Over the next few months Liz and Max grew even closer. Now that Liz knew the truth, Max confided in her about everything, except his true feelings for her. He was careful to keep her at arm's length, reasoning it was better to stay away from her than to put her in danger.
So when Liz suggested they go to the prom together, Max was hesitant until Liz proposed they would just go as friends.
(Episode Equivalent - Heart of Mine)
(Friday, April 27th, 2001)
(West Roswell High School)
Liz took Max's hand as they walked into the gym. She greeted a few people as they moved to a table, but Max remained silent. He had been acting increasingly nervous since he had picked her up.
Hoping she could use this evening to reshape their relationship into something more than friendship, Liz had chosen a dress with Max in mind. It was black with a fitted bodice that flared out at her waist until it ended just below her knees. It had thin straps, extending down her back, exposing her smooth, soft skin, and she had put her hair up, leaving only a few tendrils to brush against her neck.
When Max had arrived at her house, she had greeted him cheerfully and curiously watched as his smile slowly dissolved into a look of shock as he had taken in her appearance. He had pulled at his collar as if it were suddenly too tight and swallowed repeatedly. Finally he had produced a small smile and in a voice deeper than usual, he had managed a strained, "Liz, you look great."
Liz glanced at Max and noticed that he was looking anywhere but at her and she thought her plan must be working.
Max looked around the room, pretending to be taking in the decorations, but really he was trying to get his emotions back under control. His head had been spinning with dangerous possibilities since he had picked up Liz. When he had first seen her he felt as if he had been punched in the gut and the feeling was only intensifying as the evening continued.
She looked beautiful and mature in a way he had never imagined, and not for the first time, he wondered what he had done to deserve her. But she was there with him and he pushed away his uneasiness, determined to enjoy her company. He turned to her and held out his hand. "Would you like to dance?"
Max led Liz onto the dance floor and gathered her into his arms, her small frame fitting perfect against his, as he had known it would. And as they started to sway to the slow beat of the song, he was amazed at how right it felt. He had always dreamed of being with Liz this way, and now that they were together, he never wanted to let her go.
Max pulled her closer as a new song started. He inhaled the clean, fresh sent of her hair as he ran his hand over the smooth skin of her back, exposed by the cut of her dress. She was everything he had ever wanted and she accepted him exactly as he was. Liz was the only girl he had ever loved and he knew there would never be another.
As he held her, the lyrics of the song started to penetrate his brain.
I can't fight this feelin' any longer
And yet I'm still afraid to let it flow.
What started out as friendship has grown stronger
I only wish I had the strength to let it show.
I tell myself that I can't hold out forever
I say there is no reason for my fear.
'Cause I feel so secure when we're together
You give me life direction, you make everything so clear.
Even as I wander, I'm keeping you in sight
You're a candle in the window, on a cold dark winter's night
And I'm getting closer than I ever thought I might
I can't fight this feeling anymore
I've forgotten what I've started fighting for
It's time to bring this ship in to the shore
And throw away the oars forever
I can't fight this feeling anymore
I've forgotten what I've started fighting for
If I have to crawl across the floor, come crashing through your door
Baby, I can't fight this feeling anymore
Max's heart was pounding so hard it felt as if it would break through his chest. He couldn't believe the words he was hearing. It was as if he had written the song. They lyrics expressed his feelings perfectly and stated the things he had tried so hard to deny. He might have been able to stay away from Liz if he were just fighting his own feelings, but he had been trying to fight her too and he was beginning to realize it was an impossible task.
Liz shivered in Max's arms as he pulled her closer. She could almost feel the change in his attitude toward her. He had been fighting for so long but she could tell he was on the edge and she was determined to pull him over to her side. She wrapped her arms around his neck, teasing his soft hair, and laid her head against his chest.
My life has been such a whirlwind since I saw you
I've been runnin' around in circles in my mind.
And it always seems that I'm followin' you girl
'Cause you take me to the places that alone I'd never find.
And even as I wander I'm keepin' you in sight
You're a candle in the window on a cold dark winter's night
And I'm gettin' closer than I ever thought I might.
And I can't fight this feelin' anymore
I've forgotten what I started fightin' for.
It's time to bring this ship into the shore
And throw away the oars forever.
'Cause I can't fight this feelin' anymore
I've forgotten what I started fightin' for.
And if I have to crawl upon the floor
Or come crashin' through your door
Baby I can't fight this feelin' anymore.
For Max, there was no decision to make, his actions were completely instinctive. As the song ended, he loosened his hold on Liz just enough to pull her to him for a searing kiss.
(Sunday, December 23rd, 2002)
Max was awakened by a knock at his window. He glanced at the clock noting the time, three thirty-six a.m. He got out of bed, crossed to the window and pulled back the curtains, unsurprised to find Michael there.
He opened the window and they greeted each other as if it had only been a few days since they had seen each other instead of almost three years. "How's it going Maxwell?"
Max grinned, "Good, and you?"
"Fine," Michael said, indicating the floor. "You mind if I crash here tonight?"
Max automatically reached for the bedroll that was still under his bed.
Michael dropped his gear on Max’s floor and climbed in the window. "Thanks."
Max was still smiling as he got back into bed. "Goodnight Michael."
(Monday, December 24th, 2002)
The next morning Max and Michael surprised Isabel and the three sat and talked for over an hour, discussing the time they were apart. Michael regaled them with his adventures in the surrounding states, chasing alien sightings and leads that didn't pan out and Max and Isabel caught him up on the events surrounding the discovery of the alien parasites.
When they reached the part involving Liz, Michael leapt angrily out of his seat. "What gives you two the right to involve anyone in our secret? This affects more than just you."
Max started in a placating tone, "Michael..." only to be cut off by the other boy's outburst.
"How do you even know Liz will keep it to herself?"
Isabel came to Max's defense, "Michael stop. It was my idea to tell Liz. We needed help and she was the only one we could trust."
"Trust?" Michael yelled. "We can't trust anyone!"
"We can trust Liz," Max said, trying to stay calm as his temper rose.
"You're both fools," Michael snapped. "She’s probably just playing you along while the government goons move in."
"Michael, shut up!" Max exploded. "You can't talk about Liz that way! You don't know what you're talking about." He took a deep breath and continued more softly. "Liz has known for over a year. She would never betray us, she is completely trustworthy."
Completely stunned, Michael studied Max. He had never seen Max so angry and suddenly the truth of the situation hit him. "You're involved with Liz."
"What does that have to do with anything?" Max asked angrily.
Michael turned to Isabel accusingly, "How could you let this happen?"
"Don't you dare blame this on me,” she said angrily. “You left us, Michael. Max and I had to make a life without you, so don't you dare come back here and start criticizing us. We had hard decisions to make, matters of life and death, and we did the best we could."
Michael fidgeted under both of their gazes. He felt guilty about leaving them alone for so long and he almost didn't blame them for getting help from Liz. Almost.
But for Max to get involved with a human was just stupid. They had always known they might just have to pack a bag and leave and Max was getting attached, planting roots, but Michael could tell by the way Max had defended Liz, it was useless to argue about it now. He would bide his time and make Max see the futility of his relationship with Liz. Finally he nodded, "Liz Parker, huh? Why don't you tell me the whole story?"
(Sunday, May 26th, 2002)
Michael had spent the last few months trying to convince Max of his mistake in continuing the relationship with Liz, but he had made no progress. Uncharacteristically Max had stubbornly refused to back down, and when Michael tried to talk to him about it, Max had repeatedly told him it was none of his business.
But Michael was not one to give up easily. "Max, where do you think this thing with Liz is headed? You can't possibly think you have a future together."
"Michael," Max started with a warning tone in his voice.
"Max, she isn't part of the plan. What will you do when our people come for us, bring her with us?"
"We’ve been alone this whole time,” Max pointed out. “Why would anyone come for us now?"
Michael ignored his comment and continued doggedly. "We must have been sent here for a reason and I really don't think it was to date the locals."
Max shook his head. "You don't understand."
"Then why don't you explain it to me, Maxwell."
"When I’m with Liz, I feel normal. I feel human for the first time, like I belong here." Max took in the disbelieving look on Michael's face, not sure how to explain so his friend would understand. "Micheal, nothing good has ever happened from our being alien. The only other alien we’ve found, kidnapped and tried to kill a girl. If that's what it means to be alien, I'll choose human every time." Max took a deep breath and continued, "I love Liz, I always have and we belong together."
"Max, you're not even the same species," Michael argued.
Max sighed, knowing the time had come to tell Michael of his plans. "Michael I've been keeping something from you because I knew you wouldn't approve. Liz and I have both been accepted to Harvard and we plan to go, together."
Michael nodded. "I see," he said, his voice clipped and harsh. "Nice of you to finally tell me. So you’ve chosen Liz over me and Isabel, over your family."
Max shook his head, "It doesn't have to be that way."
"I hope you're happy in your new life, Maxwell. Send me and Isabel a post card occasionally," he turned to walk away and then looked back, "if you remember us."
(Wednesday, January 1st, 2003)
(The Pod Chamber)
Sam and Cuerena talked quietly outside, while Alyssa looked around the pod chamber. With Sam's help she had been able to recover her memories of the events surrounding the time when she had emerged from the pod, and she ran her hand over its cool, dusty surface. She remembered pushing her way through the membrane and focusing her eyes for the first time on the man she would come to know as her protector. He had briskly cleaned and dressed her in clothing he had brought, and then ushered her into the car where he had left her while he quickly scoured the area.
At the time she hadn’t known what he was doing and had been more interested in the multi-colored instrument panel in the car than the actions of the man. Now she knew he’d been looking for the others that should have hatched with her. Later Sam had told her he suspected the other three pods had hatched early because of the damage done to them by humans after the crash.
Alyssa studied the three pods, wondering about the others, her family. Her protector had always been concerned with business and had never shown her any kind of affection or love. She had often wondered how it would have been if the others had been with her. She knew they would have accepted her, loved her; after all they were her family. Her protector had told her about them often enough, her husband Zan, her sister-in-law Vilondra, and Vilondra's betrothed and Zan's second in command Rath. They were the Royal Four.
There were vague pictures in the book that had been sent with them to Earth. She and Sam had recovered from its hiding place in the library yesterday and she had studied the images eagerly but they were so generic they really didn't tell her much.
In the years they had been together, Sam had taught her memory recovery techniques that had helped her regain vague memories of her previous life on Antar. She remembered Zan's face and she remembered being loved. She sighed as the sensations flowed through her, regretting all of the time that had already been wasted, and more eager than ever to regain her husband and the others.
She and Sam had come back to the pod chamber for the first time that morning, because the shape shifters had agreed to meet Cuerena on this date. Sam had told her, Cuerena had been on some kind of mission for the last fifty years and now she was going to stay with them.
Alyssa walked out of the pod chamber and into the morning sun to join the two shape shifters as Sam was finishing his story.
"Alyssa and I have spent years looking for them, often moving and changing names. Currently I am Sam Morgan and she is my daughter."
Cuerena studied the blonde girl before her. She was identical to her charge Ava but they were so different that even standing next to each other you might not notice the resemblance. The thought echoed through her head, the resemblance. "That's it," she said. "It will be easier to find them because now you will know what they look like." She pulled a piece of paper out of her pocket and waved her hand over its surface, leaving behind the images of Zan, Rath and Vilondra.
Alyssa grabbed the paper from her and eagerly studied the faces of her family. "Which one is Zan?" Cuerena indicated the boy, who in Alyssa's mind was the more handsome of the two and she smiled with satisfaction. She looked back to Sam. "Well, where do we start?"
"I have always thought it was more likely that they were taken to the closer town, Artesia."
(Thursday, June 5th, 2003)
Song Playing: Is Your Love Strong Enough by Bryan Ferry
Max was nervous. He glanced at the beautiful, dark haired girl who held his hand and walked by his side. He still couldn't believe Liz was with him, and every day he thanked whatever cosmic accident had brought them together.
They had just finished their first year of college and would be starting their summer jobs next week, having decided to stay in Massachusetts instead of returning to Roswell. During the last year they had taken all of their classes together; they had studied and eaten together. The only time they had been apart was when they retired to their dorm rooms for the night. But lately it wasn't enough for Max. He wanted to be with Liz all the time. The time away from Roswell had shown him he could live as a normal human, and he liked it. He wanted to set up a house, he wanted to continue to live a normal life with Liz, and he wanted to make it legal.
As far as Liz was concerned this was just like any other night. They often walked along the river in the evenings, but for Max tonight was anything but usual, and his fingers closed around the small, velvet-covered box in his pocket. He knew Liz loved him but it was asking a lot for her to commit her life to him, a being from another planet.
They stopped and sat on their usual bench by the water's edge and Max stroked Liz's long dark hair. She sighed serenely and leaned into him, snuggling into his chest. He wrapped his arms around her small frame and held her to him as he considered his words. He was scared of losing her if she refused him but her reaction to him helped to shore up his courage.
After a few moments, he pushed away from her slightly and her eyes immediately met his. She was concerned something was wrong. He smiled. At times, when they were close like they were now, he could almost hear her thoughts, but he could sense a rhythm, a unity between them that was unfulfilled. It was as if there was a deeper connection between their souls waiting to be completed and then they would truly be one.
He cleared his throat. "Liz," he started, taking her hand in his, "this last year has been great, being here with you, spending time with you. I have never felt anything so right, so normal, and that is mostly due to you and the way you have accepted me."
Liz started to respond but Max silenced her with a finger on her lips. "When I'm with you I don't feel like a outsider, I feel like I belong here, like it wasn't an accident Isabel, Michael and I ended up here. Earth feels like home for the first time. Knowing you has made me human and I love you more than I ever thought was possible."
He kept her hand in his as he knelt in front of her. "Liz you have given me so much, your smiles, your sweet kisses, your friendship, your acceptance and your love. It is more than I could hope to give you in return but if you will let me, I will spend a lifetime trying.” He took a deep breath as he reached into his pocket and withdrew the velvet box, opening it to show her the ring inside. "Liz Parker will you marry me?"
He watched breathlessly as tears glistened in her eyes for a moment before she threw herself into his arms.
"Oh Max I love you so much, of course I'll marry you.”
(Monday, August 11th, 2003)
Sam and the others had searched unsuccessfully for the missing three for over six months before Cuerena came up with the idea to check old high school yearbooks, and then it had only taken two weeks to locate them. The three they were searching for had attended West Roswell High School together until the end of their sophomore year, when Michael Guerin, as Rath was now called, disappeared from the yearbooks. Isabel and Max had stayed at the school and had graduated the year before.
It had been a simple matter for Sam to let himself into the school one evening and check the records to get the Evans’ address. Then the three of them had watched the Evans house for a week, but they had only seen Isabel. They had decided to send Alyssa to meet Isabel, having determined that Isabel would be less intimidated by someone her own age.
For the summer, Isabel was working at a clothing store in the mall and Alyssa had gotten a job there two weeks ago. Alyssa had used her powers on Isabel to help make her accept her more quickly, and in that time they had become good friends.
Cuerena thought they should wait longer until Isabel trusted them more completely but she was overruled by Sam and Alyssa who were anxious, for very different reasons, to bring Isabel over to their side.
Alyssa walked into the house where she and the two shape shifters were living as a family. "I invited Isabel to come here tomorrow to have dinner. That is when we’ll tell her who we are."
(Tuesday, August 12th, 2003)
(The Morgan House)
Isabel sat back in her chair looking at Alyssa's parents. They were strange, stranger than most parents. Alyssa's father Sam, as he had asked her to call him, was fond of strange jokes Isabel didn't find funny, and her mother Cuerena had barely said a dozen words all evening.
After an awkward pause under their collectively intense gazes, Isabel started to rise from the table. "Can I help you clean up?"
Alyssa also rose from her seat. "No, that won't be necessary," she said, and a single pass of her hand over the soiled dishes returned them to their formerly pristine condition.
Isabel jumped up so quickly that her chair crashed to the ground and she backed slowly away from them. "What are you?"
Alyssa used her powers, sending waves of relaxing energy to soothe Isabel's fears. "We are your family and we have been looking for you for a very long time."
(Wednesday, August 13th, 2003)
Sam, Alyssa, Cuerena, Isabel and Michael had driven straight from the airport to Max's apartment.
After the three had convinced Isabel who they were, she had called Michael to come over and once again they had related their story. Michael, who was eager to prove to his stubborn friend Max, that they did have a purpose other than blending in with humanity, had suggested they simply drop in on him. So even though it was close to midnight, five otherworldly visitors stood pounding on his apartment door.
After a few minutes, a sleep-tousled Max opened the door to Michael, Isabel and three strangers. He glanced nervously at the others as he spoke to Michael, "What are you doing here?"
Michael smiled and replied flippantly, "What? Can't we just drop in for a visit Maxwell?"
Max knew something was up when Michael called him 'Maxwell' and he doubted he would like it. "At midnight?" he asked, motioning over Michael's shoulder with a jut of his chin to the people standing quietly behind him. "With the Brady Bunch in tow?"
"Good guess but wrong show." Michael smiled. "Try My Favorite Martian."
Max recoiled as if he had been struck and Michael couldn't help but laugh at the expression on his face. He stepped aside to give Max a good look at the three. "This is Sam, Cuerena and Alyssa. They're our family."
(Wednesday, August 13th, 2003)
Max studied the three newcomers with apprehension as he sat on the couch, and he wished Liz was with him. He always felt calmer with her at his side and he had never needed her more than at that moment.
The three were a family, mother, father and a teen-aged girl and even though they appeared fairly normal, Max felt cold fingers of dread inching up his spine. He addressed the man Sam, "Why don't you start at the beginning."
"There was a civil war on our planet. Our side was losing and you, were sent to Earth for your protection." He indicated the woman at his side, "Cuerena and I and two others were sent as your protectors but enemy soldiers followed us and shot our ship down."
Michael broke in, "The '47 crash."
Sam nodded, "The military recovered the pods that housed your growing bodies and damaged the three you occupied," he indicated Max, Michael and Isabel, "causing you to hatch early."
"And we were found by humans instead of the protectors," said Isabel.
"Where are the other protectors?" Max asked.
Sam and Cuerena looked at each other. "We don't know. We were separated after the crash and we haven't seen them since."
Max met the cool blue gaze of the blonde girl who had not taken her eyes off of him since entering his house. "And who are you?"
He thought the intensity of her gaze dimmed briefly but it came back full strength as she raised her chin stubbornly. Suddenly he was transported back into the chamber where he had awoken years ago. He had received brief glimpses of it in his dreams from time to time, but now, for the first time, the complete memory rushed back to him.
He remembered breaking through the membrane of the pod, stumbling out on unsteady legs and seeing a small girl and another boy. They had simply looked at one another for a moment before his attention had refocused on the final pod. It was still occupied, and inside he had seen a small blonde girl.
Max came out of the vision as suddenly as he had entered it, and the first thing he saw was the same blonde girl, sitting before him.
"You're one of us?" he asked Alyssa.
Alyssa nodded. "My pod was undamaged and I came out on schedule, over a year after you did. Sam was there and I have been with him ever since," she reached across to take Max's hand but he recoiled from her touch and she finished softly, "like you should have been."
Max relaxed when Alyssa returned her hand to her lap. "So we were sent here to save us?"
"In hopes that you would return home one day," Sam informed him.
The three newcomers left Michael and Isabel to stay with Max, and as they headed to a hotel, Sam glanced in the rear-view mirror at an angry Alyssa. "We can't tell them the whole truth yet," he reminded her. "They have lived practically as humans their whole lives and the truth might scare them away. Zan, I mean Max, is very cautious by nature, even if he is in a different body. If we push him too much we risk losing him.”
"Yes,” Cuerena agreed, “the other Zan in New York is also cautious and stubborn. It has to be his decision to come to us."
"And what about the things he told us?" Alyssa asked, her temper rising. "He is happy living like this and he is engaged to a human?" She sat back with a huff. "Did you look at the picture of her he showed us?" she continued. "His human is so skinny and mousy." Alyssa had never been denied anything she wanted and she was getting angrier with every word. "Why doesn't he know me?" she asked petulantly, then her voice dropped almost to a whisper, "I always thought he would remember."
Sam rushed to reassure her, "Max will remember you. It will just take time. He hasn't had the advantage of memory recovery techniques like you have. He loved you very much in your other life and he will again."
(Thursday, August 14th, 2003)
The next morning Max met Liz early, before work, and filled her in on the events of the previous evening. "It was so weird having these," he paused, searching for the right word, "these aliens just show up. I mean, I guess I always knew someone else might have survived but it was all so surreal. And the girl Alyssa, it was strange how just looking at her unlocked the memories. It was as if she was doing something to me."
Alarmed, Liz eyes quickly darted over his face. "What do you mean? She was using her powers on you?"
Max shrugged, "I don't know, maybe."
Liz's expression turned thoughtful, "What did they say they want? They just showed up after all these years to say hi. Like an alien family reunion?"
Max shook his head, "They didn't really say, but I have a feeling they are keeping something from us."
Max walked quickly across the campus. He hadn't seen Liz since that morning and he was having withdrawal symptoms. He could almost smell the fresh scent of her hair, feel the softness of her skin, taste her lips. He could see himself kissing her, pulling her small frame closer to him, twisting her golden curls in his fingers.
He shook his head violently to dislodge the image, as he realized it wasn't Liz he had been kissing in his fantasy, but Alyssa. And as if his thoughts had caused her to materialize, suddenly the blonde girl was standing before him.
"Hi Max," she said with a coy smile.
"Oh hi," he said, trying not to let his embarrassment show. He stuffed his hands in his pockets and looked around nervously. "What are you doing here?"
"I was looking for you," she said. "I thought you might have some questions."
He looked at her suspiciously and then nodded, "Yeah."
She indicated a nearby bench. "Why don't we sit and talk."
He took a seat on one end of the bench and she sat close to him, invading his personal space. He scooted over a little to make some extra room between them, moving to the end of the bench. He hoped she didn't notice and asked a question to distract her, "So you've lived with Sam and Cuerena since you came out of the pod?"
"No just Sam. It was Cuerena's job to look after another set of pods."
Max was surprised. "Oh, I didn't realize there were others, but of course there must have been if they wanted to keep the race alive."
Max had gotten the wrong impression but Alyssa let him go with it, especially since it brought up the subject of keeping the race going. "Yes we were sent here to help our race continue."
"So are the four of us related? Isabel and Michael have always seemed like a brother and sister to me. Are you our sister too?"
Max saw an angry blue flame ignite in Alyssa's eyes. She rose and started to walk away but she stopped after a few steps. She turned slightly, looking back over her shoulder and said flatly, "No Max, I am not your sister."
(Tuesday, August 28th, 2003)
Max awoke in a cold sweat again. Every night for the last week he had dreamed of being with Alyssa. He had never dreamed of being with anyone but Liz, before Alyssa had come into his life, and he was disturbed by the nightly images of them together. He loved Liz with an intensity that left him breathless, but that did not stop the dreams of Alyssa.
He got out of bed and headed for the kitchen, hoping to clear his head. He poured himself a glass of juice and sat at the table in the dark room. It was very quiet in the apartment since Isabel had gone to stay with Liz, and Michael had moved into the hotel with the aliens.
The others, as he had started calling them, had been in town for a just over a week. They had met with him, Isabel and Michael several times, but every time Max asked specific questions about their past, Sam gave vague answers or changed the subject. The others were definitely hiding something.
A knock at the door startled Max and he spilled juice onto the table. He cleaned it with a swipe of his hand as he glanced at the time on the microwave, two-seventeen. Crossing to the door, Max opened it a crack to reveal Alyssa. He hadn't seen her since they had talked on campus a couple of weeks ago and he was surprised by her presence, especially at this time of the night. "Uh," he started nervously, "what are you doing here?"
She smiled, "I was just in the neighborhood. Can I come in?"
Against his will, Max watched himself open the door to admit her. He noted that her eyes raked over him quickly and suddenly the t-shirt and boxers he was wearing seemed like too little protection against her intrusive gaze. He backed a step away from her. "I'll um, I'll go get dressed."
"No," she said softly, reaching for his hand, "it isn't necessary."
The sound of her voice seemed to soothe his distrust and he stood woodenly as she took his hand in hers and advanced slowly toward him. But that wasn’t what he wanted inside and he tried unsuccessfully to resist. "What are you doing to me?" he demanded.
"Do you feel it too?" she asked innocently, as she used a greater dose of her powers to bring him to heel. "There is something happening between us."
Max shook his head, "No. I don't want this."
Alyssa took another step, that brought her body into contact with his. "You don't want this, don't want me?"
"No," Max said breathily, fighting the feelings running through him with all of his strength. "I love Liz. We are getting married."
"I know," Alyssa said, as she increased the flow of her powers into him and forced him to slowly lean down and kiss her. She reveled in the feeling of his lips on hers, strong but gentle. It was as it should be; she knew it with every fiber of her being. She pressed herself into him, and for a moment he deepened the kiss as she wished, but the amount of power she was expending was quickly exhausting her and when she lessened the amount of influence, Max broke away.
He backed away quickly and looked at her with wide eyes. "What did you do to me?"
She smiled, "It was nothing you didn't want."
Suddenly the truth of the situation dawned on him. "You have somehow been sending me those dreams, haven't you?"
"What dreams?" she asked innocently.
Max looked away nervously. "Dreams of you and me," he cleared his throat, "together."
"You can feel the power of the connection between us,” Alyssa said. “It's just like it used to be."
"What do you mean, like it used to be?" Max asked.
She stepped closer to him. "The dreams are showing us we belong together. We are meant to be together."
"No," he said, as he shook his head emphatically. "I belong with Liz."
His words infuriated Alyssa so much that for a moment she was not able to speak. How dare he deny her for a mere human? She straightened her shoulders, stood to her full height and raised her chin haughtily. "On our planet Max, your name was Zan and I was Ava, your wife."
(Wednesday, August 29th, 2003)
The next morning Max met with Michael and Isabel to discuss the others. "I don't trust them,” Max said. “They want something from us."
Michael broke in angrily, "They're our people, our family."
Max looked down at the floor, embarrassed to tell them about what happened last night. "Alyssa is doing something to me."
Isabel was suddenly concerned. "What do mean she’s doing something to you?"
"She is using her powers on me. Trying to..." Max paused, embarrassed. "She came here last night and tried to seduce me."
Michael laughed. "She is using her powers to seduce you? Are you crazy?"
Max shook his head. "I think about her, dream about her, and last night I found myself kissing her against my will."
Isabel and Michael nervously looked at one another and pointedly looked away.
Isabel cleared her throat, "What kind of dreams, Max?"
Max blushed, "Um, you know, dreams that we are, um, you know, together. She told me that the dreams show us who we should be with, but I know I belong with Liz."
"Liz is human," Michael reminded him. "You belong with one of our own kind."
Max looked directly at Michael. "What if they aren't who they say they are?"
"They're here to help us," Michael scoffed.
Max lashed out at him, "How have they helped you Michael?"
"They are helping me to control my powers so I can recover my memories."
"And what have you remembered?" Max asked.
Michael looked down, angry at his lack of progress. "I haven't remembered anything," he looked up, focusing his anger at Max, "but I will when I have better control. I don't understand you Max. We have been looking for them our entire lives and now that they are finally here, you’re pushing them away."
"But Michael," Isabel said, the concern evident in her voice, "if Alyssa is doing something to him," her voice lowered to a whisper, "to us."
"Isabel, she isn't doing anything to anybody,” Michael said. “Max is just a typical teenage guy. He had a thing for Liz but now he's noticing Alyssa's, uh..., assets. No big deal."
"But it isn't like that, Michael,” Max argued. “I love Liz more than ever. Something else is going on and I want to confront them and find out what it is."
Isabel waited until Max left the room and turned to Michael, "Alyssa is making us have these dreams just like she is sending them to Max."
Michael shook his head, "We don't know that. It could be just like she said. The dreams are to show us who we are supposed to be with."
Isabel looked at him with surprise, "Is that what you want? For us to be together?"
Michael shrugged, "Maybe we don't have a choice."
Isabel stayed after Michael left, to talk to Max. "Michael and I have been having dreams about being together too."
"Why didn't you tell me?” Max asked heatedly. “I was beginning to think I was going crazy."
Isabel shrugged, "I was embarrassed."
"Do you think the dreams are coming from an outside source? Like someone sending them to you?"
Isabel nodded, "I have never thought of Michael in that way and I still don't. And it does seem like quite a coincidence we would all be having the dreams at the same time, and only after meeting Alyssa and the others."
"I understand why Alyssa is sending them to me,” Max said, “but why you and Michael too?"
"I don't know," Isabel said, pausing to think, and after a moment she shrugged and offered her idea. "Maybe she thinks it would be easier to convince you that you belong with her, if Michael and I were together."
"I don't care what anyone thinks," Max asserted. "I love Liz and we are going to be together."
Isabel smiled at the conviction in her brother's voice. "I like Liz. I think she's good for you, and I know she makes you happy. If you want to be with Liz, I’ll support you."
Max pulled Isabel into a hug. "Thank you for saying that. I was beginning to think everybody on two worlds was against us."
Max looked at the three aliens, sitting across from him in exactly the same places they had occupied the first night they had been there. He had asked them for the meeting but now that they were there, he just wanted to forget they existed. He was finally happy with his life and they threatened everything he had worked for.
Cuerena could feel the tension in the room and she sought to reassure Max. "We're glad you invited us here. We've looked forward to getting acquainted."
Max's eyes narrowed, "Exactly how would you do that?"
Cuerena’s brow furrowed in confusion. "I'm not sure what you mean?"
Max indicated Alyssa with a nod of his head. "Why don't you ask her?"
Sam and Cuerena both looked at Alyssa, but she simply glared at them and Max continued, "She has been using her powers on me, sending me dreams, and last night she came to my apartment..." he trailed off. "I know you're keeping things from us and I want to know what’s going on." He paused looking at them closely, "Alyssa said we were married on our world, is that true?"
Sam looked at Alyssa, "You promised you wouldn't tell him yet."
Alyssa replied haughtily, "I don't care what I promised. He was going on about how he’s supposed to be with his human and he made me angry."
"So was she my wife?" Max said softly. "But why would you want to keep that from me?"
Cuerena spoke softly, "She was your wife but we didn't tell you because we thought you might feel," she paused, "overwhelmed."
Isabel spoke in a haunted voice, "So if they were married, were Michael and I married too."
Sam answered, "Not married but betrothed."
Max looked across at Alyssa who had a triumphant grin on her face and he felt nothing. This girl who had been his wife, inspired nothing in him other than apprehension, and a thought struck him. "Was our marriage arranged?"
"No!" Alyssa shouted. "You loved me."
Max immediately picked up on the past tense, "Loved?"
"In our other life, before we were sent here, we loved each other."
"Why don't we remember our other life?" Max asked.
Cuerena answered, "When you died, your essence was cloned and mixed with human DNA so you could survive on this planet and blend in with the humans. Your memories should be intact but it will take some work with recovery techniques to retrieve them."
Isabel gasped, "We died?"
"You were killed in the war," Cuerena said.
Max grasped at her words, "If we died, then Alyssa and I are no longer married."
Alyssa glared at him, "We are in love!"
Max ignored her comment. "We are half human. That means I can be with Liz without complications."
The conversation was not going in a direction Sam liked. "You can't be with Liz,” he said, “because you have a duty to your people who sent you here. They are expecting you to return."
"I don't remember them," Max said dismissively.
"You will when we work to recover your memories," Sam explained.
Max shook his head, "And let you use your powers to influence me too? I don't think so. I like my life here and I don't want anything to do with a planet I don't remember." He stood and motioned toward the door, "So you can just get out of my life and we’ll both forget the whole thing."
A significant look passed between Cuerena and Sam and they stood together and Cuerena spoke. "We don't want to push you away. We will give you time to adjust to what we have told you."
Alyssa started to protest but Sam silenced her with a look, and then turned back to Max. "We will soon be getting a house near here and when you are ready, you can come to us."
Max gave them a cool look. "You'll have a long wait."
Sam waited until they were in the car to confront the willful girl. "Alyssa you could have ruined everything. We told you not to push Max."
"I know," Alyssa sighed. "He just made me so angry, denying our past together."
"We will have to be careful not to scare him away completely," Sam warned. "So stop using your powers on him and no more nocturnal visits until he cools down."
Alyssa reluctantly agreed but she would not give up that easily. If she couldn't go after Max maybe she should turn her attention to Liz.
Liz listened dumbfounded as Max finished his tale. She felt numb. Max had been married in his other life and now his bride was here to claim him. "So do you remember her?"
"No," he said emphatically. "I don't remember her or anything about our planet, and I don't care." He took Liz's face in his hands. "I only care about you."
A sob escaped Liz and she pulled away from him. "But you are married to her."
"NO!!” Max denied instantly. “We both died on our planet and so did any commitment we had to one another. It was another time, another life, and I don't want anything to do with it. I would have spared you the pain if I could, and just kept it to myself. But I couldn’t do that because I don't want any secrets between us.” Max closed the distance between them. “I love you Liz, only you."
"But Max," she started to argue, only to be cut off.
"I just want to put this whole alien thing behind me,” he said, cupping her face in his hands. “The one good that came out of this, is now we know I am half human. Being human has been my dream my whole life; that and being with you. And now I have both. Please Liz," he begged, "I could never care for anyone half as much as I love you. You are my heart and soul," his voiced cracked with emotion and tears glistened in his eyes. "You are everything to me."
Liz threw her arms around him. "Oh Max," she whispered, "I was so afraid I would loose you."
Max hugged her back tightly. "I will never leave you Liz."
(Thursday, August 30th, 2003)
Alyssa watched Liz approach the spot where she was standing. Of course, she mused, Liz didn't see her because she was using her powers to conceal herself. Alyssa had particularly chosen the place to hold the conversation because it was somewhat secluded and she wanted Liz to be a bit afraid of her.
She dropped the mind warp when Liz was three steps away and was satisfied to see the other girl's look of shock at her sudden appearance.
Liz jumped when the blonde girl seemed to materialize out of the shadows before her. "Oh, sorry I didn't see you," she apologized.
Alyssa smiled, "You didn't see me, Liz, because I clouded your mind."
Liz took a step back and her eyes narrowed suspiciously. "Who are you?" she asked, fearing she already knew.
"Max told me how smart you are but if you haven't figured out who I am yet, then he must have been exaggerating."
Liz bristled at the insult but simply said, "Alyssa."
"Now that's better," Alyssa said with satisfaction. "I just wanted to get acquainted with my husband's," she paused as she looked Liz over head to toe and then met her eyes again before continuing, her voice dripping with disdain, "plaything."
"Former husband," Liz corrected her with a smile.
Alyssa was disappointed by her response. "Oh I see he told you. Very honest of him." Her voice dropped to a purr, "But he always was like that."
"Yes," Liz agreed, trying not to let the other girl get to her, "he's an honorable person."
"And he honors his commitments," Alyssa said with a toss of her blonde curls, "like his marriage vows."
Liz’s smile widened. "You came to warn me off."
"I don't have to warn you off," Alyssa hissed. "When Max remembers me and what we shared, he will throw you out like yesterday's trash."
"He doesn't remember and he doesn't want to," Liz stated simply. "We are getting married in the spring and I will stay with Max until he tells me to leave."
Liz took a step past the other girl but stopped to appeal to Alyssa's humanity, if she had any. "If you did love Max, you would want him to be happy, and for the first time in his life he's happy."
Alyssa watched the other girl walk away from her. She had to admire Liz's spunk but she was not about to let the marriage proceed.
(Royal Sonesta Hotel)
Sam had waited for Alyssa to return all morning and when he heard the rattle of the doorknob he use his accelerated speed to reach the door as it opened. He grabbed Alyssa by the arm and pulled her roughly into the room. "Where have you been?"
"I went to tell Liz that Max and I were married," Alyssa related, "but Max had already told her." Her voice rose shrilly, "She plans to go through with the wedding to my husband."
Sam sighed, "It's time to tell Max about his true destiny. I wanted to wait until he accepted us but we can't allow this marriage to take place. When Max recovers his memories he will be angry that we allowed things to get this far."
Song Playing: King for Just One Day by the Thompson Twins
Liz wrapped her arms around Max's shoulders as she leaned over him from behind. "I missed you."
Max twisted around and playfully pulled her into his lap. "Not as much as I missed you," he said, lowering his head to hers for a lingering kiss. After a moment he broke away from her and pressed his forehead to hers. "I can't wait until we’re married. I want to spend every minute of the rest of my life with you."
Liz smiled, but it faded as she remembered her earlier encounter.
Max noticed the change in her expression immediately. "Liz, what's wrong?"
"I had a visitor today, who was also interested in the future of our relationship."
A look of concern crossed his face. "One of the aliens? Are you okay?"
Liz nodded, "Yeah, Alyssa just wanted to let me know that you were her husband. I think she was hoping you hadn't told me and I would get mad at you."
Max tightened his grip on Liz as if she would disappear if he didn't hold her to him. "I'm tired of their interference. My life is none of their business."
They were so wrapped up in each other that neither noticed the arrival of the two shape shifters.
"I am afraid that your life is our only business," Sam said.
Max and Liz both jumped, startled by the intrusion and Liz started to climb off of Max's lap, but he held her firmly in place. "You have no right to bother Liz,” Max said angrily. “I thought you were going to wait for me to come to you."
"We have to act in your best interests," Sam said, "even if you don't remember what they are."
Liz studied the man and woman standing before them as they studied her in turn.
Sam stepped forward with an extended hand. "You must be Liz. You are even more beautiful than your picture. It is nice to meet you."
Liz started to reach for the offered hand but Max gently interceded, taking her hand in his and laying it back in her lap. "What do you want Sam?"
The older man smiled. "I'm glad you are here together. We have something to tell you that you both need to hear."
Max shook his head, "I don't want to hear anything else you have to say. I just want to be left alone."
"If you were anyone else we would leave you to yourself, but you are just too important. You have duties and responsibilities that can't be ignored and you must prepare to return to our planet."
Max shook his head again, "I'm not going anywhere, especially not another planet. This is the only home I want, here with Liz. Get someone else."
"There is no one else. You are the last male heir in your line," Sam paused and gave a low formal bow, "your Majesty."
Max sat dumbfounded, trying to process all that had been revealed. Finally he shook his head unbelievingly. "Are you trying to tell me I’m some kind of," he paused to look furtively around and lowered his voice to a harsh whisper, "some kind of banished royalty?
"You are Zantor Tageonant, the rightful King of Antar."
"And I was sent to Earth," Max deadpanned, showing his disbelief.
"You were killed in the war and sent to Earth to be reborn and prepare to free your people."
Max could feel Liz's tension as it spread into his own body. He didn't know what these people wanted from him but he didn't believe he was the King of another planet. Even if he was, he thought to himself, he didn't want anything to do with it especially if it endangered his relationship with Liz.
He tightened his grip on Liz's hand. "I don't believe you, but even if it were true, I don't want it. I don't want to be an alien and I certainly don't want to be a King. I just want to live a normal human life with Liz. She is the only thing that matters to me."
Liz could hear the pleading tone in Max’s voice and her mind rushed for a way to provide him with relief. Her eyes hardened as she looked at Sam, the so-called faithful servant, and an idea came to her. She spoke loud enough for all of them to hear, "If Max is the King, then you must obey his commands. He told you he doesn't want you bothering him, so leave."
Max smiled with relief, grateful for Liz's quick intellect. "Don't come near Liz or myself again, any of you, that's an order."
Sam's gaze briefly raked over the small girl sitting with his King and then he turned his attention back to Max. He straightened, "As you wish."
Cuerena waited until they were out of earshot to speak. "Liz is a clever girl."
Sam nodded his agreement, "Maybe too clever for her own good. I didn't realize this Liz would be a real threat to our plan. She seems to have Max wrapped around her finger, but I won't let one human endanger our mission and our people."
"What do you think we should do?" Cuerena asked.
"Nothing for the time being," Sam said. "We did receive an order from our King." He paused weighing their options. "We have time. We will continue to work with Michael. Max trusts him and when Michael remembers his past he will be able to convince Max."
"You have been working with Alyssa for over ten years and she barely remembers anything," Cuerena pointed out.
Sam nodded, "It is more difficult than I thought without the memory retrieval devices but I expected her to remember more. It's almost like she has a mental block."
Cuerena nodded, "Maybe the memories of her other life are just too traumatic."
Song Playing: How Deep is Your Love by the Bee Gees
Liz kissed the furrows on Max's forehead, willing the tension from him and he buried his head into her neck and released a heavy sigh. She spoke softly with a teasing note in her voice, "So not only are you an alien, but you are the King of another planet." She gently raised his head and kissed a line down his nose and gently brushed his lips with her own. "What have I gotten myself into?"
Max smiled and pulled her to him for a lingering kiss. When he reluctantly broke away from her, he spoke in a strangled tone, "Liz, I know things are getting really weird, and I would understand if you don't want to be with me..."
Liz silenced him with a shake of her head. "Max don't you realize what you are to me? What you're always going to be? You are the love of my life. I will stay with you as long as you want me."
"Oh Liz," he sighed, "I don't know what I did to deserve you but I’ll never let you go."
Liz sat back from him so she could look into his eyes. "Max I know we planned to get married in the spring, but what if we just went into town tomorrow and found a Justice of the Peace."
Max smiled, "You want to elope?"
Liz nodded, a grin spreading across her face. "I want to be with you. Together we can do anything."
"But you deserve to have a big wedding with all of the trappings, the dress, the flowers, the reception with bridesmaids and your family. You would get cheated out of all of that."
"I don't care about any of that. I just care about you." She shrugged, "We could always have another ceremony for our parents and friends, but this will be just for us."
Max took her hand in his and kissed the ring he had placed there. "Liz Parker, will you marry me tomorrow?"
Liz smiled. "There is nothing I want more."
(Royal Sonesta Hotel)
Michael waited for Sam and Cuerena in the living room of their hotel suite. They usually started the training sessions in the afternoon but they were late and Michael was anxious to ask them about his betrothal to Isabel. The images from their shared dreams came rushing forward and he closed his eyes trying unsuccessfully to block them. He had always thought of Isabel as his sister and the thought of being with her was disturbing to say the least.
He watched anxiously as the door to the suite opened but sank back into the sofa disappointed when Alyssa walked in. "When are Sam and Cuerena coming back?" he barked.
"Hi to you too Michael,” Alyssa greeted him. “Could you be any more rude?"
"Whatever," he said dismissively. "I need to talk to them."
Alyssa approached him slowly, with an amused look on her face. "What's so urgent?"
"It's none of your business."
"This wouldn't have anything to do with your betrothal, would it?" she asked innocently. Michael started to rise and she laughed, "Don't get so angry. I was only teasing you."
"Funny," he huffed. "If Sam shows up tell him I'll be back in an hour."
Alyssa sighed, Michael really had no sense of humor. She watched as he turned and walked away from her and considered the possibilities. Max's best friend and second-in-command could make a powerful ally and he could help persuade Max to accept the truth. She quickly decided that she really didn't have anything to lose, but she waited until Michael was almost at the door to drop her bombshell. "I have all the answers you need."
Her words stopped him just short of the door and he spun around to confront her. "What are you talking about?"
Alyssa casually walked into her room, and after a moment, emerged with a worn paperback book which she handed to him.
He took the book from her and glanced at the title. "I'm not sure how Harry Potter is going to help," he sneered, thrusting the book back at her.
Alyssa rolled her eyes and passed her hand over the book. The paperback facade dissolved to reveal tarnished metal pages held together by rings, with what appeared to be an alien symbol etched on the front.
Michael's eyes widened, "What is it?"
"It's from our world," she said, as she flipped through the pages, finally stopping on one that showed two males with two pregnant females. "And this is our destiny."
BOOK 6 - CAUSITIVE RELATIVITY
Book 6 Main
Book 6 Timeline
Alpha & Omega
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