Disclaimer: I own nothing, got it?
Summary: This is a sequel to Zombie and The Easy Kill. Isabel and Alex have established themselves in a relationship, but new events test the strength of their newfound bond.
Strange arts decorated a young woman’s bedroom, with low lights and earthy colors, and the only sounds that could be heard were her huddled sobs as she rocked to and fro on top of her bed. Isabel could not stifle the cautionary emotions that she’d pent up in the last twenty-four hours. Her brother was at the other side of the country, with their New York look-a-likes and God knows what else, and here she was, bawling her eyes out after a horrid Thanksgiving feast where all her parents could do was interrogate her on Max’s whereabouts and his little ‘camping trip.’
She brought her arms up and wiped her tears using her forearm and hugged herself once again. She had spoken to Max two hours previously and could not muster a coherent answer for his demanding questions on going home. Even now she could not stop her cries long enough to ponder it. Upon hanging up the phone, it had dawned on her that Lonnie had used her abilities to manipulate Max, and the only person who could answer her dire inquiries was Ava.
Michael had already been at the Crashdown when she called, and as soon as she put the phone back onto its cradle she grabbed the keys to the Jeep and sped out of the driveway. She awkwardly parked and then stomped inside and instantly began hounding Tess’ counterpart on why Lonnie would impersonate her. Liz intervened before Isabel or Michael was tempted to do a bit of molecular manipulating to Ava’s person.
Ava hadn’t flinched in the least when Isabel practically threatened her, but eventually she was able to calm down long enough to listen to Liz, and then she went to speak to Ava in private. Isabel and Michael were both angry and tired and ready to do something drastic if no results were to come from this encounter. When an exasperated response came from Liz, the two of them looked up and saw that Liz was trailing behind Ava, and Ava took a chair from one of the tables and set it at the booth Isabel sat at.
Before sitting, Liz suggested that Isabel attempt to dreamwalk Max, but not without protest from her. When Max was drugged in the White Room, Isabel was able to access his subconscious, but to do so halfway across the continent without any mental hindrance on the person through which contact was needed, Isabel had no idea what was possible and if she could even make him hear her. She tried a few times before hitting her hand against the table and shouting in utter frustration. There was no way she’d be able to reach him, especially if he refused to listen.
Once settled down, Isabel, Michael and Liz were informed that Liz was the key to Max, not that it surprised Isabel, but it didn’t necessarily make her happy. Ava instructed that by-way of Isabel that Liz could connect to Max and warn him of his impending death, and when Isabel took Liz’s hands, though Isabel couldn’t see what was happening, she could feel her powers transferring through Liz to her brother. When they came to, Max had just missed a chained balcony falling on top of him.
Isabel’s stomach rumbled irritably now, realizing that not even Thanksgiving could improve her mother’s cooking and that she wanted real food, whether that meant cereal or her scrounging something up herself. Before she reached her door, her cell phone rang and she picked it up, wondering who would call so late. When she saw the screen blink Alex, she pushed the green phone on the keypad and said, “Hey,” still a bit nasally from crying.
“Hey, I got a call from Liz earlier. Are you all right? You sound like you’ve been crying,” he commented into the receiver, his tone sensitive and concerned.
“I’m fine, Alex. I’m just worried about Max and Tess. I haven’t heard from him since he called earlier, and learning that Lonnie and Rath are homicidal maniacs doesn’t exactly help to alleviate that,” her throat was growing dry once again and her eyes began to well with unshed tears. “God, I don’t want to start crying again.” She paused then added, ”I hate it.”
“Need some comfort? My Dad’s asleep and Mom’s at work. So it’s not like I’d get in trouble since you’re distraught right now.”
She could hear him shuffling in the background, knowing that he’d probably come over anyway, just to make sure that she was okay. “Could you?”
“Yeah, I’ll be there in ten. Do you want anything? Pint of Ben & Jerry’s or some obscure magazine I have never heard of or even want to read?” he asked, and she knew he was smiling by the tone of his voice.
“Strawberry kiwi swirl sorbet,” she supplied without preamble, “please. If they don’t have it, then Brownie Batter works just as well.” Before he could hang up, she caught him and added, “Oh, and thank you.”
“No problem. Anything for my girl,” he said, then ended their call and took his car keys from the key rack and headed out the door.
Isabel had called Alex back right after they’d hung up with each other to tell him to gently knock on her window so not to wake her parents, and as he moved around the house, he briefly hoped that her neighbors were not up and watching, so that they wouldn’t think he was a robber. Once he knocked, he ran back around the side of the house to the front door, where Isabel opened it and pulled him inside and she pecked him on his cheek and took the grocery bag from him. She pointed to the couch for him to sit and she went into the kitchen to grab spoons, since he had bought a pint for himself.
“I always had a feeling you were a sorbet girl,” he said, digging into his pint of Dublin Mudslide, savoring the taste. “It’s been a while since I’ve had ice cream. Mom’s a health food nut, and she only ever buys ice cream that has practically no taste at all because it’s healthy.”
Isabel nodded. “My mother would love for us to switch to a healthy eating regime in this house, but it ain’t gonna happen. Not as long as dad has a say in it. He says he isn’t changing ‘til the food betrays him.” Alex laughed.
He watched her roll her eyes and twist her spoon around a bit before bringing the spoon to her mouth. She closed her eyes and let it melt in her mouth. They sat in comfortable silence for the next few minutes before he spoke, “So are you all right?”
“I’ll be all right once I know that Max and Tess are safe at home, in Roswell,” she stated simply. “You know,” she observed him; “you can make yourself at home. Kick off your shoes and relax.”
For a moment he contemplated the thought of relaxing and did as she said, making sure there was nothing of importance on the coffee table and lifted his socked feet up and crossed his ankles. “Better,” he said, feeling a bit more comfortable.
She shoveled another half spoon of sorbet into her mouth. “Oh, this is so good. I’ve been craving this since yesterday.”
Though he and Isabel for the last few weeks had been spending copious amounts of time together, hardly any of it was spent at her house. They were currently keeping their relationship low profile, and the fact that she had a sibling and parents who came in and out of the house frequently; it was automatically his house they would spend most of their time at. Sometimes though, they would venture to the movie theatre, the swap market, or a decent eatery to go on dates. There was one close encounter when they had seen Kyle and Tess come into the movie which they sat. Luckily, Isabel and Alex had seated themselves at the back while Tess and Kyle opted for seats more in the middle of the theatre. Afterward, they had entertained the idea that they weren’t the only ones keeping “low profile”.
“Anyway,” Isabel started, “I really don’t want to spend my time moping about my brother and Tess. Do you want to watch a movie?” She put her sorbet on the end table and stood up and wandered over to the entertainment center. “I assume chick flicks are out of the question?”
“If it’s not too much to ask,” he said guiltily, but he never really saw Isabel as a chick flick type of girl. Really, he didn’t know if there was really any type that he could place Isabel into, except a girl that he cared for and hoped their relationship would continue to prosper.
Isabel thumbed through the movies and picked one out and showed him. “Considering my mood, there’s not much to offer. How about we just surf the channels and see if there’s anything remotely good on besides crappy infomercials?”
“That works for me as well,” he shrugged his shoulders, just happy that he could be there for her. “I’m not picky.”
“Good,” she said, sitting once again.
Isabel scooted close to him and let him wrap an arm around her shoulder. She grabbed the remote for the TV from the arm of the couch next to Alex, and pointed it at the set then turned it on, and she flipped through the channels at a speed where they could preview what was on and either pass or watch. She went through the lineup a few times before they finally agreed on a rerun of “Whose Line is it Anyway?”.
Whilst they watched, Alex couldn’t help but notice that Isabel seemed unusually stoical, as though something else might have been bugging her besides their friends’ safety. He tapped her shoulder, to which she lifted her head from where it lay on his chest and gazed into his eyes. The sadness in her eyes was undeniable, but something deep down was telling him there was more to it than what she was telling.
He asked, “Is there something else bothering you, Iz? I mean you have been a bit more closed off than usual lately, even before Max’s departure. What’s up?”
“I don’t want to talk about it,” she said simply, reaching to grab her sorbet from the end table. When she noticed that he had not stopped staring, she pulled away from him and sat at the other side of the couch once again. “I’ve all ready told you.”
He boldly responded, “I know that you’re worried about your brother, but you’re not being completely honest. Your eyes are telling a completely different story, because you look exhausted and like you haven’t slept, and that can’t all be from crying.”
Isabel gazed at him intensely for a moment, wanting nothing more than for him to shut up and not make anymore assumptions. Angrily she said, “Alex, please, I told you that I don’t want to talk about it. So drop it!” Her jaw clenched when he started to speak again, but he then surrendered and proceeded to watch the television. They sat in silence until she finally decided to head to bed and he left.
When Isabel had cleaned up, brushed her teeth, and put on her pajamas, she folded the covers down and lowered herself onto her bed. Her worry for brother and Tess had diminished and was replaced by her anger at the slight argument her and Alex had earlier. He could be persistent sometimes when it came to her feelings, always trying to get her to open up to him, though she had been more so lately since they had declared themselves in a relationship. Tonight, though, she wasn’t quite sure why she had snapped at him, but her frustration with things had been building for the last couple days. Max had certainly not helped with his phone call from earlier or her confrontation with Ava.
Sighing, Isabel lied down and turned out her light, her mind in overdrive. When she turned over onto her stomach, she winced as she the pressure of the mattress on her breasts, having been experiencing a bit of soreness for the last couple days, realizing it was probably from her and Alex’s little escapade in the Eraser Room four days previously.