BOOK 10 MAJESTY'S MORASS
(WHAT HAPPENS NOW, MAX?)



~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


PART 13


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


(Saturday, March 3rd, 2002)
(Hale's House)

Hale opened his front door to admit Isabel and took her hand, pulling her into a quick kiss. "Not that I'm complaining but isn't this the group bonding night?" he asked. "Before I knew the truth, I thought that you wanting to get away from the group was just you being independent, but now it's like you're going against a Royal command or something. Won't your brother, the King, be mad that you're with me?"

Isabel shook her head. "Max isn't like that. He's the leader, we all acknowledge that, but he was the leader even before we knew who we were, so it's not like anything really changed. And Max and Michael have always tried to tell me how to live my life, but it's better when Liz is with Max. She understands I need to live my own life and she isn't afraid to stand up to Max and Michael, so she acts like a buffer between us."

Hale smiled, "And why are we here, instead of with the others?"

Isabel shrugged, "Max wants to step up the training schedule. I just wanted to spend some time with you alone and not have to be mixed up with the whole alien conspiracy for a while. It's nice to have a normal life sometimes."

"Aren't you afraid we'll be attacked again?" Hale asked. "That's why Max wanted to stay in and just have a quiet video night. Isn't it? Safety in numbers."

Isabel shook her head, "I feel perfectly safe with you. But even more important, I don't have to worry about you. I was really impressed with how you handled yourself against the skin soldiers. You didn't know what they were and you jumped right into the fight." She reached up to touch his face. "We make a good team."

Hale nodded and slowly lowered his mouth to hers, "I agree."


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


(The Evans House)

Max and Liz stood together in the back of the room, watching their friends. Alex, Sean, Ryan and Kyle were heckling the movie and Michael and Maria cuddled together in a nearby chair.

"I'm glad Michael didn't insist on Braveheart for once," Liz said.

"Yeah," Max agreed. "There's been enough killing lately." He fidgeted, a sound outside drawing his attention.

Liz placed her hand on his, "It's okay, Max. We're all safe."

Max calmed instantly at Liz's touch and nodded, "I know. I'm just worried about Isabel."

"She'll be fine," Liz assured him. "She needs some time alone."

"And you don't feel weird at all?" Max asked. "No upset stomach, or dreams, or visions?"

"Everything is fine."

"But you felt ill the night of the attack?"

Liz nodded. "Kind of, but nothing like the day of the accident, or when John attacked us. I thought it was just nerves about talking to your parents."

Max sighed, "How do people do this? I second guess every decision I make and I'm worried about how I'm going to protect all of you."

Liz took his hand, entwining their fingers and leaned into him. "Max, I think you were right deciding to stay in Roswell even after this attack. This is where we have allies, this is home. As for how other people cope, I don't know. But I do know the only thing we can do is just live one moment at a time."

Max wrapped his arms around Liz and laid his head atop hers. "I'm just glad you're here to help me through all of this. I'm not sure I could do it without you."

"Of course you could," Liz said, "but I'm glad I'm here too. No matter what happens, there's no where else I'd rather be."


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


(Friday, March 29th, 2002)
(The Evans House - Isabel's Room)

Isabel awoke from the dream with a gasp, glad to find herself in her own bed. The dreams had started right after the attack, and each night they were worse.

The disjointed images and intense feelings of the dreams were growing stronger each night and she was really frightened about what they might reveal. She feared they were memories of her other life trying to break free and she didn't want to have to face the truth of what happened.

She hadn't told anyone about the dreams, preferring to just pretend it wasn't happening. And instead, she had turned to Hale, spending every free moment with him. When they were together, she felt like she belonged. She didn't feel alien.


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


(Saturday, March 30th, 2002)
(New York, NY)

Ava sat on a bench in the abandoned subway station that had once been Zan's special place and gazed longingly at the rainbows created on the ceiling by the light reflecting through the colored glass. It had been more than a year since Zan had been betrayed and murdered by his best friend and his sister, while she had stood by and watched. At one time Ava had thought she would get over the guilt eventually, but now she feared she never would.

After leaving Roswell, Ava had moved around a lot. At first, she had been afraid to go back to New York fearing what Rath and Lonni would do to her, so she had gone to the opposite coast, attempting to set up a new life. She had spent time in several cities in California, working her way up the coast; San Diego, L.A., Carmel, San Francisco, Sacramento, but none of them had seemed like home.

Eventually she had caught a bus to Seattle. The climate there was more to her liking but she just didn't feel like she belonged. Something seemed to be calling her back to New York and finally she put her fears aside and went home.

That had been two months ago.

It had taken her an entire week to gather enough courage to attempt visiting her old underground home. She had carefully disguised herself, knowing Rath and Lonni could penetrate her mind warps, and made her way down into the unused tunnels. But all of her worrying had been for nothing. When she arrived, she quickly found that Lonni and Rath had obviously not been there in months. Almost everything was where she remembered, but there was a thick coating of dust on all the surfaces. The only things that were missing were some of Lonni and Rath's possessions. They had obviously moved on.

Perhaps they were afraid of what Max and the others might do to them and had found a new place to live, Ava speculated. But she really didn't believe it. She was afraid Lonni and Rath were up to something else and she didn't want to be around when they returned.

Ava had packed up a few belongings and moved into Zan's subway station that night. She thought being back in New York was what she needed but it only reminded of her of everything she'd lost. She had still been unable to go to where Lonni and Rath had sealed Cuerena's body in the wall, and she couldn't even go within blocks of where Zan was buried in the alley.

She knew now it wasn't the city she had been missing, but her family. She would never have them again, but she did have a friend of sorts. Liz had treated her better than most people in her life, even her family. The cornball human had been kind and sympathetic and had even stood up against her alien friends to protect her. Liz was a real friend.

Liz had also invited her to stay in Roswell, and maybe, Ava thought, that was just what she needed.


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


(The Quarry)

Liz could still feel Max's anger, even though he had been destroying rocks with his shield for more than an hour. Isabel hadn't come to the practice session that morning and when Max had called her to make sure she was okay, Isabel had cavalierly blown the whole thing off, saying she and Hale had made plans.

She'd told Max she was sick of practice and she just wanted to have a normal day with her normal boyfriend.

When she'd hung up, Max had been so stunned, he'd simply stared at the phone for a moment. But then the anger had started.

Liz thought he would get over it, so she'd let him stew but now she knew it was time to intervene. She walked up behind him and placed a gentle hand on his arm. "Max."

At Liz's touch, Max felt the anger drain from him and he turned to her. Without a word, he allowed her to take his hand and lead him to the rocks, where he took a seat next to her.

"You have to let this go Max," Liz said softly. "Isabel is hurting and trying to find out where she belongs, and you have to let her. You're not losing her."

Max shook his head, "I'm just so worried about her. If anything happened . . ."

"I know," Liz sympathized, "but you can't protect everyone all the time. She and Hale have to have some time alone to figure out how they fit into each other's lives. Isabel has to make her own choices, her own life."

Max took Liz's hand in his, "I just hope her choice includes us."


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


(Sunday, April 7th, 2002)
(Crashdown Cafe)

The whole gang, minus Hale and Isabel, was gathered at the Crashdown eating. The mood was somewhat subdued but there was a continuing, lively discussion about the movie they had seen earlier.

Alex shook his head, "They can't expect us to believe a guy can jump that far. It just isn't possible."

"Why do you have to nitpick every little detail?" Sean asked. "So the guy's an Olympic jumper. It's only a movie."

"Yeah, Alex argued, "but they expect us to believe it. The story is supposed to be set in the real world."

"It's dramatic exaggeration," Michael argued, "to reinforce in our minds that the guy really is a hero."

Max and Liz looked at each other with barely contained smiles and broke out laughing.

Michael turned to them, "What?"

The sound of the bell above the door saved them from answering.

The whole gang automatically looked to the door at the person who had just stepped inside.

Michael and Max jumped to their feet immediately with outstretched hands.

"Tess," Max hissed. "What are you doing here?"

Liz jumped up and rushed past them, standing between them and their target. She held up a hand, "Wait, this isn't Tess, she's Ava."

Max looked at the blonde girl carefully. There were no piercings or tattoos visible and she simply wore a black tank top and jeans. Her hair was longer than he remembered Ava's to be, and it was a plain blonde instead of the streaks she had worn before. But the more he studied her, the more he was convinced Liz was right. There was a haunted look visible in her eyes that Tess had never possessed.

Ava spoke softly, "I guess Tess ain't too popular around here. So what'd she do?"

Liz turned to her, "That's a long story, but there's someone here you know." She motioned for Serena to come forward.

Serena changed to the form she had worn in New York.

Ava gasped, "Serena." She ran to her, throwing her arms around the shape shifter. "I thought you were dead."

Liz turned to look at Max and he nodded. "Ava, you called her Serena."

Serena spoke, "It was her childhood name for me. When she was little, she couldn't pronounce my real name and I allowed her to call me Serena."

Max and Liz looked at one another, more convinced than ever Liz was right about Cuerena being the Serena future Max had spoken of.

Liz turned back to Ava, "Can I get you something to eat? Then you can tell us what you've been up to all these months."

"A burger and fries would be great," Ava said.

"Burger and fries coming up," Michael said, heading toward the kitchen.

Introductions were made and while the food cooked and Ava ate, she told them of her travels and eventual return to New York, and her decision to come to Roswell.

After she finished, Max, Liz and Michael told her how Tess had helped Lonni and Rath use Alex to get the translation and about Tess' pregnancy and departure with the Granolith.

Ava nodded, "I can see why Tess isn't so popular. But why would she betray you?"

Liz continued the story with Alex's return, Serena's arrival and the recent attacks, skipping any mention of Rath's involvement.

"Man," Ava said, overwhelmed, "I go away for a few months and the whole world changes."

Liz looked at Max and then back at Ava. "There is one other thing we found out, Ava."

Ava looked at her expectantly and Liz started slowly, "Um, do you remember much about your other life, on Antar?"

Confusion creased Ava's brow but she shook her head, "No, I only have a few vague images."

Liz nodded. "Ava we found out that . . ." Liz broke off as tears filled her eyes.

Max could feel Liz's sorrow and regret. Liz didn't want to have to tell Ava the truth because she knew it would hurt her and he took over. "There's no easy way to say this Ava, but you aren't who you thought."

Ava's confusion returned, "What do you mean?"

"On Antar you weren't Ava," Max said softly. "Your name was Chanya and you were sent in Ava's place."

Ava shook her head as a thousand thoughts ran through her mind.

"I've been in touch with a friend from our planet," Max continued, "he can see auras, and he told us that Ava's soul was reincarnated into Liz."

Ava turned to Liz, with tears welling in her eyes. "That's why Zan never loved me, somehow he knew I wasn't his wife. He was in love with someone else." He tears started to run down her cheeks. "Sometimes at night I could hear him talking to her in his dreams. He called her beloved." Her voice dropped to a whisper, "He was waiting for you."

Tears spilled down Liz's cheeks. "I'm so sorry, Ava."

Ava shook her head. "That's not my name. I don't have any right to it." She rose from her chair, quickly gathering her things. "I'll leave. I don't belong here."

Liz rushed after her, stopping her at the door. "No Ava," she said, deliberately using the other girl's name. "You belong here because you're part of this, and you're my friend. We want you to stay."

"But I've been living a lie my whole life," Ava argued.

"You didn't know that," Liz said softly. "You were just a victim of circumstance. Please stay."

Max came up behind Liz and placed a hand on her shoulder. "Please stay, Ava. We really want you to. You're a part of this family too."

Ava wiped the tears from her face and nodded with a small smile. "Okay."


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


It was decided that Ava would live with Serena at the Harding house and everyone welcomed her into their lives.

Kyle welcomed her with the rest of the gang, but inside he felt his heart jump. He really did have a thing for petite blondes.


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


(Tuesday, April 9th, 2002)
(The Whitman House)

Maria started to braid Liz's hair while Alex strummed his guitar.

"So are you going to get the band back together?" Maria asked.

Alex shrugged, "I don't know. Maybe."

"Oh come on Alex, it's like you said before, chicks dig musicians," Maria laughed.

Alex winced, "You heard that, huh?"

"Yeah," Maria said.

"Well, it's not like I need any more chicks hanging around," he said. "I've got two beautiful women sitting on my bed right now."

Liz smiled and took his hand. "But not the one you want."

Alex shrugged, "Yeah, well that's completely over and I accept it. There's no chance Isabel is going to leave Hale for me."

"She's a fool," Maria said.

Alex nodded, "Yeah, who would want a nice and handsome guy with a lot of money. It's disgusting." He shook his head, "I already promised myself I'm not going to think of Isabel that way. We're just friends now. When I first got back, she came over almost every day and helped me catch up with my school work."

"And now?" Liz asked, fearing she knew the answer.

"Well, since the attack, she hasn't come near me," Alex admitted, "but I'm sure she's just busy."

"Yeah," Maria said sarcastically. "She's busy with Hale. Come on Alex, you've got to snap out of this. There are plenty of great girls at school who would love for you to ask them out."

Alex smiled. "You're right, my return from the dead has made me quite popular." He shrugged, "I'll think about it."

"There's no rush," Liz said, giving Maria an exasperated look. "You'll move on when you're ready."

"Okay," Maria said. "But back to the band. I have some great ideas for new songs."


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


(Friday, April 12th, 2002)
(The Valenti House)

Jim looked up as Kyle came in the door. "You're home early. It isn't even ten o'clock."

Kyle shrugged, "I guess I'm just tired."

Jim nodded, "It wouldn't have anything to do with Ava being there?"

Kyle sank down onto the sofa. "How did you know?"

"Well you were in love with Tess. It can't be easy to have her twin here."

Kyle nodded, "They're so different, but so similar too. I can see things I loved about Tess in Ava."

"And you're starting to develop feelings for Ava."

"It's really complicated though," Kyle said. "Sometimes I don't know if my feelings are left over from Tess or if they're for Ava."

Jim nodded, "Love is never easy."


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


(Saturday, April 13th, 2002)
(The Deluca House)

Michael carefully wrapped a vase in newspaper and placed it in a box.

Amy came out of her bedroom carrying a load of boxes and Michael rushed forward to help. He took the boxes from her and set them on the table.

"Thanks for coming to help with the last of the packing," Amy said. "Now that the additions to Jim's house are finished, we'll finally be living under one roof."

Michael shrugged, "No problem."

Amy studied him for a moment as he continued to pack. "Michael, can I ask you something?"

"Sure," he said distractedly, putting another vase in the box.

"You had a chance to go back to your planet, to go home, but you decided to stay here because of Maria?"

Michael stopped and turned to her with a smile. "Yeah."

"But it might have been your only chance to see your planet, your real family," Amy argued.

Michael shrugged, "But I didn't remember any of that and I figured what if I got there and it was nothing like I'd imaged and I'd screwed-up my only chance to be happy." He shook his head, "I knew what I had here and I didn't want to risk losing that."

Amy smiled, "Well Michael, I don't think it's a secret I didn't like you at first because I thought you were trouble."

Michael nodded.

Amy continued, "And I'm glad I know the truth. I'd hate to still think badly of you."

Michael smiled, "I'm glad you know too."


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


(Friday, April 19th, 2002)
(Chavez Community College)

Hale and Isabel placed their final project on the corner of the instructor's desk and walked out into the hall. Hale picked up Isabel and spun them around. "Woooooo hoooooo! School's out for the summer and you and I can spend every minute of it together."

He put her back on her feet. "So what do you want to do first? A trip to California? Mexico? Europe?" He grinned and leaned in closer, "Saturn?"

Isabel laughed, "All of those sound great."

Hale pulled her close, "Anything you want is yours."

Isabel smiled, "All I want is to be with you."


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


(Saturday, April 20th, 2002)
(The Evans House)

With a smile, Liz started setting the picnic table as she watched Sean and Michael arguing over the best way to use the grill.

She turned to see Kyle and Ava sitting in the shade under a tree in the corner of the yard, whispering and giggling. It was nice to see the two of them having a good time, they had both been so badly hurt.

Isabel, Maria, Max and Alex were playing volleyball while Ryan helped Serena keep watch.

Hale came out of the house carrying a cooler full of drinks and placed it on the ground. He motioned to the table. "Need some help?"

"No, it's fine," Liz said. "You could join the game."

Hale shrugged and took a seat. "I'm a little sore from working out the other day."

"If it's that bad Max could have a look at it," Liz suggested.

Hale nodded, "That's right, I keep forgetting Max is a healer."

"That's what started this whole thing," Liz said, "when Max healed me."

"And that's why you are getting powers, because Max made you part alien," Hale said.

Liz nodded. "He didn't even know he was doing it. It's just one of the aftereffects of the healing."

"So before that Larek guy told you who you used to be, you didn't have any idea?" Hale asked.

Liz shook her head, "Ava told me that Max had changed me when he'd healed me, and I thought that meant I was becoming part alien but I didn't even suspect I had lived another life."

"Do you remember anything about being an alien Queen?" Hale asked.

"No," Liz said, "I don't remember anything. Max has a few memories. He remembers us meeting for the first time and he showed me the memory. It seemed familiar, but it doesn't mean anything to me."

"Are you even sure your memories are still there?" Hale asked. "Maybe they didn't get reincarnated with you."

Liz shrugged, "Serena thinks they probably did, but I guess we won't know for sure unless I get a memory."

Hale leaned forward. "But you have the same powers?"

"I have gotten a few prophetic dreams and we know I had that power in my other life, but we don't know about anything else. No one remembers, and Serena didn't know what powers we had."

"But surely you're in contact with someone on the planet who could tell you?" Hale asked.

Liz shook her head, "We're really not. The communication orbs are dangerous to use because our enemies can track the signals and we don't want to risk leading our enemies to our families and friends on Antar. A few times when we were desperate, we contacted Larek but none of us thinks it fair to use Brody like that."

Hale nodded, "I guess you're right, but aren't you curious about what happened, about your life, your family?"

"Sure," Liz said with a smile. "It's okay though. We're not in any hurry and eventually the memories will come back. We just have to be patient."


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


(Wednesday, April 24th, 2002)
(Crashdown Cafe)

Max entered the cafe and crossed to meet Liz, who greeted him with a kiss.

"The usual?" she asked.

Max nodded and slid into a booth with Kyle. "I hear you're not going to the Prom?"

Kyle shook his head, "I wouldn't even know who to take."

"What about Ava?" Max suggested. "I thought you two were getting close."

Kyle shrugged, "I'm kind of Promed-out."

"Yeah," Max said sympathetically. "I guess you wouldn't consider going with Serena. There'd be no pressure that way."

Kyle was horrified. "What, on like a pity date?"

"No," Max assured him. "Like on assignment. Hale and Isabel aren't going, so I want Serena there for extra protection, but she can't show up stag, it's a semi-formal."

Kyle smiled. "I appreciate the gesture Max, but we both know I'm next to useless in a real fight."

Max shook his head. "You're doing great at learning to control your powers and I trust you with my life."

"Thanks, but I think you'd be better off with Ryan." Kyle shrugged, "I just don't think I'm up for it."


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


(Friday, April 26th, 2002)
(Roswell Reception Center Ballroom)
(The Senior Prom)

Max and Liz stopped just inside the doors and Max squeezed her hand. "Here we are, the Senior Prom. I just can't believe it's all gone by so quickly."

"I can't either," Liz agreed. "But it does mean that we are one step closer to really being together; living our lives together, never being separated."

Max led them to a near-by table. "I want that more than anything Liz, but I don't want you to feel you have to sacrifice your life for me. You've already given up going to Harvard or anywhere out of state for college."

"Max," Liz protested, "Serena can teach me more about chemistry and biology than I could ever learn at Harvard or anywhere else. College is just so unimportant, I don't even feel like I'm making a choice. As far as I'm concerned there is no choice. You think we should stay in Roswell and I want to be with you. Everything else comes a very distance second. And now that my parents understand, it makes staying here easier, but even if everyone was completely against us, I'd do anything to be with you. I'd follow you to hell and back."

Max smiled, "You amaze me every day, Liz Parker."


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


(The Valenti house)

Kyle answered the door and was surprised to see Ava. "What are you doing here?"

Ava shrugged. "I was bored since everyone else is at the dance, so I thought maybe we could watch a movie together." She motioned to her bag. "I stopped by the video store and picked up a few."

Kyle smiled and stepped aside to allow her to enter. "That sounds great. What've you got?"

Ava sank down onto the sofa and pulled the DVDs out of her bag. "Friday the 13th - the original, House on Haunted Hill - the remake, Thirteen Ghosts - the remake, Evil Dead, and Aliens."

Kyle raised his eyebrows at the last title.

Ava shrugged. "It's still a good movie."

Kyle smiled and they both started laughing.

"I'm glad you came," Kyle said. "And you brought horror movies," he said with a dramatic sigh. "A girl after my own heart."

"Maybe." Ava smiled and suddenly closed the distance between them, pressing her lips to his, and just as suddenly sat back blushing.

The whole thing happened so quickly Kyle was shocked. "Could we try that again? he asked. "A little slower?"

Ava nodded. "I'd like that."


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


Liz smiled contentedly as she and Max swayed to the closing notes of the song. It had been a great night, better than she ever could have dreamed. "It's been a wonderful evening, Max."

Max leaned down and whispered into her ear, "It's not over yet. There's one more song. I requested it because it says everything I feel for you."

The DJ spoke into the mic, "This will be the last song of the evening and I have a special request. Max Evans asked that I dedicate this song to a very special girl, Liz Parker. So Max and Liz, here is your song."

Max enfolded Liz into his arms as the song started and they swayed in time to the soft strains of the music.



find me here and speak to me
I want to feel you, I need to hear you
you are the light that's leading me
to the place where I find peace
again

you are the strength that keeps me walking
you are the hope that keeps me trusting
you are the life to my soul
you are my purpose
you're everything

and how can I stand here with you and not be moved by you
would you tell me how could it be any better than this

you calm the storms and you give me rest
you hold me in your hands, you won't let me fall
you still my heart and you take my breath away
would you take me in
take me deeper now

and how can I stand here with you and not be moved by you
would you tell me how could it be any better than this
and how can I stand here with you and not be moved by you
would you tell me how could it be any better than this

'cause you're all I want, you're all I need, you're everything, everything
you're all I want, you're all I need, you're everything, everything
you're all I want, you're all I need, you're everything, everything
you're all I want, you're all I need, everything, everything

and how can I stand here with you and not be moved by you
would you tell me how could it be any better than this
and how can I stand here with you and not be moved by you
would you tell me how could it be any better than this
would you tell me how could it be any better than this




Liz had tears in her eyes as the song ended. "I love you so much, Max."

Max kissed her gently. "You are everything to me."

Their lips met for another kiss and it quickly deepened, causing the connection between them to slide into place. Max experienced the familiar rush of images from Liz, before one of her thoughts separated itself from the others. Max saw Liz's fantasy of them together, bodies entwined, and the intensity of the emotions made him gasp.

He gently tried to extricate himself from her arms but she held him firmly. "Liz," he started, but she cut him off.

"Max, I know we both said we'd wait for the right time, and I think we both know I'm the one holding us back."

Max shook his head, "That's not true, Liz. It wouldn't be right for either of us until you're ready."

Liz took his face in her hands. "I'm ready Max and I want it to be tonight." Liz smiled, "It seems like my whole life I've been waiting for this Max, for you, and I don't want to wait any more."

"We can't," Max said. "I want it to be perfect for you. I haven't made any plans, haven't prepared anything."

"That's why it will be perfect," Liz said softly. She took his hand and led him to the door.


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


Michael led Maria out into the garden to a bench overlooking a pond. He fidgeted with his cufflink as he tried to remember the words he'd rehearsed.

"Um, Maria, I've been thinking, with Max and Liz probably getting married soon, maybe I should get a new place."

Maria's brow creased. "What do Max and Liz have to do with you getting a new place."

Michael shook his head. "They don't, well they do . . ." he trailed off. "Have you ever thought of getting a place of your own, not with your mother?"

"Well sure," Maria admitted. "But we just moved in with the Valenti's and I can't really afford a place of my own."

Michael scratched at his eyebrow. "I'm saying this all wrong. I had it all planned out but I can't remember any of it." He took her hand in his. "What I'm trying to say is, after we graduate, I want you to move in with me. We could get a new place together."

"Really Michael?" Maria asked.

Michael smiled and nodded, "Yeah really."

Maria squealed and threw her arms around his neck.


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


(The Evans House)

Max opened the door to his house and led Liz inside. "My parents are out of town and Isabel is out with Hale."

Liz nodded but remained silent.

"Are you sure you want to do this?" Max asked. "It's only a month until graduation and I was planning to propose . . ."

Liz cut him off pressing her lips to his for a quick kiss. "I don't want to wait Max. I've never been more sure of anything in my life."

Max nodded and they walked hand-in-hand to his room. He closed the door behind them and flipped on the radio. Turning back to Liz, he smiled as he took her in his arms. "Have I told you today how much I love you?"

Liz nodded, "You tell me every day in a thousand ways."

Their lips met in a heated kiss as a new song started.



Listen as the wind blows
from across the great divide
voices trapped in yearning,
memories trapped in time
the night is my companion,
and solitude my guide
would I spend forever here and not be satisfied?




Max kissed a trail down Liz's neck and she reveled in the sensations of being with him. She opened the connection wide between them and felt their souls eagerly rush together. There was nothing but the two of them and he filled her senses completely. She could feel Max's emotions and hear his thoughts. They were already one, they had been since the first time Max had connected with her and she knew now, that being physically apart had changed nothing. This night, these feelings and actions were inevitable; they were written in the stars, they always had been.



And I would be the one
to hold you down
kiss you so hard
I'll take your breath
away and after, I'd wipe away
the tears just close your eyes dear




Liz unbuttoned Max's shirt and slid her hands inside across his chest, and Max shivered at the feeling of Liz's hands on his skin.

And Liz gasped, as a rich blue light ignited from beneath Max's skin, at her touch.

Max followed her gaze. Their eyes met and they both smiled and embraced tightly.



Through this world I've stumbled
so many times betrayed
trying to find an honest word
to find the truth enslaved
oh you speak to me in riddles
and you speak to me in rhymes
my body aches to breathe your breath
your words keep me alive




Max found the zipper on Liz's dress and slowly pulled it down, caressing the satiny skin of her back. A soft golden glow followed his hand, as he lowered her dress to the floor.



And I would be the one
to hold you down
kiss you so hard
I'll take your breath away
and after, I'd wipe away the tears
just close your eyes dear




Max swept Liz up into his arms and gently laid her on his bed. He looked down into her face, touching her cheek.

"I love you Max," Liz said, reaching up to him. " I have always loved you."

"I love you more than anything Liz, and I will continue to love you until the end of eternity," Max vowed in return, as he took possession of her lips.



Into this night I wander
it's morning that I dread
another day of knowing of
the path I fear to tread
oh into the sea of waking dreams
I follow without pride
nothing stands between us here
and I won't be denied
I won't be denied

and I would be the one
to hold you down
kiss you so hard
I'll take your breath away
and after, I'd wipe away the tears
just close your eyes...




As the song ended, Max protected the woman he loved, and their bodies united, forging a bond that joined their minds and souls. And they both knew nothing would ever come between them again.


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


(Saturday, April 27th, 2002)

Song Playing: I Feel You by Depeche Mode

The sun coming in through the window woke Max and he opened his eyes. It only took him an instant to remember the glorious night he had spent with Liz in his arms. She was still beside him curled into his side, her head resting on his chest, and his arms still encircled her. He allowed his eyes to roam over her face. She was so beautiful.

He didn't want to wake her but he couldn't help himself and placed a gentle kiss on her forehead. He thought she looked like an angel sleeping beside him.

"If you didn't want to wake me you shouldn't have done that," Liz murmured with a smile, her eyes still closed. She turned and snuggled closer into his chest, opening her eyes. "And there is no way I look like an angel. My hair must be sticking out all over the place."

"It's perfect," Max said, as he ran his fingers through her hair. "You are perfect." He brushed his lips against hers but suddenly drew back with a frown. "How do you know I thought you looked like an angel?"

Liz smiled, "Haven't you noticed? Since we made love, our connection has gotten stronger. I can hear your thoughts even though we didn't consciously open the connection. It seems to be there all the time now."

"Just like future Max told you."

It's like our souls joined together last night, Liz said.

Yeah, Max said. I felt that too. We were perfectly in sync, perfectly complete.

Liz touched his face, speaking through the bond, I can feel everything you're feeling, hear all of your thoughts. Max it's wonderful.

Max nodded, answering her the same way, Me too Liz, I can feel your love. And I can see why the other Max came back before it happened. We never could've given this up.

I wonder how far the connection will stretch, Liz asked.

Max smiled, Always Liz the scientist.

I heard that, she said with mock anger and brushed her lips against his.

Max trapped her head in his hands and deepened the kiss. I could get used to waking up like this.

Me too, Liz gasped, as Max trailed kisses down her throat.

Suddenly he drew back. But I'd better get you home before you parents skin us alive.

He started to get up but Liz reached out to him. Max wait. I told them we'd be out all night.\

And they didn't mind? Max asked incredulously.

It's tradition Max, staying out all night on Prom night.

Oh, Max said as understanding dawned, so they don't know we're . . .

Liz rolled her eyes. Of course not.

Phew, Max teased. For a minute I was picturing your Dad at the end of shotgun on one side, and a minister on the other.

Liz hit him playfully with a pillow and Max trapped her in his arms. But as long as your Dad isn't loading up the buck shot . . . Max let the sentence trail off as he lowered his head, capturing Liz's lips in a kiss.


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


The sound of the Jeep starting, jolted Isabel out of her dream, and realizing she was home, she instantly relaxed.

She'd tried everything she could think of to get rid of the dreams, warm milk, sleeping pills, even dream walking other people but nothing seemed to work. Every day the images seemed to get a little more clear and she was afraid that soon the memories would come crashing through to her consciousness.


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


As Max drove home from Liz's house, he couldn't help but wonder at the difference in the experiences he'd had with Liz and Tess.

With Liz it had been wonderful. The physical sensations were more than he had ever imagined but the emotional bond, the love they shared, made the experience almost spiritual. It was as if not only their bodies had joined, but their hearts, minds and souls. He'd felt complete in a way he'd never imagined existed.

With Tess it had been all physical, almost painfully so. Even at the time, Max had mourned the lack of emotional connection but he hadn't cared enough to stop. He had never fooled himself into thinking he loved Tess, and the bond had not been between them, their encounter had simply been about dulling his pain.

And not only had the emotional experience been different but the physical sensations he'd experienced with Tess were notably different. It had been like some strange dream. He'd felt like he was floating, while bolts of energy shot through him, sometimes pleasurable, but some on the edge of pain. And he'd collapsed afterward, feeling completely drained, like he had run a marathon.

Serena had told him Liz had been healed long enough ago that she was surely a complete hybrid by now, so Max immediately ruled out the human factor. He tried to think back to the night with Tess and sort through what might have been different, but like the other times he had tried to focus on the events of that evening, things just became more fuzzy.

The drumming of his fingers on the steering wheel caught his eye and then suddenly the answer came to him; Tess had used her powers to enhance his experience with her. She'd tried to use the pleasurable experience of sex to bind him more closely to her, but she didn't know what a man experienced and she'd gotten it wrong. It was like she had tried to recreate what someone had told her.

Suddenly Max felt sick and he pulled the Jeep to the side of the road, fearing he would throw up. He stumbled out of the Jeep and fell to his knees but his empty stomach simply dry heaved.

After a moment Max got up and back into his Jeep. He hated keeping anything from Liz, but every time they were together Max carefully shielded from Liz the night he'd spent with Tess. And his new discovery was something, he swore to himself, that Liz never needed to know.


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


(Crashdown Cafe)

"Good morning," Liz called out to Maria as she came down the stairs into the back room of the restaurant.

Maria paused and she studied her friend. Liz was almost glowing. "You and Max bolted from the dance last night without even a goodbye. Okay, what happened girlfriend?"

Liz blushed, "Well, we, um..." she let the sentence trail off.

Maria suddenly brightened, "Liz, you and Max didn't..."

Liz nodded.

"Tell me all about it!"

"Maria," Liz intoned exasperatedly.

"Okay, okay not everything but..." she paused for a moment and then nodded her head, "Yeah, everything."


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


(The Harding House)

Serena opened the door, surprised to see Max and Liz but with a wave of her hand, she motioned them inside. "Come in."

"Um," Max started nervously, "we need to talk to you about something."

"Of course," Serena said, "anything. Have a seat."

Max and Liz took a seat and looked at one another with a smile and then back at Serena.

"The thing is," Max said, "last night Liz and I, um, we, um, made love for the first time and now we have this connection that's there all the time."

Serena gasped, "You have a permanent bond. That's very rare even on our planet."

Max nodded, "We've had a bit of a connection since I healed Liz but we had to be touching to activate it. We suspected that's the reason Liz can project to me longer than anyone else."

"You are undoubtedly right," Serena nodded and suddenly and idea occurred to her. "How much longer can Liz project to you?"

"We've never really tested how long," Max said. "But she doesn't get tired when she projects to me, like she does with everyone else."

Serena leaned forward. "It is said, in rare cases, a couple with a bond can share energy through the connection."

Liz nodded, "That makes sense. I don't get tired because I'm sharing Max's energy."

"When we next go to practice, we should test the theory," Serena suggested.

Liz looked at Serena. "Did we have a bond before, on Antar?"

Serena shook her head, "I don't know. Such things are considered private, and I was not taken into your confidence."

Liz continued, "I was just reminded of that passage in the book." She turned to Max, "Remember, it said something about Zan and Ava didn't need a crystal to use the Granolith. They could connect with it. Maybe that was because they had a bond."

Max nodded, "I remember. The book also said to consult the Granolith in time of turmoil. Does that mean anything to you, Serena?"

"I knew you could communicate with the Granolith directly and I remember the two of you used to spend time together in the Granolith room, but I never knew what you were doing." Serena focused on Liz, "One time you asked me about the nature of the Granolith. I thought it was strange because you had read everything ever written about it."

"And what do you think now?" Liz asked.

"I wonder if you saw something the rest of us missed."


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


TBC







BOOK 10 - MAJESTY'S MORASS
Part 14
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Alpha & Omega
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