Finding Family, Finding Home (UC, AU, Adult) Ch 34 8/28

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Europolarist
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Finding Family, Finding Home (UC, AU, Adult) Ch 34 8/28

Postby Europolarist » Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:53 pm

Image

Title: Finding Family, Finding Home
Rating: Adult
Genre: Alien Abyss
Spoilers: None really. Completely AU
Rating: Adult, starts Teen but will get to naughty parts later
Summary: Fall 2012, Liz has just graduated with her PhD and started a job in the remote mountains near Denver. What happens when she crosses paths with a mysterious benefactor?

Disclaimer: This is the first time I'm posting on RF, but I've been an avid Roswell fic writer for nearly a decade. Roswell Characters are not mine, would love to have Michael, but alas, I’m not Melinda Metz. Some borrowed characters from the television show, property of Jason Katims and team. James, Claudio, Scott and the rest of the OCs are all property of my imagination. Images in fanart are property of the photographers. I only took screenshots with my purchased copy of Roswell - the series.

Enjoy!

Chapter 1

Liz sighed as she dropped her messenger bag onto the overstuffed chair in the living room of her two bedroom apartment. It was barely October; but the sky outside was black well before she arrived home tonight. Her eyes ached after hours of looking through the microscope at the lab and she wished for nothing but a few hours of watching shows on her DVR before falling asleep on the couch.

She shambled over to her galley kitchen in search of something to eat, her feet killing her. Having been at the lab since 5:30 that morning, Liz was ready to gorge herself on the half gallon of ice cream still left in her freezer. As she pulled a spoon out of her drawer, a knock resonated through her living room.

Mumbling under her breath, thinking it was her neighbor coming to bitch that once again a package was left at her door, Liz headed back to the front of her apartment.

The knock sounded again, as she reached for the doorknob.

“Yeah, yeah,” she sighed, pulling open the door.

“Chica!”

A blur of color swept into the apartment and before she could register the fact that her best friend had just shown up, Liz saw that she had more visitors.

“Maria!” she replied, feeling rejuvenated already as her friend swept her up in a hug.

“Hey, Liz,” her tall lanky friend said from the doorway. He held up a small red gift bag and waved it in front of her. “We brought house warming gifts!”

“What are you guys doing here?” she asked, still trying to comprehend what was going on.

“We left a day early,” Maria said, pulling away from the hug.

“We wanted to surprise our bestie,” another voice said, walking into the room.

Liz stopped and looked at the newest addition to her childhood clique. Standing proudly, the former star athlete looked good. She hadn’t seen him since she’d called off their engagement nearly six years ago.

“Kyle,” she said, feeling the smile grow on her face.

They’d parted amiably, but she’d always wondered what it would be like to see him again.

“Hey, short-stuff,” he grinned.

She glared.

“I didn’t know you’d be coming with them,” she said, smiling again.

“It was a last minute thing,” her once-fiancé shrugged.

“I wasn’t expecting you guys till tomorrow,” she said, stepping away from the door. “I haven’t even had time to clean.”

Her friends walked in, Alex and Kyle carrying a matching set of luggage. Liz chuckled. The poor guys had to tote all of Maria’s bags while she swept through like the hurricane she sometimes was.

“Looks pretty clean to me,” Alex commented, dropping two duffle bags on the carpet.

“I guess I can clean the bathroom real quick,” she said.

“Don’t worry about it,” Maria said, shushing her friend. “I’m sure it’s fine. You moved in a few weeks ago. How bad could it be?”

“What do you have to eat?” Kyle asked, letting the two carry-on suitcases snap back into their upright position.

“Half gallon of butter pecan?”

“What?” he gasped. “No vanilla?”

“I branched out a bit, since we last hung out.”

He wrapped an arm around her waist and pulled her close. “That’s my Liz,” he said. “Always curious.”

Liz couldn’t help but melt into his touch; they’d been together as a couple for so long. But as they stood there and Maria went through the fridge, Liz knew whatever relationship they had would be platonic from here on out.

“So, what’s there to do in Nederland, Colorado?” Alex asked.

Half an hour later, Liz found herself sitting beside Maria in a booth at the Mud Lake Bar and Grill. Being a few blocks down from her apartment, Liz suggested going there for a bite to eat. The grill wasn’t extremely fancy, but it was a nice inviting bar that the locals seemed to enjoy. Her coworker had recommended the place just a few days ago.

“I’m so glad you could make it,” she smiled, settling in behind Maria. “I’ve been looking forward to this for weeks.”

“It’s too bad you weren’t able to come to Roswell before the job started,” Alex said. “Your parents would love for you to visit.”

“I know,” she sighed. “But an opportunity to work Origins Bio-technologies was too good to pass up.”

“We get it,” Maria smiled, flipping open the small grill menu. “You just haven’t been back since your parents remodeled. The Diner looks amazing.”

“What about you guys?” Liz asked, looking at Alex. “Have you asked Maria to marry you yet?”

Alex blushed on the other side of the booth.

“We’re not in any hurry,” Maria said. “Besides, there’s still so much we want to do before getting tied down.”

Liz watched Kyle roll his eyes at them and smiled. Maria, despite outward appearances, always had some grand plan to accomplish.

“I’m gonna get a drink,” Liz said, eyeing the bar. “Do you need anything?”

“There are waiters,” Maria replied.

“Its fine,” she smiled then raised an eyebrow. “I need to walk a bit anyway.”

“Jack on the rocks,” Kyle replied.

“Gin and tonic,” Alex said.

Maria waved her off, engrossed in the food menu.

Liz walked across the room and stood at the bar. The mahogany top glistened with the shiny finish of wood well tended. Running her fingers over the contoured edge, she looked around at the other guests. Though this place was in a small rural town, it was relatively formal, she was surprised to see more of the white collar type seated in the booths or lounging at the cocktail tables. A baby grand stood on a latticed dance floor, a light shining down and giving the black piano a glow.

“Classy place,” she whispered.

A blast of cold air washed over her, and Liz glanced over her shoulder to see a group enter the bar. A tall handsome man, dressed in a three-piece suit, had entered the bar. Flanked by two shorter, but well –proportioned men, Liz thought immediately that he must be someone special, or at least relatively wealthy. There was no need for guard detail in Nederland, at least from what she’d seen so far.

He glanced around the room, his lips moving slightly, like he was telling his guard where to walk. Liz was about to turn her attention back to the bartender when she locked eyes with him. His caramel-brown eyes brought heat to her face as she stared. Liz felt a lump form at the back of her throat and watched as he walked away, finally breaking eye-contact with her.

“Ma’am?” a voice pulled her away.

“Yes?”

“What can I get you?” the bartender asked, wiping down some condensation from the bar top.

Liz ordered the drinks and waited patiently while the bartender artfully concocted the order. It was clear that he enjoyed his job by the way he took the time to prepare her gin martini, instead of just throwing together the ingredients. Liz noted, with a wry smile, that he immediately used all top shelf liquors and wondered if they allowed the cheap stuff within the walls of this place.

Waiting there for her order, Liz wanted desperately to turn around and look for the man. She’d never felt such immediate desire for a guy before. If she’d been in any other place or been any other girl, Liz knew that she would have strolled across the hardwood floor and jumped him. The image in her mind was almost laughable as she visualized herself sauntering past her friends, pushing that tall man against the wall and running her hands up and down his chest. She couldn’t tell what his physique was under that suit, but her mind ran rampant.

“That’ll be $18.50,” the bartender said, once again pulling her into the present.

“Oh, could you put it on the tab for my table please?”

“No problem, Ms.?”

“Parker,” she replied. “Liz Parker.”

He nodded and turned his back to her, headed towards the computer. With so few people actually eating this late, she guessed he needed no more information. Picking up the three drinks carefully, Liz turned and headed back to her table.

“Do you know what you want?” Liz asked, seeing Maria with her nose still in the menu.

“They serve duck here,” she gasped, looking up at Liz.

“I didn’t realize it was so upscale,” Liz admitted. “Or I would have suggested somewhere else.” Sitting down, she felt completely underdressed. While she wasn’t in yoga pants or her favorite ratty sweatshirt from Harvard, Liz thought she should have showered and put on a cocktail dress just to walk through the door.

“You’re fine,” Kyle smiled. “It’s not like the dress code here is tails and ball gowns.”

“Thanks.”

The waitress came by their table a few minutes later, and Liz and her friends ordered dinner.

Dinner came and went and Liz enjoyed her meal with her friends immensely. It had been too long since she’d relaxed. After getting her degree, she’d gone straight to graduate school and worked hard for her doctorate, barely squeezing in enough time to call her parents on holidays. Now that she’d found a job, relatively close to home, Liz found herself able to imagine some family time once again.

As they got ready to pay their tab, Liz excused herself to go to the bathroom. Maria following behind her.

“Are you sure we can stay at your apartment?” she asked, as they got back to the table.

“Of course,” Liz said. “I’ve got a pull out couch too.”

Rounding the corner, Liz collided with a suit. She let out a squeal, unintentionally, as she reeled back from the body. Looking up, she saw the man who’d caught her eye at the door. He pulled her against his body, steadying her, and Liz felt heat flood through her.

“I am so sorry,” she said, pulling away from him, diverting her eyes. “I wasn’t watching and I,”

“It’s alright,” his baritone voice said, with a chuckle. “I should have sent someone ahead to clear the way.”

Liz looked up at him.

A curve of his lips proved his insincerity.

Liz glanced back and saw Maria staring gape-jawed at the man. This wasn’t good. She reached out and grabbed Maria by the arm.

“We really should be going,” she said, pulling Maria with her and starting towards the guys.

“Who was that?” Maria whispered as they put distance between Liz and the mystery man.

“No idea,” she replied, feeling slightly out-of-breath.

“He’s yummy,” Maria giggled.

Liz could only glare at her friend.

“What? I’m not engaged yet!”

Finally reaching the table, Liz saw the guys ready to go.

“Liz,” Kyle said, holding his arm out for her. “Shall I escort you from the premises?” he asked, faking a haughty, almost British, accent.

Her knees weak from the collision with the Adonis, Liz only smiled and took his arm. She knew she’d have to let Kyle know eventually that she didn’t see them together again; but after her run-in, Liz felt the need to have the support of her friend at her side.
Last edited by Europolarist on Wed Aug 28, 2013 5:27 pm, edited 30 times in total.

Europolarist
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Finding Family, Finding Home (UC, AU, Adult) Chapter 2 - 2/5

Postby Europolarist » Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:21 am

AN: Thanks for the feedback!!!! I'm glad you're enjoying it. Sorry I didn't post yesterday, the evening slipped away pretty quickly. But if it makes you feel better. This story is about 30 chapters and done, save for a few scenes that may be added in.

Chapter 2

The alarm clock buzzed harshly and Liz flipped over in her bed, reaching out and smacking the snooze button.

“Five more minutes,” she groaned to an empty room.

The alarm clock buzzed harshly once again and Liz reached out and hit the off button, kicking her comforter off her body.

Staring up at the ceiling, she knew she had about half an hour before she had to get to the lab. With just enough time for a shower, she sighed and climbed out of bed.

After a refreshing shower, Liz finally felt clean and a bit more awake than she had a few minutes earlier. With a towel wrapped around her head, she walked out into the hall. Immediately she smelled the spicy aroma of her father’s favorite coffee percolating in the machine.

“Smells good,” she said, pulling her towel off her head and scrunching it through her hair.

“Thought you’d want a taste of home,” Kyle smiled, sliding off the barstool against the counter sill.

“Didn’t know you were such an early riser,” Liz admitted, putting her towel on the back of a dining chair.

“Being a deputy has a perk or two,” he grinned. “Still like it black?”

Liz nodded.

“Kyle,” she said, feeling the urge to get her feelings out in the open. “I wanted to talk to you.”

“Oh yeah?” he asked, sliding in next to her in the kitchen and taking the coffee pot off the base.

“We can’t ever,” she started, feeling a knot in her stomach. How could she say this without breaking his heart? He’d been so nice to comfort her last night, but…

“Oh don’t, Liz.” He put the pot back down and looked into her eyes. “You don’t have to say anything. We’ve been friends, lovers, for so long. I’m just happy to see you again.”

“But I.”

“I don’t have any hidden agendas, short-stuff,” he said, cutting her off. “I just want your friendship.”

Liz nodded, thankful that he felt that way.

Kyle grabbed a thermal cup from the cabinet and poured hot coffee inside.

“Is there someone else?” she asked, a different fear rippling through her.

“Not right now,” he said, with a small smile. “But I’m happy and you look happy too.” He leaned between them and reached out; placing a hand on her cheek. His lips brushed against hers for a fleeting moment. Liz felt tingles roll through her body starting at her stomach. She’d never be happy marrying him, but he still sent a chill through her.

“So,” he said, after a few silent moments. “Now that we’re all grown up, can we be friends again?”

She nodded, a little stunned.

“Good. Now, get your tiny butt out the door, Ms. Scientist, and save the world.” He handed her the thermal mug he’d filled.

Time at the lab dragged slowly as Liz worked through the day. She’d planned to spend the morning working in the chem lab on some of the samples they’d taken earlier in the week; but from the moment she walked in the door, it seemed everything was going wrong. There was a distinctly musty smell in the air that could only mean one thing.

She walked into the micro-lab and saw what she’d been afraid of. The incubators in the microbiology room had broken down at some point overnight and she worked most of the morning, side by side with the interns to save the bacterial samples in their Petri dishes from needing to be thrown away.

It took Liz and the others hours to get the back up incubator set up without contamination. It was almost noon when a technician from Denver was sent for, to fix a broken fan.

It wasn’t until two thirty that she had time to sit down in the small break room and grab a bag of wafer cookies, a guilty pleasure of hers, out of a vending machine. She wished she had time to run over to the Wrap-Master around the corner, for their locally famous organic wraps; but there was simply too much to do.

When 5:30 struck the wall clock, Liz sighed, a little upset that she was still at work. It would have been fine any other day, but her friends were waiting for her.

“What are you still doing here, Liz?” her boss said, stepping inside the lab.

“There’s still work I can be doing on these samples.”

“Go home,” he smiled. “They’ll still be viable tomorrow morning when Claudio comes in.”

Liz looked at the tray she’d laid out, each vial filled with 5 micrograms of the test solution. Off to the side were the blood samples they’d collected from the volunteers on Wednesday. She was happier than ever that they’d saved the samples.

“Yes, sir,” she said, with a sigh. She trusted Claudio, he was her supervisor and tutor; but still wished she could be the one to run the second round of tests.

Putting the tray in the incubator nearby, Liz closed up the computer programs and shut down a couple of the non-critical systems. It took nearly an hour for her to close up the lab, since no one was on duty tonight. Claudio would need to calibrate the machines in the morning anyway.

She changed out of her lab coat and found her purse and keys in her locker. Checking her phone, Liz saw a few missed calls from Maria.

“Shit,” she muttered. They’d planned on going into Denver for dinner tonight.

Liz raced out to her car and headed home.

“I’m so sorry,” she said, walking into her apartment. Her three friends were sitting on the couch, dressed and ready to go to Yamimoto’s, a sushi bar in one of the hipper districts in the city. Thankfully their reservation had been for eight, but Liz knew she barely had time to change if they wanted to make it on time.

“Just get dressed,” Kyle said. “We’ve looked up directions. I’m driving.”

She nodded and ran into her room, rushing through her closet to find an appropriate outfit for the upscale dining they’d be doing tonight.

Wanting to shower again, feeling the scent of disinfectant around her like an aura, she quickly turned on the water.

“Five minutes,” she said to herself stripping off the casual business clothes she wore under her lab coat.

Jumping under the hot stream of water, Liz frantically washed her body, scrubbing off the day’s worth of sterility from her skin. No matter that the facility was spotless, she always felt a little grimy after a long day working with the disease laden Petri dishes.

After the shower, she toweled off then ran a brush through her hair. Pulling the top half back and braiding it, Liz glanced at the clock. Eight minutes. Not her best, but at least she was clean and her legs were freshly shaved.

She put on her red tank top with a deep neckline and cinched empire waist, skipping the need for a bra. The top wasn’t super deep like Maria might have worn, but enough to make her feel sultry. After putting in a pair of earrings, something she until recently had stayed far away from, Liz pulled on her panties and the black skirt she’d bought for under her graduation robe. It was shorter than she preferred, but just above the knee was still manageable.

Knowing she had some lip gloss in her clutch, one she used specifically for corporate and academic get-togethers, Liz grabbed her low strappy heels and walked into the living room.

“If you can wait for me to get my shoes on, I’ll be ready to go,” she said, dropping them to the floor and taking a seat in her overstuffed chair.

“Damn, Liz,” Alex said with a whistle.

She smiled and looked up at her friends. Maria swatted Alex and Kyle looked stupefied.

“You do clean up pretty well,” Maria conceded.

“Thanks,” she said, fixing the strap around her Achilles tendon. “You ready?”

It took them nearly an hour to get to the restaurant, parking in a nearby garage, then walking the couple of blocks to Yamimoto’s from the car. Liz felt she hadn’t laughed so much in months, maybe years, when she climbed out of Alex’s SUV.

The sushi bar was packed when they walked in the door. A man dressed in what resembled a butler’s uniform took their coats and showed them to the hostess stand.
The friendly hostess asked if they wanted drinks and took their bar orders before escorting them to the table being held in their name. The main restaurant was decorated in a modern flair, half walls made of glass separated the tables, and light from fiber optics colored the opaque dividers. The tables, elevated off the main floor were sitting on a glass riser, also lit from underneath by the color changing motif of the room.

Liz said a mental thank you to whatever had caused the couple to cancel their reservation for her and her friends to be able to take their table. This place was breathtaking and a once in a lifetime extravagance.

A waiter or busboy, Liz couldn’t be sure which, appeared from nowhere and pulled out her seat. Liz thanked him and saw a similarly clad teenager holding out the chair for Maria on the other side of the table. Maria giggled. The guys sat in the aisle seats and the waitress handed them the one page menus.

“I’ll let you have a few minutes,” she smiled.

Before Liz had time to even glance at the menu, a girl, maybe 21, came to the table with their drinks. Liz had ordered water and a glass of sparkling white wine. She’d offered to drive home and didn’t want to have a lot of alcohol; but one glass of wine with dinner would be at least tolerable. They did plan on staying here for a while.

They ordered quickly and sat talking together while waiting for their steamed edamame and soup orders to arrive.

“This beer is amazing,” Kyle said, looking at the label.

“At twelve dollars a bottle, it better be,” Alex chuckled, taking a swig.

Liz giggled and glanced over her shoulder, feeling the heat of someone watching her.

Against the opposite wall, familiar brown eyes connected with hers once more and a shiver raced up her spine. She nearly choked on the wine she’d sipped.

The man from the night before sat at a table with a blond woman. Liz felt sick, of course the hot man was with someone, a tall leggy woman with a bust size triple what she had and the long flowing locks of a model.

Liz didn’t stand a chance with him. She swallowed as he laughed at something the girl said. From across the room she saw the mystery man begin to glance around the room as if he’d felt her staring. Liz turned away quickly so he wouldn’t spot her.

“Liz?” Kyle asked, his hand resting on her arm. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah,” she replied, feeling dazed.

“What’s wrong?” he asked.

“Oooh.” Liz looked up to see Maria grinning conspiratorially. “It’s that guy,” she said.

“What guy?” Kyle replied, looking around the restaurant.

“No one,” Liz said, glaring at her friend.

“Just someone we ran into last night at the bar.”

Liz groaned, Maria looked like she’d caught the canary with her wide secret smile.

A waiter stopped at the table and placed their appetizers on the cloth and thankfully the subject of the guy was dropped. Liz felt mortified at the thought that the drool-worthy man was only twenty feet away.

It didn’t take long for the sashimi platters to come out and be placed between them at the center of the table.

“If I’d thought about it,” Maria said, “I should have grabbed my camera.” She leaned over and Liz guessed she was going for her purse.

“Please don’t,” she begged.

“Flash off,” Maria promised, pulling out her smartphone. “It won’t be the same quality but at least I’ll have proof that we came here.”

Maria snapped a few pictures of the artfully decorated plates and placed her phone back in her bag.

“Done,” she promised.

Liz glanced around the room in hopes that no one had seen her friend take the embarrassing pictures in such a high-class restaurant. Purposefully she avoided looking directly at the man who’d sent her heart racing.

Dinner was over far too quickly and Kyle surprisingly paid for the entire check.

“It’s not every day we get to see the lovely Liz,” he smiled, handing the waitress his card.

“I appreciate it, Kyle,” she said. The bill had been extravagant though.

“You can repay me by saving the world with your science,” he grinned.

The waitress returned and the busboys appeared from nowhere again to help the girls out of their chairs. Liz followed a few steps behind Maria and Alex. Tonight had been fun, she thought.

As they waited for the doorman to retrieve their jackets, fear rippled through Liz’s body.

“My purse!”

“I’ll get it,” Kyle offered.

“No,” she said, stopping him. “I’ll grab it and meet you guys outside.”

Alex nodded and took the coat from the doorman who’d appeared at his side.

“Alright, but hurry.”

Liz smiled and headed back towards their table. It had already been cleaned off in the few moments she’d had her back turned. Crouching down to peer under the table, Liz cursed when she saw her purse already gone. She’d have to use Maria’s cell to cancel her cards.

“Is this yours?” A meltingly smooth voice said from behind her.

Liz turned quickly, not realizing there’d been someone at her back. Her mystery man stood before her, holding the satin clutch in his hand.

“Oh thank God,” she said, with a sigh.

“I’m not God,” he chuckled, folding his hands in front of him after she took the purse.

“I didn’t mean,” she started, feeling flustered at his appearance. It must be the suit, she said to herself.

“A ‘Thank you’ would suffice in such circumstances,” he said after a moment’s pause.

“I,” she started, fiddling with the clutch in her hand. “Thank you.” Liz glanced up into his face, his smirk drawing her in.

He closed the distance between them and placed a hand on her hip, pulling her against him and leaning in. Liz closed her eyes, feeling faint.

His cheek brushed against hers and his voice filled her head.

“You’re most welcome, Miss Liz.”

Her eyes shot open and his warmth was gone. She turned quickly. How had he known her name?

There was no sign of Mr. Tall and Handsome, no sign of his impeccable suit, and curiously no sign of any of Yamimoto’s employees.

Europolarist
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Re: Finding Family, Finding Home (UC, AU, Adult) Chapter 3

Postby Europolarist » Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:14 pm

AN: Glad you ladies like the chapter! Thanks for the feedback and to the lurkers for reading :)

Begonia - A baby grand is a smaller version of a grand piano, fits better in smaller rooms, but still has that grand piano feel. And in this chapter, the name of the restaurant is a total coincidence :D As for the other thing, you'll see...

Enjoy!

Chapter 3

The rest of the weekend flew by and as soon as Alex’s car left the apartment parking lot, Liz felt empty. She hadn’t realized how much she’d missed her friends or how important they really were to her. She vowed to visit Roswell soon and see her parents again.

Having seen Mr. Mysterious, as Maria dubbed him, dining with the gorgeous woman, Liz did her best to put him out of her mind. Even if she’d managed to see him again, there would be absolutely nothing between them.

The next handful of weeks crawled by as Liz worked hard with Claudio on their research. She hoped they’d be able to find a cure for a strange genetic defect that had popped up around the country over the last decade. The children were usually diagnosed with autism or some other sort of mental imbalance, but the evidence showed that something more was at stake.

By the time the first snow of the season had come and gone, Liz thought little about the mysterious stranger who’d left her shaking in the restaurant. She’d looked for him for the next week, wondering when his brown eyes would lock with hers again; but she hadn’t seen Him, at least not face to face, since Yamimoto’s. Liz had imagined him walking into the office, or running into her at the grocery store, but even that seemed preposterous. Someone with a guard detail at a bar would certainly not be doing his own grocery.

The calendar on the wall read December 14th and Liz found herself standing just outside the board room of the Origins Biotech subsidiary building. Inside the room waited the CEO and financial committee along with a few private sponsors. Her boss had chosen her over Claudio and the other scientists to give the annual wrap up report of their research to the founders of the company. It was her job to convince the men and women inside to continue funding their laboratory.

Her lab coat had been freshly washed and ironed. Her hair was up in a pony tail, pulled away from her eyes and stowed as the MSDS required. She took a deep breath, calming the nerves that fluttered inside her every time she was supposed to talk in front of important boards, her thesis interview included.

“Miss Parker,” James said, poking his head out of the conference room. “We’re ready.”

Liz nodded and followed James into the room. She hadn’t seen so many stern looking professionals since she’d defended her thesis six months ago. Glancing at each member of the board, she smiled politely and walked to the head of the table where she’d give her speech. Her presentation was already loaded into the computer and the projector already on.

She stopped cold, feeling the blood drain to her feet, when she saw the member closest to her right. Sitting before her was the man she’d been dreaming about. The last few days she’d had nightmarishly little sleep, somewhat from nerves and preparing for the presentation and the other half from the sexual fantasies she’d been having about one of her board members.

Bile rose in her throat. She felt like she was going to hurl. The shock of seeing him, someone she’d undressed in her dreams so often, sitting there coolly at the table made Liz feel sick to her stomach.

It took all of her resolve to tear her eyes away from him, but she didn’t miss how his eyes seemed to glitter. Out of amusement at her stumble or out of actual happiness to see her, Liz couldn’t tell.

“Ladies and Gentlemen of the board,” she began.

Fifteen minutes later, Liz had finished with her report. The board members seemed pleased with their advancements so far and had asked very specific questions, proving to Liz that they did know what they were talking about. It made Liz happy to know that the board wasn’t some kind of faceless upper class within the company that had forgotten what brought them together.

As the board members began talking amongst themselves, Liz fought the desire to excuse herself from the room. She could feel Him watching her. Gathering her note pad and the water she’d been given, Liz inched toward the door. She didn’t want to cause a scene by leaving, but felt that the conversation had turned more private than she should be allowed to overhear.

“Liz,” James said, stopping her.

“Yes, sir?” Damn it, she thought.

“Are you free for dinner tonight?”

“Sir?” Liz asked, unsure that she’d really heard her boss ask her to dinner, in front of the most influential people in the company no less.

“The annual Director’s supper is being held tonight at Begonia’s downtown. Would you like to accompany me?”

Liz looked around the room, the others seemed occupied but Liz wasn’t sure how to answer.

“I,” she started.

“It would be an excellent way for you to meet the board on a personal level.” James smiled.

It would be a great way for her to make an impression, but the idea of sitting through a meal at the man’s table made her stomach flip. Could she really get through dinner without throwing herself at this very influential man?

Liz fought for a moment, trying to come up with a plausible excuse.

“It’s a wonderful idea,” her mystery man said.

Liz realized then that she still had not been properly introduced to the members of the board. Nerves fluttered in her stomach, how was she going to sit through an entire meal with this guy there?

“I wouldn’t even know what to wear,” she said, struggling to find any words.

“I’m sure you have something incredible in your closet that will work, Miss Parker,” he said, looking at her with a smile.

Liz gulped.

“Yes, sir,” she said, feeling stupid at not knowing his name. It only proved how much of an unknown she really was that the board hadn’t bothered with introductions when she’d given her presentation.

“Mr. Guerin,” James said, almost pointedly. “There is enough room for our shining young scientist at the table, right?”

He nodded with a smile.

“Naturally.”

“Well then,” James said, turning back to Liz. “You better run home and get ready.”

“Yes,” she said, stunned to say the least.

“I’ll send a car ‘round to pick you up,” Mr. Guerin said, with a smirk. “Say Seven?”

Liz nodded wordlessly then left the room, her legs shaking. What had she gotten herself into and was it her imagination or did Mr. Guerin seem eager for her to come to dinner?

A few minutes later Liz found herself sitting in her beat up Toyota, with the off-color front bumper, feeling sick. She had no idea what she was going to do. She pulled out her phone and quickly dialed Maria, surely her best friend could calm her down.

“Pick up, pick up,” she muttered as the end of the line rang.

When the automated voicemail system kicked in, Liz cursed and hit the red end call button on her screen. She didn’t have time for this.

In a moment of genius, Liz decided to call Serena. A brilliant scientist herself, Serena had become an acquaintance at Origins BioTech in the weeks since her friends had returned to Roswell. They’d hung out a few times over the past few weeks and Serena was getting ready to join her and Claudio on the project. Though Liz didn’t know Serena all that well, she knew that the other woman had lived in Denver her entire life. At least she could help her pick out suitable attire for the restaurant.

“Hey Liz,” she said, picking up the phone.

“Serena, I need your help,” she said, feeling her hand shaking.

“What’s going on?” Liz could hear the concern in her voice.

Liz quickly outlined what happened in the conference room and waited for Serena’s response.

“Begonia’s?” she asked, almost with a sigh in her voice.

“What about it?”

“Girl, you are one lucky woman! It’s the most exclusive restaurant in the suburbs,” she said. “I’ll be over as soon as I can. Until then, get showered, but don’t wash your hair.”

The line went dead.

“Serena?” Liz called out.

Liz turned the key in the ignition after putting the phone on the seat next to her. She needed to get home soon.

An hour later, Liz found herself being teased and primped in front of her bathroom mirror. Her hair had been curled, her makeup had been done, and Serena had offered her a few dress choices for the dinner.

“You’re a miracle worker, Serena,” she smiled, letting her hand float over the curls that Serena had produced. “How did you do it?’

“Mom was a hairdresser,” Serena grinned, leaning back on the vanity.

“You don’t think this is too much, do you?” Liz asked when Serena jumped down and grabbed the black and teal cocktail dress she’d picked out.

“Not for Begonia’s,” she said. “Besides, you’ve impressed the board with your mind, now’s the time to look amazing.”

A knock sounded on the front door.

“I’ll get it, come out when you’re ready.” Serena rushed out of the bathroom and Liz stepped into the dress. She took a deep breath and pulled it up, thankful that it was at least full-backed. She didn’t want to look like a money-grubbing witch.

She walked out to the living room and saw a chauffeur standing in the doorway. What kind of car had they sent around?

“Miss Parker?” he said, his voice crackling with age.

“I’ll be ready in a moment, I just need to put on my shoes.”

The white-haired man nodded with a smile and Liz sat in the chair and put on her trusty strapped sandals. Winter be damned. Her feet would be cold but with her newly polished toes would look amazing in the heels.

She grabbed her purse and walked out of her living room with the chauffeur and Serena, locking the door behind her.

Walking down the sidewalk, Liz spied a black limo sitting at the edge of the lot. Her heart raced with nerves.

“Oh my God,” she gasped.

“You’ll be fine,” Serena said. “I’ll be by in the morning to pick up my stuff.”

“Thanks, Serena,” Liz smiled. “I owe you big.”

“Don’t forget us little people when you make the Board,” she chuckled.

“I’m not,” Liz protested.

“Just go,” Serena smiled, keys in hand. “Call me if you need anything.”

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Chapter 4

Postby Europolarist » Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:49 am

AN: Sorry it's a little late. I have the final document saved on my work computer and I completely forgot to make sure I had it for the long weekend.

Thank you for all the feedback, ladies! I hope you like this chapter. It's about to get started!! ;)


Chapter 4

The limo pulled up to the restaurant entrance half an hour later. Liz felt sick to her stomach. What the hell was she doing, throwing herself into the lion’s den with the wealthy benefactors and CEO’s and other various board members of the company she’d just barely started working at?

The limo door opened and the Chauffeur held out his hand to help her out of the back seat.

“Deep breath, Miss,” he smiled.

Liz looked at him for a moment before taking his hand.

It was clear that even this stranger could tell how nervous she was.

Stepping out onto the sidewalk, Liz felt a chill from the cold December air and wished she had grabbed her jacket. She’d been so nervous that she’d completely forgotten it. Way to use your Harvard educated mind, she chided herself mentally.

Glancing around, Liz saw Lamborghinis and Porsches in the parking lot and was glad she hadn’t had to drive herself here. The hostess might have turned her away from the restaurant in her beat-up clunker.

“Good evening, and welcome to Begonia’s,” the hostess said, from her podium near the door.

“I’m,”

“Miss Parker,” the hostess smiled, interrupting her. “Your party is already inside. Please follow me.”

Liz balked that the hostess had known her name, but maybe her boss had given the description to the restaurant. She followed the girl, dressed in a slinky black dress, and wondered how the hostess stayed warm at her outside post.

Inside the restaurant was dark and inviting, decorated in deep red wood paneling and the sconces and chandeliers were covered in opaque almost pearlescent glass.

The hostess opened a door near the back of the room and Liz saw a table set for about twenty before her. A few of the board members she’d presented to this morning were already standing near the bar with drinks in hand.

“Liz,” James said, dressed in a jacket and tie. He crossed the room and placed his drink on a nearby cocktail table.

“Mr. Kleinfein,” she smiled. “Thank you for inviting me to the dinner tonight.”

“It’s James,” he said, conspiratorially. “Even here.”

Liz fought back a wince. The whole situation felt a bit awkward and she didn’t want him to get the wrong idea.

James ordered a drink from the bartender and handed her the glass filled with ice and a splash of liquor.

“I’ve just had word that the budget for our lab has been approved, thanks to your presentation.”

“Thank you, sir,” she said, smiling and glancing down at the glass in her hand. “I’m glad.”

“Let’s introduce you to the board.” He took her elbow and led her toward the back of the room and Liz was politely introduced to the board members.

Twenty minutes later dinner was served and Liz had yet to see the elusive Mr. Guerin walk into the room. Silently she wondered where he was.

Sitting between James and the impeccably dressed Ms. Bennett, the vice president of marketing, Liz began to relax. She knew that with food being served she could merely sit and listen for a while as the corporate team chatted.

When everyone had been seated, Liz grimaced when she realized that the head of the table had been left open. If this room full of corporate members left the most important seat in the room open, what did that mean Mr. Guerin was.

It wasn’t until halfway through the soup course that he walked through the doors. Liz felt heat pool in her most intimate places when he strolled through the entrance in one of his impeccable suits. His hair slicked back and away from his collar, Liz nearly melted at the sight of him.

“Mr. Guerin,” the CEO, to whom Liz had been introduced not a few moments before, nodded in his direction.

“Christian,” he replied, taking his seat at the head of the table.

Liz watched wordlessly as he settled into the chair to begin eating. She picked up her soup spoon again and tried her best not to stare at him and spill her soup in her lap. Glancing down, she dipped the spoon and brought it to her lips. Heat raced through her body, settling in her cheeks. She squeezed her legs together, feeling herself get excited over the man who’d barely said two words to her.

She looked up at him, swallowing the lump in her throat. Liz wondered where his date was; surely the hot blond would be hanging off his elbow like the weeping model type usually did.

He was looking right at her, smirking as if he’d heard her sarcastic thoughts.

Almost dropping her spoon, Liz managed to recover. She hoped he hadn’t noticed, but sneaking another look at him, Liz saw him hide a chuckle behind his hand and then continue his conversation with Christian.

Wanting to disappear, Liz looked away and saw James watching her as well.

“You okay?” he asked, concern filled his eyes.

“I’m fine,” she insisted and continued eating.

After dinner, the waiters walked around with small glasses of after-dinner liquors and promises of dessert soon. Liz smiled as she took the tiny hurricane glass and sipped the strong alcohol. A few guests stood and walked around to talk to their companions while the waiters cleared the table to prepare for dessert.

She left her glass and joined Ms. Bennett near a window. She’d learned that the elder woman had a bit of a wild streak, and reminded Liz of the stories her mother used to tell of being a teenager in the 70s. Secretly Liz wondered if Ms. Bennett had the same rebellious youth.

“Excuse me, Caroline,” a seductive voice said behind Liz. “I don’t believe I’ve been properly introduced to our surprise guest.”

Liz stiffened, almost feeling the heat of his body against hers.

“Oh, of course,” the older woman replied.

Liz turned to look at the man and swallowed hard, his cologne wafting to her nose and causing her knees to go weak.

“Michael Guerin, I’d like to introduce Liz Parker, the brightest research scientist I’ve met in a long time.”

Liz glanced at her companion and blushed as Caroline grinned.

“Liz, Michael Guerin is the President and founder of Origins BioTech.”

Liz balked; she’d been having naughty dreams about the most important person in the company. She wanted to cry, how could she have done that? Heat rushed her cheeks and her dinner flip-flopped deep in her belly

“Liz,” he smiled, “it’s a pleasure to finally meet you properly.”

“You too, sir,” she replied, feeling her hands shaking. She could NOT take his hand, or he’d know just how nervous she was.

He looked conflicted for a moment, and Liz thought that the scene couldn’t have been more awkward. She was almost sure he would reach out for her hand and kiss the top like some sort of European cad.

“I hope you’re enjoying the party,” he said after a pause.

“I am,” she said with a shaky smile. “I appreciate the kindness of the invitation.” He intimidated her to no end and Liz felt ridiculous dancing around his words.

“I’ll leave you to enjoy the rest of it then,” he said, then turned to face the older woman.

“Caroline, it’s good to see you again.” He nodded his head to the vice president and walked past them, brushing lightly against her body as he moved between her and the chairs nearby.

Liz nearly collapsed against a nearby cocktail table at the heat he exuded.

A silence passed between her and Caroline and Liz struggled to clear her mind.

“He founded the company?” she asked after a moment.

“Well,” Caroline said, reminiscing. “Michael has always had a brilliant mind, graduating high school and college several years before his peers. His father owned a research company and when Michael turned 18, he used his trust fund to start this company with his father’s guidance.”

Liz felt like she needed a drink and for a moment thought about going to the bar. A waiter walked by at that exact second and offered her a glass of white wine, which she took, trying not to let her nerves show.

“You sound like you know him well,” Liz commented.

“I worked for Guerin Research Inc for twenty years,” Caroline said, warmly. “When Michael wanted to start his company, I eagerly joined him.”

“Wasn’t his father upset for losing a loyal employee?”

“Not at all,” Caroline smiled. “He was proud of his son and the ambition he had. Only a few of us left Guerin Research, but we’ll always be invited back, should we choose to.

“You know,” Caroline continued, leaning in conspiratorially. “The Guerin family owns this restaurant as well.”

“They do?” she asked.

“The Guerin’s have a lot of business interests,” Caroline smiled.

Liz took a small drink from the wine glass. She needed some air.

Thanking Caroline, she excused herself, promising to return soon, and left the room.

She walked out to the front door, already feeling cooler than she had inside the private dining hall. The hostess smiled at her and Liz smiled back, trying to remain calm.

“Can I help you?” she asked.

“Just needed a breath of fresh air,” Liz replied. The cold air hit her hard and Liz shivered in the December night. She walked a few steps away from the hostess podium and stared out at the sky, the moon peaked through a few clouds, but otherwise the sky was dark.

She felt tears stinging her eyes when a blast of wind brushed through the trees.

Cursed eyes, she muttered under her breath and swiped away the drops of water from her cheeks.

Warmth enveloped her from behind and Liz turned to see Michael, sans jacket, standing behind her. She grasped the coat for a second, enjoying the sweet scent of his cologne and the heat his jacket provided.

“You’ll catch your death,” he said, a look of concern on his face.

“Thank you,” she replied. With the warmth of the jacket, she felt her mind return from the frantic discomfort she’d felt in the room.

“Did you know who I was?” she asked unable to stop the question from spilling out of her mouth. She rubbed her arms under his coat trying to stimulate some warmth.

“What do you mean?” he asked.

“The night at the restaurant,” she said. “In Denver.”

“No,” he admitted, taking a step closer. Liz felt her nerves spike as he moved well within her comfort zone. “I didn’t know you worked for my company until last week. It was such a pleasant surprise.”

He leaned between them, almost uncomfortably close, and slowly took a breath.

“How did I know you’d still smell like strawberries,” he whispered, his hand slipping beneath the jacket and running along her goose-bumped skin.

A shiver raced through her spine, and Liz refused to acknowledge its origin.

He placed a few short kisses along her jaw line and Liz shuddered, knowing her panties were done for.

His arms wrapped around her waist and pulled her against his body as he left little nipping bites in a path to her earlobe. A moan spilled from her lips and her eyes shot open.

“No,” she said, pulling away. “We can’t.”

Michael groaned, his fingers digging slightly into her waist. It seemed like he didn’t want to stop either.

“I work for your company,” she pleaded; not wanting to break her heart by having him acknowledge the fact that he was taken. Liz placed a hand on his chest, trying to put some distance between them before she let him take her right there on the sidewalk.

His fingers loosened enough for her to step away.

She felt her heart break at the grimace that crossed his lips.

“One kiss,” he said with a whisper, his eyes closed.

“What?” she asked.

“Then please give me one kiss.” His warm brown eyes opened and searched hers. “We’ll be strictly professional then,” he offered. “But please don’t deny me that wish.”

Liz watched him for a moment, his face pained. Raking her bottom lip between her teeth, she wondered about the sincerity of his words. The very idea of pushing him away at that moment made her stomach turn. She couldn’t just walk away, not after months of dreaming about this moment. Sure the kiss would be scandalous, the man had a girlfriend and owned the company she worked for; but Liz knew she’d regret it for the rest of her life if she didn’t get her one chance.

She gave her answer with a slight nod and before she’d had time to breathe, Michael wrapped his arm around her waist, pulling her flush against his body. Liz didn’t have time to think or react, but she reveled in a moment of clear mindedness as she realized just how hard and toned his body was.

His free hand wrapped around the back of her neck and pulled her close as his lips pressed against hers. He moaned and Liz clung onto his body, feeling her legs go weak. She parted her lips, and his tongue pressed inside, dueling against hers. Her head spun as she tasted this beautiful man for the first time, her hips ground against his for a moment and Liz realized how much better his kisses were than anything she could imagine.

All too quickly, he pulled away. Liz opened her eyes, slightly hazy from the loss of blood to her brain. His body shook slightly as her hands fell from his back. She almost groaned at the loss of his heat.

“Thank you,” he whispered, taking a shuddering breath.

Liz blinked, feeling his heat rapidly disappearing from her body. She wanted to say something to him, but to her surprise Michael had disappeared from the sidewalk. Feeling a sob ripple through her, Liz sat down on the concrete, not even feeling the cold against her legs. She snuggled into the jacket, immediately regretting that she’d stopped anything from happening between them.

That kiss, she thought, pressing her fingers to her still warm lips, had been intense. Too intense for her to ignore. What was she thinking?

After a few minutes, the cold started to chill her once more and Liz decided it was time to go home. But she couldn’t just disappear from the party, it would be highly unprofessional.

She returned to the dining room at the back of the restaurant, hoping to be quiet enough just to slip out after saying goodnight to her boss.

She placed Michael’s jacket on the back of the chair at the head of the table, hoping no one noticed, and walked over to James.

“I’m gonna head out,” she said, glancing back at the door in case He came back in.

“No,” her boss pleaded. “The night is still young. Besides, dessert hasn’t been served yet.”

“I appreciate the invitation; but I need to go.”

She looked at the door again.

“Is something wrong?” he asked, seeming concerned. James reached out and placed a hand on her arm.

“I’m just,” she paused. “Not feeling well all the sudden,” she said, grasping at any sort of excuse.

James’ forehead scrunched as she spoke and Liz knew he wasn’t buying it.

“Feel better then, Liz,” James sighed. “I’ll see you on Monday.”

Liz nodded, thanked her boss, and walked back out the door. She breathed a sigh of relief at getting out of there without spotting Michael. It was going to be a long lonely night at home.

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Re: Finding Family, Finding Home (UC, AU, Adult) Chapter 5

Postby Europolarist » Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:29 am

AN: Thanks for the feedback, Ladies! I'm glad you are enjoying it. I think I might start posting twice a week, simply because I have 33 chapters and I realized once a week will take me into August or September... GAH! So twice a week would probably be more fun for you :)

Here's Chatper 5!!

Chapter 5

The next morning, Liz found herself sitting on her couch eating reheated Chinese take-out while Serena grilled her for information. Her co-worker had come over at the crack of dawn wanting to ask about the dinner.

“I can’t believe you kissed Mr. Guerin!” she said, with a giggle. “He’s so phenomenally delicious.”

“Quit, Serena,” Liz blushed, poking at her lo mien with her fork. “You’re as bad as Maria.”

“So, what’s going to happen, now?”

“Nothing,” Liz sighed, still regretting it. “I told him we couldn’t see each other. Besides, I think he has a girlfriend.”

“Bullshit. Did he bring her to the party?”

“Well no, but it wasn’t a ‘Bring your date’ dinner. He’s practically our boss,” she said angrily. “What would that look like? Me coming on to him? It would show people that all I care about is advancing my career through connections and sex or something. And I’d be a floozy to weasel her way into a man’s life when he’s got a girlfriend already. No. We couldn’t do that.”

“Are you trying to convince me or yourself?” Serena asked, shoving some General Tso’s in her mouth.

“Alright, fine. I wish it could be more,” Liz admitted. “The kiss was amazing, but it can’t. We just can’t. My career would be a joke then and I would be a slut.”

“Fine,” Serena sighed, sticking her fork in the food container and getting off the couch. “But don’t complain to me in a month when all your lusty dreams of him drive you crazy.”

Serena walked toward the bathroom and Liz fell back into the couch cushions.

Her phone buzzed and Liz was tempted to ignore the vibrating machine when she glanced down to see Claudio’s picture shining up at her.

“Liz speaking,” she said after picking up and answering the phone.

“Liz,” Claudio’s familiar voice crackled over a bad connection. “You need to get in here.”

“What’s going on?” she asked, sitting up. Claudio never needed her help on the weekends.

“There was a break-in or something last night.”

“Oh my God,” she said, panic filling her chest.

“The machine power cords were all unplugged and the samples are fucked,” he said, using profanities he rarely muttered.

“I’ll be right there,” Liz jumped off the couch and hung up the phone. “Serena,” she shouted. “I gotta go.”

Serena came out of the bathroom, wiping her hands on a hand towel.

“What’s going on?”

“Something happened at the lab last night. Claudio says there was a break-in. I need to go in.” Liz reached down and pulled on her work shoes, hopping over to the wall to steady herself.

“I’ll go with you,” Serena said, dropping the towel behind her.

“It’s your week off, I can’t ask you to.”

“It’s almost two years of work that the company is losing. I can go in,” Serena insisted.

Twenty minutes later Liz drove up to the security gate, badge in tow. She tapped her badge on the reader and waited impatiently for the gate to roll out of her way. Liz saw four or five police cars at the front door while she waited. Yellow tape was blocking the entrance while a few police milled around. She parked the car and ran up.

“I’m sorry, ma’am,” the uniformed policeman said. “You can’t go in there.”

“My lab partner called me. I need to get in and help.”

“Not until the investigation is done, ma’am.”

“I work with climate sensitive materials,” she complained. “If they’re not properly taken care of, we’ve lost twenty months of research.”

“Your partner is already tampering with the investigation, I’m not allowed to let anyone else in until we can review the security tapes.”

“Liz,” Serena said, placing her hand on Liz’s shoulder. “There’s nothing we can do.”

“This is crap,” she said.

“You won’t be any help by making the cops angry.”

Liz grumbled and backed away, she knew Serena was right; but all that work was being flushed down the drain.

A black luxury sedan double parked in the handicapped spots and Liz looked up to see Michael climb out of the back. Her stomach flipped in her gut, now she had to deal with him and the ruined experiments.

He barely glanced at her when he rushed up the sidewalk and towards the entrance.

Liz watched as he pulled the cop close to him and talked, barely above a whisper, to the man. She couldn’t hear what was being said, but a few minutes later the policeman came over to her.

“You can go on in, ma’am,” he said. “Just don’t touch anything until you get to your lab.”

Liz saw Serena gape for a moment from the corner of her eye and she glanced over to where Michael had been. He was already back in his car, looking like he was talking on his cell. She sighed and followed the policeman to the yellow tape.

“I won’t touch anything until my lab,” she reassured the man.

He lifted the tape and Liz and Serena walked through the door and down the hall. The building smelled of rubbing alcohol and the distinct tangy scent of cultured bacteria. She wasn’t sure how many other labs had been destroyed, but she’d know the smell of her cultures from a mile away. Their experiments were toast.

Walking into the lab, Liz saw Claudio staring out the back window.

“What happened?” she asked.

“I came in this morning to run tests and found the security guys passed out,” he said. The older man looked over at Liz and her heart broke to see the pain in his eyes. “I immediately set off the alarm. Their badges had been taken, but I have no idea how they got in the building to begin with. The sergeant thinks it was an inside job.”

“They destroyed everything, didn’t they?” Serena asked.

“Samples spilled all over the chem lab, they busted open the incubators and sprayed alcohol on the dishes. I don’t even,” he said, tears sparkling in his eyes.

“Who could do something like that?” she asked, sinking down on a nearby stool. The very idea of callously destroying everything caused rage to flicker in her chest.

“I’m sorry, Liz,” he said.

“It’s not your fault,” she replied. “We’ll just have to start over.” Liz looked around the room at the mess.

“I don’t have that kind of time, Liz,” he said.

“Of course you do,” she replied. “My report to the board got our budget passed.”

“Liz,” he sighed. “I was training you to take over. My last day at Origins is the 31st.”

“What?” Liz felt like she’d been punched in the gut. “Why?”

“I’m old, and my eyesight is failing,” he admitted, looking over at her. “The doctors have given me about three months before I’m completely blind.”

“But, Claudio,” she stuttered. Serena wrapped an arm around her waist.

“Nothing can be done, any more surgery and they’ll have to remove my eyes. I just want to enjoy the last few months I have left with my sight.”

Liz rushed over to her mentor and wrapped her arms around him in a tight hug.

“I’m so sorry,” she said, feeling her own tears falling down her cheek.

“Nothing to be done, love,” he said, stroking his old hand down her back. “Now,” he said, suddenly. “We have work to do.”

Liz pulled away and looked at the old man, noticing for the first time the immense cloudiness in his eyes. He was right, there wasn’t much time left.

The three scientists worked hard for the next few hours cleaning up the glass and making notations on their work on where they’d left off. Liz knew it was going to be rough to get everything back on track. They needed to start from scratch.

A knock sounded on the door and Liz looked up to see James and Michael standing in the doorway.

“Did the police figure out who did this?” she asked, looking at her boss.

“The tapes didn’t show a soul come in through the gates or into the building,” James replied. “There’s no evidence at all.”

“And our work?” she said, looking directly at Michael.

“We’ve been talking about that,” James said.

“And?” she pushed.

“Starting on the first of the year, I’d like you and Serena to report to the lab at my family’s estate,” Michael said.

“Your what?”

“It’s clear that there’s someone deliberately sabotaging your research, this isn’t the first time something has gone wrong in this lab. I won’t have that. And you trust Serena well enough,” he said, looking at the other girl. “She’s been incredibly loyal to Origins since she started working here a few years ago. I think it’s only fair she officially be brought onto the project.”

“Me?” Serena gasped.

“You’re welcome to keep your apartments in town; however, I’d strongly suggest you consider moving onto the estate. Not only because of the estate’s location, but for your protection in this endeavor.”

“But we’re just researching the cause of the mental health epidemic.”

“It’s more than that,” he admitted. “But not something I can get into at this stage.”

Liz glanced over at Serena.

“I’m all for it,” Serena grinned.

“Liz,” Claudio said from behind them. “Take the offer; it would make me so proud to know you’re continuing my work.”

“Of course,” she said turning back to James and Michael. “I would love to keep going, but are you sure you trust me?”

“You’ve proven your dedication to the research tenfold,” James said. “It’s only fair you continue with it now.”

“Thank you, James,” she said. “And thank you, Michael. I can’t tell you how much this means.”

“Very well,” Michael replied. “I’ll have the paperwork for your new contract ready for when you return to work on Monday. I ask that you come in; both of you, to finish up any last notes and gather materials that you’ll need come January. After the preparation is completed and you’ve signed the documents, you are free to take the last couple of weeks of the year off as an apology for this horrific destruction of your work.”

Michael turned to go.

“Excuse me,” Liz said. He stopped and turned back to look at her, Liz felt those butterflies return.

“Where’s the estate located?”

“Near Alamosa,” he said.

“But that’s almost 200 miles from here,” Serena said.

“That’s why I offered you living arrangements at the estate,” he said, like it should have been clear from the beginning.

“My lease isn’t up for another nine months,” Liz agreed.

“All of that will be handled by my lawyer tomorrow. I need to give them the details. You have tonight to think about it.” He turned and left the room.

“Is he always like that?” Serena asked James.

“He’s a good man,” James replied, then followed Michael out of the lab.

“Well,” Serena said, turning to Liz. “Let’s finish cleaning up.”

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Re: Finding Family, Finding Home (UC, AU, Adult) Chapter 6

Postby Europolarist » Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:22 am

AN: Here you go, ladies and lurkers! Please enjoy! It's short, but I hope you enjoy, nonetheless!

Chapter 6

Monday morning, Liz found herself pacing nervously in the lab. She and Serena had met up with Claudio yesterday to finish notating the various scraps of notebook that remained after the attack; and Claudio had given Liz the notes and findings and reports that he’d gathered in the months before Liz had arrived. Claudio seemed happy that Liz was taking over and he’d said that Mr. Guerin had been incredibly generous with a compensation plan, even though he’d be retiring from his job a few weeks early.

She’d wanted to call her parents to ask their advice but they’d been busy with a sci-fi convention in town, so she’d pulled out all her loan paperwork and bills and tax records and came up with a plan of what she’d need in order to take this job seriously. Not sure if she’d have to pay rent to Michael if they lived on his property, Liz had a range of salaries that she felt was fair in the circumstances.

“Liz,” Serena nearly shouted. “Sit down! You’re going to give me a heart attack.”

“Sorry,” Liz plopped down in a stool. The meeting wasn’t scheduled until 9 and she’d been at the lab since five. The police still hadn’t determined who had managed to sneak into the lab unseen and though the other offices were functioning, Liz had to watch as maintenance men worked in the room packing up the incubators and calibrated machines.

“Take a deep breath,” she said, walking over. “It’ll be okay.”

A few minutes later they were heading down the hall to the conference room that had been reserved for the meeting. Walking into the small room, Liz saw that the lawyer was already sitting at the table, paperwork strewn about.

“Good morning, Serena,” he said, standing from his seat and holding his hand out to shake.

“Good morning, Richard,” she replied, shaking his hand. “This is Liz Parker, but I’m sure you’ve guessed that.”

Liz closed the distance between them and looked carefully at Serena before shaking his hand. It seemed obvious that they knew each other.

“It’s nice to meet you, Liz,” he smiled, slight crow’s feet wrinkling around his eyes.

“Richie was a classmate of mine in elementary school,” she said with a smile.

“Why didn’t you tell me you’d know the lawyer?” Liz asked, feeling some of the shaking in her hands subside.

“I wasn’t sure he’d be here,” Serena said. “His law firm works with Origins, but you never know which one of the lackeys will have to come in.”

Serena grinned wickedly at her former classmate.

“Let’s get to it,” he said, taking a seat. “I’m sure you want some time to look over the contracts.” He placed a small stack of papers before both Liz and Serena. Liz glanced at the words and started reading and felt completely lost.

“What does it say,” Serena asked. “I know you don’t want us sitting here reading the entire thing right now.”

“It’s fairly standard,” he replied. “Mr. Guerin is being very generous though.”

Richard leafed through his paperwork and pulled out a sheet near the bottom. He placed it on the table, facing the girls. He took out a pen and with the cap pointed to various parts of the sheet.

“You’ll be signing the contract for the minimum of one year. I’ll be back next December to rework it if need be. If you decide to move onto the estate, your room and board will be taken care of. There is a guest house specifically for the residential scientists, fully furnished. If you need to, there is an offer to keep your items in a nearby storage facility.”

He moved the pen to the next bullet.

“Your annual salary will stay at your current rate of $80,000. Should you need medical care there is a doctor who stays at the estate who would be happy to care for you, payment free. If you wish to see another doctor, for whatever reason, Origins will pay for the entire medical bill.”

Liz glanced over at Serena in shock, then back down at the paper. This was unreal. She’d be making her salary but not have to pay for anything else. At this rate her school loans could be taken care of at least a year or two early.

“So what’s the catch?” she blurted out.

“Living on the estate means that you will ensure your availability to Mr. Guerin twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, for the next year. He’s contracted in three weeks of vacation, but he requests that you give at least a month’s notice for the time off.”

“I don’t get it,” Liz admitted.

“The research that is being done on the estate is highly confidential. As of this moment, you’ve passed a background check equal to bank bonding. If you take this job, you can consider yourselves under more security scrutiny than the President.”

“Is the estate militarized,” Serena asked.

“No,” Richard chuckled. “But you might want to consider yourselves locked away for the next twelve months. No visitors on the estate, and if you need to leave, you’ll have to request permission from Mr. Guerin or one of the other members of his family.”

“That’s shady,” Serena said.

“It’s only for security purposes,” he assured them. “Especially with the recent break in, Mr. Guerin doesn’t want the research to be postponed any further.”

“What about family? If my parents come up and visit?”

“Mr. Guerin will happily pay for a hotel room at a nearby hotel of their choice, all expenses paid of course.”

“So we can come and go freely, minus the permission clause?”

“You’re welcome to leave at any time; the permission is simply for the availability of the drivers. The estate is tucked away and hidden for the purposes of security. In order to keep the research safe, you must abide by the rules of the owner. It’s as simple as that.”

“What if,” Liz started, “in three months, I realize I just can’t handle it.”

“Mr. Guerin has ensured me that he will tear up the contract, pay your salary in full and send you back to your apartment here in Nederland. You’ll have a job here again if you wish it, but the condition is that you would have to join another group. You will not be allowed to continue whatever research you do at his estate. And you cannot talk to anyone about the work you do for him.”

“Could you give us a few, Richie?” Serena asked, reaching out for Liz’s hand.

“Sure,” he smiled, grabbed his binder and in a few moments was out of the door,

“You alright?”

“This just seems weird,” Liz said. “We’re not walking into some strange cult, are we?”

“No way,” Serena said. “Besides, what do we have to lose?”

Liz shrugged.

“We’re being given a place to live, a well paying job, food to eat. All we have to do is be available and do the work that we love.”

“There’s got to be a catch,” Liz insisted.

“I dunno about that.”

“Fine, fine,” Liz sighed. “I’ll sign it. But it still seems too good to be true.”

“Besides,” Serena said. “Maybe you’ll get more smooch time with his gorgeousness.”

“Would you quit?” she said.

A few minutes later, Richard returned.

“So, have you ladies decided?” he asked, taking the seat at the head of the small table.

“We’ll take the job,” Serena grinned.

“Liz?” he asked, turning his blue eyes to her. “Do you agree?”

“Yes,” she said. “I’m still not sure about all the security measures though. Are they really necessary?”

“I believe that’s something you’ll have to ask Mr. Guerin,” he replied. “But the offer of employment is very nice.”

Liz nodded, it was nice.

“Off the record, if he’d offered this package to me, I’d have jumped on it.”

He smiled, then pulled a pen out of his coat pocket and twisted it open.

“I’ll need you to initial at the bottom of each page and then date and sign the last page. I’ll also need to collect bank information and some other personal information from you to prepare for your new job.”

After both Liz and Serena had read everything and filled out the extra forms, the two ladies signed the contract, indicating that they would move onto the estate.

“Congratulations,” Richard said, taking his pens back. “I’ve been instructed to let you know that you have a couple weeks of paid time off now. It’s suggested that you pack up the necessities, clothing, bathroom items, special things you’d like to have in your rooms at the estate. My co-workers have been instructed to pay off the rest of your leases with the signing of the contract, so you don’t have to worry about your situation here.

“When you’re done packing, give me a call,” he handed them a business card. “I’ll have a truck sent out to pack the rest of your items for storage. Then you’re free to enjoy the rest of December.”

Liz looked at the card. Richard Dawkins III, (303) 555-5421.

“Thanks, Richie,” Serena said. “Liz, let’s get packing.”

*~*~*~*

A few hours later, Liz found herself sitting in the middle of her living room floor. She had made arrangements for her and Serena to spend a week down in Roswell now that the convention had ended, Serena had never been there and Liz missed home. Her clothes were packed, and she’d already filled the few bins she had with clothes and trinkets and reference books and her few pieces of wall art. The rest, though not much, could be stored away until she needed it again.

She still felt overwhelmed with the speed of the last forty-eight hours, but knowing that she had a job waiting for her in January felt good. She didn’t think that Origins would have let her go completely after the research had been destroyed, but starting on another project would have been rough.

The whole situation was a bit awkward, but Liz resolved to thank Michael for his generosity the next time she saw him.

Serena was supposed to meet her at ten pm so they could drive to Roswell together. She planned on lying down and taking a nap around 5 and then they could drive through the night. There was something about long stretches of road that called to Liz, she loved the open highway.

Knowing that she had two weeks, Liz had managed to get hold of Maria to plan a trip down. Maria had naturally freaked out over the phone in excitement, but promised to make sure the guest room in her parent’s apartment and her old bedroom would be ready.

Liz was happy that she’d be going home, at least for a few weeks and this would allow her some time to get used to the idea of moving onto the estate. She looked forward to spending some time with her childhood friends and showing Serena the place that she’d grown up in.

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Re: Finding Family, Finding Home (UC, AU, Adult) Chapter 7

Postby Europolarist » Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:39 am

AN: THanks for the feedback, ladies!!! Enjoy the next chapter! See you on Thursday!
Chapter 7

A few days later, Liz found herself walking down the main drag in Roswell, with Serena at her side. Serena had been geeking out all week over the various UFO and Alien tourist traps, even going multiple times to the UFO museum across the street from the diner, and Liz was happy to see her new friend enjoying herself.

They’d already hung out with Maria and the guys once or twice; but tonight they planned on meeting at the Martian Dive, one of the two bars in town.

“I can’t wait to dance!” Serena said, as they walked down Main Street.

“I can’t promise that the music will be any good.”

“I thought you said Alex’s band was playing tonight?”

“Yeah, but it’ll be mostly country and western music, thanks to the weekday crowd.”

“That’s fine,” she said. “I can boot scoot with the best of ‘em.

Liz laughed and turned the corner.

“Do you mind if we stop by the Sheriff’s office to get Kyle? He should just be getting off work.”

“Not a problem,” Serena grinned. “It’s not like the town is that big.”

The girls walked arm in arm toward the sheriff station. Glancing left and right, they were crossing an alley a few blocks away from his office when an engine gunned and a car shot out of the alley. Serena screamed while Liz’s hand whipped out to her side to stop Serena from stepping out further.

“Pay attention, you idiot!” she yelled out as the black sedan raced down the road. It had taken a sharp left and peeled down Main Street.

Liz caught only three numbers off the license plate and cursed as it grew unreadable behind them.

“Are you alright?” she asked, looking at Serena. Her friend huffed and puffed, having the air knocked out of her in fright.

“Yeah,” Serena gasped. “What was that?”

“Stupid tourists,” Liz said, glaring down the street. “Come on.” She led the rest of the way to the Sheriff’s station without another incident.

“Hey, ladies,” Kyle said, when they walked into the station’s lobby a few minutes later.

“You need to have more patrols out there,” Serena said, giving him a little wave.

“Why’s that?” he asked, tucking his tan hat under his arm.

“Some idiot almost killed us,” Serena growled.

“Either some kids home for the holidays are raising trouble out there, or some tourist wasn’t watching traffic and almost killed us at the corner of Main and Farmer,” Liz explained with a shrug. “We are fine, but it wouldn’t hurt to have the guys keep an eye out.”

“What was the car?”

“Black sedan, sharp looking so probably new 2011 or 12. I didn’t catch the model, but the plate was a yellow and red with 867 at the front.”

“You’re good at that,” Serena said, with a grin. “All I saw was a black blur.”

“When you’ve dated the sheriff’s son,” she smiled, not bothering to finish the sentence.

“Gimme a sec,” he chuckled in response, leaving the girls and walking up to the desk.

Liz guessed he was reporting the info to the deputy on night watch.

Later that evening, after Maria and Alex’s second set, Liz watched as Serena and Kyle danced out on the floor. She was happy to see her friends getting along so well, it wasn’t every day they allowed an outsider into their crazy world. In fact, Kyle had been the last new addition over 12 years ago.

“So why aren’t you out there?” Alex said, sliding into the seat next to her and breaking open the seal on a bottle of water.

“Not really feeling it,” she shrugged. She’d spent most of the night staring into her glass worried about taking the job in Alamosa. Sure the benefits were amazing; but would she really be able to live on his property, seeing that woman prancing around and kissing him. Liz shuddered at the thought. It was going to be a rough year, but she could stick it out. The money would be worth it in the end and hopefully her feelings toward her new boss would dwindle as the days went on.

“Then drink something, let loose a little,” he grinned, pulling her from her thoughts.

“How will that help?” she asked, twirling the toothpick in her martini glass.

“Because maybe then some hot guy will liquor you up, take you home, and fuck your brains out,” he laughed.

“Gross!” she said, curling a lip. “Besides, the only guys in here are cowboys and locals.”

“Burn,” he grimaced, scooting down and lifting his arm against the booth, making himself comfortable. “You’ve always been so uptight. Maybe Serena will finally be able to bring you out of your shell.”

*~*~*~*

It was Christmas Eve, a couple days later, Liz and Serena borrowed Maria for the afternoon and headed out to the nearby Mesaliko reservation. Liz had called ahead to make sure that the gift shop would be open because Serena begged to get some jewelry.

Driving down the highway, Liz glanced in her rearview to see a black sedan following her out of town.

“So, I think Alex is finally gonna pop the question,” Maria said, bouncing in the passenger seat.

Her words pulled Liz back to the interior of the car as Maria and Serena talked.

“Really?” Serena asked, grinning from the back. “That’s awesome.”

“What makes you say that?” Liz asked, looking away from the road for a second.

“He’s acting nervous,” Maria said. “He always fidgets when he’s excited about something.”

Liz nodded, Alex was always a bit on edge, but when he was happy, the man couldn’t sit still for a moment.

Not wanting to scare Serena, she kept quiet as they continued to drive south. It would
Take another half an hour or so to reach the Reservation and maybe the car would be gone by then.

She noticed that it would disappear a few lengths back, but always pop up in her mirror again right behind them.

Her nerves fluttered in her gut thinking about angry tourists. Was this the same car? Could they have followed her home a few nights ago just to terrorize her?

When they finally arrived at the turn off, Liz was relieved when the sedan sped past them to continue on its journey.

“I’ve been spending way too much time with you guys,” she said.

“Why’s that?” Serena asked, sounding a bit hurt.

“I’m getting paranoid,” she said. “A black car followed us all the way to the turnoff, and I thought we were being tailed.”

“That,” Maria said, picking at a nail. “Is too many Jason Bourne movies.”

“There can never be too many Jason Borne movies,” Serena laughed.

They spent an hour or so going through the gift shop at the reservation, Serena was awed by everything. Liz could only roll her eyes. She greatly respected the local Native American tribes and their customs; and didn’t want Serena to believe in the stereotypes, but the proprietors of the shop just smiled and helped Serena pick out a few necklaces to take back to her mother.

It wasn’t until they were back on the road that Liz realized that the black sedan was back.

“Alright,” she said. “I am not crazy. Maria, don’t turn around and look at it, but Serena, please tell me that is not the same car from last night.”

Serena pulled down the sun visor and opened up the little mirror.

“Yeah, it looks the same. Is it the same one from earlier?”

Liz nodded.

“Maria, please call Kyle and tell him we’re being followed.”

A few minutes later, Kyle had a car dispatched in their direction.

“Are you guys okay?” he asked, over the speaker of Maria’s cell.

“We’re okay, Kyle. How long until your dad gets here?”

“Just a few minutes, Liz. Stay calm.”

“I am,” she said, feeling her hands shaking as she gripped the steering wheel.

It didn’t take long for Liz to see Jim’s Sheriff SUV zip past them on the highway. In her side view mirror, she watched him cut a U-ie over the divider and roof lights flashed on.

“Thanks, Kyle,” she said.

“I’ll let you know what happens. Stay safe, girls,” he said then hung up.

“Well, that’s scary,” Serena said. “Do you get tailed a lot?”

Liz shook her head, unsure if she could remain calm much longer. It was scary as hell to be followed like that, she felt violated, but didn’t want the girls to see her panic. She knew Maria would flip out for sure.

“Let’s just get home,” she said.

It wasn’t until two days later, after all the Christmas gifts were exchanged and the Parkers were having their traditional Boxing Day dinner, where all the employees and their families would come and have a free meal, that Liz heard anything back on the car.

“Hey, Liz,” Jim Valenti said, walking into the diner. He took his hat off as usual walking toward the back of the dining room.

“Hi, Sheriff,” she said, “can I get you something to eat?”

“Bribing a government official?” he chuckled, eyeing the buffet on the counter.

“Just bribing the father of one of my best friends,” she grinned. “What brings you over?”

“I have some news,” he said, eyebrows raised.

“Oh, I see.” Liz felt butterflies in her stomach. “Let’s go to the apartment then.” She took a step back and waved in the direction of the break room and followed him back.

Closing the apartment door behind her a couple minutes later, Liz turned to see Jim looking uncomfortable leaning against her mother’s china cabinet.

“Is everything alright, Sheriff?”

“It’s the weirdest thing,” he said, gripping his hat tightly. “The guys I pulled over, they had proper identification, car registration and everything, but they acted too perfectly.”

“What do you mean?” Liz asked, sitting down on a nearby overstuffed seat.

“Maybe it’s the job, but I ran their names through CODIS after I let them off with a warning. The men don’t exist in any files, not the DMV, not the state records, not even a social security number that I could find.”

“That’s weird,” she agreed, feeling her stomach knot up.

“Now, don’t worry too much, Liz. You have no reason to think anything bad about it. Just keep your eyes open while you’re home. If you see them again, tell me and I’ll send someone out. They may be up to no good, but they may be just some people under protective services.”

“Ok, Jim,” she said, feeling ill.

“Really, Liz. You’re a smart woman, you don’t have to do anything out of the ordinary. Just let me know if you see them again.”

Liz nodded wordlessly, wondering why he’d told her anything to begin with.

“My emergency cell phone,” he said, handing her a card. “I’ll answer that in two rings or less, alright.”

“Thanks, Jim,” she said, taking the card and giving him a smile.

“You take care then,” he said walking toward the door. “And have a good one.”

The Sheriff walked out of the apartment, putting his hat on, and closed the door behind him.

“So, what’s going on?” Serena said, walking into the apartment a few minutes later.

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Re: Finding Family, Finding Home (UC, AU, Adult) Chapter 7

Postby Europolarist » Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:27 pm

AN: Thanks for the feedback. Sorry this is a little late, work was hell today. Enjoy the next chapter! I'm so happy they finally are moving in :twisted:


Chapter 8
The rest of the vacation in Roswell went smoothly, Liz and Serena left on New Years without another incident with the black sedan. Neither one of them brought it up to Maria, knowing that the eccentric friend might go crazy with paranoia. Serena surmised that the men probably hadn’t done anything wrong in the past so why would they start now, and Liz worked to put it out of her mind

First thing Monday morning, Liz found herself driving up to the address that had been emailed to her late Sunday night. Parking at the gate, Liz wondered if she’d been given the wrong directions. Though Origins had already packed up and shipped off everything within her apartment, it seemed they wanted her to go through her items one last time.

Triple A Storage, the sign outside the gate read. She sighed and turned on her phone’s screen to check the address again.

A knock sounded on her window and Liz forced down a scream. Though she and Serena hadn’t seen the men again, Liz felt like she was constantly being watched. She relished the idea of being on the estate for the first time. At least there she wouldn’t be watching the rear-view mirror like a conspiracy theorist.

The familiar face of an elderly chauffeur smiled in the glass.

Liz rolled down the window.

“Ms. Liz,” he said with a smile. “After I unload your things from the trunk, you’re to store your car in garage 32C then walk out here. I’ll take you up to the estate.”

“You mean I can’t even drive myself up there?” she asked. The situation was just getting weirder, but at least her beat up Toyota would be safe.

“Ms. Serena will be arriving shortly. It was decided that it would be easier if you were escorted into the estate instead of driving yourselves.”

“Very well,” she sighed, putting her phone in her bag. She popped the trunk, knowing that there was only one duffle bag in there, the rest having been taken to the estate last week.

“The lock,” he said, passing her a heavy duty padlock after returning to her car window. The keys dangled from the end.

“Thanks,” she smiled, taking the lock from the man. The gate to the storage unit opened up and Liz pulled back out of her spot and drove into the gated area.

A few minutes later, Liz locked her car in the unit and walked back to the gate. Serena was parked in the lot and was talking to the chauffeur.

“If he’s that worried about security,” Liz said. “At least we should be safe, right?”

Serena shrugged and backed her car out of the spot and into the storage facility.

It didn’t take long for them to get in the back of the non-descript black luxury sedan that the chauffeur had brought. She felt a little strange being followed by one last week, but it had to be a coincidence. Liz took a deep breath and forced herself to calm down.

They drove further into the mountains than Liz guessed they would and it took them nearly an hour to navigate the twists and turns of the one lane road.

“No wonder he sent a ride,” she said, looking at her phone. The signal bars were gray. “I don’t even get reception out here. GPS would be useless.”

Before long, Liz realized that the car had stopped at a wall. Looking through the glass, she saw a ten-foot stone fence surrounding the immediate area. A guard station at the wrought iron gate sat manned by at least three uniformed men.

“This is more security than the freaking queen,” Serena laughed.

The gate soon opened and they were driving in. A huge mansion stood off to the right as they drove seemingly around the back. It was clear the estate was well cared for, there were sculptures along winding paths and a few hedged off gardens, from what Liz could see from her window.

“What are we getting into?” she asked Serena.

“I have no idea,” her friend replied, with the same awe Liz felt at their surroundings.

The car stopped and Mr. Willows, the driver, let them out of the back seat.

“Your new home, Ms. Liz and Ms. Serena.”

Liz glanced at the home before them, it wasn’t just a guest house, this place looked larger than the building the Crashdown was located in.

“Is there anyone else living in the guest house?” Serena asked, stepping out behind Liz.

“Just you and Ms Liz,” he said. “Your keys,” he continued, handing the girls two sets of silver keys.”

“House keys, one for the back door and one for the front door.”

He walked around back and grabbed the luggage out of the trunk.

“We can help,” Liz insisted.

Willows stopped and looked carefully at them, almost unsure what to say.

“Really,” Liz smiled. “We’ve got this. Thank you.”

The elder man tipped his hat and thanked them.

“Ms. Josie should be around soon to help you get settled and bring you up to speed on your jobs.”

He walked back to the driver’s door when they’d finished pulling all the suitcases and duffle bags out of the trunk.

“Good luck, ladies,” he said, and slowly pulled away from the house.

Half and hour later, Liz and Serena had unpacked their clothes in the bedrooms. Their items already moved into the house sometime during the last couple weeks. She was impressed at the choices that whoever decorated had made. Liz wondered who had picked out the large Native American rug that lay at the foot of the bed and the blanket that doubled as a piece of art hanging on the wall by her door.

The bedroom was comfortable and cozy, just as she’d always imagined her dream bedroom to be. A large king-sized four poster bed sat along the wall with matching dressers and chest of drawers. The bathroom had been double the size of the one in her apartment, complete with a soaking tub. Liz looked forward to using that very soon.

The door bell rang and Liz ran out to great the mysterious Josie. The glass on the door was fogged, but the shape and size of the blur on the other side was clearly not feminine. She debated for only a second whether or not she should answer the door.

“Go on, Liz,” Serena said, holding a couple frames in her hand.

Liz opened the door and saw Michael standing before her. Dressed in jeans and a baggy hockey jersey, he looked miles away from the confident professional she’d seen strolling through the building. Liz hadn’t even realized that he owned anything other than suits.

“Mr. Guerin,” Serena said after a moment.

“Serena, please,” he said. “At the estate, you can call me Michael. Especially while you’re living here.”

“Thanks.”

“You have everything you need?” he asked, stepping inside.

Liz stood motionless at the door, her mental torture had begun.

“Yep,” Serena said. “But what’s with all the pomp and secrecy?”

“You’ll find out about the secrecy later,” he replied vaguely. “The work we do here is highly experimental and most definitely not for the faint of heart.”

“It’s not illegal is it?” Serena asked, putting the frames on a nearby coffee table.

“Not strictly speaking,” he replied, with a smirk.

“Forgive me for saying this, boss, but you’re being shady.”

Liz knocked out of her trance and glared at Serena. She didn’t want her friend to ruin their work before it had begun.

“I agree, but it’s important. You’ll find out soon enough why. I’m sure you’re curious about the safety of this facility and I can insure you that they are the highest quality. We’ll have to get your hand prints for the doors to the lab and a retinal image for the house.”

Liz glanced at Serena, the security was more than she’d guessed. How did this man have the money for the upkeep of a system like that?

“As for your research,” he said, looking at Liz, “it’s being replicated by my team quite well, thanks to your notes.”

“But that was my work,” Liz spat out.

“And you will get the credit you deserve, but until it is back on track, I’d like you and Serena to work on a favor for me.”

“I guess we don’t have a choice, do we?”

Michael chuckled and scratched at his eyebrow, the first hint Liz had seen since their kiss that he had normal reactions.

“It’s nothing bad, just important. I need you to do some work cataloging the genes in some stem cell samples my team has collected.”

“But.”

“Before you say anything, they were legally obtained. Nothing fishy. It just needs to be done.”

“Of course,” Liz said, unsure just what they’d gotten in to.

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Re: Finding Family, Finding Home (UC, AU, Adult) Chapter 9

Postby Europolarist » Mon Mar 11, 2013 9:19 am

AN: Ladies, you make me smile. I hope you enjoy this chapter. Some of your questions might be answered in the following post. Also, I think it's longer than most of the chapters I've posted. so yay??


Chapter 9

The next few weeks passed quickly for Liz and Serena while they worked in the private lab on the Guerin estate. They’d made friends with the other scientists and Liz was even permitted to oversee the progress on her original work while completing the task that Michael had set for them.

For the most part the two companions spent their nights in the guest house, watching movies and enjoying the fact that they weren’t required to do twelve or more hours at the lab unless they wanted to. Liz was concerned about the research she’d been working on, but Michael was rarely available to talk to; but he apparently read all her findings each night from the intranet set up at the estate.

Truth be told, she had some concerns about the private work that she and Serena did for their benefactor. The cells they worked with were unlike any other she’d encountered before. Michael said that they found new mammals and insects living in the wilds of the Amazon, but there was something strange about the samples he’d sent to their lab. Liz had mentioned them to Serena, who agreed it was strange; but neither one wanted to confront their boss on the samples. Instead the two women worked as asked on the project.

It didn’t take long for Serena and Liz to come up with a routine that suited the needs of their employer as well as allowing them the free time they’d not had in nearly a decade of schooling and work. The other scientists seemed to have the same basic arrangements and lived in other houses scattered throughout the hundred acre estate. Even most of the security personnel lived on the grounds.

Liz saw little of their elusive benefactor during the workweek and she was glad. Every time she passed by the main house, still not having permission to enter the mansion, Liz was paranoid that she’d see the blonde in a window. Her imagination was the worst, conjuring up images of the model-esque woman prancing around in one of Michael’s button down shirts and panties. Liz was terrified she’d walk in on them making out on the kitchen table or worse.

Even though she’d had no reason to think that they were even still together, Michael never spoke about a girlfriend or fiancé when she did see her boss. The anticipation was killing her, when she remembered the heat of his kiss and that she’d never experience that again.

The first weekend in February, Michael asked the girls to come to the estate for dinner. It surprised Liz that he let them come into the main house.

“What’s the special occasion, Mikey?” Serena grinned as he opened the door for her that night.

“Nothing special,” he said, “I just figured it was time you two met my parents.”

“The elusive Mr. and Mrs. Guerin?” Liz said. She’d seen who she thought was Mr. Guerin at a second floor window a few days ago; but she’d begun to wonder if it had been a ghost.

“They finally have a night free,” he said. “And they wanted to meet the scientists I brought in.” He shrugged like it was no big deal, but something in Liz’s gut told her it was a bigger deal than she could imagine.

“Would you ladies like a tour?” he asked, raising an eyebrow.

“Hell yeah!” Serena said.

“What she means is, we’d love one,” Liz replied, glaring at her friend. “As long as we don’t delay dinner.”

“There’s plenty of time,” he smiled. “Come on.”

Michael lead the way through the mansion, showing them the various wings and stopping briefly at his father’s private lab.

“Even I am not allowed inside,” he said, winking at Serena.

“Will we be seeing your private lab?” the traitorous friend flirted back.

Liz felt ill.

“I don’t have one,” he said. “But I can show you my quarters if you’d like.”

A blush rose on Liz’s cheeks.

“Quarters, how exotic.”

A few minutes later, Liz found herself inside Michael’s office. The walls were lined with shelves filled with books and a comfortable sofa sat near a stone fireplace mantle. An overly large desk sat near the large floor to ceiling window nearby.

“Fancy,” Serena said, walking over to the books.

Liz walked over to the desk and felt the smooth cherry wood finish. She spied a picture of what looked like Michael and another boy, both in caps and gowns, on the desk. If she wasn’t mistaken, picking up the picture and taking a closer look, they had on gold stoles around their shoulders.

“That’s me and Max,” he said, pointing at the other boy in the picture.

“Your good friend?” she asked, he’d never been forthcoming with private information and she had yet to get the guts to ask about his girlfriend much less other private details.

“You might say we were two peas in a pod,” he replied with a wink. “Brothers from different mothers.”

“When was this taken? 8th grade graduation?” The boys looked like they were thirteen, with their awkward grins and an arm slung around the other’s shoulder.

“College graduation,” he said, quietly.

“That early?” she asked. Looking back down at the picture, she noticed the signs of puberty there, but he couldn’t have been fifteen much less the normal twenty plus one normally was.

“You could say we were geniuses,” he shrugged.

“Were?”

“He’s gone,” Michael confessed, scratching his eyebrow.

Sadness rippled through her, thinking that this Max kid had died.

“I mean, he moved to Europe when we were still young. I haven’t seen or heard from him in years.”

“Oh, I see,” she said.

It sounded like a lie, to Liz, but she let it slide. Something had happened to his friend that he wasn’t ready to share.

A few hours later, Liz found herself walking arm in arm with her friend back to the house.

“Dinner went well,” Serena grinned.

“His parents are awesome,” Liz smiled. She was surprised how much she genuinely liked the rich couple. Not sure why, but she’d expected them to be unapproachable. His mother, Elena, had immediately welcomed her with open arms, and that thought warmed Liz, despite what she kept telling herself couldn’t happen with his family. If she got attached it would be even harder to leave when their contract was up.

“Perfect for potential in-laws,” Serena waggled her eyebrows conspiratorially.

“Shut it, Serena,” Liz said, looking around for a security patrol. The last thing she needed was a rumor to reach Michael’s ears.

A few weeks later, at the end of February, the meteorologists were predicting a particularly fierce blizzard. Liz and Serena had already locked up the lab and planned to hole up in the guest house until the snow stopped. They could walk to the lab from the house; but there was no sense in leaving the house in the below zero weather and blizzard conditions just to check on samples. The estate chef had already prepared a few meals and there was enough food stocked in their fridge to last a few days without needing to send anyone out in the snow. Michael had even insisted that all employees enjoy a few nights off while the predicted white-out blasted through the mountains.

Liz and Serena had managed to find a rather complicated puzzle on their book shelves, one of the photo-mosaic ones that would keep them occupied for hours. It felt nice, the ladies agreed, to have some real relaxing time. They set up a play list of ballads to listen to while they sipped hot coffee and sat sprawled on the floor to work on the game.

A knock sounded on the door and Liz padded over, her feet in fuzzy socks to keep them warm. She pulled on a nearby shawl, not wanting the cold to get too harsh while she spoke to whatever guard had come by to check on them.

“Michael,” she gasped, seeing her boss standing in the doorway. “Get inside,” she ordered, pulling his arm. He wasn’t even wearing a jacket.

“What are you doing here?”

“I figured I’d stop by,” he said, looking around the room nervously.

“You’re supposed to be a genius,” she said. “But you can’t even put on a coat? She shook the snow off his shoulders.

“It’s a short walk from the house,” he shrugged, shaking his head. Clumps of snow fell to the floor.

“What would your mother say?”

Liz had gotten to know the parents of Michael fairly well since the dinner. John and Elena were generous and caring, and Liz was secretly glad that Michael had those kinds of people as role models while he was growing up.

“She called me stupid for going out in this weather,” he smirked. “You could get lost,” he mocked in a high voice.

Liz sighed and shook her head. Michael had a point; they lived on a gated estate with round the clock security. Even if he did get lost, it would take ten minutes or less to find him on the cameras.

“Do you want some coffee?” Serena asked, standing from the floor.

“Sure,” he said, looking in her direction. “Just a splash of cream please.”

“Sure,” Serena smiled and headed toward the kitchen.

“You’re acting weird,” Liz said, feeling a bit strange to be standing in front of her boss in pajama pants and a tank top. She pulled the shawl over her tighter, realizing she hadn’t bothered putting on a bra after her shower. He didn’t need a show, small boobs or not.

“I was bored, I thought I’d come over,” he said.

Liz caught him looking at her feet.

“Nice socks,” he chuckled.

“I wasn’t expecting my boss to stop by,” she said, with a huff. What was he doing here, she thought. Didn’t he have a girlfriend to cuddle with?

“Don’t you remember? You’re at my beck and call, 24/7,” he said.

“I’m not your slave,” she snarled and took a few steps back.

He muttered a reply, but Liz didn’t catch his words.

“What?”

“Coffee,” Serena said, holding out the cup and walking towards them. “Splash of cream, just as asked.”

Liz cursed her friend’s timing.

“Thanks, Serena,” he said, taking the mug. “So, what are you guys working on?”

“We were doing a puzzle,” Serena said. “But now that you’re here, I think I might grab a shower, just in case the pipes freeze overnight.”

“The pipes should be fine,” he said.

“Nonetheless,” Serena grinned and walked toward her bedroom doors.

Liz balked at her friend, leaving her alone with the man she’d lusted over for so long.

“So,” Liz said, completely blanking on something interesting to say.

“So,” Michael replied, sipping his coffee.

“I guess you can take a seat,” she said, sweeping a hand towards the couch.

“You don’t want my help with the puzzle?”

Liz looked over at him, trying to read if he was serious or not.

“I guess you can help,” she said finally. “If you really want to.”

“Sure,” he said.

Michael walked over to the puzzle on the floor and sat down on the pillow that Serena had vacated.

Liz was tempted to move her pillow to the opposite side to get away from touching distance, but knew it would look weird at this point. She followed him over and sat down on her pillow, staring at the pieces intently.

Ten minutes later, Liz was still staring. The songs on the sound system had faded out and back in, a soothing crooner came on the speakers and Liz shivered, loving the performer’s voice.

“You alright,” he asked, breaking the silence between them.

“Yeah, I,” she said, keeping her eyes on the piece in her hand.

“Liz.”

She glanced up and saw Michael staring at her, far too intimately for her comfort. She started to pull away and he stopped her, placing his hand on top of hers.

“Why are you avoiding me?” he asked.

“I’m not,” she managed to say, without stuttering on the words. Her stomach fluttered in angst. The fire roared in front of them, hot mugs steamed on the nearby coffee table, if she’d been with anyone else, this would have been semi-romantic.

“You run the other way when I see you in the hall,” he pointed out. “You don’t look at me when we talk about work. Is something wrong?”

“I’m fine,” she said, attempting to swallow the lump in her throat. She sure as hell couldn’t tell him why she averted her eyes when he’d walk toward her.

“Then what is it?”

“You’re my boss,” she said. Liz fought not to cringe, it was a lame excuse.

“That’s stupid,” he said, calling her out. “You live here now. You don’t have to be my friend if you don’t want to; but don’t you want at least a working relationship with me?”

Liz heard the hurt in his voice and her stomach flip flopped. Had she really, in the few weeks since she started at the estate, put her job in jeopardy just because she couldn’t forget that amazing kiss?

“I can’t,” she said, the fantasizing had only gotten worse since she’d arrived. There was no way for her to be in the room as Michael without coming up with some sort of elaborate fantasy. Even when she’d been with Kyle and the few other men she’d gone out on dates with, she’d never worked herself into such an embarrassing sexual frenzy.

“I don’t understand. There’s not a part of you that wants me to be more?” he asked, scooting a few inches closer to her.

“You promised you’d keep this professional,” she started.

Michael reached over and put his finger under her chin, forcing her to look up. Liz saw his eyes searching hers. She wanted desperately to kiss him, but knew it was a bad idea.

“But you have a girlfriend,” she said, backing away. She wasn’t going to kiss the man again while he had a relationship with someone else, her heart was sure to break.

“Girlfriend?” he pulled away, his eyes glassy. “I don’t have a girlfriend.”

Liz looked at him carefully. He knew she’d seen the woman at the restaurant back in October. Five months had passed, she supposed they could have broken up in that time.

“What about the blonde?” she asked, watching his reaction.

“Who?”

“The blonde at Yamamoto’s?” she reiterated.

“Liz,” he said, realization seeming to dawn on his face. “That was my sister,” he laughed.

Blood rushed to her cheeks, her stomach turned, as Liz realized what a mistake she’d made.

“Your sister?” she balked. All those months of staying away, envisioning them together and the woman had been his sister.

“Isabel,” he said. “She’s my sister. She was in town for my cousin’s birthday.”

Relief flooded through her at his words. She looked at his eyes, sparkling in the firelight.

“Can I kiss you again?” he asked, looking into her eyes. The air around her changed in an instant, becoming thick and heated with just a few words. He looked apprehensive as he watched and waited for her to reply. “Please?”

That one word melted her heart again. Her fears had been relieved and Liz wanted nothing more than to kiss this man.

For a moment, Liz shut her eyes, feeling the heat of his breath against her lips. Before she could react, the familiar hot lips crashed against hers, as his arms wrapped around her back.

She whimpered at the feeling of his bruising kisses and his tongue darted inside. He pulled her against his chest and Liz reached up to wrap her arms around his neck. Attempting to return the ferocity of his actions, Liz soon found herself sitting on his lap, straddling him and trying to get closer to the intensity that built up between them.

There was a warmth where his fingers played with the hem of her tank top and slowly inched their way under her shirt. A shiver rose up her back as his hand spanned over her hip. She ground her hips into his and for a moment was lost in the sensation.

He shuddered and pulled away. Just a brief moment, one utterly short moment.

“Liz,” he whispered his voice low and graveled.

She stopped, suddenly. Her vision cleared as she realized she was straddling the man who wrote out her paychecks. Was this why he’d invited her to stay at his estate? Though she wouldn’t be the slut that made him cheat on his girlfriend, she was just someone who’d sleep with her boss instead.

Panic flooded her chest. Had he given her the job opportunity simply to seduce her and use her for his personal play thing? Is that why he’d been so nice? Just to pay her off so she owed it to him?

Liz scrambled off of his lap, and got as far away as she could before pulling herself off the floor.

“What is it?” he asked, looking almost as scared as she felt.

She ran.

“Liz wait!”

Her hands fumbled with the doorknob, but when it was finally open, Liz ran out into the blinding snow.

“Liz!” she heard him yell from the door as she headed away from the guest house.

She had to get out of there, staying at the guest house while he seduced her was no longer an option. The wind picked up and blasted snow in front of her, but she saw just what she was looking for.

A black four-wheel drive SUV parked on the other side of the lab.

They were used to transport goods around the estate and were sometimes taken out into the town when supplies were ordered. Michael wouldn’t let delivery trucks near the gate.

She ran over to the driver side door and popped it open. The chimes rang in the ceiling; the keys were in the ignition. She sat inside, closed the door and turned the key. The engine rumbled to a start, but she knew she didn’t have time to waste on it warming up. She put the SUV in gear and hit the gas, turning on the lights.

Knowing she’d have to go the long way down to the gate, Liz headed towards the mansion. She didn’t want to risk hitting anyone or getting caught. The only guards on duty were two men who’d offered to sit in the guard house at the main gate and watch the monitors.

There was a back gate, and Liz knew she had to take her chance. So what if she lost her job, she was not a whore.

When the familiar shape of the mansion’s flood lights was in her rearview, Liz knew she was getting close. The gate would be locked, but with the grate at the front of the car, she could smash through and get as far away as possible.

With the windshield wipers going at full blast, she finally spotted the gate. Hitting the gas, she revved the engine and gunned through the gate. She’d have to be careful driving through the mountains but hopefully she could get far enough before they, before he, caught up with her.

Glancing back, Liz saw the red alarm lights flashing at the gate. She needed to move. She turned to face the front, knowing she could easily drive off the road if she wasn’t careful. The snow was falling quickly, even with the tree cover; but she felt it was better to have the lights on than drive completely blind. The sky was dark even with the grey-white snow clouds that would have been lit brightly from the light pollution had there been any cities nearby.

She watched the odometer as she drove, wanting to get well away from everything at the estate. Her feet were wet and frozen as she pressed the pedals, she’d run out in nothing but a tank top, yoga pants, and fuzzy socks. Her fingers were numb as she begged the heat to kick in.

The SUV was finally warming up when she passed the five mile mark on the dash. She thought by now that she’d make it to an intersection on this road or at least the bottom of the mountain. Instead she guessed she must have wound her way up and down the cliffs.

“Damnit,” she yelled, hitting the steering wheel. It was too late to turn back. By now anyone at the estate that could, was probably heading down the road toward her.

She continued down further for another fifteen minutes or so. The wheels started sliding when she’d take a turn and her speed had slowed considerably. At this point, Liz guessed, she could walk faster.

Finding a side road, Liz turned left and headed further into the woods.

A light flashed before the car and Liz slammed on the brakes, turning the wheel harshly to avoid whatever had been in the road.

Europolarist
Enthusiastic Roswellian
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 4:33 pm
Location: Atop Mt. Michael
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Re: Finding Family, Finding Home (UC, AU, Adult) Chapter 9

Postby Europolarist » Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:48 am

AN: Thanks for the feedback, Carolyn!

I hope this chapter.... well I was gonna say answers some questions, but... i think it will just raise more :twisted:

Chapter 10

An insistent beeping was ringing in her ears. Liz had reached out at least a dozen times to turn off the alarm. Her dreams had been amazing and she just wanted a few minutes more.

Her eyes were closed, but slowly she realized that it was bright on the other side of sleeping and she knew she wouldn’t soon fall back into the comforting cocoon.

She struggled for a few minutes to open her eyes. The air was warm but she was freezing. Liz looked around and saw the sterile white of a lab around her.

Panicked, Liz tried to sit up, but found she was unable to move. She cried out in terror, realizing she’d been tied down. She fought against the bindings that held her to what seemed to resemble an operating table.

What the fuck was going on, she thought, unable to form the words in her throat.

Two people walked in the room from a door near her feet, surgical masks on their faces and heads covered with surgical caps. They spoke in a language she couldn’t understand or even place, not any of the romance languages, not Russian, not even some form of Arabic or Tamil.

One of the surgeons walked over and placed a hand on her forehead while the other moved toward the machines. She recognized them as heart rate monitors and various other life support.

Had she died? she thought. Was this the ICU?

Liz struggled to remember what was happening before she ended up in the room. She remembered moving onto the estate grounds and enjoying her time there. Then she pictured the face and body of a man as she backed away from him, terror ripping through her body on the table. She knew he was important but couldn’t remember why.

“You need to stop fighting,” the one by the machines said. “It will only hurt you in the long run.”

Liz did her best to turn over to see the feminine voice. She saw a tuft of deep red hair poking out around the girl’s ears. Liz stared, trying to recognize any distinct marks that she had. Was this someone she knew, Liz asked herself.

The girl chuckled, as if she’d heard Liz thinking and Liz snapped her eyes shut. This was not good.

“No, it’s not, pretty thing,” the male voice said.

“What’s going on?” she asked, hearing her voice cracking with disuse. “How long have I been here?”

“Oh, three, four weeks?” the man said, as if he were unsure how long it had been.

“I’ve been here for a month?” she said, feeling terror race through her.

“Now, now,” the female said, from behind her mask. “Don’t get worked up, honey. Or we’ll need to up your dosage.”

“Up my dosage?”

“If you can stay calm, we’d like to ask you some questions. If you can’t, you’ll be going to sleep again.”

Liz felt tears brimming in her eyes and saw her vision blur. The man turned to the woman and nodded.

The next time Liz woke up, the room was dark; at least it was darker than it had been. She wiggled her wrist and felt the bindings still tightly around her. Trying to kick her foot, Liz felt bone grinding together. She must have broken her leg and they hadn’t bothered to set it.

Where the hell was she? No hospital would allow a broken bone to remain unset.

The door opened, flooding the room with light and Liz blinked, turning away from the harsh florescent lighting in the hall.

“Feeling better?” the familiar female voice asked.

Liz could only nod, as she tried to keep her mind blank.

“Can I ask something,” she said, as the lady walked around to check the machines.

“You have something we need, dearest Elizabeth,” the nurse said, answering her unasked question.

“What do you need?” she asked, desperately.

“You work with Michael Guerin, do you not?”

Liz nodded. Her mind raced, remembering the name and the man it was attached to. She struggled to think about anything but her top secret clearance and the experiments he’d given her, something he’d specifically warned her not to speak about to anyone except him and Serena. Not sure why, Liz focused hard on the image she’d seen in movies of the manila envelope stamped with the red ink marking “Confidential”.

The nurse chuckled and Liz wondered how the woman was reading her mind.

“Are you psychic?” she asked.

“Oh no, Lizzie Bear.”

At the sound of her grandmother’s moniker, Liz stiffened against the bindings.

“I’m something you should be incredibly familiar with at this point in you life, Miss Roswell.”

Liz felt a scream bubble up in her throat; but before she could let it loose, the nurse was already turning the dial on whatever liquid they were pumping through her veins.

The next time light invaded her senses, Liz woke up facing an unfamiliar door. Looking around, she realized she’d been restrained sitting up.

“We need you to stay awake for a while,” a scratchy male voice said. Liz realized with a start that his voice must be coming through some sort of speaker system. She glanced over and saw a mirror, knowing that they, the aliens, were watching her.

“There are things we need to know and you need to give them to us.”

Liz immediately pictured the familiar manila envelope. She couldn’t let them see anything that Michael allowed her to work on. If this was some sort of test, she refused to fail him.

“Touching,” the voice echoed throughout the room. “But your feeble walls will not stop us now that you’re awake. The human mind is a terribly messy apparatus and we will get our answers.”

A different nurse this time walked into the room. Brown curls poked out of the cap around the nape of her neck as she closed the distance between them. A small hand reached out and pressed a thumb against Liz’s forehead. Pain screamed through her brain as the lady pushed her head back with the flat of her thumb. Liz shrieked in agony.

Each second of pain felt like an eternity as the woman or alien, Liz now realized, pressed into her head. Flashes of white light interspersed with memories as the foreign being searched her mind.

The nurse pulled her hand away suddenly and Liz gasped for air. The alien walked out of the room and Liz shook as the memory of the pain rippled through her.

Finally catching her breath, Liz felt tears fall down her cheeks.

“Miss Parker,” the voice said, cutting through the silence a few moments later. “We know you work in great proximity with the Second. You will not be released until you give us the mark.”

“Mark?” she said, whimpering. “Second?” Her mind raced, trying to remember anything Michael would have told her about this “Second” person.

“You stink of him, there’s no way he’d have not given you his protection. Give us the mark!”

“I stink of who?” she whispered.

“The Second!”

The room went dark, the speakers went silent, and Liz sobbed in her chair.

When Liz woke the next time, she immediately realized that she was no longer tied to a chair or a table. She tried sitting up and remembered her broken leg. Twisting her foot she screamed in pain. It was nearly healed now, though incredibly painful, and she’d walk with a limp for the rest of her life because of these monsters.

She looked around the room and saw she’d been sleeping on a crude cot. The walls were bricks instead of white cement. A sink dripped in the corner and a rusted toilet sat next to it. Bars made up one wall that opened up to what looked like a hall.

Her captors had made her a true prisoner.

She whimpered. If her leg was healed, she’d been in their custody for almost two months. Liz wondered if she’d ever leave, or if they‘d kill her when they realized they couldn’t get what they wanted.

“Good morning, Liz,” a man said, dressed in a sheriff’s uniform. Liz almost laughed; did they really think that they could intimidate her with that? She’d almost married into that very family. She squashed the thought as soon as she’d had it, not wanting to give away any of her thoughts. Apparently it worked; he, if it could be classified as a ‘he’, didn’t say anything as he sat on a short wooden stool on the other side of the bars.

“Now listen here,” he said, a southwestern drawl to his voice. “We need that mark, you see. There’s no way the General would have left you without his protection. He’s too stupid to let his girl run around without it.”

“I’m no one’s girl,” she stuttered. They’d changed tactics completely. Was he supposed to be ‘good cop’ or ‘bad cop’?

“Don’t lie, Liz. It’s not becoming of a young woman.” The man took out a pocket knife, flipped it open and casually cleaned some dirt out from under his nails. He’d clearly been watching old westerns for inspiration.

“We all know you work for Michael Guerin,” he said, casually.

“Oh, you see,” he smirked. “Your heart races when we even mention his name.”

Liz felt her chest, how could they have known that?

“You’ve been asleep for weeks, Liz. Did you really think we wouldn’t run tests on an unwilling subject?” he chuckled. “We know he holds you close, and we know that you’ve been living on his mountain since January. The only question now is how the hell he hid his seal in you.”

“What seal?”

“His protection, his mark, the onlt reason you’re still alive! You bitch!”

The stool toppled backwards as he sprung off his seat, pressing his face against the bars of her cell.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Liz cried, backing away from the bars as far as possible.

“We know that now,” he said, calming down and stepping away. “There were no memories of him spilling his deepest darkest secrets. Though,” he paused. “If you’d had stayed longer the night of the blizzard, we’re almost certain the truth would have come out.”

“The truth?” Liz felt her throat clench up.

“He’s not like anyone else you know, Lizzie-bear,” he said with a sneer. “He’s got alien blood pulsing through those veins of his.”

Liz fell back into the cot, fear washed over her. It couldn’t be true.

“Oh it is,” the uniformed alien derided. “And we need to know where the fuck his King is!”

The alien pressed a palm to the bars and Liz jumped back as bright white light exploded in front of her. This time she didn’t pass out, she didn’t allow herself the serenity of forgetting where she was. The alien stormed off but Liz could see a ripple of energy, like heat radiating from the hot concrete, wafting away from the metal bars. She would not go anywhere near the bars for the rest of the day.


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