
“Aiight, let’s say dat I believe ya. Dat Liz is Kyra. How da fuck is dat
possible. She a human bro.”



“Na. I don’t think she is. Ya see when Av an’ Mike was cleanin’ Av an’ Liz’s
parents’ room, dey found an adoption certificate for Liz.”



“Wha?”



“Yea. Apparently, Liz was adopted in 1987. Dey found her on da steps of a
orphanage.”



“An’ ya tellin’ me she neva knew dis?”



“Exactly bro. Tha apartment buildin’ where her parents lived before da
Crash burnt ta da ground in 1988. Dat’s how Liz didn’t know.”



Akien sat down heavily on the couch. “Perfect cova-up.”



Now he startin’ ta believe me. “Dat’s wha I said.”



“Hav ya told anyone else bout dis?”



“Na. I didn’t wanna scare dem. ‘Sides ya heard wat dey decided. Dey ain’t
gonna tell Liz bout da adoption till afta graduation. We might as well do it at
dat time too.”



Akien didn’t acknowledge Ashley; he was lost in his own little world.



“Kien? Bro? Ya aiight?”



“Wha?”



“Bro ya starin’ out inta space. Wat up?”



“How am I s’posed ta act round Liz for da nex month knowin’ dat she’s really
my sista. How’s it dat she been unda our noses for all dis time an’ we didn’t
know it? How we s’posed ta wait a fuckin’ month ta tell Av’ dat we found our
sista? Dat her adoptive sista is really her sista for real. How we s’posed ta
tell Mike dat Liz’s his forma wife?”



“I dunno bro. I dunno.”



“Well I guess dat means we’s gonna hafta wait an’ see.”



“I guess.”



“Bro I hav a bad feelin’ dat dis is gonna blow up in our faces.”



“We’ll see Kien. We’ll see.”



****



One Month Later: January



Micheal, Ava, and Ashley had called a little group meeting the night after
they learned that Liz was adopted. Obviously, everyone except Liz
was there. It was collectively decided that Liz would be told after her,
Micheal, Ava, Max, Isabel, and Kyle graduated from West Roswell.



They didn’t want to ruin one of the most important times in Liz Parker’s life.
She had already been through far too much: she lost the love of her life to
her sister, her parents had been so horribly taken away from her, she had
almost died twice, she had alien powers, and to top it off her boyfriend was
the rightful King of another planet, whose wife or rather the
reincarnation of, was still out there somewhere. Not only that but every now
and then, she could still hear the whispers of her fellow classmates as she
walked the halls of West Roswell.



After Liz’s bout with the sleeping pills in November, Micheal, Max, Ava,
Isabel, Kyle, Maria, Akien, Ashley, Jim, Amy, Diane, and Philip made sure
that people knew the real story so that Liz wouldn’t have to deal with shit
being said behind her back. For the most part, it worked. But, every now and
then, there were those few assholes who couldn’t keep their mouths
shut.



So every once in a while, she found herself telling someone to shut the hell
up. Which shocked more than a few people. No one ever expected to hear
those words out of Little Lizzie Parker’s mouth. But then again Liz wasn’t
Little Lizzie anymore. She was Liz Parker. She was happier and freer; but
more importantly, she was Liz Parker, the survivor.



****



Graduation



The January graduation ceremony was pretty small to say the least. It was
being held in the gym of West Roswell. The gym was decorated with yellow
and blue streamers from floor to ceiling complete with huge signs that said
things like “Congratulations Grads,” “We’ll Miss You,” or “Good Luck
Graduates.”



Out of the 22 kids who qualified for January Grad, only 10 chose to do so.
The group was relieved. This meant that their graduation would last no more
than an hour.



The audience more than outnumbered the kids sitting in front of them. Since
the number of graduates was small, the principle told everyone that they
could bring whomever they wanted.



First came the principle’s speech. It was the usual you’ll do great in life and
the school will miss you. Every other word out of my mouth is bullshit. The
school won’t miss you at all. I’m speaking in a monotone voice to put you to
sleep, type of speech. No fun there. In fact Isabel had to smack Max
because he looked like he was about to join the counting sheep in la-la land
more than once during Principle Caruso’s speech.



Then came the Superintendent of the Roswell Public Schools. His speech was
even worse. Yada yada yada. You’ve worked hard for thirteen years for this
day. Even though this day isn’t for you, it’s for your families. Still no fun
what so ever. Ava was making faces at Liz, causing her to crack up multiple
times. Micheal joined them in no time. And Max found the tables turned
when he had to smack Isabel to keep her awake. As for Kyle, well he dozed
off during Principle Caruso’s speech unbeknownst to the rest of the group.

Finally came Liz’s speech. Obviously no one slept through that one.



From the minute Liz stepped up to the podium, all eyes were on her and not
once did any of them stray.



"Take a good look around you. Soak it all up. Cause after today, all we have
of this place are the memories. Remember the first time you met your
friends for lunch in the Quad. Or all the times you got yelled at by Ms.
Lynch for goofing off during volleyball. Don't forget all the pep rallies or the
Homecoming games. All the times we cheered on our friends. Remember
every year's experiences. Remember every single last day of school. How all
they were, were giant parties. Remember all your firsts: things like your
first kiss, your first love, your first true friend. And don't ever forget, that
in each of those memories, there were your best friends right by your side.
Hold onto them forever. Don’t ever let the memories fade. Memories are like
life, eternally precious.



As of today, we're no longer high school students. No today we leave West
Roswell as men and women. Today, we begin our journey in the real world, and
end another chapter in our lives. Now, the world is truly at our fingertips.
We have the power to make awesome things happen. We have the power to
change the world. To make a difference.



But as we go our separate ways, I hope you'll keep some very valuable
lessons in mind. These lessons will guide you through this sometimes strange
and fascinating journey we call life. And truth be told, they weren't learned
in any classroom. They were taught by friends and family."



Liz looked at her sister with a wide smile. Ava winked back at her. "One, Sit
back and take in your surroundings. The narrow minded can't truly
appreciate life as a whole. You've gotta see the big picture for what it is.
But every now and then, look at the little picture too. Sometimes, the
smallest details need to be seen."



Liz glanced at Max with gratitude shining in her eyes. No matter what they
had been through in the past three years, Max had saved her life. For that
she would forever be grateful. "Two. Life is precious. Treasure each day.
Every minute and every second there in. There's an old Irish Proverb that
sums it all up: Dance as if no one were watching, sing as if no one were
listening, and live each day as if it were your last. As sad as it is, your time
on Earth is limited. Make the best possible use of what you've got. You never
know when life can slip through your fingers."



She shifted her attention to the left of Max where Isabel was seated. The
Ice Queen no longer, Isabel had become one of her best friends, her sister
even. "Three. You can't get through life trying to be someone you're not.
Nor can you go through your whole life trying to please others. For that isn't
living. That's not a life. Be yourself. Stay comfortable in your own skin. If
people don't like you, then that's their loss. You can't please everyone. So
don't try."



Then there was Buddha boy at the end of the front row. His immaturity was
something that she needed at times. "Four. Acting like a kid is necessary to
maintain sanity sometimes. Not to mention the fact that it's good for your
soul. Don't be so uptight. Forgetting how to have fun can be detrimental.
Every once in a while, go to the park. Play on the swings. Build a sand castle.
Play Marco Polo in the pool with your friends. Have a food fight. Don't get
me wrong. I'm not saying that these things should be a daily occurrence. I'm
just saying that you should never let go of your childhood. Sometimes being a
Toys 'R Us kid isn't that bad after all." Kyle laughed heartily at
her.



Micheal looked up and locked eyes with Liz. He had the feeling that the next
lesson was his. His girlfriend was smiling brightly at him as she continued her
speech. "Five. Don't sweat the small stuff. Sometimes not caring is the way
to go. Worrying your head off about stuff that's beyond your control is
pointless." Micheal found himself nodding in agreement with Liz.



Liz scanned the audience until she came upon Ashley. He had become like a
big brother to her since his arrival. "Six. Keep your eyes open. You never
know when you'll meet someone new who will add to your life. They may have
yet another important lesson for you to learn."



Next, she turned to Akien. He had helped her slowly begin to morn Alex. He
would never take Alex's place, but he did fill a void in her heart. "Seven.
Expanding your horizons is never impossible. Sometimes the impossible is
possible."



Finally Liz locked eyes with her best friend. Maria had tears streaming down
her face. "Eight. Blood doesn't make someone family. The love and support
they give you does. It's better to have a small group of close friends who
are family to you, then to have a large group of acquaintances who are
strangers in your eyes."



Liz focused on her entire family. Smiling brightly at each and every one of
them. Tears streamed down her cheeks. Happy tears.

"Take these lessons with you as you leave this place. Live by them. Teach
them to others. Pass them on. You'll find that they're some of the most
valuable pieces of information you'll ever receive while your on this
Earth."



"Open your eyes and take a good look around you. This is the moment that
we’ve been waiting for. Live for it. Cherish it. Never let it go. Hold on to it
with all you’ve got. This is it."



"So to the Class of 2002, I say good luck. May all your dreams come true.
May you find all you're looking for in life. It's been a real roller coaster ride
to say the least. But we've made it. This is our day in the sun. Live it
up."



"With that, I say good bye and congratulations."




When she finished, there was not a dry eye in the gym.



Following Liz’s speech, everyone was called up and received their
diplomas.



Nicolas Andavarez.



Anthony Azzura.



Isabel Nicole Evans.



Maxwell Philip Evans.



Micheal Christopher Guerin.



Jessica Karan.



Avaria Claudine Parker.



Elizabeth Kyrin Parker.



Tony Quinn.



Kyle James Valenti Jr.




Then there was the customary changing the side the tassels are on followed
by the hat toss. And it was over.



Max, Isabel, Ava, Liz, Kyle, Micheal, Maria, Ashley, Akien, Amy, Jim, Diane,
and Philip all went back to the Crash for a little post-Graduation party which
lasted until 2 in the morning.



After Amy, Jim, Diane, and Philip left, the gang proceeded upstairs. This was
it. The day of reckoning had finally arrived.



****



Everyone changed into their PJ’s and piled into the Parker-Guerin Livingroom.
It was now or never. And never wasn’t really an option.



“Liz,” Ava said softly, “can you come sit down. We wanna tell you
something.”



Liz gave her sister a puzzled look but replied with her request anyway.
“Okay, what is it?”



“Remember that day that you went out with Christi and Vicki for lunch last
month?”



Liz nodded, still confused as to where this was going.



“Well, um, I cleaned out Mom and Dad’s room with a little help from
Micheal.”



Liz glanced at Micheal. His face was emotionless like he was trying to hide
something. Now she was beginning to get worried. Ava telling her that she
cleaned their parents room shouldn’t be a big deal. It was better Ava did it
anyway. She wouldn’t be able to handle going through her mother and
father’s things. So that wasn’t an issue. No, there was something else going
on here. Something bad.



Liz looked at her sister and replied almost silently. “Okay.”

“You know the chest that Dad built for Mom when they got
married?”



Not one for beating around the bush Liz asked, “Yeah. Av, what’s going
on?”



Micheal stood up and walked over to her. He sat down next to her. He had a
piece of paper in his hand. He looked pale. “We found this in the chest. I’m
sorry baby.”



She took the paper from his hands. “Sorry for what?” she asked as she
turned over the paper and examined it to see what it was.



She shook her head in confusion. “This can’t be,” she said as she reexamined
the document.



Adoption Certificate for the State of New Mexico



Date Issued: April 10, 1987



Child’s Name: Unknown



Child’s Age: Approximately 3



Child’s Birth Parents: Unknown. Child was found on the steps of the Roswell
Children’s Orphanage.



Child’s Adoptive Name: Elizabeth Kyrin Parker



Child’s Adoptive Parents: Nancy and Jeffrey Parker




“Is this a joke?” She asked angrily.



Ashley shook his head firmly. “Nah Liz. I called da state adoption commission
an’ dey tol me dat it was legit. Ya was adopted in 1987. Dat’s all dat dey tell
me.”



“But.....How......Why.....They never....”



Micheal wrapped his arms around his girlfriend as she promptly burst into
tears. “It doesn’t make sense.”



“Actually, it does sweetie,” Maria retorted, “Are there any pictures of you
before you were three?”



Liz shook her head. “No. My parents’ apartment burnt down in 1988. So
there aren’t any pictures of me before age four. That still doesn’t explain
anything. Why would my parents lie to me about something this
serious.”



Ashley decided he would answer this one since he could understand. Not that
Max, Micheal, Isabel and Ava couldn’t since they all had been adopted. “It
ain’t dat simple Liz. Ya parents were prolly ‘fraid dat dey’d lose ya if ya knew
da truth. I’m 21 an’ mah mom’s still ‘fraid she’ll lose me one day. I always
knew I was adopted but my parents were always scared dat I’d find my real
parents an’ leave dem behind. Ya was their baby girl. Dey didn’t wanna lose
ya. Dey loved ya too much. An’ even if ya knew der’s nuthin’ ya could do cause
dey don’t know who ya real parents are. Da Parkers were prolly trying to
protect ya from dat too.”



Liz contemplated Ashley’s words throughly. He definitely had a point. But
that still didn’t answer all her questions. She buried her head in Micheal’s
shoulder and cried.



Everyone felt sorry for her. Essentially, all Liz had ever known was in one
way or another, a lie. She didn’t really know who she was anymore. Now she is
Liz Parker, daughter to Jeff and Nancy. But who was she before that? Who
were her real parents? Did she have any brothers and sisters? There was no
way of knowing.



With Max, Isabel, Ava, and Ashley, and even to some extent Micheal, it was
different. They had been raised knowing they were adopted. It was nothing
new. It was just a fact of their lives. It was part of who they were. But with
Liz, she found herself now questioning who she was.

Akien and Ashley had done some heavy research to see what they could find
and nothing had panned out. All kids born in hospitals in New Mexico were
accounted for one way or another. It was yet another fact that lent
credence to Ashley’s belief that Liz was in fact Akyra. A point that both
men were reluctant to attempt to bring up. After all, how do you go about
telling an 18 year old girl that she’s the reincarnated Queen of another
planet?



Liz eventually cried herself to sleep. Micheal told the others that he was
going to bed. He carried Liz into her room, laid her on the bed, and laid down
next to her. It was gonna be another rough time for poor Liz. She had
already been through so much. And he vowed to be there every step of the
way; through the good and the bad.



********



posted on 14-Aug-2002 12:25:53 PM
Part 16: Misconceptions and Preconceived Notions



Micheal sat at the counter of the Crash, going over the inventory list when a
raven-haired, tall, attractive girl walked in. For some reason, he was
instantly captivated by her presence.



Kyle sat her in a booth near him. She sat alone. He could feel her eyes boring
holes in his head. He looked up and locked gazes with her. There was an
almost familiar quality to her.



The interaction wasn’t missed by Maria, Kyle, Isabel, and Ava.



“I don’t like this.” Isabel said as she eyed the girl waringly.



“Me neither.” Ava replied as she eyed her former brother in law
carefully.



Kyle watched the girl carefully. He didn’t like this one bit. There was
something off about this girl. Especially because of the way Micheal was
staring at her. There was no way in hell he’d willingly gawk at that girl. After
all he had Liz. And when she was in the room, everything else around him
disappeared.



“I have the distinct feeling this chick is trouble. Do you see the way Michael
is staring at her. I mean C’mon that’s so not a Spaceboy thing to
do.”



Kyle nodded agreeing with his sister. “We need to find out who she is
ASAP.”



****



The mysterious brunette ate her lunch silently. When it came time to pay,
she gave Kyle a Visa card. His next move was very smart.



“Can I just see some form of ID to verify that this is yours?”



“Sure. Here’s my license,” she said as she handed it to him.



He quickly scanned it, making sure to remember everything on it. He handed
it back to her. “Thanks. I’ll go ring this up for you.”



“Thank you.”



****



Kyle rang her bill up and gave her the receipt to sign. She signed it and left.
But not before giving Micheal a look. More specifically an I want you
look.



“Uh what a slut,” Maria said disgustedly.



“Yep,” Ava and Isabel agreed.



Meanwhile, Kyle was scribbling something down furiously on a pad.



Isabel walked up behind him and saw what he was writing. She put her arms
around him and smiled. “You’re a genius Buddha Boy.” She whispered
happily.



“What?” Maria and Ava were eager to know what was going on.



“I got her information. According to her driver’s license she’s Kyla Relos
from Seattle, Washington. 18 Pinelawn Drive to be exact. Apparently she’s
22.”



“Kyla Relos?” Ava asked “That sounds an awful lot like......”



“Akyra of Rilos.” Isabel finished for her former and soon to be
sister-in-law.



“Something’s not right here.”



Kyle glanced at Maria in amusement. “Thank you, Captain Obvious.”



“Kyle,” Isabel warned.



“Sorry, I know now’s not the time. We gotta find out what the deal is on this
chick. I’ll have my dad run a background check on her.”



****



Two Hours Later:



“Ok, Dad ran a check.” Kyle told Isabel and Maria.



“And what did Dad find?” Maria asked curiously.



Kyle smiled up at her. He didn’t mind in the least that she referred to his
father as ‘Dad’. It didn’t bother him at all. After all their parents were
married, he called her sis, and they had a little sister.



“Apparently no trace of her can be found before two weeks ago. A trace on
her Social Security Number said that she’s dead.”



“So she stole someone’s identity.”



Kyle nodded at his girlfriend. “Apparently.”



“She’s staying at the Hotel on the edge of town just outside Groom
Lake.”



“Well then let’s go pay Ms. Relos a visit.” Isabel replied confidently.



“No need,” Maria interjected, “she’s back.”



All three turned to see the girl walk into the Crashdown. She approached
Micheal and began a conversation with him much to the dismay of Isabel and
Maria, and the disgust of Kyle.



****



Meanwhile:



Liz sat at the kitchen table in the apartment, going through the mail from
the last few days. She was hoping to find something addressed to her. She
had placed an ad in the New Mexico Times asking that if anyone had any
information about her parents to please let her know.



Her eyes suddenly came upon a letter addressed to her. She quickly tore the
envelope open and began to read eagerly.



Dear Elizabeth,



My name is Kevin Taliran and I think I have information on your parents. I’m
now twenty-four years old and when I was nine my parents gave my little
sister, who was three at the time, up for adoption. It’s not that they didn’t
love her. It was simply because they could not afford to have two children.
They chose to give my sister up because she still had a chance of being
adopted. I, on the other hand, would’ve been bounced from foster home to
foster home had they given me up.



For years, both my mother and father were torn up about giving her up.
Shortly before her death, my mother reveled to me that she had left her on
the steps of an orphanage. And when my father also passed on, I made it my
mission to try and locate my baby sister. I wanted to know what she looked
liked, what kind of woman she had grown to be, and if she was looking for
me.



When I saw your ad in the paper, I was elated. I think that you Elizabeth
are my younger sister. I think that my two years of searching for her have
come to an end. I would like to meet you and see if I’m right.



So please, when you get this letter, give me a call at 555-4243.



Sincerely,



Kevin Taliran




By the time she was finished reading Kevin’s letter, she had tears streaming
down her face. This was it. She had found them. But she would never get to
know them because both her parents had passed away. On the other hand,
she now had a big brother. Something that she had always wanted.



She dashed for the phone and quickly dialed Kevin’s number.



“Hello?”



“Is this Kevin?”



“Yes, it is.”



“This is Liz Parker. I just received your letter.”



“And?”



“And I think you’re right. I think I’m your little sister.”



She heard him let out a sigh of relief. “Can we meet?”



“Sure where?”



“At my house, tomorrow?”



“That’s fine. Can you give me directions?”



“Sure.” He rattled off directions to his house and she scribbled them
down furiously.



“Okay. I’ll see you tomorrow Kevin.” She finished with a smile.



“I look forward to it Liz.”



Liz couldn’t keep the smile from her face. She had a brother. A real brother.
She loved her sister Ava with all her heart but it wasn’t the same. Ava knew
her roots. Liz didn’t. But now she had someone who did. She had a big
brother.



****



At the Same Time Downstairs



Micheal sat at the counter still working on the books when he felt a
presence behind him. He turned to see the same brunette from before
staring back at him.



“Hi.”



“Hi.” He replied.



“You work here?”



He nodded entranced by her eyes. “Yeah. I’m one of the managers. My
girlfriend and her sister own it.”



“Damn.” The girl said with a sad smile.



“What?” Micheal asked curiously.



“It figures a gorgeous guy like you would have a girlfriend.”



Micheal found himself blushing at her words. “Thank you.”



She stuck her hand out, “I’m Kyla. Kyla Relos.”



He shook her hand. “Nice to meet you. Micheal Guerin.”



“Well Micheal I’m new in town. What’s good to do around here?” She asked
as she stared him in his eyes.



Micheal found himself lost in her eyes. They had a very familiar quality to
them. “Have I seen you somewhere before?”



“In another lifetime maybe.” She replied with a smile.

****



“That’s it,” Maria declared with a huff, “we have to get that girl in the break
room so we can talk to her. It’s like she’s got Micheal under a
trance.”



“I’ve got an idea.” Akien replied with a smile. Akien and Ashley had shown up
twenty minutes before. Both were eager to question this mysterious girl.
Ashley was sensing some not so pure intentions pouring off of her.



With that Akien got up and approached Micheal and mystery girl.



“Hey M.”



“Oh hey Akien. This is Kyla, she’s new in town.”



“Nice to meet you,” Akien said pretending to be genuinely happy to meet
her.



He turned his attention back to Micheal. “We’re all chillen in da breakroom.
Ya wanna come chill wit us?” He turned to ‘Kyla’ “Ya can come too if ya wants.
We’ll intraduce ya to our friends.”



Akien looked at Kyla trying to gauge her reaction. She seemed uneasy by his
suggestion. Clue number one.



Micheal turned to Kyla. “Yeah why don’t you come with us. You can meet the
gang.”



“Sure.” Kyla replied uneasily. Things were not going as she planned. She
wanted Micheal to herself.



With that the three walked into the breakroom.



Interrogation time.



********




[ edited 1 time(s), last at 14-Aug-2002 12:29:42 PM ]
posted on 14-Aug-2002 12:27:08 PM
Part 17: I Know What You Are, But What Am I?



The Crashdown Breakroom



Once everyone was situated and Kyla had been introduced to the gang,
Ashley decided to speak.



“Aiight ‘nuff wit dis pleasant shit. Who da hell are ya? Coz I know dat ya
ain’t jus dis Kyla chick.”



Micheal shot Ashley a scolding look. “What the hell crawled up your ass and
died?” I can’t believe him. Why in the hell is he being so god damn
rude?




“Nuttin bro. I’s jus askin’ wat everyone else wants ta know, ain’t I” He
replied curtly as he surveyed the other occupants of the room. From the
looks on their faces, they all seemed to agree with him.



“Ya bro’s right Mike.” Akien added, “Don’t tell me dat ya ain’t da least bit
curious bout who Kyla is.”



“Gee. There’s nothing like speaking your minds. Can you be any nicer?”
Micheal interjected.



I can be nicer. I jus don’t wanna. Ashley thought silently.



“No it’s all right Micheal. Your friends are right. I’m not just Kyla. I’m
someone else....” She trailed off as she glanced at him and the brunette
enfolded in his arms. She found the fire in the other woman’s eyes
intimidating. From research she had done, she came to the conclusion that
she was one Liz Parker; Zan’s one time love and Rath’s current girlfriend. She
was also the silent leader of the group. Zan may have been King on Antar,
but on Earth, he deferred to her on just about all decisions.



Isabel’s mumbling interupted Kyla’s thoughts. “oh by all means, tell us who
you are.” She mumbled from her position beside Micheal and Liz.



Kyla glanced at Isabel carefully. She knew in that instant that this would
never work. Vilandra wasn’t stupid in her last life. What made Kivar think
she’d be stupid in this life? His plan, even if I didn’t tell the truth, would be
shot to hell in no time.
She chose to remain silent for the
moment.



“Leave it alone Is.” Micheal all but growled without looking at Isabel.




Liz then shot out of Micheal’s arms and gave him what can only be described
as an angry look. “What the hell, Micheal?”



“What?” He asked obviously very oblivious to his mistake.



“What?” She retorted mockingly. “I never in my life thought that I’d have to
ask you this but are you stupid? You have no clue in hell who this girl is. And
yet you’re so quick to defend her. I think that before you jump to her
defense, you should find out what her story is. Cause I know you can’t
possibly believe her little Ms. Innocent bull shit routine. You don’t even have
the slightest inkling as to who she is. Before you play nice, find out her deal.
Don’t you think?” She spat angrily.



The group and Kyla watched as Micheal’s face hardened. They knew he
wasn’t going to scream back at her. Liz was right. He, Micheal Guerin, the
original Mr. Conspiracy Theorist himself was acting out of character.
Normally, anyone outside the family wasn’t trusted until they were proved
otherwise. So why should Kyla be any different?



So Micheal said nothing in response to Liz’s tirade. He simply bowed his head
as if to show her that she was in fact, right, and he was wrong.



Kyla, at this point had realized that trying to lie to them was absolutely
futile. Vilandra-Isabel-wasn’t fooled in the least, Narim and Akien weren’t
falling for it. Not only that, but she knew that she wouldn’t be able to pull
the wool over Rath’s eyes for very long either. Especially with Liz Parker &
Co. around. No. She wasn’t going to even try to lie about her identity. For
once, she would do the right thing. She would tell the truth.



She was about to say something when Maria chose that moment to come and
sit in front of her and beat her to the proverbial punch.



“So ‘Kyla’,” she said in a mocking tone, “why don’t you just tell us who you
really are.” She then sat back and crossed her arms, as if waiting for an
answer.



“Yeah that sounds like a plan,” Ava added from her position in Max’s lap
across from Maria.



Kyla coughed nervously. The weight of Ava, Maria, Max, Akien, Ashley, Kyle,
Isabel, Liz, and Micheal’s intense stares was almost palpable. She was
overwhelmed. “Well,” she trailed off.



“Well what,” Kyle asked curiously. He wanted to know what Kyla had to say
for herself. It wasn’t as if she posed a threat to the group. No. After all,
what could one girl do to 6 Hybrids and 2 Humans with powers.



“Well,” Kyla began, “I’m not gonna lie to you and claim that I am Queen
Akyra,” she said nervously.



“Because we already know that you’re not,” Max added.



She nodded wordlessly and refused to look any of them in the eyes. Micheal’s
fists clenching up at the mention of his former wife made her hesitant to
finish her story.



“Go on,” Liz urged her as she rubbed Micheal’s back in an effort to keep him
calm.



Kyla smiled gratefully at Liz before continuing. “He sent me here. Set up an
identity for me. He thought that I would be able to convince Rath,”



“Micheal,” he corrected her.



“Sorry, Micheal, that I was Akyra. But I see that, that is not possible by any
means.”



“He?” Micheal questioned, “Who’s he?”



“Khivar,” Liz answered for Kyla, “but why?”



“Because Khivar feels that if you find Akyra, you’ll be able to regroup and
eventually lead a coup d’etat on his current government.”



“In other words, take back what’s rightfully ours,” Micheal said as he shook
his head in utter amazement.



Max was confused. “So why would you willingly confess all of this to
us?”



“Because I would not have been able to fool any of you for very long. Some
of you automatically saw right through me. None of you are actually as naive
as Khivar believes.”



Liz, in response, wrapped a possessive arm around Micheal as if to claim her
territory.



“I guess we’ll take that as a compliment,” Maria said with a smirk.



Now, it was Isabel who was curious. “What are you going to do now? Khivar
will have you killed for sure if you go back to Antar.”



“I don’t know yet. I guess I’ll have to somehow disappear.”



“We’ll help you in any way that we possibly can.”



The group looked at Liz in a mixture of shock, amazement, and admiration.
She had just offered to help a girl whose original intent was to pretend to
be the former wife of her boyfriend. Elizabeth Parker was truly an amazing
woman.



“Thank you,” Kyla replied graciously. It was obvious to her that even if the
Royals found their precious Queen Akyra, it would not have an impact on
Liz’s place in the lives of Max, Ava, Isabel, Ashley, Akien, and especially
Micheal. She was now Micheal’s Queen, Akien and Ava’s sister, Max’s
confidant, Isabel’s best friend, and Ashley’s advisor.



“You’ll get our help, but I think that I speak for everyone when I say that
we would like to know everything.”



“Everything?” Kyla asked unsure that she’d heard Liz right.



“Everything,” was the unanonymous reply from the group.



“Okay. Where should I start?”



“How about with what you know about each of us,” Micheal clarified for
her.



“Okay.” She replied as she took a deep breath and prepared to answer all of
their questions. “You’re Micheal Guerin. Placed into the foster care of one
Hank Guerin. Granted emancipated minor status at the age of 16. You
currently live with Elizabeth and Avaria Parker. In your previous life, you
were Prince Rath, youngest son of Prime Minister Cicero of the House of
Antar. Commander of the Royal Armed Forces of Antar. Upon marriage to
Queen Akyra of Rilos, you became King of Rilos.”



She then turned to Ava. “Avaria Parker. Adopted daughter of Jeffrey and
Nancy Parker. Younger sister of Elizabeth. Granted emancipated minor
status at the age of 16. Formerly Princess Ava, youngest child of King Ranier
and Queen Tarela of the House of Rilos. Second in line for the throne of
Rilos. Married King Zan at 14 to become Queen of Antar.”



Then she turned her attention to Liz. “Elizabeth Parker. Eldest daughter of
Jeffrey and Nancy Parker. Current girlfriend to Micheal Guerin. Shot in
September of 1999. Healed by Maxwell Evans. Granted emancipated minor
status at the age of 17 in 2001 following the death of Jeffrey Dan Nancy
Parker.”



Following Liz was Max. “Maxwell Evans. Adopted son of Philip and Diane
Evans. Brother of Isabel. Healed both Elizabeth Parker and Kyle Valenti.
Formerly King Zan of the House of Antar. Married Princess Ava of Rilos.
Currently engaged to Avaria Parker.”



Then it was Isabel. “Isabel Evans. Adopted daughter of Philip and Diane
Evans. Sister to Maxwell. Formerly Princess Vilandra, younger child of King
Victor and Queen Maria Teresa of the House of Antar. Currently dating Kyle
Valenti.”



Next came Kyle. “Kyle Valenti. Son of Sheriff James Valenti and Step-son to
Amy DeLuca-Valenti. Older brother to Maria and Jade. Healed after being
shot in 2000 by Maxwell Evans. Dating Isabel Evans.”



Then, there was Maria. “Maria DeLuca-Valenti. Daughter of Amy DeLuca
Valenti and Step-daughter of Sheriff James Valenti. Sister of Kyle and
Jade Valenti. Best friend of Elizabeth Parker. Currently engaged to Ashley
Grimaldi.”



After Maria was Ashley. “Ashley Grimaldi. Adopted son of Marisela and
Giovanni Grimaldi. Formerly Prince Narim, oldest son of Prime Minister
Cicero of the House of Antar. Brother to Micheal Guerin. Best friend of
Akien Contella. Engaged to Maria DeLuca-Valenti.”



Finally, there was Akien. “Akien Contella. Adopted son of Joseph Contella.
Formerly Prince Akien, eldest child of King Ranier and Queen Tarela of the
House of Rilos. Brother of Avaria Parker and the currently missing Akyra.
Commander of the Royal Armed Forces of Rilos.”



She finished with a deep breath.



The group sat there stunned. She knew alot. But she didn’t know all. A fact
they were extremely thankful for.



“Does Khivar know all of this?” Maria asked solemnly.



“No, he doesn’t know anything.”



The group released a collective sigh. They still had the advantage.



For the moment that is.



********