Liz only remembered bits and pieces of what happened after that.
Somehow she was in Zan’s arms, and she swore that the bathroom wall dissolved and opened up into the alley. She had the strange thought that he seemed to be carrying her a lot, and it made her giggle again.
The next thing she remembered was that she was in his car with a warm blanket wrapped tightly around her as they were speeding through the night.
And then everything went black.
Suddenly she was back in that terrible night.
Max stopped the jeep in front of the Crashdown and they sat in silence for a moment before Max turned to her. “Liz, I have to tell you something else.”
Warily she faced him, afraid of what more he could have to say. She was already devastated and his tone left her in no doubt that it was about to get worse.
Her first thought was that he was going to tell her that he and Tess were getting married, and how impossible it would be for her to live in town with them, watching them and their child. Because, of course, he would do the right thing and stay with the mother of his child. There was no question in her mind. That was just who Max was.
With wide eyes, she stared at him, unable to ask what more there could possibly be. She didn’t want to know how much more her life would be ruined, and the silence extended heartbeat by excruciating heartbeat.
“Liz,” he said so softly, as if his tone could lessen the blow that was coming, “Tess’ child, our child,“ he started shaking his head, “it can’t survive here. He’s dying. We’re leaving.”
Her heart dropped to the floor. She knew it was worse, but she hadn’t even imagined how bad it could get. “Where?” she asked hollowly, afraid she already knew.
He smiled, but it was more a grimace. “We’re going back.”
Liz could barely breathe. The only thing she could think of that would be worse than watching Max and Tess together was never seeing him again. With a shaky hand, she pointed up. “Back?” she whispered.
Max nodded woodenly.
Liz felt her chest squeeze painfully. “When is this happening?” she asked breathlessly.
“Tomorrow,” Max said gently, “just after dawn.”
It was too overwhelming for her to even think about, but one thing she did know, she had to be with him just once.
So they’d spent the night in each others’ arms, and it had been filled with all the love and passion they had kept bottled up for so long. It had been everything she’d ever imagined.
Except he didn’t belong to her.
I close both locks below the window
I close both blinds and turn away
She’d tried to pretend as they lay in her bed that they could be together and happy for the rest of their lives, but as the faint morning light poured in through her window she knew their time together was coming to an end.
They clung together fiercely as if they held tight enough that the morning would never come. But it did, and it was all too soon.
Sometimes solutions aren't so simple
Sometimes goodbye's the only way
In those final moments Liz wracked her brain that she’d always been so proud of, trying to think of another solution, anything to keep him on the planet, but nothing came to her. And finally she realized that there was nothing to be done except let him leave.
It was the end.
Max quickly dressed and then turned back to her, still in bed, taking her in his arms again. He touched her face so tenderly, so gently, tears filling his eyes as his gaze raked over her as if he were trying to memorize her. And she realized he was, because she was doing the same thing.
He seemed almost desperate as he touched her cheeks, her lips, her hair, and she felt the same way. Tears ran down his face as he kissed her again and again.
It seemed to take all of his strength to finally separate himself from her. Going to her window, he straddled the sill and paused to look at her once more. Tears glistened on his face, and his mouth lifted in a sad smile. “No matter what, I’ll always love you, Liz,” he said, his voice cracking with emotion. “You have to know that. I’ll never stop loving you.”
Sometimes beginnings aren't so simple
Sometimes goodbye's the only way
She watched as he ducked through the window and hurried across her balcony. She wanted to beg him to stay and she opened her mouth over and over again to do it, but she couldn’t. How could she ask him to give up his child for her? She could never do that to him.
Even though it meant the end of everything they’d shared and they would never be together again. Even though they loved each other more than anything and neither of them would really be happy again. Even though her chest felt so tight at the thought of losing him forever that she could hardly breathe, she couldn’t do it. She knew it would destroy him if she did.
When he reached the ladder he paused again, looking back at her and gave her a sad smile. She had the overwhelming urge to run after him and beg him to stay, but she didn’t. Instead she watched as he descended the ladder, knowing it would be the last glimpse she would ever have of him.
Max didn’t belong to her. He never had. All they’d ever had together were a few stolen moments before she sent him back to his destiny.
And the shadow of the day
Will embrace the world in gray
And the sun will set for you
Will set for you
Liz woke gasping, clawing at her neck and chest trying to breathe. She couldn’t seem to get any air in her lungs and black spots started to dance in front of her eyes. She wondered if she was dying.
Instantly Zan was there. His hands were on her chest and back easing her, and she took in greedy lungfuls of air.
“It’s okay,” he soothed, “just breathe.”
For long minutes she panted for breath as Zan gently rubbed her arms and back.
She didn’t even wonder at him being there, she was just glad he was. She wanted to collapse in his arms and sob until she had nothing left. She wanted him chase away her memories and her pain but she knew it was impossible.
She still couldn’t believe she’d told him so much last night. She had never intended to, and she wondered why she had. It was none of his business.
It had been Zan’s suggestion to call Max that had pushed her to say it. She’d wanted to shut him up not satisfy his curiosity.
Her brow creased as she had a strange thought. She was almost sure that she’d never heard Zan say Max’s name. It seemed like Zan always simply referred to Max as he or him.
Thinking back over the days that she’d known Zan, she couldn’t remember one time that he’d said Max’s name. He had to know the name, she’d said it to him often enough, so that wasn’t it. Then it occurred to her that it might be weird having an exact copy of yourself running around, and she wondered if that was the reason he’d never said Max’s name. Maybe it was too freaky.
She was just about to ask him about it when he spoke.
“Why don’t you take a shower, princess. I’ll make you some breakfast.”
He rose and walked to the door without waiting for her answer, taking it for granted that she would comply. It made her angry that he just expected that she would obey him but she didn’t really have another choice. She knew he wouldn’t leave until she ate, and she did want a shower.
She was still in her clothes from last night, except her shoes, and knew Zan must have removed them at some point. And even though nothing had happened with the guy in the club, she felt dirty. She knew she would never wear that outfit again. She wanted to burn it.
Stepping under the steaming water, she tried to examine her feelings. It was a strange reaction especially because nothing had happened. In the past, she’d certainly done much more intimate things and she’d never felt like that.
Actually, she had to admit to herself that she really hadn’t been feeling much at all since she’d last seen Max. She had completely shut down to protect herself, but Zan had been drawing out her feelings, waking her up.
A shiver rushed through her even though she was still standing under the hot water. She was a bit scared of the feelings he was bringing out and the things he was making her remember, and the things he was making her feel.
She didn’t want to feel anything for him, especially desire.
She kept telling herself that she only wanted him because of his beautiful body, but she was afraid that it was more than that, and she didn’t want it. She didn’t want to even admit it to herself, and she would certainly never tell Zan.
It was something that she would master and cut out of her life. She would never be with Zan. She couldn’t.
Stepping out of the shower, she wrapped a towel around her body before gingerly picking up her outfit from last night and dropping it in the waste basket. It was a ridiculous and weak reaction, but she never wanted to see those clothes again.
She was feeling vulnerable and dressed in her baggiest jeans and a bulky sweatshirt, instinctively wanting to hide herself. Running her hands though her hair, she used a push of power to dry it, letting it fall where it wanted.
Looking at the door to her room, she hesitated. She didn’t want to face Zan yet. She didn’t want to see him, and she dreaded a continuation of his questions.
She was just wondering what she could do to stall when Zan called out, making her jump.
“Come on princess. Breakfast is ready.”
Going into the other room, she sat at the table and Zan put a plate in front of her filled with eggs, bacon and toast. She was afraid that he’d want to talk and she let her hair fall down over her face to block him from her view.
He didn’t say anything and they ate in silence but Liz could feel his eyes on her from time to time. She knew that she hadn’t shut him up at all with her foolish declaration last night, she’d only made him more curious. He still had questions and he wanted answers.
But she couldn’t give them to him.
It would destroy her.
When they finished eating, she quickly gathered the dishes and took them into the kitchen where she noisily stacked them into the dishwasher, hoping to stall even longer. Maybe he would leave. But she knew better. He joined her in the small kitchen and helped her clean.
Several times he accidentally brushed against her, and she jerked away like she’d been stung.
She kept telling herself that she was acting like an idiot, but she couldn’t seem to stop. His presence was causing all kinds of unwanted feelings to shoot through her, and her stressed state she couldn’t seem to control herself.
She had to get away from him.
Without looking at him, she turned to the door, talking as she moved quickly toward it. “Thanks for breakfast. I’m going for a walk. You can see yourself out.”
But she should have known it wouldn’t be that easy.
“I’ll come with you,” he said from practically right beside her.
It made her jump back again and she cursed under her breath. She reached for the door knob at the same time as Zan and their hands touched, sending a jolt of electricity up her arm.
The reaction surprised her so much that she gasped, snatching her hand away as she met Zan’s eyes. She could see an arrogant satisfaction in his gaze and it emboldened her speak up.
“I don’t want you to come with me,” she said haughtily.
He smiled. “You’re not getting rid of me that easily. I don’t think you should be alone right now.”
She sighed. “That’s all I do want is to be alone.”
“Why,” he pushed, “so you can keep on pretending that he is coming back to you one day, and you’ll live happily ever after?”
Talking a step back from him she gasped in surprise. “I-I don’t t-think that,” she stuttered, her lips feeling almost numb. “I know h-he’s not m-mine.”
Zan moved closer to her. “But you’re still holding on to him, aren’t you?” he continued. “You’re holding on to what you had with him so you can block everything else out. You don’t have to get on with your life because you are content waiting for him.”
She didn’t say anything, wanting to look away from him but she found she couldn’t.
He held her gaze, his own eyes burning with intensity. “You have to let him go.”
She gasped again, her hand going to cover her mouth. “I can’t.”
He growled, running a hand through his hair. “So why did they leave?”
The sudden and shocking change of subject made Liz felt like the air had been sucked from her lungs and for a few minutes she couldn’t speak. She wanted to run away but she knew he’d just keep asking and she was so tired.
“The baby,” she finally whispered, “h-he couldn’t survive on Earth.”
“So that’s the big secret?” he asked.
Instantly she shook her head. “What do you mean?”
He held her gaze. “You’ve been giving me pieces of this story, lying and misleading me about it every step of the way.”
“I h-haven’t,” she said, lifting her chin stubbornly.
“Oh yeah, you have princess,” he said as a joyless smile lifted one corner of his mouth. “You let me think you left town when you found out Tess was pregnant, but that wasn’t true was it? You made it seem like they were living in Roswell together and that is why you left town. Then you told me that you slept with him.”
Liz looked away from him, not wanting him to see her reactions.
He continued. “So let’s put all of the pieces together. He slept with Tess and got her pregnant. On the night he told you about it, he also told you they were leaving, and you slept with him, and then he they left.”
She nodded, willing to agree to anything to stop him asking about it.
“But that’s not all of the story, is it princess?” he drawled.
That hated nickname echoed in her head and wouldn’t go away. He’d made a stupid assumption and he’d never know how close he actually was to the truth. “No,” she said, shaking her head. “I mean yes.” She pressed her hands to her head. “Stop asking me about it!”
But he ignored her protests and continued. “You didn’t leave Roswell until the next night, the night after you said they left. So what happened?
“Nothing happened,” she instantly denied even though the memories were starting to leak into her consciousness and along with them, the pain.
He acted like she hadn’t even spoken. “What could have possibly happened after they left that would make you run? What drove you away from your friends and family?”
She shook her head as the pain inside her grew and tears started to run down her face. She tried to block out the memories that were suddenly filling her head, things she had tried so hard to forget and never wanted to think about again. But suddenly she couldn’t make them stop. “I don’t want to remember!”
But the images of that terrible night were coming faster and faster and the pain became unbearable. Squeezing her eyes shut as if she could stop the memories, she pressed her hands to her head. “Stop, please make it stop!”
But Zan was still there, still pushing her, still talking in that calm voice as she was falling apart. He gripped her arms. “Tell me what was so terrible. Tell me what’s tearing your apart.”
“No! I can’t!” she shouted, and then opened her tear-filled eyes to meet his. “I can’t,” she whispered.
He held her gaze. “Tell me. Let me share the burden.”
She didn’t believe for a minute that telling him would do anything but increase her pain and suddenly she was furious. Zan was doing this to her, making her remember, causing her pain, and she lashed out at him.
He easily caught her hand before it reached his face but it only made her angrier. “You bastard,” she spat. “Leave me alone. My life was fine before you showed up asking about things. It’s all your fault.”
“Your life wasn’t fine,” he reminded her. “You were barely living while you tried to forget. You were trying to lose your pain by letting strangers inside you. You were killing yourself slowly one piece at a time, destroying yourself and destroying everything he loved about you.”
Eyes wide, she recoiled like he’d slapped her, but he didn’t stop.
“If he came back now, would he even recognize you? What would he have said if he’d been the one who saw you fucking the guy in the alley that night?”
Liz was so mad that she could barely speak. And it was ridiculous but it made her even angrier that he wouldn’t say Max’s name. Finally the words came out. “You don’t know what you’re talking about! You don’t know a damn thing! His name is Max! Say it damn you! And he wouldn’t say anything! Because he’s never coming back!”
“He’s dead, okay!” she shouted. “He’s dead! They’re all dead!”