Charlie (so happy you came out from behind the tree thank u)
Eve (thank you so much for also saving this story and offering to help )
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Chapter thirty one
Max’s body lay across Isabel’s bed like a statue of a Greek God, a warrior whose bravery and courage is captured along sculptured muscles displaying scars and wounds that told a story of war and pain.
His pale handsome face still held so much beauty was in stark contrast to his darkened almost black eyes that continued to peer into nothingness.
Feverishly hot to the touch dressed in a black short sleeve shirt and dark ripped jeans Liz continuously placed cold compresses on his forehead.
She listened helplessly as they argued back and forth, her energies focused on connecting to him through their bond.
For hours she concentrated, one hand clutching the pendent that he had given her so long ago while the other held his hand.
Whispering stories of their past and her love for him tenderly close to his ear she worked hard not to even entertain the thought that she might once again lose him, maybe this time forever.
Not wanting to alert the others she noticed as her fingers pressed against the inside of his wrist his pulse was dangerously fast.
For the longest time the discussions surrounding her about what to do seemed like far off echoes.
All she wanted was to take him home, for him to snap out of whatever this was and heal himself just like he had always before.
Closing her eyes she pictured him surrounding her in his surreal brilliant light as they shared an intimacy that surpassed pleasure or love.
Lowering her forehead to his bare arm her tears spilled onto his skin knowing now that she should’ve told him.
That maybe if he knew it could’ve helped to tether him here, now it was too late.
Suddenly she heard Michael’s voice pulling her out of her thoughts.
“It’s too dangerous, she could get trapped there, she hasn’t had time to hone her powers. She's just a child.”
Michael shook his head speaking in almost a whisper as he paced the beige carpet tracing his previous footsteps in a continuous loop.
Isabel who had a desperate grip on Max’s hand nodded in agreement.
“You’re right, that’s why she’s not going to dreamwalk him … I am.”
Halting his steps Michael gripped her shoulders falling to his knees beside the bed.
“Absolutely not, you haven’t used you’re powers in over a decade. You have a greater chance at getting trapped there then Lily does, besides you won’t be able to bring him back, it has to be someone that can reach him.”
Hearing that they weren’t going to let Lily do it she knew she had to do something.
“I can do it.”
They all glared at Liz suspecting that the stress had finally gotten to her.
The nine hour vigil that they had been keeping over him was getting to all of them bringing them back to a time when they had to accept that he was lost to them.
It was beyond heart breaking.
Maria was the first to speak the obvious to her as she gently touched her arm in an attempt to lead her out of the room to get some rest.
“Liz honey you have no powers, how could you possibly dreamwalk him. You need to lay down, this is all too much – “
Jerking herself away from Maria Liz hardened her tone. “I did it once before don’t you remember?
With Ava, I was able to connect with him in New York. Our bond is strong; I know I can do it again.”
Kyle rubbed his temples, his stomach turning with the thought of her entering Max’s mind.
“You had Ava then, how do you plan on getting through to him without someone strong enough to act as a conduit.”
Looking around at everyone Liz took Lily by the hand. “Does anyone mind if I have a private talk with Lily?”
Isabel hesitated for a moment staring down at her child for whom she had struggled for so long to keep her safe and as far away from this world as possible.
Leading her out of the room quickly before Isabel had a chance to change the mind Liz took her in the backyard placing her up on the patio table.
It was nighttime again and the sky was filled with stars and the biggest moon Liz was sure she had ever seen.
Trying to choose her words carefully Liz took her by the hands doing her best to put her emotions aside.
With a number of false starts Liz struggled to get the words out before Lily took the burden from her.
“I know what you want me to do Auntie Liz, it’s alright … I’m not afraid, and I know that the others wouldn’t understand … especially mommy.”
Cupping the little girl’s cheek Liz fought back tears seeing so much of Max’s heart in her big blue innocent eyes.
“He told me that you were special, he believed that your powers were limitless. I didn’t want to scare the others but there is so much more you are capable of isn’t there Lily?”
Hesitantly Lily nodded slowly with a confidence and piercing kindness that passed through Liz in such a way it made her gasp.
“You are so much like him, you want to protect them all, you know they’re afraid of things they don’t understand. You wanted them to feel safe so you pretended.”
Lifting her eyes towards the night sky the color surrounding her pupils began to glow like fire, a sapphire flame glimmered beneath long eyelashes engulfing her cherub face in vibrant light that was almost too beautiful for the human mind to accept.
Standing on the table she kept one hand tight around her teddy bear’s wrist letting it fall by her side as she stared up at the sky.
“I can hear the heartbeat, so tiny and fast... like a hummingbird.” Feeling Liz’s apprehension Lily whispered up to the heavens. “Don’t worry this is a secret that is yours to keep.”
Wiping tears from her face Liz pulled her hair back into a pony tail holding it there never feeling so scared in her life.
Just then the warmth of Lily surrounded her, her tiny arms clutched around her neck engulfing them both in a bright orange glowing ember.
“I know what you want me to do Auntie Liz, don’t worry. I’ll bring him back to you.”
They all jumped up as Liz ran in with Lily in her arms.
“Listen we don’t have much time, Max is growing weaker by the hour, I have a plan… a good one.”
Sitting around the kitchen table they listened as Liz convincingly explained how Lily could dreamwalk Max while bringing Liz with her.
That Liz would be able to keep her safe, be her anchor, keep her from getting to frightened and getting lost.
Grabbing Isabel’s hand Liz pleaded with her.
“I know that’s what you’re worried about, that it will all be too much for her to take and the lines between illusion and reality will become blurred tricking her mind, that Max’s dream is the true reality trapping her there, but this will not happen with me by her side. I promise you.”
Looking to Michael Isabel knew this was risky but she also knew this was their only hope of getting him back.
Taking a deep breath Liz tried to remain calm.
“Isabel death would be a blessing compared to what he is facing now. We are talking about the next forty to fifty years trapped in a hell of his worst memory. At one time or another he sacrificed his life for everyone sitting at this table. Please…”
Closing her eyes a flood of memories came rushing inside Isabel taking her breath away.
~ Max and her at age six playing hide and seek, how he always let her find him, that the gift of her laughter was enough for him.
~ That summer in Florida when they drew their symbol in the sand, how she knew in that moment she’d never be alone.
~ Standing in the spaceship knowing that her place was beside him, the relief that resonated in his eyes that gave him the strength he needed before Tess’s lies were revealed.
~ finally Max coming to save her that faithful day, shoving her aside away from Kivar and the portal, risking his life without a second thought, because that’s who he was… who he forever will be …
Clutching Liz’s hands Isabel took a deep breath. “Make sure you bring them both back Liz, I’m counting on you.”
An hour later Isabel and Michael knelt on either side of the bed while Lily laid beside Max on one side of the bed and Liz did the same on the other.
The healing stones were placed over his heart and his forehead while white candles burnt all around them.
Kyle and Maria remained in the kitchen their hands gripping coffee mugs worried for them all.
Turning on her side Lily wrapped her arm securely around Max while she laced her fingers through Liz’s holding her hand tight.
With her little face pressed gingerly against Max’s heart Lily whispered out to all of them.
“I need all of you to think about Uncle Max and how much we love him, nothing but positive energy must flow around him. We must make an invisible chain of protection, he needs to feel that he is linked to us, to this world, that we all accept and love him for the man he is.”
The room when silent for several minutes before the density in the air began to change.
Ripples like a stone thrown into a pond edged outward carrying Lily into a world harsh and brutal.
Emotional torment struck her pure soul like giant ocean waves throwing her back tumbling into chaos.
Clearing her mind Lily focused envisioning nothing but her Uncle until she began to see people forming in droves in front of her.
Gripping her teddy bear tight her eyes wandered until she found him again struggling against Sam, screaming, fighting watching as his son burst into flames.
Feeling Lily’s hand twitch Liz knew she was there, keeping her eyes shut she pretended like they had agreed earlier outside on the patio table that she was there too.
‘Please Lily, bring him back to me, bring him back to … us.’