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 80

Post by Double Trouble » Sun Jul 27, 2014 3:46 am

Natalie36: Only time will tell... the vision wasn’t that specific.

keepsmiling7: Lol, chances are good he’ll never forget a birthday where Maria’s concerned.

And they will be making an appearance today.

Earth2Mama: We’ll know soon.

Eva: Lol, yeah, no doubt!

There is definitely no time to waste and Ava won’t wait long to make contact.

begonia9508: Thanks!

Oh, Max will open up at his own pace. And he’s a quick learner. We don’t think Liz will be disappointed.

A pregnancy is a possibility.

sarammlover: Lol, well, we’ll find out soon enough if she’s pregnant. Supersonic sperm, that one had us rolling!

Roswelllostcause: Indeed they are! Thanks!




Part 80

A wave of protectiveness washed over Michael in response to the vision, even more intense than normal where she was concerned. He didn’t know exactly what the visions were foretelling, but he believed their message could be inferred with a certain amount of accuracy. His hand dropped to cover hers where it now rested on her belly and he stared at the flat expanse of flesh for several long moments.

“Prognostication or proof of what is?” he mused aloud as he considered the possibilities.

She smiled at the look on his face, an expression somewhere between wonder and confusion as he tried to put the pieces together. “I think we’ll know when it happens.” She didn’t know if she was ready to face a pregnancy so soon, but if it were to occur... when it occurred, she corrected herself silently, she knew the connection would somehow make sure she was prepared to deal with it.

“Indeed.” He relaxed against the tub and held her against him, his hand shifting to trace random patterns over her back. The vision had focused on her and he wondered what the disembodied voice had meant when it had said, “It’s time.” There had been no suggestion of the war in the background and her face and demeanor had been absolutely radiant, awash with a contentment that had been as obvious as her pregnant state. Was the war over in the vision’s foretelling?

“I hope so,” Maria sighed contentedly.

His eyebrow quirked when she picked up on his thoughts with such ease. “As do I,” he rumbled in agreement and worked to protect his next thoughts. But as much as he wanted the war to end, wanted the senseless death and destruction to end, he wondered what he would do once it had. He had been created to be a warrior, to lead their armies into battle, and to free their kingdom from the threat Khivar and his forces posed. What would become of him once that mission had been accomplished?

“You think it would make a difference if it was a boy or a girl?” Maria broke the silence after a long but comfortable while.

“A difference? Do you believe a woman could command Antar’s armies one day?”

She chuckled. “Was that horror in your voice?”

“What? No,” he denied. “A woman has never commanded our armies.” What could he possibly teach a girl? Not that he would love her any less, but he was a military man with that mindset. Of course, if they were to have a girl, she would carry his genes as well and he was the Commander of Antar.

“You think he or she would have a good life?”

“They will be of royal blood and therefore well provided for. Their lives will be very good indeed.” He nodded when he realized her question when deeper than the obvious. “Our child, our children, we will strive to give them the life they deserve to have.”

“They will be loved,” she agreed.

“Then they will have the best of both our worlds, will they not?”

She lifted her head and looked at him while her hand threaded through his hair. “They will have the best of both of us.”

“Then there can be no doubt they will have good lives.”

She shivered lightly. “Would ya warm up the water again, great Commander?” she teased.

He smirked slightly before placing his hand over the water, using his powers to increase the warmth. “Satisfactory?”

“Yeah,” she kissed his lips lightly. “I love that you can do that.”

“Do you?”

“Yeah. Very practical.”

“Practical is good.” He ran his forefinger over her cheek, pausing at her chin to tip it up so he could give her a kiss.

“Yeah,” she kissed him back passionately.

“Perhaps it is time to take this tradition to a new location,” he murmured.

“I’m good with that,” Maria agreed quietly.

He nodded and kissed her once more before helping her to stand.

“You know what would be awesome?” She took his offered hand and stepped out of the tub. “If you could us dry us with one wave of your hand.”

“And such a feat would be considered... awesome?” He chuckled as he got up and out of the tub to stand before her. He flexed his right hand before waving it through the air in front of her, leaving her skin free of the water.

“Thanks,” she smiled and watched as he dried himself off.

Michael finished by running a hand through his hair while his gaze ran over her appreciatively. He picked her up in his arms and carried her into the bedroom, pausing next to the bed and kissing her again. “You have enjoyed your birthday?”

“Very much. It was perfect. Thank you, Michael.”

He smiled, pleased that his plans had worked out so well. “I think it’s quite possible that we may have to incorporate this celebration into our ways.” He wondered how different life would be for their children; growing up with the traditions Maria had known, growing up knowing they were wanted rather than the knowledge that their existence was a matter of strategic planning. Their children wouldn’t have the strict unemotional upbringing Antarian children received.

“Yeah? Any chance we can find out about your birthday?”

He shook his head and placed her on the bed, following her down and propping himself up on his elbow next to her. “I don’t believe so. On Antar the children emerge from the incubation pods based upon certain factors that influence their readiness. Much of that depends upon the strength of their parents’ genetics. It determines the time needed to allow them to reach a certain mental maturity so that when they emerge they already possess specific knowledge. Because our DNA was half-human, that date was difficult to determine, so I would imagine the best we could do is to estimate the date I emerged.”

“That’s as close as we’ll come to finding out about your birthday,” she agreed and trailed her hand over his chest. She was sure she would never get enough of looking at his body. “Do you age like humans or is there a difference?”

“From my understanding those changes will occur in a similar manner to that of humans due to our genetic makeup being half human. Antarians who are pure-blooded age in a slower manner. Not significantly slower, but there is a more gradual aging rate for pure bloods.”

“It’s really amazing how our races are mixed up. I just wish there was more acceptance on both sides.”

“There are those who have accepted the situation.” He shrugged one shoulder. “It is impossible to force people to accept it.”

“Are there any natural born kids between Antarians and Humans?”

“It’s possible, although it’s most likely to occur between an Antarian male and a Human female. Given the sparse population of humans on Antar, there are not as many mixed couples.” He gave a short bark of laughter. “I suppose, given the Royal Four’s sudden involvement with humans, we’ve just increased that number greatly.”

“I’d like to think so,” she laughed and snuggled closer against him.

He let the silence linger for a few moments before he spoke again. “Maria, do you feel safe? I mean, when the time comes for you to give birth to our child. I realize there is a shortage of medical personnel trained in human anatomy and conditions, but we do have a healer should a situation arise that our doctors are unfamiliar with.”

Did she feel safe? Not by all meanings, but giving birth wasn’t her greatest worry. Sure, she expected it to be very painful but it was more what happened afterwards that she feared. What if someone came and took her baby? “I don’t worry about the process of giving birth. Not yet anyway. “

“If anyone ever seeks to take our children or to harm them in any manner, they will pay for that mistake with their lives,” he swore fiercely.

She noticed the way his hand had automatically spread wide over her belly and she swallowed. Was it already happening? So soon?

“I guess if any child in this world or the other can feel safe then it should be yours, Commander.”

“I will not hesitate to cut down anyone who would ever intend to harm you or our children. Know that.”

“I know,” she kissed his chest and sighed.

His thumb stroked over the soft skin of her belly and he couldn’t help but see the image of her from the earlier vision. That image of her, heavy with his child, her eyes shining with happiness, it had taken his breath away. He didn’t know when it would happen, but as much as he was a man who believed and dealt in facts, he believed the vision was true.

Maria placed one hand over his as she was drawn back to the earlier vision as well. ‘It’s time’... a voice had said so clearly and she couldn’t help but feel like she had been told she was going to be pregnant very soon.

“Would you welcome a pregnancy so soon?” he asked quietly.

“I think whatever happens, our connection will have me prepared.”

But would she want it if not for the connection? He didn’t want it to happen if they were only appeasing the connection. “Before you the idea of creating a child was something I saw as a duty, and if my intended mate was to be Isabel, that is all it would have been. Neither of us would have taken any joy in the procedure and it’s quite likely I would’ve spent as much time as possible in the field to avoid the situation. With my rank and position it will be necessary to be in the field, but I look forward to spending time with you and our children.”

“Me too.” She knew she would love to see him with their child. Holding it, taking care of it, loving it.

His arm slipped over her waist and he pulled her close as he shifted to settle more comfortably in the bed. “It sounds like it’ll be quite the adventure.”

“No doubt,” she agreed.

He chuckled as a thought occurred to him. “The castle will never be the same.”

“No it won’t. It would be nice to have more of them around.”

“I have no doubt they’ll have your inquisitive nature.” And rather than the dry, unemotionless conversations that filled the walls of the castle they would bring light and laughter, forever changing that.

“Maybe the King can be convinced to have some too. Or how about your sister and the Captain?” She wasn’t sure about Isabel.

He snorted when she didn’t mention the King’s sister. Somehow, even in his wildest imaginings, he couldn’t imagine the woman with a child. “Max, yes, it would take little to convince him if the woman bearing those children is his cook. He’s quite fascinated with her. And yes, I believe my sister and the Captain would probably take that path as well.”

Maria smiled at the lovely image of having children around who laughed and played together. She pictured her and Liz out in the gardens, talking while the babies slept peacefully in their arms.

“Do you believe she’s capable of maintaining that type of relationship with Max?” he asked curiously.

“I think she could be.”

“She seems to keep a certain distance between them.” He frowned as he tried to put the right words together to express himself. “She obviously enjoys his company, she takes great pleasure in teasing him, but there’s something there that...” he shook his head.

“You can’t hold it against her that she’s holding back. He’s promised to another woman and she’s just scared it’s not gonna last.”

“I suppose that is a reasonable fear for a woman to have,” he decided after a moment. “Max has never taken interest in any woman in the time that we’ve been here. I can’t remember if the same was true on Earth, but he’s been very guarded since our return. With his position he has a certain freedom to choose any woman he wants to be with, yet he’s never requested one.”

“He strikes me as more of the romantic type,” she agreed. It wasn’t really a secret that the Commander had made lots of use of his... freedom to choose in the past, but she trusted him and knew there was no way he’d fall back on those old habits now.

“I’m sure once he has an understanding of sex Liz will enjoy her new role as the King’s consort.”

“I don’t think she isn’t enjoying it already. It’s just a risky thing to do in a situation like this,” she shrugged and rolled over to lie on her back. “Same with us, I guess, but the connection doesn’t allow much of a choice anyway.”

His brow pulled down in a frown. “We will find a way to terminate the arranged marriages. Not only is it archaic, it is unreasonable to dictate who your child will marry before they’ve even taken their first breath.”

“It is.”

Of course, thinking about the possibility of having a daughter, he could see how a father might believe it to be a good idea. “The Advisor is still looking into the matter.”

She reached over and squeezed his hand. “I know.”

“The answer may lie in the book Khivar has.” He sighed. “We just have to locate it.”

“I really don’t wanna think about this tonight,” she shook her head and snuggled closer to him. So many problems and no solutions, so many questions and no answers. It was driving her insane.

He gave in to her quiet demand and simply held her close. There was plenty of time to consider what secrets the books contained. Tonight was her night and he didn’t want it disturbed if at all possible.

*****

Max waited until Rykar had cleared his quarters for entry and then motioned for Liz to enter first. He had dismissed his guards for the evening, but Rykar was never far away, and while Antarians needed significantly less sleep than humans, he wondered when the man slept. “I do not wish to be disturbed before morning. Unless there is threat of imminent danger, no one is to approach this door.”

Rykar’s eyes remained locked on a point straight ahead as his huge fist came up to strike his chest. “As you wish, Sire.”

“Perhaps you should retire for the evening, Rykar.”

“I respectfully decline your offer,” the man rumbled, even though they both knew it hadn’t been a suggestion. “You’ve dismissed your personal detail and while there is no imminent threat within the castle walls that we are aware of, your safety ranks at the highest level. No one, friend or foe, will pass this door on my watch.”

“Very well.”

Rykar’s gaze shifted for just a moment, seeing the uncertainty in his charge. When he had accepted his duty and sworn a blood oath to protect the young King, he had worked hard to learn human nature and characteristics. They were emotional creatures for certain, ruled by feelings and emotions rather than rational thought. Antarians, by nature, were just the opposite, and over the years as he’d watched the boy grow into a man, he’d witnessed his inner struggles as he tried to understand who he was and where he belonged. He was aware of the procedures he had been subjected to in an effort to quell his memories and to subdue the human side and though he felt it barbaric it had been his duty to protect the boy, not question the decisions of his parents.

He had watched as the boy withdrew into himself, a stranger to his own thoughts and actions. It wasn’t his place to speak up, to question, to reassure, or to be a comrade. No, that wasn’t right. He searched the vast storehouse of his own memory to locate the word he wanted. Friend, that was it. As an Antarian soldier he had comrades, he’d had charges in the past, but based on his understanding of the word friend, he had never had one. It wasn’t his place to be the King’s friend.

At times he had provided a guiding hand if the young King requested his advice, but always, he had maintained the professional distance required of his position. He had watched as the lonely boy grew into a lonely man, and it had helped him to understand on those occasions when Max would slip away from him, discovering the hidden passageways and taking small pleasure in making an escape from a life he hadn’t asked for and didn’t really want.

He had noticed the changes taking place in his charge the moment he had been introduced to the new kitchen staff. Something in the King had started to come to life. As a man, Antarian or not, Rykar understood what it was that was fighting so hard to be freed. He’d had many women before his bonding ceremony with Calan, but his charge had never indulged in any such activities. There had simply been no interest, which he hadn’t understood, but watching the King with the human woman, he knew that had changed.

He had two sons of his own, one a farmer and one a soldier proudly serving in Antar’s great army. Many times over the years he had advised them on things that they needed to know, but often didn’t want to hear. On occasion, his desire to impart fatherly advice had been welcomed, but that had been rare before his boys had become men. Something in the young King was calling out for reassurance, or perhaps he just needed a few words to calm the nervous tension radiating out from his entire being. Whatever it was, Rykar found himself reaching out and placing his hand on the younger man’s shoulder.

“A woman is a fine creature, King Max, and you will find that she holds a wealth of mystery. Be strong, be confident, and above all, pay attention. Human women especially like to talk ceaselessly, but in their words, in their actions, in their very breath, you will learn all you need to know to please them.”

Max’ mouth dropped open, uncertain if he should admonish his guard for speaking so plainly or if he should be grateful for the advice. After a moment he nodded and straightened up. “Your advice is duly noted, Rykar.” He stepped back to close the door and just before he lost sight of the man he shot a rare smile at him and nodded gratefully.

Be strong, be confident, and pay attention. He smiled to himself as he turned to walk into the bed chamber, his mouth going dry when he saw Liz already on the bed. As promised, she was completely naked and waiting for him and without preamble he reached for the hem of his shirt and jerked it off. “You waste no time,” he said as he moved closer to the bed.

“We never know how much time we really have,” she countered and rolled onto her stomach, watching him undress with interest.

“No, I suppose that is true.” He felt like he was burning up, a feeling he frequently experienced around her.

“You gonna get rid of those too?” She gestured to his boxer briefs when they were the only thing left covering his body.

He cleared his throat self-consciously. Naked with a woman was a completely new experience for him. While he was fairly certain he had no reason to be ashamed of his body he’d never had reason to share it with anyone else. Be confident. Rykar’s words echoed in his head and rather than hesitate a moment longer he shoved them down and off, straightening his spine as he stood before her completely bare to her assessing gaze.

“I like what I see,” she told him after a moment of admiring and winked at him.

“Yes, I feel the same,” he said as his hands clenched at his sides. “I wish to touch you now.”

“I think I should not make your wait then.” Instead of waiting until he came over, she rolled from the bed and stood in front of him.

“No, it would be improper to make the King wait,” he said as his eyes traveled over her, fascinated by all that he could see.

“You said you wanted to touch...” she hinted.

“Yes,” he murmured as he reached out, letting his hands trace over her breasts.

In response, her nipples hardened and she watched with slight amusement at the way his features changed when he noticed it too.

“Fascinating.” His thumbs moved over the stiff peaks. “This is because of me?”

“Yeah,” she chuckled and used her fingernails to graze over his chest as well, smiling when his own nipples came to life. “You are no different.”

“But not nearly as impressive.” He followed his instincts and gave her a gentle push that had her resting against the bed. His hands traveled over her sides, tracing over her ribs and a small scar on her abdomen. “What is this for?”

“Robbery on Earth,” she told him as her eyes dropped to the scar as well. It wasn’t something she liked to be reminded of, but it was okay to tell him. “I got hurt with a knife, but it wasn’t really deep. Just needed a few stitches.”

“Someone did this to you,” he mused as he nudged her further up on the bed and followed her on his hands and knees. “They hurt you intentionally.” His fingers brushed over the scar before lowering his head to press a kiss to it.

“It was a long time ago,” she shrugged it off.

Had it happened on Antar he would have seen her assailants hanged for such behavior. He suddenly realized their positions and he glanced down over her body. “Never have I seen such beauty.” His eyebrows lifted when she shifted beneath him. “You are uncomfortable?”

“Not uncomfortable,” she denied.

His own body felt heavy and restless so he decided she must be experiencing something similar. He recalled their earlier conversation as his eyes locked on the mysterious shadowed area at the apex of her thighs. She shifted again under the weight of his stare and his hand shook as it traveled from the scarred area to the part of her that called out to him. His gaze shot up to hers when his fingertips barely brushed against her flesh and she gasped sharply. Was he doing it wrong? “What is it?”

“Nothin’,” she gasped. “You’re doin’ things very right, King Max.”

Once again Rykar’s advice asserted itself and he tamped down his own fascination as he let his hand seek out her pleasure points. Gasps, moans, breathy sighs, he collected all of them for future reference. As his fingers moved over her flesh he found himself once again fascinated by her body. Soft and sleek, hot and wet, and every sound she made caused his own body to harden more.

Liz shifted against his hand when his thumb ran over her clit. For some reason he just knew what to do and his sudden confidence turned her on like nothing else. Reaching out, she let her hand travel over his hard length once before pulling him in her grip.

Max groaned at her touch but he resisted when he felt something in her reaching out for more. He paid more attention to the raised flesh that seemed to give her the greatest pleasure and as much as he wanted her touch, he brushed her hand aside so he could shift back on the bed. Her reaction to his touch was definitely calling out to him and his own desires were demanding to be met, but first he needed to know more. Closer to her center his eyes sought out that pleasure point and he lowered his head, replacing his fingers with his tongue.

Her hands dug into the sheets in surprise and they fisted the material. Okay, she hadn’t expected him to do that so soon and so... good.

Yes, she found that quite pleasing, he decided and continued with his mission. He brought his hand back into play while he teased and tormented the area that brought her such pleasure. His fingers slipped through the slick folds, nearing her entrance and pausing there for a moment before experimentally pushing the tip of his middle finger inside. When her response was more than favorable he continued, adding another, and forcing his mind to focus on her when his body reacted enthusiastically to the pressure on his fingers.

Liz threw her head back on the mattress, trying to make sense of it. Was it possible that it felt so much better than with anyone else before because he was reacting on instinct instead of any kind of experience? It had to be that, she decided and pushed down on his fingers when he was just too careful for her own taste. She wanted more.

His eyebrows lifted at her response, sensing that she was demanding more than what he had offered. He wanted to give her everything she wanted and more, and he pushed his fingers deeper while sucking on the nub of flesh, hoping to intensify her pleasure and provide what she needed.

“Max,” she groaned with pleasure and felt her orgasm so close. She just needed a little bit more and got it when she shifted her hips to a different angle. “Gosh, that’s it,” she hissed, feeling stupid about it, but hadn’t had the time to care when waves of heat and a tingling sensation shot through her whole body.

At her words he lifted his head, tipping it to one side to take in her expression, shocked to see that it appeared to be somewhere between pain and ecstasy. Such an incredibly beautiful contradiction, he mused as he raised himself up over her. He didn’t know what the protocol was, but now that she had achieved her pleasure his body was demanding its own release. He positioned himself between her thighs and reached up with a trembling hand to cradle her cheek. “Liz?”

She took a deep breath before opening her eyes and looking at him with a satisfied smile playing around her lips. “Yeah?”

He felt like if he didn’t do something soon he was going to explode. Literally. He had no idea how to phrase the question pulsing through his body but she seemed to understand what he couldn’t voice and he sighed in relief when she wrapped her hands around his shoulders and pulled him closer. One of her hands slipped down over his chest and further down until she could take his hard length in a comfortably tight grip.

“It seems like you instinctively know a lot more about a human woman’s body than you thought you would,” she mumbled against his lips and loved the trembling in his body as a reaction to her touch. “Tell me what you want, Max.”
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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 81

Post by Double Trouble » Sun Aug 03, 2014 5:28 am

Eva: Thanks! Our couples are getting more involved.

Natalie36: We did... but we’ll rectify that today.

begonia9508: Yep, lol, Max and Liz haven’t quite made it that far yet, but it would appear that they’re about to cross that line.

Liz can’t be faulted for having reservations. She’s taking a big risk all around.

So far we only know that they were in their teens when they were taken back to Antar.

sarammlover: You’re in luck then, because we have more Max and Liz coming up today. Lol, our little group is working on putting an end to Khivar and Rath, well, he has two people gunning for him.

Earth2Mama: It’s a definite possibility.

Lol, those two are only getting hotter.

keepsmiling7: He surely won’t, lol. Guess that’s one way to make sure he remembers a birthday.

Even though he’s new to things, it’s quite likely the King leans towards being the romantic type.

Max is lonely and has been for so long, but he now has the opportunity to begin opening up.

Change is coming.

Roswelllostcause: Lol, yes, they are!




Part 81

He struggled to come up with the words, but the only one that came out was, “You.” His hips shifted forward instinctively. “I want you.”

“Patience,” she told him in amusement and stretched on arm out, but she couldn’t reach the nightstand from her position. “Give me some space to move, King.”

He growled and his body hummed with need. “For what purpose?” He may not be an expert, but she seemed to be trying to move in the wrong direction.

“We need a condom.” Luckily she had brought a small amount with her. Not really on purpose, more on accident.

That gave him pause. “A what?” He frowned at the small square she retrieved.

“It’s used as a protection against pregnancy,” she explained and unwrapped it to show him. No need to explain STDs to him, Liz thought, amused.

He drew back skeptically and his frown deepened as he reached out to touch the strange device. “What is it you intend to do with this device?”

“I will show you,” she said and reached for his hard-on with one hand.

As much as he enjoyed her touch, something in him rebelled at her placing the device on him. “This is a necessary application?” He was NOT pleased with this turn of events. Somehow it seemed that this would dull the sensation he was seeking.

“It is as long as we don’t plan to have any children the human way,” she nodded, amused by his pouting tone.

He still wasn’t convinced. “You are certain this must be done?”

Liz sighed and looked at him seriously. “Yes, Max. There’s no way I’m taking the risk of getting pregnant by you at this point.”

“Very well,” he muttered. “If this is a requirement then I will do as you wish.” He didn’t like the way the device felt. “Does it not diminish your pleasure?”

“I’ll be fine,” she assured him and checked it again before settling down on the bed once more. “And so you will.”

While his enthusiasm had been slightly dampened by the annoying device, the moment she positioned herself beneath him his focus immediately returned to more important things.

“You ready?” she breathed against him and pulled his bottom lip between her teeth.

Certain his voice would betray him in that moment he simply nodded. He had never been more ready for anything in his life. He had also never done this and his curiosity had him pulling back so he could watch as he took possession of her body.

“Be gentle,” she ran her hands down the sides of his neck and smiled up at him. “It’s not my first time but it’s been a while.”

His eyes locked on hers. “Will this cause you pain?” he asked, desperately hoping she would say no.

“No, no pain,” she assured him and used one bent leg to nudge him closer.

That was a great relief, he mused. A moment later all other thought fled as he joined their bodies, slowly as she had requested, and he was filled with sensations unlike anything he had ever experienced.

Liz waited until he had pushed completely into her before making him look at her again. “Feels good?”

His vocal cords felt like they were disconnected and his brain didn’t seem to be able to focus on anything but the electric feelings coursing through his body.

Okay, he definitely likes it, she thought and moved her hips against him experimentally.

He groaned when she moved and the intensity increased his own need to move. It took everything he had to form a single question. “Is it necessary to continue at this slow pace?” His voice sounded strained to his own ears.

“No, I guess for your first time, a fast pace is acceptable right from the start,” she told him and kissed his lips. It would be cruel to make him wait when it was all so new to him.

Max began to move, experimentally at first as his body sought a satisfactory rhythm. The moment he found the correct stride primal instinct took over and he gave in to the driving need.

Liz watched him, her own needs pushed into the background. He wasn’t a person who hid his feelings most of the time, but she wondered if he had any clue how open he was in that moment.

His entire body felt like it was charged with electricity; his muscles were taut, his senses were on overload and in spite of his desire to extend these new feelings and sensations, he needed release more.

The muscles of his upper arms were shaking badly, so Liz did the first thing that came to mind. She used her hands on his shoulders and with a little push she rolled them over until she was on top of him. The new angle of penetration shot a rush of excitement through her body and she moaned loudly before she started to ride him with her small hands resting on his muscled pecs.

Max cursed, the Antarian words breaking free on a panting breath. Her movements were maddening and just what he needed. His hands gripped her hips tightly, guiding her as everything began to blur. Sight and sound became secondary to the shock of electricity that suddenly flooded his body and he arched beneath her.

As his orgasm hit him, she felt like she’d been sucked into a whole other world. Feelings that weren’t hers overwhelmed her as stars exploded in front of her eyes. When everything became too much, she struggled to sit up and crashed down to his body, holding onto him. Both were breathing hard for several minutes, their brains fogged and their bodies weak. Liz was the first to speak again. “Wow, I didn’t know something like that was possible but I think I felt YOUR orgasm.”

It took an effort to string his words together and form a coherent sentence. “Is it not always like that?” he finally asked.

“For me? No.”

“No?” In spite of the lethargic feeling in his body he managed to grin smugly.

“Must be an alien thing,” she mused.

He snorted softly. “We will have to determine if that is the case.”

“Believe me, whatever happened... it wasn’t human.”

“Perhaps, but we should continue this activity in order to be certain.”

Liz chuckled. “Give me a little rest first, will ya, King?”

“Very well.” He glanced at her. “You have many more of these protection devices?”

“Many would be a little exaggerated,” she shook her head. “Just a few more, that’s it.”

“What do we do when we have depleted your supply?” He frowned. ”I have no wish to avoid engaging in this new experience.”

“I don’t know,” she said and rolled over, disposing of the used condom in its original wrapping after knotting it up. He sounded a little bit like a pouting child right now, Liz thought, amused. “Maybe there’s a way to produce them here or maybe we can get more from Earth or find something else. Do we have to discuss this now?” She yawned.

His gaze moved over her and he shook his head. “Further discussion is not necessary.” His fingers combed through her hair. “I have enjoyed this evening.”

“I know you have,” she smiled confidently, her eyes closed.

He watched her for a while before pressing a kiss to her temple and stretching out on his stomach, cheek resting on his folded arms so he could watch her.

“G’night,” she whispered quietly.

“G’night,” he whispered back, trying out the unfamiliar word.

*****

Ava moved through the forested area, using the dark of night as cover. She had been travelling for some time and before long she would lose the night sky, but she knew better than to push her mount too fast. The dense foliage made it difficult to see and without the moons providing any light to see by it also made it very dangerous. Her mount was surefooted though and his senses were unrivalled, so she listened for anything out of place while he picked his way along the overgrown path.

She would soon reach the shelter of the Landora Hills, an area that remained unsettled and untraveled. The ground was useless for planting, the heat scorched everything it touched, and the heavy winds in the region made it difficult to build. Many had tried and all had failed; the ground was littered with the bones of those who had attempted to bend the area to their will. The only way to survive the area was to take shelter in the caves during the day when the suns were up and the winds were at their peak.

At night it wasn’t as bad. The winds didn’t stop completely, but they eased, and without the suns beating down the ability to travel was more favourable. She was exhausted by the time she reached the cave situated deep in the hills. It was large enough for her mount to move around in and she sighed as she dismounted and dropped the reins. He was familiar with the routine and he would find his space near one of the walls and absorb the coolness that radiated from the stone.

She lit a torch for light and looked around, taking stock of her supplies. She had only been to the cave a few times since Zan’s death, mainly to check on it and spend a few hours resting without the worry that someone was waiting to stick a knife in her back. Her fingertips brushed over the makeshift bed as she sat down, sighing as exhaustion and duty warred with memories of stolen moments with her lover.

She rolled her shoulders and lowered her head to rub the taut muscles at the back of her neck. It was time to contact the Commander. She was far from Khivar’s territory and just as far from Zander’s Kingdom, temporarily safe from the immediate threats waiting for her in both locations. She couldn’t risk making direct contact, and knowing that Khivar had gained entrance to Isabel’s mind made it too risky to contact her. It had to be the Commander and it had to be now. They had to be warned that Khivar had infiltrated their ranks without their knowledge or consent and that the Princess could easily become a pawn in the war.

She watched the entrance to the cave, waiting for the first streaks of light to break through the darkness and when they did she closed her eyes and focused on the Commander. He would not appreciate the intrusion, but once she had explained the purpose for her presence he would call for the others so they could decide how to handle this newest threat.

Michael stirred in his sleep when something disturbed him. He couldn’t say what it was, but something had brought him out of his deep dreamless state and was now hovering over him. He tried to fight the unwelcomed feeling of intrusion, but whatever was pushing was strong enough to hold its own.

“It’s Ava,” she called out to him. “We need to talk. I have information that can’t wait. “

He frowned as the voice held his attention and he quickly realized that his uninvited visitor’s voice sounded strained. He forced himself to remain in control as he responded. “What have you learned?”

“More than I expected to.” She tried to focus on the basic information that needed to be delivered. “First of all, you need to be aware of Khivar getting inside information through the Princess. He’s been invading her brain.”

“Does he know of the plan?” Isabel had too much access and if Khivar had learned of the plan there was no time to waste.

“No, he’s not aware of you being alive.”

“Am I to infer from this that she is unaware of his intrusion?” What other reason could there be for such information to be undetectable when Tess had searched her mind?

“I am certain she is unaware,” Ava agreed.

“Do you know how long this has been going on?”

“Not exactly. You need to talk to her. Maybe she will be able to block it with this knowledge.”

This news alone was troubling, but he knew there was more. “What else is there?”

“Khivar is holding a human woman captive. I am positive it is the mother of your human.”

How had Khivar found her? “For what purpose?” he demanded, but he already knew the answer. She would be a powerful leverage tool.

“Isn’t that obvious?”

His frown deepened. “How did you discover this information?”

“I have been tasked with threatening you with her to hand over the human. “

He sighed heavily. Maria was not going to take this news well. “What is her condition?”

“She’s attached to some device because her body is not acclimating to Antar’s conditions too well. She was not conscious at the time I saw her.”

If she was suffering due to the atmosphere then at least she had been spared any further torture. “What is her location?”

“She’s at his castle. The secret rooms are directly connected to the throne room and his quarters.”

How was he going to rescue the woman? He filed that question away for the moment. “You have more information?”

“Yes. I have found the location of the second book, but I don’t know yet how to get there. It’s in a library, also located near Khivar’s quarters. And there is another disturbing thing. Khivar believes that it’s possible Rath would be able to impregnate the woman even if she’s connected to you.”

“You mean if he captured her. He won’t.”

“Yes, if,” she agreed, “but don’t be so foolish to believe it couldn’t happen, Commander.”

He bit back the response that immediately leapt to his tongue. “Can you provide the layout of the castle and the security measures in place?”

“To a certain extent. But the section she’s in is highly secured. You won’t be able to get her out of there. Let me handle this, Commander. For now she won’t be harmed, I am sure about this.”

“You intend to rescue her?”

“Not immediately,” Ava answered. “But eventually.” She knew that would probably mean blowing her cover so the timing was critical.

“As long as she has difficulty adjusting to our atmosphere they will be unable to carry out any atrocities against her.” Unfortunately, his understanding of the process required to stabilize humans who had difficulty adjusting led him to believe it was quite painful if the proper precautions weren’t taken. “And the book?”

“I will have it for you soon,” she replied determinedly.

“What about you? Have you had any difficulty maintaining your cover?”

“I’m holding my own so far, but there’s no guarantee how long it will last. If Khivar finds more answers through Isabel or someone else then my cover could be blown at any moment. We don’t have much time.”

“I will call a meeting directly,” he assured her.

“Good. Inform your people. I will contact you again at the first sun’s zenith. Don’t let Isabel contact me. It is too dangerous based on what we’ve learned. I’m considering that her mind wandering to other people is the key that opened the bridge to Khivar in the first place.”

“You still have a mission to carry out if you are to maintain your cover. Do you have a certain time to carry it out?”

“No, but he’s not going to be patient.”

He nodded. “We’ll discuss the options available. Perhaps there is something that can be done.”

Ava knew her situation was bound to blow up. She just hoped she would be able to take revenge for Zan’s death before it happened. “I need to go.”

He watched her for a moment, seeing the weariness that weighed so heavily on her. She wouldn’t want him to mention it and he understood. “Watch your back, Ava.”

“You too, Commander.” With that she closed the mental barrier und drifted off to sleep.

Michael’s eyes shot open as the connection ended and he sat up slowly, conscious of Maria sleeping next to him. He mentally sorted the information Ava had brought to him, ordering it by relevance. Maria’s mother was of importance, but for now she wasn’t the most pressing matter. He carefully got up and went in search of his tablet, finding it and wasting no time contacting Max.

The King awoke at the shrill sound bothering his sensitive ears. He opened his eyes slowly and smiled to himself when Liz’ beautiful face came into view. She was still sleeping peacefully, obviously uncaring of the sound coming from the other room.

Quietly he slipped out of his bed and went to check the incoming message, frowning when his still blurry gaze focused on the few simple words.

MEETING. WAR ROOM. IMMEDIATELY.

Michael paced, his hands clasped behind his back. He had left a note for Maria in case she woke while he was gone. He saw no need for her to learn of the news until he knew more about the situation. The rumblings of secret hallways being opened and closed within the castle made him stop and he watched as one by one, the rest of the Royal Four strolled into the room.

“What’s the matter?” Tess was the first to speak, annoyed by the early interruption but she knew her brother would have a good reason.

“Where’s the Captain?”

“He was out on a run. He’s on his way.”

“We have a security breach,” he said, his eyes locking on Isabel.

“What are you referring to?” She glared at him.

“Khivar has been gathering intelligence. From you.”

“What?” she snapped. “Who told you that lie?”

Rather than answer her he looked at his sister. “Are you able to search repressed memories?”

“What kind?” she asked confused. “What are we looking for?”

“Ava contacted me just before I called this meeting. She said Khivar has been invading Isabel’s mind. Since Isabel hasn’t mentioned it and you didn’t detect it, the memories have to be repressed.”

“That is nonsense,” Isabel exploded. “I would have known if something like that had happened.” There was no way their enemy had used her for this. No!

Max could sense his sister’s distress as she denied the possibility that Khivar had managed to slip past her natural defenses. “Is it possible that Khivar was able to hide his visits from Isabel? Could he prevent her from remembering such a thing?”

“We will find out.” Tess stepped towards the other Princess and held up her hand. She caught her defiant expression and shook her head. “There is no other way to detect the truth.”

Max had been observing quietly, but he stepped forward before Tess could connect. He faced his sister when the other woman nodded and took a step back. “No one blames you, Isabel. Khivar is a powerful man and we do not yet know the true extent of his powers.” He touched her arm. You’re not Vilondra, he thought, hoping she would pick up on it.

“Get it over with,” she said with determination, her face directed to Tess again. She? The spy? The one who had delivered information to their enemy? It couldn’t be true.

Tess drew in a deep breath as she mentally shifted gears. Searching for the kind of memories her brother spoke of was difficult and such a foray could be damaging if she made even the slightest mistake. After a moment she felt herself settle and she nodded. “Don’t fight the connection, Isabel. Even if it becomes painful, you must resist the urge to push my presence back,” she said as her fingertips rested at the other woman’s temples.

Michael didn’t realize he was clenching his fists until the muscles in his arms started to hurt from the tension. How much had Khivar seen? How great was the danger already?

If she hadn’t known how guarded Isabel was, Tess would’ve thought she was being blocked intentionally. As it was though, she was aware of it and she took her time navigating through the shadowed thoughts, searching for the elusive memories.

Khivar had done everything possible to hide his presence – no chance in hell she would have ever found out about it without prior knowledge. Slowly but surely the fog around the suppressed memories appeared and opened her view to the things their enemy had been able to see through Isabel.

Isabel had to fight the urge to be ill when other memories began to surface. Memories of encounters with the ruler of their enemies, things she had done with him, willingly in spite of her desire to escape his touch. Had he only been able to exert such control over her because it hadn’t happened outside of her mind?

In that moment, Tess hated her powers. She didn’t want to see all of these things, but she knew she had to take them all in. Khivar had spied on them but thankfully it seemed like he had only been able to enter Isabel’s mind when she had been asleep or at rest. She couldn’t find any indication of a revelation of higher importance.

Michael turned his head when the door opened and he motioned for the Captain to be quiet. He shifted his gaze back to his sister and Isabel, wondering how much longer it was going to take.

When the mental connection drew a blank, Tess retreated slowly, but something made her stop. First it was just a shadow of a thought and she almost missed it, but when she pushed forward in a different direction this time, she knew she had just hit the jackpot. What opened in front of her weren’t Isabel’s thoughts anymore. No, it was a trace Khivar had left while he had entered her mind. Creating this kind of connection – especially when it was forced – left parts of the other person’s memory as well and it seemed like the great Khivar hadn’t been able to erase his footprints.

Kyle shifted from one foot to the other, carefully hiding his agitation at the length of time it was taking for Tess to locate the information Michael had told him she was looking for. It was taking its toll on her; he could see it in her taut features as she concentrated so hard.

“Should we stop her?” the King asked, watching both Princesses with a frown.

“No,” the Commander held his hand up. “She will know when it’s enough.”

She frowned at the images, shadowed and distorted as they danced before her. She reached out, brushing a hand through the foggy wisps, and quickly backed away when they began to settle and materialize in front of her. There was something familiar about the scenery and it took a few moments to realize why she recognized it.

It was Zander’s side of the castle. But how would he have any idea what it looked like? They weren’t vague images, they were detailed and there was no question in her mind that they came from intimate knowledge of the castle. She followed the thoughts and found herself in the throne room – the throne room that Zander had ruled from for many seasons. And her breath caught as she watched Khivar ascend to the throne and seat himself.

“Don’t get too comfortable,” the Queen appeared in the vision, her eyes scanning the other man from head to toe. “That is still Zander’s throne.”

As surprisingly the memory had been drawn to the surface, it disappeared again and she was suddenly thrown out violently.
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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 82

Post by Double Trouble » Sun Aug 10, 2014 6:39 am

begonia9508: Absolute success, lol! Max is surely going to want condoms introduced.

We’ll get some of those answers today.

Earth2Mama: His first, but most surely not his last, lol. Not if he has his way.

There is a lot going on and things may just get crazier as we move forward. Ava has a big job ahead of her. At least for the moment Michael can work covertly and he’ll do everything in his power to protect Maria.

keepsmiling7: The King’s very happy with the turn of events.

Liz was a good teacher and Max was a good student, lol.

sarammlover: We’ll have to wait to find out what exactly is going on between Khivar and the Queen. Ava’s situation is a sad one, but hopefully she’ll find a way to move on. Thanks!

Natalie36: Lol, there’s definitely something going on!

Eva: Lol, they’ve definitely been fun.

It’s important for our Commander to feel active. Not only for him, but for everyone else too! He’s a bear when he goes too long without being active.

We’ll learn a little more about what Khivar’s done to Isabel today.

Roswelllostcause: Lol, the mighty King of Antar...



Part 82

Max reached out to steady Isabel when the women came out of the connection so quickly they were physically pushed apart. “What happened?” he demanded as he carefully lowered her to a chair.

“I didn’t get the chance to end it any smoother,” Tess steadied herself against the counter next to her.

“Then what Ava said is true,” Michael said as he looked from one to the other. His sister’s expression revealed shock and anger, while Isabel’s was filled with disgust and shame. There was anger as well, but it was overshadowed by the first two.

“It is true,” she agreed.

He started to place a hand on Isabel’s shoulder but she flinched away so he didn’t push it. “Were you able to learn anything about what he was looking for or what information he’s gathered?”

Tess locked eyes with the woman in front of her. “I don’t think he’s had the chance to gather much information yet. Not through Isabel anyway. But there was something disturbing and I can’t tell what it was exactly. I saw Khivar sitting on Zander’s throne and the Queen was talking to him.”

“The Queen?” Max questioned. “You saw our mother with him?”

“That’s correct. He must have left a trace when he entered Isabel’s mind. That’s the only explanation I have.”

“What better source of information would there be in regard to the castle’s inner workings than the Queen?” Kyle mused.

Max sighed. He had already suspected something like that, but it didn’t mean he wanted it to be true. If his mother was involved in all of this, then they were in much more danger than they had previously thought.

“Then we were right in our decision to keep the plan between ourselves,” Michael said as he ran a hand through his hair. “You were unable to detect anything that would indicate he’s aware of our plans?”

“No, he doesn’t know. I doubt Ava would still be alive if he did.”

“What do we do now?” Max asked with a look at the soldiers.

Michael ran a hand over his face in frustration. What could he do during his ‘dead’ period? “We have more things to worry about.”

Wasn’t what they had learned enough? The King released a frustrated breath. “Ava had more information?”

“Indeed. Our enemy is holding another human woman hostage. And she was positive the woman is Maria’s mother.”

“For what purpose?”

“Leverage,” Kyle muttered. “He intends to use her to barter for Maria.”

The Commander nodded. “Exactly.”

“We are not handing her over just because he threatens us with her mother,” Tess shook her head.

“You won’t have to. If she learns of her mother’s capture by Khivar she’ll put herself in harm’s way to save her.” The Captain crossed his arms over his chest and shot a look at the Commander. “Are you gonna tell her?”

Isabel snorted. “I doubt the connection will allow him to hide anything from her.”

Tess locked gazes with her brother. “Michael?”

“I don’t know how long I can hide it from her,” he nodded.

“That’s gonna make her a very high risk.” Kyle shook his head. “You’re gonna have hell keepin’ her inside the castle walls.”

“She’ll know we can’t just walk in there and get her. Let that be my problem.” Michael didn’t want anyone else to get involved in things between him and Maria, especially not now when he wasn’t sure if the woman in his bed was already carrying his child or not. Maybe he could hide it from her a while?

“How do we determine if what Tess saw is true?” Max asked when no one spoke for a few minutes. If his mother was somehow involved with Khivar, how did his father factor into the equation?

“If she’s making contact with Miren she might prove it herself,” the Captain suggested.

The King considered this. “Captain Carson is in a position to gain intelligence into the situation, is he not?”

“He’s the right man for this,” Kyle agreed with a sharp nod.

“If the Queen is filtering information to Khivar we have to consider the possibility that the King is also involved.”

Isabel stared at her brother. “What reason would our parents have for working with Khivar? He could’ve planted that thought just to confuse us!”

“Zander might not have a reason, but the Queen...,” Tess mused. “Maybe she didn’t want to wait for a change any longer, so she made a deal with the enemy.”

“To what end? Change can’t possibly be enough incentive to make a pact with him!” The Princess shook her head. “What could make her take this path?”

“Khivar could’ve really promised her anything. Power, a bigger castle...”

“But to ally herself with the likes of Khivar,” Isabel shuddered.

Max frowned at the twists and turns this morning was bringing. “Did Ava tell you anything else?”

“She’s discovered the location of the second book.”

“And was she able to retrieve it? “

He shook his head. “No, not yet. She needs more time.”

“Where is she now?”

“She didn’t say, but I would imagine she’s someplace where she feels safe.”

“How did she find out about the other human Khivar is holding?”

“Apparently Khivar’s taken her into his confidence now that she’s killed me,” he muttered dryly.

“That’s good.”

“You do realize it’s only a matter of time until her cover’s blown?” The Captain shook his head.

“We have a limited window of opportunity here, and as aware of it as we are, you can bet she’s even more so.”

Isabel stood and wandered over to the wall which presented the outlines of the castle. “With these newest events we have to take precautions.”

“You have a suggestion?” Max asked curiously.

“We need to block the secret hallways between our quarters and those of our parents’.”

“That can be done easily enough,” he agreed. “Perhaps there is something we need to discuss with Mother, something that she would pass along and provide us with proof if she is the spy.”

“That will work,” Michael agreed.

“We could request a discussion with Zander,” Isabel agreed. “He believes our Commander is dead so it would make sense we would go and ask for his advice with the weapons transport. He knows the landscape better than anyone else.”

“That’s true,” the King walked to one of the windows and stared outside, hands clasped behind his back. “And the Queen is always present when someone speaks with him.”

“Does your Advisor have more surveillance technology? If so, you could use the opportunity to plant them in their quarters,” Kyle suggested.

“I’ll check with him,” Max said with a nod.

“You’ll have to place the devices in their quarters,” the Captain mused. It was a well known fact that very few people were granted entrance to the royal couple’s personal quarters.

“We will find out what our option are,” Max said and turned to look at all of them. “If our theory turns out to be true, we’re not safe in the castle.”

Michael looked at his sister. “Is it possible to limit what Khivar can access in Isabel’s mind?”

“I doubt it. And we don’t know what kinda damage it could do.”

“What about false memories?” Kyle asked. “Like you did with Ava?”

“False memories can’t replace the reality she’s living in,” Tess shook her head. “We would have to ‘overwrite’ her memories daily. That’s too risky.”

“Then her participation in this is too risky,” the King said and shook his head.

Tess looked at the other Princess and felt bad for her. Truly felt bad. “Were you somehow aware of his presence? I don’t mean to upset you, but maybe you felt something unusual?”

Max shifted closer to his sister, hoping his silent support would be of some help.

Isabel forced down her normal response, partially because of her brother, but mainly because no one had accused her of being a traitor. “I’ve experienced moments where I’ve felt out of control.”

Tess nodded. It must have shown somehow. No one could get inside her head totally unnoticed. “Maybe now that you know the reason, you’ll be able to fight him.”

“If I could refuse him entry I would have done so,” she bit out, unable to hold the words back. She would have. She wouldn’t just allow him that access, not to her mind or her body.

“Then I have to agree with the King,” the Commander spoke up. “You can’t be made aware of the plans.”

As much as she wanted his words not to hurt, they did. “Fine,” she said and turned to leave. At the door she looked back at them. “I assume I am free to go?”

“I will come and speak with you later,” her brother nodded.

She gave him a sharp nod and took her leave.

“I know this will be hard for her, but we can’t risk it,” Michael said determinedly. “You have to talk to Zander alone.”

“Zander only has an interest in Max when it relates to the throne,” Tess mused. “It might be beneficial if Max and I went to see him together. While Max is speaking with him I can attempt to search his mind.”

“But he’s going to bring up marriage again if we go together.”

“Well, he won’t force us to marry right then, right?”

“Of course not.”

“Then let’s do it. We’ll be able to gather more information this way.”

“Very well,” he agreed. The last thing he wanted to do after the night he’d spent with Liz was to pay his father a visit with the woman he was expected to marry.

Michael went over everything Ava had told him, wondering if he had left anything out. No, he thought to himself. It wasn’t anything Ava had told him that was at the back of his mind, it was the flash he had gotten from Maria. But he wasn’t really sure what it meant yet.

“Was there something else, Commander?” Max asked when he caught his expression.

“No, I think that’s all for now.” He needed to find out if it had been a future flash or something that had already happened before he said anything.

“I will contact my father and request an audience.”

“Good.” The Commander turned to his Captain. “Where’s Carson?”

“He’s finalizing his approval of the men assigned to his new unit. He’s also waiting to meet with the King prior to his unit’s deployment.”

“I will meet him after breakfast,” Max agreed.

Michael clenched his fists at his side, hating the feeling of being useless in the process.

“Patience, Commander,” Max said when he noticed the other man’s movement.

“You can talk,” the other man grumbled.

“If the plan works the inconvenience of your death will be worth it.”

He nodded sharply. “Captain, I want to speak with you about the things you need to tell Carson after we’re finished here.”

“I will leave you to your conversation,” Max said. “I have to check with Alex about the surveillance devices after breakfast and then I’ll contact Father about a meeting.” He looked outside for a minute. “Once that business has been concluded I will meet with Captain Carson. I will have the morning meal served to him while he waits.”

“Don’t let your father get in your head,” Michael warned him.

He nodded. “I’m prepared to meet with him.”

Kyle shifted his weight. “I’ll go talk to the Captain.”

Tess walked to the door first. “I’m coming with you to talk to Carson,” she told her lover.

Michael looked around the empty room. “And I’ll just go back into hiding,” he muttered.

*****

Maria stirred in her sleep when the second rising sun unfolded its power for the day to shine through the large windows of the Commander’s quarters bright and warm. She squinted against the light when she opened her eyes slightly. Back in her teenage years, she had found it more than annoying to wake up because of the daylight after a long night, but that had changed when things on Earth had become worse with each passing day. Sometimes the sun hadn’t even cut through the dust and so many of the days had stayed somber and gray. She had learned to love the sun and after being held captive by the enemy here on Antar, she craved the light even more.

Memories of her birthday and the little party Michael had hosted for her came back slowly and she smiled to herself when her mind automatically went to the end of the night and their lovemaking in the tub. Yeah, it had been lovemaking. It had felt intense and like nothing else before.

Her hand moved down to her belly automatically and stayed there. Was a new life growing in her already? The thought was disturbing and exciting at the same time. What would it mean? How would her body handle a pregnancy like this? How would her mind handle a pregnancy? So many questions, but she was surprisingly calm considering the many unknowns in her life.

She winced when a growling sound disturbed the silence, but she soon realized that Michael wasn’t behind her in bed anymore. She remembered him slipping away earlier, but she had been too tired to comment or complain about it. Now he was coming back through the secret corridors of the castle and she hoped he would have the time to lay down with her again for a short while.

Michael stepped inside his quarters and his gaze automatically sought out Maria. He didn’t completely understand the easing he experienced when he saw her or the desire to simply be in her company, but he accepted it without question. “You’re awake,” he said as he sat down beside her.

“Just for a few minutes,” she agreed and studied his face. “Something wrong?”

“I was contacted by Ava”

“Obviously she didn’t have good news.” There was an uneasy feeling radiating from him.

“Very little,” he sighed. “But she’s closer to obtaining the book.”

“That’s good.” She had a feeling he wasn’t telling her everything though. “Have some time to relax?”

“I have little else to do,” he said with a forced smile.

“Then join me,” she wrapped her small hands around the thick collar of his uniform.

His mood lightened slightly and he allowed her to pull him down to her. “I find that acceptable,” he whispered and took her lips in a gentle but insistent kiss.

“I’m very convincing,” she smiled against his lips and tugged at the rough material covering his upper body.

And he needed so little convincing where she was concerned, he thought. He complied with her wishes and quickly rid himself of the uniform jacket covering his upper body. “What will you do with me now, woman?” he asked as he shifted to lie beside her.

“What do you want me to do with you, Commander?” she countered.

“Everything,” he said with a small smile.

“Leaving it wide open for me, huh?” She smiled and leaned in to press tender kisses along his jaw and down over his neck.

“You seem to do quite well with such decisions,” he said.

“That’s because I have the right man to handle.” Her hands started to fumble with the buttons of the white shirt he wore under his uniform.

Michael shifted slightly to give her better access. He supposed if he had to be trapped in his quarters, this was a great way to pass the time.

“Is there any body part that needs special attention,” she whispered and ran a hand over his nipples when his shirt fell open.

“There’s definitely a certain part that wouldn’t mind some of your attention,” he growled.

“I think I know which part you’re referring to,” she mused and used her hand to graze over the lower part of his body, which was still in uniform. “Why do you have to wear this heavy thing?” She shook her head in disapproval.

He chuckled and raised himself up, turned on by her eagerness and in a hurry to give her everything she wanted. “The Commander of Antar’s armies can’t be seen unprepared.”

“Maybe not in public, but you have no reason to go out in public, so you could at least do me the courtesy of being easily accessible while you’re here.”

Her grumbling amused him to no end. Her impatience, however, was eliciting a much more serious response down below.

Maria crawled on top of him. “Move over. I don’t wanna fall off,” she nudged him with the inside of her knee.

He lifted an eyebrow and wrapped his arms around her as he shuffled over. “I won’t let you fall.”

She shivered at his protective tone and waited until they reached the middle of the bed before she gave him a deep kiss.

His hands slipped over her sides, grazing her hips before settling on her thighs beneath the hem of the shirt she had taken from his wardrobe. The feel of her bare skin drove him crazy but he kept a rein on his own desires, encouraging her to move at a pace she was comfortable with. He was more than content to take things slow if that was what she wanted and he certainly enjoyed spending time with her. They had all day, he thought. And while there were reports to handle, battle strategies to work on, and other administrative functions he could do, kissing her topped the list. As did anything else that might happen to occur.

“Have you had breakfast yet?” she mumbled against his skin while she kissed a path down his neck to his chest.

“No,” he spoke softly and used a hand to brush her hair aside so he could see her face. “You hungry?”

“I am,” she admitted. To be honest, she had a great appetite right now. “But I think I can wait a little while longer.”

He grimaced when his stomach growled, one need warring with another. “As you say, it can wait a while longer.”

“You’re agreeable this morning,” she ran her hand over his hard length.

“And why should I be disagreeable?” Especially at this moment, he thought.

“I’ll remind you later.”

“I’m most certain you will,” he rumbled and dragged his hands up over her thighs.

Maria groaned at his touch and leaned further against him, using all her weight to press him into the mattress.

“I think we should,” he pulled her even closer, “bring this to a satisfying conclusion.”

“Agreed,” she breathed and took his hands to move them under the shirt she was wearing.

Her skin was so soft and such a contrast to his calloused hands. He ghosted over her ribs, avoiding the spots he had discovered were ticklish, and finally reached his goal. He nudged her until she moved enough for him to sit up and with one hand he discarded the shirt so he could look his fill. “You’re exquisite,” he murmured as he leaned in and took a nipple between his lips.

“Michael,” she gasped when the heat and passion hit her so fast that it took her by surprise. She ran her hands through his hair and pulled lightly.

Her reaction fueled his own need and he wrapped an arm around her waist, lifting her and pulling her closer without breaking contact. Her heat seared him and he bit down on her nipple, enjoying the way she shuddered and her breath caught. Her grip on his hair tightened and his scalp tingled in response.

She grew impatient when the movement of her lower body didn’t provide the friction she hoped for. “Michael!”

“So impatient,” he chuckled gruffly. He acquiesced to her demand though, allowing her to slide down on him.

It was amazing how quickly they had become so intimate. It should frighten her but it didn’t.

“And it never should,” he rasped before taking her mouth in a deep kiss.

“Reading my thoughts again, Commander?”

“Unintentionally,” he assured her.

“Uh-huh,” she breathed, “try again.” She challenged him and thought about changing positions so she would be under him.

He complied with her silent suggestion, rolling them over and looking down at her as he braced his weight on his left forearm. He was careful to keep his own thoughts focused on the moment and it was easy enough to keep her attention elsewhere when he slowly withdrew. He kissed her slowly, his tongue mimicking the movements of his lower body as he took his time pushing her senses into overload.

“You know what you’re doin’, huh?” she asked breathlessly.

The right side of his mouth lifted in a half-smile as he increased his pace. Even the mighty Commander of Antar had his limits.

Maria lifted her lower body from the mattress to change the angle and it was all she needed to finally fall over the edge.

Within seconds her release triggered his own. His arms trembled and he rolled them over again, coming to rest on his back with her draped over him.

“I think I’m ready to sleep another five hours now.”

“Nonsense,” he mumbled. “We’ve only sated one hunger.” He gave her a drowsy nudge with his shoulder. “Your man needs to be fed now, woman.”

“Just a few minutes,” she complained, not moving.

His arms came around her, his hands settling at the small of her back. “Only a few,” he agreed with a yawn. His eyes traced over her relaxed features for a few moments before they closed and he drifted off.
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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 83

Post by Double Trouble » Sun Aug 17, 2014 10:44 am

sarammlover: Lol, Isabel does have her moments... as we’ll see today. At the moment Michael’s plan is to keep that quiet.

Natalie36: At least they have good support.

begonia9508: Thanks!

There is that hope.

Earth2Mama: Yeah, that’ll be quite the confrontation.

Eva: There’s a lot of danger for sure.

The meeting with the King and Queen is coming up very soon.

keepsmiling7: We’ll find out soon.

Tess will give it her best shot.

Roswelllostcause: Thanks! They’re gonna do their best.

Ms_BuffyAnneSummers: Thanks! There’s quite a bit going on in this next part.

Alien_Friend: Looks like maybe they’re finally getting their act together.

The plan should be interesting as we see what all it will encompass.

Ava needed that moment of understanding from Alex and he’s really the one who could provide it.

Human customs... we are weird creatures, aren’t we?

Max tries very hard to understand, but unfortunately, the process he was put through to repress his memories and feelings relating to his time on Earth were very successful. But, as you said, he’s very persistent and he won’t give up.

We’ll find out more about the baby flash soon. We’ve gotten a lot of enjoyment developing Michael and Maria in this one.

The Commander as a family man, who knew? He does seem to accept that as a part of his future and he has no problem envisioning having multiple children with Maria. The grandparents, we’ll have to wait and see what happens there.

Rykar was very helpful in that moment and it looks like Max heeded that advice.

There is so much going on and we’re likely to see things get busier the closer they come to implementing that plan. They all know just how tenuous things are and they are making the most of the time they have.

Isabel has been put in a terrible position and if not handled correctly, this could alienate her from the few people she’s been forming tentative bonds with.

We’ll learn more about the King and Queen very soon.

Isabel will seek someone out today. Khivar knows Isabel is a fighter and she has attempted to mentally fight him in the past. He relishes the challenge and would likely be more suspicious if she were to suddenly capitulate.

Michael’s decision to harbor the truth from Maria could backfire, that’s very true. But he will do whatever he can to protect her from harm, even if that means protecting her from herself at times. If Maria were to learn of her mother being held hostage by Khivar, it’s very likely that she would try to do something, not consciously thinking of the danger it could put her or the (potential) baby in.

We love your feedback! We’re glad to hear things are settling down and we hope things stay that way. We missed you, welcome back!





Part 83

“Advisor, I would speak with you!”

Alex awoke to the sound of someone pounding on his door and even though he wanted nothing more than to roll over and ignore it so he could go back to sleep, the racket made it impossible. It was the female voice that accompanied the knocking that sealed it and he tossed the covers back and rolled out of bed, moving through his quarters until he reached the door.

He jerked it open and before he could get a word out the Princess stormed past him, already speaking, but her words refused to register in his annoyed mind. He shook his head, careless of the fact that his hair was standing on end and that he was standing there in nothing more than a pair of boxers and an old tee shirt. He intercepted her and grabbed her arm, hauling her along with him as he walked right back to the front door.

“I don’t care if we’re on Antar or on Earth, Princess, if you wanna speak to me you can request an audience like a civilized person.”

“What are you – “

He walked her out the door and then stepped back into his quarters. “You wanna talk to me, you knock on the damn door and wait for me to answer it.”

“This is foolish!” she insisted.

“Then go bother someone else,” he said and shut the door in her face before she could say another word.

Isabel stood there, her mouth gaping as she stared at the closed door. Who did he think he was? Treating the Princess of Antar in such a manner was certainly punishable! She turned to walk away. She didn’t need him. She could talk to any number of people in the castle. She had barely taken half a dozen steps when she stopped and leaned back against the wall. But she couldn’t talk to any of those people, could she? Not only did she not know them well enough to trust them with her worries, why would they care one way or the other? She could choose one of them to speak to, but they would only listen out of obligation and not because they had any real concern for her.

She turned her head to look at the door to Alex’s quarters; the door that remained closed. He cared. She didn’t really understand why, but he did. Unfortunately he was also irritating and stubborn. She hadn’t understood his anger with her in regard to their encounter on the dream plane, but after the memories Tess had unearthed from the darkest recesses of her mind, she had a different view of what had transpired between them.

She moved back to the door and bit her lip hesitantly for a moment before she finally lifted her hand to knock. He must have been waiting for her to return because the door opened immediately in response.

“Good morning.” He motioned for her to enter. “You look as if you’ve had a rough night.”

Isabel bit back the automatic rude remark regarding his treatment of her and stepped into his quarters. “Considering your looks, you slept fine.”

“I slept just fine. Thank you for asking.” He went into the small kitchen area to start a pot of coffee, needing the caffeine if he was going to be dealing with a royal temper tantrum first thing in the morning. “What can I do for you?” he asked, fully aware of her following him.

“We found the leak in our ranks,” she stated shortly, hands clenched into fists at her sides.

“That’s good news.” Or maybe it wasn’t, he mused when he caught her expression. “Who is it?”

She stared into his gray eyes, unable to force one simple word past her lips because she didn’t want it to be true.

Alex frowned at the vulnerability he could see in her eyes. He crossed to her and reached for her hand, giving her time to pull away if she didn’t want the contact. “Isabel?”

“It’s me,” she said quietly.

He shook his head. “I don’t believe that.”

“You better,” she pulled her hand free of his and walked over to the huge window facing the garden.

“Then it wasn’t information given of your own free will.”

“You believe that?”

“Without a doubt.”

Isabel stared out the window for a very long time without moving or saying anything. No, she hadn’t given any information willingly, but in the end she had been Khivar’s source and just the thought disgusted her. He had used her, invaded her mind, and somehow her body and she had been helpless to do anything about it.

“What happened?”

Her eyes wandered over the room and then focused on him. “Khivar used me,” she tapped her head.

“Without your knowledge or consent,” he said, certain it was true.

“I couldn’t fight him.”

She had to be feeling violated. “He’s very powerful, Isabel. He came to you when you were at your weakest, when your defenses were low. You can’t blame yourself for that.”

“Yes, I can,” she denied, offended. “Why did he choose me? Why not Michael or Tess? He’d get much more information from them than from me. I’ll tell you why, Alex, because he thought I was the easiest to manipulate and maybe he’s right.”

“The Commander and his sister are soldiers, so it’s not fair to compare yourself to them that way. Maybe it would be more difficult for him to access their minds.” He gave her a small smile. “Considering what they do their minds must be like steel traps. You, on the other hand, you have no reason to guard your mind like that, and when you’re asleep you’re at your most vulnerable. And as loathe as I am to admit having anything in common with that snake, his suspected involvement with Vilondra indicates that he’s not immune to beautiful women. He could’ve just as easily found his way into your brother’s mind, and had he chosen to do so, it’s likely he would’ve found even more useful information.” He leaned back against the counter, arms crossed over his chest. “Perhaps you were the easiest to manipulate, but if you want to find fault with yourself for that you’re gonna have to look elsewhere to find someone who’ll agree with you.”

She sighed in frustration and started once more to stare out into the garden. “It doesn’t matter why he chose me over my brother or anyone else. It makes me a walking weapon against my own family.” Her arms came around her tightly. “I can’t stay here and betray them like that.”

He shook his head when he realized where she was going with the remark. “No, Isabel, you can’t just leave. Where would you go?”

“It doesn’t matter as long as I can’t reveal anything else to our biggest enemy.”

He had to convince her that running wasn’t the answer. “Is there a way to strengthen your mental barriers?”

“Don’t you think I’ve already tried everything?” she snapped.

“I assume you just found out about his intrusion,” he said, biting back the urge to say something that would get them into an argument.

“I’ve had a feeling something was... not normal for a while, but I didn’t know what it was and I just blamed it on weird dreams. I thought maybe my own dreams were somehow getting mixed up with those of Vilondra.” She shook her head. “I should’ve known better.”

It explained so much about her controlling behavior, he mused. “What can I do?”

“The only thing you can do is keep everything away from me so I’m unable to deliver any kind of information to Khivar.”

“That can be accomplished with no problem. But what I meant was, is there anything I can do for YOU?”

Isabel studied him, trying to figure out if he was sincere. He wasn’t a man who took pleasure from hurting other people, she decided after a short moment. “I can’t think of anything.”

He grinned suddenly. “You ever played basketball?” Oh, she’d tossed the ball through the hoop once or twice, cheating to make the basket and using it as an excuse to taunt him, but that wasn’t actually playing.

“You mean that senseless game where you throw a ball through a ring?”

“Yeah, that’s the one.”

“I don’t know what good it is.”

He chuckled. “It’s a great distraction.”

She stopped herself before she could tell him it was nonsense. Maybe a bit of distraction was just what she needed... what her brain needed. “Well,” she wrinkled her nose, “I guess I could give it a try.”

“Perfect. Let me change and down a cup of coffee and we’ll hit the court.”

“Should I change my clothes as well?” She glanced down at herself.

“I guess that depends on how comfortable you are. It’s a very active sport.”

“I think maybe I should change too,” she mused aloud. There had to be some Earth clothes left in her wardrobe, she just hadn’t worn any of them for a very long time now.

“Wanna meet up on the court or you wanna gimme a couple minutes and I’ll go with you?”

“We can meet there.”

He nodded. “Sounds good.”

*****

Captain Carson made notes in the margins, a shorthand script that was practically illegible and indecipherable. He had developed it over time, an unconscious blending of Human and Antarian dialects. He lifted the top sheet up, glancing over the information below before dropping the page and resuming his notations. He glanced at the left margin, scanning his notes on Miren and shaking his head. The Antarian soldier had everything and yet it hadn't been enough for him. He didn't understand the all-consuming desire that drove some men to commit acts of treason; the greed that led them to betray everyone and everything.

As promised, he had been given every man on the list he had submitted for approval. Other soldiers were necessary to fill positions at the new camp and he’d given his input and made suggestions. The soldiers guarding the outer perimeter of the camp were just as important as those he’d chosen for the shipment detail. He knew he didn’t have all of the pieces to the puzzle, there was information that had been withheld, but he was confident he could carry his mission out successfully in spite of that.

He leaned back for a moment, rubbing his eyes tiredly and blinking to focus them again. Things were moving fast, but he liked that. It kept him busy and kept his thoughts occupied and locked on something other than his unknown past. He got up and turned to face the map he had pinned to the wall of his temporary quarters. He had access to more advanced systems and he used them for terrain and weather conditions, updated information regarding recent battle sites that might impact the route he intended to take, but he still liked to maintain his base skills. Signals could be lost in the mountains, the weather could take out equipment, and under the right conditions it was easy to get turned around. He didn’t trust any technology enough to allow his skills to become rusty from misuse.

He was waiting to be summoned for his meeting with the King when a knock sounded at the door. He called for the sentry to enter and while his gaze remained focused on his work, he was fully aware of the man stepping into his quarters.

“The King has been delayed and he has asked that you take your meal until he is free to speak with you.”

The Captain nodded. “I’ll be right with you.”

“No need, Captain. His orders were to have your meal prepared and served by his personal kitchen staff. She will be arriving momentarily.”

“That’s fine, I’ll clear a spot.” He turned and gathered up the reports, smaller maps, and his tablet and stacked it all up at one end of the desk before going back to studying the map on the wall. “Just have her come in when she arrives.”

The sentry backed out of the room after acknowledging the Captain’s order.

He was leaning in close to the map, his eyes narrowed as he studied the pass they would need to navigate to reach the base of the Santeda Mountains. According to reports a small landslide had blocked a portion of the pass and he turned to grab his notebook, making a notation to secure the equipment they would need to clear that section. He had already compiled a list of weapons and supplies that would be needed, keeping everything as tight as possible because he didn’t want to requisition more than was necessary. He was conscious of the door opening behind him, the quiet footsteps, and then the sound of the dishes being placed on the table.

“Will you be needing anything else, Captain?”

He slid his pen in the pocket of his tee shirt and turned at the woman’s voice. “Thank you, I don’t…” He frowned, staring at her as a bolt of recognition shot through him so quickly he took a stumbling step back away from her.

Liz looked up from the meal she had placed on the table when she heard the man’s voice.
No, her mind was playing tricks on her. It couldn’t be. He was dead! She had been expecting to find a complete stranger in front of her when her eyes focused on the other person in the room, but once she saw him her knees almost gave out.

Despite his own shock, Captain Carson saw the woman falter and he reacted quickly. His arms shot out and he caught her safely. “I’m sorry, Miss, did I startle you?”

Liz glanced up into his eyes with confusion, her head spinning. “Jack,” she whispered.

He frowned. Jack... why did that sound so familiar? And why did he feel as if he should know her? “Do I know you?”

She searched his eyes for any sign of recognition, but all she could find was confusion. “You don’t know who I am?” What did that mean? Had they used the same method to get rid of his memories like they had with the royals? Was he really Jack or somehow a clone of him?

He struggled to grasp the memory that had risen to the surface and just as quickly retreated back into the recesses of his mind. “I don’t know.” He shook his head. “I know how that sounds, but I suffered a head injury sometime back so I don’t have total recall of people and things before that.” He stared at her. “Do you know me?”

Her eyes watered. He was alive. Jack was alive! She nodded slowly.

She knew him! “You called me Jack.” That familiarity alone suggested she knew him fairly well because very few people had ever called him by the abbreviated version of his given name and no one had used it since his arrival on Antar. “I recognize you but I don’t remember you.” He cursed his inability to remember. “How long has it been since we last saw each other?” God, he had so many questions for her and he was about to be sent out on a mission.

She had to force her voice to cooperate while the shock of seeing him again still rattled through her body. “It’s been a long time, more than a year,” she rasped. He looked a lot older, had several more scars, but he was still a handsome man.

“Is it safe to assume we knew each other well?” He nodded when she gave an affirmative response. “We’re not related though, right?” He was certain they weren’t. From what he’d been told after the mission that had left him with amnesia he had no family. And there was no resemblance between them.

“No, we’re not.” They had talked about marriage simply because neither of them both had any family left and they wanted to make sure the other was taken care of in case of death, but he had ‘died’ before they had gotten around it.

“So, we were...?” He motioned between them.

“We were a couple,” she answered honestly.

“No one knew about you.” He frowned. “Did anyone tell you what happened to me?”

“They told me you were killed in a battle. They even sent me your things,” she swallowed and shook her head. “I was your contact in case of emergency, there’s no way they didn’t know about me.”

Why? Why had he been led to believe he had no one? Why had she been told he had died? “I’m sorry you weren’t told the truth.”

Get it together, she ordered herself but she couldn’t believe how cruel fate or whatever bitch was pulling the strings was being with her. Just ONE day after she had given in to the thought of starting something with the King, it decided to send back her old lover? The one who was supposed to be dead? “I need to go,” she stated, overwhelmed and crushed by her mixed feelings.

“Wait.” He hurried to intercept her before she could leave. “At least tell me your name.”

“Liz,” she whispered. “My name’s Liz, Jack.”

He stood there staring at the empty doorway after she left, shock keeping him rooted to the spot. She knew him. He had a past that wasn’t just a mystery anymore. For so long he’d had nothing but questions. But now, now, there was someone who had the answers.

Now there was Liz.

*****

Maria leaned in the doorway and silently observed Michael as he discussed the route Captain Carson intended to use to reach the base of the Santeda Mountains. He was intent on the discussion, focused on determining tactical positions and other strategies that didn’t mean much to her. It was apparent that he was in his element and listening to him debating with the acting Commander made her smile. The discussion shifted to the weapons that needed to be requisitioned and the conversation got heated for a few minutes as the men disagreed over what was felt to be the most powerful weapons for the mission.

She took a moment to slip away, collecting a couple mugs of coffee and carrying them back to place them on the table between the two men. Other than a brief nod of their heads her presence went unnoticed. Or so she thought. Until Michael’s arm settled around her waist, preventing her from disappearing again.

Kyle was careful to conceal his surprise at the Commander’s move. In spite of the changes he’d witnessed in his commanding officer, his friend, it was still a bit of a shock to see the man react so openly towards the woman. “I still think they’d benefit from the additional weapons.”

Michael shook his head. “If we intend to make this appear as if it’s a covert mission, using the transports is off the table. And the weaponry you’re suggesting would require a transport to move, otherwise it would take too long. They’d have to go around the pass; the horses would never be able to maneuver those weapons through there.” His forefinger jabbed the map that was laid out between them. “As it is they’re gonna lose time clearing a path wide enough to move the absolute necessities through.”

Kyle ran his hand over his short hair. “Here I thought as Antar’s Commander I got to make the decisions.” His tone was light and the other man caught it.

Michael’s lips turned up in a half-grin. “You, CAPTAIN Valenti, are not really Antar’s Commander as long as I draw breath.”

“No, I suppose that’s true,” he grumbled good-naturedly.

“Is the unit ready?”

“Carson’s making the final preparations, but everything’s ready.”

“Good, the trap will bring out the network of traitors and they’ve likely already taken notice of the mission.’

“Miren’s been assigned to the unit but Carson’s playing it close to the vest. He wants to get as close to the camp as possible before the location is known for certain.” He reached up to scratch his shoulder. “At least we’re hoping without confirmation of the camp’s location we’ll hold off the attack until he’s ready.”

“There’s always a certain amount of risk,” Michael nodded and looked up to meet Maria’s eyes briefly, “but it’s necessary to take it.”

“If they can make it to their destination they have a better chance of surviving. The base of the Santeda Mountains is a defensible position.”

“I trust your decision that Captain Carson is the right man for this.” He still wished he could talk to the man in person.

“He’s very focused, he’s dedicated, and he’s one Hell of a fighter. He’s the right man.”

“Have some trust,” Maria told him.

He grunted. He trusted Kyle implicitly, he just didn’t like being outside of the action.

“If everything works out in the near future, you won’t be hiding for much longer.”

No, and then he would see Rath pay for his actions. “I look forward to that.”

Maria frowned when dark feelings radiated from him. She had gotten that impression earlier but he was shielding it from her.

“You’ll be visible soon enough,” Kyle assured him. “This trap should net a good capture and hopefully it’ll clean house.”

“It’s going to be a start,” Michael agreed.

The Captain chuckled as he checked an incoming message on his tablet. “Well, I’ve got a dispute to settle between a couple of territorial lieutenants, so I’d better get that handled before one of them draws blood.”

“Do that,” the Commander dismissed him with a wave and sighed in frustration when he was gone.

“You were in a much better and more agreeable mood before the Captain’s visit,” Maria said, hoping to tease him out of the dark mood that had settled over him.

He smiled slightly. “Mostly because of you.”

“Well, I’m still here.”

He let his head fall back to look up at where she was standing next to him. “I can see that.”

She combed her fingers through his hair. “You seem to have something on your mind.”

“There is much on my mind, Maria.”

She nodded. “I know, it just seems like there’s...” She shook her head.

He pulled her closer and rested his forehead against her chest. “There is nothing in particular,” he lied, knowing it was best for her not to know the truth.

Her fingertips massaged the tense muscles at the base of his neck. She knew there were going to be times when there were things on his mind that he couldn’t – or wouldn’t – discuss for various reasons. He was a military man and it was just the way it was, but she hated seeing that something was weighing so heavily on him and he wasn’t able to discuss it. “What’s on your agenda for the rest of the day?”

“I’m gonna meet the King later after he’s talked to Zander about a few things.”

“Is he close to his father?” She had only seen Zander once since her arrival on Antar and he had struck her as a man who was severe in his dealings and very set in his ways.

“Not at all,” he shook his head.

“That’s too bad.” She smoothed the wrinkles in the material covering his shoulders. “I’ll bet he was close to his Earth family.”

“He wouldn’t know.”

“Maybe after he’s spent some time with Liz his memories will start to come back.”

“Yeah maybe,” he mused. “You seem to bring out my human side a lot lately.” His gaze traveled over her body and settled on her flat stomach. “Anything indicating that the flash last night had a specific meaning?”

“Nothing definite,” she denied. “I’ve been wondering about it myself though.”

“You wanna see the doctor?”

“If it’s true, should we conceal it?” She rubbed his shoulder unconsciously. “I mean, you wouldn’t suggest it if you didn’t believe he can be trusted, but would it be safer if we kept it to ourselves?”

“I don’t know if concealing it will be an option, Maria. We don’t know anything about pregnancies between humans and hybrids. It’s most likely possible that it’ll affect your body to some degree.”

“Then if you think it’s best, perhaps it wouldn’t hurt to make an appointment with the doctor.”

“We can wait a few more days and see if there are any signs of pregnancy if you feel it’s too early. We don’t want anyone to get suspicious if we aren’t sure yet.” His hand settled over her belly gently.

“There’s been nothing definite, just a feeling that it might be true.”

“I don’t wanna use my powers to get answers. We don’t know what it could do to the baby if there is one.”

She smiled and cupped his face in her hands as she shook her head. “We’ll wait a few days and see what happens. Since practically nothing is known of a pregnancy between a Hybrid and a Human or its effects on a woman’s body we have no way of knowing how quickly it would progress.” She gnawed on her bottom lip for a moment. “Do you think Dr. Collon will have any answers?”

“I don’t know, but maybe he’ll be able to compare our growth in the incubators with it since we have a mix of human and alien DNA.”

“That’s probably true. Still, let’s give it a few days.”

“Okay,” he agreed. “But if you start to feel uncomfortable, you’ll tell me.”

“I’ll tell you,” she agreed and brushed her fingertips over his jaw. “I’d never do anything that would endanger our child.”

“Or you,” he told her.

“Or me,” she agreed with a soft smile.
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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 84

Post by Double Trouble » Sun Aug 24, 2014 10:12 am

keepsmiling7: The Commander will do everything in his power to keep her safe.

sarammlover: We’ll be catching up with Alex and Isabel again today. Lol, you wanna give Jack to Ava, huh? Maybe the two of them will run into each other at some point and we’ll see what they think of each other.

Earth2Mama: This connection business has really moved things along for the Commander and Maria.

Good question. We’ll find out soon.

Alien_Friend: Really, lol. You know we have to throw the occasional roadblock in our character’s paths. You can rest assured Liz will talk to her friend about what’s happened. Seeing Jack has definitely thrown her feelings into a whirlwind of confusion. No, nothing is ever simple. That’d be too easy. You won’t have too long to wait for our girls to get together for a conversation.

Alex is good for Isabel, but he wants her to know he’s not her doormat. It was a risky move, but our Princess didn’t back down. She does need a friend, someone who will be honest with her and earn her trust. It looks like Alex just may be that person. There are questions but we’ll eventually get to those answers.

begonia9508: That was a major shock, lol. We’ll catch up with Liz soon and see what she’s gonna do.

Roswelllostcause: Thanks! Yeah, this might throw a monkey wrench in things.



Part 84

Alex watched as Isabel attempted to dribble the basketball and after a few minutes he moved around her, taking the ball from her and demonstrating the move again. “You’re puttin’ too much thought into it. Just quit thinkin’ so hard.” He had challenged her to play without using her powers and while she’d complied so far he could tell her patience was wearing thin.

“Stop giving me stupid advice, Mr. Advisor,” she told him.

“Advising is what an Advisor does,” he said with a shrug. “And it’s not like you have any knowledge of this game.” He took the ball down the court and took a shot, nodding in satisfaction when it dropped through the hoop without ever touching the sides. “Sweet.” He retrieved the ball and bounced it a few times before tossing it back to her. “C’mon, show me what you’ve got.”

She caught it and threw it right back at him with force.

Alex coughed when the ball impacted with his abdomen. “Well, if we were playin’ football you’d have a damn good arm, but that’s really not the point of this particular game.” Which you suck at, he thought with an internal snort.

“Football? What’s that?”

“It’s a sport that requires a lot of endurance and a lot of physical contact.”

“Sounds very interesting,” she admitted.

“So you’re interested in contact sports, huh?” he mused with a slight grin.

“It sounds a lot more interesting than this,” she pointed at the basketball court with a grimace.

“Well, I’m not sure you’d enjoy football. The first time someone tackled you it’s likely you’d blast them and that’d just ruin the game.”

“Why do you humans come up with so many sports anyway?”

“Because they involve exercise, and that’s something that’s good for you all the way around. And it feeds the need humans have to compete.”

“I can imagine better ways to compete AND exercise,” she told him.

Alex shook his head. Why did everything have to be a competition? “Such as?”

“Sex,” she answered simply.

Yep, that’s exactly where he had expected her to go. “And why does that have to be a competition?”

“You said it’s human nature, not me.”

“I said it was human nature to be competitive in sports. I didn’t necessarily mean to include sex as a sport. Granted, there are quite a few benefits to having sex, but I can’t say as I’ve ever viewed it as a competitive sport.”

She rolled her eyes. “You always take every word apart, Advisor.”

“It’s a hazard of the job.” He shrugged. He was busy mentally going over the conversation, trying to determine if she was giving him an invitation or not.

“I suppose that’s true. I’ll allow it count as an apology this time.”

“That’s so gracious of you, Your Highness,” he said with sarcasm dripping from the words. It certainly wasn’t meant as an apology, but if that was how she wanted to take it, who was he to deprive her of that small joy?

Isabel smirked and took the ball from him, throwing it over her head and through the hoop without looking.

“You’re cheating again,” he accused.

“No, I wasn’t,” she said innocently.

“Yes, you were.” He retrieved the ball and dribbled it while watching her. That wasn’t the kind of shot a novice made and it certainly wasn’t beginners luck.

Isabel’s eyes followed him with some amusement and when he was about to throw the ball she altered its flight path just enough to make him miss his goal.

“And I suppose that wasn’t cheating either.”

“Hey, I’m not responsible for your lack of aim. Good thing you’re not on the battlefield.”

“Given the right field of battle I never miss my goal,” he said, meeting her gaze directly.

“Really?” she asked as his intense stare drew a reaction from her body.

“Really.” He took a few steps to bring them closer together.

“What kinda weapons do you use?” Her gaze dropped to his pants and the bulge forming there.

“It’s a very specific weapon.” He moved a step closer. “Heat sinking missile.”

She laughed honestly. “Is it big?”

“Well, I don’t like to brag and I rarely show it off, but I’d say it’s more than ample enough to get the job done.”

“Wanna show me?”

“I could be persuaded. Preferably in more comfortable surroundings. I could show you here, but I’d feel like a flasher,” he said with a laugh.

Isabel glanced around and then her hand shot out. A second later a few locks on the doors clicked. “Here is fine with me.”

Okay, he wasn’t complaining or anything because he was a guy and getting laid was a pretty important part of life, but really, a little comfort would be nice. “You wanna just get right down to business?” He shook his head. “I hope you know you deserve a lot better than a quick fuck up against the wall.”

“What’s so bad about walls?” She shook her head.

His hand traveled down her arm as he shook his head. “I have nothing against walls,” he muttered.

“Last time you were complaining about having no control at all,” she mused, letting him pull her closer to his body. “What if I let you call the shots today, Advisor?”

He shifted back slightly to look at her. Why would she so suddenly just give up control? It was so unlike her. “Why?”

She sighed. Why did he always have to question everything? “Because that’s the way I want it. I want you to take me. Now.”

He cleared his throat when his body reacted enthusiastically. “Answer a question for me first.”

“What question?”

“You said Khivar got into your head, that he was looking for information.” He tipped his head to the side. “Is that all he took from you?”

Her lips formed a tight thin line while she shook her head wordlessly.

That’s what he was afraid of. He’d asked one question and she’d answered him. Her patience wasn’t likely to hold out for another. “May I suggest we go back to my quarters?”

“No, here!” She moved her hand again and the light in the room faded to a bare minimum.

Why was she so afraid to be with him in a setting that wasn’t so... cold? Because, his conscience whispered, she maintains control this way. She’s only making you think she’s given you control. “If this is what you want, I won’t attempt to further change your mind.”

“It’s you that I want.” She leaned in and bit his neck. “Now would you mind getting down to business, Advisor?”

He shouldn’t give in to her on this and he knew it. She needed to deal with what Khivar had done to her and he certainly didn’t want to be lumped in with the bastard that had used her, but she knew her own mind. He walked her backwards until her back came up against the wall and he rested his forearm on it as he leaned in and took her mouth in a heated kiss.

Isabel groaned into his mouth when he finally – finally – gave in to whatever had been building between them for weeks or even months. She was fed up with pushing her real needs aside and just this once she wanted to live something that was actually on her mind for a while.

Heat shot through him at the sounds she made. He sincerely hoped this wasn’t a mistake, that she wouldn’t push him away as soon as she’d gotten what she wanted from him. Her hand grazed him and sent every other thought straight out of his head. His hand sought out her skin, fumbling with the material of the shirt she wore to really feel her. Oh, they’d had several seriously heated encounters, they’d had sex, but it had always occurred in the realm of dreams and thoughts, never in reality. And it was so much better this way, he thought.

When his hands came into contact with her bare skin, Isabel thought she was on fire everywhere he was touching her. She groaned and moved enough to bring his lower body in direct contact with hers.

Alex growled and his hand reversed course, sliding down to hook in the waistband of her shorts. He had no idea where she’d found them, but if he had his way she’d be wearing them on a regular basis. The thoughts that had been roaming around in his mind since she’d walked through the doors could have him strung up in the courtyard just for thinking them. She moaned and shifted against him and he let his fingers slowly find their way between her legs to touch her.

Isabel followed his lead. She pulled on the waistband of his sweatpants, liking the way the material obeyed nicely and made room to reach his most interesting body parts. That was one advantage of human clothes, she thought and grabbed him in her hand fully.

His fingers glided through her slick folds, just barely grazing her most sensitive spot before backing off again. He made several passes, each time letting the contact last a moment longer and slowly driving her insane. Her grip on him tightened and he could feel the warning in it, but he ignored it, making another pass and ever so slowly circling that taut nub of flesh.

“You know I could make you touch in a more satisfying manner,” she rasped into his ear, “but I promised I won’t, so we’ll do it your way.”

“Yeah, you could.” His lips brushed her ear as he whispered, “But it’s so much better when you don’t actually know what to expect from every single moment.” And with that he gave in to her need for more satisfactory contact. He took her mouth in a deep kiss, his tongue mimicking the movements of his hand as he pushed two long fingers inside of her while using the heel of his hand to provide pressure and friction to excite the extremely sensitive bundle of nerves just begging for attention.

“It is,” she agreed and with one hard move, she jerked his pants down until they dropped to the floor in a pool around his ankles.

There was no mistaking that move, he thought. But in spite of his desire to bury himself deep inside of her he kept his own needs in check so he could get her off first. He thrust his fingers in and out of her and ground the heel of his hand against her. He could feel the telltale trembling in her inner walls as she clamped down on his fingers and he deepened the kiss, his tongue tangling hotly with hers as he pushed her over the edge.

Isabel dragged her lips away when she felt the slight tingling that came with a flash. She was allowing the Advisor to have his way with her, but she wouldn’t allow him to see inside her head.

He met her defiant gaze head-on and shook his head. “You have no reason to fear me.”

“I don’t,” she denied breathlessly.

He had to remind himself that it was going to take time to gain her trust. At least where her innermost thoughts and feelings were concerned. His hands skimmed down over her thighs, discarding the clothing that was in the way.

“For someone who wanted to get more comfortable for this, you’re certainly taking your time,” she teased and hooked her fingers under his tee shirt to drag it over his head.

“Just wanna enjoy this moment.” For all he knew this was a one-off. He gripped her thighs in his hands and lifted her up, using his body to pin her against the wall. “Fast enough?”

“Almost.”

He shifted, lining himself up and nudging her entrance. “You’re sure?”

She looked him directly in the eyes and nodded. “Yes.”

He pushed forward, taking it slow until he filled her. He was fascinated by the expression on her face. “Okay?”

“More than that,” she moaned.

He started to move, quickly increasing his pace to a demanding rhythm that she matched.

She should have given in to him sooner, she realized when his presence and lead made her forget everything in her head and around them. For the first time in a very long time she felt something that she might call it freedom.

Alex shifted just enough to alter the angle and satisfaction shot through him when her sharp intake of breath let him know it was just right.

“You know what you’re doing, don’t you?” She dug her nails into his back, a move that certainly would leave a mark.

“You know what they say,” he panted. “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.”

“I didn’t know they say that, but it sounds right.”

“It’s right.” God, it was so right! He picked up the pace, knowing he was getting close to the point of no return.

She wrapped her legs around him tighter and concentrated only on his movements and the feelings inside of her. “I think I’m coming again,” she said a little startled. No man had ever been able to do that.

Her words probably would’ve been enough, but the note of surprise in her voice had him determined to make sure she hit her peak again. He withdrew nearly all the way before slamming his hips forward again and her nails dug into his skin, marking him once more.

“Alex,” she gasped and shuddered when her second orgasm hit her hard and fast, making her see stars.

Mission accomplished, he thought and quickly followed her. His knees felt like jelly and it took a major effort to keep them locked. “This is where being horizontal beats the wall,” he said with a gruff chuckle.

“I think you’re holding up pretty well.” She slowly released her grip on him.

His grip on her eased as he let her take her weight on her own two legs. His forehead rested against hers and he smiled as he kissed her gently. “You do know I’m gonna have hell trying to focus on basketball in this room now, don’t you?”

“I think I gave you something better to think of in this room,” she told him with a smirk.

He snorted softly. “No doubt.”

“Better than basketball? “

“Hands down, better than any sport.”

She laughed, satisfied. “Good.”

“You should smile more often,” he murmured as he ran his thumb over her bottom lip.

“There’s not a lot to smile about.”

“Then we’re just gonna have to find a way to bring that smile out more often.”

Isabel straightened her clothes. “Good luck with that, Advisor.”

He smirked while he straightened himself up. “I think I’m up to the challenge.”

*****

“So what’s the plan?” Tess asked when the King and she walked through the hallways of the castle that led to the section where Zander’s quarters were located. She wasn’t looking forward to meeting the old man, considering his opinion of who had to marry who. “What did you tell your father the reason for this meeting is?”

“We’re seeking his counsel and informing him of our plan to move the weapons shipment to the Santeda Mountains. If the opportunity arises you can speak with Mother and confide in her regarding your belief that the unit will be met with resistance before the camp can be established. Tell her we anticipate the camp being prepared the night before the next full moon. If she is the spy, they will attack that night, when the night sky is at its darkest.”

“Sounds good,” she agreed and went through everything in her head again, preparing her mind for the strength she would need.

“Have you ever searched their minds?”

“No, I didn’t want to risk anything. We don’t know his powers all that well and we don’t know if he’s capable of detecting me.” She sighed. “But we have to risk it now.”

“His failing health may work to our advantage.”

“I thought so too,” she agreed, but still felt her nerves.

“Be cautious when searching Mother’s mind. If she is the spy as we believe, she may be prepared for such an intrusion.”

“I’ll be careful,” she looked at him when they reached the entry. “Ready?”

He inhaled slowly and waited a moment before nodding. “Ready.”

Tess wanted to be anywhere but there in that moment, but she transformed her expression into a determined mask when they entered.

Zander watched them as they approached, his dull eyes seeing a change in their demeanor. Something had changed since the last time they had stood before him. “The Kingdom suffered a great loss with the Commander’s passing,” he said with a quiet nod in the girl’s direction.

“It has indeed, King Zander,” she agreed with her best grief-stricken voice.

“His sacrifice will not be in vain. We must strike back now that the flag of mourning has been lowered.”

“Commander Valenti is on it,” his son answered.

“The Captain was an... interesting choice to promote to the Commander’s position.”

“He worked with our Commander on a daily basis,” Max said, sensing Tess’ anger at the remark. “If anyone could operate as effectively as him then it is Captain Valenti.”

Zander was surprised that they hadn’t had any problems considering the new Commander’s breeding. “I would have expected an Antarian to take his place.”

“As I said, Father, Valenti meets our expectations. We are here to seek your counsel on an upcoming mission.”

The old man’s eyes gleamed with interest. “What advice do you need?”

“There is a weapons transport,” Tess spoke up, “but we are counting on an assault.”

Zander considered her words for a while. “Where is it being transported to?”

“To the abandoned camp at the base of the Santeda Mountains,” she explained and gestured to a map in Zander’s quarters.

He got to his feet, leaning heavily on the staff in his right hand. He brushed Lonella off when she tried to place a supportive hand on his arm. “Leave me be,” he snapped as he slowly made his way over to the map. “Yes, it’s a defensible position.” He turned his head. “You’re certain Khivar has no knowledge of the transport?”

“We only passed this information to a select circle of people,” Max agreed.

The old King nodded and shifted to study the map again. “There is...” he paused a moment and glanced at his wife. “Summon a servant. I am in need of a meeting with Santar.”

“Who’s Santar?” Max frowned.

“Santar is of no consequence,” he said, waving his hand dismissively. He waited until his wife had left the room and then moved one trembling finger along the map. “Send the men along this path. The direct path may seem best, but if they divert at this section of the river, there is a hidden pass through the mountains. It will provide cover and save nearly a full day of travel.”

Tess stepped closer to the map to study it and then nodded. “That should work in our favor.”

“Khivar is unaware of the pass. Your father and I created it ourselves.”

Tess wanted to roll her eyes at his bragging, but she nodded instead. “That was a smart thing to do. It will provide shelter not only from the enemy but the elements as well.”

“Indeed,” he muttered to himself. “You must protect this shipment at all costs. We must not lose such a shipment to Khivar’s armies.”

“The weapons will reach their destination and then we will be able to strike back hard.”

He nodded. “It is time for Khivar to be cut down.”

“And we will reach that goal, Father,” Max told him.

Zander watched his son for a moment. “I approve of this action. It is well past time that you became involved in such things.”

“The Commander’s death has forced me to.”

The door opened again and the Queen walked in. “Santar is ready to speak with you.”

He nodded. “Very well, I will take my leave of you.” He shot a look at his wife. “I will speak with him alone.”

“As you wish, Zander.”

He narrowed his eyes as he made his way out of the room, snapping off an Antarian curse at the sentry waiting to escort him.
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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 85

Post by Double Trouble » Sun Aug 31, 2014 3:32 am

Earth2Mama: Alex is definitely breaking through those walls, one brick at a time.

Tess is just doing what she can to keep things with Zander civil, hoping to learn more that way.

Roswelllostcause: He’s certainly doing his best. Thanks!

keepsmiling7: Tess is just doing what she can to keep things with Zander civil, hoping to learn more that way.

Natalie36: Thanks! Well, Zander’s taken his leave, so we’ll have to wait.

sarammlover: Alex knows how to work around the walls Isabel keeps between her and everyone else. Lol, she does usually have the upper hand. We’ll get back to Max and Liz before too long.

begonia9508: Thanks for reading!

Alien_Friend: Lol, he’s definitely got game.

There’s little Zander hates more than being weak. We’ll check in on that scene again today.



Part 85

“Your father is stubborn,” the Queen said as soon as he was gone.

“Yes,” Max mused, “but that trait has served him well.”

“Have you devised a plan to take revenge for the Commander’s death?”

“We have implemented such a plan,” Max said, deciding to take the lead in the conversation so Tess could attempt to search his mother’s mind.

She nodded secretly and concentrated on the Queen while Max directed the conversation.
“It is our intention to strike back just as hard.”

“I suspect our successful completion of this mission will be a solid move in that direction. We expect to be operational very soon. Our only concern is the complete darkness the night before the next full moon because the camp will be at its most vulnerable at that point. But it’s a risk we must take.”

“Indeed we must,” she agreed. “We cannot allow them to kill our Commander without retaliating.”

“We’ve assigned an extra unit to guard the outer perimeter against attack and we anticipate having the advantage that night.”

“This will be a successful mission then.”

Tess had to fight the urge to hurt her mentally when she could easily read the underlying sarcasm.

Max nodded. “I know Father doesn’t support the decision to promote a human to the rank of Commander, but I feel Valenti was the appropriate choice.”

“If Captain Valenti was the Commander’s chosen second that is the way it should be.”

He watched her for a moment. “I am surprised you find it agreeable,” he admitted after a moment. “I had expected opposition from you as well as Father.”

“Zander gave you his title for a reason, Maximilian. As the King of Antar, you should and must be able to lead your people to victory and peace.”

“But as the King of Antar he’s not able to make his own decisions about arranged marriages?” Tess knew it wasn’t a smart thing to ask, but she couldn’t hold it inside of her any longer.

“Child, these traditions are necessary,” the Queen said, her tone level as she turned her head to look at her son’s wife-to-be. “They must be carried on. Your people expect it. It has served Zander’s Kingdom well throughout history.” Her features remained stoic, hiding her own feelings about the way the marriages were carried out by the Royal Family.

“It is good for nothing.”

“It is what is necessary to maintain the peace among our people.” Her eyes ghosted over both of them. “And it is necessary if you are to create a super hybrid.”

Max looked at Tess. “We will take our leave now. There are duties we must carry out to prepare the weapons transport to the camp.”

“Take caution,” the Queen advised. “Khivar will not be easily tricked.”

“That is not new to us, Mother.”

“No, but I would not wish to see another Commander of Antar’s armies cut down before his time.”

“That is something we have in common. Commander Valenti is aware of every tactic and strategy Michael was planning before his death. He might be human, but he has everything necessary to lead our troops and it binds them together even after their esteemed Commander was assassinated.”

“When have you planned the funeral? The mourning period is over. It is time to announce the date to your people.”

That caught Max off guard. They hadn’t even thought about such a ceremony and he was glad when Tess reacted quickly. “My brother’s funeral will be held only for a small circle. The graveside will then be opened for everyone afterwards.”

The Queen nodded. “That is wise.”

Max cleared his throat quietly. “We are to meet with Commander Valenti soon, Mother.” He glanced outside. “The time for our plan to be set into motion draws near.”

“You may go then,” she agreed with a nod and gestured to the door.

He waited until they had crossed back into his part of the castle and left his parents’ quarters well behind them before he spoke. “Were you able to gain entrance to her mind?”

“I was,” Tess nodded. “Max, we have to make sure that your mother won’t be able to access more information about any of our plans.”

“What did you learn?”

“She’s in contact with both Khivar and Miren.”

“The Captain is certain the camp will be prepared for the attack the last night before the full moon.” He rubbed the back of his neck. “What about Father? Were you able to search his mind?”

“I don’t think he knows about your mother. At least I couldn’t pinpoint it within his thoughts.”

“What do you think about his suggestion about using the pass?”

“I think it was honest.”

“Alright, then we’ll suggest it to the Captain. It would be beneficial for his unit to arrive earlier than anticipated.” He was silent for a few moments. “How long can we put off the funeral before people begin to get suspicious?”

“Not as long as we’d like to I’m afraid.”

“Can we put it off until this mission is completed?”

“Sure. Maybe we could start to build the gravesite.”

“That’s an excellent idea. It will give the impression that we’re preparing to lay the Commander to rest and buy us some time.” He frowned a moment. “Buy us some time,” he murmured. “What a strange phrase. I don’t believe it’s possible to purchase time.” He looked at her. “Is it?”

“I don’t think so. But I remember the phrase as well so it might be a saying from Earth.”

He chuckled and nodded. “Yes, I believe it must be.”

“Before we get on with the grave we should find a way to keep the Queen away from us.” She looked at him sympathetically. “How do you feel about your mother?”

“How do I feel about her?” He mulled that over for a minute before he shrugged one shoulder. “I don’t know. I mean, we’ve always known that we were engineered for a purpose and not because we were wanted.”

“True,” she glanced back along the hallway they had just come from, “she’s dangerous. I wonder at what point she decided to choose Khivar over her own kingdom.”

“Were you able to gain any insight into her reasons for making that decision?”

“Not at all but she obviously holds a grudge against arranged marriages. Something we seem to have in common.”

“Yeah, well, so do we, but none of us have allied ourselves with Khivar to get out of it.”

“I don’t know if that’s her reason for working with him. Maybe it’s just one of many and does it matter in the end? We needed to find the informant in our ranks and now we know the head of all traitors.”

“We do,” Max nodded and stared down the hallway in silence.

Tess watched him and felt his helplessness all too clearly. “Let’s get the Commander and the Captain so we can share the news with them and work out a plan to keep things from your mother.”

*****

Liz wandered along the hallways of the castle aimlessly. She wouldn’t have anything to do until it was time to prepare dinner and she couldn’t go back to the quarters because the risk was too high she would run into the King. She couldn’t see him right now – not after the encounter with Jack.

Jack, she thought and her heart clenched tightly, unsure how to feel about it. How could he be alive? How could that possibly be? And why hadn’t he recognized her?

“Fate is a bitch,” she muttered to herself and rested her back against the cold stone wall. Why else would Jack be sent right back into her life the same day she had finally given in to the King of Antar?

“Talking to yourself, Miss Parker?” Kyle asked when he passed her, areas of exposed skin visible around the heavy uniform and weapons he was wearing glistening with a thin layer of sweat as if he had been rushed all day.

Liz looked up, startled, and met the amused eyes of the Captain. “No, I just use my mental abilities to communicate with dead people,” she hissed. The man was always so annoying and irritating.

He laughed. “I wish I could chat with you a while longer, but I have an important meeting with the King.”

Just the mention of Max made her feel guilty even though she hadn’t done anything wrong. She ignored Valenti and glanced the other way, realizing she was only one hallway away from the Commander’s quarters. A talk with a friend was really on the agenda right now, she thought and went quickly to pay the only other human woman she knew here a visit.

The sentries at the huge doors looked at her sternly, but they couldn’t intimidate her anymore now that she knew Max had given her access to both parts of the castle and his men had been informed. “I need a few things out of the storage room from this section,” she informed them and waited until they moved to open the doors for her.

Without a word, she slipped in and waited until the doors closed behind her again before she made her way over to Michael’s quarters. With a fisted hand, she knocked on the door and waited impatiently, hoping the other woman was there because there were things inside of her that needed to be talked about and she was probably the only person on the whole planet who could understand.

Maria was standing at one of the large windows that looked down over the courtyard when she heard the knock. She knew there were very few people who would come to the Commander’s quarters and anyone of a questionable nature wouldn’t have been given entry. She pulled the door open, staring at it for a moment when it opened without any difficulty. It was heavy and normally it took more of an effort. She shook that thought off and focused on her visitor when she noticed the expression on Liz’s face. “Liz, what’s wrong?” she asked as she motioned for her to come inside.

“If I knew,” she sighed and practically ran inside, thankful that her friend was there.

“Things with Max didn’t go well?”

Liz turned around to meet her friend’s gaze and suddenly it all broke out and she fell to the floor, hurting her knees with the motion, but the pain seemed to be so far away she didn’t even react to it. “He’s alive. An’ I don’t know how to feel about it.”

Maria’s eyes widened and she hurried to her friend’s side, sitting beside her and wrapping her arms around her. She didn’t know what was going on, but she knew Liz wasn’t talking about the King. “Who’s alive?”

“Jack,” the brunette stated and blinked through her tears.

“Jack...” her eyebrows shot up. “Wait, the guy on Earth you told me about?”

“Yeah,” she confirmed with a sad nod.

“I thought you said he was killed in a battle there?”

“That’s what I thought,” Liz agreed and wiped her tears away. “Until I met him earlier. He’s the Captain leading the fake weapons transport.”

“What’d he say?”

“He doesn’t remember me. He said he suffered some injury and lost parts of his memory.”

“Do you believe him?”

“I don’t know. He sounded sincere. What if they brainwashed him?”

“Who? Someone here on Antar?” She thought about it for a while before shaking her head. “I don’t think they’d do that. Well, there are some who would, but not for a human soldier.”

“Gosh, I really don’t know how to feel about it, Maria.”

“That had to be a shock to see him again. And he’s the one leading the mission?”

“Yeah, Captain Carson.”

It was a dangerous mission, even more dangerous than normal. “Are you gonna see him when he gets back?”

“I don’t know anything right now. I can’t just ignore it though, can I?”

“No, no, I guess you can’t.” She paused. “Do you want to?”

“I can’t think straight right now, Maria. The man I thought was dead suddenly appears to be alive. What should I make outta this? Tell me.”

“I wish I had the answer, Liz,” she answered after a moment. “You could look at it as a second chance, if that’s what you want. Or maybe it’s more like closure. I think you’re gonna have to take a step back and figure out what you want because like it or not, you’ve developed feelings for Max. You said before that you and Jack were together but you didn’t really see the kind of future a woman wants with the right man, but you obviously liked him, cared about him... loved him. You’ve dealt with the grief associated with losing him and now out of nowhere you find out he’s alive. That’s a lot to deal with for anyone in a normal situation, but this is far from being normal.”

“When did you get so wise, girl?” Liz snorted.

Maria snorted. “I don’t know about wise. I think it’s just common sense.”

“This’s a huge mess,” Liz sighed. “Maybe I should just wait and see if he contacts me again.” She shook her head. “I don’t know what to do.”

“He probably has a lot of questions, so I’d count on that.”

“IF he makes it back.”

Maria knew there was a chance he wouldn’t. The mission had been planned with the intention of drawing the enemy directly to the camp. “What if he does though?”

“Do you think I should tell Max?”

“How serious are things between you?”

“We slept together. I think he’s pretty serious about it.”

“What about you? I mean, before you ran into Jack.”

“I think I could feel something for him.”

“Then I think you have to tell him, Liz.”

She nodded slowly. “What am I gonna say when I don’t even know how I feel about it?”

“By now he’s probably met Jack.” She had a feeling the King was going to be experiencing jealousy soon. “How did you run into Jack today?”

“I was supposed to bring him his meal. I just walked into his temporary quarters totally clueless until I saw him.”

“Well, that gives you an opening,” Maria mused. “He knows you saw the Captain.”

Liz sighed and walked over to crash on an armchair. “I thought my life would get better... more ordinary on Antar.” She laughed bitterly at the thought now.

“And it’s just one complication after another, isn’t it?” Maria asked sympathetically.

“No kidding.”

“Maybe it’ll help to talk to Max about it.”

“Yeah, maybe.” Liz looked up to meet her friend’s eyes. “What about you? Anything new?”

“Well, now that you mention it, there is a little something,” Maria admitted.

“Yeah?” The brunette lifted an eyebrow in interest, thankful for any kind of distraction. “Tell me about it.”

She bit her bottom lip. “I think I might be pregnant.”

“WHAT?”

She smiled and nodded. “It’s true.”

“How-” Liz swallowed. “I mean I know how, but... really? Are you sure?”

“Well, I don’t know for sure, but it’s possible.”

“Was it planned?”

She shook her head. “Well, WE didn’t plan it, let’s put it that way.”

“Wow... Just, wow. I did not expect that,” Liz said, still stunned.

“Me either. I’m still not sure how to feel about it.”

“What’s your first reaction when ya think about it?”

“Well, other than the initial feelings like being nervous and scared, there’s this acceptance, like it’s right. And it’s weird, but there’s also happiness and a kind of excitement.”

“And what about the Commander? How does he feel about it?”

“He’s surprisingly accepting.”

“That’s good.” Liz stared at her blonde friend for a moment. “Wow, you’re pregnant.”

They didn’t know for certain, at least no tests had confirmed it, but she had a feeling it was true. “It’s funny how quickly things can change.”

“True words,” Liz snorted.

“Yeah. This is the last thing I ever expected.”

“A little Commander baby should be cute.” Liz smiled.

Maria smiled softly. “Yeah.” She snorted a moment later. “Can you imagine the kind of temper tantrum a child with Michael’s genes will be capable of throwing?”

“No doubt. But at least you’ll have Daddy around for that.”

“Sounds like the perfect time to hand him or her over to Michael,” she laughed.

“Gosh,” Liz slouched in her seat, “what a crazy life.”

“We definitely didn’t leave complicated back on Earth.”

“I wish I could have one day without drama,” the brunette groaned. “Do you mind if I stay here for a bit?”

“No, of course not. I can use the company.”

“Cool. I need to think about a few things before I face Max again.”

“Stay as long as you need to.”

“Do you feel any morning sickness yet?”

She shook her head. “No, and if the connection can block that I won’t complain at all.”

“True. Wouldn’t it be nice to have all the bad stuff blocked by it?”

“Yeah, that’d be great.”

“I’m crossing my fingers for you, Maria. Do they have any idea if this’s gonna be a normal pregnancy? And who knows about it?”

“Apparently they know nothing about human-hybrid pregnancies, so it should be interesting. And other than me and Michael, only you know.”

“Oh wow. That means I’d better not say anything to anyone.”

“Yeah, I think it’s best if we keep it quiet for now.” Her gaze strayed to the window. “If it’s true about the connection our child could be very powerful.”

“Are you scared about that?”

“Yeah. If it’s true it’ll make him or her a target.”

“Yeah,” Liz mused. “And a lot of pressure and hope will be on his or her shoulders.”

“The weight of an entire planet. Hopefully Michael’s right about those powers somehow being accessible to him and our child won’t have to carry that burden.”

“That would be good,” her friend agreed. “Of course it’d also mean more danger for him.” Liz made a face. “Sorry, I sound so negative.”

Maria shook her head. “No, it’s just the reality of the situation.”

“What remains is hope for a better reality in the future, right?”

“True, and maybe that future isn’t too far away.”
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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 86

Post by Double Trouble » Sun Sep 07, 2014 4:07 am

begonia9508: No, that isn’t good at all. At this point Max isn’t planning to share that information with Zander.

Roswelllostcause: It’s something that could be very dangerous for the Royal Four and their humans. For Zander’s entire Kingdom, really.

Liz will have to work those feelings out.

Eva: It is going to take time, but Alex isn’t a man who is easily dissuaded so he’ll continue trying to get through to Isabel.

Perhaps we’ll learn of the Queen’s resentment towards the arranged marriages.

Natalie36: That is indeed what it sounds like. We may learn if there was someone else or if it’s simply her resentment at work.

sarammlover: Lol, they have identified the Queen for certain. Liz and Maria have been good for each other. There’s definitely the possibility that things could indeed get complicated.

Earth2Mama: Yeah, she is!

Things have definitely turned upside-down for the girls, but they have each other.

keepsmiling7: Things are heating up!

Perhaps we’ll learn soon.

Liz does have a predicament on her hands!

Is Jack’s amnesia for real? Good question. Think he might have a reason to lie about it?

Lol, yeah, there’s a lot to deal with!

Alien_Friend: The girls can support each other in hard times as well as they can laugh with each other in better times. Maria and Liz are a great support for each other. Liz will figure out her feelings towards both men eventually. It’s understandable, that she’s confused so shortly after meeting the man she claimed dead for a while now.

The Queen’s motives will be explained a little more detailed soon.




Part 86

“I’ll be fine,” Maria assured Michael when she felt his worry through the connection. He wanted to come with her for her appointment with Dr. Collon, but that annoying little fact about his fake death kept him from it and it obviously annoyed him. There were no secret corridors leading from their quarters to the good doctor’s wing so Michael couldn’t accompany her and risk being seen. “There’s nothing you could do anyway.”

He snorted and tightened his grip around her for a moment. “I could make sure he’s treating you carefully.”

“He’s always careful.”

“Couldn’t hurt to make sure,” he growled and kissed her briefly, his hand wandering to her belly.

Although no test had been made so far, they were both sure that the suspected pregnancy would be confirmed by the doctor today. Over the past few days they had gotten several flashes about a new life growing inside of her and it was hardly possible that the signs could be misread. Maria had also started to feel different, but to his frustration she couldn’t really tell him different how. The only thing she had assured him was that it wasn’t hurting or making her sick.

“I’ll go now or I’m gonna be late,” she said and rested her hand over his to slowly retrieve it. “I’m really fine, Commander. You can let go of me now.”

His lips turned up in a half-smile when his arms fell away from her. “I have a meeting with the Captain, but I will see you for lunch afterwards.”

“I know,” she rolled her eyes and went to the door, “you said it before. Later, Michael.” Maria slipped out of their quarters and wandered along the hallway towards the medical area on his side of the castle. She had to admit she was a little nervous about what the doctor would find out today. This morning, when she had pulled on her jeans, she had found it very hard to close them without being uncomfortable and that couldn’t really be normal, right? Her belly couldn’t grow so fast only a few days into a pregnancy.

She lifted her hand to knock on the doctor’s door that was only pulled to and then stepped into the room only to find the man deep in thought in front of a tablet device. “Hello, Dr. Collon,” she greeted him.

The Antarian doctor lifted his head to look at the human woman. “How are you, Maria?” he asked, stumbling over her name. She had insisted he address her as such, but it was not something he was accustomed to.

“I’m good. How are you?”

“I am well.” He gestured for her to enter. “How have you been feeling? Any physical symptoms related to the connection?”

“Nothing new,” she shook her head, stopping in the middle of the room.

“And how is he this morning?” he asked as he reached for a scanning device and moved it over her.

“Good. Other than he hates doing nothing.”

He chuckled and nodded. “Yes, inactivity is not good for such a man.” He frowned at the scanner’s reading.

Maria held her breath when the doctor’s attention was obviously caught by something the device in his hand was showing. She hadn’t had a clue how to bring the subject up so she had figured she would wait and see if he detected anything without her saying it.

He tipped his head to the side and his white eyebrows climbed higher as the scan completed and the final results registered. He glanced up at his patient. “You carry a child.” His tone was filled with awe at the realization that this child might well be their salvation from the threat Khivar posed to their people and their way of life.

She couldn’t help the smile that broke loose at his words. “I had the feeling I was.”

“The pregnancy is going to progress rapidly compared to what you would experience if the child’s father was completely human.”

“You have any experiences with these kinds of pregnancies?” she wanted to know. “Do you see any risk that my body can’t deal with a faster pregnancy?”

“I have no experience with a hybrid-human pregnancy, but I have studied the subject extensively and I believe your body can handle the added stress of an advanced pregnancy. I have discussed the connection and how we believe it to work at some length with the Advisor and I believe it will act to further ensure the safety of both you and the child.”

“That’s good to hear,” her hand wandered to her belly unconsciously. “So far I’ve been feeling good.”

“Let us hope you continue to do so.” He ran several calculations on the scanner. “Based on my understanding of human physiology and reproduction, I estimate that you are approximately eight weeks into the pregnancy.”

“Eight weeks?” Her eyes widened.

“Yes,” he said with a slight smile.

“Wow, that’s really a rapid progression.” She bit her lip and glanced at the doctor. How long do you think it will take until the child is born?

“You conceived within the past week...” He muttered to himself as he ran a calculation. “I would say approximately four weeks.”

“Gosh,” her gaze dropped down to her feet that she soon wouldn’t see anymore, “that’s really quick, Doc.”

“Yes, it is an advantage of this type of pregnancy.”

“I guess it won’t be long until we know what gender the baby will be then.” Maria still couldn’t believe it. Only four weeks and then she was having a baby? “Will the child still grow that fast after giving birth?”

He considered her question for a moment. “Since the children of Antar grow at a normal rate after emerging from their incubation pods I believe your child’s growth will progress normally after birth.”

“That’s good.”

“You prefer a child in its infant stage?”

“No, but they’re so much fun when they’re little. I don’t want Michael to miss out on that.”

He didn’t understand the attraction of small beings that were too young to care for themselves. But then again, he wasn’t human to any degree either. “I am certain you will both enjoy this endeavor.”

“I guess we’ll be needing baby clothes very soon.”

He nodded. “Yes, clothing the child will be good.”

Maria looked at the doctor, trying to express her thoughts that something was changing. “Do you think it’s possible the child’s already developing some kind of power or strength that’s transferring to me?”

“It is likely that due to the child’s growth rate that you will begin to experience those effects soon, if you have not already.”

“I feel like I’m getting stronger,” she nodded. “It’s nothing drastic, but small things, ya know? Suddenly I can open these heavy double doors a little easier.”

“Hmm...” He walked over to the doors and adjusted the tension before turning to look at her. “Show me, but if you feel any strain, please stop.”

Maria walked over and opened the door without any problems.

He made another adjustment and motioned to the door again.

Again, she opened it without any problem.

“Amazing,” he murmured. “It would appear that you are already experiencing an increase in strength. Have you noticed anything else?”

“No, that’s the only thing that stands out right now.”

“Very well. We will monitor that as your pregnancy progresses. Has the Commander noticed any changes?”

“Not that he’s mentioned,” she shook her head. “But then again, I don’t think he’d notice an increase in his strength as fast as I would.”

“That is true. I will come to his quarters today to run a scan and see if there are any detectable differences.”

“I’ll inform him about it,” she agreed.

He nodded. “We will closely monitor your condition. I do not anticipate any difficulties as you are not only young and healthy, but you also have the advantage of the connection. I prefer to be prepared for any eventuality.”

“Of course.” Maria looked at the doctor and smiled. “That should be an interesting time in the future, huh?”

“Most definitely.”

“Am I good to go?” she asked.

The doctor nodded. “Yes. I would like to see you again in three days to determine your progress.”

“Of course,” she agreed.

“I will come to the Commander’s quarters when I can get away so that I can examine him as well.”

“Take care, Doc.” Maria walked back to the door to leave the medical unit.

He watched her as she pulled the door open without any effort and he shook his head as he went back to studying the readout on the scanner. “Simply amazing,” he muttered to himself. He made mental notes about the case, hesitant to document too much in case the wrong person gained entrance to his department. After a while he put his instruments away and cleaned up before leaving the medical area and heading for the supply depot.

It was time to put in a supply order and after the recent battles his stock was getting low on certain things and needed to be replenished. He stopped in at the depot, entering his order and signing off on the requisition, and then taking his leave. Exercise was beneficial and Antarians were not exempt from it so he decided to take a walk through the courtyard, pausing when he reached the reflecting pool and taking a seat to rest from the brisk pace he’d set for himself.

The courtyard surrounding the reflecting pool was accessible by both sides of the castle so when a shadow fell over him and he noticed the reflection of Zander’s wife in the still water before him he wasn’t surprised. He stood and bowed deeply, showing his humility and respect as he waited for her to speak.

“Dr. Collon,” she greeted. “You seem to be busy these days.”

He nodded and straightened when she tipped her head slightly. “Yes, the recent battles have kept everyone incredibly busy.”

“You are working a lot on the Commander’s side.”

“The Commander was responsible for bringing me into the castle. I suppose I have grown accustomed to my offices there.”

“You have special patients to care for?” she asked, looking directly into the doctor’s eyes.

“No single patient is special,” he denied. “I care for all of my patients equally.”

I am not so sure about that, the Queen mused.

“If you have need of my services I will be only too happy to offer them,” he said with a slight bow of his head. He had faced down countless military men in various states of illness, their bodies damaged, but their spirits strong and ready to fight. He had even been threatened by more than one of them, their desire to be on the field of battle, fighting with their comrades so strong that the thought of being left behind in a hospital facility was a fate worse than death. That was a hazard of the job and he accepted it. Facing the Queen of Antar and feeling that she was searching for something was altogether different.

“Zander is experiencing a different treatment from his personal doctor right now. Maybe you could check on his results once they are delivered. On another note, he wants me to let you know that he would like to have a look at your medical report about the Commander himself.”

“It would be my honor to review the test results.” He nodded. “Of course I will have the reports delivered. I fear the attack on the Commander was vicious and there was no doubt left as to the cause of death.”

“I am sure your report will hold every necessary detail,” she agreed.

“Indeed, I have included all pertinent information. Shall I make an appointment to meet with King Zander?”

“Yes, he doesn’t like unannounced visitors.”

“Very well. I will speak with his assistant and arrange a time to meet with him. Do you know when you expect his test results? Perhaps I could satisfy both concerns at the same time.”

“The results are expected to be ready tonight.”

“Then I will come to you before the evening meal if that is acceptable.”

“Very well,” the Queen looked up at the sky to calculate the time. It was time to set another meeting.

Dr. Collon waited until the Queen looked at him again, her eyes cold even by Antarian standards. He would be content to send the woman on her way but because of her status he had to wait for her dismissal before he took his leave.

“You may go now.” She made a dismissive wave with her hand.

He nodded and hurried on his way. There was something odd about that entire exchange but he couldn’t quite put his finger on it.

*****

Khivar swept his robes back as he rounded the bed of his captive human, his golden eyes flicking over her dismissively. He was impatient for Ava to use this information against Zander’s kingdom, certain it would send the gene carrier back to him. The more he studied the book the more certain he was that his beliefs were correct and a child born to the woman through Rath would bring about the most powerful weapon anyone could ever hope to possess.

His studies regarding the connection had left him bored. He was unconcerned with such a link between pairs because the child was the most important factor. Rath could force a connection and that would guarantee the woman could not be impregnated by another being. Her comfort was not of any importance to him. The man had not achieved either of his goals where she was concerned but if he intended to continue living he would not fail again.

The soft whisper of a familiar voice ghosted across his mind and he took his leave, crossing the throne room and heading for his personal quarters. He secured the doors behind him and moved to the hidden door that led into the library where he kept the book. The library was secured at all times, though the book containing the most valuable information in the land was hidden in plain sight. There were so few who had any knowledge of the book or its value, but he guarded it religiously.

“We are alone,” he said once he had sealed the room after his entry.

The air before him shimmered as Lonella’s body began to appear. “We have little time to waste. I have just come from speaking with one of the doctors attached to the Commander’s wing.”

“What news have you brought?” Whatever it was, it appeared to be of some importance.

“Dangerous news, Khivar, dangerous indeed. The Commander was not struck down as we were led to believe. He lives and even now is in hiding within the castle walls.”

His eyes narrowed to thin slits. The Commander was alive. That meant Ava had not only lied to him, but to maintain the charade, she had to be working with his enemies. “That is indeed news, but I do not feel it is worthy of being considered dangerous.”

“The woman you seek is also within the castle walls, Khivar, and she carries the Commander’s child. The child is the one we have feared for so long, the one that will turn the tide of the war.”

“No, it is not possible.”

“She is connected to the Commander and it is not a forced connection. If the connection is as the book states, the child will not only have great powers, those powers will be accessible by the parents. Those powers will be magnified the closer the time of the child’s birth grows.”

“Then we must see to it that the child does not live to see that time,” he stated coldly. “If the woman is to die as well so be it, but I would prefer to have her alive.”

“How is it Rath was unable to carry out that duty? He had her in his camp for a time that was more than sufficient for him to do so.”

“I do not know.”

“There is one other thing, Khivar.” Lonella moved to bring his eyes back to her. “Miren has not been able to make contact, but Max requested an audience with Zander and he confided the plan about the weapons shipment to him. They will make their stand at the base of the Santeda Mountains as Miren previously advised Rath, but with their way blocked by a recent landslide they will be ill-prepared the night they arrive. The night before the new moon.”

“The perfect time to attack,” he mused to himself and then nodded. “I will see to it Rath receives this information.”

“I must go now before I am missed.”

“Go. I will make use of this information.” As soon as she was gone he quickly left the room and went to his personal quarters to contact Rath. He snarled a curse under his breath when he realized he had left the communications device in the throne room when he was there earlier. He quickened his pace as he neared the heavy double doors and he frowned when he realized his sentries were not at their post. He would have their heads for lowering their guard, he thought as he threw the doors open using his powers and strode inside.

He spotted the device resting on the right arm of the throne and as he reached for it pain sliced through his body and he looked down to see the blade of a sword protruding from his abdomen. The blade, normally highly polished and gleaming, was coated in a white substance and it took a moment for him to register the fact that it was his blood. It ran down the blade as the water rushes through a riverbed and he watched as a rapidly-forming pool gathered around his boots.

“Take one last look at your throne, Khivar,” Rath growled as he gave the blade a vicious twist as he retrieved it from his former leader’s body. He pushed him forward with one booted foot and he watched dispassionately as Khivar fought to maintain his grasp on the throne. He took a step back and crouched down so that they were on eye level when the dying man finally managed to turn his body and he tilted his head to the side as he watched him desperately trying to form a word.

“Do you still believe me to be the fool?” he asked as he stared at him, his eyes gleaming ruthlessly. Khivar writhed on the floor, his body in agonizing pain that would continue until he drew his last breath. “Your throne and Zander’s, they will both be mine now.”

“You didn’t wait!” Vilondra screamed as she rushed into the room.

“For what? I told you I intended to kill him.”

“What of the woman? What of the book? There was more information to glean from him!” She shook her head as she looked down at Khivar. “He is useless now!”

“Then waste no more time! Search his mind if you will. I have a weapons shipment to take possession of.” He sheathed his sword and narrowed his eyes when he saw Khivar’s lips move. “Speak!” he ordered as he braced his feet on either side of the man and grabbed him by the collar, jerking his upper body up and smirking at the expression of agony that crossed his features.

“Fool,” he uttered, the words a gurgling whisper. So this was to be his end, Khivar thought as everything around him began to dim.

Rath threw the lifeless body to the floor and dusted his hands off on his pants. “Have his head posted on a pike at the gate and have the body burned. I will return soon with the shipment of weapons.”
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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

Double Empire - AUwA/CC/Adult - Part 87 - 9/14/14

Post by Double Trouble » Sun Sep 14, 2014 8:44 am

Natalie36: Khivar should’ve done a better job of watching his own back.

begonia9508: No, Rath taking the throne is a very dangerous thing to happen.

We’ll find out about the Queen and Zander today.

Eva: The Queen does have powers of her own and that does make her dangerous indeed.

So far those things remain a secret.

That is quite a deadline! But it’s good news for our pregnant Maria, lol!

Earth2Mama: Yeah, there’s a LOT going on right now, lol. And Rath suddenly having the power of the throne, yeah, really not good.

keepsmiling7: A wild ride that will be over before long.

We’ll check in on the Queen today.

Lol, definitely no love lost for Khivar.

sarammlover: Rath did us all a favor with that execution. Of course, Rath taking the throne is not a good thing, lol, but it buys time.

Roswelllostcause: Nope, not at all.

Alien_Friend: Yep, all of that information went to the grave with Khivar. Rath taking the throne is a very dangerous thing to happen though, but the upheaval may just buy our gang some time.

That baby will be coming very soon!


Part 87

Santar waited patiently as Zander paced, his gait stilted and slow. He was growing increasingly agitated, which was putting strain on his heart, but trying to calm the old man would only cause him to become more agitated. He had been a trusted Advisor to the former King of Antar for many cycles, always in the shadows because Zander trusted no one. His health was failing and the weakness in his heart grew worse with each passing day.

“It is as I feared.”

He nodded when the old King spoke, the words heavy on his tongue. “What do you wish me to do, Sire?”

“Do as you have always done, Santar.”

The weary note in the old man’s voice concerned him. In all of his years working with Zander he had never known him to seem so tired or to allow it to show.

“We must protect the Kingdom at all cost.” He turned and his gaze rested on the person he trusted above all others. “She has betrayed our people and she must be dealt with swiftly. If she is allowed to continue we will see the throne fall into Khivar’s hands and he will destroy all that we have worked so hard to create and maintain.”

“Sire, the fault for her traitorous actions is not yours to bear.”

“Is it not?” His lips lifted for the space of a heartbeat. “Your loyalty is commendable, Santar, but we both know better. I destroyed her father’s kingdom and forced her to marry me or see what was left of her family destroyed.”

“You speak the truth, but her father was a tyrant and if he had been allowed to continue his rule the land would have been ruined and our people would not have survived. Had you permitted him to live he would have simply gathered support and formed an alliance with Khivar. You did what was necessary.”

“I did not intend for my legacy to be that of the man that instilled a traitor within the walls of the castle.” He sighed. “All that I have spent a lifetime working for is failing.”

“I respectfully disagree with you, Zander. Your son has grown into a man respected by the people. He is young and as he is half human there are times that his emotions overrule rational thought, but he is doing well with his position. The Kingdom is flourishing under his rule.”

The thick white eyebrows lifted in interest. “It concerns me that he may make a mistake because he relies on his emotions. His chosen Advisor is human.”

Santar chuckled roughly. “I did not take offense when he chose the human over me.” Zander had taken enough offense for both of them. “Advisor Whitman was a good choice for him and to lead effectively he has to work with people he trusts.”

“The process to suppress his emotions and his time on Earth is beginning to deteriorate. I have witnessed the change in him.” He shook his head. “It began when he met the Earth woman that was chosen to take Wilgor’s place in the kitchens.”

“He is young, Zander, but he is not impetuous. Earthlings rely on emotions and he is half human so it is only reasonable that he will be led by them from time to time. I know your reservations where your children are concerned but perhaps with their genetic makeup it is necessary for them to be able to access their emotions.”

“You still believe the procedures were unnecessary.”

“I do. I believed the procedures were wrong when the young ones were forced to undergo them and I still believe that. Zander, you sent me to Earth with them and I watched over them for many seasons before they were called back to Antar. Trying to subdue the part of them that is human was unconscionable.”

“You lived as one of them for too long, old friend.”

“Possibly, but it allowed me to gain an insight I would not have had otherwise.” He chuckled quietly. “And it gave me the opportunity to develop my sense of taste and to explore so many different things. I have quite enjoyed the dishes the new cook has been preparing. She has a great understanding when it comes to pleasing the palate.”

Zander shook his head. “What is your opinion of these bonds the hybrids are exploring with the humans that suddenly overrun my castle?”

“I believe it is allowing them to draw on the strengths that lie hidden within them.” He rolled his shoulders. “The hybrids are working together because of their connection with the humans and they are becoming stronger for it.”

“These bonds defy the state of the arranged marriages.”

He nodded. “They do. The arranged marriages have worked for Antarian Royalty because emotions are unnecessary to our people, but pure Antarian blood does not flow through their veins. The human side of their genetic makeup has different requirements; they desire a human connection, what they affectionately call love. Our people have never had need of such an emotion, no need for that type of connection. I do not believe your children will be happy in their marriages if they are forced to follow that path.”

“It is expected by the people.”

“The people desire stability in their governing body, Zander. There will always be those who disapprove of humans on Antar, those who disapprove of hybrids holding the highest positions of power, but the majority of our people have accepted this change and they support your son. The Commander is also highly respected as are his sister and your daughter. Although in your daughter’s case it may be fear that motivates the people rather than respect.”

The old King snorted at that comment. “That is quite possibly true.” He raised one shaking hand to rub his brow. “Even she seems to be easing to some degree.”

“Your son’s Advisor has great patience.”

“Indeed he does.” He paused at one of the windows that looked out over the land he had ruled for so many seasons. He turned back to the other man and placed a hand on his shoulder. “You have been a loyal Advisor all these many seasons, Santar. You have been a trusted confidant and the voice of wisdom a great many times. As my Advisor your word carries authority and in my absence it is law. My son has his own Advisor and that is his choice, but he will take your words into consideration. I grow weaker each day and I have seen my last sunrise.” His faded eyes turned once more to the windows and he sighed deeply. “I have one last duty to carry out before I succumb to what is to be.”

Santar nodded, never breaking eye contact with the man he had sworn his loyalty to so long ago. He heard the door to the King’s quarters open and he watched as the man drew from some inner well of strength to straighten his posture. “I understand,” he said and bowed his head respectfully.

Lonella paused in the doorway when she saw her husband’s Advisor turn and take his leave, brushing past her with a brief nod. “You should be resting, Zander.”

“That is all I do. Where have you been?”

Her eyes narrowed at his sharp tone. “I have been to visit with Dr. Collon. He will be here soon to review your latest test results.”

“Do you think me a fool, Lonella?”

“I have never thought such a thing.”

“Yet you believe you can make a pact with Khivar and I will never know about it.” He stared at her, his eyes cold. “Do you think anything goes on in this castle that I do not know about? I did not rise to my position of power by being blind to situations within my own walls.”

He knew. She clamped down on the denial that rose up in her throat. “I warned you when you forced me to become your wife that I would strike back at you any way that I could.”

“You have endangered the entire Kingdom with your actions!” he shouted angrily. “You were given every courtesy over the years. You were never forced to do anything, your life was one of ease, and yet you have lowered yourself to become a traitor!”

“I was forced to marry you, Zander! You stripped away my right to choose my life partner, to choose the life I wished to have, and you did it in the name of your Kingdom! You will feel the full weight of that decision when you watch your people die in your name.” Her lips curled up in a cruel smile. “That decision will take everything from you.”

“Perhaps,” he murmured as he moved closer to her, “but you will not live to see that day.”

Her eyes widened when a sudden piercing pain shot through her body and she looked down to see his hand wrapped around the jewel-studded hilt of a dagger. Before she could draw breath to scream his other hand clamped over her mouth, keeping her silent, smothering her until darkness began to overtake her vision.

Zander stepped back as she fell and he fought to draw breath as a band of pain wrapped around his chest and held him in its grip. He struggled to stay upright, forcing his feet to carry him to his bedchamber where he collapsed on the bed.

*****

“You’re nervous,” Michael mused aloud, looking down at the woman attached to his hand. He stopped within the secret, dark hallway and turned to face her. “You don’t need to be afraid.”

“I’m not afraid,” Maria shook her head. “My nerves are just a little strained. I’m wondering what they’re gonna say, that’s all. We can’t expect them to be overly excited about it.”

“Why not?” he asked simply. “The child growing inside of you is destined to bring peace to this planet.”

“That’s what we believe. We don’t know everything about this connection and we don’t have proof that this pregnancy will be the solution to the war. Admittedly, our bond has done its best to make it happen quickly, but that doesn’t mean everything we suspect is true. Plus, if our enemies find out about it, they’ll do everything within their power to attack us before the child is even born.”

“They don’t know of your whereabouts, nor do they know about our connection or our offspring.” He tugged her along again and they went the rest of the way to a meeting room within the Commander’s side of the castle.

With a grumbling sound, the dusty stone door opened and a very small candlelit room came into view. “I don’t know why we have to meet in this little rat’s nest,” Tess complained when her brother came into view, followed by his lover.

“What we have to discuss requires the utmost secrecy,” he told her, but his gaze was focused on the King.

“It must be of great importance,” Max nodded. Guards from the Commander’s side, under the command of Valenti at the moment, had approached him for this meeting and had escorted him to this hidden room that he hadn’t seen or heard of before.

“With the Queen being identified as the enemy and Khivar using Princess Isabel as a way to gain information we had to meet someplace that is unknown to both of them. Just to be sure.”

“Fill us in then,” Kyle took a step forward. “The attack on the camp is expected within the next few hours. I need to contact Captain Carson for his final orders.”

Michael squeezed Maria’s hand lightly and she stepped out of the shadows behind him, her eyes wary when she glanced at the three faces opposite them.

“Are you...” Tess’ mouth fell open when her gaze locked on the other woman’s swollen belly. It wasn’t drastic yet, but the tight white long-sleeved top she wore gave the change in her body away easily.

The King and the Captain were just as speechless at first, but after clearing his throat, Max was the first to find his voice again. “You are pregnant.”

Maria nodded, the motion hardly noticeable, her eyes averted to the ground now.

“For how long?” Kyle asked with a frown. He hadn’t met a lot of pregnant woman in his life, but even to him it was obvious that she had to be past the first three months. If that was true, then the kid couldn’t be Michael’s, which meant… shit. “I thought she was checked after we saved her? Is she carrying Rath’s child?”

The Commander frowned. “She was checked and it’s not Rath’s child,” he told his second in a cold tone.

“It’s yours,” the King stated and waited until Michael shifted his eyes to him and confirmed it with a nod.

“I’ve only been pregnant for about a week.” Maria collected herself to speak. “I know it doesn’t look like it, but Dr. Collon confirmed it. The child is growing faster because of the alien DNA.”

“Can he tell how soon you’ll give birth?” Tess asked, still shocked by the news.

“Within the next three to four weeks.”

“That’s incredible,” Max took a step forward to have a closer look at her. “And how is your body adjusting to this? Are there any complications?”

Maria looked up at Michael and smiled when she saw the protectiveness in his features. “So far everything’s good. I’m actually getting stronger with every passing day.”

The King nodded and looked at the Commander. “And what about you?” he asked, hoping he didn’t sound as hopeful as he was.

“I’ve noticed a change since this morning.”

“You have?” Maria asked, surprised. He hadn’t mentioned anything to her about it.

He gave a short shrug. “Nothing I can make use of yet, it feels like it’s still developing.”

“No one knows about this beside Collon?” Max asked to make sure, looking at both of them.

“Liz knows,” she admitted, “but that’s it. I haven’t left our quarters and no one else has seen me.”

“Good,” he nodded. It didn’t bother him that Liz knew, although the human woman had been avoiding him the last few days and in every free moment he wondered if it had anything to do with what they had done. “I know it won’t be pleasant, but I think it’s best to keep it that way. We have done everything possible to block my mother’s ability to wander into the Commander’s side of the castle, but we don’t have any guarantees about that.”

“Nor do we know if there are other persons working with her,” Tess agreed, stepping next to Max.

“Maria will stay in our quarters,” Michael assured them. They had already talked about it in private and although she wasn’t happy about her limited boundaries, she had agreed to it for her own safety. And for the safety of their unborn child.

“Boy or girl?” the Captain wanted to know as he stepped up to close the little circle of people.

“That’s not known yet.” Maria looked down at her belly and rested a hand over it, suddenly feeling heat radiating from inside. “But I think he or she is reacting to the presence of all of you.”

*****

The camp was settled for the night and the mood was tense. The absolute darkness beyond the campfire’s ring of light made the men edgy. They knew the attack was coming; it was why they had been deployed in the first place. The wooded area that surrounded them on all sides was eerily silent, a dead giveaway that the animals were taking cover because something else was moving through their woodland home.

Captain Carson listened and watched. They had used the pass the Corporal had showed him on the map. He rubbed his temple as conflicting thoughts pounded through his head. She hadn’t made it an order to make use of the pass and on the maps it didn’t exist. He’d had to make his own judgment call based on what she believed to be true and the time he had to make it to the base of the Santeda Mountains. He had sent his two most trusted men ahead of them to scout the pass and they had returned with word that it was clear.

Using the pass had allowed them to bypass the area he had anticipated having to clear due to the rockslide and in the end it had saved them more than a days’ time. He had watched Miren closely throughout their trek and he had waited to send his scouts out until they were in a valley where communications signals were blocked by the mountains. Once they had made it through the pass he had ordered his men to block it and then left a small unit there to guard it as an extra precaution.

The traitor had done his best to hide his agitation at the signal loss when they had reached the base of the mountains, having expected it to be available at the camp. The sky above them appeared clear, but there was static electricity in the air, a clear indicator that another storm was brewing in the atmosphere. It had worked in their favor, but he didn’t believe it to be a sign of more good luck to follow.

His head snapped to the side when Miren approached him and he forced his posture to remain as it was to avoid revealing his dislike of the man. The attack would happen soon, he could feel it in his bones. He had always trusted his instincts and they had served him well over the years, but there was a heightened awareness since the injury that had nearly taken his life and stolen his memories.

“You summoned me, Captain Carson?” Miren forced his tone to be hurried but respectful. What had Antar come to that it gave powerful positions to humans while expecting its own people to serve beneath them?

“Yes. I’ve been watching you for the past few days.” He felt satisfaction flow through his veins when he saw the barest hint of fear skitter through the man’s golden eyes. It was gone in a heartbeat though and while it would’ve given him pause had he not known the situation, it only cemented his belief that this man was a traitor of the highest order; a coward who had willingly sacrificed his own men and then slithered away to be the only survivor of an enemy attack.

“Sir?”

“I anticipate the enemy’s attack to begin soon.”

“We are prepared, Captain.”

“Yes, but as a respected and decorated soldier, you must know this camp has little to offer our enemy.”

“Little perhaps in the fact that the location does not seem beneficial as a camp,” Miren said, hoping to lead the conversation.

“You’re much more intelligent than I gave you credit for.” He bowed his head slightly. “My apologies for underestimating you.”

The Antarian soldier’s eyes narrowed fractionally at the gesture, despising the human for further emulating his people. “It is to be expected,” he answered simply.

“I have a mission for you. It’ll be dangerous, but I’ve watched you since our departure and I believe you are the best man for the job.”

“I am honored to be of service.” His back straightened even more as he prepared himself for his orders. This foolish human was about to provide him with more information and Rath would see he was justly rewarded for his efforts.

Captain Carson motioned for the soldier to follow him into his temporary quarters that had been setup at the main entrance to the old mine. He unrolled a small map of the territory as he sat at the small makeshift table at the center of the large tent and he gestured for Miren to join him.

Miren shook his head as he took a seat. The weapons cache had been carefully stashed inside and the Captain would be the last defense against it. It would be his last defense against anything because it was where he would make his final stand. It was where he would die. He frowned as he studied the map in the candlelight. “I do not understand. That is not a map of the Santeda Mountain Range.”

“No, it’s not.” The Captain smiled as his finger traced a route on the map. “This trail is not well known and it leads to the base of the mountains that form the northern border of the Landora Hills.”

“There is a camp there?” He had heard of no camps established in that region.

“There is now. While we’ve been busy drawing the enemy here, the camp was being setup, and the true weapons shipment moved to that location. I want you to take a small unit, five to seven of the men you trust most in our camp, and make your way to the true camp. Let the Captain there know we’ve arrived and that they can carry out their mission.”

“Sir, it will take at least two days’ time to reach them at that location.” He shook his head. That area was too atmospherically unstable to get a transport close. “The only way to get there is on horseback and if I take any men this camp could be wiped out in the attack. That route goes through a valley and there will be no communications available.”

“I appreciate the concern, but it is imperative that the camp know to begin its strike against Khivar’s forces as planned. If we do not get word to them in the time agreed upon they will have no choice but to believe that our mission has failed and they will be forced to strike sooner. It is best for all concerned that the attack be carried out on schedule.”

“Very well, Sir. I will depart immediately. With your permission I will choose my men and prepare for departure. I will also need to take additional remounts. The trail will be tiring for the horses and it will be better to have fresh mounts at the ready.”

“Requisition the supplies you’ll need and I’ll approve it. No one outside of your unit is to know what you’re doing, Miren.”

“Of course, we will maintain the utmost secrecy.” He stood when the Captain rose from his seat and his fisted hand banged against his chest armor. “This mission was nothing more than a ruse to protect the true mission.” He nodded approvingly. “It was a smart move, but if you stay here, you and your men will be cut down.”

The Captain looked at him unblinkingly. “We have a sworn duty to protect King and country, and in the end our sacrifice will allow our armies to strike a deadly blow against Khivar’s troops.”

Miren studied the man, wondering briefly if he had ever, at any time in his life, believed so strongly in the soldier’s code of honor. No, he decided after a moment. No, he valued his life too much to sacrifice it willingly. “We will bring word to our brothers and your sacrifice will not be in vain, Sir.”

Captain Carson dismissed the Antarian soldier and watched him thoughtfully as he quickly made his departure. He had given him the option of taking five to seven men for a reason. He was certain five of them were working with Miren or they were at the least loyal to his cause. The other two he was uncertain of, but if they were chosen to undertake the mission he would have his answer.

He smiled slowly as he stared down at the map. There was no secondary camp, no secret mission to strike a blow against Khivar’s forces. But Miren would make his way to Rath. It was the only way to get the news to him before he wasted precious time and resources attacking a worthless outpost. Rath would still proceed with the attack on this camp, but rather than a large number of soldiers to fight off, he would divide his forces and take the majority with him to stop the attack on his troops.

The plan hadn’t been sanctioned by the Commander or the Corporal, but he was in a position where he had to make the decisions. And he wasn’t sacrificing good men when he had a plan in mind that would likely save the majority of them and buy the time they needed. Rath would’ve come into the camp and wiped them out. He knew how his mind worked and he would’ve brought enough soldiers and weapons with him to leave no one in the camp alive. This would work better. With the enemy Commander out of the picture and out of communications range for several days he had time to put his own plan into action. A plan they would not have approved, but one that was necessary to turn the tide of the war. With his plan implemented the loss of his soldiers would be minimal at best and it would give him time to make a necessary change.

“Captain Carson?”

He lifted his head to look at the soldier who had spoken. “Yes, Lieutenant?”

“We have just received word that Commander Rath is searching the area where the pass is located.”

“Very well. That gives us at least three hours before they reach us. Switch the outer perimeter unit for the next hour, give them a short rest.”

“Yes, Captain.”

He stepped outside and after seeing Miren and his chosen men off he looked up at the sky. “It is done,” he murmured to himself.
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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 88

Post by Double Trouble » Sun Sep 21, 2014 8:30 am

sarammlover: One by one, they’re going down. Santar is very smart and perhaps the old King is finally going to listen to his Advisor in this area. Hold onto your hat because what Captain Carson has up his sleeve... he’s just full of surprises.

Natalie36: Lol, thanks for reading!

begonia9508: Thanks!

Zander is definitely reconsidering some things as his final moments near.

Lonella took her time setting up her plot for revenge and in the end it didn’t work out well for her.

Earth2Mama: This is definitely not the time to rest. Things are more dangerous than ever with Khivar out of the picture and Rath seizing the throne.

Roswelllostcause: Lol, they do seem to be suffering from a case of sudden death.

purple fairy: Hi and welcome to our little corner of the universe!

Michael is extremely protective and he will do everything in his power to protect them from Rath or any of their other enemies.

We have a feeling that any child with Michael and Maria’s DNA will have a fierce streak.

Rath is a horrible individual and he has a very sick and twisted mind so there’s no telling what else he might have in mind. Here’s hoping we don’t find out!

Thank you! That means a lot to a couple of Candies!

Eva: Lol, Zander does indeed know much more than anyone ever anticipated.

keepsmiling7: It’s not clear that Lonella had any personal preferences for Khivar. Her main goal was seeing Zander and his kingdom destroyed and Khivar proved to be a good ally in making that happen.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed that we see peace once again reign on Antar.

Alien_Friend: Carson set Miren on a wrong mission, where he won’t find anything. Of course at one point, the enemy will get aware of the trap. But if everything goes like planned, then Carson will have enough time to complete his plan first.

Maybe some congratulations will be given later, when everyone gets over the shock. :)

Who would have thought Zander turns out to be likeable huh? Don’t claim him dead yet. ;)




Part 88

The horse’s hooves ate up the distance as they neared the castle and Ava pulled him up short as her eyes scanned the stone walls ahead. Khivar had a flair for the dramatic and he had insisted the castle be designed using old architectural drawings he’d brought back from Earth. In her opinion it was a ridiculous design; what was the point of digging a trench around the castle and filling it with water? He had only done it because he wanted the drawbridge that even now was lowered to reveal the open gates beyond.

She frowned as her eyes scanned the walls, searching for the archers and finding none. The sounds of raucous laughter reached her ears and her gaze shifted to the towers at the corners, finding no sign of the watchers who should be posted there to warn of approaching enemy soldiers or impending attacks. She froze and the horse took several steps back, responding to the unease in his rider.

Her eyes locked on the head posted on a pike that had been placed so that anyone approaching the castle would be unable to miss it. There was no mistaking who it belonged to. Khivar. Rath had finally killed him. If things were dangerous before that danger had just increased a million times over. She nudged her horse into a trot and his hooves clopped noisily as they crossed the drawbridge.

The soldiers were too busy celebrating to notice her appearance and it wouldn’t matter if they did, because with Rath’s assassination of Khivar they would now answer only to him. Her position would no longer be of consequence. She would not come to any harm at their hands, she wasn’t concerned about that. While Rath was away she would be safe. It was when he returned that she would have the opportunity to finally face him on a field of battle that existed only between the two of them.

Her desire to finally avenge Zan’s death was a living breathing thing; it was what drove her to go on day after day. Her eyes scanned the exterior of the castle as she approached it after seeing that her horse was taken care of. She would see her lover’s death avenged, it was just a matter of time. However, with this newest turn of events she had to focus on other things first. She had to find a way to rescue the woman being held prisoner and get her hands on that book.

The woman. She moved around the soldiers as she realized that Rath could’ve done any number of things to her. She hurried through the corridors, heading for the room that housed the secret medical facilities.

“Where have you been?”

She stopped in her tracks and whirled around to face the owner of the sneering voice. “I was on a mission for Khivar.”

Vilondra’s eyes narrowed. “Rath will be expecting your presence when he returns.”

“I have things to attend to. Perhaps you have someone else to bother.” She waved the other woman off the way she would brush off an annoying insect.

“I would kill you now if Rath didn’t want you for himself.”

Ava stared at her, every fiber of her being radiating challenge. “If you think you can take me I suggest you try.”

“And incur Rath’s anger?”

“Since when has that ever been of concern to you?”

“Your death will give him great satisfaction and I will not be the one to take that from him.”

She just laughed and walked away. “Coward. I will see to my business and continue on my mission. I will return once it has been completed.”

Vilondra’s hands clenched at her sides. Rath had warned her that Ava was his to put down and like a wild animal that has tasted blood, Khivar’s death at his hands had unleashed something in him that before had been restrained to a certain degree. She needed time to determine the best way to handle the changes in him. She whirled around and stalked off in the opposite direction, wondering how long it would be before Rath returned.

*****

Michael was studying maps and plans as he waited for word of the mission they had sent Captain Carson on. He turned his head to look at the sky on the other side of the windows, taking in the darkness that would make the attack difficult to defend. He settled back in his chair, his gaze shifting to the woman sleeping on the couch.

Another wave of protectiveness washed through him as his eyes paused on the slight swell of her belly. Even in sleep her hand rested there, the gesture one of protection. He tilted his head, resting it against his fist as he watched her sleep. She had insisted on waiting with him and as long as she was resting he had agreed. It had taken very little time before her eyes had slid closed and the book she had been reading had slipped from her grasp.

They didn’t know if the child would be a boy or a girl and he wasn’t necessarily inclined to know one way or the other. The child was theirs and he would love him or her regardless. Yes, he was certain he would have more in common with a boy, he would know what to say and do, and there were things he could teach a boy. It would be different with a girl he supposed, although he did fairly well with Amela. Of course, she was still quite young and he had yet to teach her much beyond the basic things little ones needed to know.

He rubbed his forehead when he felt a familiar pressure. He leaned his head back and closed his eyes, forcing his mind to clear so he could allow Ava entry. He despised this form of communication and if not for the fact that his people thought he was dead he would’ve refused to allow it. It was easier when he was asleep. He was still aware of the intrusion, but somehow it was just more tolerable than when he was fully conscious.

“What is it you need?” he growled when she materialized in his mind.

“I had to contact you immediately. I went back to the castle to speak with Khivar and to check on the woman.” After making sure the human had not been harmed in any way Ava had taken her leave and headed to the caves north of the castle. She had found a quiet cavern, turning her horse loose and settling down to her task.

“Has something happened to her?”

“No, she is still being treated for the atmosphere sickness.” She took a deep breath. “Khivar is dead by Rath’s hand.”

It had been expected but he had hoped this turn of events would occur at some point in the future. “Has he made plans for an assault?”

“Not as yet. He’s intent on recovering the weapons shipment first.” She rubbed her forehead as she considered their options. “I am working on a plan to retrieve the woman and the book but it must be done soon. Vilondra is under orders not to engage me, but I don’t know how long I have before Rath returns. The human woman’s body is still weak and will require healing at the soonest available time otherwise I fear she will perish.”

“Contact me as soon as you’ve liberated her and I’ll send reinforcements to aid your escape.”

She shook her head. “They will never be able to get close enough, Commander. With Khivar dead the soldiers are like crazed animals. I will retrieve her and the book and make my way to a safe location. I will notify you the moment she’s safe.”

“If at any point you require assistance, contact me, Ava.”

“I will do my best to ensure her safety and deliver her to you.”

“Your safety is also of importance.” He nodded once. “See to it that you survive.”

“I must go now. I have to prepare my plan.”

He opened his eyes when her presence was gone as suddenly as it had appeared. He forced himself to remain calm, knowing that if he became agitated Maria would be aware of it. His right hand fisted and he stood, crossing to the window and rubbing the back of his neck.

Khivar was dead. It would be more dangerous now than ever before. Rath would never abide by the rules of war and anyone who crossed his path would be a target. He would kill without discrimination and he would destroy everything in sight. He tapped his thumb against his bottom lip for a moment before moving back to the desk and sending a message to Kyle. They would need to increase military presence in the outlying villages and prepare for an onslaught against Sun Valley. Rath would have no qualms about flooding the valley and destroying the source of the majority of their food growth.

*****

Max entered the war room, his thoughts disjointed and a mass of confusion. He longed for simplicity in his life, but somehow that was one thing that continued to elude him. He braced his hands on the edge of the table that dominated the silent room, his eyes searching the biometric readings for soldiers involved in a skirmish in the south. He sighed as several of the signals flickered before going dark and as he lifted his eyes to a nearby monitor the information for those soldiers began to scroll across the screen.

“King Max.”

He turned slowly, hiding his right hand from the intruder’s sight as he flexed it in preparation. His eyes narrowed as he studied the Antarian man. “What is your purpose?” he demanded to know.

“I have come on your father’s behalf, Sire.”

He shook his head and shot a glance at the doors. “You were not announced.”

“Zander’s time grows short. Your presence at his bedside is requested.”

“How did you gain entrance to this room?”

The man’s thin lips turned up at the corners. “I have knowledge of every secret passageway inside this castle. I have been at your father’s side since he took his place on the throne.” He straightened slightly. ”There is little time. Zander has requested an audience with the Royal Four.”

“Have you already forgotten the passing of our Commander?”

“How does one forget something which has not happened?” He moved forward and manipulated the screen the King had been observing to reveal a hidden network of tunnels. “Zander is aware that the Commander’s death was a ploy to draw the traitors out of the shadows. He will be alone in his private chambers, I will see to it. But you must hurry.”

Max tried his best to hide his surprise. His father knew? What did that mean for them? They had just unmasked his mother as a traitor. If Zander knew about Michael’s faked death than his mother would also know, right? This wasn’t good, but he had no chance but to abide by his father’s last wishes and meet with him until he drew his last breath.

“The presence of my mother will not be tolerated. Zander and the Royal Four only,” he told the old Advisor sternly.

Santar gave him a sharp nod.

“I will contact the others on my own. You may go.” Max waved him off but the man stayed rooted to the spot. “I know. We will hurry.” He waited until the Antarian was gone and then took the tablet device and typed in a short secret code, which only Tess, Isabel and Michael would be able to understand. He placed it back on the counter and stared down at the maps in front of him. He hadn’t talked to the Commander or the Captain yet, so he wasn’t aware of the actual situation at the camp Carson was leading and from the way it looked now, it would still be a while longer before they knew the situation or its outcome.

It wasn’t long before he heard hurried footsteps in the hallway. A moment later the door to the war room opened and Tess and Isabel walked in with concerned looks on their faces.

“Code red?” Tess asked and shot a wary look at the other Princess. Whatever was going on, she wasn’t sure the woman should be involved as long as they didn’t know how much power Khivar had over her.

“I’ll explain as soon as the Commander arrives,” he answered shortly.

“Max, what-” Isabel trailed off when a secret door opened and the agitated looking man walked into the room.

“How do you know?” Michael barked at the King.

Max looked at him, surprised. “How do I know what?”

“Khivar’s death. That is why you called this meeting, isn’t it?”

“No.” He frowned. “Why do you believe Khivar to be dead?”

“I just spoke with Ava and she advised me that Rath has executed him and taken possession of the throne.”

“That’s not good,” Tess murmured thoughtfully. “I assume you’ve already contacted Kyle about posting additional units at Sun Valley?”

He nodded. “That was my first instinct as well, yes.” He rubbed his eyes tiredly. “We’ll also need to increase our military presence in the outlying villages. Rath will waste no time sweeping through those areas, wiping out everything in his path.”

“Let’s return to the part where you said Khivar is dead,” Isabel interrupted. She couldn’t help the immense relief she felt at those words. Not only was she pleased to learn of his demise, she would no longer be a threat to those she cared about.

“Ava said that Rath is out on his mission to procure the weapons shipment.”

Tess’ attention had been drawn to the biometrics screen, her eyes studying the pattern of the battle. “Max, if you weren’t aware of Khivar’s death, why did you send for us?”

Everyone turned to face the King and waited for his answer. The Commander had stated big news, but there was something else weighing in the room and no one could think of anything that could be more important than that.

“My father has requested an audience with the Royal Four. It appears he is close to drawing his last breath. His Advisor came to contact me regarding his last wish.”

Isabel gasped. Secretly, they had all hoped for this day to happen and she had felt bad about it at times. Now that it was finally upon them she had no clue how to feel about it. “What do you think he wants? To make sure you follow your destiny and marry Tess?”

Max shook his head. “I don’t believe that’s the reason for a meeting with all of us while he lies upon his deathbed.”

“You said the Royal Four,” Michael said slowly.

“He knows.”

“What?” Tess snapped. “How can he know? Who told him? We agreed to keep this knowledge from them, Max. Your mother was just revealed to be a spy. If he knows then-“

“I don’t know HOW he knows,” he interrupted her rant with a stern expression. “None of us told him but his Advisor said he was aware of every secret corridor in this castle, even those on your side, Commander. He found out on his own and I don’t have the answer to your other question either. It could be he told our mother or maybe he didn’t. If he has known for a while as has been suggested, then I believe the fake death plan is safe with him because Ava is still alive.”

Isabel nodded. “If Lonella had told Khivar about this, he would’ve taken care of Ava already.”

Michael was trying to think so fast that his head started to hurt. “It makes sense that your father kept information from her if he doesn’t trust her. He obviously has more knowledge than we thought he had, so maybe he’s also aware of your mother’s cooperation with Khivar.” He glanced at his sister. “His mental faculties must remain stronger than we previously suspected otherwise Tess would’ve already located this information.”

She nodded affirmatively. “There was nothing to indicate that he was aware of the plan or anything else that we’ve worked so hard to hide from everyone.”

Isabel leaned over the table, her eyes scanning over the indicators that lit up as a battle progressed. She studied it for a moment before carefully speaking. “He provided an alternate route for Captain Carson’s unit to reach the Santeda Mountains faster.”

Max watched her for a moment. “The route proved to be most helpful.”

“Zander may know about the plan and he may be aiding us, but we still can’t risk blowing my cover just yet,” Michael insisted.

The King shook his head as he reached over and pulled up the schematics as Santar had done earlier. “There is another network of tunnels and one of them runs directly between the two sides of the castle.”

“You were aware of this?” his sister asked.

“Not until earlier, no. Our father’s Advisor showed it to me.”

“Do you think he knows about Maria? Maybe even about the connection she shares with Michael?” Tess wondered aloud.

“Could be. At this point I’m not quite sure,” Max admitted.

The Commander stared at the schematics of the network of tunnels in front of him. Could Zander have fooled them all? Could he really know all of this and not said anything about it before? “I don’t like this, Max.”

“Nor do I. But we won’t discover his motives if we deny his last wish to speak with us.”

“Rath would have already hunted Ava down if the enemy knew that you continue to live. So either Zander was guessing very accurately or he knew and can be trusted. It wouldn’t make sense for Zander to work with Khivar,” Tess paced the room while thinking out loud. “He could have just let him into our walls if he wanted to help the enemy.”

Michael nodded. “Zander wouldn’t destroy his own kingdom, and making such an agreement with Khivar would guarantee that.”

“As Max stated previously,” Isabel spoke up, “the only way to know for certain is to meet with him.”

The King gestured to the screen. “We have a clear path.” He looked at the Commander. “What do you say?”

“I say the old man’s time is growing short and if we’re to learn what he knows and why he’s kept the secret we should go.”

Tess glanced at Max when she caught him watching her as she memorized the most direct path on the schematics. “Let’s go.”

The small group followed the King when he opened up a never before used secret hallway.

Was that how her mother had stolen the information from the war room? Isabel wondered while her eyes slipped over the stone walls on either side of the narrow corridor.

Michael stopped in the middle of their path when something occurred to him. “With Khivar dead, your sister no longer poses a threat in the form of a potential information leak.”

Max nodded. “So she should catch up on her knowledge regarding a few things.”

Isabel frowned. “What is it that I need to know?”

The Commander stepped in front of her. “Maria is carrying a child.”

Her gaze locked on Michael. “Your child,” she murmured after a moment.

He nodded sharply. “Mine.”

Her eyes widened. “And you share the connection. If our beliefs are true then your child could bring about the end of the war.”

“We have reason to believe it is true.” His right hand flexed and he nodded when her eyes followed the movement.

“You have experienced an increase in your abilities?”

“It’s still in the background, but yes, I can feel a change. Ava is doing her best to steal the book from Khivar’s quarters. With these newest events we don’t know what awaits her there. But hopefully we will be able to get the book in our hands so we can learn more about the connection.”

“Let’s continue on our way,” Max gestured to the dark hallway and moved on, his ears strained in case anything seemed to be out of order.

It wasn’t long before they reached the very end of the corridor. A wall showed in front of them and the King used his hand to sweep along it until a silver handprint appeared. He placed his palm directly over it and waited until the growling sound announced the opening.

“Son,” they heard the weak voice as Zander called out from his bed.

Max held his hand up towards the others and stepped into the room alone at first. “Father.” He approached him slowly. “You sent Santar to speak with me.”

“My time grows short and there is much to say.”

He moved closer to the bed, his movements hesitant as he studied his father’s drawn features. “What is it that you require?”

Zander shook his head slowly. “My requirements may well have inhibited certain abilities that you possess.” He coughed weakly. “Have the others come with you?”

“Yes, they are waiting outside.”

“Did you summon the Commander as well?”

“The Commander is also here.” He paused a moment. “How did you know he was alive?”

The old Antarian chuckled weakly. “Son, did you really think you could deceive your own father in such a manner? I built this kingdom with the Commander’s father; I know every corner and secret hallway within these walls, and I was aware of their increased use. There has not been a funeral yet, there has not been a single tear shed by any of you, although I do believe that is a human habit in response to a death, is it not?”

Max’ eyes were locked on the small window while he nodded. “Does Mother know?”

“No,” Zander’s voice grew ice cold, making the young King frown.

“Where is she? Shouldn’t she be at your side?”

His father’s features were hard as he gestured to the door. “Unite the Royal Four. There are facts you must know before I pass.”
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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 89

Post by Double Trouble » Sun Sep 28, 2014 4:09 am

Roswelllostcause: Things are heating up and that’s only gonna continue. Hopefully Captain Carson’s plan to keep Rath occupied works!

Earth2Mama: Lol, the waiting is over! The reason for Zander’s meeting will be revealed today.

Natalie36: We’ll find out today!

Eva: It’s been kept a well-guarded secret! The meeting will indeed be a surprise.

keepsmiling7: Yes, he was.

That’ll be revealed today.

begonia9508: Thanks! Zan’s killers will be dealt with...

We’ll find out very, very soon.

sarammlover: Yeah, that would’ve sucked, huh? Ava’s getting closer to reaching her goal. More protection you say? Well... just maybe that’s coming her way. As for what Zander’s got to say and what Captain Carson’s up to... we’re gonna find out today.





Part 89

Max hesitated, but the determination in the old man’s features forced his feet to move. He glanced into the secret passageway and nodded at the others waiting there.

Michael glanced at him when he passed him and then stepped into the small room that contained little more than the bed. He stood at the very end of it, glancing down at the sick, weak man who had once been so powerful. How often had he prayed for this day to come? But now that it was finally upon them he couldn’t find it in himself to feel the satisfaction he had always anticipated.

Zander’s eyes roamed over the tall frame of the younger man, fixing on the rank insignias for a moment. “It would appear you still have your head on your shoulders, Commander.”

“That makes it easier to continue breathing,” he stated without missing a beat.

“So it does,” the old man said with a ragged cough.

“If you were aware of our movements and the reasons for them why did you not confront us before now?”

“Because the end of my time grows very near and even as the traitors to my kingdom begin to fall your greatest challenge has yet to be faced.”

Tess stepped forward. “How much do you know of the traitors?”

His faded eyes shifted to follow her movements. “You have detected the greatest of traitors and managed to maintain secrecy where your plan is concerned.”

Max’s eyes narrowed on his father. “If you knew that Mother is a traitor, why did you tolerate her in the castle for so long?”

“Suspicion is one thing,” he rasped. “Proof was necessary prior to carrying out the punishment.”

Was necessary?”

His eyes hardened. “The Queen will no longer be a threat.”

“What did you do?” Isabel shot out. She had no love for her mother yet she felt the need to ask.

“She is dead by my hand.” The words were delivered in a calm emotionless tone.

Michael and Max looked at each other for a moment. “So is Khivar,” the Commander told Zander in the same tone.

“Then your greatest challenge will come sooner than anticipated.”

“Rath.”

He nodded solemnly. “Khivar has maintained a certain control over his Commander but it was only a matter of time before he turned on him. There was a significant imbalance in two of the hybrids we first engineered and they were deemed too dangerous to allow them to exist so they were ordered to be destroyed. If Rath is not removed from existence soon his madness will spread too far to contain. The military that Khivar has assembled only needs the type of leadership Rath will provide to turn that bloodlust loose and there will be no controlling them.”

“We are aware of it,” Max nodded, “but we have a few things on our side that will give us the upper hand in the war.”

His gaze shifted back to the Commander. “I received a flash from Lonella just before she drew her last breath.” He tilted his head slightly to meet the younger man’s gaze directly. “You have established a true connection with a human and that human now carries your offspring.”

How could they have been so wrong about Zander’s knowledge, he wondered and nodded sternly. “Do you know if she was able to share this information with our enemy?”

“I only know that she spoke with Khivar, the rest was unclear. Rath is a brilliant tactician, but he lacks discipline and that will work in your favor.”

“We have to contact Ava to make sure he’s still unaware,” the Commander said more to Max than Zander.

“I was surprised to learn of your alliance with the defective hybrid.”

“She’s not defective,” Michael told him harshly.

“Her genetic material was not balanced properly after being engineered. She was deemed to be too unpredictable and was thus ordered to be disposed of. Out of the four original hybrids she and Zan were not considered to have the strength necessary to rule the kingdom.”

“You’re so sure about that?” Tess glared at the dying man. “They shared a true connection as well, did you know that?”

“To what end?” He shook his head weakly. “It served no purpose.”

“It could have.”

“They have no chance of creating a powerful offspring and therefore they were of no use.”

“What makes you think they had no chance?”

“They were engineered as pairs and testing while they were incubating revealed that neither of the females carried the necessary gene.”

“Well, at least you wouldn’t have had to force them to marry each other,” Tess snorted.

“No, that is true. Even in the incubation pods Zan and Ava showed an affinity towards each other.” He sighed. “But without the ability to create the powerful offspring there was little point in continuing their existence.”

Michael clenched his hands. “I have better things to do than listen to this.”

“You will remain here until dismissed, Commander,” Zander ordered. “I am not yet dead.”

He was tempted to dare the old man to make him stay, but he forced himself to give the dying man some respect.

“Your father was the tactician in our combined forces so there is nothing I can tell you that will be of help.” His gaze moved over each of them. “I summoned you for this meeting to advise you of a difficult decision.” He coughed, the sound strained. “Commander, you have led our armies to victory countless times and the soldiers hold you in high regard.” He looked at Max. “My son, you hold the greatest position of power in the kingdom and our people have great respect for you. The one thing you lack,” his eyes ghosted over the four of them once more, “is a connection with a mate that meets your needs. I have decided to release you from the arranged marriages. My kingdom is now yours to lead and defend, to serve and protect against all enemies.” He closed his eyes for a moment before forcing them open once again. “Santar is my witness should this decree come into question.”

All four took a moment to cover their surprise. They had never planned to go through with the arranged marriages of their own free will and hearing Zander free them from that burden was like freeing their sprit.

He nodded in satisfaction. “I would request that you take the opportunity to consider Santar’s advice from time to time. He is the wisest man I have had the privilege to know.”

“I have a very wise advisor too,” Max said.

“Yes, Santar is of the same opinion. Santar has the experience of many seasons behind his advice. That may prove advantageous at times.”

“I will consider speaking with him every once in a while,” the King said.

“Very well. Lonella is not to be buried or given honors. You will make it known that she was a traitor to the throne and Santar will see to it that her remains are destroyed in a suitable manner.” His eyes drifted closed for a moment. “I have made you aware of my words. I wish to be left alone now.”

“Of course, Father,” Max agreed, knowing it was his way of saying goodbye.

Zander nodded and waited for them to leave him in peace once more. He wanted to take his final breaths alone, without an audience and without the reminder that his kingdom now rested in their hands.

Michael glanced at the dying man one last time and then turned to take his leave. He had to check with his Captain about the ongoing mission.

Tess shot one last look at the old man, briefly wondering what it must be like to live as long as he had and know in his final moments that no one really cared that he would be gone. She shook her head. But that was the Antarian way wasn’t it? No emotions and no attachments. She couldn’t imagine such a sterile existence. After a moment of contemplation she turned to follow her brother.

“Goodbye father,” Isabel said, heading for the door as well.

Max remained behind the longest, his gaze lingering on his father. His father, he mused silently. He thought of a previous conversation with Liz and his insecurities where parenthood were concerned, of Michael and the way he interacted with Amela so effortlessly, and he only hoped that when his time came he wasn’t as alone as his father was.

“Sire,” Santar cleared his throat quietly to get his attention. “It is time.” He nodded at Zander and motioned to the door, reminding the King that his father wished for his final breaths to be taken in privacy.

“Of course.” He made his way to the door, stepping inside and waiting as it closed behind him, sealing with a quiet hiss.

*****

Liz dreaded the long hallway leading to the King’s quarters. She had managed to successfully avoid him over the past few days and she had pretended to be asleep at night before he had made it into his quarters. She couldn’t avoid him forever though and the only reason he hadn’t demanded answers from her was because he was too busy with everything going on. They had just officially learned about Maria’s pregnancy and the trap for the traitor involving Jack was in full swing, keeping everyone inside the castle on edge and busy.

Her feet automatically slowed when she neared the heavy sentry-guarded doors. Her mind was still searching for the words to tell him without hurting his feelings, but she knew that was most likely not going to happen. A frown spread across her face when the sentries opened the door without a word from her.

“King Max awaits your presence, Miss Parker.”

Her heart sank at the words spoken by one of his personal guards and she nodded dumbly and stepped into his quarters.

The only light inside was provided by the lamps on the balcony. Max sat in one of the huge armchairs facing the floor to ceiling window. All Liz could see was one booted foot and a hand resting on the arm, but it was enough to reveal the tension in him and made her feel incredibly bad about the whole situation.

“You’re late,” his deep voice startled her.

“I had to stow an extra transport of food for our units led by Captain Carson. It took a while longer.” It wasn’t a complete lie. Although it probably would’ve gone much quicker if she had accepted help with it.

“You’re supposed to plan the rations of food for them. You are not responsible for stowing the transport.” His tone wasn’t hostile, but it held a certain degree of authority. She couldn’t blame him. She had been the cold-hearted one the last few days and it was no wonder it was starting to affect his behavior towards her.

“I know, but I welcomed the distraction,” Liz admitted and took a step closer to him until his profile came into few.

Max still didn’t turn his head to look at her. His eyes were focused on the night outside and the sky, which was illuminated now and then by the electricity in the air.

“There’s a storm coming, isn’t there?” she asked, realizing the double meaning in her words as soon as they were out.

“We are prepared,” he replied shortly and suddenly got out of his seat to stand by the window with his hands clasped behind his back. “I will no longer tolerate your behavior, Liz.”

She bit her lip, reminding herself that pushing a fight wouldn’t help either of them. He was angry with her and it was understandable considering the circumstances.

“What is this game you insist on playing?” Max turned and his dark eyes bored into hers without making any attempt to cover his disappointment.

“I’m not playing games, Max,” she swore quietly.

“Yes, you are,” he disagreed. “One day you choose to be open and the next you punish me with your silence. It is the second time this has happened, Liz, and I will not tolerate it any longer.”

“May I explain?” she asked hopefully.

The King stood in front of her, breathing heavily. What was it that this woman did to his brain?

“I know it seems like I can’t decide what I want, but there’s something you don’t know yet, and maybe it’ll help you understand things a little better.”

He made a rolling motion with his hand. “Speak.”

“Thanks.” She ran her hand through her hair nervously and decided to focus her eyes on the floor for the time being. “A few days ago I was assigned to deliver a meal to Captain Carson while he was waiting inside the castle to meet with you.”

Max remembered the day. It was at that time that she had started to behave like someone who was hiding something.

“I went to see him and I wasn’t prepared for the person I would find there.” Slowly, she lifted her gaze up to him and found him looking straight back at her. “I told you about Jack, right? The human man I was with while I lived on Earth.”

“You stated that he had passed away.”

“Yes, and I believed it was true, but Captain Carson… He’s Jack, Max. He’s very much alive and I had no clue about it.”

The King tried to process this new information. Combined with the devastated look on her face he could feel his anger fading. Taking a step towards her, he searched her face for any sign of deceit, but could find none. “How is that possible, Liz?”

“I don’t know. I swear, I believed he was dead. They told me he was dead.”

“Could there be a mistake? Perhaps he simply looks similar to-”

“No, Max. It’s him. I’m sure about that. But he has no memory of what happened on Earth. He said he suffered a head injury.”

“He didn’t know who you were?” He wanted to be certain he understood.

“Not at all. I think there was a slight bit of recognition, like he knew my face but had no clue why and how.”

Max nodded and paced around the room for several minutes while he went through all that had happened over the last few days, weighing it against this new information. Her behavior suddenly made sense to him and he stopped to look at her. “You still love him.” He couldn’t describe what he felt in that moment of realization, but he didn’t like the tight feeling in his chest. Reaching up, he rubbed the spot right over his heart with a little frown.

“I don’t know if it can be called love, Max. But I still care about him,” she admitted. “Everything I believed is wrong and I just needed some time to make sense of it. What Jack and I had can’t be compared with you an’ me, but we relied on each other on Earth. He saved my life more than once and made me a stronger woman than I ever thought I could possibly be. I owe him so much.”

“Do you wish to see him again?”

“I would like to, yes. He has no memory of who I am, but maybe it’ll come back with my help. I need to know a few things too. I need closure.”

Max nodded sternly, beginning to understand why Antarians abhorred emotions. What he felt in that moment held no joy or spirit. No, it was more like something was dying inside of him and he had no clue how to fix it. “There is no guarantee that Captain Carson is going to survive his mission, but we are positive he was the best man for it. If anyone can survive it would be him. I will send him a message to report back to the castle as soon as time permits.”

Liz could see the agony in his features. She wanted to run across the room and comfort him, to tell him they could still be together, but she held herself back. It wouldn’t be fair to send him mixed signals a third time. If she was ever going to be with him again she had to make sure first that it was going to last. “Thank you. I know you don’t have to do that, and please know that I never meant to hurt you. I still have strong feelings for you. That hasn’t changed.”

He closed his eyes for a moment and tried to prevent her words from sinking in too deep. There were more important things waiting for him at the moment. Soon, a powerful child would be born and he could feel the changes coming in every breath he took, like a strong sense of foreboding.

For his country, he needed to be a King worthy of the throne and it was time to act like one.

*****

Ava moved through the old underground corridor, mindless of the cobwebs that hung from the ceiling or the dust that filtered through the miniscule spaces between the support beams. She had spent the past couple of days going over every inch of the castle in her mind, laying out a plan for getting inside undetected. Getting inside was the least of her worries. It was getting back out with the woman that was going to pose the greatest risk.

The corridor ended at a stone wall and she moved the torch in her left hand over it, searching for the small lever that would release the secret door. Her fingertips finally brushed against it and she placed her palm against the wall, concentrating on the other side. Confident that the hall on the opposite side of the door was empty for the moment she reached for the lever again, turning it and preparing herself for what was coming.

She extinguished the torch and placed it in the holder next to the door before stepping out into the hall and waiting for the hidden door to slide back into place. She waited a moment, listening for anything out of place before setting off in the direction of the secret medical lab off of Khivar’s quarters.

When she finally reached her destination she slipped into the first room, her eyes quickly searching the area and locating only one doctor. She dealt with him swiftly and moved his body out of sight before going into the adjoining room. Her eyes scanned over the monitors the woman was connected to, desperately hoping she would survive as she began the process of disconnecting them.

The woman moaned and Ava quickly covered her mouth, shaking her head when dazed brown eyes opened to look around. “You must remain silent,” she insisted quietly. Her words proved to be useless as a moment later the woman’s eyes rolled back and she fell unconscious once more.

She had no choice but to carry the human woman, something that would make it next to impossible to defend herself if she ran into resistance during their escape. She pulled the woman up and over her shoulders, securing her in place with one arm. “Whatever you do, don’t make a sound,” she muttered as she made her way back out into the hall.

“What have we here?”

She froze less than a dozen steps from the secret corridor that had allowed her access to the castle. She turned slowly and moved back when Vilondra began to circle her. She stared at the tip of the sword the other woman held confidently. “Do not stand in my way.”

“If you think you’re leaving with Rath’s captive you’re mistaken.”

Ava’s eyes widened when the secret door that was now behind Vilondra slid open without a sound and she saw the triumphant look on her opponent’s face. She knew Vilondra believed she was reading fear in her features and it took less than a moment for her to realize she was mistaken. The tall blonde felt the tip of a blade press ever so gently into the small of her back and she turned her head slightly, her eyes narrowing at the human man standing there.

“Who’d have thought we’d meet again so quickly,” he said, his tone holding amusement. “Let me enjoy this moment for just a second longer.”

“I don’t know you,” she denied.

“Really?” He chuckled. “Try harder.”

“I do not associate with humans,” she stated coldly. His eyes flicked to Ava when the captive she was attempting to liberate moaned quietly and Vilondra whirled around, taking several steps back and keeping more than a swords’ length between her and the others. Who was this man and why did he act as if he was familiar with her?

“Don’t let outer appearances fog your judgment,” he took a step closer, staring into her eyes.

She studied his features, seeing nothing familiar there, but his eyes... there was something about his eyes. Her own eyes widened when the blue irises suddenly flashed to an amber hue and she gasped. “No, it’s not possible.”

He grinned, tightening the grip on his sword. “Now you’ve got it.”

Ava watched the scene with confusion. She had no clue who the man was that had come to her rescue, but she had a tight feeling in her chest.

“It’s not possible,” she repeated. “You’re dead. I watched you die.”

“I had to come back to someone.” His eyes settled on Ava for a moment.

Vilondra shook her head. “That’s impossible.” Her gaze shot to Ava and she snorted derisively. “You lie.”

“Believe what you wish.”

Ava shifted as the woman’s weight bore down on her but she couldn’t tear her eyes away from the man facing off against Vilondra. His face wasn’t familiar, his voice, low and deep wasn’t one she recognized, but his eyes were a different story. “I had to come back to someone.” The words, spoken with a sense of longing in them, had been directed at her, and combined with that familiar spark she felt something inside of her leap back to life. As Vilondra had stated, it wasn’t possible. But she knew those eyes.

“Believe yourself to be a dead man if you wish,” Vilondra said, drawing his gaze back to her. “Soon enough that is exactly what you’ll be.”

“I’ll take you on, Lonnie!”

Her lips twisted into an evil smile. If he wanted to believe he was the reincarnation of the dead soldier then she would be happy to make sure he suffered the same fate. “I killed you once, Zan, I’ll be happy to kill you again.”

Ava’s eyes widened when his name passed Vilondra’s lips. “No!” she screamed, holding a hand out towards her and feeling the energy inside of her flowing into it.

Vilondra whirled around, the tip of her sword catching the other woman in the side and leaving a bleeding gash across her abdomen before she was physically thrown against the wall. The unexpected wound had saved her from the full force of the mental blow and she quickly righted herself, her hand gripping the hilt of her sword tighter. Her eyes darkened dangerously as she advanced, ignoring Rath’s voice in her head as he insisted that Ava was his to deal with when he returned. She wasn’t about to just let this assault go unpunished. She could handle Rath later.

Zan waited for her to go after Ava before he grabbed the bow from his side, sliding an arrow through it and aiming at the woman’s knee.

She screamed furiously as her gaze dropped to the arrow that had entered her left knee, penetrating without fully exiting. The pain was excruciating and she had to brace most of her weight on her right leg. Adrenaline flooded her system, dulling some of the pain, and making it more bearable as she flexed her hand around the hilt and turned to face him fully. “Prepare to die. Just know that once I’ve dealt with you I will take great pleasure in making sure Ava follows you.” Her eyes flashed with hatred. “As she should have the first time.”

Just her mention of a threat against his lover filled his veins with hatred. The human body was still adjusting to him, but he could finally feel his own powers coming back to life even though they were weak. When she made a move for him, he held his hand out, concentrating on the arrow in her knee and making it move enough to cause more pain.

It was true, Ava realized. She didn’t understand it, but there was no denying what she was seeing. “Zan.” She whispered his name, her voice trembling, and she shook her head when he looked at her. They had killed out of duty and to protect each other, but never just for enjoyment. Torture wasn’t something they engaged in, even with the enemy. “We’re not like them. Finish her.”

He nodded slowly and shifted his attention back to the other woman. “Take your last breath, Vilondra, because this is the time you die and I guarantee that no one is going to miss you.” He brought his bow up again and aimed at the spot where her heart was this time. Before she could say anything in reply he released the arrow and watched as it hit its goal with deadly accuracy.

Vilondra’s eyes widened in shock for the space of a breath before she dropped her gaze to stare at the arrow embedded in her chest. It was not supposed to end this way. She was destined to rule Antar at Rath’s side. Her brow wrinkled into a deep frown as the shock began to wear off and the fatal injury caused her to stumble backwards and fall against the stone wall where she slipped down to land on the floor in a crumpled heap.

He went after her, hovering over her body to make sure she wouldn’t be able to strike back. When the last breath left her lips he dared to look away and back at the other woman at the end of the hallway.

Ava stared at him, wanting so badly to demand answers but she had a mission to complete. “I have to get her to safety before they realize she’s gone.”

“I will follow soon,” he agreed. There was something else he had to do and they had little time.

She nodded but her feet were hesitant to move. She had no understanding of his presence in this unfamiliar body but she was scared to let him out of her sight. “Zan...”

He turned around quickly, grabbing the back of her neck and pressing his lips to hers firmly. “Go,” he told her after ending the kiss.
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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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