Page 1 of 5
Solar Eclipse M/L Book 1 (ch. 1-34);Book 2 (ch. 1-20) [SAVE]
Posted: Sun Feb 23, 2003 11:00 am
Thank you ChrissyP47 for this beautiful banner!!
Title: Solar Eclipse
Max and Liz believer, a.k.a. Josephin
You know the drill...I don’t own any of the Roswell characters, I’m just borrowing them for a while and I will return them when I’m finished.
Everything up to ”Max in the City” has happened. Liz is starting to get sick and no one knows what’s wrong. Simultaneously, she is haunted by nightmares - are they premonitions of the future or just dreams?
Okay, after reading tons of Roswell fanfic I decided to give it a try myself. So, I hope you’ll enjoy this fanfic just as much as I’ll enjoy writing it. Oh oh, and I LOVE feedback!
She could feel the distance decreasing between them, the sound of his footsteps growing nearer. He was gaining on her. Her breathing was labored and her chest ached. She didn't know how much longer she could keep this up. But she couldn't let him catch her.that would be the end.
He awoke with a startle. Turning on the lamp on the bedside table he worriedly scanned the room. There was nothing there. His room was the same quiet room as ever. Why did he feel like he was in danger?
A stone protruding from the ground put an end to her run and she tumbled to the ground, exhausted. She closed her eyes and waited for the end.
Unsuccessful in trying to push away his feelings of threat, he stood up from his bed and crossed the floor to check on his sister.
Someone, the person following her, turned her around as she was helplessly lying on the ground. She kept her eyes closed. She did not want to look at the man who held the same face as the man she loved more than life itself. The last thing she did in her life would not be to look into the same eyes that otherwise held so much love but now only held malice and hatred. She did not have any energy left to fight him. but she would not go without a fight, if it was the last thing she did. Groping in the dark, her bloody hands came into contact with a nose. "Just a little higher" she thought and found her target. Without a conscious thought, acting merely on survival instinct, she pressed her fingers into his eyes, feeling her nails sink deep into the vitreous body of his eyes. The man wanting her dead let out a cry in pain and released his grip on her, in order to examine the damage she had caused. Seizing the opportunity, she rolled out from underneath him and tried to stand up. But she was too weak. She could feel a numbness spreading in her body. "Nononononono" she thought on the verge on hysterics. She could not pass out know. She had to fight it. It was either that or her life. Then she felt it. The numbness in her body was being replaced with a burning pain, which started in the small of her back and started to spread throughout her whole body. It felt as if she was on fire. Her agonized cry of pain echoed in the black night.
Walking back from his sister's room he suddenly felt an immense amount of pain in his back. He felt like he was being burned alive and he sunk to his knees with one agonizing cry, "Nooooo. Liiiiizzzz!!"
Roswell 2000 - one week earlier
"I really think you should tell him, Liz," Maria said casting a glance in Max's direction, sitting in his regular booth at the CrashDown Café. He was not looking her way, but was instead staring at the unfinished food at his plate in front of him.
Maria had with sadness followed the withering of Max, of Max's soul, since Liz left him so he could fulfill his destiny. As if that was not enough, the little hope of getting Liz back that had remained in the core of Max's heart had finally completely dissolved into nothingness when Liz had (in Max's eyes) cheated on him with Kyle. Maria had been the closest friend to Max during the summer.
While Michael had tried to come to terms with his own destiny of being a second in command to Max he had slowly started to drift further apart from his friends, especially his human friends. He spent most of his time, when he was not working or sleeping, practicing his powers. To prepare himself for the inevitable future - a future being at war. He did not have time, or more precisely, the patience to try to convince Max that they had a destiny and it was better that he stopped sulking it all away over a girl that had obviously already started to move on.
Isabel had also started to pull away from the others. She had to deal with the fact that she in another life-time had betrayed her brother and in that basically had killed not only her brother but also Michael, Tess and herself. As if that was not enough she was practically also responsible for millions of lives that were lost in the hours, days, months and years after her betrayal to her brother.
Maria had sadly witnessed the process of the dissolving of the once hard- knitted group. Her attention was now on the petite brown-haired girl with the back turned to her behind the counter at the CrashDown, pretending to be very busy with filling the sugar dispensers. "Liz, are you even listening to me?" Maria asked her long-time friend since Liz had yet to answer her. "What?" Liz said and turned towards her. When Maria found herself staring into the blank dark-brown eyes of her friend, she wondered (and not for the first time) what had happened to the girl she once knew that appreciated every small thing on earth, always took time to watch out for everyone nearby - even if their intentions weren't all good. The girl once so full of life, and love. Had she died that day on the floor of the CrashDown Café, when Max had healed her?
"You can't continue doing this, you know", Maria said watching Liz's face grow more suspicious. "What, Maria?!" she exclaimed, her voice edged with annoyance. "I think you should talk to him." Maria said, with her hand drifting out in the direction of Max's booth. "Maria.", Liz sighed, "I talk with him every day. We're okay, you know!" "Liz", Maria said and looked sternly on Liz. "You are NOT okay!" "Maria, stop it okay! There is nothing left to discuss. He has a destiny.with Tess" Maria saw Liz eyes glaze over with sadness at the mentioning of Max's destined mate. "We are friends, and I am happy that we can be so much. We cannot be more than that, you know that. So would you just stop it, Maria!" Liz eyes had a warning look in them.telling Maria to back off.
Maria through her hands up into the air clearly giving up. "Why do I even try?" she said with a dramatic sigh and turned to Michael. "Hey Michael! Where's my order?" "You'll get your order when it's ready!" Michael grunted without turning to Maria. "It is sooo revealing that you every day at least can look forward to having such wonderful, happy and optimistic couple of friends when everything else is crap.," Maria sarcastically announced with a fake smile and turned towards the dining area to serve the new customers that had arrived.
With a tired sigh Liz leaned against the counter and held her hand to her forehead. She had been bothered by this headache all day long and it was really starting to affect her mood. She still felt him in the room. She could feel his eyes burning at the back of her head. Everyday was a torture. She was just going through the emotions, she had lost control of her life. Sure, it was great that she and Max could be friends. But they both knew that they could never just have a normal friendship. Especially not after what she had done to him. She so wanted to tell him about how the future version of him had told her to betray Max. She longed to feel his arms around her again, telling her that everything was going to be okay. As long as they were together they could do anything. But she couldn't tell him. She would not risk the safety of her friends just so that she could have a relationship.
When she started to fill coffee into the coffee-machine she once again thought about the fact that Max and Tess did not seem to be anymore romantically involved with each other than they had been before future Max decided to pay her a visit. In some way it brought her relief that she did not have to witness Max and Tess making go-go-eyes at each other or even worse - kissing! However, at the same time it felt as if she was doing her sacrifice, living this hell, for nothing. She had succeeded in making Tess stay in Roswell, and was that not the plan.? No, of course, there was that small detail concerning the fact that future Max told her that Max had to fall out of love with her. Some days it felt as if she had succeeded in that as well. Especially when she looked into his eyes - those amber eyes - and saw the hurt, the hurt she knew she had put there, she was convinced that he could no longer love her. But then, when she was working and he sat in his regular booth watching her it was as it had been before the day of the shooting. He was still watching out for her, and the fact that he seemed to still care made her start to question how much success her betrayal really had gained.
A sudden pain in the back of her head disturbed her train of thoughts. She clenched her fists and concentrated not to groan in pain as the feeling as like a knife being inserted in the back of her head and slowly turned washed over her.
Max's eyes once again drifted to Liz working behind the counter. He could not help himself. Even though she had hurt him more than he ever thought she would, he could not stop himself from always seeking her out. Her mere presence had a calming effect on him. Even though she was the source of most his nightmares, troubled feelings and thoughts, she still remained his sole comfort. With an almost unnoticeable shake of his head he wondered to himself how come he always came crawling back - asking for more. Maria had joined Liz behind the counter, but Liz had yet to face her. With how those two were acting it might to a stranger seem as if Maria and Liz barely knew each other, as if their relationship was purely professional. Maria was going on about something, but Liz didn't pay her any attention. Max sadly wondered if the whole group was falling apart - collapsing like a pyramid built by a stack of cards. Even the strong friendship between Maria and Liz had started to dwindle.
Maria finally got Liz's attention but Max sensed Liz's annoyance more than saw it and soon Maria turned to Michael to finally with a face masked with hopelessness and a fake smile accompanying that, headed out into the dining area to collect orders again. Max continued to watch Liz. How her hair, pulled up into a ponytail, swayed from side to side with her movements. The way she moved around her work place with such easiness that spoke volumes of how well she knew her job. Max sat up a little straighter when he saw Liz lean against the counter, with her hand against her forehead. She had done that all day. Throughout the day her face been strained. Max knew with his mind that it was probably just a headache. However, his heart said that something was wrong. Liz clenched her fists, an act that was so small that it was not notice by anyone else. But it was not unnoticed by Max and he just knew he had to approach her, to see if she was okay. He rose from the booth and quickly strode over to Liz. Just then she straightened up, as if she could sense that he was approaching and stood away from the counter.
Through the pain Liz could feel him getting closer and she focused hard to repress the pain and relax. Then she straightened up and opened her eyes, which she had squeezed shut in an effort to close off the pain. She turned around and was suddenly looking deep into the concerned eyes she knew so well. "Hay," Max said softly while looking at her over in an attempt to convince himself that she was okay. "Oh, hi Max," Liz said and noticed to her disappointment that her voice trembled. She recognized the consequences of that on Max's face as the crease of worry in his forehead deepened. "Liz, are you okay?" Max asked, instinctively reaching over to take her hand. Liz drew her hand away from his just before he touched her and plastered a fake smile on her face. "Yeah, Max. I'm fine," she said.
Liz's smile, that never truly reached her eyes, only increased his worries.
"Maybe you should take a break," he said. He immediately realized that he had said the wrong thing feeling Liz pull away from him, shutting off her feelings and putting on a stubborn face. "Max, I'm fine, don't worry!" she said and as if to further emphasis just that she took the ordering book from the pocket of her apron and swished past Max to take the orders of the incoming customers. Max turned around towards her and watched her.
He could not explain how it was that since he had healed her and a connection had been made, he could sense her feelings. He could not sense her feelings all the time, only the very intense ones. Like anger, sadness.and pain. Liz had been in much pain lately - not physical pain but mostly emotional pain. She was hurt, just like he was. However, he could not thoroughly understand that. Why was she hurt? She had moved on, she had slept with Kyle for God's sake! If that was not moving on, then what was? That could not stop him from the troubled thoughts that he felt in his heart though. His heart told him that she lied to him, and was still lying. That she was hiding something from him. He had tried to confront her about it, when they were in Copper Summit, but she was even then pulling away from him. He could feel how she was drifting further and further away from him. And the only thing he could do was just to watch it happen. He could not reach her. He had lost control over the situation. That was something that he was not used to - losing control - and he was not sure what to do. Besides, it hurt too much to think about it logically.
"Can I get you anything else?" Liz asked the mother of the family in the booth. The two children in the family were loudly (and in very whining voices) demanding ice-creams from their mother. "No!" the mother said firmly with an irritated voice, directed at her children. "You have already eaten one ice-cream today. You will not get another one. Peter, you should have eaten more of that hamburger instead, then you would have been too full to want ice-cream!" "But, Moooom", the boy called Peter whined. "I said.NO!" the mother said. Liz patiently waited by the table for their argument to end, while feeling her headache growing worse by the minute. "Look", Liz said, turned to the children. "Instead of ice-cream, you can get these really cool alien dolls, would you like that?" "I don't play with dolls", Peter said and turned up his nose. "That's a girlie thing to do!" "But these aliens are really cool", Liz said again and bit back a cry of pain as the pain at the back of her head intensified and started spreading to other areas of her head - slowly immobilizing her. "I am certain that these aliens, that crashed on Earth - you have heard of the UFO crash, haven't you?" Peter nodded his head. "Well, these aliens were perhaps coming to Earth in order to prepare for the war." "There was a war?" Peter interrupted, interest in his voice now. "You see, on the aliens' planet there was a war between two different races of aliens", Liz continued with a small smile at the boy's sudden enthusiasm, changing some minor details t the story she knew by heart. "But the king and queen came up with the plan to fly to another planet - Earth - to prepare for the war. With them the king and queen took the head of the army - the king's second in command - and his wife. But they were followed by some of their enemies and while the king and his men were preparing on Earth, their enemies were waiting for the right opportunity to kill the king and his men." Liz grew silent when black dots appeared in front of her eyes and the room started to spin.
Max had listened to the story with a small smile on his lips. He could not get rid of the feeling that something was very wrong with Liz and that she needed to rest or something. But seeing her interact so naturally with the boy, even though she was in pain, made him so much prouder of her. "What happened then?" Peter asked when Liz stopped her story. Max worriedly observed how Liz closed her eyes and how her chest fell and rose in a fashion that witnessed of labored breathing. When she swayed a little on her place, Max stepped up to her and took her gentle by her upper arm. "Liz," he said softly. "I think you better sit down" When he touched her he could not only feel how unnaturally warm her skin was, but their connection was turned up and he could feel her in pain. He felt this sudden need to cradle her in his arms and carry her to her bed to force her to rest. But with their fragile friendship, he did not want to jeopardize too much of what they had rebuilt in the last couple of weeks by invading her personal space.
Without opening her eyes, she answered him, "Max. I'm soon.finished. I'm just.gonna tell.this story.., okay?" Her voice was very strained and so soft that he almost did not hear her. "No, Liz," Max said firmly. Hearing her voice he came to the decision that she was going to rest even if he had to force her. "I'll go tell Maria, and she can take your customers. You need to rest!" The mother of the children looked at the girl in front of her. She did not look well. Even her children had grown quiet and looked at the girl. The girl looked like she was ready to faint at any second. The mother was revealed when a dark-haired man had stepped up and told her to get some rest. The mother could see drops of perspiration starting to form on the girl's forehead and she looked very flustered. "I think she might have a fever", the mother informed Max. But Max did not hear her. His whole attention was focused on Liz, waiting for her reply. "I just.need..a second..Max," Liz said. "I.have had.this..eh..eh..headache all.day.I will.be okay.soon." "I'm getting Maria", Max said not believing a word Liz said. He was really worried now. Something was definitely not right here. For two seconds his mind dealt with the conflict of leaving Liz's side to get Maria or to stay, before he gently let go of his grip on Liz's arm and went to get Maria.
When Liz felt Max let go of her, she felt the coldness wash over her and the dark dots behind her eyelids grew larger before she drowned in a sea of darkness.
Max sensed Liz fell before he heard her and turned around to the sight of Liz crumbling to the floor. Without a further thought he gathered her in his arms - with a small concerned thought to the fact that she was so light, too light - and quickly walked towards the back of the restaurant, heading towards Liz's apartment. "Max, what." Maria began but Max just brushed past her with the pale unconscious Liz in his arms. Michael left the frying of the hamburger that was at the moment occupying him and followed Maria up to Liz's apartment.
Max laid Liz gently on the bed and put his hand on her forehead. Before she had lost consciousness, she had been extremely hot. But now she was very cold. "Max, what happened?" Maria asked as she came into the room. "She fainted," Max said without leaving Liz with his eyes. "Has she said anything about being sick?" "No.," Maria said. "But honestly Max, she hasn't been eating right the last couple of weeks." Max pushed a strand of hair away from Liz's forehead and silently punished himself for not noticing anything sooner. Just then Liz's eyelids started to flutter and she slowly opened her eyes.
Liz slowly pulled herself out of the state of unconsciousness and was met by Max's face hovering above her. "Max.what.," she started but Max hushed her. "Liz.it's okay, you fainted," Max said, trying his best to calm Liz to stop her from making her own condition worse. Max's worried face did not go unnoticed by Liz but her attention was quickly diverged to her best friend who pushed Max to the side, demanding to reach Liz. "Liz, babe. are you okay?" Maria asked Just then, Michael stormed into the room. "What's going on.Max?" "Liz fainted," Max answered with his eyes still glued on Liz's face, which had started to get a little more color. He had been pushed to the side by Maria, but his hand was still placed around Liz's.
Liz was very aware of the fact that Max held her hand. She did not want him to let go of her hand so she pretended to be ignorant of the fact that Max held her hand ever so tenderly. "Liz, you almost scared me half to death!" Maria continued. "Tell me everything is okay." "I'm fine, Maria" Liz said and managed to produce a small smile. "I guess the headache got the better of me." "You don't faint from a headache, Liz," Max said. Liz looked in his direction and was for a second lost in the depths of his eyes. But then she saw the hurt hidden behind his concern for her and she quickly looked away. "Perhaps I just need to eat something," Liz said and tried to rise from her bed. "Oh no you don't, chica," Maria said and firmly pushed Liz back. "You have to rest! I can handle the CrashDown by myself. Believe me, we do not have that
many customers! Get better okay and we're gonna have a talk later tonight, all right?" Too tired to object, Liz weakly nodded. "Okay.Michael come here, we have a job to take care of," Maria said and took a strong grip on Michaels arm and half dragged him out of Liz's room, leaving Max and Liz alone.
"Liz, Maria said you have not been eaten right," Max said as he scooted back to his previous position, kneeling beside Liz's bed. "Yeah., but you know it's just that I've been so busy, you know, and I sometimes forget to eat.," Liz said, carefully avoiding looking Max in the eyes. "Are you sleeping okay?" Max asked, recognizing the signs on Liz from his own insomnia. "Yes, Max.well, I have had some nightmares, but their just nightmares, you know.," Liz said, starting to fumble with the ring on her index finger. "What kind of nightmares," Max asked sharply. By the tone of his voice, Liz looked up at Max anxiously afraid he might be angry with her. "Please don't be angry," she said.
Max looked confused. "Why should I be angry?" he asked. "I don't know," Liz said, realizing she had misread him. "I really try to eat, but sometimes I'm just not hungry." Her divergence from the subject of nightmares did not work so well. "Liz, can you tell me.about the nightmares?" Max asked gently. Liz started to shake her head. "There just nightmares, Max. And I don't have them every night," she said. Max knew when to not push her anymore and stopped questioning her. Perhaps her nightmares were personal, like the image of Kyle and Liz in bed together that kept haunting him. Without a deliberate thought Max placed his hand on Liz's cheek and caressed her cheek with his thumb.
When Liz felt Max's hand she closed her eyes. The act was so full of love that it almost brought tears to her eyes. Max had been so far away since he had seen Kyle and her together and she could never dream that she should feel him like this again. But it was over very quickly, when Max realized what he had done. Liz felt the withdrawal of his hand like a slap in her face. She wrapped her arms around herself in an attempt to stop the feeling of coldness.
Max did not want to take away his hand, but he was afraid that he had crossed an invisible line. It was perhaps not as friendly act as it should have been. He saw Liz wrap her arms around her and he realized that she might be cold. She was still looking pale. He quickly rose from his position and took the blanket that laid at Liz's feet and spread it over her.
Liz gave him a small smile of gratitude. "Thanks," she said. "You just get some rest now, Liz. You need it," Max said. Liz nodded her head and her eyes started to drift close again. Max stopped in the doorway and watched his angel fell asleep. Fighting the urge to stay with her, to wrap his arms around her to keep her warm, he left her room.
It was really dark. Even the moon was afraid to show its countenance. She hurried down the street. A cold feeling was spreading down her spine. She was being followed. When she turned the next corner she bumped into a hard body. Frightened she looked up to be met by brown eyes. "Max," she exclaimed surprised. But strangely she was not relieved. She still felt that she was in danger. Perhaps even more now than before. "Liz, what are you doing here? It could be dangerous to be out so late," Max said. "I was just heading home," Liz said and tried to walk past Max but he put out an arm and stopped her. Her heart slammed in her chest, her mouth went dry - all her senses were on high alert now.
"I can walk with you. You shouldn't walk alone," Max said. Without looking at him, just feeling with her heart, Liz was certain that she should be afraid of Max. That he was danger. "No really, Max I'm fine!" she said and freed herself out of his grip. "Really Liz, it's no problem," Max said and put an arm around her waist. Liz felt a sudden chilliness spread around her waist along with Max's arm and her mind was screaming at her to get away from him. "Okay," she said slowly and hoped that nothing would happen if she just acted as she suspected nothing wrong.
Max twisted and turned in his bed. He could not find peace. Finally, he gave up trying and rose from his bed. He dragged a pair of jeans on and pulled a sweatshirt over his head. Having tied his shoes he climbed out his window. The night was cool and it was relaxing his senses. He took deep breaths and tried to calm his storming feelings down. As if some invisible rope had dragged him there, he found himself standing outside the CrashDown Café, looking up at Liz's balcony. "I'm just gonna see how she is," Max thought and climbed the ladder to Liz's balcony. When he neared her window, his emotions were more and more turned up - like the volume of a radio. He looked inside and saw Liz lying in her bed. Her covers were only partly covering her, leaving her upper body free for exposure. She wore a halter top, which had slid up exposing a part of her stomach. Max thought to himself that he had never seen her anymore beautiful. But then he saw that she was clutching the edges of the covers in her small hands like it was her life-line. She was flipping her head slightly from side to side in an agonizing manner.
Without thinking, Max put his hand over the lock of the window, manipulating its molecular structure to unlock it. He slowly opened the window to not disturb Liz and slid inside as quietly as he could. Turning his back to Liz for a few seconds he closed the window and then made his way towards Liz. When he came closer he observed that she was sweating. The reddish nuance to her cheeks made her look flustered. Max kneeled beside her bed and carefully put his cool hand on her forehead, feeling for her temperature. She was hot again. "No, please." The plea came as a whisper over Liz's lips. Max's eyes wandered from her lips to her hands and the manner in which she clutched the covers. Rising a little from his kneeling position, Max tried to bend Liz's left hand free from the grip on the covers. "Nooo!" Liz wailed.
"Liz, calm down. It's okay," Max said softly to not scare her of his presence. However, she made no sign that she knew that he was there. When he got Liz's hand to let go of the covers, the hand quickly grabbed Max's hand and held it strongly. Max looked from the grip of her hand on his to her face and then he stretched over her to take away the other hand from the covers. When that grip as well loosened, Liz took a hold of Max's other hand. Max now found himself in a bit compromising position. He was leaning over Liz while she held both of his hands in a death-grip. Since she was obviously frightened, he had no intention of making her let go of his hands. So he carefully laid himself down beside Liz. Laying on his side, facing Liz's profile he had one of his arms positioned over her stomach.
Liz turned on her side, still asleep, so that she was now facing Max and in amazement Max saw how all the worried lines in Liz's face straightened out and her erratic breathing calmed down and steadied. Letting go of one of Max's hands but still holding the one that had been laying across her stomach she curled up against Max - positioning herself with her face in his chest. Max found himself in heaven - with his angel. Liz still felt a little too warm to be normal but to him it was absolute paradise to have Liz scooting so close to him like she wanted to crawl inside him.
A wave of exhaustion flowed over him, a result of several sleepless nights, and sleep finally claimed him.
Liz had never felt so safe before. She felt completely protected. When the clouds of sleep started to dissipate she became aware of the fact that her pillow felt very warm and it was moving up and down. She slowly opened her eyes. She did not know if she should scream, dance or cry as a response to the sight that greeted her. She had her head on a chest - a warm, secure and strong chest. Letting her eyes drift higher she found what she already suspected - that it was in fact Max (that somehow at this instance slept in her bed). Her legs were tangled with his and she was almost pinning him to the bed, having half of her body on top of Max's, who was impersonating as her pillow.
As if sensing her sleepless state, Max slowly opened his eyes and found that his dream was in fact not only a dream but reality. He was in a bed with Liz Parker. She was now looking down on him with a sleepy expression on her face - her hair was tousled by sleep. She was the most beautiful sight he thought for himself.
When Liz saw Max opening her eyes she could not help but smile. When he had been sleeping, all the worry and concern, all the responsibilities he normally had to carry on his shoulders were washed away from his face. He looked peaceful. In the moment after he had began to wake and she could look into his eyes and it was the same eyes that she had known so long ago. They were filled with care, warmth, but most of all love. The immense feeling of love washed over her. However, then Max realized where he was and a curtain fell in his eyes. His eyes now once again held that to Liz now familiar hurt in them.
"Good morning," Max said softly. "Good morning," Liz said and smiled again. Friend or not friend, her friend Max did look very sexy in the morning - and the fact that he was in bed with her, under her, did not help the matter very much. "May I ask what you are doing here?" Liz asked in a playing voice. Max face fell. "Mmm.I..I. was worried about you., so I came to watch how you were doing," Max stuttered. "Okay.," Liz said slowly. "How did you end up in my bed?"
Max suddenly realized that Liz was almost laying on top of him and her legs were tangled with his. He started to move about to free himself from Liz. Not that he didn't want to stay in that position - like forever - but he didn't want to ruin anything with Liz. Liz understood what he was trying to do and rolled of him, feeling the coldness and emptiness the second his body left her. Max sat up and looked at the clock on Liz's bedside table. It was seven a.m. Lucky for him it was Saturday and hopefully no parents would be storming into Liz's room for a couple of hours yet. Liz also sat up and pulled the covers up around her, trying to warm herself up. Max - misinterpreting her actions as if she was feeling exposed - moved away from the bed and stood up.
"I.you.you had a nightmare.and I just wanted to calm you down," Max started to explain and saw a small smile spread on Liz's face. "You were really frightened and I just thought that if I stayed with you, you would calm down." Max cast down his eyes, waiting for the verdict. "Thank you," Liz whispered softly. Max looked up, searching her eyes. "You're not mad?" he asked a little surprised. "Of course I'm not mad, Max," Liz said. "It was really kind of you to show up.and.and take care of me, you know." Looking down at her hands clutching the covers around her she said: "I haven't slept that well since.since.a very long time ago." Her mind drifted off to the time she and Max had fallen asleep outside the radio tower after they had found the orb. Even though they had been sleeping on the ground, she had never felt so good and protected as she had that night sleeping with Max's arms around her.
Max looked away feeling a little uncomfortable. Here he was in Liz's bedroom and he had just spent the night with her - his friend. Should a person feel this way about a friend? Looking back at Liz as she sat in her bed, nervously playing with the covers wrapped around her, with a sleepy expression on her face and her tousled he realized in that instant that she was his whole world. There would never be any other for him - it was her or no one. Her smile that had greeted him when he had opened his eyes in the morning - the first real smile she had given him in ages - had implanted some new hope in his heart. A hope that things might be okay between them.
"I guess I better get home," Max said. "Before Isabel or my parents.or you're parents find out that we have not.slept alone tonight." Liz smiled again. "I have really missed that smile," Max thought. "Yeah, that would probably be the best thing to do," Liz said. "I guess I'll see you in the CrashDown later?" "Yeah.no wait, I have to work today," Max said regretfully. "Oh." "Was that disappointment?" Max thought, feeling a sense of hope. "Well, so I see you when I see you then," Liz said and rose from her bed and started walking towards Max. "What is she doing?" Max thought. "Thank you," Liz said softly and rose on the tips of her toes and let her warm lips brush Max's cheek. "Thank you for being there for me when I needed you." "Sure," Max said, surprised that his voice did not tremble. "Bye Liz." "Bye," Liz said and watched Max open the window, climb through and disappear down the ladder of her balcony.
She closed the window after him and sank down on the edge of her bed. She was feeling good for the first time in months. When she thought about it, she had not felt this good since before Tess came to town. It was with the arrival of Tess that everything had started to fall apart -for obvious reasons. With a sad smile she once again realized that she could never really be happy if she could not be with Max. And being with Max - in any way that was more than a friend - was not even a possibility being with Max. "It would," she sarcastically thought when she started to prepare herself for yet another day working at the CrashDown, "mean the end of the world."
Posted: Sun Feb 23, 2003 11:02 am
It had been a good day. Everything about his work had gone so much easier with the memory of Liz in the morning fresh in his mind. He would probably trade his soul to be able to wake up to that sight every day. The problem was that even though he had tried to make Liz understand that he did not care for Tess romantically, she stubbornly continued to push him towards Tess - away from Liz. Once again, Max thought that something was not right. Liz was hiding something. After this morning, Max was even more keen than ever on finding out just what she was hiding. As he saw it, that was probably the only obstacle in his way of his and Liz's relationship. He had felt her love for him this morning - especially in the small kiss on his cheek that she had given him. The familiar electricity that had stirred inside his veins and arteries with that small kiss was enough to make him go weak in his legs. Once again, he was amazed over the power that small girl had over him.
With a small smile on his face he crossed the road outside the UFO center and entered the CrashDown. His eyes immediately sought her out. She was sitting on one of the chairs at the counter. As soon as he saw her face his smile faltered. She was pale and her hands were trembling ever so slightly in her lap. She turned her head, as if sensing his presence, and her eyes locked with his. She sent him a weak smile, which did funny things to his stomach. His protective nature kicked in full force and he purposefully strode up to her.
"Hi Liz," he said.
"Hay Max," she said and then it was just them in the room. Everything else around them dissolved into unimportant nothingness, becoming a blur of images. The sound around them disappeared and they were all that existed.
"Are you okay?" Max asked and tentatively brought up one of his hands and brushed a strand of hair off Liz's forehead.
"You seem to be asking that a lot lately," Liz pointed out.
"You have looked sick a lot lately," Max countered. "You look pale."
"Oh., but I feel a lot better now actually," Liz said and started to rise from her chair.
She actually looked better, Max noticed and moved a little so that she could stand.
From the back of the counter, Maria watched the whole scene unfold. Something was different. Max seemed to touch Liz more, in a more relaxed way and Liz did not pull away. They even did the whole Liz-and-Max-thing again - loosing themselves in each other's eyes and completely ignoring the rest of the world. "This is a good sign," Maria thought. "I wonder what really has happened between them since I left Liz yesterday after our little chat about eating better and looking out for ourselves."
"Can I help you with anything?" Max asked Liz when she started to wipe off one of the tables.
She smiled at him.
"You know what Max? Me - employer, You - customer. Me - work, You - sit down and order," she said.
"Yes, ma'am, " Max said and with a salute and a small chuckle positioned himself at his regular booth.
Maria looked up with a I-cannot-believe-this look in her eyes. "Okay, something is definitely different here!" she thought.
"Liz! You and me babe - out there - now!" Maria ordered pointing at the door of the employers' only room in the back.
"Maria, we're working," Liz started to protest.
"Oh, no no no," Maria said wiggling her index finger in front of Liz's face. "Don't try that on me. We are thirty minutes from closing time and the only customers here are an old man over there and Max. I think Max can handle himself a couple of minutes, don't you? And that old man - well, let's just say that he's been sitting here drinking that same cup of coffee - which by the way must be very cold by know - since three o'clock so I don't think he is going anywhere soon."
"Okay, okay," Liz laughed putting up her hands in a defensive manner in front of her. She let herself be dragged out of the room into the back by Maria, while Max watched with an amused expression on his face. He did sooo not want to be in Liz's shoes right now.
"Okay, spill!" Maria demanded as soon as they were alone.
"There's nothing to tell," Liz said, evasively.
"Oh, yes there is!" Maria said. "Max just chuckled, Liz - he chuckled. Do you understand the impact of that act? I have not seen our oh-so-very- uptight-control-freak Max Evans commit to any act that resembles laughter in any way in the last months. Not even a smile! And then he comes in here, after hours and hours of boring work at the UFO center I might add, and after making goo-goo eyes with you for a few minutes he suddenly chuckles. And, that's not even the most spectacular thing with this whole phenomenon. You, Liz Parker, princess of depression these last months, makes the joke that makes Max Evans chuckle. So you, girlfriend, have on the opposite very much to tell."
"Okay, Maria..breathe!" Liz laughed.
"And here we go again," Maria said unable to stop a smile of her own. "Liz Parker laughs! I am shocked - outraged!"
"Sniff some cedar oil, Maria," Liz said.
Maria just gave Liz a look that practically said "Spill or die".
"This morning I woke up to a very strange sight," Liz said.
"Ahaa," Maria said a bit confused, her voice prompting Liz to give her some more information to work with than that.
"Guess who I was pinning to the bed," Liz smiled. Maria's eyes went so wide that Liz was afraid they might fall out of their orbits.
"You didn't!" she said shocked to the bones of the images of a naked Max and Liz in bed together flashing through her mind.
"Nono, Maria," Liz said quickly. "We were both fully dressed."
"Thank God," Maria said but she still looked very suspicious. "But what was Max Evans doing in your bedroom acting the role of your pillow?"
"According to Max, he was worried about me so he went to check on me last night," Liz said. "I was having a nightmare and Max wanted to calm me down."
"And just HOW did he do that, if I might ask?" Maria asked a bit accusative.
"He just held me throughout the night," Liz said with a dreamy look on her face.
"Right, of course. It's Max Evans we're talking about here. The always in control, cautious Max Evans," Maria said with a sting of jealousy while she cast a look into the direction of her non-boyfriend Michael Guerin in the act of putting out a fire in the hamburgers on the grill in front of him with his spatula.
"He was just there for me, Maria," Liz said.
Maria watched her friend and it warmed her heart to see that a small part of that missed sparkle in Liz's eyes had returned. She put her arms around Liz and gave her a big hug.
"I love you, Liz," Maria said. "Even if Max decides to hurt you again, don't forget that I will always be here for you."
"Thanks Maria," Liz said. "I love you too. But you know, it was I who hurt Max, not the other way around."
"You were both hurting, Liz," Maria said. "All because of a special person which I am not so very fond of. and we both know who I mean."
Liz smiled at her best friend. Happy to have her support, through thick and thin.
"Now, Maria. If you are finished I have a certain gentleman expecting my service outside," Liz said walking pass Maria, through the doors into the dining area.
"And what service might that be?" Maria mumbled. Maria observed Liz's eyes meeting Max's and Liz was once again lost to the outside world.
With a dreamy smile plastered on her face, Liz made her way over to Max.
"And here we go again," Maria announced to herself.
"What happened to you?" Michael demanded in the tone of voice that was so characteristically the I-don't-trust-anyone Michael.
"What?" Max asked confused.
"I think what Michael is trying to tell you is that there is a difference about you, Max," Isabel said while keeping an eye on the people walking by them in the school yard.
"There's nothing different with me," Max said, crawling inside of his shell.
"Oh, come on Max, if even Michael notices something is different, something really is different," Isabel said.
"Oh, it's Liz isn't it?" Michael said. When Max looked up sharply with a bit of ."guilty expression," Michael thought. on his face Michael had his answer.
"Are you guys getting back together?" Isabel asked, not sure if she should be happy or not.
"No, we're not. By the way, that's private," Max said and poured some more Tabasco sauce on his potato chips.
"Since when do we keep secrets from each other?" Michael asked, unconsciously repeating the exact same phrase he had said when things had gotten so intense between Max and Liz during their search for the orb.
"Michael, back off. Nothing happened, and if it did it would be none of your business," Max said showing a bit of the latent authority that he had once held as a leader on a far off planet.
"Michael told me Liz was sick," Isabel said. "Is she sick?"
"I don't know," Max said and Isabel saw how his whole face practically transformed in front of her, now becoming etched with worry. "She passed out in the CrashDown, and she told me that she had a headache. That was all. However, Saturday when I came in after work she looked pale. But after a few minutes she seemed fine again. I don't know what's going on with her."
"You haven't gotten her pregnant, have you Maxwell?" Michael asked suspiciously.
"Michael!!" both Isabel and Max exclaimed simultaneously.
"Okay, okay.wrong question," Michael said with his hands in front of him.
Liz had felt edgy all day, and if that was not enough her headache had also returned - with full effect. She felt like someone had run over her head with a truck and all that was left was an aching mush. She was now on her way to her biology lesson - with Max. For the first time in a long time, she did not expect the worse. She did actually feel more comfortable around Max know. "Maybe sleeping in his arms does that to you," she thought. When she neared the classroom she felt his presence getting stronger. She was still amazed by the fact that she could feel him. Like they were connected all the time. When she entered he turned his head towards her. Their eyes met and he gave her a small smile. She smiled back, but due to the pain in her head she only managed a weak one that more looked like a grimace. "Damn," she thought when Max's eyes glazed over with worry, "now he's worried." She didn't like to worry him. He was too protective for his own good.
"Hi Max," she said, taking her place beside him and before he could open his mouth to ask the question she knew he would ask she said, "I'm fine Max, it's just the headache that has returned."
"Right", Max said and blushed a little self-consciously.
"Okay, class," Mr. Seligman started. "Today we are going to look into the small details of the human body and look at the electric transmission of the nerves in our bodies. How do electrical impulses travel throughout our body and make us react? Well, that's for me to know and you to find out!" He chuckled a bit at his own joke and Max turned his head towards Liz with a small smile at the lame joke. His smile quickly disappeared when he saw Liz slumped over the table with her head in her hands. Her hair flowed around her face, preventing Max from seeing her face.
"Liz, what's wrong?" Max whispered while Mr. Seligman in the background went on about post-synaptic transmission and neurotransmitters.
Liz did not seem to hear him and Max's worry increased.
"Liz, look at me," Max demanded softly. When she didn't look at him he placed a hand on her back to get her attention. He was rapidly pulled inside her mind. All around him he felt her pain, it was so intense it almost knocked him out cold. He knew that he had somehow connected with Liz and was inside her mind. But she was nowhere to be found. It was dark and cold and all that pain.
"Liz, where are you?" Max yelled blindly into the darkness.
"Max.," came a very small reply - so soft that he almost did not hear it. Almost.
"Liz, follow my voice, come to me! I'm here. You just have to follow my voice and I will bring you into safety," Max said.
"Max, " her voice called again, but a little stronger this time. "Don't leave me!"
"I won't, Liz," Max said, while frantically starting to search around the dark caverns of Liz's mind. "Follow my voice, Liz, and you will come home."
And suddenly she was there before him. But she was walking so slowly, as if every step was causing her pain. Max ran to her and swept her in his arms. She held on to him and started to cry.
"It hurts, Max," she cried. "It hurts so much. Please, make it stop!"
Her crying almost tore his heart apart but he still remembered where their bodies were - in biology in a room full of students. It was not a good place to become unconscious in.
"Liz, you have to wake up," Max said. "Then I will make you better, okay?"
Liz nodded and then Max found himself in the biology classroom again.
He felt the loss of the connection to Liz instantly. His loneliness clamped down on him. He looked beside him and saw into the eyes of Liz's dark- brown. They were a bit reddened by her crying and her cheeks were wet. Max looked up at the teacher to assess the situation. Had anyone noticed that they had practically been unconscious? The teacher was still going on about synaptic transmission, now having his attention on the board where he drew nerve-endings. Looking around the classroom, Max just found the bored faces of regular high school students - staring at the board, not quite registrating what was trying to be taught to them.
"Excuse me, Mr. Seligman," Max said while raising his hand in the air.
"Yes, Mr. Evans," Mr. Seligman said turning towards Max.
"Liz is not feeling too well, is it okay if I take her to the nurse?" Max asked.
Mr. Seligman turned his attention to the girl sitting on the left of Max and found that she did in fact not look too well.
"Yeah, I guess that would be okay, Mr. Evans," Mr. Seligman said.
"Thank you, Mr. Seligman," Max said and rose from his chair. He took a strong grip around Liz's waist to steady her when she stood and then pulled her to him to support most of her weight when they started to walk out of the classroom. Max felt all eyes on him and Liz while they walked out. Liz was oblivious to it all, except to the fact that Max's strong arm was around her waist making her feel better by the second.
When they came out in the hallway, Max propped Liz up against a wall.
"I want to check on you, Liz," Max said. "To see what's wrong with you."
"Okay," Liz said, still feeling weak from the whole ordeal in the classroom.
"It's probably better if we go somewhere more private," Max said. "Like.um, the Eraser room."
Liz subdued a smile at how cute Max looked when he in a self-conscious and embarrassed manner scratched behind his ear. Those cute ears that were protruding just a little from the sides of his head. "Okay, Liz, focus," she scolded herself. "He asked you a question. What did he ask you.? Right, the Eraser room. I would LOVE to be in the Eraser room with him. No, stop it Liz Parker. Max is worried about you and wants to help. Nothing more."
"Liz.," Max asked slowly, afraid that she was getting worse.
"Oh, we should head towards the Eraser room then," Liz said and leaned against Max again, signaling that she expected him to hold her close. Very close. "Stop it Parker," she thought.
Max closed the door to the Eraser room and sealed the lock with his powers.
"So.," Max walked up to Liz and put his hands under her arms, brushing along the sides of her breasts ever so slightly.
"Max, what.," But before she could finish that sentence, Max's strong hands had lifted her off the ground and put her on the table. She was now sitting on the table with her legs dangling in the air. Max was standing between her thighs. Liz's heart started to pound faster in her chest and her breathing quickening. Max, noticing the change in her breathing, thought Liz's heavy breathing was due to her health condition.
"Liz, are you all right?" he asked, worried once again.
"Yes, Max.I'm.uhm.fine," Liz answered.
Max noticed that Liz would not meet his eyes any longer. Had he done something wrong? Then he became aware of the fact that his hands were still cradling Liz's sides and he quickly removed them - brushing against Liz's breast once again in the process. Certainly not unnoticed by Liz. Max felt a rush of desire surge through him and he clenched his fists by the sides of his body to calm himself down. He was not here to maul Liz Parker! When calming himself down he looked up and was met by Liz's eyes. They were a nuance darker than usual - darker with.desire. "Oh God, that is not helping!" Max thought and stepped away from Liz a bit.
"Max.," Liz tentatively asked.
Hearing her small voice brought him back to the situation. Liz was sick, and he was going to help her.
"Liz, just look into my eyes and let your mind go blank," Max said. Liz nodded and Max placed both his hands on the sides of Liz's head, cradling her head in his hands, stepping closer to her in the process.
Just as he was about to enter her mind she pulled away from him.
"What-," he began confused and then he saw the flicker of fear in her eyes. "What's wrong, Liz?"
"I'm better now, Max. Really," Liz said and took up her hands around his and gently pulled them away from her face.
"Yeah, I know that. I can see that. But Liz, you were not okay five minutes ago. You were unconscious, Liz, or something worse and we need to find out what is wrong so I can heal you, so that it doesn't happen again!" Max said while in confusion watching Liz's eyes nervously dart around the room, looking everywhere but at him.
"It was probably just the headache, and I haven't eaten in five hours. I'm probably dehydrated or something," Liz said and pushed Max away from her to get enough room to slip off the table. When she landed on her feet she swayed a little, feeling that her legs were still weak. To stop herself from falling she reached out and grabbed a hold of Max's shirt. At the same time Max reached out and steadied her with his hand around her arm.
"We have more classes, Max," Liz continued talking so that Max wouldn't get a chance to tell her that she was still weak and still needed to rest.
"But Liz-," Max started but was interrupted by Liz.
"I'm fine, Max. I promise. Now, would you please unlock the door?"
Still a bit dazed with the quick turn of events, Max hesitated a moment or two before going over to the door and unlocking it. As he watched Liz - scurry out of the room and hurry down the hallway with a "see you later, Max!" - she reminded him of a prisoner that had been locked up for years and was finally set free.
Posted: Sun Feb 23, 2003 11:04 am
Liz was terrified. Afraid that she had cancer - a tumor growing in her brain causing the headache. The pain was excruciating and it was becoming more frequent now. as if it was warning her of something - something that needed to be stopped before it was too late. Perhaps it was for the best if Max connected to her and saw what was wrong. But in the Eraser room earlier today, she had almost made the mistake of letting him connect to her. She didn't know what he would see if he connected with her. She definitely didn't want him to see another version of himself, an older one. She didn't want him to see that she had faked the whole sleeping-with-Kyle thing. That would destroy everything she had worked so hard to keep in place. She could not allow Max to know. He would perhaps not understand the importance of staying away from her. It was better that she made him dislike her so that he by his own choice stayed away from her. But it felt so good to be his friend. To be close to him. She didn't know what to do. "I'm sooo confused," Liz thought while she buttoned up her uniform and stepped down into the diner.
"Hi guys," Liz greeted her friends sitting in their regular booth. "What can I get you today?" "Hi Liz," Isabel said. "How are you feeling? Max said you had been having headaches." Liz carefully avoided Max's stare and looked into Isabel's eyes. "Yeah, it's just headaches, you know. Some are worse than others. It seems to help with rest though." "That's good," Isabel said while searching Liz's face for hidden messages. However, Liz did a good job covering up - she did not show anything that she didn't tell. Her real feelings were very well masked. The only one seeing through it was Max, feeling Liz's exhaustion through their connection. "I'll just have a Men in Black Blueberry Pie," Isabel said and watched Liz scribble it down. "I'll have a cherry coke," Max said. "Nothing else?" Liz asked.
"Liz, have you eaten anything today?" Max asked trying desperately to catch Liz's attention as she seemed to find drawing doodles on her ordering pad of much greater interest. "Yeah, breakfast.and then.uhmm..well, breakfast.I have eaten breakfast," she answered without looking up. "Why don't you take a break and join us, Liz," Isabel said, observing the fragile girl. She was already very thin - she probably could not handle getting any thinner. "Oh, Isabel.I can't. It's like hundreds of people here and I can't leave Maria alone with Agnes," Liz said and looked over the dining area to confirm her words. The dining area was in fact crammed with people. "Liz, when Maria finds out you haven't eaten in all day, I'll bet that she'll be the first to force you to sit down and eat," Max said. Liz seem to ponder the suggestion to sit down for a while. "Okay.let me just tell Maria," Liz said and walked away missing Max's big smile.
After three bites of her burger she was beginning to feel nauseous. She demonstratively pushed the plate away and began taking sips from her coke instead. "You have to eat some more, Liz," Max said. "I'm feeling nauseous, Max. I can't get another bite down," Liz said giving Max a stubborn look that said "back off" loud and clear. "Anyway, I need to get back to work." Liz rose and left the booth. Isabel looked at Max. "Maybe you did get her pregnant," she said, referring to what Michael had implied earlier that day. Fortunately for Isabel, death-ray eyes was not a power possessed by Max.
"Hi, Liz," a voice behind her said. She turned around and was met by the face of Maria's cousin Sean. "Oh, hi Sean," she said casually and anew turned her look down onto her ordering pad to read the order. Other days her memory was very sharp and she could easily remember her orders, even the large ones. But now she had problem remembering even the smaller ones - like the drinks. "How's it going?" Sean asked, while watching how Liz in a very un-Liz- Parker way searched under the counter for the cups to fill the coke in. "Ah, Liz.they are over there by the milkshake machine," Sean said and pointed towards the milkshake machine. Liz looked up at him in bewilderment and turned her head towards the milkshake machine. Oh yes, there they were - in the same place as they've always been in. "Oh, right," Liz mumbled and went to fill a cup of coke. "Are you all right, Liz?" Sean asked. "Yeah, yeah.I'm fine," Liz mumbled but she sounded far away - disconnected.
Sean wrinkled his forehead and took a closer look at Liz and suddenly that Max guy was at her side. "Liz, let's sit down for a while," he said. Sean observed the couple with suspicion. How did Max know that something was wrong with Liz, when he was sitting at the other end of the restaurant? Liz hadn't even shown any signs that something was wrong. Sean watched how Liz let herself be led out through the swinging doors by Max, into the 'employers only' area. "Well, that was weird," Sean said to himself and left the CrashDown.
"You have to stop doing this to yourself, Liz," Max said as soon as they were alone. "You have to let me connect with you!" "No, I can't Max!" Liz said and with a strained expression on her face she firmly prized Max's hands off her upper arms. "What do you mean you can't.?" Max started but when he saw how she was avoiding meeting his eyes it suddenly struck him what the problem was. "You are hiding something.and you are afraid that I will see what that is if I connect with you. Am I right?" "Max, I need to get back to the CrashDown," Liz said and tried to get to the door. But Max blocked her way with his body. "No, Liz! This has been going on for far too long, it has to stop. And it stops now, right here!" Max said with a hint of anger in his voice.
Liz looked up into his eyes and saw that he was not kidding. He was deadly serious. How was she supposed to get out of this one? "It's just so personal, you know Max, and since we're aren't, you know,.together.anymore, I don't feel so comfortable sharing those things with you, you know." She was babbling and was unwillingly letting Max see her insecurities. "Liz, this is me.," Max began a little softer than before. "Yeah, it's you Max, and that's the problem!" Liz said and met Max's eyes with a stone glare. "Liz, don't play stupid! It's better that you get healthy - even if it means that I might see some personal things," Max said. "Nothing's wrong, Max," Liz exploded and her voice was now full of anger and annoyance. "I've told you! It's just a headache Max. I can't eat proper because I'm feeling sick and I can't sleep too well because I have nightmares! The nightmares and my lack of sleep are probably the source to why I have a headache in the first place and is feeling sick! So, just back off Max! I know that you are only trying to look out for me but it's really starting to get on my nerves! You don't have to pretend to care about me and be kind to me anymore! I hurt you, so that you could follow your destiny with Tess! Leave me alone and while you're at it, just leave all us humans alone, since you are only hurting us with your presence anyway! Because we know that sooner or later we have to say goodbye to you even if you try to convince yourself of otherwise, Max! So leave me alone!"
With that she stormed out of the room, leaving a stunned Max behind her. One of her sentences echoed in his mind, "'I hurt you, so that you could follow your destiny with Tess.'" Had she intentionally hurt him? "I have to find out what's going on here," Max thought and walked back into the CrashDown with a loud sigh.
She could feel his eyes on her, but she didn't want to look up and meet his. The feeling of panic was increasing the closer they got to the CrashDown. "Max, please help me," Liz thought. Then she realized that it was in fact Max that walked beside her. But then it hit her. That was not Max. She could not feel his presence and his eyes - those soulful eyes - did not have the same warmth as usual. Her mind reeled when she tried to figure out what was really happening. Nasedo was dead - dead! Max had told her himself that Nasedo had crumpled into dust when they had tried to heal him with the healing stones. Was there another shapeshifter? She was certain that the person beside her, with his arm around her waist, impersonating Max was NOT Max.
She could now see the CrashDown in front of her. "I'm soon home," she thought and tried to calm herself down, but she was instead feeling an increasing sense of dread. Just then Max pushed her into one of the narrow allies. He was now standing in front of her, staring down at her with an unreadable expression in his face. That made Liz even more certain that it was not Max in front of her. His eyes were always the windows to his soul and she could always read all his emotions in them. But his eyes now sent a chill down her spine. "How about a kiss first," the person in front of her suggested with a wry grin on his face. "I really need to get home, Max," Liz said, trying to keep her voice steady. "You know how my mom gets when I'm not home in time." "Just one," Max said and lowered his head towards her.
"No," Liz said. She put up both her hands and pushed Max away from her. She then started to walk really fast. She didn't know if she should run or not. Which was safest? To pretend that nothing was wrong and that she just wanted home or run like her life depended on it? She didn't have time to act on either of since she was pushed to the ground. She stopped her fall with her hands, and scraped of some of the skin in the process. Then she could feel his hot breath against her ear and she was turned around, now on her back. "Don't fuck with me," the person looking like Max hissed menacingly. "Let me go," Liz said forcefully and tried to get his hands of her. But the strength in his body that on more occasions than she could count had made her feel secure, was no working against her. That's when he hit her. The contact with his palm on her cheek was brief and hot, and tears started to stung her eyes. She bit back the tears threatening to fall, thinking that she would not give him the satisfaction of seeing her cry. Without thinking she forcefully threw up her knee between his legs which made him cry out and fall backwards - away from her. She saw her chance and took it.
"You bitch.," he mumbled while trying to control his emotions enough to stop her from escaping. She was on her feet now, running down the road. But her legs were short and the Max-look-alike was soon up on his feet taking up the hunting. "Please.please.," Liz desperately thought over and over again.
Max sat up in his bed, his dream still fresh in his mind. He was repeatedly haunted with his experience of the White Room. The memory of the torture was still as clear in his mind as if it had happened yesterday. He was startled by a knock on his window. Believing it was Michael he was very surprised to see Liz standing there. The rain was pouring down. She was wearing what looked like a pair of pajama pants and a tank top under a raincoat. But it was her face that caught Max's attention. She was pale and looked petrified. She appeared to be hunted - her hunter wanting her dead.
"My God, Liz. What are you doing here?" Max said when he opened the window to let her in. "Max.can I.can you just.can you just hold me?" Liz asked in a small voice. From where Max was standing he could see her shivering. "Liz, come in. It's freezing cold outside. You are all wet," Max said and held out his hand to help her inside. Her hand was cold and wet. But her grip was firm, like she was drowning and he was her anchor. On weak legs she tried to stand, but her shivering was so violent that her legs did not hold her up. She could feel Max warm hands taking a firm grip on her arms stopping her from falling. He carefully led her to his bed. "Wait her, Liz. I'm getting a towel and some dry clothes. Okay?" Max said and started to walk away from her. The grip of her hand on his stopped him and he turned towards her again. She was so scared.
"Don't leave me, Max," Liz said without noticing the tears that had started to silently trickle down her cheeks. He kneeled in front of her and caressed her cheek with his free hand, stroking some of the tears away with his thumb. "Liz, listen to me. I'll be right back, okay? I'm just gonna go into the bathroom and get a towel, okay? Then I'll be right back." He looked into her eyes, waiting for her consent. The emotions he saw flickering through her eyes was something he would never forget and that night he promised himself that he would do anything in his power to protect her from now on - even if they only were friends. "Liz, I will not let anything happen to you. You have to trust me."
With a small nod and the releasing of his hand Liz gave him her answer. He moved as fast as he could. Collecting a large towel from the bathroom and taking one of his T-shirts from the second drawer, he kneeled in front of her and looked her into the eyes. "We need to get you out of those clothes, Liz" Max said. He didn't know what had happened to her, what had made her so terrified - how she could be so scared. Whatever the reason, he would do anything in his power to make her feel safe again. Liz nodded and brought her hands up to free herself from the raincoat. Then she stood up to remove her pajama pants. Max steadied her. Her lips were turning blue from the cold and if possible she had started to shiver even more.
Liz looked up into Max's eyes. "I know him. This is Max," she thought. She was so scared. It had only been a dream, but it had been so real. She could still feel how it felt to die. She could still feel the pain in her back, how she had been on fire. She realized that she was scaring Max half to death by coming here like this. But she didn't want to be alone and she didn't know where else to go. Max had been the natural choice. Even though it was his face that haunted her nightmare...
She was now standing in front of the boy she loved, dressed only in her underwear and a tank top. The air around her was chilly and it was making goose bumps spread, soon covering her entire body. She didn't know what to do next. She did not wear a bra so she couldn't just remove her tank top in front of Max, now could she. She looked up into his eyes and felt a little guilty for putting that worried expression in his eyes. "Max.," she said. "Could you please turn around?" "Wha.," Max started and then he realized why and blushed. "Yeah, sure." When Max had turned around Liz pulled the hanker top over her head and then took the T-shirt laying beside her on the bed and pulled it over her head. The fabric was soft and smelled of Max. She closed her eyes and tried to stop the tears from falling. "Finished?" Max asked. "Yes," Liz answered.
Max turned around. There she was. His goddess, sitting on the edge of his bed and wearing his T-shirt - which made her look very small and vulnerable. He took the towel and run it down her arms to take away most of the water. Then he moved the towel and started to dry her legs. His actions were so gentle it made Liz's efforts to restrain her tears so much more difficult. When he was done, he stood up and sat down behind Liz and ran his fingers through her hair. The warmth radiated from his hands, extending from the top of her head and continuing throughout her body. She could feel how her hair was starting to dry. When he removed his hands and stood up again, Liz whispered a soft 'Thank you'.
Max removed the covers and signaled for Liz to lie down. She crawled under the covers and watched Max as he got a blanket from his wardrobe and spread it over her. Then he crawled into bed next to her and did what she had earlier begged him to do standing outside his window. "Come here," he said and encircled her in his arms. She curled up close to him and felt an immense sense of relief and completion flood over her. "What happened, Liz?" Max asked slowly, holding her closer in order to stop her shivers. "It's.it's really.stupid, Max," Liz stuttered. "Liz.you come here in the middle of the night, in the rain, and you are in shock. Whatever happened cannot be stupid," Max said softly. "It was just. a nightmare," Liz said quietly. "Do you want to talk about it?" Max asked, while moving his arm up and down Liz's arm to warm her up. "Someone was hunting me and he. he." "What, Liz?" Max asked when she grew silent. "He was killing me, Max," Liz whispered. "I could feel myself dying." A sob escaped her throat, indicating that she had reached her breaking point and her tears started to flow freely down her cheeks. She crawled even closer to Max and he could feel her tears wetting his T-shirt. "Shh, get some sleep, Liz," Max hushed. "You're safe now." With Max's arms securely wrapped around her, Liz drifted off to sleep.
During their sleep Liz had turned and was now laying with her back towards Max's chest, her body snuggled close to Max's body with her head under his chin. In his sleep Max hands had crept under Liz's T-shirt. The fingers of one of his hands were spread out over her ribs, while the other hand was positioned just underneath the swell of Liz's left breast.
Liz was slowly becoming aware of her surroundings and it didn't take her long to realize the location of one of Max's hands. His strong grip on her body warmed the very core of her heart. Carefully, in order not to wake him, she moved one of her hands under the T-shirt and took Max's hand, gently removing it from underneath her breast. Behind her she could feel him awakening. "Morning," he mumbled in her ear. "Morning," Liz said and lacing her fingers with his.
"I could get used to this," Max thought as he found himself waking up beside Liz again. "How are you feeling?" he asked. "Well, I have a strong urge to kiss you breathless," Liz thought, but answered, "Great, actually." Max, unaware of the trip his hand had taken during their sleep, smiled. He had been so afraid that something terrible had happened to her. "How are your symptoms?" Max asked. "My symptoms?" Liz repeated incredulously. "Yeah, any headaches.?" Max clarified. "Oh.well, I'm feeling just great now," Liz said. "Actually, I felt great every since I crawled through your window last night," Liz thought as the close proximity to Max's body was starting to effect her body. Max became aware of the fact that although one of his hands was held by Liz's hand, his other hand was under her T-shirt sprawled over her ribs, the naked skin of her ribs. About the same place that he had healed her about a year ago. If he just moved his hands some inches higher he would encounter her soft. "NO. Stop it Max!" he scolded himself. "That's great," he said while he stopped himself from groaning when Liz wiggled under his arms to turn to face him. "You know what, Max?" she said as her eyes met his. "I think we do far too much talking." Max could see how her otherwise doe brown eyes were now almost black. He remembered when her face had looked that the last time. It had been.
Before he had time to consult more with his memories Liz's soft lips were crashing down on his with a fierce urgency that surprised him. He could feel the familiar electricity surge through his body. She was kissing him like he was her last meal. Her tongue demanded entry into his mouth and he gladly gave it to her - deepening their kiss. Their tongues tangled together, exploring, feeling like they couldn't get enough of each other. Max sought out every deep cavern of her mouth - not a millimeter of her mouth went unexplored. He wanted her all. Everything they had missed and desired during their weeks apart was poured into that kiss. They reluctantly broke apart, feeling the need of oxygen, but only to come crashing down on each other again two seconds and about three heavy breaths later.
When their lips hungrily sought their partner out and their tongues explored each other, their hands went on a little exploring of their own. Liz was lying on top of Max now, and her hands had slipped under his T- shirt moving over his taut muscles - feeling them ripple under her touch. One of Max's hands were on the back of her head, urging her head closer to his, while his other hand was running up and down her back under her shirt.
Liz had never felt anything like it. This was not even anything like when they had experienced all those heightened feelings at Michael's place before finding the orb. Up until now that had been the most erotic moment of Liz's life. Now, she felt as if she was on fire. She was glowing from the inside and she didn't want to stop. Instinctively she knew that she wanted to go as far with Max as she possibly could. She didn't listen to reason anymore, she acted completely on emotions, feelings and what her heart told her.
And then the flashes hit them. All their earlier kisses flashed under their eyelids making their wants for each other intensify (if that was possible). "Max.Max.," she lightly moaned into his mouth. Her sounds were slowly driving Max insane. He wanted her so badly. All of her. He could feel it with every fiber of his being. "Max.make love to me." It was Liz's plea that dragged him out of his desire- dazed existence. What was he doing? Liz had come and sought comfort and he decides to ravish her? He pulled out his hand from under her shirt, released her lips and looked up into her face. She really looked ravished. Her hair was tousled, her lips were red and swollen and her breathing was quick. "Max.what?" she asked confused trying to regain control over her emotions. "Liz, we can't do this," Max said, while he himself struggled with keeping his emotions in check. It was not easy when Liz was leaning over him, straddling his upper body - with her inner thighs touching the sides of his torso and her eyes black with desire. Liz blinked and tried to clear her mind. Unsuccessful in her task she leaned down again towards Max's lips to do what her body was screaming at her to do. "I know..I know," she panted and started kissing him again. Max was once again lost in his Liz-world. Max's lips dropped lower and he started kissing along her neckline. In an effort to get even closer to Max, as close as she could with their pieces of clothing stopping them from becoming really intimate, Liz started to move her hips towards his now obvious arousal in an attempt to fill the void and ache in her abdomen. "God.Liz," Max groaned and then the alarm of the alarm clock went off.
Throwing a bucket of cold water over them had about attained the same effect as that alarm did. Startled they tore apart from each other and while the desire started to disperse, they realized where they were and how dangerously closed they were to be caught in the act by Max's parents. Liz slowly climbed of Max, who tried to calm himself down by thinking of mud. He was highly aware of Liz sitting beside him, straightening out her hair and breathing heavily. "You okay?" he asked her. "I didn't mean to." "Max, please," Liz said and smiled. "It's not your fault. It was I who attacked you, remember?!" "Right," Max said and blushed. He looked so cute that Liz wanted to attack him all over again. Liz cleared her throat. "Uhmm.so I guess we're okay now?" Liz asked, referring to the fact that their 'friendship' had suddenly been transformed into something entirely different. "Yeah.," Max said slowly. It struck Liz that they really hadn't straightened anything out yet. She had still betrayed him - he still thought she slept with Kyle. Was this the moment to tell him? "Look, Max. There's something I think you should kno." She was interrupted by a knock on the door. By reflex she dodged under the covers hiding from anyone who decided to enter the room. "Max, honey. Are you up?" Liz heard Mrs. Evans call. "Don't worry," Liz heard Max whisper to her. "She never opens the door." "Yeah, mom. I'm up!" Max called back. "Breakfast's ready," Mrs. Evans said. "Okay," Max answered and they heard the retreating sound of her steps.
Max gentle pulled down the cover that Liz had pulled over her face. Liz could feel the cover disappearing and was met by a smiling Max. "He really should smile more," she thought. He kissed her gentle on the forehead and the look he had in his eyes held promises of a bright future. "Maybe you should get home," he said. "You're clothes are probably dry by now." Liz sat up so fast that she almost knocked Max over. "Oh God Max!" she exclaimed with a look of terror in her eyes. "My parents! They never wake me up in the morning, but I am sure that they will today because I'm not gonna be there! Oh God, oh God." Max could do nothing than watch her with an amused grin on his face while she pulled her pajama pants up over her hips, still chanting 'oh God, oh God' like a mantra. She left Max's T-shirt on. She was not ready to be separated from it just yet. She pulled on the coat and run up to Max and gave him a quick kiss on the lips before with a quick 'see you later' she left his room through the window. "Damn, she's quick," Max thought
Posted: Sun Feb 23, 2003 11:06 am
She felt a prickling sensation down her spine and a feeling of dread was seeping into every cell of her body. Slowly turning her head her eyes searched the hallway. She could not find anything different or unusual. The hallway was slowly starting to fill up with the regular high school students preparing themselves for their first class of the day.
Liz shakily drew inhaled and turned back towards her locker. Setting the feeling that she was being followed apart, she had not felt this good in months. No headaches, no nausea. She had actually been able to eat a steady breakfast for the first time in a very long time. The edges of her mouth started to turn up into a smile when she could feel him coming closer.
"Hi, Max," she greeted softly with her back still turned against him.
His strong arms encircled her small waist and she automatically leaned back against him - drawing strength and warmth from him. Her heart started to beat faster when she felt his warm moist lips on her neck and she bent her head more to the side to give him more freedom to explore. He was making his way from the top of her neck to the juncture where her neck met her shoulder (where the hem of her shirt became an obstacle). His bottom lip was slightly dragged along her skin leaving it wet from his assault. The cool air hit her skin where his lips had touched her and the contrast of the cool air against his warm lips did the most incredible things to her. She was fast become lost in the feeling and scent of Max Evans. But as fast as it had started, it was over again (at least it seemed too short time to Liz) and Max's lips left her craving for more. He rested his chin on her shoulder and lightly touched the skin of her stomach where the hem of her shirt had ridden up.
"Hi," Max said.
"I could really get used to this, you know," Liz said softly. Both were completely lost to their surroundings, neither noting the fact that they were in fact standing in the middle of a high school with students talking loudly to each other around them.
"Ditto," Max said breathing in her scent and feeling completely content. Liz was like a drug and he was an addict. She was as important to him as oxygen. They still had some things to discuss, like for instance that he was certain that she was hiding something from him. But for the moment, Max was too happy to be let into Liz's life again. Every time the thought had struck him that he should talk to her, he had been distracted by the memory of her soft hair, her soft lips, her taste... and yeah. You get the picture. Max Evans had big concentrations issues when it came to Liz Parker.
"Hey guys! What are you up to?"
Maria eyed Max and Liz suspiciously when they broke apart from an embrace that looked.very intimate.
"Oh, hay Maria," Liz said, her voice a little higher than usual.
"Caught in the act," Maria thought and started to smile as she saw the guilty antics of her friends. Max stepped away from Liz, but he still held onto her hand. Liz licked her lips and pulled down her shirt to once again completely cover her flat stomach.
"So, did you do that history assignment?" Max asked while he scratched his head.
Maria had now a large smile on her face, silently laughing at them for even trying to cover this up - in such a bad way too!
"Oh, stop it!" Maria said. "You two are sooo bad! Don't even think for a second that you can fool me that you were not doing what I thought you were doing."
"Uhmm, what did you think we were doing, Maria?" Liz asked still acting innocent.
"Yeah, like you were not standing here in a very intimate embrace and doing God knows!" Maria said in her best you-most-be-kidding-me voice. Before Max and Liz knew what hit them, Maria squealed and started bouncing up and down, not able to contain herself anymore.
"Oh, this is sooo great! I just knew you couldn't stay apart from each other too long. You were both so miserable - you just can't live without each other! Oh, I gotta tell Mi.."
With a shocked expression on his face (and Maria's babbling in the background) Max met Liz's eyes. She just shook her head and smiled.
"Maria, Maria.Calm down!" Liz said.
"Oh, Max! I'm so happy for you!" Maria squealed again and attacked Max trapping him in a big bear hug.
Liz could not help but giggle at Max inability to free himself from Maria. Alien king or not - when dealing with Maria Deluca - and especially her over-excited state - one needs all the help one can get. Liz felt a little sorry for Max when his eyes begged her to help him. Maria finally released her poor victim, turning to Liz.
"Liz, babe! You and me. Tonight. Ice-cream." she said, her voice leaving no room for objections.
"Okay, Maria," Liz said feeling up to a girls' night herself.
Maria couldn't hide her triumphant smile. "See ya!" Maria said and headed off down the corridor.
"Wow," Max whispered. "What was that?"
"Just Maria...being Maria," Liz said and stretched up to lightly brush her lips over his. That light kiss did not keep it's lightness for too long.
A tap on Max's shoulder (unnoticed by the couple) and then a clearing of a throat (which was noted) broke them apart.
Mr. Seligman, the biology teacher, stood behind Max and eyed them with an amused expression, raising one eyebrow.
"I believe you two should be in my class in about two minutes. Maybe you should get ready." he pointed out.
Max and Liz's faces went red and Liz lowered her head to hide her embarrassment in Max's shoulder.
"Yeah," Max said and then had to clear his throat. "We'll be right there."
"No visits to the Eraser Room instead, okay?" Mr. Seligman said. He witnessed how Max face turned blazing red and chuckled for himself when he began his walk towards his classroom.
"Okay, that was embarrassing," Max mumbled.
"Uh hu," Liz nodded and left Max warm embrace.
"We should probably..."
When they started to walk towards the biology classroom their hands were automatically gravitated towards each other and an unseen sparkle was emitted at their touch when their hands were laced together.
Following from a distance was a pair of cold ice-blue eyes.
"You just wait, Your highness. Playing time will soon be over."
"Do you have the spoons?!" Liz yelled.
"Yup!" Maria called back, grabbing two spoons from the kitchen drawer as she followed Liz up in the apartment.
"Ice-cream?!" Liz yelled and grew silent when Maria stepped out in front of her.
"Don't worry, Liz. We're only eating ice-cream - not planning an alien attack." Maria winked and swished past Liz, dropping down on Liz's bed.
"Ha ha, very funny." Liz positioned herself beside Maria, strething out her legs on the bed, crossing them at the ancles.
"So, what do you want to talk about?" Liz asked pulling off the lid of the ice-cream.
"Uh hu, nice try," Maria laughed. "I suspect that no one in the entire school have missed how you and a certain unearthly Max Evans have been all over each other all day. Well, perhaps my cranky non-boyfriend has missed it. Anyway, don't think I don't have my ways to get information. I've had hourly updates on the whole Max-and-Liz situation - as it nowadays is referred to, by the way - in our own lovely" Liz giggled at Maria's sarcastic tone "ladies' rest-room... So, what happened Liz? Less than a week ago you two were miserable and as I recall you were absolutely convinced that it was completely and utterly wrong to get involved with Max romantically again. God, you even yelled at me over it! So, give me all the tasty details!"
Liz could only laugh at her friend. Maria was so excited and curious you had to be dead not to be smitten by her emotions. Her excitement was coming off her in waves, she was almost bouncing in Liz's bed - reminding Liz of a child on Christmas Day.
"Well, you know my nightmares..." Liz started.
"Yeah..." Maria prompted.
"They are really scary, Maria," Liz said her voice becoming low.
At first Maria was about to start accusing her for trying to get away but then she saw how serious Liz turned and Maria became worried for her friend.
"Lizzie, are you okay?" she asked.
"You know, Max is always there for me. I feel safe with him," Liz continued not noticing the tears sliding down her face. "When I woke up I was so scared and all I could think about was that I had to get to Max. Like my life depended on it or something, isn't that stupid!"
Maria smiled a sad smile but Liz didn't notice - she was looking down at the ice-cream in her hand where she absent-mindedly smoothed out the ice- cream with her spoon.
"What happened, Liz. In your dream?" Maria asked. Liz looked up and Maria's heart broke for her friend. She could see that just thinking about the dream again was scaring her.
"You don't have to tell me if you don't want to Liz. We can talk about something else," Maria said, hating to make her friend upset.
"I really think I need to talk about it and you are probably the only person I can talk about it with," Liz said, her voice thin. Maria reached out and took Liz's hand and Liz gave her a grateful smile.
"I have been having the same dream...nightmare for about a month now, but last night it was really...horrible," a small sob ripped through her throat but she continued. When she finally had started talking she had to get it all off her chest. "I am being followed, Maria," Liz said and looked Maria straight into her eyes. "It is dark and really cold and then suddenly Max is there..."
"Max?" Maria repeats surprised. "It should be a good thing that Max is in her nightmare, right? Maria thought. "He would save her from whatever monster there might be...why do I feel like he is the monster?"
Maria's suspicions are confirmed when Liz with a trembling voice continues.
"I know that it isn't Max. I can't feel him."
"You can't feel him?" Maria asked in disbelief.
"You know that Max and I have this...connection," Liz said.
"Yeah right, the connection," Maria nodded, thinking that she never really understood just what their connection meant.
"Since Max healed me, or perhaps even before that, I can feel him...sense him...when he's near. In my dream I couldn't sense him Maria and I knew it wasn't Max." Liz grew quiet, her movements of the spoon growing still. Maria patiently waits for her to continue, without wanting to rush her. When Liz felt ready to continue she would.
"Max...or his look-alike...wants to follow me home," Liz draws a trembling breath, "I let him follow me home, because I think that if he believes that I don't suspect anything he won't do anything. Suddenly he is dragging me inside this...alley and he tries ki...kissing me. I push him away and then I'm on the ground and he's trying to... I don't know what he's trying to do. But I get away and start running. But he is so fast, Maria, he is so fast," Liz is openly crying now, "and I fall and then I'm being burned alive. He's killing me and I'm... dying. I'm dying."
"Oh my God Liz," Maria said feeling her own tears start to pool in her eyes. She puts the ice-cream away and put her arms around her best friend to give her the best comfort that she can.
"Perhaps you should tell Max," Maria whispers softly.
Liz's head jerks up and to Maria's surprise Liz looks terrified.
"No Maria! I can't tell Max. He is already so worried. I probably scared him even more when I showed up outside his window in the middle of the night."
"You did?" Maria asked softly.
"And he was great... But you know Max. He puts everything on his own shoulders and I don't want to worry him anymore."
"But didn't he want to know what was wrong?" Maria asked.
"I told him....but only the end of the dream. I don't want him to know that he was in my dream - because it really wasn't him in my dream."
"You know, you two are so much alike. You too put far too much responsibility on yourself, Liz - you two are so afraid of hurting everyone else. But when you try to protect the people around you from the horrible naked truth you're only hurting yourself. Liz, I'm glad you told me, you need to get it off your chest. But Max... I have this feeling that he needs to know, for him to be able to help you. And knowing Max he will probably be more hurt if you don't tell him because you wanted to spare his feelings, than if you do tell him and make him more worried. Let's be honest, Liz. It's Max - he will always worry. We can't exactly make him stop doing that!"
"But telling him will only add to his worries, Maria!" Liz said with a sigh. She wanted to tell him - not just about her nightmares but also about everything that had kept them apart since she had left him on that cliff with his destiny in May.
"He worries because he cares, Liz," Maria said. "He loves you."
Liz looked down at her hands neatly folded in her knee.
"I know he does," Liz whispered.
"Good, and you love him. So tell him! It's as simple as that."
"Maria, there are more issues to deal with here than my nightmare, you know."
"You haven't tol....," it suddenly dawned on Maria what Liz was imlying, "Liz, you haven't told him about future Max yet?" Maria said shocked and watched as Liz shook her head.
"You mean, he still believes you slept with Kyle?"
Liz nodded her head, her facial expression masked with complete misery.
"But-but...you have to tell him, Liz," Maria said, like doing anything else was out of the question.
"Maria...I can't tell him. What if everything I have done this last months to keep the end of the world from happening, is gonna happen just because he knows."
"Liz, I hate to break it to you. But you two are already getting involved with each other again, wasn't that what you were trying to prevent?"
Liz covered her head in her hands and whispered, agonized. "I know Maria! I screwed up. I can't stay away from him and now all those innocent people are going to die and it will all be my fau-"
"Liz, stop it. Stop it!" Maria said, bending Liz's hands away from the act of covering her face so that she could look at her friend.
"I know that Future Max probably had gone through his options thoroughly before deciding to deprive his younger self from a life with you, a life he got. But I'm certain that you Liz was right there with him, the future version of you, and decided to do it as well. You have to cut yourself some slack! I have never met anyone - and then I mean anyone - who is more right for each other than you and Max. I have not met anyone who is more in love with each other..."
"Maybe it's just not meant to be," Liz interrupted.
Maria sighed. Liz was the smarter one of them, that Maria was certain of. But when it came to Max, Liz's intelligence could really be questioned.
"I mean, first of all we have the basic problem that we are of different species..."
"Which just makes it even more incredible that you work together," Maria insisted.
"Yeah, if it just have been that easy. But then he happens to be an alien king as well and he is already married. And even if he decides to don't give a damn about his destiny, like the future version of him did, he will probably marry me and the whole world will come to a screeching halt."
"God, and I thought I was the drama queen!" Maria said. "You can't go saving the world every day, Liz. Not if it's breaking you down in the process. Think about yourself for a change - I think that would be good for you. And God, tell Max that you didn't sleep with Kyle. If I know Max at all, he will be more pissed at himself than at you, since it was in fact he that told you to 'sleep with Kyle'."
"No, actually. It was my idea to 'sleep' with Kyle," Liz said.
"Whatever," Maria waved her off. "You can't pursue something with him without letting him know the truth. It would be like basing your relationship on a lie."
Liz nodded. She knew that Maria was right. Even though she feared what she knew she had to do, she would try to talk to Max as soon as possible. Maria watched all the different emotions transpire over Liz's face and decided that they had had enough of world problems for the night.
"Okay Lizzie, so what do you think about that new guy at school?" Maria's eyes suddenly glittered with excitement and Liz couldn't help but giggle. Maria was good - Liz could feel her worries slowly sliding off her (for now anyway) and she settled back against the headboard of her bed, folding her legs in Indian style and with a small smile grazing her beautiful features, she listened to her best friend going on about this and that, leaving all alien-related topics out of it. Liz was grateful to have such good friends. Sometimes the clouds dissipated and the sun shone through.
Posted: Sun Feb 23, 2003 11:07 am
Her eyes were fixed on the girl's still figure. That girl, who had stolen her mate, was sleeping in her bed - oblivious to the danger she was in. Vulnerable, just as she liked her. She wasn't such a bitch unconscious, was she?
Liz shifted under her covers - troubled by the images her nightmare subjected her to. Her watcher closed her eyes and furrowed her forehead in deep concentration, focusing on putting images of Liz's boyfriend with another girl in Liz's mind. However, three long minutes later she had to stop from exhaustion. She couldn't get in - that human girl was strong enough to resist her. That made her furious and with great difficulty she finally calmed down and resisted the urge to open the window to Liz's bedroom and just kill her in her sleep. "I have to stick to the plan," she thought. "But with her being too stubborn to participate maybe extreme measures must be taken!" With a frustrated sigh she climbed down the ladder - leaving Liz's balcony behind her.
"We are not making any progress. Why has that Parker girl not left Max yet? It seems as if they are only growing closer!" The man slammed his fist in the table, making Tess jump. "Weren't you the one who always told us that emotions were a weakness?" she asked with a smirk. "That just proves it - I have been on this fucking planet far too long!" Nasedo said. "I want to kill her!" Tess said, showing her true self-absorbed brat nature. "And where would that leave us?" Nasedo asked, his voice once again emotionless. "Max would never co-operate with us then. He would be grieving that human and would be more difficult to work with. We can't afford to have that. We have to make her leave him - make him stop caring for her." "I can't get through," Tess said. Nasedo stood up, towering over the sitting Tess. "What do you mean you 'can't get through'?" "That bitch is resisting me - I can't enter her mind," Tess answered, shrinking back from his menacing stare. "She's just a human," Nasedo said. "You have never had problem with humans before, have you?!" "I..." "HAVE YOU?!" Nasedo yelled. "No, I haven't," Tess answered, and then regaining her composure. "And don't you dare yell at me. I am your queen!" Nasedo snorted and smiled - a smile which sent shivers down Tess's spine. "You are only queen when Max decides you are his queen. Without him you're nothing!" His voice was edged with disgust when he looked at the pitiful alien that was supposed to rule by Max's side. Too bad that the Liz Parker girl was human - she had more potential to be a queen in her pinkie than Tess would ever have. "Well," Nasedo said. "If we can't mess with her mind - and we both know that Max have built up some protective wall against your mind warp - I'll guess we have to do it the human way." Nasedo's voice was frightening calm. "I will actually enjoy this human way. Ms. Parker is actually quite a catch." "What are going to do?" Tess asked, narrowing her eyes. "I'm gonna make Liz Parker hate our leader and it ain't gonna be beautiful. Well, at least not for her..."
"So he asked you out on a date, huh?" Maria asked. Liz's smile was very contagious. "Yeah," she said dreamily. "He is just so sweet." "Yeah yeah yeah," Maria sighed and threw a longing look in Michael's direction. Liz followed the detour of Maria's eyes. "Why don't you guys join us?" Liz asked Maria. Maria looked back at Liz. "Liz...NO - absolutely not. Have you already forgotten how disastrous our last double date was? And anyway - this is your first date since all hell broke loose and you certainly need it." Before we all begin climbing the walls. "Come on, Maria - it'll be fun," Liz begged, fluttering her lashes at Maria. "No, Lizzie," Maria laughed. "I'm not going out with spaceboy - if he don't want a chick waiting for him at home, I will not force him." "What?" Liz asked, confused. Maria shook her hand in front of her as she shook her head. "Forget it! I'll show you what I mean, come here!"
Maria put up her index finger in front of her mouth and with a 'shh' she silently began to (with a bit exaggerating movements) tiptoe down the stairs to the CrashDown. Liz had to put her hand against her mouth to prevent a giggle from erupting. Maria really looked ridiculous. "Oh spaceboy!" Maria yelled into Micheal's ear, after noiselessly having sneaked up behind his back. Michael almost jumped out of his skin and turned around so quickly that he spilled out the bag of buns on the counter beside the grill. Both Maria and Liz erupted in fits of laughter. Michael's face went blazing red - first from embarrassment but then to quickly be replaced by anger. That made the girls laugh even harder.
"What the hell are you doing?" Michael cried. "Oh, aren't you suppose to be this head of the army guy? Maybe you should practice on watching your back!" Maria laughed. Michael glared at her. "Humans," he thought. "So, spaceboy. You and me - and Liz and Max of course - tonight. Date. Deal?" "Eh...no," Michael said, like Maria was stupid just to come up with the thought. "It's just a date, Michael," Maria said. "I just got my paycheck so I can pay this time too." "Hockey," Michael said and turned towards the grill again considering the discussion over. "I'm sorry...what?" Maria said. "It's hockey on TV - I don't have time to sit and socialize at a stupid restaurant with the love birds and you!" Michael explained, like it was a matter of course. "Oh, and what's so terrible about spending some time with me, Michael?" Maria asked and Liz hinted a trace of irritation in her voice.
"Okay Maria, I think you've made your point now," Liz said and took a firm grip of Maria's elbow - trying desperately to stop a fight from arising. "Yeah, take her away - I can't work with her constantly chattering in my ear," Michael said and nonchalantly waved with his spatula in Maria's direction. "Chattering, huh..." Maria said, now pissed off. Liz started to drag her out of Michael's reach before Maria could choke Michael. "You're lucky, Michael! But I will remember this!" "Whatever," Michael murmured. "Okay, calm down Maria," Liz said. "I'm calm," Maria lied and prized Liz's hands off her elbow. As if to further emphasize the small lie she opened her locker and took out a bottle of cedar oil and sniffed it. "Anyway, how do you think that Michael wants to go out with you after you've embarrassed him?" Liz asked, note quite understanding the Maria- logic. "A girl needs her fun," Maria said. "Anyway, we need to get you out of those clothes and turn you into a beauty, babe!" "Okay," Liz giggled and let her be led up to her room to get the make-over that would meet Maria's expectations.
"So, where are the others?" Liz asked Max with a smile. Max was having great difficulty to get his key into the lock of the door when Liz was seductively leaning against him, nuzzling his ear. "Uhm...Mom is out to dinner with some co-workers...and Dad is away on a business trip." Max gave up on the key and used his powers instead to open the door. "Isabel is out with Alex-" "She is?" Liz asked, stepping away from Max to allow them to step through the door. "But I thought Alex had a long-distance thing going with Lena in Sweden..." Max shrugged his shoulders - not really interested in talking about Alex and his relationship when he had Liz alone for himself in his house. He was really not interested in talking at all. "I think they are only going out as friends," Max said. "That's really gre-" "Liz, can we stop talking about Alex now?" Max asked. "Okay, what do you suggest we do instead?" Liz asked with a twinkle in her eye. "Well, one or two ideas come to mind..," Max said lowering his lips towards Liz's.
His lips lightly brushed against hers and the tip of his tongue began an exploration of her bottom lip. Liz opened her mouth slightly, welcoming him to deepen the kiss. Max stepped closer to her and his hand found its way under her shirt, caressing the warm skin of the back. Liz couldn't get enough of him. His touches ignited something buried deep inside of her and she wanted more. She angled her head more to give him access to deepen the kiss further, their tongues mimicking the oldest dance of man. Max's lips left hers to begin its travel down her neck. He quickly found the spots which made the greatest effect on her and stopped there - applying them with just right amount of suction. Liz arched her body against his. Was there anything greater than this? Liz thought to herself.
With one of his hands in a firm grip around her waist, Max moved backwards into the living room and still holding on to Liz, Max collapsed over the armrest of the couch. Max was now on his back in the sofa, with Liz draped over his chest. Liz's small hands found their way under Max's shirt, feeling the texture of his firm muscles. It amazed her how he could feel firm, yet soft at the same time. The last time she had explored his chest - that night in February - she had not felt brave enough to freely explore, not as much as she had wanted to. The fire inside of her now made her willing to do anything to him...
Max looked up into Liz's eyes as they both came up for air. Her eyes had taken on that dark nuance that he recognized fairly well by now. The route that her small hands were taking along his chest awoke things and feelings inside of him - primitive feelings. Her soft lips came crashing down on his again and his hand on the back of her head urged her lips even closer. His Liz-dazed mind vaguely registrated that Liz had started to unbutton his shirt.
Liz unbuttoned the last button and her hands spread the shirt apart. She lifted her lips from Max's and looked down at the chest in front of her. He was so beautiful, she thought. Looking him over - with Max's eyes on her every movement - the urge to taste him suddenly overwhelmed her senses.
When Liz lowered her head towards his chest, Max held his breath in anticipation. When her soft, warm lips touched his chest he gasped. God! Liz's mouth traveled over his chest, imprinting every bundle, every detail of his body in her mind. She fascinated watched his muscles ripple under her assault. She brushed her lips over his dark nipple and he groaned. Liz stopped and looked up at his face. He had his eyes closed and his breathing was heavy. She experimentally brushed over his nipple again to once more earn the same response. His low moans in the back of his throat urged her to take the nipple fully in her mouth.
"God, Liz," Max gasped. "What are you doing to me?" he thought. Liz was mesmerized by the fact that she could make him sound like that - that she, Liz Parker, could make Max Evans lose control. It was an alluring feeling to have such power over him. Max couldn't stand it anymore - he had to feel her, taste her. He rose up in sitting position. Liz confused met his eyes. "Max, what are yo-"
But before she could answer that question, Max had risen from the couch with Liz in his arms. She wrapped her legs around his waist and while kissing and sucking her neck, Max made his way towards the stairs. Miraculously they reached Max's room without any accidents and Max lowered Liz onto his bed. He pulled back to look at the goddess in front of him. "Beautiful," he murmured. "You are so beautiful."
His lips sought out hers, their tongues mimicked the act of lovemaking. Max had settled himself between her thighs and they were pressing their bodies together in an effort to reduce the aching and emptiness they could feeling building inside of them. Max's hands once again moved under Liz's shirt. His slow stroking against her ribs and under the swells of her breast was slowly driving Liz crazy and she longed for him to move his hands higher.
Max pulled back, certain that he had heard her inside his mind - urging him to move further. His eyes search hers and with one look she gave him permission to go further. He lowered his hands to the hem of her shirt and started pulling it up. Liz raised her arms to facilitate the removal of her shirt, leaving Liz in only her bra. With one more obstacle out of the way, Liz watched Max as he marveled looked at her chest, which was lowering up and down from the heavy breathing. Liz had always believed that when she would get into this situation she would feel a little exposed and perhaps a little embarrassed. But she didn't. The love that shone in Max's eyes was sufficient to wipe away all her insecurities and make her feel completely loved.
Max's warm fingers gentle brushed along her the curve of her collar bone to rest just above her breast. Liz was ready to fell apart right there if Max didn't move further. Without knowing it, Max was tormenting Liz with his decision to go slow and not do anything that Liz wasn't ready to do. But Liz was ready - boy, was she ready! "Max, please," Liz pleaded. Max looked up into her eyes and then gently brushed his lips towards hers, pouring all the love he had for her into that kiss. Liz was amazed that one kiss that gentle could at the same time be so passionate. Liz pressed her lips closer against his and arched her breast up into his hand in the process. Both gasped at the contact. When having recuperated from the jolts of electricity surging through their bodies, Max started kissing Liz again - the gentleness now replaced by a fierce passion. He moved his hand around her body, between the sheets and her back and found the clasp of the bra. After fumbling a while with the clasp the bra was removed. Max released Liz's lips and looked at her as a little bit of heaven revealed itself to him. She was so beautiful. Her breast was so small, yet so perfect.
"Perfect," he murmured and gently touched the soft skin of her breast. At the contact Liz arched her body up into his hand with a moan, encouraging him to continue his exploration. Max, for a moment captivated by the fact that her breast fitted perfectly in the palm of his hand - like she was made for him, brushed his hand over the pink nipple. Liz moaned deep in her throat. Liz knew that if she died now, she would die a very happy woman! Then his mouth closed over her nipple and all thoughts were wiped out of her mind as she was lowered in a sea of pleasure.
That's when destiny decided to take its own turn on things and then phone ringed. Max's mouth left Liz's breast and the cold air hit Liz. She felt a feeling of unfulfillment settling over her. Max looked up at her and with a brush of his lips over hers and a soft 'sorry', he pulled off her, and took a deep breath to calm himself down and get his mind working. He then reached over and picked up the receiver. "Hello?" he said, his breathing still strained. "Max," Maria's voice exclaimed at the other side of the line. "Hi, Maria," Max said, watching Liz pull her shirt back over her head out of the corner of his eye and silently promised himself that he would make Maria regret that she had decided to call him just tonight.
"I hope I'm not interrupting anything," Maria said. "Well, I was kinda busy," Max answered. "Okay..I-I just uhm wanted to know what-uhm which of the assignments in English that we were suppose to do," Maria stuttered. Max smelled a rat. Liz climbed up in his lap and snuggled close to his chest. "Max? Helllooo - Max?" Maria said, when she didn't get an answer. Max had been fairly distracted by having Liz in his lap placing small feather-like kisses over his, still naked, chest. "Yeah, yeah Maria, I'm here," Max answered. "Is Liz there?" Maria asked. "As a matter of fact, yes she is," Max said. Liz looked up at him, suspecting that they were now discussing her. "Put her on," Maria demanded. Max put the receiver against Liz's ear, with a soft 'she wants to talk to you'. Liz straightened up and took the receiver from Max.
"Maria! What's up?" she asked. "Liz, what are you doing?" Maria scolded. Liz suddenly felt the need to defend herself. "What do you mean, Maria?" Liz asked. "Don't think I don't know what you are doing!" Maria said. A light went up for Liz. "You wanted to interrupt us!" she said. "No," Maria said, a bit too quickly. "I just- uhm wanted to know what assignments we have to do in Eng-" "Cut the crap, Maria!" Liz said getting irritated. Hearing Liz's tone of voice Max put two and two together - suspecting that Maria had called to check up on them. "You have been the number one person to push Max and I together!" Liz said, remembering last time when Maria had walked in on them "making out" in Michael's apartment. "I have never said that you should sleep together!" Maria said, with a twinge of hysterics in her voice. "You don't know what can happen! You're not the same species! We have already had this discuss-" "Yes Maria, we did have this discussion," Liz interrupted. "And I'm telling you the same thing as I did then. I'm going to be with Max and if we go to the next level-" "Have you?!" Maria cried.
"No, Maria - you decided to check in just then - as usual!" "Ha, so you were doing something - I hope you were not in the middle of having sex? Oh my God, you were - you were having sex, weren't you?!" "Calm down, Maria," Liz said, starting to get pissed. "You are not my mother - you are definitely not my father - and I will not defend myself in front of you for doing something that feels completely right! This is my life and I decide on my own what to do with it!" "But Liz..." "No, Maria," Liz said sternly, fed up with always having to defend her actions. She sighed loudly, searching for control over her feelings. "I really don't want to talk to you now, Maria." "Liz, have you told him about Kyle and the end of the world yet?" "No, Maria. I haven't...I just...I can't deal with that now." "You can't do anything with him if he don't knows the whole truth." "Maria, don't tell me what to do..." Liz was letting her anger rule her thinking, not realizing that Maria had made a significant point. "But Liz..." "No Maria," Liz said, tired. "We talk about this later, okay?" "Yeah, okay," Maria said slowly. What did Liz think she was doing? Had she gone freaking insane? "Just don't do anything I wouldn't do." "Well, that doesn't say much, does it," Liz said, with a half smirk. "Oh, no Liz! I didn't mean it like that," Maria said quickly. "Sure you didn't," Liz said. Maria sighed. "Look Liz, think about it before you do anything. Don't let your feelings take over too much. I know that I said that you were suppose to do something for yourself for once..but there are limits you know-" "Yeah Maria, we talk about this later. Bye," Liz said. "Okay, bye," Maria said.
Max watched Liz as she reached over him and hung up the receiver. "Are you okay?" he asked, searching her eyes. Liz shook her head. "It's just...I'm tired of always listening to logic and when I finally stop, everyone else is trying to do it instead! I makes me mad!" Max nodded his head. "I see what you mean! Michael thinks I'm getting too attached to you - that I can't focus on 'what's important' when I'm with you..." "Perhaps he's right," Liz said and smiled at him. "Yeah, probably. But it would be good to get his support once in a while!" "He supports you, Max. He's just confused himself. You all are. We all are. You really don't have to be an alien to think that your life is screwed up. And Michael has always had difficulties in showing his feelings." "You're right," Max said distractedly, all of a sudden being transfixed by the way Liz's lips moved when she talked. Liz felt him getting distracted and chuckled softly. "What?" Max asked, looking up to meet her eyes. "Are you listening to me?" Liz asked, grinning from ear to ear. Max realized that he hadn't really been listening and smiled himself. "Not really," he said. "Well, you know what that calls for," Liz said, her eyes dancing.
"What?" Max asked, watching her lick her lips seductively. "You seemingly needs to be punished...," Liz said in a slow, husky voice. "Uh huh," Max said very much focused on Liz now. Liz nodded, a smile grazing her features. Then she rose from his bed and stood up, slowly smoothening out her short skirt. Her bra had fallen on the floor and she now bent over to pick it up. She had her back to Max and when she bent over the skirt stretched against her behind. Next she pulled up slowly - feeling Max's hot gaze at her. Liz turned around and calmly said, "So, I guess I should head home now!" "She must be kidding me," Max thought. She stepped up to him, sitting on the edge of his bed, and brushed her lips over his. "I had a really great time, Max! See you tomorrow." Liz turned around but before she could take another step, Max's arm was around her waist pulling her into his lap. "Max, I really should be-" His lips silenced her. "Don't talk," he murmured his lips so close to hers that she could feel the vibration of his every word like a sparkle running through her body. "It ruins all the fun!"
Posted: Sun Feb 23, 2003 11:08 am
Maria suspiciously followed Liz around the CrashDown with her eyes. There were something different about her friend. She had a certain glow about her. She had been difficult to contact all day. Either she was standing with a far away look in her eyes or she was cleaning something (not so dreamy) with a dreamy smile on her face. The only time she had come alive had been when she seconds before Max entered the restaurant (like she knew that he was coming, Maria had noticed) had turned towards the doors to see him enter. Maria narrowed her eyes when she saw Liz's whole face shine up with a glow that seemed to originate from her inside.
Since Max had made his appearance in the restaurant, Liz and Max had not lost eye-contact for more than one minute apart. Maria caught Liz by the elbow when she returned to place her order.
"You did something!" she accused.
"That's none of your business," Liz said. "Okay, she's still angry with me," Maria thought.
"I'm just worried about you, Liz!"
"Don't! I'm okay. You know Max. He would never intentionally hurt me."
"Keyword here; intentionally. No, I don't think he would intentionally hurt you. But listen to me Liz. Fact one: Max didn't want to be with you in the beginning because he thought he was putting you in danger. He wanted to protect you from getting hurt - but you was hurt anyway. Fact two: When Max and you finally crossed that line and got together, he broke up with you before you even got started. Once again - because he was afraid he was going to hurt you. And, guess what? He hurt you even more because of it." Liz opened her mouth to protest but Maria put up a finger in front of Liz's face silencing her. "Fact three: You two got together again, but Max kissed Tess and he hurt you. You see a pattern here, Liz?" Before Liz had a chance to answer Maria continued.
"Fact four: You found out that Max had a whole other destiny - with his alien bitch Tess. You left him - and you were both hurting. Fact five: Max went on Liz Parker-chase - wanting you back and when you were sort of given the green flag by Madame Vivian a Max from the future decides to drop in and announce to you that your love meant the end of the world in all its pomp and circumstance, something which you probably haven't told Max yet." Maria watched a guilty expression flash over Liz's face, "Fact six: You make Max believe that you slept with Kyle - hurting him tremendously. Fact seven-"
"Is there a point to all this?" Liz asked, her good mood starting to disappear.
"I'll get to it," Maria said. "As I was saying. Fact seven. You to get together again and this is where we are at the present. You two are once again completely lost in each other - perhaps now more than ever. I guess what I'm trying to say here is that I'm afraid that you'll get hurt again. You are way into deep this time and I don't feel like picking up the pieces of your broken heart, when Max decides to do something else to 'protect' you!"
Liz stepped up to Maria and enveloped her in a big hug. "Thank you," Liz whispered in Maria's ear. To say that Maria was surprised would be an understatement. She had expected Liz to give her the silence treatment, or even yell at her - but she had never for the world expected this. Liz pulled back and Maria could see that she had tears in her eyes.
"Are you ok-" Maria started, afraid that in her efforts to proving her point to Liz had hurt her feelings.
"Maria," Liz interrupted, ignoring Maria's question. "Thank you...for, you know, looking out for me. And you're actually right - we have hurt each other. A lot. I don't expect you to pick up the pieces of my broken heart. But for perhaps the first time in my life I'm following my heart. Grandma Claudia told me that - did I tell you that?" Maria shook her head. "I promised her to follow my heart. I have a feeling that it's a good advice...and my heart tells me that I should be with Max. I don't expect not to be hurt - Grandma told me that that's how you know he's your soulmate. 'If it's not complicated - then he's probably not your soulmate' she said."
"And it sure is complicated," Maria said.
"Maria," Liz said and took Maria's hand in both of hers. "I appreciate that you are looking out for me - and I don't want you to stop doing that - but you need to let me make my own decisions, make my own mistakes."
"Right, gottcha," Maria said and brushed away a single tear that had slid down Liz's cheek. "And don't cry - you don't want to get me started."
"Deal," Liz said and smiled.
"So, what do you say about renting a real chick flick and stuffing ourselves full with unhealthy stuff," Maria said.
"Oh, Max and I..."
"Oh, come on Liz. We need this. I'm telling you. You will soon suffer testosterone overload if you don't watch out."
"Okay, okay," Liz said, laughing.
"Great, my place - sevenish?"
"It's a date," Liz said.
Liz was feeling weird and it was not due to what had transpired between her and Max the other night. It was not even due to the fact that Max and she had crossed several levels the other night and she still hadn't told him the truth about Kyle. No, it was something different today - she was feeling jumpy - paranoid - like something was going to happen, soon. For about the hundredth time that day Liz made her way over to the booth where Max had spent most of his day already. She had a need to see him - or more correctly - to touch him. He followed her approach with his eyes. Liz sat down on his lap and gave him a peck on the cheek.
"That's all?" Max murmured, burying his fingers in her soft long hair.
"You want something else?" Liz asked.
"Uh hu," Max said, using the hand buried in her hair to pull her face closer to his. Their lips locked and the surroundings were immediately forgotten.
They were broken apart by someone clearing his throat and Max was shocked to see Mr. Parker standing there, staring them (or Max more precisely) down.
"Oh, hi Dad," Liz said.
"Hi Lizzie," Mr. Parker said. "Max."
"Hi, Mr. Parker," Max said, his face now a crimson red.
"Honey, I think you're on the clock - customers are waiting to order," Mr. Parker said, his voice dangerously calm.
Liz looked around the CrashDown - finding no new customers. However, she got the message loud and clear.
"Of course, Dad," she said, and slipped off Max's lap.
It was about then that the door jingled - announcing a new customer. Kyle stepped in, with Tess by his side. Liz's emotions went skyrocket. She eyed Tess suspiciously. Tess was her normal (fake) self - laughing and joking with Kyle.
"Hi Liz," Kyle greeted and seated himself across from Max. "Hi Max."
"Hi Max," Tess said softly as she positioned herself next to Kyle. "Still flirting," Liz thought. Tess's eyes left Max and drifted to the girl standing next to him. A surge of jealousy floated through her. Liz was standing far too close to Max. Looking at them more closely they actually looked very comfortable around each other.
"Oh, hi Liz," Tess said, finally taking notice of her.
"Hi, Tess," Liz answered, not missing the coldness Tess's voice was laced with.
Through their connection, Max could feel the change in Liz's emotions. He resisted the need to look at her. He felt that it would be the wrong thing to do - under Tess's prying looks.
"So, what are you up to?" Kyle asked.
"Just hanging out," Max answered.
"Can I get you guys anything," Liz asked.
"Just a coke for me," Kyle said.
"Cherry coke," Tess said.
"I'll help you," Max said, stood up and followed Liz towards the counter. When they were out of earshot, Max slipped his hand inside of Liz's - hiding his actions for whoever might be looking (in other words; Tess) with his body.
"What's wrong?" he asked in a low voice.
"I have had this feeling all day - that something is going to happen," Liz said, automatically feeling her desire awakening at Max's innocent touch. She got the sudden urge to attack him (even if they were in the middle of a restaurant with several people around - eating) and to rip off his clothes and make things to him that-
"Liz?" Max asked, his face masked with concern.
"Let's get out of here," Liz said.
"But your father..." Max said.
"He'll be fine," Liz said.
"That's not exactly what I meant."
"I know what you meant, now come here." She tugged on his hand and they went out into the employers only area. When the swinging doors closed behind them Liz practically jumped Max.
Max could sense her desperation through the connection and wondered for a brief second what was wrong. But as Liz's tongue found its way inside his mouth, seeking out all its hidden corners, his desire for her took over. He could feel the possessiveness in her kisses, claiming him as hers and that possessiveness awoke something primal inside of him - a need to protect her against everything. While kissing him fiercely Liz pressed her body up against his, pushing him backwards in the process. Soon Max found himself with his back against the lockers. After last night their connection had grown stronger. When they were touching now they could somehow 'sense' the other's thoughts. The connection flared open and images assailed them. Images of their moments together, mixed with Liz's and Max's thoughts and feelings at the moment.
Liz's feelings of despair slammed into him. Liz was scared, Max noted. Afraid of losing him, afraid of losing everything they had been able to build up during these few days. Then he started seeing images from her nightmares. Shocked of seeing himself do those things to her, he tried to pull away only to have Liz's grip tightened on him. He felt his own fear take a hold on him as he witnessed Liz being murdered and he could feel all of her feelings - he could feel her dying, slipping away from him. He cradled her head in his hands, wanting her closer to him to reassure himself that she was okay. He could taste her salty tears. She was whimpering in his mouth - slowly falling apart.
Feeling completely powerless, Max pulled his lips away from hers and cradled her closely to his chest. She was crying openly now and Max could feel his own tears starting to pool in his eyes. Weak from their emotions going overload, they sank to the floor holding on to each other. Max was petrified that he was going to lose her. He had felt Liz's nightmare and the whole atmosphere of Liz's nightmare was different from ordinary dreams. It felt like it was more than a dream, more like a warning.
Max reached for her through their connection and started sending her reassuring images of people that loved her, that she loved, images of the two of them together, while he gently rocked her sobbing figure in his arms. After a while she started to calm down.
"I'm sorry," she whispered in a thin voice. "I didn't mean to jump you, I just..."
"You needed to," Max said gently, putting two fingers under her chin, forcing her to look up into his eyes.
"I needed you," Liz said.
Max's heart ached. "God, I can't lose her - she's my whole world, my everything," he thought.
"Don't apologize Liz," Max said softly. "I want you to come to me when you feel like this. Whatever the problem is, we'll work it out together, okay?"
"Okay," Max repeated to himself with a sigh. "You have to be extra careful now, Liz!" Liz didn't even smile as Max's over-protective nature kicked in, the situation was far too serious for that.
"I know," she said, her voice so thin that Max almost didn't hear her.
Max gently started to kiss Liz's tears away, smothering her face with small kisses.
"I guess we should get back out there, before your father decides he wants to punish me with some horrible method for taking his baby girl away from him," Max said, helping Liz up.
"He would never do that." Liz smiled.
"I really don't wanna find out either," Max said.
Posted: Sun Feb 23, 2003 11:11 am
The night was very dark. The darkness was so thick that the street lanterns’ attempts to light the dark streets failed, instead casting impenetrable shadows along the menacing buildings. The night was very cold. The air was chilly and the wind that otherwise was too shy to show its power howled. There was no living sounds. The streets of Roswell were dark and abandoned. The wind was full of whispers, foreboding danger. The wind had succeeded in making most people stay in doors this starless night.
In a street corner stood a tall man - dark as the very corner he besieged. His face was emotionless and indifferent - expressionless. His eyes were icy cold.
The man turned towards the insecure whisper.
”No, Nasedo,” he corrected.
”Okay.” All dressed in black, with golden curls sticking out under a dark gray cap on her head, the girl - let’s call her Tess - slumped a little, relaxing her nerves.
”Are you certain that she was going to be here tonight?” the man called Nasedo asked.
”Yeah, they were talking about it today at the CrashDown. She’ll be there,” the girl said.
”It’s getting late - maybe she’s gone home already,” the dark-haired man with the face of another, commented without feeling the need to look at a watch.
”They probably have lost track of time,” the girl said.
”Well, just the better for us, isn’t it? Then the chance that she is alone and no one else is out is so much greater.”
Liz hands were trembling slightly as she buttoned up her jacket.
”Are you sure you don’t want to have a sleep over?” Maria asked, unaware of the dread that had started to fill every space of Liz’s petite body.
Liz shook her head.
”I need to get home - I have to get up early in the morning. I’ll be fine...” Liz’s voice trailed off.
”Okay, babe. Here, you can burrow my cap - it is freezing outside!”
”Thanks Maria.” Liz smiled. She opened the door and the cold air hit her face.
The two watchers could see the door to the house they were watching open.
”See, I told you,” the girl said with a triumphant smile that was lost in the darkness. However, as the person - who for a second appeared in the doorway - disappeared inside again, a loud frustrated sigh was emitted from the blonde girl.
”Oh wait!” Liz said and turned away from the darkness and closed the door again - to prevent the coldness from penetrating the warm house. ”I guess I should call Dad, and he can meet me halfway!”
”Good idea. I know that I would feel much better then,” Maria said.
Liz stepped past Maria and grabbed the receiver. After dialing the number, she hoped that her Dad wouldn’t be asleep yet. She glanced at the kitchen clock. It was half past eleven. A click was heard at the other end of the line, announcing that someone had picked up.
”Hello?” Liz had never been so happy to hear her father’s voice.
”Hi Dad. It’s me. What are you up to?”
”Waiting for you,” Mr. Parker answered and Liz could hear the warm smile in his voice.
”Can you meet me - it’s really cold and dark. And-and I just would feel better if you did.”
”Of course, pumpkin. I was actually thinking about it myself - I’m not so happy about you being out this late. I start walking now.”
”Thanks Dad! See you in a few.”
She hung up the phone and felt that some of the dread that had positioned itself like a knot in the middle of her stomach, lessened some in size.
”Is he meeting you?” Maria asked.
Liz nodded and pulled the jacket closer around her body - already anticipating the cold.
Maria pulled her in a hug. Liz felt like crying and she didn’t even now why.
”Bye, girlfriend. See you tomorrow!”
Liz nodded, not even trying to speak, afraid that her voice was not strong enough.
She opened the door and gazed out into the dark night. With a ”be careful, chica” Maria closed the door behind Liz and Liz was alone.
”There she is,” the man said and smiled. Fortunately for the girl called Tess the night was so dark that she couldn’t see that smile. That smile spoke volumes of the malicious nature of the man.
”You wait here, and only show your face in case something goes wrong.” Without waiting for her reply, the man also known as Nasedo stepped out of the street corner and purposefully strode towards the petite brown-haired girl, which with small but fast steps hurried down the street. In the night the sad cry of an owl could be heard. The only sound from an animal in the whole night.
Liz’s throat constricted, making it harder to breathe. ”Oh, no - this isn’t be happening!” she thought. ”It was only a dream, it was only a dream!” But the footsteps echoing behind her told her a different story. She was being followed.
The man quickened his pace. She sure was quick for being so small. He dived into one of the alleys - planning to intercept her path. She came around a corner and having her head turned, her eyes fixed on something over her shoulder, she didn’t see him before she slammed into him.
In the soft light from the lantern above them, Nasedo saw a brief flash of recognition in her dark eyes. That puzzled him. For some reason he suspected that she already knew that he wasn’t who he was pretending to be.
”Max,” Liz said. Her voice was emotionless - it came out as if she merely stated a fact.
”Liz, what are you doing here? It could be dangerous to be out so late,” Nasedo said with the same voice as Max.
Liz thought quickly. Should she give him the same response as in her dream or should she say something else, and with that action perhaps change the chain of events that were so similar to that of her nightmare?
”I went out for some fresh air,” Liz said.
”I can walk with you. You shouldn’t walk alone.”
Liz’s heart sank like a stone in her chest. It suddenly dawned on her that she was working against destiny - a seemingly well-worked out plan that was going to get its way in one way or the other.
”No really, Max, I’m fine!” Liz said, her voice mechanical and detached as she repeated the same words she knew so well from her dream scenario.
”Really Liz, it’s no problem.”
The chilliness slammed into her as he positioned his arm around her waist. Even though her emotions in her dream world had felt frightening real, what she felt then was nothing compared to what she was feeling now. She was on the verge of panic. The difference was that this was reality and she knew how it was all going to end.
”Please, something has to be different in reality. Let it not be a re-play of my dream,” Liz thought, knowing that this far it has been just that. ”Was I just supposed to see the future and not be able to do anything about it?! Of course, you could have stayed at Maria’s when you sensed that something was wrong. You could even have decided to not go to Maria’s - not tonight! My God, Liz!” She was getting pissed at herself. ”There were signs everywhere - screaming at you to be extremely cautious and stay at home. Not to leave the house today!”
Liz tried to force her feelings of panic to the back of her head. She had to stay focused - she could not let herself be ruled by her emotions, not when it was a matter of life or death. She could probably try to stall him until her Dad arrived, but wouldn’t that make him suspicious? She put on her best ‘oh-stupid-me’ expression and exclaimed: ”Oh, I’m so clumsy! I forgot my history assignment at Maria’s house...”
”I thought you just went for a walk,” Nasedo said smiling smugly.
”Yeah, yeah...I was. I was at Maria’s house earlier today. Anyway, I need to go back and get it. You can go home, Max - I’ll be fine. I’ll call Dad and he will pick me up.”
She was closer to Maria’s house than her own. It would be easier to go to her.
Nasedo narrowed his eyes. ”Does she know?” he thought. He eyed her suspiciously. Although, she seemed genuinely agitated to have forgotten her homework.
”I’ll follow you there,” Nasedo said.
”No...thank you, Max, but I’ll be fine. Go home - you shouldn’t be out at this time either. You don’t want to worry Isabel, right?”
Nasedo scanned his memory for a typical Max behavior that wouldn’t make her suspicious. He didn’t want her to suspect anything too soon, it would make it harder to go trough with the task.
”Liz. I’m worried about you. You know that being with me is putting your in danger and I feel responsible for keeping you safe. You don’t know who is watching us. There could be skins left or..or the FBI. Let me help you home!”
Liz blinked to clear her mind. ”Wow, that was a pretty good imitation of Max,” she thought. He almost convinced her. Almost. Liz’s advantage was that she and Max had a connection and the man in front of her didn’t know about it. Even if Max’s soul would to leave his physical body and enter another body, Liz would probably still recognize him. She would know him anywhere.
”I told you before, Max, and I’m telling you again. I need to feel that I can take care of myself! I want to be independent. I’m not a child and I don’t like being treated like one!” Liz said, clearly seeing the absurdity of the situation as she was calmly discussing her feelings with an evil shapeshifter who was impersonating her alien boyfriend in the middle of a dark abandoned street in the middle of the night.
”I just want you to be safe,” the man said. ”I’m coming with you!”
Liz looked up and saw the coldness in his eyes. ”Okay, it’s no better solution to piss him off,” she thought. ”I’ll have to work something out before we arrive at Maria’s, because he is certainly not going to follow me to Maria’s door step and then leave.”
Liz’s mind had gone into planning mode. She had detached all her feelings and were rationally going through all the facts, logically and systematically trying to work out the best solutions.
”Okay,” Liz agreed, her voice almost a mere whisper. The mouth of the man in front of her produced a very un-Max smile which reminded Liz of the condescending ‘smile’ Nasedo had given her when he had kidnapped her and she had, at the carnival, told him about how much Max and her meant to each other. That smile sent warning bells to go off inside her head. She felt the sudden urge to give into her fears and give into the temptation of hiding in the darkness that threatened to devour her at any moment. But she couldn’t do that. She would not make it easier for him to kill her!
They had started walking down the street - towards Maria and away from the CrashDown. Something caught Liz’s attention out of the corner of her eye. She turned her head slightly, trying her best not to make her movement too conspicuous.
Hidden in the shadows, created by a street lantern, a short person was standing dressed all in black. However, her blonde curls betrayed her. It was Tess. Liz had known even before she had seen Tess that she had the odds against her. It would be very difficult to escape the ‘person’ walking beside her, but escaping him and Tess. Tess could make her see things, make her believe things that wasn’t really there. Tess could trick her into going into the wrong direction - even making her step out in front of a car.
Liz seriously considered if she should make a run for it - even though she knew in her heart that outrunning him hadn’t worked in her nightmare. Liz searched her memory, going over her nightmare in her mind, trying to find Tess in it. She needed to know which part Tess had played in her nightmare. But she couldn’t find her. That made her terrified. She didn’t know what Tess was going to do - Liz hated being in the dark. She focused inwardly and started to gather her energy. She would make one last effort. She would put everything on one last card. Focusing on his face, his love for her, his kisses, his smiles and everything that was him she reached out through their connection and reached for Max. She had to warn him.
Max laid in his bed - sleeping. However, his sleep was troubled by blurry faces, hissed whispers and a girl. Her face was a blur but he would recognize her anywhere. She was in trouble and she was calling for him. With a jerk he was awake. He sat up in his bed. All he could think about was Liz. Something was wrong - something was very wrong. Then he heard her voice, loud and clear in his head.
”Max, can you hear me?”
Max didn’t even waste time on analyzing how Liz could talk to him in his head. He was too concerned about her to even reconsider it.
”Liz, what’s happening? What’s wrong?”
”Max, you have to stay calm. I need you to get Michael and Isabel and go to Maria’s. Look for me on the way.”
”Liz, tell me what’s wrong!” He was being freaked out by the combination of her calm voice, and at the same time feeling her emotions running amok through the connection.
”Max, listen. I’m in danger. You have to hur..I don’t...think it’s Nasedo.”
”Liz, I’m losing you.” Liz’s voice was drifting in and out of the connection - like a bad phone line. The connection was draining Liz of her energy. She wasn’t used to using any ‘powers’ and it took a lot from her. Max felt a tug on his energy and realized that Liz was pulling energy from him. Max focused on feeding the connection with energy.
”Max! Max! Can you hear me?”
”I can’t hold on any longer. I love you.” As soon as she said that Max could feel her presence diminishing back to the usual fluttering at the back of his mind.
”Liz, Liz!” Max yelled out into the air.
Isabel snapped out of her dream world by the sound of Max’s voice.
She looked at her bedside clock and found it to be twelve o’clock. With a sigh, she rose from the bed and walked out of her room, into her brother’s.
Max was wide awake - running around the room with one leg in a pair of pants, while he was evidently searching after something. If Isabel’s hadn’t seen the expression of complete anxiety on Max’s face, she would have found the sight of her brother quite comical.
”Max, what’s wrong?”, she asked, her voice still holding evidence of sleep.
Max looked up, startled. He hadn’t noticed her standing there.
”I can’t find my shirt,” Max said.
”What’s wrong?” Isabel asked again, getting more and more agitated by her brother’s odd behavior by the minute.
”I need to get to Liz,” Max said.
”Max, it’s in the middle of the night. Can’t it wait until tomorrow,” Isabel sighed and rubbed her sleep-induced eyes.
”NO!” Max practically yelled.
His tone almost gave her a jump. Her brother - her always so-in-control, calm brother - was almost hysterical.
”Max, calm down and tell me what’s happening!” Isabel said.
Max found his shirt and pulled it over his head.
”Liz is in danger,” he said and pulled the other leg into the pants. Zipping up as he straightened up he met Isabel’s eyes for the first time since she had entered his room. Isabel shrank back a little from the look in his eyes. His eyes were masked with something she didn’t quite recognize. It was a primal look, an animalistic look. That look reminded Isabel of a lioness protecting her cubs against danger.
Max took some deep breaths, obviously straining to regain control. Isabel could see how some of the old Max came through - Max, the leader.
”Isabel, listen to me. I need you to get Michael and head for Maria’s. Keep an outlook for me on the way...or Liz...if I don’t find her first.” With those final words Max finished tying his shoes and brushed past Isabel.
”Max, what’s ha-.”
”Just do it!” Max’s answered tightly. Isabel stood at the top of the stairs and watched Max’s back disappear down the stairs in a rush.
Liz was suddenly pulled into a dark alley, her mind filling with a weird sense of déja vu.
”Max, what are you doing?” Liz asked, noticing how her voice trembled. She dreaded the answer.
”I just got the sudden urge to kiss you,” the person with the Max mask replied.
Liz felt a cold hand grip around her heart - feeding her body with a coldness and numbness.
”Max,” she whispered. ”I really need to get to Maria and then get home. It’s really late.”
Her enemy leaned closer to her. She could feel his warm breath against her cold face.
”What was that? I didn’t hear you,” he said, the hissing sound of his voice reminding her of vicious snake.
As Liz’s hands automatically pushed him away from her, she felt as if she left her body - becoming an observer from the outside. She observed how his control snapped and he pressed his lips onto hers. She didn’t feel his lips, she didn’t pay any attention to the familiar flashes in black and white displaying death and evil. All she was aware of was the numbness that was filling every cavern of her body, her every limb and cell. She watched as her physical body struggled to free itself, but he was stronger and pushed her to the ground. His hands ripped her blouse open, revealing her bra and pale stomach. As she continued to struggle, his hand flew over her left cheek leaving a red burning mark. Liz didn’t feel that either. She had hidden herself in a place in her mind where she couldn’t feel anything, only observe. In that place was a calmness that calmed her.
Her physical body continued its struggle and threw up a knee into his crotch. He lifted away from her, as he swore over the human body and its physical limitations and weaknesses. Liz’s mind slammed back into place as she saw her chance of escape. She got up on her legs and started to run. A few feet away, she could see Tess stepping out from a street corner running towards her. Liz changed her direction - going into a dark alley. She didn’t see the stone protruding from the ground, before it was too late and she couldn’t stop her legs from moving. She fell over, scraping her hands and her bare stomach against the harsh ground. As her head hit the ground images of her life flashed before her eyes. She knew this was the end - it was here that everything ended in her dream.
Through her labored breathing she could hear his steps coming closer.
”You bitch,” he hissed and his hand was on the small of her back. It was even worse than in the dream. From his hand radiated heat of hundreds of degrees, setting her inside on fire. She could feel how her interiors were practically melting. The numbness in her took over and she welcomed the painless darkness
Posted: Sun Feb 23, 2003 11:14 am
Max fervently searched the streets. Where the hell was she? He was going out of his mind with worry. He could only feel calmness from her through the connection, and that didn’t calm him down - it made him even more anxious to get to Liz. Then he felt the heat in his back and the jeep swayed. The pain was excruciating and he knew it came from Liz.
”Noooo!” he breathed and tried to make the jeep go faster.
Tess watched Nasedo with a paralyzed look on her face. He was only going to rape her! What was he doing?! Even though she hated the girl, Liz was someone she knew and she couldn’t stand her agonizing and animalistic cries of pain. When Liz’s cries diminished before finally coming to an end, Tess was awoken from her reveries.
”Nasedo, stop!!” she yelled. ”What are you doing?!”
Nasedo’s head jerked up at the sound of her voice. He looked down at the girl on the ground. She was lying on her stomach and there was a handprint - his handprint - burnt through her blouse and burnt into her skin. When he realized that he had let his control slip he slammed his fist into the ground.
”Damn!” he cried.
They both turned their head towards the road at the sound of a car. Tess peeked around the corner and saw a very familiar jeep approaching.
”Nasedo, Max is coming!” Tess hissed, fear seizing her. Everything had started to fall apart. This plan had gone wrong in all ways possibly. Nasedo thought quickly. The girl’s pulse was life-threatening weak, but she was still alive. He could use her in some way if Max wasn’t willing to voluntarily get them to their home planet.
”Tess! You have to project an image to Max that Liz is dead,” Nasedo ordered.
”But I can’t get into his mind!” Tess said.
”Well, it’s either that or we will never get home! Anyway, he is probably going out of his mind with worry, if he is looking for her - as I suspect he is. I would guess he’s more susceptible to mind warp now - he is weakened by his emotions!”
Tess nodded meekly, closed her eyes and focused on Max.
”Oh no, don’t let that be her,” Max thought when he saw a small figure lying in a dark alley, even though he knew that it must be her since he hadn’t felt her since the excruciating pain had come to an end a few minutes ago. The jeep came to a screeching halt. He didn’t know how he got to her but suddenly he was on his knees beside her still figure. His eyes blurred with tears, he frantically searched after a pulse, his hands becoming bloody in the process. The blood was seeping out of a large cut in her back. He turned her around, barely noticing her open blouse. He slowly pulled her into his lap, as the truth hit him in the face.
”NOOOOOOO!!” his agonized cry echoed in the dark.
It was in that position Michael and Isabel found him ten minutes later. Max was clutching Liz to his chest, rocking them back and forth. His hands and shirt were smeared with her blood and tears were slowly sliding down his cheeks.
”Oh my god,” Isabel gasped.
Michael took Isabel’s hand and they walked towards Max.
”Max...Maxwell...,” Michael said, but got no response.
”Oh my god, Michael. Is she...is she?” Isabel sobbed.
Michael looked Liz over. Her lips were blue, her hands and face deadly pale. Her clothes were dirty and tore, her hair was tousled and there seemed to be blood in it. On the ground beside Max was a dark pool of blood. ”Oh, my god... It looks like she was raped,” Michael thought feeling nauseous. Michael could feel Isabel sliding to the ground beside him - her crying the only sound in the cold starless night. Michael turned around and vomited - emptying his stomach of its content.
In a motel somewhere between Roswell and Santa Fe
One week later
Tess sank down in the worn-out arm-chair with a loud thud. She was exhausted. It had been the worst week of her life. Her energy level had been so low, she had several times been on the verge of passing out. It had been straining, to say the least, to trick everyone in Roswell that Liz Parker was dead. She had thought that it would have been difficult to get Max to believe it, but it had actually been quite easy. Max had been so worried that Liz was dead, that it was easy to push him into actually seeing it and believing it. The difficult part was to make several people simultaneously to believe that they were looking at the dead body of Liz Parker. She was nearly always projecting an image of something to someone. She had to follow her imaginative Liz around. It had been some relief when she had been put in a coffin - people didn’t look at her so much then. Today had been her funeral - and it had almost been the final straw to Tess. She had almost ruined a whole week hard work today. Her energy was almost completely gone already and then she had to make a whole church full of people believe that Liz was lying dead in the open coffin, when the coffin in reality was completely empty.
The only positive thing to come out of all this was that she would be able to be a comfort to Max, now that Liz was out of the way. Tess hadn’t really had the energy or opportunity to ‘comfort’ Max before the funeral because she had to fake the whole Liz-Parker’s-death scenario. Her eyes drifted purposeless around the cheesy motel she found herself sitting in. Her eyes came to rest at the immobile figure in the bed. She came to think about how devastated Max was. Even though she was the one to be around him and comfort him now, it still angered her that Max still hung on to Liz. The little Tess had seen of Max during the week, she had only met his body. Max Evans had not been there. Maria had said something about that Max had died the day Liz did.
”Well, I’m going to see to it that Max lets go of Liz,” Tess murmured. ”She was only a human and he will soon see straight again when the spell Liz Parker had over him breaks. And then he will appreciate to have a female shoulder to cry out on - with other words - mine.”
Neither Tess nor Nasedo had the power of healing and Liz had been pretty bad off the first days. They had (much to Tess’s annoyance) taken care of her, however in the human way. Unfortunately, most of her injuries were internal. Nasedo constantly fed her with his energy by connecting with her, to keep her breathing. She had been in a state of coma the whole time and Tess was surprised that she actually had survived this long. Even though Nasedo kept insisting that they needed her, Tess could not really see why. Even in an unconscious state, Liz Parker was affecting Tess’s life and causing her trouble.
Tess closed her eyes and drew some deep breaths, fighting the unconsciousness from drowning her - like it had done so many times during the week.
”So, you’re back,” she heard Nasedo’s voice state.
With her eyes still closed, Tess murmured, ”Tell me again why I’m going through this hell!”
”Don’t be stupid! It’s our only way to get home. Max has the royal seal and he is the only one who can get the Granolith working,” Nasedo hissed through his teeth.
”Wow, you’re in a good mood,” Tess said and opened her eyes.
”That bitch has been nagging me all day,” Nasedo said, waving his hand into the direction of the unconscious Liz.
”What do you mean?” Tess asked and narrowed her eyes. Had Liz been conscious?
”She constantly stops breathing and I have fed her tons of my energy,” Nasedo said and headed towards the small kitchen.
”Oh,” Tess said, relaxing a bit. ”Why don’t you just kill her?”
Even though they weren’t in the same room anymore, Tess could clearly hear Nasedo gritting his teeth and letting out a loud sigh.
”She’s our insurance. If Max decides that he rather would grieve instead of getting us home, we make him an offer. We trade Liz to him if he promises to follow with us home! And if I have learned anything at all about Max and Liz’s so called relationship, it is that Max would give up his whole life here on Earth, with her, if that would insure Liz’s safety.”
”He will soon get over her. She is not that important to him,” Tess said with a voice mixed with sullenness and jealousy.
Nasedo came back into the bedroom.
”You really are stupid, aren’t you!” he said. ”You can flutter your eyelashes at him - hell, you can even flash him - but he will never think anything remotely close of you that he felt about her.”
Tess slumped back in the arm-chair, her lips formed in a surly pout, resembling a spoiled kid that hadn’t gotten her way. ”You’ll see,” she thought. ”I will make Max desire me more than he could ever desire that mouse. And if I have to kill her to convince you, well...”
Roswell, the Evans’ resident
In the evening of the day of Liz Parker’s funeral
”Isabel. Can you get Max and tell him that dinner’s ready,” Mrs. Evans said.
The air in the Evans’ resident was heavy. The funeral of Liz Parker earlier that day had put an end to the existence of Liz in Roswell and on this Earth. But to some people, she would never disappear. Isabel slowly lifted her feet up the stairs towards Max’s room. The police had declared that Liz had been raped and then murdered. Isabel couldn’t look Max into his eyes anymore. It was no use - her brother wasn’t there anymore. His otherwise so soulful eyes were empty - a complete devoid of emotions. Isabel stopped outside his closed door. Not a sound was heard from inside. She lightly knocked on the door, and without waiting for a reply (because she knew she wouldn’t get one) she opened the door slightly and peeked inside.
Max’s body was lying on his back in his bed. There was no light on in his room and as the sun had already begun its descent outside his window, the room was slowly growing darker. His eyes were fixed on a point in the ceiling, but his eyes were not seeing.
”Max,” Isabel said gently and opened the door more, stepping inside. ”How are you?”
He didn’t answer, he didn’t even flinch. He gave no indication whatsoever that he even was aware that she was in the room. Isabel went over to his bed and sat down on the edge beside him. She took one of his hands in hers. The warmth of his hand were in strong contrast to his cold eyes.
”Max,” Isabel whispered and before she knew it tears had started flowing down her cheeks as she looked into his eyes.
”I’m so sorry, Max,” she sobbed. ”She was just so full of life - I talked with her earlier that day.” A single tear started to run down Max’s cheek - the first of many unshed tears to come. ”Why did it happen to her? Why her? She always saw the good in people. She had such faith in people.” Max’s tears matched Isabel’s now. ”I miss her, Max....I miss you.”
Isabel laid down beside her brother, burying her head in his shirt seeking brotherly comfort.
Max’s control broke and he put his arms around his sister, relishing in the human touch. He cried openly now, clutching Isabel close to him. When Mrs. Evans a few minutes later came up the stairs and stepped into Max’s room in the search of Max and Isabel she found them on Max’s bed together, with their arms around each other - crying and seeking comfort in each other - grieving the loved girl they had both lost.
In a motel somewhere between Roswell and Santa Fe,
Two weeks post Liz Parker’s funeral
Tess slammed the door close with a frustrated scream. Damn that Max Evans! Three weeks had passed since Liz had presumably died and he still hadn’t forgotten about her. He didn’t even want to meet Tess. Tess could not understand why, she was so kind and gentle towards him. But screw him! She was tired of sucking up to him, tired of not getting anything back in return. She could as well talk to a dead fish - maybe she would achieve more response then! Her eyes fell on Liz, lying in the same position as ever in the bed of the motel.
”This is all your fault, bitch!” Tess screamed and attacked the helpless form on the bed, making Liz the target for her anger and frustration. Tess took a hold of Liz’s shoulders and shook her violently.
”Stop messing up my life!!!” Tess screamed, her hands moving to form a firm grip around Liz’s throat with the purpose of squeezing the life out of her once and for all. As Liz’s dry and parched lips were turning blue from the lack of oxygen, Tess was suddenly knocked backwards. Unexpectedly finding herself on the floor, she slowly rose to her feet to see what had happened. What she saw made her gasp.
Liz was covered in a blue light. Tess had seen the same light radiating out of Max’s hand to protect himself - but then it held the color of green. In some way, Liz was now producing a force shield around herself as a protection.
”What the hell...,” Tess murmured perplexed.
Posted: Sun Feb 23, 2003 11:16 am
In a motel somewhere between Roswell and Santa Fe
Six weeks post Liz Parker’s funeral
”What was that noise?” she wondered dimly. ”Is someone knocking the door...? Can someone open the door?” She slipped down into the mist again. A few minutes later she reached the edges of consciousness again. The thudding sound was still there. She could also feel an ache in her back...in her stomach...in her legs... She ached everywhere. After some consulting, she realized that what she heard was a heartbeat - her heartbeat. Where was she? She focused on getting through the thick mist that covered her. She wanted to open her eyes, but it felt as if someone had taped her eyelids down. She relaxed a little, trying to gather her energy. She slowly opened her eyes. The light was so blinding that she had to blink her eyes repeatedly to get used to it. She could see that she was in a room of some kind but the contours remained blurry, causing her to have difficulties to orient herself.
The soft material pressing up against her sore back told her that she was lying on a bed. She tried to remember where she was and why she was there. She lifted her head slightly and tried to look around the room. She could only lift her head for a few seconds - the motion caused her too much effort and pain. She closed her eyes as she let her head fall back on the pillow and gave into the darkness.
During the following days, Liz continued to drift in and out of consciousness. She could consider herself lucky to have neither Tess nor Nasedo in the room as she came out of the unconsciousness. She was slowly growing stronger. Then one day, approximately five days after she first had came to, she opened her eyes and looked around. She was in what looked like a motel room. There was a large bed, the one she was lying in, and a red worn-out arm-chair across the room. There were three doors - one leading to what appeared to be the kitchen, one leading to a bathroom and the third was the front door. She sat up slowly and fought back the dizziness. She pulled the bed covers off her body and swinged her legs over the edge of the bed. She stopped for a while, gathering her energy, then she tried to stand up. Her legs were so weak. They hadn’t been used in a long time and the deterioration of her muscles had already begun. The constant dull aching in her back didn’t help the situation much either.
She refused to give up, she continued the process of standing up, only to fall back on the bed again - her weak legs not being able to support her weight. However, her efforts soon paid off and she soon found herself standing, swaying on legs that felt as weak as boiled spaghetti. She felt something tug at her arm and as she looked at her arm she saw a needle embedded in the skin at the back of her right hand. Connected to the needle was a long thin tube with its other end in a plastic bag, hanging from a hook at the end of a metal stand. She realized that was what had supplied her with nourishment during her unconscious state. She took a grip of the stand (which was equipped with wheels) and began on shaking legs to walk around the room. Her first trip was over to the front door, which she found to be locked. She visited the toilet and took pleasure in washing her face with cold water. Feeling refreshed she went into the kitchen and started rummaging around the refrigerator after something to eat. She found some bottles of Tabasco sauce, two cans of cherry coke, some carrots, a loaf and a bottle with sour milk. She took the loaf and a can of cherry coke and sat down by the table.
The tabled was covered in newspapers, and she pushed them away to make room. She opened the can and broke a piece of bread from the loaf. The bread was a bit dry, probably as old as everything else in the refrigerator. She relished the feeling of bread in her mouth. Even though it was old, it tasted like heaven to her. She had to put much effort into chewing the hard bread - her muscles not having been used in a while. Ten minutes later, she was full. She put the remaining loaf back into the refrigerator and threw the empty can in the trash can. For some (instinctive) reason, she figured it was best not to leave any traces. She made her way over to the bed and laid down. That’s when she heard the key in the lock. She closed her eyes and pretended to be asleep.
She could hear two voices, a female and a male. They were fighting.
”I’m getting fed up with this,” the male said. ”You have to work faster.”
”I try to, but I have only recently been able to even get through to him,” the female answered, annoyance in her voice. ”But I’m telling you. He will soon fall for me and then we don’t need her anymore.” She got a feeling that they were discussing her. ”Why don’t we kill her right away?”
”We have to be sure. From what I’m seeing, you’re not any closer to him than you were before her faked death.”
She got a feeling that it was her destiny that was being discussed.
”Well, I’m not staying here,” the female said. ”The whole group is going out tonight, and I’m invited. It helps to be buddies with Kyle.”
She flinched at the sound of the name. It sounded familiar. Where had she heard that name before?
”Yeah, yeah. Whatever,” the male said. There was a sound as the front door was opened and then closed. She was alone with the man.
”I’m getting so fed up with this fucking planet,” the male murmured.
During the following week, she memorized their routines. Which times they came back and at which times they left. She slowly regained her strength and she was only waiting for one of them to screw up. She got her chance one morning when the rain was pattering against the roof. After a short phone call, the man left in a hurry. She listened for the sound of the key turning in the lock, but it never came. He had forgotten to lock the door! She laid still for a few minutes - in case he would remember that he had forgotten to lock and come back. When nothing happened she rose from the bed and made her way over to the front door. She slightly opened it and peeked outside. The fresh cool wind, with the smell of rain hit her in the face. She drew a deep breath - breathing in the scent of freedom. Without further hesitation, she opened the door and stepped outside. It was pouring down, but that didn’t matter to her. She was free.
She had walked for hours in the rain. She was exhausted, cold and wet. But she knew that she couldn’t stop. She had to keep going, or they would find her. She was afraid to walk along the road, in case her kidnappers decided to drive by. Instead, she had been forced to cross the rough vegetation out in the middle of the desert. She soon saw a petrol station in the horizon. When she came closer she saw a sign that read ‘Motel - Bed and Breakfast’. She knew that she had not covered as large distance by foot as she could have done if she had hitch-hiked, and that she probably took a big risk stopping to sleep so close to her previous imprisonment. She was hightly aware of the fact that she was making herself an easy target. But it was getting dark and she was hungry, tired, wet and cold. She had to rest. She had found some money in the motel room which she had held hidden under the mattress. Every time the male put some money somewhere, she had taken some of it. Fortunately, he hadn’t noticed that anything was missing.
He was a tall middle aged man. He was not grazed with a handsome appearance, but he was not judged by his exterior by the people that knew him. He was a liked man. A simple man, with a heart of gold. He had his entire life held a dream about some day opening a restaurant. A bed and breakfast was the second best thing. He took much pride of his motel. He looked up from the newspaper he was reading as he heard the door jingle.
There, in front of the door stood a small girl, completely drenched. She reminded him of the kittens his brother used to throw into the lake when they were young - just for the fun of it. Her clothes barely covered her. She had a skirt on, but it was torn in at least three places. What was left of what had earlier probably been a blouse was only rags. Her eyes appeared extremely large in her gaunt face. She slowly made her way over to the counter. The man couldn’t help himself from staring.
His staring made her very uncomfortable and she tried a small smile.
”Hi, I would...” then she had to clear her throat - she had not used her voice in a long time, ”I would like a room.”
”Ahh...yes, of course,” the man stuttered. It was a miracle to him that the girl could still stand up straight. He took out a small notebook and a pencil from under the counter.
”Can I have your name, dear?” he asked.
”Of course,” she smiled but then grew silent. The man watched as the smiled slipped of her face.
”Miss?” he asked tentatively.
”I-I..I can’t remember,” she answered. The man looked at the girl sympathetically. God only knew what she had been through.
”It can wait until the morning,” the man said reassuringly. The girl nodded but he noticed that her mind was somewhere else, perhaps searching the memory, which held her identity. ”How long do you wish to stay?”
The girl looked up. ”Oh..only one night I guess,” Liz said.
”Okay then,” the man said and scribbled something down in his note book before he turned towards a large board with a lot of hooks with keys hanging from them and took one of the keys. ”Room 56. We serve breakfast at seven.” He handed her the key and he noticed her hand trembling as she accepted the key.
”Thanks,” she said and smiled the first real smile since she had arrived. The smile did wonders to her face and the man thought that she must have been beautiful before her life somehow got messed up. ”How much do I owe you?” she asked.
”You can pay when you check out,” he said.
She nodded, turned around and walked up to the door. She opened the door to walk out, shivering as the cold, moist air hit her.
”Miss, wait!” The man cried, and left his place behind the counter stepping up beside her. ”Here, take my umbrella.”
She looked up at the kind man and then down to his hand, which held a blue umbrella.
”Thank you,” she said softly.
The man merely nodded his head with a smile. The girl left the reception, put up the umbrella and headed for the house on the other side of the parking lot which housed the rooms.
She was there the following day at seven o’clock sharp.
”Good morning,” the man greeted her.
”Good morning,” she smiled. The man noticed that she looked much better today. The dark circles under her eyes were not as evident any longer and her hair was washed and combed. However, she still wore the same tags and he realized that she probably didn’t own any more than what she had worn yesterday.
”Let me show you to the dining area,” the man said and led the way.
The dining area was large and bright, with large windows letting in the light of the morning sun. The smell of newly baked bread reached her and her stomach rumbled. A little embarrassed she lowered her gaze to the floor.
”Hungry, huh?” the man asked with a smile. The girl looked up and met his gaze and as she nodded and held his gaze, he could see a piece of the strong girl she had once been.
”Then you’ve come to the right place,” the man said.
In the middle of the dining area a part of the floor was occupied by a large table. The surface of the table was covered by plates filled with new baked loafs and buns, butter, cheese, jam, peanut butter, fresh fruit, pancakes, scrambled eggs, and pots of tea and coffee - yes, you name it and it certainly was on that table! An old woman, about seventy years old walked in, carrying a plate of crackers.
”This is my mother,” the man said to the girl.
”Hi sweety,” the woman said. ”I’m Sarah. You sure look hungry, why don’t you serve yourself and make yourself comfortable.” The girl didn’t see the look that passed between the elderly woman and her son. The man had discussed the girl with his mother the other night. The discussion had concerned if they ought to call the police. There was a large possibility that she was yet another runaway and that she had parents waiting for her somewhere, waiting for her to come home and going out of their minds with worry. However, it seemed kind of weird that she had decided to run away without any change of clothes. And why did she look like she had been in an accident? The thing that had puzzled both Sarah and her son the most was that the girl hadn’t remembered her name. Sure, she could have been faking it - but hadn’t it been more inconspicuous to come up with fake name?
The girl grabbed a plate and started to fill it with food. The smell of food made her mouth water and she could barely wait to put her teeth into thatt bread. Her hands were quick, the movements of a starving woman, as she piled this and that on her plate. She took the plate and sought out a place by the windows. She slowly sat down, her back still aching. Yesterday, when she was about to take a shower, she had found her whole back and stomach from underneath her breast to her waist muffled up in bandage. When she unwound it from her body, and was about to step into the shower, her eyes caught the reflection of her back in the mirror. Her back looked scorched. Stepping closer to the mirror, she was surprised to see that in the middle of the semi-healed burns she thought she saw the contours of a handprint. The much longed shower was not as a nice experience as she had wanted it to be. She was forced to use humid water - almost cold - to lessen the stinging in the flesh of her burnt back.
As she ate, her thoughts once again floated back to the fact that she couldn’t remember who she was or what had happened to her. She had no memory at all. She could not recall any family members, or any names. She didn’t even recognize the girl that looked back at her in the mirror. Although it held some sense of familiarity. Her small stomach was quickly filled and she regretted that she hadn’t had the opportunity to taste it all.
Sarah watched the girl out of the corner of her eye. She had eaten like someone was going to snatch the food away from her at any moment. However, she had not eaten much. Sarah stepped up to the girl, who was now staring out the window - lost in her own thoughts.
”Can I get you anything else, dear?” Sarah asked. The girl jumped, startled by her voice. She looked up and met the woman’s old and wise eyes.
”No, thank you. It was wonderful and I’m completely full,” she said.
”You know,” Sarah said and took the place beside the girl, ”I have a daughter about your size. Would you be willing to accept some clothes?”
She looked down at her clothes. She had winded herself up in the bandage again, more due to the fact that it was an effective warmth insulator than a comfortable article of clothing. Her other clothes, she must admit, was not a beautiful sight. She would gladly accept the old woman’s offer, but she didn’t like the thought of being a charity case.
”That is very kind of you,” she said. ”But then you have to let me pay something for it.”
”No, of course not..,” but stopped when she saw the look in that girl’s eyes. Sarah realized that it was the only piece of honor that the girl had left - to be able to pay for herself - and Sarah wouldn’t let her lose that too.
”Sure,” Sarah said. ”Why don’t yu follow me!”
They were now standing in a bedroom on the second floor and clothes were spread over the bed and floor. Sarah was rummaging through her daughter’s closet. During the course of an hour clothes had been held up in front of the girl only to be removed as the clothes had been labelled to be of the wrong size.
”Elizabeth had a period when she was slightly overweight and I guess these are those clothes...”
But the girl wasn’t listening anymore. Elizabeth. There was something strangely familiar with that name. Sarah looked up to see why she hadn’t gotten any response. The small girl was staring out into the air, her thoughts miles away.
”Are you all right, dear?” Sarah asked.
”Elizabeth,” the girl murmured. ”Was that your daughter’s name?”
”Yes, that is my daughter’s name,” Sarah said proudly. ”She is living in Arizona now - with two of the most beautiful chil...” Sarah’s voice trailed off as she saw that the girl was once again lost to another world.
”I think that was my name,” the girl whispered, almost inaudible.
”What was that, dear?” Sarah asked - her hearing not being what it once was.
”I remember that name Elizabeth...and I think that it was my name,” the girl repeated softly, with a sparkle in her eye that Sarah hadn’t seen before.
”Well, welcome back Elizabeth,” Sarah said, smiling.
The girl seemed to think about it for a moment and then she was smiling from ear to ear.
”Yes, I think I was Elizabeth,” she said.
”Okay then, Elizabeth. If it’s okay with you, I think you have to wear clothes that are slightly too large, since it seems as if I can’t find anything better here.”
”Yes, of course,” the girl now called Elizabeth said, without being able to stop smiling.
”Here, take this,” Sarah said and handed Elizabeth a bra and a pair of underwear. ”See that door over there? That door leads to a bathroom - you can change there.”
”Okay, thanks,” Elizabeth said, took the under garments and disappear in the bathroom.
Elizabeth started to undress and slipped into the soft underwear. She took off her old bra and put on the new one. It smelled of detergent and was soft against her skin. She looked at herself in the mirror and then started to unwind the bandage.
Sarah put down the shirt on the bed and once again let her eyes drift to the closed bathroom door. She wondered once again if everything was all right in there. The girl had been in there for a long time. Then she heard the retching. She left what she was doing and quickly walked up to the door.
”Elizabeth, are you okay, dear?” she asked but got no reply.
She opened the door slightly and peeked inside to find Elizabeth on the floor in front of the toilet. She was kneeling by the toilet, her head resting in her hands. But it wasn’t the fact that she could see the ribs very clearly in Elizabeth’s back or the protruding bones of her spine that showed clear signs of undernourishment that caught Sarah’s attention. It was the scorched skin of her back that caught Sarah’s eyes. The girl had been burnt, very badly. Putting her horror for the girl aside, Sarah walked up to the hunched girl and kneeled beside her.
”Are you all right, Elizabeth?” she asked.
”Yeah, I’m fine...just fine,” Elizabeth said, unknowingly showing signs of the old Liz Parker and her slight inability to ask for help or talk about her feelings.
”Let me help you up,” Sarah said. ”You could catch pneumonia sitting here on this cold floor.” Automatically Sarah put an arm around Elizabeth’s back to support her weight, but pulled it away just as quickly when she saw Elizabeth wince from the touch to her burnt back.
”Oh, I’m so sorry, dear,” Sarah said regretfully, ”I should have thought about that.”
”That’s okay,” Elizabeth said reassuringly, ”You didn’t know.”
Elizabeth put one of her hands in Sarah’s and the other against the cool surface of the toilet and then pulled herself up. Elizabeth straightened up and winced a little as the inelastic skin of her back moved with the motion.
As Elizabeth straightened up - dressed only in a pair of underwear and a bra - Sarah eyes fell on Elizabeth’s stomach and she suddenly understood more why this girl was on her own.
”How far along are you?” she asked Elizabeth.
Elizabeth, puzzled, looked up in Sarah’s face, meeting her eyes.
”Excuse me?” she asked.
”How far along are you?” Sarah repeated and pointed at Elizabeth’s slightly protruding stomach. She couldn’t be far along - but the girl’s overall signs of malnutrition made the small rounding of her belly more prominent.
Elizabeth looked down at her stomach and slowly ran her hands over it.
Posted: Sun Feb 23, 2003 11:19 am
In a small apartment, somewhere in New Mexico
Four months later, Tuesday- 1.07 p.m.
She felt the pain ripple through her abdomen again. No, it was too soon! She leaned against the house wall and trying to catch her breath. When it had passed, she fished up her keys from her purse. With shaking hands, she placed the key in the lock, turned and opened. She stepped inside, put the keys on the table beside the door and walked towards the kitchen. She caught a look of herself in the mirror hanging on the wall. She had read all the baby books she could get her hands on, and they had informed her that all pregnancies were individual. However, nowhere did it say that she would look like this. Her body was merely skin and bones, with a protruding stomach in the center. Her big eyes were sunken in and her face was gaunt. Her hair had no vitality, no shine - it was thin and hung in wisps. She had a bruise at the side of her neck - she had obtained a lot of bruises during her pregnancy. It was as if her skin was super-sensitive.
She was exhausted all the time. She worked from nine to five as a waitress and then she started her night shift as a waitress in a bar at eleven p.m. She had a constant headache and she could barely keep anything down, she threw up most of it. The only time she felt something close to happiness was when she felt the life inside of her kick or move around. Her baby gave her some hope in her lonely existence. She left the depressive reflection in the mirror and went into the kitchen to unpack the groceries bags. As she was putting two bottles of Tabasco, which she had attained a certain crave for (she had it on about everything) during her pregnancy, she felt the pain explode in her abdomen and she had to grab the edge of the table to stop herself from passing out.
West Roswell High - Roswell, New Mexico
Tuesday - 1.12 p.m.
”Max, are you all right?” Isabel asked when Max once again rubbed his stomach.
Max concentrated on the pain once again, trying to subdue it with his powers - but he was repeatedly unsuccessful in his efforts. For two months he had felt a dull ache in the small of his back. During the last 24 hours, the ache had intensified and now it was also accompanied by the pain in his abdomen.
”I don’t know,” he answered his sister.
”Maybe you’re coming down with something,” Alex, with his hand clasped in Isabel’s, said.
”We don’t get sick,” Max said.
”Right,” Kyle said, not the least surprised.
They were all sitting under a tree in the school yard, eating their lunch. Max had positioned himself with his back leaning against the trunk of a tree. Maria was sitting between Michael’s legs, leaning her weight against his chest. Isabel and Alex, with their fingers laced together, were sitting side by side both in Indian style. Kyle was sitting beside Tess - but there was some distance between them. The pairing was complete - except for the lonesome Max. Nevertheless, Liz’s death had brought something positive to the group. They had realized how short life could be and they had forgotten about their differences and petty arguments. It hadn’t taken long for Maria and Michael to pair up. Isabel and Alex moved a little slower but they were also considered an item nowadays. However, Kyle and Tess were not together, since Tess was still very consisted in her sucking up to Max - trying to get them together. It was obvious to everyone in the group, except to Tess, that Max would never get together with Tess.
”I’ve been having this ache in my back for about two months now,” Max said.
”Maybe you’re getting old,” Michael said.
”And now I have this pain in my stomach,” Max continued, not taking any notice to Michael’s comment.
”Maybe you’ve eaten something weir-” Maria started to say but her voice quieted when Max with pain etched on his face doubled over.
”Max!” Isabel said, dropped Alex’s hand and moved to kneel beside her brother.
During the following long forty seconds, Max focused on decreasing the pain with his powers. When the pain finally subsided he raised his head to be met by seven worried faces.
”Maxwell, what happened?” Michael asked.
”Liz...” Max whispered.
”What?” Maria said, her voice hoarse from the emotions the name of her dead friend brought forward.
Max looked Maria directly in the eyes.
”Liz is alive.” As the shaken group contemplated the meaning of Max’s statement, no one saw the look of horror and hatred that passed over Tess’s face.
In a small apartment, somewhere in New Mexico - 1.20 p.m.
Liz was pacing around the apartment, gathering everything she needed for the birth. Keeping her busy hindered her feelings of fear to take control over her. She was highly aware of the fact that a normal pregnancy lasted about nine months and according to her calculations she had only been pregnant about six. Something was wrong. If she gave birth now, the baby would certainly not survive.
She knew every detail of the process of birth by heart - having memorized the baby books. She had never been to a maternal check up - there was a large risk that something was wrong with the baby. She also knew that she wasn’t healthy, and she was petrified that the baby had suffered from that. She had decided not to give birth in a hospital - she was still afraid that her kidnappers were looking for her and it would be pretty easy to find her in a hospital. She would give birth here - in this apartment - alone.
West Roswell High - Roswell, New Mexico - 1.21 p.m.
”Oh no, he is losing it,” Michael thought as he hugged the crying Maria to him. ”I will hurt him really badly if he is only making this up and upsetting Maria and Isabel over nothing.”
”Max, she’s dead,” Michael said, ”You held her in your arms... I saw her, Isabel saw her - hell, even Liz’s family, relatives and everybody at her funeral saw her. She’s dead Max!”
Max was now standing up, pacing back and forth.
”Don’t you think I know that Michael!” Max said, his voice irritated. He rubbed his forehead with one hand while the other hand rubbed the small of his back. ”I don’t understand it even more than you do. But I’m telling you, I can feel her. She’s in pain - in so much pain.”
Tess was watching the group silently - still trying to get over the fact that Max seemingly had some sort of connection to that bitch.
”Maybe you’re only hoping so much that she’s alive that you’re imagining,” Tess said.
Max looked at her, and Tess shrank back under his stare. ”Bad move, Tess,” Isabel thought seeing Max’s deathly glare, ”don’t mess with Max when it comes Liz.”
”I’m not imagining!” Max said, his voice hard. ”She’s still alive and she’s in pain and I need to get to her.”
”And how do you plan that we do that?” Kyle asked.
Max closed his eyes - his face masked with the sorrow that had become a second nature to him since Liz was taken from him - and sank down with his back leaning against the tree.
”I don’t know,” he whispered, and everyone knew how much it at that moment was eating him up inside to know that Liz was alive and out there somewhere but knowing that he lacked the knowledge that would lead him to her.
Santa Fe, New Mexico - 2.30 a.m.
A middle aged couple, leaving a dinner party with some business associates, passed by a small, shabby apartment and stopped to look up at it in surprise and shock. Agonizing cries pierced through the otherwise quiet neighborhood.
”Should we call someone?” the woman asked her husband.
The man shook his head, believing it was yet another example of a relationship of physical abuse. The police would come, but wouldn’t be able to press charges since the woman would be too terrified to tell what her partner had done.
”Let’s go home,” he said. A few minutes after the couple had left the spot outside the apartment, the cry of a baby pierced through the night, announcing the birth of a little girl.
A small lamp on the bedside table beside the one-sized bed, illuminated the room in a warm light. The covers of the bed was in disarray, smeared with blood and maternal fluids. In the large bed laid a thin figure. Her skin was glittering with sweat and her breathing was still labored from what her body had been put through. In her arms lay a little bundle, wrapped up in a small blanket. The young mother looked in awe at the miracle in her arms. She admired the small hands, with the small fingers and the even smaller finger nails. Her fingers traced the soft chubby cheeks. She was perfect. The baby’s crown was covered in black hair, which still had the oily texture of a new-born. One of the infant’s soft cheeks was resting against the swell of her mother’s breast. She was asleep, with the taste of maternal milk still lingering on her small red lips. She was a blessing - a blessing to her mother’s lonesome existence on the run.
Roswell, New Mexico - 2003
”Anything?” the young man asked.
The man with the sheriff star on his chest shook his head, sympathy in his heart as the young man sank down onto the coach. He looked completely lost, like he had lost his home - all over again.
”I’m sorry, Max. We can’t find any trace of her. Either she’s held in captivity or she doesn’t want to be found.”
Max rubbed his forehead, trying to think of something else they could do, somewhere else they could search. They were missing something - they had to. She was still alive. Since the pain in his abdomen two years ago had reached a climax and then abruptly ended he could merely sense her presence like a small fluttering in the back of his head. But for some reason he couldn’t reach her. It was as if it was an one-way connection. She was either blocking him or she wasn’t aware that he was there. He realized that she had always been there, even when he thought she was dead. He had been too consumed with grief to notice.
”Have you search all the hospitals?” Max asked.
”Yes, we did it two years ago,” Sheriff Valenti said and sighed tiredly.
”But you have searched them after that too, right?” Max asked.
”Max, it’s no use. She can be in Russia for all we know.”
”No, she’s close by.” His voice was determined. He knew that everyone had given up. They had already one year ago started to question how much of what Max claimed he felt through a connection they didn’t know anything about was true. Now they had just gone back to believing the common lie that Liz Parker was dead. Nowadays they felt sorry for Max because he couldn’t let go off her. Max knew all that, but he also knew what his heart told him and the connection he had experienced with Liz had never been wrong before. She was alive - and he was going to find her. Even if he died searching!