Twined Roads (AU, CC, Adult) ch. 38 - 08/13/16

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Eva
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Twined Roads (AU, CC, Adult) ch. 38 - 08/13/16

Postby Eva » Fri Sep 03, 2010 3:48 am

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Title: Twined Roads

Author: Eva

Disclaimer: Unfortunately I don't owe a single thing from Roswell. Everything about Roswell belongs to Katims and Metz, WB, UTC …

Summary: One moment will change the lifes of eight people and one child. It will get them twined like never before. Based on a challenge by Killjoy, after which it started to live a life on its own. Hope you’ll enjoy!

Author’s note: Before you read the story you need to know that in this alternate universe the shooting in the Crashdown never happened. Therefore the secret about the Czechoslovakians never came out. There were no bounds between the humans and aliens, no relationships,… Just nothing. Everyone went their own way and now, ten years after they graduated high school, one little event will trigger everything.

Rating: Mature/Adult -> I don’t know where this story is going to take me. So I want to leave all options open.

Pairing: CC but strongly M&M

Awards:
- Round 15: Award of Best story AU with Aliens


And before I start, I want to say "THANK YOU VERY MUCH" to BB (Nibbles2), my beta.




Chapter one

A whirlwind invaded his office on a bright, sunny Friday. With rapid strides, she was standing in front of his desk almost before he was aware of her presence at all.

“Where is he?”

Max lifted his head and looked into his sister’s worried eyes.

“Where is who?” he asked, rubbing his tired face with his both hands.

The panic was clear in Isabel’s voice. “Michael, of course. Where is he? Have you found him yet?”

“I spent the last six hours operating, Iz. So, no, I don’t know where he is.” he said, blunter than he intended.

Max noticed the paleness of Isabel’s face and restrained himself. Softly he rephrased, “Isabel, we haven’t seen him for over a year. If I had found him by now, I would’ve let you know. You know that.” He looked right in her brown eyes and sighed “I presume he’s still in Los Angeles. But L.A. is a big city. Who knows where he is.”

His words didn’t reassure Isabel. Though he hadn’t vocalized it, Isabel knew what he was thinking, that the thought of Michael being in L.A. was an optimistic scenario. What if he had left the city? What if he was wandering through America? Then it would be really like looking for a needle in a haystack. The thought alone made her even more frantic.

“But we have to find him!” she yelled. “We just have to.”

Suddenly realizing that her unfounded anger towards Max wouldn’t bring her anywhere, Isabel collapsed into one of the chairs in front of Max’s desk. She pulled one of her blond locks of hair behind her ear and sighed. “Look, Max, I feel him. This past year he has blocked us both completely, but I feel him now.” She inhaled deeply before locking eyes with him. “And it isn’t good, Max. He isn’t doing well. He’s in danger.”

“Are you sure?” Max looked at her in question. “I know you are connected with him ‘cause he’s your twin brother but are you sure?”

All three of them had that connection. When things got tense, they could feel each other. But Max didn’t feel it with the same intensity as Isabel and Michael. As twins their feelings were more aligned to each other until Michael had somehow found a way to block her out.

“I have never been more certain.”

“Damn!” Max cursed. He stood up quickly and started pacing through his small office, occasionally he ran a hand through his dark hair.

Isabel could almost hear him thinking out loud. She hoped he would come up with a solution to find Michael. God, Michael, where are you? Though they hadn’t been raised together she was connected with Michael. He was her missing part, her balance. The past year had felt horrible without him.

It reminded her of the year they got separated in the orphanage. Nobody had known Michael was her twin after the three of them had been found in the desert. Michael had a hard time trusting people and adjusting, and consequently, he hadn’t been adopted with Max and her. So they had lost track of Michael until they had been reunited with him in school a year later. A long, hard and lonely year later. She had cried every single night of it.
The thought that he was still alive, had helped her through then and it helped her now. But if she was to really lose him forever, she would break. Of that she was sure.

“Damn!” Max repeated. “I know it sucks but I can’t leave. I’m the only surgeon available at the moment. Bill is at a conference and Jane broke her leg yesterday. I can’t leave, Isabel. I just can’t.”

She left her seat determinedly. “Then I’m going to search for him myself. It’s a long weekend. The kindergarten is closed until Monday. I’ve got some contacts left in L.A. from when I was modelling there. I’ll see if they can help me out. I have to do something, Max! I’ll do whatever it takes to find him. Even if it means turning every freaking stone in L.A.”

Max couldn’t help smiling when he heard his sister’s vocabulary. Freaking. That was so Michael.

His amusement wasn’t noticed by Isabel, so he just nodded in approval. “Bill will be back on Tuesday. So I can swap places with you then when you have to come back to work. If you haven’t found him by then, that is.”

A glimpse of despair flitted over her face. “We just have to find him, Max. We just have.”


***


“Look, I’m saying it for the last time. So open your ears. Hear it, remember it.” The angry voice of the young man snapped in the small office. “It stops here, Dick!” His tattooed arm swept all paperwork from the desk. “I’ve been on tour non stop for the last five years. They were five fucking years of drugs, sex and rock’n roll.”

Dick looked at the younger man, pacing the room like a caged animal. If he wasn’t the manager of the guy, he would’ve never guessed that the kid was the lead singer and bass guitarist of America’s best known hard rock band ‘The Wizz’. Most of the time his appearance was more ‘computer geek’ than ‘rock idol’. Although, there were some details that gave him away today; the hair that was still spiked from yesterday evening’s performance, the tattoos on his arms peaking from under his sleeves and the bass guitar hanging on his back.

“So, why are you complaining, Alex?” Dick asked. “Can’t be that bad if-” He swallowed the rest of his words when he saw Alex’s grim expression.

“Look, Dick, if you want yours to be sucked, be my guest.” He smirked devilishly at his own remark. “But after screwing a thousand shallow chicks, being surrounded by nitwits and sycophants who can’t stand up straight from the coke they just sniffed, I’ve had it.”

Alex looked tired now. He rubbed his forehead with both hands before continuing. “I’ve lived in a fake world for five years non-stop. I won’t say I didn’t have fun ‘cause that would be a big, fat lie. I amused myself and the fans. Totally. But I need a break.”

He inhaled deeply before proceeding. “My music needs a break. I have to refresh myself if I don’t want to end up as artificial and shallow as the world I’m living in. And if I become that way, you can bury my music too for all I care.”

“Come on, Alex, just one last tour,” the man tried again.

“You don’t get my point, Dick.” Alex emphasized every word. “I’m not asking for a break. I’m taking it. See you later!”

And with those words he stepped out of the office.

His manager panicked. “When are you coming back?”

Alex didn’t even turn his head. “When I feel like coming back.”

And the door clicked in the lock.


***


When she left her penthouse apartment in the centre of Los Angeles, Maria had no idea she was being watched. Just like she hadn’t known all other mornings that he was out there; watching them, following them. If Maria had known that there was somebody lurking in the shadows, she would’ve kept a closer eye on her daughter Emily.

But now the little blonde girl was running a couple of feet ahead of her mother instead of holding her hand. Her blue sundress with the bright colourful flowers on them whirled while her two tiny blond ponytails bounced with every step she took. She was completely full of the joys of being with her mother.

It was their last day in L.A. and it was actually the first free day Maria could spend alone with her daughter. She had been working in the studio all through their stay in the city. Emily had always accompanied her when Maria had tried out her songs with the other musicians. She had been a good kid: always playing alone while her mom was singing.
So for their last day Maria had promised her a mother-daughter day which included shopping, going to the beach and of course, ice-cream.

With the promise of an ice-cream fresh in her mind, Emily was checking every store to see which one of them sold ice-cream while her mother was humming and trying to figure out a bridge for a song she was working on.

Both of them were too distracted to pay attention to their surroundings. So when the driver of the large, black S.U.V. lost the control of his vehicle, they were completely unaware of the danger that was heading towards them.

By the time Maria saw the SUV, she was too late to pull her daughter out of harm’s way.

Everything seemed to happen in slow motion.

Maria could only watch, frozen in position, as the large vehicle barrelled down on her precious daughter.

Just before the car could smash into the little girl, a tall figure burst from the shadows. Without hesitating, he threw himself in front of the SUV. With a supreme effort he grabbed the girl in his arms and rolled with the child curled up against his chest. He wasn’t able to roll fast enough though, and the SUV clipped him. The man landed on the asphalt with a thump. He never let go of the child in his arms though, protecting her until the end.

Her own scream roused Maria. Within seconds, the owner of the black SUV reversed, hitting another car in the process and fled the scene without looking at his victims. In the same moment Maria started moving again, reaching her daughter and the stranger in nanoseconds.

“Emily! Emily! Are you alright?”

“Mommy?”

Though Maria could still see the shock and the fear in Emily’s eyes, she was smiling back at her mother. Still clutching the stranger’s shirt, holding him for dear life, as if she didn’t realize what had happened.

With swift hands Maria scanned her daughter. She didn’t find a single injury. Due to the quick reaction of her rescuer Emily was unharmed.

When Maria saw that Emily was alright, she immediately shifted her attention to the man who was still holding her little girl. He looked like he came out of the gutter but she didn’t notice that. She was utterly drawn to his face and could only see the injury on his head, just above his right eye. Carefully she stroked a lock of brown hair out of his face to examine him closer. Above his right eye there was a flesh wound. Due to the blood dripping freely from it, she couldn’t clearly see if it was serious or not. His eyes were closed and she noticed a grimace of pain on his face.

Maria looked around for help but like so often, nobody came to the rescue. The people round her had stopped when the accident happened but when they saw the car fleeing, they just pretended it wasn’t that bad and they didn’t care. They all went on with their lives. Time was just money.

Without panicking Maria grabbed her purse to retrieve her cell phone. But before she could start dialling, a hand grabbed her by the arm.

“Please, no hospital.”

Pleading eyes locked themselves to hers. She stared into them. His eyes had an unusual brown colour. They showed deep feeling. They affected her so powerfully that it silenced her completely. And anybody who knew Maria at all, knew that was a rarity.

“Please.”

Maria took another look at him and dialled a number.

The man closed his eyes and swallowed. He had to clench his jaws together in an attempt not to lose consciousness. With all his strength he had left, he tried to concentrate, to stay awake.
He knew he would have to act if the lady sent him to hospital. He’d have to run. If he could manage to get up that was. He cursed inarticulately. He really hated to be powerless like this. He couldn’t stand leaving his fate in the hands of others. Even if they were as beautiful as this young woman.

His focus rested on the girl he was still holding against his chest. Her intense brown eyes bore themselves into his. The trust he found in them, amazed him. It hit him with an incredible force.

Those brown eyes projected him back in time.

He shook his head to lose the memories. He didn’t want to go there right now. So he refocused on his surroundings. The lady. The lady with the bright green eyes.

“Jake? It’s Maria here. Send a limo to-” She glanced around and spotted the name of the street on a road sign. “5th Street. And please hurry!”

“Why?”

The soft voice of the man startled her. She shut off her phone. “Well, consider yourself lucky. Though I realise it’s probably the stupidest thing to do, you’ll have it your way. ‘Cause I owe you. Enormously. You saved Emily. If I only think about what could’ve happened to her. Besides, it’s to my benefit too.”

When he scowled, she elaborated. “I can’t have the paparazzi on my tail. I won’t give them the satisfaction of taking shots of me, or you and especially not of Emily. I have to keep Emily out of their clutches.”

Her words sank into his minds. Though she kept rambling on, he didn’t hear her anymore. After a last moan of relief, he surrendered himself to the pain that was flooding him.

Before darkness took completely over, he barely registered Maria’s last question.

“Who are you?”

His muttered response was automatic.

“Michael.”
Last edited by Eva on Sat Aug 13, 2016 2:16 pm, edited 59 times in total.
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Re: Twined Roads (AU, CC, Adult) CH 2, 09/10/10

Postby Eva » Fri Sep 10, 2010 4:36 am

Author’s note: Thanks for the numerous feedback! It was fun to read them.

I’m aware of the fact that I’m writing a story that’s provoking a lot of questions. Which won’t change immediately, I’m afraid. Some questions will be answered soon, other answers will provoke other questions.

There’s a reason why the fic is called “Twined roads”. Before the roads get twined, they’re following their own way through life.

But I can promise one thing: the fic will read like a puzzle. The more pieces you will get, the clearer everything will be.



Earth2Mama: Yeah, indeed: Wooh! It took me a year but I hope I can post regularly.
I’m afraid I won’t be giving you a lot of answers to your specific questions in this second part but maybe you’ll find some other answers in it.

BB: Thank you! I’m glad I could start too.

Killjoy: I did tell, but then again, that was more than a year ago. So I think it’s normal you forgot it.
About the professions: you’ll find out Kyle’s and Liz’s in this part.

keepsmiling7: Thank you! I hope you will like what’s coming next.

Sundae: Thanks you very much! Hope you will like this as much as you liked “Incomplete”.

Ohh! You took a sneak preview!

About Max and Isabel: they know a bit about what happened but not why he blocked them. And why he kept away from them.

It’s indeed AU with aliens but I’m keeping it in the same atmosphere as the first season.

Leila: Yeah, I finally found the time to write some chapters and to post.

The question about the watching, is a very good one. Was it Michael or someone else? But I’m afraid, you’ll have to wait for that answer a bit longer.

I just knew you would like this Alex. But then again, is there an Alex Whitman you don’t like? :lol:

They will all meet but not directly this chapter. Everything will be revealed step by step.

Twinflame: Thank you!

April: Me too! It took me a while to find some time to write and I hope I’ll keep finding that time.
I can deny I provoked a lot of questions. It’s like I said in the A/N: The roads are not (completely) twined at the moment. A fact that keeps the mystery.

About Emily’s father? You’ll read in this chapter that Maria’s a single mom. So that will stay a bit of a mystery too.

About the alien-thing: This story could’ve been easily been AU without aliens but the alien-powers are going to give it a little more dimension.

begonia9508: I have to correct you bit. You’ll find out soon that most of the aliens know each other as well as most of the humans.

Alysluv: Thanks! You’re one of the few by the way who will get their answer in this chapter.

simplyshiny: Liz will come in this chapter. As for the other questions: just wait and see!






Chapter two


“Claudia, could you pack our bags as quickly as possible?”

Maria held her cell phone between her shoulder and ear while she turned the wet cloth to cool Michael’s forehead. In the mean time she could hear the caretaker of her L.A. apartment rattle in the background.

Maria interrupted her employee “Just send them with Juan to the airport, Claudia. Emily and I will go right there. I want to fly back to Roswell as soon as we can. Yeah, I know you couldn’t say goodbye to her. But something urgent came up. Ok. See you next time I’m in L.A. Bye, Claudia.”

She clicked her phone closed and gazed at her daughter.

“Em, are you sure you’re alright?” Maria wondered aloud. The girl hadn’t said much after the accident. She had simply gripped the shirt of the stranger and never let go. She’d been upset that she couldn’t hold on while they lifted Michael into the limo.

Emily lifted her head and nodded. Then she let her eyes wander to the tall man lying next to her in the car.

“Is he going to be alright, mommy?” Her tiny voice gave her worry away.

Maria watched her daughter closely, then switched her attention to man next to her.

He looked like trash. But she knew without asking him he had looked that way even before the accident. His clothes were dirty and ragged as if he had slept and lived in them for a really long time. His brown hair was long and reached his shoulders. It was messy and filthy.
His face looked young, she guessed he was about the same age as she was, but it was covered with a long, matted beard. This man lived on the streets of L.A. No doubt about it.

Normally she wouldn’t even have considered taking him with her. But he had saved her little girl and that was all that mattered.

There was something else, something in his eyes that had pulled her in. Though they were closed at the moment, she remembered them clearly; dark soulful brown eyes. She had seen a certain vulnerability in them and a lot of other emotions she couldn’t quite pinpoint.

On the outside Maria could only see the injury to his head. She couldn’t tell if it was serious. But the fact that he was constantly shifting in and out consciousness, worried not only her, but Emily as well.

God, she wished she could say every thing was going to work out fine, like in a fairytale. But she knew the world wasn’t that easy. Who knew what kind of internal injuries the man had?
And because she had always been honest to Emily, she wouldn’t lie this time either.

So Maria shook her head. “I really don’t know, Emily.”

“Then I’m going to take care of him.” The seriousness in Emily’s voice was crystal clear.

It surprised Maria. That and the fact Emily wasn’t scared of the strange man. Normally Emily’s behaviour was the complete opposite. She was a fun and lovely child with a strong will and a hunger for life. But she only acted that way with her close family. Exposed to strangers, she shut herself totally off and became very shy. A behaviour that wasn’t that surprising considering the fact her mother was a famous singer. Though Maria always tried to guard Emily from the busy fuss of fans and media, the little girl had quickly realised that she couldn’t trust just anybody.

“Wouldn’t you rather sit next to me, Em?” Maria tried for the last time.

“No, I’m fine.” she shook her head and turned the wet cloth over, just as she had seen her mother do. “You know, mommy, he’s my guardian angel. I’ve seen him in my dreams. So now it’s my turn to watch over him.”

The matter-of-fact way Emily was talking, stunned Maria for a moment. Then she smiled. Emily’s imagination really hit the mark this time. Michael, the guardian angel. Wasn’t Michael the archangel though?

The smile on Maria’s face widened. “That’s ok, girl. You do the watching thingy while I’ll call Auntie Liz.”

“Ok.” And with a serious expression on her face, Emily returned her focus to her rescuer.

Maria was still laughing when Liz answered the phone on the other side.

“Hey Lizzie, it’s me. I’m a interrupting you?”

Liz laughed. “No, girl! I’m completely relaxed, sitting at home. I had to cool down after an argument with one of my colleagues. He definitely needs some lessons in communication. But that’s not important at the moment. How are you doing? Everything alright there in L.A.?

Maria wrinkled her nose while wondering how she would break the news without alarming Liz too much. But then again, this was responsible, down-to-earth Liz she was talking to. Chances that she would flip were small to non-existent. So she inhaled deeply and let it out.

“I need you to come to my house, Liz. With your medical bag.”

“Here in Roswell?” Liz’s voice hesitated.

“Yeah, I’m on my way to the airport right now.”

At first Liz stuttered but as she thought about what Maria had said, the questions started coming fast and furious. “What? Why? I mean why are you coming to Roswell a day earlier? And why do you need me as a doctor? Did something happen? Did you have an accident? Are you alright? Is it Em?”

“No, no, we’re doing great.” Maria reassured her. “But something did happen. We were lucky though. Emily was almost hit by a car this guy saved her. He was injured though.”

“Why didn’t you call the emergency services then?” Liz wondered.

Maria sighed when she gazed at Michael. “I couldn’t, Liz. He asked me not to. I owe him, Liz, and it’s the least I can do. If you can help him: great. If not, if you think he belongs in hospital, we can still take him to the one in Roswell. At least I’m Maria DeLuca there, not popular Luca, hunted by the press. So anyway, that’s why I’ve bringing him with me. My plane is already running as we speak and as soon as we’re boarded, we’ll leave. I think we’ll land in Roswell within two hours.”

Liz's doctor side took over. “Ok, what’s the patient’s current condition?”

Although she knew Liz couldn’t see her, Maria couldn’t help smiling. God, in all the years she knew Liz, she could always rely on her! She was the greatest friend she’d ever had!

“He’s got a head injury above his right eye. It’s still bleeding a bit but I really can’t tell if it’s serious. He hasn’t got any other visible marks but he lost consciousness a while ago.”

Liz thought out loud when she heard Maria’s description. “Ok. Then I’ve got to take my suturing equipment. The rest, I’ll see at your place. Maybe he has a concussion; maybe he has internal injuries… Perfect!”

Liz laughed dryly at her own words. “Well, not that perfect but now I know what I can expect, more or less. Well, I’ll see you at your house! No worries!! See you later! Bye, Maria!”

“Ok. Till then!”

“Well, that’s one thing.” Maria mumbled when she closed her cell. Before she could stash it away, she was startled when it rung. She recognized the ring tone as Kyle’s. “God no, not Kyle. Not now!” she moaned while she looked at the screen. And with a loud sigh she took the call.

“Hi Kyle!” Her happy greeting sounded fake, even to her own ears.

Skipping pleasantries Kyle immediately began shouting. “Are you completely out of your mind? Picking up a fucking stranger? Have you lost it? He’s not one of your stray kittens! Goddamn it! You don’t even know who he is and-”

Though Maria had held the phone a couple of inches away from her ear from the moment she heard him yell, she could still hear every single word Kyle was saying.

“Is that Uncle Kyle?” Emily asked in wonder.

“Uh huh.”

Emily lifted her head and looked seriously at her mother. “He sounds mad, mommy.”

Emily’s dry comment made Maria smirk. “Just a smidge, honey.” she snorted.

Eventually they heard him stop. He was probably just taking a breath before proceeding but Maria took the chance to interrupt.

“Are you finished, Kyle?” She heard him mumble on the other side of the line. “Look, Kyle, I need you to be my brother now. Not the head of my security.”

“I’m the same man!”

Maria could tell he was upset and angry. They had both been eighteen when her mother had married his father. But due to the fact she saw him almost daily, Maria knew her stepbrother inside out. Kyle was genuinely a sweet and easy going man but he took his duty as brother and as the head of her security very serious. Some times a bit too seriously. His over protectiveness occasionally suffocated her. And though it pushed her buttons most of the time, she always knew he did it with the best interests. “Can you do it or not?”

Kyle grumbled.

“What will it be, Valenti?” She insisted stubbornly.

“God, you’re a real pain in the ass!” Kyle complained before giving in. “Ok, fine! You’re having it your way. I’ll behave.” And then more quietly. “For now.”

Maria nodded to herself. She knew Kyle wouldn’t leave it at that. But that was a worry for another time. “Kyle, the reason I have a stranger with me, is because he saved Emily’s life earlier.”

“What?” Kyle snapped, “What the hell happened? Is she ok?”

“There was a hit and run. In the center of L.A. for Pete’s sake. Can you believe that?” But before she let Kyle respond, Maria continued. “Emily is alright. It was a close call though. If it wasn’t for Michael, I don’t think she would have made it, Kyle. The car was heading right in her direction and-” Maria’s voice broke a little when she thought back on the accident. It was only hitting her now what danger they had escaped.

“Who’s Michael?”

The sound of Kyle’s voice startled her from her reflections. “Michael is the man you so kindly refer to as ‘the fucking stranger’.” Maria smirked.

Kyle had the good sense not to react on that comment and went on like he hadn’t heard what she said. “So, what’s your plan, M.?”

Maria gazed out of the car window while the driver parked the car at a private gate of the airport. “We’ll be boarding within minutes. Michael got hurt, so I’m bringing him home. Liz is on her way to check out his injuries. I know for sure you’ll be there too. Be a good guy, Kyle, don’t harass Michael immediately. I realise you’re not happy with the situation but you just have to put up with it. I can’t change it. And you’re well aware I couldn’t leave the guy behind. We owe him, Kyle.”

“Yeah, yeah, we’ll see. I promise I’ll back off for now. But do know I’m not going to leave it like that. I will check this out.”

“I can’t ask for more than that. But, Kyle?

“Yes?”

“When you start checking things out, start with the driver of the black SUV, will you. I want to press charges against that son-of-a-bitch.”

Kyle nodded in agreement. But then he realised Maria couldn’t see him through the phone and he vocalised his thoughts. “It’s ok. We’ll see each other later. We’ll talk then and see what we can do.”

“Ok. Bye, Kyle!” And with that Maria closed her cell phone.

***


“This is answering machine of Max Evans. As you can see, I’m not around. Leave your message after the beep and I’ll call you back as soon as I can.”

“Hi, Max, it’s Isabel. Just called to say I arrived safely in L.A. I’ve got an appointment with a friend in a half hour. We’ll probably just drive through the streets of L.A. looking for Michael. I’ll contact you later on.” Isabel inhaled briefly. “Oh, Max, you won’t be able to contact me for a while, some jerk stole my phone. Bye.”
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Re: Twined Roads (AU, CC, Adult) CH 3, 09/17/10

Postby Eva » Fri Sep 17, 2010 2:35 am

Ellie: Hi Ellie, are you ready for more questions? :mrgreen:

About Isabel: a pickpocket just grabbed the phone. The only important consequence of this, is that Isabel isn’t reachable the next couple of days.

Leila: Yeah, the friends from Roswell are still very close.
Alex is my second favourite guy (after Michael of course), so I have to agree with you. There are portrays of Alex I don’t like either.

Sundae: Lol, thanks!
You choose my favourite parts! I had Emily in my head and that’s how she came out of my pen.
I can see why you liked Maria’s view on Michael.
I'm a little surprised at how you made Maria...but I like her.

Maria’s not a sixteen-year old girl anymore. She’s a grownup woman with responsibilities. You’ll see she didn’t loose her sense of humour and her spontaneity though.

PS. Don’t see too much in Isabel loosing her phone.

Keepsmiling7: Can you imagine Michael waving his angelwings in Emily’s dream? :lol:

simplyshiny: Whow, you’ve got a great imagination! We’ll see…
Emily’s indeed Maria’s special girl. Is she more? Who knows…

Ginger: I hope I can answer a bunch of them in the next chapter. But I can’t promise it will provoke some more. Sorry.

Killjoy: You already met Alex a bit. We’ll see how he’s related later on. But I’m afraid you’ll have to wait to meet your favourite Tess.

April: I’m afraid it’s more a coincidence. But it’s nice to see how my story is provoking such reactions.

Has Emily got a broad imagination or is there something else going on? Well, I’m not going to answer that one today.

Hmm, all I know is, if Michael was my "guardian angel," we'd be booking a suite for two up in the heavens and putting a do not disturb sign on the door. But then again, I'm not a little girl like Emily.

Would do the same thing, though my husband wouldn’t agree. :lol:

BB: Emily is indeed a cute girl. Thanks.




Chapter three


Maria glanced through one of the small windows as the private plane slowly decreased altitude.

Roswell. Home.

Seeing the city located near the desert on one side and Frasier Woods on the other, she sighed in relief. Though it had been one hell of a day, it felt good to be back. She always felt that way no matter where she flew in from.

Though Maria had been born in Roswell, she had only lived there until she had turned six. A month after her father had left his family, her mom had bought a camper and had started driving.
Together they had travelled the country back and forth. Maria hadn’t had the same wandering blood as her mother Amy though. So every time Amy had decided to hit the road again, Maria had felt as if she left a piece of her heart behind, saying goodbye to people who could have turned into real friends if her mom had given her the time to stay long enough.

So when after her marriage Amy had settled down in Roswell again, Maria had flourished like she never had before. At last she had the opportunity to build strong and deep relationships, in a stable home and in a steady future. Even now, when she was expanding her career as a successful singer, she always made sure she had a stable home to return to. Giving her daughter something she had never had herself: a warm and secure place to grow up in the presence of family and friends, far away from the shallow world on the road.

Maria watched her little girl tenderly while grabbing her belongings together. During the flight Emily had fallen asleep next to Michael. Fine blond hair had escaped from her ponytail and framed her head. She was so small in contrast to the man next to her.

While the plane landed and taxied on the tarmac, Maria got ready at the exit. Through one of the small airplane windows she could see Kyle standing on the tarmac already, next to his company’s van. As always he was wearing blue jeans and a colourful shirt. It wasn’t a typical outfit for the manager of a security company but it suited him.

From underneath his brown hat Kyle kept his eyes on the small plane. When the stairs were dropped down, he was the first to approach, climbing the steps in large strides.

“Hi Kyle! Maria greeted him.

But before she could say another word, Kyle grabbed her in his arms. Holding her firmly against his chest. “God, I’m glad you’re alright.”

Above her head he gazed into the small airplane ‘til his eyes locked on his niece. The peaceful sight of the sleeping child made him relax but Maria felt him stiffen again when his gaze shifted to the features of the man next to her.

“Fuck, Maria!” he cursed. “That’s not a normal man, that’s a bum!” With a few steps he reached the body of the stranger but immediately backed off again. “And an alcoholic!” Kyle pulled his face when he smelled the strong stench of alcohol.

He looked back at Maria but held his next remark in when he saw the fierce expression on her face.

“Look Kyle, I smelled him too. And it wasn’t nice so I can’t say I like it, but the fact that he looks wasted doesn’t change a thing about what he did. He sacrificed himself without hesitation. He just threw himself in front of a car to save some strange kid he didn’t know. Your niece.” Maria poked her right finger on to Kyle’s chest to emphasize the last two words.

“He didn’t want to go to the hospital. Maybe he has no insurance. Maybe he’s on the run. I really don’t know. And you know what? I actually don’t care. ‘Cause it all comes to one thing, Kyle; he saved Emily and we owe him. Big time.”

Kyle sighed, “If you put it like that.”

“It’s the only way to look at it, Kyle. And you know it.” The look on her face softened when she pointed at Michael. “So, instead of standing here and loosing time, I suggest you and your men transfer him to the car. Liz is waiting and he really looks like he is in pain, so we can’t waste any time.”

Kyle nodded and bowed down to examine the guy to figure out how his men could transport him without hurting him more. But when he took a closer look on Michael’s face, he let out a surprised gasp. “What the fuck! Maria, I know this guy!” And then he muttered. “But where the hell have I seen him before?”

Maria looked from her stepbrother to Michael and back, in shock. “Are you sure, Kyle?”

“Yeah, one hundred per cent sure. I’ve got a photographic memory. Comes in handy in my profession.” Kyle shoved his hat away and scratched his forehead. “I’m really positive about this, Maria. I don’t remember his name though and I can’t place him at the moment but he looks damn familiar, I can tell you that much!”

“The only thing I know is his name; Michael. But a million guys are called Michael. I don’t know any more than that. He hasn’t got a drivers licence or any other kind of ID on him.” Maria commented.

She felt Kyle’s astonishment. “Hey, I checked. I’m not that stupid, you know,” She exclaimed defensively.

“Glad you’ve got some sense of self preservation left.” Kyle snorted.

Maria rolled her eyes. They were both twenty-eight now but his overprotective behaviour would never change. The fact she was a well-known professional singer and the single mother of a four year old, always slipped his mind. But she held her tongue with utmost effort. She knew they would just end up arguing and it was definitely not the place or the time for that.

As Kyle instructed his men, she lifted her sleeping daughter in her arms and carried her to Kyle’s waiting car.


***


Liz was leaning against the hood of her car, parked next to Maria’s gate. When she saw Kyle’s van driving closer, she climbed back in behind the wheel. Kyle jumped out to open the gate and Liz drove behind him down the long drive-way to Maria’s house.

The house was a newly built mansion lying in the shadows of Frasier Woods. It was surrounded by a garden that was suffering from neglect. Maria and her gardener had fallen out over their differing opinions on his duties. Maria had fired him and since then the once beautiful garden had become a wilderness. Liz thought it was a shame, Maria had loved the garden and had wanted to make it a paradise for Emily to play in.

Liz parked their car in front of the house beside Kyle’s and quickly jumped out of it. She reached Maria’s car door the moment Maria stepped out. Out of habit they both hugged.

“Hi girl!”

“Liz, I’m glad to see you!”

Liz squeezed her best friend. “I’m glad too. But I understand you don’t have the time to chitchat. You need the doctor in me more than a friend at the moment?”

“Yeah, I brought an injured man with me.” Maria pointed at the backseat of the car.

“Well, let’s bring him in then!” Liz resolute voice set everybody in motion. Kyle’s men brought Michael inside while Maria directed them to one of the guest rooms and Kyle carried his sleeping niece in from the car.

Maria left Emily in Kyle’s care and went with Liz to take care of Michael.

Liz disinfected his head wound while Maria carefully unbuttoned his grubby shirt.

“Ohhh!” Maria hissed when she revealed a bruised chest. “God, Liz! Jeez, it’s no wonder he’s in pain.”

Strangely, Liz didn’t react. It was as if she hadn’t heard a single word her best friend had said. She kept staring at Michael’s face after she had cleaned it up, wondering. Astonishment written all over her face.

“Liz? Liz, chica, what’s wrong?”

The persistence in Maria’s voice eventually startled Liz out of her daze. “I know it sounds weird but I somehow know this guy. I doubted it when I first saw him in Kyle’s car but I’m becoming more and more certain about it.”

“You too?”

Both girls looked up when they heard Kyle entering the room. Liz immediately jumped in at Kyle’s question and lifted her eyebrows in surprise. “You recognize him too?”

Kyle nodded while he came closer to the bed. “Yeah, but I can’t lay my finger on where I saw him. But if you noticed it too, he has to be someone from Roswell. Or someone who used to live here.”

Kyle and Liz had both lived almost their whole lives in Roswell. They were the same age and had gone to school together. They had even dated for a while, back in high school. It hadn’t worked out but their friendship had lasted though they had both been very different - he, the jock and she, the valedictorian.

After graduation they had both attended different colleges. Liz had studied medical science in Harvard and a sport scholarship had lead Kyle to the University of Los Angeles. The only way they could’ve both known this guy was if he had a link to their hometown of Roswell.

“Has to be.” Liz agreed as she refocused on the injured man. “But who is he?”

Kyle grabbed the bar on the footrest of the bed with both hands, and peered intensely at the figure lying on the bed. “I’d really like to know that too. I’m sure it will come to me sooner or later. But in the mean time I need you in Emily’s room, M.” He said to his sister. “Emily woke up and she’s panicking because you’re not around. She also won’t stop asking where her angel or something like that is. She wants it back.”

Kyle frowned. “Do you know what she meant by that? Has she got a new stuffed animal or a totally in pink dressed doll I know nothing about?”

Maria grinned at her brother and nodded her head in the direction of her wounded visitor. “That’s the angel.”

The disbelief on Kyle’s face was hilarious. “You’ve got to be kidding me!” he exclaimed loudly.

Maria and Liz both laughed out loud until Maria felt pity for him and tapped him playfully on the arm. “I’m sorry, Kyle, but I’m afraid my fancy for neglected kittens and stray dogs has rubbed off on her. But you know, that’s a worry for later.”

In an effort to distract the still dumbfounded Kyle, she hooked her arm into his and pulled him with her. “So come on, let’s go reassure her and then we can talk about the accident. I can tell you all the details.”

But before they even reached the door, Maria froze, suddenly remembering they were not alone in the room. Wavering, she looked back and forth from the door to Liz.

Liz could clearly see the hesitation on Maria’s face. On one hand she wanted to be there for her daughter, but she also didn’t want to leave her best friend alone with the stranger.

So Liz waved her hand to dismiss her. “It’s ok, Maria, go. I’ll stitch his injury and check out his other wounds. If I need something, I’ll yell.” Then she frowned while looking closer at Michael’s chest. “But I’m afraid we’ll have to take him to the hospital anyway, you know. I’ll check his ribs later on but touching them only indicates if they’re hurt. I have to take an X-ray to see the difference between broken or just damaged.”

Maria sighed. “Just do whatever you think is necessary.” With those words she left the room with Kyle right behind her.

Before Maria closed the door, her gaze shifted a last time towards Liz, but Liz didn’t notice it anymore. She was completely focused on her patient. That sight reassured Maria. For the first time that day she had the feeling that everything would turn out alright. She was relieved. Relieved that she had made the right choice. Relieved that she had chosen to take him home with her. To Roswell. Because Maria knew she could handle the whole world with the help of her friends.

As Maria had assumed, Liz didn’t even notice Kyle’s and Maria leaving. She muttered out loud to her patient while she examined his condition in detail. Just as she thought, she could feel the damaged ribs when her soft but firm pressure on his chest provoked grimaces on his already pale face.

“I know you’re in pain but I really need to see which ribs were crushed. I’m really sorry.” She said to him before sighing to herself. “But I’m afraid we’re going to have to take you to the hospital. It’s really inevitable, you know.”

While Liz was talking to her self, she rifled through her doctor’s bag. Taking a needle and a bottle of liquid anaesthetic, she stated aloud. “Before that, we’re going to patch up that head of yours. Now, don’t be frightened. I’m going to give you a small injection. And then I’m going to seal the little gap in your head with a few stitches.”

Liz looked carefully at the needle as she drew the solution out of the bottle. She tapped it a few times with her index finger until some drops escaped from the needle. She could do this in her sleep so she was carrying it out robotically when a hand stopped her in her tracks just as she was about to puncture the skin. The sudden interruption made her heart jump and her hands tremble.

Carefully she took some time to calm the beating of her heart. As she began to breathe normally, she became aware of the firm and strong hand that had grabbed her wrist. Her gaze followed the hand until she ended up looking right in the face of her patient.

“Don’t!”

His voice sounded weak but Liz could still hear a certain threat in it. However, it wasn’t the first time she had encountered a difficult and stubborn patient. So with a smile on her face she began to free herself, soothing him in the process.

“You’re not the first person who’s afraid of a needle, you know. I can promise you that it’s only going to hurt a little. But it’s the only way I can take care of your injury. So if you let me do my job, everything is going to turn out alright.”

He grabbed her wrist again though. His protest came in rages. Another grimace visible on his face. “You... you don’t understand. You can’t… drug me. It’s not… possible.”

“Why not?” she asked in wonder, wrinkling her forehead in the process.

“I’m allergic to them.” His voice croaked.

“Then I’ll use a drug you’re not allergic too.” Determined, Liz looked him in the eye.

“There isn’t any drug I’m not allergic to.”

“What?” His confession astonished her. It was the first time she had ever met a person who was allergic to every drug. “How is that possible?”

“I overreact to them. Believe me or not, but you don’t want to see that, lady.”

“But how did your doctors treat you in the past?” Liz wondered.

He mumbled “They didn’t.” but before she could react to his remark he whispered something she didn’t understand.

“Sorry, I didn’t hear what you said. Can you repeat it?” Liz bent over him so she could hear him better.

The man in front of her wet his lips. She could clearly see that talking took all of his strength. Their little conversation had worn him out completely. Eventually he squeezed his eyes closed, trying to refocus before he tried talking again. His lips started moving and with a lot of effort he could make his mouth form the words again.

“Call Max. Max Evans. Roswell Regional Hospital.”
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Re: Twined Roads (AU, CC, Adult) CH 4, 09/24/10

Postby Eva » Fri Sep 24, 2010 12:26 pm

Sundae: Thanks. Personally I adore a character like Emily, so it’s fun to think ‘bout the ways a child like that could think, react,...

How things are going between Liz & Max will be revealed in this chapter. Isabel, on the other hand, will keep on wandering through the streets of LA. :lol:

Ellie: You shouldn’t... yet... or maybe never, who will say it... :mrgreen:

Well, there is something to cure it: human medical science. But being alien, Michael doesn’t trust it.
Max and Liz are coming your way. Not directly in the same room... yet. 8)

mary mary: I don’t want to provoke anything but technical speaking Michael could be a dad: he’s 28 in this fic.
Be free to react. Just be yourself and I’ll do the same thing.

Eve: You will find out a lot more about their high school period in this chapter.
I think Kyle was most of all shocked because Emily cared about a good-for-nothing. Because that’s how Michael looks at the moment.

BB: Michael really reached a point where he wants to change his situation. The fact he’s in pain reinforced that idea.

I believe Kyle has to find a new “project” in the figure of a new girl friend.

April: We all know how Max and Michael react on alcohol, which is a drug too. Kyle already smelled Michael had been drinking, so it’s no wonder Michael refused extra drugs.

I’m glad you’re still loving this alien-themed fic. And I hope I can enjoy you until the end.

Keepsmiling7: Thanks. The story will indeed give more answers but it’s like Emily... it’s taking baby steps.

Roswellian117: Thank you very much!

Leila: Your wish is my command: in this chapter you will find out more about Liz, Kyle, Max & Michael.

Or I could give Kyle a girlfriend. Any suggestions??




Chapter four

“No, no, it’s an R. The licence plate started with an R, followed by an E.” Maria pointed firmly at the paper Kyle was writing on. “I couldn’t see the numbers though.”

“Kyle, you’re not going to believe what I just heard.”

Both Kyle and Maria jumped up out of their chairs when Liz whirled in Kyle’s office.

“What? Did he speak? Is he conscious?” Maria’s frantic voice revealed her worries.

Liz nodded and turned her attention exclusively towards Kyle now while tucking a lock of her long, dark hair behind her ear. “He asked me to call Max Evans.”

“Max Evans? Fuck!” Kyle slapped a hand against his forehead like he had seen the light. “If that guy’s first name is Michael and if he knows Evans, it can only mean one thing.”

“Michael Guerin!” They both exclaimed at the same time.

Maria, looking back and forth from Liz to her brother, couldn’t refrain anymore. Their weird behaviour didn’t make any sense to her. “Who’s Max Evans? And what’s so special about him? And who’s Michael Guerin?”

It was Liz who explained. “Well, you know who Max Evans is. I told you a lot about him.”

Maria wrinkled her forehead questioningly.

Liz clarified. “He’s the colleague I complain so much about. The one who really needs a communication class.”

“Oh yeah, the dark, handsome surgeon who you say drives you up the walls but who you actually really fancy.” Maria nodded while she tried to solve the pieces of the puzzle.

“Yeah, that one.” And then Liz suddenly realised what Maria had said. “Hey, I never said I fancy him.” She exclaimed offended.

“You didn’t need to, chica.”

“Anyway,” Kyle, who got bored with the fluffy girl talk, interfered, “Evans is still the same guy we went to school with - Reserved, guarded, sees everything around him but doesn’t participate… Always keeps low profile.”

“Yeah, he doesn’t interact with others. Though I hear he’s very polite and friendly with his patients. He explains everything and always manages to put them at ease. It would be nice if he did the same thing with his colleagues. But apart from the occasional friendly smile now and then, he keeps them all at arm’s length. ” Liz added.

Kyle took over where Liz stopped. “It’s like he only trusts a few people in the world. In high school he was always in the company of his sister Isabel and his best friend Michael. Michael Guerin.”

“The one you think is now staying in my guest room?” Maria asked. She started to combine the lose threads but still didn’t understand the fuss.

“The one and only.”

Kyle snorted. “That’s Guerin alright! I didn’t recognize him at first but now I’m quite positive. It’s no wonder we didn’t recognise him immediately though, with the beard, the long hair and the rags. It’s been years since we last saw him. He disappeared about ten years ago.”

Maria’s eyebrows lifted in interest. “He disappeared?”

“It was a weird story if I remember correctly.”

But before Liz could tell, Kyle interrupted again. “He was a complete weirdo too.”

He looked right at Maria. “You know, Evans was kind of strange, but Michael was really weird. You could talk to Evans if you wanted to, but Guerin? Pff, that was something else! Never seen a guy who was so defensive and alert.”

Liz nodded. “Yeah, true. He was a strange kid. Came and went when it pleased him. Half of the girls were scared of him. The other half wanted to date him because he was a rebel from the wrong side of the track. He never noticed them though.”

Completely lost in thought, Liz leaned against on of the arm chairs before proceeding. “But the most peculiar thing I remember was the complete transformation he made in senior year. Before that he looked set to end up as a high school drop-out. Never came to classes. Didn’t care for anything except for the Evans kids. And then, one day, he just completely changed his act. Starting attending every single one of his classes and finally managed to graduate with the rest of us. And with a pretty high score, somewhere in the top ten of our class. That was the biggest surprise of it all.”

“You can’t blame him for wanting to do something with his life, Liz. Everybody deserves a second chance.” Maria said in his defence.

“I know that, Maria,” Liz admitted, “but the story isn’t finished. He disappeared the day after graduation. Just like that. Nobody ever saw him again.”

“Except maybe Max Evans and his sister.” Kyle’s prompt came at the same moment Maria muttered. “Until now.”

Liz agreed with both statements and then wrinkled her forehead. “That leaves me with one thing to do. I’ve got the call him, Max Evans, that is.”

“Yeah, you should.” Maria nodded.

While she fished her cell phone out of her purse, Liz snorted. “I know. But I’m really not up to it. Not after that major argument we had today.”

“You know what, we’ll leave you alone so you have no one listening in. I’ll go to see Michael after I’ve checked on Emily again. Hopefully they’re both asleep.” Maria suggested.

“Yeah, and I should get started with contacting a detective in LA to trace that son-of-a-bitch of a driver. The longer we wait, the more difficult it will be to track him down.”

And with those words they left Liz alone in the living room.

Seeing she had no other options left, Liz dialled the number and sighed “God, here we go.” when she heard the ringing tone.

“Evans.”

“Hi Doctor Evans. This is Doctor Liz Parker.”

Max sighed clearly through the speaker and pinched his nose. “Parker, I’m really not in the mood. If this is about today, you’re wasting your time. I’m not taking communication lessons just to please your frustrated vision on medical collaboration. If you had checked your mail, you should’ve known your patient was doing alright. After a six hour surgery I had other things on my mind than telephoning you about checking on the patient’s family. And-”

Liz bit her lip. He wasn’t going to make things any easier for her. So eventually she just interrupted him by blurting out. “It’s about Michael.”

“What?” Max shrieked. He shot straight out of his chair, knocking it to the ground and pressed the phone even closer to his ears.

Liz heard the sound and knew she had his attention now. She relaxed and calmly proceeded. “To make a long story short; a friend of mine brought a wounded guy home after he saved her daughter from a hit and run. He inquired after you. I believe it’s your friend Michael Guerin.”

“God, what do you mean ‘you believe’? What happened to him? How wounded is he if he’s not able to give his own name? Max was rambling while pacing through his office.

“Look, Max, I’m not going to lie to you. The one thing I can clearly see, is a small head injury. He’s probably got a concussion too, and some bruised ribs. There’s a possibility the ribs are broken but I can’t tell for sure.”

“You can’t tell for sure?” His panic sounded clearly in his voice. Though he knew for certain Liz couldn’t see anything weird on Michael’s X-rays, it’s scared him to death that Liz would find out more than she bargained for.

“Michael refuses to go to the hospital, Max. He even doesn’t want me to stitch up his head injury. He only wants to see you.”

Liz’s words calmed him down in a way she couldn’t have guessed. If Michael could still protest, he couldn’t be that badly wounded. Reassured he took a deep breath. “So where is he then if he’s not in hospital?”

“You know the DeLuca residence close to Fraiser woods, just outside of Roswell?”

“Roswell? He’s in Roswell? Why didn’t you say that for starters? I’m on my way!” Even before Liz could give him more directions, Max hung up leaving a confused Liz alone with a dial tone.


***

Kyle absently messed around in the pile of papers on the desk in the small office he had in Maria’s house.

At this desk he had started his security company almost six years earlier. He had just finished his college degree in management and he wanted to combine that with a more physical type of work. A desk job wouldn’t have suited him. He was too athletic and too active for that.

When Maria had encountered some hardcore fans who stalked her in the beginning of her singing career, he had soon found his destiny. In a few years he had expanded those activities and he had built a good reputation in the business. At the moment he had almost ten men working under him and he had specialized in securing private homes and guarding anyone who paid his company to do so.

Personally he made all first contacts and initial interviews. After deciding if his company could take the task, he assigned each case to the most suitable, skilled staff member.

As for himself, he remained busy with the pure security jobs and of course guarding Maria when she was touring. Kyle wouldn’t put that one out at any price.

Sifting to the bottom of the paperwork, he finally found what he was searching for. Taking the business card in one hand he quickly dialled the telephone number.

“H.C., Private Bureau of Investigation, good afternoon. How can we help you?”

Squeezing the receiver between his head and shoulder Kyle leaned with his back against the desk. Focusing his gaze through the window to the overgrown, green garden in front of Maria’s home.

“Yes, I would like to speak to Cliff.”

“I’ll put you through. Who can I say is calling?” the stiff secretary on the other end of the line asked.

“My name is Kyle Valenti of Valenti Securities.”

“Please wait a moment, sir,” she said before putting him on hold.

“Cliff Harding.¨


“Hi Harding, it’s Valenti here!”

Cliff let out a surprised yell when he heard the familiar voice on the other side. “Kyle? God man, how are you doing? It’s a long time since the last time I saw you. We should meet up again, get the whole gang together.”

Kyle grinned at his friend’s enthusiastic greeting. “Name a time and place and I’ll be there, Harding. Wouldn’t want to miss that for the world!”

“But I assume you didn’t telephone me to relive our dorm life and to chat about the pranks we played.” Cliff got straight to the point.

“Though I’d rather be doing that, it’s true.” Kyle agreed. “I’m calling on a business matter. I want to hire your services.”

“One of your clients?”

“Yes and no. It’s actually more of a personal matter. It concerns my sister Maria. I believe you know her under the name of Luca.”

Cliff whistled. “Whoa, is she your sister? Damn, Valenti, why didn’t you brag about her when we were in College? Would’ve wanted to check that one out! She’s one hell of a firecracker! Her gorgeous body can ride my-”

“Hey, watch it, Harding!”

“I wanted to say ‘car’, she could ride my car.” Cliff teased him.

“Yeah, right!” Kyle snorted in disbelief.

“Playing the concerned brother, Valenti?

“Well, as a matter of fact, yes. Her mom married my dad when we were teenagers, but I consider her my sister. All the way!” Kyle stopped briefly to let his words sink in. “But I didn’t call you to unravel my own family history.”

“How can we help?”

“Two things. First of all I want to track down a hit-and-run. Secondly I need someone checked inside out.”

Cliff quickly checked his agenda before responding. “I’ve got good and bad news for you, Kyle. Good news is that the company can certainly take your case. The bad news is I’ve got to disappoint you and myself for that matter; it won’t be me investigating. Unless I can divide myself in two, I won’t be meeting the famous Luca. Damn!”

Kyle chuckled and faked a pout. “Oh, and I thought it was me you wanted to see again.”

“Unless you turned into a super sexy female charmer in high heels over the years,” Cliff’s laughed before he got serious again. “Joking apart Valenti, I can send you one of our best private investigators. This PI is our youngest associate. Though I normally wouldn’t exaggerate my family skills, I can honestly say our dynasty delivered, once again, one heck of a professional. I’ll let our secretary set a date. If that is ok with you?”

“I can’t ask more. Thanks, Cliff! And if you’re ordering your secretary around, ask her to see when you’ve got a moment free for me and the boys.”

“I’ll do that! Kyle, it was a pleasure of hearing you again! See you again later!”

“Bye, Cliff!” Kyle ended the conversation.


***

Unheard by anybody, the phone rang in Maria’s purse and went to voicemail.

“Maria, this is Alex. I finally took your advice. Ha ha, that took me a while, huh? But anyway, I’m heading to Roswell within the hour. I’ll call you back after I settled in. See you!”
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Re: Twined Roads (AU, CC, Adult) CH 5, 10/1/10

Postby Eva » Fri Oct 01, 2010 2:27 am

Leila: Yeah, he’s coming but you have to be patient though, Leila. :mrgreen:

It could be that Max is reacting the way he does, because he feels he has to keep away from Liz which leads to his bad communication skills towards her.

My idea? Isabel will freak out and take the next plane home to harass Michael, the way she only can. 8)

Kyle will have more than his hands full.

Roswellian117: Thank you!

mary mary: Max isn’t exactly being a prick. He just had an argument with Liz a couple of hours before she called and that coloured his reaction towards her. So it's good to give him some time.

Sundae: That’s indeed what’s going on: the Liz/Max dynamic has, like everything in life, both sides. It’s good to wait before judging him.

Excited to see how Kyle will react to a FEMALE, BLONDE, TINY mega-butt kicking Tess aka female P.I...all assuming she's not evil in the story.

Ohh, you’re hoping Tess will come?? :lol:

Ella: The Max/liz relationship will indeed be very interesting.

Yeah, Roswell is getting crowded.

Keepsmiling7: The puzzle is being laid and revelations will succeed each other.

April: Step by step we’ll understand everything what has happened in those ten years. But we, the readers, don’t have the whole picture yet, just like the characters in the fic. Along with them, we’ll discover the truth.



Chapter five


The wind blew in his dark brown hair as he sped through the streets of Roswell. He didn’t see any of it though. The beauty of the day and the joy of driving in his blue coloured BMW convertible escaped him completely.

After Liz’s call and acting on autopilot, he had grabbed his car keys, had ordered his secretary to cancel his appointments on his way out and had jumped in his car. But now, as he was literally racing through town, different kind of thoughts whirled in his mind.

“God, could Liz be right? Could it really be Michael? Would he finally see his brother after all those months of worrying? And how come he showed up here in Roswell? He and Isabel had really believed that Michael was still in Los Angeles. Isabel! I should call her!”

The minute the thought crossed his mind, Max dialled his sister’s number. But before the phone rang twice, he broke the connection.

“I can’t call her before I know it’s really Michael for sure. I can’t give her false hope.”

Then Max slammed his hand on his steering wheel when he remembered the message she had left on his answering machine.

“Isabel wasn’t reachable at the moment! Even if I had wanted to contact her, it wasn’t possible. Well, maybe that was for the best. The moment I’ve seen Michael, I can leave a message at the hotel’s reception. If it was indeed Michael, that is. And I can reassure Isabel that Michael was doing alright and that his injuries weren’t alarming. God, his injuries! Have I brought my medicine bag with me?”

That realization made him slam his foot to the brakes. The sudden movement made his wheels skid and he could barely manoeuvre his car to the side of the road. He quickly jumped out and retrieved his bag from the trunk.

“Not that I need the bag. Not if it’s really Michael. But the bag is a great camouflage item. Nobody suspects I can do other things to save a person’s life if they think I’m using the equipment in the bag.”

Without further delay he shifted his car back in gear and drove the remaining distance until he faced the imposing grey gates in front of Maria DeLuca’s house. Max pulled his car to a stop by the intercom.

“Yes?” A female voice greeted him.

“This is Max Evans. I believe I’m expected.”

“I’ll open the gates. You can drive your car to the front of the house. I’ll wait for you on the porch.”

Max nodded to himself and did as he was told. Open-mouthed he observed the brilliantly constructed but unkempt garden while he drove towards the beautiful house. He whistled between his teeth when he finally arrived at the front door.

“Whoa! This Maria person was certainly not poor.” He thought by himself.

Max knew she had come to Roswell after the marriage of her mother and the local sheriff. It was a well known fact in Roswell that she turned out to be quite an impressive singer. If he wasn’t mistaken, she sang alternative rock songs known for their profound lyrics.
Due to the fact he wasn’t a big fan of the genre, her fame and matching wealth had more or less skipped his attention. He found it all surprising.

Max hastily parked his car next to the others. The harsh sound of his brakes made him realise he was too wound up for his own good. So in an effort to pull himself together after the sudden phone call and the race to Maria’s house, Max pressed his fingers to the bridge of his nose. He took deep breaths as he tried to calm down. Focused on his breathings, Max didn’t notice the observer at the front door. He only became aware of her when he left his car.

“Hi, I’m Maria.” The exuberant blonde woman flashed him all her teeth in a warm, welcoming smile. Her bright green eyes emitted her warm-hearted nature and Max immediately felt comfortable in her presence.

“Max. I’m Max Evans.” He greeted her in return. Though he was normally more withdrawn in his contacts with strangers, Max smiled back at her.

Maria could clearly see that his smile reached his eyes. It made his handsome face even more attractive. She saw now why half of the female population in her home town, including her best friend Liz - though she would never admit it, had fallen for this guy. Maria didn’t count herself one of them though.

Max Evans was indeed a good looking and charming man if you liked the dark and quiet brooding type. But she simply didn’t.

“I’m sorry we have to meet this way. But I believe your friend Michael is lying in one of my guestrooms.” Maria said while inviting him inside with a wave of her hands.

“Brother.” Without thinking Max corrected her. “Michael is my brother.”

Maria just nodded. Even if she was surprised by his remark, she didn’t let him see it. Right now, unravelling Max’s family tree was not a priority even though she was as curious as hell to know why they had different family names if they were indeed brothers.

“Come on, I’ll bring you to him.” As she led him towards the guestrooms she sketched the situation briefly.

As the reached the room where Michael was, they ran into Liz who was just coming out of the room.

“Oh, hello Max… uh I mean Doctor Evans.” Liz’s face flashed red for a second while she stammered her greeting, revealing her awkwardness.
Luckily the professional in her got the upper hand and Liz went on like nothing had happened. “Nothing’s changed since we spoke on the phone. It was lucky he was able to let me know in time that he’s allergic to anaesthetics. I really don’t know what would’ve happened if I had proceeded. It’s remarkable he was so lucid after the accident, especially as he’s still intoxicated.”

“Intoxicated?” Max echoed, disbelief and worry clearly written all over his face.

“Intoxicated?” The word kept hammering in Max’s mind. “What the hell? How was that possible? Their system crashed under influence of alcohol and other drugs. A thing Michael knew all too well. So why? …”

Maria, who had seen the weary look on his face outside in the car, took pity on him. She gently laid a hand on his arm. “When was the last time you saw your brother?”

Now it was Liz whose eyes widened when she heard the word ‘brother’. Maria immediately gestured to Liz not to react and mouthed the words ‘later’.

Max, who was completely absorbed in his own thoughts and unaware of the interaction between the two girls, finally looked up. He hesitated before admitting. “It’s been quite a while. Almost a whole year. ”

The words were spoken softly. Both Maria and Liz could hear his concern and uneasiness in them. They glanced at each other, wondering how they would break the news of Michael’s current condition to him.

In her typical straightforward way Maria eventually took the lead. “Look, Max, I may not be the most subtle woman on earth but I do know one thing; I’m not going to lie to you. So I’ll just say it like it is.” She inhaled deeply before continuing. “He’s not doing so well at the moment, Max. I’m not referring to his injuries right now. It’s like he lived in a bottle of alcohol for months.”

Max tried to mask his surprise but he wasn’t doing a good job at it. Before he could collect his thoughts and say something trying to explain what he didn’t completely understand himself, Maria, with her driven nature, helped him along.

“Look, why don’t you go see him? We’ll leave you both alone. And if you need us, we’ll be in the living room. To the left of the entrance door.”

Though Max wanted to thank them, all he could do was nod. It was only after he heard a closing door that indicated their disappearance, he woke up from his troubled mind. When Max sensed he was alone, he took a deep breath and stepped inside the room.

He glanced towards the bed. Although he had been warned, it was still a shock to see Michael the way he was.

A shallow version of his fierce and stubborn brother lay motionless on the bed. His face covered with a messy beard, locks of long curly brown hair laid neglected on his forehead. The parts of his face Max could still see were pale and contorted with pain. His eyes were closed, but the dark circles beneath them scared the hell out of Max.

He recognized Michael alright. But Max wasn’t as happy as he thought he would be finding his brother. Not like this. Not in the devastated condition Michael was in. Max would rather have given away everything he had, if he could’ve prevented all this.

Slowly he made his way to the bed. Standing in front of it, Max grabbed the foot rest until his knuckles turned white. With a voice thick with emotions and tears in his eyes, he spoke out loud. “God, Michael… Why? Why did you run? Why didn’t you come to us? You knew we were there for you. We still are.”

But there was no response.

Gently Max moved closer until he stood right beside Michael’s body. The girls had been right. Max could smell the alcoholic vapour hanging round Michael now. He tried to ignore the stench but it smelled like Michael had bathed in it. Carefully he lowered himself and took a seat on the bed. Hesitantly his hands wandered across the covers towards Michael’s hand. But it was Michael who moved first.

His trembling fingers came across, searching for what they needed the most. A friend. Family.

“Max?” Michael’s voice finally croaked out.

“Yeah, it’s me. I’m here. How are you feeling?”

Michael’s mouth tried to smirk. “Like I’ve been hit by a freaking car. Whada ya think?”

Relief washed over Max when he heard Michael’s sarcastic remark. He couldn’t be too badly injured if he still had the ability to joke around.

“Where does it hurt?” Max asked to gauge the injuries.

“Nah, it doesn’t hurt. It only tickles here and there.” Michael’s denial was in complete contrast with the wince he couldn’t hide when Max carefully touched his chest.

“Still the same old Michael!” Max thought, he shook his head and smiled at Michael’s lies. God, Michael would always be the tough guy fighting against the world. He had hardened himself against pain in such a manner he would drop dead before admitting he could feel it. Even if he had been hit by a car.

Without hesitation Max took charge now. “Look, Michael, I’m going to heal you. But not entirely. Otherwise-”

“You’d raise too much suspicion. I know.” The men locked eyes in understanding.

Max rested one hand on Michael’s chest and placed the other on Michael’s forehead. Before he started, he gazed into his brother’s eyes again.

Michael understood what he was asking. He knew once they were connected Max would see more than Michael was willing to let him see. Michael swallowed. He really hated being vulnerable like this but he was just too tired to care anymore. His worn out body couldn’t take it any longer. So he nodded his assent.

Seeing the agreement in Michael’s eyes, Max didn’t waste any more time. He established the connection without delaying any further. Once inside, he closed his eyes and concentrated on the injuries, healing them one by one. The broken ribs, the concussion, the small wound on the head. Leaving only some bruises and a small scar.

Exhausted Max slumped against Michael’s body. It wasn’t so much the healing that had worn him out. It was Michael’s memories, they had grabbed him by the throat.

Finally Max understood. Finally he realised where Michael had been those last couple of months. Michael had been living in hell. His own hell. Fighting ghosts from the past in his mind.

“God, Michael!” Though Max had wanted to keep it in, the words escaped his lips before he could stop them.

“I don’t want to talk about it.” Michael barked in response. It was bad enough that he had to let Max see his terror. He didn’t think he could take anything more. To Michael’s surprise Max didn’t argue.

“Don’t worry, I’m not going to.” Max answered, understanding it even more now he had seen the flashes. “I’m going to put you asleep though. You need to rest.”

Before Michael could object, Max touched Michael’s temples with both hands and lulled him to sleep. At last a carefree expression appeared on Michael’s face and he looked young again, at peace.

Max took some time to stare at his face in awe.

While sitting there, next to the only family he had besides Isabel, Max could only think about one thing; how to keep Michael in Roswell this time. Close to his family, close to the people who cared about him. Even though most of the time Michael had no clue there were people who did.

Max shrugged his shoulders at that thought. Maybe Michael did realize it, but just closed himself off from it. Thinking he wasn’t allowed to be loved. Protecting himself against another stab in his already vulnerable heart. Max recalled that the one time Michael had opened himself up, the happiness he had found had been ripped away in the blink of an eye - giving Michael more reason not to believe in love.

Knowing he couldn’t do anything more at the moment, Max let out a deep sigh. He looked one last time at the sleeping Michael, brushed away some lock of hairs from Michael’s forehead and stood up straight. He tucked his brother in and carefully closed the door behind him after he left the room.


****

Arms linked, the two girls strolled into the living room, giggling and gabbling like two teenagers. Something they did quite often. The old routines of their friendship had never faded, giving them both the luxury of feeling light-hearted and young when they wanted to escape the responsibilities of the adult world.

“So, spill it!” Liz demanded while poking her friend.

“What?” Maria teased while pretending not to know what Liz was referring to.

“You know!” Liz was pouting now to get her answer.

“You’re not going to believe me but I really don’t know how matters stand with Max and Michael.”

Liz glared suspiciously at her best friend, disbelief written all over her face. “That would be a first!” But when her friend kept denying any knowledge, Liz scowled. “You’re dead serious, right?”

Maria laughed. “Yeah, sorry, girl. But when Max comes back, I’ll see what I can do.” Maria sniggered. “’Cause I’m getting more and more anxious to. Mysterious men… mmm, don’t you love them?”

Liz wrinkled her nose. “No. Well, maybe yes. If they are cute.”

Her answer made them both giggle out loud.

“So, how was L.A.? Did you go shopping?” Liz asked in order to change the subject.

“They opened a new store with really cute children’s wear. I found some adorable stuff there. Dresses in sunny yellow, apple green tunics with bright colourful patchwork. Things like that. I really had to restrain myself from buying up the whole lot. There are no limits…”

Maria stopped in the middle of a sentence when Max cautiously entered the room.

“Hey Max! I can say Max right?” Maria stood up quickly from the easy chair she was sitting in and approached him in her own no-nonsense style.

“Yeah, no problem. Sorry to interrupt you-”

Before Max could continue, Maria waved his apology away. “Nah, we were just chitchatting. Nothing important. Or maybe… No, no, just kidding. So tell us, is it your brother Michael? And how is he doing now?”

Max let out a relieved sigh and took the seat Maria offered him. “It’s Michael alright. I think his injuries aren’t as bad as you feared, Liz. He’s asleep at the moment.”
He spoke to Maria then. “Can I ask you a favour though? Is it possible to let him stay here over the night? To let him recover a little more?”

“No problem. It’s definitely the least I can do, considering what he did for my daughter.” Maria took a sip of the white wine in front of her before she realised she was being a bad host. “God, Max, I’m sorry. Where are my manners? Can I offer you a glass too?”

“Can I ask for something more refreshing?” Max wondered. Now that he was sitting down and could relax after all the rushing and worrying, he really could use something to relieve his thirst.

Maria listed the contents of her fridge. “Of course. Snapple, cherry coke, lemonade,…?”

“A cherry coke would do just fine. Thank you.”

While Maria was fixing his drink, she decided to continue prodding Max for information. “Call me curious, Max, but I can’t help wondering about something. So I’m going to ask it anyway. Liz here told me Michael’s last name is Guerin and yours is-”

“Evans” Max finished the sentence for her. “And you’re wondering how come I called him my brother?”

“Actually, yeah. If it’s not too personal to ask.” Maria admitted.

Max saw he had the attention of the two girls. He shrugged his shoulders. “It’s not that difficult to explain. Isabel, Michael and I were found together when we were little. They split us up in the orphanage. Isabel and I got adopted. Michael unfortunately ended up in foster care.”

“Is that the reason why you look like you made it and he looks like is has been lying in the gutter?”

Max shook his head, sorrow clearly written all over his face. “Look, I realise you’ve got questions considering Michael is staying in one of your rooms and all. But it’s not my story to tell. I can tell you one thing though; Michael hasn’t always been like this.”

Max stood up and took his wallet out of his back pocket. After opening it, he retrieved a piece of paper and showed it to them. “This photograph was taken two years back.”

A good looking Michael with short trimmed hair wearing a white shirt smirked right in the camera.
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Re: Twined Roads (AU, CC, Adult) CH 6, 10/8/10

Postby Eva » Fri Oct 08, 2010 4:34 am

Keepsmiling7: The way Max was freaking out, was indeed very amusing.

It’s Michael’s turn to react in this chapter. Are you going to find a lot of answers, I don’t know.

Ellie: Thank you! I’m collecting questions at the moment I’m afraid. :mrgreen:

Begonia9508: Thank you. You’ve got great instincts. Future will tell if you’re right.

mary mary: Michael is indeed a nail on Max’s and Isabel’s coffin. They’re there for him if he lets them. And Maria? We all know her, so you can expect something.

BB: Emotionally it will be; certainly when Isabel will be back.

Sundae:
I want to know what Max saw when he healed Michael.

You too? I think you're not the only one.

Michael and Max balance each other out, which gives a great dynamic between the both of them.

No panic, in the next chapter Max will be calling to Isabel.




Chapter six


Liz curled herself up on her favourite spot on the couch. In the evening she liked to relax after a hard day’s work. A good book and a glass of wine were great companions on such moments. They were the best prescription to escape to a fantasy world while leaving the real world behind for a little while.

But this evening the magic didn’t work. The cosy surroundings didn’t help her to relax and Liz couldn’t help brooding about the events of the past few hours. She had a weird feeling she couldn’t shake off.

“Something isn’t right. It just doesn’t fit.” Liz mumbled out loud.

She had examined Michael again when she had collected her stuff before going home. Normally she wouldn’t have done that when another colleague had treated a patient but the carefree way Michael had been sleeping after such a grave accident, had made her wonder.

At first sight the guy had still looked like he had been hit by a car. But as a doctor she perceived little details that didn’t match with the current situation. The way he had breathed so easily with the bruised ribs she had felt, the blush that had coloured his pale face,… It had made her suspicious.

So she had taken a second look. To her surprise the patient’s ribs hadn’t felt broken anymore. And also the head injury had almost disappeared, without stitching it up!!
It really didn’t make any sense to her. Her logical mind couldn’t grasp it.

“I’ll go back tomorrow. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe there is a logical explanation to all this.” Liz assured herself.

****

At the same moment time as Liz was at home wondering about Michael's quick recovery, Max was trying to contact his sister. With a sigh he dialled a number. It was the fifth hotel he checked out to find Isabel.

“The Avalon Hotel Beverly Hills, how can we help you?” a friendly voice greeted him on the other side of the line.

“Good evening. I would like to speak to Isabel Evans.”

“I’ll pass you trough, sir.”

“Yes, I found her!” hammered through his head. The knowledge of Isabel’s preference for fancy hotels had helped him out once more.

After a couple of minutes a voice startled his thoughts. “I’m sorry, sir, but Miss Evans is not in. Can I leave a message?”

“Could you tell her to telephone her brother Max. I found what she’s looking for.”

That’s everything, sir?”

“Yes.” Max confirmed.

“I’ll deliver the message as soon as possible. Good evening, sir.”



****


The banging in his head got worse by the minute. Like there was an out of tune playing rock band rehearsing in his head, over and over again. With the utmost effort he tried to open his eyes. The view he had from between his barely opened eyelashes was foggy.

He was disappointed though that the blurry sight didn’t enlighten him.

“What the fuck?” Michael hissed out load when he scanned the room. The unmistakable feminine furnishing of the room didn’t ring a bell at all. “Where the fuck am I?”

His own voice hammered in his head. With a moan he grabbed his head in his hands. At that moment he heard the voices in the hallway.

“Mommy?”

“Yes, pumpkin, what’s the matter?”

The voices hit his system even harder and he had to refrain from groaning. To his luck the two walked into another room before the little girl could answer her mother’s question. His tormented brain tried to grasp what he had just heard. And somewhere in his foggy brain a bell ringed: the girl!

The girl he had tried to save. The girl with the blond ponytails. The girl who was the spitting image of… The bittersweet memory opened the door and all his other memories came back now.

“Arggh!”

Then Michael realized what was happening. He knew his own body and the fact that the alcohol was vaporizing out of his system, was like a ticking time bomb ready to explode.

When one of their fellow students had spoiled the prom punch, Max and he had discovered that alcohol affected their system big time. Max had become very outgoing and had a lot of fun, he on the other hand had suffered enormously when his senses had gone into overload.

A year ago, when he had deliberately searched for the pain that the alcohol brought him, he had noticed that the pain had faded away into a soulless and numb state of mind after a couple of days of drinking. There was only one tiny side effect: when he ran out of the stuff, his heightened senses returned, rousing his totally out of whack powers at the same time. That was what was happening to him now.
The fact that he needed to reverse the situation before he became a firecracker in a stranger’s home, made him crawl out of his bed.

He had focus all his concentration to get on his feet. He swayed unsteadily next to the bed, trying to find firm ground. When he more or less found his balance, he carefully reached for his shirt on the side table. He heaved when he smelled the bad stink of the rag. He could hardly call the piece of trash ‘shirt’ anymore. On autopilot Michael dressed himself and started shifting towards the door, grabbing every single piece of furniture in his way over there. When he finally reached the door pillar, he could hardly stop the trembling going through his body.

Michael rested his sweaty forehead against the wall and inhaled deeply before carefully opening the door. Cautiously he stuck his head out. The hallway seemed to be deserted.

Alert and on his guard he searched his way through the house. Luckily he almost immediately stumbled upon the living room. After a quick scan, Michael found his much needed liquor. On the opposite side of the room, a small bar revealed a couple of bottles.

“Ahh!” A sigh of relief escaped.

With his last strength Michael made it to the other side. With shaking hands he grabbed the first bottle, not caring what it was. Once opened and poured, Michael looked at the amber coloured liquid in the glass. His saver and his demon at the same time.
Michael took a small sip and closed his eyes. He didn’t need much to feel the effect. At the same moment his body absorbed the alcohol, he felt the tremblings disappear.

Holding the cool glass against his burning forehead, he groaned relieved. He had made it!

“What the hell do you think you’re doing!”

The loud voice startled him and made him almost drop the glass; But before he could react, the voice carried on.
“Is that my thank-you for taking you in, you filthy irresponsible jack-ass! I’ve got a four-year old in the house! And you’re binging in my living room, you stupid moron!”

With every word she was yelling and calling him names, Michael’s temper rose more and more. The minute he heard her taking a breath stop, he turned around to face her.
Michael stepped towards her while he unaware straightened his already big posture even more to impress her.

Pointing to her chest, he roared: “You know shit about me. And as I recall it, it’s you who’s supposed to be thanking me. Not the fucking other way ‘round!”

The fierce blond didn’t seem to be impressed and stayed put right in front of him, her bright green eyes lightening like fire.

“So, you thought: let’s drink the place down while I’m still here.” Maria’s ironic answer bit.

“A sip.” He corrected her harshly. “All I took was a sip.”

“A sip, my ass!” she snorted.

His eyes darkened but Maria didn’t care. When it came to protect her daughter, her anger shrunk all her fears, doubts and every form of self preservation she had. Without giving him the opportunity to react, she carried on.

“A bottle, a glass, a gulp or even the tiniest sip,… I really don’t care ‘cause it all comes to one thing, mister! Doubtlessly we can both say you’re an alcoholic. An alcoholic who drank in my home. And there’s no excuse for that. So buzz of!”

She furiously pointed towards the door behind her while she repeated her message. “Beat it! Before I kick you out myself!”

“And you believe I would like to stay here? With this fucking hospitality?” Michael bristled. “I’m out of here!”

“Nooooo!” The sharp cry startled them both.

From behind the curtains a small whirlwind appeared. Her little legs carried her as fast as they could towards the raging adults.

“Don’t go!” Despair clearly sounded in the voice of the little child while she launched herself at Michael. With a sway she clung herself onto his legs, holding him for dear life.

Helplessly Michael looked at Maria but she didn’t notice him at all. The only thing she could clearly perceive, was the potential danger her daughter was in.

“Honey, why don’t you come to me?” Maria could hardly contain the fear in her voice while she was trying to get Emily away from Michael.

“No, you’re going to send him away!” Emily almost cried the last words out. Her yelling passed into whimpering. “But he can’t leave! He’s my angel.” Big tears escaped from her eyes now and rolled down her cheeks while she kept holding on to Michael.

Michael looked down at the little lot of misery beneath him and inhaled deeply. “God, she was so alike…”

The sight of the upset girl who had defended him with whole her heart, scared the hell out of him. Carefully he loosened her fingers one by one to release her from his legs.

Maria hold her breath. She could clearly see the look of a deer on the run in his eyes, which made her believe Michael was going to run away and set her precious daughter free. A thought that was shared by Emily. The girl felt Michael departing and started sobbing heart rending even more.

But then he surprised them both.

Carefully Michael squatted down on eye-level with the child. His hands trembled a bit out of emotion when he gently wiped a tear away from her tear stained little face.

“Your mom is right, kiddo: I’m too dangerous for you.”

“No! You’re not!” The girl shook her head to reinforce her words. “You wouldn’t hurt me in a million times. You rescued me!”

“I don’t belong here.”

“Yes, you do! I saw it in my dreams. You’ll save me from the bad man. He’ll come back for me. The bad man will get me.”

Maria kneeled on the other side of her daughter. “Emily, nobody will harm you. Ever! I promise I’ll let uncle Kyle protect you.”

“Uncle Kyle can’t help me.” Emily looked Michael right in the eyes now. “Only you can.”

Michael and Maria locked eyes over the head of the little girl, both not knowing where to go from here. Eventually it was Maria who was the first to look away.

She tugged her daughter even closer and tried to reason her. “Sweety, Michael can’t stay. Michael has a life of his own, you know.”

“Yeah.” Michael tried to sound confirming but his muttered “Sort of.” ruined it completely.

Maria’ eyebrows lifted in response to his murmuring.

He shrugged his shoulders. “I kinda screwed my life up the last year. Basically fucked…”

“Language!” Maria hissed while signing to Emily.

But the kid only heard what she found important. “So, you’ve got nowhere to go?” Emily concluded. She immediately turned to her mother. “Mommy, can’t we adopt him? We still got a lot of place left.”

Maria’s face softened. Emily was so much like her. As little child Maria would’ve taken everybody who had crossed her path in too. To share everything was a device she had learned and applied at a very young age. And on her turn she had passed that way of living to her own daughter.

She smiled to the little girl. “I wish we could, but life doesn’t work that way, sweety. You just can’t adopt grown up people, Emily.”

But Emily didn’t let Maria bring her out of tune. “But he can stay, can’t he? He has no place to go.”

Though Michael was in some way enjoying the conversation between mother and daughter, he interfered. “Thanks for the offer, Emily. But I’m not a charity case. You’re lucky you’re just a thumb high ‘cause I would be very offended otherwise.”

“You would?” the little girl asked in return, confusion written all over her face.

“Yeah,” he nodded. “As a grown up man it’s my job to look for a place to stay.”

“Like you did a great job at it until now.” Maria almost snorted the remark out loud but hold herself in when she looked at the two.

Unaware of Maria’s thoughts Michael went on. “As an adult, it’s our job to look after… ” His voice broke a bit now but he swallowed and tried to refrain himself. “It isn’t supposed to be the other way around, kiddo.” A weak smile tried to hide his emotional outburst.

Maria felt for him. She could clearly see Emily’s questions had brought him on weak grounds. After their first encounter on the streets of L.A., it was the first time he had shown her that underneath his weird and poorly bathed exterior, there was a deeply wounded, vulnerable guy. It made him less scary and a hell of a lot more accessible.

And before she could think straight, she could hear herself say: “It wouldn’t have anything to do with charity. As a matter of fact, we do need a gardener and handyman. It’s a position with housing included. You would do us a great favour, and in return you’ve got the possibility to recover and reflect on what you want to do with your life. It’s a two way street, if you ask me.”

What had she done? Maria could’ve hit herself after her impulsive offer.

And to her regret she saw Michael looking in to her daughter’s pleading eyes. The puppy dog look Emily could display when she was after something, again made another victim.

“Ok, I’ll do it.” He nodded.

Emily’s outburst was ecstatic. “Joehoe! Michael is staying, Michael is staying!” She danced in circles around them and than she ran out of the room yelling “You’ve got to see my drawing I made ‘bout this morning!”

When the silence returned, Michael and Maria glared at each other, unease with the situation.

At the same time they started “On two conditions though.” “Look, you got to…”

“You first.” Michael offered in an attempt to show his good intentions.

Fierce she looked at him. It was her own fault that the situation was like it was. But it didn’t mean she would let him step over her. “I want you sober if you’re staying in my house. And that’s not open for debate.”

He nodded in agreement. “You may not believe it but it’s something I wanna change too. It’s time that I put a stop on it. But I’m warning you already: it won’t happen tonight.”

He saw her raising her eyebrows. “Tomorrow,” he hurried himself to assure her. “I’ll start tomorrow when there’s nobody around. Put me in an abandoned stable for all I care. But I don’t want anyone near. Not you and certainly not Emily. Keep her away from me as far as possible.”

He proceeded “That’s the main reason why I want to wait until tomorrow. Which brings me to another problem: if I have to wait until Emily isn’t home, I’ll need some alcohol to make it untill the morning.”

“Don’t you even think ‘bout it!” She bite. “I’m not giving you a single drop.”

“Then I can’t guarantee any consequences.” His voice sounded plain and simple.

Maria bit on her lip while she let his words sink in. Maybe he was right. A drunk trying to detoxicate could indeed be a potential danger to her daughter.

“Ok but only tonight.” The reinforce the seriousness of her words, she looked him right in the eye. “Look, you’re only staying because of Emily. But after tonight, if I see you drinking just one little sip or endangering my home in one way or the other, it stops there. And I don’t care if Emily cries a river. I won’t tolerate crooks and liars. Never. Understood?”

He nodded in consent. He hadn’t expected her to react otherwise.
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Re: Twined Roads (AU, CC, Adult) CH 7, 10/15/10

Postby Eva » Fri Oct 15, 2010 7:16 am

Keepsmiling7: Yeah, I promised to reveal some questions step by step. The puzzle will be laid step by step.

Sundae: It’s true; I kept everything wrapped at the moment. Mean, huh? :mrgreen: But from now on you’ll find some bits and pieces in every chapter. So, you’ll have to wait to find out if you’re right or not.

April: Your feedback made me smirk from time to time. Your “WTF” was the cherry on the cake! :lol:

Spitting image of . . . who? Damn you, Eva! You know how to keep us on the edge of our seats and wondering.


I noticed I’m doing a very good job at it too! 8) But I’ve got some good news for you. From now on I will reveal some questions here and there.

Ginger: Maria is a single mom at the moment. The father of the girl will be revealed in a later stage.

Emily definitely reminds Michael of another little girl with blond pigtails...does he, or did he, have a daughter by some one else? Is she his?


Patience, my girl!

Eve: Liz has an eye for details. Her academic mind likes to have everything scientifically explained.

Ellie: Michael has at last a home base again; it’s now up to him to screw it up or not. The future will tell how he will handle everything.

Leila: Thank you for the summary! 8)

I’m afraid that Michael’s encounter with Maria will set the ball rolling just as the shoot accident in the original episodes did.
By the way: in the next episode I put your most favourite guy in the world in the front row.






Chapter seven

The ring-tone of his mobile startled him in such a way that he bumped his head against the headboard of his bed. Rubbing his head he glimpsed at the clock: 7.30 am. It was still early in the morning, so he hoped that the person on the other side had a damn good reason to wake him up on a Saturday morning.

“Kyle Valenti,” he almost barked.

“Good morning, Mister Valenti. Alicia Jones from H.C., Private Bureau of Investigation, on the line.”

God, Cliff ‘s stiff secretary! Kyle grumbled an hello but was immediately alert when the woman told him one of the P.I.’s was heading to Roswell and would meet him that evening in the bar of the Holiday Inn on Mean Street on his way over to a congress in Las Cruces.

“I’ll be there.” He ruffled through his hair and remembered in time the good manners his father had thought him. “Thank you for the fast service, m’am!”

After he switched off his phone, he let himself crash on his bed and snuggled back under the covers.

****

At the same moment two people were trekking a way through a wilderness of tall grass and neglected greenery.

“And here’s the janitor’s house.” Maria widened her arms and waved them towards the small cottage before her. She looked at her companion while he took the house in.
In turn she observed him. Michael was still a stranger to her but after the turbulent way they had met he had changed a little already. Yesterday he was looking like crap but this morning he had made an effort to clean himself up. After she had brought him some old clothes belonging to Kyle’s dad, he had combed his long hair into a small ponytail. Together with a wash and a shave, it had done wonders. He almost looked like someone else.

“Where is Emily?” he cut off her thoughts.

“She’s with her grandparents.”

“Good,” Michael nodded. “Very good. After I settle myself in here, I don’t want anyone around. Ok?”

“Sure, sure.” Maria led him inside. “I’ll just bring you something to drink and eat now and then.”

“No!” Michael’s roar startled her. “Which word in the sentence “I don’t want anyone around” don’t you understand?”

When he saw his words didn’t affect her at all, he pinned her against the wall with his arm. “Look, I’m serious here. I don’t care what happens while sobering up, the world may end for all I care, but I don’t want anyone near me. Read. My. Lips: No one! Not you, not Max, not the president of the United States! No one! Do you hear me?”

“I got the message!” she sniped while releasing herself. “Loud and clear.” Maria reinforced her message while rubbing her ears for emphasis.
“Why did I even try? You can rot in here for all I care!”
With those words Maria stormed outside, dramatically slamming the door behind her.

****

Slowly he lowered his bags on the floor and gazed ‘round the room. He didn't expect to feel such pleasure at being back in this old familiar room. His mom had kept the room just the way he had left it when he had started touring five years ago. Occasionally he had come home but in the evening he had always hit the road again.

He was used to living from a suitcase in a succession of hotel rooms.

Step by step Alex rediscovered his own room again: his old computers on his desk on which he had created some awesome games, the wall with all his old concert-tickets,…
Gently he stroke them while memories of some great moments from his youth tumbled through his mind. But it was only when his eyes shifted to his photo-collection, that his mind went completely back in time.

A picture in the middle of the collection stuck out and grabbed his attention more than the others. Carefully he picked it off the wall and he stared at it attentively. It was a photo of Maria, Liz and himself, taken in the summer after their high school graduation. It was the summer of their renewed friendship.
Absorbed in thought Alex recollected how it all had started. Though it all happened ten years ago, he could still remember every single detail of the first moment.

Close to closing time he had entered the Crashdown, Roswell’s alien-themed restaurant where his best friend Liz lived and worked. Shortly after he had taken place in his favorite booth, he had noticed the new waitress. The girl had shoulder length light brown hair. With an enthusiastic attitude and her exuberant smile she attracted the attention of every costumer.

“Liz, Liz!” he signaled his best friend.

“Your usual, Alex?” Liz had asked even before he could ask his question.

He nodded, “Yeah, that would be great. Liz, a question though, who’s that girl?”

Liz looked in the direction of his gaze and immediately saw who he was referring to. “Oh, but you know her. Wait, you’ll see.”

Liz turned around and called the other girl. “Hey, Maria, do you have a minute?” The second Maria approached the booth, Liz introduced to two to each other.

“Alex, this is Maria” Liz waved to the other girl. “Maria, this is Alex. But actually you know each other already from…”

“Kindergarten!” Maria and Alex shouted at the same time.

“You were that crazy girl with the bright colored dresses and the funny dog.” Alex pointed towards Maria.

“And you were the one with the goofy smile who liked to joke around.”

He had taken a closer look, “Weren’t you blonde though?”

Maria had taken a lock of hair in her hands. “I know. I wanted to follow the fashion but I ended up with a complete disaster instead. I can only hope this colour starts fading fast.”


After that encounter several others had followed. That summer he, Liz and Maria became like the three Musketeers. When the inhabitants of Roswell saw one of them, the other two were most likely in the neighbourhood.

That summer was the most care-free period he could remember in his whole life. To their surprise it turned out that they all could stay together during their higher education. Maria and Alex had both applied and been accepted to the Berkeley College of Music in Boston while Liz had an acceptance letter from Harvard Medical School in the same city. So to reduce the costs they had decided to rent a three-bedroom apartment together.

That close friendship came to an end at the end of Maria and Alex’s last year. Liz had still three years to go and would stay in Boston on her own while Alex and Maria would start their career with a record deal in their pockets.

He self had been lucky to win a rock contest which first price resulted in a deal with a big rock label. Maria on the other hand had been offered a contract through her boyfriend Billy’s connection. Disappointed that she had to give up on her music in exchange for glory and fame she had turned out the offer and the boyfriend though. Instead she had signed with a small upcoming label.
They all went their own way and the rest was history.

Occasionally at big events and music awards, Alex had encountered Maria. They had both pursued their career in a different way.
Maria had chosen to keep Roswell as her operating base, taking time between concerts and career obligations for herself and her family. He, on the other hand, had invested all his time and energy in the band.

He had always believed he had taken a better way to get everything he could out of his singing career. Believing that his way was the best road to success and inner happiness.
But lately Alex wasn’t so sure anymore. Somewhere in his head something kept gnawing at him. Although he had achieved everything he had ever dreamed off, he was still missing something.

A couple of weeks ago he had seen the light when he had met Maria at the MTV Awards. The contrast between the two of them couldn’t have been bigger. Backstage Alex had been alone while his band members were screwing chicks and drinking beer. She, on the other hand, was surrounded by her beautiful little girl and her family. Besides Emily and Kyle, her mother Amy and the old sheriff Jim were also there.
It had hit him big time when Alex had realized that besides his music he had no one around. He had turned twenty-eight and he had no girlfriend or loved one in his neighbourhood. Hell, he even had lost contact with his closest friends Liz and Maria. The neglect had also hit his relationship with his family.

Between the different gigs Alex had talked to Maria. Their long talk had resulted in a promise. Maria had made him vow to take time to regenerate and to take some quality time with his family and friends. So here he was.

With a laugh in his throat Alex pulled his phone out his pocket and dialed Maria’s number.

“Hello beautiful!” Alex teased when he heard Maria picking up the phone.

“Hello gorgeous,” she chaffed back. “Please tell me you’re calling from home, Alex.”

“Cross my heart, I can honestly say I’m standing between the relics of my youth at the moment.”

“You are? Great!”

Her happiness warmed his heart. It was nice to feel welcome without conditions. Something he hadn’t felt for a long time. People acted differently when he was around. Everywhere he went he was greeted as Alex, the rock star, not as Alex, the person. Which resulted in extreme fawning and shallow encounters.

“Do you have time to meet your noble servant?”

Maria looked outside in the direction of the cottage and sighed. With the promise she had made, she couldn’t let Alex come over though she would’ve loved to speak with him again. “Today is a bit difficult, Alex. Maybe tomorrow?”

“Tomorrow it is! And how is…”

But even before Alex could ask his question, Maria stepped in. “Sorry, Alex, I don’t mean to be blunt but I’ve got to take a rain check I’m afraid. I see Liz driving up my driveway.”

“Then we’ll talk tomorrow. No problem, Maria! Greet Liz for me, will you! Bye!”

“Bye Alex.”

Maria closed her phone and went outside to greet her best friend. She waited patiently until Liz parked her car in front of the house.

When Liz turned off the engine, Maria started walking towards her while waving her hand. “Hi pumpkin! Couldn’t stay away from me?”

Liz smiled when she heard Maria’s greeting. “Yes and no… I don’t know. Maybe I’m seeing ghosts.”

Maria scowled. “What is it?”

Liz drew a hand through her hair. “I’ve got a weird feeling about Michael, Maria. Something didn’t fit yesterday. If it’s alright with you, I wanna check out his room. Maybe I’ll find something to ease my mind. I don’t know.”

“You wanna see him too?”

“Michael is still here?” The astonishment was clearly written on Liz’s face.

“Mmm!” Maria nodded while she pointed to the cottage. “He’s over there, detoxing.”

When Maria sense Liz’s disbelief, she held up her hands to defend herself. “Don’t look at me like that. I really don’t understand how I let it go so far. Michael and I had a major argument last night, he was leaving and all of a sudden Emily went ballistic. One thing led to another and suddenly I heard myself inviting him to stay.”

“God, Maria, how typical! You always act so impulsive!” Liz took another look at her best friend. While giving Maria a playful shove she added. “And too good-hearted for your own good!”

“I know, I know. But that doesn’t change the situation and the fact I let him stay.”

“And what happens afterwards?”

“I kinda promised he could use the cottage to make up his mind.” Maria confessed unwillingly.

“You did what?” Liz’s shriek was louder than she had intended.

“You try to disappoint Emily when she’s looking at you with those soulful puppy-eyes she has.” Maria answered defensively.

Liz could easily imagine the dilemma. “Ok, point taken.”

“Besides, it’s an even exchange on both sides: while he gets a place to recover, I get a handyman and gardener in return.”

For the umpteenth time that morning Maria’s gaze wondered back towards the cottage where she had left Michael almost two hours ago. It took her tremendous strength to keep away from the place.

“Why don’t you go in if you’re wondering how he’s doing?” Liz asked when she saw Maria absorbed in thought.

“Cause I promised I wouldn’t. Seeing someone detoxing, isn’t the prettiest thing in the world. So I presume Michael’s too proud to let me see him that way. I don’t know.”
Maria flashed her teeth in a big smile. “But to be honest, Liz, I’m dying from curiosity here. I’ve had to restrain myself all morning..”

“That doesn’t surprise me at all. You’re always anxious to know everything. So when something’s happening on your property, it’s bound to tickle your curiosity.”
Liz wrinkled her noise. “But if I think about it: actually it’s your right as the owner of the place, to know everything. And now that you’ve got a doctor around, you’ve got an alibi to go in. As a doctor it’s my duty to assist people in need.”

Maria’s lips curled. “Liz, whoa, that’s smart thinking!” She looked devilish. “But I like it!”

“Before we go in, I’ve got a question first: Have you emptied the garbage can in the guest room?”

“No, I forgot. Sorry.” Maria apologised.

“Perfect!”

Now it was Maria’s turn to frown “Huh?”

Liz smirked. “You know I said I’ve got a weird feeling ‘bout Michael and yesterday. He said to me that he was allergic to anesthetics. But afterwards, Max treated his head injury. And I’m wondering how he did it. So I'm hoping to find a clue in the bin: a wrapping, an empty bottle or something like that.”

“Oh, right! You know what: while you do your investigation thingy, I’ll prepare some refreshments to take with us. A man like Michael can’t survive on a couple of crumbs for a whole day.”

And with that they both entered the house. While Maria headed towards the kitchen, Liz started her search. But to her surprise she only found a used head bandage. “Maybe Max had taken all the empty packaging with him.” Liz thought out loud. “Damn. What now?”

Her gaze went back to the used bandage. Because it was the only thing evidence that anything had happened, Liz grabbed it out of the garbage can and took it with her in her bag.
After looking around the room for one last time, she disappointedly closed the door behind her and joined Maria in the kitchen.

Just as Liz entered the kitchen, Maria was closing the picnic basket. She looked up at her best friend. “Ready to go! Did you find what you were looking for?”

The disappointment was clearly visible in her features when Liz shook her head. “Not exactly. But let’s go. Maybe I’ll find some answers when I see him.”

Armed with a big basket full of drinks and refreshments, the two girls started walking towards the cottage.
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Re: Twined Roads (AU, CC, Adult) A/N 3/13/11

Postby Eva » Fri Mar 18, 2011 4:10 am

Before I start I want to thank every feedbacker and bumper of my fic. To my own stupidity I can’t reply any of them ‘cause I had to rescue my story out of the “dead and buried” area. :?

The story proceeds where I stopped in October. Whoaw, I can't believe that it's taken me so long.
Anyway, do know that in this chapter a few quotes from “A tale of two parties” were borrowed.

And now, without any further delay I’m presenting you a new chapter!


Chapter eight


The moment they entered the house, the silence surrounded them.

Liz and Maria exchanged looks. It was so quiet that it scared the hell out of them. Instinctively they grabbed each others hand for support.

Staying close to each other the women started checking out every room. After three rooms they ended up in a darkened room Unable to find the light switch, Maria made her way to the windows to open the curtains. With one strong pull she drew them open.

Then it all happened quickly.

Maria heard Liz’s muffled scream, a nanosecond later she too noticed the pale and motionless body of Michael on the bed. “Oh. My. God.” Was he dead?

But before either of them could react, out of the blue, the silence was broken by a loud yell.
“Fuck! Close the damn curtains! Do you wanna make me go fucking blind?”

Maria immediately obeyed his demand. “Sorry, we just wanted to see if you were doing alright.”

Michael’s sarcasm bit. “I’m detoxing. Does that sound alright to you?” The torment sounded in his voice as he spoke. “And could you please not scream in my ears.”

“We’re just looking out for you, you know.” Unaware of the effect of her voice Maria chattered on. “And by the way, if I would’ve yelled, you would’ve known the difference between screaming and talking normal. This is nothing compared to...”

Liz took a good look at Michael and turned to Maria, whispering “Shh, Maria. I think he’s got a major headache.”

With one eye closed Maria studied Michael’s pale looking face. “You’re right. Maybe we should dim our voices a bit.”

Her remark made Michael snort. “Gosh, the blonde finally said a smart thing. Now act on it: Get out! And leave me alone!”

Liz tried a last time to find out something to help her puzzled mind. “It’s like Maria said, we just wanted to check if you’re doing alright. We-”

But she couldn’t finish her sentence.

“You checked. Now leave.” Michael rolled himself on his side, turning his back to the two women.

His dry comments and manifest behaviour didn’t leave much room to negotiate. There was nothing else for them to do but leave.

When they stepped back into the hallway, Liz and Maria both looked like each other. The weirdness about the situation clearly written on their features.

“He clearly still isn’t Mister Nice,” Liz remarked.

“You can say that again!”

Thinking back on her encounter with Michael, Liz tried to review the situation in order to find an explanation to it all. Softly she whispered, “It’s like his senses are super heightened or something like that. I don’t know. It’s like if the lights are too bright, or if he hears anything, it really hurts.”

“Like your whispering is doing right now.”

Both Liz’s and Maria’s eyes bulged out of their heads when Michael’s remark hit them.

“He can hear our whispers from there?” Maria’s clear voice echoed in the empty hallway.

Before they could hear Michael react for a second time, Liz pulled Maria’s arm while leaving the cottage.

“What did you do that for?” Maria demanded when they both stood outside on the porch.

“I love you, Maria, but sometimes you’re like an elephant in a china shop.” Liz tried to explain. “That man is so high sensitive at the moment that he could hear us whisper on the other side of the wall! Your yelling was pouring more oil on the fire.”

“Oh!” After Maria understood what Liz was saying, another question tumbled through her mind. “I never saw anything like that. Is that a sign of the detox?”

Liz wrinkled her noise. “Actually no. The alcohol withdrawal syndrome can manifest itself in many symptoms but I never would’ve guessed that that the heightened senses would be one of them. Clouded sensory would be more likely.”

“And now in English, doctor.” Maria’s dry remark made them both giggle.

“Sorry, old habits die hard.” The fact Maria didn’t understand the medical lexicon, set Liz thinking. “Well, normally when people are trying to detox, they have trouble thinking clearly or concentrating. Michael on the other hand is acting the complete opposite. It’s like he has an extraordinary hearing and sight, just like Superman.”

Maria nodded in understanding. “But in Michael’s case, it isn’t an advantage. It’s hurting him.”

“Exactly!” Liz confirmed.

A couple of minutes later, she added. “It’s more than just weird. But I can’t lay my finger on it. What did I miss?”

Maria hooked an arm in Liz’s and started walking back to her house. “Don’t ask me. You’re the doctor. But I do know a solution to your problems.”

In wonder Liz jerked her head towards her best friend. “You do?”

“Tonight they’re showing the most romantic, classic movie ever.” The enthusiasm was clearly heard in every word Maria was saying. “Liz, imagine: the two of us sitting in a candled lit room, drinks in one hand, chips in the other. On the screen Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing.”

Maria poked a finger in her best friend’s side. “Come on, what do you say, pumpkin? Admit it; it would be more than an excellent way to clear your mind.”

“Mmm, tempting!” Liz rested her head on Maria’s shoulder. “It has been a long time ago since we had a girl’s night but I really can’t stay. As long as I can’t figure out what’s troubling me, I wouldn’t find any peace. So if it’s alright with you, I’m heading home. We’ll do our girl’s night some other evening.”

“Pity! But then again, more chips for me!” Maria stuck out her tongue.

Chattering they both found their way back to Liz’s car.

****

At five pm sharp, Kyle entered the lobby of Roswell’s most luxurious hotel. The bright and expansive looking chandelier was in shrill contrast with the dimmed lights in the lounge next to it. Confidently he walked towards the bar at the end of the room while he subtly scanned the room.

At first sight nobody there looked like they could be related to Cliff Harding.

Cliff’s big boned posture made him large and tall in every way possible. It gave people the impression he was chubby, which was a big mistake. Therefore Cliff had always been their secret weapon during basketball. His limber movements always surprised the opponents. After meeting Cliff’s brother Dave, Kyle had noticed that Cliff’s remarkable anatomy had been a family characteristic. So, as Kyle was meeting another sibling from the Harding family, it was his first impulse to look for similar looking people.

At the bar Kyle greeted Nick, the barkeeper who he knew from his high school years, while he took a free bar stool. “Hi, Nick.”

“Hey man, that’s been a long time. Can I get you anything?”

“A beer would be great.”

Minutes later Kyle had a glass of beer in his hands. Relaxed he turned his bar stool and leaned nonchalant against the bar while gazing around the room. Before he could turn back to Nick, his eyes caught a beautiful blonde sitting two chairs away from him.
The blonde woman was watching him closely. He nodded his head in a friendly greeting.

The woman saw his greeting as an invitation and shifted a chair closer. “Waiting for someone?”

Kyle nodded. “I’ve got an appointment here.”

“But your date hasn’t arrived?” the lady guessed. “Maybe it’s not good; me sitting here I mean. What if she gets the wrong…”

Kyle couldn’t help laughing. “No, no, it’s a business appointment. I don’t mind having some company in the process. Not at all as a matter of fact. It’s better talking to a nice looking lady then standing here as a lonesome cowboy, with only a beer as a companion.”

His remark made her smile and he couldn’t help flirting. “Call me curious but I’m a local around here and I've never seen you before, so I presume you’re a tourist?”

The blonde curls of the woman danced while she shook her head. “No, I’m here to meet a client too.”

The gentleman in Kyle kicked in and making use of the situation, he immediately jumped on the wagon. “Can I offer you a drink while waiting?”

A sexy smile appeared. “A white wine would be great, thanks.”

“Hey Nick, could you bring another beer and a white wine please?”

After Kyle had placed his order, he turned back to the woman.

“So, you’re born and raised here in Roswell, huh?” she asked him. She saw him nodding and proceeded. “Maybe you know the man I’m supposed to meet.”

“Chances are big.” Kyle flashed his brightest smile. “I went to school here plus my dad was the local sheriff until a few years ago. So you can honestly say I know a lot of people here in town.”

“Well, his name is…”

The bartender interrupted. “Valenti, here are your drinks.”

The lady lifted her eyebrows in surprise. “Valenti? You’re Kyle Valenti?

Taken by surprise that the woman knew his name, Kyle just nodded.

“Then I think we’ve got a meeting together. Hi, I’m Tess Harding.”

Disbelief was clearly written on Kyle’s face. “You’re a sister of Cliff? Whoa! No offense but I would’ve never guessed that one!”

Tess laughed out loud. “I know, there is hardly any resemblance between the two of us. The fact I was adopted explains a lot.” Then she shook her head in laughter. “But that doesn’t explain the fact that Cliff described you totally different.”

Amused Kyle grinned. “Make my day! What did he say ‘bout me?”

Laughing Tess raised her hands. “Don’t shoot me; I’m just the piano player. But Cliff said I was meeting a grumpy and rude guy who could hardly pass through the doors. His face would be disfigured with spots and pimples. Cliff said he would scare the hell out of me if I encountered him in a dark alley. Unbelievable, huh?”

“Not really.” Kyle smirked. “That’s how we both once disguised ourselves at Halloween.”

“Now that I can imagine!” Tess reacted.

She tried to pull herself together but one thought about Cliff and Kyle dressed up like vagabonds and she started laughing again. Her spontaneous laughter infected Kyle and he started laughing a long with her until they both had tears in their eyes.

“Oh, man!” Kyle tried to take a breath to refocus. In the corner of his eye he saw Tess making an effort too. When she finally got herself under control, he offered her her drink.

“Let’s start over. Hello, I’m Kyle Valenti.”

Tess immediately stuck out her hand to shake hands. “Tess, Tess Harding. Pleased to meet you.”

“I suggest taking a seat at one of those little tables so we can talk privately.”

With a nod of her head Tess agreed.

The next ten minutes Kyle sketched the events clearly and concisely. Tess listened without interruption while taking notes of every important detail.

“It will be a tough job. There are a lot of black SUV’s riding through the streets of L.A. but I’m going to do my very best to track him down. Starting with screening every garage in the area. It’s not going to be easy, I can tell you that already, but we’ll try every single possibility.” Tess doodled on the piece of paper while she was thinking out loud.

Her eyes fell again on the name Kyle had given her. “Tell me something more about Michael Guerin. Did you have contact with him in high school?”

Kyle shook his head. “I wasn’t that close to him. Hell, I don’t think anyone was close to him, except the Evans kids. From what I’ve heard from my dad, he had some encounters with the police but always for small affairs: shoplifting, street fights,… Guerin had a problem with authority. Wasn’t raised in ideal circumstances either. His home was in the local trailer park. And that is what he still is in my opinion: trailer trash! Or at least, that’s how he still looks.”

“And you haven’t seen him the last ten years?” Tess asked in an effort to get the facts clear.

He sighed and ran a hand through his hair. “Yep, true. He walked away after graduation. Never seen him since.”

“Ok, I’ve got some leads.” Tess grabbed the pieces of paper together. “Tomorrow I’ll start checking both cases out. You can expect a preliminary report within a few days. Is that ok for you?” She flashed him a big smile.

“More than ok, if you ask me. In the mean time: can I offer you another drink?” Kyle said with his most charming of boyish smiles.
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Re: Twined Roads (AU, CC, Adult) CH 8 03/18/11

Postby Eva » Fri Mar 25, 2011 3:03 am

First of all I want to thank everybody for the warm “welcome back” notes! It surprised me enormously that my story was missed so much!

Tequathisy:
True! Sobering up is never a pleasant experience, let alone when you’re alien.

Eve:
This isn’t the same Tess Harding as we know from the series. At this moment we already know that her situation is already very different: she’s adopted in a family with at least two brothers. I think we’ll have to wait a bit to see how her character will turn out.

Ellie:
You will definitely have to wait with your knee jerk reaction. It’s like I said to Eve, this Tess has a totally other situation and we’ll have to wait to see if that had an influence on her upbringing and personality.
Indeed: poor Michael! Let’s hope he’ll get come through.

BB:
Thanks!

Keepsmiling7:
Thanks!

Cardinal:
Oh yes, Liz has smelled something and she will hold on just until she finds some kind of explanation.
Kyle & Tess started in another situation. Kyle doesn’t know anything about aliens at the moment. He just saw a beautiful woman and he reacted like every single guy would have.



Chapter nine


“Hey, miss!”

Completely worn-out and falling down with tiredness Isabel ignored the man. For last two days non-stop she had toured the streets of Los Angeles inside out. So without giving him a second glance she marched straight to the elevator.

God, another admirer! Sometimes I wish I was a fat ugly nobody instead of a former model. What was I thinking becoming a model?

“Miss, miss, wait a second!”

This one was persistent. A girl can do only one thing to chase those away: being as unpleasant and rude as possible. Here I go!

She stopped right in her tracks which made him bump into on her. Swiftly Isabel turned her head to him while she tried to do her best ice-queen performance ever. An act that would scare him away for life.

“Hey, sorry, miss.”

“What?” she snapped. If her eyes would’ve been guns, he would’ve been dead by now.

Impressed the guy started to stutter. “Uh, I… uh, got…. uh a message for you. It’s… uh, from your brother.”

Dam, being dog-tired certainly didn’t help my social ability. With a faint smile Isabel thanked the man, accepted the note and whispered “Sorry, bad day” before she continued on her way.

Once in the elevator she let herself to read the message. “I found what you’re looking for,” she read aloud. Yes!

***

Liz couldn’t stop pacing to and fro. She just couldn’t reconcile the image of a wounded Michael with the one she had seen after Max had treated him. She knew she was missing something but she couldn’t pinpoint it. The scenes kept replaying in her head and they drove her crazy.

At last she opened her bookcase with her old school books, hoping she would find an answer in there. Slowly Liz let her eyes wander over the covers of the books until her eyes rested on her old microscope at the bottom of the closet. The microscope!

As a general physician Liz didn’t use the damn thing often so she had totally forgotten that she still had one at home. Not finding anything logical on the surface, the scientist in her took over.

Driven, on the verve of obsession, Liz started to set up the equipment. After testing her own saliva she was pleased to notice the vials with contrast fluid were not out of date.
It didn’t take her long to take a sample of Michael’s bandage to place it under the microscope.

Expecting to see the evidence of theater blood that would expose Michael as an impostor trying to elbow himself in Maria’s life, Liz’s eyes bulged when she saw the sample through her magnifying glass. She was surprised in more than one way. Not only could she exclude the possibility of fake blood, what’s more Liz didn’t even recognize the cells.

With a frown on her brow, she quickly replaced her own DNA- sample back under the microscope. She observed all the details before switching back to Michael’s sample.

The more she watched the cells, the more she was sure beyond doubt that the cells in front of her were some kind of DNA. The cells moved like DNA but had a totally different kind of cell division.

Liz tried to combine the newly obtained information with everything that had happened in the past few days, from the first phone call she had had with Maria to her first encounter with Michael.

“Why didn’t you call the emergency services then?” Liz wondered.
Maria sighed “I couldn’t, Liz. He asked me not to.”

“You... you don’t understand. You can’t… drug me. It’s not… possible.”
“But how did your doctors treat you in the past?” Liz wondered.
Michael mumbled “They didn’t.”


One last thought set her in action.

“Call Max. Max Evans.”

“Max knows more!” The sudden exclamation echoed in the empty room.

Though it flabbergasted her completely, Liz couldn’t dwell on it. Agitated she jumped into her shoes and left her home in a hurry.

***

Cuddled up under a warm blanket and surrounded by cosy little pillows, Maria sat before the television so totally engrossed by the romantic interactions between Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, that she wasn’t aware of her surroundings anymore.

All of a sudden, she heard a sound and it jerked her out of her concentration. Curious about what she had heard, she looked around the room. But there was nothing out of order. Had she dreamt it?

She silenced the television with the remote control. She tilted her head to concentrate. Nothing.

As she picked up the remote to turn back on the sound, Maria heard it again. In the silence around her, it gave her goose-pimples. It was the sound of broken glass. And it didn’t look like just one glass, but a whole bunch of them.

“What the hell is going on?”. Maria asked herself aloud as she walked through the first floor of her house, trying to determine the cause of the sound. But to her surprise she didn’t find anything broken or damaged.

So it had to come from outside.

Maria hesitated. It didn’t tempt her to go outdoors. Not at all, as a matter of fact. She wasn’t a hero when she encountered dark and creepy spaces. Let alone when that space was something as spacious as her own garden. She started dialling Kyle’s number.

Another crack made her disconnect the call. Kyle would never make it in time. I have to do this myself! Be brave, girl!

Armed with a heavy flashlight Maria carefully made her way outside. Slowly she snuck towards the cottage. Step by step she moved around the building and she checked the windows one by one. She held her breath when her flashlight found the cracked windows on the back side of the cottage. From the left to right she could see that there was not a single window-glass still in its frame.

The idea that her guest had betrayed her trust and had ruined her house, made her forget her fears. Outraged and determined to give him a piece of her mind, Maria barged in and searched her way through the cottage.

She threw the door of the guestroom open. But the sight she got before her, made her stop right in her tracks.

Oh. My. God.

The words kept repeating in her head while she took in the whole room. Or what was still left of it.

Every single thing had been trashed. The feather bed was now a pile of feathers mingled with rags. The wind, finding its way through what once had been a window, blew them around the room like a whirl wind. The same wind played with the hair of a lonely figure, desperately pounding his arms against the wall. Michael. At that moment all the shelves of the bookcase on the other side of the room started whirling around before crashing down one by one. The apocalyptic scene before her made Maria's flesh creep.

Suddenly Michael stopped fighting the wall. That new development kept Maria standing in the same spot instead of running away, her curiosity winning over her desire to run away.

Visibly worn out he rested his head against the wall and slowly slumped down on the glass covered ground.

Maria stayed standing near the door post silently. Should she interfere? Or should she ring Kyle for back-up? The decision was ripped out her hands the moment Michael lifted his head up. His hair fell away from his forehead and revealed a pale and torn face. His eyes were closed but couldn’t hide the despair. A silent tear searched its way over his cheek.

Tragedy and loneliness marked Michael’s whole body language. Her mother heart crumbled when she saw him, completely washed-out, laying his head on his bended knees.

Carefully and with soothing sounds she came closer to him. Maria felt him stiffen the moment she laid a hand on his shoulder. She waited a few second but the fact that he didn’t back away, gave her more confidence to carry on. Gently she hooked an arm under his shoulders to get him off the cold and glass-covered floor.

With a lot of effort Maria managed to get him to stand up. Step by step she directed him towards the hallway. She let him rest against the door pillar to recover her own breath. Though his back leaned against the wall his body still weighed on her. Maria knew that she had to get him to a bed quickly before they both collapsed on the floor. With the utmost exertion she lifted his arm over her shoulder and supported him towards the second guestroom. To her relief the room still had all its windows intact.

In his dazed state Michael didn’t notice as an out of breath Maria guided him to a bed in the corner. Gently she let him lay down after which she quickly tried to tuck him in. Within a minute, an emotionally and physically exhausted Michael fell asleep. Released from her heavy load, Maria lowered herself to sit on the side of the bed.

She didn’t understand what had just happened in her home. The fact there was a person in need made her forget all of her questions and fears. To her it always came down to one thing: if you encounter a person in distress, you help. No questions asked. They would follow later, at the right time and place. That’s what her mother had taught her and that’s how she embraced life.

After waiting a couple of minutes, Maria stood up to clear the mess. The second she left Michael’s side, she saw him changing. Asleep he started moving back and forth on the bed. His restlessness passed into an uncontrollable shaking. As if his body couldn’t restrain the silent tears anymore.

Impulsively Maria did the only thing she could think of to comfort him: without saying a word she slipped next to him under the covers, holding him in a warm embrace.

Wearily she rested her head against his shoulders. Though she could’ve sworn that she was still awake, a movie of several images swept her on the dream plane.

A cute little girl smiled brightly at her. The little thing reminded Maria a lot at her own daughter but this child was clearly younger, almost a toddler.

Three little children, two boys and a girl, wandering naked through the cold and dark desert.


Last edited by Eva on Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Eva
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Re: Twined Roads (AU, CC, Adult) A/N 4/8/11

Postby Eva » Fri Apr 15, 2011 2:25 am

Eve:
Indeed, we don’t know everything yet. We can presume some things but it will be revealed later one if we’re right or wrong.

I admire her: I would be afraid to death....

Me too

And Liz? We’ll see how she’ll react right now.

Keepsmiling7:
Thanks, it’s one of my favorites too!

Liz won’t stop immediately I’m afraid.

Ellie:
Did I surprise you?

Well, Liz won’t take no for an answer. So, yes, she’s on the road to barge in. Sit back and watch!

Cardinal:
The fact that Michael is opening up, is more a consequence of his emotional breakdown. The morning after will be a lot tougher because he will have to face her again. Sober and awake.
Ah, you’re presuming a lot. I like that. But I’m not going to answer your questions and ideas immediately. Some maybe right, but some maybe wrong too.


N/A: In this chapter I borrowed some sentences out of the Pilot episode.



Chapter ten


Max leaned against the mantelpiece in his living room while holding his phone between chin and shoulder.

“When are you going to believe that he’s really in Roswell?” Max ran a hand through his hair and sighed. “Isabel, I’m going to say it for the last time: Michael is here in Roswell and he’s doing alright.”

Though it was a white lie, it wasn’t completely a sham either. Technically speaking Michael was doing better than before Max had healed him. The fact that Michael had become an alcoholic, was something he didn't want to mention yet. Pouring more oil on Isabel’s flames was the last thing on Max’s mind.

But her persistence drew Max’s patience to an end. “Look, sis, why don’t you hop on the next plane so you can see for yourself that I’m telling the truth here?”

Max immediately regretted his rash remark.

Michael had telephoned him that he would try to recover in Maria’s cottage. From the first moment Max had heard Michael’s idea to detox with other people around, he had called it plain stupid and dangerous. But it had done no good. Michael, as obstinate as a mule, had let him with only one possibility: he had to resign himself to the situation, though he was far from happy with it. He could only hope that Michael would quickly be back to his old self, without exposing himself in the process.

And now that Isabel was coming home, Max shouldered even more worries.
Would there be enough time to get Michael cleaned up and sober again before Isabel would arrive? And an alien detoxing, who could tell how long that one would take? Aliens and alcohol weren’t exactly a predictable and explored science.

To his surprise Isabel overruled his inner questions with one remark. “Max, don’t you know me by now? I booked my seat the minute I heard the news.”

“Give me at least a bit of margin to notify Michael,” he begged inarticulately. To his luck the connection creaked.

“What did you say?”

Without thinking Max immediately rephrased. “When would you arrive? Have you-” Startled by the unexpected sound at his front door, he cut his sentence off.

Max glared at the big clock hanging on the wall. 9 p.m. Who could possibly be standing on my porch at the hour of the day?

“Hey, Isabel, hold on a sec. There’s somebody ringing at my door.”

With the phone clutched between his shoulder and head, he peeped through one of the windows. To his surprise he found a serious looking Liz on his porch.

“God, this evening is getting better and better by the minute”, he mumbled ironically.

“Isabel? I have to hang up. Let me know when your plane touches the asphalt. I’ll pick you up at the airport. Ok?” And with that he closed the connection.

Hoping to get it over quickly, Max stormed to his front door and swung it open.

“Parker,” he acknowledged dryly.

“Hi Max.” Liz bit her lip while making eye contact. “Can I come inside. We need to talk.”

With a nod he invited her in.

Alert Max returned to his spot by the mantel piece. On the verge of being rude, he just stared at her.

There she stood: Liz Parker, his high school crush who had never known how much he had really loved her. Strangely enough that had been the same reason to avoid her and keep her at arm’s length. He had always been rude and impolite, just to make sure that she would start to hate him in the process. Hoping that she wouldn’t fall for him, and consequently he not for her. Because deep down Max knew he couldn’t. He wasn’t like Michael, who could marry a girl without telling her who, or better what, he really was. He expected more from relationship. He wanted the whole fairytale, just like his parents had: a true and open love wherein he could be himself.
But Michael, Isabel and he had vowed never to tell anyone their secret. So consequently he had never had a deep relationship.

The only one Max had ever wanted to tell, was now standing in his living room. Liz.

Knowing he had to get her out of his home quickly, Max instigated. “I want to get this over with, so come on, Parker, start talking about everything I did wrong this time.”

“You didn’t do anything wrong, I think.”

“You think?” Max’s eyebrow quirked when he ironically repeated her last words.

Obsessed with finding answers, Liz had come over here without thinking it through first and now that she could ask them, she froze. The only thing she could do was to stare back at Max.

Max wore a pair of old sweatpants and his vest emphasized every muscles of his upper-body. For the first time in years, Liz felt the physical attraction between the two of them. The same attraction they had before a tight-lipped Max had switched partners during their chemistry lessons in high school.
How would it feel to hold his body against mine. To touch every inch of it. To map every curve with my mouth…

“Parker! Stop undressing me with your eyes and say what you wanna say. You got exactly five minutes before I throw you back outside.”

Max’s remark bit and got her back on track. God, what am I thinking! That cold caveman would never have heated sex, let alone with me!

Not wanting to undergo more of his insinuations, Liz immediately came to the point. “What did you do with Michael yesterday?”

Playing dumbass, he nonchalantly answered, shrugging his shoulders at the same time. “What do you mean? I just patched up my brother.”

“Then you’re a miracle man. ‘Cause that’s what your patching up did: it created miracles.”

Her sarcasm was tangible when she went on. “Do you really think I’m stupid, Max? Do you really think I wouldn’t notice that the broken ribs had mysteriously stitched themselves back together or the missing bruises AND a concussion?” She emphasized every word she was saying.

Damn, she knew! Liz had done the exact opposite of what Max had hoped: she had examined Michael a second time. Without showing an emotion or reaction on his face, Max approached. “Five minutes are over. If you’re done with your delusions, I suggest you get out of my house.”

Playing her master card, she sweetly asked. “So, you don’t mind that I forward one of Michael’s blood samples to the lab, do you?”

Max froze. His face turned pale as the meaning of her words sunk in to him. “What?”

“You heard me loud and clear, Evans. If you think I’m making this all up, I’m sure as hell you don’t mind sending the whole caboodle to a specialized firm.”

The challenge in Liz’s features was undeniable.

“You can’t, Liz,” was the only thing Max could whisper.

“So, now I’m Liz again?” Liz wanted to continue her game now that she knew that she had hit the jackpot. But then she made the mistake to look him right in the eyes. Stunned she could only see fear in them. A feeling she didn’t understand. It was true, she had wanted some answers but not at the expense of everything.

His agony made her moderate her demand. “Give me one damn good reason why I shouldn’t.”

“Then we would all be in danger. Our lives would end for sure.”

“We?”

Max swallowed, “Isabel, Michael and I.”

Determined she looked him back in the eyes. “Ok, let us assume you guys are in danger. What would that have to do with Michael’s blood sample? A sample that by the way wasn’t how it was supposed to be. So, tell me, did I have the wrong blood sample?”

“No, you didn’t.”

Max‘s plain answer surprised her. Together with everything that had happened the last two days, it puzzled Liz even more. “Okay, um. So help me out here Max. I mean, what are you?”

He had wanted to tell her for years, but not like this. Not when she was treating him and his family. Max could only hope that Liz would do the right thing. Here goes nothing, he thought before answering her. “Well, I'm not from around here.”

Liz tucked a hair behind her ear. “Where are you from?”

Max did the only thing he could think of and pointed up with his index finger.

Liz scowled. “Up north? “

Max shook his head and pointed higher.

“You're not an, an alien, I mean. Are you?”

“Well I prefer the term not of this earth.” Max noticed Liz couldn’t laugh with his response. “Sorry, it's not a good time to joke.”

He took a deep breath. “Yeah, I am.” Unaware Max lifted his right hand and pulled it through hair. “ Whew, it's weird to actually say it.”

Liz looked at him. The messed up hair gave him a boyish look. And a very innocent one too.

How could he be an alien? An alien who had grown up in Roswell of all places! Who had thought that there would be a truth behind Roswell’s most popular tourist trap for God’s sake! It clashes with every science. It clashes with everything I ever believed in. And yet I’m standing right in front of one.

The silence scared the hell out of Max. “Liz? Say something… anything.”

She observed him again, her mixed feelings written all over her face. Though she wanted to run away as fast as she could, her curiosity eventually won. Giving him the benefit of the doubt, she pointed towards the couch.

“Start talking. And do us both a favour, start from the beginning.”

***

Tess sipped from her glass. “I’ve got to be honest Kyle, this meetings has turned out better than I could ever have expected!”

Kyle smirked. “I’m guessing you’re not afraid of the boogieman anymore?”

Tess’s curly hear bounced up and down while her bright laughter provoked a smile on Kyle’s face.

“No, your cure was very effective.” A new smile lit up her whole face. “But I do know that my revenge will be sweet. Cliff will not know what hit him.”

“If you need any assistance, you can call me anytime. I’m always in for a joke, especially when it concerns one of my old buddies!”

“Knowing Cliff I know that feelings is mutual.” A corner of her mouth quirked.

Tess couldn’t help an unexpected yawn. She looked at her watch. “Oh, is it that late already? Time really flew tonight. I’m afraid we’ve got to finish up though. I already stayed longer than I expected.”

Kyle agreed. “Yeah, we indeed had a great evening. We should do it over some time, if that’s alright with you.”

Tess looked him in the eyes and could only perceive a genuine and open look in them.

In the past she had met other friends of her brothers. And oh boy, that sure weren’t nice experiences. Though Tess loved her family without a doubt, she sometimes cursed her brothers and their ideas about women, especially about the blonde ones.
In their opinion all blondes were dumb and mindless, only good to fuck around. Of course she, as their baby sister, was an exception on the rule. But unfortunately her brothers’ friends didn’t think the same way. So she had always made sure to stay far away from them.

But Kyle seemed to be different. The whole evening they had fraternized: laughing and exchanging stories. Not a single moment she had felt him perverting her by starring at her boobs or making obscene remarks.

So Tess nodded. “Yeah, I would love that. But I’m afraid it won’t be right away though. I just took a new case from a tough and attractive bodyguard. And you know, I can’t let a handsome man like that wait.” Her eyes sparkled while teasing him. “But I’ll call you when I finish my first report.”

“Deal!”

Kyle stood up and collected Tess’s coat and helped her in it. “Let me walk you to your room.”

Tess chuckled. “All the way to Las Cruces?”

“You’re not staying here tonight?”

The dumbfounded look on Kyle’s face made her snicker again. “No, I got a seat booked on a night flight. My rental car is parked in front.”

“Let’s walk you to your car then.” Courteously he held his arm to accompany her outside.

“Whoa, I never met a true gentleman before. It’s quit rare to find one these days, especially when you-“

“Grew up with the brothers Harding,” Kyle finished with a smirk on his lips.

Surprised Tess looked at him. “Yeah! How did you know?”

“Cliff’s not the most romantic fellow on the planet. Far from it actually. I figured out the rest.”

During their talk they had reached Tess’s car. Tess opened her car door and placed her paperwork on one of the seats. When everything was lying in the car, she turned back to Kyle, who was leaning against the car.

“Well, Kyle, it’s been a lovely evening. Thanks for the company. It was a pleasure talking to you.”

“The pleasure was all mine.” And with that he gave her a kiss on the cheek, opened the car door and helped her in. “Drive safely! Bye Tess.”

“Bye Kyle” he heard her yell out of the car window, just before she drove away.
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