Never Underestimate Destiny - Part 20





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Part 20


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(Friday 10)

Liz clutched the note that Max carefully passed to her in the hallway.

It wasn’t smart for them to be seen together too much, but she hated pretending. She wanted to run into his arms and kiss him like normal people in love do. Instead she was left feeling cold.

And the contents of the note didn’t make her feel any better.

Max called her last night and told her how Tess used her powers on him again. She must be getting desperate. Liz suggested he call Zan and tell him before they went to practice, and he must have done, because then he gave her the note.

Quickly she scanned the contents again.



Zan wants to meet for lunch to talk.
I’ll pick you up behind the school at noon.



The first thing that had gone through Liz’s head was that something was wrong.

Last night, she had actually felt Max’s surprise and then revulsion, when he was talking to Tess, but she hadn’t felt any strong emotions from Zan after she’d talked to him. So what could this urgent meeting be about?

The second thought she had, was it would look really suspicious if she and Max were both gone at lunch.

Lately the eight of them had lunch in the quad together, and there would definitely be questions if she and Max didn’t show up.

Occasionally she did skip lunch to study, or sometimes two or three of them went out for lunch, so she figured that was the best cover. She went in search of Maria, and asked her to disappear for lunch. If she and Maria were gone, everyone would assume they were together.

Maria asked a lot of questions that she couldn’t answer, and she tried to convince her they just needed to talk. But in the end, Maria was still assumed she and Max were sneaking away for a romantic tryst.

Liz really didn’t see the point in correcting her, and simply swore her to secrecy.

Now she was nervously waiting on the nearly deserted street behind the school. It was just noon, and she was wishing Max would hurry, when his Jeep swung around the corner. He stopped next to her and she scrambled inside.

“Max,” she said urgently, “what’s going on?”

“I don’t know,” he said, taking her hand and giving it a reassuring squeeze. “Zan just asked us to meet him, but I’m sure it’ll be all right.”

She nodded. “Where are we going?”

“Zan said we couldn’t go to his place because Ava would be there,” he said, putting the Jeep in gear, and pulling away from the curb. “So he suggested a restaurant on the other side of town, where no one would know us”

“Good idea,” Liz said. “I asked Maria to disappear for lunch to give us a cover.”

Max smiled. “I asked Michael to do the same thing.”

Liz grimly smiled back. “We really need to get our lies straight.”

The smile disappeared off of Max’s face. “I hate sneaking around and lying. And I really hate playing this part for Tess. It’s giving her hope that there can be something between us, when it’s impossible. It’s not right. It’s cruel, and it will make the truth that much worse when it comes out.”

“I know,” Liz agreed with a nod. “I’ve been thinking about it too.

She put her hand on his leg. “I felt what you did last night when you were with her. I had no idea you disliked her so much.”

Max shrugged. “It’s not that I dislike her, but she always makes me feel so uncomfortable. That’s why I knew I could never be with her.”

Liz sighed. “Well, I think you have to tell her part of the truth at least. I can’t stand the thought of her using her powers on you and making you kiss her again.”

“I don’t know how hard she was trying,” Max said, “but she might try again if she thinks there’s a chance for us.”

“I think so too,” Liz said. “She certainly isn’t shy about it.” She paused for a moment before continuing. “We don’t have to rub her nose in our relationship. We can be careful in public still, but it would better to tell her that you won’t be together.”

“Maybe my future self lied about her leaving,” Max said hopefully.

“It’s possible,” Liz agreed, “but I don’t think so. We’ll just have to make sure we include her and make her feel like one of us.”

He turned to glance at her as her earlier words finally sunk in. “Wait. You felt what I did? Since when could you do that?”

“I realized it after I got home last night,” she said. “I think it’s because we made love.”

“Can you feel everything?” he asked.

Liz shook her head. “No, but I can feel strong emotions. With Zan too.”

Max digested her words with a nod as they pulled in to the restaurant parking lot.

Zan’s car was already there, and they went inside. The restaurant was nearly empty, and they saw him immediately. He sat at a corner booth alone and Liz tried to read his emotions to see if he was upset, but she didn’t feel anything.

When he saw them, he smiled and Liz felt his desire for her. It made her feel a little better because if something was really wrong he wouldn’t be wanting her. Would he?

Zan stood up as they approached and took Liz into a hug. “I missed you, baby,” he whispered in her ear.”

“What’s wrong, Zan?” she asked anxiously.

“Yeah,” Max said, “what’s going on?”

Zan released her. “Lonnie left me two messages yesterday,” he said, looking from one to the other. “It’s less than two weeks to the summit, and she’s starting to worry.”

He continued. “I know it wasn’t part of the original plan, but I think I should call her and give her a date when we’re coming back. That will give us a bit longer.”

Max nodded. “Sounds like a good idea.”

“And I think we should tell the others,” Zan said. “They need to know what’s coming.”

Liz swallowed hard, taking a seat. “Wow, it’s getting close, and I don’t feel ready at all.”

Max rubbed her arm as he slid in next to her. “It’ll be okay. We’ll be ready for them. We’ve been making a lot of progress with our powers in practice. But you’re not going to be anywhere near this fight.”

“But,” Liz started to protest.

Zan cut her off as he took a seat on her other side. “Max is right. You barely have control over your powers. You’re not up to dealing with two killers.”

“But,” Liz said with a stronger voice, “your powers are stronger when the three of us are together.”

Zan smiled, loving Liz’s determination. “There are six of us, and two of them. I think we’ll be able to take them without the extra power.”

“But,” Liz started again, only to be cut off by Max this time.

“Zan is right,” he agreed. “There’s no need for you to be involved.”

Liz looked from one to the other. She could argue with one of them, but with both of them ganging up against her . . . Maybe there were downsides to this threesome thing after all.

“Now, just a minute,” she said, “I’m part of this and I’m not just going to sit by while you are risking yourselves.” She touched both of them. “You aren’t going to keep me out of this when I could help save your lives. You mean too much to me, and more power is always better.”

“We just want to keep you safe, baby,” Zan said.

“And I want to keep you guys safe,” she said.

Max and Zan exchanged a quick glance. They were in complete agreement about keeping Liz away from danger, but there was no point in arguing about it.

“Okay,” Max said, “we’ll figure out a way for you help.”

“Sure,” Zan agreed.

Liz knew they were just telling her what she wanted to hear, but she wouldn’t let them shut her out, especially when so much was at stake.

She smiled. “You guys aren’t fooling me for a minute,” she said, “but I don’t want to waste our time together arguing, and we have other things to discuss.”

Max and Zan smiled too. Zan kissed her cheek and Max squeezed her hand.

“What’s that, baby?” Zan asked.

Liz sighed. “We have to do something about Tess.”


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Later that afternoon when everyone arrived at practice, Zan made his announcement.

“Lonnie called me and left two messages yesterday,” he said.

“Shit,” Michael spat. “They’ll be coming soon.”

Zan nodded. “I’m going to call her and tell her we’re coming back a couple of days before the summit, and that will give us some extra time.”

Isabel nodded, but looked frightened. “We’re not ready,” she said. “We’re getting better, but we are no where near ready.”

Ava spoke up. “We’ll be ready. We gotta be.”

Max stepped next to Zan. “Zan and I have talked about it and we think we should get together every day to practice.”

There were murmurs of agreement from the others, and Michael spoke up. “That’s the first good idea I’ve heard in a while.

He motioned to Liz. “She’s going to be useless in a fight anyway, so better we use the time for us to train.”

“Michael,” Max growled, and he felt Zan stiffen beside him.

“What?” Michael barked. “It’s true. She can barely control her powers.”

“You could be more polite about it,” Max said, scowling.

Liz touched Max’s arm. “It’s okay, really,” she said. “It is a good idea. Everyone should get in more training time.”

Tess watched the interaction curiously. She knew both Max and Zan were involved with Liz, but no one else seemed to notice anything.

She spoke up, partly to break the tension. “And I had an idea, that I told Max.”

Everyone turned to her, and she continued. “We could try some memory retrieval, and maybe we could remember what happened when we died, and avoid those mistakes this time.”

“That’s great,” Michael scoffed. “And how is that going to help with this?”

“Well,” Tess started, only to be cut off by Michael.

“We should concentrate on one problem at a time, Maxwell. We don’t need the distraction of this memory retrieval now.”

He turned to Tess. “Why didn’t you mention this months ago? Like after Nasedo died. That information could have helped us a lot. Why didn’t you tell us you remember stuff from our other life?”

Max stepped in between them. “Stop, Michael. She doesn’t remember about Khivar. And there’s no point in arguing about it now.”

He turned to Tess. “I know I told you last night that it is important, and it is, but right now we need to concentrate on Lonnie and Rath. After that we can work on the memory retrieval.”

Tess felt a warm rush of love for Max. It was the first time he’d ever defended her. At that moment she would have done anything for him. “Okay Max,” she agreed meekly.

For the rest of practice, she stayed near Max, feeling like he was seeing her for the first time. Maybe he’d gotten tired of sharing Liz with Zan.

She noticed that Zan paired off with Liz like he usually did, and watched Max carefully. Max glanced at them occasionally, but he didn’t even react when Zan touched Liz.

A smile crossed her face. Maybe Max was really starting to come around.

Zan coming to town could be the best thing that ever happened to her. Liz could be with Zan, and she could have her King and her place in the palace, just like she was destined.

When practice ended and Max asked her to take Isabel home, she didn’t even hesitate. She would go to him tonight and take her place at his side.


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Zan waited until the others had left, and Ava had gone to Kyle’s, before he took Liz into his arms. Her soft body pressed against him as if she couldn’t get close enough, and he felt the same way.

Rubbing her back, he spoke over her head to Max. “Tess doesn’t take a hint, does she?” he said. “She was following you around like a lovesick puppy.”

Max nodded. “It’s how she’s always been. She backed off for a while, but it seems to be getting worse again.”

Liz stayed in Zan’s arms, but turned to see Max. “This is why I’m afraid she’ll leave if she knows the truth. It’s like she has no identity of her own. She just Max’s wife.”

“But I can’t lead her on,” Max said, pressing his body to Liz’s and kissing her temple. “Not anymore. I couldn’t even pretend after what we shared.”

Zan nodded. “I agree, you have to tell her. The next chance you get, sit her down and do it.”

Liz hugged Max tightly. “I’m sure you’ll be fine. You are the most compassionate person I know.”

“I hope Tess thinks so,” he said, “or I’ll be responsible for the destruction of the Earth again.”

“No,” Liz said. “I felt responsible for so long, but not any more. You’re not responsible and I’m not either. We’re offering Tess a family, and if she abandons us then that is her choice.”

“No one is going to be responsible,” Zan said, “because we won’t let it happen. Tess or no Tess, the three of us will take down that bastard Khivar one way or another.”

Liz wrapped one arm around Zan, and kept Max in the other, resting her head on his chest. “I can’t imagine anything bad can happen when I’m with both of you,” she sighed.

Zan kissed her neck. “Nothing bad will ever happen to you with us around,” he promised. “We’ll make sure,” he kissed her cheek, “you have nothing,” he kissed her chin, “but pleasure.”

Cupping her cheek, he turned her head and properly kissed her lips.

Liz felt an instant rush of desire and turned into him, continuing the kiss as she reached behind her for Max. His body pressed to her, and she felt him lift her hair and his lips brushed her skin. Someone’s hand slid under her shirt, caressing her side and then slipped into her bra, taking possession of her breast.

With a gasp, she arched into the jolt of electricity that raced through her. She felt an answering desire in both her men and she was relieved. They wanted her as much as she wanted them.

She’d tried not to wonder when they’d make love again. With everything happening around them, they really needed to work on their powers, but the desire had been building inside her all day, and it was like Max and Zan had just set a match to dry wood. She had to have them.

Without breaking the kiss with Zan, she started pulling at both their shirts.

Suddenly Max lifted her in his arms and carried her upstairs, taking the steps two at a time, with Zan right behind them. Once in Zan’s room, he put Liz on her feet and both their hands went to the hem of his shirt, pulling it over his head.

Liz melted into him, kissing his chest, lightly scraping his skin with her teeth. One hand brushed over his hard nipple and the other reached down to stroke his solid length through his jeans. She wanted them so much, she had to have relief soon.

Zan pressed his body against her back, kissing her neck as his hands slipped under her shirt to her waist. He caressed across her stomach and into her jeans, and she moaned when he touched her clit.

As she worked to open Max’s jeans, he pulled her shirt over her head and quickly unfastened her bra. Liz let it slip down her arms and pressed her naked chest to his as she stood up on tiptoes to kiss him hard.

Zan continued stroking her and she turned to him as the ache inside her grew urgent. His shirt was already gone and she gave his magnificent chest the same attention she gave Max’s. As she kissed and sucked at his skin, her hands worked on undoing his jeans. When she had them open, she slipped her hand inside, gripping Zan’s erection, making him growl.

Max had her jeans unbuttoned and unzipped in record time, and pushed them and her panties down her legs, kneeling to relieve her of shoes and socks. Then he finished removing his own clothes and pressed his naked body to hers.

As Liz stroked him, Zan pushed down his pants and underwear, revealing himself completely to Liz. He gripped her hips, pulling her against him. His erection pressed into her and she couldn’t wait any longer.

With a hand to Zan’s chest she pushed him backward onto the bed, and joining him, she climbed on top of him.

Max chuckled. “I love it when she gets aggressive.”

Zan was surprised but pleased and reached for her. She kissed him hard as she settled over his solid length, grinding against him. “I want you so much,” she gasped.

He held her head, kissing her as his other hand went to her hip.

Max climbed on the bed and knelt behind her. His hands stroked over her pale back as he started pressing kisses to her skin.

Reaching between them, Liz gripped Zan’s erection and lifted up enough to take him inside her. “Oh,” she moaned, arching back, as he filled her, “that feels so good.”

Max was so turned on at seeing her actions that he could barely contain himself. He settled more fully against her, pressing his hard cock against her back as his hands stroked over her sides.

Immediately Liz started moving, her hips pumping on Zan. She loved feeling him inside her, and his thick shaft stroked her inner walls so perfectly. He growled, reaching for her head, bringing her closer so his lips could meet hers. Their mouths crashed together as she continued to grind on him.

From behind, Max cupped her breasts, his rough thumbs stroking over her rigid nipples. His teeth grazed the skin of her neck and shoulders, and she arched back into him as surges of electricity rushed though her. It was amazing the sensations they could cause in her.

Moving faster, she broke the kiss with Zan and leaned back against Max, letting him hold her. The pleasure was building up inside her so quickly, her whole body felt like it was tightening up. Her breath was coming in gasps, and as she met Zan’s eyes, he looked like he wanted to eat her alive.

Another surge of desire shot through her as he growled, and she felt his cock twitch inside her. They were both close. He grasped her hips, helping her move, urging her to go faster.

Speeding up again, she put her hands on Zan’s shoulders for leverage and lifted off him, then plunged back down, taking him completely into her. They both groaned, and kept the motion steady for a dozen strokes before Zan reached between them, sliding his fingers over her clit.

Liz’s hips bucked with the unexpected pleasure, and she whimpered as she exploded.

Collapsing back into Max, he held her tightly as Zan pounded into her twice more before he growled his release.

They both were breathing hard, but Zan sat up to press his lips to hers. He continued to stroke her clit, sending more pleasurable sensations through her.

“Mmmmm baby,” he purred in between kisses, “that was incredible.”

She nodded, smiling, as her hands moved over his chest. “I love being with you,” she said, and leaned forward, kissing him hard.

Max kissed her neck and stroked her breasts as she came down. He loved being part of making Liz climax, even if he wasn’t the one inside her. Through the connection, he could feel how turned on she was, and how much pleasure they were giving her, and he knew she wasn’t finished with them yet.

And as if he’d read her mind, she lifted off Zan, letting him slide out of her, as she broke the kiss. Then she settled in Max’s lap, pressing her lower lips against his cock. He was so turned on he groaned.

Reaching back, she grasped his head as she turned to kiss him.

She moved against him, her slick pussy sliding on him, making him harden painfully. He didn’t think he could take much more, and grasped her hips, lifting her and thrust inside, filling her in a powerful stroke.

Liz sighed. It was exactly what she needed.

“Oh, Liz,” he groaned, shaking with desire, trying to control himself. His hands slid over her body, trying to take his time, but Liz couldn’t wait. Grinding her hips into him, she kept him deep inside as she moved.

She could actually feel that he wanted to take it slow, but it just wasn’t possible. Liz wanted Max so much it was almost painful, and she knew only having him around her and inside her would give her relief. “Max,” she gasped, pressing a kiss to his lips, “I need you so much.”

Holding her hips he gave her what they both wanted, thrusting up into her.

Zan got to his knees, moving forward between her legs. Leaning in, he took one breast in his hand as his mouth closed over the other. He sucked her hard, laving her nipple with his tongue.

Liz reached to Zan, sliding her hand into his hair, holding him. She couldn’t believe how much pleasure the two of them could give her. It built in her quickly, making her feel shaky and desperate.

She sped up on Max meeting his strokes, pumping against him, as her body uncontrollably arched back. Their two hard bodies held her between, slid against her. She heard her breath coming in quick pants, and the moans and growls of Max and Zan, and she couldn’t help thinking how perfect it was. The three of them were definitely meant to be.

Just when she felt like she couldn’t take any more pleasure, Max’s hand slid down and stroked over her clit. Crying out, she climaxed instantly, and the pressure of her muscles clamping down on Max brought him with her.

His hips jerked as he spilled himself into her, and his head collapsed on her shoulder.

Liz felt like she was floating on the rush of pleasure they had given her, and through the connection she could feel Zan and Max with her. She was surrounded by their bodies and thoughts of love swirled around her, making her feel so complete.

All three of them were breathing hard, Max against her neck and Zan between her breasts.

Max’s hands smoothed over her sides and hips, before wrapping around her waist, and Zan kissed both her breasts and then her lips as he cupped her cheek.

Smiling, Liz stayed in the circle of Max’s embrace, and wrapped her arms around Zan. She could see he was hard again, and amazingly she was still hungry for them both.

Meeting his eyes, her smile got wider. “How much time do we have?”

Zan grinned crookedly. “As much time as we want, baby.”


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As the sun started to set, Max walked across the street to the park again, and took a seat on his usual bench.

He and Zan had spent a couple of hours in bed with Liz making love, and he felt wonderful. After their first urgent joining, they’d been able to take their time and explore each other more, which is exactly what he’d craved. It made him feel so close to Liz and to Zan. It didn’t even seem strange anymore that the three of them were together.

Max respected and trusted Zan more each day, and they made a good team together. It seemed Zan was stronger in areas where he was weak, and vise-versa, and Zan often surprised him with his insight. He also liked that the leadership didn’t just fall on his shoulders. He could share the responsibility with Zan and Liz and it didn’t seem so much like a burden.

Afterward, they practiced for about an hour with the extra power their joining had given them.

Max couldn’t help but feel good about it. His control over his powers was improving rapidly and he and Zan worked together well. Their power was even greater with Liz, but they were both trying to keep her out of it.

Liz resented it, he knew, but he’d do anything to keep her safe.

He’d suggested a solution just to pacify her, but it was actually a really good idea. And if it worked, it would keep Liz out of the line of fire.

She’d kissed him passionately when he took her home, and he promised to call her later. It was hard letting her go after they made love, but he really didn’t have another choice. For once in his life he wished he was older and living in his own place, so he could hold Liz all night.

But since he couldn’t be with Liz, the only thing he wanted to do was be alone in his room, but he was sitting in the park, waiting.

He figured it was likely that Tess would show up again. He wasn’t looking forward to seeing her, but he needed to tell her the truth.

And he didn’t have to wait long to be proven right. Moments later, she came out of nowhere as if she’d been hiding, watching his house, and waiting for him.

A creepy feeling tingled up and down his spine. He told himself over and over that none of this was her fault, but he couldn’t stop feeling like she was stalking him, and trying to force him into a mold of who she thought he should be.

He couldn’t imagine how he’d ever stomached being married to her in any lifetime.

She smiled brightly, taking a seat on the bench next to him. “Hey Max.”

“Hey,” he greeted. “Out for a walk?”

Tess didn’t waste any time on preliminaries. “I know the others want to wait until after Lonnie and Rath are taken care of, but I thought you and I could try some memory retrieval on our own.”

Max was surprised. He did think knowing about Khivar would be useful, but he was reluctant. He didn’t want to encourage her, but it seemed insensitive to not at least listen to her. “How does it work?” he asked warily.

A smile raised Tess’ mouth. “Well, we need to go somewhere where we can be alone, that’s quiet.”

A shiver of disgust went through him, but he smiled back. “We are alone,” he said, “and it’s quiet here. Peaceful.”

He saw the annoyance flash across her face, before she regained control, and then he felt the icy tendrils of her power start to wrap around him.

“You’re right,” she purred. “We can try it here.”

Max certainly wasn’t going anywhere alone with her, especially when she was trying to use her powers on him. He felt a lot better out in the open. He’d feel even better if anyone knew where he was and what was going on, but he thought he could handle her.

She continued, “I think it would be easier at first to pick a memory when we were both there, so I can help you.”

He hesitated. He didn’t want to remember her or how they were together. He knew he couldn’t have loved her like she said, but he didn’t want to even have a single image of their life together in his mind at all. It seemed like a betrayal of Liz.

Tess sensed his reluctance and chose a memory Max couldn’t refuse. “What about trying to remember your mother?”

Max was surprised. “Do you remember her?”

“Of course,” Tess purred. “I was with her almost every day after we got married and I moved into the palace.”

He shifted uncomfortably.

“I loved your mother,” she continued. “She was so nice, and she always had such beautiful clothes and jewels, and wonderful parties.”

Her eyes met Max’s, and she used an even larger burst of power. “You and I met at one of her parties,” she said softly, leaning in and placing her hand on his arm, “and had our first kiss.”

Max’s skin tingled with revulsion where she touched him, but he was careful not to show it as he lifted her hand and placed it in her lap. Tess was using his memories to try and seduce him.

“What else do you remember about what happened?” he said, trying to change the subject.

“Not a lot,” she admitted, “but I remember you, and how we were together. How happy we were, and how wonderful our life was. And we can have that back when we beat Khivar.”

Max understood her now, and shook his head. All she wanted was to go back home and play Queen in the palace. She was only thinking about herself, as usual.

He sighed. It was time. “Tess, I want to stop Khivar so he can’t hurt anyone else. And I’d like to see my mother and our planet, but I don’t know how that could even happen anytime soon. We don’t have a way back. As for the lifestyle and the clothes and everything else, it just doesn’t matter to me.”

Lowering his voice, he tried to be as sympathetic as possible. “And I’m sorry about our life together, but I don’t remember, not any of it. I…”

Tess smiled, cutting him off. “But you will, when I help you. You’ll remember how much in love we were.”

He tried not to be cruel, but he couldn’t let Tess think there was a possibility of anything between them. There was no doubt in his mind that he’d never loved her. He would remember something if he had, and she needed to know the truth.

“Tess, you seemed a little familiar to me when I first saw you, but I didn’t feel the deep connection of someone I loved. I’m sorry, but I just don’t have those types of feelings for you.”

He saw her face fall, but he had to continue. “You’re family and I care about you, but we won’t be together romantically.”

Tess felt like he’d punched her in the stomach, but finally she understood. Max didn’t care about their past life. He didn’t want it, and he didn’t want to change. All he wanted was to stay on Earth, because of her.

“You’re with Liz,” she said simply.

Max didn’t know how she knew. He thought they had kept their relationship to themselves. Maybe she was just guessing. He opened his mouth to speak, but didn’t get the chance.

“Do you want me to leave?” Tess asked.

Max’s brow creased in frustration. This is exactly what his future self had said would happen.

With the new boost in power he, Liz and Zan had gotten, they might have enough power without Tess to beat Khivar. But he didn’t want to risk it. They needed all the help they could get. And even though he didn’t want to be with Tess, he didn’t want her to leave.

When he thought he’d lost Liz to Kyle, it had softened him toward Tess a bit. He understood her loneliness and wanting to belong, to have a family, and to be loved. And she was still part of them.

“Of course not,” he assured her. “You are one of us.”

“But not your wife,” Tess said bitterly. “If I’m not your wife, then who am I?”

“You are part of our family, part of our group,” Max said. “Nothing can change that whether we’re married or not.”

Tess smiled sadly. “I thought you’d get over Liz. But that’s not going to happen, is it?”

Max shook his head. “No, it’s not.”

She looked completely lost, and he was worried about what she might do. “Tess,” he said softly, “I know you want to go back to Antar. And I promise when it’s safe, I’ll do everything in my power to make sure you go home and have the life you want.”


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


Lonnie felt a rush of annoyance along with relief when she saw Zan’s name on her caller ID. She’d actually started to worry that something might have happened to him, and it made her angry that she cared.

Snatching up the phone, she swallowed her hostility and purred into the phone. “Hello.”

“Yo sis,” Zan greeted. “Got your message. You trippin’ or something? You sounded like you’re worried about us. You know we can take care of ourselves.”

Lonnie’s lip raised in a snarl. “I just thought you’d be back by now,” she said, struggling to keep her voice calm. “And when I couldn’t reach you, I wondered if you got lost in the desert or something.”

Zan chuckled. “No, we aren’t in Vegas anymore. While we’re down here, we decided to check out L.A.”

“You’re in L.A.?” she asked with the horror of a true New Yorker.

He chuckled again. “You know,” he said, “it’s not so bad. There are killer clubs and bands, and I’m even liking the beach and the sunshine.”

Now she knew he’d lost his mind. “Zan,” she said sweetly, “you do remember the summit is coming up, right?”

“Sure I remember,” he assured her, “and we’ll be back in plenty of time. We still have more than a week. I’ve already got the return tickets for the twenty-first. That’s two days before, so quit your bitchin’ and chill. We’ll show up for the party.”

“Okay,” Lonnie said, relieved, “I just wanted to make sure nothing happened to you.” She forced a laugh. “I mean, maybe those L.A. women couldn’t keep their hands off you and Ava got jealous and roasted your ass.”

“Not likely,” Zan said with a laugh. “She’s fucking a surfer dude.”

Lonnie felt like she threw up in her mouth a little. “Right,” she managed. “See you in a few,” she said and quickly hung up.

They had both gone crazy, Lonnie thought. Zan was liking the beach? And Ava was doing a surfer? It’s a good thing they were going back to their home world, because this one was definitely coming to an end.


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


TBC






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