The Importance of Being Elizabeth (CC,M/L,MTURE) (Complete)

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The Importance of Being Elizabeth Book 5

Post by WR » Sun Oct 26, 2008 11:12 am

Part 13

The man pulled the car to a halt some hundred or so yards down the darkened street from the house. He climbed out, and checked the street for any people that might be out and about at this early hour of the morning. The street was empty, so he started to walk towards the house. A little past it, he checked the street again. Seeing no one, he ducked into the dark shadow of the hedge. It was a perfect night for his assignment. It was a simple assignment, really. All he had to do was project some preset memory patterns into his target's mind. His target's normal brain activity would then process these patterns into his dream, the content of which would be controlled by the additional memories that he would add. It would not be a dream, per se, but a nightmare. They had spent the past week perfecting this next level of horrors for his target, one that would guarantee a near breakdown. He would avoid the dark haired girl forever after these ones. They would be especially good because they had not sent him dreams for a while. He would be relaxed, and far more receptive. He crept up to the window, but there was no one inside the room.

Damn him. Where was he? He heard a car slowing down out in front of the house, so he moved cautiously to a position where he could check it out. The large, clack car pulled into the house's driveway, and became silent. The man smiled when he saw his target climb out of the car. He had a big smile on his face, and he hurried indoors. He would soon lose that smile, the man thought to himself, moving again to the back of the house. Moments later, the light went on in the room, and the man had to listen to the target quietly singing a stupid song while he got ready for bed. He laughed dryly to himself at his target's choice of Lyrics.

"Whenever I need you.... All I have to do.... Is dree-ee-ee-eeam. Dream dream dream dream Dree-ee-ee-eeam."

How ironic, he thought. The man never liked that song anyway. The light finally went off, the target had climbed into his bed. Carefully, the man returned to the window, and still used to the darkness, his eyes easily picked out the reclined figure, his hands folded carefully behind his head, while he stared up at the ceiling He had the most stupid smile on his face. It seemed like ages, but finally, the man saw his target's eyes fall shut. I'll give him a while, he thought, and then I'll start. The man peered again at the figure, before settling down to wait.

"Sweet dreams, King Zan!" he smiled viscously.


She was again at the auditorium, dancing in Max's arms while the student body watched. This time, however, they were dressed for their wedding, and the whole world knew that Max was the only man for her. The auditorium was a sea of Pink balloons, and it rained white rose petals.

"This is nice, Liz," a familiar voice said behind her.

She turned from Max in her arms to see another Max, standing before her, wearing some jeans and a t-shirt.

"You're a little underdressed, Max," she smiled. "It's our wedding, after all."

"Have you given up on Vegas?" he asked with a twinkle in his eye.

"Anywhere will do Max. As long as it is you and me."

With a wave of her hand, he was wearing his formal wedding suit. She now had two Max's to dance with. She turned to the first, to find that he was now gone.

"Where did he go?" she asked the second Max.

"Do you need him?" second Max asked. "It's your dream, not mine. If you want, he will come back. But I wish he wouldn't."

"Well, it would be nice, but as long as I have one Max, I don't care," she sighed, moving into the secure envelope of Max's arms. He felt warm, and vibrant. "Wait. What do you mean it's not your dream? And why can I feel you?"

A sudden thought came to Liz, and she leaned back slightly from Max's embrace.

"You're in my dream? You're dream walking me?" she exclaimed, slightly amazed.

"Yes, Liz," Max admitted shyly. "Are you angry? Do you want me to leave?"

"What? No way buster. You are not going anywhere," she laughed, moving in for a kiss.

It was a short, sweet kiss, but one that set her heart racing.

"When did you learn to do this Max? Did Isabel teach you?"

"No, Liz," Max laughed. "You'll never guess who taught me. Never in a million years."

"Okay, then. Who was it?" she demanded. "You'll get no more kisses until you tell me."
Her eyes sparkled mischievously.

"I was having these nightmares. About you, mostly."

"Oh, Max. I'm sorry."

"Anyway, during one... bad one... horrible, actually, someone started to call me. It was not quite from in the dream, but it wasn't outside it either. Anyway, I followed the voice, and found myself on the Dream Plane. The voice, Liz, it sounded just like you."


"Yeah, except it wasn't you. She looked like you, but she had blue eyes."

"Grandma Claudia?" Liz exclaimed. "You dreamed about Grandma Claudia?"

"Yeah. Well, no. It wasn't a dream, Liz. She said she was waiting for me, that I had to find my balance."

"Oh." Liz said quietly, this dream wasn't turning out like she had hoped.

"No, listen Liz. Did you know that Grandma Claudia knew me, before, as Zan?" "Yeah, I had a suspicion, Max. Dad overheard her call that name a few times. So I guessed she had met you. Max, do you know anyone called Taysha?"

Max went silent for a moment. Oh no, thought Liz, he knows her, he remembers her.

"I used to know her, Liz," he answered carefully. "I, I mean Zan, was in love with her, and not Ava."

"Yeah I know," this dream was definitely not going well. If she was Taysha, as she had thought, wouldn't Max have recognized this? I was wrong about her, it's not me.

"Max?" she asked very cautiously. "Are you still in love with Taysha?"

"Yes, I am, Liz. Your grandmother told me I have to find her. That she was my balance."

Why did he have to sound so excited about this?

"Oh," she said softly. "Max, have you come to my dream to break up with me?"

"What? No!" he exclaimed. "Listen Liz, she told me I would know. She said that I know who Taysha is. I do, Liz. I don't understand how, but Liz? It's..."

But he was gone.


"Pssst," the hissed call came from the edge of the yard.

The man broke his concentration and looked around quickly. Whoever it was interrupting him would pay for his frustration. He could not get into Zan's dream. Something far more powerful than he had ever come up against had blocked him, but he could not give up. And now, someone had spotted him, and was hissing for some reason. Was it just a burglar who would accuse him of being on his turf?

"Who's there!" he demanded in a loud whisper. "Show yourself!"

"It's only me," the voice called. He didn't sound like a threat.

A man emerged from the shadow of the bush, wearing a wide brimmed hat, and a long greatcoat. He cautiously moved towards him. A pair of spectacles reflected the available light.

"Who are you?" he demanded.

"I've been sent for a status report," he hissed. "Couldn't risk the phone. The ring might wake him up."

"It's not going well," he whispered back, his frustration evident in his voice. "Something is blocking me. Some major power. I don't understand it. Last week, he was so weak. Tonight, he's almost as strong as Zan ever was."

"I didn't really understand what it was you are doing," the man in the glasses admitted.



"Well, nightmares, really. Remember when Nikolas mind raped him? Well, we've taken all the memories that really cause him pain, and we feed them back to him in such a way as to play on his insecurities. Naturally, he will have nightmares. We do it such that it appears his enemy is the dark haired girl, while at the same time, pushing him to Ava."

"Ah, I see the dreams part. But why push him to Ava. I thought the prophecy said that if Zan marries..."

"No, you don't get it do you? Jeez, where did they get you from? Ava isn't the real Ava. Get it?"

"Ah, no. Forgive me, but I've just got back from reconnaissance up north. They had me looking up there, you know, in case... "

"Okay, when Ava, the real Ava, was born, K'Var swapped her with another baby. So this Ava is not the one from the prophecy. We want Zan with this one because she's been programmed to kill Zan."

"So the real Ava would be...?"


"Taysha?" the newcomer sounded surprised. "That would explain his attraction to her back on Antar. But why is he attracted to the dark haired Earth girl?"

"I'm not sure, but K'Var thinks that somehow, Taysha made her way to Earth, and now lives inside this girl."

"Okay, why the dreams? Why don't we just kill Zan ourselves."

"Because K'Var wants Zan alive now. If he just kills him, his supporters will still fight on in his name. But if we take him back, we can get him to stop the fighting. Then afterwards, Kivar will find some crime to accuse him of, and then execute him."

"But what if Ava kills him? Didn't you say that she was programmed to kill him?"

"Yeah. Someone else is on that one. They're giving her dreams too. Why are you asking all these questions? Just who are you?"

"Me, I... ah..."

The Skin's eyes narrowed, suddenly believing that this man was not a Skin himself.

"Who is your section commander?" he demanded.

The newcomer reacted instantly, throwing up his hand and unleashing a wave of power that pushed the Skin backwards, into the bushes at the base of the wall. The Skin, momentarily dazed, aimed his own energy at the man, who was thrown back across the grass, sprawling head over heels. Quickly, he climbed to his feet, just as the Skin got to his. Both men started to hurl energy at one another, but kept a small portion back to deflect the incoming blows. They closed the distance between them, each hoping to find some weakness, some gap in the other's defenses. The Skin fought with the ferocity of a trained warrior, while the new comer seemed to rely on cunning, and intelligence. Just as they reached each other, the newcomer pulled a small metal tube from his greatcoat pocket. With a flick of his hand, the tube extended into a long pole, which he started to wield like a sword. Dodging the metal pole, and the energy still being thrown at him, the Skin realized that he was now at a disadvantage. Directing all his power slightly downwards, he gave himself an almighty push, and flew backwards in a high arc, over the neighboring house's fence. The new comer ran to the fence, but the Skin had escaped. A sudden excruciating bolt of pain at the base of his spine caused him to collapse to the ground.


It wasn't the suddenness at which Max disappeared from her dream that caused her to wake up in such a cold sweat. It had been Max's flash of fear just before he vanished that had woken her. Something had terrified him, and she knew that it was not the nightmares he had mentioned. No, whatever it was that had caused the fear, it had been real. One minute, he was holding her in his arms; about to tell her that he had found his true love, Taysha, and the next, he was gone. But regardless of whom Max loved, she loved Max, more than anything, and she would do everything within her power to keep him safe. Rising quickly from her bed, she dressed in a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt and then grabbed her cell phone. She quietly crept down the steps and into her father's office and took her father's keys from the peg hanging on the wall. She crept out into the alleyway, carefully locking the door behind her, and hurried to her father's car. She jumped inside, and switched on the ignition. As she pulled out onto the main street, she hit the speed dial on her cell phone.

"Hello?" spoke a very groggy Kyle. Damn, she had meant to get Michael.

"Kyle? It's Liz," she shouted, urgently. "Can you call everyone and get over to Max's? I think he's in trouble."

"Liz? Have you seen the time?"

"Kyle!" she ordered. "Just get everyone over to Max's."

"Yeah, yeah. Okay Liz."

She terminated the call, and increased her speed. She just hoped she wasn't too late.


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The Importance of Being Elizabeth Book 5

Post by WR » Sun Oct 26, 2008 11:18 am

Part 14

Tess surveyed her private apartment, provided for her, along with her fabulous dresses, her position, her power, and all of the attention she was shown, because she was to be married, to a King, no less. That would make her a Queen! True, she would only be a Queen Consort, and not a ruling Queen, but she would still be a Queen. Her wedding day was approaching, and she was having her handmaidens working on ensuring her apartment was immaculate, so she could receive the important guests she would be entertaining over the coming weeks. One of her maids was missing, however. She was always having trouble with this particular one. She would have to dismiss this Elizabeth this time. Her insolence was getting beyond a joke. And she had seen how she made eyes at the King. Oh yes, this one was trouble, with a capital 'T'. Everywhere she went the people would curtsey to her, making her aware of just how important she truly was, and gaze at her, reminding her of just how beautiful she was. Tess was in her element.

She suddenly noticed that her maids were not working quite so diligently. They were whispering in little groups, and giggling together, casting amused glances in her direction. They were making fun of her.

"Back to work, all of you!" she commanded, which was met with another outburst of giggles. Her handmaids ignored her, making her grow cross with them. How dare they treat her like this! This was doubtless, that Elizabeth's fault!

"I said back to work, or I shall inform King Zan that you are not adequately fulfilling your duties!"

Again the handmaids simply giggled at her, almost ignoring her. Tess angrily crossed the room to a bell pull, and gave it three tugs. She would show them! She would have Zan give them the severest of punishments. Moments later, a tall middle aged man opened the door.

"What do you want?" he demanded angrily.

Tess was shocked. This was King Zan's chamberlain. He should be showing her respect, not talking to her in this brusque manner.

"Where is King Zan?" she demanded. "I wish to complain about these handmaids I have been supplied with!"

"The King is attending his Engagement Ball," he said simply, looking down his nose at her. "He will not thank you to disturb him over such petty trivialities!"

"Petty...Why was I not informed of this Ball?" she asked incredulously.

"Because you are not invited, that's why," he sneered.

"What?" she screeched. "But he is to be engaged to me!"

"Plans change," he sneered. "As you are no doubt aware!"

"We shall see about that!" she angrily snapped, and stormed out of the door, pushing past the shocked members of the court, and the guards alike.

Behind her, she heard the chamberlain tell the handmaids, "Remove this nobodies' possessions, at once!"

She stormed into the ballroom, and pushed her way through the crowds of people who had formed a ring around the dance floor. She had a few things to say to Zan. Just what was he playing at?

"Don't they make a beautiful couple?" she overheard one dowager ask.

"She shall make him a wonderful Queen," another confirmed.

Just what was going on here, Tess wondered? She was to become Queen. No one else! She finally reached the edge of the ring, to be greeted with the image of Max, holding Liz tightly in an embrace while danced to a slow melody. The way they gazed into one another's eyes, it was obvious they were in love. Tess stared incredulously at the scene before. That was supposed to be her out there. King Zan's chamberlain appeared beside her, with two guards at his side.

"She does not belong here," he snapped to the two guards.

"What is going on?" she demanded.

"She has finally managed to beguile him, thanks to you," the chamberlain said. "Now we are all doomed to suffer under her spell."

"But that should be me out there!"

"Yes, and now you have your duties to attend."

"Duties?" she asked. "What duties?"

"Why, you must ensure that the Lady Elizabeth's quarters are cleaned out. She has many important people to receive now."

The crowds of people turned to look at her, as the guards started to drag her through the crowds towards the door. Her fabulous gown was gone. In its place was the simple dress of a handmaiden.

"Tess!" they all laughed, pointing at her in merriment.

Max and Liz stopped dancing, perhaps disturbed by the laughter. Max's eyes caught hers. Perhaps he would see her for whom she really was, his destiny.

"Tess!" he laughed at her, joining in the merriment.

"Tess!" Liz laughed, but why did she have the deep voice of a man?

~ ~ ~

"Tess!" Kyle shouted, shaking her shoulder.

"No! No!" she screamed sitting up sharply in bed. "He belongs with me!"

"Tess!" Kyle said gently. "Wake up Tess, it's just a dream."

"What?" she asked in confusion, and then looked around the room. Realizing that she had just been woken up from a nightmare, she looked up sorrowfully at Kyle. "I'm sorry, Kyle. Did I wake you up?"

"No, Liz did."

"Liz!" Tess groaned, falling backwards onto the bed, and pulling the covers up over head. "That's just great, Kyle. Liz woke you up, so you just had to come and wake me up."

"No, Tess. Something is up with Max. She's going over there now. She wants us to get over there."

"What's up with Max?"

"She didn't say. She just said that she thought something was wrong, and that..."

"Wait! Thought? How does she know? Is this just some panic attack? She's got him now, for crying out loud. Does she want to rub my nose in it?"

"Tess," Kyle said gently, "one thing I've learned when it comes to Max and Liz? Trust their instincts about each other."

Five minutes later, Tess and Kyle were heading for Maria's house.

"I called Alex first," Kyle told her. "He said the he would pick up Michael on the way through. I called Michael next. Then I called Maria."

"Has anyone called Max?" Tess asked.

"Um..." Kyle blushed. "Look, Liz called, and said to get over there. Okay."
Tess looked at Kyle disgustedly, and pulled out her cell phone.

"What? Didn't Liz even call Max?" she demanded. "Jeez, what is up with you people?"

She tapped out Max's number, and held the phone to her ear. As they pulled up outside Maria's house, Tess snapped the phone shut with a worried frown.

"Maybe he's just a heavy sleeper," Kyle said soothingly.

"So what's up?" demanded Maria, climbing into the back of Kyle's mustang.


They pulled up outside Max's house. Tess led the way around the back of the house to Max's bedroom window. The window was open, but they could not see anyone inside.

"Max!" Tess hissed into the room. "Liz?"

"There's no one there," she then said over her shoulder to the other two. She was so relieved, because she did not see what she had fully expected to see. Liz in bed with Max, in a romantic clinch. The memory of her nightmare caused her shudder.

"Where's Liz, and Max? Where is Michael?" Maria asked.

"And Alex?" Kyle asked.

Kyle maneuvered his way to the window, and started to climb in. Tess grabbed his arm.

"What are you doing Kyle?" she asked quietly.

"I'll go in, have a look around," he shrugged.

"No, better let me," Tess informed him, moving him out of the way. "If Isabel sees you in there, I think you might regret it."

"What if there are, like, aliens in there?" Maria squeaked, sniffing from her cedar oil bottle. She was frightened.

"That's why you'd better let me go," Tess smiled worriedly, and climbed in through Max's window.

It was obvious that the room was empty.

"I'll go through and see if Isabel knows what's going on." Tess called from inside the room.

For Maria and Kyle, the next few minutes were the longest of their lives. Finally Tess returned, and the hysteria on the edge of her voice did little to calm the two humans.
"She's not there either, but her parents are asleep," she told them, as she climbed back out of the window.

"So where could they be?" demanded Kyle, a slight edge to his voice.

"Where are who?" came a voice from behind them.

All three of them jumped out of their skin, with Maria giving a loud shriek. They all started to breathe again, though, when they saw who it was.

"Oh, Michael!" Maria cried, throwing herself into his arms.

"What's going on?" he asked, hugging his girlfriend tightly. "Tess?"

"Well, earlier on, Kyle here got a phone call from Liz," Tess started.

"Yeah. She was phoning from her car. She said she thought there was something wrong with Max, and for me to get everyone together here," Kyle continued.

"That much I know." Michael said. "So where is everyone?"

"We don't know," Tess added. "There's no sign of Alex or Liz. Max isn't here, and neither is Isabel."

"Think, Kyle," Michael urged. "What did Liz say? Was there anything that might give us a clue?"

"No, she said to call everyone and get over to Max's. She thought he was in trouble."

"That was it? You didn't ask what?" Michael snapped.

"I felt it was important to call everyone like she asked, not to hold a conversation with her!" Kyle defended.

"Guys, guys!" Tess whispered hoarsely. "Let's go out front and talk about this. Let's not wake up their parents! I don't want to have to explain what we are doing here, and why their kids are missing."

The four youths moved back out to the front of the house, to congregate by their vehicles. There was not much talking going on amongst them. Four of their friends were missing.


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The Importance of Being Elizabeth Book 5

Post by WR » Sun Oct 26, 2008 11:24 am

Part 15

His dream walking of Liz had gone terribly wrong. He had wanted to tell her the wonderful news about how he believed that Liz was somehow, in some amazing, amazing way, Liz was this Taysha that her grandmother had told him about. She was his lost love from Antar. He had wanted to let her know how much he loved her, and that Liz truly was his destiny after all. But she was misreading him, and was becoming more and more upset. Not that he was explaining things any better. He was just so tongue-tied. Then, just before he could tell her about this amazing connection, disaster had struck. Sounds outside his bedroom window alerted him to danger, and he woke up before he could deliver his news. He quickly arose, alert even though he was sort of sleeping, and heard the sounds of fighting right outside his window. There were two men in the back yard throwing energy at each other, so Max knew that they were both aliens. He wondered why Skins would be fighting each other, unless one of them was part of the Michael worshipping rebel faction. Carefully, so as to make no noise, Max picked up his baseball bat, and hurried through the house, to the back door. Stepping out into the night air, he used the shadows to creep up on the two men. He watched the older man pull out the metal tube, which seemed to suddenly grow into a short pole, which he started to use as a weapon.

As Max carefully approached the two men, his shield at the ready, one of the men suddenly sprung backwards over the fence, and disappeared into the darkness. The other man, the one with the stick, ran to the fence. Max seized his chance, and swung the bat with all his might at the small of the man's back. Regardless of what kind of Skin he was, he was not loyal to Max. But the man did not explode into dust, as Max had expected. Instead, he dropped to the floor in agony, dropping his weapon. Max picked it up, seeing that it was crafted from metal, a series of ever diminishing 'cones' that all slotted one inside the other. They could be compacted to form a small bar capable of fitting inside a pocket, but could be flicked out to create a menacing weapon.

"Zan," the figure on the ground groaned. "Zan, you are in greater danger than you realize."

"Who are you, how do you know my name, and what are you doing here?" Max demanded, still keeping his shield ready. "And who was that... other one?"

Despite his pain, the man struggled to sit up, leaning back against the fence.

"That other one," he gasped, "the one I fought against, is your enemy, King Zan."

"No," Max shook his head, "Not King Zan. Max. Just call me Max."

"As you wish, your majesty..." but then he caught the look from the young man. "Max."

"Better," Max said quietly. "You mean he's a Skin?"

"You call them Skins?" he laughed, with a grimace. "How appropriate."

"We thought so. Now what about the other questions? Who are you, what are you doing here, and how do you know who I am."

"Ki... Max," he groaned, shifting himself slightly. "As you have found out, I am not a Skin. If I give you my word that I am not here to hurt you, can you fix my back? I think might have done some permanent damage."

"How do you know I can that?"

"Because I know more about you, than you do, Max."

Max looked down at the man warily, before he leaned down, and placed his hand over the spot he had hit with the bat. He found the damaged vertebrae, but instantly saw that he did not posses a human skeleton. A shapeshifter? He quickly repaired the damage, both to the bone, and the muscles and ligaments around it. The man gave a sigh of relief.

"Thank you, Max," he said gently.

"Now, will you answer my questions?" Max again demanded.

"As you wish," he confirmed. "But I am worried that the Skin may come back with reinforcements. They will want to find me, and of course, they have their plans for you. Would you mind if we walked while I explained everything?"

"You won't run away while I get dressed?" Max asked, realizing he was still wearing just his boxers.

"No," he chuckled. "I have been awaiting this day for more than fifty years."

Max hurried back into his room, and pulled on his jeans, and a T-shirt. He slipped on a pair of shoes, and hurried back outside. He was relieved to find that the man was still there. He was just picking up a wide brimmed hat, obviously having discarded it during the fight.


Liz pulled up outside Max's house and leapt from the car as fast as she could. In near panic, she ran to the back of the house, to Max's window.

"Max! Max!" she cried, pulling the windows open. "Max! What's wrong?"

She was inside the room, now, and crossed to his bed, but it was empty.

"Max!" she wailed, a little too loudly than she had hoped.

"Liz?" Alex called from the window.

Liz looked up at her friend, peering into the room from Max's window.

"Liz? What's wrong?" he asked, climbing in through the window.

"Alex!" she exclaimed. "Alex, Max is missing, I think he's in trouble! We have to find him."

"Whoa! Slow down Liz." Alex urged, approaching Liz. She was on the edge of panic now. He placed both hands on her shoulders. "Why do you think he's in trouble."

"Because, was talking to him. But he had to go quite suddenly. But I felt his fear before he left."

"Liz, how could you feel his fear over the telephone?"

"We weren't talking over the phone, Alex."

"So how were you talking?"

He, um... dream walked me... sort of."

"What are you talking about, Liz? He did what?"

"He dream walked me, Alex. You know, like Isabel!"

"Who dream walked you?" Isabel demanded, entering the room with a yawn. "And could you guys be any more noisy? Oh... hello Alex. What are you doing here?"

"Well I'm here because Liz thinks Max has gone AWOL again."

Isabel seemed to suddenly snap awake. She looked at the bed, and then glanced around the room, noticing Max's absence. Fear suddenly appeared in her eyes.

"Liz, what happened?"

Like I was telling Alex," Liz said to her. "Max dream walked me tonight."

"Max did? But he doesn't know how to."

"It's a long story, Isabel, but he's learned how. Anyway, we were talking, and he... just disappeared."

"He woke up, Liz," Isabel told her. "It happens all the time."

"But Isabel. Right before he woke up, he was scared. I could feel it. What ever woke him up scared him."

"Wait, you could feel his emotions? All of them?" Isabel asked. As far as she was aware, this should not have happened.

"Isabel. Does it matter? We have to find Max!"

"Whoa!" Alex suddenly exclaimed, starting to waver on his feet.

"Alex!" Liz cried.

Both girls leapt to Alex's side, as he seemed on the verge of passing out.

"Let him sit down, Liz," Isabel urged. "On the bed."

Together, the led the groaning Alex to Max's bed, to let him sit down. Alex suddenly clutched his chest, with a loud cry, and collapsed backwards. His whole body was shaking, and he was whimpering softly.

"No, no, no, no, no."

"What's happening, Liz? Is he having a fit, or something?"

"I don't know, I've never seen him like this before."

"I don't know what to do." Isabel wailed.

"Cover him, Iz," she cried.

They pulled Max's covers over Alex, noticing how cold his body had grown.

"What now, Liz?"

"Now, we wait. But we have to find Max."

"How do we do that, Liz? We don't know what has happened. We don't know who has got him."

"Could you dream walk him?" Liz asked.

"I can try, but wouldn't it be better if you try what you did when Max was in New York?"

"But he couldn't hear me, Isabel. He could only see me. Try to dream walk him first"

"I know where he is," Alex said from the bed.

Both girls turned to see Alex pull back the cover, and rise from the bed.

"Are you alright Alex?" Isabel asked.

"Yes. I know where Max is. Come with me." Alex said, climbing out through the window.
Neither girl had the chance to question him.

As they followed Alex, he led them to Liz's car. "Yours?" he asked.

Liz looked at him peculiarly.

"Um, it's Dad's car, Alex. You know that."

"Yeah, right," he smiled, climbing into the passenger seat. "Come on, get in."

"Good evening, Elizabeth!" a gentle spoke from the gloom.

Liz turned to see the elderly man from the caf?, Bradley White. Liz remembered that he might be an alien, and if he was, he would be a friend of Zan's, or rather, Max's.

"Mr White!" she exclaimed. "What are you doing out so late?"

"I couldn't sleep, so I have come out for a walk. What about you, and your friends?"

"Come on, Liz!" Alex shouted from the front seat.

"Yeah, come on Liz. We have to go," Isabel confirmed.

"Mr White, my friend... my boyfriend has gone missing. We're going to look for him."

"Oh. So he's your boyfriend again? Good. Good. May I offer my assistance?"

"No!" shouted Alex and Isabel simultaneously.

"Oh, yes, yes please, Mr White." Liz smiled, and opened the back door for the man.
As Liz climbed into the driver's seat, she saw the looks from her two friends.

How could she explain her feelings of safety while Bradley White was with them?

"What should I do with these books?" Bradley asked from the back seat.

"What books?" Liz asked as she pulled out into the street.

"There's a box of large books here," he replied. "Some are marked 'Journal CW' and some are marked 'Journal CP.'"

"Oh, they're my grandmother's journals," she told him, taking a right turn at Alex's request. "Dad must have got them for me. Can you just hang on to them for me?"
Liz did not see the far away smile on Bradley White's face.

"Where are we going, Alex?" Liz asked finally, after following his directions for the last fifteen minutes. They were all the way on the other side of Roswell by now. Liz didn't recognize any of her surroundings. They had made so many turnings in the darkness that Liz was completely turned around.

"Just here." Alex finally said, and Liz stopped the car outside a large, old house. It looked very empty.

"Max is here?" Isabel asked, as they all peered through the windows at the house.

"A little while ago," Alex explained, "Max and I found this old place, and we both realized that it would make a good safe house, you know, a bolt hole. In case the FBI or someone came after him again. We were going to tell you all about it, but things just got out of hand, and we never got around to it. Anyway, if Max was in trouble, he would have come here."

"Well, what are we waiting for?" Liz exclaimed, anxious to see for herself, that Max was safe.

"Be careful, Elizabeth." Bradley called. "Best we all stick together!"

"Yeah," Alex called, stopping Liz from racing to the door. "Besides, I have the key!"

They reached the door, and stood back to let Alex unlock and open the door. He stepped through, politely holding the door open for his 'guests'. When the door had closed behind them, Alex turned on the light.

"Oh my god! Alex?" cried a very frightened Isabel.


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The Importance of Being Elizabeth Book 5

Post by WR » Sun Oct 26, 2008 11:35 am

Part 16

Max and the man in the hat and great coat walked along the street, seemingly oblivious to their surroundings. Max knew, however, that the man that he had taken to calling 'Hatty' in his mind was completely aware of everything around them, in fact he was constantly on the watch for danger.

"I must say, Max," he told him urgently, "I am very worried for your safety."

"Oh?" asked Max "Why is that? What is it that worries you, specifically?"

"Well, first and foremost, the Skins know you are here. The Skins are your enemy, you know. That man I fought earlier, he was a Skin."

"How do you know he was a Skin?" Max asked.

"Because he told me as much."

"Why would he tell you that?"

"Because he thought that I was a Skin, like him."

"Well, the Skin's have been around since September," Max told him. "They have pulled one or two stunts, but we seem to have kept them quiet."

"Don't ever underestimate them, Max." Hatty told him. "Nikolas is a very shrewd man. As Zan, you were more than a match for him. In fact you took great delight in defeating him in the war games you both played out, though you were half his age. But you are not as strong as you were. They're planning something new, Max. Something big. You must be on your guard."

"You said you would answer my questions. Who are you, how do you know who I am, my name, and what are you doing here?" Max finally asked.

"I have been watching you for some time now, Max." he started. "I was in the park the night you asked the dark haired girl to the dance."

"Liz," Max said. "Her name is Liz."

"Well, I was also there when you picked her up, and I was also in the school when you, uh, when you... let's just say I was there."

Max gave a soft laugh embarrassment.

"You won't remember much of this Max, but it is all to do with our planet, Antar. We have a prophecy that states that you and Ava will finally be married, and together restore peace to the cosmos."

"No," Max sighed heavily. "Not my destiny again, please! I don't belong with Ava, I mean, Tess. I belong with Liz."

"There is more to this than destiny alone, Max. Much more. A long time ago, your father tried to make you marry Ava, but you refused."

"I thought I was married to her."

"Eventually, yes, but that was later. Your father was so angry at your refusal that he sent you on a scouting mission to this planet. During that trip, you met and fell in love with..."


"Yes, that's right. Did you know that during that trip you also came down to the planet's surface?"

"I sort of knew," Max confirmed. "I met someone, didn't I? Claudia Parker."

"Well, back then, you called her Claudia White. Of course, she may have married by now."

"Yeah, she did. Liz is her granddaughter."

"You're kidding!" Hatty exclaimed, stopping suddenly, his eyes narrowing suspiciously.

"No, I'm not." Max confirmed. "Liz is Claudia's granddaughter."

"Max, when you returned to Antar, and told me about Claudia White, you told me that she looked like a girl you had seen in a vision when you shook hands with Taysha. You said that there was a difference. Claudia White's eyes were blue, but the girl in the vision had brown eyes. Does..."

"Liz has brown eyes. And I think, somehow, she IS Taysha. But how do you know all this? Who are you?"

"Back home on Antar, when you were just a young Prince, I was your first Tutor. You and I grew to become very good friends, Max, and you trusted me. It was you and I who planned all this, the spirit stones, coming to Earth, the pods, even coming here where we had a human ally. My name is Glister."


"So what happened to you? Why weren't you around when we came out of the Pods?"

"On our way to Earth, we learned that K'Var had discovered our plans. There were many traitors around you, Max. You would have been surprised at just who had betrayed you. So we changed the plan, on the fly, so to speak. We created an additional set of pods, to act as decoys."

"Yeah. We met them," Max said a little bitterly.

"Who? The decoys?" Glister asked. "Ah yes. I took the decoys East, to the city of New York. I left you four with two others. What happened to them?"

"Both of them were captured... before we came out of the Pods. Nacedo escaped, but I can only guess at the fate of the other."

Max shuddered, his memories of his time in the white room coming to the fore. Glister noticed this, but said nothing.

"Nacedo was killed by one of the Skins last September," Max continued.

"Oh." Glister said sadly. "I am sorry. Well, we created your duplicates to be so different from you. They were supposed to draw K'Var's men away from you, not to ally with them."

"Of the three of these dupes, Ava seemed the nicest. Liz liked her," Max told him.

"Dupes?" Glister laughed. "Yes, I thought Ava was the nicest, too. She was very different from the others. Something was missing. Perhaps it was that her pod was damaged in the crash."

"We never got to meet Zan."

Glister started to laugh.

"Be thankful, Max. It would have been painful for someone as gentle as yourself to see someone who looked like you acting with such... arrogance. Ava worshipped the ground he walked on, but he treated her like dirt, flaunting his conquests in her face like that. He was a bully, a thief, and a braggart. He took what he wanted, and I don't just mean food, or possessions. Lets just say that he liked to take women too, and that they didn't always approve."

He was so glad that this Zan had never met Liz. If he had been attracted to her, in the way that he himself was, he would have... Max shuddered.

"Why weren't you with them, when Tess and I showed up, I mean?"

"Years ago, I realized that I had no control over Zan, Rath or Vilondra. It became dangerous to be near them, so I watched from a distance. When I saw them kill Zan, I..."

"Wait, they killed Zan?"

"Yes. When Zan refused to attend the summit, Rath and Vilondra pushed him in front of a truck. He was quite dead. By then, they had already made a deal with Nikolas to return home. Rath believed that Nikolas would honor that deal. That's why they came to you. They needed one of you to attend the summit, and they hoped that they could manipulate you into giving up the Granolith. What they didn't realize was that Zan would never have passed the Emissary' test. That would have been a blow to his ego."

"Ava wasn't involved?"

"No. Remember, she loved Zan, but she was also afraid of the other two."

"What happened to them? After the summit meeting?"

"Well, both Ava and Vilondra have vanished. while Rath is currently floating in one of the many sewers under that dreadful city. A result of Vilondra's treachery, no doubt."

Max winced at his choice of words.

"Max, this Liz." Glister suddenly said. "How well do you know her? How much do you trust her?"

"Completely. I saved her life, and it helps that we are attracted to one another. Neither one of us would do anything to hurt the other."

"What do you mean, you saved her life?" Glister had gone cold now, very cold.

"She was shot, I healed her. I had to, Glister. I have always loved her."

"Beware of her Max. If she is Taysha, then she is now doubly dangerous to you."

"I don't understand."

"If she is who I think she is, than SHE is your destiny. The fact that you healed her lends credence to this fact. But Max? Back on Antar, she was under the influence of K'Var. Max, she was betrothed to marry him."

"What?" Max demanded, his face dropping.

"They thought they had kept it secret, but there were rumors. And Max? While you were defending everyone after your marriage ceremony, when K'Var's soldiers attacked, it was Taysha who killed you. She was seen sending a blast of energy into your unprotected back. She murdered you in cold blood, Max."


Max and Glister continued to walk around the far side of the block, planning to arrive at the front of his house from the other direction. Glister told Max of the ancient prophecy and it's history, of Zan's history and what he knew of the time he spent on Earth. He then divulged everything that he had learned, and many of the things that he had worked out, or guessed over the past fifty years. Max was feeling stronger now, less in the dark than before. Knowledge certainly was power, he decided.

"It seems that people who get close to me end up dead as a result of my actions." Max sighed. "I was told that I had been an ineffective King, you know, but I had hoped it was just Nikolas being insulting. I mean, how irresponsible was it to come down here like that, without telling anyone. It cost the life of Borad, and caused those injuries to Geltar and Ren."

"But Max, had you stayed on the ship, you would almost certainly have died. Without your trip to Earth, our plan would never have evolved. Your irresponsibility may have saved not only your life, but the lives of countless others also."

As they approached the corner of his street, Max could see the group of people by the car outside his house. He recognized Michael's motorbike, so he turned towards it.

"Max," Glister called, holding Max back from continuing down the street. "I'm your protector now. All four of you. I will do everything in my power to protect you, but do not tell the others about me. I think that one of your group is a traitor. It's best that they don't know about me just yet."

"I trust them all, Glister. We have all been there for each other. There isn't any danger we wouldn't face for each other."

"Well, remember what I told you. And look out for that other guy I told you about, the one I saw kill that Skin in the alley. I have accounted for every Perdreian who arrived on this planet with us. I don't know who he is, or what his motives are. Watch out, Max."

"I will. Stay in touch, Glister."

"Of course, your majesty," he replied with a bow.


Max watched the man disappear into the shadows, and idly wondered what shape he would take next. He started to walk towards the group outside his house, who he now noticed were talking a little animatedly. "Hey guys," he announced his presence. "What's up?"

"Max!" they all exclaimed at once, with a huge sigh of relief on the faces.

"Where's Liz?" Maria demanded.

"And Alex, and Isabel?" Kyle added.

"What do mean? Aren't they at home? Sleeping if they have any sense."

"No, they're not." Kyle said urgently. "Liz called me earlier, Max. She was in a panic because she though you were in trouble. She asked me to get everyone here. And here we all are, except that Liz and Alex never turned up, and Isabel is missing."

Of course, Max groaned, feeling angry with himself. Liz could have detected the momentary panic he felt when he had woken up from his dream walk, and probably came running to check on him. He had been so caught up with Glister's information that he had forgotten about her. Glister was worried that the Skins would bring reinforcements. What if.... Max went cold.

"Where have you been, Max?" Michael demanded.

"I..."Max began. "I couldn't sleep. I went for a walk."

"Fine time to take a walk, Max. What if there were Skins out there?"

Max ignored Michael's comment. There was much more at stake here than one-upmanship.

"Kyle, you take Maria and go to the Crashdown. Check to see if Liz and the others are there. Try not to alarm her parents. I need to talk to Michael and Tess, so we'll take the Jeep and head on over to Michael's. We'll all meet up there."

Max smiled at the regretful glances that passed between Michael and Maria, and also between Tess and Kyle.

"Come on then people," Max barked. "What are we waiting for? We have friends in trouble!"

Michael gaped in amazement. Max almost sounded like a leader.


"What's so important that you had to send the human's away, Max?" Tess asked.

Max smiled ruefully. She knew him well enough to know that he would not willingly place himself in a position that Liz might misconstrue.

Michael looked at Tess sharply and then back at Max.

"I should have known. You have some bad news, don't you?"

"I know things now, yes." Max began. "I know a lot more about our history. You know, on Antar."

"Do you remember me?" she asked, slightly hopeful.

"Yes, Tess. I do. But please, let me start at the beginning. All of this... us, the Skins, and yes, even all hinges on an ancient prophecy that states how the Universe will be saved when the Perdreian King marries the Kalithan Queen."

"Wait," Michael interrupted. "The names sound familiar. Like they mean something. But you have to tell me Max. Why are they familiar?"

"Zan... I was a member of the Perdreian race, Michael. Isabel too. You and Tess were Kalithan. Anyway, as we suspected, Ava was Rath's sister."

Michael and Tess exchanged confused glances.

"I'm sorry Max, you too Tess, but she doesn't... I mean, I don't feel like she's my sister."

"Same here, Max," Tess added. "I mean, I care for him like a brother, but only because we're related by alien blood here on Earth."

"I'll get to that later," Max continued. "Anyway, just after Ava was born, it was proved that she was the Kalithan Queen referred to in the prophecy."

"So you were the Perdreian King?" Michael asked.

"Ignore him, Max," Tess grinned, rolling her eyes.

"As soon as it was proved who we were, Zan and Ava were betrothed."

"So it was an arranged marriage?" Tess asked, stricken.

"When Zan was told about it, he rebelled, and his father, my father, sent him, me on a scientific mission to Earth. While we were here, I met and fell in love with a young woman."

"Liz?" Tess asked incredulously.

"No, her grandmother, right?" Michael grinned. "The one who died. You dog!"

"No, no," Max continued. "While I did come down to the planet and I did in fact meet Liz's grandmother, the woman I fell in love with was from the ship. She was Kalithan."

"What does she have to do with this, Max?" Tess asked tensely.

"Okay, my father, the king, was murdered back on Antar, and we returned home. I took over, and married Ava."

"Reluctantly?" Tess asked.

"Yes, Tess. I'm sorry."

Tess nodded her head sadly. Max leaned over, and gently took her hand, looking deeply into her eyes. It was an act of intimacy that shocked Tess.

"Tess, I want... no... I need you to understand something. No matter what happened back on Antar, no matter who we were, what we did, or what we felt back then, here... now... on Earth we are different. We are who we are, Tess. And here, you are my friend. One of my best friends, almost a sister."

"This doesn't sound good, Max." she said carefully, her eyes narrowing. Max's expressive eyes could not hide the fact that he was about to tell her something about herself, something painful. "What are you trying to tell me?"

"The reason why I was so drawn to this other woman, was because she was my Destiny. My real Destiny."

Tess narrowed her eyes, but it could not mask the hurt.

"What's Liz going to say?" she asked with a strained voice.

Max smiled cryptically.

"Tess, when you were born, this other woman was born at the same time. K'Var was working at the hospital at that time. It seems he had been planning our overthrow for some time. He switched the two of you at birth."

Tess's face dropped. Tears started to rim her eyes.

"That's the good part of this Tess."

She looked horrified.

"What could you possibly say that would be worse than this?"

"Tess, Ava... you... have been programmed... hypnotized... to kill me."


Both Max and Michael took it in turns to try and console Tess. It was bad enough that she found out that she had never been Max's destiny, that she was not who she thought she was, she had to learn that she was supposed to kill Max, hypnotized by K'Var. Finally, her hysterics eased.

"I found out something else." Max said quietly. "Something that is worse, in a way."

Tess glanced up with a look of devastation.

"No, this has nothing to do with you, Tess. It's Liz. Somehow, and I really can't explain how, but the real Ava is Liz. She is somehow the woman I fell in love with. Anyway, back on Antar?" Max's voice was breaking. "This woman was betrothed to K'Var. I think
Taysha...Liz... betrayed me."

"Max," Tess spoke quietly. "I really don't think..."

"Did you say Taysha?" Michael asked very quietly. His face had been drained of all color.

"Yeah, why?"

"Max, I have these recurring dreams. In one I ask a woman called Taysha to marry me, despite the fact that I know you like her. I've never said before because, Max? In my dream? She looks like Liz."


"Yeah, but it didn't feel... right. Remember how I said that I've been feeling things for her? It's kind of like those feelings."

"I'm not surprised, Michael."

"Oh, and why not?" Michael demanded indignantly. What else had Max learned of their past? What part had he played?

"Because if Liz IS this Taysha, and I really do believe that, then it makes her the real Ava. That means she is your sister."

Michael's mouth dropped open. Max and Tess smiled at Michael's stunned looks, but then Max's own face dropped.

"Michael, this Taysha, uh Liz..." he was almost whispering now. The despair, the devastation in his voice was obvious. "I think she murdered me."

The two men looked at one another. One had the most dreadful look of sorrow on his face, while the other appeared to be thinking, making strange connections in his head.

"No," he said cautiously, but then continued with more conviction. "No, that doesn't gel, Max. I have this other dream, where we are at a wedding, your wedding to Tess. And there is fighting going on. You have your shield up. We're fighting K'Vars men. Vilondra is in the congregation, Taysha is behind you, quite a way behind you and I'm just to one side of you. Vilondra is hit by someone, and you drop your shield. Taysha raises her had, and there is a white light. When the light dims, you are flying backwards through the air, dead."

"Well that settles it," Max sighed in despair. "That was a memory, Michael, not a dream. She killed me."

"No, you don't get it. Backwards! Towards Taysha! If she had killed you, shouldn't you have flown forwards?" Michael stated, remembering the time he had killed Pierce. He had flown backwards too.

Max's face lit up with relief.

"I've had some dreams too." Tess added in a small, subdued voice.

"Do you want to talk about them, Tess?" Max asked, his voice filled with concern.

Ava explained her nightmare from earlier that night.

"It's the skins, Tess." Max told her. "They can influence our dreams. One tried to do that to me this evening. He couldn't get in, but they've done it to me in the past. Tess, I think that they are trying to make you pursue your destiny, rather, your supposed destiny again."

"It felt so real, Max."

"I know," Max replied with a shudder.

Tess wondered what dreams the Skins had been giving him to cause that reaction.

"I'll fight it, Max. Don't worry."

"Don't let them fester, Tess. Talk about them to someone. To Kyle, if you want. He's a great guy, Tess, and he cares about you."

"I have enough brothers, Max."

"I think he sees you as more than a sister, Tess." Max said gently, placing a hand on her shoulder. "Rather he would like you to be more than a sister, I think you do too. Don't let these revelations stop you from moving on."

Tess looked up at Max.

"Does Liz know how lucky she is?" she asked.

"I know how lucky I am." Max replied with a smile.


Maria and Kyle walked in on the three somber aliens. Max's eyes immediately sought a third member of the group, but his face fell at her absence.

"Her dad's car is missing, too." Kyle informed them. "But it wasn't at your house, so they must have taken it with them."

"Where would they have gone? I can't see Isabel going without putting up a fight." Michael said.

"Not if they were threatening Alex, or Liz." Max told them.

Everyone shook their heads in agreement.

"So they were taken peacefully. That's a good sign, right?" Kyle asked.

"That depends on what you have just found out." Michael said quietly looking at Max's face.
Clearly, he was thinking one word. Betrayal.

"It's too bad Isabel isn't here." Maria said cautiously. "Maybe she could dream thingy her, you know, like when you were missing that time."

"I can do it." Max said.

"What?" Michael demanded. "Since when?"

"Not long ago."


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The Importance of Being Elizabeth Book 5

Post by WR » Sun Oct 26, 2008 11:42 am

Part 17

"Welcome to the pleasure dome!" Nikolas announced, stepping from the group of Skins that were revealed when Alex switched on the light.

Liz and Isabel turned to flee, but a large Skin appeared from behind them. Isabel easily pushed him away with her mind, and reached for the door.

"Take another step, Vilondra, and I'll erase little Liz's mind," Nikolas said with a slight sneer, while Alex held the struggling Liz's wrist. "Your choice."

Isabel released the door handle, and turned back to face her captors. Liz looked at her apologetically.

"What are you doing, Alex?" she demanded. "I thought we were..."

"Friends, Vilondra? Is that all you see me as now?" Alex asked.

"What's going on Elizabeth?" Bradley asked from beside her.

"These are... acquaintances of ours, Mr White," Liz told him. She felt strangely calm.
"They want to hurt my b... friend, you know, Max?

"Ah yes. Max." Nikolas laughed, looking at Liz. "Where is he, I wonder? Once he knows I have his little treasure here, he'll come running. He'll make a deal, which of course, I will not honor."

"What are you going to do with us?" Isabel asked.

"We'll take you all home, Vilondra. Of course, King Zan will finally be executed for his... crimes, while you will be reunited with K'Var."

"Go to hell, Nikolas!"

"Oh, Vilondra, aren't you excited at the prospect at being with your beloved K'Var again?"

"What's going on, Iz?" Liz asked in a small voice.

"Alex has been taken over by K'Var, Liz." Isabel told her.

"Very clever Vilondra. Although this is the body of Alex, you are talking to the mind of K'Var," Alex, no K'Var said.

"What about the rest of us?" Liz asked. "Are you just going to kill us?"

"Why Liz? Of course not! I was hoping that you would be just as eager to see me as Vilondra is."

"Why would I be eager to see you?" Liz demanded.

"Because back on Antar, you were betrothed to me," he smiled. "You were in love with me."

"What are you talking about, K'Var?" Isabel demanded.

"Why Vilondra, are you jealous of little Taysha, here?"

"Taysha?" Isabel demanded. That name seemed so familiar.

"You mean, I am Taysha?" Liz demanded with a huge smile.

"See!" he announced proudly. "See how excited you are at our reunion. We shall talk later, my beloved. I have missed you terribly. Antar is not quite the same without you."


"What is going on Liz?" Isabel demanded when the four of them were locked in a large bedroom. "Who is Taysha?"

Liz had been sitting on a small divan with a strange smile on her face.

"Isabel, I'm Taysha!" Liz exclaimed, urgently holding Isabel's arms. She had a huge smile on her face. "It's okay now. We CAN be together. We're supposed to be together!"

"You and K'Var? Liz how do you know K'Var?"

"What? No, not him, Isabel!" Liz enthused. "Max! I can be with Max now."

"That is wonderful news, Elizabeth." Bradley said from behind her. "I am so pleased for you, you make a lovely couple."

Liz flashed Bradley an immense smile, and he jokingly held both of his hands over his heart.

"Will someone tell me what is going on?" Isabel demanded irritably.

A sudden groan from Alex caused both girls to look up. Alex was sitting on the edge of the bed, holding his head in his hands.

"Oh, man, could my head hurt any worse than this?" he demanded.

"Alex? Are you okay?" Isabel asked after hurrying across to him, and sitting on the edge of the bed. She wrapping her arm protectively over his shoulder.

"Isabel?" he asked. "What are you doing in my room?"

"No, Alex. We're not in your room. You brought us here. Remember? Max was missing, and you said that he might have come here to the safe house you two found."

"Safe house? Isabel, what are you talking about?"

"Liz, could you just...?" Isabel asked, turning to Liz.

Liz was sprawled out on the divan, fast asleep. Isabel did not see Bradley White sweeping a hand across the back of Liz's head earlier, sending her into her deep sleep. A gentle smile, affectionate almost, flitted across his lips.


Max lay back on Michael's bed, folded his hands behind his head, and stared up at the ceiling. He closed his eyes, and started to concentrate on the girl he loved, Liz. He hoped that she was asleep, because he did not know how to get into the mind of someone still conscious. He made a mental note to ask Isabel, when he found her.

"Doesn't he like, need a picture of Liz, or something?" Maria asked.

"What? And you think I would have one here?" Michael demanded, feeling a little edgy at his newfound connection to Liz.

"Well I sure don't have one," Tess added. "And Max doesn't have his wallet with him, which is where he probably keeps one or two."

"Or three or four," Kyle joked. "Knowing Max, he's had a picture of Liz tattooed inside his eyelids so he can see her even when he closes his eyes."

"Could you guys be any more annoying?" Max asked quietly.

~ ~ ~

She was at the auditorium again, this time wearing a white dress that seemed to float on the breeze. She was dancing, but this time, she was alone. She had no need of the student body, and no need of a dream Max. Her Max, the real Max, would soon join her. She just knew it. As she twirled to the soft romantic music that echoed through the empty hall, her short flared skirt spun out like an umbrella, revealing her smooth, white thighs.

"Wow, Liz," Max smiled. "You are absolutely beautiful."

At the sight of her carefree dancing, Max knew that she was not in any immediate danger, which considerably eased his own fears.

"Hi Max," she smiled as she continued her dance. "Are you okay? You had me worried when you disappeared from my dream."

"I'm fine, Liz. Now that I know you are okay. You are okay, aren't you? Where are you?"

Liz stopped her dance, and approached Max.

"I'm not sure, Max. I know that Nikolas and the Skins have us, but we are okay. They won't hurt us."

"By us, is Isabel and Alex with you?" he asked. "And how do you know you are safe?"

"Yeah, they're both here. They want to try and set a trap for you Max. They know you will agree to an exchange, you for us. Oh, and we have that old gentleman with us too. You know Bradley White? He was just passing, and got caught up in it all."

A strange thought came to Max, a memory, almost. That name now seemed so familiar.

"Liz, what do you know of this Bradley?"

"I think he's a shapeshifter Max, like Nacedo, only much nicer," she smiled.

"You had better tell me everything that happened this evening, Liz."

She told him, but rather than using words, she showed him.

"Why do you seem so happy Liz? Why aren't you scared?"

"Because I know who Taysha is."

"It's you Liz," Why did he sound so... worried? "I tried to tell you, in your earlier dream, but..."

"Yeah, it's okay Max. But isn't it great? Max, I am your destiny," she enthused. "There is nothing to stop us being together now."

Max could not help the conflict in his mind. Betrayal, Glister had said.

"Liz, I'll go back and let the other's know what is going on. Let them know you're all... safe. We'll find you Liz. We'll find you and rescue you."

"I know you will, Max," she stated confidently. "How much sleep have you had tonight?"

"A little, why?"

"Because you will be no use to anyone if you can't think straight. We are perfectly safe, Max. No one will hurt us, it's you they want. So stay asleep, get some much needed rest, and keep me company in my dream."

"Liz, I..."

"Don't you WANT to be with me, Max?" Liz asked waving a hand over him, changing his clothing into a swimsuit.

Liz pushed the straps of her dress over her shoulders, the white material cascaded to the floor around her feet to reveal herself in a tight, white bikini. She stepped through the door of the auditorium, vanishing from his sight.

"They are going to kill me for doing this!" Max panted, eagerly hurrying after Liz.


As Max stepped through the door, his dream senses were shocked when the cold snowball hit him squarely on his exposed chest. As a stunned Max watched the particles of snow melt on his chest, Liz's laughter echoed across the snowy scene like the peal of a small bell. They were on a long tree lined path, the blue sky above a contrast to the almost black trees coated with layers of snow on their boughs. A small woodcutter's hut stood to one side, it's roof covered by a blanket of snow, with icicles hanging from its eaves. It was like a scene from a Christmas card. While Max was shivering, still in his swim suit, Liz was now dressed in jeans, and a large jacket. She had little pair of boots on her feet, Her dark hair framed her face, glowing red in the crisp bitterness of the icy air. Her breaths left little clouds of steam vapor floating away gently in the still air.

"Uh, Liz?" he begged, wiping the melting snow from his chest. "Could you fix this?"

"I could," she smiled, taking slow deliberate steps towards him, "if you are nice to me."

"Liz? Please, I'm cold," he complained, shivering.

"I could just leave you naked, Max," she smiled with a twinkle in her eye. "Or I could dress you up warmly."

"The latter would be preferable."

"Why Maxwell Evans," she stated indignantly. "Are you saying that you have never dreamed of being naked with me?"

"Yeah, but not in a friggin snow storm!" he moaned, wrapping his arms about himself.

"Here, let me," she smiled, and wrapped her arms around him.

Her cold lips pressed against his, her cold nose nuzzling his cheek. Slowly, her mouth opened, gently yielding to the pressure applied by his tongue. As their kiss deepened, Liz's hand slowly crept down the cold skin of his back, sending waves of hot fire through him. She stopped her hand at the top of his swimsuit. As her had sought entry past the waistband, Max groaned into her mouth.

"Oh Liz, this is so... OH MY GOD!"

Max pulled away from Liz, who was now a quivering heap of laughter, having deposited a handful of melting snow down the back of Max's swimsuit.

"I'll get you for this, Liz Parker!" he yelled grabbing some snow in his hands, and started running towards Liz.

Liz gave a loud shriek that echoed through the trees, and laughing hysterically, fled through the snow drifts from the advancing Max. At last he had her cornered against the woodsman's hut. He stalked her with a menacing grin.It was payback time. Liz reached for the door of the hut, and slipped inside. Max eagerly followed, imagining her to be trapped now.


It was very hot here. Max was now standing on a tropical beach. The white sand sloped gently towards the crystal waters of the azure sea, spread beneath the beautiful blue sky. Behind him, palm trees swayed with the warm, gentle breeze. Liz lay on her stomach in the warm sand, wearing her tiny white bikini. She glanced up at him shyly, looking over the top of her sunglasses. Max walked over to her, and lay beside her, on his back. She leaned over him, and gently kissed his cheek.

"You need to let yourself go more often, Max," she said to him gently. "All work and no play makes Max a dull boy. You need to live a little, or else what is the point?"

"So many people depend on me, Liz," he said quietly.

"Yes Max. I depend on you, and I know that you are a better, stronger person when you are not so uptight. I'm not saying that you should turn your back on your responsibilities, that you should forget who you are. You have people around you who love you, Max. Let them show you that they are worthy of you. Let Michael take some responsibility."

"What? Are you my own personal Jimminy Cricket?" Max asked with a laugh.

"No, Max," she smiled. "Did Jimminy Cricket ever do this to Pinocchio?"

Liz leaned down to Max, and gently nibbled his lips with her teeth. He responded, by trying to capture her own lips with his. As their sensuous kiss deepened, Max's hands drifted across Liz's back, bare except for the strap to her bikini top. He could feel two bullet like objects pressing hard into his chest. As their passion rose, so to did their bodies' response. Looking extremely flushed, Liz broke from a heated kiss, and pushed her self uright. With a gentle, shy smile, she reached her hand behind her back, and unfastened the strap. Holding the bikini tops' cups to her breasts, still keeping them covered, she smiled at Max again, her body trembling. Max was breathing very heavily, his heart was beating loudly.

"Liz," he gasped in an awed voice.

"This is only a dream, right?" she asked, nervously.

Slowly, she started to pull her top away.

~ ~ ~

"Max! Max!" Michael called, shaking Max awake. "What is going on. You've been out for ages. Did you get through to her?"

Max never hated Michael more in his life than he did at that moment.


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The Importance of Being Elizabeth Book 5

Post by WR » Sun Oct 26, 2008 11:52 am

Part 18

"You are sure that she is all right?" Maria demanded after Max had explained what he had found out from Liz. He tactfully excluded his little 'play' time.

"Yeah," Max smiled. "She is fine, they all are. They will want to cut a deal, you know, I turn myself in, and they'll let Liz go. They know I'd do anything to keep Liz safe."

"What about Alex?" Maria asked, concerned for not just one, but two friends.

"He'll be fine. They need to keep him safe, because K'Var inhabits him, you know, like Brody."

"Oh my god, poor Alex," Kyle mumbled.

"We'll find a way to fix it," Max told him, while sketching on a piece of paper. "First, let's get them out of there. When we are all safe, then we will worry about what to do to stop K'Var possessing Alex."

"Max, you said that Liz got confused, that she couldn't work out where they were. How are we going to find them?" Kyle asked again.

"She showed me, Kyle. I saw what she saw," Max replied. "I don't know exactly where they are, but I know that they are over on the other side of town. A little after 9 AM, we will start to drive around that part of town, trying to find the place."

"What are you drawing Max?" Maria asked.

Max held up the drawing of an old house.

"This is where they are being kept. We'll split into three groups. Tess and Kyle, Michael and Maria and then me. Make sure that each group takes a phone. We'll split the town into sections. Each group will take a section and search it street by street. If you find anything, call me. I'll then call the other group. Don't do anything until we all get there, Is that understood?"

"Yes Max," they all intoned, except Michael who had been strangely quiet.

"Right, it's just past 6 AM," he stated, looking at his watch. "I suggest we get what sleep we can. It's going to be a long day.

"Why can't we start now?" urged Michael, his impatience obvious.

"Michael, I want to get her... them out of there as soon as possible. Sooner, if I can. But Liz said that they are safe for the moment. Let's go in on our terms, okay? The Skins know what cars we have. So we have to wait until the car hire place opens, and we'll hire three cars. Surprise might be our greatest ally."

"But that costs money, Max. How are we going to pay for this?" Michael demanded.

"I, uh, didn't spend the money that you gave us in Las Vegas. I didn't really have a chance. So I kept it."

"How did this Kee-Var guy ever get the best of you Max?" Kyle asked with a smile, slapping Max's back.

"I was betrayed," Max said quietly.

Michael instantly looked up and glared at Max. Their eyes locked together.

"What? Who? Who betrayed you Max?" Maria demanded.

"There were lots of them, Maria. People I had trusted. The wrong people, as Nikolas was so pleased to point out. Apparently, someone close to me betrayed me, too. Maybe more than one. But we are different now, all of us. I trust each and every one of you, and I know that this time around, I have made the choices."

"Even me, Max?" Kyle asked quietly.

"Even you, Kyle," Max responded, bringing a smile from Tess. "I know that none of you will willingly betray me. I know that no one will betray me this time around and I will succeed where I failed before. I will bring peace to the universe, and I WILL be with Liz."

Michael approached Max, while the others were resting.

"Why did you tell them that?" he demanded angrily. "Are you trying to paint Taysha, I mean... Liz, as some kind of... Benedict Arnold?"

"Of course not, Michael. But they are our friends," Max answered gently, waving at Maria and Kyle. "They need to know these things. And what I said was true, I hold no one responsible for past actions. Besides, we don't really know the truth, do we?"

"What took you so long, earlier?" Michael demanded. "What were you doing in your dream walk with Liz?"

"Don't go all big brother on me," Max smiled. "Anyway, I outrank you."

"Funny, Max," Michael spat.

"She's a big girl, now Michael." Max said as neutrally as possible. "She got along fine without a big brother for all these years. She doesn't need you coming down all heavy-handed. Besides, you know as well as I that I have no control inside her dream."

No control at all, he thought to himself, as he remembered what she did to him.


"Ah, Taysha, my dear!" Alex/K'Var smiled benevolently. "How did you sleep?"

"Very well, thank you," Liz replied politely, with a dreamy smile.

After her dream with Max last night, short though it was, nothing could bring her down from the dream-induced high that she was on. She knew that the Skins would not hurt them, they needed them too much. She also knew that Max would find a way to rescue them. She had a total belief in him. There was nothing they could say to hurt her.

"I must say, you look positively radiant. My presence obviously agrees with you. Tell me,
Taysha..." Alex/K'Var started.

"Liz," she interrupted.

"Pardon me?"

"It's Liz. I'm not Taysha any more. I'm just Liz, now. Liz Parker."

"My dear, you may inhabit the body of this Earthling, but to me you will always be my Taysha. How is it that you are in that body?"

"I will never be 'your' anything, K'Var, and I doubt I ever was."

"Just what do you remember, Taysha?" K'Var asked through narrowed eyes.

He had expected her to be worried, frightened almost. Instead, it was as though she saw him as a minor obstacle. Liz thought carefully for a moment.

"Only my unwavering love for Zan."

She saw the anger flare in his eyes. He had clearly not expected her to say anything like that. Base hit for the Earthlings, she thought suppressing a smile. Although she had originally meant it to knock some of his towering self-assurance from him, she realized that she could almost remember a deep love for Zan. The image of a conversation by a fountain came to her mind again.

"You are quite wrong, my dear," K'Var recovered quickly from her comment. "I fear that you have been brainwashed by this man who was once Zan. Back on Antar, when you had just turned 16, your father took you to your first Royal Ball. You were so excited at the prospect of meeting Zan. But he trapped you alone in one of the rooms there, and he was going to rape you. Fortunately, I happened to pass by, and stopped him. Naturally, your father demanded justice, but for his... insolence, your father was stripped of his titles and land, and you were sent to work on the scout ships. I swore there and then that I would do everything within my power to prevent that monster from ever ruling Antar, for this was not an isolated incident. Meanwhile, grateful for my assistance, you and I became close, and would have been married, if Zan hadn't arranged for your transfer to his palace as a maidservant. He had plans for you to join his... ah, Harem."

"I don't believe any of this," Liz said in a quiet voice. She would not let K'Var's lies spoil her good mood.

"I mean you no harm, Taysha." K'Var said gently, reaching his hand across and touching Liz's shoulder.

She flinched back, away from him.

"I was devastated when I learned that you had vanished. I was sure that the Perdreians had captured you, for without you, all is lost, I am lost."

Somehow, coming from him, this sounded false. When Max said things like that, she knew that it came from his heart.

"I have no idea how you came to be on Earth, but I see it as a sign. Earth will be the place where I finally put an end to the discord back on Antar, and you and I take our rightful places as the new rulers of Antar."


The five friends stood around the car that Max would be driving, each looking at the maps that they had marked out with big red lines.

"Okay, you each know which sections you have been allocated, right? Try not to draw attention to yourself, but check each street carefully. As you finish each street, mark it off you map. Let me know when you finish a section, and I'll relay the message. Any questions?"

"Not a question, Max," Kyle said to him. "My dad wants you to keep him informed."

"I don't want the police involved, Kyle." Max said earnestly. "We don't want to draw attention to us."

"Understood Max, but he wants to be informed when you find them, and Max? He wants to be there when we go in." Max thought for a minute. He could not afford to alienate Jim Valenti in any way, and it might actually be useful to have him around.

"Okay, Kyle. I'll include him when we find them."

"Thanks Max. You don't know how hard it is for me to be in the middle like that."

Max smiled at Kyle.

"What do we do if we find the place Max?" Michael asked.

"Find a place to park where you won't draw attention to yourself. Try to keep the place under surveillance, and let me know." Max told them, and then paused, waiting for another question. "Is that it? Then lets go, and please be careful. I don't want to have to rescue you as well."


"Can anyone explain to me why it is that this Max Evans has suddenly become immune to the dreams we have tried to give him?" Nikolas demanded.

There was no answer.

"Just one week ago, he was weak, almost a gibbering wreck. He didn't know who he could trust. And now suddenly, he has a power that's almost as strong as Zan's and his little group have disappeared together. He almost sounds like he's a leader."

"There's more bad news, sir," one of his soldiers told him. "When I tried to induce the dream, it wasn't just his strange new strength that stopped me from succeeding."

"What else was it then?"

"I was attacked. At first I thought it was one of the renegades. But I'm convinced now that it was a Perdreian. He was very powerful. I only just escaped with my life."

"There's only one Perdreian unaccounted for." Nikolas said cautiously. "I guess we have found the reason our men keep disappearing. Okay, from now on, we go out in pairs. Keep an eye out for this guy, and remember he's a shape shifter. I want him dead!"

"What about the dreams?"

"I guess Max is now immune to them, somehow," Nikolas though cautiously. "So I want to increase the pressure on Ava. Move her to the final phase of the dreams. I'd rather avoid a direct confrontation with Max."

"Especially since he always beat you back on Antar," joked the man who had failed in giving Max the dreams.

Nikolas raised his hand, and the man flew through the air, crumpling against the wall. He was dead before he hit the floor.

"And someone clean up this mess," Nikolas said, placing a pair of sunglasses over his eyes.


Only Isabel was in the room when Alex/K'Var's guard escorted her back to the room.

The salute he gave her was a little disturbing.

"Where's Mr White, Isabel?" she asked.

Isabel raised her eyes a little from the floor, and shrugged her shoulders.

"They took him away just after you. He's not back yet. How did it go? What did K'Var say to you?"

Liz told him about the sorry tale that K'Var had told to her.

"But he's wrong, right?" Liz asked. "I mean, that doesn't even sound like Max, cause you know, Max, he's this whole other person."

"Then where is he, Liz?"


"Max. Where is he? How come he hasn't come to rescue us?" Isabel demanded in tears. "Because Liz? While I'm sitting here in this damned room, I'm starting to remember things. And I think K'Var is right. I don't think my brother was a very nice person."

"Isabel, what are you saying?" she asked. "We've only been gone a few hours. He'll find us, I know he will."

"Yeah? How?"


"Because you know what? Now that you aren't around, he's probably with Tess. You know, he probably went straight there as soon as he found out you were missing. He probably said he just needed to talk, you know, comfort, but I bet it didn't stop there."

"Isabel, stop it," Liz requested, feeling more than a little upset that Isabel would say such things about Max. "Max would not do that!"

"How can you defend him Liz? I remembered something, something from our life... before. Liz, you know that he tried to rape Taysha. Did you know that he liked to rape the young debutantes who came to the palace for the first time? He knew that they would be so scared to say anything against him, so they all kept quiet. Those who made any threats to tell were usually bought off, or..."

"Isabel, stop it!" Liz shouted angrily. "Can't this wait until Max is at least here to defend himself?"

"Face it Liz. He's not coming."

"He will come. He'll rescue us. You will see."

"The funny thing is Liz, I remember so much now. I remember how we competed for K'Var's attentions. You were betrothed to him, but I wanted to be more than just his lover. So I let the soldiers in, the ones who tried to kill Zan. I was thinking that K'Var would then favor me. But Zan held them off, and would have beaten them if it hadn't been for you."

"Me? What did I do?" Liz asked in a quiet voice.

"You killed him Liz," Isabel said in an awed voice. "You cut him down from behind in cold blood."


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The Importance of Being Elizabeth Book 5

Post by WR » Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:02 pm

Part 19

Liz sat in the corner of the room sobbing her heart out. She had betrayed Max, she had murdered him herself.

"Elizabeth?" Bradley White asked quietly. He had finally returned to find her like this.
"Do you want to talk about it?"

"No." she grunted.

He looked at her sympathetically, and then retrieved the books that he had been so carefully protecting.

"Perhaps you might find these comforting, Elizabeth." Bradley said gently, sitting next to her in the corner.

"I don't think so." she sniffed.

"I knew a very brave young lady who once told my master that he wouldn't know something would work until he tried it."

"And did it?" she looked up, knowing that he was talking about Zan.

"Why, yes." Bradley smiled. "It did."

Bradley picked up one of her Grandmother's journals, and handed it to Liz. He opened the book up about halfway through.

"This looks as good a place as any to start," he smiled.

"July 7th 1947. The military still have the area sealed off. Although I saw no sign that might indicate exactly what it was that had crashed there, I know that it was no weather balloon. While driving around the back of the ranch, some thing reflecting light from the old ravine attracted my attention. When I investigated, I was surprised to find a young alien woman. I knew she was alien, because she looked so similar to Zan. She was in a bad way, and her flesh was badly burned, as though by acid. I made her as comfortable as I could, and we talked. Imagine my surprise when she told me that she was the same Taysha that Zan had been so in love with. She told me to take her pendant when she died, that Zan would want me to have it. It was the Spirit Stone that Zan had found the time I took him to the Khiva. Before she finally passed on, Taysha asked me to forgive her, because she had killed Zan. I couldn't."

Fresh tears cascaded down Liz's face. She had just had the news that she had killed Zan confirmed.

"This hasn't helped, Mr White," she sobbed.

"Keep reading, Elizabeth," he urged.

"August 21st 1951. I have done it. I have forgiven Taysha for killing Zan. Brad returned today, and told me that Taysha would have been a Queen on Antar, had she stayed behind. Instead, she risked certain death to follow her beloved Zan. Despite her hand in his death, she must have truly loved him. Brad said that Zan would have forgiven Taysha, and that I should as well. So I visited her grave, and laid white roses over her. I finally forgave her."

"White roses," she sniffed.

"Pardon me?" he asked.

"She laid white roses on her grave. They've always been my favorite. Would he have forgiven her, do you think?" she asked. "Would Zan have forgiven Taysha?"

"Of course he would have," he smiled. "He loved her."

She looked back down at the journal, and she suddenly looked up quickly, staring hard at Bradley White.

"There's a Brad in my Grandmother's journal, and her maiden name was White. Are you this Brad in here?"

He slowly nodded his head.

"And you knew Zan, personally?" Again, he nodded his head.

"Tell me what he was really like," she demanded.

Brad handed her another journal, open at the page marked "February 5th, 1943."

"Start from here, Elizabeth. And while you read it, remember what kind of a person your grandmother was. Remember also that you are just like her. You have good instincts."

"February 5th, 1943. Until today, the trip to the Chaco Canyons had been like any other. After spending the morning drawing the petroglyphs in my journal, I felt this irresistible 'call' to visit the ravines some distance to the North. Imagine my surprise when I came upon three wounded men. I say men loosely, because although male, they were clearly not human. I seemed drawn to one in particular, a younger one. Although quite different from us, he was strangely handsome. They were all injured, and is serious need of care. Right from the beginning, the young one, who seemed to be in charge, held me in his spell. He had this aura about him. I fell in love with him."

A sudden shock of jealousy surged through Liz. Grandma Claudia had been in Love with Zan. Just how did he feel about her? Liz continued to read.


K'Var was looking out of the large window at the people who periodically walked along the street at the end of the front yard. He moved his eyes to the red brown colors of the desert beyond the houses, and then turned to the figure of the young boy behind him, who had just entered the room.

"You sent for me, sir?"

"Do any of your men have the ability to mind warp, Nikolas?" he asked.

"I'm afraid not, K'Var," Nikolas responded. "Why? Have you come up with a plan?"

"When I next talk with Taysha, it would be useful if I had access to that particular skill."

"Ah, you will warp her into accepting your seduction?"

"All I need is for Zan to see Taysha giving herself freely to me. Once that happens, I will win. But it has to be real. If I can play with her mind enough, then she will be mine. How sweet that will be. The pleasurable way to defeat Zan. Not only will I get to sample the delights of that young girl, it will destroy Zan to know his enemy has had her."

K'Var slumped into a chair, and sighed.

"But it's not to be. She will not surrender herself willingly, and without the power of the mind warp..."

"You could always just take her. That would be fun, plus it would really piss him off."

"Yeah, he'd be angry, but not defeated."

"In that case, K'Var, I have a gift for you. Perhaps you will find a suitable way of repaying me?"

Nikolas looked to the door, and snapped his fingers. Two of his men entered dragging a bedraggled Tess into the room. K'Var raised his eyebrows.

"It's the decoy, Ava," Nikolas informed him. "My men found her last night, she was seen hanging around the cafe."

"Well, well, well," smirked K'Var. "Ava and her mind warp. How useful that has been to me in the past. And now we will have history repeat itself. I have a job for Ava. Do it well, and I might let you live."

"Spin on it, K'Var!" she spat.

K'Var gave a short laugh.

"You know where to put her, Nikolas. She might be persuaded yet."


Max could not help the feeling of dread that had descended upon him earlier that day. He just somehow knew that Liz was in trouble. He could never really explain how it was that he could almost sense her emotions, perhaps it was the result of visiting her dream, but he had sensed a sudden wave of sadness. That had eased, only to be followed by a short stab of jealousy. What was going on? The sadness and the jealousy had faded now, though he could still sense them. This only added to the urgency with which he conducted his tasks. As he turned off of the street he had just checked, he pulled over to the side, and crossed that last street out. He had already checked two of his designated sections, and had no luck. Neither of the other teams had checked in with any news yet, so clearly they were having as little luck as he was. The frustration made him want to scream.

"Hold on Liz!" he urged. "I'll find you, I swear."

He pulled out again, and started to cruise up this latest street, hoping to find the house that Liz had shown him, when they had shared her dream. Max could hardly wait for nightfall, so that he could visit her again. Not only could she explain her earlier mood swings, perhaps she had remembered something else.


Liz placed the last journal on the pile and sat back against the wall, her eyes closed in concentration. Her grandmother had been in love with Zan up until the day she died in hospital, when Zan, or rather, Max had tried to heal her. Had they somehow connected that time? Liz forced down another pang of jealousy. How strange it must have been for her grandmother to have worked out that the fairy tale was actually a prophecy of Max and Liz's love for each other. Although there was a part of her that rejected the whole notion of her somehow saving the universe, she could not help but admit how it all seemed to make sense now. Had Grandma Claudia come to see her that time feeling a sense of jealousy of her own? No, Grandma Claudia was much too wonderful a person to have ever felt like that, and she felt guilty for even thinking such a thing.

"That's what she told me to do." She said at last, to Mr White still sitting quietly at her side.

"What's that, Elizabeth?" he asked.

"Follow your heart," she said. "Zan told my grandmother to do that, and she told me to do it too."

"And why not? It sounds like good advice to me."

"You're Borad, aren't you? Zan's guard."
Bradley White nodded.

"Did you hate him? You know, for leaving you here?" Liz asked curiously. It seemed such a strange thing to do. She somehow couldn't imagine Max leaving any behind like this. It just wasn't him.

"It was not really his fault." Bradley told her. "He was summoned back to the ship urgently, and I could not be moved. He was ordered to kill me, so you can see that I prefer the choice he made."

Liz nodded carefully.

"So, Elizabeth Parker. What do your instincts tell you about Zan, I mean Max."

"I love him," she said simply, after only a slight hesitation.

"Good girl," he smiled.

"But I still killed him," she cried.


It was almost dark now, and they had not found the house. Max had only one section left to check, and then they would have to regroup, and come up with a different plan. He had this overriding fear that Liz had not seen the house correctly, that her imagination had added bits to it, or taken them away, for he had seen many houses that were similar, but yet quite different. The ringing of his cell phone shocked him, he almost turned into a parked car.

"Have you found it?" he demanded urgently.

"Max?" Maria squeaked. "Calm down, Max. Yeah, we found it."

"Thank God, Maria. Where is it? Where are you?"

"It's on Sequoia Drive, over by the warehouses."

"Yeah, I know it Maria. I'll be there in a few minutes." Max spoke quickly. "Well done Maria!"

"Hey! She's my friend too, Max!" Maria told him.

Max was already on his way while he called Tess's phone. He passed the message on, and hurried to meet up with everyone.

Max pulled up behind Maria and Michael's car, and quickly moved to the passenger door window. Maria was alone in the car. She pointed to the large house set back from the road. Even though Max knew that both Maria and Michael would have checked it a dozen times, Max still held up his picture, and checked the likeness. It was almost spot on.

"Where's Michael?" he asked, feeling relief that they had found it.

"Um, he's ah..." Maria did not know what to say.

Max had been clear on what he wanted them to do when they found the house.

"He's gone for a closer look, hasn't he." Max asked.

He didn't really need an answer.

"Yes," Maria said in a pleading tone. "Don't gat mad at him, he's worried too."

"I know, Maria," Max smiled. "And don't worry, we'll get her out of there."

"Max?" Maria asked tentatively. "While we are on our own, and I don't need you to like, explode over this, cuz I know what you think of Liz, and all, but have you noticed anything strange? Between Michael and Liz? Cuz just lately, he's been acting all weird about her, and if I didn't know better, I would be worried."

"You think that there's something between Michael and Liz? Romantically?" Max teased with a smile.

"Well, clearly you have not seen it, because I cannot believe you would be this calm about it."

"Michael is finding out some things about Liz, that makes him look at her in a new light, Maria. There's nothing going on, trust me."

"Okay, Max." she said quietly. If he was okay about it, it must be nothing.

Kyle and Tess pulled up behind them, just as Michael returned.

Right, thought Michael, here we go. Max is going to blow a top ranting about how I should have waited for him to arrive first.

"Did you see anything?" Max asked.

Excuse me? Michael stood there with his mouth open. Maria too looked a little shocked.

"Um, yeah, well, no," he stammered. "I saw a few of them come and go, always in pairs, but I didn't see Iz, Liz or Alex."

"So we don't know how many are in there, or even if they have our friends in there."

"So what do we do, Max?" Tess asked.

"We wait," he sighed in frustration. "It's all we can do."

"Max, we can't just sit here..."

"Michael, we don't know who's in there, or how many there are. We don't know where they are being kept. Lets just keep an eye on the place, for tonight, and we'll discuss a plan tomorrow. I'll see if Liz knows anything about the numbers, or what room they are kept in, when I visit her tonight."

"Max, tell her..." Maria started.

"I will, Maria," he smiled, placing a hand on her shoulder.


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The Importance of Being Elizabeth Book 5

Post by WR » Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:13 pm

Part 20

Liz and Bradley White were left on their own for the rest of that day, only seeing someone when food and drink was brought to them. Each time someone came, they would ask about Isabel. There had been no sign of Isabel since just after she had told Liz about her memories of Max, or rather, Zan, earlier that morning. In truth, Liz was silently pleased that Isabel was not around to talk about their past. Although she had read her grandmother's journals, and she knew the full story, this did not help her any.

The trick she had pulled on Max in order to save the world had paled into the insignificance when compared to how she had betrayed him in his past life. She just could not understand why she would feel such a deep love for Max, or why he would be so attracted to her, if in their previous lives, they had been enemies. Her grandmother's journals had made it clear that Taysha was still in love with Zan, and had even followed him to Earth, though she knew what fate must have awaited her. What could have happened that would have driven Taysha to kill the man she had loved so much? Liz had no idea. Had Zan really tried to rape her? No, she just knew that he was not that kind of man. She just knew that the qualities that had attracted her to Max in the first place, were the same qualities that had attracted Taysha.

When the guards arrived to collect the plates after their evening meal, a large woman remained in the room with them.

"Someone wants to see you," she commanded sternly. "You will prepare yourself."

She handed Liz a bag, which she saw contained a change of clothing, and some make-up.

"I will not!" Liz hissed in defiance. "K'Var can talk to me as I am, I won't make an effort for him."

"You will do as you are told, young lady," the Skin said with an icy conviction, "or I will do it for you."

Liz's eyes narrowed as she glared at the woman. Not only was she three time's Liz's size, she was a Skin, which meant that she had the use of alien powers. She knew that Brad would help her, if she asked for it, but she also suspected that he did not want to alert the Skins to his 'alien' status until he had to. Liz grabbed the bag, and stormed into the en-suite bathroom. Standing beneath the shower, she was actually glad of the chance to clean herself. It was not something she would have chosen to do under the circumstances, but it helped to kill the time that was weighing very heavily on her. Where was Max?

The dress was a size too large, which suited Liz, but was an evening dress, similar to the dress she wore on her blind date. This of course, did not suit her, neither did the fact that it was short. Very short. Unless of course, this evening ended the same way that one had, with Max whisking her away from her captor. Then, it was just a simple date with another guy chosen by the radio station. This time, her captor was with a man who wanted Max dead.

Liz deliberately ignored the make-up. She would not make any effort for him, although she did carefully comb her hair out. She stepped back into the room, not feeling particularly good about this. The woman smirked, and passed a hand across the dress, pulling it tighter to Liz's body. She then passed her hand across Liz's head, which left her hair wavy and loose and her face carefully made-up. Liz felt horrified when she saw the make-up in the mirror. It was way too much, too over the top. It made her look like a... Liz shuddered at the thought. Was this how K'Var liked his women to look? Max would be horrified if he ever saw her.

The Skin, holding Liz's elbow, escorted her to the bedroom door, and stood still in front of it. The door was unlocked by someone outside, and opened for the two of them to leave.

"Elizabeth, are you okay about this?" Bradley asked.

Liz looked at him, and saw in his eyes that he was offering to help her out of the situation, if she wanted him to. She was tempted to beg for him to save her, but there were others to consider here, Alex and Isabel.

"I'll be okay," she smiled sadly. "Tell Max... tell him...."

"He knows, Elizabeth," Brad smiled. "You have it within you, you know. Be strong."

Liz nodded, and the woman pulled her out of the room.

"Come on," she spat. "You're only wasting time."

"It's my time to waste!" Liz retorted.

The woman merely laughed.

She led Liz down the stairs to the ground floor, and was led through to the kitchen, instead of entering the large living room, where K'Var had spoken to her earlier that morning. A group of Skins sat at a large table, eating what appeared to be their dinner. They all leered at her as she was led through to another doorway. This was opened to reveal a staircase down to the basement. At the bottom of the stairs there were four doors. There was a guard outside each door. Liz felt disgusted by the looks these four men gave her. One of them held open a door, and Liz was pushed through it into the room beyond. The room was in darkness, so she fumbled around the wall, hoping to find a light switch. At last, her hands found one. Liz gasped when the light came on. Lying on a bed against the wall, was a young man whom she knew very well.

"Max!" she cried, rushing to his side.

He had been captured. What about Michael? Had he been captured too? Killed? Tess? Maria? Kyle? What had happened to her friends? Had she known this earlier, she would have encouraged Brad to help them all escape. With Max a prisoner of the Skins, there seemed little hope, now.

He seemed in good shape, there were no apparent injuries. She tenderly stroked her hand down his face.

"Max!" she gently called. "Max, it's me, Liz."

Liz?" he mumbled. "Liz? Oh thank God! I thought that they wouldn't let me see you before they... before they..."

He couldn't say it. He wrapped his arms around her, and pulled him to her.

"Max, what happened?" she asked. "What about the others?"

"It's all over, Liz," he sighed. "We were at the Crashdown, talking about how to rescue you, when they attacked us. It was horrible Liz. We tried to protect Maria and Kyle, but we couldn't. They killed Tess and Kyle before we could even react. Michael died soon after, and Maria died at his side. One of them knocked me out. They want to execute me so all Antar sees Liz. They want to punish me for the crimes I committed."

"Max?" she asked, pulling away from his embrace. "What do you mean, crimes?"

"Liz, I wasn't a very good King. I was weak, and selfish. And now I must pay for it. They are executing me in the morning, Liz. I will never see your smile again. I will never know what it is like to wake up with you in my arms, Liz."

"Max, you can't just give up. We have to find a way out of here."

"I've tried, Liz," Max sighed. "They know how to disable my powers. They were the only thing that kept me going when the FBI caught me. And now that they're gone, I just can't go on. They are too strong. Liz? Will you stay with me tonight? Will you make all of my dreams come true on this last night of my life?"

Liz gently moved Max's hands, and gave a coy, seductive smile. She slowly stood, her fingers teasing the straps of her dress.

"Oh, I will make all of your dreams come true, Max." she smiled.

"But not yours, K'Var!" she spat, moving backwards, away from the person who looked like Max.

"Ah, Taysha," smirked Max. "How clever you are to see through my little charade."

Once he had spoken, his 'Max' appearance vanished, leaving Alex's body climbing from the bed. The room seemed suddenly much brighter. She looked around at the new light source, and saw two floodlights standing either side of a video camera.

"It is good of you to join me." K'Var said, attracting Liz's attention.

"It's not exactly my choice, K'Var." she said quietly. "What's all this in aide of?"

"You will come to love me again Taysha. It is inevitable. The prophecy says that we will be joined, and together shall rule Antar and the five planets."

"I will never love you. You are not Max! You might be able to look like him, but you will never be him. He is more than you could ever amount to!"

"And yet you killed him. Can you deny that?"

Liz dropped her face to the floor.

"No." she said softly.

"So you see, my beloved, in your last life, you slew my enemy. You did this for me, for us!" K'Var took a step towards her, but Liz took a step back.

"If Taysha was in love with you, why did she flee here to Earth, knowing that she would die horribly?" Liz demanded. "Why didn't she stay at your side?"

"Because her love for me was so great, she wanted to make sure Zan's plan failed, of course. Why else would she do that? Surely you don't believe she followed Zan because she loved him?"

"Yes, I do," she whispered. "And he loves me, no matter what I did."

"Will he still love you when he sees you dressed like an Earthling streetwalker, coming of her own free will to my bed?"

"He'll know it was fake," she stated, but she was less than convinced herself. "Anyway, nothing happened."

"Ah, but isn't imagination worse than the real thing? He will see you approaching me on my bed, you stroking my face, and the two of us embracing. That is all he needs to see. His mind will add the rest. He will never truly know."

Liz remembered Kyle's words, and she fervently hoped that he was right.

"He's Max. He'll always know!"

"No. He will believe me when I tell him the truth."

"No matter," K'Var smiled. "You and I will join this evening, even if I have to force you. Though the other way would have been sweeter, I will still win."

Liz grew frightened, and looked for a way out.

"You stay away from me!" she said, more for her own benefit.

"Even then, I will make sure that Zan believes you came willingly."

"He'll never believe that," she spat. "He knows me better than you do, obviously."

As he backed her into one corner, Liz quickly darted to the other.

"Shall I call the guards to come and hold you down?" he sneered.

Liz was on the verge of panic now.

"Max!" she cried. "Help me Max!"

As K'Var reached to grab her, Liz threw her hand upward. She had seen Max do this once or twice, and out of desperation tried to summon the green shield. To her surprise, the shield suddenly appeared between herself and K'Var, a green wall of shimmering energy. His arm was trapped in that energy and he gave off a loud scream. Alex's body collapsed to the floor. Crying hysterically, Liz collapsed too, her shield vanishing.

"Liz?" Alex groaned through obvious pain. "Liz? What's happening? I want to go home."


Liz cautiously approached Alex, fearful that K'Var was playing some knew trick.

"Alex, is that really you?" she asked, not really knowing how she would know if it was.

"Yeah, Liz, it's me. He's gone for the moment. Whatever you did, it hurt him. I don't think he will come back for a while."

"I'm sorry, Alex," she whispered, coming to his side. "I hope I didn't hurt you too."

"No, my arms hurts, but it's nothing compared to the pain he causes when he enters, or leaves me. Liz, I don't want him to come back. How can I stop him?"

"I don't know, Alex, but if he does come back, I know how to get rid of him. Now, are you able to stand? Can you walk?"

"Liz, he was going to rape you, wasn't he?" Alex asked with anguish on his voice. "He was going to use me to hurt you, to hurt Max."

"No, Alex? It wouldn't have been you. I mean, It would have looked like you did it, but it wouldn't have been you!"

Liz suddenly froze. That was it! Everyone might have thought that Taysha had killed Zan, but maybe she hadn't. Maybe someone had controlled her, or maybe someone just made it look like it was her. Taysha could never have knowingly killed Zan.

"Are you okay, Liz? Someone's not trying to..."

"No, Alex. I was thinking about something. C'mon, lets get you back to our room. You look like you could do with some rest."

"Yeah, and Liz?"

"Yes, Alex?"

"Could you wash your face when we get back. I really don't think that make-up suits you. Max will flip if he ever sees that."

"It's a deal, Alex," she laughed "Can you wait here a sec?"

"Yeah, sure. What are you gonna do?"

"I'm going to destroy one of K'Var's weapons," Liz said, crossing to the camera.
She pressed the eject button, and pulled the small tape cartridge from it's slot. Pulling back the protective cover, she started to pull the tape from it's housing. She swivelled one of the floodlights upwards, towards the ceiling, and placed the tape on top of the hot light bulb, where it started to melt.

"Should be next to useless by the time he gets back," she laughed.

"Liz?" Alex asked. "Why didn't you just record over the top."

"Oh, yeah," she smiled, looping Alex's arm over her shoulder.

"And that dress has got to go, Liz." Alex said. "Oh god, no wait, let me rephrase that."


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The Importance of Being Elizabeth Book 5

Post by WR » Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:22 pm

Part 21

Nightfall had seemed to take such a long time coming. When it did, it seemed to take forever until Max felt that Liz was asleep. Her emotions had been playing up again, ranging from disgust, through embarrassment, followed by ... affection? Anger and then the overriding sense of fear quickly followed this. He had even felt that she had called out to him. Slowly the fear was replaced with concern, laced with determination. Max knew that he had to get Liz... and the others... out of there, as quickly as possible. At least they knew where she was being kept now. All he had to do was to come up with a plan. He would discuss this with Liz tonight. She was much better at making plans than he was. They made a good team, he decided with a smile, in more ways than one. With a smile on his lips, he laced his hands together behind his head, looked up at the ceiling, and closed his eyes thinking of Liz. Wonderful Liz.

* * *

It was dark, and it felt as though there were some protective force around Liz's dream. Someone was trying to stop him from seeing her. Had K'Var discovered that they were able to communicate in this fashion? Tentatively, he pressed against the shield. It was strong, but there was a definite weakness, almost as if the person who had placed it there were inexperienced. He focused his mind on a single point, and slowly forced his way through the shield. At last, he was inside Liz's dream. Her dream was as stark as the darkness outside of the shield.

"Liz?" he called out. Liz? Where are you?"

"Oh, Max!" Liz wailed sadly from the darkness. "Why did you have to come?"

"You know why Liz," he replied tenderly. "Apart from the fact that I love you, you are currently held captive by my enemy. I would always come to you. Did you know they have put a shield around your dream? It took me a while to get through."

"That was me, Max," Liz said quietly. "I don't want you here right now."

Max suddenly remembered the affection she had felt earlier. Did that mean something? Something that he would not want to deal with?

"Liz?" he asked slowly. "I... have I done something wrong?"

"No, Max," she sighed. "I have."

"What? What could you have done Liz?" Max asked gently, a cold stab of fear cutting through him.

"Max, I really think that maybe you should, you know... find someone else."

The anguish in her voice was obvious. It had hurt her so much to even say that.

"What?" he cried out. "No, Liz. Never. I refuse to let you turn away from me again. Not now that we know the truth."

It was hard holding a conversation with someone you could not see.

"Do you, Max?" she demanded. "Do you know the truth?"

"You are Taysha, Liz. We are supposed to be together. I know it. You know it. The universe knows it. And I will do everything in my power to save you."

"Max," Liz began hesitantly. "You don't know everything. You don't know that it was Taysha that murdered Zan back on Antar. Max, I killed you."

"Who told you that, Liz?" he asked quietly, in a manner that indicated to Liz that he had known all along.

"Your sister," she said quietly.

"Isabel?" he asked worriedly.

"Yeah, and she told me lots of other stuff, too. She said you weren't a very nice person back on Antar. And K'Var told me that you tried to rape me."

"Do you believe any of this Liz?" he asked fearfully.

"Of course not, Max! I think they have somehow played with Isabel's mind. I mean, they've had a good try to mess with mine. But Max? I think that I did kill you. Somehow, I just know it's true. K'Var says I will do it again."

"Liz, I know you might believe that it's true, because everyone saw what they thought was you killing me. But Liz, it wasn't. Someone else killed me. Michael saw it all happen."

"Michael?" She sounded startled.

Yeah, he said that he saw you standing behind me, that he saw you use your power. I flew backwards, towards you, Liz. It couldn't have been you. I would have been pushed away from you if it had have been your energy that killed me."

Liz looked at him hopefully, as her mind processed the information.

"Like Agent Pierce!" she exclaimed.

"Exactly. Whatever it was you were doing, Liz, you were did not kill me."

Liz came flying from the darkness and threw herself into Max's arms. The kiss they shared was fiercely passionate, full of relief, and of love.

"Liz," Max gasped, breaking from Liz's intense embrace. "We can play later Liz. You need to tell me how many people there are in there with you, and the layout of the house. Then we need to come up with a plan."

"Okay Max," she agreed.

"Oh, and Liz? You can also tell me what they are doing to mess with your mind."

"Um..." Liz began. "Okay Max, numbers-wise, there's Nikolas, and the woman, I don't know her name. There were four guards in the basement, and another six in the kitchen. I don't know if there were any more any where else in the house."

"That's twelve, and maybe more," sighed Max. "And K'Var, of course."

"K'Var's not a problem any more, Max. At least not for a while."

"Oh? What happened."

"Max, I can create the shield."

"The one I create?" Max asked, his voice filled with awe.

"Yeah, and I had to use it earlier. K'Var was trying to make Alex do something I didn't want him to."

"Liz?" Max's voice was strained. What had been going on?

"No, it's okay Max." she told him forcefully, trying to drive the dark thoughts from his mind. "I created the shield, and it was touching Alex's arm. I think it did something, because K'Var's not possessing Alex anymore. Bradley thinks that the energy I used somehow cut the possession. He says that it takes a lot of energy to posses someone, even more to make the initial connection. So he thinks Alex will be safe at least until tomorrow morning sometime."

"Any ideas, Liz?" he asked.

"Max, I think you should..."

But she was gone. Something had happened to Liz's dream, and Max was no longer with her. A cold wave of fear swept his body.

~ ~ ~

"Liz!" called Isabel stepping into Liz's dream, and breaking her connection with Max. "Why is it so hard to get into your dream?"

"What do you want Isabel?" she asked coldly.

She was angry with Max's sister, not only for her lies that morning, but for severing her dream with Max.

"Liz, you have to warn Max!"

"Go away Isabel." Liz told her. "I don't need to here you telling me more lies about Max just know. I still haven't forgiven you for upsetting me."

"What are you talking about Liz?" Isabel asked. "I haven't seen you since early this morning."

"And you said enough then. But I know the truth now."

"I never said anything to you Liz."

"You told me these horrible things, about Zan. Then you said that we competed with each other, that we both betrayed Max. Iz, you told me I killed him."

"Oh god, Liz!" Isabel shouted. "It's worse than I thought. Is there anyway you can get to Max, you know, like you did in New York?"

"Why?" she asked, suspiciously. "Why don't you just dream walk him?"

"I can't get out of the house, Liz. I think they have lined the house with something."

Liz did not believe that. Max got in all right.

"What makes you sure I could get out then?"

"Because I don't think they understand your connection to each other. I mean, even Michael and I don't understand it, so what chance have they got? Liz, you have to warn him. They're doing something to Tess. They can control her. They're going to make her do something to him."

"Oh, so it's Tess's turn to betray him, Isabel?" Liz's voice dripped with sarcasm, as she disconnected her dream from Isabel.

* * *

"It was good of them to let us have the last watch," Kyle groaned as he collapsed onto the sofa. "Man I am so whacked. It's good that we found them, though."

"Hmm?" Tess queried, somewhat distantly. "What? Oh, yeah. It's great, Kyle. It's..."

"Are you all right, Tess?" Kyle asked from the sofa. "You kind of seem spaced out there."

"Sorry Kyle, what did you say?"

"Do you want to talk about whatever it is that's bothering you, Tess?"

Tess sighed deeply, and sat on the arm of the sofa.

"I'm just so confused," she moaned. "You know, no matter how obvious it is that Liz and Max belong together, I still can't it out of my head. I really feel like I belong to him."

"Oh," Kyle said, quietly.

"And it's not really fair on you, Kyle," she sighed.

"Yeah, it hurts, Tess," Kyle said sympathetically. "But you know, I understand about this whole programming thing. Heck, I'm flattered that you even like me."

"I think," Tess said yawning, "that its more than just 'like'."

* * *

"He's dying Tess!" called the voice in her dream.

"What?" Tess asked. "Who's dying? Who are you? Show yourself."

"Max. Zan. He's dying Tess. But you can save him. You have the power to save Zan's life."

"No, no." Tess sighed. "He belongs to Liz now. She will know how to save him."

"No, she's the problem. She's killing him. Her presence alone is poisoning him. The poison is inside his system now. He belongs to you, you belong to him, Tess. It is your destiny."

"Then how can I save him?" she asked, both fear and hope rising in her.

"You need to bring him to me, Tess. I can purify him."

"Who are you? Where are you?"

"You know, Tess. You must bring Max."

"But he won't want to come."

"Then you must subdue him, Tess. But you must bring him. For the good of us all. You must find a way!"

"I can't carry him. He's too heavy."

"Kyle will help you."

"I'm not so sure about that. I mean, they don't get along too well. I mean, they get on better now, but they're not quite friends."

"Make him help. You will find a way, Tess, you can do it. Max is dying Tess. He needs you! WE need you!"

* * *

"Oh my god! Oh my god!" Tess cried out screaming as she woke up from her dream.
Kyle was at her side instantly.

"Tess? What's the matter? Was it another dream?"

"Kyle," she said firmly. "We need Max. We have to get Max."


"Elizabeth," Mr. White's voice called gently, waking Liz from her sleep.

After the events of the previous night, there was nothing Liz wanted more than to sleep. Well except, perhaps, to have Max's arms safely wrapped around her. After she had somehow banished K'Var from Alex's body, and she had safely destroyed the tape they had planned to use against Max, Liz had assisted Alex back to their room. The guards had immediately seen that K'Var no longer possessed the young man's body, and had escorted the pair back to the room. The leering looks from earlier were replaced with a sense of worry. Clearly, K'Var's early departure had upset them. Safely within the confines of their room, and after assuring Bradley that she was all right, she had retired to the bathroom. There she removed the make-up, fixed her hair, and altered the appearance of her dress to a more modest length and fit. Then of course, came her dreams. And now, all too early, Bradley was waking her up.

"Okay, okay," she groaned, rising slowly from the bed that the two men had allowed her to use. "I'm up."

"We've been summoned, Elizabeth." Bradley said, quietly.

The manner in which he spoke indicated that he was afraid that something bad had happened. She looked to Alex to see that he was as confused as she was.

Their guards escorted them down the stairs and into the large living room. Nikolas with some of his men were standing in front of the large window that overlooked the front yard and the room. When they were escorted inside the room, Nikolas turned to them.

"Ah, the rest of our guests have arrived," he smiled, and then clicked his fingers towards the back of the room. Isabel dejectedly rose from a large sofa, and crossed towards the new group. She looked up at Liz, a look of total devastation in her face.

"It won't be long now," Nikolas smiled. "I wanted you all to see this. Come, over here, you need to be closer."

The guards pushed Liz, Isabel, Alex and Bradley closer to the window. The street was deserted.

"What are we looking at? The view?" Alex asked sarcastically. "How enchanting!"

As he spoke, Kyle's mustang pulled up.

"Oh yes," grinned Nikolas. "Possibly the most enchanting view I have seen on this Planet."

Tess climbed from the car, and moved around to Kyle's door. She stood and waited for Kyle to climb out. He flipped his seat forward, and reached into the car, pulling out a limp bundle, it was obviously an unconscious person. There was a strange smile on Tess's face, one of determination and... triumph. The glazed far away look on Kyle's face made him look as though he were in a... mind warp. The limp figure's head bobbed up and down, causing the four of them to gasp. The figure was Max, and from a deep gash in his forehead, a trail of dried blood stained the side of his face.

"Oh no!" wailed Liz.


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The Importance of Being Elizabeth Book 5

Post by WR » Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:10 pm

Part 22

Their hopes of rescue quickly faded as they watched Tess and Kyle drag an unconscious Max up the gravel path towards the door. His feet left two long grooves in the gravel.

"You didn't warn him!" Isabel accused Liz, almost in tears.

"Didn't?" Nikolas sneered at the distraught Liz. "Or wouldn't?"

Nikolas then turned to Alex.

"You've picked the wrong aliens to have as friends," he laughed.

"What's that supposed to mean?" Alex demanded.

"Well these 'friends' of yours have both done everything that they could to help us destroy both Zan as he was then, and Max as he is now."

"Is this true?" Alex asked both girls. "No, no. I don't believe it. Isabel, he's your brother. Liz, the man is totally in love with you. Tell me E.T here is lying. Say it ain't so."

"Alex, I..." began Liz dejectedly.

"It might be true, Alex," Isabel interrupted. "At least that is what they have told me. But I don't know the truth."

"What we have told you is the truth, Vilondra," Nikolas smiled. "Just as Liz here was going to marry K'Var right after he was going to execute Zan, so it was Isabel who let the guards in who tried to arrest him. Go on Mr. Whitman. Ask which one it was that actually killed Zan."

Alex looked to both girls, and then out of the window where Tess and Kyle stood at the door with the unconscious Max. If the situation weren't so serious, Alex would have laughed at the dumb expression on Kyle's face.

"Liz?" he asked gently. "I'm guessing that you know what he is talking about? I mean, how is it possible that you could you have been involved with Zan's death? You're human!"

"Yes, Alex," she sighed. "But he's wrong!"

Liz crossed to the sofa, and sat down dejectedly.

"Whoever killed Zan made it look like it like the person I once was had done it."

"Oh, you did it all right," Nikolas sneered. "Everyone saw you."

"Well how would you know?" Liz demanded angrily, as the doorbell rang. "You were only entering the cathedral when I ran out!"

There was a moment of silence, as Liz realized just what she had remembered.

"Liz? What's going on?" Alex asked quietly.

"Well, let's welcome our guests, shall we?" Nikolas laughed.

Bradley White, who had been standing quietly in the corner, started to cross the room towards Liz.

"No, grandpa," Nikolas said, stepping in front of the older man. "K'Var will be back shortly. I think he would like to talk to Liz on her own. They have some unfinished business."

Alex's face crumpled in pain at the thought, and he looked at Liz silently begging her for forgiveness. Four of Nikolas' guards entered the room, two of them leading Tess, Kyle and Max, with another two remaining at the door. A couple more guards emerged from the kitchen to laugh at the once mighty Zan. Liz immediately rose to go to him.

"Sit down Elizabeth!" barked Nikolas. "And if you pull that shield stunt when K'Var gets here, I have orders to surgically remove one of Max's appendages. And you will get to choose which one."

He then turned to the new comers.

"Well done Ava, or should I say Tess. You have lived up to K'Var's expectations and more. Put him over there, where he won't disturb anyone."

Isabel moved towards them, and when Nikolas did not stop her, Alex went to join her.

"Give him to me," she said to Tess in a very icy voice, but Kyle twisted slightly, to prevent Isabel's access.

There was a sudden commotion behind them when a cursing female was brought into the room. Isabel and Alex turned to see what was going on, and were greeted with the sight of the other Isabel, Lonnie, dragging a cursing Ava into the room. Ava did not look too happy, while Lonnie had a triumphant grin on her face.

"Hail, hail, the gang's all here," Nikolas smirked. "Well, except for that moron, the second in command. What was his name again? Oh yes, Michael."

"What happened to Rath?" Isabel asked, to be rewarded by more smirks from Nikolas and Lonnie.

"It seems that Rath had an accident while swimming in the sewers," Nikolas laughed.

"So it was you who told me all those lies." Liz stated defiantly at Lonnie.

"Yo! Who said they were all lies?" she laughed. "Everyone Zan ever trusted betrayed him."

Liz dropped her head.

"Don't believe that, Cornball," Ava said, as her eyes locked with Liz's. "Most of the people who betrayed him thought they were helping him. K'Var tricked them. Even you."

"Lonnie," Nikolas said with exasperation. "This isn't a cheap Bond movie where I give away the plot with a stupid speech. Can't you keep her quiet?"

"So what happens now, Nikolas?" Isabel asked, while Lonnie clamped her hand over Ava's mouth. "You have me, Max and Tess. Can you let Liz Alex and Kyle go?"

"Vilondra, I am surprised at you," Nikolas scoffed. "Haven't you been paying attention? K'Var needs Alex because he happens to be the body he posses. And you should know how much he wants Liz. So clearly, both of them get to stay. The dumb ox here. Well, he may come in useful for other purposes, so for now, he stays too."

"So K'Var doesn't want me? I'm free to go?" Isabel asked.

"Don't you realize that K'Var wants you too?"

"But he's got Lonnie. He doesn't need me."

"No, Lonnie is for me. You see, she... you... had an eye for me, too. So this way, we both get what we want."

"Yo, wait a minute!" Lonnie snapped. "The deal was I went with K'Var, an' she went wit' you. An' you never said nuttin about sharin' with no cornball. You said she was just bait."

"Lonnie, just shut up!" Nikolas barked. "I really don't need all these petty distractions!"

There was a shout from the front door, and a muffled thud.

"Oh, now what?" sighed Nikolas.

One of the guards flew into the room with a scream and crumpled against the wall, as another guard exploded in a shower of dust.
Michael and Jim Valenti ran into the room, each holding a couple of baseball bats. Jim threw one towards Kyle as he instantly snapped awake, and caught the bat in mid flight. He brought it down onto the back of the man who was crumpled against the wall, resulting in an explosion of flaky dust. Max, suddenly moving towards Liz, grabbed the bat that Michael had tossed in front of him. Another explosion followed as Bradley White suddenly hit the base of a Skin's back, who was standing still, immobilized by the sudden turn of events.

"Oh how exciting!" smiled Nikolas as he recovered from the surprise.

He turned towards the kitchen to call for help, but a shower of dust from that direction gave evidence that there were other enemies forcing their way through the back door. Things had suddenly taken a turn for the worse.


Earlier that morning:

"I hope you know what you are doing, Tess, because if Max is in one of Liz's dreams, he's gonna be mightily pissed." Kyle whispered as they approached Max's window.

"This is more important than one of Liz's dreams, Kyle. It's the chance to get her, and the other's out."

"Yeah, I guess that would protect us from his wrath," Kyle laughed.

They found Max sitting up on his bed.

"What's the matter, Tess, Kyle?" he asked when they surprised him by charging through his window. "Couldn't sleep either?"

"Max, I've had one of those dreams again. You know, the ones that the Skins send me?"

"Don't worry, Tess," he smiled. "It will all be over as soon as we can figure how to get our friends out."

"No, Max. This is more than just a dream, it was almost a command. Honestly, if it hadn't been for Kyle here demanding to know what the matter was, I might have tried to carry out the command."

"What was it, Tess?" he asked, his voice filled with concern. "What did they try and make you do?"

"They wanted me to take you to them."

Max looked at her silently for a moment.

"I did fight it, Max, but I just needed... I just..." There were tears in Tess's eyes, thinking that he was somehow angry with her. "Sorry."

"No, Tess. You did great. No, I was just thinking. If they want you to take me to them, then why don't we oblige them?"

"Max, I don't think..."

"Let's get the others and meet at Michael's place. I think I have a plan."

Max, Tess and Kyle were waiting outside of Michael's apartment when Michael and Maria pulled up in their hired car.

"This had better be good, Maxwell!" he barked. "No one is watching the house. They could move them somewhere, and we might never find them again."

"They're not going anywhere, Michael." Max smiled. "They're expecting someone important."

"Oh? And just who are they expecting?"

"Their king."

Michael bore a startled expression, and looked cautiously at Max.

"Max?" Maria asked quietly. "When you say 'their king', do you mean...?"

"Yes, Maria. They're expecting me."

"So they know we're coming?" Michael asked. "You're not suggesting..."

"No," Max smiled. "No one betrayed us. In a way, they betrayed themselves."

"What do you mean?"

"Let's get inside," Max suggested. "We need to discuss a plan."

Michael opened the door, and stood back to let them all in. A familiar voice called from the darkness.

"Are you planning to challenge them to a baseball game, Max?" Jim Valenti called out.

"What are you doing here, Dad?" Kyle asked, as his father approached carrying four of his handmade baseball bats.

"I called him, Kyle." Max said slowly. "We need everyone we can get."

"Which is why you will need me," another voice announced from the darkness.

Everyone except Max looked startled. Instinctively, Michael raised his hand, but Max calmly stepped up and placed his hand on Michael's forearm.

"It's okay, Michael," he said gently. "He's a friend."

"You been holding out on me again, Max?" Michael demanded angrily.

"When everyone is safe, Michael," Max smiled, "you can chew me out over this. But for now, just accept it, and lets get organized."

Max took a moment to explain the background to the others, how the Skins had been sending both he and Tess dreams, and now, how they issued her with a command to take him to them.

"But she is stronger that they though," he smiled. "We are all stronger than they thought. Not because of what we can do, but because of who we are, and who we have as friends."
He watched the people, gauging their mood.

"So here's my plan," Max addressed the assembled group. "We all head over to the Skin's house. Tess, Kyle and I will go in Kyle's car. The rest will go in Jim's SUV. They are expecting Tess and Kyle to take me unconscious. So we will give them what we want. Can you handle that, do you think, Tess?"

"Sure Max. They're all in the house, so it will make it easier for me."

"You can bet Nikolas will have them all at the window, so he can gloat over his moment of triumph." Michael added.

"Jim, and Michael can follow up behind us with the bats. Glister, can you cover the back door, to make sure that they don't try to flank us? Tess will hide you. Maria, you drive the SUV, get ready to reverse to the door. Leave the doors open so everyone can just jump in, and then you take off! Does everyone know what they are doing?"

"So once inside, what do we do with the spare bats, Max?"

"Once inside, Jim, you throw a spare bat to Kyle, and Michael can throw one to me."

"Then we belt them out of the park," Kyle laughed. "And send Nikolas' sorry ass to the great dugout in the sky!"

"No!" Max commanded. "You and your Dad, use the bats to defend yourselves, and to keep the channel to the door open. When we get Liz and Alex through the door, and into the SUV, you two follow them. Get the hell out of there. One way or another, this deal with the Skins... will be finished today."

Michael nodded his agreement.

"Wait a minute, Max. Leave the four of you alone? No way!" Jim objected, while the others voiced their similar concerns.

"We won't be alone," Max smiled. "We have Glister here, who is one of us, and there is another one of us inside."

"Who's inside, Za... Max?" Glister asked. "I know of no Perdreian left alive other than myself."

"The one inside, Glister, has taken it upon himself to protect Liz." Max smiled. "His name was Borad."

"But you said he was dead." Glister stated in a surprised voice. "Has he been down here all this time?"

"I guess I lied. And now he's our ace."

"That doesn't alter the fact that you will still be outnumbered. I agree that Liz and Alex should escape, but Kyle and I want to help."

Max looked to each of his friends.

"Okay, but promise me that if things look bad for us, you will leave. Get the girls to safety."

The drive to the house was made in complete silence. The mood inside the SUV was very somber. Inside the Mustang, Tess was a little worried.

"Kyle," she said quietly, hoping that Max would not listen in on her words. "If this goes wrong, I mean if anything bad happens..."

"It won't Tess. It's a good plan," Kyle grinned, with a little too much forced bravado.
"We'll all be drinking Blood of A... uh, Milkshakes tonight in the Crashdown. On me!"

"Yeah, well, just in case, Kyle," she continued. "I just wanted you to know that I'm really glad I got to know you. I want you to know that I... I, um..."

"Yeah, Tess." he smiled. "I know. That goes for me too."

In the back seat, looking out of the side window at the rising sun, Max smiled.

As they approached the house, Max gently placed his hand on Tess's shoulder.

"It's time," he said quietly, full of confidence.

Tess's nerves calmed immediately, and she started to concentrate on projecting an image that would hide the SUV that was following them. As Max lay back in the seat, he caught sight of his reflection in the mirror. Tess had given him a gash in his forehead, and dried blood caked the side of his face.

"Nice touch," he chuckle.
Tess smiled in response. The car pulled up in front of the house, and Kyle struck a pose copied from some Zombie film he had seen. Tess climbed out of the car, and move around to his door. Still acting like a zombie, Kyle helped Tess pulled Max from the back seat.

"Don't over do it, Kyle." Max mumbled.

They looped Max's arms over their shoulders, and when they saw that Jim and Michael had taken station just behind them, they started up the gravel path to the door.

"Why couldn't Tess have made them see them carrying him?" Jim asked in a whisper.

"Because she just has to concentrate on hiding us this way," Michael answered "These guys have powers too, and someone might see through Tess's warp."

The door opened, Kyle, and Tess dragged Max in through the front door. As the door closed behind them, Jim slid a thin sheet of card between the door and the jamb, preventing the door catch mechanism from shutting. Michael held the door closed so as not to arouse suspicion.

"1... 2... 3... 4... 5... 6..." came the mental count from Glister.

He had calibrated his mental projection to a frequency that only Max, Michael and Tess would pick up. Isabel would have detected it, had she been aware of the plan, but she was otherwise engaged. It seemed as though an entire day had passed.

"48... 49... 50... Go! Go! Go!"

Michael pushed the door open with a shout, and charged into the hallway. The first guard spun round with his arm raised. Michael grabbed his arm, and pulled him back into the hall, where Jim brought a baseball bat down onto the small of his back, hitting the control mechanism. The Skin exploded into flakes of dust. Michael pushed the other guard into the room, rather forcibly. Both men charged into the room, and tossed the spare bats to Kyle, and Max. From the kitchen came sounds of s struggles, and a shower of dust. As a third Skin exploded, this time beneath Kyle's bat, followed by a fourth, Michael smiled to himself. Max had done it. They had achieved complete surprise.