Happy Valentines Day Everyone
i'm not too thrilled with Pam and Vicky either but some people are like that...I think things are about to start getting interesting here, let's hope so.
Couldn[t agree with you more...started the 5th book last night, gave up at about 3:30 a.m. and then had to absolutely run errands today, but it's sitting there looking at me...It's saying..."read me, read me, read me" and I believe it!!! I bought the damned thing, the library didn't have it!
So happy to see you back and you've got to believe me on this one, it's not canon and Tess is a good guy. Hey, if you haven't read "Happy Valentines Day" it's in the completed AU no aliens...I think I might have written it in 2011, not sure. I think you'll like it. Of course it's the third in a series but it stands on it's own.
Hey, did you get those curtains finished yet?
I think Max will do alright with his "shyness"...he's going to have some help and he's a fast learner!!!
Right at 10:30 Liz spoke up when the musicians took a break and announced that they should probably head on out to the Crashdown and the entire group agreed. Liz looked over at Tess and smiled as she managed to get the girls attention…
“Tess would you rather ride over with Kyle?” She quietly asked…
Tess grinned and shook her head as she eyed Kyle…
“No, not really, I think I’ll stick to our original plan. If things are going to happen they will… eventually. I kind of like the group thing for right now, it just seems more comfortable.”
“Yeah, I know what you mean. I think this is new for all of us. Maria, Alex and I have been friends for most of our lives and Kyle and I have been to the movies a few times but we’ve never hung out as a group and this was a whole lot of fun even with the Ferris Wheel fiasco. Come on, get your stuffed animal and we’ll head on out.
"I’ll need to unlock the back door for us but I know Dad will be waiting for us in his office. He most likely will cook the burgers and fries, not that he doesn’t trust Maria and me but he had everything all planned out when I left so we really should be on time. He opens at six and I don’t want to keep him up too late.”
By the time Liz had finished her speech everyone was ready to head to the parking lot and they all exited the amusement park together. Each leaving in the vehicle they came in as a group of carnival workers kept an eye on them as well as a couple of high school busy bodies.
Pam looked at Vicky and raised an eyebrow…”well, they didn’t leave as couples.”
“No…I wonder what that’s all about. After the way they acted all evening you would have thought they would have left in pairs. I would have.”
“Well, we all know Liz is a geek and Alex is a nerd. I’m not sure just where Maria fits in with those two but they are thicker than thieves. As for the rest of the group, well all but Kyle, I would say they are a bunch of misfits too. They never socialize with anybody. That Isabel’s nose is so high I’m surprised she doesn’t drown when it rains, Michael acts like a hood and Max doesn’t have anything to say to anyone, good or bad. I wonder where Kyle’s jock buddies are tonight? And that new girl, she sure picked a sorry bunch to hang with.”
Tom Greer stood and listened to the ramblings of two teenage girls and wondered why they didn’t have anything better to do but to stand around and criticize their fellow students. He was totally aware of why they were here but all in all those kids seemed to be quite a nice bunch when you got right down to it. They didn’t cause any trouble for anyone, they stuck together and they seemed to be having a good time. Too bad the little gossips couldn’t have done the same. All he wanted to do was to find that Granolith and get to hell back to Antar and right now it didn’t look like any of those kids seemed to be the ones they were looking for.
Back at the Crashdown Jeff and Nancy Parker started to stack tables in the back room and setting up a place for eight teenagers to have room to dance or mingle or to do whatever teenagers do.
Nancy and Jeff had little gatherings at “Chuckee Cheese” when Liz was younger but they had never done anything in the apartment or used the Crashdown as a place for Liz to entertain, so even though Liz sort of forced the issue on them they decided that it was a better idea to have the kids here than out wondering what they were doing with themselves.
Diane and Philip Evans had come by right at 10:00 to see if they could help with anything and Jeff told them that there really wasn’t anything to do, “You’re welcome to stay if you would like” Jeff offered.
Diane and Philip decided that this was a kid thing and to let them have their time together. This was a first for both sets of parents and, although they wanted to make sure the kids had fun, they didn’t want to interfere either, “No Jeff, I think we’ll let this be for the kids”. Jeff nodded in understanding and he and Nancy told them good night
Jim Valenti actually sent Owen out in the squad car to make sure the kids were safe as they drove back to the Crashdown and he would pick up the 2:00 a.m. watch. So as far as the parents were all concerned the kids were being well taken care of.
Ed Harding had shifted into a burly looking cowboy and took an old truck out of the garage and made his way to the carnival grounds to keep an eye on his charge and when he saw who was running the show the shape shifting alien got cold chills up and down his spine…oh this was not good.
He had walked around the carnival grounds a few times and overheard some of the kids talking, complaining about the rides being shut down after the near fatal accident on the Ferris wheel and then he noticed Greer watching the kids. Ed made a special note to follow the man as closely as he could without being suspected and then he witnessed the action in Nicholas’ trailer and didn’t know what to do. He didn’t want to blow his cover so he managed to keep in the background and make sure nothing happened to his charge. He was ready for anything but he certainly didn’t want to take on those skins without help, a lot of help.
When the kids left the park he noticed a sheriff’s vehicle following them and he picked up and followed as well not knowing exactly what was happening so when the kids all arrived at the Crashdown and Jeff Parker unlocked the door to allow entrance Ed relaxed and drove on as did Owen. It was then that Ed decided that everyone only had the kid’s best interest here and Tess was safe for the evening. He was sure that Michael, Max and Isabel were the other three he was looking for but he still wasn’t certain.
On his way down the block Ed saw two unsavory looking characters walking down the sidewalk and wondered if he should follow or not but then decided to just call and report what looked like a break in at, looking at the address and then up toward the sign over the building Ed smirked and said…the UFO center. Jim was in his office when the call came in and told Owen to man the desk while he went over to check it out.
Ed parked the truck and watched as he stood unseen in the shadows of the building down the block.
When Michael, Isabel and Max joined everyone in the dining room of the Crash they were as surprised as Liz and Maria…Mr. and Mrs. Parker had a stereo system set up in the corner with a bunch of CD’s they had taken from Liz’s room. There were place settings and condiments sitting on the tables and a lineup of coke and milk shake glasses on the counter ready to have their drinks of choice.
Mr. Parker was standing at the order window and Nancy was there with her apron over her jeans and antenna bobbing on her head with a big smile for everyone and the only thing Liz could do was smile and mouth a big thank you to both of them. She was shocked.
“Well, kids you all know the menu so shout it out and we’ll take care of it.”
Nancy and Jeff knew everyone but Tess so Liz took the new girl over to her parents and introduced her and Tess was overwhelmed. No one had ever made her feel so welcome in her life and she loved it. She was as flabbergasted and happy as Liz was and Nasedo watched from his shadow across the street as the two strangers continued on their way down the sidewalk seeming to check everything out as they approached the diner.
Jim showed up about 10 minutes later and started to jiggle the handle to the UFO center when he noticed the two men as well and returned to his car and pulled away from the curb and turned into an alley and shut it down. He wanted to see what these two were up to, they didn’t look as though they were doing anything wrong but they didn’t look very upstanding either. Nasedo watched and smiled…’good, the sheriff isn’t any happier than I am about those two. I’ll worry about those skins tomorrow when I can get some help
.’ He thought to himself.
Inside the Crashdown eight kids were having a great time all getting to know each other, munching on ‘orbit rings’ and choosing the music they wanted to hear as well as arguing over the music they wanted to hear.
Isabel looked at Max with a grin and informed him that there wasn’t any “Counting Crows” while Michael looked for “Metallica”. Liz, Tess, Maria and Isabel found something they all liked and proceeded to take over the middle of the Crash down and to give their own renditions of the latest versions of MTV moves causing hysterical giggles from all four of the young girls, as the boys munched and watched.
Tess was having the most wonderful time of her life. She had never done this before except in her bedroom, where she was sure she wouldn’t be seen, and it was so much fun to share in the joviality with others her age. Considering she was sixteen and had only ten of those years in the real world it was wonderful.
It wasn’t long before Alex, Kyle and Max made their way behind the counter and started pouring themselves some sodas from the dispenser while Michael made his way back to the grill, grabbed an apron hanging on a hook, and started helping Jeff flip burgers and shaking fries in the basket of the French fryer. He nodded to Jeff and said, “Michael” and that was the only word Jeff heard out of the young man but he was extremely impressed with the way Michael handled a spatula and worked the kitchen. The kid was a natural.
After Alex had made himself at home in one of the booths a song came over the speakers that really got his attention and the next thing the girls knew they had company on the dance floor and soon they all stopped and stepped aside and gave Alex free reign.
He carried on to the point that Isabel was practically rolling on the floor in hysterics, Maria was holding her stomach trying to contain herself and Liz and Tess were hanging onto each other in hysterical disbelief. Max and Kyle just sat there in total amazement while Jeff and Michael watched on from the kitchen. Nancy had to put her tray down and hung onto her sides she hurt so badly from her laughter. She wondered if Marlene Whitman had any idea that Alex could do this…he was a riot.
After they contained themselves Jeff looked up at Michael; they had a large platter of burgers, baskets of fries, onion rings and another platter of hot dogs and a large bowl of chili, cheese and onions ready to pass through the window to Nancy who started lining the food up on the counter buffet style.
Then Jeff spoke for the first time since Michael said his name.
“Michael, tomorrow you come by and let’s have a talk. I could use someone like you in my kitchen if you’re interested.”
“I sure am Mr. Parker. What time?”
“We open at six Michael, so any time after that, and thank you for your help this evening"
“You’re welcome Mr. Parker.”
Michael was beside himself with happiness, a feeling he wasn’t quite used to and he wasn’t sure what to call it but it really felt good.
About that time two men walked through the front door; Nancy approached the two, told them it was a private party and politely asked them to leave.
The bigger of the two grabbed Nancy and the smaller one pulled a gun…Jim Valenti saw the whole thing from his vantage point across the street and took off running as Nasedo started to work his way toward the café as well.
By the time Jim had gotten there all the kids took cover except for Liz who just stood there staring at her mother with her eyes practically bugging out of her head…Nancy yelled for Liz to get down but Liz didn’t move.
Jeff Parker came out of the back room holding a small pistol in his right hand and reached for his daughter just as the man with the revolver shot toward Jeff, missing him, and Liz went down.
The two men took advantage of the chaos to run out the door just as Jim made it to the Crash side of the street. He took off after the two men and Max Evans got up and ran to Liz. Everyone in the Crashdown stood there in shock as Max knelt in front of Liz and watched as blood poured from her side.
Her mother was screaming at Jeff who could only stand there in shock along with everyone else and then Max lifted Liz’s head in his right hand and told her to look at him as he lifted her shirt to check the wound.
“Liz, look at me! You have to look at me Liz.”
Liz could barely open her eyes as Max hovered over her. Max put his left hand over the gaping hole the bullet had left and watched as Liz gazed into his eyes. Max held his hand steady as Liz’s entire life flashed before his eyes and soon Liz’s eyes were clear and she had stopped bleeding.
Max turned and saw the expressions on everyone’s faces, some in shock others unexplainable. The unexplainable was on his fellow alien’s faces.
Max helped Liz up and Jeff grabbed her to him. Max went into the restroom with Michael hot on his heels and as Max washed his hands Michael stood there rubbing the back of his head not knowing what to say.
“They all saw.” Michael was near hysteria,
“Max, we have to leave!”
“No Michael, calm down. We aren’t going anywhere. Let’s just go out there and act like nothing happened.”
“Are you insane?!? Nothing happened! Max, you have to think man.”
“I am thinking. That new girl Tess, she’s one of us. She told me…now we know there are more of us so there are only six others that are unaware of our existence out there. Michael we have to deal with it.”
“Deal with it? Max, this is nuts.”
“No Michael it’s not nuts…let’s just go out there and see what happens.”
So the two teens exited the men’s room and the rest of the group stood there and waited.
“What just happened Max?” Jeff Parker asked the young man.
“Well Mr. Parker, I can heal wounds as you just witnessed but before we get into that I think Liz should go change her top. What do you think Liz?”
Liz just nodded her head and Maria and Tess went with her. When they got to Liz’s room Tess asked Liz if she felt all right.
“Yeah, I’m a little shaken but I’m all right. Who were those men anyway?”
Tess almost giggled she was so happy, elated, excited, choose a word! …’she wasn’t concerned about what Max did she was concerned about the shooter’
she thought to herself, not the event just the shooter.
“Liz, aren’t you upset with Max? About what he did?”
“No. Maybe I’ll have some questions for him later but I’m not upset. Not hardly, if he hadn’t done what he did I’d probably be dead. Do you know what he did Tess?”
“Yes, but I’ll let him tell you about it. Now let’s get you cleaned up and back downstairs before anybody else shows up. I’m sure the police will be here. Surely someone reported a gun shot.”
When the girls got back down to the main dining room everyone was seated in various spots of the café as Max explained what he had done to Liz. Jeff Parker could only look on in amazement and Nancy Parker hugged the young man to the point of embarrassment. Kyle didn’t know what to say and then the sheriff showed up and told Jeff that he put out an APB on the two perps and started to ask questions.
“Was anybody hurt? I heard a gunshot.”
Jeff jumped right in…
“No one was hurt sheriff…” then Jeff looked at his daughter and then at her savior…”I think the gun was loaded with blanks Jim. I don’t see any bullet holes anywhere. I think they might have thought we were open for business and came in to rob the place. When I came out of the back room with my little revolver the one carrying the gun fired once, the other one who had Nancy from behind let her go and they took off. It sure did put a damper on Liz’s party.”
“Well, it looks like the kids could use some nourishment or something. Why don’t you kids all chow down and I’ll start taking statements from each of you. Maybe we can get some good descriptions of these characters and get them out on the wire before they get away.”
“I can draw you a picture of them if you want me to sheriff. Mr. Parker, do you have a pencil, I’ll use the back of one of the placemats if it’s okay?” Michael suggested.
“Of course it’s okay Michael.” And Nancy handed over the pencil she had stuck behind her ear.
Kyle didn’t know what to do about all of this…he felt he should tell his dad but he didn’t know what to tell him so he just grabbed a hot dog, poured some chili over it and dressed it all up with cheese, passing on the onions just in case and proceeded to eat. And he ate three more besides. Tess sat there and watched him with a grin on her face…she knew he was scared, confused and bewildered so she just sat and picked at some French Fries while Kyle ate himself sick.
Liz, Nancy, Jeff and Max all sat at a booth and Nancy couldn’t quit hugging Max and Max suddenly wasn’t afraid of his secret getting out as much as he was afraid he had just grown another appendage.
Was this woman ever going to let go of him
and Liz sat and grinned at his discomfort, knowing just how shy Max was it was hard to keep the smile off her face.
“Max…I don’t know what you did or how you did it but we are going to be in debt to you for the rest of our lives. Thank you. And when you’re ready to tell us how you did this I’ll be more than glad to listen.”
“You’re welcome Mr. Parker…but what are you going to tell the sheriff?”
“I’ve already told him what happened Max. I just hope everyone else tells him the same.”
“They probably will, except for Kyle. I’m not so sure what he’s going to tell him.”
About that time the sheriff came over to Kyle’s booth where he was stuffing his face with chili dogs and then he looked at the cute little blond sitting there with his son and said…
“I’ll come back when you’re finished eating son.” Kyle looked at his dad with his mouth full of food and nodded, Tess just smiled. Then Tess figured it out, this is Kyle’s dad and she took matters into her own hands and closed her eyes. She replayed the entire event while omitting one very important scene, Liz. She was not shot…there was a gunshot but it wasn’t a real bullet. Kyle kept eating and then seemed to relax. When he gave his statement to his dad it was the same as everyone else’s and no one was any the wiser because they had all said the same thing.
Outside, while all of this was going on Nasedo managed to find the two men who had tried to rob the Crashdown and he had them pinned to the wall in back of the UFO center.
“What did you two think to accomplish back there? That wasn’t too bright.”
“We were paid to go in there and shoot someone.”
“Who? Who were you supposed to shoot and who paid you?”
“The boy that works at the carnival, he gave us each a thou to follow those kids and to shoot one of them.”
“The kid didn’t care; he just wanted one of them shot.”
“Idiots!” Nasedo hissed…
And with that statement out of his way Nasedo finished the two men off…leaving no trail for anyone to find.
He didn’t leave his usual hand print this time, he wasn’t trying to make a statement; he was trying to stay safe. He needed to get help. He took out his cell and dialed a number he was hoping he would never have to dial in his life.
“Cal, we have a problem.” And he hung up.