TAT: Endless Summer Fades (M/L TEEN) *complete*, 12/30

Finished stories set in an alternate universe to that introduced in the show, or which alter events from the show significantly, but which include the Roswell characters. Aliens play a role in these fics. All complete stories on the main AU with Aliens board will eventually be moved here.

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roswellianprincess16
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Post by roswellianprincess16 » Mon Oct 10, 2005 5:33 pm

A/N: Thanks guys! Sorry this isn't coming faster (as do my other fics, generally) But I've had a lot of stuff going on. I just want you all to know how much I appreciate all of your support. I hope my little snippets once a week have been enough to keep you all rooting for your fave Dreamer couple. And the little candy tidbits I've thrown in. Which of course, is my segway....

“But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st.” – Sonnet XVIII, William Shakespeare


ACT III. SCENE I:

The backstage area of the theatre was bustling, as people moved up and down the halls, pushing and shoving through the tight spaces, carrying set pieces, fabrics for costumes, small beginnings of props. There was very little light except for the oil lamps and the cracks of sunlight that beamed through the wooden boards above their heads. Much of the backstage was actually beneath the stage and far behind it, but the hallways were so narrow, they’d build nearly four different routes to lead them toward the stairs.

Maxwell stood in one of the many shadowed corners, listening as the groups passed, lost in their world of whispers and laughs. His eyes were closed as he waited with baited breath for the familiar voice to arrive.

“Maxwell, are you ready for this?” He looked over, catching sight of Michael coming to stand before him, half shadowed and half glowing with the light of the oil lamps.

“Yes.”

“You know what you will say…?”

“I have it under control, Michael.”

“You will tell her only what she needs to know….”

“I said, I know what I am doing,” Maxwell bit through clenched teeth, pushing himself away from his leaning position against the wall and standing straight in frustration.

“You’re already lost in her, Maxwell, and she hasn’t even come back here yet. You’re going to let your feelings get in the way.”

“And? I thought you were the only one supporting me here, Michael?”

“I’m trying to think about her, Maxwell. Have you even stopped to think about the danger she’s put in? Just knowing our secret? If Kivar found out about her… about what she is… you’d never see her again.”

Maxwell swallowed hard, falling back against the wall with a thud. He hated to admit it, but Michael was right. He had to be careful about the way he handled things. Discreet in his actions. They needed Bethany, there was no doubt about that. But could he also have her? The way he so desperately desired her? With what effects?

He sighed, as he felt Michael’s hand squeeze his shoulder firmly.

“Whatever you do, I am certain that it will be for the best of everyone involved.”

Maxwell nodded, thankful for the boost of confidence. He knew he would need it.

The sound of light patters against the wooden stairs startled them both, and Michael looked out, nodding his head in acknowledgement.

“She is here. I will keep her maiden busy for as long as I can.” Maxwell nodded, and prepared for her arrival. It was strange, but he could sense her drawing near, as if he could see her in his mind, walking with soft, quiet steps, her eyes eagerly taking in her surroundings. He closed his eyes, listening carefully as her steps neared, and then reached out, his arm grabbing around a small wrist, as he pulled her into the shadows with him.

“Maxwell!” she said with a quick, startled cry, before he crashed his lips against hers. The immediate rush of images surprised them both, fueling their passion. He reached up, his fingers digging into her hair. He felt the heat building within him so he pushed away softly, leaving lingering kisses on the apples of her cheeks, the tip of her nose and on her forehead.

“I simply cannot, not touch you.” She nodded in response, still breathless, but smiling. “We have to talk. Can we go somewhere?”

“Marye is here, she will be looking for me.”

“I have the horses waiting outside.”

“I do not know…” she hesitated, a nervous look crossing her features. He couldn’t help himself when he ran his fingers softly down the side of her face. Her eyes flew up to meet his and he smiled, reassuring her. Those brown eyes did something to his system that he couldn’t explain.

“Please,” he begged, holding her hand firmly in his. “It is urgent that we speak.”

She took a deep breath, after weighing her options, and nodded silently. He took it as a first sign that things would go well. He had so much to tell her. He was truly afraid he would not be able to get it all out.

<center>***</center>

Michael strolled toward Marye, his fists clenched tightly at his sides. He knew what he had to do, but it didn’t make it any easier. The woman was impossible, and incredibly overprotective of Bethany. He knew if he didn’t keep her focused elsewhere, she would make it impossible for Maxwell to go according to plan.

With that in mind, he walked up behind her, as she spoke to Alexander Whitman, one of the regulars at the theatre. He had been in several productions before, but this one had been his first large role, and he was carrying it out with all the seriousness it deserved. Michael didn’t know how it happened, but somewhere in the middle of rehearsal he really started to believe the story on the stage, and he marveled at how something that was so flat on paper could really be brought to life.

“It really was fabulous! I was very impressed…” he heard her say excitedly and he stepped up beside them, smiling as he looked between the two friends.

He knew they were friends, he had seen them before together. They didn’t share the intimacy necessary for something more… and Michael found himself cursing under his breath for noticing such an unimportant detail.

“It was Alexander, very impressive. And you, I must say I did not expect to see you here again…”

He watched as her eyes narrowed, her ears becoming a darker shade of pink.

“I was not aware that I could not return to the theatre.”

“Oh no, not at all what I meant. I’m thankful that you’ve come… it just surprises me that you could not stay away.”

Her full lips curled into a smile, as a snicker escaped her mouth. She turned to look at Alexander in disbelief, who seemed just as confused about the entire situation. He shrugged and excused himself, claiming to need the final pages of his script looked over for corrections on his notes.

“Charming Master Guerin, however, I can assure you that your cunning ways are being wasted. I still clearly remember our first encounter.”

“Well then, I did my job. Seeing as how you have been unable to stop thinking about me,” he smirked, enjoying the slow fire that burned in her eyes.

“Oh, I guarantee you I have NOT been thinking about you.”

“Really?” he whispered, as he stalked her, and she took steps back, clearly fighting the urge to cower beneath his tall frame. She stood straight, her eyes locked on his, until she bumped her back into the wall beside the staircase that led to the balcony of the theatre. She looked back in a quick panic and then addressed him seriously.

“This is very inappropriate,” she choked out, and he couldn’t stop the smirk from growing wider. “I must attend to Bethany.”

“Why did you really come here?” he asked finally, as she looked up at him with her sparkling green eyes.

“Not because of you! How absolutely pompous! Do you really think that you are the only purpose for my existence?” She laughed, and his smirk dropped, as he kicked himself for the confusion running through his system. Why is that not what he wanted to hear? She pushed him away as she made her way past him, still mumbling loudly. “I cannot believe you would even think….”

She stopped suddenly, as her eyes caught sight of two running figures. Michael nearly froze. He’d finished too early. He’d done too much, too fast.

“Is that… Bethany?” Marye asked in absolute confusion. Michael did the only thing he could think of. He grabbed her arm, pulling her toward the darkened stairwell and kissed her.

She fought for only a moment, before she melted into his arms. He pressed against her lips hard, suddenly wrapped in the moment of passion. This hadn’t been part of his plan. Then again, he had never expected to ever run into someone like the small woman that he now held in his arms.

She pushed away, both of them gasping for breath.

“That was to calm you down. You are always wound so tight.”

“Oh, and I assume that you think you can send me into a spiral with just a kiss?” Before he could think, her hands grabbed the front of his shirt, pulling him close and planting a rough kiss on his lips. “You obviously know nothing of the De Lucia women.”

She walked away, leaving him speechless for what he could only assume was the very first time in his life. She looked around, a slow panic settling in her features. Finally, she turned around and walked back toward him, standing directly before him, her face desperately close to his own.

“If you had anything to do with Bethany’s running off, I swear to you that you will not forget my name, Master Guerin.”

With that, she turned on her heels and stomped off, her long braid slamming against her back playfully.

He sighed loudly. He didn’t think he’d be able to forget anything about her.

<center>***</center>

Maxwell stopped in front of the cave, as he looked back at Bethany’s worried face. They both clearly remembered the last time they had been in the chamber, the effects of their very presence had sent the Granolith buzzing to life.

He squeezed her hand softly, reassuring her as best he could, and they walked in slowly, closing the large boulder behind them. They stood frozen for a moment before the pods, watching their steady green glow. It didn’t cease to amaze either of them.

“I know there are a lot of questions hanging in the air,” he started slowly, turning to look at her. “And I will try to explain everything to the best of my knowledge. But there are so many things that I do not even understand.”

He could see in her eyes that she understood, to some extent, his apology. He continued walking, dragging her slowly by the hand toward the Granolith Chamber.

“For some reason, fate has entrusted you to be the guardian of this very powerful machine. It is why you and I were meant to meet in this time and place, and so many times and places before this.”

“But I am not one of you,” she questioned.

“No, but our survival depends on your knowledge of these things and on your willingness to help us. I truly believe they appointed you because they knew that I would notice. Because there was just no way I wouldn’t fall in love with you.”

He watched her lips slowly curl into a smile and he leaned in, unable to resist the lure of kissing them.

She pushed him softly, her eyes full of concern once again.

“Wait… what exactly does this all mean? What will I do? How will I know when to do it?”

He sighed, fearing her reaction.

“Bethany, there is someone very powerful looking to hurt us, to find us. We do not know where he is or when he’s coming. But you have to promise me, that when something strange happens, you will try your best to get me here, and send me back to where I come from by means of the Granolith.”

“Something strange? Like what?”

“He will come and try to kill me. I do not know what form he will be in. He may look like any normal person, but he will be a monster, and you will know it. You will sense it.”

“And you want me to come here and send you on this… to where? How would I even know how?”

“It is deep within you Bethany. You will know. Your very desire to keep me alive will do all of the work for you.”

He watched as her breath caught in her chest.

“Keep you alive? You will not die! You have yet to meet the man, what if you are more powerful?”

He grabbed her shoulders softly, pulling her in for a tight hug.

“I do not know how this will all end. I only know one thing, and it’s that we need you. I need you. And not only because you’re the only one that can save us, but because I want to live the rest of my life having you in it.”

“What are you saying?” she asked suddenly, her eyes searching his eagerly. He nearly held his breath. What was he saying? Could they even do this?

“I want you to be my wife Bethany De Parquee.”

“Maxwell…” she said on a whispered breath.

“I do not know how long I have here on this Earth, but I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”

“We may not have very long,” she said sadly, but he pulled her close letting his forehead fall on hers.

“We will live an eternity,” he whispered as his fingers caught the string around her neck. He pulled it up, a smile covering his face as he noticed the pendant with the swirl symbol on the front. “It is a sign of my love, all that I can currently give.”

“Then I will wear it against my breast, so that it covers my heart, every day.”

He leaned in closer, brushing his lips across hers. He knew how dangerous this was. But he couldn’t stop it. His soul was calling out to her, each passing day, louder and louder. She completed him in ways he didn’t think were possible.

He could never tell anyone. He knew they would only object. It didn’t matter now. He would do all in his power to be with her. And to make sure they were both safe in the process.
Image
-Isabelle Santiago, Author of Scifi/Fantasy Romance
Not Every Girl Dreams of Prince Charming...
http://twistedfairytale.net
http://twistedfairytale.net/blog/

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Post by roswellianprincess16 » Tue Oct 25, 2005 12:03 am

A/N: HELLO EVERYONE!!! IM BACK! :) Sorry for the delay, it seems my email was being weird. My stuff never made it to the beta the first time around and her replies never made it to me! Big shout out to KATH for being so patient!!! Thank you! *hugs* Oh, and welcome FRED! Glad you were able to stop by!

ACT III. SCENE II:

Bethany finally understood the meaning of perfection. Each and every second she spent with Maxwell reaffirmed what it meant in her mind, and etched it silently into her heart. Weeks had gone by since his proposal, and with each day, she found herself loving him more and more.

But the best day had to have been the day they received word that Lord Valentyne would not be returning as promptly as promised. In fact, he would be detained until further notice, seeing as how he fell suddenly ill. Bethany hated to admit it, but she was elated at the extra time it afforded her. There was no need for lies or deceit as long as he was gone. Marye continued to allow her a little over an hour each day, and with each visit to the dusty theatre, she fell in love all over again.

It had become a sort of ritual for her, to sit up top the balcony and watch the rehearsals in awed silence, every scene coming to life more brilliantly than the first. At this point, Bethany was assured she knew nearly every line, every movement. With each day, the story tugged more and more at her heart, until she was absolutely certain that she would never stop crying. All of the characters had become people she was somehow intimately acquainted with, and she would silently yell as their worlds began to fall apart, yet again. Strangely enough, no matter how many times she saw it, she always wondered if Romeo and Juliet would live happily ever after. Sadly, they never did.

Still, it didn’t slow her growing obsession with Master Shakespeare’s magical words. In fact, every time Romeo and Juliet had a scene together; she would freeze, unable to think of anything else. She’d mouth the lines quietly from her seat, and close her eyes, imagining herself up on the balcony.

In fact, she fantasized endlessly about being Juliet, about having Maxwell wrap his arms around her as Romeo and cover her in passionate kisses. Thankfully, it didn’t all have to be a fantasy. The time after rehearsal was the time she treasured most. Maxwell would grab her hand and lead her into a private corner, where he’d whisper Romeo’s seductive words into her ears, in between breathless kisses.

Each time she returned home, there was a look of pure panic on Marye’s face. Each time followed by a long speech. This better be worth it, Marye would cry, or you are ruined. Her wild green eyes would look Bethany over carefully, making her blush. She knew that Marye could see through her. That she knew of the forbidden things she and Maxwell did behind the shadow of darkness. But each time, she would simply nod, a slow smile spreading over her lips.

Marye didn’t understand the things she felt when Maxwell touched her. The way her entire soul would fly. Her skin burned from his very absence, as every piece of her heart awaited anxiously his next warm, glowing touch.

But Bethany was sure Marye would soon begin to understand. With each visit of her own to the theatre, there was a burning intensity between she and Michael Guerin, and it was only a matter of time before the flames erupted. She would watch them in amused bewilderment, unsure how two people could both loathe and desire each other with such vigor.

Marye’s face would flush and Michael’s eyes would dance, and they would always be just a touch away. Neither was willing to give in… not yet. Both were too cautious. Too afraid of being hypocrites. Because both strongly objected to her and Maxwell’s sudden union, despite being the only two actually knew about it.

But neither of them questioned her and Maxwell’s love. It seemed that on some inner level, they both understood how they needed each other. Marye had even slipped once, mentioning just how truly happy she’d seen Bethany, for the first time in her life. And she was right. Bethany had never felt more alive.

It was why, that particular afternoon, she was nearly glowing, as she watched one of the first of several dress rehearsals. Despite the humble beginning of the costumes, she could already see the promise they held, and just how grand it would all be once completed. She couldn’t bear the excitement. The opening would be an absolute success.

She watched as they removed the final props, small groups of people scouring the stage, as the cast headed toward their dressing chambers, a sure sign that they were through for the day.

She made her way slowly down the stairs of the balcony seats, lingering for a moment on the ground floor, looking up toward the stage. It was a beautiful set, at every angle it seemed, and she knew that seeing Juliet at the window would send the crowd into quiet sighs of dreamy splendor.

“A penny for your thoughts.”

She turned her head suddenly, startled out of her mental ramblings.

“Master Shakespeare,” she said with a small smile, feeling the warmth rise to her cheeks. He always seemed to be able to read her, and it frightened her that he may know just why she was still lingering at the theatre.

“Lady Bethany, as always it is a pleasure to have you here.”

“Thank you.”

“What have you thought of my little production?” his smile was warm and inviting, and she couldn’t help smile wider, the enthusiasm building within her.

“Little? Master Shakespeare if this is little then I am afraid of what may come after this! It is pure magic; you truly bring the crowd to both laughter and tears. It is a rare gift you possess.”

“Why thank you Lady Bethany, seeing as how you have been here from the start, it is wonderful to hear you see such progress.”

“Absolutely,” she said finally, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear nervously. Her eyes drifted toward the backstage entrance, eager anticipation flooding her system. She knew in only moments, Maxwell would be there, awaiting her arrival.

“Please tell me, Lady Bethany that you will continue to join us.”

She turned her head, a question lingering in her eyes.

“Of course, Master Shakespeare, I would have it no other way.”

“Very well,” he said with a smile. “It seems that some of our actors do better when there is a lovely, appreciative audience, such as yourself.”

She turned to face him, curious about the smirk that covered his face. Did he mean a certain actor in particular? Could he know about her and Maxwell?

She smiled quickly, and looked away, hoping to avoid his knowing gaze.

“Master Shakespeare!”

They both turned, as several members of the crew motioned for him, and he nodded as he turned to look back down at Bethany.

“Excuse me; I must attend to a few things. I hope to see you again soon, Lady Bethany.”

“Until then,” she said with a smile, a wave of relief flooding her system as she realized her path toward the door was empty. She walked slowly, nerves and excitement twitching through to her fingertips.

The minute she passed the threshold of the door frame she felt his warm hand on her arm and she prepared for the attack of kisses that would follow.

He pressed his lips against hers firmly, holding her tight against his frame, and she melted into his arms, lost in his touch and the visions that they shared. Every kiss was like slow poison, seeping into her system, making it impossible to breathe. He was absolutely intoxicating and the feeling of pure adoration that flowed through her with each touch was making her soul fly.

“Maxwell,” she whispered against his ear, when she felt his lips drop to her neck, sending a shiver of excitement down her back.

“I can’t do it anymore, Bethany,” he struggled to speak, as breathless whispers caressed her skin in between heated kisses. “I can’t continue to pretend…”

“What?” she asked suddenly, startled out of her haze of passion.

He stared at her through dark eyes, letting off a warm glow of hot amber.

“I can’t pretend that I don’t desire you with every fiber of my being.”

“Why would you have to pretend?” she asked quietly, as she felt his hand press against hers, palm to palm, lifted until they were by their chests, fingers twirled together in warmth.

She stared at their hands, at the way his fingers rubbed softly against hers, awed by the soft glow of light that formed between them. He pressed against her palm with more force, as if being skin to skin was still not enough.

She faced him, her eyes wide with a mixture of amazement and desire.

“Bethany, the dreams I have of you… I just know we could never be together that way….”

His voice trailed off softly, as he lowered his eyes. She couldn’t stand when he did that, when he looked away from her, in shame of what he was. Who he was.

She reached her spare hand out and raised his chin until his eyes met hers.

“Do you love me?” she asked quietly, and he nodded his head firmly.

“We’re just so different Bethany….”

“And I love you,” she interrupted, grabbing his chin tighter.

“I don’t want to hurt you,” he finally admitted, and she smiled, unable to resist. His words were so tender, they made every inch of her scream.

“You could never hurt me.” She kissed his lips softly, and was startled when he kissed her in return. Stronger, firmer lips pressed against hers and she was once again lost in them.

“Can we…?” he started, but she was nodding without question. They walked out of the theatre and headed toward the darkness of the pod chamber.

They rode on the horses in silence, each one mentally preparing for the moment that lay ahead.

Once inside, they stood frozen, watching the strange green pulse of light fill the room. She felt Maxwell’s warm hand on her arm. She brought her eyes up to meet his, letting them linger as she took in a deep breath.

They both understood that this moment would change everything.

He leaned in slowly and kissed her lips. She closed her eyes and gave herself to him completely.

<center>***</center>

Bethany smiled as she returned to the theatre, her long hair falling in loose, bouncy curls on her shoulders. The humidity of the pod chamber had brought the limp hair to life, as Maxwell’s touched had awakened her soul.

Her skin still burned from his touch and she smiled wider, as memories of his lips caressed her.

Marye appeared, her eyes slanted and glowing with anger.

“Where have you been? You said you would come to meet him and then go straight home!”

“I was on my way home….”

“You’ve been gone for hours! Bethany, I cannot do this for you anymore!”

Marye yelled desperately, as she placed a nervous hand on her forehead. Her eyes widened when she took in Bethany, placing her hands on either side of her cheeks.

“You’re burning up.”

“I feel fine.”

Marye sighed and struggled as she quickly braided Bethany’s thick brown strands of hair and let them fall on her back.

“Your parents are going to wonder what kept us,” she said quickly as they stepped into the carriage.

“We will tell them that we were held up at the theatre. Master Shakespeare is putting his finishing touches on the show and…”

“Doesn’t it bother you that you have resorted to nothing but lies?” Marye looked at Bethany carefully and she turned away, unable to look at her dear friend.

“It is complicated…”

“I worry about you, Bethany. Can he truly give you what you need? You aren’t thinking, and it worries me. I have never seen you so irrational.”

The silence lingered between them. Bethany couldn’t speak. She simply didn’t know what to say. She well knew how wild her actions seemed, but despite what her mind told her, her heart was too far gone. Every second she spent with Maxwell was another piece of her life she cherished. And even if she tried, she knew she would not be able to explain why he was so important to her.

They finally reached the De Parquee manor and Bethany walked toward the door, thankful to be home and out of the stifling carriage. She rushed through and headed toward the stairs, eager to get to her room.

“Bethany,” she heard behind her, and she froze, turning slowly, pasting a smile on her face.

“Mother.”

“You have finally decided to join us?”

“Rehearsal ended a little later than usual this evening. Alexander was insistent that we see it to its conclusion.”

“Well, either way, I have fabulous news,” her mother’s pensive frown suddenly disappeared and she was now shining, her eyes sparkling.

“Really?”

“Lord Valentyne has sent word that he will be back in town in a few days. After several hours of planning, he and your father have agreed to have you married at his return!”

Her mother’s smile widened just as Bethany’s own heart stopped beating.

“What?”

“Isn’t that wonderful?! You will be a married woman by week’s end!”

“No… no! We decided to wait. To take things slow… he told me he would wait!”

Bethany felt the rising hysteria building in her throat. She could not cry.

“Oh darling, I know it is a new and frightening experience, but Sir Kylenus is a fine man. He will do well by you.”

Bethany winced when her mother’s comforting arm came up to reach her shoulder.

“I thought he was ill!” she said suddenly, hating how her voice quivered.

“He has made a thorough recovery! He is quite well now.” After a moment of hesitation, Bethany looked up to meet the confused eyes on her mother’s face. “Bethany, I was under the impression that this would be a good thing.”

“I do not wish to marry him!”

The silence fell thick and heavy, just as Marye entered the room, and froze.

“What of this? Marye, do you know what Bethany speaks of? Just days ago, did you not say you found him worthy?”

“Mother, I do not love him!”

“It is not about love, child! What has gotten into you?”

Marye swallowed hard, eyeing the exchange with nervous eyes.

“Do not make me do this! Please, Mother, if you love me at all, do not make me marry him!” Bethany cried out, startled by the shrill sound of her voice. The tears were falling freely, and she cursed herself for not being able to control them.

Her mother eyed her carefully, and then her eyes fell back upon Marye’s nervous face. The silence lingered, long and heavy, until she finally turned back to face Bethany’s tear stained face.

“There is someone else…” she whispered, and Marye gasped slightly, her eyes widening at the comment. “At the theatre, isn’t there?”

Bethany fought the urge to sob as her lip shook uncontrollably.

“Marye?” Countess De Parquee looked over her shoulder in silent expectation, but received only silence. “I see. Very well, if that is the way it will be, then you are forbidden to return to the theatre.”

“NO!” Bethany yelled, before she could stop herself. “No, Mother please!”

“FORBIDDEN! Do you understand me? If I get word that you have gone back there, your Father will hear of this and will end it much worse than I have.”

Bethany cried out into the silence as her mother turned her back and walked away, without another word. She slid onto the floor, weeping over her knees. Marye walked closer, slowly taking her into her arms.

“It is for the best…” she whispered into her hair as she hugged her tightly. But Bethany simply continued to cry, until her very tears lulled her to sleep.
Image
-Isabelle Santiago, Author of Scifi/Fantasy Romance
Not Every Girl Dreams of Prince Charming...
http://twistedfairytale.net
http://twistedfairytale.net/blog/

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Post by roswellianprincess16 » Mon Oct 31, 2005 12:42 pm

Then Lady Parker sticks her big fat nose into the story.
That seems to be the general concensus. :) *smooches*

ACT III. SCENE III:

“Where is she?” Maxwell paced back and forth in the dusty theatre, running his hand nervously through his messy hair. It had been three days since he’d last seen Bethany and she’d broken their appointment of meeting the following day. He’d simply assumed she’d been held up, but when he received no word, his stomach started a slow, nervous roll. He couldn’t help but wonder if something happened.

He stopped when he heard Michael’s whistles cease, and he turned toward the direction of the stage. The colors were a strange mixture of dark and melancholy and still, the stage seemed full of soft light, like something holy resided in the dark chamber. He marveled at the tomb, carefully painted in marble detail, on the box that would hold his fair Juliet.

“Finally, it is complete,” Michael said with a satisfied grin.

“It looks so real,” Maxwell marveled as he took in the standing, gold candelabras on either side of the tomb, imagining for a brief second what the scene would be like when it came to life before their very eyes.

“That’s my job.”

Michael jumped off the stage and moved to stand beside Maxwell, drawing back to admire his work. He looked over when he heard a loud sigh beside him, and placed a comforting hand on his friend’s shoulder.

“Still no word?”

“Nothing. Not even a note to ease my troubled soul.”

“I am certain there is good reason.”

“I suppose,” Maxwell trailed off, staring into the distance.

“You cannot tell me that you still fear she’d run from you!” Maxwell snickered, amazed at how well Michael knew him.

“She has not run, Maxwell. And now that she knows you, I do not imagine she could.”

They stood silent, with a few words hanging between them. Maxwell turned, a smile covering his face, his eyes shining with gratitude.

“Thank you.”

Michael shrugged and started gathering the brushes and paint from the stage floor. Maxwell sighed again, looking over at the entrance longingly. To his surprise, Marye came rushing in, her green eyes wide with something reminiscent to fear.

“My dearest Master Henslowe,” she started with a bow. Maxwell looked back, as he noted the confusion on Michael’s face. Confusion that likely mirrored his own. Marye looked absolutely pale, her eyes a terrible mixture of emotions.

“Marye, what news?” He bent down, reaching for her chin, as he brought her watery eyes to meet his own. His stomach turned. Every fear he’d harbored returned and he felt himself get dizzy.

“I hate to be the bearer of bad news….” She started slowly, and Michael came down off the stage, down toward where she stood, helping her up slowly, despite her shaking frame.

“Bethany… is she hurt?”

“Only her heart.”

“Her heart?”

“I have received word that Lord Valentyne will be arriving from London tomorrow. He has requested that Bethany be prepared for her nuptials.”

He noticed how her voice hitched and he proceeded to swallow the lump that formed in his throat.

“No,” he whispered, unable to process the information completely.

“My lady has been in tears for days, she will not eat. I did not understand…” she drifted off, her eyes finally shedding the tears she was trying so hard to keep within. “She loves you, this much I finally know.”

“I must see her,” Maxwell started toward the entrance, but Michael grabbed his arm, pulling him back.

“She is gone, Maxwell.”

“Her mother has forbidden her return to the theatre.”

“It will not end this way!” Maxwell shouted, his heavy voice echoing against the empty theatre. He could feel himself slowly unwinding, as he tightened his hands into fists at his side.

“What will you do, Maxwell? All you will serve to do is make it harder on her. If her mother found you…”

“It is a chance I must take.”

“No! It is not. You cannot change what is happening!”

“I have to try!” Maxwell shouted again, his voice cracking. His eyes watered and he looked down, fighting the tears. “I can’t live without her, Michael.”

“They will kill you.”

Michael grabbed his shoulder, shaking him slightly, hoping to knock some sense into him. What he and Bethany had done had been forbidden from the start. Now, Maxwell knew he was reaping the bitter consequences.

“Without her, I am already dead. At least with her I feel alive.”

“I could try and arrange a final meeting,” Marye suddenly interrupted. “But you have to promise me that you will not attempt to see her again, once it is over.”

“Marye…”

“Promise me. I do not think my lady could handle it.”

Maxwell hesitated for a moment and then sighed loudly.

“Alright, one final meeting,” he whispered sadly.

She nodded and turned to leave as Maxwell watched his heart walk out the door.
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-Isabelle Santiago, Author of Scifi/Fantasy Romance
Not Every Girl Dreams of Prince Charming...
http://twistedfairytale.net
http://twistedfairytale.net/blog/

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Post by roswellianprincess16 » Sun Nov 06, 2005 11:20 pm

ACT III. SCENE IV:

“Keep the shawl on the entire time, and once inside, do not remove it unless you are absolutely certain that there is no one else around.”

Bethany listened carefully to all of Marye’s whispered instructions and nodded in understanding.

“Do not address anyone, not even if they address you first. There can be no mistakes.”

“I understand,” Bethany whispered, as Marye wrapped the shawl around her shoulders and then over her head.

“You are to go straight there and then come straight back. I know how tempting it may be for the both of you to run off together, but your parents will be returning late this evening and if you are not here, they will know.”

“How long do I have?”

“A few hours, at the most.”

Bethany nodded sadly, unsure of how she was going to say goodbye to the man she loved in such short time.

“Thank you Marye…” she whispered, looking down toward the floor. It meant the world to her that Marye was helping her, especially because she knew that she didn’t merit such help. She had gone behind her family’s back and misused their trust, and despite all the trouble she was in, Marye still offered a helping hand.

“It is in the name of love, child. I now understand that these are things the heart cannot control.”

Marye kissed her forehead and walked her outside, as she settled her upon the horse.

“Remember, be silent and blend with the night. The less people remember seeing you ride these streets, the more chance you have to live another peaceful day.”

Bethany nodded and lowered the shawl to cover her head and part of her face. With a small cry, she prodded the horse, and he moved, slow and steady, despite her desire to fly.

She went through town, quiet and unseen, and then headed toward the pier. Her eyes drifted up toward the large rock mass and she sighed. Her heart was heavy with sorrow and it would take all of her strength to finish this. She sped up, gaining strength as they headed up the rocky cliff. Finally at the top, she climbed off, trying Phoebus down and stopping in front of the cave which had opened up an entire universe for her.

She took a deep breath before placing her hand on the rock, watching as a soft glow formed beneath it. There was a low rumble and the rock slid open, revealing the eerie green lights of the cave. She stepped in, standing still as it closed behind her.

In the shadows she could see him; his head bent sadly, his shoulders tense. She walked up behind him, placing her hands softly on his shoulders. They eased under her touch, but she didn’t miss the sigh that escaped his lips.

“I don’t know if I can say goodbye to you without it killing me.”

His voice was thick and she had to swallow to control her own tears.

“Maybe not goodbye, but just until we meet again.”

“I can’t live without you,” he whispered, finally turning to face her. His eyes were like liquid gold, warm and embracing, and they shined with unshed tears that made her reach up and place her palm against his cheek.

“I love you,” she whispered, unable to say anything else.

“Let’s just run, away from here, away from everything.”

“Maxwell…”

“We can go where no one knows us. As long as we’re together, nothing else matters.”

“You know we cannot. If my parents found us…”

“I am not afraid.”

“You should be! Maxwell, if it were that simple, I would leave with you tonight, with no questions. My parents would stop at nothing to find me, and Lord Valentyne, he is arriving from London, expecting a wife…”

“Do not say that,” he whispered, the pain evident in his voice. He held her in his arms, pressing her tightly against his chest. She breathed in his scent, not wanting to ever forget it.

“We cannot stop what is happening…” she said against him, and he pulled away, looking down at her in frustration.

“Why? There has to be a way! Why do you seem so calm about this? Doesn’t it hurt you?”

Bethany closed her eyes, fighting back the tears.

“Of course, more than you know! Don’t you see what is happening here? I am being forced to marry someone I do not love! I have no say in this, why can’t you understand that?”

He paced the cave, anger and frustration evident in his balled fists, sadness written all over his face.

“I do not want us to end this way,” he whispered finally, turning to face her.

“We cannot see each other anymore,” she said firmly, remembering Marye’s coaching.

“You are going to love me, even after you…” Maxwell paused, biting out the end bitterly. “Marry him.”

“There is no doubt about that, but once I am with him, it would be far too dangerous for us to try and continue to see each other.”

“I will not let him take all that I care about from me…”

“What choice do you have?”

They stood in silence, the question sitting between them, as they stood on separate sides of the cave.

“Please,” she cried, her tears finally falling. “I do not want this to be our last memory. I want to remember what it felt like to be near you. The soft glow of your hands, the heated passion of your kiss. I want to remember how you caused my soul to fly.”

He walked toward her slowly, each step closing off the tense frustration that hung between them. There was nothing they could do about their future, but they could control what was happening now.

“I love you, I do, but I don’t know what else to do,” she sniffed, looking up to catch Maxwell’s dark eyes before her. She knew that look, the look of passion that was burning in his gaze. But there was so much more lingering there. Anger, frustration and helplessness danced in his eyes, fueling his passion. “Maxwell…”

“Shh,” he placed his finger on her lips, and leaned in, silencing her with his kiss. She lost herself in his touch, finding comfort in his warmth. But the knowledge that each kiss was their last lingered close in her mind, making each moment bittersweet.

She closed her eyes and opened her soul, letting him fill her completely, one final time.

<center>***</center>

Bethany climbed off the horse and rushed back into the manor in silence, just as she’d promised. She lowered the shawl off her head as she walked through the doors, her hair curled at the ends with moisture.

“Ah, there you are,” the voice broke in and she froze, startled when she turned and saw him come out of the shadows.

“Lord Valentyne! You frightened me.”

“I have been waiting for you, where have you been?” He stepped into the direction of the light, and his blue eyes seemed darker than she remembered. She tried to calm her breathing, pasting on a smile.

“I thought you were coming tomorrow…”

“I decided to surprise you.”

“Well, I am most certainly surprised,” she laughed, clutching her rapidly beating heart.

“Where were you Bethany?” he asked, his voice more serious than she would have liked.

“Out for a walk, actually, I went to the pier.”

“Alone?”

“Yes, of course! Who would I go with?”

“I just find it strange that you would have gone so far out of town on your own.”

Lord Valentyne stepped up, bridging the gap between them. She looked up at him, her eyes wide, taking in his strong features, the darkness in his eyes.

“Well, I didn’t ask for permission. Besides, my parents are not in, I figured I could get some time to myself at the pier.”

He towered over her, challenging her in silence. She could feel her stomach turning within her, but she didn’t look away.

“What did you do at the pier?” he pushed, and she bit down hard. There could only be one reason he was asking so many questions.

“I like to dip my feet in the water…”

“How stupid do you make me out to be?” he roared, grabbing her arm tightly and pulling her toward him.

“What?”

“Do you really expect me to believe that you went off to the pier, on your own, to dip your feet in the water?! You must think I am some sort of fool!”

“I very well do not CARE what you think Lord Valentyne!” she ripped her arm away roughly, rubbing at her elbow.

“I saw you with him! On my way here, I saw you both, by the pier, wrapped in an intimate embrace.”

She froze, feeling like the floor had just fallen out beneath her. What was she supposed to say? He had seen her.

“Perhaps what you saw…”

“You smell like him,” he grabbed her arm again, this time pressing his fingers tightly into her skin.

“You’re hurting me.”

“How long has this been happening?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about….”

“WHO IS HE?!”

“Let go!” she yelled, ripping herself away with such force that it knocked her to the ground.

“You are a foolish girl if you think I will not find out. And believe me, when I do, I will have his head.”

He stomped out of the room, and Bethany released the breath she’d been holding. She pushed herself up, fighting back tears and determined to find Marye. Someone had to warn Maxwell. She would not let Lord Valentyne hurt him.
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-Isabelle Santiago, Author of Scifi/Fantasy Romance
Not Every Girl Dreams of Prince Charming...
http://twistedfairytale.net
http://twistedfairytale.net/blog/

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Post by roswellianprincess16 » Wed Nov 16, 2005 11:39 pm

A/N: Sorry about that guys! The internet is being evil and was not sending my emails out to my beta! But, I have returned! :D Thanks for your patience!!!

ACT III. SCENE V:

Maxwell woke up with a new determination. The day was not as dark as he’d imagined, and for that he was thankful. He was certain that after the awful goodbye with Bethany, he would be unable to open his eyes the next morning. But instead, he’d woken up with the full intention of letting her know that he was going to ask for her hand in marriage. He didn’t care what the common tradition was, or that he was the least suited in her parents’ eyes. He would find a way to convince them. He would do all in his power.

He put on the costume that was in the trunk with his name, and tugged at a few places to make it more comfortable. He felt powerful in the clothes of young Montague, with his sword hanging from his belt, and colors befitting royalty.

He walked out of the dressing room and onto the stage, looking around at the actors spread across, all lost in their own thoughts. He looked out, over the expanse of the house and noticed Master Shakespeare walking in from the farthest entrance of the theatre, his face unreadable, devoid of the pensive look that generally graced it.

Maxwell wondered what could be troubling him so. Perhaps the nerves of opening night were finally beginning to make themselves manifest. But those thoughts quickly fled as their eyes met, and something akin to panic shined back.

Maxwell looked at him in confusion, and stepped off the stage, walking toward him slowly. The man had become a mentor of sorts, a listening ear, and he worried that there was something greatly amiss.

When they had nearly met, somewhere near the center of the house, Shakespeare placed his arm around his shoulders, turning him around and walking with him back toward the stage.

“Continue to walk and do not look back. We must speak in private.”

He was rushed into the backstage area, down the crowded hallway. Groups of people with props and costumes walked by, each stopping to say a brief salutation to the man in charge. William opened the door to the dressing room and then shut it closed behind him.

“There is word, spreading through town that Lord Valentyne seeks satisfaction.”

“And what have I to do with this?”

“Though it has not been said, the speculation is that it is in regards to Bethany. He is seeking to defend his honor, and you Maxwell, are the target he is after.”

Maxwell felt his heart fall to the ground, as he took a seat, feeling too dizzy to stand.

“I know not what you speak of, Master Shakespeare.”

“I am not blind, my son. I see that you and Lady Bethany have become… involved.”

Shakespeare placed his hand on his forehead in distress, and walked away, pacing back and forth in front of the door.

Maxwell stared at him in silence, too stunned to say anything in return.

“We must get you out of here, before he finds you.”

“Has he asked for me by name?”

“He knows your face. He has seen you.”

Maxwell placed both hands over his face in frustration. This was all happening so fast, he couldn’t think.

“What will I do?” he asked, finally admitting his fear.

“You must leave town, disappear and vow never to return.”

“Leave?”

“Are you skilled at the sword? Because if not, it is certain death. He is not a contender who will take it easy on you, Maxwell. You have taken what he feels is rightfully his…”

“Bethany is no man’s property!”

William nodded softly, placing his hand on Maxwell’s shoulder.

“We may both know that, but Lord Valentyne does not.”

“It is enough that I have been condemned to a life without her, I will not be cast away in shame for loving her!”

“Do you value your life?” William asked suddenly, quieting him.

“It means nothing if she is not in it.”

“Don’t be foolish Maxwell…” William finished, turning away from him. “Perhaps there is some way….”

“There is no way,” Maxwell finally understood, and he sat down with a heavy sigh. “I am to leave her and live or stay here and die.”

“I’m afraid so.”

Maxwell was completely aware of the irony. Romeo had just been sentenced to banishment.

There was a loud thud on the door. Both of them looked over, as a nervous stillness took over the room. The thud turned into pounding, and Maxwell followed the frantic hand signals into the closet.

He heard William take a deep breath, and then the sound of the creaky door.

“Yes?”

“Master Shakespeare, Lord Valentyne wishes to see you. He says the matter is urgent.”

“Right away,” he stated, as Maxwell heard the whispers die down and the door close. William suddenly appeared before him, his eyes wide, and his finger covering his mouth. “I will distract them. You will continue down the corridor and into the prop storage area. On the ceiling there is a latch. Pull it down, and there will be a staircase leading up to the back of the theatre. Exit promptly, and go as far away from here as you can.”

Maxwell nodded in silence as there was another heavy knock on the door.

“Yes?” William asked, returning to see who was knocking.

“Master Shakespeare, I presume?”

“Yes.”

“I am Kylenus Valentyne. I was told I could find you here.”

Maxwell tried to swallow, but found it increasingly difficult. He hated cowering, especially because he knew he held the power to blast Valentyne into oblivion. Anger and jealousy raged through his veins. He wished so badly he could have a moment with him, because then, he’d make him tremble before him.

“Lord Valentyne, to what do I owe the honor?”

“I am looking for a man who works in this theatre; he has brown hair and brown eyes. He is of muscular build and is about my stature. I was told his name is Maxwell Henslowe, the owner’s son. Could you confirm this?”

“Maxwell Henslowe most certainly fits that description. Then again, so do several of the men here.”

“Well, if you see him, please let him know that I will meet him for a duel of fates at dawn. In the meantime, tonight, Bethany will be made my bride.”

Maxwell nearly jumped out of the closet, struggling with all his might to keep himself under control.

“If and when I see him, I will let him know, sir.”

“Forgive the intrusion.”

With that, Maxwell heard heavy footsteps and the sound of the door. He barreled out, pacing the room furiously, his hands itching to release the pent up energy.

“You heard,” was all Shakespeare could utter.

“Tonight! How can I leave knowing that she is to be wed tonight?”

“Have you learned nothing? Learn from my words, Maxwell. This can only have a tragic end. Now please, run before it is too late.”

“I will not back down,” he yelled, his hands shaking at his side. “I cannot. I shall end this, tonight.”

Maxwell stormed off, down the corridor toward the secret exit. He would find Michael and they would do what needed to be done. The time had come, and with the addition of one, they would fulfill their destinies. They would all go back tonight.
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-Isabelle Santiago, Author of Scifi/Fantasy Romance
Not Every Girl Dreams of Prince Charming...
http://twistedfairytale.net
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Post by roswellianprincess16 » Sat Nov 26, 2005 9:23 pm

A/N: Sorry for the delay on this guys, last two weeks have been so hectic! But, I haven't forgotten you all! *hugs* I know you've all been pretty busy too, so it's not so bad. ;) Big thanks to Kath for helping with this chapter.

Nor shall death brag, thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st,
So long as men can breathe and eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee. ~ Sonnet 18, William Shakespeare


ACT IV. SCENE I:

Bethany stared into the full length mirror, despising her reflection. She was adorned in a full gown, made of rich crimson velvet. Her neckline was adorned with costly gold thread, plunging low and revealing her humble breasts. The sleeves were long and the cuffs were made of expensive silk. Her long hair, which she liked to wear out and free was up and twisted every which way, decorated with dark red roses all throughout.

She fought the tears that threatened to fall, unwilling to allow her misery to become manifest. Her jaw hurt from how tightly she bit down, but she refused to cave. She tightened her hands into fists repeatedly, as Marye finished the final preparations on her gown.

She could feel Marye staring through the mirror, but she refused to move her eyes away, letting them linger on her dress, on the exquisite detail it held, and letting herself fill with hatred at each glance.

While examining the gown, she thought of the words she found in the letter that accompanied it.

Days ago, I would have seen you in a brighter shade, such as green or even gold. But you, my dear, are worthy of red, the deepest crimson, to symbolize your tainted nature and your betrayal. It is the manner in which I will accept you.

She cursed under her breath when her vision blurred at the onset of tears. Well, he would see. She was proud to wear the gown that symbolized her adulterous nature. She would not be condemned for loving Maxwell, and if this is what her life would be like, then so be it.

“Bethany…” Marye started, and then faded away, not really knowing what to say.

“Please, I would like to be alone for a moment.”

Marye nodded, walking out of the private chamber and closing the door silently behind her. The minute she heard the sound of Marye’s feet outside the door, she wept bitterly, allowing the utter frustration to consume her. He would have his bride in red, if it is what he desired. She would come with red eyes and red cheeks, flushed in anger and hatred. She would come tainted from the very inside, blackened by her hatred of everything their union symbolized.

“Bethany?” she jumped at the sound of her name, turning quickly when the door cracked open and Marye peeked in.

“Forgive me, but, Master Shakespeare is here to see you.”

Bethany wiped at her eyes, nodding in acceptance.

He walked in, closing the door behind him, staring at her in the silence.

“Such a mournful color,” he started, his voice thick with sadness.

“Master Shakespeare, forgive that I have been unable to return to the theatre, to indulge myself in one of your magical rehearsals. It seems that much has changed since our last conversation.”

“I’m afraid it has,” he whispered, as the thick silence fell between them again. They stood, a room apart, and she could feel his glaring eyes, examining her in that cautious way that he did. She knew without a doubt that he understood what she was feeling, that he was sympathizing in his own quiet way. It was just the man he was. She was startled when he breathed out deeply, dropping his eyes to the ground. “Lady Bethany, I fear that what I have to say will upset you.”

“What news, Master Shakespeare? Does it have to do with Master Henslowe?”

“It does.”

“Please tell me that he is well. For all cannot be ill if he is well.”

“I am afraid he has gone mad, my lady. I believe he will make a plea for you at your ceremony.”

She turned from him, as she covered her mouth in horror. Panic and fear were settling deep within her stomach, as tears flowed freely down her cheeks.

“I do not say this to upset you…”

“He cannot! Do you know what will happen if he does?”

“I could not change his mind. I do not know what he intends to do, but I wanted to forewarn you.”

“Thank you,” she managed through her tears. She felt completely helpless.

“I am truly sorry…” he whispered into the air. “I wish this all could have been different.”

She heard the click of the door and she fell to the floor, consumed by her tears.

After what felt like an eternity, the deafening silence was filled with footsteps and the sudden embrace of warm arms.

“Come, your mother wants to see you.”

Bethany opened her aching eyes, as she struggled to focus on Marye.

“Up, up. You must get yourself together, child. You cannot show her how defeated you are. Or else she wins.”

“She has already won,” Bethany whimpered, but Marye pulled her upright, grabbing a moist cloth and dabbing at her face with cool water.

“Your heart is your own. It is the part of you that no one can control or own. Despite who they say you belong to, your heart will forever belong to him. Remember that.”

Bethany nodded and stood tall, swallowing the final trace of pity from her throat and taking a deep breath.

“Come, she waits.”

<center>***</center>

Maxwell sat in the Granolith Chamber, his eyes closed, his features furrowed in deep thought.

The lights within the room were shining bright, swirls of color played against the metallic walls, forming shadows and shapes.

A circular symbol appeared on the wall, and with each passing minute, one of the dots that surrounded it would fade. The countdown was on. He did not have much time.

He had sent Michael ahead to gather Isabelle and Tess. They would be arriving at the chamber just as it was ready to go. It was only a matter of time now.

He wasn’t sure just what he was going to say. He hadn’t prepared anything special. All he knew was that he needed Bethany to survive, and he would not let her make such a mistake, not if he could help it.

He took one last, long look at the machine that would take him home, and walked out of the pod chamber. He galloped into the darkening day, heading toward the one person who would save them all.

He stopped down the road from the De Parquee manor, as his eyes drifted over the countless men and women going in and out. They were making final preparations for the ceremony and as he passed the chapel, he noticed it had already been adorned with flowers. He had to find a way in, without being noticed.

He draped the cloak over his head, as he let himself blend into the darkness. He had to get to her balcony, and then he would be able to contact her with no problem. He lingered in the bushes waiting for the group that entered the carriage with a large bouquet of dark red roses and wine goblets.

He walked carefully along the stone walls, until he was in the garden, and he sighed, as memories of that magical night filled his mind. He was sure he would never forget how Bethany looked that night, sparkling in the moonlight, looking as though she weren’t real, but some sort of goddess or fairy. It was an image permanently imprinted in his heart.

He climbed up the gate, and dropped onto the balcony, taking a deep breath before going through the long sheer curtains and into the room. He was startled when his eyes fell on the strong shoulders of a man sitting on the edge of the bed.

“Well, Henslowe, I see you got my message.” Lord Valentyne turned around, a tense smile covering his face.

“Where is she?”

“Preparing for our wedding. OUR wedding, do you understand that? She will be marrying ME.”

“She doesn’t love you and you’ll have to live the rest of your life knowing that. Knowing that she gave me her heart first.”

“I want to end this tonight. Outside, now.”

“I do not want to fight with you Lord Valentyne.”

“I WILL DEFEND MY HONOR!” He shouted, as his voice boomed in the empty bed chamber.

“Where is Bethany?”

“Did you not hear a word I said?” Lord Valentyne stood, walking dangerously close. They stared at each other for a while, before Maxwell felt his fists clench at his sides.

“I just want to say goodbye.”

“You will never speak to my wife again.”

“She ISN’T your wife, yet.”

“Is that what this is about?” Kylenus laughed, his head falling back in amusement. “Did you think you might win her over still? You have no idea what this world is about Maxwell. Her parents have already given her to me. She is MINE.”

“She is NO ONE’S,” Maxwell yelled, grabbing Kylenus by the shirt and pulling him up.

“Very well, we shall duel, and fate will decide the winner.”
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-Isabelle Santiago, Author of Scifi/Fantasy Romance
Not Every Girl Dreams of Prince Charming...
http://twistedfairytale.net
http://twistedfairytale.net/blog/

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Post by roswellianprincess16 » Sun Dec 11, 2005 5:02 pm

A/N: Ok everyone, I'm back! I'm sorry this took so long, but there's been so much going on, and the muse was being uncooperative. But I finally got it where I need it to go! Two more chapters, and this baby is finished! Thank you ALL for your patience! ENJOY!

ACT IV. SCENE II:

“My Lady,” Marye whispered with a bow as she pushed Bethany into the parlor to see her mother. The Countess De Parquee turned around, her long red hair wrapped in braids on either side of her head, her bright blue eyes sparkling at the sight of her daughter.

“What of it my dear? Need you my help?”

Bethany shook her head, keeping her eyes low, refusing to face her mother’s obvious joy. She could hear it in her voice, in the near sing song quality it held.

“Let me see your face child; that I may look upon your wedding bliss.”

Her mother reached for her chin, lifting it until their eyes locked, and her expression changed in an instant.

“You do not look like a woman eager to become a wife.”

“I cannot look like what I am not.”

“If you insist on being unhappy, then you will be. We are all afraid before we dive into the unknown. No woman understands her wifely duties until they are placed in her hands. But you will learn. With time, you will learn.”

Bethany didn’t bother to say anything else. At this point she was fully resigned to her fate.

“Come, we must make our way to the church.”

Marye moved beside her, helping to keep her heavy gown off the floor as they walked out into the foyer. A loud thud drew their attention to the top of the stairs, as the sound of furniture falling stopped them in their tracks.

“Draw your sword!” Lord Valentyne’s voice echoed through the hollow hallway as the sound of someone falling to the ground made Bethany’s heart beat faster. He was here… she could feel him, and fear rang through every one of her limbs.

“I will not fight you!” Maxwell argued in pain, even as Kylenus pushed him down the first few steps, causing him to land hard on his back.

“Maxwell!” Bethany cried out, unable to control her emotions, as she ran up to meet him.

“This is the man, Bethany? The man that makes your heart soar? The man who took what belongs to me?!” His blue eyes were angled with jealousy, and she looked up at him with tears, no longer seeing the kind man she might have loved, had it not been for Maxwell.

“Please, do not do this Lord Valentyne, I beg you,” she cried out, as she picked Maxwell up off the ground, and he rubbed at his bruised back.

“Get out of my way Bethany, he and I will deal like men.”

“I will not move,” she said, standing firm. Maxwell pushed her softly, motioning for Marye, as she dragged her away.

“I am warning you a final time Valentyne, I will not have mercy on you.”

“I pray that you do not.”

With that, Kylenus went flying through the air, tackling Maxwell to the ground with a hard thud. Bethany barely heard her own scream.

Countess De Parquee shrieked, running out the doors to find the Earl. Marye watched with terrified eyes, wrapping herself around Bethany and pulling her outside to safety.

“No, no! STOP!” Bethany yelled, as she fought her way out of Marye’s arms and toward Maxwell. Kylenus lunged forward, sword in hand, and all she saw was a flash of movement, before the blade ripped through her skin, causing horrified gasps throughout the room.

She fell to her knees, as crimson liquid flowed down the front of her red velvet gown, seeping into the thick fabric and causing a dark stream throughout. She heard a muffled scream as the world around her darkened, but was interrupted by a blue streak of light.

Her head felt heavy and she closed her eyes, wanting nothing more than to sleep. She couldn’t remember when she’d felt more tired. Someone was calling her name, but it sounded so far away. A cozy warmth rippled through her stomach, as someone’s hand slipped behind her neck.

Open your eyes, a voice whispered. She struggled against lids that lay like heavy lead, and then, she was sent into a swirl of light, as images of a small brunette boy filled her mind. Costumes and scenes from various plays flashed and then she saw herself, with each passing year, and her heart swelled with love. Shakespeare’s party flashed the brightest, and the moment she and Maxwell’s hands touched, she felt a fire burning.

The pain was quickly subsiding. Her head felt more alert, and she finally opened her eyes fully, looking into a worried face.

“You’re alright now, you’re alright.”

“You have to go! The Countess will be returning and you will be sent to the stocks!”

Bethany stood slowly, confusion tainting her features as she looked around and froze. Kylenus lay motionless on the ground and Maxwell’s eyes betrayed his guilt.

“Lord Valentyne?” Bethany barely whispered, but he did not stir in response. Her eyes widened in understanding, and then filled with uninvited tears. She mourned for the man he once was, the man she’d first met, who had made her smile. They were all so far removed from that now.

“Go! GO!” Marye was yelling in the background, pushing them both toward the garden. Maxwell grabbed her hand and ran, pulling her into the cover of the dark night.

“Where are we going?” She whispered, looking back toward the manor in fear.

“The Granolith.”
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-Isabelle Santiago, Author of Scifi/Fantasy Romance
Not Every Girl Dreams of Prince Charming...
http://twistedfairytale.net
http://twistedfairytale.net/blog/

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Jason's Lover
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Post by Jason's Lover » Tue Dec 13, 2005 3:41 pm

Wow. Incredible update! :shock:

Kyle is dead, right? I can't say that I feel remorse. He was a tyrant. I hope Max and Liz make it to the Granilith safely.

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roswellianprincess16
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Post by roswellianprincess16 » Thu Dec 29, 2005 11:47 pm

A/N: Here it is everyone! The end!! Thank you all so much for your never ending support on this ficlet! Fred, you really were onto something magical with this challenge. I cannot tell you just how blessed I felt to be a part of it. Kath, thank you, thank you, thank you. Your help and guidance with this fic has made it all it is. You are a historical guru. Seriously. And to all my readers and fbackers. You all make this magical ride worthwhile. So thank you! *smooches*

*Quotes from Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare*


ACT IV. SCENE III:

Maxwell stopped to catch his breath as they reached the stone entrance to the pod chamber. His heart was beating painfully in his chest, each thud pounding like hooves, placing all their weight on his lungs, making it nearly impossible for him to breathe. Guilt ate at him in ways he’d never experienced before. He killed a man… and despite how justified it may have seemed, his blood now tainted his hands.

The image of Bethany slipping to the ground refused to leave his mind, the way her eyes widened into perfect circles, the sound of the breathless gasp, and the sickening gurgle of blood seeping through her skin and darkening the red fabric of her dress. He tried pushing it away, but it haunted him, reminding him of why he lunged in the first place.

When the floor shook beneath them, Bethany looked up toward him, her eyes shining in both fear and confusion. The large stone door slid open and they froze before it, stopping to catch their breath.

“Are you all right?” he finally asked, taking her into his arms, rubbing small circles on her back in comfort.

“I cannot believe that this is all happening,” she cried, as her tears finally started to run free.

“I am genuinely sorry that this all had to be this way, Bethany. I never meant to…”

“I know,” she said quickly, pulling back to stare into his eyes, sending the usual string of warmth through his system. Her eyes didn’t condemn, instead, they were forgiving, and it eased the awful pain that burned a hole through his chest. Without another word, they ran in, unaware as the large stone closed behind them. Lights from the Granolith Chamber were shining bright, bouncing off the dark walls of the cave and creating a swirling light show in purples and blues.

“What is she doing here?” Isabelle asked in rising panic.

“She is coming with us.”

“You cannot just bring a random human back with us! It simply does not work that way!” Tess’ ice blue eyes locked with his, sending an incredulous look his way. “Have you even considered the possibility that she is unfit for space travel?”

“Unfit?”

“Maxwell, you are not thinking clearly,” his sister started, as he turned his wide eyes toward her. His head was starting to throb, frustration and nerves mixing into a dreadful poison. He held Bethany’s hand tighter, seeking whatever comfort the heat from her hands offered to his chilled soul.

“If I go back into town, I’ll be thrown into the stocks and then set up for public execution. The time is now.”

“What?” Isabelle turned her head sharply toward Bethany, her voice hitched sharply in stunned anger. “What happened?”

“Is that blood?” Tess asked nervously, leaning in a bit closer to examine the dark red stain on the already crimson gown.

“There was an accident, and if we do not go now, we may not get another chance,” Maxwell stated finally, trying to take control of the situation.

“And what of me?” Bethany asked, her voice barely a whisper, her hand shaking in his.

“You can come with us, if you choose,” he started carefully, his heart nervously pounding in his chest.

She nodded her head softly, and he knew that fear and uncertainty still plagued her.

“I will let no harm come to you. I swear it.”

“I know,” she smiled at him, reminding him with that one gesture of her undying trust. Maxwell looked around the room, taking it in for the first time. The spinning in his head was slowing, but his heart was beating even faster than before.

“Where’s Michael?”

“He told us to meet him here, and then he ran off. We thought he would be with you.”

“What?” Maxwell let go of Bethany’s hand as he paced the chamber, running a frustrated hand through his hair. “I told him to meet us here!”

“You know Michael. He seemed to think you needed his assistance, so he went after you.”

“Why can’t he just follow instructions?!” All of his calm was quickly deteriorating as the circular dots on the wall continued to disappear, one by one. “We don’t have time!”

“We cannot leave without him!” Isabelle exclaimed, her eyes wide.

“I know that.”

As if meeting his cue, Michael came running through the chamber, his chest heaving up and down, his long hair wild from the outside wind.

“Where in bloody hell have you been? I told you to meet me here!” Maxwell erupted, walking up to him and helping him up from his squatted position.

“It’s Marye…” he started slowly, trying to catch his breath. Maxwell immediately felt Bethany tense from across the room, her large brown eyes looking toward them, anxiously awaiting the remainder of the sentence.

“What? What about Marye?”

“The De Parquee household has declared their daughter was taken after a mad man killed her suitor. They are looking for you all over town, Maxwell.”

“What does that have to do with Marye?” Bethany pleaded, taking a few nervous steps toward Michael.

“She’s in prison.”

“What?!” everyone seemed to scream in unison.

“They have pegged her accomplice to the murder of Sir Kylenus Valentyne, and until she gives them the name of the man who committed the crime and stole their daughter away, the De Parquee’s have sworn that she will remain imprisoned and will never again work in this town.”

“I cannot believe they would do that!” Bethany cried out, her hands balling into fists at her side, her face flushing in anger.

“This is all my fault,” Maxwell started slowly, looking back down at his upturned palms, the guilt again consuming him.

“How could they think she has anything to do with this?!”

“She was the only one who knew of our affair. Your mother was very adamant about us not seeing each other, and it was Marye who made it possible the final time. This is all my fault, Bethany. I am so sorry….”

“I have to fix this, I have to do something.”

“I will turn myself in.”

The room went silent as everyone turned to face Maxwell with unbelieving eyes.

“Do you know what they would do to you? The penalty for murdering a knight? And what’s more, stealing their daughter?” Isabelle’s voice choked, as she a few long steps and stopped in front of her brother. He could tell from her eyes that her stubbornness would cause a fight, one that he had neither the time nor the desire to fight.

“Are you mad? We said we were leaving,” Michael stated with the same final tone of voice. But there was only one person he was thinking about. He turned away from them, looking at Bethany, awaiting her thoughts.

“Maxwell, I could never ask you to do that. I know the penalty they seek, and I would soon rather die a thousand deaths than allow you to die even one.”

“I see no other choice in this.”

“I do,” she started slowly, her eyes filling with tears. He hated the sudden sense of dread that filled his stomach. “If I go back into town, they will not hold her, I will speak on her behalf. I will tell them what occurred tonight.”

“And what of us?”

“By then, you’ll be long gone. They’d never find you.” The realization of what she was saying hit him with such suddenness, he was afraid he’d fall backwards.

“No, no, I am not leaving you. We are going together, Bethany. To a place where we can finally be together.”

“I’m sorry,” she started, as a single tear fell down her cheek and she took a step back, leaning her hand on the Granolith. “I’m so sorry.”

The machine roared to life, the buzz of energy erupting around them, knocking them all to the floor. The air around them changed, electrons crashing in the air causing a sizzling electricity to fly around them. The energy grew, as swirls of wind passed through their hair. Frightened eyes looked up, taking in the amazing display of lights.

Everyone understood what they were leaving behind. The only life they knew was soon to end, as they moved on to a place they barely remembered, a place that existed mainly in their imaginations. Maxwell tried to move, to make his way toward Bethany, but the pressure of the energy that circled the room held him down firmly. It was all he could do to place his hand on the glass, to let himself connect with the giant machine.

The large circular image on the wall was blinking faster, and he noticed that there were only three circles left. It was nearly time for departure.

Bethany let out a whimper, as her head fell back in exhaustion. Maxwell’s eyes flew open as he broke his connection for a moment, reaching out to grab her weakening body. She fell into his arms for a brief second, before the room erupted in a flash of light.

“Go!” she said on a weak breath, even as the other three disappeared one by one. “Time is running out!”

“I don’t want to leave you,” he could barely hear his own voice over the screeching, winded sounds of the Granolith.

“Maxwell, you have to! This is your only chance.”

He leaned over her, his eyes full of tears, his lips lingering over hers.

“I love you, Bethany. Never forget that. I love you.”

“I love you too,” she whispered, leaning forward until their lips touched, fire exploding between them, as they indulged in the magic that only being together could bring.

He placed his hand on the glass, even before his mouth left her own, and shivered at the sudden weightless sensation. Images of moonlit nights and soulful eyes flashed before him, images of private kisses and tender skin melting at his touch.

When he opened his eyes, he was startled to see Bethany standing on the other side of the glass. He reached out to touch her hand, even as the pressure of space was growing on his body. He could feel his very molecules exploding and the pain was beginning to blind him.

He could hear her choked cries, even as everything else around him faded.

“I love you,” he whispered one final time, and let the universe expand around him as he stretched into nothingness.

<center>***</center>

ACT IV. SCENE IV:

The crowd sat in silent awe, as the young man leaned over the still female body, his dark eyes mourning, his hands adoring the pale skin of her cheeks.

“How oft when men are at the point of death
Have they been merry! which their keepers call
A lightning before death: O, how may I
Call this a lightning? O my love! my wife!”


Bethany sat in silence, her eyes glued to the man she knew only as Romeo, who with every whispered word reminded her of the man she’d lost. The way he pushed Juliet’s hair tenderly back from her face, and how each word was like a prayer in her honor, caressing, kissing her skin. Her eyes filled with tears, as Maxwell’s presence was felt everywhere.

“Death, that hath suck'd the honey of thy breath,
Hath had no power yet upon thy beauty:
Thou art not conquer'd; beauty's ensign yet
Is crimson in thy lips and in thy cheeks,
And death's pale flag is not advanced there.”


With each word she was reminded of the night, just days before, when all of her dreams came tumbling down. When the death of Sir Kylenus Valentyne became known and the hunt for Maxwell Henslowe erupted the city into a frenzy. When she said a final goodbye in a dark and noisy chamber, her heart breaking into a thousand tiny pieces falling at his feet, even as he disappeared from her solid grasp.

“Tybalt, liest thou there in thy bloody sheet?
O, what more favour can I do to thee,
Than with that hand that cut thy youth in twain
To sunder his that was thine enemy?
Forgive me, cousin!”


She was yet to forgive herself for the mishaps of that night. But there was little room now for regret. Not among the thorny fields of mournful sadness. She wept for her love, and for the beauty that he showed her. Images of his honest eyes flashed in her mind, and she smiled, remembering how they’d glow with warm honey.

“Ah, dear Juliet,
Why art thou yet so fair? shall I believe
That unsubstantial death is amorous,
And that the lean abhorred monster keeps
Thee here in dark to be his paramour?
For fear of that, I still will stay with thee;
And never from this palace of dim night
Depart again: here, here will I remain
With worms that are thy chamber-maids; O, here
Will I set up my everlasting rest,
And shake the yoke of inauspicious stars
From this world-wearied flesh.”


Romeo’s words echoed emotions she too clearly understood. All the watchful eyes questioned his motives, but she knew. Romeo would never leave his Juliet, despite the long, lonely journey death would bring. Maxwell Henslowe was and always would be her Romeo. And despite how impossible their love was, it was true and magical. A love sprinkled with breathless kisses and longing stares. She was sure she could never forget what it felt like to be in his arms, but more so, she was sure that she could never forget what it felt like to be touched by him; to have her soul touched at the very core.

“Eyes, look your last!”

Bethany choked on her sob, as tears fell in waterfalls upon her cheeks.

“Arms, take your last embrace!”

She didn’t look over when someone sat beside her, even when Marye whispered some inaudible words into her ears.

“And, lips, O you
The doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss
A dateless bargain to engrossing death!”


She gasped, placing shaking fingers against her own lips, closing her eyes against the memory. She could feel the pressure of his mouth on hers, the heat of his skin against her face, the tenderness of his final embrace. A hand slipped into her own and she looked over, even as Romeo raised his bottle of poison.

“Here's to my love!”

The hand squeezed tight, and she finally looked up and over, into the sad, contemplative eyes of William Shakespeare.

“Are you all right?” he asked; when she turned her tear filled eyes in her direction.

“Thank you,” she managed to choke out, despite his confused expression.

“For what?”

She thought for a moment, taking a deep breath, and reached into her gown to pull out the pendant that hung on her chest. She placed a reverent kiss on the cool metal, closing her eyes and saying a silent prayer to the stars. He was still out there, she could feel him. Someday, she thought, someday he would come for her.

“So long lives this,” she said, looking back toward the now still figures of Romeo and Juliet, lit by burning candles. “And this gives life to thee.”

<center>THE END</center>
Image
-Isabelle Santiago, Author of Scifi/Fantasy Romance
Not Every Girl Dreams of Prince Charming...
http://twistedfairytale.net
http://twistedfairytale.net/blog/

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