Double Empire - AUwA/CC/Adult - COMPLETE - 12/7/14

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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Double Trouble
Obsessed Roswellian
Posts: 925
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:47 am

Part 90

Postby Double Trouble » Sun Oct 05, 2014 3:43 am

Roswelllostcause: That was a bit of an unexpected surprise, wasn’t it?

Earth2Mama: There are more questions... but perhaps we’ll answer a few of them today.

Natalie36: Thanks for reading!

sarammlover: Definitely not out of the question! Yep, we do recall your earlier suggestion about Jack and Ava. ;)

keepsmiling7: The final showdown with Rath is coming!

Lol, no one wanted those marriages to go through.

We’ll have to wait to find out what the future holds as far as Liz and Jack.

Eva: There are great changes coming!

begonia9508: Thanks!

Max needed to get that off of his chest. Liz will learn the truth soon.

You won’t have long to wait to learn what it means for Max.

Alien_Friend: Lol, we are glad that we can still surprise you. A lot is happening right now in this fic. We’re up for the big final lol. (No worries, that doesn’t mean this fic ends already… also we are nearing the end.)

Max was cold, yep. He’s finally the one and only King at his castle and he knows he has to take on all the responsibilities alone. A big task for him, but we’re sure he’s the right man for it.

Tadaaa, Zan is back! ;) Can’t leave Ava on her own, right?




Part 90

Her eyes locked on his and she could see the determination that had always driven him. She nodded and turned to hurry back through the secret doorway and into the darkened corridor, grabbing the torch just as the door slid closed behind her again.

Amy was aware of the motion around her, but whenever she opened her eyes everything was one big blurry mass. The same counted for her ears. There had been words spoken, but they were too far away and dull to understand. Where was she and why did it feel like she couldn’t breathe?

“Remain calm,” Ava muttered when she felt the woman stirring. “We have a ways to journey before we can rest easily.”

She tried to answer, but found it hard to concentrate. “Where…”

“Your body has had difficulty adjusting to Antar’s atmosphere. You are likely to feel ill for some time yet, but once we reach Zander’s Kingdom the King will heal you and make you well again.” She reached yet another wall and turned to the left, following the corridor to the exit. They were below the moat Khivar had insisted on building and this section was damp and smelled of rotting vegetation.

An image of her daughter flashed through Amy’s mind and she tensed. “Maria!”

“You must be silent!” she hissed. “Your daughter is safe and protected. You will be reunited with her but we must escape your captors first.”

“Thank you,” the older woman sighed and tried to rest.

They reached the end of the secret corridor and once again Ava rested her palm against the hidden door, concentrating on the other side and what lay beyond it. She had no sense of anyone lingering in the immediate area and she cautiously pulled the lever, releasing the door and stepping out into the shadows of the woods that lay behind the castle.

*****

Rath turned his head when he heard the small unit approaching and he held a fisted hand up, signaling his men to come to a halt. He shifted in the saddle and waited, his gaze locked on the area the sounds were coming from. After a few minutes the unit, led by Miren, broke through the foliage surrounding them.

“Commander, my apologies for our late arrival,” Miren said, bowing his head slightly. “We ran into an unexpected delay.”

“As did we,” Rath murmured as he studied the Antarian soldier.

His confusion showed clearly on his face. “Sir?”

“We abandoned the attack on the camp at the base of the Santeda Mountains on your word that it was nothing more than a smokescreen. Your information indicated the true camp was at this location and that an attack was slated to begin against my armies unless it was intercepted.”

“Yes, that is the information I was given.”

Rath gestured to the area around them. “Do you see any sign of a camp nearby? Do you see the slightest sign that men, horses, or equipment have been through this area recently?”

Miren glanced around, his golden eyes searching frantically for some sign that the information he had been given was not false. “The Captain must have given me incorrect intelligence,” he insisted.

“No, Miren, the Captain gave you false information to stop the slaughter of his men and to buy time. You fool!” he roared, losing control of his temper and sending the man through the air to land on the hard ground. “Do you have any idea how much time we’ve lost?” He turned to look at Gandar. “Order the men to rest.” He glanced up at the sky. “As soon as the second sun has begun its descent we will begin the journey back to the castle.”

Gandar nodded. “What of Miren?”

“He and his men are to be bound while I decide their fate.”

“Sir,” Miren tried to reason with the angry Commander, “I can still be of use!”

Rath dismounted and moved to stand over him. “To what end?” He tilted his head to one side as he studied him. “The Captain fed you false information because he knew you to be a traitor to the throne of Antar! If you were to return they would simply place you in irons until such time as your execution could be carried out. You are of no use to me now.”

“I can defect then.”

“Defect,” he sneered and shook his head. “Miren, you are a coward. I would not put any of my men under your command. Any man who would lead his own men into an ambush and slink away to be the only survivor is not a man I want in my army.”

Miren’s gaze darted around the temporary campsite as Gandar ordered the men to dismount and rest. Not a single one of them would speak up on his behalf and not one of them would raise a hand to defy their Commander when he decided to take action against him for his mistake. He remained silent as his men were bound, saving him for last.

“Commander, a rider approaches!” Gandar called.

Rath turned his horse and spurred him into a run to meet the fast approaching rider. He frowned at the condition of the young lieutenant’s horse when he reached him but before he could berate him the soldier reined the animal in and saluted.

“Sir, Lyton sent me to advise you of a breach.”

His eyes narrowed and he held his hand out for the document the younger man retrieved from his saddlebags. He tore it open to scan over the communication within and fury erupted inside of him when he read the contents. “Rest your mount, Lieutenant,” he ordered without preamble. He quickly turned his own horse and went back to his original position, dismounting and handing the reins over to Gandar.

Miren cowered when the Commander approached him, his face filled with anger.

“Do you have any idea what your stupidity has cost us?” he snarled. He reached out and grabbed a handful of the man’s uniform shirt, hauling him to his feet and shoving him back against a barren tree. “Because of your ineptitude the castle walls have been breached.” His eyes were nearly black with rage. “My captive has been seized and Vilondra has fallen at the enemy’s hands!”

“Sir, I can – “

It was as far as he got. The last word was still echoing on the wind when Rath’s sword sliced through the air and severed his head from his shoulders. He had no emotional connection to Vilondra, that was human foolishness, but she would have ruled Antar at his side with the same strength and determination he would lead with.

“Gandar, deal with his men.” He scanned the landscape. “We ride the moment the second sun begins its descent.”

*****

Michael walked through the hidden corridor on his side of the castle, not bothering to use any light since every inch of it was already imprinted on his mind like a digital map. None of the Royal Four had been able to sleep the past night. After the audience with Zander new problems had reared their heads.

Captain Carson was out on his mission, but they had lost radio contact with him shortly after midnight and hadn’t had any information about what was going on. Just when he had been about to send the Captain out to the camp, Ava had contacted him, the connection very weak. He had relayed a secret way to get into the castle and then contacted the King to meet them for the healing process.

He reached out to place his hand over the hidden spot to release another secret door. As soon as it opened he heard the King’s demanding voice. “What did Captain Carson do in the castle?”

“What is going on here?” Michael stepped into the room with a deep frown, glancing between the King, Ava and the human woman sleeping on the bed.

“She met Carson on her way to save the human. I saw it while healing her wound.” Max got up angrily. “Tell me why,” he hissed at Ava.

The Commander frowned at this unexpected turn of events. “The castle is a considerable distance from the camp at the base of the Santeda Mountains. Carson wasn’t authorized to undertake a secondary mission.”

Ava frowned, fighting to get into a sitting position. “Who’s Carson? What are you talking about?”

“You know who he is!” Max insisted, controlling his voice out of regard for the human woman resting nearby. “He aided in your escape.”

The human man, she realized. “Zan.”

Michael’s eyes narrowed. “What does he have to do with this?”

Ava stood, trying to fight the dizziness in her head. “I know this sounds strange, but he was there to help me. I don’t know how it’s possible and I don’t think he knew I was there when we met, but your Captain... he’s Zan.”

Max shook his head. What was going on? Liz claimed that Captain Carson was her ex-lover, a man she had believed to be dead, and now Ava was claiming the same man was actually her lover, Zan. He couldn’t be two people, so who was he really?

“The man we sent out to the Santeda Mountains was undeniably human.” He had read the reports for himself, studied everything they had relating to the soldier.

“I can’t explain it, King Max. It’s like Zan has found another body.” She knew she sounded crazy, but how else could she describe it? “He killed Vilondra.”

Michael glanced at Max when the man suddenly seemed to be considering something. “What is it?”

“Captain Carson was injured in a battle on Earth. Liz knew him, Michael, and she was notified that he had died in that same battle. What if what Ava says is true? They shared a true connection. Is it possible that he could take possession of another body such a great distance away?”

“Kyle mentioned that the man had lost his memory,” he agreed.

“What if the human did die and that event coincided with Zan’s death here on Antar? Do you believe it possible for him to have taken possession of the body before it could be disposed of?”

“It wouldn’t be the craziest thing I’ve heard of in light of recent events.”

“Tess found no indication that Zan was in control of Captain Carson’s body when she searched his mind.” This made no sense to him but he was willing to believe it. If it was true then he had no reason to worry that Liz would decide to leave him for the other man.

“Perhaps it required time and proximity to Ava to allow him to gain greater control.” They were still learning about the connection and what it was capable of, but he was beginning to believe that anything was possible where it was concerned. Michael turned to look at Ava. “You said you could still feel him, didn’t you?”

“Yes.”

“And you said he killed Vilondra?”

“She is dead by his hand.”

“That leaves only Rath,” Max mused. Their enemies were falling quickly these days.

“Rath is mine to deal with,” Michael said, his tone cold.

Ava nodded. “I’ll be at your side if you need me.”

He glanced at her. He would see Rath dead and he had no intention of having anyone at his side when they finally met face to face. “Were you able to retrieve the book?”

“No,” she said regretfully, “there were sentries posted all over Khivar’s quarters and I had to decide between the book and the human.”

Michael’s hands fisted for a moment but he forced them to relax as he glanced at the human woman. Maria’s mother. “You made the correct choice, Ava.” The book’s importance could not be denied, but leaving the woman to suffer at Rath’s hands would have been unconscionable.

“Zan stayed, he said he had one more thing to do.”

Max lifted an eyebrow. “Does he know of the book’s existence?”

“I don’t know, but I can’t think of anything else he would want to do there.”

“You share a true connection though,” Michael mused. “It’s likely he’s aware of the book’s existence through that alone. He may be completing your mission.”

“It’s dangerous. I just hope he’ll be able to get back out.”

“If our suspicions are correct and he managed to survive death to find you once more it’s highly likely he’ll manage to evade the enemy and return to your side.” The more they learned of the true connection the more he was amazed by its depth. He supposed he could understand the desire to maintain a grip on this life by any means necessary, especially now that he was part of the same type of connection.

“I would like to think you’re right, Commander,” she whispered.

“You have done well, Ava. Perhaps you would like to rest now.”

She nodded. “Thanks. I realize that this castle can’t be my home. As soon as I have gathered my strength I will look for new shelter.”

“You will be given shelter and protection here as long as you need it. You have aided our people and risked your own life in doing so and as such you have earned that right.”

Max nodded. “Zander has passed and so has his Queen. You won’t find enemies in our ranks and you’re welcome to call this place your home from now on.”

She stared at them in disbelief, finally reminding herself to nod in acceptance. She didn’t know if she’d be able to remain here for any length of time, but it would be nice to be safe from the elements and her enemies, even if only for a brief time.

The Commander’s attention shifted to the human woman. “It’s time to fill Maria in.”

“Go to her,” Max said as he turned to follow the other man’s gaze. “I will see that Ava is given adequate quarters and anything else she requires.”

He nodded and turned to take his leave through the secret passageways again. He couldn’t wait for this hiding game to end! He followed the darkened corridor, his feet carrying him along his path without faltering once. He had become so familiar with them that it took little time before he arrived back at his quarters and slipped inside. He looked around, seeing nothing out of place, and after a moment he moved into the bedroom and the woman still sleeping.

Maria could feel the shift in the air when he entered the room and she slowly opened her eyes. “Michael?” she mumbled tiredly. “Come to bed.”

“How’re you feelin’?” he asked as he sat beside her but resisted her urging to climb back into bed with her.

“Sleepy.”

That wasn’t bad and Collon had advised him that due to the advanced pregnancy she would experience tiredness. “Okay other than that?”

Maria forced herself to wake up fully. Obviously he had no intention of letting her sleep any longer. “I’m good.” She grabbed his hand and placed it on her slightly swollen belly. “I’ve gotten bigger again.”

He chuckled and palmed her belly, feeling the warmth radiating from the connection. “Our little one is eager to come into the world.”

“Yeah, she wants to meet her daddy.”

Michael’s eyebrows shot up. “You’ve learned the child is to be a girl?”

“Just a feeling,” she shrugged.

“A girl it is then.” He leaned over and pressed a kiss to her belly before sitting up to meet her eyes. “There is something we must speak of.”

She frowned at his serious tone and moved up on the bed to rest her back against the headboard. “What’s wrong?”

“No, it is nothing that is wrong,” he assured her. “On the contrary, something is very right.” He cast about for the correct way to explain the situation with her mother and finally decided only the truth would do. “We recently learned that Khivar had taken another human prisoner. A woman from Earth.”

“Someone with the gene?”

“She possesses the gene, yes, but it was essentially useless due to her age.” He cleared his throat. “Her records show that she was originally denied residence on Antar because her body was found to be incompatible with our atmosphere. That sounds harsh, but there is a great risk to humans who are unable to adjust and the King can’t be expected to heal everyone. Such an undertaking would eventually take its toll on him.”

“Michael...”

He nodded. “The woman was being held in Khivar’s castle and had we made a direct assault to rescue her it’s likely he would’ve killed her to prevent it. I made the decision to allow Ava to make the rescue because she had the greatest chance of successfully retrieving the woman alive.”

Her eyes watered because it could only mean one thing. Why would he wake her to tell her about a random woman?

“Ava made contact with me just before dawn. She managed to succeed in her attempt to rescue the woman and bring her safely to the castle. Due to the atmosphere sickness she remained unharmed at Khivar’s hands.” He swallowed with difficulty. “I assume you will be angry with me because I chose to keep this information from you, but do not expect an apology for it. My decision was made in your best interest and that of our child. Until I could come to you with information that was certain I would not risk the danger such knowledge would have posed.” He paused as he looked into her eyes, waiting for her reaction. “Max has healed your mother and she is resting comfortably.”

“My mother is here in the castle?” She searched his eyes for an answer. She believed that was what he had said but she needed to hear it again.

“Your mother is here,” he assured her. “She is alive and well.”

“Oh God,” she held a hand to her mouth and started to cry then threw herself into his arms.

“It’s alright, M’ria,” he murmured quietly as he held her as tightly as he dared.

“I wanna see her, Michael. I wanna see her.”

“I can take you to her now if you wish.”

“Yes,” she let go of him to straighten up again but then hit his shoulder with her fist. “And that’s for not telling me.”

“Is that to be the extent of your anger?” he asked hopefully.

“For now I’m just happy she’s here. I can’t guarantee for later.”

He shook his head affectionately. “Should you choose to be angry later I am certain I can find a way to diffuse the situation,” he said with a teasing smirk. Probably not before she let him have it, but he was sure he would survive her temper.

“Bring me to her!”

“Perhaps you wish to dress first?” he asked as he stood and helped her to her feet.

She looked around and detected her clothes on a recliner, walking over to it and slipping into them quickly. “Ready.”

Strange she never seemed to be ready so quickly when he was waiting for her, he mused but wisely kept those thoughts to himself. He held his hand out to her, folding his fingers around hers protectively and leading the way back to the hidden corridor. He activated the door and they disappeared into the darkness, but this time he lit the torches in deference to her presence. The temporary quarters where they had placed her mother were nearby and it only took a few minutes to reach them.

When they stepped inside he saw Max turn and take a defensive stance, hand outstretched and he held a hand up to let him know it was safe. He nodded at the King and he stepped aside, giving Maria her first look at her mother.

“Mom!” She hurried to the woman’s side, crouching down next to her and holding one hand in both of hers. “You’re safe now, Mom. You’re safe.”

Amy’s eyes fluttered as the familiar voice called to her from a great distance. She would recognize her daughter’s voice anywhere but she couldn’t seem to pinpoint where it was coming from. She was so tired it was difficult to focus on anything and she couldn’t seem to remember where she was or why she was there.

“She’s a little disoriented from the healing and the procedures to try and cure the atmosphere sickness,” Max murmured quietly as he placed a hand on Maria’s shoulder for a moment.

“Okay, thanks,” she concentrated back on her mother. “Everything will be okay. You can sleep, nothing will happen to you here.”

“M’ria,” she whispered faintly, her fingers tightening for just a moment before she succumbed to the darkness once more.

“Give it some time,” Michael stepped behind Maria and gently pulled her up from the ground. “Once she’s rested she’ll be able to talk to you.”

She nodded and turned in his arms to embrace his warmth. Tears of relief fell silently while he held her.

“She could have your old quarters,” he suggested.

“That would be nice.” It still felt surreal to have her mom on Antar. Finally there was someone from her past, someone who had known her for all her life. “Can I see Ava? I wanna thank her for saving my mother.”

“Ava is resting,” Max spoke up quietly. “I also healed her and that tends to leave people feeling weak for a while.”

Maria nodded. “Okay.”

“I am certain she would welcome a visit once she has regained her strength.”

“You want to have some breakfast?” Michael asked her.

“I think you would like some breakfast,” she said with a smile. Her gaze moved back to her mother. She couldn’t believe she was really here. She was almost afraid to let her out of her sight for fear that she might disappear.

“She won’t,” he assured her gently.

She looked up at him and nodded. Her stomach rumbled, making him chuckle. “I think your child’s hungry.”

“Then we should give her food.”

“The child is a female?” Max asked curiously.

“It’s just a guess,” Maria shrugged.

He nodded. “Very well.” He looked at the Commander. “I can have a sentry posted at the door if you wish.”

“Yes, do that.” He grabbed Maria’s hand and led her to the door. “Come on, your friend Liz was up early and has already prepared the morning meal.”
Image


Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

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Double Trouble
Obsessed Roswellian
Posts: 925
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:47 am

Double Empire - AUwA/CC/Adult - Part 91 - 10/12/14

Postby Double Trouble » Sun Oct 12, 2014 8:27 am

Roswelllostcause: Amy’s safe and things appear to be heading in a positive direction. Rath won’t be easy to take down, but that’s their next objective.

Earth2Mama: That was a narrow escape!

Zan will be explaining some of this today!

Eva: We’ve taken a big turn, but you’re right, we’re heading in the right direction. There are still a few battles to go, but they’re almost there.

Natalie36: That was something both Maria and Amy needed.

begonia9508: Thanks!

It’s a difficult loss and thankfully one Maria didn’t have to end up facing.

Zan will clear some of the confusion up today!

keepsmiling7: It was a reunion a long time coming.

sarammlover: That strategy is high on their agenda! Lol, well, they still have an enemy to defeat, but with Khivar and Vilondra out of the way, that should make it just that much easier. Zan and Ava and Max and Liz... looks like they’re all in a good place to have a solid shot at a future together!


Part 91

Kyle ordered the secondary unit of soldiers to create a perimeter and once they had spaced themselves an appropriate distance apart he moved ahead with his heavily armed forward unit to intercept Captain Carson’s unit as they approached. He called for them to halt when they neared the men who remained after Rath’s attack on the Santeda Mountains camp. He was pleased to see that more than half of them still lived and he shifted in the saddle while he waited for the Captain to speak.

“Commander,” the Captain greeted with a salute.

“Captain.” Kyle nodded at his second in command, watching the Captain and noting the lack of surprise when his men lifted their weapons and surrounded him.

“She made it safely to the castle.” His voice was tinged with relief. The connection was there, but due to the time it was taking for the human body to fully adjust to his presence it wasn’t as strong as it had been before.

“You went out on an unauthorized mission,” the Commander spoke with a lifted eyebrow. “I require an explanation.”

Carson nodded, his eyes roaming over the soldiers surrounding him before he concentrated back on his superior. “A word alone?”

Kyle stared at him, weighing his options before he gave a nod of agreement and dismounted his horse to walk towards a small shelter. The other man followed him, aware of the stares everyone else was directing at his back.

“The mission was never compromised, Commander,” he said after they had put some distance between them and the other soldiers. “On the contrary, most of my men survived the battle.”

“I don’t want to know what I can see with my own eyes.”

He nodded sharply and stood at attention, hands locked behind his back and his eyes straight forward.

“Where have you been and why? Where is Miren?” Kyle barked out questions.

“I would imagine Miren has finally paid for his treachery. As for where I’ve been...” he reached beneath his uniform jacket, careful to keep the movement slow, and retrieved a small document that he held out towards the Commander.

Kyle looked down at the dirty thing in his hand. “And?”

He smirked and shook his head. “You know who I am by now.” He flexed his left hand and drew on every bit of strength he possessed to transform it back into its original shape.

“You stole the second book.”

“I did.”

Kyle nodded. “You come with me. Thoran will lead your unit back home.”

He stood rooted to the spot for a moment as he tried to gauge the other man’s intentions. “Is Ava safe?”

“She’s in the castle.”

His eyes narrowed. Once he had full control over his new body the connection would return to its full strength, but until then he had no choice but to rely on the other man to be truthful about his lover’s condition. “Where are we going?” he asked as he fell into step with the Commander.

Kyle stuck the book in his saddlebags and mounted up again. “Thoran,” he called the Antarian man. “Give the men a brief rest and then pack up camp and return.”

“Yes, Commander!” He saluted and went off.

“We’re going to the castle, Captain.” He whistled and another horse appeared next to him.

He observed the silent Commander, wondering why he hadn’t asked the most obvious question.

“Mount up,” Kyle said, tugging on the reins to turn his horse towards their path home. “We don’t have any time to lose.”

Zan urged his horse to increase its pace to keep up with the Commander. This was what he had been working on for so long. An alliance with the Kingdom of Antar would greatly benefit both of them.

*****

Kyle swung his leg over the saddle and dropped to the ground, ignoring his aching ass and stiff muscles after the long ride back to the castle. The first sun was making its descent and he hadn’t had a meal since very early that morning.

He nodded at one of the men inside the walls when he approached him with a bow and took his horse’s reins. “Give them both water, food and a good brushing.” His eyes landed on Carson. “A meal is waiting for us. We’ll have dinner with the King.” And the true Commander, he added in his thoughts. If their suspicion was right and Zan had found a way to come back to this world then he would soon learn the truth through his connection to Ava anyway.

The other man nodded. “A hot meal will be welcome.”

Kyle walked across the courtyard with a determined stride, not glancing back but sensing that Zan was on his heels. Once they reached the heavy door that led into the castle, they stopped and waited for the sentry to open it.

“Commander,” the Antarian man bowed slightly, “the King and both Princesses await you and your guest in the royal dining room.”

Zan’s gaze scanned over everything as he followed the Commander through the corridors, searching for possible escape routes out of habit.

“Can you feel her..., Zan?” Kyle asked when they were safely out of hearing range.

Amusement colored the amber eyes. “As I always have. Not as strong due to the fact that this body is still adjusting, but the connection remains.”

“You have some explaining to do.”

“That is to be expected.”

“There are a few things you’ll learn as well.” Kyle stopped to face the man who had just delivered the last piece of the puzzle. The book. “Needless to say these things are secret knowledge and must remain that way.”

“I understand,” he said with a nod.

The door to the dining room was opened and they stepped inside to meet the people awaiting them.

His gaze swept over the people assembled there, pausing on the true Commander of Antar. “You live,” he said.

The door closed behind them before Michael took a step towards him. “As do you.”

“How?”

“I’m surprised you don’t know,” the Commander said. “It was your mate who ‘killed’ me. We have formed an alliance.”

“Under normal circumstances I would have known, but it’s taken longer than I had hoped for this body to adjust to my presence.”

“Why did you choose this body?” the King asked.

“This body belonged to a soldier, a man who understood duty, honor and sacrifice. I had little time to make my selection as the essence can only survive for a brief span of time outside of its original body. You will learn after studying the second book that such a thing is possible for those who share a true connection with their mate. This body had been struck down in battle and was near death. Nothing could be done to preserve its life in spite of the best efforts.”

Michael’s head snapped around to look at Kyle when Zan revealed the book. “You were able to steal it.”

“Yes. As much as Khivar prided himself on possessing it, he knew very little of its contents.” He smirked. “He could speak the old language, but he was not as adept when it came to the written word.”

“Tell us about Vilondra,” Isabel demanded.

“She is dead by my hand.” He shrugged one shoulder. “There is little else to tell.”

“That only leaves one alive,” Michael mused.

“One who has more than one enemy who would like to strike the final blow against him.”

“Rath is my business,” the Commander said warningly.

Zan nodded. While he wanted to see Rath dead, Vilondra had delivered the fatal blow that had ended his life and she had been dealt with.

The door at the opposite end of the room was opened and a sentry presented himself there first, looking at the King. When he gave him a nod of approval, the large Antarian man stepped aside to reveal the woman standing behind him. Ava.

He was on his feet in less than a heartbeat. He had seen the recognition in her eyes earlier, but there was no avoiding the fact that visually he was a stranger. Would she see beyond that to the truth? Could she accept this new appearance?

“Are you feeling better?” Max asked her.

“I’m not sure she’s aware of anyone else in this room,” Tess said quietly.

Michael knew the feeling of being drawn to someone in such an intense way. And they hadn’t really seen each other for a long time. “Why don’t we leave them alone for a moment?”

Isabel’s eyebrows lifted at the Commander’s suggestion. He wasn’t normally one to indulge such things.

“Agreed,” his sister said as she got up as well.

Max nodded. “There is a second dining room. We will have our dinner there. When you’re ready, just follow the sentry I’ll leave at the door.”

Zan nodded, his gaze barely shifting from Ava as he waited for them to leave. “I’m relieved to see you made it here safely.”

“I did much riskier things while you were gone,” she said quietly and neared him slowly. “I was able to gain the Commander’s trust bit by bit and we worked out a plan to deceive Khivar as well as Rath and Lonnie.”

He watched her, gauging her reaction to his appearance. “You have always been persuasive.”

She shrugged. “I no longer had anything to lose.”

“I understand. You were driven by revenge. It’s why you continued to exist.”

“Yes. It wasn’t easy after you died.”

“Things will be better now,” he promised.

Ava stopped directly in front of him without touching and lifted her eyes to meet his. “You think so?”

He smiled. “If you think you can adjust to this new appearance.”

“It will take some time to get used to it,” she smiled back, placing her hand on his chest, “but in here it’s still the same, isn’t it?”

“Inside I remain the same,” he affirmed as he reached up to cover her hand.

“The human woman in the castle... she knows you.”

“I have no knowledge of any human in the castle other than the man masquerading as the Commander.”

She frowned. “They said you met her and she knew you. Or she knew who you were.”

He frowned for a moment. “Ah, yes, I understand now. You speak of the woman who served my meal while I was waiting to meet with the King. The remnants of emotions belonging to the body’s previous owner fade the longer I have possession of it. She recognized the man he was.”

“It is quite a surprise that you choose the one human she knew. This one man out of many.”

“It is an odd situation.”

“It is,” she agreed, feeling the connection getting stronger while he touched her hand.

“I’m very proud of you,” he said, his eyes never moving from her.

“Trying to form an alliance with them was the only right thing to do. You knew that. You were right, Zan.”

“We had to find a better way to live.”

She nodded. “I didn’t think about living anymore after you passed. Revenge was the only feeling that drove me from one day to the next.”

“Then I am grateful for that because it ensured that you lived.”

“What’s going to happen now?”

“I would imagine we will find out soon.” He sighed. “They seem to have accepted that we are to be trusted.”

“Yes, they did. What about the human in you?”

“The human ceased to exist prior to my possession of his body.” He frowned. “Physically he was not yet dead, though he was not far from it. But inside, the thing that makes one human different from the next, that part was gone.”

“Would I be able to do something similar if I died?”

He nodded. “There is a very short timeframe to take possession of a new body, but the information is all in the second book.”

“Should we join the others?”

“I suppose there is much to discuss.”

“There probably is,” she agreed, turning to leave.

“Ava.”

She stopped, but didn’t turn.

He shook his head. “I know it will take time to adjust to these changes. Just know that my love for you made this possible.”

“I’m still trying to understand...” she looked at him, finding familiar eyes looking back at her. Pushing every doubt aside, she gave in to the pushing urge she felt and flung her body at him, pressing her lips against his to satisfy her need.

Zan returned the kiss with heat and passion, dropping the barrier on his emotions and letting the flashes burst to life between them.

It was a mixture of so many things that Ava was overwhelmed with the flood of information. She tried to blank it out, but there were also a few flashes that obviously didn’t belong to him. The human’s soul wasn’t completely gone yet. Or was it just the memory in the brain that caused it?

“Don’t be alarmed,” he whispered roughly, “I still retain a significant amount of the human’s memories and there are times they are so intricately intertwined with my own that it’s difficult to separate them.”

She nodded, leaning back slightly to look at him. “Do you think it’s possible to tell his former human mate what happened to him to give her closure?” She had no clue if the King’s cook even wanted that or not, but she knew what she would want if she was in her shoes.

“You would wish me to connect with the human?”

“If it could help her to understand.”

She was mated with the human?”

“I believe so.”

He nodded. “Then I will do so to allow her to release him.”

“Okay,” she agreed and took his hand. “Let’s go to the others. We have a lot to talk about and there is little time to prepare an assault against Rath.”

Zan glanced down at their joined hands and knew that things would be alright. He chuckled when she pulled him with her. “I believe the Commander is of the impression that he has exclusive rights to ending Rath’s existence.”

“Yes, that’s right and I think his reasons are good.”

His left eyebrow lifted in interest. “He has reasons beyond the King’s business?”

She smiled. “Maybe he should tell you on himself. Or maybe you will even meet the reason.” Maria was probably used to having dinner with the Commander.

He chuckled. “You still find it amusing to surprise me.”

“Well, it’s not my place to tell you. Come on.”

“As you wish.”

Ava led him out the door and along the short narrow hallway. One of the King’s most loyal sentries led them to the second dining room and opened the door for them after a secret knock.

Max stood when the couple entered and he gestured to the table. “Be seated.”

“Thanks,” Zan nodded, following Ava and waited until she sat down before he took his place next to her.

Tess observed them, not missing the way they behaved with each other in spite of the unmistakable fact that Zan looked nothing like he had before. She glanced at her brother and Max, waiting to see which of them would lead the conversation.

“Do you have any information about Rath’s current location and plans?” Michael spoke up after swallowing a few bites of his meal.

“Rath will know of Vilondra’s death by now,” Zan answered. “I would expect him to begin targeting your outlying villages immediately upon his return.”

“We’ve already taken precautions.”

“He is currently at least four days’ ride from his castle, so that provides a small window of opportunity.”

“We’re preparing an attack, where the survival of our Commander will be revealed,” the King spoke, placing his fork aside. “Rath has started to use Earth weapons with immense powers, but we’re working on something bigger.”

“Something greater than the destructive powers of the Earth weapons?” He considered that for a moment. They had no such retaliatory weapons on Antar. His gaze turned speculative. Unless... “Is it a plan you wish to share?”

Michael’s eyes shifted to Ava. “You didn’t tell him.”

“No, I assumed you would like to reveal it yourself.”

Zan glanced at the Commander expectantly. “I have the feeling I am going to learn something important, something with the potential for change.”

“It is something that will change the course of our history,” Max said with a nod.

A smaller door was opened and Liz came in, carrying a few bowls and stopping in her tracks when she noticed the man sitting at the table. She had forgotten to serve the spicy cream she had prepared earlier and now she wished she had just thrown it away. Her gaze dropped to the joined hands of Jack and Ava. “I um.... Here is something else.” Quickly, she placed the bowls on the table, avoiding eye contact with everyone, but especially with Max and Jack. “If anything is needed you know where to find me.”

Zan glanced at Ava, nodding when she gave him an encouraging nudge. “I would like to speak with...” What was her name? Ah, yes, he remembered now. “Liz. I would like to speak with her if she would allow it.”

Max’s features hardened for a moment when his jealousy kicked in. But Ava and Zan were bonded by a connection and it could only mean they wanted to be together. He is just doing it to give her closure, he reminded himself and looked at Liz. “Are you willing to listen to him?”

“I don’t...” She swallowed with difficulty, staring at the couple’s joined hands and trying to make sense of what she was seeing. She forced her gaze to lift, staring into Jack’s eyes and wondering why they weren’t the familiar blue. She glanced back at Max, knowing if she had any chance of a future with him she had to settle her past. “Yes.”

Zan nodded and got up. “Is there a place where we can speak in private?”

“Yeah, come with me.”

“Excuse me,” he said and followed her out of the room and down another corridor until he found himself standing in the kitchen. He closed the door behind them and waited until she turned to look at him before he spoke. “I assume you have many questions.”

“What happened?” She shook her head. “I mean, I know you were injured and you said you’d lost your memory, but there’s something... different about you.”

“I am no longer the man I appear to be,” he agreed,

“Because of your injuries?” Something deep inside was warning her that it was more than that, but nothing in her mind could prepare her for what she was about to learn.

“No,” he said honestly. “The injuries this human suffered caused his soul to leave its shell.”

“I don’t understand. Are you saying you’re not Jack? That you’re somehow possessing his body?”

“You are a smart woman,” he nodded. “My name is Zan, you may have heard of me.”

“Zan,” she said slowly. “So Jack’s really dead.”

“Yes. He’s dead, Liz. A few of his memories remain, but he’s gone. He died on Earth and I apologize for taking his body and torturing you like this with it. I didn’t know I would meet someone on Antar who would know the man he was.”

She smiled faintly and nodded. “You made a good choice. He was a man who loved military life and he believed so completely in the cause he fought for.”

“It’s not much,” he said, starting to lift his hands, “but if you are willing, I can give you a few things that are still present from his existence.”

Her eyes widened. “That’s possible?” She swallowed hard when he nodded in confirmation. “What do I need to do?”

“Just take my hands and look at me.” He waited until she did so. It took some time because the body was still adjusting, but he could finally feel the familiar tingling that came with the flashes and he let the pictures of the man’s memories flow towards her.

Liz couldn’t stop the tears that flowed in response to the memories he shared. Jack had held onto moments they had spent together and it was obvious he had kept them close, there were fleeting scenes of different battles, scenes of his final battle and his struggle to hold on even as he knew his life was leaving him, and last, his regret at leaving her alone in a world that was falling apart. No, maybe they hadn’t been in love, but they had cared deeply for each other and it was obvious even in his last moments that he had been happy when they’d been able to be together. When the flashes ended she slowly released his hands and stood back, wiping her eyes as she looked up at him. “Thank you,” she whispered.

He nodded. “I hope it will help you to let go of him and remember him as a good, loyal man.”

“Will anything of him remain? Inside of you?”

“I’ve never done anything like this before, but I’m afraid that once the body has fully adjusted he will be gone completely.”

Realistically she knew he was already gone, that’s just the way it worked, alien insanity aside, but irrational as it was she had hoped that something of him would remain. Jack had been a good man and he had made the ultimate sacrifice, dying for a cause he believed in. “I noticed his eyes have changed colors,” she said after a bit of silence. “I’m guessing the color they are now is the color your eyes were.” She went on when he nodded. “Will other physical changes occur the longer you’re in his body?”

“I don’t believe so. I am not altering the body. The eyes are the gateway to the soul in this world or in yours and that’s why they change. He was the owner of this body for a long time. You never know, maybe I will exhibit some of his habits of him. Recently I have found it strange to eat anything too spicy.”

She chuckled as a memory came to mind. “Yeah, Jack didn’t care for his food to be very spicy. I think you’ll find your meal to your liking though.”

“I don’t have a doubt.”

“You should rejoin the others. I’m sure whatever they’re waiting to discuss is of great importance.”
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

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Double Trouble
Obsessed Roswellian
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Part 92

Postby Double Trouble » Sun Oct 19, 2014 7:52 am

Roswelllostcause: Thanks! What Zan did was kind and it’ll be a great help to Liz.

begonia9508: Thanks!

Zan’s presence has been a big help for all of them. Ava was right to nudge him in that direction, to let him know she was comfortable with him speaking with Liz.

We’re likely to see some forward movement with Liz and Max now.

Natalie36: We won’t have to wait long to find out!

keepsmiling7: Yes, now that she was able to speak with Zan and learn the truth it’ll help a great deal.

Lol, yeah, but it was good for Liz that he retained some of those old memories. It’ll help Liz to find her way with the King.

sarammlover: Lol, there was a lot there! Their new allies are going to be very helpful! There’s more intensity and excitement to come!

Eva: Thanks!

Their paths are intricately interwoven and they all need each other to survive what’s coming.

Alien_Friend: It truly is awkward to see the man you once had a relationship with… only that he isn’t this man anymore.

The royals will come up with a plan to win the war – you know it. ;)



Part 92

He nodded. “I will now. Have a good evening, Liz.”

“Have a good life, Zan.” She watched his departing back until he moved out of sight. “Goodbye, Jack,” she whispered.

Max looked up when the other man rejoined them. “Were you able to explain a few things to her?”

“I was,” he agreed. As Liz had seen images of Jack, he had seen a few things from her and it was interesting how involved the King seemed to be with this woman.

Ava looked at him when he settled next to her once more. “Are you alright?”

“Yes, I am good.”

“Let us resume the meeting,” Isabel insisted as she pushed her plate back. Somehow in spite of her appetite the scent of the food was causing her stomach to churn unpleasantly and she hoped fervently that ignoring it would make it go away.

Zan nodded. “You said there was something of importance.”

“Yes, something of great importance,” Michael said after shooting an odd look at Isabel. “At the very least we have to hold Rath and his armies off for a few more weeks. At that point we believe we stand our greatest shot at putting an end to him and his reign.”

“And why is that?”

“You have knowledge of the contents of the second book,” Max spoke up. “Are you able to read the old language?”

“I am,” he agreed. “One of the sentries in Khivar’s castle taught me.”

“And Khivar didn’t know?”

“No, he was assigned personally to me and he held a grudge against the old man.”

Michael nodded. This alliance was working more and more to their advantage, he thought. “Then you have knowledge of the powers instilled in the parents of a child born to a couple who share a true connection.”

“I do,” he glanced between the King and the Commander. “Does one of you share such a connection?”

“The Commander does,” Max spoke up as he leaned forward to spear another piece of the seasoned meat that had been served.

Zan’s eyes grew wide for a moment. “You and the Princess?” He turned his gaze to Isabel. “Are you pregnant?”

She nearly dropped her glass before righting it. “How dare you ask me such a question?!”

Michael snorted. “It’s not her.”

“You have connected with someone outside of the Royal Four?” He leaned forward to stare intently at the Commander. “The connection has resulted in a pregnancy?”

“That’s correct.”

“An actual pregnancy,” he mused. He looked to the man for clarification. “It is an actual pregnancy, not a child engineered from your joint DNA?”

“You will see for yourself,” Michael said. He could feel Maria nearing them and he knew she would be joining them within seconds.

He turned when the doors opened and the sentries stood at attention to permit a woman to enter. Once she was inside they took their leave, pulling the heavy doors closed behind them. “A human,” he murmured. “If she carries your child and she possesses the defective gene your child will have great power.” He watched the woman as she crossed the room to take a seat at the Commander’s side. “According to the book your powers will continue to increase the closer she comes to giving birth. They will be greatly amplified, giving you power to rival all others. The four of you have joined forces, and through the connection it will extend to all of you. When your powers reach that point nothing will be able to stop you or stand in your way.”

Maria stared at the man speaking with a little frown. Who was he and why was he here?

“Zan,” Michael said in response to her silent question, not realizing he had verbalized it until the man looked at him. He shook his head. “No, I wasn’t calling you. Maria was asking...” he looked at her and smiled at her confused expression. “He was believed to be dead, but all was not as it seemed.”

“Why doesn’t that surprise me?” She smiled at him.

“You may wish to seek Liz out. His presence was a shock to her. After his death Zan took possession of a human body. She knew the man on Earth.”

Her eyes widened. “You’re Jack? Or were.”

Zan nodded. “Yes.”

“Oh.”

“You’re growing fast,” Tess stated when she noticed the woman’s belly. It hadn’t been this big the last time she had seen her.

“She is.” Michael grinned proudly and reached over to place his palm on her belly, prepared for the instant connection that occurred without effort.

Maria smiled and laid her hand over his. “She’s quite active tonight.”

Zan’s eyebrow lifted once again. “She senses that change is coming,” he said after a moment. “A child in this situation will grow at an advanced rate physically, mentally and emotionally.” His gaze shifted to the woman. “I understand that humans very much enjoy the early years with their offspring and you will not be denied that. Because you are completely human the child’s development will adhere to more human growth rates after the birth occurs. Mentally though, your child will always be ahead of her peers.”

“I can live with that,” she smiled.

“What kind of powers are we talking about?” Tess asked. “Does the child have extensive powers or is it more the fact that it’ll enhance our powers to unite them and give us the advantage against Rath?”

“The last,” he agreed. “The child will unite and intensify the powers of the Royal Four.”

“Whew,” Maria said with a laugh, “what a relief.”

“Are you hungry?” Michael asked her.

She snorted. “Since I became pregnant when have I NOT been hungry?”

“The child’s advanced growth is causing you to burn more calories than usual,” Zan said. “You should make sure you’re not losing any weight although that sounds unreal due to your state.”

“I can’t imagine that would be a concern,” Max said with a glance at the plate in front of Maria. He was certain he had seen livestock eat less at feeding time but he wisely remembered to keep his mouth shut on that thought.

Zan chuckled. “Her appetite will return to normal soon.”

“Our doctor estimates she now has less than three weeks before giving birth,” Michael said, amused at the enthusiasm she expressed while digging into her meal.

“Less than three weeks to prepare for Rath’s end.”

“You do realize that by utilizing your combined powers you will effectively destroy all of your enemies in a single day.”

“Can’t say I’m not looking forward to it,” Michael crossed his arms over his chest. Rath’s end couldn’t come soon enough.

“As the child approaches birth you will find your individual powers heightened and because the four of you are working closely together you may reach the full extent of your powers prior to her birth. Only you will know when it is time.”

The royal four glanced at each other for a few moments. “We will be ready for it,” the King nodded.

“It will be a relief to finally see peace settle over the land,” Zan said with a quiet smile.

*****

Max walked through the quiet corridors, the only sound that of the sentry’s footsteps as they shadowed his every move. He was lost in thought when someone joined them and a moment later he was conscious of a larger presence taking the place of his shadows. He didn’t turn his head to look as the man fell into step with him, but the sound of his footfalls was as familiar to him as his own.

“Good evening, Rykar,” he said after several minutes of silence and aimless wandering.

“Sire,” the big man responded. “Your thoughts appear otherwise engaged.”

He shrugged one shoulder.

“A woman?” He smiled at the snort he received in response. “Ah, it is always a woman, is it not?”

Now that he had discovered what the opposite sex had to offer it had been nothing but one headache after another. Although, he admitted silently with a faint smile, there were also some positive things as well.

Rykar chuckled at the younger man’s reaction. “A woman is two sides of the same coin?”

“Undoubtedly.” He stopped as they neared his quarters and he turned to look at his personal guard. “Rykar, you understand women – “ He frowned when the man shook his head. “You don’t?”

“Women are not to be understood, Sire. They are mystical creatures that a man can only pursue and hope to one day be permitted to capture the right one.”

“Have you ever pursued a woman who was previously with another man?”

“It is not often a man pursues a woman that has never been pursued before.” He clasped his hands behind his back. “The woman you have chosen is involved with someone else?”

“Not currently, but there was someone in her past, someone who meant a great deal to her.”

“And you believe her to be unable to commit because of this prior relationship?”

He sighed in frustration. “I don’t know. She indicates in many ways that she wants to be with me, but at times there is a reluctance to do so.”

“Women are fickle creatures, Sire, but when it comes to their hearts they are a mystery no man will ever solve. If you believe her to be the woman you wish to bind to you then you must leave no question as to your intentions or your feelings for her.” He cleared his throat. “That is not a comfortable conversation, but if a woman is left in doubt,” he shook his head, “she will be impossible to hold onto.”

“I appreciate your advice, Rykar.” He nodded at his quarters. “I believe I will retire for the evening.”

“If you will just remain here I will secure your quarters first.”

“Of course.” He waited while Rykar secured his quarters and when the man stepped out and motioned to the door he said his goodnights and stepped inside, shutting the door and leaning back against it. He unbuttoned his dress jacket and shrugged out of it, handing it over the back of a nearby chair before moving deeper into the rooms. He drew up short when he stopped in the kitchen area to search for something to drink and saw Liz standing by one of the windows.

She turned when she heard him approaching. She had seen his personal guard come in and look around, had even been the subject of his searching gaze for several very long moments before he nodded and took his leave. “You’re here late. Long day?”

“Yes, it was incredibly long.” He rubbed the back of his neck. “I did not expect to see you here.”

“I know,” she said, rubbing her face with both hands. “This last past week hasn’t been easy.”

“No, it has been far from easy. It has been quite difficult in fact.” He cleared his throat. “I would imagine seeing Zan and learning of Captain Carson’s fate was not easy for you.”

“No it wasn’t,” she admitted, “but it helped to clear my head.”

“I did not know of Zan’s possession of Carson’s body until Ava returned with Maria’s mother.”

“I know. You would’ve never kept that from me if you knew.”

“I am sorry you were drawn through such an emotional ordeal and forced to question all that you knew about the Captain.”

“It was a rollercoaster,” she admitted, taking a step forward, “but none of it was your fault and I’m the one whose sorry because with everything on your plate I only added to it.”

He frowned. What was a rollercoaster? “You have no reason to be apologetic, Liz. I understand that there was a deep emotional connection to the Captain. You believed him to be dead and suddenly he was alive again.”

“And yet he wasn’t,” she nodded. “I understand now that he’s really gone. The man he was doesn’t exist anymore.”

“And what does that mean?”

“It means I know my heart can be free.” She made a face. How was she going to explain this? “Jack and I never loved each other the way lovers really should. We protected each other on Earth and we knew we had each other for company. Everyone who knew us thought we were the perfect couple. With you, things are a lot different, Max. I know we’re not meant to be together and everyone around us would call it wrong and yet everything that felt wrong with Jack emotionally, feels right with you.” She shook her head. “Two complete opposites.”

“And if I said to you that I was free to pursue you? That if it was what you wanted you could reign over Antar as its Queen?”

“What’re you talking about?” She frowned. “Are you feeling sick?”

“Sick? I do not suffer illness,” he denied. “Why would you ask that?”

“Because you’re talking weird stuff.”

“You haven’t answered my question.”

“Well, then I’d tell you that I’d be happy to be with you, but I wasn’t sure about the queen part.”

“You would be happy to be with me, but not as my wife?”

“I’m just not sure what I’d do as a queen.” She shook her head, laughing. “I’m not a royal queen at all.”

He frowned at her laughter, uncertain why she found the conversation amusing. “Well, no, not now, but if we were to wed you would be the Queen. You would become royalty by marriage.”

“But you’re meant to marry someone else. Did you forget that?”

“Father has released us from the arranged marriages.”

She looked at him in shock as her stomach dropped. “He has?”

He nodded. “Yes.” He had hoped this would be good news but based on her reaction he wasn’t so sure now.

“Wow....” she still looked stunned. “I... don’t know what to say.”

Wasn’t it obvious what she was supposed to say? He sighed and filled a glass with something to drink before moving over to the small table and sitting down.

“Why did he release you?”

“Whatever the reason he took it with him to his grave. Perhaps it was because he was nearing his end and after learning of my mother’s betrayal he decided we should have the right to choose our own mates.”

“Zander died?”

“He has passed. We decided it best to keep that information from our people until after we have destroyed our enemy.”

“Wow,” she stated and walked up behind him to massage his shoulders. “How do you feel about that?”

“It was the right thing to do.”

“I meant his death.”

He shrugged and stared at his hands. “There was no connection to my parents. Their passing is simply the course of things.”

“Yeah.” It was weird to think about your own father like that, but at the same time, Max was right. There had never been a real relationship between them.

“I can only hope when my time comes my children will not say the same.”

“You have nothing to fear.”

He nodded, hoping she was right.

“You won’t send your children away just to make them weapons in a war. You’ll love them and care about them like a real father would do.”

“I don’t understand how you can be so certain. I believe I would be different than my own parents, but the truth is that I am half Antarian.”

“Max,” she stepped around the chair and sat down in his lap carefully, “just the fact that you worry about this is proof enough.”

His arms came around her, holding her in a loose embrace. “You could teach me to not be so awkward with them? I seem to constantly say the wrong thing, especially with humans, and I feel very stiff and formal even in the most relaxed settings.”

“You’ve been doing better lately. It’s just a matter of time.”

“The Commander seems to be adapting to such things quite well.”

“And I’ll bet most of that goes back to the connection he shares with Maria.”

“You believe he’s more... accepting of the situation and that allows him to embrace his human side?”

“I think his connection to her awakens his human side to a different level.”

He nodded. “Well, as you suggested, perhaps in time it will ease and I will become more comfortable.”

“Yeah. And maybe soon you’ll have the time to concentrate on other things besides the war.”

“Yes, based on the knowledge we’ve just received we’re very hopeful that we’ll see the end of the war very soon.”

“That would be nice.”

“Yes, peace will be welcome.”

“I’d like to see more of Antar than just the insides of the castle walls. I’ve heard this planet is full of wonderful places to see.”

“Yes, there are many incredible sights. And I did promise you a personal tour through the Sun Valley.”

“I remember.”

“Perhaps soon it’ll be safe enough to embark on that promised trip.” His eyes wandered over her.

“I’m looking forward to it. And I’m also looking forward to cooking for more people again. Since we had to fake Michael’s death it’s kinda been really boring around here.”

He chuckled. “The Commander’s obvious presence does indeed make things more lively around the castle.”

“Yeah, and imagine the noise once his kids are running around everywhere.”

“I can only imagine the utter chaos that will reign once his children are turned loose,” he said with a quiet laugh.

“Yes. And he’s probably not the only one with a few kids in the future.”

“No? Who do you believe will follow the Commander’s example?”

“Hmm, maybe his sister? The Captain and her have been seeing each other for a while, haven’t they?”

“Yes, that is a possibility.”

“It’ll be good to see new generations grow in a happier place.”

“I believe we will have an opportunity to see many kinds of growth in future years,” he said as he looked outside. “You know so much of Earth’s history as do Maria, Alex and Kyle, and you are all in positions to influence the future of Antar.”

“That sounds like a lot of responsibility too.”

“It is an incredible amount of responsibility,” he agreed. “Do you feel it is too much to ask?”

“No,” she said, “I’d do whatever I can to make this a better place.”

“You have the ability to aid Antar’s growth and change while helping to avoid the dangers such advancement can introduce to the people and the planet.”

She doubted they could prevent the planet from other wars or fights in a ‘forever’ timeframe, but maybe they could make it a safer place for a while.

“I understand that certain technological advances led to poisoning the water and the ground and in spite of those dangers it was felt an acceptable risk for greater and faster growth. I would rather remain without certain comforts if their gain meant destroying our natural resources.” He shook his head. “I have no understanding of how such things could be deemed worthy of the risks. My people live comfortable lives though I know they may be considered a rather simple existence by many.”

“We gotta believe that this world has a better ending in store for us and for future generations.”

“There is still a great deal to be done, before and after the war ends, but I believe our strength lies in our ability to work together.”

She leaned against his chest. “Very well said, King Max.”

He threaded his fingers through hers. “Thank you.” He kissed her head and chuckled quietly. “Queen Liz.”

She looked at him. The thought of being the Queen freaked her out, but was it enough to keep her from the man she wanted to be with? No, she mused, probably not.

“I understand such a position requires one to be under constant scrutiny and it can be a very daunting prospect. I don’t want you to accept because it’s what I want. I am free of the marriage to Tess so there is time to pursue a relationship that is not forbidden or must be kept in the shadows.”

“Then maybe we should start slow.”

“As you wish,” he nodded and then paused. “How slow?”

She chuckled. “I meant let’s not talk about marriage yet.”

He smiled and nodded. She hadn’t said no and he took that as a positive sign. Things were settled with the man from her past, their futures were open to the possibilities, and the end of the war was on the horizon. “Then perhaps we should retire for the evening and save this discussion for a later time.”

“Sounds good.”

Max helped her to her feet and stood. “Let us do so then.”

She looked over her shoulder towards a door at the end of the room. “I haven’t showered yet.”

“Then I suppose you’ll want to do so.”

“Yes. Do you think I could use yours?”

“I suppose I could postpone mine.”

“Or you could join me?”
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

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Double Trouble
Obsessed Roswellian
Posts: 925
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:47 am

Part 93

Postby Double Trouble » Sun Oct 26, 2014 3:18 am

Roswelllostcause: Thanks! The King will be doing his best to get Liz to relax.

Eva: There is definitely hope now and they can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

keepsmiling7: Max wanted to make sure she knew about that right away.

Yeah... we’ll find that out today, lol.

begonia9508: Thanks!

That would be difficult, but hopefully it’ll get easier with time.

And Max will be doing his best to let her know that’s what he wants.

sarammlover: We’re definitely about to see some forward movement with them, lol. Thanks!

Natalie36: Thanks for reading!

Alien_Friend: Being the Queen of Antar will be quite the task, huh? It’s only natural that she’s nervous, but we know she’s a strong character and will adjust to her tasks.

Zan’s survival surely presents to the right time. :)



Part 93

“In the shower?”

She smiled. “Yes.”

“Well, that would be different.” He considered her offer and found it very easy to imagine her under the shower spray with nothing but the water on her skin. “Yes, I believe I would enjoy that.”

“I promise it’ll be enjoyable. I’ll even wash your back.”

“My back?” He frowned. “I have aides who can perform that task should I require it.”

Liz rolled her eyes when she had her back to him. He had so much to learn. “Come on, Max.”

In spite of his confusion he hurried to follow her. “You do not wish for an aide to join us, do you?”

“No!” she said quickly.

“Good.” He was visibly relieved. He found he disliked the idea of any of his aides viewing her in that state.

She switched the light in the bathroom on and went inside, glancing around the room until she found the little knob, where she could dip the room into a warmer ambiance. “It’s cold in here.”

“Without the light of the two suns the temperatures feel extremely cool at night. The inner rooms stay cooler as they do not receive direct light from the suns.” And you’re babbling! He cleared his throat when she shot a look at him over her shoulder and he saw the amusement in her features.

“Well, I guess there are other ways to fill the room with heat.”

The look in her eyes clearly expressed her intent and nowhere in her expression did he see a suggestion that he increase the temperature using his powers. “Yes,” he murmured as he moved closer to her, his hands coming up to rest on her shoulders and turning her to face him.

“So what do you intend to do?” she challenged him.

“That depends on you.”

“On me?”

“Yes. Do you have more of those constraining devices?” His tone expressed his intense dislike of them.

“A few,” she nodded. “But they’re in my quarters.”

“Then perhaps we should adjourn to your quarters.”

“No, we’ll stay,” she denied. The few condoms would be gone soon enough and there was nothing on Antar to replace them so they should save those few for the times when they really needed them. At this time of her cycle she was positive she wouldn’t get pregnant.

She had stressed the importance of the devices the night they had been together and he couldn’t imagine she had changed her mind already. “Then we will not be having sex tonight?”

“We’ll see where it leads,” she tugged the white shirt out of his pants and dragged it over his head.

“Very well.” He didn’t really understand though. How were they to engage in sex if the devices she insisted on using were not readily at hand? He shrugged those thoughts off and focused on her, deciding that dwelling on the what-ifs would only drive him mad and if that was to be his end he’d prefer she be the one driving him to that point.

“Why don’t you help me out of my clothes?” she suggested.

“I find that to be an acceptable suggestion,” he agreed and reached for the hem of her shirt. He made quick work of it but still found himself stumped by the harness like device she wore beneath it.

“What?” She chuckled.

He shook his head. “I don’t understand the reason for this device.” He muttered under his breath as he tried to make his clumsy fingers work the tiny clasps.

“That’s okay as long as you understand you need to open it,” she teased.

He huffed in frustration and used his powers to nudge them into submission, nodding in satisfaction when they obeyed and he stripped the thin straps over her arms before tossing the scrap of material aside. Such devices were clearly invented to frustrate and annoy, he decided.

“You’re cheating,” she chuckled and opened his belt with good old handwork.

“Then stop wearing clothing that exists solely to drive me insane with frustration.”

“Sorry to disappoint you, but it’s not for your frustration. On Earth it’s even for stimulation.”

He shook his head, not trying to understand why a device that hid her from his view and was difficult to remove would be considered stimulating. “Well, this is Antar, and I think this is better.” His heated gaze moved over her naked torso in appreciation.” “Yes,” he reached out to touch her, “this is infinitely better.”

“I can see you like,” her eyes dropped to the bulge in his open pants.

“Yes, very much.”

She nodded and reached inside to stroke him.

Max wrapped one arm around her to pull her close, his eyes locking on hers as he lowered his head to kiss her. He had discovered he enjoyed this very much and it also seemed to please her. The sounds she made encouraged him but he maintained the pace he had set, drawing their pleasure out.

He definitely knew what to do when he acted on pure instinct, Liz thought, moaning when his tongue ran over her lips gently.

Yes, his abilities were definitely better in some areas. He took his time, not bothering to rush as his hands moved over her back and sides before settling at her waist. His fingertips grazed along her waistband, dipping inside to tease her before seeking out the fastening and releasing it.

Huh? Liz interrupted the kiss and frowned. “Were you just...,” she frowned. Neither of them had said anything but it was like he had responded to her thought.

His right eyebrow lifted at her retreat. “What?”

“Forget about it,” she shook her head. “I was probably just imagining things.”

He shook his head. “No, tell me.”

“I was just wondering if you were... like answering my thoughts, but it was just in my imagination I think.”

“Try again.” He watched her intently.

Liz tried to come up with something. What did you eat for dinner?

“What interest could you possibly have in my dinner?” he asked absentmindedly as his hands slipped beneath her pants to slide them down over her thighs.

“Max.”

“Um-hmm.” He was distracted by her smooth legs as he straightened back up.

“You just did it again. I didn’t say anything about dinner.”

“Why do you keep asking questions if you don’t...? Wait, you didn’t speak aloud but you did ask the question in your mind, right?”

She nodded.

“What do you suppose that means?”

“What do I suppose it means? I don’t know, Max. How would I know?”

“Does it bother you?”

“Well, it’ll take some time to get used to.”

“Perhaps it is some sort of connection. It is not uncommon for mated couples to experience a certain level of awareness of each other.”

“Will it only occur when we’re close?”

He shook his head. “From my understanding many mated couples do enjoy a heightened awareness that exists constantly. For others it is more subdued. I am certain it can be blocked to a certain extent if you find it uncomfortable.”

Liz thought about it. “Does it mean we share some kind of connection now? When did this happen?”

He shook his head. “Perhaps it is because I was unconsciously blocking it. I didn’t want you to be hurt even worse if I couldn’t free myself from the arranged marriage to Tess.”

“I guess it’ll just need some time to get used to.” She smiled. “And I’ll have to watch what I’m thinking around you.”

“There are things you do not wish me to know?”

“Not things I’m keeping from you on purpose, Max. But a little privacy doesn’t hurt.”

He nodded. “I understand.” His eyes dropped to view what he had uncovered. “Perhaps there are times when conversation is unnecessary,” he murmured thickly.

“True words, King Max,” she smirked.

His lips lifted in a smile as their eyes met and he lowered his head to take her mouth in a heated kiss.

“Let’s get in the shower,” she mumbled.

His only response was to quickly rid himself of the last of his clothing and follow her inside the roomy shower.

“I hope you like the water hot, because I do.”

“Hot is acceptable,” he whispered, really not caring one way or the other at the moment.

She turned the faucet on, jumping to the side when it came out cold at first but it quickly turned hot. “I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to your slimy water,” she held her hand under the spray and rubbed her fingers together, testing. “It makes showering together a challenge.”

“You told me once you enjoyed a challenge, did you not?”

“Yeah, I do.”

“Then this should be interesting.” He shook his head. “No, that’s incorrect.” He frowned as he searched for the correct word. “Fun. It should be fun.”

“Interesting works too,” she winked at him.

He growled and pulled her up against him. “No more talking now.”

“Okay, Sire.”

“More disobedience?” he muttered against her skin.

“Depends,” she mused and turned her back to him, grabbing the soap from the shelf. “What do you do with disobedient women?”

That was a very good question, he mused. As a rule no one disobeyed him.

“Of course not, you’re the King right?” She winked over her shoulder.

“Yes, I am.” He nipped the skin between her shoulder and neck. “However, I think you don’t find that fact very intimidating.”

“Hmm, no, not at all.”

He chuckled. “I would not have you so.”

She reached behind her and between them to stroke his hard length. “You wouldn’t want a woman intimidated by your royal status.”

“No, intimidation has no place between us,” he agreed, his voice dropping to a husky rasp.

“Agreed,” she turned slowly and took in his appearance. Although he was the King, which required more mental than physical strength, his body was built nicely and he had toned muscles in all the right places.

His eyes were locked on her, still fascinated by the feelings that a look from this woman turned loose in him.

“So what about your back?” She wiggled her eyebrows. “Want me to wash it?”

He really didn’t understand why she wanted to wash his back. “If you wish I won’t deny you.”

Liz grabbed the sponge and poured some soap on it before she started to rub with small circles. Once his whole back was foamy, she altered the movement of her arms and slipped through his arms along his sides towards his front.

“This is most certainly not the same as having an aide assist during a bath,” he muttered.

“I sure hope not,” she sank her teeth into the back of his shoulder lightly.

His head dropped forward and he groaned at the sensation. “You would mark a King?”

“A King who has the power to make it disappear with a wave of his hand.”

He snorted. “I have no such desire.”

“Why don’t you tell me about the desires you have? “

“I have only one.” He turned to face her and reached up to trace her features with his fingertips. “You.”

“Good that I’m here with you in the shower then, huh?”

His thoughts shifted momentarily and his hands dropped to the backs of her thighs, lifting her with ease as he turned to press her back against the wall.

Liz groaned when his erection pressed right into her with the new position. Just a little move of her ass and he would... She frowned when his hands gripped her tighter, preventing her from shifting, and when she looked at him he smirked.

“You wish to express your desires?” he asked.

“I wish for you to continue.”

He chuckled and nodded, giving in to her wishes. “With pleasure,” he murmured against her lips.

She dropped the sponge on the floor and wrapped both of her arms around him, one hand tangling in his hair while the other pressed into his back.

Every bit of his focus and concentration narrowed down to Liz and the way she made him feel. It was pure insanity and he loved every moment of it. He was supporting her with one hand, but the other one was constantly in motion, still learning and memorizing what pleased her.

“You’re gonna draw this out,” she whispered against his ear, her frustration growing with each second.

He nudged her chin up with his nose as he shifted his hips. “Perhaps not,” he answered with a teasing grin.

She used the strength in her legs to settle herself against him in a more satisfying way and her eyes rolled into the back of her head when he gave in and sank into her.

He groaned at the feeling of being inside her without the insidious device she had insisted on the last time. “Much better,” he growled and started to move.

“More intense,” she agreed, “but it also means a risk of pregnancy. We’re pretty safe right now though.” She shook her head and rocked against him.

“You are certain?”

“As certain as a woman can be,” she shrugged.

He wondered what would happen if she was wrong, but a moment later she flexed her hips and he completely lost track of his thoughts.

She wasn’t usually as careless as this, but maybe it was the fact that she knew she could have something real with him now. Or maybe it was the fact that there was no way to return to Earth and the knowledge she’d be with him for the rest of her life. Whatever made her feel so sure about her life all of the sudden, she hoped it would last.

“It will,” he swore as he took her mouth in a deep kiss. There was no need for more words as they communicated in a language as old as time itself.

*****

Isabel watched from a safe distance as Alex studied the book Zan had retrieved from their enemies. He had a slightly absentminded expression on his face when he took his glasses off, using his un-tucked shirttail to wipe the lenses before sliding them back on. He went through several pages, carefully going over every word and making notations before pushing his glasses up until they almost rested on his forehead so he could pinch the bridge of his nose. There was something ridiculously calming and comforting about the gesture.

She could stand there and observe him all day long but when he sighed tiredly and his glasses dropped back into place as he stretched she forced her feet to move. When she neared him, even though she hadn’t made a sound, he raised his head and she realized he had known she was there all along. He smiled and motioned for her to join him as he reached up to rub the back of his neck.

He bit back a yawn as he leaned back and stretched. “I’m not sure I’m great company tonight, but you’re probably just here for answers.”

“No, I’ve actually come to speak with you.”

His eyebrows lifted as she moved around the library, filling the silence with her presence. She was wearing royal robes, the long cloaks doing absolutely nothing to flatter her figure. “What can I do for you this evening, Isabel?”

“Are you angry with me for some reason?”

Where had that come from? “Have you given me a reason?”

Her eyes narrowed. “Not that I’m aware of.” She shrugged and began to move around again, finally stopping at one of the narrow floor to ceiling windows that looked down over the courtyard. “You haven’t sought me out since that day.”

He chuckled and shook his head. “As much as I enjoy your company, Isabel, it’s been pretty busy around here the past week.”

“I’m well aware of that,” she grumbled.

“You do know if you wished to see me all you had to do was request an audience or do as you’ve done this evening.” He closed the book he had been searching, only able to pick up a handful of phrases that he recognized from his self-taught ancient language vocabulary. He was interested in spending some time with Zan, hoping the other man would be willing to teach him more of it.

“After the time we spent together recently I would think you would’ve sought me out. That is human behavior, is it not?”

Alex had to laugh at that but the angry look she shot at him silenced his humor. “Okay, not to be insensitive or anything, but as a rule you’ve preferred to keep things on your own terms.” He held his hands up when she opened her mouth to protest. “And in my defense, I’ve barely had time to sleep since things have heated up around here.” He rubbed his hands over his eyes and tried to keep the exhaustion from creeping into his voice. “Isabel, you can’t have any doubts that I wanted to see you again, and not just because the sex was great,” he added, his tone teasing.

“The sex was great,” she mocked as she began to pace erratically.

Well, that was an interesting response, he thought as he leaned back in his chair and crossed his arms over his chest. As a rule she preferred to keep things on that level rather than on anything deeper. “My feelings for you run deeper than I ever intended them to go. After losing Victoria I swore I wouldn’t allow myself to feel that again. Imagine my surprise when you of all people managed to slip past my defenses and become as necessary to me as air. But you’ve never shown any interest in accepting or returning those feelings so I’ve been able to shelter my heart from further rejection by focusing solely on the sexual aspect of this thing between us.”

“Perhaps now I wish to have more.”

“What’s changed?”

“I have.” She whirled around and swept the royal robes back, revealing the slight swell to her belly and for a moment she reveled in his obvious shock. “You did this.”

Alex pushed himself to his feet, gauging her mood as he neared her. “No,” he murmured as he stood before her and reached out to place his hand on her belly, “we did this.”

Isabel watched him, studying every nuance of his expression as the ramifications of their actions were revealed. He didn’t seem to be displeased. On the contrary, he appeared to be quite happy with this turn of events.

Alex lifted his gaze to her, prepared to see everything but the look of wariness there. “How do you feel about it, Isabel?”

“Terrified,” she admitted after a moment. His reaction eased her nerves slightly and kept herfrom snapping at him.

“Did you see a doc yet?”

“For what purpose? It’s quite obvious what has caused this.”

“Yeah, but to make sure the baby is alright.” He looked back down at her belly. “Wow. He or she will have a little friend in the same age. That’s good.”

She didn’t understand how this had happened. Never before had a sexual encounter led to this result. “Do you have some defect I should know about?”

“Defect?”

“What other reason would there be to cause concern for the child’s health?”

“Well, many if you were human. I don’t know with the half alien side.”

She frowned. “Perhaps a visit with the physician is in order.”

“I can come with you.”

“Do you need an examination as well?”

“Uh, no.”

She considered him for a moment before nodding. “I think I would appreciate your presence.”

“Wanna go now?”

No, she thought. “It would be best to get it over with since there’s no denying the truth.”

He nodded in agreement. “Yes. And we should tell the others.”

“What do we do after that?”

He frowned. “What do you mean?”

“You are the father of a royal offspring.” He had been surprisingly accepting of the situation so far but she didn’t know what his intentions or expectations were.

“I am aware of that.” He straightened and looked at her serious. “And I am planning to take care of my family in a proper way.”

“How so?”

“Well, I’d like to see my kid growing up, I’d like to guide him or her, give advice, teach things. And i want to do those things with you.” Also that should be really interesting and nor at least annoying sometimes, he mused.

Impending motherhood was terrifying but somehow just knowing that he planned to be there made it a little less scary. “There will be expectations,” she said after a moment. “My brother may be the King but we share the same blood.”

“Are we talking about marriage?”

“It will be expected, but I know what a forced marriage feels like so I wouldn’t impose that on you.” It was all so sudden and she really didn’t know how things would go. What she did know was that she didn’t feel that same suffocating feeling she’d always experienced when she had been expected to marry the Commander. Certainly there was a stigma attached to a Royal being pregnant and unwed but she refused to allow that to dictate their actions.

“When we are ready for it, we will marry,” he promised her.

And with a single statement he managed to ease her fears. She reached out to touch his arm. She didn’t have the words to express what she was feeling. There was gratitude of course, but it was so much more than that. He could’ve easily left her to find a way to handle the situation on her own but he had listened to her and then said they would deal with it together.
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

User avatar
Double Trouble
Obsessed Roswellian
Posts: 925
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:47 am

Part 94

Postby Double Trouble » Sun Nov 02, 2014 5:19 am

Eva: Lol, yes, she is! Alex reacted well to the news and maybe his open and accepting way of dealing with things will help her open up even more.

Natalie36: Thanks for reading!

begonia9508: Lol, yep, that’s what he said.

It’s gonna take time to get Max to a place where he fully relaxes in speech and manner, but we’re confident that Liz will get him there.

Earth2Mama: Lol, we have definite confirmation.

The couples‘ bonds are getting stronger.

Roswelllostcause: Thanks! She is indeed. The King’s eager to follow Liz’s lead and it looks like he’s quite the avid learner.

sarammlover: Lol, they do seem to be popping up all over, don’t they? They look like they’re doing well so far.

keepsmiling7: King Max will adapt more of of his human side once he and Liz have the chance to really put some time in their relationship.


Part 94

It was already dark outside when Maria nodded at the sentry posted at the entrance of her old quarters, fumbling around with her shirt to hide her slightly swollen belly. Soon it wouldn’t be possible to hide her pregnancy and she would be forced to use the secret hallways just like Michael to keep the information from everyone outside of their little circle.

“Good evening,” the Antarian man greeted and stepped aside, opening the door for her.

She greeted back and slipped into the room quickly, sighing when she was left alone with her sleeping mother. Her exhausted status hadn’t allowed them to speak yet, but she hoped soon she would be able to take her mom into her arms again.

After checking the room for anything out of place she went to sit at the edge of the bed. “Hey, Mom,” she greeted quietly when the older woman didn’t show any signs of acknowledgement.

There was a voice pulling her from the warm safe place and in spite of the lure of remaining there, the pull of that familiar voice was stronger. She was hesitant, having awakened several times since being taken, thinking that her daughter was there with her and praying she wasn’t. But in spite of her hesitation, the simple thought that she might see her baby girl was too much to resist and her eyelids fluttered.

“Hey,” Maria smiled, grabbing her hand.

Amy felt the touch, heard the voice again, and she forced her eyes to cooperate. She blinked a few times to bring her surroundings into focus and she stared at the hand holding hers for a moment before she followed it to its owner. “M’ria,” she choked out, unable to hold her tears back when she finally saw her daughter there.

“I’m here, Mom,” she leaned in, her own voice thick, and hugged her mother lightly.

“It’s not safe here,” Amy insisted tiredly. “Maria, you have to get out of here!”

“No. We’re safe here. You’re no longer with Khivar.”

Her eyes scanned the room as Maria’s words and tone registered. “Where are we?”

“We’re at the castle in Zander’s Kingdom.”

“Zander’s Kingdom,” she whispered. “How’s that possible? That horrible man said you were his prisoner too.” Her eyes welled up with tears as she imagined her only child at the mercy of such evil.

“No,” Maria shook her head, “I’ve been here for a while now. They saved me.”

“Then he wasn’t completely lying. I don’t know what he wanted. Most of the time I was unconscious and when I wasn’t the pain was so bad it wasn’t long before I was out again.” She reached up to cradle Maria’s cheek. “It’s been so long since I’ve seen you.” She studied her daughter’s features. “You look... happy.”

“I am. Even more now that you’re here. It’s been so long and they were looking for you.”

“But why? My applications to come to Antar were denied.”

Maria reached over to the nightstand and took the glass of water to offer it Amy. “I know. But I got to know a few people who are able to decide otherwise.”

Amy sat up with her help and accepted the water with a grateful smile. “Honey, the only way for the applications to be reconsidered is for the King or another high ranking official to overrule the original decision.” She swallowed a drink of water and slowly lowered the glass when she saw the quiet smile on Maria’s face. “What have you been doing?”

“As I told you, Mom, we’re in Zander’s Kingdom now. We’re within the joined castle and this part is attached to the Commander’s quarters. Zander passed away recently and his son Max is the King.”

“You’ve made friends with the King? Or... no, you said this is the Commander’s side of the castle, right? Do you know them that well?”

“I was captured by the enemy’s Commander while I was working in a field hospital. That was shortly after our last contact. Michael was the one who saved me. He and his unit found me and I’ve lived in the castle since then.”

She had never seen the enemy Commander but she had heard so many horror stories about him. “It’s been so long since our last conversation.” She swallowed with difficulty. She was terrified of the answer she would receive if she asked what Maria had endured at the man’s hands so she focused on a different angle. “They’ve been treating you well here.” It was easy to see the darker shadows in her daughter’s eyes just before they were chased away and she knew not asking the other question had been the right decision.

“Very,” Maria agreed with a smile. “How are you feeling right now, Mom?”

“I feel good.” She smiled. “So much better than I felt recently.”

“The King healed you. Once you’re fully rested you won’t have any problems with the atmosphere here anymore.”

“The King?” Her shock was obvious.

“Yes. He’s a very nice man.” Maria chuckled. “Just a little stiff for a half-human.”

“That’ll probably ease the more time he spends around humans. What do you do here? I mean, if you’re not working in the field hospital any longer, what is your job?”

“I normally work in the kindergarten but right now there are a few difficult circumstances so I pretty much just live here, not doing much at all.”

“Teaching? Maria, that’s wonderful! I always knew you’d be a great teacher!” And it was a much safer occupation.

“I have fun doing it,” she got more comfortable on the bed. “Mom, I was wondering if you feel like meeting my... boyfriend?”

“You have a boyfriend?” She was so happy to hear that Maria was settling into life here. And a boyfriend? On Earth there hadn’t been many opportunities for her to form lasting attachments and she hadn’t dated very much. Amy had often wondered if her only child would ever have the chance to meet the right man and fall in love. Have a family and a life that wasn’t fraught with danger. “Yes, I’d love to meet him!”

“Okay,” Maria leaned forward and grabbed the tablet device from the nightstand to send him a little message.

“So who is he? Another teacher?”

“No,” her daughter giggled. “He’s a military man.”

“Really? A soldier, hmm?” She chuckled. “Well, what woman can resist a man in uniform?”

“Yeah. And I guess our story’s a little special.” Maria turned her head when she heard the familiar grumbling of opening and closing of secret hallways.

Amy squeezed her hand. “Are you in love with him?”

“Yes, I am.”

“And he feels the same?”

Maria didn’t get the chance to reply before the growling got louder and Michael stepped into the room, still wearing his uniform, his features a little exhausted but at peace.

“Hello, Mrs. Deluca,” he greeted.

She studied him for a moment, sensing the peace that settled in her daughter at his presence. It took a few moments to identify him and when she did her eyebrows lifted in surprise. Maria had said he was a military man, but he wasn’t just another soldier. No, he was THE soldier, the Commander of Antar. She held her hand out to him, not completely sure of protocol in this situation. “Commander,” she said with a nod.

He stepped closer and took her hand, squeezing it lightly. “In private, you are welcome to call me Michael. How are you feeling?”

“Much better, thank you. Michael,” she added after a moment. “That’s such a nice strong name.”

Maria snorted. “My mother’s always had a fascination for names.”

He smiled at the older woman. “I’m not sure who chose mine, but I guess they had to give me an Earth name for obvious reasons and I came to like it much better than others that I discovered while living on your planet.”

Amy’s gaze moved between them, unable to stop the smile that lifted her lips. Their bond was so obvious. “I’m so happy for you both.”

“Thanks, Mom.” Maria looked up at her man. “There’s still a lot that we have to tell you, but you should rest more first and then meet me for breakfast in the morning.”

“I am a little tired,” she admitted, reluctant to let her daughter out of her sight.

“We’re close by. If you need anything you can send us a message with the tablet device, okay?”

She nodded and smiled, reaching for Maria’s hand once more. “I love you so much,” she whispered tearfully and placed a kiss on the back of her hand.

Her daughter leaned in and hugged her. “I love you too. I’m so glad you’re finally here with us,” she whispered.

Michael’s hand wrapped around Maria’s when it slid into his and he carefully pulled her to her feet. “We’ve assigned a sentry to your door for added security.”

Amy nodded. “Take good care of my daughter, Commander. That’s all I ask for.”

“If that is your only wish I can assure you there is no one who will do a better job.” He nodded sharply. “Anyone or anything with the intent to harm her would have to get through me and I swear to you I will protect her with my life.”

Amy nodded, but she sensed there was a lot more history behind this statement than she could imagine. Maybe by tomorrow, she would know more about it. “I’m glad she found someone like you in such rough times.”

Michael glanced at Maria and his hand tightened around hers for a moment. He hadn’t expected the changes he’d experienced since she had come into his life and at first he hadn’t been pleased with them, but now he couldn’t imagine his life without her at his side. He gave her a small smile before turning back to her mother. “You might say it was fortuitous for both of us. For an entire kingdom even.”

My mom will be more than surprised once she knows all the details, she mused. But they were safe here and a lot of their enemies were dead already. They had a chance for a better future and now that her only family was here with her she felt complete again. “Good night, Mom.” Maria smiled. “See you in a few hours.”

Michael waited until her mother had said her own goodnight before gently pulling her to the door and allowing her to step out first. “Good evening, Mrs. Deluca.”

*****

Kyle was stretched out on the bed, listening to the sound of Tess humming as she finished getting ready for bed. He was tired, but it was a good tired, the kind that signified achievement rather than the exhaustion that so often accompanied the constant battles that seemed to end only long enough for the next to begin. He was roused from his thoughts by a knock on the door but he remained where he was, accustomed to staying out of sight.

“Are you gonna get that?”

He opened his eyes to glance Tess when she poked her head around the doorframe. “Since when?”

“Since I’m officially free to choose who I want to be with.”

He nodded and rolled off of the bed and onto his feet. “Right, got it.”

She rolled her eyes and went back to what she was doing, enjoying her newfound freedom.

Kyle grabbed his shirt on the way out of her bedroom and pulled it on before reaching for the door and opening it. There was no reason to ask why the woman was standing there. The crying child in her arms was explanation enough. Without a word he reached for Amela and she went into his arms without a moment of hesitation.

“I’ll take her to the Princess,” he said with a dismissive nod.

The caretaker eyed him suspiciously for a moment, but a glance over his shoulder revealed the Princess and when she received a nod of affirmation she bowed her head slightly and took her leave.

He shook his head at the woman’s odd behavior and closed the door again as he looked at the little girl he held. “What’s got you so up in arms tonight?” he asked as he reached up to brush her tears away with his thumb.

She hiccupped as she started to quiet and before long she gave him a watery smile.

“Uh-huh, sounds to me like somebunny’s tryin’ to avoid bedtime.” He tugged on her hand and drew a bashful smile from her before she ducked her head to rest against his shoulder. “Yeah, that’s what I thought.” He jostled her lightly and turned to carry her to the bedroom. “Babe, we’ve got company.”

Tess came out with her hair still wet. She eyed Amela worriedly. “Is she sick?”

“No, I think she’s just fussy and doin’ her best to not go to bed.”

“Her caretaker was never really good at distracting her. I’ll be there in a moment.”

“No rush, we’ll find somethin’ to amuse ourselves with.”

Amela fisted his white tee shirt in her hand and pulled it towards her mouth to suck on it, babbling words only she would know the meaning of.

“Not exactly what I had in mind,” he said as he tugged on the material gently.

She looked at him, confused. “Ma?”

“Ma?” he echoed. “No, can you say Kyle?”

Amela giggled and reached up to touch his face, her eyes growing big when her soft skin came in contact with his stubble.

“Scratchy, huh?” He grinned, watching the way her expression changed as she followed the movement of his face. “Aunt Tess loves it.”

“Says who?” she asked when she came out of the bathroom with her hair dry now. Sometimes it was a real plus to have powers.

“I seem to recall you sayin’ it on more than one occasion,” he said with a wink.

Tess ignored him and took Amela out of his arms. “So little girl, are you looking forward to having a little playmate?”

Kyle grinned and nudged Tess with his foot. “Thinkin’ maybe we need to work on that?”

“I was talking about Michael’s kid.” She rolled her eyes.

“Well, there’s no harm in thinkin’ about it.” He waggled his eyebrows playfully.

“See Amela, that’s what you still have to learn about men. Mostly they’re very annoying.”

“Like women have room to talk,” he muttered and shook his head. “We don’t have the market cornered.”

“Huh?”

“Men aren’t the only annoying people in the world.”

“Agreed.” She smiled and placed Amela on the huge bed.

He chuckled when he shifted and she giggled when she rolled towards him. “C’mon, Tess, just imagine one of these little people with your looks and my personality.”

“Why not your looks and my personality?”

“Well, that works too. I’m not too picky.”

Tess crawled up on the bed to lie next to them, Amela between them. She really could imagine having kids with him, but it was nothing she wanted to think about tonight.

He chuckled and tickled the little girl when she crawled up to rest her forearms on his chest. Yeah, he could easily picture having a couple kids running around, probably driving everyone crazy. “She’s probably waitin’ to see Michael.”

“True, she’s always been so attached to him.”

“She’s grown attached to Maria pretty quickly too.”

“I guess she’s sensing that she’s the woman at his side.”

“Well, it’d make sense. This little one’s always had a very strong connection to your brother.”

“Think we should bring her to him?” She grinned.

“Well, it would free up our evening.”

“Exactly.”

“Then we should definitely take her down to him.” He glanced at Amela. “Whatcha think, huh? Wanna go see Michael?”

“Da?”

“Yeah, wanna go see Da?”

She laughed, clapping her hands.

“That right there sounds like a definite yes.”

“I agree. Are you gonna take her?”

“Are you asking me to?”

“Yes, I am.”

“And do I get somethin’ out of it?”

“Maybe.”

He grinned. “That’s as good as a yes in my book.” He leaned over to kiss her before scooping Amela up and rolling off of the bed.

“I’ll be waiting here,” she called after them sweetly.

He smirked and waved his right hand over her body. “Feel free to be waiting and ready.” He covered Amela’s ears. “And naked too.”

She waved him off. “Go and don’t let him talk your ears off. You’re off duty right now.”

Kyle snorted. Michael never talked that much. “I’ll be back before you’ve even had time to miss me,” he said and ducked out of the room before she could respond.

Tess waited until he closed the door and then got up to close the curtains. She waved her hands in front of a few candles to light them, dipping the room into a much more comfortable light. It’d been long time since they’d had a full undisturbed night together and she had every intention of making it memorable.

Kyle hummed to himself as he followed the corridors to the Commander’s section. “We’re almost there now, not much longer.” He reached up to rap his knuckles against the door after glancing around to make sure there was no one in the vicinity.

It took a moment before Maria opened the door with a sleepy look. “Kyle. Hey. Something wrong?”

“No, no, nothing at all.” He shifted to bring her attention to the little girl that was already leaning forward, her arms outstretched in the woman’s direction. “Got a little visitor that requested an audience with the Commander.”

“Hey,” she smiled and took the baby girl from him. “No problem, he’s in the shower, but I’ll watch her.”

“I’m sure she’ll be just as pleased.” He nodded as he backed away. “Have a good evening.”

“You too,” she waved and closed the door.

“Oh, I will.” He chuckled and his pace was hurried as he made his way back to his lover’s quarters.

Tess looked up when the door to hr quarters opened again. “That was fast.”

“Incentive. Although... you’re not naked.”

“Well, you could change that.”

“Hmm... yeah, I definitely could.” He moved around her slowly, his gaze appraising. “Yep, you’re right about that.”

“But before that you’re gonna take off your shirt.”

“Gonna get bossy on me now?” he asked as he reached behind him to grab his collar and pull the shirt over his head.

“Blame it on military habits,” she winked at him.

He shrugged as he tossed the shirt aside. “Order me around the bedroom all you want, woman.”

“Thought you wouldn’t complain,” she leaned back on the bed, using her lower arms for support.

His gaze raked over her before he kicked his shoes off and rested his knees against the foot of the bed. “Not at all.”

“Come here,” she offered him a hand.

He crawled up over her, resting on his hands and knees when her hand settled on his shoulder. “What can I do for you?”

She laid back, glancing up at him. “You’ve already done so much for me.”

Kyle shrugged one shoulder. “So? It’s not like I’m keepin’ a scorecard and I enjoy doin’ things for you.” He turned his head to kiss her hand. “With you.” He nibbled kisses along her arm. “And to you,” he whispered against her lips.

“I know. But you put yourself in the line of fire when you agreed to a relationship with me even though you knew I was promised to another man. And you knew it could – in the worst case scenario – lead to your death since I’m one of the Royal Four.”

“You’re worth the risk.” He kissed her again. “Always have been.”

Tess swallowed. It was the first time they could be together without really having to worry about it anymore. She was free to be with him, no danger, no shadow laid over them any longer. “I know I’ve always been kind of hesitant towards you.”

“You’ve had to protect yourself.” He shifted to settle over her more fully. “I know there were times when that caused some contention between us, but I’ve always known why there’s been a certain distance there.”

“That reason no longer exists.”

“That’s true.”

“And it means I shouldn’t have any reservations towards you anymore.”

“So...?”

“Sooo, I wanna take the next logical step.”

His eyebrows lifted. “Tell me more.”

“I’m still one of the Royal Four. The people never really expected us to marry one another, but what they do expect is for us to marry the person we spend our lives with.”

“Are you tellin’ me you wanna get married?”

“There’s a step that comes before marriage.”

“Well, it’s not sex because we’ve definitely done that.” He rested his chin in his hand as he watched her. He knew what she was talking about but he wanted to make sure she was ready.

“Yeah,” she rolled her eyes, “we’re way past that.” Her hands come up to frame his face gently. “We took the first step the other night. I’m willing to complete it.”

His breath caught in his throat for a moment. He had hoped but he hadn’t wanted to say anything, wanting her to make up her own mind about it. “What do we do?”

“We just... I don’t know, open the gates.” She wasn’t sure how connecting to a person really worked, but she knew it would happen if both were willing.

He smiled. “Let’s open ‘em up and see where it takes us then.”

“Okay,” she inhaled deeply.

Kyle followed her example, taking a deep breath and holding it for a moment before slowly exhaling.

“Get more comfortable,” she told him gently and gave him a little push so he’d flip over to rest on his side on the bed. She rolled over to face him, taking one of his hands in hers while staring into his eyes.

He wondered what was going to happen. They’d connected the last time they’d been together, but he had no idea how different this would be.

It took a while, but then she suddenly felt the heat spreading from every point of contact where they touched. She heard a dull pulsating sound like a heartbeat and when she listened into herself she knew it was his and not her own.

It was an odd sensation, but not uncomfortable in any way. There was an increased awareness of her, almost like he was inside of her in a way that wasn’t humanly possible. He could sense her thoughts, emotions, and feelings in a way he had never experienced. As time passed he became more accustomed to the feelings and through their connection he could feel her acceptance of this thing between them.

His thoughts and feelings washed over her like a storm, but instead of destroying everything, it seemed like they mixed with her own. A second heartbeat, which she now identified as hers came into the mix, creating a chaotic mix of dull sounds, but the more time passed, the more it sounded like both of their pulses were falling into a synchronous beat. They were adjusting to one another.

Kyle was certain they were somehow falling into sync with each other in a very elemental way. Their heartbeats, their breathing, everything seemed to be coming together and blending in a way that he had no way of describing.

There was a moment, she had no clue how to describe it or how it happened, but suddenly she knew the connection between them was complete. It wasn’t a connection someone – not even them – could ever destroy.

“Does this mean you’re stuck with me for the rest of our lives?” he whispered.

“No, but it does mean you never get the chance to love anyone but me.”

“I’ve never felt the need to love any woman but you.”

“Good because that ship sailed anyway.” She frowned at her own words because they didn’t make any sense.

He chuckled at her expression, knowing she was probably trying to figure out where the foreign words had come from. “Babe, that ship never even docked.”

“I have no clue what that means.”

“Just means there hasn’t been another woman since the first time I saw you.” He grinned. “My very own warrior princess.”

She grinned, rolling onto him and kissing him on the lips. “That’s me, my very own warrior... Captain.”

“Warrior Captain,” he muttered with a soft snort. “Doesn’t have the same ring to it.”

“Who cares?” She sat up, pressing her lower body against him. “You wonder if sex feels any different now?”

Now that was an intriguing thought. “You think it will?”

“I think we should find out.”
Image


Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

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Double Trouble
Obsessed Roswellian
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Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:47 am

Part 95

Postby Double Trouble » Sun Nov 09, 2014 8:28 am

Roswelllostcause: Thanks! We’ll see a little more with Amy today.

begonia9508: Thanks! Maria definitely needs her mom there.

Lol, explosive’s a good word for them.

Natalie36: Thanks for reading!

Eva: Looks like they’re all finding their way together.

Earth2Mama: At least part of that is coming up today.

keepsmiling7: Yes, he is, but Liz will get him past that.

Our gang is finally finding their places with each other.

sarammlover: Maria’s very happy to have her mom back and things are looking up for both of them. Kyle and Tess have been together from the beginning and they’re solid. We really enjoy the opportunity to explore all of the couples in our fics. Lol, that’s probably a big part of the reason they end up being as long as they are!

Alien_Friend: Max and Liz are getting closer with every update. The more time he and Liz spend together, the more he’ll begin to loosen up and relax. We’re sure she’ll see to that. Lol, yeah, chances are good the Royal population will be expanding before long. That’s true, there might be certain requirements of the King in that situation as well.

Yeah, Isabel kinda sprung that one on us too!

The Captain’s very good with kids and one day he and Tess will make a wonderful family. They’re the couple that’s been together from the beginning and they’re so solid.

Chances are good that at some point Zadira will want to meet Amy. They’ll have a grandchild in common and that’s a great place to start!





Part 95

Maria groaned when she woke up and felt a little pull in her belly. She rolled onto her side in an attempt to ease the feeling and it helped a little.

“Are you in pain?” Michael’s sleepy but worried voice came from behind her.

“Not pain,” she replied quietly. “She’s already moving and growing so fast, my body’s just struggling to keep up with the pace. My skin feels like it’s bursting.”

He moved behind her. “Should I inform the doctor?”

“No, he said this is a normal reaction. I’m good. I just need to adjust to my new size every morning.”

“Okay,” he accepted her answer, trusting she or the connection would let him know if there was anything to worry about. He slipped his hand over her side and rested it on her swollen belly, spreading his fingers over it.

“That helps,” she whispered a few moments later when the distended feeling faded. Their daughter seemed to settle down at her Daddy’s touch, making it easier for her.

“That better?” he murmured, pressing his lips to her shoulder. He could feel the easing in her and he nodded to himself when she sighed.

“She seems to know exactly who you are.”

“She’s already developing mentally,” he said proudly. “She’s going to be very strong.”

“I have no doubt.”

“And if things continue as they have been, there’s a very good chance she’ll come into a world that is much safer.”

Maria turned to look at him. “I really wanna believe that.”

“Zan has the ability to read the book. He understands the old language and his understanding of the child’s connection indicates that we will have our opportunity to wipe out Rath and his military. They will have no chance against our combined powers.”

“I hope you’re right.” She snuggled against him.

“I’m not one to believe in simple theories, but this book is believed to hold the truth, and the fact that I can feel the increase in my abilities and that when we were all together recently she seemed to connect everyone... it leads me to believe that he’s correct.”

She nodded. “I believe it too, I’m just not sure if it’s really that easy.”

“I’ll admit I feel the same way.” And there was also the part of him that wanted to face off against Rath and see him draw his last breath. “But there is no mistaking the truth that our combined powers are going to be impossible to withstand.”

“Yeah, and he’s alone.” His voice turned cold when talking about Rath.

“He is alone.” His hands fisted. “And soon he’ll be dead.”

“Can’t say I’m sorry.”

“Neither am I.”

“You know, we need to come up with a name for her.”

“What do you suggest?”

“I don’t know. That’s really hard.”

“Would you prefer an Earth name? Or something Antarian?”

“I don’t know. She’ll grow up in the castle right? We all have Earth names.”

“That’s true.” His hand stroked over her belly thoughtfully. “Earthlings have a habit of giving their children three names. Your mother’s middle name is interesting. It is unusual, but I do not believe I have heard it before.”

“Lina?”

“Yeah, it’s unique.”

“Yeah, and it sounds right for a baby.”

“Should she have a middle name? Is it something necessary?”

“No, it’s not necessary. We could give her something Antarian as well though.”

He considered that for a moment before shaking his head. “I am pleased with the name we’ve chosen.”

Maria looked down and rubbed her belly. “Did you hear that, Lina? Daddy’s made up his mind.”

Michael snorted when the baby kicked in response. “Daddy takes very little time to make his mind up.”

The tablet device on the nightstand next to them started to make a sound. Maria glanced at him briefly with a hint of worry.

“I’ll check it,” he leaned over her and picked the device up, opening the incoming message with a simple touch on the screen. “It’s your mother. She wants to know what would be a decent hour to ask for breakfast.”

Maria chuckled. “Seems like she’s finally rested long enough.”

“Then perhaps we should not make her wait.” He rubbed his jaw as he considered the time. “Do you think Liz is up? Your mother would probably appreciate a meal that tastes somewhat familiar.” He needed to look into bringing a human cook into his side of the castle. The way things were going he was going to need one.

“Probably. She’s up early most of the time.”

“We will see.” He typed in a quick message and sent it.

“Tell my Mom to get ready so we can pick her up.”

He chuckled and did as she requested. “Perhaps I should tell Liz to double up on the menu.”

“Are you insulting my eating habits?”

“Not at all,” he said with a teasing smile. “Just suggesting that our daughter has a healthy appetite.”

“We still have to tell Mom about it.”

“Do you believe she will be happy about this news?”

“Surprised, but happy, yes.” She was sure of it.

“Will she be displeased that we have not yet married?”

“No,” Maria sat up, “she’s not one of those people who thinks marriage makes people better parents.”

“You will consent to marry me once the war has ended though, will you not?”

“Is that your proposal?” She giggled.

“Proposal?” he frowned. “You carry my child.”

“So that makes it needless to propose?”

“Well... yes.” He shook his head at her expression. “No?”

“Hmm, I’m thinking about it.” She swung her legs out of bed and stood, groaning slightly when it caused the muscles in her back to hurt for a moment.

He reached out to press his palm against her back, using his powers to try and nudge the muscles to relax. “Is the proposal necessary?” he asked curiously. On Antar it was just customary that she would marry him, with or without the child, but that apparently was not the custom of royalty on Earth.

“No,” she turned to face him and leaned in for a kiss. “It’s not necessary. We both want it and as the Commander it’s also required. I’ll marry you, Michael. No doubt.”

It wasn’t necessary, but somehow he felt like maybe it was something she desired. To be asked for her hand in marriage. He would have to think about that. “Very well.”

“I’ll be right back,” she slipped into a dressing gown and went into the bathroom to get ready for the day.

Michael nodded and flopped back on the bed. It would take five minutes or less for him to be ready so he wasn’t in any rush. He reached for the tablet and sent a message to the Advisor. He knew nothing of proposals so he would seek advice from someone who would know.

A few minutes later, Maria came back in jeans and an open shirt. “They refuse to close!”

He sat up and motioned for her to come to him. His hands settled on her hips when she stood between his widespread knees. “Perhaps we need to bring a fulltime seamstress into the castle,” he chuckled as he used his powers to expand the material so that it would fit comfortably.

“What for if I have you?” She ran a hand through his hair. “Thanks.”

“What if I’m not here and you have a wardrobe malfunction?”

She chuckled. “Then I’ll just have to wear your clothes.”

He smirked. “That will be an interesting statement.”

“But you know, we will need baby clothes.” It suddenly occurred to her that on a planet where children were hatched out of pods such things wouldn’t exist.

His eyebrows lifted. “Indeed we will.” It wouldn’t do to have their child running around naked. “There are many clothes from when Amela was smaller. We could use those or we can use them as blueprints and bring a seamstress in to make clothes for her.”

“Okay,” Maria rubbed her belly. There were so many other things they would need as well.

“She will not want for anything,” Michael assured her. He had some familiarity with the needs of small children as Amela had been very young when he had brought her to Antar.

She nodded and focused her thoughts away from her worries about whether or not she would be a good mom under these circumstances. “Did Liz reply?”

“She said she will prepare a meal that will tempt anyone to clean their plate.” He shook his head. He had no idea why anyone would want to wash their own plate, but he supposed if the meal was that good, perhaps it was possible.

“Good,” she smirked. “Let’s go see Mom and fill her in on the rest of the story.”

He got up and hurried to get ready, finishing in under five minutes and congratulating himself on beating his own personal time. He took Maria’s hand and they left the way through the secret corridors to collect her mother.

Amy sat on the window seat when they joined her and Michael had to chuckle at the sight. “That was your daughter’s favorite place as well.”

She smiled. “There is something very calming about the view.” Her eyes sought out her daughter and she stood, pausing when she noticed something she had missed the day before. “Maria...?”

The younger woman let go of her man’s hand and stepped forward with tears in her eyes. “Yes, Mom,” she whispered.

“You’re...” she took a halting step towards Maria and her hand stretched out to rest on the younger woman’s belly. “You’re pregnant,” she whispered.

She nodded. “A girl.”

Tears blurred her vision for a moment as she glanced up at the Commander. She smiled at the way he hovered, his posture and expression protective. “That’s just so wonderful!” She hugged her daughter. “Congratulations, honey! And you too, Michael.” She leaned back to look at both of them. “A little girl. You’re gonna have your hands full, both of you.”

“Well, now we have a grandma to step in now and then,” Maria teased her and wiped her cheeks.

“Oh, I can’t wait to get my hands on my grandbaby! How far along are you?” Her gaze dropped to her daughter’s belly. “Hmm... a couple of months maybe? I’m not sure I can wait another six or seven months,” she said with a joyous laugh.

“Actually, she is due in less than three weeks,” Michael scratched his eyebrow.

Amy frowned at that as her eyes dropped back to Maria’s belly and she shook her head when she looked back at him. “No, you’re mistaken, Michael. A pregnancy takes about nine months and she’s nowhere close to that.”

“Things are a little different here, Mom.” Maria guided her back to the window where they both sat down. “Our baby girl won’t be a normal human like you an’ me. She’s a hybrid like Michael.”

“Well, that makes sense. Biology, DNA, and all that, but a woman’s body still carries a child the way it’s always been meant to.”

“I’ve only been pregnant for a week, Mom.”

“I don’t think that’s possible, honey. The human body doesn’t grow this fast during pregnancy.” She just couldn’t wrap her mind around this information.

“Not normally, no. But our girl is special, Mom.”

“Well, of course she is,” she insisted. She glanced between the Commander and her daughter when the silence seemed to get heavier with each passing moment. “Special how?”

“Michael and I, we share a special connection. It’s not all that long ago when he found me in the enemy’s camp. Something happened when we touched and ever since then we’ve been very aware of each other.”

“Our people call it the true connection,” he went on, pacing along the room. “Those who share it can create a powerful offspring.”

“Oh my.” She swallowed with difficulty. “Is it dangerous for Maria? I mean, as I said, the human body wasn’t designed to experience a pregnancy in a matter of four weeks.”

“Our doctor is positive she won’t suffer any difficulties outside those of a normal pregnancy.”

“My word, a four-week pregnancy. I can imagine the positive aspects of such an advancement, but the things your poor body must be going through!” She cradled her daughter’s face in her hands. “How are YOU doing?”

“I’m fine, Mom,” Maria assured her. “A little stretched in the mornings, but Michael helps me deal with it. Our connection helps me.”

“I’m so glad,” she said, relieved. “This connection sounds intense.”

“It is.”

“The most intense that exists on this planet,” he agreed.

She nodded, sensing that it was something he wasn’t comfortable discussing with anyone other than Maria. “So in three weeks or so I’ll be holding my granddaughter.”

“Yeah,” Maria smiled, not believing it herself. “In three weeks, Mom.”

“That’s incredible and I can’t wait!”

“I’m glad you’re here.” Her daughter leaned against her shoulder. “Sooo glad.”

“So am I,” Amy said as she hugged her tightly. “I was scared to even hope this would ever happen after my application was denied for the final time.”

“Mrs. Deluca, you have to understand-”

“I know, Michael,” she interrupted him. “You can’t accept everyone. I’m aware of that.”

“Because of your body’s difficulty adjusting to our atmosphere there was a very real possibility that it might have killed you.”

“It almost did.”

“Yes. And in spite of the treatments you were given by Khivar’s medics you still came very close to dying.”

“Could we please not talk about how close she came to dying,” Maria shook her head.

He bowed his head slightly. “Of course. Perhaps you would prefer to move to the dining area? Breakfast should be ready to be served very soon.”

“Yeah, and you can meet Liz.”

“Liz? She’s a friend of yours?”

“Yeah, a human.”

“I can’t wait.”

“Me neither,” Maria snorted. “I’m starving!”

“She’s always starving and blames it on our daughter,” Michael said, shaking his head as he smiled at his woman fondly.

“Well,” Amy chuckled, “I could eat something as well.”

“Then let us do so.” He took Maria’s hand and pulled her to her feet with ease. “Liz has assured me she is preparing something very good.”

*****

Maria’s hands were constantly in motion, rubbing soothing patterns over her distended belly while she waited for the others to arrive. She watched Michael as he sorted through a stack of folders, his brow pulled down in a frown of concentration. For the past couple of weeks things had been escalating as Rath increased his attacks and the number of soldiers descending on the outlying villages was so great they were having difficulty containing the situation. Tension was mounting inside the castle, but not all of it was due to what was going on outside of their walls.

The birth of their baby was quickly approaching, and as nerve wracking as the advanced pregnancy was on her, Michael was exhibiting signs of nervous tension as well. She knew it was more than just anticipating the baby’s arrival though. The Royal Four had been working to combine their powers, practicing with Zan’s help in an effort to prepare for the coming battle. As the time drew closer their powers were building, and learning to control and direct them was taking great concentration and effort.

Recently they had experienced a setback when Isabel had a difficult time keeping her focus on the situation, but Zan had determined it was her own pregnancy that was creating the difficulty. They had all been surprised the day the Princess and the Advisor had called a meeting to announce her pregnancy. It was easy to see that it was a good thing for the couple though. The difference in the Princess was becoming more apparent with every passing day even though it was a slow progression. Watching Isabel deal with some of the less enjoyable side effects of pregnancy had made Maria even more grateful for the connection she shared with Michael.

Her attention was pulled away when the doors opened and Zan and Ava were permitted entrance. They had been spending their free time getting reacquainted and she was fascinated by the fact that the connection had allowed him to take possession of another body in order to preserve his spirit in a living shell. He had explained that his understanding of the true connection had led him to believe that even after death it would remain and combined with what Michael’s mother had shared with her, she knew he was right.

She had sensed his anger and frustration when he had shared his search for a suitable body, his desire to spare his mate a future of pain and loneliness driving him to expand his search to the far reaches of space. His own code of morality and ethics had prevented him from simply taking the first available body. He had struggled to locate a body whose owner had lost its battle to remain living, needing one that could be revived once its own soul was no longer inhabiting it. It was easy to see that the connection they shared was helping them find their way and after all they had done to aid in the fight against the enemy she was happy for them.

Alex and Isabel were the next to arrive, the Advisor laden down with scrolls, his tablet, and several heavy tomes. In spite of the load he was carrying he shadowed the Princess’ movements, something that seemed to irritate and amuse the woman, depending on her mood. This evening she was leaning more towards irritation, snapping at him when she turned to say something and he bumped into her.

She couldn’t help but chuckle, knowing from experience just how annoying it was to have someone on your heels constantly. For the past week when Michael wasn’t practicing or in meetings he had started to hover. The only way to keep him calm and focused was by staying close so she had taken to attending the meetings and practices. The closer she got to her due date the more he was hovering but she tried to be patient with him. She smiled and shook her head when she shifted in an effort to find a more comfortable position and the small movement immediately drew his attention.

Her gaze was drawn back to the doors when they opened again to admit the Captain and the Corporal. They were discussing something, debating it back and forth, but there was an ease between them that was tangible. Tess was shaking her head and pointing something out on the tablet he was holding while he did his best to brush her hand aside.

Last to join them was the King and Liz. They had been inseparable since the situation with Jack had been resolved and she felt free to move forward. She had noticed the change in Max after his father passed. There was a difference in his demeanor. He was more authoritative, more accepting of his role, but he seemed more settled now. She waited when his gaze ghosted over her, knowing it would only take another second or two before it returned.

She nodded when he looked at her again. “Yes, I’m bigger today,” she said before he could ask.

Max nodded and crossed the room to stand close to her. “Are you in pain?”

“No, I just feel like I’m gonna explode at any moment,” she joked. Things were already so tense she didn’t want to add worry for her into the mix. The fast growing baby made her belly grow visibly by the day, which meant her skin felt like it was going to tear apart, but Dr. Collon had assured her that everything was developing as expected and the feeling was normal due to the fact that she was 100% human.

“I know what you mean,” Isabel groaned, sitting down in one of the chairs.

“May I?” The King held his hand out close to Maria but didn’t touch yet.

“Sure,” she nodded and as soon as his hand came into contact with her, she could feel an easing of the stretching feeling. Her head snapped up to meet his focused gaze. “What’d you do?”

That got Michael’s attention and he stood to join them quickly. “What did he do?”

“The focus on our joined powers seems to have increased my healing powers,” he explained. “It takes less effort and concentration to do small healing, no immediate connection is required. I just healed the small muscle fibers that were causing her distress. It helped Isabel earlier.”

Maria nodded. “Thanks. I still feel like exploding, but that feeling of being strung to the breaking point is gone now.”

“You just have to bear it a few more days,” Liz sat down next to her friend and smiled encouragingly. “Then she’ll be here with us as well as the little man over there too,” she nodded towards the Princess.

They had learned the other couple would be having a boy over a week ago and as promised, Michael had made sure to bring a seamstress to the castle, who was working hard on getting enough clothes ready before the babies were born.

“Now that we’re all here let’s have a seat and discuss the reason for this meeting,” Max said as he took a seat at one end of the table. He made a brief waving motion, indicating that Maria, Liz and Isabel should remain in their current locations.

Michael’s gaze lingered on Maria for a moment, making sure she was alright before he claimed his seat at the opposite end of the table. The chairs quickly filled as everyone took their places and settled down to business. He disassembled the stack of folders, dividing them into two stacks and sending them down to be distributed.

“Kyle, why don’t you begin,” he said once everyone had a folder.

The Captain nodded. “We’ve been hit hard this past week and we’re struggling to hold the villages at the southern borders of the kingdom. We’ve lost three to the west so far. They were overrun by Rath’s soldiers in spite of our best efforts to hold the positions. We were able to evacuate the villages and relocate the villagers to temporary living quarters, but enemy troops are pushing further into our territory. We did finally run across some good news though.” He nodded at Tess to continue.

“Abacus sent a message less than an hour ago. His unit has detected a weakness in the regiments charged with the siege of our villages to the west.”

“What kind of weakness?” The Commander rested his lower arms on the table and leaned forward to look at them expectantly.

“They’ve moved their injured men to the rear flank. They’re men who are wounded but not so severely that they’re unable to fight. That decision weakens that position.”

“What are our options to strike back?” Max asked.

“They will anticipate an attack against the rear flank,” Michael spoke up.

“Exactly,” Tess agreed. “That’s why we’ll let them believe they’re right and while their focus is distracted...”

Kyle slid the tablet device across the table, showing a map with marked territory. “We’ll attack from this area.”
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

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Double Trouble
Obsessed Roswellian
Posts: 925
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:47 am

Part 96

Postby Double Trouble » Sun Nov 16, 2014 8:46 am

Roswelllostcause: Thanks for reading!

Earth2Mama: Lol, only if it’s arranged by that boy and that girl.

The battle is upon us and everything will be done to protect the knowledge of the Royal babies.

begonia9508: Thanks!

Lol, Alex definitely has his hands full and that’s probably not gonna end with the birth of their child!

Natalie36: Very soon.

keepsmiling7: They’re doing very good.

sarammlover: Lol, the guy’s got his hands full and it’s only beginning. The war is upon us and we’ll see those results soon.




Part 96

Max glanced over the map, trying to make sense of it. He straightened slightly when all of the recent meetings and strategy sessions suddenly brought what he was seeing into a new light. “You’ll strike at the heart of this regiment if you attack from this point.”

Kyle grinned. “Exactly.”

“There are a large number of soldiers attacking from that position.” Their own army was large but even he knew that they were stretched thin at the moment. Their military was spread across such a large area as they tried to contain Rath’s forces. “What will it take to make an attack of this magnitude effective?”

“We believe Rath will be there,” Ava said, searching Max’ and Michael’s eyes. “Pulling your soldiers from other areas to support you there will be a risk, but it’s the best chance we will have to destroy masses of their armies and maybe even their Commander.”

“What makes you think Rath will be there?” Michael asked, his voice taut.

“I contacted Tyran,” Ava said. “He’s one of our men fighting in Rath’s army.”

Max rubbed the back of his neck as he considered her words. “How great is the number of men loyal to you?” he asked as he glanced between her and Zan.

“90 – 100 we think.” Zan straightened. “We have no knowledge of how many have fallen.”

Tess looked up from the tablet. “Are they spread between the regiments?”

“Tyran said most of them have been ordered to the location we are planning to attack.”

“We would need a way to determine their identities,” Kyle mused.

She nodded. “Rath’s soldiers wear a red scarf on their uniform. They could bind it around their right arm.”

“Do you know what frequency their biometrics are on?”

“We can find out.”

Kyle nodded. “If we can determine how many of them are still alive we can use them to strike from the inside.”

“Would they be willing to do that?” Michael’s eyes bored into Zan’s. They all knew that more of those men would end up dead than come out alive.

Zan and Ava exchanged a look. “There is no sacrifice these men would be unwilling to make if it means their families will one day live free.”

“How many soldiers would we be able to order to this location without risking a breakthrough at other areas?” Max stared at the tablet.

“I’d suggest we recall all secondary units that are currently stationed at the outer perimeters of the kingdom. We can’t risk completely removing our border units, but we’ll need a significant number of soldiers to make this attack successful.” Michael studied the map. “We can’t pull any men from the south or the west; they’re the areas that have been hit the hardest. And we definitely can’t pull anyone from the units protecting the Sun Valley.” He sighed and shook his head. “There have been no attacks from the north yet, but the terrain in that direction is difficult to traverse. If we’re to recall troops, we’ll have to recall them from the north.”

“Don’t forget that you have something special to use.” Zan leaned back in his chair, looking at the Royal Four meaningfully. “If you manage to combine your powers the way it is described in the book, you can make up for your lack of men on the field. Let Rath believe he can destroy your unit. He tends to be unfocused when he thinks he’s already won.”

“How’s that gonna work exactly?” Kyle asked. “I mean, they’ll need time to bring their combined powers into alignment or whatever so having them right there on the battlefield is too big a risk.”

“The book says either the four of you have to be together on the field, or one of you takes it all. That would leave the rest of you temporarily powerless.”

“Michael’s powers are the strongest,” Ava said as she leaned back and watched them thoughtfully. “It could be very beneficial to direct all of their powers through him, but if one of them falls in battle it could also cause him to falter at the crucial moment.”

Zan considered that. “True, but the King and Princess can’t be on the field, which gives them protection from being struck down in battle.” His gaze shifted to the Commander’s sister. “It would be a great risk to have you directly on the battlefield.”

“You want me to stay at the castle?” Tess asked, horrified.

“No, not at all,” he denied. “At least one of you needs to be close so that your powers are directed correctly. It would just be better if you are not in the middle of the conflict. You’ll need protection as you harness your powers to transfer them to the Commander. It’ll be your weakest moment.”

She looked at her brother. “We can do that. This territory is full of little caves and valleys.”

“You should have a guard detail assigned for your protection,” Max said.

“We have specially trained men for that,” Michael agreed, glancing at Max and Isabel. “What’s your opinion?” He wouldn’t just give up his powers, even if it was just temporary.

The Princess thought about his question. “It sounds like our best option is to direct our powers to Michael. He has the strongest increase in his powers and we’re not soldiers. We’d be a hindrance on the field. Even if we had training Max is the King and I’m the size of the Santeda Mountains.” She shot a look at Alex, rolling her eyes when he just grinned back at her unrepentantly.

“Twins maybe?” Maria teased. Somehow the other woman seemed to be even bigger than her.

“Not if Alex intends to continue living,” Isabel muttered, but surprisingly there was no heat behind the threat.

Max cleared his throat to bring their attention back to the original theme. “If it will end the war, my sister and I will transfer our powers to the Commander.”

“How long will it take to reach maximum powers after the transfer?” Michael asked Zan.

“As soon as the process is complete you will feel it.”

He frowned. “We’ve been practicing our powers, combining them, and the longer we work on it the less time it’s taking, but we’ve never attempted to project all of them through one of us.”

“Will Michael be able to control that kind of power?” Alex asked. He held a hand up when the Commander’s gaze shot to him. “It’s a valid question, Commander. We’re talking about an excessive amount of power.”

“He will be,” Zan nodded with certainty. “His child makes the connection to all of you possible. He has already adjusted to the true connection. He will know how to deal with it.”

“And once the enemy has been defeated, what happens?” Liz asked curiously. “Will those powers transfer back to each of them or will they somehow... dissipate?”

“They will return to their origin. You will retain your powers.”

“How long do we have before Rath’s troops converge on this point?” Michael asked. Time was of the essence and they had so many things to pull together.

“A few days.” Ava glanced at Michael. “There is something else about the powers. If you should die, we believe Rath would be able to steal those powers because of the similarities in your DNA.”

“We have to ensure the Commander’s safety,” Max said. “He’ll have to remain hidden until our powers have been transferred to him.”

“There will still be a risk, but we have to take it,” Zan said insistently.

“We’re all agreed on that point,” the King nodded.

“I’m going with you,” Kyle looked at Michael.

He shook his head. “You should remain with Tess.”

“No, he’s right, Michael,” she denied.

“Tess, I would prefer someone I trust remain with you.”

“There are other men you trust. Kyle should be there to help you. You’ve fought together, you know each other.”

He growled under his breath, conscious of the quiet chuckle coming from Maria’s direction. “Very well.”

“This will work. He is not involved in the power transfer and can concentrate on the mission,” Max agreed to the plan.

“We’ll need to recall the secondary units from the north and I would suggest drawing a line to the west. Any soldiers beyond that line we should recall. I know it leaves those units without backup, but if we’re going to succeed in our mission we need all available support. They can’t be allowed to reach the castle before we can unleash our weapon on them.”

The King nodded. “We have a plan.”

“Then I would suggest we begin implementing it,” the Commander said.

*****

The day had come.

After less than five hours of sleep a night and infinite amounts of preparations to set the ultimate plan for the final battle, it was time to go to war and end it. Michael felt the rush of blood caused by anticipation flowing through his veins. Finally, he would be able to do again what he had been born to do. The hiding was over and he would take his rightful place as the head of Antar’s Army again.

Leaning against the stone wall of the castle right next to the open door that led out onto a towing stage within the walls of the castle, he listened to his Captain’s words. They were directed at their brave soldiers who had been called back from the north as well as those who belonged to the units Kyle and Tess had been leading.

He knew there was still the possibility that there was another traitor within their ranks, a person who had lived in the shadows and would now be able to send message to their enemies once the big secret was revealed. But Rath wouldn’t be able to change tactics so quickly. After his speech to the men they would head out – ready to take out everyone who stood in their way.

“I know you’re all tired.” Kyle’s raised voice resounded within the castle walls. “We’ve been attacked ceaselessly since Khivar’s death and their assaults are still hitting us hard.”

Murmuring and disbelieving shakes of heads went through the rows of soldiers. He could see the frustration in their faces. Some of them even looked hopeless. “But today we have the opportunity to strike back.”

“How?” someone called back loudly. “The enemy uses Earth technology, wiping our units out without effort. We can no longer win the war with swords.”

“Rath ignores the rules of war,” Kyle admitted, locating the man on the ground. “He uses technology which once was the beginning of the end on my home planet. We will not bow to his pressure. We will fight back with the weapons given to us on this planet.” Before anyone could complain, he lifted a hand and stepped closer to the edge. “There is a word we used on Earth for a remarkable day like this. It was called D-day! A day that is connected to a turn of events or to a single event that changes history. And today we will define the history of Antar.” He straightened and glanced at the door behind him, giving Michael a small nod.

The soldiers on the ground stared at the now silent Captain in confusion. None of them knew why the human man would think there was a chance to win this war today. Another man approached him and their eyes shifted to take in his large silhouette. When he took the last step forward to the edge of the stage and out of the shadows, the crowd beneath his feet made noises of surprise and disbelief.

“The Commander,” some of them hissed.

“No, it’s a shapeshifter,” others said.

Michael took in the shocked faces of his men as they stared up at him. It took a long moment before the truth registered in their eyes and among the rows, men started to straighten and salute. Others mimicked them and everything went completely silent when he saluted back. “Within the last weeks you have all proven your bravery and pride for being soldiers within our kingdom. I know some of you might be angry – angry because we led you to believe I had been killed. There wasn’t a day when I didn’t want to fight with you on the field, but the plan to win this war made it necessary to keep my survival a secret. Ava never attempted to kill me. She’s become an ally and works with us against the enemy.”

He let that information sink in before he continued. “There is a book from Antar’s oldest generations and we’ve been working to translate it, searching for a way to win this war.”

The King, Isabel, Tess, Ava and Zan all lined up next the Commander and Captain. “Together we have found a way and today it will come to completion.”

Max watched as the faces of the soldiers were suddenly filled with new hope. They still had doubts, but he couldn’t blame them. “By the end of today,” he called, “Antar will be a safer place. The war will end and a new era will begin!”

The soldiers took their swords and hit them against their shields in agreement, the combined sound loud and determined.

The Commander as well as Kyle, Tess, Ava and Zan mimicked the gesture before lifting them up into the air as a declaration of combat. “I will not rest until Rath draws his last breath,” Michael shouted.

The men at their feet shouted in reply, inflamed by their leader’s words and determination. Max’s gaze settled on the first rising sun in the distance as he felt the new spirit among their units wash over him. Yes, they would write history today!

*****

The sounds of battle raged, easily audible within the castle walls in spite of the distance that separated those inside from the fighting. Over the past few days their plans had been put into action and they had been embroiled in battle since before the first sun began to peer above the horizon. Rath’s armies were made up of pureblood Antarians, fighting machines that had no problem seeing in the dark, and he had taken advantage of that. Even in the darkest of nights they had vision to a certain extent, but if there had been no moonlight it would’ve kept them at bay until sunrise.

The moons had been nearly full, which had provided Antar’s Army with enough light to meet the enemy on the field of battle. They had a large number of human soldiers in their ranks and Rath was displeased that even after hours of fighting too many of them remained standing. He had withdrawn as the suns rose higher in the sky, removing himself to observe the battlefield and take stock of the situation. He removed the field glasses from his saddlebags and brought them up to his eyes, scanning the sea of fighting men that swarmed the land below.

“Commander!”

He lowered the binoculars and turned his head to look at the man who had called him. “What is it, Gandar?”

“Sir, Lyton has just sent the coordinates for the enemy Commander’s location.”

Rath snatched the communication from the man’s hand, unfolding it and scanning over the information inside. He had been furious when he had learned the Commander was not dead, but after further thought he had decided he was pleased with the turn of events. Since the beginning he had anticipated killing the man himself and now the opportunity was at hand. His lips curled up in a sneer as he nodded to himself. “So he’s finally chosen to make his stand.” He nodded in satisfaction. “It’s as good a place for him to die as any.” He looked at Gandar when he shifted. “What is it?”

“He makes his stand with the human Captain.”

Rath smirked at the way Gandar hissed the last two words. “The Captain is yours to do with as you please, Gandar.” The human was responsible for the death of Gandar’s only son, a man who had served their military well. “I have no personal interest in his death.” He scanned over the coordinates again. “Bring fresh mounts. We’ll need to take to the outskirts of the battle. He’s making his stand on the ridge and it’s high time he was dealt with. You ordered the men to avoid engaging him?”

“The order has been given.”

“We ride immediately, Gandar.”

The large Antarian nodded and hurried to select fresh mounts.

Rath refocused his attention on the ridge, searching for the Commander. The distance was too great to see the man clearly, but he could just make out the figures at the coordinates Lyton had provided. “You die today, Commander.”

*****

Maria paced around her quarters restlessly, unable to sit still for any length of time. The battle was too far away to be seen but she could hear it as clearly as if it were right outside the walls. She turned her head when movement caught her attention and she forced a smile when Liz waved at her. The brunette had been running back and forth between keeping her company and checking on Max for hours and she was sure she had to be exhausted.

“How’s it going?”

The blonde woman groaned and rubbed her lower back. “You’d think as quickly as the pregnancy’s progressed labor would be just as fast.”

Liz snorted at her friend’s wishful thinking. “Where’s the fun in that?” She stopped at the window and looked in the distance, squinting as if that would allow her to see what was happening on the battlefield.

“We’ll talk when it’s your turn.”

She just chuckled and shook her head. “I’m sure we will.” She sobered. “Have you felt anything from Michael?”

“Nothing that tells me anything,” she sighed and went to sip on her water. “He’s nervous, but that isn’t really a surprise, is it?” He had been on edge the past few days and both of them had been uncomfortable about the moment they would have to say good bye.

“No, I guess that’s to be expected. The entire future of the planet and its people rests on the outcome of this battle.”

“Yeah. We’re at the point of all or nothing an’ it’s really scary.”

“It’s gonna work out, Maria. They’ve been practicing for this moment and they’re ready.”

“I know.” It wouldn’t stop her worries though. What if Michael never came back? That thought was unbearable.

“Waiting is the worst though. I just checked on Max and Isabel. They’re preparing to transfer their powers to Michael. Alex said the guard assigned to head the unit with Tess just checked in and she’s doing the same.”

“It’s a good thing their baby is already out so Isabel can focus.” It was still crazy how fast Isabel had gone into labor and even crazier just how fast the child had been born. Dr. Collon had said it was because of the Princess’ hybrid status so she probably wouldn’t experience the same.

“Yeah.” Liz shook her head. “I can see the advantage to being a hybrid, especially when it comes to giving birth. I know, it’s a beautiful thing and all, but there would be a serious advantage to it being over so quickly. And good grief, as much as she’s moving around and giving orders again you’d never know she’d even been pregnant.”

“Yeah, it’s really not fair.” Maria looked down at her own belly. “I hope she behaves until Michael gets back.”

“Guess that’s why she seemed to get bigger than you. Too bad it wasn’t twins, now that would’ve been justice.” She reached over to rub Maria’s belly. “She’s not very active today, is she?”

“No, she’s been pretty quiet so far.”

Liz was trying to remember if that was a sign that a woman was about to go into labor. Dr. Collon had said it could be anytime in the next couple of days, but didn’t labor in first pregnancies tend to move faster? That sounded familiar, but she wasn’t positive it was correct. “Maybe she just senses what’s going on somehow.”

“Yeah, she has a connection to Michael, no doubt.” Maria sighed and looked out the window. “This waiting is nerve wracking.”

“Yeah,” Liz joined her. She rested her hand on her shoulder. “But once they’ve completed their mission the war should be over.”

“It’ll be-” her hand gripped the edge of the armchair in front of her. “Ow.”

Uh-oh, Liz thought. “Maria?”

“I’m good,” she assured her, straightening again, “she probably just kicked.”

“Yeah, probably.” More like probably not.

“You don’t believe it, huh?”

“Oh, I’d like to.” Her brow pulled down in a slight frown. “You know what though? If it is, that’s great, and if not, well, we can handle it. We survived Earth, right?”

“Right.” Maria forced a smile but she didn’t feel it. She wanted Michael to be with her.

“It won’t be long. Zan seemed pretty certain that once all of their powers were transferred to Michael the battle wouldn’t last much longer.”

“Right,” she grimaced when there was another pulling pain that moved from her back over her flanks to her lower belly.

“That wasn’t a kick, was it?”

“No.”

“False labor?”

“I don’t know. Maybe, maybe not.”

“Do you want me to send for Dr. Collon?”

“Let’s wait a moment longer.” She walked around the armchair and sat in it, trying to relax. Please, let it be only false labor, she begged silently.

Liz nodded and went to get her a fresh glass of water, needing something to do. “Did you get a chance to see Michael before he left?” she asked when she returned.

“Yeah,” Maria rubbed her belly to soothe her nerves, “he didn’t have much time, but he came in the middle of the night after the final meeting inside the castle to say goodbye.” It had been one of the hardest things she had ever done.

It was dark in their quarters and he hadn’t bothered to turn on any lights as he maneuvered through the living room into the bedroom. He had felt that she wasn’t sleeping. There was an underlying nervous feeling radiating from her and through the connection he had been aware of it all night while the Royal Four and their allies had taken the final steps to put their plan into action.

Maria sat up when she felt his arrival. Her eyes were used to the darkness from hours of lying in bed without being able to sleep. She made out his silhouette at the foot of the bed, his huge body already dressed in his heavy uniform. “You’re coming to say goodbye,” she whispered.

Michael looked at her, motionless for long moments before he forced himself to walk around the bed. “The Captain and I will depart in an hour. My sister and Ava will follow soon after,” he agreed, sitting down at the edge of the bed lightly. As much as he wanted to act like normal before a battle, he couldn’t suppress the subliminal feeling of worry for her. He needed to be focused on the field and while their connection and the baby helped him to gain the power from all of them, he also knew that for the first time in his life, something… someone was making him weak.

She could feel the emotional distance he was building and she understood that it was necessary to win this last battle. Her insides were scared for him and the possibility that he might never return, but she couldn’t let him see that so openly. If he was strong, then she needed to be even stronger now. “Kill him.” Her words came out steadily. “And then come back to us.”

“I will,” he replied, just as determined. He wouldn’t discuss the other possibility with her. Max knew what to do in case he was killed in action. They had gone over everything necessary if this mission failed.

“Good,” Maria ran a hand over her huge belly, “I’ll need your help when she decides to come out.”

He wanted to see his daughter – badly. The thought of not being able to have even one look at her was unbearable. “You won’t need my help,” he said, resting his hand over hers, which formed a moment of awareness that ran through all three of them. “But I will be back as soon as the mission is completed.”

“I’m looking forward to it.” If there was any way to fast-forward time, she’d do it right now. The next hours or maybe even days were going to be torture. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “I love you. We’ll be here when you return.”

Michael leaned in, resting his hand on the mattress next to her legs to steady his upper body. “I love you too.” He kissed her hard, but brief. “Be strong, Maria. I know you can.” His gaze dropped to her belly and he bent to place a light kiss there as well. “For her we need to bring peace to this planet.”

With that he stood again, straightening his uniform and giving her one last glance before he left their quarters.

That wasn’t a goodbye, she told herself over and over again. He would come back. There was always a way for him to come back to her.

Yet, when the door to their quarters closed, she couldn’t help the feeling of loss and she begged that it was just fear and not a portent.


“Good.” Even though Max was working hard to draw on his powers and transfer them to Michael he was at least safe inside the castle. Michael was keeping his distance on the field, needing their powers to build to their pinnacle before releasing them, but she knew just being out there was dangerous.

The blonde woman felt another wave of pain and her eyes watered. “God Liz, I can’t do this without him.”

“Okay, Maria, no, don’t think that,” Liz insisted as she crouched down in front of Maria and took her hand. “Look, if she’s ready to come into the world, we’re just gonna have to roll with it. Hey,” she lifted the other woman’s chin, “you can do this. You have to do this. Labor could last until he gets back or it might not, but either way you’re gonna have to be brave and do what has to be done.”

She nodded, knowing Liz was right, but she felt helpless in this whole situation. Michael was gone and she had no influence over whether or not he was coming back.

“No negative thoughts, girl. I heard someone say once that negative thoughts would make your baby come out ugly,” she teased, hoping to draw a smile from her friend.

“No way she’s gonna be ugly. Not with Michael and my genes.”

Liz chuckled and nodded. “That’s true. Let’s hope she doesn’t come out with his nose.”

“I won’t complain if she doesn’t come out with his size either.”

“Well, at least you don’t have to worry about big ears.” She grinned and shook her head. “I happen to love Max’s ears, but if his children come out with them I could be in for an interesting time.”

Maria chuckled, but her face quickly turned into a grimace. “Girl, I think it’s time to inform the doc.” She shifted in the armchair and placed one hand on her lower belly. “You just couldn’t wait for your Daddy, could you?”

Liz shook her head and chuckled. “Well, he does have a tendency to be impatient and she is his daughter.” She slipped her feet into her shoes and headed for the door. “I’ll run get the doctor and let him know she’s ready.”

“Okay,” Maria breathed. When Liz was gone she tried to calm her nerves because there was just no way to avoid this. Her daughter had bad timing but she knew she needed to be strong for her new family and worrying about Michael would only be distracting at the moment. Hopefully this wouldn’t somehow draw his focus away from the battle. Maybe through their connection he could sense the arrival of their child as well.
Image


Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

User avatar
Double Trouble
Obsessed Roswellian
Posts: 925
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:47 am

Part 97

Postby Double Trouble » Sun Nov 23, 2014 8:16 am

Roswelllostcause: There’s a lot going on and that’s gonna continue, lol. Thanks!

Earth2Mama: Lol, definitely a point in hybrid biology!

The Antarian Army will bring the battle, and the war to an end as quickly as possible. The Commander definitely wants to be there and he’ll do his best.

Natalie36: Yes, she is!

keepsmiling7: We’ll find out today.

Alien_Friend: Yes, she is!

It’s taken them a long time to get to this point, but they’re finally working together.

It’s probably gonna take an effort, but the Commander has no intention of losing this battle. He fully intends to see Rath pay with his life.

begonia9508: There might be a bit more suspense to come.

Oh, the Commander has every intention of being there.

sarammlover: Lol, right? That question will be answered very soon. Rath has no idea what’s waiting for him.




Part 97

Max stood at the window that looked over the territory that for now remained untouched by the violence that raged on in the distance. He could see signs of it, dust and smoke that rose high in the sky. He could hear it as implausible as it seemed; the clash of swords, the pounding of the horses’ hooves, and the agonized cries of dying men. The battle grew closer as the hours passed, but their armies were doing a good job of preventing them from encroaching too close to the castle.

If they breached the hills in the distance the ground would level out, making it easier for them to make another push to reach the castle. He knew of Michael’s position on the ridge and Tess’s location in the caves above the hills. He and Isabel had remained at the castle and they focused on their powers, allowing them to build to their greatest point, so that when the time was right they could transfer them to Michael.

Alex rested his hands on the edge of the large table that dominated the war room, his eyes constantly scanning the biometric scanners and doing his best to keep up with the battle while keeping an eye on Isabel and Max. He glanced at her, the impossible woman that was now his, and a soft smile graced his features as he watched the way she ever so gently held the baby cradled in her arms.

His son. There was a great sense of pride that washed through him every time those words passed through his thoughts. He had a family again. Oh, Isabel wouldn’t be an easy woman to live with, but he knew she’d be worth all the difficulties. It would take time. Having a child together didn’t magically make their lives perfect, but it was a place to start. He had noticed a settling in her, an easing in some of her more… hmm, spirited behaviors since the pregnancy, and it looked good on her.

“Alex.” Isabel called him, motioning to the baby. The time was drawing near. She could feel her powers building and they were reaching the moment they would need to transfer their powers and she wanted her son safe with his father in case anything went wrong.

Alex nodded and got up, reaching out for his son when she placed him in his arms, carefully and with a steadying hand supporting the baby’s little head.

She stood and leaned over to kiss the baby’s forehead before straightening and meeting Alex’s gaze directly. “Keep him safe.”

“I will,” he promised.

“And Alex?” She waited a moment. “If anything should happen...”

“Nothing will happen. Today we win the war.”

She stared at him for a moment, not seeing a single doubt in his eyes, and she nodded. “Today we win the war.” Their enemies would be destroyed and they would all truly be free.

“Don’t worry about him. We’ll be in his room until you’re ready.”

“It’s not only him I’m concerned about,” she admitted after a pause.

“There’s no need to worry about me.” He moved to escape the room. “You two be safe.”

Max was silent as he listened to the exchange and he waited for the doors to close behind the Advisor before he spoke. “I believe motherhood has changed you, Isabel,” he said quietly.

“I’m responsible for his young life,” she shrugged.

He chuckled and shook his head. “Is that all it is?”

“I don’t know.” She looked out the window. “Being a mother gives my life a sense of purpose.”

“It becomes you.” He shot a sideways glance at her. “You are... bonded to him in some way?” He couldn’t deny that the idea fascinated him. Their relationship with their parents had been so cold and sterile, and the possibility that they weren’t predisposed to have the same thing with their own children gave him hope.

“Yes, we’re connected. I thought it would disappear after the pregnancy, but it hasn’t.”

It had to be such a foreign concept for her. “Do you regret it?”

“No, I don’t.” She bit her lip, wondering how much she should tell her brother. “I was lonely, Max. We were just here because we had a destiny. No one really cared beyond that. And now it’s different. I have my own family.” Her eyes travelled over the maps and some blinking signals. “We need to make sure they’re safe beyond this day.”

He smiled at her determined tone. “Yes, we do.” He clasped his hands loosely behind his back as his gaze returned to the land. “The future will be quite different for our children, Isabel.”

“Different for sure and today will determine how it’s different.”

“If Zan is correct in his understanding of the book and how our powers will work after the transfer our enemies will be destroyed in a single day.”

“I know. Michael’s a strong man. He’ll handle his part of the deal.” The hardest part admittedly.

“He’s the right man for the job. I only hope he doesn’t grow distracted by Rath.”

“He does have a few personal issues involved,” she nodded.

“Yes.” Zan had suggested the Commander could direct his powers once they had been transferred to him, focusing on wiping out their enemies and saving Rath for last if he so desired. “I fear he will have no recourse other than to face Rath directly. I do not believe he will be satisfied unless the enemy Commander dies by his hand.”

“You could be right. But he also has Maria and his child waiting here. Maybe that will help him to make the less risky decision.”

“One can hope.” Knowing what Rath had done to Maria though... somehow he wasn’t too sure Michael would be content to wipe the other man out without facing off against him.

“He has the Captain, Tess, Ava and Zan out there to help him.”

“That’s true.” He closed his eyes and inhaled deeply, drawing his focus inward. “It won’t be much longer.”

“I hope it works.” They had practiced the power transfer but Michael hadn’t been this far away.

“It’ll work. It has to. Tess is in a position to help direct the transfer and hopefully she’ll be able to control it from her location.”

“We need to focus,” Isabel sat in her chair comfortably. Tess was starting to contact her; she could feel it in her head.

Max nodded and moved to take his chair. He could feel the subtle nudge as Tess began to prepare for the transfer.

*****

Tess leaned against the sharp-edged walls of the small cave, eyes closed and her face a mask of concentration. It had taken time to reach Max and Isabel at the castle. They had never done something like this over such a great distance and she had been relieved when she had finally felt both of them replying to her attempts to make contact.

Two guards were posted at the entrance, many more around the territory making sure no one would disturb the progress of the power transfer.

Once she had control of the extra power of the royals that remained in the castle, she forced her concentration in the opposite direction – towards Michael. He was closer so it took her less effort to reach him. “Ready when you are.”

Michael straightened at his place on the ridge, clenching his right hand as he felt the power flooding into him. “It’s time,” he looked at Kyle next to him, his words swallowed by the thunder of the upcoming storm.

“Let’s put an end to this,” the Captain agreed. He stepped closer to the edge of the rim, where they had been hiding to prepare the power transfer. The location allowed them to watch the battle being waged below them. Good men were dying and it was time to put a stop to it. He brought his hands to his mouth and shouted a few Antarian words. “Batada Nola!” He wasn’t sure of the exact meaning, but it was the sign for their own soldiers to prepare for the blast. The walls of the mountains surrounding them worked like one large intensifier when his voice echoed and reached the ears of a few of his men further down, who repeated the phrase until it spread across the entire battlefield.

Kyle watched, stunned as the heavily fighting men stopped in the middle of their sword swinging. Heads were raised in their direction and he was sure he heard surprised sounds when the Commander stepped up next to him.

Michael forced his mind to concentrate on nothing but the powers flooding through to him. His arms were trembling slightly, but he wasn’t worried about losing control. He could do this. He needed to do this for those who wanted to have a safe life on Antar, for his friends, for the Royal Four and for his family. But he also needed to do this for the men who had fallen in this war.

Slowly, he crouched down and placed his hand on the rocks beneath them. He could feel the energy flooding through him and into the ground, down the steep walls of the mountains and into the dusty battlefield. Shockwaves caused rocks to crack, the ground in the valley started to split in places, while cries of agony suddenly filled the air.

Although the Commander’s eyes were closed, he could see every enemy fall. Isabel’s powers infiltrated their brains and made them unable to move; Tess’ led them to believe something that wasn’t there and his powers brought the destroying punch, while Max’ healing powers were laid over their own soldiers as well as their allies to shield them from the destruction.

Kyle scanned the area, awed by the level of destruction he was witnessing. In all honestly, he hadn’t known what exactly to expect when the transfer occurred but now he had a greater understanding of just how powerful the Royal Four were. He shifted, his gaze sweeping the more immediate area around them. Their combined powers would take out most of their enemies but there would still be some who remained after the power surge and they would need to be ready to take them out once they were released from the temporary paralysis that held them rooted to the spot.

The Commander persevered as long as his body allowed him to. The powers were weakening his body and he knew he had to stop before it came to a point where he wouldn’t be able to recover quickly. He couldn’t feel much resistance, but there was something else that started to bother him. A feeling in his chest – a feeling he always associated with Maria. He opened his eyes and let the powers fade, the ground stopped shaking, and he took in some deep breaths while rubbing his chest.

Kyle took in every move Michael made, taking notice of the small gesture and the odd look on his face. “Commander?”

Michael stood, taking in the destruction of their powers. “Something is wrong with Maria. Find out what it is before the storm makes any kind of communication impossible.”

“I’ll send a soldier.” He searched the Commander’s eyes. “Unless you’d prefer I handle it personally?”

“You’re connected to my sister, give her the order. She’s in a safer place.”

Kyle nodded and focused on sending the message to his lover. Making sure the Commander’s woman was safe was of the utmost importance. If anything was wrong it could potentially cause harm to the Commander at worst or distract him at best. “It’s done,” he said after a moment.

Michael nodded and shifted his focus to the edge of the mountain, locking eyes with Ava and Zan. They grabbed their swords and held them up in his direction. “Let’s finish this,” he told his Captain, lifting his sword in the same way as an answer.

The winds increased, filling the air with dust and bits of debris. “The storm’s only gonna get worse.” He nodded at the remaining enemy soldiers who were moving around drunkenly, doing their best to get their bearings. “We’d better hurry, take advantage of their disorientation.”

“If anyone sees Rath-”

“The men know if Rath is spotted they’re to send word. No one else will engage him.”

Where was he, Michael wondered. He hadn’t seen him yet, but he felt that he was close by.

Rath watched the mighty Commander of Antar, anger and hatred seething from every pore. In a single move the man had wiped out an army large enough to rival Antar’s great armies. He had destroyed what was his and he had done so using powers that rightfully belonged to him. Powers that were only possible with the existence of an offspring gained by mating with the human woman that had been stolen from him.

*****

Maria rolled onto her side in attempt to ease the pain while her mother kept moving a cold washcloth over her forehead. The labor pain had been going on for a few hours now, but the doctor kept telling her she wasn’t ready to push yet. He hadn’t been too worried at first, but last time he checked, she had seen his frown and it was starting to worry her.

“Is it supposed to hurt so much?” she groaned weakly.

Amy brushed her daughter’s damp hair back from her sweaty forehead. “Maybe it has something to do with your connection to Michael?”

“God, why couldn’t she wait for him?”

The doctor glanced up from where he stood nearby, constantly monitoring the readouts on the tablet he held. “Perhaps she is,” he murmured thoughtfully.

“Could that be?” Liz got out of her chair and went over to him. “Isabel’s labor went much quicker.”

“The Princess is half-Antarian, isn’t she?” Amy asked. She was still trying to put all of these confusing pieces together.

“Yes, she is,” Doctor Collon agreed. “Her body is stronger than that of a human. It was to be expected that she would go through the process quicker.”

“Score one for alien DNA,” Liz said with a smile. “Maybe once Michael gets back it’ll ease up.”

Maria groaned. “It could be hours or days.”

“It won’t be days.” Tess entered the room and glanced at the doctor after studying Maria for several moments. “She seems to be in a great deal of pain.”

“She’s been in labor for the last five hours,” Liz filled her in. “Why are you here already?”

“We’ve succeeded in leveling most of our enemies. There are very few who remain alive and they’re being dealt with even now.”

Maria lifted her head from the bed. “Is he okay?”

“Yes, as Zan instructed, he was careful not to overextend himself with our combined powers.”

“Why aren’t you with them?” It wasn’t typical for her to return if the battle wasn’t over.

“I was instructed to return to the castle.” She did her best to hide the fact that she didn’t care for being ordered off the field of battle, regardless of the reason. “He was concerned for your welfare.”

Maria groaned when a new contraction forced the air out of her lungs. Her hand sank into the pillow, clenching it tightly while she tried not to scream loud enough to alert the entire castle.

Amy winced. Her poor little girl was suffering through a very painful labor and she hoped it wouldn’t last too much longer. “Isn’t there anything you can give her to help ease the pain?”

“She has already had the amount her body can bear without harming her or the baby,” the doctor said.

“What about Max’ healing powers?” Liz suggested.

Tess shook her head. “She isn’t hurt, they won’t help.”

“I beg to differ,” she muttered under her breath.

“No, you don’t understand. Max can heal hurt muscles, tissue... open or internal wounds. This is nothing like that.”

“I have to agree,” Collon nodded. “The King’s healing powers won’t help her pain. But each of the royals can give her strength through formed connection until the Commander returns.”

Maria shook her head. “No, all of his focus has to remain on the battle. If his concentration slips it could be fatal.”

“If you’re in too much pain, he will feel it as well,” Tess said, stepping closer to the bed.

“You think he can feel this?” She inhaled sharply and her fists squeezed tightly as another wave of pain caused her muscles to clench painfully.

“He didn’t send me on a whim.” She reached out and placed her hand on the human woman’s upper arm.

Amy’s eyes widened when the area around the other woman’s hand started to glow and her daughter’s features began to ease. “Oh my...”

“It won’t last long, but it will help you for now.” Tess nodded to herself.

Maria nodded. “Thank you.” Any little bit helped and she was grateful for it.

The door opened and a worried looking King stepped inside with Isabel. “What’s going on here?”

“Max,” Liz went to him, “you okay?”

He nodded, glancing over her shoulder to the woman in the bed. “We successfully transferred our powers. They are coming back slowly.”

“Maria’s in a lot of pain. It seems like a lot more than human women normally go through.”

“The baby?”

“The baby seems fine if all of Dr. Collon’s monitors are correct.”

“You’re here,” Isabel looked at Tess. “Do you have any news?”

“We were successful. Most of our enemies have fallen. Our men are finishing off those who were left standing.”

“Rath?”

“There have been no reports to indicate he’s been neutralized.”

“You should help him.” Maria shifted to look at Tess.

“What?”

“He wants personal revenge, but you need to make him see that his revenge lies in winning the war and nothing else.”

“Maria, I have witnessed many changes in my brother since you arrived.” Tess shook her head. “Many I would not have believed possible had I not seen them with my own eyes, but to dissuade him from his intentions to see Rath dead by his hand,” she sighed, “even I do not believe that is possible.”

“You need to try.”

The woman didn’t bother trying to make her brother’s mate understand. Maybe it was an Antarian thing, maybe it was a hybrid thing, she didn’t know. She did know it wasn’t gender specific because in her brother’s shoes, if someone were to hurt Kyle, she would see them dead. But she’d been in his shoes, hadn’t she? Ava had killed Kyle and if not for her brother she would’ve killed her where she stood.

“Return to him,” Max stood behind her. “We will be here and take care of her. You are of far better use with him than here right now.”

Tess nodded. “Very well. The storm approaches quickly. I’ll order the soldiers to brace for its impact before I leave.”

“Take a map with you,” Isabel said. “In the war room is one of Zander’s. It reveals hidden paths beyond the castle walls.”

“That will be helpful, thank you.” She hurried from the room, still mulling over Maria’s insistent request that she somehow change Michael’s mind and make him understand that Rath’s death didn’t necessarily have to be at his hand.

*****

“He has been located.”

Michael’s head snapped around, his sharp gaze zeroing in on the seasoned warrior who had just ridden up behind them. Rath. The moment of opportunity had finally presented itself and he felt the rush of hate-fuelled adrenaline as it forced its way through his veins. He had to remind himself to return the soldier’s salute as his mind immediately turned to what was to come next.

“Where is he?”

“He awaits your arrival below.” He turned to point to the west. “He has chosen to make his stand near the Synagal River, which even now rises due to the heavy winds.” He shook his head. “There is only one egress at that location, Commander. The river cannot be crossed, the mountains are – “

“Kyndar, I am aware of the dangers,” Michael interrupted him, his voice cold and controlled. “Rejoin your unit and see to it our enemies do not live to see another sunrise.”

The soldier’s fisted hand impacted with his armor and he quickly took his leave just as the sound of pounding hooves announced another rider. He frowned when he saw the flash of surprise on the Captain’s features before he quickly covered them and his irritation spiked when he saw his sister rein her horse in.

“You were to return to the castle,” he snapped.

“I was there. Maria went into labor and the doctor is positive that your presence will be needed for the baby to arrive.”

“For what purpose? That is why she was left in his care.”

“It’s a guess. She’s been in labor for hours and it’s not moving forward.” Tess swung her leg over the horse and dismounted to face her brother directly. “Michael, you have to get back before the storm makes it impossible to return.”

“Go back before his death? Do you have any idea what foolishness that is? He must die today! Allowing him to continue living risks everything we have worked for and I swore to her he would not walk off of this field.” He shook his head. “No.”

“Kyle and I can take him down.”

“And we’re still here as well,” Zan approached followed by Ava. The storm picked up with each minute and made it hard to see because of the swirling dust.

“Commander... Michael,” Kyle spoke up, hoping to make the man see he was needed more at home than on the battlefield. It was difficult to find the words though because God forbid any man ever do to Tess what Rath had done to Maria, but if it did happen he’d gut the man. Nothing would make him see anything beyond making the animal pay with his life. “Maria needs you. We still don’t have a complete understanding of the connection and your presence could very well be the difference between life and death for her and your child.”

Michael was about to reply when the tight feeling in his chest from earlier returned, yet this time it was a lot stronger. It was like Maria was calling for him and he knew he couldn’t ignore it. As much as he wanted to kill Rath, he knew he would blame himself if he let his hate overrun the possibility of saving her and his daughter.

“Go to her, Commander,” Zan urged him, raising his voice to be heard over the wind that was increasing in intensity. “As the Corporal said, we will take care of Rath.”

Tess squeezed his upper arm. “Go, Michael. You know she’s more important than revenge. If you defeat him, but lose her, would it have really been worth it?”

The need for revenge ran deep, but his need for Maria, for the life they had created, ran deeper and after a moment of indecision he nodded sharply. “He dies on this field today.” He stared at each of them in turn. “His life has always hung in the balance, but it was forfeit the moment he touched her.” He sheathed his sword and reached for the reins of his horse. “I don’t care how he dies, but make certain he is dead.”

“We have a few open accounts with him as well,” Zan nodded.

Michael swung up into the saddle and looked at the man who had spoken. “Then see to it that you close them. Return to the castle as soon as it is finished.” He glanced at the sky. “The storm grows worse with every passing minute.”

He turned his horse and kicked him into motion.
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

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Double Trouble
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Part 98

Postby Double Trouble » Sun Nov 30, 2014 9:19 am

keepsmiling7: Indeed it does, and she welcomes those changes. It’ll be good for her and give her some stability.

There’s more good news coming!

Earth2Mama: You don’t have much longer to wait!

Roswelllostcause: Thanks! Yes, it’s been very good for her and helped her to settle. He’s on his way!

begonia9508: They are pretty impressive!

It will be soon.

Eva: Lol, it is always nice to have several chapters to read at once.

Thanks! The battle is nearly over.

The Commander is on his way to Maria... but will he make it without incident?

Natalie36: The Commander made a decision that was difficult in some ways.

sarammlover: He’s come a long way to reach this point and it says a lot that he listens to the advice of those closest to him. Thanks!

Alien_Friend: It doesn’t really matter who takes Rath down as long as he’s finally seeing his end, right? Well, let’s see who’s going to face him, huh? ;)

The baby really changed Isabel in a very good way. Fascinating, what motherhood can do. Maria will learn all about it now, too!

Well, if little baby girl is going to marry on of the other royal babies has to be seen, lol. But well all know they won’t force their kids to marry a certain person.

Thanks for the compliments and on we go! :)



Part 98

Rath watched and waited. He had observed as the Commander had been successfully talked down by the traitor Ava and the human that now housed Zan’s essence. The rumors had spread quickly once the battle had begun and he had fallen back to watch the man as he fought on the battlefield, easily recognizing the methods he used as he fought. How was it possible? He had no idea, but now he thought perhaps he shouldn’t have killed the sentry that had been teaching Zan to read and speak the old language when he had discovered him.

As soon as the Commander had ridden away he had hurried to reposition himself, preparing to take his final revenge. All he had to do was make sure he couldn’t return to the castle and in spite of all he had lost this day he would win the final battle. The other man was too human and what he had planned would ensure he died a slow and painful death.

He had spent a lifetime fighting for what was rightfully his. In the beginning it had been about recognition and acknowledgement from his parents, his people. He had survived his banishment to Earth and returned to Antar with the belief that he would one day command her militaries from the highest ranking military position only to learn that he was unwanted. He had been privy to a meeting between Khivar and Zander upon his return and there had been no mistaking the old King’s opinion of them. He believed them to be defective and useless. He had become enraged upon learning that Khivar had ensured their survival rather than disposing of them as he had been ordered to do. That day there had been no doubt left in his mind that there would never be acceptance, never be a position waiting for him, and as Khivar had always told him, he would have to take whatever he wanted.

He hadn’t grown up comfortably. He hadn’t known what it was to be kept safe and sheltered, to be cared for and fed, to be loved and wanted. He’d had to claw and fight for his survival but it had taught him something no other training could. Harsh reality had been his greatest teacher and they were lessons that had served him well. There was a completely different set of rules for the unwanted in any society and he had learned them all.

He had learned to kill at a young age. He had learned how great the power of fear and intimidation was. He had quickly learned that survival was just one way for those skills to be useful. Over time he had become adept at his newfound skills and he had begun to search for victims for sport rather than survival. While Zan and Ava had abhorred such senseless violence he had found a kindred spirit in Vilondra. She had enjoyed their games and eventually they had begun to compete against each other to amuse themselves.

Their thirst for blood was rivaled only by their thirst for power and they had quickly become feared by their enemies. He had been driven by the need to destroy the man who wore his face, the man who commanded from his rightful position, since the moment he had learned of his existence. Khivar’s kingdom was now in his hands. He commanded a mighty army. But the bodies of his men lay scattered across the battlefield and very few remained standing after the powerful pulse that had been released by the man he hated above all others.

His lips curled up in a venomous smile when the Commander nearly rode up on top of him, the winds hurling dust into the air at such a pace that it was almost thick enough to cut. He nodded to himself when the man quickly dismounted, slapping his horse’s flank and sending it out of the path of immediate danger.

Michael Guerin. An alien-human hybrid that had held onto a human name as a way to rebel, to avoid conforming. A man who fought side by side with a human, who welcomed other humans into his military. Weakness, he thought disdainfully. He controlled his anger but his hatred was a living thing as he drew his sword and took a step forward.

“When this day is over only one of us will stand.” His hand flexed around the grip in anticipation. “Your armies will answer to me. Your people will accept me as their leader or die.” He hated the dispassionate stare the Commander leveled on him. His lips twitched as he sought his enemy’s weakest point. His body tensed as he prepared for the coming attack. “Your woman will be mine to bed whenever I choose.”

Michael hid his surprise well. Courtesy of the dust in the air he hadn’t seen the enemy Commander approaching until he was right in front of him. The moment he mentioned Maria pure rage ran through his veins and he lifted his hand to fire a short burst of his destructive powers at the man before he dismounted.

Rath quickly reacted, avoiding the worst of the power burst. “I hope that wasn’t your best move, Commander,” he sneered.

“Why don’t you just give up, Rath?” he snarled. “Do you really think killing me will make a difference for you? MY men will never follow you. Your army is destroyed. How do you think you could regain this planet with no one but you still alive?” He took his sword and swung it in front of him a few times to get used to its heavy weight in his hand.

“Michael, Michael, Michael,” he said, shaking his head as he shifted from one foot to the other, sword at the ready. “All I have to do is kill you and take your woman. Your death will ensure I take your place. See, there are two options here, two options that Zan didn’t share with you. Quite possibly because the fool was unaware of them,” he said with narrowed eyes, doing his best to keep them free of the particles of debris flying through the air. “You see, I removed part of the book when I learned of its importance.” He didn’t know all of the specifics but as soon as he could retrieve it from its hidden location he would be able to sort it out. “There is your immediate death, which I myself favor, but that would also kill your unborn child.” He shrugged carelessly. “Which would not be an issue, but as the child is the reason your powers have been amplified, I wouldn’t want that to happen right away. The other option is to keep you from the woman until your child has been born. This option allows you to live for a period of time, but without your presence in close proximity...” he smiled. “Without you there the child will die and your powers will drain to the point that you’ll be left incapacitated. The woman will suffer greatly, but she will still be of use to me.” He shrugged carelessly. “As you see, either way you die, it’s just a matter of timing.”

Michael tried to listen to his words without letting them getting the best of him. He knew he had to kill the other Commander now that he had approached him on his way to Maria. “You forget one thing.” He swung his sword and it clashed against the metal of Rath’s, bringing them face to face. “I’m not the one taking his last breath today.” He concentrated, locking eyes with his enemy to form a kind of connection. The powers of the others were still there, but he knew it would take a lot to of strength to bring them against Rath.

That only made Rath laugh in the Commander’s face. “You have an extreme level of confidence considering the fate of your entire planet rests on the outcome of this battle.” He shoved the other man back and flexed his hand, moving his sword through the air and waiting for the right moment to strike.

“You always were a loose cannon.” Michael took a wide stance again. “I admit, in our job it can be an advantage to blank out everything but the blood thirst, but it’s always allowed you to forget the obvious.”

“The obvious,” he snorted and shook his head. “The only obvious thing here is your inability to accept the truth.”

Michael was sick of words. He took a step forward and brought his sword towards the other man again.

Rath countered the move and the vibrations of the colliding swords reverberated through their arms.

“Tell me,” Michael gritted through his teeth, “how do you want to leave this battlefield? What was your great plan once you killed me?” He used the question to distract the other man enough to bring Isabel’s and Tess’ remaining powers inside of him into focus so he could infiltrate his opponent’s brain.

“I could kill you right away and keep your woman for my pleasure.” He shrugged and brought his sword down again. “Or,” he grunted, “I’ll simply keep you here, locked in battle until your child dies and your woman lies in agony, which will also lead to your death. It’ll just be slower and more painful. Either way, I walk away with your woman.”

“She’d rather kill herself than be with you.” Michael held his sword firmly against the other. “And my people will make sure you never come close enough to even try to touch her.”

“You’ll be at your weakest when your child dies, Commander. And when all of your defenses are stripped I’ll take your powers, your woman, and as soon as she bears my child I’ll take your kingdom.”

He was ready to let the joined powers of the Royal Four flood through him again, but his chest suddenly tightened and he felt his strength leave him. Even if it was just for a few seconds, it was enough to wipe the necessary focus from his mind.

“Even now you weaken!” Rath shouted and swung his sword, snarling under his breath when he only succeeded in minimally wounding the other man. The wind and his armor had prevented him from injuring him deeply enough to be more than superficial.

Michael laughed and got back to his feet, using the time to focus again. Maria needed him. He became more and more aware of it, so he was thankful when he also sensed his sister’s presence getting closer. It would make it easier for him to use their combined power.

He shifted back, pivoting on his left foot as he brought his sword down to clash with the Commander’s. He was growing more agitated the longer this went on. He wasn’t a patient man on the best of days and between the storm and the time it was taking to defeat the other man he was losing what little patience he had.

“Damn it.” Tess saw her brother and Rath from a short distance. He hadn’t made it off the field in time to avoid the enemy and now they stood in front of a whole load of problems. She had just heard about the storm destroying their original route back to the castle and she had already sent a few men with the help of Zander’s map to find a new way back.

“Get him to talk about something,” she muttered to herself. “Distract him while you infiltrate his brain.”

Rath ducked to avoid the sharp blade that sliced through the air close to his right ear. He recovered quickly, regaining his balance and sweeping his own blade through the air as he took several steps back to set up his next point of attack.

“How did it feel to kill Khivar? The only man who had enough mercy to make you the Commander of anything,” Michael asked, circling him.

“Satisfying, but not nearly as satisfying as it will be to watch you die.” He blinked against the dust, careful to keep the other man in his line of sight at all times.

“Tell me how you dreamed of killing me. What are you going to do?”

“There are a great many options, Michael,” he said through gritted teeth. “My personal preference is to see you drawn and quartered. I understand it’s an incredibly painful experience. However, I lack the time it would take to set up such an experiment.” He braced his weight as he swung the blade of his sword, preparing for impact.

“Funny, I had the same idea.” The Commander closed his eyes, preparing for his task. He knew Rath was aiming at him and it was risky, but his best chance to defeat the other man was when he came at him.

There was a moment of hesitation on Rath’s side. He studied the other man, trying to decipher what was going on when his opponent didn’t show any signs of protecting himself from what was to come, but before his rational thoughts could catch up with his rage, he stormed forward, sword held out in front of him.

The combined powers of the Royal Four built to great levels and he could feel the pressure increasing as his body fought to contain it. He needed to maintain it for just a few more seconds. His eyes locked on Rath as he charged him, saw the momentary pause as understanding suddenly dawned on him, and at that moment everything in front of him turned white. A great blinding light that swept out across the land, wiping out what remained of the enemy.

Tess gasped as she witnessed it with her own eyes. At the moment of the blow, the air cleared and she witnessed as every remaining enemy soldier fell to their knees. Her gaze swept back to her bother and she watched as he approached a fallen Rath lying crumpled in front of him.

Kyle blinked in an effort to adjust his vision. “What the hell was that?”

She didn’t get the chance to answer when a young breathless soldier joined them. “Captain, Corporal,” he saluted, gasping.

“What do you have?” Tess asked, taking the map out of his hands.

“The only free pass. It’s narrow, but free for now. We must hu-hurry. The storm-”

Kyle didn’t wait to hear the rest as he started to walk towards his Commander.

Michael used one booted foot to push the dead Commander over onto his back and he cocked his head to one side as he pressed the tip of his sword against his throat. He watched it, waiting to see if the slightest beat would dare to reveal itself. After a moment he sheathed his sword and took a step back. It was finished. Rath was dead.

His Captain approached him, using his own sword and ramming it into the lifeless body, right where the heart was. “Just to be sure,” he said emotionlessly and then turned to the only remaining Commander on Antar. “We need to hurry.”

He turned his head when he heard others approaching and he reached out to accept the reins when Zan led his horse over to him. “What do we know of our path back to the castle?”

“The pass we came by is blocked,” Tess spoke up and spread the map against his horse’s flank and trailed a finger along a line. “This one here is clear for now. It’s the only way that remains open leading back to the castle.” She rolled the map up and shoved it into her brother’s hands. “Go, Michael. We’ll stay here and find shelter with our men. We’ll return when the storm’s over.”

His gaze moved over them and he nodded. “Be safe,” he shouted as he kicked his horse into a dead run.

*****

“Can’t we do anything else to help her?” Amy looked at the doctor and then to the King helplessly. Over the last few hours she had witnessed as Maria went from one contraction to the next without moving the birthing process forward. Her body was so weak now that she kept blacking out during the pain.

“Other than giving her some of our own strength…” Max ran a hand though his hair helplessly. “We’ve already tried everything within our powers.”

“She needs the father of the baby,” Collon said just as helplessly. Her symptoms were the same as those they had witnessed when the Commander had been gone for a long time. Only this time things had worsened at a much faster rate.

The woman in bed groaned weakly and hardly managed to open her eyes to look at Liz, who was holding her hand. “I don’t know how much longer I can hold on, girl.”

“No, Maria, don’t think like that. I know this’s hard, harder than maybe anything else you’ll ever do, but you’ve gotta hang on.”

She lifted her head when something caught her attention. “Do you hear that?”

“It’s the storm,” Liz nodded.

“No,” she denied. “I mean, yeah, the storm can be heard but... the sounds of the battle have died down.”

Her friend frowned and listened closer. “You’re right.”

“If the battle is over the Commander will be returning soon,” Dr. Collon said, the relief in his voice evident.

“Do we have a way to contact him?” Amy asked worriedly.

Dr. Collon scanned the readout when the elevated vital signs suddenly began to drop, not dangerously, but closer to a normal level. “Unless I am mistaken he is closer than expected.”

Max went over to him and studied the device. “I will give her some of my strength again until he arrives.”

Liz watched him as he transferred small amounts of his own strength to Maria, seeing the toll it was taking on him after doing it for the past few hours. He hadn’t once complained or been hesitant to extend himself and she respected him for putting himself out there like that.

“Thank you, King Max,” Amy whispered and placed a hand on the man’s shoulder when he remained sitting after the process to regain his strength.

He nodded quietly and focused on drawing what was left of his strength back to his center. “She should be alright for a while now.” He sincerely hoped Michael would return soon. He didn’t know how many more times he would be able to do this before he began to suffer the effects of this level of healing and energy transference.

Maria reached out to place a hand over his on the edge of the bed. Her throat was too dry to speak, but she looked at him thankfully.

“He’ll be here soon,” he said with a quiet nod to acknowledge her.

“I hope you’re right.”

He chuckled and patted her hand. “Your ability to sense him is slightly compromised by the pain you’re in. The doctor’s indicators show a slight easing in your medical signs. In my opinion that means he’s getting closer.”

“You’re right,” she fisted the sheet beneath her, “I don’t feel anything beyond the pain.”

Dr. Collon made a notation on the tablet when his patient’s pain levels suddenly spiked and sent her vitals to near dangerous levels. His right eyebrow lifted when certain signs began to quickly level out and he scanned them quickly. Heart rate and blood pressure lowered and he saved the information and jerked his head to face the door when it suddenly opened to accompany a racket coming from the hallway.

Michael rushed inside, still shedding his armor. He tossed the last of it aside and kept his sword close as he hurried to Maria’s bedside, kneeling down next to her and reaching up to run his hand over her forehead. “I’m here,” he said unnecessarily.

She had to breathe through another contraction before she was able to focus on him. “Michael,” her relief showed through her voice, “gosh, I’m so glad you’re back. You’re alive.”

“I couldn’t miss her arrival.” He leaned in and pressed a kiss to her lips. “Nor could I leave you to bring her into the world alone.”

“Is everything done?”

“All is as it should be. Lina will come into a world that is no longer under the threat of our enemies.”

She smiled weakly. “Good.”

He threaded his fingers through hers and felt the connection open wider, allowing him to share his strength with her. “Perhaps this will help ease the pain.” He turned his head to look at the doctor. “How long?” He had no idea how much more of this she could endure.

Collon smiled. “I have the feeling we will make much progress now that you are here.”

“This should be over soon then?”

Amy smiled and shook her head. “Oh, this part may be over soon, but the rest is just beginning.”

He glanced up at her and nodded. “What will set things in motion for the child’s arrival?” He had no idea how something that seemed so simple could possibly take so long.

The doctor came to the bed and looked down at Maria. “The mouth of her uterus has to open for the birthing. It hasn’t so far, but I am positive that it will now.”

Max suddenly felt queasy for no reason he could explain. “Perhaps I will step out and consult with Alex.”

Liz chuckled and went over to Maria’s side. “Hey, girl, I think now that your man’s here, we should all leave, huh?”

Maria gripped her friend’s hand tightly. “Thanks for everything, girl.”

“You don’t have to thank me for anything,” she assured her. “You’ve been very brave.”

“Thanks, but I don’t –” Her face contorted into a mask of pain as another contraction tore through her body.

Liz glanced at Michael sympathetically and then went over to the door, leaving like the rest had.

Amy looked down at her daughter with worry. “It’s going to be okay, Maria. You have to be strong for just a while longer.”

“Is it supposed to cause her this much pain?” Michael demanded of the doctor.

“Giving birth is a very painful process for a woman,” Collon agreed and brought the scan device into position to once again measure the opening of her uterus. He begged that he was right and things would move forward now that the father was here.

The Commander leaned forward and brushed her hair back. “She’ll be here soon,” he murmured.

Maria nodded. She had no clue how she would be able to do it because her body was weak, but she knew she had to.

“You’ll do fine.” His thumb brushed over her cheek as he drew her pain-filled gaze to him. He offered her his hand with a reassuring smile. “My strength is yours.”

She smiled weakly and placed her smaller in his, taking comfort from his touch.

Dr. Collon checked his scanner and nodded at his findings. “Maria, it is time to bring your daughter into the world.” He smiled as he set the scanner aside and prepared himself. “Push.”

“Really?” she asked incredulously. Now, after all these hours where the process had seemed to be stuck, suddenly the doctor said it was time?

He smiled, something that he had found himself doing more since her arrival at the castle. “Yes, you’re ready.”

Michael nodded and helped her into the right position. For her, he tried to be calm, but he was nervous as hell and he hoped the pain wouldn’t be too much for her after so long a time. He wanted her to be okay as much as he wanted a healthy daughter.

“They will be fine, Commander. Humans have been giving birth in this manner for thousands of years.” His appraising gaze was locked on his patient. “Alright, Maria, push.”

Amy took her place at her daughter’s other side, easily seeing the panic in her green eyes. “Don’t be scared, sweetie. It’ll take all your strength one more time but it’s necessary.”

“Okay,” Maria whispered and inhaled deeply and started to push as soon as she felt the contraction.

Michael swallowed with difficulty when the strangest, most agonizing pain ripped through his midsection. He did his best to shove it aside so he could concentrate on Maria. He stroked her arm when she fell back against the pillows weakly. “Maria?”

“Excellent progress, Maria,” the doctor said with a nod.

“This’s the only child you’re getting,” she muttered, breathing heavily to deal with the pain.

The Commander’s eyebrows lifted. “We spoke of more than one,” he said as he reached for a damp cloth to wipe her forehead.

“No,” she shook her head, “I am never doing this again. Never, do you hear me!”

“Every woman makes these threats, Michael,” Amy assured him. “Don’t worry, she doesn’t mean half of what she’ll say during labor.”

“Maria, prepare to push again,” the doctor interrupted.

“Okay,” she nodded, looking at her man for reassurance. When he nodded slightly and held her hand tighter she leaned forward again and pushed with the contraction as hard as she could.

“You’re doing great, Maria,” Amy praised her daughter’s efforts.

“Wonderful,” Dr. Collon agreed. “When the next contraction comes I want you to push as hard as you can. Commander,” he looked at the man, “she’s tired and her body is weak so she’ll need your strength now.”

He nodded, not having a clue how she had gone through so much pain while he was gone. She truly was a brave woman and it only made her even more beautiful in his eyes.

The doctor cradled the newborn’s head as he guided her out of the birthing canal. It was an incredibly messy process, he mused as he carefully stood and leaned over to hold her out to the Commander. “If you will take the little one I will finish what must be done.”

Amy chuckled at the man’s horrified gaze and went to get a clean towel. She stood next to Collon and took the baby girl from him, wrapping her in the soft fabric and cleaning her up a little. “Here you go.”

Michael accepted the child, his daughter, and stared down into her wrinkled face as she opened her mouth wide and suddenly emitted the most ear-piercing wail he had ever heard in his life. “She seems well,” he said with a smile as he settled next to Maria and eased the noisy infant into her mother’s arms. “You did well,” he said and kissed her forehead.

Maria looked down at her little baby girl and felt the tears in her eyes as soon as her gaze roamed over the little fisted hands. “Hey, Lina. We’re Mommy and Daddy.”

“She’s so perfect,” he whispered as his fingertips traced over the tiny fingers and toes, counting them over and over.

“Yeah, and she’s not blue.”

“The skin pigment will change as she gets older,” the doctor said. He glanced up at the couple when they stared at him. “No, it was a... joke. The Captain asked me to say that.”

“I’m gonna kill him,” Michael muttered but then chuckled.

“She’s beautiful, isn’t she, Michael?”

“Yes,” he agreed, looking at his woman and brushing the sweaty hair out of her face. “Like you.”

Maria blushed, moved by the sincerity in his tone. “I love you, Michael.”

Michael nodded and leaned back, grabbing the sword he had leaned next to the bed earlier. His hand moved over the long blade once as he remembered all the battles he had fought with it. Peace would settle over Antar now and he wouldn’t need it the same way at the moment.

Amy watched the odd gesture and looked at her daughter with a frown, but Maria seemed to be just as clueless.

He closed his hand around the tip of the blade and concentrated on the metal in his hand. A moment later he placed the sword aside and settled on the bed next to his family again. He looked at the mother of his child with a peaceful expression and swallowed. “I love you, too.”

“Separation anxiety?” she asked with a teasing smile.

He looked at her, confused, but then it registered that she must have been referring to the sword. “No,” he shifted to take her hand, running his thumb over the empty spot on her ring finger.

She’d be happy if he never had to pick up another sword, but she also knew it was as much a part of him as his rank. She glanced down at their daughter when she quieted and her tiny fists waved in the air. “We’re gonna be so happy.”

Michael didn’t take his eyes of off Maria, taking in every change in her expression while so many emotions rattled through her. “Marry me,” he suddenly whispered and opened his other hand to reveal something.

Her eyes widened when she saw the perfect ring lying in his calloused palm. “Michael,” she whispered as she traced the fingertips of her free hand over the warm metal. Her gaze moved to the sword he had picked up a moment ago and then back to the ring. A circle full of promises, forged in the heat of battle, formed from the raw power that flowed through the veins of a man she loved so much it hurt sometimes. “Yes,” she nodded. “Yes, I’ll marry you!”

He leaned forward to kiss her lips, smiling when the little hand of his baby girl settled on his cheek with the movement. “I will always protect you, always make sure you and Lina have a good life from this moment forward,” he whispered. “I swear it to you, Maria.”

“I promise to love you with all I am.” She smiled at him, loving the soft look in his eyes as he looked from her to their daughter and back again. “No one could love you more, Commander. You and Lina, you’re everything to me and I’ll always cherish the both of you.”
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

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Double Trouble
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Epilogue

Postby Double Trouble » Sun Dec 07, 2014 12:31 pm

Natalie36: Thanks for reading!

Earth2Mama: We can only guess it’s a natural reaction, lol.

Chances are good the Commander will eventually get that son.

begonia9508: Lol, isn’t that the truth?!

Thanks!

sarammlover: Rath won’t be getting up off that field, lol. Peace finally settles over the Kingdom of Antar. Thanks!

Roswelllostcause: Thanks! Finally peace has come!

keepsmiling7: Yes, it’s the best possible news!

Lol, apparently she won’t.

Yep, peace is a good thing for the weddings to come.

Eva: It’s a neverending circle, and it would appear that the next cycle will be one of peace.

Ms_BuffyAnneSummers: There are marriages to come.

Alien_Friend: There was never any real question that Michael would be the one to take Rath down. The fact that he was willing to set his vengeance aside to be there for Maria and their daughter spoke volumes though.

Thanks, it’s taken a long time for peace to come to Antar and hopefully it will reign for a long time.

Max is very open and willing to do what he can to help, especially those who mean something to him.




Epilogue

Ava walked beside Zan, conscious of the armed soldiers escorting them at the King’s request. They didn’t know why they had been summoned or what was waiting for them, and while nothing about their demeanor spoke of nervousness or tension, they were both fully aware of the other’s trepidation.

The sentries posted at the heavy double doors saluted before pushing the doors inward, standing their post until the escorted couple had entered. Once the King had acknowledged their presence the sentries and soldiers left the room, closing the doors behind them.

“Please be seated,” Max said as he stood and gestured to the remaining chairs across from him. He settled back into his seat once the couple had eased into their chairs. He could sense their wariness and he was aware of the way their eyes so subtly searched the room for possible exits. It was something he had witnessed the Commander doing often.

Ava searched the faces of the people assembled around the table, recognizing almost all of them. Her gaze rested on the silent Antarian man seated at one end of the table. He was older than everyone else there and somehow she felt he was somehow important. There were several other Antarians stationed around the room and she was certain they were personal guards to the Royal Four and their mates.

“How have you found your stay here?” Max asked finally.

“It has been acceptable,” Zan answered.

“Your people have been welcoming,” Ava spoke up as she reached over to place a calming hand on her mate’s thigh. She could feel the restlessness in him. He was accustomed to holding a position of authority and finding himself as just another subject of Zander’s Kingdom was making him very uncomfortable.

Max glanced at his second in command and continued when he received a nod of encouragement in response. “We have discussed several options and we believe we may have found an acceptable solution. Your assistance has been a very valuable asset and we would like to continue that relationship.”

“To what end?” Zan asked.

“You were a leader among your people, revered and respected by those loyal to your cause.”

“A cause that directly impacted the outcome of the war,” Michael added.

“With Khivar, Vilondra, Rath and their armies defeated we find ourselves with a great territorial expansion. Antar is growing, but we must remain cautious. Growth is necessary but we must be able to sustain it.”

“There are many ways to increase our sustainability.”

“Zan has spent much time studying this subject and his knowledge has increased with his possession of this new body.” Ava shot an apologetic glance at Liz and was surprised to see the small smile and nod she received in return.

“Jack was raised by his grandfather on a farm far from the nearest city. He had a great love for the earth and even when there were food and water shortages he knew how to survive. If you were able to retain that knowledge it’ll serve you well,” Liz said with an accepting smile.

Zan nodded his head in her direction before speaking again, his gaze on the King. “Are you in need of such information?” Was that why they had been summoned to this meeting?

“I’m certain it will be invaluable to all of us if you were to share that knowledge, but no, that was not the reason for this meeting,” Max denied. “We requested your presence to discuss another matter entirely.”

He frowned as he glanced at Ava, his impatience easing when she rubbed his thigh. He covered her hand and exhaled slowly. “What matter?”

“As I stated earlier, with our enemies defeated our territory has expanded to include all that they held in their possession.”

Zan’s gaze moved around the table. “The Commander will be taking possession of the castle now that Khivar is dead?”

“We discussed that option, but we believe it is best for us to remain as we are. The Commander is far from being a diplomat.”

“And the King is far from being a soldier,” Michael muttered dryly.

“Our strength lies in our ability to provide both of these things to our people so our decision is to maintain our current positions. However, the castle and territory that Khivar held is a vital position and we believe it should be occupied by a friendly ally.” He gestured around the table. “We’ve discussed it at great length and as you were engineered to be a leader and you possess the qualities of both soldier and diplomat, we would like to see you and Ava take your rightful place on the throne.”

“You wish for us to rule over that territory?”

“We feel you are the rightful ruler. You have soldiers who are loyal to you and while they are not a great number, it will provide you with the beginnings of an army.”

“We would also be willing to aid in building your army and your kingdom,” Michael said. “Khivar did nothing to maintain the villages there and he knew nothing about agriculture so living conditions are poor and the ground will need much work before it will become productive, but between your knowledge and our support we believe that can be turned around.”

“Our two kingdoms would benefit from an alliance,” Tess spoke up. “We would have many advantages by combining our forces.”

Zan looked at Ava and the right side of his mouth lifted in a little smile. He had believed for so long that their mission was the right one and this was just further proof that he had been correct. Their future had been secured and peace had successfully been brought to the land. Their people and the planet would continue to grow, but it would grow and flourish under the leadership of their united kingdoms.

There would be a considerable amount of work to be done but he was eager to begin its undertaking. It would be rewarding. Their people were free of the tyrant they had lived under for so long and while he knew it would take a great deal of time, he also knew they had the opportunity to create positive change for the future.

“We accept your offer.” He cleared his throat slightly. “I can be diplomatic, but there is much I do not know about Antarian law,” he squeezed Ava’s hand, “and as this is to be a partnership we will need a greater understanding of certain things.”

Max nodded at Santar and the man stood briefly, greeting the other man with a slight bow. “This is Santar. He was Father’s Advisor for many seasons and with your permission he will act as your Advisor until such point as you choose someone to hold that position. Should you decide you would prefer that Santar maintain that position he is willing to do so.”

Zan studied the Advisor for a moment, sensing a quiet sadness in the man. Loss, he realized. He had spent many seasons with the old King and he had been fond of him. A rare occurrence in a full-blooded Antarian. “I would be pleased to accept Santar as my Advisor.”

“Captain Valenti will act as liaison between our kingdoms. He and Tess will provide you with any help you require as you begin rebuilding. I am certain there will be a need for medical aid, agricultural development, and other needs where livestock, water, and other necessities are concerned. Now that peace inhabits the land we are in a position to provide such aid.” He motioned to Michael. “The Commander will oversee any help you might need building your army whether it is recruiting men, training them, or whatever else goes into that endeavor.”

Zan chuckled. “You definitely aren’t a military man.”

“And what of the Princess?” Ava asked as she glanced at Isabel. At first she had expected to hate the Commander and the Princess on sight, for no reason other than their resemblance to Rath and Lonnie, but while their features were the same that was where the similarities ended. “You have jobs lined up for everyone else, what of her?”

“My sister,” Max said with a smile. “Isabel will provide help in the area of education.” He nodded at the others. “Maria can also aid in that area, Liz can provide information in regard to food and nutrition, and Alex will coordinate with Santar and aid you in any requests you have for Earth personnel.”

“And what of you?”

He met her challenging gaze, seeing the teasing there. “As for myself, I believe Zan and I will have much work to do as we begin our new venture. I foresee many meetings in our future.”

Zan chuckled when she rolled her eyes. “I would concur.”

“And now that we’ve succeeded in outlining everyone else’s duties, what of yours, Ava?”

She shook her head at Max’s question. “I will do as I have always done.”

“What is that?”

“She will be at my side,” Zan said with a quiet smile as he brought their joined hands up to kiss her knuckles. Lover, warrior, companion, she was all of those and more.

They spent the rest of the afternoon going over potential problems and outlining plans, talking about options and determining a timeline for certain goals. By the time the meeting ended and they went their separate ways they all felt that they had established an alliance that would work to the benefit of their people and their way of life.

*****

Liz fidgeted in the small lonely room, picking nervously at the heavy dress she was wearing.

So it had finally come: Her wedding day! She got up from her seat, pacing from wall to wall nervously. As a kid she had always pictured this day. Her family had been around, she had worn a white dress with a big mint green ribbon around the waist and her soon-to-be handsome dark-haired husband had waited for her with a matching green tie at the altar.

She stopped in front of the long mirror and stared at her reflection. There wasn’t much left from the original version of her wedding day. The dress she wore was the traditional robe of Antar’s Queen – red, with a high collar that closed around her neck. It was long-sleeved and tight until it hit her hips, from there the solid fabric spread out in layers, cascading into a long train at the back. Her hair was wound up to the top of her head at the sides, but fell down at the back of her neck in shiny waves.

They had travelled almost half a day to reach the location for the wedding, but she hadn’t minded. Peace had finally fallen over Antar and she was already looking forward to the trips she and Max would take once she was the official Queen. They would go around the planet to visit their people and he had promised to show her all the beautiful sights of his home planet.

Her eyes flew to the small window when she heard the cheering crowd outside. The traditional wedding arena reminded her of the huge amphitheatre of the Romans where gladiator fights had been staged. Thousands of people sat in the rows, waiting for the wedding of the Royal Four. She smiled to herself and walked closer to the window, watching as they came out of different entrances below the spectator platforms. Max was the first to step into the middle of the arena, wearing the traditional festive wedding robe of Antar’s King. His shirt was the same red as her dress, while his pants and coat were black and showed different emblems of royalty. Some of my dream did come true, she thought and a weird feeling of peace settled over her. Max was handsome and dark-haired and he was the man who would make her happy until her life ended.

Michael stepped out next and took his place next to the King. The highly decorated military uniform seemed to be heavy, but he wore it with pride.

Isabel and Tess came out from the left and right at the same time. Their long Earth-traditional white dresses slid over the stony ground gently as they strode to the middle and stopped on either side of their brothers.

The Royal Four lifted their hands to greet their people and the cheering got louder before it died down completely. Highly ranked military Antarian and human men walked in, surrounding the inner circle of the arena and building an alley from the four little rooms where Maria, Kyle, Alex and she were waiting to join their mates. They lifted their swords and held them all accurately and identically, shouting a few foreign words.

Suddenly the door was opened and one of the King’s personal guards showed in the frame. “It is time.”

She nodded and looked at her reflection once more before slowly walking over to him. “I’m ready.” The man nodded and held the door open for her.

I can do this, she told herself and stepped out into the sunlight, immediately feeling the heat, but thankfully the fabric of the dress was created from a material that helped to cool rather than heat her body. They had gone over the ceremony thousands of times yet she had a hard time remembering everything because she was overwhelmed by the masses of people and the atmosphere. She knew she had to walk to a marked spot about three yards away from her room and Liz was relieved when she made it out onto the ground. Stopping right over it, she lifted her gaze and found Max’ at the end of the alley constructed by men with swords.

It didn’t take long until she saw out of the corner of her eye Maria stepping up next to her. Her dress had a similar cut like hers, but the color was a deep blue that matched her fiancé’s uniform.

Kyle and Alex were the last to join them, both wearing dark brown suits with gold vests and white dress shirts beneath.

Again, words were shouted by the military men and they knew it was their signal to begin their journey towards the arena. The crowd shouted excitedly again and Liz drew in a shaky breath before she took the first step forward, knowing that Maria would follow right behind her, then Alex and Kyle.

The way seemed to be longer than it looked, but she knew it could be blamed on her nervousness as well as the fact that she was only allowed to take tiny slow steps. When she finally reached the arena, her heartbeat reached a wild level and she was sure everyone could see it through the tight fabric of her dress. Max’ gaze was locked on hers, a small smile playing around his lips when she stopped directly across from him.

You’re beautiful, Queen Liz, he told her through their connection – a connection they had built before the wedding as Antarian tradition required and one he had never been willing to share with Tess.

I’m nervous, I think I’m gonna pee my pants, she sent back and as soon as she saw his confused expression, her nerves relaxed and she chuckled. Don’t worry, just another human expression. I’m good, just nervous to finally be marrying you.

There is no reason to be nervous, he assured her without words. I love you and you are the woman I want to make my Queen without a single doubt.

I want to be yours without a single doubt. I know you’ll teach me to be a true Queen.

Max nodded slightly. Not long ago he hadn’t even known how to be Antar’s King, but now his task was all too clear and he was ready to fulfil his destiny. He was the head of two joined nations and it only fit for his Queen to be human.

Maria carefully walked across the arena next and stopped next to Liz, staring into the deep brown eyes of her man. The crowd had fallen silent once more and suddenly the squeal of a baby echoed through the place.

The left corner of Michael’s lips lifted in a lopsided smirk when he recognized his daughter’s sounds. He knew she was safe with Amy, but no one could keep little Lina quiet for too long. She’s not happy being separated from Mommy all day.

Oh please, she’s happy to ignore me whenever you’re in the room, Dad.


He knew what his fiancé was referring to. There was a strong bond between him and Lina – sometimes he thought he could read her little mind as well. He knew what she wanted before she even started to cry. Not when she’s hungry.

She bit her cheek to keep from laughing. Well, feeding her was the only thing he couldn’t do yet.

You’re a beautiful woman, Maria. His transferred thoughts sobered her again. He had always wondered where his place would be if they ever managed to bring peace to their planet and now he knew the answer. I love you and our daughter and all the other children we’re going to have.

Maria’s heart warmed at the thought. They would have more children for sure and it would be a totally different little army for him to control.

Alex took his place in front of Isabel next, smiling when she rolled her eyes at his thoughts. I knew you’d look good in white.

I look good in everything, she made clear, but this thing is uncomfortable!

As soon as Kyle walked into the arena, the military men closed the circle around them and brought their swords to the ground with the tips resting in front of them.

I know you hate this traditional stuff, but just remember our wedding night, he wiggled his eyebrows at Tess.

She smirked and started to stretch her arms out towards him, hands palms up.

Everyone else in her row did the same and everyone on the opposite placed their hands in those of the Royal Four. Their shared connection would soon begin to display for the spectators and at the end of the ceremony they would exchange their wedding rings along with their spoken vows.

The eight of them had agreed on a wedding with mixed elements of both cultures. Now that the old ruling parts were either dead or discharged, it was their time to create a new era. The wedding ceremony displayed the way they planned to reign over the planet. They knew the possibilities were endless from here on out and with the knowledge of two different nations they would try to create something bigger and better.

Both nations would find a place to live – a place they could all call a safe home.


~ The End ~




A/N: Double Empire has come to an end, but we've already begun working on a new fic that we'll begin posting some time after the first of the year. In the meantime we've been working on a little holiday cheer that we'll begin posting next weekend. As usual, while we're posting our Christmas fic we'll put our other fic TIC TAC on hiatus until it's completed posting.
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas


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