Take Me Over (A/T - Mature) Pt. 7 1/30/12 [WIP]

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Take Me Over (A/T - Mature) Pt. 7 1/30/12 [WIP]

Postby Anniepoo98 » Sat Jun 24, 2006 10:00 pm

Title: Take Me Over
Author: Annie
Couples: Alex/Tess
Rating: Mature (a little language, some violence...)
Summary: Post-MITC (ish). Something happened to Tess when she was taken by Nicholas and the dupes in New York. Can someone help her before it is too late for all of them?
Author's Note: I am finally posting my fifthwheeler fic. Yay, happiness, and joy!!! Big thanks to Kath for betaing, Jo for the awesome banner, and Sel for all of the help with the music and just plain ole letting me ramble to you about this idea.
Disclaimer: You know that I don’t own them. If they are from Roswell , then they belong to Melinda Metz, Jason Katims and the rest of the powers that be.


Image



Prologue:


Even in sleep, Tess Harding wasn’t peaceful.

In the past twenty minutes, she’d shifted no less the five times, as if she were searching for a comfort that was just beyond her reach. And for the first time in his life, Max Evans felt sorry for her. Completely and genuinely sorry.

He’d never forget the way she looked when he finally found her in the grimy, chilly abandoned warehouse. Her face had been so pale, the only color being the red the cold air stung into her cheeks. And her eyes, they had been open and utterly blank. For a moment, Max feared that she might be dead. That was how still she’d been. Then, he heard her speak, her voice soft and monotone.

I'm ready to go home now, she whispered. Home to Roswell. With that declaration, the tears came.

Now Max had dealt with his fair share of female tears before. Isabel’s, Liz’s… hell, he’d even comforted Maria a time or two over the past summer during her separation from Michael. None of those times had filled him with the shear panic that seeing Tess crying did.

He’d never seen her truly cry before. Not after Nasedo died, or after Vanessa Whittiker had beaten her. But now, she sobbed as if her heart was breaking, and for all Max knew, it was.

Finally, he managed to settle her down enough so they could get out of there. Hailing a cab, he remembered telling the driver to take them straight to Penn Station.

The rest of the ride was a blur. Max knew the cab driver had tried to talk to him, asking him random questions about this or that. He muttered answers of some sort, anything to keep the guy occupied while he focused on what was really important, like getting him and Tess out of New York as soon as possible.

They’d gotten on the first train pulling out of Penn Station, one that was luckily heading for Philadelphia. From there, they got another cab to the airport. Using his debit card, Max booked them on the next flight heading to New Mexico. Kissing his bank balance goodbye, he was just able to eek out enough to get them there.

However, the freaky part in all of this was Tess. In the cab, she fallen into a sleep so deep Max had to shake her hard just to get her eyes to open once they got to the train station. And in the airport, she’d followed him quietly, like a puppet being led by its strings. Out of everything he’d noticed about Tess over the 9 months or so, she was never one to be led quietly. No, she pushed or shoved, urged or demanded to get her way.

Nope, quiet was not a word that came to Max’s mind when he thought of Tess. Yet, here they were, 30,000 or so feet in the air, and she was asleep again. Only this time, she wasn’t as settled as she had been in the cab. Tess kept shaking her head, or moving her hands in small, jerky motions. And, she was talking, not loudly, but soft murmurs too quiet for Max to make out.

He found himself wondering what dreams filled her mind, hoping that they weren’t nightmares. Max knew what it was like to be haunted by them, and he wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Wanting to ease Tess’s restlessness even the slightest bit, Max took the blanket he had crushed along his side and covered her with it. She muttered something under her breath and shifted before settling once more.

“What did they do to you?” he asked quietly as he brushed away a curl that had fallen over her closed eyes. “Just what did they do?”
Last edited by Anniepoo98 on Wed Nov 28, 2007 9:35 am, edited 8 times in total.

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Postby Anniepoo98 » Wed Jun 28, 2006 9:10 pm

Howdy all~

Thank you so much for the feedback. I'm glad that y'all liked the beginning.

Well, I've got part one with me. I hope you enjoy it!

Annie:)


Part One:


One week later…


Tess’s headache was getting worse.

She tried to ignore it, and the ever-growing unease that it was a sign something worse was wrong with her, but she couldn’t. Too many odd things had happened since she and Max got back from New York.
Over the past week, she’d had a headache hovering just behind her eyes, being just low grade annoyance designed to slowly drive her mad. Occasionally, it grew in intensity, to the point where she thought her skull would split open from the pain. Tess could deal with that. Pain was nothing new.

The blackouts were. Twice so far, she would be doing something normal like cleaning the Valentis’ kitchen. The next thing she knew, an hour had passed and she was out in the backyard, lying down in the grass. Tess was also freaked that she was walking in her sleep. Once, she woke up in the city park.

Part of her wanted to run to Max, to beg him to fix whatever it was that was wrong with her. But that would mean giving him complete access to her head. Tess didn’t think she could take someone messing with her mind right now, even if it was to fix her problem. It was just too soon after… well, after.

So, she was on her own. Again, nothing new. Only this time, Tess didn’t have a clue where to start to fix the problem. To say she was just a tad stressed was an understatement.

She’d spent the last seven days freaking out about what Nicholas had done to her, racking her brain for any clue. Tess just couldn’t remember anything of what happened. One minute, she’d been on the ground with Lonnie and Rath holding her down, Nicholas poised above her. Tess felt the probing edges of the mindrape plunging into her mind, violating her memories. She tried to withdraw into her own head, hoping it might lock her in and him out. The next thing she knew Max was kneeling in front of her, wiping away the tears she was crying.

Max didn’t believe her when she told him she couldn’t remember. He’d started to ask her about it a couple of times now, and each time she said there was nothing she could say, Max’s expression would grow sympathetic and pitying.

Tess hated being on the receiving end of sympathy or pity. Know that he doing so added another layer of reasons why she’d avoided him and the others for the past couple of days. Right now, it was bad enough just dealing with the student population of West Roswell High.

“Who should know enough to keep their damn opinions to themselves,” Tess muttered under her breath as she took a seat in her fifth period history class.

Yes, since she had a mirror back at the Valentis’ house, so she did know what she looked like today. Hell, the past few days. And she knew that glowing adjective in that description would be crap.

Even now, two girls were whispering about her, right behind her back. Actually, whispering was an understatement seeing as how Tess could hear every word as clear as a bell. She even recognized one of the voices. Pam Troy. Never in her life did Tess think she would find common ground with Liz Parker over anything, but she was wrong. They both agreed that Pam was a bitch.

Currently, said bitch was trashing everything about Tess right behind her back, from the clothes she wore to the way she fixed her hair. Frustration welled up inside of Tess, causing the once annoying headache to begin building. Pressure filled her mind, all but squeezed out room for any other thoughts. But she did manage to have one.

Something wasn’t right.

Just as the teacher moved to start class, Tess shot to her feet. “May I have a pass?”

“Miss Harding?”

Tess saw Mrs. Shell form words more than heard them over the ringing that was filling her ears. Barely able to keep back that the whimper that wanted to escape from the pain the pressure in her head was causing, Tess repeated her request, her fist slamming down against her books.

She blindly grabbed the piece of paper the woman held out to her. A moment later, she was streaking out the door, praying that she would make it to restroom at the very least.

Then she was gone.

~~~~
With a groan, Alex shut his computer science book. Even though he’d come out to the nearly vacant quad in order to spend his free period studying, it was just no use. His brain wouldn’t focus on his homework right now, not when there was so much other stuff going on.
Max and Tess had nearly died in New York. Died at the hands of the dupes, who no more than a week ago, had been here in Roswell. And to top it all off, Nicholas had been behind it all.

It was freaky to know that, somehow, he was still alive. Even worse to know that he was out there probably planning another attack on them at this very moment. The thought had the whole group on edge, each of them worried about how, where, and when the new attack would come.

Alex was worried too. No use in denying it. Yet, it wasn’t just the Nicholas threat plaguing his mind. No, there was something else nagging at him. Well, more like someone.

Tess. Over the past week, he’d noticed a change in her. Normally outgoing and outspoken, this whole week she’d been withdrawn, keeping to herself to the point of avoidance. Knowing a bit about what happened in New York, Alex couldn’t help being concerned.

He also couldn’t help this nagging need inside telling him to help her.

With that thought going through his head, Alex looked up. As if thinking about her made Tess appear, he saw her heading in his direction. Alex’s first instinct was to wave her over or possibly go over to her and start a conversation. Anything to let her know he was there if she wanted to talk.

Then he got a good look at her.

The irises of her eyes were completely black, void of emotion as they swept back and forth down the hallway. Her normally smooth gait was jerky and uneven, as if she wasn’t sure of her steps. Still, it wasn’t either of those things that had Alex jumping to his feet, nearly stumbling over them as he tried to get it her. No, that distinction belonged to her hair.

Lately, she’d been wearing it straight so it fell just past her shoulders. However, right in front of his eyes, it was growing longer, curling around into loose ringlets as she walked by him. If someone spotted her with that going on, all hell would break loose.

He had to stop her.

Moving quickly, Alex got beside her, and grabbed a hold of her arm. “Tess, what is wrong with you?”

Her head twisted around slowly to face him, that eerie gaze seemingly looking straight through him. “Erad uoy kaeps meto, namuh?”

She said the words so softly that Alex nearly missed them, not that he could make them out in any case. Taking hold of her other shoulder, he gave her a little shake. “Tess, you have to snap out of this before someone sees you.”

As soon as the words left his mouth, Alex noticed two guys heading in their direction. This is bad, his mind screamed. Very bad.

He wasn’t the only one who noticed the guys. Tess’s gaze moved in their direction, and he would swear her eyes darkened further. “Uoy erad em.” Her voice was nearly a growl as she spoke the words. “Yeth do not evah the right to ghual oy.”

Alex tightened this grip. “I mean it, Tess. Snap out of it.”

Her eyes whipped back to him. “No,” she stated very clearly. As quick as lightening, her hand shot out, aiming for the guys. “Revenge is mine.”

Barely in time, Alex threw both of them forward just as the blast of energy left Tess’s hand. Even as they landed hard on the floor, the light above them exploded, shards of glass raining down.

The next few moments were a bundle of confusion. Shouts rang out down the hall as the two other students dove for cover. Alex managed to cover Tess’s body with his own, protecting her from most of the glass. An annoying burn registered along his arm, but was ignored when more shouts started filling the hallway.

Underneath him, Alex felt Tess jerk. With a groan, she twisted slightly, just enough so he got a good look at her face. Her eyes were their normal blue color, dark smudges underneath, which only made her light complexion seem that much more pale.

Their gazes met, and Tess opened her mouth to speak. “What happened?” was all she managed before her eyes rolled back and she passed out.

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Postby Anniepoo98 » Sun Jul 09, 2006 7:38 pm

Howdy everyone!

Thank you for the feedback. As for what is going on with Tess, you find out a bit more here. So, here is the next part. Hope y'all enjoy it!

Have a good one!

Annie:)




Part Two:


Alex hissed as the paramedic swiped antiseptic over the gash in his arm. Sitting across from him on the other side of the ambulance, Tess held a cold compress against her forehead. She was watching him intently, wincing in sympathy when he groaned.

For the rest of his life, he would never forget how fragile she had looked, lying underneath him. Hell, until this past week, fragile was the last word he would have used to describe Tess Harding. Vulnerable either, but that was how she seemed to him now.

He didn’t have the first clue about what happened in the school twenty minutes ago. It was just so fast. One minute he’d seen Tess, tried to stop her attack, and the next they were being pulled off the floor by teachers and other students who had rushed out of their classrooms at the sound of the explosion. For the next few minutes, Tess had remained unconscious, waking with the mother of all headaches as she put it.

And she had no recollection about what had happened.

It was a good thing that his membership in the alien abyss had taught Alex to think on his feet. He’d explained away the various questions, saying that the light fixture had shorted and exploded on its own, and Tess had bumped her head when he pushed her to the ground. The two other guys that were in the hallway hadn’t been paying enough attention to contradict him.

“It isn’t deep enough to need stitches,” the paramedic said as he took out a roll of gauze. “You’re lucky.”

Alex didn’t roll his eyes at the guy, but it was a close thing. “Yippie.”

“You can take aspirin for the pain,” the guy continued. He wrapped the gauze around the wound, securing it with some tape. “Make sure to keep it dry and clean. If you notice any discoloration or swelling around the cut, go to your doctor.”

With that, he turned his attention to Tess. “As for you, you were out for a couple of minutes. I’d really like to take you in, get you checked out, possibly an x-ray to make sure that there isn’t any swelling.”

Tess closed her eyes. “Thanks, but no thanks. I’ll be fine.”

“You might have a concussion.”

“Then I won’t go to sleep,” she replied sarcastically. “But I am not going to the hospital.”

“You parents...”

Sighing, Tess removed the compress from her head and opened her eyes. Looking directly at the paramedic, Alex saw a little bit of the old Tess creep into her expression. “I’m emancipated. So when I say no, it means no.”

“Are you the boyfriend?”

Alex’s head snapped up when he realized the paramedic was talking to him. “What? Well, I’m a friend… and guy, but we,” he wiggled his finger back and forth between him and Tess, “aren’t together, if that’s what you mean.”

Tess rolled her eyes at him. “That’s what he meant, Al. And the direct response would have been no.”

“Look,” the paramedic said, holding up his hands. “Someone needs to keep an eye on you.” His gaze slanted towards Tess. “Seeing as how this guy has done a pretty good job of it so far, I was going to see if he felt up to continuing that little chore. That’s all.”

Even as Tess opened her mouth, most likely to rebuff the paramedic’s concerns, Alex cut her off. “Sure. I can do that.”

The other guy nodded. “Good. Now, if she starts to get dizzy or nauseous, take her to the emergency right away. She might have a concussion, so only a little aspirin to take the edge off, nothing stronger.”

“Sitting right here,” The compress was now completely tossed aside as her arms folded across her chest. “And…”

“Don’t give this guy any grief.” There was nothing but irritation in the paramedic’s voice. “Both of you were lucky today, but let’s not press that luck. Trust me, you would have been a lot worse if he hadn’t pushed you out of the way, so give us both a break.”

With a sigh, Tess closed her eyes again. “Fine.”

It took another fifteen minutes to get all of the instructions for both of them, but they were finally able to get out of the ambulance. As it started to pull away, Tess turned to him, her eyes flat. “Why did you agree to watch over me? I know that it has to be the last thing you want to do.”

Alex just smiled. “I don’t know about that. It kinda makes me like your knight in shining armor, and I haven’t had nearly enough chances to play that role.”

Now her expression slipped from angry to baffled confusion. “What?”

“It means that I plan to do exactly what I said I would do.” He felt his own mood shifting, becoming no-nonsense. “And we’re going to start with what happened back there.”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Tess said, turning away from him. Only Alex was quicker than she was. With two long steps, he was in front of her again. Before she could move around him, he reached out and took hold of her arms.

“Yes,” Alex said frankly, “you do.” Over her shoulder, he saw their entire group of friends making their way quickly across the quad. “And you can either explain it to me right now, or to the entire group in about sixty seconds.”

Her eyes widened even as she was twisting in his arms to follow the direction of his gaze. “I really don’t know what happened,” she whispered. And Alex caught it again, the hint of vunerability that he never thought Tess possessed. “But it started in New York.” She turned again, tilting her head up to look at him. There was no mistaking the pleading he saw in her eyes. “Please. There isn’t enough time to tell you everything, but please… please don’t say anything to them. I can’t take that right now.”

“But you will tell me the whole story later?”

She nodded.

Isabel, leading the gang, had nearly reached them. “Okay,” he murmured, and felt Tess relax just a bit in his arms.

Moments later, a pair of arms wrapped themselves tightly around his shoulders. “Oh God. Alex, were you hurt?”

Part of him wanted to smile at the concern in her voice, but one of her hands brushed against his bad arm, so he hissed instead, letting go of Tess in the process. He noticed that she started to shrink away, but couldn’t get very far as the rest of the group surrounded them.

In rapid fire, questions were launched at the two of them, ranging from injuries to what the hell happened. Finally, Alex just held up a hand and, to his surprise, everyone actually stopped talking. “Wow, it worked,” slipped out of his mouth accidentally.

Then he sobered. “We’re okay.” It was good to get that out first off. “A piece of glass nicked my arm and Tess bumped her head. Nothing serious, I promise. The paramedic told us we were lucky.”

“But what happened?” Max asked, his gaze darting between both Alex and Tess.

Tess just shrugged, than hugged her arms around herself. When she didn’t give any sign that she planned to answer Max’s question, Alex decided it was up to him.

“I’m not sure. The light must have shorted out or something.” Tess’s gaze snapped up, going wide with surprise, but Alex ignored it, continuing with that he was saying. “I saw sparks just a few seconds before it exploded, so… well, you know.”

“It was a good thing you were around,” Max said. His attention shifted to Tess. “Is your head bad?” He reached out a bit, but she jerked away. “I just thought I would ease it a bit.”

“No.” Tess nearly shouted the word, which had a couple people shooting glances in their direction. “We’re out in the middle of the quad. What are thinking?”

“That he might help you,” Maria said sarcastically. “Personally, I’m sorry that he bothered.”

“Maria.” Alex’s voice was scolding to say the least. “Don’t. Look, it’s been a long day. Why don’t we all head home. I can take Tess...”

“I drove,” she protested. Alex only shook his head.

“And you also hit your head. I can drive your car back to the Valentis, stick around for a bit. It’s better safe than sorry.”

“But…”

“Just let him take you home, Tess,” Isabel snapped, than took a deep breath. “Look, we are all on edge, and I think it would be best for someone to keep an eye on you.”
That seemed to be the last straw for Tess. A flush crept up to her cheeks, staining them an angry color. “Now someone has to keep an eye on me. What is it that you think I’m going to do exactly, that you don’t even trust me to be able to get home on my own.”

Isabel winced. “I didn’t mean it like that.”

The angry now flared in Tess’s eyes, darkening them. “I know what you meant, so let’s not pretend. Now, I want to be alone, so just stay away.” With that, she turned and started to walk away.

It took a moment for anyone to get past their shock well enough to speak. The first person who did was Isabel. “I didn’t mean it like that. I swear, I was just worried about her.”

Max laid a comforting hand on her arm. “We know. Tess has been jumpy all week. I have a feeling that this is more about what happened in New York than what you said.”

Alex had a feeling Max was more on target than he even knew.

“Still,” Liz finally spoke up, “one of us should go with her. Just in case.” For a brief second, her gaze flickered to Max. “Maybe you…”

“No,” Alex said stepping forward. “I’ll go. After all, I promised the paramedic that I would watch out for any signs the bump on her head was worse than she let on. I like to keep my promises.”

Liz nodded. “Be careful.”

A hint of a grin spread curled the corner of his mouth. “Of course. That’s me, Mr. Careful.” He reached out, gave her arm a quick squeeze. “It’s all good, Liz. I’ll be fine, she’ll be fine, and this will all work out.”

When Alex started to make his way to the parking lot a few minutes later, he had a sneaky suspision that he’d just lied to his best friend.

~~~~


Even as she was shifting her SUV into park, Tess noticed the little VW rabbit pull in behind her. She didn’t have the energy to curse. Of course Alex followed her. She should have figured he wouldn’t give up so easily. His tenacity was one of the few things she admired about him, at least, until now.

Now, all she wanted was to go inside the house, lie down and sleep for the next two days. God, she couldn’t remember ever feeling so tired before. Tired and embarrassed. And worried.

She had no right to talk to Isabel like that. Tess knew that she’d blown the whole thing out of proportion. It was just that she knew deep down that the group still didn’t trust her completely. It nagged at her constantly, and when Isabel said what she did, the resentment sparked out of nowhere and into a full blown rant before Tess could stomp it back.

Just like it had in class today before she blacked out, before the accident. That’s why she was worried.

Tess knew what Alex was going to want to talk about what happened. She knew he suspected something more going on. He was too smart for her to attempt to blow it off as one of those things that happen sometimes. What surprised her is that she didn’t want to.

Confused, she laid her head down gently on the wheel so she could stare out the window and let Alex come to her.

It didn’t take long. It was just a matter of moments before he came up to the driver’s side door, opened it, and looked down at her with worried eyes.

“I should have known you would have followed me,” she said, repeating her earlier thoughts.

Alex shrugged. “I promised I would look out for you.” He reached out, pressing a hand against her forehead, in what Tess considered a typical human gesture. “Are you feeling sick or dizzy?”

Tess shook her head slowly. “I’m just tired.”

He took her arm gently. “Come on. Let’s get you inside.”

It was a shock to Tess that Alex offered. Truth be told, he had no real reason to be nice to her, but that was exactly what he was. Furthermore, he was understanding. Not once while she was unlocking the door or putting her stuff away, did Alex bring up school or her promise to tell him what was going on. No, he waited patiently while she wandered the house, trying to settle down.

The only thing was, the silence and understanding was just as jarring to her nerves as demands would have been. Finally, unable to take it any longer, Tess plopped down onto the couch. “I’ve been having blackouts,” she blurted out.

Alex was by her side in an instant, crouching down beside her. “You’ve been fainting?”

Tess shook her head. “No. Blacking out, losing time. Over the last few days there are periods of time that I just can’t remember anything about. Sometimes, I start out in one spot, like the kitchen. Maybe I’ll be doing the dishes or something like that. Then the next thing I know, its twenty minutes later and I’m stretched out on the grass in the backyard.”

“Is that what happened today?” he asked, reached out to lay a hand over her arm in a reassure gesture. “Is that what happened at school? One of these blackouts?”

“Yes.” She looked down at his hand touching her, then away, trying not to focus on how that basic show of comfort nearly had her in tears. “All I remember is sitting in class, and these girls were talking about me behind my back. It was irritating, but…”

“Nothing serious,” Alex finished for her. “In other words, you were going to brush them off.”

“That’s what I wanted to do, but something inside me disagreed. Instead of just getting annoyed, I started to get really angry, and this headache I’ve had since Ne…” She trailed off. What happened in New York, what Nicholas did to her, was still too fresh and raw in her mind. It wasn’t something she wanted to go into right this second. So she skipped over that part. “Well, since last week… it got worse.”

Alex nodded his head, the look on his face telling her he’d filled in the blanks and was willing to let it pass for the moment. Giving her hand a bolstering squeeze, he said, “Go on. What happened after that?”

“I asked for a pass, got out of the classroom. That’s the last thing I remember.”

With a deep breath, Alex shifted to sit back on his haunches. It was obvious he was processing what she said, weighing it. But nothing, absolutely nothing would have prepared Tess for the next words out of his mouth.

“Tess, when I saw you today, coming down the hall, you looked different… were different. Your eyes went completely black, and your hair, it was growing and curling right in front of my eyes.”

The disbelief was immediate, a reflex. “That’s not possible.”

“I saw you,” Alex countered, the tone of his voice sympathetic. “You started to speak in some language that I’ve never heard. Then you were switching back and forth between that and English, right before you said the word ‘revenge’ and blew out the light. I know that this is hard to hear…”

Tess stopped listening, couldn’t listen beyond the buzzing in her ears. The familiar rush of anger began flowing through her veins, and before she could stop herself, words were spewing out of her mouth. “You know,” she repeated sarcastically. “You don’t know anything.”

She pushed away from him, rose to her feet. “Patting me on the head, saying there there, when you would like nothing better than for it to all be true.” Turning away from him, Tess began to pace. “That bitch Tess getting what’s coming to her, finally losing her mind. You can stop with your pity.”

Whirling on him, the rage inside her boiled over, consuming her. Alex stood up, but didn’t move towards her. “Screw that. I am above your silly sympathies. If anyone is to pass pity, it should be me pitying you. You know why you’re always the last one to know things? Because they really don’t consider you part of the group, just like they don’t consider me…”

A sob escaped along with the last word, followed by another which made it impossible to finish what she was going to say. Even as the tears started to leak from her eyes, the room jerked, then spun, and began to fade. The next thing Tess knew, she was lying down, a pair of strong, lean arms wrapped around her.

“Come on, Tess,” a voice, a male one, coaxed. “Come all the way out of it.”

“What the hell?” Her eyes began to focus. She saw Alex’s face hovering just above her. And, though it was a bit fuzzy, she remembered. “Oh God, Alex, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean it, any of it. I don’t know why I said those things.”

Though she could see it was a bit forced, he offered her the hint of a smile. “I don’t think it was you.”

His answer made her jerk in his arms, eyes widening with fear. “Are you saying it happened again? But wait,” she said before he could answer. “I remember what I said, those things… I didn’t mean them.”

“I know you didn’t.” In a casual move, he brushed a strand of hair out of her eyes. “As for what happened, I’m not sure exactly what it was, but I think it’s safe to say that it’s connected to the incident at school. You’re eyes were different.” The last part was said in a murmur. “They were darker, not like before, but not like they are normally. And your voice, the way you said things, it was different.”

Tess closed her eyes, wishing she could close the rest of this off as easily. Taking a deep breath, she started to gather herself together, ignoring that little nagging feeling that this was just the beginning.

“I think Nicholas did something to me, to my mind, in New York.” She felt a little better just saying that aloud. “I don’t know what, but I think it might be what’s causing this.”

When he didn’t respond, Tess opened her eyes and found herself staring directly at him. A little jolt went through her. There was compassion and something else in his brown eyes. She wasn’t sure how to deal with either.

“We need to tell the others,” he said.

Dread, followed by resignation ran through her. “I know.”

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Postby Anniepoo98 » Sat Jul 29, 2006 1:17 pm

Howdy all~

I've finally got the new part with me. Sorry that it took me so long. Thank you all for the feedback. So y'all think that Tess is possessed. Well, you get to find out here.

So, with no more ado... here's the next part.

Have a good one!

Annie:)



Part Three:

“You should have told us the moment you thought something was wrong.”

Tess winced at the tone in Michael’s voice. The harshness of it, the stomps of his shoes against the Valentis’ living room carpet, echoed in her head, antagonizing the low throbbing ache there. Still, she couldn’t blame him for his anger. She’d kept this from him, well, all of them. They had a right to be mad.

She felt a little squeeze of reassurance on her forearm, knew it was Alex, but she couldn’t bring herself to look at him. Not after what happened before. Tess didn’t even know which part was more embarrassing, the fainting, the waking up in his arms, or her little reaction to it.

The worse, or maybe the best, part was that he had stayed with her. After calling the others and telling them to get their butts over to the Valentis’, he’d helped her onto the couch, got her a glass of water, and asked her again if she was dizzy. She wasn’t used to anyone doing things like that. How was she supposed to react to such kindness?

She was more equipped to handle Michael’s yelling than Alex’s compassion.

That wasn’t going very well either. She’d managed to tell them everything, rambling about the blackouts and what had really happened at school without anyone interrupting. But, the second the last word was out of her mouth, there was an explosion of reaction. Michael’s being the loudest, of course.

Even as she thought that, he whirled, his attention now focused on Alex. “That goes for you too, Whitman. You lied right to our faces.”

“Hey,” Tess said, standing up from the couch, ignoring the fact that her vision wobbled a bit. “Don’t yell at him over this. He only did what I asked him to.”

“That makes it right?” Michael countered.

“Right or wrong, none of this is his fault.” She took a deep breath. “It’s mine, and if it weren’t for Alex’s quick thinking, we’d all be in some serious trouble.”

Michael opened his mouth to speak, but Max cut him off by getting up. “Arguing about fault isn’t going to fix this.”

Again, Michael started to say something. Max only shook his head. “I agree, Michael,” he declared. “You should have told us about this, Tess, because you’re right. Who knows what might of happened if Alex hadn’t come through.” He gave Alex a weak smile. “Thanks for that.”

Alex shrugged. “No biggie.”

Tess watched as Max’s eyes drifted down to the bandage on Alex’s arm, then nodded. She knew Max wanted to heal the gash and knew that he couldn’t because too many people had seen it. It was one more thing for her to feel guilty about.

Then, Max’s gaze shifted back to her. “If you had told any of us about this, I could have done something. Maybe connected with you and found out what Nicholas did.”

“Max, an evil alien took a turn in my head, and I was supposed to just let you do the same?” Tess let out a sigh. “It was the last thing I wanted, okay? One person messing with my mind was enough.”

“What about now?” Liz asked softly. “Would you be willing to give it a shot now?”

Tess’s first gut reaction was to scream no. Hell, who was she kidding? It was her second, third, and fourth reaction as well. However, instead of saying anything, she just stood there, stalk-still, barely breathing at the thought of letting someone else into her head right now.

Noticing her reaction, Alex stood up beside her. The movement had his arm brushing hers. At the contact, Tess nearly jumped out of her skin.

“No,” she said, shaking her head emphatically. “I don’t like that idea. Not at all.”

However, now that the idea had been spoken aloud, it caught on with the others. “It might be worth taking a chance on,” Isabel offered. She looked over at Tess, giving her a reassuring smile. It only made Tess want to cringe back more.

Max moved towards her. “I’ll keep to the surface,” he said, as if that would comfort her. “Nothing deep.”

Tess felt boxed in. With each step Max took towards her, the more she felt the panic turn inside her, colliding with worry and anger. I don’t want anyone else inside my head, she thought. It was too deep a connection, too much for them to ask for her to give and give without receiving just a little something back.

They don’t trust you, a little voice inside her head whispered. They just want to use you, all that you have learned, and toss you aside. I should know.

Rage bubbled inside her. Even as Max reached out, Tess countered, slapping it aside. “Don’t touch me.”

“Tess…” Max started to say, but she broke out of Alex’s hold, stepping forward and giving him a shove.

“Do you think because you wish it, I’m just going to obey?” she spat. “The world revolves around you and your whims? Try living in reality.”

Something was wrong. Alex could feel the shift in the room, in Tess. Only moments before, she’d been scared, more like terrified, at the idea of touching Max, at risking forming the connection. He could understand why. Her head had been messed with enough.

But, now, she was fury personified. He’d actually felt her vibrating with it before she’d pulled away. The suddenness of the change, the jump from one extreme to the other, had him on alert. Still, before he could say word one, Liz stepped forward.

Tess’s head snapped over to stare at Liz as she moved. From his standing point, Alex saw the color of Tess’s eyes start to deepen.

“We just want to help, Tess,” Liz said calmly.

A mirthless laugh escaped Tess’s lips as her eyes went completely black. “We just want to help, Tess,” she mimicked. “Lies.” Studying Liz, Tess moved closer, and Alex noticed her jerky movements. His belly tightened. “You seem to be covered in them. Your aura is oily with the lies you have told.”

Gasping, Liz took a step back, but that only seemed to encourage Tess more. She stalked closer, her focus intent. Before Alex could even think, he was moving, stepping between them. “Tess,” he said, holding up his hands. “Just stop.”

She simply stared around him. “Do you know what she’s done?” she asked almost conversationally, her eyes shifted to Alex for a moment, then back to Liz. “Do any of them know? I doubt it.” Tess sniffed at the air as if she could sniff out what lie she claimed Liz had told. And she smiled.

“He show you a future you did not want, did he not? And, foolishly, you sought to change it. Hurt him now, break him now, and we will get our happily ever after.” Tess threw her head back, laughing as her hair grew, spiraling down her back. “Did it work?”

As Tess ranted, Alex felt Liz reach out and grab on to his shirt. Those fingers now tightened. Torn, Alex made the choice not to turn to make sure she was okay. Instead, he kept his attention focused on Tess, or whoever it was taking over inside of her.

“Tess,” he said, cautiously reaching out, his hands closing lightly over her shoulders. For a brief second, her eyes flashed blue, than went back to black. Then they narrowed on him.

“You call me that, though you know different.” She paused as if considering. “You know that I am not the body I inhabit.”

Michael stepped forward. Alex saw him, shook his head in warning, but it was too late. Tess whirled on him, her arm flinging out. A moment later, he was flying through the air. With a crash, Michael landed against the furthest wall, shattering the picture frame that had been hanging there. Both Maria and Isabel cried out, then rushed over to him. Everyone else stayed exactly where they were as Tess’s gaze trailed over each one of them.

“What the hell is wrong with you?” Maria demanded from her spot hovering over Michael. “Have you completely lost...”

“Don’t,” Alex ordered. Once again he put himself between Tess and one of his friends. Looking down on her, into her eyes, Alex asked the unspoken question. “Who are you?”

Her lips curved in a cool smile. “The smart one. That is what she thinks,” she said, tapping a hand over her chest. “She thinks you are the smart one. But not quite smart enough to figure this out.” This time it was she who reached out, she who touched him, trailing fingers over his cheek and down to the nape of his neck. “I am Ava.”

“Wait a second,” Kyle said. “Wasn’t that Tess’s name from before?”

Her smiling visage turned to him. “Yes, human. That was her name, is mine.”

“What are you doing to her?” Max demanded.

Ava shrugged. “Borrowing her, keeping her, whichever I choose. She is mine.”

“No.”

This time both Max and Kyle leapt forward. With a flick of her wrist, she sent them both flying. “I grow bored with this,” she sighed vaguely. “And do not have time to waste on trivial matters.”

“Tess matters,” Alex said.

She twisted to face him, one eyebrow lifted in either interest or amusement. Alex couldn’t tell. “Does she?” Once again, she sniffed the air, than her eyes raked over him, a slow appraisal. The entire movement had an edge to it, one of frank… well, interest. It was a hard battle not to squirm under that gaze, but Alex managed somehow.

It must have impressed her. “I can tell that she might, to you. Does she know?” She tilted her head, did another study of him. “Do you?”

Behind him, Alex heard the sound of movement. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Isabel approach slowly. “What is she talking about?”

Alex answered with a small shrug of his shoulders.

“Vilondra.” Ava’s curved Tess’s mouth into a sneer. “The same old Vilondra. I have no time for your jealousies now. Step back.” She held out a hand, and Isabel did as she asked.

“What is important to you?” Michael groaned as he tried to sit up.

“I want Nicholas,” Ava stated plainly, flatly. “Have you managed to kill him yet…” She trailed off, eyes rolling back for a moment. Then, her head snapped forward, and she shook it as if to clear her mind. “Tess has no memory of destroying him. Even now, I can still feel his presence lingering. How can that be?” she wondered, almost to herself.

With still slightly awkward steps, she began to pace, to rant. “I have gotten you all free of mess after mess, and you cannot accomplish one simple task. How is it possible that you could miss the opportunities I have given you?” Her gaze swept the room, the heat in her glare searing. “Of all the incompetence... the utter stupidity.”

“What opportunities?” Max asked as he struggled to his knees. “What are you talking about?”

“I am talking about the many chances I’ve presented for you to kill Nicholas, and yet he lives. He was greatly weakened by surviving the fire blast this vessel,” she trailed a hand down the center of her chest, “blasted him with.” The tone of her voice turned wicked, even a bit mad. “All with my help, of course. The combining of an old and new essence is a great jolt.” She tilted her head down, studied her own hands. “It takes an excellent amount of control to handle it. The vessel did, which was a good thing for you. Who knows what would have happened if to you all if she had not.”

“Are you saying that you tried to kill us?” Michael demanded.

Ava simply rolled her eyes, dismissing him. “I am saying that I took a calculated risk, and in the process freed you all. And you could not repay me by destroying Nicholas.” Her voice began to rise, becoming nearly hysterical. “I want him dead,” she raged. “I want my revenge.”

“For what?” Liz asked.

Shaking her head, Ava took a deep breath, let it out. “There is not the time for this. If you cannot accomplish one simple goal, then I will. I am leaving.”

Even as she turned towards the door, Michael and Max made one last try to stop her. With the ease of someone flicking off a gnat, she sent them sprawling.

“Ava, stop,” Alex called out.

She turned to face him. “That is not going to happen. But I will make you a deal, smart one, for I do not feel you are a threat to me or this vessel. You can accompany me if you stay out of my way, but you must choose… now.”

Alex heard the others starting to move again, knew that they would attempt to rush the two of them. He couldn’t risk it, couldn’t risk what Ava might do to them. And he couldn’t leave Tess, not after… well, he promised. “I’ll go.”

“No,” Maria, Isabel, and Liz gasped nearly in unison.

Ava just reached out, laid her hand over his arm. The last thing he saw was the shocked faces of his friends before the room disappeared.

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Postby Anniepoo98 » Wed Sep 20, 2006 12:35 pm

Howdy all~

Thank you for all the feedback. And there is good news. I actually have a new part with me. Sorry that it takes me so long to get this out. I hope y'all will forgive me. I've been having wonky computer issues and RL stuff going on, but I am praying that it won't take so long for the part.

Also, a little shameless plugging here. There is a new site opening up that will be all about Fifthwheel goodness. It's called Fifthwheeler Haunt. Check out the banner in my siggie for more info.

Have a good one!

Annie:)


PS... The song lyrics are from "Breathe No More" by Evanescence and "Wonderwall" by Ryan Adams (or Oasis, but I like RA's version better).



Part Four:


When Alex came back to his senses, he found himself sitting in the passenger seat of Tess’s car, Ava behind the wheel. For a moment, all he could do was stare, wide-eyed, in complete shock about what had just happened. Finally, the words burst forth from his mouth, baffled and in awe.

“How in the hell did you do that?”

She ignored him, choosing instead to study the dials in the dashboard, the steering column, the rearview mirror. Her eyes darted over each just before they rolled back into her head again. “To start,” she muttered. “Keys. Not here. In the house, on the table.”

Alex’s gaze shifted from her, to the house, and back again. They weren’t very far, he thought. Maybe, just maybe, if he could find some way to alert the others…

Tess’s entire body jerked forward, nearly slamming into the wheel. With another, more efficient move, she straightened, shook her head. “I do not have time to go back in that house, to deal with those people.” She practically sneered the last word. “No matter.”

She laid her hand over the ignition, and to Alex’s surprise, the engine roared to life. She closed her eyes, scrunching them in concentration, than she opened them again and shifted the car into gear.

“So,” Alex said, trying to keep his voice conversational, “do you know how to drive a car?”

“Tess does,” she replied simply. “I can access her memories, put her skills to use as I see fit.” She reached out, waved a hand over the radio. A second later, music began to blare from the speakers.

Freaked out on a whole new level, Alex just sat there as Ava began to mutter to herself. “Your favorite. Mournful tone, wrenching… how fitting.”

“What?” was all Alex could say.

“The song,” Ava said, gesturing towards the radio. “It is your Tess’s favorite song.”

I've been looking in the mirror for so long.
That I've come to believe my soul's on the other side.
All the little pieces falling, shatter.
Shards of me


He listened to the melody, the lyrics, the pain behind both. And his heart cracked open for the girl none of them had taken much time to really know. “Why?” he asked. “Why is this Tess’s favorite song?”

Too sharp to put back together.
Too small to matter,
But big enough to cut me into so many little pieces.
If I try to touch her, And I bleed,
I bleed,
And I breathe,
I breathe no more.


She twisted her head to look at him, sent him a pitying look. “She identifies with the woman in the song. Often she feels apart from those who are like her and too different to fit in with anyone else. She has had to develop two faces. The bold one, the one that is self-assured and reliant, is the one she shows most often. Nobody likes it. It makes her too afraid to show the other, more vulnerable one because it is more fragile.”

Quick as lightening, her eyes flashed blue and she sighed. “I feel so lost,” she whispered.

Alex instantly reached out for her. “Tess.”

For a second those clear blue eyes focused on him, tears beginning to well in them. Then, she opened her mouth to speak and her pupils went dark. “Not at the moment,” Ava said.

“What are you doing to her?” he demanded. “And don’t give me any of that ‘borrowing crap.’ What happens to Tess while you’re using her?”

“You wonder where she goes while I am in her place.” A slow grin spread across her face. “She’s still here, somewhere. Not that it matters.”

He wanted to shake her. It was a shock to learn for the first time he really wanted to shake out his frustrations on a girl, to force all the answers from her. Anything to get Tess back. But rationality won out, and he opted for throwing his hands up instead. “How can you say that it doesn’t matter?” he grounded out through clenched teeth. “She’s a part of you. How can you hurt a part of you?”

“It’s not a matter of hurting the vessel.”

“Just another one of your calculated risks, Ava?”

To his surprise, she threw her head back, laughed. “You are angry,” she said, almost gleeful about the revelation. “It is an amazement to me.” Her jaw tightened. “To both me and the vessel,” she muttered after a minute. “It seems that your Tess is quite fascinated by you.”

Again, she waved her hand over the radio, and another song began playing through the speakers. It didn’t take Alex long to recognize it. Wonderwall was a classic, but he didn’t understand the why behind her changing the songs.

“This song reminds her of you,” Ava answered his unspoken question. “Even now I can feel her irritation at me telling you, but there you are.”

Stunned, Alex just sat there, jaw dropped slightly in confusion. This song reminded Tess of him, she actually though about him. It was just mind boggling to him.

That’s when the words sung through the radio filtered into his brain.

Because maybe
You're gonna be the one who saves me ?
And after all
You're my wonderwall


He wanted to ask Ava why… why this song, why she associated it with him, but he couldn’t. His mouth just wouldn’t form the words. So, instead he asked, “Why would Tess even pick out a song for me?”

“She enjoys what your kind calls music. Often she ascribes songs to those she knows.”

Tess likes music. The thought caught him off guard. He didn’t know she liked music. It never occurred to him to ask. Alex wondered if it occurred to anyone. He doubted it.

The guilt hit Alex square in the gut, had him turning to look out the window. She’d been in Roswell for over six months, and he couldn’t really recall a time when any of them went out of their way to get to know her. To find out what she liked or disliked. And, he realized, for most of that time, Tess had been alone.

It must have been crushing not to be accepted right away. It wasn’t really an excuse for how she acted at the beginning, but now Alex felt he could understand why. She’d been taught… hell, probably browbeaten with ‘destiny’ by Nasedo. When those pieces, people that she wanted to be her family, didn’t fall into place, it probably seemed like the only option she had left.

Two faces, Ava told him. The one Tess felt she could show and the one she didn’t. Alex knew why that was true now, and he silently made another promise. He was going to do everything in his power to get to know both sides of the lost soul beside him.


~~~~


The human had been quiet for several minutes. Ava didn’t even need to scan his aura to see that there was turmoil inside of him. She wondered why their discussion of the meaningless noise caused him distress.

She wondered why she allowed it to keep playing. After all, it was slightly annoying. Nothing like the music she had loved back on Seoras, and later on Antar. It had been lighter, with an effervescence that lifted the mood of the listener. She couldn’t sense much of that in what she’d taken from Tess’s memories.

Maybe that was why she continued to listen, so she could gain knowledge of the vessel now hosting her. It was so fascinating to be so similar, yet so different. The duality intrigued her. If there was time after she succeeded in her goal, she might take time to explore it.

I will make the time, the bitter thought flared inside of her. After killing Nicholas, she would take the time, explore this new world she been sent to. Get to have the life she should have had before.

It’s not your time, a little voice whispered. It’s mine.

“But I am here now,” Ava murmured. “The opportunity is too great to pass up.”

You won’t win, Tess promised, her voice growing a bit stronger. I am not just going to let you hijack my body for whatever twisted purpose you have.

The way the voice grew stronger had Ava worrying. She could feel her hold on the vessel slipping. She needed to upset her, to make her lose focus so she could not grab control again like she had moments before. It was critical that Ava stayed in control right now.

“What can you do about it?” she whispered back. I am in control, and I plan to stay that way. After all, Ava couldn’t think of a reason why it should not stay that way. She had forfeited her last lifetime for her people, for a cause, for a kingdom. And she had died because of it, young and naive about so many things.

Ava wanted to experience those things. Maybe, she thought, I should start now.

Ignoring Tess’s demands to know what that meant, Ava’s gaze slid over to Alex. You have an attraction for the human.

No I don’t, Tess argued.

The instantaneous response to her taunt had the desired effect. Outwardly, Ava felt a grin spread over their face. I can feel it, she replied smugly. You have not realized it until now, or more to the point, have ignored it up until now, but the attraction is there. She took another long glance at the still silent human. I think that it might be mutual.

Ava could feel Tess’s shock at that statement, felt her reaction to it, and decided to act on it… on her own impulse. I think I will find out.

~~~~

The car veered off the road, breaking Alex out of his thoughts. He shifted his attention back to Ava. “What are you doing?”

Moving with the same efficiency that he’d noted earlier, Ava put the car into park and unlocked her seatbelt in one swift move. Then, she turned to him, and he saw the nearly feral gleam in her eye. “I’m testing out a theory.”

Her body shifted quickly, one leg drawing up underneath her, the other stretching out over his lap. Shock had him goggling, and before he had time to move she slid right over him.

He reached out to push her away, she simply countered and settle closer. Now they were nearly nose to nose. “What are you doing, Ava?”

She trailed a hand down his neck, up again. “This body, the vessel, reacts to you. I want to find out why.” With that, she pressed her mouth to his.

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Postby Anniepoo98 » Wed May 30, 2007 12:09 pm

Howdy all~

I am back, with an update. And before y'all go checking the weather reports, that really hot place below has not frozen over. LOL! Seriously, thanks for stick with me. I am sorry that this took so long to post.

I hope you all enjoy it!

Annie:)



Part Five:

Even as he struggled to get up, Max heard a car engine roar to life outside. "Damn it," he groaned, as he recognized the sound as Tess’s SUV.

Across the room, Michael was mirroring his pose, only with Maria holding one arm, trying to help him to his feet. "How in the hell did she manage that?" he demanded. "None of us have that kind of power."

Through his back cracked as he straightened, Max was finally on his feet. And he was stumbling for the door. "None of us has ever been possessed by our former selves."

Flinging the door open, Max rushed outside, but he was too late. The SUV was already pulling away from the curb. "Damn it," he repeated as the car tore off down the road. Still, he kept moving. Not even paying any attention to the sound of feet pounding behind him, he ran to the jeep.

"Max," Liz called out to him. "Max, where are you going?"

"We have to try and stop her," he called back as he got in. "You heard what Ava said. She’s going to go after Nicholas. Last time we ran into him, Nicholas was working with Rath and Lonnie. That’s three against two, and Alex doesn’t have any powers."

Maria slid in beside him, Michael right next to her. The rest piled in the backseat behind him. "From the looks of it, Tess, Ava, whoever, can handle them," Michael commented, as Max backed out of the driveway.

"And every burst of power Ava uses is probably draining Tess." He took a left down Mars Street as he’d seen the SUV do moments before. Then he glanced over at Michael. "Do you remember Christmas?"

"Yeah." Max watched as realization dawned on Michael’s face. "Oh shit. Healing all those kids, it actually made you sick. You lost your powers for days."

Max nodded. "Multiply that times five, at least. I f Ava keeps using Tess, tapping into her for energy..." He trailed off, not wanting to finish the thought. He couldn’t think about that, not now.

Glancing in the rearview mirror, his eyes met Liz’s, and he could tell that she knew what he was thinking.

Seeing that recognition in her eyes, feeling even that minor of a connection with her, had his thoughts taking a detour. For a moment, he considered what Ava had said back at the Valenti’s. <i>Hurt him now, break him now, and… </i> Had she been taking about what he saw between Liz and Kyle? Had that been a lie?

For a little while now, Max had his suspicions that there was more to it then Liz let on. She’d told him that she wanted out of the alien craziness, but everywhere he turned, she was right there in the middle of it. And, on those times he tortured himself with the memory, Max could remember the horror on her face, the sadness on it when he discovered her in bed with Kyle. They didn’t even become a couple afterwards.

All those things, and a dozen others thrown into the mix, just didn’t add up. So why? Ava’s words repeated in his head once more, and Max vowed to himself that he would get to the bottom of it. But they had to save Tess first.

Michael swearing broke Max out of his thoughts. "What?"

"I can’t see the SUV anymore. Can you?"

He looked out each window he could see, saw the rest of his friends do the same. When the realization dawned in each of their eyes, he swore too. "How did we lose them? We were right behind them."

"Because she was breaking every speed limit known to man," Kyle offered. "It doesn’t really matter how we lost them. What matters is how are we going to find them?"

Max took a deep breath, trying to calm down, and pulled the Jeep over to the side of the road. "We could try to connect with Ava, Tess, whichever one we can get."

"Do you think that she will let us into her head?" Isabel asked.

"I don’t know." Max closed his eyes against the fear of what might happen if they didn’t. "We need to try."

"Max."

At the sound of Liz’s voice, he opened his eyes, found himself looking into the rearview mirror once more. She was staring back at him. "Look at what direction we’re going in."

He looked out the window, studying where they were, the direction they were heading. It was the street the led out of town, heading in the direction of the Pulhman Ranch. And it hit him. "The pod chamber."

~~~~

She was pressed against him, her mouth fitted to his like they were two interlocking pieces of a puzzle. Alex battled against the sudden conflict that rose within him the minute her lips touched his.

This wasn’t Tess. She wasn’t the one sitting in his lap, kissing him, stirring something within himself that he’d never felt before. The rational side of his brain knew all that. However, the other side, the one that relied on touch, taste and feeling screamed that it was her, urging him to react.

Just when had he become attracted to Tess?

The answer wasn’t simple, of course. It had probably been dozens of little things that he noticed, added up, and put aside until now, when he was holding her. <i>But it’s not her</i>, his brain screamed at him.

Jolted, Alex tried harder to push her away, to end the kiss. That’s when everything changed. Aggression shifted into pliancy, the hunger behind it turned into tenderness. And pleading. Alex had no idea how, but he felt Tess for an instant, felt her pleading with him. He had no idea for what.

Then the flashes started.

They were jumbled, like foggy memories of a world he’d never seen. Intense color flooded his mind, gradually melding into recognizable shapes. Alex saw a meadow with vibrant flowers and grass-like plants swaying in a gentle breeze. Two kids, a boy and girl, dashed and darted across it, laughing breathlessly. Words, jumbled and foreign, thundered in his ears, but Alex didn’t need to understand them to catch on to their meaning. It was simply a scene of fun and affection between two children bordering on adulthood. A sweet memory.

It shifted quickly into another. This time, the boy and girl were older, no longer children, but teenagers. And, Alex realized in the coherent part of his brain, well beyond their teens in both feelings and responsibilities. He could see the knowledge of harsher realities in their eyes. More words echoed in his mind, and he understood the emotion behind them.

They loved each other.

Even as he figured it out, Alex saw the man embrace the woman. Through quickly moving images, love, both the feeling and the act played out before him. However, the whole scene was tinted with pain. The couple was suffering more than a loss of innocence. They were losing each other.

Before Alex had much time to absorb that, the direction altered once again. Betrayal reverberated through his mind as he watched the woman huddled in a corner, cowering from what the man she loved had become. He came towards her, demanding something Alex couldn't understand, but understood was more than the woman could give. And, in that moment, she hated him. Realizing it, the man struck out at the woman, killing her.

The next thing he knew, Alex was back in his own reality, his eyes staring directing into Tess's.

She took a deep breath, than exhaled it. It hitched both ways. "I'm sorry."

"No." His response came instantly, as did the way his hand reached out and into her hair. The soft strands sifted through his fingers as he gently kneaded, hoping to ease the ache he saw in her eyes. "You have nothing to be sorry for. It wasn't you."

Tess lips parted, and for an instant, it looked like she was about to say something. Something, Alex could tell from the look in her eyes, very important. Then, those eyes went weary. With a sigh, she slumped against him.

"I’m so tired," she whispered. "She’s draining me."

That statement had his gut clenching with something akin to fear. Carefully, he eased her back, his hands cupping her face. "What do you mean?"

She bit her bottom lip. "Sometimes, when I’ve used my powers too much, it zaps my energy. That’s what this feels like, only worse."

Studying her, Alex saw her face was even pale than it had been before, nearly translucent. It made the dark circles under her eyes even more pronounced. She wouldn’t be able to take much more of this, he knew. They needed a solution.

"We’ll call the others," he said. "Tell them where we are, have them meet us here."

Tess shook her head. "We can’t do that. They’re part of the trigger. She can tap into my feelings and use it to overpower me."

"And they mess up your feelings." When she nodded, Alex thought about it for a moment, and he knew that dealing with Tess feelings towards the group might be a good first step to helping her.

Letting his hands drift from her hair, he brought them to rest on her shoulders, hoping she would be able to do what he was about to ask. “Why do they mess up your feelings, Tess?” Her eyes darted to his face, than away again. Still, Alex kept going. “This might be a way to get back control,” he explained. “If you can tell me why, then maybe we can stop her from using it against you.”

As if accepting defeat, Alex heard her sigh, felt her shoulders droop under his hands. "I feel resented."

"Resented?" Alex asked. "How can you resent..."

"No," Tess cried, cutting him off. "I <i>feel</i> resented. I know that you all wish I’d never come to Roswell. That if I wasn’t here, things wouldn’t have gotten so messed up. Max would be with Liz, Michael with Maria, and you..." She trailed off. "You would be with Isabel."

Alex swallowed hard as guilt began to turn in his belly. Tess was right. Resentment was there, no matter how much they all tried to pretend it wasn’t. Since her arrival in Roswell, their lives changed again. Things started to get more complicated, more dangerous, and they all had started keeping more secrets from each other. <i>And</i>, Alex thought, <i>Tess absorbed the majority of the blame. </i>

Hell, she took it even when most of what happened over the last six months hadn’t been her fault.

Yes, she tried to manipulate her way into the group. He had a feeling she hadn’t known any other way. Yes, she stirred up trouble in the beginning, but it was trouble that had already been boiling just beneath the surface. She hadn’t made Nasedo kidnap Liz, or alerted the FBI by leaving a trail of bodies for them to follow. She hadn’t been responsible for the message the five of them heard in the cave or how each of them reacted. Liz chose to walk away, Michael decided to keep his distance from Maria, and Isabel had taken her own step away from him.

In that moment, Alex realized that it would have happened anyway. Somewhere along the line of their relationship, Isabel would have taken that step back whether Tess had been around or not. Isabel didn’t want romance, not truly. She wanted friendship, a steady understanding and the trust that came along with it.

It was something he and Izzy already shared.

And, as that moment passed into another, Alex knew that he wanted more.

Looking at Tess’s face, into her clear blue eyes, he wondered if she might be the possibility he was waiting for. Without thinking, he leaned forward, pressing his lips to her forehead. "Okay," he whispered, his mouth brushing against her skin. "We won’t call the others, but we have to figure out a way to finish this."

He felt he body shake with a hitching sob as she wrapped her arms around him in a hug. "Thank you."

"You’re welcome." He ran his hands up and down her back, hoping to ease her still shaking body. After another minute or so, they stopped and he asked her another question that came to mind. "Tess, when Ava kissed me I got flashes. What were they about?"

"Ava," she said softly, as if saying her name might bring her back. "They were of her life. When she loses control, I see them."

Suddenly, Tess jolted. For a second, Alex feared that Ava was taking over again. Then, she started to speak. "They were of Ava and Nicholas. I think they were in love."

He felt that too, the love between the two beings in the flash. Still, he was shock that they were Ava and Nicholas. One was an evil little twerp who only cared about his boss’s even more evil agenda and the other was just a bit unhinged.

Then it hit him. "Back at the Valenti’s, Ava said that she’d given many us opportunities to kill Nicholas. She wants him gone, Tess."

"Because he killed her before." Her eyes widened. "Oh God, she can sense him. We have to go, now! Nicholas is at the pod chamber!"

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Part 6

Postby Anniepoo98 » Sun Oct 05, 2008 1:16 pm

Hey everyone,

I want to say thanks for all the feedback and bumps. I also wanted to say thanks for all of the support for the Support Stacie Author Auction. It was a huge success. So thank you!

Now, before anyone drops over with shock, I actually have a new part with me. I am praying that the next one won't take as long.

I hope that you all enjoy it!

Annie:)


Part Six:

Tess now knew what true fear was. The instant she became aware that Ava knew where Nicholas was, it ran through her system like lightening, so shocking and hot that it left her queasy. The consequences of their enemy getting his hands on the Granolith were to horrible to even considered that she just blurted it out to Alex.

Judging by the look on his face, she assumed that his thoughts mirrored her own. Pure, undiluted dread was all over his face as he stared at her. Then, he was moving.

“We need to go,” he said as he shifted under her, sitting up straighter.

The movement caused a completely different shock to run through her. The feelings of their kiss only minutes before were still brimming under the fear. The second he moved, bringing his face closer to her, Tess felt those feelings begin to override her mind again. Her survival instincts kicked into gear. Jerking away from him, she smacked her head against the windshield hard.

For an instant, her head was full of blinding lights and sharp pain. Then, she felt hands cradling her skull, fingers tenderly combing through her curls, massaging and soothing. Opening her eyes, she saw Alex watching her.

“Careful,” he said softly. “You’ve had too many knocks to the head lately.”

The touch was so gentle, his voice so kind that Tess could feel tears begin to burn her eyes again. Disgusted with herself for being a huge emotional wreck, she tried to force them back. Still, she managed a smile, hoping to show him she appreciated the attempt to lighten the mood. And that’s when Alex did the most surprising thing of all.

He leaned forward slowly, his lips brushing lightly against hers.

It was like a whisper. A promise made without words. Everything will be okay.

Tess longed to believe, but that kind of faith took so much energy. Energy she didn’t have right now. Weakly, she drew back, wanting so badly to explain what was going on inside her. However, she heard Ava’s voice inside her mind.

This is not the time, she said, hard enough that the words reverberated though Tess’s aching head. Nicholas has to be stopped.

Like you actually care what happens to us, she thought back. If Nicholas gets his hands on the Granolith… She stopped, to horrified by the possibilities. You just want your revenge.

Ava didn’t bother to disagree. He killed me. Can you think of any better motive for revenge?

Hurting someone I cared about, Tess thought as her eyes met Alex’s. I don’t care what happens to me as long as they’re safe.

Are you willing to prove it? Ava taunted, obviously catching on. Without me, the strength and power I have, you have next to no chance taking on Nicholas by yourself. And your friend will be very little help. Are you willing to risk him?

Tess had to force herself not to be sick. The idea that something could happen to Alex shot panic through her veins. He had stood by her, comforted her, and she cared about him.

No, she wasn’t willing to risk him. What are you offering?

I will help you get rid of Nicholas, but I need to use your body to do so.

You want complete control, Tess thought weakly.

Yes.

She wasn’t stupid. Tess knew what Ava was asking for. If she gave up what little hold she had left on herself, there was very little chance she would have the power to come back. It was what Ava was counting on. If she agreed, Tess knew she would have to count on it too.

Ava would use her powers. She knew no other way. And the more she used, the weaker she would get. The human aspect of her genetic makeup simply couldn’t handle their alien gifts in large doses. If Ava used enough, there would be nothing left for either of them.

Thinking, it became clear to Tess that there wasn’t another way. They weren’t strong enough to defeat Nicholas. He’d managed to survive everything they threw at him. Yet, there was no way they could let Ava go completely free. She’d more than proven she was unstable. If she didn’t take the deal, there was no telling how long Tess would be able to control Ava and Nicholas would have the Granolith.

Feeling his gaze on her, Tess focused on Alex, saw his eyes searching hers, looking for answers. Answers she couldn’t give him. Not about how much she cared, nothing about what she was thinking. It would be too much for both of them.

“Tess?” he asked, obviously knowing something was going on. Concern was written all over his face. Seeing it, understanding that it was genuine, was the final push those tears needed.

They began running little paths down her cheeks. Even as Alex shifted his hands to brush them away, Tess decided what she needed to do. You have to keep Alex and the others away while you take care of Nicholas. It’s too dangerous for them to be there.

I can accept that. Tess could feel the glee in Ava’s voice. It only compounded the grief. Does this mean we have an agreement?

Taking a deep breath, she fought to keep control until the last second. “I’m sorry,” she mouthed to Alex, even as she was mentally agreeing with Ava.

The last thing she saw was Alex’s eyes go wide. Then, the black overtook her. As she sank deeper and deeper, she swore she heard her voice say, “She made her decision.”

~~~~

Alex waved frantically at the rapidly approaching Jeep. For an instant, it looked like they were going to go right by him. Then, he heard the brake screech as the tires tried to grab hold of ground. Dirt and rocks kicked up as the vehicle skidded to a stop a couple of feet away from him.

Even before the dust cleared, he was moving to the passenger side door. “We need to go,” was all he said as he motioned for Michael to make room for him.

Max shifted the Jeep into park, but kept the engine running. “Why? What happened? Where’s Tess?”

“Ava has her,” Alex hissed, clutching his side as a stitch caused the muscle to contract. After Ava poofed him out of the SUV, he tried to run after them. The rational part of his brain knew it was stupid. There was no way he would ever keep up with a speeding vehicle. However, the irrational part of his brain, the one that would forever have the look on Tess’s face when she mouthed sorry to him etched into it, demanded he try.

God, he thought. She had looked so scared and sad and brave. He knew the instant her lips started forming the words what she had planned. He didn’t even have a minute to try to talk her out of it before she was gone. Her eyes changed almost instantly, doing black.

She made her decision, Ava had told him. Then, she looked him up and down, shaking her head when her assessment was done. Too bad. Next thing Alex knew, he was standing by the side of the road, watching the SUV speed away.

He felt a hand on his shoulder. Glancing back, he saw that it was Isabel. “Are you okay? Did Ava hurt you?”

“No. I’m fine.” he said, hoping to reassure her. “Just out of breath.” Alex took a deep breath than turned his attention to Max. “Drive,” he demanded.

His friend just stared at him, slightly taken back by the demand. Then, Max asked again, “What happened?”
“Drive and I’ll tell you.”

For a moment, Alex worried that Max might insist on the answers first, something they didn’t have time for. Not when Ava was rushing off for her revenge without considering what might happen. Not when Tess was about to sacrifice herself. To his relief, Max nodded and eased the Jeep back onto the road. The second they started gaining speed, Alex told them what happened.

“Ava and Nicholas were in love back on Antar,” he said, jumping right in. “He got a little miffed that she decided to do her duty by marrying Zan, so he killed her. And, as we all have seen, she really hasn’t gotten over it.”

“How did you find this out?” Michael asked.

Somehow, Alex felt his already flushed face go redder. “Well, Tess was able to break through. She showed me what happened.”

“Showed you,” Maria repeated. “How? Like those flash thingys that Liz used to get when,” she trailed off. When Alex remained silent, she blinked. “Oh.” The short word was dragged out for three syllables, enough that no one in the Jeep could be ignorant of what had happened.

He didn’t wince, but it was a near thing. This wasn’t exactly the way he’d wanted to approach the subject of him and Tess with the others. Hell, he didn’t even know if there would be a him and Tess to discuss. Yet, deep down, he was considering the possibilities, wanting the chance to find out what might happen between them.

“How doesn’t matter,” he said shortly. “What matters is that now we know why Ava wants Nicholas dead. And she can sense where he is, which, at the moment, is the pod chamber.”

“Oh shit,” Kyle muttered under his breath.

Alex nodded. “No kidding. Ava’s heading there right now. She’s going to try to kill him.”

“What about Tess?” Max asked. “How badly is Ava draining her?”

Shifting to face Max, Alex couldn’t form the words. He just couldn’t voice the idea that Tess was dying a little each time Ava used her powers. He couldn’t say he believed Tess had given up.

In the end, it turned out he didn’t have to. Max seemed to understand. His face hardened into a firm resolve as he shifted the Jeep into a higher gear.

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Re: Take Me Over (A/T - Mature) Pt. 7

Postby Anniepoo98 » Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:12 pm

It is true. You're eyes are not deceiving you. I actually do have a new part. I promise that I do plan to finish this story, especially since there are only two-ish parts left after this one. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this part.

Thanks!
Annie:)

Part Seven

Careful to keep to the shadows, Ava made her way down path. With each step she took, the voices echoing off of the cave walls grew louder. He sounds so different now, she thought, so very different from before. The rich baritone that she remembered whispering endearments to her had changed to a squeaky adolescent voice that attempted to bark out commands.

The other two voices that answered back to him were harsher versions of Rath and Vilondra’s human forms. From what she could access of the vessel’s memories, she understood that they belonged to the duplicate set of hybrids. Apparently, they had betrayed their version of the former king in order to get in Kivar’s good graces.

What fools, she thought. Kivar had no good side, no grace at all when it came to the people who served him. They were all just tools. As soon as they outlived their usefulness, he disposed of them. The same would happen to the duplications as soon as they followed through and delivered the Granolith into his hands. Once he had the weapon he wanted, Kivar would be powerful enough to do whatever he desired.

A shiver ran through her body at the thought and Ava wasn’t sure if it had come from her or the vessel. Still, she inched along the wall, pushing all thoughts of the Granolith, Kivar, and the vessel to the back of her mind. They were of little concern to her now. Her true focus was Nicholas.

Keep your promise.

The soft ripple of words that skirted around the edge of her conscience made Ava stop completely. You should be gone, she thought back, disturbed that the vessel’s presence was still lingering. That was the bargain you struck with me.

After a moment, the same phrase echoed in her mind, barely strong enough to be discerned. Ava smiled. While the vessel lingered, she was growing weaker by the second. If the Gods were with her, by the time Ava left the cave, both she and Nicholas would be just a memory.

She crept along until the narrow passageway began to widen. Slowly, Ava peeked around a corner into the main chamber. From her vantage point, she could see the boy scowling at two teenagers. For a moment, it shocked her to actually see how much he resembled the boy she knew so long ago.

Then she saw his eyes. They were anything but childlike. So dark and cruel, Ava felt a chill go down her spine. There had been a time when she could see all of her hopes for the future in those eyes. Then, he aligned himself with Kivar. The power changed him, made him vicious. Seeing it completely destroyed her ability to hope. Still, that hadn’t been enough for Nicholas. He had to take her life as well.

Just thinking of the past, of what she suffered was enough to ignite the power burning inside her. Stepping out of the shadows, Ava held up both hands, sending out two fiery bolts of energy at the duplications in her way. They only had a moment to realize that something was wrong before bolts connected. Vilondra slammed into the wall, her neck making a sickening crack before she slumped to the ground. The other caught Rath in the shoulder. His cry of pain echoed almost as loudly as Nicholas’s curse.

“You will pay for what you did,” Ava called out, her attention turning towards Nicholas.

“Tess,” he replied, raising his hand. “I see you are as stupid in this life as you were in the last.”

Even as he prepared to blast her, Ava shot out another bolt of energy that pinned him to the far wall. Deliberately, she made her way across the chamber, stopping alongside his prone form. “It would be prudent to mind who you speak ill off. It may come to harm you in the end.” Leaning in, she savored the way confusion and fear flashed in his eyes for a brief moment. It was even sweeter to watch it grow as she leaned in, so close, only he could hear her whispered words. “Tess no longer inhabits this body.

She drew back in time to see his eyes widen as realization set in. He opened his mouth to speak, but a movement to her left caught Ava’s attention. She turned in time to see Rath’s fist before the punch landed.

~~~~

Max slowed the Jeep as they neared the pod chamber. He could already see an SUV parked alongside the rock formation, but it wasn’t the only vehicle there.

He wasn’t the only one that noticed. Michael reached out, pointing at the black van positioned next to Tess’s car. “What are we going to do, Maxwell? You know that twerp didn’t come alone. There is no way his feet would reach the pedals.”

There was a short snort of laughter from Kyle, but Max could hear the tension in it. He also felt the pressure of needing to come up with a plan. The trouble was he had no idea what to do. All he did know was that they were out of time. Ava was draining Tess to the point of death. If they waited much longer, it might be too late.

Glancing over at Alex, Max could tell that his friend was seconds away from charging up the formation.

“We can’t just rush in there,” Max said. Instantly, Alex opened his mouth to protest, but Max cut him off. “We need to at least figure out what weapons we have. Michael is right. If Nicholas there, it probably means that Lonnie and Rath are too. And we all know that Ava isn’t going to stop without a fight. We need something else besides some rocks and alien blasting powers to take them on. All four of them are stronger than us.”

Isabel nodded. “Max is right. They won’t hesitate to kill, not with being so close to getting the Granolith and…”

As her voice trailed off, Max noticed a light appear in his sister’s eyes. Seconds later, she was climbing over Maria to hop out of the jeep, racing towards the back where of the car. He saw her pull out the emergency kit their parents insisted they carry. “These,” she said after a minute of rummaging around, “might just be what we need.”

Max stared at the two flare guns she held in her hands. “I think you’re right.” An idea, a really crazy – possibly stupid – idea began to form in the back of his mind. “How many flares do we have?

Isabel rummaged through the box a little more. “It looks like there are five.”

He nodded as he absorbed the information. Before he spoke, however, he glanced around, considering each option. There was no way he could ask Maria to use on the flare guns. She had a firm hatred for anything gun related. There was no telling if she would be able to use it if she needed to.

Alex was also out of the question. Granted, it was more than obvious that his friend was desperate to save Tess, but for the first time in his life, Max wasn’t sure about what lengths Alex might go through to achieve that goal. Not that he would put any of them intentionally in danger. Still, he might act recklessly and there was already too much uncertainty in the situation. Max knew he couldn’t add Alex with a weapon to that.

That left Kyle and Liz. Max knew that the sheriff’s son had experience with firearms. Asking him to use one of the flare guns was almost a no brainer. “Give one to Kyle,” Max told Isabel.

She did as he asked, but Max’s focus was already shifting. Glancing over, he noticed Liz staring at him as if she could sense what he was thinking. Their gazes met and locked, even as she opened her mouth to speak. Then, she stopped, nodding instead. Turning to face Isabel, Liz held out her hand. “I’ll take the other."

“Okay,” Max said as he opened the driver’s side door. “Here is what we are going to do.”

~~~~

The sharp pain radiating from her head brought Tess’s conscience to the surface. It wasn’t the only part of her the hurt. Fatigue was an ache all the way down to her bones. Her face felt battered and she couldn’t see anything but blurry masses out of her right eye.

She also could not sense Ava anywhere inside her mind, which confused her completely. When they made their deal, Tess was sure that Ava would never allow her back in control. Yet, here she was. What went wrong?

Tess closed her eyes, trying to recall every second before things went dark. She remembered arriving at the pod chamber and Ava’s glee at the thought of getting revenge against Nicholas. There were also flashes of Lonnie and Rath, but she wasn’t entirely sure if those were memories or not.

Everything was just so jumbled.

Just then, there was a quick little kick to the back of one of her legs. Biting her tongue, Tess managed to hold back the whimper as a quick ripple of pain went up her leg. “She’s still out,” a voice called out.
Rath, Tess thought, realizing that her impressions might not be far off.

“Drag her in here.”

Nicholas’s command echoed in her mind. However, before she could decide what to do, Rath grabbed her arm, wrenching it above her as he started to pull her across the ground. Rock scrapped the skin of her back and her shoulder felt like it was on fire. Still, she managed to keep quiet. She needed to figure out what they were up to and the best way to do what was to pretend to be knocked out.

After a couple of minutes, rough patches of dirt gave way to a smooth surface. The Granolith chamber, she thought.

She heard Rath mutter something under his breath, but it was the catch in Nicholas’s breath that sent a chill down her spine. She didn’t need to see him to know there was a smug smile on his face. After all, he finally had the weapon his master had been searching decades for. Sadness washed over Tess causing tears to sting her eyes. We’ve failed.
Almost in response, anger began to churn in her belly. “No,” she whispered.

“Tess.”

She opened her eyes just enough to see him take a few steps towards her.

“It’s nice to see you awake again.” He tilted his head to the side. “Or are you Ava? Is that who is in there?”

Taking a deep breath, she raised her head, trying to meet his gaze directly. “Maybe.”

He moved quickly. The back of his hand connected with her side of her face causing stars to explode behind her eyes. “I am not in the mood for games. Now, tell me, are you Ava or Tess?”

His hand dropped on to the top of her head and Tess could feel Nicholas trying to force open the connection between them. For an instant, she had a flashback to New York. The pain he inflicted on her there was unlike anything she had ever experienced before. It felt like a violation against her very soul. There was no way she would survive it again.

Tell him the truth, Ava said. The anger inside her began to grow. I need time to gather my strength.

“Tess,” she cried out. “I’m Tess.”

“Very good.” His hand fell away. “How did you know we were here, Tess? Where did you get the power you used earlier?”

Looking down at the ground, Tess shook her head. Over and over again in her mind, she heard Ava demanding for her to stall. “I don’t know,” she lied. “I don’t know what is happening to me. I can’t remember anything.”

“Bullshit.” Rath moved closer, fury written all over this face. “Don’t tell me you’re believing this.”

Tess felt Nicholas grab a handful of her hair, using it to yank her head back so she was looking him in the eyes. “I’m not sure. If you are anything like your predecessor, Tess, lying should come easily to you. She fooled me, after all.”

“She loved you,” Tess threw back at him. “She wanted nothing more than to be with you.”

Loosening his grip on her hair, he pushed her away. The momentum caused her cheek to collide with the base of the Granolith. However, this time she barely registered the blow over the rest of the pain radiating throughout her body. She tried to lift herself, hoping to crawl away, but her limbs wouldn’t cooperate.

She could hear Nicholas ranting, but it sounded so far away. It was almost like footsteps echoing down a distant tunnel, too far away to be clear. Heavy with the fatigue, weary from pain, Tess felt her eyes begin to close. That’s when she felt Ava’s presence surge forward in her consciousness.

Now, Ava’s voice shouted in her mind. You must move now. Touch the Granolith and I will open the connection. I will take care of everything from there.

She tried, but still her body would not cooperate. I can’t, Tess thought.

Do it, Ava screamed. Otherwise Nicholas wins. Kivar will win. And all of people you care about will die.

Knowing that what Ava said was true, Tess gathered the last of her strength. Slowly, her hand lifted and her fingers brushed against the cool, smooth surface of the Granolith. Heat flared underneath her fingertips, coursing up her arm, then down her spine.

In the background, she heard someone shouted her name. Other voices joined it as the noise in the room rose to an ear-splitting level. Tess tried to speak, but it was too late. She felt Ava take over as the sound around her reached its crescendo. Darkness surrounded her as everything fell silent.


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