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Red Shift Part 2 Chapter 17

Post by WR » Fri Jan 13, 2006 4:24 pm

Hi everyone!

Just so you know, I am on such a roll with tory right now! Things are just falling into place and I am so very close to completeing Part 2! YOu won;t believe how far ahead I am! :)

Ellie - One thing you have to remember is that the gang are only 15! And no, Sandra will not be inviting Richard along. Remember, Richard has gone out of town for the summer.

AJK001 - Yes, I think I can safely say that even though they are not dating, they WILL be together a lot.

lazza - Well... somehow, I think neither one wants to know about the other's true love. :wink:

roswellluver - Me?? Tortyure my readers?? Must be thinking of someone else. :wink:

mareli - Well... even in their confusion, I'm sure that can be great friends. :wink:

vampyrax - Hmmm.... I don;lt think I ever measured anyone's toerance levels during my stories. Maybe someone else can let you know how much more you might HAVE to take? :wink:

tequathisy - I think Alison might be a little distracted herslef. :wink:

VeronicaB - Oh yes. Very drustrating. But Luke was right no to tell Alison. Because she WOULD be preotective of Julia and her love. She's Julia's friend too and would not necessarily guess that Julia love Luke.

frenchkiss70 - I won't torture them too long. But then, what is long for you might be short for me... LOL And talking about they're loves? Talk about each other and make the other feel bad because they don;t know it's really them? Nope. Neither are that cruel.

Timelord31 - But what a summer it promises to be! :)

BehrObsession - Well... this confusion is rather necessary to my plot, I'm afraid. So...

xmag - And A WR Roswell story wouldn;t be a WR story without my own special interpretation of roadblock. :)

Scooter1072 - I'm sure that they will soon be admitting their love. But will it be to each other? :twisted:

NorafanofMaxandLiz - Oh yes. VERY different to my PW story. :wink: As for Hans... well... he's a lot different to Michael.

Arianneleigh - This is true. They will be very good friends first. :)

cherie - I kind of figure that with the knowledge that alien life exists, certain facts would emerge.

Red Shift

Part 2

Chapter 17

For the first three days of that week, Julia and Alison worked the evening shift at Scoops, spending their mornings with Luke, Hans and Sandra on the beach. After avoiding her that Monday night, Luke couldn't stay away from Scoops while Julia worked. In fact, he had started to time his visits so that he would be there when her shift finished, in the hope that she might need someone to walk her home. Usually, they sat on the beach with Hans and Alison and just talked until Julia and Alison left for home. While it was certainly true that the feelings her very presence invoked within him were tortuous in the extreme, the thought of not seeing her brought on a pain that was just unbearable.

When they met up in the mornings at the beach, the two of them invariably set up their towels side by side, with a narrow ribbon of sand between them that had noticeably shrunk over the few days. Luke, however, spent most of the time in the water, trying hard not to let her see the way she affected him. For Julia's part, she spent most of her time lying on her front, so that Luke couldn't see what the sight of his body did to her.

Sometimes, Julia joined Luke in the water, where they swam, played tag or just talked, usually way out of their depths where they had to tread water. It was easier to be together out there, as neither could really see the other and the way they were affected. There was a moment, on Wednesday, the last day before the girls changed to working the early shift when a large unexpected wave knocked Julia over, pushing her against Luke. Instinctively, he caught her in his arms and held her tightly against him. It brought about an awkward situation in which neither of the young, inexperienced teens knew what to do other than stare at one another. Time stood still until they both reluctantly let go of one another, both looking momentarily uncomfortable. Julia apologized and scurried out of the water and up the beach to their friends. Luke tried to find cold water with which to quench his sudden rise in temperature. When he returned to the gang, fifteen minutes later, he noticed at once that Julia had moved her towel away from his, and was now sitting on the far side of Sandra, talking to her.

Peering through his sunglasses at Julia, Luke didn't spot the arrival of Leia and Anders, who had dropped by from time to time over the past few days.

"Hey, guys," she called, placing her towel in the space next to Luke vacated by Julia. "What are you up to?"

"Nothing," Luke pulled his eyes from Julia. "I just came out of the water."

"Have you ever been scuba diving, Luke?" Anders asked, sitting next to Leia.

"Uh," Luke shook his head. "Sorry, no."

"Me neither," he shrugged. "Back in a mo. Need to ask the others something."

"So, having a good time?" Leia smiled.

"Yeah," Luke nodded. Behind his glasses, his eyes drifted back to Julia. "You?"

"Uh huh," Leia started to apply sun screen.

"Are you and Anders...?" Looking at his sister, Luke left the question open.

"We're just friends," Leia shrugged. "We went on a date and we do stuff together, but that's about all. He's nice. I like him. I enjoy his company. Why spoil it with anything more?"

"Yeah," Luke sighed, looking over at Julia. Why indeed?

* * *

"Hey, girls," Anders sat in the sand next to Julia, Sandra and Alison.

"Hey, Andy," the three girls smiled.

Hans looked over and glared at him. He put his sunglasses on and climbed to his feet, walking toward the concession stands. Anders watched him go with raised eyebrows.

"Was it something I said?"

"Nah," Alison chuckled. "I told him that you were a guy who knew how to appreciate women. I don't think he liked it. I guess that makes you our honorary girlfriend."

"Thanks, I think," Anders shrugged. "Just don't use me too often to wind him up," he looked over at Hans again. "Have you seen the size of him?"

"Why, Andy," Alison giggled. "I didn't think you liked comparing anatomical sizes. You mean you checked him out but not Jules?"

"Why does it always come back to that?" Julia demanded in a sullen pout. "This girl might get a complex."

"Well," Alison smirked. "If you even think of getting a complex about your shape, just ask yourself why Luke spends so much time in the sea, hun."

"Why?" Julia frowned.

Sandra and Alison both erupted in giggles.

"Oh, god," Alison shook her head. "You are so naïve, girl."

"What?" Julia looked confused. "He likes to swim. What?"

"Hey, Luke!" Alison called out.

"Yeah?" he replied.

"What do you think of Jules' breasts?"

Luke sat on his towel, his face burning scarlet.

"I uh..." he stammered. "Uhm..." He looked around, anywhere but at Julia as his instinct had wanted him to. He grabbed his wallet and climbed to his feet, keeping his back to the gang. "Does anyone want a drink?"

As he walked toward the vendors, Alison, Sandra and Leia fell into howls of laughter.

"See," Alison chuckled. "Luke certainly doesn't think you're too small."

"You embarrassed him is all," Julia rolled her eyes. "And me, too."

"And he left before he embarrassed himself," Leia roared. She held her hand in a fist and started to extend her index finger until it pointed in an upward direction.

"Oh!" Julia burned as brightly as Luke had.

"Uhm, you know," Anders shook his head, glad that he wasn't the victim of these girls and their barbed humor. "I actually came over here to see if you guys were still looking for another date for Saturday night?"

"Well," Alison took a deep breath. "Jules and I both have one, but Sandra needs one. Why? Are you offering your services?"

"Uh, no," Anders shook his head. "My cousin's coming over from Orlando for the weekend. He's a sophomore, and well, if you can't find anyone else, he would be only too happy to help you guys out."

"Is he okay?" Sandra asked. "I mean, is he like, good looking or anything?"

"He's a guy," Anders shrugged. "How do I know if he's good looking?"

"On a scale of one to ten," Alison grinned. "One being Martin the bus boy, ten being Luke the abs boy."

"I don't know," Anders rolled his eyes. "Five? Maybe. How should I know?"

"When does he arrive?"

"Saturday morning."

"Well," Sandra exhaled. "I guess it wouldn't hurt. But as long as he understands that it's nothing more than accompanying me to dinner. And he pays his own way, like I'll pay mine."

"Yeah," he nodded. "I'll tell him."

"Oh, Leia," Julia called out. "Did you and Anders want to come out with us on my birthday, Saturday night?"

"Oh, thanks, Julia," Leia smiled. "We hadn't planned anything yet, so... That would be really great. Thank you."

* * *

Luke had been in two minds about coming to Scoops tonight. Today at the beach, after he had caught her in the waves, Julia had made a big point of keeping as much space between them as possible. She hadn't even spoken to him and when the girls left to get cleaned up for their shift, she had scurried away without even saying goodbye. Neither did she ask if he would be coming by, as she had done previously. Afraid that he had crossed some invisible line that Julia had drawn, Luke had planned to give her the space she clearly wanted. But planning to stay away from Julia and doing so were two very different matters.

"Hey, Luke," Julia's greeting was not as friendly as it had been of late. She seemed nervous around him.

"Hey," he nodded, his face unsuccessful at hiding his sadness.

"Hans not coming?" she noticed the empty chair.

"He's over at Grandpa's house," he shook his head. "There's some monster truck special on, or something."

"You're not into that?" she looked surprised. "I thought all guys were into that."

"No," Luke smirked. "So I thought... I'd come by and, uh, you know..."

"Cherry Surprise?" she raised her eyebrow.

Julia gave a soft smile at that. Luke always ordered a Cherry Surprise. But she was pleased to see him. On Sunday, when she had first met Luke and discovered that he was the boy she had seen at MOSI, even though he wanted someone else, his presence, although painful at times, helped her shift to fly by. Then, on Monday, when they were building a friendship, he had not come. The thought of not seeing him had hurt. And after she had hurt him earlier today, when she had moved her towel as far away from him as she could and had practically ignored him into nonexistence, she felt sure she would not see him again.

It had been a very awkward moment for her. When the wave had pushed her into him, and he had caught her in his arms, it had been all Julia could do to not throw her arms around him, pull him to her and kiss him senseless. He made her feel things, things that a fourteen - soon to be fifteen - year old girl had no rights to be thinking about, especially on a very public beach. Her body had been so affected that she had even wondered if she had brought the condom that Sophie had made her keep the other night. She had to calm herself down, and in so doing had offended Luke. It had been a total but pleasant surprise when he turned up and took his usual seat at the back, in the corner. She idly wondered why he always sat there.

"Yeah," he nodded. "Cherry Surprise. Please. So you're working early tomorrow, huh?"

"Yeah," she frowned. "But only 'till two thirty, then I'm off."

"I expect you'll go home and put your feet up, or something, huh?" he shrugged, looking anywhere but at her.

"Will you be at the beach?" she looked at him but Luke was unable to determine her thoughts.

"Not sure," he shrugged. "Probably." Without her, it wouldn't be the same.

"I was hoping we could come and find you," she looked at him, pleading. "You know. It'll still be hot, and we could probably use a cooling dip in the sea and hey, I can sit at home all winter with my feet up."

With one short conversation, Julia had patched up a hole in Luke's heart and had made everything between them better again.

* * *

"You boys can't both be getting ready at the same time in that little bathroom," Omi called to them as they were about to start getting ready for their 'dates'. "And Leia too. Luke, why don't you run on over the road with your things and get yourself ready at your other grandparents."

"Okay," Luke answered, eager to get away from Hans before he noticed how nervous he was.

Hans had been asking him a lot of questions about Julia lately. He had noticed him watching her. He was undecided if Hans was thinking about making a move on her, or just concerned that Luke was closer to Julia than he claimed. Either way, he didn't like it. Luke grabbed the clothes that he was going to wear tonight, a few toiletries, and slipped out through the front door.

"Hey, Granny," Luke smiled as he entered their house.

"Oh, hi, Luke," she smiled, looking up at him. "What's up?"

"We're all trying to get ready at the same time over there," he waved his hand. "Do you mind if I use your bathroom so I can get ready, too?"

"Of course you can, dear," Granny smiled. "You go right on ahead."

"Get ready for what?" Grandpa looked up from his evening paper.

"Uhm..." Luke scratched his ear. "I sort of have a... uh, a date."

"You have a what, Luke?" Grandpa started to fiddle with his ear. "Darned hearing aid must need new batteries or something. I coulda swore you said you had a date."

"I uh, did," Luke blushed, looking down at his feet.

"You did?" Grandpa feigned a look of incredulity. "Dang it! There goes a flying pig!"

"Ignore him, son," Granny swatted Grandpa's knee. "So who's the lucky girl?"

"And is she pretty?" Grandpa winked.

"She's just a... a friend," Luke started. "So it doesn't mean anything, okay? But her name is Julia. Julia Cartier. And yes. Yes, she is, uh... pretty. Very."

"Julia?" Granny's face lit up. "Oh, Luke. She's a wonderful girl. Bright as a button, pretty as a picture."

"Nice use of similes," Luke gave a sardonic snort.

"Her family moved here last..." she turned to Grandpa. "When was it?"

"October, wasn't it? No, September," Grandpa nodded. "Late September. From Miami. Her folks wanted her to grow up in a more sheltered environment. Something about the gangs and drugs in Miami getting out of hand. She's a lovely girl, son."

"We're just friends," Luke reminded them.

"The strongest romances in the world start out as just friends," Grandpa chuckled. "You've got to be good friends first. Then you can be her lover."

"Grandpa!" Luke complained.

"Oh, for goodness sakes dear," Granny swatted Grandpa again. "What a thing to encourage. It's just a first date and they're both a little young to be thinking of that."

"Kids grow up fast these days and she's not 'my' little girl," his eyes sparkled. "Someone else has to worry about her. My job is to help my grandson here become a man."

"Anyway," Luke groaned. "She's not like that. I'm not like that. Besides, she uh, already has a... a boyfriend."

"She does?" Granny looked up frowning. "First I've heard of it."

"So what, boy." Grandpa leaned across to him. "Your grandma here was courting before I came on the scene and stole her heart."

"What he means to say," Granny started to laugh. "Is that the useless fool I was seeing ran off with a showgirl and your grandfather was there to catch me on the rebound. So you just stop teasing Luke. He's a good boy."

"Just remember this, Luke," Grandpa sat back and smiled. "All's fair in love and war. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected."

"That's uh," Luke narrowed his eyes, "pretty profound."

"A wise old general called Sun Tzu said that, Luke," Grandpa nodded. "In his book, 'The Art of War."

"So what does it mean?"

"It means that it's you who's going to take Julia out tonight. You attacked your enemy - her boyfriend - where he was unprepared. It will be you who will be able to hold her close, take her home... say goodnight to her. You are where you are not expected. Take advantage, son. Attack. And who knows? Maybe she wants to be conquered?"

Luke hurried to the bathroom with Grandpa's laughter ringing in his ears.

* * *

"Ah," Opa grinned as Luke returned. He was dressed in a pair of dark pants with a pale yellow shirt. "You're back. You're looking pretty sharp, soldier. So what time are you picking up the girls?"

"We're sort of meeting them," Luke offered.

"At Scoops," Hans finished.

"You're doing what?" Omi breezed into the room with a face like thunder. "My boys are not arranging to 'meet' their young ladies anywhere. You do not meet up with your dates no matter how hard you tell me that they are just friends. You will call the girls and let them know that you will be collecting them like the ladies they are."

"Uhm, Omi," Luke frowned. "We don't know Siesta Key very well. And it's uh, a big place."

"So you ask them for directions," she rolled her eyes. "It's not that big. I'm sure you can figure it out. And we have maps to help you."

"The directions 'I' get will probably send me to Miami," Hans grumbled as Luke headed for the phone.

Having called Julia and been given the directions to her house, which was the furthest away, Luke left the house, first. He wasn't sure if Hans ever did call Alison, or not.

* * *

The directions that Julia had given him were clear and concise. He didn't even need a map and he didn't get lost once. Luke paused in front of the wooden door and took a deep breath. Checking that everything was in order: he had the card, the present, the flowers and that his flies were done up, he knocked on the door. The door opened and a man, perhaps in his late forties, a little taller than Luke, stood there, scrutinizing him. Luke shifted nervously under his gaze, unsure of what to say.

"Luke, right?" the man raised an eyebrow.

"Uhm," Luke nodded. He rubbed his palm on his pants and extended his hand. "Yeah."

"Pleased to meet you son," he accepted Luke's handshake. "And I'd just like to compliment you on taking the time and effort to coming around to collect Julia. Most young guys these days just arrange to meet up somewhere. I think that shows a lack of respect. Don't you?"

"Uh," Luke nodded, silently thanking Omi. "Yeah. I guess."

"Take a seat," he pointed to a chair in the hallway. "She'll be right out."

"Thank you," Luke crossed to the chair and sat down.

He felt an immense weight lift from him when Mr. Cartier descended the steps to the family den in the basement. Because it was cooler down there, most people had converted it to their living room. Moments later, Luke rose again as Julia drifted out from a back room. His mouth hung open. She was wearing a pale yellow halter dress. It was shorter than her waitress dress, a lot shorter - in fact, an awful lot shorter. This mini dress hugged her in all the right places, too. It showed off her curves and her swells and did strange things to Luke's body. Her legs looked so much longer, too. She wasn't wearing a bra and where the halter-top dipped in the middle, it offered him a glimpse of her sweet cleavage. In his imagination, he could see the soft and gentle swell of her flesh, the small, delicate pink tips. He shook his mind free, hoping that she could not see how she affected him. He especially hoped that she didn't see him appraising her.

Since the first time he had seen her this summer, Julia had always worn her hair in a ponytail, both on the beach, and on duty at Scoops. Tonight, she wore her hair loose, just like it was when he had seen her that first time last spring. She was radiant, in every sense of the word. He had never seen her looking lovelier, and he had never seen a lovelier sight. Luke fell in love with her all over again and he wondered how he would survive this night.

"We're a matched set," she smiled at him.

Julia nearly faltered when she stepped out of her bedroom and into the hallway. So far, she had only seen Luke in Bermudas by day, which was amazing in itself, or in jeans and a T-shirt in the evening. Standing there in a smart pair of pants and the pale yellow shirt, open at the collar revealing a hint of his chest, she could see that she would have trouble keeping her eyes off of him tonight. His golden eyes looked like burning gold this evening and she wondered what he saw through them when he looked at her. A long thin pencil with two small bumps, probably, she decided. But how her bumps reacted to him. All of her, in fact, reacted to him. Strange feelings started to engulf her and she was so glad that she had already had the talk with her Mom. Julia hoped that he had not noticed her checking him out. She prayed that Luke would be a perfect gentleman tonight, because if he made any advances upon her, she just might surrender to him. Luke might well get his Cherry Surprise tonight, and not from Scoops! She would be powerless to stop him, and she wouldn't even want to. Just in case, her gift from Sophie was securely hidden in her purse.

"Excuse me?" his mouth had moved for some time before the words came out.

"Us," she pointed to his shirt. "Uhm... Matching. We're a matched set."

"Oh," he smiled. "Yeah."

"I wore higher heels than normal, too," she balanced on one leg to hold up the other, allowing him to see her very high heels.

"Wow," he nodded, his eyes ever wider.

He hadn't even noticed her shoes. His eyes were fixed on her legs, especially on her taught thighs, higher up. Did she even know how beautiful she was to him? Luke swallowed hard and lifted his eyes to her face before she noticed where he was looking and embarrassed her.

"Yeah," she laughed. "You know, with me being so short, and you..."

Tall, she thought. So very tall. And she also doubted that there was anything to worry about regarding Alison's 'itty bitty' comment. She had felt his bulge the other day in the water, when the wave had knocked her over. She had wondered who it was who had made him that way, the jealousy from which had been a helping factor in her reaction of him. Even though she always felt comfortable next to Luke, like she was just right for him, she wanted to be a little taller, tonight. Maybe it would help make her look a little older, more attractive to him. Like it would make it seem that she had every right to be seen with Luke.

"You're not too short," he shook his head. You're perfect. "Oh!" Luke's face lit up. "These are for you."

Luke handed her a card, a small wrapped present, the size of a deck of cards, and half a dozen white roses.

"You didn't have to get me anything, Luke," she smiled, smelling the roses.

"I couldn't turn up empty handed," he shook his head, looking down in embarrassment. "I was raised better than that."

Something at the back of his mind nagged him. When had that been? Debra and Allan had talked to him a little on how to treat girls, but never things like this. He reached up and scratched his ear.

"Well, your folks did a great job," she beamed. "But how did you know that white roses were my favorite? I don't even think Alison knows that."

"I uh, didn't," he ducked his head. "Know, I mean. That they were your favorite. I didn't want to overstep the bounds and buy you red ones. You know, 'cause they mean... love and... romance. And they didn't have any yellow roses which stands for friendship, so..."

"They're lovely, thank you," she inhaled the aroma. "I love them."

Unaware that Luke eyes were glued to the back of her legs as she went, Julia glided to the kitchen where, out of sight, he heard her moving about. Luke berated himself for leering at her like that. Treat her with respect, he demanded. This is Julia, not some bimbo. You'll only make her feel uncomfortable. He then heard the tap running. Moments later, Julia returned, smiling brightly with her flowers in a vase. She stood them on the telephone table.

"Can I open my present now?" she looked at him.

"Sure," he nodded. "Oh yeah." He ducked his head. Could he be any more forgetful? "Uh, happy birthday."

She opened the card first. "Best wishes for an amazing day for an amazing person. Love, Luke." She smiled at him and turned to the present. Love? If only he meant it.

"Oh, Luke!" she gasped. With her bright eyes opened wide, she looked up at him. "I... I've never seen anything like it!"

The present was a necklace. The medallion at the end of it was a flat disk, a little larger than a dime, embossed onto which was a symbol. It was a triangle in the center with two radial arms spiraling from it. Remembering her interest in the stars, he had made it himself, with a little molecular manipulation.

"What is it?" she studied it carefully.

"I believe," he swallowed, "that it's the pictorial representation of another galaxy."

He didn't tell her that he had been seeing that very same symbol in his mind ever since he had first seen her in MOSI. Every time he had thought of her, he saw that symbol, and vice versa.

"How did you know I was into astronomy?" she studied the necklace. "You seem to know an awful lot more about me than I do about you? What's your secret?"

"Lucky guess," Luke's face burned. Hans would kill him if he had heard her ask that.

"Well, I love it!" Julia face was glowing with emotion. "Can you put it on for me, please?"

She held the necklace to herself, and turned, offering Luke the two ends over her shoulders. Standing so close to her, he could smell her. He inhaled deeply. The scent was delicious. A sweet, mysterious smell that made his knees go all weak. His hands shook, making it hard for him to fasten the tiny clasp but he achieved his task with a short burst of energy. Luke bunched her hair up in his hand and pulled it through so that the chain rested firmly around her neck. She turned to face him, smiling broadly. The medallion nestled in the slight cleavage that her breasts formed. He gulped, wishing that he had bought a shorter chain. He did not want other people looking at her there. Especially other guys!

Her knees trembled from her reaction to his fragrance that had enveloped her when he stood so close behind her. Julia looked down at her present and wished that she was more amply endowed to show off her amazing present, to offer more for Luke to look at.

"Shall..." his voice came out as a squeak. It had been doing that a lot, lately. "Shall we go?"

"Yes," Julia's face was glowing as she stepped up next to him and placed her arm around his. "Let's go." She paused at the top of the stairs that led to the basement. "See you later, Mom, Dad! We're going now!"

"Not too late!" came the reply from the basement. "Midnight!"

* * *
Last edited by WR on Fri Jan 20, 2006 3:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Posts: 388
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Location: Somewhere over England

Red Shift Part 1 Chapter 18

Post by WR » Fri Jan 20, 2006 4:28 pm

Hi everyone,

Before I start - you might like to know that this evening (7,00 pm EST) I will be taking part in a live chat with the members of a Roswell Web Site whose name eludes me (Lisalou - help???)- where I will be answering questions about my writing. I'm sure you will all be welcome to join in, and once I find out the web site, I will ad a post to this thread (unless someone else has already done so). Please come and talk as it will help keep me awake! 7.oo pm is Midnight here!

Thank you all so very much for continuing to read, and hopefully enjoy my story. Having just about finished the end of Part 2... (which can I say is rather exciting! :wink:) then I hope you all enjoy the peace and tranquility that surrounds our young couples for however long it lasts. :)

I've enjoyed writing this story, because it gives me a chance to explore Max/Luke and Liz/Julia's first steps towards a romance. Kind of new territory for me... even if it does already sort of exist.

Anyway, you have a few chapters to enjoy the slow pace before you get to these latest chapters. I'm already well into the planning out of Part 3, which will certainly be faster paced than the Part 2. :) And just as enjoyable.

Okay, you guys really are WAAAYYY to suspicious of my writing. :wink: I have had numerouse questions asking if every new character is someone else from the show, usually someone not too friendly toward Max. Think about this logically. Someone went to a huge effort to set it up so that Max, Michael and Isabel would be reborn, and meet the reincarnations of Liz, Maria and Isabel's threesome - All of whom have clearly been spaced out so as to remain hidden. Why would they then place Liz with a set of Skins, Max's enemy? The gang has been hidden for safety and security. Everyone is with humans and no one else from Roswell has been reincarnated. :wink: Hope that helps. :)

Now, I'm sure you all know what tonight's chapter is all about, and I'm equally sure that you're dying to get to it, so let's get this show on the road. :wink:

roswell2053 - And it's so fun writing the shyness and awkwardness. :)

vampyrax - Hmmm.. do you really think either of the couple is likely blurt out that they really love the other? Maybe. :)

smokie - The problem with Alison's big mouth is that she so very often gets things wrong... case in point. As for that epilogue... well, I have PW... and HftH... so... we'll have to see.

NorafanofMaxandLiz - Yeah. Julia(Liz) even plans for the just in case. :wink: Remember though, that while she is in love with Luke, she thinks Luke is in love with someone else. As for Luke 'attacking'... somehow, I doubt it. Luke thinks Julia is in love with someone else, too, and he is way to nice to do something like that.

lazza - It depends how strong Julia and Luke can be. Maybe we should start a sweep ;)

BehrObsession - Well... as much as Alison will be giving Hans a pretty much tough time, my story focuses mainly on Luke and Julia. Sorry.

Timelord31 - I'm sure the part that they work that bit out will be electrfying. :) :wink:

tequthisy - Thank you :)

VeronicaB - Well... while it's true I can;t put them together together too early, we all know it's going to happen, right? Unless you want her date someone else first, perhaps? Like, Lyle maybe? :wink:

roswellluver - Hope the ending is just as great, huh? :)

behrlyliz - Somehow, I think it has more to do with comfort implications. To dangerouse to hide Liz with a family of Skins.

frenchkiss70 - short will be as long as I chose it to be... which may be to long for you but seems too short for me. And thats the long and short of it. :lol: :)

AJK001 - Well... if I told you how many parts I have, then you might start to try guessing at how long I keep the two apart. And If I say I have... say 7 or 8 chapters written, I can see it nowe, "Please post them!!" LOL :wink: So... I won't tell you how many I have written. Just know that I am moving along with the story at a pace that is comfortable for me. :)

cherie - It should be pretty clear by now that the gang has retained certain memories from they're past lives. Just not the important ones. Remember that strange voice that spoke to Zan in the first chapters? It said that it had to be a free choice. So it's possible that Julia can choose NOT to get involved, just like it's possible that Luke can choose NOT to pull Julia in to the alien abys.

Roswelllostcause - I'm sure they would happily admit their feelings, except noth feel that it is improper to do do. :wink:

youre my dreamgirl - Thank you :)

mareli - Uh, yeah. They're all just turning 15. Even Raul. :)

Red Shift

Part 2

Chapter 18

Julia led the way as she guided Luke along the roads and over the bridges that crossed the canals. He soon found himself turned completely around and was totally relying upon her to get them to Scoops, where they were meeting up with everyone else. Not that he would have minded getting lost and spending more time alone with this lovely young woman on his arm. The journey was made in silence, with Julia holding his arm every step of the way. For a while, at least, Luke could believe that he was the only guy for her, and that she was his.

"Do you think we can see it from here?" Julia's voice broke the silence.

"See what?" Luke looked at her, to see her face looking up into the evening sky.

"Your galaxy." she looked at him with a smile.

Luke's heart started to pound. His eyes widened with a momentary panic.

"'My' galaxy?" he frowned.

"Yeah," she nodded. Her free hand lifted the medallion. "Okay, then. 'Our' galaxy. The one on the necklace you gave me. I'll call it Luke's galaxy."

"Oh," he nodded. Please, don't say that in front of Hans. "We can keep it as 'our' galaxy, if you like."

But how right did that sound? Our Galaxy. He would take her back with him in a heartbeat, and together they could rule the galaxy. Fair and wise rulers, bringing peace to all the planets. Yeah, right. First, he would have to become their ruler or emperor or something. And then, she would have to fall in love with him. The first task would be infinitely easier to achieve than the latter, he deduced. He looked up at the sky.

"I, uh... I don't know," he continued. "We can't see it until it's dark, at least."

"Perhaps we can look together, tonight," she hugged his arm tighter. "On the way home."

His heart soared. Julia wanted him to walk her home.

"We might need a telescope," he started to laugh.

They were the first to arrive at Scoops. Spotting a large table free, Julia pulled Luke toward it.

"Can I get you something?" Luke tilted his head to one side.

"No," she smiled at him, shuffling her chair closer to his side. "I'm good."

"They won't kick us out for not ordering, will they?" he glanced at the waitresses running around the patio.

"No," Julia started to giggle. "I have an 'in' with the management."

"It's good to know people, who know people," Luke smiled at her, his eyes locking onto hers.

"Hey," Alison collapsed into a chair. "Have you guys been here long?"

"We just got here, actually" Julia grinned at her friend.

"So, Luke," Alison sang. "What did you buy Jules?"

"He brought me some flowers," Julia cast a sideways glance at Luke. "And this."

She lifted her necklace for Alison to see, while Luke blushed again.

"Wow," Alison nodded with widened eyes. "That is just... awesome." She sat back in her chair. "Did she tell you what I got for her?"

From the smirk on Alison's face and the way Julia's face turned scarlet, Luke wondered if he really wanted to know.

"No," he shook his head.

"She got me a gift certificate," Julia looked up, trying hard to stop her face turning even more red and promising herself that one day soon, she would get her own back on Alison. "For a store that just opened here in Siesta Key. It's called Primal Urge."

Alison started to laugh at Luke's look of confusion.

"Is it, uh... a fashion store?" he looked from Alison's laughter to Julia's blushing.

"It's a body art salon, Luke," Alison had a fit of the giggles. "Tattoos and piercing. But it's like totally safe and clean. I got her a gift certificate to spend there."

"She uh, already has pierced ears," Luke looked at Julia's ears where two lovely dangling earrings decorated them.

"Well," Alison turned her head to one side. "I thought maybe she could have her navel pierced... or something... a couple of somethings, even."

"That would look cool," Luke nodded, looking down at Julia's tummy. "A nice, delicate gem or something."

"I don't think so," Julia shook her head, her face still burning. But if Luke thought it would look good... maybe...? "Well, maybe. But just my navel."

"So where's the miscreant, then?" Alison deftly changed the topic of conversation.

"Hans?" Luke smirked. "Actually, I thought he was picking you up."

"Wait," Alison's eyes widened. "You mean to tell me that you walked all the way over to Jules' place to pick her up? And he couldn't be bothered to come to my place? There is something wrong with that guy. Why can't you teach him to be more like you, Luke?"

"'Cause then he wouldn't be the quintessential Hans that you know and love," Julia smirked, mentally chalking up a score for herself.

Luke started to laugh at Alison's momentary shock and before Alison could retort, Sandra arrived.

"Hey, gang," she smiled, sitting next to Julia. "So what's up?"

"Discussing the inadequacies of men," Alison huffed.

"Not 'all' men," Julia gave Luke an affectionate smile.

"So I guess you never got picked up by your date, either?" Alison narrowed her eyes at Sandra.

"Anders said he would bring him with," she shrugged.

"This looks like them, now," Luke nodded in the direction of the boardwalk.

Leia and Anders, walking side by side, stepped onto Scoops' patio. Behind them, another young man followed.

"Hey, guys," Anders grinned. "This is, uh, my cousin. Terrence Cummings."

"Trey," he grinned, pushing forward. "Short for 'Tres beau.'"

He was no taller than Julia, with her heels, and like her, he was light in frame. His hair was almost white, but the roots that were just showing a slightly darker color showed that he had bleached his. He wore a pair of shorts with a Hawaiian shirt, open almost to his navel. His eyes fell on Julia first, seeing in her just his type of girl. She was bright and intelligent and she had that look of naïve innocence about her. But when he saw that big guy next to her inch protectively closer to her, he knew that she wasn't his date. Which was a pity. The looks the guy gave him clearly told him that he wouldn't tolerate any territorial competition. He looked like he could handle himself, too, and even though Trey knew judo, he didn't really like physical confrontation. He knew that now was not the time to make a play. He had met that jock's type before. All muscle and hardly two brain cells to rub together. And he probably had no personality, either. Why did they always go for the morons? Then he looked at Alison. She seemed to read his mind, however and with a smirk, shook her head. Attractive as she was, she was far too cynical for him, anyway. Her eyes pointed at Sandra. Oh well. He'd been with worse. And she wasn't 'that' bad.

"I'm Trey," he sidled into the seat next to her. "You must be Sandra, right?"

"Yeah," she nodded.

Trey took her hand in his and lifted it to his lips. He placed a light kiss on the back of her hand and then teased the spot with his fingers.

"Now I know," he whispered hotly. "what Springsteen meant when he sang 'I'll take a redheaded woman'.

He looked up to see Sandra blushing. His eyes darted sideways and felt a momentary annoyance when he saw that the brunette had not even noticed. She was looking at the moron beside her.

"Aren't you the charmer," Alison's smirk told him that she was on to him.

"Hey," Hans dropped himself next to Alison.

"Hey?" she shrieked. "Hey? Is that all you have to say?"

"What's your problem now, Blondie?" he snapped.

"So you couldn't be bothered to come and get me, huh?"

"You're here, aren't you?"

"Luke went and got Julia," Alison started slapping his arm. "How come I had to walk here on my own?"

"'Cause it's Julia's birthday," he shrugged. "And not yours. So stop hitting me, okay?"

"So, what are we doing?" Leia interrupted their playtime.

"I uh, thought that seeing as most of us don't know Siesta Key very well," Luke leaned forward, "we could uh, leave it up to the locals?" He looked at Julia and then Sandra, returning to Julia again.

Julia smiled and turned to Sandra.

"How about Turtle Beach Pub?" she raised her eyes in question.

"Sure," Sandra nodded. "It's ideal."

"So, what's Turtle Beach Pub?" Trey addressed his question to Julia.

"It's a neat restaurant," Sandra answered him. "It has a dance floor, a bar and a restaurant, all in one. It's halfway up the Beach Road, at the north end of Turtle Beach, but it overlooks this really quiet location. It's just great."

"Is it far?" Luke asked.

"Maybe two miles from here," Julia shrugged. "It'll only take us about twenty minutes, I guess. Half an hour, tops."

"Will you be okay?" Luke frowned. "Walking all that way in those heels."

"Sure," Julia nodded. "It's something we girls get used to."

"Okay," Luke smiled. He leaned in and whispered in her ear. "But you tell me if your feet start to hurt or anything, okay? 'Cause I know just how to make aching feet feel so much better."

Julia shuddered at his closeness and vowed that her feet would definitely ache at some point this evening.

"Won't we need to book or anything?" Alison frowned.

"If we went later on, yeah," Sandra nodded. "It gets crowded then with college kids and grown ups, and they can make you feel a little uncomfortable sometimes. So it's better to go early, like now. No need to book, then."

* * *

Turtle Beach Pub was a wooden construction, built to resemble the aft deck of a Spanish Galleon. Regardless of its tacky exterior, however, inside was warm and cozy. If the atmosphere hadn't been so light, the place could have been considered halfway to being romantic. Split into three sections, each on a slightly different level, to mimic a ship's decks, the restaurant was at one end, separated from the bar by a dance floor in the middle. One side of the dance floor was another raised section, a small stage with amplifiers and a microphone. Speakers pumped out a series of rock and pop tracks, both new and old.

"Sometimes, they have Karaoke," Sandra grinned. "But they don't start that till much later, so..."

"Maybe you can sing us that Springsteen song," Alison gave Trey a sickly sweet smile.

A waitress led them to a large, round table with eight chairs. Luke held the back of her chair for Julia to sit down and then slid in beside her. He bit back his glare when Trey slid into the seat on the other side of her. The waitress then handed everyone a menu and pointed out the specials on the large blackboard on the opposite side of the room. While they studied the choices, the waitress returned with a couple of large jugs of water.

"Can I have the Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad," Julia handed the menu back to the waitress.

"And I'll have the uh, Fiery Chili Special," Luke pointed at the Specials board. "With a side order of the Spicy Cheesy Nachos. Extra chilies in both, please.

One by one, everyone placed their order, with only Hans and Leia risking the hot sounding Chili along with Luke. The waitress left, leaving the gang to talk amongst themselves.

"Are you having a good birthday?" Luke smiled at Julia.

"The best I can ever remember," her eyes sparkled at him. She placed her hand over his for a moment. "Thank you."

Trey leaned in to her, tapping her shoulder to gain her attention.

"So, happy birthday," he grinned.

"Thank you," Julia gave him a smile but turned back to Luke.

"I didn't catch your name," he called to her again.

"It's, ah, Julia," she only half turned toward him before returning to Luke again.

"So you're local, huh?" he continued. "I only live over in Orlando. "We'll have to get together sometime. During term time or something."

"You know?" Julia tried to keep the annoyed look from her face. "I'm really, really busy during school." She turned back to Luke again and started to ask him about his schooling.

"Hey, Trey," Alison called, smirking at him. She pointed her thumb over her shoulder. "That's strike three, baby. You're out."

When their meals had started to arrive, everyone seemed to be more interested in something else rather than Luke. With no one looking, he took out his bottle of Tabasco sauce and liberally sprinkled his chili, and the nachos with the hot sauce. As he replaced the small red cap, he noticed that Julia had been watching him, her eyebrows knitted together.

"They, uh, never make it hot enough," he shrugged by way of an explanation.

"So," she gave him a sly smile, "you like it hot and spicy, huh?"

Luke caught the teasing in her voice and decided that he could play, too.

"The hotter and spicier..." he leaned in and whispered in her ear, "the better."

His voice was low and husky. Julia shivered, aware that his words had just caused her nipples to react again. She would love to see just how hot and spicy Luke really did like it. Enjoying that she was playing with fire, and hoping she would get burned, it was her turn to lean in to him. He even lowered himself to make it easier for her to reply.

"Perhaps you can show me, sometime," she whispered back, her lips brushing his ear. "I mean, just how 'hot'," she exhaled her hot breath into his ear, "and 'spicy'" she blew this time, "you want it to be."

Luke almost lost his cutlery. With his hands shaking at the mental image of he and Julia, getting very hot and spicy together, he reached for his glass of water, hoping that it might cool him down. Even using his abilities to chill it to just above freezing point, it did little to cool his ardor. Who needed hot sauce when Julia was around?

It would have been comfortable to say that the conversation had died down while everyone enjoyed their meals. Trey however, took the opportunity of the silence to let everyone know just how great he was. He boasted of famous actresses and singers he had met, and sometimes dated. He even claimed that some of the Florida based sports teams were interested in him. After that, he started with the stories of his life's achievements.

"I know his type," Alison growled to Hans as he took a sip from his glass. "If he hasn't seen it or done it, he's eaten it or shat it."

Hans burst into hysterics, spraying a mouthful of water over his meal.

When everyone else was distracted, Julia reached her fork across to Luke's plate and lifted a small mouthful of his chili."

"Uh, Jules..." Luke warned her.

Too late. She put it into her mouth and swallowed. Her eyes widened with shock and tears formed in her eyes, instantly. Her face went bright red and she started to choke. All eyes were on her now, as her mouth felt like it was blistering. While patting her back to help with the choking, Luke grabbed her glass of water and held it to her mouth. While Julia gulped the cooling liquid down, Luke held his hand under her chin.

"You know," Trey pointed out. "Water doesn't really help. It only spreads the spices around more. It sort of makes it worse.

But Julia didn't care. The water felt good and in spite of what Trey said, she could feel it working. The burning sensation had already started to die down and the pain in her mouth, on her tongue and down her throat had started to ease. Soon, the only evidence of her reaction were the tears in her eyes and the redness in her face.

"How can you eat that?" Julia gasped, shaking her head. "That Tabasco is so hot!"

"Oh, hey," Trey called, eager to regain the attention. "Talking about Tabasco, you wanna know what I heard?"

"What?" Alison released a heavy sigh.

"You know those alien scum? Over in New Mexico?"

No one noticed the tenseness of Luke, Hans and Leia's reaction.

"Well, you know that as part of the peace deal, we ship in tons of food to help feed all our people that are like, being held captive, yeah? Well apparently, they also ship in these huge tankers of Tabasco sauce. What do you make of that?"

"Only that they can't cook for shit in New Mexico," Hans voice was dry as he glared at Luke.

* * *

Their meals finished, the waitresses started to remove the plates and used glasses from the table. Julia had cast her eye on the dance floor a number of times now.

"So, Jules..." Trey leaned into Julia.

"It's, uh, Julia," she corrected in a neutral tome.

"Julia," he corrected, smiling at her. "Listen, I was thinking. Seeing as you and me are the same height, it would probably make it easier for us if we paired up on the dance floor. Let the giants dance together."

"Uh, no," Julia shook her head. "No thanks."

Trey shrugged. She was loyal, he would give her that. But she was intelligent, too. And she would soon see the problems with dating a brain dead jock. He turned to Sandra.

"Dance?" he raised an eyebrow.

"Your kidding, right," she shook her head, turning her back on him.

Watching the others make their way to the floor, Julia sat next to Luke, moving with the beat.

"I thought you didn't like dancing," he indicated the dance floor.

"I do," she nodded. "I love it."

"So how come...?" he glanced at Trey, sitting in the chair with his arms crossed over his chest, sulking.

"Just not with him," Julia rolled her eyes. Ask me, already.

If she didn't want to dance with Trey, would she want to dance with him, he wondered?

"Do you uhm... want to, you know, ah, dance?" his voice came out hoarse.

"Yes," she smiled, her eyes sparkling brightly. "I'd love to."

Luke rose, and held the back of her chair as she slid out. They both paused for a moment before Luke held out his hand. Julia looked at it for a moment and swallowing hard, she slipped her hand in his. Reveling in the warm sensation of rightness that swept through him, Luke led Julia to the dance floor. The heavy rock number pumped out its heavy beat, and just as they started to move, facing one another, the music changed. Blending from one type of song to the other.

All alone at the end of the of the evening
And the bright lights have faded to blue
I was thinking 'bout a woman who might have
Loved me and I never knew

They stood awkwardly, not sure what to do as Randy Meisner's voice drifted across the dance floor. Luke looked at Julia, silently asking what she wanted to do.

"It's okay," she nodded.

She wanted to dance with him pressing against her.

You know I've always been a dreamer
(spent my life running 'round)
And it's so hard to change
(Can't seem to settle down)
But the dreams I've seen lately
Keep on turning out and burning out
And turning out the same

They both moved their arms to allow the other to hold them. Luke slipped one arm around her waist, reveling in the warmth of her body, while the other slid higher, under her arm, where his hand slipped under her hair to hold the nape of her neck. Julia wrapped both of her arms up onto his broad shoulders. She would have done anything to be allowed to pull him to her, to interlock her hands behind his neck and hold him tight.

So put me on a highway
And show me a sign
And take it to the limit one more time

Just show me a sign, Julia wished. A sign that I could take this relationship to the limit. Not that she wanted there to be a limit, of course, but she would accept any limitations if it meant being with him.

You can spend all your time making money
You can spend all your love making time
If it all fell to pieces tomorrow
Would you still be mine?

She felt so good in his arms. Given the chance, he would spend all his time making love. He wished he could pull her into his body and tilt her head upwards where he could use his lips to plunder her warm, inviting mouth. He wanted to kiss her so badly. But to pull her into his body would allow her to feel something that she might not be ready to feel yet.

And when you're looking for your freedom
(Nobody seems to care)
And you can't find the door
(Can't find it anywhere)
When there's nothing to believe in
Still you're coming back, you're running back
You're coming back for more

Julia didn't want her freedom. She wanted to remain captive in Luke's arms for the rest of her life. Longer, if she had anything to with it. If only they could close the small gap that separated them. She didn't want any door. She was right where she wanted to be and that was all she wanted to believe in. And she would always, always come back for more.

So put me on a highway
And show me a sign
And take it to the limit one more time

Any sign would do, Luke sighed. Anything that would indicate that it was okay to take his grandfather's advice and make Julia his. Conquer her. But he was so afraid that he would do so uninvited and blow everything he had with her.

Take it to the limit
Take it to the limit
Take it to the limit one more time

The final chords of the song blurred into something else, but neither could hear what it was. They remained as they were, holding each other, their eyes locked together. Barely perceptibly, their heads started to move. They began to drift together. For good or evil, they would be kissing any second now. But they did not hear that the track was a fast one, and someone barged into the back of Julia, knocking her free from Luke's grasp. He caught her before she fell but by then, they had both regained their composure and the moment was lost. Hiding her face, Julia started to move to the new faster rhythm.

"Hey, Luke!" Alison called above the music. "Julia! What do you say we head back to Scoops for dessert?"

"Okay," they both nodded, neither one of them interested in dancing any more. Not when they had almost crossed that line.

"So how are we going to do this?" Leia asked as Luke and Julia joined them.

She and Anders were examining the bill.

"Split it eight ways?" Alison looked around to see if anyone disagreed. "That would make it thirteen dollars each. Lets call it fifteen and we leave a good tip."

While Julia reached for her purse, Luke had already peeled off three ten dollar bills.

"No, Luke," she put her hand over his. "I can't let you do that. We're only here as friends."

"I know," Luke mentally winced at her words. "But it's your birthday, so please, let me treat you. You know I expect nothing in return, right?"

"Are you sure?"

"I hope you're having a great time," he nodded. "And I just want to make sure that it ends properly."

"Okay," she sighed, looking away. Luke was too good to be true, and he wasn't even hers.

* * *

All the way back to town, Hans and Alison led the way, bickering and sniping at one another. Behind them, talking quietly, or laughing at the front pair, Leia and Anders followed. Then came Sandra, constantly trying to avoid Trey who was trying to wrap his arm around her. Bringing up the rear, Luke and Julia walked in comfortable silence, with Julia's small hand enveloped by Luke's larger one. It was a difficult task to force himself not to react in any other way than to just hold it. And the feelings she evoked within him, warm and fuzzy served only to blur matters. He wondered if, as friends, this could get any better?

"So what's your sport, Luke?" Trey gave up on Sandra and had decided that the moment had come to show Luke up for the clod he was.

"Sport?" Luke looked away from Julia and across at Trey who had placed himself on the other side of Julia.

"You know," Trey spoke in a slow zombie like fashion. "Sport. Ball, bat, running, hitting, that sort of thing."

"I, uh, don't play," Luke shook his head. "Sport isn't really my thing."

"He could play whatever he wanted though," Julia looked up and smiled at him. "Couldn't you?"

"I'm uh, more of a scholar," Luke grinned at Julia.

"Me too," Julia grinned.

Trey frowned. This was not what he had expected.

"I really like science," Luke continued.

"Me too," Julia was practically bouncing up and down. "Me too."

"Hey, listen." Trey tried again. "There's this really cool museum in Tampa. A science one. They have a hurricane room, and a neat Planetarium. It's really cool. Would you like to go there, Julia?"

"Been there," she shrugged. "Done that."

"Did you get the T-shirt?" Luke smirked at her.

"Trey," Julia looked at him. "Aren't you supposed to be Sandra's date?"

"Just exploring options," he shrugged.

"Explore them somewhere else," Luke sensed that Julia was not happy with his advances. "Before you find yourself in uncharted territory."

For a moment, Trey sized Luke up and wondered if his judo would be any use against him. Deciding on the negative, he took a deep breath and hurried to catch up with Sandra.

"Seems you have an admirer," Luke grinned at her. Another one.

When they arrived at Scoops, they had to push two tables together. The rest of the evening was spent talking about their meal while they ate their dessert.

"We will so have to go back to the Turtle Beach Pub for one of their karaoke nights," Alison urged. "We would have so much fun."

Her idea was met with a number of loud groans and a couple of 'oh no's'.

"Sorry, guys," Julia sighed. "But I have to go now. But thank you all so much for making this night, so..." she looked at Luke, "special. It's been my best birthday, ever."

Julia said good night to Alison and Sandra with a hug and a kiss on the cheek. Leia and Anders got a hug. Hans and Trey were wished a good night. Trey tried to kiss her, but she backed away. There was an apologetic look from Anders.

"Well," she turned to Luke, feeling unsure of how to proceed.

"I'm walking you home," he asserted. "And don't you dare tell me that I don't have to, 'cause I do."

"No complaints from me," she smiled. "You already agreed you'd walk me home, anyway. Earlier, when we were discussing the universe."

Together, they left Scoops and their friends behind them. When they disappeared around the corner, Julia slipped her hand into Luke's again. It had been the most magical night of her life. And it had been Luke's, too."

* * *

And NO! :wink: Trey is NOT someone else reincarnated. Nor is he a shapeshifter nor a skin. He's an obnoxious little runt who's sole purpose in life was to help me drive the action around the date forward. :wink:
Last edited by WR on Fri Jan 27, 2006 3:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Red Shift Part 1 Chapter 19

Post by WR » Fri Jan 27, 2006 4:09 pm

Hi everyone...

Well, my 'chat' was a real blast. And guess what story everyone was talking about? Yup. NOT this one. ;) I guess even though I consider this to be my main story, no one else does. :wink: Oh well.

As always, thank you for the great feedback. I'm glad you are enjoying the time Luke and Julia get to spend together. But you just know that I have a few good curve balls to throw, right? :wink:

He he he... having written the final chapter to Part 2, I can;t wait to see how you guys react. :) LOL

roswell3053 - As Trey was supposed to be obnxious, I guess I done good. :)

vampyrax - I did consider making him try Luke's chili, but would anyone even really do that?

behrlyliz - Well... we will have to see. :wink:

AJK001 - Me me? Double talk, double talk? Surely not surely not! :wink:

Timelord31 - Somehow, I suspect that painfullt shy Luke might not gice Julia her goodnight kiss for some time. :wink:

su-lyn - You're welcome :)

auroraskey - Thank you :)

tequathisy - Thank you :)

omwf - Heh Heh - Imagine how poor Luke must have felt then. :wink:

frenchkiss70 - Do Luke and Julia qualify as original charavters? :wink:

Emz80m - Uhm... did you miss my little comment about who Trey was? :wink: Just a newbie.

VeronicaB - Like I wouldn't dare kill Liz by chapter 3? :twisted: :wink:

Ellie - Even though he's remembering them... he's not 'remembering them' if you know what I mean. :wink: BTW - Your questions you had? Do you think I would have answered them? No one recieved any information about future plot twists, revelations etc. I only answered questions that did not affect the story line.

alana - Hola chica! Que tal? I am pleased to see you here. Glad you are enjoying 'this' story, too. :wink: Amora mio? Verdad?? :wink: Escriba mucho, por favor.

BehrObsession - Although the museum was brought up, Julia is unaware that she was the one Luke saw and fell for. They both already know the other was there. So...

NorafanofMaxandLiz - Sorry you couldn;t make it on to the chat. But I have promised to do another one, and hopefully by then, they will have solved the logging on problem. I had problems too and didn;t actually get to sign in until a few moments before 7. As for Luke and Julia... Let's just say that they are older than their years. :wink: BTW - There will be more Julia and Luke dates to come. But will they be together? :twisted:

Roswelllostacause - Don't forget that they each believe the other to be interested in someone else. So unlike their friends, THEY don;t look at the whole picture. They each see someone being very nice to them.

cherie - Why would you worry about tabasco sauce? He he he.

Red Shift

Part 2

Chapter 19

After saying goodnight to Luke, giving him a long hug and two kisses on his cheek, Julia leaned against her closed front door, cursing her cowardice of not kissing Luke goodnight properly. Could Luke be any more great? Whoever the girl was that he was in love with, she was one lucky young lady. To counter the pangs of jealousy, she replayed the slow walk home in her mind. The intelligent conversation, the pleasant feeling of her hand holding his and how glad she was when he didn't pull away like she feared he might. She loved his sweetness when they arrived at her door and he gave her a light kiss on her cheek and the slight hesitation he showed before he did so. She especially remembered the burning sensation he left on her cheek when his lips moved away. With a heavy sigh, she took off her high-heeled shoes and walked bare foot to the top of the basement stairs.

"I'm home," she called down.

"How did it go, hun?" her Mom's voice floated up.

"It was great," she smiled, remembering her more tender moments with Luke. "I had a really fun time."

"Did Luke walk you home?" her father called.

"Yeah," she nodded, rolling her eyes. "He just left. I'm going to bed now, good night."

"Good night," her parents called back. "Sweet dreams."

Definitely, Julia nodded. Most definitely.

"You know, I've always been a dreamer..." she sang as she walked into her room.

She pushed her bedroom door closed behind her and turned the lock. Crossing to the mirror, she looked critically at her reflection. Her eyes caught the medallion, nestling between her small breasts.

"I wish I was more..." she sighed.

For the first time in her life, since she had started to develop, Julia had gone bra-less. She would have just died if Luke had seen that she still only had training bras. She decided that she would buy some new ones on Monday. Lacy, padded and definitely grown up, even if they were small. It had felt odd at first, being bra-less, but she had seen how Luke had been checking her out. She had felt uncomfortable when she saw Trey looking at her, but Luke... They were all his, anyway, though he didn't know, or care. They were probably too small for him. From her drawer, she pulled out a pair of socks. Separating them, she folded them into individual pads and pushed them down the front of her dress and underneath her breasts, pushing them up. Yes, she decided. She would like to have more. Luke's dream girl would have blue eyes and huge breasts. She was bound to be a blonde. A real 'babe'. And Julia? She was a mouse. Perhaps if she bought some of those gel-filled pads and wore them inside her bra, she would give the impression of being larger. And she could always bleach her hair. But the blue eyes... She frowned. With a heavy sigh, she pulled the socks from her dress and wondered what it would be like to feel Luke's hands there instead of her own. And lower down, too. Julia knew that being Luke's girlfriend would be worth any journey she had to take to get there. She just knew that Luke would show his dream girl the whole of the cosmos. Julia sighed. Padded bra's and chicken fillets, she could buy. Hair, she could bleach. But blue eyes? If she could crack that, she just might stand a chance to turn Luke's head.

* * *

There could be no doubt about it, Luke had decided as he made his way home after the most amazing night of his young life. Julia was his idea of perfection personified. Her amazing, long, dark brown hair, her beautiful brown eyes. And her figure! Luke would choose her over some overdeveloped airhead any day. She was just so cute. Alison had teased her about her size, but Luke didn't care. The thing he loved most about Julia was that her beauty was more than skin deep. The only thing that would make him even happier than he was right now would be for Julia to tell him that she loved him and him alone. Luke wondered about her boyfriend. She had said nothing about him. Had he even contacted her? Sent her a card? Luke knew without a shadow of a doubt, that if Julia belonged to him, he would never let her forget for a moment that he was thinking of her. How amazing it would be to hold her, to dance with her, to caress her, to... kiss her. Okay, Luke decided. A detour was in order. A quick dip in the ocean was definitely required.

What do I have to do, he wondered, to be like the person she wants to spend the rest of her life with? Who do I have to be to become her dream man? It was a daunting thought. He had no idea what kind of man Julia liked. He had no idea who her boyfriend was, what he looked like or even what kind of a person he was. He was human, a small voice reminded him.

"Want to tell me what the fuck was going on, tonight?" Hans stepped out of the darkness as Luke passed beneath a street lamp.

"Huh?" Luke frowned, momentarily shocked by Hans' unexpected appearance. "What?"

"All that..." Hans grimaced. "Pally, pally stuff you and Julia were pulling."

"I don't know what you're talking about," Luke glared. "She's a friend. You get all 'pally, pally' with Alison."

"I saw how cozy the two of you were getting," he sneered. "I saw the pendant you gave her. And I saw the two of you dancing."

"Of course I gave her a present. It's a tradition they have here," Luke narrowed his eyes. "And you danced too, I saw you."

"Yeah," Hans nodded. "But you didn't see me almost kissing Alison like I saw you almost kissing Julia. I bet you would have, too, if I hadn't knocked her away."

Luke remembered someone barging into Julia, nearly knocking her over and spoiling that moment. He remembered how she had changed after that, realizing that she had almost done something she would have regretted.

"You know as well as I do," Luke's voice fell to a whisper. "She's not interested in me. Julia's in love with someone else."

"Well that doesn't seem to be stopping you, though, does it?" Hans spat. "I've seen how you look at her. And she's even noticed your use of Tabasco. They all did, thanks to that little stunt of hers. Next thing we know is you'll be telling us how you want to tell her our secret."

Luke fell silent for a moment.

"Why is it okay for you to openly flirt with Alison who for some stupid reason actually wants to be with you?" he demanded at last. "And why is it okay for Leia to play off three other guys, but as soon as I develop a crush that I have to keep a secret, with one girl who already has a boyfriend somewhere, you jump all over me, huh?"

"Because you want to get involved."

"So?" Luke demanded. "So what if I do?"

"What are you going to do when it's time to leave, huh?"

"Who says I'll go," Luke voice was soft. "I like it here. I have no life back wherever. My life is here. . Why shouldn't I stay if I wanted to?"

"Because you can't!" Hans barked. "It's against the rules."

"You can't live my life for me, Hans. You can't make up rules for me and a separate set for you. And anyway, I don't like your rules. So just... butt out, okay?"

"Not okay," Hans shook his head. "You heard what that moron, Trey, said. Tankers of Tabasco, Luke. Tankers of it. Do you know what that means? I'll tell you. That means that the aliens over there like their food the same way we do. Spicy. I told you they were like us. They have to be on our side."

"Really?" Luke raised an eyebrow. "That's where you're wrong. Ever heard of a place called the Middle East? They have this group of people there. They worship the same god, they share the same food, customs, clothing. They even speak the same language. And do you know what else they share? Their desire to kill each other, all because they happen to worship their god in two different ways. And the most ironic thing is that translated, the name of their religion means 'peace'. What if we're like that? What if we do something differently from them, and for that, they want to kill us? Huh? What if we 'are' supposed to be hiding from them, and not going out looking for them?"

"They didn't fly across the universe to take over a couple of thousand square miles of desert, Luke," Hans growled. "They're not here for the scenery. They're here for a reason, and whatever you might hope for, that reason is to find us. They don't spend valuable resources 'cause they want to kill three teenagers. So get your head out of your ass and get with the program."

"It's my life, Hans," Luke hissed. "And I will live it the way I want to. I like Julia, I trust her. I plan to spend as much time with her as she will let me. But I'm not going to tell her our secret."

Luke started to push past Hans, eager to get home, now, his need for a swim gone. Hans tried to grab his arm. Luke wound his arm like a windmill, easily breaking Hans attempt to hold him. Using a tightly controlled burst of energy, Hans went flying backwards, crashing into the side of a car. His collision caused the alarm to ring out into the night sky. Hans scurried into the darkness, having lost sight of Luke when he ran after sending him flying.

"Luke is a loose canon," Hans spat. "And something needs to be done."

* * *

"I can't believe that you will be gone for the rest of the summer," Julia pouted. "What am I going to do without you?"

"You'll live," Sandra smiled, although she too was sad at the thought of leaving her friends behind. "I mean, you have Alison now. She'll look after you."

"But she's not you," Julia gave a soft snort.

"You'll live," Sandra assured her. "Besides, you've got Luke, too. Maybe you could date him properly or something."

"No," she shook her head with a sad sigh. "You know Luke has this whole other... destiny. His soul mate. He's already met her, he's just waiting to find her again."

"Hey," Sandra shrugged. "While he's looking, maybe..."

"No, no, no, no," Julia shook her head. "You know what? Don't even finish that thought."

"All I know, Jules," her friend pulled her in to a hug, "is that you seem to have forgotten all about your own mystery man and have been entirely focused on Luke. You know, maybe it's the same for him, too. Ever since your birthday last weekend, the two of you have become awfully close."

"No," Julia looked down at the ground. "He's just a good friend."

"Just remember what I said about Mr. Right Now, okay?" Sandra smiled. "Because Luke is right here, right now. And think of the stories you'll be able to tell me when school starts again in August."

"When we become sophomores!" Julia laughed.

"Yeah," Sandra nodded. "Then we can look down on the freshman and treat them how we were treated last year when we were freshman."

"You know," Julia frowned. "I could never do that."

"No," Sandra giggled. "I suppose not. You are way too nice to be horrible to the little people. Sometimes, Jules, you are too perfect. Well, time to split. Look after yourself, squirt."

"Yeah, carrot top," they hugged. "You take care. And don't you dare forget to write."

"Not a chance. And you keep me posted with the fun and games that goes on here. I'm going to miss out on so much."

Their good-byes and their kisses out of the way, Julia stood waving at the car until it disappeared around the corner. With a heavy sigh, she wiped away the tears, turned and headed for Scoops, hoping that Luke would be there to cheer her up.

* * *

Over the few weeks that he had been staying in Siesta Key, it had become his favorite pastime. Sitting in the corner of Scoops and watching Julia. He loved it when she found a quiet moment and would sit and talk to him. Today, though, had been exceptionally busy, and she had barely noticed him. Not that he minded, because he had noticed her. He always noticed her. Anyway, her shift was almost over for the day and he had hoped that she would join him for a trip to the beach.

After a final check of her customers, Julia went into the parlor and spoke with the waitress who would take over her shift. Laughing at some shared joke, she disappeared into the back room. When she emerged moments later, talking with Alison, his hopes for a beach day fell. She was wearing a lilac skirt and blouse set, and white sandals. She had planned a trip somewhere, probably shopping with Alison. He threw his money on the table, promising to leave Julia a bigger tip to make up for it, and started to rise.

"Hey, Luke," Julia appeared at his side. "Are you, uhm... busy?"

"No," he shook his head. "Not especially. Why?"

"It's just..." she looked nervous. Her eyes darted around at all the people, and pulled Luke away from the patio and over to a quiet bench on the seafront.

"I need to do something," she continued in a half whisper. "If I don't do it now, I'm never going to hear the end of it." She looked over at where Alison was sitting at an empty table, her eyes fixed up the boardwalk. "But I don't want to do it alone and Alison's meeting Hans."

"Sure," he nodded, placing his hand over hers. "What do you want me to do?"

"Can you help me with Alison's birthday present?"

"Oh," Luke frowned. "Is it Alison's birthday? Hans never said. I... Wait. I hope Hans even knows."

"No, no," Julia shook her head with a smile. She looked down. "I meant 'my' present from Alison."

"Okay," he nodded. His eyes widened. "Wait! Didn't she get you..."

"Yeah," she gave him an embarrassed smile. "Would you come to the salon with me to get it done?" She showed her fully rounded, doe eyes to him. "Please?"

He could deny her nothing. Especially when she looked at him like that.

"Sure," he nodded. "Uh... do you have ID or something? There's an age limit, isn't there?"

"Yeah," Julia nodded. "Sandra gave me hers before she left. She got a fake one last spring. She said that places like that will accept it, because they need the business."

"Let's go, then," Luke nodded.

Julia slipped her hand into his again, knowing that he would not reject her. It had become something they did with ease, now. They were always holding hands. Fifteen minutes later, they stood outside the pristine premises of the Primal Urge Body Art Salon.

"Can I see that ID?" Luke peered at the store. It looked too professional to be fooled by cheap ID cards.

"Sure," Julia handed the card over.

"It's okay," Luke smiled and handed it back. At least, it is, now.

Holding his hand in a vice-like grip, Julia led Luke to the door. If she didn't go in now, she would chicken out. A bell rang out when she pushed it open. She was surprised to feel Luke resist her as she tried to enter.

White! His mind raced. It was so white in there! Fear coursed through his body.

"Are you okay, Luke?" Julia frowned. "It's supposed to be me who's scared. Not you."

"Uh," Luke looked down at her, sensing her rising concern.

Get a grip, he commanded. You're scaring her, and she really wants to do this. He fought back the irrational fear he had always felt about white rooms. There was nothing to scare him in there, nothing to hurt him. He had to be strong. For Julia. Do it for her. Taking a deep breath, he stepped into the Salon, with Julia one step behind him. It wasn't all white. There were other colors there. The cupboard doors were a pale blue. So too was the floor. And then there were the mahogany tresses of Julia, her lilac clothing and her tanned, warm skin. And then there was her fragrance; that sweet, mysterious, smell that he adored on her. The one that smelled pink. He felt her squeeze his hand, and he knew he would be all right. For her.

"Did you choose the jewelry you wanted?" the white coated technician asked.

"Oh," Julia frowned. "No, I didn't think. I..."

"Oh," Luke reached into his pocket. "Here." He handed Julia a small box. "I sort of bought this the other day, after you told me about your gift certificate. I saw this and thought..."

Julia opened the box to reveal a navel stud. It was a barbell with two small clear gem studs, one large and one small at either end. They looked like diamonds, but Julia knew that they couldn't be.

"Oh, Luke!" Julia gasped.

"I thought it would suit you," Luke blushed. "You know, elegant and discreet."

"It's beautiful. But I can't accept this."

"It wasn't very expensive," he waved away her refusal. "And besides. You need one, right?"

Laying back on the white couch, the technician asked Julia to roll her top up, out of the way. She complied with her request, rolling it up to just below her bra. After washing her hands and pulling on a pair of disposable surgical gloves, the technician sat down on one side of Julia. Luke stood on the other. Julia then squeezed her eyes tightly shut and gripped Luke's hand as though her life depended on that bond.

The technician washed Julia's navel and surrounding skin with a sterilizing solution, thoroughly preparing the area. She then took a pen and drew two small dots in a violet color, one in the hollow of her navel and the other just above it. Using a small pair of forceps, she then clamped the skin, leaving a fold of skin that aligned the two dots through holes in the forceps. The needle was then placed in position. Julia couldn't help squealing as the technician pushed the needle through Julia's skin. She squeezed Luke's hand really hard. Even Luke winced, wishing that he could do something to ease her pain, but it was a risk that he could not afford to take. He just didn't like to see her suffer like that. With the needle in place, the forceps were removed. The technician than took the barbell, removed the small stud and placing it against the needles' end, pushed the piece of jewelry through, replacing the needle. She fixed the end back on and after another cleanup, the job was done.

"There you go," she grinned. "All done. Now, it will probably sting for a while, but it should go down quite quickly. Bathe it regularly with this solution, and if you get any kind of adverse reaction, get it looked at immediately."

She watched the young couple leaving, the girl practically bouncing with excitement.

* * *

"How does it look?" Julia enthused, holding up her top to reveal her stomach to Luke.

"Awesome," he smiled. It did, too.

"Really?" she grinned broadly. "You're not just saying that?"

"Of course not, Jules," he chuckled. "It looks really cool. It suits you. I mean, it takes a bit of getting used to, but yeah. It looks really good."

"But it stings," she winced. "It stings really bad."

"Let me see," Luke turned to face her.

He knelt down in front of her and brought his mouth close to her navel. Julia's heart started to race. Having Luke there seemed like her idea of heaven. And then she felt him blow on her new piercing. Seconds later, his warm lips left a soft and gentle kiss that did more to heat up her blood than any amount of time in the sun. He blew on her again and then passed his finger over her skin. The touch sent tingles straight down to her loins, which were buzzing like crazy. She placed her hands on his head and resisted the urge to guide him to where she wanted to feel him. All too soon for her liking, he stood up again, blushing like a stop light. Although she was bitterly disappointed, Luke's magic fingers had removed her pain. If only he would use them to remove another ache that had developed.

* * *

"Have you heard from Sandra, yet?" Alison asked as they moved around the patio, serving ice cream to the tourists. They were back on the late shifts again.

"Yeah," Julia nodded. "I spoke with her yesterday. She says her Grandma's great and that the little runt next door grew up into something kind of cute." She started to giggle.

"Are we talking Trey cute, or Luke cute?" Alison smirked.

"Alison!" Julia complained.

"What?" her friend frowned. "You surely can't deny that Luke is cute."

"Yes I can," Julia giggled. "'Cause Luke is way more than just cute. Luke is hot! And so considerate. He treats me like a... I don't know. Like a princess."

"So how come you get the good one?" Alison grumbled.

"Uhm," Julia looked up, frowning. "You know that..."

"That Luke and you are just friends," Alison rolled her eyes. "Yeah, I know that. But answer me this. How come you look at him as if you're starving and he's your next meal, huh? And how come neither one of you have lifted so much as a finger to find your other halves?"

"Okay, yeah," Julia nodded. "I'm attracted to Luke. Of course I am. I mean, who wouldn't be, right? But... but maybe it's because he reminds me of the guy I saw that time."

"At... what was it? Moss Isley?" Alison smirked.

"MOSI," Julia corrected with a snigger. "And yeah. He does. And sometimes, it's so hard to remember that he's looking for someone, too. He has his dream girl, and he is way too good a friend for me to screw that up for him. Because if I do, later on down the line, he's going to hate me for that. And I would rather die than have Luke hate me."

Alison thought about that.

"So, it's Friday night," she changed tack. "What time are you expecting Luke?"

"I'm not," Julia shook her head with a sad frown. "Their parents are flying in today. They're all going up to the airport to pick them up. Then after, I expect they'll have a family thing, 'cause they're only staying for a week, so I guess Hans won't be in, either."

"Why would I worry if Hans was or wasn't coming in?" Alison shrugged. "As if I care."

"Sure, Alison," Julia giggled. "Keep telling yourself that."

She walked away with a smirk.

* * *

"Oh, hey, Hans," Julia was surprised to find Hans sitting in the table that he and Luke always tried to sit at. She looked around, hoping to see Luke. "I didn't think you guys were coming in tonight. Weren't your parents coming down today, or something?"

"Yeah," Hans nodded. "They got here earlier."

"Good," Julia nodded. "That's good. I bet you were all glad to see them again, huh?"

"They're not our real parents," Hans shrugged. "We're adopted."

"Yeah," she nodded. "I know. Luke already told me. But he also told me that they were really great to you guys."

"So what else does Luke tell you?" Hans peered at her.

"Stuff," she hunched her shoulders. Julia had never really like talking with Hans. She always felt like he was judging her. "So, can I get you anything?"

"Yeah," he nodded. "Yeah, I'll have a Toffee Surprise."

"Okay," Julia nodded as she scribbled the order. "Anything to drink?"


"Okay," she turned away. "I won't be long."

"So where's Alison tonight?" he looked around when Julia returned with his ice cream."

"Oh, she left earlier. She had a family dinner with her Mom, her Dad and his boss. Do you, uh, think Luke will be coming by?"

"I doubt it," Hans smirked. "He was chasing some tail down at the beach. Some chick he's been hounding for ages. He thinks his luck has changed and she might put out or something."

"Oh," Julia worked hard to hide the hurt she was feeling right now.

"But hey," Hans called to her as she turned away. "You and me could hang out after."

"No," she shook her head. "Thanks anyway, but I gotta... get home." To nurse my broken heart.

When her shift ended, she sat alone in the changing room. So Luke was with another girl. Perhaps it was his dream girl and he wouldn't want to see her anymore. She left the parlor and started to walk home, her sad face looking down at the ground, fighting back the tears. She become suddenly aware that someone was in front of her. It was Hans.

"Oh, hey, Hans," she groaned inwardly. Why couldn't he just leave her alone? "I thought you went home."

"You just seemed down," he shrugged. "I thought you could use some company."

"No," she shook her head. "No, it's okay, thanks."

"Well, I was wondering if you wanted to go see a film with me. Tomorrow night. I know you're on the early shift, and..."

"Ah, no," Julia shook her head. Besides Alison really liking him, he was just not her type. "Thanks, but no."

"Come on Julia," he smirked. "I heard you were hot stuff."

"Who would you hear that from?" Julia's head had snapped upright.

"Who else," Hans shrugged. "Me and Luke, we're like this." He twisted his fingers together. "We tell each other everything. And he's been telling me what the two of you get up to. Or should I say, down."

"Well, Luke is..."

"And did Luke tell you how we share everything?" he leered. "And that includes our girls."

He reached out and grabbed her. Julia twisted away, but he easily held her, moving in to steal a kiss from her. She brought her knee up sharply, connecting with the soft part that she knew brought intense pain. Breaking free, she ran into the night, sobbing.

"Perfect!" Hans groaned with a smile.

A little pain was well worth it. She would do everything she could to avoid the both of them now. Perhaps Luke would finally get his head out of his ass and concentrate on the task that they were sent down here to do. And it wasn't chasing after Julia.

* * *

dun dun dunnnnnnn :wink:
Last edited by WR on Fri Feb 03, 2006 3:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Red Shift Part 2 Chapter 20

Post by WR » Fri Feb 03, 2006 3:18 pm

Hi everyone!

As an FYI, I recieved the followint pm earlier this week.

The Following stories made it to the voting round at Memories.


Parisienne Walkways
Best Adult Fiction

Of Cabbages and Kings
Best use of a Song or Songs in a Fic
Story You Would Like To See A Sequel For
Best Alien Mynthology

Red Shift
Best Use of Aliens in a Fiction

The Christmas Angel
Best Holiday Story

Blue Remembered Hills
Best Future Story

I don't think I've ever had so many nominations! So please please please get on over to memories and cast your votes. Even if you don;t vote for me. Well... as long as some of you do. :wink:

Okay, it's unanimous. Hans is an idiot. :wink:

you're my dreamgirl - Yes. You can be first. :) As for my personality, yeah... can't keep a good man down. :wink:

BehrObsession - When Luke finds out, he'll probably brood at him to death! :lol: And I'm sure he's feeling Julia's displeasure. :wink:

AJK001 - Yes. Hans believes that the aliens are there for a reason... and he has always wanted answers. Problem. Luke won;t go because he is attached to Julia. Solution. Break attachment. To Hans, things are simple.

frenchkiss70 - But Michael in the show didn't ever have solid leads. I think he might have taken bigger steps to separate Max and Liz if there was a 'clue' he thought Liz was holding them back from.

Roswell3053 - Well... I think Rath would have wanted to TAKE Julia. Hans only wanted to stop her and Luke from being close.

smokie - Well, the solution is never to take your eyes of me, huh? :wink: I think Hans thinking he knows best stems from a certain relationship he once had with Zan. Remember that he was once Zan's Commander, rather than second in command.

vampyrax - I think the fact that everyone knows all about films and stuff suggests that they all have 'some' memories from poast lives. :wink:

lazza - LOL - The navel ring chapters appearing in the same week was accidental. But yeah, I kind of like them ;) No, I don't have one. Anywhere.

Timelord31 - Luke? Beat the crap out of someone? Come on. This is still Max we're talking about. :wink:

Ellie - While Julia has spent a lot of time with Luke, she still doesn't really know him. And she is still only a 15 yo girl. I think she might be very frightened right now. And I think Liz might have had a oiercing, if the situation was right. She did have a fun side to her.

omwf - I'm sure that it ill be resolved. Just in who's favor? :wink:

auroraskey - The other aliens seem to have something to do with Nicholas, and Tess, so yes... it's safe to assume they are skins.

roswellluver - Thank you :)

VeronicaB - Good idea. Drop something REALLy heavy. :wink: Just don;t be surprised if Michael get's off scott free. :wink:

mareli - Hans? Learn something useful? *smirk*

Roswelllostcause - I think Julia will be insecure enough to believe Hans. After all, why should he say such things> She doesn't know they are aliens.

jbcna - Glad your internet problams are resolved. Welcome back :)

nibbles2 - Hans is the way he is because unlike Michael - he SEES a source of answers, and it bugs him that Hans turns a blind eye to those answers and plays 'nice' with Julia instead.

Smac - Of course. :wink: Sadly, I think your prediction on what Luke will think is rather accurate. Unless something else happens to make Luke think something else. :wink: Any joy on that teleporter? Just jump on a jet and fly at Mach 3 to get here. I'm sure we would Gel immediately. :wink:

cherie - Well... do you really think Julia will give him the chance to explain?

Red Shift

Part 2

Chapter 20

"Zan!" Rath burst into the tattered remains of the small tent he now inhabited. "Time to pack up, buddy. We're in big trouble."

"How big?" Zan grabbed his kit bag.

Packing up these days consisted of stuffing whatever they could into any handy bags. Ever since Khivar's forces had surprised them with a lightening attack just after he had taken control, two years ago, they had never been able to fully unpack, always having to be ready to run. They lived rough, having long ago lost most of their tents and vehicles during the many hectic retreats. When fleeing, only essential equipment was carried. In those two years since Khivar had taken control of the Senatists, the Monarchists position had gone from bad to worse. Khivar was proving to be a very effective Overlord, having remodeled the large, cumbersome Battalions, into smaller, more mobile strike forces with one overall leader.

"Very big," Rath stopped and looked at Zan. How he had grown these past seven years. Only Nikolas had been able to defeat Zan in the few pitched battles they had fought. All the other Senatist generals had been at least held, if not beaten back. In the end, though, sheer weight of numbers was telling and they had to once again flee. "The King... Zan, your father has surrendered. Khivar has him, along with one third of our army."

Zan's face went white.

"And you know what that means," Rath nodded.

"We no longer control the Granolith," Zan face fell. "Khivar can now use the sky ships to look for us, as well as to attack us when he finds us."

"Right," Rath nodded. "As long as we controlled the Granolith, we had the threat of shooting anything in the sky, down. But now... And we have no air offense of our own. Khivar has total air superiority. There is a glimmer of good news, though. The population is sick of war. The economies of the other planets have not been unaffected. They too are suffering from a great depression. I think that to get peace, the Senate will cut your father a deal. Some kind of power share thing."

"What do we do now?" Zan was unable to think straight. He may have lost the respect he once held for his father, before he decided to abolish the Senate, but he still loved him.

"We need to buy your father time to negotiate a settlement. I think it's time to flee to that bolt hole you thought about that time," Rath looked Zan in the eyes. "There's a large force led by Nickolas on their way here. Twice the size of ours. We can't give Khivar any kind of leverage against your father by allowing him to capture you, too."

"I agree," Zan nodded. "This is no life for Lonnie and Ava. I want to get them someplace more... comfortable. I'd like to know how they keep finding our location, though."

"We'll disperse the army, so that they may hide in small pockets and recuperate until the day they might be needed again. Keep two or three thousand or so with us. For protection."

"Agreed," Zan nodded. "Let's go, before Nickolas arrives and figures out what we have done."

* * *

"This place is incredible," Rath had finished his inspection of the island that Zan had led them to. "How did you know that this was here?"

"I don't know," Zan shook his head. "A few years ago, when I was studying the map, I saw this island. I always thought that it would make a good hiding place, you know? I never thought of it again until you advised me to think of somewhere to run to, that time when you told me that Khivar had taken over."

"How did you know that this cave was here?"

Zan did not want to tell Rath that he suspected that it had been the Granolith that had told him to come here. That once he had arrived to find the caves, he suspected that the Granolith itself was hidden in the lower levels. Even though Khivar held his father, and by definition, now had control of the Seal, Zan would not hand over the Granolith to him. Not if he could help it.

"I didn't," Zan smiled. "That's a bonus."

"It's like a warren down there."

"We only need to stay in the top levels," Zan stepped out into the sunlight. "We only have a few thousand men with us, and those caves are huge. And we can easily defend ourselves against an invasion. There is only one suitable landing place and it would take them forever to force their way through the small opening."

"What about an airborne attack?"

"They have to find us, first," Zan turned to Rath. "But even that can be defended against from this place."

* * *

The surrender of the King should have ended the war. It would have been so easy to make the correct decisions that would bring a cessation of all hostilities and begin the long road to peace, and to the healing of a broken planet. But, the hardest thing in the world is to bring about peace, when there are people who seek more than a pat on the back for their efforts. Some people did not want peace unless it was under their terms. What should have been the start of the peace process began in the very room that saw the seeds of the destructive civil war. The Senate.

"It is time to decide upon the future," Sero spoke to the gathered dignitaries. Representatives from all walks of life, from all five planets had gathered, though there were few, if any, who had fought for the King. "My proposal is simple. One planet. One vote. There will be no unilateral decisions, no vetoes, no single voice carrying more weight than any other. We will all be equal."

"And what of me?" Deryn's voice was hoarse. He was a shadow of the man he once was. Years of war, a humiliating defeat and the last two years of running and hiding had broken him. "I assume it will not be me who speaks for Antar."

"Khivar speaks for Antar," Nickolas barked. "If I had my way..."

"No one has 'their' way, Nickolas," Larek's voice was ever soothing. "That's the whole point. We are now a democracy. It's about the people's way."

"But it is Khivar who rules," Nickolas pointed out. "You gave him the authority to lead you all, and he has delivered you a great victory."

Khivar smiled benignly at his General.

"And I'm sure that Khivar will be the first to agree with us when we say it is time to end the fighting and heal the wounds," Hanar added his voice. "All the wounds. It is time for Khivar to step down and hand over the leadership to the Senate. Which was why we went to war in the first place."

"I agree," Kathana spoke up. "But I am uneasy with the thought of allowing the total rule by the Senate. With only five votes, it will be easy to allow one-sided decisions based on alliances and friendships. One or even two planets could easily be frozen out on a whim of a needed vote. We need a single, overall voice, but limited in power. Why can that voice not be the monarchy, still?"

"Kathana makes a good point," Sero nodded. "Though I am not sure Deryn should be that voice. Prince Zan, however, has shown himself to be a good leader."

"But Zan is still young," Larek pointed out. "Although he is his father's son, he is an idealist. He will try to do too much too soon. He could very well undo all that we fix this day."

"I agree with Sero," Hanar nodded. "Though I hear your words, Larek. Guided by the five of us, Zan could well be all that we hope for."

"No," Khivar rose from his seat on the side and walked up to the throne. "No. This is not a good idea at all."

"What isn't good, Khivar?" Larek watched with narrowed eyes. "Reforming the Senate? Or the restoration of a limited monarchy?"

"We are under threat here," Khivar continued to smile. It was cold and unnerving. "Not just from those who would like to see a return to the status quo, but from planets out there," he pointed upward, "who would seek to one day attack us."

"The Granolith will protect us," Hanar narrowed his eyes. "As it always has. Why would things be any different?"

"And who will control the Granolith, Hanar? You? Or Larek? Shall we vote on it?"

"I will never surrender the seal," Deryn looked at Khivar. "And certainly not to you."

"I assumed as much," Khivar sighed. "So, with no one to control the Granolith, how will it protect us?"

"The King will continue to control it," Kathana called. "He has always done so."

"Suppose he decides to turn it against us?"

"He did not use it against us in the war, save to keep our air forces on the ground."

"And what if he changes his mind?" Khivar called above the voices that agreed with Kathana. "What if he holds Parthrea to ransom? Support him and his vote or it's goodnight Parthrea. How would any of you vote on a motion to hand all power back to Deryn, or even to Zan when he's threatening your destruction for voting against him?"

"Or you, for that matter," Larek's eyes continued to study him. "How might you use the Granolith?"

"You are forgetting one thing," Khivar sighed as he hovered near the throne. "One very important fact."

He turned and smoothed his hand against the red velvet seat. In a single, graceful motion, Khivar sat on the throne. The audience erupted, only quieting down when Khivar raised his clenched fist into the air.

"I am in command here," his voice echoed throughout the chamber in a way Deryn's never had. "It is I who will make the decisions. And right now, my decision is this." Soldiers appeared at every doorway, dressed in all black uniforms. They filled all the spaces, outnumbering the civilians in the Senate, at least two to one. All were heavily armed. "I am placing you all under house arrest. You will remain here on Antar with your retinue until after the trial of King Deryn. I will then decide how we shall proceed. This Senate is now closed until further notice. You are summarily dismissed."

* * *
Last edited by WR on Fri Feb 10, 2006 4:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Red Shift Part 1 Chapter 21

Post by WR » Fri Feb 10, 2006 4:21 pm

Hi everyone!

As always, I would like to thank you all for taking the teim to read my stories, and thank you for taking a little more time to leave me some feedback. I like that you leave it, even when it must be frustrating when I leave the gang to show you some more of what happened on Antar.

And I promise that I won;t be leaving Julia and Luke miserable for too long, okay? :twisted:

Can I give you all a reminder to go and vote on the [url= ... m=memories]Memories[/url board? :)

Evans3 - I hope thats pissing you off in a nice way. :wink:

AJK001 - That's right! :) Put a positive spin on it. LOL :wink:

Ellie - He he. Thank you. :)

smokie - Funny how my story line just falls right into synch so I leave you high and dry while a nip back in time. :wink:

lazza - Thank you :) I'd love to try one day.

roswellluver - Yes he is. :) Like we al knew he would.

frenchkiss70 - Definately time to cool off. I'm afraid I need Hans for an important part of Part 2 and if you guys kill him... or hurt him too badly... :wink:

roswell3053 - Thanks you :)

NorafanofMaxandLiz - You have to remember that while they are attracted to one another, they each believe the other wants someone else. Oh, and as they are still only 15... WAY to young to have moments like you are thinking of. :wink: As for Part 20... history is littered with people who seem to be just what a country needs and turns into something... different.

Emz80m - Well... other than what happened back on Antar, there is no hidden or subliminal messages to pick up. :wink: But it does all lead to what's going on now.

aurorasky - Thank you :)

VeronicaB - Kivar can do that because he controls the military might of the Planet. When he brings in a squad of armed soldiers, who is going to stop him? And, in so far as any one knows, now he has the king, he controls the Granolith. So...

Smac - It didn;t take long to get the ol' name calling going on again. :wink: NO, the blowout happens another time. If you can call it much of a blowout. :wink:

Roswelllostcause - Maybe that is my problem. I keep forgetting my past stories, and just go on repeating my cliff hangers. :wink:

tequathisy - Thanks you :)

cherie - Yes, Kivar played everyton and their fears to perfection. I mean, didn't ANYONE (on Antar) see this was coming?

behrlyliz - Thank you :)

Timelord31 - Pity no one on Antar saw it. :wink: But then, we wouldn't have had Max and co sent to Earth, and then... LOL

Red Shift

Part 2

Chapter 21

Luke arrived at Scoops earlier than normal. He knew that Julia was working the early shift now, and he had not seen her at all, yesterday. He was missing her. He gave her a smile and a wave when he sat down in his corner table. He frowned when she didn't return it, like she normally did. She just turned away from him and walked into the parlor. A very confused Luke narrowed his eyes and stared at the ground. What had just happened?

"Alison," Julia hurried to her friend. "Luke's here."

"Okay, Gidget," she smiled. "So go serve your MoonDoggie, already."

"No," she shook her head. "I can't. Uhm... Could you... Do you think you could go and take his order for me?"

"Okay," Alison narrowed her eyes and stared intently at Julia. "What's up? Did you guys have a fight yesterday or something?"

"No," Julia shook her head. "I didn't even see him. I'm just..." she waved her arms. "I'm fed up with his constant stalking, okay? Everywhere I turn, he's there. He's here when I'm working. He hangs with us on the beach. He follows me home. He's always just... there. It was okay, flattering, even, at first, but now? He's giving me the creeps."

"But I thought you liked him," Alison was struggling. "I thought you liked his company."

"He's just..." Julia's whole body seemed to collapse in on herself. "Please, Alison?"

She looked so... devastated, so frightened, that Alison agreed. Still confused, and a little angry at Luke for whatever it was that he had done, she went out to take his order. She found him staring at the table, leaning on one hand.

"What did you do to Julia?" she demanded, allowing her anger to surface.

"I..." he looked up, his mouth flapping like a fish. "Nothing. At least... nothing that I'm aware of. I spoke to her the day before yesterday," his mind started searching his memories. Had he inadvertently said something hurtful? "Everything seemed okay then. And I didn't see her at all yesterday, because our parents flew in, so..." He shrugged. "And now this morning..." He realized that Alison was here to serve him. "She doesn't want to take my order, does she?" He looked at Alison. "Doesn't she want me to hang around her any more?"

When Alison shook her head, a sudden realization struck Luke with such a force, he was surprised to find himself still sitting at the table and not sprawled across the floor. She had spoken with her boyfriend or, worse, he had returned. She didn't want him around anymore, and spoiling what she had.

"Ah," he nodded. "I see. Okay. Thanks, Alison." He rose from his seat. "I guess I'll see you around from time to time."

Hiding the tears that formed in his eyes, Luke rose and turned away from Scoops, leaving a very surprised and very confused Alison. Luke stumbled out onto the beach and headed for home. He wished that he could keep on going all the way to Raleigh. His summer was officially over.

* * *

"Morning, kids," Allan and Debra sang as they arrived at Omi and Opa's house just in time for breakfast. Rather than disrupt the sleeping arrangements for the week that they would be staying, they were sleeping across the road with Granny and Grandpa. "So what are your plans for today?"

"Anders is taking me to some big computer exhibition in Sarasota," Leia grinned.

"Wow," Hans smirked. "Talk about a hot date."

"It wouldn't hurt for you to look at something other than sports and Monster Trucks," she sneered. "Oh, and that reminds me! Anders goes home tomorrow. I was kind of hoping I could invite him over for dinner tonight?"

"Of course you can," Omi smiled. "You just go ahead and invite him. I'll make sure there will be plenty to eat."

"How about you, Luke?" Allan turned. "What are you doing today?"

"I'll probably just hang around here," Luke shrugged. "Keep you guys company."

Looking immensely pleased with himself, Hans gave a self satisfied smirk.

"Again?" Debra frowned. "Luke, you spent all day yesterday with us. You promised you would get out and enjoy your summer."

"Yeah," Luke nodded. "And I have been. I just feel like a little quiet time is all."

"Well, just don't overdo it," Debra warned.

"I would offer to call Richard Madly and organize another paintball game for you," Omi informed them, not noticing Luke's look of panic. "But I found out yesterday that he's on some special training course and will be gone all summer."

"Pity," Luke sighed with relief.

"How about you, Hans?" Allan turned to the other young man.

"I'll probably go to Scoops first, and see who's about. Hey, Luke?" He gave a smirk. "Sure you don't want to come with? I though you liked the place."

"No," Luke shook his head, his eyes fixed on the table. "Thanks."

"Afterward," Hans continued, "I'll probably go onto the beach and see who's about. You know, hang with my friends. Alison and Julia."

"Two of them, huh?" Allan smirked, nodding with approval at Hans. "Are you setting up a harem, like Leia? Get with the program, Luke." Allan started to chuckle. "They're leaving you behind."

* * *

Sitting in his second favorite place, the first being the corner table at Scoops, Luke was at the bottom of the yard, watching the people playing out on the beach. Especially the young couples. Why couldn't he find someone to walk along the water's edge with, holding her hand, stopping every ten yards and exchanging a kiss? Someone, he asked himself? Or Julia? Debra arrived, planting herself in the seat next to him.

"You're awfully quiet," she observed.

Luke just nodded in response.

"You haven't spent the last three weeks sitting here and just staring into space, have you?" she sounded full of concern.

"Yesterday was the first time, actually," he sighed.

"So what have you been doing with yourself?"

"Hanging with friends," Luke shrugged, still staring out at the horizon.

"Where are these friends today?"

"Busy," he waved a hand. "Work."

"Oh," Debra nodded. "So they're local, right?"

"Sort of," Luke gave a soft snort.

"So, why didn't you go with Hans?"

"I didn't feel like it," he sighed again. "That's all. No big deal."

"You know, Luke," Debra leaned toward him. "I hope you know that you could talk to me. Honestly and openly. I would never judge you or anything. And who knows? Maybe I could even help?"

Luke nodded but sat in silence. The silence dragged across the minutes while Debra sat there, patiently waiting. At last, convinced that she would get nothing from Luke today, she started to rise.

"Suppose there's this girl," Luke spoke, causing Debra to sink back into her seat. "A friend. Someone I really like a lot. But she has this boyfriend, okay? Someone she really loves. And I totally respect that, but when I'm with her, it's just... it feels good, you know?"

"Uh huh," Debra nodded. "I see."

"And I always thought that she liked me hanging out with her, too. You know, as friends."

"Okay. So what happened?"

"But what if she suddenly doesn't want anything to do with you anymore? Because maybe her boyfriend's back or something." He gave a dejected shrug. "I don't know."

"Has she told you this?" Debra narrowed her eyes. "That she doesn't want anything to do with you any more?"

"Not in so many words," Luke grumbled.

"Well," she shrugged. "Then maybe you should go back and talk to her. Tell her all the things you told me and ask her if she wants you to stay away from her. Because maybe she doesn't really know what she wants. You know, just because she sends you signals to stay away doesn't necessarily mean she truly wants that. And unless you ask her, how can you be sure? She's probably just as confused about the feelings the two of you obviously share, as you are."

"What could she be confused about, though?" Luke looked at her for the first time. "She's the one who decided to stop talking to me. Why would she be confused about that?"

"Because maybe, just maybe, she's kind of wishing that this boyfriend of hers no longer existed."

"What do you mean?" Luke was confused. "That he was dead?"

"Well, Luke," she smiled, reaching out a hand and running it through his hair. "From where I'm looking, I can see that you are a very handsome, charming young man. I already know that you have a deep caring nature about you and that you make people feel, well, cherished. There aren't many girls who wouldn't want that. So perhaps she would like you to be something more, but having you around her knowing she can't is too painful for her right now."

"So," Luke frowned. "Are you saying that I should stay away from her? Or are you telling me to go up to her and ask her what she wants?" Luke didn't want to do that. The answer might not be to his liking.

"Why don't you just give her a little space," Debra gave him a smile of sympathy. "Stay away for a day or two. Tomorrow, or the day after, go back and get close to her. Somewhere that she can see you, but not feel pressured by you. Let her know, silently, that you're not going away but that you'll let her come to you when she's ready."

"But... but what if she isn't ready?" Luke's voice rose an octave. "What if you're wrong and she really does love her boyfriend and doesn't want me around any more."

"Well, in that case, Luke," Debra sighed. "At least you would know. There would be nothing you could do then but forget her and move on."

Debra tousled his hair before she rose to her feet. She leaned over and kissed him on his cheek.

"Forget Julia and move on?" he whispered as Debra returned to the house. "You might as well ask me to stop the sun from rising. I can't do that either."

* * *

Hans had a good look around before he stepped on the Scoops patio. He hadn't seen Julia anywhere, but he spotted Alison moving around with an authority she had seemed born to. He liked how no one ever dared to give her any hassle. Well, except for him. She gave him a wave as he slid into one of the tables in her section. That was a good sign. It meant that little Julia had not told her of their run in. But then, he knew Julia's type. She would never hurt her friend like that. Instead, Julia would keep her distance, from him as well as Luke. It was a win, win situation.

"Hey," she nodded. "Haven't seen you in ages. Where have you been?"

"Oh, you know," he shrugged. "Parents. Oh, yeah, and watching Luke chasing after that girl."

"What girl?" she frowned.

"Some chick he's been after for ages now," he shrugged.

"Oh," Alison nodded. "So Luke finally met her again, huh?"

"Yeah, I guess," Hans wondered what she had meant by that. "It looked really serious, but I don't think anyone is supposed to know. This is just between you and me, okay?" He just knew that she would tell Julia.

"Absolutely," Alison nodded.

"So anyway, seeing as he doesn't want to come by here anymore, and him being busy right now in any case... you know, three being a crowd, I thought I'd swing by and say, hi."

"Well, hi right back," Alison chewed the end of her pen, deep in thought. "So what can I get you?"

"I'll just have a bowl of ice cream," he nodded. "With Toffee sauce. Where's uh, Julia today?" He hadn't seen her anywhere. He hoped she wasn't hiding from him, because that would rouse Alison's suspicions.

"She swapped shifts today," Alison shook herself from her deep thoughts. "Her cousin Daniel just came back from college. From Harvard. He's been on some extended course or something and scored top marks. Her Mom and Dad took her to St. Petersburg for the day, some big family meal, celebration kind of thing."

* * *

"They'd better get here soon," Hans complained while they waited for Anders to arrive. "I'm starving."

"Where's Allan?" Luke looked around the room.

Omi and Granny were in the kitchen, seeing to the meal. Opa and Grandpa were out back slaving over the bar-b-cue. Leia was in the living room, waiting by the door.

"Across the street," Debra shrugged. "I expect he's watching the start of the game."

"Who's playing?" Hans looked up sharply.

"Florida Marlins against the L.A. someone or other," Debra laughed.

"Angels," grumbled Hans. "Don't much like baseball."

"You two could have invited some of your friends, you know," Debra pointed out. "Hans, you could have invited Alison."

"Nah," he shook his head. "She had to work. She's covering her friend, Julia's shift tonight." He looked at Luke. "Apparently, she has this red hot date she's all excited about. Some older guy. A college kid, just got back from Harvard, I think. Apparently, she's loved this guy for ages."

Luke's heart crumbled into dust. He had been right, her boyfriend had reappeared. He looked at Debra and couldn't help the tear that formed in his eye. If Debra made the connection, she gave no indication. Not that it mattered. He had all the answers he needed right there. The doorbell rang, drawing Luke from his gloom.

"Hi, Andy," they heard Leia's voice greet her friend. Like the others, she had taken to calling him by his new nickname. "Come on in."

By the time she had brought him through to the porch, everyone had arrived. Even Allan had turned up moments earlier and had been out back with the grandfathers. Luke almost broke into a smile when he saw how nervous Anders was. The poor guy was petrified. Remembering how he had felt facing Mr. Cartier, he felt bad for the guy.

"Hey, Andy," Luke nodded, hoping that it might help him, some.

"You know Luke, of course," Leia started the introductions. "And Hans. This is my mom and dad, Allan and Debra."

Anders shook their hands, saying hello to both of them.

"This is Omi and Opa, and that's Granny and Grandpa," she completed. "Everyone, this is Anders. We call him Andy."

The introductions over, Anders started to relax. Everyone helped themselves to the mountains of food and settled down around the extended table.

"I hear you're into computers," Allan looked over at him.

"Uh, yeah," Anders nodded. "In fact, I'm hoping to get into MIT when I graduate."

"You know, kids," Allan glanced at Hans, Luke and Leia. "It wouldn't hurt the three of you to start thinking about where you want to go. I mean, in spite of everything, your grades are exceptional. Well, in Hans' case, acceptable."

"In spite of everything?" Anders raised his eyes at Leia.

"Yeah," Leia nodded. "You know."

"Oh, the adoption," Anders nodded.

"That and the fact that we had to teach them to read and write English before we could send them to school, last Christmas," Allan continued. "The things these kids have achieved."

"Why was that, son?" Grandpa looked at Allan. "Why did you have to teach them English?"

Allan and Debra exchanged worried glances. They kept on having these lapses when they let information out that was best kept quiet.

"It's the same thing about our birthdays, Grandpa," Luke saved again. "Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. You know. From the crash."

Both Hans and Leia looked sharply at Luke, something tugging at the back of their minds.

"So, you're going home tomorrow," Omi continued.

"Yeah," Anders nodded. "Can't stay the whole summer, like some people." He grinned.

"You'll have to come and visit us, Andy," Debra invited warmly. "Perhaps during Christmas vacation."

"I'd like that," Anders nodded.

"And the kid's will be back next spring, right kids?" Opa announced. "How about you?"

"Well, I'll have to work on my folks," Anders nodded with enthusiasm. "But I hope so. I've made some good friends here. It's so nice to be treated like a human being for a change."

* * *

Luke soon learned exactly what people meant when they say that a certain day or two were the longest of their lives. Luke's days dragged by interminably. He did his best to keep occupied, helping his grandparents around the house, spending time with Allan or Debra, but mostly, sitting at the bottom of the yard, staring out to sea while thinking about Julia. It was Wednesday evening before he plucked up the courage to head toward Scoops. He wasn't even sure if she was working tonight, but he had to start somewhere.

He had worked himself up by the time he reached the Ice Cream Parlor. He spotted her at once, moving around the tables with ease as she took the orders and then delivered them. Someone said something to her, making her laugh. He gave a wistful sigh. As he approached an empty table, he saw the moment she detected his presence. He actually saw her stiffen. He paused, stared at the table he was about to sit at before slinking over to the far side of Alison's section. When his blonde haired friend arrived to take his order, he couldn't work out if she was happy to see him, or angry with him.

"So what's up between the two of you?" Alison demanded.

"I wish I knew," Luke sighed.

This wasn't how he had hoped it would go.

"She definitely looks like she wishes you weren't here, Luke," Alison shook her head. "And I've never seen that before."

"Okay," he nodded obstinately. "So she doesn't like having me around. But so what? You're my friend, too, Alison. And if she doesn't like me talking to you, tough." Luke regretted that his voice sounded a little bit spiteful and a little too petulant. "Sorry," he sighed. "I shouldn't really talk like that. If Julia really doesn't want me coming round..."

"Well," Alison shrugged. "At least you don't rub her face in it by bringing your girlfriend here. 'Cause that would just be mean."

"My what?" Luke narrowed his eyes in confusion.

"Yeah," Alison nodded. "Hans said that you were with your dream girl. That the two of you were getting pretty serious."

"Uhm... Alison," Luke's eyebrows knitted together. "I don't have a girlfriend. In fact, outside of you, Julia, Sandra and Leia, I haven't even spoken to another girl. And since... well, you know, I've just been sitting around at home, wondering what I've done to upset Julia. 'Cause I would never..."

"So what's he playing at, then?"


"Hans!" Alison spat. "Why would he say such a thing if it's not true? He even told me that you didn't want anyone to know about this so-called girlfriend. I only mentioned it to you because you had already told me about your dream girl, and I figured... Oh my God! What if he told Julia?"

"But why would that upset Julia?" Luke grumbled. "She has her college boyfriend, now. I mean, I know he's just come home from Harvard and she..."

"Huh?" Alison frowned. "College? Boyfriend? Luke, what are you talking about? Julia doesn't have a boyfriend, college or otherwise." She realized what she had just said. "I mean, there's someone else, yeah, but... She's like, in the same situation as you. She met this guy somewhere, a place with a funny name, but she chickened out of talking to him. But she wants to find him again. And I'm guessing that she was having so much fun with us, that it's just taken her mind off things for a while. Also like you," Alison grinned.

"But why would Hans say...?" he was deep in thought. "He told me that she had a hot date the other night. With her older boyfriend who had just come back from Harvard."

"No," Alison shook her head. "I told Hans that the reason Julia wasn't around the other night was because she had gone to a family dinner. Her older cousin had just come back from Harvard. So why would Hans tell you different?"

"I don't know," Luke promised himself a long talk with Hans. "But... Alison? Why is Julia upset with me? It can't be 'cause she thought I was with another girl. Not when she keeps telling me we can only be friends. Have I done something wrong? She'd tell you, wouldn't she?" His face fell. "I really don't understand girls."

"You like her," Alison smirked.

"She's a good friend," Luke managed to keep a passive face. "Or, she was. I like... liked spending time with her."

"I think the two of you need to talk."

"What chance do I have if she won't even serve me, Alison?" Luke rose from his seat. "I guess I'd better go." Tears started to sting his eyes. "I didn't mean to make her uncomfortable in her place of work. That would be just mean of me." He started to walk away, his eyes down cast. "See you, Alison."

* * *

Alison watched him as he walked off the patio, across the boardwalk and down onto the beach. She kept him in sight while he walked down to the water's edge and then followed the shoreline toward home. She turned to serve her new customers, promising that soon, her and Julia would have a little chat.

"So Luke and I had an interesting conversation," Alison smiled as she put her dress away in her locker.

"Oh," was all Julia answered with. She looked unconcerned.

"And know what he said?"

"Nope," she shook her head.

"He wanted to know what he had done to upset you," Alison shrugged. "And I kind of find that strange, because for the life of me, I can't see Luke doing anything to upset you."

"Really," Julia stepped into her sundress.

"Oh, and I cornered him on this mystery girl that he's been spending his days... and evenings with. The one Hans told me all about. I told Luke that it was nice of him not to bring her hear and rub your face in it."

"Why should I care?" Julia shrugged. "He can see who he wants."

"Well, that's the thing," Alison narrowed her eyes. "Luke told me that he's spent the last few days at home, trying to figure out what the hell he had done to upset you. He says that the only girls he's so much as spoken to, are me, Sandra, Leia and... you."

Julia froze. Her mind was spinning.

"And then Luke asked me why you should be upset with him seeing an imaginary girl when you were with your college boyfriend. The one from Harvard that Hans told him you had a hot date with the other night."

"But..." she peered into her locker and then at Alison. "Why would Hans say that Luke was seeing another girl when he wasn't? And why would he tell Luke I was on a hot date when I wasn't?"

"I have no idea," Alison shook her head. "But now that I come to think of it, he was giving you and Luke some intense stares during your birthday party. I put it off to imagination, but now, I'm not so sure."

Julia thought back to the night that Hans had hit on her. Maybe the things he had said to her had nothing to do with 'sharing' as he had put it, and everything to do with 'stealing'. The story about Luke seeing another girl and it being serious was clearly a lie. So why wouldn't the rest of his story be a lie, too? Was it that simple? Was Hans merely jealous? But why? Everyone believes that she was apparently waiting for someone, or already had someone waiting for her. Ah, but does Hans know that Luke does, too? Regardless of the tangled web of lies that had been spun, there was one blatantly obvious truth shining through everything. One solid fact. She had hurt Luke, through no fault of his own. And it was not because he thought she no longer cared for him, which was bad enough. But it was because he believed that it had been he who had done something to upset her.

* * *
Last edited by WR on Fri Feb 17, 2006 4:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Red Shift Part 1 Chapter 22

Post by WR » Fri Feb 17, 2006 4:39 pm

Hi everyone!

A big thank you to everyone who voted over at Memories, and an even bigger thank you to those of you who voted for me! :) I don't write to win awards but it's so nice when I do :)

Parisienne Walkways walked away with Best Adult Fiction.

Of Cabbages and Kings musseled in on the Best Use of Alien Mythology as well as Best Use of a Song or Songs in a Fic as well as a tied runner up spot for Story You Want a Sequel To.

The Christmas Angel delivered the Runner Up spot for the Best Holiday Fiction.

All in all, five lovely new banners to add to my stories. Thank you everyone! It's your comments and your feedback that keeps me writing stories that you enjoy reading. :)

And so on to my current, and as yet, Non Award winning story (:wink:) Red Shift. Boy, you really want Hans to get what's coming to him. Hmmm... Luke, I can see ginving Hans a severe talking to. I can see Alison getting rather caustic with her tongue. But Julia? Do you really think Julia would do anything to punish anyone?

And who will take the first step to mend the bridge?

Vampyrax - Hope the stress eases. :wink:

omwf - LOL - you mean it stopped spinning for you?

AJK001 - Well... like all od Hans/Michaels schemes... doomed to end in failure. :wink:

smokie - Wow. Never been accused of rubbing salt into wounds before. :wink: As for the light at the end of the tunnel... Oncoming train, perhaps? :wink: And Antar? Pattern seems to be every fifth chapter is on Antar.

behrlyliz - They may know the truth... but maybe the damage has been done. :wink:

Ellie - It seems that Hans didn;t count on the fact that Alison and Luke actually do communicate. :wink:

roswell3053 - One thing I can promise you is that Luke and Hans will talk. :)

roswellluver - :) Thanl you.

Timelord31 - Luke? Punch Hans? Luke punch anyone for that matter? :wink:

Emz80m - LOL. Thanl you :wink:

tequathisy - Luke and Julia are both 15, btw, but you are right. Still young. But they do seem to have old heads... if you know what I mean. Oh, and Julia warn Alison? I think I explain that tonight.

auroraskey - Michael couldn;t keep Liz and Max apart. So I doubt Hans would do any better. :wink:

lazza - LOL - Well... they both believe that the other... *sigh*

Smac - Nice scenario you painted. I should have used it. :wink: Could have ended my story in the next chapter then. :wink: LOL

Saymi007 - Welcome from lurkdom! :) Glad you like it. And you are not alone in wanting to hurt Luke! :wink: Hope you stay awhile. :)

VeronicaB - Yeah, you're right that Hans did betray the friend/brother thing. As for Julia going to talk to Luke... maybe she's afraid of how he will react.

Roswelllostcause - WoW! My fic is keeping someone SANE for a change! :D That's new!

cherie - Well... what else was poor Luke to think? I hope your seething mood evaporated soon after. :wink:

frenchkiss70 - YOur welcome. I do know where to draw the line. :wink: As for this chapter making you happy.... I hope you are happy EVERY time I post a chapter! :wink:

Scottie - I think he does. Hans needs to learn to think things through again. He USED to be a tactician. And sadly, no sticks in Hans' future. There is a bowl, though.

BehrObsession - Tag Team Wrestling? LOL. Poor Hans won;t know what hit him! Which is, of course, what you want. LOL

Red Shift

Part 2

Chapter 22

Luke waited all evening for Hans to come home. He was over at Grandpa's house, watching a baseball game with Allan. Luke guessed that Hans was avoiding him, because he wasn't in to baseball at all. He wanted to ask Hans why he had lied to him and to Alison about a girl he had supposedly been seeing, as well as the lie about Julia. It was well past midnight when Hans finally turned up, creeping into the dark bedroom, unaware that Luke was awake. It was much too late to start a heavy discussion now, so instead, Luke lay back on his bed, staring up at the ceiling, wishing that somehow, things with Julia could get back to some semblance of normal. Whatever it was that passed for normal between him and Julia. He really was missing her.

Because he didn't fall asleep until the early hours of the morning, Luke rose much later than usual. The other bed was empty, so Luke got up, had his shower and dressed for the day. No one was at the breakfast table when he arrived.

"Opa, Allan and Hans have gone deep sea fishing for the day," Omi told him.

They had mentioned it the day before, but Luke had shaken his head at it. Boats and fishing were two of his least favorite activities, even though he had tried neither.

"Where's Debra and Leia?" he asked, but anticipated Omi's answer.

"Shopping at the Mall," Omi shrugged.

Luke spent the first part of the morning sitting in his chair. He got up and walked down to the beach where he watched an impromptu soccer game for a while, before he turned and started to jog up the beach, away from the direction of Scoops. Later, after he showered and changed, he had lunch with Omi, although she seemed to be rather quiet, which suited Luke. After lunch, he wandered out to the beach again. The soccer game had finished and this section of the beach was almost deserted. Luke found himself at the water's edge, and sat in the warm sand with feet stretched to where the waves reached up and tickled his toes.

"If I sit down," he heard the unmistakable voice of Julia beside him, "you wouldn't just like, ignore me or something? Would you?"

His heart leapt back to life. She had come to talk to him. But had she only come to ask him to stay away? He looked up at her a little apprehensively. She wore a pale pink sundress and her hair was loose. She looked gorgeous. If this was to be his last sight of her, it was a perfect memory.

"I could never ignore you, Julia," he smiled up at her. He patted the dry sand next to him, hoping she would sit beside him. "I hope you know that."

She sat down, next to him in the warm sand. She had pulled her knees up and wrapped her arms around them. He could feel her nervousness rolling off of her in waves.

"I thought I'd come down and meet your dream girl," she smiled softly. "Seeing as you never bring her to introduce her."

"Julia," Luke's mouth opened and closed. "I... she... I mean..."

His face was burning.

"It's okay," she gave a light chuckle. "I know. Alison told me all about it. Hans made it all up."

"Yeah," Luke nodded with a grim frown. "I've been meaning to speak to him about that, but he's been avoiding me. What on Earth possessed him to pull a damned stupid stunt like that?"

They both fell into a silence.

"I think I know," Julia almost whispered after a short pause.

"You do?" Luke looked surprised. "What?"

"I..." she took a deep breath. "I think he might be jealous or something. Of you."

"Why?" Luke looked confused. "Why would Hans be jealous? And I don't understand why he would make up things like that if he was."

"There's more to it than making things up, Luke," she started to shake. She was worried how Luke might react. "It wasn't because I thought you had met your dream girl that made me angry at you. It was Hans. I believed things that I shouldn't have. I let you down. And I'm sorry."

"Perhaps you should just tell me," Luke narrowed his eyes. "What's been going on, Julia?"

"Alison told me last night that Hans was giving you and me these strange looks on my birthday," Julia pushed on. "Like he didn't like us being together or something."

"Go on," Luke squeaked in a tense voice, remembering his run in with Hans that evening.

"The thing is, that night when your parents came to Florida," Julia sighed. "When you didn't come to see me. Well... Hans did. He came to Scoops."

"Yeah," Luke nodded. "He told me that he needed to talk with Alison, alone. I thought he was going to ask her out on a date."

"Alison wasn't there," she shook her head. "She left early. But I was there. Basically, he uh," Julia looked up and then away. "He started hitting on me."

"What?" Luke gasped. "He did what?"

"He told me that you were... chasing some tail was how he put it. He said you wouldn't be coming around any more 'cause you were pretty serious with this girl. Then he asked me out on a date. I said no. Later, he like, found me walking home. I think he was waiting for me. He told me something like how the two of you shared everything, or something like that, and then he grabbed me and tried to kiss me. He kind of scared me, Luke."

"Why..." his voice came out as a high pitched squeak. He coughed. "Why didn't you say anything?"

"Who to?" Julia looked devastated. "I couldn't tell Alison, because I didn't want to hurt her feelings, you know? She really likes him, Luke. And I didn't think you were interested anymore. In being my friend, I mean. And if he was right, about you two sharing, then you wouldn't have cared, would you? I'm so sorry, Luke. I should have known that you would never be that cruel. I was just... so scared. And so upset, you know?"

"Julia," Luke reached out and placed his hand on her arm. "There isn't a girl on this planet that could make me lose interest in... being friends with you. And believe me, my dream girl would never stop us from being friends, okay? She would be totally happy with that. So if Hans, or anybody else ever pulls anything like this again, please, Julia. Tell me."

She gave him a weak smile and wiped away her tears.

"You are so amazing, Luke," she shook her head. "How can you forgive me so easily?"

"Because it's you," he smiled.

"How about I buy you an ice cream at Scoops?" her smile grew stronger.

"I'd like that," Luke nodded.

He rose first and then helped Julia up. They started walking down the beach toward Scoops. After a dozen or so steps, Julia looked up at Luke and bit her bottom lip. Tentatively, hoping that he wouldn't reject her, Julia slid her hand into his. He squeezed it and looked down at her with a reassuring smile. Elated, her face lit up. Everything was okay again.

* * *

Without hesitation, Julia led Luke to the table in the corner, the one she had been calling Luke's table for weeks now. She was puzzled as to why he took the seat that had his back to the rest of the patio when he normally preferred the one that allowed him to see it all.

"How about we share one of those Banana Splits," she grinned.

Couples shared them all the time, and Julia would have liked to feel as if she and Luke were a couple right now, even if they weren't.

"Would you mind if we had something individual?" he smiled. "I could really go for a Cherry surprise right now."

"You always have a Cherry surprise," Julia grinned. "Maybe you should do something unexpected some time."

"What can I say?" he shrugged. "I'm suffering from withdrawal symptoms."

Julia started to laugh. Relieved that Luke didn't hate her, she couldn't stop giggling.

"It's not that funny," Luke chuckled, causing her to laugh even more.

In the end, Luke got his Cherry Surprise while Julia opted for a simple bowl of Vanilla Ice Cream. The waitress brought it over, leaving Julia with a whimsical smile of envy. Luke, meanwhile, pulled out his Tabasco Sauce bottle and had already started to sprinkle his dessert before he remembered that it was Julia and not Hans that he was sitting with. He paused and looked up. Julia was watching him with wide eyes of amazement.

"Well, that's totally unexpected," she gave a wry smile.

"Sorry," he smiled. "I, uhm... It's just that I really like the extra bite."

He berated himself for being so careless around her. But it was how Julia made him feel. It was like he knew that she would be okay if she ever learned the truth about his origins. There was just something about Julia.

"Well, I learned my lesson last time," she laughed, shaking her head. "And I won't be tasting it, okay?"

"I can live with that," he smirked.

"Have you ever had curry, Luke?" she looked up with wide eyes.

"I don't think so," Luke shook his head.

"There's a new Indian restaurant just opened in town," she continued. "You would love it."

"Only if you came with me," Luke leaned toward her.

"Like, on a date?" her eyes widened.

"Well," Luke nodded. "You know, as friends."

"Oh, yeah," Julia agreed. "Hey, maybe we could take in a movie or something, first."

"I'd like that," Luke smiled.

Things were looking good for him right now.

"You would like what?" a voice spoke from just behind him.

Until now.

"Leia," Luke gasped. He turned around to see his sister with someone he vaguely recognized. "Lyle, right?"

"You remember him, huh?" Leia smiled sitting next to her brother.

Lyle took the seat across from her, placing himself between Luke and Julia.

"Yeah," Luke nodded with a grin. "How could I forget? The jock, right?" He extended his hand.

"Well," Lyle laughed, shaking Luke's hand. "It beats being the geek. My buddies back home refused to believe that I actually hung out with one last spring. They said my rep was taking a hit. Hey," he turned to Julia, extending his hand. "Lyle Collini."

"Julia Cartier," she shook hands with him.

"French?" he raised his eyebrows.

"No," Julia shook her head. "American, actually."

"I meant the name," Lyle rolled his eyes. "But it's pretty. Like you."

"Oh," Julia nodded.

Luke did not like the friendly flirtatiousness of Lyle. Not with Julia, at least. He wished he could somehow show this guy that she was off limits.

"So what were you guys talking about when we arrived?" Lyle asked.

"Oh," Julia shrugged. "Luke's going to take me to see a movie."

"Oh, cool," Leia agreed. "When?"

"How about tonight?" Lyle suggested.

"Oh, I can't tonight," Julia declined. "Sorry."

"How about we all go out tomorrow night?" Leia asked. "Oh, wait. It's Mom and Dad's last day. How about the day after that?"

"Okay," Julia nodded, looking at Luke. Realizing her error at mentioning the movie, she was now praying that he would not mention the curry afterwards.

"I'll check with Alison and Hans," Leia continued. "Is your friend, Sandra around?"

"Uhm," Julia shook her head. A quiet evening with Luke had just turned into a mass gathering. "Not until the end of summer."

In all his life, Luke had never wanted to kill Leia more than he did right then.

* * *

"We can still go for that meal afterwards, can't we?" Julia begged as Luke walked her home. "Just the two of us, I mean."

"Yes," Luke nodded with a little too much enthusiasm. "Definitely. And if you want, I'm sure we can get out of seeing the movie. Maybe do something else... you know... on our own."

"Yeah," Liz nodded. "But I think your sister is kind of excited about doing something like this with you involved. So we don't have to disappoint her, you know? We'll see the movie together and after, we can sneak away to the Indian Restaurant."

"That's a good plan," Luke chuckled.

They walked a little more in silence, all too aware of their hands touching.

"How's your... uh, piercing?" Luke looked down at her. "Any problems?"

"None at all," Julia looked down at her stomach, which was covered by her dress. "Actually, with all the excitement going on, no one's seen it yet."

"That's good," Luke nodded. "That it's okay, I mean." It should be, seeing as I healed it for you. "I'd hate for you to suffer any adverse reaction."

"It's fine," she nodded with a giggle. "Thanks to your kissing it better." She looked around, and leaned closer to Luke. "I like to look at it in my mirror at night," she whispered. "I think it looks kind of sexy."

"Definitely sexy," Luke's body started to react again. After an absence of that particular feeling, he actually welcomed it. "I thought that at the time but didn't want to embarrass you."

"Well, I'm glad you didn't," she gave him a fond smile. "Embarrass me, I mean. So, Lyle seems nice."

"He's okay," Luke grumbled.

How could he go from such a high one moment to such a low the next? This sucked. Jealousy was one human emotion that he could do without.

* * *

Luke stood by the door, waiting for the familiar drone of Grandpa's car. They were due back at any moment, and regardless of how calm being with Julia had made him, the anger over how Hans had treated Julia, and Alison, had fermented in the back of his mind. Tonight, Luke would let Hans know just how badly he had messed up. At last, he heard the engine. The car pulled up and laughing as though he didn't have a care in the world, Hans climbed out first and started up the path toward the house. Luke barred his way.

"You gonna move, or what?" Hans blinked.

Luke swung his fist and connected with Hans' eye. He fell to the ground like a ton of bricks.

"Oh," Hans snarled, using his hand to check his eye. "You have so asked for it."

He leapt to his feet and rushed Luke. Luke dodged Hans' fist and swung again, connecting with his mouth. Hans dropped again. Again, he leapt up and rushed Luke. This time, Luke got him in the stomach. Rather than face him again, Hans stayed down.

"Come on, you bastard!" Luke bellowed. "Get up!"

Hans knew that Luke would not touch him while he remained down. As angry as he was - and he had never seen Luke so angry before - he knew that Luke had too much nobility in him. Realizing that he stood no chance just now, he stayed where he was.

"Get up!" Luke yelled again.

"Why?" Hans croaked. "So you can hit me again?"

Allan arrived first. Grandpa was only just behind him, both men separating the two combatants. Opa and Debra arrived next, followed by Leia, Omi and Granny.

"Let me go!" Luke struggled to break the hold and attack Hans now that he was standing again.

Grandpa remained firm, using a hold he had learned in the Marines. One that he was told was unbreakable.

"Break it up!" Allan yelled. "Stop it, Luke!"

Luke stopped struggling, but the look of hatred remained.

"What on Earth's going on?" Debra demanded, looking from one to the other.

"Luke just attacked Hans," Allan explained. "No warning, just... pow!"

"He's a freaking lunatic!" Hans called from behind Allan.

"Whatever for?" Debra frowned. She turned to Luke. "Luke, honey? Why did you do that?"

"Ask him!" Luke used his chin to point at Hans, his arms being firmly held. His voice was low and guttural. Almost animalistic.

"Hans?" Debra turned to face him. Her voice was calm and soothing. "Do you know what this is all about?"

"The guy's a freaking basket case," Hans shrugged. "How should I know why he flipped out?"

"She's our friend!" Luke yelled.

"She's 'your' friend," Hans defended.

"Okay," Luke took a deep breath and his voice changed. Now it was calm, but oh so dangerous. "She's 'my' friend. How could you do that to her? And to Alison too, huh? Now face me and fight like a man. Or do you only attack girls?"

"Hans?" Allan frowned. "What's he talking about?"

"How should I know?" Hans played the innocent card.

"Yes you do," Luke's voice came out flat and even. He looked at Allan. "The other night, the day you arrived, he went to Scoops. Julia..." he turned to look at Debra, emphasizing the name "My friend, Julia. She was working there. On her own. And this..." he looks at Hans, "...animal... started to hit on her. She told him she wasn't interested, she even said no when he asked her out on a date."

Behind him, he heard Leia gasp.

"So what did he do? He ambushed her on the way home. He tried to force himself on her." He turned to face Hans. "You really scared her, you... bastard." his voice suggested that the matter was not over. "And then telling her that we 'share' everything. No wonder she was afraid of me, you... you..."

Luke spun away, easily breaking the grip that Grandpa had thought unbreakable. He stormed away into the darkness, leaving the others to pick up the pieces. Luke had to get away. The sight of Hans was making him feel sick. He headed for the beach, leaving everyone staring at Hans as though he had just crawled out from the sewers. Opa and Omi shook their heads and returned indoors. Grandpa gave Hans a look that suggested he might carry on where Luke had left off, but he took Granny's hand and followed the others.

"Who are you?" Leia turned on her heel and left him.

"You're damned lucky I didn't know about that before Luke attacked you," Allan shook his head in disbelief. "'Cause I sure as hell wouldn't have pulled him off if I did."

Allan left as well, leaving Hans and Debra alone in the front yard.

"Well?" he grunted.

"I never said a word," Debra shook her head.

"You don't need to. I can hear you thinking it all the way over here."

"Then I don't need to say it, do I?" she shrugged.

Hans gave a snort of disgust.

"He really likes this girl, Hans," she told him. "And you know it, too. So what on Earth possessed you to pull such a god awful stunt as that?"

"It's..." he hunched his shoulders. It was at that moment when he realized what Luke had done to him. He was effectively trapped. He could not tell Debra the truth, and neither could he brush it away with a shrug and a 'I don't know.' Debra was much too shrewd for that. She would have made a wonderful mother to children of her own. No, Hans would have to give a full explanation of his actions, without referring to his desire to make Luke face up to their reality. He would rather have faced Luke and his fists again.

"Because she just... gives," he jammed his hands in his pocket. "He asks her for nothing, he isn't even dating her, and she's like, all doe eyed at him. She's gaga crazy for him and would do anything for him. Only he's too blind to see."

"So you thought you would try and make her give it to you, instead?" she raised an eyebrow. "Is that it?"

"No," he shook his head. "That's not it at all."

"Or is it the fact that he only seems to want her for a friend that upsets you?"

Hans shrugged his shoulders.

"Hans," Debra shook her head. "That doesn't give you the right to..."

"It's more than that, Aunt D," he continued. "She's only fifteen. Her birthday was the other weekend. And she's beautiful. I mean inside as well as out. Trust me, Aunt D. You would love her. Everyone does. But you know how... sensitive Luke is. Suppose he starts something with her? What's he going to do when he comes back again next year and find she's putting out for some jock?"

"But that's not your decision to make," Debra shook her head. "If Luke wants to take the risk and start dating her... And if she moves on to someone else, well, that's all part of growing up. But if she's as wonderful as you say she is, maybe she won't want some jock when she can have Luke."

"Wait till you see her. You'll see what I mean, then. This girl is going to be hit on by every guy at school who thinks he's it."

"That doesn't mean she will 'put out' as you so crudely put it. She obviously knows how to say no. But Luke has to make his own mistakes, Hans," Debra affirmed. "He has to suffer his own knocks and setbacks."

"But you don't understand," Hans groaned. "There's something... I mean... I really think that Julia and Luke being together would be a big mistake. I really think that she will do something big time to hurt him. Not on purpose, but she will. And I can't let that happen!" Why did he want to add 'again' to the end of that statement?

"As much as you try," Debra shook her head, "there are some things that you can't protect him from. A broken heart is one of them. Now like I said, Luke really likes Julia. If I were you, I wouldn't so much as look sideways at her, or Luke will rip your head off and use it as Marlin bait."

"I can handle Luke," Hans snorted.

"You know what, Hans," Debra started to examine his wounds. The lip had stopped bleeding, and his eye was starting to turn an ugly shade of purple. "It really looked that way."

* * *

Luke was already in bed by the time Hans had finally crept in to the bedroom. He really hoped that Luke was already sleeping as he didn't particularly want to talk to him right now. He pulled off his clothing, stripping down to his boxer shorts and dropped everything to the floor. He climbed onto the bed, and lay back with his hands folded under his head. He idly wondered what Alison was going to do to him when she found out what he had done. He also wondered how Luke had found out. Probably Julia had told on him.

"I've been thinking," Luke's voice pierced the darkness.

It was calm and steady, as if nothing had happened between the two of them. Hans remained silent, waiting for Luke to continue. He was the one driving this conversation.

"I think you might be right," Luke continued. "About us and those aliens over in New Mexico. At least... partially."

Hans wondered what it was that he might have been partially right about.

"I think," he sighed, "that it's time to head west and meet up with them. I think that you have been right all along. You know... about them being the same."

"How do you figure that?" he finally asked after studying Luke's comment with care.

His voice was tense with a feeling of smugness. Hans was celebrating his victory in his mind. It was absolutely amazing. He couldn't help the feeling of exultation and jubilation. Luke had finally come around. He was going to face up to who they were and what it was they were supposed to do. It made the pain from the black eye and the split lip worth while.

"Because basically," Luke shrugged, "those aliens out west have invaded a peaceful area, wreaking total devastation in their wake. They've killed hundreds if not thousands of innocent people for reasons of their own. They've destroyed lives, homes, property, they've taken whatever they wanted, basically terrorized an entire state, and who knows what other atrocities? Maybe they have even attacked defenseless women, too. Oh, yeah, Hans. You should go. Head west and meet up with your buddies. You would find yourself right at home with those murdering, selfish bastards."

Luke rolled over, turning his back on Hans who could only lie there and contemplate his words.

* * *
Last edited by WR on Fri Feb 24, 2006 3:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Red Shift Part 2 Chapter 23

Post by WR » Fri Feb 24, 2006 3:39 pm

Hi everyone!

Another week passes by and here we are again, ready for another chapter of Red Shift. Thank you all so much for staying with me and just remember that pretty soon, things WILL turn serious again.

Thank you all so much for your feedback. It really is great and these last few weeks, when I have been incredibly busy, it has given me much needed respite from some stress. :)

While many of you loved Hans' getting his payback, can I just apologize tp all Candy people. There is a reason why Hans was so over the top. Even Michael would not have said or done the things he had, but there is a MAJOR difference between Hans and Michael from the show. That difference should become more clear in time.

I recieved my first piece of criticism over that chapter and it was very well written, very constructive, and very much appreciated. Thank you. I'm sorry I couldn't explain the WHY, but I will endeaviur to make sure Michael stays Michael. :)

As for Luke and Julia... they are at least friends again. Don;t expect too much from them too soon. :wink:

smokie - Uhm... It was still me, honest. Just wanted to prove that I'm not TOTALLY evil. :wink:

AJK001 - LOL, well... I guess good things come to he who waits. :wink:

roswellluver - Thank you :)

Timelord31 - I must have quite the reputation! :wink:

roswell3053 - Yeah, Luke pretty much nailed him in more ways then one. :wink:

Ellie - Then I'm glad that I get it right... sometimes. :wink:

frenchkiss70 - Just don;t expect that misunderstanding to be cleared too soon. :wink:

mareli - Well, as much as Alison would have a field day, I think Julia and Luke might just keep this to themselves. :wink:

Emz80m - Thank you :)

tequathisy - I think that Hans KNOWS he over stepped the mark, and I would like to think that Luke's final words will cause him to think about whats been going on. I doubt he will just take off alone. One thing he knows to be true, there was a reason that the three of them are together.

youre my dreamgirl - Thank you :)

lazza - Now that Luke has 'dealt' out his punishment, he will say no more. However, for the other's, this might not be so.

sweetstarryeyes - Hi and welcome! Thank you. I hope to see more of you. And please, check out my other stories. :)

vampyrax - Sorry to hear that you have not been well. Pleased that I helped you feel a litle better. Hope you're all right now. :)

VeronicB - Lyle and Julia!!! Do you really think I would go there??? Do you really think that Julia would let Luke believe her dream guy was Lyle all along? Oooo.... :twistedevil:

omwf - Well... at the moment, I think the aliens definately want to remain incognito.

83 AlienAngel - Thank you :)

aurorasky - Thnak you :)

NorafanofMaxandLiz - Fortuneately for my story, there is no one available to lock the pair in a closet. :wink:

BehrObsession - Yes, Hans thinks he knows the answers. And he is making bad decisions. There is a reason for this. He touched upon them with Debra... but there is far more to our kids than meets the eye.

Roswelllostcause - Luke and Julia are to worried about making a mistake around one another right now, and I can;t see either of them hurting Alison. So...

Saymi007 - Me? Tortue you? Must be thinking of someone else. :wink:

Scottie - Yes, I don;t think Luke could have just let that slide with a "What were you thinking?" As for a charade... well... I do need them to kep it up for just a little while longer. :wink:

Red Shift

Part 2

Chapter 23

"So everything is rosy again in the garden of Luke and Julia," Alison laughed as the two girls stepped from the boardwalk and onto the beach.

"When you put it that way," Julia aimed for the large beach umbrella they had been using all summer, "it sounds kind of cheesy."

"You mean it isn't?" Alison dumped her bag in the shade.

"No," Julia gave a sarcastic smirk. "But to answer your question, yes. Luke and I are fine again."

"I never asked a question," Alison chuckled. "I made a statement. I knew that as soon as you two spoke honestly together, you'd patch things up. But let this be a lesson to you. Both of you."

"Uh huh," Julia nodded. "And what's that?"

"You and Luke really need to be honest and up front with each other," Alison laid out her towel. "When you keep secrets, when you don't talk things through... you guys are so screwed."

"You make it sound like we're a couple," Julia reached for her bag. "But we're just friends, remember?"

"Okay," Alison nodded as she removed her sundress. She was wearing her black bikini again. "You might be just friends, but you two are just so solid. I really hope that when the two of you find those mythical people out there, you both realize that you've been wrong all this time, and want each other."

"Alison," she started to pull something large and soft from her beach bag. "Trust me when I say that if... when I get together with my... mythical person, then I will know that I've been right, all along."

"Uh, huh," Alison nodded. "What's that?"

Julia shook the bundle, spreading it out flat.

"A blanket?" her eyes widened with a huge grin. "Big enough for two, huh?"

"Calm down, Alison," Julia rolled her eyes. "It's just a beach blanket. And yes. If Luke wants to sit on it, he's more than welcome to share it with me."

"I don't think Luke will have a problem with sharing the blanket with you, Jules," Alison winked. "Or the sheets, or the..."

"Alison!" Julia gasped.

"Oh look," she nodded up the beach. "Here comes your Prince Charming now. Hey, Luke."

"Hey," he nodded at Alison. "Hi," he gave Julia a soft smile.

"You want to share Jules' blanket?" Alison smirked.

"Uh," Luke looked down at the blanket. "Sure," he shrugged. "Unless you..."

"It's okay," Alison nodded. "Park your backside. So where's Hans?"

"He, uh..." he glanced at Julia, seeing how she stiffened at Hans' name. "He won't be joining us today. He has... he's got something wrong with one of his eyes."

"Oh," Alison frowned. "Did you tear him off a strip? You know, for those lies?"

"Yeah," Luke nodded. "I tore him off something. He regrets his actions."

"I wanted to tell him off, too," Alison grumbled. "Upsetting my best buds like that. Hey, it's not conjunctivitis, is it? I had that last Christmas. It was horrible. My eye swelled up and it was oozing for, like days and I had to keep putting these drops in and every morning it was like someone had glued it shut or something and...""

"It uh, not conjunctivitis," he shook his head, bringing Maria's babble to an end. "It's uh... more painful than that."

"Is he seeing a doctor?"

"He'll be fine," Luke waved a hand as he sat down on Julia's blanket. "Are you okay with this?"

"Sure," she nodded. Hell, yes! Why are you all the way over there, anyway? "It's fine."

"Does his eye really hurt?" Julia leaned over and whispered. "Or did you just tell him to stay away?"

"Oh, it really hurts, Jules," Luke nodded. "So does his lip. It started last night when he got home from a fishing trip."

Julia's eyes widened in realization.

"He deserved it, Jules," Luke shrugged. "He can't treat people like that. He can't treat 'you' like that."

"Come on, Jules!" Alison yelled from her blanket before Julia could reply.

"Huh?" Julia looked up and frowned. "Come on, what?"

"Show me your piercing, already!" she laughed.

"Haven't I shown you, yet?"

"Nuh uh," Alison shook her head. "Have you seen it yet, Luke?"

"Yeah," Luke blushed.

"He came with me, Alison," Julia reminded her.

"So come on babe," Alison grinned. She started to hum the opening bars of the infamous and well know tune, 'The Stripper'.

With her innate grace, Julia peeled off her sundress. She was wearing a white bikini today. It showed off her tan to perfection. And it highlighted her navel jewelry. Luke's heart started to pound again, reacquainted with the delicious sight of Julia's body.

"Oh, wow," Alison shook her head. "That looks just awesome. Sexy even. What do you think, Luke?"

"I uh, like it," he nodded. "I think it's sexy too."

"So where's yours, Alison?" Julia looked over Alison stomach. "How come you don't have one?"

"Please," she rolled her eyes. "Who would I do it for? It's not like Hans would even notice."

"I think he'd notice," Luke smirked. "I really do."

"So what's next?" Alison continued. "Tongue? Nipple? How about a tattoo?"

"No," Julia shrugged. "This is fine, thank you very much."

Julia and Luke tortured themselves once more by helping one another with applying sunscreen to each other's backs. The job seemed to take longer and longer to do, especially when Luke was applying the oil to the backs of Julia's thighs. He seemed to be taking a rather long time to do that area and Julia, making no comment except for the occasional sigh, didn't seem to mind one bit. After every dip in the sea, they would reapply their lotion and sit together on Julia's blanket.

"Who's up for Frisbee?" Julia produced a flat, pink disc from her bag.

"Nah," Alison shook her head. "But you two go ahead."

Standing a good distance apart, Julia and Luke started to throw the Frisbee at one another. When Julia started getting clever, Luke started to add a special little zing, making the Frisbee move at the last second, just as Julia was about to catch it. It sailed over her head and dropped to the sand behind her.

"How did you do that?" her eyes grew wide. "That was awesome."

His stunts, however, were double sided. When Julia turned and bent over to pick the disk up, Luke thought he was going to have a heart attack.

"Here, guys," Alison called. "I got us some Sprites from Mickey D's."

She was holding a takeout tray with three large cups filled with refreshing sprite and lots of ice. They jogged back to Julia's blanket and this time, when they sat down to enjoy their refreshing beverages, there wasn't much air between them.

"Thanks, Alison," Luke smacked his lips with satisfaction, having drained his cup. He placed the container, still filled with ice in the sand, and rolled over onto his stomach. Julia's body had kept on coming into contact with his and he was starting to react to her presence again. He folded his arms and rested his head on them, tilting so that he could peek up at his dark haired temptress. She was talking with Alison and when she started to laugh, his heart filled to bursting. He closed his eyes and released a long, slow sigh. At that moment, he was so in love with her.

A sudden shock jolted him from his reverie. Crying out, he rolled over and jumped up, trying to escape the sudden cold sensation in the middle of his back. Laughing, Julia had leapt to her feet after tipping the icy remains of her drink over him. Scratch the feeling of love, he decided as he grabbed his own cup, now half melted and took after her. Luke quickly ran her down, even with her trying to change directions on him. As Luke closed in, she turned to face him, bending low and extended her hands to minimize the target as she backed away.

"No, Luke," she giggled. "Don't you dare!"

"Ah ha," he smirked, holding the cup in a threatening posture.

He pulled his arm back, signifying that he was all set to throw the contents at her.

"No," she begged. "Please."

Luke moved closer.

"Luke! No!"

Closer still, a huge smirk on his lips.

"NO!" she shrieked, tilting her head away and closing her eyes when she saw Luke throwing the cup at her.

The icy impact never arrived. She opened one eye and peered at Luke, laughing his head off holding an empty cup. She relaxed herself, closed the gap and pushed him over. Luke fell to the ground. Julia pounced, scooping a handful of sand and tipping over him.

"Ah ha," Luke leapt up, still laughing. "Want to play, huh?"

In one quick, fluid movement, Luke scooped Julia up into his arms. She wriggled and squealed with laughter, trying to escape, although it must be said, her efforts were not too hard. That is, until she saw that Luke was carrying her toward the sea.

"No, Luke!" she squeaked, as he walked in to where the water was just above his knees. "Put me down."

"You want down, huh?" he started to chuckle. "One... two..."

Julia reached up, placed her hands on either side of Luke's face and pressed her lips to his. Shocked beyond reason, and his heart doing flip flops, Luke lowered her until her legs entered the water, letting her stand on her feet. He moved to envelop her, dying to deepen the sudden, surprising and amazing kiss. Her hands slipped down his neck, over his shoulders and against his chest. Fighting for breath, he suddenly felt her leg behind his and she gave a strong push. Luke fell backwards into the water. Feeling like a complete jack ass, Luke floated there for a moment. Rising to his feet, he looked up the beach where Julia, now joined by Alison, was doubled over in laughter.

* * *

Julia stood inside the ice cream parlor and looked out through the plate glass window to where Luke was sitting. Waiting for Sophie to finish his order, her mind drifted back to that amazing kiss she had given Luke on the beach. While it was true that she had only done that to gain the much needed advantage and avoid a soaking, she could not deny the fire it had ignited within her. It was only when she felt his tongue starting to tease her lips that woke her from the dreamy sensations she was experiencing. She was sorry for duping Luke like that, but then, it was just so funny.

"One Cherry Surprise," Sophie called. "Is this for your Romeo?"

"Uh, yeah," Julia shook herself from her daydream. Or rather, her day fantasy.

"Doesn't he ever have anything else?" Sophie raised an eye. "He doesn't exactly test our creativity now, does he?"

"What can I say, Soph?" Julia shrugged. "He's a guy who knows what he likes."

"And what he likes is you, girl," Sophie started to laugh.

As she approached Luke, she froze. Hans appeared from the gloom, said something and sat down. Get a grip, she ordered herself. I have to put up with him if I want to spend time with Luke. Although she felt a little apprehensive at seeing him, she knew that Alison was fond of him so decided against spoiling things for her. When she got closer, she couldn't help the wave of sympathy that the sight of his black eye and split lip evoked.

"Here you go, Luke," she almost sang to him. She wished it hadn't sounded so forced. It wasn't Luke she was angry with. "Can I get you anything, Hans?" she asked through gritted teeth.

"I'll have a Toffee Surprise," he glared accusingly at her.

The silent accusation annoyed her. She marched back to Sophie seething. How dare he turn this around on her, as though she had somehow led him on. Alison be damned, she would not let Hans treat her this way. She would give him a piece of her mind. As she marched back to their table, the toffee covered ice cream in hand, Julia ran through all the things she wanted to say to him. When she got to the table though, and found him glaring at her with a look of menace, she knew that words were not enough. She stepped next to Hans and tipped the bowl upside down on his head. It was a perfect fit. She gave it a firm push for the full effect. Sticky toffee and ice cream oozed through the sides and dribbled down his head and his face. Around them, the rest of the patrons erupted into laughter. After an initial look of shock, Luke found himself laughing, too. Julia looked at Luke and gave him a smile.

"Enjoy your just dessert, Hans," she smirked and headed back to the Parlor.

* * *

Alison raised an eyebrow as she passed Julia, having witnessed the whole thing. Julia just winked.

"Yeah," Alison nodded. "He deserved it."

"Julia," a man's deep voice called from the employee's entrance.

"Oh, oh," Julia groaned. Mr. Faulkner.

"Can I have a word?" he did not sound pleased.

Julia cast a glance out at Luke. Oh well, if he fires me, I have more time to spend with him. Every cloud...

"Yes, Mr. Faulkner?" she gave him her sweetest smile.

"What was that I just saw?" he narrowed his eyes at her.

"Oh, that," Julia took a deep breath. "An accident. I just... slipped."

"Really," his voice was dry. He didn't buy it.

"Oh, absolutely," Julia nodded. "And you don't have to worry or anything. We know the people at that table really, really well, and they won't be making any complaints. Oh, and we won't lose their business, either."

"I see," he narrowed his eyes.

"Yeah. In fact, the only thing we're likely to suffer over that is my lost tip."

"Will you be having any more accidents, Julia?" he peered at her.

Mr. Faulkner knew a thing or two about waitresses. They had the cleverest ways of getting their own back at problem customers, and the way Julia handled it was infinitely better than the way some staff in other establishments handled it.

"It is a little slippery out there," Julia shrugged. "I will be careful, but accidents do happen."

"Uh, huh," he nodded, dismissing her.

On her way through the parlor, Julia stopped at the big upright freezer. She took out the plastic cup she had filled with water earlier. She had originally wanted some cold water to scare Luke with, but emboldened by her earlier action, she had a better use for it. She broke away the skin of ice that had formed, noting that the rest was still super chilled liquid. Again, she marched toward Luke and Hans table. Alison spotted her, and watched from a safe distance.

"Ooops," Julia pretended to slip right beside their table.

The contents of the cup found their way into Hans' lap. As Hans danced away from the table, howling, his shoulders hunched and his arms outspread, Julia didn't have time to enjoy her score over him. Her mind was suddenly distracted, as believing she had really slipped, Luke had leapt up and caught her. She looked up at him smiling, and lost herself in his eyes.

* * *

"I can't believe a whole week has just flown by," Leia complained as they stood by the cars in the driveway.

It was time for Allan and Debra to return to Raleigh.

"We'll be back again," Debra consoled her with a hug.

"Yeah," Leia grumbled. "At the end of the summer."

Having said her good-byes to Leia, Debra moved on to Hans.

"So," she hugged him. "How are things between you and Luke?"

"Cold," he shrugged.

"I know it's probably too late," she looked at him. "But maybe you should try to get to know Julia a little better. You know that Luke is a good judge of character. He sees something in Julia that you don't. If you tried, you might see it too, and maybe it will ease your fears."

"She'll never trust me again," Hans shook his head.

"What about Alison? How are things with her?"

"Who knows?" Hans shrugged.

She moved on to Luke.

"How are things between you and Julia, now?" she looked into his eyes.

"We're friends again," he nodded.

"Just friends?"

"Yeah," he looked away with a sigh. "Nothing's changed."

"Well, when we come out next time, you'll have to invite her around to dinner. I so want to meet the young girl who has turned your whole world upside down."

"She hasn't turned it upside down," Luke looked at her. "She 'is' my whole world."

As she backed away to let Allan have a few words, Debra couldn't help thinking about Luke's words. He was much too young to be so devoted to someone else who was just as young. They had only just entered the world of adult relationships, and hadn't even shared a proper date. How might her feelings change over the next few months? She started to wonder if maybe Hans had been right after all.

* * *

Luke wasn't feeling as nervous this time when he knocked on Julia's door. He had come to pick her up for their movie date. This time, when the door opened, it was not just Mr. Cartier who was standing at the door. Julia's mom was there, too.

"Hello, Luke," he stood back to let him in. "We haven't seen you since Julia's birthday. We thought we might have seen more of you."

"Well," he shrugged. "We're just..."

"Friends," Julia's Dad finished. "Yeah, that's what Julia says. Oh, this is Julia's mother. And this fine young man is Luke."

"Hello, Luke," they shook hands. "I've not seen you around before. Do you go to Julia's school?"

"Uh, no," he shook his head, looking down at his feet. "I'm not, uh... local. We live in Raleigh. Uhm... North Carolina."

"We?" Mrs. Cartier raised an eyebrow.

"Yeah, uh, my uhm... brother and my sister. But were staying with our grandparents for the summer."

"Here in Siesta Key? Who are your grandparents?"

"The Skyes... uh, Allan and Debra Skye... they uh, adopted us. Debra's parents are the uh, Heitmanns."

"Oh, I know them," she nodded. "Fine people."

Julia saved him from more conversation when she entered the room. Luke eyes nearly popped out. She was wearing blue jean mini skirt and a loose, white top with spaghetti string straps. Luke could see the darker flesh of her pink nipples through it. The top wasn't tucked in to her skirt, and she wore a wide, loose belt over it, around her waist. She also had on a pair of suede cowboy style boots. Her hair was loose around her face again. She looked... hot.

Like Luke, but with less emotion, Mrs. Cartier cast an appraising glance at her.

"Julia Cartier," she snapped. "You march yourself back in your bedroom and put on your bra. You are 'not' leaving the house like that!"

"Mom!" Julia whined with a look of mortification. "No one wears them under tops like these."

"You are not no one," she shook her head. "You are my fifteen year old daughter and you have a certain dress standard to uphold."

"But, Mom," she tried again, using her eyes and a slight nod of her head to indicate that Luke was standing right there. She hoped that her mother would stop embarrassing her by treating her like a little girl.

"But me no buts, young lady," her mother stood firm. "Go. Change. Now."

Sullen faced and embarrassed beyond reason, Julia stomped to her room, giving little care that Luke might somehow see this as childish. For his part, Luke felt sorry for her, but didn't know where to look. She returned, this time, wearing a white bra under her top.

"This looks ridiculous!" she snapped. "Everyone can see it."

The bra strap across her back was visible above the back edge of her top. The straps over her shoulders were not in line with her top's straps. At the front, the tops of the cups were showing.

"It's not like I even need it," she pouted. "If I didn't have any feet, would you still make me wear shoes?"

"I'll ignore that comment young lady," her mother rolled her eyes. "And if you would rather stay at home, alone tonight, then keep on complaining."

"Come on, Luke," she grabbed his hand and headed for the door.

As they turned off of their path and onto the main sidewalk, Luke glanced over his shoulder and gave a wave as Julia's father closed the door. He turned to look at Julia.

"For the record," he tried to pour as much care and concern into his voice as possible as he leaned into her. "I don't think you're too small. I kind of like you the way you are. I think you're sexy as hell."

"You kind of have to say that, Luke," she looked up and smiled. "You're my friend."

At a crossroads, just up from her house, Julia stopped near a cluster of Fire bushes. She moved Luke over a little.

"Can you just stand there?" She was looking all around her. "Hang on."

Julia reached behind her and unfastened her bra. Luke's mouth went dry as he watched her feed her bra straps down her arms, one at a time. She then lifted the bra from the front of her top with a smile. She folded the cups over on themselves, looping the straps around it. She then reached in and wedged her bra among the branches of a Fire bush. She looked up at him and grinned.

"Let's go," her eyes sparkled as she took his hand.

"You are so bad, Julia Cartier," he laughed. "Whatever would your mother say?"

"My mother would say that you are a bad influence on me, Luke Skye," she ginned at him. "She would say that you are corrupting her innocent little girl. Look at me. I get undressed in the street, I go out without a bra and I have a piece of gold stuck through a hole in my navel. I never used to do any of this until you came to town."

"Well, all I can say in my defense," he smirked. "Is that I've been searching for the daughter of the devil himself, I've been searching for an angel in white. I've been waiting for a woman who's a little of both. And I can feel her... 'cause she's here tempting me and then claiming that I'm the one corrupting her."

"You are so lame," Julia groaned, smiling up into his eyes.

"Uh huh," Luke nodded, leaning into her again. He dropped his voice to a low, husky whisper. "And you, are so tempting."

And how, he sighed inwardly.

* * *
Last edited by WR on Fri Mar 03, 2006 3:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Red Shift Part 2 Chapter 24

Post by WR » Fri Mar 03, 2006 4:05 pm

Hi everyone,

As always, thank you so much for all your feedback and your kind words of encouragement. I'm glad you are enjoying this little piece of life that Max never got to experience. It seemed the FBI was on top of him almost as soon as he came alive. But you jus know that something has to give, right? :wink:

youre my dreamgirl - Glad you liked it. :)

smokie - Yes, cute is what they are. Doing things they never could before. :)

roswell3053 - I knew I wouldn;t be able to get away without Julia getting her own back. :wink:

BehrObsession - Yes, they are both so young, but it seems that they have 'old' heads.

AJK001 - Julia? Be even more nasty than she was? Surely not! :wink:

roswelllover - Michael??? You mean Hans, right? :wink:

Ellie - This Julia seems to have a little more zest. :wink:

vampyrax - It's a shame they won;t step over that line, though, right? :wink:

tequathisy - You have to remember that in this life, Alison and Julia are not the best, life long friends they were in that other life. And Julia does not want to upset Alison.

frenchkiss70 - It appears that I am going soft. :( I think I might need to take drastic steps! :wink:

Emz80m - Well. knowing that they are *supposed* to be together, I;m sure it will lead to more... eventually. :wink:

lazza - The kiss wasnlt really thant intense, was it? So no flashes. Sorry. :wink~:

VeronicaB - I confess. LOVE seeing you suffer :wink: Bur lots more Luke and Julia action coming up. :wink: Not that kind of action.

paper - Yes, the fall of Zan's father is quite a tale. And not over yet. :) I think Hans has had his wake up call. And a little more tonight should seal it. :wink: Luke and Julia get a clue? When did they ever have one before? :wink:

Scottie - Yes, Julia knows Luke is the same guy from the MOSI, and he is her dreamguy, just like Julia knows she is his dreamgirl. BUT - Alison told them that they each are in love with someone else. Alison was not aware it;s really with each other. So they pair believe their love is unrequited. A major misunderstanding started by Alison and her 'just friends' date arrangements. Hope that clears it up.

Roswelllostcause - Glad you enjoyed it. :)

NorafanofMaxandLiz - After you read this chapter, go back and re-read your feedback. How prohetic! :wink:

cherie - Well, that kiss just wasn't intense enough. I'm sure an intense kiss will come. Eventually.

mareli - Well, you are in good company with that frustration. :wink:

Red Shift

Part 2

Chapter 24

Their walk to meet the rest of the gang at Scoops followed the playful mood that they had left Julia's house in. They joked, they sang and they flirted along the way. And all the time, their hands were inseparable. Once they reached Scoops, they again congregated at a larger table, waiting for everyone to arrive.

"Hey, Jules," Alison called from the opposite side of the table. She had sat there only because Hans had sat down first. "How come you didn't wear something to show off your piercing?"

"Uh," Julia glared at Alison, her face burning. Why did she always have to embarrass her? "I just... didn't feel like it."

"You have a piercing?" Leia looked impressed. "Let's have a look."

Leaning back in her seat, Julia pulled her thin top from under her belt and held it up to show the clear gems sparkling in her navel.

"Cool," Leia announced. "It so suits you. Nice and understated. I think anything else would look gauche."

"I agree," Lyle grinned, mimicking a feminine voice. "And so last year." His voice was back to normal now. "But yeah, it looks real cute."

Luke's blood started to boil and when Lyle's fingers reached out to stroke the skin around Julia's navel, he really thought he was going to lose it. Luke really wanted to blast him, like he had Hans the night of Julia's birthday. Only sending him farther. Like the middle of the Gulf of Mexico. A couple of overhead light bulbs popped.

"Oh my god!" Leia suddenly cried.

At first, everyone thought that it had been because of the blown bulbs. But Leia was staring at Julia's chest, making the young girl feel totally self-conscious. She crossed her arms across her breasts and shifted nervously.

"No," Leia gave her a sympathetic smile. "Sorry. I just spotted your necklace. May I?"

Julia nodded and held the medallion out for her to get a better look at it.

"That's really neat," Leia smiled, but Julia caught the very strange look that passed across Leia's face.

She was about to call her on it, but Leia spoke first, turning to Alison.

"Do you have any piercings, Alison?" she asked. "Other than your ears, I mean."

"That's a good question, actually," Julia giggled, forgetting the moment with Leia and the necklace. "I think that seeing as you made me have one, it's only fair that you get one too."

"Who would I get it for?" she looked up with her eyes wide in innocence.

"Chicken," Julia called.

"Okay," Alison nodded. "You got me. I am definitely too chicken to get it done. Okay? Are you happy now?"

"Yeah," Julia grinned. "Any edge to keep you quiet is a bonus."

"Are you saying I talk too much?" Alison demanded.

"If the shoe fits," Julia smirked.

"What about you, Luke?" Lyle called from where he was sitting next to Julia. "Did you get a piercing?"

"Uh," Luke turned scarlet. "No."

"Hey," he shrugged. "You should get one. You should get a 'Prince Albert'."

"What's that?" Luke frowned, glad that everyone else seemed just as clueless.

With a chuckle, Lyle climbed to his feet and walked to the opposite side of Luke. He leaned down and whispered in his ear. Luke turned an even brighter red and audibly gasped.

"Uh, no," he shook his head while Lyle took his seat again, doubled over with laughter. "No way."

"So what is a Prince Albert?" Leia asked.

Lyle only laughed harder while Luke shook his head, indicating that he would not repeat it.

"Will you tell me?" Julia looked at him through wide, round eyes and a sexy as hell pout.

"Maybe later," he muttered, looking away from her.

"Seriously, Luke," Lyle managed to control his laughter. "What would you have?"

"I'm uh, not sure I want one," he shrugged. "Actually."

"What about a Tat?" Lyle continued. He had found a new sport he liked. It was called 'Luke Baiting'. "Would you have a tattoo?"

"I suppose," Luke nodded. "I mean, if it was discreet, and..." he looked at Julia. "And it meant something... special. But not just for the sake of it."

"Like what?" Lyle continued. "Where?"

"I don't know," he shrugged. "What about you?"

"Hmmm," Lyle thought. "Piercings? My eyebrow, perhaps. Or my tongue. Girls love that, you know." He stuck his unadorned tongue out and started to waggle it up and down, accompanied by howls of laughter from the girls. "Know what I mean?" he winked at Julia. "How about you, Hans my man?"

"Yeah, right," Hans grunted. It had been the first thing he had said all night. "Anyone comes near me with a needle, I'll shove it up their..."

"How about you, Leia?" Alison interrupted him.

"Me?" Leia smirked. "A tattoo? Or a body piercing? Yeah, right. Only in Lyle's dreams."

"So, uhm, guys," Luke called them to attention. "Tonight's movie. What do you want to see?"

"Hey, you know what I saw this morning?" Lyle leaned forward. "They're showing a re-run of War of the Worlds at the Cineplex tonight."

"Is that the one with that guy who married that girl from that old show?" Alison asked.

"Huh?" Hans shook his head.

"No," Lyle seemed to understand. "It's the original one."

"Ah," Hans nodded. "With that guy who didn't marry that girl that wasn't from that old show."

* * *

Inside the theater, they found a complete aisle that was empty. Luke went in first, sliding along counting six seats. He turned, pushed the seat down and sat. Julia sat down next to him. She turned to the person who had just sat to her left and groaned inwardly when she saw that it was Hans.

"Trade places with me?" Julia whispered to Luke.

Luke leaned forward and saw the reason for her request.

"Sure," he nodded.

They both stood up and exchanged their seats. Hans simply stared at them as they performed their maneuver.

As soon as they had settled, the lights dimmed and the screen came alive with the advertisements. Between the ads for a new Pizza parlor in Siesta Key and the Adventure Island Water Park in Tampa was an invitation to join the newly formed Planetary Defense Force. While a famous actor's voiceover explained the reasoning behind the force, and the benefits of joining, including the chance to continue your education while earning a wage and protecting your country, recruits went through their training in the background. At the end, a series of telephone numbers and e-mail addresses were shown while all members of the audience sixteen years and older, of both genders were encouraged to contact their nearest recruiting office, now, and help save America.

"As soon as I turn sixteen," Lyle leaned forward, "me and a bunch of the guys from school are joining up. What about you two?" He directed his question to Luke and Hans. "We could all go to New Mexico together and kick alien ass."

While Hans and Luke exchanged awkward glances, they could feel the waves of anxiety rolling from Leia who was now fearing Lyle ever finding out the truth.

"That's a whole year away," Julia answered for Luke. She turned to look up at him. "There's no need for him to think of things like that, now. Is there?"

* * *

The main feature started with the main credits being shown against a backdrop of facsimile of the planet Mars. The narrator began speaking as the small launch indications appeared on the planet's surface. As the projectiles crashed to Earth, so the actors slowly took over.

"You know those aliens in New Mexico," Julia leaned closer to Luke. "Where do you think they came from and how long did it take to get here?"

"I'm not sure," Luke shrugged. "I mean, it could be from anywhere. But I kind of think that it didn't take them too long to get here. I mean, not hundreds of years or anything."

"So they can probably fly faster than light?" Julia pondered.

"Yeah," Luke agreed. "Probably."

"Do you think it's likely that they had anything to do with that crash in Roswell back in '47?"

"Maybe," Luke smiled. "You're full of questions tonight."

"It was Lyle's comment about joining up," Julia frowned. "I'm afraid that all my friends will get caught up in a war against them or something. I'm not sure I could handle that."

"It's like you said, Julia," Luke soothed. "It will be a year before we're old enough to fight."

"I know," she nodded. "But what if more are on the way? Do you think that they could fall victim to simple germs and bacteria like in the original story?"

"I doubt it," he dashed her hopes. "I think if that were the case, it would have already happened by now."

"Yeah," she sighed. "I wonder why they invaded New Mexico? I mean, there are probably a lot better places to takeover. And it's not like they've tried to expand their territory or anything. Unless... they're waiting for reinforcements."

"Perhaps," Luke narrowed her eyes. "I hope not."

"But why wait so long? I mean, surely they'd want to make their move before we launched some kind of counter attack or something."

"Maybe they're just looking for something," Luke's mind started to race. Half formed memories drifting in and out like a badly tuned TV set.

"Or someone," Julia whispered in the dark.

When the first of the Martian machines of war rose from their pits, and started to zap everyone in sight, Hans turned to Luke.

"Maybe we should get some hotshot producer to follow that Richard Madly and his boys when he heads off to fight them aliens," he grinned. "John Wayne of the intergalactic world."

"He would have been really useful against this lot," Luke indicated the trio of machines hovering over the devastation of a destroyed town.

"How do you figure that?" Hans narrowed his eyes.

"He could have blinded them all," Luke indicated the extendible eyepiece. "He's deadly with paintball guns."

Hans snorted so loudly, every member of the audience turned to glare at him.

Luke turned back to the film, watching as the hero scurried a number of people into safety under the watchful eyes of the enemy. Julia slipped her arms around Luke's arm and held him tightly. He reached across with his free hand and covered one of hers. She remained there for the rest of the film. Luke could hardly concentrate anymore. Something very small, very round and very, very hard was pressing into his upper arm. It took every ounce of willpower he possessed to not react to her.

* * *

Sitting in the darkened interior of the cinema, Hans watched the Martians' murderous spree as they unleashed their devastation on a world totally unprepared for that kind of violence. As he watched another vehicle filled with soldiers disappear into oblivion, Hans couldn't help casting his mind back to Luke's words the other night. The words that compared him to the aliens in New Mexico who were doing as unspeakable things in reality as these Martians were doing in fiction.

If those alien, the ones in New Mexico, were down here looking for them, if, as he had once hoped, they were here to find them, to rescue them, would that make him, Luke and Leia... like them? Would that make the three of them... inhuman? Would that make them no better than these monsters of fiction that had the three girls hiding their faces behind their hands? Or in Julia's case, behind Luke's arm.

Hans had to ask himself if he really wanted to belong to a race of beings that would just kill people for the sake of it. He looked at Alison, her face cringing in the dark as she sat terrified while the telescopic eye of the Martian machine hunted through the ruined basement of a wrecked building, searching for Dr. Clayton Forrester and Sylvia Van Buren. Would he... could he remorselessly hunt down and kill Alison?

Or Julia? He leaned forward and looked across at Luke's friend. She had her arms linked in Luke's and as she watched the action, she kept stealing glances at him. Every now and then, she would whisper something to him. He would chuckle, something he had only seen Luke do around Julia or Leia, and whisper something back to her, making her giggle. Could he imagine Luke killing Julia in cold blood? Could he imagine Luke killing anyone, for that matter? For any reason, except in the defense of those he loved. Like him, Leia... Julia.

Luke was such a gentle person. Unless provoked. Maybe... just maybe, Luke had been right all along, and for the time being at least, they were wise to remain hidden. Maybe Luke actually did know what he was doing. Perhaps Luke had been with the program all along and it had been him who had his head up his ass, and not Luke. He continued to watch the couple for a while and wondered why it was that these two, who so obviously cared so much for one another, had not given in to their feelings and become the close couple they both so badly wanted to be. Was it because of him and his demands that Luke not get attached?

He had come a long way, Hans decided, but he was not there yet. At this moment, he believed he was right about that at least. He was glad that Luke was still working hard to remain uninvolved. Even if Luke was right and they were supposed to wait for further instructions, they had to remain focused. Ready. Detached. He turned back to the screen, slid lower into his chair and stretched his arm out so that it passed over the top of Alison's seat. She looked shocked for a moment. She glanced over at him, smiled, and leaned into him a little more. Detached or not, this, he decided, felt right.

"Hey," Alison shrieked, pointing at the soldiers on the screen. "Isn't that Major General Mann in the background? Didn't he like, die a couple of scenes ago? And now he's come back to life to fight the evil aliens again? Yeah. Get real, Hollywood. Like that would ever happen." **

* * *

"Do you think they believed us?" Julia asked, glancing over her shoulder as they left their friends at Scoops.

"What? That you wanted to go home because you weren't feeling well?" Luke smiled. "Of course they believed you. It's not like they think we're sneaking off to make out." Which would have been so cool.

I wish we were, Julia looked away to hide her sudden flush.

"Have you eaten in this place, already?" Luke asked her as the walked along the boardwalk.

"Not yet," Julia shook her head. "Dad mentioned it a while ago and Mom said we'd have to go there one night, but we never did."

"So this is a first," he smiled.

"Uh, huh," she grinned. "Oh, hey, there it is."

* * *

As jobs went, waiting tables in an Indian restaurant was not exactly a glamour position, but it had its moments. For sophomore, soon to be junior Kevin Bryly, although the money was good, the uniform was totally embarrassing. He wore a shirt and a pair of pants, both in a bright orange color that looked more like a pair of pajamas than clothing. He also wore a turban on his head. And he found it rather heavy. When he started, he had hoped it would be a way to meet girls, either the tourists, or the local girls from his school. But things had been slow.

When Julia Cartier walked in, his eyes nearly popped free from his head. He had always thought Julia was one of those sweet girls. The kind who would be friends with everyone but as a date would be like a block of wood. He had never once seen that she could be considered date material or anything. In fact, since she arrived at the start of her freshman year, he could not recall her even having been on a date with anyone.

And yet, her she was, at his restaurant, on what could only be described as a date. And she looked like a million dollars. There was no doubt about it. Julia Cartier was H. O. T.! He didn't recognize her date, which was a good thing. That would mean he wasn't a local. He felt a stab of jealousy that these tourists could come down here and date their chicks. But he consoled himself with the knowledge that come September, all the tourists would be gone and Julia would be alone. It would be game on, then. And, the guy had to go home sometime. A week, maybe two. Kevin decided that he would get Julia's number and call her. Get a jump on the rest of the guys who would line up to ask her out once word of this got around.

"Good evening, sir, madam," Kevin greeted them like he was taught. "A table for two? This way please."

The formalities over with, he could make small talk.

"Hey, Julia," he smiled.

"I'm sorry..." Julia peered at the face beneath the turban.

"It's Kevin," he felt gutted that she hadn't recognized him. "Kevin Bryly."

"Kevin! Oh my god!" Julia held her hand to her mouth. "I'm sorry I didn't recognize you."

"It's the turban," he pointed with a shrug. "This is your table."

He moved to help her sit down but the speed of the big guy she was with surprised him. Did he just glare at me? Warning, big guy. Never piss off the waiters at an Indian Restaurant! He returned the glare as the guy held the seat for Julia.

"Uh, Kevin, this is my friend, Luke. Luke, this is uh... Kevin. He goes to my school."

Feeling better that she referred to the guy only as a friend, he felt crushed that he was just someone who just 'went to her school'. Damned tourists, he cursed as he handed them two menus with a smile.

"If you want alcohol," he tried to hide the sneer. "I'll need to see some ID."

He left them to make up their mind.

* * *

"Do you uh, have any idea what any of this is?" Luke leaned over the table to Julia.

"None at all," she giggled. "It's a bit of an adventure, isn't it?"

"I'll say," Luke returned to his menu. "How hungry are you?"

"So, so," she looked at him. "Why?"

"Did you want a starter?"

"Oh, no," she shook her head. "Not for me. We could just have our meal and then head back to Scoops for desert, if you want."

"Works for me," Luke smiled. "Which do you think is the hottest?"

"I don't know," she shook her head. "But I want the exact opposite. Maybe we should just ask."

"Okay," Luke nodded, waving the waiter over, even though he didn't like him very much.

"Yes, sir," his voice came out as a sneer again.

"Neither of us have eaten in an Indian Restaurant before," he said. "Could Julia have the mildest kind?"

"Of course you can," he smiled at her. "That would be the Korma. What variety would you prefer? Beef, Lamb, Chicken..."

"Chicken, please," she nodded.

"And for you... sir?"

"I'll uh..." he looked at Julia. "I'll have the hottest. What ever that one is called."

"A Phal, sir. Beef?"

"No," Luke shook his head. "Could I, uh... have chicken, too?"

"And to drink?"

"We'll just have two mineral waters, please," Luke nodded.

* * *

"One Chicken Korma," Kevin called as he entered the kitchens. "And one Chicken Phal. Oh, we have a regular red-neck out there thinks he's clever. He's been showing off to his date, claiming that curries are nowhere near as hot as Mexican food. He reckons they're never hot enough. And I'll tell you what, guys. If this guy isn't KKK, I don't know who is."

The chef peered through the hatch at the table in question.

"He does, does he? Well, he wants hot? I'll give him hot."

A Phal curry was never a traditional Indian dish. It had been invented to cater for the clientele who wanted hotter and hotter curries. The dish that the Indian chef prepared had no name. If he had to give it one, then it would have been a clever name with a hidden meaning. Instead, as he heaped in the extra hot chilies, he just thought of it only as 'revenge'.

"Here you go, Julia," he placed the aromatic dish before the girl he had set his eye on. "And here is yours, sir," he grinned. You are going to make one hell of an asshole out of yourself in front of your date.

He hurried back into the kitchen and joined the rest of the staff who had gathered by the hatch to watch the fireworks.

* * *

"It smells good," Julia smiled up at Luke.

She used her fork to gather some rice and some of the curry sauce and moved it to her mouth.

"Mmmm," she groaned. "This is so good. Try yours."

"Do you think they would be offended if I put some Tabasco sauce on it?" Luke asked her.

"Yeah," she nodded. "I think they might. It would be like asking a French chef for ketchup."

"You're probably right," he sighed. "But he did say it was the hottest, so..."

Luke used his fork to gather up a good helping of the meal.

"Shouldn't we be using chop sticks?" he laughed.

"Yes, Luke," Julia rolled her eyes with a giggle.

Luke put the fork into his mouth, and sat back to savor the explosion of spicy heat inside his mouth. He swallowed it.

"This is good," he grinned, not even breaking into a sweat as he dug in to his dinner.

"Is everything okay, here?" Kevin had a sick look on his face when he approached his customers. He had been unable to believe what he had seen as Julia's date had polished off the hottest curry he had ever heard of without once gasping for breath. Even the chef couldn't believe it. In fact, he was at the back of the kitchen now, drinking gallons of milk after having tested his own fiery sauce.

"It was lovely, thank you," Julia smiled.

"Thank the chef for me," Luke nodded. "That was the best restaurant meal I have ever eaten. I didn't even have to put any Tabasco on it."

"I'm glad we came here," Julia smiled as Luke led her from the restaurant.

"Yeah," Luke gave a self-satisfied smile. "We'll have to come again."

"Really?" Julia looked overjoyed.

Alison had been so right when she predicted that this would be the best summer ever.

* * *

** Authors Note - In the original film, a clip is used twice. In that clip, we see Major General Mann. The clips occure before his death and than later, after his death. :wink:
Last edited by WR on Fri Mar 17, 2006 3:19 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Red Shift Part 1 Chapter 25

Post by WR » Fri Mar 17, 2006 3:26 pm

Hi Everyone!

I am SO sorry for my sudden and unexplained vanishing act last week, but I am afraid that it was very unavoidable, and unfortuneately, I had no time whatsoever to post to let you know what was going on.

In a nutshell, a week ago last Wednesday morning, an old friend of mine called with a major panic on. He had to deliver a software module to a client in New York in a weeks time (Wednesday just gone) and his lead programmer had just upped and quit - and he was already way behind the deadline. So I stepped in,rolled up my sleeves and spent the next few days (and nights) working like a demon to finish the project for him. Which we managed to do by the skin of our teeth. Then, he asked me to take the software and hotfoot it to Heathrow, and by the time I got there, he will have had a ticket reserved for me to New York. (Not enough time to make a nice easy installable package, so it had to be done manually) I was met at JFK by a very nice lady in a very nice car who drove me to the office (which was not actualy anywhere near the city). After installing the software, proving it delivered what was required and collecting the big cheque, I was then taken to the nearest Holiday Inn where I slept almost a whole day! I was exhausted. I arrived home last night but was just too mentally drained to even consider posting.

SO, I paid a visit to the Big Apple and didn't see a thing. :( Didn't even but a T-Shirt. I have been promised, however, that they will send me over to help with the final installation, and that this time, they will pay for me to stay for the weekend. :)
Not sure when that will be, but watch this space.

Fortuneately for you guys, this chapter of Red Shift was completed already, so I can now resume my normal service. For my readers of Parisienne Walkways, however, there will be a delay as I had not finished the latest chapter yet.

I apologize for my lack of individual feedback this evening, but as you can imagine, I am still rather tired.

Thanks for your support.


* * *

Red Shift

Part 2

Chapter 25

Part 2

Chapter 25

The trial of King Deryn was transmitted to each one of the five planets. The king sat hunched in defeat at his table as the charges were read out against him. The defense, what little he was allowed, was pathetic. Only those truly loyal to the king could see the trial for what it was. A sham, a kangaroo court. A whole list of atrocities and crimes apparently committed by the king were read out, each and every one of them a complete fabrication. Witnesses came forth to bare witness to the massacre of whole towns, to the eradication of villages and farms, to the senseless slaughter of innocent civilians. But as mad as the king had become, in truth, he had never stooped that low. The trial was short, it was biased and it was clearly rigged. Ten minutes after being found guilty by a jury of Khivar's closest advisors, three apparently impartial judges sentenced King Deryn to death. At dawn the following morning, King Deryn suffered the ignominy of being hanged in a public square.

The trial itself had not been enough a warning to Khivar. All during the proceedings, loud voices of outrage were raised around Antar, as well as Parthrea, Kulka, Denst and Torania. Demonstrations broke out on the streets, protesting Khivar's despotic rule. As order broke down in the same way it had under Deryn's reign, Khivar's army used even more force than that of his predecessor to restore it. More and more corpses were hung from an ever-increasing number of public gallows as Khivar solidified his rule. Unease spread throughout Antar like wildfire, as once again, disaffected troops deserted. Families of deserting soldiers were executed in their stead, slowing this flow, but the damage had been done. Factions were already appearing. One side was in favor of Khivar, recognizing his steel and authority, which, they believed were sorely needed. Another faction came out in support of calls for General Rath, united with Princess Vilandra to lead them into the future. And still another faction called for the coronation of King Zan. Another civil war loomed and this time, everyone knew, there would be no road back. Antar would be torn apart, especially now that the other four planets were mobilizing forces behind their own chosen factions. By the time the news of Deryn's execution had reached the farthest flung sectors of the alliance, Antar was a powder keg, ready to explode.

* * *

"Are you okay?" Ava, dressed like Zan, all in black, walked to his side and sat in the seat next to him.

"Yeah," Zan whispered, wrapping an arm around her.

"I guess this makes you King, huh?" Ava gave him an encouraging smile.

"A king of what, though?" Zan looked up. "This tiny island? King of these caves? Not much of a kingdom. And how long will I be allowed to remain here, once Khivar gains control of the Granolith?"

"Rath says he's tearing apart the Sky Palace, trying to find it," Ava chuckled. "It seems no one knows where it is."

"Traditionally, only the king knows of its actual location," Zan gave her a weak smile. "And finding it doesn't really give you control of it."

"So, how do you control it?"

"The seal," Zan sighed. "It lives inside," Zan tapped his head. "As far as I'm aware, it's a solid enough thing, but it just... gets absorbed by whoever holds it to his head."

"Absorbed?" Ava scrunched up her face. "Ewww. So the seal? It's still inside the King's head?"

"I guess," Zan nodded. "Unless Khivar has already found it. But if he already had the seal, I think we would know about it."

"How's that?"

"We just would," Zan whispered. "We just would."

"Maybe he doesn't know about the seal."

"He does," Zan nodded. "He knows about it, all right."

"Zan," Rath called from the entrance to his small, private cave. A heavy curtain had been fixed to afford him some privacy. "You have a comms call."

"A comms call?" Zan looked up. "Who from?"

"Khivar," Rath answered.

"What does he want," Zan's eyes were wide as he pulled back the curtain.

"I'll give you three guesses," Rath growled. "But you'll only need one."

* * *

"How can I help you, Khivar?" Zan tried to keep his emotions hidden as he spoke to his enemy.

"I have called to discuss the terms of surrender, Zan," Khivar was also keeping his emotions in check.

"That's very kind of you," Zan smiled. "Just lay down your weapons, hand yourself to the Senate and I'll pop along to watch your trial for the murder of my father. It will be more fair than the one you gave him. How's that?"

"I never did like your sense of humor," Khivar shook his head.

"That's because you don't have one."

"It's your surrender we're discussing," Khivar snapped, losing his composure for a split second. "I have a deal to offer you, but before you consider your answer, I feel it only fair to let you know that I am fully aware of your position. I have just dropped a red flare onto the island that you are currently cowering in. You go and check. I'll call you back in fifteen minutes."

And then Khivar was gone.

"Please go and check," Zan turned to one of the soldiers. He then turned to Rath as the soldier scurried away. "What do you think?"

"I don't trust him," Rath shook his head.

"Neither do I, Rath. But if he knows where we are, why isn't he already attacking us? Maybe he's being genuine?"

"We are on the verge of another civil war," Rath nodded. "One that would do no side any good. Perhaps he is trying to find a solution. But still... I keep remembering what he did to you father."

"So do I," Zan agreed.

The soldier returned.

"Well?" Zan asked.

"A red flare, sire," the soldier bowed.

"Maybe he dropped flares everywhere," Rath narrowed his eyes.

"He knows," Zan shook his head. There was a kind of acceptance in his voice.

"But, how?"

"The same way he's always known where we are," Zan groaned. "Someone's been betraying me from the very beginning."

* * *

"You mentioned a deal, Khivar," Zan told the image of his nemesis.

"I did," Khivar nodded. "You are doubtless aware of the situation that your Father's... death has created."

"A situation of your making, Khivar," Zan reminded him. "You had the ideal opportunity to end all of this, peacefully."

"Let us not dwell in the past," Khivar shrugged. "The fact remains that we have this situation, which is doing nobody any good. We need to establish peace, and quickly."

"So what is it that you propose?"

"I want you to surrender yourself to me. I want you to come in from the cold, and stand trial for your crimes."

"What crimes have I committed, Khivar?" Zan asked. "Is it now a crime to defeat your generals in battle? Is that what I am accused of?"

"The crimes needn't matter. Conspiracy? Fraud? It really isn't important," Khivar shook his head. "What matters is that you will stand trial."

"I fail to see how me being hung like a common criminal will sound so appealing that I will accept your deal."

"If I wanted you dead," Khivar raised his eyes, "I could have ordered an assault on your island. You are already aware of the fact that I know your location."

"Say I do surrender," Zan narrowed his eyes. "What will happen to me?"

"After you are found guilty, you publicly abdicate your throne, thus dissolving the monarchy for all time. You will formally hand over all vestiges of power and authority to me, removing the threat that you and those who call for the return of the king from the power struggle."

"I see," Zan nodded. "But that doesn't explain my future."

"You will then be exiled," Khivar stated. "To the destination of your choice. One of our distant moon colonies. Another planet. Where ever you want. As long as it is not on Antar or the other four planets of the alliance, it doesn't matter."

"Alone?" Zan frowned.

"No. You may takes all those who wish to follow you. But there's one condition."

"And that is?"

"Rath goes too.

"Rath?" Zan sounded surprised.

"Yes," Khivar gave a soft smile. "It removes him from the equation, too. You and your friends can take enough wealth to live a life of ease and luxury."

"I'll need to think about this," Zan looked up. "I'll have to talk it over with my friends, my family."

"You have a week, Zan. Seven days."

"Well?" Zan turned to the people who were standing around him.

"I think we should do it, Zan," Ava stepped next to him, squeezing his hand to show support. "We have to think of what's best for Antar. And what's best for you. Us."


"I'm not sure, Zan," Lonnie shook her head. "I need to think about this. I don't know if I can leave Antar."


Rath remained silent as he considered his options.

"Whatever you do, I'll be right beside you," Rath looked up. "If you want to run, I'll run with you. If you want to hide, I'll be hiding there, too. And if you want to fight, my gun will be right next to yours. But there's something wrong. I don't know what it is, but there's something going on that we're not aware of. But whatever you decide, I will be with you."

Zan nodded and gave his friend a warm smile while his soldiers all offered Zan their support. Whatever his choice, he would not be alone.

"We don't need to rush this," Zan grinned. "We have a week to make our decision, and I really don't know if I can trust him, or not."

"You shouldn't," an older woman's voice called from the front of the cave.

Led by a middle-aged woman, a small cluster of people were standing by the entrance. Among her assorted guards was Commander Artan, the man who had captained the survey ship, the Gem, and Hentz, one of his father's best-known scientists.

"Mother!" Vilandra gasped.

She stood motionless for a few heartbeats before rushing the length of the cave into her mother's arms.

"Hello, Mother," Zan smiled at her as she was being almost crushed by his sister.

"Hello, Zan," Dalena grinned back. "You've made quite a reputation for yourself, I see."

"I wish it was for my diplomacy and not for war," he frowned. "But I'm glad to see you well. I was worried when we couldn't find you that day we fled the palace. Where have you been?"

"As soon as it was inevitable that war would break out, Larek smuggled me away. I've been on Torania."

"Was he holding you hostage, Mother?" Vilandra leaned back to study her mother.

"No, my child," she soothed. "I went willingly. And as soon as I heard that Larek had been... arrested by Khivar, I knew that it was time to come and see you at last."

"So you came straight here?" Zan accepted her outstretched hand and pulled her into an embrace.

"No," she shook her head. "I came by way of the Sky Palace. I had to collect a few people and something rather special."

"The people I see," Zan looked around, vaguely recognizing some of them. "But what could have been so important at the Sky Palace that you risked being captured by Khivar?"

"This," Dalena nodded to one of the man, whom Zan remembered was a scientist. "I retrieved this from where I hid it, years ago when your father suspected that someone was plotting to seize control of the Granolith." She looked at the scientist. "Hentz?"

The scientist pulled a small, flat, black box from his bag and opened it, showing it to Zan. Zan gasped. Glowing brightly in the dimness of the cave, five bright blue dots in the shape of the letter V winked back at him.

"The Seal of the Granolith," Zan whispered with reverential awe.

* * *
Last edited by WR on Sun Mar 26, 2006 2:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Red Shift Part 2 Chapter 26

Post by WR » Sun Mar 26, 2006 2:49 pm

You know that saying, it never rains, it pours? Well... Friday morning, my laptop went pfffft. :( Fortuneately, I have Red Shift backed up offline, so once I was able to get my old (and I do mean old) computer working again... here I am.

I'm sorry that I missed Friday night, but I'm sure youy will understand. Thank you so much for putting up with me just lately. :)

you're my dreamgirl - It's only because I had the chapter already written that I was able to post. :wink:

smokie - Regarding Rath/Michael/Hans and his being a pain in the butt... well, you'll see. :wink:

AJK001 - Glad you enjot the history as much as the main story. :)

rowell3053 - Thank you :)

lazza - Yeah. But I knew I wasn't going to get to see anything before I got on the plane so... Maybe next time. :)

omwf - Yes, the seal is a physical entity and not some metaphysical ideal. It can be lifted up and carried about. But it can also be... absorbed... so...

VeronicaB - Well... in order for Zan to become the King... the other one had to die. But he was clearly once sane enough to recognize a threat was on the way.

aurorasky - Thank you :)

NorafanofMaxandLiz - I was hoping that I would be taken on as that other guy's replacement but that doesn;t look like happening... and no explanation why. :( Now, the seal... I'm sure under normal circumstances, the seal is passed on to the heir when the King dies. But as the seal was not with the King when he died, and neither was the heir... It looks like it's been passed to the heir now, though.

Timelord31 - Well, you know Zan and his desire for peace... Hey, if he doesn't die, he never gets to meet Liz, so...

Roswelllostcause - Do you suppose they have Hockey sticks on Antar? :lol:

frenchkiss70 - I'm starting to wonder which you find more frustrating? The history lessons interupting the story... or the story interupting the history lessons. :lol:

Ellie - Thank you :)

paper - It was inside the King's head. Ah! what an interesting concept. Removing the King;s seal could be hazardous to your Health, huh? :wink: Ohhh! And Dalena is in on it... Perhaps she tricked her husband into removing the seal. Then persuade Kivar to off him, and... :wink:

Okay... on with the show.

Red Shift

Part 2

Chapter 26

Luke lay back on his elbows, surveying the beach scene in front of him. People were playing, swimming or just sitting back and soaking up the rays.

"Hey, Luke," Leia came and sat on the corner of her towel. She was wearing shorts and a white top over her bikini. "Where's Julia?"

"She and Alison are still at work," Luke moved over to give her more room. "They're on the early shift. They'll be joining us later."

"Us?" Leia raised her eyebrows at the fact that Luke was on his own.

"Hans, uh," Luke looked around, "has gone to get something to drink."

"Is Julia okay about Hans now?" she asked. "I mean, being anywhere near him."

"No," Luke shook his head. "And I don't think she ever will be. Not that I blame her. But she puts up with him, you now, for Alison."

"And for you, Luke," Leia said tenderly. "She cares a great deal about you."

"And I care for her," Luke shrugged. "But you know..."

"This just friends deal is getting to be a little old, Luke," Leia rolled her eyes. "If neither one of you can see the truth then there really is no hope for you."

"So, where's Lyle?" Luke wanted to shift the spotlight.

Luke really hoped that he wasn't at Scoops flirting with Julia.

"Oh," Leia rolled her eyes. "He's playing the macho beach dude with his buddies today."

"Right," Luke nodded. Good.

"Where did Julia get that necklace, Luke?" she turned to face him, her eyes narrowed.

Luke blinked for a moment before taking a deep breath.

"From me," Luke cast her a wary glance. He spoke a little guardedly. "I gave it to her as a birthday present."

"But where did you get it?" she demanded.

"I, uh... made it," he shrugged.

"I know that symbol," Leia reached toward the sand and drew the whirlwind symbol. "Where do I know it from? And what made you think of it?"

"I don't know," Luke shook his head. "But I'm guessing all three of us know it. I think it's something to do with where we come from."

Leia thought about this for a moment.

"Wasn't it a bit of a risk?" her eyes narrowed. "Giving it to Julia?"

"Why?" Max frowned.

"She doesn't know what it is?" Leia asked, her eyes narrowed.

"It's just a neat design to her," Luke was still a little guarded. "Why should she suspect anything else?"

"Why did you give it to her?"

"I don't know," Luke shoved his hands through his hair. "It just felt right. Leia, every time I think of Julia, I see that symbol in the background. And I see something else, too. Five stars in the shape of a V. Like this."

Luke pressed five dots into the sand, forming a V shape.

"Maybe it's a constellation?" Leia shook her head, not recognizing it. "Maybe it points home."

"So why do I see those symbols and Julia in the same image?"

"Gee, Luke," Leia's voice dripped with sarcasm. "I don't know. Why do you see them altogether?"

"There's no need to be like that," Luke exhaled.

"And I thought 'you' were the romantic one," Leia shook her head with a wry smile.

* * *

After their fun filled afternoon on the beach, they had gathered at Scoops. While Alison and Hans sat close together, Luke and Julia were sitting closer still.

"I go home, soon," Lyle informed them. "I can't believe that I've been here nearly three weeks."

"Where has the time gone?" Leia shook her head. Between Lyle and Anders, she had preferred Lyle's company if only because he never seemed intimidated by Luke and Hans. And he made her laugh. "It's just flown by."

"I can't believe that we've been here six weeks already," Alison shook her head. "Summer's almost over."

"What am I going to do when you've all gone home?" Julia wondered.

Luke smiled at her, giving her hand a squeeze.

"You know, guys," Lyle continued. "Tomorrow is my last full day, right? And I want to get involved with the other guys I hang with when I'm here. But I want to spend time with you guys, too."

Lyle had spent his three weeks alternating his time between Leia and her friends, and his own group of friends he had made. Leia had confessed to Luke that she was surprised that Lyle was not besotted with her, as Anders had been. Luke had suggested that this was a good thing, because she would not always get her own way with him and grow bored of him.

"So I was kinda hoping," Lyle continued, "that you guys would come and join us for a monster beach day, just hanging, playing sports and kicking back."

Everyone nodded their agreement, although Hans seemed a little reluctant. Luke only nodded once Julia had said that she was up for it, especially as it was her day off.

"What do we need to bring?" Alison asked.

"Lunch, money, water," Lyle shrugged. "Lots of sunscreen, a hat would be good and bags of energy." He thought for a moment. "For the girls, it's clothing optional."

Lyle was showered with a swarm of napkins.

* * *

"Okay, Jules," Alison turned from the hand drier to address her friend. They had gone to the ladies room together and Alison had taken the opportunity to discuss something that had been bothering her for ages. "I'm going to ask you something, okay? And please don't bite my head off." Alison looked around. "Have you fallen for Luke?"

"What?" Julia tried to look shocked, and outraged at the same time. She achieved neither. "Yes," her shoulders slumped. "Big time. I mean, the thought of him going home... I can't even breathe, sometimes." Her eyes widened. "But you can't tell him, Alison. You have to promise me that you will never tell him."

"Why not?" Alison frowned. "Come on, Jules! It's so obvious that he likes you, too."

"But what happens when he finds his dream girl, huh?" tears rimmed her eyes. "What happens when he says, bye. It's been fun but now I found my soul mate...? And if he missed out on being with her because he was tangled with me... I would never forgive myself."

"Girl," Alison shook her head. "You are so hopeless. I wish I never tried to intervene with you two, tell you about his dream girl and how he would never hit on you. Because then you would just let him know you want him as much as I know he wants you. And then we could see the sparks fly."

"No," Julia shook her head. "The sparks won't fly for Luke unless he's with his soul mate. I think he's that kind of person."

"Like I said." Alison sighed. "Hopeless."

* * *

Hand in hand, Luke walked Julia through the streets of Siesta Key toward her home.

"Tomorrow should be fun," Julia looked up and smiled at Luke. "I'm kind of looking forward to seeing you run around, getting all competitive."

"What makes you think I would get competitive?" Luke raised an eyebrow.

"I just do," she shrugged. "I think you would always try to do your best. In whatever you do."

"What about you?" he smiled. "Are you going to compete?"

"Me?" Julia laughed. "What sport could I possibly compete in?"

"Well..." Luke smiled. "You could still play."

"I'll keep the blanket warm," she giggled. "And the drinks chilled. How's that?"

"Sounds good to me," he nodded.

Julia stopped walking, and pulled Luke back to face her.

"Listen," she gave a shy smile. "I, uh... Leave the lunch to me, okay, Luke? I mean, your lunch. Leave your lunch to me. I'll uh, make yours as well as mine. It won't be anything special or anything, just..."

Realizing that she was babbling, she fell into an embarrassed silence while Luke looked at her for a moment.

"Are you sure?" he smiled at her.

"Yeah," she nodded.

"Do you want me to bring anything?" he smiled at her, accepting her kind offer.

"Uhm," she nodded. "Just a hat." Her eyes widened and she blushed again. "And some swimming trunks... and a towel... and some sunscreen would be useful. Oh! And Luke? Can you bring one of your magic water bottles?"

"Magic water bottles?" Luke frowned.

"Yeah," Julia smiled. "The ones that keeps your water lovely and cold all day."

"Oh," Luke chuckled. "Right. Hats, shorts, towel, sunscreen, magic water bottle, check. Anything else?"

"Just yourself," Julia breathed, gazing into Luke's eyes for a moment before looking away.

* * *

Bright and early, although Opa claimed that the day was old, a car pulled up outside Omi and Opa's house. Julia climbed out of the front seat while Alison emerged from the rear. From the trunk, Julia lifted a large picnic basket while Alison lifted out a pair of beach bags. Luke was out of the house in an instant.

"Hey," he smiled first to Julia, their eyes meeting for a moment. "Hey, Alison," he acknowledged his friend. "Hey Mr. Cartier," Luke called at the car.

A hand emerged from the window, waving above the roof line as he pulled away. Luke took the hamper from Julia so that she could wave to her dad. Leading the way, Luke started to walk around the outside of the house to the back yard where Leia and Hans were already waiting.

"Oh, hello girls," Omi greeted them as they came down the steps from the porch.

"Hi, Mrs. Heitmann," Julia treated them to a dazzling smile. "Mr. Heitmann."

"Hello, Julia dear," Omi smiled back. "And who is your charming friend?"

"This is Alison," Julia introduced her. "She's here for the summer like Luke..." Julia's eyes were soon drawn back to the boy who held her heart. She sensed that Omi was grinning at her. "And Leia and Hans." She started to turn red.

"That's nice, dear," Omi gently touched her elbow.

Behind her, Opa winked at Luke.

* * *

Alison watched the group's dynamics, even though she was in the middle of them. Leia was a little aloof from the group, though not deliberately freezing them out or anything. She seemed to regard her and Julia as people that Luke and Hans knew and therefore, she knew only by association. Sure, she was pleasant enough, it wasn't as though she was being hostile. There was just this guardedness about her.

Luke, of course, was trying to make sure that he included everyone. It was clear that he loved his sister and sometimes went out of his way to make her feel as though she belonged with them.

Luke treated Alison just as he always had, a good friend whom he was always pleased to see. His relationship with Hans was a little strained at the moment, as though he only put up with his presence because they had some kind of blood tie. It was different from a few weeks ago when they seemed almost like a team.

And of course, Julia would have to be blind... which Alison believed was the truth, not to see how much Luke cared for the small, dark-haired girl. Luke was clearly in love with her. Just as Julia was in love with him and Luke did not seem to notice that either. Here was a couple that needed their heads banged together.

Hans was the strange one. At times, she could feel his attraction to her. They were like magnets, a gentle pull together but as they approached, it was as if someone reversed their polarity and they were pushed apart. Alison wondered if Hans was actually attracted to someone else.

She looked at Julia, who had not approached Hans, had not greeted him, had not even acknowledged his presence. Which was strange as Julia was one of the most outgoing people she knew, always seeing the best in everybody. Why then, would she be so reluctant to go near Hans? Wheels started to turn that perhaps shouldn't have.

Alison remembered a couple at school, who had dated for a while and then broke up. They had behaved in exactly the same manner as Julia and Hans. Not exactly animosity toward one another but neither did they acknowledge one another. They simply pretended the other did not exist. Alison had certainly sensed a kind of tension between the two of them. And there had been that whole... scenarios when Hans had led both her and Luke to believe that they were with someone else.

Her eyes widened. Had they had some kind of fling? Was that it? Had Julia broken down one evening and Hans was there to... to take advantage of her? Or had Julia thrown herself at him one night, frustrated that Luke was not giving her the attention she was craving. She made a mental note to ask Luke if he had picked up the strange vibes between the two.

* * *

Lyle arrived shortly afterwards and led the group down the beach to where he and his buddies would be spending the day. Luke carried the picnic basket and both of their bags while Julia carried a beach umbrella. Hans carried only his own things, leaving Alison to carry hers.

"What were you saying about Lyle not being whipped?" Hans snorted, indicating the tall young man who was carrying everything of Leia's as though he was a pack animal. An icebox, a chair, an umbrella and Leia's bag.

"It's called being a gentleman," Alison hit Hans with her bag. "And it does not equate to being whipped."

There was already quite a crowd when they arrived at a deserted stretch of beach that had been designated as their play area. Altogether, there must have been twenty boys all their age or older, and almost that many girls. While most of the boys were throwing a football back and forth, the girls were already lying in the sun coating themselves with oil. As Lyle's small procession approached, games were stopped as they all checked out the newcomers, the girls peering over the tops of their sunglasses at the fresh meat, while the boys openly ogled the new talent.

"They'll settle down in a moment," Lyle rolled his eyes. "When they don't act like Neanderthals, they're actually quite nice people."

Lyle made the introductions and while the newcomers settled themselves in, every one seemed to congregate around them. Apart from the ensuing division of skill for the first game, the main topic of conversation immediately focused on Julia and her navel pin. All of the guys, attracted to the cute girl, felt that they had to pass their appreciation of it on to her.

"Why don't they bug the others?" Julia nodded at a number of other girls who had navel piercings.

"Because," Lyle laughed, "they don't turn a lovely shade of pink like you do."

Settled at last, Lyle dragged Luke and Hans to the group of boys who were already breaking into their two teams. They were about to play their first ever game of football. Luke and Han's styles were quite different to one another and on the same team, actually complemented one another. Hans tended to charge in like a bull whereas Luke liked to sit back, watch what was happening and react to it. While they defended, Hans made the ball holder slow down to dodge him, giving Luke the opportunity to step up and make the tackle. Offensively, Hans took his job of protecting Luke - designated as the quarterback because of his incredible coolness - very seriously. Anyone who broke through the lines had to get past Hans before they could sack Luke. No one did.

During one drive, Luke was getting distracted by one of the guys not interested in playing. Instead, he seemed to be making plays of his own, toward Julia. Luke could see that his advances were unwanted. Had Lyle not pulled him back into the huddle, Luke might have stormed across and done something a little foolish.

Instead, he called for a play that would send a quick pass to his wide receiver running up the sideline. After taking the snap, Luke dropped back into his pocket and fired probably the most perfect pass ever seen in the game, anywhere. It was inch perfect and had the receiver caught the ball, he would have easily run it all the way in for a touchdown. This pass, however, was not meant to be caught. It zipped through the receiver's fingers and hit the boy who was pestering Julia on the back of his head, knocking him to the ground.

The huddle was creased with laughter when they all gathered for the next play.

"You know," Lyle chuckled. "If you ever get drafted, that could be one of your special plays. Get some Joe to flirt with Julia and you'll nail that spot every time."

"Just need a wide receiver that can catch the damn thing," the teen who had tried to catch the pass was rubbing his fingers together.

* * *

Julia hated it when the game finished and Luke returned to join them. Not because Luke had done anything wrong. She hated the way the other girls had been fawning all over him while he played, commenting on his body. And now he was no longer playing, a small group of the bolder girls had surrounded him. They were pawing him, touching his arms, his chest and his stomach. Liz, preparing the picnic lunch was slamming the paper plates down.

"Go on, Luke, show us your muscles," someone called. "Please."

"Go on, Luke," Julia mimicked in a soft, high-pitched voice not meant to be heard. "Show us your muscles."

But when Luke collapsed onto the blanket beside her, all of her anger vanished as she gazed at his tight muscles, glowing from the sheen of perspiration and sunscreen.

"Go take a dip in the sea," she smiled at him. "You're all sweaty."

"Yes, Ma'am," Luke chuckled as he climbed to his feet and ran to the water.

After their lunch, Luke ignored the pleas of the other guys to continue the game and instead chose to spend some time with Julia. Hand in hand, they crossed the hot sand to the water, and started to splash around, slowly making their way out to where the water came up to Julia's chest, hiding each other's reaction to being in such close proximity to one another.

"Hey, you two!" someone called from the shore, waving them in. "You've been paired as team for the Kentucky Derby."

"Any idea what that is?" Luke looked at Julia.

"None whatsoever," she shook her head. "But come on. It might be fun."

Taking his hand, Julia led him out of the water to join everybody else.

"Piggyback races," Lyle grinned at them. "Girl on your back, first one around the flag pole over there and back, wins."

The guys lined up with the girls standing behind them.

"On your marks," some one called.

"Get set..."

The girls all jumped onto their partner's backs.


It really wasn't fair. Julia was so light that Luke hardly knew he was carrying her. Although he could scarcely ignore her breasts that were pressed into his back. To try to remove those thoughts, he ran harder, trying to escape from the feelings that were raging, as wall as winning.

"Come on, Luke," her voice purred next to his ear. "We're winning! Go! Go!"

No one could catch them. There was a gap of ten yards when Luke spun around the pole and even when some of the others tried to impede him, he easily danced past their clumsy attempts and soon crossed the finishing line.

"Next time," Lyle was panting heavily from carrying Leia, "you get a handicap."

Softball was the next game, one that both sexes could play. They made it so that the outfield was actually in the ocean, which led to one or two laughs. When Julia had a third turn at bat, the pitcher called everyone in. So far, Julia had only hit the ball a short way into the infield. But this time, she looped the ball over the shortstop's head, dropping into the sea where no one was waiting. Squealing as she ran, Julia scurried to first base, easily making it safe. With a huge grin of satisfaction, she gave Luke a wave.

But as far as Julia was concerned, the highlight of the day so far was when Lyle forced Luke to make the numbers even in the soccer game. Playing the sport for the first time ever, he seemed to be a natural. He could take the ball away from the opposition, he could pass and he seemed to have an uncanny understanding that placed him in the right place at the right time. Julia stood on the sidelines, cheering him on; his own personal cheerleader. Her biggest cheer was when Luke intercepted a pass and danced his way through a number of players and shot at the goal, easily beating the goalie.

"Awesome," Lyle was shaking his head when they all trooped off at the end of the game. "You really should try out for your school team, Luke. Only, if we ever meet in some tournament, you drop out. Right?"

* * *

The sunset was vivid, a collage or purple, red, pink orange and yellow. As the evening drew in, huge pieces of driftwood appeared as if by magic and soon, a bonfire became the central focal point around which everyone had gathered. A steady stream of delivery vans and bikes brought a selection of take away food, pizza, Chinese, burgers and chicken. Bottles of water and pop made their way around the groups as everybody had a little of everything on their plates.

After the meal, groups started to form. Although one or two couples started to make out among the dunes, generally, it was groups of guys and groups of girls. Julia was with Alison, Leia and bunch of others. From the way they kept looking across, Luke guessed that he was one of the topics they chose to talk about. Instead of joining some group to discuss the Panthers chances this year, or whatever, Luke sat and stared into the fire. Thinking of his favorite subject. Julia.

"Can I ask you something?" Lyle sat in the sand next to him.

"Sure," Luke looked at Lyle and gave a careful nod.

"How come you and Julia haven't properly hooked up yet?"

Luke blinked. Was he that obvious? Had Julia noticed?

"We're just friends," Luke shrugged. "Good friends."

"Yeah," Lyle nodded. "You keep saying that. But you're more than that. You hate it when other guys talk to her... you hate it when 'I' talk to her. And she hated it when the other girls were fawning all over you. Face it, Luke. You are in love."

Luke stared at Lyle while he considered his words.

"I'll admit that I'm in love with... I mean... I love her. But it's not like that. I'm just a good friend to her. A special friend. You're misreading the signs."

"No way," Lyle shook his head. "It's as plain as that pretty little nose on her pretty little face."

"No," Luke continued to shake. "She's got her heart set on someone else. She's in love with him big time. Alison even warned me about it. So..."

"You know what you should do?" Lyle placed a sympathetic hand on Luke's shoulder. "You should just tell her how you feel about her and let her decide."

Luke gave a soft snort.

"How do you think that's going to make me feel, Lyle?" Luke looked back into the fire. "Always knowing that I'm the guy who was second best."

* * *

As darkness fell, kids started to leave the beach, heading for their homes and hotels. It wasn't long before only the six of them remained. They sat together, in their pairs, close but not quite embracing. While Lyle was telling another of his jokes, something around his neck caught Luke's eye. Something he had not seen before.

"What's that you're wearing?" Luke asked when his story had finished.

"This?" Lyle lifted the small green ornament attached to a fine chain and studied it. "This is Buddah."

"Are you into that?" Alison asked.

"Yeah," Lyle nodded without the slightest trace of embarrassment. "Ever since I woke up, I've been trying to make sense of my life."

"So you only became a Bhuddist this morning?" Leia laughed.

"No," he shook his head. "When I woke up a while back. And I had all these memories that I just couldn't explain."

"What?" Leia frowned. "Why couldn't you explain them? Were they, like from a dream?"

"No," Lyle shook his head. "Films. Who starred in them. Lines from them. TV shows, big games. And things that the other kids all learned during school. That sort of thing."

"What's so strange about that?" Leia seemed confused.

"I shouldn't have them" Lyle shrugged. "I mean, as near as I can tell... since the day I was born, until last year sometime, I was in a coma."

There was a stunned silence.

"That explains a lot," Hans murmured.

"So," Lyle ignored him. "I shouldn't have had those memories, should I? And I started to figure that maybe, just maybe, these memories belong to someone else. Someone that maybe I... used to be. So I started to research reincarnation and stumbled upon my chubby little friend here.

"Uh," Julia's small voice popped up. She had been very quiet during Lyle's confession. "That's so weird, Lyle. I, uh... I was in a coma too. From birth. I only woke up last September."

Luke looked across to Julia and frowned. He gave her hand still held in his, a squeeze of sympathy.

"So we have something in common, then," Lyle smirked.

Luke didn't like that idea of Lyle having anything in common with Julia.

"When abouts did you wake up?"

"September eighteenth," Julia told him. "And then my Mom and Dad moved here because they wanted to get away from Miami where they felt I might be too naïve to look after myself. But, yeah. I have all these memories, too. Everyday things, films, food... studies. But no people. I can't remember a single person. Not even my parents."

"That's kind of spooky, Jules," Lyle nodded. "I woke up on September twenty sixth. And you're right. I don't remember any people either. Just... everyday stuff."

"Uh, guys," Alison held up her hand. "Me too. I uh, was in a coma until I woke up on September twenty ninth."

"This is so weird," Julia shook her head. "This has to mean something. There's a reason the three of us have been brought here like this. How about you guys? Were you in a coma too?"

"Uh, no," Luke was glad that the darkness hid his face. Right now, he was wishing he could blast Lyle or something. Lyle shared something with Julia that he did not. "But on the first day of October, we were in a plane crash. That's why we live with Allan and Debra now."

Julia looked at Luke and returned his sympathetic squeeze, leaning into him for extra support. He didn't like the fact that he was hiding something from her.

* * *

When they reached her house, both were reluctant to end the day. Julia wanted to go in doors no more than Luke wanted to leave.

"We can sit on the swing," Julia indicated the swing seat in the corner of the porch.

They sat together in silence, reveling in their closeness.

"My feet are kinda sore from all that running in the sand today," Julia grumbled.

"Really?" Luke looked up. "You should have said something sooner. Turn around and lift your feet up. I'll give you a foot massage."

"Really?" Julia beamed and she spun in her seat, lifting her feet up to Luke. "I'm pretty sure they're clean.

While Luke's fingers pressed and rubbed against the soles of her feet, and her toes, he sent tiny bursts of energy through her feet, revitalizing her. Julia was purring.

"There you go," he smiled up at her when he had finished.

Julia gave no reply. She had fallen asleep. Luke looked down at her and smiled, pleased that he could look at her so openly and not fear what she might see in his open adoration of her as he gazed at her beauty. He wished that he could look into her eyes and see the world through them. It must seem so beautiful to her, he decided. Like she is to him.

Luke leaned across and placed a light, lingering kiss on her lips. She murmured in her sleep and whispered something. A name, perhaps. Short. It sounded like 'Mas'. Was that the guy she was in love with? Tears welled up in his eyes as he wished he could kiss her when she was awake and that it was his name she whispered when asleep. He scooped her up into his arms and approached the door.

"What's wrong?" her father gasped when he opened the door.

"Nothing," Luke smiled. "She fell asleep."

"Okay," he nodded. "Let me..."

They performed an exchanged. Julia complained in her sleep when it was her father who held her.

"All her things are still at my place," Luke whispered. "I'll bring them around tomorrow."

"Thanks, Luke," her father nodded. "Good night, son."

As Luke headed for home, reliving that gentle kiss and pretending that the way she had returned it, even if it was imagined because she was asleep... that it was meant for him and not for her dream guy.

* * *
Last edited by WR on Fri Apr 07, 2006 3:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.