Eternal Ruby of Darkness(M/L,Adult) (Complete)

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Shadowlynxbehr
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Post by Shadowlynxbehr » Sat Jan 13, 2007 11:34 pm

Zanity- so true :( .

aussie- me too. LOL, I know.

BehrObsession- :wink: . I agree. Um...Aidan :( .

spray- LOL, I agree. We'll see.

roswell- we'll see...

French- LOL, I try. Yes he does. Um... :(

La'Shon- I got ya chica! Sorry, it just wasn't writing itself... :lol:

Joy- Awww. LOL, all will be revealed in time... LOL, just furthering the 3 muskateer's storylines so they'll be getting more parts soon... :twisted:

cocogurl- :wink: . Yeah, she could. LOL, yep boys will be boys. We'll see. Awww, thanks :oops: .


Okay guys, sorry for a tiny wait...LOL...


Part 31

Liz smiled as she watched a five month pregnant Maria waddle over to the couch and ease down into it with a groan. She was glad that Maria was now pregnant and adding more life to their world. She knew that even now, two years after the war, it was still a struggle to lift everyone’s spirits. So when someone became pregnant, more hope was added to everyone’s lives.

“Ugh, why didn’t you tell me how much pain I’d be in before I got pregnant?” complained Maria.

Liz chuckled, she knew Maria was just exaggerating like she always did. “I guess because I always felt like it was all worth it in the end. I mean, yes I was in pain sometimes, but I just kept telling myself that it was going to be worth it when I finally got to hold my son in my arms.”

Maria ran her hand over her stomach as she gave Liz a smile. “Wow! That’s right. You already knew it was going to be a boy, didn’t you?”

Liz nodded, “Yeah, Max knew and through my connection with him, I knew.”

Maria sighed, “Wish I could know what we are having.”

Liz frowned, “Michael doesn’t know?”

Maria shook her head, “At least that’s what he keeps telling me.”

“I guess it only happens with those who are syndeo then.”

Maria shrugged, “I guess.”

Liz grinned, “Well, what do you think you are having?”

Maria gave her a brilliant smile as she replied, “A girl.”

Liz laughed, “Really? Why a girl?”

“I dunno,” laughed Maria, “It’s just this feeling I have, you know.”

Liz nodded, “I know.”

They were silent for a few moments as Maria continued to rub her stomach. Looking up, Maria watched Liz as she gazed out of the windows in the domatio ilios. Maria continued to study Liz’s profile, wondering how she could look so happy even after two years.

“Liz?”

Liz turned away from gazing at the stars and gave Maria a smile.

Maria hesitated for a moment before quietly asking, “Did you know? I mean about the other one, did you and Max know what it was?”

Liz looked at her for a moment before nodding. As she turned to look back out of the window she said, “It was a girl.”

“Oh.”

Liz continued to look at the stars for a few more moments before turning to look at Maria again. She saw the look on Maria’s face as she gazed down at her folded hands.

“Maria, it’s okay. I’m okay.”

Maria lifted her eyes to Liz’s. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to…”

Liz shook her head, “It’s okay, I can talk about it now. It still hurts from time to time, but I have Max. And my family too. Max and I are there for each other and it helps.”

Maria nodded, “That’s good.”

Liz gave her a beautiful smile, “Yes, it really is. Having Max always there with me has been the best salve for me. And I’m there when he needs me.” She sighed as she turned back to the window. “I don’t know where we’d be if we didn’t have each other.”

Maria didn’t say anything as she stared at Liz. All she could think was how lucky Liz was to have a husband like Max. One who seemed to dote on her and make her happy. Maria still couldn’t figure out how Max managed to give Liz everything she needed and still be able to be one of the greatest Archigos around.

Liz gave a little sigh as she turned back to Maria. “So, other than the aches and pains, how it the pregnancy going?”

Maria groaned, “As good as it can be I guess.”

Liz arched an eyebrow, “Oh? Why do you say that?”

Maria shook her head, “No reason really. It’s just that I’m not sure Michael really wants a family.”

Liz gave her an incredulous look. Apparently Maria hadn’t been around Michael when he’d been beaming and going on and on to Max, her, or anyone else who’d listen. Michael was a proud father to be. It was completely obvious. And he’d often ask Max and Kyle for advice on what to do when the baby got there.

Liz always saw the look of pride on his face every time she asked him how Maria and the baby were doing. She knew he couldn’t wait to become a father and she also knew he was secretly hoping for a little girl just like Maria was. Even Max knew it.

“I mean he says he does and he was happy when I told him I was pregnant, but he hasn’t really talked about it you know. I thought that maybe by being pregnant it would make us closer somehow. The way you and Max are and Tess and Kyle. I mean, he does ask me how I’m feeling and if I need anything, but I guess he’d just be spending more time with me now that I’m pregnant.”

Liz frowned, “Max gave him more time off to be able to be with you, I know he did.”

Maria nodded, “Oh, he did. Don’t get me wrong, I know he did, it’s just well, I don’t think Michael is that enthusiastic about becoming a father.”

Liz blinked, wondering if Maria was even talking about the same Michael whom everyone else saw. But before she was able to say another word, Tess came into the room wearing a frown on her face.

Liz couldn’t help but laugh, she knew who had put that frown there. “Kyle driving you crazy again?”

“Yes!” whined Tess as she plopped down into a chair near Liz.

Liz grinned, “What did he do now?”

Tess rolled her eyes, “He won’t stop complaining about Arissa and how she’s spending entirely too much time with Caiden and Nathan. He keeps saying that it’s not right for his daughter to spend that much time with two boys like them. As if they are going to corrupt her!”

Liz laughed this time, “Did he?”

Tess couldn’t help but laugh with Liz. This wasn’t the first time the two of them had talked about this. “Yeah. And you know what I said.” As Liz nodded Tess continued, “Yeah, I told him once more that Arissa was probably the only thing keeping them from getting into any serious trouble. That I think the two of them were benefiting from having a female with them.”

Liz grinned, “I think so too. I know having her around is helping Nathan. It’s keeping him grounded and he’s not so quick to follow Caiden until he’s thought it through. I’m just hoping she’s affecting Caiden too.”

Tess nodded, “I think so far it’s working since we haven’t had anyone showing up with our kids and saying what kind of trouble they got into.”

Liz nodded, “You’re right.”

Tess sighed, “Still, I can see why Kyle’s upset. Arissa is getting to that age where she’s going to start noticing boys and I think he’s worried that once she does, she won’t stand in their way when they get into trouble. He’s worried she’ll simply follow them and then defend them even when she knows it was wrong.”

Liz reached out and took Tess’ hand in hers, giving it a gentle squeeze. “Tell you what, Max and I will have a talk with Nathan okay? We’ll get him to understand what’s going on. And I’ll talk to Alex and Isabel about Caiden, see if they can talk to him.”

Maria nodded as she added, “I think that will help. I know Nathan won’t want to cause any trouble for Arissa. He really likes Kyle, so I know he won’t want to get on Kyle’s bad side.”

Tess gave Maria and Liz a grateful smile before settling back against the chair. Looking at Maria, she asked, “So? How’s the pregnancy going?”

Liz simply grinned as Maria groaned and launched into another round of complaining about her pains and how she thought Michael wasn’t thrilled about being a father.

***

Vanessa finished fixing her hair and stood back to survey herself in the mirror. Finally satisfied with what she was seeing, she turned and picked up her shawl. Glancing at her desk, her eyes landed on the opened letter that lay there.

Aidan had written her that letter a week ago. It had been a very brief letter, but she had gotten all the information she’d needed from it. He was happy in Europe still studying to become a great Archigos.

Yet, she honestly didn’t think anything was going to happen between the two of them anymore. They were friends and that was all. Too much lay between them for it to be anything more. She knew that and she was certain that he was beginning to understand that too. At least she thought that was what his letters were saying.

His letters had been getting fewer and fewer over the past year. He’d claimed it was because he was so busy and told her that he did read every one of her letters she sent him even if he didn’t reply right away.

For a while, she had continued to write him whenever she’d wanted, but lately even she had stopped. Now, they wrote sporadically. Both of them claiming to be too busy to write. She knew it would happen eventually. She knew they were just growing up and growing apart.

That was why she was now starting to go out more. Why she was going out to the ball tonight. It was time for her to let go of her crush and move on with her life. It was time for her to grow up too.

A knock sounded on the door before a voice spoke, “Kyria? Your ride is here.”

With a sigh, Vanessa turned away from her desk and went to open the door. The servant outside the door gave her a bow before leading Vanessa down the stairs. As she entered the foyer, her father and the man he was talking to looked up.

Alex smiled wistfully as he watched his daughter walk towards him. He couldn’t believe his little girl was finally growing up. He held out his hand to her and leaned in to kiss her cheek, whispering in her ear. “You look lovely, Nessa.”

She gave him a bashful smile as he led her to the other man near the door.

He took her hand and gave her a slight bow before placing a chaste kiss on the back of her hand, “You look beautiful tonight, my Kyria.”

Vanessa’s cheeks reddened as she answered, “Thank you, Blaise.”

He gave her a smile as he offered her his arm. Alex nodded to the two of them as he said, “My isyzygos and I will be along shortly. Make sure you treat her well, Dioikitis.”

Blaise turned to give his Archigos a respectful nod, “You know I will, Kyrios.”

Alex grinned as he watched the two of them get into the back of the car that would take them to the Hilarion Coven’s annual ball. As the car rolled away, he closed the door and returned to his room where Isabel was finishing getting ready to attend the ball at his side.

***

Max sat on the couch holding Liz against his side, his fingers gently caressing her arm. It was a rare night off for the both of them where no one was vying for their attention, not even their son who was spending the night with Caiden. So, the two of them had curled up on the couch in their private theater and watched movies.

It had been a week since they had talked to Nathan about Arissa and her father’s concerns. Nathan had seemed to understand what they were asking of him and he’d promised to make sure they didn’t get into trouble and to be aware of Kyle’s feelings for his daughter.

So far, everything seemed to be going well and they hadn’t heard anymore complaints from Kyle or Tess.

And Liz hadn’t heard Maria complain about Michael over the last two days since Michael had those days off and was spending it all with her.

Yes, it was indeed a peaceful couple of days for Max and Liz.

As the latest movie ended, Liz shifted to look up into her osizigos eyes. “What do you say we call it a night?”

Max arched an eyebrow as he asked, “Are you sure?”

Liz nodded as she caressed his cheek, “I’m sure.” He held his breath as she leaned in and kissed his lips, letting him know just how sure she was.

When she slowly pulled away, he lowered his forehead to hers. “Liz, please. I can’t do this again. I don’t think I’m that strong.”

She nodded, “I know Max. I know. But I’m sure this time. I need you so much. I don’t want to push you away again. Please, can we just try?”

Max sighed. He knew he’d give her anything she wanted. Even if she pushed him away again, he’d still do it again. No matter how much it hurt. No matter how much he needed her too, he’d never forbid her his love.

Liz stood up from the couch and held out her hand to him. Sliding his hand into hers, he stood up and wrapped his arms around her intending to will them to their bedroom.

Both of them heard the clatter outside of the room and turned as one when the door flew open to reveal a distraught Michael.

Max frowned as Liz moved away from him and whispered, “Michael, what’s…?”

Michael’s voice broke as he said, “It’s Maria, I think she’s losing the baby!”

***

Michael moved silently into the darkened room. He carried the glass in his hand as he stared at the unmoving form in the bed. Slowly sitting down on the bed next to her, he lifted his hand and brushed the blanket away from her face.

Open your eyes,
We're here,
Are you ok?


Her eyes were closed and she was silent, but he saw the red wetness on her cheeks. He knew she was still awake and crying.

I'd give all I have just to get you to stay.
For so many years in my dreams, things were changing,
But always your face was the same.


“Maria?” he whispered as he brushed her hair tenderly from her face. “Maria, you should try and eat something, moro.”

Love you to death .
Love you to death.
Baby, I love you to death
Love you.


She didn’t respond to him at all, but he saw another tear slide down her cheek.

When you opened up what you said, it was so sad,
That no one would notice if you ran away.


“Maria, please, eat something. I brought you some fresh…”

Then your mascara, it ran,
Don't you vanish.
Tonight I'm alive just to say:


“Leave me alone, Michael,” came the whisper so low that Michael had almost missed it. Still her eyes remained closed.

Love you to death.
Love you to death.
Baby, I Love you to death.
Love you.


“I can’t. You haven’t eaten in two days and we’re all starting to worry. Please, just have this glass and then you can go back to sleep, okay?”

And they say.
That we're living in a movie world.


He reached out to help her sit up, but she moved away from his touch. He watched as she turned around on her side to face away from him. He was about to plead with her again when she reached down and pulled the blanket back over her head, hiding herself from his view.

So they say,
But does the hero get the girl in the end?


Michael sighed and placed the glass on the nightstand. Standing up he glanced down at the blanket as he said, “Okay, I’ll just leave it on the nightstand and you can drink it when you get hungry.”

Love you to death.
(does the hero get the girl?)
Love you to death.
(does the hero get the girl?)
Baby, I love you to death.
(does the hero get the girl?)
Love you.
(does the hero get the girl?)


He paused for a moment before he added, “If it gets too cold let me know and I’ll heat it up for you, okay?”

In the end.

He waited for an answer that never came. Standing there for a few more moments, he felt the prickling begin in his eyes. As his lips trembled he whispered brokenly, “S’agapo, Maria.”

His heart broke a little more when she still didn’t answer.

***

Liz glanced up from where she sat at her desk to see Michael walk into the room. Max sat across from her reading the papers in front of him without looking up at all.

Noticing the look on Michael’s face, Liz frowned. “She didn’t eat again?”

Michael sighed as he sank down into the couch on the other side of the office. Shaking his head in response.

Liz nodded, “She’ll come around Michael. She’ll eat when she’s ready.”

Michael looked up at her, eyes full of concern. “She hasn’t eaten in two days, Liz!”

“I know, but at least she’s been resting. Conserving her strength you know?”

Michael shook his head, “She hasn’t been sleeping, she just lies there and stares at nothing. Unless she knows I’m watching her, then she pretends to be asleep.”

Liz glanced at Max who now wore a frown on his face, but he still didn’t look up or say anything. He didn’t have to, she knew what he was thinking.

Liz didn’t take her eyes off of Max as she said, “She’s just depressed Michael. She lost the baby and she’s devastated. This is the only way she knows how to cope with it.”

Michael groaned as he laid his head against the back of the couch. “What and I’m not upset by the loss? Does she think she’s the only one who’s lost a child? You and Max lost one! And this one was my baby too! How can she not know that it affects me too!” He cried.

Liz got up and moved to his side. She wrapped her arms around him as he laid his head on her shoulder. “Oh Michael, we know how you feel. We know, but you are so much more stronger than she is and you’ve been there for her all along. It’s just different for her that’s all. She can’t cope with it the way you can. At least you know we are all here for you if you need us. Maria doesn’t think she has anyone.”

Michael lifted his tear stained face to look at her. “She has me! I was with her when it happened! How can she not know that I’m there with her! That I feel what she feels!”

Liz glanced at Max who was now looking at the two of them in silence. His eyes met hers and she saw the pain in them as he grieved for his friend’s pain. Both of them knew that Liz was better at giving comfort than Max was and that was why she was the one at Michael’s side even though Max felt for Michael.

Liz looked back at Michael and took his hands in hers. “Michael, you have to understand that it’s different for a woman when she loses her baby.”

Michael shook his head, “How can that be? Max was just as devastated as you where and you didn’t shut him out when he came to you. He wasn’t even there when it happened, yet you never shut him out! You never did!”

Max sighed and slowly stood up, “Michael, I wasn’t there but I knew what happened because of the connection Liz and I share. She showed me everything. I experienced it all with her.”

Liz nodded as Michael looked from Max and back to her. “He’s right. It’s different for us, Michael. I can’t shut Max out even if I wanted to. Even though he wasn’t there when it happened, he knew everything. Sharing my mind with him, it’s as if he went through the same thing I did.”

Michael nodded, “But he didn’t and you didn’t even try to shut him out.”

Liz sighed, “I didn’t want to Michael. I knew I’d need him to help me heal.”

Michael lowered his head, “Why doesn’t she know that I would help her too?”

Liz looked helplessly at Max who rolled his eyes. She turned back to Michael. “Maria isn’t me. She’s different and she’s coping with this the only way she knows how. I coped with my pain the only way I knew how, by reaching out to Max. It’s how I cope. I’m sorry Michael, I can’t tell you why she does what she does. All I can say is that you just have to keep doing what you’re doing. Show her you care, that you’re hurting too. Eventually she’s got to notice.”

Max turned around and made his way back to his desk. He sat down and returned to reading the papers there.

Michael glanced at Max before asking Liz, “How did you notice that Max cared? That he was hurting too?”

“The connection, Michael. I felt it all, it’s hard not to. And he was there for me, holding me and comforting me as soon as he knew what had happened.”

“I was there.” Michael whispered.

Max lifted his head and snapped, “Maria isn’t Liz, Michael!”

Liz turned her head and pleaded, Max, don’t.

He locked eyes with her as he said, He has to know, Liz. I’m tired of seeing him suffer for a woman who is too blind to see what she’s putting him through!

He loves her Max!

Yes, I know that, but I don’t think she loves him back.

You don’t know that Max.

I know that he loves her. I know that she doesn’t deserve him. After everything he has done for her, she doesn’t deserve him!

Michael looked up at Max. “I know she isn’t. I’m not asking her to be. I just want her to be the woman I fell in love with.”

Max sat back in his chair and folded his arms across his chest. “Did it ever occur to you that what you fell in love with wasn’t the real Maria? That what she let you see in the beginning was just a mask hiding the real her.”

Liz stood up and curled her hands into fists at her sides. “Max!”

Michael stared at Max in shock as Max continued, “What? You know I’m right. The Maria we all met years ago is so different from the woman we knew who married Michael.”

Liz glared at him as she hissed, “I changed too! I’m not the same woman you first met either!”

Max sighed, “That’s different. There’s a reason you changed. You were converted. Maria has always been a vampire. There’s no reason for her to change.”

“That doesn’t mean…”

Michael stood up, placing a hand on Liz’s shoulder. “Liz. It’s all right.”

Liz turned to look at him shaking her head furiously. “No Michael, it’s not!”

Michael nodded, “Yes, it is. Max is right. Maria is different. Even I’ve noticed that.” He turned to look at Max as he continued. “I’ve just been too blinded by my feelings for her to really notice.”

Max didn’t say another word as Michael moved away from them. At the door, he turned around and gave Max a slight bow. “With your permission, Kyrios. I’d like a leave of absence. A few days to take care of my personal business.”

Max nodded, “Take as long as you need.”

Michael gave him a grateful smile, “Efkharisto.” He turned to Liz and nodded, “I’ll send word when Maria will take visitors again.”

Liz nodded and watched as Michael left the office.

The moment he was gone she turned on Max and hissed. “How dare you say those things to him! He’s just lost his baby and he’s in danger of losing his isyzygos and all you can do is rub it in his face that Maria isn’t perfect!”

Max sighed, “I was just telling him the truth Liz. He already knew it, I was just making sure he wasn’t deluding himself.”

She glared at him. “He doesn’t need to hurt anymore Max! He’s been through enough.”

Max nodded as he made his way over to her. Taking her hands in his he looked into her eyes. “I know he has. That’s why I want him to know. I don’t want him to suffer anymore either. And if he continues to live a lie, it’ll just get worse.”

He lifted his hand to her cheek as he whispered, “I love him too, Liz. I love him too much to stand by and watch her destroy him. You know that’s what she’s doing. It may not be intentionally, but she’s doing it just the same.”

Liz simply looked into his eyes for a few moments before slowly nodding. As the tears welled up and spilled down her cheeks she whispered, “I wish he could have someone who’d love him as much as I love you. I wish Michael could be as happy as you are.”

Max wrapped his arms around Liz and pulled her close. As she buried her face in his chest, he laid his cheek on her head. Staring at the wall, he watched it become blurry as his voice broke. “I wish that too, Liz. I wish that with all my heart.”

TBC...

Song is Love You to Death by Kill Hannah
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"You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams." -Dr. Seuss

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Shadowlynxbehr
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Post by Shadowlynxbehr » Sun Jan 21, 2007 3:43 am

Laira- Awww...sorry, but this is the way things seem to be going for my muse...hopefully things will look up soon :? :wink: .

La'Shon- :D well, it is Maria (You know what I mean :wink: .) Yes, Max is tired of watching his friend suffer and you are right about that too. Well, it was bound to happen, Nessa is growing up :( . Thanks for the congrats :D .

Zanity- LOL, I don't blame you, Maria is getting on my nerves too.

spray- LOL, no it wasn't. Sigh, relationships aren't easy are they :( ? You might be :wink: .

pandas- yes they could. LOL, okay I hear ya and sympathize. Michael doesn't know because they aren't syndeos, yes.

cocogurl- :D you are right.

roswell- I want him to find it too :wink: . Thanks for the congrats :D .

aussie- thanks. Awww. thanks for the congrats :D .

candycane- LOL, true. No, Maria wanted it. She thought that by having his baby Michael would stop being so dedicated to his job and pay more attention to her. LOL, we will see...

French- awww. We all wonder :D . Thanks, I like him too. LOL, Max is like that and while Liz knows that, she will still try to put him in his place when she can. We will see where Nessa goes.

BehrObsession- I know :( , it's just the way Maria is. It's nothing intentional, but yes something just isn't right about Maria. You will soon see about Nessa :wink: .

Jessika- Thank you :oops: . I understand, Maria is being irrational. I'm sad too :( . Thanks for the congrats.

83AA- thanks for the congrats...I love the Beauty and the Beast looking rose in the glass case :wink: .


Okay, sorry I'm a little late...it was a llllooooonnnngggg day! I was having problems with my boyfriend again :roll: . Don't know exactly how to feel about it. I could go on and on about it, but I'll spare you all the details... :lol: . Instead....here's a slightly longer than usual part...

Enjoy...



Part 32

“Max?” came Liz’s whisper against his chest.

“Hm?” he mumbled as he pulled her closer into his side.

“Shouldn’t you be getting up soon?”

He sighed, but didn’t answer her. Only curled his fingers around her hip.

Liz lifted her head and looked at him. His eyes were closed and his face was relaxed. For all the world, he looked like he was really asleep. Liz knew better. She could hear his thoughts in her own mind.

Shifting slightly she lifted her hand to caress his cheek. Still he didn’t respond.

“Max,” she whispered again before sliding her hand down his neck and over his chest.

His fingers instantly gripped her wrist, stopping the motion. She lifted her eyes to his face and drew in a sharp breath. He was staring at her with molten gold eyes.

“Don’t,” he hissed.

She frowned, “What’s wrong with you? You’re going to be late to the meeting!”

He stared at her for a moment, his eyes glowing. Just when she thought he was going to say something, he closed his eyes and sighed. When he opened them again, they were back to normal as he slid out of their bed and began to get dressed.

Liz lay on the bed watching him move around the room. He didn’t look at her as he continued to get ready for the important meeting she knew he was going to have upstairs in the third floor room designated for things such as that.

As soon as he was ready, he walked over to the bed and leaned over, giving her a kiss on her forehead. “I’ll tell Isabel and the others that you’ll be along shortly. Don’t take too long or they’ll start to worry.”

Liz frowned once more as he swiftly turned away from her and strode towards the door. “Max!” she called out. He reached the door and turned the knob. “Max! Please! Why can’t you understand that just because I have a hard time being with you physically doesn’t mean that I don’t love you!”

She paused before she switched to his language. “S’agapo! Esi xero idios kano! Idios monon boro theh stamatao nomizo…”

“Idios xero,” came the low reply.

She blinked, watching as he turned his head slightly so that she could see his profile. “Idios xero esi agapo meh. Ala esi iseh lathos an esi pistevo esi iseh ta mono ena pios boro theh stamatao nomizo too tis. Katheh fora esi sprokhno meh makria idios nomizo too tis. Katheh nikhta idios prosekhehteh esi afino mechri trefomai idios nomizo too tis.”

He turned to look at her as he finished, “All I have to do is look at you and think of her. But you don’t see me running away from you, do you?”

Liz could only stare at him as his words sank in. She could feel his thoughts beating at her. He loved her. He mourned their daughter’s loss just as much as she did. Even now, three years after that loss his grief was just as strong as hers, but he had never moved away from her.

He never shrank from her touch, never pulled away when things got too heated. Instead, he was always there for her. Always there to comfort her and soothe her when things got too hard to bear. He’d been the only thing that had kept her from falling apart inside. He was the strength she’d come to depend on over the last few years and never once had he asked for anything back.

She knew she was taking him for granted. She knew that he’d been hurting just as much as she had, but she’d ignored his pain. Ignored it because she thought the same thing everyone else thought. Max was too strong to let it bring him down. Nothing could ever defeat one of the most powerful men around, he’d spent too long building up those walls and that strength to let anything get to him.

As he turned away from her and opened the door she knew everyone was wrong, herself included. She listened to his soft footfalls on the stairs as understanding dawned on her. She realized that the way things were now weren’t good. She knew that what was happening was slowly killing him inside.

***

“Well, if that’s all we have to discuss tonight then I’d like to bid you all good night,” said Ermin with a grin. “As much as I’d love to stay and chat with you gentlemen, if I don’t get home soon, I may not have any servants left.”

Alex chuckled at that. “Isyzygos been giving them a hard time?”

Ermin nodded, “You know it! Even I can’t wait until she gives birth and soon!”

The others in the room laughed with Ermin as he gathered up his things and bade them all goodnight. They all completely understood that his wife was ready to give birth any day now and despite his joking, he was eager to get home to be with her.

Little by little the rest of the coven leaders and their Dioikitis began to take their leave until it was only Michael, Alex, Blaise, and Max left.

“Well Max, guess I’ll go round up Isabel and head on home.”

As Max was about to reply, Kyle burst into the room wearing a scowl and dragging a guilty looking Nathan with him.

Max glanced from Kyle to his son and back again. “What happened?”

Kyle growled, “I just got a visit from the local human authorities. Guess who I saw waiting in their car while they escorted my daughter to my door!”

Max narrowed his eyes on his son, who was hanging his head in shame. “What did you do!”

Nathan swallowed hard. “It wasn’t bad,” he squeaked.

Max growled, “Apparently it was bad enough to have the authorities in their possession! Now out with it!”

Kyle hissed at him, “I’m gonna leave you here and let your father deal with you. Understand this! You ever do anything so foolish as to get Arissa in trouble like this again, I don’t care who your father is! I will rip you apart!”

Kyle gave Max a nod then turned to Alex, “The authorities are taking Caiden to your home. I didn’t know you’d be here still.”

Now it was Alex’s turn to growl. “I knew it was too good to be true!” As Kyle left the room, Alex gave Max a nod. “If you’ll excuse me, I have my own troublesome son to deal with. Blaise, we’re leaving now.”

Blaise bade Max and Michael good night before following Alex out of the room. As they left, Michael turned to Max.

“I’ll leave you to it then. Shall I send for Liz?”

“No,” growled Max. “I’ll deal with him alone.”

Michael nodded and exited the room quickly.

It was a long few moments that Max stood there with his hands behind his back glaring at his son. Nathan was still looking down at the ground.

“I am still waiting for your explanation.”

Nathan couldn’t help but cringe at the sound of his father’s voice. It was that quiet calm voice he only used right before the anger flowed. The calm before the storm.

Again Nathan swallowed and lifted his eyes to his fathers. Immediately he regretted it. The look in his father’s eyes was enough to make him feel like a speck of dirt. Nathan knew that look could send lesser men running for cover.

Mustering up what courage he could, he launched into an explanation. “It wasn’t what they thought! I swear it wasn’t! We were just trying to see which one of us was the fastest. We did it out in the middle of nowhere! I made sure no one was around before we started and Arissa kept a look out just in case. No one saw us! We were careful!”

Max narrowed his eyes, “You two were having a contest?”

Nathan nodded, “Yes. We wanted to see who had the better powers! It was just a fun game, we weren’t harming anyone, I swear.”

“Well, apparently Arissa wasn’t keeping such a good look out. You were caught and by humans!”

“Arissa didn’t see them. They snuck up on us.”

Max growled, “I repeat. They were humans! That means Arissa should have detected them even if they were sneaking up on you! Which tells me you aren’t telling me the entire truth!”

Nathan gulped, “She was the lookout father.”

“Nathaniel Maxwell Evans! Stop thinking you can lie to me! Don’t think for a minute I don’t know what goes through a teenagers head! Now for the last time what the hell did you do!”

Nathan stiffened for a moment before he finally lowered his head, “I was trying to fly. So was Caiden. He got further than me, but he fell. He fell right on top of their car as they drove by.”

Max shut his eyes as Nathan continued. “Arissa and I were shouting at him to stop before he got too close to the highway, but he wouldn’t listen. He just kept on going until he couldn’t hold up anymore. By the time we’d reached him, he’d already tumbled onto their car. We got there just as he’d rolled off and the two officers were getting out of the car to see if he was all right.”

He looked up at his father. “They knew what we were and asked us if we had permission to be out there. Caiden tried to tell them we did, but they saw Arissa’s face. She was scared. So they put us in the back of the car and asked Arissa where her home was.”

Max growled.

“Dad I swear, we were out in the middle of nowhere. No one saw us.”

“No!” roared Max. “Someone saw you! You had better be glad they knew what you were or you would have been shot on sight! You know the rules Nathan! I know your mother and I taught you better than that! I taught you better than that! This is not the way I expect my son to act! I don’t care who you are with! You know the proper way a prime of the Aristomache is supposed to behave! I will not have you making a fool of myself or our coven!”

As he finished shouting the last part, Liz walked into the room. She had been in the domatio ilios with Isabel, Maria, and Vanessa when Alex had shown up wearing a frown on his face.

He simply looked at his wife and daughter and said they had to get home immediately. Liz knew he’d said something to Isabel telepathically because she’d gotten up and quickly said good night to her and Maria before grasping Vanessa’s arm and ushering her out of there.

A few seconds later, Michael had shown up looking worried. Before Liz could ask what was going on, she heard her son’s raised voice echoing down the hall. As she began to make her way out of the room, Michael reached out for her arm and told her that Max was handling it.

Liz would have given in if she hadn’t heard her husband’s growl followed by his own raised voice. After that, Michael had no choice but to let her go. By the time she’d reached the room, Max was already laying it on thick. She stood outside the door listening as Nathan explained what had happened and then Max had roared at him in anger.

Liz glanced at her son as she walked in, making her way to Max’s side.

Max continued to glare at his son. “I warned you! I warned you what would happen if you ever got Arissa in trouble! Kyle is furious and I don’t blame him one bit! We trusted you to do the right thing and you go and allow Caiden to get all of you in trouble!”

Nathan raised his chin as he said, “I couldn’t stop him! It was Caiden who wouldn’t stop! We tried to, but…”

“Don’t you dare put all the blame on him! You’re all as guilty as he is! None of you should have been doing that in the first place! Your elders have worked too long and hard to make this world a safe place for us to coexist with humans!”

Liz reached out her hand to place it on Max’s forearm. “Max, I think…”

Max growled, “Don’t interrupt! I’m not done with him!”

He turned back to Nathan and roared, “You! You are grounded! You will take yourself to your room and stay there for two weeks, understand! You will not leave that room under no circumstances. All of your meals will be brought to you and you will have a tutor for those two weeks. If you so much as set one foot out of that room, you will be grounded for longer! Do I make myself clear!”

Nathan’s lip trembled as he slowly nodded his head.

“What?” snapped Max.

Nathan lifted teary eyes to his father. “I understand, Kyrios.”

“Good! Now get out of here before I decide to punish you further!”

Liz watched as her son nodded to them before turning and fleeing from the room. She could hear his quiet sobs trailing behind him.

***

Tess sighed as she sat on the edge of the bed and watched her husband pace. His hands were at his sides as he clenched and unclenched his fists. She could hear him muttering under his breath.

“I’m locking her in her room forever. I’m locking her up and throwing away the key. And then I’m going to kill them. Max won’t mind. I know he won’t. He’s as angry with Nathan as I am.”

Shaking his head he continued. “No, I’m going to kill Caiden. He’s the one who started this. Then after I’m finished with him, I’ll kill Nathan.”

Tess stood up and went to him. Grabbing hold of his shoulders, she stopped his pacing. She dipped her head and made him look into her eyes. “Kyle, moro, you should take a deep breath and calm down. Think about this when you are more rational.”

Kyle growled, “Rational? How do you expect me to be rational when my daughter was brought home by a couple of officers who caught her and the boys! You heard her! They were blatantly using their powers out in the open!”

Tess nodded, “I know they were Kyle, but it was an accident. Arissa and Nathan did their best to keep it under wraps, you know they did. So Caiden got carried away a little. You have to understand that they are kids. They will behave like kids. Sometimes they will do things that will get them in trouble.”

“Not my daughter!” hissed Kyle.

Tess sighed, “Yes Kyle, your daughter too. She is your daughter after all. I know all of the things you did as a kid. All of the times you got in trouble. Just be thankful that she was doing her best to be responsible and that nothing serious happened. She’s okay, isn’t that what matters the most?”

Kyle looked into her eyes as he said, “They were lucky that it was an initiated human’s car Caiden fell on. It could have been really bad, Tess.”

Tess nodded, “I know, but it wasn’t. Let’s just count our lucky stars that everything turned out okay. We still have our daughter in one piece.”

Slowly Kyle nodded. He sighed as he wrapped his arms around his wife, allowing her to comfort him. Closing his eyes, he leaned his cheek against her head.

A few moments later he whispered, “She’s still going to be grounded for two weeks.”

Tess chuckled against his chest, “Yes, osizigos mou, she is still going to be grounded.”

***

Isabel wore a frown on her face as she tried to sit quietly in the chair watching Alex talking to their son. He had told her what had happened on their ride home and they had gotten the rest of the story from Caiden and the officers when they had arrived.

Caiden didn’t look one bit sorry for what had happened. He’d simply shrugged as the officers told them what had happened. Once they were gone, Alex had gotten Caiden to tell them the story from the beginning.

When Caiden was finished, he’d still shrugged and said that it was no big deal. Isabel had lost it then. She’d yelled at her son for acting like it didn’t matter when he had gone and gotten Nathan and Arissa in trouble too. She told him that Max was probably furious with Nathan and was probably ripping him a new one. Nathan would be lucky if he was ever allowed out of the house again. She didn’t even want to think what Kyle was going to do with Arissa and she was certain he’d be coming after Caiden and Nathan soon.

Alex had intervened when Caiden still looked unaffected as his mother continued to yell at him until she was turning red. Slipping his arms around Isabel, he’d led her to the chair and sat her down, talking to her in a low voice trying to calm her so that he could deal with Caiden.

When he was certain she was going to stay where she was, he’d gone over to Caiden and asked him to repeat everything that had happened. Caiden had sighed, but did as his father asked. When he had finished his story once more, Alex finally spoke up.

“Okay, so let me get this straight. You and Nathan wanted to see who had stronger powers?”

At Caiden’s nod he continued, “So you two found a place far away from human eyes and scoped out the place to make sure no one was around. Once you two were certain it was okay, Arissa kept a look out while the two of you started you contest.”

Again Caiden nodded, “Yep. We made sure we would be safe.”

“Right. Okay, so you two had your contest and you both kept trying to out do the other until you finally got the upper hand.”

Caiden grinned, “That’s right.”

Alex nodded. “I see. So, when you saw Nathan falter and return to the ground. Why didn’t you stop?”

Caiden blinked, “I was winning.”

“Right, but you all knew that the moment Nathan touched ground the race would be over. So, when he landed you knew you had won.”

Caiden just looked at his father for a moment before he looked down at the ground. “Yeah,” he whispered.

“Yeah,” replied Alex. “So you knew and yet you kept on flying. Even when Nathan and Arissa both shouted at you to tell you that you had won. You chose to ignore them.”

Caiden didn’t answer as he lowered his head in shame. “I’m sorry.”

Alex sighed. “Yes well, unfortunately it is a little late for that. The damage is done.”

Even Isabel could see the way her son flinched at those words.

Alex spoke up again. “Believe me, I can understand the thrill of the race. I know it must have felt good to be able to beat Nathan, but you should have known better once he’d conceded the win to you. As it is, you were extremely lucky that the humans you ran into knew about us.”

“Dad, I…”

Alex shook his head. “No, let me finish. I don’t expect you to be perfect Caiden, but I do expect you to be considerate of others. Your mother and I already asked you to be conscious of your friends and their welfare. You know how Arissa’s father feels about her hanging around you two. Do you really think he’ll let her hang out with you now? And Nathan? You know what Max expects from his son. You can bet Nathan is being punished severely as we speak. I know you aren’t afraid of Max, but you have to think of Nathan. He’s the one who is going to have to face his father’s wrath, not you. Did you want Nathan to suffer so much for something you could have prevented?”

Caiden swallowed, as he realized what his father was saying. “No,” he whispered. “I didn’t mean to get them in trouble.”

Alex sighed, “I know. I know you were only thinking of the moment. Not of the consequences. But Caiden, I need you to start thinking of them. The next time you decide to do something risky, think of the consequences. Think about how it may affect others. That is the only way you are going to learn how to be an Archigos. Right now, you are a prime. But someday even a prime must stop thinking of himself and think of others first. It’s the only way you will ever endear anyone to you. If you keep going the way you are, you will do nothing more than make a lot of enemies. Is that really what you want?”

Caiden slowly shook his head.

Alex nodded, “I thought so.” He sighed, “Well, I’ve said my piece, now I need you to go to your room and think about everything you did and everything I’ve said. You will stay in your room until I give you permission to leave it. Until then all of your meals and your schooling will take place in there. Understand?”

“Yes.” Caiden replied before looking at his mother with a sad expression. “I’m sorry.”

Isabel nodded and stood up. “I know. But I’m not the one you should be apologizing to. You’ll have that chance when your father lets you out of your room again.”

Caiden nodded and lowered his head, slowly making his way towards his own room.

***

“Max! Would you just listen to me!” Liz cried in exasperation.

Max turned to look at her, fire in his eyes. “I heard you the first time!”

“No you didn’t! He’s just a kid, Max! He’s supposed to make mistakes, that’s how he’ll grow up! He’ll learn from them.”

“I never said he couldn’t learn from the mistakes he makes. I just said he can’t think he can make these kinds of irresponsible mistakes and expect to get away with it! He knew, Liz! He knew better than to do this and he did it anyway! Even I knew better when I was his age!”

Liz rolled her eyes, “Max, things were different when you were his age.”

“That’s no excuse!” he yelled.

“I’m not saying it is! I’m just saying that you had to grow up much faster than he does! Let him be a kid Max! There’s no reason for him to be an adult at his age!” she yelled back.

Max growled, “He’s a prime! It’s his responsibility to act like one!”

“Theos, Max! Do you even hear what you are saying? He’s not a little robot you can program to act properly! He’s a child! When are you going to realize that not even your son can be exactly like you! He’s got his own feelings Max! Let him use them!”

Max roared, “Are you saying I don’t use mine! I’m not a robot either Liz! I have feelings too!”

Liz took a step back, blinking as his words sunk in. Silence fell between them as she watched him stare at her. His chest heaving with emotion, redness in his eyes.

“Don’t do this,” she whispered. “Don’t take it out on our son.”

His lips trembled. “I’m not,” came his hushed reply.

Liz looked down at the floor, unable to watch the tears slide down his face.

“I know he’s a child, but he knew better. He’ll be grounded for two weeks and hopefully he will learn from this. He got the punishment he deserved for what happened.”

He paused as more tears slid down his face. “I don’t understand why I’m being punished for something I didn’t do.”

Liz flinched as she heard the plea in his voice. “You’re not.”

“Really? Then why do I feel like I’m in hell?”

Liz closed her eyes as she heard the tremble in his voice. A few moments later, she heard the quiet sobs. Lifting her head, she saw Max sitting in his chair at the head of the meeting table with his head in his hands.

She watched as his body shook with his sobs, the small sounds tugging at her heart. She knew she couldn’t just stand there and watch him fall apart. He was right. She was punishing him for something that wasn’t his fault.

She moved to his side and ran her fingers through his hair. When Max lifted his head to look at her, she gave him a smile and climbed into his lap. Wrapping her arms around his shoulders, she pulled him to her.

He lay his head on her shoulder as she hugged him tighter, letting him cry. Liz ran her hands through his hair and over his back, soothing him as he clung to her. She allowed him that time to get his pain out, waiting until his sobs had subsided.

When he became quiet, she lifted his head with her hands and looked into his eyes. “S’agapo,” she whispered as she lowered her lips to his.

The kiss was soft at first until Liz shifted slightly in his lap. As she pressed her lips closer to his and ran her tongue over his bottom lip, he whimpered in need.

Liz held his head to hers as she deepened the kiss. She could feel the way he was kissing her. He was like a starving man, so hungry for her taste and she was more than willing to give him what he needed.

She leaned in closer and ran her hands down his chest, moving her fingers over the buttons of his shirt. Quickly, she undid them and slid the shirt off of his shoulders. As she pushed it down his arms, his lips left hers.

Staring into her eyes he whispered, “Don’t. Please don’t do this to me again.”

Liz smiled and caressed his cheek, “I won’t. I promise I won’t.”

She lowered her lips to his again, kissing him hungrily. As he fell into her kiss, he allowed her to remove his shirt and toss it away. Then her hands were on his chest, fingers exploring his smooth skin.

Her lips left his and trailed down his jaw to his neck. He closed his eyes in bliss as her teeth nipped at his pulse. Then her lips continued their movement down his shoulder and to his collar bone.

As she kissed her way over his skin, she lifted her hands to her shirt, lifting it up and tossing it away. Her lips left his skin for a moment before she went back to kissing it.

Max slid his hands up her back, relishing the feel of her skin beneath his hands. It had been so long since she had let him just feel her like this. When she took his hands in hers and led them to her breasts, he moaned at the feel of them in his hands.

Liz took his lips in hers again as she coaxed him to knead her breasts. As soon as she was certain he didn’t need her guidance, she slid her hands down his chest again. She savored the feel of his body beneath her finger tips as they made their way down.

The moment her fingers began working on his pants, Max lifted away from her again.

“Theos, Liz! Please!”

Liz placed a finger over his lips, silencing him. “Trust me Max. I won’t hurt you this time.”

Max closed his eyes and leaned back against the chair. Liz stared at him for a moment before she sighed. Willing the rest of their clothes away, she shifted in his lap, taking him in her hand.

Max didn’t open his eyes, but Liz could see the look on his face and she heard the whimper he gave. She leaned forward and kissed him again, opening her mind to his.

Trust me, Max. I won’t hurt you again. I need you as much as you need me. Touch me. Touch me and know how much I need you.

Max opened his eyes as she leaned back slightly. He stared at her as she simply sat there and let him drink in the sight of her in all her naked glory. She waited patiently until he finally lifted his hands to cup her breasts again.

Closing her eyes, she leaned into his touch. She didn’t move as Max took his time moving his hands over her body. It was as if he was remembering every curve and plane she had. In time, she heard his sigh.

These embers burn down low

“Beautiful,” he whispered.

And with my face aglow

She opened her eyes to look at him, smiling as she saw the look on his face. He was watching the movement of his fingers over her skin, face enraptured. It was all the prompt she needed to make the next move.

You are all I know.

Leaning forward again, she kissed him and rose up slightly. Sliding her hands down his body, she took him in her hand again and stroked him. When he moaned into her mouth, she led him to her opening and slowly sank her body down onto him.

Set this place on fire
Let the flames rise higher


A gasp left both of their lips as they were finally joined together for the first time in years. As she gripped his shoulders, his hands moved to her hips. She looked down into his eyes, moving her body over his. His hands on her hips helped her to set the pace.

And as they reach the ceiling
At your feet I’m kneeling.


With gazes locked, they took their time savoring the feel of each other. Both of them were remembering what it felt like to love each other. What it felt like to be loved by each other. Liz lifted a hand to cup Max’s cheek.

Drawing ever near

“S’agapo. Idios imeh signomi. Toso signomi,” she whispered.

My cause revealed as clear

Max slowly nodded his head, “Idios xero. Idios imeh signomi episis.”

Yes, I burn for you here.

Liz smiled as she lowered her lips to his neck. She swirled her tongue over his pulse as he closed his eyes and gripped the back of her head with one hand. His other hand curled around her waist, helping her to pick up her pace. As he began to lift his hips up to meet her downward movements, she sank her teeth into his neck.

Set this place on fire
Let the flames rise higher


With a cry of satisfaction, Max held her tight feeling his body emptying into hers. He could feel her walls pulsing around his shaft as she joined him in ecstasy.

And as they reach the ceiling
At your feet I’m kneeling.


She moaned her pleasure against his neck as she continued to feed from him. Even as their bodies moved past their climax, she still took what she needed. Max held her until she slid her teeth out of his neck and swirled her tongue over the wounds.

With every trailing plume

Sitting up, she kissed him and he moaned at the taste of his blood in her mouth. Tears of joy fell down his cheeks as it finally sunk in. She had finally returned to him. She had finally let him be everything that she needed again.

Know it bears me home.

As they both sat there with their arms holding each other tight and bodies cooling, they both knew they were finally on their way to healing again.

Let it burn

“S’agapo, syndeo mou,” whispered Max.

Let it burn

Liz’s tears slid down her cheeks onto his skin. No words were needed for Max to know what that meant to the both of them. Still he heard her whisper in his mind.

S’agapo, osizigos mou.

TBC...

Song is Burn by Mad at Gravity

new Greek words
stamatao - stop
nomizo - think/thinking
an - if
pistero - believe
fora - time
sprokhno - push
makria - away
signomi- sorry
Shadowlynxbehr's Fics
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"You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams." -Dr. Seuss

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Shadowlynxbehr
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Post by Shadowlynxbehr » Sat Jan 27, 2007 7:54 pm

Zanity- well, it was more like 3 months to them... :?

aussie- thanks, well, read this and see... :wink:

French- awww...thanks.

Laira- :D

spray- me too! :D

La'Shon- LOL, it's ok. Honestly, did you think Max would have reacted any differently with Nathan's trouble :twisted: ? LOL, glad you like Alex as a dad. LOL, she might not, especially with the plans I have for her :twisted: . More dreamer moments here :wink: . LOL, well Maria's not going far...

BehrObsession- True. LOL, yes they did and we'll see if they do.

maya- awww....let's hope so.

cocogurl- Exactly :D ! LOL, yes Caiden is. LOL, sorry.

candycane- LOL, we'll see :twisted: . Well, can't let the sadness go on for a long time before even I get upset :twisted: .

roswell- Thanks. Hmmm...Caiden :twisted: .

Michelle- thanks

Joy- thanks

Jessika- :wink: . LOL, Kyle is fun to write in this fic. Yes, Alex does seem to be the only level headed one in this fic huh? Thanks.

Erina- thanks. yep :D


Okay here's the next part...



Part 33

*20 years later*

Vanessa smiled as she watched her friends having a good time on the dance floor. Lifting her glass to her lips, she took a sip of the soda she had ordered to fit in with the others. Every one of her friends were human and none of them knew what she really was.

She liked it that way. At least with them she could be herself and not the eldest daughter of an Archigos. She had met them last year while she had been attending a human parade in lieu of her mother. Accidentally running into a harried Melanie, she had quickly apologized and helped her retrieve all the flyers she’d dropped.

Melanie had grinned at her and handed her a flyer asking her to come join the party to celebrate the beginning of another year of college. Vanessa went to the party and had met Melanie’s other friends. All of them had hit it off at once and they had all begun to hang out on weekends when they had the chance.

Melanie looked up and waved at Vanessa urging her to join them on the dance floor. Vanessa smiled and set her glass down before maneuvering through the crowd towards her friends. They made room for her as she approached them and soon she was dancing and laughing with the small group. They were all having a good time.

************************************************************

Nathan frowned as he watched Caiden walking nonchalantly into the building across the street. He couldn’t believe he had let Caiden talk him into this again. Even though they were thirty eight in vampire years, they were only fourteen in human years. To all eyes, they looked and acted fourteen. So, he knew Caiden was going to get in trouble for attempting to walk into an adult video store.

Muttering under his breath, it was still loud enough for Arissa to hear. “When is that idiot ever going to learn not to seek out trouble? And when am I going to learn to stop letting him bait me?”

Arissa glanced over at him before looking back at the door Caiden had disappeared into. “I’ve been asking you those same questions, Nathan. Why did you agree to this?”

Nathan looked at her, “You agreed to this too!”

Arissa shook her head, “No, I didn’t. I tried to talk you two out of it, but you wouldn’t listen!”

Nathan just scowled and stared at the door again.

“Nathan? Maybe we should just leave. If Caiden wants to get in trouble, then he’s on his own, but we don’t need to be here.”

Nathan sighed and shook his head, “I can’t do that.”

Arissa shifted until she was facing him and whispered, “Why not? He’s the one who wants to do this! Not us! Theos, if we get caught, my dad is going to kill us! And you know what your father will do to you! Do you really want to risk that? Nathan, dad said if I got in trouble again, he’d forbid me from being friends with you two! I don’t want to risk that! I don’t!”

Nathan looked down at his hands for a moment before he looked up into his best friends eyes. “You’re right. You shouldn’t risk it.” He gave her a small smile. “Why don’t you just go on home. That way if something happens it won’t be traced to you. I’ll call you later okay?”

“What about you?”

“I’ll be okay. If we get caught all Dad will do is get angry and ground me, but it’ll be okay. You should go, before you get in trouble.”

Arissa shook her head and took his hand in hers, tugging gently. “Come with me, Nathan.”

He squeezed her hand affectionately, “Don’t worry about me Rissa, I’ll be fine. Just go before it’s too late.”

She hesitated for a moment before she slowly nodded, “You’ll call me as soon as this is all over?”

He nodded, “As soon as I can. Promise.”

“Okay. Please be careful.”

“I will Rissa.” He indicated with his head, “Go.”

Arissa gave him one more look before she quickly looked around and scurried off. Nathan watched her until she’d disappeared around the corner before he turned to look back at the building as his frown slowly returned. A few minutes later, he was scowling as he watched a laughing Caiden being chased out of the building by an irate employee.

************************************************************

Kyle ran his fingers down his wife’s arm and smiled when he heard her sigh. She rolled over to face him, pressing her body against his. He dipped his head and took her lips in his kissing her for a few moments before nipping at her bottom lip.

She giggled at the playfulness she sensed from him and rubbed herself against him. “You can’t possibly be ready to play again! I just barely got my breathing under control.”

He chuckled, “Moro, you know I’m always up for some friskiness.”

Tess sighed as he began to nip at her neck, “Hm, true.”

Kyle nipped at her ear lobe and whispered, “Wanna go splash around in the tub? You know, make some waves?”

This time Tess chuckled. “Oh Kyle, what am I going to do with you?”

He wrapped his arms around her and slid off the bed. As he carried her to the bathroom he smiled down at her. “Agapo meh, moro, monon agapo meh.”

Tess slid her arms around his shoulders and leaned in to kiss his lips as he walked into the bathroom. There he set her down and turned on the tub as Tess got the ingredients for their bath ready.

A few seconds later they both heard the door down the hall close.

Kyle looked up at Tess with a smile. “She’s home.”

Tess rolled her eyes, “Would you stop! She’s just being a kid, let her be a kid.”

“She can be a kid with other girls her age. She doesn’t have to hang out with them!”

Tess was about to say that there was nothing wrong with them and that she trusted Nathan just as much as she trusted Max, but thought better of it. Instead, she put the bottles of soap and shampoo down and walked over to Kyle.

Running her hands up his chest and locking her hands behind his neck, she leaned in and gave him her most seductive look. “I thought tonight was going to be all about us? Didn’t you just say you wanted to make some waves?”

Kyle couldn’t help but grin at the look she was giving him. Roping his arm around her waist, he lifted her up and set her into the tub, “Oh yeah, moro! We are definitely going to make some waves!”

************************************************************

Alex leaned back against the headboard holding Isabel in his arms. She had her head resting against his chest, listening to his heart beat as her fingers caressed his skin with a feather light touch. He lowered his lips to the top of her head as his fingers moved through the strands of her long blonde hair.

He had managed to finish the duties that were most important for the night early enough to be able to spend time with Isabel. Since he’d become Archigos of the Euphranor coven, it had been one duty after the other as he tried to build it back up to what it had once been. Isabel had been a big help of course.

She’d been right there at his side, taking on all the duties that a proper Archiga usually did. She had commented on more than one occasion that being sister to a powerful Archigos and best friend to his wife, the Archiga had paid off in spades.

While Alex understood why she’d say that, he was still grateful that Max and Liz had both been there to help the Euphranor coven prosper once again. He was also grateful to all of the other covens and families that had lent their support and help.

Turning her head slightly, she pressed a kiss against his skin, right over his heart. Alex smiled as she shifted until she was looking up at him, her own smile lighting up her face. “I love it when we have these moments.”

He chuckled, “I love it too.”

She grinned as she moved once more, until she was straddling his hips. As his hands roamed her bare back and shoulders, she leaned in and kissed him. Her palms were pressed flat against his chest as she deepened the kiss and slowly rose up to her knees. He moaned into her mouth as she slowly took him into her body until he was fully sheathed there.

As she began to rotate her hips, Alex slid his arms around her and together, they rolled onto the bed. They took their time enjoying each others bodies, slowly alternating their rolls with one or the other on top. They both knew there was no hurry. Tonight was their night and there was still the rest of it to enjoy.

************************************************************

You and I are like oil and water
And we've been trying,


Michael ran his fingers through her hair, watching the dark golden strands shift through them. As the strands fell away, he lifted his eyes to hers and sighed as he lost himself in their green depths. Lifting his hand, he cupped her cheek and tugged her to him, covering her full lips with his.

trying,

A moan escaped her mouth when he slid his tongue into her mouth, tasting her sweetness. She was addicting. No matter what went on between them, he would always crave her taste, her touch. How could he not. Only when he was with her did it seem like he was that close to heaven.

trying
Oh, to mix it up.


He could feel her arms circling around him as their tongues began to duel together. He lifted his hands and buried them in her hair once more. He loved the way the strands always seemed to wrap around his fingers, as if they had a life of their own.

We've been dancing on a volcano
And we've been crying,


She pulled him closer to her and slid her hands down his chest. As she did this, the buttons on the front of his shirt came undone. He shrugged out of the shirt as her hands began to wander over the skin of his chest, teasing him by alternating between the pads of her fingers and her nails.

crying,

When her fingers reached the front of his jeans, his fingers found the zipper on the back of her dress. As she slid his zipper down, he slid hers down too. Finally moving away from each other, they looked into each others eyes as they removed the rest of their own clothing.

crying
Over blackened souls.


Michael’s breath hitched in his throat as he watched her move towards the bed. She crawled on her hands and knees to the middle of the bed before laying on her back and holding out her hands for him to join her. A smile spread over her face as he crawled to her and lay his entire length over hers.

Babe, this wouldn't be the first time,
it will not be the last time.
There is no parasol that would shelter this weather.


She let out another sigh as his body pressed into hers and she wrapped her arms around his shoulders. Michael lowered his head to kiss her neck, before nibbling his way down her shoulder. Shifting slightly, he let his lips trail down her chest before taking a nipple into his mouth.

I been smiling with anchors on my shoulders
But I've been dying,


She arched her body up, offering him the feast and gasped as his tongue teased her bud into a hard peak. One hand snaked up into his hair, holding him there as the other one continued to cling to his shoulder. When he moved to feast on the other nipple, she wrapped her legs around his waist and brought him down to her.

dying,

As her hips tilted up to meet his, he slowly entered her, relishing the feel of her silken walls folding around him. She held him close as his hips moved his shaft in and out of her. He could hear her soft moans as he continued to move at a slow pace.

dying
Oh, Oh, Oh to let them go.


When he was satisfied with tasting her breasts, he kissed his way up her neck until her lips were in his again. Kissing her passionately, he pulled almost all the way out of her before plunging back in. He swallowed her gasp and felt her fingers digging into his shoulders.

Babe, this wouldn't be the first time,
it will not be the last time.
There is no parasol that would shelter this weather.


Lifting up onto his elbows, he looked down into her half mast eyes and picked up the pace. Still making sure to thrust in deep and stroke her walls as he moved in and out of her, he enjoyed the look of pleasure on her face.

Babe, this wouldn't be the first time,
it will not be the last time.
We were trying to believe that everything would get better.


Her lips trembled slightly, letting him know she was getting close. So, he rose up to his hands and picked up the pace. Her hands fell down to his back where her nails now dug deep furrows into his skin.

We've been lying to each other
Hey! Babe! Let's just call it,


Closing his eyes, he tilted his head back and groaned. Her nails and body urged him on. He knew she wanted him to go faster and harder and he always gave her what she wanted.

call it,

She panted beneath him, tightening her hold on his hips with her thighs and digging her nails deeper into his skin. Finally, he was taking her to the edge and she let out a little cry as she smiled in satisfaction.

call it
Oh what it is!


Throwing her head back, she let go and toppled over the edge. “Yes! Oh, Michael, yes!”

Oil and Water!

Michael shuttered above her as the sound of his name from her lips rolled down his spine. It traveled to his hips and made him jerk once more into her body where he finally released his love for her.

Oil and Water!

Groaning his completion, he lowered his body to hers and buried his face in her neck. “S’agapo Maria. S’agapo toso para poli.”

Oil and Water!

************************************************************

Max grinned as he watched Liz turn on her back and drift in the middle of the pool. The two of them had taken advantage of a nearly empty house to go for a midnight swim, making sure those that were there understood that they were not to be interrupted.

As Liz drifted on her back, Max swam to her side and slid his arms under her. She opened her eyes and looked up at him with a smile.

“I can read your thoughts Max!”

He chuckled, “I know you can, that’s why I didn’t do it.”

“Sure.” Liz replied sarcastically.

He gave her an innocent look, “Hey! It was just a thought! Besides, the element of surprise is what would have made it fun, but since I ruined that…”

Liz lifted her hand to splash him with water, “Uh! And you wonder where Nathan gets his mischievous streak from?”

Max laughed as he leaned down and planted a kiss on her cheek before looking into her eyes. “But moro, you make it so easy for me.”

She giggled at that as she moved to lean against him. She wrapped her arms around his shoulders and Max wrapped his around her waist to hold her up. “Okay, so I make it easy, but that doesn’t mean you should do it.”

“Maybe, but you have to admit, it would have been fun.”

She grinned, “Yeah, you’re right, it would have been.”

He leaned down and rubbed noses with her, making her smile more. Then he brushed his lips over hers in a feather light kiss.

As he lifted his head away from hers, Liz sighed and let go of his shoulders. Max let her go as she drifted back away from him. Then she turned and began to swim towards the fountain at the other end of the pool farthest away from the house.

Half way there, she stopped and turned to look at Max who was just watching her. She gave him a sexy grin as she used her arms to keep her afloat. “Coming Max?”

His response was a lopsided grin as he began to follow her. By the time they both reached the fountain, both of them were giggling like teenagers. Liz and Max crawled over the wall separating the fountain from the rest of the pool and slid back into the water there.

Liz wrapped her arms around Max’s shoulders and pushed him against the wall. As his back pressed into the blue shaded glass wall, she lifted her legs and wrapped them around his waist. With a thought, she made both of their bottoms disappear.

Max groaned as her folds slid over his groin in invitation. Gripping her hips, he pulled her close and devoured her mouth. Liz’s tongue slid into his mouth, dueling with his for dominance and she began to move her hips faster.

Max growled at the way his wife was trying to be the dominant one as usual and trying to rush things. Pulling his mouth from hers he hissed at her.

“What’s the rush, woman! We have all night.”

She hissed right back at him, “I know, but there are a lot of things I want to do to you before the night is over. Now stop being such a romantic fool and let me fuck you! We can cuddle later.”

He hissed again but it quickly faded as she lifted herself up and impaled herself on him. Throwing his head back and closing his eyes, he pressed his fingers into her hips, helping her to ride him finally ceding to her demands.

As his head fell back, Liz leaned down and sank her fangs into his neck. Soon her feeding was keeping pace with the frantic movements of her hips and his. Even then, she could feel that little bit of resistance from Max as he desperately tried to hold on for her.

Still, she didn’t let him win this round at least. Picking up her pace and tightening her walls around his shaft, she finally managed to push him over the edge.

With a cry of her name, he came. Her body welcomed both his blood and his seed, milking him until she knew they were both sated.

Lifting her mouth from his neck, she swirled her tongue over his wound. His moan vibrated against her tongue. She lifted her head and curled her fingers in his hair bringing his mouth down for a heated kiss. Even as she kissed him, she never stopped moving her hips over his.

Max moaned into her mouth as he tasted his blood there. He allowed her to dominate for just a few more minutes before he leaned her back into the water. Holding her body just above the water with his hands, he lifted his hips and thrust deep into her, quickly building her up to her climax.

With fingers curled around his wrists, Liz leaned back and stared up at the sky as Max continued to pleasure her. She moaned softly when he hit just the right spot inside of her. She loved the way it felt to have him making love to her while the water lapped at her from all sides as she stared at the stars.

Max leaned forward, willed her top away, and nipped at her breast before sinking his teeth in without drinking. He knew that was what she needed and was rewarded with her soft cry that was quickly followed by the warm liquid heat spilling over his shaft. He continued to thrust into her body, prolonging her orgasm as he pulled his teeth from her breast and licked at her skin.

He held her there until she went limp, then pulled her up against him. They sat against the wall of the fountain locked in a tight embrace as their bodies began to calm down a bit. Finally, Liz lifted her head to look into her husband’s eyes.

Max smiled at the twinkle he saw there as she said, “Last one to the shower is a poor vampire!”

Then she vanished from his arms as the sound of her laughter echoed around him. His own laughter soon joined hers as he too vanished from the pool.

TBC...

Song is Oil and Water by Incubus

new Greek word
para poli - much
Shadowlynxbehr's Fics
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"You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams." -Dr. Seuss

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Shadowlynxbehr
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Post by Shadowlynxbehr » Sat Feb 03, 2007 4:16 am

Stern- Yep :twisted:

Jess- Caiden is just being a 'teen' LOL.

Zanity- LOL, Michael isn't the one capable of cheating :wink:

maya- thanks

aussie- thanks

candycane- you think :twisted: . LOL, so true about M/M!

Laira- Um... :?

La'Shon- LOL, yep even them :roll: . LOL, it is cute. Yes Caiden is.

Erina- thanks

French- Oooo! Good call :twisted:

Natalie- LOL, boys will be boys

Joy- thanks. LOL, um.... :|

Jessika- 'loves trouble' LOL. Maria...well... :? . About Aidan... :?

Gaby- LOL, thanks. Sent you a PM :D :wink: .

roswell- LOL, Michael doesn't cheat :wink: . You think :twisted: . Well....we'll see.

BehrObsession- LOL, yep Caiden is being a teen. Ooooo! Anther good call :twisted: .

cocogurl- thanks. True... we'll see what happens in the future :wink: .


Okay....I just know I'm gonna hear it... :? Hope you enjoy it anyway... :oops:



Part 34

*Eight years later*

Liz frowned as she looked up at the unfamiliar ceiling. Her head throbbed slightly but she could already feel it fading just like the bump on the back of her head was slowly disappearing. She didn’t move from the mattress she was lying on as her eyes adjusted to the dim light in the room.

As soon as she knew it was okay to move, she rolled over onto her side, careful not to harm her four month pregnant belly. Lifting her head, she let her gaze roam the dismal room. There were no windows in the brick walls and the floor was cement, painted an ugly light green. The only pieces of furniture were the torn and tattered mattress she was laying on and a very small table with two chairs in the far corner nearest the door.

With a sigh, Liz rolled onto her back and tried to remember what she’d been doing before she’d wound up there. Staring at the ugly mustard yellow ceiling, she briefly wondered just who the decorator of the place was before she remembered what had happened.

She had been on her way to meet Tess at one her family’s restaurants so that they could enjoy some time away from their overbearing husbands and enjoy stretching their legs. It had been ironic that Tess had gotten pregnant nearly one month after Liz had and the two women had enjoyed bonding over being pregnant together again and griping about their annoying husbands.

While Max was constantly hovering over her, he knew when to back off. Especially since Liz knew exactly how to make him suffer in the most painful ways imaginable. When Max had tried to go into overprotective mode again by trying to assign her a small army of bodyguards, Liz had once more put him in his place.

Pregnant or not, she could still whoop the ass of one of the most powerful Archigos around. Since there weren’t many left alive who could claim to defeat Max like she could, she couldn’t see any reason why she couldn’t take care of herself. Max had finally relented and allowed her to go out on her own.

She had been taking the leisurely human way of getting to the restaurant by having a car drive her there and walking down the sidewalk to reach her destination. As she walked by an alley, someone had grabbed her and yanked her into the dark alley. Before she even had a chance to use her instincts, a cloth was placed over her face and as the world began to fade she could feel her body falling. Just before her head hit the ground she’d heard someone curse.

That was the last thing she remembered until she’d woken up a few minutes ago in that room. She knew the bump on her head came from the fall in the alley and she could still taste the bitterness in her mouth of whatever chemical they’d doused the cloth with.

Grimacing at the dryness of her mouth, Liz gingerly sat up on the mattress to get her bearings before she slowly rose to her feet. Not one to sit around and wait for someone to give her answers, she made her way to the door.

Curling her fingers around the knob, she braced herself to use her superhuman strength to yank the door off its hinges. After all, it was just an ordinary wooden door and the hinges looked a bit rusty, how hard could it be?

She took a step back and yanked hard, screaming when it felt like her shoulder was nearly pulled out of its joint. Stumbling back, she grasped her shoulder with her good hand and stared wide eyed at the door.

“What the…”

“Tsk, tsk. Bad move vampire.”

Liz lifted her head and began to look around the room, searching for the disembodied voice.

“Sorry, vampire, I’m not in the room, but I can see and hear you just fine.”

Liz narrowed her eyes, trying to find the source with her vision.

Laughter flooded the room. “It seems that not only are your powers gone, but so are your brains.”

Liz growled, “What are you talking about?”

“You can’t use any of your powers vampire. None of them. That includes your ability to see the tiniest details. So, you won’t find the hidden cameras or any of the other gadgets we are using to monitor you.”

Liz continued to look around the room, realizing that what he said was true. While she could see in the dim light, it was with normal human sight, not with her heightened powers. Still, she was going to get some answers.

“How is that possible?” she asked.

“Technology, dear vampire, technology. We were able to come up with a formula that could be injected into one of your kind that would render you as harmless as any human being.”

“Who the hell are you!” she growled.

“I belong to a faction of humans who want our world to be rid of your kind. We know what you are and we know how to get rid of you. It has taken us years to come up with a fool proof plan to finally defeat you all, including those humans who have turned traitor to our race.”

“Are you serious!” she yelled. “Why would you want to do that? What have we done to you? Our kind has always lived peacefully among you humans!”

“Oh, we know all about the silent truce your kind has made with us. We know all about those humans you called the initiated, the ones that help keep what you are a secret and at peace. But you should know better than to think you can co-exist with us. There can only be one dominant species on this planet and it isn’t your kind.”

Liz gritted her teeth, “Oh Theos! Are you telling me this is all about who can beat their chest the hardest? You humans never change do you?”

There was some rustling before the voice came back again. “It seems, dear vampire, that you were once one of us.”

Liz frowned, “How the hell do you know that?”

Once more the laughter sounded. “I know more than you think vampire. It is as I said. We have spent years coming up with a fool proof plan to bring all of your kind down.”

As those words sunk in, as well as the knowledge that they knew who she was, Liz’s eyes went wide. Panic seized her as she realized that they had intentionally gone after her. They knew she would be one of the biggest weaknesses to bring about the downfall of all vampires. Closing her eyes, she tried to concentrate on her connection to Max and thought as hard as she could.

Max! We’re in danger! Humans are using me as bait to get to you!

As soon as those words formed in her mind, her head felt like it was about to split apart. Letting out a shout of pain, she gripped her head and fell to her knees.

“You just won’t listen will you vampire? I told you that your powers are useless and still you try. Oh well, if you insist on injuring yourself, I won’t stop you.”

Liz looked up at the ceiling with red tears in her eyes. “If you know who I am,” she bit out, “then the least you can do is call me by my name!”

“Sorry vampire, but that woman died nearly sixty two years ago. What you are now is far from what the human named Liz was.”

Liz was about to retort when she heard the door being unlocked. Turning her head, she watched as two very large men walked towards her while a woman walked in carrying a tray. The two men reached her and helped her to her feet, dragging her over to one of the chairs at the table.

The woman set the tray down and Liz saw that it contained a glass of red liquid. She knew exactly what it was as her stomach rumbled in anticipation. Still she didn’t reach for it. Instead she looked up at the woman with a frown.

“If you know so much about vampires, then you know we don’t drink cold blood.”

The voice sounded in the room again, “It’s been heated vampire. If you don’t drink it then both you and the thing you carry will starve. Either way, I don’t care.”

Liz’s frown deepened, but she reached out for the glass and found it hot to the touch. Lifting it up, she downed the liquid in a few gulps. As she lowered the glass and licked her lips, she knew it wasn’t human blood. That alone told her that they only intended to keep her fed, but not exactly healthy.

“Very good. Now be a good little vampire and go rest on the bed while we start the next phase of our plan.” As the voice finished, the two men dragged her back to the mattress and unceremoniously dropped her on it before they exited the room right after the woman.

Liz sat on the edge glaring at the door as she heard the lock click. More questions ran through her head. Who were these humans and how did they know all about her and the others. How did they get all of the information they needed to destroy her race and everyone she cared about?

************************************************************

Max reached out to answer the ringing phone as Michael walked into the room with several files under his arm. Nodding to Michael as he sat in the chair across from him, Max pulled the receiver to his ear.

“Hello?”

“Max? It’s Tess, has Liz left yet? I‘ve been waiting here for twenty minutes already.”

Max frowned as he glanced at the clock on the wall. “She left an hour ago Tess, she should have been there minutes ago!”

Michael’s head snapped up as he heard the rise in Max’s voice.

“Well she’s not here, Max.”

Max closed his eyes and reached for Liz. A gasp escaped when he found only emptiness where her presence should have resided in his mind.

As his eyes flew open he whispered, “No! Liz!”

Michael grabbed the phone just before the receiver fell from lifeless fingers. “Tess? What’s going on?”

“Liz never made it to meet me here. I’ve been waiting for twenty minutes.”

Michael glanced up to see a shell shocked Max staring into space with red liquid trailing down his cheeks. Something was wrong.

“Tess, something’s up. Go home now. I’ll contact you and Kyle as soon as I know more.”

“I understand,” replied Tess before hanging up.

Michael set the phone down and made his way to Max’s side. But before he could reach Max, Vanessa stumbled into the room with her frantic parents right behind her.

As Alex helped Vanessa into Michael’s vacated chair, they took in her disheveled state. Her clothes were torn and blood was splattered over clothes, skin, and hair. Her blood tears ran freely down her face to spill over her trembling hands.

Alex spoke first, “She insisted that we bring her here before we could tend to her.”

Max blinked in confusion as she looked into his eyes. “I’m so sorry, Uncle Max,” she sobbed. “I didn’t know they’d betray me like this, I didn’t know.”

Max frowned, “Who?”

“Melanie and the others. They made me believe they understood, but all this time they had been planning this.”

Michael was about to interject when Vanessa continued to sob, “I managed to get away, but I couldn’t save her! They have her, Uncle Max! They have Liz!”

“What!” roared Max as he came to his feet.

Vanessa cowered back into the chair. “I tried to get her from them, but there were too many of them and she was unconscious! They told me this human faction has been planning this for years! They want to annihilate all of us and allow humans to dominate this world.”

Max growled as his eyes turned molten and his claws came out. “Humans! What were you doing with humans!”

“Th-they were my friends. I’ve been friends with them for almost eight years, Uncle Max.”

“Friends!” Max roared as he advanced on Vanessa. “You call these miscreants your friends!”

Alex held up his hand, “Max, let’s hear her out before…”

“NO! You listen to me! All of you! Liz is pregnant! You know this! She’s four months pregnant and if she loses this one, it will destroy her! If anything happens to her or our baby, I will kill you!”

He turned to glare at Vanessa, “Were they initiated?”

Vanessa’s silence was all the answer he needed. “You told them what we are? You let that secret out! You know the consequences.”

“I only told Melanie,” whimpered Vanessa.

“And look how she repaid you with that knowledge! How could you be so trusting! How could you put our lives in danger like this!”

“Max!” cried Isabel.

Max hissed at Isabel, “She knew the rules Isabel!”

“I trusted her! She’s known what I am for the last six years and never once have I seen any fear in her!” cried Vanessa.

“Which only means she was good at hiding the truth, just like we are! Theos Vanessa how could you do this! How could you put Liz in danger like this!” yelled Max.

Before Isabel could say something, Max whirled on her. “No Isabel! Don’t make excuses for her! She knew better! I know you taught her better! She’s betrayed all of us! And if Liz loses our child, Vanessa is dead!”

Isabel’s eyes went wide. “It’s not her fault!”

“I don’t care whose fault it is! I will not lose them! I will not!”

“Uncle Max…”

Max whirled and launched himself at Vanessa. Isabel shrieked as Max’s claws reached for her daughter. Alex was quick enough to interject his body between Vanessa and Max at the same time Michael grabbed Max from behind and held him back.

Instantly guards were swarming the room trying to help Michael drag back a snarling and hissing Max. Alex grabbed his daughter as Michael hissed at him, “Take your family and leave! Don’t make him angrier than he already is!”

Alex simply nodded before instantly vanishing with his daughter and wife.

Max howled. “No! I’m going to kill her! They’re dead! Do you hear me! Dead!”

Michael grabbed Max’s face and looked into his crazed eyes. “Max! Get a hold of yourself! We need to figure out what is going on! We need to…”

“I can’t feel her Michael!” Max screamed, stopping Michael’s words. “She’s not in my mind where she always was before! No matter what, she’s always been there! I can’t find her! I can’t find her!”

Michael stood helplessly as Max struggled with the men holding him down. As the sobs began to rack Max’s body, Michael motioned for the men to stand down. One by one they released him until Max was free to sink down to the floor. Covering his head with his hands, Max continued to sob.

“She’s gone! Theos, she’s gone!”

************************************************************

Michael shut the door with a sigh and looked up to find several worried faces staring at him. It had been a week since Liz had disappeared off the face of the Earth and Max was still a useless emotional mess. Nothing he or anyone else did could bring Max out of the violent mood swings he was now subjected to. Everyone knew what the only thing was that could make Max sane again and no one had any clue as to where to begin.

Nathan moved towards his father’s Dioikitis as he softly asked, “How is he?”

Michael gave another sigh as he patted Nathan’s shoulder. “He’s resting for now.” He turned to look at Caiden and Arissa as he said, “Why don’t you take your friends upstairs and watch some movies? I’ll call you when your father can receive visitors, okay?”

Nathan nodded as Arissa and Caiden joined him in leaving the room. Once they were gone, Alex turned to Michael with a frown.

“He’s not getting better is he?” asked Alex.

Michael shook his head. “I don’t think he even recognizes me anymore.”

One by one, the realization began to show on everyone’s faces. Max was becoming what they’d all feared he would without the presence of his omologia. Max had told Michael that he couldn’t feel the connection he and Liz had shared. That and the fact that Liz had been missing for days was slowing driving Max insane.

Still, they had hope Liz was alive somewhere otherwise Max would already be dead himself. Since he was still alive, it meant something was preventing the connection which would keep Max whole. So, with that piece of his soul missing, he was slowly going insane. They all knew it would only be a matter of time before they lost Max for good.

Alex nodded, “Well, we’ll have to alert the other covens about what’s going on and start planning on how to find Liz.” He looked up at Michael. “I know they’ll all agree with me when I say you will have to step in as temporary leader for the Aristomache. With Max out of traction and Nathan still too young to lead at fifty-eight years, it will be up to you to be the leader.”

Michael nodded, “If that is what everyone agrees to, then I will do it.”

“Good. I will contact the other covens and get them to come here for an emergency meeting.”

As Alex walked out of the room to make the calls, Isabel came up to Michael. “I’ll leave Caiden with Nathan for the time being. I am going home to check up on Vanessa, but I’ll be back soon.”

“How is she doing?” asked Michael.

“Better. She knows Max didn’t mean what he said. She knows he’s heartsick and she does blame herself for all of it, but she’s strong. I know she’ll pull through it, just like I hope Max will.”

Michael nodded, “Me too. Tell her I’m sorry.”

“I will.” Isabel answered as she gave Michael a hug before disappearing.

Kyle came up to Michael next. “I’m going to get Arissa and take Tess home.”

“Right. Your isyzygos should be resting and taking care of your unborn child,” replied Michael.

Kyle gave him a sympathetic smile, “So should Max’s isyzygos.” At Michael’s nod Kyle added, “You will keep us informed?”

“Of course. Thank you both, for being here for all of us.”

Tess gave Michael a hug as she answered for both her and Kyle, “That’s what family is for, Michael. That’s what family is for.”

Soon everyone had emptied out of the room with the exception of Michael and his isyzygos. Michael didn’t have to look at Maria standing there with arms folded over her chest to know what was coming.

It came anyway.

“So, you are going to let them just dump all of this on you?” she asked.

“They’re not dumping anything on me, Maria. I’m the second in command.”

Maria frowned. “Yes, but they are leaving you here alone to take care of an insane Max, his son, and his coven!”

“Maria…”

“Michael! They’re not your family! You work for Max! You’re not his keeper!”

“They’re my family, Maria! Max is like a brother to me! This coven is my family! How can you think I would turn my back on them when they need me? Max worked too hard to let it all fall apart!”

“And yet he’s down there falling apart himself!” Maria huffed as she gestured towards the door leading down to Max’s room.

“What do you expect? He doesn’t have Liz! We knew this would happen if he lost the connection to Liz! You know what it’s like for syndeos!”

“I know Michael!” yelled Maria, “but that doesn’t mean you have to take over his responsibilities! It’s not your job!”

“It is my job! Theos Maria! I will not abandon my coven!” Michael hissed.

“No! But you will abandon me!” she screeched.

“I’m not abandoning you!”

“You are! You always have! It’s always going to be them, isn’t it! I will never win!”

“Maria! This isn’t a contest! There’s nothing to win!” Michael yelled.

Maria whirled around and stormed out of the room. “Fine! Go play fearless leader! Don’t expect me to wait around for you with open arms!”

Michael clenched his fists as he watched Maria leave the room. Nothing changed. Every time something like this happened, Maria would get upset and accuse him of choosing them over her. Then in the blink of an eye, she’d be back to wanting him again as if no fight had ever happened between them. He wondered just how much longer he would be able to take her abuse of his love for her.

************************************************************

Arissa stared out of the window into the darkness, worry etched over her youthful features. Every night for the last month she’d found herself standing at windows, looking out as if searching for a sign of hope. Yet no hope had come and she was confined to the house as was her mother.

It had been that long since she’d last seen her best friend and she was worried about him. She knew he was also being kept under lock and key just as she was since everyone feared all of their lives were in danger. Especially since there was still no sign of Liz or the humans Vanessa claimed had betrayed them all.

Still, she wished she could see him instead of the brief phone calls they shared. She hated the fact that Caiden was allowed to see him since his mother was his father’s sister. Isabel was always over at Max’s house trying to care for her rapidly deteriorating brother, which meant Caiden went with her. Alex remained at his house with Vanessa since they were all afraid Max would do something bad if he ever saw Vanessa.

Still, Arissa wished she could be with Nathan too. But since her family wasn’t related to Nathan’s and her mother was currently four months pregnant, they were all staying away from Max’s house.

Arissa heard her mother shuffling into the room behind her.

Tess sat down in a chair and called to her daughter. “Arissa, come sit next to me, my dear.”

Arissa gave a soft sigh and moved to sit next to her mother.

Tess took her hand and gave it a gentle squeeze. “Rissa, I’m sorry that you can’t be with them, but things are too dangerous right now.”

Arissa nodded, “I know mom.”

Tess smiled, “Of course you do, but that doesn’t make it any easier does it?”

She shook her head.

Tess sat back with a sigh, “Maybe I can convince your father to let us visit tomorrow?”

“No! Mom! Don’t get him started again! He’ll just threaten to chain us up again.”

Tess chuckled, “Honey, I think even your father is beginning to go stir crazy. Just let me deal with him okay? I’m sure I can convince him that it’ll do us all some good to see our friends again.” She gave her daughter a sympathetic smile as she said, “I know they miss us as much as we miss them.”

Arissa slowly nodded as she turned to look out of the window once more.

************************************************************

Vanessa walked down the stairs in time to see her father answering the door. She stopped in mid-step as she stared at their visitors. Her father was greeting Joran of the Irinikos coven, his Dioikitis, Thanos and his son, Aidan.

Yea Lies

Aidan couldn’t breathe as he caught sight of Vanessa descending the stairs. It had been over thirty years since he’d last seen her and now she seemed more beautiful at 174 years of age than ever before. Their eyes met briefly and he saw the surprise in hers.

Look at me now
Just sitting here by myself
And I think you found someone else


She hadn’t known that he’d returned from Europe a few days ago and he hadn’t known what he had been returning home to. That was why he had accompanied his father tonight. He couldn’t believe that Vanessa had been the one whom those humans had used to get all the information that would bring their species down.

Now I'm gonna have to find
A way to put the bottle down
And why can’t you see
That I’m drowning in a pool of misery


As soon as he’d returned, his father had filled him in on the kidnapping of Liz, the subsequent breakdown of Max, and the state of panic the entire vampire world seemed to be in. And it was all because Vanessa had chosen to become friends with a human female and had trusted her enough to tell her their secret.

I’m always afraid
That you’re gone
Away from me
I’m always afraid
That you’re lost in somebody
I’m always afraid
That you’re gone
Away from me
I’m always afraid
That you’re lost


Still, even though he knew Vanessa was involved, he knew it wasn’t her fault. She’d simply trusted her friend, but it wasn’t her fault that her friend had gone and betrayed her.

So here I am
I don't wanna be by myself
And I think you’re fucking someone else


Vanessa had reached the bottom of the stairs as Alex stepped back to allow them in.

now I’m gonna have to find a way
To take the knife out of my back
And how could you leave me
Stranded in a closet full of bones


He grinned at Aidan. “Aidan! It’s good to see you again, son! Europe seems to have agreed with you!”

I’m always afraid
That you’re gone
Away from me
I’m always afraid
That you’re lost in somebody
I’m always afraid
That you’re gone
Away from me
I’m always afraid
That you’re lost


Aidan gave Alex a polite nod and a smile, “It was an experience, Kyrios. I certainly learned a lot.”

Maybe you could let me stay
Maybe just for one more day
You could help me stay the same


Alex chuckled, “Well, I’m sure that’s good news for your father.” He turned to Joran as he asked, “So, to what do I owe this visit?”

Maybe things won’t ever change
Maybe we could taste the rain
You could push me out the way


Joran sighed, “Thanos and I bring news. There may have been a possible sighting of the humans who are rumored to have taken Liz.”

Now I sit here by myself
Think about somebody else
How could you let them take you away from me


Alex’s eyes went wide. “Is that so? Well, let me call Blaise and we’ll get the others together for a meeting.”

There’s somebody else
There’s somebody else!


“There’s no need, Kyrios. I’m already here,” said Blaise as he came around the corner of the stairs. “If you want to head over to the Aristomache house, I can make the calls to the others.”

I’m always afraid
That you’re gone
Away from me
I’m always afraid
That you’re lost in somebody
I’m always afraid
That you’re gone
Away from me
I’m always afraid
That you’re...


Alex nodded, “Good idea, thank you Dioikitis.” He looked up at Vanessa. “We will be needing you there for confirmation of these humans, Nessa.”

I’m always afraid

Vanessa nodded as Blaise interjected, “I can escort the Kyria to the house when I finish the calls. It will give her time to make herself more presentable if she wishes.”

I’m always afraid

Alex looked to Vanessa, “Don’t take to long, all right Nessa?”

I’m always afraid

“I won’t,” she answered.

I’m always afraid

Alex turned to the others and motioned to the door. “Shall we gentlemen?”

I’m always afraid

Aidan glanced towards the stairs in time to see Blaise giving Vanessa a kiss on the back of her hand before he turned her around and gently ushered her towards the stairs. His eyes moved from her and back to Blaise who was watching her walk up the stairs.

I’m always afraid

Finally, with a heavy heart he turned away and followed his father out of the door. He should have known that thirty years was too long to harbor any hope that she’d still have any feelings left for him.

I’m always afraid

Unbeknownst to him, a pair of eyes at the top of the stairs cast a longing look at his retreating back.

Away From Me

TBC...

Song is Away From Me by Puddle of Mudd
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Shadowlynxbehr
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Post by Shadowlynxbehr » Mon Feb 12, 2007 4:02 am

Guys! I am soooo sorry! I know I'm posting this so late and because of that, I'm not responding to any of your feedback! I did read it all though and will say that I know you all continue to remain pissed at Maria and it's not going to end :twisted: . Also, I knew you'd all be upset with Liz's treatment...I'm such a cruel author since I keep putting her and Max through all this :( :twisted: . And on another note...this part turned out to be muuuuuch different than I had originally intended it to be, so all of the things I'd wanted to say will continue in the next part too, which won't be posted until next saturday.

This is what I get for attempting to post four stories at a time and still be such a nice sister and let my brother take my laptop for the last four days! :shock: Needless to say, I am behind on three of my stories :roll: . Well, two now that I've posted this one :wink: .

Once again I want to thank all of you for your fb and for reading this story...and a special hi to all the lurkers out there :lol: .

Okay, here we go...


Song is Destiny by Zero 7.



Part 35

Liz groaned in misery as she shifted on her side on the unforgiving mattress. Months had passed and still they kept her hostage in that horrible room. Periodically they came to give her another dose of the chemical that kept her as helpless as any human and to give her the glass of blood that was barely enough to sustain her.

I lie awake
I've gone to ground
I'm watching porn
In my hotel dressing gown
Now I dream of you
But I still believe
There's only enough for one in this
Lonely hotel suite


She knew they were watching her and studying her like some kind of lab rat, but they never really said anything to her. She rarely even heard the disembodied voice in the room anymore. And she’d tried countless times to get the two men and the woman who always came to the room to talk to her. Still, nothing had worked.

The journey's long
And it feels so bad
I'm thinking back to the last day we had.
Old moon fades into the new
Soon I know I'll be back with you
I'm nearly with you
I'm nearly with you


She wondered just how much longer where they going to keep her there. How much longer would she even survive? She could feel herself getting physically weaker. There were times when she couldn’t even get up to make it to the table for her meal.

When I'm weak I draw strength from you
And when you're lost I know how to change your mood
And when I'm down you breathe life over me
Even though we're miles apart we are each other's destiny


Would she ever see Max again? She couldn’t even feel him in her mind at all and she wondered if he could he feel her? She knew what would happen to him if he couldn’t and every day she prayed that he was still alive and trying to find her. She prayed that no one thought she was dead yet.

On a clear day
I'll fly home to you
I'm bending time getting back to you
Old moon fades into the new
Soon I know I'll be back with you
I'm nearly with you
I'm nearly with you


She heard the door creak open and she glanced in that direction to see the two men walk in. One of them was carrying the syringe as they both approached her. Neither one of them said a word as they bent over her. One of them grabbed her head and tilted it to expose her neck. As soon as it was, the other injected the syringe into it. Liz closed her eyes and gritted her teeth in pain as the icy chemical made its way thorough her veins.

When I'm weak I draw strength from you
And when you're lost I know how to change your mood
And when I'm down you breathe life over me
Even though we're miles apart we are each other's destiny


It took only moments, but Liz still lay there in its icy grip as the two men moved away from her and left the room. Closing her eyes to prevent the flow of her tears, she heard the door creak shut and the lock click back into place.

When I'm weak I draw strength from you
And when you're lost I know how to change your mood
And when I'm down you breathe life over me
Even though we're miles apart we are each other's destiny


Once more, she went back to her lonely hell.

I'll fly, I'll fly home
I'll fly home and I'll fly home


************************************************************

Michael walked in, ignoring the growls that came from the other end of the room. He could feel the others waiting in the shadows of the doorway as he carefully made his way towards the growling figure. As soon as he was close enough, the growls turned into an angry hiss and claws reached out for him.

Michael stopped just beyond the reach of the wicked claws and looked directly into the glowing eyes of his Archigos.

“We’ve found them, Kyrios,” said Michael. “The covens have come up with a plan to go in, annihilate the humans, and rescue any prisoners.”

His only answer was another series of growls and snarls as Max strained against the chains that held him to the wall. Michael didn’t move as he continued to look his Archigos in the eyes. He knew Max didn’t recognize him anymore. It had been nearly a month since the last time Max had recognized anyone at all. Since then, Michael had to keep Max permanently chained to the wall or he’d have destroyed anyone who tried to come near him.

Michael was at least grateful that Max had been coherent enough to talk to his son one last time before he’d seemed to disappear for good. Nathan at least got to see his father as himself before he’d lost him. Michael had made certain that Nathan didn’t have the chance to see his father again as he was now.

Michael had also managed to fill Max in on everything that had been happening and Max had agreed that Michael was to take over for him since he couldn’t do it anymore. Max told Michael he was grateful for everything he had ever done for him, Liz, and the coven. He had told Michael that if he never had the chance to again, he wanted Michael to know that he was proud of what he’d become.

Once they’d lost Max, Michael had still made it a point to go in and talk to him. He kept Max up to date on everything that was going on despite the fact that Max seemed not to respond anymore. And Michael was the only one who seemed to be able to get close enough to Max without losing a limb.

Isabel had tried to be the one to feed Max when he couldn’t take a human any longer without ripping them apart. She’d come to him with the fresh blood in a jar and fed it to him, but when he’d started to strike out at her, Michael knew it was time to take drastic measures.

Isabel had tearfully agreed with everyone else that no one would be allowed into the room any longer except Michael and a few of the guards. Michael would get close enough to Max to subdue him and allow the guards to come in and help him feed Max.

It was never an easy task and was often very messy. Most of the time one of the guards came away a little worse for the wear, but at least no one lost their lives or their limbs. Still, it was Michael who always seemed to be able to get close to Max and not end up in pieces.

Needless to say, Max’s current state was putting a strain on everyone. Isabel mourned the loss of her brother. Nathan mourned the loss of both his parents. Vanessa continued to feel guilty and was going out of her way to help find the humans responsible and make them pay. Everyone was worried about the state of the vampire world if they lost one of their best leaders. And of course, there was the strain on Michael’s relationship with Maria.

She was still giving him the cold shoulder and her comments were beginning to isolate her from everyone else. She had made it known that she thought the best solution to all this mess was to kill Max and put him out of his misery. She couldn’t see any reason why Nathan couldn’t take over for his father despite his age. Maria thought that with Max gone and Nathan in place as the new Archigos, then the vampire world could go back to normal again.

Michael had tried to explain to her that she wasn’t seeing the big picture. Even if Nathan were to take over, the humans were still out there somewhere planning to kill all of them. They weren’t just after Max, they were after every single vampire alive, including her.

Still, Maria didn’t see it and her comments had already sent a few tempers flaring. Michael had finally managed to keep her away from the Aristomache mansion so that he could deal with things without having to worry about her coming to blows with whoever she pissed off that time.

“I wanted to let you know that we’ll be putting the plan into motion tomorrow evening. And if all goes well, we should have it finished before the night is over.”

Michael sighed as he watched Max bare his fangs and hiss again. I’ll bring her back to you Max. I promise I’ll bring Liz back, he thought to his friend, hoping that somewhere in the recesses of his mind, Max could still understand him.

With another sigh and sad look, Michael moved in quickly and took his friend into a headlock, instantly subduing him. Once Max quieted down, Michael sent for the guards who had been waiting to feed him. Max remained passive until the guards moved in front of him.

As they got within a few feet, the growls and snarls started up again. Soon shouts joined those sounds in echoing up the stairway and into the rest of the mansion.

************************************************************

The building was surrounded. None of the humans inside were even aware of just how many angry vampires were now converging on that building. Every single one of the allied covens had members there who were more than willing to put a stop to the madness.

The initiated humans had wanted to take part in this, but the covens had decided to keep the humans out of it as much as possible. They figured it was best to keep the initiated human hands free of bloodshed. So instead, the humans involved in civil services and the like were told to keep the area free of other innocent humans and to help keep the operation under cover. They would be the last line of defense, but the vampires were hoping it would never come to that.

Michael, Alex, and Blaise crouched behind the remains of the truck in the yard across from the building. As Michael searched the building for signs of life, the other two searched the surrounding area both in the air and on the ground. When they all agreed it was clear, they sent the silent signal to all of those waiting in the shadows of the surrounding buildings.

No human eyes would have seen the immediate movements of all the bodies that suddenly swarmed the building like so many huge black bats. All they would see was the windows and doors suddenly shattering. Broken glass and splintered wood suddenly spraying out to litter the ground.

Then the screaming began. Those vampires that remained outside instantly sent their minds wandering for any stray thoughts, making sure there were no innocents around to hear the screams. As the multitude of screams seemed to be getting less, Michael and Alex left their own posts and entered the building, leaving Blaise outside as their last hope.

Michael and Alex ignored the rest of their kind who were making short work of the enemy humans left in the building, dodging around other vampires who were carrying the prisoners they had already managed to find. They made their way deeper into the complex going down the stairs as they noticed that’s where the prisoners were being brought up from.

One by one, the two of them began searching each door they came to, looking in and searching for signs of Liz. Michael was certain that he would be able to smell her before he even saw her and Alex was hoping it would be the same for him.

As they reached the basement, they ran past several doors before they heard more screams and growls coming from what seemed like a huge room to the left. As Alex looked into the room, Michael heard the shouts.

“Use the chem guns! They can’t hurt us if you use those guns!”

Michael growled as he sent the wordless command, Shut him up! That has to be the leader, so silence him now!

More growls were heard and Michael grimaced when howls joined the growls. It meant some of the chem guns had found their mark and some of his people were rendered powerless.

Michael rushed past Alex to look into another door knowing that Liz wasn’t in that main room where the leader was. He’d let the others take care of those in that room, his goal was to rescue his Archiga if he could and return her to her rightful place at her osizigos’ side.

As Michael looked into yet another door, Alex rushed past him and looked into yet another one. They continued to move down the hall looking into more rooms. Suddenly Michael went still, eyes going wide. Alex was oblivious until Michael whispered one word.

“Liz!”

Alex whipped his head around to see Michael staring down the hall at yet another door. He knew that was were Liz was, Michael’s gaze confirmed it. As one they converged on the door, Alex already feeling ahead with his mind to make sure there were no hidden humans waiting for them.

As Michael’s hand reached for the doorknob, a shout came from behind them.

“No! Shoot them! Don’t let them get her!” roared the voice.

Michael ignored them and shoved at the door just as he heard Alex’s voice. “Michael! Look out!”

Michael grunted as all of Alex’s weight fell against him, making him lose his balance momentarily. As he righted himself, he reached out to help up Alex who was slowly sinking to the floor.

Michael’s eyes went wide as he realized Alex was shaking and small gasps escaped his lips.

“Alex?”

Alex looked up at Michael helplessly. “Leave me! Save Liz and get out of here before they get you too.”

It was then that Michael saw the small syringe sticking out of Alex’s neck. “Theos, no! Alex!”

Alex hissed, “Michael! There’s no time! Go!”

Without another moment’s hesitation, Michael let go of Alex and slammed all of his weight into the door. He could hear the angry shouts of the human leader in the background as he sent a wordless call to Blaise.

Blaise, they hit Alex. He’s been rendered powerless, but he’s alive.

I’m on my way in, came the reply.

Michael shoved the useless door aside and rushed into the room, his eyes instantly landing on the figure lying on its side in a fetal position on the other side of the room. In an instant, he was kneeling besides Liz as she lay there with her arms around her extended belly.

“Liz?” he whispered.

Her eyes fluttered open and he could see the way her pupils remained unfocused for a few moments before she seemed to see him.

“Michael?” was her broken reply.

Michael nearly wept at the soft sound. She was so weak. Fear began to creep up his spine as he bent over her and pulled her into his arms. He tamped down the panic that threatened to rise as he lifted her weightless body into his arms. Too light, she was too light. How had she managed to survive this long?

Cradling her against his chest he whispered to her, “Kratao pano, Archiga mou, Idios tha pairno esi spiti. Spiti mechri osizigos sas.”

Without another word, Michael willed them both out of that room and into the mansion where the others awaited the return of the Aristomache Archiga.

************************************************************

Vanessa watched her mother pace the room as they all waited to hear what was going on at the building. This time she had been allowed to be at the Aristomache mansion with the others to wait as her father and the others attempted to quell the madness.

Her mother paced, but Vanessa sat in a chair with her hands folded in her lap. Anyone looking closely would be able to see the nails digging into her skin. She was worried just like the rest of them. But it wasn’t about her father. She knew Aidan was out there too. Closing her eyes, she thought back to the last time she had seen him.

Two nights after she had seen him upon his return from Europe, he had sent word to her that he wanted to meet. Vanessa had been fearful of leaving the house since those humans were more likely watching her, so Aidan had agreed to meet her in the gardens behind her home.

It was there that the truth had come out.

“Do you love him?” he’d asked with a note of hurt in his voice.

“Who?”

“Don’t play games with me, Nessa! I saw you with him!”

“Aidan! I don’t know who you are talking about!”

“You’re father’s Dioikitis!” Aidan had sneered.

Vanessa’s eyes had widened, “What makes you think I love him?”

“I saw you with him!” he restated.

She shook her head, “I don’t know what you saw Aidan, but I’ve only ever loved you.”

He stared at her in shock before he managed to whisper, “What?”

Vanessa nodded, “It’s true.”

“If that’s true, then why did you stop writing?”

She lowered her eyes to the ground, “Because I thought you didn’t love me back. Your letters became fewer and you sounded like you were enjoying your new life in Europe. I didn’t think I would ever be a part of it, so I stopped writing before it got too hard to let you go.”

Aidan closed his eyes, “Oh Nessa. I never stopped thinking about you! How could you think I wouldn’t want you to be a part of my life! I promised you I’d come back!”

Vanessa nodded, “I know, but we were young and I knew things could change.”

Aidan moved closer to her as he whispered, “They didn’t.”

She looked up into his eyes as he asked, “Do you still love me?”

Slowly she nodded as his fingers caressed her cheek. “Yes. Aidan, I love you.”

It was all he needed to know before he covered her lips with his, reaffirming their love for one another.

It would be hours later that they would part. After having gotten everything else out, including the fact that he knew it wasn’t her fault that Liz was now a captive of humans that had pretended to be her friends. He didn’t blame her for any of it, saying that anyone could have made a mistake like that. Melanie had been Vanessa’s friend for a few years, so it was only natural to trust her with a secret. Plus, he knew Vanessa had paid dearly for the mistake and learned from it.

As Vanessa continued to wait to hear news, a gasp startled her from her reverie. She came to her feet just like everyone else in the room did as Michael suddenly appeared in their midst with Liz in his arms. Cries of joy filled the room as Isabel and Tess moved close.

“Michael, you found her!”

“Theos, is she alive?”

“Yes. She’s barely there, Tess. We need to get her to Max quickly.”

Vanessa frowned, “In the state she’s in?”

Tess nodded, “Yes, Max won’t hurt her. He’ll know who she is as soon as she gets near him. He’ll heal her just as she’ll heal him.”

She began to steer Michael towards the office which led down to the bedroom when Isabel called out to him.

“What about the others Michael? Where’s Alex?”

Michael gritted his teeth, “I don’t know about the others, but Alex should be with Blaise.”

“I thought he was with you. Michael, what happened to Alex?”

Tess turned a frown at Isabel, “Now is not the time, Isabel! Michael, hurry, get Liz down to Max!”

Vanessa moved to keep her frantic mother from interfering again as Tess continued to guide Michael to the office. A few seconds later, Blaise and Alex appeared in the room.

Isabel cried out as Blaise lowered a weakened Alex to a nearby couch.

“What happened!”

“He was hit by one of the chem guns. They injected the chemical into him and it’s made him human.”

“Oh Theos!” gasped Isabel as she leaned over Alex. He looked up at her with a weak smile.

“I’m okay, agapo mou. It should just be temporary. Once the tainted blood gets out of my system and I get some fresh blood in my veins, I should be okay.”

Isabel threw her arms around his neck and cried, “Oh Alex! What would I have done without you!”

He did his best to wrap his own arms around Isabel. “I’m here, moro. I’m still here. It’s going to be okay.”

************************************************************

Michael walked into the quiet room with his burden. Instantly Max’s head jerked up from where it had been resting against his chest. As Michael made his way towards the bed, he kept his eyes trained on the glowing amber ones.

Silently the glowing eyes watched as Michael lowered Liz to the bed before he moved away. Still, the eyes remained trained on her prone figure as Michael moved towards him.

Michael moved slowly, not wanting to spook Max and send him into another snarling rage, but Max never looked at him. He didn’t seem to notice as Michael now stood at his side.

“Max? I’m going to unchain you now, okay?”

Max didn’t acknowledge him as his eyes remained on Liz lying in the middle of the bed. As Michael reached out to undo the chain around his ankle, Max moved towards the bed. He only stopped when the chains prevented him from moving any further. Michael glanced up to see Max reaching out his hands, fingers outstretched towards Liz.

A faint whimper reached Michael’s ears and he knew he had to hurry. Quickly he undid the chains around Max’s ankles before moving to his wrists. As the last one fell, Max slowly moved towards the bed.

Michael watched as Max approached the bed and slowly crawled onto it, hovering over Liz. Tilting his head to the side, Max reached up with one hand and trailed his fingers along the skin of Liz’s cheek.

Her eyes fluttered open and it was a few moments before she could focus on Max leaning over her. A slow smile spread over her lips.

“Max,” came the faint whisper.

Max didn’t say a word as his fingers moved over her lips and he dipped his head closer, taking a deep breath of her.

For a moment, Michael almost panicked when Max briefly bared his fangs in a snarl. Thankfully it was gone as quickly as it had come and Max was gathering Liz up into his arms.

As Max ripped his shirt open and ran a sharpened nail along his chest, Michael quietly backed away and up the staircase. He knew it was time to let the two of them heal each other in peace.

************************************************************

Vanessa watched as her mother, Caiden, and Blaise escorted a weakened Alex out of the room. They were all going to return to their home now that they knew Liz had been reunited with Max. Just as she was getting ready to join them, Aidan appeared before her.

She blinked in bewilderment before looking around to see if anyone else had noticed that he was there. Quickly she motioned for him to follow her out of the room and they made their way to the empty kitchen.

As soon as she’d closed the door, she threw her arms around him. “Theos! You’re all right!”

He hugged her tightly as he replied, “I’m fine, Nessa.”

She nodded against his neck as she whispered, “Father was…”

“I know, they told me. It’s why I came here. I had to make sure you were okay.”

“I’m okay. It’s mother I’m worried about.” She pulled away to look into his eyes. “I was just worried about you.”

He gave her a smile as he caressed her cheek, but even Vanessa could see it didn’t really reach his eyes.

“Aidan? What’s wrong?”

He sighed as he looked down at the floor. “I was hoping to wait and tell you this later, but I don’t think I can.”

Vanessa frowned, “What is it?”

Aidan looked back into her eyes. “Father went to fight with the rest of us. Mother asked him not to and even I tried to talk him out of it, but he’s a proud man. His health has been fading and tonight, it sapped more strength than any of us care to admit. It’s why I was called back from Europe. Father intends to make me Archigos soon.”

Vanessa gasped. “Oh Aidan!”

Aidan took her hands in his as he said, “I need to know, Vanessa. I need to know if you’ll stand at my side when I am named Archigos.”

Vanessa stared at him in shock, unable to answer.

“Nessa?”

She swallowed, “What?”

He squeezed her hands, “Vanessa, please. Tell me you’ll be at my side as my Archiga. I don’t want anyone else but you.”

She continued to stare at him for a few more moments before she looked down at the ground. “Aidan. I…I…”

He pressed his fingers against her lips, “Don’t tell me no. Vanessa you can’t tell me you love me then refuse to be my…”

She shook her head, “It’s not that! Aidan, I want to! You know I do, but I can’t spring this on my parents now. Not while all this is going on!”

He sighed as he moved away from her, but she reached out to him. Putting her hands on the sides of his face she looked pleadingly into his eyes.

“Please,” she begged. “Just give me time to tell them about us and let them get used to it. I will tell them Aidan. I want to be with you too.”

She leaned her forehead against his as he nodded, “Okay. I’ll wait for you then. When you’re ready, we’ll make the announcement to everyone.”

She smiled, “Thank you.”

He returned her smile, “S’agapo, Vanessa.”

“S’agapo,” she echoed.

************************************************************

Liz was aware of him the moment the blood flowed into her mouth. One moment there had been a wall and the next his presence was flooding inside of her. Instantly she was surrounded by warmth and love as his blood began to flow through her body. She could feel the way it made its way through her veins revitalizing her and nourishing both her and the child she carried. Lifting her hands, she curled her fingers around his biceps, holding him to her as she drank her fill.

Max closed his eyes as the tears fell down his cheeks and neck. He could feel her again in that place that had always been reserved for her and only her. Instantly he was aware of where he was and that his syndeo was with him, alive and slowly becoming whole again just like he was. He could feel the warmth of her skin next to his and hear the beating of her heart as it matched his. A sob escaped his lips when he felt her fingers curling around his skin, holding him to her.

Max, whispered her voice, sounding strong in his mind.

Liz, he replied in kind.

Oh Max, I missed you so much. I was so worried that they had gotten you.

His arms held her tighter as he said, They almost did, agapo mou. They almost did.

He continued to hold her close as she took what she needed from him. When she had taken her fill, she removed her fangs from his chest and licked the wounds closed. Before she had a chance to move further away, Max bent down and took her lips in his in a heated kiss.

He moaned as he tasted his blood in her mouth and slid his tongue inside her mouth, tasting more of her. She wrapped her arms around his shoulders as he lowered the both of them to the bed, turning so he wouldn’t crush her or the child, but unwilling to let her go.

It was a long time before he finally let go of her mouth and settled her against his chest. Unwilling to break the silence of the room, he spoke through their bond again.

Get some sleep, agapo mou. You’ll need all of your strength to give birth to our daughter soon.

Liz smiled against his chest. How do you do that? How do you already know it will be a girl?

I can feel her. The same way I can feel you.

Liz sighed. She knew that was all the answer she was going to get from Max that night and it was all she had the strength to ask as she drifted off into the first peaceful sleep she’d had in months.

TBC...
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Shadowlynxbehr
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Post by Shadowlynxbehr » Sun Feb 18, 2007 2:38 am

Song is I Shall Believe by Sheryl Crow

Part 36

Max lifted his head, turned in the direction of the doorway, and growled. It was loud enough to wake Liz from her slumber against his chest. She blinked the sleep from her eyes as Michael came into view.

“Forgive me, Kyrios, but I was wondering if you’d like me to bring you a couple of humans so that you may nourish yourself and your isyzygos since it is now night time?”

Max lowered his head to gaze into Liz’s eyes. “Yes, bring them down,” he replied.

As Michael disappeared up the stairs, Max brushed his lips against Liz’s forehead. She closed her eyes as he began placing feather light kisses on her temples, her eyelids, her nose, her cheeks, and finally took her lips in a deep soul searing kiss.

Lifting her hands, she curled her fingers into his hair as his tongue teased hers again and again. She was finding it hard to breathe, but Max didn’t let up on his kisses. When she whimpered and pressed her hands against his chest, Max reluctantly pulled his mouth from hers.

She opened her eyes to gaze up into his molten gold ones. He didn’t say a word as he stared back at her, making her shiver like a rabbit caught in the mesmerizing stare of a snake. He tilted his head to the side, eyes narrowing a bit, and lifted fingers to trace the lines of her face.

She lay there unable to move with the exception of the quick rising and falling of her chest as he continued to stare at her and touch her face and hair. It was like he was trying to memorize her all over again. Or trying to see if he remembered everything from before and that nothing had changed.

Liz couldn’t say how much time had passed as she lay there half beneath him, his body preventing her from escaping. She was so lost in his eyes and his touch that it took a moment before she realized he had thrown the covers over her and willed himself to the other side of the room in the blink of an eye.

She slowly sat up and blinked confusedly at him as she watched the clothes appear on his body and he literally melted into the shadows near the doorway. A wave of his hand sent the room into a darkness penetrated by one small lone candle near the bed.

Liz glanced at the door when she heard footsteps descending the stairs and watched as two healthy looking human males walked through the door. Like lightning, Max seized one of the males and pulled him close. Liz saw the flash of fangs glinting in the candle light before he sank them into the man’s neck.

As the captured man cried out, the other one spun around towards the cry and gasped at the sight of the imposing vampire drinking greedily from his captive. Max’s eyes glowed eerily in the candlelight as they stared right at the other man who was slowly moving backwards away from the sight.

When the man began to get too close to the bed, Max let out a growl and let his current victim go, launching himself at the other man with a roar. With a scream, the man turned and tried to run towards the bed, but was caught before he could set his foot down.

Liz’s eyes went wide as she watched Max hiss at the man before twisting him around, gripping his hair in his hand, and yanking his head back. Fangs flashed once more before he bent down and almost tore the man’s neck open.

“Max!” whispered Liz in a panic.

But Max wasn’t listening and when she sent thoughts his way, she was met with an angry, chaotic jumble of thoughts.

His current prey whimpered as Max dug his fangs deeper and Liz knew she had to do something. This wasn’t the way things were done. Max was being too rough, too careless with the humans who had volunteered their blood.

The first man was slowly coming to his feet and brushed his hand over his neck, wincing in pain. When he glanced at his hand, now covered in his own blood, he screamed. Liz screamed too as she watched the rest of the scene play out.

The man’s scream had pushed Max over the edge. As Max yanked his fangs from his current prey, Liz could clearly hear flesh tearing. Blood sprayed the floor as Max let go of the man and began to stalk the other one who was still screaming.

With extended claws and bloodstained lips, Max advanced on the man.

“Max! Stop it! Remember who you are! Don’t hurt them!” Liz yelled to no avail.

She began to scramble out of the bed, wrapping the sheets around her naked form because her powers were still too weakened to will clothes on. As she straightened up, the first man made a mad dash for the door only to be stopped by Max who’d simply appeared in the way.

The man stumbled back, but was quickly caught by Max and pulled close again. As he let out another scream, Max sank his fangs back into his neck, further tearing the skin.

Liz gritted her teeth in frustration and fear. If she couldn’t get Max to get himself under control, their lives could be forfeit. As it was, she knew they’d be scarred for life, but alive.

“Max please! Let go of him! Please don’t do this!” she half sobbed, half growled.

When he still didn’t respond, she mustered up all her strength and sent out a wordless cry for help. Michael! He’s hurting them! I can’t reach him and he’s so close to killing them! Help me please!

Skata! I’m coming, Liz!

Without waiting for Michael, she moved to the other man who still lay on the floor where Max had left him. His eyes were closed and he was moaning softly. Liz could see the blood still trickling from his open wound as she made her way to see if she could stop the bleeding and try to access the damage.

She was only a couple of feet from the man when Max lifted his head and let out an ear piercing roar. Liz snapped her head towards him to see that he held a now limp man in his arms. Liz could tell he’d clearly fainted from the frightening ordeal.

Max glared at her over the shoulder of the man, but didn’t do anything else. Liz frowned and moved towards her target again. Max tossed his prey to the side, roaring once more as he made to leap at her.

A scream lodged in her throat as she saw Michael materialize right behind Max and wrap his arms around him. Max began to hiss and growl as Michael somehow managed to get him into a head lock.

Liz shook her head as her voice faltered. “I don’t understand what’s going on Michael. He’s not listening to me and he hurt them!” She turned to look at the man nearest her. “I think this one’s lost too much blood.”

She made to go to him but Max let out another roar and struggled against Michael.

“Liz! Stop!” came Michael’s hushed command.

As she glanced up at him, he spoke again. “Just back away. Go back to the bed and let me handle this.”

“Michael, the man is…”

“I know!” came Michael’s raised voice as Max tried to struggle out of his grip once more. “Just do what I say, please!”

Liz didn’t hesitate again as she quickly scurried back to the bed and crawled onto it. The moment she did, Max seemed to visibly relax. Michael still had Max in a head lock and slowly walked the both of them closer to the bed.

As soon as he felt like they were close enough to Liz, he sent for the guards who quickly came in, gathered up the humans and left without much fuss. Once it was just the three of them in the room, he let go of Max who instantly flew to the bed and scooped Liz into his arms.

A soft growl escaped his throat as he spoke in a gravelly voice. “Idios tha theh epitrepo kanis mechri erkhomeh konda esi xana! Esi tha kano kathos Idios leneh!”

Liz wisely chose to simply nod her head in agreement as he settled her against his chest.

Michael waited for a few more moments before he spoke in a low, calm voice. “Max? Did you acquire what you needed for both you and Liz?”

Max closed his eyes and buried his face in her hair. “No.”

Michael sighed. “If I bring another one in will you be able to control yourself?”

Max growled softly in answer. Michael looked at him and Liz for a moment before something dawned on him.

“Max, why don’t you leave Liz in the bed and come to the foot of the stairs with me. I’ll ask a guard to bring another human down and you can take care of your business right there in the doorway. No one has to come into the room and I’ll be right there to make sure of that.”

There was a pause before Max finally nodded his head in agreement. So, Michael quickly issued an order to his guards to find another human and bring him down the stairs. As they waited, Michael made his way to the door and allowed Max and Liz to have a few quiet moments to themselves.

Liz wondered what was going on with Max as he returned to studying her and stroking her skin and hair like he’d been doing earlier. She didn’t get the chance to figure it out since Michael turned to look at them and let Max know that a human was on his way down.

As Max let go of Liz he growled, “Meno etho!”

Liz nodded her compliance as she watched Max walk to the doorway where Michael waited. Michael turned to look at her as she heard his voice in her head.

Whatever you do Liz, don’t leave the bed. Just wait until Max is done before you move.

Why? What’s going on?

Max still hasn’t completely healed. Right now, you’re the only thing that matters to him and that means he will do whatever it takes to protect you. Even if it means destroying any others he cares about to keep you safe.


Liz frowned at that, but understood Michael’s warning. Max was being extremely territorial right now and any wrong move could set his possessive instincts off. She refused to be the reason he tore someone to pieces.

She waited patiently as the guard brought the human male down to Max. Michael stood slightly behind Max as he fed, his position letting Max know he wouldn’t allow anyone in the room. This time Max was quick and efficient with his feeding and the human left safely when it was over.

As soon as the guard and the human had disappeared up the stairs, Max turned towards the bed where Liz sat in the middle of it hugging the covers to her. Michael simply nodded in respect to his Archigos before he turned and left the room, closing the door behind him. He knew without Max having to tell him that Max had fed well and now it was time for him to give Liz what she needed.

Liz watched as Max made his way to the bed, waving his hand over his body and making his clothes disappear. He slid onto the bed next to her and reached up slowly. Curling his fingers around the covers he gently pulled them away from her, exposing her body to his sight.

Come to me now
And lay your hands over me
Even if it's a lie
Say it will be alright
And I shall believe


A soft sigh left his lips as he ran his hands up her arms, grasping her by the shoulders and pulling her into his lap. With much care, Max moved Liz until she was straddling his hips as he leaned back against the headboard. His hands eventually moved up to run fingers through her long tousled hair, letting the strands fall through them.

I'm broken in two
And I know you're on to me
That I only come home
When I'm so all alone
But I do believe


After a few moments, he looked up into her eyes and she gasped at the molten gold she saw staring back at her. Once more she shivered, caught in his gaze. Until his fingers reached up to caress her cheek. She bit her lip at the look in his eyes filled with desire and love all at once.

That not everything is gonna be the way
You think it ought to be
It seems like every time I try to make it right
It all comes down on me


Smiling tenderly at him, she leaned into his touch for a moment before bending forward and brushing her lips against his. His hand moved from her cheek to cup the back of her neck as he held her as close to him as her extended belly would allow.

Please say honestly
you won't give up on me
And I shall believe


Their kiss deepened and she slid her hands up over his chest, enjoying the feel of his warm skin against her palms. Soon her lips left his to press a kiss against the corner of his mouth before making their way across his jaw to nip at his ear lobe and then nibble down his neck.

And I shall believe

Max’s hands trailed down her back in a slow massage until they reached her hips. As she rose up to her knees, he grasped her hips, helping her to settle over his length. Slowly she sank down on him, savoring the feel of him just as he was savoring her. Opening their minds to each other, they could feel the pleasure each other was feeling as they joined together for the first time in months.

Open the door
And show me your face tonight
I know it's true
No one heals me like you
And you hold the key


As soon as she was comfortable with him inside of her, she leaned forward once more to nip at his neck. Max leaned his head back against the headboard, allowing her access to his skin. Liz took her time tasting his neck and moving her tongue and lips over his throat. As her tongue swirled around his Adam’s apple, she could feel his moan vibrate against it.

Never again
would I turn away from you
I'm so heavy tonight
But your love is alright
And I do believe


His fingers curled into her hips as she began to suck it gently before she finally moved her lips down to his collar bone. Sipping on the skin there for a moment before moving up to his neck again. Max slid his arms around her, bringing her even more closer before he slid one hand to cup the back of her neck once more. As he pressed her head closer to his neck, encouraging her to feed, Liz slid her arms around his shoulders and rested her chest against his.

That not everything is gonna be the way
You think it ought to be
It seems like every time I try to make it right
It all comes down on me


Opening her mouth, she bared her fangs for a second before sinking them into his neck. Max let out a serrated moan as he felt her begin to feed from him. He could feel the pleasure she got from his blood and from their joined bodies through the mind connection they shared.

Please say honestly
You won't give up on me
And I shall believe


There was no movement with the exception of Liz’s mouth on his neck. This wasn’t about having sex. It was about the blending of their whole beings into one again. It was about being complete, two souls becoming one once more. It was about healing together.

I shall believe

************************************************************

Liz snuggled closer to the warmth against her back and sighed in contentment. She smiled as she felt his arm tighten around her hips, pulling her as close to him as possible. She was amazed how he could still manage to hold her so close without her belly hindering him in any way. Then again, she was amazed that they were both allowed all of this time to be alone together to heal and bond again.

After Michael had left them alone the night before, no one had interrupted them again. Once she had finished feeding, she and Max had settled back into bed to rest. Despite the fact that they were both well fed, they were still regaining their strength from their ordeals. She knew what Max had gone through because they had shared each other’s ordeals once their minds had connected once more.

Just as she lay wrapped in his arms throughout the day crying blood tears over what Max had suffered without her, Max had held her close trying not to give in to the urge to go find a human, any human and make them pay for what Liz had gone through. Drifting in and out of sleep throughout the day, they had shared each other’s pain and suffering, letting their closeness heal their internal wounds.

Now, it was night once more and still they remained where they were, enjoying the peace and quiet of just being with each other. Still, they both knew it wouldn’t last for long. The world wouldn’t allow the Archigos and the Archiga of the Aristomache to remain hidden for long.

Slowly turning around to face him, she lifted a hand to caress his cheek. As she traced his jaw with a finger, he opened his eyes to look into hers. She smiled as she saw the love shining in his bright amber eyes. He returned her smile as he whispered, “Ebros, agapo mou.”

She chuckled softly, “Ebros, Max.”

He was about to say something else when his head swung towards the door and his lip lifted in a snarl. Through their connection, Liz knew Michael was on his way down the stairs. With a sigh, she moved away from Max and reached for the covers. The world was just about to intrude on their quiet haven.

Michael knocked on the door softly before speaking loud enough for them both to hear. “Forgive me Kyrios, Kyria. But your families would like to see that my words of your improved health aren’t just words.”

Max rolled his eyes in annoyance as he slid out of bed and clothed himself in the usual manner. Turning to Liz, he held out a hand and helped her up before clothing her too. Giving her hand a squeeze, he led her to the chairs near the fireplace and settled her in one before opening the door with his mind.

Michael stepped into the room and gave the respectable nod once he found Max and Liz settling into their chairs. “Would you like to feed before seeing anyone?”

Max shook his head as he sat in the chair he had moved next to the one Liz was seated in. “We’re fine for now. Just let them in, but not all at once. And Michael?” He watched as Michael paused in his retreat before he added, “Let them know the rules before they come in.”

Michael nodded once more before he disappeared up the stairs.

Liz slid her hand into Max’s and gave it a reassuring squeeze. He gazed into her eyes and gave her a gentle smile as they waited for the first of their visitors to arrive. Moments later, Tess, Kyle, and Arissa came into the room behind Michael.

Their visit was brief and friendly as they exchanged pleasantries and a bit of laughter with each other. Since Tess and Kyle were also a bonded pair expecting their own second child, they had a lot in common with Max and Liz. The fact that they were a bonded pair allowed Max to visibly relax in their presence. Even with their daughter, Arissa there, Max didn’t feel the need to protect his mate.

Soon they were gone, having said their goodbyes and their well wishes for a healthy child before following Michael back up the stairs. Liz and Max had a few more moments of respite before Michael returned with Isabel, Alex, and Caiden in tow. Vanessa wisely decided not to go anywhere near them until Max said the word.

This time, Max moved his chair a little closer to Liz as they approached. Alex and Caiden stopped just behind Michael, but Isabel continued to come closer. Liz glanced at Max out of the corner of her eye, sensing his distress.

Looking Isabel in the eye she said, “That’s close enough, Isabel.”

Isabel stopped and looked from one to the other before giving Liz a frown. “I just want to see if you are alright. You gave all of us quite a scare, Liz.”

Liz nodded, “I know I did Isabel, but as you can see, I’m fine. I just need a little more rest and nourishment to recover all of my strength.”

“I understand that, I do, but you can still talk to us can’t you?”

“Of course I can and I promise we will catch up on everything as soon as I am healthy enough to do so. But for now, please, just accept the fact that I am safe again and need to build my health back up to the way it once was.”

Alex walked up and slid his arm around Isabel’s waist, giving Max and Liz a nod. “It is good to see the both of you up and looking so well already. I am only sorry that we couldn’t bring Liz back sooner, Max.”

Max flashed the first genuine smile since they had walked into the room as he looked at his brother-in-law. “You brought her back, Alex. And she is recovering well, as I am. That is enough. Efkharisto, Alexander too Euphranor keh Dioikitis too Aristomache.” He finished, while looking directly at Michael.

Both Michael and Alex nodded their acceptance of Max’s thanks as Isabel took another step towards them. Max let out a soft growl and Liz gritted her teeth.

“Isabel! Stay where you are!” hissed Liz.

Alex gripped her waist harder, holding her to his side. Leaning down, he pressed his lips against her hair. “Agapo mou, there will be another time.”

Caiden who had remained quiet the whole time, began to make his way back towards the door when he heard his mother’s voice. Isabel gave the seated couple a pleading look as she said, “I’m not the enemy! You know this! I just want to talk to the two of you. There is so much we need to talk about.”

“Isabel!” growled Max. “Now is not the time to talk about things! Wait until Liz has healed more before you tax her!”

“Max! There are things you need to know! You and Liz! You don’t know what has been going on since the two of you disappeared from the world! Things that affect you both!” Isabel cried.

Michael frowned. He knew what Isabel wanted to talk about, but Max was right. Now was not the time to bring these things up. He quickly made his way to Isabel’s side and gently grasped her arm while looking Alex in the eye.

“I think it’s time to let the two of them have some rest. They need their strength.”

As Alex nodded his agreement, Isabel shook her head. “No! Wait, Max you have to know…”

Caiden spoke up for the first time. “Mother! Leave them be! Nathan still hasn’t been in to see them yet! Don’t ruin it for him!”

Isabel turned a glare at her son before turning back to look at Max. “She’s sorry Max! She did so much to make up for what happened! She’s paid her dues and…”

Max let out a loud growl as he began to slowly rise to his feet. Liz reached up and gripped his arm, trying to pull him down next to her. Turning a heated glare at her friend she let out her own low growl.

“Isabel! Now is not the time!”

“But...”

“No!” Liz said in a raised voice before her eyes softened and her voice came out calmer. “We understand, Isabel. We do, but we just need a little more time before we see your daughter okay? Please try to understand, we don’t hate her. We just need to heal and feel whole again before we talk to her. The last thing we want to do is say something to her that we will regret.”

Isabel finally nodded hesitantly before glancing at Michael out of the corner of her eye. Liz didn’t miss the look she gave Michael before she opened her mouth once more. It was all the warning she got as Isabel dropped the next bomb.

“Maria told a room full of people that everything could have been solved if we simply killed Max.”
Last edited by Shadowlynxbehr on Sun Feb 18, 2007 2:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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"You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams." -Dr. Seuss

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Post by Shadowlynxbehr » Sun Feb 18, 2007 2:42 am

“Isabel!” hissed Michael and Alex at the same time. Liz glanced at Michael to see the look of pain and embarrassment fill his face.

“What?” growled Max.

“It was when you were lost,” informed Isabel. “We were still trying to locate Liz and you had already left us, Max. She said she couldn’t understand why we didn’t just kill you and end your suffering and make Nathan the new Archigos. She thought it was the best solution to end the mess.”

Even Liz was on her feet now, her fingers curling into fists. She couldn’t believe Maria would be that cold and unfeeling as to say something like that in front of everyone who was close to all of them. After Liz had gone out of her way to help her and Michael get together and to make Maria feel a part of their coven, she had the gall to say that!

Another growl escaped Liz’s throat as Max turned his glare on his Dioikitis. “Why wasn’t I informed of this?” he hissed.

Michael lowered his head, “You just came back to us, Kyrios. I thought it was more imperative to get you and your isyzygos healthy again before you had to deal with any problems.”

As Max narrowed his eyes, Alex spoke up. “Kyrios, do not blame him. All of the covens made the decision to let you and your isyzygos heal while we took care of everything for the time being. We did not feel it was time to trouble either one of you until you were ready for it.”

Max whirled on Alex. “Ready for it! How the hell are we supposed to be ready for a revelation like that one!” roared Max. He turned angry, molten eyes on his Dioikitis and growled. “Where is she?”

Michael swallowed. “I’ve kept her away from here, Kyrios.”

Max began to advance on Michael, but Liz stepped in front of him. Pressing her hands against his chest she turned narrowed eyes at the others. “Leave us!” she hissed.

Glancing at Michael she continued, “And make sure she never sets foot on our grounds again!”

Alex covered his isyzygos mouth with a hand, stopping her words and motioned to a frightened Caiden. Caiden nodded and began backing up towards the stairs, trying not to make any movements that would set Max or Liz off. Isabel looked towards the couple, trying to speak with her eyes, but neither one of them was paying her any attention. Both of them were currently glaring daggers at Michael.

As Alex and the others left the room Michael whispered, “Your son still waits to see his parents, Kyrios.”

Liz’s eyes softened at the mention of her son. Turning to look up at Max, she lifted a hand to his cheek prompting him to look into her eyes. “I want to see my son.”

Max nodded as his own gaze softened in response. Looking back at Michael he said, “Send Nathan down alone.”

Michael got the message and nodded his acknowledgement before leaving the room. As soon as he was gone, Liz wrapped her arms around Max’s waist and hugged him as close as she could. Closing her eyes, she leaned her head against his chest and breathed in his scent.

Maria’s words hung between the two of them as they clung to each other, letting their anger dissipate to be replaced by their love for each other. Liz tilted her head back and glanced up into her osizigos eyes.

“S’agapo Max.”

Max gave her a tender smile. “S’agapo.”

************************************************************

Nathan stood hidden in the doorway watching the tender exchange between his parents. He’d laid eyes on them just as his mother had looked up at his father and whispered her words of love. His eyes had widened to see his normally stoic father respond with a smile and his own declaration before he leaned down to kiss her.

He knew his cheeks were flaming when their kiss seemed to turn heated and they tightened their arms around each other. Just when he was about to turn away, his father pulled back slightly and cupped his mother’s cheek.

Giving her a tender look, his whispered words reached Nathan’s ears. “Liz, you know what would have happened to me if they wouldn’t have been able to bring you back to me. I couldn’t feel you inside of me anymore and it broke me.”

She reached up to curl her fingers around his hand and whispered, “I know, Max. I couldn’t feel you either. But I kept praying that you were alive. I prayed that I would find my way back to you. I’m so sorry Max. I’m so sorry for not listening to you and being so stubborn. I love you, Max. I love you so much!”

As tears welled in her eyes, Max lowered his forehead to hers. “It’s okay Liz. You’re safe and here with me. That’s all that matters now.” He pressed a soft kiss against her forehead as he whispered, “I love you too. So much.”

Liz smiled and hugged him again. As she laid her head against his chest, her head facing the doorway, a smile began to spread over her face.

“Nathan! There you are!” she exclaimed, her voice full of happiness.

Nathan blushed furiously as he awkwardly made his way into the room towards his parents. He stopped at a safe distance, Michael’s warning still ringing in his head. Within moments Nathan realized his parents had no qualms about getting close to him as they both enveloped him in their arms.

He was shocked for only a moment before a smile spread over his face and he allowed himself to relax in his parents embrace.

Liz leaned back to smile at him, “I’ve missed you so much, my son.”

Nathan returned her smile, “I missed you too mom. I’m so glad you’re okay. And so is the baby, right?”

Liz chuckled at his hopeful look. “Yes, the baby’s fine.”

Max grinned and ruffled his son’s hair, once more prompting Nathan to widen his eyes in slight shock. “Both your mother and sister are doing fine, Nathan. I’ve been making sure they regain their health properly.”

Nathan blinked in amazement as he turned to look at his father. “I’m going to have a baby sister?”

As Max nodded Liz stated, “Well, your father seems convinced it’s going to be a little girl.”

“It is,” replied Max with certainty.

Nathan looked from one parent to the other as a grin spread over his face. This wasn’t the first time he ever remembered seeing his parents so relaxed and happy like this, but it seemed so long ago. As the warmth of happiness spread through his body, his mother took his hand and led him to one of the chairs.

The three of them made themselves comfortable in their chairs and settled in for a nice family talk. They stayed there laughing and enjoying their time as a family again until Liz began to tire. It was completely obvious to both Max and Nathan that Liz was doing her best to remain awake for the sake of her son.

Nathan gave his parents a smile as he got up from his chair and moved to give them hugs. “I think it’s time I got ready for bed, I’m getting a little sleepy.”

Liz gave him a hug as she said, “Okay, you go get some sleep and we’ll see you tomorrow then. I love you, son.”

Nathan hugged her back. “I love you too mom. I’m glad you’re back and okay.”

Liz nodded as she let go of him and he made his way to his father’s side. “I’m glad you’re back too dad.”

Max grinned and pulled his son into a bear hug as he whispered into his hair, “Thanks. And I agree with your mother, I love you too.”

Nathan swallowed the lump in his throat at his father’s words. It was a rare thing for his father to say those words to him out loud. Slowly, he left his father’s embrace and began to make his way towards the door. Glancing back at his parents, who now stood with their arms around each other, he gave them a smile and a wave before closing the door behind him and walking up the stairs.

************************************************************

Michael shut the door to his bedroom and leaned back against it as he closed his eyes. It had been the longest night of his life. After Nathan had come up the stairs and told him that his parents were retiring for the night, Michael had emptied out the house of any stragglers and sent a guard down the stairs to ask Max if he wanted a meal before turning in.

Max had declined, saying he and Liz were just going to go back to sleep for the time being. So, Michael had stationed guards around the house with orders that Max and Liz were not to be disturbed unless Michael cleared it first. Then he had left for the night, heading back to his own house.

He knew Max and Liz wouldn’t be in the mood to see him yet after the fiasco earlier that night. They were in good spirits after seeing their son, so Michael wanted them to end their night that way.

A noise from the other side of the room made him grimace before he opened his eyes to meet the icy green glare of hers.

“Well, it’s about time!” she growled.

Michael growled back. “What? You knew I was on duty tonight!”

“Right, of course. No one else is capable enough to watch over Max and Liz. I know Michael. I’ve heard this so many times.”

“Maria!” Michael shouted. “I am not in the mood to argue with you! It’s been a long night! Can we just not do this!”

Maria threw her hands in the air. “What else is new! All the same excuses and then you refuse to talk about anything!”

“You call this talking!”

“Well, it seems you can’t do anything else, can you?”

“Theos! Would you just shut up! I’m too tired to listen to your griping tonight.”

“Of course! It’s not like you ever listen to me anyway!”

“Oh and you do any better?”

“Don’t change the subject Michael!” she shouted. “When are you going to stop being their lap dog and let someone else take care of them?”

“Lap dog!” Michael roared. “I’m Dioikitis! It’s my fucking job! How many times am I going to have to explain this to you!”

“You’re wrong! This isn’t just a job! It’s your life! You’re so wrapped up in this that you don’t even realize how much it’s consumed you!”

Michael curled his hands into fists as he glared at Maria. She just never stopped. Every time they were alone, it seemed to be this way. And it was worse now since she was no longer allowed into the Aristomache mansion. Since Michael had to spend most of his waking hours at the mansion, it meant the two of them had very little time to be with each other.

Now, the knowledge that his Archigos and Archiga knew what Maria had said about Max added more stress to Michael’s life. Now he worried that Max and Liz would never look at him the way they had before and it was all because he had given his heart to the woman who stood before him with her own hands curled into fists.

Gritting his teeth in frustration he hissed, “You seem to be confusing my dedication to do a good job with obsession.”

“I am not doing any such thing,” she hissed back as she moved towards him.

Michael just stared at her as she came to stand in front of him, practically nose to nose with him. They glared into each others eyes for several long tense moments until she half whispered, half growled her next words.

“Do you even remember that I’m your isyzygos?”

He blinked at the note of hurt in her voice even as her familiar scent reached his nostrils. Without saying another word, he lowered his lips to hers and kissed her hard. Just like always, she responded in kind.

Well I wanted you
I wanted no one else
I thought it through
I got you to myself
You got off
Every time you got on to me
I got caught up
In favorable slavery


Moving in sync, they reached the bed and fell onto it together, hands making quick work of their clothes. It only took a few seconds for them shed all of their clothes before joining together roughly.

Was it wrong? Was it wrong?

As Michael sank into her body, she wrapped her legs around his hips and tightened her hold on him. He began to pound into her welcoming heat as her nails left long furrows in his back. Throwing his head back, he cried out at the heady mix of pleasure and pain. Vaguely aware of her own cries of mixed pain and pleasure, he increased his speed and pressure.

I guess it wasn't really right
I guess it wasn't meant to be
It didn't matter what they said
'Cause we were good in bed
I guess I stuck around so I could watch us fight
for all the wrong reasons
No, it didn't matter what I tried
It's just a little hard to leave
When you're going down on me
I guess I stuck around so I could watch us fight
for all the wrong reasons


Maria dug her nails into his lower back, encouraging him to bury himself deeper in her body. It seemed that she could never get enough of the way he took her. No matter how deep or hard he pounded into her, she always wanted more.

Well you know my friends
Well they know your enemies
I'd pretend
Not to hear what they said to me
'Cause I got off
Every time you got on to me
Was it wrong
To go along with insanity?


She craved every single explosion he could give her. As usual, he didn’t disappoint. As quickly as it had begun, she reached her peak and let out an ear piercing scream. Clinging to him even as her orgasm roared through her, she used her body to help him join her in bliss.

Was it wrong? Was it wrong?

As soon as he felt her body lock around his and her scream traveled down his spine, Michael squeezed his eyes shut and roared as he spilled his seed into his wife’s body.

I guess it wasn't really right
I guess it wasn't meant to be
It didn't matter what they said
'Cause we were good in bed
I guess I stuck around so I could watch us fight
for all the wrong reasons
No, it didn't matter what I tried
It's just a little hard to leave
When you're going down on me
I guess I stuck around so I could watch us fight
for all the wrong reasons


It was a long time later as they lay spent in each others arms when he buried his face in her neck.

Maria heard his whispered words just before sated exhaustion claimed her. “Idios panda thimameh, Maria.”

************************************************************

Arissa lifted her head up from where she sat reading on the floor in front of her bed when she heard the soft tap at her window. She smiled when she saw her best friend standing there. He gave her a small wave as she quickly got up and made her way towards him.

Opening the window she asked, “Nathan, what are you doing here so late?”

Nathan gave her a guarded look as he said, “Sorry. I didn’t know where else to go. Can I come in?”

Arissa nodded and stepped back allowing Nathan to climb in the window. As soon as he was inside, she closed the window and pulled the curtains closed over them. She turned around to find Nathan looking a little nervous in the middle of the room.

She frowned as she made her way to his side. “What’s bothering you?”

Nathan shrugged as he whispered, “I couldn’t sleep.” He looked up into her eyes. “I’m not bothering you am I?”

She shook her head, “No, I was just reading.”

When he just stood there not saying anything, she gave a little sigh and took his hand in hers. Leading him to the small loveseat in the corner of her room. Pulling him down next to her, she gave his hand a gentle squeeze. “Tell me.”

Nathan closed his eyes for a few moments before he finally whispered in a voice so low she almost missed it. “I almost lost them both.”

Arissa immediately knew who he was talking about, but before she could say anything, he went on.

“And I never realized just how lucky I am to have them in my life until I saw them together tonight.”

He looked up at her with tears in his eyes. “I went down to see them and when I got there, they were sharing a kiss. I don’t think I’ve ever seen my father look the way he did tonight. The look on his face as he talked to my mom, he was so happy. And the things he told her, it was like I was seeing someone else with my mom. My dad was this entirely different person with her.”

Arissa gave him an encouraging smile, waiting for him to go on.

“Remember how Michael had warned us all not to get to close to them? When they realized I was there and I walked in. I stopped before I got to close to them, but they came to me! They both came to me and hugged me and my dad…he just smiled and seemed so relaxed and happy to see me. It’s been so long since the last time I saw my dad look like that and it was just…I just…”

“You missed it,” whispered Arissa.

Nathan looked up into her eyes once more as a tear slid down his cheek. “Yes,” came his broken whisper. “I missed them both so much!”

As the sobs began to escape his lips, Arissa wrapped her arms around him and held him close. She knew her hug was enough to comfort him as he sobbed brokenly.

“I almost lost them! Theos! What kind of people were they to try and take my parents away from me? Who would want to do that to them? Who would want to k…kill them and my baby sister?”

Arissa’s eyes widened at that new bit of information, but chose to store it away for another day. Instead, she continued to hold him as she spoke in a soft voice.

“I can’t answer that Nathan. I don’t think anyone ever really understands the reasons why some people are so eager to destroy others like your parents. All I know is that they’re alive Nathan and slowly healing again.”

As he sat up and wiped his eyes, she gave him an encouraging smile, “I know you almost lost them and I know I’d be upset if I lost my parents too. But right now, you should focus on being happy that they are alive and don’t waste those moments you get to share with them.”

Nathan nodded his agreement. “You’re right. I know you’re right.”

He looked away for a few moments, seemingly lost in his thoughts. When he finally looked at her again he gave her a shy smile. “Thanks. For letting me talk. It just hit home, you know. Seeing them like that and then spending some time with them tonight. It just felt so good to be a normal family for once that it kind of caught me off guard.”

Arissa chuckled. “Believe me, I understand. My dad can be surprising sometimes too.”

Nathan joined her in soft laughter as the mood finally lightened up.

************************************************************

As the next scream in a long succession of screams rent the air, Max launched himself at the door. He was effectively stopped by an ever vigilant Michael. It didn’t stop Max from falling into a series of growls and hisses as he attempted to reach the door.

“Theos Michael! Get out of my way!” roared Max.

Michael didn’t let go of his hold on Max as he calmly stated, “She’ll be fine Max. She’s in good hands.”

Another scream echoed past the door and Max growled once more. “It doesn’t sound like she’s fine to me!”

“She is,” replied a still calm Michael.

Max growled once more, but even Michael could feel him slightly relaxing.

He understood Max’s behavior well. Over the last two months since Liz’s return, Max had rarely let Liz out of his sight. Not that Liz willingly strayed from his side anyway. It seemed the ordeal had affected Liz more than she cared to admit.

Even though they both had seemed healed and whole on the outside. Michael knew they were still healing each other on the inside. Both of them were prone to tense up when someone who wasn’t that close to them came too near. And they both seemed to be spending more time alone with each other or in the presence of their son.

The relationship between Isabel and Max had become a little strained since Max was still on edge about Vanessa. He still held her partly to blame for what happened to Liz despite knowing what Vanessa had done to help get Liz back.

Despite Max’s hesitance, Liz had forgiven Vanessa for her mistake and remained close friends with both Isabel and her daughter. In fact, it was Isabel and Vanessa who were in the room attending Liz as she tried to give birth to her second child.

It would have been Isabel and Maria, but Maria was still banned from coming anywhere near Max, Liz, or their family. She was the one person neither Max nor Liz could seem to forgive for the things she had said. Michael didn’t blame them for their anger, even though in the beginning he had been surprised how angry Liz was with Maria. When he’d hesitantly asked Liz about it, she’d hissed at him.

“She said Max would be better off dead, Michael! She said my osizigos would be better off dead! What if it had been the other way around? What if I had been the one to say that you would be better dead? Or what if I told you she would be better off dead? Would you forgive me for saying that? Huh? I can’t forgive her Michael! Not after everything I did for her! I can’t forgive her for wanting my syndeo dead!”

Michael had never brought the subject up again. Instead, he kept Maria far away from everyone whom he knew would wring her neck if given the chance.

Nathan stood up from the chair he’d been sitting in and made his way over to his father’s side. He was the only one besides Max, Michael, and Alex who were waiting outside of the room for the newest edition to the Evan’s family to arrive.

Caiden had chosen to stay at home while his parents and sister were with Max and Liz. Tess was due any day with her own baby, so she remained at home with Kyle and Arissa. All the others stayed away knowing that Max and Liz still preferred not to have too many people around them at once.

As he stood next to his father, he laid a hand on his arm. “Dad, if mom really wasn’t okay, I know aunt Izzy would have called for you already. I trust them dad, I know aunt Izzy wouldn’t let anything happen to mom.”

Max turned to look at his son for a moment before he let out a reluctant sigh. “I know. You’re right. I trust your aunt too, but this birth is different for your mom. She’s not as healthy as she was when she was pregnant with you.”

He turned his eyes back towards the door as he finished, “Neither one of us was ready for it this time.”

Nathan opened his mouth to say something when a soft cry came from beyond the door. All four heads turned to stare at the door as the soft cries continued.

“Dad!” whispered Nathan.

No one else said a word as the door finally opened to reveal a smiling Isabel. In her arms rested a small bundle who was currently emitting the soft cries. She walked up to Max to let him see his new baby.

“Congratulations little brother, meet your daughter.”

Max held his arms out as Isabel settled his daughter into them. Holding her close to his chest, he gazed down in awe at her. “Hello, Rena. Welcome to the family.”

************************************************************

Nearly one month later, Liz was curled on her side with Rena resting besides her on the bed. Nathan sat at the computer playing one of the games his father had stored on there, content to just be in the same room as his mother and baby sister.

While the birth had been somewhat difficult for Liz, Rena had arrived into the world as healthy as could be. And both mother and daughter had managed to keep getting stronger and healthier as the days went by. Of course, both Max and Nathan had taken the roles of protector to heart as Nathan mimicked his father’s behavior towards his mother with his little sister.

That was why Nathan was really in the room with them. Since his father was up in his office handling business, Nathan stayed there in his father’s place. Not that Liz minded having her son there. He wasn’t getting the way and she cherished the time she got to spend with any member of her immediate family. All of them knew just how much her capture had affected them. Even Rena had been affected by it as she lay in her mother’s womb.

Nathan finished his latest game before he went to sit next his sister. He leaned down to kiss her soft curls before looking up at his mother who lay on the other side of Rena.

Smiling he asked, “How are you feeling?”

Liz returned her son’s smile with a sleepy one. “I’m fine. Just a little hungry, but your father’s on his way down.”

Nathan nodded as Max appeared at the foot of the bed wearing a huge grin. He looked at his family on the bed as he spoke, “I bring good news.”

He paused as they looked up at him. “Tess and Kyle have another daughter.”

Nathan’s eyes went wide as he realized Arissa now had a little sister too.

“Tess had another daughter!” said Liz.

Max nodded, “Yes, they’ve named her Olivia.”

TBC...

Second song is Fight for all the Wrong Reasons by Nickelback

new Greek words
epitrepo - allow
kanis - anyone
xana - again
leneh - say
thimameh - remember
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Shadowlynxbehr
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Post by Shadowlynxbehr » Sun Feb 25, 2007 3:57 am

Part 37

*Four years later*

Michael and Max sat around the table in the upstairs meeting room going over the latest figures of several of Max’s businesses when Caiden strode into the room with a frown. Max gave him a puzzled look as he asked, “What did you do now? And did it involve my son?”

Caiden resisted the urge to roll his eyes at Max’s ‘I am lord, you must obey me’ voice as he turned to look at Michael. “Sorry for interrupting, but Nathan did send me up here to tell you since he’s still downstairs trying to calm her down.”

“Who?” asked Michael.

The sixty-two year old vampire, in the body of a fifteen year old, simply shrugged and said, “Dunno. She says she’s your maid.”

Max was about to say that Michael didn’t really have any maids, but Michael was already on his feet and running out of the room using his preternatural speed. Caiden and Max looked at each other for a moment before they both followed Michael downstairs.

They got there just as Michael whirled around to face Max. He gave a low bow as he hastily said, “Boro idios ekho adeia sas mechri afino, Kyrios mou?”

Max frowned as he glanced up at the nearly hysterical woman behind Michael. His eyes went wide as he saw her. He recognized her instantly. She was the woman Michael had hired months ago to help Maria as her second pregnancy had progressed. Despite the fact that Maria was no longer welcome in his home, Max still respected his Dioikitis.

“Of course, take as long as you need and let me know if you need anything.”

Michael gave a quick nod before instantly disappearing. Max frowned as he turned to look at his son. “Where’s your mother?”

“With Rena up in the domatio ilios which is where Caiden and I were until I came down to see Caiden off. That was when the guards said the woman was here to see Michael about his isyzygos.” Nathan answered before Max could get on his case for not being at their side.

Max nodded before turning to nod at Caiden, “I thank you for coming to get Michael while my son handled the woman. Tell your family hello for me.”

Caiden gave Max a respectful nod before he and Nathan began to walk to the front door where a car was still waiting for him. As Nathan said goodbye to his friend, Max made his way upstairs towards the two most important women in his life.

As Max entered the room, his troubles melted away and a smile graced his features when his gaze landed on his isyzygos and their four year old daughter. Liz and Rena were sitting on a blanket on the floor with one of those pop up books that children liked. The two of them were oohing and aahing over the pop ups and pictures and talking about them with their heads slightly bent towards each others.

Liz looked up when she felt Max’s mind brush against hers and gave him a dazzling smile. Rena also looked up the moment her mother did and her face instantly lit up at the sight of her father.

“Daddy!” she squealed in delight as she scrambled up from the floor and ran towards him waving her arms frantically.

Max chuckled as he knelt down and opened his arms for his daughter to run into them. As soon as she’d thrown herself into his arms and wrapped her own around his neck, he rose to his feet holding her close.

“Daddy! You gonna look at picture books with us?” she asked.

Max gave her a kiss on the cheek as he nodded. “Yep. But we have to get your mother to read it to us, okay?”

She giggled, “Oh daddy! You like it when mommy reads yes?”

Max turned twinkling eyes at Liz as he replied, “Yes I do. But then again, all of us like it when she reads, huh? Even your brother.”

Nathan laughed as he strode into the room. “Okay, fine. I’ll admit, I like to listen to mom read, but I’m not making a habit of admitting it.”

Liz rolled her eyes at their banter as she moved to sit on the couch where Max and Rena soon joined her. As Rena made herself comfortable in her father’s lap, Nathan went to a shelf against the far wall and plucked a book from it before handing it to his mother.

Liz thanked him as he settled down into a nearby overstuffed chair and got comfortable. She looked down at the book before turning to look at Max and Rena.

“So, is ‘The Little Engine That Could’ all right with you two?” she asked.

Rena rolled her eyes. “Nate always wants to hear that one! I wanna hear ‘Cinderella’!”

Nathan pouted, “You heard Cinderella earlier, Rena. Come on, you know you like the little engine too.”

His sister giggled at the sad eyes he gave her before she nodded, “Okay mommy you can read that one.”

Max grinned, “I guess it’s settled then.” He leaned over to peck Liz on the lips before he settled back against the couch, wrapped his arm over her shoulders, and pulled her into his side.

Liz got comfortable against Max before she opened the book and began to read to her family who all sat quietly and eagerly listened to her animated voice.

************************************************************

Michael sat next to her with tears streaming down his face. For the moment, she was sleeping peacefully, resting from her ordeal, but he knew that wouldn’t last. He knew she would know the moment she opened her eyes.

As his lips trembled, he reached out to smooth her hair away from her face. The tears blurred his vision of her for the moment, but he didn’t care. All he cared about was what they would both have to deal with again. His heart hurt and it hurt more because he knew just how much it would affect her.

Things were quiet now. They had been for about an hour already, but not before that. As soon as Michael had appeared in the foyer of his home, the screams and cries had bombarded his ears. He’d run to his room where Maria was currently struggling with the two women who were trying to soothe her and hold her down at the same time.

Maria had turned a tear stained face towards Michael as she sobbed, “No! Michael please! Tell them no! It’s too soon!”

Michael had immediately moved to her side to calm her down. As he stroked her hair and held her hand, murmuring comforting words to her, he’d glanced at the yatros standing near the foot of the bed. The yatros had given him a quick shake of his head, but all Michael had to see was the look in his eyes to know that this one wasn’t meant to be.

All he’d been able to do was hold her hand and keep murmuring words of comfort to her, trying to get her to calm down enough to deliver their child. Nearly twenty minutes later, she had finally given birth to their stillborn daughter before surrendering to exhaustion and sinking into a deep sleep.

While she slept, Michael dealt with the loss, allowing the yatros to take the baby and prepare it for the proper burial. Now, all he had to do was wait for her to wake up and let the full pain and grief hit them both.

A few seconds later, her eyes fluttered open. Michael watched as sense returned to her eyes and she blinked up at him for a few moments. As their eyes met, he saw the tears well up in them.

“Oh Michael!” she whispered brokenly.

She knew. Michael knew she knew what had happened as her body began to wrack with sobs. He gathered her into his arms and held her tight as she buried her face in his chest. Her fingers dug into the back of his shirt as her muffled sobs continued.

He closed his eyes as his own tears began to slide down his cheeks. “I’m sorry, Maria. I’m so sorry.”

************************************************************

Vanessa hesitantly walked into her mother’s sitting room. She saw her mother and father both sitting in a couple of chairs next to each other as they seemed to be relaxing in front of the fireplace. She hoped that now was a good time to catch them in a relaxed and happy mood since she had some news to share with them.

She had just returned from seeing Aidan again. For the first time ever, she had gone to Aidan’s home and met his entire family. Aidan had let them all know that he was in love with Vanessa and that they had been secretly seeing each other for years.

And now that Aidan had been the Archigos of the Irinikos coven for the last two years, he was ready to take Vanessa as his Archiga. As his family had sat there with mixed looks, she and Aidan had explained to them how they had managed to have their relationship without anyone being the wiser.

Of course Aidan’s mother and sisters were thrilled to know that their brother finally found someone whom he wanted to share his life with and they were more than willing to get to know Vanessa better for Aidan’s sake. While Joran was happy for his son, he did warn them that Vanessa’s family might not take the news so well since Kivar had been Aidan’s half brother.

He warned them that even though they seemed to treat Joran and his family with respect and welcomed them in as close friends, the news that one of their own had fallen in love with Kivar’s half brother was sure to rub some of them the wrong way. Still Joran had assured them that he would stand behind his son and the woman he loved despite what others would say.

That alone had given Vanessa and Aidan some hope that things would work out for them. So, after giving Vanessa another pep talk and trying to help her build up her courage, he’d sent her home to tell her parents the news. He’d wanted to go with her, but Vanessa thought it would be better to talk to her parents alone.

That was why she was now mentally psyching herself for the confrontation that she knew was coming as she made her way to her parents side. As she approached, both of her parents looked up at her with smiles.

“Nessa! What are you doing home so early? I thought you were out with friends tonight?” Alex asked in a cheerful voice.

Vanessa gave them both a smile as she moved to sit down in a chair across from them. “Yes, I was out but I thought I’d come back early because there’s something I wanted to talk to you about.”

Her parents shared a look before they turned back to her. “What is that you want to talk about Vanessa?” asked Isabel.

Vanessa took a deep breath before bracing herself. Without a moments hesitation she said, “I’ve been dating Aidan of the Irinikos for several years now and he’s asked me to be his isyzygos and I said yes.”

Her parents stared at her as she finished her announcement, which had come out all in one breath. As they continued to stare at her in shock, she gave a sigh of relief that at least that part was over now.

Unfortunately, it was her mother who recovered from the shock first.

“What!” Isabel screeched as she came to her feet. “Are you mad! How can you possibly be dating him!”

Alex laid a calming hand on his isyzygos arm as he stood up next to her. “What your mother is trying to say is that Aidan isn’t who we would have wanted you to date.”

Vanessa nodded. “I understand, but it’s not like we purposely did it. It just happened and I can’t deny the feelings I have for him.”

“Feelings you have for him! Theos Vanessa! Do you know who he is? What makes you think we would allow you to have a relationship with someone from…”

“Kivar’s family?” Vanessa finished as she too came to her feet. She looked her mother right in the eyes as she continued, “You must have forgotten mother, you are part of Kivar’s family too.”

As Isabel gasped in mortification, Vanessa turned to look at her father. “Dad, I didn’t get involved with Aidan just to upset my family. Please try to understand. I was young when I met him and neither one of us were quite aware of what kind of ramifications Kivar’s actions would have on any of us.”

She turned to look at her mother once again. “I want you to know that Aidan is nothing like Kivar was. He’s been Archigos of his coven for the last two years with Joran’s blessing. And since I know you all respect Joran, then you must know that he didn’t make a bad choice in letting Aidan take over.”

Isabel continued to gape at Vanessa as Alex exhaled. “You say you were young when the two of you met?”

Vanessa nodded. “We met the night of the Irinikos ball. The one that I attended with you in mother’s place since she was pregnant with Caiden. We went because it was meant to be a peace offering between the Aristomache and Irinikos coven.”

Alex nodded in remembrance. “And you’ve been seeing him ever since?”

She sighed as she indicated the chairs. “Please, hear me out before you judge him.”

Alex turned to Isabel and laid a hand on her shoulder. “Agapo mou, I think we should at least give her that.”

Isabel frowned but sat down in her seat. As soon as they were all seated again, Vanessa filled them in about the relationship she and Aidan had carried on over the last several years.

************************************************************

Arissa resisted the urge to laugh as she watched her little sister attempting to tie bows into their father’s hair. What made it so funny was that Kyle wasn’t even aware that Olivia was putting bows in her hair since he was too focused on the television show he was currently watching. She knew her father was already so used to having the two of them around him that he never seemed overly concerned with what they were doing.

Of course, her secret laughter was ruined the moment her mother walked into the room. Spying her youngest daughter, Tess put her hands on her hips and spoke in a stern voice.

“Olivia Valenti! Just what do you think you are doing?”

Without even batting an eyelash Kyle replied, “Leave her alone Tess, she’s just putting bows in my hair.”

Arissa’s eyes went wide as she realized her father had known all along and hadn’t even cared. She giggled as she realized just how much he loved the both of them because he always allowed them to do these kinds of things to him without getting upset.

Kyle seemed to know what Arissa was thinking since he turned to look at her as he batted his eyelashes. “So, what do you think Arissa? Does it make me look prettier?”

At that she broke into laughter. As tears of mirth began to leak from the corners of her eyes she gasped, “Sorry dad, but I think bows are strictly for girls.”

He laughed as he turned to look at his youngest daughter, wrapping an arm around her waist and pulling her close to him. “Well, Liv, guess we’ll have to take her word for it, huh? Don’t worry though, daddy still loves you.”

And with that, he leaned over and began kissing her face and neck. As she squealed in delight, Tess moved to sit besides them. As soon as she was there, Kyle grabbed her and cackled. “Oh, you some sugar too, huh?”

Tess laughed as Olivia continued to squeal with laughter. A few seconds later, Kyle grabbed Arissa and gave her the same treatment as he had the other two. Soon, he was buried under three giddy females as all four of them continued to laugh and wrestle with each other.

************************************************************

Liz curled up closer to her osizigos side as they continued to enjoy gazing at the stars through the windows. Rena was fast asleep on the couch next to Max and Nathan was on his stomach on the floor in front of them playing with his hand held video game.

After she’d read to them for a while, she and Max had gone to feed while Nathan had entertained his little sister. When they had returned, Nathan and Rena had been in the middle of watching one of Rena’s favorite cartoons which had them both laughing at the antics of the little puppy on the screen.

After the cartoon was over, it was Max’s turn to read for a while before Liz took over once more. When Rena had fallen asleep, Liz had stopped reading in favor of just cuddling with Max and Nathan had retrieved his game just to keep himself entertained without leaving his parent’s presence.

Liz turned to kiss Max’s cheek before she whispered. “Let’s put Rena to bed huh? It’s getting late.”

As Max began to nod, they heard the commotion coming from downstairs. Max frowned as he turned towards the door, but Nathan was already on his feet.

“I’ll go.”

Max growled low in his throat. “Hold them off until your mother and I get Rena into bed then we’ll be down to deal with them.”

Nathan nodded as he walked out of the door.

Max and Liz quickly put their daughter to bed before going downstairs to the den where an upset Isabel paced back and forth muttering under her breath as her worried osizigos stood nearby following her movements with his eyes. As soon as she was aware that the two of them had entered, she stopped pacing and whirled around to face Max.

“Do you know what that daughter of mine just had the gall to tell us!” she shrieked.

Alex sighed as he moved away from the wall to look at Max. Giving him a nod he filled Max in. “Vanessa came to us earlier to tell us that she is engaged to be married.”

As a smile began to spread over Liz’s face, Alex continued. “It seems she and Aidan have been seeing each other for a very long time. Longer than any of us would have thought.”

Max quirked an eyebrow, “She’s engaged to Aidan? Of the Irinikos?”

Alex nodded. “Yes or to be more correct, the Irinikos Archigos.”

“Right,” replied Max as he glanced at his sister. “So, they’ve been seeing each other without any of us knowing since when? Since he returned from Europe?”

Alex shook his head. “Since the night of the Irinikos ball. The one Vanessa attended with me in place of Isabel who remained at home because she was pregnant with Caiden.”

Liz’s eyes went wide. “Oh my! They’ve been seeing each other that long! How did they manage to do it without anyone ever knowing.”

Alex sighed as Isabel gave an indignant huff. He said, “According to Vanessa, it wasn’t easy, but they did it. She told us what they did and how many times they almost got caught.”

“Why didn’t they tell anyone?” asked Liz.

He glanced at his isyzygos who was still grumbling under her breath as he replied, “It was mainly Vanessa who didn’t want to tell anyone. She knew how some of us would feel because of who Aidan’s half brother was.”

Max nodded. “Yes, that’s understandable, but Aidan isn’t Kivar.”

Isabel curled her hands into fists as she glared at Max. “Kivar was his brother Max!”

He nodded again. “Yes Isabel, but he was our brother too. And before you go on, just think about what this all means. Aidan is Joran’s son and you and I both know what kind of man Joran is. As Archigos of the Euphranor, Alex knows how Joran is. Knowing that, we all should believe that Joran made the right choice two years ago when he stepped down as Archigos and gave control of the Irinikos coven to Aidan. I don’t see what could be so bad about a marriage between Aidan and Vanessa.”

Liz agreed as she added, “It should mean something that the two of them have managed to fall in love with each other and stayed in love with each other even after all this time. He went to Europe for so long Isabel, and even through that lengthy separation their love for each other stayed strong.”

At the same time she was saying that to Isabel and Alex, she was talking to Max through their bond. Don’t you dare support Vanessa’s decision just because you see this as a political benefit!

Think of it Liz! This would be a truce between the Euphranor and Irinikos coven. And since we are linked to the Euphranor, it is a truce between us as well.

Liz resisted the urge to growl. While that may be true Max, you had better be behind Vanessa because they truly love each other, not for political gain! And word your arguments better too! If Isabel figures out what you really see in this marriage I’m not going to get in her way when she comes after you!

Isabel shook her head, “This isn’t right. It just isn’t right.”

Liz moved to her sister-in-law’s side and took her hand in hers. “I know it’s hard to understand Isabel, especially since that whole business with Kivar affected you so deeply. I think that’s why Vanessa never said anything before. She must have known just how badly it affected you, so she didn’t want to upset you over it. Still, no one can help who they fall in love with Isabel.”

Isabel closed her eyes as she whispered, “I can’t do it. I can’t allow her to see him at all.”

She turned to look at her osizigos. “We have to tell her she is forbidden to ever see him again!”

Alex frowned at that and Liz could see that he was clearly torn between his isyzygos happiness and his daughter’s happiness.

Liz squeezed Isabel’s hand. “Isabel, Vanessa is one hundred and seventy-eight years old. Twenty in human maturity years. She’s old enough to make her own decisions regardless of what her parent’s may want. Now, ask yourself this. Do you want to forbid her this and lose her completely because you know that if she loves him as much as she says she does, she’ll find a way to be with him. Or do you want to try to make the effort to accept their relationship and not ever have to worry about ever seeing your daughter again?”

Isabel’s lips trembled as Liz’s words sank in. She turned to look at Alex with tears in her eyes. “Would she do that?”

Alex sighed. “I don’t think she’d do it willingly, agapo mou. But yes, I think she loves him too much to let him go at this point.”

“Oh Theos!” she whispered as she closed her eyes once more.

Alex wrapped his arms around her, pulling her close and laying his lips against her temple. “It’s going to be okay, moro. I know it will be. I have to believe what Max said. Joran wouldn’t have allowed Aidan to take over if he hadn’t been convinced that his son was a good man. I trust Joran, so if he has confidence in his son, then I can’t see why he won’t be good enough for our daughter. Most of all, Vanessa loves him and he seems to make her happy. You know I live to make the two most important women in my life happy.”

Isabel sniffled as she reluctantly nodded. “Okay. Okay, if you think this is the right choice then I can’t argue with that. I just hope…”

“I know, moro,” replied Alex. “I think we all hope that she’s making the right choice that won’t hurt her in the long run. But right now, all we can do is support her decision and be there for her no matter what happens.”

She wrapped her arms around Alex’s waist and hugged him close. “I guess I’ll just have to get used to having Aidan in our lives then.”

Max smiled as she said that. “Aidan is a good man, Isabel. You will see. I think he may be just what Vanessa needs.”

Isabel turned narrowed eyes on him as she said, “You know, for someone who still gets his hackles raised every time she gets near, you seem to be awfully eager to support her engagement to a man who is half brother to your half brother!”

Before Max could say a word, he heard Liz’s voice snap. Not a word! Let me!

“He sees what I see Isabel. The length of time they’ve been together says something to him too. That and the fact that Aidan may be just what she needs to settle down. I think he might help her to find her place in this world. Think about it Isabel. It was after he left that she got into trouble, yes? Maybe it was because she missed him.”

Isabel’s eyes went wide. “Do you think?”

Liz shrugged. “It could be a possibility, but who knows. I guess I just want to hope that Aidan will be able to keep Vanessa from making anymore foolish mistakes, he is an Archigos after all and that means he has to think in broader terms.”

Isabel couldn’t help but agree with what Liz was saying. “Maybe you’re right. Maybe she needs someone like him to ground her. And if he loves her as much as she says he does, then I know he will take care of her.”

She gave a little sigh as she looked up at Alex. “We should go home so that I can apologize for yelling at her. I have to tell her that I’m willing to try to accept their relationship.”

Alex smiled, “That’s a good idea, agapo mou. I will apologize too and stand by your side as we tell her that we will try our best to support her.”

Max chuckled as they turned to say their goodbyes. “Give them both my congratulations. I’m sure I’ll see Aidan after the engagement is made official, but let him know we are glad he is happy.”

As Liz nodded her agreement, Isabel and Alex said their goodbyes before leaving the way the came, albeit much more quietly.

************************************************************

Less than a week later found Michael sitting on the edge of his bed staring vacantly at the wall. It had only been a few days since Maria had given birth to their stillborn child. When she had woken up, he had been there to hold her and comfort her. He had been glad that she had clung to him and mourned the loss with him. The rest of that night and the day afterwards, the two of them had held each other as they let their grief take hold of them.

However, once it had seemed as if the worst of it was over, she had begun to shut him out again. He’d taken a leave of absence from work with Max and Liz’s consent so that he could stay at her side. Max and Liz had sent their condolences to Michael and Maria, even though they wouldn’t personally come and see them.

Michael knew their words were heartfelt since they had once gone through the same pain. He knew that despite the fact that they were still upset with Maria for what she had said, they wouldn’t have been spiteful enough to gloat over her losing a second child. He knew they wouldn’t wish that kind of pain on their worst enemy.

So, as the days went by, Michael had done everything he could to make her comfortable and happy. He had thought it was working until just a few hours ago. Walking into the bedroom after coming back from feeding, he found her packing her things.

Stunned, he’d stared at her for a few moments before sputtering, “W-what’s going on, Maria?”

She had barely lifted her head to respond, “I’m leaving.”

“Leaving?” he whispered. “Maria. Why?”

She sighed as she straightened up and looked at him. “This isn’t working between us.”

Michael frowned. “Moro, I know what happened is hard to accept, but you can’t just…”

Don't you go without me

“No Michael!” she cried as tears formed in her eyes. “This shouldn’t have happened! And I wouldn’t have lost our baby if only…if only…”

Don't go and leave me here

“What?”

When I lie on my side

“If only you would have loved me more!”

Feel my heart being crushed

Michael felt that like it had been a slap to his face. “What? How can you say that!” he cried. “Haven’t I been here for you these last few days? Theos Maria, I did everything I could to make you happy! Can’t you see that it has affected me too!”

Falling through the spaces

“You may have been here these last few days Michael, but where were you when I really needed you?” she asked as her voice rose until she was shouting at him. “Where were you when the yatros told me that the baby was already dead inside of me and I had to give birth to it! Where were you when the baby died!”

Falling through an unlit sea

She picked up one of her shoes and threw it at him. “You were with them! Always with them! Don’t you dare stand there and tell me you were here for me when you weren’t! I needed you! Our baby needed you and you were with them!”

Sleep dust on your eyelids

As she began to sob, she picked up more of her things and stuffed them into her suitcase. All Michael could do was stand there in shock. She was leaving him. His isyzygos was leaving him because she blamed him for their baby’s death. She believed he had chosen his job over their baby’s life.

Mahjong tiles flicker serene

As she closed the suitcase and set it next to the others she’d already packed, she called out to the maid. “Lila! Get the driver to come in and help me with my bags! I’m ready to leave now!”

Play the four winds in dim lit bars

A few moments later the driver came in and scooped up a few of her cases before hastily leaving the room. As Maria picked up her last bag and made her way to the door, Michael reached out to her.

Aqualung feels heavy

“Maria please! Think about what you are doing! S’agapo!” he pleaded.

Don't you go without me

She never turned around as she replied. “No you don’t. I just don’t believe that you ever did.”

Don't you go and leave me here

With those words she had walked out of his house and life. Now, hours later he no longer had an isyzygos or a child. And that was the way Liz found him.

************************************************************

As soon as Maria had left, Lila had sent word to Max and Liz about what had happened. She knew they would want to be there for their second in command, their friend. Upon getting that word, Liz agreed to go to Michael’s house to talk to him and hopefully convince him to return with her to the Aristomache mansion. It was agreed that Michael shouldn’t be alone after this.

While Liz and her guards went to Michael’s house to comfort him, Max made his way to Maria’s family home. No one stopped the formidable leader as he strode into the house and made his way to Maria’s room. Ignoring the tears that fell down her cheeks he growled at her.

“How dare you hurt him! How dare you take advantage of him when all he ever wanted was to love you!”

Maria glared at him. “He never loved me! It was always you! You and Liz!”

“He bent over backwards for you! There wasn’t anything he wouldn’t have done for you! And all you could do was try to make him into something different! How could you leave him at a time like this! You just lost your child!”

“Yes I did! And it’s all because he didn’t love me enough!”

“What?”

“If he loved me the way you claim he did, then he would have been there as our baby died! He would have been there to save it!”

Max stared at her. “Are you saying it’s his fault the baby died? Theos Maria! Think about what you are saying! Michael didn’t kill this baby! He wanted it more than you could ever know! You make it sound like you are the only one who lost a baby! Can’t you see that he’s suffering just as much as you are? You both have lost so much! Don’t make it worse by letting him lose you too!”

“What do you care!” she growled. “You and Liz have more than made your feelings for me public!”

“Whatever feelings Liz and I may have towards you Maria, has nothing to do with your relationship with Michael! However, we both love Michael too much to watch him fall apart. He loves you and needs you. So if you are what he needs then we will not stand in his way. We want him to be happy and you are what makes him happy.”

Maria shook her head. “He doesn’t make me happy. I can’t go back.”

Max narrowed his eyes as he moved to tower over her. “Understand this Maria. Michael is like a brother to me. You can’t play with his feelings. Make up your mind and stick to it, but be warned. You cause him any more pain and suffering, I will personally make your life a living hell!”

Without another word Max disappeared from sight, leaving behind a speechless Maria.

TBC...

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Shadowlynxbehr
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Post by Shadowlynxbehr » Sat Mar 03, 2007 11:34 pm

Part 38

*Twenty-two years later*

Alex stood next to Max, Kyle, and Michael with a proud smile on his face as they both watched Vanessa dancing with her fiancé. She and Aidan seemed oblivious to the eyes that watched them as they twirled around the dance floor. Yet Alex knew that was just the way they were.

Now that mostly everyone seemed to be okay with the couples engagement, Vanessa and Aidan had been free to make their relationship public. Alex had never had a problem with Vanessa and Aidan being together, especially after he’d first witnessed the way they were when they were around each other. It had been obvious from the start just how much Aidan loved his daughter and how much she loved him back.

Isabel was really the only one who had the hardest time with their relationship, but at least she was making the effort to get to know Aidan and to accept his relationship with Vanessa. Alex was extremely grateful to Liz for being there to help Isabel deal with those issues. He knew that Max was smart enough to know that Liz was the best one to help Isabel since Max had never been one to handle emotions very well.

Plus, they knew if Alex tried, Isabel might blame him for anything that went wrong even if she didn’t mean it. And since Liz was also a mother, it was another bonus in helping Isabel to identify with her.

Smiling wider, he glanced to where Isabel stood with Liz and Tess and a few other women talking amongst themselves. Glad that his wife seemed to be enjoying herself, he turned to grin at Max.

“Did I mention how glad I am that you found Liz? You’re damned lucky, you know.”

Kyle snorted. “Yeah, damned lucky she didn’t leave your ass after the stunts you pulled.” As Max turned a glare at him, Kyle continued unfazed. “And yet here she is, decades later. Loving you, giving you a family, and getting your ass out of really tight spots.”

Michael chuckled at the look of shock on Max’s face. “Kyle’s right. But I think it applies to most of us here. Where would we be if Liz wasn’t there to diffuse a lot of those really sticky messes we get into.”

Max sighed as he nodded his head in agreement. “I know, she’s worked wonders in handling people.” He turned to gaze at her profile as he added, “I just hope she’s learned her lesson and realized that there are some things she can’t handle on her own.”

As if she had heard him, Liz turned her head and looked straight at him. A smile spread over her face and she gave him a wink before turning back to the group. A split second later he knew she had indeed heard him.

Believe me, agapo mou, I’ve learned.

He couldn’t help the goofy grin that spread over his face.

Kyle saw the grin and couldn’t help but respond. “Nothing like getting your way with your syndeo, huh? Of course, I can’t complain when she wants her way too.”

Max turned to look at Kyle for a moment before he burst out laughing, surprising both Alex and Michael. “I know what you mean. Sometimes it feels too good not to let them have their way huh?”

Alex groaned, “I hope to hell you are not talking about what I think you are talking about.”

Both Max and Kyle wore almost identical looks of mock horror. But it was Kyle who answered. “Alex! Get your mind out of the gutter!”

As Alex looked between Kyle and Max, who was now wiggling his eyebrows suggestively, Michael could only laugh. However, Michael’s laughter immediately died down when he caught sight of familiar green eyes across the room.

“I’ll be back,” he muttered, as he began to move away from them.

Max reached out to grip his arm. “Michael! It’s not worth it. You’re stronger than that, you know. Do you really think your heart can keep taking the beating you seem so bent on giving it?”

Michael glanced down at the hand on his arm before looking up into his Archigos eyes. “I can’t help what I feel, Max. And you told me you would stay out of my private life.”

Max simply narrowed his gaze at Michael, who narrowed his own. The two of them stood there like that for a long time, making the others nervous. Just when they thought one of them was going to react violently, Max let go of Michael’s arm.

“She’s not worth it,” he hissed.

Michael nodded, letting Max know he heard before he turned his back to them and made his way to Maria’s side.

Max watched him go with a scowl on his face. The others wore frowns as they watched Michael walk up to Maria and start talking to her. She turned to him with a smile as she responded to him.

It was always the same thing every time the two of them ran into each other. Everyone of them was already used to the now familiar dance the two of them did. After Maria had left Michael, she’d moved into a place of her own again. Just when they all thought Maria’s coven would be contacting the Aristomache in order to have their marriage dissolved, Michael seemed to be seeing her again.

Turns out it was just the beginning of a pattern that had lasted for over twenty one years. Every time the two of them ran into each other, they would talk, flirt, and end up spending the night together. Then they wouldn’t be speaking to each other for a while until they’d run into each other again and the whole dance would start all over again.

When Max had confronted his Dioikitis about his concern that he was ruining his life chasing after a woman who only wanted to use him, Michael had snapped at Max telling him to mind his own business. During one of their heated arguments, Maria had told Michael what Max had said to her.

Michael had been furious that Max would threaten his isyzygos like that. Granted, Michael knew Max was doing it for his benefit, but he felt like the less involved Liz and Max were in his relationship with Maria, the less she would use them as an excuse as to why he didn’t love her enough.

Later, in one of his calmer moments, Michael had gone to Max and Liz and asked them to stay out of his private life. He told them that they should respect him enough to allow him to live his own life and make his own mistakes. He loved them for the way they cared about him, but he needed them to allow him to make his own decisions.

Max was still a little upset about it, but Liz had understood. Michael knew she was also upset about it, but she held it in unlike her osizigos. Liz had placed a calming hand on her osizigos chest and spoke in a low voice saying that Michael was right, it wasn’t their place to tell him how to live his life no matter how much they cared about him.

Alex sighed. “Guess we won’t be seeing him for the rest of tonight. Guess it’s a good thing he’s off for a couple of days.”

Max growled low in his throat.

They all glanced at him as Kyle whispered, “Max, let it go. You gave him your word.”

“I know!” he snapped. “It still doesn’t mean I want to see him do this to himself! She’s using him and he’s letting her! And if she does anything to hurt him, if she destroys him. I’ll kill her with my bare hands!”

Before any of the others had a chance to recover from their nervousness at Max’s heated words, Liz was at his side. As she slid her hand into his, she turned a smile to the others.

“Signomi anthron, Idios ekho erkhomeh mechri zito osizigos mou mechri pairno meh spiti. Afto ekhi itan enas makris nikhta.”

Max scowled at her for a moment before he gave a defeated sigh. “Khara. Epitrepo mas pao spiti, agapo mou.” He nodded to the others. “Kalinikhta anthron.”

************************************************************

Maria slid quietly from the bed, hoping not to disturb his sleeping form. She should have known it wouldn’t have worked. It had never worked before.

She heard him shift slightly before he reached out to bring her back to his side. When he found her side empty, he opened his eyes and lifted his head until he saw her standing not to far from the bed.

She was quietly getting dressed even while her eyes remained on him. He gave her a sleepy smile, hoping it would work. Holding his hand out to her he whispered, “Come back to bed.”

She slowly shook her head as she gave him a regretful smile. “Sorry, but I’ve got to get going.”

She turned away from him to search for the rest of her clothes. As she straightened up, he was behind her. Wrapping his arms around her waist, he pulled her back against him and nibbled on her neck.

“Stay.” He mumbled against her skin. She knew it wasn’t a request.

Curling her fingers around his, she answered. “I can’t.”

He lifted his lips to her ear. “I’m not talking about tonight, Maria.”

She sighed and turned around in his arms to look into his eyes. “We both know that’s not a good idea.”

He frowned. “Why not? I know you still love me. You know I love you, that I always will. I don’t see why you can’t stay here when you come home with me every time we see each other?”

She stared into his eyes for a moment before she nodded. “I know. I know. I’m sorry Michael, but I can’t do this with you again. I think we are better off this way than we were before.”

He shook his head. “I don’t agree.”

She moved out of his arms and finished getting dressed. As she made her way to the door, he slid his hand into hers. “I miss you, Maria.”

She closed her eyes for a moment before turning to look at him. Giving him a sad smile, she caressed his cheek as she whispered, “I miss you too, Michael.”

He let her go and she walked out of the room. It wasn’t until she was half way down the street that she turned to look back with tears in her eyes. Staring at his house she spoke the words she knew he longed to hear from her. “S’agapo Michael.”

************************************************************

Liz stood in the middle of their walk-in closet with her arms crossed over her chest and a frown on her face. She couldn’t decide what to wear and that wasn’t like her. She wasn’t a clothes horse like Isabel or Tess were, but she knew what looked good on her. Or more to the point, she knew what Max thought looked good on her.

Once long ago, the human in her would have balked at the idea of dressing to please a man. But that was decades ago and before she had fallen in love with her osizigos. Now, she loved knowing what wearing a certain item would do to him. Sometimes it gave her a sense of power to know she could don an item of clothing that would drive her syndeo out of his mind.

She giggled to herself as she thought of what she could wear to the little get together they were having with the Whitman and Valenti families here in their back yard. As she looked through her clothes, she knew it would definitely have to be something red. Even after all this time, it was still his favorite color on her.

Her hair would also have to be left long and she wondered just how long it would be before his hands were burying themselves in it. She also decided a dress would be better than pants. One that would be short, a little above her knees. Something to tease his sight.

Ooooo

Should it be sleeveless? No, thin straps would be better. Those and a low front that showed just a hint of cleavage. That way it wouldn’t be too suggestive, yet she knew his fingers would be itching to tug at those straps to expose more cleavage.

Come on over the mountain
And I'll meet you at the other side


Her grin widened as she began to look through her clothes in search of something similar to what she was imagining. Just as she thought about adding strappy heels to the outfit so that her legs would entice him too, she felt his strong arms wrap around her waist.

Come on over the mountain
And I'll meet you at the other side, yeah


As he pulled her back against him with a growl, he leaned in to nip at her ear before whispering huskily. “Have you forgotten that we share a mind? I can hear your thoughts loud and clear. And you have no idea how badly I need you right now, do you?”

If I saw you dancing
I would spin you around, spin you around


She closed her eyes and moaned as his tongue slid over her ear lobe before his lips pressed against the pulse in her neck. She could feel the evidence of how badly he wanted her against her lower back as he pressed closer to her. His hands slid down to her hips and she gasped when in the next moment there was nothing in between their skin.

If I saw you dancing
I would spin you around, spin you around
Turn your world upside down


“Max!” she groaned as his fingers dipped between her legs to stroke her folds.

Ooooo

He growled as he nipped at her shoulder. “Theos! You are already so wet for me, moro.”

I'd spin you around, spin you around
Turn your world upside down


She nodded before letting her head fall back against his shoulder. She had been wet from the moment he’d pulled her back against his body. It was just like he said. They shared a mind, it was impossible not to feel what each other was feeling.

Spin you around, spin you around
Turn your world upside down


She lifted a hand, moving it back behind his neck, into his hair, and pulling his mouth down to hers. As they joined in a heated kiss, Max slid his fingers inside of her and began pumping slowly.

If you'll be my woman
I will take you to another high


She moaned into his mouth as she slid her free hand down to join his between her legs. At the same time, she pushed her body back to rub against his hardness.

If you'll be my lady
I will take you for another ride


It was too much for Max as he let go of her long enough to turn her around and lift her up in his arms. In sync with him, she wrapped her arms around his shoulders and as he settled her down on his length, she wrapped her legs around his hips.

If I saw you dancing
I would spin you around, spin you around


In unison, they both let out satisfied groans when he was buried inside of her and immediately Liz began to ride him with the help of his hands on her hips. Their eyes met and held for a few moments as they enjoyed the way their bodies came together so easily. But when Liz began to tighten her walls around him, Max’s eyes went to half mast and he nearly lost his balance.

If I saw you dancing
I would spin you around, spin you around


Stumbling backwards until he met the wall, he leaned back against it and widened his stance. As soon as Liz knew he was balanced again, she picked up her pace. Using her hands and legs, she rode him with abandon while he simply leaned back against the wall and held her to him with his arms around her waist.

Spin you around, spin you around
Turn your world upside down


She smiled down at him as he continued to look at her through hooded golden eyes that were growing more and more molten with each thrust of her hips. His lips parted, allowing Liz to catch a glimpse of the growing incisors.

Spin you around, spin you around
Turn your world upside down


She knew he was getting close, she could feel it both in her mind and in her body. Shifting slightly, she leaned over him and raised her hands to press against the wall. As her breast came close to his mouth, he lapped at her nipple with his tongue before biting down hard.

I can turn you around

Liz cried out as his teeth pierced her skin and he took a quick drink of her blood. It was enough to send her careening over the edge, his name on her lips. As her orgasm continued to wash over them both, Max lapped at her breast and she jerked her hips over his.

I'd spin you around, spin you around
Turn your world upside down


With a growl of her own, she leaned over him and kissed his lips at the same time she tightened her walls enough to send him over the edge. With one final jerk of her hips, she bit down on his bottom lip and sucked hard. She felt him explode inside of her as her lips muted the roar erupting from his mouth.

Spin you around, spin you around
Turn your world upside down


Max gripped her close as he jerked his hips up into hers, bathing her walls with his seed. When he felt himself finally being emptied, she was licking at his bottom lip. With a final shudder, he leaned back against the wall and closed his eyes.

Oooooo

Liz pressed kisses all over his face and let her hands roam over his skin, patiently waiting for him to get his bearings again. As soon as he did, he captured her mouth in his for a long, loving kiss.

Maybe, baby
Upside down
I'm gonna spin you around


As soon as air became too necessary, he pulled his lips from hers and she leaned her forehead against his. She was still wrapped around his body and he still hadn’t let her down yet. They stayed where they were with foreheads together, satisfied smiles, and love in their eyes until the voices intruded.

Maybe, lady
Upside down
I'm gonna spin you


“Mom! Nathan’s threatening me again!”

“I am not you tattletale!”

Max groaned. “Whose idea was it to have kids again?”

Liz giggled. “You’re only upset because they are interrupting your play time.”

He grinned. “Hm, and what a play time it is.” He nipped at her lips before kissing her again.

“Dad! The Whitmans are here!” came the thirteen year old voice of their twenty-six year old daughter, Rena.

Max growled against Liz’s lips before he leaned back against the wall again. “I swear, she seems more and more like her aunt these days.”

Liz grinned. “No she’s not.”

Max gave an exasperated sigh.

“Oh stop pouting! It’s not like they really interrupted us. We were finished anyway.”

Max slid his hands up her back, pressing her closer to him. “No, we weren’t. I was thinking of continuing this outside of the closet. In our bed.”

She laughed. “We have all night, agapo mou.”

As he lowered her to the floor, she slid a finger down his chest before looking up at him through her eyelashes. “And all day too.”

He groaned at the coy look she gave him before he leaned down to kiss her on the cheek. “I’ll go greet them while you finish getting dressed.”

She watched as he waved his hand over himself, instantly cleaning himself up and clothing himself in a pair of black slacks with a blood red shirt. She grinned at the thought that he was wearing the red to match the outfit she was going to wear.

He made his way to the door of the closet before turning back to look at her. “Oh, and do yourself a favor. Don’t make it too tempting for me to want to rip your clothes off. Otherwise all bets are off and I’m going to be rude to our guests in favor of spending my time inside of you.”

With a wink and a grin, he turned away and sauntered out of their room leaving her giggling behind him.

************************************************************

Kyle’s scowl deepened as he continued to glare in the direction of the three teens. He’d been sending death glares their way all night. So far, the teens and the adults he was sitting with had been ignoring him. This was nothing new. They were all used to the way Kyle huffed about the fact that his oldest daughter was still best friends with two boys her age.

Tess reached out to pat his hand. “Honey, they’re just talking and playing a board game. Let them be and try to enjoy yourself, huh?”

He shook his head and muttered, “No, they’re not just talking. They’re planning something. I know they are. Every time they get together they are planning something.”

Liz squeezed her osizigos hand before responding to Kyle. “Nathan knows better Kyle. Max and I have drilled it into his head time and again about doing anything to get himself or his friends into trouble.”

Max agreed. “He knows what I’ll do to him if he gets them into trouble again.”

Kyle nodded as Alex spoke up. “You have to remember Kyle. They’re kids and all kids get into some kind of mischief at one time or another. Still, as long as you keep instilling the difference between right and wrong into them, they’ll be okay. We just have to learn to trust them and let them make mistakes. Hopefully they will learn from them.”

“Yeah, I know.” He sighed as he glanced around at all of them. “Sorry guys, it’s just difficult having a daughter, but I guess you all know that.”

Alex and Max looked at each other for a moment before turning to Kyle. “Yeah, we know.”

************************************************************

Arissa tried not to giggle as she caught her younger sister peaking from around the bush again. Olivia was trying hard not to be noticed, but Arissa knew her sister too well. She knew exactly who it was that Olivia had a crush on.

Nathan looked up from the board game as he finished moving his piece in time to see the smirk Arissa wore. He glanced in the direction she was looking but didn’t see what she saw.

“What’s up Arissa?”

She turned to him with a grin. “Oh, nothing.”

He quirked an eyebrow. “Really? Then what’s with the secret smile?”

Laughing, she gave in. “Oh, all right. It seems someone’s got a crush on our friend here.”

Nathan turned a shocked look on Caiden who was frowning at the board game. “On Caiden? Who?”

“I’m not telling.”

Caiden rolled his eyes and looked up at Arissa. “Can we focus on the game here?”

Nathan narrowed his eyes at Caiden before he growled low. “Caid, if you lay one finger…”

“Relax Nate, it isn’t your sister.” Caiden said as he looked his friend in the eyes. Turning back to look at Arissa he added, “Besides, I’m not interested in becoming a punching bag for Valenti. Not for a little brat like her.”

Arissa frowned. “Olivia is not a brat.”

Caiden shrugged. “Whatever. All I know is I’m not gonna be like the others and allow a Valenti woman to wrap me around her little finger.”

As Arissa gasped in outrage, Nathan came to his feet. Leaning over, he growled low to his friend. “Esi khrostao tis enas signomi, esi vlakas!”

Caiden sat up and glanced from Arissa to Nathan and back again before raising his eyebrow. “Well, well. Looks like another Valenti succeeded in wrapping you around her finger too.”

As Arissa began to blush furiously, Nathan hissed. “She’s our best friend, Caiden! You have no right to say those things to her!”

He tilted his head to the side. “Are you saying you don’t have feelings for her?”

“No! I mean yes! Theos Caiden, she’s my best friend, of course I have feelings for her! And if you’re her friend then so do you!”

Caiden didn’t miss the flash of hurt that crossed Arissa’s face when Nathan said no. It was gone just as quickly as it came. Nathan leaned over once more.

“I said… apologize!”

Caiden looked at Nathan for a moment before turning to look at Arissa. He was genuine when he said, “I’m sorry Arissa. I know you wouldn’t do that. I’m just a little frustrated that your little sister keeps following me around like a little puppy dog and I have no idea how to tell her to stop without hurting her feelings.”

Arissa slowly nodded. “It’s okay, I understand. I’ll talk to her okay?”

He nodded. “Okay, thanks.” He held out his hand to her. “Forgiven?”

She gave him a smile as she shook his hand. “Forgiven.”

************************************************************

Rena rolled her eyes at her silly friend. Olivia was only a month younger than her, but it didn’t change the fact that Rena thought Olivia was still silly for crushing on her brother’s friend. Then again, she was certain Olivia’s sister was also crushing on one of the boys too, but she wasn’t sure which one it was.

She secretly hoped it was her brother because then she’d have something good to pick on him about. Considering the way he liked to pick on her, she really needed something good.

“Olivia! Come on, he’s too busy playing that game with them to notice you. Besides, you’re hiding behind a bush! How’s he gonna notice if you are hiding?”

It was Olivia’s turn to roll her eyes. “Don’t you know a thing about boys silly? I heard mom and Rissa talking the other day and they said that boys like it when a girl plays hard to get. So I’m playing hard to get.”

Rena frowned. She wasn’t sure if this was what playing hard to get was, but Olivia seemed to know things she didn’t. After all, she had an older sister. Sometimes Rena wished she had an older sister too. Instead, all she had was an eighty-four year old brother who acted like the sixteen year old he was, always teasing her and giving her a hard time.

Olivia let out a sigh as she looked at the three friends laughing and talking while they played their game.

“I wish I was sixteen too. They seem to have so much more fun than we do. Dad lets Arissa get away with so much more than he lets me.”

Rena shook her head. “No way, I want to be older than them. That way Nathan won’t pick on me anymore.”

Her friend laughed. “Well, just pick on him back. And tell on him every time he picks on you.”

“I do. And mom and dad get mad at him, but he still does it again! I think maybe they should punish him more.”

Olivia giggled. “I dunno. From what my sister said, your dad is really mean when Nathan gets in trouble.”

Rena shrugged. “I dunno, I’ve never seen him punish Nathan.”

“Maybe he hasn’t been in trouble lately?”

“He keeps picking on me! Isn’t that trouble?”

“I dunno Rena, maybe your dad doesn’t think so. But Arissa said one time they got in real bad trouble and she was certain your dad was gonna kill Nathan. She’d never seen him so angry before.”

Rena sighed. She’d never seen her dad get angry either. Everyone kept saying he could be an intimidating man. That a lot of people were afraid of him. But she had never seen him mad and she wasn’t afraid of him. In fact, looking at him right now surrounded by his friends and family, he didn’t look intimidating at all.

Movement out of the corner of her eye made her look towards the doors that led to the back yard. A smile spread over her face as Michael walked out of the doors and towards the other adults.

Rena squealed in excitement as she leapt up and ran towards him.

“Uncle Mike! Uncle Mike! You came!”

Michael grinned as he opened his arms wide, allowing her to throw herself into his arms before he picked her up and swung her around. She laughed as he finally set her down and hugged her to his side.

“You know I wouldn’t miss this for anything, glikos. I know you need me here to keep your brother in line.”

She pouted. “Yes you do! He was threatening me again today!”

He narrowed his eyes. “Really? Well, I will just have to talk to him now won’t I?”

She gave him a smile as the others walked up to him.

“Michael! I’m so glad you could make it tonight.” Liz said as she smiled and gave him a hug in greeting.

He nodded. “Yeah, sorry I’m late. I had some things to take care of before I could come over.”

“Well, come on and have a seat. Now that you’re here, the real fun can begin,” said Alex as he ushered Michael into a chair.

The others surrounded him and began to chatter amongst themselves. Liz and Isabel were trying to coax Rena into giving Michael some breathing room. Olivia was pouting over being ignored by both her best friend and the boy she had a crush on. Max and Michael were playfully lecturing Nathan on teasing his little sister while Caiden stood nearby chuckling to himself. Kyle was muttering under his breath about Arissa’s friends while Arissa ignored him and Tess tried to placate him again. And Alex. Alex stood by and watched as all of his friends and family were able to actually enjoy their lives without any bad disruptions. For now, life was good.

TBC...

Song is Spin You Around by Puddle of Mudd

new Greek words
signomi - excuse me or apology
anthron - gentlemen
zito - beg
itan - been
khara - fine (okay)
khrostao - owe
vlakas - jerk
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Shadowlynxbehr
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Post by Shadowlynxbehr » Sat Mar 17, 2007 11:44 pm

Part 39

Vanessa wore a huge smile on her face as she looked Aidan in the eyes. The mystikistis had just finished the ceremony and now everyone was applauding the newlyweds. She couldn’t believe it had finally happened. It had been nearly four long years since their relationship had been out in the open. In that time, her mother had slowly come around to accepting her love for Aidan.

This time, This place
Misused, Mistakes
Too long, Too late
Who was I to make you wait
Just one chance
Just one breath
Just in case there's just one left
'Cause you know,
you know, you know


Her osizigos. She sighed as she realized how much she loved the sound of that. Her smile widened as she also realized how lucky she was to have every last one of her family members there to share in her happiness. As Aidan leaned in to place a loving kiss on her cheek, she squeezed his hand in affection and turned to survey the crowd.

That I love you
I have loved you all along
And I miss you
Been far away for far too long
I keep dreaming you'll be with me
and you'll never go
Stop breathing if
I don't see you anymore


Their wedding had taken place on the grounds of the Irinikos mansion, the place she would now call her home. Over the last year, it had already been a place she had spent a lot of her time in since she’d been planning her wedding with the help of Aidan’s mother, sisters, and her own mother. Vanessa couldn’t believe how far her mother had come in finally accepting Aidan into their family.

On my knees, I'll ask
Last chance for one last dance
'Cause with you, I'd withstand
All of hell to hold your hand
I'd give it all
I'd give for us
Give anything but I won't give up
'Cause you know,
you know, you know


As she and Aidan sat in the chairs at the head of the table, she glanced towards the side. Next to her sat her parents just as Aidan’s parents sat on the other side of him. The rest of their immediate family sat at the tables that ran perpendicular to the main one. Since the wedding was so obviously the merging of the Irinikos coven with the Euphranor, it was only right for the two covens to be out in force tonight.

That I love you
I have loved you all along
And I miss you
Been far away for far too long
I keep dreaming you'll be with me
and you'll never go
Stop breathing if
I don't see you anymore


Still, there were other covens there too. The ones that formed the allied covens all had representatives there. Of course there was the Aristomache since it was her mother’s family and her uncle Max was the Archigos. Along with him were his isyzygos, Liz and their two children, Nathan and Arissa.

So far away
Been far away for far too long


Their Dioikitis was also in attendance even though he had the night off. With Michael sat his off again-on again isyzygos, Maria. Technically she could have been the representative for the Hilarion coven, but there were others from that coven there. Tonight she was just there as Michael’s isyzygos since the two of them had been living together again for the past two years.

So far away
Been far away for far too long


Vanessa was amazed at how well everyone had seemed to deal with having Maria around. In truth, Maria didn’t go to the Aristomache home since she was still not welcome there. Despite the fact that Liz and Max didn’t allow Maria into their home, they were never uncivilized towards her if they were around her anywhere else.

But you know, you know, you know

Vanessa didn’t know how they managed to carry on a civilized conversation with Maria even after the things she had said about them. Then again, it had to be the fact that they were the leaders of their coven and they both cared about Michael enough to set aside their differences long enough for him to be with Maria.

I wanted
I wanted you to stay


No one had complained much when Maria had moved back in with Michael. She was certain Max and Liz had words with Michael and she knew Maria was still banned from the Aristomache home, but other than that, there was no outward sign that Max and Liz were still angry with her.

'Cause I needed
I need to hear you say


In fact, Vanessa had already seen Liz and the other women talking in a group that had included Maria. All of them had seemed happy as they laughed together and oohed and aahed over the wonderful job Isabel and Nyla had done in preparing the wedding.

That I love you
I have loved you all along


Besides the Aristomache, Hilarion, Euphranor, and Irinikos covens there were also other members from the Akakios, Elpizo, and Bion covens there too. Even Kyle, Tess, and their two daughters were there and for once Kyle seemed to be as happy as every one else was instead of scowling over the antics of his daughters.

And I forgive you
For being away for far too long


Once more she looked around the area as the music began to float around them. Everyone seemed relaxed and happy and she was glad they all seemed to be enjoying themselves at her wedding.

So keep breathing
'Cause I'm not leaving you anymore


Aidan leaned close to her and brushed his lips against her cheek before whispering in her ear. “Care to dance, agapo mou?”

Believe it
Hold on to me and, never let me go


She turned to grin at him as she slid her hand into the one he held out for her to take. “I’d love to, osizigos mou.”

Keep breathing
'Cause I'm not leaving you anymore


She watched his eyes sparkle as his smile widened in acknowledgement of her words. Vanessa was more than proud to call him her husband. It was something she didn’t think she’d ever get tired of saying. It was then she understood what her mother felt for her father.

Believe it
Hold on to me and, never let me go


As Aidan led her to the area that had been marked as the dance floor, she turned her head to look in the direction of her mother. Isabel was standing next to Nyla, Tess, and Maria talking to them. As if she knew Vanessa was looking at her, she turned her head and smiled at her daughter. Raising her glass slightly she saluted Vanessa and mouthed the words, “S’agapo.”

Keep breathing
Hold on to me and, never let me go


Vanessa smiled at her mother and mouthed the word back as happy tears formed in her eyes. Hugging her husband closer to her, she mouthed one more word to her mother. “Efkharisto.”

Keep breathing
Hold on to me and, never let me go


Isabel nodded before blowing her a kiss and turning back to the other women, allowing her daughter to have her time with her new husband.

************************************************************

Max twirled Rena around before bringing her back into his arms. She giggled as she pressed up against him, trying to keep her balance. This was the fifth time they’d danced together and Rena couldn’t imagine ever having as much fun dancing with anyone as much as she enjoyed dancing with her father.

She loved how he was so graceful and strong when he danced with her. Always able to twirl her this way and that making her feel lighter than air. He was so tall and had such strength in his arms that she always felt so safe every time they danced together. She knew he’d never let anything happen to her when they danced. He was that careful of her no matter how energetic their dancing got.

Then again, he was like that when he danced with her mother too. Rena loved watching them dance together. Sometimes the two of them simply held each other closely and swayed in time to the music while staring into each others eyes. Other times her father twirled, dipped, and swung her mother around as if she was made of air too. And just like Rena, her mother laughed and giggled clearly enjoying the dancing.

Even her father smiled when he danced like that. Just like he was doing right now with her. Even his eyes twinkled with merriment as he once more twirled her around before dipping her back as she shrieked with laughter.

He chuckled as he brought her back up to his chest as the music came to an end. She stood leaning against him catching her breath for a few moments before she grinned up at him.

“Thanks, dad! That was fun.”

Max leaned down to peck her cheek before he wrapped his arm around her shoulder and guided her off the dance floor. “Welcome, gataki. It was indeed a lot of fun.”

As the two of them neared the small group of onlookers, Max held out his hand to Liz. “Come agapo mou, it’s your turn now.”

Liz slid her hand into his, allowing him to lead her to the dance floor. Max glanced back at his son and sent an unspoken command to him.

Dance with your adelfi.

Nathan scowled. Do I really have to?

Yes, if you want to live through tonight you will, answered Max with a warning growl.

Max watched as Nathan gave Rena a polite bow and held his hand out to her. As soon as his two children were headed to the dance floor, Max turned around and wore a smile as he chuckled to himself.

Liz whispered next to him. “That was cruel, Max.”

He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close to him. “No it wasn’t.”

She grinned up at him. “Yes it was! You just love giving him a hard time don’t you?”

Max wiggled his eyebrows and his eyes twinkled with mischief. “He’s my son. I live to make his life difficult.”

Liz laughed as she shook her head. “You are so bad, agapo mou.”

The sound of her laughter always made him shiver since he could literally feel it traveling down his spine. Immediately his eyes turned molten gold as he leaned in to whisper huskily in her ear. “Not as bad as I’m going to be with you when we are alone later.”

He nipped at her ear and grinned when he felt her shudder in his arms.

“Max,” she breathed, “Not now! Don’t start anything we can’t finish.”

His lips trailed over her neck. “Who says we can’t finish it?”

“We’re at the Irinikos home. Our home is a long ways away.”

“Hm, well then you are lucky that your osizigos happens to be one of the most powerful ekmetalleftis around.”

Sighing, she wrapped her arms tighter around his shoulders. “Yeah, I guess I am.”

He pressed a kiss against her neck as he felt her smile against his own neck. He knew she knew all he had to do was will them back to their place in seconds. Her arguments held no ground. Besides that, she was completely capable of willing them to their place in seconds too and she’d already proven that to everyone several times since she’d come into her own powers all those years ago.

Granted, for a while there, her powers had grown weak after her kidnapping and subsequent birth of their daughter. But like all those of their kind, she had rapidly healed once more, especially since she was still connected to Max and his blood was what had always nourished her. Anyone lucky enough to be nourished by a powerful ekmetalleftis like Max would always become stronger than they were before.

************************************************************

Caiden resisted the urge to scowl at Olivia who was still flouncing around in front of him trying to get his attention. Arissa had told him she’d talked to Olivia time and again, but the girl just didn’t get the hint. Even now, she was still determined to make him notice her. How could he not notice her when she brazenly paraded like that in front of him. The girl did everything she could to get herself noticed.

And she was noticed. Just not by the one she wanted to notice her. At least she thought he wasn’t noticing her but he was. He always kept one eye on her every time she went out of her way to attract attention. Not because he couldn’t help noticing her, but because he knew some of the attention she was attracting wasn’t the good kind.

He noticed that Rena and Nathan had stopped dancing and Rena was now making her way to Olivia’s side. Good, he thought. With Rena to distract her, she’d stop making a fool of herself. Or so he hoped.

Nathan came to stand next to him and glanced at him for a moment before looking in the direction of his sister and Olivia. Grinning, he looked out at the dance floor. Arissa was just walking away from having danced with her father.

“She still trying to get your attention?” asked Nathan.

This time Caiden really did scowl. “Yeah and she’s succeeding in getting everyone else’s too.”

Nathan shook his head. “Why don’t you put her out of her misery and go ask her to dance?”

Caiden’s head swung towards Nathan, his eyes huge. “Are you nuts? And risk the wrath of Valenti? I’m not that suicidal!”

Arissa came to stand on the other side of Nathan. Wearing a frown she glared at him. “Dad won’t kill you Caiden. He’ll just maim you.”

Caiden raised an eyebrow in her direction. “That’s what you think. You don’t see the glares he sends our way every time you come near Nathan and I.”

Arissa rolled her eyes. “I swear Caid, you’re worse than a girl. All scared of my dad and all.” She leaned past Nathan to look closer at his face. “Hey, you’re a little pale. You’re not gonna faint on us are you?”

As Nathan snickered, Caiden stuck out his tongue. “Ha ha! Laugh it up you two! This is serious, Rissa! I thought you’d talked to her about this.”

Arissa sighed. “I did. Several times and until I was blue in the face. She just isn’t listening to me.”

Nathan shrugged. “Just give her time guys. She’ll eventually tire of the game and move on to something else.”

Arissa laughed at that. “Something else huh? I’ll just bet dad will enjoy that one.”

Caiden huffed. “At least he won’t be wishing for my death anymore.”

Nathan laughed at that. “Really Caid, he doesn’t want you dead.”

“Valenti wants anyone who comes near his precious daughters dead. If he had the power to do so, I know he’d kill with a look, the way your father can.”

“Dad doesn’t kill with a look,” answered Nathan.

“Yeah well, it’s too close to call,” mumbled Caiden.

“I think I’m beginning to agree with Rissa, you are like a girl.”

Caiden glared a challenge at his friend. “Oh yeah? If you’re all brave and everything, how come you haven’t asked Arissa to dance yet? Could it be you don’t want to risk losing your life too?”

As Arissa gaped at Caiden, Nathan returned his glare for a moment before he slowly straightened up. Caiden’s eyes literally bugged out as he watched his friend gracefully turn around to face Arissa to give her a respectful bow.

Holding out his hand to her, he looked into her eyes as he asked, “Kyria mou, boriteh seh aresi mechri khorevo?”

Arissa blinked in disbelief for a moment before a smile spread over her lips. “Idios boriteh agapo mechri.”

She slid her hand into Nathan’s and allowed him to lead her to the dance floor. Nathan looked over his shoulder and smirked in triumph at Caiden who continued to stare at them in shock.

Caiden could have sworn that from the moment Nathan had straightened up before turning to Arissa he was really looking at Max Evans. Even now as Nathan guided Arissa around the dance floor Caiden felt like he was looking at a younger version of the powerful Archigos of the Aristomache.

He glanced in the direction of Valenti to see a scowl slowly forming on his face. Muttering under his breath, he turned to look at his friend once more. “I really hope you’re like your father in more than looks, my friend. You are certainly going to need it.”

As soon as he said that, something caught his attention from the corner of his eye. Turning his head, he growled low in his throat. Olivia was currently being accosted by two unwanted suitors. “I knew it! I knew she was just going to go and get herself into trouble with all that flouncing she was doing!”

With those words, he stalked over to where she was trying to get rid of the two teens. Glaring at them over Olivia’s head he said, “Are these two bothering you, Liv?”

Immediately the two guys held up their hands as one of them spoke. “Hey man, there’s not a problem. We were just seeing if she wanted to dance.”

“Really? That wasn’t what it looked like to me. Unless you both wanted to dance with her at the same time.”

Olivia brushed her hair over her shoulder as she gave them a haughty look. “They don’t seem to understand the concept of no! I said I wasn’t interested and they didn’t believe me!”

Once more Caiden glared at them. The same one who spoke before shrugged. “Sorry man, I thought she was lying about having a boyfriend.”

“What does that have to do with anything?” asked Caiden.

“Most girls say they have a boyfriend when they don’t.”

Caiden growled. “And you two are too dense to understand that the reason the girl is lying about having a boyfriend is because they don’t want to dance with the likes of you!”

He held his hand out to Olivia, “Come on doll, let’s go dance.”

Olivia’s smile lit up her face and made her eyes sparkle as she slid her hand into his. He led her away from the two guys and out to the dance floor. Risking a glance out of the corner of his eye, he found that Valenti was still too occupied with glaring at Nathan and Arissa.

Sighing, he looked down at the girl in his arms. “Olivia, you really need to learn to be careful, you know. If your father had seen those two manhandling you like that, I can guarantee their heads wouldn’t still be connected to their shoulders.”

Olivia batted her eyelashes up at him. “Well, thank goodness you were there to save me then. All you did was tell them off and now here I am. Safe and sound.”

He looked at her for a moment before looking up to meet Nathan’s gaze. His friend quirked an eyebrow and even Arissa turned to add her own questioning gaze. He shook his head and glanced in the direction of the two boys to let them know what had gone on. They both knew he’d fill them in later since they turned back to their dance with each other.

Caiden watched the two of them dancing. Noticing the way Nathan held Arissa close enough to him for it to be intimate, but not too intimate. He also noticed the way their heads leaned towards each other as they smiled and whispered to each other, all the while their bodies swayed in time to the music.

Oh yeah, he thought to himself, Nathan was going to need every power he had if he was going to survive the thrashing he was sure to get from Valenti.

Suddenly he heard Olivia sigh and she leaned in closer to him. Stiffening, he glanced down to see her closing her eyes with a dreamy smile on her face. He frowned. This wasn’t good, not good at all. How was he going to tell her that the only reason he was dancing with her was to make sure the guys wouldn’t bother her again.

How was he going to explain to her that he had never seen her as more than a little sister, just like he saw Rena. They were family to him. He couldn’t ever see them as being more than that. Closing his eyes, he wondered just what he had done to make her fall for him.

He’d never flirted with her or Rena or even Arissa. What was it that made Olivia constantly try to win his affections? Arissa had talked to her, even he had mentioned once or twice that he saw Rena and Olivia as little sisters. The kind that always acted like little pests, getting on his nerves. Still she was persistent.

Just what was it going to take for her to understand that he would never have feelings for her other than the kind a protective older brother would have? How many more times was he going to have to come to her rescue and thus make her believe he had more feelings for her than there really was?

************************************************************

Kyle scowled once more as he stared out of the window of the living room. Tess walked into the room and sat down on the couch.

“Really Kyle, you have to lighten up.”

He whirled around to face her. “Lighten up? You were there last night, Tess! You saw what I saw!”

“I saw Nathan dancing with Arissa and Caiden dancing with Olivia. Friends dancing with their friends. Stop reading things into it that aren’t there.”

“Oh trust me, meli, there’s something there!”

She rolled her eyes. “Caiden was just looking out for Olivia that’s all. You heard what Arissa said. Olivia was being harassed by two boys and Caiden stepped in to get her out. That’s all.”

“Maybe so, but you and I both know what is going through Olivia’s mind! And I wouldn’t doubt that Caiden knows it.”

Tess nodded. “Oh he knows it. But the boy doesn’t see Olivia as nothing more than a little sister. Haven’t you been listening to Arissa? She’s said that he’s complained more than once that Olivia is still stalking him when he doesn’t have those kinds of feelings for her. Caiden is as protective of Olivia as he is of Arissa and Rena. So is Nathan.”

Once more Kyle scowled. “Caiden is nothing but trouble and one of these days he’s going to get all of them into trouble so big, Max and I are going to have a hell of a time getting them out unscathed. I know it! And don’t get me started on Nathan! He’s just as bad as Caiden! If it wasn’t for his father, I know he’d already have done a lot of damage. And you can’t tell me he sees Arissa as his little sister.”

Tess’ silence was all the answer he needed. He glared at her. “You know something I don’t, don’t you?”

She shook her head. “No, I don’t.”

“Why don’t I believe you?”

Tess shrugged. “I don’t know. Must be that suspicious nature of yours. You know, the one that keeps surfacing every time you happen to see Max and I sharing a laugh or two?”

At his guilty look she nodded. “Yeah, that one. It seems you keep conveniently forgetting that you and I share a mind. How many times do I have to tell you that we can’t keep secrets from each other? That means if there’s something I know about Arissa, then you know it too. And every time that jealous streak of yours rears its ugly head, I know it too!”

He sighed and Tess saw all of the anger suddenly leave his body. He sank down next to her on the couch and ran his fingers through his hair. “You’re right. Of course you’re right. I just can’t stop doing that can I?”

She slid her hand into his. “It’s okay, Kyle. You know I love you just the way you are.”

He turned to give her a playful pout. “Can I at least say I’m sorry for being an idiot?”

She giggled. “Go ahead.”

He leaned in close to her. “Signomi,” he whispered.

As his lips brushed over hers she whispered back. “Idios synchoro esi.”
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"You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams." -Dr. Seuss

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