(Saturday, November 4)
Max couldn’t sleep. The darkness outside his window and the bright red numbers on his clock showing the lateness of the hour seemed to mock him.
Restlessly he paced in his room, trying to dispel some of the energy that seemed to fill him all the time lately. His thoughts were a jumbled mix of longing for Liz and concern for her.
He wanted her all the time and he couldn’t stop thinking about the time they had spent together. But he wanted much more than what they had already shared. He wanted to slowly strip off every piece of her clothing and explore her body with his hands and mouth before he slid into her, giving them both the ultimate pleasure.
Just thinking about it made him shake with desire. The need inside him seemed to be growing every day, every moment.
It seemed like being with her, kissing her, having sex with her was all he could concentrate on. He daydreamed about her in school, at home, whenever he wasn’t with her. At night his dreams were full of her, naked underneath him, arched in ecstasy as he thrust into her.
With a supreme effort, he pushed the thoughts aside.
He had to find a way to get her back. He was going crazy without her.
She had agreed to study with him almost every day, but since the argument with Zan on her balcony almost a week ago, she seemed to be keeping him at arm’s length again. He wondered if it was because of what he’d done or said, but somehow he knew it wasn’t.
Liz was determined to keep them apart, and she wasn’t backing down.
Okay, Max said to himself, you just have to find a counter argument that will convince Liz it will work out if we’re together.
In his mind he laid out Liz’s worries. Tess will leave if we’re not together, or she’ll leave if Liz and I get together, and then we won’t be strong enough to defeat Khivar. But Liz won’t let me talk to Tess to try and work it out, because she thinks Tess will feel left out and leave.
The nagging feeling started in the back of his mind again, and he concentrated, trying to bring it to the surface.
Liz is afraid Tess will leave and our unit won’t be strong enough without her to defeat Khivar.
His brow knotted. How does Liz know anything about how strong Khivar is, and what it will take to defeat him?
None of them knew anything about Khivar except his name. But somehow Liz knew more, and the knowledge scared her so much that she was willing to sacrifice their love to make it right.
But how did she know? How did she know any of it?
Grabbing his keys he headed out his window. It was late, but he had to see her now.
Despite the late hour, Liz sat on her balcony in the darkness, touching her finger to a tennis ball, practicing her powers. The green fuzzy ball turned red with yellow stripes and she smiled. Now that she knew how to access her powers, she was working hard to gain control of them.
It had been almost one week ago that she had first accessed the power running through her, and Zan was helping her get it under control. She practiced every spare moment so she wouldn’t have any more accidents like she did at Zan’s place when she blew up the first tennis ball. She couldn’t afford to something like that in public. They might all be exposed.
She was still meeting with Zan every day, and at first she had been afraid it might be awkward after their kiss. But he was so casual about it and his attitude calmed her down and allowed her to concentrated on her practice.
He made no secret out of the fact that he still wanted her, but he didn’t pressure her. And it also made it easier for her to keep her own feelings under control. Because no matter how much she pretended she didn’t want to be with him or Max, they were constantly on her mind.
She would have said it was impossible to be so attracted to two men at once, but it was definitely happening. She loved Max with all of her heart, and as ridiculous as it sounded, she was quickly falling for Zan too.
It was becoming harder and harder to be around them though, because it seemed like all she could think about was sex. She found herself continually looking at their bodies, thinking about the way they felt so hard and strong when they were pressed against her. How it would be to touch and kiss their sculpted chests and abs, and be touched and kissed in return.
Her nights were filled with erotic dreams featuring Zan or Max thrusting inside her as their hands and mouths roamed over her body, bringing her to climax again and again. And she couldn’t stop wondering if it would be that good between them in real life.
There was some strange force, some undeniable need inside her that was rapidly taking over and she wondered how much longer she’d be able to control it. She’d felt something similar when she and Max had been looking for the orb, but this time it was much stronger and it was directed at both Max and Zan.
She swallowed hard, dragging her thoughts away from sex and back to her practice. In a quick succession she turned the tennis ball blue, orange, pink and then into a deep purple.
The deep voice startled her out of her concentration. “You’re getting really good at that,” Max said, lithely jumping over the edge of the ladder.
Liz smiled to hide the sudden rush of desire at just seeing him. She quickly took in his strong body. “Yeah,” she said breathlessly. “I’ve been practicing a lot.”
She got to her feet a little unsteadily. “So did you come to check up on me?” she asked teasingly. But immediately she could see that Max wasn’t in a teasing mood. “What’s wrong?” she said, suddenly concerned.
“Everything,” Max said, coming to stand beside her.
His eyes met hers. “Liz, I can’t go on like this. You’re all I think about.”
“Max, please,” she whispered. “Please don’t,,,”
Cupping her face, he cut her off. “Don’t what, Liz? Don’t tell you I love you more than anything? Don’t tell you I’ll be miserable for the rest of my life without you? Don’t tell you I want to kiss you at this moment more than I’ve ever wanted anything in my life?”
Tears started in her eyes hearing his beautiful words. “Max,” she breathed.
They moved toward each other at the same time and their lips met hungrily, the kiss picking up like they hadn’t been apart for months. Liz melted against Max, and he buried one hand in her hair while the other rested on the small of her back, holding her close.
For once Liz didn’t think at all, she just felt, and put all of her love for Max into their kiss. Her lips moved against his, savoring every moment. The kiss went on and on, deep and sensual, and when he flicked his tongue across her lips, she automatically opened to allow him inside.
Their tongues dueled together, caressing, tasting, and their breath came in gasps. Max took her bottom lip between his, pulling gently on it before his lips met hers again.
Desire filled them both as the kiss continued, and their bodies pressed more closely together. . Liz’s fingers dug into his shoulders and she moaned as she felt his erection against her.
His lips left hers, kissing her chin and then they found her throat. With a gasp, Liz let her head fall back into his hand, and she twisted her fingers into his hair. He devoured her neck, kissing, sucking, grazing her skin with his teeth.
“Liz,” he breathed between kisses, “I love you.”
More than anything Liz wanted to make love with him, and she rapidly felt her control spinning away, but somewhere in the back of her mind, she heard Future Max’s prediction.
Suddenly strength surged through her, and she pulled out of Max’s arms. “Stop, Max,” she panted, attempting to catch her breath. “We can’t do this.”
“We love each other, Liz,” he groaned, “we want to be together. That’s all that matters.”
Liz shook her head. “You don’t understand,” she said, trying to remain calm. “Everything depends on us staying apart.”
Max pinned her eyes. “You keep saying that,” he said softly, “but how do you know it?”
“I…I,” she stuttered, “I can’t tell you.”
“What?” Max asked incredulously. “You’re asking me to give up everything and you won’t tell me why.”
He shook his head. “I can’t do it, Liz, I won’t. I love you, and I’m never going to stop trying to get you to be with me unless you can give me a good reason.”
Liz was starting to get desperate. What was she supposed to do?
“Max,” she said, trying to sound reasonable, “you have to believe me, you have to trust that I’m doing what’s right.”
“I do trust you,” he said, “and I know you think you’re doing the right thing, but I think you’re wrong.”
Liz was disappointed that he would say so, but she could understand his frustration. He was also coming too close to the truth so she changed her tactic. “Max, whether I’m crazy or not, it doesn’t matter. I won’t do this. I won’t risk that you might die because of what Tess might do.”
Max dragged his hand through his hair, his face twisted with anger. “Tess,” he spat, “this whole thing keeps coming back to Tess. I’m so sick of hearing her name. I wish she’d never come to Roswell,” he bellowed. “I’m going to go to her, and find out what she thinks, and if she’s going to abandon and betray us because I won’t be with her.”
“No!” Liz shouted, and immediately lowered her voice as she gripped his arms. “You can’t. You promised, please.”
“Liz,” he said angrily, “what am I supposed to do? You won’t let me ask questions. You won’t let me talk to Tess. You won’t let me be with you. What am I supposed to do?”
“I’m sorry, Max,” Liz started, as tears gathered in her eyes. But Max cut her off.
“Why is this so hard?” he shouted. “We’re in love, we should be together.”
“We can’t,” she said again, starting to cry. “We just can’t.”
His anger dissolved as he saw her tears, and he wrapped her in his arms.
“Please, Max,” she sobbed into his chest, “don’t do this. Please don’t make it harder.”
“I’m sorry,” he said softly into her hair. “I don’t want to upset you, but we have to figure out a better solution. We’re both miserable. We can’t live like this.”
He kissed her head. “It’s so late,” he said. “We can talk about it tomorrow, when we’re both less upset.”
Liz nodded, agreeing with him so he would leave, but inside she was in a panic.
Max wiped at her tears. “I love you,” he said softly, “and we’ll figure this out.” Gently he placed a kiss on her forehead. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”
She nodded and tried to smile as he climbed over the rail and down the ladder. But she waited until she heard the Jeep start before she gave way to the feelings inside her. Falling to her knees, she sobbed, letting all of her heartache and frustration out.
Max was getting more determined and more aggressive with every day that passed, and he wasn’t going to stop asking questions.
What was she going to do? Should she tell him the truth? Future Max had said that Max could never know, but he’d had no idea about how stubborn Max would be. And what would happen if she did tell Max the truth? Would it fix anything or would it condemn them all?
The more she tried to figure out what to do, the more upset she got. How could she make a decision like this all on her own? She didn’t have any information, and the wrong choice would doom the entire world and everyone who lived on it.
She felt like running and screaming, but all she could seem to do was cry. Nervous energy rushed though her, making her feel like she had to move, do something, do anything. Suddenly she jumped up and raced through her window. Frantically she grabbed for her car keys and burst out of her room.
Thankfully her parents were already in bed. She didn’t want them to see the condition she was in. Hastily she scrawled a note, telling them she was at Maria’s and then she headed for the door. Getting into the car, she put it in gear and just drove.
She didn’t have a destination in mind, she just needed to get away.
Zan pounded down the dark street, his legs pumping faster and faster. He’d been running for a long time, but he couldn’t seem to shake the restless feeling inside him.
It had been almost a week ago that he had kissed Liz and he thought by now he’d be able to get his feelings under control. But he wanted her more every day.
Again and again, he relived the kiss, savoring the sweetness of her lips and triumphing in her response to him. And he only wanted more. He wanted to feel the weight of her breasts, to caress her naked back, to kiss and lick every inch of her. He wanted to feel her small body wrapped completely around him as he surged into her, and see the expression on her face as he brought her to climax.
He felt himself growing hard and increased his pace. He had to think about something else or he was going embarrass himself on a public street.
His mind automatically turned to the other subject that he’d been considering. Tess.
After his talk with Liz about the blonde, he’d been watching her closely. All week at practices he’d seen the way the others interacted with her, or didn’t interact with her was more accurate.
Max, Michael and Isabel were close, and no doubt that was because they’d been together for years. But Isabel was the only one who seemed to spend any time with Tess.
Michael tolerated Tess, but Zan could see Max’s dislike of her clearly written on his face. And Zan couldn’t blame him. If Tess had tried to come between him and his love, he wouldn’t like her either. But to defeat their enemies, he was sure Liz was right and they all needed to work together. They could certainly use all the help they could get.
So during the course of the week, Zan slowly started paying more attention to Tess. He talked to her, worked with her, and tried to get her to open up to him a little.
In the practice session that morning, he’d even given up his time working with Liz to practice with Tess. And while they’d been working, he’d started questioning her.
“It must have been hard for you growing up without the others,” he started slowly. “Not knowing if you’d ever find them.”
Tess nodded. “It was lonely. There was no one else like me, no one I could talk to, and I didn’t know if my family was alive or dead.”
“But now you’re all together,” Zan prompted.
“I might as well be alone,” she said with a shrug. “Isabel and I hang out sometimes, but Max acts like I don’t exist most of the time.”
Zan nodded. “So you and Max aren’t together?”
“No,” she said petulantly. “He only wants Liz.”
“But you still want him,” Zan observed.
“Well, he is my husband,” she said, a touch of anger entering her tone.
Zan nodded again. “Sometimes things don’t work out though. Ava and I tried to be together, but we decided it just wasn’t want we wanted.”
“So you dumped her,” Tess said, making it more of a statement.
“No,” Zan said softly. “Does it look like I dumped her? I brought her here with me, and she still lives with me.” He held Tess’ eyes, letting her see how sincere he was. “Ava is the most important person in my life. She’s my friend, my family, and I would do anything for her. Just because we’re not involved doesn’t mean she’s any less important to me.”
Tess didn’t say anything and he continued. “And if you’re not with Max that doesn’t mean you are left out either. You will always be important to all three of them. You will always be part of the group, part of the family.”
They didn’t say much after that, but Tess seemed to be considering his words. He’d started the conversation to try and get a read on her, to see if Liz was right about her loyalty, but he really couldn’t tell. Tess seemed spoiled, childish, and he wasn’t sure what she might do.
He would have to continue talking to her at the training sessions and try to get to know her better, he thought, something Max had obviously not tried to do.
Zan couldn’t help but wonder at the differences between Tess and Ava. Tess didn’t seem to care about anyone but herself, and what she wanted. She didn’t care if she made everyone around her miserable.
Ava was completely different. She was kind and loyal and caring, and Zan knew she always had his back.
Even though he hadn’t said anything to her about his disappointment with Liz, she’d known something was wrong. She had seen it in his sleep-deprived face. He was going to tell her anyway. He couldn’t risk her saying anything about it.
So over breakfast the next morning he’d told her everything; how he’d gone to Liz’s balcony and kissed her, how Max had discovered them, and the conversation he’d overheard when he left them.
Ava listened intently, and didn’t speak until he was finished. “I’m, so sorry, Zan,” she said. “I didn’t have any idea Liz and Max were together.”
Reaching out she touched his arm. “Are you sure she still wants to be with him? You said she responded to you, that you had a connection, maybe…”
Zan cut her off with a shake of his head. “She’s just confused that’s all. And even though she’s not with Max, she’ll never stop loving him and she’d never hurt him by being with me.”
He could see the sadness in Ava’s eyes but he hadn’t told her to gain her pity. He forced a smile. “I’ll be okay,” he assured her. “I just wanted to make sure you didn’t say anything to Kyle or any of the others about me and Liz,” he said softly. “We need them and we can’t risk the group being torn apart taking sides over this.”
Ava nodded. “Of course,” she said. “I won’t say a word.”
The next few days she had watched him closely. She knew he was hurting but she hadn’t said anything, and he was glad. He didn’t need to talk about it to know how much he’d lost.
Zan kept running as he’d worked out the thoughts in his head, but now his breath was coming fast and his legs ached, bringing him back to the present. Looking around he noticed that he was almost back to his street.
He had run until he was exhausted, but he only felt more and more restless. He jogged into the parking lot and went inside, climbing the stairs two at a time. With a glance he noticed that Ava was gone, probably out with Kyle, and he headed straight for his shower.
Stripping off his clothes he stepped under the hot spray, letting it wash away all of his troubling thoughts. He went through the mechanics of washing himself like a robot, trying to concentrate on nothing else other than getting clean. He’d never get to sleep if he didn’t calm his racing mind.
Turning off the water he drew a hand through his hair, slicking it back. Stepping out of the shower he reached for a towel and slung it over his shoulder as he padded into his room.
Zan toweled himself dry, quickly rubbing his hair, and then pulled on boxers just as he heard knocking at the door downstairs. It was late and he couldn’t imagine who was there, but he grabbed a pair of jeans and slid them on, working the buttons as he headed down the stairs.
Glancing out the window, he couldn’t see anything in the darkness and opened the door cautiously. But he got the surprise of his life when he saw Liz standing before him.
She was crying, and obviously had been for a while. Tear tracks lined her face, and her eyes and lips were swollen. She looked miserable, broken.
Automatically he reached out, pulling her against him, taking her into his arms. “What’s wrong, baby?” he said softly into her hair, leading her inside and closing the door.
“Max,” she said softly, her voice chocked as a sob racked her body. “We had an argument.”
He rubbed her back soothingly. “What about?” he whispered.
Liz wiped at her eyes and suddenly realized where she was and how unfair it was to Zan. She pulled away from him. “I’m sorry, Zan,” she said shakily. “I shouldn’t have come here. I shouldn’t be bothering you with any of this.”
Zan knew she was hesitating because he had feelings for her, and she didn’t want to take advantage of him. But he was happy she’d come. “Hey,” he said, “we’re friends, right? And you came to see a friend because you’re upset, and you want to talk about it. And I’m honored you picked me.”
She smiled sadly at him and nodded. Her eyes roamed over him and for the first time realized he wasn’t wearing a shirt.
“Okay,” he said, “then let’s go upstairs and sit down, and you can tell me what happened.”
Liz looked at him, thinking rapidly. She couldn’t tell him the truth, what was really upsetting her, but it would be nice to talk.
“Okay,” she agreed. She really didn’t want to be alone.
Zan had tried so hard not to think about her, but now she was right in front of him, and she needed him. Swallowing hard, he motioned for her to go up the stairs in front of him, and as they climbed he couldn’t help letting his eyes roam over her body. She was so small and graceful and he loved the way she moved, the way her jeans incased her thighs and ass.
He felt his whole body harden just looking at her and instantly his thoughts took off.
Never had he wanted any woman half as much as he wanted her. He felt like there was fire in his veins and the only way it would be quenched was with her. More than anything he wanted to take her in his arms, kiss and touch every inch of her and bury his aching cock deep inside her liquid heat, making her scream with satisfaction.
He was sincere about wanting to be her friend, and offering her comfort and sympathy, but he also just wanted any excuse to be near her. He had to keep himself under control, he reminded himself though. Liz belonged to Max, and she had only come to him to talk.
Zan wanted to take her into his bedroom, but he thought she might feel uncomfortable or pressured. So instead, he led her into the living room.
Liz looked around as they entered, noting the sofa, two armchairs and a big TV. Zan took a seat on the sofa, and she sat down next to him.
Even though her heart was in shreds she couldn’t help noticing the way the muscles in his arms, chest and stomach flexed and bunched when he moved, and her heart beat faster.
Zan saw Liz looking at him and a surge of satisfaction rushed through him. She couldn’t seem to keep her eyes off his chest, and he was glad he hadn’t bothered with a shirt. She was attracted to him, wanted him, he could feel it.
As she examined him, he let his eyes move over her, and even though she was crying and devastated he couldn’t stop himself wanting her.
“So,” he started again softly, “do you want to talk about the fight?”
Liz took a deep breath. “It’s just the same thing,” she said. “Max came to my house and told me he wants to be with me. He said he wasn’t going to give up and he’d wait his whole life if he had to. But it’s impossible. I told him again we can’t be together, and he’ll just have to accept it.”
She paused, once again distracted by Zan’s chest. He really was beautiful, she thought, and as crazy as it was she wanted him. She swallowed hard, refocusing on her story.
“Max got so mad,” she continued, “he said he’d go to Tess. But he can’t. Even if he won’t be with Tess, I can’t let him be with me. I don’t know what to do,” she finished softly.
Zan smiled understandingly. “Of course he won’t give up,” he said, “he loves you. He can’t give up, because it’s all he has and all he wants. He’ll never accept that you won’t be together.”
“I know,” Liz said miserably, “because I feel the same way. And that’s why it is so impossible.”
Zan nodded. “I know exactly how he feels,” he said.
Reaching out to cup her cheek, he wiped her tears away with his thumbs. “I love you more than anything, and I know we’ll never be together, but I’ll never stop hoping.”
Liz’s gaze met his, and he continued. “No matter how many times you tell me we won’t be together, I’ll never accept it.”
“Zan,” she said breathily, her heart racing, “you shouldn’t say things like that.”
“Why?” he asked, his eyes never leaving hers as he moved slowly closer. “It’s just the truth.”
“But,” she protested, as more tears spilled from her eyes, “I love Max.”
Zan nodded, leaning in slowly, kissing the tears from her cheeks.
Liz held herself completely still, her eyes squeezed shut. She was desperate for him to kiss her again, but at the same time she was terrified. Her whole body seemed to pulse with desire and she felt an undeniable need to have his body pressed to hers.
Zan could feel her heart racing, and he somehow knew without a doubt that she was wet and ready for his total possession. “Yeah,” he whispered, inches from her lips, “you love Max, but you still want me.”
Liz felt panic rising inside her. “I…” she started, but it was cut off as Zan’s lips met hers.
This time she didn’t hesitate in kissing him back. It was like something inside her had been let loose and she kissed him hungrily, winding her hands in his damp hair and pressing herself against him.
Zan kissed her like he’d never get enough, drinking from her lips as he pulled her closer. At first the kiss was gentle, coaxing, but it quickly got out of their control.
He wrapped her tightly in his arms and they ate at each other’s mouths like a couple who’d been apart for weeks. Their lips crashed together as they tried to breathe around the kiss, and slowly Zan lowered her to the sofa.
His body pressed to hers as he settled between her legs, and she felt the solid length of his erection. An ache filled her whole body and she arched up into him.
Zan’s lips left her mouth and moved to her neck, kissing, sucking greedily, and Liz threw her head back, giving him access. His teeth scraped her delicate skin and a shiver of pure desire rushed through her, making her gasp. “Zan.”
He growled and his hand came up to cup the underside of her breast, his thumb sweeping over her already hard nipple.
Liz had been so wrapped up in the sensations, but the feeling of Zan’s hand on her breast started to bring her back to the surface. She had only been touched there by one other person. Max.
And suddenly she was flooded with guilt. She pushed at Zan. “Stop,” she pleaded. “Zan, stop.”
Immediately he rose up, looking into her face. “Liz?”
She pushed harder at him. “We can’t,” she said, scrambling up off the sofa. “We just can’t,”
Turning, she raced from the room, and down the stairs.
Zan was so stunned that it took him a moment to react, but then he ran after her. Liz was already at the door by the time he reached the top of the staircase and he called out. “Liz, wait! Liz…”
But she was already through the door and into her car.
Running down the stairs, Zan could see through the window as headlights lit up the darkness outside and quickly swung out of the parking lot. And by the time he hurled out the door, she was gone.
He stood panting, feeling a mixture of exhilaration, sadness and guilt. “I’m sorry,” he said, looking helplessly into the night where she had disappeared. “I’m sorry, Liz.”
She had come to him looking for a friend, needing comfort and he hadn’t been able to control his raging lust. He wouldn’t blame her if she never forgave him.
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