Decisions (CC,TEEN) COMPLETE - 8/1/13

Finished Canon/Conventional Couple Fics. These stories pick up from events in the show. All complete stories from the main Canon/CC board will eventually be moved here.

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JanieD
Enthusiastic Roswellian
Posts: 44
Joined: Sat May 08, 2010 5:11 pm
Location: New England

Decisions (CC,TEEN) COMPLETE - 8/1/13

Postby JanieD » Thu Aug 01, 2013 1:03 pm

Decision s
A fan fiction by Janie(the characters are based on Roswell and not mine)
08/01/13
rating teen
Max and Liz seek to find one another again but face some painful obstacles along the way and learn that his destiny is not what they have been led to believe.

Chapter 1

"So did you find out where the Granilith is?" Rath asked Nicholas as he came into their underground hide away.

"That insipidity stupid, half human girl was able to block me out. I don't know how..." he said as he paced back and forth, " but she was able to block me out of her head completely."

"So what's that mean?" Rath asked not sure he understood what Nicholas was saying.

It means you idiot," he snapped at him, "that I couldn't tell were the Granilith was located. She used her mind warp powers and just kept blocking me." He told them trying to keep his anger under control.

"So now what, if we don't have the Granilith, then we got nothing." Rath told him. "This whole thing was a huge waste of time and Khivar ain't gonna be to happy."

Nicholas glared at him, "No it was not a huge waste of time. There still might be a way to get what we want."

Lonnie took in a deep breath, "Just tell us already..." she demanded, "Did you find anything out that can help us or not."

Nicholas smiled, "Tess may have been able to keep me from finding the location of the Granilith but she was not able to keep me out of her head completely." he told them, "I found out that Max Evans has one real weakness, a weakness we can use to our advantage."

Lonnie walked over toward him, "Yeah whats that?" she asked him.

Nicholas narrowed his eyes, "He can be influenced by that other girl. The one with the dark hair, the human girl, Elizabeth Parker." Nicholas told her.

Lonnie looked over at Rath then back to Nicholas, " Ok so what's the plan then?"

"The plan." he sneered at her barely able to hide his disgust, "The plan is both brilliant and simple all at the same time."

Lonnie was getting annoyed, "Just tell us what yous wants us to do?"

Nicholas shook his head, how pathetic the two of them were. It was clear they had gotten the worst parts of both their former selves. Rath who was once and intelligent warrior, capable of impressive tactical planning was now nothing more then a common street thug and Lonnie who was once the most trusting, innocent, beautiful, well spoken Princess of Antar was now cold, distrustful and manipulative. He looked around at the sewer they called home and shook his head, "This place is disgusting why do you stay down here." Nicholas asked them disregarding her question.

Lonnie was beginning to loose her temper, "Its all we got ok!" she yelled at him as she got up and walked over to him, "Now instead of insulting us why don't you tell us what you want us to do and then you can get out of here since you find it so disgusting." she told him as she clinched her fists.

Nicholas knew better then to get into a fight with Valandra, she was no longer the young vulnerable girl who was so easy deceived back on Antar, years of living with the guilt and betrayal of what she had done had hardened her. He knew when she was about to explode that it was time to step back. He smiled and cleared his throat, "I want the two of you to stay here out of my way while I get the Granilith from our friends in Roswell. I have a plan but it doesn't require your help this time." he told her then said, "I will get the Granilith and then I will be back for you."

"You better not be lying to us Nicholas." Lonnie told him, "I still have allies back home and even though I may not be the Valandra, Khivar wants back by his side, I still can make things really difficult for him."

"Is that a threat?" Nicholas asked her.

She leaned over and whispered in his ear, "Its more then a threat Nicholas, its a promise." she told him.

Nicholas swallowed hard and smiled, "Lets play nice." He told her, "After all once we have the Granilith we all get what we want, you two have a way home and Khivar and I will finally take control of what is ours."

Lonnie smiled, "Fine but don't take to long." she told him as he walked toward the door.

Nicholas smiled, he did so love pushing her buttons and watching her react. It was such fun being the puppet master and having the power to make others do exactly what you wanted them to.

Zan sat quietly as he hid in the shadows watching and listening to everything they said. It was to his advantage that they believed that their plan to kill him worked. None of them had any idea of the true nature of the healing power that he and Max shared. Killing him was not such an easy task as Lonnie and Rath thought it was. Once Zan was sure Nicholas was gone and it was safe he quietly made his way up out of the sewers. Once he was topside he made his way to the airport, it was time he went to Roswell to see Max Evans the true King of Antar.

Liz waited with Ava as the bus pulled up, "So where are you going to go?" she asked her.

Ava shrugged her shoulders, "not sure." she told her. "I was thinking maybe I might head out to California for awhile, live on the beach and just kind of chill."

Liz smiled, "Sounds like a really good plan." she told her.

"Yeah well I figure some time in the sun could be just want I need." Ava told her.

"So you think I look alright?" She asked as she stepped back, gone were the tattoos' piercings, and strange clothes. Ava looked like a whole new person ready for a new life and a new beginning.

Liz shook her head, "I think you look amazing." she told her.

Ava smiled, "You don't think the hair is to much do ya?" she asked as she brushed the long dark hair away from her face. "Zan always use to say I should let it grow out so I figured why not give a try ya know."

Liz smiled, "No Ava really you look like your ready to start a whole new life. Your hair is beautiful."

She took in a deep breath, "Good cause that's my plan." she told her. "I just want to start over ya know."

"Well just remember that your always welcome here." Liz told her as she hugged her goodbye.

Ava laughed, "Your such a goof ball." she told her as she hugged her back.

Liz smiled, "I mean it Ava, you helped me save Max. I owe you everything, anytime you need anything just call or come here." she told her.

"I didn't do so much." Ava told her, "It was all you. I told ya he changed ya things will be different."

Liz hugged her one last time, "You have my number call me and let me know how you are doing."

The driver stepped out and called for the passengers to begin boarding, "Well I better go." Ava told her as she turned and walked to the bus. She stopped for just a minute and turned back to Liz, "Don't make the same mistake I did." Ava told her, "Tell Max the truth, tell him ya love um and just work it out." she told her just before she got on the bus.

Max looked through the crowds at the airport for Michael and Maria while Tess grabbed her back pack. He still couldn't believe everything that had happened, how Lonnie and Rath had tricked him into thinking that Isabel had turned against him. He took in a deep breath, it felt good to be back in Roswell. He looked over at Tess and smiled, "You doing ok?" he asked her again.

She shook her head, "Yeah I'm ok, just a minor lingering headache." she told him.

"I'm just glad your alright." he told her. "Michael should be here anytime." he said as he glanced down at his watch.

Tess nodded her head, "Good cause I am so looking forward to getting home and crashing in my own bed."

Max smiled, "Does sound good."

Tess expression changed, "So you going to go talk with Liz?" she asked him.

Max shrugged his shoulders, "I don't know." he said reluctantly, "I was pretty cold to her when I left for New York."

Tess tried to stifle a yawn, "She did save your life, if she hadn't appeared to you like she did you would have walked right into their trap." She smiled at him, "I know I am glad your alright and I owe her for that."

Max didn't say anything more as Michael and Maria came up toward them. "So glad that you came to your senses and decided to come home." Maria told Max as she walked up and hugged him.

Max laughed, "yeah well the big city is not all its cracked up to be." he told her.

Maria smiled, "It never is." she told him as the four of them headed toward the car.

Liz walked back into the Crashdown after dropping Ava off at the bus station. In a really odd way she felt like the two of them had connected. Ava had lost Zan and she lost Max, it was like they both understood what the other was going through. Ava made it easy to like her, she was completely different from Tess. She behaved all hard and distant but on the inside she was really sweet and caring. She was kind, and so much more human then Tess ever seemed. It was clear how much Ava had been in love with Zan, listening to her tell of how he was killed was heart breaking. Liz took in a deep breath so much had happened. She felt really drained all she wanted to do was climb into her bed and go to sleep, but seeing the look on her moms face as she walked into the restaurant she knew that she had to offer to help close up. "Hey mom, what are you still doing home?

"I was just finishing cleaning up before we leave." Nancy told her daughter.

"Mom its your anniversary, you and dad don't want to be late for your flight. Go now, get dad and your suit case and leave this to me." Liz offered.

"Are you sure honey because I can finish if you want me to?" Nancy asked her daughter.

Liz smiled, "Mom I can handle this, you and dad go and have fun." she assured her.

Nancy hugged her, "Alright, make sure you lock up before going to bed and just double check to make sure the grill is turned off." she told her then said, "Oh and the sheriff told your father he will have his deputies check things on their patrol just to make sure everything is alright."

"Ok mom, don't worry I will be fine." she told her.

"Oh and don't forget to put the sign up that we will be closed for the next week while we are away." She reminded her.

Liz pointed over to the door, "Dad already put it up yesterday." she told her.

Nancy hugged her again, "oh alright then I guess I am just being worried over nothing." she told her, "You will be fine."

"Yes mom I will, now please go have fun, dad springing for this trip to Hawaii is an amazing gift please promise you will let everything here go and enjoy yourself." Liz told her.

Nancy took in a deep breath, "I will." she said as she began walking toward the kitchen door, "did your friend get off alright at the bus station?" she asked.

"Yeah she did." Liz told her.

"I'm glad, she seemed like such a nice girl. Funny how much she looked like that other friend of yours, Tess." Nancy commented, "You said they aren't related at all?"

"Nope." Liz answered trying to think of what to say next, "You know what they say though about everyone having a twin in the world."

"Yeah they do say that." Nancy laughed as she turned to leave, "Alright I will call you in the morning. Our flight will be getting in late and I don't want to wake you. Love you."

"Love you too mom, have fun." Liz called out as she went back out into the restaurant. She stopped and looked around at the mess, "What I wouldn't give to be able to wave my hand and have all of this disappear." she mumbled to herself. She walked over and began clearing the tables and tried to keep her mind off of Max. She glanced up at the clock, it was already past eight, Michael and Maria probably already picked Max up. She thought about everything that had happened, how Ava told her she was different, how she was able to connect with Max and how much she wanted to tell him the whole truth about what had really happened between her and Kyle. As she finished clearing the table she looked over toward the door and saw Max standing there. She took in a deep breath and walked over to let him in. "I heard you made it back from New York."

"Yeah we got home just about an hour ago." he told her then said, "Listen Liz I just wanted to say..." he started but stopped mid sentence.

"What is it Max?" she asked her voice filled with concern.

He searched her eyes, "I wanted to thank you for saving my life." he told her.

Liz smiled, "Yeah well I guess it makes us even now." she told him attempting to lighten the mood.

Max took her hand in his, "I also wanted to say that I didn't mean what I said before I left for New York." he told her, "I want us to begin again as friends."

Liz could feel her heart racing, "I'd like that."

"I've missed you, missed talking with you." he told her honestly.

Liz looked down toward the floor, "I missed that too." she said softly.

Max reached over and lifted her chin, "Liz I have to ask ..." he started to say.

Liz looked into his eyes, her own shimmering with tears. She took in a deep breath, "Max I..." she began but then stopped and looked away from him, " I can't tell you anything different than I already have." she whispered softly. "Please don't hate me. I don't want to loose you. I can't bare the thought of loosing you completely."

Max could see she was hurting and he knew deep down that she was keeping something from him but he decided not to press further. "I wont ask again." he told her then he gently brushed the hair from her face. He stared into her eyes for a moment, leaned over and kissed her on the cheek and left. She watched as he walked away, her heart breaking a little with each step that he took. Just for a moment she felt a surge of panic well up inside of her, it was strange feeling like she would never seen him again. She couldn't explain it, "Max!" she called out to him but he just kept on walking unable to hear her. Once he was gone she let the tears flow freely she wanted to tell him more then anything but there was just so much at stake. If the events that future Max told her about did become a reality she would never be able to live with herself for causing Michael and Isabel's death.

Max walked over to his jeep and thought about going back inside, about trying one last time to get her to tell him the truth. He felt like she was so close to telling him what really happened that night but at the last moment she held back. He knew in his heart deep down she loved him still. He knew that she could never have slept with Kyle but still the images of the two of them together filled his mind and tormented him. The thing that troubled him the most was he knew Liz was keeping secrets from him, that was something that they had promised one another they would never do. That she would break that promise hurt as much as the betrayal he felt over her sleeping with Kyle. He took in a long deep breath and tried to clear his mind. If he was going to be her friend that part of their relationship had to die forever. He could still feel the battle inside raging over what to do but he had to find a way to just let go. It was over and he needed to look to the future, it was the only way he could stop being angry.

CHAPTER 2

Tess walked in to find Kyle sitting on the couch watching TV. He barely acknowledge her when she came through the door. She waited for him to say something but he acted as if she wasn't even there. “Well hello to you too.” she said feeling rather disappointed by his lack of joy at seeing her. She had thought that Kyle at least would be the one person who might actually be happy that she didn't fly off to Antar and instead came back to Roswell.

Kyle glanced over at her and shrugged, “Oh hey.” was all he said then he turned his attention back toward the TV.

Tess took in a deep breath and shook her head, “I don't even know why I bother.” she mumbled to herself as she picked up her back pack and headed into her bedroom. Once again the thought of just taking off and leaving them all behind entered into her mind, why she stayed around when it was clear no one wanted her there was a mystery even to herself. She opened her door and flipped on the light, the room was filled with balloons, a big bouquet of red roses and a welcome back home sign. She smiled as she walked in and put her things down on her bed. Kyle did care, she turned to see him standing in the doorway. “Oh Kyle thank you.” she said as she ran over and wrapped her arms around him. “You are the best.”

“Yeah well I missed you.” He told her honestly.

Tess looked into his eyes, “You missed me Kyle?” she asked him softly.

He cleared his throat and tried to act cool, “Well my dad and I, we both missed you.” he told her trying to play down his emotions. “I mean with out you here its just not the same.”

Tess smiled, she knew he was holding back how he really felt but it was fine. She still felt so confused about everything that had been going on lately that she was happy just knowing he cared enough to do this for her. “Well thank you for all of this.” she told him as she pulled away and walked over to smell the roses. “I think this is the first time in my life anyone has ever given me flowers before.” she admitted.

Kyle smiled, “Well that’s to bad because you deserve to have someone give you flowers all the time.” he told her.

Tess breathed in their scent one more time then turned back to Kyle, “So tell me what has been going on since we left?”

Kyle laughed, “Not much its Roswell after all.” he told her then asked, “So how was life in the big city, what was it like? I want to hear everything.”

Tess walked over and sat down on the bed and motioned for Kyle to do the same. “Well when we got there it was pretty clear things weren't the way Lonnie and Rath described them. First off they live in the sewers, it was kind of disgusting.” she told him.

“Oh so now my old room isn't so bad ugh?” he asked her.

“No its not so bad...” she admitted, “In fact compared to where I stayed over the past weeks it is pretty wonderful.”

Kyle smiled, “So go on tell me what happened. I heard from Liz about the attempt on Max's life but what about you?” he asked his voice filled with concern, “They didn't try to hurt you did they?”

Tess shook her head, “No.” then continued, “I don't think Nicholas really wanted Max killed, that was more Lonnie and Rath's doing. Once they got Max and I separated they took me to Nicholas and he tried to mind probe me.” she explained.

Kyle expression grew serious, “Did he hurt you?” he asked her.

Tess smiled, “It was painful when he was attempting to extract information from me but I was able to block him out of my head for the most part and that really ticked him off.”

Kyle laughed, “That's my girl” he told her, “This is twice now that you have kicked Nicholas to the curb.”

Tess nodded her head, “Your right, I hadn't even thought of that.” She laughed. “Well once he figure out he was not going to get the information of where the Granilith is located from me he took off with Lonnie and Rath and it wasn't long after that when Max found me.”

Kyle took in a deep breath, “So Max came riding in once again like the white knight in shinning armor to save the day.”

Tess picked up her pillow and threw it at him, “Not exactly like that” she told him then said, “But he did find me and we came back to Roswell just after that.”

Kyle stood up and walked over to the door, “Well I am just really glad your back.” he told her then added, “I really did miss you.”


Liz finished clearing off the tables and wiping them all down. She looked up at the clock it was just before eleven. She was so tired but Max was still on her mind. She couldn't stop thinking about what Ava had said to her just before she got on the bus. She thought about how close she had come to loosing him and this feeling she kept having all night that she was never going to see him again. What if something did happen to one of them and he never did know the truth. She took in a deep breath and picked up her cell phone, “Hey Max, its me. I know its really late and your probably already asleep but I just had to call you.” she said pausing for a moment, “About tonight, you were going to ask me about Kyle and I stopped you...” she said hesitating for a moment, “Max I just want you to know that there are things I want to tell you...things I desperately need to tell you but I'm just so confused. I don't know what...”

"Hello Liz, its been awhile?" Nicholas said as he came through the front door of the Crashdown. “ So nice to see you again.”

A chill ran down Liz spine as she turned around to see Nicholas standing in front of her. "What are you doing here? What do you want...” Liz asked as she back away and dropped the phone.

Nicholas walked over and picked up her phone, then he threw it against the wall. “I am rather disappointed I expected a nicer welcome then that.” he said sarcastically as he walked over toward her.

Liz felt fear rising up inside her, “I don't know what you want but Max will...”

Nicholas shook his head, “Max will do exactly as he is told and hand over the Granilith if he ever wants to see you alive again.” he told her. “He made a really big mistake in New York thinking he could mess with me.” he told her, “Cause now I am angry and trust me you wont like it when I am angry.”

Liz tried to keep calm, “Max will never give you the Granilith.” she told him defiantly.

“Oh I think he will.” he told her, “See Liz I know that Max Evans loves you and that he will do anything to keep you safe and I plan on using that love to get exactly what I want from him." Nicholas told her as he walked towards her. Liz screamed out for help and tried to run through the back door knocking over some dishes left on the counter as she did, but Nicholas held out his hand instantly a force of energy hit her and she was unable to move. He tied her hands together and sat her down on the stool at the counter. “Lets not make this harder then it has to be.” he taunted her. “Unless of course you like the ruff stuff.”

Liz eyes were flashed with anger, "You make me sick!"

Nicholas grabbed a hold of her face and began squeezing as hard as he could, “Now that was not a very nice thing to say was it.” he told her.

Liz tried to pull away from him, “What do you want from me?”

Nicholas smiled at her, "I want the Granilith and your going to help me get it.” he told her.

“I will never help you!” she told him.

Nicholas laughed, “Maybe not willingly, but I have my methods.” he told her as Liz tried to free herself. “Sit still.” he told her, “I've had a long day and I'm not in the mood.” He placed his hand over Liz head, "you see Liz,” he said her name sarcastically, “when I was in New York with your boyfriend and his crazy wife I found out some very interesting information about you.”

Liz didn't say anything, she was too frightened. Nicholas jerked her head around, “Aren’t you going to ask me what I found out?” he taunted her, “Aren't you in the least bit curious?”

Liz tried to pull away from him, “Your hurting me.” she cried out.

Nicholas laughed, “I know.” was all he said before he continued, “When I probed Tess mind I found out that Max wouldn't turn over the Granilith because of you. You warned him not to. Imagine my surprise, it seems you had some information about it that made him think it wouldn't be safe in our hands.” he told her.

“It isn't safe in your hands.” she yelled at him.

Nicholas took in a deep breath, “Of course its not, but how could you know that?” He asked her. When she didn't answer he continued, “well I have to tell you Liz, it sure did spark my curiosity. So here I am, and now your going to give me some answers whether you want to or not. ”

Liz cried out from the pain as he applied more pressure, “Now I wasn't able to find out where the Granilith is located from Tess.” he lamented in frustration, “some how she was able to block me from some parts of her brain.” he told her, “It was actually kind of impressive but I digress.”

Tears streamed down Liz face as waves of pain throbbed inside her head. Nicholas pulled her closer to him, “I did however find out that you are very important to Max Evans, in fact Tess believes you are the only one he would give up the Granilith for. She believes he would do just about anything for you."

“Max will never give you the Granilith,” she cried out as the pain intensified. Besides Tess is wrong he doesn't care about me anymore.” she told him.

Nicholas took in a deep breath and let out a heavy sigh, “Now Lizzy, I hope for your sake that is not true or else your going to die a very slow and painful death.” his voice was cold and calculating as he closed his eyes and held Liz head with both hands. "Now hold very still.” he warned her then laughed, “Oh and Lizzy, I promise this is going to hurt, a lot..."

Flashes of Max went though Liz mind. Everything that had happened over the last few weeks played out like a movie in her head. Max coming from the future, the Granilith power used as a time travel
device, having to push Max to be with Tess, and faking that she slept with Kyle. Nicholas saw it all, as he finished probing Liz mind he laughed, "That's perfect. That’s better then I could have every hoped for.” he told her as he let go of her. Liz slumped forward as the pain continued on. Nicholas lifted her chin, “You are a clever girl,” he said his voice filled with delight, “Truly I am impressed that you, a know nothing human have discovered a way to use the Granilith that we did not even know it was capable of. Time travel, how perfect.” he told her as he walked over and poured himself a soda from the machine. “This has truly been an interesting get together, my only compliant is that you don't know where the Granilith is but other then that I am very pleased indeed. Seems your future lover boy Max didn't share that little bit of information with you.” Nicholas walked over to the front of the Crashdown and looked out the window, "I wonder,” He said only pausing briefly, “I wonder if our noble king Max would have traveled back in time and made you do all these things to save the world if he had known it would end up like this?”

Liz wiped away the tears from her eyes, “Max did what he had to do to save us all.”

Nicholas waved his hand in the air as if to dismiss her statement, “yes, yes of course he did but in the process he sacrificed you, his supposed only true love. He just tossed you aside so he could be with his ex.” he told her. “That must have hurt just a little bit.” he taunted her with mercy.

Liz sniffled in, “It wasn't like that, he didn't want to be with Tess he had no choice.”

Nicholas laughed, “Oh of course he had a choice, there is always a choice. Don't be so naive Lizzy dear, he had you...found that to be lacking and wanted something more. Its not your fault your human after all.”

Liz shook her head, “Think what ever you like I don't know care, I know the truth.” she told him as the tears rolled down her cheek.

“Oh Lizzy don't feel bad at least you did what you did out of love for him. You were faithful, and loyal just as a good pet should be,” he walked back over to her and pinched her cheek, mocking her. “ And how clever it was of you to make younger Max think that you slept with the other guy just so that he would full fill his destiny and be with his queen.” Seeing the disdain in her eyes he continued, “No really Liz it was completely unselfish of you to sacrifice your own happiness, to give up the love of your life, just to help Max and the others.” he said sarcastically. “I suppose he doesn't know any of this either, being the dutiful little human that you are. I bet you have suffered with all this alone. Literally carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders." Nicholas told her as he walked over toward the kitchen doorway and looked into the dark empty room.

Liz vision cleared as the pain in her head began to dull, "What I feel for Max is beyond anything you could ever possibly understand.” she told him.

Nicholas laughed as he walked back over to her, “well your right about that. Love is a foreign concept to me but I am willing to learn.” he said as he leaned in and whispered in her ear. “In fact I am quickly learning just what a powerful tool it can be against ones enemies.”

Liz shook her head and pulled back away from him, “You will never get the Ganilith. Max won't ever give it to you. I wouldn't want him to no matter what you do to me" She snapped at him defiantly as fresh tears filled her eyes.

"Those are very brave words, lets see if you still feel that way in a day or two after I have had my fun with you." Nicolas told her then said to the skins. "Bring her with us.”

Liz struggled to free herself from the two skins that held her kicking over some chairs and more dishes in the process, "No! Please!" She screamed in between sobs. “Please help me! She screamed out but there was no one to hear her. Nicholas shoved Liz kicking and crying into the back of a van. He reached his hand up and hit her hard across the side of her face, “I really don't want to hear you screaming the entire way so be quiet or else.” he told her. Liz fell backward from the force of the blow. Her nose was bleeding and she could feel her check beginning to swell.

Zan stood in the back of the Crashdown just behind the kitchen door listening to what went on. He followed Nicholas to Roswell hoping to find Max but after what he had heard he decided this girl was now is top priority. If Liz really did have knowledge on how to turn the Granilith into a time traveling device then he needed to be sure that Nicholas never got his hands on it no matter what that meant. Saving Liz and insuring that Max did not turn over the Granilith was his mission now. Zan waited as the van began pulling away then he stepped out of the shadows and got on his motorcycle following them. He couldn't chance letting Nicholas get away with Liz, not now that he knew who she was.

CHAPTER 3

Max walked into his bedroom, he was exhausted after the long flight home more then anything he just wanted to crawl into bed and sleep for the next twelve hours. He threw his gear into the corner and kicked off his shoes. He was just about to lye down when he heard a knock at his bedroom door. “Yeah come in.” he called out.

Isabel peeked her head through the door, "Hey, I just wanted you to know that I am glad your back.”

Max smiled, “Its good to be back.” he told her.

Isabel stepped into the room and walked over to sit down on the bed “About what happened with Lonnie and Rath..” she started to say, “I hope you know now that wasn't me who said all those things to you.”

Max took in a deep breath, “I know but you still should have been the one to tell me about Valnadra.”

Isabel shook her head, “Your right, I shouldn't have kept secrets from you and I am sorry. I just was so ashamed of what they said Valandra did that I didn't know how to tell you or Michael.” she explained as tears filled her eyes.

Max took her hand in his, "Isabel I know it must have been really confusing to hear all that stuff but I hope you know now that you don't have to be afraid to tell me anything. I mean it. Your my sister and I will always be here for you." Max told her as he squeezed her hand gently.

Isabel hesitated for just a moment, “Have you talked to Liz yet?”

“I stopped off and saw her for a few minutes.” he said then added, “We agreed to be friends.”

“Is that what you want?” Isabel asked him.

“It doesn't seem to matter what I want at this point.” he told her in frustration.

"Max, I am not totally clear on what happened between the two of you but I do know that she was willing to do anything to save you. She was the one who convinced Ava to tell us the truth about Lonnie and Rath." Isabel told him trying to convince him that it was true.

"Seeing her appear like that in New York was one of the reasons I knew I had to come back here. It just confirmed to me that I still had unfinished business here and I knew I wasn't ready to leave my life behind. I know no matter what has happened that you, Michael, and the others matter to me more then anything and I just couldn't walk away from family." Max told her as he lay his head back against his pillow.

“And Liz, does that include her too?” Isabel asked.

Max took in a deep breath, “I want things with Liz to be different but she is holding something back from me and I don't know what or why. I can't make her talk to me and I know I want her in my life still so being friends seems to be the answer.”

Isabel knew he was hurting she wished there was something more she could say but knew he had to figure this out for himself, “Well what ever happens with you two, its clear she still cares a great deal for you.” she told him as she got up to leave the room, “Maybe just give it some more time and don't be in to big of a hurry with Tess.”

Max laid his head back and closed his eyes. All he wanted now was so sleep. He didn't want to think about Liz or Tess, he just wanted to block it all out and sleep.

Liz knew they had driven for along time, it had been at least a few hours maybe more she wasn't really sure. She watched for any signs of familiarity to know where Nicholas had taken her but it was so dark that it made seeing difficult. Once the van came to a stop she heard Nicholas bark out orders to the skins. She tried to take in as much information as she could to figure out a way to escape. As she was pulled from the back of the van she saw several run down buildings. They were in the desert some where she knew that for sure. Two skins led her into an old abandon warehouse and pushed her into a small room that wasn't much bigger then a closet. There was only one small window above the door that led in or out of the room, her hopes for escaping where vanishing quickly. She turned back around as Nicholas came into the room, “Now your going to behave and keep quiet while I go and get some things done.” he told her as he shoved her down on the cold damp floor. Liz leaned her head up against the wall and closed her eyes. Tears slid down her cheeks as she thought about her parents and how they would react when they found out she was gone. She opened her eyes for a moment startled by the sound of the door slamming shut and the lock turned into place. She could hear Nicholas telling the skins to keep watch over her that he had to contact Khivar. She closed her eyes again and thought about Max, she needed him so much right now. She blinked her eyes willing the tears not to fall again she knew now she had to be strong.

Zan ditched his motorcycle near the turn off that Nicholas had taken. It would be to difficult to follow after him now. He would have to hike into where they were keeping Liz. He only hoped that it wasn't that far and he was able to get to her in time. He looked at his watch, it was just after two am, at least he would still have the cover of darkness to sneak in by.

The sheriff pulled up outside the back of the Crashdown, the back door was wide open but the lights were all off inside. It wasn't like Liz to be so careless about security. He called out to her as he walked in, “Liz are you here? Its the sheriff.” he waited but there was no answer. He flipped on the light everything seemed fine as he walked over toward the stairs, “Liz its the sheriff, I'm just checking on things. Are you here?” he called out again but still there was no answer. He was beginning to get and uneasy feeling, he turned and walked over toward the restaurant. His worse fears were confirmed as he walked through the kitchen door, the place was a mess. There were broken dishes on the floor, chairs and tables knocked over and a message scrawled across the top of the counter. “You have the Graniltih and I have Liz.” The sheriff took out his phone and called Max.


Max rolled over and felt something underneath him on the bed, he reached down barely awake and picked up his cell phone. He must have forgotten to take it out of his pocket when he laid down. He reached over to place his phone on the night stand, but as he did he felt it vibrate. He struggled to sit up and rubbed the sleep from his eyes, he looked at the phone there was a message from Liz. Looking at the time he realized that he had left his phone off for the flight home and forgotten to turn it on once they landed. He stifled a yawn and hit the message button. As he listened he grew all the more puzzled, she sounded upset and then her voice became garbled just before the call abruptly ended. He thought about calling her back but decided he should wait until morning. He was just about to go back to sleep when his phone rang.

“Max its the sheriff. We have a problem at the Crashdown, you need to get over here right away.” he told him.

“I will be right there, whats wrong?” Max asked his first thoughts were for Liz.

“Its Liz,” he paused, “Max someone has taken her.” he told him. “hurry.”

Max's heart began racing as he got up, slipped on his shoes and grabbed his keys. He went into to tell Isabel what was happening, “Isabel wake up.” he called out to her.

“Max what is it?” she asked half awake, “Whats going on?”

“The sheriff called, something has happened to Liz. I have to go to the Crashdown.” he told her.

“Your going now?” she asked as she got up and put on her sweat jacket.

“The sheriff said someone has taken Liz.” he told her as he headed back to his room.

Isabel grabbed her shoes and followed after him, “I'm coming with you.” she told him as they climbed out his window and got into the jeep. Max drove as fast as he could to the Crashdown. He pulled up to the back of the restaurant and ran in through the kitchen, “Sheriff!” he called out as he walked into the restaurant with Isabel.

The sheriff was just getting off of the phone, “I called Maria to see when she last heard from Liz.” he told them then said, “She is letting the others know.”

Max looked around the room, then over to the counter where the message had been burned into the counter top, “This was Nicholas, he came here and took Liz to get at me.”

Isabel took in a deep breath, “How is that possible, you just left him in New York City. How could he even know to come here for Liz?” she asked as she looked around at the mess.

Max shook his head trying to think, “I don't know maybe Lonnie and Rath said something to him. Maybe he realized how much she means to me.” he said trying to hold back his emotions.

“Maria said she last heard from Liz after they dropped you and Tess off. She said she had taken Ava to the bus stop and was cleaning up after closing so her parents could get off on their vacation.”

Max walked over toward the soda machine, he noticed Liz's cell phone laying on the floor, “This explains why her phone went dead.” he said picking up the broken pieces and handing them over to the sheriff. “Liz called me around elven o'clock and left me a message. Before she could finish the phone went dead. I didn't get the message until just before you called though.” he said in frustration.

The sheriff glanced down at his watch, “That gives them a few hours head start. Judging by this message he left here, he wants the Ganilith and he plans to exchange Liz for it.”

Max shook his head in disbelief, “This is all my fault.” he mumbled, “I should have been here, I should have protected her.” he said as he walked over to the window and looked outside into the darkness. His eyes began to fill with tears as he thought about what Nicholas might do to her.

The sheriff shook his head, “Max you can't think like that.” he told him, “Not now, Liz needs you. We have to figure out where he would have taken her.”

Max took in a deep breath, “Your right.” he said as he turned back around to face him.

Isabel walked over and wrapped her arm around Max. “What did she say in her message?” she asked him just as the other walked into the Crashdown.

Maria was clearly shaken, she took one look around the restaurant and turned to Michael, “What are we going to do we have to do something we can let that psycho kill her?” she told him as her eyes welled up with tears. Michael wrapped his arms around her.

Alex looked over at Max, “you have to give him the Granilith.” he told him, “We can't take a chance that he will do something more to Liz.” Alex told them. “He could kill her.”

Tess looked over at Alex, “We can't just give them the Granilith.” she said reluctant to be the one to bring it up.

“Why the hell not, this is Liz we are talking about.” Alex snapped at her.

Isabel walked over and wrapped her arms around him, “Alex the Granilith has untold power in the wrong hands it could be deadly.”

Alex shook his head, “How do you know that” he asked her, his voice filled with frustration. “None of you even knew it was there until a few months ago, you don't know what it really is and we can't risk Liz's life.”

Maria cleared her throat, “We can't give it to them Alex.” she told him “Even Liz would tell us not to give it to them.”

Tess nodded her head, “Shes right, it was Liz who warned Max about it in the first place.”

Michael looked at Max, “Hows that possible, if we don't know what the thing is how could Liz know.”

“She wouldn't tell me how she knew, only that she knew.” He told them as he looked over at Kyle, “I am pretty sure it has something to do with what happened between the two of you.”

“Me?” Kyle looked at him in disbelief, “I don't know anything about the Graniltih.”

Max looked intently at him, “Kyle you need to tell us everything that you know about why Liz wanted to end things with me because I am pretty sure its all connected.”

Kyle looked at Max with disbelief in his eyes, "Honestly, I don't know anything except what she told me that night.” he told them, “When Liz asked me to help her out she didn't tell me why, I just thought it was to get back at you for a fight you to where having or something. I didn't even know that you still believed that we were ever together. I figured she would have told you the truth about it by now. Max I swear I don't know anything."

Max shook his head in disbelief, “she must have told you something.”

Kyle looked Max in the eyes, “If I knew anything I would tell you.” he swore to him. “I don't want to see anything happen to Liz either.”

Tears fell from Maria eyes as she looked up at Michael then over to Max, "I know what really happened, and why she did what she did” she told them. “Max I am sorry for keeping this from you but Liz made me promise not to tell anyone. She said Michael and Isabel's life depended on you never knowing the truth.”

“Maria you have to tell us everything.” Max told her.

She wiped the tears from her eyes, “IT happened back in October. Max came back from the year 2027, he traveled through time using the Granilith. Liz said that he, she called him future Max.” Maria explained, “She said that future Max told her that if she didn't end it her relationship with you now that in 14 years your enemies will take over the world. Life as we know it would come to an end. The aliens take over the planet and humans become slaves to Khavar. She said that Isabel and Michael are killed by the skins in this future war that will happen if the two of you stay together. Future Max told her that this all happens because Tess couldn't handle seeing you and Liz together. Eventually Tess just leaves Roswell and when she does that leaves the three of you vulnerable. The balance is no longer complete or something so you guys are not as strong. I guess that in order for your powers to work at there full strength the four of you have to be together. When Tess left Roswell it made you weaker and you lost the Granilith to the skins, they took over and it was the end of everything. She said that as their last hope, her future self and some friend named Serena are suppose to meet and together the two of them figure out a way to use the energy of the Granilith and turn into a time travel device. Max came back in time, Liz pretended to sleep with Kyle so that this version of you would end things with her and turn to Tess to full fill your destiny. Liz gave up the only love she has ever known in her life so none of that would happen. Everything she did was to protect you, to protect us from what might happen." Maria told them, her voice shaking with emotion as she spoke.

Max was stunned, he felt like the wind had been knocked out of him. Deep down there was some part of him had wanted to believe it wasn't true, but everything that was happening really was his fault. Liz life being in danger was because of him. Maria could see the pain in his eyes, “I am so sorry. If I had told you right away maybe we wouldn't be here right now. If I had known any of this was going to happen I would have made Liz tell you the truth." Maria told Max.

"It's not your fault, it's not anyone's fault but mine, I caused all of this." Max told her.

“That's not true Max, this is not your fault its Khavar, Nicholas and the skins and we can't loose sight of that.” Isabel told him. “Liz needs us now more then ever so the blame game can wait right now we need to focus.”

The sheriff took in a deep breath, “Shes right Max if all of this is true then we have to come up with a plan to get Liz back with out turning over the Granilith.”

Max shook his head, “I know.” he told them as he headed toward the kitchen door, “Liz kept a journal maybe there is more in there, maybe there is something that can help us.”

Maria wiped her eyes, “I know where she kept it.” she told him, “I'll show you.” she said as she headed into the kitchen and up the stairs.

Tess grabbed Max by his arm as he headed for the door, "Max I'm so sorry I had no idea that when Liz came to me about us,” she paused for a moment, “about helping the two of us get together that this was what was really going on." she told him.

Max looked past her, he didn't say anything as he left and went upstairs. All he could think about was Liz. Right now he wanted more then anything in the world to take her in his arms and hold her, to know that she was safe. He wiped away the tears from his eyes, as he went into her room. “So where you able to find her journal?” Max asked Maria.

She shook her head, “Yeah, she showed me where she keeps it.” she told him, “You know just in case.”
Maria walked over and pulled out her dresser and then counted down six rows of bricks. She pushed on one end of the brick in the last row and it popped out, “Its back here inside this hollow space she made.” she reached in and took out the journal. She stood back up and handed it to Max, “Before you read this you have to promise me that your not going to blame yourself.” she told him, “Liz did what she did because she loves you and she wanted to keep everyone safe.”

Max reached over and took the journal. “I can't promise you anything.” he told her.
Maria was about to say something more when Michael came into the room, “Maria can I talk to you?”

“Yeah.” she followed him out into the hall and down into the living room. Michael took her hand in his and pulled her into his arms. “You alright?” he asked her.

Maria pulled back a little, she looked into Michael's eyes hoping for some reassurance, "Please tell me this is a just a bad dream.” she pleaded with him. “Please just make this all go away."

"I wish I could, but I can't. I am so sorry to bring this up now but I just have to ask you and I need you to be straight with me, did you tell Liz that you knew where the Granilith was, that I took you there?" Michael asked her.

Maria looked at Michael puzzled and tried to pull away from him but Michael didn't let go of his
grasp on her. Realizing that she misunderstood why he wanted to know he quickly explained, " Please don't freak out on me, I want Liz to be safe, but Maria, I need to know if there is any chance that Nicholas could find out that you know where the Granilith is.” he told her. “I know I'm being an insensitive jerk for asking you about this now but the thought of him anywhere near you makes me nuts. You can be angry with me if you want but I have to know that your safe. So please just tell me that you didn't tell Liz I took you the Granilith." Michael pleaded with her.

Maria laid her head against his chest and shook her head no. "Okay good.” He whispered softly and then kissed the top of her head, "I just couldn't stand it if anything were happen to you." he told her

Maria looked at him as tears fell from her eyes, "I love you too Michael." He wrapped his arms around her and leaned down to kiss her. He did love Maria, he might not say it all the time but he did love her and the thought of anyone ever hurting her made him sick inside. He thought about Max and what he must be going through.

CHAPTER 4

Max sat on the edge of her bed holding on to her journal. He didn't know what he was going to do. He knew they were all looking to him to decided but this wasn't a fair decision to have to make, it was impossible. If he gave up the Granilith the entire planet would fall into the hands of Khavar and Nicholas, but if he didn't Liz would die. He knew that she was still alive for now, but Nicholas was ruthless and there was nothing stopping him from hurting her. He closed his eyes desperately trying to fight back the emotions that kept threatening to over take him. Liz was somewhere out there, feeling afraid, needing him, wanting him to come to her, but he was helpless and it made him feel that much more useless. He picked her sweeter up off her bed and raised it up to his face. He took in a deep breath and smiled, there was the faint scent of her perfume that lingered. His mind was filled with thoughts of her as he opened her journal and began reading. He took in a deep breath and held his emotions in check. He wasn't fully prepared for how deeply her words would effect him. He thumbed through several pages until he came to the one dated just before he saw her and Kyle together:

I don't know how he could ask me to do that. How he could ask me to push away the one person in the whole universe that I love. Seeing the look in Max eyes, seeing the pain on his face, its something I will carry with me always. He was crushed, and now he just thinks that I threw everything we had together away so I could sleep with Kyle. He will hate me. I will spend the rest of my life alone knowing that the man I love has to be with someone else. If this isn't torture I don't what is...

Maria and Michael came back into the bedroom as Max closed the journal, “I guess all we can do now is wait.” she said looking over at Max.

Max got up walked over to the window, as Maria's cell phone suddenly went off. She glanced down at it but didn't recognize the number. “Hello?”

"Hello Maria, I will give you three guess as to who this is?" Nicholas told her.

Maria's face went ashen white as she motioned over to Max and Michael, “It's him, it's him.” she said trying to stay calm. “Max its Nicholas,"

Max raced across the room and grabbed the phone from Maria, "Nicholas if you have hurt her in any way...."

"You'll what?” he taunted him, “Don't forget your highness right now I hold all the cards so I wouldn't be making threats. Just shut up and listen.”

Max spoke with a deadly calm to his voice, "Nothing better happen to her Nicholas or I swear I will find you and I will tear you apart limb by limb."

"Don't worry your little girlfriend is just fine for now. Whether she stays that way or not is entirely up to you, I want the Granilith and you want Liz we should be able to help each other out don't you think?” He told him then said, “Listen carefully because I don't plan on repeating myself. You have exactly 24 hours to decide, you either give me the Granilith or your pretty little girlfriend here doesn't live to see her next birthday." Nicholas warned him. "Oh and Max the death I have planned for her will make what you went through in the White room seem like a day at the beach."

“I am not giving you anything until I know Liz is alright.” Max told him.

Nicholas yelled into the phone, “Fine! You want proof I will let you talk to her because I am a romantic at heart and I just can't help but want to see you two love birds reunited. So make the most of these precious few seconds Maxwell.”

Nicholas leaned down over Liz, “now you are going to tell him your fine and nothing else. No speaking in code, no trying to warn him about where you are. You simply say Hello Max I am fine.” he told her as he held the phone up to her ear.

“Max...” Liz said into the phone trying to keep herself calm.

“Liz are you alright? Has he hurt you?” Max asked. He could hear her voice trembling, “Its going to be ok, I will find you.. I promise.” he told her.

Tears filled her eyes, “Max don't do it, what ever he says don't give him the Granilith!” she yelled out as Nicholas pulled the phone away and slapped her across the face. “You have 24 hours Maxwell.” he yelled into the phone and then hung it up.

The color drained from Max face as the phone line went died, "He wants the Granilith in 24 hours or he kills Liz."

Maria wrapped her arms around Max, "Were going to get her back." she told him.

Max hugged Maria tight. He wished he could be sure that she would be safe but he knew better then to trust Nicholas. After he got his emotions under control he let go of Maria and turned to Michael, "Could you ask Isabel to come up, maybe she can dream walk Liz to find out where he is keeping her. We need to come up with a plan and we don't have much time." Max told him.

Nicholas ran his hand down along Liz's cheek rather seductively, "I can see why Max wants you back, you are one pretty little human after all and you have spunk. I like that in a pet.” he told her as he grabbed a hold of her by the back of the head, “But you do need to learn to behave better.”

Liz tried to pull her head away from him. Nicholas laughed as he let her go and walked over to the door, "Don't worry Liz, Max sounds like a lovesick puppy he'll give up the Granilith for you, of course your reunion will be very short as I am planning on executing him right after I get what I want." Nicholas closed and locked the door behind him. Liz tried to listen as she heard Nicholas giving orders to the skins just outside the door. Her wrists were raw from still being tied behind her back. She pushed herself up against the wall and slowly inched her way up to a standing position scratching her back raw as she did. The room was completely dark except for a small amount of light that shown through the cracks around the door and the window. She tried again to free her hands mentally willing herself to ignore the intense pain as the rope cut deeper into her wrists. The knot finally gave and she was able to free her hands. She looked around the room trying to see if there was anything she could use as a weapon or means of escape. There was only a small table against the back wall. She pulled the table over towards the door and climbed up on top of it to look through the window. There were two skins sitting at a table about 6 feet away from the door, she couldn't see anything else. As she climbed down a sense of hopelessness began to wash over her, she sat back down on the floor and closed her eyes, fatigue was beginning to take over. She moved over away from the door and tried to focus has hard as she could on Isabel. If she was able to reach Max maybe, just maybe she might be able to connect with Isabel. She did just as she had before, she closed her eyes and focused all her energy on her friend. “Isabel please hear me.” was her one thought.

Max was sitting on the bed when Isabel came in. She walked over and sat down next to him, “You want me to try and connect with Liz” she asked him.

“Do you think you can?” he asked.

“I don't know.” Isabel told him honestly. “I will try. Can I have something of Liz's, something that she would have touched recently.” she said.

Max reached over and grabbed the sweater he had held on to earlier, “She was wearing this earlier today.” he told her.

Isabel nodded and held the sweater close to her. She closed her eyes and focused on Liz. She tried a hard as she could but it was of no use there were to many distractions. “You guys have to leave.” she told them. “I'm sorry but I need it to be really quiet.”

Max got to his feet and followed Michael and Maria out of the room, “Isabel if you see anything no matter what is happening, you have to tell me.” he told her.

Isabel nodded her head, “I will Max, I promise.” she told him as she lay back down on the bed. She held Liz sweater tight and closed her eyes again. This time things were different. It was quiet and she could really focus in on Liz. She felt herself being transported to another place but she didn't know where. She could hear Liz calling out to her. Suddenly she found herself in a small room, it was dark and cold. She looked around and all she could see were shadows she took another step closer and found Liz leaning up against the wall. Her wrists were bloody, her lip, and face swollen and she had bruising along the sides of her head. “Liz can you hear me?” Isabel called out to her.

Liz turned and looked in the direction the voice was coming, “Isabel are you there?” she cried.

“I'm here Liz, I'm here with you.” she told her. “Do you know where they have you?”

Liz brushed the hair away from her face and tried to see through the darkness, “No, Nicholas locked me in some kind of closet. I don't know where I am. We drove for hours but I don't know where he took me.”

Suddenly Isabel felt another presence in the room she turned to see who it was but it was to dark. Liz eyes flew open and she was filled with fear, her heart was racing and Isabel lost the connection. She tried several times to get it back but it was of no use. She called out to Max, heartbroken that she wasn't able to help more.

Alex was the first to come in, he walked over to Isabel and sat down beside her. She held his hand as tears formed in her eyes. Max came in followed by the others. She looked up at him, “I'm sorry Max, I connected with her but I didn't see anything that would tell us where she is.” she told him.

Max was still hopeful, “But you did make a connection, you were there with her.” he asked.

Isabel nodded her head, “Yeah.” she told him.

Max took in a deep breath, “Was she hurt?”

Isabel hesitated to tell the others what she had seen. Alex squeezed her hand, “Just tells us what you saw.” he told her.

Isabel looked over at Max. “Max I am so sorry.”

Max took in a deep breath, “Just tell me Isabel please.”

Isabel wiped away her tears, “It looks like she has been beaten. Her wrists were all bloody, it looked like he had tied her up. She had bruises along the sides of her face. Her lip was swollen and bleeding...” she told him then said as she fought back tears, “I think he might have tortured her.” she told him her voice breaking with emotion as she spoke.

Maria burst into tears and Michael wrapped his arms around her. Isabel took in a deep breath before she continued, “She was being held in a dark, cold room. It was small, there were no windows and no lights that I could see. I tried to talk to her, she said she didn't know where she was. She said they drove for hours but she didn't know where he was holding her. Then I sensed someone else came into the room and I lost the connection with her.”

Max got to his feet and walked over to the window his eyes filled with pain, “who was there?” he asked her his voice heavy with emotion.

Isabel shook her head, “I don't know Max, I couldn't see who it was. I only know that she woke up and that she was really frightened.” she told him.

“Did you see anything else, anything that might tell us where she was?” Max asked her.

Isabel shook her head, “No Max I am sorry.”

Alex wrapped his arm around her, “You tried.” he held her tight.

Isabel saw the pain in her little brothers eyes, “I will try again Max. I need a little time to rest an then I will try again.” she told him.

CHAPTER 5

Liz was about to scream when she felt someones hand cover her mouth. Her eyes filled with terror as she kicked and hit at the strong arms that held her. The light was to dim she couldn't make out who it was but she calmed down as soon as she heard the familiar voice speak softly into her ear, "Liz, calm down, I'm here to help you. I'm going to let go of you and take my hand away from your mouth but promise you'll be quiet. I don't want them to come rushing in here." Liz shook her head slowly that she understood. As Zan let go of her she fell back against him in relief and whispered softly, "oh Max I thought I would never see you again. How did you find me?"

Zan pushed her away from him and walked over towards the door to listen. He motioned for her to be quiet. Once Liz saw him in the light, fear griped her once again, "Your not Max. Who are you?" she asked as she stepped back away from him.

Zan walked back over to her and motioned for her again to be quiet. "You need to be quiet.” he warned her.

“Who are you?” she demanded. “Is this another of Nicholas sick ideas to torture me? Are you a shape shifter?”

Zan shook his head, “No I am not a shape shifter. Sorry to disappoint you but I am not Max either. My name is Zan. I'm going to help you out of here but you have to be quiet and do exactly what your told." he told her feeling just a bit annoyed.

Liz shook her head in confusion, "You can't be Zan. Ava said that Rath and Lonnie killed him."

"They sure tried to kill me but they were not as successful as they thought they were." Zan told her.

"Then your another duplicate like the others. Your Max's duplicate?" Liz asked trying to understand. She watched as he motioned for her to be quiet. Zan pressed his ear to the door for several moments then he walked back over to her and leaned up against the wall.

"No I am not exactly Max duplicate either." He told her as he pulled out a cigar from his vest pocket and lit it with his finger, "We don't have a lot of time, they will be changing the guards soon. The new guard’s will check in on you and report to Nicholas, after that we are going to get out of here.” he told her as he took a long drag off the cigar and then glanced down at his watch.

“How do I know I can trust you? Lonnie and Rath tried to kill Max.” she told him. “For all I know you could be trying to kill me to.”

Zan took another drag off of his cigar, he looked at her intently, “If I wanted to kill you, you would already be dead.” he told her in all seriousness. Seeing that she was not going to stop asking questions he checked the door one more time then turned back around, “Fine I will tell you everything but you will be quiet and let me do the talking, you can ask questions later. Is that understood?” he told her.

Liz nodded that she understand and waited for him to continue. Zan told her, “My name is Zan. I was sent as a duplicate of Max but only a physical duplicate.” He could see she was already about to interrupt him when he gave a warning look and then continued before she could. “what I mean by that is that we were cloned from the same human DNA so we look exactly alike but we do not share the same life force or the same essence." Seeing the look of confusion on her face he tried to explain further, "I am assuming that you know all about Max past life as the King of Antar. Well I am from there too. When Max was killed they took his essence or life force and placed it in the Max you now know. They did the same thing with the others, but not with me. I was a guard in Max's elite military, I volunteered for this mission and they took my life force and put it in a body to look exactly like Max. There can only be one real King, but there still needed to be a decoy, someone to protect Max. I am that decoy sent to protect the real King. No one else knew about this except for one of the protectors sent to care for us and he was killed in the crash.” Zan explained as he took another long drag off the cigar. “The plan was to have decoys to protect the others from our enemies. Max has a lot more enemies out there after his butt then just the skins and Nicholas. There are any number of assassins for higher willing and fully capable of taking care of business if the price is right. That's why I didn't want to go to that dam summit with Lonnie and Rath. I knew I could never pass the test because I don't have the royal seal tattooed on me like Max does. I knew my going would and could expose Max to danger and looks like once again I was right." Zan told her then continued. "I knew Lonnie had a lot of Valandra in her, she and Rath were the least human of the four of us. I never really trusted her, but I made the mistake of thinking Rath was trustworthy because of his former loyalty to the King. I didn't count on Valandra's ability to persuade him to turn against me. They thought they killed me. They still think I am dead, but my power is that I can heal rapidly from any kind of wound, even near fatal ones. After they pushed me into the street in front of that truck they took off thinking I was dead. The driver called for an ambulance, but my body was already at work healing itself before they even got me to the hospital. I knocked out the ambulance guy, hid out for a few days until I went back to the sewers where I knew Lonnie and Rath would be. I was more then a little shocked to see that Nicholas was with them, they were discussing Max and the Granilith. After that I knew it was time to come to Roswell that I had to talk to Max and clue him in, but Nicholas showed up at the Crashdown and took you instead.” He took another drag off of his cigar, “Why would he do that, why would Nicholas take you, what are you to Max?"

Liz didn't answer him right away not sure if she should trust him or not. Zan sensed her hesitation and swore under his breath then he grabbed her by the arm, "If you want my help then you better start trusting me. I'm not playing games here and I'm not risking my neck for nothing."

Liz pulled her arm free, "Alright.” she snapped at him, “Max and I are friends.”

“Just friends?” he asked skeptically.

Liz swallowed, “not exactly.” she told him. “A little over a year ago he saved my life. It happened at the Crashdown, some guys where fighting and one of them pulled out a gun and shot me. Max brought me back to life. We have been friends ever since."

Zan frowned a little at what she had said, "He actually brought you back to life?" He asked her, “As in you were dead and he brought you back?”

Liz nodded her head. “Yes, he risked everything to save me.”

Zan became extremely interested in her story, "Dam, that puts a new twist on things.” he said more to himself then to her. “Why you? I mean why interfere and bring you back how did you and Max meet?"

"We first met in the third grade but he didn't tell me who he was until after he saved me. I asked him once why. We weren't close friends at the time and he risked everything for me.” she told him then continued, “ All he said was "It was you."

He smiled and whispered to himself, "The prophecy, its actually true." Zan looked at his watch then he looked back at Liz, "Its almost time to go. Nicholas and the guards have to go into hibernation for a few hours that's when we will go. The skins can't survive in this heat for to long without peeling, to prevent that they spend a few hours a day in a hibernation cooling chamber it helps to keep their suits from disintegrating. We will have a short period of time after the relief guard comes to check on you. Hopefully it will give us enough time to get a good head start.” he told her as he listened at the door again, “I am going to hide up there.” he pointed to the vent. “You pretend to be asleep until I give you the all clear.” he dropped the cigar and squashed it with his foot.

Liz watched as he lifted himself up into the heating shaft and then sat back down near the wall and closed her eyes. Moments later she could hear the guards talking near the door before one opened the door and looked in on her. She held her eyes shut.

“Shes paced out.” the skin told the others.

“Good she will be less problem that way.” she heard another say and the door re closed. Several minutes passed before she felt Zan's hand shaking her lag.

“Ok we wait for five minutes, let them really get into their card game and then we go.” he told her.

Liz nodded her head as she got to her feet. Her wrists were hurting, she unconsciously began rubbing them. Zan took notice, “So what powers have you gained. I am sure Max's ability to heal but what others?" He asked her.

"What do you mean? I don't have any powers?" Liz told him as she leaned back against the wall and rubbed her wrists again.

"Oh yes you do, if he brought you back to life then you have powers now. I was warned by our protector that I should not use my healing powers to bring any human back across the line of death it changes them. When Max healed you he changed you, the way your brain works.” he told her.

“How is that possible?” Liz asked.

“The human brain is like a sponge, soaking up all kinds of stimulation, when Max healed you, your mind soaked in the information that his brain was sending out to exert his power. You are now fully capable of using that part of your brain just as Max and the rest of us do. The reason I was warned never to bring anyone back was because you have the ability to become even stronger then any of
us, your mind has the ability to soak in the power of any alien you connect with, none of us can do that not even Max." He told her, “That is why I was warned to be very careful and never bring a human back from the dead. That kind of power can be a very tempting thing to an unprepared mind.”

“Well I don't have any kind of powers like that.” she told him again. “Its been over a year since Max healed me and I am still the same.”

Zan just shrugged his shoulders, “You may not realize you have them, but you will have them one day.” He told her then he looked at his watch once more, pulled the table over quietly an got on top of it. “time to go.”

Liz looked at him and shook her head, "If your suppose to be a decoy to protect Max, don't you think you should look a little more like him?"

Zan narrowed his eyes, “I'm guessing Max isn't much into punk, am I right?"

Liz shook her head, "No not at all." she told him as she reached into her jean pocket and pulled out a picture of her and Max together. She handed it up to Zan. “That is my Max.” she started to say then corrected herself, “I mean that's how the real Max looks.”

He looked at it for a moment. "I see what you mean, not a problem though." He held his hand out in front of himself and ran it slowly down toward his feet. As he did his hair and outer appearance changed to look exactly as Max in the picture, gone were the tattoo's and piercing. Liz couldn't believe her eyes, he now looked exactly like her Max. Seeing the expression on her face change Zan asked, "Better?"

Liz nodded as he pulled her up on the table next to him. He lifted her up into the heater shaft opening in the ceiling. Once inside the shaft she turned and reached her hand down to help pull him up. As the two crawled quietly through the shaft the guards continued their card game unaware of their prisoners escape.

CHAPTER 6

Max waited with the others while the sheriff made several calls to see if he could get a hold of any surveillance video from other nearby businesses. They were hoping maybe one of the security camera's picked up what happened to Liz. He went out on her balcony and sat down looking up at the stars. He smiled thinking about how many nights they had sat together laughing, talking and looking at the stars in that very spot. He opened up her journal and began reading more of her thoughts and feelings. He knew the chances of there being anything there to help them was small but reading her words made him feel connected to her and right now he needed that more then anything.

I saw Max again today, it has been weeks since that night but he still looked so hurt he barely could stand to be near me. I know he hates me, I can feel it. I hate that I have to keep lying to him, that I have to keep telling him that I don't love him and that I betrayed him by sleeping with Kyle. Every time I am with him I feel this distance between us growing stronger. I keep asking myself is it worth it, is this really the only possible answer???Then today when I was at school I saw Isabel and Michael sitting together with Alex and Maria. They were laughing, just hanging out but they were so happy...in that moment I knew I had to keep this secret. I had to let Max hate me so he would be with Tess and they would all be safe. It doesn't ever get easier but it is worth it...


Max closed the journal, he took in a deep breath. He should have known, he should have suspected that there was more going on. She would never betray him like that, why did he let his pride and ego get in the way of him seeing the truth. He slipped the book back inside his jacket and closed his eyes. “Please just let her be safe...” he mumbled to himself.

“Hey Max.” he heard Tess voiced as she came up and sat down next to him. “I think Isabel is going to be trying to connect with Liz again.” she told him. “I thought you would want to know.”

Max nodded, “Thanks.”

Tess struggled for what to say next, “Max I am so sorry that all of this has happened. I know the Granilith is important but why that is and how it can be used I honestly don't know those answers.” she told him.

“Tess, I don't blame you for any of this.” he told her, “I know if you knew anything at all you would tell us. I know you would help us to save Liz if you knew how.”

“Thank you for saying that. I am not exactly sure the others feel that way but it does help knowing you do.” she told him.

Max took in a deep breath, “Liz said in her journal that the reason she had to break things off with me was to push me to be with you.” he told her. “Is that true, is the only way for us to save our planet and protect this Earth is for us to be together?”

Tess eyes filled with tears. She wasn't really sure how to answer him, “Max I only know what Nascedo told me. He said that I was meant for you that we were created for each other. He drove that into my head day and night for as long as I can remember.” she admitted. “It got to the point where I don't think I really even know any more what I was actually feeling.” she told him then said, “What I am actually feeling.” she corrected herself then continued, “Nascedo told me we were married and that we shared this great love and that together our marriage was going to bring peace to your home planet but I don't know if that is true or not.”

“I don't have any of those memories, if those things happened I can't really say.” he told her.

Tess took in a deep breath, “Max if Liz didn't come into your life or if we had grown up together the way Ava, and Zan did maybe things would have been different but fate seemed to have something else in mind. I mean we keep talking about this great destiny we are suppose to have but maybe that just isn't the case. Liz did come into your life, she is the one you saw and gave your heart to so maybe she is your destiny and not me.” she told him.

Max looked over at her intently, “What about the fact that we supposedly need to be together in order to protect each and to make us stronger?” he asked her.

Tess shrugged her shoulders, “I guess that all depends on what your definitions of together really is?” she told him, “Max I know you will never love anyone else the way you do Liz. I see it in your eyes whenever she is near you, they just light up. I know now that what ever we had its in the past and that’s ok with me. I don't even know how I really feel about you, or anything really. I just know that here in Roswell there are people who I care about and who I feel care about me and its kind of nice to have that. I haven’t really had that in my life before and I guess what I am trying to say is I'm not going anywhere anytime soon.” she told him.

Max tried to smiled, “Thank you for coming out here and telling me this. I have been curious about my past but I love Liz, for as long as I can remember I have loved her and nothing will change that.”

Tess nodded her head, “I know and I hope someday to find that same kind of love, to have someone in my own life love me like that.” she told him.

Max looked down off in the distance and let out a small sigh, “I just hope we can get to Liz before its to late.” he told her.

Tess reached out and took his hand in hers, “We will.” she told him. “I know Isabel will be able to get through to her.”

Kyle came out onto the balcony, “My dad is back.” he told them.

“Ok.” Max said as he followed them both inside.

Everyone waited in the restaurant as Max, Tess and Kyle came back down to join them. The sheriff let out a heavy sigh, “I had to wake a few of the business owners up to get this footage from them. I had to tell them there was an attempted robbery here at the Crashdown so now it is official and I suspect Jeff Parker will be calling me.” he explained.

Michael shook his head, “This could get very dangerous for us all if to much attention gets drawn to this situation.” he reminded them. “We have to be careful.”

The sheriff shook his head, “I know we have to be careful but I do think the footage from two of the cameras will give us something to go on.” he told them as he opened up his lap top and slipped in the first disk. “Here you can clearly see this black van pull up in front of the Crashdown and at least four people go into the restaurant. I couldn't zoom it in any better to make out faces but judging from the time Liz called you Max and left that message I would guess this is Nicholas here.” he said pointing to the one individual. He fast forwarded the footage by twenty minutes and then played back normal, “Now here you see these same individuals come out but look here at these two, they are clearly forcing someone along with them.”

“So do we have a license plate number or anything?” Alex asked.

The sheriff shook his head, “No unfortunately the camera didn't get a shot from that angle.”

“So all we know is they took her and drove off in a black van?” Michael said in frustration. “I am not really sure this was worth all the attention it could draw on us.”

Alex got up and walked over to the lap top, “No we have a lot more then that. See these street lights all along the main road way in Roswell?”

“Yeah what about them?” Michael asked.

Alex smiled, “Well the city finally had cameras put in about six months ago. We can see what route that van took based off of each intersection it passed through. It may not tell exactly were they went but it will give us an idea what direction they took her out of Roswell or if they are still in the city itself.” he told them. This road lead to every major highway out of town.”

“Can we get a hold of that footage with out drawing a lot of attention to what we're doing?” Michael asked.

Alex shook his head, “I can. I can hack the city's main frame and have access to all of it within the hour.” he told them.

Max took in a deep breath, “Then do it. Anything we can get to help us locate Liz is a plus right now.”

“What about the Parker's, they are bound to call by morning to let Liz know they arrived safely.” the sheriff reminded him. “How are we going to handle that?”

Max took in a deep breath and ran his hands through his hair. “We tell them there was an attempted break in but it was just some teens and that Liz is fine.”

Jim let out a small sigh, “Max what if this all goes south.” he started to say, “I don't want to point out the obvious to everyone but we have to except how dangerous this situation is. I can't in good conscious tell Jeff Parker his daughter safe when she may not be.”

“Sheriff I need just a few hours of time and I know we can bring her back.” Max told him. “When Mr. Parker calls Maria can answer and tell him Liz is in the shower. That will buy us some more time. You have to let me try to find her and get her back.”

The sheriff looked over at Michael for reassures, “What do you think?” he asked him wanted another opinion.

Michael looked at Max, he took in a deep breath and then he looked over at Maria. He knew how he would feel if anything had happened to her, he knew he would fight until there was no fight left in him to get her back. “I say we let Maria take the call. She can make something up and they will buy it because she is always over here with Liz.” he told him then added, “Honestly if this whole thing goes south we're all screwed anyway so protecting the Parkers from the truth for a little while longer is not the worst thing we could do.” he told him.

Jim took in a deep breath, “Alright.”

Maria walked over to the counter and picked up Liz's broken phone, “Just one small problem with this plan. Mr. Parker will be calling Liz's cell phone.” she reminded them. “How am I suppose to answer that?”

Isabel waved her hand over the phone and instantly it was repaired. “Problem solved.” she told them.

“There was something else we need to look at.” The sheriff told them as he took out the first disk and then put in the other into the lap top, “The camera in the back alley way got this footage.” he told them as he played that digital recording. They watched as someone rode up on a motorcycle and went into the back of the Crashdown and then about twenty minutes later came back out and rode off.

“I can't make out who that was can anyone else?” Tess asked.

Kyle looked in closer, “I know it sounds crazy but I would say this guy almost looks a little bit like Max.” he told them.

Alex shook his head, “Yeah I thought so too, hairs different but he does look like Max.”

“Its a sure bet who ever he is, he knows where Liz is.” Alex told them as the loop continued to play, “Look he turns right and the end of the alley that would allow him to follow who ever just took Liz.”

Max didn't know what to think, “Alex can you enhance that video at all get us a better look at who this guy is?”

“I will try.” he told them, “but I'll need to use my system at home. No offense sheriff but its way more power then this. I do what I can and then get back here as soon as I can.” Alex turned toward Isabel, he took her hand in his and pulled her to the side away from the others, “Will you be alright?” he asked her.

She smiled, “Yeah.” she leaned in toward him, “I just don't want to let Max down. He is counting on me so much.”

Alex brushed the hair away from her face, “You won't let him down.” he assured her, “Just your connecting with Liz and letting him know she is still alright gives him peace.” he told her.

“Thank you Alex.” she smiled, “You are always such and amazing friend to me.” she told him.

“I need to get going.” he told her as he turned to leave, “I will check in with you when I get back.”

Isabel watched him go then she picked up Liz sweater and held it close, “I am going to attempt to connect again with Liz.” she said as she headed upstairs where it was quiet. She walked into Liz room and laid down on her bed. She closed her eyes and focused all her energy on Liz. This time the connection was made almost at once. She opened her eyes to see Liz crawling behind someone through a small dark tunnel of some kind. The images were blurred and distorted. They were moving along some kind of shaft, and there was someone there with her. She tried to see who it was but the space was so small and the light was so dim it made it hard to see. She concentrated harder and tried to see exactly what Liz was seeing. Isabel was not prepared for what she saw as the image of the stranger became more clear. Whoever he was, he looked exactly like Max. For a moment she thought maybe she was in one of Liz dreams and she tried to call out to her, but she didn't answer she just kept crawling further away down the tunnel. Isabel's heart raced as she watched Liz fade further out of sight and the connection ended. Isabel opened her eyes and sat up. Max was there standing by the window waiting for what every she could tell him about Liz.

“Max I don't know what I just saw...” she tried to explain as she got up and walked over toward him.

His heart sank as he saw the expression on her face, "Just tell me the truth, “What happened Isabel what did you see?"

Isabel looked at Max and mumbled softly, "You! Max, I saw you. I don't know what it was, or who it was, but Liz was there crawling inside some kind of tunnel and you were there with her leading the way."

“That's not possible.” he told her.

“Its what I saw Max you were there with her.” Isabel told him. “It was someone who looked exactly like you. He could be your identical twin.”

“Guys we need to stay focused if we are going to do this. She was alive, that’s what matters right now.” Michael told them. "From the sounds of it Nicholas maybe moving her around to make a rescue attempt impossible. IF we want to help Liz we have to stay focused."

CHAPTER 7

Liz saw a faint glimmer of light not far ahead of them as they continued crawling through the heating ducts. Her hands and knees were rubbed raw from crawling along the hard rusted metal. Zan stopped only once to wait for her to catch up. She was tired and out of breath from trying to match his pace. As they finally reached the end of the tunnel Zan motioned for her to keep quiet as he kicked open the grate that covered the vent. Liz watched as he lowered himself out of the shaft and quietly dropped to the floor. He reached up to Liz to help her down. Once inside the room he motioned for her to be quiet then he walked over to the room and carefully opened the door to look outside. He saw that the way was clear he motioned for Liz to follow him. The two wasted no time in getting out of the building. The cold air was a shock to Liz as she emerged from inside. Zan motioned for her to stop but she wasn't watching and walked right out into the light were one of the guards passing by saw her. Zan pulled her back but it was to late, as one of the skins came charging at them. Zan swore again, he pushed Liz against the wall behind him and blocked her from the attack. She watched as Zan fought with the guard. After struggling with him for several seconds the guard lay on the ground unconscious. Zan flipped him over picked up a rock and smashed it down on the seal to the skins husk as Liz tried to stop him. The skin vanished into dust instantly.

Zan pushed her off and she fell back against the wall, "What are you doing, why did you do that, you didn't have to kill him he was unconscious he couldn't hurt us any more!" She yelled at him.

Zan got up and stood just inches away from her, "Don't you ever do that again, do you hear me. This is war the sooner you learn that the better. I had no choice but to kill him as soon as he woke up he would have done one of two things, come after us, or alert the others that you were gone. I simply chose to avoid those two scenarios by eliminating the problem, got it.” He snapped at her. “Now come on it won't be long before someone notices that this guy is missing." Zan told her as he headed towards the fence. He stopped when he realized Liz wasn't behind him. He turned to see she was still standing where he had left her. Liz heard Zan as he walked back to her cursing under his breath, "Liz look, Nicholas is a butcher the guy he works for is a butcher he will use you to get the Granilith and kill Max then he will kill you for the fun of it. He has no conscious. I'm a fighter and this is about surviving, now you have two choices you can stay here and let Nicholas get the Granilith, kill Max and the others or you can come with me?" Liz wiped the tears away from her eyes as she followed along behind Zan quietly. Once they reached the barb wire fence Zan held out his hand as he did a small stream of light shot from him causing the fence to snap under the intense heat. He crawled through the opening in the fence and then pulled Liz through. As he started to walk out towards the woods Liz stopped, "Where is your car, don't you have a car somewhere?"

"I had a motorcycle, but it got a little difficult being inconspicuous following behind Nicholas when there where no other vehicles on the road. I left it along the main highway and hiked here after they turned off on the dirt road. That's why it took me so long to get to you.” He told her, “now come on we don't have a lot of time." Zan grabbed Liz by the hand and pulled her along behind him. She struggled to keep up with his fast pace in the dark, she kept tripping and stumbling. Zan was able to see much better then she was in the dark, it was clear he had training and was much better prepared to deal with this then she was. He dragged her by the hand as he ran threw the trees and the brush. She peered at him through the darkness, he may have looked like her Max but he was nothing like him. Liz was breathing so hard she had to stop for just a minute to catch her breath. Zan looked back at her, seeing her bent over and breathless. He reached inside his vest pocket and pulled out a small metal flask and handed it over to Liz, "You want a drink?"

She shook her head yes, took off the lid and took a big swallow. It tasted terrible, she began coughing and choking as she tried to catch her breath, "Alcohol, you gave me alcohol, what is wrong with you!" Liz yelled at him.

Zan smiled at her,"What's your problem I didn't say that it was water, I asked you if you wanted a drink." He told her trying to hold back his laughter.

Liz threw the flask back at him, "You may look like Max but your not anything like him at all."

Zan laughed again, "I never said that I was, you would do well to remember that. Come on we have to start moving again." He pulled her by the hand along behind him.

Liz shook her head, "I'm tired I can't keep going."

Zan looked back at her, "Yes, you can your a lot stronger then you think, hidden deep down inside of you is a fighter."

Liz stopped walking once again and shook her head, "I beg to differ with you. I can't keep up with your pace you have to slow down."

Zan smiled at her, then he jerked her forward as he resumed his pace, "You just need to think about something else, tell me about you and Max some more, you said that the two of you were friends, is that all there is to it.” he asked her. “I mean he risked everything for a friendship doesn't sound like the guy I remember from Antar?"

Liz struggled to keep up with Zan as he didn't really give her much choice. He was practically dragging her behind him, "No we weren't always just friends, we were in love but then things happened."

"What things happened, come on I really want to know?" Zan asked her as they crossed through a small creek. Liz was amazed at his determination, he didn't even seem to mind the freezing cold water. Her legs ached and she was freezing, she felt like she had no energy left. Zan kept pestering her for an answer to his question, “Tell me what happened." he said.

“It wasn't so much what happened as it was who happened.” she told him. “Tess wasn't raised with Max and the others, she only came around a little less then a year ago. Max, Michael, and Isabel emerged from their pods before Tess did. By the time Nascedo went back to check on them Tess was the only one still there. So he took her and raised her himself. Max didn't even know who he was or that he had this destiny until Nascedo and Tess came back to Roswell. Max and I were already together when Tess arrived. It was a short time later that she took them to the pod chambers and they found out about their destiny.” she told him.

Zan laughed, “And what destiny would that be?” he asked.

“That Max was destined to be together with Tess, they had been married back on Antar and so I
walked away from him." she explained.

“Interesting.” was all Zan said as they continued on. "Was Max in love with Tess, what did he think when she showed up? Did he ask you to walk away from him or was that your choice? I am only asking because of all that stuff Nicholas said to you back at the Crashdown.?" Zan asked her.

Liz stopped abruptly. Zan turned around to see her starring at him, "You were at the Crashdown the whole time and you didn't stop them? Why didn't you do something we could have avoided all of this. " Liz eyes quickly filled up with tears as she hit Zan in the chest as hard as she could.

Zan tried to deflect her attack, "Look if I had stopped Nicholas all hell would have broken loose, for one thing I was out numbered.” he told her as he wrapped his arms around her to keep her from hitting him, “If I had come busting in you may have been killed and more importantly my identity would have been compromised. I am only effective in protecting Max in all of this if Nicholas still believes I am dead. I'm sorry about everything you have had to go through but I did what I had to do whether you understand that or not. It was a tactical choice, nothing personal." Zan told her as he held her by the arms.

“Let me go.” she demanded.

Zan held her all the tighter, “Are you going to calm down if I let you go?” he asked her.

Liz took in a deep breath, “Yes.” was all she said as she tried to keep her anger in check.

He smiled and relaxed his grip on her, "Ok then lets go standing around here isn't going to change what I did or didn't do at the Crashdown."

Zan grabbed a hold of her hand and pulled her along to keep pace with him,"So are you going to answer my question, was Max ever involved with Tess?"

Liz shook her head, "No, Max said he didn't love Tess, its just really complicated.” She snapped at him, “What about you? What was Ava to you, did you love her?" Liz asked thinking about Ava and how she said that she loved Zan but he always seemed to be waiting for something.

"Ava is a good kid, she holds a very special place in my heart but like I said I am on a mission I couldn't be with any one in any real way until my mission is complete. I knew Ava wasn't in on the plan to kill me, that wasn't her style.” he told her, “She might act all hard and tuff but underneath she has a really good heart." Zan told her.

“Now your the one not answering the question.” Liz told him, “I asked if you loved her, she loved you.”

Zan stopped for a moment and got real quiet, “Ava is the one person that I could be myself with. When she and I were alone together I could be real with her and that meant something to me.” he told her. “She is the only person besides you who I could ever trust and she knew who I really was.”

Liz knew what he meant, “So you did love her.” she whispered softly.

“I guess as much as someone like me could love another person then yes I do love Ava.” he told her honestly.

The guards finished their cards and went to check on their prisoner, but Liz was gone, "Get Nicholas, he's going to want skin for this mistake and it isn't going to be mine you two better come up with some answers and fast." the older skin yelled at them.

Two minutes later the guards that had been on duty saw Nicholas head straight for them. The expression on his face said it all he was furious, "So tell me that at least one of you two idiots checked to make sure our little girl was in her room when your watch began?"

“Of course we did.” they both answered him. “She was there sleeping.”

Nicholas paced back and forth. “Thanks to you two idiots she has at least a 2 and half our lead on us now." He yelled at them.

“Boss she was in there you have to believe us. She must have had some help or something.” they told him.

Nicholas shook his head, "What were the two of you doing while she was in there sleeping?" he asked as he glanced over and saw the cards on the table.

"We were keeping watch boss." the guard told him. "It wasn't our fault we did all that we could."

Nicholas walked around behind the two of them, he bent down and picked up a long metal pipe from the floor. "you did all that you could?" he repeated his words. "The two of you stayed at your post, gave it your undivided attention and some how a stupid little teenage girl with no idea where she is was able to get past you and slip away?"

"That's what we're saying she had to have had help." the guard told him.

Nicholas patients had run out. He lifted the heavy pipe and swung it like a bat and hit both skins across the back killing them instantly, "Let this be an example to the rest of you, it's not a good idea to lie to me ever." he told them, "I will not tolerate inept sloppy work from anyone is that clear.” he yelled at them. “Search the surrounding area lets see if we can find out what direction she has gone. I want her found now!”

Another skin approached Nicholas, "Sir one of the guards from outside the compound is missing he hasn't reported in."

"Expand the search, somehow our little Miss Parker has slipped through my fingers, but she won't get to far on foot, there's at least 50 miles of desert in every direction so we should be able to find her before she can make contact with Max and the others." Nicholas told them as he dropped the pipe and left the room.

CHAPTER 8

Liz was trying desperately to keep up with Zan, but a severe thunder storm moved in leaving them both struggling to walk against the strong winds as rain and hail stones pelted down against them. Zan had just turned to look back and check on her when one of the skins jumped out in front of them both taking them by surprise. Liz was blinded by a flash of light as a beam of energy shot directly into Zan's chest knocking him 3 feet into the air. She screamed, as the skin grabbed a hold of her hand and began yelling to the others, "I've got her over here." Zan struggled against the intense pain as he tried to sit up.

Liz pulled her hand free, she stumbled over some large rocks as the skin grabbed a hold of her again. She just managed to pick up a large rock without the skin noticing, as he turned to call out to his companions she smashed the rock down against the lower part of his back as hard as she could. The skin disintegrated into dust from the force of the blow. She could hear the others running in their direction. She ran over to Zan and helped him sit up. “Can you move?” she asked him.

"Nice work, I told you hidden somewhere inside of you was a real fighter." Zan told her as she helped him up struggled to move along with her.

"We have to hide there are more coming." Liz told him as another skin jumped out in front of them. Zan tried to reach out his hand to hold off the attack but he was to weak from his injuries. Liz reacted at the same time, she held out her hand and focused all her energy on the skin. “NO!” she yelled out just as lightening flashed across the sky. A stream of fire shot out from her hand and hit the skin with such force that he was blown apart instantly leaving only tiny bits of skin drifting in the air.

Zan looked at her with new respect, "Come on lets get out of here, we don't want to push our luck.” he told her as they started moving again.

The rain was coming down harder and the wind had picked up even more. She was freezing cold and exhausted but she used every last bit of strength she had to help Zan up out of the ravine they were in. When they finally made it to the top she was desperate, she could still hear the skins, she knew they weren't far behind her. She was just about to give up when she saw a small opening near the side of the mountain base. She prayed it was a cave as she struggled to help Zan the short distance. When she reached the opening she pushed Zan in first and then crawled in behind him, it was pitch black inside.

"How long before your body will heal itself?" she whispered her voice filled with panic.

Zan tried to see the wound on his chest but it was so dark, "I'm not sure a few hours."

Liz shook her head, "We don't have that kind of time."

Zan reached over for her hand and held it tight, “Then you need to heal me.” he told her. Seeing the fearful expression in her eyes he smiled, “You blew those skins away just like I would have done.” he told her, “I told you, your different now. You can do this.”

Liz shook her head, “Back there I just reacted. He was going to kill you. I didn't even think about it, I just held out my hand and it happened.” She insisted. “This is different.” she told him, “You want me to heal you, to restore human organs and blood vessels. I don't know how to. What if I do something wrong and make you worse.”

Zan looked into her eyes, “You won't.” he told her, “I trust you Liz.” he told her as he struggled with the pain, “Just close your eyes and focus all that energy on healing me. In your mind visualize restoring my body and it will happen.”

Liz took in a deep breath, she closed her eyes and did exactly what he told her to do. She knelt down next to him and placed her hand out over his chest. She closed her eyes and tried to focus on just him. As she did her hand began to glow a soft white light shot out toward him and his wounds began to disappear. She could feel a connection between the two of them as she healed him. She saw flashes of him with Lonnie, Rath and Ava. She saw their life in New York. She some him when he was younger, how he would watch over Ava. As the connection grew stronger she saw glimpses of his life on Antar, the wars and struggle he had known there. His childhood, the pain and sadness at having lost so much. Finally he was healed and she fell back exhausted. Zan looked at her for a moment, "thank you for healing me.” he whispered softly as Liz opened her eyes.

She shook her head as she pushed back away from him. “I didn't think it would work.” she told him honestly, “I mean I wanted it to but part of me didn't believe I could actually do it.”

“I knew you could.” he told her as he got up on his knees and crawled over toward the back of the cave.

Liz looked down at her hand and began shaking. She didn't know what to think in that moment. So much had changed in such a short time. She was thankful for the darkness as tears filled her eyes, she didn't want him to see her cry.

Zan turned back towards her, “I think this cave goes further back, come on." he told her. He held out his hand and the small cave was filled with light. Liz wiped her eyes and followed behind him as he led the way. They crawled further on until they reached another opening, that led into a much larger cave. Once inside they were able to stand up. Liz looked around at the walls they were covered in old Indian drawings, "This was probably home to some ancient Indians." Liz told him as she examined the drawings on the walls.

Zan looked around the cave, he found some wood that had been left behind. It was dry so he used it to build a fire. He noticed that Liz was shivering, "Will stay in here for awhile give them time to move on. You should dry off, you'll get sick in those wet clothes." Zan told her.

Liz looked at him confused by what he said, "Dry them off, how am I suppose to dry them off, it's not like I can just wave my hand and magically they are dried." She told him sarcastically. She was tired and she wasn't thinking clearly any more.

Zan walked over to her, "Actually it is exactly like that.” he told her as he pulled her into his arms, turned her around and stood just behind her. He took her hand in his and whispered softly into her ear. “Put your hand in front of you.” he told her, “like this.” he said as he moved her hand in front of her body, “now just concentrate all your energy and focus on releasing a small amount of heat from your hand and then move your hand slowly down the front of your body.” he said. He stood there holding on to her while she closed her eyes and focused all her energy while he guided her. Moments later her clothes were dry. Zan smiled, “See all dry.” he told her as he let her go. You have to stop thinking like the old Liz who had limitations. I am telling you Max opened up your mind and he changed the way it works. From now on you will be able to accomplish so much more then you ever thought possible. Khavar will not know what is coming his way.” He told her then said, “In fact for now might just be better if you keep this your own little secret.”

Liz grew serious for a moment, “Even if we get out of here, Nicholas is still going to keep coming at us isn't he?” she asked him.

Zan walked over and sat next to the fire, he was quiet for a few minutes before he said anything. Liz could see that he was struggling for what to say. She realized this was a very uncomfortable topic for him. “I saw things when I healed you...” she whispered softly.

Zan had a far away look in his eyes, “When I was still a young boy Nicholas and Khavar secretly aided by Valandra broke the peace treaties that were in place by coming to our remote villages and torturing and murdering every man, woman, and child there.” he told her, “They did this so they could send a message to Max that the war would rage on for ever if he did not relinquish the Granilith and the throne to them. I watched as my mother burn to death in her own bed screaming and begging for mercy as the skins laughed and took all that they could carry with them. They took my father and stood him up in the middle of our village for everyone to see, they tortured him for days as an example of what would happen to anyone refusing Queen Valandra's reign. My father was a proud man, he would not give in so in the end they shot him" Zan told her as he threw another log on the fire. “So to answer your question, yes they will keep coming at you until we finish this.”

Liz didn't say anything for along time she felt bad for Zan he had seen war at its cruelest it was no wonder he was so hardened. She watched as the flames of the fire danced about the cave walls. So much had happened she wasn't the same person she use to be since Max healed her. It was true, knowing Max had changed things for her in so many ways. Liz sat down on the ground she wasn't sure what to say to Zan, she felt bad for him and the pain that he had endured in his life time. “I'm sorry Zan, sorry for not understanding more..” she whispered as she tried to hold back her tears.

He looked over toward her, she sat curled up on the floor of the cave shivering, "Your going to freeze way over there you should sit next to the fire if you want to get warm." When Liz didn't make a move to get closer to the fire Zan got up walked over to her and pulled her closer. He sat back down and pulled her down next to him. He wrapped his arms around her and held her close.“Listen Liz I know this is hard for you but I am a solider and right now I am just trying to keep us both alive.” he told her then said, “Don't think about all that other stuff, for now your here, your safe.” he told her, “Max is safe and Nicholas is probably pretty ticked off, all and all that’s not a bad place to be.”

Liz turned and looked into his eyes. They were the same soft brown eyes that she had so often found comfort in and yet seeing Zan's life in them they were so different. "Can I ask you a question?" she asked him.

Zan took a cigar out of his front pocket, he lit it with the end of his finger then he nodded to Liz. “I am an open book.” he told her.

"Were Max and Tess ever in love?” she asked him, “I mean before she said that they shared this great love but Max doesn't remember any of it. I guess a part of me wonders if some day he will wake up and realize how much they meant to each other, and then he'll just?" she stopped unable to finish the thought as it hurt to much to think about.

“Leave you?” Zan finished her sentence for her. “Is that really why you walked away from him first?”

Liz nodded her head as tears filled her eyes, “I thought I could face just about anything but the idea of Max one day telling me that he remembers Tess and that he wants to be with her.” she said “I just couldn't face that so I thought if I left first I could some how protect myself from the pain that might one day come.” she told him then said, “So tell me did he love her?”

CHAPTER 9


Zan searched her eyes, he could see this was really hard for her, “Max wasn't in love with Tess. He barely even knew her. The whole thing was an arranged marriage set up by his mother." Zan told her as he took another drag off his cigar. “I know this story because I was a part of Max elite military guard and a part of his inner circle. I answered to him and Michael only.” he explained and then continued, "To really understand how things started you have to go a little further back in our history. The people of Antar were a very proud race, they had developed their abilities in both mind and body to a point that they had become prideful, arrogant, and hardened. Instead of taking what was good about themselves and making it better they began to see themselves as superior to every other race. In there arrogance they decided that it was their right to conquer and control all other planets in our solar system. For over 50 years the people of Antar would attack and enslave other planets. These years became known as the times of conquest. Antar became very powerful, we had the means, and the power there was nothing to stop us and we became ruthless in our pursuits of more conquests. Each new planet we came upon, we would attack, enslave, and then control for our own purposes. Then one day it all became very clear to Max's grandfather that somewhere along the way we lost that best part of ourselves. The old prophet warned him that if things did not change our planet and people would end in destruction. The King realized that part of us that cared, was creative, and compassionate, you call it being human was slipping away.” he told her then said, "The King saw that if we continued on our present course one day there would be no other planets left to conquer and we would eventually turn on each other. He believed that we were becoming so destructive, so merciless, that one day we would destroy ourselves. He appealed to his five most trusted advisers on what they should do . There was much debate but in the end even those who had at first approved of the ever expanding of the kingdom where now finding the terrible acts of mercenary to much to justify. It was determined that no one race, no one King should rule over all the planets in our solar system so the King along with his advisers split apart the one Kingdom and created five in its place. The first was Antar, which remained under Max's grandfather control. The second kingdom was Asgarda, which was ruled by Max's uncle, Manoah. The third kingdom was Reynes, which was ruled by a trusted adviser named Gamual. The fourth kingdom was Naysa, which was ruled by Khavar's grandfather Belinick, and the last kingdom was Thule, which was ruled by Michael grandfather, Chebar. It was decided that the five kings would preside over the council and rule over the kingdoms together in peace and there would be no further expansion of any of the kingdoms. It was decided this was the best course for our planet but the people were still so hardened, there was so little compassion so little love that more had to be done. The council decided that the people of Antar needed to mix with another race, another people that was not so unlike itself but yet still retained some of what we had lost.” Zan told her.

“So what did they do?” She asked.

Zan finished his cigar and stubbed in out. “Well it was discovered that the inhabitants of a race of people living on another planet, in another solar system were compatible with us and they were brought to Antar. The council thought that if these people intermarried with our own people we might be able to rediscover what we had once lost. They searched the galaxy for many years until they found a planet with a race of people that were very much like Antarians just far less developed. These inhabitants were...”

“Humans!” she jumped forward excitidly interrupting him.

Zan laughed, “Are you telling this story or am I?”

Liz smiled, “Sorry please do go on.” she said as she sat back down next to him.

Zan threw another log on the fire, “Well it just so happens you are correct, those inhabitants were in fact human. The King decided to marry off his oldest son to a human captive in hopes that their marriage would be the example for all of Antar to intermarry and we would over time re acquire that part of ourselves we had lost.” he told her.

“That part of us that makes you human, that allows you to feel and have compassion.” Liz said.

“Yes.” Zan told her.

“So when did this happen, when was Max's mother taken from earth and how many others were taken?”

“In your history it would have been just around the end of the 1800's.” he told her then finished telling his story. “Max mother was a rare beauty, she was everything any Antarian could want for a wife. She had flaming red hair and beautiful green eyes.”

“What was her name?” Liz asked him.

“Her name in my language was Sharayah. She was taken along with thousands of others from all over the earth and brought to Antar. She was married to Max's father and I do believe over time they feel in love.” he told her.

Liz shook her head, “Wow that's kind of a sad story actually.” she told him.

Zan wasn't fully sure he understood, “What do you mean?” he asked her, “Sharayah was brought to a beautiful place and made into a princess.” he told her.

Liz shook her head, “yeah but did she want that?” she told him, “I mean think about it your people came to earth and just randomly plucked people out of their homes and their lives and took them to a place far away that was completely foreign to them. You didn't give them any kind of choice at all. You say it was for the good of your people on Antar and maybe it was but really if you think about it was still another very selfish act on the councils part. Did anyone ever stop to think or ask how those humans felt about what was happening to them?

Zan shook his head, “I did say that I was pretty sure Sharayah and the prince eventually fell in love.” he reminded her.

“Ok but what about the thousands of others who were taken?” Liz asked him.

He took in a deep breath, “Fine if I will concede what they did was a selfish thing to do will you let me finish this story?” he asked her.

Liz nodded her head, “Yes.” she told him.

Zan thought for a minute then continued, “There were many other such forced marriages that happened at that time and the plan seemed to be working or at lease the King thought so. Later after Max's father took the throne he realized that Belinham; Khavar's father had been secretly building an army with the plans of returning to the old ways of conquering and enslaving other planets. Apparently he had his eyes set on invading Earth. The Earth has many natural resources, one of them being an endless supply of slave labor. The others knew if Belinham's plans succeeded and Earth was taken over then all hope for future generations of Antar to live peacefully would be lost. It was clear that our people needed to have that element from within the human race to keep us from becoming barbaric and insane with our quest for power. The king commissioned the greatest scientific minds to begin working on the Granilith at that time. It was a machine unlike any other, it harnessed great power and could be used as a force field to protect the people of Earth from the kind of onslaught and invasion that Belingham and later Khavar had planned.”

Liz shook her head, “So you mean all this time, we have had this thing, this machine on our planet that acts like a giant force field to keep it protected from mass invasions?”

“Yeah. I can't tell you fully how it works only that it is able to keep the Earth in a protective field so that even if Khavar wanted to come here he couldn't. His ships, his armies would be detected and destroyed before he was able to inter the atmosphere.” He told her.

“So no one can come from Antar to Earth?” she asked unsure of what he meant.

“Not exactly.” he told her, “Earth can still be visited in small numbers, in non combative airships and of course we can take over humans at any time they are needed in order to finish business here.”

Liz narrowed her eyes, “What do you mean when you say humans can be taken over?” she asked him.

“Its a complicated process and it doesn't happen that often but there have been times when human subjects have been put into a sleep like state for a time so that those on Antar can use their bodies to communicate with those in power here in this world.” he explained.

“You make it sound like there are people on Earth who know about Antar and the others.” Liz told him.

“They do, Liz I told you Max has way more enemies out there then just Khavar. There are those here on Earth that would love to get a hold of the Granilith and Max so that they can use it for their own power and purposes.” he told her as he tossed another log on the fire. “Earth's governing parties have just as much interest in the Granilith as Khavar don't ever doubt that.” he warned her then said, “Anyway, Belinham was taken prisoner and his son Khavar who was just a child at the time came to the throne. Fighting broke out among the five kingdoms and these battles went on for a long time. In that time Sharayah gave birth to two children, Valandra their daughter, and Zander their son.”

“Max and Isabel.” Liz mumbled softly.

“Yeah, Max and Isabel.” he repeated what she said then continued, “Valandra was her father's favorite and he spoiled her terribly. She sadly had inherited many of the old attitudes and coldness of the Antaian people while Max took after his mother. He was strong, intelligent, and determined but not ruthless like so many of our past princes had been. As the two of them grew up it became more and more clear that the Kings over indulging of Valandra had become a poison within her and she wanted power. She demanded while her father lay dying that he make her the heir to the throne instead of Max. He refused her and with his dying breath he named Max as king. Valandra was enraged, she ran away to Khavar, told him all about the Granilith and that began the great wars that continue on to this day.”

“But what about Tess?” Liz asked him trying to understand her role in all of this. “How does she fit into all of this?”

“When the Queen was pregnant with Max, the prophet that led our people came to her. He told her that it was foretold from long ago that she would carry a son and that he would one day follow in his fathers footsteps to be King. Our planet had been at war for a long time and many had died. The war lasted through Max's father entire reign and the prophet told the Queen that her son would one day marry a beautiful girl from far away. He told her that her son would travel across time and space in a great journey to find her. It was foretold that on this journey he would find and fall in love with his bride. He would be committed to her alone and that nothing would be able to come between them. The prophet told her that this young girl would bring strength to her son and together they would join our worlds, our peoples, and bring peace to our planet bringing an end to the long savage wars that had plagued us. He told her it would be a rebirth for the people of Antar. The queen was so convinced in the truth of this prophecy that she decided it was time to make things happen. She chose Tess to be Max's bride and she convinced him to travel to Agrippina, one of the lesser known planets in our solar system to find his bride and bring her back to Antar. The queen believed if the people thought the prophecy were coming true it would strengthen their hopes for peace and that it would help to secure's Max's reign over the people as their rightful King. The marriage was announced and for a time a peace treaty was put in place. Princess Valandra was welcomed back home to Antar and forgiven. In the days leading up to the wedding Tess and Max were not allowed to spend very much time together. The prophecy said that Max would know her as his love from the moment he saw her, that his heart would beat for her alone but the truth was he didn't feel anything for her.” he told her.

“Then why did her marry her?” Liz asked him.

“Because Max knew his duty was to restore peace to the kingdom and that meant he would play the part and pretend to be a man in love no matter what. He was prepared to make the sacrifice for his people and marry a complete stranger but he didn't have the chance to do so. Max, Michael, and the others were all killed right after the wedding ceremony took place in a surprise attack. Valandra had secretly still been working with Khavar and she lowered the force field and allowed their enemies in. Max and Michael were killed within hours of the wedding. The Queen's army and Max's elite guards were able to fight back but not until many had died including Tess and Valandra. Khavar had lost the battle that day but it was just the beginning of our endless war. When news reached that Queen that both her children were lost she was heart broken. The knowledge that her own daughter could have become such a monster that she would take part in the plan to kill her own brother was more then she could bare. She was convinced that the only chance they had was for her to link the Granilith to Max, and to send it and the four of them to Earth. Their life force was preserved and placed inside the DNA of human clones so that they might be kept hidden and safe from their enemies. Her most trusted advisers were against her sending Valandra and Tess but the Queen believed that her daughter could be good, if given another chance. She believed if Valandra were raised with humans, by humans she might yet be the kind loving child she had always hoped her to be.”

Liz smiled as she thought about Isabel, “Well she was right about that at least. Isabel is a bit of snob but deep down she is good and she is fiercely devoted to both Max and Michael. The three of them are so close and have always depended on each other.”

“Probably because they were raised by humans and not the protectors that were sent along with us.” Zan told her.

Liz took in a deep breath, “What about Tess, why send her when Max didn't even really know her?”

“The Queen was still convinced that the people needed to believe in the prophecy and to protect her home planet she devised a plan. She had the prophet stand before all the people and proclaim that a new prophecy had been given. He said that the King would one day return with his bride and together they would rule Antar. He said the King and his Queen were being sent to Earth and that one day they would return stronger then before and bring peace to the planet. The Queen wanted Max to have a throne to come home to, once they reached adulthood. To make that happen she needed Max's followers, the resistance to continue fighting so that Khavar could not assume the throne and take over. To get the people to remain loyal to her and the son she hoped would one day return she had the prophet proclaim all of these things and lifted the royal four to legendary status among the people. She had fake memories created and given to their protectors so that as Max and Tess grew up they would be bound to each other. She made sure that the four were sent together, she even integrated their powers so that they would be more effective when used together. Its funny the lengths that she went too, in order to insure that Max and Tess would be together and still destiny played out its own hand didn't it?" Zan smiled at Liz

"I don't understand what you mean destiny played out its own hand?" Liz asked puzzled by his last remark.

"You Liz, fate chose for you and Max to find each other.” Zan told her, “Max said the reason he saved you and brought you back to life was because, it was you.”

Liz shook her head, “I still don't understand.” she told him.

Zan shook his head, “Don't you see? Your the girl in the prophecy not Tess. Your the one he traveled across time and space for, your the one that he risked everything to bring back to life. He was destined to be with you. You are his destiny, you always have been.” he told her. “Max loves you. The love that you and he share was foretold of over a hundred years ago in another solar system and now here we are watching it come into reality. You will one day be the bride of Max Evans and there will be peace I believe that." Zan told her.

Liz laughed, “No pressure though right.” she told him.

Zan got up and threw one last piece of wood on the fire before walking back over to her, “Face it you are the true princess that Max fell in love with the day he saw you all those years ago when you were just little kids.” he told her as he laid down next to her. "Try to get some rest we will be heading out at first light. That doesn't give us much time to sleep so take advantage while we can" he told her as he wrapped his arms around her.

CHAPTER 10

Maria walked over and wrapped her arms around Michael, “The Parker's landed in Hawaii.” she told him. “Her dad sent a text, he said he would call later in the morning.”

Michael kissed the top of her head, “I know this is hard for you.”

“I just pray we can get Liz back safely.” she told him.

“We will.” He told her as he held her in his arms.

The sheriff looked down at his watch, “Has Alex come back yet?” he asked them.

“Not yet.” Isabel told them. “He called and said it will be awhile yet.”

“What if he isn't able to find out any information for us then what?” the sheriff asked Max. “We should have a back up plan in place.”

Max took in a deep breath, “I am giving Nicholas the Granilith." He told them seeing the look of complete shock on their faces.

Isabel grabbed Max by the arm. "You can not be serious. I know that you’re upset about Liz. We all want to get her back but we can not give Nicholas the Granilith."

“I agree with Isabel on this one, come on if what Maria said is true giving Nicholas the Granilith would be like handing over the keys to the world." Michael told him

"I am not going to really give Nicholas the Granilith, but with Tess's help we are going to make him think that we are." Max explained.

Tess shook her head, "What?!” she looked at him, “Max I really want to help. Really I do but making Nicholas believe that we are giving him the Granilith. That’s pretty big, I am not sure I can pull that off."

Max crossed the room to Tess he took her hands into his. "I know I am asking a lot of you but we will all be there to help you. Besides, you would only have to convince him long enough for me to get Liz to safety. Once I have Liz back we will destroy Nicholas."

"Ok suppose this plan works and Tess is able to fool Nicholas into thinking he has the Granilith, how exactly were you planning on destroying him?" Michael asked a little frustrated.

Max shook his head and walked back to the counter. "When Nicholas calls back I am going to tell him that I will turn over the Granilith but only once I know Liz is safe. Sheriff I need you to help me find a location that we can lure Nicholas too. Maybe an old cave site or an abandon building that has
more then one room some place that has been standing for more then 50 years. I want him to believe that I am really leading him to the Granilith. Tess, Isabel, and Michael will be waiting for me to arrive with Nicholas. I want you to be close by but not actually in the building. Once Nicholas is inside
Tess will make him believe that he sees the Granilith. Once Liz is safe, we hit him with everything we have. Hopefully this time he won't survive." He told them.

"Max you don't really think that Nicholas is just going to hand over Liz do you. He has been trying to kill you since he first found out who you are, he wants the Granilith but he wants you dead too." Tess told him.

"Yeah I know that is why Maria, Kyle, and Alex are going to be waiting near by. Once Nicholas lets go of Liz I want you guys to get out of there. I want you to take Liz and drive away." Max looked over to Maria.

"What about the four of you, I'm not going to just leave you guys stranded." Maria told him as she wrapped her arm inside of Micheal’s.

Michael lowered his head down to kiss Maria on the top of the head. "Yeah Maria you are. You have to do exactly as Max said. The only way we are going to have a real fighting chance here is if we know that you are all safe."

Maria started to protest further but the look in Micheal’s eyes told her it would not do any good.

"I can't force any of you to do this. It could end up being a suicide mission; but I need your help. It's the only way that I can think of to get her back." Max told them.

Michael looked at Maria. He knew in his heart that if he were in the same position he would do what ever it took to get Maria back. "Yeah, count me in." Isabel and Tess both agreed to help.

"Ok I will have a place for you first thing in the morning, for now everyone just try and get some sleep." Jim told them as he headed back over to the door.

Isabel took Maria's hand, “We girls are taking Liz's bedroom.” she said as she pulled her along with her.

Michael yawned, “There are two couches upstairs and one down here in the kitchen.” he told them as he followed Maria and Isabel upstairs.

“Kyle you can have the other couch upstairs. I will stay in the kitchen.” Max told him as he walked out of the restaurant.

Tess sat down in one of the booths and laid her head on the table, she just kept thinking of what Max had asked her to do. Their entire plan came down to her fooling Nicholas into believing that he was actually seeing the Granilith.

Kyle watched her. "Hey don't you want to get some sleep?" He asked her.

Tess lifted up her head. "I couldn't sleep, not now." she told him as he walked over and sat down next to her.

"So do you want to talk about it?” Kyle offered.

"No, really it's fine.” she told him.”You should go get some sleep. There is only a couple hours left before the sun comes up.”

Kyle shook his head, “No its not fine.” he told her as he wrapped one of his arms around her shoulder. “ I have gotten to know you well enough to know that something is bothering you so talk.”

Tess took in a deep breath, “I just hope I don't let everyone down. Max is asking a lot of me. I'm not sure if I can do this or not." She told him honestly. “Making Nicholas think he is seeing the Granilith is not going to be easy.”

"You can do this,” he told her, “I know that you can. You are so much stronger then you realize. I know this has been really hard on you seeing Max so upset over Liz but I know you can handle this." Kyle told her. “You will get the job done.”

Tess shook her head, “No its not that. Max and I actually had a really good talk before.” she told him. “We are friends but we both know its never going to be more then that.”

Kyle was surprised, “Really?” he asked her.

“Yeah, you know it’s strange but I guess having things happen the way they have has finally made me realize that they belong together. I mean that, hearing what Liz did for Max all because she loves him. I don't know if I could have done that. It was incredibly unselfish of her.” Tess admitted then said, “ Max is completely in love with her regardless of what our destiny is suppose to be. I would have to be blind not to see it, they belong together." She told him.

“You told him that?” Kyle asked her.

“Yeah I did.” She told him then said. "I am just glad that Max and I are finally able to be friends. Some of the awkwardness is gone, there is no expectation. Its kind of nice."

“But I thought you had all these memories of the two of you together.” he told her.

“Memories...” She laughed, “More like stories told to me by Nascedo. Kyle I don't know if any of what he told me was real or a made up fairy tale. All I do know it what I have now.” she admitted to him honestly.

Kyle smiled at Tess. "It's not the end of the world you know. There is life outside of Max Evans.” he told her. “You are this completely amazing woman, you have a wonderful sense of humor, you’re intelligent, beautiful and you can be very sweet when you want to be. There are a million guys out there that would give their right arm for a chance to be with you.”

Tess smiled, “Really do you think so?” she asked him her voice filled with disbelief.

Kyle shook his head, “How can you not know how amazingly wonderful you are?” he asked her.

Tess looked at him intently, “IF I didn't know better Kyle I would think you liked me.” she teased him.

He stared into her eyes and whispered softly, “I do like you.” he told her as he leaned over to kiss her. He captured her lips with his and pulled her into his arms as their kiss deepened she found herself feeling things she never had before. It was confusing and thrilling all at the same time.

As their kiss ended she found herself pulling back from him, "Wow lets just slow down for a minute, when did all of this happen?" Tess asked taken completely by surprised by his admission and the kiss they shared.

“Its been happening.” he admitted to her, “I have cared about you for a really long time but there was always all this Max stuff in the way.” he told her.

Tess took in a deep breath, “Oh.” was all she said.

Kyle shook his head, “Oh?” he pulled further away from her, “Look I didn't mean to say or do anything just now to make you feel awkward around me.” he told her.

Tess shook her head, “Its not what you said really, or what you did. I like you too..” she hesitated, “Its just I need some time. I just realized that my life doesn’t have to be wrapped up in Max and I kind want to get to know me a little better.” she told him. “You know find out who I am with out being tied to Max Evans.”

Kyle smiled, “Ok not a problem, I can wait.” he told her.

Tess looked at him and smiled, “Still friends.” she asked him.

“Of course.” he told her.

“And you understand how I feel and why I need time?” she asked him as he moved closer toward her.

Kyle stared into her eyes and smiled, “I completely understand.” he said his mouth just inches away from her own.

Tess could feel her heart beating faster, “And” she started to say, “We are still friends...” she mumbled softly as she stared back into his eyes.

“The very best of friends.” he told her just before he leaned in and kissed her again. Tess heart began pounding. As their kiss deepened she felt her head spin, all she could think about was Kyle and
the effect his kiss was having on her at that moment. After several minutes he let her go and walked toward the kitchen leaving her sitting there staring after him.

“Maybe slow is not the way to go...” she mumbled to herself.

Liz was exhausted, she was completely worn out but she struggled with getting to sleep. She knew Zan had fallen off to sleep awhile ago. She wished she could too. She closed her eyes and focused on Max. As she opened her eyes she found herself at the Crashdown. She was in the kitchen and Max was there lying on the couch sleeping. She smiled down at him and knelt down next to him. He looked so calm so peaceful as he slept. She brushed the hair away from his face and whispered his name, then she kissed his cheek, “Max, I'm here with you.” she told him.

Max eyes fluttered open and he looked into hers, “Liz, I love you so much.” he told her as he pulled her into his arms and held her close, “I'm so sorry I wasn't there for you.”

Tears filled her eyes as he deeply into hers, "Oh Max you are here with me now, your strength is what got me through."

He pulled her into his arms burying his face into her hair. The sweet smell of her perfume filled his senses. He held her close not wanting to let her go. “I thought I would never see you again.” he told her .

Liz laid her head down on his shoulder, “I'm here now and we're together.” she told him, holding him tight. Max ran his fingers through her hair, he held her close, “I promise to keep you safe, I won't ever let Nicholas or anyone else hurt you.” She looked up at him and kissed him. As their kiss deepened she slowly began to fade away until finally she disappeared from his embrace. Max eyes flew open as the dream ended. He sat up looking around at his strange surroundings trying to remember where he was.

"It was just a dream." Max mumbled to himself in frustration. She wasn't really there with him, he had dreamed about her. He laid there for a long time staring at the ceiling unable to go back to sleep. Tears filled his eyes as he tried to hold on to his emotions and stay strong for her sake. All he could think about was getting her back and making Nicholas pay for what he had done.

Liz pushed away the hand that was pulling on her arm. She opened her eyes to see Max standing above her. Relief washed over her. "Oh Max! Its you, you really are here with me."

Zan reached down his hand to shake her by the shoulder. "Sorry not Max, still Zan.” he told her then said, “Come on you have to get up we have to get moving. Were going to be a lot easier to spot now that the sun is fully up."

Liz pushed the hair away from her face as she tried to focus her eyes. The fire had gone out, only smoldering embers remained. The cave was so dark she could barely see in front of her. She struggled to her feet every bone in her body ached. "It must have been a dream.” Liz mumbled to herself in disappointment.

CHAPTER 11

Zan was the first to crawl out of the cave. He wanted to make sure no one was around. Once he saw that it was safe, he called to Liz. It took a moment for her eyes to readjust to the morning light as she emerged from the cave. He took her by the hand and began the fast pace again towards the highway. "Hopefully Nicholas won't find where I hid the motorcycle before we have a chance to get to it." Liz just nodded in agreement. Her mouth was so dry, she was thirsty, hungry, and exhausted.



Nicholas slammed his fist against the wall. "What do you mean you haven't found her. Never mind, I should never have sent you idiots. Combined you do not have enough brainpower to find you way out of a box!” he yelled at them, “I will find her myself. Take me to where you were when you heard Simon call out. Logic would dictate we start there."

"Sir we were all over that area. We spent the whole night searching. We did not find her or Simon. In that landscape with those caves, and rocky ravines his voice may have been echoing when we heard him call out to us." the skin tried to explain.

"I did not ask you to give me your opinion, nor did I ask for excuses as to why you keep failing. I told you to take me to the spot you last heard Simon. Now lets go." Nicholas yelled at him.


Max was already awake when Alex came back into the Crashdown. “So were you able to get anything?” he asked him.

“Yeah.” he told him as he walked in and sat down. He opened up his laptop and motioned for Max to come over, “First of all the van was heading south out of town, every single traffic camera got them until they reach the exit for 285 after that I can't track them.”

“Well at least we know what direction he took Liz in.” Max told him.

“That’s not all.” he told him, “That other guy, the one we thought looked like you.” Alex told him as he keyed up some files, “Turns out he looks exactly like you.” he showed him as he opened the file. It was a picture of Zan as he came out of the back of the Crashdown. “Well almost exactly, minus the tattoos, and piercings.”

“That can't be...” Max said as he stared at himself in the picture.

“That’s not all.” Alex told him, “Who ever this guys is, he followed Nicholas. He stayed a distant distance behind but he shows up after the van dose on every camera intersection all the way to Highway 285.

So was this guy helping Nicholas or helping us?” Max mumbled to himself.

Alex shook his head, “I wish I knew the answer to that one.”


Michael looked up as Maria came out of Liz room and came over to lay down next to him.”So things are going to get crazy real fast.” she told him.

Michael leaned over and kissed the top of her head, “I want you to promise to be careful.” he told her.

Maria didn't answer him right away, “I can't promise you that.” she told him honestly.

Michael pulled her closer. "No Maria you have to.” he told her, “Promise me that as soon as Liz is
in the car you will leave. I mean it, no stupid stunts, no crazy ideas. You hit the gas and leave. I have to hear you promise me on this otherwise I can't do it. I will be worried about you the whole time and it just won't work." Michael told her honestly.

Maria turned to look into his eyes. "Michael your asking me to leave you with out knowing if you’re even ok or not. Besides what makes you think Liz would leave Max there with Nicholas anyway. "

Michael held her to him he honestly hadn't thought about that. "Maria I just want you to be safe. It has taken me along time to realize how much you mean to me, I just don't want anything to happen to you." She lowered her mouth to his and kissed him softly. When their kiss ended she laid her head back down on his chest and closed her eyes. She fought back the tears, this was just all to much. Her best friend being held in the hands of a mad power driven alien and now the only man she every loved was about to risk his life to try and save that friend.



Alex poured himself a cup of coffee, and stifled a yawn as he walked back over and sat down.

“You should go get some sleep.” Max told him.

“I'm fine.” Alex told him, “Just need a little more caffeine in me and I will be ready to go again.”

It was the sheriff coming in that got both their attention. He was carrying a small satchel, “Max I think I found the place.” he told them as he walked over to one of the tables and pulled out some old maps from the satchel. "NO one else has access to these files so I think this place is perfect. You said we needed a place that was secluded preferably an older building right?”

Max shook his head, “Yeah it has to be a place that Nicholas will believe has been here since the crash.”

The sheriff took out one of the folders and handed it to Max. “Well I think I have the perfect place
for you. It’s an old military hanger. NO one really knows about it anymore. It has been abandoned for the last 50 years maybe longer. The military used it during world war two as a test site for weapons and air to surface attack training. The location was always pretty hush hush but became even more so after the crash in 1947. These old documents they talk about the hanger being used to store some of the wreckage from that crash here at this site. I think it’s the perfect place to use to fool Nicholas." Jim explained.

Max looked everything over carefully. "This is perfect. How did you get a hold of these files any way?"

"They were my fathers things. Stuff that he uncovered while he was still on the force. When he went into the nursing home I found this stuff in a safe in his attic.” he told him then said, “The tricky part is that the building itself is not on any maps that the public has access too. Hell none of the roads are even listed on the maps so it’s perfect.” Jim told him. "See it's perfect it's about a 2-hour drive south of town.”

Alex looked at the location on the map, “There could be some risk with this location.” he told them.

"Why?" he asked.

"Well we know from the street cams that Nicholas took Liz out of Roswell heading south on 285. What if he knows about this place and is already there?" he told them.

Max shook his head, "Will have to scout it out and see but for now its the best that we have." he told him.

The sheriff took in a deep breath, “Alex is there any way you could use the cameras remotely along this route here to watch for when that van comes through. It sure would be nice to have some heads up before he comes.”

Alex shook his head, “ I can do that.” he told them, “I brought my lap top with me and it has enough power as long as I can get a wifi signal out there.”

The sheriff looked over at Max, “Looks like we have a plan to get Liz back.”

"Come on lets get the others so we can go over this again. I want to be ready for when Nicholas calls. I don’t want him to know what hit him." Max told them.



Zan stopped for a moment to listen, he was sure he had heard someone coming toward them. As soon as he did Liz heard it too, the skins were close by. Zan motioned for her to keep quiet as they climbed up the steep side of a rocky cliff. Liz was trying to keep up but she was unable to climb as well as Zan. The rocks were sharp and jagged as they climbed higher making it difficult to find a place to grab a hold of. Zan pushed Liz up in front of him trying to keep them both moving. She stopped for only a moment to look at the deep chasm that lay below them. She suddenly felt dizzy and nausea as she grabbed a hold of a large rock and put her foot into some loose gravel trying to pull herself further up the cliff. The gravel gave way and she lost her grip falling back wards into Zan. As she did he lost his footing and fell several feet downward landing on a small ridge. Liz screamed out trying to catch his hand as he fell but it was of no use. A look of complete fear flashed across her face as she saw Zan lying motionless in the dirt and sharp rocks. With out thinking she quickly moved back down the cliff to where he was laying. "Zan! Zan! Can you hear me? Please be ok, talk to me?" Liz begged as tears began streaming down her face.

Much to her relief he slowly opened his eyes. "Liz you have to keep moving, the motorcycle is not far from here, my leg is broke and I am pretty sure my back too. I can't move. You have to get to the car, go on. Nicholas and the others are not far behind go!" Zan told her weakly as he struggled to breathe.

"No, I am not leaving you, I'll heal you" Liz told him as she placed her hand over his chest.

Zan pushed her hand away. "No there’s no time there’s almost here. Get out of here get to Max don't let him give up the Granilith." Zan yell at her just before his eyes closed and he lost consciousness. Tears fell from her eyes as she did her best to move him out of site and then climbed back up the side of the ridge moving as quickly as she could. As she reached the top of the cliff Liz placed her hand on a
large rock and began pulling herself upward, terror filled her eyes as she felt Nicholas hand clap down over hers. "Well well if it isn't our lost little Lizzy. Here we have been searching all night for you and you find us.” he laughed, “But Liz really my feelings are hurt, you running away like this it makes me think that you don't like me? "

Liz allowed Nicholas to help pull her the rest of the way up the cliff. She stood starring at him with anger in her eyes. Nicholas took a step closer to her and sneered, "So who was it that helped you get away?” he asked her as he grabbed a hold of her head, “And please don't try and tell me you escaped all by your self because I know your not smart enough for that."

Liz looked at him her eyes filled with contempt. “I'm a lot smarter then you think."

Nicholas placed his hand along side of her head and began apply pressure. "My dear sweet stupid girl, don't you ever learn. Now if you won't tell me what I need to know I will just go in and take it from you." Nicholas closed his eyes and began probing her mind. With every ounce of anger that she had
in her Liz focused on one thing blocking Nicholas out. She thought about how good it would feel to knock that smirk off his face. Nicholas grew impatient as he was getting no where, he was unable to probe her mind. Liz continued to focus as hard as she could but felt herself growing weaker against him. In one last moment of anger and frustration she screamed out in pain and frustration, a force of
energy shot out from her into Nicholas and knocked him back to the ground several feet away. A stunned Nicholas scrambled to get back up on his feet.

Liz shook her head, took in a slow deep breath. "Not so stupid after all ugh!" yelled at him.

Nicholas grabbed a hold of her arm and pulled her closer to him. "I don't know how the hell you did that but you are going to regret it. Trust me, no one makes a fool out of me, no one." He snapped at her his voice filled with anger.

Liz just laughed. "Your right you don't need any help playing the fool, you do that fine all by
yourself."

Nicholas slapped Liz across the face causing her head to snap to one side. She didn't care, she was exhausted and beyond thinking clearly, “Go ahead Nicholas show everyone one what a big man you are...” she taunted him, “Oh wait you can cause your stuck in that puny pre teen body.”

Nicholas was furious, he held out his hand and was just about to shoot a bolt of energy into Liz when he stopped. She stared at him, her eyes flashed with anger, “Go ahead!” she yelled, “Do it!

He took several deep breaths then smiled, “No I won't kill you, you are after all to important to me for that.” he told her, “After I have the Granilith I will kill Max and let you watch as he dies. I want to see your heart break Liz as you watch him suffer and die.” he told her, his voice was cold and calculating. He motioned to the two skins standing near by to take Liz away.

Nicholas called out to his other guards, “Did you find who ever it was helping her?”

Two guards came running back, “No sign of anyone else.” they told him

Nicholas kicked at the dirt in frustration, “Lets go.” he called out to them.

The guards looked at each other then back at him, “Do you want us to keep searching?”

Nicholas let out an exasperated sigh, “No you idiots I do not want to waste time here searching. That is why I said lets go.” he told them.


Max had everyone up at the Crashdown just as Maria cell phone began ringing. He hesitated for only a moment before answering it. "Hello?"

"Max, it seems we have a little change in plans. Your girlfriend has been giving me nothing but grief and I find that my patients has run out.” he told him. “I want the Granilith and I want it now or I am going to take great pleasure in slowly melting her mind into nothingness.” he yelled into the phone.

“Alright!” Max told him taking the threat seriously. “I want to talk to her first, I want to make sure she is still alright then I will turn over the Granilith to you.

Nicholas took in a deep breath, "I'm going to let you talk to her.” he snapped at him then said, “But you might want to tell her to behave or I will have to make her behave myself and that won't be pleasant...understand.” Nicholas sneered into the phone biting out each word to emphases what he meant. He turned to Liz. "Now don't do anything stupid like trying to tell him where you are got it." He told her as he handed her the phone.

Liz took the phone from Nicholas. "Max?" she said his name softly.

Max breathed a small sigh of relief. Hearing her voice knowing she was still ok gave him hope. "Liz I'm so sorry this is happening. Are you ok?"

Liz felt the tears sting her eyes at the sound of his voice. "Max listen to me, I'm ok. Really I'm fine but listen to me I don't want you to give him the Granilith no matter what Max don't...you can't do it!" Nicholas ripped the phone back out of her hand, and slapped Liz hard across the mouth splitting open her lip. “I told you not to try anything.” he told her as he slapped her again.

Max could hear Liz as she cried out. “Nicholas if you hurt her the deal is off.” he yelled into the phone.

Nicholas took in a deep breath, “Fine!” he snapped as he began talking to Max again. “Now that you know she is alive I suggest if you want to see her stay that way you had better plan on turning over the Granilith today.”

Max voiced was filled with anger. "I'll take you to the Granilith. I need time though to get to it and then I will call you for the location exchange."

"Alright Max. but If I don't hear from you soon then you can say good bye to your little Liz forever." Nicholas hung up the phone and walked back over to Liz. "You better just hope your boyfriend comes through and this isn't some kind of trick or else your died."

"I rather die then have him give you the Granilith." Liz sneered at him.

"Really, you would rather die then have him give me the Granilith. Those are really brave words. I don't think you mean them though, not really." Nicholas leaned over closer to her and wrapped his hands around her throat.

Liz instinctively put her hands on his and tried to pull them away as he began choking her cutting off her air. Seeing the look of panic and fear in her eyes he squeezed even harder. She struggled and squirmed against him to try and free herself. Nicholas began laughing, "See Liz you may think you would rather die but those are just words. You really wouldn't want to end your life just to keep me from getting the Granilith.” he told her as he applied more pressure, “ Right now your mind is searching for away to free yourself. Your struggling trying to desperately get air to breathe, wondering if I am going to kill you now or let you live. I can see it in your eyes Liz, the fear, the terror of not knowing if you will ever see your loved ones again. If you'll ever see Max again?” He stared into her eyes, “Don't worry Liz, I said I would let you see Max one more time and I always keep my promises.” Nicholas told her just as she was about to pass out from a lack of air. As soon as he let her go she began coughing and taking in deep breaths trying to recover from his attack. Her throat hurt terribly as her breathing began to calm down and her heart slowed back to a more normal pace. She pushed herself away from Nicholas trying to think of Max and the others. Tears welled up in her eyes at the thought of not seeing them again. She turned her head away and fought back the tears she wouldn't give Nicholas the pleasure of seeing her cry.



Michael was the first to notice the expression on Max's face as he hung up the phone. He knew that the news wasn't going to be good. “So whats our next move?” he asked Max.

"Nicholas isn't giving ups much time. He wants the Granilith today or he is going kill Liz. So we have to work fast if we are going to make this work. This is the location that we are going to meet Nicholas at to make the exchange for Liz. The sheriff found it on some old maps of his fathers and I think it will work perfectly. Its an old abandon military base that no one really knows about. It's out in the middle of no where and is very secluded so we should be able to convince him that the Granilith is there." Max told them as they all looked at the map.

"No you won't be able to convince him that the Granilith is at that location." Max spun around
at the sound of his own voice coming from behind him. He stared in complete shock at the young man standing in front of him. He looked exactly like him. Every one stood in silence looking at the two of them in disbelief.

"Who the hell are you" Michael asked as he pulled Maria closer to him and held out his hand.

CHAPTER 12


"Calm down, I'm not here to hurt any of you. I am here to help you. My name is Zan, you already met Lonnie and Rath I know they told you I was died but as you can see I am very much alive." He told them as he walked over toward them with his hands lowered and non threatening.

Isabel walked over to him then she turned back to Max. "It's him he is the one I saw with Liz last night. You were there with her?"

"Yeah that was me. I almost had her too but we were attacked and Nicholas took her captive again.” he told them. “Max I know this is all really confusing but I can help you to get Liz back with out giving up the Granilith but your going to have to trust me." Zan told them.

"And why should we do that. We don't even know if you are who you say you are. This could be some kind of trick." Michael told them.

"You have to be Michael.” Zan shook his head, “I can see that you are the real deal, the second in command. Your a fighter Michael a warrior just like me and I respect your need to be cautious, I do but if you will just listen to me I think I can help." Zan told him as he lit his cigar. He explained who he really was to them. He told Max that he was a soldier from their home planet sent here to protect and keep them safe. That no one knew he wasn't a duplicate like the others, not even Lonnie, Rath, knew the truth. He explained what had happened in New York and why he had come to Roswell to see Max and warn him about the others and their attempt to use him. He told them that he followed Nicholas to the Crashdown. he had tried to save Liz but they were attacked by some skins. "Liz trusted me, she told me all about the two of you and how you healed both her and Kyle. I only want to help I promise you that. The reason that building won't work is because that is where Nicholas is keeping Liz. He has about 50 skins crawling all over that place. There is another place out there, its not that much further away. It has an underground bunker in it and looks like an abandon air plane hanger. You could get him to meet with you there. But you should know he isn't going to let you walk out of there alive. He doesn't just want the Granilith he wants to kill all of you so this whole thing is a trap. I am assuming you aren't really planning on giving him the Granilith so what were you going to do?"

Max looked at Michael. "Well what do you think?"

"Max, I think we have to trust him, besides we really don't have any choice if what he is saying is true then we are going to need all the help we can get." Michael told him reluctantly.

"Alright, but I am warning you Liz means everything to and I won't take any unnecessary risks with her life." Max told him.

"I understand completely, I will not do anything to put her at risk. Believe it or not your highness she means a great deal to me as well. I will do what ever it takes to keep you both alive." Zan told him then said, “A decision has to be made here though, I can promise you one thing if Nicholas doesn’t hear from you soon he will kill Liz.”

Max took in a deep breath, "Your right we were not going to give Nicholas the Granilith. Tess can mind warp people. She is going to make Nicholas think he is seeing the Granilith so we can get Liz back, once we have her safely out of the building we were going to attack him." Max explained to him.

"Alright, so then can I count on all of you to help to be willing to do your part because if we are going to get Liz back we have to work together?" He asked. They all agreed that they would do what ever it took to get Liz back safely and rid them of Nicholas. Zan stood up and walked over to the sheriff. "Could you get a hold of some surveillance equipment?” he asked him. “I need to have Max wired so that Tess can hear him talking?"

"That's not a problem." Jim told them.

"Max with your permission I have a few ideas that I think will work with your plan.” Zan told him.

Max nodded his head, “Tell us what you want to to do.”

Zan took a drag off his cigar then proceeded, “Alright then Max you call Nicholas once we are at the hanger. Tell him the location to meet for the exchange. Once you and Michael are inside that is when Tess is going to begin her mind warp. Nicholas will say he is coming alone but he will have about 5 or maybe even 10 skins with him I am guessing. He wants the Granilith but then he wants to kill all of you. He doesn't like loose ends that can come back and cause him troubles later.” Zan told them. “Sheriff I need you to take Isabel, Alex and Maria to that military base you showed Max. Take these explosives with you and plant them all around the buildings.” he told them pointing to his back pack that was filled with the explosives.

The sheriff looked them over, “Alright.” he agreed.

Zan gave him a slip of paper with some numbers on it. “Those are the timer codes, follow them to the second. I need you to use your tactical judgment and blow the whole dam thing up, it has to be completely destroyed. I mean nothing can be left standing. The skins that are with Nicholas are in temporary husks. They don't last long with out them spending time in these hibernation cooling chamber. They are connected to them once the chambers are destroyed the skins will be to. This has to be timed perfectly though. We don't want Nicholas to suspect anything. You can't blow up the
base until Kyle gives you the signal, will need some two way radios. Once Max, and Michael have Liz out of the building Kyle your going to signal the sheriff to set off the explosives and destroy the base. Got it?" Zan asked Kyle.

Kyle shook his head. "Yeah I got it.”

Tess looked at Zan and then over to Max, "I'm not sure if I can do this. Nicholas is a lot stronger then you realize." Tess told them.

Zan took another drag off his cigar, “Don't worry you won't be doing this on your own.” he told her, “I don't have time to explain everything to you but Kyle you have to stand near Tess, hold on to her the entire time the mind warp is happening, focus all your energy, and strength on Tess.” he told them. “It will magnify her powers.”

Kyle took in a deep breath, “ok I can do that.”

Zan took one last drag off his cigar and then stubbed it out. “Everyone knows their part so lets go. Oh and one last thing, don't be fooled by the way Nicholas looks, he may appear like a skinny teenager but he is a brilliant tactical fighter. He will suspect that we are going to try something we just have to be sure that he believes the Granilith is really there if this is going to have a chance in hell of working.” he told them as they left the Crashdown.

Michael grabbed a hold of Maria's hand and pulled her aside. "I don't want you to do this. I just have a really bad feeling something is going to go wrong out there."

"Michael everything is going to go fine besides you heard what Zan said we all have to help or else Liz is as good as dead." Maria told him.

"I know but I am not going to be there to take care of you. " Michael told her.

"Michael I am doing this I am going with the sheriff and I am helping in any way I can. Liz is my best friend, I know you think I can't take care of myself but believe me I can.” Maria reassured him.

"Maria this is for real, any one of us could loose our life today and I just don't want that to be you." He snapped at her.

"I know your just trying to protect me and I am glad really I am that you care, but Michael Liz is my best friend and I could never live with myself if I didn't do everything possible to make sure
she comes home today alive so I am going like it or not." Maria told him as she walked out the door with the others.

Zan looked at Tess standing with Kyle. "So you can handle this right, because we really need you to be able to fool him into believing that he is seeing the Granilith."

"I will do my part.” She told him.

"I know you will.” he said softly staring into her eyes for a moment, “You remind me so much of Ava. I can see that you have a good heart just like her. Let’s go then you and Kyle are with me. Max you and Michael follow me, the rest of you head to the military base with the sheriff and follow his instructions. Hopefully we will all meet back here." Zan told them as they
left.

Max gave Michael the keys to the jeep then grabbed Zan by the arm. "You said you were with Liz trying to help her escape, she was alright, Nicholas didn't hurt her.”

"Max, she was alive when I last saw her. I don't want to lie to you, Nicholas is ruthless, he has a temper and he will do whatever it takes to get his hands on the Ganilith and destroy you. Liz is special to you and that makes her valuable to Nicholas. He won't give up until he has the Granilith.” Zan told him, “My mission is to protect you and the one you have chosen and I will do so regardless of the cost. I will work every bit as hard as you to insure that she comes out of this alive. I will always fight for you, my allegiance has always been to you. I will be by your side to defeat our common enemies just like I did on Antar. I am loyal to your throne alone Max, you can trust that." Zan told him.

Max shook his head, “I just had to be sure, Liz is all that matters to me right now.” he followed
Zan out to the jeep. Michael stood staring over at Maria and the others. He couldn't help but feel he should be going with her but he wasn't sure why. It was as if something was eating at him. "Max I think I should be going with the sheriff. Maybe Isabel should be going with you instead of me?" Michael told him as they both got into the jeep.

"Michael, Zan thought that you should be with me and I think we better trust that he knows what is best. He has been dealing with Nicholas a lot longer then we have. I know your worried about Maria, she will be ok, Alex and the sheriff will make sure that they are all safe. I need you to be with me can you do that, I mean I need your full attention out there with Nicholas can I count on that?" Max asked.

"Yeah, you know you can. I'm there 100% lets go, lets get this done with." Michael told him as they drove off.

Nicholas pulled up in front of the abandon military base and had two of his guards pull Liz out of the car with him. They dragged into a different part of the base. She looked around her, the room was cleaned of debris and trash. It looked like it might have been some kind of conference room at one time. There was a rather long table in the center of the room with a laptop sitting at one end. Nicholas walked her over to the end of the table opposite the computer and pulled out a chair. He motioned for the two skins to bring Liz over, “Liz come and sit down.” he said.

The guards shoved her down unto the chair and then stood on both sides of her. Nicholas took in a deep breath, and stared at her as if he were considering what to do next. “Tie her hands to the chair.” he said as he walked over to the lap top and opened it. He typed in a message to Khavar then turned to Liz, “I have to let the boss know we are back on schedule.” he told her. Once the guards had both her hands secured to the chair Nicholas walked back over to her. “I bet your hungry aren't you?” he said as he leaned down next to her. “Your probably thirsty too.”

Liz didn't say anything, she just stared straight ahead ignoring him. Nicholas wasn't going to have that, he took in a deep breath and shook his head, “Now I am trying to be nice!” he snapped at her as he grabbed her hair and pulled her head back to look at him. “I think we should try this again.” he told her, “I say, I bet your hungry and you say...” he waited for her to respond. When she didn't he shook her head pulling on her hair. “You say.”

“I am not playing this game with you Nicholas.” she told him.

Nicholas let go of her hair and walked around to face her, “Lizzy you are not being very nice.” he told her. He looked at her and smiled, “But I am going to be.” he turned to the two guards, “Please go and get me some water and our lunch.” he told them as he walked over and sat down at the table. “Don't worry they won't be gone long.” he told her as he glanced down at his watch, “Your beloved Max had better be calling me very soon or this could be your last meal.” he told her.

Liz shook her head, “Max will never give you the Granilith.” she told him her voice filled with contempt.

Nicholas laughed, “Well I truly do hope your wrong Liz.” he told her. “Truly I do from the bottom of my heart.”

Liz didn't say anything as the guards came back in with two large trays of food. She watched as they put the trays down on the table and then pulled her over in front of them. Nicholas began by opening a bottle of water and pouring it over a glass of ice. “I bet your thirsty aren't you Liz?” he said as he sipped on the water. “I could let you have some water if you tell me who it was that helped you escape.” he told her as he took another sip.

Liz closed her eyes, she was thirsty but she knew her only chance was to keep Zan's identity a secret. She was praying he had enough time to heal and reach Max before he made a terrible mistake.

Nicholas slammed his fist down on the table as hard as he could causing Liz to jump. “Its not polite to ignore someone when they are talking to you.” he snapped at her.

Startled by the sound her eyes flew open. “I told you already, I am not playing your game!” she yelled at him in anger.

He smiled, as he began eating his meal. “I know you must be hungry Liz. After all you spent all that energy running around out in the desert.” he told her, “There is plenty of food here I could share it with you. I want to.” he told her as he took another bite. “If you would only tell me who it was that helped you escape.”

Liz could hear her stomach growling, and her throat was sore from not having any water to drink but she shook her head, “I'm fine actually.” she told him defiantly. “Besides I am very particular about who I choose to eat with.”

Nicholas shrugged his shoulders and laughed. “You have gotten to be a very spunky girl.” he told her then said, “Killing someone will do that to you.” he continued eating his meal. “You surprise me Liz, first you escape, then you kill three of my guards and finally you were able to block out my mind probe. I have to tell you that is making you more and more intriguing to me by the minute.”


Zan and Max arrived at the hanger and placed the call to Nicolas. Max took out his cell phone and dialed the number, he took one deep breath and calmed his nerves. More then anything he had to sell this lie so Nicolas would believe that they were really about to give him the Granilith. "I'm ready to turn over the Granilith. I want you to drive on highway 285, go south of town. Just after the 100-mile marker is a dirt road, take it. You will see Michael standing there waiting for you he will bring you the rest of the way. I would not try to do anything to either Michael or myself because the Granilith is locked in a security field that he and I have to open together. We will make the exchange once we are inside the building. Oh and Nicholas no other skins better be there just you and Liz." Max told him trying to sound convincing.

"Absolutely Max. I'll come alone just me and your girlfriend." Nicholas lied to him. After hanging up the phone he called out for the guards. "Follow me, but hang back a bit once we are with Michael you come in, its time for the king to have his final lesson in global warfare." Nicholas told them then he turned to Liz as he got up from his chair, “Now its time for the real fun to begin.”

Liz looked at him with disgust. "You’ll never going to get away with this."

"I already have. " Nicholas told her as he took a roll of tape from one of the guards. He walked over to Liz, tore a long strip off then put it over her mouth. He stared into her eyes for a moment then said, "Can’t have you trying to warn your boyfriend now can I?" She tried to kick at him with her feet but he easily dodge her attack. “Liz I just want you to know, after I kill Max, I am going to bring you back here and find out who it was that helped you escape and then I am going to torture you very slowly so that you really understand how much I hate loose ends!”

CHAPTER 13

The sheriff and the others arrived just outside the old military base. Jim took out a duffel bag and pulled out a pair of binoculars. He looked around to see what they were up against. “Zan was right there are at least ten skins guarding the perimeter of the building.” he told them. “We are going to need to be very careful.”

Isabel took in a deep breath, “Ok tell us what you want us to do.” she told him trying to keep her nevers under control.

The sheriff reached into the bag and pulled out a small device that looked no bigger then a break. "This is an explosive timing device. We need to separate into two groups and set these things up in several location near that main building if we want to blow the whole place like Zan said. Alex you come with me and Isabel you and Maria go here, and here." Jim told them as he pointed to the map. "Now you must set these precisely as I show you or you could trigger the whole set up. There are enough explosives in one of these units to blow up everything in a 800-foot area so be very careful. You key in a code here that will activate the device to receive my signal and discharge when I flip the switch. Be careful remember what Zan said there could be as many as 50 of Nicholas men out here.” he told them then said, “Meet back here in 15 minutes."

Maria and Isabel hid behind an old abandoned truck waiting for the guards to pass. "Isabel look in here there.” she told her, “I think that is old dynamite in the back of this truck. If we put one of the devices here that will make this place really go up right?" Maria asked.

"Yeah, good plan.” Isabel told her then said, “do you remember how to set the timing device. The code was 04301987." Isabel told her.

Maria pulled the small black box out of her backpack and began punching in the numbers. "04301997 right got it."

The box began making a strange sound as if the timer on it was accelerating very quickly. Maria opened the lid of the box and saw that the timer was counting down and getting ready to explode. "Oh Isabel I did it wrong, I did it wrong this thing is going to blow! what do I do! what do I do?!" Maria told her hands shaking as the numbers continued to count backwards. Isabel held out her hand and froze the clock on the bomb. Then she cleared the numbers on the pad making the device in active. Maria let out a huge sigh of relief.

Isabel looked at her. "Now put in the numbers correctly do it slower, 04301987 got it do them one at a time."

"Yeah, yeah ok. 0…4…3…0…1…9…8…7. I got it." Maria told her as she activated the device with the correct code. They both began to breathe easier as the clock set to clear and waiting for the signal that the sheriff would send it when he threw the activation switch. "Um lets not tell Michael about this." Maria told Isabel as they headed inside of the building.

Just as they were about to set the second device a skin jumped out at them, almost causing Maria to drop the explosive. As he grabbed a hold of Maria, Isabel held out her hand and shot a beam of energy directly at the skins chest. He reached out as it hit him and disintegrated into tiny pieces. Isabel looked over at Maria her heart pounding in her chest, "I know we don’t tell Michael about that either right." Isabel said trying to calm down.

"Yeah exactly, come on lets go." Maria told her as she punched in the next set of numbers to activate the device, then they moved on to the last location before meeting back up with the sheriff.

Zan positioned Tess and Kyle about 50 yards away from the building hidden behind some large rocks making it impossible for anyone to see them. "Now lets test out that surveillance mic Max has on, and see if it is working." Zan flipped the switch on the headset that Tess was wearing. "Can you hear them, can you hear Max and Michael?"

Tess listened for a moment "Yeah I can hear them as if I was standing in the same room with them."

Good, now when you see Michael, Max, and Liz come out of that building and get into the jeep you two run for it. Get into the car and head back to town don’t wait for me just go you got it?" Zan told them both. Kyle shook his head as he took the keys to the car from Zan.

Nicholas pulled up to the dirt road, he saw Michael waiting there for them in Max's jeep. He pulled the car up behind Michael and followed him to the building. Liz saw Max standing outside of the building but there was no one else around. Michael pulled the jeep up next to Max and got out they both waited for Nicholas to get out of the car. He pulled Liz from the car yanking her by her hair. "You go in first we will follow and remember Max no tricks or I’ll kill her right here in front of you." Nicholas yelled over to them. Max and Michael walked into the building together. They waited just inside the door way for Nicholas to come in with Liz.

"NO you move away from the door over there." Nicholas told them as he walked dragging Liz with him Max looked into her eyes. Tears were streaming down her face as she looked at him. Her cheek was swollen, she had a bloody nose, and there was bruising all along her face. It was clear Nicholas had beaten her. In that moment he wanted to tear him apart but he knew he had to hold it together for her sake.

"Where is it, this had better not be a trick Max or else. I want the Granilith and I want it now." Nicholas said as he held a gun up to Liz's head and cocked the trigger.

Max lifted up his hand slowly. "No its here, its not in plan view. It is hidden behind this wall. Michael and I are the key to opening a concealed chamber." Max told him calmly. Max and Michael walked over to the wall, first Max placed his hand against the wall a silver hand print was revealed
and it began to glow. Max turned and nodded to Michael to do the same. As Michael placed his hand on the wall Max turned to Nicholas and yelled stand back while it opens. Tess took that as her cue and began the mind warp on everyone in the room. As Michael's hand began to glow the wall pushed backwards opening a large chamber that was filled with bright light. Slowly the Ganilith came rising up from a long sub level shaft.

Nicholas stared in amazement into the large room holding the Granilith. He walked towards it loosening his grip on Liz. "Finally I have it, finally the power of the Granilith is mine." Nicholas smiled to himself. Seeing that he was distracted Liz broke free from his grasp and ran toward Max. He opened his arms to embrace her. He looked into her eyes and took the tape off then he hurriedly untied her hands.

Nicholas sarcastic voice brought them both back to reality all to soon. "Go ahead have your little reunion it won't last long. Now that I have the Granilith your all as good as dead. Except for Liz of course. Khivar has very big plans for you, after all any human that can turn this machine into a time travel device is a prize to keep."

Max pushed Liz behind him and Michael. "You said that you would let her go. The deal was I give you the Granilith and you let Liz go."

Nicholas laughed. "Max, Max, Max, you should have known that there is no way I could ever let any of you walk out of here alive, but I guess that human capacity to hope just got in the way of critical thinking.” he laughed, “I have had enough trouble from you to last ten lifetimes." Nicholas called out and several skins appeared. Max grabbed Liz and Michael, they backed up towards the entrance way. Max held out his hand and created a force field around the three of them. Nicholas just laughed you can't keep that up forever Max and I'm not going anywhere. Michael reached out his hand to help Max temporarily hold off the skins. "Just give it up Max, you have failed again, but don't take it to hard, failing seems to be something your really good at." Nicholas told him sarcastically.

Max turned to see Liz standing behind him. "Liz run, get out of here, we can't hold them off for very long and Tess won't be able to last much longer either."

Liz looked at him not understanding what he was trying to tell her. "Max I won't leave here without you."

Nicholas held out his hand and created and energy field of his own that blocked the entrance way baring Liz from escaping. “No she isn't going anywhere. I told you Khavar has plans for Liz. Besides I am planing to kill each and every one of you. First the two of you, then your friends, and your families. Everything you have ever loved or cared about is going to end today!” he yelled at them. “And Liz is going to watch it all happen. It's a promise I made to her!”

Liz held out her hand and was just about to shot Nicholas when Zan walked into the room. He was carrying a backpack full of C-4 and he had a lit cigar in his hand. All eyes turned in his direction as he held out a stick of dynamite and lit it. Nicholas looked from Max back to Zan. "Who the hell are
you. What kind of trick is this Max?"

Zan smiled at Nicholas. "NO tricks just me coming to get a little pay back. I'm surprised you don't
remember me, my feelings are hurt. Do you see what I have here? It's called dynamite and it makes things go boom just in case your simple little skin mind doesn't understand that. So the way I see it you have two choices one you let Liz, Max and Michael walk out of here right now and I put out the dynamite and you get your precious Granilith. Or two I blow us all the hell up because I kind of feel like today just might be a good day to die."

Nicholas looked at him and walked back towards the Granilith. "Your bluffing you would never destroy the Granilith."

Zan smiled and puffed on his cigar a little more. "Your absolutely right. I wouldn't destroy it and we both know that a little C-4 won't touch the things outer casing but we do know it will disintegrate you into a million tiny pieces.” he told him. “My mission here is to save Max and Liz and we both know the Granilith will survive an explosion. The question you need to ask yourself is will you survive the explosion?


Nicholas looked at Zan has he walked up toward him. Realizing that he wasn't bluffing he waved his hand and lowered the shield for them to pass. Zan called out to them. "Max get Liz out of here
now. And don't turn back for anything." Max grabbed Liz by the hand and the two of them ran out of the building with Michael. They jumped into the jeep and Max yelled for him to drive.

Nicholas looked back to Zan. "I kept my part of the bargain now you keep yours." Before Zan could answer him the entire building shook, the windows blew out and the skins disintegrated into tiny particles that floated to the floor. "What the hell is happening here?" Nicholas demanded. Just then, the vision of the Granilith disappeared as Tess stopped her mind warp. Kyle saw Max, Michael and Liz running out of the building so he grabbed Tess by the arm and they drove off just as Zan had instructed them too.

Zan laughed as the expression on Nicholas face became enraged at having been tricked. "I'm a liar to...” Zan tossed the stick of dynamite directly at Nicholas before he ignited the rest. Liz turned back just in time to see the entire building go up in a massive explosion. She watched closely hoping to see Zan come out but all she could see were huge clouds of dark black smoke. She didn't say anything she just lowered her head down against Max shoulder and closed her eyes as tears fell softly down her cheek. Max wrapped his arm around her and held her close.

It was a long ride back to the Crashdown. No one said anything. It wasn't long until fire trucks and state police cars drove quickly past them. Liz turned to Max and tried to smile, she wasn't sure what to say to him in that moment. So much had happened so much had changed in the last 24 hours that she just wasn't sure where to begin.

Max watched Liz as she sat staring out the window, he didn't know what she was thinking but he knew he needed to give her time. He wondered if some how she might blame him for all of this. After all it was his people and his fight with those from his home planet of Antar that had caused her so much pain.

Liz was lost in her thoughts the entire ride home. It was the sudden stopping of the jeep that caught her attention. She looked at the Crashdown and took in a deep breath, “My parents, what did you tell them?” she asked Max suddenly realizing that they would have called by now. “When they called what did you say?”

“Maria told them you were fine, that you were taking a shower and that you would call them later.” He told her.

She nodded her head and smiled, “That was good thinking, thanks for not worrying them.” she said softly. She got out of the jeep and walked into the Crashdown, it was still damaged from the night before.

Max walked over and picked up the chairs on the floor, “We will fix everything, make it look like nothing ever happened.” he promised her.

Liz nodded her head, “Yeah thanks.” she whispered softly wishing deep down it would be just as easy for her to forget everything that had gone on.

Maria came up to her and gave her a hug. "I am so glad your here and your safe." She told her.

Liz held her friend as tears rolled down her cheeks. "I'm ok.” Liz told her.

Maria hugged her one more time before finally letting go. “I bet your hungry?” she asked trying not to be to emotional.

Liz smiled, “I am actually.”

Michael grabbed Maria's hand, “We will go get some food.” he told them as they headed back out of the restaurant. He knew more then anything else what Liz needed was some food, and a chance to decompress from it all.

Isabel came up and hugged Liz, “Liz if you need to talk or anything, I'm here.” she told her.

Alex kissed her on the cheek, “Glad your safe.” he told her.

Kyle and Tess walked over to her. Kyle reached out and hugged her tight, “You know my dad and I will be here for you. He had to respond to the call when the explosions happened but he wanted me to tell you he will be by to check on you soon and that he will be keeping a close watch on things from now on.”

Liz smiled, “Thank you Kyle.” she told him as he finally let her go.

Tess looked over at Liz not really sure what to say, “I'm really glad your alright.” she told her feeling rather awkward.

Liz took in a deep breath, “Thank you Tess for what you did out there. Max told me how you mind warped Nicholas into believing he had the Granilith so we could escape.”

Tess smiled, “Kyle helped.” she told her not really sure what else to say.

Max wrapped his arm around Liz, “Do you want to go upstairs, get cleaned up?” he asked her then said, “We can deal with this mess for you.”

Liz shook her head. “Yeah that's a good idea.” she told him as she cleared her throat and turned to leave.

He watched as she climbed the stairs to her room. Then he went back into the restaurant, to help the others clean things up. He knew it was going to take time for her to deal with all that had happened but more then anything he hoped she wouldn't close him out. He wanted more then anything to be there for her but right now she seemed so lost he wasn't sure how to help her find her way back.

CHAPTER 14

Liz went into her bathroom to take a shower. After she was done she stood looking at her self in the mirror, she knew what had happened to her over the last few days had changed her in a ways that she hadn't fully come to terms with yet. She reached up and touched her cheek, she winced in pain her face was still swollen from where Nicholas had hit her. She looked at her lip was messed up too and she had bruises on both sides of her face from the mind probes. She tried to hold back the tears as she combed her hair and got dressed into clean clothes. She thought about Max and how close she had come to loosing him, seeing him there realizing that he was about to give his life for her, she wondered how she could have ever doubted or mistrusted him concerning Tess. She thought about Zan as the tears rolled down her cheeks and all that he had done for them, he had proven himself to be a loyal friend and true to Max. After she finished dressing she walked out into her room just as Max came through the door.

“I think Michael and Maria are on their way back with the food.” he told her. He saw the fresh tears in her eyes and couldn't stop himself. Seeing her standing there, bruised and hurting he just couldn't hold back, “Liz, I promised myself if I got you back I wouldn't push you or rush things between us but I know your hurting and I just want you to know I'm here you can talk to me.” he told her.

She tried to smiled but she suddenly felt overwhelmed, as tears ran down her cheeks. He moved over toward her and pulled her into his arms. For several minutes he held her close and just let her cry. “I'm so sorry Max.” she mumbled softly. “Sorry I lied to you about Kyle and that I didn't have enough faith in us to tell you the truth.”

Max wrapped Liz up in his arms and kissed her softly on the forehead. “Liz you have nothing to be sorry for.” he told her then said “none of this is your fault.”

She looked up into his eyes, “I never should have lied to you about Kyle. I know we promised never to keep secrets from each other but I just didn't know what else to do.”

Max brushed the hair back away from her face and looked into her eyes, “Liz its not your fault you did what you thought was right to save us, to save Michael and Isabel.” He told her. Then reached inside his jacket and pulled out her diary. “I know you did everything for me. I know and all I can say is that you are such an amazing person, the love you have for me is more then I could ever deserve.” he told her as he gave her dairy back to her. “I want to spend the rest of my life with you, loving you and protecting you like you have done for me. I am just so sorry that all of this with Nicholas has happened and I wasn't here for you. I never meant for you to be in any danger or hurt.”

Liz wiped her eyes, “Max its not your fault there is no way you could have known that Nicholas would come here or that he would do this.” she told him as she pulled away from him and put the dairy on her dresser.

Max walked over to her and pulled her into his arms. He stared down into her eyes, “I love you so much. I just want to keep you safe.” he told her.

“I love you Max.” she told him as he leaned down to gently kiss her. As his lips touch hers he closed his eyes and focused all of his energy on healing her. Moments later the two of them were engulfed in soft white light. As their kiss deepened she could feel the warmth of the light and energy as it washed over her healing her wounds. Moments later the bruising and swelling all disappeared and she was completely healed. Flashes filled his mind as the two of them connected. He saw images of himself from the future, of Nicholas torturing Liz, of her killing the skins and her time with Zan. He knew she had gone through so much for him. As he opened his eyes and ended their kiss he looked into her eyes and smiled, “I am never going to let anything happen to you again.” he promised.

She felt safe with him, knowing he still loved her and that things were finally right between them helped so much. She whispered softly, “thank you for healing me.” she told him then said, “Will you stay with me tonight?” she asked, “I know Maria will stay over but I just...” she started to say when he interrupted her.

“Liz I'm not going anywhere.” he told her as he held her close. “I'm staying here every night, I will even camp outside your window if I have to. I meant what I said I want to keep you safe. I'm not going anywhere.”

Liz looked up and smiled at him, “I have so much to still tell you. Things that Zan told me.” she said softly. “Things about you and the others and where you come from.”

“His memories were intact?” he asked her.

Liz nodded her head, “Yeah he shared so much with me.” she told him then said, “You should know Zan was...” she started to tell him but then she heard Maria calling out to them, “Yeah Maria.” she called out from her room.

“Michael has returned with food.” she told them as she poked her head through the doorway.

Max let Liz go and followed her as she went back down into the restaurant. “I am so hungry.” she said as she walked over and smelled tacos and rice. “This looks amazing.” she told them. She was just about to sit down and eat when her cell phone went off. She recognized the ring as Maria answered it.

“Its your parents.” Maria said as she handed her the phone.

Liz took in a deep breath, then took the phone, “Hey dad how are you and mom?” she said as she walked over away from everyone so she could hear. “No I meant to call you sooner I have just been busy with my friends.” she lied, “No I am not having a party, just Maria, Max, Michael, you know my friends are here hanging out with me. We were just about to have some late lunch.”

Max watched her carefully to make sure she was alright. After several minutes she came back. She looked at Max and smiled, “So my dad said he spoke with the sheriff about the break in. Apparently he got a few calls from his friends who own businesses around here. He said he wants me to go and stay with Maria or have Maria stay here with me until they get back, but that he is relieved to know that everything is fine. They are staying for the rest of their trip and everything is fine.” She told them as she sat down and began eating her lunch.

They spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning up the downstairs and putting everything back the way it was. Her thoughts kept turning back to Zan as fresh tears formed in her eyes. She didn't think it was very likely that he survived the explosions even though deep down she held out hope. She wanted to tell the others all about him and the hero he truly was. He had given so much of himself for all of them. She sat watching her friends as they all talked about what had happened. She was glad that they were all safe but she had really been hoping for a happy ending, one where they all walked away and got what they wanted. Deep down she knew it wasn't very likely but she still had held out hope that everyone would come out of this alive and yet one very dear friend remained unaccounted for.

Max had been watching Liz all afternoon, he knew she was hurting a lot more then she was letting on. He knew deep down she was carrying wounds he couldn't heal for her, that kind of healing would only come with time. He could see she was putting on a brave face for everyone but deep down he could feel how this had affected her. He walked over to her and took her hands in his, “So you said before you wanted to talk to me about Zan” he told her.

She was just about to answer when she heard someone coming through the door. She looked over and saw Zan standing in the doorway. She pulled her hands free from Max and ran over to Zan hugging him. "Your alive! I thought you were dead." She told him as she buried her head into his chest.

Zan hugged her back. “I'm alright princess, you know better then anyone its takes more then that to kill me.” he teased her. “Although I am pretty sure that is the closest I have ever come to it.”

"I’m just really glad you made it out." Liz told him as she finally let him go. “You took such a risk.”

“Yeah but it was worth it to walk in here and see you two together.” he told her as he looked over and saw Max staring intently at the two of them, “So the two of you work everything out?” he asked her softly.

Liz looked over in Max direction, “We're getting there.” she told him. “ He doesn’t know about my powers just yet but when we have more time to talk I have a lot to tell him.”

“yeah but do me a favor for awhile keep that knowledge between the two of you far as long as you can.” he told her grimacing in pain.

“Your sure your alright?” she asked her voice filled with concern.

“Just not fully one hundred percent yet.” he told her.

“What about Nicholas?” Liz asked him her voice growing serious. She never wished anyone harm before in her life but in this case she hoped he was gone for good.

Zan shook his head, "I think we finally decapitated the head to that little monster.” he told her then said, “but”

Liz took in a deep breath, “But Khavar, he won't stop will he?”

“No he won't. I can't say he will bring the battle to your front door again like he did this time. Part of me thinks this little maneuver was all Nicholas, but you just have to be ready.” he warned her as he took her hand in his. “Remember what I told you princess, its a war. Khavar needs the Granilith to make his plans work and that means he will keep on fighting until he gets it.”

Liz shook her head, “How do you do it, how do you get up day after day knowing that it could erupt into a major war all around you and keep on going?” she asked him her eyes filling with tears as her emotions overcame her.

Zan leaned over and whispered into her ear, “Look over at your friends.” he told her, “That’s how you do it. You do it because you know what your fighting for matters and they are worth it. Your a warrior now, you take each day as it comes. When the wars are raging you fight, and when you have those moments like now...you cherish them.” he told her.

Liz smiled, That’s pretty poetic words coming from you.” she teased him.

Zan laughed, “Every now and then I have my moments.” he told her as Max walked over to them and wrapped his arm around Liz protectively. Zan held out his hand to Max, “Your highness.” he said as they shook hands.

“I just wanted to say thank you for what you did back there.” Max told him.

“As long as I have breath in my body I will fight with you Max. You and prince Micheal were the most honorable men I have ever known.”

Max looked over at Michael and smiled, “Prince Michael?” he repeated.

Zan laughed, “Liz will tell you all about it.” he told him.

“So are you planing to stay in Roswell?” Liz asked him.

"No, can’t have two Max Evans running around that would cause a lot of attention that I think would be hard to explain." Zan told them.

“What about Ava?” Liz asked him then said, “She really loves you, she should at least know your alive.”

Zan smiled, “I was kind of thinking the same thing. Seeing the two of your together has made me realize that she is the one person in my life that I really can't be with out.” he told them. "I am going to find her, and then I have a couple of old friends to deal with in New York City. I thought I would drop in on Rath and Lonnie." Zan told them. “Don't need the two of them to coming around again stirring up trouble for you.”

Liz leaned over and kissed him on the cheek, “You and Ava are always welcome, you guys are family now.” she told him. “I would start looking for her in California, near the beach. Try down by San Diego.”

Zan smiled and looked at Max, “Take care of her.” he told him.

Max shook his head, “I will.” he promised.

After Zan left Max and Liz walked back over to the others and sat down. Liz looked around the room at her friends and took in a deep breath, she looked at Max and took his hand in hers and then looked over at the others, “thank you all for what you did today.” she told them then said, “I have a story to tell you.” Liz looked over at Max and began telling them all what Zan had shared with her.

Epilogue


He saw her standing near the water, the breeze blowing through her hair. He watched her as she laughed and waded her feet in the water. He stood there watching, he loved to hear her laugh. The sun was just beginning to go down as she came running up the beach before the waves came crashing in. His heart beat faster as he walked up closer, she was just as beautiful as he remembered her. It felt like an eternity had passed but finally he found her. He called out her name, “Ava!”

She turned at the sound of his voice, tears filled her eyes. She ran over to him and jumped into his arms. He held her tight and captured her mouth with his. “I kept hoping your body would heal itself but then when you didn't show back up I thought...” she said breathlessly as she looked into his eyes.

He brushed her hair away from her face and stared into her beautiful blue eyes, “I had to stay away. I had to find out what Lonnie and Rath were up to.” he told her. “I'm sorry.”

“How did you find me?” she asked him as tears rolled down her cheeks.

Zan wiped the tears away, “Liz, she said to say hello.” he told her.

Ava smiled, “I love you Zan.” she told him. “I love you so much!”

Zan held her close, he finally felt like he was home. He whispered softly into her ear, “I love you too.” just before he captured his lips with his own.

Liz was finishing up her shift at the Crashdown when her phone went off. She pulled it out of her pocket and read the message, “Your the best goofball ever. Zan said to tell you hello!” Tears filled Liz eyes as she reread the message. Max finished clearing the tables and was just about to go into the kitchen when he saw her, “Is everything alright?” he stopped and asked her.

She looked at him and smiled, “Everything is perfect.” she told him “Absolutely perfect.” She wiped away her tears and put her phone back inside her pocket. Max leaned down and kissed her on the cheek just as Mr. Parker came through the kitchen door.

“I gave you the job of busboy cause Liz said you needed some part time work but I think I have been hoodwinked and the two of you came up with this plan just to get past my curfews and no going out on a school night rules.” he teased them.

Liz laughed, “You found us out dad.” she told him as she walked over and gave him a kiss.

Max watched her as she helped her father finish clearly down the counter tops. Seeing her more like her old self meant so much to him. Working at the Crashdown and giving up his job and the museum was his idea so he could stay close to her with out her parents getting suspicious but the truth was as each day passed her powers were getting stronger just like Zan had said. The truth was she was getting really good at protecting herself. It had become a ritual date on Saturday afternoons to take her out into the desert and practice her abilities, the last time they went even Michael seemed to be impressed with what she could do. If and when Khavar ever returned to bother them they would be ready.

The car pulled up outside a very elegant mansion set up on the hills back away from the road, the lawns were perfectly landscaped and beautifully kept. “It is nice to be here again Thomas. I had forgotten how beautiful this place was.”

Thomas quickly got out of the car and opened the door for his passenger. He waited while he stepped out of the car. “It is good to have you back sir.” he told him taking note of his appearance and how much it had changed since the last time he had seen him.

“Can I safely assume you and the others have made sure everything has been taken care of for my return?” he asked as he stepped up to the front of the house.

“Yes sir everything is ready.” he told him as he opened the door.

“Thank you Thomas.” the young man said as he went inside and placed his things down on the table. A man dressed in uniform came out, “Welcome home sir we have been preparing for your arrival.” he told him as he collected his things.

“It is good to see you again Jones. Is he here yet?” he asked as he looked around at his surroundings.

“Yes sir, he is below waiting for you.” he told him. “If you will follow me.” he said as he led the way down the hall and into an elevator. Once the door closed the man held out his hand and instantly the small room picked up speed and began accelerating at incredible speeds until finally it reached its destination and suddenly stopped.

The young man turned to Jones and smiled, “Thank you Jones, that will be all.” he said as he stepped off the elevator and walked over toward the younger man standing near a large computer panel and monitoring system. “I see you are recovering nicely.” he told him.

Nicholas turned and smiled, “Khavar it is good to have you here with me.” he told him. “I am almost 100 percent again. Although this last time was closer then I would ever like to come to dying.”

Khavar reached out and hugged him, “Oh little brother I would never let it come to that.” he told him as he let him go. “I am very glad though that our new transportation device is now fully working. We were able to get you out of there in just enough time.”

Nicholas took in a deep breath, “yes if it had failed in anyway I would have been blown to pieces when Zan lit the rest of that C-4.” he told him. “Thank you for suggesting the back up plan.”

“It is best to always have a an exit plan just in case things don't go the way we would like.” Khavar told him then said, “I told you not to worry that the technology was sound. Now maybe you will trust me when I tell you this new technology will make things easier for us to accomplish some of our goals.”

Nicholas nodded his head, “Its not that I don't trust you big brother its just that I find myself always in the unique position of being your lab rat when it comes to testing out your new toys.” he reminded him.

Khavar laughed, “Fair enough, I will test the next one on myself hows that.” he told him.

Nicholas laughed, “I will believe that when it happens.” he said.

Khavar walked over and looked up at the monitor, “So what is this your looking at now?”

“This is footage from the cameras my men where able to place inside the Crashdown and in the home of Liz Parker.” he told him then said, “They are all up and running now.”

“It was a clean install?” Khavar asked him as he watched Liz and Max on the monitor.

“Yeah her father went looking into having security system put in as soon as he returned from his vacation and of course I made sure ours was the company that he decided to do business with.” he told him.

“Good, very good.” Khavar told him. “So what have you learned, is it as you suspected, is she changing?” he asked him.

Nicholas shook his head, “I haven't seen any real clear evidence so far.” he told him then said, “Of course it has only been a week since the cameras became active and the father wouldn't let me put any in the upstairs rooms at all just the restaurant and kitchen area. I was hoping to put some in with out their knowledge but he stayed right there with my men the whole time overseeing the entire process so we do have limited eyes as of right now.”

Khavar thought for a moment, “We could always use our other option and activate her.” he told him.

Nicholas shook his head, “No not yet I think we need to wait and watch. Gather more information for awhile first then we move forward.”

Khavar nodded, “I see you are learning to be more patient.” he smiled, “In the mean time I need to get going it is a school night after all.” he told him. “And tomorrow I will be heading to Roswell High School.”

Nicholas smiled deviously, “I wondered if that was the reason for this new look your sporting this visit.” he told him.

Khavar took in a deep breath, “It did seem to make the most sense, if I want to get close to her again I need to look the part now don't I.” he told him as he glanced down at his watch. “I should be going, until this link becomes more stable I only have this body for a few hours and we don't want him to wake up and see you here.” he told him as he walked over to the elevator. “Have Thomas bring the car around so he can drive me me home.” he told him as he stepped inside.

(Authors Note: I really hope you enjoyed reading this story. I had such fun writing it. For now things are quiet in Roswell. Max and Liz are together and all is right with the world but we all know that it won't stay that way forever...)
Last edited by JanieD on Mon Aug 19, 2013 10:26 pm, edited 18 times in total.
Time is a valuable thing, once spent it is gone forever.

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